WWW Wednesday: January 31, 2018

Another week has passed and it’s time for WWW Wednesday again!

WWW Wednesdays

Hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words
(formerly hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading)

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

To join in this meme, just answer these three questions and post the link to your responses on Sam’s blog and in the comments below.


I am currently reading:

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

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GoodReads Synopsis:

Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love.

Cora Allbright and her husband Ernt, a recently-returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their thirteen-year-old daughter Leni to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.

At once an epic story of human survival and love, and an intimate portrait of a family tested beyond endurance, The Great Alone offers a glimpse into a vanishing way of life in America. With her trademark combination of elegant prose and deeply drawn characters, Kristin Hannah has delivered an enormously powerful story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable and enduring strength of women. About the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, this is a novel as spectacular and powerful as Alaska itself. It is the finest example of Kristin Hannah’s ability to weave together the deeply personal with the universal.

I haven’t actually started reading this yet, but I’m going to as soon as I finish this blog post. If you follow my blog, you’ll probably recognize this as the book I pulled excerpts from for my Friday’s Book Excerpts. It’s an ARC I received from NetGalley and I’m excited to see if it is as good as it looks. It’s my first Kristin Hannah book, but I’ve heard so many great things about her and have high expectations.


I just finished reading:

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

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GoodReads Synopsis:

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 
1. I’m in a coma. 
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore. 
3. Sometimes I lie. 

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?

I’m still putting my thoughts together into a full review, but wow. This was such a thrilling and suspenseful read, and a total mind trip! I won the ARC in a GoodReads giveaway and decided to pick it up last night before bed. Initially, I was planning on just reading a chapter or two. I ended up glued to the pages and couldn’t put it down until I finished – after 4 in the morning! There are so many twists and turns, it will make you question everything you thought you knew about the characters and storyline up to that point several times over. Watch for my full review to be posted shortly.


What I’m reading next:

For once, I’m not sure which book I’ll pick up next. I have read all of my current ARC’s and the books I had on loan from the library. I still have several requests pending on NetGalley so if one of those gets approved, my decision will be simple. Otherwise, I’m just going to look through my TBR bookshelves and pick whichever one “calls” to me the most.


That’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. What have YOU read this week?

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Review: The Hazel Wood

Title: The Hazel Wood
Author: Melissa Albert
Genre: Young Adult-Fantasy
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Pages: 368
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible (affiliate link)

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Once upon a time there was a beautiful queen who thought words were stronger than anything. She used them to win love and money and gifts. She used them to carry her across the world.

I’ve noticed that really hyped up books rarely live up to the expectations set for them. In this case, however, The Hazel Wood not only lived up to my expectations, but it exceeded them! It was an absolutely mesmerizing read. Haunting and chilling, full of beautiful magical realism and twisted, dark fairy tales. I found myself glued to my kindle, unable to put it down, and I finished it in one quick sitting. This is easily my top favorite book of the year so far and it will be a hard one to beat over the next 11 months!

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The Hazel Wood is not just another run-of-the-mill fantasy novel. In fact, most of the first half of the book is set in modern-day New York City and reads like a YA contemporary novel (with mysterious undertones). It’s the perfect blend of contemporary, urban fantasy, and old-fashioned gothic fairy tales. Almost like a modern-day Alice in Wonderland, except the Hinterland is more like the dark fairytale lands of the Brothers Grimm instead of the bizarre and nonsensical world of Lewis Carroll.

When Alice was born, her eyes were black from end to end, and the midwife didn’t stay long enough to wash her.

My favorite part of this book, by far, is the collection of fairy tales in it called the Tales from the Hinterland. I would LOVE to see Melissa Albert release the full collection of these fairy tales. The ones we get to read in The Hazel Wood are so perfect – deliciously dark and creepy, yet still beautifully written and timeless (like they’ve been passed down for centuries).

Look until the leaves turn red, sew the worlds up with thread. If your journey’s left undone, fear the rising of the sun.

The Hazel Wood will be hitting stores tomorrow, January 30th. I highly recommend picking up a copy! I’m giving it an easy 5/5 score.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

 

Friday’s Book Excerpts

Happy Friday, readers!

Each week I share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current book, as well as any first impressions or initial thoughts they might have. 
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences, and post them.

My current read is A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. However, since that’s book #2 in a series, I decided to pull my excerpts for this week from the book that I’m planning to read next. It is The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska—a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.


Book Beginning:

That spring, rain fell in great sweeping gusts that rattled the rooftops. Water found its way into the smallest cracks and undermined the sturdiest foundations. Chunks of land that had been steady for generations fell like slag heaps on the roads below, taking houses and cars and swimming pools down with them. Trees fell over, crashed into power lines; electricity was lost. Rivers flooded their banks, washed across yards, ruined homes. People who loved each other snapped and fights erupted as the water rose and the rain continued.


The Friday 56:

When they were alone, just the three of them, Leni glanced at Mama, who looked as worried and scared as Leni felt. Neither had any doubt; this would push him over the edge.


What are you reading this weekend? Feel free to join in with lines from your current read!

WWW Wednesday: January 24, 2018

Another week has passed and it’s time for WWW Wednesday again!

WWW Wednesdays

Hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words
(formerly hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading)

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

To join in this meme, just answer these three questions and post the link to your responses on Sam’s blog and in the comments below.


I am currently reading:

Twist of Faith by Ellen J. Green

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GoodReads Synopsis:

When family secrets are unearthed, a woman’s past can become a dangerous place to hide…

After the death of her adoptive mother, Ava Saunders comes upon a peculiar photograph, sealed and hidden away in a crawl space. The photo shows a shuttered, ramshackle house on top of a steep hill. On the back, a puzzling inscription: Destiny calls us.

Ava is certain that it’s a clue to her elusive past. Twenty-three years ago, she’d been found wrapped in a yellow blanket in the narthex of the Holy Saviour Catholic Church—and rescued—or so she’d been told. Her mother claimed there was no more to the story, so the questions of her abandonment were left unanswered. For Ava, now is the time to find the roots of her mother’s lies. It begins with the house itself—once the scene of a brutal double murder.

When Ava enlists the help of the two people closest to her, a police detective and her best friend, she fears that investigating her past could be a fatal mistake. Someone is following them there. And what’s been buried in Ava’s nightmares isn’t just a crime. It’s a holy conspiracy.

I’m putting this under “currently reading”, but after finishing See All the Stars late last night I haven’t had a chance to actually start it yet. This was my Kindle First selection for January. I normally try to read my Kindle First books earlier in the month (so the review will be up on Amazon before the release date), but I’m a little behind schedule this month. However, the synopsis sounds really good and I’m excited to get started.


I just finished reading:

See All the Stars by Kit Frick

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GoodReads Synopsis:

It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.

THEN They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. (Venus. Earth. Moon. Sun.) Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.

NOW Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever.

THEN Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love.

NOW Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.

The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies—the lies Ellory has been telling herself.

This is an ARC I got from NetGalley. I will post my full review with explanations shortly, but I was really disappointed with this book. Maybe I just had too high of expectations since most of the reviews on GoodReads and NetGalley are glowing 5-stars, but it really didn’t work for me. Personally, I’m only giving it a 2.5/5 score.


What I’m reading next:

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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GoodReads Synopsis:

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series (A Court of Thorns and Roses) and have been on the wait list for this book for over a month now. The library finally got my copy in yesterday. I can’t wait to jump back in and see what comes next for Feyre!


That’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. What have YOU read this week?

Book Review: The Queen of Hearts

Title: The Queen of Hearts
Author: Kimmery Martin
Genre: General Fiction
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Pages: 352
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible (affiliate link)

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We all have a Nick in our pasts: a seemingly ordinary person who, through some mysterious subatomic combination of chemistry and personality, was capable of reaching inside you and exposing some luminescent core you didn’t know you possessed. This kind of person could make you greater than you’d have been alone.

But he could also make you terrible.

This is another book I was initially drawn to for its cover art, but then fell in love with its contents. The cover is so incredibly gorgeous! And the book itself is equally impressive, especially for a debut novel. It reminded me a lot of the medical dramas I used to watch on TV, shows like ER and Grey’s Anatomy. This book has it all: friendship, drama, steamy romance, secrets, betrayal, suspense, and the power of forgiveness.

The author, Kimmery Martin, clearly has a medical background (or a doctor as a very close family member) as all of the medical terminology, procedures, and jargon are spot on. She perfectly captures what it’s like to work in a busy hospital – the long hours, the struggle of being stretched thin, the pressure from patients and their families, the heartbreaking trauma patients, and the camaraderie among co-workers. Martin is also an unbelievably talented writer, with an eloquent prose that resembles that of a well-seasoned author. I loved the humor that she weaved into this book, especially in the form of Zadie’s three-year-old daughter, Delaney, who is laugh-out-loud hilarious.

“I’m all wet,” Delaney announced from the backseat.

“What?” I asked, navigating around a slowing driver who apparently did not wish to tip his hand by using a turn signal. “Did you spill your drink?”

“No!” hollered Delaney. “I’m pouring wet!”

“Well, I mean … how did you get all wet, honey?”

“I don’t know! Water is coming out of my head skin!”

I glanced in the rearview mirror to see Delaney pointing in alarm to her sweaty forehead.

On the negative side, I found the big reveal at the end of the book to be somewhat disappointing. There’s also a lot of emphasis on physical appearances throughout the book (with plenty of references to how attractive the main characters are) that I found to be unnecessary and off-putting.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book and would love to read more from Kimmery Martin. I’m giving it a 4/5 score. If you’re a fan of medical dramas, you need to read this book!

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday’s Book Excerpts

Happy Friday, readers!

Each week I share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current book, as well as any first impressions or initial thoughts they might have. 
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences, and post them.

I finished reading The Queen of Hearts and have moved on to The Hazel Wood, so that’s where I will be pulling this week’s excerpts from.

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Welcome to Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Woodthe fiercely stunning contemporary fantasy with five starred reviews everyone is raving about:

“Thoroughly, creepily captivating.” —Kristin Cashore, author of Graceling and Jane, Unlimited
“Will be your next obsession.” —Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval
“Destined to be a classic.” —Kami Garcia, author of The Lovely Reckless
“Breathtaking.” —Seanan McGuire, author of Every Heart a Doorway
“Mesmerizing.” —Karen McManus, author of One of Us Is Lying
“One of the best books I’ve read in years.” —Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away—by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began—and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.


Book Beginning:

My mother was raised on fairy tales, but I was raised on highways. My first memory is the smell of hot pavement and the sky through the sunroof, whipping by in a river of blue. My mom tells me that’s impossible – our car doesn’t have a sunroof. But I can still close my eyes and see it, so I’m holding on to it.


The Friday 56:

“Explain what?” I planted my feet on the pavement, gripped his arm. “We’re standing here until you tell me.”

“I made a promise,” he said. “But I don’t want to keep it.”


What are you reading this weekend? Feel free to join in with lines from your current read!

WWW Wednesday: January 17, 2018

Another week has passed and it’s time for WWW Wednesday again!

WWW Wednesdays

Hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words
(formerly hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading)

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

To join in this meme, just answer these three questions and post the link to your responses on Sam’s blog and in the comments below.


I am currently reading:

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

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GoodReads Synopsis:

A debut novel that pulses with humor and empathy and explores the heart’s capacity for forgiveness…

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers–Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life–both professionally and personally–throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.

This is an ARC from NetGalley. I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere, but the synopsis sounded interesting. Most of all, though, I absolutely LOVE the cover art. Seriously gorgeous! I’m fairly certain I chose this book for the cover alone, but there are no regrets here. I’m only a chapter in, but thoroughly enjoying the book so far.


I just finished reading:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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GoodReads Synopsis:

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

I decided to give audiobooks a try again so I borrowed If I Stay from the library (digitally, of course – I love modern conveniences!). The version I listened to was narrated by Kirsten Potter. Kirsten did a great job narrating it and I really liked the book, but I still don’t think I’m sold on audiobooks. There’s just something about actually seeing the words in front of me that I love and it helps me to stay fully engaged in the story. Plus, I read faster than the narrators, so an audiobook takes even more time out of my already busy schedule. I’m definitely sticking to physical books and ebooks for now, and plan to re-read this book in one of those formats at some point.


What I’m reading next:

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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GoodReads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

I’ve heard so many great things about this book! It’s been on my TBR list for a little while and I requested it from NetGalley, but to be honest, I was fully expecting to be declined. Which would have been fine; I was just planning on buying it for myself when it goes on sale. Imagine my surprise when I opened up my email this morning to a message saying I was approved! I’ve got it downloaded and ready to go on my Kindle, but I’m making myself wait until I finish my current read. I’m super excited to get started!


So that’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. What have YOU read this week?

Book Review: All That Was

Title: All That Was
Author: Karen Rivers
Genre: Young Adult-Contemporary-Fiction
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Pages: 384
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible (affiliate link)

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“There is maybe a fungus that has woven me to Piper. Piper is the fungus, invading my roots. It’s more parasitic than that.”

“I’m either holding my breath or not, I can’t tell, and I’m with her and I’m underwater and we’re drowning, we keep seeing sky and knowing we can’t reach it, is that you Piper, I say or think or dream. It’s us, it’s us. We are. We aren’t.”

This book is written in first person narrative from the main character Sloane’s point of view. Sloane enjoys memorizing random facts (usually about animals) and her inner dialogue is often peppered with random animal trivia, not always related to what she was thinking about beforehand. Her train of thought also tends to wander. In the middle of remembering an event that happened before the book’s timeline started, she’ll suddenly start thinking about some other event that happened or describing her relationship with one of her friends. Worst of all (at least as far as my own personal pet peeves go), the author’s writing style uses a lot of overly descriptive metaphors and run on sentences. Because of the combination of all of these things, I found this book relatively hard to follow and even outright confusing at times.

“But even while Piper was yelling, we were swaying without meaning to, without wanting to; our bodies were touching in a way that felt like we weren’t in control of them, our hands entangled, our bodies reaching for each other, her face collapsing.

Why does it matter so much?

It was only a kiss.

Whales are washing up dead on beaches everywhere, their corpses rotten and bloated. Sometimes they explode. It doesn’t seem like anyone cares.

If the elephants start dropping dead, maybe then the world will notice. Everyone likes elephants, right? Elephant zombies would really be something, their decomposing flesh dropping off in leathery sheets. They wouldn’t be ignored.”

However, despite not liking the author’s writing style, I actually really enjoyed the story itself. I also appreciated the underlying message – No means no, even if it starts as a yes. That’s very relevant in today’s political/social climate and an important lesson to learn as teenagers and young adults (the target demographic for this book). For that reason, I’m giving this book a 3.5/5 score.

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday’s Book Excerpts

Happy Friday, readers!

This Friday, I’ve decided to share book excerpts with:

  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current book, as well as any first impressions or initial thoughts they might have. 
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences, and post them.

I just started reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline yesterday, so that’s where my book excerpts will be coming from.

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Synopsis from Amazon:

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2045, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?


Book Beginning:

“Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest. I was sitting in my hideout watching cartoons when the news bulletin broke in on my video feed, announcing that James Halliday had died during the night.”


The Friday 56:

“After I disabled their engines, I boarded the ship and proceeded to kill every avatar there. The captain tried to apologize when he saw who I was, but I wasn’t in a forgiving mood. After I’d dispatched the crew, I parked my X-wing in the cargo hold and then cruised home in my new ship.”


What are you reading this weekend? Feel free to join in with lines from your current read!

WWW Wednesday: January 10, 2018

Another week has passed and it’s time for WWW Wednesday again!

WWW Wednesdays

Hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words
(formerly hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading)

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

To join in this meme, just answer these three questions and post the link to your responses on Sam’s blog and in the comments below.


I am currently reading:

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

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GoodReads Synopsis:

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

A YA story where the main character is battling a mental illness and trying to figure out where she belongs? Yes, please! This book is right up my alley. I haven’t even read the first chapter yet (I guess technically it fits better under “reading next” versus “currently reading”?), but I’m looking forward to diving into this one.


I just finished reading:

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

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GoodReads Synopsis:

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

I really enjoy Jodi Picoult books and this one was no exception. There were some parts I didn’t like – some of the characters were stereotypical and tropey, for instance, and the ending was just a little too neat and tidy. But the writing was excellent, the story pulled me in, and the message is an important one. I gave it a 4/5 score.


What I’m reading next:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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GoodReads Synopsis:

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

My husband read this book a couple months ago and has been nearly obsessed with getting me to read it since. However, with the movie coming out soon, there was a long wait list on it at the library. I finally got my hands on a copy and decided I’m not going to wait any longer.


So that’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. What have YOU read this week?