Drop by Katie Everson

Drop by Katie Everson

Release Date: August 6, 2015
Publisher: Walker Books
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Pansing
Buy: Available at all good bookstores!
Goodreads Website

I wasn’t always like this. I know what you’re thinking: druggie, junkie, wreckhead, trashbag. But I’m not sticking needles in my arm or sleeping on the streets, or stealing to feed the habit. I’m not one of those.

Carla has just moved to London and starts at yet another new school; she is desperate to fit in. Though she makes a couple of friends, she soon meets the charismatic, good-looking Finn and their whirlwind romance begins. Carla, an A student and gifted artist, lets her schoolwork slip as she enters Finn's world – a world of partying and drugs. Friends tells her that Finn is no good – even his brother, Isaac. But Isaac has an ulterior motive, doesn't he? Is either brother right for Carla?

I didn’t really know what I was about to read when I started Drop. I think only recently the second part of the synopsis was added, but all I had to go on was a vague paragraph that talked about drug usage. So yeah, that’s pretty much all I knew: that this was a book about drugs. I could obviously infer that the main character had made some bad decisions but was somewhat in denial. And that is literally IT. I went into this one pretty blind.

And I came out loving it.

Drop is one of those books that completely took me by surprise. I found myself not wanting to put this one down, and immediately picking it back up again, despite the recent decline in the amount of books I’ve been reading.

This is probably one of the only books I’ve read where I hated the main character and I was completely fine with it. Okay, “hate” is a strong word, but I definitely didn’t like Carla’s character very much. But that’s what made her story so much more powerful. I found myself rolling my eyes at the labels she gives herself and others. I’ve moved schools just as many times as she has–which is around 8 or 9 times–but I don’t feel the same way as she does. I do understand though the desire to change who you are with every move. But of course, you always tend to land up as you’ve always been with the same kind of people. Despite how much I disliked her attitude in the beginning and middle of the story, what I thought totally redeemed this was her growth. Her flaws were completely realistic, and I thought the author is a fabulous job with portraying them. She actually learns from her mistakes and moves on.

I haven’t read too many books on drug use, but this book was very scary. Honestly, I would have backed the eff away from the situation. Of course, though, it’s a very realistic possibility. I thought Everson’s take on it was very well done, and conveyed the consequences of using such substances, as well as the problems that can arise after taking these drugs, powerfully.

I absolutely MUST praise Katie Everson on her writing. It was probably the best thing about this book, on top of all the other amazing parts of this novel–the beautiful imagery (especially concerning butterflies) and the unique writing style really made reading this book a more profound and enthralling experience. Drop was raw, compelling, and sharp. Katie Everson’s debut is beyond impressive, and there’s no doubt that I’m eagerly waiting for her next book.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ 

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 154

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
The Word for Yes by Claire Needell

After their parents’ divorce, Jan, Erika, and Melanie have to get used to the new world order: a father who’s moved to another continent and a mother who throws herself into moving on. Jan, off at her first semester of college, has plenty to worry about, including an outspoken roommate who’s kind of “out there” and an increasingly depressed and troubled long-distance boyfriend. Her younger sisters, left at home in New York City, and dealing with all the pressures of life in high school, aren’t exactly close. Erika is serious and feels awkward and uncomfortable in crowds, though her beauty tends to attract attention. Melanie is socially savvy and just wants to go out—to concerts, to parties, wherever—with her friends. The gap between all three girls widens as each day passes.

Then, at a party full of blurred lines and blurred memories, everything changes. Starting that night, where there should be words, there is only angry, scared silence.

And in the aftermath, Jan, Erika, and Melanie will have to work hard to reconnect and help one another heal.

At once touching and raw, Claire Needell’s first novel is an honest look at the love and conflicts among sisters and friends, and how these relationships can hold us together—and tear us apart.

February 16, 2016 ● Goodreads

Upon seeing the cover with the huge YES and the shadow of a NO, I immediately wanted to find out what this book was about. I love books about sisters and the relationship between them, and it also seems like it’s a book about a night gone wrong, so there’s no doubt that it’s going to be a powerful read.

What are you waiting on?

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

Before This Monstrous Thing became available on Edelweiss, I was really, REALLY looking forward to it. In high school I read Frankenstein for a paper on gothic literature, and while I really loved Mary Shelley’s classic, I haven’t read any retellings other than A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd. I thought I would have read the book closer to its publication date, but something amazing happened and I ended up reading This Monstrous Thing way back in April. Why, you ask? 


Okay here’s the whole story: For one of my university courses, Introduction to Communication Writing, I had to write a profile on someone local. I knew it was going to be an author because, hello? BOOKS. ARE. MY. LIFE. So I did a little digging around and I found out that Mackenzi actually lives in Boston. I’d heard about her book so obviously I asked her if I could write a profile on her and interview her (assignment requirement), and she was SUPER sweet and we met up and talked for TWO HOURS about her and her book. It was all kinds of awesome-sauce.

Anyway, so that’s why I had to read the book early. This Monstrous Thing was absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t put it down and ended up reading the book in one sitting. As Mackenzi mentioned during the interview, it’s more of a reimagining than a retelling and I totally agree. The events that happen prior to where the book starts is what actually influences the publication of Frankenstein in the book–so as you can see, there’s a whole topsy-turvy sort of way about this book that makes it so much more complicated than a retelling.

Alasdair was such a great character, and I’m so happy because there aren’t many male voices in YA compared to the amount of female ones. Obviously, there are many, but not enough. One of the elements of gothic stories is the tragic hero, or events or traits that flaw the hero, and it’s a pretty big part of the story. I don’t want to give too much away here, but it definitely has to do with his past and the events of that one night that changed everything. The rest of the cast was great. Mary Shelley is an actual character in this book, which was pretty strange for me, considering not many actual authors really make appearances in works of YA fiction...unless it's Here, There Be Dragons, of course. But yeah, you’ll be a bit surprised at Mary’s character though, because she isn’t exactly *the best person ever*.

One part of the story I didn’t really like though was the mystery of who writes Frankenstein. Obviously, we all know because Mary Shelley actually did write it real life (duh). But it’s quite a big shock to the other characters, which absolutely makes sense. HOWEVER...it felt a little anti-climatic because it seemed like this whole big build-up to something that the readers most likely already know. Too much time spent on a mystery that just fell a little flat. Other than this though, I definitely enjoyed the build-up to the end. I’m sad that there won’t be more books (ones that would explore more gothic books!), but I’m happy where it ends as well.

A historical steampunk reimagining of a dark classic, This Monstrous Thing was a fabulous read. Filled with beautiful descriptions of Europe’s gorgeous scenery interlaced with sharp grim and gory details, Mackenzi Lee is a wonderful writer that has put a lot of heart into her debut. I can’t wait to find out what she comes up with next–I’m sure it’ll be as imaginative and as exceptional as this one.

If you like this, try...

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani

A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani

Release Date: April 15, 2014
Illustrated by: Iacopo Bruno
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: The School for Good and Evil, Book 2
Rated: MG/YA 12+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website (Series) Website (Author)

Read my review of The School for Good and Evil HERE.

In the epic sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel, The School for Good and Evil, Sophie and Agatha are home, living out their Ever After. But life isn’t quite the fairy tale they expected. 

When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed.

Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love—and this time, it comes from within.

I’m so glad that I decided to pick up this series this summer–both have been my best reads this year so far! After finishing The School for Good and Evil, I was desperate to start reading the second one immediately. But I thought it would be best to put it off a little bit, because too much time in one world usually makes me get tired of it, and I didn’t want to get sick of this world. So finally, after agonisingly pushing it back on the TBR pile, I’ve finally read A World Without Princes. What a fantastic follow-up! While I did enjoy the first book more, because as readers we were introduced to the world and there was that huge twist at the end, but this one DEFINITELY met my expectations.

In this book, I liked Sophie a lot better than I did in the previous book. She was absolutely awful in The School for Good and Evil, and while she still is kind of selfish and thinks mainly about herself, she’s a lot better. Agatha is still my favourite character out of the two, for sure. There are quite a lot of returning characters, as well as a few new ones–who are deliciously evil–and it all makes for a wonderful twist on the conventional fairy tales. I do love how satirical it all is at times, and the humour is very well done.

The world has changed since we left The School for Good and Evil, and so when Sophie and Agatha return to the school it’s no longer a fight between Good and Evil, but instead Girls and Boys. I couldn’t help but feel that this fits so much with the whole feminist movement and the misconception that feminists don’t need men or that they hate on men. I don’t know whether or not it was the inspiration for the story, but I couldn’t help but feel that sort of message coming through in this book.

Blast this book’s conclusion! Now I desperately need The Last Ever After in my hands–I HAVE TO KNOW HOW IT ALL ENDS. A World Without Princes was even darker than the first book, and it sucked me from the first page–I’m obsessed with this remarkable series. Soman Chainani is a marvellous storyteller and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan at HarperCollins International for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ 

Illuminae Bonus Content: Ezra’s Court Martial + Tour Dates

Hey guys! I’m so excited to share some more amazing bonus content from the upcoming release Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, the first in a trilogy–THE ILLUMINAE FILES.

October 20, 2015 ● Goodreads

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Every month there’ll be new bonus content–in case you missed it, check out the previous months’ content HERE and HERE. This month, Ezra’s court martial video interview is available:

Check out THE ILLUMINAE FILES website for more information on Ezra’s character and other amazing content, as well as a sneak peek of Illuminae.

Tor.com also just announced the dates for Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae tour in November:

Monday, November 2
University Bookstore @ 7 p.m.
Seattle, WA

Tuesday, November 3
Barnes & Noble @ 7 p.m.
Lynnwood, WA

Friday, November 6
Hicklebee’s @ 7 p.m.
San Jose, CA

Saturday, November 7
Towne Center Books @ 4 p.m.
Pleasanton, CA

Sunday, November 8
Barnes & Noble @ 2 p.m.
Huntington Beach, CA

Monday, November 9
Once Upon A Time @ 7 p.m.
Montrose, CA

Tuesday, November 10
Mysterious Galaxy @ 7:30 p.m.
San Diego, CA
Note: This is a joint event with Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows)

Wednesday, November 11
Barnes & Noble @ 7 p.m.
Phoenix, AZ

Thursday, November 12
King’s English Bookshop @ 7 p.m.
Salt Lake City, UT

Friday, November 13
Barnes & Noble @ 7 p.m.
Princeton, NJ

Saturday, November 14
Books of Wonder @ 4-6 p.m.
New York, NY

Check out the post HERE for more details.

I’m sad they won’t be coming to Boston, but nonetheless I’m still VERY excited about this book’s release. Check back around the same time next month for even more content!