2017: Year In Review

Year In Review:
Ok, so it's a few months in review for me. Lol. I can still look back though right? Lol. So I know there's a bunch of different year in review type posts I could do, but I'm just gonna do my own and answer some of those most common questions on found on them. 

Books I Reviewed:

Challenges:
I did the 2017 Dystopian Reading Challenge. 

My goal was Rebel (6-10 books): 

Books I Planned To Read:
1. Fuse (Pure #2) by Julianna Baggott
2. Burn (Pure #3) by Julianna Baggott
3. Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi
4. Into The Still Blue (Under The Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi
5. Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu
6. Ruins (Partials #3) by Dan Wells
7. Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Books I Actually read for the challenge:
1. Fuse (Pure #2) by Julianna Baggott
2. Into The Still Blue (Under The Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi
3. Ruins (Partials #3) by Dan Wells
4. The Lives We Lost (Fallen World #2) by Megan Crewe
5. The Worlds We Make (Fallen World #3) by Megan Crewe
6. Unknown (Unknown #1) by Wendy Higgins
7. Unrest (Unknown #2) by Wendy Higgins
8. Undone (Unknown #3) by Wendy Higgins

So I did meet my goal, but most of the books were ones I actually had not originally planned to read. No matter, I'll use them for my goal this upcoming year! :)

Fun Questions:

What was my favorite book read this year?
Undone by Wendy Higgins

Favorite 2017 release?
The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

Favorite bookish couple? 
Amber and Rylen from the Unknown series by Wendy Higgins. They two!! I love them together so much! 

Favorite review written?
Unknown by Wendy Higgins

Review with the most views?
So this one is actually about tied. Into The Still Blue and The Lives We Lost

Stacking The Shelves [#82]/Sunday Post [#13] - Also Known As The Christmas Haul!

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality as a way to share all the books we got during the week!

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. Its a weekly post to showcase what books you got, recap the week, and talk about what will be coming up this week on the blog!

Christmas Presents (not all are books, but still fun stuff)

Books:

Book From Last Week:
So this was on sale about 2 weeks ago and I picked up the kindle copy since I'd been eyeballing it for a bit now. 

Fun Items:
  • Doctor Who Coloring Book (Big Doctor Who Fan)
  • My own sonic screwdriver! (James got me the set where I can customize my own)
  • The Walking Dead Comics Book 1 (James knows I like the show but have never read the comics, so he picked it up and completely surprised me with it!)
  • Nuka Cola Cup (I'm a big fan of the Fallout games!)
  • A water bottle with timer (I need to be better about drinking my water)
  • Mint candy! Both James and his mom know I absolutely LOVE mint. So they got me lots of mint candy (I have some not pictured, Lol)
XBOX ONE Games
So when I'm not reading and blogging, I really love playing on the Xbox. Origins was one of both mine and James highly anticipated games this year. And Let me say this. Out of all the most recent games, its fantastic. I loved the time period of Assassins Creed Unity, but the game play thoroughly ruined that game. I struggled to enjoy playing it. James didn't even play it after watching me struggle with it so much. Assassins Creed Syndicate, it was better than Unity, but still not super great. I felt like they made certain things needlessly complicated. Origins. I love this! I like the way the gameplay has been redesigned, I like that its not overly complicated thus far (I'm level 25) in terms of having to do extra stuff just to get full sync. And I like the combat system. In most of the other AC games. I rarely used anything but my sword. But in this one, I find myself switching between my sword, spear and bow much more often. And it's nice. I like being able to use all my weapons without complication. I have to say, this is a good comeback for Ubisoft after Unity and Syndicate. I really hope they keep making future AC games more like the Origins format. 

Steam Games:
So James actually got this first, and I took an interest in watching him play it so he gifted me a copy for Christmas. He's probably gonna gift me a few more games, but he's waiting to see what game I buy him right now to determine what other games to buy me (to equal the price I spend on his game/s). Also, just an FYI, if you like computer games, I highly suggest getting Steam. I never knew it existed until I met James but I've got a fair amount of games from Steam now. And plus their winter sale is going until January 4th!!

Weekly Recap:

Reviews: 

It was Christmas this week. Merry Christmas to everyone since I didn't actually make a Christmas post. I hope everyone had a good one! I had a great Christmas! Some fantastic gifts from family, and great times spent together! 

So I probably could have posted more this week, but I was sidetracked by my new Xbox game (pictured above). It's been a few years since I've really enjoyed an Assassin's Creed game and this one is just awesome so far. So I've been playing a lot. Lol. I swear I'm gonna get back on track with reading though! Lol. 

Also, gotta post the obligatory pictures of my daughter on Christmas! She had a very good Christmas. She got gifts from lots of family. Mommy & daddy, grandma & grandpa (my parents), granddad and nana (James parents), great grandma & uncle (my grandma and uncle), and two of her great aunts (two of James wonderful aunts). One of her favorite toys though is actually one I got her. A ride on toy! The Minnie mouse airplane ride on! Also, forgive the mess in the photos. I took these right after opening presents so we hadn't cleaned up yet. 

She loves this thing!

She also really loves the train set her great Aunt Beth got her. Daddy loves trains and he's kinda passed that onto her. So she was excited to have a little set of her own (we're trying to figure out where nana and granddad moved daddy's huge Thomas set to in their garage or house, so she has a small set now til we find that!)

She loves saying choo choo when playing with her trains! Its seriously adorable!

Upcoming:
Review of Breaking The Ice by Julie Cross
Review of Warcross by Marie Lu
Review of Renegades by Marissa Meyer
A year (or few months for me) in review post

Some good stuff coming up. Also, I'll be posting a poll sometime in the next few weeks regarding a potential giveaway I might do in March that I'll want opinions on. So stay tuned for that! 

Review: Undone by Wendy Higgins

Undone (Unknown #3)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publisher:
Publication Date: December 6, 2017
Pages: 312
Format: Kindle

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins, brings you the gripping, sensual conclusion to her apocalyptic trilogy.

Amber Tate never dreamed their heart-wrenching escape from the enemy’s attack would lead them to the most beautiful place she’s ever seen, marred by one ugly fact; it’s under enemy control. Like everywhere else in the world, Elmendorf military base in Alaska has been captured, and it’s time to take it back—all of it—one base, one city at a time. After losing so much, Amber clings to the only precious person she has left, and vows to sacrifice everything to help save the Earth.

Remy Haines is a lover, not a fighter, so when she finds herself in enemy territory, expected to feign allegiance while gathering intel for the rebel cause, she’s never been more out of her element. Tensions only increase when her feelings for Jacob “Tater” Tate won’t go away, and the enemy’s leader takes an interest in her. She’s torn between what her heart wants, and what she knows she should do. As for what her body needs…well, it’s always had a mind of its own.



Review: I thoroughly enjoyed the ending to this trilogy. I think many of our favorite characters showed huge growth from the positions they found themselves in. Especially Remy and Linette.

The group was split up after evacuating Dugway, Amber & Rylen made it out and to Alaska. But Remy, Tater and Linette got left behind and captured by the Baelese. Being split up definitely caused Remy, Tater and Linette to force themselves to grow so as not to be killed. They didn't like what they had to do by any means, but they did. I'm really proud of Remy. I definitely think she grew the most. She went from being the naive girl who thought the DRI was really trying to help them to understanding who the enemy was and doing what she could to help her friends and the humans in general take back the Earth. She was really scared initially, especially since Bahntan (AKA Senator Navis) took an interest in her, a serious interest, but she overcame that fear and did what she could to get in a better position with him. Which included being housed in a better place which gave her access to things they couldn't even think of getting in the camp everyone else was in. Thanks to her better housing, she was able to sneak a radio back to the camp that Linette was able to use to contact the rest of the group in Alaska. I was really proud of Remy's transformation in this book. She was in so many situations that were uncomfortable for her but she overcame it and became crucial to the success of defeating the Baelese.

Linette. Hahaha. She was so used to doing what she wanted and going by her own rules. You could tell she despised every minute of her captivity and being under Baelese rule. She put up a good fake front, but you could sense the anger coming off her. That pent up anger came out eventually when she fought with Remy. However, if it wasn't for Linettes skills in being able to send messages with the radio Remy got for her, the group in Alaska never would have known any of the Baelese plans that got moved up.

Tater. He struggled so much. He hated every moment being held by the Baelese. It took all his strength to not cause issues. I loved the moment he and Remy shared when the base was being attacked by the groups outside. They shared a moment of which we all knew was building up with them for a while. I was so happy they finally got past the issues and were just in the moment with each other after what had been going on. I felt so bad that that moment caused Tater some serious issues with the Baelese. Luckily, that issue was later taken care of.

Amber and Ry!!! Hehehe. I loved these two in this book! Oh they made me so happy! They got married!!!! Something Amber had been dreaming about literally for years. Mrs. Fite! Oh I swear this was the best part of the book for me. Amber and Ry are the best! I loved how in the mist of all the stuff that went down, there was still genuine good happy moments like this. I also loved how they weren't the only people with happy moments!

I genuinely enjoyed the ending. They took back the planet from the Baelese! After everything the Baelese did, they deserved what came to them. And their idea of having one race and not being able to choose who you have children with and controlling when you have relations with others. Just no. For them, who were pretty different than humans, that might have worked. But that is not even close to how human biology and feelings work. That was a plan that would never have worked.

I also loved how Ry got his cousin Macy back at the end. She ended up at Nellis in the same camp that Remy, Linette and Tater were brought to. It was so good seeing Ry reunited with Macy.On top of that I loved how Tater and Remy got together finally and even adopted the two children who were brought to them during their captivity as their own. Seriously, that was the sweetest thing ever! And I loved the news about Amber and Ry at the end! The vaccine the Baelese gave Amber didn't completely destroy her reproductive system! One of her tubes and ovaries was able to heal from the damage the vaccine did and she was able to conceive! She got her wish of her and Ry being able to have babies!!! I smiled so big at this. And I loved the significance of the group going back and getting the car they left behind where their group began. It was a perfect way to end the book on a sappy note!

New Releases: Week of December 26, 2017

Love, Life, and the List
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: December 26, 2017

Everyone knows Abby Turner is in love with her best friend, Cooper Wells. Including Cooper Wells. But despite what people tell her, it doesn’t affect their friendship. And she’s practically over it, anyway. What she really can’t get over is when her boss at the local museum tells her that her paintings lack heart.

Art is Abby’s passion and she hopes her future as well. She is determined to change his mind and earn her way into the upcoming exhibit at the gallery. So along with her family’s help, she compiles “The Heart List,” a series of soulstretching experiences that are sure to make her a deeper person and better artist in six weeks or less. When Cooper decides to complete the list along with her, she realizes this list is expanding her heart in more ways than one. Maybe she needs to start another project.

Love, Life, and the List is about a girl who, in an effort to bring more emotional depth to her art, compiles a list of soul-stretching experiences to complete with her best friend—a boy she also happens to be in love with.

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.

Other New Releases This Week:
The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns #0.5) by Kendare Blake [Harper Teen] (12/26/17)
The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle [HMH] (12/26/17)
The Mind Virus (The Wired #3) by Donna Freitas [Harper Teen] (12/26/17)

Stacking The Shelves [#81]/Sunday Post [#12]/Mailbox Monday [#12]

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality as a way to share all the books we got during the week!

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. Its a weekly post to showcase what books you got, recap the week, and talk about what will be coming up this week on the blog!

Mailbox Monday is hosted on its own site. It is there to show off the books acquired during the week!

Bought:

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

It was on sale for kindle so I bought it since I was debating trying this series. 

Weekly Recap:

So I'm sorry I didn't get any of my reviews up, or any other posts for that matter (new releases was scheduled) this week. Suffice it to say, its been a VERY LONG WEEK. 

The Good:

I got my final grade back for those who have been waiting with me. I PASSED! I got an 86 on the final and I passed the class with an 89. So a high B. That means your girl here has officially earned her Associates degree!!

Daughter had her 3 year check up this week. Doctor says she's doing well and is still impressed at the amount of stuff she understands and comprehends (our doctor has said repeatedly that my daughter seems to be ahead when it comes to the amount of things understood at her age). And the tater tot is now 3 feet tall, 36 inches. She's definitely taking after dad (dad is 6ft). 

The Bad:

Thing #1: So last month I got my paperwork stating mine and my daughters health insurance had been renewed. Well, I was lied to. I got a notice on the 20th saying hers will be discontinued on the 31st. Mine was apparently renewed, but they failed to renew my daughters despite it saying clearly on my paperwork it had been. So I had to do the paperwork again to have hers renewed and hopefully it goes through before the 31st. 

Thing #2: So Christmas is coming. I had a few orders still on the way. So one was scheduled for the 20th. Fedex all of a sudden makes it a delivery exception and takes it back to the facility for inspection. We called about it, they said my package was damaged which is why they took it back. Well they did send it back out the 21st. Guess what... I got it and NO DAMAGE. The only issues with the box were that the corners had dents which normally happen in shipping. So I was lied to. AGAIN! 

Thing #3: My fiance (James) ordered a few things from my Amazon account for the 2 day prime shipping. Supposed to come in the 22nd. Well, it has a delay. No big deal, it got to Tucson like half an hour after the delay update. But then they update the scheduled delivery to Tuesday, the 26th. After Christmas. This package has gifts in it, hence using my 2 day shipping! So I call and set up a hold. 4 hours later they call me back and confirm I want to just go pick it up because WE ARE NOT WAITING TIL TUESDAY. So the UPS associate says it'll be ready for me to pick up in the morning. That should be the end of it right??? WRONG. As I write this it is almost 1AM on the 23rd (the day I'm supposed to pick up my package). So I check the tracking to make sure no hanky panky is going on. Hanky panky is going on... Despite me telling them and confirming I want to pick it up, they updated it back to delivery and its left the UPS facility I was supposed to pick it up at. And the delivery date has gone back to the 26th. Suffice it to say, I'M PISSED OFF. I spent 4 hours today getting it held for pickup for no reason apparently. Now I'm sitting here hoping it updates in the morning saying its either back at the facility or that it will actually be delivered today (the 23rd). 

Did you guys know its practically impossible to get a hold of someone at UPS and FEDEX. I literally could not find local numbers for either ANYWHERE. And their automated systems don't really help. 

So it's not been a good week. Its been problem after problem and I'm exhausted from this. But the funny thing about this. Everyone complains about the post office right?? They are the only ones actually delivering my packages this week like they are supposed to. Thankfully the mail carriers around here actually seem to care about doing their jobs correctly unlike the package carriers. 

Upcoming:
CHRISTMAS!!!! Merry Christmas in advance! I'll probably put up a cute little Christmas post on Christmas. :)
All the reviews I was going to do this week that mentioned issues have interfered with. 

New Releases: Week of December 19, 2017

Here, There, Everywhere
Authors: Julia Durango & Tyler Terrones
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: December 19, 2017

Zeus would rather be anywhere than here—Buffalo Falls—the tiny town his family moved to at the end of the school year. Having left all his friends back in Chicago and with nothing to look forward to except helping out at his mother’s cafĂ© and biking around town with his weird little brother, Zeus is pretty sure this is destined to be the worst summer of his life.

But then he meets Rose—funny, beautiful, smart, and an incredible musician.

Zeus can hardly believe that someone like her exists, let alone seems interested in being with him. However, while Zeus is counting down the minutes until he can see her next, Rose is counting down the days until she finds out whether she will be able to leave their small town to pursue her dreams. As the afternoons spent going on local adventures pass into nights discussing their deepest hopes, Zeus knows that he doesn’t have long to convince Rose that what they have is more than a summer fling…if only he’s brave enough to seize the chance.

Other New Releases This Week: 
Three Side of A Heart: Stories About Love Triangles by Various Authors [Harper Collins] (12/19/17)
Prince In Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm [Disney-Hyperion] (12/19/17)
Shadow Girl by Liana Liu [Harper Teen] (12/19/17)

Stacking The Shelves [#80]/Sunday Post [#11]/Mailbox Monday [#11]

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality as a way to share all the books we got during the week!

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. Its a weekly post to showcase what books you got, recap the week, and talk about what will be coming up this week on the blog!

Mailbox Monday is hosted on its own site. It is there to show off the books acquired during the week!

From The Library:

Burn (Pure #3) by Julianna Baggott

I had mentioned about a month ago that I was just waiting for the holds for the ebook from the library to disappear. They finally did. So I was able to get my turn with it. 

NetGalley:


I think this book sounds pretty interesting! It comes out in may of next year. 

Weekly Recap:

Cover Reveals: 

Reviews:

So this week since I'm done with classes (still waiting on that final grade though), I was able to enjoy some reading time. I finished Unknown, Unrest, and Undone by Wendy Higgins. I reviewed the first two books already, and the third books review will be up Monday (I'm having Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays for posting reviews). I really enjoyed this series! If you haven't read it, I highly suggest you pick it up!

This past Wednesday (the 13th) was mine and James (my fiance) 4 year anniversary! We went out to dinner and then went to the Winterhaven Festival of Lights (a big neighborhood event in Tucson) with our daughter, his parents, and my best friend and her boyfriend. So much fun! It was his dads and my friends first time going! And they had so much fun seeing all the light displays! And our daughter had a blast this year seeing the lights! Overall, we had a good anniversary! 

Also in other news with James, he passed all his classes this semester with A's & B's!!! I'm so incredibly proud of him! This was his first semester back in school after about 2 years and I'm so happy its been a successful one!! I seriously could not be prouder of him right now! :D :D I feel like he will do well next semester also since two of the instructors he had this semester are teaching two of his classes next semester (he's working on a criminal justice degree and those two instructors are CJ specific instructors, hence why we picked their class offering when we saw they'd be teaching other CJ classes he needs). 

Upcoming:
Review of Undone (Unknown #3) by Wendy Higgins (On Monday 12/18)
Review of Burn (Pure #3) by Julianna Baggott (Thursday I'm thinking)
Review of Breaking The Ice (Juniper Falls #2) by Julie Cross (Friday Maybe? I'll be posting it a few days before it releases on the 26th)


Review: Unrest by Wendy Higgins

Unrest (Unknown #2)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date: February 14, 2017
Pages: 282
Format: Kindle Book

Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having so many of the things they love brutally ripped from them by an unknown enemy who sent their world into the apocalypse.

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities...lust. In their tight quarters, Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy can't escape it. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when they discover the truth about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out the enemy's identity would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.

Review: So we see everyone heading to Dugway Proving Ground in Utah after hearing a coded broadcast about survivors there. This trip however is not without many dangers. They run into other survivors who prove to be dangerous (one whose not, and ends up joining them later on) and also have to avoid the DRI. The DRI sighting is especially heartbreaking for everyone as they see another Convoy of buses taking people to the "safe zones." They all knew the actual fate those people were going to suffer soon enough but they couldn't do a thing to stop it with just their small group. What makes the trek to Dugway even worse is that Remy got sick. She had to be carried most of the way when they lost the cars. 

Dugway proved to be interesting. Over 100 survivors, all military from various branches found their way there and have made a little hideout of survivors. I was surprised there was so many of them. I thought it was going to be a small group, maybe like 10 or 20 people most. They pretty much turned it into a hidden underground society. Everyone had a job based on their knowledge and talents. And everyone took new outsiders VERY seriously. Like thorough questioning and body checking seriously. But in times of war where you don't know who could be the enemy you have to take precautions. 

We finally get some real confirmation who the enemy is. The Baelese. The people we keep reading small bits about in the prologue. It wasn't completely clear what they were up to in the beginning of Unknown, but its very clear in the beginning of Unrest. Our favorite characters learn about the Baelese during a base wide meeting. It shakes them to the core. They thought they were fighting a group of unknown humans. They never thought it would be a group of aliens. This changes the game for everyone. We learn a lot more about where the Baelese come from, how long they've been on earth, and why they came here, but I won't spoil that. It's a lot to take in. We also learn that they decided to do something awful to all the human women they managed to come into contact with, including Amber and Remy. 

So onto our favorite characters. I'll start out with Tater and Remy. Tater had some real issues in this book. All this stuff happening between his parents dying, the things he's had to do to protect everyone, his feelings for Remy, the news about the Baelese. Its given his serious PTSD. He really struggles the whole book. He's happy some moments, then he depressed and wanting to be alone. They he's angry and taking it out on everyone. He also struggles a lot regarding Remy. He really does like her and still keeps trying to help her and protect her, but he also doesn't want it to be a fling and doesn't want to use or hurt her when she's still hurting as well. He's so hot and cold with her. Half the time being nice, and half the time being mean. At the end of the book he chooses to find and protect her over his own safety. Remy actually becomes a bit reserved in this book compared to how she was in the last. She's upset with how Tater is hot and cold with her and feels like its her fault. She did however really enjoy her job at Dugway. She felt like she was really able to help the community. 

Amber and Rylen. Oh boy. Rylen is still being stubborn as you know what! Good grief I wanted to smack him across the face a few times. How can someone be this stubborn and not take the freaking hints?!?!?!?!?!?!?! And then at times it seemed like he was trying to piss Amber off, but then others he was bestie buddy again. Poor Amber. She tried so hard to get it through Rylen's head how she felt about him but he wasn't getting it. It took 3/4 of the book for Amber to say it straight up to his face, and then she had to say it again because she was drunk the first time and he wouldn't believe her. Poor girl. She kept the courage however and it finally freaking paid off! Amber and Rylen finally got together. It was clear Rylen wanted Amber too but he didn't want to make the move. But FINALLY!!! Good grief. They clearly are extremely happy together and wanted each other very badly. I'm so happy it finally happened for them!

So this definitely needs to be mentioned. Michael King. He was from Nellis AFB and found his way to Dugway. He was working under the DRI... And he he is responsible for some big stuff that went down. I also won't spoil this, but you'll want to know what he did. 

I'm very curious to see how the third book plays out. The group is split now. Amber, Rylen, and the military guys should be all together, but Tater, Remy and Linette (I still have mixed feelings about her) were split from them. 

5 Stars!

Cover Reveal: The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth

The cover was revealed today for The Fates Divide! The sequel to Carve The Mark! It looks gorgeous!


Can't-Wait Wednesday [#7]

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight the books we are eagerly awaiting. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)
Author: Holly Black
Expected Publication: January 2, 2018

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


I think this book sounds pretty good. And so far a lot of the early reviews I've seen for it seem positive!

New Releases: Week of December 12, 2017

The Truth Beneath The Lies
Author: Amanda Searcy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: December 12, 2017

Fight or Flight.

All Kayla Asher wants to do is run. Run from the government housing complex she calls home. Run from her unstable mother. Run from a desperate job at No Limit Foods. Run to a better, cleaner, safer life. Every day is one day closer to leaving.

All Betsy Hopewell wants to do is survive. Survive the burner phone hidden under her bed. Survive her new rules. Survive a new school with new classmates. Survive being watched. Every minute grants her another moment of life.

But when fate brings Kayla and Betsy together, only one girl will live.




Other New Releases This Week:
Freed by Flame and Storm (Bound by Blood and Sand #2) by Becky Allen [Delacorte] (12/12/17)
Cloaked in Shadows (The Dragori #1) by Ben Alderson [Oftomes Publishing] (12/18/17)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. It was created due to their love of lists.

Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

So obviously not all these books were released in 2017, just what I read. 

1. Unknown (Unknown #1) by Wendy Higgins

2. Unrest (Unknown #2) by Wendy Higgins

3. Undone (Unknown #3) by Wendy Higgins

4. The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions #1) by Michelle Hodkin

5. Into The Still Blue (Under The Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi

6. Fuse (Pure #2) by Julianna Baggott

Ok, so its more or less my top six. I've read more books this year, but I wouldn't put them in my top ten for the year. So this is what I'm going with. 

Review: Unknown by Wendy Higgins

Unknown (Unknown #1)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date: August 8, 2016
Pages: 344
Format: Kindle Book

Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.


Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I literally read all but the first two chapters in one sitting. It really grabbed my attention, despite starting out slower with character backgrounds. 

So the first thing that really stood out to me was the first bombings. Why were all the amusement type parks hit? What was the point behind destroying all the special family spots? This was the first thing that really got my brain working overtime. It especially bugged me that no one came forward to take responsibility or even give any reason as to why those bombings happened. Like that is not normal (especially in our current age where someone always seems to be claiming responsibility for stuff like this). I mean, I'd be pretty freaked out if this happened and no one claimed doing it and we didn't even know why. It would make me pretty scared to even go out and do anything in a public place then. You'd have no idea if another place was going to get hit and when. 

Then the next wave of bombs. So we know a lot of cities were destroyed, Las Vegas and L.A. included. I would have loved to know all the cities that were hit. That's just me though. I'm curious if every state had a city/cities bombed and why. Of course with these bombs, we still don't know anything. These ones however knocked out the power, communications, etc. So it effectively made the U.S. go dark. I have to admit though, I did see this second set of bombings coming. When the big meeting of U.S. and a few other world leaders took place I just knew. It was the perfect target to start a second attack and I was right. I do have to wonder why all the military bases were shut down after this and why. Definitely seems like something isn't right here. The military would never shut down like this, they'd be out trying to find these people and help everyone rebuild. 

Now, what the hell is the DRI/DRP??? These people are in absolutely no way normal. Yeah, obviously the country is in a crisis, but that is in absolutely no way how you treat people and get them to work with you. Killing innocent people because they didn't stay inside or just hand over all their stuff to you? Seriously? And then not letting medical staff treat injured people because there is a slim chance they could be an enemy? How awful do you have to be?? And then the fact they won't let a lot of good solid citizens join, but let a lot of the scum who do not deserve a job like that whatsoever join made it worse! Let me put it this way, stuff like what these people were doing is exactly why people fear the government taking total control during situations like this. They aren't really working in your best interest. 

I was a bit surprised by the other bombings. I wasn't expecting them to bomb the hospital, I'm not sure why that was needed except to kill more survivors, which I feel like was the goal of that. I was a little heartbroken when Amber, Remy and Rylen's families were taken after the second big meeting to a "safe zone" supposedly. I figured nothing good was going to come from that. And I just knew, when the DRI/DRP's left the zone when the jet was coming in that it was going to be bombed as well. I saw absolutely no other reason for the jet being there. And it really broke my heart knowing the outcome of that. 

So lets move on to the actual characters, yeah? I first wanna start off with Grandpa Tate actually. He was smart. Stockpiling all that food/water/guns etc after the first bombings happened. He just knew that wasn't going to be the end of it and he did what he needed to help protect and save his family. He also reminds me of my grandma. She is literally Grandpa Tate minus the gun stockpile. She has so much food stored away in case a type of situation like this were to arise. I have to say I also admire Grandpa Tate standing up for what was right in regards to the DRP trying to take everything, even though it got him killed. He just wanted his family to be taken care of and with the food taken they wouldn't be. 

Rylen. Oh where to start. I definitely ship Rylen and Amber. But this boy. Oy. He is clearly missing the point or sweeping things under the rug A LOT! He pretty much dismissed Amber telling him she had serious feelings for him, pretended like they hadn't almost kissed one night. It was awful. You can tell Rylen does love Amber, especially with the way he cares for her and tries to protect her and gets emotional with her. He just doesn't seem to think he's good enough for her even though he is all she wants. I have to admit I was extremely pissed off at him when he just showed up on leave married with his new wife. That was a huge HUGE slap in the face to Amber. For most of the book after this, I was pretty pissed at him like Amber was. However, closer to the end, we find out he married Livia to save her from her father and the town she lived in in Guatemala. My heart softened for him at this because he was genuinely trying to help her out of a bad situation and the only way he could was to marry her. I admire the fact he did something good for Livia, even if it came at Amber's expense. 

Amber, boy I felt for her. She grew up with feelings for Rylen. She tried to tell him and show him but he didn't seem to get it. And then to get slapped in the face with him coming home married, but yet still trying to be close to her and treat her like he did before. How freaking confusing! I have to admire Amber getting a degree in nursing. I could never do that job. I am WAY to squeamish for that. So I give props to anyone who can do that. And she saw so much and for the most part, didn't let it faze her. I also admire that even after every thing went to hell, and kept getting worse she still wanted to go do her job. She was the least selfish person in the world for that. I also admire her for trying to bond with Livia even though she was livid with Rylen. She got past that and cared for Livia like she was a part of the family. And I was surprised Livia chose Amber to open up to and tell about why Rylen married her in the first place. It definitely changed my view of Livia after that. 

Remy, I'm sorry. She seems like such a sweet girl, but she is incredibly naive in this book. Constantly believing the DRI/DRP's were only trying to do right by everyone even though their actions spoke otherwise. She genuinely wanted to believe most people were trying to still do right and she didn't seem to understand they weren't until the life changing scene at the end. 

Tater, you gotta give this guy props. When the second bombings happened he was in Georgia stationed at Fort Benning. After it got shut down, he made his way from Georgia to Nevada just to be back with his family during this whole ordeal. I would have been scared out of my mind being him with all the shady people that were popping up out there. I also have to admire that even though he was devastated at the ending of the book, he still held it together to comfort and support Remy. 

The other military guys. I'm still not sure what to make of these guys. They seem alright, and at least one seems to know Tater. So that can't be bad right? I thought it was interesting how one of them mentioned they came from Huachuca. I quite liked this mention. Its in Arizona (that much was mentioned in the book). Fort Huachuca is actually a 2 hour drive from me. It's in Sierra Vista, I'm in Tucson. However, I have been on that base a few times. And interestingly enough, my fiance was born on Fort Huachuca. What is also interesting is if you google map it, it takes almost a full week to walk from Fort Huachuca to the area of Nevada they were in (along highways of course). So it probably took a bit longer having to use side roads and hide from DRI/DRP's. It makes you realize it took Tater much longer with hitchhiking if he could and walking. According to google maps it takes 27 days to walk from Fort Benning to almost Nellis AFB. So with hitchhiking, you can only maybe take a few days off that since he wasn't driven the whole way.   

I genuinely felt bad for Remy, Amber, Tater and Rylen. They watched the "safe zone" their families were in get bombed. And they couldn't do anything to save them. They watched as their families were killed in an instant. I'm sure this loss will have a serious impact on them in the next book. 

5 Stars!

Stacking The Shelves [#79]/Sunday Post [#10]/Mailbox Monday [#10]

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality as a way to share all the books we got during the week!

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. Its a weekly post to showcase what books you got, recap the week, and talk about what will be coming up this week on the blog!

Mailbox Monday is hosted on its own site. It is there to show off the books acquired during the week!

Bought:
I had preordered this!


Weekly Recap: 

So I did it! I took my final for my math class. Now all that's left is to see if I pass it! I feel semi confident that I should at least get to the 68 I need, but I'm not going to jynx it. I did go into it with more confidence than my midterm, so I'm hoping I did good enough to pass!!! 

Also, if your one of my regular readers, you'll notice I changed the background and colors on the blog. I really did like the paws in the background, I just didn't like the color. It was really light and I like a more darker background on the blog honestly. Just a personal preference. I plan on incorporating paws into the blog in a different way. 

Also, I finally was able to read some this week! With class coming to an end I've been able to get some free time! I haven't finished any books yet, but I'm working on it. I started Unknown by Wendy Higgins and so far I'm really enjoying it! So most likely I'll end up reading all three books one right after the other, so look for the reviews for all of them in the next week or two! 

Also, like I promised, a few pictures from my daughters birthday party last Sunday! She had a blast! 

She had so much fun unwrapping her presents! This is the first year she really took an interest in unwrapping things herself and it was the cutest!

She was so excited for this! Its a blanket she can climb into and sleep in like a sleeping bag. So backstory: Earlier this year she started climbing in her pillowcase and using it like a sleeping bag. Lol. She destroyed her pillowcase doing this. So we had my mother-in-laws friend make her a blanket she could actually climb in! She really likes it! She's already slept in it too! 

Upcoming:
Reviews! Reviews of the Unknown trilogy by Wendy Higgins.
Review of Breaking The Ice by Julie Cross!

Can't-Wait Wednesday [#6]

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight the books we are eagerly awaiting. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 6, 2018

An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can't bring herself to tell them the truth--that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?


I think this book sounds really good. I definitely can't wait to read it. And that cover is very pretty as well!

New Releases: Week of December 5, 2017

Undone (Unknown #3)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publication Date: December 5, 2017

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins, brings you the gripping, sensual conclusion to her apocalyptic trilogy.

Amber Tate never dreamed their heart-wrenching escape from the enemy’s attack would lead them to the most beautiful place she’s ever seen, marred by one ugly fact; it’s under enemy control. Like everywhere else in the world, Elmendorf military base in Alaska has been captured, and it’s time to take it back—all of it—one base, one city at a time. After losing so much, Amber clings to the only precious person she has left, and vows to sacrifice everything to help save the Earth.

Remy Haines is a lover, not a fighter, so when she finds herself in enemy territory, expected to feign allegiance while gathering intel for the rebel cause, she’s never been more out of her element. Tensions only increase when her feelings for Jacob “Tater” Tate won’t go away, and the enemy’s leader takes an interest in her. She’s torn between what her heart wants, and what she knows she should do. As for what her body needs…well, it’s always had a mind of its own.

Other New Releases:
The Rebels of Gold (Loom Saga #3) by Elise Kova [Keymaster Press] (12/5/17)
Foolish Heart by Emma Mills [Henry Holt and Co.] (12/5/17)
Sea of Strangers (The Ryogan Chronicles #2) by Erica Cameron [Entangled] (12/5/17)