2016 Book Challenges Update: Month Two

Hiya, Guys:

Here are the books I completed for the month of February for the three book challenges I’m participating in this year.  Organized in the order I signed up for each challenge.

 

#2016TBRPile Challenge

This has been on by TBR pile for a while and you might recognize that this another book by last month’s TBR author.

 

3volve

By Josefina Gutierrez

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Multicultural, Contemporary Romance, NA, Coming of age

Released: July 14th, 2015

Rating: 3/3.5 Stars

Goodreads OR buy 3volve  here: Amazon

Blurb:

From author Josefina Gutierrez, of “The Shadow of Loss”, comes a new New-Adult contemporary love story.

I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.

I’m Cristal Escobedo, twenty-two years old and a former wild child who favors tequila far too much. But that all changed when life happened, and I ended up being responsible for my younger brothers. To top it all off, I think I’m falling in love with my best friend—dammit.

This is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. My story isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt is deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human.

For my 3volve review, click here.

 

#Rockmytbr Challenge

 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

By Mindy Kaling

Genre: Humor, Autobiography, Writing, Essays, Funny, Non-Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Synopsis:

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

For my Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) review post, click here.

#2016audiobook Challenge

Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba #1)  Author: Daniel Jose Older

Narrated by: Daniel Jose Older

Length: 7hrs and 56mins

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Thriller, Romance,  NA

Rating: 4.5 stars

Format: Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 1/06/15

Publisher: Audible Studios

Goodreads | B& N | Amazon | Audible

Synopsis:

“Because I’m an inbetweener—and the only one anyone knows of at that—the dead turn to me when something is askew between them and the living. Usually, it’s something mundane like a suicide gone wrong or someone revived that shouldn’ta been.”

Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death…

For my Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba #1)  audiobook review, click here.

 

BOOKS COMING UP:

March should be a slower month for me. I will admit that I did get distracted reading even more books than I planned to (on top of the blog tour books this month) which is why I had to post pone the planned Redeeming Love expected read for my #RockmyTBR last month and replace it with Mindy’s book. To be honest, I’m really happy I did because it allowed me to end the month on a light and funny note.

For the month of March, I decided to  The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Eric Larson because I really liked what I remember reading from this book back when I first bought it and I just feel like getting back to the story.

For my #2016Audiobook challenge in February, I did end up listening to two audiobooks, but didn’t realized why I marked the second book as ‘to-listen to’ as I was not familiar with the author until after I finished the book and realized I was meant to participate in a blog tour next month (in April) for it 😀 whoops! Well at least I’m a head of the game, right? Any-who, this month I choose to listen to The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins.

And for my #2016TBRpile challenge I picked Hard Love (Hacker #5) by Meredith Wild because the other two picks are kind of dark and I thought this would be a lighter read in the mix.

On top of these expected reads, I will be listening to Voyage Of The Defiance by S.E. Smith, and I’ll be reading Broken Politics by Janae Keyes , books 1-3 of the Stone Legacy series by Theresa DaLayne,  and The Fold by Peter Clines. Knowing myself, I’m sure I’ll squeeze in a few more this month, but I should stop because my body misses sleep XD.

As always, thanks so very  much for reading. I hope you liked reads this month and be sure to come back to check out what else I’ll be reviewing 🙂

Until next time,

Gia.

Book Review: The Shadow of Loss by: Josefina Gutierrez

 

The Shadow of Loss

By Josefina Gutierrez

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Multicultural, Romance, YA

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Goodreads OR buy Shadow of Loss here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble|  Kobo

Blurb:

Evelyn Gonzalez keeps losing people, which is always hard, but has she lost something much more? Has she lost her soul? Evelyn has a nervous breakdown and is institutionalized, after months of sorrow and pain she is thrust back into the world. The world of teenage angst and Calculus. Can she trust people again? Especially after hurtful assumptions and judgments made her miss her junior year of high school. Evelyn is just trying to heal what she lost and graduate from high school.

Book Excerpt

“Hey. You’re new right?” Brody asks me.

I assume he must be playing coy to get me to talk, because I know he saw me. Even if he didn’t see me it is pretty obvious I’m new, so I just nod and look straight ahead. Then I remember I should be trying and I say, “Yeah I am.” He looks different during the day. His skin looks like toasted almonds under the fluorescent lighting.

He’s about to say something when the teacher interrupts. “We have finished our first novel and we are moving on to Pan, by Knut Hamsun. Has anyone read this book before? It’s a brilliant piece I am overjoyed to share with you!”

Ms. Lange seems to think highly of this class if she wants us to read Pan. She looks like she keeps about ten cats, because she is covered head to toe in cat hair. Her hair is in a messy bun, only held together by bobby pins and a pencil. Or the pencil could just be for practical purposes. She almost seems magical, in a cat lady, overly eager kind of way, like she knows books are portals to magical worlds. Or she could just be bat-shit crazy.

“Anyone? Anyone?” she asks again. “How about you Brody? Would you like to contribute your thoughts on Pan?”

Most students don’t read books, they read the Sparknotes. He must be the star pupil. Now that I think about it, it did look like he was reading Pan. I look over at him slightly more interested in class. I didn’t know we were supposed to have read it yet. I read it last year for fun. He looks scruffy and his hair is long and lusciously curly—he belongs in a Pantene commercial. I can’t believe I am jealous of his hair, but it looks tremendously better than my hair.

“I thought he was an idiot for falling in love with Edvarda. She was a supernatural element in a natural environment. She didn’t belong. That’s why it ended how it did. He was tempted by the idea of love.”

“Is the idea of love, so harmful?” Ms. Lange asks him.

“No. Not the idea, the action of love,” he says, and I have to agree. I think the action was his undoing. Then again loving anyone is a mistake, especially when they leave us in the end.

“Good,” she says as she nods her head, “Good. Now I will pass copies around. We will discuss the elements and set up the characters.”

When the books reach me, I just pass it to the next student. Ms. Lange notices and calls me out. Why?! “Evelyn I see you didn’t grab a book, why not?” she asks me.

“I own a copy. I prefer mine. It has notes.” It hurts to talk. But she just nods and says, “Good”, and leaves me alone for the rest of the class. I sit there and think about love, the action of love. Losing her has left me empty inside. I miss her. I have to try for her. She would want me to be bold and engaging. But how can I be more? A new town, all these people, classes all over again, it doesn’t stop.

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2016 Book Challenges Update: Month One

Hiya, Guys:

Here are the books I completed for the month of January for the three book challenges I’m participating in this year.  Organized in the order I signed up for each challenge.

 

#2016TBRPile Challenge

Has been on by TBR pile for weeks.

 

 

The Shadow of Loss

By Josefina Gutierrez

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Multicultural, Romance, YA

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Goodreads OR buy Shadow of Loss here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble|  Kobo

Blurb:

Evelyn Gonzalez keeps losing people, which is always hard, but has she lost something much more? Has she lost her soul? Evelyn has a nervous breakdown and is institutionalized, after months of sorrow and pain she is thrust back into the world. The world of teenage angst and Calculus. Can she trust people again? Especially after hurtful assumptions and judgments made her miss her junior year of high school. Evelyn is just trying to heal what she lost and graduate from high school.

For The Shadow of Loss Review click here.

 

#Rockmytbr Challenge

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)

By Kristin Cashore

Genre: YA, Action, Adventure, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight – she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…

For my Graceling review post, click here.

 

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