Pingwing's Bookshelf

Canadian book lover and blogger at Fan of Supernatural, cookies, Nintendo, unicorns, nail polish, Diet Coke, and curling up on the couch with a good book.

Reblogged from Parajunkee:


I just signed up for BookLikes yesterday, so I'm still  importing my GR stuff and trying to figure this all out.


I don't plan on leaving GR but I thought this looked like a fun way to share book love and wanted to check it out!

Throne of Glass

The Assassin and the Princess - Sarah J. Maas (4.5 stars)From www.pingwings.caWow I’ve been meaning to read this one for a long time. I kept hearing such good things about it, and with the sequel coming out in August, I figured I’d give it a read.Here is the Goodreads summary:After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.I loved this book! I loved the action, the story, and the characters. I even enjoyed the love triangle – can you believe it? This was one book where the triangle worked for me.The story sucked me in right away, with Celaena being taken from the salt mines of Endovier to meet with Prince Dorian. As the infamous Aderlan Assassin, Caelana has been serving a sentence of hard labour, but is offered the possibility of freedom if she is able to win the King’s contest and become his royal assassin.Celaena is escorted to meet the prince by Chaol, the captain of the guard. I liked him right away, and I loved the snark between Chaol and Celaena! He is responsible for training her for the competition, and I loved seeing the tone of their interactions change over the course of the book. I love Chaol! And then there’s Prince Dorian. He’s a great character too. He wants to be a good son and a good leader, but his relationship with his stern father seems strained. Then there’s his mother, the queen, who is trying to encourage him to marry one of the eligible ladies of the court soon. He is intrigued by Celaena, and their dialogue was really snappy and fun to read.Of the two, I prefer Chaol and hope that’s who Celaena ends up with when all is said and done! But I really enjoyed reading the story with no idea of how things were going to unfold and who she was going to fall for. I could see and understand her interest in and feelings for both men, and what was even more interesting was that Chaol and Prince Dorian are close friends. There was no enmity or hard feelings between the two of them.Celaena herself is fascinating, and although we learn her back story over the course of the book, I definitely believe there’s more to uncover. I have a theory that I’ll keep to myself for now though and see how things play out in the sequel. I love Celaena’s strength and wit, and the way she has managed to survive all of the terrible things that she’s experienced in her young life.The action scenes in this book were great! The training with Chaol, then the preparations for the competition, then the competition itself: it was all so exciting and well-paced! And on top of the action and romance, the murder mystery was so interesting.I really loved this book. It had it all: romance, intrigue, action, adventure, great dialogue, likeable characters, magic, monsters…I had to pre-order the sequel, Crown of Midnight, as soon as I finished this! It’s one of my favourite books I’ve read this year and I cannot wait to find out what happens next!


Reboot - Amy Tintera (3.5 stars)From www.pingwings.caI’ve had my eye on this book for a while because I really liked the premise. Here is the Goodreads summary:Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.The perfect soldier is done taking orders.I really liked this book at the start because of the way we’re introduced to Wren and the Reboots. I loved the action scenes, and the one near the beginning of the book helped set the tone: the world is a mess, full of violence and illness, and Wren is basically a soldier doing a job.When Wren meets Callum, he is so different from her and she can’t understand him. He’s too human but she feels drawn to him and ends up as his trainer. I really liked these scenes because I felt that they gave me more insight into Wren and her past. The relationship that develops between Callum and Wren was sweet. I kind of didn’t like Callum at first, to be honest – I just wanted him to listen to Wren’s instructions and follow the rules! – but the way he is able to open Wren’s eyes and have her question things was really well done. He didn’t try to force anything on her but he did try and stay true to his beliefs of right versus wrong, and that got her thinking, maybe seeing things differently.I also loved that there was no love triangle! And Wren’s roommate was one of my favourite characters. Some of the others, though, were pretty flat and undeveloped (like the head of the HARC corporation or the human leader of Wren’s Reboot complex), but I hope that that will change in future books. I like my villains to be a bit more complex.I loved that the author was not afraid to kill off characters. I mean, it was sad, but when it works for the story, I’m all for it.Unfortunately despite the great start, the book sort of dragged in the middle and towards the end. I felt like I could see where the plot was headed and just wanted it to get there faster. There were some really good scenes between Callum and Wren though, and the end definitely set things up for another book.I didn’t fall in love with this book but it kept me entertained during a train ride and I’m definitely looking forward to reading what happens next.Source: Borrowed

Wild Awake

Wild Awake - Hilary T. Smith (From’ve had my eye on this book for a while, and that cover is so pretty! I was excited to read this one after I came across the summary one day.Here is the Goodreads summary:Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away:1. You will remember to water the azaleas.2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.Things that actually happen:1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.2. He says he has her stuff.3. What stuff? Her stuff.4. You tell him your parents won’t be able to—5. Sukey died five years ago; can’t he—6. You pick up a pen.7. You scribble down the address.8. You get on your bike and go.9. Things . . . get a little crazy after that.**also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.Both exhilarating and wrenching, Hilary T. Smith’s debut novel captures the messy glory of being alive, as seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd discovers love, loss, chaos, and murder woven into a summer of music, madness, piercing heartbreak, and intoxicating joy.This book was not quite what I expected, but in a good way. I liked Kiri right away, and the story picked up pretty quickly with the mysterious phone call about her dead sister’s belongings. Kiri was much more of a risk taker than I am or certainly would have been at her age, and when she goes down to pick up Sukey’s things, she begins to realize that her sister’s life was not nearly as glamorous as she had envisioned.Mingled in with Kiri’s discoveries about Sukey’s life and death are her preparations for a piano showcase at the end of the summer, her band practice with Lukas for the upcoming Battle of the Bands, and her efforts to win Lukas’s affections. These stories are all told in Kiri’s increasingly frantic voice (the alcohol and drugs probably weren’t helping things!) and her state of mind seemed to unravel a bit throughout the book.I have to say that I was really wowed by the writing. Hilary T. Smith certainly has a way with words, and even when I was frustrated with Kiri’s behaviour and mentally yelling at her, or not feeling totally invested in the story, her writing kept me from putting the book down.Kiri’s relationship with Skunk, a boy she meets while out to pick up Sukey’s things, was very sweet. He has his own troubles, but their friendship that developed into something more made me smile. The darker storyline, for me, was Kiri learning the truth about Sukey’s death, and trying to reconcile what she learned with what she had believed.All of these story lines blended together into an absorbing book, and I really liked it. Definitely recommended if you are looking for a good contemporary read!

Find Me

Find Me - Romily Bernard (3.5 stars)Review to come...
Seven Minutes in Heaven - Sara Shepard (3.5 stars)(From is the sixth and final book in the series, and I was really excited to read it and see how it all ended. SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t read the other books in this series.Here is the Goodreads summary:My sister wants the truth.But sometimes the truth hurts.For months, my long-lost twin, Emma, has been living my life and trying to solve my murder. She’s unearthed dark secrets about my friends, my family, and my tangled past. But when it comes to finding my killer, she keeps running into dead ends.Until my body shows up in Sabino Canyon. Suddenly everyone knows there are two girls who look like Sutton Mercer—and that one of them is dead. At first the police assume the body is Emma’s. But as questions and accusations start flying, it’s harder than ever for Emma to keep playing me. The truth is bound to come out eventually. And when it does, Emma will be suspect number one in my murder investigation. If she can’t find my killer before time runs out, she’ll end up behind bars . . . or worse.Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, finally reveals the shocking truth about Sutton’s murder in this riveting novel about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.So I was right about one of my predictions, and wrong about another. I’ll go into detail later, and it will be spoiler-y, but for now I’ll talk about other things.First of all, there was way too much going on the night Sutton died, and as much as I love this series, it bothered me that I had to suspend any sense of disbelief as much as I did to be able to accept that all these things happened one after the other in the canyon on the same night (I am likely putting them out of order): Thayer and Sutton talk and he gets run down by someone driving her car; her dad shows up; Becky shows up; Garret shows up; she gets killed. Am I leaving anything out? Of all the kind of crazy and ridiculous things that happen in this series, this series of events taking place in a single location and evening irked me.I was hoping to get to know some of the other characters, like Sutton’s friends, a bit better before the end of the series, but I never really felt that I did. I think that’s because Emma didn’t really know them, and pretty much saw everyone as a suspect at one time or another, and so as the reader I never really felt that I knew or cared about these other people as much as I wanted to.I loved Emma though. She was very likeable and one of my favourite things about the series was seeing her evolving relationship with Lauren, Sutton’s sister (actually Sutton and Emma’s aunt). I also liked seeing her relationship with Sutton’s parents develop, particularly as Sutton revealed that she wasn’t really the nicest daughter, or sister, and seeing Emma try to connect with this family was really touching.So now onto my predictions. SPOILERS! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!First of all, my theory that Sutton was somehow still alive was definitely wrong. Even when her body was discovered and was all skeleton-y and mangled, I thought that it could be another red herring, but nope. She died. Still, I liked the final few chapters of the book showing Emma’s life after the truth came out and people knew who she really was – and that she did not kill Sutton to take over her life – and that Sutton was watching over her for a while. I was actually pretty sad when Sutton’s spirit or whatever she was finally began to move on. I didn’t realize how much I had been hoping she was still alive somewhere, somehow, which I know is silly when we’re told from the very first book that she is dead. But I’m glad she got to see her family accept Emma and take her in, and that she felt at peace in the end.As for the identity of the killer, yes, it was Ethan. I felt that it had been so obvious for so long, and I was really hoping that the end wouldn’t be that predictable, but it totally was. Although I have to say, I liked that he turned out to be some total psycho who had everyone fooled. That was more entertaining than if he had just confessed his love to Sutton and accidentally pushed her off the cliff or something. But for someone who wants to be an investigative journalist, I was bummed that Emma didn’t figure this all out until Ethan attacked her. And it’s too bad Nisha got caught in the middle and was killed for what she knew.I don’t know who might have been a ‘better’ choice for the killer. Pretty much everyone Sutton knew was a suspect to Emma over the course of the series: Laurel; Sutton’s dad; Garrett; any of Sutton’s friends; Becky…probably more that I’m not even remembering. I think that, for me, there’s always a sense of disappointment at the big reveal of a mystery like this, since I’m always hoping that I’ve been right all along while at the same time hoping that the author will surprise me with something I never saw coming.So I’m 50/50 as far as my big predictions go for this series. Ah well, you can’t win ‘em all.END OF SPOILERS.This was still a fun, entertaining series to read, and I would recommend it if it appeals to you in any way, especially if you’re a fan of Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars books.

Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn)

Fire with Fire - Siobhan Vivian, Jenny Han (From ARC received from publisherI loved Burn For Burn when I read it last year, and I’ve been really looking forward to reading this sequel! There will be spoilers in this review if you haven’t read Burn For Burn yet.Here is the Goodreads summary:Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.Not even close.For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn…I loved this book! I liked it even more than I liked Burn For Burn (which I loved). It was so nice to jump back into Jar Island and the girls’ lives. I again enjoyed the chapters’ alternating third-person narratives.My favourite of the three girls is still Lillia. I love reading about her wardrobe and fancy house! She’s the smart, studious, popular one of the three girls, but she has toughened up too thanks to the events of the first book.Now the three girls have a plan to further mess with Reeve, and it involves having him fall for Lillia so that she can break his heart, the way he broke Mary’s. Although Lillia is playing along at first, she does begin to fall for Reeve. And you know what? I was kind of feeling it. I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at the cheesiness of it all like I normally do. I actually really liked the romantic subplots going on here, including whatever is going on between Kat and Alex. I know Alex really seems to like Lillia, but I’m rooting for something to happen between him and Kat, so that Reeve and Lillia can end up together!Another thing I liked in this book was seeing Kat open up a bit more about her mother’s death, and the way the girls had to think about their future beyond high school and make college plans.MAJOR SPOILERS COMING UP – DON’T READ FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. GO GET THIS BOOK SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT!Rennie was still a pain in the butt in this book, and I didn’t trust her one bit, especially when she started apologizing to Kat. I was not expecting her to die though, and I’m very curious to read about the aftermath of her death in the next book.Very early into this book, I suspected that Mary was a ghost or spirit. Things were seeming very ‘Sixth Sense’ to me: nobody talked to her or interacted with her at all, except Kat, Lillia, and her aunt; she didn’t touch anything (there were a lot of passages about slipping through doors someone else opened; the scene in the yearbook office where she looked over her shoulder at other people’s work; Lillia not hearing when Mary knocked on her door); she didn’t eat; I’ve seen enough Supernatural to know that her aunt’s seemingly strange behaviour was because Mary was dead; the descriptions of the house’s outer appearance as being so rundown; and that Kat and Lillia never talked to Mary when they tried to call her house. Phew!Now I want to go back and read the first book, looking for any hints or clues about Mary!I don’t know how other people feel, but as a big paranormal fan, I loved the paranormal element that it brought to the story. Of course, it raises a lot of questions (why can Kat and Lillia see Mary; how come Rennie saw her before she died; is Mary going to hurt Lillia because of her feelings for Reeve) so I’m going to go nuts waiting for the next book! I can’t wait to see what happens next!I definitely recommend this book! If you haven’t yet read Burn For Burn, what are you waiting for? Don’t you like stories about mean girls, revenge, and ghosts? If you do, you must read these books.

The Shade of the Moon: Life As We Knew It Series, Book 4

The Shade of the Moon - Susan Beth Pfeffer (From ARC via NetgalleyThis is the fourth book in the series, after Life As We Knew It, The Dead and the Gone, and This World We Live In. I loved the first two books, and had mixed feelings about the third.Here is the Goodreads summary:It’s been more than two years since Jon Evans and his family left Pennsylvania, hoping to find a safe place to live, yet Jon remains haunted by the deaths of those he loved. His prowess on a soccer field has guaranteed him a home in a well-protected enclave. But Jon is painfully aware that a missed goal, a careless word, even falling in love, can put his life and the lives of his mother, his sister Miranda, and her husband, Alex, in jeopardy. Can Jon risk doing what is right in a world gone so terribly wrong?Well. If I thought I had mixed feelings about TWWLI, I don’t even know how to describe my feelings about this book!SPOILER ALERT – SPOILERS ABOUND IN THIS REVIEW!This book takes place two years after the events of the previous book, This World We Live In. The main character this time around is Jon, Miranda’s youngest brother. He, Lisa, and Gabe are living in an enclave, while the rest of his family lives outside, scattered (well, except for his father, who we are told died on the way to the enclave).I never really took to Jon in any of the other books, but he seemed like a regular kid – or as regular as a kid could be in the circumstances. But in this book, he was one very unlikeable MC! I really struggled to get through this book and a big part of that is due to the fact that I just did not like Jon.I also struggled with the way many characters who I had come to know and care about over the course of this series died. It was difficult for me to read about some of these deaths and see the characters take it all very matter of factly, rather than grieve as I thought they would. I mean, maybe that’s my own issue and not a flaw with the book, but it really pulled me out of the story at times.The world, and society, really seems to go to shit in an incredibly quick period of time and I found that difficult to believe, which also made it incredibly hard for me to get into the story. I struggled to believe that people were killed so frequently and violently, with bodies left in the streets. I think it was just such a leap from the world Miranda and Alex were living in during the earlier books to the world Jon lives in, essentially two years later. I had a very difficult time adjusting to that.Also, this was a bleak book. I love me some dark, bleak stories, but this book just bummed the heck out of me. Yeesh.There were other characters in the book – John and Lisa’s domestics; a love interest for Jon; his friends from school – but none of them seemed fully developed as characters for me to care about. They felt more like plot points or something, and so I didn’t care about any of them, not even when some of them died.As mentioned earlier, I did not find Jon very likeable or sympathetic. ESPECIALLY when I read about what happened between Jon and Julie during events at the end of This World We Live In. He admits that he was going to have sex with her because he loved her and he knew she loved him, even though she told him to stop, but he doesn’t think of himself as a rapist. What?? This seemed to be part of life in Jon’s enclave – guys had sex with ‘grub’ girls (who are apparently below the ‘clavers’ as humans) whether the girls wanted to or not. So I don’t know if Jon didn’t see himself as a bad guy or rapist because he viewed it all as something that was accepted in the enclave – which was basically all of society, as far as he was concerned – or if he told himself that to alleviate any guilt he was feeling in the aftermath of Julie’s death. Either way, it most definitely did not endear him to me.I kept trying to put myself in Jon’s shoes and see things through his eyes, given his experiences, but I struggled so much to do that.The plot in this book felt directionless. It was also slow at times, but suddenly things would move along really really quickly.This was a difficult book to read – and review – because I liked the first two books so much, and this one felt like something completely different. I don’t know if the series is going to continue after this book, but if it does, I don’t know if I’ll be reading any further books.If you have read the others in this series, you might like this one, to see how things have changed over time. I do still recommend that you give it a read if you have been a fan of this series, but it just wasn’t the right book for me.

Someday, Someday, Maybe

Someday, Someday, Maybe - Lauren Graham (From I’ve mentioned before, Gilmore Girls is one of my favourite t.v. shows, so of course when I heard that Lauren Graham had written a book, I knew I had to have it and read it!Here is the summary (from Goodreads):Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.Meanwhile, she dreams of doing “important” work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It’s hard to tell if she’ll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won’t call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job.Well, I kind of fell in love with this one right away. The humour and writing style came through so well, and I couldn’t help but picture Lauren Graham as Franny while I read!I really loved getting a behind the scenes look at what it must have been like trying to become an actor in New York City in the 90s. I mean, there was even a reference to This Is How We Do It! I loved (still love) that song!I also loved the references to beepers and answering machines, and the Filofax pages in between chapters. Reading about Franny’s life of auditions, acting classes, and working at a comedy club was fun. It also showed how incredibly difficult it is to try and make it as an actor, and really opened my eyes to how unlikely it is that the majority of people who want to be actors will really ever be able to do it and earn a living, let alone achieve the level of success that the stars have.Lauren Graham has a writing style that flows very well. I was surprised at how quickly I read this one! I just didn’t want to put it down. It wasn’t a perfect read, but it was fun and fluffy and made me laugh a lot.I have to say, the romance in this book was sweet but predictable at times, since there is the classic good guy that our MC doesn’t see as a love interest, and the bad boy that she finds irresistible even though he’s a bit of a jerk. It was interesting to see this play out in a more adult fiction book, since I’ve read something like it in what feels like countless YA novels, but I could see where this romance stuff was headed pretty much from the outset.I felt that the end of the book was somewhat abrupt. It really left me wanting more! Was it just me?? It seemed like a strange place to end things, but I’ve also heard that the book may be turned into a television show, so maybe I’ll get to see more of Franny’s story on the small screen.Overall, this book was funny, sweet, and one that I’ve been recommending to people since I finished it!

Another Little Piece

Another Little Piece - Kate Karyus Quinn (From was looking forward to reading this book for a long time!Here is the summary (from Goodreads):The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn’s haunting debut.On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.Off the bat, I have to say that I’m not sure where the comparison to Pretty Little Liars comes from!This was a very interesting, twisty, sometimes gruesome read, and I quite liked it! I’m still trying to figure it all out, and I’ve seen some reviews say that a reread of the final chapters helped to clarify things, so I may have to do that too.This book was pretty much nothing like what I expected. For some people, that may turn out to be a good thing; for others, it may be disappointing. I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I had really high hopes for a twisty mystery/thriller, and wasn’t really expecting that it was also a paranormal story. But I love paranormal stories, so it was an excellent surprise for me!If I had to sum up my thoughts as I read this book into a single word, it would be: WTF? (Yes I’m counting that as a word) Don’t get me wrong though – I liked that I had no clue what was going on. Annaliese, for the most part, didn’t know what was going on either, so it was fitting that I was confused, learning the truth in bits and pieces.I really liked the character of Dex, the boy who lives next door to Annaliese, who has his own secrets. I would have loved to read more about him! I also enjoyed reading about Annaliese and the parents’ relationship. It was touching, and was a nice change from a lot of YA novels with an absence of parental figures.This is one of those books that doesn’t give the reader any easy answers, and that isn’t neatly wrapped up at the end. The story unfolded at a good pace, with flashbacks mixed in, which kept me on my toes, never knowing what to expect. It was a disorienting kind of read, since the timeline jumped around so much, but it was very fitting with Annaliese’s confusion and disjointed memories. I really liked the way it all unraveled.This was a really good, intense, unsettling book. I honestly couldn’t put it down. The writing was so good and atmospheric. It’s gruesome though, so you may want to steer clear if you are squeamish and/or do not like any element of horror or gore.If, however, you like books that are dark and twisty and a bit bloody, I certainly recommend this one.

This World We Live In (Life As We Knew It Series #3)

This World We Live In - Susan Beth Pfeffer (From is the third book in the series, following Life As We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone, both of which I read and loved.Here is the Goodreads summary:It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.In this book, the protagonist of Life As We Knew It (Miranda) and the protagonist of The Dead and the Gone (Alex) meet face to face. I was surprised when reading TDATG that the story had totally shifted its focus from Miranda and her family to Alex, and so I was initially happy to be ‘reunited’ with Miranda.Eventually, though, it seemed to me that this book was suffering from the ‘second book syndrome’, even though it’s the third book in the series. Miranda was still whiny and a bit frustrating, and while there were major events (marriage, more extreme weather, people dying), I felt that there wasn’t a lot happening, and other than Alex and Miranda’s blossoming romance (which sort of wasn’t even…more on that in a second), there just wasn’t much to read about.When I say that the romance between Alex and Miranda wasn’t even a romance, I totally mean it. They didn’t seem to like each other at all, AT ALL, until suddenly they were kissing and in love. I know it’s the end of the world, and I don’t have any problems with the two of them being in a relationship and being in love and all that, but it just seemed so sudden to me. She didn’t like him much and then suddenly they were in love. Sigh.I still like Alex. I wish, though, that there had been more detail provided about his travels with the others to Howell. It seemed like there was a lot that happened, but no one really talked about it too much, which of course made me super curious.As the summary above says, it’s been about a year since the meteor collided with the moon. I really wanted to see how things had changed over the past year with Miranda’s family and their survival. However, it didn’t seem that anything had really changed at all, until of course the end of the book, when something happens that forces the characters to make a huge change.So I have mixed feelings about this book. I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t love it. I was hoping to enjoy this as much as I did the first two, so I’m sad to say that wasn’t the case. It was a quick read, but the story didn’t feel like it moved along much.I mentioned at the end of my review for TDATG that this was the last in the series, but it isn’t. There is actually a fourth book coming out next month, The Shade of the Moon (and I was lucky enough to get an e-ARC). I don’t know if that is supposed to be the final book or not, but I’m looking forward to reading it and seeing what happens next, especially since it takes place a few years after the events of this book.If you like survival stories and have enjoyed the first books in this series, I would recommend continuing on with this one. Just because I didn’t love it doesn’t mean you won’t!

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan (From heard about this book through the Chapters Fiction blog a while back, and when I saw it in a bookstore a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t resist picking up a copy!Here is the Goodreads summary:Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.I totally loved this book! I felt myself get caught up in it after the first few chapters, and really couldn’t put it down until I finished.Initially, I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of characters, trying to keep track of who everyone was and how they were all related or connected to each other, but the family tree inside the book really came in handy. Eventually I got to know the characters enough that I didn’t need the chart.I have to say, some of these characters are wealthy beyond what I could ever even imagine. It was so amazing to read about, and who hasn’t fantasized about being incredibly rich?Into this world comes Rachel Chu, girlfriend of Nick Young. Rachel doesn’t know about Nick’s family and how crazy rich they are, but she’s about to find out when he invites her to his friend’s wedding back in Singapore.There are a lot of characters in this book. Some of them think Rachel is just a gold-digging American – I wasn’t very fond of those people. Others liked Rachel and tried to help her make a good impression with Nick’s family – those were the characters I liked. Clearly then, I was rooting for Rachel. She was intelligent, hard-working, and really loved Nick. She just had no idea what she was getting into. Poor Rachel! Nick really should have prepared her for what she was going to encounter, but I think he was so naive about his family and their riches that it didn’t really occur to him that it would be an issue. But I think Rachel handled herself really well in some very tricky situations, and Nick was a good guy.There were some subplots involving other characters, and even though they took me away from Rachel and Nick’s story temporarily, they were still interesting and, because of the characters’ relations to each other, their stories all ended up connecting.Another part of what I enjoyed about this book was reading about all the different food and customs. I love to read stories that take place somewhere I’ve never been, and there were so many interesting cultural elements to this book that fascinated me.This book was a really great summer read: light, funny, and super entertaining. I definitely recommend this one!

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Boys #2)

The Dream Thieves - Maggie Stiefvater (From Borrowed ARCThis is the sequel to The Raven Boys, a book that stole my heart with its story of Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah, and Blue and the mystical search for a long hidden king. I was excited to read the sequel, having no doubt that Maggie Stiefvater would craft an equally wonderful follow up to my new favourite book.Spoilers if you haven’t read The Raven Boys yet! Here is the Goodreads summary:Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…Before I go on, I want to talk about the cover. I don’t love it, for the same reason that I don’t love the paperback cover of The Raven Boys. I prefer to picture the characters as I see them in my head, and it was really jarring for me to suddenly see them on the book covers! Other than Ronan’s face on the cover (I’m assuming that’s Ronan), I do like the rest of this cover. It’s just strange to see depictions of characters that are already a certain way in your brain!But on to the important thing: the story itself! I love the writing. Maggie Stiefvater has such a wonderful way with words, and I found myself trying to slow down and savour this book, even though I wanted to speed through it at the same time to find out what was going to happen next.This story was never predictable! Even when the mystery surrounding Glendower seemed to clear up, it became even more mysterious and strange as the book went on.And of course I still love these characters. They’re changing, though. Adam starts to understand what his sacrifice on the ley line cost and what it means for the search for Glendower. There is a lot going on with Ronan and his dreams, which was all fascinating. There’s a fabulous Blue and Noah scene (I need to talk about it with someone!!!). And Gansey struggles in a way that I didn’t see in the first book. I don’t want to say anything more than that, because I think the characters are the best aspect of this series – I would honestly read a book about them just hanging out and not doing anything else – and reading about their adventure as it unfolds is amazing.I also liked the way this book began to explore their lives beyond Aglionby and what may happen in the future. I felt that there was always a hint of something sad or melancholic, especially when the gang’s thoughts turned towards the future.I have to say that Blue’s yearning to live at Monmouth Manufacturing and be part of the boys’ group totally reflects my own! I sympathized with her because I felt like I wanted to move into Monmouth and search for Glendower with these characters. I missed them whenever I had to put the book down, and definitely miss them now that I’m finished.I will absolutely be buying my own copy of this book when it comes out so I can read it again! There were just so many fascinating scenes, and amazing dialogue and interactions between characters. I don’t know where this story will go next but I’m so eager to find out!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Book 1)

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants  - Ann Brashares (From book was selected for the inaugural Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Club, which I blogged about earlier. Because Kathy is going to host our book club discussion, I’m going to keep my review here short and sweet.Goodreads summary:FOUR VERY DIFFERENT FRIENDS. ONE PAIR OF MAGICAL PANTS. AND A SUMMER APART …We, the Sisterhood, hereby instate the following rules to govern the use of the Traveling Pants: 1. You must never wash the Pants. 2. You must never double-cuff the Pants. It’s tacky. There will never be a time when this will not be tacky. 3. You must never say the word “phat” while wearing the Pants. You must also never think “I am fat” while wearing the Pants. 4. You must never let a boy take off the Pants (although you may take them off yourself in his presence). 5. You must not pick your nose while wearing the Pants. You may, however, scratch casually your nostril while really kind of picking. 6. Upon our reunion, you must follow the proper procedures for documenting your time in the Pants. 7. You must write to your Sisters throughout the summer, no matter how much fun you are having without them. 8. You must pass the Pants along to your Sister according to the specifications set down by the Sisterhood. Failures to comply will result in a sever spanking upon our reunion. 9. You must not wear the Pants with a tucked-in shirt and belt. See rule #2. 10. Remember: Pants = love. Love your pals. Love yourself.I saw the movie based on this book years ago and loved it, and I’m really happy that I got to read the book after all this time!I liked all four girls, but the one I really found myself identifying with was Lena because we’re both shy and anxious. I totally understood her wanting to avoid talking to Kostos when she senses her grandmother trying to push them together! The scene where they’re at the party together and she puts out all the signs of wanting to be left alone reminded me of ME!I really liked this story. It was a fabulous summer read, and it was really easy to like each of the girls, and to get caught up in all of their stories, because Brashares doesn’t linger too long on any one of them. I found that this book moved very quickly, and at times actually would have preferred to spend more time on some of the plot points.I found something about each of the girls that I could identify with, and they all felt like very distinct people to me. Some other characters were not really all that developed. I would have liked to learn more about Carmen’s family, for example, and for a love interest, I didn’t think Kostos was all that well developed of a character either.Overall though, this was a really enjoyable read, and now I want to watch the movie and then read the sequel!

Monument 14: Sky on Fire

Sky on Fire - Emmy Laybourne (From is the sequel to Monument 14, which I read a couple of months ago.Spoiler alert!Goodreads summary:Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . .This book was short, so it was a really quick read. On the one hand, I appreciated that it wasn’t overly long. On the other hand, maybe the story should have gone into more depth or detail about certain elements.The big thing that I liked about this book was that it was told in both Dean’s perspective, and his younger brother Alex’s perspective. Dean stayed behind in the Greenway with Astrid and some of the kids, while Alex went with Niko and the majority of the group on the bus, in an attempt to make it to the airport in Denver, where there is rumoured to be help.What I really loved about having the different perspectives was that it let me get a sense of the outside world, away from the store. While I liked Monument 14, 99% of the story took place in the store, and I couldn’t help but wonder about what was going on outside of it; what happened to the rest of the world? This book definitely gave me that, and I loved getting a sense of the eeriness of it all. It really didn’t take long for things to fall apart!I also liked Alex as a narrator. He was intelligent and sort of socially awkward, and I found him really likeable. Other than Alex, though, I didn’t really feel like I connected to the characters. I liked them – particularly Niko – but I didn’t care about them or feel emotionally attached to them.The writing in this book was fine, nothing really great but I didn’t find it as annoying or irritating as I’ve seen other people say in their reviews. Alex and Dean are young, and I think the writing reflected their ages.The book is set in the not too distant future (2024, I think?) and I’m still not sure how important/relevant that is or will be in the remainder of the series. Maybe it will mean something more in the next book, but other than some technology referenced mostly in Monument 14, it didn’t seem to matter, and in fact, I barely remembered that it wasn’t set in the present day.Overall, this was another fun, quick read, recommended if you like survival stories. I’ll be reading the next in the series, whenever it comes out.

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Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy Series #1)