Monthly Archives: February 2014

Vicious by V.E. Schwab Review


This was my Random Read selection for February and I LOVED it!

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
September 24, 2014
Hardcover, 364 pgs.

What it’s about:
From YA author Victoria Schwab (Near Witch, 2011, The Archived, 2013), comes a new adult science fiction novel. When Victor and Eli first meet in college they are both ambitious and arrogant and slightly socially awkward. During their senior year a shared interest in near-death experiences and super human powers lead them to pose an interesting hypothesis. They believed that under the right circumstances it was possible for certain people to gain extraordinary powers. This was interesting as a theory, but deadly during the experimental phase. Ten years after that fateful semester Victor has escaped from prison and is hunting down his former friend. Fortunately for Victor, Eli is also on the look out for Victor as part of his crusade to eliminate ExtraOrdinaries (EOs) from the world. Both men are fueled by rage, armed with terrible powers, and dead-set on revenge.

Why you might like it:

Though marketed as an adult novel, I think high school readers would probably enjoy this book, so if you are a fan of Victoria Schwab, you might want to check out Vicious. If you like enjoy stories where the lines between good and evil are blurred, you will probably like the moral ambiguity in this book. If you are intrigued by the idea of having superpowers, you should probably read this book. It might change your mind! Are you a fan of revenge tales? That’s Vicious! Looking for complex friendships, unlikely heroes, and strange friendships? Look no further! If you like your reading deep, dark, and dangerous you will find all of that here. Bottom line: this book is fabulous! I found the cover off-putting, so this is a perfect opportunity to NOT judge a book by its cover!

Want more like this?

The first book that comes to mind is Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Both tell the story of extraordinary powers corrupting people. I’ll have to think about more readalike!

Happy Reading!


Waiting on Wednesday-The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw 2/26/14

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

hero's guide outlaw

The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw (The League of Princes #3)by Christopher Healy, April 29, 2014

From Goodreads:

“The League of Princes returns in the hilariously epic conclusion to the hit series that began with Christopher Healy’s The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, which the Los Angeles Times called “one of the more clever, hilariously successful incarnations of the current literary rage to rip apart and rewrite fairy tales.”

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You think you know those guys pretty well by now, don’t you? Well, think again. Posters plastered across the thirteen kingdoms are saying that Briar Rose has been murdered—and the four Princes Charming are the prime suspects. Now they’re on the run in a desperate attempt to clear their names. Along the way, however, they discover that Briar’s murder is just one part of a nefarious plot to take control of all thirteen kingdoms—a plot that will lead to the doorstep of an eerily familiar fortress for a final showdown with an eerily familiar enemy.

The League of Princes is a hilarious middle grade series that is sure to delight fans of fairy tales of both the regular and twisted variety. A much welcomed break from YA and adult reads, yet full of great character development and strong leading ladies.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Rewind and Guest Post 2/25/14


Hi, Megan here, reporting that I will be sitting on my hands and letting someone else have a turn making a Top Ten Tuesday list. This week The Broke and The Bookish have left the topic up to us, so I am turning things over to Sarah, the awesome librarian-in-training who has been learning the ropes from me and my colleagues.

Books I’d Want on a Desert Island 

1. The Complete Sherlock Holmes  by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I’ve always loved Sherlock Holmes, but to be honest I never owned the complete works until a few years ago when it was given to me as a birthday present. That being said, this would be the first book I would take with me to a desert island. Of course if I was going to be stranded there I might consider grabbing a few other things first, but as far as reading material – this would be it.
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – This is probably one of the classics that I can safely say I could read on a regular basis, so it makes the cut. I just love the time period and the way F. Scott Fitzgerald paints it. It kind of embodies everything that was good and disastrous about the ’20s, and even though I’ve read it dozens of times it always manages to pull me back.
3. Ready Player One  by Ernest Cline – I will read this book all day long and then read it all over again. I love it that much. Maybe it comes from an excessive love of video games or being a self-proclaimed geek, but I always find something new to love about this book when I read it. Even if it’s just from researching an 80’s reference I missed the first time around.
4. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – If I’m going to be stranded on a desert island then I’m going to bring a John Green book with me, end of story. And as much as I would love to bring TFioS, I don’t want to spend all of eternity on this desert island in tears. This is one of my favorite road trip themed books, and is just a fun story all around. And also, Hassan is probably one of my favorite characters in any John Green book.
abundance of katherines
5. X-Men: Magneto Testament by Greg Pak – I know. This isn’t a book, it’s a graphic novel. And admittedly, I’m not a huge graphic novel person (I’m working on fixing that!). This, however, is probably my all time favorite. It’s historically accurate, and impressively so – the footnotes alone are proof of that. The illustration is beautiful, and the way some panels are left completely black so the reader can really use their imagination makes the story even more pronounced. And then there’s the story itself, which is just…phenomenal, is probably the best word I can come up with. It’s an excellent read for X-Men fans (or history buffs!).
6. Zombies vs. Unicorns – Probably one of my favorite compilations, with stories by a really great group of authors answering the age-old question…who would win in a battle between zombies and unicorns? I usually don’t read a ton of short story collections, but it was hard to ignore a collection with so many of my favorite authors. But really, how can I pass up Libba Bray, Scott Westerfield, Maureen Johnson, and Cassandra Clare in the same book?! For the record, my bet is always on zombies.
zombies vs unicorns
7. Leviathon by Scott Westerfield – If this wasn’t a top ten list and I had the ability to take an infinite amount of books with me, I would take this entire series. As it stands, though, I’ll gladly settle take one rather than none. I love the steampunk/sci-fi world that Westerfield created and, possibly even more so, I love getting lost in it. This is definitely a “just one more chapter” kind of book.
8. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen – This one is an interesting re-telling of Robin Hood that doesn’t quite focus entirely on Robin Hood, and ended up being more fun to read than I expected. In any case, the Robin Hood legend is one of my guilty pleasures, so I find myself gravitating toward those stories quite a bit; and I really enjoyed the female-in-disguise aspect of this one. Plus, Scarlet was a really well written character who – to be perfectly honest – kicked butt and did a really good job of it!
scarlet gaughen
9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I just finished this three months ago, but I have no shame in saying that I would definitely grab this one to read again. I love Cath and Levi and Reagan and Wren; I relate to them and what they’re going through in this story. And I think everyone, at some point, has known someone similar to at least one of these characters.
10. Eon by Alison Goodman – Finally, one that I actually haven’t gotten around to reading yet. I’ve had this sitting on my shelf for at least a year, if not close to it. It was the cover that caught my eye first, but the idea of the Dragoneye really appealed to me – and “energy dragons”? I’m intrigued! Now I just need to keep reminding myself to actually read it…
Happy Reading!

Monday With Megan: Need To vs Should vs Want To Read 2/24/14

Good morning friends! I am coming off a few days of time off. I really thought I would have a relaxing few days lounging around, hitting my favorite coffee shop and working on my ever-growing TBR list. Instead, I spent an amazing three days hanging out with family and friends and eating my way through Cleveland. I squeezed some reading and listening in, but nothing like I had planned. All of this got me thinking about my reading goals and expectations. It’s early in the year and I am already struggling to find a balance between the reading I need to do (books for book club, books I have requested to review), the reading I should do (new teen releases to talk up, adult titles) and the reading I want to do (apparently that would be anything but the need to and should read books!). I may have overextended myself…Anyone else have this problem? How do you juggle all of your reading? Any input would be appreciated! Ready for a list? Me too!

mondayreading new monday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts


broken hearts this is what happy looks like jane stories dont even think about it silver six

  • Reviews of Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn and Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynoski will be coming soon. As an adult reader, I did not really enjoy either book, but they sure do have great teen appeal.
  • This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith was cute and simple and I enjoyed the easy listening while I shoveled myself out of a blizzard.
  • Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel. The story is a familiar one-mean girls, bullying, and distorted body issues.
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe was surprisingly enjoyable autobiography. Lowe provides a thoughtful glimpse into the life of a young teen idol and describes all of the ups and downs of creating a successful and meaningful career as well as a satisfying private life. Lowe is charming, intelligent, and quite hilarious.
  • The Silver Six by A.J. Lieberman is a fun little sci-fi action/adventure graphic novel. Max, the robot is the best part of the entire story.

Current Audio:

cuckoos calling call the midwife

I am finally getting around to The Cuckoo’s Calling (from the should read category) and I am sticking with my autobiography theme and listening to Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (need to read for book club).

Currently Reading:

vicious we were liars crash

I am more than half way through Vicious by V.E. Schwab. This is my Random Read for February and it is fantastic! I just downloaded an e-galley of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and I can’t wait to dive in. Crash Into You by Katie McGarry is my current just-for-me read.

On Deck:

code name divergent brotherband house of stairs

The first two are quick rereads for book clubs and the second two are Teen’s Choices. So basically, four books I need to read. Sigh.

Happy Reading!


Roomies by Sarah Zarr and Tara Altebrando Review


Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
December 24, 2013
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 288 pgs.

What it’s about:

All Lauren wanted out of college was a single. A room to herself. A little privacy, a luxury she rarely gets in her house full of kids. So when she receives the e-mail from UC Berkeley notifying her of her roommate assignments she is disappointed. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Elizabeth receives the same information and excitedly zips off an e-mail to Lauren, setting into motion a summer of electronic communications. Both young women are excited and nervous about leaving home. While they each try to juggle new relationships while managing old ones, they find themselves turning to each other, virtual strangers, for support. As the summer progresses and their lives become more complicated they are forced to ask themselves if they have what it takes to share a dorm room.

Why you might like it:

Are you curious about what it will be like to leave home? Worried about heading off to college? Well, you may be able to relate to Lauren and Elizabeth. Do you enjoy a little romance in your books? You’ll find that here too! Do you like novels that are written in the form of letters or journal entries? I do! And of course, if you are a fan of Sara Zarr and/or Tara Altebrando, you won’t want to miss this one. I really enjoyed getting to know each of these characters. Each had complex and challenging situations to work through. Their hopes, fears, and excitement about college felt genuine. I felt that the authors managed to work in a number if “issues” in without being heavy-handed. They touch on issues of sex, infidelity, inter-racial relationships, and homosexuality. This is definitely a book for a more mature reader. Overall I enjoyed it and would recommend it to the reader looking for books about post-graduation.

Want more like this?

For the new to college experience check out Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Just One Day by Gayle Forman,  The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle, and the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. I am still pretty new to the whole New Adult category, but I think this fits nicely. I would love to see more books with college bound characters.

Happy Reading!


Waiting on Wednesday-Blood of My Blood 2/19/14

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I have been trying to select books that are actually coming soon, but couldn’t resist this one.

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

blood of my blood

Blood of My Blood, Jasper Dent #3 by Barry Lyga. September 9, 2014.

I am really enjoying the Jasper Dent series and the second book ended with a heart-racing cliffhanger. Jazz is a great character, as are his two companions, Connie and Howie. I can’t wait to find out how things end for these three. Haven’t read I Hunt Killers and Game? There is plenty of time to get started!

From Goodreads:

Jazz Dent has ***spoiler removed***. His girlfriend Connie is ***spoiler removed***. And his best friend Howie is ***spoiler removed*** in tiny Lobo’s Nod. Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors their lives have become and find a way to come together ***spoiler removed***. But then Jazz crosses a line he’s never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: “Like father, like son?” Who is the true monster?
The chase is on, and beyond Billy there lurks something much, much worse. Prepare to meet…the Crow King.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons I Love Being a Blogger/Reader 2/18/14


Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are talking about why it is so great to be a book blogger!

1. I have greater access to Advanced Reader Copies. My blog is tiny and insignificant compared to many and I just don’t have the following to warrant showering me with ARCs, but every now and then I find a treat in my mail. I also get to shop around in NetGalley. Who doesn’t like to be first?

2. Readathons. I ♥ readathons.

3. Blogging is a way for me to be a writer without actually being a writer. I don’t have a novel in me, but I still enjoying putting some thoughts out there!

4. Blogging satisfies my need to make lists. Seriously. I love to make lists.

5. Discovering new blogs and memes inevitably leads to discovering new books and authors.

6. Comments on my blog make me happy. I truly appreciate when someone takes the time to read my words and respond to what I have written.

That’s all I have for today!

Oh, wait! I didn’t list any reasons for why I love being a reader. Do I really need to list the reasons? We all know a book can fight boredom, broaden horizons, bring people together, expand vocabularies and minds, help understand your world, yourself, and others, teach new things, teach old things. I can find myself in a book just as easily as I can lose myself in a book. Books have been a constant companion since the day I was born and hope to have a book in my hand until the day I die. I think that is enough nerding out for the day…

Happy Reading!