Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pocket Book Reviews {April 2015}

I read more books this month than I ever have before! *pats self on back* I'm not sure why, but I was on a reading streak. I picked up a few awesome books on my own and got a bunch to review for free, mostly through NetGalley.

Nightbird
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Alice Hoffman, this story follows Twig, a young girl in a small town that is rumored to have a monster. Two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig's family that was meant to last forever, but when a new family moves in next door everything will change. 

This book is beautiful from beginning to end. The story just springs to life on the pages. The writing is illustrative and lovely and it was like I was reading a movie. All of the characters are believable and flawed, and made me feel for them and what they were going through. The story is a bit simplified, and the ending felt a little too packaged and perfect, but then again it is a middle-grade book, so that's understandable. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Material Girls**
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Elaine Dimopoulos, this story is in a future where teenagers control culture, or so they think. Sixteen-year-old Marla Klein is employed at a top fashion label and dictates what the new clothing trends are, but when she's demoted she begins to see that she's just a pawn in a system of corporate control and decides to change it. 

This story is being called Project Runway meets Divergent, which feels pretty accurate. I would add that it kind of feels like what would happen if the people in the Capital (in The Hunger Games) rebelled against society. I initially wasn't sure I would like it, but the characters intrigued me as did the society as a whole. The plot ended up surprising me because it turned out to be smarter and more political than I anticipated. I had to know what would happen next.

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads (Release date: May 5)

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by Marissa Meyer, this book is a prequel to the Lunar Chronicles series. Princess Levana is a girl who grows up with an older sister who terrorizes her and parents who don't care about her or her older sister, so is it any wonder that she would turn into a power hungry, crazy queen? 

The Lunar Chronicles (which is a fantasy fairytale reimagining) is one of my favorites; it just keeps getting better and better. We get to know Queen Levana before she becomes the horrible, cruel queen we all know and hate in Cinder. Queen Levana uses her "glamour" (ability to change her appearance and make people do what she wants) to gain power, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for the young, misguided, delusional young woman she was before becoming Queen. I love how Meyer expanded the story and made us see the world from a new perspective. It makes me eager for the final installment in the series called Winter

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

The Worrier's Guide to Life**
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Gemma Correll, her comics show how when you look at life, you can see how peculiar and wacky it really is. Correll, a self-proclaimed World Champion Worrier and Expert Insomniac, shows you that life can get much, much worse. 

I was in the mood to read something light, quick, and fun, and this hit the spot. Each page has a quirky comic about life, like Reward Stickers for Grown-Ups and A Map to an Introvert's Heart. Gemma Correll's comics cracked me up and when I came across one particularly poignant and funny I had to share it with anyone who was nearby. I think this would be a great gift. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads (Release date: May 26)

The Fade Out Volume 1**
★★★ (3 out of 5)

Written by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, this noir graphic novel is set in Hollywood at the end of the Golden Era (1940s). Charlie, a script writer, wakes up one day after a wild party and realizes that he's in the room with a very famous, very dead actress. One that he didn't kill. The murder is labeled a suicide, a new actress gets her part, Charlie doesn't know who to trust, and nothing is as it seems. 

I'm normally not one for noir, but this story intrigued me. Hollywood, script writers, post-World War II, and the murder of a famous actress. As is the case with most noir, all of the characters' morals are ambiguous, even the main character's; you don't know who to trust and you don't know what horrible news a cigarette-smoking woman will deliver next. It was an interesting story and my biggest complaint is that I wish it was longer.

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

The Cicada Prophecy*
★★★ (3 out of 5)

Written by J.R. McLeay; in the future mankind has found a way to achieve immortality...for a price. In order to live forever, at twelve years old every person undergoes an operation that preserves their body at a pre-adolescent stage. The world is a peaceful utopian full of emotionally and intellectually mature juveniles, but rebels from the Garden of Eden church plan to return the world to its natural order by whatever means necessary. 

This book is interesting, I'll give it that. As someone who is fascinated by genetics and evolution, the pseudo-science kept me intrigued, as did the overarching story of whether this juvenile-run society would remain intact by the end. However, many of the characters felt like caricatures and I couldn't get over how the dialogue felt too clinical and fake. Yes, the characters are meant to be very intellectual, but almost every conversation felt detached and too explanatory. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Vicious
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by V.E. Schwab, ten years ago two brilliant college students, Victor and Eli, decide to do an experiment to become EOs aka people with extraordinary abilities, but do so they have to have a near-death experiment. Turns out they were right and they both get powers, but something goes wrong. Ten years later, Victor has broken out of prison and he's determined to catch up with Eli, who his now his enemy. 

This book is fantastic! It's a dark superhero origin story without the superheroes. You root for Victor, but he's not exactly a hero. In a way, he could be a villain himself, but that's what makes it so great. All of the characters are ambiguous and real. Eli is a true villain that you love to hate and wish you could punch in the face. The story really takes you on an adventurous ride.  

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy**
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by Sam Maggs, this book explores the world of girl geekdom: fanfiction, cosplay, books, podcasts, OTPs, conventions, and more. It's packed with tips for going to conventions, how to get into your fandom of choice, how to deal with hate on the internet, and how to support fellow geeks. 

This book is just a ball of awesome! I loved it! I'd say it's more for people who are just starting to fly their "Geek Girl" flag rather than for full on geek girls since most geeks will know everything in the book already, but it was still a lot of fun to read. I actually got a lot out of the section on going to conventions since I've never been to one myself. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads (Release date: May 12)

In Real Life
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang, In Real Life is about a teen girl, Anda, who joins the massive multiplayer role-playing game called Coarsegold. She's part of an all-girl group inside the game and makes friends from all over the world, but things get complicated when she befriends a poor Chinese kid. Anda learns that actions in-world also out out-of-world consequences. 

I really enjoyed this book and breezed right through it. It's beautifully illustrated and a fun read. I love that Anda learns more about herself and becomes more of a bad ass by playing this game, but I think there are a few topics that could've been touched upon more like bullying and feminism. I also wish it had been longer because it was so wonderful. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

*I received this book for free. All opinions are my own.
**I received this book via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Win Fairest by Marissa Meyer! International giveaway!
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I haven't read The Curse of Anne Boleyn yet, even though I've received it from NetGalley, 
but 3 of you can win a copy of the book ahead of its release date. (Giveaway via Sourcebooks.)

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26 comments:

  1. ElleSees.blogspot.comApril 29, 2015 at 6:35 AM

    material girls sounds right up my alley--i love the original take on a popular concept!

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  2. Material girls sounds so good!

    The Adored Life

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  3. I've only read Cinder so far, though I bought Scarlet recently! Added a few more to my list - I think I might have the same qualms you did with The Cicada Prophecy, but the plot sounds intriguing enough to give it a try!

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  4. I haven't read any of these books but I really want to read The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy and In Real Life! My last read was Lamb by Christopher Moore

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  5. I haven't read any, but I do want to read the Lunar Chronicles and Fangirl's Guide. I'm currently trying to finish The Marauders by Tom Cooper (sadly not HP related) and Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster.

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  6. Whoa, you read a TON of books this month! I have added Material Girls to my Goodreads list. It sounds right up my alley :)

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  7. you've done some serious reading! good job! I have to catch up! hehe

    sounds like some fun reads as well

    xo,
    nancy

    http://www.adoretoadorn.com

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  8. So many good books! I just finished Vicious and LOVED it and I can't wait to check some more of these out now that I have time :)

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  9. Wow I am quite impressed that you are able to get so much reading in! I hardly ever have time for it, even though I love reading so much. Will definitely have to check some of these books out! Thanks for the great reviews!

    Rae | love from berlin

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  10. Most of these books sound exactly like something I should add to my reading list asap :) The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy and In Real Life, especially.

    ~ Laura | www.theliterarychic.com

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  11. My latest read is Veronica Mars: Mr Kiss and Tell. I haven't read any of these books, but I'm really interested in The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy!

    Dara | Hola Darla | @DarlaOct

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  12. In Real Life and The Cicada Prophecy bother sound really interesting!

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  13. Ooooo~ I'm going to have to pick up Vicious!

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  14. It's fantastic! I loved it so much! I'm making my brother read it because I know he'll enjoy it!

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  15. You would really enjoy In Real Life! I think you should check it out! I read it in a half-hour and it was so great!

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  16. I love Veronica Mars, so I really want to read the books! I want to get to them this summer!

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  17. Those two are fantastic! I loved those!

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  18. This was an unusual month for me actually! I generally round three, maybe four books a month, so I guess I was just really into reading these past few weeks!

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  19. I love V.E. Schwab! I need to read her other books now!

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  20. Thanks! I feel very accomplished this month!

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  21. It's a great book! I think you'll enjoy it!

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  22. I absolutely love the Lunar Chronicles! Those books are some of my favorites! You'll love them!

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  23. I read a book by Christopher Moore years ago and have been wanting to read another of his books!

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  24. I love Cinder! Sadly Scarlet isn't quite as good, but the next one Cress makes up for it!

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Hello, beautiful! Thanks for leaving a comment!
Have a lovely day!
~Sara ♥

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