*Arc Review* Your Own Worst Enemy- Gordon Jack

38563620   Three candidates, three platforms, and a whirlwind of social media, gaffes, and protests makes for a ridiculous and hilarious political circus in Gordon Jack’s second highly satirical novel. Perfect for fans of Andrew Smith and Frank Portman.
They say that with great power comes great responsibility. Unless you’re student body president at Lincoln High School. Then you get all the responsibility but none of the power. And the three candidates running for president know all about that.

Stacey Wynn is the front-runner, but she didn’t count on Julia Romero entering this race. Julia is challenging Stacey for the title while also putting the moves on Stacey’s campaign adviser and only friend, Brian. And then there is Tony Guo, the way outsider. Tony is usually oblivious to the school’s political campaigning, as he’s oblivious to anything that isn’t about getting high and drinking all the Space Cow chocolate milk he can stomach. But when his favorite beverage is banned at school, a freshman political “mastermind” convinces Tony to become the voice of the little guy. But what kind of voice is that, really?

If this were an ordinary high school election, the winner would be whichever candidate was the most popular. But this year, each candidate may have to sink to a new low to win an election that could change the course of…very little. 

 

My Review: 

“Here’s some change I can believe in.
Make America baked again.”

I devoured this book in less than a day. I could not put this down. It was clever and witty that I found myself laughing so hard that tears formed. But it also contained some serious subjects that made you look at the real world and what we’re currently dealing with. This was still a really fun read.

It makes you reminisce about the clown show we had to deal with with the last election. This was a lot more enjoyable since this was fictitious. The banter between the opponents was hilarious and a tad bit out there. But they were all enjoyable in their own way.

Tony has to be my favorite character. I mean, come on! I’ll never look at the bear-shaped honey bottle the same way ever again.

Gordon Jack is a genius. To take something that is still a tough issue to discuss and brings this creative pieces into our lives is beyond astronomical. And to perfectly get Stacey’s attitude and personality onto paper was amazing. We are quite the special species and this book will fill you in more.

With more boner jokes than you ever could imagine and a deep heartfelt look at unity, this book is definitely a must read. Maybe people will learn how to be beautiful human beings towards one another.

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The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

Happy October, everyone! Who is excited for Halloween tomorrow?! Halloween is my favorite time of the year, so I’m, of course, super excited to see everyone in their costumes tomorrow and to hand out some candy!

So, I thought in the spirit of Halloween, I would do another Halloween book tag! Now, I wasn’t tagged in this awesome book tag, but I stumbled across it and thought it was perfect for October (and, of course, Halloween!). Below are the instructions for the Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag:

Instructions:

1. Pick 5 books

2. Turn to a random page

3. The first name you see gets to be on your zombie survival team (yay?)

4. Apply the characters to the 10 situations and types of people in the order you got them

5. Fret over how doomed you are.

So each book gets two characters. For example, the characters I pick from City of Bones will get spots 1 and 2, Caraval will get spots 3 and 4, and so on.

Books I picked:

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag:

1. The first person to die: Clary

I am surprisingly not surprised about this. As she’s pretty inexperienced in fighting in City of Bones, I can see why she would be the first to go. She’s a great character, but she gets overwhelmed pretty quickly. Bye-bye, Clary!

2. The person you trip to get away from the zombies: Dorothea

I’m that terrible person who loves the The Mortal Instruments series, but can’t remember Dorothea for the life of me. I hope she’s evil because then I did the right thing by tripping her. 🙂 If you know who she is, let me know in the comments!

3. The first person to turn into a zombie: Scarlett 😦

Noooo!! I love Scarlett from Caraval, so I am not happy about this! Tella will be destroyed when she finds out what happened to her sister.

4. The person that trips YOU to get away from the zombies: Tella

Okay, so not nice, Tella. She probably tripped me to get away from her zombie sister, not a zombie horde. Which means I could potentially be Scarlett’s first kill. Ugh, not what I had planned for the zombie apocalypse.

5. The idiot of the team: Tamlin

HA! THIS IS SO FREAKING FITTING! And I say it’s fitting because I am in no way a fan of Tamlin. I didn’t like him in the first book, so I for sure will not like him now. He may have a ton of experience in fighting and such, but he’s clueless when it comes to using his brain.

6. The “brains” of the team: Nesta (yeah, I can see this)

This is, by far, the most fitting of this whole zombie apocalypse team. Nesta is a smart individual. She may be slightly headstrong and stubborn, but that may come in handy when deciding the next move. She could very well be why most of the team will survive. Except for Scarlett. And hopefully Tamlin. 🙂

7. The team’s medic: Eliana

She could potentially be the medic, but she’d rather be out fighting the zombies. Eliana is a fighter and if you get injured, she’ll probably still be wondering why you are not fighting. So, she basically may not be the best choice, but she most likely knows first aid. I hope…

8. The weapons expert: Rielle

Actually, I feel like Rielle and Eliana should switch roles. Eliana loves her knives and fighting, so she would enjoy being the weapons expert. And Rielle so badly wants to use her powers for good, so why not be the team’s medic?

9. The brawler: Locke

Are you for real? Locke doesn’t fight; he starts the fights by opening his mouth and starting crap. So, I cannot see him as being the brawler. He’d probably hide behind someone else before stepping into a fight.

10. The Team Captain: Queen Orlagh

I see this as a bad choice, and the fellow readers that have read this book know why. So, if you are curious as to why this is a bad choice (or is it a good choice? Hmm…), check out The Cruel Prince! I don’t think we’d all live with her as the team captain, so knowing me and knowing Nesta, I’d be voting for Nesta as the team captain.


And that’s it! I loved this tag and the books I chose. If you are up for doing a book tag, try this one and tag me so I can see your results!

♥Nikole

How to Throw a Forest of a Thousand Lanterns Book Reading Party!

Are you excited for the release of Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix in early November?! I definitely am! The first book, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, followed Xifeng on her journey to becoming the Evil Queen. And now Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix follows Princess Jade on her quest to usurp Empress Xifeng and take back her kingdom.

Penguin Teen is hosting a wonderfully terrifying Wicked Reads Blogger Campaign, and I am so excited to be a part of it! The candy I chose was Jolly Rancher sticks, and the fun book paired with that candy was Forest of a Thousand Lanterns! 

If you and your book friends have not read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, then do I have a treat for you (and even if you have, this is still a treat)! You can’t read one of Julie C. Dao’s books without throwing an awesome book party! And this book party is themed after Forest of a Thousand Lanterns AND Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix. 

But first, check out the synopsis of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns!


51T1VLg5CoLAn East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.


Forest of a Thousand Lanterns Book Reading Party!

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FYI, even though I list everything in steps, you can do these all in any order you would like to! 🙂 and I also apologize for some of the picture quality!

Step one: Purchase or checkout Forest of a Thousand Lanterns from your local bookstore or library.

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You can’t have a book party without the book! So this is definitely a must. Even if you have the book on your Kindle or phone, that totally works, too!


Step two: Get in the mindset and feel of reading a retelling.

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I love watching fairytale movies and retellings, so you can not go wrong with watching Snow White movies! The first movie, of course, is the Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Though this movie is not as action-packed as the next two, it’s still a wonderful movie to get in the zone!

Movie two: Snow White & the Huntsman. This movie is fantastic, in my personal opinion. Charlize Theron portrays the evil queen in such a terrifying way, and this movie will for sure get you ready for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. 

Movie three: The Huntsman Winter’s War. The story before Snow White and the Huntsman that reveals more of the evilness that is the evil queen! These are not the only movies that portray the evil queen, so definitely watch other movies with evil queens! 🙂


Step three: You gotta have some props and decorations!

There’s nothing wrong with having props and decorations for a book reading party! In this case, I’ve used the following props and decorations: colorful lanterns (you can’t have a Forest of a Thousand Lanterns party without lanterns!), a stuffed dragon to represent the Dragon Lord, flowers, Jolly Rancher sticks, and a bitten apple pin. If you also have a map of Feng Lu from the Forest of a Thousand Lanterns pre order campaign, then that is a perfect prop!

*Please refer to finished photo at the beginning for some of the listed props.*


Step four: Make some deliciously-themed drinks!

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The two drinks I’ve made for this party are non-alcoholic.

The first drink resembles the cover of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. I call it the Witch’s Brew! I used apple juice, mixed with 3-4 green apple Jolly Ranchers, and 1 drop of green food coloring (it is totally fine to drink food coloring).

The second drink resembles the cover of Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix. The name of this drink is the Bleeding Heart! I used V8 Splash Berry Blend, Ginger Ale, 2 cherry Jolly Ranchers, 1 strawberry, and 1 drop of red food coloring.

Note: for both of these drinks, I did not use any measurements, just kept trying things out until I liked the flavor. 🙂


Step five: Make some yummy-themed food!

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There’s nothing wrong with having some chips, salsa, crackers, cheese, etc. But I’m all for making some themed food items to represent the book!

This first item definitely was not easy, but it was a ton of fun! I made a shortcake serpent, to represent the Serpent God from Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. He for sure looks much more nice and tastier here than how he is described in the book! If you want to make your own Serpent God, I used the recipe found here! I tweaked the recipe a little bit, to give it my own touch! And I know my snake is nothing compared to the one in the recipe’s photo, but at least I can say I tried. 🙂

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*The poor serpent lost his tongue in this photo 😦 *

The second item is poison apples, of course! I only had three apples to work with, but there’s no harm in having multiples, just in case Snow White doesn’t eat the first one. 😉 This was a lot of fun to make, as well! The recipe I used can be found here!


Step six: Get comfy and start reading!

I always recommend having book parties in either themed outfits or in your pajamas! It makes the occasion more festive! So, get comfy and enjoy your time reading!

And that’s your Forest of a Thousand Lanterns bookish-themed party! You can definitely change it up a bit, to add your own spin! But just make sure to have fun and to enjoy the wonderful tale that is Forest of a Thousand Lanterns!


Thank you, Penguin Teen, for this amazing opportunity and for this awesome Wicked Reads Campaign! And also for the wonderful Forest of a Thousand Lanterns book package!

♥Nikole

Halloween Book Tag

We were tagged by The Scarlet Reader to participate in her new tag.

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We’ll be answering a few fun book questions and answer them with books that we currently would love to read.

 

Something New:

Every Moment After- Joseph Moldover

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Something Old:

Flowers In The Attic- V.C. Andrews

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A Book With An Orange Cover:

Geek Love- Katherine Dunn

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A Scary Book:

The Haunted- Danielle Vega

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A Book With Witches:

Half Bad- Sally Green

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A Book With Werewolves:

Cycle Of The Werewolf- Stephen King

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A Book With Vampires:

Soulless- Gail Carriger

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A Book with Your Greatest Fears:

Jaws- Peter Benchley

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A Fairy Tale Gone Dark:

The Grim Lovelies- Megan Shepherd

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An Edge of Your Seat Thriller:

The Lost Night- Andrea Bartz

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Three scary/paranormal/thrilling/magical books you’ll be reading this month!:

What The Woods Keep- Katya De Becerra

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Light As A Feather- Zoe Aarsen

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The Haunting of Hill House- Shirley Jackson

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Happy Halloween!!! 

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*Arc Review* Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)- L.C. Rosen

  35442720   My first time getting it in the butt was kind of weird. I think it’s going to be weird for everyone’s first time, though.

Meet Jack Rothman. He’s seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys – sometimes all at the same time. His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, ‘it could be worse’.

He doesn’t actually expect that to come true.

But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he’s been getting take a turn for the creepy. Jack’s secret admirer knows everything: where he’s hanging out, who he’s sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They need him to curb his sexuality, or they’ll force him.

As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous…

My Review:

“So, sure, call me “Queeny” if you’re feeling nasty. I won’t hold it against you, as long as it’s said with love.”

Jack of Hearts follows the life of Jack who is sexually out to the world and very proud of it. He has two very best friends who have each other’s backs no matter what.

Jenna (bff) invites Jack to write a sex-help column on her blog and he accepts the offer. After the first one is posted, things start to get weird and he finds himself the target of a crazed secret admirer. As this admirer’s demands become more dangerous and creepy, Jack and his friends band together to stop this sicko once and for all.

I really enjoyed this book. When I read the synopsis, I knew that I had to have this book in my life. This was so much more than a YA story. It was raw, and openly honest about the lives of the millennial world. It sheds a lot of light on what happens to people on a daily basis.

The author holds nothing back and follows things through with a lot of heart. Jacks character is one of my favorites and his sassy attitude brought myself into a better mood.

I will warn you. Some situations in this book were very detailed and graphic. If sex of any kind makes you uncomfortable then this isn’t for you. But I will say that you should go into this with an open mind. The story isn’t all about sex, there’s also a mystery, being comfortable in your own skin, and loving support from family and friends.

This was truly a great read and I wish people will give it a chance. Who doesn’t like a little sass with a great big mystery!?

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WWW Wednesday 10-24-18

The 3 w’s that happen every Wednesday which are What are you currently reading,

What have you finished recently and what will you read next?

1. What I’m currently reading is Sherwood by Meagan spooner

2. What have I recently finished is comics will break your heart

This story was very cute and wasn’t fully a insta love. Like the one Guy MC full on from the go had a crush on the girl MC but wasn’t till actually 200+ where things really started to gel and get cute and adorable. Book is very geeky and I loved it a lot. 5/5 stars

3. What will I read next? Currently not sure what I’ll read next. But gunna go hunt for a contemporary novel. Or borrow a Christmas romance from work.

*ARC Review* Valiant – Merrie Destefano

valiantTitle: Valiant

Author: Merrie Destefano

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: December 4, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction

My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars

(Also, look at the cover! So pretty!!)

Summary:

The Valiant was supposed to save us. Instead, it triggered the end of the world.

Earth is in shambles. Everyone, even the poorest among us, invested in the Valiant’s space mining mission in the hopes we’d be saved from ourselves. But the second the ship leaves Earth’s atmosphere, our fate is sealed. The alien invasion begins. They pour into cities around the world through time portals, possessing humans, forcing us to kill one another.

And for whatever reason, my brother is their number one target.

Now the fate of the world lies in the hands of me, a seventeen-year-old girl, but with the help of my best friend, Justin―who’s suddenly starting to feel like more―maybe if we save my brother, we can save us all…


My Review

“The earth, the moon, the stars, they all stay the same. But we don’t. We change.”

Valiant is a fast-paced novel with non-stop action scenes and horrifying creatures. The readers follow Sara and her friends on their death-defying journey to keep Sara’s younger brother, Gabe, safe from the Xua. The Xua want him for an unknown reason, so Sara and her friends kick some alien butt to keep him safe. The bond between Sara and Gabe was one of my favorite things about this book. I have an older brother and, though Sara’s brother is younger, I would do the same thing if something like this were to happen. I’d protect him and my family at all costs, and I know he would do the same. So, I really liked their relationship and, of course, the exhilarating action scenes.

“And then, I hear the call of death as this planet pulls me onward, toward ashes and fire and a roaring wind that will never stop blowing. I part my lips, and centuries of death pour out. An entire civilization is dying in this moment.”

Anyone that knows me knows that I love a good action scene. Valiant had a ton of phenomenal action scenes; it was action scene after action scene. The action scenes are what really kept my interest. They are so well described and intricate, that I was looking forward to all the chaos the friend group would get into. I especially enjoyed the scenes with the Xua, the alien species. The Xua are interesting and utterly creepy, considering they have the ability to possess human bodies through the mouth. Once a human is taken over by a Xua, that’s it. You’re done for, and there’s no coming back. That, in itself, is scary, so it definitely makes for some good action scenes, as people try to prevent the Xua from possessing them.

“At this moment, I am anything but valiant. I am weak and pitiful and ashamed and broken and defeated.”

Thought I did like the aspect of this book and the action-packed scenes, I had a hard time connecting with the characters, more so Sara and her friends and not Sara’s relationship with her brother. By the end of the book, I had no care for the characters. The story, yes. But the characters did not leave a lasting effect on me. By the middle of the story, I couldn’t care less if a character died or if something bad happened. And that’s not what I wanted to feel. I wanted to connect with these characters; I wanted to feel their pain and their sorrows. But I couldn’t, and I hate saying that. This may not be the case for everyone that reads Valiant, but it was for me. And even though there were some amazing descriptions, I still could not connect. I would love to see more character development in the second book, which I do plan on reading.

But overall, this was not a bad book. I did enjoy the unique storyline, some of the witty banter, and the fascinating history surrounding the Xua. Even though the characters were not really for me, I do want to continue the story, especially with THAT ending.

Do I recommend? Yes, especially for those readers that love plot-driven and action-packed stories.

Valiant lands in bookstores December 4, 2018.

Thank you to the publishing company for sending an advanced e-copy for me to read and write an honest review! All quotes are from the advanced e-copy and may not appear in the final novel.

♥Nikole