Blog Tour: Beastia by Zoe Cruz

So I’m part of the blogging tour for Beastua written by Zoe Cruz! Shout out to Andrea Thatcher who organized this Blog Tour. 

 

First off, the intell on the book:

Beastia by Zoe Cruz

Synopsis:

The meanest of the mean girls, Rebekah Austin rules her Chicago school with sharp outfits and an even sharper tongue. She has a way of making even the most beautiful and brilliant girls in her class feel like dirt. But underneath the queen-bee façade is someone who feels ugly, repulsive…beastly.

When Rebekah falls prey to a madman, the bully becomes the bullied. Scarred and tormented, she abandons her previous life and adopts a new identity, but her ghastly appearance haunts her everywhere she goes. Only with the help of determined friends can she move past her horrifying experience—and maybe even let herself be loved.

And if the madman returns to finish what he started, will she be ready, or will she give up hope?

Secondly, some info on the author, Zoe Cruz:

I love traveling, writing, reading, and binge watching my favorite shows on Netflix.

I’m a geek too. Anything from classic Tortallan and Hobbit lore to a DS9 Trekkie and a Browncoat. I love any good sci-fi and fantasy book, show or movie.

I’ve lived in Spain for almost four years, so adapting back to U.S. life for now.

Thirdly, my thoughts on the book:

The premise is a lot of fun. A twist on Beauty and the Beast, this time with a girl in the “beast”-role. I found this very interesting, definitely because there is a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way in today’s society. The book is written in a very fast paced way, it just really grabs you and pulls you along for the ride. I enjoyed this pacing in a way because of my massive reading slump and this really helped me get over that a bit by just making me want to read more and get to the ending sooner. But the speedy pacing really also left things a bit superficial. I feel like sometimes it dances around a bit (too) much to get a lot of depth to situations at times, sometimes you just seem to get some snippets from Bea’s life where there is a lot of telling instead of showing going on. It also left me feeling pretty detached from Bea herself, and I love feeling connected to the main character in a story. And I did miss that here. Especially because, like Beast in the original story, she is very defensive about a lot of things which make her seem very unlikable to people. We know it’s just a facade and her way of protecting herself, but when you add this to the high pace it leaves you at a certain distance from Bea. In a way it’s nice that everyone here seemed to have a bit of a complicated backstory, because people are complex and no one really has it easy, but at times it felt a bit much.

In the end it was a fun read and a quick one at that.

Sidenote:  this is great timing on the publisher’s part what with the new Beauty and the Beast movie coming out!

Catch-up reviews #1

Since my blogging is less than regular these days I have decided to play catch-up with my overdue reviews by doing a couple of shorter reviews at once. Maybe this will help banish the looming tower of books that need reviewing to a more acceptable stack.

Animorphs #6-14

by Katherine Applegate

I like these books but they are pretty annoying to review. All the reviews I’ve done of the previous books feel like a variation on “fun characters, enjoyable storyline”. And it’s true for every one of the books. I just don’t know what else to say (mainly because I just keep waiting too darned long before getting to the review, and that just seems to be what these books boil down to). So this is me saying the characters and the storyline are still fun in 6-14. I have grown weary with the recap every time, but that’s what you get when you binge-read a series with recaps I guess.

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)
Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)
Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3)
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4)

by Darynda Jones

So I enjoyed these books so much! I flew through them and I’m looking forward to getting back to this series. I love Charley’s spunk, the quotes at the start of every chapter make me laugh out loud more than half of the time, and the mythology is enjoyable. Is it a bit over the top? Yes, at times it really is. Did everything feel awesome during the whole thing? Not exactly. Did I find myself unable to stop reading these babies once I had started them? For sure! I think that, even though this is not an in depth review of the books, you get the gist of my feelings regarding these books…

Sea Wrack (Fredrik Broman #1)

by Håkan Östlundh

I read this book in Dutch, but it’s actually a Swedish book. I’m a big fan of Scandinavian crime fiction and this did nothing to make me feel differently about that. It was a very well done crime story that really had me reading fast by the end just to see how things would end. I have most of this series if not the complete series, and I will definitely keep reading these books as they will most likely be awesome too.

 

Review: Animorphs #2-5

So, anyone who has read my review on the first animorph book, or has been follwoing me on goodreads probably will have caught on to the fact that i’ve been reading a lot of the animorph books lately, but because they are quite slim books I think it’s easier to bunch a couple of them together per review. FYI, there will be some spoilers because these books just keep building off of each other and it would be very hard to keep talking about things without discussing some of the big storylines.

Here that goes!

 The Visitor (Animorphs, #2)

# 2:The visitor

The story in 50 words or less:

The animorphs find out that who another human-controller is, and it just so happens to be the father of a friend. Rachel takes it upon herself to investigate her friend’s situation.

The Encounter (Animorphs, #3)

# 3: The encounter

the story in 50 words or less:

Tobias has a bit of an identity-crisis after getting stuck in his hawk-morph. Meanwhile he also finds out about yeerk-supply runs the animorphs will try and sabotage.

The Message (Animorphs, #4)

#4: The message

the story in 50 words or less:

Cassie is getting some really weird dreams that turn out to be more than just dreams. Will she understand the message in time?

The Predator (Animorphs, #5)

#5: The predator

the story in 50 words or less:

The animorphs are now one member up from their original start-up and they now have knowledge about alien technology. Can they use that to help them in their fight againts the yeerks? Marco never wanted to be an animorph and is on the verge of quitting, can he find a reason to stay in the fight?

My take on the books:

 

I have to say I love these books, they are just such a quick read, things happen  at a quick pace though it doesn’t feel hugely overwhelming. That’s why I think it’s some real solid middle grade reading material. I also really enjoy how every book switches between the characters, it keeps things a bit fresher. Every character is very well-defined which is very fun. They all have such a different mindset and you can really read that too which is great. I strongly dislike different POV’s that all just feel extensions of each other, but that’s definitely not the case here. Everyone brings a different aspect to the story as a whole which really gives the whole thing another layer.

The morphing is a lot of fun, not only the description of the act, but also how the mind of the animal they are morphing into takes hold of the animorphs. I definitely love the seagul morph, it just cracks me up. And just like the POV’s feeling different everytime, the morphs also feel different which helps keep the story fresh (imagine all of the morphs being the same, how boring would that be!)

I am starting to dislike the beginning part where the story so far is recapped, though I will admit it’s done pretty well. I just read the first chapter diagonally now because of this though.

The stakes are definitely getting bigger, or maybe it’s more that they realise more and more that there is a lot more danger than they realised in this fight against the yeerks. There is also a lot of danger attached to just the morphing alone, even besides what happened to Tobias, and that’s something that is really becoming clear to these kids.

My rating:

3 stars ~ Entertaining middle grade books about an alien invasion!

Inside & Out Book Tag

So, I came across this tag on Fictional Living and it looked like a fun little tag. so without further ado, here are my answers:

1. Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?

In general I think it has enough information, though sometimes I come across a synopsis which in my opinion gives a bit too much information (like a certain plot point that I would like to have discovered on my own). But what sometimes feels as too much information upfront can just mean that there are more surprises inside, which makes it alright.

2.New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?

I love hardcover books, just because they are sturdier and stay prettier over time. But I really enjoy paperbacks also because they are generally cheaper but also a lot more easy to read (no heavy books to hold for hours on end!). Seeing as I generally take my e-reader with me to pretty much anywhere (you’ll never know when a reading-opportunity will strike) I really enjoy e-books as well, though they can’t be added to your library which is a shame. Audiobooks is something I don’t have a lot of and don’t really listen to that often, so this is, for me, the least fun format for books.

3. Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?

I have never written in books if they weren’t books for school. I’m thinking of starting to add tabs to my books though because I really love quotes and I just want to keep better track of them in my books. plus I think it would be nice to be able to go back and just browse through some curated beautiful moments/quotes in my books.


4. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

This is never a deciding factor for me. I never pick a book up based on the gender of the author (nor do I ever not pick up a book over this). I pick books based on many different things (have I enjoyed this author’s work before, does the synopsis sound good, did someone recommend it to me, does the cover look beautiful, etc.)

5.  Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there? 

I only do this accidentally when a certain paragraph or dialogue will catch my eye while reading. I will flip to a next page and my eyes just catch on something in all caps or with some indents or something. Though this has definitely happened less since getting my e-reader because I see less text at once.

6.  Organized bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves?

I try to keep my bookshelves organized now that I have new ones (and don’t have to stack my books three deep). The only problem is that when I buy new books I don’t immediately put them in their place (it’s a fair bit of work seeing as I arrange my books on author’s names) so it always gets a bit out of control after a while.

7.  Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

Not that much. Usually it goes along with a good review by someone. I have added many a book to my TBR based on just a cover, though when actually buying books I’m a bit more selective.

8. Take it outside to read, or stay in?

I like both. Inside can be so nice and cozy, I especially love it when the weather is horrible outside. But reading outside, in the garden, sitting under a tree with a nice little breeze can also be a lot of fun. The only really important thing is that there is not a lot of distracting noise.

Review: The invasion by K.A. Applegate (Animorphs # 1)

The Invasion (Animorphs, #1)

The story in 50 words or less:

Five kids are witness to a horrible incident concerning aliens and they come out with the ability to morph into animals. Also, they now carry the burden of trying to save the world from an alien invasion.

My take on the book:

 

I read a couple of the books in this series back when I was in middle school, though I missed a lot of them (because my library never had the right ones in when I needed them!). And even though I hadn’t even come close to reading half of the books in the series, I did really enjoy them. So I decided to pick them back up. And this time I would be reading them in order!

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It’s just so entertaining! Jake may not be my favorite character in the book, but he’s not unlikable either, so I didn’t mind that this book was told from his point of view. The story moves quickly and there’s just no boring moment really. Things are just constantly happening during the (short) span of this book.  The writing isn’t anything special, but it’s definitely not bad either.
This book is just the beginning of a very vast series and it just makes me excited to check out the other books. All the books are told from different point of views and I can’t wait to find out how their voice brings something extra to the story. Plus I’m really excited to find out how these books will evolve and where the story will go.

My rating:

3 stars ~ A very entertaining book with average writing.  All in all, some very enjoyable middle grade books!

Have you read this book? Have you read this series? What are your thoughts on it?