Thursday, November 16, 2017

No Review Required: The Hype Monster Strikes!

OK SO THE TITLE OF THIS POST IS SLIGHTLY MISLEADING, as only one of the books discussed here was killed by the hype. But nevertheless, I hope you enjoy both of these not-required mini reviews!

Gonna be honest, I knew this wasn’t going to live up to my expectations at all, mainly because I just kept hearing about how great this book was over and over again. But again, I had the book, why not read it. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. And to be fair, I was (a bit).

“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”

For one, it wasn’t predictable whatsoever. I mean, I kept thinking to myself “oh I totally know how this is going to end”. But I, alongside the main character Scarlet, was tricked too. So, there’s that. On the flip side, okay??? I guess that can happen?? I mean I knew going in this wouldn’t be a gruesome, creepy circus book. Especially when the tone at times was off a bit (Spoiler, highlight to read: Like I knew people who were dead were NOT staying dead. I could tell that this was not going to be that kind of book).

Now the real question is, do I want to read the sequel. Yes??? I think? I mean, I usually don’t rate these mini reviews, but I would say this is a 3.5 stars from me. If the second book is as quick as a read as this one, then I’ll probably be borrowing it from the library. But I’m still debating haha.

To conclude, if you have time or have a copy, pick this up. It is an enjoyable read, I just didn’t find it as mind-blowing or good as everyone who’s said so.

THIS BOOK. Okay, so I put this review second because I know everyone is gonna be more interested in what I have to say about Caraval over this. Which I know, sad, but no one really knows The Witcher video game? WELL newsflash, it’s a great game, AND Netflix is making it into a series! And so, this is the book series that inspired the video game, and in turn the TV series.

“To be neutral does not mean to be indifferent or insensitive. You don't have to kill your feelings. It's enough to kill hatred within yourself.”

Well what can I say, it 100% exceeded my expectations. And mostly because I KNOW many of the characters, and I just loved spending more time with them. And one of the reasons why I started with this book (book 3), is because this is where the main plot kind of starts. I think the first two books focus more on the main character himself, WHICH I will get to at some point.

But anyways, yes, this was great. Though I do have to say that there wasn’t much action, and it was more of setting the scene for the rest of the books. But I’m just glad I got to read about young Ciri, because she was definitely a favorite in the game.

If you’re not a video game fan, this book might not interest you as much. BUT it is still a really good fantasy series, and so I highly suggest you give it a chance!

Have you read or heard of these? What were your thoughts on Caraval if you have read it? How do you feel about the "hype monster", and what do you do to combat it?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

An Innocent Life #21: Take Over The World With Me (With Paperclips)

Academic work may be taking over my life. Along with my cat, who right now is demanding that I pet her. She's so needy, all the time.

A post shared by Valerie (@innocentreads) on


- Playing Assassin's Creed Origins all day every day.

- Checking out campers and trailers at the vintage fair.

- Dealing with Prim constantly sitting on my lap. I literally cannot type right now.


- There's cat hair in my mouth.

- And lastly, Shannon introduced me to the weirdest, most addicting game ever. Where you make paperclips. And then...take over the world? Please give it a shot. Fair warning it has taken over my life.  

Happy Almost Thanksgiving. Kind of.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Shiny, Pretty Covers

I think the last time I did a post about covers was for a Top Ten Tuesday, maybe more than a year ago? But anyways, today I’m literally just going to go into my 2018 releases list on Goodreads, look to see what has a cover or not, and pick my favorite ones. BECAUSE I LOVE SHINY THINGS. Also note I probably won’t be linking up to any of these books because I’m a lazy bum. Sorry NOT SORRY.


Do you have a favorite 2018 or 2017 cover? Have you heard of any of these?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Disappointing Reads of 2017

I don’t know about you, but 2017 hasn’t exactly been the greatest year for reading. For me at least. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s just the fact that it’s a continuation of the dumpster fire from 2016. Or just the fact that I don’t want to waste time on mediocre books nowadays. And so that’s why I’ll be sharing 2017 releases I either read and hated or DNFed this year! (Also my favorite person*, Ely, ever shared her disappointing reads too!)

* this applies to more than one person, DO NOT COME AT ME.

I mean, I am not surprised I was let down by this book. To be fair, I did enjoy reading this, but Aristotle and Dante just blew my mind. I mean, yes, I kind of had pretty high expectations, which led to my overall disappointment, sadly.

I’m mainly sad about this book because it was just overall more simple than I thought it would be. Also I remember almost nothing from it. I know I had high hopes for this because someone (cough Shannon) convinced me it was a great read (IT’S OK SHANNON I STILL LOVE YOU).

THIS. I would say, and I’m probably not alone in this, was my biggest disappointment. Like I was really expecting amazing things. Amazing characters, well-developed world-building. And yes, the female relationship was there, but everything else … wasn’t.

I DNFed this. It was just rubbing me the wrong way. I felt uneasy uneasy about how I'm made to feel sympathetic about privileged people being targeted and oppressed by the bad guys...which are poor people.

I did like A Million Junes, but again, it just did not live up to the author’s first book.

The fact that I cannot even remember this tells me that it wasn’t memorable whatsoever. Like…what happened? At least this isn’t part of a series, haha.

I was a bit disappointed in this because I was misled by the pretty cover. LIED TO! The synopsis talked about serpents and perhaps mythical creatures? But I…didn’t get any of that. And the writing style, it’s very…British? But like, classic literature British (think Pride and Prejudice and To the Lighthouse). And I am just not a fan.

I DNFed this one too. Too much talking about hair, and…curses? Uh, something along those lines.

Or wait, maybe it was this book? I cannot tell the difference between the above book, and this one? All of them involve a group of girls, forbidden love, I don’t even know anymore, I feel like that trope is waaaay overused at this point. Also I DNFed this.

This one saddens me, because I really did want to like it. I heard such great reviews, yet I don’t know. I guess this one just didn’t work for me?

Is it just me, or have there been a lot of mediocre reads this year? More so compared to past years? Maybe my tolerance is going down...

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Review: Renegades Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour! I'll be reviewing Renegades today, which I absolutely enjoyed. And yes, I am siding with the Anarchists, especially since I just know my cover as "innocent" is blown at this point, thanks to my *friends* that keep pointing out my mischievous side. And you know what? I do love the Anarchists in this series, so maybe I do belong with them.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Renegades #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: November 7th, 2017
Source: Blog Tour
Date Read: 9/27/17 to 10/13/17
576 pages

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

After loving the Lunar Chronicles (or most of it, seeing as I have yet to finish Winter because I don’t want it to end), it’s no surprised that I also enjoyed Renegades, Meyer’s newest release.

Renegades features superheros and supervillains, but it’s clear that at the start of this novel, the superheros have everything under control. They’re the winners, while the villains hide in an abandoned subway tunnel. At first glance, it seems like a black and white situation, because obviously heroes can do no wrong, right? Well, there’s always two sides to everything. For one, the heroes aren’t doing a very good job governing the city. Second, some of the Renegades are really vicious, and they justify their violence by saying they’re heroes.

I liked getting to know our two main characters, Nova and Adrian. Nova is an Anarchist, but the Renegades know almost nothing about her. Because of this, she becomes the perfect Renegade spy for the Anarchists. Adrian was born into the Renegades, but feels like he can do more with his powers. Plus, he is determined to find his mother’s killer, and believes that Nightmare (Nova in disguise) knows more than she lets on.

Overall, I really liked Renegades. Although the plot was slightly predictable, the world-building and character development were solid. I loved reading about each character’s abilities, especially since some of them were really unique (find cool character cards here!).

I’m very curious to see how the series will continue, especially with how this first book ended. And I seriously cannot believe that I have to wait at least a year before the next book!

MARISSA MEYER is the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles series, as well as the graphic novel Wires and Nerve: Vol. 1, and The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Book. Her first stand alone novel, Heartless, was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters.

New York, NY – Feiwel & Friends will publish bestselling author Marissa Meyer’s Renegades on November 7, 2017, the first in a two book series about teen superheroes. With the blockbuster success of the Lunar Chronicles series and Heartless, Meyer has become one of the most sought after authors in young adult fiction. She will embark on a two-week national author tour at on-sale.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Review: Kids Like Us

Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Release Date: November 14th, 2017
Source: Macmillan
Date Read: 10/31/17 to 11/1/17
288 pages

Martin is an American teen on the autism spectrum living in France with his mom and sister for the summer. He falls for a French girl who he thinks is a real-life incarnation of a character in his favorite book. Over time Martin comes to realize she is a real person and not a character in a novel while at the same time learning that love is not out of his reach just because he is autistic.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

Kids Like Us was an interesting read, but ultimately not the book for me. BUT, I still think it had an amazing message overall, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for more ASD representation (I say this but I'm not exactly sure how accurate it is).

The story revolves around Martin, who is diagnosed with autism. He’s attending a local school in rural France during the summer while his mom is directing a movie. And it just so happens that his father taught him French before he left, so Martin is able to communicate with his new friends. The problem is that he doesn’t know, or doesn’t want to believe, that his new friends only hang out with him because of the connections his mom has with all these famous people.

The thing that really stood out to me was Martin’s inability to make things his own. And he is very much obsessed with the book Search by Proust. So much so that he takes what happens in the book and “applies” it to real life. For example, he meets a girl in school, and he just cannot imagine her being anyone but a character from his book, Gillberte. And so this is a bit of a problem because she’s a real person, but Martin does not attempt to know her or even her real name. The focus of Kids Like Us is Martin’s development as the summer goes by. And the message that kids with ASD are not something to be fixed.

I really liked the overall message of this book, and Martin himself. I would say that this is a rather simple book, due to the fact that there is not much of a plot throughout. And I may have skimmed through a couple pages because of that. But nevertheless, it was still a good read.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Vote For These Books On Goodreads!

HI ALL. So this might be a wake-up call that it’s already November and the year is almost over (it was to me), but you can now vote for the Best Books of 2017 on Goodreads! Though this is only the opening round. BUT I am here to try to convince you to vote for some of these books. And okay, to be fair, I haven’t exactly read all of these, BUT WHO CARES. I’m just having fun ha.


So, I voted for  A Conjuring of Light  by V. E. Schwab. Why? Well it was an amazing finale if I do say so myself. And right after I finished it I just wanted to start the whole series over. Because I didn’t want to leave the world or the characters. I could confidently say that it’s a favorite series. BUT HEY YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR THIS TOO!

If I had read White Hot by Ilona Andrews, I would have voted for it in the Romance category. I mean I know none of the other reads, so maybe I’ll just go with that?

In the science fiction category, I voted for Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuval. WHICH I DID LIKE. I don’t think I liked it as much as the first book, Sleeping Giants, but I think that’s because I forgot about half of the characters. Whoops.


I voted for We Have No Idea, mainly because it’s by the same people that draw the funny Ph.D. comics on Twitter (or whatever other platforms they have). One day I’ll own and read their book too! There’s an interesting octopus looking book that sounds cool, hopefully I’ll read it one day.

GRAPHIC NOVELS! I got stuck between Saga and Ms. Marvel, even though I haven’t read neither of the new volumes featured. But in the end, I had to go with Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples just because it really is a phenomenal comic. It really is nothing like I’ve ever read before.

There’s a bunch of poetry I want to read, but I have no doubt that Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers will win. No doubt. Still need to read it!

VOTING FOR The Hate U Give for both Best Debut Authors AND Young Adult Fiction! There were actually some REALLY good choices for YA Fiction, and let’s be honest, I haven’t read THUG yet (I know, I’m ashamed), but I think that really deserves the spot. Like Turtles All The Way Down was good, but not as great. I think When Dimple Met Rishi, Goodbye Days, and Gentleman’s Guide also would have been great choices, but I don’t know. I think THUG deserves this more.

For YA Fantasy and Sci-fi (why are these lumped together?), I voted for Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Because I absolutely loved that book, and it’s definitely one of my favorites of the year. Another great choice would be Scythe, which I also adored (Thunderhead comes out next year!).

For MG & Children’s, I haven’t read any of the books, but I know Rashika keeps raving about Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan. SO I VOTED FOR IT AND YOU SHOULD TOO.

Last, but not least. Picture books! Not that I have read any of these, but my vote went to Malala’s Magic Pencil, because Malala is awesome and doing so much to help the world right now. So yes I will vote for her book!

What books will you be voting for? Are you voting for the same ones I am?