Monday-what are you reading?

In my case, this weekly feature should instead be rephrased as Monday what are you listening to as I have been consuming far more fiction via recorded file rather than the traditional text. Truly the multitasking nature of audio makes it a far more flexible medium to dig into than other types, but I digress…

Back to the discussion proper I’m currently checking out Matched by Allie Condie, which I’m finding rather likeable now that I’m getting it via audio. To confess I read the ebook version of it last year and DNFed it around the 15% mark. Then, it just sounded so flat and predictable then, but definitely not so now, so I guess it was either a mood thing or that the audio narrator has brought on some new likeability elements not present in the text.

Given that therefore, I’m certainly planning to stick with it for a little while and we will see how things go.

Here’s the Goodreads blurb.

Can’t Wait Wednesday

I’m so hyped about this book from Crystal Maldonado and just can’t wait to lay my hands on it. Only just yesterday I was able to have the audio version put on my holds list on Cloud Library and should be able to get it in less than three weeks, which is great and I can’t wait. I have heard a lot of good things about this novel and reviews on Goodreads are largely positive, and that means I should be in for a treat when I finally start digging into it.

The story centers on a sixteen year old M/C named Charlie who is not just a person of color in a predominantly white neighborhood but is also fat–if you’ll pardon my usage of the offensive term. It’s those two things that make her life tough and she has to go through a lot before she overcomes. In truth this could very well be an own-voices story, although the book isn’t being marketed as such, and those diverse stories are the in thing at the moment.

My last read in which the main character is facing body-size issues was Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade and I so much liked that book, so I’m pretty positive I will like this one as well. We will see how things go, though. Keeping fingers crossed.

The Lux Series

Definitely not the greatest of any YA series I’ve ever checked out, but I found the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout to be quite interesting, well, for the most part anyway. It features a romance or a series of romances between humans and aliens—said aliens who, except for the occasional glow of a little light among other tiny peculiarities, look very much like humans and could easily be mistaken for some. The main heroine is Katy, a Floridan who has moved to West Virginia with her mother after the father has sadly died of cancer. Mother and daughter are looking for a fresh start after a period of mourning, and Katy gets hers in the form of a couple hot aliens who live right close to their new home. She falls hard for the alien boy Daemon who, according to Katy’s spicy descriptions, is insanely, insanely  handsome, but also moody, protective and unpredictable—in short, a cute douche-bag.

The series pretty much follows all the usual twists and turns of a teen drama, but I did find it quite readable, although I only made it up to book three and then couldn’t continue with the rest. One thing I must not forget to mention about this author though, is that she quite excels at writing steamy scenes, and she definitely knows how to show the deep chemistry between love interests. I did adore many of the side characters, too, particularly Dee and Adam.

Have you had a chance to take a look at this series, and if so how have you found it?

Can’t wait Wednesday

Just like I do the beginning of each year, as a way of getting stuff to put on my ever-soaring TBR pile, I’ve been combing through lists of this year’s most anticipated books, and in YA this mystery/thriller by Ash Parsons just caught my eye. Not that it matters much but the author isn’t new to this genre and has published a couple titles, which though to be honest I’m not sure how well they’ve been received, but like I said before hype isn’t the big thing here. You’re So Dead centers on a character Plum, an Instagram influencer who goes to an influencer-only convention where it turns out there’s a killer on the loose. I have read a lot of novels in which the M/C is either a social-media star or blogger and I’ve enjoyed them all quite a bit and so I probably should like this one as well, especially with its inbuilt Agatha Christie vibe.  What I am not sure of however is how much drama will come from the fact that Plum is at the festival possibly while pretending to be her older more-celebrated sister, and tropes like that, or something similar, have been employed many times before and might get a little cheesy, but I guess we will see.

Here’s the whole Goodreads blurb…

Plum Winter has always come in second to her sister, the unbelievably cool, famous influencer Peach Winter. And when Peach is invited to an all-expenses paid trip to a luxurious art and music festival for influencers on a private island in the Caribbean, Plum decides it’s finally her time to shine. So she intercepts the invite–and asks her two best friends Antonia and Marlowe to come along to the fest with her. It’ll be a spring break they’ll never forget.

 

But when Plum and her friends get to the island, it’s not anything like it seemed in the invite. The island is run-down, creepy, and there doesn’t even seem to be a festival–it’s just seven other quasi-celebrities and influencers, and none of the glitz and glamor she expected. Then people start to die…

 

Plum and her friends soon realize that someone has lured each of them to the “festival” to kill them. Someone has a vendetta against every person on the island–and no one is supposed to leave the island alive. So, together, Plum, Antonia, and Marlowe will do whatever it takes to unravel the mystery of the killer, and fight to save themselves and as many influencers as they can, before it’s too late.

Monday-What are you reading

 

I have been following Jael Richardson on Twitter for long, and I’m also on her mailing list as she runs the Festival Of Literary Diversity, FOLD, and I was so thrilled to learn she is publishing her first novel. Titled Gutter Child, I went on to order this book on Amazon, and have already begun to read it although I’m not going as fast with it as I might have wanted.

Its major theme is race in a dystopian era, where the country—possibly the US or Canada—is divided into two, the Mainland for the over-privileged majority and the Gutter, for the oppressed minority. We follow our M/C Elimina Dubois, a fourteen-year-old child of the Gutter as she enters into a school on the Mainland, and the earliest vibe I got is that it might be brutal for her there.

The book is certainly promising to be a thought provoking read, but what got me into buying it at first is that it’s from a diverse author, one who literally has been left, right and center of the Canadian publishing scene fighting for diverse voices to be heard. For all this brief is worth though, I haven’t gone too far into the story for me to be able to say how great or how bad the book is but I guess we will see.

How about you, what are you currently reading?Jail Ealey Richardson

 

Where There’s A Witch, There’s A way- Victoria DeLuis

 

An interesting introduction to the magic world of Eira Snow, who recently has returned to small-town life after a bit of a messy divorce. Eira is a witch—who can work magic—and now she has opened a shop that sells potions, and it is while she is on a business errant that she fortuitously comes across the dead body of one Tanya. To the ordinary eye, everything is set up to look like the perfect accident, but then Eira is one of a kind: she can see and talk to ghosts. Immediately on discovery, Tanya’s ghost appears to Eira and tells her that this death was no accident but rather a carefully calculated murder. Consequently Eira is then sucked into the mystery as she investigates what happened.

I liked Eira a lot, though I cannot give the details of how she went about solving this one, because that would be so spoilery. A supporting character to really like is Fleur, a teenager who soon comes into Eira’s employ, and has witching talents of her own. Other side characters aren’t as fully developed.

The book is short, and a fast reader can finish it in a day. Try this one for a little bit of magic and murder.

Cover Fridays

An abundance of Katherines.

I have just begun checking out this book, which is one of those titles by John Green that I hadn’t picked up but always meant to, and now have gotten around to doing. It’s a bit of a slow burn for me and some elements of it seem rather pointless, as though John was just trying to find out whether the story idea would work or not, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have worked. I will probably end up giving it two stars.

What amazes me more about the book though is that it comes in a lot of cover versions, making it one of the most attractive books to feature on Cover Friday. Below are a few more of the versions I liked. Please tell me which one looks best.

Tuesday-What Are You Reading?

Here is one of those cute, little, over-hyped books I totally ignored when it came out, but have recently decided to just give it a try. Now I’ve  gone though the first few chapters, and been introduced to the socially-awkward, fan-fiction-addicted main character, her sister and a couple others. I can’t say I’m liking Cath very much nor is the plot particularly engaging but the story is turning about to be okay and easy to read. I may end up rating it a three, because I don’t foresee any intelligent twists coming, but all the same I’m going to continue reading it.

YA Monday

LOOKING FOR ALASKA

I loved this book when I read it first time, then I checked it for a second time and still loved it. It’s a very nice contemporary YA book, although it cannot compare in quality with John’s later bestsellers, The Fault In Our Stars, and Turtles All The Way Down. In fact my second look at this story consisted of listening to the audio book, and I thought the narrator did a good job of bringing out the emotions of all the characters, although I’d have preferred it more if he sounded younger and not so middle-aged like he did.

How about you, did you like it when it first came out and have you ever considered taking it on a second time?

First lines Friday- another edition

Hello everyone! First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

I like this feature a lot as it tests how well we remember the opening lines of the books we so much loved. So without further ado, here is my feature for this week.

Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night? My wings aren’t white or feathered; they’re green, made of green silk, which shudders in the wind and bends when I movefirst in a circle, then in a line, finally in a shape of my own invention. The black behind me doesn’t worry me; neither do the stars ahead. I smile at myself, at the foolishness of my imagination. People cannot fly, though before the Society, there were myths about those who could…

And the answer is…

  MATCHED, Ally Condie

To confess I’ve only just begun to take a look at this title, but the reason I have featured it is that I love it’s cover, all iterations of them, of which there are several. I will let you know whether I like the book or not. Cheers for now.