Sunday, January 13, 2019

"Flygirl" by R.D. Kardon {BOOK BLITZ}

R.D. Kardon
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: January 3rd 2019
Genres: Adult Fiction
It’s 1997. Women stand beside men in combat and fly fighter jets. Pilot Tris Miles is not content with her job as a First Officer for tiny Clear Sky Airlines. She wants to be a Captain—the only way she knows to prove her worth as a pilot and atone for a deadly mistake.
To further her career, Tris accepts a prestigious job with Tetrix, Inc. But her dream of becoming pilot-in-command twists into a nightmare.
As the company’s first woman pilot, she encounters resistance, marginalization and harassment on a daily basis. Fortunately Tris has one thing her co-workers can’t deny—skill.
When Tris finds herself in a crippled airplane thousands of miles from home she must prove she can lead. With her career on the line, can Tris earn the respect she’s been craving? And if this is the end, can she find the strength to forgive herself?
TRIS LOST ALL visibility as the airplane pierced a thick slab of fog. She slid her focus from the miasma outside the cockpit window to the flight instruments in front of her. They were her eyesight now. She trusted them. They told the truth.
She scanned the gauges and smiled. Tris heard their silent language; woman and machine entwined in the exceptional conversation of flight.
“Clear Sky Two-Five-One, cleared for the approach,” the Columbus, Ohio approach controller announced over a scratchy connection. Tris nodded to Captain Danny Terry, sitting two feet away in the left seat. His jaw clenched as he worked the radios on their last flight of the day.
“Gear down,” Tris commanded.
The landing gear groaned and clicked as they lowered into position. Locked on final approach, the turboprop glided toward the runway, a concrete slab somewhere below them. Its twin engines spun in sync on the airplane’s wings. Tris monitored every bump and twitch of the plane. She answered each with a tap of the controls.
Tris nudged the yoke to bank the airplane left, the plastic coated steering column cool beneath her hands. She thought of all the ways pilots measure movement: degrees of heading, feet of altitude, ticks of the clock. Always counting up, down, until the next critical moment. As Clear Sky 251 slid toward the ground, Tris counted down.
Then she saw the flash. Just for a second, an amber warning light flickered.
“Danny, check the gauges. We had a caution.”
“Five hundred,” the airplane’s synthesized altitude alert announced. Tris checked the altimeter. So close to the ground and they still had zero visibility through the late-summer glare.
“I don’t know,” Danny said as he scanned the gauges. “Wait. It’s the oil pressure on number one. The needle’s going crazy. It could be nothing, just a blip.”
Or the number one engine could be about to fail.
“Ok.” She’d need full power on both engines to climb if they couldn’t land—and she might not have it.
“Nothing in sight.” Danny squirmed forward in his seat to catch the first glimpse of runway lights. His breath grew more labored with every foot of altitude they lost. He wouldn’t see the runway until the very last second, if at all—right when Tris would decide to land the plane or thrust it back up into the soup.
“Roger.” Tris stayed focused and in control. As seconds passed, the plane slid lower, lower, in a stable descent. The only sounds were the whir of spinning dials, the click of needles, the white noise of flight. Tris eyed the altimeter, her hands soft but firm on the power levers.
Danny’s hand twitched behind hers; a backup. He strained to see the runway. Decision time loomed a few feet away.
The caution light blinked again. Tris had to keep her eyes on the navigation gauges. The closer the airplane got to the ground, the more sensitive those indicators became. If she strayed off course, even a little, she’d lose all guidance and have to climb, or else there was no telling where they’d hit the ground.
She felt Danny’s hands move closer to the controls, protecting them in case she faltered.
She didn’t. Tris saw the runway, dead ahead.
“I’ve got it,” Danny said quickly as he keyed the mike. “Columbus Tower, Clear Sky Two-Five-One, runway in sight.”
“Roger, Clear Sky Two-Five-One, Runway Two-Four, cleared to land, wind two-five-zero at three knots.”
“Landing,” Tris said. She looked outside, blinked to focus, and kept the plane moving straight along the runway centerline, edging toward the earth. The altimeter registered field elevation just as the plane’s rear wheels softly touched the ground.

Author Bio:
Robin "R.D." Kardon had a twelve-year flying career as a corporate and airline pilot. She holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and three Captain qualifications. Her travels took her all over the world in every type of airplane from small single-engine Cessnas to the Boeing 737. Robin earned her B.A. in Journalism and Sociology from NYU and J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law. A native New Yorker, Robin now lives in San Diego, California with her beloved rescue pets.
"Flygirl," a work of fiction inspired by her own aviation experience, is her first novel.


Monday, April 21, 2014

REVIEW: "After The End" by Amy Plum

After The End (After The End #1)
Author: Amy Plum
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Romance
Expected Release Date: May 6, 2014
Review Written: January 7, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there. At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past. 

First Sentences: I crouch low to the ground, pressing my back to the ancient spruce tree, and raise my crossbow in one hand. Keeping my eye on the precious shard of mirror embedded in my weapon, I inch it out from behind the tree. In the reflection, I spot something moving behind a cedar across the snowy clearing
My Thoughts:
THAT ENDING! WHAT?! Oh my goodness. This was a great book. It had the perfect ending, as well. Right after finishing, I immediately got onto Goodreads to see when the sequel was expected to be released and remembered that it was an ARC that I'd just read and wouldn't be released for 4 months, so why would they have a sequel release planned already? I'm just so ANXIOUS!
There was no war. I still can't believe we were so close to this city, yet we knew nothing. How could my father and the other elders have been so mistaken? There's no way they could know what happened, I realize. They've been isolating themselves for thirty years. (ebook 14%)
This story was well written, in my opinion (I saw some repetitiveness, but I'm sure that will all be worked out by the time the finished copy is published). I really like how Amy Plum wrote this story in two points of view, from Juneau and Miles. I personally think that this was the best way to go about writing this book, because of how the story is plotted, I don't see having only one point of view giving us all the information needed to make the story complete. I really loved how Miles's and Juneau's life events were intertwined. And, for those of you that hate obvious romance in dystopian and fantasy, this is the book for you. I'm sort of a romance buff. I will root for love every single time. And, man will I tell you I was rooting hard through this book. But, Amy Plum did something right. She found a way to successfully push the romance aside as much as possible to truly focus on the main plot. I applaud her for this.

All in all, this was a pretty great story. I loved the premise of a clan that's isolated themselves in Alaska without realizing that a war they ran away from 30 years ago had never even happened. The lies. The deceit. This is such an amazing story. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and, in my opinion, it earned every single one of those stars.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Feature & Follow (6)

Feature and Follow is a weekly post hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

"The goal is to increase followers and make new friends."

Follow the 2 hosts.
Follow the 2 features.
Hop around and follow others who are participating, leaving a comment to let them know.

Who is your blogger BFF? Tell us a little bit about him/her. If not tell us why you need or don't need a blogger BFF.

Weeelllll, I don't have a blogger BFF. I guess that's my own fault since I don't really reach out to others. But, I'd really love to have one. I'm not sure why. I just want to have someone to talk books with and send bookish gifts to, and trade with. I just think it'd be a lot of fun!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Readathon: DAYS 4&5

Uggghhhhh. Guys. I'm sorry. The end of my week has been way more productive than I thought it'd be, so I literally didn't read much the past couple days.

For Day 4, I did finish "Ask The Passengers" by A.S. King (I didn't write my review yet as not only have I been busy, but I'm still processing this story). I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. I literally cannot stop thinking about this book! I absolutely loved it, but if ever there comes a day where we are able to literally jump into a book and become part of it's story, I would choose this book on my worst day and just go on a murdering spree. All those ignorant bigots just..ASDFGHKL!! Any who, by finishing this book, I read 203 pages.

Guys, I didn't read at ALL for Day 5. I know, shame on me..

Total Pages Read: 203

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Readathon: DAY 3

Hey, everyone! How is everyone doing in the readathon as of Day 3? I'll be honest with you guys. I didn't get much reading done today. My mom doesn't understand my obsession with Harry Potter, so since she really doesn't care to read, I'm making her watch the whole Harry Potter movie series with me. A movie every day. Today was The Goblet of Fire, which she enjoyed THIS MUCH

I slept in until 3:30 today. Then had to watch my recording of the Pretty Little Liars season premiere and a ton of stuff, so I didn't really read at all.

I picked up "Ask The Passengers" by A.S. King because so many people love her books and recommend this story as a good start to her writing. I got 31% into it today, which is the equivalent of 101 pages. I'm REALLY enjoying this story so far, guys. I will definitely be finishing it tomorrow.

Total Pages Read Today: 101

How is everyone else doing? Link me to your progress updates in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Readathon: DAY 2

Hey, everyone! How is everyone's progress looking so far? Mine is actually going along very well! I only have "Ask The Passengers" by A.S. King and my re-read of "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs left of my readathon TBR!

On the first day of the readathon, after finishing "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth (read my review), I started to read my digital ARC of "After The End" by Amy Plum. Today, I finished it (at like 5 in the morning) and was pretty upset to see that there is yet to be any information out about a sequel, which isn't weird since this book doesn't even come out for another 4 months. I also wrote a review for this one, but have scheduled it to be posted on April 21 as it won't be released until May 6. The amount of pages read from this book for Day 2 is 184.

Another one of my goals was to finally finish a book that I started a while back which is "45 Pounds" by K.A. Barson. I did end up finishing it and I really enjoyed it (read my review)! My page count for this book is 145.

Total Pages Read Today: 329

I personally think I'm doing great for the start of the week. How is everyone else doing? Link me to your progress updates in the comments below!

REVIEW: "45 Pounds" by K.A. Barson

45 Pounds (More or Less)
Author: K.A. Barson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Issues
Release Date: July 11, 2013
Publisher: Viking Press
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother. 

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

First Sentences: I long for the roof to cave in at Keehn's darpartment store. For a bomb threat. Or even for a simple power outage. Anything to stop the torture of swimsuit shopping with my mother. "What about this one?" Mom holds up a tiny orange polka dot bikini. Skimpy. They are all skimpy.
My Thoughts:
This was a book I definitely needed to read. It's a book EVERYONE needs to read. K.A. Barson does an amazing job educating readers on what it's like to be an overweight teenage girl. We get to see what it's like to be this way and be taunted by weight loss infomercials and fast food ads on a daily basis. The pressure to be 'thin', 'sexy', 'popular'..WANTED. It's taking over the lives of not only women, but men now, too! This novel is a must read, and not just for teenagers. It touches on how not only the media, but our relationships with people we're closest to, can mess with our minds in the worst of ways.
Two-or is it three- drinks later, "Thriller" comes on. Shrill screams from the Knees practically burst my eardrum. Or is that me screaming? I'm not sure. I'm not sure about anything right now, except that I can't feel my nose. It's numb. I keep touching it to see if it's still there. I feel warm all over. And it's amazing how much I don't care about anything. I don't care about the wedding. Or dresses. Or diets. I don't care about Courtney. Or Naomi. Or dickhead dads. I don't care about not caring. I love it. Maybe I'll start drinking every day. Screw the calories. (ebook 63%)
The main characters were very easy to feel for right away, especially Ann. There's something very lovable about her. She's quirky, down-to-earth, and only wants to be accepted. I love how genuine she is. She tries so hard between her father pushing her away and losing her best friend. She tries to fit in, but others just shoot her down. I feel like anyone can relate to her at some point in their life.

This is a great, fast-paced book. It's family. It's friendship. It's love. It's reality. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. Loved it!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Readathon: DAY 1

Hey, everyone! Alright, sooooo Day 1 of the Bout of Books 9.0 Readathon is officially complete for those of us in Central Standard Time. I personally think I got onto a great start for the week! 

My first goal was to finish "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth in which I was reading up to midnight last night and then started tracking my pages for the readathon. I had 135 pages left at that point in which I finished AND reviewed before going to bed (click to read my review).

After waking up, I started reading my digital ARC of "After The End" by Amy Plum (which is a pretty kick ass story so far) and read that on and off through out the day until my alarm went off at midnight. I managed to read up to the 48% mark (which would be about 168 pages).

Total Pages Read: 303

Friends keep asking me to hang out with them and be what normal people call "social". Ewwww. Plus, it's -43 degrees here. You expect me to leave the comfort of my confines? I guess I can't keep blaming the weather. I'll just have to take my book with me to these events..

REVIEW: "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent #3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. 

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. 

First Sentence: I pace in our cell in Erudite headquarters, her words echoing in my mind: My name will be Edith Prior, and there is much I am happy to forget.
My Thoughts:
My emotions are just all over the place at the moment, so don't mind me. I knew that Allegiant would be a crazy, beautiful mess but it really did surprise me in some ways. Those last 50 pages really shook me up. I did not foresee any of those events going down. Veronica Roth just KNOWS how to tug on the heart strings of her audience. On another note, Allegiant did an amazing job with introducing a ton of new characters, especially with it being the conclusion of a trilogy, as well as having to go about world building all over again seeing as the setting changes for a good portion of the book. This whole series takes place in Chicago, and as I've been exposed to the city more than a fair share of my choosing, I could easily say I know it well. The way Veronica Roth is able to describe Chicago, even in it's futuristic ruined state, sort of gives me a feeling of deja vu. A reader who isn't familiar with the city could easily get to know it through the author's point of view. It's clear that imagery is one of her strong points.
There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. But sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the world of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I must have now. (Hardcover 509)
Allegiant is an amazing conclusion to the Divergent trilogy. It was well laid out, beautifully written, and definitely held your attention through it all. That's saying a lot for me. I can barely sit down through a movie, let alone read 300 pages straight in one sitting, but this book changed me. I don't mean that figuratively, either. No. This book, and this whole series, literally changed my perspective on the world. I learned about true humanity from Veronica Roth. She is not only an amazing author, but a spokeswoman to this generation. What I learned from this series is that you truly can be selfless and brave, smart and kind, and honest. We don't have to just choose one. It may just be impossible to filter out the rest. We are human. We are Divergent.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Review: "The Ocean At The End Of The Lane" by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

First Sentences: It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm. It wasn't very big. Lettie Hempstock said it was an ocean, but I knew that was silly. She said they'd come here across the ocean from the old country.
My Thoughts:
This book. Just. Wow. I usually don't give these kind of books the time of day, especially if they are filed under the 'Adult' genre. After reading the summary on Goodreads, I felt like I would be very confused by this story, yet something compelled me to purchase the ebook at that very moment. From the first few chapters, I was intrigued. The book starts out with the main character (whom is nameless) returning to his childhood home town for a funeral, only to find himself at the end of the lane at the farm of an old friend, Lettie Hempstock. Let's take a quick rewind to the part where I stated that the main character hasn't a name. I absolutely love this factor. A main character without a name? How unique! Any who, after he arrives there, he sits by the duck pond on the Hempstock farm, reminiscing about his childhood. At this point, the book goes back in time to his seventh birthday, where the story really starts. This isn't a fast paced book as your everyday 'fantasy' would be. Yet, somehow, it captures your interest and can easily be read in a single sitting.
Could there be candle flames burning under the water? There could. I knew that, when I was in the ocean, and I even know how. I understood it just as I understood the Dark Matter, the material of the universe that makes up everything that must be there but we cannot find. I found myself thinking of an ocean running beneath the whole universe, like the dark seawater that laps beneath the wooden boards of an old pier: an ocean that stretches from forever to forever and is still small enough to fit inside a bucket..(ebook 78%)
The nameless main character is very easy to become attached to. I found myself, on several occasions, feeling as if I was the boy. More than once through the story did I feel the nostalgia flowing from the experiences through the boy's eyes, his mind. Lettie Hempstock was also a character that I found myself loving, as maybe a big sister just trying to look out for me. Or with Ginnie Hempstock, a motherly figure, always cooking a comfort meal. And Old Mrs. Hempstock, the wise grandmother who's age isn't set and stone, but will always be wise beyond her years.
Neil Gaiman's writing style is one I've never seen before. He somehow manages to make you believe a child has written the story, yet has the fluidity of an English professor. It was so easy to read and make sense of, and didn't seem too rehearsed, as if he'd just grabbed a notebook and wrote it all out in one sitting while it was fresh in his mind. I loved it. The writing was absolutely beautiful.
Overall, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane was the book I needed to bring me out of my reading slump. It is the bleeding image of childhood. A reminder of what it means to be human, naive in all our glory. How a small duck pond can be as large as an ocean. And, how sometimes, we don't always know what lays at the end of the lane.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Guess who's participating in Bout of Books again?!

Yes, yes, yes. It's me! I absolutely love participating in read-a-thons. They keep me in check on my reading goals and what-not. Last time, I tried to be very specific with what I would be reading on what day, for how long, how many pages. That turned out to be my huge downfall. This time around, I'm going to set broad goals for myself and not worry about actually setting aside certain times for me to just drop everything and pick up a book, because that's no fun. And, read-a-thons are supposed to be fun, right?! So, here are the books I plan to read:

Finish Reading

Start and (hopefully!) Finish
Interested in joining in on the fun? You can learn all about the Bout of Books 9.0 Read-a-thon and sign up over at the Bout of Books blog!

"Flygirl" by R.D. Kardon {BOOK BLITZ}

Flygirl R.D. Kardon Published by: Acorn Publishing Publication date: January 3rd 2019 Genres: Adult Fiction It’s 1997. Women stan...