Book Reviews: The Raven Cycle

The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue

By: Maggie Stiefvater

Format: Listened to all 3 books on Hoopla, thanks to my library.

Narrated by: Will Patton

Why I chose: Over the past year, I have heard that The Raven Boys is so good and people seem really invested in these stories. The selection on Hoopla is only just okay, but the first book was available. I decided to give this book a chance.

Minimal synopsis: A girl named Blue (love that name) lives in a small Virginia town where there happens to be a prestigious school for boys. Her mom is a psychic. Supernatural things happen.

Why you should read: Again, this is a book I did not want to read. Hence from the title, I ended up listening to all three books that are available in a very short amount of time and am now patiently waiting for the next one to be released.

First of all, I am now kind of a YA hater. I cannot stand some versions of YA because I think I am too old for some of that boring, crappy, dribble. When YA is bad, it can be VERY bad.

I was so ready to hate read this book. I wanted to roll my eyes in frustration about this girl Blue and her stupid, trite boy problems.

But then I fell in love with Blue and her attitude. She isn’t a pathetic main character, she holds her own. And then I fell in love with the boys themselves. Their backgrounds, their friendship, the different struggles they had to overcome…it is so good watching it unfold.

There were also moments where I was truly scared. Phenomenal writing.

Also, some of the side characters are so interesting. I think Piper has to be my favorite psychopath, and I didn’t even know I had a favorite psychopath.

Bonus: Woo! Turns out I only have to wait until February 2016 for the next one!

Question if you’ve read the books: If Adam and Blue have grown up in the same town, how come they didn’t know each other before? Like…they must have gone to the same elementary school or something. I need this explained.

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1989

Needs. No. Caption.

Needs. No. Caption.

1989 World Tour

This is not book related, but I had the chance to go see Taylor Swift on tour last week. I ended up with amazing seats. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was because I would have been happy listening from the parking lot.

I am really hoping she comes out with a DVD of this concert like she has done in the past so I can watch it every night and cry myself to sleep.

Need to mention that all the shoes she wore were heels and they were sparkly and perfection. You don't see many pictures of her shoes but they were flawless.

Need to mention that all the shoes she wore were heels and they were sparkly and perfection. You don’t see many pictures of her shoes but they were flawless.

Book Review: Chasing River

Thanks for the suggestions Barnes and Noble, but I've already read all those. I need more!

Thanks for the suggestions Barnes and Noble, but I’ve already read all those. I need more!

Chasing River

By: K.A.Tucker

Format: Paperback, purchased from Barnes & Noble

Why I chose: I am obsessed with K.A. Tucker’s books. All the characters are around my age (early-mid twenties) and they all have some sort of dramatic problem. When I read these books, I sort of imagine I’m reading a really fantastic lifetime movie.

Minimal synopsis: Girl decides to travel around the world by herself to gain life experience and have adventures. Side note…I like how this was realistic about her travels when it came to the details, like it talks about how she worked hard and saved up all this money for a trip. It made the story seem more real to me. Probably because I don’t have a trust fund or a sugar daddy.

Why you should read: DRAMATIC PROBLEMS. Hot guys. Love. MORE DRAMATIC PROBLEMS.

It is a romance novel that isn’t too cheesy and isn’t just straight sex. I need to find more books like this, or K.A. Tucker just needs to write a million more fantastic books.

Bonus: Well well well, looks like one of the side characters in this book has her own love story. Coming out in October, I can’t wait!

Book Review- Station Eleven

Station Eleven

By: Emily St. John Mandel

Format: E-book on Kindle Paperwhite, borrowed digitally from my local library

Why I chose: The cover is pretty. I had been putting this off for reading because of the whole Shakespeare aspect of this book, but the pretty cover drew me in.

Minimal synopsis: A virus creates the apocalypse. It follows a Hollywood actor in the past before the end of civilization and a traveling group of performers travel around Michigan putting on Shakespeare plays.

Why you should read: I did not want to read this book because I thought it would be drowning in Shakespeare references and theory. Thankfully, it’s not. I think the only performing Shakespeare plays was a really pretentious aspect to the book, but it wasn’t overpowering the story.

Station Eleven is more about the people and how they interact and grow rather than the apocalypse. Half of the novel is a flashback to the past and broke up the survival parts very well.

I love Lake Michigan and I haven’t read many books in this setting, so that was memorable to read.

Overall, this book has substance and heart.

Bonus: Well…not so much. No upcoming plans to read more from this author. However, I do feel like going to wandering around Northern Michigan. But Shakespeare can stay the fuck home.

Book Review- Pretty Ugly: A Novel

Pretty Ugly: A Novel

By: Kirker Butler

Format: Hardcover, borrowed from my local library

Creepy Funny

Creepy Funny

Why I chose: I picked up this book because of the blurb on the front. Seth MacFarlane said it was hilarious, and I want to read what funny people think is funny.

Minimal synopsis: There’s a child beauty pageant family and they are fucked up. They live in Kentucky. They are in debt and they are deranged.

Why you should read: It is a slow start, but the world building there was important for the rest of the book. It’s a slow play for some very funny moments toward the end.

The funny moments in this book aren’t the “oh haha that’s cute, little chuckles,” they are the incredulous funny moments where you laugh but it also makes you have a mini existential crisis in which you think “oh wow maybe I’m a bad person” for laughing at this.

Good news, you’re not a bad person for laughing. You’re a fucking great person for laughing and for deciding to read this demented and wayward “Little Miss Sunshine meets Bad Grandpa” tale.

Read. This. Book. You will feel so normal and accomplished and think: “Wow, I have problems, but at least I don’t live in Kentucky.”

Bonus: Because of the magic words “Family Guy” on the cover, my boyfriend is currently reading.

Book Review- On the Island

On the Island

By: Tracey Garvis-Graves

Format: Paperback, borrowed from my local library

Why I chose: Booktuber Lindsey Rae said that she couldn’t stop reading this book. I want to read what other people find addicting, to see if I can find the same.

Minimal synopsis: A thirty year-old woman agrees to tutor a sixteen year-old boy who is in remission from cancer over the summer at a tropical destination. Unfortunately, their small plane crashes, leaving them to survive.

Why you should read: Okay. Yes, this synopsis is an eye-roll. I did it. However- this book was simultaneously predictable and interesting.

Also, if you’re just a sucker for survival stories, or your favorite question in an interview is “What 3 items do you bring with you to a tropical island?, then read this book. It is easy to read, and before you know it you are sucked into their world.

My one gripe with the book was that the age difference between the two lovebirds was so creepily disgusting. However, without it, the point of the book would have been lost.

Bonus: The author mentioned this being made into a movie. The whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking about the one ABC Family movie where Amanda Bynes tricks “Welcome to the OC Bitch” dude into thinking they are stranded on an island, when in reality there is a resort a few miles away. Classic Amanda Bynes. What’s she doing these days? Has anyone heard from her? Is she OK?

Book Review- Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale

Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale

By: David Duchovny

Format: Hardcover, borrowed from my local library

The borrowed library book

The borrowed library book

Why I chose: My boyfriend made me watch every episode of Californication on Netflix.

Minimal synopsis: Told from a cow’s perspective. She lives on a farm. She is a cow.

Why you should read: The story is not the best. However, if you are a fan of David Duchovny, you are able to read in his voice and his tone and his effortless “fuck-you-I’m-cool” diatribe. And the fact that you’re sitting there, reading this, thinking of David Duchovny trying to write from a cow’s perspective is just funny to me.

This is a short story. It is not supposed to be realistic. It is fun. Honestly, if it had been written by anybody else, it would not have made sense or even been a little bit funny.

But It’s David Duchovny! Hank Moody! The X-Files is coming back! I never watched the X-Files in the first place, but now it’s practically back!

Bonus: David read this story in Audible, which sounds like a much more fun way to hear this story. He’s also a singer/songwriter, and you can listen in Spotify.