#ATSOReadathon Begins Tomorrow!

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I can hardly believe it but my very first readathon begins tomorrow!

I have had so many wonderful readers, bloggers and booktubers sign up and I could not be more thankful and excited. I hope you are as well. If you missed my post announcing the readathon you can find it here
Basically, the goal of this readathon is to read books that are 300 pages or less, as many as you can, in the month of March. (Thats right, this readathon lasts a whole month!) They could also be novellas, graphic novels, books of poetry, etc. You can interact on Twitter using the hashtag #ATSOReadathon and there will be a giveaway at the end!

It isn’t too late to sign up! You have until the 7th of March at 12 midnight Pacific Time

I for one, am so excited to read so many books this month. I have a HUGE tower of short books and I’m ready to start crushing it!
I can’t wait to see your progress and hear all about the amazing books you guys read this month.

Happy Reading, And let All The Short Ones Readathon Begin!!

 

Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan

Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan

Publisher: Raincoast Books
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Genre: Contemporary
Source: ARC from Raincoast
Link to the author: on Twitter

Click Here For The Goodreads Summary

RATING: 3.5
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BUZZ WORDS: Art, Best Friends, New York City, Dreams

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home”

THOUGHTS:

This reminded me of The Carrie Diaries TV show if it was about fashion instead of art. Did anyone else watch that show? Something about the characters makes me think if you liked it, you’d enjoy this book.

Piper is a high school student who knows what she wants when she graduates, New York, and she has big plans for the future. Those plans involve her best friend Kit and her boyfriend Enzo, but those plans are quickly unraveled despite Pipers attempts to hold them together.

There were some typical high school clichés but for the most part it avoided them. For instance, romance isn’t the focus, the main character isn’t bullied at school despite her quirky nature and isn’t trying to figure out who she is or what she wants. In fact I thought it was a rarely found, authentic depiction of the high school experience. I liked that Piper was full of passion, making her strong if also emotional. There was drama, but it wasn’t the typical highschool stuff. The story focuses mainly on the relationships between Piper, her friends, and her family. I think Kit and Silas were my favurite characters, probably because they both loved Piper so much and tempered her emotional side. I wanted Piper to stop going on with Enzo and wise up about CJ, but that’s because I’m an adult now and I know better. It’s to be expected that a main character of that age is going to make poor choices, so I don’t feel I can hold that against the author. The one relationship that did annoy me was between Piper and her sister Marli. The mean older sister routine was so over the top. There’s no way parents would allow that kind of behavior, even the biggest push overs. At times it seemed like the author used the drama between Piper & Kit and Piper & Marli to teach her that she blows things out of proportion. But honestly, I don’t think Piper was ever out of line when it came to her sister, she was every bit as bad as Piper described her. I also didn’t feel the reconciliation between them was adequate. I’m really not sure what the theme or lesson was in this story but regardless I ended up really enjoying it. Mostly because of Pipers strong voice and the focus of the story didn’t follow the usual tropes.

It started out poor but became great. I even wish there had been less of the beginning and more about her life in New York, or even a sequel because it ended when it was starting to get really good.

In the beginning, I was going to DNF this story but I decided to keep reading. I’m really glad I did because it grew on me like a pretty little weed. (Quickly and full of color!) I’ve always been artistic and creative so I found it easy to relate to the main characters. Pipers obsession with Andy Warhol didn’t add to the story in my opinion. (It was never explained why he, in particular, was such an inspiration to her.) It is a diary entry writing style, which I don’t often enjoy but in this case, I think it really worked. The entries were fun, fast and Piper’s voice comes through loud and clear. Any artist is going to love and relate to this character and her story.

A big thank you to Raincoast for sending me a copy of Piper Perish for this review!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Unexpectedly Loved

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week there is a new bookish topic. For more details, and how to participate, click the link above.

Books I (Unexpectedly) Loved

These are all books I’ve read in the last year or so that surprised me for various reasons.

HYPE!

I’m always hesitant when there’s a lot of hype surrounding a book, and I sort of expect to think it’s not as good as everyone claims. In this case I was so wrong, in the best way!

NOT FOR ME

I had looked at both of these books previous to blogging and written them off as not for me. Fast forward to post blogging me and I decided I had to give them a try. It’s books like these that make me so glad I became a part of the blogging community.

UNKNOWN

I didn’t know these authors before reading these books, and I just picked them up on a whim. I was blown away by all of them.

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CLASSICS

Of the classics Ive read I havent really enjoyed many of them, so I was hesitant about Anne. I listened to the audiobook and it made me smile and laugh and I am just so glad that I read this book.

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

I read Rae Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy and love the first, really liked the second and just liked the third. So, going into Walk On Earth A Stranger I was hopeful but unsure. I LOVED it, even more than the first book in her other series. I can’t wait for book two.

I enjoy Illuminae and saw looked into both authors to see what else they had written. I saw that These Broken Stars was on audio on Overdrive and decided to give it a try. I figured it had some tough competition since it’s in space like Illuminae, but it was so good in its own way.

That’s all! I would love to hear about the book that pleasantly surprised you! Recently. Of all time. What ever it may be, I would love to hear about it.
Thanks for reading!

All The Short Ones Readathon

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Announcement and Sign Up

I don’t know about you but I start out the year with huge reading goals and ample enthusiasm and by March I’m starting to slump a little. What better way to give me a boost than a readathon? The only thing is, sometimes I find them overwhelming. They are usually only a week long and involve reading a specific theme or number of books. As a single mom and someone with a busy life, it’s just not possible sometimes. What I really want is a readathon thats a longer and was a little… easier? While still pushing me to read more. So I created All The Short Ones Readathon.

The goal of this readathon is to read books that are 300 pages or less, as many as you can in the month of March. They could also be novellas, graphic novels, books of poetry, etc. An easy way to see which of the books on your TBR are 300 pages or less is to go to Goodreads and sort the books by number of pages. That’s how I compiled my list that I’ll be sharing with you below.

Dates: March 1st – March 31st

Giveaways: At the end of the readathon, one lucky winner will get a book of their choice from Book Depository, up to $15 USD.

You will receive one entry for your sign up post, which you can link in the comments below, and one entry for every book you read and reviewed in your wrap up post. (Which you can link in the comments of my wrap up post on the 31st of March) Bonus entries for anyone who posts their TBR for the readathon, using the hashtag #ATSOreadathon

**Reviews can be on a blog or on Goodreads and can be full length or just a couple of paragraphs, summarizing your thoughts**

You can also use the hashtag to connect with others participating in the readathon, find a buddy read, and stay up to date with everyone’s progress.

My hope is that everyone has fun, reading some shorter books that they may have overlooked. Perhaps some of those could meet other challenges you have this year and if not it will certainly boost your Goodreads count!

Here are All The Short Ones I hope to read for the readathon.

There may be a few that I’m forgetting but these are the ones I can think of at the moment. I might not get to them all but I intend to try, and I will be starting with the shortest and working my way to the longest of my short books. Half of these are books I read more than ten years ago that I have wanted to reread and see if I still enjoy them but I never make the time. So now is the time!

I really hope some of you decide to join up and participate, it’s going to be a very laid back sort of challenge but hopefully a lot of fun as well! Don’t forget to link your sign up post in the comments below so myself and others can check it out. Also, please share this readathon with others on Twitter and Instagram, you can find my handles below.

Jessica @novelcravings

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#ATSOReadathon

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

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The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: February 14th 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
Soure: ARC from Harper Collins
Link to the author: http://www.lesleylivingston.com/

Click Here For The Goodreads Summary

 

RATING: 4.5 30320008

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“Wind carry my words. Shadows and darkness see my plight. Let the Morrigan hear my plea. Give me the strength to vanquish my enemies and wreak my vengeance.”

 

THOUGHTS:

Can I just say, 2017 releases are killing it! Seriously, I have read some incredible books this year and The Valiant is definitely one of them.

The story is about a girl named Fallon who is the daughter of a Cantii king. She has long awaited the day when she would become an honored member of his war band just like the older sister she idolizes. In a sick twist of fate, her life is changed forever and she finds herself fighting instead, in the gladiator arena of Rome, her family’s sworn enemy.

The story starts off strong and in the first few chapters, Fallon’s life is altered in unexcepted ways one after another. The story gives you a chance to catch your breath and introduces some new characters but it doesn’t pause for long. This story was honed like a perfectly balanced blade. There was enough dialogue between the characters to connect with them, but also enough action to propel the story onward. I never felt like I needed more than I was given or that something was dragged out.  It was embellished in all the right places that brought the story to life, and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing Rome through Fallons eyes. Rome and Gladiators are not something I’ve read about in YA before, and it was so nice to read something new. Livingston is truly a strong and talented writer. Another thing about the writing, there were so many times I found myself shouting “I knew it!” And yet I don’t consider that this story was predictable because I only ever turned out to be partly correct. I always appreciate an author that can keep me on my toes like that.

The characters were also written really well. Fallon is tough and smart and realistically flawed. I felt that she grew a lot during the story as her values and beliefs were challenged. She really held fast to the essence of who she was as an individual while considering what her new position in life could allow her to become. My heart broke for her in the first few chapters, I loved Mael, and I wasn’t sure I wanted there to be a second romance. I ended up really liking the other love interest! And I appreciate the respect he shows Fallon, he knows that she is not a woman to be kept. Even the side characters were great, they were complex and their roles were essential to the story progression and the main characters growth. Nyx was the perfect villian, the kind you despise and then in certain moments feel for. Elka was an excellent sort of sidekick character, full of so much sass and loyalty, I wish she were my best friend. And the relationship between Fallon and the Lady Achillea was pleasantly unexpected. I felt that she kept Fallon from becoming bitter about her new lot in life and instead helped her see the possibilities in it.

Overall I really liked that the romance was not the main focus. Instead, it was more Fallon learning about herself, what she wanted to stand for and the person she wanted to become. I loved that she found a new family and a sisterhood. That bond was a strong focus in The Valiant and I don’t think you see that often enough in YA. The suggestion that family and belonging can be found again after losing it really resonated with me at this time in my life.

I gave The Valiant 4.5 out of 5 stars and I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel, The Defiant! I y ou enjoy strong female leads, stories about finding your tribe, or a great historical fiction, then I highly recommend this book!

A big thank you to Harper Collins for sending me a copy of The Valiant for this review!