My Top 5 YA Dystopia Picks!

Here we go, guys! My top 5 YA Dystopia picks!

My Classic 5 Dystopia picks can be found here.

5. Across the Universe

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Beth Revis’s Across the Universe trilogy has such a neat plot, I mean yes a lot of Dystopian novels have the same elements [that’s why I love them] but I loved that this one’s setting was on a freakin ship! Best of both worlds; more sci-fi and all Dystopia! My only issues were with the style of writing, sometimes it was just a bit too awkward how she wrote the dialogue and the feelings were a little too well controlled at times for our lovely protagonist. I would say this has the lowest rating on my top 5 only because of this, otherwise, I really do enjoy it!

4. Matched

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Condie’s Matched trilogy is not only on my top 5 but it’s one of the few series that I love to reread. This is the one that Eden Chip reminded me of a bit [no spoilers though] where science/statistics is used to give you the most compatible partner, but what if there was a glitch and you knew? What if there was someone else who could have been it? I really loved how she set it up and it was so chillingly good, had a bit of an echo of The Giver in it as well to me. The turmoil the characters go through is always one that tugs on my heartstrings a lot and is one of the reasons I reread it. It’s got your typical love triangle trope but I think it does a great job of the nuances of feelings people go through in said love triangle. I could go on forever about this, but I’ll refrain and move on.

3.  The Uglies

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I have loved The Uglies trilogy since it came out, and yes there is a fourth book in the series but it’s not connected to the characters…at all…and even the issues in it don’t really connect…so…I don’t connect it to the first three. Think about it! A world where beauty is valued over everything [sound a little familiar? Lol] and once you finally hit 16 you’re no longer an ‘ugly’ someone who has kept their natural appearances, you get to become a ‘pretty’ you’re made into a beautiful person…..so what happens if you don’t go through with it? Is there anyone else left aside from the pretties and uglies?

2. The Giver

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I loved this book and not to mention it was my first dystopian novel and I didn’t realize it! I read this in elementary when it was still new! Now, I’ve not said The Giver series as I’ve said with the others because frankly, I haven’t read the others yet, this was shown as a standalone novel for so long I didn’t even realize it was a series! So! I have to get to that but, I still think it works great as a standalone. A world with suppressed emotions and colors, where people are picked to give birth, others picked to raise those children, everything neat and tidy, and then the role of the Giver is given to a young boy who seeks answers and finds out more than he bargained for. LOVE IT.

1. The Hunger Games

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And finally, The Hunger Games trilogy. Another one I love to reread. I think Suzanne Collins does such a freakin precise representation of how corrupt power can be the most deadly tool of all. Yes we all know that, but look at it, it happens today, people pull strings, they show you news to distract you from other news, they use stories to cover up the darkness they don’t always want us to see. Not to mention I love Katniss, the love triangle in this is fun for me. Katniss doesn’t care about love triangles, she cares about food. Tell me I’m wrong. Not to mention she doesn’t do her actions with the intent to start a rebellion, it happens and she takes on the mantle, and not always because she wants to. Ugh. Another one I could gush over all day.

Okay, there you have it, my top 5 YA dystopian novels/series! I’m currently over halfway through Dead Man’s Blues so hopefully, I’ll be reviewing that soon! But I do have a lot going on this week, two more rehearsals, a concert, and then another concert next Sunday too, so, I’ll try to keep up every day!

Toodles, guys!

In Search of a Witch’s Soul

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Human, private detective Anna Caill isn’t keen on the prohibition of magic enacted by the 18th Amendment, but she won’t deny it’s good for business. The coppers couldn’t care less about the witches’ problems, giving her any number of clients to choose from.

When mysterious witch Jesse Hunt saunters into her office, he and his case will test her limits. While a killer stalks the magical underworld, Anna is hired to find Jesse’s friend, the high priest of an ancient coven.

As her case unravels, Anna is forced to confront her addiction to a dark spell in this urban fantasy noir.

1920s, prohibition exists but not as we know it, it’s a prohibition on magic. Anna Caill a flapper girl and private eye who helps Witches (which are both men and women) who come to her with cases. Not to mention she goes against the 18th amendment to use the Living Memory spell whenever she can to help ease the pain she’s been in from losing a loved one.

Jesse Hunt comes in with what seems a pretty straight forward missing person’s case with a person not really missing, just run away, but why is she so drawn to Jesse Hunt? And is this case as straight forward as she thought?

[Trigger Warning: Character death(s), some steamy love scenes in general if that’s a thing that may be a no for you or a trigger]

Pros:
-Guys…GUYS. It’s prohibition era, NOIR urban fantasy! IT IS A MYSTERY WITH FANTASY [I am freaking out!]
-Quick, fast-paced read
-Such a great integration of magic into the 1920s setting
-1920s slang even used throughout the narration not just when characters talk
-Jesse Hunt is pretty cool
-Jack is very cool
-Small twist in the epilogue that I hope means we get to see more of Caill!!!
-Caill is an awesome flapper who solves freakin’ mysteries and helps out witches.

Cons:
-More erotic than I thought? Which isn’t necessarily a con but it really just goes wham bam and you’re peering around you wondering if anyone can see you blushing.
-1920s slang may seem trite to some instead of immersive
-Jesse Hunt may be eye-roll inducing for the first 60% bahaha
– You may find it too predictable [In Lieber’s defense I would imagine that she meant it to be predictable to us, it was supposed to be a surprise for Caill, not us lol]
-May have tropes you hate that I don’t want to give away too much and give out spoilers, but some usual romance tropes, a bit of a love triangle.

This isn’t my usual thing as far as reading something with steamy scenes but I loved it and just read it in like a handful of hours between two sittings last night and this morning. I think Lieber has a fantastic voice and I really hope there’s more to this! IF NOT I GOT SOME WORDS FOR HER!

[I received an eARC copy of this in exchange for my honest review via NetGalley, here is the GoodReads Link]

 

Charity Shop Finds

Yesterday was a day of bounty!!!

Well, sort of, I’m super excited because I got a skirt I’ve been wanting but we also scored 3 new books from our Charity shop finds.

Here we go! The haul for 16/02

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John Steinbeck, The Short Novels £1.50
[This was my husband’s pick, because only the powers beyond know how much I hate Steinbeck lol]

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The Gift of Rain £1.50
[This also gets to go towards my YARC once I read it, so yay!]

 

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Thirteen Reasons Why £1.50
[I’ve heard a lot of hype on this, good and bad and want to see what it’s all about for myself, I only watched the first episode on Netflix and maybe not even all of it, all I know is when I heard how dark it got I decided to hold off]

Total: £ 4.50

Not too shabby! I’m working on my current ARC and The Romanovs and Dead Man’s Blues still, had a busy weekend and taking it easy a little too.

Anti-Valentine’s Day Tag

I was tagged by Soph @ Bookwyrmingthoughts for this Anti-Valentine’s Day Tag, I know I’m like two days late, but, I was busy, busy thinking obviously. Alright, now…LET’S GET TO IT.

THE RULES:

  • Link back to the blog that tagged you!
  • Answer the 10 anti-Valentine’s Day questions provided.
  • Come up with your own 10 anti-Valentine’s questions for blogs you tag.
  • Tag ten other bloggers to do the tag! [Jesus H. Christ, who hasn’t been tagged? Help me out here guys!]

Name a cute romance in which you will go down with the ship.

Gemma and Kartik

What’s one underhyped romance you want everyone to read?

Name a relationship in which you’d rather toss into the fuck it bucket than go down with it.


Bella and Edward


[I’m so sorry, but I can’t, I just can’t….but here, to prove I don’t hate Meyer with every fibre of my being…..]

 

Name a book in which the romance overpowered the plot but you actually enjoyed.

The Host

I’m not going to say this was a favorite of mine, but I didn’t hate it and really, I didn’t mind the romance in this [and in my opinion a plot like that didn’t need romance so the fact that I’m like ‘eh, cool’ says a lot lol]

What book features an ideal date you would like to go on with your partner/potential partner one day?

I would love to go to the Yule Ball, with Draco, but, you know hubby works too.

A book that had no romance but you wanted to have romance?

The Crystal Cave, we had Merlin growing up and he had one tryst, but, oh I would have loved to have had a romance in his growing up years!

Who’s your favorite stabbing character, one who would wield a weapon in a heartbeat?

Can Katniss count? She leans toward flying stabby things, but man does she have some mean aim!

A ship that never happened but you want to squish those characters together and WANT to happen.

Draco and myself. Whoops. Who said that? Hmm I’m trying to think here, hmm. Okay, Blackburn and Audrey Rose [who does that unless they’re in trouble? Just uses all the first and middle names??] Not that she deserves him. And I could get the hate for him, but honestly, honestly, why make someone out to be a bad guy who is only just a little stupid on arranged marriage etiquette?

A love interest you hated so much you would rather by squished by your TBR than fall in love with them.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth.I would squish her, squish her like a bug I say!!! I’m not going into this in depth. JUST SQUISH!!!!!

A fictional crush you would murder to get out of a sticky situation.

I…Don’t know, I mean none and all. Depends on the situation, you feel me??

*******************************************************************************My Questions:
1. What’s your favorite RomCom? [I know it’s not a book but hey it could be based off one!]

2. What’s your favorite tragedy? [Is there a ship that you indeed have to go down with, are you huddled in the corner crying by the end of their story?]

3. Which minor character romances would you love to have their own story?

4.  You’re least favorite couple in all of literary history?

5. Is there a character [evil or maybe just amoral] that you think love could redeem?

6. Which relationship do you think would do better by breaking up?

7. What character makes you want to shove them off a bridge because of their behavior in a relationship?

8. Quick you can only save one person from your favorite couple, which one do you save? [think of Titanic but with a tinier piece of wood, WE ALL KNOW LEO COULD HAVE LIVED KATE!]

9. What’s your favorite non-romantic book?

10. This isn’t book related but how much do you love 50% of chocolates? -Shoves a whole box into mouth- Just asking for a friend.

Tagging: Whoever Wants to be tagged! If you want to do this let me know so I can add your name and ping you!

It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta Get-

Just joking. But I do have that song stuck in my head now.

I think I’ll be talking about book clubs but before I do…..

Updates: So I’ve never done like a book haul before, just post pictures when we go charity shopping, but I may actually be able to do one for March! I just preordered the paperback of Cindy Pon’s Want for my YARC challenge (the library didn’t have it and the Kindle version was more expensive by enough that it made a difference and I bought the paperback, so I’ll be twiddling my thumbs for that, and A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia Cole…not to mention….Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller! (Comes out March 1 for us U.K. peeps!)

So there we have it, three new books when the newest book I bought was the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay, used, this past summer.

As far as reviews go, I’ll probably not post any reviews for my Agatha Christie reads on here, I might on GoodReads if I feel it’ll add something but it just feels like an unnecessary cluttering of the blog if I do it here!

I’ve finally started Dead Man’s Blues last night which is a large read, got through part one and there are 8, so, it’ll probably take me a few days as I’m trading off between that, an ARC, and my huge nonfiction slow burn read, The Romanovs. This weekend I plan to finish and review the ARC by Sunday, hopefully finish Dead Man’s Blues by Monday/Tuesday, and then really knuckle down on my February TBR that I’ve been ignoring to push down my NetGalley list (I am not allowed to browse on there until I’ve finished what I’ve picked up already). However, I feel I may not get to Becoming Michelle Obama, until late March, I was 90 on the hold list when I signed up (or 89…one of those two) and uh I’m 79 now, so progress, but, it’ll be a minute! Also on hold for two others but I’m in the single digits on those so I’m not too worried. : End Updates

Alright, now that I’ve got my mindless rambling out of the way, let’s talk, Book Clubs! I’m in one right now as well as in some reading groups on GoodReads (if you’re on there, feel free to snoop, I’m in 4, but active in 3 as I can’t get to the books they have in the last one, but the moment I can get one I’ll leap in!

Are you all in book clubs, and are they online or physical ones? I was the secretary of the High School Book Club and though I did enjoy it I found that most of their reads were not something I found interesting, I will admit though that at least two books had a really big impact on me. One neat thing about that club was that the school funded it entirely so we didn’t have to pay for the books. The others books I was able to give away to friends and so it was no harm no foul, but now as an adult, if I can’t get it at the library that means having to buy it. If it’s old or commonplace I can snag it cheap but if it’s not, well I’m like Scrooge and I cry over my pennies as they pry them from my hands at the counter. Such as, I spent 8 dollars (my kindle is still connected to my American Amazon and American bank card) on Stalking Jack the Ripper, and as someone who wasn’t very fond of that, I glare at it daily on my carousel on my KFire, in fact, I keep it in my carousel for that very reason, to glare at it.

I love that book clubs get me into genres I might not normally dive into, honestly, I do, but I also hate when we read ab ook that I know is going to be one everyone loves and I’m in the corner like this:

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I also sometimes get very busy with other reads and forget and then I’m rushing to read and in a state of panic….like this:

I think for me I better enjoy doing a book club with people I know, or one that perhaps focuses on certain novels. Like I love my Agatha Christie GR group, but, because I know I’ll enjoy every book, not to mention, I don’t have to sit there with them in person. I am friends with the person who leads the FB one with the regrettable kindle purchase, and it’s nice to be in a book club with people I know in real life but via online. The only problem with this one is that it’s a free for all, people just recommend a read for the month and it’s randomly chosen, which is not the problem…The problem is that I can see myself being uncomfortable if I really don’t like the read and it was recommended by someone I like and know.

“Let’s read my favorite book, guys!”
“OKAY!”

Oh crap, I hate their favorite book.

“So what did you think of the book that changed my life?!”

I really don’t like feeling very guilty and I hate telling people I hate something they love. I mean I’m mean…but I don’t go soul-crushing for no reason!

So I can prep myself, has this happened to any of you all, book club situation or not? Did you just say ‘it just wasn’t for me’ or were you like ‘UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!’

Are you all proud of me? I finally had the energy to use gifs, can you tell???

In the end, my verdict on book clubs? I love them but I am an ugly ball of anxiety and lies in them.

My Love Affair with Agatha Christie

[I hope that picture terrifies you as much as it terrifies me]

Everyone has their niches of reading and mystery novels really attend to attract a crowd, and I am so very much a part of that crowd. The first mystery/crime novel I ever read was actually a Mary Higgins Clark book, Loves Music, Loves to Dance but that was only the beginning. Eventually, there was a kindle sale and I found myself buying Five Little Pigs, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

There’s something about getting lost in a novel where you’re kept on your toes and it’s a race to see if you can figure out ‘whodunit’ before it’s revealed by the Author. It’s like a battle of wits in a way, and one I admittedly am not great at, I get too lost in the story in the characters and I half forget what I was supposed to be doing the whole time besides thinking ‘it can’t be them, can it?! And what about the cousin, what will happen to them after this is all over?!’

This is the year I’ve decided to try and tackle as many of her books as possible, they’re the books I read while I waited in the car pick-up line for Mini-me, while I’m waiting in the doctor’s office and when I just don’t feel like tackling whatever large behemoth I checked out when left alone and unsupervised in the library. I’ve even joined a reading group on GoodReads who share the same goal as me.

What I love about Agatha Christie is that she became prolific and simply snubbed her nose at the fact that she was a woman writing, in her time, gritty mystery novels. She didn’t shy away from things that others might have, including the death of a child in her Hallowe’en Party. She was methodical and brilliant and oh sure I love Vanity Fair and I bleed Slytherin silver and green, but she’s always there at the top of my to-read shelf, my gateway drug to branching out and reading more mystery novels and being addicted to so many crime shows I daresay. It is also in thanks to Agatha Christie that I’ve discovered Muriel Sparks and her mystery novels are totally the bee’s knees too.

So, Happy Valentine’s to the best Valentine, Agatha Christie and all her mystery books! In fact, today I just finished reading another one of her books, so boom, screw chocolates, give me murder and whodunit.

The Spitfire Girls ARC Review

First off, guys, I’m wheezing because I accidentally wrote Spitefire and I feel like that was my subconscious talking.

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Blurb: At the height of World War II, the British Air Transport Auxiliary need help. A group of young women volunteer for action, but the perils of their new job don’t end on the tarmac. Things are tough in the air, but on the ground, their abilities as pilots are constantly questioned.

There is friction from the start, between the new recruits. Spirited American Lizzie turns heads with her audacity, but few can deny her flying skills. She couldn’t be more different from shy, petite Ruby, who is far from diminutive in the sky. It falls to pragmatic pilot May to bring the women together and create a formidable team capable of bringing the aircraft home.

As these very different women fight to prove themselves up to the task at hand, they are faced with challenges and tragedies at every turn. They must fight for equal pay and respect while handling aircraft that are dangerously ill-equipped; meanwhile, lives continue to be lost in the tumult of war.

Determined to assist the war effort doing what they love, can May, Lizzie and Ruby put aside their differences to overcome adversity, and will they find love in the skies?

[^ Let me tell you if I read that last little line/rhetorical question, I may not have jumped so eagerly to read it.]

Pros:
-Freakin WWII Women Pilots, I mean, seriously, how awesome is that?!
-Women Pilots
-Women Pilots flying huge bomber planes
-Are we seeing my pattern here yet?
-It’s sweet and fluffy and a book you can pick up and read while waiting for an appointment without getting too consumed.

Cons:
-Cringe-worthy stereotypical characters: You have the brash rude and horrible American, the demure, sweet, insecure small girl, the stoic ‘I can’t show emotions’ Commander.
-Honestly, the American in the first chapter is just shown as headstrong but then suddenly when we see her next she’s a spoiled little princess, or at least that’s what Lane wants you to think and I ended up just liking her more because she was competitive, ambitious, and went after what she wanted.
-The rivalry between the American and little Ms. Perfect was vomit inducing, of course, the sweet quiet one is the favored one, who wouldn’t want an insecure pilot flying a bomber plane?
-Of course, we have to have the overly confident one go through a personality change -ugh-.
-She switches between three characters and it just feels like they have no depth and their love stories are mushy gushy, so if you like that [the mushy gushy], throw it up in the pros!

Really I’m just not a sweet and fluffy person but I can tell you one thing, had this been a movie, I would have probably thoroughly enjoyed it. Also, I wanted to give this 2.5 but I realized, why should I rate a book so low just because I’m an unbelievable cynic? I hate sweet fluff with no depth, but, you know what, sometimes it’s nice to read that and not have to deal with a book that will emotionally drain you, plus it’s nice that she chose to focus on these women in history. I just feel that others have and will do better with this time in history. I intend to look into more books about our female WWII pilots.

This book comes out on February 26, I read this in exchange for an honest review and received it via NetGalley.