Tuesday, January 29, 2019

TTT | The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be participating in the weekly meme, Top Ten Tuesday. Every Tuesday, Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl provides prompts, and bloggers answer them! I don't participate in these every Tuesday but just every now and again. 

This week's prompt is the most recent additions to our to-read list. I'm writing and scheduling this post, so these additions are from the night of January 5th. I would assume that I will add more in between the time I'm writing this post and by it's publication date. If you want the most updated version, feel free to check out my goodreads to-read list

Here are my most recent additions to my list on goodreads! 

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

I was looking for historical fiction recommendations on twitter (follow me here if you want!), and I was recommended this by V, who blogs over at Audio Killed the Bookmark. It sounds absolutely wonderful, as it follows two impoverished young girls who are kidnapped and sold to rich people. Scribd and my library doesn't have this though, so I'm not too sure when I'll get my hands on it! 

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

This is another book I added because of twitter! Sam from WLAAB mentioned that The Running Dream was one of her favorite reads of 2018. I love that book, and responded as such, and the author responded! Sam also mentioned she really liked Flipped, and I went to goodreads right away and added it. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

DISCUSSION | Hesitancy Posting Negative Reviews

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be doing a discussion post about guilt over writing negative reviews. If you are unaware, I'm participating in a discussion challenge this year, hosted by Feed Your Fiction and It Starts at Midnight.

When I write reviews, I try to be as honest as possible and write about the good and the bad. But when a book is mostly bad for me, I always feel a little hesitant about posting the review. Today, I'm going through the reasons I am hesitant, and why I shouldn't be. 

So why do I feel a little bit guilty writing negative reviews? Well, there are a couple reasons. 
  • I feel doubly disappointed when I don't like an ARC. Knowing that the publisher gave me a copy of a book after I requested it makes the not-liking it just a little bit worse. 
  • I've had authors comment on my negative reviews of their book. This not only makes me feel very uncomfortable, but also reminds me that authors can read and might read these posts. I try to remind myself that authors are people separate from their work, and when I critique a book, it isn't critiquing the person. 
  • Coming off too harsh. I don't know if my humor actually comes across when I'm slinging gifs left and right trying to explain my exasperation. But also, why am I so worried about coming across like a bitch when I'm just trying to express my opinion? 

While I am hesitant to post negative reviews, there are plenty of reasons to write them as well. Here's the couple that I came up with:
  • Books are subjective! What one person loves, another person could hate. I think it's important that readers get every opinion, that way they can make an accurate decision on whether they think they'll enjoy the book or not.
  • Every opinion should be respected! If I write a negative review on a popular book, I shouldn't be worried that people will be hurt or rude because our opinions don't match. This goes the same for publishers. If I'm writing a negative review on an ARC I received, I shouldn't be worried that the publisher won't approve me of other books. In fact, negative reviews of arcs show that I'm an accurate book reviewer and I don't let the way I received a book impact my thoughts.
  • They're humorous! I actually like reading negative reviews more than positive reviews. Negative reviews have such intelligent quips and sass, and I'm here for them.
  • We don't owe publishers or authors anything more than an honest review. Authors and publishers are looking for honest, in-depth reviews. My reviews, the negative and positive, are just that.

So for this year, I'm making a goal. If I don't like a book, I want to be as unflinchingly honest as I can. I don't want to beat the bush or minimize my faults; I want to give my negative opinions just as much merit as my positives. Let the negative reviews commence! 

Have you had any hesitancy about posting negative reviews? What do you like the most about negative reviews? 

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

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

BOOK REVIEW | The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Title: The Raging Ones
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Series? Yes, the first in a duology.
Pages: 352
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: I received an ARC of The Raging Ones via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Backlist Book Review #2 | This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be doing another backlist book review. I did my first last week on Monday, in which I reviewed Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi. In this series, I review a book I read weeks, perhaps months, ago. As time passes, details fade. So instead of my regular paragraph format, I answer four questions: What is my rating, what is the book about, what do I remember, and does the rating still stand. 

Without further ado, here is my review for This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada!

Title: This Cruel Design
Author: Emily Suvada
Series? Yes, the second in a trilogy
Pages: 394
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Date Read: November 17, 2018
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Source: I received an ARC of This Cruel Design via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


What did I rate it?

Four out of five flowers!

What is it about? 

This Cruel Design is a sequel to Emily Suvada's debut, This Mortal Coil. The second in a series, This Cruel Design follows Cat after the events of the first book. Cat believes that she and her friends defeated the Hydra virus. However, new cases occur after the antidote is given to everyone, and this new mutation is even more dangerous. Cat must travel to the city of Entropia to fix the vaccine before more people die. Along the way, Cat learns more about her past and her own identity. 

What do I remember? 

Much like my last backlist book review, I remember the key points, like the reveal at the end. This Cruel Design leaves on a cliffhanger, so that really stuck with me. I also remember who gets infected, who dies, and what happens between Cat and Cole in regards to their romance. There were a couple other reveals that I remember as well, but I definitely forgot details about the world and what caused certain characters to drift apart. I also still remember my biggest critique of This Cruel Design. In the first half of the book, there wasn't a clear direction where the plot was going. While I like being on my metaphorical toes as I read, this lack of direction did drag the book a bit. Although the book dragged, I really liked Cat's internal conflict. 

Does the rating still stand?

Yes, the rating still stands! This Cruel Design isn't a perfect book, but it was highly entertaining and provided more insight into the world. I thought Suvada's multiple twists and her conflicts, both internal and external, were done well. I wish there was more direction in the plot, but I still enjoyed the book a lot. I am looking forward to and will be reading the third and final book! 

Did you read This Cruel Design? What did you think?

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

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read! 

Friday, January 11, 2019

DISCUSSION | Are Big Books Better?

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be doing a discussion post. If you haven't seen my 2019 Challenge post, you might not be aware that I am participating in the discussion challenge hosted by Feed Your Fiction and It Starts at Midnight. For my first discussion post of the year, I wanted to try to get to the bottom of a  bookish question I've had for years: are big books better?

Of course, what is deemed "short" and "big" is objective. If you read only high fantasy, you might think a short book is 400 pages. However, that's pretty long if we're talking about a YA romance. For the purpose of this discussion post, I'm going to be sectioning off the books I read in 2018  into three different categories: small, medium, and large. Small books will be 250 pages and less, medium books between 250 and 399, and large books 400 and over.

In 2018, I read 111 books. Out of these 111, I did not rate 8, leaving 103 ratings for me to look at. Based on my scale above, I have read 22 small, 52 medium, and 29 large books in 2018. This isn't a huge surprise for me. I would say that most books fall in that 300 to 400 range. Since I had a pretty big shift in my reading in 2018, in which I started to read more YA contemporary and adult romance novels, these results make a lot of sense.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

What I'll Be Reading this Spring Semester!

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be sharing what I'll be reading this upcoming spring semester.

If you don't know, I'm a double major at UNC. I am studying English and Women and Gender Studies. This semester, I'm not taking too many classes - only 4 - for a total of 12 hours. My last three semesters, I've been taking 5 to 6 classes each, totally 15 to 18 hours. I'm really looking forward to a more relaxed semester, especially because I have an internship as well. 

Without further ado, here are the books I'll be reading this semester! Today is actually my first day of classes, so let the reading begin! 

1) Victorian Literature and it's Retellings
Charlotte Bronte in all her (glaring) glory
This semester, I'm taking a class all about Victorian literature and modern retellings. From January to May, I'll be reading these books: 
 Out of this list, I'm most interested in reading Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. Last semester I was taking a Jane Austen class, and my professor talked about Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea several times. I know the reveal of Jane Eyre, and I think the racial implications of Mr. Rochester's wife provide a more dire and horrifying revelation that is ignored in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Out of those two books, I don't know too much about anything else. I didn't love The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, so I'm a little wary about reading something else by her. I've also never read Dickens in my life, so we'll see how that goes!

2) Middle Eastern Literature by Women
What I love about being a double major studying English and Women and Gender Studies is that there is so much overlap! While this class is coded for Women and Gender Studies, we'll be studying literature written my middle eastern women. I don't know too much about the middle east, and I think it will be fascinating to learn more about the culture and feminism there! I don't recognize any of the books we are supposed to read, but here they are.
I'm not familiar with any of these books or authors, but I think they'll be really eye opening and insightful. It's easy to just read strictly from US or white authors, as they are heavily published, and I'm ready to read from diverse POVs. Also, I have no idea what Loved Ones is, since my professor didn't put an author or ISBN with it.
3) Diverse Literature
Okay, I know. This is the most vague heading ever, but that's the name of the class I'm taking! Based on the reading list, we'll be focusing on African-American and/or black literature. Here's what I'll be reading
While only three books long, this required reading really strikes my fancy. This will be my fourth semester at UNC, and the third where I was required to read Kindred by Octavia Butler, which I love. I've never read Toni Morrison, but I hear she is a provoking author, so I'm looking forward tot he reading experience and discussing it with my peers. I've never heard of I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, but I'm looking forward to reading diversely this semester! 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? If you are in college, what books are you reading this semester?

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

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Backlist Book Review #1 | Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be starting a new series on my blog, the backlist book review! If you're like me, you read quicker than you write reviews. Books are read and never reviewed, and they just get the dreaded "review to come" on goodreads for months on end. In order to curb this habit and clean up my goodreads, I'm going to review a book I've read weeks, sometimes months, before that I never got a chance to review. 

Of course, as time goes on, details fade. So for these reviews, I'm not going to be writing in  paragraph format, as I normally do, but instead answer four questions: What was my rating, what is the book about, what do I remember, and does the rating still stand. 
Without further ado, here is my first backlist book review, on Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi. 

Title: Restore Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series? Yes, the fourth book in the Shatter Me series
Pages: 435
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Date Read: July 31, 2018
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: I borrowed the hardcover edition from one of my friends.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Most Anticipated 2019 Relases!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be sharing my most anticipated releases of 2019. I have a list of 12 books this time, and they are in order of publication date!

Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publication Date: January 8, 2019

I didn't love Unearthed (review here), but the ending really left me wanting more. After that surprise ending, I need to know what happens next, and how our two main characters survive the night, let alone the novel.

Imprison the Sky by AC Gaughen
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
When I first finished Reign the Earth, I enjoyed the book, but didn't love it. As time went on, however, I realized that I liked the book much more than my first impression. Imprison the Sky is sure to be heartbreaking and amazing.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

December Wrap Up!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful time on New Year's Eve and is ready for an excellent year in 2019. Before we focus on the new year though, I have to wrap up the last month of 2018.

In December, I read 8 books and 2 novellas! Adding December's reads, I read 111 books in the year! This is the most I've read in the past three years, and I'm really proud of myself. Here is what I read!

1) Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Wallbanger was the second Alice Clayton book I read this year, and I liked it a lot more than Nuts, which I read earlier this year. Wallbanger was a ton of fun, and I thought the sex scenes were written very well. 

2) Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren

I received an e-arc of Cold Day in the Sun in exchange for an honest review, which will be coming when it is published! Cold Day in the Sun had wonderful feminist themes and I thought the romance was super cute. The book wasn't life changing for me, but it was a solid YA contemporary romance.

3) Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Listen to Your Heart is the only audiobook I finished this month, and I really liked it! By the third act, I was completely hooked and hated to pause it. I ended up just sitting in my library staring off into the distance, desperately needing to know what happened next.

4) Beautiful Bombshell by Christina Lauren

Beautiful Bombshell is book 2.5 in the Beautiful series. I wanted to revisit this series at the end of the year, since I read the first three books earlier (Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Secret, and Beautiful Player). To be honest, I didn't really like this novella that much, it was just a whole bunch of sex with no plot. Also, I read this after my number five, but I got confused on which novella was which, showing that both weren't that memorable at the end of the day.

5) Beautiful Bitch by Christina Lauren

Beautiful Bitch is book 1.5 in the series. I liked this one a bit more than Beautiful Bombshell, because it provided more insight into Chloe and Bennett's relationship, who seemed like the weakest couple after reading the second and third book. While this provided more insight, Chloe and Bennett are still my least favorite couple, not only in this series, but in everything that Christina Lauren has written and that I've read.

6) Lovestruck by Kate Watson

Lovestruck was another e-arc I read in December. You'll be seeing this review when Lovestruck comes out April 2nd. Lovestruck is a novel that follows Kali, the daughter or Eros (or Cupid, as we like to call him). This was a super fun read and posed some really great questions about choice vs. destiny. I did get confused sometimes and wish there was more clarity on how the world worked, but it was really unlike anything I've read, which seems to get harder to do as the years pass!

7) One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker

One Tiny Lie is the companion novel to K.A. Tucker's Ten Tiny Breaths, which I loved when I read it all the way back in December of 2015. Three years later, I picked up One Tiny Lie and it was...interesting. I don't particularly like the whole "misunderstood bad boy" trope that much, and unfortunately, the love interest was the epitome of it. Despite that, K.A. Tucker's writing really drew me in.

8) Deklan by Shay Savage

Deklan was a big YIKES for me. I honestly don't know what I was thinking when I picked up this book! Deklan is about a girl who is engaged to be married to a mob boss, but she ends up marrying his body guard, Deklan. And you guessed it...Deklan is a misunderstood bad boy. The book was pretty problematic and I honestly should have just DNF'd it. There's literally a scene where Deklan tells the other MC (whose name I am forgetting) that they aren't equals and that their marriage isn't an equal partnership, and she just accepts this? It kind of changes in the end, but I still felt like they had uneven power. It's going to be a bit before I read something from Shay Savage again.

9) Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Okay, I was really on a romance kick in December, but I think Him finally satiated my intense need for steamy romances. Him follows two best friends, Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley, who are reunited one summer when they both coach at a hockey camp they both attended as teenagers. And what goes down is just so...hot. Yep, that's the only word I can use to describe Him - hot. I enjoyed the book a lot more than I anticipated, and I highly recommend it. 

10) The Raging Ones by Krista and Becca Ritchie

 Y'all...I read three arcs this month? Who am I? I've had The Raging Ones on my Kindle app for what seems like forever, and I'm proud that I actually got around to reading it instead of letting it just lay there forgotten. The Raging Ones follows three protagonists, and while it was difficult to differentiate them at first and had a slow start, I ended up really liking the book. The last act really redeemed the book for me.

Currently Reading!

Right now, I'm making my way through Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. I'm really enjoying it, but some characters have made really stupid decisions, and I just want to shake them. I'm almost 300 pages in at the moment (afternoon of Jan. 1), and I hope to finish it before I go back to school on the 6th. I'm not loving it as much as Lord of Shadows, so it's taking me a bit longer to read.

I'm casually listening to Royally Screwed by Emma Chase. Over my holiday break, I wasn't listening to the audiobook that much. I'm roughly 60 percent of the way through, and while I'm enjoying myself, I'm not loving the book. Listening to erotic romance is a lot different than just reading it, and I definitely didn't listen to it a lot when I was home with my parents. 

Life Updates!

good ol' Charlotte! (link)
So these past couple weeks I've been on winter break, and it was much needed. I was super stressed out by the beginning of December, but now I'm ready to get the semester started again. I am not sure what exactly I'll be reading this semester, but I now there will be some Charlotte Bronte in the mix, and possibly some Dickens. I'm also going to be starting an editorial internship on the 9th, which I really looking forward to. I've already met my bosses in the fall, and they seemed lovely. 

And that was my December! What did you read last month? 

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

Happy Reading! 

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

My 2019 Challenges!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be talking about the reading challenges I'm going to do this year! Now, I'm usually horrible with reading challenges and keeping up with them, so I'm only doing two outside of my goodreads challenge. 

Without further ado, here are the three reading challenges that I am participating in this year!

1) Romanceopoly

In 2018, I absolutely devoured romance novels. I really found my groove reading romance. I would say that I now read romance half the time and YA the other half, so my reading tastes are definitely evolving. To help explore this new genre I've really only dipped my toes in, I'm going to be participating in Romanceopoloy. The readathon is pretty complex, so I urge you to go check out their website, here, which will explain it better than I ever will. 

Essentially, this is a romance-focused monopoly challenge. I am going to be a wanderer, which means I won't go the direct route of the map, but roll dice that will take me where I want to go. I'm going to set my sights high and attempt the native level, which means I'll end up reading 39 books for this challenge. It sounds like a lot, but I do read around 100 books a year, and I probably read around 50 romance books a year. As long as I make sure I'm doing the readathon all year long, I won't have too much of an issue!