Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Waiting on Alex, Approximately

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Alex, Approximately

By: Jenn Bennett

Expected Publication: April 4th 2017 by Simon Pulse

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--In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

I know this one was available for review a while back and somehow I missed out on requesting it. It sounds right up my alley. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, March 27, 2017

100 Hours - Review

100 Hours (100 Hours, # 1)

By: Rachel Vincent

Expected Publication: March 28th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

368 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

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--In this pulse-pounding new trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent, a decadent spring break getaway on an exotic beach becomes a terrifying survival story when six Miami teens are kidnapped and ransomed.

Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends.

While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.

But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.

Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t set aside their personal problems, no one will make it out alive.

I read the description for 100 Hours when I decided to request it for review, but that was months before I actually picked it up to read it. I like to do this on purpose because reading the description initially helps me decide if I think I'll enjoy the book, but not reading the description again helps me to go into the book with low expectations and as little knowledge as possible. Most of the time having as little knowledge as possible gives me the best reading experience, but sometimes I remember the initial description flat out incorrectly. And that's sort of what happened to me here. I remembered that Genesis, Maddie and their friends get kidnapped, but I thought I remembered them being kidnapped to be thrown into human trafficking or bought and sold as sex slaves. And yeah, that's not what happens at all. In this case all my misremembering caused me to do was look for clues that weren't there resulting in highlighted passages I thought might be foreshadowing...but weren't. Either way, 100 Hours was still a thrilling and mysterious ride.

Maddie and Genesis couldn't be much different. Genesis is all extravagance. Her friends are extravagant. They don't seem to care about much else besides fancy clothes, parties, and fulfilling their desires in the moment. Maddie is more reserved. Her parents aren't rich like Genesis's. She wears discount clothes. And she has diabetes so all of her food and activities need to be regulated and balanced. Genesis and Holden are together, but that doesn't stop Genesis from hooking up with other guys or flirting. And Holden turns a blind eye. They have the opposite of a healthy relationship. Maddie's never really had a boyfriend. Yet Maddie and Genesis both have something in common. They're cousins who have both lost a parent. Genesis lost her mother when she was young. Maddie lost her father within the last year.

The beginning of 100 Hours was slow for me. I wasn't excited about or connecting with Genesis or her friends. Maddie was much easier to relate to even though she could be a tad negative at times. The partying and following every whim that Genesis seemed to have was a little drawn out for me, but all of this was necessary to really establish the characters involved in this story and their personalities. Once the kidnapping actually took place, the events and intensity began to pick up to the point where I couldn't put this book down. It was the definition of a "page turner" for me. The closer I got to the end, the more I realized that this wasn't the end. Apparently, the other thing I misremembered about 100 Hours is that it is the first book in a series. I was expecting it to be a standalone. Yet I knew there was no way things were wrapping up completely with the events right at the end of the book. That being said BRING ON BOOK 2!

Even though Genesis was hard for me to connect with in the beginning of this book, she easily won be over with her skills her father spent years teaching her. She knows how to analyze a situation, she knows Krav Maga, and when push comes to shove, Genesis will do everything she can to make sure as many of the captives (and anyone else in danger) as possible survive. I appreciated the dynamics going on with her. How she does start off as this spoiled princess that runs about doing whatever she wants whenever she wants and everyone else just follows her without much say--happy to be included in her schemes. Yet she experiences betrayals on multiple fronts and still finds a way to connect to someone beyond the issues she should have and the betrayal she's experienced.

Maddie, though easier for me to like, was just as complex as Genesis. She's still grieving over the recent loss of her father, and she's not a huge fan of following after Genesis and her friends, but she learns how to stand up for herself, to survive despite her grief doubling in Columbia. She also experiences betrayals, but finds a way to rely on others to do her best to save her cousin.

Other than Luke and Indiana, I wasn't impressed with the side characters. While they all appear to be as complex as Maddie and Genesis, I just couldn't like them. Silvana, Holden and Penelope are downright awful. Neda and Nico aren't enjoyable either, but not as bad as the other two. Dominica and Rog were essentially just there. And really Sebastian was one that I just couldn't figure out completely throughout most of the book.

I'm not going to discuss the events of the book as I don't want to risk spoiling anything.

Favorite quotes (I didn't realize there were so many great quotables until I started typing them):

-The problem with being given everything in life is that you grow up thinking you can take whatever you want, whenever you want it.

-"Money is such a petty reason to ruin someone's life." "Not for those who can't afford food and shelter,"...

-"Who are you trying to be?" I mumble as I trudge past him. "Prince Charming, or Cinderella's horse and carriage?"

-"...let me give you the SparkNotes version of Hookups for Dummies: if you start out as someone's dirty little secret, that's all you will ever be."

-"I know because you are the moon, not the tide."

-"You don't roll with the flow, Genesis, you create the current. And Holden is nothing but a boat bobbing on the waves."

-"Why did you wait so long?" I whisper. "Because you should never rush a good thing,"...

-"I'm going to kiss you, but I don't want to imply gratitude of any kind. This will be an ungrateful kiss. The most ungrateful kiss. The most thankless of kisses. Purely recreational."

-"Sometimes being stupid looks like being brave." "Maybe," Indiana concedes. "But cowardice always looks like what it is."

There were moments in 100 Hours when I wondered if Rachel Vincent was trying to write some political statement into this book. I don't enjoy when I get even an whiff of something like that. I don't mind if the characters learn a lesson--even if it is political--but I don't want to ever feel like an author is trying to teach me as the reader a lesson--political or otherwise. Dancing between the two is a fine line with very little gray area. In the end, I wasn't overly bothered, but it was enough for me to take note.

100 Hours was a fast paced read for me once I got past the initial kidnapping. I was intrigued by all of the different pieces of the puzzle and the motivations behind everyone's behavior. I was dying to know if/how the characters were going to make it out. Would they survive? Would they escape or would they be rescued? I'd definitely recommend 100 Hours and I'm giving it 4 Stars. Have you read 100 Hours? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Post - 240 & Stacking the Shelves - 181

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.

You guys...the book slump is officially here. I have not been in the mood to read much at all. I'm read about a chapter every other day or so in this devotional, but the chapters are so short that even doing that isn't making significant progress. Little Girl and I had some errands to run this week, but nothing too fun. The weather has been nice so we've been walking every day. My sister-in-law and family came to visit from Georgia to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday this weekend.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Lies We Believe About God by William Paul Young (1 Star)
Tuesday: Top Ten Books/Authors I've Read in 24 Hours
Wednesday: Waiting on Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, # 1) by Mark Lawrence
Saturday: 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - March Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of 100 Hours (100 Hours, # 1) by Rachel Vincent
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Friday: March 2017 EOM Wrap Up
Saturday: Problems Only We Know # 4: When Book Covers Lie

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!

I'm also participating in Kimba's March Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge. I know I won't get to all of these, but I like having as many options as possible. Here's my list:

  1. Significance (Significance, # 1) by Shelly Crane
  2. Thorn Queen (Dark Swan, # 2) by Richelle Mead
  3. The Last Star (The 5th Wave, # 3) by Rick Yancey
  4. Ruins (Partials, # 3) by Dan Wells
  5. Ruin & Rising (The Grisha, # 3) by Leigh Bardugo
  6. Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1) by Rebecca Ethington
  7. Sempre: Redemption (Sempre, # 2) by JM Darhower
  8. End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days, # 3) by Susan Ee
  9. The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, # 3) by Mary E Pearson
  10. The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology, # 2) by Wendy Higgins
  11. The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, # 1) by Richelle Mead (30% - On Hold)
  12. Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) by Cassandra Clare
  13. Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, # 1) by Kendare Blake
  14. Dirty (Dive Bar, # 1) by Kylie Scott

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

The Last Star (The 5th Wave, # 3)

By: Rick Yancey

Published: May 24th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

338 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian

( 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--The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.

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!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - March Wrap Up

Time for our third Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the February Wrap Up, neither Sandy nor Holly finished any series enders.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the February giveaway runs from February 25th - March 25th. On March 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Waiting on Red Sister

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, # 1)

By: Mark Lawrence

Expected Publication: April 4th 2017 by Ace

432 pages

Genre: Fantasy

( 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--I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

This sounds a little too much like the His Fair Assassins series which makes me uncomfortable. But I'm hoping it'll be good. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!