Source: Around the World ARC Tours

ARC Reviews: Roar and Trusting You & Other Lies

Posted June 19, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
ARC Reviews: Roar and Trusting You & Other Lies

I’ve seen some pretty stellar early reviews for this one, plus Cora Carmack is one of my favorite NA authors… so needless to say, I had fairly high expectations! I usually would blame my negative feelings about this book on those expectations and hype, but I absolutely don’t think that was the case here. I was on the fence about reading this one in the first place because the synopsis didn’t really sound like a Lauren book. I decided to give it a go because of the reviews and author, but I ended up pretty disappointed. I’ll keep this short and break it down by the main elements of the story. Main plot: The story is about a princess, Aurora (or Ror, or Roar) who doesn’t have any magic. She has a marriage alliance planned with a prince of Locke (another kingdom) in order to avoid this information getting out. She soon learns that there’s a way of essentially buying magic on the black market and decides to set off on a journey with a group of stormhunters. I honestly thought the plot was kind of boring? I really didn’t care what was happening and often had no motivation to pick up the book. It was a struggle. I like books where people are on the road journeying and training with magic, but this book had almost no ~major events~ I can think of. Main character: On top of the pretty boring plot, Aurora was a boring character for me. Locke thought she was […]

ARC Review: What I Lost

Posted May 29, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: What I Lost

Trigger warning for eating disorders and some self-harm. Initial Excitement I had almost zero thoughts about this book before I started it. I’ve always been interested in books that involve treatment centers for some strange reason, so I decided to join the ARC tour for this one. I looked at the length of the book, read the synopsis again, and sighed. I figure this was going to take me forever to read and be super heavy. I’m glad that first impressions can be wrong 😉 Quick Summary Elizabeth is sent away to a treatment facility (that’s actually in her hometown) for her anorexia. The story follows her journey and watches her growth throughout the month-long process. She makes friends, tries to develop better eating habits, and struggles with other things in her life. When she first checks in, she receives mysterious packages that seem to point to her ex-boyfriend, so she tries to figure out who they’re coming from and why. Storytelling, Setting, and Feels GUYS. I physically could not put this book down. I started it on a Saturday morning and before I knew it, 350 pages (out of 400) were read. I stopped a couple times to do quick things around the apartment but I preeeetty much finished it in one shot. For a “difficult” book with tough topics, it was so easy to keep reading. I know part of it was my weird fascination with books set in treatment facilities (oh, that just inspired a new read-bait […]

ARC Review: Dark Breaks the Dawn

Posted May 22, 2017 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Dark Breaks the Dawn

Initial Excitement I haven’t read Larson’s other series (yet) but this one really intrigued me. I do have a tendency of requesting books or signing up for ARC tours even when they’re not exactly in my wheelhouse. Regardless, I started this one pretty quickly once I received it to see how it would work for me. It was nice that there were almost no reviews to go on so I could form my own opinion. I didn’t even realize it was a Swan Lake retelling either, so that added to my excitement when I noticed! Quick Summary The Light and Dark kingdoms have been at war because the King of the dark kingdom wants to rule them both. Evelayn is the Princess of Eadrolan, the Light kingdom, and suddenly has a lot of power thrust into her lap. The goal is to get to King Bain of Dorjhalon and make sure peace is achieved in any way necessary. I don’t really want to say anything else because honestly this book could be summed up in three sentences and be over. All the Things So… yeah. I’m struggling to remember much about this one and I finished it a day ago. I think it’s kind of a mixed bag for me. There wasn’t a lot of plot at all but it was incredibly easy and quick to read. I usually find fantasy books with complex magic systems to be very slow-going for me, but this one was fast. There were LOTS of elements involved […]

ARC Review: The Best Kind of Magic

Posted May 11, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: The Best Kind of Magic

Initial Excitement I love heading into books with zero expectations. I saw this on Goodreads and added it a long time ago, then randomly hopped on the ARC tour for the book. The premise seemed like it was more magical realism than paranormal, so I was eager to see how matchmaking and witchcraft were related in this particular world. When I got the book, it sat around my apartment for a week while I ignored it for Netflix. I finally picked it up and got reading… and really couldn’t stop myself! Quick Summary Amber and her mom, a witch, own a magic shop in Chicago. The whole witch thing skipped a generation because Amber is just a “lowly” matchmaker. She can look into someone’s eyes and see glimpses of their future with their true love. She’s never had luck in her own love life though, as she can’t see her own romantic future. The Mayor’s son, Charlie, comes to Amber with a problem. She finds herself falling for him even though she knows who his match will be (aka not her). She, Charlie, and her best friend Amani (who can see the future) band together to find a missing person and deal with many other magical people along the way. Storytelling, Setting, and Feels This was super cute and so fun to read! I loved reading about all the different kind of magical beings and their ancestors. I thought this was magical realism at first, but I think with ALL […]

ARC Review: Brave New Girl

Posted May 5, 2017 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Review: Brave New Girl

Initial Excitement I went into this book with really no expectations. When I read the description on the ARC tour website, I just kind of went with it. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi or light-sci-fi books, so I thought it’d be fun to take a leap into something a little different. I’m so glad I did! It actually reminded me a lot of Replica, which was a good thing. Quick Summary Dahlia 16 is one of many. In their world, babies aren’t born through two parents coming together. Geneticists create children in a lab and there are thousands of each person created. They all look identical and have names corresponding to their future career (Dahlia = flower = gardening/growing produce) and the number signifies their age. When Dahlia meets Trigger 17, she is instantly feeling things she hasn’t ever felt before. She feels different… but being different means your entire group is recalled, aka euthanized. She can’t risk everyone’s life for a chance at something with Trigger, but she’s still pulled that way. She soon realizes the world isn’t as it seems. Storytelling, Setting, and Feels The first half of this book involved a lot of setup and it took me a little while to figure out how everything worked. I liked getting a feel for the environment Dahlia grew up in but I think it dragged with not a lot of action. Even when she met Trigger, there was just constant internal dialogue, wondering if she should […]

Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and Reunion

Posted March 8, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 6 Comments
Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and Reunion

Before the regularly scheduled programming… Happy International Women’s Day! In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I think you’re aware of the fact that I tend to hoard my favorite authors’ books so I always have at least one to read when I REALLY need it. Kasie West is one of those authors. Sometimes I just need to read her words because I know she won’t let me down. For PS I LIKE YOU, my sister had been hounding me to read it and lent me her copy. I went ahead and got the audiobook from Hoopla to crank it out and MAN do I love Kasie West still. I read it just as BY YOUR SIDE was coming out and I was borrowing LUCKY IN LOVE from a friend. So, it was safe to read this one finally 😎 The story was cute, albeit incredibly predictable. I don’t mind the formulaic nature of many YA books because it’s comforting to get that HEA at the end. I knew who the secret pen pal was literally within the first chapter or two of the book and the rest of the story was equally predictable from there. I know my romance tolerance is lower than usual, so I tried to not let it sway my opinion of this fluffy book by a favorite author. There was […]

ARC Review: Rise of Fire

Posted February 9, 2017 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Rise of Fire

Initial Excitement The reviews for REIGN OF SHADOWS were incredibly mixed. I was very happy to fall on the “loved it” side of the spectrum. I was so addicted to reading it and was eager to read RISE OF FIRE. The cliffhanger from the first book was Cruel with a capital C. I loved the twists and turns and hoped for much of the same in book two. Needless to say, I hopped at the chance to read this one early… aka ASAP. Warning about this review: The previous book ended with a cliffhanger, wondering if Fowler was going to survive what happened to him. The synopsis of this book gives this away completely; you know before even starting whether he survives. My review is going to operate under the assumption you already know THIS because you read the synopsis. Quick Summary This book picks up right where the previous story left off. Thank god, after that cliffhanger! I actually did forget quite a bit that happened in book one, but the beginning of RISE OF FIRE did a great job of setting the stage and reminding you what just happened. The story follows Luna and Fowler as they travel away from the dwellers with a group of men that find them. Fowler is in bad shape and she decides getting him medical attention should be the #1 priority, so she decides to go with these men. The two end up in Lagonia with a king and his two children, caught […]

ARC Review: History Is All You Left Me

Posted January 9, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
ARC Review: History Is All You Left Me

I’m not totally sure where to begin with this review, but let me just say – Adam Silvera is now on my list. (That sounds bad, but I obviously mean must-read-all-this-author’s-books list.) HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME is the first book I’ve read by him, but I’ll definitely be going back and reading his debut sometime soon. Do yourself a favor and do the same, if you haven’t read him yet. I’m already predicting I’m going to love that one too. The synopsis honestly wasn’t super appealing to me, compared to the books I usually read, but I decided to try it out for some reason. I’m obviously glad I did. Griffin has OCD (something I was kind of nervous to read about) and recovering from the sudden death of his ex-boyfriend/best friend (something I also don’t do as well with). I like reading books where characters are moving on from grief, but those books generally take place months later when the person has had to some time to cope. This book completely exceeded my expectations. Literally within the first paragraph, I loved his writing style. I don’t know why but there’s just something about it that clicked with me instantly. The rest of the book was very much the same – such an engaging style that’s easy and enjoyable to read. Griffin was an interesting character. His OCD was actually quite interesting to read about and wasn’t overwhelming *there* to make it feel like a book exclusively about […]

ARC Review: If I Fix You

Posted October 17, 2016 / Book Reviews / 16 Comments
ARC Review: If I Fix You

God I have so many thoughts on this book and no idea where to begin. I feel incredibly conflicted because there are some things I really loved about this book. But, unfortunately, there were MANY more things I was not a fan of. AT ALL. It definitely left a lot to be desired and way more angst than expected. Overall, ugh. The Good Main character who works on cars with her dad. I loved the father-daughter dynamics in this story. If all of the rest of the things in my “bad” section didn’t exist, this relationship alone would have made this a much higher-rated book. Jill works on cars with her dad nonstop in his shop. They have a really good relationship that was awesome to read about. Her mom left them after some THINGS went down that I won’t spoil. They had to try to move on and live their lives without her, which wasn’t easy, but they always had each other. I’ve always been close to my dad so I just love these kinds of relationships in books. No filter when it was needed. I know it’s never a great idea for a teen to mouth off at their parent, but I was rooting so hard for Jill when certain things happened.  That conversation made me so angry I was literally gritting my teeth while reading. The Bad Terrible romantic prospects. Just… terrible. I don’t want to get into some of the nuances here because very spoilery, so […]

ARC Review: Diplomatic Immunity

Posted August 31, 2016 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Diplomatic Immunity

I liked this one overall I guess. When I saw the synopsis, it definitely went onto my “jazzed up for this shelf” right away. I love reading about rich kids doing bad things, and this one held a lot of promise for those kinds of shenanigans. I was picturing some of my favorite old-school nostalgia-making books like Gossip Girl or Private. This didn’t exactly happen, but I think it’s okay. Piper was a hard main character to get close to. I could understand her motivations in a general sense but it didn’t make her any less difficult to vibe with. Her family was having money issues so she was determined to get a scholarship to cover the cost of college. She would really stop at nothing to get a good story for that reason. I definitely predicted how that plotline would go 100% so it was a little frustrating. It seriously made me cringe though because in terms of the “issue” or climax of the story, the stakes were really high for this one (compared to other contemporaries). Otherwise, Piper was kind of just weird? She blurted out whatever she was thinking most of the time and was incredibly awkward. She definitely grew on me a little bit throughout the story, but not one of my favorite main characters by any means. I was expecting a bit more of a Gossip Girl feel with parties and drugs and all sorts of things, but that was definitely understated. There was more development with her relationship(s) […]