*First Line Friday 5/22/20* Aurora Burning (Aurora Cycle #2)- Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

52691509. sx318 sy475 Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

IMG_2250

“The disruptor blast hits the Betraskan right in her chest. She shrieks, and her amload of e-tech goes flying as she collapes in a drooling heap.”

stacy

*Book Review* Sorority- Genevieve Sly Crane

36374015. sy475 Sisterhood is forever…whether you like it or not.

Prep meets Girls in White Dresses in Genevieve Sly Crane’s deliciously addictive, voyeuristic exploration of female friendship and coming of age that will appeal to anyone who has ever been curious about what happens in a sorority house.

Twinsets and pearls, secrets and kinship, rituals that hold sisters together in a sacred bond of everlasting trust. Certain chaste images spring to mind when one thinks of sororities. But make no mistake: these women are not braiding each other’s hair and having pillow fights—not by a long shot.

What Genevieve Sly Crane has conjured in these pages is a blunt, in your face look behind the closed doors of a house full of contemporary women—and there are no holds barred. These women have issues: self-inflicted, family inflicted, sister-to-sister inflicted—and it is all on the page. At the center of this swirl is Margot: the sister who died in the house, and each chapter is told from the points of view of the women who orbit her death and have their own reactions to it.

With a keen sense of character and elegant, observant prose, Crane details the undercurrents of tension in a world where perfection comes at a cost and the best things in life are painful—if not impossible—to acquire: Beauty. A mother’s love. And friendship… or at least the appearance of it. Woven throughout are glimmers of the classical myths that undercut the lives of women in Greek life. After all, the Greek goddesses did cause their fair share of destruction.

IMG_2250

My Review:

“Men will kill you with their idiocy but women will kill you with their brilliance.”

DNF @ 73%

The synopsis of this book made this sound amazing. It made it sound like something more than it actually was. I was so close to finishing this but I couldn’t torture myself anymore. I’m shocked that I made it that far in this snoozefest.

With this, we’re promised a sorority sister’s death and an intimate look at the highs and lows of being in a sorority. What we got was a very boring and non-shocking look at the boring lives of valley girls with issues.

It started off slow and got even slower. I didn’t even know that was possible but this broke all the rules of mediocrity. What I wanted was a drama-filled dumpster fire while being surprised by the recklessness of joining a sorority because my life is an inferno in a dumpster. I’m not sure what this is but I know it needs to be erased from my memory.

Sorority wasn’t worth my time and I’ll probably never read anything else this author writes. My dog, Louie, could bark a better book than this.

stacy

*Arc Review* Cinderella is Dead- Kalynn Bayron

51079282. sx318 sy475 “Wholly original and captivating.” – Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times bestselling author of A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that’s perfect for fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

IMG_2250

My Review:

“I think we sometimes make the mistake of thinking monsters are abhorrent aberrations, lurking in the darkest recesses, when the truth is far more disturbing. The most monstrous of men are those who sit in plain sight, daring you to challenge them.”

Cinderella is a tale that we’ve all heard of before. Most kids want that fairy tale ending in life where we find that one person who sweeps us off of our feet and you get to live in a castle. But what happens when it was all a lie?

Holy hell! This book was outstanding. I could honestly not put this down. Every time I did, I kept thinking about what was going to happen next and then I’d have to pick it back up again. I don’t regret finishing this book so quickly.

This enchanting book takes on a fairytale with a wholesome ending and turns it into a fire breathing dragon looking for blood. This unique story will captivate you and crush everything you thought you knew.

Cinderella is Dead was one hell of a thrill-ride that will blow your mind. This would make Disney spin in his grave and I love it. It’s time for girls to stand up and decide their fates. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a female fighting for what she believes in!!

stacy

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 5/18/20

Hello and happy Monday! I hope everyone is doing well!

This week I’m going to be reading an arc that I picked up at BEA years ago (It’s even signed by the author), an arc that I picked up at ALA Midwinter, and a book that I’ve been wanting to read for a while.

What are you reading?

sword divider

All the Crooked Saints- Maggie Stiefvater

30025336. sy475 From bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater, a gripping tale of darkness, miracles, and family. Saints. Miracles. Family. Romance. Death. Redemption.

Here is a thing everyone wants: A miracle.

Here is a thing everyone fears:
What it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

IMG_2250

sword divider

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea- Maggie Tokuda-Hall

51710973. sx318 sy475 A desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial daughter find a connection on the high seas in a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic.

Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian.

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.

IMG_2250

sword divider

Devils & Thieves- Jennifer Rush

25843018. sy475 Power corrupts. Magic kills.

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe—the dangerous and enigmatic leader of Hawthorne’s kindled motorcycle gang, the Devils’ League.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor spreads that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

IMG_2250

stacy

 

*First Line Friday 5/15/20* White Rabbit- Caleb Roehrig

34499210Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian—the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to “talk.” Things couldn’t get much worse, right?

But then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. And then he and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife, beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney.

April swears she didn’t kill Fox—but Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth. April has something he needs, though, and her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to prove his sister’s innocence…or die trying.

IMG_2250

“The phone goes dead in my ear. The sudden silence on the line is so total, so ominous, that a cold surge of adrenaline brings goose bumps to my flesh in spite of the thick and sticky heat that lingers in the night air.”

stacy

*Book Review* Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life After Which Everything Was Different- Chuck Palahniuk

52500766. sx318 sy475 Renowned, bestselling novelist Chuck Palahniuk takes us behind the scenes of the writing life, with postcards from decades on the road and incredible examination of the power of fiction and the art of storytelling.

In this spellbinding blend of memoir and insight, bestselling author Chuck Palahniuk shares stories and generous advice on what makes writing powerful and what makes for powerful writing.

With advice grounded in years of careful study and a keenly observed life, Palahniuk combines practical advice and concrete examples from beloved classics, his own books, and a”kitchen-table MFA” culled from an evolving circle of beloved authors and artists, with anecdotes, postcards from the road, and much more.

Clear-eyed, sensitive, illuminating, and knowledgeable, Consider This is Palahniuk’s love letter to stories and storytellers, booksellers and books themselves. Consider it a classic in the making.

IMG_2250

“Welcome to America, our never-ending, great popularity contest. And to capitalism, where likability trumps everything else.”

Chuck Palahniuk creates a masterpiece of useful information about writing with bizarre and insightful memories of his own trials and tribulations of writing and book tours.

There was a point where I imagined where Chuck was Jack Torrance from The Shining. Where he’s just looking for the right way to blow people’s minds in the most explosive and disgusting way. (Don’t ask)

Reading this book made me appreciate who he is as a person and all of his books. You get a glimpse inside who he is and how he thinks. Plus you get some history of his greatest work. It makes me want to reread everything he’s ever released.

Consider This was a phenomenal book from a powerhouse author. This is one of the many reasons why he’s my number one. There’s no holding things back with him and he doesn’t sugarcoat anything.

If you want to know the story behind his GG Allin author photo, read this book!!

“Who died and made you Ross Perot?”

stacy

The Mall- Megan McCafferty

50148657. sy475 New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

IMG_2250

“Mooooooiiiiiiiiiiiisssssst!
Sam shivered. I threw back my head and cackled.
Moist panties would make a great band name. I loved their debut single. I consulted the worst words list and put two of the grossest together. Fetal smear.”

Ahhh! The nineties where scrunchies, Urkel, sexy sax solos, and MC Hammer was too legit to quit reigned supreme. It was simpler times and I want to go back in time to experience it all over again. This book is seriously the next best thing.

In 1991, I was five years old and living in Philly. This book hits close to home because it takes place in Jersey (which is our next-door neighbor) and during the best decade (fight me). It was the blast from the past that was so desperately needed.

Cassie has her life all planned out. She just graduated high school and got a summer job working at the mall with her boyfriend, Troy. Once fall hits, Cassie and her boyfriend will be attending college in New York.

It was the perfect plan for her perfect life until she got mononucleosis. It incapacitated her for an entire six weeks. Who knew six weeks could change her life forever?

In just a short period of time, she lost her boyfriend, her job, and her mind. She thought finding a job at the peak of summer was hopeless until an old friends Mom makes her an offer that she couldn’t refuse.

Working at Bellarosa Boutique isn’t what she had planned but she needed the money. What made her apprehensive was working side by side with her old best friend, Drea. They were the best of friends as soon as Drea moved to town but stopped when Drea thought Cassie wasn’t up to her level.

Things are tense at first but as the summer progresses, Cassie and Drea gravitate towards one another. Drea helps Cassie overcome her sadness of all she’s lost and Cassie helps Drea on a Cabbage Patch scavenger hunt.

Can Cassie find true happiness before she heads to New York? Or will she let the disastrous start to summer predict her future?

This was a rad read. It was fun to read once but it’s not something I would revisit. It was so much more than just a breakup book but I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. The only character that stood out was “Sam”. He had a decent part but it wasn’t enough.

The Mall was a laugh-out-loud blast from the past that perked my mood right up. Even the music choices were boss. Just remember that anything is possible if you use enough hairspray.

stacy