Camp So-and-So

By Mary McCoy

Source: Library

Series: n/a

Publication Date: March 1, 2017

Published by Carolrhoda Lab

My Rating: three-half-stars

Camp So-and-So

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

The letters went out in mid-February. Each letter invited its recipient to spend a week at Camp So-and-So, a lakeside retreat for girls nestled high in the Starveling Mountains. Each letter came with a glossy brochure with photographs of young women climbing rocks, performing Shakespearean theatre under the stars, and spiking volleyballs. Each letter was signed in ink by the famed and reclusive businessman and philanthropist, Inge F. Yancey IV.

By the end of the month, twenty-five applications had been completed, signed, and mailed to a post office box in an obscure Appalachian town.

Had any of these girls tried to follow the directions in the brochure and visit the camp for themselves on that day in February, they would have discovered that there was no such town and no such mountain and that no one within a fifty-mile radius had ever heard of Camp So-and-So.

I didn’t remember what this book was about when my library hold came in, but I thought that it was some sort of YA horror, so I was eager to go pick it up and start reading!

I really loved the first few chapters, where we start to see strange things happen to each of the five cabins. These chapters grabbed my attention and pulled me in, making me want to know more about what was going on and what would happen next. I was getting a Cabin in the Woods vibe, and I love that movie, so I couldn’t wait to see how it all turned out.

Unfortunately, the more I read, the less satisfied I was with the explanation behind everything going on at the camp. Also, there were some storylines that I was more interested in than others, so I was impatient at times, wanting to get back to the plots that I cared about more.

Overall, I didn’t love Camp So-and-So but it was a fun read.

Week In Review

May 15 – 21

Hello and happy long weekend! I have a lot of Nintendo playing and reading to do before going back to work on Tuesday so I’m going to keep this brief.

I received some great books this past week! Nothing beats book mail:

From Penguin Random House Canada:

The One Memory of Flora Banks, Emily Barr;

Given to the Sea, Mindy McGinnis;

Goodbye Days, Jeff Zentner; and

Into the Water, Paula Hawkins.

From Simon & Schuster Canada:

The Lying Game, Ruth Ware.

A huge thank you to PRH Canada and S&S Canada!!!

I also bought some e-books for my Kobo for ridiculously good prices (I’m talking $2.99! That’s too good to resist):

Pachinko, Min Jin Lee;

Underground Airlines, Ben H. Winters; and

Leave Me, Gayle Forman.

I haven’t been reading much because I’ve been playing so much Zelda the past couple of weeks, but I did finish reading Camp So-and-So by Mary McCoy.

Currently I’m reading Arrowood by Laura McHugh and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

That’s it for me. Back to my books and Zelda! Enjoy the long weekend!

The Love Interest

By Cale Dietrich

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Published by Feiwel and Friends

My Rating: three-half-stars

The Love Interest

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

I was super excited to read this book! That premise is so great, and I was really excited to receive an e-galley from the publisher.

I love the way The Love Interest plays with YA tropes, and it felt like it was coming from a place of affection, not in a mean-spirited way. It all felt so fun and clever. Spoiler warnings below!

And the romance between Caden and Dylan was not only fun, it kept me wondering if Dylan was being genuine with Caden, or if he was playing him. The stakes for them both were so high that I was always guessing at Dylan’s motives.

There were some good twists, but the last part of the book felt rushed, in terms of the plot, like telling Juliet the truth and trying to save Dylan by not only running from the Striker, but fighting back and going to the LIC to take out the bad guys. It felt like a lot was happening but so quickly that I wasn’t totally satisfied with the pacing and resolution.

However, for the most part, The Love Interest was a fun read that definitely has me looking forward to reading more from Cale Dietrich. Recommended!

Daughter of the Pirate King

By Tricia Levenseller

Source: Purchased

Series: Daughter of the Pirate King #1

Publication Date: February 28, 2017

Published by Feiwel and Friends

My Rating: four-stars

Daughter of the Pirate King

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

I really liked this book! I was so excited to read it when I first read the synopsis, and the blurb on the cover about a female Jack Sparrow was so enticing!

I really enjoyed the action in this book. Alosa was tough and not afraid to show how strong and tough she could be. But I also liked that, as part of her plan, she had to pretend not to be as strong or skilled physically as she really was – because she was a girl, she was seriously underestimated and she was able to use that to her advantage.

At times, as fun as the story was, the plot felt pretty repetitive, especially towards the last half of the book (sneak around, get caught, sneak around more, get caught more, and on it went).

The romance was pretty fun too, and I loved the banter between Alosa and Riden. I am really excited to see where the story goes in the sequel. Recommended!

Week In Review

May 8 – 14

Oops these posts got away from me again! I feel like I’ve been really busy since the last time I posted one of these, but I’m just going to stick to the books for now, because there are so many of them to share!

First up is the haul from the Ottawa Book Blogger Meet Up! Thank you to the organizers and the super generous publishers! I am really excited about all of these books!  I received a great mix of what sound like fantasy and sci-fi and contemporary YA (and a couple of these were given to me by my generous blogging friends):

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret, Misa Sugiura;

Royal Bastards, Andrew Shvarts;

Royce Rolls, Margaret Stohl;

Hold Back the Stars, Katie Kahn;

The Takedown, Corrie Wang;

Me and Me, Alice Kuipers;

Grit, Gillian French;

The Lines We Cross, Randa Abdel-Fattah;

The Last Magician, Lisa Maxwell;

Lucky in Love, Kasie West;

Amid Stars and Darkness, Chani Lynn Feener;

The Nowhere Girls, Amy Reed;

The Way Back Home, Allan Stratton;

No Good Deed, Goldy Moldavsky;

When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon;

The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, Heather Smith; and

The Glass Town Game, Catherynne M. Valente.

I also received some ARCs from Simon & Schuster Canada and Penguin Random House Canada this past week:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid (thank you Simon & Schuster!);

The Last Neanderthal, Claire Cameron; and

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman (thank you PRH for those two!).

Simon & Schuster also sent me a finished copy of one of my most-anticipated books:

Always and Forever, Lara Jean, by Jenny Han. I absolutely love this series and I can’t wait to read this last book!!!

I also received some e-ARCs via Edelweiss over the past few weeks:

Kat and Meg Conquer the World, Annie Priemaza;

Before She Ignites, Jodi Meadows;

They Both Die at the End, Adam Silvera;

The Memory Trees, Kali Wallace;

Shadow Girl, Liana Liu;

Ringer, Lauren Oliver;

This Darkness Mine, Mindy McGinnis;

The Hanging Girl, Eileen Cook;

Far From the Tree, Robin Benway;

The Afterlife of Holly Chase, Cynthia Hand;

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, Roxane Gay;

The Glass Spare, Lauren DeStefano;

Three Sides of a Heart, Natalie C. Parker (Ed.); and

Calling My Name, Liara Tamani.

Huge thank you to the publishers!!

I also purchased some books the past few weeks, using gift cards and redeeming loyalty points and one pre-order I forgot about until it arrived (the new Paula Hawkins):

The Jane Austen Project, Kathleen A. Flynn;

The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel;

Into the Water, Paula Hawkins;

Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue;

The Seafarer’s Kiss, Julia Ember; and

Lumberjanes, Vol. 6: Sink or Swim, Shannon Waters, Noelle Stevenson, Kat Leyh, Grace Ellis, Carey Pietsch, Maarta Laiho, and Brooke A. Allen;

Phew!

I don’t know what I’ve read since I last wrote one of these posts, but currently, I’m reading Camp So-and-So by Mary McCoy and really enjoying it so far. Definitely getting a ‘Cabin in the Woods’ vibe, which is great because I love that movie.

Back to my book and coffee! Happy Sunday!