May ’17 TBR – Mental Health Theme

Hello everyone!

I’m kind of nervous about this month. When I made this theme last year, I didn’t really think that’d I’d be struggling with my own mental health during this month. However, I’ve been wanting to read some of the books on this list for a really long time so I’m gonna give them a chance. I’ll also be able to get some library books if need be and I can always read some of the New Adult books that I didn’t get to last month to relax a bit.

SO let’s get started!

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ARC Review – Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

Girl Out of Water

Author: Laura Silverman

Publication: May 2nd, 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Format: e-ARC, 320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Read: February 2017

Laura SilvermanGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Synopsis
Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.
Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves
.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book just feels like a warm hug to my heart. It was just so beautiful. It’s all about loss, friendship, family and abandonment. It’s a coming of age novel focused on what it means to accept change and learning to understand that life isn’t stagnant. I was entertaining through the whole thing specially since I was buddy reading with my best friend, Fadwa @ Word Wonders.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style in this book was really simple and easy to read. It was descriptive and detailed and emotional, there were a lot of powerful scenes within the novel. It was funny and entertaining. It was addicting with a steady paced and it made the story feel real and honest.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
The characters in this book are so amazing guys! They feel so genuine and honest and just like real people. It was so easy to get lost into their lives and to feel like I was living it through them while reading.
Anise kind of annoyed me haha. She is a very passionate and determined person. She was very kind and open. However, she’s very competitive and she kind of stubborned herself into mind sets that tended to hinder her more than help her. She’s really torn and also vulnerable in this book. My favorite part of her was the way she interacted with her family and the people she loved. She was so sweet and understanding that it made those relationships so heartwarming.
I lovedddd her love interest. I think he was incredibly charming and sweet and funny. He’s so smart and adventurous and I think he pulled out a part of Anise that she didn’t realize she had. He challenged in her healthy way. There were so many amazing side characters in this series but I don’t think the majority of them had enough page time. I would’ve loved to see more from Anise’s friends from home because they seemed like they had such great friendships but it wasn’t actually on page that much.

Emotionally

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April ’17 Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

Compared to March, April has been pretty laid back. I had to study a lot of math because of an assessment test that I had to do but since I didn’t have much to do out of the house so I had a lot of time to read. Not only that, but I got to go to the library a few times throughout the month. Let me know if you guys would like to see what I haul from the library in my wrap ups because I’d be willing to do so. Besides that, I read quite a few books this month though there weren’t as many stand outs as I would’ve liked.

SO let’s get started!

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Monthly Obsessions #14

Hello everyone!

I’m here today to talk about my monthly obsessions. This month has been full of ups and downs. I’m honestly struggling a lot right now. I’ve had to start my life over for the third time in my 22 years and I’m really freaking tired of it haha. It’s hard and I’m sad and I’m stressed. So I read a lot this month and I watched a lot of different shows to kind of distract myself and that’s what I’m going to share with you today.

SO let’s get started!

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Book Review – Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publication: July 1st, 2014

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Hardcover, 357 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: April 2017

Maggie StiefvaterGoodreads

 

 

Synopsis
found.
Cole St. Clair has come to California for one reason: to get Isabel Culpeper back. She fled from his damaged, drained life, and damaged and drained it even more. He doesn’t just want her. He needs her.
lost.
Isabel is trying to build herself a life in Los Angeles. It’s not really working. She can play the game as well as all the other fakes…but what’s the point? What is there to win?
sinner.
Cole and Isabel share a past that never seemed to have a future. They have the power to save each other and the power to tear each other apart. The only thing for certain is that they cannot let go.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book is really slow and it’s really dramatic. It got really boring sometimes and the story felt like it stretched out too long. I liked the setting since it was a change of pace from the rest of the series but the narrative was full of angst and I’m not a big fan of that. Also, I feel like for how big the problem felt to the characters, the resolution went by too quickly.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m feeling kind of meh towards the writing in this entire series. It’s descriptive and detailed which is good but it’s really slow paced. This book is told in dual point of view but both of the voices sound really similar to each other, something that’s not easy to see in the original trilogy. In general, the writing is poetic but super dramatic as well.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I haven’t had the best connection with the characters in this series and now that half the original cast is gone and there’s new characters in this book that we don’t really have a lot of space to get to know, I’m even more like meh towards this cast of characters.
Cole is really intense and kind of depressed. His narration was really emotional. He’s confused about a lot of things but also determined to create the life he wants for himself. However, he’s still a bit lost and not sure how to deal with everything that’s going on around him.
Isabel is the other point of view in this book but honestly, her narrative wasn’t that much different than Cole’s. She’s very angry inside but also working hard to ignore the affects the world has on her. She’s kind of cold and stoic though all of that is just hiding her vulnerability and her emotional side. I don’t think their relationship is the most healthy honestly.
I feel like there were too many new side characters and none of them had enough page time to really get to know sufficiently. It just made the story like depth and realness.

Emotionally

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Book Traveling Thursdays Apr. 27th – Because In Spring Time…

Hello everyone!

It’s BTT time! This is a weekly meme created by Danielle at Danielle’s Book Blog and Catia at TheGirlWhoReadTooMuch. You can find all of the information you’ll need to participate on the Goodreads page.

This week’s topic is Because in Spring time we tend to read more contemporary… Choose your favorite contemporary read. I don’t tend to pick my reading genres depending on the season but I have to say that I’ve been reading lots of contemporary recently. The book I chose is one that I read last year and that I really, really loved and I kind of want to re-read soon.

SO let’s get started!

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Series Review – The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver, Linger and Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publication: August 1st 2009, July 13th 2010 and July 12th 2011

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edition 402 pages, Kindle Edition 369 pages and Kindle Edition 405 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: December 2016, January 2017 and April 2017

Maggie StiefvaterGoodreads

Shiver

Synopsis
From a dazzlingly talented young writer, a haunting and original supernatural romance in the vein of TWILIGHT.

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf–her wolf–is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human–or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This is a re-read for me so I wasn’t expecting to be surprised by anything and I was right. The plot was kind of slow, sometimes confusing and sometimes boring. It’s a good pace and easy to get through, but it had insta love. However, I really liked the kind of werewolf lore the author decided to go with, I think it’s a really interesting concept that I can’t wait to see explored more.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
In general, the writing is really descriptive and detailed. However, it’s really slow paced so I felt like it dragged as I was reading and made it hard to keep my interest. It’s lyrical and poetic and there’s also in my opinion some great dialogue.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I don’t really know how I feel about these characters. They’re all kind of strange in their own peculiar ways and the story helps by creating a very peculiar atmosphere.
Grace is the protagonist in this book and she’s kind of stoic. She’s really independent and has had to basically raise herself since her parents tend to leave her alone a lot. She’s a little bit obsessed with the wolves outside her backyard which starts this entire adventure and she’s determined to understand everything that’s going on. I found her to be kind but also she’s kind of a stickler for stuff haha.
There’s various other side characters involved in the story, including the male love interest and while I generally enjoyed them, I feel like all the characters to have a bit more complexity. They all seem a little bit cardboard, as in that they have a singular personality and this is the kind of person that they are within the story and there’s not much room to grow beyond that.

Linger

Synopsis
The astonishing #1 New York Times bestseller. In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
Again this book is really slow. The romance is the main focus in the entire series but in the first two books specially which can be annoying for some people. There’s a lot more information of the werewolves which I really appreciate and I think it was really well thought out. This one was full of angst and it kind of got on my nerves.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Again, descriptive and detailed. Super slow paced though it’s very poetic and lyrical and easy to read. This one in particular had several points of views which was okay, but they never really felt distinct between one another. The narrative dragged a bit while reading but it was really emotional so I liked that.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I enjoyed the characters much more in this one. Part of the reason is because it’s a second book so we get more page time with them but also because there are more points of views so I can see into the minds of those characters that I was more detached from.
Grace is still pretty stoic, I’ve accepted that it’s just her personality. She’s much more emotional in this one though. She’s defiant of her parents and the way they treat her and independent and itching to spread her wings and do something for herself. She’s a little bit reckless, a lot scared but just as kind as she was in the first book. She’s kind of winning me over.
Sam is pretty much exactly the same way I thought he was in the first book, maybe a little more sad in this one. He’s lost, vulnerable and scared with everything that’s going on in his life. He’s still very earnest and I can’t even explain what I mean by that but that’s the kind of vibe he gives.
There’s more side characters in this one as well but they’re definitely getting more development than they did in the first book. They’re a little bit too crazy and too dramatic for my taste but I understand what they’re doing within the story.

Forever

Synopsis
The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater
In Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
Honestly, I was hoping the plot of this book would improve over the previous two but it was very similar. There was a much bigger conflict which was interesting but then another angsty romance was added to the lineup. It got boring sometimes again and I felt like the ending was interesting but kind of sad all the same.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
There’s nothing much that’s different from this book to the previous one. The writing style is descriptive and detailed though slow paced. The narrative dragged a bit and kind of made it hard for me to keep engaged. However, it was still poetic and lyrical in delivery.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I kind of wish I could say that I ended up falling in love with these characters by the end, but that’s just not true. I like them all well enough but the whole story as well as their personalities were just too dramatic for me.
Grace changed in this book. From the end of the second book to this one, she’s quieter, much more vulnerable. She kept her defiant spirit as well as her independence. But she’s tired and that really came through.
The rest of the side characters are also much more stressed out, specially since the plot of this book is pretty intense for them. They’re all dealing with a lot of different things and it affects each of them in different ways.

Emotionally

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Freadom Speaks About the Lack of Female Friendships in YA

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to my discussion feature, Freadom Speaks!

This post was supposed to be up two days ago since Fridays are when I usually share discussions but when I scheduled my Sara 101 post during the weekend, I chose the wrong date and that one ended up posting instead. By the time I realized it, I’d already gotten a few comments and likes so I decided to leave it up and share this today but I wanted to explain that since that post references this post in the first paragraph haha.

I say this a lot but I really struggle with discussions. I have a hard time finding topics to talk about and a hard time expressing myself throughout the post. However, I don’t want to give up on myself so I decided to talk about the lack of female friendships in this book since it’s something that I’m really passionate about. It makes me really angry that there are so many toxic and unhealthy portrayals of female friendships in Ya and I want to explore how I feel about it a bit more, the kinds of red flags that classify negative female relationships and the kinds of friendships that I’d like to see.

SO let’s get started!

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Sara 101: Favorite Female Characters

Hello everyone!

I am back today with my personal feature, Sara 101, where I talk about me and myself and I and anything and everything that I could want to share about my personal life.

When I was thinking about what to share in this feature this month, I started thinking about female characters (mostly because of the discussion post from yesterday) and how I say that a lot of female characters are part of my favorites list but I haven’t actually made a list. So I decided what better way to help myself and to share something with you all, than to make a list of my favorite female characters and turn it into a post!

I usually try to rank these kinds of lists as best I can because I like to keep it that way for myself but this one is just too hard. The top 3 are absolutely my absolute favorites but the rest of this list is just from last read to most recent read.

SO let’s get started!

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T5W Apr. 19th – Favorite LGBTQ+ Books

Hello everyone!

Time for another Top 5 Wednesday. Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and if you would like to join, here is the link for the Goodreads group with all the information.

This week’s topic is Favorite LGBTQ+ Books. I haven’t read as many books in this genre I guess as I want to. There are still a lot of amazing recommendations that I’ve gotten from people that I need to get to that I’m sure would’ve made this list if I’d already gotten through reading them. However, the following is a list of books from this genre that I really enjoyed.

SO let’s get started!

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