(Review) A Very Large Expanse of Sea

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi Publication Date: October 16th, 2018 Pages: 320 (hardcover) Genre: Young Adult  My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis: It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s…

(Review) The Raven Cycle

Okay, look. I have a problem with hyped up books. I have issues with people talking and talking about something and telling me to read it. I've been burned before (Allegiant ring a bell to anyone?) and sometimes I'm just not into the book that everyone else loves. No big deal, it's just me.

So I never read The Raven Boys or any of the rest of the series. I didn't really even have an inkling that I might want to read the books. Honestly, I don't even know why I picked it up in the first place two weeks ago.

I grabbed an audiobook of  The Raven Boys on my library app because I like to listen to books on my long ass commute to and from work and when I read. I had to wait about a week for the book, so I read some other stuff during that time, including Maggie's All the Crooked Saints, which I didn't love and therefore was wary of TRB. Okay, I also just remembered that because I read All the Crooked Saints I wanted to try TRB. Great, now we've come full cir…

(Review) White Stag

White Stag by Kara Barbieri Publication Date: January 8th, 2019 Pages: 368 (kindle) Genre: Young Adult Fantasy My Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis: As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, …

(Review) Little Do We Know

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone Publication Date:June 5th, 2018 Pages: 416 (hardcover) Genre: Young Adult My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis: Next-door neighbors and ex-best friends Hannah and Emory haven’t spoken in months. Not since the fight—the one where they said things they couldn’t take back.

Now, Emory is fine-tuning her UCLA performing arts application and trying to make the most of the months she has left with her boyfriend, Luke, before they head off to separate colleges. Meanwhile, Hannah’s strong faith is shaken when her family’s financial problems come to light, and she finds herself turning to unexpected places—and people—for answers to the difficult questions she’s suddenly facing.

No matter how much Hannah and Emory desperately want to bridge the thirty-six steps between their bedroom windows, they can’t. Not anymore.

Until their paths cross unexpectedly when, one night, Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car outside her house. In the aftermath of…

(Review) You'd Be Mine

You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019 Pages: 304 (hardcover) Genre: Young Adult My Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis: Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to…

(Review) The Rising Gold

The Rising Gold by Ava Jae Pages: 424 (hardcover) Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction My Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis:
A new world ruler is crowned.
Plunged into a crumbling world of foreign politics that is desperate for a leader, Eros chooses a loyal prince to help him navigate the hostile sands of Safara. But not everyone is happy to see a half-blood become the most powerful person on the planet.

A queen must restore her nation.
In power once more, Kora faces new challenges and a difficult decision that puts someone close to her in mortal danger. The wrong choice could destroy her relationships, her right to rule, and her life.

A rebellion is brewing.
With their world collapsing around them, new threats spreading across the globe, and their loved ones at risk, the people of Safara―Sepharon and human alike―depend on Eros and Kora to fix their bleeding world. But with generations of hate stacked against them, the two young monarchs may be doomed to fail.
My Review: 
Where to st…

Ash's Top 18 Books of 2018

So, I'm struggling. I'm struggling to find time to read, to find books I like, and to write this post. This year has been a horrible year of reading for me. I don't know if it was the stress of last year's class that kept me from starting the year strong, as it did the year before. (Is that mean, blaming it on my class from last year?) Maybe I just got too busy, I'm not sure! Either way, this is my lowest reading year in a long time. I didn't make my goal last year, and this year I challenged myself to read 75 (!!!) books. Right now I'm at 67 and 89% of my goal. Chances are that I'm not going to read seven books (I'm almost done with one now) by the end of the year, but I'm going to push through with this post, just for you.

It was kind of hard to even get through this list because there wasn't anything that I just truly loved and wanted to shout about. This year I started listening to a lot of books, which makes my drives to and from school…