Sunday, May 31, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: April 2015 Book Haul


Stacking the Shelves
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where we get to share all the books and bookish things we have recently acquired. Today I am sharing with you my April book haul! I know your all saying, "but Justine isn't it a little late". I am always late on my book hauls, I'm sorry! I even took these photos over a month ago and they have just been sitting on my computer. I did just get back from BEA though and all my new books have pushed me to start getting better at my book hauls. I will probably posting my BEA haul next week so stay tuned for that exciting haul!

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli from Epic Reads. I read it immediately and trust me when I say this one is a must read!
This Book Outlet order actually showed up on my doorstep back in March but I had technically ordered them as a birthday present for myself so my dad made me wait two whole weeks to open them! The box literally would just sit in my living room each day taunting me!
Also, for my birthday my parents were very nice and set me free reign in the bookstore letting my pick out 3 books they would buy for me!
You will probably recognize this is the sequel to Prisoner of Night and Fog which is shown above. I love this series so much that I went out and bought Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman  the day it came out.
The beauty An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir showed up on my doorstep at the end of the month after I won it from Jen over at YA Romantics.
What books have you recently added to your shelves?
Have you read any of my latest additions? What did you think of them?
Don't forget to tell me in the comments below!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: A Million Miles Away

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, where we get to showcase upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.
This week I am waiting on...
A Million Miles Away
Author: Lara Avery
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Poppy
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, this breathtaking story of love and loss is guaranteed to break your heart and sweep you off your feet.

When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want.
COMING JULY 7th 2015
I always find that during the summer I am in the mood for contemporary. As a result, I always keep my eye out for YA contemporary books releasing during May-August. When I saw this one I immediately added it to my summer TBR. It sounds like it is going to be a real heartbreaker that could bring lots of tears to my eyes but there may be a chance for a tragic heart stopping romance.
What are you waiting on this week?
Tell me in the comments below!

Monday, May 11, 2015

April 2015 Favorites + May TBR

I had a really great reading month in April. I finally met my goal of reading 10 books in one month and thoroughly enjoyed almost all of my books.
The stand out for the month though was most definitely the stunning debut Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. This is a novel you can't help but fall in love with and will keep you smiling long after the final page.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Becky Albertalli
Here are some other 5 star reads I read in the month of April:
Bone GapThe Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #2)
This month I am really hoping to reach 10 books again. I am writing this already a couple days into May though and I'm in a serious reading slump. It is very sad.
Below is my TBR for May:
 The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)The Only Thing to FearThe Start of Me and YouThe Devil You KnowThe Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)The Distance Between Lost and FoundInto the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)Reborn (Altered, #3)The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #1)When Reason Breaks

What was your favorite book of April and what do you plan to read in the coming month?
Tell me in the comments below!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review: The Conspiracy of Us

The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us #1)
Author: Maggie Hall
Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: January 13th 2015
Synopsis via Goodreads:
A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance--perfect for fans of Ally Carter

Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family--but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she's falling in love with.
The Conspiracy of Us is a fast paced international thriller that you will get caught up in the mystery of.
I love spy and international thriller books so when I saw the synopsis for The Conspiracy of Us I was very intrigued. Then I saw that they recommended it for fans of Ally Carter and the book moved up the list as one of my most anticipated titles for 2015. Sadly, I think my expectations were too high. I enjoyed the book but it was lacking a depth that Ally Carter and other young adult spy writers have been able to pull off.
The part that saved the book for me was the mystery and the atmosphere. As I said before I love international thrillers. I loved the glamorous environment of Paris and the other places they travel in the book. I also found the aspect of the 12 families that "secretly" control/rule the world very compelling. There was plenty of action and I got caught up in the chase and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was also very intrigued by the prophecy plot. I thought it added a unique aspect to the spy plotline. The back story to the prophecy storyline actually ended up leading back to the time of Alexander the Great. I love historical plotlines so I thoroughly enjoyed this addition to the story and found it very interesting.
I know people have been worried about there being a love triangle, since it does mention two guys in the synopsis. I did not have a problem because Avery is really only romantically invested in one of the boys but with how the story ended I can definitely see a more evident love triangle developing in the sequel.
There were two things that made me not love the book though. As I said above, the book lacked depth. More specifically in its characters. I ended up not connecting with them at all and as a result I was less invested in them which led to being less invested in the story. I also found Avery came off as  juvenile at times and extremely naïve. There were times at the beginning when Avery was so oblivious to things going on that I was just sitting there like really?? She did grow up as the story went on though so by the end of the book it was not bothering me that much. I also found some of the story to be somewhat silly and juvenile as well. The biggest example I can think of is at the beginning when Jack and Stellan tell her they know her family and convince her to go with them. Convince is probably the wrong word to use since in the middle of prom they just show up and say they know her long last family and in seconds she leaves and hops on a plane to Paris with these boys she doesn't know. See what I mean by being naïve? The whole exchange there was not believable and came off as kind of ridiculous.
There was definitely some depth and maturity missing through out the book but the mystery and fascinating prophecy storyline caught my attention and it ended up being a fun ride.

Friday, May 1, 2015

April 2015 Reading Wrap Up

Image result for april
April was a great month. The weather finally started to warm up, I turned 18 (I am officially an adult!), and I actually reached my goal of reading ten books! I got too read two sequels I had been highly anticipating and a bunch of other books I thoroughly enjoyed. Check out below to see what books I read and the ratings I gave them. If you want to read more of my thoughts on the books and I have written a review on it just click on the book title to be sent over to it.

Unleashed (Uninvited, #2)
(Uninvited #2)
Sophie Jordan
Young Adult Dystopian
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Becky Albertalli
Balzer + Bray
Young Adult Contemporary
The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)
Megan Shepherd
Balzer + Bray
Young Adult Retelling/Science Fiction
A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing, #1)
Rhiannon Thomas
Young Adult Retelling/Fantasy
Bone Gap
Laura Ruby
Balzer + Bray
Young Adult Magical Realism
Every Last Promise
Kristin Halbrook
Young Adult Contemporary
The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)
(The Winner's Curse #2)
Marie Rutkoski
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Young Adult Fantasy
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #2)
(Prisoner of Night and Fog #2)
Anne Blankman
Balzer + Bray
Young Adult Historical Fiction
Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)
Susan Ee
Young Adult Fantasy
The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us #1)
Maggie Hall
Putnam Juvenile
Young Adult Mystery
What did you read in April? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
Tell me in the comments below!