Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (80): The Speaker & Ink, Iron, and Glass

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week I'm particularly excited for.. 

Title:  The Speaker (book 2 of Sea of Ink and Gold) 
Author: Traci Chee
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons Books
Release Date: November 7th, 2017

Having barely escaped the clutches of the Guard, Sefia and Archer are back on the run, slipping into the safety of the forest to tend to their wounds and plan their next move. Haunted by painful memories, Archer struggles to overcome the trauma of his past with the impressors, whose cruelty plagues him whenever he closes his eyes. But when Sefia and Archer happen upon a crew of impressors in the wilderness, Archer finally finds a way to combat his nightmares: by hunting impressors and freeing the boys they hold captive.

With Sefia’s help, Archer travels across the kingdom of Deliene rescuing boys while she continues to investigate the mysterious Book and secrets it contains. But the more battles they fight, the more fights Archer craves, until his thirst for violence threatens to transform him from the gentle boy Sefia knows to a grim warrior with a cruel destiny. As Sefia begins to unravel the threads that connect Archer’s fate to her parents’ betrayal of the Guard so long ago, she and Archer must figure out a way to subvert the Guard’s plans before they are ensnared in a war that will pit kingdom against kingdom, leaving their future and the safety of the entire world hanging in the balance.

I love the cover, I've been waiting for the second book for months!

If you haven't read The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold #1) definitely should check it out!

Title: Ink, Iron, and Glass
Author: Gwendolyn Clare
Release Date: February 20,2018

A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation by her mother—a noted scriptologist.

But when her home is attacked and her mother abducted, Elsa must cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative 19th-century Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of pazzerellones—young people with a gift for mechanics, alchemy or scriptology—and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and a tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

In this thrilling debut, worlds collide as Elsa unveils a deep political conspiracy seeking to unlock the most dangerous weapon ever created—and only she can stop it.

                                    So that's what we're waiting on this Wednesday. 
                                    How about you? Leave a link and let us know :)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Teaser Tuesday(12):Dumplin & Piecing Me Together

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Ambrosia @ The Purple Booker.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR 
  • Lists if they like your teasers

"Maxine shakes her head at me. "Always the pessimist," she says, laughing.
 Always the realist, I think. Always the poorest."
 pg 113 Piecing Me Together By Renée Watson 

"That chili was really bad. I tried to eat it,but Lydia kept gagging every time she walked by my office. I think she was kidding, but still." Pg 221 Dumplin' (Dumplin' #1) By Julie Murphy

Monday, November 6, 2017

Review: Long Way Down

Title: Long Way Down
Author: Jason Reynolds
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy 
Release Date: October 17 ,2017

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

Please stop and READ this book!!! OMG! I read this book in an hour, I am still mad, I didn't take my time. I don't even know where to begin, I put this book on my waiting for Wednesday because I loved the concept. Then I volunteered for a book fest, where Mr. Reynolds was present,  there I bought the book, he signed it. I read the book the next day.... I loved everything about this book, the cover, characters, setting, and imagery. It's hard to find books/authors that you relate to but Jason Reynolds does it every time! I am sadden to say this is the first book I have ever read by Jason Reynolds but it will not be my last. After I finished this book, I contacted my younger cousin, and told him he needs to read this book. I'll stop there but this book is everything. 

Will has three rules to follow taught to him by his older brother; No crying. No snitching. Get revenge. Will does what every member in has family has done before him follow the rules. As Will goes to follow the rules, he encounters his fears on the way to the lobby, those from his past who have died because of gun violence. Most of the books I read, after I'm done with them I can walk away knowing damn that's a great story. But not with this book, I found myself asking what happens to Will? Speaking of Will his innocence can be felt throughout the book on every page. He only has one goal in mind, “revenge” but the question becomes is it worth it? Can you do what needs to be done? Are you sure he is the suspect? What would YOU do? Did I mention that the book is written in verse? For those of you who think that this is just a story it's not this is someones, tomorrow, yesterday, and today. Gun violence is a real problem, it destroys everyone's life not just the person with the gun. Long Way Down shows you that one decision can change your whole life but it's a never ending cycle. Loved, the book from beginning to end, I'm hoping there is a sequel (hint, hint)! Do yourself a favor, and read this book! Word to the wise don't sleep on Jason Reynolds. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (79): Malice of Crows & The Wicker King

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week I'm particularly excited for.. 

Title: Malice of Crows (The Shadow)
Author: Lila Bowmen
Release Date: October 31st
Publisher: Orbit

The sequel to Conspiracy of Ravens and third novel in Lila Bowen's widely-acclaimed Shadow series.

The Ranger known as Rhett has shut down a terrible enterprise running on the blood of magical folk, but failed to catch the dark alchemist behind it. And now the Shadow refuses to let him rest.

Rhett must make the ultimate transformation if he has any hope of stopping the alchemist or fulfilling his destiny; he must become the leader of a new Rangers outpost. 

To save his friends, and the lives of countless others, he'll first have to lead them on a mission more dangerous than anything they've ever faced. 

You should also check out the other books in the series:

Wake of Vultures (The Shadow 1)
Conspiracy of Ravens (The Shadow 2)

I love the cover! I also feel that the cover has three bird leafs, in reference to this being the 3rd book in the series...I can see myself reading the entire series. 

Title: The Wicker King
Author: K. Ancrum
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Imprint 
Jack once saved August's life…now can August save him?
August is a misfit with a pyro streak and Jack is a golden boy on the varsity rugby team—but their intense friendship goes way back. Jack begins to see increasingly vivid hallucinations that take the form of an elaborate fantasy kingdom creeping into the edges of the real world. With their parents’ unreliable behavior, August decides to help Jack the way he always has—on his own. He accepts the visions as reality, even when Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy.
August and Jack alienate everyone around them as they struggle with their sanity, free falling into the surreal fantasy world that feels made for them. In the end, each one must choose his own truth.
Written in vivid micro-fiction with a stream-of-consciousness feel and multimedia elements, The Wicker King touches on themes of mental health and explores a codependent relationship fraught with tension, madness and love.
So that's what we're waiting on this Wednesday.So how about you? Leave a link and let us know. :)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Review: Into White

Title: Into White
Author: Randi Pink
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: September 13, 2017

When a black teenager prays to be white and her wish comes true, her journey of self-discovery takes shocking--and often hilarious--twists and turns in this debut that people are sure to talk about.

LaToya Williams lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and attends a mostly white high school. She's so low on the social ladder that even the other black kids disrespect her. Only her older brother, Alex, believes in her. At least, until a higher power answers her only prayer--to be "anything but black." And voila! She wakes up with blond hair, blue eyes, and lily white skin. And then the real fun begins . . .

Randi Pink's debut dares to explore provocative territory. One thing's for sure--people will talk about this book.
Stopped to check this book out because of the cover, I love it! I'm pretty sure I read this book in one sitting, not even gonna lie. It happens sometimes I just get really into books, and can't put them down. 

LaToya is uncomfortable with her body, her dark skin, her hair, and she thinks being white will make it better. We get to see why LaToya has body issues, and how she tries to "fix" herself, even though there is nothing wrong with her. I found Toya to be funny, charming at times, and also very annoying, everything you expect from a high-schooler. Toya thought being white would be better but she soon learns that, that is not the case at all. While being white Toya has to deal with completely different issues, and problems. Toya also to deal with her brother, who is her protector, and best friend coming to terms with her being white. Randi talks about racism, almost being raped, black and white culture. There were some scenes that hit home, most of the black characters were victimized, and stereotyped. Randi is able to talk about a topic no one wants to hear "some people hate/discriminate against others because of there skin color," I get it no one wants to hear/see this but it is real. No matter what or how you believe it is true people hate others for how they were born. Some may even say it's not your color but how you act does that make it better? No, but Toya has to come to terms that there is nothing wrong with her. Toya is finally able to see that  there is nothing wrong her brother, he is just  different, he is happy. Toya dealt with some of the same issues I did, as far as body image issues go. Randi was able to create a perfect relationship between brother and sister, I loved them! This book is full of comedy, even with the serious topics discussed. Did I mention RANDI explored Black Fraternities, and Sororities, loved it! I hope there is a sequel where Toya goes to college, and joins a sorority. 5/5

Review: Ahgottahandleonit

Title: Ahgottahandleonit
Author: Donovan Mixon
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

“Tim's a struggling black kid on the mean streets of Newark.
How far can he run? Where can he hide?”

What is innocence? Where does it go? Tim doesn't read as well as his classmates in an inner-city Newark high school. He's got good street cred, though, riffing strange rap-rhymes and running like the wind. He's packed into a three-flat with his mother, sister and Uncle Gentrale. His father, a drunk, recently walked out on the family, wanting some "freedom." He says, "Ahgottahandleonit, son." He doesn't. Nor does Tim. He's a sophomore, already two years behind in school. He'll be a sophomore again if he doesn't pass his proficiency exam. He wants to do what is right, but anger boils deep inside him. The last day of school before summer, Tim slaps Mr. Jones, the one teacher who has wanted to help. He doesn't know why. It was just there, a rage born of some dark history. Uncle Gentrale tries to explain, some crazy shit about living back down south. Marie reaches out to him for love, but that doesn't work either. In a fight with some gang bangers, the rage boils over and Tim slams Chucky in the head with a rock. Chucky dies. Tim steals his phone. He carries it, like an albatross, throughout the summer—wanting to run, to hide, to speak truth, to be free. Maybe Mr. Jones will understand. Tim wants his life to matter.

I randomly picked this book during a weekly trip to the library, read the synopsis, and checked out the book. This book is real, real issues, real concepts, real problems, and real life. I truly enjoyed this book. Besides doesn’t the cover just make you stop? LOL

When I first started reading this book, it was difficult to follow, there was a lot of re-reading. Tim is an emotional young man, who is trying to pass high school. But he's two years older than everyone in his grade due to being held back twice. We learn that Tim's dad left the family, and his mom works nonstop to keep the family afloat. We get to see how Tim balances trying to be there for his family, and staying out of trouble. He has issues the local gang members, and which leads to Tim harming someone. To see the guilt eating away at Tim but also giving a sense of worth is something to read about. Donovan Mixon was able to incorporate poetry into Tim’s story, and we see how Tim’s father can’t be a father due to his childhood. Being able to hear about the background of Tim’s dad was a plus for me. We see that Tim’s father has not dealt with things from his childhood, therefore he cannot be a husband or father or brother. When it becomes too much he leaves, he would rather drink then face the truth of his past. I loved this book because I could relate to the struggles Tim, and his family went through. While reading this book, you just want to see Tim to win. Anything that could go wrong does, and there are times that his guilt almost destroyed him. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I loved the poetry, and characters. 5/5

Friday, October 20, 2017

Review:Rebels Like Us

Title: Rebels Like Us
Author: Liz Reinhardt

“It’s not like I never thought about being mixed race. I guess it was just that, in Brooklyn, everyone was competing to be exotic or surprising. By comparison, I was boring, seriously. Really boring.”

Culture shock knocks city girl Agnes “Nes” Murphy-Pujols off-kilter when she’s transplanted mid–senior year from Brooklyn to a small Southern town after her mother’s relationship with a coworker self-destructs. On top of the move, Nes is nursing a broken heart and severe homesickness, so her plan is simple: keep her head down, graduate and get out. Too bad that flies out the window on day one, when she opens her smart mouth and pits herself against the school’s reigning belle and the principal.

Her rebellious streak attracts the attention of local golden boy Doyle Rahn, who teaches Nes the ropes at Ebenezer. As her friendship with Doyle sizzles into something more, Nes discovers the town she’s learning to like has an insidious undercurrent of racism. The color of her skin was never something she thought about in Brooklyn, but after a frightening traffic stop on an isolated road, Nes starts to see signs everywhere—including at her own high school where, she learns, they hold proms. Two of them. One black, one white.

Nes and Doyle band together with a ragtag team of classmates to plan an alternate prom. But when a lit cross is left burning in Nes’s yard, the alterna-prommers realize that bucking tradition comes at a price. Maybe, though, that makes taking a stand more important than anything.


So when I first heard about Rebels Like Us ,I was intrigued. by the cover,the synopis,everything really. However I was left slightly disappointed, it took too long to get to the issues in this book.I would've liked if it would've dealt with racism more like I thought it would, and earlier in the book.

Nes as a main character had heart and made me want to know more about her story. However some things bothered me about her characterization... the quote included in the synopsis seemed really blasé in regards to being biracial. You can definitely tell that Rebels Like Us was not written by a person of color.  I wish I could've seen more of her embracing her divorced family roots and the culture from both sides. Nes talks about being biracial but never talks about wahat that mean in regards to her identity as a whole. The love story plot was very inst-love and pretty over the top.Cute and sweet but honestly very superficial.
The cover screams summer and I think the cover was a great choice. I finished reading Rebels Like Us and couldn't decide if I liked it as a whole.Did I Enjoy it...yes slightly.Did I feel like the story fell flat in regards to the synopsis...yes a bit.Would I recommend Rebels Like Us to a friend..probs not.Overall Rebels like us was a solid easy read that I can see why some might like it but me personally It was a bit underwhelming. 2/5

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