Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Paradise City

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Paradise City (Paradise, # 1)

By: CJ Duggan

Expected Publication: April 28th 2015

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

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*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--There's bound to be trouble in Paradise . . .

When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they'd send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home schooling on a rural Australian property, she's sure that Paradise will be amazing. But when she's thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie's not so sure.

Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie's never experienced, but all that's about to change. It's new, terrifying . . . and exciting. But when she meets Luke Ballantine, exciting doesn't even come close to describing her new life. Trouble with a capital T, Luke is impulsive, charming and answers to no one. The resident bad-boy leader of the group, he's sexier than any boy Lexie has ever known.

Amidst the stolen moments of knowing looks and heated touches, Lexie can't help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?

I've really enjoyed CJ Duggan's Summer series, and I can't wait to read more. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Books If I Had A Book Club

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Books If I Had a Book Club.

If I had a book club, it would be all about stories that I need to talk about--stories that need to be picked apart and dissected. While this can be necessary for some contemporary books, mostly I see my book club being Fantasy driven.

  1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling - Because come on, can you have a book club without reading Harry Potter?
  2. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin - Because there's so much that I'm sure that I'm missing and I feel like these are books that MUST be disected.
  3. Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown - While this book had a slow start for me, since finishing it, I can't stop thinking about it. This book needs to be talked about. I can't wait to read more of the series.
  4. His Fair Assassins by Robin LaFevers - Again, these books must be talked about. The symbolism alone demands it.
  5. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer - I mean this is a retelling of multiple major fairytales all combined into one story. Yes, this would definitely be on my book club list.
  6. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - This would make my list for the unique writing style alone. I still haven't finished this series, but I think it would make excellent book club discussions.
  7. Jasper Dent by Barry Lyga - Another book where so much happens that you just need to talk the twists and turns out with someone. Plus this entire series is psychological.
  8. The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson - Book one had such an interesting method of story telling. This would make for interesting discussion. I'd love to see who all guessed correctly and who all was wrong.
  9. Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - The mix of the lovely writing style and story elements would make for good discussion I think. Another where I still have to finish the last book.
  10. anything Jane Austen - Because again, you can't have a book club without reading Jane Austen.

What books would your book club read? Let me know!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Red Rising - Review

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, # 1)

By: Pierce Brown

Published: January 28th 2014 by Del Rey (Random House)

382 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.

Oh boy. I have no clue where to start talking about this book. Prior to picking up Red Rising I noticed that it was getting some particularly high ratings on Goodreads. As of the of typing this review the average rating for Red Rising on Goodreads is 4.17 which is pretty awesome. Specifically, I saw that Kimba gave it 5 Stars, and since it was a freebie on Amazon (at the time), I knew I had to check it out.

The description above is both 100% legit and yet gives you absolutely no indication of what this book is actually about. Yes, Darrow is a Red and a miner. Yes the Golds have lied to the lowReds about Mars being currently uninhabitable. But man…that’s just the tip of the iceberg. That’s just the background information. I will say that Red Rising had an extremely slow start to me. I mark my book progress in increments of 10% (for ebooks), and I really felt like it took a long time to make it from 0 to 10% and from 10 to 20 and even from 20 to 30%. I found myself interested in what was happening, but at this point in the story, Red Rising was easy for me to put down. As a matter of fact, I think I read roughly 3 – 5 books in between the time I started Red Rising and the time that I finished it. Even when I was fully invested, Red Rising still had parts that would fall into lulls periodically.

As the description says, Darrow starts out as a miner, events take place that serve as a catalyst for Darrow. He wasn’t exactly content where he was, but he needed a little bit of an extra push to join the rebellion that the description mentions. Darrow doesn’t just disguise himself as a Gold, the rebellion transforms his entire body into BEING a Gold. His bones are broken and rebuilt. His muscles. His hair color. He receives eye transplants. And the physical transformations abound. But Darrow has to spend time being prepared mentally as well. His goal is to secure a position in a highGold’s household or an apprenticeship. And he’s going to do so by going to this Institution that is basically a school for Golds to determine which ones come out on top—separating the best from the almost best.

That all sounds well and good right? It’s like Hogwarts! YAY!....PSYCH! Not at all. Unless someone mixed Hogwarts and The Hunger Games and called it school. There’s no magic in this world, but there is some technology that we don’t have either, so Red Rising does require a good bit of imagination. But here’s where the book really took off. All the students have to come out on the other side of the Passage. And after that, they’re basically thrown into a real-life game of Risk. There are twelve houses at the school, and the object is to conquer and win. The goal isn’t to kill all the other students, but death and injury are certainly part of the game. Strategy is key, and power is a must. Until there is one winner. That winner is the leader, or Primus, of the winning house, and thus offered the best positions upon finishing the Institute. Darrow must win. He must.

The most exciting things I want to talk about in regards to Red Rising are all spoilers. Don’t you hate when that happens? I certainly do. I want to talk about what I saw coming and what completely surprised me. I want to discuss all of those things, but I just can’t ruin this book for you. The writing didn’t quite blow me away with its beauty or anything like that. Yet, I found myself highlighting frequently and often rather large sections at a time. And now when I’ve gone back to find my favorite quotes, I see nothing but beauty in the sentences.

My favorite non-spoiler quotes:
The opening line:

-I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.

And more:

-I was forged in the bowels of this hard world. Sharpened by hate. Strengthened by love.

-“…All ears yearn for a voice to lead them through darkness.”

-“An empire cannot be destroyed from without till it is destroyed from within.”

-…I still feel his eyes watching me as though I am something different, something strange. It’s like they suddenly don’t understand what it is they have created. I touch the haemanthus blossom in my pocket and feel the wedding band around my neck. They didn’t create me. She did.

-I’m a sheep wearing wolves’ clothing in a pack of wolves.

-“The measure of a man is what he does when he has power”…

-“Nothing binds like shared pain.”

-I am the spark that will set the worlds afire. I am the hammer that cracks the chains.

-I am empty. What do I do now?

-Words are a weapon stronger than he knows. And songs are even greater. The words wake the mind. The melody wakes the heart.

I can’t quite give Red Rising 5 Stars because it took a while for me to get hooked and even when I did there were moments that lulled. But since finishing Red Rising, I can’t seem to quit thinking about this book. And the more I think about it, the deeper it becomes and the more I realize how great it really was. I’m torn between needing to rest from the massiveness that was this book and wanting to jump right into book 2, Golden Son which I already have in my possession. Red Rising easily gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Red Rising? What did you think?

Side note: They really need to turn this book into a TV series/movie! I think this would translate to a visual medium just perfectly. And they wouldn’t even have to change it to interest men and women both.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - January Wrap Up

It's time for our first Monthly Wrap Up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Where did this month go? Since posting the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge - December Wrap Up, I finished two series enders, but the problem is...I finished them both in 2014 so I'm not counting them for this wrap up. But since I haven't read any in 2015 yet, I did want to at least feature them: Out of Breath (Breathing, # 3) by Rebecca Donovan & Maybe Not (Maybe, # 1.5) by Colleen Hoover. Holly finished three series enders this month: Out of Breath (Breathing, # 3) by Rebecca Donovan, Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, # 3) by Robin LaFevers, & Maybe Not (Maybe, # 1.5) by Colleen Hoover.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the January giveaway runs from January 25th - February 25th. On February 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Sunday Post - 133 & Stacking the Shelves - 94

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This was both a fast and a slow week. Mostly I can't tell you guys how much I was looking forward to a down weekend with zero plans after the hectic, busy weekend we had last week. And this weekend hit the mark. I basically read ALL day yesterday which was so nice.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Never Never (Never Never, # 1) by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've Had the Longest & Have Never Read
Wednesday: Waiting on Riot (Mayhem, # 2) by Jamie Shaw
Thursday: Review of Out of Breath (Breathing, # 3) by Rebecca Donovan (4 Stars)
Friday: Review of Playing It Safe by Barbie Bohrman (3 Stars)
Saturday: Discussions Only We Know: Scheduling Posts

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, # 1) by Pierce Brown
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of An Endless Summer (Summer, # 2) by CJ Duggan
Friday: Review of Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum, # 21) by Janet Evanovich
Saturday: Discussions Only We Know: Family Friendly

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2015 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

All the Rage

By: Courtney Summers

Expected Publication: April 14th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin

336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--In her hardcover debut, from the author of Cracked Up To Be and This is Not a Test, comes a powerful new young adult novel. 

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous.But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now—but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

Kate & Alf

By: Carrie Stone

Expected Publication: February 5th 2015 by HarperImpulse

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Kate loves Alf. And Alf loves Kate… Doesn’t he?

Kate can’t wait for her long-term boyfriend Alf to propose. So he might be a bit of a control freak who’s obsessed with his career … and he also seems to have conveniently forgotten their two-year plan to get married, buy a bigger house and have children. But Kate’s sure that ring will be on her finger soon.

When her thirty-second birthday ends in humiliating, proposal-less disaster, even Kate is left wondering if Alf really is The One. Then Alf’s friend, Marcus, needs a place to stay. With his dark eyes, easygoing manner and kind concern for Kate, Marcus is everything Alf is not - and it's not long before Kate begins to wonder if there’s more to life than diamonds.

Becoming Rain (Burying Water, # 2)

By: KA Tucker

Expected Publication: March 3rd 2015 by Atria Books

320 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Luke Boone doesn't know exactly what his uncle Rust is involved in but he wants in on it-the cars, the money, the women. And it looks like he's finally getting his wish. When Rust hands him the managerial keys to the garage, they come with a second set-one that opens up the door to tons of cash and opportunity. Though it's not exactly legal, Luke's never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Especially when it puts him behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 and onto the radar of gorgeous socialite named Rain.

Clara Bertelli is at the top of her game-at only twenty-six years old, she's one of the most successful undercover officers in the Washington D.C. major crime unit, and she's just been handed a case that could catapult her career and expose one of the west coast's most notorious car theft rings. But, in order to do it, she'll need to go deep undercover as Rain Martines. Her target? The twenty-four-year old nephew of a key player who appears ready to follow in his uncle's footsteps.

As Clara drifts deeper into the luxurious lifestyle of Rain, and further into the arms of her very attractive and charming target, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, making her wonder if she'll be able to leave it all behind. Or if she'll even want to.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!