Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

imgSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1 (1/2)
Published by Henry Holt & Co. on September 29, 2015
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 462
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed October 5, 2016

– read bold text only to avoid major SPOILERS –

It took me long enough but I’m putting my foot down and making an effort to get out of this book reviewing rut I’ve been in. It’s time to finally cover my thoughts on Six of Crows, which I read over half a year ago.

The best way to describe how much I loved this story is by stating that there are few YA books that make me wish I was able to experience reading for the first time again and Six of Crows has squeezed itself into this small, exclusive list. (In case you were wondering, this list only had the Harry Potter series and The Infernal Devices trilogy.) Six of Crows isn’t quite same caliber as Harry Potter (in my opinion), but it’s high enough up there that I’d consider this a new YA fantasy favorite of mine.

55c5276087

You know it’s serious when I include an Exo gif in my review.

The writing was so brilliant, the cast comprised of badass antiheros, and the story and world building was far better than Bardugo’s predecessor series, the Grisha trilogy (which is saying something since I thoroughly enjoyed that one as well).

No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.’

Six of Crows is still a part of the Grishaverse and takes place a couple of years after Ruin and Rising, the final installment of The Grisha trilogy. However, it introduces a completely new set of characters, specifically six of the deadliest outcasts of Ketterdam, the dank capital of Kerch known to be the central hub for international trade but also home to multiple criminal organizations. And the story chronicles the journey of this unstoppable crew as they take on a suicide mission to complete a near-impossible heist, breaking into the notoriously secure Ice Court and retrieving a hostage.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books on April 6, 2006
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 371
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Reread May 9, 2017

– SPOILER free –

In everyone’s eyes Annabel Greene seems to appear as “the girl who has everything” for the fact that she plays the part of a well-liked, popular cheerleader in a television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store. Though in reality, she’s far from that role. At school, she’s shunned by her peers for shamefully stealing her best friend’s boyfriend behind her back at a party last summer. (Though, she didn’t.) At home, her parents are completely oblivious to Annabel’s friendless life seeing as they’re more preoccupied with her older sister who recently became anorexic. With the focus on Whitney, Annabel begins to bury a lot of her thoughts from her family and it becomes a habit. But then she meets Owen Armstrong, a truth-telling, music-obsessed guy. As if his blunt honesty was contagious, she finds that voicing what she really means comes out so easily when she’s with him. But with the help of her and Owen’s comfortable friendship, will she finally be able to finally face the events that happened the night that she and Sophie stopped being friends?

Continue reading

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin Group Inc. on May 11, 2004
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Reread May 3, 2017

– SPOILER free –

I’d tried to hold myself apart, showing only what I wanted, doling out bits and pieces of who I was. But that only works for so long. Eventually, even the smallest fragments can’t help but make a whole.

After witnessing her father’s unexpected death, Macy has always sought to find control of her life by planning for the expected. She likes the certainty of knowing what will happen next. So when her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp, she decides to spend her summer subbing for him at his library job, studying for the SATs, and occasionally making small talk with her mother about anything but the traumatic loss of her father. But when she meets the dysfunctional team at Wish Catering, a group accustomed to chaos and surprises, after they cater at one of her mom’s parties she starts to feel compelled to breakaway from her steady and sheltered life. Because, perhaps, the key to truly living is not to dwell on the past or wait for the future, but instead embrace each moment of the present.

Continue reading

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

9780142420591-1-683x1024Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Published by Philomel Books on March 22, 2011
Genres: [Young Adult] Historical Fiction
Pages: 344
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed January 14, 2017

– SPOILER free –

Between Shades of Gray sets place in early 1940s Europe. A young Lithuanian girl and her family are torn from their comfortable life and sent to a camp in Siberia and later a prison in the Arctics; at both locations and during the passages between they will witness and endure horrifying treatment from the Soviets under the rule of Stalin. This affecting novel recounts a journey that spans over several years and covers 6,500 miles. It displays one of humanity’s unfathomably darkest and most hidden parts of history.

Continue reading

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

whenbreathbecomesair_0When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Published by Random House on January 12, 2016
Genres: [Adult] Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover –> eBook
Source: Purchased –> Borrowed

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed January 8, 2017

– SPOILER free –

When Breath Becomes Air shares the story of Paul Kalanithi, an exceptional and gifted neurosurgeon that found his life upended while in his last year of residency when signs of illness started to appear. After medical tests, it was discovered that he, in fact, had stage IV metastatic lung cancer. With his life no different from a ticking clock, he began to ask questions that would confront his mortality. What should he do with the remaining time he has left? Should he return to neurosurgery, or should he write? Should he and his wife, Lucy, have children? In this memoir, Kalanithi answers these questions (and provides responses to many more) by taking readers along his trek of leading a life as (some days) a doctor, (most days) a patient, and (everyday) a human desperate to stay alive.

Continue reading

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

9780374384739_FC_n6GzO0HThe Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #3 (3/3)
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux on March 29, 2016
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 484
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed April 3, 2016

– to avoid major SPOILERS read bold text only –

As he spoke, it occurred to her that maybe he, too, felt like two people, that maybe everybody does, and that it’s not a question of whether one’s damaged, but of how easily or not that damage is seen.

In the third and final installment to The Winner’s trilogy, war has begun and Arin is among his enemies hoping to forge an alliance against the empire to save his people, the Herrani. He still believes he’s fallen out of love with Kestrel and despises her for her evident cruelty and inhumanity. Meanwhile, Kestrel is in the freezing north as a prisoner paying for the grave mistake of betraying her people, the Valorians, by helping the Herrani before Arin left for the east. She only wishes that Arin knew what she had sacrificed for him. With the abundance of misunderstandings, increasingly intensifying war, and distance to separate them, there’s much more of a strain on Arin and Kestrel’s relationship than ever before.

Continue reading

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows9780765376497 by V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #2 (2/3)
Published by Tor on February 23, 2016
Genres: [Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 509
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed February 24, 2015

– read the bold text to avoid SPOILERS –

Alright, it’s official. Victoria Schwab has earned her place among my top tier must-buy-new-releases-immediately authors. I enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic when I buddy read it mid-2015, but I was still hesitant to claim Schwab as a favorite-precisely because I had only read one book of hers and there were small flaws I couldn’t overlook in ADSoM. But, after this thrilling sequel, it’s been confirmed.

[I don’t normally do this before my reviews to sequels, but in case you haven’t read my review of A Darker Shade of MagicYou can go here. I’m extremely proud of it. (I really believe it was the primary reason why I got an ARC of A Gathering of Shadows and it was a post that literally prompted weeks of writing/deleting drafts before I could gather my thoughts. (Did you see what I did there? “Gather my thoughts”… A Gathering of Shadows…)]

A Gathering of Shadows takes place four months after the events of A Darker Shade of Magic. Red London is still dealing with the repercussions after the fateful Black Night. However, this doesn’t deter all from preparing for the Element Games, an international tournament between the strongest magicians held to strengthen political ties and entertain the populace. Meanwhile, White London seems to be in a weary disarray after the Dane twins’ deaths. Grey London is experiencing an unforeseen pandemonium and is missing a certain female aspiring pirate. And Black London is stirring. With the rise of the latter London, the balance has been tipped and another London must fall.

Continue reading

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

littlelifeA Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Published by Doubleday on March 10, 2015
Genres: [Adult] Literary Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 720
Format: Audiobook –> Hardcover
Source: Audible –> Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed January 13, 2016

– SPOILER free  –

How do I even begin?

If you’ve read other reviews where readers said they enjoyed this book those reviewers are absolutely mad. This book intrigued, consumed, impressed, stunned, humbled, and perhaps even destroyed me, but it’s a stretch to say that I enjoyed it. A Little Life is the most depressingly bleak and disturbing book I have ever read. It’s one that leaves you at a loss for words, makes you sit there for a while thinking about what you’ve just read, and stimulates you to cry upon your awareness that this book, though fiction, has very real, nonfiction themes attached to it.

I just made a t-shirt using this graphic created by @littlelifebook. Source.

I made a shirt using this graphic by @littlelifebook. (I’ll be sharing photos of it on my Instagram soon!) Source.

#ALLbookswag + 📚. Download the art from the link in our profile and make your own swag. #alittlelifebook

A post shared by A Little Life: A Novel (@alittlelifebook) on

Edit 7/7/17: I forgot to edit in the picture of my shirt! So here it is. Oh and the official A Little Life Instagram actually reposted my photo on their account. 🙂

Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life is an alternating present and past reflection of the lives of four friends that graduate from a prestigious New England college from their mid-twenties into their fifties. There is handsome Willem, a struggling actor hoping to make it big someday; JB, a confident and sometimes callous painter wanting entry to the distinctive art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a recognized firm; and brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a talented litigator only intimidating in court. Each yearn for their breakthrough into society and discovery of their place in life. It seems that early on, Jude is the only one that has settled into a successful, adult lifestyle. It’s also evident that he’s the centerpiece that anchors their friendship, but as the readers read and our cast ages, readers learn how Jude increasingly becomes a broken man unable to overcome the unspeakable trauma his mind and body has endured. Will love and friendship heal him or will he forever be haunted by these scars and demons of the past?

I could spend days discussing this book and it’s heartbreakingly beautiful qualities, from the quintessential flawed characters, captivating  writing, LGBTQ+ and ethnic diversity mentions, tasteful musical and art influences, to the New York City backdrop, but all of this would be meaningless to go into detail unless you’ve read this yourself. (Please message me if you have and would like to discuss it. I need a friend to vent my fictional woes!) So instead I’d like to focus on the key points that made this book so meaningful to me.

Continue reading

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

the summer of chasing mermaids by sarah ockler

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon Pulse on June 1, 2015
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed July 18, 2015

– SPOILER free –

I borrowed The Summer of Chasing Mermaids from the library and had it in my possession for about two weeks before I actually started reading it, right when it was due. There was a long line of readers that put this title on hold (not surprised as to why, now that I’ve finished it) so I wasn’t able to renew it. Therefore I ended up reading this book in a day, hoping the overdue fee would be worth paying. And it was.

Elyse d’Abreau has always had her life mapped out. She was supposed to become a singer, tour with her twin sister around the world, and grow famous. Then one tragic boating accident changes this all and she’s left mute, unable to sing or even speak. Elyse then decides to leave her Caribbean home and seek quiet solitude in Atargatis Cove, an Oregan seaside town named after the mythical first mermaid. There Elyse meets Christian Kane, a charming and ambitious playboy, and his sweet younger brother obsessed with mermaid lore. Elyse’s life changes course once again when she becomes Christian’s first mate in the upcoming Regatta. Along with the sudden camaraderie, Elyse feels a connection with Christian and it seems like he’s the only person that actually hears her. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a summer adventure about a girl facing her past, finding her inner voice in the present, and, bravely, taking on the future.

Continue reading

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly by Matt McCarthy

120904.pngThe Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year by Matt McCarthy
Published by Crown on April 7, 2015
Genres: [Adult] Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir
Pages: 324
Format: Hardcover
Source: Blogging For Books

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed June 7, 2015

– SPOILER free – 

“You do not want to be the physician who assumed the patient was sleeping,” the instructor had told us, “when in fact he was dead.”

The quote above is one of the many words of wisdom and advice Dr. Matt McCarthy learned as a first year intern at Columbia hospital, and it perfectly illustrates the pressure health care professionals have to deal with every day.

In this frank memoir, The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly, Dr. McCarthy beautifully writes about the brutal truths behind the field of medicine and a physician’s infallibility, but somehow manages to do so with humor through interspersed comedic relief. In less than 100 pages into the book, readers learn that on his journey towards becoming a “good physician,” Dr. McCarthy stitches a banana peel, has feces-stained scrubs thrown at his face, and witnesses a patient almost die his first night interning in the cardiac care unit.

Continue reading