ARC Review: The Leaving

ARC Review: The LeavingThe Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on June 7th 2016
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted
Goodreads

Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been.
Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.
Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story.

Hi guys! I am so, so, so sorry that I haven’t been very active. I’ve been so uninspired lately, but I am going to try to get more reviews up! I’m trying a more casual review format to see if I like it better, so bear with me!


 This book kept me up waaaaaaaay past my bedtime! (Seriously, I stayed up until 3 AM to finish it!) I was constantly guessing and I just HAD TO KNOW what happened! I loved the mystery of it all, but at the same time, it was a bit too much. I found myself wishing that the author had made the choice to show us their lives before, wipe their memories, then have us reading along as they figure out the past; a healthy bit of dramatic irony. I really don’t know what I would’ve wanted. I LOVED not knowing, but I also wanted to know! I think the ideal solution would be to keep us guessing, but reveal the plot twists faster.

This book definitely creeped me out! It was the perfect amount of creeptastic goodness. Not only was I scared for the characters during this book, I was scared for all of humankind! The author did a fabulous job of revealing the plot twists in a way that was super creepy.

I hated Avery. She was annoying–almost unbearable. But, her POV felt necessary to the story. Not because of the romance (which I’ll get into later), but because of Max. Max was the tagline of this book. “Six were taken. Five came back.” The other characters didn’t really think about Max at all, yet he was still an important part of the story. Avery’s hunt for Max added another layer to the mystery. As much as I couldn’t stand Avery and all of her teenagery whining, she was an important character. She gave perspective to the situation that we didn’t see through Lucas or Scarlett.

Speaking of Lucas and Scarlett, the romance in this book was very odd. We start off with Avery having a child-like crush on Lucas, Lucas feeling an intruguing connection with Scarlett, and Scarlett not really caring at all. Later on in the book, we find out that View Spoiler » Avery continues to pine for Lucas. View Spoiler » The romance was confusing. I didn’t ship any of the couples and I could’ve done without any romance at all.

The ending was very inconclusive! After all that questioning and build-up, it was very anticlimactic when the the answer was finally found. We didn’t get enough information. I was desperate for information about what happened during the events of the book and we barely got anyView Spoiler »

Judging by all that, it may seem as if I didn’t like The Leaving. That is false! I looooved this book! I simply can’t read a book without critiquing something!

TITLE: boring | nothing special | pretty good | caught my eye | perfection | music to my ears
COVER: not my favorite | goes well with rest of the series | boring | generic | pretty | series cover change | beautiful | HEART EYES
POV: 1st | 2nd | 3rd limited | 3rd omniscient | multiple POVs | too many POVs
CONCEPT: original as heck | run of the mill in genre | average | has potential | great idea, bad execution
MOOD: dark | hilarious | light hearted | romantic | depressing | suspenseful | fluffy | mysterious
PACING: snail’s pace | couldn’t keep up | mix of fast and slow | slow in the wrong places | fast in the wrong places | what even is pacing? | fast
CHARACTERS: i’m in love | couldn’t connect | too many | well developed (all) | infuriating | annoying | precious babies | underdeveloped (all)| a mix of good and bad | okay | new favorite characters | book boyfriend
ROMANCE: none | steamy | adorable | ship it | didn’t ship it | cheesy | predictable | love triangle (sorta) | instalove | OTP | huh?
DIVERSITY: none | black | jewish | asian | indian | lgbt+ | mental health | male narrator | body | culture

I had a lot of trouble rating this book. In the end, I gave it 4 stars! The romance and ending were downers, but the suspense and story line were done so well that the rating had to be good!


The Leaving was, overall, an excellent book and I highly recommend it!

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Guest Post|Kaina-One Page Closer

newlogoHello lovelies! My name is Kaina, I am a Junior in high school and I blog over at These Flying Pages. I magically appear before you today because Gabi has been kind enough to let me borrow her awesome blog to tell you about a very cool bookish thing.

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Today I will be talking about my recently launched literacy initiative/unofficial non-profit, One Page Closer, a community service project that provides fully stocked bookcases to children and teens in low-income communities.

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Primarily intended for teens, each bookcase will be stocked with donated books or books purchased with donated dollars. In addition, every bookcase will have twelve We Need Diverse Books as well as an OPC collection, an assortment of YA titles hand picked by yours truly. What does this mean exactly? One Page Closer will be providing fully stocked bookcases with the best Young Adult titles at no cost to low-income communities in Miami, Florida, and hopefully one day abroad. Each book shelve will stock approximately 120 novels.

 What is an OPC Collection?

An OPC Collection is a series of handpicked YA books that will be present in every bookcase donated. They showcase the best of YA literature and are great introducers to the genre. It is through the reading of these novels that we hope to foster the readers of tomorrow.

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Why

For me, literature has always been a method of escape–a permanent fixture in the consistency of my short days–the best companion on 2 am nights, and the most reliable friend. All the books that sit on my overflowing shelves have played some significant role in my life. Whether it be that of a friend, a mentor, a teacher, a much needed hand of comfort, or a wake up call. Every novel that has graced my hands have all parted with relatively similarity; instilling a bit of wisdom with each closing chapter.

And so, to realize that there are kids out there missing out on all of this–because of their socio-economic backgrounds, circumstances, or simple lack of exposure–commanded me to action. To do something to help, to make the enjoyable literature that hooked me on reading in the first place accessible to others. To make some sort of impact, whether it be on one or five hundred individuals, every person counts.

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What is We Need Diverse Books?

diversebooksWe Need Diverse Books is a campaign dedicated to highlighting the best of diverse literature for children and teens and to heightening awareness through continued education. Their focus is solely on works for children, with a commitment to continue to highlight and honor children’s books that celebrate the lives of all young readers, their families, and communities. As an extension of the OPC Collection each One Page Closer bookcase will have 12 YA novels that feature diversity.

Who Is This For?

As of now, the first bookcase will be going to Breakthrough Miami, an eight-year, tuition-free academic enrichment program that provides motivated middle-school students from underserved communities with the tools they need to achieve their most ambitious goals in life (this one has actually already been completed!) After that I will be stocking eight bookcases (yes eight *breathes erratically*) for The Boys and Girls Club of Miami for their four locations in Miami. Four bookcases will be going to their Literacy Rooms for kids K-8 and the other four will be going to their Teen Rooms for kids 12-18.

How You Can Help

If you happen to be going “hmm I want to help” I would like to take a moment to send you a huge enormous virtual hug, like right now.

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This is a primarily donation/people based project, a huge task to accomplish and I can’t do it alone. Whatever you can do will help. Whether that be getting the word out, donating to this projects GoFundMe, visiting our website , following our Instagram or Twitter, or donating books; anything and everything brings us one page closer to our goal: to make enjoyable literature accessible for all.

Every person who makes a monetary donation will have their name placed on the list of donors which will be visible on the bookcase they helped fund.

Can I Donate Books?

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You can send any new/gently used Young Adult, Middle School, or Children’s books to:

One Page Closer

4234 SW 152nd AVE, Suite 140

Miami, Florida 33185

(YA novels strongly preferred)

Thank you in advance for helping me #GiveYA, let me know if you have any questions below!

Top Ten Tuesday | 10 Websites I Visit Daily

The theme for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and The Bookish, is “10 websites!” This could be top 10 non-bookish blogs, top 10 websites I visit daily, top 10 websites I reccomend, etc. I am choosing to do TOP TEN WEBSITES I VISIT DAILY. Without further ado, here’s the post!

Top 10 Tuesday

This week’s topic is Top Ten Websites I Visit Daily


1. Google Drive

One of the websites that I visit daily is Google Drive. I use this website for all my homework and as a way to organize my writing. I also use this to communicate with my teachers and other students!

2. ModCloth

I am a self-admitted online shopping junkie. My favorite store is ModCloth! I visit the website or app daily to see what new arrivals they have and to browse the sale section.

3. Girls’ Life

If you didn’t know, I work at Girls’ Life Magazine. I visit this website to see what my coworkers and friends are working on and to generally work on things.

4. Twitter

I’m very active on Twitter! I spent waaaaay too much time on there. I communicate with both non-bookish and bookish friends on Twitter and I see my other fandom (Broadway) friends there!

5. Broadway.com

I freaking love Broadway.com! I love their articles, videos, and interviews. They have exclusive footage and pictures that I eat right up. I watch the Broadway.com Show religiously and read pretty much every article. Best place to go for Broadway news!

6. Goodreads

I don’t know how I ever got by before without Goodreads! I use the app or website every day to update my current read and to check out what my friends are reading and reviewing. It’s how I find out about a lot of books!

7. Netflix

My computer has a Netflix app, but it doesn’t work too well so I use the website! Netflix is THE BOMB. I watch movies, tv shows, documentaries, you know it. Live love Netflix!

8. Spotify

Spotify is how I listen to music on my computer! I HATE the app, but the web version is great! They have all the music I could ever want to listen to and I can skip freely and play what I want.

9. Amazon

The amount of stuff that I buy from Amazon is somewhat embarrassing. My family has Amazon Prime, so we literally get EVERYTHING from there. I’m always in need of something, be it books, food, toiletries, or anything.

10. Weather

I guess you could call me a weather junkie. I check the weather multiple times a day on both my phone and computer. It may be a bit compulsive, but I’m never caught in the rain unprepared!


That’s it! Tell me, what websites do you visit daily?

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DNF Review: How It Ends

DNF Review: How It EndsHow It Ends by Catherine Lo
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on June 7th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted
Goodreads

There are two sides to every story.
It’s friends-at-first-sight for Jessie and Annie, proving the old adage that opposites attract. Shy, anxious Jessie would give anything to have Annie’s beauty and confidence. And Annie thinks Jessie has the perfect life, with her close-knit family and killer grades. They're BFFs…until suddenly they're not.
Told through alternating points of view, How It Ends is a wildly fast but deeply moving read about a friendship in crisis. Set against a tumultuous sophomore year of bullying, boys and backstabbing, the novel shows what can happen when friends choose assumptions and fear over each other.

Hey guys! I’m so sorry for not posting in a while. I’ve been really busy with life and, to be honest, I haven’t wanted to write anything. I’m gonna get back into the swing of things this spring until I go on hiatus in July! Anyways, I’m gonna do a DNF review for How It Ends by Catherine Lo. If you’ve never seen a DNF review before, I talk about why I DNFd the book as opposed to likes and dislikes. On with the review!


WHY I DNF’D

This book started out really great! I enjoyed the relationship and related to both Jessie and Annie. Unfortunately, as their relationship deteriorated, mine with the book did as well.

The characters started to drive me CRAZY. I thought I was gonna relate to and like Jessie because of her anxiety, similar to mine, but it was the opposite. The way the author portrayed her anxiety…it felt like a caricature. I’m not offended by the way she wrote the character’s anxiety, just annoyed. It felt very inaccurate to me and made the book pretty much impossible to read. Anxiety aside, she was just plain annoying. She was extremely whiny and was essentially a privileged brat. She didn’t seem to actually care about Annie and refused to let her be her own person.

That said, Annie wasn’t an angel either. Again, I liked her in the beginning. I thought she was quirky and “cool.” Well, she turned out to be a huge bitch. She knew all of Jessie’s problems and STILL ditched her to hang out with the popular girls. She made my blood boil. I think we as readers can all relate to the dorky, bookish girl and seeing her hurt like that because of her interests and nature made me furious. Annie did so much horrible shit to Jessie all while complaining about Jessie. Something doesn’t add up here!

I DNFd How It Ends because of the characters. They were both horrible and impossible to read. Catherine Lo’s portrayal of Jessie’s anxiety was angering and inaccurate.

This book had so much potential! I love strong friendships and non-romantic stories, but this book just did not deliver. :(


That’s it! It’s good to be back. Thanks for reading!

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Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Blog Tour

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Blog TourLove, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Published by Swoon Reads on April 19th 2016
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Goodreads

Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.
Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

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So I love spy books. Heck I love spy everything. Movies, tv, books, musicals, EVERYTHING! And when you mix historical fiction with spies you can get a amazing book. I really enjoyed reading this one. There were a few tid bits that I did get confused on but all in all I think I would recommend this book to many many of my friends.

Let’s start of with Juliana. I loved her. She was so honest and just didn’t care what he aunt thought of her and I could TOTALLY imagine Deanna as her! Feminism to the max! Plus that thing about her obsession with bugs! Little weird but its like my obsession with books. I can relate to her! And that’s one of the first things that I look for in the a good female protagonist.

I would love to see her as a spy like Spencer. Would make the perfect awesome badass power duo. Speaking of Spencer…definitely isn’t on the never ending list of fictional boyfriends. I don’t know something about him just sets me off, maybe its the fact THAT THERE IS LITERALLY NOTHING INTERESTING ABOUT HIM! Ignore the whole spy thing…ANYWAYS! Yeah I mean, yes him and Juliana are amazing together I just can’t deal. Oh whatever, leave me alone!

BOBBINGTON IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFEEEE! Chandler just took his place for me. I freaking love him. HE is on my fictional boyfriend list. Can we pweaseee with a cherry on top have a novella about this awesome amazing character??? But you know who isn’t a awesome amazing character?! YOU GUESSED IT! THE FREAKING PYEPALDS! Those..those..germs. Geez I hate them. I cringed every time either one of them spoke.

ALL IN ALL! I very much enjoyed reading this book. Very unique and definitely would recommend to a fellow spy book lover.

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Bright Blaze of Magic Blog Tour

Bright Blaze of Magic Blog TourBright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade, #3) by Jennifer Estep
Published by Kensington on April 26th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Goodreads

"The characters are as fantastic as Estep fans have come to expect." – RT Book Reviews
Bad Things Always Come In Threes…
As a thief, I'm good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.
Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families--and kill every last Sinclair. What they don't know is that I'm on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I've got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…
"An adventurous ride you will never want to get off." --#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout on Cold Burn of Magic

BBOM

 

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Guys…guys…GUYSSSS! THIS BOOK! THIS IS EPIC! JUST SO *KARATE MOVES* KICKASS! Best way to finish of this fantabulous series! I loved everything about this book going from all the fight scenes, to the magic scenes, to the freaking characters, and just LOVEEEE! Lila is again very very awesome at what she does and honestly very much goals. I love her with all my heart, There a million female protagonists that i just cannot stand but Lila…I’ll stand for hours for her. Devon is just *heart eyes* Still isn’t on my fictional boyfriend list but he’s getting there

Probably my favorite part of this entire series is the world building. So much world building! You hardly know anything in the beginning of the first book and by the end of the series you can probably teach a class about the history of the families and just everything about this magical world. Would I want to be a part of it? Absolutely not. But hey its a great world to read about, and I hope I get to see novellas about this world even more.

Felix is my favorite character. Was and will always be my favorite character. Now I am not a very big fan of the whole forbidden love thing but him and Leah make it work! I don’t know how but they do! I love them together but leah you better watch out because Felix definitely is on my fictional boyfriend list!

Honestly the fight scenes to have come straight out of a movie. Every little thing just became so…real. I don’t know all you guys need to know is that I absolutely loved this book and I really did love this series. I recommend this series SOOOO FREAKING MUCH to you guys! I really do hope that this is “the book” for you.

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Gabi’s Rants|Colleen Hoover Books

Okay. Can we just discuss the subject that is Colleen Hoover? I have procrastinated reading her books for the LONGEST time. As long as I have been procrastinating reading the Stephanie Perkins novels. And now I have read FOUR Colleen Hoover books in the span of three days.

I have a problem.

The bigger problem is…I only liked 2/4 books I read.

Yet I still want to read more…

DOES ANYBODY ELSE HAVE THIS TYPE OF AUTHOR?! When you have an author where you enjoyed maybe one or two of their books, and then disliked the rest…AND YOU STILL WANT TO READ THEM. Please tell me I’m not the only one. I can’t be. Colleen Hoover don’t get me wrong, is a great writer. Just some of the stories I wasn’t as satisfied as I was with others.

Ugly Love and Maybe Someday are the ones that I loved. Slammed I liked. I didn’t like November 9. And now I am reading Hopeless, and its eh.

I’m not planning on doing a review for Ugly Love or Maybe Someday but just to summarize my feelings

And now I cannot stop on my Colleen Hoover kick…all I want to read is Contemporary. And thats NEW for me. I’m a fantasy person, Deanna is the contemp person but now I am setting my fantasies aside to read BOOKS THAT TAKE PLACE IN THE REAL WORLD!

Aren’t I growing up.

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