“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.

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?

April Wrap-Up!

It’s time for the April wrap-up! I read 23 books in April! That makes 87 towards my goal of 200 for this year!

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  1. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  2. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
  3. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
  4. Leave Me by Gayle Forman
  5. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan*
  6. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
  7. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
  8. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (reread)
  9. Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan
  10. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
  11. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  12. Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star*
  13. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
  14. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  15. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust*
  16. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (reread)
  17. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (reread)
  18. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson
  19. Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
  20. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  21. Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J. Arlidge

*Indicates a book not pictured because I read it via library book, ebook, or audiobook.
Does not include 2 books read for work that do not fall in the scope of this blog.

What did you read this month? What are you looking forward to reading in May?

“Shades of Magic” series by V.E. Schwab


Do you like fantasy? I have really been getting into this genre lately. It’s nice to be swept away to a new world full of magic, villains, and adventure.

The most recent series I’ve finished is the series by V.E. Schwab: A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light. If you’re not afraid of GIANT beautiful masterpieces, you definitely need to pick this series up.

It’s a bit of a mouthful to explain, so here goes:

There are three Londons: Grey London (has no magic), Red London (has a good amount of magic), White London (has a dangerous amount of magic). The people know of these three Londons thanks to the two Antari in the world, Kell and Holland. They can travel between worlds and deliver messages (and smuggle magical items between the worlds).

In Grey London, Lila Bard is a pickpocket. She’s really good at stealing and weaseling her way out of things. One day, she picks Kell’s pocket, and the two become travelling buddies in a weird twist of events.

I don’t want to spoil too much, so I can’t really get into more details. But there are pirates, evil rulers (in abundance), a magical gladiator-like competition, several curses, and a fight for everything the characters know and love.

V.E. Schwab is a colorful writer, and while the books can be slow-moving, you don’t notice because the world-building and writing style are so magical (pun intended?). I can’t recommend this series enough. Just be glad you are hearing about it now that the books are all out and you don’t have to wait for the story to continue. You’re welcome.

Rating: ★★★★★

Purchase the books here: A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light

“I Liked My Life” by Abby Fabiaschi

New release Tuesday!

51h7j9fq7glI Liked My Life is my first 5-star read of 2017. The story is told from three viewpoints: Maddy as a ghost after her suicide; Eve, her daughter; and Brady, Eve’s father and Maddy’s widower.

Maddy is trying to find a replacement for herself — someone who can bring Brady and Eve back to happiness after her own sudden death. Eve is learning how to deal with not having her mother around anymore, trying to figure out what would cause her mother to do what she did. Brady is struggling with alcohol abuse, anger issues, and the nagging notion that he was the reason for his wife’s suicide.

All of the characters grow in their own way throughout the book, learning, grieving, and stumbling through life. This book stole my entire Sunday — I started it in the morning and didn’t move until I finished it. I Liked My Life has an exquisite, sweeping story with relatable characters and stunning writing.

Rating: ★★★★★

Purchase the book here.

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

“Scythe” by Neal Shusterman

28954189In a futuristic world, humans have found the cure for every disease and can keep people alive indefinitely. Since this would lead to overpopulation, the world has Scythes who randomly choose citizens and kill them. It’s a government-provided service and is considered something that is good for the community. Citra and Rowan both have run-ins with Scythe Faraday, who is in turn impressed with the two teenagers’ personalities. Faraday decides to take both on as apprentices for one Scythe position. They learn more about the society that Scythes are ruled by, and train in combat, compassion, and common sense. There are several tests that they are required to perform, and the best apprentice will become a full-fledged Scythe, granting them and their family immunity from death.

While this sounds very morbid, this book was absolutely fascinating. I read this monster in one day, putting off everything I should have been doing instead. Scythe is so well-written and has such an amazing premise and world-building. This is the first book I’ve read by Neal Shusterman, and I definitely plan on reading his other books now. It’s easy to get lost in the story, rooting for the good guys, hoping the bad guys get what’s coming to them. Definitely pick this one up — it’s to die for.

Rating: ★★★★★

Purchase the book here.

“One True Loves” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

27189194Emma Blair’s first husband died in a plane crash over the ocean. She was understandably heartbroken and it took her years to recover from the tragedy. But eventually, Emma heals, and she decides it’s time to start dating again. She runs into an old school friend and they end up getting engaged. But one evening, when Emma and Sam (her fiancee) are out at dinner, Emma gets a life-changing phone call.

Her first husband is alive. He survived the plane crash. And he’s headed back home. Now, Emma must make the unbelievably hard decision between going back to her husband, her first love, who she was so horribly separated from, or continuing with her plan to marry Sam, her new love.

I listened to this on Audible, and I loved the narrator. I adore Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books — I loved Maybe in Another Life last year, so I was so excited to see she was coming out with this book. This book was heartbreaking, beautiful, and addicting. This would be a good one to read by the fireplace, cozy in a warm blanket. Who knows — maybe this book will be one of your One True Loves…

Rating: ★★★★★

Purchase the book here.