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The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Review

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh ReviewThe Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
AmazonBook DepositoryPublished by Penguin, Putnam Juvenile on May 12, 2015
Genres: Adaptation
Pages: 388
Format: Hardcover
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
five-stars
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Rarely do I sit down to a book and finish it in a day, but HONEY, I’M ON A ROLL. Also, this book was gloriously good.

I feel like I need to mention that this book is based off of A Thousand and One Nights AND it tells the story within the story. HELLA META! I just always think it’s fun when the original text is talked about in an adaptation. Well, it worked particularly in this one because the main character uses it to convince the king to let her live until she’s finished her very verbose stories. Genius!

So, she wants to live to avenge her BFF, who was killed after being the King’s wife for a day/night. She ends up falling in love with him and they have a very interesting relationship. She keeps him in check, which is very interesting because as the reader, I just felt like she was an inch away from getting the silk cord. AKA Dead. There are some big game changers for the king, which effects why Shazi stays alive for so long. Well, long compared to getting killed the morning after being wed.

Because the story is in third person, we get to see not only Shazi’s perspective, but also the King, Shazi’s father, and Shazi’s former love interest. It adds more layers of secrecy and anticipation for what’s to come in this series. YES, series. Oh man, I couldn’t deal if this was just one book.

It’s hard to label this book as just one thing because there are elements of magic, but it’s mentioned very sparsely. Even though it’s not in modern times, I wouldn’t call it purely Historical Fiction. It’s definitely an adaptation of another story. It’s definitely something different and something I very much enjoyed.

five-stars

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This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki ReviewThis One Summer by Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki
AmazonBook DepositoryPublished by First Second on May 6, 2014
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age—a story of renewal and revelation.

First, I need to tell you how AMAZING the art is in this graphic novel. FO REAL. If you have a chance to pick it up at the library or book store or whatever… DO IT. Just look at that art.

The main character, Rose, and her summertime best friend, Windy, are on the younger side of the YA spectrum, but there are some heavy issues that surround them. I got a sense that Rose, even though she is the older of the two, is a bit sheltered. She doesn’t react kindly to her mother’s mental state and later learns that her mother isn’t able to have another child after trying for years. Windy is so bouncy and fun, but teaches Rose a bit about feminism and how it’s not a good idea to call a girl a bitch for no freakin’ reason. I dunno, I just thought it was neat. Windy is raised in a more open-minded home and she’s in no rush to grow up too quickly. Her dancing was hilarious!

There are at least one more darker issue, and Rose is kind of a fly-on-the-wall who gets involved in a way that isn’t so kind or mature. She definitely has a lot of growing up to do, but I feel like the summer has taught her a lot about the world and how to treat others. Again, she’s still young, but thankfully she has a friend like Windy to keep her in check.

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Virals by Kathy Reichs Book Review

Virals by Kathy Reichs Book ReviewVirals by Kathy Reichs
AmazonBook DepositorySeries: Virals #1
Published by Penguin on November 2, 2010
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Adventure is in Tory Brennan's blood. After all, she’s the grandniece of world-famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Always up for a challenge, Tory and her science-geek friends spend their time exploring the marshlands of Loggerhead Island, home to the very off-limits Loggerhead Island Research Institute, where something strange is going on. After rescuing a stray wolfdog pup from a top-secret lab, Tory and her friends are exposed to a rare strain of canine parvovirus, changing them--and their DNA--forever. Now they are more than friends. They are a pack. They are Virals. And they're dangerous to the core. But are they unstoppable enough to catch a cold-blooded murderer?

Over the past month, I’ve been reading a lot of Contemporary. I kind of needed a break from the usual, so when I saw Virals by Kathy Reichs on my shelf, I knew I needed to read it. I’d been putting it off for a while since I bought it 3-4 years ago. Yep, I’m super awesome at reading things, but I think the third book comes out soon, so maybe I’ll read the second one soon! Read: in another 2 years. Haha!

Aside from Virals being a hard Sci-Fi book in the YA category, there are some other differences I saw. Even though it doesn’t get too into cultural backgrounds of Tory’s friends, they aren’t all just middle-to-upper class white kids. There is one friend who’s Jewish and I can’t remember who else isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill YA BFFs. I also liked that even though her main BFFs are dudes, she isn’t a girl-hating main character. Like, she really wants to be friends with at least a couple of the girls in her classes.

Even though I don’t know much about viruses, the science was still rather accessible. In this novel, you feel like it’s just the beginning of the Virals’ story, but it is still a complete arc for this book. Like, even though everything isn’t totally resolved, the main drama/conflict having to do with the dog tags and the wolf pup are resolved.

Virals seems to be both character and plot-driven, so there’s a nice balance between the two. It’s also really cool to see hard Sci-Fi in YA in that it’s definitely not a popular genre, but it’s still something different to pick up. So, if you’re looking for something set in modern day / contemporary times but with REAL SCIENCE (AKA Hard Sci-Fi), Virals by Kathy Reichs is your jam.

four-half-stars

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MistoBox Unboxing + Review

I’m a big fan of coffee and I’ve been settling for pre-ground coffee that isn’t all that great. A few weeks ago, I got an email from MistoBox asking me if I’d like to do an unboxing and review one of the coffees. They’ve been on Shark Tank, but you know what? They are pretty dang awesome in my book just on the fact that it’s a subscription service FOR COFFEE. Sure, there’s a little more effort that you have to put into it rather than hitting the big button on your coffee maker thingy. BUT it’s totally worth it to have a taste of freshly roasted coffee beans from different roasters.

What I used:
Coffee Grinder (holds about 1/4 cup of beans)
French Press
DA BEANS (Spyhouse Division Blend – Organic and Fair Trade)

Review:
I made mine a little too strong, but I definitely tasted the flavors that were listed on the package (brown sugar, caramel, rich). Super delicious, black goodness. I would definitely use less beans for my tiny french press or maybe turn it into iced coffee to dilute it a bit. I definitely need to look into getting a bigger french press! I didn’t follow the website’s directions to a T, I just kind of eyeballed it for how strong I wanted the coffee to be.

The extra steps (grinding and waiting 4 minutes for the coffee to steep) weren’t all that hard, so it’s definitely worth it for that coffee house taste. I only have one coffee house near me that roasts their own beans and it’s wayyyyy on the other side of the county, so it’s nice to be able to have freshly roasted beans on my doorstep in a quick manner as well! They definitely are dedicated to freshness and delivering a quality product that coffee lovers, both newbies and professional baristas, will enjoy.

Get $5 Off Your First Shipmenthttp://bit.ly/1Jlm7Io

 

FTC disclaimer: I received this box of coffees from MistoBox in exchange for an honest review.

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Every Last Word Giveaway

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: the publisher

PoetsCorner

Disclaimer: I received these things in the mail from the publisher in order to show y’all what’s in the prize pack and in exchange for an honest review, etc etc… The giveaway prizes are provided by Disney-Hyperion.

And onto the fun stuff!

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone — In stores June 16!

The Poet’s Journal prize pack includes:
A Journal, a pen, and magnetic poetry kit.
AND a copy of Every Last word by Tamara Ireland Stone to get you inspired!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to US residents and prizes and sampling provided by Disney-Hyperion.

About the Book:

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

AuthorTamaraIrelandStone

About the Author:

Tamara Ireland Stone (www.TamaraIrelandStone.com) is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us, which Melissa Marr praised as a “beautifully written, unique love story,” and has been published in over twenty countries. A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Tamara enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives just outside of San Francisco.

READ AN EXCERPT

http://un-requiredreading.com/books/every-last-word

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