Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: How to Disappear - Sharon Huss Roat

How to Disappear
Sharon Huss Roat
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.

So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.

To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.

In this beautiful and illuminating narrative, Sharon Huss Roat shines a light on our love of social media and how sometimes being the person you think you want to be isn’t as great as being the person you truly are.
This book was such a wonderful surprise! I laughed, I cried, I swooned, but I also found myself relating to so many of the things Vicky did and felt. Roat did such an incredible job telling this tale, marrying social media and social anxiety to produce a pretty special coming-of-age type story.

Things I Liked
  • The positive use of social media: In my heart, I know there are a lot of pros to social media. It just seems as though all the negative uses are getting most of our attention. Therefore, I was elated to see Instagram used in such a positive and awesome way in this book. I hope people will read this, and be inspired to do some good via social media. 
  • Vicky: I so easily related to Vicky. My anxiety is not quite as severe as her's, but I understood her. I was very proud of each step she took, because I understood how difficult it was for her to accomplish each task, which seem so mundane to most. Vicky was by no means cured over the course of this book, but she definitely experienced a lot of growth, and it was a beautiful thing to see. 
  • Lipton❣️: Gosh! If you googled the term "sweet little cinnamon roll", you would find Lipton referenced somewhere in the entry. This boy was so sweet, adorable, and genuine. I loved his persistence when "courting" Vicky, and also found him to have a big beautiful heart. I melted multiple times due to him, and commend Roat on crafting such an amazing book boyfriend. 
  • Vicky's Tribe: It was so difficult watching Vicky struggle with her isolation and loneliness. Therefore, I was so delighted when she finally found her tribe, or maybe they found her. Either way, she ended up with a great circle of friends, who were super supportive and really saw her. They didn't just see her though, they liked what they saw. 
I only have praise for this lovely story of a girl, who while trying to escape herself, she finds herself.   

**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book.

Our hero, Lipton, plays Minecraft. I have not gamed in a while, but I always loved sim type games (like Animal Crossing). 
Do you like playing video or online games?
Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: My New Crush Gave to Me - Shani Petroff

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for My New Crush Gave to Me!

My New Crush Gave to Me
Shani Petroff
Series: n/a
Release Date: Oct. 31 , 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Waited on by: Sam
Charlotte “Charlie” Donovan knows what she wants for Christmas: Teo Ortiz. He’s a star athlete, in the National Honor Society, invited to every party, and contributes to the school paper (where Charlie is co-editor). Basically, he's exactly the type of guy Charlie’s looking for. The only problem—he barely knows she exists.

But Charlie has a plan: Rig the paper’s Secret Santa and win his heart with five perfect gifts. Enter J.D. Ortiz—Teo’s cousin, and possibly the most annoying person on the planet. He’s easy going, laid back, unorganized, and spontaneous—the exact opposite of Charlie (and Teo). But he knows what Teo wants, so she’s stuck with him.

Yet the more time Charlie spends with J.D. the more she starts to wonder: Does she really know what, or rather who, she wants for Christmas?

Three reasons why I want to read this book:

  1. It's set during the holidays, and I love the holidays. Holidays have a certain amount of cheer associated with them, and I also love getting a peek at how others celebrate. 
  2. I love when there are elaborate plans to win someone's heart. When an MC plots in the name of  romance, it usually results in some fun hijinks, and I adore hijinks. 
  3. From the synopsis, it looks like a enemies to more sort of story, and I happen to like those type of stories. 

What are you waiting on?
Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Recommendation for People who Like to Cry

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

Book Recommendations 
for People who Like to Cry!

The other day, I did a post about sad books becoming sad movies, and I had been thinking about all the books which have made me cry. When I was younger, I had some sort of impenetrable heart. I never cried when reading, but once I became a mom, I went soft. This list contains some of the books, that have made me cry, and I am talking about sad tears, not happy tears (which happens too), and maybe they have, or will, make you cry too. **The majority of each of this books is not sad, but they contain some really tragic and sad parts. 

Second Chance Summer
Morgan Matson
Series: n/a
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

You know from the first chapter how this is going to end. You would think, that knowing this was not going to end well would give me time to prepare. That was not the case. I cried something fierce, and I cried a lot. There was snot and my eyes were practically swollen shut, but I still thought this was a beautiful story.

All the Bright Places
Jennifer Niven
Series: n/a
Publisher: Knopf

Gosh darn it! There are tears in my eyes as I try to write about this book. I read this book back in 2014, and I still cry every time I think about it. I fell in love with the characters in this book, and the ending was very difficult, but again, this was a beautiful story. "I was alive. I burned brightly."

The Serpent King
Jeff Zentner
Series: n/a
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Zentner really knows how to deliver the feels. He brought me to my knees with that certain part of this book, and pretty much left me crying for most of  Goodbye Days. He makes me care so deeply about these characters, and then he delivers that tragic blow. I forgave Zentner for what he did in TSK, because it did contribute to moving the story forward.

If He Had Been with Me
Laura Nowlin
Series: n/a
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

This is another book, where you knew how it was going to end, but it still did not soften the blow. I bawled! It was tragic and sad and broke my heart. I think there was a small part of me, which believed that it would end differently, but it didn't and I was still crying days later.

Before I Fall
Lauren Oliver
Series: n/a
Publisher: HarperCollins

You know Sam's ultimate fate from the beginning of this book. She keeps reliving the same day, over and over, every time with the same result. But, over the course of the book, she changes so much, and I just wanted a better ending for her.

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone
Adele Griffin
Series: n/a
Publisher: Soho Teen

I am now starting to think that somber stories are Griffin's thing. This is a story of girl, who burned so brightly, that she just burnt out way before her time. Untimely deaths get me every time, but again, because I grew so attached to Addison, her death affected me that much more.

Love and Other Unknown Variables
Shannon Lee Alexander
Series: n/a
Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Young people with illnesses will alway break my heart, but when you get the whole story on this one, your heart will crack open. I openly sobbed during this one, and then full out bawled when I read Alexander's afterword. *wipes tears from eyes.*

The Memory Book
Lara Avery
Series: n/a
Publisher: Poppy

Another young person, who is ill, so sad. But wait! It's a terminal disease. Even sadder. But wait! It is a horrible, terrible disease, and she is recording her memories, because this horrible, terrible disease will rob her of everything eventually, including her memories. I cannot even express how moving this story was, and I am so verklempt right now.

Clockwork Princess
Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices, #3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

I was pretty much an emotional wreck during this book. There were these really beautifully sad moments that I experienced, and wow! Way to resolve a love triangle. I would never have wanted to be in Tessa's position, and here I am, crying again.

Marie Lu
Series: Legend, #3
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Seriously, the last part of this book abused me. I looked at my review, and it said that I "bit my nails, I gasped for breath, I sobbed, and I smiled." It was an emotional roller coaster, and quite a surprising choice Lu made at the very end. It was beautiful and meaningful, but still a little difficult to accept.


These are not YA books, but they left me a snotty mess.

Do you have a favorite ugly cry book?
Let us know in the comments!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: Wicked Like a Wildfire - Lana Popović

Wicked Like a Wildfire
Lana Popović
Series: Hibiscus Daughter #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: out of 5 stars
All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?
If I had to sum up this book in one word, I would pick magical. From the very beginning until the very end, this book swept me away. I found myself mesmerized by the the lovely prose, which was so rich and lush. Popović didn't just describe this world, she put it in Technicolor for me. Through all the descriptions, I fell in love with Montenegro. The sounds, the sights, the food was set out for me, and I wanted to sample it all. Most of the books I read are set in the US, a few in western Europe, and it was kind of nice to travel outside of my norm.

And we have witches! I have a soft spot for witches, and really found this coven to be quite interesting. I have to warn you, a lot of the details are kept close to the vest for a good part of the book, but it is all eventually explained. I just enjoyed the rest of the tale as I patiently awaited more information, and I thought it was worth the wait.

Aside from the magic, we had a story of relationships. This book examines the complexities of the relationships that exist between sisters, mother and daughters, friends and lovers. It was very captivating to be an observer of the interactions between these pairs, and to see their relationships grow and change.

There's a mystery too! Malina and Iris take it upon themselves to find out who attacked their mother and why. As they are trying to solve that mystery, they uncover a lot of hidden details regarding their mother and themselves, which force them to confront certain things as what they discover many of their truths were lies.

This was a magical and beautiful journey. I will be counting down the days until the next book is released, and I look forward to many more stories from Popović.

**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book.

Have you ever visited or would you like to visit Montenegro?
Let us know in the comments!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where I can share my wrap up of the past week, as well as plans for the current week.

My Week in Review

What can I say, I live a quiet life. I had been lent out to my old team last week, because they needed additional resources, and now I remember how much I didn't like that job. So, although it was nice to catch up with some old friends, I am happy the week is over.  I am also watching my sister's dog while she is on vacation. You need to understand, that this dog believes my sister gave birth to her, and is physically attached to her at all times. Needless to say, the dog is missing my sister and we are doing our best to cheer the dog up.

On the blog:
I am just going to leave this here for you: 

What I Read Last Week

Doing my old job left me with tired eyes. I did not read as much as I usually do, but I did read some awesome books. My top read of the week was The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love, which was just a whole lot of wonderful. It sweet, funny, charming, heartfelt. I swear, there were tears every time they talked about the mom, and there were times I really felt like I was the con with them. Another standout was A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares. I expected it to be funny, and it was, but this is a family with a lot of issues, and at one point stuff gets real, and I shed a whole lotta tears. I apparently was destined to cry a bunch, because my audiobook caused me to weep as well. However, these tears were mostly happy tears, because The Spire was the best Walsh book yet, and I loved every second of it.

What I Am Currently Reading

My co-blogger's loan for Lord of Shadows came up, so I had to jump on the opportunity to read this. I am about halfway through, and as always, I am delighted to be back in the world of the Shadow Hunters. I was pretty excited to see that Hoopla had Pretty Face on audio. The first book in this series was so much fun, and I have heard a lot of awesome things about this book.

What I Plan to Read

I am going to knock out my two blog tour books and some of my challenge books. I love Marie Lu so much, so you know I am stoked to start Warcross. I liked Vassa in the Night and thought Porter's writing was great, therefore I am interested to see what she does for us in her new book.

How was your week?
Let us know in the comments!