The TBR Tag

Today I’ll be doing a book tag inspired by every reader’s best friend and worst enemy: the TBR pile. For anyone who’s new to the book community, TBR stands for to-be-read.

The TBR Tag was originally created by Dana from DanaSquare and Rachel from A Perfection Called Books.

How do you keep track of your TBR? I used to create a TBR list in Microsoft Excel, but since 2015, I’ve been using Goodreads. Besides checking off books on the site, I like to print out my TBR and cross off what I’ve read.

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook? All print. E-books just aren’t my thing.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next? I’m definitely a mood reader, but I try to read my ARCs (advanced readers copies) before release date, and if one of my most anticipated releases has just come out (thinking back to May with A Court of Wings and Ruin), I pick it up almost immediately.

12810834.jpgA Book That’s Been on Your TBR The Longest: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad—I think this has been on my list since 2015!

A Book You Recently Added to Your TBR: The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe 

A Book On Your TBR That You Never Plan on Reading: I do a pretty good job of making sure that there aren’t books on my TBR that I’m really not going to get to, but I’m going to go with The One We Fell in Love With by Paige Toon, mainly because it’s hard to find some of her books in the US, especially in my local library system.

An Unpublished Book On Your TBR That You’re Excited For: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu 29749090.jpg

A Book On Your TBR That Basically Everyone’s Read But You: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan. I plan on reading The Sword of Summer soon, as the last book in the trilogy comes out in October.

A Book On Your TBR That Everyone Recommends to You: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

A Book On Your TBR That You’re Dying To Read: Solitaire by Alice Oseman. I loved Radio Silence, so I am excited to pick up her debut novel.

What book do you want to get off your TBR by the end of 2017? Share in the comments!

Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Summary: Alex Craft knows she cannot be trusted. When her sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer wasn’t convicted, Alex took her own action against them. Hiding her dark side away from others, Alex knows not to get too close to others and she only has senior year to go. Plans change when she starts to form a friendship with Peekay, the preacher’s kid who also volunteers at the animal shelter, and Jack Fisher, who may feel guilty from the night Anna was discovered, starts to notice Alex more and more. As senior year unravels, Alex, Peekay, and Jack are bought together by dark circumstances that may affect their future altogether.

My Rating: 4.75/5 Stars

femspecies.jpgMy Thoughts:

The Female of the Species has been on my TBR since 2016, and I was finally able to get a copy at my college-town’s library. Many of the reviewers I follow on Goodreads have loved Mindy McGinnis’s work, especially The Female of the Species, so I couldn’t wait to dive in and see what the hype was all about. I wasn’t disappointed.

The Female of the Species is told from the perspectives of high school seniors Alex, Jack, and Peekay. I’m often tentative going into multi-POV novels, but it really worked for this book, as our characters are each so different and deal with their own issues. It’s important to note that none of our three POVs are great, moral individuals. Alex has a dark side where she finds that violence speaks louder than words. Jack may be the all-star athlete and student, but he isn’t an all-star when it comes to relationships, often just looking for hookups. Peekay knows she’ll always be seen as the preacher’s kid and has a reputation to protect; yet this doesn’t stop her from grabbing a beer bottle at every chance possible.

The Female of the Species was the dark YA book that I needed. I don’t think I’ll ever “age-out” of young-adult books, however, I am starting to get tired of the typical high school troupes that come along with many YA books. While The Female of the Species does take place in a small-town high school, the story itself is very mature. We’re given a dark background from the get-go, with Anna’s death and the unsolved murders in town. Yet, I will say that I wasn’t a huge fan of the amount of sex and drinking in the book. Yes, I wasn’t a partier in high school and am still not in college, but it felt very unrealistic in a high school setting. The only reason I docked my rating by ¼ a star was because the ending felt very convenient to me. However, I commend Mindy McGinnis for the way she handled heavy subjects, like relationships, death, rape and sexual assault. I think she’s set the stage for darker stories in the YA community.

Have you read The Female of the Species? Share in the comments!

Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Summary: Jess always tells her kids that everything will work out. But as much as Jess says it, it’s hard for her to follow her own mantra when it’s been two years since your husband left, your stepson is being bullied, you’re trying to balance two jobs, and your math whiz of a daughter has been given an opportunity that you cannot afford. Enter Ed Nicholls, a tech millionaire who has a few problems of his own. Work has kept him away from his family for months, and when a conflict of interest threatens to end his career, Ed needs to escape from everyday life. He’ll do anything, even if that means driving Jess and her family, dog included, to the Maths Olympiad in Scotland and a prize that could change her daughter’s life forever.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

If you’ve been following Fangirl Fury for a little while, it won’t take too long for you to realize that I am a contemporary reads kind of a girl. One of my favorite types of books are British contemporaries, and Jojo Moyes’s One Plus One more than satisfied my craving for a light, yet heart-warming read that takes place in the UK (I know that sounds oddly specific, but there are SO many books out there for you if you share this same feeling). It took me less than a week to fly through One Plus One and I would’ve finished it sooner if I didn’t have school or work!

As much as I enjoyed Jess and Ed as two of our main characters, Tanzie, Nicky, and Norman stole the show for me. At ten years old, I love how determined Tanzie was, and she was so unique for her love of math. I was never (and still not) a math girl growing up, but I loved school and of course, English class, so it was awesome to see Tanzie be so passionate about learning. Her positivity, something that she definitely got from her mom, was so heart-warming, and my heart melted for her so much throughout the story. Tanzie, I understand the struggle of having your glasses broken and it is easily one of the most frustrating things in the world– not being able to make out details absolutely stinks. Tanzie’s relationship with Norman, the big, sloppy, and lovable family dog, was quite cute and I’m happy that the duo is still together at the end of the novel.

Frankly, my heart went out to all of our four main characters, and after Tanzie, Nicky was the next in line to break my heart. The bullying him and his family faced was atrocious, and I’m really glad he had Ed to help him sort out some of his problems. We really don’t get Nicky’s point-of-view until the end of the book (One Plus One is told in third person, but each chapter follows one of the four MCs), but I liked seeing his voice shine through in his blog posts.

While One Plus One has a big emphasis on family, we of course get to experience Ed and Jess’s growing romance. The road trip doesn’t take up the entirety of the novel, which was great for both the story and Jess and Ed’s relationship to expand further. My biggest “complaint” of the novel was that we get the “we really care about each other but something from the past divides us but we still love each other and in the end we’ll be back together” trope (wordy, I know, but true!).

I would love to pick up another Jojo Moyes book in the near future. Have you read One Plus One? Share in the comments!

The End of Year Book Tag

I can’t believe that there’s less than one-hundred days left of 2017! I’ve been lucky enough to have some pretty cool experiences this year and still have a lot more to look forward to. I’ve read SO MANY GREAT BOOKS THIS YEAR and still have two and half months for more! I saw this tag featured on Alex of coffeeloving bookoholic‘s blog a few weeks back and I think it’s a great way to reflect on some of your reading goals for the rest of the year.

Q: Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

A: I don’t have any books in particular, as I just want to stay on top of my current reads amidst schoolwork and college life.

Q: Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

A: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Q: Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

A: Renegades by Marissa Meyer. As the first book in Marissa Meyer’s latest series gets closer and closer, the more excited I am for Renegades! I’m interested to read her take on superheroes and villainy.

Q: What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

A: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard) by Rick Riordan, Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, and Bonfire by Krysten Ritter.

Q: Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

I’m still not sure what my absolute favorite book of the year is yet (Warcross, Little Fires Everywhere, and Always and Forever, Lara Jean are among the top contenders), but I think They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera could be a contender.

Q:Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

In November, I want to start rereading the Throne of Glass series in anticipation of the last ToG book coming out next year. I plan on reading at least one ToG book per month, (which sadly means putting Tower of Dawn off a bit longer), as I’ve forgotten some of the smaller, yet important details of the story, so my reread will lead me into 2018.

What are some reading goals that you want to finish by the end of the year? Share in the comments!

Why I Don’t Buy Every Book I Read: A Fangirl Fury Discussion

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My name is Haley, otherwise known to you as Fangirl Fury, and I am a self-proclaimed book addict. Like most of my fellow book addicts, much of my free time is spent reading books and reading or watching content focused on literature. Like most of my fellow book addicts, Barnes and Noble is my happy place (also the place where my credit card feels most right at home). Like most of my fellow book addicts, I dream of owning a home with enough space to have a Beauty and the Beast-sized library. However, for me, it would most definitely take some time to fill up this library because of the fact that I don’t buy every single book that I read.

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Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Summary: Vivian is tired of her small-town Texas high school. She’s tired of the football team always getting whatever they want. She’s tired of the sexist dress codes and harassment-filled hallways. Motivated by her mother’s role as a Riot Grrrl back in the 90s, Viv creates a feminist zine, Moxie, that she anonymously distributes in school. As Moxie becomes the talk of school more and more, Viv finds herself making friends with girls across all social groups and realizes she might be on to the start of a revolution.

My Rating: 4.25/5 Stars

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I read the US edition of Moxie but I like the UK cover better!

My Thoughts:

Amid all of the fall’s amazing book releases, Moxie was high on my to-be-read-list not just for its focus on feminism, but also for the fact that Amy Poehler blurbed the book on the front cover (her production banner, Paper Kite, acquired the feature rights back in January)! Anything Leslie Knope-approved is game in my life!

Moxie is a stand-out novel in the young-adult community for its emphasis on girls coming together to fight for equality. Moxie reignited my anger over high school dress codes, which are far more orientated towards girls than boys in my opinion, and makes me want to create my own chapter of Moxie, which you can actually do through the help of http://moxiegirlsfightback.com/.   I loved seeing Viv rise up to the sexist regulations of her high school and bring the zine to life, not to mention how much her and her friends empowered me as a feminist.

I really appreciated how Jennifer Mathieu bought in a lot of the myths behind feminism and how girls really feel into the book. We saw Viv’s best friend, Claudia, be reluctant about classifying herself as a feminist in the beginning, as she’s afraid that people will think that she hates men. Thankfully, we see Claudia have a change of heart by the end of the book. We also have Seth, who is all for feminism and Moxie’s fight, but questions the seriousness of one girl’s accusation toward the end of the novel.

If I had one “complaint” about Moxie, I felt that it had a lot of high school tropes. I liked Seth as a character and didn’t mind his relationship with Viv, but I hated how he distracted her from her thoughts and made her forget about the not-so feministic things (things that Seth really wouldn’t understand firsthand as a guy) he said. And as progressive as Moxie obviously is, there was one part when Viv is describing how her high school isn’t really prejudiced against LGBTQIA individuals, however, the only two gay guys at her school were in the theatre department and everyone was pretty sure that they were dating each other. It just felt so stereotypical. Additionally, as much as I rooted for these characters and their success, I felt that the ending was a bit too hunky-dory, aside from the novel dealing with the topic of sexual assault.

Overall, Moxie is great example of how feminism can be further featured in the YA community, and I’m excited to see a possible Moxie film adaptation!

Do you plan on picking up Moxie? Share in the comments!

ARC Review: I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott

Summary: A Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton is one of the most important figures in American history. However, little has been said about his wife, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, who some argue is the true hero of Hamilton’s story. As the daughter of a respected general, Eliza is used to meeting the soldiers and dignitaries coming in and out of the Schuyler household. But no one’s captured her attention as strongly as Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s most prized aide. Told from Eliza’s point-of-view, I, Eliza Hamilton explores Eliza’s life as she helps her husband shape the nation.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

I started reading I, Eliza Hamilton the second weekend in September. I was home that weekend and thankfully didn’t have too much schoolwork so I dived right into reading. If you’re new to Fangirl Fury, this fangirl has been obsessed with Hamilton: An American Musical since her senior year of high school. I’ve been one of the lucky few in the scheme of things (more like in the scheme of the impossibility of getting Hamilton tickets) to see the show on Broadway, and last year, Ron Chernow came to my school and talked about Alexander Hamilton and his role in the musical. That being said, Susan Holloway Scott’s I, Eliza Hamilton was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017. My only “disappointment” of Hamilton is that we really don’t get too much time with Eliza herself. I, Eliza Hamilton is completely told from Eliza’s point of view and tracks her life from the moment she meets Alexander Hamilton in the late 1770s to his death in 1804 (sorry if you have not finished the Hamilton album yet, but it’s a historical fact that Alexander died from dueling with Aaron Burr).

While I, Eliza Hamilton is a fictional narrative, the amount of research Susan Holloway Scott did is evident throughout the novel. Being the Hamilton fan that I am, which basically means that I’ve seen almost every interview with Lin Manuel-Miranda about the show, I’ve learned that the musical is obviously not one hundred percent accurate. Sorry folks, but Hercules Mulligan was not the flower girl at Alex and Eliza’s wedding (the Schuylers made up the majority of their wedding guests).

It was really cool though to read more about some of the characters from the musical. For example, Eliza discusses the duel between John Laurens and Charles Lee, we get interaction between the Schuyler sisters, Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson make a few appearances, and of course, there’s the dreaded Reynolds Pamphlet.

My favorite aspect of reading I, Eliza Hamilton was how hard it was to put it down! While we can tell through Eliza’s language that she’s an eighteenth-century woman, the writing felt modern and it was quite easy to understand Alexander’s dilemmas in the political world as he explains them to his wife. I read I, Eliza Hamilton over one of the busiest weeks of my fall semester, but you better believe I read at least fifty pages before going to bed each night. Speaking of Alexander and politics,  Susan Holloway Scott clearly illustrates is Eliza’s help to Alexander. Alexander would talk to Eliza about the problems facing Congress and the nation and look for her opinion, and Eliza would often help write and proofread Alexander’s various writings, from essays and correspondences to Washington’s Farewell Address. Amidst raising their family and helping her husband in any way she can, it was amazing to understand how strong of an individual Eliza was herself.

In conclusion, if you love Hamilton, you will love I, Eliza Hamilton. If you enjoyed Melissa de la Cruz’s Alex and Eliza, you will love I, Eliza Hamilton, especially since it expands past Alex and Eliza’s wedding. If you want find yourself belting out “Helpless” or “Burn” and needing more Eliza, you will love I, Eliza Hamilton. And most of all, you will love Eliza Hamilton for the hero she is.

I was fortunate enough to be sent a galley of I, Eliza Hamilton from Kensington Books. Thank you for helping expand my love for Eliza and the Hamilton story.

Do you plan to pick up I, Eliza Hamilton? Share in the comments!