Monday, February 27, 2017

Pocket Book Reviews {February 2016} + Before I Fall Giveaway

My reading game was on point this month! I read eight books and they were all very different and all very amazing (except for two, but they can't all be winners).

I'm writing this before Saturday because I have a lot going on this weekend, but the exciting thing happening on Saturday is that I'm going to an advanced screening of Before I Fall! The film, which comes out March 3rd, is based on the book by Lauren Oliver and stars Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, and Jennifer Beals.

The book and movie have an interesting concept: after a deadly accident, a teenage girl wakes up every day on the same day a la Groundhog Dog in order to correct mistakes and prevent the accident. I haven't read the book yet, but I've heard great things about it, and I always like reading the book a movie is based on to see how different they are. Enter the giveaway below!

Wires & Nerve
(5 hearts)

Written by Marissa Meyer and Douglas Holgate; In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. 

YASSSSSS! So happy to be delving back into The Lunar Chronicles world!This graphic novel is a delight and has all the elements that I loved from the novels: ass-kicking moments, intrigue, humor, emotion, and great moments between the main characters. Despite the art only being in blue, black, and white, it's emotive and lovely and I was never once confused about what was going on. The art really comes alive as you read it!

I love that Iko is at the forefront of this story! It's told from her perspective and we get so much insight about what it's like to be her -- a unique android that can think and feel for itself. Despite her close friends, she still feels lonely and doesn't always fit in and is constantly told that she's a glitch. She funnels these emotions into being a bad ass girl who hunts down monsters wreaking havoc on Earth.

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Can You Keep A Secret?
(3 hearts)

Written by Sophie Kinsella; Meet Emma Corrigan, a woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company's elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her.

This is a really enjoyable book! It's funny enough that I actually laughed out loud a few times, has a lot of entertaining coincidences throughout, and the characters are believable, if a bit annoying at times. It's easy to root for Emma because she's nice and awkward at times, she overthinks things, she's passive-aggressive, and she talks too much when she's nervous, which is how she gets into this whole situation in the first place.

The reason I brought this book down to 3 stars is because it felt like there was too much back and forth of this guy is a jerk, this guy isn't a jerk, this guy is a jerk. By the end, I wasn't sure whether to like him or not, and to be honest I don't. Jack is allowed to be a private person and have trust issues, but mostly he was just annoying. But I am glad Emma got her happy ending and that Jack finally learned to trust someone.

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The Hating Game
(5 hearts)

Written by Sally Thorne; Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down.

Words cannot describe how much I freaking love this book! Asjfudbajfirhrkx is a more accurate way to describe it. This book is downright hilarious, super steamy, and just so much fun to read. The sexual tension between Lucy and Joshua is--wow, is it hot in here?

Lucy is the funniest person -- the way she describes things and looks at the world made me laugh so much. She's charming and weird and a short girl just like I am, which made me really happy. Josh is a real heartthrob -- moody, intense, shy, and will do anything for Lucy. The way they bicker like an old married couple had me cracking up on every page.

I loved every word and I already want to read it again. If you haven't yet, go read it immediately.

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(3 hearts)

Written by Wendy Spinale; London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of a deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their days avoiding the deadly Marauders led by the cutthroat Captain Hook. Until one day when they grab Joanna. Gwen will stop at nothing to get her sister back, but as she sets out, she crosses paths with a daredevil named Pete. 

This was my first Peter Pan retelling and it is such a fascinating and dark take on the story.

So here are the things I liked: it's a dark, post-apocalyptic retelling with a side of steampunk, the virus aspect made things really interesting and I wasn't expecting it, and the plot takes you on an exciting ride.

Things I thought could use improvement: the characters feel like of bland, the dialogue is super melodramatic and cliche, and the pacing was fine but I feel like the story took place in too short of a time (only a day after meeting the Lost Boys and Gwen says she feels like a part of the family. Like, really?).

I did enjoy reading Everland, but those things hindered me from really, really liking it. But I'll probably read the next book in the series to see what happens next with the Lost Boys and crew.

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Lady Cop Makes Trouble (Kopp Sisters #2)
(4 hearts)

Written by Amy Stewart; Constance Kopp is one of the nation’s first deputy sheriffs. She's proven that she can’t be deterred, evaded, or outrun. But when the wiles of a German-speaking con man threaten her position and her hopes for this new life, and endanger the honorable Sheriff Heath, Constance may not be able to make things right. 

Constance Kopp is a bad ass! In the second installment, we get to see Constance as a deputy police officer and it's glorious. She goes after criminals without hesitation and is not afraid to get physical (as in pinning them to the ground to be handcuffed).

But as it's 1915, Constance deals with her fair share of sexism and I wanted to scream for her that women can do anything a man can do, but Constance doesn't let it faze her. Instead, she SHOWS that a woman can do anything a man can do (and sometimes do it better) by finding clues and hunting down criminals. If only all cops were like Constance! I really enjoyed this book and was happy to delve back into Constance's world. 

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The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes Mystery #2)
(4 hearts)

Written by Brittany Cavallaro; Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. Then Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ringand the game is afoot once again.

The pace is a lot slower and the mystery kind of all over the place with this one, so I didn't enjoy it as much as the first, but what saved it for me were the relationships between the characters. The intense friendship between Charlotte and Jamie only got more intense in this book and I ship them so hard. They are two very complicated people, but I'm rooting for their romance all the same. Charlotte needs Jamie in her life, probably even more so than Sherlock needed John.

I'm so glad we finally got introduced to Milo and August. Milo feels very much like Mycroft in that he's involved in foreign affairs and is only concerned about himself. As for August, I'm glad he wasn't your typical Moriarty. I liked him right off the bat and I like the small friendship that developed between him and Jamie.

So the plot: to be honest, I wasn't as invested as I wanted to be. Leander is a cool uncle and I wanted Charlotte, Jamie, and crew to find him (and for them to figure out who poisoned her mom), but it didn't have the same rush and adrenaline as I hoped it would. Where was the excitement? Things picked up towards the end and I got into it, but the mystery mostly confused me. Guess I'm not as smart as Charlotte lol! Even at the end when things were being revealed I was still confused, but the VERY END was a total whoa! And in a good way!

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Denton Little's Deathdate
(5 hearts)

Written by Lance Rubin; Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days—the day of his senior prom. Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

That was, without a doubt, the funniest book I've ever read! I can't remember laughing so much while reading a book! I actually laughed so hard I cried a few times. Denton Little is a hilarious character and he's such a teenage boy that it makes this whole book even funnier. He's smart and kind, but also just wants to have sex before his deathdate. I loved his awesome friendship with weird, loyal Paolo, who has some of the best jokes. It's really the characters that make this book shine because this story could be morbid, but because of Denton, Paolo, Millie, Veronica, Taryn, and Phil it's delightful.

The idea that everyone knows the day they die is interesting and Rubin did a great job of exploring what this would be like. It's a mix of being a relief and scary and strange, and still doesn't make dying any easier.

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Ms. Marvel, Vol. 6
(5 hearts)

Written by G. Willow Wilson; As war intensifies, tragedy strikes too close to home - and Ms. Marvel must choose between her heroes and her family. When friends become foes, Ms. Marvel struggles to put her life and Jersey City back together. Kamala will be forced to grow up fast and find her true place in the world. But will she be an international sensation...or a menace? 

This was absolutely fantastic! I think this was my favorite volume so far! This one was a real emotional punch to the gut and it also really makes you think. The whole predictive justice is an interesting idea -- and something that seems like a good idea at first -- until it's in action and until people are being called criminals before they commit crimes. And the whole thing with Bruno is heartbreaking!

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Enter to win the book Before I Fall and a poster signed by the cast!

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Have a lovely day!
~Sara ♥

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