Friday, October 9, 2015

Book Review: These Broken Stars by Amy Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Authors: Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion (Disney Book Group)
Format: Hardcover // 374 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Other books by Spooner: The Skylark trilogy

Filed under: space, survival
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Why did I decide to read this?
This cover is basically the reason I bought this book, and I am not embarrassed by that fact. It is plain beautiful and shows that it takes place in space, one of my favorite story settings. (Also, shout out to the designer because the girl actually matches the description of Lilac LaRoux. Red hair, green dress!)

Quick summary (to get you interested, hopefully!)
After Tarver Merendsen, a war hero, and Lilac LaRoux, the daughter of the richest man in the universe, are thrown out of space, they miraculously land on an unknown planet and must work together to survive and make it back home.

These Broken Stars was pretty slow in pace, but not at all boring. The mystery of it all — Where did Tarver and Lilac land? Who will they encounter? Will both survive? — kept things interesting and stopped me from putting the book down. Right from the start I had so many questions I wanted an answer to, but each chapter revealed information so slowly that I NEEDED to continue reading to find out just what the heck was going on.

I also loved how the bits and pieces of the interrogation before each chapter added a different dimension to the story. It was a bit deceiving at times (and I will admit that I got impatient and skipped ahead twice!)

Tarver is a great guy — he loves his family, and is willing to take care of Lilac no matter how much she opposes him. And Lilac, oh how much she changed throughout the story. We’re talking about the girl who refused to take off her heels to walk around and would rather get BLISTERS than admit her life has been turned upside down. Being away from the glitz and the glam transformed her into a totally different person.

I like Tarver and Lilac individually, but don’t really care for them together. My brain is telling me I should be rooting for them, especially because society says they shouldn’t end up together, but my heart is telling me NO. I just couldn’t see the chemistry :(

A lot of strange things happened. Like OUT OF THIS WORLD strange. There is legit science fiction stuff happening in this one. The ending was really creepy (I was not expecting that) and it also left me unsatisfied. The "mystery" was no longer a mystery, but the big reveal left me with a bunch of new questions. I AM TOO CURIOUS.

Will I re-read this?
Most likely no. I liked the writing but there isn't anything that really stuck out to me.
If you read These Broken Stars, what are your feelings toward Tarver and Lilac? What did you think about the ending? Will you read (or have you read) This Shattered World, the companion novel?

Friday, October 2, 2015

October 2015 TBR • the month of all things spooky

For me, October always signifies the beginning of the end of the year. And I mean this in a completely positive way. I love the way autumn leads into winter, with the changing of leaves, longer nights, and chilly weather. These last three months (Oct/Nov/Dec) are my favorite, mainly because society has jam-packed them with celebrations. There's always something to look forward to, which makes me happy!

Because October is the month of all things spooky, I stuck with the theme and chose four "scary" books I'd like to tackle soon:

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis // I'll be honest, my excitement for reading this is 70% because of the cover. Specifically, the hand on the girl's foot. SO CREEPY. The designer's eye for detail makes my heart sing.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs // Yes, I am a bit embarrassed that I haven't read this one yet. Knowing that Tim Burton is directing (or has directed?) the movie has made me all the more eager to read this now.

In the After by Demetria Lunetta // I lost interest after I bought this off of the Book Outlet website a while ago, but I had to look through it for research during my summer internship and now I need to know what happens. It gives me The Walking Dead zombie vibes (though I don't watch the show) so it may be the perfect pick for you if you need a fix between each episode.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix // Quirk Books sent this to me last year, which I am so grateful for, and I have not read it yet. Not sure what is going on with my brain, but this is the perfect opportunity to get on with it, no? I love that it's formatted to look like an Ikea catalog, and there's even a Home Delivery Order Form. Dedicated to the game, y'all.

If you are looking for something haunting to read, I would highly recommend Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. The stories are a bit terrifying and the illustrations are really nice — well worth a look through.

Have you decided to read anything spooky this month?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Noted #2 (September 10-17, 2015)

Way before this blog became a book blog, I started two things called "The Weekly" and "Noted." Both features involved myself sharing some of the things that I've been thinking about/doing in list form, and now I'm bringing it back and combining them together! I thought it'd be nice to just sit down and share what I've been up to each week. Time to get a little personal ...

1. Ever since I finished Shadow and Bone, I haven't been in the mood to read anything except comic books. I guess it's because I'm a fresh comic nerd and I just want to read EVERYTHING. I've been on the same book (The Book Thief) since the end of August, but I think I'm going to save it for another time ... I feel like I'm forcing myself to finish it since I've been meaning to get to it for a while now, and I might end up hating it because of that.

2. I started running/working out again, and I have to say — on the days I exercise, I feel a lot better about myself. A lot of the minor health issues I have are related to the fact that I don't take care of my body, so I've been trying to make an effort to eat a little better and move around more often ... like take frequent walks to the library ;)

3. Marvel reading update: I'm working my way through She-Hulk (2004) and it's alright so far. I've only read the first two issues, but I think it's pretty cool how she works as both an Avenger and a lawyer. I'm hoping to get some sort of explanation as to how Jen Walters became She-Hulk and why she is the way she is, but *thumbs up* as of now. Other comic series I'm planning to read this coming week: Captain Marvel (2012) and Hawkeye (2012).

4. After baking macarons with Esther, a good friend and fellow book nerd, I decided to try it out by myself. (Well, I mainly watched her make it that time ... since I was afraid to mess up the recipe!) I'm not a baker - I've only made cheesecake in the past - but it was a lot easier than I expected. There are still a couple of things I need to work on, but I'm really excited to work on different fillings. Raspberry buttercream is up next! :)

5. Question of the week: What are some TV shows you'd watch/re-watch, but with your children? The first show that popped into my mind was Rugrats (my favorite as a child), but I also really want to re-watch Hey Arnold! I watched episodes as they aired when I was younger, but I can't remember if there were bits and pieces in each episode that tie together ... OH! I would 100% also watch Boy Meets World. I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR BOY MEETS WORLD.

I hope these weekly things will be fun to read ... my life really isn't that interesting but I hope it sparks some kind of conversation!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Finished Series I Haven't Completed

While putting this together, I realized that I haven't started a ton of completed series. There are MANY (so many) that I'd love to read, but I'll leave that for next time :)

1. The Grisha trilogy
Y'all, I have NO IDEA why it took me this long to get reading. I bought Shadow and Bone from Book Outlet back in February 2014 and just never started it because fantasy is INTIMIDATING! But I just finished it about two weeks ago and WOW I LOVED IT. Leigh Bardugo is coming to my city at the beginning of October so I'll be finishing the last two by then!

2. The Delirium trilogy
I read Delirium before my TBR pile got crazy so Pandemonium and Requiem got left in the dust long time ago. Sorry, Lauren Oliver! I've heard it goes downhill but I'm still hoping to finish it someday.

3. The Twilight Saga
Oh, Twilight. I was moving my books around yesterday and found a bookmark in New Moon, which I started in HIGH SCHOOL and never finished. Do you think it's worth a read? I don't remember if I liked Twilight or not, so it's a maybe for finishing up the series.

4. The Superlatives companion trilogy
These are just okay but I think I'll finish it because I just have one more to go. I'm not in a rush to finish it though, so it might be a while ...

5. The Boomerang companion trilogy
Boomerang was so much fun to read but I haven't been interested in Rebound or Bounce because they don't follow the same main characters. If you've read either, did you like them?

6. The Giver quartet
I really wanted to continue on after I read The Giver but I heard it's more of a companion series ... I was hoping for something that would follow and build on the ending of the first book :(

7. The Maze Runner trilogy
Not really interested in finishing this one since it took me a while to get into the first book ... and even then, I was never fully immersed. But I'm really looking forward to the second movie coming out this fall!

8. The Sisterhood series
I didn't know they changed up the covers! I have the first four in the original neon covers, and I'm pretty sure I read the first three books. But now I don't remember anything that happens, so I'll have to start over if I want to finish this series. That's the main reason why I haven't finished a lot of the series on this list — I've just forgotten what goes on and don't care as much as I used to.

9. The Summer trilogy
I started The Summer I Turned Pretty way before I started blogging and just never finished the trilogy because I didn't have a copy of the second or last book. I do now, so I'll be catching up any day now ...

10. The Harry Potter series
Okay, this one is cheating a bit. I've read all seven books, but I started a re-read last year and stopped after Goblet of Fire. Kinda funny because the first time I read this series, I stopped at the same place and it took me ages to get on with it. Not sure why!

I will definitely finish the Grisha trilogy by the end of this month, but which other series do you think I should continue?
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