Feb 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #44: Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Author: Danielle Paige
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 432
Release Date: March 15, 2016

"In this dark, action-packed third book in the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Amy Gumm—the new girl from Kansas—must do everything in her power to save Kansas, kill Dorothy, and make Oz a free land once more.
Amy Gumm’s mission to take down Dorothy Gale is not going according to plan. Dorothy has found a way to bridge the worlds of Oz and Kansas, and if the power-hungry dictator of Oz has her way, Kansas will be destroyed forever. Now, Amy has to team up with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to save her home, restore the balance between the magic and nonmagic worlds, maybe get the guy—and kill that not-so-sweet Kansas farm girl once and for all.
In the third installment of the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Danielle Paige’s twisted versions of beloved Oz characters are back, including the biggest, baddest, most famous of all: the Wicked Witch of the West.
Welcome to the other side of the rainbow. Here there’s danger around every corner, and magic shoes won’t be able to save you."
I cannot wait to get more of this series! I will have to reread Dorothy Must Die and The Wicked Will Rise before I read this one because I don't remember much, but I can't wait to get my hands on this. Also, the covers keep getting better and I love how they look on my shelf. The spines add so much color to my mainly black bookshelf, thank you!

Feb 23, 2016

Top Ten Books I Recently Enjoyed That Weren't My Type of Book

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I wouldn't have previously said that these were my type of books, but after enjoying so many of them I will definitely check some more out.

1. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

One of the best books I've read in my entire life. A must read for everyone. 

2. First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung

This book was so powerful and inspiring, and I thought it was so interesting to read first hand experience on the Cambodian genocide. 

3. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

I don't read a lot of autobiographies, but this one was so inspiring and powerful. If you are interested in civil rights and slavery definitely pick this one up.

4. All My Sons by Arthur Miller

I had never been one to read plays, but after I read this one I literally went out trying to find all of Miller's plays. So good!

5. Freakonomics by Stephen J. Levitt

This book was so outside the box and HILARIOUS! I freaking loved it and would suggest it to everyone. I learned so much reading this book and I couldn't put it down. 

6. An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen

Another play that I loved. Definitely going to read more plays in the future since I've loved all the ones I read so far.

7. Darwin by Paul Johnson

Again, I didn't think I would like a lot of biographies, but this one was so interesting and informative I loved it!

8. Blackbird by Anna Carey

I never thought I would like second person, but it really got me caught up in the book. If you guys know any other good books written in second person please let me know! 

9. The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

I've never really like middle grade (beside Percy Jackson obviously) but this books got me caught up in the Disney characters and I really enjoyed it.

10. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
This isn't something I've ever really tried, and although this was a weird book it was really interesting. I enjoyed the entire book and I definitely want to try more of these books that are out of my comfort zone.

Feb 21, 2016

Review: Dreambender by Ronald Kidd

Author: Ronald Kidd
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Number of Pages: 256

"Everyone in the City is assigned a job by the choosers--keeper, catcher, computer. Callie Crawford is a computer. She works with numbers: putting them together, taking them apart. Her work is important, but sometimes she wants more. Jeremy Finn is a dreambender. His job is to adjust people's dreams. He and others like him quietly remove thoughts of music and art to keep the people in the City from becoming too focused on themselves and their own feelings rather than on the world. They need to keep the world safe from another Warming. But Jeremy thinks music is beautiful, and when he pops into a dream of Callie singing, he becomes fascinated with her. He begins to wonder if there is more to life than being safe. Defying his community and the role they have established for him, he sets off to find her in the real world. Together, they will challenge their world's expectations. But how far will they go to achieve their own dreams?"
I went into this book blind, so I had no clue what it was about. I think that really made the experience much more enjoyable, and I had a fun time reading the book. It did take me a while to get through though and while I had fun reading it it wasn't the greatest book.

The plot was definitely the best part of the book because it kept me trapped in the entire time I was reading it. It was so original and the characters were so new that the reader just gets caught up into the story. I thought Jeremy and Callie showed two different worlds in a very unique and interesting way that I really enjoyed.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the author's writing style. I felt the book was moving very quickly, and I think if the book was longer I would have enjoyed it more. There were a lot of things that the author tried to add to the plot that felt very unnecessary and rushed. (Sorry that was vague I'm trying to do this with no spoilers!) I wish I could pick through the book and just delete some parts because the book would have been so much better without them. 

Overall, I enjoyed the originality of the book but not the book in its entirety. I wanted more from the book, and it just didn't deliver.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars!

*I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Feb 18, 2016

Review: Play With Me & Ryan Hunter by Anna Katmore

Author: Anna Katmore
Number of Pages: 238

"What if you had to do the one thing you hated most to get the guy you loved to notice you?
Ryan Hunter’s parties are legend. And tonight she’s going to be there.
Lisa Matthews anticipates the return of her best friend and only love since kindergarten from soccer camp. But when Tony finally shows up, his mind is more focused on another girl. And worse, she’s a soccer player. Fighting for the attention Lisa craves, she’s just a hairbreadth away from making a very stupid decision. But when extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, she’s prepared to play ball to get her man.
The tryouts are hell, the first match ends bloody, and the morning after the selection party she wakes up in the worst place possible—in the arms of the captain of the soccer team. The hottest guy in school… Ryan Hunter."
I had this book on my TBR for a while and I had been trying to read some of the books that had been on there so I picked up this book. Harman had read it before me, and she enjoyed it so I had high hopes for it. And it didn't disappoint!

The characters were really likable, but not lovable, and I enjoyed the plot. There were a lot of moments that I didn't expect and the book wasn't predictable, so I didn't know from the beginning what was going to happen. I was happy that it wasn't one of those YA contemporaries that was a repeat of every single other YA contemporary. Although there were some moments that I just got bored but they didn't last long. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I would suggest it. Especially since it's free on Amazon! Go pick it up!

 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

Author: Anna Katmore
Publisher: Piper Shelly Books
Number of Pages: 350

"Ryan Hunter kissed more girls than he cares to remember. But the only one he ever wanted is in love with his best friend.
Watching Lisa Matthews’ obsession with Tony Mitchell is a torture Ryan conceals from everyone. Until after a five-week soccer camp, where Tony gets involved with someone else, things suddenly take a different turn. Ryan knows if he doesn’t make a move now and grab his chance, he might never get another.
Asked by Tony to distract Lisa, Ryan is only too happy. He subtly seduces her first into his soccer team and later on to his party. He does all in his power to make her see that he’s not just an insufferable playboy but a guy who really cares about her. Some one-on-one soccer training, a passionate kiss — things seem to be going the way he wants. Except Ryan didn’t reckon on his best friend showing up at the worst possible moment and destroying everything… "
So, this book is just Play With Me but in Ryan's point of view, and I was really disappointed. I didn't hate the book, but it was a downgrade from the first book. Also, the cover.... I hate it. Ugh.

It wasn't the plot (obviously since I liked the first book) or the characters, but it was the writing. I don't think the author was made to write in a guy's point of view because the entire book was really girly. I didn't feel like anything Ryan was doing was something a guy would do or say with friends. I would rather the author stick to girls' POV (which isn't a bad thing!).

Overall, if you're bored and really have nothing else to read then go ahead but I wouldn't really suggest it. BUT! I did like this ending more than the first because it didn't end off in the same place. It had more scenes, and I did enjoy those.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars!

Feb 16, 2016

Top Ten Songs I Wish Were Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Everyone needs to go and listen to all these songs, and then you will completely understand why I chose them. Also, it was surprisingly hard to find gifs for this post. Why? I'l never know.

1. Don't Stop Me Now- Queen

2. Piano Man- Billy Joel

3. Company- Justin Bieber

4. Stairway to Heaven- Led Zeppelin

5. Jessie's Girl- Rick Springfield

6. Uptown Girl- Billy Joel

7. In the Night- The Weeknd

8. Water- Pentatonix

9. Locked Away- R.City

10. Something Big- Shawn Mendes

Feb 15, 2016

Review: Chasing McCree by JC Isabella

Author: JC Isabella
Publisher: JC Isabella Books
Number of Pages: 182

"Briar Thompson had it all. The right clothes, the right friends, the right car. Being popular was all that mattered. Her parents were rich and treated like royalty throughout the community. She thought her senior year of high school was going perfectly, until the night her drink was spiked at a party by one of her so called friends. 
That was the night she met Chase McCree. 
Chase wanted to go back to Montana. To the ranch and the wild, wide blue sky that went on forever. He wanted nothing to do with flashy cars or spoiled rich kids. But he found himself head over boots for the quirky cheerleader who turned her back on her social status. She befriended him when no one else would. 
Shunned and hurt by the people who were once her friends, Briar flees with Chase to his family ranch in Montana. There she discovers another world, and apart of herself she never knew. 
The cowboy wasn’t like anyone she’d ever met. The cheerleader wasn’t like anyone he’d ever met. Apart their lives didn’t seem to make sense, but together, they were chasing forever."
I had this book on my TBR shelf since the day I joined Goodreads, and I am so glad I finally picked it up because it was SO good. I didn't really know what to expect and I kind of went into it blind since I hadn't heard too much about it. When I was writing this post and had to write the publisher I realized that this was an independent author, and I think that just makes the book ten times better because it was beyond good.

The characters were so lovable throughout this book, and you could feel their emotions flying all over the place throughout this book. That made it very relatable and I didn't want to put the book down at all. 

The plot was really good, but I felt like it moved really fast. I don't want to spoil anything, but I felt like the author was just trying to cram a long story into 200 pages or less. I feel like I would have enjoyed it much more had it been longer and more thought out in terms of Briar and Chase's relationship.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book, and I would definitely recommend it. This is one independent author that needs more attention! Anyone who enjoys YA contemporaries should definitely pick this book up.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!