In April, we decided to do something about our humongous pile of ARCs. So we joined the A Very ARC-ish Readathon! Today, I’ll be talking about some of the books I’ve read.Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Published by Quirk Books on April 4th 2017
Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.
Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.
Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.
Geekerella was every bit as geeky and fun as I hoped it would be. It feels like Cinder & Ella, except you don’t get your heart torn out of your chest. Although sometimes it felt a bit too stereotypical – both the two protagonists as well as the storyline – I had a good few hours reading it.
Built around a fandom about the science fiction show Starfield, this book is the perfect base for geeky readers. There are plenty of references to Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and other fanbases for you to get your kicks out, and the retelling around Cinderella will make you swoon and sigh and gasp with nostalgia and recognition. I especially loved the time spent at the convention, as well as Sage, a green-haired ninja in the form of Elle’s best friend.
In short, this book is a pretty fun take on a classic fairytale, and I’d recommend it to anyone in the mood for a light and fluffy read. You’ll definitely get a few smiles and a sense of wonder out of this one.
Thank you NetGalley / Quirk Books for providing me with a copyThe Dead Inside by Cyndy Drew Etler
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on April 4th 2017
For readers of Girl Interrupted and Tweak, Cyndy Etler's gripping memoir gives readers a glimpse into the harrowing reality of her sixteen months in the notorious "tough love" program the ACLU called "a concentration camp for throwaway kids."
I never was a badass. Or a slut, a junkie, a stoner, like they told me I was. I was just a kid looking for something good, something that felt like love. I was a wannabe in a Levi's jean jacket. Anybody could see that. Except my mother. And the professionals at Straight.
From the outside, Straight Inc. was a drug rehab. But on the inside it was...well, it was something else.
All Cyndy wanted was to be loved and accepted. By age fourteen, she had escaped from her violent home, only to be reported as a runaway and sent to a "drug rehabilitation" facility that changed her world.
To the public, Straight Inc. was a place of recovery. But behind closed doors, the program used bizarre and intimidating methods to "treat" its patients. In her raw and fearless memoir, Cyndy Etler recounts her sixteen months in the living nightmare that Straight Inc. considered "healing."
I don’t think I’ll be rating The Dead Inside, as I don’t feel comfortable giving a star-rating to how much I “enjoyed” the book. Did I enjoy it? No – the story was horrifying from beginning to end. But I think it’s also a story that will stay with me for a very long time. It was awful, but also really compelling.
“You’re not gonna believe this” is the opening line in the book and, hell, I almost didn’t. There were times I wanted to stop reading because – well, I can’t even begin to describe the absurdity of what’s on those pages. I thought to myself, “who comes up with this?” But as I kept reading, the truth of it started to sink in and really weigh down on me. I’d never heard of Straight Inc. until I picked up this book, and what I read was so disturbing in so many ways. Teenagers being hurt, abused, shamed, humiliated, brainwashed in so many bizarre and different ways. There was such detail and description of Cyndy’s emotions that I really saw it come to life, and realised that this had really happened (and is probably still happening in other centres) and it was just so, so painful. But it’s also opened my eyes, and I’ll be doing a lot more reading on the subject. This is a very important book.
Thank you NetGalley / Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a copyOther Breakable Things by Kelley York, Rowan Altwood
Published by Entangled: Teen on April 4th 2017
According to Japanese legend, folding a thousand paper cranes will grant you healing.
Evelyn Abel will fold two thousand if it will bring Luc back to her.
Luc Argent has always been intimately acquainted with death. After a car crash got him a second chance at life—via someone else’s transplanted heart—he tried to embrace it. He truly did. But he always knew death could be right around the corner again.
And now it is.
Sick of hospitals and tired of transplants, Luc is ready to let his failing heart give out, ready to give up. A road trip to Oregon—where death with dignity is legal—is his answer. But along for the ride is his best friend, Evelyn.
And she’s not giving up so easily.
A thousand miles, a handful of roadside attractions, and one life-altering kiss later, Evelyn’s fallen, and Luc’s heart is full. But is it enough to save him? Evelyn’s betting her heart, her life, that it can be.
Right down to the thousandth paper crane.
“I’m not made of much time and never have been.”
Critics who say that Young Adult is a dumb genre without any valuable content have obviously never read any books like Other Breakable Things. Or much other than Twilight, for that matter, but it sounded like a good opening sentence, which I have now ruined.
I would recommend reading this book with something lighter on the side, as it tends to grow quite heavy. Think A Walk to Remember, or like a YA version of the heart-wrenching Me Before You. You remember how much you cried with those two works? Yeah, be ready.
I have to admit that the story didn’t do much for me during the first half – it felt like any other YA contemporary, where the main source of drama belonged to two teenagers choosing not to tell each other things, and then stuff hits the fan when this info comes out. That’s also the gist of Other Breakable Things, only there are much bigger things at stake than someone’s reputation. A human life, for example. Several broken hearts. And during the second act of the book, I started to really feel those emotions. I began to really appreciate the scenes – like when they visited the Butterfly Emporium together – and I began to truly understand the stakes.
So I’m glad that I decided to stick this one out and see where it would end. Because this book has depth and meaning to it, and it made me think throughout.
Thank you NetGalley / Entangled Publishing for providing me with a copyBrenna Morgan and the Iron Key on January 24th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
When sixteen year-old Brenna Morgan arrived in Ireland with her travel-writer mother she had expected the usual—a couple of months in a country that wasn’t her home. What she hadn’t anticipated was making a promise to a dying faerie who saves her life. Armed with only her wits and a strange iron key given to her by the faerie, Brenna is pulled into a world where myth and legend cross all too often into reality, in search for a child hidden away in their world.
Knowing nothing of the faerie realm, she is aided in her search by new found friends Patrick and a reluctant faerie named Roibhilin with a grudge against humans. But the more she uncovers the more she realizes that not all is as it seems, that danger comes in the most unassuming of guises, and that the child she is sworn to protect could destroy not only the faerie world but her own as well.
I quite enjoyed Brenna Morgan’s adventure. I never came to the point where I actually fell in love with it, but I had a good enough time reading it. There’s something about Ireland that really sings to me, so an Irish setting is always a bonus point in my books. (Haha, get it, books? I’ll leave.) Then there’s the enchanted forest, which I could see come alive right before my very eyes, with golden leaves and pixies glowing like fairy lights and just… gah, can I live in an enchanted forest and go frolic?
The first half was probably better for me – it started off really well, when Brenna stumbles upon a dying fae, which sets off a course of events. I also really liked the set-up of the mythology and the introduction of the Good Folk, with Turlough probably being my favourite. I did have some issues with the love interest, as I thought he was kind of bossy and blah.
I also thought the writing was really good. The story does set up things nicely for a sequel, which I’m really curious about. All I can say – more, please! More Turlough, more enchanted forest, more everything.
Thank you NetGalley / Fire & Ice for providing me with a copy