May Wrap Up & June TBR.

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It’s that time of the month again when I do my wrap up of what I read last month and my TBR. I didn’t really stick to my May TBR so it’s probably good I’m not sharing it. Hopefully I’ll do better this month.

May Wrap Up

The End of Oz by Danielle Paige – ★★★/5
Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin – ★★★★★/5
Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic – ★★★★/5
Silver Stars by Michael Grant – ★★★★/5
The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan – ★★★★/5
Perfect by Cecelia Ahern – ★★★★/5
The Possible by Tara Altebrando – ★★★★/5
Release by Patrick Ness – ★★★/5
A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray – ★★★★/5
Fatal Crossing by Lone Theils – ★★★/5
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer – ★★★★/5

I didn’t do too badly in May. I managed to read 11 books. I think my favourite was Finding Nevo.

June TBR

I tried to keep my June TBR small because I didn’t really stick to my TBR last month. I’ve already read Contagion and I’m currently reading One of Us is Lying, which reminding me a lot of Gossip Girl. I think my next read will be The Cows.

What’s on your June TBR? How many books did you read in May? Leave me a comment and let me know.

– Aimee.

Review: Silver Stars by Michael Grant.

Title – Silver Stars
Series – Soldier Girl series #2
Author – Michael Grant
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 496 pages
Publication Date – 01 March 2017 by Egmont
ISBN – 9781405287869
RRP – $19.99 AUD
My Rating – ★★★★/5

“The summer of 1943, World War 2. Three girls fiercely fighting their own battles in the midst of the greatest war of all time.”

The Nazi’s are not beaten, but they have been bloodied. With memories of combat still lingering, Rio, Frangie, Rainy and the Allied forces are moving onto their next target – Italy.

These young women aren’t heroes for fighting along with men – they’re soldiers. They’ll be brave in horrible conditions in an endless siege. They’ll fight to find themselves on the front lines. And they’ll come face to face with the brutality of war. No one will come out unscathed… But they all hope to be victorious.

I received a copy of Silver Stars from Hardie Grant Australia to review. This is the secondC_a66IGVYAAggSs book in the Soldier Girl series.

I really enjoyed the first book, Front Lines, when I read it a couple of months ago. These books are set in an alternate universe where women are allowed to fight in the armed forces for America.

Frangie, Rainy and Rio are the main characters and each of them have their own perspective in the book. I really like all of the three main characters and enjoy reading their stories. There is another character, Jenou who is Rio’s best friend, that I really like too. I wish she was in it more and had her own chapters though.

After the events in Front Lines each of these young women are preparing for another fight. But for some reason this book and what happened in it felt a lot worse for me than the events in Front Lines. Especially for Rainy. She was so brave and strong in Silver Stars. I don’t think she’s had the same training as Frangie and Rio, Rainy was trained more in intelligence work I think. But in Silver Stars she was put in an impossible position and it left her in an even worse place. It was horrible. But Rainy came through it. I’m definitely looking forward to finding out what’s next for Rainy.

Like I said, I felt like there was a lot more going on in Silver Stars than there was in the first book. But then again, Front Lines had to set up the story and they had to go through basic training. Now, they’re all soldiers in the army, fighting against the Nazis and their allies.

There was an author’s note at the end of the book which talked about why racism and a certain word was included in both books. I get why it’s been included, because of the time this series is set, but that doesn’t mean I like reading about racism or sexism. It just sucks that people are still having to deal with it today, over seventy years later. If you haven’t read the author’s not at the end of Silver Stars but have read both books then I recommend going and reading it.

So, I don’t normally read books set during the war or about people fighting in a war but I have really enjoyed both Front Lines and Silver Stars. If you like reading about the war, or even if you don’t, I’d recommend these books. There are some badass female characters in this series and I’m looking forward to finding out what’s next for each of them when the third book comes out.

*Thank you Hardie Grant for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Front Lines by Michael Grant.

Title – Front Lines
Series – Front Lines #1
Author – Michael Grant
How I Got It – Bought a copy
Pages – 466 pages
Publication Date – January 26th 2016 by Electric Monkey
ISBN – 9781405283410
My Rating – ★★★/5

“It’s 1942. The fate of the world rests on a knife’s edge. And the soldiers that can flip the balance… are girls. 

Set in an alternate WW2 where young women are called up to fight alongside men. This is the story of Rio Richlin and her sisters-in-arms as they go onto battle against Hitler’s forces. 

But not everyone agrees that girls should be on the front lines of war. Now Rio and her friends must fight not only to survive, but to prove their courage and ingenuity to a skeptical world.” 

My mum actually bought a copy of Front Lines last year but it somehow ended up on my C9u-sTvUMAAQLQpbookcase. I’m not complaining though.

I thought the idea of women volunteering and being drafted into the armed forces during WW2 was interesting and was written really well too. There are things that have been included in this book, like racism, sexism and prejudices that were really frustrating to read but because of the time this book is set I get why it had to be included. This is meant to be a different take on WW2, not a different world all together. It’s still America in the 1940’s.

Speaking of the racism, sexism and prejudices in the 1940’s, reading about them in Rio, Rainy and Frangie’s perspectives was so frustrating. I can’t believe the things women had to put up with, and some still do. There was so much sexual harassment from the male soldiers is was ridiculous. And on top of that, Frangie is an African-American medic, who isn’t supposed to treat white soldiers or even serve with them because the army was segregated. Or all the armed forces were. I’m not sure because the characters in this book, Rio, Rainy and Frangie are all in the army. But I thought it was so stupid. I would think people would want an army united against the enemy, not divided by race. But like I said, it needs to be included in this, even though I don’t like it, because this story is based on actual events in history. The author has just tweaked some things.

I actually liked Front Lines and loved Frangie, Rainy and Rio. They are all strong young women and I can’t wait to see what’s next for each of them. I don’t know how many books are in this series. But I’m looking forward to reading all of them.

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [May 9th 2017] –

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –  9
I started Silver Stars yesterday. This is the sequel to Front Lines and takes place in an alternate universe where women are allowed to fight in WW2.

I’m not that far into Silver Stars, almost halfway, so I can’t really say much about it but I am enjoying it. I also don’t want to give too much away for the people who haven’t read Front Lines yet.

These books follow three young women in the army, Rio, Frangie and Rainy. I really like all of them and am looking forward to seeing what’s next for them. C_G4QWaV0AAadNE

Recently Finished –
I read Resurrection Bay on the weekend. It’s set in Australia, Melbourne I think., and follows Caleb as he finds his friend dead and goes on a journey to find out what happened to him.

I really liked this book. I saw that it was the first in a series. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a duology/trilogy or longer but it’s the first of something. I’ll have to keep my eye out for the next book because I really liked Caleb and his friends.

I found this really addictive and the twist at the end was really good. I’ll be reviewing this soon. 11

I read Finding Nevo last week and I loved it! I think this is a book everyone should read. It’s full of important topics and has changed the way I see a few things. I’m not saying I had a problem with anyone that’s transgender but, without giving anything away, it changed the way I thought about gender and the way people but men and women in certain boxes. But I’ll talk more about that and the book in my review. Which I will be posting soon hopefully.

If you haven’t read a copy of Finding Nevo then I recommend finding a copy.

Reading Next – 15
I’m going to be reading The Dark Prophecy when I finish Silver Stars.

I really enjoyed The Hidden Oracle. Especially because we were back at Camp Half-Blood and Percy and Nico were in it.

Again, this is a sequel so I don’t want to give anything away for the people who haven’t read The Hidden Oracle yet. But if you loved Riordan’s other books and haven’t read these then you’re missing out.

What have you been reading recently?

– Aimee.

 

April Wrap Up & May TBR.

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I’ve finally got my May TBR together so I decided to share it and my April wrap up today. I did forget one book in my wrap up photo but it’s so hard to get back into the box set that I couldn’t be bothered getting it and taking a new one. So I’m just going to jump right in.

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Ewing – 4/5 stars
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling – 5/5 stars
Black by Fleur Ferris – 4/5 stars
What Girls are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold – 3/5 stars
Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton – 4/5 stars
The Silent Invasion by James Bradley – 3/5 stars
Front Lines by Michael Grant – 3/5 stars
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins – 4/5 stars
But then I Came Back by Estelle Lure – 3/5 stars
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – 5/5 stars

For some reason I’m having trouble with WordPress on both Google Chrome (it won’t load at all) and Internet Explorer. For some reason it won’t let me post the stars that I usually use as my ratings in my wrap ups. I tried Firefox or whatever it’s called but that was slower to load than the computer and I just could not be fucked with that. So if anyone can tell me why it won’t load on Chrome it would be great! I’ve uninstalled it and re-installed it and still have the same problem.

Anyway, onto my May TBR.

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I started reading The End of Oz yesterday. I didn’t get a lot read because I kept getting distracted but I’m hoping to read more today. I’ve already picked what I’ll be reading next, Finding Nevo. This sounds so good and I can’t wait to pick it up.

What’s on your May TBR?

– Aimee.

April Book Haul.

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It’s that time of the month again when I post my book haul. I did forget two book in my photo (above) but I will include them in the post. By the time I realised I just couldn’t be bothered getting all the books back because I’d already put them away.

So, onto my haul. I got a total of 21 books in April and I’ve only read three. I have started another one from this haul today though.1

The first book I got was sent to me from HarperCollins New Zealand. Perfect is the sequel to Flawed, which came out last year and I loved. These are Ahern’s first YA books.

I haven’t read this yet but I am hoping to read it in May. I was hoping to get to it last month but I couldn’t fit it in.

I can’t really talk about Perfect without giving things away for those that haven’t read Flawed yet. If you haven’t read Flawed then I definitely recommend finding a copy. I couldn’t put it down when I read it.

The second book I received this month was a surprise from Pan Macmillan New Zealand. 2I was not expecting this at all. This is one of the three books I read this month from the books I hauled.

This is about an alien invasion and takes place in Australia. The invasion has a virus type thing that changes not only people but also plants and animals into this alien species? I don’t know. But they aren’t themselves anymore.

So when Callie finds out her little sister has started Changing she runs away to find this Zone to hopefully find help but what she does find will change her life.

I liked the story and I also want to know what’s next after the ending. That was a bit of a surprise. You can read my review of The Silent Invasion here3

The next three books were sent to me from Bloomsbury Australia to review.

I read When We Collided by Emery Lord last year and really enjoyed it so I’m looking forward to reading The Names they Gave Us soon. I don’t think this is out until June so I’m hoping to get this read soon but it’s not high on my TBR right now.

I can’t actually remember what this is about now but I liked the sound of it when I read the synopsis a couple of month ago.

I also think The Possible comes out in June so I’ll be reading this around the same time as 4I read The Names they Gave Us. I also can’t remember what this is about I did like the sound of this too when I read the synopsis.

Anyway, I’ve never read a book by Altebrando before but I did want to read The Leaving when it came out last year. I never got around to getting a copy. Maybe I will after I read this.

I love this cover though. My photo doesn’t really do it justice. It definitely looks better in person. If you can’t tell I’m just rambling now because I have no idea what to say. I really should get these done with the synopsis.5

The last book Bloomsbury Australia sent me to review was The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. This is another book I’ve actually read from this haul.

I will have my review of this up soon so I don’t want to talk about this too much. And I think I’ve got to be one of the very few people who haven’t read this series yet so I’m not going to go into what this book is about because I’ll probably just bore everyone.

I really enjoyed this and can’t wait to read The Mime Order. I’ll have to get a copy of that soon before I forget what happened in this one. 6

Hachette New Zealand sent me a copy of But Then I Came Back by Estelle Lure. This is the last book I’ve read from my April haul. I’ll also be reviewing this soon so I don’t want to say too much about it here.

This follows Eden whose been in a coma and wakes up to a different life. Or, she feels different, like a part of her is still in the ‘in between.’ I didn’t really know what to expect with this but it did enjoy it. It’s a bit weird in places but I think it just added to the story. Anyway, you can read more when I post my review.

7HarperCollins New Zealand also sent me a copy of The End of Oz to review. This is the last book in the Dorothy Must Die series. I think.

I started this today. I’m not that far into it yet, because I decided to post my book haul and this takes me forever, but I have liked what I read so far. I especially like that Madison is in this one more. I liked her in Yellow Brick War and am looking forward to seeing what happens to her now.

I’ve enjoyed this series, even though I have found the storyline predictable at times. I’m looking forward to seeing how the story ends.

I bought a hardback copy of Fangirl, which I haven’t read, from Book Depository because 8I saw it on there for $16 and I couldn’t resist. So I’ll be passing on my paperback copy so I have more room on my shelves.

I’m not in a huge rush to read this. I’ve had the paperback edition for a couple of years now and haven’t felt a real pull to read it but I will get to it one day.

I’ve heard good things about Fangirl but I’m not sure I want to read Carry On. I’ve heard mixed reviews on that one… Maybe I’ll see what I think when I actually read Fangirl. I did see a copy of Carry On for $5 but I didn’t get it. 9

I received a copy of Silver Stars from Hardie Grant to review. This is the second book in the Soldier Girl series. I read Front Lines in April and really enjoyed it. I’ll be posting a review of that soon.

These books take place in an alternate universe where young women have been called to fight in WW2. It’s a really interesting idea and I have really liked reading this. It’s a little frustrating with all the crap the girls have to put up with from men at that time and all the racism, sexism and prejudices of the 1940’s but it has to be included to make the story more real… I guess.

Allen and Unwin New Zealand sent me a copy of Avenged by Amy Tintera to review. This 10is the sequel to Ruined which I read and reviewed last year. I wasn’t sure if I’d like Ruined or not but I loved it and I cannot wait to read Avenged. Although I can’t stand the AU covers…

I’m hoping to read Avenged sometime in May. I’m not sure when yet but it’s definitely on my May TBR.

If you want to read my review for Ruined you can here. I think I might have to re-read Ruined before I can get to Avenged, which will really annoy me, but I might try to read my review first. 11

The next two books were sent to me from Walker Books Australia to review.

Finding Nevo follows Nevo as they come to terms with their sexuality, themselves as a person and transition. I’m going to read Finding Nevo this month but I did flip though it to find out which pronouns to use when I talked about Nevo and their book. Nevo prefers they/them and he/him pronouns so I’ll be using the they/them pronouns.

Fining Nevo sounds really good and I cannot wait to read it. It’s on my May TBR.

The other book Walker Books Australia sent me was Release by Patrick Ness. I can’t 12remember what this is about but I’ve really enjoyed most of the books I’ve read by Ness so I wanted to read this one too.

I think both Release and Finding Nevo are out at the start of May. Or even out today. I’m not really sure. But I will be reading both of them this month.

I have two other books by Ness sitting on my shelves that I haven’t read yet. I don’t know when I’ll get to them but hopefully sometime this year..

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This is the second book I bought in April. I saw a friend share that she bought a copy of The Bone Witch on Book Depository for $18 so I quickly found it and bought a copy too. I don’t know when I’ll read this but I’ve heard really good things about it so I’m hoping to read it soon-ish.

I think I need to mix up my reading a bit. Throw in some of my books in with the review books. I get into really bad reading slumps sometimes so I think if I read a book that’s been sitting on my shelves for years may help. It might not but there’s only one way to find out I guess. I hate reading slumps.

I also bought a copy of Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. I saw this in a clearance 14bin for $5 and I couldn’t resist. I love this edition, the cover and spines are gorgeous. Now I just need to buy the first two books to have the trilogy.

I have read these books before but it’s been years. I’d love to read them again. I loved Will!!

I still don’t know if I should read the new series. I can’t even remember what it’s called. I was excited to read it when the first book came out last year but I never got around to it and now I’m just like “meh, I can’t be bothered.” If you think I should read whatever the new series is called let me know.

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Penguin Random House New Zealand sent me a copy of The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan to review. I loved The Hidden Oracle when I read it last year and cannot wait to read this one. I loved being back in Percy’s world and back at Camp Half-Blood.

I don’t want to say anything about The Dark Prophecy because it is a sequel and I don’t want to spoil anything for those that haven’t read The Hidden Oracle yet. And if you haven’t read The Hidden Oracle and are a fan of the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus books then what are you waiting for?? You need to find a copy!

The last four books I received last month to review were from Bonnier Publishing 16Australia. I think two of these books are released this month, Fatal Crossing and The Hot Guy, and The Student is release in June? But I’m not 100% sure. And I don’t know when Resurrection Bay was released but it will be the first one I read out of these.

I’m really looking forward to reading Resurrection Bay ad Fatal Crossing, although the other two sound good as well, but these two are definitely high on my TBR.

I wanted to thank all the publishers (again) for sending me these books to review. I’m always grateful that I get to review books. Untitled

I wanted to share this last month at the end of my March book haul but I forgot. I got a Book Sac last month with left over birthday money and I love it! I’ve always wanted something to put my books in when I take them out in my bag because I have damaged a few.

I’ve wanted a book beau or whatever for ages but the shipping is always so expensive to New Zealand so I’m really happy that I found Book Sac. They’re located in Australia so the shipping isn’t that bad and was really fast.

My Alice in Wonderland Book Sac is so pretty and looks so much better in person. If you want to check out their store you can here. They open every Monday and Friday Australia time. I cannot recommend their products enough.

What books did you haul in April?

– Aimee.

 

WWW Wednesday [April 26th 2017] –

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –  6
I picked But Then I Came Back as my next read. I haven’t started yet but I will at some point today.

From what I read on the back of the book this is about a girl, I’m not sure what her name is, who wakes up from a coma and her life is different. I don’t know how different but I guess I’ll find out.

Then there was something about her meeting a guy. I hope this isn’t about a guy fixing whatever’s changed with her…. I hate those stories. But I’ll find out soon I guess.

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I finished Into the Water yesterday and it was sooo good!!! If you loved Girl on the Train then I’m sure you’ll love this.

Into the Water reminded me a lot of Broadchurch, where everyone is a suspect. Except in Broadchurch I’ve never suspected the police of committing a crime, but in Into the Water even the local police were suspects for me. There were two characters I didn’t think killed anyone and that was because they were out-of-town. But that’s all I’m going to say because I’ll be posting my review of this soon. Probably around the release day in New Zealand. C9u-sTvUMAAQLQp

I read Front Lines recently. This is the first book in the Soldier Girl series and I actually enjoyed it. I mean, there were parts that annoyed me because of the time it was set in and how some people back then thought but it had to be included in the book because it was set in WWII.

But this was an alternate world where women were allowed to fight on the front lines of the war against Hitler and his allies. It was an interesting idea and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes next.

Reading Next – 3
I don’t have a recent photo of my next read so I had to go and find this. I’ll be re-reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I put it on my April TBR and I haven’t got to it yet. I don’t think I’ll actually finish it in April though.

I’ve wanted to re-read the Harry Potter series since I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them last year so I’m excited to finally start.

I read the illustrated editions of Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets so I’m continuing the series with these editions. I love the new covers!

What have you been reading lately?

– Aimee.