Waiting on Wednesday (48): Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week:
By Robin Benway
Release Date:  June 23, 2015
Published by HarperTeen
Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
I recently read Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway and LOVED IT, so of course, now I want to read all her books. But this one just sounds soooooo good! I'm so glad it'll be out soon!

What book are you waiting on?  Let me know, or leave a link to your WoW post in the comments, and I'll try to stop by your blog! 

Stacking the Shelves (63)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme, hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews, where bloggers can share the books and bookish items that we've bought, borrowed, or received each week.

This StS is for the past two weeks.

I received an Amazon gift card for Mother's Day from the hubs (Thanks, J!), and I went a bit nuts. I bought:

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Alienated by Melissa Landers
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
The Martian by Andy Weir
Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen

I'm super excited to read all of these! Some of them have been on my wish list for a while!

What did you guys get this week?  Let me know, or leave a link to your StS post (or IMM or any other alternative) in the comments and I'll try to stop by your blog!

Mini Review: The Girl Who Owned a City Graphic Novel by O.T. Nelson

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Title: The Girl Who Owned a City
Author: O.T. Nelson, Dan Jolley, Joelle Jones, Jenn Manley Lee
Series: None
Publisher: Graphic Universe, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 126
Format/Source: Graphic Novel Paperback/Purchased 
Age Group/Genre: Middle Grade/Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
My parents are gone, so I'm responsible for my little brother Todd. I have to make sure we stay alive. Many kids are sick or starving, and fierce gangs are stealing and destroying everything they find. Lots of people have given up, but here on Grand Avenue, some of us are surviving, because of me.
I figured out how to give the kids on Grand Avenue food, homes, and protection against the gangs. But Tom Logan and his army are determined to take away what we've built and rule the streets themselves. How long can we keep fighting them off? We need to find another place for us to live safely.
A strong place, a secret place.
In a world like this, someone has to take charge. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

As with all my mini reviews, I'm just going to share some of my notes with you:

  • In the 6th grade, I read The Girl Who Owned a City by O.T. Nelson, and LOVED it. I'm pretty sure it's the first post-apocalyptic book I had ever read and it definitely shaped my reading preferences from then on. So I was very excited to read this graphic novel adaptation of the story.
  • Lisa seems really bossy in this version. Maybe she was in the original book, too, and I just don't remember. It has been several years since I've read the first one (although I have reread it as an adult).
  • I'm not really in love with the artwork. It's not bad, really, just not my style. And some of the drawings just look off, or disproportionate. Of course, it's all much better than I could ever do!
  • I'm on page 45 (out of 126), and I feel like I'm really close to the end of the original story. Does this expand on the story? Or do I really just not remember the book?
  • Why the hell does Tom Logan look like Two-Face?
  • I really don't remember some of these parts. Either they added to the story or I just don't remember the original book. Maybe I should go back and read it...

My rating for The Girl Who Owned a City graphic novel by O.T. Nelson et al:

Actually more like 2.5 stars. I still LOVE the original story, but the graphic novel just kind of lacked something for me. I liked seeing the places in the story drawn out, but other than that, I was pretty disappointed with this graphic novel. It could be that I love the original so much and I was expecting too much from this one. I still love the original, though, and would love to see it made into a movie or TV show.

Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Friday, May 15, 2015
Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Series: None
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 342
Format/Source: Hardback/Purchased 
Age Group/Genre: YA/Contemporary
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Laundau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

A YA Feminist Manifesto

Okay, guys, can we talk about how awesomely feminist The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is? Early on in the book, Frankie claims she heard all this feminist talk from her older sister who's in college, and she almost kind of brushes it off as pretentious jabber that she is subjected to. But throughout the book, Frankie oozes feminism. I mean, the whole book is about her deciding that women should be a part of this secret society at her boarding school, and she goes about becoming a sort-of member of said society.

Other characters, like Frankie's roommate, also comment on the inherent sexism within their school, like how Frankie is a sophomore who suddenly became hot over the summer, and all these guys are suddenly interested in her, but they don't even remember that they met her the year before. Frankie also points out the elitist attitude that is so abundant within the group she becomes a part of:

"Frankie was beginning to realize that the kind of selective
memory exhibited by Dean, Star, and their ilk was neither
stupidity nor poor recollection. It was a power play--possibly
subconscious on the part of the player--but nevertheless
intended to discomfit another person who was in some way
perceived as a threat."

I love this part, because it really reminded me of all the snobby people I've dealt with in my life, and how they pretend to not remember you or not remember something you've said, or in some way act like you are stupid or inferior, just to keep their upper hand. And in some ways, it's a lot like what sexist people do to keep women in their place.

Matthew, Frankie's boyfriend, represents not only the gatekeeper into this elite world at their school, but also the slyly sexist male. The kind who isn't outwardly saying things like, "Women should be barefoot and pregnant making me dinner," but who instead says things like, "Stop being so sensitive," and "Don't cry," when women simply find fault in something that a man is doing, or express their own, opposing ideas. Matthew is the kind of unaware sexist, one who is just used to the way society has ingrained sexism within itself, a lot like a white person who is unaware of their white privilege.

Frankie not only spouts off feminism throughout the story, she lives it, by taking matters into her own hands, and deciding to become a sort-of member of the secret society. Actually, she becomes a sort-of leader of the society. But she also recognizes that not every girl wants to be a leader of the society. Not every girl wants to start a revolution, nor does every girl feel the need to do so to be a feminist. And Frankie even ends the novel recognizing her flaws, and recognizing that the things she did might not have had the big change in her society that she would have liked, but that in subtle ways, maybe she helped pave the way. At least, that's how I interpreted the end, as a sort of hope that although her revolution was quite small in the grand scheme of ending sexism, she may have helped girls after her have a bit easier of a time creating a larger revolution.

My rating for The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart:

5 big stars. Lockhart also gets some of my Bonus Points for secret tunnels (50,000 points), for reminding me of Gilmore Girls (50,000 points) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Frankie's name reminds me of Fanny Eubanks of Omaha) (25,000 points), and, of course, for the awesome feminist message throughout the story (1,000,000,000 points). Lockhart just might be a contender for my Bonus Points Awards next year, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more books by her in the future.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Author's Site

Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Bout of Books 13

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Hello everyone!  I kind of decided to sign up for this Bout of Books last minute, but I'm hoping to get lots of reading in! This is only my second time participating in Bout of Books.

I'll be using this post to update my progress all week long.

Time Devoted to Reading

I'll be trying to read as much as possible this week. I have a 5-year-old in Kindergarten and a 2-month-old, so I'll just have to get the reading in whenever I can.

My Goals

  • Finish A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. That's really my only goal this week. I'd love to get more read as well, of course!

Books to Read

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


Monday, May 11
Number of books/pages I've read today: Um, none.
Total number of books/pages I've read: 0
Books: I should have been reading ADSOM...

Notes: I joined the readathon kind of late, and I just really didn't have any time to read today, so I read 0 pages. Dang. But I did do the challenge!

Today's Challenge:  Bookish Survey at Writing My Own Fairy Tale
Here are my answers!

1. How do you organize your shelves?
I have my favorites (Harry Potter, the Lunar Chronicles, etc.) on one shelf, and then I have the rest of the books separated by read and unread, and then alphabetically within those sections. I also have one shelf with TBR Piles, which are unread books that I want to read soon. But I also have a whole bookcase of unread books.

(I made this ecard.)

2. What is one of your favorite books that’s not in one of your favorite genres?
I really loved Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It's the true story of Louis Zamperini, a WWII soldier whose plane crashed in the Pacific and who was floating there for like 45 days or something. The book was recently adapted into a movie, but I haven't seen it yet.

3. What is the last 5 star book you read?
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. SO good.

4. What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon?
All of the books in my pile! I read very slowly, though, and I don't have much time to read every day, so I might not get to all of them.

5. What book do you recommend the most?

Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan, and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

Tuesday, May 12
Number of books/pages I've read today: 38 pages
Total number of books/pages I've read: 38 pages
Books: ADSOM

Notes: Kiddo 1 was sick today and he didn't go to school, so I had both kids all day and we also went to the doctor and ran a couple errands so I didn't get as much reading done as I wanted.

Wednesday, May 13
Number of books/pages I've read today: 9 pages, woohoo!
Total number of books/pages I've read: 47 pages
Books: ADSOM

Notes: Kiddo 1 stayed home from school again today, and Kiddo 2 is having trouble sleeping during the day, so once again, I got very little reading done. I tried to read a bit after both of them were down for the night, but I was too tired.

Today's Challenge:  Book Haiku at Kristina Horner

I'm reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, and here's my haiku about it:

Three unique Londons,
A fourth is lost forever,
Kell might just change that.

Thursday, May 14
Number of books/pages I've read today: 
Total number of books/pages I've read: 


Friday, May 15
Number of books/pages I've read today: 
Total number of books/pages I've read: 


Saturday, May 16
Number of books/pages I've read today: 
Total number of books/pages I've read: 


Sunday, May 17
Number of books/pages I've read today:  
Total number of books/pages I've read: 


Wrap Up

Are you participating too?  Leave me a link to your updates or wrap up page in the comments, and I'll stop by your blog!
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