Jul 29, 2016

Review: Unfed by Kirsty McKay

Author: Kirsty McKay
Publisher: Chicken House
Publishing Date: August 27, 2013
Pages/Format: 288, Hardcover
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Fresh meat! From a hospital of horrors to a runaway zombie train, it's an all-new onslaught of the slavering undead in the sequel to Kirsty McKay's killer debut!

Just when you think you're out...it's the morning after the night of the return of the living dead. Or something like that. After running/bus-driving/snowboarding for her life alongside rebel Smitty, geeky Pete, and popular Alice, Bobby thought she'd found the antidote to the Carrot Man Veggie Juice that had turned the rest of their classmates into zombies. When Smitty (mmm...nom, nom) got chomped, Bobby pumped a syringe full of it into him herself.

But now Bobby's a prisoner in some hospital of horrors, with no clue how she got there. And Smitty is missing. What if he isn't cured after all? Bobby knows she's got to find him, even if it means facing Scotland's hungry hordes -- plus Alice's buckets of snark -- again. And this time, zombies aren't the only evil stressing her out. The brain-dead are bad enough, but how can Bobby stop the big pharma business behind the epidemic? Especially when her own mom works for the company?


Jul 27, 2016

The Special Edition

Here's the deal. I'm going to try and make this post sound nice and eloquent (and prevent myself from sounding bitchy). That's going to be hard, though, because when something irritates me like this topic does I go on this roll (it's moldy and muddy and bumpy and not sweet; it's not a good roll) and words spew like spittle from an angry Miss Trunchbull and I am a bull seeing red and it's hard to rein myself in. So the following is probably going to be a rant that just happens to center around one of my most favorite series ever and a series that I constantly call bae. But LET ME BE CLEAR: I am in no way, shape, or form bashing this series, its author, or anyone associated with it. I'm using this series as an example because it's relevant and the spark that set this flame ablaze. Why? Because it's:

Oh, Those Summer Reads

I'm not the best at TBRs, and I'm not the best at saying I'll get something done by x date and actually get it done by x date. And it completely, utterly baffles me that summer is almost over. If I were still in school there'd be just over a month of summer left, and I've done N O T H I N G. Even more so, I've read basically nothing. For shame, Rachel. For shame.

Then I saw a blog post that I thought was an excellent idea: a Summer TBR, of sorts. Thanks to Rebecca at Intrepid Pages, I got the idea that I could sort of plan out what I'll be reading (or hope to read) by the summer's end, and can create a goal of sorts. (You should also check out Rebecca's Instagram--I'm envious of her aesthetic.) Granted, these are just books that I currently own and are physical copies (*refuses to make eye contact with Kindle*), and they're books I'd really, really like to read in the next month. Only time shall tell!

Jul 26, 2016

Review: Midnight Bites by Rachel Caine

Title: Midnight Bites
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL
Publishing Date: March 1, 2016
Pages/Format: 512, Paperback
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New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine presents a collection of stories—including six new tales—featuring the little Texas town that’s overrun by the undead. 
By day, Morganville, Texas, is just a typical college town. By night, the vampires emerge and take control.... 
In a town where it’s not safe to be out after dark, student Claire Danvers and her friends have had their fair share of thrills. But Morganville still has a few secrets left to tell.
Now, in this collection, you can venture down the town’s strange streets, revisit all the tales you’ve come to love, and experience six new stories featuring your favorite Morganville residents—both human and vampire...

Book in One Word: H O M E .

Jul 25, 2016

What's in a Blog?

I've been struggling with blogging for a good chunk of time. I'm just not feeling it. Blogging has become something that feels less like fun or a hobby and more like work (that I'm not getting paid for) or a dreaded school assignment I procrastinate on. This could very well be a case of It's not you, it's me. I'm not breaking up with blogging--I love the community too much, even if I see most of it on Instagram and Twitter and probably nothing would even change if I did quit. But I think it's time to revive Beauty and the Bookshelf and give it something...more. And to make myself more of a presence.

I'm not going to worry about posting a Top Ten Tuesday every Tuesday or a Waiting on Wednesday every Wednesday. I'll participate in TTT when I really like the topic, and those weeks I'll also do a WoW.

Reviews...those have been so hard to write. They're like an essay. I don't want to write them, but I have to. I'm debating revamping the format and seeing if that helps, or figuring out what I can do in my reviews that's unique. It would really help if I wrote a review after I finished a book. (I have yet to write reviews for A Darker Shade of Magic, Winter, A Court of Mist and Fury...) I've considered switching my reviews to YouTube--I already do the Ninety Second Novel there--because it's so much easier to talk about a book than write about it, but I don't know if people would actually watch those videos, and I like having those thoughts in print. I don't even want call it a review--or a discussion a discussion--but I am constantly stumped on what else to do for names. (Is a blog post title that doesn't state exactly what it is--review, discussion, giveaway--okay, or do you like it to say exactly what it is?)

Speaking of YouTube, I really, really want to use that more. It's fun. Right now I just use it for book hauls and the occasional Ninety Second Novel, but I'm thinking I might also use it to review/discuss rereads. I'd like to think of something else that's fun to do with YouTube, but I don't have any ideas yet.

Back to this here blog...I have discussion ideas. I've had a draft of a post about there being multiple editions of a book (and how much it sucks for readers) sitting for a few weeks, but it may need some rewriting. It's awfully ranty and could use more eloquence. I want to write about my bullet journal (which I'm also horrible at using), and maybe do some arts and crafts and things with food. I don't like to get deep and personal, but I'd like for this blog to be a sort of reflection of myself, awkwardness and all.

One thing I really want to bring back is Be Our Tattooed Guest. (Examples here, sign-up form here.) I looove tattoos and books, and this feature was a great way to combine the two and let people show off their tattoos (and make me want several myself). I've been thinking about doing a Sunday Post--or something of the sort--where I recap the past week on the blog and foreshadow the next one. The latter might help keep me accountable, which could come in handy. Maybe I'll find a way to link back to bookstagram, too, because I love it.

I don't want to worry about my blog, but I still want to use it. I need to put more time and effort into it. I need to read other blogs and comment on other posts. (I am so, so bad at that.) I don't want my blog to be boring in the slightest; I want it to be fun and interactive and something people want to read. I want it to be whatever I want it to be, but also something that appeals to readers (otherwise I'm speaking to an empty room, you know?).

But I want to know: what do you want to see on Beauty and the Bookshelf? And on blogs in general? More of this, less of that? I don't know! But your feedback is very much appreciated. In the meantime, I'm going to try posting at least four times a week and give you posts that I hope you'll like. But first: Brainstorming! (And hopefully you'll notice an improvement in this blog over the next few weeks.)

Tell me: how have you felt about blogging lately?

Jul 21, 2016

Review: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

TitleThe Long Game
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publishing Date: June 7, 2016
Pages/Format: 360, ARC
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The Kendricks help make the problems of the Washington elite disappear…but some secrets won’t stay buried.

For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington, D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate’s campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess’s guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can—and cannot—be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover firsthand that power always comes with a price.

Book in One Word: PISSED.

Jul 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (171)

is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine that 
showcases upcoming releases people are very much anticipating.

So, like, here's the deal. I picked up this author's debut novel a bajillion years ago just to read a chapter and ended up reading several chapters. I love that book. Then I read her second book, and though it was hard to love because of what it was about, I'm still a fan of that book. And every time this author has a new book I scream the same damn thing: NEW KATIE COTUGNO NEW KATIE COTUGNO NEW KATIE COTUGNO.

Jul 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (171)

is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday's theme is...

Jul 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (170)

is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine that 
showcases upcoming releases people are very much anticipating.


Jul 12, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (170)

is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday's theme is...

Jul 11, 2016

Rewinding June

I've been falling behind on reading and blogging, but IN MY DEFENSE I was finishing school, moving, and bingeing shows on Netflix (Fullmetal Alchemist and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries). So. But I'm working on getting back in the groove.