ARC review: keep you safe

to read a blurb about this book from Goodreads, click here


Also, I’m sorry that this is incredibly long. I am very very passionate about vaccines and this book was all about that. I had a lot to say obviously. 

A super special thank you goes out to Goodreads and Harper Collins publishing/ Mira Books. Thank you so very much for allowing me to read this book beforehand. Please note that this is an uncorrected proof that I read. So some things I mention might not be in the final version of the book and that they are totally subject to change! 

My copy was also a paperback. There currently isn’t an option for the paperback edition on Goodreads. 

Expected publication for this book is August 22nd. 


Wow! I mean, I am just floored with what I read. From the first page to the last page, it was an incredible, thought provoking book. I mean, I am at a loss for words. And that twist at the end. I can’t even believe it.

Okay, let me get my thoughts in check. I took notes on this book, as I always do. It filled up the whole page plus on the side. That is how much I had to say about this book. Knowing me, I will forget to mention half of it. But I shall do my best. I also don’t want to give a lot away. I don’t know what the policy is on reviewing ARCs so I will try my best.

I’m not going to lie. Not even 20 pages in, I was mad. I was so mad that I had to put the book down and read Harry Potter to cool off. I was so infuriated with Madeline and her family. I’m not giving anything away, because it’s on the back of the book, by saying that she chose voluntarily not to vaccinate her kids due to what she and her husband read online about the MMR vaccine. For those that don’t know, MMR stands for measles, mumps and rubella. The HPV vaccine was also mentioned which prevents cervical cancer.

In case you guys didn’t know, I am a huge proponent for vaccinations. It is one of things I am seriously passionate about besides mental health and LGBT rights. I was vaccinated as a child and I’m totally fine. I got the HPV when I was older and the only thing that was bad was I had sore arms for a couple of days. I know that these vaccines SAVE LIVES. There is NOTHING you can say that won’t convince me me otherwise. Yes, there is always that slim chance that someone could get sick from the vaccines but that percentage is tiny. I get so angry seeing outbreaks of diseases that are totally preventable and were nearly eradicated because of people who buy into the debunked study that vaccines cause autism.

That is another thing that really grinds my gears. Anti vaxxers are so worried that vaccines cause autism that they would rather let their child run the risk of getting a horrid disease such as polio (which can cause deformities while the child is growing) than deal with a illness that is can be managed when caught early enough. Is autism seriously worse than polio, cervical cancer, measles, etc etc etc??? Let me answer that for you. NO. NO it is not!

Alright, stepping down from the pedestal. But seriously, this book will make you angry, as you can clearly tell from my little rant above, if you are on the side that I am on. I think Melissa Hill was trying to show both sides of the story. on vaccines And I totally understand that. In fact, she really did a good job of doing it. Much to my dismay, I did start to feel pity for Madeline. I didn’t understand her reasonings why she didn’t vaccinate her children nor do I approve of it, but I felt bad for what she was going through. Obviously not enough to side with her. And I obviously disapprove of it. But still, that pity was there.

I’m going to end it here because I don’t want to give everything way. I really highly suggest that you all read this book when it comes out which is in August. This book has a lot of positives, such as the multiple POVs from everyone involved. It didn’t become too much and I actually enjoyed getting the different thoughts from people. I really can’t see any downsides to this besides maybe you’ll get angry like I did and have to put the book down for a little while. Work through that anger, as I did, and I promise that you will like this book and everything it has to offer. I’m so glad that I won the giveaway and got a chance to read this book!

 

xxlacy

mid year book freak out tag

I’m so behind in tags that I have been tagged in. It’s awful. I’ve been neck deep in the world of Harry Potter and I have no regrets about it. None. Not even a letter (5 pts to your House if you can guess the reference!)

Anyway, I was tagged in this by the oh so lovely Frankie. Seriously, she is such a doll for tagging me in things all the time. I totally appreciate the love. I seriously recommend you guys all go follow her blog. She is constantly posting fun and interesting things and her reviews are spot on all the time!

Anyway, this is the mid year book freak out tag. Can you believe that it’s June, almost July, already? I mean it feels like just yesterday it was my birthday (I was born in January). This looked like a fun tag so here I go! Props, as always, to the creator of this tag.

I’ve decided to not use pictures because otherwise this thing will be monstrous. However, I shall post Goodreads links to all the books. 


Best book you’ve read so far in 2017

Easy peasy. Scythe. If you follow me on Goodreads, you saw my gushy review and it was probably extremely incoherent due to me fangirling. I mean, this book was everything. I adore dark and creepy things so this was right up my alley. It’s basically a retelling/dystopian view of the Grim Reaper. Not going to lie, after watching Supernatural, my interest in the Reapers intensified. This book delivered. Seriously. Stop reading this post and go read it. I won’t be mad.


Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas. I had read Throne of Glass earlier this year and I was anxious to know how my Chaol and Celaena fared. I was also dying to know if Celaena actually became the assassin she claimed she was in the first book. I had even considered not finishing the series because I was just getting so frustrated with Celaena. I got some answers but am anxious to continue the series.


New release you haven’t read yet but want to

Follow Me Back by A.V Geiger. It seems like it’s a good book with representation for agoraphobia. Plus the blurb on Goodreads says it’s told through tweets, direct messages and police transcripts which reminds me of Illuminae. Which is a favorite book of mine.  So hopefully I will be able to read it soon.


Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

The Merciless 3: Origins of Evil by Danielle Vega. Technically it comes in July which is technically the second half of the year. I am super stoked! I read the first four chapters and I need more of it. I read the first two and this is an origin story explaining why the first two books happened. I adore origin stories so I can’t wait!


Biggest disappointment

The Mistress by Danielle Steel. The blurb made it sound like it was going to be a matter of life and death. Instead, I just got a guy obsessed with a girl who was basically a toy for a rich Russian. It wasn’t like anything that I thought it was going to be and it was just upsetting. Not one of her better writings.


Biggest surprise

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. This book received a lot of hate and criticisms. And I mean a lot. Because of all the criticism, I thought I was going to hate the book and regret spending my limited funds on it. Instead, I adored it. I saw why people got upset about it but I didn’t think it was a super huge issue. I think a lot people took things out of context (kind of reminds me of the Black Witch, which I haven’t read. I’ve just seen a lot of reviews about it.)


Favorite new author

Alison Weir. I read a couple of her books last year and read a lot more this year. I am so amazed at her attention to detail. In all her books, she notes that she tries to stick with the original story as much as possible and only takes liberties with things like conversations. She does a lot of historical fiction and is currently writing a six part series on King Henry VIII’s wives. So hyped!


Newest fictional crush

Ha, can I say Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series? I don’t really develop crushes on fictional characters anymore. I just really want to be friends with Lisbeth. She is so cool and awkward, just like me. I need more awkward friends in my life. So maybe it would be a friend crush?


Newest fictional character

I’d say Evie from The Diviners series. I really love how spunky and sassy she is. I’m still really hoping that my ship works out. I have never wanted a ship to work more than Evie and Sam. Because of her, I’m a bit more interested in the 1920s. I can’t wait for the third book even though the covers are getting progressively more and more ugly.


Book that made you cry

Illuminae and Gemina probably were the ones that made me cry ugly tears, which were hard to hide since I was at work. I mean really, what kind of author puts me through all of that? It was awful but I was so damn hooked. I’m being intentionally vague because spoilers. But yes, read those books if you want to cry.


Book that made you happy

The Royals series by Erin Watt. I know I know. There are a lot of things wrong with it but damn, I love a happy ending. The trials and hardships that Ella and Reed went through made my heart hurt but I also really enjoyed the happy times as well. The series ended well for me and that made me happy.


Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I’m going to have to answer with Illuminae again. Because once you took off the dust jacket, you see all this awesome writing from the actual book. I adore writing on books like that. There is just something so cool about the different fonts that are available to us and how it can be used to cover almost an entire book without looking overwhelming.


What books do you need to read by the end of the year

I need to catch up on the following series:

The Gender Games

The Kingfountain series

Throne of Glass series

Traci Crosswhite series

Crossroads saga

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty series

The Red Rising series

I’m sure that there are more series but these are the ones that stick out to me at this moment. I also need to get Origin by Dan Brown, the third Merciless, and Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir. There is clearly a lot more. I mean look at my TBR on Goodreads. It’s up to 250 books despite me trying to keep in under control. Because I am extremely lazy, I’m not going to link this section to Goodreads.


Favorite book community member (blogger, booktuber and bookstagrammer)

I know it says favorites but I don’t like playing favorites. It makes people sad. So I’m just going to say if you want to do this, go for it. If you tag me in it, cool. If not, no biggie. I like to keep tags fun.

 

 

xxlacy

lock and key

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here.

 

When I started this book, I was worried that I had finally outgrown Sarah Dessen. I used to read her books constantly when I was younger. They spoke to me because they were about problems that teenagers dealt with. I felt like I could relate to them. And in a way, I did. Even if the teenagers were whiny and cried a lot. I was a whiny teenager that cried a lot so I felt like I had a lot in common.

But I wondered, would I be able to relate to Sarah Dessen now that I am 24 years old?

In some ways, yes, I have outgrown Sarah Dessen. But in other ways, no. This book didn’t really help me decide but I enjoyed it anyway. But I wasn’t super wowed by it. I’ll explain further.

What I really liked about this book is the character growth. That is what really sucked me in. Every single character, whether it was a side character or a main one, had some sort of growth. And I love that. I hate it when characters are stagnant in a book. How can they accomplish anything if they don’t grow?

Ruby, I think, had the most amount of growth. She had been sent to live with her sister after her landlords found out that she was living alone, underage. Her flaky mother took off and left Ruby to fend for herself. Ruby had a bit of bad relationship with Cora, her sister, at first. She accused Cora of leaving her in the mess and abandoning her and her mom. But the truth slowly comes out and suddenly Ruby’s world isn’t the same. She had to learn what it meant to have a family.

The growth that Ruby had was incredible. She started out as a teenager so angry and sad for being left and completely set on being independent. Ruby’s mother instilled a lot of really bad thoughts in Ruby and it took her a long time to get over that. She viewed help as a sign of weakness and vowed to never left anybody help her. Slowly, through the help of Jamie (her brother in law), Cora, Nate, and others, she learned that help isn’t so bad and that family can mean more than one thing.

Nate was a good side character and a good love interest. I wasn’t totally wowed by him but he had charm and was good for Ruby. He made Ruby question a lot of her decisions in life and that was good for her. Nate essentially forced Ruby to rethink what it means to have friends and people that care about you. In turn, Ruby taught Nate that help is okay and it’s okay to talk about what is going on in your life.

Overall, this was a good book. I was surprised to find that I liked it as much as I did. I think the reason I didn’t love it was because I wasn’t super emotionally involved with the plot. It took me way longer than it should have to finish this book and I think it was just because I didn’t connect with the plot very well. In all honesty, there really wasn’t a plot and the plot I did find, kind of plodded along slowly. Maybe it would have helped if I didn’t read Harry Potter during this book but probably not. Overall, not a bad piece of work by Sarah Dessen.

xxlacy

seven deadly sins book tag

I’m back with another tag. I wasn’t really tagged in it, per se, but it looked fun. I found it on Frankie’s blog. If you haven’t checked her blog out, you seriously need too. Her reviews are fun and witty. Props, as always, to the original creator!

I’m also doing this tag because I’m currently in the midst of reading Harry Potter. I want to do a series overview of it so that’s why there is the lack of book reviews. I’m also reading a Sarah Dessen book and I got an ARC for Keep You Safe which I will be starting that as well. Don’t worry, once I knock out HP, I will be back with lots of reviews! In the meantime, enjoy this fun little book tag.


Greed: What are you most expensive and inexpensive book?

My most expensive book is Illuminae. It was actually a gift from my sister for my birthday!

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My least (new) expensive book is Blue by Danielle Steel. It was a measly $8USD. I would have put my thrift store books but I can’t remember which one was the cheapest.

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Sloth: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness? 

Easy. It is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. The hype surrounding it is real and I don’t want to be disappointed.

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Wrath: Who is an author you have a love/hate relationship with? 

Nicholas Sparks. There are a lot of his books that I adore but I really hate some of the endings that he does. They seem really pointless and hurt my heart. Luckily, my favorite, Safe Haven had a good ending.

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Gluttony: What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?

Harry Potter, no questions asked. I have been re-reading it over and over again. I compare everything I have read to Harry Potter.

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Lust: What traits do you find attractive in fictional characters?

Personally, I like a sense of weakness. I like it when the character knows that they are weak in some areas and they work on fixing those problems. I always think of Neville when I think of weak characters. He knows that he is weak but he also knows his strengths as well. He works on those weaknesses and gets better and becomes a kickass wizard.

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Pride: What book do you talk about in order to sound intelligent? 

Hmmm, to be completely honest. I really don’t do that. I talk about all the books I’ve read, not to sound intelligent, but because I enjoy talking about books.


Envy: What book would you like to receive most as a gift?

I would love love love the duology of Six of Crows or the Ravenclaw Harry Potter book set. Each are super crazy beautiful and I wouldn’t turn them down.

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Tag

Anybody who wants to do this! This was a fun tag and it made me think quite a bit about my answers.

xxlacy

 

the night circus

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here

 

This was an interesting book to say the least. I do see why people are into magic realism. It really is a wonderful genre. But it’s not something I would want to read all the time. This book was something special, though. It was beautifully written and flowed perfectly. There was just the right amount of mystery and the right amount of…well everything. It reminded me of A Star Touched Queen. with the beautifully flowing writing.

I was slightly confused at first because this book starts with two different periods of time that slowly merge together. Once I figured that out, the book became a lot easier to read. I actually really liked that aspect. It’s definitely something that you don’t see a whole lot of. I do wish that the game was explained a bit more thoroughly, however. I wanted to know everything about the game and why it came into existence. But I’m one of those people that insists on knowing everything.

As beautiful as this book was written, I found it hard to connect to the two MC’s, Marco and Celia. I was rooting for them as a couple but separately, I just couldn’t connect with them. They just seemed kind of two dimensional. Again, maybe it’s a me thing. I prefer character driven stories than plot driven stories. And I’m not entirely sure if this was a character driven book, a plot driven book or neither.

It sounds like I didn’t like this book but I really did. I can’t get over the writing and how wonderful it flowed. I just found it really hard to connect with the characters, both the MC’s and all the side characters. There were kind of a lot of side characters so I got slightly confused. It also didn’t help that I started the book really confused because I didn’t read the chapter beginnings closely, which was my own fault.

I will say this though, it was SO MUCH MORE BETTER than Caraval. I mean, it was a 100 million times better. This book didn’t lie to me for the sake of lying, which I will forever be salty about. And even though I didn’t connect with the characters, they were so much more better what Caraval came up with. I mean seriously, why is Caraval even a book? I usually don’t rag on a book so hard but it upsets me because Caraval had a lot of potential and it just flopped.

Overall, this book was good. I liked the writing and I liked the concept. The Night Circus sounds like a badass circus that I would love to attend. The descriptions even between the “chapters” made me want to find the nearest circus. I just couldn’t connect with the characters which is why it has four stars instead of five.

 

xxlacy

may wrap up

Another month has come and gone. It’s almost June. Where did the time go? Half the year is already over. So crazy how time flies.

Anyway, it’s time for another wrap up. In some very sad news, I had to lower my Goodreads challenge goal from 200 to 150. I think 150 is a lot more manageable. With the attempts to study for my GRE not going well, I think having my goal at 150 will be easier on me. I also did the math and I now only need to read 12.5 books instead of 17.

So I only read 11 books, which I guess is still a lot but for me it is not a lot at all. However, in my own defense, I read three adult books that were between 500 to 700 pages.

Without further ado here are the books I read. The ones that are bolded are my favorites of the month. So far, nothing has topped Scythe, although The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo came close.

 

 

xxlacy

beautiful creatures

to read a blurb about this book from Goodreads, click here

 

Ahh, it was so much fun to get back into the Caster world. Ever since Harry Potter, I had been looking for a magical world to suck me in. And I found it with this incredible series. Fun fact of the day: I was actually looking for the novel Beastly. Both covers are black with fun and pretty font. So I got confused but man, what a happy mistake.

We follow the lives of Lena and Ethan, even though the POV is entirely first person Ethan. Ethan is a typical boy living in Gatlin, a small town in the South. He feels like he doesn’t fit in with Gatlin. He is highly intelligent and loves to read. He even has a map of the US with markings from all the books he has read.

Then Lena blows into town and Ethan’s life is never the same.

The entire Caster world is really cool. I don’t want to give everything away because where is the fun in getting things spoiled. However, I’ll explain it a little. There are two types of Casters: Light and Dark. Light Casters have Light powers such as seeing into the past or healing. Dark Casters have Dark powers such as being a Siren (the power to control) or being a Shapeshifter. Both this powers don’t have to be considered bad but in this book, they are.

Lena’s family is unusual for a Caster family. In her family, when you turn 16, you are Claimed. Which means you will either be Light or Dark. In normal Caster families, you get to chose. In Lena’s family, you don’t get a choice. You either become Light or Dark. So Lena is terrified of becoming Dark because her cousin Ridley went Dark. They were very close, basically sisters. She doesn’t want to turn into Ridley, which is understandable. But turning into Ridley is the least of Lena’s problems…

Overall, I think this is an incredible start to a pretty incredible series. The Caster world is amazing and the love story between Ethan and Lena make me smile like a loon.I can’t wait to reread the rest of this series and get lost into the world.

 

 

note: There is a movie to this book. I have never seen it but I have heard mixed reviews on it. If it ever ends up on Netflix or Hulu, I’ll be sure to watch it so I can review it for you guys. 

 

xxlacy