Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Reads: 8/26/2016

10:51:00 AM

FRIDAY READS: 8/26/2016

      Hey you guys! How are you doing today? It's been awhile since I have posted something that wasn't a scheduled review. As some of you know, I moved back to college last Saturday, so I've been getting situated and dealing with that. 



      A quick summary of my personal life: I got a research position at an Orthopedic and Tissue Engineering Lab at one of the best hospitals and research centers in the world, so I'm really happy about that. On the other hand, I lost my job at the school of medicine because they decided they no longer wanted to fund that department. However, this hasn't stopped me. I've been applying to other jobs and got an interview (if you can call it that) at the school of medicine doing research in a neuroscience lab. The interview was very weird, and I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to get the job or not, but we shall see.



      On to reading, this has been a fantastic reading week. It's been one of my best reading weeks in awhile. I reread the entire "The Princess Diaries" series and loved every second of it. I'm going to be doing a recommendation post on why everyone should read it and how truly influential this book is.



      Today I'm going to start reading "An Ember in the Ashes" for the "Cover 2 Cover" Book Club, which if you haven't already joined, you can join here. We will be having a twitter chat for the book next Saturday, September 3rd, using #Cover2CoverBC at a time to be determined. However, if you would like to see my authentic thoughts while I read "An Ember in the Ashes" follow me on twitter @nerdgirl_review or follow #SierraReadsEmber.



      Well, that's all for me. How has your week been? What do you plan on reading? Have you read "An Ember in the Ashes"? If so, thoughts? 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Snow Like Ashes" Review

10:00:00 AM

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Book: Snow Like Ashes

Author: Sara Raasch

My Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

      "Snow Like Ashes" was the July book of the month for the "Cover 2 Cover Book Club". While we didn't have the twitter chat due to unforeseen circumstances, we still read the book and had a discussion thread on Goodreads.



      This book actually surprised me. I thought I was not going to enjoy it, especially considering that it took me two tries to get through the first two chapters, but I was pleasantly surprised after I pushed through the beginning and actually enjoyed the book.



      At the start, I thought Meira was hella annoying and completely fixated on the prince, but as she goes through character development, her character became more enjoyable and I actually was a fan on her narration and just her as a person.



      It took me awhile to get the hang of the world building, but after some time, I was cool with it. The universe is clearly thought out, however I do wish some things were explained better. There were times when you were infodumped and it was just too much to remember or even care about.



      As for the relationships and love triangle... Hmm... In the beginning, I was not even remotely a fan of the love triangle, but as it progressed, I didn't mind too much. I made a decision on who I want Meira to be with, but from what I've heard, he changes and doesn't get chosen which, is a bummer cause he was hella dreamy.



      Overall, this book was a pleasantly good one. That being said, I also have no desire to continue the series. The book wrapped up rather nicely and while I know there is going to be more conflict and stuff while arise so that the series is no longer wrapped up, I'm cool with ending it here.

  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

IT'S MY SECOND YEAR BOOK BLOG ANNIVERSARY!!! (GIVEAWAY)

10:00:00 AM

I CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN RUNNING THIS BLOG FOR TWO YEARS!!!

      Two years ago on August 21st, I decided to start a book blog. I've come a long way since then. There have been so many times where I have come really close to quitting. And I mean really really close. For a long while, I barely had any views, people weren't commenting, and I felt like I was talking to empty space. It felt like no one was there. 



     Slowly by surely, I started connecting with the bookish community, and now that feeling of loneliness has gone away. I'm so glad I've stuck with this blog. I've reached over 20,000 views, over 100 followers on the blog alone, over 330 followers on my bookish twitter, and I've made over 300 posts!  I've made so many great connections because of it and I appreciate everyone who has made me feel welcome. So....



     I want to show you guys a token of my appreciation by hosting a giveaway! Below are the giveaway details:

GIVEAWAY

Rules
  • Must be 18 or have your parents'/guardians' permission. 
  • US/Canada ONLY. (Sorry, I'm too broke to hold an international giveaway this time. Next time though, I've got you my international peeps.)
  •  You must feel comfortable giving me your address. 
What You Can Win
  • There will be one (1) winner who shall receive a hardcover copy of "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer and a paperback copy of "Sphinx's Princess" by Esther Friesner.
Enter Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 22, 2016

"The Evolution of Mara Dyer" Disappointing Review

10:00:00 AM

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Book:  The Evolution of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

My Rating: ★★1/2

Synopsis: The truth about Mara Dyer's dangerous and mysterious abilities continues to unravel in the New York Times bestselling sequel to the thrilling The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.She can't. She used to think her problems were all in her head. They aren't. She couldn't imagine that after everything she's been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets. She's wrong. In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next? 

      I'm going to say this from the start: this book was incredibly disappointing. I read "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer", and despite it's confusing nature, I liked it and was really looking forward to reading "The Evolution of Mara Dyer", especially since me and Temecka from Library of Tomes decided to read it for a buddy read.



      I can't pinpoint a single thing that I enjoyed about this book. The writing did not captivate me like it did during the first book. The plot... well to me there was absolutely no plot, and the little plot that there was, was boring as hell. I got to about 60% in and I was like, fuck it, I'm just going to skim the rest of the book and look up anything important that I missed. Honestly, the whole scenario is bullshit and when it is explained why the shit that happened when down the way it did, I was not satisfied.



     Finally we get to Mara and Noah... Their relationship is creepy now that I have read this book. They are both infatuated with each other for no reason. In the first book I though Noah was a nice gentle and all, but now that I've read this one I'm like, dude, get a life. Why are you so head over heels in "love" with Mara. And as for Mara, she's crazy and I can't believe she just let some random dude become so close to her.



      I decided that I have no desire to read the rest of the series, so I looked up what happened in the last book and I'm not missing anything. This series really does exemplify why I don't like giving into the hype.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Dark Descendant" by Jenna Black Quickie Review

10:00:00 AM

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Book: Dark Descendant

Author: Jenna Black

My Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: From the acclaimed author of the Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist books comes the gripping first novel in a new series about a private eye who discovers, to her surprise, that she’s an immortal huntress.

Nikki Glass can track down any man. But when her latest client turns out to be a true descendant of Hades, Nikki now discovers she can’t die. . . . 

Crazy as it sounds, Nikki’s manhunting skills are literally god-given. She’s a living, breathing descendant of Artemis who has stepped right into a trap set by the children of the gods. Nikki’s new “friends” include a descendant of Eros, who uses sex as a weapon; a descendant of Loki, whose tricks are no laughing matter; and a half-mad descendant of Kali who thinks she’s a spy. 

But most powerful of all are the Olympians, a rival clan of immortals seeking to destroy all Descendants who refuse to bow down to them. In the eternal battle of good god/bad god, Nikki would make a divine weapon. But if they think she’ll surrender without a fight, the gods must be crazy. . . .

      Coming into this book, I knew literally nothing except for the fact that it dealt with Greek mythology (which now that I have read it, I know that isn't entirely true). A friend from the summer medical program I was in recommended this book to me, and despite every fiber in me telling me that I probably might not like it, I decided to read it anyway.



      I have mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoy the concept, but I'm not entirely sure it was executed well. The entire premise that there are certain people descended from various gods across all mythologies is really cool to me. However, the fact that when people learn this and don't question it is not cool. Literally all of the characters who didn't know about this system before the plot started but came into this world didn't even question anything. I know if I were in that situation, I would be questioning literally everything about the system and even life itself.



      As for the characters, for the most part I liked them. They were all different from one another and brought their own traits. The main character, Nikki, was pretty typical of books like this, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but she was nothing unique.



      With regards to the writing, it was really nothing special, which at this point in my book blogging career, I really don't expect great writing anymore, especially from an adult book.



      As for the plot, I honestly felt like this could have been a standalone. Like literally everything wrapped up nicely at the end, and I'm not entirely sure what the rest of the series is about. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to continue the series. But back to the plot. I thought it was very cookie cutter and a bit too fast paced. Everything happened perfectly and predictably.


Monday, August 15, 2016

"Level Up" by Cathy Yardley Review

9:42:00 PM

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Book: Cathy Yardley

Author: Cathy Yardley

My Rating: ★★1/2

Synopsis: Geeky introvert Tessa Rodriguez will do whatever it takes to get promoted to video game engineer– including create a fandom-based video game in just three weeks. The only problem is, she can't do it alone. Now, she needs to strong-arm, cajole, and otherwise socialize with her video game coworkers, especially her roommate, Adam, who’s always been strictly business with her. The more they work together, though, the closer they get…

Adam London has always thought of his roomie Tessa as “one of the guys” until he agreed to help her with this crazy project. Now, he’s thinking of her all the time… and certainly as something more than just a roommate! But his last girlfriend broke up with him to follow her ambitions, and he knows that Tessa is obsessed with getting ahead in the video game world.

Going from friends to something more is one hell of a challenge. Can Tessa and Adam level up their relationship to love?

      I came into this book knowing literally nothing about it. I had read a review from a fellow blogger who really enjoyed the nerdiness of it, so I figured I would give this a chance for booktubeathon, especially since it was free on Amazon and I like the cover.



      This book was just not good to me, like at all. It was awkward and choppy and just so cookie cutter. Also, I didn't realize this was an adult book, so when I got to those cheesy and weird as fuck sex scenes, I was a bit surprised.



      It's been quite awhile since I've read such bad sex scenes or writing in general. The idea behind the book is actually quite good: female game designer and her coworker male roommate. That had potential. But it just did not pan out for me.For the most part there really was no plot and the very basic level of the writing didn't help. The focus was supposed to be on romance, but that was just not the case. They didn't have feelings for each other, they were horny and simply lived in the same house. As for the characters, they weren't really special, though I do give brownie points to the book for having the main character being a Hispanic female game designer.



     Overall, this did not come close to reaching the bar I had set.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

"Netflix and Books" Tag

10:00:00 AM

      Hey you guys! So the "Netflix and Books" tag was created by Erica from "Novel Ink" and Lauren from "Bookmark Lit". I was tagged by Genni at "Ready, Set, Read!". Thank you Genni! Onwards to the tag!

Here are the rules:

  • Choose a book or book series that best matches the prompt provided
  • Feel free to change the TV show if you’d like it to reflect YOUR preferences!
  • A blank set of the prompts is located at the very bottom in the scroll box
  • Feel free to use our header graphic with the usual credits
  • Link back to us and tag some friends to join in
Vampire Diaries- your ship sank or didn't happen

my babies!!!

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You guys, this is so perfect, considering my obsession with Vampire Diaries and the fact that Bonnie and Kai never happened. I will forever be salty over that. (I'm still holding on for Bonnie and Damon though. If that happens I will die happily).

it's been over a year and I'm still not over this
Anyway, I'm going to have to go with Hermione and Harry. When I was younger I really wanted the two of them to get together because I thought they would be perfect for each other. I also just really fucking hated Ginny and wish that her and Harry didn't get together. Obviously that didn't happen.
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Teen Wolf- best cast of characters/friendships


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For me, it's going to be Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus gang. They are such great friends and honestly like friend goals.
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Grey's Anatomy- all the feels


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This is so appropriate though. This show literally gives all sorts of feels. Just like "Maybe Someday" by Colleen Hoover. That book, boy that book gave me all the feels and just fucked me up, though "A Court of Mist and Fury" by Sarah J Maas is a close second because that book did some damage to me too.
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Doctor Who- long series you loved


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I don't really watch Doctor Who anymore, but I'm still gonna answer this one. This one is hard because there are so many long series I love, but I'm going to go with "The Covenant Series" by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Even though this series was long, I wish it were longer because I love it so much.
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Supernatural- favorite paranormal/fantasy


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THIS IS TOO HARD TO ANSWER!!! I absolutely love oaranormal/fantasy. It is my favorite genre. I shall limit it down to three series though: "Vampire Academy" by Richelle Mead, "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" by Holly Black, and "Embrace" by Jessica Shirvington. And "The Lux Series" by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I know that's four, not three, but I couldn't leave out Lux.
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Orange is the New Black- couldn't stop reading


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Well this applies to almost all of the books I have read, like ever, but if I had to narrow it down to the most recent one, it would be "It Ends With Us" by Colleen Hoover. Even though I didn't love it, but liked it, I couldn't put it down.

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The Prompts

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: unlikeable character(s)
Vampire Diaries: your ship sank or didn’t happen
Friends: best cast of characters/friendships
Gossip Girl: hate that you love or guilty pleasure
Doctor Who: long series you loved
Grey’s Anatomy: all the feels
How I Met Your Mother: bad ending
Supernatural: favorite paranormal/fantasy
Freaks & Geeks: left you wanting more
The OC: series that should have ended earlier
Girl Meets World: should have a spin-off
That 70’s Show: set in a different time period
Orange is the New Black: couldn’t stop reading
Parks and Recreation: made you laugh out loud
One Tree Hill: favorite book boyfriend
Breaking Bad: favorite villain

Modern Family: best family or parents   

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Reads: 8/12/2016

5:36:00 PM

FRIDAY READS: 8/12/2016

      Hey you guys! This is going to be a quick Friday Reads because I don't want to take up too much of your time and my time.



      Basically this past week I have been feeling nostalgic for some reason so I've been watching a bunch of old Disney Channel movies as well as reading one of my all-time favorite book series, "The Princess Diaries" by Meg Cabot.

Anne Hathway is a boss. Slay girl slay.

      I love the books as well as the movies with all of my heart, despite a lot of their differences. As of today, I'm on the third book of the series, and I suspect I will finish it soon. These books are so fun and quick to read. 

She truly is a queen

     Anyway, I also wanted to let you know that this might be my last Friday Reads for a little bit. Next week I move back to college for the fall semester, so I'm going to be pretty busy with packing and unpacking and all that jazz. I also have a bunch of meetings and important shit going on too the first week I get back, so who knows how much of my time will really be my own.



      Never fear though! I have quite a few reviews already scheduled so I'll still be here. I'll also be on Twitter because I can't get rid of social media, so you can always talk to me there. 


My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?

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