Rating System:

For those of you who don't know, I rate books based on their ability to hold my attention. I don't really like to rip apart someone's hard work. If I don't finish a book, then I don't feel comfortable rating it. So you might see a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings. However, if I do have issues with a book, I will always tell you. Enjoy! (:

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Martian Review

The Martian by Andy Weir
4 Stars

I'm going to keep this pretty brief. Mostly because I have forgotten anything of real significance since it took me over a year to finish this book. Don't get me wrong, it is a great book. I just kept putting it down in favor of other books that were more in my comfort zone. I picked it back up last night and finished the last 150 pages fairly quickly. What I love about this book is it's humor. This man is stranded on Mars and he could very well die. Dying actually seems most likely and he's cracking jokes and maintaining his normal personality despite everything he's going through. Yes, he gets stressed and frustrated, but it's written in a light way. Or it was for me anyway. Andy Weir has a talent for making the science stuff reasonably understandable for those of us who may not have been the best in the subject. It's gripping and I really found myself rooting for him the whole time. I definitely recommend this one.

Now, this is kind of a first on my blog, but immediately after finishing the book I dove into the movie. I found it enjoyable. I was kind of sad that most of the humor is lost. Things are changed, some because they had to be. Others, I'm not so sure why. The movie was very dramatic. Had I not read the book I might have enjoyed it a hell of a lot more. This is a typical case of the book is better. Well at least it is for me. The movie on it's own would get about 4 stars from me. However, in comparison to the book I would only give it 2 stars. I know, I know. That's very low for me. I was just so disappointed. Mark seemed like a totally different person to me and it just didn't sit right.

Anyway, have y'all read The Martian? What were your thoughts? Was the movie really good for you or were you disappointed the way I was? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Waiting on Wednesday

For those of you who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a series hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. This week I'll be sharing another book that I am SUPER excited for and I have no idea how I will make it all the way until November.

The First To Know by Abigail Johnson

Dana Fields's father never knew his parents. When Dana secretly does a DNA test for her dad, hoping to find him some distant relatives for his birthday, her entire world implodes. Instead of a few third cousins, Dana discovers a half brother her age whose very existence means her parents' happy marriage is a lie. 

Dana's desire to know her half brother, Brandon, and the extent of her dad's deception, clashes with her wish not to destroy her family. When she sees the opportunity to get to know Brandon through his cousin, the intense yet kind Chase, she takes it. But the more she finds out about Brandon, her father's past and the irresistible guy who'll never forgive her if he discovers the truth, the more she sees the inevitable fallout from her own lies. With her family crumbling around her, Dana must own up to her actions and find a way to heal the breach—for everyone—before they're torn apart for good.




If you haven't read Abigail's first book, If I Fix You, then go get it now. I promise you won't regret it. The First To Know comes out on November 7, 2017 and I'm thinking this book is going to be even better and November is just so far away! I'm just so excited. I love Abigail's writing so much and her books take place in Arizona, where both of us live and I'm always on the hunt for Arizona books. Follow Abigail on Twitter, she's amazing. Check out her book and add this one to your TBR. Tell me what books you're looking forward to. Happy Reading y'all!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #4

Waiting on Wednesday

For those of you who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a series hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. This week I'll be sharing one of my most anticipated books of 2017 and if you know me at all, you won't be surprised.

This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes
Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened. 

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.


Wow, sounds great right? As you all know, I love Paula Stokes. Not only does she write wonderful books, but she's just an awesome human with great taste in television shows. I love everything about this synopsis and the whole national park setting really has me salivating. I, myself live near a national park and also a national forest and these are my favorite places to go. My escape, my happy place, where I heal (more the forest than the park). However, they're both beautiful in their own right. I just can't wait to see how this setting influences the story.

If you're interested as well This is How it Happened will be out on July 11, 2017 and is available for pre-order now. There is also an excerpt on Paula's website if you want a little taste before spending your money. What's one of your most anticipated reads for this year? I'd love to hear them. Happy reading!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Duke of Bannerman Prep ARC Review

The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson
5 Stars

The Duke of Bannerman Prep was actually, I guess still is, most anticipated debuts of 2017 and I feel so lucky and blessed to have gotten my hands on it so early. I will start by saying while this is said to be a Great Gatsby retelling, I will not personally be talking about that seeing as I have never read or watched The Great Gatsby. On to my other thoughts!

I went into this book full knowing that I was going to love it. I have yet to meet a book featuring a boarding school that I did not like. So the title had me before I even read the description, but once I did I kind of went on to tell everyone how much I needed this in my life. Well it did not disappoint. Our book follows Tanner, a high school debater who recently switched schools in hopes of a brighter future. We see from the very beginning that he is very serious about why he's there and what he came to do. I admire that about him. But also in the very first chapter we hear about "The Duke" and he's kind of this campus celebrity in a way. I mean the way people were talking about him from the very beginning reminded me of all the scenes where people are talking about Regina George in Mean Girls, you know? "I heard this and I heard that." It was so intriguing. I needed to know more even if our main character wasn't interested in meeting this guy. Obviously these two aren't the only people in the entire novel, but they were the first two to gain my complete attention.

Katie actually created these characters quite beautifully in my opinion. I came to care about each and every one of them. Well, will the exception of Blake, but I'm not going to get into that. My favorite side character being Sam. He is just so enthusiastic and you can see how much he looks up to Tanner and he just adds so much to this story even we don't see him as much as I'd like. Now Kelsey and Abby, those two are just opposites to me and I love them both anyway. Do I agree with all of Abby's choices and reasons behind them? Not at all. But I think she's kind of there to teach about self worth and realizing that there is more and you shouldn't settle. Just wonderful characters, all of them.

Now, I will say that I wish this book was longer and I wish I got more of the boarding school in it, but man that debating aspect. I've never really known much about debate teams and such, but it added this sort of intensity when you'd see how hard these kids worked and how passionate they were about getting that win. I mean it would have been cool to read more about this stuff, yet I also see how adding more wasn't really necessary.

I don't know if any of you have read this one yet and I might be alone in this, I hope I'm not though. I NEED MORE. I don't care if it's a whole novel about The Duke, a short story, a continuance on Tanner's story, a book about Kelsey or even Abby because I'd like to see how she ends up. I just need more out of Katie Nelson. I am obsessed! If you want to check out The Duke of Bannerman Prep it comes out on May 9, 2017 and is available for pre-order now! What debuts are you excited for? Let me know in the comments.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Very Arc-ish Readathon Wrap Up

A Very Arc-ish Readathon

So, the readathon has come and gone oh so quickly. I think this may be the first readathon where I actually got some reading done without putting myself in a stress induced slump. I know you're probably curious as to how I did, unless you follow me on Twitter. And.... I read two whole ARCs. Yep, you read that right, TWO. I even started a third about an hour before the readathon officially ended. Let's get to it!

My first book is actually a secret, but y'all will hear about it eventually and trust me when I tell you it was absolutely wonderful! The second one I finished was The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson and I loved it! Seriously, who doesn't love a good boarding school read? I know they're some of my favorite. My full spoiler free review will be up tomorrow if you're interested in my thoughts. Lastly, I just started reading What the Dead Want by Norah Olson and I'm definitely intrigued. Plus I'm really digging the short chapters. I don't mind long chapters, but short ones make it easier for me to breeze on through as I lie to myself by saying "just one more chapter".

So tell me, did you participate in the Very Arc-ish Readathon? If so, how did you do? I'm actually quite happy with my progress since my goal was just one. Thank you to Aimal for hosting! Happy reading everyone!
Xoxo,

Gabriella

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #3

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a series hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. I haven't done one of these in quite a while, but this week I couldn't just not show you this book.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Stop the Magician.
Steal the book.
Save the future.

In modern day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she's been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta's training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

That cover! WOW! Add in the synopsis and double wow! I need this book in my life as soon as possible. I don't know how I'm going to wait until its release on July 18, 2017. It is in fact up for pre-order now for those of you who are like me and in are in great need for this story. Don't forget to check out Lisa on twitter! What books are you waiting for? Feel free to share with me in the comments. Happy reading!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bang ARC Review

Bang by Barry Lyga
5 Stars

I fully intend to keep this one short and sweet because this book is definitely one you should read yourself. Our main character, Sebastian, accidentally shot and killed his baby sister when he was four years old. I know what you're thinking, but honestly this is something that does happen too often. I'm not going to go into the politics surrounding guns at all, but the aftermath that Sebastian deals with is all too real for some people. Bang deals with guilt, trying to fit into a society that only sees you as/for one thing, regular teenage angst, making friends, and finding a hobby. Throughout the book you can feel this big thing just looming over his life and you're just waiting for the shoe to drop. Overall, it was a wonderful read. I enjoyed being inside his head. I was rooting for him the whole time, but I also had questions. Thankfully most of my questions were answered by the end and in such an interesting way. I recommend this one to everyone. It's one of the ones that is just too important and raw. Bang comes out on April 18, 2017 and is available for pre-order now. Have any of you been lucky enough to read this already? If so, what are your thoughts. If not, do you plan to? What some other important reads? I love recommendations. Happy reading!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Very Arc-ish Readathon TBR

A Very Arc-ish Readathon
So the other night I was scrolling through Twitter, as one does, and I came across someone's announcement that they were joining the "A Very Arc-ish Readathon" hosted by the lovely Aimal at Bookshelves & Paperbacks. Now it got me thinking about possibly joining. After all, I am way behind on my review books and it is for the entire month of April. First my 6+ month slump was created by extreme happiness and then fed by the depression that my first heartbreak created. While I am not completely out of my slump and am not completely sure that I will be doing this, I want to try. And maybe telling everyone will help me try.

So here it is, a bullet point list of some of my choices. Let's hope I at least read one. That's my goal.
  • Freeks by Amanda Hocking
  • The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson
  • How it Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes
  • Alterations by Stephanie Scott
  • This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
  • Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims
  • One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards
  • The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
  • Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger
Now that is a longer list than I had planned. However, I seriously think I'll only finish one or two so I'm not going to pressure myself. Will I stick to the list? Maybe. But I also have so many arcs that I could stray from it if something sounds appealing enough. I'm going to play this by ear and see how it goes. First things first, finish my current read, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. What's your April TBR looking like? I'd love to know if you've read anything on my list. Happy reading.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tucson Festival of Books Three-peat


Tucson Festival of Books
March 11th & 12th 2017
This year was my third time attending the Tucson Festival of Books and man was wonderful. This was actually my first event of any kind and of any size where I went all by myself. *Pats self on the back* The event just ended two weeks ago and I already cannot wait for next year.

Day One didn't go exactly as I planned. The very first panel I planned to go to was full even though I had arrived 30 minutes early. I guess I should've known "20 Ways Not to Write Your First Novel" would be a popular one. So the waiting began. I ventured back out to the main parts of the festival to check out booths and spin some pokestops. Which was very successful. I went home with over 300 combined pokeballs. The first signing I went to was for Alice Hoffman. While I still haven't finished reading Practical Magic, I had to take the opportunity to get my copy signed since I love the movie so much. This was followed by more wandering until it was finally time for my ticketed event to hear James Dashner speak about the Maze Runner series. If you didn't already know, James is very funny and tends to go off on tangents. He ended up only answering 4 out of 20 of the planned questions during the allotted hour, but it was still wonderful. His signing line though, WOW. I waited almost a full hour to meet him. Luckily someone in line was willing to hold my spot so I wouldn't end up missing Jeff Garvin and Shaun David Hutchinson and I didn't. After waiting an hour for Dashner, I finally got my book signed, but he was running late so I was told no picture. So I replied, "I'll be back tomorrow! See you then!" I took a nice little snack break inside the education building rather than going to the last 20 minutes of a panel and went out to my next signings. While in line waiting for Maggie Stiefvater, James passed me and offered me the picture I wasn't able to get 30 minutes prior. I'm not going to lie, it took us a couple of tries. You'll see. So my day ended with me meeting Maggie, Brittany Cavallaro, and seeing Aprilynne Pike for the third time. I finally had a book for her to sign! All in all, it was a great day! And I got so many compliments on my Beauty and the Beast shirt that read "My weekend is all booked."


On to day two! Once again, I braved the festival all by my lonesome. First stop was to hangout with Ginger Scott at the Arizona Indies tent. Those ladies were a blast. You have no idea. 10 AM brought the Dystopian Worlds panel featuring James Dashner, Alexandra Bracken, and Sharon Cameron. Once again, it was a lovely panel and the authors were great, but I learned from yesterdays mistake and dipped out 30 minutes early to line back up for Dashner. This time I was back with the book he said I should read because a character had my name in book two. Alas, it was my turn. "You're back!" he said. I was. He began to sign my new book and then... "Oh man, Gabriella with two L's. Mine only has one." What a shame, but it's okay. We didn't take a second picture. Next I lined up for Alexandra Bracken and while signing my book she had a little brainfart and started to write the B before anything else. Technically my book is signed twice and it's unique and I love it, brainfart and all. Sharon Cameron was also very sweet. I'm so excited to read The Forgetting, you have no idea. During the panel when she was describing it James said, "That is the single greatest premise for a book I have ever heard. I'm now mad at you for stealing it from me." and we all laughed. What an awesome group of humans. I should also mention that day two I met some new friends in line and chatted about books. These kind people being Erica, Jen, and Karen. Book festivals are such a great way to make friends. Even if you make them by inserting yourself into people's conversations like I do on occasion. After all of that fun I wandered back to the Arizona Indies tent and asked Ginger if she wanted to go grab a coffee before my V.E. Schwab signing. Turned out she had no idea she was there and so we went there instead to buy a book and surprise her husband. So sweet. I also practically force fed her some Hi-Chews and we agreed that it's the best way to make friends. I rounded out my adventures by stopping by to see a friend, Kathleen Glasgow and have a chat. Upon walking up, I noticed Shaun and I had the same shirt on which called for a second picture if you ask me. The conversation was fun and short, but totally worth it. Before I left, I grabbed one of Ginger's books and had her sign it. Oh and Erica spotted me again and snagged a picture.




2018 Tucson Festival of Books, please come faster. It's my favorite place to meet wonderful people and talk about even more wonderful books! Seriously, if you plan to go next year let me know! Maybe we can snag a picture together! 

GIVEAWAY:
What's your favorite bookish event or memory? Tell me in the comments, leave your Twitter handle, and one lucky commenter from the US will win a copy of Blue by Lisa Glass! Subscribing gets you an extra entry. Happy reading y'all!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Friday, March 3, 2017

Entangled Teen: Urban Fantasy or Epic Fantasy



Welcome to the last day of the Entangled Teen Urban Fantasy vs Epic Fantasy event. Today is the day where I let you know which side I'm on. Are you ready for this?

I'm not on a side. I honestly haven't read enough fantasy to have chosen a side so this post is going to be a very short one. I will tell you a book from each team during the event that I plan to check out.

My pick for #TeamUrbanFantasy is actually Atlantis Rising by Gloria Craw. To be fair, I already own a copy of this book and just haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Story of all us book lovers right? So many books, so little time.

As for #TeamEpicFantasy, I want to check out True North by L.E. Sterling. I haven't read book one, True Born yet but they both seem rather interesting.

Man, what a sorry excuse for a post. I would love to hear your recommendations for Urban Fantasy and Epic Fantasy and maybe I'll even add some of them to my ever growing TBR pile.

Thank you for stopping by and don't forget to enter the giveaway below if you haven't already!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Grand Prize winner of the contest will receive the following:
  • True Born (True Born Trilogy, #1) by L.E. Sterling
  • Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers, #1) by Brenda Drake
  • Spindle by Shonna Slayton

Xoxo,
Gabriella