Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Competance by Gail Carriger

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Competence
Series: Custard Protocol #3
Published: July 17, 2018 by Orbit

Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger comes the delightful sequel to Imprudence.

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail. When she uncovers rumors of a new kind of vampire, Prim and the Custard crew embark on a mission to Peru. There, they encounter airship pirates and strange atmospheric phenomena, and are mistaken for representatives of the Spanish Inquisition. Forced into extreme subterfuge (and some rather ridiculous outfits) Prim must also answer three of life's most challenging questions:
Can the perfect book club give a man back his soul?
Will her brother ever stop wearing his idiotic velvet fez?
And can the amount of lard in Christmas pudding save an entire species?

Why I'm Waiting:

I have loved every single Gail Garriger book I have read. And I have read a lot of Gail Carriger books, twelve total. I recently read the first two books in The Custard Protocol series and they were seriously amazing. I love of fun and feisty the characters and I love how much action and adventure there are in these books.

I can't remember when I found out that the second two books in this series would be from Prim's perspective but I love this idea. Rue is fantastic, don't get me wrong, but I feel like Primrose is so different that it will be fun to get inside her head. I have a few questions I am hoping we get answers about. Plus seeing the plot synopsis of this one that sounds incredibly fun to be in Prim's head for this. And look haw amazing and proper she looks on the cover in that crazy bright dress. I mean she is Ivy's daughter afterall.

I saw the cover for this one on Gail Carriger's Twitter page recently and it made me so excited. I mean, I didn't even know that it was coming out so soon. I can't wait to read it. I am probably going to listen to the audiobook for this one. I really liked the other two books on audio and I am sure this one will be great as well.

What about you? What are you waiting for this Wednesday? Are you waiting on Competence along with me? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Novels with a Globe-Trotting Adventure

A weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I feel like this week's prompt is really open-ended. I feel like it would be incredibly hard to narrow down all the books I read which don't take place in another country. That's just not enough direction for me. Originally I was thinking I could pick a country but that's just as difficult. So instead I'm playing with the prompt a bit so as to not make a decision. Here are some of my favorite books and series that take you on globe-trotting adventures.

1.) The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Why beat around the bush and pretend like I wasn't going to add this book. I mean it one of my all-time favorite books and the reason I got into historical mysteries like this in the first place. Plus it has an amazing adventure that takes you throughout space and time.

2.) The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
When I first heard about this book it was referred to as the "big gay historical road trip book." It is totally that, but it is also so much more. It's an amazing and epic adventure novel and is also hilarious and sweet.

3.) Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco
While the first book in the series does keep you centrally located in London, later books in the series take you to different countries and on different adventures. I have a feeling the third one is going to be more like the second one so I'm including it.

4.) The Great Library series by Rachel Caine
I seriously love this series. I am cheating a little bit because it's not really historical. It is technically an alternate history but I use historical loosely as you will see later. Anyway, this series takes you all over the world where the sinister library is, and it's amazing!

5.) Custard Protocol series by Gail Carriger
I was originally going to put the Parasol Protectorate series on the list but in five books you really don't travel until the last two. However in the Custard Protocol each book takes you to a new local and it's more of a traditional globe-trotting travel kind of story.

6.) Passenger duology by Alexandra Bracken
This is another one of those books that takes you through time and space except it's not through flashbacks this time, it's actual time travel this time. But it totally has that globe-trotting adventure vibe to it and it's one of the best parts to the book.

7.) Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
This is also kind of cheating because it's alternate history, but it definitely has a historical vibe so I'm including it. Plus it's a classic road trip story in the literal sense. But I seriously love this book and this series and I loved the travel aspect.

8.) Outlander by Diana Gabeldon
Okay, this one is really cheating because I have only read the first book and that one basically only takes place in Scotland. But I've seen the TV show and know that in later books they go on more adventures to different places. DON'T AT ME!

9.) The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
I read this book a long time ago, before I even started blogging, when I was going through my historical mystery phase. I actually really enjoyed it even though I don't really like Sherlock Holmes (I SAID DON'T AT ME!). It's a fun literary themed travel story.

10.) People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
I also read this when I was in my historical mystery phase. This is a super classic one where a modern character finds something that ties people from throughout history together to each other and her. It takes you on a fun adventure around the world too.

11.) Invictus by Ryan Graudin
"Another time travel book?" you say. Yeah, another time travel book. If you want a globe-trotting adventure with historical settings you are bound to come across some time travel stories. This is a really good one. I mean Ryan Gruadin made the list twice so it must be good.

12.) A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Grey
I mean am I even pretending this is a collection of historical novels anymore? I'm trying to. Well this book is science fiction but it does take the reader to some alternative histories that are meant to feel like historical settings so whatever.

There you have it, my collection of historical(ish) novels that have globe-trotting adventures. What books made your list? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Book Review: Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee

Title: Bygone Badass Broads
Written by: Mackenzie Lee
Published: February 27, 2018 by Abrams

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time. Coupled with riveting illustrations and Lee’s humorous and conversational storytelling style, this book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.
I love Mackenzi and her books. I have been a follower of hers since before her debut came out. As a fellow history nerd I was so excited when she started doing a Twitter series with the amazing forgotten women of history. I tuned in every Friday to hear her trademark humor and knowledge bombs. So when I heard that she was doing a book collecting the stories I was ecstatic.

And this book did not disappoint. It is exactly what it says it is, it's a collection of 52 forgotten women who changed the world. Even though this is based on the Twitter series, Mackenzi did a great job of making this accessible whether or not you have seen the concept previously. If you are a fan of the Twitter series you will recognize a few of the women featured in this book, but there are still plenty of new ones. I knew going into it that there was bound to be some new women to learn about and I was so pleasantly surprised by just how many there were. It shows just how important a book like this is when you consider how many amazing women did and did not get featured.

Mackenzi did a great job of featuring women who are incredibly diverse. This was everything from their ethnicity and race, to their sexual orientation, and even to their specialty. There were scientists, politicians, warriors, spies, unlikely heroes. You name it and they are in this book. A few of my favorites were mentioned like Sybil Ludington and The Mirabel Sisters but I even learned about a ton of new amazing women. Every single woman and girl in this book did amazing things in the face of adversity and it's inspiring and encouraging.

One of my favorite things about this book is the style in which it is written. Mackenzi is not a non-fiction writer, and I know from the event I attended with her that she was nervous to write non-fiction. But I love that she didn't try to be technical and formal in this book. That would have been cool, sure, but the informal style makes it even better. It has plenty of humor and fun. It really spices things up a lot and feels like the perfect tone for most of these women. Not to mention it makes the book even more accessible. Even if you are not a big fan of history you will still enjoy reading this book.

Plus that style of writing makes it a very fast of read. I will say, it does take a little while to get used to the style and the way that the book is written, but once you do, you are devouring it. Most of the women have 2-3 page write ups so it's easy to read a few a day or just plow through them all. Not to mention this is a completely gorgeous book. Each women has a beautifully piece of artwork as well. You can see a few of them on the cover, but they are amazing. It adds a lot to the book and the general desire to keep reading.

I read this book as part of my historical fiction month and it seems completely appropriate that it is also women's history month. This was a fantastic book of badass women throughout history that every woman and girl should read.

I give Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. Definitely get a copy of this book. Whether or not you are a fan of the Twitter series or not, whether you are fan of history or not. Get this book for the gorgeous images. Or get this book to read some fun and interesting stories about amazing women.

Have you read Bygone Badass Broads? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

ARC Review: The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes

Title: The Arsonist
Written by: Stephanie Oakes
Published: April 22, 2017 by Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Group)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they’ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen.

Pepper Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school.

And Ava Dreyman—the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall—is unlike anyone you’ve met before.

When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava’s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there’s more to her life—and death—than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from Michelle who got it from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

When a blogger friend reads a book and then tells you they loved said book and think you will love it too, you listen. Especially if said friend knows your reading tastes and then also gives you their ARC of the book. I had been wanting to read this book since August when Michelle gave it to me but with my move and the reading slump I went through I didn't quite get to it until now. And I am so glad that I read it because I was not disappointed.

My favorite thing about this book was the mystery. This is one of those books where there is a quest through space and time, not like science fiction space and time, just like around the world and to a different time in history. I love books like that and this was a really good one. I loved being along for the ride as the characters traveled around in search of clues, watching it all unfold. For me it was one of those mysteries where I knew how it was all going to end but I was still curious how all the puzzle pieces would fit together. There were still a few surprises though. All in all it was a great mystery and therefore a really engaging plot.

The biggest mystery about this book however is the pacing. This is a pretty long book. The ARC was 491 pages and I breezed through it. Sometimes there are 500 page books that feel like 500 page books and sometimes there are 500 page books that don't feel like books that long. This book was the latter. I seriously couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what happened, I wanted to know how it was all connected. I even picked up the audiobook so that I didn't have to take that long to finish the book. It was that thrilling and that exciting a read.

One of the other more interesting books was the historical aspects. I am reading this book as part of my historical fiction month so of course I have to talk about the historical aspect to the story. I like my historical fiction to take actual events and people while bringing in fictional characters. This book did that to a lesser degree. The historical stuff was subtle which makes it much more accessible to people who aren't huge fans of historical fiction or historical mysteries. It honestly could have been any modern location that deals with oppressive governments and resistance movements but it chose to do it with a historical element. I really liked that. It's a more modern time but as someone who studied history in college with a specialization in the modern era I liked seeing a book focus on the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was another interest angle for the book.

As far as the characters, they were interesting but didn't quite blow me away. I think maybe this is because this book had three perspectives. First we had the historical perspective of Eva, then we had the modern perspectives of Molly and Pepper. The thing that times them all together is that they have dealt with a lot of loss in their lives. All three characters had rough histories and distinct voices. None of them have been hardened by their experiences. Eva still have a kindness about her, Molly still has this determination, and Pepper has such a great sense of humor. It made the characters really likable and relatable. I do however wish there had been a little bit more of an explanation for some of the side characters and their motivation. I think because there were so many main characters the secondary characters weren't fully fleshed out and in the end I was left wanting more.

But on the whole, this was a great read! I loved the plot full of mystery and adventure, I loved the fact that I couldn't put it down, I loved the historical aspects, and I liked the character. It was a total me book and I seriously owe Michelle for letting me read her copy.

I give The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy! I seriously loved this book. If you are a fan of historical mysteries like me definitely check this out. But even if you don't usually like historical novels but you want a book with an engaging mystery check this one out. It's worth the time.

Have you read The Arsonist? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPTY READING!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

ARC Review: Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner

Title: Chaotic Good
Written by: Whitney Gardner
Published: March 13, 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Cameron's cosplay--dressing like a fictional character--is finally starting to earn her attention--attention she hopes to use to get into the CalTech costume department for college. But when she wins a major competition, she inadvertently sets off a firestorm of angry comments from male fans.

When Cameron's family moves the summer before her senior year, she hopes to complete her costume portfolio in peace and quiet away from the abuse. Unfortunately, the only comic shop in town--her main destination for character reference--is staffed by a dudebro owner who challenges every woman who comes into the shop.

At her twin brother's suggestion, Cameron borrows a set of his clothes and uses her costuming expertise to waltz into the shop as Boy Cameron, where she's shocked at how easily she's accepted into the nerd inner sanctum. Soon, Cameron finds herself drafted into a D&D campaign alongside the jerky shop-owner Brody, friendly (almost flirtatiously so) clerk Wyatt, handsome Lincoln, and her bro Cooper, dragged along for good measure.

But as her "secret identity" gets more and more entrenched, Cameron's portfolio falls by the wayside--and her feelings for Lincoln threaten to make a complicated situation even more precarious.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

When I saw that the author of You're Welcome Universe was coming out with a new book I was excited to read it. I loved her debut and this one sounded super cute. And while this was cute and fast read it didn't quite blow me away.

I will say that this was definitely a cute contemporary. I don't read a ton of contemporaries but I like when they are more on the fun and light-hearted side of things. This book did a good job in balancing the more serious issues and themes with some funny and some sweet moments. The romance was pretty cute as well and it briefly thawed my cold dead heart. I think if you are a bigger fan of contemporaries you will like this way more than a casual like myself.

Speaking of casuals, or well people being called casuals, probably my favorite things about this book was the geek culture angle. I love books about nerdy characters especially if the plot of the book deals with anything geeky and this book definitely did just that. Not only was there cosplay but also Dungeons and Dragons. Plus it explored some of the less savory parts of this like what it is like to be a girl geek and online harassment.

The geek culture of course extended to the characters. This is a book full of geeks and nerds. I always relate so much to nerdy characters for obvious reasons. Cameron is fun and feisty. She's having a bit of a tough time but she has a lot of inner strength which made me appreciate her even more. There could have been a little bit more character development but as a protagonist Cameron was likable. The secondary characters were similar but not as complex as I would have hoped. Her brother Cooper was interesting enough but wasn't as involved as much as I would have liked, Brody was definitely complex but he really could have overcome his jerk tendencies a little more. As for the romantic lead, Lincoln, I did like him but like a lot of the other characters he just didn't get as much development as I would have liked. I think a little more time on character development would have made this book a little more enjoyable for me.

But the thing I would have definitely like more of was in regards to this book is the plot. My main issue here is just with the plot development. It didn’t really feel fully-formed. It moved from moment to moment in a deliberate pace and had a climax that had me engaged, but none of the main beats really hit in a significant way. Most of the time it would just move on, which didn’t really allow for any weight behind it. It was interesting it just felt like it was a little rushed and there could have been much more. It made for a really fast read which I appreciated but it also made for a basic read which I didn't appreciate. I'm such a plot driven reader that I really wanted a more complex plot.

All in all though a cute and fun contemporary. It was definitely basic and on the younger end of YA but it was a decent read and I enjoyed it.

I give Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner 8.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. If you like books about geeky characters or stories about people trying to find their place in the world check this out. Like I said, it's a fast and fun contemporary that fans of the genre will probably enjoy.

Have you read Chaotic Good? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope to Read This Spring

A weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

1.) Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter - Add to Goodreads
This book comes out next week. I had planned to read it this month but I don't think I will have time. I think I will have to push it to next month.

2.) Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles - Add to Goodreads
I have a copy of this book from the publisher that I got on Netgalley and it sounds really interesting. Originally I wasn't sure I would have a theme next month but I think it will actually be a contemporary month so this fits right in.

3.) Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody - Add to Goodreads
This one does not fit in with that theme but it sounds really good. I know a lot of people are super excited about it. I wasn't originally interested because I thought it was a sequel but then I realized that it involved fantasy and organized crime.

4.) Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli - Add to Goodreads
I love every book Becky has ever written. I am super excited for a Leah book too. I feel like Leah is the character in Simon Vs who deserves a book. She needs a happy ending.

5.) Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young - Add to Goodreads
This is one of my most anticipated debuts of 2018 and one of my most anticipated reads. I mean it's a YA fantasy inspired by Vikings so like I need to read it.

6.) Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian - Add to Goodreads
I have an e-ARC of this book from Netgalley that I have been saving for months. I am finally reading it next month around when it is coming out. It is another highly anticipated YA Fantasy debut.

7.) Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh - Add to Goodreads
I loved Flame in the Mist, it was one of my favorite books of last year. So obviously I am super excited for its sequel which is coming out in May. I'll probably get myself a copy of this when it comes out.

8.) Providence by Caroline Kepnas - Add to Goodreads
I LOVED the You duology. I'd probably read anything she wrote to be honest. But also this sounds like a really interesting mystery and it takes place in Providence which is where I live.

9.) Final Draft by Riley Redgate - Add to Goodreads
I really liked Noteworthy and I'm excited to read another one of her contemporaries. Plus this sounds like a fun contemporary about a slightly nerdy protagonist which I am always down for.

10.) The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara - Add to Goodreads
I am also always down for a book about pirates, especially real life pirates. I am super pumped to read a book that involves Anne Bonny too!

There you have it. A handful of books I plan to read this spring. These are my April, May, and June months. What books are on your list? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Book Review: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Obsidio
Series: Illuminae Files # 3
Written by: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Published: March 13, 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

This series conclusion was everything I was hoping it would be. Amazing, thrilling, and emotional. I loved the two previous books in the Illuminae files and I was nervously awaiting it’s finale. It did not disappoint.

For one thing, the characters in this series are amazing. I’ve always been super impressed on how these books are able to balance the character development and the plot but it does that so well. The characters are complex and likable. They’re sweet, funny, and romantic. In two and three books you get really connected to them and their struggles. There’s a lot of characters in this book and they are all really fantastic. Of course I loved Ezra and Kady, they were amazing in the first book. Hannah and Nik won me over in the second book. It was great to see all of them again and have them working together. And then there is AIDAN who is a great anti-hero and what up to his old tricks in this book. But there were also some great new characters. Asha and Rhys didn’t get as much screen time but they still made a big impression. And that’s just the main characters.

The real heart of the story is with the characters. A lot of this book was about exploring the idea of right and wrong, good an evil. It’s about doing whatever it takes to make sure that people survive. It makes for really odious characters and that’s one of the reasons I love them. But it goes deeper than that. It’s a book about family and found family. It’s about survival and people who will do whatever they can to make sure they and everyone’s else survives. The characters in this book are underdogs. They are people who no one expects much from but when push comes to shove they do amazing things and save the day. It makes them easy to root for because of that. I’ve always wanted them to succeed and in this book that was all heightened because it’s the last book in the series.

Of course the plot was heightened here too. The stakes here are incredibly high. Every book in the series has been about saving the world and saving people and that was the case here as well. I mean it’s a pretty epic space opera which I am always here for. And just like the other books in the series there was a lot to this book. Tons of perspectives and differing opinions which made for a complex and interesting story. There were lots of surprises and twists throughout the book which had me either crying or wanting to throttle the book and throw it across the room. And of course a thrilling conclusion that had me on the edge of my seat totally reeling. This is one of the most unique books I have read in a long time and that’s not just because it is written in an epistolary format.

And like the other books in the series, I listened to the audiobook for Obsidio. If you haven’t heard me raving about the audios for this series they are some of my all-time favorites. You wouldn’t think that this format would work in audio but they have been able to do that by having a full cast, sound effects, and plenty of other tricks to make it one of the most immersive audiobooks I have read in a long time. I do like to still flip through to book to see the images but there actually weren’t that many here so it worked incredibly well in the audio format.

Obsidio was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint. It was an amazing conclusion to a brilliant series with great characters, a thrilling plot, and a truly unique read.

I give Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 10 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! If you are a fan of science fiction and have not read this book you are missing out. But even if you don’t like Sci-Fi still read it. It’s unique and interesting and you will seriously love it. It’s brilliant!

There you have it, my thoughts on Obsidio. Have you read it? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Hullmetal Girls
Published: July 17, 2018 by Delacorte (Random House)

Synopsis: Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor's salary isn't enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother.

Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she's from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no recollection of why she chose to give up a life of luxury to become a hulking cyborg soldier. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past.

In a unit of new recruits vying for top placement, Aisha's and Key's paths collide, and the two must learn to work together--a tall order for girls from opposite ends of the Fleet. But a rebellion is stirring, pitting those who yearn for independence from the Fleet against a government struggling to maintain unity.

With violence brewing and dark secrets surfacing, Aisha and Key find themselves questioning their loyalties. They will have to put aside their differences, though, if they want to keep humanity from tearing itself apart.

Why I'm Waiting:

I loved Emily Skrutskie's debut series. The Abyss Surrounds Us was amazing and The Edge of the Abyss was really fantastic. It was creative with a really cool world and complex characters. I think I would be super excited about any of her new books because I loved the series so much.

But even if I wasn't that interested in ready books by this author I think that I would still want to read this book. It sounds completely amazing. For one thing it's pitched as Battlestar Galactica meets Pacific Rim which I am all about but I also saw one person call it Cybrog SpaceJam. I mean come on! Who wouldn't be all about kickass females saving the world as some sort of space robot. Am I understanding right? Who cares, sign me up.
I am definitely excited about this book. I am hoping to get my hands on an ARC. I typically have pretty good luck with books from Random House on Netgalley so hopefully. But if not I will buy myself a copy. I have to read it.

What about you? What are you waiting for this Wednesday? Are you waiting on Hullmetal Girls along with me? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me (With Plot Twists) in a Good Way

A weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I was originally going to make a list of books I loved more than I thought I would but then I realized I basically did that list. So then it hit me, I can make a list of books with crazy twists I did not see coming. If you know me then you know I pride myself on being able to solve twists so books where I didn't predict them are all the more sweet.

1.) The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
I could really include any book in the Mistborn series. I mean every book in that series has one major twist that I definitely did not see coming. But the one in Bands of Mourning was insane. I mean it harkened back to The Final Empire.

2.) Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
I could probably make a list of 10 books written by Sanderson. Instead I'll stick with these two. This series had great twists, but this one was probably the best one for me because I was so distracted by a smaller reveal that I didn't see the big one coming.

3.) The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
The ending of this book was insane. I mean I was reeling so hard that I think I'm still not over it. It was so crazy confusing and I loved it.

4.) The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater
I still can't believe that I didn't figure out the twist about halfway into this book. When I reread it when The Raven King came out I was kicking myself because it seemed so obvious. But fool me once shame on you, never fool me again.

5.) Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I'm rereading this now and even though I know the twist about that one character is coming it still shocked and angered me. I mean how could you ruin one of my favorite narrators like that!

6.) Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
I love me some Amie and Megan reads, they are full of surprises. Last time I made a list it had These Broken Stars but the ending in this book was out of control and it shocked me in the best possible way.

7.) The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
I loved the twist in this book so much. I really did not see it coming at all. It made an already book even better and is one of the main reasons I loved this book.

8.) Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
And another book with an insane twist that made me love this book even more. This is one of those books where I think I looked at every possibility and was still surprised. It's an amazing mystery.

9.) This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Victoria Schwab writes some books with really great surprises. There were some big surprises in this one that caught me off guard including a big reveal at the end that was totally amazing.

10.) The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
The thing about this book is that I kind of knew where it was heading but the reveal still shocked me in the best possible way. It was a great twist and another book that I loved even more for it.\\

There you have it, the books that surprised me (with twists) in a good way. What books had great twists for you? Leave me a comment for your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Monday, March 12, 2018

ARC Review: The Radical Element by Jessica Spotswood and more

Title: The Radical Element
Series: A Tyranny of Petticoats #2
Written by: Jessica Spotswood and more
Published: March 13, 2018 by Candlewick Press

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis:In an anthology of revolution and resistance, a sisterhood of YA writers shines a light on a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections.

To respect yourself, to love yourself—should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It's a decision that must be faced whether you're balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it's the only decision when you've weighed society's expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of the girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs—whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they're asking you to join them.

I read A Tyranny of Petticoats in 2016 and I totally enjoyed it. I don't read a ton of short story anthologies but I loved that one and I was excited to read more, especially with the amazing authors in this collection, and I was not disappointed.

Like the last book, this one was full of diverse stories. It spanned different locations and centuries and immersed the reader in the period and the setting. Each author did a great of establishing the time and place. Some of the stories and locations were familiar and others were completely new to me. Some of the stories had some magic to them, and others were rooted in reality. I think some of my favorites were ones that had more fantasy elements like When the Moonlight Isn't Enough By Dhonielle Clayton and Glamour by Anna-Marie McLemore. I also loved The Magician by Erin Bowman, Step Right Up by Jessica Spotswood, and Land of the Sweet Home of the Brave by Stacey Lee. Obviously some stories were better than others but I don't think there was a bad story in the bunch.

I think one of the best things about this book and the real connective tissue is the characters. Even though they were so different, they all had one thing in common. For one thing, they are all these kick ass female characters. But the real reason they all felt so familiar is that they all had this yearning. This yearning and desire to be more than they are or exactly who they are even though it may not be what people expect for them. It made them really engaging and likable characters. I rooted for all of them and wanted to seem them achieve their goals. Each author really did such a great job with the characterization in such a short story.

This was a really short and easy read. Each of the stories was engaging and interesting and it was easy to read them in short bursts. But before you know it you have finished the entire book. Each story on it's own was really great but collectively this is look at amazing young women throughout history who were completely themselves and achieved their yearning for more. It's a fantastic collection of stories of kickass women that I really enjoyed.

I give The Radical Collection by Jessica Spotswood and more 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy! This was a really good read. I enjoyed the stories a lot and I think not only will fans of anthologies or short stories will like it but also fans of historical fiction.

Have you read The Radical Element? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!