April and May 2017 Wrap-Up

Monthly Wrap-up

Reading

Between April and May I read eight novels.

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Title

The Sun is also a Star

Short Synopsis

Two teenagers meet and fall in love on the day that one of them is being deported.

Note: I received an advanced copy from the publisher. However, this is is with regards to the final audiobook, which I did not receive from the publisher. Opinions are my own.

Thoughts

I liked this book more than I expected. The characterization is great, and the novel was more thought provoking than I thought it would be.

Rating

4 blue jays

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Title

Gemina (Illuminae #2)

Short Synopsis

Large corporations plot to get away with mass murder to make profits in space.

Note: I received an arc from the publisher. I read the first half this way, but decided to wait for the release date because so many details were to come. I listened to the second half of this book in audiobook form. Opinions are my own.

Thoughts

The gap between my reading of the first and second half of this book comes down to bad timing more than anything else. I started reading this book right before going on vacation, and a million things started the moment I got back from vacation, so this book sort of fell by the wayside.

Apart from that this was a really fun, suspenseful read.

Rating

4 blue jays

29939230

Title

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)

Short Synopsis

The third book in a trilogy that I cannot write a synopsis of without spoiling books one and two.

Thoughts

I enjoyed this book, but it was a slower read than the previous books. Also, I didn’t get all of the resolution I’d been hoping for. For more of my thoughts on the Shades of Magic series see my series review.

Rating

4 blue jays

25958849

25958848

Titles

The Scrivener’s Bones (Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians #2)

The Nights of Crystallia (Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians #3)

Short Synopsis

Alcatraz fights against the cults of evil librarians that secretly rule the world.

Thoughts

I thought the second book was hilarious, but the third book started to get a little old. I think I would have enjoyed book three more if I hadn’t read them so close together.

Rating

Book two gets a 4/5. Book three gets 3/5.

4 blue jays

3 blue jays

41810

Title

The Robots of Dawn (Robots #3)

Short Synopsis

Bayley must visit a Spacer world to prove a man’s innocence.

Thoughts

I enjoyed this novel and am sad that this seems to be the last book with Baley as the protagonist. However, I think this was my least favorite book in the series. This has a lot to do with the fact that Asimov’s romance writing skills are rather cringe worthy.

Rating

4 blue jays

28449207

Title

Strange the Dreamer

Short Synopsis

Young man who loves libraries goes on a long journey.

Thoughts

‘I really enjoyed this book. See my review for my full thoughts.

Rating

4.5 blue jays

18198687

 

Title

The Revealed (The Missing #7)

Short Synopsis

Seventh book in a series about missing children from history.

Thoughts

This series has drawn out a little too long for my tastes. This book was fun, but I won’t be reading the final novel.

Rating

3 blue jays

Writing

I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in April. Most of the month was spent revising short stories. I wanted to do more editing on one of my novel length project, but at least I met my goal.

Camp April 2017 Stats

I’m planning to participate again in July. As of the moment, my goal is to get a significant portion of the way through the short story I talked about in my Beautiful People for Writers post this past May.

Bluejay Feather

Any thoughts on these books? 

What did you read last month?

Anyone participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next July? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

BEA 2016 Experiences Part 2: Books and more Books

This is part two of posts on my experience at Bookexpo America. To see part one click here.

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Picture of the inside of McCormick Place during BEA.

The second day of BEA there were two books I wanted more than any others provided for the day. They were Heartless by Marissa Meyer and Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi. Unfortunately, I didn’t get either.

I got to the line for Furthermore with only three people away from where they ran out of tickets. On my way away from the line I was able to see Mafi signing the books. It was hard to be standing so close to where she was with a huge stack of books and know I wouldn’t get one. I’ll just need to wait for the release date like the rest of you.

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The “PBS presents: Young Adult Reads” panel with speakers Chelsea Sedoti, Jennifer Niven, David Levithan, and David Arnold.

The panel I went to on the second day of BEA focused primarily on young adult contemporary, which is not something I read much of. I went to the panel hoping there would be more discussion of sci-fi and fantasy young adult, but the panel was interesting none the less.

I learned a lot about what is currently popular in young adult contemporary, and it was interesting to hear from people who were both experienced in and somewhat new to writing in the genre.

(Most of) the books I acquired on the second day of BEA.

After not getting Heartless on the second day of BEA I arrived at the expo hall to wait in the lines for the ticketed signings at 6:30 a.m. There were already a lot of people there. The first in line had gotten there at around 5 a.m. I sincerely hope they were from a time zone where that is not early, but judging by how tired they were I don’t think so.

There were only two tickets left for the Heartless signing that morning, and they went to the people who had been waiting since 5 a.m. I can’t find myself to be too jealous because they deserved it for waking up that early.

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The “What’s new in Young Adult??” panel moderated by Veronica Roth with speakers Lauren Oliver, Alyson Noël, Kendare Blake, and Melissa de la Cruz.

The “What’s new in Young Adult??” panel was almost surreal for me because it featured so many author’s I’ve been reading books, blog posts, and watching YouTube videos from for years now. It was a nice change to hear them speak in person as opposed to on a screen.

The line for A Touch Against the Night when I joined it about an hour before the signing started.

I spent a significant amount of day three waiting in long lines for books I really wanted.

The longest line was either for A Touch Against the Night or Gemina. They were both so long it was hard to tell which had more people.

At least I got to wait next to some awesome people!

Picture of the booktubers playing a game while they sat in front of me in line.

I feel somewhat creepy for having taken this picture, but I got board waiting in line and started taking pictures of everything, not just them.

Picture of Sabaa Tahir signing my copy of A Torch Against the Night.

She was so concerned when she misprinted my name it was so sweet. Personally, I blame the fact that I took this picture while she was signing. I know I’d be misprinting names almost constantly if I had to sign as many books as she did.

Picture of the line for Gemina featuring Jay Kristoff. 

The only authors I heard cheered on throughout the entire event were Jay Kristoff and  Amie Kaufman. I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps because it was only an ARC drop as opposed to a signing so no one there was expecting to see the authors. Whereas, people waiting in line had time to prepare themselves to meet the others.

(Most of) my acquisitions on the final day of the event. 

The books I got on the third day are definitely the ones I’m most excited for when taken as a whole. The Sudden Appearance of Hope, which I have already read and reviewed, was also a nice surprise since I did not realize it was there until I saw a stack of the ARCs being handed out.

All the books boxed up. 

After the event was finished my traveling companion and I had to hurry to a post office before they all closed for the day. Only one of these boxes is mine. The rest are all my traveling companion’s. She got a lot of books, and we had more in our suitcases. Our suitcases were so heavy we had to reorganize some of what we had in them so they wouldn’t go over the weight limit.

The view of my home city’s coastline from the air. 

My plane left early the next morning, and by the time I was back in my own city I was prepared to hug a palm tree. Okay, not really, but I was very happy to see them again.

10 Most Anticipated 2016 Book Releases

I’m anticipating far more books than will make it on this list, but these are the ten I am most looking forward to. This list is in order of my very most anticipated of the ten to least anticipated of the ten. Though if the book has made this list at all it still means that I really want to read it.

Before I begin I would like to give an honorable mention to book three in the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. If this book is somehow released this year than it is absolutely my most anticipated.

Morning Star (Red Rising Trilogy, #3)

1. Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

Release Date: Febuary 9, 2016

After the end of the second book, Golden Son, I am eagerly awaiting the third book in the Red Rising trilogy.

The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6)

2. The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6/Alloy Era #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Few who follow this blog are likely to be surprised in my choice of a Brandon Sanderson novel. Even if Stormlight #3 does not release this year I’ll still be satisfied by a combination of this book and Calamity.

Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, #1)

3. Flamecaster (Shattered Realms #1)

Release Date: April 5, 2016

This is the spin-off series of Seven Realms taking place a number of years later. I really enjoyed the world of Seven Realms, and the way the series ended left a few left ends in terms of this fictional world as a whole so I am curious to see what has changed in the time between the two series.

4. The Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: September 22, 2016

I really enjoyed the first book in Six of Crows, and I’m curious about the direction the second book will take.

A Gathering of Shadows  (A Darker Shade of Magic, #2)

5. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Release Date: February 23, 2016

The first book was addictive and fun. I’m curious to see which direction the second book takes.

6. Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Release Date: Fall 2016

I really enjoyed the first book, and hope that it means more YA novels set in space will gain popularity in the future as I would like to read more of them. I’m also very curious to see the direction the second book takes.

Beyond the Red

7. Beyond The Red by Ava Jae

Release Date: March 1, 2016

I follow this author’s blog, and find the writing advice she gives to be very useful. The setting of an alien planet in a YA novel also interests me greatly.

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)
Not the final cover.

8. Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Release Date: September 27, 2016

I really enjoy this author’s writing style, and suspect that this will have continued to grow in her newest series. This book sounds like it has the potential to be very good.

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)

9. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Release Date: February 16, 2016

The summary of this book sounds very interesting to me. Time travel interests me, and I figured this list needed more novels from debut authors.

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1)

10. The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Rick Riordan’s books always have a tendency to put me in a very good mood. It was hard to choose the final book in this list, but in the end I chose this one for that reason.