Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

Waiting on Wednesday is a daily meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  It highlights what newly released books us bloggers are most excited to read.
Title: The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions)
Author: Amy Spalding
Synopsis (via Goodreads): A ridiculously cute, formerly famous, new guy dropping into your life? It’s practically every girl’s dream. But not Jules McCallister-Morgan’s. I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn’t get to be the editor of my school’s long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year — early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college — and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to “live a little,” or boys. At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**. And before Alex Powell betrayed me***. I know what you’re thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don’t understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I’m not going down without a fight. * Okay, I sort of did. But it’s a sore subject. ** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous. *** Some people think I’m overreacting. But this. Means. War. Filled with tons of romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that’s sure to have you falling for The New Guy.
My Thoughts: I'm long overdue for some sappy high school romance story.  Plus, this one sounds unique!

What are you waiting on this week?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Book Review: Countdown

Title: Countdown
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 2

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 3 seconds left to live. Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped. 2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game. Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis. 1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it. Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove evermore deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape. GAME OVER.

Review: *I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*  

Weird.  It's like I read this book before except it was called The Hunger Games and was written by Suzanne Collins... I'm bummed.  This synopsis and cover duo made this book sound extremely bombass.  It was far from bombass.  It was too predictable, the action was slow, the characters were annoying, but there was SO MUCH POTENTIAL.

I felt disconnected from the writing at the get-go.  There was a lack of sentence variation and the descriptions were written at a middle school level.  I got real bored real fast.  You think Kira is a kickass heroine?  Wrong.  She gets injured (at least) every chapter.  You think Rogan is the mysterious bad boy?  Wrong.  He's the - just kidding I would spoil the one plot twist in the entire book.  You think the game is deadly?  Yeah, it's basically The Hunger Games.  Didn't I say that already?

Okay, so it's not 100% Hunger Games... it's more like 93.76% Hunger Games.  I mean, you have the female protagonist living in poverty.  Then there's the game with a high chance of death.  Then there's the dedicated audience who craves the fighting, blood, and gore.  Then there's the gamemaker who's the main antagonist and everyone, including the reader, wants to kill.   Get the picture?

Even with all the similarities, I only gave Countdown a 2 because of the brain implant idea.  Upon being kidnapped for the game, both Kira and Rogan underwent surgery to have a computer chip surgically implanted in their brains.  This was a location device, torture device, and radar to prevent them from leaving each other's side, all at once.  The thought of having a computer chip surgically inserted in heads sends shivers down my spine.  THIS COULD BE HAPPENING IN THE NEAR FUTURE PEOPLE.  I would like to keep my brain the way it is thank you very much.  Surgeries for a wired brain seems to go against the odds of evolution and God's will and basically a billion other cultural beliefs, so I'm going to avoid it if at all possible.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Why Wonder Woman Will Forever Be My #WCW

I will admit it... I live in a Marvel family.  Captain America, Iron Man, the whole Avengers shebang; however, over spring break I wanted to do something with the broski and we both love trips to the movie theater to check out the latest blockbuster.  So, on the premiere day of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we planned to attend a matinee show.  We weren't expecting much - like I said, we're a Marvel family - but it's impossible to pass up the opportunity to see Ben Affleck as Batman!  Hello.

Anywho, some D.C. fans will be happy to hear that we were pleasantly surprised with the film in the end.  The acting was fantastic all around the board (Jesse Eisenberg gave me chills!), the stunts were thrilling, and the action was nonstop.  The final question is: Team Batman or Team Superman?  I'm Team Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, had a minor role in the film but she easily stole the show.  Her character played a part of hinting at future D.C. films including Aquaman, the Flash, as well as her own standalone movie, after discovering secret files of the hidden superheroes on Lex Luthor's hard drive.  Her character is also a symbol, representing strong, independent women around the world.

If you think about it, Wonder Woman can be seen everywhere.  Her resilient spirit lives in mothers, aunts, older sisters...  The list of possibilities is endless.  She is the perfect ambassador for feminism, but not in an overpowering way despite the fact she's a superhero.

I say this for several reasons:

1. During the final fight scene in Dawn of Justice, she joins forces with Batman and Superman to defeat Lex Luthor's monstrous creation designed to destroy anything and everything in its path.  Wonder Woman utilizes her leadership skills in this scene; not by taking charge of the situation, but by working together with Batman and Superman for the common good.  This is the perfect example of how anyone can be a leader by doing the right thing and working together with a group of unique individuals.
2. In case you weren't aware, Wonder Woman is fearless and somewhat open-minded.  She's purposely in hiding, claiming: "I walked away from man a century ago, because of the horrors of man."  Yet, she abruptly leaves the plane she's boarded on set for an unknown destination just to help Batman and Superman.  That's some faith, trust, and pixie dust right there for ya. 
3. It's only natural for a superhero to be smart.  This is no exception for Wonder Woman.  She knows about Batman and Superman before they know about her; she sneakily follows Bruce around Lex Luthor's place to see what he's up to without him finding out she's doing so until he discovers his flash drive missing; she attempts to hack Luthor's impenetrable drive on her own... Do you get the picture?  Her intelligence comes to no shock as she could easily be the most experienced superhero with her age being 100+ years (although I'm unsure of the ages of the other superheroes, so don't quote me on this).  She's had the opportunity to observe the human race grow and develop, so it's only natural her perception of the world grew and developed with them.
I wish I could've joined Team Wonder Woman earlier, and by earlier, I mean during childhood.  In today's society, more girls need role models like Wonder Woman and less role models like Taylor Swift.  This is why Wonder Woman will forever by my #WCW. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

Waiting on Wednesday is a daily meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  It highlights what newly released books us bloggers are most excited to read. 
Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks). But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing - if everything's planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?
My Thoughts: First of all, this cover is A-DOR-A-BLE.  I wish I was the model at this photo shoot - it would've been so much fun!  (Do they even have photo shoots for book covers?  I honestly have no idea).  The plot itself sounds a little cliche, but cute nonetheless.  Would love to read an ARC before it's released in stores, but would be content to snatch a copy for a summer read.

What are you waiting on this week?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Book Review: Red

Title: Red
Author: Alison Cherry
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: 1

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair. Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note: I know your secret. Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say "strawberry blond." Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school. Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

Review: I think the first thought that I had when I was a few pages in was, what the hell am I reading and why am I reading it?  Would you like to know why?  Go ahead, read the synopsis again, I'll wait here.

This entire book was the struggle of a fake redhead being blackmailed by a brunette.  God forbid her social status would be ruined if her peers at Scarletville High found out that she dyed her hair - her life would practically be over.  And don't even think about having a shot at winning the school beauty pageant, Miss Scarlet.  If her secret came out, she wouldn't even have a chance.  

Perhaps this book was meant to be a satire criticizing society's prejudice views on the difference of others, in this case, hair color, but I couldn't take this book seriously.  The main character, Felicity, was the most annoying character I've ever met.  She was a flat, whiny, ungrateful teenager who I wanted to smack across the face every time she talked (basically the whole book).  Her boyfriend, Brent, was the stereotypical dumb jock.  Her mother, Ginger, was one of those moms you'd find on Toddlers & Tiaras/Dance Moms.  The only character I kind of liked was Felicity's best friend, Ivy.  Her sass was on point and made me laugh when I wanted to quit reading.

It was so hard for me to find the motivation to finish reading Red.  I couldn't get into it.  Out of the entire story, one scene stood out to me - Jonathan and Felicity's date at Fry Me to the Moon.  Who would've thought of a diner that served only fries and milkshakes?!  THAT'S GENIUS.  Jonathan's gentlemanly (is that even a word?) behavior made my heart flutter and... I think that was the only emotion I felt. 

I really don't remember what attracted me to this book in the first place.  If it hadn't been for the super cute cover, and my hardcore determination, I would've never read this even if it was the last book on Earth.  Okay, that was a bit melodramatic, but you get the point. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Review: The Martian

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Publisher: Crown
Rating: DNF

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth. As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet. Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale.

Review: To all you Sci-Fi fans out there - I'm deeply sorry.  I didn't finish reading this book.  In fact, I stopped reading on page 146... 
1.  I don't read science fiction to begin with.  I was assigned this book for Battle of the Books, otherwise I never would've picked it up in the first place. 
2.  I hate diary style writing.  Totally understand that astronauts have to record everything they do in space in journals, but I got tired of hearing about Mark's poo potato garden.
3.  I like Star Wars, but that doesn't make me a sci-fi nerd.  It just makes me a nerd.  And that's not a bad thing.

I couldn't get into this book for the life of me.  I looked up a handful of reviews one day and those readers loved it, which made me question if something was wrong with me.  Also, this book was made into A MOVIE. 
I've heard the movie (for once) is better than the book, but I don't know if I'll be checking it out anytime soon.  I need to keep myself as far away from Mark Watney as possible. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Waiting on Wednesday is a daily meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  It highlights what newly released books us bloggers are most excited to read. 
Title: Girl Against the Universe
Author: Paula Stokes
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Maguire is bad luck. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch. It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought. From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.
My Thoughts: This book just looks super cute.  I love how the girl on the cover isn't an actual model, but a drawing!  It took me a second to figure that one out... I'm hoping to get my hands on an eARC soon!

What are you waiting on this week?