Monday, February 13, 2017

From the Den: January Edition

From the Den is a feature to showcase the books that I don't post reviews for on the blog, whether I liked them or not. I read so many books that never make it onto The Fox's Hideaway, so I wanted a feature where I could still tell y'all about them. :)

I still didn't read a ton in January, but I think I've FINALLY gotten over that terrible reading slump though, so yayyyy! I'm also happy I enjoyed most of the books that I read. :D


The DA Readathon
Written in the Stars
This book wasn't always easy to read, nor was it always particularly engaging because the plot is very straightforward, but the story itself is, as so many have said, important. But it hurt to read about what Naila had to deal with, the suffering she endured, a time of her life that will leave a lasting mark on her. Written in the Stars was eye-opening regarding arranged marriages, what they can be like (both good and bad) and is a reminder that they still happen around the world. I was filled with so much anger for Naila, and for girls and women everywhere whose choices are taken away from them. I was angry over how people treated Naila, that everyone tried to silence her, that no one cared what SHE wanted. But the story also filled me with hope, and I rooted for Naila so hard. She was so brave, and she was determined to choose her own life, and her own future, and her own husband. While this won't be topping my favorites shelf, I'm SO glad I read it! I'll definitely be reading future Aisha Saeed books.
Rating: 3 Paw Prints!


If I Was Your Girl 

I wasn't expecting to finish this book so quickly, but it was super readable and pretty fast-paced. I really liked If I Was Your Girl! It was a story about a transgender girl who moves in with her dad and starts over in a different town, completely and finally, as who she is on the inside. So, not a whole lot to the plot, but it was still enjoyable, and it's a book that MATTERS. Amanda's experiences are important, and I loved seeing her find happiness and joy with new friends and a boyfriend and a dad who is TRYING when he only ever made her feel as if she should hide her truest self from the world. But the people in this story weren't always kind or understanding, and it was all so new for Amanda that I thought she shouldered the blame/fault for that too often, and she deserved so much better from others.  I'm glad Amanda had some wonderful people in her life though, ones who didn't judge or kick her out of their lives, and ones who gave her more strength and support to stand up for herself. Her story was lovely, and I'm glad people, but especially teens, have it!
Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!


To All the Boys I've Loved Before 

I quite enjoyed this one, A LOT! My favorite part about it was the relationship that Lara Jean had with her fam. Her dad is awesome, and the sisterly bond between her, Kitty, and Margot made my heart melt. Lara did read a lot younger to me, based on her reactions and such, but I didn't mind so much because it felt like her. She was just a girl trying to balance being the older sister now that Margot's moved out and the feelings she has for two different guys. Josh, who is definitely cute but who I don't care for because PETER K. I didn't fall in love with him for a long time, but eventually, I did. And I loved watching the relationship between him and Lara Jean develop. So that ending made me a bit mad. BUT GOOD THING THERE'S A SEQUEL.
Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!


The DNF 
*eARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing Group (Ballantine) via NetGalley*

I tried, and I got 12% into it. But I just don't have any interest in returning to the book at this point. I think it definitely has strong writing and characters, but I am SO. BORED. And I'm not a big fan of books that span multiple years. I will give it a second chance at a later time, because I think I could really enjoy it if I get further into the story. So this is kind of a we-are-on-a-break moment for us instead. :D

*****

Have you guys read any of these books yet If so, what did you think of them? Let's talk!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Those Two Books I Meant to Review in 2016 But Didn't

I'm such a witty titlist. 

ANYWAY. I read these two books way back in like, October, I think. And I had always meant to write full reviews for them, but I forgot, and then I forgot about them a lot, and I ended up just writing a mini thought section on them. So, here they finally are! :D

*****

Title: A Monster Calls 
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books/Candlewick Press
Release Date: September 27th, 2011

From Goodreads...
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

My Review!
I thought I was going to review this but I don’t think I can. This was such a personal read for me that it’s hard to talk about. I flew through the story in a couple hours, and I read the illustrated version, which made the experience even better. And I ugly sobbed so fucking hard. This is a very heartbreaking and heartfelt book. The MC, Conor, is going through a very tough ordeal, and he doesn’t know how to feel about it. He doesn’t know how to act, so he lashes out, and he ignores, and he denies what his heart is telling him. What he knows but does not want to think about. The monster, through stories and through letting Conor be ANGRY, he helps the boy see the truth and understand what it means. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say there was a lot about this story that was relatable for me, and it hurt. There was one point, with Conor and his mom, that just utterly broke me. A Monster Calls is not a book easily forgotten, and it will stay with me for a long time.

RATING:


*****

Title: Punk 57
Author: Penelope Douglas
Publisher: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: October 21st, 2016!

From Goodreads...
“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

Misha

I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

F*ck it. I need to meet her.

I just don’t expect to hate what I find.

Ryen

He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.
 


My Review!
I also thought I was going to review this book fully, too, but WELL. I guess I don’t really have much to say about it anyway, which is not to say that I didn’t love it, because I did, but that I feel like I’ve said enough in my reviews for Corrupt and Bully. I call Punk 57 the love child of the two. It is so much like both, and yet different. For me, it took the good of them, and it made the bad parts better. Alpha male who is actually not totally an asshole, even if I didn’t always like his choices. A female MC who is just as strong and sharp as the other girls. A romance that felt a lot less…. problematic. Like as much as I love Bully, it’s not a perfect or easily likable relationship. But the one between Ryen and Misha felt really well-developed. It felt more rounded, and there were definitely some steamy parts in the story. :D I was hooked, as I always am with Penelope Douglas books, and I LOVED this one. It was addictive and with characters you couldn’t help falling in love with.

 RATING:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February 2017 Releases

How did it get to be February? Didn't we just celebrate the start of 2017? Gah. I hope the days slow down, because I need to catch up. And I deeeefinitely need to catch up on February releases because omg there are SO MANY.

February 2nd
 
February 7th

February 14th

February 21st

February 28th 
  

I've already read: ...none of these. WHOOPS. I got into such a reading slump after the election, but now I feel like that is *finally* over so I'm determined to get quite a few February releases read!

For review: so many! Daughter of the Pirate King, Traveler, Wintersong, Gilded Cage, and Beautiful Broken Girls. From ALA, I picked up a few February books: The Hate U Give, The Valiant (which I've started and am already hooked on), and We Are Okay. I'm SO excited about all of these and hope to read them all this month.

My most anticipated: A Conjuring of Light, for sure! I'm both terrified and delighted to finally have the series finale in my hands. I know it's going to be a painful read, but it'll be worth it. I'm also super interested in Ronit & Jamil.


Which February releases are YOU most excited about? Am I missing any that should be on my radar? Let's talk! :)   

Friday, February 3, 2017

My Fave Moments from the Past 3 Seasons

I have a loooot of favorite moments (even more than these, but I was like it's probably too much so maybe only do the biggest/important ones), so this post is pretty long. Haha. BUT I COULDN'T HELP MYSELF. I tried to slim it down as much as I could, but gah, I just love this show so much. And with every rewatch, my love just grows. 

These moments aren't always good, not always happy or nice. But most of them are pivotal moments from the seasons, and also ones that I think about over and over again. And I tried to keep track of the episodes, but I didn't get them all. WHOOPS. 

*****

Season One
1. "We're back, bitches!" When they made it down to Earth, that was the start of *everything* so I definitely had to add it here. (episode 1)

2. "I need you." The moment when Clarke and Bellamy put aside their differences to work together to save their people. Day Trip is honestly one of my favorite episodes of ALL the seasons, it's so fucking funny when everyone gets high, and I love Bellamy and Clarke's first adventure alone together. (episode 8)

3. Atom's mercy killing, Clarke doing it so Bellamy wouldn't have to. I don't love it bc I quite liked Atom, but it's a pivotal moment in the season. A terrible ordeal, showing the strength in Clarke and the Bellamy who was unable to pull that lever. Not bc he was weak or bc Clarke is less human and empathetic, but bc the core of who he is could not do it. It was also a turning point in their relationship. (episode 3)

4. When Clarke takes off her wristband. she's always so controlled and logical that doing something like this, that choosing her emotions over reason, makes her feel more real as a character, makes her seem HUMAN (she did do it bc Monty needed a wristband to do his genius boy thing, but I still think it was more a choice to punish her mother than anything). [episode 4]

5. When people volunteer for the culling. It shows the enduring legacy of humanity, and oh my god I sob every time I watch it. (episode 5)

6. When Bellamy tortures Lincoln for Clarke. Not a pretty moment AT ALL (and omg I fucking hate this whole scene bc of how much I love Lincoln). BUT an important one for the two of them. You can see a tentative partnership forming between the two, and after Atom, Bellamy will do whatever she asks. He didn't want to do it, but he did it for her. "it's not easy being in charge, is it?" (episode 7)

7. Octavia taking care of Bellamy when he gets sick from the biological warfare. She had been SO angry at him for what he did to Lincoln that it made my heart happy to see the tender care she gave him, even while she was still angry. (episode 10)

8. When Jasper hugs Bellamy in episode 12 of season 1. IT'S JUST SO ADORABLE.

9. "You inspire them." That moment Bellamy and Clarke become co-leaders, er well, ACCEPT that they need each other to lead their people. They complement each other, and they're strong where the other is weak.  

10. "Lookin' to you, princess." HEART EYES HEART EYES HEART EYES. (episode 13) 

 
Season Two
#11111 Bellamy's and Clarke's first hug. my heart. oh, my heart. (episode 5)

2. Lincoln teaching Octavia the secret message. and oh my fucking god I just realized he did that, and made sure she pronounced it correctly and remembered it, bc he knew he'd die as a traitor but he wanted to save her of the poison first. and he wanted her to be able to get to Luna on her own bc he wouldn't be there to help her and i h a t e m y s e l f (AND FUCK SHE DID GET TO LUNA WITHOUT HIM LATER ON. FUCK). [episode 1]

3. Octavia negotiating for Lincoln's safety -- "I am Octavia kom skaikru and you have something I want!" fucking badass. (episode 2) 

4. When Anya and Clarke work together to save each other's lives (after trying to kill/kidnap each other, of course). It was the two of them putting aside their differences and trying for peace between their people. I'm still sad Anya was not around to see where what she and Clarke started went. [episode 4] 

5. When Monty is all like, "nu uh I don't trust you I will wait right here and watch over my best friend" to Dr. Singh. BITCH PLEASE. (episode 5)

6. When you realize Lexa was the Commander all along. It was such an amazing moment. this girl who they thought was timid and innocent, who took down Jaha and then stood up, and the mask fell away, and you thought HOLY SHIT how did she ever hide who she was??? (episode 6) 

7. "I can't lose you, too." That moment Bellamy realizes how much he matters to Clarke and how much she needs him at her side. 

8. "The world's been trying to turn me into a monster for as long as I can remember." LINCOLN BABY *sobs forever*

9. "You made her strong." "She was already strong." <--this whole conversation with Bellamy and Lincoln is not only a bromance moment that makes me melt, but it shows who Lincoln is, without question. Loyal, brave (willing to do whatever it takes to help them save the people in Mount Weather), feministic, and so utterly in love with a girl who sees him for who he is. [episode 10]

10. "You may be the Chancellor, but I'm in charge." Clarke has been, and always will be, their leader. and Abby finally recognizes that, and the fact that Clarke isn't a child anymore. It was needed for their relationship.

honorable mentions: Murphy and Raven bonding after he shot her (episode 1), Octavia telling Lincoln that he isn't that monster, giving him forgiveness that he won't accept because he's so goddamn good and pure. And this may sound awful, but I love it when the delinquents get justice on Dr. Singh for what she's done to them at the end of the season. "I hope you know how incredibly special you are to us." AHAHAHA BYE BITCH. 
 

Season Three
1. When Bellamy sees Clarke for the first time since she said "may we meet again." it is a poignant moment that so shows how much in love with her he is, and how much she means to him. he would literally go to the ends of the earth for her, he'd travel to the deepest depths of hell to get her back. And also when they see each other for the first time since after Mt. Weather, when they touch each other's faces because they can't quite believe they're breathing the same air again. ALL THE FUCKING FEELS. (episode 2)

2. "I'm the Commander. No one fights for me." Badass bitch-queen Lexa would never let someone else take her place. Also, Roan & Lexa's fight, and Lexa killing the Ice Queen. AHHHH I LOVED IT ALL. (episode 4)
 
3. When Becca and the Commander and her assistant watch Alie destroy the world. It's not a good or nice moment, obviously, but it's so intense... and momentous. It's all I've wanted since the show started: answers! (episode 7)

4. When Raven rejects Alie. It is such, SUCH a significant moment for Raven's character. I that they aren't letting her get magically cured; I love that she accepted everything and decided to go forward on her own. It's a beautiful thing to see.
 
5. The whole Nevermore episode (#11). It's when secrets and painful truths come to light, and everyone is forced to face their past actions and choices. Ravenalie makes them confront all the things I've wanted them to confront since episode 1 of season 1. It fucking HURT, but it was also the one of *the* best episodes on the show.


6. Jasper telling Octavia it's okay to mourn Lincoln, to fall apart a little. It's reminiscent of the second episode of this season, when Octavia tries to comfort Jasper. I love that these characters try to be whatever someone needs in a moment. It's beautiful. (episode 12)

7. When Bellamy and Clarke talk about Octavia and about forgiveness. Bellamy's crying because he needs O to forgive him so much. And he needs Clarke. She left him, and Bellamy's alienated himself because of his support of Pike and the massacre, and he's been so alone. But Clarke is there to comfort him, and to give him what he needs: compassion. That huuuuug. *sobs* (episode 13) 

8. When Lexa shows up in the City of Light and saves Clarke. SHE IS SO FUCKING BADASS. That was a great ending to this glorious Commander's reign. I'm glad they gave her, and Clarke, this. (episode 16) 

9. "I don't know what I believe anymore. I just know I have to live with what I've done." Bellamy is finally beginning to understand why what he and Pike and the rest of Farm Station did was bad. Why it was wrong. And that he condemned a group of people because he was hurt and angry. And I think he really needed to realize that. It's an important step for Bellamy to move beyond everything that happened and try to atone for his choice. He will carry it with him, as he always does, because who he is NOT who he's had to be to survive. None of them are. (episode 16)

10. "You don't ease pain. You overcome it. And we will." I needed this. I think it's important for the show to send this message, and I'm so glad they're doing it. Also, loved seeing Clarke and co. defeat Alie! (episode 16) 

honorable mentions: when Bellamy and Clarke get that chance to talk again in episode 5; it was painful but necessary for their relationship to move forward. Sinclair's and Raven's relationship; I love that he was such a support for her after she became disabled ("The Raven Reyes I know doesn't give up." GAAAAH). 


I tried, guys. I did. But there are just too many moments that I both love and think that are significant for the characters/the show. Do you agree/love any of these moments too? Which ones would make YOUR list? DID YOU WATCH EPISODE 1 OF SEASON 4 YET? DID YOU LOVE IT? LET'S TALK.