Wednesday, July 24th 2019

Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The SixDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by Ballantine Books on March 5th 2019
Pages: 368
Goodreads
five-stars

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

If you love Fleetwood Mac, the movie Almost Famous and watching documentaries, this book is for you!

I absolutely love the format this book is written in. It’s written as if all the members of the band are being interviewed for a documentary. As someone who watches and loves a lot of documentaries, this style of writing really worked for me. I could picture the documentary in my mind while I was reading.

I love all of these characters, even the ones who frustrated me from time to time. I loved the setting and the interviewer “reveal.” I also loved that the author created the lyrics to all the songs talked about in the book as well. Just brilliant. Now I have to go and read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s back catalog.

five-stars

Monday, July 22nd 2019

The Wicker King

The Wicker KingThe Wicker King by K. Ancrum
Published by Imprint on October 31st 2017
Pages: 305
Goodreads
four-stars

When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.

August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.

This book was not what I was expecting. I understood the basic premise but I was surprised by the friendship in this book. This book not only delves into the power of friendship but also the effects of neglect, abandonment, and dependency.

I felt that the themes in the book were very powerful. And even though at first I was a little disappointed in the ending, the more I sit with it, the more I understand why it ended the way it did. I also really appreciated the authors note in the back which gave a little more insight into the themes.

One thing I will say that I do not agree with reading reviews and seeing reviews on BookTube is the idea that the author was queerbaiting with these characters. Not every relationship is cut and dry and not every relationship starts as a meet-cute. Relationships evolve and they can be messy.

four-stars

Sunday, July 21st 2019

The Poet X

The Poet XThe Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Published by HarperTeen on March 6th 2018
Pages: 368
Goodreads
five-stars

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

I listened to this book and I cannot wait to get a hard copy for myself, but if you can get this as an audiobook, I highly recommend it as it is written in verse and the author narrates herself. It’s very powerful.

This story was beautiful. I am always in awe of poetry and even more so when a whole story is written in poems. This story broke my heart, mended it, broke it again and mended it one more time.

Even though my story is very different from the main characters, some of these poems brought me right back to being a teenager. This book was intense and very honest. I will read or listen to (if she narrates), everything Elizabeth Acevedo writes.

five-stars

Saturday, July 20th 2019

Sadie

SadieSadie by Courtney Summers
Published by Wednesday Books on September 4th 2018
Pages: 308
Goodreads
five-stars

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she's left behind. And an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

This book was everything it was hyped up to be. I loved everything about this book. It covers so many hard-hitting topics very thoughtfully (TW for pedophilia, sexual abuse, murder, and drugs). I was drawn to this book for that reason and also for the podcast element as I listen to and love many podcasts, especially those covering true crime. This book is difficult and raw and what I would consider a required read. However, there are some topics in this book that I understand not everyone can handle. If you can, I highly recommend this book. The story is framed beautifully, I felt for the characters and the ending was perfect.

five-stars

Tuesday, April 2nd 2019

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

A Curse So Dark and LonelyA Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely, #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury YA on January 29th 2019
Pages: 496
Goodreads
four-half-stars

An instant New York Times Best Seller! In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.
Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.


Break the curse, save the kingdom.

I really enjoyed this retelling. A lot of retellings are hit or miss for me. Either they are too much like the original or they are nothing like it and I don’t understand how it can be a retelling. This one has just enough of the original Beauty and the Beast elements. And it was a slow burn. And I love a slow burn.

This book is told in alternating chapters, which doesn’t always work for me. Most of the time I fall for one character over the other and I just want to get to their chapters, but that did not happen with this book. I was equally invested in all of the characters and I cannot wait to see where this story goes in the next installment.

The only thing I was not the biggest fan of was the time jump/world change. It did work for this story, so I can’t fault that, but it is just not my favorite thing in a fantasy book.

four-half-stars

instagram

follow along @christinavanp