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Friday, January 31, 2014

YA Review - More Than This by Patrick Ness

More Than This by Patrick Ness
Publication Date: September 10th, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick
Page Count: 480 pages
Format: ARC
Source: NCIBA 2013
Genre: Science Fiction?
Ages: 14+
Buy It
From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .
Let me start off by saying, I love Patrick Ness. I really do. A Monster Calls is one of my all-time favorite books. But, More Than This really just felt like a throw away novel to me. At over 500 pages with more than 20-something unfinished plot lines, More Than This is just a bogged down mess of nonsense. Don't get me wrong, the writing style maintains the same lyrical and mesmerizing lilt that Ness's other books carry, but the story is just a confusing and slow-moving science fiction wannabe. I honestly finished this book and thought, "But wait, there has to be MORE THAN THIS." Even now I still don't understand what I read.

The story starts off with an intriguing prologue, where Seth is dead and he wakes up in what can only be his own personal hell. Right? Sure looks that way to me. But is it? I still don't know. 500 pages later and I know less than I did when I began. I can't tell if Patrick Ness began this book as an attempt to write a hard science fiction novel, or a philosophical look at the afterlife, or maybe an example of the struggles that teens can face, or maybe even an idea of where our overly techie world is headed. Seriously, I have no idea. No questions were answered, but more questions were definitely raised. I will admit that after 300 pages I skipped to the end. I couldn't take the waiting anymore. It felt like nothing was ever going to happen. I did talk with a friend about what happened in between and together we were still confused. Are there some positives? Sure. The writing is great. Okay that's it. The characters are poorly developed, there are over 20 plot lines that are never finished and just fall off the face of the planet, and there are probably 200 pages too many. Patrick Ness, what are you doing to me?

Would I recommend this book to anyone? No, probably not. Instead pick up, A Monster Calls or Knife of Never Letting Go and "call" this one a throw away because you can't "let go" of the confusion you feel after reading it. Seriously, there has to be MORE THAN THIS. Ha. You see what I did there? That's why he chose the title.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Brazen by Katherine Longshore

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Expected Publication Date: June 12th, 2014
Publisher: Viking Children's Books
Page Count: 528 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Ages: 14+
Buy Now
Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?
Why I Can't Wait: I absolutely adore Katherine's books. If you've followed me for awhile you know how much I love her books. Tudor era fiction is my favorite, FAVORITE, and I've been looking forward to Brazen for a long time now. In fact, I'll let you in on a little secret. I've already read it. Yeah and it's amazing. SO BE PREPARED FOR SOME AWESOMENESS.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Back to Blogging: Resolutions 2014

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack. 
Hopefully for awhile this time!

Yes, that's correct, I'm taking another shot at this whole blogging thing. I've found my love for reading again and I've rediscovered my love for writing so I'm hoping now that my life is a bit mellower I can get back into the groove of blogging. I know I said goodbye only a few months ago, but the hiatus I took really made me realize how much I love blogging and how much I love the blogging community. I'm going to reevaluate the things I post, and sometimes I may not post for awhile, but the blog will be more for myself than for other people. Just something I do for me, to fill my time and help me keep up with reading the way I used to. Because I'm starting afresh in 2014, I decided to make a list of New Year's blogging resolutions that will hopefully help me keep things in perspective.

1. Write at least 2-4 reviews a month.
This means I can post one review a week, or every other week when I'm feeling particularly bogged down. I don't read as much as I used to and while I'm trying to read more, forcing myself into makes reading that much harder.

2. Write at least 1 discussion post a month.
I love discussing the world of books with people and now that I'm not in school it's harder to talk about books to the extent that I'd like to. Sometimes I want to know why kids love horse books so much? What is the main difference between fantasy and science fiction, and why do I like one more than the other? Why do I even read YA, I'm 24? There are so many great questions I get asked and so many things I want to talk about, I need to just sit down and write it out.

3. Don't take on review requests.
See, the nice thing about refusing all review requests is that I can read whatever I want, when I want. I don't have to worry about meeting deadlines or enjoying a book because I asked for it. I can just write whatever I want about any book I read and that's that.

4. Read for me.
As a children's specialist and head of the children's section at my store, I need to know about a lot of books for many different age groups. This requires me to read everything from picture books to young adult, including nonfiction and graphic novels. That's a lot of reading. If my blog becomes a place where I'm dictating what I read, it'll become more like work and less like fun. I don't want that to happen.

5. Don't let the pressure get to me.
I think I initially gave up because the pressure to entertain followers and provide interesting material weekly became too overwhelming. I wasn't blogging for me anymore, but for the people reading my blog and that's not what I want to do. Of course I hope you enjoy what I write, but if you don't than that's okay also. I want to enjoy it, and I hope that if I'm enjoying it you'll enjoy it as well.

6. Blog about things I want to read.
I want to write posts about things I'd like to read. I'm going to start a weekly post dedicated to comics. I read a lot of comics now so I'd like to discuss some of the series I'm reading as well as new volumes I've recently devoured. I'll talk about new releases, new story arcs, and some classic favorites. I know it's not YA, but it's a part of my reading life and I want to share it with you. I know it's hard for some people to get into reading comics when they aren't familiar with what's out there, so I'd like to help. It's worth it.

7. Be more personal.
I found my blog was becoming overwhelmed with memes and blog tours so I want to stay away from stuff like that. It just became teasers and updates and I'd like to put more of me into my blog. I want to share myself with my readers and not become just another generic book blog.

8. Possibly find a partner.
Blogging alone can be a tough job, so at some point I'd like to find a co-blogger. I don't know anyone at the moment who would want to do it with me, and I don't want to find some random person off the internet. But if I meet someone with some interest in books who wants to write guest reviews or be responsible for some of the posting, that would be cool. 

It's a new year and I genuinely missed blogging. I'm excited to get back into it and start things fresh. I can't wait to meet some new blogging friends and get some ideas for 2014. So, I'm happy to be back guys :) This year is going to be fun!


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According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from unless otherwise stated.
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