Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Can't Wait for More Than We Can Tell

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

More Than We Can Tell

By: Brigid Kemmerer

Expected Publication: March 6th 2018 by Bloomsbury Children's

304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the author of Letters to the Lost comes a heart-wrenching story of two teens with big secrets and a love that could set them free.

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay...until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Three Dark Crowns - Review

Three Dark Crowns (Untitled, # 1)

By: Kendare Blake

Published: September 20th 2016 by HarperTeen

416 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

I was instantly intrigued by the description of Three Dark Crowns. Three sisters with magical powers fight until only one is left standing to claim the crown and the throne. I was pulled in immediately. But once approved, I didn't pick this book up immediately due to the publication date being a few months in the future. As the publication date approached, I started seeing ratings come through and they weren't very high. My excitement level dropped immensely and I put off reading Three Dark Crowns. I did pick it up but only read a page or two before deciding that it wasn't pulling me in enough and putting it back down. I realize that's not enough time really to allow a book to pull me in or not, but I'm such a mood reader. I featured Three Dark Crowns in a couple of posts mentioning that I still needed to get around to reading it, and every person that commented on it told me that it had a slow start but that the book ends in a place where you want to know more. And that's exactly my experience with it.

Since several advised me to push through the beginning, I figured that I should do just that and give Three Dark Crowns another try. I don't think it helped that chapter 1 is about Katherine (the poisoner) who turned out to be my least favorite of the three sisters. Yet, it wasn't too long before I found myself interested in what was going on and how things would progress. Three Dark Crowns was interesting but not devouring. The book swaps between the three sisters. I feel like it was written in a way that perhaps Kendare Blake is trying to lead the reader to root for Arsinoe, but Mirabella ended up being my favorite I think.

Side note: Arsinoe...I kept reading this as Arisnoe. Ugh. I'm all about unique names, but I don't like when a name is so unique that I can't pronounce it correctly. I told Husband that I don't know if I struggle with a little bit of dyslexia or if I'm just trying to read too fast to stop and parse out names that I'm unfamiliar with. As such, I knew I was pronouncing her name wrong, yet I couldn't stop myself. And this took me out of the story so frequently while reading this book which I find entirely frustrating. So just a personal pet peeve.

Back to what I was saying, I could be wrong, but I felt like there were more chapters dedicated to Arsinoe than the other queens. I struggled with figuring out who to root for because I felt sorry for each of these characters. Katherine and Arsinoe are both powerless, although they and the families they're living with are both trying to keep that a secret from the rest of the island. Katherine should be a poisoner--meaning she should be immune to poisons--so she's regularly submitted to a multitude of poisons in hopes of bringing out her gift or at least developing a tolerance or immunity to them. She was subjected to cruelty often. Arsinoe is supposed to be a naturalist which means that she can make plants grow as well as have an animal familiar with some level of control over most other animals. But no familiar has ever show up and she's never made anything grow. Yet the family fostering her seems to genuinely love her and accept her as part of them despite not having a gift. Mirabella is the only sister who actually manages to access her gift. She's an elemental. She also seems to have been gifted to a fairly warm environment with her foster family. She has close friends. At the same time, the temple and the priestesses have chosen her as their queen over her sisters. Never before has the temple been so sided before. Yet the temple isn't as they appear. They have an agenda and Mirabella is a pawn. So you can see that each has something rooting against them which makes them endearing on some level. None of the sisters relish having to kill the others. Katherine is the one that might lean towards it the most, but that isn't surprising given the cruelty that she's been subjected to. None of the sisters seem inherently evil. So all that to say that choosing a side was difficult.

One of my favorite parts of any book is the hope that the main character will find love. And well...this wasn't a large part of Three Dark Crowns. Even though romance isn't required for me to enjoy a book, it does help immensely. Katherine is presented with Pietyr as a tutor to help her learn how to flirt with the potential suitors (all three sisters face the same suitors). Katherine can't help but fall for Pietyr and it appears that he feels the same way. Yet these two aren't supposed to be together. Knowing this up front kept me from connecting to the two as a couple. Arsinoe meets one of the potential suitors very early on and the two develop a definite friendship, but at this point it appears to be nothing more than that. And Mirabella meets and feels an insta-connection with a friend of Arsinoe who happens to be in love with Arsinoe's best friend, Jules. This was the relationship that I felt the most spark and connection to. However, moving forward for these two will be messy, and I'm not sure how much I can support it given that Joseph chooses to move forward with Jules. This area left me wanting a bit more. I hope that One Dark Throne pursues the romances a bit more.

Without discussing the actual events of the book in any more detail as I'm afraid I've probably given too much away as it is, I will say that there was one twist (betrayal) that I didn't see coming, and there was one twist that was supposed to be pretty substantial that I did see from early on. That left me with yes being intrigued and interested to see how things continue to play out, but perhaps not quite as dying for book 2 as I could have been. I do hope that One Dark Throne has a much better pacing and not such a slow start. Three Dark Crowns was enjoyable. I want to know more. But I wasn't dying to keep reading or to jump immediately into book 2 (although I did choose to go ahead and start One Dark Crown upon finishing this one). I liked the characters for the most part but struggled with deciding who to root for. In the end, Three Dark Crowns gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read Three Dark Crowns? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Post - 260 & Stacking the Shelves - 196

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

On the one hand, I feel like we just can't catch a break. Little Girl started getting sick on Monday so that made for not the best week. Thankfully she's pretty much well now. On the other hand, I know things can always get worse. I thought she was better by Friday but when I picked her up after my doctor's appointment she seemed to have had a setback. AND of course Husband and I couldn't come out completely unscathed. Both of us seem to be struggling with something also. My throat and his nose. I got Succubus Shadows (Georgina Kincaid, # 5) by Richelle Mead on sale this week. I have only read the first book in the series, but since this one went on sale, I couldn't resist snagging it.


Monday: Review of These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips (3.5 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry


Monday: Review of Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, # 1) by Kendare Blake
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Succubus Shadows (Georgina Kincaid, # 5)

By: Richelle Mead

Published: March 30th 2010 by Kensington

281 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Personal Kindle Library (on sale $1.99)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Georgina Kincaid has formidable powers. Immortality, seduction, shape-shifting into any human form she desires, walking in heels that would cripple mere mortals -- all child's play to a succubus like her.

Helping to plan her ex-boyfriend's wedding is a different story. Georgina isn't sure which is worse -- that Seth is marrying another woman, or that Georgina has to run all over Seattle trying on bridesmaid dresses. Still, there are distractions. Georgina's roommate, Roman, is cluttering her apartment with sexual tension. Then there's Simone, the new succubus in town, who's intent on corrupting Seth.

But the real danger lies in the mysterious force that's visiting her thoughts, trying to draw her into a dark, otherworldly realm. Sooner or later, Georgina knows she'll be too weak to resist. And when that happens, she'll discover who she can trust, who she can't -- and that Hell is far from the worst place to spend eternity...

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Can't Wait for Say You'll Remember Me

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Say You'll Remember Me

By: Katie McGarry

Expected Publication: January 30th 2018 by Harlequin Teen

400 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.

I mean, it's Katie McGarry...what else is there to know? What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, August 7, 2017

These Things I've Done - Review

These Things I've Done

By: Rebecca Phillips

Published: August 1st 2017 by HarperTeen

272 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A contemporary YA perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Jessi Kirby, THESE THINGS I’VE DONE is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl who accidentally caused her best friend’s death and, a year later, is still grappling with the consequences.

Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn't half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey's brother, every day. Not just because he's a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she's betraying her best friend one final time.

So perhaps the "Before" and "After" section of the description should have been a warning to me that this book jumps back and forth chronologically, but I didn't pick up on that. And unfortunately, I struggle with books that jump around like this. I think that's because inevitably one storyline appeals to me more than the other which means whenever it is time to switch back to the other I'm disappointed and frustrated. And that was the case with These Things I've Done as well. In situations like this, the before is obviously leading up to the after and sometimes it isn't necessary to see the details of the before to figure out how we got to the after. But one positive side to this back and forth was the build up in finding out exactly how Aubrey was killed and what Dara's role was that would cause so much guilt.

Dara leaves town to go live with her aunt and uncle shortly after Aubrey's death and she spend her junior year there, but ultimately she decides that she needs to come back home for senior year to face what she's done. She's not exactly looking forward to it, but it needs to be done. Obviously, the kids at school aren't particularly welcoming to the girl who killed her best friend. But it goes beyond that. Aubrey's younger brother. Dara's own family. All of these relationships have changed and have struggled as a result of this tragedy.

I didn't dislike Dara at all. She's been through a terrible, life-changing event. And truth be told, anyone could have been in her shoes. Plus, I feel like anyone would feel all the things that Dara feels. I appreciated that she didn't fight therapy like we've seen characters do in the past. It was just part of her journey. Although, I kind of wish we'd been exposed to more of her counselling. Yet even though her guilt was understandable, it wasn't always easy or fun to read about.

Ethan, on the other hand, was beyond likeable and easy to read about. I enjoyed him in the before and in the after. It wasn't that he didn't struggle with his sister's death or find himself angry. It was kind of the opposite. The best thing about his character was how he chose to respond to his feelings.

I think I would have enjoyed These Things I've Done more if I hadn't read such other great books recently. That being said, I still really enjoyed These Things I've Done. It had a few flaws, but I wanted to keep reading for the most part. These Things I've Done gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read These Things I've Done? What did you think? Let me know!