2017: The Year of Classics | Randomness

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Yes, it’s January 6, 2017, and New Years was ages ago, however, I’ve been busy (sorry!) lately and this was the only time I could get around to it.

Can you believe it’s 2017?! I know I can’t. As I reflect back on 2016 I’m left feeling hollow and unfulfilled.  Last year I’d partaken in a bulk of YA novels, in which the majority shared a common critique: they all lacked true substance.

Sure, I read a few that continue to blow my mind to smithereens (The Knife of Never Letting Go series) in either creativity or cohesive plots and writing, but the ratio of this was like 2:8. For every 2 quality books, I read 8 mediocre/bad ones. This doesn’t mean I’m shunning YA as of 2017, but I’m going to focus more on classics.

However, it doesn’t end there. I’ve also decided to be spicy this year and challenge myself to a risqué endeavour (that sounds like an escort service) of *drum roll* no blurbs.

Yes! I’ve dedicated myself to not reading blurbs the entire year – at least until after I’ve completed the novel. I know, this is crazy – I completely agree – but I need to spice-up 2017.  This challenge is like adding freaking cayenne (or Chinese Five Spice, because that shit is powerful) and will add flavor to even the dullest of reading seasons. So, let’s get it started!

 


Currently Reading

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (started 2017)

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2) by Amie Kaufman (started 2016)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (started 2016)

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (started 2016)

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff (started 2016)

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3) by William Ritter (started 2016)

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) by V. E. Schwab (started 2016)

 

TV Tuesday | Sleeping with the Enemy

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‘Ello, this is the TV Tuesday Meme! It’s quite simple, every Tuesday you’ll do these things:

Choose between these three:

  • Book-to-Movie/TV show adaptation  (have you seen it? If no, do you plan to?)
  • Book you think should be a movie/TV show  (Why?)
  • Movie/TV show that prompted you to read a book?

*Optional – put up the trailer

Lastly:

  • Link back to your post in the comments section (so I can stalk your post)

Book-to-Movie/TV show adaptation

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Sleeping with the Enemy was an infamous movie starring Julia Roberts, known for surpassing Nancy Prince’s original novel in greatness. The story follows Laura Burney, a woman who appears to have everything, but has secretly endured the brutality of her husband’s domestic abuse. That is until she fakes her death and flees – with a new name and appearance – to a small town where she’s a stranger to everyone. During this time she finds herself…sorta. This was a favorite of my aunt’s, therefore, I’ve seen it an ungodly amount of times. There’s nothing impactful about the movie despite the strong plot/subject matter, but it’s watchable.


6 Times I was Spoiled for a Series/Book and was Grateful | Random

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The amount of books I’ve been spoiled for is criminal, but with social media it’s almost impossible to not be spoiled by books nowadays, however, all spoilers aren’t bad. There were some books that I was extremely appreciative of the spoiler posse and this post is that list.

*Disclaimer:  I’m sure you’ve all deduced that this review will be full of spoilers, but just to be safe – This post will contain SPOILERS!!


 

Divergent

This was an accidental spoil. I had just come down from the high of Divergent when I began reading Insurgent. Now, where Divergent was fun and exciting, Insurgent was excruciatingly slow and dull.  It took me four months to finish Insurgent and that’s when I happened upon a non-disclosed spoiler review that basically said, Continue reading

Updates | Random

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Hey guys! This is gonna be a super quick, update regarding a my posting.

I did make a promise to post everyday (here), so the question should be,

“Where the hell were you the last three days?”

To that my answer would be I volunteered three days ago, and the experience was strenuous, if not a bit traumatizing. After which, I became terribly ill – well moderately – and was ‘forced’ to stay in bed. Later on (two days ago) my sisters dogs got into a serious fight, in which we were  forced to break up. However, it resulted in her getting bit pretty badly, which led to her getting the bite checked out. Lastly, yesterday…. well I really don’t have an excuse for that one. Hopefully this answers any question you didn’t  might’ve had.

 

 

Popular Themes/Genres of 2016 | Random

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It’s December and the year is coming to a close, so I figured why not do a theme/genre specific post about the popular ones of 2016. This is my personal opinion of course based upon observations I’ve made. So let’s get this going!

Sports Romance

I’ve noticed an influx of Sports themed romance novels in New Adult fiction this year. Football tends to be the most popular of the variety of sports (perhaps since it’s considered one of the manliest sports in the US?), with mma, soccer, basketball, and hockey coming after it. Baseball isn’t nearly as popular (do they exist at all?). Anyway, these sport themed books are normally fun and short with steamy scenes and a cute HEA to finish. Sometimes the storyline is based around the sport, while others are based around the romance and the sport is just a bonus.

Time Travel

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3 Authors I Loved As A Tween | Random

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As a tween my taste in books were parallel. I’d stick to one author/genre for long periods of time and not explore the universe that is books. Nevertheless, I figured a post   concentrated around the tween years would be both nostalgic and fun, so here we go.

Meg Cabot

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Ah, Meg Cabot. When I was 12 her novels gave me life! You’d never get a typical world with Ms. Cabot. Although contemporary, the world she built was always fun and exciting, with a splash of drama. Whether you were the girlfriend of the President’s son, perhaps an unknown princess unprepared to even sit on a porcelain throne, maybe even the reincarnation of an old Arthurian tale – you’d never be bored! I remember the very first book I read by her – All-American Girl – and how much I enjoyed it so I ran out and borrowed the next and anything and everything by her. My favorite series would probably be The Mediator, but 1-800-Where-R-You is up there too.

The books I’ve read:

  1. The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)
  2. Princess in the Spotlight (The Princess Diaries, #2)
  3. All-American Girl (All-American Girl, #1)
  4. Ready or Not (All-American Girl, #2)
  5. Shadowland (The Mediator, #1)
  6. Ninth Key (The Mediator, #2)
  7. Reunion (The Mediator, #3)
  8. Darkest Hour (The Mediator, #4)
  9. Haunted (The Mediator, #5)
  10. Twilight (The Mediator, #6)
  11. Avalon High
  12. The Boy Next Door (Boy, #1)
  13. Teen eIdol 
  14. When Lightning Strikes (1-800-Where-R-You, #1)
  15. Code Name Cassandra (1-800-Where-R-You, #2) 
  16. Safe House (1-800-Where-R-You, #3) 
  17. Sanctuary (1-800-Where-R-You, #4) 
  18. Missing You (1-800-Where-R-You, #5) 

 

Sarah Dessen

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Sarah Dessen was a staple for me. Her novels brought out the romantic (although, I must say, I’m not romantic at all) in me, as well as cultivated my mind for more adult romance. My first book by her was Along for the Ride and I had never read fictional realism before this book, so I really enjoyed it. After that I got really into her novels and just started reading them really fast.

The books I’ve read:

  1. Along for the Ride
  2. The Truth About Forever
  3. Just Listen
  4. This Lullaby
  5. That Summer
  6. Someone Like You
  7. Lock and Key
  8. How to Deal

Susane Colasanti

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Yes, I’ve only read three books by her, but she was a staple during my tween years. Her books introduced me to multi-POVS and I just loved it! During that time she actually hadn’t written that many novels, but when I discovered Ms. Colasanti I was already moving towards Amanda Quick and historical fiction.

The books I’ve read:

  1. When It Happens
  2. Take Me There
  3. Waiting For You

 


That’s it for me. I know Harry Potter was a big deal then (still is) but, unfortunately, I didn’t discover that series until much later on. Do you have any staple authors you read during your tween/teen years?

Trap Jam by Steven Barwin | Review

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Olivia is living a double life — high-school student by day, drummer by night. Olivia doesn’t know when hanging out in clubs and drinking to appear older and enjoy the music scene became a habit, but she finds herself hungover at school and sneaking alcohol at home. Her bandmates Eddie and Lucas think she is older, and Olivia keeps up the pretence even as her real life starts to fall apart.
When Lucas catches Olivia talking to her friend Raymond in the women’s washroom, he beats up Raymond in a jealous rage. With Raymond unconscious and seriously hurt, Lucas tells Olivia that Raymond’s criminal brother is looking for them for payback. They go on the run, sleeping in a borrowed van and stealing to get by. Lucas keeps Olivia drunk and off-balance, telling her he loves her and pressuring her to have sex with him — even when she reveals she’s only sixteen. Still, through an alcoholic haze, Olivia sees that Lucas is delusional and dangerous. When she finally discovers that the story about Raymond’s brother is a lie, she realizes she has to get out of Lucas’s obsessional trap.


*I recieved this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.*

The idea for Trap Jam was inventive enough, but there was too much going on for the human brain to properly process. It seesaws between themes of pursuing your dreams, lying, obsession, alcholism, etc., but nothing is fully developed and is terribly chaotic. The writing is really spacey and unfocused, which also makes for a bad reading experience. There were multiple times I’d be reading and wonderded how the protagonist went from playing the drums to randomly riding a bike. There is some diversity in this, if you’re hardpressed for a POC protagonist then Olivia is your girl. I believe she’s either an Afro-Cuban or Dominican – I really can’t remember – and she’s also a female drummer which is cool. To conclude this review, I’d declare this to be a book new, teen readers. If you’re an experienced reader and mature in age then I’d skip it.

The This Is My Genre Tell Me Yours Book Tag | Random

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Tis’ the season to post every single day, starting – NOW!

This wonderful tag was created by the big bad (you know where I’m going with this) Drew@ TheTattoedBookGeek. Huge thank you to the the orang-utan librarian and icebreaker694 for tagging me; also, don’t forget to check out their answers because they’re great!

The Rules:

  • Credit my bad bad self Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek as the creator of the tag, use the created tag name graphic and link back to my blog.
  • Answer the questions
  • Tag as many people as you want.
    No long list, simple really!

 

What’s your favorite genre?

Movie-books. I know this answer is totally a cheat answer and I should be disqualified, but I don’t necessarily have a favorite genre. Therefore, I decided to be unorthodox and just throw this genre (non-genre) out there because it’s a combination of a vast amount of genres. However, some might not consider it a genre…

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Who’s your favorite author from the genre?

Um, I don’t think this question has a fair answer because of my chosen genre. But for the sake of answering I’m going to choose:

My selection of these two authors is based solely on how wonderfully their storied adapted to the big screen.

 

What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

I enjoy being a vagabond regarding book genres. Movie-books give me that freedom, while also allowing me to compare them to the movies – it’s fun. But I must reiterate, I don’t sojourn with any particular genre, which is even true for this one.

What’s the book that started your love for your favorite genre?

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The first movie-book book I read was Jumper by Steven Gould. I remember loving the movie (yes, I know) and later learning it was based off the novel Jumper. With this information stored away, I went out and bought the book. Read it. And my first observation was, “The fuck am I reading! None of this happened in the movie!” But then I completed it and came to the realization that I enjoyed both the movie and the book equally, although they were immensely different. It was then that I concluded to seek out movies turned into books more often, until it just became a thing.

If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

Therein lies the beauty of the movie-book genre (or non-genre) because there’s not such thing as the right or wrong book! Whatever movies or tv shows you enjoy are most likely adapted from books, so you can take those and explore that on the page. My only suggestion would be to pick a movie you enjoy immensely to read.

 

Why do you read?

Escapism was my original motive, but as I’ve matured, so has my understanding of the reasons. I’ve come to realize my pleasure of reading is purely the enjoyment of imagination and exploration. I cannot go to Mars, but with The Martian I can experience  living there, surviving is an adventure, a discovery, a challenge that mere mortals could never ascend to. That’s why I read, not to escape – although at times that is my motive – but to explore and capture a moment in time that I’d most likely never explore otherwise.

 

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I tag:

Alex

Rachel

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Quarterback Sneak by Bianca Dean | Review

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What happens when a chance encounter thrusts two very different people from very different backgrounds together?

The school is going crazy with Celt Fever, and Alceo Russell is right in the middle of it. He’s on his way to leading his Division I football team to a national title, but something is missing, and to keep his head in the game, he needs to find it.

Shy and timid Galynn Pierce is just trying to survive college. Always in the background and always unnoticed Galynn can’t fathom how her life is about to change.

[Source: Goodreads]


Ahhhhhhhhhh…………

This review will be short for two reasons: a) I read this a long time ago, so I don’t remember much, b) the little I do remember was not pleasant.

Alceo is a college jock, “built like a division 1 player” (that’s literally a quote from the book), but he’s tired of constant partying and the revolving door of girls.

Galynn is plus-sized, and insecure with her weight and looks and college hasn’t been kind to her.

Alceo sees Galynn and is immediately drawn to her *warning bells* and he knows it’s serious because he’s not usually attracted to black girls…………

“Usually, he wasn’t attracted to black girls. He wasn’t adverse to them; he just had never found anyone that had roused his interests. That’s not to say he hadn’t had sex with a black girl before – hell, he’d had sex with everyone he could get his hands on his freshman year. But for some reason, he could feel himself being pulled to Galynn.”

PAUSE

I’ve gotten the comment, “You’re pretty for a black girl,” before, and to me this is even more offensive. Let’s just move on.

Resume

Galynn has secretly harbored feelings for Alceo (totally looks driven) her entire college term, but thinks a guy like him would never like a bumpkin like her.

After helping her home after a completely convenient accident, they head back to his dorm room (where no other girl has ever been of course) where somehow they have sex

Following the encounter, Alceo cannot stop thinking about Galynn, and tries to convince her they should try hanging out. After many failed attempts, Alceo convices her to let him tutor her in her biochemistry class (haha, let’s get real).

They have a lot of dramatic, explicit, contortionist sex.

Deciding to date, they begin with Gaylnn’s ever evolving insecurities, especially since  EVERYONE wants to see them break up because she’s fat… since mixed-weight couples don’t exist at this college

So, a bunch of stupid stuff happens until his ex-girlfriend convinces the heroine that he’s ashamed of her and that he cheated. She whines a lot, then uses this as an excuse to run home to daddy who tells her she shouldn’t have dated an athlete. That is until  he apologizes on national tv (the boyfriend not the dad) and she forgives him.

Later on, at another game, he proposes, she says yes and they live happily ever after.

Fin

2016 DNF Compilation | Reviews

 

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Make a wish…

Lennie always thought her uncles’ “important family legacy” was good old-fashioned bootlegging. Then she takes some of her uncles’ moonshine to Michaela Gordon’s annual house party, and finds out just how wrong she was.

At the party, Lennie has everyone make a wish before drinking the shine—it’s tradition. She toasts to wishes for bat wings, for balls of steel, for the party to go on forever. Lennie even makes a wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was murdered six months ago.

The next morning gives Lennie a whole new understanding of the phrase be careful what you wish for—or in her case, be careful what wishes you grant. Because all those wishes Lennie raised a jar of shine to last night? They came true. Most of them came out bad. And once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…


Down with the Shine is guilty of cover distraction. The simplest definition of this common phenomenon is becoming enthralled with a novel based solely on the beauty of a cover. This happens quite often among book reader’s and although it can be avoided sometimes, it can sneak upon you like a serpent waiting to attack simply because – it’s beautiful.

What the hell am I talking about?

Valid question. I was so amped to read this novel after looking upon this beautiful, magically enhanced cover. To be honest, the blurb was also exciting, therefore, my hopes and expectations were high – wrongly placed.

I didn’t get far, therefore I’m declining to give it a rating, however, I refused to continue. The premise was extremely intriguing, but I smelled the stank of the following:

1. Love Triangle

2. Hot guy too beautiful that heroine just drools

3. Figuring out how to cure the bad mojo, hence, boring fact digging

4. Cliché outsider looking in but beautiful

I’m so sick of books like this – bursting with nonsensical trite passing itself off as an exciting fantasy. This might seem a bit harsh, but my reading time is precious and reused formulaic style themes in YA are becoming dangerously close to the precipice of trashy fiction.

Continue reading