Sunday, 31 August 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up (8)

On the Blog

Tuesday: Lanna's talking about books she doesn't own yet but wants
Thursday: Lanna has mixed thoughts on A WHOLE NEW CROWD by Tijan

Julie

Book Haul


Magnolia by Kristi Cook (ebook via library)
Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross (egalley via publisher on Netgalley)
Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass (egalley via publisher on Edelweiss)
Lies I Told by Michelle Zink (egalley via publisher on Edelweiss)
Twisted Fate by Norah Olson (egalley via publisher on Edelweiss)
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (egalley sample via publisher on Edelweiss)
The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane by Elizabeth Boyle (egalley via publisher on Edelweiss)
The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior by Megan Frampton (egalley via publisher on Edelweiss)

So...I went a little crazy again. But I mean...Harper did it! And I LOVED KILL ME SOFTLY, so I needed the sequel. And I've been feeling VERY romance-y lately so, these will come in handy.

Books Read

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Heir of Fire by Sarah Maas

Finally finished with OUTLANDER. And man did I LOVE it. Don't be surprised to see the next book in a book haul very soon. And then I immediately picked up HEIR OF FIRE so I could have it read before her launch party. And OH MY JESUS this book. If y'all haven't read it/ordered it, I hope you're picking it up Tuesday.

So while both books are heavy in romance, you can probably understand why I really need short, actual romance novels at the moment. I may not read anything more than 300 pages (as a full size paperback/hardcover) for a while.
 
Upcoming Reads


Romances! All the romances! I'm borrowing a book from a friend this weekend and also I have these egalleys. Also maybe I'll start school reading. If my school has finally applied my bookstore scholarship money and I can actually buy my books. We'll see.

Odds and Ends 

I ended up only having one class this week since we started Thursday and not Monday like I thought. And while it started off as kind of a miserable day, I came home, took a nap, then got an internship offer and went to a Mets game with a friend.

As for my internship - I'll be doing publicity work for two adult nonfiction imprints at Penguin! Last semester, I avoided doing any promotion for Macmillan titles during my internship, but I do already have some reviews ready and some blog-tour-esque things I agreed to well in advance. So, those will be laden down with extra disclaimers, but here's an extra little one in advance. 

So, how was your week?

--Julie

Thursday, 28 August 2014

A Whole New Crowd by Tijan

A Whole New Crowd
by Tijan

Summary: Taryn grew up in a different world. Her boyfriend was a criminal. His older brother was part of a gang. They weren’t great people, but they were her family. Then everything changes when she’s adopted by a family in the neighboring town. New family. New friends. A new world. She’s elated. This is her chance for a new beginning, but secrets start being revealed and Taryn learns her new life has ties to her old one, ties that she’s not happy about. Her new family might not have been the lucky break she thought she had. Now she's not only fighting to live that new future, but she's fighting to survive as well.
I've been putting off reviewing this book for a few days because it's difficult to explain my thoughts on it. Like, I loved it, I've yet to read a Tijan book I didn't love...but it's complicated.

So I'm going to sum up what I love about the story then I'll explain where it gets complicated, for anyone that's interested, but the summary/rating is kind of all you need to know about my thoughts on the book.

The story is one of those ones that hooked me right from the start. It's full of drama, but in a good way and has one of those sort of unrealistic but thoroughly entertaining plots that are perfect if you want to lose yourself in a world that is real but not at all like your own (if you like stories with a crime/drug lord/gang kind of thing going on, this one might do it for you).

And the characters...like most of Tijan's books, it has a strong protagonist who is fierce and stands up for herself and the people she cares about. That's one of my favourite things about her books--the way she writes her female leads, because she makes them strong women without going over the top (like, they're independent and can stand on their own but they're not too proud to say when they don't want to).

Plus, there's a bunch of other characters that I loved without necessarily liking them. They were interesting, and interesting is kind of better than likeable (a lot of her characters were shades of gray, instead of being all bad or all good, they were mostly varying degrees of both and I like that). I really liked the relationship between Tray and Taryn too and the relationship she had with her sister.

I'd rate the book 4 stars out of 5 (well, this version of it... I'll explain that below) and I'd really recommend any of Tijan's books if you're looking for something fast paced and addictive.

The complicated part:

I've mentioned a bunch of times on the blog that I'm a big fan of Tijan's books and I read a lot of them while they were still posted on Fictionpress or Livejournal. I read A Whole New Crowd years ago online and adored it--I think it's definitely one of her best stories.

It's hard to separate the two versions in my head and it's hard not to make comparisons between the two (kind of like watching a movie adaptation of a favourite book). That's why it was so difficult to review the final published version.

This version was good and it still had most of the elements that I loved about the original story... except for one of the main things that made me love it in the first place (most of the other changes didn't register with me beyond the feeling that something was different).

In the original, Taryn's relationship with Jace was more complex...but in a good way. I loved Jace's character and their relationship in the original, it was one of the most interesting parts of the story. Their relationship--and by extention, Jace's character--was changed in the published version (and it made the Tray/Taryn thing feel different too).

Because I'd already read that different version of their relationship, it made reading this one feel weird. I think for that reason, I preffered the original version and that kind of clouded my judgement of this.

The overall story in this version was probably better, but it just didn't have the same spark for me without the Jace stuff. But that's a completely subjective thing, and most people probably didn't read the old version first so they'll go into the published one with fresh eyes and can judge it without the comparisons.

So yeah, that's why it was hard to review this. I loved one version of the story and loving that version stopped me from really loving this one to the same extent. I think if it weren't for that, this would've been a 4.5 or 5 star book, because I did still thoroughly enjoy reading it.

Later.


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don't Own Yet

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

I'm going to try and make the list mostly books that are already released, but yeah, these are the top ten books I really want but for whatever reason haven't gotten them yet.


1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - This is one of those books I've wanted to read for years and any time I've been tempted to buy it, I can only find copies for like £20 and I talk myself out of it because I could get that one book or I could get a whole bunch of books for the money I'd spend on that one book and thinking of it that way always puts me off, because what if I hate it? But still, I want it.

2. Landline by Rainbow Rowell - I've yet to read a Rainbow Rowell book I didn't adore, so I'll pretty much reach anything she writes at this point. I think the reason I've put off getting this one is because it's only the Rainbow Rowell thing that appeals me, the plot doesn't sound like my kind of thing. But I still want it.

3. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson - I've wanted this book since...since before I even knew what it was called or what it was about, I wanted Jandy Nelson's next book as soon as I finished The Sky is Everywhere. It's out really soon, thankfully (I'll try to make that the only unreleased book on the list).

4. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - Not sure why. I have this thing about WW2/war books and this one sounds interesting (and I think it has a blind main character, which is awesome because diversity).

5. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll - I don't even know why I want it so much, but I do.

6. Sekret by Lindsay Smith - So I sort of wanted to read this one, because I find stories set in Russia weirdly fascinating. But then Julie rated it five starts and sort of want turned into really want.

7. Torrent by Gemma James - Silly thing is, I don't even remember why. I think it was probably because one of my Goodreads friends gave it a good review and I was in the mood for that sort of book at the time. And now, even if I've seen negative reviews too and I'm no longer in the mood for that sort of story, I've still got it in my head that I have to read it.

8. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins - It just sounds really fun and I've seen so many good reviews for it.

9. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - Okay, technically I do own this one but it's the Kindle edition and I think the reason I keep putting off reading it is because it's the Kindle one, so I want a paperback copy.

10. Spring Snow by Yukio Mushima - Again, like most of the others, I don't know why. I'm guessing someone recommended it or something, but I really want it and the reviews of it I've seen have all been really positive too.

Have you read any of these? :)

Later.

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