“Artemis” by Andy Weir

I read this book a few weeks ago and still can’t properly put into words how addicting it was! I read it over a few days because I had real life responsibilities (ugh *eye roll*), but every free minute I had was spent with my nose in my kindle.

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First off, you have to go into Artemis knowing that it is not and will never be The MartianIt’s set in space, and that’s about the only similarity. This one has a female narrator. She’s a criminal. She also has human interaction all over the book. So it’s different. And I absolutely loved that!

Jazz is a smuggler, paying to bring contraband to the moon to wealthy inhabitants. The contraband really isn’t all that bad, when you think about it — cigars, lighters, etc. But one day, one of her regular customers pulls her into a large conspiracy to take out a rival corporation. This is the point where everything starts to go haywire in Jazz’s life.

This book is equal parts space-y and science-y as The Martian, but it’s as if you gave it a city, a female protagonist, and an Ocean’s Eleven level heist. I have heard that the audiobook is narrated by Rosario Dawson, and I can’t imagine the level of awesomeness that brings to the story.

★★★★

Purchase Artemis here. And if you haven’t read it, purchase The Martian here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin

Okay everybody, take a seat. This is another case of “Why didn’t anyone force me to read these before?!” So here I am to shove these books in your face and make you read them.

This is a three-book series: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer.

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer starts off with Mara starting a new school in Florida after surviving a building collapse that kills her three best friends. Mara is understandably distraught and is diagnosed with PTSD that leaves her hallucinating at random. At her new school, Mara meets Noah Shaw, a supposedly notorious ladies’ man. There’s something about him that she can’t put her finger on, but he eventually convinces her to go on a date with him.

But Mara isn’t sure all of her hallucinations are actually figments of her imagination. Some of them are too real. She starts receiving creepy messages and photographs, and she suspects they’re coming from her deceased ex-boyfriend, Jude.

I can’t really get into any more details because it’ll be too spoiler-y.

This series is awesome because it combines so many genres flawlessly. It has YA contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, historical fiction, and more. It’s amazing, really. The audiobooks are narrated by Christy Romano… yes, that one — Christy Carlson Romano, known best for her role in Even Stevens and the voice of Kim Possible.

My review of the first book was few words — I couldn’t process it. “Wowwwww. Yes. Amazing.”

The same happened with the second book. ” Wow wow wow. Normally a second book falls flat. But that ending……..On to the next oneeeee!!!”

And the last book prompted this, “Well that ending had me SHOOK. But it definitely felt like it was dragging in the middle there. I can’t wait to read The Shaw Confessions series. NOVEMBER GET HERE NOOOOOW.”

Because *excited face* there’s a new spinoff series coming out that focuses on Noah! The first one is called The Becoming of Noah Shaw and it comes out November 7th, 2017.

So get caught up now, because there’s about to be another installment in the series! Overall, I give this series 4.5 stars.

Buy the box set of the first three books here.

Pre-order The Becoming of Noah Shaw here.

May and June Wrap-Up

When I was preparing to write my June Wrap-Up post, I realized that I was in NYC for BEA/BookCon when I would have needed to do my May Wrap-Up! So, I’m doing a 2-month wrap up post. Because I can. 🙂

In May, I read a whopping 32 books! Here’s a picture of the toppling tower!

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  1. The Doll’s House by M.J. Arlidge
  2. The Death Cure by James Dashner
  3. The Kill Order by James Dashner
  4. The Fever Code by James Dashner*
  5. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (re-read)
  6. Spill Zone Volume 1 by Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland
  7. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (re-read)
  8. Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han
  9. Liar Liar by M.J. Arlidge
  10. Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
  11. The Best Man by Richard Peck
  12. Little Boy Blue by M.J. Arlidge
  13. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (re-read)
  14. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (re-read)
  15. Antisocial by Jillian Blake*
  16. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
  17. No Way Back by M.J. Arlidge*
  18. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
  19. Running Blind by M.J. Arlidge*
  20. Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
  21. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  22. The Party by Robyn Harding*
  23. Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
  24. Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal (re-read)
  25. Specials by Scott Westerfeld (re-read)
  26. Life of the Party by Bert Kreischer*
  27. The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge*
  28. Salt by Nayyirah Waheed*
  29. Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra
  30. The Shift by Theresa Brown*
  31. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

(Plus 1 book read for work that doesn’t fit in the scope of this blog.)

Starred items are not pictured because I read them via ebook, audiobook, or library book.

And now on to June! I was a really slow reader comparatively this month. Only 13! I’m currently sitting at 132/200 for my Goodreads 2017 Challenge! Here’s the tiny tiny tower from June.

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  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (re-read)
  2. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  3. A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Volume 1 by George R.R. Martin
  4. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  5. The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder
  6. It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort*
  7. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
  8. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
  9. This Raging Light by Estelle Laure*
  10. But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure*
  11. I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
  12. Extras by Scott Westerfeld (re-read)
  13. Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar

(Plus 1 book read for work that doesn’t fit in the scope of this blog.)

Starred items are not pictured because I read them via ebook, audiobook, or library book.

Have you read any of these? Which are on your TBR?

7 Series You Need to Check Out

I love a good series — diving in and getting to fly through multiple books in the same world, reveling in the sheer mass of story you have to conquer.

I have many different series I’ve started, some finished, some unfinished, some with books still yet to come. Here’s some you need to check out.

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  • Harry Potter — Okay, this is an obvious one. But it continues to shock me when I find out someone I know hasn’t read them yet! And before you say it, no, the movies don’t count. And if you want my brutally honest opinion, I’d tell you that the movies are complete garbage compared to the books. They left out so many great things! Peeves! Winky and S.P.E.W. All of the flashbacks they left out in HP6!
    • Bottom Line: Read them however you can, but I highly recommend the Jim Dale narration of the audiobooks. It’s like watching a movie IN YOUR HEAD!
  • uglies1Uglies by Scott Westerfeld — In this series, Tally Youngblood is about to turn 16. In her society, that is the age when you “turn pretty” — you get surgery to make you perfect and bubbly-headed. This series has such cool technology and rebels and swoons and fights. Uglies was one of my favorite series when I was in middle school, and I have it from a very reliable source (Mr. Westerfeld himself) that there is more in this world coming!
    • Bottom Line: Is the price of being Pretty worth losing what makes you original? Does Tally have what it takes to fight back?
    • If you liked Uglies, try Divergent and The Hunger Games.
  • d1cehmuxhes-_sl250_fmpng_Helen Grace series by M.J. Arlidge — This is an adult mystery/thriller series in which the main character, Detective Helen Grace, is on the prowl for serial killers. Each book focuses on a different killer, and they are all pretty gruesome and heart-pounding cases. This series has 5 books out in the US, but 2 additional out in the UK that aren’t here yet, PLUS two novellas.
    • Bottom Line: While they won’t win a pulitzer prize, these books are fast-paced, chilling thrillers. I flew through 5 in about a week and a half, and I can’t wait for more!
    • Bonus: Killer covers. (Pun intended.)
  • The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristilluminae-filesoff — These books are awesome for a few reasons. First, the story is just top notch space race against the enemy. On top of that, both books feature absolutely bad-ass young women that show the villain who’s boss. But ultimately, the reason that puts these at the top of many people’s lists, is that the format and design of the book itself is stunning. Told through transcripts, emails, chats, web pages, and more, reading The Illuminae Files is a lot like what it sounds like — you’re literally reading a file of evidence. But it’s extremely well-done.
    • Bottom Line: If you’re looking for something different and fun, plus space and bad-ass bitches kicking ass, you need to pick up Illuminae and Gemina. (Plus Obsidio comes out next year! Time to catch up!) 
    • Bonus: While I haven’t personally listened to them, the audiobooks for this series are narrated by a full cast and are allegedly amazing. Let me know if you’ve listened to them.
    • If you liked The Illuminae Files, try The Themis Files (ALIEN ROBOTS NEED I SAY MORE?).
  • a-darker-shade-of-magic-ve-schwab-series-book-covers-1024x513A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab — Set in a universe where three Londons exist in different worlds (Red London, White London, and Grey London), there exist two beings who are the only ones who can travel between worlds. When one of these beings unknowingly brings a piece of evil magic into the world, it creates a series of chaotic events that seemingly can’t be stopped. You can also read my review here.
    • Bottom Line: If you like fantasy books, this is for you. If you don’t like fantasy books, I think this is still for you. It’s just so much crazy awesomeness that I can’t even properly put into words why you should read these massive, beautiful tomes.
  • 516wcmsapcl-_sx332_bo1204203200_To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han — This is just a cute, squishy, happy feels series. It all starts out when Lara Jean’s letters get mailed out. Sounds normal, right? But they’re not — they’re “break up” letters Lara Jean wrote to everyone she ever had a crush on or “loved,” as the title implies. This series has food, cute decorations and adorable clothes, swoon-worthy boys, and a strong family support system not often seen in books.
    • Bottom Line: These 3 books are definitely something I used as a palate cleanser, and I mean that in the best way possible! They’re just consumable, sweet, and adorable. I love them like a little sister.
  • 51qxkni9til-_sx336_bo1204203200_The Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French — This series is super unique in that each book is from a different officer’s perspective, and you meet the new officer in the book before (typically). These books are beautifully written, but thorough, so don’t expect to fly through them. There’s 6 of them, and they range from creepy, to strange, to sad, to school-girl, and so much more. The perspectives aren’t always from a man or a woman, but rather switch off, which I find to be a nice change of pace. Read my review of In the Woods here.
    • Bottom Line: Read In the Woods and try to tell me you weren’t biting your nails and running away from dark rooms. This isn’t to say they are all scary, though, and they’re definitely not horror books, so they’re okay for the easily frightened.

That’s just a few of my favorites. What are your favorite series? Have you read any of these and agree or disagree with me?

NYC Trip – BookExpo & BookCon 2017

Tomorrow I leave for New York City! The main reason for my trip is to attend BookExpo and BookCon! I went last year and had such a great bookish time, and I decided I couldn’t miss out this year! Check out my post-BEA/BookCon 2016 blog here.

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BookExpo is May 31-June 2 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. BookCon is June 3-4 at the same convention center.

However, I’m leaving early to go sightseeing around New York! I’m so excited to see the Big Apple. I’m planning on going to the 9/11 Museum and memorial, Ellis Island, the Top of the Rock, a Rockefeller Center tour, a broadway show, but most importantly, the bookish sites: The New York Public Library, The Strand, Books of Wonder, and more!

Though this isn’t a travel blog, I do plan on blogging every day to show you all what I was up to that day! As for the BookExpo and BookCon posts, I hope to show who I met, what I picked up from the show, and exciting things coming for the next year in the book industry!

Thanks in advance for following me on this new adventure! I’ll be blogging from a different time zone tomorrow night! And I can’t have a trip to New York and not end a post or two with the famous words from my current Netflix binge:

XOXO – Gossip Girl 😉

Have you ever been to NYC, BookExpo, or BookCon? Will you be there this year? What are some other things I should see while in the city?