Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Hunted by the empire and their past, Laia and Elias must escape their enemies and confront their problems head on. The second book in the Embers in the Ashes series.    

A Torch Against the Night is the second book in the An Ember in the Ashes series. This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016, and I'm actually pretty let-down.

I'm going to keep this review shorter and spoiler free since I know so many people are looking forward to this. *unpopular opinion time*

A Torch Against the Night follows the same people as it did in book one, and adds some other POVS into the mix this time around. However, no matter whose POV, I felt so disconnected from them. I know Elias and Laia are the main characters, but I don't care for either of them anymore. I really enjoyed both of their characters in Ember, but in this novel I felt like I no longer knew them. Elias character wasn't as much of a bother to me as Laia was. I remember loving their characters so much in the first, and I don't know what happened between now and then, but in my opinion it felt like I was reading about entirely new people. Another character I was looking forward to really getting into this novel was Helene... again another disappointment. I think I was thinking we were going to get this super strong female, who might end up outshining Laia, but again she just didn't shine like I expected. I was probably the most excited to get back to the "romance" that was present in the first... but yall, if you're excited about it you will probably end up like me, disappointed. It was ALL over the place. I don't know what this book is trying to set up, or not set up... the relationship aspect really might be what brought my rating down. Just a hot mess.

When it comes to the plot I was beyond bored! Nothing happened... At least not anything you couldn't figure out. The twist, turns, and surprises were all lacking something. I was able to predict everything before it happened. Also had a very hard time wanting to get to the end of this. I was dragging my feet, and forcing myself to make it to the end. I was hoping something, anything, would change my mind. I can't emphasize how exhausting this was for me to read. I felt 400 pages was WAY too many!

A Torch Against the Night definitely suffers from second book syndrome. I also fear that this will end up being a book that people rate purely off of hype. I think we're going to be a lot more 5 stars than I personal think it is. There's no doubt that Sabaa is an amazing story teller, I just don't think this is a series for me, and don't plan on continuing it.

2.5-3/10 Stars

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Angela's Summer Favorites

Summer has arrived in the south! With the heat comes my summer favorites! I do this little segment every three months, and I love doing it because I get to talk about more than just books. I get to talk books, movies, music, tv shows, and events. I'm even more excited than usual because I have so much to talk about this season. (This will cover months April to June)

Top Summer Reads:
These are my favorite summer reads. These books are the ones that I gave the highest ratings to on goodreads and on our site. These are only fresh new books and no re-reads.

Dragon Fly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon- The second book in the Outlander series. This book continues following Claire and Jamie Fraser while they try and figure out how to stop a war from happening. This novel is heartbreaking and beautiful. If you're a fan of the show or book one, you'll love this even more.
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demtrios- Skylar and Josh both just want to leave their small town. Josh to return to the military and Skylar to leave for art school. When a series of events leads them both to working at the same hotel again the two will find out that they have more in common than they ever thought. If you're looking for an outstanding contemporary read look no further.
Too Late by Colleen Hoover- Sloan has always done what she needs to survive. Her life get even more complicated when she is stuck between her boyfriend and the new guy. This is a free book Coho has posted on Wattpad. It's also way different and darker than anything she's ever done.
Mudvein by Tarryn Fisher- Senna has woken up locked in a cabin. Nothing but snow for miles, an electric fence, her ex-boyfriend, and clues left for her. This book was a complete and utter mind-f*ck. If you're a fan of Gillian Flynn this should be right up your alley.
The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski- The final book in The Winners curse trilogy. Arin and Kestrel are put to the ultimate test. This politically driven drama comes to a dramatic and beautiful conclusion.
The Last Star by Rick Yancey- The final book in the 5th Wave trilogy. The others have landed and taken away everything. The only mistake they made was not killing Cassie when they had the chance. One of my favorite series with one of my favorite endings.
History Is All You Left Me (ARC) by Adam Silvera- Griffin just lost his best friend and ex-boyfriend. Feeling as if no one understands what he's going through he forms an unlikely friendship with his ex's current boyfriend. This book might not come out till 2017, but you should be adding it to your tbr now. 
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas- The second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Feyre is suffering after what happened under the mountain, and being trapped in the house isn't helping. Everyone keeps calling this book a game changer, and everyone is right! This book was AMAZING!!! That last paragraph has me dying for the next book.
It Ends with Us (ARC) by Colleen Hoover- Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her. Now embarking on a new career path the last thing Lily expected was to fall in love. With Lily and Ryle's relationship heating up, one from her past is brought back up. This book... Holy Jesus, this book broke me. It's everything I love in a Coho book and then some. Just knowing everything that made this book will have you seeing life in a new way. This is without a doubt a 2016 must read.

Top Summer Movies:
Room- A young woman is kept locked in a room for years. While there she gives birth to a boy. I didn't get to see this movie while it was in theaters, but so thankful I got to after. This movie was so moving and was well deserving of the awards its received.
Everybody Wants Some- EBWS follows a group of college baseball players. This 80s style film was hilarious and took me completely by surprise.
Begin Again- This is another movie I wanted to see while it was in theaters but never got around to. This movie follows a song writer who was following her boyfriend after getting signed to a record label. When the two break up the girl is left putting her life back together. This movie was so cute, and an excellent pick for a date night or a girl's night in.
Me Before You- You've probably seen this movie popping up everywhere. Quirky girl and quadriplegic man fall in love. Based on a best seller; the movie definitely lived up! Tears everywhere!!!
Neighbors 2- Another movie I thought would just be okay, and ended up loving it. It's as ridiculous as you think it would be, but heck there's a lot of shirtless Zac Efron and that never hurts.
San Andreas- Again, ridiculous, but God was this fun to watch. Tons of earthquakes, The Rock rescuing people, the girl from Percy Jackson being BA, and so much destruction all with a touch of romance.
Now You See Me 2- This second film might not have been as good as the first, but it was still a good time see. I have a secret love for magic movies, and a not so secret love for anything involving heist so this was the perfect flick for me. Also Dave Franco.

Top Summer TV Shows:
The Following Season 1-2- Just now getting on this TV train... however this show does start to slow down after the first two seasons. It follows a killer, his cult, and Kevin Bacon trying to stop them!
Jamz Season 1- This quirky short Netflix original follows late night radio host. This show was a lot funnier than I thought it was going to be, and I hope it has a much longer second season.
Sense 8- Okay, I might have cheated on this one. This is a re-watch for me, but I couldn't not include it! This show intertwines several people's lives in several different counties in a way I've never seen done before. Waiting on pins and needles for season two! No seriously, where is season 2?!
Game of Thrones season 6- We all know what GOT is about... Families all battle to take hold of the iron throne. This season might have started out slow, but boy has it built to be something huge! If you haven't started this show get on it NOW, before season 7 starts!

Favorite Summer Songs:
Calvin Harris Ft. Rhianna This Is What You Came For- Never thought a "club jam" would make my list... but there's a first time for everything. This song is just so ding-dang catchy.
Beyoncé Formations- How can you not like this song!? How can you not like this whole album?!
This song makes me think girl power and I can't get enough.
Begin Again soundtrack- I didn't just love this movie I also loved its soundtrack. I had no idea Kiera Knightly could sing! My favorite songs on this soundtrack are Coming Up Roses and Adam Levine's version of Lost Stars.
Me Before You soundtrack- This is for sure going to be what I'm playing the rest of the summer. This soundtrack is as tear-jerking as the film.
The National Terrible Love- This is a hauntingly beautiful song. Perfect to listen to in rainy weather.
Lucy Parton Middle of the Bed- This song is perfect along with it's music video. It's one of those songs you can play on repeat and never get sick of. It's probably what I would categorize as a "break-up song".

Top Summer Event:
Bea and Bookcon. We spent a week in Chicago this May... and it was amazing!!! We got to meet a ton of authors, get so many things signed, and got tons of ARCs! If you're looking for an event that really has everything bookish these events are for you! It's also the way that a lot of bloggers get so many ARCs. These events are worth traveling for. If you're thinking about going to the next one I would say save up and go all out! Buy the VIP passes, because they are really worth it.

This is all I have for Summer! Can't wait to do my fall picks! Do want to say with this post that my posting is going to go from two days, to probably just one a week. I'm starting a new job and with it will come working more hours, and unlike my previous one I wont be able to read through out the day. However, I'm really excited to be starting a new life chapter and can't wait to update yall on it!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Under Hyped Books Part 1

Think the title really says it all... these are books I loved and wish got the hype I think they deserve. These are books that I know have been talked about, but I don't think nearly enough.

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

After Matt and Grace go their separate ways they haven't seen or spoken to each other in over 15
years, until one day Matt sees Grace on a passing train. Wanting to know what happened to his college love he decides to put out a miss connection ad out. The two became fast friends when they moved into the same dorm at NYU. After an amazing and fun friendship the two take it to the next step. Things seem to be going great, until one day things change.

This book was one of the best contemporary books I've ever read. If you're looking for a sweet romance, a tear-jerker, and a book to pull on your heartstrings this might just be for you. Matt is also one of the best Male protagonist I've had the pleasure of reading. Everything from the tagline to the cover are perfect for this book.

The Devil's Intern by Donna Hosie

Mitchell Johnson was hit by a bus at age seventeen and ended up in Hell. While there he manages to snag a job as the Devil's intern. While working in his office he hears a rumor that there might be a way to get out of Hell. He teams up with his oddball group of friends in order to find a way to undo their deaths and keep from ever ending up in the underworld.

I never picked up this book thinking I was going to like it, I had simply saw a funny review about it, and figured ehhhh why not. So glad I went through with buying this. This book had me in stitches! Mitchell had this dry humor that killed me (no pun intended). Not only did this book have my sides hurting it also did something I didn't expect... it made me cry. This book managed to do all those things, while perfectly intertwining time travel. Yeah, you read that right, time travel. This is a book that took me by surprise and I (clearly) highly recommend it.

Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover

When Warren gets the chance to have a female roommate he think this could be interesting... or maybe not so much. Bridgette is cold, snarky, and has a temper to match. The two end up at each others throats and pulling pranks on one another all the time, but also in each others beds just as often.

You're probably confused as to why there is a Colleen Hoover book on this list... Well let me explain, it's because everyone talks about CoHo books and their amazingness, but I feel like I never hear people talk about Maybe Not. This is the Coho book that I've read the most. I've probably read this book ten times! This book is 100% pure sexy fun times. This is one of the funniest books I've ever read, and it's like comfort food to me. Warren is another male protagonist I can't get enough of. I would. I would give anything to have a full length Warren-Bridgette book.

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

Senna Richardson wakes up on her thirty-third birthday caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, and trapped with her ex-boyfriend trying to decode clues as to while they are there.  Senna will have to replay her life and dig deep into her past to figure out why she has been left.

This book is a total WTF! It completely messed with my mind. I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish. This book was so unique, so bizarre, so out there that I really struggle to truly express how it made me feel. On top of all that I think this book might just be one of the most quotable things I've ever read. Mud Vein is so poetic and left me speechless. Senna is one of the most interesting and complex female leads. This book wont be for everyone, but that just makes it so much better.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

"When you spend so long trapped in darkness, you find that the darkness begins to stare back."

Yall... this book... this book and its hype... this book and its hype and all it's spoilers; had me worried. On top of all that I feared that this book, all 600 plus pages, would suffer a massive case of second book syndrome. I'm so freaking happy to finally say that this book was AMAZING!

As I do with most my on-going series reviews I'm going to keep this review spoiler free. Since this book was broken up in several sections I'm going to basically break my review down by that.

A Court of Mist and Fury is the second book in the A Court of Throns and Roses series. This book starts off right where ACOTAR ended. Feyre, however, isn't recovering well from what happened to her under the mountain. It doesn't help that Tamlin basically avoids talking about it at all cost and he insist that she never leaves the estate. Being trapped in the house just wedding planning, with no friends, no family, and waiting for the moment when Rhys comes to claim her for their deal. Feyre is a broken girl the first part of this book. Not knowing where she stands or where she wants to be. So many things happen in the first half of this book, all leading up to Rhys finally coming to get her. That's all I'm really going to say about the first section of this book.

The next part of this book we finally get a lot of the answers we've been dying for! Answers about Rhys and why he is the way he is, we finally get to see the Night Court, we get to find out so much history on all the other courts, and oh so much more. We are also introduced to so many new side characters... Which easily became some of my all time favorites. Mor, Amren, Cassian, and Azriel brought everything to this story! I loved that Rhys decides to surround himself with the best of the best, say F the people who don't see females as badass, and puts two fierce girls as part of his inner circle. Cassian and Azriel, be still my beating heart. I loved these two. What interesting characters. Each with such a unique back story. This part of the book was all about build up and setting the stage for the ending. This is why it took me awhile to get through this book... but trust me get through it, its so wroth it.

The last part of this book... God give me strength! I don't know how I'm even going to get through the rest of this review. This section of the book was everything I ever wanted! There is action, suspense, romance, history, and twist. Everything that was building up from the first parts were perfect set up for this to be a big bang. There were also so many things that I thought were minor details in the first book that turned out to be huge reveals in this one. I was also so worried that the "love triangle" aspect still hanging in the air that it would end up ruining things for me. I can't not address it, and I swear it's not a spoiler, but all the romance in this is PERFECT. It's also why this book is so much bigger than the first, because it's so full of sexy fun times. This book is hot, HOT! I really don't get how this book is still categorized as Ya, I think this jumped right into NA. Seriously, so yummy! I have for sure gotten on the same ship as everyone else.

The ending. So much happens. It was so amazing. Shit hits the fan! I did not see it coming. I knew one thing that was going to happen, because you can't not see it, but the rest of it had me on the edge of my seat. I kept screaming "WTF" The whole time. Like really, what just happened?!?! Those last two chapters though. Those last two chapters were.... Lord! Oh and that last paragraph! That last sentence!!!! Lets just say it was the most epic!!!

I wish my review was a little more detailed, and sorry if it's all over the place, but that's how this book made me feel. A messy, disorganized, and a hot mess. I can't wait till book three.

10/10 Stars

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Movie Was Better

It's been said many of times that the book is always better than the movie... Well if you've seen enough book to film then you know that sentence isn't always true. Yes, were firm believers in the fact that you should read the book first, but not that it's always as good. The week were giving you a list of several movies that we think surpassed their books.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
When Greg Gaines, a loner high school senior, is forced to hang out with a fellow student because she has cancer they form an unlikely bond.

There's no doubting that the movie was better. The characters were structured better, the scenery was more real, and the change of the ending was perfection. The book didn't bring us to tears, but the movie did.

Paper Towns
Living next to Margo Roth Spiegelman was always Q's miracle. When she decides to run away leaving clues behind, Q just knows he has to find her.

Think the reason this makes our list is for similar reasons MEATDG did, an excellent ending change and casting.

"Ma" was kidnapped seven years ago and put into Room. To Jack Room is home and all he knows. Ma knows this life isn't enough and that they need to get out.

In the book, Jack, the young boy who has always lived in Room is constantly repeating himself. In the movie this wasn't an issue and made watching the movie more enjoyable. Actually visually seeing everything gave me something more than the book could.

How I Live Now
Daisy was sent to England to stay with some of her relatives, while there she falls in love with her cousin, the country, and life. However, when the impending war finally starts and her family is separated they must find a way back to one another.

The movie portrayed the relationship between Daisy and Eddie way better than the book did. Visually the movie is stunning, heartbreaking, and will take you emotionally somewhere the book just couldn't.

If I Stay
When Mia's and her family are in a car accident and she is thrown into a comma, Mia has to decide if she wants to stay in a world where he family is not.

Ok... this one is kind of up in the air. I wouldn't say that the movie was better, it just for sure stands up against the book. The soundtrack, casting, and feels were on point. Also we don't know where they found Adam Blakely, but he is the perfect pick for Adam.

The Longest Ride
The lives of a young couple intertwine with an older man, as he reflects back on his past love.

The book was very classic Nick Sparks. It's exactly what you expected it to be, and when we saw the movie we also expected to have that same feeling. When we left the theater though we left with the sweetest feeling. The movie was just downright adorable. A bull-rider and an art student fall in love, what's not to like. And that ending!

The Martian
Mark Watney is left on Mars when his team thinks he died during a storm. Now he must survive on a planet where there is no water and no food long enough for his team to come back and get him.

The book was phenomenal, but the movie just passed it. Matt Damon perfectly brought Mark Watney and his dry humor to life.

The Duff
Bianca find out she's considered the "Duff" out of the group of her friends-the designated ugly fat friend. This isn't okay with her, so she teams up with ex childhood friend, Wes, to change the way people see her.

The Duff book was alright. Nothing extraordinary, just okay. It's safe to say that it wasn't either of our favorites... The movie though, was hilarious. Mae Whitman had us in stitches with her portray of Bianca.