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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Tag Tuesday: Inside Out

Hi everyone! So I just started a new job last week and as with any new job, I have been feeling SO many emotions! Its such a roller coaster!! That being said, I feel it appropriate to do the Inside Out Book Tag this week so here goes!

Joy: Which book brings you the most joy?
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Joy, for me, is probably The Hunger Games. Any versions, any merch, any anything and I’m just in love! The series means a lot to me and I just love the contents and the characters. Both the books and the movies are excellent, in my opinion. I love THG!

Disgust: Which book grossed you out the most?
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This one is pretty easy for me. Whiskey Sour or any of the Jack Daniels mysteries by J.A. Konrath. I have read the first three in the series and they are good but man, this guy is not shy about putting in details about his killers’ murder methods! Let’s just say, for example, that book 1 is responsible for me never eating bite size candy bars without me cutting them in half ever again. Nope, nope, nope!!

Fear: The book that scared you more than anything?
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I don’t scare easily when it comes to books, but due to the circumstances under which I read it, I am going to choose Amityville Horror for this one. I had to read this for a course in college and I read a few chapters over a weekend when I was staying by myself in a really old building at a camp/forest preserve out in the middle of nowhere! So hearing the creaks and moans of the old building and the wind and all that while reading about a possessed house was NOT a good idea!!!

Sadness: Which book made you cry the hardest?
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Oh Lordy, do I have to re-live this one? While I don’t scare easily over books, I do tend to cry relatively easily over books. So. My top cry books: Allegient (Divergent trilogy), Extraordinary Means (if you haven’t heard of this book, go look it up. If you liked The Fault in our Stars, or even if you didn’t [because I didn’t… #unpopularopinion ] this book was even better!), and The Light We Lost.

Anger: Which book pissed you off? 
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I won’t say it “pissed me off” but it definitely was not up to my expectations. Or maybe it wasn’t what I expected. So for this one I’ll choose Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. My favorite character gets killed off, my ideal ship doesn’t happen, and the trilogy ends!! Pout, pout, pout!

decorative-line-clipart-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-gbhglo-clipart2bpinkSo that’s that, my friends! I hope that everyone in the U.S. had a nice, long weekend! If you’re not in the U.S. hopefully you’re having a great week so far. Well wishes to you all!

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover

20160203_091845I.LOVED.THIS.BOOK.!!!!! Yes, the shouty capitals are intentional. If you have never picked up a Colleen Hoover book before and are wondering which one you should try, PICK THIS ONE! If you have read a Colleen Hoover book or two before and didn’t care for them and maybe gave up on her, DISREGARD PREVIOUS OPINIONS AND PICK THIS ONE UP!!!

My heart is so full like no other book has made it before. Oh, the love that is in this story! Fallon and Ben are just the best characters! I just finished the book so my words are so mushy gushy right now…I’ll have to come back later and write a more cohesive and coherent summary/review later but for now, just know that this was probably the best contemporary romance I have ever read. It was AMAZING!

november93((Later)) I am ready to speak more coherently about this book now. When I finished reading (listening, technically) to it, I was a hot mess of love and emotion in the best of ways. November 9 is not just a day on the calendar for Fallon and Ben. Its not just a day of meeting, dating, and falling in love either. For both characters, they are trying so hard to change it from a day of past horrors and dread to a day of joy and love. But of course, its easier said than done.

There is humor, there is (a bit of) mystery, there is joy, and there is heartbreak. There are not many secondary characters, but I do have to say that I fell in love with Ben’s family instantly. I also thought that Ben’s gentleness and treatment of Fallon’s scars was the most beautiful thing. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes the consequences stay with you your entire life. The guilt most certainly does, as do the scars.

Just to wrap up, in case you missed it the first twenty times I said it, read this book. I loved it. Its got a 4.39 rating on Goodreads, which is pretty darn good. So next time you’re looking for a raw, riveting love story, grab this one.

Book soundtrack: Kissing You (Love Theme from Romeo + Juliet) by Des’ree

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Tag Tuesday: Norse Mythology Book Tag

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Its finally starting to feel AND look like spring in my neck of the woods and it is marvelous! Our pattern of snow…melt…snow…melt…snow…etc. is finally over (knock on wood, right?). But anyway, on to the reason why we’re all here: BOOKS!

So this week for *Tag Tuesday,* my friend Sarah posted the Norse Mythology Book Tag and it was awesome!

THE RULES of the TAG

  • Link back to my original post and to Kyera’s post
  • Thank the person(s) who tagged you…show the community some love!
  • Obviously, come up with your wondeful answers!
  • Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going.

ODIN – FAVOURITE STAND ALONE

Odin is the All-Father, the leader of the Norse gods. He is the god of wisdom, poetry, battle, death, wine and war among other things.

 

 

Going through my list of books there were a couple that jumped out at me to choose as a good stand alone, but then once I found T.H.U.G., all bets were off. If you still have not read this book, get to it! I also highly recommend the audiobook because the narrator is amazing! But really, this book about a teenager witnessing the shooting of her (unarmed) friend at the hands of a police officer will give you a lot to think about. The Hate U Give  is so well-written and its being made into a movie as well so if you’re one of those people who likes to read the book before something hits the screen, then put this on your TBR!

THOR – A BOOK THAT HITS YOU IN THE FEELS

Thor is the god of thunder, weather, warriors, strength, and storms so his might packs a punch. He is married to the beautiful lady Sif.

I didn’t even have to think about which book to choose for this one. Hands down, The Light We Lost was a great book that took me in and went straight to my heart. HARD. For me, this book was a clear 5 star read and I still recommend it to everyone who asks for books to read.

LOKI – BIGGEST BOOK PLOT TWIST OR CHARACTER BETRAYAL

Loki is the god of mischief, thieves and thrives on chaos.

Ok, maybe I should have seen this one coming, but the plot twist in Red Queen  pretty much tore the carpet from beneath my feet! I think I was too concerned with the love triangle/square (which I believe was what the author intended…well played, Ms. Aveyard) to be concerned with any other deeper plots at play and I completely missed the big twist so by the end, I was SHOOK. The book leaves off pretty much ready to go on to book two but unfortunately I haven’t been able to read on yet. I really need to though, because I really enjoyed book 1!!

FRIGG – OTP

Frigg is Odin’s wife, the goddess of love, marriage, fertility and fate.

My next three answers are from the same trilogy–spoiler alert–so sorry not sorry if you aren’t a fan. For this pick, if there is anyone out there who has been living under a rock and doesn’t know how this story ends and who the main character ends up with, I won’t spoil it and give the books/movies away.
So my OTP pick is Katiniss’ man in the Hunger Games trilogy. For the longest time, I was rooting for the other guy but once I reached the end, I could never imagine her with anyone else. Also, it was funny because in the books, I thought she should be with–and I will come right out and say this–Gale, and the movies, I thought she was best off with Peeta. But after re-reading and re-watching and really thinking and being open-minded and trying to be in Katniss’ mind, I agree with the way it all is and its beautiful. *sigh*

HEIMDALL – FAVOURITE SECOND BOOK IN A SERIES

Heimdall is the god of loyalty, faithfulness and it is he who protects the bi-frost, the bridge that connects all nine worlds. 

Not only is The Hunger Games my favorite series/trilogy, Catching Fire is one of my favorite books. I love the new characters that are introduced (oh, hello Finnick!), the development of the ignorance and manipulation of the Capitol, the cleverness of the Games, just….everything!! I absolutely LOVED this book!

BALDUR – FAVOURITE MAIN CHARACTER

Baldur is the beloved son of Odin and Frigg, twin brother of Hodor.

Katniss. This girl perseveres through everything and comes out stronger for it. True, sometimes (ok, a lot of times) she’s flying by the seat of her pants and/or letting other people make her look good but let’s be honest, in order to survive and keep those you love alive, you have to do what you have to do. She is strong, empathetic, compassionate, sarcastic, loyal, smart, etc. I could go on. After all this HG talk, I really feel the need to re-read this trilogy. I’ve got the itch!!!

SIF – MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK COVER

Lady Sif is known for her beautiful golden tresses, although she is also the goddess of the harvest and is married to Thor.

The Forgetting. I love this cover. It has two of my favorite things: a beautiful tree with falling leaves/flowers(?), and gorgeous purple ombre. Silly me has been slacking for years now on reading the book (I have an arc from 2016!!!) but its still on my TBR, partially because of this gorgeous cover!!

FREY – BOOK OR SERIES THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

Frey is the Lord of weather, God of light, summer, master of agriculture, fertility, and brother of Freya.

While I did enjoy The Lunar Chronicles as a series, the Wires and Nerve graphic novels are seriously amazing in and of themselves. I mean, you should read the Lunar Chronicles in order to know what is going on and the back story because truly they go together, but the humor in Wires and Nerve and just getting to see the characters all together is so much fun. I really enjoy those books so immensely!

FREYA – FAVOURITE BOOK SETTING

Freya is the goddess of love and beauty, fertility, war, wealth and growth, and sister of Frey.

 Ivory and Bone is a very interesting and unique book, and I really mean that in the best of ways. It is written in second person, from a male point of view, in a prehistoric type of setting. Yeah, told you it was unique!! But really, it was such a neat setting that all was forgiven for me because it was so beautiful, so natural, and it all just worked together. I really enjoyed it. And like I said, it was just unique and refreshing to me. None of it was forced or out of place so I just really enjoyed it.

TYR – FAVOURITE BOOK WITH A BIG UPHEAVAL/EPIC FIGHT SCENE

Tyr is the god of war.

Travel…death threat…travel…capture…battle…travel…battle…death threat…travel…battle…epic battle…travel…battle…you get the idea. But we all love it. =]

ULLER – CHARACTER DEATH THAT AFFECTED YOU THE MOST

Uller is the god of death, winter, archery and hunting.

Spoiler warning – but after all these years, if you don’t know who dies in Harry Potter, that’s your own fault 😛 Anyway, I’m still not over the deaths of this series. I’m still in major denial. I legitimately do not think that Sirius and Dumbledore are dead. I mean, technically Rowling wrote it but…what’s behind that curtain?? Big D was the master of death! Come on!!!! I’m really not over it….

NJORD – FAVOURITE BOOK AN EPIC JOURNEY ON WATER/OCEAN SETTING

njord2b71yno1_1280Njord is the god of the wind and the sea.

My ‘read’ list is sadly lacking on water/ocean books so I have to pass on this one. I have several on my TBR list though so I’ll get back to you !

VALKYRIE – FAVOURITE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

The Valkyries, much like the Amazons, are strong female warriors.

Well this book just had to be on the list. Eelyn is pretty much the fiercest female character. Well, strictly human character, that is. We could go superhero and talk strong, or emotionally strong, or…basically there are different kinds of strong so choose your strong. To me at this moment, I know I wouldn’t be able to rush into battle wielding an axe in one hand and a sword in another. I wouldn’t be able to watch my brother, father, best friend, and the man I love all risk their lives alongside me. I would be miserable living the cold winters in a tent. To me, that’s a whole lot of strong and fierce!

AESIR/VANIR – FAVOURITE BOOK “CREW”

The Aesir and the Vanir are the two groups of Norse gods, believed to be the old and new gods.

For a moment I considered the crew-fam that is The Lunar Chronicles. They are a fun bunch of misfits come together to save a planet and a moon and I love each of them dearly. I also considered the Grisha trilogy Alina-Mal-Nikolai-etc. crew, but really I just love Nikolai and secretly love the Darkling in all of his broodiness. I know of other crews that I know I will love when I read them. But above all of these, I know my all-time favorite and really first crew love was the Harry Potter crew. So–duh–that’s my final answer!illus_smoke_divider_by_entropies-d4triyr

And that concludes our fun for the day! I now hereby tag Ashleigh, Nicola, and Maggie…plus anyone else who wants to get their Norse on! 😉

Currently listening to: Everytime We Touch by Cascada

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What I Leave Behind by Allison McGhee

39791329Title: What I Leave Behind
Author: Allison McGhee
Pages: 208 pages; 10,000 words
Publisher: Athenium/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Release Date: May 15, 2018

What I Leave Behind is a sweet, heart-wrenching book about a young man named Will who has lost his father to suicide. Going through daily life working at the Dollar Only store, he copes with his pain by being compassionate to those around him, including his kooky boss Major Tom, Superman (the homeless man on the street corner who eats Will’s failed attempts at home made corn bread), Playa (Will’s best friend who is sexually assaulted), and the little boy down the street who loves butterflies. The book is basically a repeating cycle of Will walking, walking, walking (he only walks–no cars, bikes, etc. since his father’s passing) past the Blessings Store, over the Fourth Street Bridge, through his friends’ neighborhoods, to work at the Dollar Only Store, and back home again. The end.

The book is formatted uniquely in that there are 100 chapters, each with 100 words. As a result, I found it to be an extremely quick and simple read….almost too much so. The book felt a bit choppy to me because it was constricted to the 100 word limits. But still, Will is one of the greatest guys on the planet. If everyone treated the people around them with this much thought and care, the world would be a better place. Honestly however, the book was repetitious and, as I said, choppy, but the overall concept was worthwhile.

Book Soundtrack: Appletree by Erykah Badu

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S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett

So I was just going through my list of ‘read’ books for this year on Goodreads and I have read 25 books not including short stories and what-not. That’s pretty much on-track with my reading goals, so YAY for me! Blog-wise I have also made exactly 25 posts, but they aren’t all bookish, some of them are Tag Tuesdays or Readathons or Monthly Wrap-ups or whatever so I have a little catching up to do on my reviews! That’s what my blog is supposed to be doing, afterall! So without further ado, here is one I missed!:

Title: S.T.A.G.S.
Author: 
M.A. Bennett
Pages: 296 pages, Hardcover
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press

35926234STAGS is a boarding school for the wealthy elite. Greer (“Grey-uh” for us Americans who are un-used to seeing this name) is admitted on a scholarship, whereas most other students at the school have had generations of attendees in their families. When Greer and two other new/outcast students are invited for a weekend of “Huntin’. Shootin’. Fishin'” with the Medievals (the elite clique of students at the school), she is warned against going by a former friend, but ultimately decides to go, seeing it as a chance to finally make friends and be accepted. What occurs instead is a weekend of veiled bullying and the thrill of the chase.

I honestly feel that this is one of the better YA thrillers I have read lately. That being said, though, the book certainly has its flaws. However, regarding the genre, I thought M.A. Bennett did a terrific job of setting up a bit of background for the Medievals by showing them flaunting their personal family lineage back to the crusades in class and even around the dinner table. Their shady words alluding to hatred of outsiders was a first clue as to their true motives. However, their talk is so flowery and conversation so natural that who would really think that there was a threat present? Nel just wants to make friends, Greer wants conversation, and Shafeen wants to stand up for himself.

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Borrowed from Alba in Bookland.

The setting in a boarding school and then a large family estate on the moors of Northumberland was also perfect. Beautiful, yet ominous and eerie…much like the Medievals themselves. I could just imagine mists and fog and these elite teenagers showing off their knowledge of “huntin’, shootin’, and fishin'” to the outcasts who had never or who had hardly been exposed to that before. It truly was another world for the three outsiders, or “Savages” as they came to be called. The author’s descriptions were just wonderful and added an extra dimension of creep factor.

Despite the good in the book, I will admit that I never felt fully invested or connected in the main characters. I cared for them, yes, but I was preoccupied with the bigger picture in the book. Greer is a teenage narrator who really reads like a teenager. She is constantly referencing movies–which I didn’t mind much, and it sort of made sense since her father makes films–and jumping around in her telling of the story (“But that was not nearly as bad as what was to happen next,” etc.). I could do without that. I felt that some of the descriptions were too drawn out and the action too underplayed. I wanted a bit more out of those.

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And of course, the ending. I like the concept and how the book wrapped up. Certain aspects I saw coming, while others were a nice touch. If ever there was a book that should be a movie, its this one. I can absolutely see this as a screenplay and I would definitely go see it.

Book Soundtrack: Danse macabre, Op. 40 by Camille Saint-Saens

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Geekerella by Ashley Poston

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Geekarella
 has been on my TBR for a long time now and I just haven’t gotten to it. Its the story of Elle, daughter of the man behind the ExcelsiCon CosPlay Convention and Costume Ball. Now living with her awful stepmother and two stepsisters, Elle lives and breathes Starfield. So when a soap opera star is cast as the male lead, she is completely skeptical. She blogs her opinion and it goes viral. When a costume contest is announced at ExcelsiCon, Elle is inspired to enter, wearing an old costume from her attic. With the help of a new friend, the old costume is made beautiful and Elle makes quite the impression at the contest.

geekerella2bquote2b2For soap star Darien Freeman, playing Carmindor in his favorite show-made-movie is a dream come true. The super-fans, however, have lowered their expectations and voiced their opposition to the teen heartthrob playing the classic role. Only Darien knows how dedicated he is to doing justice to the role, yet still, he wants to avoid the awkward meet-and-greets with fans. ExcelsiCon is the last place he wants to show his face but his father/manager gives him no choice.

Without giving away too much of the story, I will say that I do like the through-the-airwaves trope in YA fiction when its done well, and in my opinion, Geekarella was done very well. Elle, at times, did grind my nerves just a little bit. She was so insecure and stubborn that it was just too much. And then she would say “My father raised me to be brave” and bla bla bla….well, you have been failing at that, my friend. Darien, I thought was actually a great character. I thought he was a great representation of a teenage guy and he was fun to read. The secondary characters were great as well, especially Sage. And I just loved picturing the Magic Pumpkin. How creative is that idea? Hats off, Ashley Poston!!

Soundtrack: “Star Trek: Deep Space 9 – Main Title” composed by Dennis McCarthy

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