Top Ten Tuesday: Five Books That I Hope Live Up to the Hype & Five Books That Did

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I always read hyped up books incredibly late. I’d like to blame the fact that I didn’t read for a long time, so I am working my way through the hyped up books from 2009-2016. Can I still blame that?? Oh well. Anyway, here are my five books that I hope live up to the hype and five books that have lived up to the hype!

FIVE BOOKS THAT I HOPE LIVE UP TO THE HYPE

  1. Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  3. Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  4. Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham
  5. Everything, Everything by Nicole Yoon

FIVE BOOKS THAT LIVED UP TO THE HYPE

  1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  3. Me Before You by Jodi Moyes
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  5. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Have you read any of the books that I hope live up to the hype? Tell me what you think!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? #12

I’m not quite sure why this weekend had to end… but sadly, it’s over and we’re stuck in a mood of Monday afternoon. I spent the weekend outdoors, seeing Zac Brown Band and OneRepublic, visiting the Smithsonian National Zoo and attending Vans Warped Tour. The weather this weekend was stellar, so I soaked up as much sun as possible because I didn’t have to work at all! But now we’re back to the beginning of the week, so…

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

WHAT DID I READ LAST WEEK?

Last week I accomplished my goal of completing one book (hooray!) I finished From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein. While it wasn’t anything like I was expecting it to be, it was averagely good. I received it a couple months ago from NetGalley, so I was happy to finally push through and finish it. Review to come!

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WHAT AM I READING THIS WEEK?

I am down to my very last NetGalley book (FINALLY!!) You know, I’ve been pushing through all of the books that I got clicky-happy on so I am beyond happy to make it to this last book, Outrun the Wind, which I am very excited to read. Outrun the Wind is not my usual type of book. It is a fantasy novel with a basis in Mythology, which is very different from my regular contemporary fiction novel or memoirs that I read.

CHALLENGE UPDATES

Goodreads Challenge: 39/52 books completed (75%) –> 10 books ahead schedule

Around the Year in 52 Books: 24/52 books completed (46%) –>  5 books behind schedule

A-Z: 15/26 books completed (57.7%)

Book Review: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Release date: March 28, 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Fiction/Young Adult

Premise: You probably think that Aled Last and I are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and I am a girl.

I just wanted to say—we don’t.

Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying. When she’s not studying, she’s up in her room making fan art for her favorite podcast, Universe City.

Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As. But no one knows he’s the creator of Universe City, who goes by the name Radio Silence.

When Frances gets a message from Radio Silence asking if she’ll collaborate with him, everything changes. Frances and Aled spend an entire summer working together and becoming best friends. They get each other when no one else does.

But when Aled’s identity as Radio Silence is revealed, Frances fears that the future of Universe City—and their friendship—is at risk. Aled helped her find her voice. Without him, will she have the courage to show the world who she really is? Or will she be met with radio silence?

Thoughts + Feelings: I’ve started doing this thing where I don’t read the summary of books before I pick them up to read them. I honestly found Radio Silence at the library because I thought the cover was really pretty. Luckily, I picked a winner when I found this beautiful novel by Alice Oseman.

There is something special about how Radio Silence was written. It touches on so many issues that many young adult books (and other contemporary novels) won’t go anywhere near.

True Diversity

The first aspect that I loved about Radio Silence was how there was no cookie-cutter characters. In a once quiet world where being diverse was bad, Alice Oseman brought forward sexual identities that I had to go research because I had zero understanding of what they were. She brought in immigrants, locals, bi-racial individuals to show us that it is possible to live a life where there is diversity around you.

  • Frances is biracial (British + Ethiopian) and bisexual
  • Aled is demisexual
  • Daniel is gay and a South Korean immigrant
  • Carys is a lesbian

Platonic Friendship

The relationship between Frances and Aled was beautiful. We read so many books where the only type of relationship is romantic, and platonic friendship doesn’t exist. (At least that’s the kind of books that I’ve read). I felt at ease reading about Aled and Frances, as they discovered how similar they were through their interest in strange clothing and Universe City. 

“And I’m platonically in love with you.”
“That was literally the boy-girl version of ‘no homo’, but I appreciate the sentiment.”

They shared the type of friendship you look for in the people around you. The friend that will help you find your voice – the friend who will look after you in the bar. It’s the person who understands what you want and need in every day life.

Education

We live in a world where there is so much pressure on young people to graduate from high school and go straight into university. You need to graduate in 4 (+/- 1) years and get a full-time job. Maybe you’ll go straight to law school or medical school. In our society, it is expected that you’ll get a degree that is useful to a career. In my own little world, there was never an option to go a different route (not that I had ever considered not going to college — but you see, it was an expectation). I went to university and graduated in three and a half years with 2 degrees. I worked for six months until I started graduate school and then… I fell into a weird abyss for a while. This was my first step away from the expectations of society. And for the first half of the year, it felt awful. I felt like I was letting myself down and that was I wasn’t living up to my own expectations (aka the expectations put on me by society). But once I adjusted to working 3-4 jobs on a regular basis and corrected my thinking to realize that everyone has different paths in life, I became happy (and tired) with my life.

“I was going to be happy. Wasn’t I? I was. Uni, job, money, happiness. That’s what you do. That’s the formula. Everyone knows that. I knew that.”

Radio Silence served as a reminder that you have choices in your own every day life, and those are the choices that you have to live with. It’s okay to not be entirely sure what you want to do with your entire life, but you have to find things you love and stick with them. It’s okay to say no to people and figure out your own life.

This book made me feel good… after it beat me down. Sometimes it is hard to take a look at your own reality and leave all the other B.S. out of it. Forget about the internet, about twitter and Reddit. Remember to take a look at your own life and preferences before attacking someone else – be good to others and remember that we’re all just human.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s Monday! What are you reading? #11

It’s been a little over a month since I participated in a IMWAYR blog post — and I am so happy to be back! It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

What did I read last week?

I finally finished Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. It’s a very well-written young adult novel that is set in Kent, England. I wasn’t sure where the novel was headed because I am awful at reading the preview prior to starting a book, but I really enjoyed it! Check out my full review later this week.

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What am I reading this week?

This week I am going to focus on reading the last two books that I’ve requested from NetGalley! After finishing Outrun the Wind and From the Corner of the Oval I will be 100% caught up on my ARC novels — and then I can resume my Around the Year in 52 Books challenge.

My real goal is to finish one of the two books located above. The amount of time that I have for reading has recently decreased significantly – however (!!) this week I am only working one job all week, so I can lay outside on my hammock when I get home from work and enjoy a few good books.

Challenge Updates

Goodreads Challenge: 38/52 books completed (73%) –>  10 books ahead schedule

Around the Year in 52 Books: 23/52 books completed (44%) –>  5 books behind schedule

A-Z: 15/26 books completed (57.7%)

I hope you all have an amazing, wonderful week!

The Half-Year Wrap Up

I’ll admit that I’m a little bit behind in my blog posting and looking at the progress I’ve made in my reading goal so far this year. From January to April I did a stellar job reading and writing about the books – but then life seemed to get in the way and I didn’t feel as inclined to be reading all the time.

From reading other people’s postings, this doesn’t seem uncommon for the regular read-for-fun readers. In the past six months, I’ve travelled to Europe for two weeks, moved in with my best-friend, started a new job, worked a lot of old jobs, and read 37 (!!) books. Prior to starting writing this post, I was feeling down that the number of books I’ve been reading has decreased in recent weeks… but then I looked at my reading list from last year and I only read 40 books in twelve months! That just means that I am way ahead of schedule and I can still hit my reading goal of 52 books by September/October of this year.

The First 37 Books of 2018
The Only Life I Could Save Katherine Ketcham
Why Not Me? Mindy Kaling
Small Great Things Jodi Picoult
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay J.K. Rowling
Truly Madly Guilty Liane Moriarty
When Breathe Becomes Air Paul Kalanithi
Here On Earth Alice Hoffman
American Sniper Chris Kyle
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson
Braving the Wilderness Brene Brown
Twist of Faith Ellen J. Green
In the Country We Love: My Family Divided Diane Guerrero
The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
Little Fires Everywhere Celeste Ng
Still Me Jojo Moyes
No Place to Die Jaden Skye
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well Meik Wiking
Silent Victim Caroline Mitchell
Bossypants Tina Fey
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Mary Roach
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank
All Grown Up Jami Attenberg
The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying Nina Riggs
Wonder R.J. Palacio
School for Psychics K.C. Archer
Seriously… I’m Kidding Ellen DeGeneres
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Ransom Riggs
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row Anthony Ray Hinton
Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert
The Hate U Give Angie Thomas
Turtles All the Way Down John Green
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories Marina Keegan
The Book Thief Markus Zusak
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell Robert Dugoni
Looking for Alaska John Green
Would You Rather? A Memoir of Growing Up and Coming Out Katie Heaney
Providence Caroline Kepnes

I started blogging at the end of February as a way to keep myself accountable to my goals for reading this year, and in the future. I want to do more with my blog though, but I am unsure of how to proceed. I’ve been trying to determine which direction I want to move: do I stay as a purely book review/book list blog, or should I write commentary pieces about the book world and bookish things? These are just some of the things that I’m contemplating in the next six months as arguablyalexis continues to develop.

Thank you for checking out my thoughts & ramblings. I am thankful for all feedback and comments.

ARC Review: Providence by Caroline Kepnes

providence

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release date: June 19, 2018

Publisher: Lenny

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Premise: Growing up as best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe are the only ones who truly understand each other and their intense connection. But just when Jon is ready to confess the depth of his feelings, he’s kidnapped by his substitute teacher, a discredited scientist who is obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and has a plot to save humanity.

After four years in captivity, Jon finally escapes, only to discover that he now has an uncontrollable power that endangers anyone he has intense feelings for. He runs away to Providence to protect Chloe while he searches for answers. Across town from Jon, Detective Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus is fascinated by a series of strange deaths–young, healthy people whose hearts just . . . stop. Convinced these deaths are a series of connected, vigilante killings, he jeopardizes his job and already strained marriage to uncover the truth.

With heart, insight, and a keen eye on human frailty, Kepnes whisks us on a journey through New England and crashes these characters’ lives together in the most unexpected ways, exploring the complex relationship between the powerful and the powerless, love and identity, self-preservation and self-destruction, and how the lines are often blurred between the two.

Thoughts + Feelings: I was incredibly drawn to push through and finish this novel quickly. Kepnes made you want to know the characters and feel how they were feeling in the moment. I don’t know if I read the summary prior to requesting this on NetGalley, or if I liked the cover and saw that it was a thriller. I had no idea that Jon was going to get kidnapped and it says it flat out in the summary. While I really loved the novel, I felt like something was missing – so I gave it four stars. I was left wanting to know more about H.P. Lovecraft and Roger Blair. While I thought the plot was fascinating and fairly fast moving, I would’ve felt more in-tune with the novel if I truly understood where Blair was coming from with his experiments. I was waiting and waiting for more of an explanation… and it kind of came in the end, but I was left wanting more.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐