Saturday, February 13, 2016

Stacking the Shelves | 91

This was my last week of school before vacation, so I'm off school for a week! However, I am getting out my wisdom teeth in a few days, so that won't be too fun. :/

I spent most of this week watching anime instead of reading. It's been over a week since I've finished a book since I've been so obsessed with Death Note and Sword Art Online. Somehow, I've managed to watch all of Death Note and Sword Art Online in the past week. I'm currently working on SOA II. Do you watch anime? I'd love some anime recommendations! I tend to like darker ones. I'm planning on starting Attack on Titan next.

For Review:
Thank you to Penguin Random House, HMH, and Sourcebooks Fire!


What books did you read this week? Do you have any anime suggestions?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas | Review

20649195Title: Because You'll Never Meet Me
Author: Leah Thomas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Release Date: July 2, 2015
Source: Library
Genre: Contemporary
Edition: eBook (344 pages)

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz's weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times-as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.
A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts an minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine. 

Because You'll Never Meet Me was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015, and after finally getting the chance to read it, I understand that it was worth the wait.

The story basically follows these two characters, Ollie and Moritz. Both are suffering from stage diseases. Ollie gets seizures whenever he goes near electricity, so he lives in a cabin in the woods with his mom and never sees outside civilization. Moritz, on the other hand, has no eyes and also has a somewhat mechanical heart. However, he can pretty much sense things around him, so it's like he can see without actually seeing, which is pretty awesome. The two of them can never meet, because Ollie would have seizures upon meeting Moritz. Yet, they still worked so hard to encourage each other to be happier in their lives.
I felt so deeply for both of these characters. Ollie was so sweet and lighthearted, though he changed so much after some of the changes in his life, especially involving his mom and Liz. Meanwhile, Moritz was living with someone who adopted him, and he didn't like to talk about his mom or laboratories. I just felt so connected to the characters and everything that happened to them throughout the story. I was rooting for the both of them to have their happy endings.

Another thing worth noting is that the story is told through letters between the two, which made for a very fascinating read. The two took turns writing to each other, and the reader got to read those letters. The two also had very different and distinct voices, so I was never once questioning whose story I was actually reading in the chapters. Also, there are LGBT elements, so yay! I really love how those elements shined through, because you don't really get them until the end, but the feelings were so sweet.
The beginning of the story felt very much like a contemporary, though towards the end, I got very hardcore sci-fi vibes, so I'd say that this is a good mix of the two. I also got some Frankenstein vibes, though I don't exactly know why! All I can say is that Because You'll Never Meet Me is a book that you won't want to miss out on.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Marked by Laura Williams McCaffrey | Blog Tour & Giveaway

by Laura Williams McCaffrey
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: February 16th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Sixteen-year-old Lyla lives in a bleak, controlling society where only the brightest and most favored students succeed. When she is caught buying cheats in an underground shadow market, she is tattooed—marked—as a criminal. Then she is offered redemption and she jumps at the chance . . . but it comes at a cost. Doing what is right means betraying the boy she has come to love, and, perhaps, losing even more than she thought possible. Graphic novel–style vignettes revealing the history of this world provide Lyla with guidance and clues to a possible way out of the double bind she finds herself in.

Marked was an extremely unique read! It follows the story of Lyla, who lives in a world that almost seems to be defined by status. There are diggers and the other lower-class citizens as well as the barons and the other upper-class citizens. Lyla's parents are actually both diggers, though she and her sister, Hope, are working hard in Advanced Studies with alchemyks in order to do better in their lives. Lyla in particular wants to become an inventor because she loves machinery. 

If you do something bad in this world, than you get a mark on your wrist so other people know that you've done something bad. Lyla herself actually gets marked because she goes to the shadow market in order to possibly buy a cheat sheet for her test. She also goes to try to get some medicine for her parents because they occasionally get the cough that only diggers and miners in this world suffer from. The one difference about Lyla's marking is that she actually gets the chance to have her mark removed, though she has to go through quite a bit for that to happen.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked Lyla as a character and I also enjoyed the world a lot. I always find books with statuses pretty interesting and intriguing and I liked the idea of people being allowed to work hard in order to move up in society. However, I was really hoping that this book would offer a bit more background on how the world became the way that it did. I'm always a big fan of world-building so I would've loved to know a bit more. Did something happen to cause the world to become like this? Despite that, I did really like the uniqueness world that Laura created.

Another thing I found really interesting was the whole idea of being marked. People were judged so much for getting marked, but in reality Lyla was only trying to do well and ended up with a mark anyway. That was scary to think about! I think if you're a fan of science fiction or fantasy then you will enjoy this book and the uniqueness that it has to offer.

For this playlist, I decided to put together some songs that I feel kind of captured the essence of the book! Click here for the link to the playlist on Spotify!

Abraham's Daughter by Arcade Fire
Kill Your Heroes by AWOLNATION
Change by Churchill
Yamaha by Delta Spirit
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
Modern Jesus by Portugal. the Man
Tomorrow Will Be Kinder by The Secret Sisters
Dark Days by Punch Brothers
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Follow the Marked by Laura Williams McCaffrey Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

I read, I write, I teach. I've published short stories in Cicada, YA Review Network, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Soundings Review. Clarion Books will release Marked, my YA dystopian fantasy, in February 2016. My other fantasy novels are WATER SHAPER and ALIA WAKING (both published by Clarion Books). For more information, it's best to visit my website:


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