A Year Full of Beautiful Covers

Listen, I’m not saying I judge books by their covers. I’m just saying, they’re nice to look at, and I’m more inclined to take pictures of them and display them on my shelves and okay maybe I judge books by their covers.

It’s just so hard not to when the books coming out are so dang pretty, and this year’s releases are no exception.

My blog is full of posts talking about books and their contents and reviews of those books. I think I’m entitled to be shallow every once in a while and bask in the beauty of a butt-load of book covers.

So here we go.

51ub94q0GWL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Even though I may not have loved A Very Large Expanse of Sea, the writing on this cover is so aesthetically pleasing. This combination of colors and pretty fonts is perfect, and I’m just disappointed I couldn’t love the inside as much as I loved the outside.

91JGnozCxiLThere is something so wonderfully ghostly about this paranormal re-imagining of Jane Eyre, My Plain Jane. I also happened to really enjoy this read, even more than I did My Lady Jane! Although I’ve never read Jane Eyre before, it definitely made me want to get into the original! And anything that inspires me to want to read classics is a win in my book.

81PYy9EQs1LWhat’s a pretty cover collection without a Schwab title? So I’m mad that this cover isn’t available in the US and I ended up with the blue-ish cover, but I can still admire this beauty from a distance. *soft crying noises* City of Ghosts was such a fun, adorable read, and it has convinced me that Victoria Schwab can literally write anything. Any genre, any age group, anything.

60869Another stunning cover that I think everyone can agree is just jaw-dropping is The Hazel Wood. The gold and silver embossing on this book is to die for; if I hadn’t actually enjoyed this read, I still would have kept it on my shelf just because. This one has such opposing reviews online, but thankfully I found it inventive and haunting and I can’t wait to read the next one!

the-wicked-deep-9781481497343_hrThe Wicked Deep is another obvious one for me, especially for the naked hardcover on the first edition and the beautiful night sky. *heart eyes* Such a lovely, atmospheric read, with writing just as pretty as the cover. I can’t wait to reread this next year around Halloween!

34499221I’ll indulge myself one moment longer and share the cover of To Kill a Kingdom, this beautiful Little Mermaid retelling. I absolutely loved this read, and it gave me hope that retellings aren’t completely hopeless! That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them, but lately they’ve become a little repetitive. To Kill a Kingdom was inventive and unique while still remaining true to the source material.

Thank you for sticking around for my book fashion show. I promise I’ll go back to intelligent musings and discussions after this, but come on. You have to admit. They’re so pretty.

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BOOK REVIEW: Morgan Matson “The Unexpected Everything”

17838528Title: The Unexpected Everything

Author: Morgan Matson

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

*Summary provided by Goodreads.

My thoughts:

I’ve been a fan of Morgan Matson for a while. I think her writing is sweet yet moving, and I fell in love with the first book I ever read by her: Since You’ve Been Gone. Since then, I’ve read every other book written by her, yet sadly have found nothing that has quite met up to SYBG standards. I hoped The Unexpected Everything could do the trick, but I was mistaken.

That’s not to say this was a bad book in the slightest; just that I have yet to read another Matson book that I thought was as good as the first.

This book had a lot going for it: estranged father/daughter relationship and the struggles associated, strong, realistic female friendships and an adorable love interest. Everything should have fallen into place for me, yet there was something missing: a liking for the main character.

For the life of me, I couldn’t get behind Andie’s character. She did frustratingly stupid things and made frustratingly stupid mistakes. I also couldn’t personally connect with her: she’s this girl who desires physical affection from boys yet is unwilling to make attachments or open herself up, causing her relationships to last never more than three weeks. And she was perfectly okay with it. Obviously, The Unexpected Everything is about Andie finding the kind of love that’s worth being vulnerable for and she eventually does open herself up; however, I found that before this point in the book, I couldn’t understand any of the decisions she made and it was a struggle.

Besides this very significant bump, I did enjoy this book. I loved seeing the healing for Andie and her father’s broken relationship and the importance of family over career. I loved the interactions between the female friends and even loved the eventual falling out between two of them. It was so good to see the realistic side of friendship: that just like a romantic relationship, friends can fall apart and not always fall back together. It’s a heartbreaking reality but one I was happy to see represented here because we have all gone through this.

I looooved Clark. He’s one of my favorite love interests that I’ve seen in YA in a long time. He was an ex-homeschooler, full-time author and totally swoon-worthy. Honestly kind of mad because he could have done way better than Andie, but whatever.

Overall, I hate when characters lie because you know that it’s going to end badly, and I hate watching the horribleness that they brought upon themselves unfold. It’s cringey and annoying and I don’t have any sympathy for characters that get themselves into messes because of their own stupidity. I’ve never enjoyed this trope and I never will. I hope that Matson’s next release exceeds all of my wildest expectations.

 

Morgan Matson: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: C.J. Redwine “Defiance”

11410430Title: Defiance

Author: C.J. Redwine

Genre: Dystopian

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

In this post-apocalyptic world, monsters roam due to a company drilling too far into the Earth’s surface, unleashing madness. Military is decimated, government disbanded. Their hope lies with a small group of soldiers and scientists who attempt to take down the beasts on their home turf, but their plan fails. Instead, those left set up walled city-states to protect any surviving citizens.

The “Commander” is in charge of Baalboden, where Rachel (and at one time, her father) lives. Except Rachel’s father, a courier, has been missing for over 60 days; long enough to declare him officially dead. She doesn’t believe this for a second, but in the meantime she must be given a new Protector. Unfortunately, according to her father’s will, instead of being put under the care of her surrogate grandfather, Oliver, she’s meant to stay with Logan.

Logan, her father’s apprentice, the boy Rachel declared her love for two years previous, and the one who rejected her.

My thoughts:

Is there such a thing as a “fluffy” dystopian? Because that’s exactly how I would describe Defiance.

Don’t read this if you want to have your mind blown, because Defiance will not. Don’t read this if you’re looking for a solid plot, because Defiance is riddled with holes. Don’t read this if you want to read something with intelligent dialogue, because Defiance is all about angst-ridden teenagers in love.

But boy, did I have fun.

This book is honestly ridiculous; and the more reviews that I read, the more I realize how ridiculous it is. It checks off every single item on the YA trope list: female MC who doesn’t know she’s actually a supermodel (also she can fight). Teenage boy love interest who’s super protective. Character deaths that incite rebellion. Antagonist who’s evil just for funzies. Lots and lots and lots of angst. Yet for some odd reason, I found myself glued to the pages.

I guess sometimes, everyone needs a break. Everyone needs to read a mind-numbing dystopian to make you feel grounded.

This book isn’t all bad. After all, I gave this almost 4 stars, and not just because it killed my brain cells. I truly enjoyed aspects of the story, and I really did think that Logan was precious. He’s the post-apocalyptic geek; extremely smart and good with gadgets. Also, reading from his POV was actually quite entertaining, as opposed to reading from Rachel’s POV, which was either “OMG, I can’t do life anymore” or *stab, stab, kill, kill*.

I know I’m not making this book sound very appealing; I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to rag on it a bit. To be perfectly honest, the world-building leaves much to be desired, and Rachel and Logan do some really stupid things throughout the book. That being said, I still enjoyed their relationship and the way it plays out, and I loved the pacing. It was easy for me to stay engaged to the story and keep reading.

I’ll definitely be finishing this trilogy because I’m interested to see what happens. I see a love triangle forming in the future so we’ll be able to check that off our trope list and I can die happy. Defiance doesn’t break down any barriers or push the boundaries of YA fiction, but it can certainly be a good time if you let it.

 

C.J. Redwine: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian “Burn for Burn”

1442440759Title: Burn for Burn

Author(s): Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian

Genre: Contemporary

My Rating: 1/5 stars

 

As I may have mentioned before, I don’t typically write full reviews for books that I’ve DNF’d. However, there have been an awful lot of DNFs on my book log lately, so I at least wanted to offer an explanation about this one.

Burn for Burn is a book about three of your high school stereotypes getting revenge on more classic “mean girl”-esq characters. I knew this before going into this book and I even predicted that I was going to hate it, but I opened it anyway in hopes that it would surprise me.

It did not.

Maybe it’s because lately I’ve been reading more adult books, but I’m just no longer drawn to this high school scene where everyone is stabbing each other in the back and doing horrible things to one another. However, if I were honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been drawn to stories featuring this kind of high school.

Sure, are there people in my life that have wronged me or made me feel like less that I would just love to get revenge on? Yes. And I think that’s what this book tried to be. Han and Vivian probably wrote this with good intentions; to stoke a fire and give strength to the beaten and downtrodden.

However, I can say for certain that I’ve never had any desire to harm any of the people that have hurt me. All I’ve ever really wanted was the courage to tell these people how they made me feel, and for them to magically understand my pain and be genuinely sorry. Obviously, this is just as much a fantasy as anything this book had to offer, but I think that the message this book is sending is dangerous.

Instead of plotting horrid schemes and wishing ill on the people who commit cruel acts, we should teach today’s young people to instead speak out against these acts and to use their words to create good.

As for this book, maybe the three protagonists were able to build a special relationship amongst themselves and somehow redeem this story, but based on other reviews that I’ve read, I don’t think this stops them from their spiteful plotting of revenge. People get hurt, emotionally and physically, and overall it’s not the kind of message we should be sending to teenage girls.

 

Jenny Han: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Siobhan Vivian: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads