Waiting on Wednesday: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Waiting on Wednesday is a topic hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers post about books that they are looking forward to being published in the near future 🙂

New WoW

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This is a fictionalized accounting of Lady Jane Grey’s life as she is about to be married and take the throne.  This sounds like it is going to be an awesome light hearted read about a time in history that has been retold hundreds of times.  I am very interesting to get this altered, spoof, version of the events.  The description states that it is perfect for fans of The Princess Bride, which is right up my alley!

My Lady Jane comes out June 7th, and is published by Harper Teen.

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#TBRtakedown 3.0 challenge

Today marks the beginning of the #TBRtakedown 3.0 reading challenge hosted by Shannon over at Leaning Lights on Booktube!  I’m hoping to start checking books off my to read list pretty early this year, and hopefully this challenge will get me off to a good start.  While my goal is to read as many book that I already own as possible, here is the list of challenges that Shannon has created to get me started:

Monday: read a book from your most recent haul

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 4.09.19 PM  The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

Tuesday: read a book that has been on your TBR for over a year

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 5.52.08 PM Some Boys by Patty Blount

Wednesday: read a book outside your comfort zone

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 5.53.13 PM The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Thursday: read the first book in a series

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 5.54.31 PM The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Friday: complete a series or read the next book in a series

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 5.55.52 PM The Heir by Kiera Cass

Saturday: read a fire colored book

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 4.08.12 PM Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Sunday: read a non-novel item

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 5.57.24 PM  Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson

 

So here is my list so far! I will be updating on these books, as well adding any extras that I manage to read along the way!  Best of luck to anybody who is joining in on this reading challenge!

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 3/5 stars

Feyre carries the survival of her family entirely on her shoulders.  After a series of misfortunes has left them destitute, Feyre has spent years cultivating the skills needed for survival to keep her family fed.  While out hunting for the day, Feyre intentionally kills a wolf, whom she suspects might be one of the Fae that has plagued their country for years.

According to an unknown treaty, because Feyre killed a Fae in an unprovoked attack, she is now indentured to Tamlin, a Fae beast who has come seeking retribution.  After moving to his Spring Court, Feyre continues to uncover mysteries of the Fae and also learns that Tamlin, is not the beast like creature he initially revealed himself to be.

Review:

I was a bit disappointed when I read this book.  I love Beauty and the Beast retellings, but for me, ACOTAR fell short of being one.  When I think of Beauty and the Beast, I think of a story where the beast has personally wronged the beauty and overtime she learns to forgive him and see past his outer flaws, while also showing him the path to a better future.  In A Court of Thorns and Roses however, Feyre is in the wrong.  She killed a Fae and Tamlin is seeking justice. But that isn’t really what bothers me most.  For me this story lacked the traditional conflict that needs to be overcome before they can be together.  Feyre had no personal grudge against the Fae besides the legends that she had been told since childhood, which were quickly forgotten.  Also, she never had to get past the way he looked, because almost upon immediate arrival to his home, Tamlin transforms into a very attractive human aside from having pointy ears.  I guess there just wasn’t the tension between the two characters I was expecting with this story.

One aspect of this story I did find interesting though, was kinda presented as if Feyre was the beast.  She caused the initial wrong in the story and she is the more uncivilized person, having grown up in the woods and being illiterate.  I’m not sure if it was meant to be interpreted that way, but for me that was the parallel I began drawing between Beauty and the Beast and A Court of Thorns and Roses.  While an entertaining read, I don’t think I will be continuing this series.

Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

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Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Having gone several years without spending the summer at their lake house, Taylor’s family has slowly drifted apart after getting caught up in the everyday grind.  Now with her father facing an aggressive cancer diagnosis, its his wish to return to their summer home once more.  While Taylor clearly understands her father’s reasoning behind this decision it is something she is not looking forward to.

5 years earlier, Taylor left the lake on bad terms with the only friends she had there.  She tries not to think about the poor decisions she made, but upon arrival is immediately confronted with all of her awful memories.  While trying to patch things up with the people she has wronged and getting the hang of working her first summer job, Taylor constantly has her dad’s condition resting in the back of her mind.

Review:

Second Chance Summer is a story of redemption and making up for lost time, that constantly had me reaching for a new tissue.  While Taylor’s time with her friends is important within the story, it is the familial interactions that had me coming back for more.  I think this is my favorite depiction of family that I have read in a YA novel so far.  The balance in the sweetness of watching Taylor’s family reconnect after so long mixed with the reality of the entire family watching their family patriarch’s declining health is utterly heartbreaking.  I feel like most YA I read picks up after the tragedy has already struck and it is about the protagonist moving through grief and healing.  Matson’s novel however, dives right into the gritty reality of sickness and packs a punch to readers’ emotions.

A Monster Calls playlist

Here is the playlist I came up with to go along with A Monster Calls!

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Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

The Wolves – Ben Howard

Breathe Me – Sia

Centuries – Fall Out Boy

Film Noir – The Gaslight Anthem

Better Days – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

A Monster Call Spotify playlist