This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: ARC Review

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This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab, Published by Greenwillow Books, ARC given to me by a friend. Buy this Book: Indiebound // The Book Depository.

“The city of Verity has been overrun with monsters, born from the worst of human evil. In North Verity, the Corsai and the Malchai run free. Under the rule of Callum Harker, the monsters kill any human who has not paid for protection. In the South, Henry Flynn hunts the monsters who cross the border into his territory, aided by the most dangerous and darkest monsters of them all—the Sunai, dark creatures who use music to steal their victim’s souls.

As one of only three Sunai in existence, August Flynn has always wanted to play a bigger role in the war between the north and the south. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate Harker, daughter of the leader of North Verity, August jumps on it.”

This Savage Song had a world that crawled into my mind and wouldn’t leave, and a story that pulled at me when I wasn’t reading it and sucked me in when I was.

What was really great about This Savage Song was the mood of it all. It was dark and intriguing and mysterious, but it wasn’t TOO dark. Amid the death and the sadness there was also light. Jokes and shared smiles and humanity despite the darkness. Everything in the book felt so real because even though there was fear and violence there was happiness there too to pull me through the dark, and really make me connect to the characters.

thissavagesongfarmsmallAnd connect to them I did. I loved August for his odd kindness and his struggles with his monstrous abilities, and for how he cared for the world and humanity so much even though he knew how terrible it all could be. I understood Kate for wanting to bury happiness and hope so that she could be ruthless and do her best to thrive in a world for of monsters. They both made so much sense and were so detailed and HUMAN. (even though August is really anything but)

In the world of This Savage Song there are three kinds of monsters, and the fight between humans and monsters has split the city into two parts that represent very different view points on how humanity should now go about their lives. The different types of monsters were so interesting to learn about and the whole concept of them was great, and the conflict between the two cities was a great backdrop (and cause) for the plot of the story.

As for the plot itself, it seemed like it was never quite what I expected. It kept me hooked needing to know what would happen next, and I never could have predicted most of the third part of the book.

Overall, this book was amazing. I loved the urban fantasy, I loved the two main characters, (August and Kate are some of my new favorite fictional characters) and I of course loved Schwab’s writing, as I always do. The whole thing has lingered in my head long after long after finishing it because it was just superb. 

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This Savage Song will be published on June 7th, 2016.

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April 2016 Wrap-Up

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Is it strange that I have nothing to say about April? It feels like this month flew by, and that not much happened when it came to school, reading, blogging… anything. I do feel like I’ll be getting back into blogging and everything in the next month, and I also want to get back to making videos on my youtube channel. Here’s to more in May!

What I’ve Been Reading:

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Music of the Month:

This month I really got into the spirit of “I want summer time and I want it now!” and so in lieu of creating a monthly playlist I instead decided to put together this year’s summer playlist… like two months too early. But it’s alright. This is mostly just really pumped up pop but I like it a lot. Great for workouts, road trips, stretching, cleaning out my closet…

How was your month? Did anything great happen for you?

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson: ARC Review

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, Published by Simon and Schuster, ARC received from the publisher through Red Ballon’s Teen Book Club in exchange for an honest review. Buy this book: Indiebound // The Book Depository

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing: if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

The Unexpected Everything is one of the realest and most enjoyable contemporaries I’ve read in a long time.

I generally shy away from realistic fiction. When I go to pick up a book I am often in the mindset of, “if its like the real world than why bother?”Which is why contemporaries about things I’ll never experience, like spies and political dramas and epic scavenger hunts with friends, (okay the last one IS possible but also not necessarily plausible…) are my jam. In a way The Unexpected Everything fits that mold because Andie is the daughter of a senator and because a summer romance like hers is something that is not necessarily “realistic.”

But it also really doesn’t fit that mold because throughout the whole of this book I kept thinking that everything was so real and true. Andie’s relationship with her friends felt like a real close teenage friendship, and their epic text chains sounded like something I could open my phone to find. Even the entirety of the plot (and the ending) was just as messy and hopeful and wonderful (and sometimes terrible) as life really is.

Andie was also a very relatable character for me. Like me, Andie is a huge fan of having everything constantly planned out. Her day, her week, her summer, and even her entire life. She isn’t necessarily scared of change, but she’s afraid of committing to new things and changing how she normally lives her life. I loved Andie and I know she’ll be staying with me for a long time.

The romance in this book was AMAZING and adorable. For starters, it was basically my very favorite romantic trope: a smart, competent, self-confident girl, and a guy who can be a little (or a lot) awkward. Secondly, Clark was the cutest and I loved him. He and Andie worked so well together and their relationship had me in tears sometimes because it was just so perfect.

The Unexpected Everything is so far my very favorite contemporary of this new year, and one of my new favorite books ever. This was the kind of book I wanted to sit down and read for hours straight until I was done because it was just so entrancing and lovely. I honestly can’t wait until everyone reads this book, and I sincerely hope everyone experiences just a fraction of the joy I did while I was immersed in Andie’s world.

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The Unexpected Everything will be released on May 3rd, 2016.

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The “Tamara Attempts to Hold A Ridiculous Amount of Books” Haul

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I always tell myself I’m going to start buying less books, because there are ARCs and the library and books I already own but that usually lasts about two weeks, as you will see from the amount of books I have to show off in today’s haul… Then again, I haven’t posted a book haul since the end of November, and it’s the beginning of April so considering its been four months this isn’t that bad, right? (haha nope it’s terrible and I’ve run out of shelf space)

I Was Given These (So They Aren’t My Fault)

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At the end of December I participated in The Broke and the Bookish Secret Santa, and my Secret Santa sent me copies of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater. This are both uber popular books I hadn’t read yet so that was exciting!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith was sent to me by Quirk Books along with a bunch of posters and swag for their various books.

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I had the luck this year to win not one but two 2016 debut preorder giveaways. From Jamie @ Books and Ladders I won A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. I read ASIC in fall and absolutely adored it. I look forward to reading it in finished hardcover format. Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles gave me a copy of The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, a book I likewise enjoyed. This one also has glorious maps. Yes, mapS, plural. I am so in love with it.

All of the ARCs

Over the summer a new bookstore moved into the space right next to my school, and I’ve been hanging out there during my free period every day since fall. It’s an adult bookstore, but they were somehow sent a box of YA ARCs and the owner was kind enough to pass them onto me to read and review. Thanks to Subtext Books and Harper Teen!

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Behind the Canvas by Alexander Vance and Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema were sent to me by the marvelous MC @ Blame It on the Books who picked them up for me at a convention she attended. I hadn’t heard of Goldfish before, but she grabbed it specially for me because it features my sport, synchronized swimming! I’ve never seen synchro in a book before so this is super exciting. Thank you MC!

Releases, Releases, Releases

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Last we come to the new releases: All the fresh-off-the-press books that were far too tempting for me not to preorder/buy. I always think fall is the super book release heavy time, and is, but boy does winter have some great offerings as well. Sequels galore!

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All the new (beautiful hardcover) releases I bought/had preordered for me (thanks Mom) in the last few months are…

Have you read any of these books? Did you acquire any new books recently?

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11 #Bookstagram-ers You Should Be Following

It’s safe to say that I am obsessed with instagram. I have three accounts, I browse the explore tab in my free time, and I have many, many favorite accounts whose pages I frequent just to stare at all the pretty things they’ve posted in the past.

As a bookworm, many of the photos and accounts I like, post, and frequent of course fall into the category of ‘bookstagram.’ A whole community entirely devoted to photographing books in the most beautiful and eye-catching ways possible? Yes please.

In the interest of sharing this love of book instagramming with more people, and with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt of “Bookish People You Should Follow On Social Media,” I have made a list of my 11 favorite #bookstagram-ers. These are all accounts that I love and that inspire me, and hopefully you will love them too!

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#1 and #2: @twirlingpages and @blueeyedbiblio

If you’ve scrolled through bookstagram for length of time, you’ve almost definitely heard about both Alexandra and Emily. Their accounts and photos (and just general personality) are my very favorite. I don’t really want to admit how many hours I’ve spent scrolling through their feeds. or how many screenshots I have of those feeds stored on my phone They both also have pretty bomb blogs too.

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#3: @rookie.reads

This is obviously a feed after my own heart: just look at all that color! How every photo looks entirely unique! I also love how casual the pictures look, with all the props being everyday objects.

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#4: @mybookacademy

I’ve personally never been able to pull off the “cluttered photo” look, but Sally does it in every one of her photos in the most beautiful of ways. I love the use of twinkle lights and multiple books in each photo and hair accessories and snacks and everything. 

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#5: @infinitelynovel

I love how Kate always manages to keep a perfect balance of both clean and colorful in her photos, with all the bright books and props and the white background. The bear slippers and funko pop figure that often appear in her photos are also adorable.

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#6: @clockworkbibliophile

Olivia makes use of both book photos shot on location (books held up in front of a blurred background of nature are just my jam) and the classic “books posed on background of blankets/white sheets” in great ways that I really appreciate.

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#7: @bookishnessandtea

Ava has such a unique and different style when it comes to book photography! Her account contains everything from the classic #shelfie, to crazy photos of books in midair, (seriously how does anyone take those?) to books being read at the edge of a pretty blue lake.

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#8: @bookvibes

Rebecca’s photos are just so aesthetic. The use of dark colors and different sorts of lighting is stunning, and the background made out of book pages and the occasional appearance of different sorts of flowers and plant life is just gorgeous.

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#9: @seelieknight

Viktoria’s feed kind of just makes my life. Each photo is individually beautiful, and they all match somehow so put together they make something entirely breathtaking. I am amazed at the occasional picture that doesn’t contain anything overtly bookish but still fits perfectly with everything else. My goal in life is to be able to vary my photos as much and still have as put together of an account as this one is.

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#10: @em.emxx

Speaking of amazingly varied photos, Em also takes all sorts of very different bookish pictures in very different locations. Every one of the photos on this account are so colorful and beautiful. I also love and kind of wish I had Em’s outfit sense and closet.

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#11: Me! (@tamaraniac)

At the risk of sounding egotistical, I think my own bookstagram account is pretty fantastic. Check it out and follow it, maybe?

Do you enjoy #Bookstagram as much as I do? What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts? Let me know in the comments!

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