Feature & Follow Friday (2)

Welcome to Feature and Follow Friday, a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful bloggers, Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of this blog hop is to gain followers, discover new blogs, and make new friends! 
Let's begin!

This week's question is:

Your house is burning down & you have time to select three books you own to take with you. What will the three books be?

I've actually been in this situation before. When I was 6 our apartment complex had caught on fire (the lady upstairs was boiling hotdogs and forgot about them) and it burned our poor building down. Instead of grabbing books, I went back for my kitten " pudgy" instead, all to have my mom tell me that we couldn't keep him because our next apartment complex didn't allow pets! WTF people! Anywho, the 3 books I've chosen are:

Cry me a river. Two books that completely broke me

In my opinion, both of these books are strong examples of what I like to read in Young Adult Contemporaries. Beautifully written stories that leave you crying into a wad of tissues, well executed characters that you deeply care about, and happy & not-so-happy endings. I HIGHLY recommend these books. 

okay I cheated with my 3rd choice because I included more than 1 book . . . 

Nostalgic Collection

These girls right here were my CHILDHOOD! When I was in the 3rd grade I was selected along with a few other girls, to join the American Girls Club in our school. Everyday during our Language Arts classes, we would leave for an hour to then meet up in the school library. We did activities, participated in plays, read ALL of the American Girl books, received the featured American Girl Doll every month, and so much more. After just a few months I was then elected by my group to become the president of the AGC for our school. I was able to go to book conventions, and signings, and received the AGC magazine every month where I picked out whatever doll, accessories and books I wanted . . . for free!

These books were such a big part of my life that there's noway I could be without them. I learned so much from these girls, their time periods, and how they're lives differed so much from my own, and even do I don't have my full collection as I did one I was younger, I definitely plan to order the one's I'm missing from amazon especially since they're only 1 cent! If you have a daughter, younger siblings, cousins, or just want them for yourself, I definitely recommend these cute books!

So that concludes my post for Feature & Follow Friday! What three books you would save from a fire?

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios | Review

Pages: 400
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Published: Feb 3rd 2015 | Henry Holt & Co
Source: Purchased

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

I had so much I wanted to say for this book, so instead of including it in the "fANGIRL Remix " post, I decided to give it the review it deserves. First of all, saying I loved I'll Meet You There would truly be an understatement. It surpassed alot of my favorites that I've read in previous years, and I know it's really early to say, especially because it's only February, but I'll Meet You There will be one of my favorites, if not thee favorite book of this year . . .

Decisions, Decisions

In I'll Meet You There, we follow two of my favorite fictional characters. Seventeen year old, Skylar Evans and nineteen year old Josh Mitchell. Both are from Creek View, a small isolated town, located on the outskirts of California. Now this town literally consisted of only trailer parks, one Walmart that I believe was like an hour away, a gas station, and a motel, so yeah this setting was the epitome of country living. Skylar is a recent high school graduate, who at the end of the summer, has plans to attend school for art in San Francisco. After her mother drops the ball and loses her job, Sky is forced to do overtime at The Paradise, the local motel where she works. Throughout the entire story, you basically witness Sky struggle with two big decisions: 

A.) Stay home in Creek View to help her mother get back on her feet.


B.)  Kick up dust as she runs to a new life in a new city.

Josh's situation is slightly different from Skylar's. After enrolling in the military as a Marine, he finds himself back in their hometown. He's a wounded solider suffering from PTSD, and like Skylar, he also struggles with the decision to either stay in town, or go back into the danger zone that turned his life upside down. 

So as you can tell, life wasn't just a walk in the park for these two characters, which made them my favorite aspect of the story. Skylar is the perfect example of what I want my female protagonist to be like in YA. She was such a mature and compassionate person, especially when it came to Josh's situation. From out the gate my girl was a go-getter. Given her own situation with her mom, she was basically a child trying to raise . . . an adult. Sky pretty much had all odds against her, but she remained strong. She kept her head above water, and rolled with whatever punches were thrown in her direction. To balance out her determination and strength, I really liked how Demetrios allowed her to be vulnerable. There were times where she completely broke down with emotion, but you know what, we needed that emotion, especially since it resulted in the characters being not only realistic but admirable.

I'll take a small town boy for 500 please

In my humble opinion Josh MADE THIS BOOK! I cannot stress this enough guys. I cried soooo freaking much during his chapters because they were just so . . . raw. Okay get this, he's not only a wounded solider, but he's suffering from PTSD, AND ontop of all that, he's grieving the lost of someone close to him. His perspective was packed with pain and depression as he tried to deal with the Josh he is now. It was really weird to see people treat him a bit differently than they had before. You know with him coming home wounded, they automatically put him on this pedestal of a war hero, but he felt as if he didn't deserve that recognition, especially since he felt responsible for the death of the person he lost. It was just hard to read his point of view without crying, and I think this was because I easily related to him. Well I related to all the characters really, but I felt a stronger connection to Josh because I understood the feeling of losing someone super close to you. You know the feeling of dreaming about them, or just reminiscing about the times they were alive knowing that they'll never return is definitely a tough pill to swallow, so I UNDERSTAND YOU BAE!

I was also able to sympathize with the Marine aspect of his character. I have a handful of friends who have served, and are currently serving in the military, and it's true, most of them aren't the same people they were before enrolling. Half of my friends don't even like the sound of firecrackers anymore, or when people move suddenly around them, so I understood Skylar's position and how as a friend, she had to constantly walk on eggshells around Josh. It's really tough having a friend, who after just a couple of months, or even a year, is someone completely different from the person that YOU know . . . it definitely takes some getting used to.

Even though we don't read too much about the " before " Josh, we do receive the idea that he was this super outgoing guy which made him popular, that he had a bit of a reputation with the ladies, and that he was a little immature, going around town doing reckless shit. But I loved the " after " Josh, mainly because he was real. Given his situation he didn't sit around feeling sorry for himself like most would've, I mean there were scenes where he would cry out of frustration, or have certain thoughts, but with all these issues he was dealing with, he really pushed through and that's what I liked about him the most. I also appreciated how Demetrios pushed these tough topics to the forefront of the story. The romance wasn't just the foundation of this book. IMYT would have been just as successful even if no relationship was ever formed between these two characters, so you know what Ms.Demetrios, you've just gained a fan.

I'll meet you in line while you buy this book

So if you guys are looking for a solid and well-written YA book, I would highly recommend I'll Meet You There. All of the characters and their situations were super relatable, and I was able to pretty much connect with most of them. The writing had such a simplicity to it, but it was still very beautiful to me. Oh and the pacing was another thing I truly enjoyed. For example, in chapter 1, Skylar and her two friends Chris and Dylan attend a welcome home party for Josh, so they were both pretty much friends before the story even kicks off. So there's no insta-like, insta-attraction, insta-love,  insta-nothing yall, the pacing was spot on, and everything was smooth freaking sailing! If you do happen to pick this book up, let me know! I love to fangirl about books I love with other readers and bloggers!

For this book, I originally wasn't going to do a normal review. I had a cool idea that didn't pan out how I wanted it to, so I was left with a super long review. I didn't feel like chopping it down so I split it into sections like I normally do and called it a day. Sorry guys lmao!

Have any of you read or plan on reading I'll Meet You There? Let me know in the comments below    

Readers Choice : BOTM | March Edition

You guys know I love you right? Of course you do! I've even given all my loyal readers a nickname, " The Confessionites " (that shit sound cool huh ? hehehehe) Anywho, because of the fact that I love you guys, I've decided to include you all in a new feature here at fANGIRLconfessions, and it is called . . . 

* cue drum roll *

Readersssss Choice !! I mean, it's pretty self-explanatory. Each month under the post Readers Choice, I will include a poll for you all to participate in. Within that poll will be 6 books, and out of those 6 books, you'll choose one to be my book of the month. Sounds easy & fun right? Well that's because it is, and you wanna know why it is? Because I thought of it lmao. 

Whichever book has the most votes, will then become my book of the month! So, let's stop with all the yapping, and get to it!

Powered by Typeform

I think this poll thingy is just the cutest thing ever lol.
Thanks for voting guys, I'm so excited to see what book you all have chosen for me to read. Make sure you're following me via twitter @astoldbyfANGIRL so that you won't miss my announcement of the lucky winner!

The Fangirl Remix | Contemporary Fever

This . Is . The . Remix . 

The Fangirl Remix is something that I created for myself to be lazy. Okay let me explain . . . 

I don't know if you guys are aware, but I review every single last book that I read. Recently I've been trying to avoid doing this, because well . . . it get's a bit . . . tiring. If you've been following my blog for a while, then you know I get's down to business with my reviews. All of them are pretty much in-depth, and I believe because of this, I've put myself in what we would call a slump. Good thing I'm still in the mood to read, but because I don't feel like doing my normal reviews, all of the books I want to talk about are piling up, and this is not acceptable here at fANGIRLconfessions lol. So as I mentioned above, I created this so I can kinda be lazy, but still chat about all of the books that I've read. Whether they're old books that I read years ago, or ones that I've recently dived into, I'll be giving you guys a " remix " of my traditional reviews. Enjoy guys  

Side A Tracklist

Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven
Find Me I'm Yours by Hillary Carlip
Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Track 1: Bad Romeo

This is my jam!

Now everyone knows I love me a good New Adult novel, and honey this is it! One of my favorite things about this book, was that it was centered around the concept of theater. It was cool to see the characters complete acting exercises and plays in their classes, giving us a glimpse of what it takes to be an actor/actress in training.

Another favorite of mine would be the characters. Ah man, they were so snarky, and funny, and just really enjoyable. I loved how dorky Cassie was, and even though Ethan was a bit of a dickhead at times, I just thought he was sooo cute. But the person that truly took the cake for me, was a supporting character named Jake. I think his name was Jake, but oh my goodness you guys, this dude was HILARIOUS! He just did and said things that really made scenes with him a pleasure to read. 

There's alot of sexual tension going on in this book, and I found myself screaming " Just Have Sex Already ! " I enjoyed the tension, but I will admit there were times where I was irritated by it, but it works guys, it works. Oh and I was kinda bothered by the overbearing use of the word " fuck ". I mean they said it sooooo freaking much! I get it, you want each other, no need to keep dropping the F Bomb okay? The ending was a big WTF for me, and because of this, I am dying to read the second book in this series, Broken Juliet. 

Track 2: Find Me I'm Yours

On Repeat!

Find Me I'm Yours is going down as one of my favorite reads of this year! OMG this book was everything to me. It's completely interactive, giving us the opportunity to go on a " treasure hunt " to help the character find a guy in search for his true love. You click through websites, photos, (THE MAIN CHARACTER HAS AN REAL INSTAGRAM !!) and you can even take polls, and call numbers to listen to characters in the story. I sadly underestimated this book. I assumed it'll be one of those projects where the concept was better than the story, but boy was I wrong. The story was so cute and cliche, (in a good way) and it was just the book I needed to read for Swoonuary. Mags, a struggling artist living in LA, was so funny guys. She was weird, and dorky, and just one of those characters where you think, " I can definitely chill with this chick in real life. " I truly appreciate how much thought the author put into this book, I mean it clearly was alot of hard work, and . . . just pick this up yall. I just . . . I adore this book to pieces. 

Track 3: Never Never

Twerk Worthy

Never Never is one of those books where you need to go in not knowing anything AT ALL, so I won't give too much away in this review. There were a few people that was shocked that I only rated this book a 3.8, and I must admit I was a bit shocked myself. Even though I really enjoyed this story, Charlie's character was a bit annoying to me. I hated who she was before, and even though she's completely different now, I still found myself wanting to strangle her! On the other hand I loved me some Silas. Such a caring boyfriend he was, too bad Charlie is a blind fool. Anywho, for a super short story there were still plenty of plot twists. From that vague synopsis we received, you have no clue what the story is even going to be about, and I will say I was pleasantly surprised. It was completely different from what I was expecting. The ending didn't bother me as much as it did others, I mean I knew we were going to get some type of cliff-hanger, but because of how this story left off, I know that in part 2, Charlie is really going to get on my nerves. I can't really explain why, but if you haven't picked this up, I definitely recommend it!

Track 4: Falling Kingdoms

Bobs head off beat

Okay I cheated by squeezing this book in this post, but you'll see why I didn't do an in-depth review.

I'm not even going to lie, I was a bit disappointed by this book. I rated Falling Kingdoms a 3.8 as I did Never Never, mainly because nothing really happened. I had high expectations, especially for a High Fantasy novel, and to me, it just fell a bit short. The concept was intriguing, (I like anything with elements of magic) and even though it was hard to follow the multiple point of views at first, eventually after a few chapters everything starts to come together, and with a much better flow. (I suggest reading the cast of characters page first. That helped to determine who was who when it came to reading the alternating chapters.)

My biggest problem with Falling Kingdoms was that the action didn't really start until the end of the book. Meaning, I spent 20 something chapters waiting for the story to finally pick up, and when it did I was like, " Oh . . . Okay. " I just wish there was more action, and that the story wasn't so predicable. I felt like my name should have been Cleo the way I was guessing all the turn of events chapters before they even occurred! I will say that I enjoyed some of the characters though. Magnus was my favorite, and I really liked that his story had a little bit of a forbidden love thing going on, which HELLO I love! 

There were alot of characters mentioned, but I felt that maybe only 3 of them really played a huge part in the story. For example Princess Cleiona. I can't say that I wasn't digging her character because I was, however, when I stumbled across a part of the story where Insta-Love smacked me in the face, I was pretty bothered by her after that lol. It was as if everything she did after that scene, resulted in an eye-roll from me. Anywho, I feel like this book resembles my experience with Throne of Glass. Like Falling Kingdoms, TOG wasn't anything spectacular to me, but because it was intriguing enough, I'm going to continue reading the rest of the series, and I plan to do the same with FK as well. 

You know I value your opinion, so what do you guys think about The Fangirl Remix? & If you've read any of these books and want to chat about them, drop a comment below!

P.S I decided to whip up my traditional review for I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios. Stay tuned!   

Waiting On Wednesday (3)

" Waiting on Wednesday " is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. It's been quite some time since I've participated in this meme, and since I'm in a bit of a " review slump " I thought that I'd give it a go. It may even motivate me to get moving on these much needed posts I need to publish. Anywho, here's my list:

I would kill to get my hands on these

A Darker Shade of Magic | V.E Schwab
The Heart of Betrayal | Mary E. Pearson
Made You Up | Francesca Zappia

Can you guys be released . . . like now?

Paperweight | Meg Haston
Black Iris | Leah Raeder

I'm a cover whore obviously

Illusionarium | Heather Dixon
Broken Juliet | Leisa Rayven

So that's my list of upcoming releases I have to impatiently wait on. What are you guys looking forward to reading?

Stacking The Shelves (7) | Fantasy Takeover

Stacking The Shelves is an anytime meme hosted by Tynga Reviews. It allows you to showcase the books you've recently added to your book shelves, whether they're physical or digital. 

I first want to thank all my blogger friends that helped push me into reading more fantasy. Through all of your recommendations, I've found books that I absolutely love, that normally I would've never bothered to pick up, so thanks guys! Anywho, after I finished my 3rd book for the Swoonuary event something weird happened. I went to read Beautiful Disaster, and as soon as I got to the first page, it was as if the fantasy gods had sensed this and said, " Noo, your destiny is to indulge in more novels from our world. Come now child, we have been awaiting you. " So I put down Beautiful Disaster and set out on my quest to purchase more fantasy novels. But don't worry, I squeezed some other treats in this haul as well! 

Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms 

Rebel Spring

Gathering Darkness

My good blogger friend Ang from Ang Reads, recommended this series to me. I finally decided to check it out on amazon, and when I see the covers, I was pretty much sold. One of my favorite games is the Assassin's Creed series, and these intriguing covers remind me so much of the game!

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

This book wasn't on my radar until recently, and when I say recently I mean last week. Ang mentioned it on Voxer, and after I skipped over to Goodreads & read the synopsis, I knew I had to pick it up as soon as it was released!

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Thanks to my new addiction to the TV show Reign, I've been on the hunt for some books that have any type of similarity. This was also another recommendation from Ang, and after seeing what it was all about, I knew it was just what I needed.

Complusion by Martina Boone

I first discovered this book back in November of last year, and ever since then I've been debating about getting it. At that particular moment, I wasn't really feeling much fantasy or paranormal novels, but I remember being intrigued by it being set in the south, and the fact it was being classified as Gothic. Now that I seem to be loving fantasy and all the wonderful surprises this genre seems to have, I've finally decided to make the purchase.

Shutter by Courtney Alameda

I am a HUGE fan of horror, so I won't lie and say that I'm not a little wary of Shutter. Its YA, so my biggest concern is that it'll come across being similar to the Goosebumps books I used to read in elementary & middle school. You see Tika doesn't want that. Tika wants a solid story that's going to creep her the hell out. I was told that Shutter is that and more, but all I'm saying is, WE SHALL SEE.

Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers

BLAME REIGN for my sudden obsession with princesses, and princes, and assassins, and bows & arrows, and long pretty gowns, and cute boys who ride horses, and castles, and . . . you get the point. 

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

I'm actually reading this as we speak, and even though I'm only 10% into the book, I can already tell it's going to be amazing! I really love the concept of the small trailer park town in California, with our main character doing all she can to make it out. I'll be a crying hot mess after I read this book, I just know it.

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

This is my MOST anticipated read of the year! (okay besides the sequel to Zodiac) Special thanks to HMH Kids for this, I owe you guys my life lol. Anywho, I absolutely ADORE fairytale re-tellings, and as we all know, this will be a steampunk version of Cinderella! * Squeals *

A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Thanks to Bloomsbury Kids, I'll be reading this baby quite soon. It's another one of my most anticipated reads for this year, and I must say I'm pretty excited. I am a bit surprised at myself actually, for wanting to read this novel so much. I believe it's about a faerie . . . which is a mystical creature . . . Tika doesn't do mystical creatures . . . usually . . . but everyone says this book is nothing short of amazing, and you know what I say to that . . . WE SHALL SEE. 

Anddd that's the end of my haul! If you guys have read, or plan on reading any of the books listed above, let me know down below!

I Mustache You A Question Tag !

So. I'm sick. Well getting sick, but that's the same thing right? Ontop of that, I was tagged in this a while back, and just when I get some time to sit my butt down and knock it out, I forget who tagged me in the first place. I remember some of her name, I know it starts with a V, but I can't for the life of me find her anywhere! I went through all my twitter followers, and most of my tweets, and nothing. So, if you're reading this and you are the wonderful person that tagged me, special thanks to you!

Now, on to the good stuff. I was really excited to do this tag because it asks questions that are not entirely bookish. Alot of these tags I've done numerous of times, and the questions tend to be repetitive. But here we are with a tag that'll give you a little glimpse of who I am as a person. Let's begin!

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

1. Tika.  I actually introduce myself as Tika. People tend to mispronounce my first name, and this has been my nickname literally since I was born, so win-win situation for everyone!

2. Tik.  Since high school people have been calling me Tik. (think of tiki) Who makes a nickname out of a nickname?

3. Tinkabell. I attack those who call me this, like DO I LOOK LIKE A FAIRY TO YOU. I don't even like fairies, but yet I have one tattooed on my forearm. Shut up I was young okay

4. Tika-Chu. Other than Tikey-Weky, (the name my mom calls me when she wants something, and she knows I'm not going to want to do it.) Tika-Chu is probably one of the most embarrassing nicknames I have. I beat up a guy name Willie with a wooden ruler for calling me this in middle school, and even though people were excited that I kicked his ass (he was a bully) the nickname still stuck with me. * sigh *

Four jobs I've had: (not counting current jobs)

1. Outside Lawn & Garden CSA/Fork Lift Driver. This job was my all time favorite. I worked with some amazing people, and even though I got super black being outside, and messed up plenty of perms, it was so worth it! I met my bestfriend (hey evantee girl) and my boyfriend here, so it was def a great experience. Oh and come on, I was sooo bad ass driving the forklift!

2. Overnight Caretaker. My mother is an elderly home care provider, and the patient she took care of had just lost his wife. I was asked to watch after him at night, being that he was leaving the house, paying cab drivers hundreds of dollars to find his wife. I accepted, a bit apprensive because you def need patience working with the elderly, but it was cool . . . until he tried to attack me one day lol. 

3. Administrative Assistant. I loved this job! I'm all for clerical work! I remember when I was young, I said one of my dream jobs was to be someone's secretary, working in a huge building with floor to ceiling windows. My brother looked at me like I was dumb. Haterrrr !

4. Jcpenny's. I included this job because I HATED IT! The worst job EVER! They pressured you to sell those stupid store credit cards, (during the recession might I add) and they worked me like a slave! The only perks to this job was that it was in the mall, so I got to bs with my friends and eat at the food court on my lunch break. 

Four movies you've watched more than once:

1. The Baby Sitters Club

2. The Fourth Kind (Trippy ass movie yall)

3. Boys don't cry

4. Spice World (I know this movie WORD FROM WORD)

Four books I'd recommend:

1. Forbidden (DUH)

4. The Bible (Some of yall need Jesus lol) 

Four places I lived:

1. Washington, DC

2. Maryland

3. Back to Washington, D.C

4. Back to Maryland 

Four places I have been:

1. New York

2. North Carolina

3. New Jersey

4. Virginia (which doesn't really count because if you're from DC, MD, or VA you'd know how close we are lol. Hence why it's called the DMV)

Four places I wouldn't mind being right now:

1. New Orleans

2. Paris

3. Tokyo

4. Hawaii

Four things I don't eat:

Ha! I love food, so this is going to be hard to think of lol.

1. Brussel Sprouts.

2. Shrimp. I used to to love it, but we ate it soooo much to the point I can't stand the taste, or smell for that matter.

3. Coconut. This shit is trifling OMFG. 

4. Salami. Don't let me see this on a sandwich, I would SCREAM!

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Sushi. The love of my life.

2. My mama's homemade apple pie and strawberry cheesecake . . . and her fried chicken . . .  and her . . . everything really lol. 

3. Anything with cheese man. LOTS of cheese.

4. Waffle Crisp. ( I can eat this cereal all day. They actually don't sell it in my state anymore, so I get my ex from New York to order it for me lmao)

Four TV shows that I watch:

1. Reign. I just started watching this yesterday night, and OMG I LOVE IT! Francis is so fine yall!

2. How To Get Away With Murder.

3. Anything on HGTV. Especially Property Brothers & House Hunters. Oh & Divine Design in the mornings.

4. Housewives of Atlanta. What would this list be without something ratchet? lol. 

Four things I'm looking forward to this year:

1. My mom's 51st (21st lol), my son's 3rd, and my 26th birthday. June 7, July 18th, and August 17th. 

2. The Release of the sequel to Zodiac.

3. Thanksgiving. I'm greedy, so I think about this Holiday way before it even arrives lol.

4. Uhhh, I guess I'm just looking forward to just living a great life & having a good year . . . ya know?

Four things I'm always saying:



3. Girl Whet? 

4. Boy Bye. 

Take my ratchet 101 classes to learn the meanings of these phrases and how to correctly use them! Sessions start Mon-Fri anytime I'm on Voxer or Twitter. Enroll now for free before the promotion ends!

So that's it for this tag guys! I'm feeling lazy, and because of this I didn't tag anyone, (it's such a long process lol) but if you want to answer these questions, then go right ahead! Make sure you let me know so I can check out your answers!

We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler | Review

We Are Pirates | Daniel Handler
Pages: 269
Genre(s): Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Adventure
Published: Feburary 2nd 2015 | Bloomsbury USA
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Source: Publisher
Rating: Solid 3.8

A boat has gone missing. Goods have been stolen. There is blood in the water. It is the twenty-first century and a crew of pirates is terrorizing the San Francisco Bay.

Phil is a husband, a father, a struggling radio producer, and the owner of a large condo with a view of the water. But he’d like to be a rebel and a fortune hunter.

Gwen is his daughter. She’s fourteen. She’s a student, a swimmer, and a best friend. But she’d like to be an adventurer and an outlaw.

Phil teams up with his young, attractive assistant. They head for the open road, attending a conference to seal a deal.

Gwen teams up with a new, fierce friend and some restless souls. They head for the open sea, stealing a boat to hunt for treasure.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This opinion is my own, and will not be affected by this.

Warning: This review could be used as a college application essay. Please grab a snack & get comfortable. Apparently Tika had alot to say.


Guilty Pleasure

I liked this book . . . a whole lot more than I probably would like to admit. 

I'm a Goodreads whore. . .  and yes, I said the word whore. I spend alot of time on the site, finding new victims to read, stalking the reviews and ratings of fellow readers. We have, that is Goodreads and I, a pretty good relationship. So sometimes before I start a book, I find myself crawling my way over to GR to check out its rating, and to skim a few reviews. It was time for me to read We Are Pirates, so I wanted to get a little peak at what I was getting myself into. Let's just say that what I seen didn't leave me very optimistic . . . but it didn't exactly leave me discouraged either. We Are Pirates has a pretty low rating at just under 3 stars, and not too many great reviews. On the bright side, I've never been one to let the opinion of another sway me to NOT read something. I surprisingly didn't get the strong urge to chuck the book off in a corner, instead my reaction was the complete opposite . . . curious. Yep that's what it was, curiosity. I'm a little nosey, so I always want to see why the rating was so low, and why readers are going off in their literary rants. 

Well, I picked it up. I read it. & I liked this book . . . alot more than I probably would like to admit.

 " Fun " in dysfunction

This book was delightfully . . . strange. I enjoyed it, but then I didn't enjoy it. The book hardly made much sense, but then again it make perfect sense. I honestly never felt so dumb after finishing a book in my life! The ending was confusing, but then I understood it. Does that make me crazy, or is Daniel's writing just that good to where he makes you think you're crazy? That didn't make much sense either lol. 

If I had to sum up this book in a nutshell I'd probably describe it as a weird, but hilarious piece of adult fiction. We follow the lives of Phil and Gwen Needle. Father and daughter combo, these two were the epitome of an American family you'd see on television. The clueless mother, a father there but not really there, and a rebellious and extremely bratty daughter. Yep, classic American sitcom. Phil was a radio producer, a struggling radio producer at that, who had one sole mission in life: to pitch an "American " (here goes that word again) story to his very rich mentor Leonard Steed, so that he could also, (I'm assuming) become very rich. The poor guy just wanted to be successful! (I think Leonard was actually his boss, but again this book was a little confusing. Bare with me please.) His daughter on the other hand, wanted out of everything. The condo she lived in with her parents, the school she went to, the swim team she didn't really want to be on. She just wanted out ya know? If there was anything Phil and Gwen had in common is that they both had a burning desire to get more out of their lives.

One had a normal desire, the other . . . not so much. 

Gwen & the Neverland Pirates


I once as a young lad, used to imagine I was a pirate. My brother and I would go into our backyard to grab the biggest stick we could find, you know to use as swords. My newly bought tights would be outfitted with runs and big holes, which pissed my mom off to no end, but you weren't a grade A pirate without cool tights right? Anywho, my brother and I would battle to the deaths in the yard, trying to steal each other's boats, (wheelbarrows or wagons) and take each other's imaginary crew hostage. I would sometimes successfully, but mostly unsuccessfully win this game we played, but my brother was always a goddamn cheat! So I usually ran back into the house, crying with a pouty face because my crew was killed and my treasure was stolen. I was a little younger than Gwen when I had this fascination with pirates, and eventually I let those silly games go, but Gwen took an innocent childhood game to a whole new level.

Gwen Needle was an . . . interesting character. She had a wild imagination which came packaged with her alter ego named Octavia. Being fourteen, this wasn't really out of the ordinary to me, it was how she used her imagination that was scary. First of all, Gwen, well Octavia during these times, had mastered a great skill.  Okay I'm lying, there is nothing great about stealing, and she wasn't a master at it either, but you get where I was going with this. Eventually she was caught trying to steal a slew of things from a drugstore, and as punishment from her parents, was ordered to work in a nursing home, watching after a elderly man with Alzheimer's named Errol.

The book takes a turn down What the hell am I reading lane, as Gwen makes a new even weirder friend name Amber, and together they despise a plan to be pirates and to take to the open sea. (The San Francisco Bay that is) They round up Errol the elderly man, Manny the Haitian janitor at the nursing home, and kidnap the brother of her crush Cody. With her ragtag group of misfits, and her plan in action, they steal a boat, and embark on a journey or self-discovery and bloodshed.

More bloodshed than anything though.

Not my cup of tea . . . or was it?

I haven't had such conflicted feelings towards a book in a very, very long time. After I was finished I literally  sat there thinking, " What the hell am I going to rate this book? " You see, I didn't LOVE this story, nor did I HATE it. I'm sort of traipsing the line between the two, more so leaning towards a strong LIKE.

My biggest problem with this book was the third person POV. I've never enjoyed third person because it makes it difficult for me to connect with the story and characters. I feel like an outsider when I'm reading from this point of view, when I would much rather prefer to be in the head of the character I'm reading. I connect with them better this way, and it definitely helps to give us readers the feeling as if we're in the story ourselves. A first person point of view would have been ah-mazing for We Are Pirates. To be behind the eyes of Gwen as she killed to get what she wanted, or to be in the head of Phil, as he traveled cross-country with his creepy assistant Levine. Instead, us readers will feel like unfortunate next door neighbors, having to see the shit hit the fan from afar, not up close and personal like us nosey people would like  instead. 

Ever hear a confrontation going on outside, and you peak through your blinds to get a good vantage point, but you can't see anything, just hear bits & of what's happening? Yeah . . . that's what reading this book felt like.  Another problem I encountered was the alternating point of views. Now I love a story with this method, but it was confusing to keep up when there wasn't anything to distinguish when the point of view would be changing. Most books have alternating chapters, however, We Are Pirates had alternating paragraphs, pages, sentences . . . especially towards the end. Not to mention the pattern went sort of like this:

Phil . Gwen . Phil . Gwen . Phil . Gwen . Gwen . Gwen . Phil . Phil .

It was so confusing. I had to re-read a few pages, especially at the very end because the point of view changed without warning in the same paragraph! 

But, even with those two flaws, this book still managed to be pretty enjoyable. First of all, I haven't laughed while reading a book since I read Crash & Burn by Micheal Hassan. There were moments in the story where Errol, the elderly man with Alzheimer's would scream out, " Quiet, You Wench! " and guys I thought that was the funniest thing in the world. I even found myself telling my friends, " I'm handing out ass whoopings and lollipops, and I'm fresh out of lollipops. "  (I'm giggling as I type this lol) Ahh, this book had the right amount of humor. Oh and the characters were enjoyable as well! They were strange, creepy . . . just all around crazy, and I loved that! Mix all of that with some great writing, and you've got yourself an okay story. So if you're looking for a book that's out of the box, loaded with scenes that will have your eyes bulged out of your head, and will have you giggling at the dry humor sprinkled throughout the story, then We Are Pirates is definitely for you!

Just when I was getting the hang of writing shorter reviews, I get carried away & this happens lol. In better news, I have opened an Etsy shop, catering to those who need essays and thesis papers that will impress your teachers and or professors. Prices are reasonable. No refunds. I may or may not be joking.


The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon | Review

The Mime Order  | Samantha Shannon
Pages: 528
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: January 27, 2015 | Bloomsbury USA
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Source: Publisher

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This opinion is my own & will not be affected by this. 

If you guys remember, for my review of The Raven Boys, 3 other members of The Bookish Groupies and I decided to do an " interview " type of co-review to share our thoughts instead of sticking to a traditional guest post. We had such a good time doing the post & answering the questions, that I've decided to do it again! This time around, they'll be asking me a few questions, and I'll answer them, being completely honest, and open to better give my readers a glimpse of my experience with The Mime Order. But that's not the only reason why I've chosen to go this route. Just a few short weeks ago I read and reviewed The Bone Season, and if you follow my blog or any of my social media accounts, then you'd know it took me 5 WHOLE DAYS to compose my review. I don't want another repeat of that lol, especially since so much happened in TBS, just as it did in TMO, and I wanted my thoughts to be clear and concise, but also fun! Sooo, here we go again readers. Enjoy !

After finishing The Bone Season, did you have any expectations for The Mime Order?

Of course! I was actually a little nervous to read The Mime Order because in the past I've been such a terrible & unfaithful girlfriend to trilogies and series! (I have serious commitment issues) I knew that after I finished The Bone Season, I was marathoning it's sequel, and that one little question burned in the back of my head the entire time, " will it do it's debut any justice? " TBS set the bar sooo high, especially with it's writing, world-building, characters, (Arcturus mainly) and awesome fighting scenes, and I expected all these aspects to be even better the second time around in this novel. It definitely exceeded my expectations, but I also wanted more as well. That made ZERO sense omg. 

After being a couple of chapters in, what were your thoughts?

Well my first thought was " OH SHIT ! " because chapter one kicked off with a BANG! Then I want to say after that my thoughts were clouded with nothing but anxiety and anticipation. You guys know I like to keep it " one hunnid " with you guys, so I will admit that Part I and a little of Part II dragggeeeedddddd. TBS had so much information dumped into the novel, (which I loved btw) which kind of affected TMO . . . big time. Samantha had sooooo muchhh explaining to do, back stories to cover, new discovers and secrets to unveil, and all of this made the story move extremely slow at times. It didn't entirely bother me, but I definitely see many people having problems with it, especially since this book is 500+ pages long. 

What was your most & least favorite thing about this book?

Easy peasy. I'll switch it up and discuss my least favorite first, especially since I already mentioned it in the previous question. Anywho, my least fav thing about The Mime Order was that it dragged, and alot longer than it needed to. I do understand that there had to be parts of the story where previous scenes, or information and such had to be explained, but I also felt that there were scenes in the story that were a bit necessary. We followed Paige around London alot, as she spent her days as the mollisher of Jaxon Hall, Mime-Lord of cohort I-4. It was cool to see exactly what she did for money, and although it was interesting, I felt that Samantha included alot of things that occurred, especially during Part I, as fillers for the rest of the story. I wasn't complaining, being that the world-building was pretty good, giving me an idea of what an "underground " of London would look like, but yeah. Most of it wasn't really needed. 

On the other hand, it'll be impossible to pick ONE favorite thing about this book. 

First of all . . .  Arcturus.

Bae took so long coming into the story! I believe his appearance doesn't arrive until Part II, which was so excruciating for me, but once he did . . . LORD! But since I have to pick one thing I loved the most, I would  have to say the fight scene towards the end of Part III. God, Samantha Shannon knows how to write some Epic battle scenes! I remember screaming, " You better WERK Paige! ". Guys it is THAT intense! 

Sorry if I'm spilling too much tea ladies, I'm just excited lol.

Since I know you love video games, are there any that have some sort of comparison to this book?

You know what yes! Kinda sorta lol. 

Okay so, I don't know if any of you are gamers, or if you enjoy playing a few from time to time, but if there was a game that had a slight comparison to The Mime Order, it would be the Assassin's Creed series. Assassin's creed is one of my all time favorite games. There are different ones, all based in a historical setting, and you of course play an assassin. What compares this game to The Mime Order would be the stealth, and the way your assassin character takes out his opponents. In TMO, Paige is not only a voyant (which are humans with supernatural abilities that are hunted & killed by her government) but ontop of that, she's the most wanted fugitive in all of London. Since she still has a job to do as a mollisher, as well as figure out how to stop the Rephaim and her government, she must go out into the city, which is very dangerous. In Assassin's Creed, since you have to be stealthy, your character is well disguised, and would use surrounding buildings to make his moves undetected.  Like AC, Paige has to do the exact same thing, basically jumping from building to building and navigating through back streets to avoid being seen.

If you could trade places with any of the characters, who would it be?

Paige of course! Like come on, I would have made such a bad ass dreamwalker! I loved all the characters, including the supporting cast, and it would have been such a great experience to mingle and interact with them. Especially Arcturus! They're dialogue and scenes together gave me such anxiety because I just wanted to them to . . . you know DO IT already! Release that tension for heavens sake, who cares what people think!  But walking the dangerous streets of London, battling spirits, and poltergeists, just being apart of this interesting world, seems like it would be so cool! So yes I hands down would choose to trade places with Paige. 

Is The Mime Order comparable to any recently released Fantasy/Sci-Fi novels?

Both The Bone Season and The Mime Order are pretty original novels, atleast in my opinion. I just read our girl Angelique's review for The Bone Season, where she states it was very similar to Shadow & Bone, which is a book that I've actually been wanting to read for quite some time now. It's definitely a difficult question to answer, especially since I just started reading Fantasy/Sci-Fi pretty heavily, but I honestly haven't came across a book, or heard of a book that could be compared to The Mime Order. It's definitely in it's own lane . . . as of now lol. 

If you guys know any books that are similar, definitely point me in that direction! Thanks in advance lol.

To wrap this up, what are your overall thoughts?

I truly enjoyed this book. There were some noticeable differences this time around, with the characters and world-building, (two of my fav characters didn't make an appearance AT ALL, and I missed the amazing scenery of Sheol I) but that definitely didn't put a damper on my experience. The writing was superb as I expected it would be, and let's not forget to mention the plot twists! Everything that was introduced to us in TBS was explained in such depth in this novel, (main reason why the story drags a bit) that after every chapter ended, I found myself gasping at a new revelation or discovery of a new secret. The world Samantha created is a confusing one for most, but I love the complexity of it all. She created a story that gives us book lovers a little of everything, fantasy, science fiction, a little dystopian elements, a sprinkle of romance . . . something that everyone can enjoy.

The characters have depth, with back stories that are relevant to the story, and our heroine Paige, remained as strong and witty as she was in the debut. Her fighting scenes had me jumping for joy, (EPIC man EPIC) and the cliffhanger that completely changed the course of this story, had my mouth hanging wide open! I most definitely will be picking up book 3.

Arcturus better not take a back seat in the next book, I missed his angry side!

Andddd CUT! So that was my take on a "inter-review ". I just noticed my answers are a bit long, but you guys know how long-winded I am! Sorry Have any of you read The Mime Order, or plan to pick it? Let me know in the comments below.