August 2017 Wrap Up!

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Hello! August was a pretty decent reading month for me. I read 9 books and I had a good mix of fantasy vs. contemporary. I do have to say that I’m slightly getting tired of YA contemporary with its tropes and unrealistic expectations for teenagers but I don’t think I can give up reading contemporary still because there are those gems that are amazing.

Anyway, let’s see what I read this month!


I read several books from my August TBR, yay, go me! You can find the link to my August tbr right here

I read The Alchemists of Loom, Eliza and Her Monsters, and The Boy Next Door

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I’ve heard mixed things about the Alchemists of Loom but I really liked it and gave it 4 stars! I really want to read the second one, Dragons of Nova, but it’s not available on live-brary yet. I also loved Eliza and Her Monsters, I have a review of it right here and I gave it 4.5 stars!

I slightly disliked The Boy Next Door and gave it 2 stars. The plot was there but the characters and subplots just were not. This is one of those contemporaries that give the YA contemp genre a bad rep. It just highlighted every bad trope available to YA writers, seriously.


I also read Made You Up, Geekerella, and Daughter of the Burning City

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Okay here’s the thing with Made You Up, I have not given it a rating. This is for a reason of course, I would give it a 4 star rating but while reading I felt something was off about the mental illness in the book. When I looked at several reviews they supported the author portrayed the mental illness (schizophrenia) completely wrong. Now, I don’t know if this is true or not since I know nothing about schizophrenia, so I’ve decided not to give it a rating because if the author truly messed up everything about schizophrenia I don’t want to praise the book in any way, ya know?

Anyway, moving on Geekerella was a super easy one day read that was quite cliche and a cinderella retelling, but I liked it for some reason, so 4 stars it is.

I’ve also heard many things about Daughter of the Burning City, it has been super hyped recently and I thought that it was pretty good! I did think the beginning was a bit slow but then it picked up in the middle. I’m curious actually to read the sequel, though the plot twist was quite predictable with some aspects of it. I also am IN LOVE with the cover!


I finally read Stars Above, the novel wrap up of all of the Lunar Chronicle novellas, I re-read Glass Sword to remind me about what happened so I can finally read King’s Cage in September, and I read Lucky in Love

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I really liked Stars Above and all of its novellas. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series so it was great having more time with the characters. I liked Glass Sword as much as I did the first time reading with a 4 star rating.

I have a review up for Lucky in Love explaining why this one didn’t quite do it for me, you can click right here to read it!


What did you read this month? Link me up with your wrap ups, I’d love to read them!

-Calliope

P.S. I applied for the teenreads.com board and made it! I’m officially on their board until next August!

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Lucky in Love by Kasie West // Book Review

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Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Publisher: Scholastic

Publication Date: July 25th, 2017

Page Number: 333 pages

Format Read: E-book (Live-brary download)


Goodreads Synopsis:

Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

My Thoughts:

The little things in this book that irked me eventually added up and I couldn’t stand the cliches, inaccurate portrayal of teenage life and a main character that I thought was a complete idiot, though her GPA of 4.2 would contradict me.

I read this book in one day, from 8 in the morning to 8 in the afternoon with obvious breaks and doing my daily summer stuff. I actually kept track of the things I didn’t like through texts with my best friend. When things bothered me, I texted my friend to vent so that’s how I know what to talk about actually.

Things I liked: 

Seth! Asian love interest and Asian stereotypes addressed! Also Seth was the best character in general, he was so sweet, even when Maddie was so mean to him.

The cover! The cover is so cute, like most of Kasie West’s books actually.

Fast pace and enjoyability! Some parts of the books were really interesting and kept me reading and I can’t deny that I did like the main plot, (not subplots though).

Things I didn’t like:

So Maddie is supposedly number two in her class with a 4.2 GPA and all of these extracurricular and volunteer hours and yet not once throughout the book does she go to any club at school or stay after. Maddie has to be usual YA teen that finishes school and never has any trouble with school or studying.

She’s also in HONORS ENGLISH, with a 4.2 GPA. I’m not saying anything bad about people in Honors English, really, but to be number 2 in your grade you need to be in AP or IB classes. (Unless California doesn’t do AP)?

Also I get it, Maddie’s parents are chill parents but when Maddie told them she was throwing a party, they said it was about time she did normal teenage things. At other times her mom told her she needed to keep studying for college. It’s very contradictory, either her parents want her to study and be a goody goody or do “normal” teenage things like partying.

I also saw Maddie’s C on that pop quiz coming from miles away. Obviously once the really smart girl gets rich she stops caring about school and studying. And when Maddie was talking on the phone to Seth about how smart she was and her studying all the time, it didn’t feel like it was genuine because Maddie did not study in the book for as much time or enough times to feel like she actually even went to school.

And then when people started taking advantage of Maddie she didn’t even notice. She hired a band before hearing them play and took their word that they made a thousand dollars per gig. Obviously…they sucked.

Maddie’s parents said it was her money and to get a financial advisor, but Maddie of course doesn’t do this until the END of the book AFTER all of the bad things happen that come with winning that much money from the lottery.

Verdict: 

I don’t know why but this book clearly triggered me for some reason. Can anyone play therapist and analyze why I was so triggered haha

My Rating:

2.5 stars


And that is all! Have you read this book? Did you like it? Let’s chat!

-Calliope

WWW Wednesday // August 23rd, 2017

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Hello! Here’s this month’s WWW Wednesday, I’ve noticed that I do one of these nearly every month actually, I think it’s a fun way to share what I’ve been reading lately.

This is a cool weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and formerly hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading

The premise is to basically answer these three questions:

1. What are you currently reading?

2. What did you recently finish reading?

3. What do you think you’ll read next?


I’m currently reading Lucky in Love by Kasie West as well as re-reading Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

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Lucky in Love is on my phone in digital format while Glass Sword is hardcover physical.


I recently finished reading Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody and Geekerella by Ashley Poston.

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I thought Daughter of the Burning City was really good, and Geekerella was a light quick read that was really un-realistic but still kind of cute.


I’m going to read next The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard and Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde.

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I’m excited about all three of these books because I’ve heard such great things!


What are your 3 W’s? Link me up with your posts!

-Calliope

P.S. I’ve read 72 books out of 100 for my Goodreads reading challenge! Yay, go me! How are your challenges going?

Summer Shenanigans!

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So summer is drawing to a close and school is starting up again in two or so weeks. I’m going to be a senior in high school and it will be my last first day of school!

My summer was pretty boring to be honest, I didn’t go anywhere or do anything exciting but I did some small things. I thought I’d make a post in the form of a list, enjoy!

(Also shenanigans means mischief technically and I didn’t really get into any of that so irony right?)


1. I went to adventureland with my brothers and mom and to NYC for the day with my family. I also went to BookCon but that was in June before school let out, so it doesn’t really count.

2. I pretty much worked all summer. I’m a lifeguard at a pool and I got so many hours this summer, much more than last summer when I worked at a different pool. (Am I throwing shade, low key yes). I ogled over cute boys at work obviously also. There’s this one coworker who I am majorly crushing on but he’s like 20 going on 21 and I am 16 going on 17 so like there’s no way that’s happening.

3. I watched some movies and tv shows! Finally I watched Wonder Woman and Beauty and the Beast! I also have Doctor Strange and Deadpool that I’m going to watch soon! I watched some tv shows also like Shadowhunters, the Bold Type, and I finished Season 3 of Greys Anatomy but I won’t be continuing. I also had a free Netflix trial where I watched Haters Back Off, New Girl and the Gilmore Girls revival!

4. I read a lot of great books, and a few not so great ones. I did the summer reading program at my library and got chosen to be on the Teenreads.com board which is very exciting!

5. I did my summer assignments and wrote a 3000 word essay. Also did some SAT studying because I’m retaking it in October.

6. I went to my local performing arts theatre and saw Oklahoma and Grease. We have season tickets so I’m also going to be seeing Annie, Once, Singing (Singin’)? in the Rain and Gypsy.

7. I had taekwondo training basically every Saturday and a dance showcase. Today I’m going to my grandma’s birthday party at a Russian restaurant which I’m excited for! I also did a lot of running since I’m training for cross country which starts next week and my half marathon in November.

8. I also listened to some new music, Dodie’s new EP YOU is amazing, In the Middle and Would You be so Kind are my two favorites. Also Kesha’s new stuff is amazing. And Dua Lipa’s New Rules is stuck in my head!!

9. I didn’t date any boys but that’s okay because college is around the corner and cute boys will be there…unlike in high school.

10. I blogged! I revamped my blog with a new theme and published more posts than I had during the school year and commented and liked other people’s posts more!


How was your summer? Did you do anything fun?! Let’s chat!

-Calliope

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia // Book Review!

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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: May 30th, 2017

Page Number: 385 pages

Format Read: E-book (Live-brary Borrowed)


Goodreads Synopsis:

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

My Thoughts:

I really liked this book! Eliza was such a great character to follow because I felt like I could relate to her so well. I loved that she earned her fame and I felt so connected to the story because it was my world: fanfiction and online friends.

I related so hard when Eliza’s parents didn’t understand her virtual world and that she has real friends online. Like that’s literally me and probably most people who have an online life.

I also loved the romance between Wallace and Eliza, it was so cute and awkward and so me and a bunch of other shy teenage girls. It was also refreshing to see a relationship that develops slow and more realistically than most insta love books where both characters know how relationships work at 16 or 17. (Cause spoiler, most teenagers don’t know how to date and are awkward munchkins, aka moi).

Eliza’s brothers were also the sweetest things ever and the way they were there for Eliza at the end of the book. The sense of sibling love was great despite the parent disconnect from Eliza. I loved that scene where Eliza’s brothers were talking about the difference between Eliza being a nerd and a geek, hmm which one am I now…?

I couldn’t believe that her parents outed her like that and that and I just knew Wallace would react that way. That’s why this book didn’t get a 5 star rating from me actually, that the end was a little predictable. Also I feel like the book could have delved more into anxiety and what exactly Eliza and Wallace’s problemos were, (Am I listening to despacito right now and in an espanol mood? Yes, yes I am).

I’m reading Francesca’s other book, Made You Up next, so I’m excited to see if it’s just as good! Edit: After reading Made You Up I feel like Zappia has a thing for parents who don’t understand their children very well….also I’ve given Made You Up a no star rating because I can’t form a conclusion on Zappia’s research on mental illness (But more of that in my August wrap up…)

Verdict:

Main character who is so easy to connect to and geekiness galore, yes please! This book was right up my alley and I recommend it for sure!

My Rating:

4.5 stars


Have you read this book?! What did you think? Let’s discuss!

-Calliope

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare // Book Review!

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017

Page Number: 701 pages

Format Read: Hardcover (I bought this one!)


Goodreads synopsis:

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

My Thoughts:

I’ve finally read Lord of Shadows! Hoorah for me! I don’t know why it took me so long or why I kept putting it off because it was amazing!

I loved reading about my old fam from TMI and the gang from TID were also mentioned throughout and my fav Jessamine was there too!

I love the Blackthorns and how much of a family they are, and hey guess what?! I’m finally starting to distinguish all of their names!

Helen and Mark are the oldest and they’re part faerie

Julian is the kind of patriarch and duh the main character of the book

Livvy and Ty are the twins who hang out with Kit

Dru is the sulky teen who always get stuck babysitting

And Tavvy is the baby 7 year old

I think that’s all right?

Anyway the romance and fighting and general badass-ery was all there and is it wrong that this Christina/Mark/Kieran love triangle is making me want Mark to end up with both of them? Threesome anyone? Cassie Clare even mentioned in the book itself!

Yay for LGBTQ-ness in the book also! I can’t figure Ty and Kit out, are they going to end up as parabatai or a couple? I don’t know!

Emma is such an amazing human and so cool with Cortana! Speaking of Cortana, that sword is powerful!

Can we also just talk about that ending!!!! OH MY GOD! I was reading then I stopped and re-read cause I could not believe my eyes. Oh yes Cassandra Clare has still got it ladies and gentlemen. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book!

Verdict:

I devoured this humongous book and loved every second of it! I’m scared that I’m going to get bored of Cassie Clare and shadowhunter writing one day though, like I did with Uncle Rick and Percy Jackson books. Whatever though, for now I still like!

My Rating:

5 stars!


Have you read this? Did you love it? Let’s discuss!

-Calliope

Aaru by David Meredith // Book Review!

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Aaru by David Meredith

Publication Date: July 9th, 2017

Page Number: 305 pages

Format Read: E-book/PDF (Review Copy)


Goodreads synopsis:

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear. 

She is sixteen years old. 

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model. 

Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale. 
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed. 

My Thoughts:

I really liked how interesting the concept of the aaru system was. This could easily be imagined as a reality for us in the future and I liked how there were characters who opposed the system so we saw both sides.

The main antagonist in the book was so creepy and his point of view was also so frustrating because we could never warn the main characters what was about to happen.

I couldn’t believe how well Koren dealt with everyone that happened to her at only 13! I’m older than her and would have a mental breakdown from just half of the things she went through.

Rose and Koren were such great main characters and I loved each of their chapters. Their parents I felt were a little distant and not as much in the book except for one or two scenes.

When I finished the book I wondered whether if I had the chance to be a part of aaru if I would take it. I think maybe not? Like yes of course it’s amazing that it saves young children who died from sickness or murder but to live forever in basically paradise? I feel like I would get bored.

Rose seemed to like it though so maybe it’s just me.

Verdict:

An interesting story and concept; the Aaru system has many moral and religious objections/ questions that are handled nicely throughout the book. I loved following Koren and Rose throughout the book.

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars


Have you read this book? Would you want to live forever? Let’s discuss!

-Calliope