YALLWEST //still feels like a dream
I WENT TO YALLWEST. I want to share my experience with yall (see what I did there) as this was my FIRST bookish event and it was magnificent.
First of all I have to say I only spared enough time to head out for an hour or two so I wasn't actually able to attend signings or panels, but I still had a blast! I actually headed to Yallwest with my dad (who helped me score a couple more items than I would have alone). Essentially my yallwest experience was simply trying to get free things whooo! Here is my oh so amazing haul from simply 2 hours worth of yallwest!
The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
*I received an ARC of The Whole Thing Together from Delacorte Press through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.
Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.
The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love. "
Review: There were things I enjoyed about this book, but there were also a few flaws that caught my attention. However I have to say I was hoping for something that I would love as much at The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and unfortunately I don't think this novel was as strong.
I was intrigued by the families and how they got around each other. Ray acted like an average guy, but at times it was just inappropriate? Ray and Sasha may not be related and at time they were definitely cute, but other times it felt somewhat incestuous?? I actually supported them for the majority of the time, until the end of the book where there relationship, family-wise, was much too close for them to like each other anymore.
This novel was definitely an intriguing read that I'm glad I picked up to experience its interesting setting. Although it was not the ultimate novel and it can be slightly unfair to compare this back to the classic The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, it did fall a bit short of my expectations, though I would still recommend others to give this book a try!
Favorite Quote(s): " It was a familiar weakness, not wanting the people she loved to want things too badly."
Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Synopsis: "A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.
Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.
As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along."
Review: This book was not what I expected. I went into this novel only knowing that it was a historical fiction that took place during the Ice Age. Although there were some parts that threw me off, I still found the book to be a success!
First off you may need to know that I'm not much of a history geek and every time I pick up a historical fiction I'm scared that it will be too historical. This is why when I found this novel to mainly focus on romance, I was pretty pleased. Although if you aren't much into romance or having a novel REALLY focus on romance... you may not want to pick this up because it really is 90% romance. However, the book makes up for it in other ways! (and in my case just adds on to its pros in more ways).
Ivory and Bone has amazing action alongside its romance. The perspective of the character telling the story may have a focus on romance, but the plot itself is FULL of action and multiple twists. After all, mammoths, treacherous waters, and neighboring tribes are not to be taken lightly! Although I loved nosying around in the love life of Kol, the crazy events that happen in this novel really seem like enough for me to enjoy this book!
I enjoyed this novel, but the one thing I would have to mention is that the book is written in second person. Although this is unique and interesting, as a reader, I found it hard for the first couple of chapters to get the flow going and I each "you" made my brain pause for a moment before I could continue reading. Otherwise, this book was full of great ideas and I really have to praise its unique environment and the romantic yet action-filled plot that goes along with it. There was also absolutely beautiful writing which definitely helped with the second person style.
After finishing this book I read the synopsis (lol yea sort of backwards..) and found that it had allusions to Pride and Prejudice, which is strikingly obvious now that I look back. I think I didn't realize mostly because of the fact that in this case there were some twists like how the boys were in search of marriage and twists like that. Now that I look back I have to admire this book even more for these allusions and it definitely makes me look at this novel in a whole new perspective!
Favorite Quote(s): "A void opens up in this room -- opens up in my chest -- from the lack of you."
"you die the way you live"
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Synopsis:"Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way."
Review: Morgan Matson is brilliant! I knew as soon as I finished Since You've Been Gone that I would love everything and anything she wrote, (spoiler alert I was right). Amy & Roger's is such a classic yet unique young adult contemporary novel and I love it!.
Amy has a complicated past and I loved how Morgan Matson slowly reveals in in pieces as Amy accepts her past throughout the trip. Amy learns more about herself and deals with her path as the trip progresses and as the reader her past also becomes clearer. As Amy becomes more and more ready to show who she is the novel reflects that with more pieces of her past. This element was probably my favorite and it definitely built this suspense around Amy's past and what she had to learn to deal with.
One thing I really loved about this book was that Amy and Charlie weren't that close. I have a twin sister and we aren't the kind of twins you'd usually read about where we do everything together and stuff like that so I loved that this novel showed a difference. Although we aren't as seperate as Amy and Charlie the inclusion of this separation was really realistic and I brought more depth behind the characters.
Although I loved this book there was one thing that I didn't particularly feel was right. The romance. This is such a strange thing for me because I pretty much enjoy all romance even the cliche ones, but the romance and the relationship between Amy and Rodger felt impossible especially since they had only met each other for a week. Though I was glad that the ending was somewhat more realistic to the situation.
Overall, Morgan Matson did a brilliant job and this classic YA contemporary novel is a great, quick read for all!
Favorite Quote(s): "It shouldn't have come as a surprise. I'd found that if you pushed people away hard enough, they tended to go."
"And really, it's not about the destination. It's getting there that's the good part."
"Wandering is encouraged."
The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May
Synopsis:"The long-awaited final book in the Falconer trilogy is an imaginative tour-de-force that will thrill fans of the series. Aileana Kameron, resurrected by ancient fae magic, returns to the world she once knew with no memory of her past and with dangerous powers she struggles to control. Desperate to break the curse that pits two factions of the fae against each other in a struggle that will decide the fate of the human and fae worlds, her only hope is hidden in an ancient book guarded by the legendary Morrigan, a faery of immense power and cruelty. To save the world and the people she loves, Aileana must learn to harness her dark new powers even as they are slowly destroying her. Packed with immersive detail, action, romance, and fae lore, and publishing simultaneously in the UK, The Fallen Kingdom brings the Falconer's story to an epic and unforgettable conclusion."
Review: Warning! Spoilers for The Falconer or The Vanishing Throne may be present!
This series has butchered my heart and I still love it. I'm so glad I was able to have this final book because I honestly would not have been able to wait after The Vanishing Throne. This series is not one I'll ever forget (even if a fairy comes and takes away my memory).
By this book there was no doubt that Kiaran had taken over Aileana's heart, but in the meantime he has also taken over mine and that is why I was crushed over and over and every word hurt, but make me continue anyways. The romance in this novel is as breathtaking as ever and I loved it as much as I can now that my heart has been shredded over and over again. I was so overwhelmed with Kiaran in the first two books, but this book has strengthened that love for him as well as formed new loves for other characters. Some were obvious and filled with kindness, Derrick, while others even took me for surprise as I realized I no longer hated them. Just as the emotions are played with for the characters, mine were strewn all over the place. At some points I was so filled with emotion I couldn't stop reading, only for my addicted heart to yearn for the pages for a couple of minutes and go straight back into getting my emotions thrashed.
This book is probably my favorite of the three and its plot and action is definitely a major reason for this. I thought the first two books were filled with action, which they were, but this book had even more and weaved it so perfectly with the emotional state of the reader that all I can say is that I was simply overwhelmed. The plot twists were done expertly and each event had me pulled deeper into the story and into their world. I couldn't stop when I started with the first page of The Falconer and by this point I was speeding through while trying to slowly savour the last novel. Now that it's over I almost can't believe it and will definitely be rereading thing (after my heart heals) to just live in this amazing story a while longer.
Throughout the trilogy Elizabeth May was stunning. Even at the darkest of times she found ways to insert humor and hope. Her trilogy and this book especially taught me that good and bad aren't distinct and that good and bad is really all relative. Good and bad depends on the perspective and love can conquer more than anyone might imagine.
I recommend this book to absolutely EVERYONE because I'm evil (because this book really did break my heart) and kind (because this book was amazing) and I want everyone else to know what the words in this book. (If you haven't go and check out The Falconer and The Vanishing Throne!!)
Cover: ★★★★★ (the entire trilogy had such amazing covers!)
Favorite Quote(s): "It takes so much bravery to lose everything and still give so much of yourself."
"Maybe it's compassion that separates us from monsters."
"We will always try to play the hero before we become the villain."
"Forgiveness isn't something given. It's something earned."
The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May
Synopsis: "Everything she loved is gone.
Trapped. Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the fae portal she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes in an alien world of mirrors, magic, and deception—a prisoner of the evil fae Lonnrach, who has a desperate and deadly plan for his new captive.
Tortured. Time after agonizing time Lonnrach steals Aileana’s memories, searching for knowledge to save his world. Just when she’s about to lose all hope, Aileana is rescued by an unexpected ally and returns home, only to confront a terrifying truth. The city of Edinburgh is now an unrecognizable wasteland. And Aileana knows the devastation is all her fault.
Transformed. The few human survivors are living in an underground colony, in an uneasy truce with a remnant of the fae. It is a fragile alliance, but an even greater danger awaits: the human and fae worlds may disappear forever. Only Aileana can save both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing so might be her life…"
Review: WARNING: Spoilers for the first book The Falconer, may be present!
Elizabeth May has done it again! The Vanishing Throne was AMAZING, unique, and brought a new flavor to the table compared to The Falconer. I felt like there was more romance, action, and world exploring than ever before and I was constantly on edge.
I enjoyed every bit of this novel, but I enjoyed the plot and romance of this novel the most. Kiaran is not the typical sort of YA bad boy, but he definitely brought a different sort of character to the story and reminded me of Wolf from the Lunar Chronicles mixed with the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. That and some extraordinary fae magic definitely had everyone swooning over Kiaran's relationship with Aileana. They may as well be my OTP. I can't help but love their love.
SO MUCH happens in this novel. It continues right where The Falconer ended and before anyone can blink everything is moving and you are swept up into it all. As usual, no spoilers, but I really have to say that the amount of things that happens in this novel is INSANE and had me reading more intently than ever. However, I will say that the ending is a cliffhanger so be prepared and grab the third and final book as soon as you can because I really cannot stop reading. There are some familiar names and some new ones, but both are incredible and I have, without a doubt, fell in love with some of the new characters as well as strengthened my love for some of the previous characters.
The world Elizabeth May created is something I am so glad this novel gets to go deeper into because it's just so INTERESTING and filled with so much history behind each thing that I can't wait to learn. Unlike The Falconer, The Vanishing Throne doesn't feel as much like historical fiction anymore due to the circumstances of magic and fae, but the fantasy element is much stronger and I have to say... I don't mind, because if you know me I love fantasy!
PS: Elizabeth May is AMAZING at describing scents so if any bookish candle makers need some inspo! Definately check out this series!
PPS: I also LOVE the Notes and Observations that are at the end!
If you haven't read The Falconer, go and pick it up! If you have than be prepared for a wild ride for The Vanishing Throne because its amazing and will no doubt have you reading intently!
Favorite Quote(s): " 'In the end, we are all the stag,' "
"The truth is, memories weigh a great dea. Each one bends your bones a little more until the heft of them wears you down. Now I know that some scars go so deep that they never fade."
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
*I received an ARC of The Inexplicable Logic of my Life from Clarion Books through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "The first day of senior year:
Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.
Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?"
Review: This book came into my life at the perfect moment, and because it did I will always have a place for it in my heart. There is too much to say without giving stuff away, BUT I will insert the spoiler free part here and I will give plenty of warning when the spoilers do come up! Don't worry I would never want to spoil you for this book! Anyways let me continue.
This novel has touched my soul so deeply that I know I will never forget it. This book helped me grow as a person and many tears were involved,( but also greatly appreciated.) This book just came into my life at the right moment, and for a long time I couldn't pick it up as it was too similar and emotional for me. Although I have not yet read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, I definitely plan on doing so soon, because the writing of this novel was beautiful and so moving, not to mention such well portrayed characters and an emotion filled plot.
WARNING PLEASE STOP HERE IF YOU WANT TO STAY SPOILER FREE THANKS ... are you still reading ... last warning ok here we go!
Mima is by far one of my favorite characters. As I began to read this novel I was immediately touched, but I actually stopped reading this book for a good portion of time as my family experienced things similar to Sally (can I call him that?). My grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer, but luckily, with surgery, the tumor was removed and everything was ok, but later she developed a kidney issue that sent my entire family into a frantic mess. That was when I set the book down. However, when I was able to pick the book up again, I had a newfound connection for Sally and Mima's relationship, though tragically they did not get much time and luckily I hope to have plenty more and my grandma is on the road to recovery. Due to what has happened recently, this novel has touched my soul and I truly will never forget it. In addition, I cried more times with book than possibly any other book I have ever read, and that's saying something.
Now away from the sad and to the happier side of the novel! Sammy and Sally are the best of friends and have a level of connection that is definitely like having a close sibling. In fact, I considered them sibling from the moment they interacted in the novel. Their understanding for one another is so deep and truly beautiful as is with Fito! I loved Fito! Such a great guy and deserving of so much love! (ps: I wished to hug him many times while reading.)
In addition, some amazing things this novel includes are TWO absolutely intricate and lovely gay characters. They were both two strong, independent, and intelligent men and I'm so glad for more characters like Fito and Sal's dad. With that being said I really plan on reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I would really like to thank Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for making this read accessible to me! It was a journey and experience I will hold dearly forever.
Favorite Quote(s): "Maybe I'd always had the wrong idea as to who I really was."
"Words existed only in theory. And then one ordinary day you ran into a word that existed only in theory. And you met it face to face."
"We're not pigs, you know. We're not supposed to live in our own sh*t."
Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Synopsis: "Princess Snow is missing.
Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.
Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.
When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival. "
Review: I happened to love this book for the same reason many people dislike this book. I found Stitching Snow to be a perfect blend of mostly Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, and some of Legend, by Marie Lu. Even though the book provides many elements similar to these books, it was exactly what I wanted to read.
Stitching Snow had a beautiful everything. I loved its plot, characters, romance, action, and cool names. Funnily enough, it wasn't Ella or Dane that made me really enjoy this novel, but Ella's bots. Her bots, especially Dimwit and Cusser were something that I loved to read about and kept me flipping pages. In fact, I found Ella to be a pretty standard young adult main character and Dane is another crushworthy YA guy, which was too good to be true, but Prince Charming always exists in ya. Even though the romance was somewhat basic, the plot of this novel really brought the romance that occurred in Stitching Snow to a new height. I personally love contemporaries for its cheesy romance, and this novel had that with the setting and plot of a fantasy novel and I couldn't have enjoyed it more! The plot and the action in this novel were both things I really enjoyed, but won't go into much detail because no one likes spoilers! However, I will say there was one part in the plot that felt very obvious to me, but otherwise everything was keeping me on edge! I also really enjoyed how R.C. Lewis used clever names throughout the novel, the one I found being a game in this world of Ella's called Tactik (a game of strategy and warfare). I thought that the effort she put in was definitely a special touch that I really appreciated throughout the novel!
Similar to Cinder, Stitching Snow is a retelling, but it is pretty obviously a retelling of Snow White (which I stupidly did not catch on to until a day after I finished reading and thought back on it....). Looking back on it, it was really obvious and I was just being silly. Ella worked with male miners, has a evil stepmother, is good with bots (sort of what I'm assuming is animals), and has a spontaneous burst of perfect romance in her life. However, the spin R.C. Lewis puts on Snow White is both clever and unique and something I think everyone should take a try at reading!
I would particularly recommend this novel to lovers of Cinder (or the Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer, or the Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu, (both of which I have also reviewed on my blog!), or lovers of fantasy, romance, and some action as well!
Favorite Quote: "There had to be another choice.
I had to create one.
Do what needs doing even if it terrifies you."
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Synopsis: "The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die. The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut."
Review: You know one of those books where you pick it up and it NEVER GOES DOWN. Yep, that was The Bone Season for me. Let me tell you why:
Everything was amazing, but out of it all I really admire the world Samantha created. Every little piece is so detailed and thought out. They even have intricate histories and backstories that you learn along the way. She creates a gorgeous map at the start of the novel and a glossary of amazing vocabulary at the end (which you also pick up throughout the story). The magic is also INCREDIBLY UNIQUE. After a while it may seem like you understand the magic world, but let me tell you now, The Bone Season is a whole new type of magic.
The plot is also FANTABULOUS. (yes, this book requires me making up words because words can't seem to cover how great it is). There was a bit of a Hunger Games/Divergent vibe, but if you didn't like those series don't throw this series up yet! It had its own twists and I would definitely say this read was more than worth it. Although the plot didn't give me as intense emotions (as in instead of bawling I was shedding tears) as other novels, it definitely brought me throughout a huge range of feels. Samantha is definitely a talented writer and this novel had me completely gripped.
I am absolutely ecstatic about this series and I would recommend this to any young adult or fantasy lovers! (Now I'm off to read The Mime Order!)
Favorite Quote(s): "We are the minority the world does not accept. ... We look like everyone else. Sometimes we act like everyone else. In many ways we are like everyone else."
"Not all of us know what we are. Some of us die without ever knowing."
"The sky was sunset gold, the moon a smirk of white."
"In the end you'll just stop trying. She was wrong."
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Synopsis: "Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...
As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. "
Review: This novel is the SECOND book in its series to stay spoiler free check out my review of the first book: The Bone Season.
If you have read my first review then you may already realize how much I love this series. In that case, let it be no surprise that I loved this book just as much if not more!
The Mime Order absolutely blew my mind away. With a strong description of the world in the first novel, this following novel is finally able to get things happen, resulting in an AMAZING plot. Not only that, but the entire thing is an absolutely fantastic read due to the elegantly written novel.
Now that you have read The Bone Season I can include more about the romance in this series! Ahh... Warden. He is a pretty stereotypical untouchable sort of YA boyfriend, but in many ways he is also quite unique. Warden himself is a standard type of YA boyfriend. Which category? Warden would go under the bad boy with a dark past that a girl shouldn't be dating because of their status' or in this case, being different races (not like ethnicity, but more as in not the human race...). However, the relationship between Warden and Paige is unique to others. Paige is able to showcase her strength and she is definitely wise beyond her years. However, overall Paige definitely shows signs of thinking of Warden at crucial times, but, honestly, even I was distracted by Warden throughout the novel and I can't blame her!
This brings me to how much I adore Paige for all she is. She is:
- loyal (to her beliefs)
- smart (especially with last minute situations)
- naive with romance (which can be frustrating, but more hilarious to watch)
- yet flawed
Samantha created such an amazing main character and reading this through Paige's perspective is delightful (as delightful as going to a bookstore delightful).
Now let me explain my dilemma after such an amazing read. You may have heard on my instagram, but I had an ultimate fail when it came to this series... I was approved for the e-arc (The Song Rising) and I FORGOT TO DOWNLOAD IT IN TIME. (*dies a hundred times inside, yes do you feel my pain*). Not only was that a completely horrible slip up on my part, but after reading these two books I REALLY WANT THE NEXT ONE. If anyone wants any real, honest words about this novel... all I can say is learn from me and just purchase all three books (you're welcome in advance).
This book and the series in general is something I'd recommend to everyone. If you have any recommendations for me or anything else book related comment below!
Cover: ★★★★★ (gonna miss the old versions)
Favorite Quote(s): "It's rare that a story begins at the beginning."
"Some revolutions change the world in a day. Others take decades or centuries or more, and others still never come to fruition."
" 'Would you follow a backstabber?' 'I'd rather follow one than walk in front of one.' "
" Words give wings even to those who have been stamped upon, broken beyond all hope of repair."
"It was the most secret breed of rebellion I could imagine, putting words on paper."
" 'Truth looks different in every lens. History was made by liars.' "
wow lots of quotes! (told you the writing was amazing!)
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.