Review: WildCard by Marie Lu

img_1381 I read this as an ARC about a month ago.  Thank you to G.P. Putnam for making it available to me to read.  **May contain minor Spoilers**

Where we left off after Warcross, Hideo had betrayed Emika and really everyone else who uses his Nuerolink lenses by releasing his algorithm that effects how people think and makes it impossible to commit crimes.  Zero who was Emika’s original quarry might now be the ally that she needs to stop Hideo but can he be trusted because after all, he did try to kill her.  That would put a damper on any relationship.  Can she ever forgive Hideo for what he is doing? And who is Zero and the blackcoats?  Are their goals really the same as hers?

If that wasn’t enough, her actions in the Warcross championships has made her the hero to some and cheater to others.  Emika has a lot going on but that doesn’t stop her from doing what she thinks is the right thing to do, even if that means going against the man she loves.  A lot has happened to Emika in her short life.  Her father died and she was placed in foster care.  She ran away and lived on the streets only to support herself by becoming a bounty hunter.  She’s an incredible hacker that is what brought her into this to begin with but she’s used to everything on her own.  The greatest growth that she had was learning that she doesn’t have to do everything on her own.  That she has friends who are willing to carry some of the load for her and when things get even more complicated and she doesn’t know who to trust that friendship becomes even more important.  In Wildcard, we finally learn what really happened to Sasuke, Hideo’s younger brother and it’s even more heartbreaking than anyone assumed. More under the cut. Continue reading

Books I Can’t Wait to Read this Fall!!

Summer is over and now it’s to look forward to some fall reading.  So get your pumpkin spice latte ready as here are some of the books I can’t wait to read this fall.

  1. The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (October 2)-The sequel to Strange the Dreamer and left off one big cliffhanger.
  2. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (October 2)-Shapeshifters, samurais and Japanese mythology.  Yes please.
  3. A Very Large Expense of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi (October 16) In our attempt to read more diverse voices.  Tahereh Mafi releases probably her most personal story yet.  Shirin is a muslim girl starting a new school a year after 9/11.
  4. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (October 23)- The last book in the epic Thorne of Glass series.  Who will prevail and who will die?
  5. Archenemies by Marissa Meyer (November 6)-The second book in the Renegades trilogy.  The ending of Renegades really changes the dynamics of this one.
  6.  The Storyteller by Traci Chee (November 13)- The final book in the Sea of Gold and Ink trilogy.  Is the future already written for Sefia and Archer?
  7. The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin (November 13)-Noah Shaw has done some bad things and so has her girlfriend Mara Dyer.  The consequences might be finally catching up to them.

What are you looking forward to reading this fall?

Movie Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

to all the boys So I finally got around to seeing To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix and it was delightful.  It was every bit as charming as the book was and the casting was truly spot on.  Lana Candor is the perfect Lara Jean. She’s sweet, shy and romantic.  She’s unassuming and comfortable being in the shadow.  Noah Centineo is the perfect Peter.  He just oozes the big man on campus charisma.  You can’t help but fall in love with him, which it seems like everyone on the internet has.  The story is the same.  Lara Jean is 16 and is about to start her Junior year in high school.  Her big sister is going off to college making her the big sister at home.  Her mother died when she was young so it was just her and her sisters and her dad.  Lara Jean has never had a boyfriend but she’s had a few crushes.  She wrote her crushes a letter that was never meant to be read until they were.  Two of those letters went the Josh, the boy next door who dated her older sister Margot and Peter, her former friend from Middle School.  Peter and Lara Jean decide to fake date to make Peter’s ex girlfriend jealous and help her avoid Josh.  All goes well until of course she starts to have feelings for him.  The movie goes by at a pretty clip.  Establishing both Lara Jean and Peter and their relationship.  As they spend more time with each other we see what a great couple they are for each other.  They allow each other open up to each other and be honest about their feelings that they can’t be with each other.  I also love that while Peter asks Lara Jean to do things outside her comfort zone like go to parties, he never asks her to change who she is.  Obviously in the book we see more development of their relationship then we do in the movie because of time constraints it still comes out.  They relationship may have started as pretend, you can see from the beginning that there was always something there. If there is one thing I wished there was more of was Kitty.  Kitty was always my favorite character in the book and I think she needs her own series.  *cough Jenny Han cough*  I can only hope that Netflix greenlights a sequel so we get more of Kitty, Lara Jean and Peter in the future.  The movie is not earth shattering but it is so cute and charming that i feeling it’s going to be on heavy rotation in my Netflix queue for now on.

Review: Barely Breathing by Pamela Clare

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Hoo boy, this book. This is the story of Lexi Jewell who returns to her hometown to help her father try to win his wife back and keep her from divorcing him. She keeps telling herself that its temporary and that she’ll go back to Chicago in a few weeks when everything back home is settled. For better or worse, she has the freedom to make this extended trip back to Colorado because she’s recently resigned her post at a big accountancy firm following a scandal. Of course, things are complicated back home by many things. Her father and her step-mother are prideful, cantankerous coots. The local Mountain Search and Rescue organization is having some financial difficulties and need an accountant. Oh, and her ex-boyfriend Austin is a park ranger and a member of the volunteer Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue organization and is stupidly hot.

So, shenanigans and many sexy bits ensue. There’s a heart-warming ending. This is exactly what I was looking for. Its a lovely, little romance novel. It is a series and I might even read the next one, which is about the Park Ranger’s best friend, who is the fire chief!

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

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So, I enjoyed this book immensely. It was so, so good. Its critique of society was subtle, but apparent, its heroine was super likable. Man, I love when a book is this enjoyable.

I think my favorite part was how Frankie grew and learned while the novel progressed. I also think it was great how she clearly struggled with wanting to be a part of something and wanting to create her own path and do her own thing.

Anyway.

This book is the story of Frankie Landau-Banks who, at the outset of the novel, confesses to conceiving of a series of pranks/vandalism that took place at her elite boarding school and were carried out by The Loyal Order of the Bassett Hounds, a secret society at said institution. From there, they go back to the beginning and lay out exactly what happened to bring her to this confession. The pranks are fun and the way she goes about getting them accomplished is pretty genius. Or, if not genius, is pretty clever.

I enjoyed this so much, and if you like reading about high school shenanigans and social commentary, I think you’ll like this one, too.

Joint Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2 on Broadway

Beth and I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2 this week on Broadway! It was an exciting, if long experience. The play takes place after the final scene of the seventh film. We’re going to keep this review spoiler-free. It was an experience and definitely worth seeing, if you are a huge Harry Potter fan. We don’t want to ruin the magic for anyone.

What was your favorite part?

Kate: The magic, maybe. I think they did a great job making the stage really feel like the wizarding world.

Beth: Agreed.  The stage craft was on full display.  How they were able to create the feel of the wizarding world without special effects of the movies was very impressive.

What about the costumes did you like?

Kate: I want capes to be a thing in everyday life now. There is just so much drama and flair in wearing a cape. I could use a little more flair in my life.

Beth: OMG! The Capes!  The way they moved and swayed I’m so jealous.  We should bring back the capes.

What did you like about the staging?

Kate: The special effects were really neat but they didn’t distract from the story. I really liked that.

Beth: I thought it was so well done.  I loved how they did the moving stairs.

Kate: OMG! The stairs were so good! I liked how the stairs and the movement made the space feel so much bigger and more dynamic!

Who was your favorite character?

Kate: Scorpius Malfoy, hands down. He was amazing. Draco comes in second, but possibly only because I was really impressed by how much his character developed from when we last saw him at Hogwarts.

Beth: Yeah!  Who would have thought that a story with Harry, Hermione and Ron that Draco and his family would turn out to be the most likable.  Scorpius was the real heart of the story.  He brought most of the laughs and kept the story going.  I’m hoping that if they do a new movie series after Fantastic Beast, it should be centered on him.

Kate:I would watch Scorpius Malfoy movies. I love that little nerd.

Any last thoughts?

Kate: I still have some questions about various bits and pieces of the story. But, I really enjoyed the spectacle of it, so I’m willing to forgive (though, if you follow us on twitter, clearly not forget) some of the more plot-hole-ish things.

Beth: I’m with you on this.  There were some pretty noticeable plot-holes that fans should easily notice and since I’m guessing that most people who see this are big fans, then we are not the only one who has issues with it.  That being said, sitting in the audience with other people who came dressed up in their Hogwarts finest, made it more enjoyable.  We all knew what was going on.  We all got the easter eggs they dropped.  We all gasped at the same time.  It was like a community experience.  Harry Potter fans, I think this is a must see (plot-holes and all) and theater geeks, too, because the staging is in a class of it’s own.

Kate:It was so good to see people turned out in their Hogwarts finest! You are so right! I loved seeing everyone’s outfits! And, everyone who turned up in their cape in August, I have so much respect for that. It must have been so hot.