Top Ten Tuesday – Best of 2015

I keep meaning to get around the reviews, but I’ve been so busy, all I can seem to put together are lists. Sorry dudes! But hey, today you get another list!

This could have been a lovefest to Courtney Summers, but I forced myself to list only two. These are almost exclusively YA books. That’s because it’s been a good year for them, and because I avoided a lot of what was super popular. I’ve learned that they are almost always disappointing. Not because of my hipster d-bag status, but because I’m not that into fantasy and that’s been crazy popular this year.

There are two memoirs on this list – which surprises me as much as you.

If you’re looking for a good book, pick up one of these and enjoy.

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

No review yet. I just finished this book and haven’t gotten a chance to write it yet. I was truly surprised how much I liked this book. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday – Up and Coming

This week’s list is supposed to be about 2016 debuts, but I’m going with releases instead. I don’t really follow the expected debuts. I just don’t. It’s not my thing. Good for people that do. But there are a lot of books scheduled for release in 2016 that sound worth investigating.

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Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff

New Yovanoff! Yes, please.

Waverly Camdenmar doesn’t have friends, she has social assets. She doesn’t get sucked into drama, she makes tactical decisions. Her life is dominated by achievement, competition, and functioning as the power behind the throne in her school’s little kingdom of popularity. But even the most resilient mercenary has weaknesses. Perfection is exhausting, and her longstanding alliance with queen-bee Maribeth rests on a foundation of resentment, anxiety, and a nagging feeling that there must be something beyond student council. Waverly’s name might be at the top of every leader board, but she hasn’t slept in days.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Automatic for the People

Okay, I like doing lists, but I’m starting to have a bit of a problem with the TTT topics. They’re beginning to feel repetitive. Authors I own the most books from. Authors I read the most. And now, auto-buy authors. By nature, these lists are going to be pretty similar. If I own a lot of books by someone, I’m probably going to read a lot of their books, and eventually, they’re going to be an auto-buy (I’m using auto-buy to mean that I know I will eventually buy these books, not that I will always buy them before I read them. Rowling is the only one whose books I currently pre-order). Maybe this isn’t as much of a problem when you have multiple blog submitters, but when pulling from just one person’s preferences… well, here’s a list you’ve pretty much read before. I don’t actually have ten authors, so I’ve added a couple that I want to be on this list but I just haven’t gotten around reading all their books yet, so they haven’t quite made it onto my go-to list. Continue reading

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (@brennayovanoff)

You know how sometimes you see a book on the bargain table at the local branch of your big name bookstore chain and it’s like $4.99 (in Canada that’s a deal) and has a compelling cover. And you already have a giant TBR stack, but you just can’t help yourself and you buy it anyway. And then you take it home and put it on the shelf and totally forget about it? Yeah, that’s what happened to me with The Replacement. But then I ended up reading a couple of Yovanoff’s other books (also picked up because of the cover – she’s got gorgeous covers guys), and absolutely loving them. That’s when I remembered that this book was sitting on my shelf. So, I put it on my TBR where it promptly got set aside again for my ridiculous library compulsion. But the other day, I was sorting through my dud pile of library books (seriously, nothing I’d signed out was worth reading) and decided it was time to tackle my own shelf. I finally, finally picked up The Replacement. It was the right choice. I probably could have powered through it in a day, but it’s been hot like the sun here so my reading was dispersed between chunks of trying to cool off and doing other things to distract me from the heat.

Honestly, the damp, dreary setting of the book kind of helped distract from the crazy heat. The world in which the book is set is beautiful. Dark and chilling and beautiful. Now, I’m aware Yovanoff’s writing is divisive. She has a very distinct, minimalist style that people seem to either love or hate. I love it. I like that there isn’t a lot of fooferah, and yet we still get all the things we need to know. Exactly the right amount of description to make the world real but still allow us to fill in the details for ourselves. It’s like the perfect scary movie. They never give you too much. The unseen is the most unsettling. I could absolutely picture Gentry in my mind. I could walk the streets with Mackie as he tries to figure out what is happening to his life.
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Top Ten Tuesday – Tea for Two, or Coffee, or Beer, or Whatever

I’m not in love with the topic this week, but here we are – authors I’d really like to meet. (Is it just me, or does it feel like this  topic by the ladies of The Broke and Bookish is a bit of a repeat of favourite authors week?) I know it might seem weird, but I don’t really have a desire to meet famous folk. I go to a couple comic conventions a year and I’m not one of those people doing the autographs and photos. I have nothing against it. It’s just not my thing. What I like to do are the panels. The big group sessions where people come in and talk about their projects and their lives. I don’t get to meet them on an individual level, but I get to hear a lot about them. It feels like I get more out of those than a quick run through in a line. And there are other people in the panels who have questions I wouldn’t have considered. I feel like one on one, I sometimes lose my train of thought – especially when it’s with someone I admire. So, I don’t know. Part of me wants to just go listen to these people talk. Another part of me wants to sit down with them over coffee and talk to them about stuff, not necessarily writing. I would hate to have books I love ruined if our meeting was disappointing.

Also, I’m only picking living authors. This isn’t séance time.

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Courtney Summers

I’ve reviewed several Summers books recently, so it should come as no surprise that I would want to meet her. I love her take on YA fiction and on how girls treat each other. Her approach to realism is right on. Also, we’re both Canadian. Yay us!

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Jeanette Winterson

Her writing is so lyrical. I just want to know more about her style and how she remains true to that in the face of publishing demands. Continue reading