What I’m Reading 2/27/17

Welcome back to my weekly update of all things reading.

After what I am dubbing The Great Scheduling Fail of 2017, in which I apparently forgot how to use the scheduling function on WordPress, I might have finally got myself on track.

I say that now, but we shall see.

Anyway, on with the show.

What I Read
After doing a thorough clean out of my Goodreads currently reading shelf, I managed to finish Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer and Douglas Holgate. There will not be a review for this one because I spent most of my reading time with this one incoherently fangirling and screaming. Because Cress and Thorne. muh bbys.

What I’m Reading
I’m currently reading Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). It’s the 3rd book in the Cormoran Strike series and OMG I missed Strike and Robin so much. I feel like I need to read this because they have filmed or are currently filming the TV show/movie/miniseries/whatever it is for BBC and I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL IT’S SHOWN IN AMERICA. I’ve also just started Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee and, I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life but I REALLLLLLLLY like it so far – it’s about a young Chinese-American woman who attends a prestigious and, from what I’ve gathered, mostly white, school in 1906 San Francisco. I’m assuming that the infamous earthquake is going to come into play with this and, basically, I’m here.

What I’m Reading Next
I’m not sure just yet. I definitely see The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro in my future because I need some Jamie Watson in my life and, knowing what the title is probably a reference to, I neeeeed to know what’s going to happen. After that? Who knows!

That’s it for me! What have you been reading lately?

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Waiting On Wednesday: Toward A Secret Sky – Heather Maclean

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Waiting On Wednesday in a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine in which we discuss an upcoming release that you’re…well…waiting on! And this seems like the perfect excuse to have mini fangirl freakouts over the books I NEED ASAP.

This week, I’m flailing over Toward A Secret Sky.

What You Need to Know

30649331Toward A Secret Sky by Heather Maclean

Published by Blink on April 4th, 2017

Synopsis: Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that’s now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she’ll continue her parents’ fight or stay behind to save her friends.

With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she’s not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn’t as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.

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Why I’m Flailing

First of all, it takes place in Scotland and I’m all on that bandwagon because Outlander, so, sign me the heck up. It has a bit of a DaVinci Code/Dan Brown-esque vibe to it which is something that I am always here for, but it also sounds like a lot like the Conspiracy of Us, which I read last year and had a lot of fun reading. To be honest, this sounds like a lot of fun too. There’s obviously a looming love triangle which will turn some people off – not one of those people here – but this sounds like a fun YA conspiracy theory romp, which is always a good thing IMHO, but with the added bonus of Scotland. Basically – GIMME THE THING.

That’s it for me. What books are you waiting on?

What I’m Reading – 2/20/17

Hello denizens of the interwebs, I am here to give you my weekly update in the world that is reading.

This is going to be super short because…honestly? There isn’t that much to talk about.

What I’ve Read
Considering all facets my life decide to conspire against me in a “Let’s Do Everything In Our Power to Stop Calle from Reading” plot, not much. I literally just finished Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and I did really enjoy it and the review will be up some time this week. For real, this time.

What I’m Reading
I’m still reading The Hating Game by Sally Thorn. Again, really enjoying it, but haven’t had the time to really focus on it because I got sucked in by Revolution. I will be picking that up next.

What I’m Reading Next
I actually have a plan, shockingly enough. I’m going to use my day off today to make a dent in my TBR. I want to make a dent in the Hating Game and Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth and would like to start – if not read completely – Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer. I mean, I already know and love the world and characters, and it’s short and has lots of pictures; If that doesn’t scream “READ ME IN ONE SITTING,” I don’t know what does.

That’s it for me this time. What have you been reading lately?

Waiting On Wednesday: When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandhya Menon

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Waiting On Wednesday in a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine in which we discuss an upcoming release that you’re…well…waiting on! And this seems like the perfect excuse to have mini fangirl freakouts over the books I NEED ASAP.

This week, I’m flailing over When Dimple Met Rishi.

What You Need to Know

28458598When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Published by Simon Pulse on May 30th, 2017

Synopsis: A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Add to Goodreads                                                Preorder at Amazon     Barnes and Noble

Why I’m Flailing

First off, whoever designed the cover and made the decision to put the title on the coffee cup is a genius and deserves a raise.

But this sounds so freaking cute. I’m not always drawn to contemporary books, but the synopsis got me with the funny part, and my determination to read more diversely  – as well as support an own voices and debut author – has me super interested in this book. Let’s face it: Deep down, I’m a sap and a hopeless romantic and I love getting gushy and mushy about love. But When Dimple Met Rishi is also a chance to get a glimpse into a culture I honestly can say I know very little about. There are not many Indians or Indian-Americans where I’m from – where I went to college, sure, but I didn’t really take advantage of it –  and I can’t say that I know much about Indian culture more than what I’ve seen on TV, which, let’s face it, probably isn’t all that accurate. The arranged marriage plot is also interesting because, it’s something that you don’t really think about in this day and age – at least for Basic White Girl me it isn’t. My Italian grandfather supposedly threw over an arranged marriage to marry my Irish/German/Polish/Hungarian(?) grandmother but that’s as close as it’s come to me. The potential conflict in this novel about one half of the couple knowing about and liking the arrangement comes as a bit of a shock to me and I really want to see how this plays out. Not well, I imagine, but I’m already rooting for a happy ending for these two and I haven’t even read the book yet.

That’s it for me. What books are you waiting on?

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Ten Favorite Fictional Couples

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

I’m going rogue again.

This week’s topic was all about romance tropes and was having a hard-time putting a list together so I just threw together a list of my favorite couples – which was hard in and of itself because lower ones change from time to time.

Let’s break it down:

  1. Nina and Benny – In The Heights. If you want to know why I love these two, go here, listen to this song. UGH I LOVE IT. Also, the in-show reaction to their relationship is kind of perfect: “She was my babysitter first!”
  2. Connor and Oliver (aka “Coliver” –  How To Get Away With Murder. I am super behind on this show but these two make my heart hurt in the best way possible.
  3. Harry Dresden and Karin Murphy – The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I know I’m a new fan but OH MY GOD I WANT THE THING. I don’t even know if the thing is going to happen but I want it to oh so badly. Does the thing happen? Don’t actually tell me but, does it?
  4. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider – Tangled. I know. I know. I have Disney characters on here and honestly I don’t care. These two sent me flying back into uncontrollable flailing fangirl mode in my sophomore year of college and I never looked back. AND THEY’RE COMING TO TV AND I CAN’T CONTROL MY FEELS.
  5. Han and Leia – Star Wars. My OTP before I knew what an OTP was. I can’t talk about them a lot right now because I get emotional for obvious reasons.
  6. Memphis and Theta – The Diviners by Libba Bray. I didn’t realize how much I love these two until I was pulling this list together and I kept putting them higher and higher and suddenly they were in the top five. The aspiring Harlem poet and the showgirl from the Ziegfeld Follies. It’s all very 1920s and so very, very sweet. Given some plot-related potential hazards (their races, the crazy supernatural goings-on, possibly crazy exes, an author I no longer trust with the lives of fictional characters), I am SUPER CONCERNED for their wellbeing and just want them to be happy and, preferably, together.
  7. Jamie and Claire – Outlander. This is my sexy couple. I mean, not that the rest of them aren’t, but have you seen that show or read those books? HECK YES. But these two also put me through an emotional wringer (see also end of the second book/season and my emotional breakdown in front of my entire family). I kind of idolize Claire and wish I could be more like her – a What Would Clare Beauchamp Randall Fraser Do? kind of thing. And then there’s Jamie….
  8. Cress and Thorne – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Don’t get me wrong, I adore all the couples from the Lunar Chronicles but these two are something special. Cress and Thorne are my favorite characters individually, so naturally they’re my favorite couple. I identify a lot with Cress – she’s kind of the ultimate hacker fangirl – and I loved watching the oh-so-confident Captain Carswell Thorne get thrown for a loop by her. I would honestly read an entire series about these two and never get bored. 
  9. Ron and Hermione – Harry Potter by J.K Rowling. My first real fandom and my first real ship. I mean it. I wrote awful fan fiction and got verbally attacked on fan message boards and everything. This is another couple where I identify with one half of the couple – Hermione – and low-key want to marry the other half.
  10. Emma Swan and Killian Jones (aka “Captain Swan”) – Once Upon A Time. I like to say these two ruined my life in the best way possible and honestly it’s true. I have never been this invested in a fictional relationship and I don’t know that I ever will be again. These two have come so far – I mean she held him at knifepoint and tied him to a tree within five minutes of meetings him the first time, some that has kind of defined what it means to be a “me couple” –  and I honestly thought they were my first ever non-canon ship (I was convinced she was going to end up with her child’s father), but they’ve been to LITERAL HELL and back, they moved in together and they’re Confirmed True Love and King Of The Gods Approved. You don’t get much better than that.

As an honorable mention, I would like to give a shout out to all of the couple on Grey’s Anatomy over the years, none of whom I speak of without crying and none of whom are still together because Shonda is cruel mistress.

That’s it for me this time. What are some of your favorite fictional couples?

What I’m Reading – 2/13/17

Hello, everybody. It’s time for the weekly update of all things reading. Let’s get started

What I’ve Read
So… I was bad last week and didn’t finish anything. Again. I’m reading a ton of books and haven’t finished any of them yet and driving myself crazy about it. And TBRTakedown crashed and burned (like all of my attempts at readathons do).

What I’m Reading Now
Right now, I am still reading City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson – technically. I haven’t picked it up in like two weeks but I’m still reading it. Just not actively. Mostly I got distracted by Revolution by Jennifer Donnally – that I am ACTIVELY reading. I’m realllly enjoying it and I’m going to get back to reading it as soon as this post is finished. Actually, I am absolutely loving it. I’m also reading The Hating Game by Sally Thorne which is light and cute and really fun.

What I’m Reading Next
Next up, could be one of a gazillion books, but I am leaning towards either Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (which I finally broke down and got from the library) or Truthwitch followed immediately by Windwitch by Susan Dennard. I’m also thinking of sitting down one night this week and thoroughly immersing myself in Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer because if I don’t read that soon I’m going to go crazy. BUT The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro is coming out on Tuesday and I might just drop everything and read that because I need more of my hipster BF Jamie Watson in my life. So basically, I don’t know what I’m doing.

New Books
I’m trying to make a conscious effort to not buy as many books – mostly because I’m running out of space and don’t really want to get rid of any of the books I already have, so I’m going to the library more often, which is both a plus and a minus. Plus because books all over the place and it’s (kind of) free!, minus because I will never read all the books I check out in two/three weeks. But I do have a few new books and they are:
Carve the Mark
The Hating Game
A Court of Fives by Kate Elliot

Also, can we talk about how GOODREADS IS FINALLY COUNTING REREADS TOWARD YOUR CHALLENGES NOW because that literally MADE my life last week.  I was so excited I started texting friends and family members, none of whom quite shared my excitement (but that’s to be expected). I am feeling so much less guilty about rereading books now because, guess what? THEY COUNT! So when I reread Windwitch in a hot second here and probably Passenger in the not so distant future and marathon the heck out of The Diviners series later this year before the third book is released – the third book that finally got a release date and mini-synopsis and I found it this week and had a minor fangirl freakout in the break room at work – alllll of those books will count. Basically, good job Goodreads for finally including an extremely common part of reading life on your site and in your reading challenge. Now if we could only get half stars…..

That’s it for me this time! What about you? What have you been reading lately?

See you next time!

 

Review: Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Title: Caraval (Caraval #1)

Author: Stephanie Garber (twitter) (site)

Publisher//Release Date: Flatiron Books// January 31st, 2017

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Source: Purchased (will also be purchasing for everyone I ever met also)

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes and Noble

Synopsis: Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Rating: 5/ 5

Before I go any further, I highly recommend listening to a recording of the song Magic To Do from the musical Pippin while reading because it REALLLLLY captures this book and I’ve had it running through my head for like three days.

Anyway.

I LOVE NOT BEING DISAPPOINTED BY BOOKS I’M HIGHLY ANTICIPATING.

I’ve been looking forward to this book since it came across my radar on Goodreads in 2015 when it was noting more than title, a short synopsis, and an estimated release date that changed every once in a while. But it caught my attention and when it cropped back up from time to time with more info, it just made me more and more excited until this became one of my most anticipated books of 2017.

And OH MYLANTA this didn’t disappoint in the slightest. It took all the willpower I had not to restart the book as soon as I finished and I’m still fighting that urge as we speak and counting down the days until the sequel comes out – yep that’s a thing that I NEED NOW.

Let’s break it down:

What I Liked:

  • The Plot. You think you know where this book is going. But there is twist after twist after twist. There a ton of threads and watching them come together is such a fun ride and kept me going  and going and going. My only complaint is there is one particular plotline that not resolved – purposely – but I knew it was relevant and it never being addressed was ticking me off.
  • The Setting. I. LOVE. THIS. WORLD. I’m really interested in Caraval – it’s so mysterious and magical, but with a definite creepiness lurking underneath, that wasn’t apparent right away. This is actually what I’m most looking forward to in the sequel – getting to see more of Caraval. I really want to know more about the magic and how it works and what.
  • The Characters. The characters are vivid – I have a really good grasp on even minor characters that only appear in a scene or two. Scarlett is a great heroine – she’s smart and complex but still has a bit of innocence that added a great deal to her character as a whole. I really enjoyed her journey through this novel – she goes through a great deal of growth. Tella was a difficult character for me; I liked her as a character but I don’t know if I liked her – but I liked the fact that’s a thing? (But I might just be a weirdo). And Julian. What can I say about Julian. Instant Fictional Boyfriend.  But there’s a so many supporting characters that were just so interesting. Aiko, Jovan, Dante (ugh, Dante, yes – I liked me some Dante). So many characters and all so interesting. And then there’s Legend, who’s in a class all his own. He’s absolutely facsinating and I didn’t get near enough info about him for my taste and I need this sequel ASAP.
  • The Romance. OHHHHHHHHHHHHH my god I loved it. It’s got bit of a Will-They-Or-Won’t-They and a bit of Unlikely Allies, a heaping ton of chemistry and just the right amount of steamy and we have a couple that I really freaking enjoyed.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The Resolution of the Romantic Storyline. There’s a great deal of question throughout the book about who you can and cannot trust, and that true for the major love interest. After everything that happens between the couple in question, I thought everything was resolved a little too quickly. This might just be a me thing, it didn’t prevent me from enjoying the book or the romance, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s relatively minor, but it irked me enough that I felt I needed to mention it.

Also, I feel the need to mention that seeing the author of a new favorite book thank the reps of the company that owns the film rights in the acknowledgements at the end of the book has got to be one of the best feelings in the world.

That’s it for me this time. Have you read Caraval? What did you think of it?

See you next time!