#LetsGetLitBookClub – Ready Player One

This month for the #LetsGetLitBookClub over on Instagram we read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline! This book was published in 2011 by Crown Publishers and was made into a live action film in 2018. Most people I know state they love the movie more than the book and I have a feeling that I may enjoy it in that format as well. I read the book mostly via audio, which I did enjoy. Wil Wheaton is a great narrator!


—–[SYNOPSIS]—–

9969571. sy475 IN THE YEAR 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.



The beginning of this book totally caught my attention. I loved the Willy Wonka style “find the egg and my fortune is yours,” plot. I did grumble thinking, this dude is a billionaire… he could help some of the people in this dystopian world instead of awarding one random person your riches… but whatever haha! It opens up with Wade finding a key and the rest is his quest to find the egg.

I had heard so many amazing things about this book, about how it would bring me back to my childhood with all of the 1980’s nostalgia… but unfortunately, I felt like the nostalgia was being forced upon me. For a book that focuses so much on the idea of an “Easter egg,” it would have made it much more exciting for the throwbacks to be randomly throughout, making you go, “OH! I know that!!” instead of on every page. At one point I found myself rolling my eyes.

I really loved the puzzles Wade had to figure out and I enjoyed the friendships he made along the way.  Overall, I liked this book. I really loved Wade’s character, however I did have some issues with his behavior, especially in regards to Artemis. When she stated she no longer wanted to see him he continuously invaded her space and did not respect her wishes. I think there’s a fine line between wanting to win someone back and sulking and stalking someone LOL.

I also did not appreciate the way that the author presented Artemis at the end. She isn’t some prize possession to be won. I know that she was self conscious about her face, but come on… facing away… hands in her lap… hair over her face, shoulders slumped. No. I think that it’s a poor way to represent someone and for her to only feel okay when Wade calls her beautiful. Like bruh, he loved her before he even saw her, no reason to make her this timid little girl who is waiting for her prince. This isn’t Shrek okay. She’s fine.

I gave this book a 3.5/5 star rating. I think it’s hard to transfer some of the ideas instead Ernest Cline’s head onto page, which is potentially why the movie did so well. I think I am in the minority here with how I feel about this book, most people I know OBSESSED over it, and that’s okay! I’m glad that this book sparked so much joy for so many people! It was definitely action packed and full of adventure. So many twists and turns and really exciting SCIFI stuff, but it did fall just a little flat to me.


Join us next month for the #LetsGetLitBookClub where we are reading Scythe by Neil Shusterman!

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith
Publication Date: January 28th, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre:
YA Contemporary
Rating:
5 Stars

Don't Read the Comments

Synopsis:

Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.


DISCLAIMER:
This book was sent to me for free by Inkyard Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way sways my review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

There is also usage of mature language but if you’re a gamer, you 100% would be okay with it (it isn’t often). I would let a 14 year old read this.

TW: mention of abuse, depiction of assault, harassment, online bullying


NON SPOILERY REVIEW

And now I’m going to set this world on fire.”

Just as the synopsis says, Divya is now my queen. She is smart, sassy, independent, strong, and all around a badass non-princess who most definitely does NOT need saving by anyone.

I essentially inhaled this book in one sitting. It hit me right in my nerdy gamer girl heart. All of the nods to current pop culture really made me feel like these characters were real. The level of conversations they had with each other was so authentic. Aaron’s relationship with his little sister might be my favorite part of the story. The romance was sweet, didn’t feel forced, and added that blushing edge to this story. It didn’t overshadow it, but I enjoyed the addition of it to the plot!

As a WOC, it really made me feel seen with both MC being brown. The relationships they had with their parents are so similar with POC across the board ranging from working your ass off to help pay for rent to the expectations of being a doctor and the pressures of a high paying career.

“My Armada! I love you!”

One of the things I loved about Divya was that she was a streaming diva who built an empire all on her own but gave credit to her best friend and her fans at every turn. She knew she would not be where she was without them and it helped me root for her as she was not a spoiled, entitled brat like the antagonist of the story. There is a scene in this book that moved me to tears! Side note: I seriously wish Reclaim the Sun was a real game!

Thank you for making me feel seen, you made gaming and streaming important in a novel, and who gave us a nerdy chick who is Mario and not Princess Peach.

This book will be available on January 28th, 2020 and is available at most retailers for preorder!

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Mood Monday – Happy New Year!

I took a little hiatus for posting and slowed my social media down a lot over the holiday so I could focus on being with family. Chase goes back to school tomorrow and I am so excited to get my house back in order and get my routine together. I haven’t been reading much either, which honestly feels kind of good. I don’t plan on speeding through as many books as I did last year, I want to go back to enjoying what I read.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Thoughts So Far: It’s a Sanderson… so I’m loving it… LOL but seriously, I am enjoying the world so far. It’s far more political than I thought, but the characters are really moving this story forward. Raoden is a straight up cinnamon roll, I totally love him and his sense of responsibility. I think what he is doing for the people of Elantris is just so heartwarming and selfless. I definitely recommend this book for people wanting to dip their toes into epic fantasy.

What’s Up Next:
I have quite a few book reviews coming up, some book tours, and some cover releases! I plan on cross posting my Instagram to my blog for these. I was asked to be on the Lunar Chronicles #TeamCinder crew, host a giveaway from MacMillan for All the Stars and Teeth, and do a blog tour for Foul is Fair! I feel like all of my hard work is finally paying off and it’s both exhausting and exhilarating!

I hope you all have an amazing Monday! My new planner gets in today and I am excited to organize my life. I have a book planner that I LOVE but I need one for all of my daily activities for my family. Life is good!

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Wild Wednesday – WWW

 

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and brought back by Taking on a World of Words.

Rules are to just answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently reading: Well Met by Jen DeLuca
This book is CUTE. I am only a few chapters in and I am such a sucker for those steamy, adult romcoms! I’ve already found myself laughing. It’s giving me Fix Her Up vibes with it’s character driven, spicy romance that I am a sucker for!

Recently finished: The Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland
This book was on my radar because again.. sucker for fast, cute romance! It was a free audible membership listen for December!  This was an enjoyable fast paced Christmas novella and is definitely an adult read in language and content! I really enjoyed the characters and I already miss them! This was perfect for my desire to read a little holiday book!

Overall Story : ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
Characters: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Steam Level: 🔥🔥
Audio Narrators: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reading Next: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
This book was sent to me by my friend Erin (IG: @story_hoarder). Her and I send each other books and ARCs to read and she said this one would be perfect for me! I am so excited to finish up Well Met to start on this one! Here is the synopsis from GoodReads!

The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.”




I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday and get a lot of reading done!

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Mood Monday – I’m feeling BLAH!

Happy Monday! I woke up feeling energized only to be hit with some serious laziness. I made the mistake of giving Chase Benadryl last night for his allergies and he woke up around 9:30am, groggy as hell so I let him stay home.

I turned on Muse of Nightmares that I’m buddy reading with Amanda (@bibliomaniacamanda) and I had forgotten how much heartbreak this book has. I know that Strange the Dreamer is rough, but the two new protags, Nova and Kora, and the insight to Minya just cracks your heart in two. I’m halfway through Part II and I know so much more awaits me.

The rest of this week will be spent trying to push through Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I absolutely love his writing but with the House Cup Readathon going on the last few months I kept pushing it back. Now we changed the way points are tallied so I’d love to just knock it out!

I have a few book reviews to write, I recently read Rules of Vanishing and honestly I am so upset with how this book unfolded.. but that’s for another post!

I hope you guys have an amazing week!

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Soulwalkers by Cassidy Thomas

Soulwalkers by Cassidy Thomas
Publisher: Little Big Books
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2019
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis:

Kia LaStrauss can see into your soul with the touch of her hand. She can see your fears, desires, wants. She can see your past. Your present. Your future. She is a Soulwalker. 

New Orleans is the city Kia calls home: a city of revelry, jazz, wonder, and magic. She grew up listening to stories of magic and mysticism, but they were just stories… or so she thought. After experiencing two visions of the future, Kia learns of the existence of Soulwalkers, and that she is one of them. With the help of her mentor Ian, she begins to learn what she is capable of, and the consequences of her newfound power. But even Ian cannot prepare her for what she will discover. 

Kia is thrown into a world once unimaginable, where the touch of a hand could kill her and every new discovery can change the course of her life forever. 


DISCLAIMER:
Thank you Cassidy Thomas for this free finished copy to read and review. This is no way shapes my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.


REVIEW

I really enjoyed this YA urban fantasy! I love stories that center in New Orleans because the world-building is always so rich. Within this world, we have Soulwalkers, people who can see your soul with a touch… however, there is a balance to this magic system. This adds a level of stress to this ability, throwing me for a loop when you learn about Kia’s first walk. This book explores more magic than soul walking but I don’t want to say too much and spoil the surprises! This book has many twists and turns, some totally unexpected! This is a super quick, exciting read and I would recommend this to anyone who likes books you can devour in a sitting!

I liked the multiple points of view as I’m always wondering what everyone is thinking other than the MC. It just gives a book more depth to me.

***could be considered spoilery***

I enjoyed the romance aspect as I’m a total romance sucker. The only thing I think can be worked upon is the term of endearment. Ian would call Kia kid when they had a “mentor/student,” relationship but once it was more it seemed a bit demeaning. Calling the person you’re interested in as “kid,” isn’t for me, but honestly I think it could just be my own opinion! Other than that, I was totally rooting for the characters!

This book is available for preorder on Amazon and will be available 12/3!

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Wild Wednesday – WWW!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and brought back by Taking on a World of Words.

Rules are to just answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently reading: Soulwalkers by Cassidy Thomas
This book is an urban fantasy set in New Orleans! Kia learns that she is a Soulwalker; she can see the past, present, future, hopes, wants, dreams, etc in a person’s soul… but that doesn’t mean anything is set in stone. I am about halfway through and I am enjoying it! I really like the setting as I love NOLA! We don’t have enough stories written in that place. I am already finding myself attached to some of the characters but I have a feeling the author is not going to give us much mercy! This hits the shelves December 3rd, 2019 and you can pre-order the Kindle edition right now for $1.99!

Recently finished: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
The Wicked Deep is a story about three sisters who were drowned after being accused of being witches. The sisters posses the body of young women in the town and lure men to their death by drowning as revenge for what happened to them. This book has plot twists all over the place and it was perfectly witchy for October. I wrote about some of the problematic themes in my Tuesday post but other than that, I felt like it was a decent read! Solid 3.5!

Reading Next: The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring
I’ve been seeing this book around Bookstagram for a while now so I think it’s time for me to dig in.

Synopsis:
Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life


I hope everyone had a marvelous Wednesday! Tomorrow I’ll be talking about some of the upcoming releases I am excited for!

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Mood Monday – New Week/New TBR!

How can it be the second week of October already? This week will be a whirlwind for me as I’ll be headed off to LA with my mom on Saturday morning for a quick trip to KoreaTown! Words cannot express how excited I am! It’s also the last week of the #housecupreadathon19 for October over on Instagram! I’m excited to see who is in the lead!

I am starting off this week with a brand new TBR! I am going to be reading The Wicked Deep and Blackbirds! Kelli (@starlightfaerytale) is going to the Morristown Book Festival soon so we are trying to read books from authors going to that event (Chuck Wendig). I’m also trying to fit in a few short books (Soulwalkers) and write some reviews! Lord only knows where I’ll find the time!

This weekend I read Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (gothic novella) which was Narrated by David Tennant, Rose Leslie, and Phoebe Fox! This audio drama was SO STINKING GOOD y’all! I mean it was legit like listening to a movie. The voice acting was just phenomenal! It’s a super short audible original, the book is about 100ish pages. This was written in 1872, 26 years before Dracula! The female vampire is in love with another woman! Yay LGBT in the 1800s!! I totally recommend this novella via audio!

I hope everyone has an amazing week!

TGIF – Who Else is Busy AF?

WOW! This week just flew by! I totally forgot to post my Thirsty Thursday new and upcoming release post! I might post that this weekend. Chuck and I have spent a lot of time redoing our nook’s flooring! The old owners put laminate over the hardwood so we tore out the old and installed stuff that looks like wood!

Don’t mind my crazy mess 😂 we are going to paint the walls and of course clean up my shelves when everything is done! We still have some to go along the edges but hopefully that’ll be complete by Sunday!

I finished reading A Thousand Pieces of You last night and needless to say I’m not that impressed. I’m going to go ahead and finish the series and I will write a review for the series as a whole. Today I’m going to finish up To Kill a Kingdom, which I am reading for research purposes with my friend to help her with her book! Then I will get to The Wicked Deep!

I’ve heard some mixed reviews about this book, especially about the last page so I’m curious if I will feel the same way. I’m typically an easy raider because I rate critically rather than personally which I think is important. I can’t stand when people write books that are for younger audiences or forgenres they know they don’t like and rate the books poorly!

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

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The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: October 8th, 2019
Genre: YA Dystopian
Rating: 3 Stars

Synopsis:

Survive the year. No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. 

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive. 

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.


DISCLAIMER:
Thank you Libro.fm, Kim Liggett, and Macmillan Audio for this free copy to read and review. This is no way shapes my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.


REVIEW

Wow. I never thought that I could dislike a book so fast. Now before you come at me with your pitchforks, I did not like this book because of how upset I get when I read about women being oppressed. This is something real people all over the world are experiencing… pain at the hands of their oppressors and it is so hard for me to read without getting angry.

In this YA dystopian world, 16-year-old girls are sent into the wilderness for “purity,” and to rid themselves of their evil and magic; they are to fend for themselves and defend against poachers, people who steal the girls and sell their body parts for money. Reading about the way these girls had to dress and do their hair so they were not tempting to men was some grade a Warren Jeffs shit. It was infuriating to read. Girls and women are nothing more than breeding machines, they cannot think for themselves, or make a life for themselves.

The constant bickering and backstabbing between the girls was almost more than I could bear. I also have never wanted to punch a 16-year-old more than one of the characters ever in my life. I felt like nothing happened for about 40% of the book, and then I got excited when there was a change, and then it went back to nothing happening. I was more invested in some of the side characters; I truly don’t think the main character learned anything by the end.

With that being said, the writing style was good. I could not turn off the audiobook. The narrator did a fantastic job at drawing you in and keeping you hooked; I mean I listened to it in one day.

Overall, this book was not for me, but if I read it when I was 13 or 14 I think I really would’ve enjoyed it. This is why I am giving it a 3 STAR rather than my personal rating. I do not think it’s fair to rate a book that has nothing structurally wrong with it as an adult if it’s meant for a younger audience.

This book is available for preorder now at most book retailers, in store or online!

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