Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR.

Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)

1. Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) by William Ritter. Published September 22.

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2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Published September 29.

Pretty Girls

3. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. Published September 29.

Zeroes

4. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti. Published September 29.

A Madness So Discreet

5. A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. Published October 6.

Carry On

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Published October 6.

These Shallow Graves

7. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly. Published October 27.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

8. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer. Published November 10.

Oblivion (Lux, #1.5)

9. Oblivion (Lux 1.5) by Jennifer Armentrout. Published December 1.

10. Backstage (Boy Band #2) by Jacqueline E. Smith. Published December 8.

What books are you looking forward to this fall? Are you looking forward to any of the above?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: August 2015

Stephanies Book Reviews Header

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads

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Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements #3) by Jennifer Armentrout. Read July 30-August 1. 3 Stars.

If I’m being completely honest, despite being from JLA, I never really fell in love with this series. If it wasn’t from this author I probably wouldn’t have continued it after the first book. That said, Every Last Breath was a pretty decent ending to the series. We find out around 20% in Layla’s choice of guys – the result of fan voting – and I’m glad it wasn’t dragged out. However, SPOILER*SPOILER*SPOILER* I never once thought that Zayne had any chance of “winning.” I liked the idea that fans got to vote after book 2, but I don’t think it was written in a way that it would be an actual contest. Roth was always obviously the author’s top pick and thus was written in a way to be ours, as well. *END OF SPOILER* There was one “mystery” that was brought up and then left hanging in this installment that kind of annoyed me. The answer was kind of implied, but still left open. While Layla’s story ended conclusively, I think it left enough side plot ideas open enough that there could be more from this world in the future.

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Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga. Read August 1-4. 3 stars.

The Good:
-We get more POVs, including Howie and Connie
-I love Howie even more this time around. He’s still funny, but getting his POV we get to know the serious side of him, too.
-Once all the pieces came together, the Game was pretty clever.
-The New York setting

The Bad:
-Throughout the book I steadily grew to dislike Connie more and more. Girl is STUPID. All of her decisions were poor and she kind of deserves to be where she ended up by the end of this book. Her drama queen moments with her parents were very annoying, as were her parents’ reactions.
-The plot was pretty convoluted. Like it was hard to understand at times until it was all laid out. Even then, not everything is explained.
-Bringing a minor across state lines without adult supervision/consent to consult on police business? Really?
-Jasper’s discovery at the end of the book was very, very predictable.
-Cliffhangers in every plotline!

Overall:
I know it looks like there’s more bad then good, but the good things really did outweigh the bad. This series does have a pretty unique concept and Jasper is still a great character. While I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first book, it was still good and I look forward to the conclusion of the series.

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Blood of my Blood (Jasper Dent #3) by Barry Lyga. Read August 4-7. 3.5 Stars

This book was a little longer than it had to be. There were several moments I hated Connie and the phrase “too stupid to live” came to mind. There was a big reveal that I think was supposed to be shocking, but I suspected it since book two. I think it ended well, though, overall. I’m glad I read this series. Maybe a more in depth review to come after I’ve thought about it a bit.

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Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot. Read August 8-9. 3.5 Stars.

This book was pretty cute. I was a big fan of the romance between Ellen and Yan. Even though it happens quickly (the book takes place over a week), it felt like a slow burn romance and not insta-love. I thought both of the characters were well-developed and they were really well suited together, despite their differences.

I thought the side-plots were a little ridiculous. Ellen’s ex-boyfriend really betrayed her and she got her revenge on him, but she spends the majority of the book waiting for it to come back to bite her. In the end, I thought it was all resolved a little too easily. Yan has a more troubled past, but other than him leaving Bulgaria and needing to make a new start, there wasn’t really any long-lasting consequences. He had a more personal problem that was skirted around for most of the book, but I thought was obvious pretty early on. However, it was still a little heartbreaking to see how it affected him so much and I was glad to see it resolved in the end.

I hated Lacey. HATED HER. She was a spoiled, selfish brat and even though she had a few nicer moments throughout the book, it wasn’t really enough to redeem her for me. In a literary sense, she worked as a nice counterpoint to Ellen’s personality, but I still hated her.

Overall, I thought this was a cute, quick, summertime read that I enjoyed. At times it seemed to drag a little, but I really enjoyed the setting and the romance. I’ll definitely be checking out more from Baggot in the future.

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Aimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London. Read August 9-10. 3.5 Stars.

I’m a complete sucker for boy band books because I looooved boy bands back in the day. This book was all kinds of adorable. I liked both Aimee and Miles. The romance was a little fast, but very sweet. There was some eye-rolling drama, of course. And some of the dialogue and Aimee’s internal monologues annoyed me – I think it was supposed to be “teenage slang”, but it sounded silly to me. But maybe that’s how kids talk these days? I don’t know. I didn’t like that the rest of the boy band members weren’t really well-developed characters at all. But then I found out that this is a series where each book – about a different band member – is written by a different author, so I can forgive the story for not developing the other guys too much. Overall, it was very cute and I’m sure I’ll re-read it any time I need a cute little pick-me-up.

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Mia and the Bad Boy by Lisa Burstein. August 10-11. 3 stars.

This book wasn’t as cute as the first one in the series, but there was still enough cuteness that I enjoyed it. The romance happened really fast and I didn’t buy into it as much as I would’ve liked to, but as I said, there was still cuteness. It read a little more like a less graphic NA than a YA read. I enjoyed the banter between Ryder and Mia and between Ryder and Miles. I do want to continue the series, but I’ll probably wait and see if the next one goes on sale before trying to buy it.

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The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar. Read August 17-20. 3 Stars.

This book has been on my radar for awhile, but it was never at the library. Then I won it in a giveaway! It was an enjoyable book. I think it started out good and then went downhill a bit, but overall it was still good. The main character was mostly likable and I really liked Oliver. The end is a major cliffhanger and I must now buy the second book to see what happens.

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Fiancé by Fate (Anyone but You #1) by Jennifer Shirk. Read August 22-23. 3.5 stars.

A quick, sweet read. It’s your typical Fake Relationship story, which is exactly what I was looking for and I enjoyed it.

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The Heartbreakers (The Heartbreaker Chronicles #1) by Ali Novak. Read August 23-25. 2 stars.

A couple of funny/cute moments is why I’m giving this book 2 stars instead of 1. I’ve been on a boy band book kick lately – I don’t know why. This has been my least favorite of the bunch.

Stella was such a brat and she drove me crazy almost constantly. I liked the other three band members much more than the love interest. I was rooting for Alec to become the love interest instead, but he’s too good for Stella, so I guess I’m glad it didn’t happen.

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RE-READS

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Boy Band by Jacqueline E. Smith. As I said, I’ve been on a boy band book kick. This book has the most well-behaved members of all the books I’ve read, as well as the most likable main character. I’m looking forward to the sequel of this one!

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BACK ON THE TBR

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Play On (Lewis Creek #1) by Michelle Smith. I read some good reviews on this one and was looking forward to it, but I just couldn’t get into it. I’ll probably try it again some day, though.

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DNF

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Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton. To be fair, I only gave this book a few chapters before giving up, so it might get better? I’m just not interested enough to care, though.    

 

Totally Didn’t Book Tag

Stephanies Book Reviews Header

Since I am completely blocked in writing reviews lately I went on a search for fun book tags. I saw this one over on Inspired by the Page and decided to give it a try.

1. Totally didn’t need to have a sequel/sequels!

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

The Mortal Instruments after the initial trilogy. It really should have ended after book 3 and even then it felt drawn out…

2. Totally didn’t need to have more than one point of view!

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)

Untold (The Lyburn Legacy #2). I’m generally a big fan of multiple POV and I didn’t really mind it in this book, either. My main problem was the POVs that we got in addition to the MC – Holly and Ash when all I wanted was Jared’s.

3. Totally didn’t need to change cover art through the middle of a series!

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The Dark Elements by JLA. Not that I don’t think this series didn’t needs a cover change, but it definitely didn’t need THIS cover change. Like, it’s really no better.

4. Totally didn’t need a love triangle!

Requiem (Delirium, #3)

Ummmm, pretty much every book ever. But I’ll go with a love triangle that I thought was one of the most horribly done ones – Requiem (Delirium #3). Don’t even get me started on how this series ended.

5. Totally didn’t need this book to be included in this series!

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4)

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4). Ughhh. This book was the biggest waste of time. Just page after page of whiney, heartbroken Rose.

6. Totally didn’t need a cliffhanger!

Boy Band

Boy Band by Jacqueline E. Smith. I’m not sure if it can technically be considered a cliffhanger, but I was expecting the book to be a standalone and it definitely wasn’t! I am looking forward to the next book, though.

7. Totally didn’t need to have just one point of view!

Emmy & Oliver

Emmy & Oliver. Oliver’s POV would have added SO MUCH to this story. Especially since Emmy often rubbed me the wrong way.

8. Totally didn’t need that much hype!

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

Red Queen. And also, Emmy & Oliver again.  Sorry, not sorry.

9. Totally didn’t need a relative book reference! (e.g. Hunger Games fan would love Divergent.)

Black-Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans. It referenced Gillian Flynn and this book is good enough it doesn’t need it.

10. Totally didn’t deserve my time!

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

There are many books that I end up not being impressed by, but there are just a few that I very actively dislike and I think Allegiant takes the cake. I just like to forget that this book exists.

Feel free to tag yourself if you like!

Free Books Abound

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This week has been great for free books for me! I decided to share my excitement.

FROM THE AUTHOR

-I received (signed!) copies of Remember Me and Get to Me by Lara Van Hulzen from the author for review.

-I also received a signed copy of Boy Band by Jacqueline E. Smith. I bought the Nook copy of this book, but I brought to her attention some formatting errors in the final copy (they’re working on it!) and she very graciously offered me another copy. I’m looking forward to re-reading this one!
GIVEAWAY WINS
-I received a copy of The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks from Cook’s Reviews.
-I also won, but have not yet received, The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West from Confessions of a Book Geek and A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab from Lost in a Great Book.
The Fill-In Boyfriend   A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)
And last but not least, don’t miss your chance to win a free book! Click the above link to go to my Tax Refund Share the Wealth Giveaway and win any book I’ve reviewed on my blog – open for two more days!
Happy Reading!

Reviewing the Unreviewed: April 2015

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

I don’t know why, but I completely sucked at writing full reviews this month!

 

Luckiest Girl Alive

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. Read April 1-4. 3 stars.

Overall, this book was ok for me. While the start was hard to get into, it definitely got better as the story went on. (*A full review will be coming next month, closer to release date.)

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters

Texts from Jane Eyre And other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg. Read April 7. 2 stars.

I don’t think I’m cultured enough for this book. I skimmed a lot because I’m unfamiliar with most of the stories. I did enjoy The Baby-Sitters Club, Jane Eyre, and The Fight Club parts, though.  

Solitaire

Solitaire by Alice Oseman.  Read April 8-10. 2.5 stars.

There were times where I just so identified with Tori. In a lot of ways I was like her when I was a sad 16-year-old. But then there were other times where I just didn’t get her at all. I didn’t always follow the thought processes of her or those around her. None of the characters were really likable. The whole Solitaire plot line didn’t even make a lot of sense.

The Singles

The Singles by Meredith Goldsten. Read April 10-11. 4 stars.

This book has been on my radar for awhile, but I always thought the ebook cost too much. At a recent sale at my local library I found it for a $1.00. It was well worth the money!

A book about singles at a wedding seemed right up my alley, especially with my little brother’s upcoming wedding looming on the horizon…However, this book wasn’t really what I thought it would be. Despite that, it was a well-developed character-driven novel with mostly likable characters. It was an easy and quick read that I enjoyed.

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Read April 13-16. 3 stars.

This book was well written and for the most part I liked the style. I wasn’t surprised at the part that was probably supposed to be surprising, as I guessed it much earlier on. The characters were unlikable, but with Anna I eventually liked unliking her. While this book was pretty good, I don’t feel like it lived up to the hype.

A Good Killing (Anna Curtis, #4)

A Good Killing by Allison Leotta.  Read April 16-20. 4 stars.

Where has this series been all my life? A well-written, well paced, well done mystery. Full review to come closer to release date.

Made for You

Made for You by Melissa Marr. Read April 20-23. 3 stars.

I was expecting to be more creeped out by this book than I was. The killer was pretty crazy so that was kind of fun and disturbing to read, though I felt like his parts were really repetitive for awhile. I liked that the supernatural aspect didn’t take over the whole story, but I don’t like that we never find out why or how Eva started to have the visions. While I supported the romance, it was a little fast for me.

Missing You

Missing You by Harlan Coben. Read April 23-25. 4 stars.

This was my first Harlan Coben book and it certainly won’t be my last. The multiple mysteries were handled well. Even if there were a few things that I thought were obvious, there were other things that surprised me. The characters were well-developed and I even felt myself feeling bad for one of the bad guys, despite how awful he was. While it took a little bit to get into the story, when it picked up it was hard to put down.

Boy Band

Boy Band by Jacqueline E. Smith. Read April 25-26. 3.5 stars.

This was a cute, fun read. It took me a bit to be able to tell all the boy banders apart, but once I did I enjoyed them. I liked that the guys were nice and responsible and not big partiers. I was also amused by all their banter.

My only real complaint is that I think it could have used a bit more editing and formatting. About half way through the book (I bought a Nook copy) the formatting started to change so there was only one paragraph per page (and when it was dialogue, it was often only one line) and it really hindered my reading enjoyment, though that’s not the book’s fault. (*Note: The Author is aware of this and is working on getting it fixed.) There was also a lot of repetition that could have been phased out a bit.

Not a whole lot happened in terms of plot development and I would have liked more detailed info about their interviews and behind the scenes things, but it was still a fun read! I’ll definitely have to read book #2. Even though I didn’t realize this was going to be a series and was initially a little upset (because of the ending!), I am excited to get to spend more time with The Kind of September and Mel.

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RE-READ

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. Still love it! Definitely recommend this series to YA lovers!

The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1)

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris. I was in the mood for a light, contemporary and there wasn’t a wait for this at the library. I think I enjoyed it more this second time around.