Posted in 2017 Releases, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday

30285562Title: Lucky in Love

Series: None

Author:  Kasie West

Publication Date: July 28th, 2017

Publisher: Scholastic

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Summary: In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Why I’m Desperately Waiting:  If you in any way, shape or form, like contemporaries, then Kasie West is the writer for you. She writes absolutely delightful and page-turning contemporaries that just melt your heart at the romances between the MC & the LI. While I did think her latest one did fall a little short, others I have read by her have been absolutely delightful. Plus all her books seem to be unputdownable and you finish in less than a day. Sign me up!

Posted in 2017 Releases, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday

29749085Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Series:  DC Icons

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publication Date: August 29th, 2017

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

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Summary: The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero: WONDER WOMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author LEIGH BARDUGO.

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Why I’m Desperately Waiting: TBH, I’m like 90% excited purely because it’s by Leigh Bardugo. Having read both SOC books & 2 Grisha books, I can honestly say I would probably read anything by Bardugo. I do not know much of anything about DC heroes & villains. All I know, I’ve gotten from whatever I’ve seen on CW DC Shows. But i’ve already seen some partial ARC reviews and I am definitely excited for this origins story by Bardugo. This one and the Catwoman one that Sarah J. Maas is writing. Sign me up!

Posted in 2017 Releases, Reviews

Sydney Reads and Reviews: Queens of Geek

28245707Title: Queens of Geek

Publication Date: March 14th, 2017

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Author: Jen Wilde

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Summary: When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

My Thoughts:
Ship: 
 Charlie x Alyssa, Jamie x Taylor
Fave Cinnamon Rolls: Charlie, Jamie
Needed BROTP:  Jamie & Brianna
Fave Quote: “In one brief conversation, she made me see that there’s nothing wrong with me.”

Actual Review:  It seems I am to read diverse books lately and this one did not disappoint. It’s got a MC who is Chinese-Australian and is openly Bisexual and another MC who is Autistic/Asperger’s with major Social Anxiety. While i’m not sure of anyone else’s Ethnicity mostly because it’s not really described/stated in the book, unless I missed it.

Queens of Geek takes place in a version of San Diego Comic-Con that is probably SDCC but just not called that. So the whole story takes place over one weekend where our 3 main characters, CHarlie, Jamie & Taylor are planning on taking by storm.

Charlie Liang is a popular Australian Youtuber who has also now made it big time in an indie-film that turned out to be the Next BIg Thing so she is at the Con as a big guest ready to make her mark and start the next chapter of her life.

Jamie & Taylor are her two best friends that she has invited along for the ride. Jamie is her best friend since Year 7 who has some major Social Anxiety but knows how to keep it handled. And Jamie is an American transfer to Australia 4 years prior. Taylor & Jamie are the case of mutual hidden unrequited love aka the over used trope of best friends falling in love and will probably be together by the end of the story. Sorry I like the story but just once in a while I want to see a boy & girl friendship that NEVER has romantic feelings within it at all. It is very rare to find, especially in YA novels.

Jamie is not only socially Anxious but she views this weekend as a stepping off point that if things go as planned she can take college by storm in the future. But of course, this is life and stuff doesn’t go to planned. Also i think she has a super power because she constantly makes tumblr posts on her PHONE and they are all long and gramatically correct and perfectly spelled and all this pretty formatting that just DOESNT HAPPEN FOR NORMAL PEOPLE! Jamie is a die hard fan of this book’s version of HP, majorly popular series with movies based off books. She desperately wants to meet the author to tell her how much an impact the series has made on her and has helped her with her Anxiety. Jamie is basically every fangirl on Tumblr come to life…er i mean page. This weekend ends up being a huge transformation weekend for Jamie as she has to overcome fears and really dig deep on her identity and how she views her self.

I really loved the plot and just overall setting of the story. As I have never been to a Comic-Con, it definitely makes me feel transported there with ease and I can just imagine the Green Room and panels and all the SWAG!

The only thing that kinda takes away is how YA books are beginning to handle sex in relationships. Like just because I personally believe to save it til marriage, It’s not that bad when i know the relationship has been developed and is a deep bond between the two. But lately i’m seeing people suddenly putting out practically on the first date which just seems a bit much to me. Especially for these people who are just barely 18. It’s not a problem with the book that should turn anyone off because it’s so subtle and alluded to in YA books, just a problem i am having with a growing trend.

Queens of Geek, i think at least, really handles the Anxiety and Jamie’s character really well. You can see how she thinks and acts but no one really treats her differently because of it. I loved her growth in the story and would love a sequel about her and her new friends she makes at the con.

Overall, QUeens of Geek is a great summer read that you will just fly through. I highly recommend it to all fangirls and fanboys.

Posted in 2017 Releases, Reviews

Sydney Reads and Reviews: When Dimple Met Rishi

28458598Title: When Dimple Met Rishi

Publication Date: May 30th, 2017

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Author: Sandhya Menon

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Summary: A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

My Thoughts:
Ship: 
 Rishi x Dimple
Fave Cinnamon Rolls: Rishi, Celia
Needed BROTP:  Celia & Dimple
Actual Review:  When Dimple Met Rishi is the diverse YA Contemporary that we’ve all been dying for and it does not disappoint in any way. It is one of the most adorable and well written Contemporaries this year and is sure to be the Hit of the Summer.

WDMR is the diverse book that people all over the globe have been wanting because it gives them something that many of us take for granted, a book with MC’s and references that they truly can identify with. That being said, almost anyone can identify with Dimple or Rishi, even if they are white. Dimple Shah is a class A geek, she loves coding and wants to branch out on her own and find her independence. She is such a computer geek she even wants to go to a Summer Camp that is all about coding and web app design before the start of her freshman year. Rishi Patel on the other hand has an Artist’s heart. But he feels pulled to please his parents and be the perfect eldest son and is currently lined up to go to MIT (which is nothing to sneeze at) and get an Engineering Degree. He feels conflicted between what would be the ‘sensible’ route and going with his heart, which is something many people can identify with, myself included.

Dimple and Rishi’s parents are extremely traditional Indian parents, meaning they want to arrange their children into marriages and ensure their happiness. This being said, Dimple is 100% against this idea where as Rishi wants the stability and security this idea gives. But unbeknownst to Dimple only, this Summer Camp is the primed place to drop some hints and do some subtle or not so subtle nudges from Rishi and both set of parents.

From adorable and awkward meet cutes to amazing dates with perfect views, WDMR is the perfect summer Contemporary YA Romance to sit by the pool and soak in. I recommend drinking an Iced Coffee beverage, 😉 i myself prefer Iced Vanilla Lattes.

The setting was gorgeous California and you definitely felt transported htere and this story is just rife with Hindi and Bollywood references that you feel easily immersed into this culture.

I’d say I personally would want a pronunciation guide but that’s just because I like to pronounce things correctly, and i screw up things in every genre…may or may not still think Tobias has a different pronunciation in Divergent than a friend says is correct. But i digress.

Definitely pick up this story when next possible, or even better yet, order it online and have it delivered. Either way, read this adorable story.

Posted in 2017 Releases, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday

33629245Title: A Poison Dark and Drowning

Series: Kingdom of Fire #2

Author: Jessica Cluess

Publication Date: September 19th, 2017

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

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Summary:  The magicians want her to lead.
The sorcerers want her to lie.
The demons want her blood.
Henrietta wants to save the one she loves.
But will his dark magic be her undoing?

In this seductive and explosive second book in the Kingdom on Fire series, Jessica Cluess delivers her signature mix of magic, passion, and teen warriors fighting for survival. Hand to fans of Victoria Aveyard, Sarah J. Maas, and Kiersten White.

Henrietta doesn’t need a prophecy to know that she’s in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.

Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook’s system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own. So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients’ past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth.

Why I’m Desperately Waiting: The world of demons and various magic users that Cluess created is one I inhaled upon first reading it and one I want to revisit time and time again..now that i think about it, it’s time for a reread. As this series is set to be a trilogy, we have many more demons to encounter and so much more magic to explore. I can’t wait to revisit all the characters Cluess has imagined into this world and I will definitely be pre-ordering this one. Sign me up!

Posted in 2017 Releases, Reviews

Sydney Reads and Reviews: Eliza and Her Monsters

31931941Title: Eliza and Her Monsters

Publication Date: May 30th, 2017

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Author: Francesca Zappia

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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Summary: Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. With pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

My Thoughts:
Ship: 
 Eliza x Wallace
Fave Cinnamon Rolls: Eliza, Emmy, Max
Needed BROTP:  Eliza & Emmy & Max
Fave Quote: “There are monsters in the sea.”

Actual Review:  ALL THE STARS! This book was absolutely delightful.

I was lucky enough to receive Eliza and her Monsters in my May Owlcrate which not only was an exclusive cover but we got to receive it before publication date on May 30th. What more can i say but BUY AND READ THIS BOOK AS SOON AS YOU CAN!!!

While I find myself tending to lean toward fantasy YA novels over contemporary, I do love a good contemporary and this one is as good as it can get. Eliza is such a lovable character that is just so… human. She has her fears and her anxieties and slowly you see her realize she needs help even while still not truly changing who she is on the inside or out.

Wallace is an absolute delight of a boy to have as a book boyfriend…though he can’t top Clark from Matson’s Unexpected Everything. But Wallace is definitely a close second, you just want to wrap him up in a blanket and give him a big hug. Such a sweetheart. And while he has moments that are less than stellar, he’s human and it shows just as much as it does with Eliza.

The story is absolutely amazing and I just about inhaled it. IT was one of those books I just didn’t want to put down. Just as people in EAHM inhaled her Monstrous Sea, I inhaled this story.

Eliza and Her Monsters is definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2017 and I plan to explore more contemporaries that have nerds as main characters. Geeks and Nerds are the best.

I also thought this story handled Eliza’s anxiety and introvertedness rather well. I don’t know much but I didn’t feel like it was fake or wrong.

Seriously guys, pick this book up when it gets released. I wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for Owlcrate and I’m incredibly grateful because I ADORED this story.

Posted in 2017 Releases, Reviews

Sydney Reads and Reviews: Wintersong

24763621Title: Wintersong

Series: Wintersong #1

Publication Date: February 7th, 2017

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Author: S. Jae Jones

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Summary: Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

My Thoughts:
Ship: 
 Liesel & Mein Herr
Fave Cinnamon Rolls: Mein herr
Needed BROTP:  Leisel & Kathe
Fave Quote: “There is music in your soul. A wild and untamed sort
of music that speaks to me. It defies all the rules and laws you humans set upon it. It grows from inside you, and I have a wish to set that music free.”

Actual Review: 4 Stars for a very lyrical and music filled story that carried me slowly and beautifully through it’s settings.

S. Jae Jones decided to take the movie/story of Labyrinth and make it something completely her own. Granted i have never seen the movie so i know next to nothing, tbh i think my only knowledge of Labyrinth/Goblin King is a fanfiction i read a few years ago for the Bellarke ship…so yeah.

The plot was interesting and went in ways i didn’t really expect. I thought some actions that were going to take a majority of the time ended up being only a third of the book. So the book wasn’t choppy per say but it definitely had this feeling of multiple stories within a story.

I think the writing is positively beautiful and paints so many pictures in your head of the Goblin Grove & Underground. Even though the majority of it is in the “Underground” you get this amazing scenery of where the goblins dwell.

What i found most intriguing was the Goblin King/Mein herr/ Der Erlkönig/ that dude who is the main LI and probably modeled after David Bowie. He had so many masks and facets, that were just really interesting to pull out. But what struck me was his sense of faith. He had a chapel built in the Underground that only he worships and he still prays and keeps his faith. Heck, this guy knows the LATIN prayers. It really struck me to see a sense of a modern faith in such a mythological world.

Liesel was an interesting MC. She is “plain” but talented. I wouldn’t say she’s one of those “special snowflake” MC’s but idk she is just so down on herself. She knows that she is plain and doesn’t understand why the Goblin King is in anyway interested in her. But what is interesting, is how much she identifies with her music. She feels as if it’s a large part of her identity alongside where she was born and who her family is.

Her family is interesting and I hope we get a new sense of their dynamic in the sequel that will be coming out in 2018.

I definitely liked the story but it didn’t grab me and make me want to drop everything and read it. But I will definitely be picking up the sequel next year.