Book Review:

In Hope of Memories
In the Hope of Memories
By Olivia Rivers
E-Book March 2016
Available Here

Hope is dying.

Hope Jackson has lived her short life to the fullest, but her four closest friends are dangling on the brink of disaster. Right before dying of a rare heart condition, Hope sets up a scavenger hunt across New York City using her graffiti art. The directions she leaves her friends are simple: Solve the clues hidden in her art, and they’ll solve the problems haunting their lives.

Hope is dead.

Two days after her heart fails, Hope’s friends are thrown together:

Aiden, her best friend, whose plans to attend college have been scattered by his OCD.
Kali, her foster sister, whose last ties to sanity are as razor-thin as her anorexic waistline.
Erik, her high school crush, whose success as an athlete is based on a lie with no end in sight.
And Sam, her online pen-pal, whose perfect life exploded into chaos in the aftermath of a school bombing.

Together, the four teens take to the streets of New York to complete Hope’s scavenger hunt and fulfill her dying wishes. But in order to unravel the clues hidden in Hope’s graffiti, her friends will need to confront their personal demons head on.

Hope is within reach.

The Good:

-OK first we have to talk about the cover. I love the colors and the multi-surface effect. The picture within the picture is awesome and honestly the cover alone had my attention so I was definitely going to read it regardless of the subject.
-I love the characters all of them (ok there was 1 that I found sort of problematic but we’ll get to that later). Aiden was sweet and always had good intentions even if he came off as robotic at times, Erik had that awesome bad boy vibe even though he was all soft and squishy inside, Kali was the tough girl who was really really broken, and Sam was the friend Hope had never met in person but they still had a strong bond. All in all there 4 unique voices that made this story truly exceptional.
-The scavenger hunt. I love books with the scavenger hunts and I don’t know why but it makes the perfect summer read for me.
-The ending was sweet and not so over the top happy that it worked for me and made sense for the characters.
-There was no romance well for the most part. There was a romance between Erik and Hope but since she was dead there wasn’t any over the top insta-love.
-The author mastered a plot and character driven plot perfectly. We got to see a ton of growth from all the characters and the plot was never bogged down.
-There were actually parents in the book!! And they were good for parents for the most part which is a nice change from the usual YA book so kudos for that.
-There was a lot of tough subject matters (eating disorders, mental health, grief, sexuality issues) and all were handled with grace and executed extremely well.

The Bad:

I said there was one character I had a hard time connecting with and that would be Hope. To me she seemed more of a symbol than a character. I didn’t find her as fleshed out as I had hoped for considering she’s the thread that brings these 4 together. She was a little too perfect and with 4 other characters who are so amazingly un-perfect she ended up falling flat for me.
-The clues are all done in Hope’s graffiti art and it would have been amazing to see some of it come to life on the pages.

The Rating:
5 Stars

This book was amazing. I laughed, I cried, I shook my head in frustration (sometimes it was all within one chapter). This book executed multiple POV’s flawlessly you were never confused with who was narrating and all of their stories played perfectly off one another. The book ended on a hopeful yet realistic note and for me that’s the mark of a great contemporary read. I’ve never read anything by this author but I definitely implore you to pick this book up ASAP you will not regret it.

(I received this book for free in exchange for a review from Netgalley).

So, yes I am totally a day behind and I’m not reviewing the book I intended to review (way to already be breaking my goals hahaha). Alas, I am a mood reader and I couldn’t get this book off my mind once I received it so I had to read it and I’m so happy I did. What are you reading this week? I’m not sure what I’m in the mood for right now so I’m going to start a couple different books and see what grabs me. 

XOXO,
Mary

Summer TBR

So I am totally a mood reader thus making it hard for me to put together a reading pile for one month. So I’ve decided to do seasonal reading lists that way it gives me three months to get through the titles. Plus I’m trying to experiment more with reading multiple titles at the same time. So without further ado here is my summer reading list:

In Hope of MemoriesA Torch Against the NightWe Own the NightThe Curse of the Bruel CovenThe Square Root of SummerThe Unexpected Everything

Most of these are from Top Ten Beach Reads List so yeah I kind of need to read them during this 3 month period lol.

Replica.jpgEverlandGirl in Pieces16096824Glass SwordThe Heir

Yes you are seeing Replica on my list even though it doesn’t come out til October I was able to score an ARC (I’m still hyperventilating over that). And yes I still haven’t finished ACOTAR but not because I’m not enjoying it I’m just really taking my time. Depending on how the summer goes I might throw the sequel onto this list otherwise it will be one of the first reads for the fall.

So has anyone tried a system like this where you don’t really commit to specific books for the month? So what should I start reading next?

XOXO,
Mary

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and, if you want to, add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s posts (typically put up midnight EST on Tuesday) so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week’s theme is Beach Reads. This is a little hard for me because even though I live at the Jersey Shore I am not a fan of the beach. I really don’t like super hot days, wet sand, or having to sit in a ton of a traffic when I can go across the street and go swimming. So I’m going to just base it more on a summer reads theme.

In no particular order here are some fun, light, enjoyable books for the summer:

The SirenThe Unexpected EverythingThe Square Root of Summer.jpgFInding AudreyThe Loose Ends List.jpgWe Own the Night.jpgIn Hope of Memories.jpgThe Curse of the Bruel CovenA Torch Against the NightWe Were Liars.jpg

The Siren by Kiera Cass. This is about a group of girls who have to live by the water because well they’re sirens! You can’t get much beachier than that and it has a super sweet romance which just screams beach to me.

 The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I haven’t read this yet but it seems like the perfect summer read the cover is bright and definitely sunny.

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Hapgood. This seems like a pretty obviou choice given the word summer in the title lol (that was lame I know). Plus I love that there is quite a bit of brains involved in this book so you can be smart and sassy while still indulging in some summer romance.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. I can’t rave about this book enough it’s sweet fun and endearing and if I were to venture out to the beach I would definitely pack this one for the ride.

The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone. This is a case of love at first sight for me. The cover is so sweet and wonderful and one of my favorite GoodReads reviewers gave this a 4 star rating so you know it’s being added to the TBR pile.

We Own the Night by Ashley Poston. I just received the ARC for this and I am giddy to start it. It seems like a super fun contemporary read that I’m hoping to devour.

In Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers is another ARC I have received and been holding on to even though it was released in May. Even though the backstory is sad (our girl Hope dies and sets her friends on a bit of a scavenger hunt) I think this story about 4 teens finding themselves despite the loss of a friend will prove to be an uplifting read for the summer.

The Curse of the Bruel Coven by Sabrina Ramoth. This is another ARC that I received although this one comes directly from the author herself (Hi Sabrina!) and if you’ve followed my blog for a decent amount of time you know that I love fantasy so even though my summer reading list is pretty heavy on contemporary I can’t leave out my tried and true fantasy reads. And this is one that is sure to be a lot of fun set in Louisiana featuring a 17 year old who has discovered that not only is she adopted but she’s a witch (this is definitely perfect for everyone who is feeling a lack of witch and wizard literature post-Harry).

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. I’m pretty sure Sabaa is my spirit animal I mean there was no other book in 2015 that blew m mind as much as An Ember in the Ashes so of course summer will not be complete until I read this gem.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This was another book I fell in love with two summers ago the writing blew me away and the twist ending was amazing. All-in-all definitely a cool fun summer read that takes place on a private island, what more could you want for the summer?

So what is everyone else plan on reading this summer? I’m actually planning on doing seasonal book lists so my first is going to be a list of books to read between Jun-Aug,Sept-Nov. etc. etc. I am definitely a mood reader and I find that there are certain genres I gravitate to during certain seasons. Is anyone else like that? Make sure to leave a link to your Top 10 for me to read.

XOXO,
Mary

Exciting News!

So I am super excited to let everyone know that I have had two authors reach out to me to review their books!!! I never thought in a million years that would happen to me I am so excited. So I’m gonna have to shuffle around my TBR pile and probably put some of the stuff I’m currently reading on the back burner. Let me introduce the two new books that have just gone to the top of my reading pile.

The Reflections of Snow White.jpg

This book by David Meredith looks at what happens after Happily Ever After. Here we find Snow on the eve of her daughter, Raven’s, wedding. Sadly this event is not a happy one for Snow as she is still mourning the loss of her own Prince Charming. I am really excited to read this because I adore fairy tale retellings and twists so I can’t wait for my e-reader to charge so I can get to reading this.

The Curse of the Bruel Coven.jpg

Ok first can we just fangirl over this cover? Omg I love love love it!!! It’s amazing and intricate and just the perfect amount of color. Ok now that I got that out of my system let’s get into the plot. This book follows teen Vivienne as she discovers she’s not quite the ordinary girl she’s been brought up to believe she is. In fact she is adopted and just like her birth mother she is a witch. When her birth mother goes missing Vivienne must tap into her power to save herself and her mom. This is the first book in a new series.

So, basically my e-reader cannot charge fast enough. And I have work tonight ugh. At least I can get some reading in during my break.

Review: Finding Audrey

FInding Audrey

Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella 
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Publication Date: June 9 2015  
Source: Soft cover Arc 
Available in Hardcover Here
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.
Edit: I’ve decided to include this review in Jera’s Jamboree Talk of the Town meme. So if you’ve found your way here through that link, welcome and I hope you enjoy the blog.
     I don’t think there are enough wonderful things I can say about this book. The characters were all super fleshed out and really likable. Audrey was an awesome MC probably one of my favorites in a long time. I think it was really smart for Sophie to give us the inside look at Audrey considering this is a book that deals with mental illness. I really enjoyed reading along while Audrey worked on breaking through her anxiety. I know a lot of readers are fearful that it’s all because of Linus but I think everyone that Audrey had in her life played a helping hand in her recovery. Plus when you deal with something as tough as anxiety you have to want to recover for yourself. I found myself rooting for Audrey and her whole family. I really loved her mom she was hysterical and wanted nothing but good for her family even if she went about it in all the wrong ways. Her brother Frank was a riot and definitely way more multi-layered than I expected. I definitely give the character development 5 stars!!! 
     The writing was fun and very descriptive. I loved that we weren’t told what or how a character acted but instead we were shown. There’s a part where Audrey talks about Linus’ smile that I just love that she compares it to a slice of an orange. For me it paints such a unique picture of what his smile must look like. And there’s an amazing part where Audrey talks about her recovery I love it so much I just have to share it here:
“Life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn’t matter if you slip down. As long as you’re kind of heading more or less upwards. That’s all you can hope for. More or less upward.”
Even for someone who doesn’t have a mental illness I think this is something we all hope for. So for this part I gotta give another 5 stars!!
Theme wise this book looks at a lot of things, mental illness, family dynamics, bullying, first romance. I would like to see more books deal with mental wellness I think it’s such an important topic to look at and to help break down the stigma of mental illness. I appreciated that the delicate topic was handled so gracefully and realistically. I love the way Kinsella portrayed Audrey’s family and how they really enjoyed being with one another. I think so many teens feel it’s uncool to have fun with your family but it certainly doesn’t have to be (although I guess we can’t all have cool families like Audrey). For thematic purposes I would give Audrey 5 stars!!
There wasn’t much of a world to build since this is a pretty standard fiction read with no fantasy element. Much of the book takes places in Audrey’s house and I think Sophie does a good job laying out how the house is set up and where Audrey goes (she even has her own room apart from her bedroom that she spends time in.)
I give this book 5 stars!!I think there’s a lot you can get out of this book and I definitely think even if Audrey herself isn’t your favorite character there’s a rather large cast and your bound to favor one of them. This is Sophie’s first foray into YA and I definitely hope she does some more titles. I will certainly be reading them.
Do you know any titles that deal with mental illness in a positive portrayal? Have you read any other Sophie Kinsella titles?
Til my next review
Xoxo,
Mary

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you share two (2) “teaser” sentences from your current read to try to entice others to want to seek it out. This awesome meme from MizB is brought to us by her blog A Daily Rhythm

My two teaser sentences come from a book who’s review should be up by the end of the week, Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. This book is amazing and I’m going to encourage you to pick it up before I even post my full review. Trust me you will not regret this purchase. Without further ado:

FInding Audrey.jpg

SUMMARY:

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

TEASER: 

In the ideal scenario, I don’t have a lizard brain. Everything is easy.

I know these are probably the two shortest sentences I could have chosen but as someone who also suffers from really bad anxiety I think these two sentences go through everyone’s mind who suffers from mental illness. Stay tunes for my review at the end of the week (sorry not sorry to make you wait 😀 )

Sundays in Bed…

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This comes from our friend Midnight Book Girl

This Sunday I woke up with a book that I totally forgot to include on my last post of anticipated reads but I guess since it’s still January that it’s ok I didn’t include it. Hello Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith is the book that greeted me this morning. I actually finished it late in the night but was too tired to move onto another read. I really enjoyed it, it was a fun and easy read that warmed my heart these last couple cold nights. Look for a full review later this week.

Hello, Goodbye.jpg

So, now I ask what book did you wake up with this morning or are hoping to find time for today?

Xoxo,

Mary