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Month In Review | April 2016

Well, well, well! Another month has flown by! But that just means we’re a month closer to summer, my favorite season! Anyhow, I  read a ton in this past month and lots of exciting things happened, so let’s jump right into it!

Books Read + Mini Reviews

Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples | 5/5 Stars

Loved it! I sense a new obsession in the making! The art was beautiful and the story was great and engaging. Couldn’t put it down!

Lumberjanes Issue 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen | 5/5 Stars

I thought this was such a cute beginning! Can’t wait to see what’s next for our imaginative girl gang!

Lumberjanes Issue 2 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen | 3.5/5 Stars

This was cute, but I couldn’t really tell how it advanced any sort of overarching storyline or plot.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro | 3.5/5 Stars

I had a LOT of technical issues with this book BUT on a purely entertainment level, I loved it. I will be continuing on with the series and hope to see Cavallaro’s writing get stronger. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Watson and Holmes!

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan | 4/5 Stars

Very cute! I loved it! Obviously this isn’t a great literary classic or anything and it’s totally Will and Kate fanfic, but it’s great for what it is!

Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr | 1/5 Stars/DNF

This book had such an interesting premise, but the execution was terrible. I don’t even know what the plot was.

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry | 4/5 Stars

I fell in love with this book and Emily and Oz! I was skeptical about YA biker lit but the sequel is one of my most wanted books now! Definitely a must read!

The Favorite by Kiera Cass | 3/5 Stars

It was a cute story, but there didn’t seem to be much point to it…
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer | 4/5 Stars

It was great to be back in this world again, especially in the last novella. I enjoyed most of the short stories, but let’s be honest: we were all there for that ending. Very cute
Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines | 2/5 Stars

I really did not like this book. I found it had implied slut shaming and a really toxic relationship that teens should not look up to. I just–ugh. Blech!

Losing It by Cora Carmack | 2.5/5 Stars

This book was soooooo cute! I was so surprised by how much I really enjoyed Losing It. It wasn’t revolutionary, but it was cute.
Faking It by Cora Carmack | 3.5/5 Stars

The sequel to Losing It was just as cute as the first book! I loved learning more about Cade and getting to know Max! Very cute!
Finding It by Cora Carmack | 3.5/5 Stars

This is the darkest of the Losing It trilogy and I really felt that. It did have its cute moments, but there were just so many heavy moments and things going on. Still, I enjoyed it.
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway | 3/5 Stars

This book was pretty “blah” for me. The characters were colorless and there wasn’t much plot. It wasn’t bad per se, it just left me with no real lasting impressions.

Challenge Updates

Goodreads Challenge 

38/86 Books Completed

11 books ahead of schedule
Debut Author Challenge

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Rock My TBR Challenge

I unfortunately didn’t get to any backlist books this months.

Bookish Bingo

Second Chance

Set In Space–Starflight by Melissa Landers

Non Binary MC

Under 200 Pages–“Bridge of Snow” by Marie Rutkoski

Ugly Cover

Set Over 200 Years Ago–Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

March, April, May Release–A Study in Charlotte by Britany Cavallaro

Criminals

Metallic Lettering–Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Based On A Real Event

Book Toward Another Challenge

Green Cover–Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

FREE

Retelling–Stars Above (The Little Android) by Marissa Meyer

Set In More Than One Country–The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Characters Aren’t Human–Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Rec’d By More Than One Friend

Flowers On The Cover

MC Shares Your First Initial–Seven Black Diamond by Melissa Marr

Written Under A Pen Name

More Than One Author–Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

End Of The World

Number In The Title–Zero Day by Jan Gangsei

Nonfiction

Standalone–Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Audiobook Challenge 

33/50 Audiobooks Completed

Book Haul

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski (Audiobook)

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (Audiobook)(preorder)

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Audiobook)

Book Bucket

As per usual, I’m winging it (because *sigh*…let’s just face it: that’s just who I am). BUT! I do have a few books that I know I am definitely going to read and they are…

Blogging

Looking Ahead-Blogging

  • The Way Back to You Blog Tour
  • Girl About Town Blog Tour
  • Genius: The Game Blog Tour
  • The Bookkeeper’s Secrets Soon to Be Announced Summer YA Girls in STEM Event (!!!)

Monthly Snapshots

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

My Favorite Things

  • Hypable’s Book Hype Podcast
  • Adventures In YA Podcast
  • Carla Morrison’s “Un Beso”
  • Ruelle’s “Monsters”
  • CW’s The 100
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Stacking The Shelves | April 30, 2016


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews in which we talk about the physical books/e-books/audiobooks we’ve aquired (bought, borrowed, or received for review, etc.). Here’s what I’ve aquired in the past week:

Borrowed


It was a pretty dry week for library borrows. I didn’t get much. I picked up Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway at the beginning of this past week, then yesterday I grabbed Branded by Abi Kerner and Missy Kalicki.

Bought

25203675I used my Audible credit to grab The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, which was one of my most anticipated 2016 debuts, so I’m really excited!!!

Received

cover83483-mediumI received a copy of Gwenda Bond’s Girl in the Shadows, which I’m excited for. I noticed this one because of the gorgeous cover, but then the synopsis really hooked me, so we’ll see!

Uncategorized

A Content Question For You!

Hey Y’all!

So, I’ve been thinking and I’d like to do a summer event showcasing YA literature featuring girls in STEM. I just wanted to know many of y’all would be interested in this? Let me know in the comments, along with any suggestions for what you’d like to see if such an event were to take place.

reviews

Colorless Contemporary…Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway Audiobook Review

Title: Emmy & Oliver

Author: Robin Benway

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format: Audiobook

Narrator: Phobe Strole

Running Time: 8 hours, 54 minutes, 7 seconds

Source: OverDrive/Public Library

Goodreads Summary: Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

Well. This book was okay. Not spectacular, but I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular. I guess I’m a little underwhelmed.

The characters of Emmy & Oliver aren’t particularly memorable. They’re your trypical white, suburban teens, nothing interesting. Even Oliver, a kidnapping victim, was bland. Did he experience any trauma or anything? Not really, not to the extreme. The most vivid character was Caro, one of Emmy’s best friends and a side character who barely gets any page time. But even she’s not much. There are Emmy’s ridiculously overprotective parents who bugged me to no end (I can’t imagine living in such a controlling household), but I wouldn’t say they were a plus.

Ask me the true plot of Emmy & Oliver and I honestly couldn’t tell you much. “A boy comes home from being kidnapped and the girl next door gets a crush on him” would be my best attempt and even that makes it sound more exciting than it actually is. Honestly not much happened throughout the story. There weren’t any huge twists or surprises and I saw plot points coming a mile ahead. I found myself wishing I was reading from Oliver’s perspective.

The romance is lackluster. There’s no tension, no urgency, no push and pull, no conflict. Emmy and Oliver were childhood friends, Oliver was kidnapped, Oliver returns, and Emmy and Oliver get together. That’s pretty much how it goes. There’s no real emotion put into the romance.

All in all, I wish this had been more. The premise is promising, but somehow got flattened and made boring. It’s an okay book, that’s all I can really say…

Phoebe Strole is a talented narrator and I always enjoy her work, but even she couldn’t make this novel interesting. She does a decent job with the narration, but the problem is that there’s not much heartfelt material to put emotion into. For that reason, the material didn’t translate well to audio. Strole does her best, injecting feeling into her narration in the few places she can, but the who thing just felt half hearted and lacking. Emmy & Oliver definitely wasn’t my favorite audiobook, despite Strole’s effort.

Final Rating: