Review: A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

Hey all, Dani here.

And today is a wonderful Happy Book Birthday to author Kevin Hearne for his first epic fantasy novel. I’ve talked about Hearne before, mostly gushing about his Iron Druid Chronicles books. I would like to reread the first three books and then continue on with the series, so I’ll probably have reviews for the whole series up in the future. But today I am not here to talk about his wonderful urban fantasy series. Instead I am here to talk about a book I have been anticipating since the moment I first discovered it thanks to following Hearne’s social media accounts.

It’s time to dive into my review for A Plague of Giants.

Oh, and I should also thank the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book early. Being granted an e-galley did not influence my rating or opinion in any way. After all, I planned to buy this book long before I requested it from NetGalley.

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Summary

From the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles, a thrilling novel that kicks off a fantasy series with an entirely new mythology—complete with shape-shifting bards, fire-wielding giants, and children who can speak to astonishing beasts

MOTHER AND WARRIOR
Tallynd is a soldier who has already survived her toughest battle: losing her husband. But now she finds herself on the front lines of an invasion of giants, intent on wiping out the entire kingdom, including Tallynd’s two sons—all that she has left. The stakes have never been higher. If Tallynd fails, her boys may never become men.

SCHOLAR AND SPY
Dervan is an historian who longs for a simple, quiet life. But he’s drawn into intrigue when he’s hired to record the tales of a mysterious bard who may be a spy or even an assassin for a rival kingdom. As the bard shares his fantastical stories, Dervan makes a shocking discovery: He may have a connection to the tales, one that will bring his own secrets to light.

REBEL AND HERO
Abhi’s family have always been hunters, but Abhi wants to choose a different life for himself. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, Abhi soon learns that his destiny is far greater than he imagined: a powerful new magic thrust upon him may hold the key to defeating the giants once and for all—if it doesn’t destroy him first.

Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this novel is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of these characters intertwine—and where ordinary people become heroes, and their lives become legend.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was a complex story with so many perspectives to follow. Coming from someone who adores reading big epic fantasy books with complicated stories, it may be saying something that I had times where I struggled with this one.

I really enjoyed Fintan the bard, and his kenning–or magical ability–to project his voice over long distances and tell stories. That plus seeming stones that allowed him to look like the person whose story he was telling was really interesting. The problem is that the POV of Dervan is also in first person. So you jump from Dervan who is watching the bard, to the bard’s tales, which are also in first person. Sometimes it makes it difficult to remember which of the 11 characters you’re following in that moment.

Primarily this book is about the orations that Fintan the bard is giving. In fact, the story spans over 19 days as Fintan goes out to tell these stories, typically telling three smaller bits of the overall story each day, and rotating through the various people whose tales he has collected.

The world-building is great, and I loved the wide diversity of the world in general. Add into that the magic of the kennings and things get even more interesting. The people of the world commonly accept five different kennings, but through these tales it is suggested that there may be a sixth and perhaps even a seventh kenning.

Learning about these different people from all different lands in the world was an adventure, and while sometimes I felt like it was taking me a while to get through the book, I did overall like what I was reading.

This does not have the same feel as the Iron Druid Chronicles, which definitely have an easier urban fantasy flow to them. Instead, the first book in the Seven Kennings trilogy sets up a vast magical world with plenty of political complications and other issues. I may have to read this book again to fully grasp some of the developments and such, but I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. I ordered my copy from Barnes & Noble and it is a signed copy.

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Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay fans of the Grishaverse…did you hear the latest news? I mean the news that Leigh’s next Grishaverse books will focus on one of my absolute favorite characters, Nikolai? Yeah, I’m super excited about that. What I’m not excited about…having to wait until 2019 to get my hands on the first book.

I guess at least for now I will talk about this lovely collection of fairy tales from the world, and then reread the Six of Crows duology because I need to find a way to stay occupied until I get more Nikolai in my life.

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Summary

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

My Thoughts

Rating: Can I give this anything but a 5 star rating? The answer is no. 5 stars!

Okay, so this book of fairy tales from the Grishaverse contains a story from the Zemeni, three Ravkan stories, a Kerch story, and a Fjerdan story. The three tales from Ravka were the ones included in the sampler I read a couple months ago.

The artwork around the edges of the pages and then the full page art at the end of each story was just lovely to stare at. They also captured the essence of the story they accompanied as well.

Some of the stories were familiar, basically the author’s take on tales such as Hansel & Gretel.

I was mesmerized by the tales for the brief time they gave me to escape reality. Returning to this complex world that Bardugo has created was a wonderful experience, and I can just imagine some of the Dregs or any other characters growing up listening to tales such as these.

Honestly, the couple hundred pages of this collection flew by so quickly, and I would love to have future installments with more fairy tales, because they just build on a world that we have gotten to know.

And yes, these can be read even if you have not read the Grisha trilogy or the Six of Crows duology. However, I feel as if you’ll appreciate them more if you have a basic understanding of the world in which these stories take place.

I’d definitely recommend this book. I’m glad I have a lovely finished product in my hands now, and I’m rather happy that I picked my copy up from Barnes & Noble because I can add it to my signed books collection.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this wonderful addition to the Grishaverse from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. Oh, and in case anyone would like to know, the Barnes & Noble book is a signed copy.

Review: Life is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like a Star by Tim Federle

Hey all, Dani here.

Today I am pleased to present a slightly early review. This book is not one I had even heard of until I saw it while walking the show floor at BookExpo, and all I had to do was see the title and the author’s name to know that I had to get myself a copy.

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Summary

From the author of the hit cocktail books Tequila Mockingbird and Gone with the Gin comes a guide to getting ahead in life, love, and leadership-Broadway style! Before Tim Federle became a beloved author (his award-winning novels include Better Nate Than Ever, which Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda declared as “highly recommended” in the New York Times), Tim worked in the showbiz trenches as a Christina Aguilera back-up dancer, Radio City Polar bear, and card-carrying chorus boy on Broadway. Along the way, he discovered that the hard-earned lessons he was learning onstage could be applied to his life, too. Life is Like a Musical features 50 tips and anecdotes, with chapters such as “Let Someone Else Take a Bow,” “Dance Like Everyone\\’s Watching,” and “Save the Drama for the Stage.” This charming and clever guide will appeal to all ages and inspire readers to remember that they\\’re the stars of their own life story.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was a lovely little sort-of self-help book. The only other book I’ve read from Tim Federle is Tequila Mockingbird, which is primarily a recipe book for literary cocktails (Recently I learned that he has another literary cocktail book called Gone with the Gin). Basically that was all I needed to know before I got in line for this book at BookExpo. And I have a signed copy, which is awesome.

Most of this book is advice I would expect. I was not a theater kid, but I spent a very large portion of my life in band, and I had/have several friends who are theater people, so I’m familiar with a number of shows and show tunes, etc.

What I didn’t expect, but enjoyed nevertheless, is that this book is really part guide book and part memoir. Federle fills the pages with little anecdotes from his life, from some of the theater productions of his youth, to his time on Broadway, and even after he left that career to start being a writer. These were the parts that inspired me, made me smile, or made me nod my head in agreement. It shows that the advice he gives is stuff he has learned from his life and career.

Each chapter is nice and short as well, only two or three pages, so this is perfect if you want something in small doses. Also, I feel like you can jump around this book as needed. I read it straight through though, and it was a quick read (only 146 pages long).

It is also pretty clear from the title and the summary that there are numerous references to theater productions, from “Oliver!” to “Gypsy” to “Cats” and even “Hamilton.” So theater geeks are going to enjoy this book–Oh, and Federle likes to name drop several actors and actresses and producers he has worked with over his career, but he does not do this in any sort of obnoxious way.

There is a lightness and a sort of humor to how everything in the book is presented. It doesn’t really get too in depth on the topics, which can sometimes make for an enjoyable read.

I liked this book, and I think the advice can be helpful, whether you are on an artistic career path or not.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. This book will be on shelves tomorrow, October 3rd.

September Wrap-Up and October TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

How are we already at the start of October? I think this is the fastest a year has gone by for me. It’s crazy to think that in just a couple months it will be time to start putting 2018 in the date instead of 2017.

This month was not as productive as other recent months when it comes to reading, but I still think I did all right. This is also a month where I was occupied with cleaning, packing, and moving from one apartment to another, so understandably I was a bit distracted. I hope to be able to read more in October. I’m sorry I didn’t have that many review posts and instead had to resort to numerous posts regarding my ongoing TBR purge.

Warcross by Marie Lu (4.5 stars)

Love and Other Things: Poetry and Prose by Michael Tavon (3.5 stars)

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (5 stars)

Invictus by Ryan Graudin (4 stars)

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West (5 stars)

Critical Role- Vox Machina: Origins, Issue #1 by Matthew Colville (5 stars)

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (4.5 stars)

Bitch Planet, Vol 1 by Kelly Sue Deconnick (4 stars)

A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess (5 stars)

Life is Like a Musical by Tim Federle (4 stars)

Next up is my September book haul. Now, September was a pretty good month for book releases, but I only allowed myself to get ones that I didn’t already have an ARC or e-galley of…well, mostly. I made an exception for All Rights Reserved. I’m trying to be picky about my book buying until I’m confident with the new budget. Living with my boyfriend means a higher rent than when I was still living with my mom. I have to make sure that I have all of my bills covered before I can splurge on books.

 

So all in all it was a pretty good month for books, and I think I might be able to mostly be on a book buying ban in October. I can only think of a few books that I might buy. The only absolute buy in October is A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne. So expect a shorter haul section next month (I hope). Let’s see if I can actually stick to a ban for once.

I’ll also toss my September OwlCrate unboxing photo up here as well. The theme was Mythical Creatures and I rather enjoyed the box, especially that bookmark. It’s just beautiful.

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Finally, I guess it is time to announce my October TBR. I’m going to go a bit conservative here with my reading plans, mostly because I plan to try and do two 24 Hour Readathons this month. The first is being hosted by Zoe Herdt (readbyzoe on YouTube and Twitter) and that will be October 14th, and then there is the next session of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and that will be on October 21st. So, I will try and have tentative TBRs up for both of those events as we get a little closer to them.

 

 

 

Comic Mini Reviews: Vox Machina Origins and Bitch Planet

Hey all, Dani here.

So, I don’t do a lot of mini reviews on here, but I’m making a bit of an exception today. Though I could probably rave and ramble on about both of these intriguing stories, if I did so who knows when I would be able to squeeze them onto this blog. I’m supposed to only be posting 5 days each week, giving myself basically weekends off, but I’ve had a lot of things I’ve wanted to talk about lately, so bonus posts are happening. Anyway, let’s just jump into these reviews.

Summary (Vox Machina Origins)

Roguish twins Vax’ildan and Vex’ahlia investigate a curse afflicting the impoverished citizens of the port city of Stilben. Things are not what they seem for the adventurous siblings…between fighting shark-riding fish men and black-clad assassins, they meet an antlered half-elven druid with her own theory about the curse.

Summary (Bitch Planet)

Eisner Award-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel) and Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) team up to bring you the premiere volume of Bitch Planet, a deliciously vicious riff on women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation.

In a future just a few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords will result in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. When the newest crop of fresh femmes arrive, can they work together to stay alive or will hidden agendas, crooked guards, and the deadliest sport on (or off!) Earth take them to their maker?

Collects BITCH PLANET #1-5.

My Thoughts

Rating: Vox Machina Origins (5 stars) Bitch Planet, Vol 1 (4 stars)

Here’s a fun fact…there is actually a connection between both of these comics, and it happens to be actress Ashley Johnson. She plays gnome cleric Pike Trickfoot in the web series Critical Role, which I have gushed about on this blog a couple times already, and then when she did an episode of Signal Boost on Geek & Sundry, Ashley recommended Bitch Planet as something to read.

As a huge fan of Critical Role because of the epic storyline (seriously I have watched all 113 episodes of the show and they are typically 3-5 hours long each–so basically I’ve invested a lot of time for this), the announcement of a prequel comic greatly excited me. This was a fantastic story detailing part of an early adventure before Vox Machina truly formed. This particular issue focuses on Vex and Vax, though there is a decent amount of Keyleth in it as well. Go Team Half-Elf. The artwork was great, and it was actually done by a Critter (what we fans of the show call ourselves), so that’s even cooler. Matt Colville manages to capture the personalities and attitudes of the characters so well, and this 27 page comic issue was over too quickly. There will be 6 issues in this original run, with one issue being released each month, so I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Moving on to Bitch Planet. First off, please note that this graphic novel is tagged as for mature (age 16+ readers). There is violence and nudity and more within the pages. This one takes place on a prison planet where women who are considered non-compliant are sent. If a woman is too fat, too outspoken, too ugly, etc. etc. she gets sent out to this prison to live and work, and they are not treated well here. But man, the diversity within this graphic novel is outstanding. The variety of sizes and shapes and colors and everything displayed by the group of women we follow is absolutely wonderful. In some ways this feels like a sci-fi version of “Orange is the New Black”…kind of. Add in the politics of something like The Handmaid’s Tale and you’re probably pretty close to what is portrayed within the pages. I am greatly intrigued by this series, and I’m hoping to learn more about the core group of women, because so many of them were introduced in the first few issues that I actually had to reread some parts to make sure I knew who was who. Thankfully I already purchased Vol 2, so I’ll be reading that very soon.

Where to Buy

Vox Machina Origins: Amazon, Dark Horse, Comixology

Bitch Planet, Vol 1: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository

Review: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

Hey all, Dani here.

Last year the hype around Three Dark Crowns was massive…with so many people gushing about how utterly amazing and dark the story was. And yes, while I enjoyed the book and read it fairly quickly, I was not quite as excited. The concept was interesting and the final chapter was outstanding, but most of the book just felt a bit flat and uneventful to me. I talk about it a little in this post. Thankfully, I was still intrigued enough to continue with the series–and I’m so glad that I did.

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Summary

The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

With the first book I thought that the first 85% of it was rather uneventful and I didn’t connect with the characters. I am so pleased to say that with this one I was just pulled into the story and I didn’t want to stop until I reached the final page. There was more plotting and planning yes, but also actual moves were made.

The triplet Queens seemed a little darker and more prepared to do what they needed to do. I liked Mira a little more in this book, and Katharine got intriguingly dark, but I still think Arsinoe is my favorite of the three.

Speaking of favorites, Billy totally won me over in this book. I believed the connection he had with Arsinoe, and I even appreciated the time he spent with Mirabella.

Arsinoe figuring out more about her poisoner gift was interesting, and I liked that it brought up complications, like when she forgot about poison coating objects or that she just ingested something. And since only a couple others knew her secret, they worried about a potential poison attack from Katharine.

Oh, and I’m also excited about what is happening with Jules, and I am so looking forward to seeing how this particular plot line develops through the next book.

So basically this was a huge improvement over the last book, at least for me. I devoured it so quickly and am now sad that I have to wait a whole year for the next installment. I can safely say that if you loved the first book, then this one will also be a great read. And if you were like me and thought the first book was just okay, I am telling you, give this one a chance, because it’ll probably impress you.

Where to Buy

You can pick up your own copy of One Dark Throne from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, so for those of you who were around a couple months ago, Lucky in Love was my first novel by Kasie West and I enjoyed the cutesy contemporary. The one I’m talking about today had interested me for about a year, but I just now decided to give it a try. Again, another Kasie West novel I can say I enjoyed. So…for those of you who are fans of this author, what book should I check out next: The Fill-In Boyfriend, On the Fence, By Your Side, The Distance Between Us? I trust your opinions on this matter.

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Summary

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

This was such a cute book! Okay, so yes, I totally figured out who was going to be Lily’s letter writer pretty early on, but that did not reduce my enjoyment of the story at all. In fact, I may have enjoyed it more that way.

Lily’s family was also a high point for me, though I understood her frustration over a lack of solitude or privacy, and having family responsibilities and obligations somewhat control her life. But I’ve known people whose families are that way, so this rang so true for me. I loved the realism of it all.

So basically I read this book so quickly. If I put it down, it was not long before I picked it up again. I just needed to know what was going to happen next. I guess this is the kind of book I needed to get out of my slow reading period I’ve been stuck in the past couple weeks. I wouldn’t fully call it a slump, because I was reading, and I really wanted to be reading more…but, you all know what it’s like sometimes. Life can get in the way of what we want to do.

This book was the perfect little escape, and now hopefully I’m going to be reading a few more books this week. I wouldn’t call this book the most complex characters or complicated plot, but it is a solid (if a bit predictable) read, and it is perfect for something like a readathon or to help you out of a slump.

Where to Buy

You can pick up P.S. I Like You from Amazon, Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Hey all, Dani here.

Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey…stuff. Okay, now, with that “Doctor Who” reference out of the way, I can get started on this review. This is one of the books I picked up while at BookExpo this year, and I was lucky enough to get it signed by author Ryan Graudin. So I was really happy to get this book early, though I made myself hold off until closer to release day to read it.

Anyway, I had purchased Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin about a year ago because I had heard a lot of great reviews for it…but as happens a lot sometimes with us book readers, I put it up on the shelf and have not picked it back up since. So, really, reading this ARC was my introduction to Ryan Graudin’s writing.

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Summary

Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was an interesting premise, and I really did enjoy reading it. The setup was interesting, with the gladiators and the historical setting. And of course Far’s birth on a time machine. It makes him a unique individual as he technically does not have a birth date; at the time of his birth the ship was traveling from Rome 95 AD to 2354 AD. However it also complicates Far’s life as well, especially when dealing with med robots and the like who want you to give a birth date to confirm identity.

Anyway, Far is presented as a fairly cocky young man. He almost seems to brag about his high scores in his lessons and the simulations they go through to prove that they are ready to graduate and become a Recorder. This arrogance leads him to toe the line…or rather cross it…of what is safe for someone who is basically supposed to be a silent observer. His final exam is a disaster and Far is failed and expelled from the school. But Far knows that it wasn’t his fault, that in fact the sim was hacked.

So begins a time traveling “pirate” adventure with Far and a few friends, who are hired for a black market operation. Far has managed to negotiate a nice profit and benefits to the job, and everything seems pretty good…until the Titanic mission goes wrong and the crew are joined by Eliot, who indeed is quite mysterious.

I’m not really going to say much more than that, because as much as possible I try to avoid talking about spoilers. Now, I will say that I read this book fairly quickly but it also felt quite slow to me. That happens sometimes with time travel stories. But I was interested in what was going to happen, and when the crew would be traveling to next. I wanted to know what was going to happen next.

I was really enjoying myself and then I realized that the story was wrapping up and nearing its conclusion. The sad part about that is that Invictus is a stand-alone novel. This is what happens when reading a good book: it ends and we somehow always want more. I suppose this means I should just go to my bookshelves and pull down one of Graudin’s other books. Or just start reading the next book on my TBR pile.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. It will be released soon, September 26, 2017.

Review: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Hey all, Dani here.

I was going to post up my review of Invictus today, but I started reading this book and I felt a desperate need to get my review up ASAP…which means pushing the ARC review back to Thursday.

So, I guess I was craving a cutesy contemporary romance read. Or maybe the concept of this book just intrigued me. Or I was just obsessed with this cover and so I had to know if the inside was as wonderful as the outside. Whatever the reasoning, I devoured this book so quickly. Whenever I put it down I just wanted to pick it right back up and keep going.

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Summary

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I guess I’ll start off by saying that a lot of this book deals with the LDS church, and I know very little about Mormon views and teachings, so I can’t speak to how factual all the details are in the book. All I know is that in my opinion it felt as if it was handled in a realistic yet respectful manner. Yes, a lot of this book revolves around the LDS not exactly being pro-homosexuality, but I feel as if I understood the positions of the various characters as they discussed this.

I was entranced by Tanner from the very beginning, and I always seem to enjoy books where the main character is writing a book. They just make me happy…though they also remind me that I have been in a horrible writing slump and really should get back to writing soon.

Reading the story from Tanner’s point of view, I loved how he described when he first saw Sebastian; it was exactly the kind of tidal wave of feelings you basically expect from young adults, when everything just feels so new and raw and overwhelming.

But I admit that I found myself a bit perplexed when the book mostly focused on the building relationship of Tann and Seb…at least until near the end, when I realized why. I don’t really think it is a spoiler, but in case you don’t want to know, I’ll change the text color to white for a minute. You’ll have to highlight it if you want to read it. As it turns out, we are reading Tanner’s manuscript, which is why it glosses over those bits. I thought that was a clever way to format this book, so I am definitely a fan.

Now let’s talk about Tanner’s bisexuality. Again, I myself am not bi so I can’t really speak to the authenticity of the representation, but as one of the authors of this book, Lauren, actually is bisexual, I believe it is fine. Besides, Tanner was fond of saying that he was into a person, not their parts.

I just have to talk about one of my favorite aspects of the book: Tanner’s family. His parents are so wonderfully understanding and accepting of his queer identity, and make sure to celebrate that fact, even if now they can only do that within the confines of their home. I also so loved hearing Tanner’s dad talk about his romance with Tanner’s mom all those years ago. Having a nice, healthy, supportive, and stable relationship in a YA novel is fantastic. All so often in YA it seems like the parents are barely present or one or both of them are already gone.

Basically, I adored this book, and I am so glad that it kept calling out to me to read it. I devoured it in only two sittings and I think this will definitely be on my Top Ten Reads of July-Dec 2017.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of Autoboyography from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Books I Need to Finish!

Hey all, Dani here.

While in the middle of scouring my Goodreads TBR, I realized that I have quite a few books that have been sitting on my Currently Reading list for some time. I don’t like leaving books unfinished and yet I seem to be doing it quite a bit this year.

So I think I’m writing up this post as a way of calling myself out and also hoping for some accountability on future reading goals. I need to clear out this list and I’m going to start doing that in between some of these ARCs and e-galleys I need to read as well.

Let’s jump into this list then.

I have literally had Windwitch on my Currently Reading list since it was released at the beginning of the year. This is so bad, because I made it halfway through the book and I was so enjoying it. I don’t know why I set it aside.

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard has also been on this list for a long while, but I know why. The first book was great and the second book was just okay, only redeeming itself in the last couple chapters. It was just enough to make me want to read this third book. But I’m still struggling with this series. It had potential, but it just isn’t living up to it for me. I do still plan to finish it, just so I know if I will continue with the series or not.

The Black Prism is a wonderful and nicely sized epic fantasy story. This is taking me a while because I’m listening to the audiobook, and I only really listen to books sporadically. Really I need to just pull my paperback copy off the shelf and finish this book. Because I am enjoying the world and the magic system, and I want to know what’s going to happen.

Next up is Dragonfly in Amber. I basically just like to take my time with these books. But I also know I want to continue watching the show, and I won’t watch season 2 until I’ve finished the book. So that needs to happen. And I was just telling my boyfriend a couple days ago that I haven’t read a nice romance (or smut romance) in a while, so between this and the fifth book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I should have my romance bases covered.

I know why I’ve halted in my read of Gemina as well. This book is entertaining and I am enjoying the story, but I don’t want to deal with the inevitable cliffhanger and have to wait too long for Obsidio, so I set the book down. I will pick it up again…when I think that I can take the wait for the finale.

Here’s another audiobook on the list, and really I have no reasoning for this one because the narration is done by one of my favorite people: Matthew Mercer. The Punch Escrow is an interesting tale and I love listening to Matt’s portrayal of all of the different characters. And I really can’t say anything about the length of an audiobook here because I listen to Matt for 3-5 hours each week when I’m catching up on Critical Role, my favorite D&D show.

Lord of Shadows…so I’ve only read like one chapter of this. But, to be fair, I just read Lady Midnight for the first time a few months ago. I plan on finishing this before the end of 2017, but it isn’t the highest priority for me.

Next is one of my most highly anticipated books: A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. I have adored the first two books of the trilogy and was so looking forward to seeing how it all wrapped up. But then I was struck by the thought that once I read it, that was it. It would be over. Now that V.E. Schwab has announced that there will be more books set in this world, I think I can finally get back to it and finish the book.

The Dragons of Nova is a book I started to read during a readathon and though I was enjoying it, I could tell that I just wasn’t in the right mood to read it, so I set it aside. I will read it, and probably soon. That way I can put in a request for the third book from NetGalley when it becomes available.

Finally, I have To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, another book that I’m about half-finished with and what I read I’ve quite enjoyed. I picked it up because I wanted a fun quick contemporary read but by the time I reached the halfway point I was really craving a fantasy read…so I put this book down and just haven’t picked it back up yet.

So, there you have it everyone. Some books that I have not quite finished yet and need to get back to reading at some point in the near future–certainly I need to finish these before the end of the year.

Are there any books that have been on your currently reading list for just a bit too long? Let me know in the comments.