My YA Reading Club Unboxing-June

I thought I’d give this box a try for a couple of months to see how I like it. It’s the My YA Reading Club Box for June. For $14.99 a month you get two YA books and a DVD.

*I usually only post on Tuesdays and Saturdays but I wanted to get this up in June. Enjoy!

The Books:

For The Win by Cory Doctorow. This centers on multiplayer role-playing online games. It delves into macroeconomics and labor rights. It also covers the fast evolving concept of virtual economy and deals with MMORPG specific topics like power-leveling and gold farming. From what I understand it brings up the way third world countries are made to work and develop these games with no credit and very little compensation. 

The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel. This is about five teenage cousins who are still at the kid table during holidays and such and are contented until the oldest cousin gets upgraded to the adult table, and main character Ingrid wonders what it takes to move on from the kid table. As she tries to find out the meaning of adulthood she also falls in love for the first time, but with the boyfriend of one of her cousins.

The DVD:

Grace Is Gone starring John Cusack. This follows a man who finds out that his wife has been killed in Iraq, and unable to tell his young daughters about her death, he takes them on a road trip to Florida searching for the right time and place to tell them about their mother.

I’m looking forward to each of these books and also the movie. I have never heard of it but have been a fan of John Cusack’s previous works.

Keep reading…Lola


June Bookcase.Club Unboxing 

These are the books I got in the June Bookcase.Club box. This is the mystery/thriller box. 

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling). This is a crime fiction novel that follows a private investigator. It’s the sequel to The Cuckoo’s Calling but I think it follows a different mystery so I’m not sure you have to read the other one first but I’ll have to look into it more when I decide to read it. It follows the detective as he searches for his client’s missing husband who is an author. That’s all I really know about this one.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison. This follows Todd and Jodie, a couple who have been together for 28 years and have no children.  They have reached a bad place in their relationship and apparently Jodie has killed Todd. The story is told from alternating perspectives and we learn along the way what caused Jodie to do the unthinkable.

I’m most excited about reading The Silent Wife and hope to get to it soon.

Keep reading…Lola

Second Star Spoiler Free Review

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel is a YA retelling of Peter Pan.

The book follows Wendy Darling as she looks for her brothers John and Michael, who are presumed dead after their beat up surf boards are found by rough water. Wendy doesn’t believe that they are dead so she spends the summer going to beaches where the surfing is good hoping that her brothers will be at one of them. She meets and befriends Pete and ends up going to spend several weeks with him and his friends up at their abandoned house on the cliff. She also meets Jas, the bad boy from the other side of the beach. After returning home, Wendy begins to realize that maybe all is not as it seems.

I enjoyed all the Peter Pan elements. The Darlings, Wendy, John and Michael, even Nan the dog. Pete and the lost boys, as well as Belle. Jas as Hook, and even that the author incorporated Pixie Dust into the mix. 

There were some aspects that I thought were pretty risky for a Peter Pan retelling. The fact that Jas is a drug dealer who deals Dust. The price to enter one of his parties is to take some of the Dust. Even though I thought it was a little dark for a YA book, I also think it worked for the overall story. 

I loved how Belle was sort of a brat and showed jealousy towards Wendy and Pete. That’s how Tinker bell should behave! I enjoyed the love triangle between Pete, Wendy and Jas and I actually had a hard time choosing who I was rooting for, which I liked. I thought that the whole event surrounding Wendy’s brothers turned out amazing. There were things that I predicted and others that I was completely surprised by.

I’m a little unsure of how I feel about the ending. On one hand I thought it was perfect and such a cool way to end the story but then at the same time I felt a little let down. I still had some questions and it felt like it was a little bit of a cliffhanger.

For the most part, I really enjoyed Second Star. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and recommend it to anyone who loves Peter Pan and retellings so definitely check it out.

Keep reading…Lola

Caraval Spoiler Free Book Review

Caraval by Stephanie Garber follows sisters Scarlet and Tella, who live on an island they have never left with their abusive, ruthless father. Scarlet has an arranged marriage coming up and her hopes for seeing Caraval are seemingly over, until her invitation comes in the mail. Caraval is a once a year performacne where the audience participates. With the help of a sailor they just met, Tella comes up with a plan for them to go to Caraval. Once there, Tella is kidnapped by the organizer, Legend and whoever finds her first is the winner.

First of all I hated the father. His punishments were so horrible and the fact that he used one sister to suffer the consequences of the other was just disgusting.

I loved the sisterly bond that Scarlet and Tella had. You could tell that they genuinely loved each other and would do anything for the other. The ending had me in tears a little bit.

I liked the character of Julian. I think he added something extra to the story. I would love to have a prequel of Julian’s story and what happened to him in his life before meeting Scarlet and Tella. The book goes into his history some but I would love a complete book.

I enjoyed the romance in the story but I wish there was more of it. It was just one of those sweet, non rushed romances that had you rooting for them. At least I was.

I loved the whole Caraval experience. It reminded me a little bit like Wonderland, where everything isn’t how it appears and there is a whimsical, magical feeling to it. I loved imagining what everything looked like as I was reading.

I liked the overall plot. Things seemed to just flow and everything moved at a good pace. There were a lot of things going on throughout the book but I never had a hard time following along, which sometimes happens when I am reading something with a lot of things going on.

The mystery aspect was really well played out. There were times when I thought I knew who Legend was and then something else would happen and I would think it was someone else. In the end I wasn’t expecting what happened at all. There were some surprises and then surprises on top of those.

I am very happy that there is going to be a sequel and I’m excited to read that. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for these characters and to learn more about this world.

I gave Caraval 5 stars on Goodreads and very much recommend it.

Keep reading…Lola

A To Z Book Tag

Today’s blog is going to be a book tag. I just love them and think they are so fun. This A To Z Book Tag was created by The Perpetual Page-Turner on YouTube.
A~ An author you’ve read the most- Laurell K. Hamilton. I have read all but the last book of her Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series. There are 25 of them plus I’ve read multiple short storis as well.

B~ Best Sequel- This was so hard to answer because I’ve read a lot of good sequels but I’m going to go with At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks. I have a review up from a while ago if you’re interested.

C~ Currently reading- I am reading Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.

D~ Drink I have while reading- During colder months tea and during warmer months water or iced tea.

E~ E-reader or physical- I have both and like both but I prefer physical. I love the smell of new books.

F~ Fictional character I would have dated in high school- This was a hard one to answer as well but I’m going to go with one of my new favorite male characters, Jase from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. 

G~ Glad you gave it a chance- My life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I had heard so much about it on BookTube but didn’t plan on reading it and then I saw it on BookOutlet and decided to pick it up and I loved it. Review will be up probably in the beginning of July.

H~ Hidden gem book- Promise Bridge by Eileen Clymer Schwab. Such an amazing book about the beginning of the underground railroad. I have a review up of this as well.

I~ Important moment in my reading life- I can’t think of one specific moment, but just being introduced to reading in the first place. I remember when I was in second grade and some kids were slower at reading so they had to take home what was called a book in a bag, which was a book, a journal and a pencil in a zipock bag with handles type thing and they had to do extra reading at home and I would pretend I was having trouble just so I could take a book home and read more. They did catch on!

J~ Just finished reading- My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Review to come.

K~ Kinds of books I won’t/can’t read- I try to give any book a chance if it’s something that I think I might like so I guess the only books that I can’t read are ones that I start and can’t get get into.

L~ Longest book I’ve read- Probably Winter by Marissa Meyer. I don’t think I’ve read a book that’s over 830 pages or whatever that one was except Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy but that one I half read and half listened to the audio book.

M~ Major book hangover- Any book that’s emotionally draining, like anything by Nicholas Sparks.

N~ Number of bookshelves- I have three.

O~ One book you read multiple times- A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks.

P~ Preferred place to read- In my bed.

Q~ Quote that inspires you- “Though she be but little, she is fierce” by Shakespeare. I’ve always loved that one.

R~ Reading regret- Anna Karenina. I didn’t like it at all.

S~ Series you started and didn’t finish but all books are out- I’m going to say The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella. I’m not sure if any more are coming out but I think it’s the only series I haven’t finished and I have all books released so far.

T~ Three all time favorite books- The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, The Hazards Series by Alyssa Rose Ivy.

U~ Unapologetic fan girl for- Twilight back in the day!

V~ Very excited for this release- Wires And Nerve Volume Two by Marissa Meyer and the Caraval sequel by Stephanie Garber.

W~ Worst bookish habit- Sometimes not being able to put a book down until it’s finished, even if it means I’m up until 3am and have to work in the morning.

X~ X marks the spot, choose the 27th book from the top left- The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

Y~ Your latest book purchase- I am on a book buying ban right now so I haven’t bought any new books, I have received some books from subscription services but those were prepaid so I don’t count them, but the last ones I got were,  For The Win by Cory Doctorow and The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel. Unboxing blog coming soon.

Z~ zzz Book that kept you up all night- Alot of books have kept me up all night so I’ll just go with the last one which was My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Again, this must have been a My life Next Door blog!  

So that’s the tag. I tag anyone that wants to do it. Have fun!

Keep reading…Lola

Breathing Underwater/Diva Spoiler Free Book Review

Breathing Underwater and Diva are young adult books written by Alex Flinn. 

Breathing Underwater follows Nick, a sixteen year old boy who is going to anger management classes after he beats up his girlfriend, Caitlin. The novel is told from Nick’s perspective as he writes in a court ordered journal and goes to anger management classes. There are also flashbacks of his relationship with Cailtin from their first meeting until their breakup.

Diva follows Caitlin as she goes to a new school, a high school for musically gifted kids and tries to move on from Nick and everything that happened.

Breathing Underwater covers a serious topic. I think Alex Flinn did a good job of portraying how an abusive relationship is. In this case, the manipulation, control and abuse on the males part and the fear, guilt and shame on the females part. Nick is in denial about his behavior. He doesn’t want Caitlin to hang out with her friends, just his, he tells her what to wear and calls her fat. He won’t even admit that he beat her up, he only says that he slapped her once. Caitlin loves him and makes excuses everytime he yells at her, she feels bad for him because his father is abusive to him, she does everything he asks to keep him from getting angry and when he does get mad at her, she blames herself because of course it has to be her fault.

At the beginning of his classes, Nick says he didn’t do anything and that he doesn’t belong in the class, but at the end of the class he realizes that he has a problem and needs to get the help so that he can fix it. He also stands up to his dad and tries to put his friendships back together. My only issue with the book was the way it seemed that Nick changed so quickly, that part just didn’t seem realistic to me.

Diva takes place after Caitlin breaks up with Nick and gets a restraining order on him. She applies to go to a high school for musically gifted students, in part to get away from Nick. This novel is all about Caitlin and told from her point of view. She writes a blog telling about Nick and leaving her old school and starting her new school. She ends up making a couple of close friends and tells them about Nick and they are supportive. 

Nick makes a couple of appearances in Diva but not enough to really know if he has made any real changes. That’s one of the things I disliked about the book. I would have liked to see if Nick really was trying or if it was just talk. I also wish that this book told more about Caitlin’s experience and what it wad like for her to be in that relationship. I would love to have a Breathing Underwater from Cailtin’s point of view. Another thing I didn’t like was that Caitlin had a crush on a student at her new school and was open to starting a new relationship. The whole time I was thinking “you just ended a relationship with a boy who beat you up, why would you want to jump into another one so soon?” I just can’t see that happening in real life, but I’ve never been in an abusive relationship so maybe it is possible?

For the most part I really enjoyed the books and liked reading something of Alex Flinn’s that wasn’t a fairytale retelling. I gave both books 4 stars on Goodreads. 

Keep reading…Lola

June Book Of The Month

This is my favorite month for BOTM so far I think. I’m really excited for all of these books.

White Fur by Jardine Libaire is a romance novel about two people from different backgrounds who come together and have this intense love.

A Million June’s by Emily Henry. This novel is about forbidden love. The Angerts and the O’Donnells are families with a long standing hatred for each other but one day, two of them find themselves falling in love.

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins. One summer a single mother and a teenage girl both drown in a river that runs through town but not everything is as it seems.

I can’t wait to dive into these!

Keep reading…Lola

June TBR

These are the books that I am hoping to get to in June. 

On The Fence by Kasie West. This will be the third Kasie west book that I’ve read and I’m hoping that I’ll like it as much as the others. This one is about neighbors who have conversations at their shared fence and then and romance blooms.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I have heard so much about this book on BookTube and it seem’s to be right up my alley. I also believe that this is about two neighbors who fall in love.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. This book follows Amy, who is moving from California to the East coast. She needs to drive the car cross country but hasn’t driven since her father died, so a family friend decides to lend a hand.

And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz. I think I am most excited about this one. It’s about a teenager who goes on a summer trip, paid for by her grandfather, and at the last minute her mother decides to join her.

Hopefully I have a better reading month in June than I did in May. What’s everyone else reading?

Keep reading…Lola