WWW Wednesday – September 2, 2020

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words.
Each week we answer the following three questions:
-What have you recently finished reading?
-What are you currently reading?
-What are you reading next?

It’s been a really long time since I’ve done a WWW Wednesday! This year has been so crazy and everything feels like it’s topsy turvy. All of my blog posts lately have been book reviews which is so weird for me! It’s been fun though because I have been reading some pretty good books including a new favorite that will be featured in today’s post.

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  • Fable by Adrienne Young – This novel was absolutely incredible. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of it and I loved every second of it. I preordered a finished copy and also preordered the sequel which is due to be published in March! Check out my review here!
  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo: Another advance copy that I ended up really loving! A super fun graphic novel of Beast Boy’s origin story. Definitely left me wanting more. Check out my review as well as a book trailer and sneak peak here!
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  • The Lost Queen by Signe Pike – The tagline for this book, not to mention the cover, had me totally hooked. “Outlander meets Camelot…” yep, I am there for it. I’m not too far into this but so far I am really liking it. I love the setting and the characters are definitely growing on me.
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  • The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike – The sequel to The Lost Queen. I have an eARC of this and it publishes on September 13th so I definitely want to dive right in after I finish The Lost Queen. Really looking forward to this one!

As far as anything else, I’m not really sure. These are both fairly dense books so I think they will pretty much take my entire focus over the next week or so. We will see though.

What have you been reading lately?

Fable by Adrienne Young

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Fable by Adrienne Young

Fable #1

Expected publication: September 1, 2020 by Wednesday Books

368 Pages

Goodreads Summary: As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

Review: I had been seeing this book making the rounds on bookstagram and one of my good friends, Tricia @ Bookworm Coalition, also read an advanced copy and highly recommended it to me (click on the link to read her review) so I was super excited to be approved to read an advanced copy of Fable. The cover is so incredibly beautiful and just grips you the more you look at it… I mean, look closely and you will see a little glimpse about what happens in this book.

Almost right off the bat, I was hooked. Fable is stuck on the island of Jeval after her father abandoned her there after her mother tragically died. It’s a dangerous place for anyone let alone a young woman but so magical at the same time. Fable makes her living as a dredger – she dives down to the reefs and extracts stones called pyre. And this is where one of my second favorite characters enters… West. Every couple of weeks, West shows up on his ship, the Marigold, to buy pyre from Fable and Fable only. You can definitely tell that something was going to spark between them eventually. Fable is so close to getting enough copper to get herself off this island and go find her father when s*** hits the fan and she is forced to flee sooner than she had planned.

From that moment on, I did not want to put this book down. So many things happened and days after finishing it, I’m still thinking about it. I was completely captivated by this world and the characters in it. Especially Fable, West, and Willa. I kind of visualized the places as a cross between the different Pirates of the Caribbean ports and the lost boys village from Hook. There is a cliffhanger ending and I am dying to find out what happens next in the sequel, Namesake.

This book had absolutely everything I could want in an adventure novel – action, thrills, heroics, camaraderie, and a bit of romance. With the current state of things in the world today, this was exactly the kind of escape I needed. I have a copy of this book AND the sequel preordered already!

5 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

52733795. sx318 sy475 The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Published May 26th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

320 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

Review: Jane Austen is one of my all-time favorite authors so I was incredibly excited to read this book. I was intrigued when the story began in the village where Jane Austen lived her life. The first few characters that were introduced were very endearing, especially Dr. Gray and Adeline. I didn’t particularly care for the parts with Mimi, the Hollywood actress. I didn’t feel connected to her at all. The story is definitely a slow burn, there were times that I got bored with the story and wondered where it was even going.

The thing that I loved about this book though was when they were all sharing their experiences with Jane Austen’s novels and their thoughts on them all. It always fascinates me to see how people read things differently and have different insights.

Overall this book was good but didn’t quite grab my attention like I had hoped it would.

3 Stars

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

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Published May 5th 2020 by Atria Books

364 Pages

Goodreads Summary: The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “nothing short of brilliant” (People) Mrs. Everything returns with an unforgettable novel about friendship and forgiveness set during a disastrous wedding on picturesque Cape Cod.

Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

A sparkling novel about the complexities of female friendship, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.

Review: Last year I read and reviewed Jennifer Weiner’s Mrs. Everything, which I thoroughly enjoyed, so I was very excited when I was invited to read and review her 2020 release. Based on the cover and summary I was expecting a feel good summer tale of a friendship reunited however that is not quite what happened.

I thought the book was off to a great start with the prologue… a flashback to the 90s to a mother and her young son starting new on Cape Cod when everyone in her life had written her off. There was even an ode to Blueberries For Sal which was one of my absolute favorite children’s books growing up. When the first chapter jumped to 2018 I assumed it would still have some connection to the prologue but that connection wasn’t made until the book was more than halfway over.  After being introduced to the main character, Daphne, I could easily empathize with her and felt myself connecting with many of the things that she felt before she had embraced her size.  I was horrified at what her so-called friend, Drue, did to her that caused her to get to that point.  A few years later when Drue tries to get Daphne to agree to be in her wedding I was floored by her audacity to even ask such a thing. Drue is the perfect definition of a mean girl. Even before the big even that pushed Daphne over the edge, it was easy to see that Drue was a horrible person to her when they were in school… wanting to hang out with her one day, ignoring her the next. As I was reading there I was silently pleading with Daphne to turn her down and not give in. Drue apologized to her and claimed that she was a changed person. Daphne accepted her request to be in the wedding. I thought at that point that we would see the two of them become friends again and that, hopefully, Drue had changed. It seemed like that was a real possibility and then WHAM… plot twist! I did not see that coming AT ALL! Based on the summary, I did not think this was going to become a murder mystery. I don’t want to say much more than that because I don’t want to spoil it.

At the beginning of the review I mentioned that the characters in the prologue weren’t actually relevant to the story until over halfway through the book. When it was revealed what the connection was, it felt kind of predictable. The ending was a little blah. When it is revealed who did it and why they did it, I had to roll my eyes a little bit.

Overall, I liked this book but didn’t quite love it. It was well written and the plot twist was well executed but I felt like there were some things that were unnecessary and made the story more dramatic than it needed to be.

3 Stars

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

TRUEL1F3 by Jay Kristoff

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Lifelike #3

Published June 30th 2020 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

480 Pages

Goodreads Summary: From the bestselling co-author of the Illuminae Files comes the thrilling finale in the LIFEL1K3 trilogy–hailed by Marie Lu as “a breathless, action-packed exploration of what humanity really means.”

Best friends have become enemies. Lovers have become strangers. And deciding whose side you’re on could be the difference between life and death. For Eve and Lemon, discovering the truth about themselves–and each other–was too much for their friendship to take. But with the country on the brink of a new world war–this time between the BioMaas swarm at CityHive and Daedalus’s army at Megopolis, loyalties will be pushed to the brink, unlikely alliances will form and with them, betrayals. But the threat doesn’t stop there, because the lifelikes are determined to access the program that will set every robot free, a task requiring both Eve and Ana, the girl she was created to replace. In the end, violent clashes and heartbreaking choices reveal the true heroes . . . and they may not be who you think they are.

Review: Please note that this is the third book in a trilogy so there will be spoilers for the first two books. If you have not started this trilogy I highly recommend you skip this review and just start reading LIFEL1K3 immediately 🙂

Immediately after I finished DEV1AT3 I knew I needed to start TRUEL1F3 because DEV1AT3 ended on such a crazy cliffhanger. And right from the start the action gets going in TRUEL1F3 picking up right where DEV1AT3 left off. I absolutely adored Lemon Fresh in this book especially. I feel like her character was developed so well over the course of this series. My heart broke for her so many times… she did not deserve the terrible things that happened to her. But I LOVED how close she got to Grimm and Diesel. Their friendship and banter was so fantastic. I also really felt for Zeke… he was being torn in so many directions but I loved that he was able to stay true to his beliefs. One character that I was really surprised to feel a kinship with was Abraham. At first I didn’t think he would have a very big role to play in this story but was I ever wrong.

This book was such a heart pounder with action galore. But what I really loved was that there were also comedic and heart felt moments scattered throughout. I laughed, I cried, I felt anger… so many emotions while reading. These characters are so special that it was hard to say goodbye to them at the end of this book. Overall, I think this was an incredible ending to this series and once again Jay Kristoff proves he is worthy of being one of my favorite authors of all time.

5 Stars

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.