August Wrap-Up and September Currently Reading

And now it’s August 31st and my classes have started and organic chemistry is going to kill me. Seriously, I think this is the hardest class I’ve ever taken. Holy cow. So don’t be surprised if this is the last month where I read more than one book until December when classes let out for winter break. I’m already read for a nap.

So while I still have the energy to write about them, here are the books I read and the books I’m reading:

Y: The Last Man volume 6 by Brian K Vaughn
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 6: Girl on Girl (Y: The Last Man, #6)I’ve been slowly making my way through this series. This is by the same guy who writes Saga and this one is already completed, so I figure I’d pick it up. I don’t actually own any of the volumes myself but have been leeching them off Amanda as she buys them. So thanks :”D You save me monies and provide me entertainments. Also did I give this volume back to you yet, I forget.

ANYWAYS, this series follows Yorick, who along with his male monkey are the last two creatures with Y chromosomes on the planet. The world is written very rough-and-tumble. It’s gritty, funny, action-packed. And it has no shortage of strong female characters (because duh). This series is very different from Saga in both tone and art, but I seriously recommend checking it out. I have four volumes to go I think and I’m hoping the ending will be fantastic.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Going into this book, I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. I was expecting a generic YA fantasy that would pull out a three star rating. Because while the plot was unique, the plot devices used weren’t. And honestly the main character was a pest at times. But Ms Raasch managed to pull this book off spectacularly. I found myself invested in the story and absorbed into the word despite a small list of cliches that I noticed. I actually wrote a review on this one, so if you’re interested, go check it out.

I’m highly anticipating book two of this series which is set to be released later this year. While I’m still not crazy about the main character, she’s definitely grown on me and I actually kinda sorta like her now. Don’t love, but like, which is enough for me.

Rumble by Ellen Hopkins
RumbleThis is another book I wrote a review for and if you don’t follow my blog normally, I’ll let you know now that I hated this book. One star. I don’t even know how I finished it. I think I started hate-reading after a while and had to finish it from pure spite. So in the review I kinda tear it a new asshole.

If you like this book, tell me why, because I honestly don’t see the appeal. This was easily my lowest ranking book of the month. I’m hoping I don’t come across any more Rumbles for the rest of the year.

Amulet volume 1 by Kazu Kibuishi
Amulet, Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, #1)This graphic novel was a breathe of fresh air after finishing Rumble. I enjoyed this, and I loved the art. The creatures in this story are fascinating. This is a middle grade graphic novel following a set of siblings as they discover an amulet that let’s them fall into another world. After reading only one volume, I know I want to read the rest. I’m slowly renting them from my local library so hopefully I’ll get through them sooner or later.

Also, I noticed I have a weird thing – animal sidekicks. See that bunny on the front? I thought going into this that I’d find that bunny annoying, but I ended up liking him. I do that a lot. When I saw the snowman on Frozen before watching it, I mentally decided ‘annoying’, but ended up loving him. Does anyone else do that with animal sidekicks or am I weird?

The Martian by Andy Weir
The MartianI wrote a review on this one as well and this is easily my favorite book of the month if not the year so far. It’s up there with The Chaos Walking Trilogy with out much I’ve been shoving it down people’s throats. If there is some way some how you don’t know the synopsis of this book yet, it’s about a guy who gets stranded on Mars and then is a smart ass about it.

It’s hilarious, I highly recommend it if you want to laugh at constant life-and-death situations and not feel bad about it. I listened to think as an audiobook and highly recommend you do so – the narrator they caught is just absolutely perfect.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
A Monster CallsAnd this is officially my second favorite book of the month. I think I’m just a fangirl for Patrick Ness, he can do no wrong. A Monster Calls is about a boy named Conor and a Monster and a truth that the monster will see revealed. I read this very quickly. There are illustrations throughout it that just tie in so well with the tone of this book. It’s eerie without being scary, it’s unsettling without being off-putting. I really enjoyed this.

And I found out it’s being made into a movie and that Liam Neeson is voicing the monster. I think it’s a perfect choice :”D I can’t wait to watch it.

Legend by Marie Lu
Legend (Legend, #1)I got what I expected up going into this book – a semi-stereotypical story of a girl who discovers her government is corrupt and is now on a quest to take it down. Even though I knew it was cliche, I still enjoyed this book. The only problem I really had with it that kept me from getting fully immersed is the ‘the chosen one’ trope that runs strong in it. This fifteen year old girl and fifteen year old guy, only they can save the country. None of the adults. Nope, just them.

Once I got past that goofy piece of plot point, I could enjoy this book. I rated it 3.5 stars and am continuing the series.

So those are all the books I read this month. Like I said, it’s probably going to be a while before the list is this long again. So on to what I’m currently reading as we get into September:

Beauty QueensBeauty Queens by Libba Bray
You know what’s terrible? I might DNF this book. Not because I don’t like it – I do like it – but honestly I have no desire to read it. It’s weird. When I read it, I enjoy it, but all the other books on my list are drawing me in way more than this book. And it’s a library book that’ll have to be returned eventually, so… if I don’t pick it up again by the return date it’s getting DNF’d. I’ve already renewed it once, I think having it for six weeks and not finishing it should be an indicator that it’s time to let it go.

Yes Please by Amy PoehlerYes Please
This one I’m going to finish. I’m listening to it on audiobook and really enjoying it. Amy Poehler is pretty funny I think. :”D

Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide, #3)Life, The Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams
Yep, still chugging through this one. Ignore that I’ve been reading it since February. I’m reading this aloud with my SO so it’s more slow going but not an issue like Beauty Queens is.

Prodigy by Marie LuProdigy (Legend, #2)
This one I feel will be finished pretty quickly. I’m about 70 percent done with it and homework-depending, I’ll finish it by the weekend.

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1)His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
Reread for me, very much enjoying it :”D


A Storm of Swords by George RR MartinA Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)
Lately this one has taken the back burner to the other books I’m reading but I’m still definitely going to finish it. I love this world so much :”D

And that’s all she wrote! What was your favorite book this month? Happy reading!

Book Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Read July 30 – August 8 2015
YA Fantasy
416 pages

This book surprised me. I had seen a lot of people hauling it and saying things like “I’ve heard it’s so good” and “This sounds so great” but I only saw or heard reviews of people actually having read it a couple of times. Most of those reviews were positive and some were not, so I didn’t know what to expect coming into it.

Upon reading the first few chapters, I decided that I liked this book, that it was probably gonna get a three-star rating from me. The main reason for that rating instead of a higher one I think was the main character. I couldn’t stand her. She was immature and selfish and not at all relatable. From the beginning (and this is stated on the back of the book so it’s not a spoiler, promise) she was hung up over this Mather guy, but it really didn’t go into why she liked him. I know they’d been together since birth but from all her gooing over him, she didn’t say why she felt that way. So it felt a bit insta-lovey and it put me off. So at the beginning of the book, her character docked two stars off right away.

Though the world in which this book takes place made up for that. It was so interesting and I really liked the lore behind it as the story progressed. The different seasons and rhythms were really cool to read about – I like how each area had its own distinct feeling to it, more so than just saying “It’s always sunny here” or something like that. I feel the lands and their people embodied their seasons in more than just what the whether happened to be doing. It was really cool. So I kept reading despite Meira, the main character, making me groan in frustration every few pages. And then, one of the most amazing things ever happened:

Character development. Holy shit, it was amazing.

After finishing this book, I feel that Meira’s character went through one of the best character developments I’ve read. I’ve never had a character I didn’t like grow so quickly on me. By the end of the book, I didn’t just not dislike her any longer, but I really liked her. She realized what her character flaws were and actually made an effort to correct them. It. Was. Awesome. I became totally engrossed in her story and everything happening around her. The last 200 pages of this book flew by in a couple of hours.

And aside from the awesome character arc, the battle scenes in this book were written in a way that sucked me in. I really loved the detail that Raasch put into writing them and how she progressed the plot through instances of ‘What, no. WHAT, NOO’ that had me ending a chapter with the thought of ‘I’ll read one more’ over and over again. I couldn’t put this book down, man.

I know there’s a second book coming out soon, Ice like Fire, and I have a rough idea of what the plot is going to be, but I’m also afraid that a love triangle is gonna happen. It hasn’t been blatantly stated, but I feel it coming man and I’m afraid. Still totally gonna read the book, but afraid.

So over all, I quite enjoyed this book despite the iffy beginning, and I’m really excited to read the next one!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

January Wrap-Up 2015

If you follow my blog, earlier in the month I wrote a TBR for January. I kinda-sorta-alittlebit stuck to it. My goal was to read five books. Well, I read six books! Which is unheard of for me. Only problem is they weren’t all on the list of stuff for me to read.

My TBR Jar Challenge for January was to read a book that was not a novel. I had decided to pick up Keepers of the Garden by Dolores Cannon. This book is written by a regressionist who logs her sessions with a man whom she is regressing. Regression is a form of hypnosis in which one can go so far under that it’s claimed they can recall past lives. So first of all, you need to decide whether or not that you believe this is possible (or at least, decide whether you will accept it as being a possibility). I fall into the parentheses category. Without getting too much into spiritualism and so on, I feel like anything is possible and a human being does not have the brain capacity to understand everything. So I can’t 100% deny that regression is possible. So I went into it with as open of a mind as I could muster.

So I sat down to read the book and soon enough, the man being regressed recalled a live that was not of human origin. An extra-terrestrial past live. It. Was. Awesome. The man went into how his life had went, what energies were used in space, etc. I found it all very fascinating. But, I ended up putting the book down. Why, but I thought you were enjoying it Emily?! Well I was, but it got to the point where it seemed to, I don’t know, drag I guess? Like, it was one of those books that had me thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it, which is great, but I found myself feeling like it was a chore to read it after a while. I guess I felt like the author’s message was taking too long to get across. I got bored, which spells defeat when reading a book. I found myself skimming, and if I’m skimming, I’m not reading. And if I’m not reading, why read the book. So I put it down.

Keep in mind, I’m a child of the age of technology so my attention span is shit. If this book sounds interesting to you, by all means pick it up. Don’t let my lack of focus deter you. The bits that I did read I would easily read 4.5/5 stars. And who knows, maybe I’ll pick it up again. But for now, I’m giving it a break. Hopefully I’ll have more luck with my next TBR Jar Challenge month.

Otherwise, I did complete six books, three of which were on my January TBR post. The one above I feel was my only failure (as of yet, huhuh) Those would be:

Perdido Street Station by China Mievielle. This one is a steampunky fantasy-y, sci-fi-y book set in the most intricately written city that I’ve ever come across. This one took me a while to get through, but I’m so glad I did. I rated it 4.25/5 stars and my review can be found here.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Easily my favorite book so far. Loved it, solid 5 stars. I don’t know why I never read this before. I think I’m goofy. One thing to note though – in my tbr list, I mentioned wanting to read the compilation of all 5 books as one book. Well, I’m breaking them up. I’ve read the first one (so there). Currently on the second, which will show up in my tbr for january.

The Diviners by Libba Bray. This one I read as part of the Reading Adventures Book Club on goodreads. I rated this one a 4.5/5 stars. My review for it can by found here.

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit volumes 1 and 2 by Motoro Mase: This is a manga that I’ve had on my shelf for a long time. I own the first 6 volumes I belileve out of the 9 that are out – I don’t know if that’s the end of the series or not, but that’s how many there currently are. I read them a long time ago when I was in high school and decided to do so again (plus, a book came out that I wanted to buy, and i needed to read two more books to be able to buy a book, as per my read-five-buy-one rule, so these were perfect.) Ikigami is a strange bird. It has a very 1984y premise and it feels very dark and twisted. So far, both volumes have been 3 stars (which is a ‘I like this, will continue it’ rating from me). If you’re into messed up things, read this.

And the final book I read this month (which is the one I bought with my five other books being completed) was:
Saga volume 4 by Brian K Vaughn. Easily, easily easily five stars. If you have not read this yet, I highly suggest doing so. If you like Star Wars or sci-fi or cool creatures or anything like that, you will love this. It’s what is folding out to be an epic space opera, and I can’t wait for the next volume (I might even buy individual issues, I don’t know. We’ll see how long my withdraw symptoms from this series last).

So that’s what I read this month. I know my reading is going to slow down, if the last two weeks of classes are anything to go by, so I think my February tbr will be shorter. It’ll be posted up next. Thanks for reading!