Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Hiatus

So...I kind of went on an unintentional hiatus this month. I think this happens to me every holiday season. I travel for the holiday so unless I plan out all my blog posts, I kinda of procrastinate writing any blog posts!

So I hope that for those that celebrate the holiday season, you have a great holiday. If you don't hear from me until the New Year, I'm just eating too many Christmas cookies and I'm too lazy to blog!

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Review: The Sun Is Also A Star

The Sun is Also a Star By Nicola Yoon*
Publisher: Delacourt Press
Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★★1/3

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
Nicola Yoon is a new up and coming YA author and has found sucess with her first novel Everything, Everyhing; however reading her second novel is my first experience with her.

I really struggled with this novel and how I should rate it, because to me it was written so well and the characters were so compelling. I just wanted to know more about them and wanted to see where their story went. I found myself whipping right through this book because the writing just wanted me to get to the end. On the other hand, there wasn't really a plot to this other than this being a instalove romance.

This book never really tried to disguise itself as anything more than a romance, but if you're not a fan of instalove or you need something more out of plot, you might want to sit this one out. There is the subplot that Natasha and her family are undocumented immigrants and they are going to be deported to the US. I found all this super interesting to read about, but that plotline doesn't really go anywhere. This story is more about how she meets Daniel and they spend the day together agruing about love and if it is real. I did really like that Natasha was the one into hard data and science, and that Daniel was the hopeless romantic.

Both Daniel and Natasha are fleshed out characters that I found really fun to get to know. I also thought it was super interesting to show the difference between immigrants to America. On the one hand Daniel was born in the country but carried the weigh of being a son of immigrants, and on the other Natasha was not supposed to be in this country but carried the weight of her family's fate in her hands. Even thought the family's deportation wasn't her fault. I was really glad we got to see two diverse cultures in this book. I think it was so refreshing to read about someone that is not like me! Being inclusive of different cultures and POC is something that I really like to see more of in books, so I was really glad to see it in this book.

One thing that did really bother me about the writing is that we get not only Daniel & Natasha's point of view but there was a bunch of interludes from different people that they bump into throughout their day. From their respective parents to complete strangers. I know for some people the writing flowed well enough that this didn't bother them, but for me it really took me out of the story. I really could have done without these interruptions.

If you are a fan of young adult contemporary, especially romance, I would highly recommend this book for you. There is definitely an audience for this novel, I just don't think that it was for me.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review*
Happy Reads Everyone!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: After You

After You By Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
Format: Ebook 353 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future...

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.
A lot of people have a lot of feelings about Me Before You, and I have talked about how I feel about the book already on this blog. So today I want to talk about the sequel After You. I know that some people really did not like this sequel or think it needed to happened. I'll admit, I don't think a sequel was at all necessary, but I ended up really liking this one. I think mostly it's because there is something about Lou that I can relate to so much.

First, I'm not sure what people thought this book was going to be about, and maybe that's why so many gave up on it. This is a book about what happens to Lou after the events of the first novel. This is a novel about grieving and loss and how sometimes it's different for everyone. The first part of the novel is mostly about Lou wallowing in her sadness and that did get to be a little annoying, but as the book went on and events unfold I was invested.

Lou does get closure from what happened in the previous novel, especially when she meets Will's daughter (whom he never knew existed). His daughter was a seriously troubled kid and I thought it was rather sweet of Lou to try to help her. I think this also showed that Lou is a caregiver through and through. This girl always puts others before herself and she is constantly sacrficing what she wants because she feels like she has responsiblities to other people. I think that is what I like about her, but I also think it's what bothers me about her. She never gets to really live for herself if she is always living for other people and their needs.

I did really like that Lou is still friends with Nathan and they still talk on a regular basis. He's actually the one that pushes her into a new career, and gets her a job offer. Moyes makes us believe that Lou is not going to take this job, which she is so qualified for, and I think I would have been really mad if she just decided to stick with what she had been doing. So I was really glad she got out of her period of wallowing and tries to do something more with her life.

I really connected with Lou in the first book, so that's why I really stuck with and enjoyed this sequel. I don't think we need to hear from Lou again, and I don't think we really needed this book, but I found it super interesting to read about what people go through after they have endured a great loss.

Have you read this sequel? What are your thoughts?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Deanna Listens: My Favorite Murder

Deanna Listens is a monthly feature on the first Monday of every month (sometimes) I created to showcase some of my favorite podcasts. This month I'm talking about My Favorite Murder.  So some of you might be like okay, "Deanna is a freak" but hear me out. If you are a fan of true crime and are interested in stories about different murders this is a podcast for you. But if you care about facts...maybe listen to a different podcast. Don't worry that's what the hosts of this podcast both say.

So this podcast is techically under the comedy section even though it is about a serious topic. The hosts Karen and Georgia are pretty funny, and I don't think they try to make light of murder, just that they try to piece together how things like that could happen. I also find it super interesting that they are both terrified of murder and this is a way that they cope with it. 

One of my favorite things about this podcast is that they ask for listeners to send in stories of their hometown murders and they will periodically do minispodes where they read a bunch. These are interesting because you learn about new stories that you might not have heard about before.

I think if you like shows like Criminal Minds this might be a podcast for you. Stay sexy, don't get murdered!

Got a great podcast you love? Give me a recommendation in the comments. No serious, please help, I'm running out of podcasts to listen to!

Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sci-Fi Month Wrap-Up

IT'S OVER!!! 😞

I'm so sad that yet another Sci-Fi Month has come and gone. Sci-fi Month created by Rinn Reads and cohosted by Effing Rainbow has always been a fun thing I've done with this blog. This year was actually my third annual year participating and I am definitely excited to see what happens next year. 

I love this event for a few reasons. One, it forces me to focus on what books I want to review and other topics, that I actually plan ahead on this blog. It's been really great, because this is the most I have actually blogged on here in many months. The other reason I love this event is because I love networking with other bloggers that love this genere. I love discovering new blogs from all these cool people, and learning about new sci-fi books that I have never heard of so I add them to my never ending TBR pile. 

Every year I feel like I don't have enough time to do everything I plan out to do. I mostly did a lot of book reviews and focused less on discussions. So that is definitely something I want to try to do more of next year. There are even a few books that I just didn't get around to reading and I feel really guilty about that. 

One thing that it seemed like a lot of people really enjoyed was my Guess The Sci-Fi Book giveway. A winner has already been picked and emailed. Since it looked like I stumped a few of you I wanted to give you all the answers to my quiz. I really enjoy doing these type of giveways, so I think it will be something I do next year too. Maybe I'll just make it a little easier. 😛
  1. Matched : Girl finds out that the "society" that tells her what to eat, think, and who she should be matched with does not have her best interest at heart
  2. The 100: Teens are cast out of space onto a planet thought inhabitable to see if it's safe to go back there. Left to their own devices they have to figure out how to survive on their own.
  3. Little Brother: Teenage boy is illegally arrested by government organization and fights for his freedom of privacy to not be constantly moniotred once he is released. 
  4. Interworld: Teenage boy starts walking and gets lost. Finds himself many different times and in different forms
  5. A Thousand Pieces of You: Girl travels to different parallel worlds to figure out who killed her father. Gets stucks in Imperial Russia for a long time, before jumping to another universe. 
  6. Armada: Gamers find out that they were not just playing video games, they were training to fight a war against an alien threat. But who are they really fighting?
  7. Under The Never Sky: Sheltered girl is exiled outside of her society's dome. She has been told she will die on the outside, but to her surprise she doesn't.
  8. Star Wars: Lost Stars: Star crossed lovers fight on different sides of a space war from the time they are children to the time the evil Empire is taken down by a group of rebels.
  9. Red Rising: Miner on Mars discovers that his life has been a lie, and joins a rebellion to take down his people's oppressors
  10. Alienated: Aliens have made contact, and teen participates in an exchange program to host one of them.
A LOT of you got #6 wrong and guessed Ender's Game, but I won't fault you for that, because the two books are very similar. How many did you get right? 

Are you sad that sci-fi month is over? What was your favorite part about it? 

Happy Reads Everyone!