Book Tag

Mid-Year Freak Out!

For those of you who don’t know, which included me too until this week, there is a popular book tag out there that’s a bit of a tradition in the bookish community, The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag! This year, I’m participating, and to be honest I cannot believe half the year is already over! So many books, so little time…

I stole my questions this year from The Literary Phoenix. I loved reading her post and love her blog! Check her out.

And check out these questions! Let’s goooooo:

What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2019?

Ohh boy. This was a tough one. I chose three.

  1. Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  3. The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon

What has been your favorite sequel of the first half of the year?

Gemina & Obsidio by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff. I can’t believe it took me this long to discover The Illuminae Files! WOW this series was amazing. It’s YA Sci-Fi, but I would honestly recommend it to anyone who likes Sci-Fi, or anyone who likes fast-paced novels that read like you’re actually in the book. I could rave about this series for a long time.

Is there a new release out that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited for?

Yes! Aurora Rising by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff.

Haha on the note of my last answer, the same authors came out with a fourth book this year and I cannot wait to read it. It’s already been optioned for a movie and has stellar reviews. So excited.

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

See last week’s Top 10 Tuesday! There are so many!

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare — I’m sorry! I wanted to like this so badly because the series is so beloved in the YA world. I might check out one of her other series or try the sequel, everyone swears it gets better, but I wanted to love this immediately! Sigh. It happens. I tried.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte.

I loved this!! I expected it to be relatively similar to a lot of other YA fantasies out right now, but Four Dead Queens surpassed my expectations. It was original, it was fun to read, it had like a hundred twists at the end and I didn’t see most of them coming, I was so pleased. Would definitely recommend. Look for a review of this title soon.

Who is your favorite new or “new” author?

Robin Benway, who is new to me, has blown me away this year. I read both of her books in the same month and blew through them both. Far From the Tree is one of my favorites of the year.

Who is your favorite fictional crush from this year?

I don’t really have one I feel crazy strong about, so I decided to answer a slightly different question: Who is your favorite fictional SHIP from this year?

And that, my friends, would be Wylan van Eck and Jesper Fahey from Crooked Kingdom. I squealed through that entire scene!! So cute.

Which book has made you cry?

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This book made me feel…pretty much every human emotion, haha. I loved it so so much and it was so tragic and beautiful. I recommend this book to anyone, all the time, with all my heart. Just have tissues nearby. And maybe your therapist on call.

A book that made you happy?

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. I enjoyed her debut novel, Simon and the Homosapiens Agenda, but I LOVED Leah on the Offbeat. This book felt like parts of my teen years, the feel and the spirirt of it, and I loved Leah’s surly, insecure, whole-hearted self. She and Abby are one of my favorite couples of the year!!! OTP

Your favorite book to movie/tv adaptation that you’ve seen so far?

Can I choose anything other than Good Omens by Neil Gaiman??

I reread the book this year and since the adaptation came out this year I’m going to count it. This show might be the best adaptation I’ve ever seen, when it comes to accurately capturing the spirit of a wonderful book. I loved every bit of it! Can’t wait for more.

What is your favorite post that you’ve written this year?

I really enjoyed writing both the reviews for Baby Teeth and The Unhoneymooners! I also love Top Ten Tuesdays.

Show us the most beautiful book that you’ve bought this year!

I have spent a lot of energy and patience this year trying to buy fewer books and borrow more, so I don’t have a book for this! A lot of them have been gorgeous but then I return them to the library and they go brighten someone else’s day for a while.

What are six books that you want to read by the end of the year?

There are WAY more than six, but here are a few.

  1. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
  3. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  4. Snow Falling by Jane G. Villanueva (haha any more Jane the Virgin fans out there?? I have to read this)
  5. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  6. Educated by Tara Westover

Whew, that was in depth! That’s it for this year, and what a seriously fun year its been. And it’s been a month here at Story-eyed! I’m a little overwhelmed with how much I have to read right now, but more than anything I am so grateful for all of it.

Tag, you’re it next, @Jenniefromthebook! Have fun! ❤

Did you freak out this year? Send me your mid-year posts in the comments!

Book Blog Hop

Time to Hop!

One of the things I’ve been trying to do a lot of since starting this blog is check out other awesome book review blogs and get involved in some of the weekly challenges and prompts they use.

Today I’m going to be taking part in the Book Blogger Hop! This is currently active over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer and bloggers all over the sphere get involved to answer the prompt, visit some of the other responses, and make new connections!

This week’s prompt comes from Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews and they asked:  “Would you or do you choose a book solely on the cover?

And my answer is: Sometimes, yeah.

I won’t usually discard a book based on its cover, with a few exceptions here and there, but I pick books up all the time becasue the cover interests me, and then I read the synopsis. Unless it’s an author I already know that I love or something else equally compelling, nothing can really get me to buy a book except the synopsis. But damn, a cool cover sure does help!

What about you? Tell me in the comments!

WWW

Its “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

I am almost finished with this one and I have enjoyed it SO much! The way this story is told is brilliant. This YA fantasy follows a world where each of the four countries on this continent is run by a queen…until all four of them are killed. The chaos, mystery, intrigue, and creativity in this book abounds. I love the way the author plays with technology and the use of timelines. I really could go on and on about this book right now. Definitely a fan.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Unlike Four Dead Queens, I only just started this one! This is one of the Books of the Month in my book club so I am trying to get it done before July! So far, I’m really liking it. This is my first foray into Schwab’s work but I know how beloved she is, so I’m excited. I’m ready for the rest of this spooky story!

What I’ve recently finished:

Roomies by Christina Lauren

I’ve been on such a Christina Lauren kick lately. This is book three in my unofficial marathon and I enjoyed it a lot. It’s probably my least favorite of the three I’ve read (this, Autoboyography, and The Unhoneymooners) but maybe only because I LOVED the other two more than I can describe. This was still so much fun! Definitely recommend for anyone who likes romance and contemporary.

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

I’d been reading a lot of romance and fantasy lately, I needed a good thriller. Whew! This was fun AND it was my first Karin Slaughter novel, an author who’s been recommended to me hundreds of times by people I know. I enjoyed it a lot! Pretty Girls was chilling, well-paced, and fascinating. I’ll definitely be looking into more of Slaughter’s work.

What I think I’ll read next:

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve been waiting to read this all month! I’m so excited haha. I couldn’t fit this one into my bingo/challenge/review schedule for June and I kept giving it the eye as it sat neglected on my bookshelf. It’s finally time! Muaahahaha

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

This is an ARC I received from Netgalley and I’m also participating in the blog tour for this title, which is great! Because I wanted to read it so badly! This was on my list of intriguing new releases, so I’m grateful and excited that I get to read this one early! Keep an eye out for my review and a GIVEAWAY of this title next month!

What are you reading? Tell me in the comments!

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic asks us to list the “Books On My Summer 2019 TBR.”

I have got a LOT of books that I want to read this summer, but below I’ve listed mostly books that I’m on schedule to read for Netgalley or various book exchanges or challenges I’m participating in, except for a few that are just for fun! There are so many exciting books coming down the line, I won’t have time to list or read them all. Here goes!

  1. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  2. Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer
  3. Recursion by Blake Crouch
  4. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
  5. The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
  6. Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris
  7. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
  8. The King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
  9. Reverie by Ryan La Sala
  10. Ill Wind by Nevada Barr

And here are just a few of the other books that I hope I get to read this summer! Too many books, never enough time. SIGH.

What are you reading this summer??

ARC Reviews

The Divorce

Karen is a psychotherapist, and she’s newly back on the job after a long sabbatical, following the death of her husband. Her own demons and grief haunt her even as she tries to help her patients.

Josh and Lydia are a struggling couple who arrive for their first therapy session, bringing numerous red flags with them. There’s something dangerous going on in their marriage and maybe something else lurking in the fog of this relationship. Can Karen help them? Or are they holding something back that threatens all of them? (Dun dun dunnn!)

I read through this one quick! It was fun. 

I love psychological thrillers and was immediately drawn in by the fresh feeling of the therapist’s point of view. Hasn’t everyone always wondered what’s going on in a therapists brain during sessions? I do! The choice to use the therapy sessions as a framework for chapters provided a steady pace of balance information and anticipation and was honestly just interesting as hell to me. It also formed this meandering but somehow hypnotic rhythm that kept me reading even when it wasn’t a fast-paced moment. Definitely a successful creative choice.

Another benefit of the uses of sessions spaced out in time and multiple points of view, is that I never knew exactly what was going on in The Divorce. Which I enjoyed very much, to be honest. I didn’t see the end coming in this book and, while I personally felt that the drama could have been amped up even more in the big twist, I enjoyed how well telegraphed and organized the end really was, when it’s revealed.

I’ve seen some less stellar reviews of this one floating around, but I enjoyed it! It’s certainly a freshman novel, in that its the author’s first foray into the genre of a psychological thriller, but overall I found many more positives than not. Its pacing could’ve been tightened up, some unnecessary inner monologue taken out or moved around, I could nitpick more if I wanted to. But it was also so creative in its use of many points of view, it was hypnotic and able to keep me guessing. I didn’t feel that this book’s fumbles over-balanced the rest.

I would recommend this to people who like this genre or haven’t read much in this genre, and especially those who enjoy or don’t mind watching an author develop through their writing. This was great for a first debut into psychological thrillers for Jenkins. I enjoyed this book a lot and will definitely be looking forward to this author’s next foray into the dark and twisty.

ARC Reviews

David Mogo, Godhunter

“Since the Orisha War that rained thousands of deities down on the streets of Lagos, David Mogo, demigod, scours Eko’s dank underbelly for a living wage as a freelance Godhunter. Despite pulling his biggest feat yet by capturing a high god for a renowned Eko wizard, David knows his job’s bad luck. He’s proved right when the wizard conjures a legion of Taboos—feral godling-child hybrids—to seize Lagos for himself. To fix his mistake and keep Lagos standing, David teams up with his foster wizard, the high god’s twin sister and a speech-impaired Muslim teenage girl to defeat the wizard.”

I requested this ARC from Netgalley about ten seconds after reading one of the publisher’s quotes describing it as “A Nigerian Harry Dresden.” I’ll read anything compared to The Dresden Files, but I was even more excited that it took place in a setting with a whole new mythos to explore. My expectations were high and for the most part I was not disappointed. I had a lot of fun reading this.

My favorite thing about this book was the masterful use of first person Voice. David’s voice was smart and quick, funny and authentic, and fun to follow through every twist and turn. Okungbowa does a great job of bouncing characters between problems big and small and then tying them into one big knot. While heavy on the exposition and pacing at times, the main character’s way of seeing and describing things kept me reading throughout every crazy godling and plot twist he encountered.

The language in the book is another unique but also exciting choice. Okungbowa chose to write the dialogue with the local Lagos accent that he remembers from his own childhood. Because I was previously unfamiliar with the style, it was a challenge to understand at first but it also brought an immersive quality to the writing. I grew accustomed over time and appreciate the authenticity that the author worked so hard to bring into the story.

I love Urban Fantasy and David Mogo, Godhunter is an extremely promising debut novel for Okungbowa. While heavy on the exposition at times, it makes up for any freshman flaws with a detailed and beautifully built world and quick, funny action. More than anything it was fun to read, and I will definitely be looking out for more from this author in the future. 

Look for this one on shelves on July 9th, 2019!

Book Blog Hop

Time to Hop!

One of the things I’ve been trying to do a lot of since starting this blog is check out other awesome book review blogs and get involved in some of the weekly challenges and prompts they use.

Today I’m going to be taking part in the Book Blogger Hop! This is currently active over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer and bloggers all over the sphere get involved to answer the prompt, visit some of the other responses, and make new connections!

This week is a double question week! The first prompt comes from Nicki @ Nicki J. Markus/Asta Idonea and they asked: “Which is your favourite library (or which would you most like to visit)?

Our second question comes from Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews and they asked: “How often do you visit the library?

And my answer is: Second question first: I love the library. I am young and broke so the public library is my best friend when it comes to reading whatever I want. My favorite library service has to be the ability to rent audio and e-books from an app on my phone, I use that all the time. Libraries are so underrated! There are so many amazing events hosted there, I love the curated displays that always introduce me to something new, and librarians are some of the most interesting and helpful people I’ve met. And it’s free! As long as you turn your books in on time…Oops!

Which is my favorite library? Ooh, that’s a tough one. The most incredible library that I have personally visited has probably been The Old Library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

However, there are also so many gorgeous libraries that I would love to visit! Here are just a few: The Library of the Benedictine Monstary, The George Peabody Library, the New York City Public Library, so many more.

Do you have a dream library? Where is it? Tell me in the comments!

Book Blitz, Reviews

From What’s Broken (+ Giveaway!)

This week I am taking part in a blog tour to celebrate the release of From What’s Broken by R.M. Demeester!

From What’s Broken is an Adult Contemporary novel about Matthew and Amanda, a happy couple who have a beautiful child…and then lose that beautiful child. This book is the story of their loss, but more importantly of their love, family, and journey to healing. From what I’ve read of this book it is whole-hearted and authentic and absolutely a tear-jerker.

Learn more about the book and enter for a chance to win a copy below!

From What’s Broken 
R.M. Demeester

Publication date: June 21st 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Amanda and Matthew are on the cusp of their happily ever after. They have a stable marriage and a lovely daughter, and they are eagerly awaiting the birth of their second. Suddenly tragedy strikes and the couple’s picture-perfect life crumbles. Ivory, their firstborn child, dies in an accident. Not knowing how to deal with their pain, Amanda and Matthew blame each other for their loss and drift apart. They soon realize their relationship might not bear the burden, leaving their surviving daughter to cope with the aftermath of two grief-stricken parents.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

R.M. Demeester lives in Saskatchewan, Canada. She is the mother of three young children, and owner of a rescue dog, a chocolate lab, Gainer. R.M. Demeester has been writing for as long as she could hold a pencil. She writes women’s fiction, new adult, and sweet romance primarily. She has two women’s fiction novels set to be released in 2019, along with several short stories.

Facebook / Twitter / Amazon / Instagram

Giveaway!

CLICK HERE

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WWW

Its “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m reading now:

David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

I’m still reading this one! I’d only started it just before last week’s WWW and to be honest, I’m still enjoying it. It’s a somewhat slower read than I expected, lots of exposition and a style of language that’s new to me, but that’s not a complaint. Though it’s taking me a little longer, I’m loving the tone, humor, and wit of this book, as well as the fresh take on what can easily turn into predictable tropes in urban fantasy. Will definitely be reviewing this more fully when I finish. Fans of The Dresden Files looking for something new and interesting should look forward to this one!

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

I only read my first Christina Lauren book last month, when I reviewed The Unhoneymooners, but apparently she is a romance phenomenon that I have been missing out on for a while now. This book is already so adorable, sweet, authentic, and utterly readable. I can’t seem to put it down and I don’t mind at all. I’m about halfway through this one and am reading it for pure enjoyment and nothing else. Well, except that it’s also Pride Month, that too!

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz

I literally only started this one this morning so I don’t know too much, but I love what I’ve read so far. The synopsis alone has me intrigued: a new teacher at a school gets a disturbing response to a creative writing assignment handed back in without a name and must try and discover what’s really going on in the school, and why she was brought there. It reminds me a little of Big Little Lies so far, but that could also be because it’s on the brain with the new season of the TV adaptation dropping recently. Either way, this book is setting up to be eerie! Look for this one on shelves in August.

What I’ve recently finished:

The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

I really enjoyed this. This ARC came to me through Netgalley and its also the author’s first foray into psychological thriller. I’ll be reviewing this more fully within the week, but suffice to say that for a first thriller it was pretty good! I didn’t see the twist coming, and the book had a somewhat methodical pace for so long that it did a good job of lulling the reader into forgetting the suspense and just enjoying the book. Can’t wait to share more about it with you all.

What I think I’ll read next:

A lot of fantasy this coming week! Love it.

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

I haven’t started this YA fantasy yet, but for exciting reasons! I won this book in a giveaway through my book club, The Book Democracy, and it JUST came in the mail yesterday! Not only that but I’m going to buddy read it with a friend (sup, Haley!) and I always love doing that. I’ve had this one on my TBR since its eagerly anticipated release so I’m expecting great things!

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This is a Book of the Month pick from my book club and I’m excited about it! I haven’t read any of Victoria Schwab’s other successful books, though they’re almost all on my TBR list, so I’m eager to see what the excitement is all about. This series in particular has so much positive buzz around it that I’m really looking forward to experiencing it myself, and I’m also a sucker for a paranormal story. Bring on the spooky!

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

This is another exciting pick for Pride Month! I can’t wait to read this. Not only is this YA fantasy wonderfully LGBT+ but it’s also one of the featured books in my book club this month! And aside from all of that, it just looks great too and so many of my friends can’t stop talking about it. Very optimistic about this one.

What are you reading this week?? Tell me below in the comments!

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is: “Most Anticipated Books of 2019 pt. 2”

It was SO HARD to pick only ten!

What are you excited about this year?? Tell me in the comments