Friday, April 20, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series? Yes, book 1 of the Dark Artifices Trilogy
Pages: 698
Publication Date: March 8, 2016  
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: I got a hardcover edition of Lady Midnight from my local library.
In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #74

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be participating in Waiting on Wednesday, and meme originally created by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Jill hasn't been active for a while, so Tressa @ Wishful Endings has adopted it! If you see posts by the name of "Can't Wait Wednesday," it's the same thing!

The book I'm looking forward to this week is The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo!
From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

With Maurene Goo's signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

Monday, April 16, 2018

DISCUSSION | Authors Commenting on Reviews

Hi everyone! I'm Genni, and welcome back (or to!) my blog. Today I wanted to just write about something that always makes me feel a bit unsettled: authors commenting on reviews of their books. This hasn't happened too much for me, but it has occurred at least twice. While I do like knowing that the author has read my feedback, I also feel a bit guilty. 

I decided to write this post last weekend, when I was going through the reviews on my blog and slowly but surely putting them on goodreads. When I got to the "B" section, I realized that an author had commented on a review of their book. This book, which I'm not going to name, was okay and I gave it three stars. Though the author responded that my feedback helped them, I'm now looking back on it and just feeling a bit weird about the interaction. At the time of the comment, I was so excited that an author noticed me. But then, a weird sense of shame followed me around. Here are some quotes of my review:

"I felt as if the author tried to do a slow burning romance but then got impatient and decided they were in love instead."
 "...but I don't think it is anything special. When I look at all the fantasy books I have read, it just doesn't stand out." 
Obviously, I wasn't expecting the author to read my review, and my review shows that. These were my genuine thoughts on the book, but I began to feel a bit guilty for writing what I did. It went to the extent that when I read the sequel, and didn't like it as much, I didn't write a review for it in dread that the author would once again comment. By commenting on the review, I felt as if I was in the wrong by sharing my honest opinions.

Just under a year later, another author commented on my review of their book, which was once again, not a glowing review. I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars. Here are some of the things I said about the book:
"...really missed the mark for me. "
"I really didn't like the book for the most part."
"I couldn't connect with the characters, so I never was worried for them. The book wasn't thrilling for me, and I felt as if the plot became redundant."
It wasn't like I was being super harsh in my review, and my critiques were my honest opinion. My last line of my review was, "I won't be continuing on with the series." By the time the author had commented, two other bloggers had commented on the post. The author responded with, "I hope you guys give it a go. In books 2/3 Leon Grace and Freya face the virus as it 'evolves'." By the author commenting this, all of a sudden I thought my review was too harsh. The thought even popped into my head that maybe I should read the second book. But then I thought, "No! I didn't like the first book, so why would I continue with the series?" The author made me feel guilty for sharing my honest opinion about a book that I didn't enjoy.

What I've come to realize is this: I write my reviews for my readers and to spread the word, not for the authors to read them. While it is rewarding to see an author notice your work, it also instills some guilt when I leave a less than glowing review. In this case, ignorance in bliss. If an author reads my review, great. But I don't want to see them commenting on it. If I want an author to know I liked their book, I'll tweet them. I don't need, and don't appreciate, when authors try to guilt me into reading their other books or being more lenient with my rating. I was simply doing what was expected of me as a reviewer: being honest. 

Have any authors commented on your reviews of their books? How did you respond, and what did you think of it?

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading! 

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

Friday, April 13, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Busted by Gina Ciocca

Title: Busted
Author: Gina Ciocca
Series? No, YA contemporary standalone
Pages: 352
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: I received a galley of Busted via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. :) Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks!
Marisa wasn’t planning to be a snoop for hire—until she accidentally caught her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. Now her reputation for sniffing out cheaters has spread all over school, and Marisa finds herself the reluctant queen of busting two-timing boys.

But when ex-frenemy Kendall asks her to spy on her boyfriend, TJ, Marisa quickly discovers the girl TJ might be falling for is Marisa herself. And worse yet? The feelings are quickly becoming mutual. Now, she’s stuck spying on a “mystery girl” and the spoken-for guy who just might be the love of her life…

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #73

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be participating in Waiting on Wednesday, and meme originally created by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Jill hasn't been active for a while, so Tressa @ Wishful Endings has adopted it! If you see posts by the name of "Can't Wait Wednesday," it's the same thing!

The book I'm looking forward to this week is Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young!

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Monday, April 9, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Title: Starry Eyes
Author: Jenn Bennett
Series? No
Pages: 432
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: I received an e-galley of Starry Eyes via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. :)
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

Friday, April 6, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Title: Geekarella
Author: Ashley Poston
Series? No
Pages: 320
Publication Date:
April 4, 2017
Quirk Books
I checked out a library copy of the hardcover edition from my local library!

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck and her dad's old costume, Elle's determined to win - unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons - before he was famous. Now they're nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he has ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake - until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #72

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be participating in Waiting on Wednesday, and meme originally created by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Jill hasn't been active for a while, so Tressa @ Wishful Endings has adopted it! If you see posts by the name of "Can't Wait Wednesday," it's the same thing!

The book I'm looking forward to this week is From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon!
Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

Monday, April 2, 2018

My March Wrap Up!

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be looking back at my March reading and viewing!

I had a really busy month in terms of schoolwork, so my reading definitely took a backburner. I did read a lot, but mostly articles for school and textbooks, which I don't talk about here. Thankfully, I really enjoyed all the books I mentioned to read this month! But some of the projects for school required me to watch some movies, and I am also taking a film class, so I did end up watching a lot of films! 

1) My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
I have wanted to read My Lady Jane since its conception, and I finally got around to reading it! I'm now highly anticipating the companion novel, My Plain Jane, that comes out later this year. I listened to the audiobook of this, which I think was the right way to go for me. The narration was excellent! I'm currently writing my review right now.

2) Nyxia: Unleashed by Scott Reingten
Nyxia: Unleashed is the sequel to one of my favorite books of last year, Nyxia. What's even more exciting for me was that Reingten is a local author! I haven't been able to go to any of his events yet due to school, but hopefully I'll be able to make it one day. Though I didn't like the second book as much as the second, I thought it was a great sequel overall, even if it did drag at times.