No Good Deed by Goldy Moldavsky

35217969No Good Deed….is okay. I found it categorized by my library under the subcategory ‘humor.’ But with the black cover with the spray paint plus the synopsis talking about ruin and warfare, I expected mischief and violence and maybe some mystery. Let me just tell you, there is none of the above (humor included). 

So Gregor Maravilla (last name always included) goes away to summer camp with lofty ambitions to save the world by feeding the children. Everyone else at “Camp Save the World” has similar ambitions. Feminism, Men’s Rights, Eat Dirt, Anti-Robotics, etc. As you can sort of see, some of them are a little sideways, some of them are common. The camp turns these campaigns into competitions to gain the campers points to try to win an internship with the head honcho who can’t seem to find time to actually leave his office in the big city and visit camp in person. Of course things get cutthroat and quite crazy.
I hardly found there to be any depth or connection to this book. I really liked the ‘love interest’ Ashley Woodstone, who Gregor swore to hate from the very beginning. She was really the best part, even though when she did finally open up about herself, it was relatively brief and Gregor had a hard time taking it all in. Ashley was the most spirited person at the camp, and everyone else looked at her like she was crazy!

tim-mossholder-302970-unsplashThe biggest thing about the book that I had a problem with, I think, was that the ending felt like a loose end. In the first third of the book, Gregor and Ashley break into Jimmy’s office and Gregor finds something very revealing about the camp and how the campers all came to be there. Basically he finds a boatload of information he could expose that would make a huge impact on future summers. When there is a press conference at parents weekend, Gregor only exposes information about the internship. WHY?! All the way to the end of the book, the info about the campers is never brought to light. Again, WHY!??! You know all of this, why don’t you fix it? Do something?! All this talk about ’causes’ and needing to better public speaking and bla bla bla. Jimmy and his father being exposed and the camp coming to justice just seems like a big loose end to me! Gah!!

So that’s my take. The book has some fun ideas. Its relatively unique. Some of the causes are worthy of a good chuckle. I still wouldn’t eat the dirt even if my favorite celebrity told me to. I have a deep love for summer camps in my heart but my bias for them did not envelop this one. Better luck next time, Goldy.

Book Soundtrack:

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Phoenix Fire by S.D. Grimm

To open, I hereby present you with a synopsis of the book named above as written by NetGalley:

2c8b641f9eebb5ac312c04485b2c4396After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel. Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.

38492055Definitely not the best summary, but the NG ones never are. Here is what I can tell you about the book: After reading it, I was pleasantly surprised. I went into Phoenix Fire not really knowing what to expect because all I got was….well, what NetGalley told me. Being completely honest, I saw a cool phoenix on the cover, I saw the YA fantasy genre, and I said “let’s give it a shot!”. I’m glad that I did!

So in the beginning of the book, things were a little cliche. Our main character, Ava, is in a foster house and never feels like she belongs, and doesn’t really want to belong. Then she starts to experience memories and maybe come into certain “powers.” *Eyeroll* and I’m thinking “crap, is this a middle grade book?” because it really seemed way to juvenile early on. Enter: new guys. New guys with secrets about her past, her powers, and what she has to do with said powers.

635811964343779843-thinkstockphotos-490635524When it came down to it, I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the phoenix life cycles, as well as the familial ties and how all of that came into play. Also, the romance in the book came was really sweet but also had its bitterness as well. Wyatt, at times, got a little whiny but I really liked seeing his character and his relationship with Ava and the two brothers unfold. Plus I think it will be really interesting to see what further role Yuki will play in things. I am very intrigued to read the next book in the series!!

Book Soundtrack: A Crime to Remember by Pop Evil

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Tag Tuesday: The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

It seems to me that “Unpopular Opinions” are (ironically) very popular these days. Maybe that’s just me?? But anyway, I found this tag created by The Book Archer and I’m going for it this week! Here we go!

ap550x55012x161transparentt-u81. A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like. The Fault in Our Stars. I am not a John Green Fan and I was definitely not  a ‘Fault in Our Stars’ fan. It was SO cliche and lame to me. Somehow, though, I absolutely LOVED the movie. I cried my frickin’ EYES OUT FOR HOURS after watching it!!
2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love. Fifty Shades of Grey. Sorry, everyone, but I love Christian Grey in all of his craziness. I absolutely devoured those books. Were they well-written? Hell no. Were they fun to read? Absolutely. So while many, many people say they “hate” the books, I think they’re really just denying their inner goddesses. Just sayin’. *wink*
3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR an OTP that you don’t like. Clockwork Princess. Okay, the ending of this one and how the relationships work out is just a hot mess. Cassandra Clare cheated, IMHO. I have my opinion on which guy Tessa should be with and that whole boloney at the end is just dumb and not fair. Everything was ruined. Hated it. Yes, I’m bitter.
leia2124. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for. Pure sci-fi, high fantasy, YA contemporary, or historical romance. I really do read a lot of genres….or I try to, at least.
5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like. Luke & Leia. I know that this is a super unpopular opinion…especially after the recent loss of Carrie Fischer. But in the original trilogy (books or movies, however you look at it), I just felt they were so overrated. Now is a totally different story and my view is changing but I’m still on the “meh” fence.
6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into. John Green. Hands down. I keep buying his books and trying to read them and I just can’t get into them.
7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.) BEAUTY BLIND. I hate MC’s who think they’re ugly…or at least ‘average’ or ‘normal’ and then all of a sudden they have the 2-5 hottest, most rugged and rich men in the city/kingdom/galaxy competing for her love/hand in marriage because she is so beautiful and flawless and sexy. “No I’m not” “Yes you are, you’re the most beautiful creature I’ve seen” bla bla bla. OH MY START SHUT-UP!! You get the point, we’ve all read it thousands of times before. Just be average, for real. Don’t want a MC only for her ‘beauty’ but for her brains or her wit or something!
open book on wooden table on bright background8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading. 
– The Inheritance Cycle
– The Iron Fey
– Bloodlines
– Bluebloods
9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book? The Maze Runner. I actually really liked the movies but I tried to read the book and couldn’t read more than 75 pages or so.

ANNNNNNNND that’s it!! Woo! That was actually pretty difficult because I am typically a go-with-the-flow, very agreeable kind of girl so having un-popular opinions is difficult for me! But there it is! Did you agree with any of my opinions? Disagree? Me, myself, and I want to know about it! Leave a comment or TAG, YOU’RE IT! Try the tag for yourself on your own blog or vlog.

Listening to: Piera Ford Booktube vlog

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber

21645469-_sy540_Well hey, I finally got around to reading Caraval in honor of book #2 releasing soon! I hate to miss out on all of the goodies coming out soon…plus, of course, I’ve been hearing about Caraval non-stop since it was released so I gave in to the pressure! I don’t have regrets!

So there are a couple of expectations that I have to quash right off the bat: first – “caraval” =/= carnival, so don’t expect circus tents and a formal show with clowns and popcorn and elephants, etc. Not quite. Second – Legend (master of “Caraval”) is not an omniscient or stalker-ish presence like the Wizard of Oz. Maybe I’m the only one, but I was expecting something like that. I won’t say any more because I don’t want to spoil anything but….the Legend part of the book was NOTHING like how I expected it to be.

caravalAs for the rest of the book, I really enjoyed it!! The twists and turns of the game keep you very involved and the other players are diverse and fun to meet. Scarlett (the MC) was on the annoying side. She is engaged to be married in 4 days (?), though Caraval ends in 5, so she is obsessed with the idea of finding her sister in time to get back for her wedding. Furthermore, she gets romantic attention from a handsome guy and she’s a blatant jerk about it because she’s engaged to a man back home who she has only met via correspondence. She is obsessively “that’s not ladylike” this and “oh, that’s so improper” that, bla bla bla and it is so obnoxious. Add to that constant whining about her sister being missing and she is a complete broken record for the first two-thirds of the book.

The last third of the book, though, is when the action really picks up and there is just too much happening for there to be any whining or thinking about fiancees or any of that other junk. Its all just go-go-go. I feel that it sounds like I’m listing a lot of negatives but I really did enjoy the magic and the romance in this book. I can’t wait to dive into Legendary !!

Book soundtrack:  “Twisted” by Aaron Taos

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A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

a_semi-definitive_list_of_worst_nightmares_krystal_sutherland_fall_2017_ya_booksWow, you guys. I am amazingly shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. This is an example of don’t-judge-the-book-by-its-cover. Its not really an ugly cover, per se, but it isn’t glittery and mind-blowing for sure. I would never be drawn to it in a million years. However, after reading it, I absolutely recommend it. This book had so much humor and so much heart, I want anyone reading my reviews to go and read this book next.

janko-ferlic-391257-unsplashSo what is it about, you may now be asking? Esther Solar and her “semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.” Esther and her family have been under a curse to suffer from one great fear in their lifetime ever since her grandfather met Death in the war. Now this family is quirky. The father, for instance is agoraphobic and will not leave their basement. Esther’s brother, Eugene, is afraid of the dark and turns on candles and lamps and strings of lights when the sun goes down.

The curse hasn’t hit Esther yet, and when she has a hapless reunion with a former crush, he discovers her list and challenges her to face her fears. Together they tick off the nightmares, and of course, the surprises along the way.

This book definitely has trigger warnings of suicide, depression and anxiety, which I didn’t really know going in. In the afterward of the book, the author does a really nice follow-up about mental health and mentions a piece of Adam Silvera’s that is a “must read” for every person no matter where you are in life. Forgive me, for I don’t have the book in front of me so I can’t pull up the exact title at the moment.

claudia-nuta-362408-unsplashAside from this, as I mentioned before, the book is overall a very sweet, funny, and touching story. I didn’t realize there would be so much depth in a book with such a simple cover. I think it should also be mentioned that this book…while I wouldn’t label it as fantasy, one could view it as magical realism in some ways. That’s what I would call it anyway.

Book Soundtrack: “Wolves Without Teeth” by Of Monsters and Men

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February Wrap-up…March TBR

amy-reed-408611-unsplashWho can believe that we are already going into the third month of 2018? Seems like I was just doing my 25 days of December and now we’re talking March! Crazy!

 

So considering that February was a short month, I’d say that I did okay reading-wise. In January I finished 4 books but in February I bumped that up to 5–woo! Subsequently page count went up as well. I don’t have that number in front of me, but I promise, I crunched that number earlier and its the Gods-honest truth. So here’s my little overview:

Fangirl & The Kiss of Deception were audiobooks, Caraval & Siege and Storm both I flipped between digital and physical copies of. All of these reviews are up on the blog except for Caraval… that one is still a bit under construction. It should be done in another day or two. My favorite book of the month was definitely Fangirl. I am still swooning over Levi!! I am so glad I read that around Valentine’s Day!!

tbrmarchSegue to: I also was also glad to have finished Siege and Storm because now I am so ready to move on to Ruin and Rising and finish the trilogy this month!! Not that I want it to be over but I am so eager to see what happens!! That AND I want to move on to Six of Crows. Also on my TBR for this month are a couple I picked up from the library. Stillhouse Lake is a thriller that I picked up thinking I would read during #thrillerthon. Well, I missed that. Bummer. But I like thrillers anyway and this one has a wicked cool synopsis (dead bodies in the lake!) and a pretty high Goodreads rating. Plus its a book of the month for a group I’m in so I’m going to do my best to get to it. The other two I picked up–Invictus and Unearthed–are a little (a lot) more sci-fi-ey than I usually read but I couldn’t help myself. For whatever reason, I was just in the mood for time travel and aliens. So boom! I chose them also. So we’ll see where I’m at by the end of the month.

What are you planning to read this month? How much did you read in February?

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