I’m deviating from the prompt this week, as I wanted to discuss some of my most anticipated reads coming out this Spring. I’ve been approved for several ARCs that will be published before Summer hits. Some, I’m looking very much forward to reading. All of […]
Well, there goes February...
I’m going to come right out and say it. I’m not happy with my progress this past month. While I did a LOT of work on improving my posts, Bookstagram account, Pinterest boards, and so on, my blogging and book reviews suffered. Luckily, I only have three books that I must read this month as they are to be published. I plan to use this longer month to get caught up on some reviews that have been sitting, and get a bit ahead in my ARC reading.
Just a note in case you haven’t heard of this; the State of the ARC Meme is hosted by AvalinahsBooks. Go check out her website for further information if you’d like to join! It’s a great way to get some motivation to tackle those old ARCs that have been weighing down your TBR stacks.
Are you ready to see the ugly truth? I don’t think I am…
I'm hoping you all know what this gif is from...
If not, then you may be missing out 😛 Anyways, before I share my stats, I wanted to note my ratios and overdue numbers. My Netgalley feedback ration took a few steps up. Last month I was sitting at 53% because I was approval-dumped. This month, it climbed a few rungs up to 55%. My overdue numbers increased by 2 which–it is what it is.
My Edelweiss feedback ratio went down 1% to 39%. Luckily, I didn’t accrue anymore overdues!
Requests I’ve received from authors haven’t changed much. I haven’t been accepting requests for a bit, hoping I’d be able to tackle more of these, but I’ve been a bit behind in general, so I’m just trying to maintain on all platforms. I did end up accepting a new request for an author that I have reviewed for a few times before so I just couldn’t turn her down! My feedback ratio is sitting at 43% and dropped 2% since I took on another ARC. My total overdues have stayed the same.
Lastly, publisher requests have changed a bit. I’m sitting at a 50% feedback ratio, and my overdues have stayed the same.
Upon seeing all of that chaos, my stats don’t look so bad. It’s mainly when I put them all together when the nasty shows. Either way, I’m really hoping that March will prove to be a better month for me. I despise getting behind on things, and that’s all that I’ve felt lately!
At least I was able to get through seven ARCs. I was also reading a lot of other books for the Beat the Backlist Challenge. So, that hasn’t always been helping my stats. But sometimes, it does with older ARCs.
How did your month go for State of the ARC?
Let me know in the comments below!
It’s Thursday, and it’s time to start a new Meme! What is Thursday Blog Trot? Well, since I don’t have all the time in the world to spend following my lovely fellow book bloggers, bookstagrammers, booktubers, and the like, I wanted to dedicate some time each […]
A thrilling adventure of ancient myth, monsters, sorcerers, sirens, magic and warring gods … the fall of Troy and a desperate chase across the seas in a magical ship… Synopsis provided by Goodreads. Book: Chasing Odysseus Series: Hero Trilogy #1 Author: S.D. Gentill Publication Date: […]
Well, I wasn't as successful this past month as I was hoping to be with getting ahead on upcoming ARCs.
Normally, the #ARCsAnonymous topics focus on past ARCs, but January was an opportunity to get ahead on some upcoming reads.
What’s #ARCsAnonymous? Well, it’s a group on Goodreads that was created by Avalinahsbooks. It’s to help motivate each of us book reviewers who tend to be top-heavy with ARC TBRs. To motivate us to get some things done, there is contest each month for who can complete the most ARCs within the chosen theme or topic. Points can be earned, and book towers can tumble!
How it's scored:
- 50 points for finishing an ARC in topic
- 10 points for finishing any ARC
- 10 points if finished ARC was at least a year old
- 50 points for not requesting an ARC for the entire month
- 10 points for not requesting an ARC for a week
- 5 points for posting an update on what your book is about in the group
- 5 points for sharing a link to a review for an ARC within the theme
- 5 points for starting a theme ARC even if it wasn’t finished
- 300 points (6 total) for finishing an ARC in topic
- 10 points (1 total) for finishing any ARC
- 0 points if finished ARC was at least a year old
- 0 points for not requesting an ARC for an entire month
- 10 points for not requesting an ARC for a week
- 30 points (6 total) for posting an update on what a book is about in the group
- 25 points (5 total) for sharing a link to a review for an ARC within the theme
- 30 points (6 total) for starting a theme ARC even if it wasn’t finished
ARCs read within theme topic:
February's wrap-up post will be up on March 1st. If this sounds like something you are interested in joining, be sure to check out the Goodreads page for more information!
Release day January 30, 2018!
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.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Book: The Hazel Wood
Series: The Hazel Wood #1
Author: Melissa Albert
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Macmillan USA
Page Count: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Fairy Tale, Mystery
Cover Artist: Anna Gorovoy
My Rating: No Rating – DNF
I received an ARC of this book via Goodreads giveaway. Thank you!
DNFing at page 185.
Hold on to your hats, kitties, because this review is about to get strange. Stranger than this book? Probably not.
What I mean is, the reason why I DNF’d this book is because…I get creeped out too easily.
It’s not that this book is horrendously terrifying. It’s because this book is such a slow burn with plot revelation that it allows time for your mind to wander. I think this is my main problem. Key points aren’t revealed fast enough, so my brain thinks up numerous alternatives…which end up being way worse than the actual ending! This is why I can’t handle horror anything. My mind is overactive enough on a daily basis–I don’t need anything creepy to prompt that type of thinking at all.
This is a perfect case of, “it’s me, not you, book with a beautiful cover and fantastic plot.” Seriously though, if it wasn’t for my ineptness with reading scary stories, this would probably be one of my favorites for this year.
I know, I’m screaming inside too.
The writing is matter-of-fact, with creativity scoring off the charts! Melissa Albert’s writing style may not be for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed how she depicted her characters, and slowly introduced the secrets of the Hazel Wood, also commonly known as the Hinterland.
This tale is unlike anything I’ve picked up before, to the point of where the possibilities feel endless. However, I must listen to my conscious as well, because, I have to live with it. I don’t want to be jumpy for the next few weeks (or more) because I’m always thinking about how this book creeped me out.
To be honest, some people may find this to not be creepy at all. Good for you! I’m not saying it is the creepiest book in the world–I had a similar reaction (for different reasons) when I tried to read The Raven Boys. Despite the fact that it was such a thorough piece of literature, I couldn’t stick with it.
I’m really hoping I’ll be able to change my mind and complete this book at some point. Alas, for now, I must put it down and move on to something less stimulating.
NOTE: These were my accounts up until the point of where I abandoned the book. This is not observing the entire book.
Vulgarity: There were 85 words counted up until about the halfway mark. My assumption is that there would be a lot more in the second half of the book.
Sexual content: Minimal, if any.
Violence: Moderate to prevalent. The fairy tales being told are often gruesome and without cause. They make for a twisted read.
No-star rating is to be assigned to this read as it is a DNF.
When Amy starts having strange dreams, everything changes. Night after night, she becomes trapped in a shroud of black – a void of silence but for a male voice calling for a girl named ‘Marla’. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Book: Betrothed Series: Betrothed #1 […]
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Released January 2, 2018! Book: The Wolves of Winter Author: Tyrell Johnson Publication Date: January 2, 2018 Publisher: Scribner Page Count: 320 Format: ebook Genre: […]
Released January 2, 2018!
Book: As You Wish
Author: Chelsea Sedoti
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count: 432
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Have you ever thought about how much you said, “I wish…”?
It’s funny because I hadn’t; not until just a few weeks before I read this book. Coincidence? Maybe.
Either way, whether you think about how much you wish for something, or not, this book will force you to do so.
Wishing never gets you anywhere. Except, of course, in Madison, it does. If you’re lucky,
that is. Wishing either gets you everything or nothing. And it’s a gamble everyone is willing to take.
Welcome to Madison, a small, secluded town situated in the Mojave Desert. Little goes on in Madison. People come and go, passing the establishment without hesitation. The people in Madison don’t mind either. They encourage passers-through to pass through—as quickly as possible. Madison holds a secret, only known to those who were born and raised there. Everyone on their eighteenth birthday gets to ask one wish in the magical wishing cave. The wishes aren’t a hoax, they come true. However, wishing isn’t quite so simple, as Eldon comes to discover. With his upcoming eighteenth birthday, he has no clue what to wish for. It’s unusual for Madison kids to not have an idea what they want—beauty, popularity, position, intelligence, wealth—but for someone like Eldon, who has experienced more of the dark sides of life, wishing isn’t quite so simple.
Several major themes stand out within Eldon’s character alone. One of the main ones includes this “dark side,” or his experience with processing grief from losing his sister. Even though she’s still alive, she’s left brain dead after being struck by a vehicle on her bike. Having been close with his sister, Eldon is still trying to figure out how to feel about her situation. He can’t wish for her to heal because of the stipulations put on wishing. Yet, he doesn’t want to have to let her go.
When someone dies, it doesn’t just take them. It takes a piece of everyone who ever loved them and everyone they ever loved.
His grief is not the only thing factoring into Eldon’s identity crisis.
Why can’t I come up with things I care about? What’s wrong with me?
When the reader meets Eldon, it is immediately clear that there is some indecisiveness in his character. Externally, he seems cool and confident, yet when there is a glimpse beneath the surface, it’s obvious that he is enduring a lot of emotional turmoil.
What I’m saying is, these days, I’m nothing special. And that messes with you, you know? Makes you think maybe you weren’t that special to begin with. Makes you wonder what you’re actually good at. These days, I walk around with a big question mark over my head.
Feeling replaced as other classmates get their wishes granted before him, Eldon finds himself girlfriendless, no longer the star of the football team, and no longer popular. In his quest to discover who he is and what he wants, he also begins to question everything that he knows about himself, about wishing, and about the town of Madison.
It is through this process that he understands the importance of a wish. Eldon’s transition from adolescence to adulthood becomes apparent in how he realizes wishes aren’t so simple; all wishes have consequences.
“How many other people you think keep quiet about their wishes?” Merrill asks.
I’m wondering the same thing. The residents of Madison are so focused on keeping secrets from outsiders, I never stopped to consider what we’ve been keeping from each other.
The struggle with human nature and selfishness in all of us, is represented by the city of Madison. Instead of thinking of one another, most everyone used their wish for themselves. This approach to wishing is supported and nearly enforced by the town’s mayor. In the end, most everyone ends up miserable.
Maybe dissatisfaction is human nature. Maybe there’s no running from it.
The fact that everyone in Madison gets to make a wish means they get the opportunity to change something about themselves or their situation to their liking. By doing so, they are never pushed to learn how to reach a goal on their own, the concept of sacrifice, or to look within themselves.
“Accomplishment comes from toil,” Othello says. “Growth is a result of sacrifice.”
Let’s go through the things I liked:
#1 There are a lot of teachable points throughout As You Wish, many I deem beneficial for young readers. They aren’t necessarily easy discussion points either. However, for someone around the same ages as Eldon and his friends, they might really relate.
#2 The conflict in the main character Eldon, as well as the major growth he goes through is impressive. He grows from a self-centered (unlikeable) teen to a conscious, considerate (and likable) young man.
#3 As You Wish forces the reader to contemplate contentment within oneself. I found myself reflecting many times about how much “I wish” for things in my life, but forget to realize how much I already have.
Things I didn’t like:
#1 I felt there were some loose ends in terms of the wishing cave itself. It’s never told how it got there, by who, and how it was discovered. I felt discontent as it was supposed to be a major “issue” which was taken care of rather easily. The entire book I was waiting for this reveal, but it never occurred.
#2 There is an attempted-suicide by one of the characters that I think could have been approached differently. Instead of the character realizing his worth after the fact, he trudges around, never really resolving anything. I felt that it could have been a better teaching point for readers, yet the opportunity was left untouched.
#3 Overall, this book has a rather depressive tone. I don’t expect all books to end happily ever after, but I felt like there wasn’t a reprieve, even in the end.
#4 I don’t think it’s OK to have so much swearing and inappropriate content in a YA read. I noticed the amount of language right from the get-go and found it distasteful and inappropriate for this genre.
These numbers may not be 100% accurate, but I noted anytime I came across something.
For me, this book had quite the “Eesh” factor in regards to the language. 158 profanity words!? I’m probably more sensitive to profanity than most. But I know that if I were to read this book when I was younger (the age that this book is aimed towards), I wouldn’t have finished it because of how much language there is! It’s simply too much!
Vulgarity: As stated above.
Sexual content: While there are no scenes, there is a lot of discussion surrounding the topic in unpleasant ways.
Violence: There is an attempted suicide, with some details given. Also, there are a few fist fights.
My Rating: 3.5 stars
“When someone dies, it doesn’t just take them. It takes a piece of everyone who ever loved them and everyone they ever loved.”
“I am learning from everyone’s mistakes. I’m collecting wishes.”
“Prayer does help, Eldon. You might not be able to see it working or know how it works, but it does.”
“Choices by nature, are not right or wrong. They are only different paths, all ultimately leading to the same end.”
“Accomplishment comes from toil,” Othello says. “Growth is a result of sacrifice.”
“I mistrusted the ease of wishing, the idea of receiving a gift I hadn’t worked for and didn’t deserve.”
“I wish, I wish, I wish. It’s kind of astounding how often that phrase is used in everyday conversation.”
“Why don’t people stop wishing and start doing> Why is everyone so willing to wish away their lives? I want to scream at them to stop. There’s more to life than wishes. Wishing never gets you anywhere.”
“Is there really such a thing as the perfect wish?”
“Maybe dissatisfaction is human nature. Maybe there’s no running from it.”
It’s time for a quick recap on December’s #ARCsAnonymous reading stats. What’s #ARCsAnonymous? Well, it’s a group on Goodreads that was created by Avalinahsbooks. It’s to help motivate each of us book reviewers who tend to be top-heavy with ARC TBRs. To motivate us to get […]
And we're off!
January 2018 is here! That means I need to get started with this reading challenge pronto! From my original Beat the Backlist post, I’m going to choose War Horse by Michael Morpourgo to be one of my reads.
Published originally in 1982, this sweet little nugget is a WWII story about a horse commissioned by the military. I know the story because I saw the movie first, but we all know that the book is always better than the film, hence, why I own the book.
Extra picks for the month:
I decided to add on some reads for this month (hopefully there will be even more at the end of the January!) I had planned a while ago to do a buddy-read of Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth with the great and wonderful Candace over at LiteraryDust! So, I’ll be adding that in. 😉
Finding Jade by Mary Jennifer Payne was sent to me by the publisher. It’s sequel is coming out later this month, and I want to get it read before the second one arrives!
Chasing Odysseus by S.D. Gentill is one of my old ARCs from Netgalley that I really need to just sit down and read. I was approved for it last year, but it was originally published in 2011, so it suits this challenge nicely.
The last pick for this month is Betrothed by Wanda WIltshire. Another Netgalley ARC that needs to be read, I thought this would be the time to do so! This book came out in 2013, and is part of a three-book series.
So, that’s it for now! I hope I’ll be able to get a few more books in before February comes around.