Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Anticipated Summer Releases - Books, TV, and Movies

If I thought spring had a lot of new releases, I had another thing coming when it was time to look into the summer releases. Summer is the season of big blockbuster movies, amazing book sequels, and prime TV. Narrowing down each category to five picks was an incredibly difficult task. With that being said, there are so many more choices that I WOULD love to include on this list. There are so many not included on here that I am still very excited for. So if I left off your most anticipated item, just know that I am probably still jumping for joy with you.

BOOKS


A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas - May 2nd
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare - May 23rd
The Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - June 27th
Lucky in Love Kasie West - July 25th
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings - August 1st

TV


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - May 19th
Orange is the New Black - June 9th
Orphan Black - June 10th
Preacher - June 25th
Game of Thrones - July 16th

MOVIES


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - May 5th
Everything, Everything - May 19th
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - May 26th
Wonder Woman - June 2nd
Spiderman: Homecoming - July 5th

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engle - Book Review

Genre: Suspense, Thriller

My Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: After her mother's suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother's mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away. Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again. As it weaves between Lane's first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart. 

My Thoughts: The Roanoke Girls surprised me in so many ways. I knew that this book was supposed to be a mystery, but there were other aspects that came out of left field. I did not read the synopsis or any reviews before I started reading. I was aware of the author and her previous works and figured I would give this book a shot. 

To say that I enjoyed The Roanoke Girls may sound crazy. This book was dark, disturbing, and uncomfortable. There are some very triggering topics (mainly sexual abuse) covered by this book, but because Amy's writing is so captivating and easy to follow, you want to keep reading to see what happens next. There are also alternating timelines, as well as perspectives from multiple characters, but it never once became confusing or boring. While some of the twists were predictable from very early in the book, the writing is ultimately what made this a 4-star book for me. As a lover of the thriller genre, I think this book will make it on my favorites list. While I can understand how this book may not be for everyone, I really enjoyed it. The Roanoke Girls is a raw look at how your childhood years can really define the person you will ultimately become. I enjoyed this book through its entirety and would recommend it to anyone who likes adult mysteries.

Additional Resources: About the Author
                                                    About the Book

FTC Disclaimer: "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - Book Review

Genre: Y/A, Contemporary

My Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

My Thoughts: The Hate U Give (THUG) is beautiful, important, topical, and well written. I honestly can't get over the fact that this is Angie Thomas' debut novel. She writes as though she has been doing this for years. Not only is this book phenomenal, Angie is an absolute trend-setter. I read a news article about a week ago that was talking about more political Y/A books coming out in the near future. The thing that makes THUG special is that it is one-of-a-kind in covering topics that other authors have not. Influenced by the Black Live Matter movement, THUG was an eye-opening experience to me (a white 20-something female). I have really been trying to diversify my reading this year, so I am thankful to Angie for releasing this book right when I needed it.

Let's talk about Starr Carter now. Starr was honest, brave, and an absolute inspiration. In her 16 years, she has already been through so much and still remains resilient and true. She witnesses the unlawful death of her best friend, and yet she never lets the media or community turn her away from doing what's right and speaking her voice. I really loved Starr and I can only hope to inspire others as she has inspired me.

With everything that is going on in society, this book could not have come at a better time. Police brutality and and discrimination, unfortunately, are issues we (as a country) are still dealing with. THUG is a book that everyone should read... young, old, black, white. I am so happy that I read it, as I think it will remain in my heart for years to come. This book recently became a #1 New York Times Bestseller and it absolutely deserves the recognition. It gives me faith that the world may be on the same side after all and that we can change things once and for all.