August 2017 Wrap Up

» 15 September, 2017 » Wrap Ups » 3 comments

Books I Read

I finished 6 books (and DNF’d one) this month and that is an awesome month for me! Here is what I thought of what I read. 🙂

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

August 2017 Wrap UpThe List by Patricia Forde
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on August 8th 2017
Genres: Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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3 Stars

In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.
On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.

I’ve already written a full length of this book, which you can read here. Basically, I thought this book was all right but nothing too special. It would definitely be more entertaining and interesting to younger readers who aren’t familiar with the dystopian genre.

August 2017 Wrap UpFire Study by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study #3
Published by MIRA on January 1st 1970
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 441
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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3.5 Stars

The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before...

Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.

While I enjoyed this book overall, I was still a little disappointed with it. I loved the first book in this series and the series has gone downhill from there for me. I struggled to stay interested in the first half of the book, but the plot of the second half definitely picked up and kept me reading until the end. I enjoyed spending time with these characters again, but for some reason I feel like the characters have become more two dimensional and flat over time, instead of growing in depth. I’m not sure I’ll read any other books set in the world of Ixia, but let me know if you think they are worth reading! The first book in this series was definitely the best one!

August 2017 Wrap UpThe Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Seven Realms #3
Published by Hyperion Book CH on January 1st 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 517
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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4.5 Stars

Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

I have been thoroughly enjoying this series and I loved this third installment! I just love these characters and this world so much and I can’t wait to read the finale. In the grand scheme of the series so far, I think this was the weakest book. The plot was slow as this book is a more character driven than the first two. I remember thinking the second book in the series didn’t have “second book syndrome” and now I feel like maybe this third book in the series had “second book syndrome” LOL. Still, I really love these characters and I didn’t mind spending time with them one bit! The romance guys – I ship it so hard. So hard.

August 2017 Wrap UpDisrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons
Published by Hachette Books on April 5th 2016
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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4.5 Stars

For twenty-five years Dan Lyons was a magazine writer at the top of his profession--until one Friday morning when he received a phone call: Poof. His job no longer existed. "I think they just want to hire younger people," his boss at Newsweek told him. Fifty years old and with a wife and two young kids, Dan was, in a word, screwed. Then an idea hit. Dan had long reported on Silicon Valley and the tech explosion. Why not join it? HubSpot, a Boston start-up, was flush with $100 million in venture capital. They offered Dan a pile of stock options for the vague role of "marketing fellow." What could go wrong?

HubSpotters were true believers: They were making the world a better place ... by selling email spam. The office vibe was frat house meets cult compound: The party began at four thirty on Friday and lasted well into the night; "shower pods" became hook-up dens; a push-up club met at noon in the lobby, while nearby, in the "content factory," Nerf gun fights raged. Groups went on "walking meetings," and Dan's absentee boss sent cryptic emails about employees who had "graduated" (read: been fired). In the middle of all this was Dan, exactly twice the age of the average HubSpot employee, and literally old enough to be the father of most of his co-workers, sitting at his desk on his bouncy-ball "chair."

Mixed in with Lyons's uproarious tale of his rise and fall at Hubspot is a trenchant analysis of the start-up world, a de facto conspiracy between those who start companies and those who fund them, a world where bad ideas are rewarded with hefty investments, where companies blow money lavishing perks on their post-collegiate workforces, and where everybody is trying to hang on just long enough to reach an IPO and cash out.
With a cast of characters that includes devilish angel investors, fad-chasing venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and "wantrapreneurs," bloggers and brogrammers, social climbers and sociopaths, Disrupted is a gripping and definitive account of life in the (second) tech bubble.

I’m so surprised I loved this book as much as I did! I hardly ever read non-fiction, but I picked this one up because it was a work book club pick. Even when I picked it up I wasn’t sure if I was really interested in the topic, but boy was I wrong. First of all, this book was way funnier than I had anticipated, although I shouldn’t be surprised after learning that Dan Lyons is one of the writers for the HBO show Silicon Valley. This book was not only funny but also taught me a lot and gave me a different perspective on the tech industry and start ups. If you work in tech or are at all interested in learning about how (some) start ups function I definitely recommend checking out this book! If anything it will put a smile on your face. 🙂

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

August 2017 Wrap UpWonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Series: DC Icons #1
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on August 29th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
3.5 Stars

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

I’ve already written an in depth review of this book, which you can read here. Overall, I enjoyed this book but not nearly as much as I had hoped I would. I think not being a fan of comic book heroes or familiar with the Wonder Woman story put me at a little bit of a disadvantage. I had a hard time believing the actions the characters took and I think the book has a bit of a comic book feel to it that just didn’t appeal to me. I still mostly enjoyed it though, so I encourage you to check it out!

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

August 2017 Wrap UpMask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on August 29th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
1 Stars

I Needed to Win.They Needed to Die.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

This was the book I DNF’d this month. I always try to give books a chance but I won’t force myself to read something I’m really not enjoying. I got a little over 20% through this book before deciding it wasn’t for me. The writing style was hard to follow and a little too heavy in dialogue for me. I spent most of the 20% I read pretty confused about what was going on. I didn’t really enjoy Sal as a character and I thought they got too good at killing and murder a little too fast to be believable. The gender fluidity of Sal, which I think is a big pull for many readers, felt like more of an after thought than a key part of her character. A gender queer booktuber I love, Adriana @ Perpetual Pages, made a review on this book and is a better voice on this topic than I am. If you’re interested in the representation in this book I definitely recommend checking out her video.

August 2017 Wrap UpAnd I Darken by Kiersten White
Published by Listening Library (Audio) on January 1st 1970
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham
Source: Audible
Length: 13 hours 27 minutes
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
5 Stars

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

This was an audiobook reread for me and I loved it just as much as I did the first time I read this book last year. What I love most about this book is the complex characters and their complex relationships with each other. This book made me feel so many emotions and I loved it! I reread this book in preparation of reading the sequel, which released earlier this summer. Now that everything is fresh in my mind, I’m ready to start Now I Rise!

What was your favorite read of August?

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3 Responses to “August 2017 Wrap Up”

  1. Savannah

    I’ve heard some mixed things about Mask of Shadows which is a shame because there’s diversity and I got a Netgalley copy… I guess I’ll just have to read it myself to find out. You had a great reading month with some great books! Sad to hear Wonder Woman disappointed you, but And I Darken sounds so good! It’s a book I still really need to get around to reading.
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