#Lostathon Readathon

I’ve decided to participate in ANOTHER readathon. The #Lostathon Readathon hosted by @OurLostLibrary. Here’s the link to the prompts and original announcement blog post. https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/106925953/posts/1434

Here is my TBR!

Good vs Evil:
No Time for Romance – The Pluto Files by Neil Degrasse Tyson
Stand Alone – Blind Date by Frances Fyfield
Responsible: Bargain Book – Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich
Caring About Others – Hide With Me by Sorboni Banerjee
Friendship: Buddy Read – Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Sacrifice: Quick Read – Animal Farm by George Orwell
Hero Story – The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Kid Saves the World: Middle grade book – The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Dream – Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Good in the Title – The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Outside Comfort Zone – The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
New To You Author – Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Free Space – Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Thriller/Mystery – They Did it with Love by Kate Morgenroth
Romance – Fallen by Lauren Kate
Lusted: Romance – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Gluttony: Book in a Series – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling
Greed: Expensive book – The Killing Joke by Christa Faust and Gary Philips
Pride: Autobiography – Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball
Envy: Book about envy – Fairest of All by Serena Valentino
Sloth: Longest Book You Own – 11/22/63 by Stephen King
Wrath: Villain Story – Poor Unfortunate Soul by Serena Valentino
Monsters, Oh My! – The Beast Within by Serena Valentino
Nightmare: A book that will scare you – Blood Drops by WB Welch
Evil in the Title – The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter

Will you be participating?

Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry
320 pgs
4 Stars

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I liked the protagonist and became invested in her story. Dana Diaz is an aspiring stand-up comedian. During one of her shows she befriends Amanda Dorn, a computer programmer. They both have been harassed and assaulted by certain men and Amanda convinces Dana that they should go after each other’s assailants.
The story was engaging and the overall story was interesting. My only issue was that I felt it was a little busy. A lot was happening and the story was a little all over the place. I feel some parts could have been left out, or at least written in a way for it to flow better.
I enjoyed the feminism component of the story and the fact that both MCs are women in male dominated fields. The ending was a little unexpected, but in a good way.
As I mentioned, I enjoyed this story overall and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers.

Thanks for reading!

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal
272 pages
5 Stars

There wasn’t anything about this book that I didn’t like. We alternate between two POVs, Campbell’s and Lena’s. One being a white girl, new to the school and town. The other being a black girl who has style and popularity. Their lives begin to intertwine when they’re both attending a school football game. When a fight breaks out and leads to shots being fired, they both work together to figure out how to escape the danger. On their way to meeting up with Lena’s boyfriend, Black, to get a ride home, they get mixed up in a protest turned riot downtown.
The whole story is fast paced and action packed. I also became invested in the characters and was curious to see how their stories progressed. This story does a great job holding it’s own amongst other great YA books addressing race relations.
I enjoyed that they had two different POVs from two different girls experiencing the same thing. I liked how their friendship blossomed under the circumstances. I was also satisfied with the conclusion of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed or is planning to read Dear Martin or The Hate U Give.

Thanks for reading!

#FiveOnFriday Contemporaries

Today for my #FiveOnFriday post, I’m talking about 5 contemporaries I loved! I actually usually try to avoid contemporaries. I’d actually much rather have my nose buried in a fantasy or scifi novel. So without further ado…

First up is All the Rage by Courtney Summers. TW for sexual violence.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. It sounded good in theory, but I was nervous I was going to be disappointed by the execution. This was not the case. This book made me FEEL so many feels. I could totally relate to the MC, Romy. She accuses the sheriff’s son of sexually assaulting her and becomes an outcast at school and in her own town. All her friends and the community shun her, not believing her. When another girl goes missing after a party, the town is unsure what to believe.
This book was so well written. I did enjoy Sadie by Courtney Summers (except for the ending :(), so I shouldn’t have been surprised that I enjoyed this book.

Next, I loved Odd One Out by Nic Stone. This book is about three friends exploring their own relationships and sexuality. The book starts by introducing Coop, a straight male, and his best friend Jupiter, his lesbian best friend. We eventually meet Rae and between the three of them, their relationships grow and evolve. Jupiter and Rae start questioning their sexualities and both explore different paths.
I think this book is a must read for teens. There is so much hatred and bigotry in the world, I think teens these days need to see representation of themselves and their friends. I feel like as a straight female I still questioned a lot of things that occurred in my life. Being a teenager and just life in general is difficult without forcing people to choose labels or sexual preferences, if they’re not ready. I feel, in this world today, it is so difficult to find genuine love and friendship without forcing people into boxes and categories.

Third, I really enjoyed Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. This is the essential feminist read. The MC, Vivian, is frustrated with her small-minded town and school that never hold the males responsible for their actions. Viv starts a zine that focuses on feminism and taking down the patriarchy. She ends up uniting the female population of her school who start demanding changes to the school and how males and females are treated differently. I loved this book because I’m a feminist and a strong believer that women should have equal opportunity and be treated the same as their male colleagues.

Another contemporary I really enjoyed was When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this book because I thought it was going to be a mushy gushy kiss kiss teen romance. Boy, was I wrong. We follow Dimple, who wants to focus on her career before getting married. For her traditional parents, the “Ideal Indian husband” should be her main priority. To her surprise, they agree to allow her to end a summer program for aspiring web developers. Little does she know, her parents conspired with Rishi’s parents to get the two to meet at this summer program. Rishi is under the impression Dimple knows what is happening and is shocked to find out Dimple has no idea who he is or why he keeps trying to engage her in conversation. The story continues with Dimple and Rishi being partners for the web developer program and we watch as their relationship grows. I love the concept that Dimple can be serious about her career and still develop a relationship with Rishi. The romance was subtle without being the main focus of the story.

Lastly, I loved The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. If you haven’t picked up this book, yet, you need to. I feel as if police brutality is still somewhat of a taboo subject. A lot of society is still in denial that POC are discriminated against just for walking down the street. This book is written from the perspective of Starr who witnesses a fatal police shooting of her best friend at the hands of a police officer. I think this book finally forces people to open their eyes and understand what is happening in the world around them. Police brutality in the country is a problem. I am a strong supporter of THE IDEA of law enforcement. I think a lot of us can’t imagine what some police officers go through on a daily basis. Even more so, so many of us white people can’t even imagine what POC go through just trying to live their lives. This is a very powerful read and hopefully it is one of the first steps of bringing awareness and change to a very serious problem in American society.\

Thank you so much for reading my Five On Friday post! What are some of your favorite contemporaries? What are some of your recent reads that have had a strong influence on your emotions?

#AvengersReadathon19 TBR

Yahoo!! I will be participating in the Avengers readathon hosted by The Perks of Being Noura (@NunuKz). Check out her blog announcement! https://theperksofbeingnourablog.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/readathon-announcement-avengersreadathon19/

This readathon will run from April 14 to May 31.
Here is a link to the prompts: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1clT4nOqlP7NdQ6IV0-VGIVByLnFjx0yU9rmUdx12MD8/edit

I will be taking the Iron Man and Captain Marvel challenges! I chose these because they have the most prompts and I’m a masochist. With that being said, I have a few more OWLs I need to finish, so I will be reading a few books for both readathons.

Iron Man prompts:
Book with a red cover – Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell
Sci-Fi book – Recursion by Blake Crouch (eARC)
Award Winning book – The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Mental Health – All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Book with Robots or Artificial intelligence – Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Assignment from Captain America:
White, Red, and Blue – a book with one of these colors on the cover – Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
Assignment from Black Panther:
Black Panther – A book with a black main character – I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal (eARC)

Assignment from another character (1):
Hulk – Intimidating book – The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Assignment from another character (2):
Black Widow and Hawkeye – Mystery – Black Water by T. Jefferson Parker

Captain Marvel prompts:
Feminist Read – Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan
Book set in a different universe – The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
Book with red, blue, or yellow – Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen (eARC)
New release – The Promise by Teresa Driscoll (eARC)
Badass Female Character – Wilder Girls by Rory Power (eARC)
Written by a female author of color – Odd One Out by Nic Stone

Assignment from Black Panther:
T’Challa – Book by a black/ African author – American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Assignment from Guardians of the Galaxy:
Groot – Book with Nonhuman Character – This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Assignment from any character:
Captain America – 1941 – Book Released before 2000 – Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich

A few of these may change depending on if I can get them from the library on time! Are you participating in the Avengers Readathon?


#FiveOnFriday Series I won’t finish

Bonjourno everybody! We made it to another Friday. This week for my #FiveOnFriday, I will be listing 5 series I started, but probably won’t finish.

First, the ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Maas. I CANNOT believe how many people love this series. For this reason, I MAY read the rest of the books someday. After finishing the first book, I realized I CANNOT stand Feyre. I think she’s whiny and indecisive. I don’t think she’s brave, I think she is stubborn in a negative way. I’ve also very much started disliking the “prisoner falls in love with their captive” trope. I finished the first book specifically so I could have the right to b*tch about it. I can’t even say how badass she was during the trials because she literally had help with every single one. I don’t know if this book just caught me on an off day (week?), but my dislike of Feyre is so strong, I don’t even want to waste my time with the second book (or the rest). I HAVE heard the other books are much better, so MAYBE I’ll try them, but probably not anytime soon.

Next, is The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I read Eragon and I just didn’t like it. I don’t know if I’m just too old to relate to the protagonist? I thought Eragon was a little full of himself and I believe at one point he basically threw a tantrum? (If I remember correctly) I enjoyed the general story overall and rated the book 3 stars. The world building was decent and I liked the adventure aspect. With all the books out there in the world, I just didn’t feel the series was worth pursuing.

Another series I probably won’t finish is Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart. As a feminist, I just don’t have it in me to deal with most patriarchal fictional worlds. I enjoyed most of the story from Serina’s perspective in prison. I understand the direction of the story and why a lot of things happened the way they did. It’s just, once again, there are so many more books that I think I would enjoy more.

One more series I won’t continue or finish is the Women’s Murder Club by James Patterson (probably). I recently read an article that stated that James Patterson doesn’t even write most of his books anymore. (This isn’t the article I read, but basically says the same thing. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10711191/James-Patterson-how-the-bestseller-factory-works.html)
Every single one of Patterson’s books that I’ve picked up I feel are just poor quality. Whether because it was hastily written, or he has someone else write them, or because he just knows if his name is on it, it’ll sell. My mom and I classify these types of books as “easy reads”. This description is for Mass Market paperbacks that you can pick up and read in an afternoon without putting too much thought into what you’re reading. Some people are into that. There are other series by other authors that I can classify as an “easy read”, but I just feel they do it better.

Last, I won’t be finish the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. I actually really enjoyed the first three book of this series, I just felt it ended well in the third book. Naturally, there were just so many other books on my TBR, that I just didn’t feel the need to continue. Maybe someday I’ll get the urge to read them all from the beginning and just continue with the rest of the books. For now, I’m just trying to reduce my TBR list. If you enjoy sci-fi and/or dystopian novels, I do recommend this series.

Well, that is all for this week. I realize there are going to be many people that don’t agree with me for some of these opinions. Thank you for reading my blog anyway.

March Wrap-Up

Hello everyone! I read quite a bit in March. I finished 15 1/2 books and reread one book. I’ve read 40 books this year towards by Goodreads challenge of 200. Joining readathons and listening to audiobooks helps me so much to accomplish my goal.

The first book I read for March was The Face of Deception by Iris Johansen.
face of deception
I gave this book 4 Stars. Eve is a forensic sculptor. She takes skulls of the deceased who are unidentified and uses clay to sculpt a face onto the skull to determine what the deceased look like. We learn early in the book that part of her motivation is her daughter was murdered, but the body had never been found. She gets hired by billionaire John Logan for a mysterious job involving an unidentified skull. We follow her as she discovers some of Logan’s secrets and unveils truths nobody would’ve ever suspected. This book was pretty interesting, especially considering it was written in the 90’s. It didn’t blow my mind, but I enjoyed it.

Next, I read The Blue Hour by T. Jefferson Parker. This is the first book in the Merci Rayborn series.
blue hour
I gave this book 3 stars. Merci Rayborn is a detective in Orange County California and she teams up with a retired detective Tim Hess for a disturbing and terrifying case. There is a man going around murdering women. He lies in wait in their backseats and when they enter the car, he kidnaps and murders them. He leaves their entrails behind in their purses, earning him the title of “The Purse Snatcher”. The detectives form a bond and work well together, finding clues and getting closer to solving these crimes. There’s an interesting twist in the end, as with most crime books/thrillers. I enjoyed the overall story, but there were certain occurrences in the book that I personally did not like, which is why I gave it 3 stars.

The third book I read in March was Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend.
I LOVED this book and I gave it 5 stars. This is a middle grade book that includes magic, mystery, and adventure. Morrigan Crow is cursed and prophesied to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. The evening before a mysterious stranger, Jupiter North, comes to her home and takes her to the land of Nevermoor. He becomes her guardian and benefactor as she enters the trials to become a member of the Wundrous Society. As long as she is a member (or participating to become one) of this very exclusive organization, she doesn’t have to return to her previous life or world where she is destined to die. This book was just so exciting and entertaining and I can’t wait to read the next book, Wundersmith.

After Nevermoor, I finished reading Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I started it in February, but finished in March.
In the end, I rated this book 3 stars. I probably would’ve rated it 2, but the second half of the book picked up. I notice a lot of people loved the unique layout of the book, but I wasn’t a fan. I also thought it was just very slow until the 300-400 page mark. One of my biggest complaints about this book was how SERIOUS this situation was and how intense their predicament should have been and 50% of the story is two teenagers making kissy faces at each other through instant messaging. Maybe I’m just too old for these shenanigans. I am curious to see how the story progresses since I did enjoy the last half of the book, but it’s definitely on the lower end of my TBR.

The next book I read was The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. This is the second book in the Winternight Trilogy.
girl in the tower
I read the physical book and listened to the audio book simultaneously. I gave this book 5 stars. I think the audio book really brought the story to life. We continued following Vasya’s story after she left her family home and ventured out on her own. She ends up in Moscow where her brother and sister live. She disguises herself as a boy for her own safety and discovers a threat to the prince of Moscow. I felt there was a lot more adventure and felt more engrossed in the story in this book, compared to the first one. I’m excited to discover how her story continues in the last book.

For my sixth book of March, I read The Wedding Guest by Jonathan Kellerman. This is the 34th book in the Alex Delaware series. I chose this book for #MarchMysteryMadness for a book involving a wedding.
wedding guest.jpg
I rated this book 2 stars. The book was written well enough that I didn’t feel I was missing a lot by not having read the first 33 books in the series. There were some things that were mentioned that I assumed I would get more of a backstory on if I HAD read the previous books, but I wasn’t confused about anything. Dr. Alex Delaware is a psychologist that assists the police, more specifically, his good friend Detective Milo Sturgis. There is a murder during a wedding and both Delaware and Sturgis work together to find the clues and solve the murder. I rated the book so low because I felt the LGBTQ+ representation wasn’t handled well. There was also the problem of every female description being of a sexual nature and involved a detailed description of their breasts. A lot of the characters were exotic dancers, but I still felt between the LGBTQ+ characters and the females, the descriptions were inappropriate and unnecessary.

After that disappointment, the next book on my list was Witness by Caroline Mitchell. This book was also pretty disappointing.
I also rated this book 2 stars and was another pick for #MarchMysteryMadness. The synopsis of this book sounded really interesting, so I was excited and thought it would be a decent thriller. The MC Rebecca has a secret that her ex husband Solomon knows. The problem is Solomon was just released from jail and has decided to exact his revenge on Rebecca, blaming her for testifying against him in a murder. Rebecca is now hiding in a remote village in Wales (if I remember correctly), with her daughter and new husband. One day she finds a cell phone hiding in her home where she gets a text message stating that she has to witness crimes and assaults against the people she cares for. The MC was just annoying and cowardly and basically allowed others to be injured and assaulted because Solomon threatened her and family if she went to the police. The book was written in a way that I wasn’t bored, but I just very much disliked the MC and the how the story developed. I might give this author another chance, but as a thriller, this book was a let down.

Verity by Colleen Hoover was a much more exciting thriller and I gave it 5 stars.
The ending of the book wasn’t 100% satisfactory for me, but the story was suspenseful and messed with the reader’s mind. The MC, Lowen Ashleigh, is hired to continue famous author Verity Crawford’s popular book series. Verity’s husband, Jeremy, hires and offers Lowen to stay in their home while she reads Verity’s notes on the series and how the series should progress. Verity is unable to continue her series because she was an a car accident that essentially left her a vegetable. In her perusing, Lowen finds an unfinished autobiography. Verity writes some of her terrible actions and thoughts in this manuscript and strange things start occurring in the Crawford home. I found myself nervous about what was happening and excited to read about what was going to happen next. This is one of the few thrillers that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Next, I read The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.
silent patient
I rated this book 4 stars. It was a good story and pretty suspenseful. I don’t know if I quite predicted the twist, or I had just been reading so many thrillers lately, that I just wasn’t shocked. Alicia is found at home with a gun in her hand and her husband found dead. She doesn’t speak again. She is tried and because she doesn’t speak is found guilty. She is committed to an asylum where psychotherapist Theo Faber begins working and he makes it his goal to get her talking about what transpired. I think I read this book in one sitting. It was very engrossing and well written. I’d recommend this book if you are interested in thrillers.

My next read was the Red Light by T. Jefferson Parker. I also read this book for the #MarchMysteryMadness readathon and it is the second book in the Merci Rayborn series.
red light
I rated this one a little higher than the first book at 4 stars. As I mentioned before, with the first book, I thought the story was really good, there were just certain things that occurred that I just personally didn’t like. In this book the story was well written and interesting. We continue with Merci’s story and her next crime to solve. The other officer she is dating is suspected of a murder. She wants to believe he is innocent, but starts unraveling clues that point to his guilt. I enjoyed how the story progressed and generally enjoy Parker’s writing style. There is one last book in the series that I will read for #OWLsReadathon2019

My eleventh book of the month was The Extinction of All Children by L. J. Epps.
I rated this book 4 stars. I found the synopsis of this book instantly intriguing. Emma Whisperer is the last child allowed to live in Territory L. Every woman who becomes pregnant after her birth is thrown in jail and the baby is killed. When the President throws a celebration for Emma on her 18th birthday, Emma feels compelled to speak up and defy the President’s laws. She’s thrown in jail and so many interesting things happen to her as the story progresses. TBH, this book was a bit slow and the writing was rough, but the overall story was extremely interesting. I also read the second book of this series in March.

Next, I read The Killing Game by Iris Johansen. This was actually my first book for the Charms prompt for #OWLsReadathon2019. I was allowed to start 5 days early for this readathon.
killing game
The rating I gave this book was 3 stars. As with The Red Light, I rated this book lower for certain aspects that I personally disliked. Eve Duncan returns from her hiatus and begins receiving mysterious phone calls from a man who claims to have murdered her daughter. She thought her daughter’s murderer had already been executed for his crimes, but the mysterious caller knows details only the murderer could know. He starts threatening a young girl in a foster home and Eve feels it’s her obligation to keep this girl safe while the police try to locate him.

After finishing my Charms book, I still had a few days left before I could begin any other books for my OWLs readathon. I picked up One For the Money by Janet Evanovich trusting it would be a pretty quick read.
one for the money
I rated this book 4 stars. Stephanie has lost her job and is to the point where she is selling furniture for money. Her parents suggest she see her cousin who runs a bail bonds business. Instead of becoming a receptionist, as was her initial plan, she becomes a bounty hunter. Her first target is not only the kid that took her virginity when she was 16, but Joe is now also a cop. In her struggle to find and capture him, she uncovers a plot that appears he had been framed. They eventually work together to try and prove his innocence while she learns the ins and outs of being a bounty hunter. Stephanie’s wit and tough girl resilience made her an easily likable character. The story wasn’t perfect, but overall quite entertaining.

Still needing to tackle some books on my TBR and waiting patiently for April to get here, I started Punishment by Scott J. Holiday. I was able to borrow this book from Kindle Unlimited and read the ebook and listened to the audio book simultaneously.
I rated this book 4 stars. In the not so distant future, there is a machine that attaches to a person’s memory and can extract it to replay their experiences. As a detective, John Barnes uses this machine to see murder victim’s last visions. He starts seeing the same masked man in several victims’ memories. The murderer, Calavera, starts antagonizing the detectives and getting off on leaving clues for the detectives. The overall story was really interesting and I liked Detective Barnes’s character. I’ll likely read the next book in the series next month.

My second to last book for the month of March was Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. I was given the earc of this book from NetGalley. I had started it earlier in the month and wanted to finish and review it before April.
wicked saints
I gave this book 4 stars. I did write a more thorough review on my blog. (https://starvinforbooks.com/2019/04/02/wicked-saints-by-emily-a-duncan/) A prince, a girl who derives her magic from the gods, and a mysterious boy’s paths all intertwine in this fantasy. In the end, they plan on murdering the king to the end the war. The story is essentially their journey to get that point. I enjoyed it, but I felt I was missing something. During the first time I read it I felt easily distracted. I wanted to love it like a lot of others seem to. I REREAD it hoping to discover what it was the enthralled so many others. I just didn’t feel it. It was a well written book and I enjoyed the unique magical aspect and I definitely plan on reading the second book, but something about it just fell flat with me. (Sorry 😦 )

My last book for March was Journey to Territory M. This is the second book in the Extinction of All Children series by L. J. Epps.
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00062]
I rated this book 4 stars. We continue with Emma’s journey into Territory M. Here she is seeking answers to questions the President couldn’t seem to answer for her. She’s determined to find the leader of M and convince them to assist her in overthrowing President Esther and her unscrupulous laws. There were parts of this story that I enjoyed more and some parts I enjoyed less than the first book. I felt the story was a little faster pace and the plot got juicier. I did begin to dislike the MC, Emma. I found her reckless and annoying in this book. I will read the last book in the series to see how her adventure concludes.

Well, that was it for March! Thanks for reading!