Sunday, August 30, 2015

August Wrap-Up!

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction has also started a new monthly wrap-up post that includes giveaways and games. Check out the details here

And don't forget to enter my giveaway! The giveaway for a new August release of your choice ends in just 24 hours. 

What's Been Going On . . . 
It's September! I am so glad August is over, mainly because I love Fall weather. But I live in Naples, Italy, which is right on the coast. So typically, our autumn resembles more of a warm Spring. Either way, I hate the heat so I will be happy to see that go away. I am also very excited for a couple of trips my husband and I are taking. Next weekend, we will be going on a long weekend to the Umbria and Tuscany region. I love that we are close enough that we can drive there! We will also be celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary on September 18. We will be spending the weekend on the Amalfi Coast, which is pretty much the most beautiful spot in Southern Italy. Of course I will be posting lots of pictures for you guys.

This month was a really good month, reading wise. I read a total of 24 books this month! Yay! I participated in Bout of Books 14, which helped me get some more reading in. And because I overextended myself with September ARCs, I also participated in ARC August. 

Here are the books I read this month, in all their glory:

Favorite Book Read This Month:
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
I will be posting a review of this one soon. Man, I loved this book.

Most disappointing book I read this month:
Are You Still There by Sarah Lynn Scheerger

Reviews Posted This Month:

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
The Uninvited by Cat Winters
Mini-reviews for The Six, The Fall and Legacy of Kings
A Court of Thorn and Roses (ACOTAR #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
Mini-reviews for A Whole New World, Your Voice Is All I Hear, State of Grace and It's About Love
Mini-reviews for Vivian Apple, If You Wrong Us, Vengeance Road and Alice
Are You Still There by Sarah Lynn Scheerger
Mini-reviews for From Where I Watch You and The Wanderers

Top Ten Lists:

Favorite Fairytale Retellings
Authors I Have Read The Most From
Top Auto-Buy Authors
Tyrannical Governments 101

Other Posts This Month:

I had a discussion about the book Some Girls Are being banned from a school's reading list.
I did an Unpopular Opinions Tag
You can read about my progress for Bout of Books 14
Discussion post where I asked the question: Do You Reread? <----- Most visited post this month!
I did the Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

How was your month? What was your favorite book read this month?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ARC Week 4 and Final Update - From Where I Watch You and The Wanderers

Here is my final update for ARC August hosted by Octavia and Shelly from Read, Sleep, Repeat. My goal was to read twelve ARCs this month. Including this week, I was able to read fourteen ARCs. Yay! There is only one book (Hunter) being published on September 1 that I was not able to finish. I am reading it right now, so hopefully I will be able to finish it and post a review for that one this week. I consider ARC August pretty successful.

Here are mini-reviews of a couple of ARCs that I finished this week:

Title And Author: From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan
Source: Edelweiss
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Goodreads Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Kara McKinley is about to realize her dream of becoming a professional baker -- if she wins the upcoming national baking competition. But the past holds many secrets, and they come to light as Kara faces a secret terror. Someone is leaving her handwritten notes. Someone who knows exactly where she is and what’s she’s doing. As they lead her to piece together the events that preceded her sister's terrible, life-changing betrayal years before, she starts to catch glimpses of her dead sister. If Kara doesn’t figure out who her stalker is, and soon, she could lose everything. Her chance of escape. The boy she’s beginning to love and trust. Even her life.

Review: I really thought food would be featured more prominently in this book. But alas, Kara's baking was just a side not to a storyline about a stalker and a family still grieving. Oh, and there's a really bland kind of love triangle thrown in there too. I kept reading this book because of the mystery behind who was sending the notes. But after reading for a while, I realized something: I was way more interested in finding out who the stalker was than Kara. She never, ever gives a single thought as to who is stalking her. There was part of the mystery that I figured out early on, but the actual identity of the guy was surprise. But I thought the reasoning behind his obsession with Kara and the stalking was actually pretty flimsy. It was kind of anti-climactic. And then there was Charlie, her boyfriend. He was a guy she apparently loved since 5th grade, despite the fact that they never went out and rarely spoke. Their relationship was just boring and I really didn't understand what Charlie saw in Kara. They would kiss or get close, she would start a fight with him and yell and they wouldn't talk for days. Eventually, he would forgive her for yelling or whatever and the cycle would start all over again. But sure, they loved each other after two conversations, one fight, and one kiss. There was kind of a love triangle, but I didn't get it. She hadn't even started dating Charlie yet, but she felt guilty when she kissed this other guy. Oh the drama. Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one!

Title And Author: The Wanderers by Kate Ormand
Source: Edelweiss
Scheduled Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Goodreads Synopsis: Flo travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting abilities. In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise. Flo makes a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters. Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with a few of the other members of the circus. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most?

Review: You wouldn't think that a book about shape shifters would bore me, but that's exactly what happened. This book took me several days to finish, mainly because I felt no urge to go back to it. One thing that I disliked was the world building. I was imagining magical descriptions of the circus and the atmosphere and what it was like to shift. I didn't get any of that. The author gave some half-hearted descriptions of the circus, but it was mainly told from backstage where Flo was observing. And there was almost no description of shifting, nor were there any distinguishing qualities between the humans and their animal selves. When they humans did shift, it seemed like it was just another skin. There was no difference in their thoughts or actions and they were aware of everything around them. It was a bit boring. This book didn't pick up until the 40% mark. It is at that point in the book that the hunters find the shifters. The scene where Flo and some of the others fled the burning circus grounds was fast paced and kept me engaged. The characters were a bit underdeveloped. There was a romance between Flo and Jett, but it was more on the back burner. Good thing because they were boring together, despite the fact that she was a horse and he was a bear. Yeah, it takes more than shifting to make a couple exciting. In the beginning, there was almost no explanation given as to what happened to the parents of the shifters. The elders simply brought children to the circus when they were as young as two or three years old and gave no explanation. Later in the book, there were a few secrets and twists regarding their parents. Flo acted like she was shocked and traumatized by this information, despite the fact that she had never questioned the location of her parents up until that point. I did not buy her sudden outpouring of emotion. The last part of this book had plenty of action and a surprisingly high body count. There were also countless secondary characters that were introduced in the last half of the book that added absolutely nothing to the story. It's such a shame about this one because it had so much potential. Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Are You Still There by Sarah Lynn Scheerger

I received this ARC of Are You Still There by Sarah Lynn Scheerger from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date is September 1, 2015.

Gabriella Mallory, AP student and perfect-daughter-in-training, stands barefoot on a public toilet for three hours while her school is on lockdown. Someone has planted a bomb and she is hiding. The bomb is defused but the would-be-bomber is still at large—and everyone at Central High School is a suspect. The school starts a top-secret crisis help line and Gabi is invited to join. When she does, she is drawn into a suspenseful game of cat and mouse with the bomber, who has unfinished business. As the story unfolds, Gabi knows she is somehow connected to the bomber. Even worse, she knows she is part of his plan. Can Gabi reach out and stop him or will she be too late?

This book had so much promise and so much potential. I am trying to think of a single positive thing about this book. The beginning of the book with Gabi hiding in the bathroom was very suspenseful. I guess the whole mystery of who the bomber was kept me reading, so there was that. 

Let's start with the main character: Gabriella. She was so freaking perfect that it made my teeth hurt. She was in every single volunteer organization, got into every college she wanted and never even dated anyone because her mom wanted her to "keep her eye on the prize." Ugh. I hated her relationship with Miguel. First of all, when she first met him she assumed he was in an ESL class because she didn't recognize him. She also assumed he didn't speak English very well. I also got the impression that the author stuck a Latino kid in the story to try and make it more diverse, but then didn't know what to do with him. He would be speaking English and then all of a sudden, he would say a random word in Spanish, like bonita, perfecto, or hola. Oh, and Gabriella and a friend of hers talked about him growing up in a barrio, which was a great excuse for his crazy temper. <insert eye roll here> There was also zero chemistry and of course, Miguel confessed his love after a week. So many problems with both of those characters. 

Now let's talk about the mystery of the bomber. First of all, I am the most clueless person in the world and yet I knew who the bomber was the second he was introduced. Yep, it was very predictable. Throughout the book, there were inserts called "The Stranger's Manifesto" that was supposed to be journal entries by the bomber. These entries were boring and didn't add anything to the story. These entries gave no indication as to why this guy was choosing to terrorize the school or why he was targeting Gabi. That was the really ridiculous part. This guy was leaving notes for Gabi and calling her, but he never said why. But of course, Gabi decides to take it upon herself to find the bomber HERSELF and she never tells her dad (the COP) what is going on. The mystery kept me reading, but it was super predictable and still didn't answer any questions. 

The author's note indicated she had worked on a crisis hotline in college, but I find that very hard to believe. The scenes where the kids were supposed to be counseling callers were just awkward. But what do you expect when the kids got literally ten minutes of training. That's it! This school created this anonymous helpline to supposedly help students who were feeling alone, but they got no training. Not only that, but there was no teacher or administrator who supervised their shifts. These students were just left alone with no faculty advisor in case they had a problem. And the only thing they could do was give callers referrals for counseling agencies. 

In the end, this book had unlikeable characters, an unrealistic plot and zero suspense.

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Tyrannical Governments 101

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They feature a different top ten list every week. This week's topic is books that would be on my syllabus if I was teaching a class. I am a huge fan of dystopian books so my class would be called Tyrannical Governments 101.

1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Ahhh, yes . . . the tyrannical government to end all tyrannical governments. A government where women are treated as sexual objects. It could happen. 

2. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - The first dystopian series I ever read and it's still my favorite. President Snow was one evil villain!

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Unfortunately, this tyrannical government was not a fictional one. This book was emotionally devastating and it was so scary just how many people believed in Hitler.

4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir - A book about an Empire that demands loyalty or you will be killed. Oh, and there's that whole pesky women being sold into slavery thing. No biggie.

5. Rook by Sharon Cameron - Sad that the Sunken City of Paris is now under the rule of a new government, where everyone who opposes it is put to death.

6. The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer - Okay, so Prince Kai was not a tyrannical ruler. But Levana, the ruler of the Moon, most certainly is. All of her actions are geared towards trying to take over the universe.

7. Wayward Pines by Blake Crouch - You have to read the whole series to realize just how evil this government is. 

8. Young Elites by Marie Lu - I just read this one and LOVED it. It is actually better than Legend. Teren, the one leading the charge to get rid of all Young Elites, is pretty damn evil. Yeah, and I also think he's kind of hot too. Weird, right? 

9. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Yeah, a government that advocates the burning of books. Scary!

10. Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill - I swear, this one creeped me out even more than The Handmaid's Tale. A must read!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

ARC August Week 3 Update - Vivian Apple, If You Wrong Us, Vengeance Road, Alice

Here is an update for ARC August hosted by Octavia and Shelly from Read, Sleep, Repeat. My goal was to read twelve ARCs this month. Including the four that I read this week, I have read eleven. Yay! So I will be able to exceed my goal. And I only have two more to read that have September 1 publication dates.

Here are mini-reviews of the ones I read this week:
Title And Author: Vivian Apple Needs A Miracle (Vivian Apple #2) by Katie Coyle
Source: NetGalley/Edelweiss
Scheduled Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Goodreads Synopsis:  The predicted Rapture by Pastor Frick’s Church of America has come and gone, and three thousand Believers are now missing or dead. Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple and her best friend, Harpreet, are revolutionaries, determined to expose the Church’s diabolical power grab . . . and to locate Viv’s missing heartthrob, Peter Ivey. This fast-paced, entertaining sequel to Vivian Apple at the End of the World challenges readers to consider how to live with integrity in a disintegrating world. 

Review: There were so many aspects of this book that were better than the first one. For one thing, I liked Vivian better in this book than the first one. Vivian was much more of a take charge bad ass in this one and I loved that. Of course that led to some really stupid decisions. There were times in the book where I wanted to yell at her for some of the decisions she was making. But then again, she was a teenager dealing with the possibility of an apocalypse. I would probably make some stupid decisions myself. There were characters introduced in this book that added a lot of depth to the story. Also, there were a lot more explanations about who was behind the supposed Rapture and the point of it all. It was crazy madness. I loved the social commentary on cults and religion. It's hard for me to give more details without giving spoilers. I thought the ending was great. Yes, it was a bit open ended and there were still some unanswered questions, but I was okay with that. I don't think there is another book coming. If that is the case, this was a great way to end the story! Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy! If you enjoyed the first one, you will love this one. And actually, you will probably like this one, even if you weren't a big fan of the first one.

Title And Author: If You Wrong Us by Dawn Klehr
Source: NetGalley
Scheduled Publication Date: October 8, 2015
Goodreads Synopsis: Becca and Johnny become entangled after a car crash steals the lives of two people they love. Officially, the crash is an accident. But Becca and Johnny are convinced: someone did this. As they plot revenge against the person responsible, a bond—intense, unyielding, and manic—takes hold of them. And in an unexpected turn of events, they fall for each other. Or so they think. In an upside-down world where decay is beautiful and love and hate become one, Becca and Johnny find themselves grappling with reality. Nothing is exactly what it seems, including what they've come to believe about the crash. Question is: will they learn the truth before it's too late? 

Review:  This was basically a YA version of Gone Girl, but not nearly as interesting. The book jumps between Johnny's POV in the present and Becca's POV in the past. Six months ago, there was a horrible car accident where Becca's twin sister and Johnny's mom dies. Becca becomes obsessed with getting revenge on the person who responsible and she brings Johnny into her plan. There was no real distinction between the two voices. There were a few times where I actually had to look at the beginning of the chapter for the name of the person talking because I couldn't tell who was who. One of the two narrators was a bit disturbed and completely unreliable. That part was interesting. But I just couldn't get behind the plan they concocted. Once I figured out what they were doing, I was baffled about how they thought they would get away with it. There was also this website where people anonymously confessed their sins. This website was a useless addition to the story that went absolutely nowhere. The ending seemed as if it were hastily thrown together. I kept reading because I wanted to know how it would end, but it just left me a bit baffled and not in the good way.  Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one!

Title And Author: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Source: NetGalley
Scheduled Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Goodreads Synopsis: When Kate Thompson's father is killed by the notorious Red Rose Gang for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there's room for love in a heart so full of hate. 

Review: This was so different from the usual YA literature. I have never seen a YA Western before. I am not usually into Westerns, but I was intrigued by this premise. I am so glad I gave this one a shot because I loved it! When Kate's father is killed by a gang known as the Rose Riders, she doesn't hesitate to go after them for revenge. Her quest for vengeance is fierce and unstoppable.  Kate was such a bad ass character. She wasn't afraid of anything and she didn't shy away from doing what was necessary. Some of the scenes were pretty brutal; Erin Bowman did not pull any punches just because it was YA. This book is set in Arizona in 1877 and Erin Bowman did an amazing job describing the dusty landscape Kate was crossing. From the dust storms to the gunfights to the poker game in the old saloon, everything was described in exquisite detail. Bowman's writing and her love of the genre was fantastic. I could not put this book down. The gunfights were exciting and tense and heartbreaking and pretty much everything that you would expect in a Western. There was a great twist at the end that I did not see coming. And don't worry: there is a touch of romance in between some of the gunfire. I loved Jesse from the very beginning and I loved the slow and gradual progression of their relationship. Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy this one!

Title And Author: Alice by Christina Henry
Source: NetGalley
Scheduled Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Goodreads Synopsis: In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside. In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood. Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago. Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful. And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

Review: This is a very dark, very adult version of Alice in Wonderland. It is so dark that I honestly struggled with the rating a bit. But in the end, the author does an amazing job of building this twisted, disturbing world. After spending eight years in an asylum, Alice and her friend, Hatcher are able to escape. But a monster they call the Jabberwocky also gets free. Alice and Hatcher set out to destroy this monster. Along the way, Alice also deals with her memories coming back and the possibility of the inevitable confrontation with the Rabbit. One thing Christina Henry did very well with this book was that she took some of the original characters from Alice in Wonderland, but she turned them into monstrous versions of themselves. One point of caution: there is a lot of rape in this book. In this fictional world that Henry has created, very, very bad things happen and it can be a lot to take in. This is no fairy tale. If there was one issue I had, it is that some of the confrontations between Alice and some of the evil characters were a bit anticlimactic. The book didn't end on a cliffhanger, but it was a bit open. t know there is a sequel that is supposed to come out next year and I will be very excited to read it. Buy/Borrow/Skip: If you are okay with the tough subject matter, I say buy it!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Obviously I do know that it isn't quite mid-year anymore. But I saw Cait @ Paper Fury do this tag and thought it looked like a lot of fun. Get ready for some freaking out!!

So far, I have read 151 books this year! Last year, I read 158 books so I think it's safe to say that I am on track to knock last year's number out of the water. 

Best book you have read so far in 2015

This is an INSANE question and it is unbelievably unfair. Here are just a few of the ones I fell in love with this year.
  • I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Black Iris by Leah Raeder
  • All the Rage by Courtney Summers
  • Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill
  • Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Best sequel you have read so far in 2015

Since I read the entire Lunar Chronicles series this year, I am going to say that every single sequel in that series has been amazing! I do believe that Cress is my favorite though.
New Release You Haven't Read Yet, But Want To

There are many new releases on my TBR! Here are a few that I haven't been able to get to yet. Soon, I hope!

Most Anticipated Release for the second half of the year

There are several I am really looking forward to and they are ALL sequels! 

Biggest Disappointment

Luckily, I haven't had any huge disappointments this year. But I was a bit disappointed with A Whole New World by Liz Braswell. I really, really wanted to love this Aladdin retelling. But it did not work for me. It was just boring.

Biggest Surprise
Alive by Scott Sigler. I honestly thought this would be kind of a Maze Runner copycat and I thought I was going to be a bit bored. But this turned out to be one of the most unique dystopian novels I have read in a long time. I loved it!

Favorite New Author

I have discovered many new authors this year, but my favorite is Courtney Summers.
Everything she does is pure genius.

Newest Fictional Crush

Tamlin from A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas! I freaking love him! And I love his relationship with Feyre.

Newest Favorite Character

Laney from Black Iris. I know it's weird, but I love how messed up she is.

Book that made you cry

There were so many books that made me cry this year! These are just a few.

Book that made you happy

The Princess Bride! I LOVE the movie, but I had never, ever read the book. The book was so crazy amazing. 

Favorite Book to Film Adaptation This Year

I was a little late to the party, but I just saw If I Stay this year. That was a great book and the movie was awesome. The movie was just as much of a tearjerker.

Favorite Post You Have Done So Far This Year
Ahhh, so hard to choose!

I loved writing my review for Two Boys Kissing, mainly because I love that book with all my heart. Seriously, it's unfreakingbelievable.

I loved doing a top ten list of my favorite diverse reads and the top ten list of my favorite book quotes.

The Would You Rather tag was really fun.

One of my favorite discussion posts (and one of my most popular) was How Necessary Are Negative Reviews?

Most beautiful book you have bought so far this year

I actually don't buy a lot of physical books. Most of mine are on my Kindle. But if I had to choose books with the most beautiful covers, I would probably pick the Lunar Chronicles series. I love every cover!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

What books don't I need to read this year?? There are SO MANY!!! But yeah, I'll go ahead and let you guys know a few on my TBR pile that I haven't talked about in this post yet.

I'm not going to tag anyone, but feel free to do this tag on your blog! Or let me know in the comments section . . . what is your favorite book of 2015? What is your biggest disappointment?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

DNF Round-Up: Everybody Rise, Crazy Horse's Girlfriend, Windfallen and Infinite Jest

I hate DNF-ing books. I hate it, but I'll do it. My TBR grows by leaps and bounds every day so I refuse to waist my time with a book I am not enjoying. I decided to do a round up of books I have DNF-ed within the last few months.

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford (this was an ARC from NetGalley)
Goodreads Synopsis: It's 2006 in the Manhattan of the young and glamorous. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she's forced to embrace them. Recruiting new members for the site, Evelyn steps into a promised land of Adirondack camps, Newport cottages and Southampton clubs thick with socialites and Wall Streeters. Despite herself, Evelyn finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father, a crusading class-action lawyer, is indicted for bribery, Evelyn must contend with her own family's downfall as she keeps up appearances in her new life, grasping with increasing desperation as the ground underneath her begins to give way.
Why I DNF-ed: I know this one was supposed to be for review, but I just could not get through it without wanting to go to sleep. I was 13% of the way through it when I realized that nothing had happened. The author spent all that time describing how Evelyn really wanted to get in with the rich kids and she had an overbearing mother, blah, blah, blah. And the mysterious site where she had to recruit rich people to use? After reading almost a quarter of the book, I still had no idea why it was so special or what the point was. Maybe I fell asleep during the explanation, but I doubt it. 

Crazy Horse's Girlfriend by Erika T. Wurth
Goodreads Synopsis: Margaritte is a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a Colorado town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her and dreams that she and her unreliable new boyfriend can move far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive.
Why I DNF-ed: I know teenagers can often curse like a sailor. Sometimes I curse like a sailor. Ha. But when I see a character who curses just for the sake of it, it gets annoying. When the main character meets a guy, he asks for her favorite author. Her response? "Stephen fucking King." I mean, was there really a need for that? I really felt like the author was doing it more for shock value than anything else. I also couldn't connect with the main character at all. There was just no emotion there: just a lot of complaining and a lot of cursing. 

Windfallen by Jojo Moyes
Goodreads Synopsis: The tiny, well-ordered seaside village of Merham holds little to interest the adventurous -- except for Arcadia, the breathtaking art deco house perched above the shoreline. Attracted to this magical place, young Lottie Swift surrenders freely to its temptations and ultimately must face the hard consequences of her actions. Years later another young woman comes to Merham. A designer hired to make over the now-empty Arcadia, Daisy Parsons seeks a new beginning, as Lottie once did. Fleeing a broken relationship, Daisy finds refuge at Arcadia, and something more -- a love she thought she would never know again. 
Why I DNF-ed: I really, really love Jojo Moyes. And this is the first book by her that I just did not like. It wasn't the writing because the writing was beautiful as usual. It was the plot: very, very slow paced and a bit boring. When Lottie falls instantly in love with her best friend's fiancee, I couldn't do it. And I do mean instantly in love. He steps off the train and she feels like they are meant to be together. And yeah, I could see that she was going to hurt her best friend over a guy that she didn't even know. No thank you. 

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Goodreads Synopsis: Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jestbends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human—and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.
Why I DNF-ed: Of all the books in this post, this is the only one I am thinking I will get to again one day. I really liked the prose. It was very beautiful and I was getting into the plot. The only problem is that it is very, very heavy. And very long. It even has footnotes, for crying out loud. You really have to pay attention to this book. I kind of just stopped reading this one and went to one of my lighter reads. I haven't gone back to it yet, but I am sure I will. This book gets glowing reviews, so I would like to see what all the fuss is about.

Do you have a problem DNF-ing books?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Auto-Buy Authors

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They feature a different top ten list every week. This week's topic is top authors that I will buy absolutely anything from. There may or may not (mostly may) be some overlap from last week's list of my most read authors.

1. Marissa Meyer

2. Margaret Atwood
3. Courtney Summers - I love everything I have read by her so far. 

4. JoJo Moyes
5. Gillian Flynn - Her mysteries are as twisted as it gets.

6. Amy Harmon - Her books are amazing! The Law of Moses is one of my favorite books ever.
7. Jandy Nelson - Both I'll Give You The Sun and The Sky is Everywhere were beautiful works of art.
8. Roxane Gay - An Untamed State was a masterpiece.
9. Rainbow Rowell
10. Leah Raeder - Black Iris is still one of my favorite books of the year.

Who are some of your auto-buy authors?