Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (64)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Top Series I Need to Start

1. Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers

2. Trail by Fire by Josephine Angelini

3. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

6. Pawn by Aimee Carter

7. Legend by Marie Lu

And that's all I can think of at present! I'm sure there are a ton more!! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: Even in Paradise

Title: Even in Paradise
Author: Chelsey Philpot
Pages: 368
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Format: ARC
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden... until now.

I guess the best word in my opinion to describe Even in Paradise is whimsical. Charlotte or Charlie gets completely swept away by the Buchanans and I must admit that I did too. It's hard not to. They are intoxicating.

Anyone that has read my blog for any length of time knows that I typically prefer fast paced novels. However, there are the occasional slow paced novels that I enjoy and Even in Paradise happens to be one of them. There really isn't a whole lot of action. It's mostly just stories about Charlie's experience with the Buchanans, It wasn't a book that I couldn't put down but it always wasn't a book that bored me.

It's hard to really explain what I enjoyed about Even in Paradise. It's more of a general feel of the novel, rather an actual thing. I did love the Buchanans, every, single one of them. I loved that they all had these adorable nicknames for each other. I loved how Julia and her siblings played these inside games that they played at parties. The really great thing about the Buchanans was how even though they lived this extravagant lifestyle, yet they still seemed to be relatable. They were loyal to one another. I kind of loved that Julia was this fragile girl but constantly was pulling these crazy stunts. I am pretty sure that I fell as hard and fast for Sebastian as Charlie did. I found his clumsiness endearing.

The actual plot was the only part that I didn't love. I felt that there was too much emphasis put on the secret that the Buchanans were hiding. To me it was quite obvious and wasn't a big deal. I guess I could see how it would be a big deal to Julia but it wasn't near as bad as it is made to be.  I was also a little mixed on my feelings for the end of the novel. It's one of those semi-opened ended novels. You have a general idea of where everyone is (some more so than others) but not necessarily where they are going. In a way I liked it because I can imagine where I want the characters to go but at the same time it makes me feel the story is somewhat incomplete.

Even in Paradise is an intoxicating read that fans of The Great Gatsby will love!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Kiss Kill Vanish

Title: Kiss Kill Vanish
Author: Jessica Martinez
Pages: 432
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description:

Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.

She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.

She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.

I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but I broke the rules anyhow with this one.  “Kiss Kill Vanish” by Jessica Martinez has such a beautiful cover, that I  think I set the expectations pretty high going into it.  That being said, when I did start reading it I found myself a little disappointed.  It was pretty slow to start and many of the chapters felt like fillers until the plot picked up.  This didn’t happen until about halfway through the book.  At that point though, I FELL IN LOVE guys.  Everything started to make sense, including why Jane (or Valentina, whichever one of her names you prefer) was living in a dumpy apartment and using a fake name.    

If you like a good mystery, or travelling, this book is perfect for you.  As any reader can tell you, some books are pretty predictable as far as plot goes, but with “Kiss Kill Vanish” I had a hard time figuring out the bad guys ahead of time, or trying to predict what would happen before it did.  The author did a great job of dropping hints without giving too much away, which I really appreciated, because that’s what keeps the book interesting.  If you like travelling you’ll enjoy this story because it has numerous settings, such as Montreal, Miami, and Girona.  

If you’re able to get through the slow start of the book, I definitely recommend this one.  It’s so worth the wait for the book to pick up, because once it does, you won’t be able to put it down.  Warning: if you’re on a diet, make sure you don’t have access to sweets when you’re reading “Kiss Kill Vanish.”  Between the pastries Jane is always eating, and the free chocolate Jacques gives her when she goes to the café, I was craving sweets in the worst way by the time I finished reading this!

Besides the slow start to the book, the only other thing that bothered me was how naïve Jane appeared at the beginning of the book.  Coming from a rich lifestyle like she was accustomed to though, I can understand why Jessica Martinez wanted to portray her like this.  Overall, I enjoyed “Kiss Kill Vanish” and I’ve already been recommending it to all my friends!  


Thursday, October 16, 2014

That Awkward Thursday (25) When You Think You're Getting What You Want

That Awkward Moment You Think You're Getting What You Want but Really Aren't....

Last week, I saw a tweet from Penguin Teen that said something like, "Always wanted your Anna, Lola, and Isla books to match? We have good news for you!" Then it had a link to this article. When I first read the tweet I was super excited. They had decided to do an Isla cover to match my other books. Looking back it was an irrational thought, but sometimes we believe what we want to be true and I wanted an Isla cover to match my old Anna and Lola covers.

 I know that you can't please everyone. I do. Still, I feel like instead of giving us what we (what I) wanted they gave us what we kind of wanted that would also make them money. Publishing is a business so they have to make decisions that will make them money. Releasing another hardcover of Isla to match the old covers would cost money because someone would have to design a new cover and probably wouldn't make them as much money since Isla was just released. However, releasing both Anna and Lola with hardcovers wouldn't cost any more in design since they already had released paperback versions of Anna and Lola to match the new Isla cover. Plus, diehard fans would go out and buy two books that they most likely already had multiple copies of just so they could have a matching set.

I guess I have mixed feelings about it. I am glad that if I choose I can have a matching set of Stephanie Perkins books. Nothing drives me more crazy than having non matching covers in a series. However, I also feel like this is being used just to sell more books. But again, I guess that is the point. Penguin is a business and businesses have to make money.

What are your thoughts on it? Are you excited about it? Will you buy the two hardcovers of Anna and Lola so your books will match? Let me know in the comments.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: Belzhar

Title: Belzhar
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Pages: 264
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Rating: 3 Cows

Goodreads Description:

If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be  at home in New Jersey with her sweet British  boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching  old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing  him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.

Belzhar had the potential to be great, the storyline sounds interesting but it was lacking in more than one area in my opinion.

The thing that bothered me the most about Belzhar is that it seemed incomplete. I felt as if we needed another chapter or perhaps an epilogue. Technically, the fate of all characters is pretty much accounted for, but still, I wanted more. I was very interested in learning more about Sierra's story.There was so much to tell with her story, yet we get virtually nothing.

Another thing that I didn’t like was Jam’s revelation at the end. It changed the way I saw her character and not for the good. I never really thought of her as emotionally unstable. Her behaviors never lined up with how she said she was acting to get sent to the Wooden Barn. However, after finding out the truth about what happened with Reeve,  I felt that Jam was unstable and also a little bit crazy. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting older and now struggle to relate to teenagers, I’m not sure.
The characters in the story were pretty flat. I think the problem was that the author makes the story too board. There are too many characters and too many storylines going to really feel a connection to any of them.
The writing in Belzhar was good and the book was mildly entertaining.  I wanted answers for what Belzhar is and how it came to exist but got little to none. In the end, I feel that the story would have been better had the author decided to focus on one main storyline without venturing all over the place.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Introducing: Emily

Hey y'all!!

I would like to start this week off with an introduction! You might remember that a couple weeks ago I posted that I was looking for a co-blogger. I am pleased to announce that I found someone that I think is going to fit perfectly here at Wholly Books! I asked her to do a little introduction post so you can have a little insight about her. 

I am so excited to have Emily on board and can't wait for her to get started! You can expect her to post about once a week once she gets the swing of things! 

So here's a little more about Emily!! 

Hey everyone! My name's Emily and I'm a 21 year old college student.  I'm studying business and english, with the hopes of getting into editing and publishing when I graduate.  I live in Wisconsin and when I'm not busy cramming for exams or working, I'm reading books at an alarming rate, or writing.  I also enjoy photography and camping with my family.
I love reading all types of books, but my favorite is fantasy!  I spend a lot of time reading YA but I am always open to reading any genre!  Some of my favorite authors include Cassandra Clare, Maggie Stiefvater, and Cornelia Funke.  I've been reading for as long as I can remember, so when people ask me why I read so much, I never have a good answer.  I think it's because reading has become such an inherent part of my life over the years, that I simply couldn't imagine a life without it.  So much of who I am is from what I've read, and the lessons I've learned from these books have helped me get through some of the hardest things in life, like love, or dealing with grief.  Plus, books can take you places you won't find in this world, and they're a perfect escape at the end of the day when reality's just gotten to be a bit too much!  
 If there's anything better than books, it's sharing books you love with other people, and interacting with others in the book community.  That being said, I can't wait to start posting some reviews for you guys! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Flashback Friday (2)

Flashback Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Fiction Fare and Swoony Boys Podcast, showcasing books that are at least two years old!

This week I am flashbacking back to 2006. In honor of the final Heroes of Olympus book, Blood of Olympus, releases this week I am choosing the book that started it all, Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief.

Title: Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Release Date: March 1, 2006

Goodreads Description:

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
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