The End of the Year Tag

It’s been a while since I’ve done a tag, and this one seemed like the perfect way to say goodbye to 2017, especially since I just finished my Goodreads challenge! I wasn’t tagged by anyone, but I saw it on kristinkravesbooks‘ site and thought it looked fun, so definitely check out her post! Let’s get started!

1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

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I’m honestly hiding my face in shame right now, because I started A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab over my spring break back in March, put it down to read lighter books during the semester, and then….never picked it back up. I honestly don’t know what’s stopping me because I love this series! Maybe it’s the size? Who knows, all I know is that I need to stop making excuses and just finish it already! My goal is to finish it over winter break before the end of 2017, but who knows!

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Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills: (Spoiler-Free) ARC Review & Discussion

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Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Genre: Contemporary
Release date: December 5th, 2017
Dates read: November 28th-December 1st, 2017

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 Stars

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The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn’t supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn’t know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they’re both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia’s ever seen. As Claudia’s world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

Spoiler-free Review:

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This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis: Review & Discussion

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Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Thriller
Release date: October 10th, 2017
Dates read: November 14th-16th, 2017

Rating: ★ ½ / 5

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Sasha Stone knows her place—first-chair clarinet, top of her class, and at the side of her oxford-wearing boyfriend. She’s worked her entire life to ensure that her path to Oberlin Conservatory as a star musician is perfectly paved.

But suddenly there’s a fork in the road, in the shape of Isaac Harver. Her body shifts toward him when he walks by, her skin misses his touch even though she’s never known it, and she relishes the smell of him—smoke, beer, and trouble—all the things she’s avoided to get where she is. Even worse, every time he’s near Sasha, her heart stops, literally. Why does he know her so well—too well—and she doesn’t know him at all?

Sasha discovers that her by-the-book life began by ending another’s: the twin sister she absorbed in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time in her practice schedule or the memories she has of things she certainly never did with Isaac. As Sasha loses her much-cherished control, her life—and heart—become more entangled with Isaac. Armed with the knowledge that her heart might not be hers alone, Sasha must decide what she’s willing to do—and who she’s willing to hurt—to take it back.

Note: This is a review of an advance reader’s edition, not the final product.

Mini, spoiler-free review: This book honestly was a bit of a mess. The premise itself just required too much suspension of disbelief for my tastes, the storyline was all over the place, and every single side character was poorly written and fell extremely flat. However, I did enjoy the unreliable narrator aspect of this story, even though it was a bit ridiculous at times. If you’re looking for a quick, somewhat dark read with unlikeable characters that shouldn’t be taken too seriously, then this book is for you, but if you (like me) think the premise is a little ridiculous, then I’d pass on this one. Also, I just want to warn anyone who is sensitive to gore and bodily harm that this book contains a lot of it.

Full (spoiler-y) review:

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Classic stories that need YA Retellings

I am a huge fan of fairy tales. I love reading different versions of each story, and learning about the cultures they came from and how they were passed down. I even took a class on them last semester! I just think they’re really fun and interesting, and I love seeing different adaptations and retellings of them. Disney movies, more subtle adaptations, I love them all! Retellings have been big in YA the past few years, and I have been loving it! There are so many creative way authors have expanded on classic stories, but I feel like there are still so many more that we are missing out on in the retellings department. Obviously, I don’t want a word-for-word retelling with the characters aged up or anything, I just think these stories leave so much room for expansion and creative retellings. And retellings don’t always have to be fantasy-based, some of my favorite retellings are contemporary!

(Side note: if there are YA retellings for these stories that I don’t mention, it means I probably don’t know about them so PLEASE tell me about them in the comments! I would love to read retellings of all of these tales!)

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Renegades by Marissa Meyer: Review & Discussion

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Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy
Release date: November 7th, 2017
Dates read: October 14th-November 1st, 2017

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ / 5

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Mini, spoiler-free review: Renegades was exactly what I was looking for – a fun, yet introspective novel about what it means to be a hero. Although it was a bit predictable at times and the side characters fell a little flat for me, the main characters were amazing and the storyline kept me hooked until the very end!

Full review (mild spoilers ahead):

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One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake: Review & Discussion

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Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Release date: September 19th, 2017
Dates read: September 23rd-October 19th, 2017

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ / 5

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Mini, spoiler-free review: If you haven’t read Three Dark Crowns yet, do yourselves a favor and pick it up! It’s such a unique and well-crafted story with amazing characters that totally stands out. If you’ve read book 1, then buckle up, because book 2 is a wild ride that totally lives up to the first installment!

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