The Bookshelf Corner

Book reviews, creative writing, and more!


Leave a comment

[BLOG TOUR] ARC Book Review: “Don’t Read the Comments” by Eric Smith

[January 21, 2020 – February 4, 2020]

Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review. Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith is on sale January 28, 2020.

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.

 

My Review:
Everyone should read Don’t Read the Comments because it highlights issues in the gaming industry, has great characters, and the story is so relevant to today. I loved this book more than I originally thought. The way Eric Smith weaves the story between Divya and Aaron’s POVs was done really well, which made the story richer in idea and (reading) experience.

First we have Divya – D1V as she’s known in the online streamers space – who unfortunately gets targeted for online harassment from an unknown (as usual) trolls. I think they target her because she’s woman commandeering a large following in a “male only space.” Based on what they were saying to her, it also seemed like the trolls used her gender as a scapegoat. Whatever the reason, the story brings up important issues faced by not only women in gaming but also toxic online bullies/harassers/trolls. Like everyone else, she is a person before she is a online personality.

Divya is a very caring and strong person. I loved the ways she tries not to become a victim and how she tries to protect her best friend, Rebekah, from reliving similar horrors. I genuinely love Divya’s character for helping her mom live her dream while they are struggling financially.

Aaron I like yet I felt so bad for him. He doesn’t feel his dreams are being supported by his mother and (kind of in a way) by Jason, the developer he’s “working” for. He doesn’t see his self-worth for much of the story until everything comes tumbling down. I didn’t want it to come to that before he realized things. Through Aaron we also get another issue in the gaming (really any) industry; in essence, copyright and protecting one’s work.

The author packs in a lot of pertinent issues (in work, gaming, home life, etc.) and sometimes that can be cause for confusion while reading. I’m impressed  by the author’s ability to talk about so much but not let the reader feel overwhelmed by it all. And all the issues connect together under the same umbrella.

I felt more connected to both characters – Divya’s noble nature and Aaron writing stories for games. They both stand up for what’s right for the greater good. I’m glad the romance element between the two MCs wasn’t at the forefront of what was going on or awkward. It was a sweet romance that slowly built beneath all the chaos.

Don’t Read the Comments is was really really good. We need this important book in these increasingly advancing technological times. The issues brought up are things many people are facing today, especially with cancel culture and double standards. Don’t Read the Comments is inquisitive and compelling – a must read for 2020.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Smith is an author, prolific book blogger, and literary agent from New Jersey, currently living in Philadelphia. Smith cohosts Book Riot’s newest podcast, HEY YA, with non-fiction YA author Kelly Jensen. He can regularly be found writing for Book Riot’s blog, as well as Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine, and Publishing Crawl. Smith also has a growing Twitter platform of over 40,000 followers (@ericsmithrocks).

Social Links:
Author website: https://www.ericsmithrocks.com/
Twitter: @ericsmithrocks 
Instagram: @ericsmithrocks
Facebook: @ericsmithwrites


READ EXCERPT HERE >>> Don’t Read the Comments – Chapter 1.docx


Leave a comment

TBR At A Glance – 1/21/20

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay | Edited in Paint

CURRENTLY READING

  • Cast In Wisdom by Michelle Sagara (ARC)

 

READING NEXT

  • Fire Dancer by Catherine Jones Payne

  • Snow White with the Red Hair (Volumes 3-5)

  • Yona of the Dawn (Volumes 1-3)

  • An Incurable Case of Love (Volume 1)

  • The Royal Tutor (Volume 12)

 

RECENT REVIEWS

 

REVIEWS COMING SOON

  • JAN 23Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith (Blog Tour/ARC)

  • JAN 27 – Heartsong by TJ Klune

  • JAN 30Cast In Wisdom by Michelle Sagara (Blog Tour/ARC)


1 Comment

Book Review: “Kamisama Kiss” (Vol. 1) by Julietta Suzuki

Review of Volume 1 only

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: Kamisama Kiss
# of Volumes: 25
Rating: 4 out of 5

 

ABOUT: Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a man she’s just saved from a dog offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwillingly taken over his job as a local deity!

Nanami has all kinds of new responsibilities she doesn’t understand, dangers she’s unaware of, and a cranky ex-familiar who’s… actually pretty hot. What’s a new-fledged godling to do?

 

My Review: This was a great start to the story. I’ve only watched the anime so this was a nice re-introduction to the story. Reading was a nostalgic experience.

Nanami is alot different than I remember. She is an eh character as of this first volume but I’m sure I’ll grow to like her character more. She’s vocal when she needs to me. She doesn’t allow Tomoe to walk all over her or scare her.

Tomoe is like any other of my favorite white-haired main character. You can tell how deeply the betrayal has affected him. He doesn’t think much of Nanami because she’s human. But I also think he’s projecting his anger onto her. I like his character the most because of his cool attitude.

I can’t wait for more characters to appear. I think they will add a lot of color and humor to the rest of the story.


Leave a comment

Favorite Books In Yellow

Feather by Olivia Wildenstein
Before Midnight: A Retelling of Cinderella by Cameron Dokey
Daja’s Book by Tamora Pierce
Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
Peanut Butter and Jelly by Ben Clanton (review link)
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
River Secrets by Shannon Hale
The Unteachable by Gordon Korman (review link)
The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce
Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce
With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent


Leave a comment

2020 TBR List

(*) = recently added titles

ARCs
Don’t Read The Comments by Eric Smith (Jan 28)
Blood & Ash by Deborah Wilde (Jan 14)
Feather by Olivia Wildenstein (Jan 16)

 

MANGA
Yona of the Dawn (Volumes 1-3) by Mizuho Kusanagi*
The Demon Prince of Momochi House (Volumes 8-12) by Aya Shouoto
Vampire Knight (Volumes 15-19) by Matsuri Hino, Translated by Tomo Kimura
Kamisama Kiss (Volumes 1-25) by Julietta Suzuki
Seraph of the End (Volumes 1-15 of 19) by Takaya Kagami, Art by Yamato Yamamoto, Storyboards by Daisuke Furuya
Snow White with the Red Hair (Volumes 3-5)
The Royal Tutor (Volume 12)
Black Butler (Volume 28)
Days by Tsuyoshi Yasuda (Volumes 1-15)*
The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt (Hey, How About Treason?) by Toru Toba (Volume 1)*
Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town by Toshio Satou (Volume 1)
86—EIGHTY-SIX by Asato Asato (Volume 1)*

 

MIDDLE GRADE
Spark by Sarah Beth Durst
After Zero by Christina Collins
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez*
OCDaniel by Wesley King*
Escape To The Mesa by StacyPlays*
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia*
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
Save Me A Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

 

YOUNG ADULT FANTASY
We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett*
Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons*
The Sword and the Dagger by Robert Cochran*
Fantasy of Frost by Kelly St. Clare*
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin*
Storm Siren by Mary Weber*
Fireborne by Rosaria Munda*
Ship of Smoke and Steel by Django Wexler*
The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano*
The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco
The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
Return of the Temujai by John Flanagan
These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater*
Angel Mage by Garth Nix*
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Angelbound by Christina Bauer
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau-Preto
Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
Starling by Lesley Livingston
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane
Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

 

Young Adult Contemporary Romance
The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
If I Stay by Gayle Forman*
Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman*

 

YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION
LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff
Thirteen Rising by Romina Russell
The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

 

ADULT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant*
Cowboy, Cross My Heart by Donna Grant*
The Bridal Suite by Donna Grant*

 

PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Hot Blooded by Donna Grant
Firestorm by Donna Grant
Blaze by Donna Grant
The Demon Lover Juliet Dark

 

FANTASY
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
Dragon Mount by Jennifer M. Eaton
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
The Starless Sea by Eric Morgenstern*

 

LGBTQ YA/Adult – Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Brothersong by TJ Klune
The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
I’m A Gay Wizard by V.S. Santoni*
Sebastian by Sam Argent*
The Doctor’s Secret by Heidi Cullinan*
The Wolf At The Door by Charlie Adhara*
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller*
Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller*

 

FICTION
Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo*

 

SCIENCE FICTION
Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff
All Systems Red by Martha Wells*

 

ROMANCE THRILLER
The Cost of Honor by Diana Muñoz Stewart*

 

NONFICTION
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? by Caitlin Doughty


Leave a comment

Post-Christmas Book Haul

If you give a bookworm money, they will spend it all on books without shame or regret. Houston, we do not have a problem.


I received Barnes & Nobel gift cards, so of course I had to use it for another book haul – 10 books totals with 1 not pictured. Never mind I wasn’t supposed to be buying more books right now.
So because I gave myself the gift of books this season I’m going to try my hardest not to buy anymore books until I read what I just bought and at least 10 books from my 2020 TBR List.

Here’s what a got (with synopsis via Goodreads):

*images via Goodreads

 

Snow White with the Red Hair (Volumes 3-5) by Sorata Akiduki
A romantic retelling of a classic fairy tale about a beautiful herbalist and a lovestruck prince.

Shirayuki is an herbalist famous for her naturally bright-red hair, and the prince of Tanbarun wants her all to himself! Unwilling to become the prince’s possession, she seeks shelter in the woods of the neighboring kingdom, where she gains an unlikely ally—the prince of that kingdom! He rescues her from her plight, and thus begins the love story between a lovestruck prince and an unusual herbalist.

 

Yona of the Dawn (Volumes 1-3) by Mizuho Kusanagi
Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father’s murder!

Yona reels from the shock of witnessing a loved one’s murder and having to fight for her life. With Hak’s help, she flees the palace and struggles to survive while evading her enemy’s forces. But where will this displaced princess go when all the paths before her are uncertain?

 

Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman
Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.

Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

Her solution: She needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal—even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties.

The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life—and he’s completely clueless.

This book features two best friends, one special-edition Yoda Snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses, and begs the question:

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

 

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (Serpent & Dove #1)
Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

 

Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller (Mask of Shadows #2)
As one of the Queen’s elite assassins, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and permission to hunt down the lords who killed their family. But Sal still has to figure out who the culprits are. They must enlist the help of some old friends and enemies while ignoring a growing distaste for the queen and that the charming Elise is being held prisoner by her father.

But there’s something terribly wrong in the north. Talk of the return of shadows, missing children, and magic abounds. As Sal takes out the people responsible for their ruined homeland, Sal learns secrets and truths that can’t be forgotten.

 

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.


CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

As Always, HAPPY READING!!!


Leave a comment

#PubDayTuesday: “A Love Hate Thing” & “Dark Alpha’s Redemption”

A LOVE HATE THING by Whitney D. Grandison

ABOUT: When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love.

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the wealthy coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything, much less how the rest of his life will play out.

Golden girl Nandy Smith has spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in when it comes to her hometown Pacific Hills where image is everything. After learning that her parents are taking in a troubled teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames.

Now with Trice living under the same roof, the wall between their bedrooms feels as thin as the line between love and hate. Beneath the angst, their growing attraction won’t be denied. Through time, Trice brings Nandy out of her shell, and Nandy attempts to melt the ice that’s taken Trice’s heart and being. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

MY REVIEWhttps://thebookshelfcorner.wordpress.com/2019/12/31/blog-tour-arc-book-review-a-love-hate-thing-by-whitney-d-grandison/

 

DARK ALPHA’S TEMPTATION by Donna Grant

ABOUTThere is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I’m coming for you…

For centuries, my loyalties lie with Death. She is my mistress and master. I am alive only to do what pleases her. And for Death, I shall battle the evil among us until the bitter end to keep her safe.

MY REVIEWhttps://thebookshelfcorner.wordpress.com/2019/12/24/arc-book-review-dark-alphas-temptation-by-donna-grant/