Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

Do you ever get hankerings for one particular genre and that’s all you want to read? Yeah, that’s me with sci-fi lately. I have no idea why, but it seems like there have been some great releases this year! Actually, what am I talking about?! 2018 has been an amazing year of new releases of all genres! But back to my point…I’m craving sci-fi and my most recent read hit the sweet spot!

28945665Raven is sent away to summer camp as part of a rehab program. While isolated out in the wilderness with her group, aliens (called the Nahx) invade Earth and decimate most of the population.

Eighth is one of the Nahx. When his partner, Sixth, is killed he is left to his devices and begins to ignore the directives he was given–kill the humans. When he first sees Raven as her group is trying to move toward the coast, his reaction is instantaneous and he knows he needs to know her.

Honestly this book was a bit of a slow burn, but it was written with enough tension and excitement to keep me going. I would go even farther to say that the beginning was actually slower than the second half of the book. Once August and Raven are together, their friendship develops into something so beautiful. I loved their communication and everything that August did for her. I just could not get enough and I HAD to know what happens next.

61uvo1k2ivl-_sy679_I admit that at first, I was just waiting for Eighth to take off the space suit and be a human underneath. When that never happened, I thought that falling for an alien species was just plain creepy. Can we say Stockholm Syndrome?! Well, then I got over it and I couldn’t help but fall for Eighth/August and it really was just all downhill from there. I now am in love with August and I’d follow him across the country and let him keep me warm in a mountain cave! *wink*

And of course, the biggest question in the book still is “Who ARE the Nahx?” “WHAT are they?” Well, here’s the biggest caution I can give you: its a cliffhanger. A damn good one! Man oh man, I am ready for the second book and I didn’t see that ending coming!! I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait!

Currently reading: “Human” by Rag’n’Bone Man

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WWW Wednesdays #2

Hello everyone! Happy Hump Day! I have been bad and neglecting my reviews due to flash floods in my area. Better than a flash blizzard in my opinion, but still very messy. But regardless, I wanted to hop on the blog and state that I am still alive and starting to pick back up again. Here’s another edition of WWW Wednesdays from my end, and I’d love to hear your answers as well!

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What did you finish recently? The very last book I finished was the audiobook version of Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love. I remember that I used to think that I didn’t care for CH; that she was just a cliche contemporary writer. The more I read her, though, the more I am drawn into her as an author. She really knows how to write out her characters and their stories and has a gift for making her books just long enough, without being boring or overly drawn out.

What are you currently reading? I am actually writing this from beneath my currently reading pile because I got a little carried away. I started reading Entwined With You in an attempt to pick the Crossfire series back up, but I am just not into it. I guess I’m not in the same mindset to enjoy it the way I did when I started with the first two books a couple years ago. Lesson learned. So I moved on to People Like Us, which is a YA thriller/mystery. I was hooked into it from the start and at over halfway through, I am still enjoying it. I’m also reading Ever the Hunted, which I am also enjoying, but I honestly did not mean to pick up another series. I want to finish The Grishaverse first. And finally, I just started the audiobook of Catching Fire (book 2 of the Hunger Games). Its a re-read obviously, but I have just been craving that rebellion of the series lately.

What do you think you will read next? I’m waiting for HP and the Goblet of Fire to become available from my library to do a buddy re-read of that next. I also have a couple of blog tours coming up so I will be reading Amid Stars & Darkness (book 1) and Between Frost & Fury (book 2) of the Xenith Trilogy by Chani Lynn Feener, as well as The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager. I am extremely excited for these books! I also want to pick up Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne. That book is just calling to me!

So that’s all for now, folks! I promise to post more soon. We still have more rain and storms in the forecast so hopefully things won’t get too ugly but we can only wait and see. Take care, friends!

Currently listening: “Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows

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Tag Tuesday: The Musical Theater Tag!

Hello everyone! So, in light of the Tony’s airing last week, I just stumbled upon this Musical Theater tag and decided WHY NOT?!?! Now, I found this on Em’s blog, but she is not the original maker of the tag from my understanding. This tag is NOT a bookish one, but I am going to change a few tags and make them so. Apologies to the original maker of the tag, whoever you are. But anyway, here we go!

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  1. What was the first musical you ever saw? That is really difficult to say because my grandparents watched these things the way we watch Netflix. If you ask what was the first musical I remember seeing LIVE? That’s probably Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Narrator in that show is still one of my dream roles.
  2. What was your favorite musical growing up? Growing up as a small child probably The Sound of Music because my grandmother played it for me and had me sing it constantly. Growing up into high school, though, I fell in love with Wicked and I really bonded with my best friend over it. We would sing it over and over together.
  3. Were you ever in a musical? Oh yes. My first ‘role’ was completely embarrassing and I never admit to it. I only got it because I was the only elementary student who could actually sing. Then in high school I was in the chorus in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (I’m still going to be that Narrator someday, dammit!). Then I played in the pit orchestra for the rest of high school. Then I actually studied voice and finally landed a badass role of the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music. Maria has NOTHIN’ on the Mother Abbess, I’ll tell you what. 😛
  4. What was the first musical you saw on Broadway? Wicked.
  5. If you could be any female character in any musical, who would you be and why? Kathy from The Last Five Years because have you seen that musical?!
  6. How about male character? Archibald Craven from The Secret Garden (bet you weren’t expecting that one, were you??). If you aren’t familiar with this musical, you absolutely should be. It is so beautiful. The male roles in this are spectacular. Plus, Lily Craven is another in my list of dream roles. Ohh, its just so beautiful, I just wilt at the thoughts of this musical!
  7. Favorite musical song to sing in the shower? Ummm, all of them?? ‘Come To My Garden,’ from The Secret Garden, ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain,’ from The Sound of Music, ‘Defying Gravity’ and ‘Popular’ from Wicked, ‘Let Me Be Your Star’ from Smash
  8. Who is your favorite musical theater actress? Audra McDonald, Julie Andrews, Kristin Chenowith
  9. Actor? Jeremy Jordan, Jonathan Groff, Aaron Tveitt, Christian Borle
  10. Favorite film adaptation of a musical book? The Hunger Games! I still love the books, but I like the movies too.
  11. What do you think is the most underrated musical book? Wither and the Chemical Garden trilogy is, I believe, a very underrated trilogy. The writing was great and the concept was so unique that it has stuck with me for the three years since I read the books.
  12. Overrated musical book? I know its an unpopular opinion but: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I wasn’t a fan.
  13. What musical made you cry? The Last Five Years. Gets me every time I listen to it. The movie version not necessarily…I didn’t think it was all that great (though I love looking at Jeremy Jordan, and he’s a great singer)…but man, I cry my eyes out.
  14. Are there any musicals books you saw read and hated? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Eighty Days Yellow, and the first Vampire Diaries book.
  15. What musical book made you laugh? Geekerella and November 9 made me laugh.
  16. What musical book do you want to see made into a film? The GrishaVerse books, Children of Blood and Bone, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, and anything by Colleen Hoover.
  17. Which musicals are you dying to see? Hamilton – duh. Anything with Audra McDonald. HP and the Cursed Child.
  18. Any movie or book you think should be turned into a musical? That’s one I would actually need to think about…..I could almost see The Night Circus as a cool musical…

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The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

“No wonder men did not want women to wear bloomers. What could women accomplish if they did not have to continually mind their skirts, keep them from dragging in the mud or getting trampled on the steps of an omnibus? If they had pockets! With pockets, women could conquer the world!” –Theodora Goss

33645527Two things drew me in to this book: the cover and the title. From just these two things, I couldn’t fully tell exactly the time period or genre, but I did know that I wanted to find out more and I’m glad I picked it up.

The book mainly centers around Mary Jekyll–yes, as in the daughter of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. She is alone and penniless after the disappearance and (alleged) death of her father and recent madness and death of her mother. Mary decides to seek a reward for the capture of her father’s capturer, the mysterious Mr. Hyde, in order to solve her financial troubles. Her search leads her, in stead, to new companions in the form of Hyde’s daughter Diana, Sherlock Holmes (whom she turns to for aid), Catherine Maureau, Justine Frankenstein, and Beatrice Rappaccini. The soon-to-be-called Athena Club’s adventures lead them around London seeking answers about dark experiments which are both fascinating and dangerous, but which link them all together in some way.

I very much appreciated the concept of this book, which was getting together the ‘daughters’ of gothic horror. For once, we’re not seeing all male monsters but females, and they’re heroines! What?! They are making the role of monstress look good! Its so interesting–the author gives each character their own personality based on their environment and how they were made, taught, raised, or “born” if you will. We get to hear their stories and it really is so fascinating. We do also see a bit of the personality of Sherlock & Watson as well. Goss really does touch on all of the characters.

bigstock-139342157-620x330The only reason that I didn’t absolutely love the book is the structure. The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter is written with frequent and random present-day dialogue interruptions from the characters in the Athena Club. A running commentary, if you will. To me, they are sometimes too distracting and excessive. I just didn’t feel they were necessary. I just couldn’t figure out if they were meant to lighten the mood? I have no idea what the purpose is. They are literally anywhere from 2-10 lines of dialogue every few pages. Why? Oh well.

Other than that though, I really enjoyed the book. I love classic, gothic literature and this was a great spin on the stories. I can’t wait to read more in this series!

Book Soundtrack: “Psychological Recovery” from Sherlock Holmes (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Hans Zimmer

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Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer

31694016Stranger Than Fanfiction is a book for which the synopsis really doesn’t do the story much justice. True, the book is about teen celebrity and four graduating high school friends going on a road trip. We find out almost immediately that 3 out of the 4 friends have huge secrets. One is gay and going to an extremely conservative college. One is trans and can’t admit it to his family or friends or the guy who she(he) knows has a crush on her(him). And the third wants to attend a different college than her father is making her go to. This is all so that she can pursue what he views as a “good” career when what she really wants to do is become a writer.

I very much liked the idea of the road trip theme, as well as a celebrity peer randomly joining a group of his fans who were best friends all for the fun. Sounds like a good book, right? Well, turns out the celebrity has his own secret, is rather an asshole, and the friends are all pretty flat characters and nothing exciting happens. EVER. Until the very, very end.

Honestly, the final 40 pages all of a sudden are the only redeemable part of the book. My ears perked up, and I even shed a couple of tears! After considering not finishing the book a couple of times along the way, I finally found a reason to finish the book, however unreasonable the out-of-nowhere ending seemed!! I liked the twist and it finally brought the entire book together in a way I thought it needed.

So overall, yes, this book has characters who are LGTBQA+, but does it really discuss these issues in ways that are really important or shed light on the topic in interesting ways? Unfortunately not. I didn’t feel that I really connected with the characters at all, and I hated that I never felt that I had any idea what the show that the characters were always talking about being fans of, Whiz Kids, was about. It ended up just being an annoying, constant reference. Sorry Chris Colfer, this book wasn’t for me.

4919495Side note: speaking of Chris Colfer…just FYI, yes, Chris Colfer the author is the same as Chris Colfer the Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actor best-known for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on the FOX television series “Glee”!! I absolutely did not realize that until after I read the book and was writing my review! It, unfortunately, doesn’t change my opinion, but I do find it fascinating and now I have to connect the “Glee” soundtrack to this book!

Book Soundtrack: “Seasons of Love” by Glee Cast

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