2016 Book Challenges Update: Month Seven

Well this month just kind of flew by, didn’t it?!…

Happy Saturday, Fellow Book Lovers:

I think I might have mentioned this before a little while back, but I will be moving (again) come the beginning of August. With the addition of my darling little pup  this past month, preparing to move and packing? I am beyond grateful I was able to stick to the reading schedule I made and consume all of the stories that I did this month. In addition to the list below, I also tackled   Sorcerer To The Crown by: Zen Cho,  Hammer Of Witches by Shana Mlawski  and Dragon Charmer by J.C. Kang

Something new I also did this month was space out my reviews instead of waiting until the last week to post them all =) And you know what? It makes things a whole lot easier! Go-figure. I’m going to try to stick to this new method if time (and the puppy) allows me to. Also, with my tablet still out of commission, I will have to wrap up my #RockmyTBR pile challenge until I buy more books as the others I was hopping to read for that particular challenge are locked away on my tablet. It isn’t a complete lost, seeing as how I’ve just joined another reading challenge in June ^_^.

I think that just about covers for all of my updates. Now, on with the reading challenges review wrap-up.

Organized in the order I signed up for each challenge.

Continue reading

2016 Book Challenges Update: Month Six

Okay, need to focus and do this quick…

Hiya:

So, I only have about an hour or so to get this post up and running before I’m off chasing the new pup around. :-/. Which means my reviews might be shorter than expected, but also yay for less reading? Regardless, I have three new reviews for you below, as well as a reminder about the other book reviews I’ve posted this month: Wander This World by: GL Tomas, The Mother by Yvvette Edwards & Delilah by Angela Hunt. Now, on with the rest of the reviews.

Organized in the order I signed up for each challenge.

Continue reading

Read Diverse Books Year-Round & Diversity On The Shelf 2016 Book Reading Challenges

Hiya, Guys:

So, I realize that I’m a little late to the Diversity On The Shelf 2016 book challenge here, but I’m not new to the game ;).

dots

I’ve already read about 12 or 13 diverse books this year (by authors of color), so I’m aim for the 4th Shelf: 19-24 books to complete this year. And based on the bit of research I’ve done so far, I’m going to have to list a few books I know I can get my hands on ie: Audiobooks and Physical copies from Amazon, thriftbooks and the library as my tablet (where I read most, if not all of my ebooks) has almost officially broken up with me and refuses to allow me access to all of the ebooks it’s holding captive -___- The rules for this challenge are simple: read books by and/or about people of color throughout the year to encourage other readers to have a more diverse reading experience and to support diversity in the publishing industry. Quoting challenge creator Akilah, over at The Englishist

And for the Read Diverse Books Year-Round, (which just started this month and is a variation of the first challenge), I’ve made a list of ten options that are subsidiaries of this particular challenge just below. And while these two reading challenges go hand-in-hand, the books of this #readdiversebooks2016  will have a few cross overs, but my ultimate goal is to stick to and only count books that have been written by/are about people of color, QPOC/LGBT characters books and characters with disabilities.

Continue reading

2016 Book Challenges Update: Month Five

I’ve finished so much this month! XD

Hiya, Guys:

May, for me, was a pretty good book month based on the material I got through. And just in case you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check out my recent non-blog or reading challenge book review posts for, The Fold by: Peter Clines & Game of Fear by: Gledé Browne Kabongo. Two very different books with unique twists entirely their own.

I’d also like to mention that besides my #2016readingchallenge books, I will be reading The Mother by: Yvvette Edwards  for a June 15th blog tour date and Wander This World by: GL Tomas. (I love these girls) :-). Now without further ranting, I present to you the reviews for this month’s reading challenge books.

Organized in the order I signed up for each challenge.

Continue reading

Book Review: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda By: Becky Albertalli

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
By: Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Fiction, GLBT, Realistic Fiction, MM Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.5 stars
Release: April 7th 2015

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

 

Continue reading

2016 Book Challenges Update: Month Four

So, I have a little bit of news….

Hiya, Guys:

So as I mentioned, my birthday is early this month (next Monday, to be exact) and things have kind of been a bit hectic (what with Mother’s day being Sunday). This reading challenges post, along with the book reviews will be brief and straight to the point because who likes to read/hear me ramble all the time? (To the pair of hands in the back of this vacant imaginary auditorium, I thank you. 😉 )

In all seriousness, I also thought I’d take the time to mention here that aside from the two (?) book tours I have scheduled for this month, I will be taking a break from book tour blogging for a while. Sadly, I’ve found that it’s taking too much effort to like a large majority of the books I have come across during the tours. Out of the 30 books I’ve read so far this year, I can name a handful (from blog tours) that were absolutely, full-stop fantastical.

Yes, I do enjoy the non-fictional, historical and comedy material better than general fiction and the romance/YA books, but I’ve been proven wrong a few times (and happily so) by a few romance/YA books this year. Now that I’ve just gotten back into the swing reading more fiction books, I’m desperate not to grow tired of the genre again.

So, from this point out, I will be exploring as many non-romantic centric books as possible, particularly with the books for my three reading challenges. Organized in the order I signed up for each challenge.

Continue reading

Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul

Underneath Everything Book Review + Giveaway

Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul

Underneath Everything Book Tour Banner hosted by FFBC. So, be sure to follow the full Book Tour Schedule 🙂

Underneath Everything cover

Underneath Everything
by Marcy Beller Paul
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: October 27th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ+, Realistic Fiction
Rate: 4 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Synopsis:

Mattie shouldn’t be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason.

But now Mattie is a senior, and she’s sick of missing things. So here she is.

And there’s Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.

But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can’t figure out where Jolene ends and she begins.

Because there’s something Mattie hasn’t told anyone—she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left.

Poignant and provocative, Marcy Beller Paul’s debut novel tells the story of an intoxicating—and toxic—relationship that blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy, love and loyalty, friendship and obsession.

Whether it was the lyrical or rhythmic way in which Marcy Beller Paul coursed Mattie’s unique story, I am sincerely grateful and in awe, that Underneath Everything was my first official Blog Tour book.

Mattie, the main character is quiet, calculative and extremely self aware with the people in her life. Even with her closest, tethering companion, Kris—whom she isn’t suppose to hold anything from—but she does.

And it is the small bread crumbs of the past that Mattie gives the reader as she not only recalls, but relives, over and over again, that kept me drawn to this story. Getting further and further into this story and realizing how cinched and interwoven Mattie was to Jolene, I started to realize just how addictive, yet toxic their relationship was.

The reader will watch as Mattie comes to grips with facing her past, the present and the future while she tries to get her barring over true friendship, love and the makings of her reality vs. the one around her as a result of her longing to be inimitable rather, “something new.”

The events that transpire between the main characters, Mattie, Jolene, Kris and Belle do push the dark boundaries in the book, but I felt that they were areas that needed to be explored to illustrate the serious, intense and dangerous realm that Kris and Mattie were so adamant about leaving behind*.

Likewise, Mattie and Jolene’s relationship borders a level of intimacy that goes beyond “friends,” which I think speaks to Mattie’s inner compass trying to tell her something she may not be aware of yet.

The poetic, literary narrative in which the story is told will make the reader fall that much more in love with the book’s main theme: knowing yourself/truly knowing who you are. (More or less) When you read Underneath Everything, you not only gain a better understanding of how and why Mattie still thinks, sees, hears and pines after a person who she knows, deep down in her gut is wrong for her, but also why she can’t seem to stop herself.

I have never been in such an intense, or toxic relationship as the one Jolene and Mattie have, but after reading this book I feel like I’ve lived through one. I really enjoyed the way Marcy not only exposed the reader to such a multifarious, condensed and rich topic, but also the way she exposes Mattie all the way down to her core. Thus, that in the end, Mattie is the one to save herself, see herself and love herself.

I recommend Underneath Everything for anyone who has been in a relationship or a friendship that was so gripping or suffocating that you thought there would never be a light at the end of the tunnel. A tether to someone with a pull so strong you feel you might never be able to cut that cord. A feeling of being so lost or so disconnected from who you are, on an unlit path, that you worry if you’ll ever find your way again.

Underneath Everything will take you on a string of emotions from start to finish, but it is one heck of a ride. 🙂

**(Side note: I have seen friends push the limits to be seen, to be remembered, to be popular or the center of attention over the years in school, so I didn’t feel all that all of the situations or actions that took place in this book were impossible to fathom.)

There were so many amazing lines and quotes from this book and I really wish I could share them all, alas I cannot. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to give this book a read. ❤ Be sure to enter the Book Giveaway below and follow the rest of the blog tour ^__^.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Follow the Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.
Marcy Beller Paul is a young adult author, former editor, and full-time mom who still has all the notes she passed in seventh grade (and knows how to fold them).

She graduated from Harvard University and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. Underneath Everything will be published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, in Fall 2015. It is her first novel.

raffle

Up Next On The Tour:

October 26th:

Collector of book boyfriends – Review
Ruth Reads – Review
nerdychampagne – Review + Playlist

October 27th:

Spiced Latte Reads – Review
A Perfection Called Books – Interview
One Night Book Stand – Guest Post

Direct Book Giveaway Link