Books Left Unread #103

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

This Raging Light

 

I think I already know what is holding me back from this one – “realistic fiction”. That means I want to really like this but I may find the smallest thing that I don’t like and will convince myself the entire story is bad. Or perhaps it is because the cover does not grab my attention. It really looks kind of bland to me. 😦 Have you read this? What did you think?

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Review: Things I’m Seeing Without You

Things I'm Seeing Without You

 

I’m just not having a lot of luck with sad stories nowadays. They truly are hit or miss and this was a huge, big ol’ miss for me.

Short recap: Tess is distraught by the sudden suicide of her boyfriend, Jonah. She drops out of school and starts living with her dad again. Tess then helps her father with his work and happens to befriend David, Jonah’s roommate, and they form a bond.

I know that blurb sounds cryptic but it is the best I could come up with. I just did not like this story. It was all over the place and was confusing at the best of times. I really started to lose interest about a quarter of the way into this story and have no idea why I stayed with it. It was frightful. I fear something may be broken because I did not love it the way everyone else did.

Tess’ character was one of the two reasons I did not enjoy this story. I never connected with her because I didn’t get to know her. The story started out with being distraught over the suicide of her boyfriend (but is he a boyfriend?), Jonah. See, they had one encounter while she was drunk and quickly passed out on a couch. After that one meeting with him, she called him her boyfriend. Clingy and delusional much? They exchanged emails, texts, and FB messages but that was it. How and why she considered to call him her boyfriend was beyond me. They were good friends at best. I never jived or even understood their “relationship”. It didn’t feel believable to me. Maybe that could also be because I was never given the chance to really know Jonah. What I did know was given to me in flashbacks by Tess and his roommate, David. I cannot connect or feel anything for a character if I cannot get to know him. As a result, I never truly felt heartbroken for his loss. I wanted to, I tried to, but I cannot feel something for a character I did not know.

Back to Tess… I did not agree with how she handled the loss. She chose to drop out of school and move back in her with dad. Her family life was just as dysfunctional. Her father always had “get rich quick” schemes that drained all of the money. It was hard for me to trust a father that did not have his family’s best interest first. He chose to spend Tess’ college fund to pay for his schemes, the latest being a funeral service that promised fireworks and a party. groan Her mother was just as absent, choosing to go on a European tour with her new boyfriend instead of staying home to be with her teenage daughter. Needless to say, Tess’ relationship with both of her parents was unconventional and unbelievable. How neither of those parents could or would object to their daughter dropping out of high school to help with the ridiculous funeral business was beyond me. These points were the second reason I gave up on the story.

That is basically when I lost interest. The story went downhill after that. I didn’t jive with the characters or overall creeptastic factor of Jonah or the oddly bizarre profession of Tess’ father. None. Of. It. I know a lot of people really like this story but I’m just not one of them. This is a readable story but that’s as far as I’ll take that statement. This is not a book I would reread or recommend to anyone. I truly believe the author lost a golden opportunity to discuss suicide in teens and he missed the mark terribly.

 

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TREMONTAINE Tour: Review and Giveaway!

 

About the Book:

Tremontaine

Title: TREMONTAINE

Author: Ellen Kushner, Joel Derfner, Karen Lord, Delia Sherman, Racheline Maltese, Paul Witcover, Tessa Gratton, and Liz duffy Adams.

Pub. Date: October 11, 2017

Publisher: Serial Box

Formats: eBook & audiobook

Find it: Season 1 AmazonSeason 2 AmazonSeason 3 Episode 1 AmazonSeason 3 Episode 2Season 3 Episode 3 AmazoniBooksSeason 1 iBooksSeason 2 iBooksSeason 3 Episode 1 iBooksSeason 3 Episode 2 iBooksSeason 3 Episode 3 iBooks,  Serial Box

Since launching last year, serial fiction startup Serial Box has been featured from coast to coast including stories on NPRWiredBuzzFeed and i09. Serial Box was called “a godsend for a niche market of readers” by The Chicago Tribune.

As one of the flagship serials from Serial Box with tens of thousands of readers across multiple platforms, Tremontaine has made waves in the serial, LGBTQ, and fan fiction community.

Tremontaine introduces readers to a world where ambition, love affairs, and rivalries dance with deadly results. In this serial, Ellen Kushner and a team of writers return readers to the world of scandal and swordplay introduced in her cult-classic novel Swordspoint. Readers familiar with the series will find a welcome homecoming while new fans will learn what makes Riverside a place they will want to visit again and again. Tremontaine follows Diane, Duchess Tremontaine, whose beauty is matched only by her cunning; Rafe Fenton, a handsome young scholar with more passion than sense; Ixkaab Balam, a tradeswoman from afar with skill for swords and secrets; and Micah, a gentle genius whose discoveries herald revolution. Sparks fly as these four lives intersect in a world where politics is everything, and outcasts are the tastemakers.

Team-written by some of today’s most exciting authors, Tremontaine season 3 is brought to you by Ellen KushnerJoel DerfnerKaren LordDelia ShermanRacheline MaltesePaul WitcoverTessa Gratton, and Liz duffy Adams.

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About Seral Box:

Serial Box Logo Small SquareA new kind of publishing company for a new age.

While technology has rapidly evolved, the way publishers and writers bring books to readers really hasn’t. Storytelling in TV has become more sophisticated and multilayered, podcasts have risen to mainstream media status—but ebooks are just books on digital devices, not easier, more fun, or more social than they were before.

Serial Box is here to change all of that: artfully blending together the best of series television and the convenience of ebooks and audiobooks to bring readers a new form of story telling. Releasing fiction serials over the course of 10-16 week seasons, Serial Box is about delivering addictive episodes straight to the user’s digital device to be read or listened to anytime, anywhere.

Taking a few pages from the world of television, Serial Box hires a team of a talented and award-winning writers to collaborate on each serial, pulling the best ideas to develop great characters and craft a narrative that captivates readers over the course of the season. A new ensemble of writers works on each series, so each will vary in genre and length, but they’ll always be entertaining page-turners that keep you wondering what will happen in next week’s episode.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Blog | Instagram

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Review:

This is the prequel to Ellen Kushner’s Swordpoint and given to readers in a most new age and unique way. It is given through Serial Box, a service talked about above. The “episodes” are written stories that come across in a manner like TV shows. Ingenious. I am reviewing the entire Season One so bear with me as there are thirteen stories/episodes involved.

Short recap: Several characters are involved and their lives intersect in the most peculiar ways. Duchess Termontaine is on the verge of ruin in all ways she can be ruined. She invested in a ship that went down at sea and she is set to lose everything – both financially and socially. At the same time, Rafe is at the University questioning everything and the young country girl, Micha, might be the mathematical genius Rafe needs to help him solve some very tough questions. Let’s not forget about Ixkaab, a new arrival to Riverside who is seeking adventure.

There is no doubt this is a fantasy story, or collection of stories. There is heavy political matter so if that is not your cup of tea, pass on this one. As for me, I didn’t mind it as it helped push the story along. The delivery of the stories is what kept my interest the most. I was not lost or confused when the “episodes” switched between writers, but I could tell when there was a new one. Some of the style changes were very obvious but it did work. I just had not “read” a book this way so it took some getting used to. Being able to watch the entire Season One at once probably helped. If I had to wait for each episode, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much.

I do recommend this to everyone, at least give it a chance. Termontaine is a great place to start this series so please give it a try.

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Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive season 1 of TREMONTAINE, International.

 Rafflecopter link:

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2666/?

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Tour Schedule:

 

Week One:

11/6/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

11/6/2017- Jamieson Wolfe– Review

 

11/7/2017- Books,Dreams,Life– Pre Made Post

11/7/2017- BookishRealmReviews– Spotlight

 

11/8/2017- Novel Novice– Excerpt

11/8/2017- BookHounds YA– Review

 

11/9/2017- Owl Always Be Reading– Review

11/9/2017- BookCrushin– Review

 

11/10/2017- Read Lovely Books– Excerpt

 

Week Two:

11/13/2017- Owl Always Be Reading– Review

11/13/2017- YA and Wine– Pre Made Post

 

11/14/2017- Hauntedbybooks13– Review

11/14/2017- Texan Girl Reads– Review

 

11/15/2017- Hooked To Books Spotlight

 

11/16/2017- A Gingerly Review– Review

 

11/17/2017- Owl Always Be Reading– Review

11/17/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Review

 

 

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Review: Renegades

Renegades (Renegades, #1)

 

Who hasn’t been excited for this book?! The thought of a story about superheros… good vs evil, who will win? I was hesitant to start this after the bomb that was Heartless (don’t get me started) but because my love for The Lunar Chronicles is so strong, I was willing to give this another try. I was not disappointed.

Short recap: Nova was born into a time where superheroes are everywhere – people born with extraordinary powers, they are known as Renegades. They are supposed to protect everyone. But when they don’t protect Nova’s family from being murdered, Nova vows revenge. She grows up to be a secret member of the Anarchists (the bad guys). She vows to bring an end to the Renegades and seek revenge for the loss of her family.

Holy crow I loved this story more than I should admit. I was absolutely fascinated with everything! The thing that stood out the most was the powers everyone had. I really did expect the normal powers… you know, invisibility, telekinesis, fire, water, blah, blah, blah. But oh no – Meyer put some thought into these characters! It made me wish I was more creative and could have thought of a good superhero for the contest she had recently. (Between you and me, I did create my own character while listening to the audio of this book. Her name is Wink and while she may not be the most creative, she made me feel like I had some sort of creativity… If you want me to go into more detail about her, let me know!) To get an idea of some of the powers these characters had: one could move through mirrors, one controlled bees/wasps/hornets/insects like that, one would know your deepest & darkest fears, one could switch between human skin and rock. Those are just a FEW of the powers. How cool was that?! I won’t give them all away – you’ll have to read to find out what else is mentioned.

Now onto the main characters: Nova and Adrian. I loved Nova so much. I felt her pain from the moment her backstory was given. She had so much passion and determination that she lept off of the pages. She was brilliant, clever, witty, and still growing. I also loved her character arc. She grew so so much as the book progressed that I kept wondering what she would do. See, since her true identity was always hidden, she chose to go undercover and try out for the Renegades. Of course, she made it and played a double agent type role. But the more she learned about the Renegades organization and the actual Renegades, her hardness slowly started to soften. Were they all really as bad as she thought they were? Then there is Adrian, the post boy for the Renegades, also known as Sketch. He is the son of one of the founding members of the Renegades that died a mysterious death. He was adopted by two dads (!!!! Insert my excitement for two dads!) – two more found members of the Renegades. That means he has some very big shoes to fill. Adrian tries every day to make his mom and dads proud. Unbeknownst to anyone, he has some secrets that come out over the course of the story. Again, I’m not giving anything away. You have to get a copy of the book to find out!

There is some romance in this story, as with any Meyer story, but I don’t feel it overpowered the actual plot. It was a slow burn between Adrian and Nova. It did not give me super gushy feels but it made me curious what would happen to them in the next book.

The overall plot was brilliant. I already mentioned it above – Nova (who has the power to make anyone go to sleep and is known as the super mysterious Nightmare) wants to seek revenge on the Renegades for not protecting her family like they promised they would. She will not rest until the organization is destroyed. But she discovers there is so much more going on behind the scenes that she just does not realize. Needless to say, things are not always what they seem.

I cannot say enough good things about the first book in a new series by Meyer. I could not get enough of this story. When I wasn’t listening to it, I was thinking about listening and finishing the story (it was a long audio, btw). But then when it was over, I was sad because I have to wait so long for the next book.  I will say that book 2 was set up perfectly and I cannot wait to see where this series goes.

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Review: This Shattered World (Starbound #2)

This Shattered World (Starbound, #2)

 

Hot on the heels of These Broken Stars, I borrowed This Shattered World from my library. I had read this series a couple of years ago but I’ll be honest, I had forgotten a lot of the details. It was nice to go back and reread the story. Everything made more sense and that made me excited.

Short recap: Jubilee (Lee) Carter is as tough as they come. She doesn’t put up with flack from anyone, especially not the cute boy, Flynn. Flynn wasn’t quite ready for what he was getting himself into when he kidnapped Jubilee. These two have far more in common than they realized and together they set out to uncover the secrets to what is really going on with their planet and how LaRoux Industries is involved.

The very first thing that broke my heart about this story was how it was not about Lilac and Tarver. *le sigh* But rest assured they do make an appearance in the story and when they show up, things get even better. The way all of the character’s stories meld together was nothing short of brilliant. I barely remember book 3, Their Fractured Light, but I do remember it bringing all three couples together for one overall story. Bloody brilliant.

Speaking of characters, I really liked Jubilee and Flynn. The romantic tension between them was very well written. I really wanted to just push them together so they would kiss already! I know Spooner and Kaufman know how to write suspenseful romance but c’mon! It was killing me. Jubilee was a well written badass tough chick that won’t put up with anything. She’s the captain of a special forces group on the planet Avon. She is feared and deeply respected by everyone on the base, everyone just knows her. She did not have the sweetest childhood growing up so she had learned to be hard. Flynn Cormac hasn’t had an easy life either. He is the younger brother of Avon’s infamous rebel and with that title comes high expectations. He went into hiding after she was murdered for her actions but that didn’t stop him from joining the rebels anyways. It was either run away or be shipped off planet to be shuffled through the orphan system. Easy choice for Flynn. Both of these characters have internal struggles about what is happening – Jubilee wants to help Flynn and Flynn wants Jubilee’s help. They both want to find out what is happening to Avon. It just works all the way around.

The planet setting of Avon was rich and vivid. I felt like I was actually there, it was amazing. The way it was described was a swamp-like planet with constant overcast skies. It made me think of a never-ending foggy day. The people of Avon never saw the sun or the moon and as a result, nothing ever grew on this planet. It never “terraformed” the way it should have. Would you be able to live on a planet that was under a constant sky? I’m not sure I would but everyone on the planet continued to survive but at a severe cost.

I think what I enjoyed most about this story is how it linked back to These Shattered Stars in so many ways. Spooner and Kaufman kept the storyline going and it was very well executed. The Whispers in TSS made an appearance in TSW but Jubilee knew them as a different name – The Ghosts. Regardless, a rose by any other name and all that jazz… The overall story was complicated, complex, and it was masterfully done. It showed that there was something bigger and more sinister working throughout the entire galaxy, not just in Tarver and Lilac’s world. LaRoux Industries is up to something big. I cannot wait to finish the series with Their Fractured Light. No doubt that it will blow these other books out of the water.

 

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Freed by Flame and Storm

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

Freed by Flame and Storm by Becky Allen

Freed by Flame and Storm (Bound by Blood and Sand, #2)

 

 

From Goodreads:

Revolution is nigh, and one seventeen-year-old girl stands at the head of it all.

Jae used to be a slave, laboring with the rest of her people under a curse that forced her to obey any order she was given. At seventeen, she found the source of her people’s lost magic and became the only person to break free—ever. Now she wants to use her power to free the rest of her people, but the ruling class will do anything to stop her.

Jae knows that breaking the curse on her people would cause widespread chaos, even unimaginable violence between the castes, and her caste would likely see the worst of it. Many would die. But to let them remain shackled is to doom them to continue living without free will.

How is one girl, raised a slave and never taught to wield power, supposed to decide the fate of a nation?

 

The first book caught me off guard and captured my attention. I enjoyed it more than I can put into words. I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want My Future Kids To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…

Books I Want My Future Kids To Read

 

 

Cinder

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

 

Harry Potter (obvs)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

 

 

 

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

 

 

Dear Martin

Dear Martin

 

 

A List of Cages

A List of Cages

 

 

What I Lost

What I Lost

 

 

Sad Perfect

Sad Perfect

 

 

The Sun is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also a Star

 

 

The Serpent King

The Serpent King

 

 

Illuminae

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

 

 

Let me tell you… this post was not easy. To narrow this down to JUST ten books was tough! What books would you want your children to read?

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