Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Calculus of Change

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for! Here's mine for the week.

Title: The Calculus of Change
AuthorJessie Hilb
Release Date: February 27, 2018

A poignant and empowering teen novel of grief, unrequited love, and finding comfort in one's own skin.

Aden isn't looking for love in her senior year. She's much more focused on things like getting a solo gig at Ike's and keeping her brother from illegal herbal recreation. But when Tate walks into Calculus class wearing a yarmulke and a grin, Aden's heart is gone in an instant.

The two are swept up in a tantalizingly warm friendship, complete with long drives with epic soundtracks and deep talks about life, love, and spirituality. With Tate, Aden feels closer to her mom—and her mom's faith—than she has since her mother died years ago. Everyone else—even Aden's brother and her best friend—can see their connection, but does Tate?

Navigating uncertain romance and the crises of those she loves, Aden must decide how she chooses to see herself and how to honor her mom’s memory. (taken from

Why I Need It: 

The first thing that caught my eye was the cute cover, and the second was the phrase "complete with long drives with epic soundtracks and deep talks." It instantly reminded me of Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, which I adored. Definitely going to keep an eye out for this one next year!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My Spooky Halloween Reading Challenge

It's time for things that go bump in the night and chills that run down your spine. I'm always up for some Halloween festivities. Let's face it, I've been singing "This Is Halloween" from The Nightmare Before Christmas for weeks now while I stock up on Trader Joe's many pumpkin flavored treats.

However, I'm not a huge fan of horror novels. Never have been. I mean, why would I want to terrifying myself before heading to bed at night? Since I predominantly read alone in my apartment, I try to avoid novels that will give me nightmares or reduce me to sleeping with the lights on.

This Halloween, I'm going to force myself to pick up at least five novels that fall into the horror category. Sure, they might not be quite as unsettling as Stephen King or Clive Barker novels, but they're definitely out of my usual realm, so I think I deserve some credit.

After much deliberation, I've decided to tackle the following novels before October 31. Wish me luck!

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family...

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages. (taken from

She won't rest until she's sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

If anyone had told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that's all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies. (taken from

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. (taken from

It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every
electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling post-apocalyptic novel about a world that could become ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation. (taken from

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.

Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? (taken from

Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

Title: Roar
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Format: Hardback

Page Count: 380


In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master. (taken from

“You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it.” 

Dear Lord it took me a long time to trudge through this one. Seriously, I think I was "reading" it for three months. I kept picking it up and putting it back down, and finally, I just shoved my face in it and forced myself to end my misery.

So many reviewers enjoyed this one, and I desperately wanted to join their ranks. I mean, what's not to love? Cora Carmack's Losing It had me laughing so hard I cried, and I'm a sucker for a strong blonde heroine who is destined to rule a mythical land *cough*Daenerys my queen*cough cough*. Plus, the cover is gorgeous and the love interest is basically an Abercrombie model who fights powerful storms in his free time. Sounds promising, right? I guess I'll have to chalk the whole thing up to "it's not you, it's me."  

Just kidding, it's not me. This book just isn't that good.

Okay so where to begin. If I'm being honest, I don't have that much to say because the whole ride was just meh. Roar is... fine? I mean, she's not overly annoying or anything, but she's pretty blech. Aurora (Roar? Rora?) is everything, which basically means she's nothing, if that makes sense. Characters can't be perfectly compassionate, selfless, relatable insecure, beautiful, powerful, etc. all at once or they just become cliché special snowflakes. I know some girls really liked Roar, but I just found her to be another kick-ass heroine wannabe who doesn't really have any defining traits.

The romance was so. boring. I'm sorry, but like, how are you getting your panties in a ruffle over this guy? He's possessive and just such a bad-boy-with-a-hidden-soft-side stereotype. It's not like I hated Locke or anything, but I couldn't have cared less about his macho need to defend Roar at all times or their so-called sexual tension.

At first, I thought the storm aspect of the story was really cool, but after a while, I just found it... kind of confusing? Also, there's this big bad guy on the horizon, except we never get to meet him or even really figure out what his deal is? I get that this will probably be explained in the second book, but how am I really supposed to want to read the second book if the villain barely even gets introduced in the first?

Now, I did give this one two stars, not one, so that means there were some things I didn't hate. The story isn't complete crap, and occasionally I found myself getting lost in Carmack's interesting world. As I read other people's reviews of this one, I do see some valid positive points, but even those can't overpower the all-consuming feeling of apathy I have towards this book.

Anyway, long story short, this one just wasn't my cup of tea. The romance is tepid, the characters are clichés, and the plot just kind of plods along without introducing much excitement or any real twists. I probably won't check out Rage (book two), but if you disagree with everything I've said, then I hope you continue to enjoy this series.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Midnight Dance

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for! Here's mine for the week.

Title: The Midnight Dance
AuthorNikki Katz
Release Date: October 17, 2017

When the music ends, the dance begins.

Penny is a dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and 11 other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate and in the only life Penny has ever known.

When new memories appear, showing a life very different from the one she thought she'd been leading, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With the sweet kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it's too late. (taken from

Why I Need It: 

First of all, I took ballet lessons for years and am so excited to embrace the dance element of this novel. Secondly, the cover is gorgeous and the premise is intriguing. GIVE IT TO ME.