Thursday, March 31, 2016

From the Den: March Edition

From the Den is a feature to showcase the books that I don't post reviews for on the blog, whether I liked them or not. I read so many books that never make it onto The Fox's Hideaway, so I wanted a feature where I could still tell y'all about them. :)

*****

Sadly, this month resulted in a grand total of 7 books read. *cue tears* ugh, it hasn't been so low in so long (at least it'll never be as bad in September last year with my one measly book read). But hey, there was only one DNF, and I at least enjoyed the rest of the books I read! :)


A Reread
ugh, this was just as good the second time around! I fell even more in love with this series and everything about it and the characters who are so fucking fantastic and amazing and OMG I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH MY PRECIOUS LITTLE BABIES. 
Rating: 4.5 Paw Prints!


DNF @ page 266
*finished copy kindly provided by Tor Books*

I'm over the halfway point, but I am just... DONE. I WAS enjoying this in the beginning and when I posted the map on Instagram. But I'm certain that had more to do with my curiosity regarding certain aspects than actually liking the book and characters. There are three reasons why this one didn't work for me. 1) This book is the 3rd series set in this specific world, so not only did I feel like I was missing SO MUCH, but I ended up wanting to read the prequels more. 2) This is way too slow for me. I don't want to feel like I have to concentrate so hard just to keep reading. 3) I don't care about the characters. I really do... not. I did enjoy R'shiel's character, the demon child, and I really want to read the trilogy featuring HER. I also liked the Wolfblades and wouldn't mind also reading their series. But the new additions in this book? I'm apathetic toward them, especially Rakaia, who is a spoiled, selfish little brat that I hissed at whenever I was in her POV. Also the constant use of the word "whore" was infuriating. No matter how frequent or normal it is in this world, I do not care; don't make me want to punch you every time you say it. Anyway.... this one just wasn't for me. But objectively, it's a good book. And people who love the other Hythrun Chronicles series will probably really enjoy this one!

*****

So yeah... the month of March was super slow in everything, especially with reading. I also reread my all-time fave series, the Circle Trilogy, but I DO want to actually write a separate post about it this time. So I didn't want to mention it here. Haha. I did read a couple more books but they will have reviews, so those should be up soon! HERE'S TO HOPING APRIL WILL BE BETTER. So, what did YOU guys read this month? Anything good? Help me break this slump, I beg of you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bold and Beautiful: Review of When We Collided

Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: April 5th, 2016!
Get It: Amazon

From Goodreads...
Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.


My Review!
*Major spoiler, so tread carefully!

Emery Lord has quickly become one of my favorite authors. And one of my favorites to follow on social media. :D After loving all 3 of her novels, I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us. I cannot wait for more lovable characters, more shippy romances, more fabulous friendships, more focus on mental health (because she just GETS it), and just more amazing stories about life and love and what it means to truly live. Her stories are so real and relatable and totally grasp the teenage experience. They are also just such happy-making books. And When We Collided, in my opinion, is her best one yet.

As much as this book made me happy, it also made me angry in some moments. Because of Vivi. Firstly, I love this bold and beautiful girl so much. She is bright and colorful, and she lives life to the fullest. Perhaps a bit too full, sometimes, but you can’t help being swept away on her adventures and laughing along with her antics. And you can’t help but root for her, even when she makes you seething angry. Because here’s the thing about Vivi; she may be careless and selfish at times, but she’s also learning. About herself, about others, about life and this new challenge that makes her feel as though she has no control. Her bipolar disorder is something that she struggles with, something that she tries to hide and ignore. And when she starts throwing away her medicine, she falls and then soars up, up into the clouds where she becomes a danger to herself and antagonistic to others. She hasn’t fully accepted her diagnosis, and she’s stubborn about it, and so she ends up hitting a rock bottom that really puts everything into perspective for her. And I appreciated that so much because it’s so real. It’s an honest (but not completely healthy or positive because for so long, she rejects the medication and she could be so mean) representation of mental illness, and of bipolar disorder. Emery Lord showed, how yes, hard it is to love someone who struggles and pushes and needles at you, while also bringing hope and light into the story and saying that it’s okay to not have it all together. That it’s okay to make mistakes, that it’s okay to be angry. Vivi’s story is not perfect; she is not perfect. But she’s more than her ups and downs, and more than her mistakes.

It’s super hard to like Vivi at times, because the things she does and says hurts other people. It’s hard to like someone who is quick to anger and slow to forgive. Much of that DOES stem from the bipolar, from the depression. But Vivi is also just a boldly honest person who sometimes doesn’t think about others and their feelings. And it’s hard when you have someone like Jonah, who is so good, and so kind, be metaphorically smacked down by Vivi. It makes you angry. I get it, I do. She was even like that with her mom. But mental illness makes it harder to care about others; it makes you so angry at the world. It makes it hard to let people in and show the darkness. Jonah brought light and laughter into Vivi’s life, at a time where she felt so lost and alone, so uncertain about her friendships back home and the future. He and his family, the moments she spent with them, they made her feel so good and happy. And Vivi brought color back into Jonah’s life and house, swept away the grayness and the cloud of despair that had settled around everyone and everything. Jonah lost his dad six months prior to meeting Vivi, and their family is still broken by that. It was something that made it SO easy for me to relate to Jonah; his grief, his pain, his need for normal. I’ve been there, and it’s an impossible situation that makes it hard to want to get out of bed in the mornings. But Jonah did; he had to step up. I’ve a weakness for responsible older brothers in stories, and the way Jonah took care of his siblings made me just MELT. And he’s such an all-around good guy that I DARE you not to fall in love with him. I think I could have used a bit more development with him and his family, though. But that didn't change my feelings on this book.

Vivi’s and Jonah’s romance was a whirlwind that neither of them had expected. And what was just seemingly a summer fling became so much more, especially when Viv started to fall in love with the whole Daniels family, and not just the one who makes her life feel fuller. It is, basically, an insta-love type of romance. But the thing is, it didn’t FEEL unbelievable. It felt real and special and I loved reading about the two of them falling for each other. And I loved that so much of the book focused on their relationship, especially when it was affected by Vivi’s bipolar-ness and her constant switches in moods. It’s hard watching her continuously ruin what she has with Jonah. Especially since Jonah is SO good to her, and he honestly has a lot on his plate to have to deal with Viv’s own anger and meanness. I had a feeling, based on the way people were talking about this book, that there wouldn’t be an HEA for these two. And I was right, which didn’t actually take anything away from the story, as you can tell that is where the relationship is going to head. And as much as I loved the two of them together, as much as I could totally believe in their love and romance, I found I was quite happy it was non-HEA. Because if it had been, it wouldn’t have felt RIGHT. Vivi made the right choice, to focus more on taking care of herself mentally, on going back home and trying to fix the friendships she almost destroyed when she was manic. She needed to let go of Jonah and work on herself. I was such a fan of that decision. Their romance was one of those that just wasn’t ready for right now, but maybe someday it will be. And that ending was BEAUTIFUL.

This book was just… colorful. The characters, so real and relatable. The story rich and full, with wonderful relationships of all kinds (LOVED the Daniels and their precious scenes together, also Vivi + her mom) and a charming seaside town. It was also such an honest (and what I would call realistic, given I know this one well) portrayal of bipolar disorder. But I loved that, not only that, but it was a very positive rep that talked and mentioned therapy and medicine. That’s an important aspect that I wish more books would focus on if they dig into mental health. And while this book is imperfect, I think it was meant to be, because people are complicated and life is imperfect. When We Collided was a beautiful and bold book that just solidified Emery Lord as one of my favorite authors.


RATING:
    

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

(52) Top Ten Recent Favorite Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic: 10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads (Or Ten Of The Best Books I've Read Recently if you don't 5 star stuff...or you could do 5 of my latest five star reads & five of my most disappointing or 1 star reads) 

I'm super happy I was able to pull all 10 of these books from just this year alone. Of course, I did waffle a bit with one of them, but ultimately decided it's top-shelf worthy especially since I loved the first book in the series SO. MUCH. These aren't ALL 5 star reads, so that's why I went with recent faves only. And here they are! :D

*****

*not all of them are 5 star reads, but they're still top-shelf worthy for me*
*also I didn't count rereads*

1. Jellicoe Road
This was the perfect book to start the 2016 reading year off right! It was AMAZING.

2. Froi of the Exiles
uuuugh this one was my fave of the whole trilogy. it was just so damn good and I fucking love all of these characters. 

3. Quintana of Charyn
this was a brilliant ending to the series.

4. Girl in the Blue Coat
I loooove WWII stories, and this one was no exception!

5. The Long Game
This is the one I waffled with a bit, but god, it was so damn good! And I still immensely love the first book a lot.

6. Winter
this finale was fucking fabulous! JACINTER <333

7. You Were Here
This book was amazing! The way the different POVs wove together, the artwork, the main character, THE FREAKING SHIPPIEST OF SHIPPABLE SHIPS.

8. When We Collided
This is Emery's best book yet, hands down. so, so good.

9. A Gathering of Shadows 
How fucking dare this book be better than its predecessor. And how fucking dare this book for all the feels and stress it gave me. 

10. Some Kind of Happiness
Guys, you WANT this book when it's out! You NEED to read it! It's super important and such a positive representation of mental illness. I'm not a fan of MG, but even I LOVED IT! I'm ridiculously excited for this book to get into the hands of readers who need it.

*****

So this is basically an indication of what I've read so far this year. And ugh, it's already been such a good reading year for me guys! I cannot wait to keep the streak going. What are some of YOUR recent favorite books? Did any of these make your list? LET'S TALK! :D

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Hamiltag

*credit -- Broadway.com*

I was tagged by Amber, and I also used the two prompts that Shannon added to this tag! None of us created this tag, and I have NO idea who did to credit you. I'M SORRY! But whoever you are, BLESS YOU. You've given us all a gift, smushing together two of the best things ever -- books and Hamilton. :D

*****

The Room Where It Happens - A Book World You Would Put Yourself Into
Instead of going the cliche route of saying Harry Potter, I'm going to go with the Lumatere Chronicles. POST-QUINTANA OF CHARYN. :p Though this world is dark and sometimes feels hopeless, there's also a lot of light and love. And god, I would want to meet ALL of these fabulous characters. I love them so much. I also think it'd be fun to visit the different Londons (except White. oh and Black too) in ADSOM and AGOS!


The Schuyler Sisters - An Underrated Female Character
Vicky from A Mad, Wicked Folly. I'm not totally sure if she herself is underrated (I don't read reviews much and most people seem to love her), but the BOOK itself is, so. I really loved her. She's super feisty and is so determined, and she's NOT perfect, but who is?


My Shot - A Character That Goes After What They Want and Doesn’t Let Anything Stop Them
Lila fucking Bard from ADSOM and AGOS. Girl will do whatever the fuck she wants, no matter the consequences or, even, who it could hurt. AND YOU CAN BET SHE WON'T FUCKING APOLOGIZE FOR IT.


Burn - The Most Heartbreaking End To A Relationship You’ve Ever Read
*this book is a 2016 contemporary, so click the spoiler at your own risk*
*also this isn't the most heartbreaking, but it is the most recent that I've read*




You’ll Be Back - Sassiest Villain
Lora. I tried really hard to pick all recent-ish reads, but since I'm rereading this series now, I AM GOING TO USE LORA! She is not the *true* villain of the book; she's Lilith's right-hand woman. But she's so sassy, and entertaining; cunning and vicious. I think she's more terrifying than even the vampire Queen herself.


The Reynolds Pamphlet - A Twist You Didn’t See Coming
The Long Game. Goddamn you Jennifer Barnes. GODDAMN YOU. *curls into a ball and whimpers*


Non-Stop - A Series You Marathoned
I basically ONLY binge-read series now. Haha. But the latest marathons were The Lunar Chronicles and the Lumatere Chronicles! Loved them both!


Satisfied - Favorite Book with Multiple POVs
You Were Here. I was going to say Lumatere again, but then I thought: probably shouldn't. Haha. Anyway, I do have a great book for this spot. I absolutely LOVED how the multiple POVs were used in this one, even when I wasn't a big fan of some of the characters. Seriously though, the artwork chapters? AMAZING!


Stay Alive - A Character You Wish Was Still Alive A Character You Hope Stays Alive
ahem *cough* my Gansey boy. I just love him SO. MUCH. Honestly, I am not in denial that he's going to die. I just hope against all hope that he'll be brought back to life. Even though in other books where I would haaaate this trope being used, I don't care if it's in TRC! I need the OT5 to stay the OT5.


It’s Quiet UptownA Book that Made You Ugly Cry
Jellicoe Road. Melina Marchetta sure knows how to hit you right in the feels. Talk about getting punched in the gut over and over again.


One Last Time - The Best Series Ender
Quintana of Charyn. Fucking AMAZING.


Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story? - A Book/Series You Feel Like Will Be Remembered Throughout History
Well. Other than Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments, The Maze Runner, Percy Jackson, etc. etc.? I would hope that these series will be remembered throughout history: The Raven Cycle, The Lunar Chronicles, the Lumatere Chronicles, the Circle Trilogy. Some of my absolute FAVORITES. I wish more people were reading them! 


I won't be tagging anyone specifically, but if you love Hamilton, then you should OBVIOUSLY do this! :D

Friday, March 25, 2016

A February Release Duo

Today I'm sharing two mini reviews of books that released in February this year! :)

Title: He Will Be My Ruin
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: February 2nd, 2016!
Get It: Amazon
*eARC kindly provided by Atria via NetGalley*

From Goodreads...
The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her romantic thriller debut with this heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

Twenty-eight-year-old Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a bottle of Xanax and a handle of Maker’s Mark, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers secrets in the childhood lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man who Celine herself claimed would be her ruin.

On the hunt for answers that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered. 


My Review!
Like all of K.A. Tucker’s books, this one was damn good! It was pretty addicting, this cat and mouse game, this thrilling mystery that you could never tell in which direction it was going to go. But… then the twist hit, and I was mad. Mad because I’d been led to believe one thing, and then found out it was false. Mad because it felt like it was there more for shock value only. I’m not quite sure I believe the motives and the WHY, but looking back, I can see how it wasn’t who it seemed to be (this is so very probably confusing and doesn’t make sense, but well, SPOILERS). But kudos to Kathleen for keeping me guessing, which is never an easy feat to do as I’m ridiculously good at figuring out the mysteries before the authors want me to. And I was really hooked on the story. I definitely didn’t like putting it down until I KNEW. Although not as intense and dark as I thought it would be, I really appreciated the way the story was told. I liked the flashbacks in-between Maggie’s chapters, especially because it gave the readers more insight and we were able to see what the main character couldn’t figure out since she didn’t have all of the pieces. I thought Maggie was a character you could sympathize with, although she could be really judgmental and she was also privileged. But throughout the story, her determination and stubbornness makes you root for her, and you can tell her friend’s death affects her hard. She learns hard truths, feels pressured with life and with finding Celine’s killer, but she keeps on going and never stops. That was admirable! Though I didn’t love He Will Be My Ruin, I found the book to be highly entertaining and it had my attention until the very end.

RATING:
  
*****

Title: The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)
Author: Heidi Heilig
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: February 16th, 2016!
Get It: Amazon

From Goodreads...
Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear. 

My Review!
As much as I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I don’t have a lot to say about it, so this will end up a mini review. I liked Nix, the main character, A LOT! She’s a strong-willed, fiery (sometimes naive and ridiculously stubborn) girl who just wants to please her dad and who ends up blaming herself for her mother’s death (which NO). I could understand why she let her father stomp all over her heart, but he was a selfish asshole, and I really just wanted her to leave him. Though, the ending makes me feel a bit better, and I AM very curious to see where their relationship goes in the sequel. (I LOVE complicated, realistic familial ties, so I did end up loving how the author showed them both, but still, could her father BE more selfish??). I also want to find out how the romance goes. I’m wary of a love triangle. SO wary. I fell for Kashmir (Kash) hard, and I adored his character, and how he took care of Nix and would follow her to the ends of the earth. So I’m definitely on his team, though I *hope* there is not a love triangle (even if it makes sense that Nix developed feelings for someone NOT on the ship). I really, really love how detailed this book was, and the historical part to it sang to my inner nerd. However, the time travel aspect of this was difficult to understand for me. I don’t even understand much of what happened in the latter half of the book (someone please explain to me the Auntie stuff??) and I had to reread paragraphs to grasp anything. Hopefully there are more, clearer explanations in the sequel because the confusion had weighed me down throughout the read. All in all, though, The Girl from Everywhere was a fun, thrilling ride full of historical and shippy goodness.

RATING:
   

*****

Have you read either of these books? If so, what did you think of them?! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bookish Bingo: Holiday Edition Wrap-up

This bookish challenge ended back on February 29th, so I'm a little late. (cue cry-laughing emoji). I had my event starting on the 1st, and I completely forgot to wrap this up before then, so WHOOPS. I know I probably didn't have to do this, but I wanted to! I always love recapping Bookish Bingo and looking back on what I've read over the last three months that fit into these categories. So, here's how I did! :)

Squares I Conquered:
*Romance: Misconduct by Penelope Douglas
I'm a big fan of P Douglas, but not of this book. I liked it, but I hated the love interest, and the girl's OCD being treated as a cute quirk made me angry.

*Multi POV: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Phenomenal. Just. Phenomenal.

*Series Finale: Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
One of the best series enders to one of the best series I've ever read.

*Fantasy: Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts
Predictable, not overly original, but classic Nora Roberts. It was engaging and addicting, and I can't wait for the sequel.

*Pink Cover: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
This book was so adorable! Loved the main character, and her relationships with the others. And the mystery was intriguing. 

*2015 Release You Missed: Fairest by Marissa Meyer
I enjoyed this insight into the past and the time before Cinder started, but it didn't completely work for me. And I didn't sympathize with Levana. BUT LOVED THE JACINTER MOMENTS <3

*Time Travel: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
I thoroughly enjoyed this one!! Loved most of the characters, and the historical details made this history nerd giddy.

*A Friend's Fave: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
The 2016 reading year started off with a bang with this book! Amazing. Melina Marchetta is a goddess of words.

*Thriller: He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker
Definitely not the best this author can do. It was just... not that good.

*One-Word Title: Riders by Veronica Rossi
This is a book that isn't going to be for everyone, but I quite liked it. I just didn't like it as much as I thought I had.

*Award Winner: 
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
This was a reread, and the book was even better the second time around. Love Evanjalin so fucking much. Badass heroine.

*White Cover: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Reread. Just as damn good as it was the first time I read it, and I even caught more in the 2nd read. I love this series so hard.

*Book Was a Gift: A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
I really enjoyed this one! It made my feministic heart super happy.

*Retelling: Winter by Marissa Meyer
uuuugh I loved this so much. Jacinter <33333

*2016 Debut:The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
Even though this isn't my typical genre, I really enjoyed it! It was fun, unique, and the f/f romance was super shippable.

*Start a New Series: First Touch by Laurelin Paige
This cat and mouse story was incredible engaging, even when it took me a long time to finish. It was very addictive!

*Royalty: Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
PRECIOUS ROYAL BABIES AND THEIR PRECIOUS LOVED ONES. This book was my favorite of the series!

*Blue Cover: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer
I liked this one, but after loving her Elemental series, it was a pretty big disappointment. Would've enjoyed it more had it been straight-up contemporary. 


Squares I failed to read:
*Snow on Cover
*Has Been Translated
*Holiday Themed
*Epistolary
*Black Author
*Graphic Novel

*****

I only missed 6 of them, so woohoo! I even had books picked out for all of them except the graphic novel, I think, but I just didn't get around to reading them. And I definitely joined up for the spring edition (which started on March 1st), but so far I've gotten 4 squares crossed off. *cue panic* Ah, if I only I can remember the days of NOT being in a slump. :( I hope April is a bit different in this regard. I HAVE ALL THE THINGS TO READ, SO WISH ME LUCK! :D

And if you ever want to see my progress, just check out the "Reading Challenges" tab!