WWW

WWW (March 28th)

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W.W.W. Wednesday’s used to be hosted by Should Be Reading. She’s stopped hosting it since 2014, but I thought I would give it a go again. To play along all you have to do is answer three simple questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish? What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish?

I feel like re-reading ACOWAR doesn’t count, but I will mention it nonetheless.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m thinking of reading Ally Carter’s new book.

What are you currently reading?

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Contemporary Conversations, Reviews, YA Mystery

ContempConvos: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

All Fall Down

introduction:

Did any of you guess this was the book I would be reviewing? If you guessed All Fall Down, click the rafflecopter link and get your extra giveaway entry! a Rafflecopter giveaway

I saved this book specifically for this week. I bought the book right after it was published in January and I was even approved by Scholastic and given an arc before that. But I saved it for this week because it would have been a tragedy if Ms. Ally Carter did not make an appearance during the Spy/Conspiracy/Drama week of Contemporary Conversations. She is so dedicated to this genre and I am so thankful for that. Let’s proceed with my review. I hope you enjoy it.

Goodreads Summary:

A new series of global proportions — from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she’s come back to stay–in order to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

Review:

I just finished read this and I am speechless. I did not see that ending coming. I am still reeling with that ending. I am shocked. Like people like to say I CAN’T EVEN.

The title All Fall Down finally makes sense. Falling means many different things in this book, but it is Grace’s fall that we focus on the most. We see Grace’s entire journey and we slowly see her start getting madder and madder until she breaks… she falls.

The only thing that was a little weak for me in the story was Noah as a character. He felt… lacking. Something wasn’t there for me. It could be that I missed something because I was devouring this book, but he is the reason why I can’t give it 5 stars. I felt his character a little two-dimensional. This is the first book in a series, so I hope we get to see more of him and he can turn into a character that I love.

One of the reasons why I am such an Ally Carter fan is because she can turn things I would normally see as boring, intriguing. I will never see ambassadors and their children the same again. I also have a higher respect for them. Their job is so important and it is something that day-to-day we don’t even think about. Her books always make me think.

Also, there is NO ROMANCE. None. Zilch. Nada. That is so refreshing. I can’t rave enough to give this book justice.

If you want to get into the world of spies, government agents, and conspiracies, Ally carter is the author for you. Pick this story up. Trust me, you won’t be bored.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Disclaimer: Thank you Scholastic for giving me the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion. (I bought a copy of the book once it was released)

Contemporary Conversations

ContempConvos: Spies, Government Agents, and Conspiracies

Contemporary-Conversations-Banner2 This week I’m not starting off with a review, but with a discussion post! Something that really irks me is the lack of YA Contemporary novels that deal with Spies, Government Agencies, and Conspiracies. We have a wide variety pretty much of any sub-genre, but not this one. Why is that? Is it because there isn’t such a big demand or there aren’t enough authors writing these types of stories?

Yes, we have spies, assassins, and government agents in dystopian novels, sci-fi novels, and fantasy novels, but not in contemporary novels. I say that it isn’t fair. Sometimes I just want some spies in my life you know? One of the reasons I love Ally Carter is because Spies, Government Agents, Conspiracies, Con-artists are the things she writes about in a pure contemporary world. Jennifer Lynn Barnes who is Ally Carter’s friend also writes in these sub-genres. Apart from them, I don’t know other authors that focus solely on that.

I would have included “The Name is the Star” by Maureen Johnson, but it is a paranormal contemporary novel. It’s not pure contemporary and that is where it irks me. We have action movies that do not have sic-fi, paranormal, fantasy, or dystopian elements to them, but where are the books that are just pure action and suspense? That is my question. That is what I want people to answer me.

I want to hear from you now. Do you like to read these type of novels or do you prefer this spy, assassin, etc., thing when it is in a dystopian or fantasy world (ex: Delirium , Throne of Glass, etc.)? and why?

Hopefully you will shed some light on this subject because it’s just not fair. Not fair at all.

Other

Let’s Talk About… Most Owned Authors!

I was recently catching up on my YouTube subscriptions and I saw Katystastic’s (a YouTube Book Blogger) video talking about her Top Ten Most Owned Authors. She went into detail that the authors on her list were not just authors whom she owned the most books by, but also that they were on her auto-buy list (if you want to watch the video, click here!) So, I thought to myself, I should do that too. Why the heck not right?

So today I will be talking about my Top Ten Most Owned Authors that are also on my Auto-Buy list. Here we go!

 

1

 

If you know me really well, this is not surprising. I own 12 of her books. All of the “Vampire Academy” Series and all that is out of the “Bloodlines” Series. I also have in my possession both “Age of X Series” books, “Gameboard of the Gods” and “The Immortal Crown”. Anything this woman writes, I love. Whether it be her paranormal young adult novels or her new adult series that has Fantasy, Dystopian, and Science Fiction themes in it, I read it all. Her writing has the ability to suck me in and make me forget reality for a couple of hours.

2

Now this may come as a surprise to many because I hardly ever mention Ms. Ally Carter. Probably because I read most of her books before I started my blog December of 2012. I own all of the Gallagher Girls Series, and all three books of the Heist Society Series. Total of 9 books. She has a new series coming out soon and I have no clue what it is about, but you can bet I will buy it without reading the synopsis.

3

A lot of people think of her as the YA Contemporary Queen of the early 2000s. Her books were crazy popular with good reason. Although I don’t click with the characters in two of her books, I will buy any book she writes. Her writing is poetic and beautiful. Some of my favorite quotes come from her books. She knows how to write a coming of age story that will sit with you for years.

4

She recently became an auto-buy author for me. The first book I ever read by her was “The Disreputable History of Frankie-Laundau Banks”. That novel was eery and haunting. The emotion was raw and deep. I felt things I never had before reading this book and really brought to light the issues we have with romanticized rebels (or criminals). Two years later, I listened to her read her new book  “We Were Liars” at the LA Times Books Festival and it prompted me to buy it. “We Were Liars” left me breathless. After that I went and bought most of the books she has published. I have 6 of her books in my possession.

5

There was a time in my life where I wanted fun summer contemporaries that still gave me some substance, but I also didn’t want them to be too serious. In comes “The Daughters” Series by Joanna Philbin. She’s another author whose writing just sucks me in. I feel as if I know her characters personally and I am their friend. It’s that intimate. I own 5 of her books.

6

Isaiah & Noah. That’s all you need to know. Okay, okay, just kidding. I’m not ending it there. 🙂

I own 4 of her books because that is all she has published. If she had more books published, I would own them all by now. What I love about her stories is that her characters are real. Their issues are real. You could say she uses the same freaking formula in each book, but she writes it in a way that doesn’t feel like she’s using the same formula to tell the story, and I freaking eat them up. She writes grittier young adult contemporary and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to writing her books. She learned how to drive stick just so she could legitimately write the car scenes in “Crash Into You”. If that is not dedication to your work, then I don’t know what is.

7

We now have Ms. Sarah Ockler. Gosh Darn her stories make me happy. Her stories aren’t really always happy per say (“Twenty Boys Summer” broke my heart), but she writes them so well that I will sob through her books if that’s the price I have to pay to read them. I say she falls in the same category as Katie McGarry’s books with the whole characters dealing with real issues, but Ockler’s characters are a little less rough around the edges. I proudly own 3 of her books (and I need to get my hands on #Scandal as soon as its out! *grabby hands*).

8

My lovely Morgan Matson. How I love her so. I know that sounds a little weird, but I have been a faithful fan of her writing since “Amy and Rogers Epic Detour”. I waited for “Second Chance Summer” for an entire year, and now I have “Since You’ve Been Gone” in my hands. Although the premise for SYBG doesn’t sound as intriguing to me as the other two, I still wanted it and got it (Thank you Kayla you are the best!). Her writing takes me a little bit longer to read, nonetheless it entertains me and makes me happy. Even though her books are seen as sad, I don’t feel sad when I see them or read them. I get all giddy and happy. Yes, I’m weird. Deal with it. 🙂

(proud owner of all three books!)

9

She’s actually a last-minute addition because I didn’t think I owned enough books to add her to this list, but alas I do! I own 3 of her books and a novella. Jessica Park wrote “Flat Out Love” which is one of my favorite contemporaries of 2013. I loved it so much that I went on and read “Flat Out Matt” and “Left Drowning”. I devoured them. I recently purchased “Flat Out Celeste” her newest novel in the “Flat Out Love” world. (Kayla I know you’re gonna be mad, but I bought the kindle version okay! It was only 3.99. I couldn’t resist!!). I think the reason I am so amazed by her is because she is an independent author. She does not publish her books through a big publishing house, but through an independent publisher. Her books are edited so well that I almost want to pee my pants at how happy it makes. She’s an indie author who got it right. It gives me hope for future indie authors and indie books.

10

Surprised to see this? I know I’m not. Why? Because I’m one of those few people who loved “Allegiant”. I loved the Divergent Trilogy as a whole. The world she created, the way she wrote it, the trilogy sucked me in and I never wanted to leave it for the real world. Sadly, I had to, but if she publishes something in the near or far future, even if it sounds boring, I will buy it. I don’t care. I love her that much. (And honestly how can we forget Divergent? That was one of the best first books in a trilogy I have EVER read!) I own three of her books (and soon four! haha get it?! Because the new book is titled Four and it’s the fourth book!!! No… I just think it’s funny… okay… *walks away shamefully*).

11

Lastly, we have an honorary mention because if this woman had published “Isla and the Happily Ever After” sooner, she would have been able to make it on the list officially. We all love Stephanie Perkins and we all know why. I feel like she is the recent Queen of YA contemporary and no one has come close to dethrone her. At least not in my book. Her books are all sugar, sweet, and honey. They make you feel all happy and bubbly inside. BUY HER BOOKS!

 

We have finally reached the end of this really long post for which I apologize, but I did have a lot to say and yet I feel like I didn’t say enough. I’m going to go ahead and tag Kayla over at The Thousand Lives and demand she do this because I want to see what she comes up with, and I think most of you might want to know too! If anyone decides to write a post like this, please let me know and send me the link. I want to read your posts and have discussions about our most owned authors that are also on our auto-buy list.

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Reviews, YA Mystery

Short Book Review: United We Spy (Gallagher Girls #6) by Ally Carter

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Edition: US Barnes & Nobles Exclusive Edition 2013

Goodreads Summary:

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

Review:

I reread the first 4 books in the series and skimmed the fifth one in order to get ready for the final book in the Gallagher Girls series. It was a very wise decision on my part because I had forgotten a lot of key details of the series (I read the first book in 2008).

United We Spy is exactly what I wanted in the last book of this amazing series. I was blown away by how well everything was tied together so neatly. We were able to see all of our favorite characters and we even found out information that we didn’t know we wanted until the moment Ally Carter put that little seed of information in our head. I’m trying really hard not to spoil the novel for those who have not read the Gallagher Girls series, but know that I was blown away by this book.

I devoured United We Spy in one sitting. The book felt too short for my liking and the ending left me with so many questions, but any other ending would have not done Cammie justice. We got a lot of Zach & Cammie moments, and we blessed with the presence of some characters we hadn’t seen in a few books.

I am absolutely happy with how the series ended, but at the same time I am bummed out that I will not be waiting another year for the next Gallagher Girls book as I have been doing since 2008.

What HP is to other people, Gallagher Girls is to me.

I was a Gallagher Girl through High School, College, and now as a Post-Graduate trying to tackle the world. Even though this series has ended, I will always be a Gallagher Girl.

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Rating: 5/5

Random

Discussion: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (GG #2) by Ally Carter

For the rest of the Gallagher Girls Read-A-Thon I will be doing a discussion of each book instead of a book review. These discussions will contain spoilers so if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading. 🙂
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My Thoughts:

I just finished reading Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy and…. OooohhhWeeeeee… I am so excited! Zach finally arrived, and it broke my heart every time Cammie saw Josh. I do feel bad for the both of them, but Thank you Ally Carter for not making a love triangle. THANK YOU!

I liked I’d Tell You I Love You, But Them I’d Have to Kill You, but I forgot how good the series was. This book gave me a glimpse as to why this is one of my favorite series of all time.

I loved that Zach was able to make Cammie a better spy by challenging her. And I loved how clueless Cammie was about Zach’s feelings towards her. Oh Cammie. Macey can only do so much, you need to start learning this boy stuff too.

Can I say that I just LOVE Macey. I love the original trio too, but the quartet kicks butt more! 😀

I’ll end this post with Cammie’s last words…

“The whole summer lay ahead of us-time to rest, time to wait. And when the future comes-no matter what comes with it-I’ll be smarter. I’ll be stronger. I’ll be ready.”

Reviews, YA Mystery

Short Book Review: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (GG #1) by Ally Carter

idtellyouiloveGoodreads Summary:

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school, that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE, the latest in chemical warfare in science; and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes computer class. So in truth, Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but its really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is a second generation Gallagher Girl, and by her sophomore year she’s already fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti.) But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn’t prepared her for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without his ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, shes beginning her most dangerous mission; she’s falling in love.

Review:

The last time I read this book was about 5 years ago. Reading it again after such a long time, it was almost like reading it for the first time. I had completely forgotten how the whole Josh thing went down. The first time I read it, I was confused with the whole Josh thing and how things worked (writing style-wise), but reading it now, my experience was crisp clean reading.

I liked the pacing of the novel and I fell for Joe Solomon. I wasn’t a big fan of Joe Solomon until the third book, but now, a totally different experience. Re-reading it again made me love the Gallagher Girls even more. If you haven’t read the Gallagher Girls series, I suggest you do. The first book may seem like it is for a 13 year old girl, but as the series progresses, so do the books. The series matured along with its audience. Oh and this book is the nicest and fluffiest book you are going to get. The rest is heartbreak town. Good Luck!

Rating: 5/5