First Lines Friday – 03 January

Yayaya, HAPPY FRIYAY, book lovers and friends 😍We’re back with another First Lines Friday! This is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are THE RULES:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“Even in death the boys were trouble.
The secret graveyard lay on the north side of the Nickel campus, in a patchy acre of wild grass between the old work barn and the school dump.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 03 January”

First Lines Friday – 27 December

Yayaya, HAPPY FRIYAY, book lovers and friends 😍We’re back with another First Lines Friday! This is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are THE RULES:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“I’m gonna miss the draft.
The Hadfield is disintegrating around me. Black arcs of quantum lightning are melting the ship’s hull to slag. My spacesuit is screaming seventeen different alarms, the lock on this damn cryogenic pod still won’t open, and that’s the one thought blaring in my head.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 27 December”

#WWWWednesday: 17 July

Omg, is it only Wednesday?! Welp, my brain keeps tricking me into believing it’s Thursday and that there’s only one more day standing between me and my beloved weekend. Well, on that note, it’s time for another WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be talking about:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What did you read last?

Yaaas, I finally finished Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff and I kind of hate myself for not reading it right away, but also for not waiting even longer to read it because now book two feels even further away. #bookwormproblems or is it just me? Anyway, I absolutely loved and adored this book and Squad 312, and I wrote a super gushing review about it stuffed full of artwork taken from Jay Kristoff’s website. So if you want to read my review, follow this link! I also recently finished The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James (review coming) and e-ARC for The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill, which was a really cute prequel to The Tea Dragon Society! You can read my review of it here.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, Marriage for One by Ella Maise, Evidence of the Affair: A Short Story by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, and I’m still going with The Good Kill: A Killian Lebon Novel by Kurt Brindley. The Great Alone and RW&RB are buddy reads on Instagram. It’s been slow going with both of these books, probably because I’m reading five books at once, but I’m making them top priority right now.

What will you read next?

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult and This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel are two other buddy reads that I totally forgot I said I would join this month so after I finish my two current buddy reads, these will take priority because I wanna get them read! I’ve been looking forward to both and I’m hoping the buddy reads will give me motivation to finally pick them up.

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books?
Leave me a comment and let’s chat 🙂

Book Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Goodreads: Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle #1)
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 07 May 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Rating:

(5 pandas)

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

I’m just gonna preface this review by saying that it’s going to be a whole LOT of gushing because friends… I WAS NOT READY. Which is so incredibly silly of me because I know just how much the Illuminae series affected me. I’m aware of the bewitching powers that Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have over my thoughts and emotions. They never fail to make me feel ALL THE FEELS. Was I really expecting this book to be any different? Silly girl. Anyway, you’ve been warned!

If there was any group that I’d wish to be stuck with in outer space facing the hottest of hot messes I’ve ever encountered in my life, Squad 312 would be my number one. I loved this crew! This was an incredibly fun space adventure that was a combination of the Breakfast Club and Guardians of the Galaxy, with the haunting horror reminiscent of The Ruins. It was wildly entertaining and I was here for every minute of it! I laughed my ass off at their antics, was impressed with their insane skills, became sufficiently terrified of all the creepy things and ended up heartbroken and aghast with that ending. I was seriously impressed by how quickly these characters wormed their way into my heart. While it wasn’t as epic as The Illuminae Files, I still loved it!

Tyler Jones: The Alpha. He’s a stickler for the rules and is guided by his father’s legacy. Megawatt dimples that when flashed can make ovaries explode within twenty paces. Bee-bro. Twin.

Scarlett Jones: The Face. The older twin but would do anything to protect her bro. Her uncanny ability to read people makes her an amazing face. Fiery, feisty, with sexy confidence to boot. She will get you in and out of all the sticky situations with her insane diplomacy skills. She’ll take care of you because she has a big heart.

Catherine ‘Cat’ Brannock: The Ace. She’s a bad-ass pilot who’s got snark and attitude for days. Childhood besties with the twins. Definitely not in love with Ty. She’s the character I had the most difficulty with at the start and I didn’t expect my feelings to turn around so quickly, but color me shocked, they did.

Finian ‘Fin’ de Karren de Seel: The Gearhead. An alien with biting sarcasm, dry slightly rude humor, and is into noticing all the hotness around him–both male, female and alien alike. Funniest of the bunch. Want to protect at all costs.

Kaliis ‘Kal’ Gilwraeth: The Tank. Of the alien elf race, Syldrathi. Tall, muscular, gorgeous silver hair and violet eyes, comes off as cold and unfriendly, but gooey on the inside. Can kick your ass faster than you can even blink. Seriously endearing. MY BAE.

Zila Madran: The Brain. Tiny, sociopathic, loves to shoot people, including her teammates, without warning, wearer of odd but very cute sounding earrings.

Aurora ‘Auri’ Jie-Lin O’Malley: The Girl Out of Time. Left earth at the “start” of space exploration only to get lost in cryo in space for over 200 years. Woke up with white hair and powers that turned one eye white. An enigma that could be the catalyst for a dormant billion-year-old war between two ancient, mythical, terrifying species…until now.

The story was told through alternating POVs although mostly through Ty and Auri. We only get to spend a few chapters (total) with each team member’s POV, but I thought they all had well flushed out personalities and distinctive traits that set them apart. Although they all come off as aloof in each others’ chapters, I loved that you see a lot of vulnerability from them in their own chapters. If there’s one character I would’ve liked to know more about it definitely would be Zila. We get a sense of her sociopathic ‘shoot-now-ask-questions-later’ tendencies, mostly through the others, but you can tell she carries a lot of emotional baggage and possibly trauma, and I would’ve liked to get more inside her head. I initially had mixed feelings about other members of the squad but by the end I was crying, rooting, and heartbroken for all of them. Yo, Amie and Jay, if anything else happens to these precious characters in the following books, I will burn them (the books, not the characters). Jokes lol I’d never do that but I’d be so angry I’d want to! Please don’t break my heart even more.

@Jay Kristoff’s website. Artist: Charlie Bowater

I think one of the main qualms people have mentioned about this book is the romance. Even I was a bit surprised that there was so much of it, and that it’d also sometimes creep up at the most inappropriate moments. Another point that people mentioned were the romantic pairings. I will admit that they weren’t the ones I expected from the start, but honestly, I wasn’t mad at them. The pairings grew on me and I think they just seemed odd initially because I didn’t feel chemistry between the characters. So I guess if romance is going to be “a thing” in this book, I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops! If I’m honest though, I don’t think the romance added a crucial element to the story so maybe they could’ve also done without it; but I love me some romance, so I’m just gonna accept what Kaufman & Kristoff dole out! 🤷🏻‍♀️

These two authors continue to surprise me with the incredible world building that they do. It’s kind of set in the same space dimension as Illuminae so everything isn’t completely new. But as more was revealed the virtual jaw in my head would keep dropping as the story became more complex and astounding! I continue to love all the -isms and details of our modern day that they’ve transformed in their story to bring this crazy world of theirs to life. Seriously, I never thought I’d be curious to know what shake n’ heat ration packs of NotPork’n’Apple Casserole and Pie!™️ would taste like. I know authors have to have one hell of an imagination but these two combined are seriously the ultimate! I could go on gushing about this book but TL;DR: just read it. I kinda wish that I didn’t devour AR because now I’m feeling a little adrift and unsure about what to do with myself until the next book comes out (lol). I already miss the squad and I just closed the book. I’m so ready and freaking excited for the next installment in this series!

Also, I am now sufficiently creeped out by succulents and even more so by viney plants?! Like, WHY. I wasn’t expecting to encounter elements that reminded me of The Ruins, which is actually one of the best-worst horror novels I’ve ever read (horrors are not my jam). Why can’t we just leave plants alone?

Have you read Aurora Rising or is it on your TBR?

#WWWWednesday: 10 July

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be talking about:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What did you read last?

I just finished reading The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary last night and I absolutely LOVED IT. Reading this book was like receiving all the warm hugs. I honestly loved Tiffy and Leon so much and I really enjoyed the way their relationship grew. Tiffy’s character went through a significantly bigger development/change in the story, but I liked how Leon’s character opened up too, yet still remained true to himself. I still have to write my review for this book, which I thought I could squeeze in today, but no. Why is it always so hard to write reviews? I also finished I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young last night. Read my mini-review!

What are you currently reading?

IT’S HAPPENING, FOLKS. Yes, I know I’ve said it one or twice before, but this time, it’s really happening. I’m finally picking up Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff! I started reading at the tail end of my lunch break and I’ve already laughed out loud several times, enjoyed imagining the first cheeky character we’re introduced to and I can’t wait to find out what else is in store! Is it too soon to claim that I’m invested after only reading the first chapter? I’ve still going with The Good Kill: A Killian Lebon Novel by Kurt Brindley. Really hoping to finish it soon! 🤞🏽

What will you read next?

Next up are three books that I’ve been looking forward to reading with some buddies over on bookstagram. I might actually pick up Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston before the other two, seeing as I know I will speed through this one. I think I’ve only read one not-so-shining review of RW&RB, but all the others have been positively glowing, so I’m excited to see if this lives up to the hype! I’m looking forward to reading The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. This’ll be my second book by her, but if it’s anything like The Nightingale, it’s going to slaughter me 😂 I haven’t heard that much about A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult, but Picoult has been a long time favorite of mine since high school. She has a wonderful way of telling stories that always immediately sucks me in. The topic she covers in the book is also very relevant to today’s sociopolitical climate too, so it should be an interesting read!

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books?
Leave me a comment and let’s chat 🙂

My Most Anticipated May Releases

Now that May is just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about my most anticipated releases for the month. There are a lot of books that I’m excited to get my hands on but I’ve managed to narrow down the list a little bit. I’ve already pre-ordered some of them but I’m hoping that my friends and family know me well enough (with a lot of wish-list hinting of course) to get me one or two of these for my birthday! 😉 So, without further ado, let’s get to it:

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. I’m so excited for another collaboration between Kaufman & Kristoff. They are such a dynamic badass team! I’m so happy that I was able to pre-order a signed copy of this book and apparently my pre-order comes with a copy of Memento, so what’s not to love?! I can’t wait until this arrives at my door.

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber. I stayed up until 3:30am just so that I wouldn’t miss the chance to order the special Owlcrate box for Finale. This series has been one of my favorites and the way Legendary ended, I can’t wait to find out how this beautiful series ends. Do I want it to end? No, but I’m hoping that it’ll bring some satisfying closure to a fun series! The excitement is real, yo.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. The Kiss Quotient was one of my favorite romance reads last year and I’ve heard from a few bookstagrammers and bloggers who’ve had the chance to read the ARC, that The Bride Test is just as good! I love the diverse characters and I’m expecting the romance to be just as funny, sexy and sweet as in Hoang’s debut!

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. This book has been hyped up down and around and while that makes me a little nervous, I’m more excited to read it! I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one.

Nocturna by Maya Motayne. This book has only fairly recently come on my radar thanks to the wonderful world of book blogs, but from what I’ve heard, this Latinx inspired magical world is one to definitely get excited about!

Romanov by Nadine Brandes. I’ve always found the history of the Romanovs so intriguing, so it’s no surprise that one of my favorite Disney movies (that I think is so weirdly underrated) is Anastasia. Sure, the dark tones of the animation got into my head and gave me sufficient nightmares for days, but it’s such a great story! I love historical fiction and when you combine that with fantasy, you better believe I’m here for it.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. Who doesn’t love Christina Lauren? I’ve almost read everything that they’ve put out and I always finish their books feeling good and happy. Their stories are always a great mix of comedy and romance, and really there’s nothing more to it than that.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. I love the idea of this book. Two people sharing a one-bedroom flat and never crossing paths because one works day shifts and one works night shifts. This sounds like the cute British romance that will worm its way into my heart and give me all the good feels.

What upcoming books are you most excited for? Have any of these books made it onto your list? Drop me a comment and let’s talk books 🙂