ARC Review: The Takedown

thetakedownThe Takedown by Corrie Wang

Note: advanced copy received from publisher through NetGalley. (I don’t think that influences my review, but it’s fair to know.)


Kyla Cheng is a straight A senior at a fancy school in NYC. She’s one of four popular girls, her applications to the Ivy League schools are nearly ready, the hottest boy at school is her very close “just friend,” and her biggest problem is that her mom doesn’t seem to like her much now. Until a much bigger problem: a viral video of her having sex with a teacher. The video is fake, but Kyla has trouble convincing people of that. The only solution is to find the original file and delete. But Kyla’s hater is completely anonymous.

Initial Thoughts

Continue reading

Book Review: Year of No Clutter


Year of No Clutter
Eve Schaub
Non-fiction (memoir)

Description from publisher

Everyone eats. Everyone sleeps. Everyone accumulates stuff.

The hilarious author of Year of No Sugar, Eve Schaub, returns with her new memoir, Year of No Clutter, to tackle the issue of “things.” Specifically, the 576-square-foot room in her house that is overflowing with stuff she can’t bring herself to throw away, like her fifth grade report card and pieces of plaster wall stuffed in a box.

Year of No Clutter is more than the tale of how one woman organized an entire room in her house that had been filled with pointless items, it’s a deeply inspiring, and frequently hilarious, examination of why we keep stuff in the first place, and how to let it all go.

Thoughts from Me

I didn’t read Year of No Sugar and didn’t know of the author, but when I saw Year of No Clutter on NetGalley, I knew I wanted to read it. I’m a little bit obsessed with reading about organizing and optimizing (which is not to say that I actually do these things) and dealing with a mild hoarding problem seemed like a decent read.

I was in for a surprise. Continue reading

Book Review: The Craving Brain

Title: The Craving Brain: Science, Spirituality and the Road to Recovery
Authors: Dr. W. Anderson Spickard, Jr., James B., Barbara Thompson
Review copy obtained through NetGalley

Can addiction be overcome?

The Craving Brain is an informative and hopeful response to the hopelessness that surrounds addiction. Co-authored by a doctor (and recognized addiction expert) and a recovered addict, it weaves science and stories to create a full picture of the addiction journey.  Continue reading

Book Review: Take the Key and Lock Her Up

511-hbczuwl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Title: Take the Key and Lock Her Up

Series: Embassy Row #3

Author: Ally Carter

See my reviews of Book 1 & Book 2

I’ve long been an Ally Carter fan, but I struggled more with this trilogy than any of her other books. As I documented in my previous reviews, I think that had a lot to do with growing out of her target age range.

Thankfully, Take the Key and Lock Her Up was a really good conclusion to the trilogy.

NOTE: Spoilers for the first two books will start immediately. Read at your own risk. Please keep the comments a safe section. I’m available via Twitter or email for spoilery discussions.

Plot Summary

Grace Blakely just discovered that she is the descendant of a long-lost princess. Now she, her brother, a hot Russian, and the Scarred Man are on the run. People are trying to kill her and she doesn’t know who to trust. Also, she might be crazy. Continue reading

Book Review: Battle Magic

battle magicTitle: Battle Magic
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: Fantasy/YA 

I loved Pierce’s Beka Cooper trilogy, so I was excited to pick up her most recent book, Battle Magic. Not long into the book, I began to wonder if it was part of a series, but couldn’t find any indication on the cover that it was. Afterwards, I did some research and discovered that it’s a continuation of other Pierce books in the Circle universe. So now I need to read those.

Plot Summary

Have I mentioned that I hate plot summaries? I love going in not knowing anything. So the summaries I write are a bit skimpy. Anyway…

Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy are three mages who are traveling in the East, visiting various realms and learning from other magicians. But they end up caught in a massive war and have to choose their allegiances.


The characters in this book are well-developed. I found them especially interesting not having the background of previous Circle books (apparently Rosethorn and Briar feature heavily in the earlier series). Continue reading

Book Review: The Signature of All Things

Title: The Signature of All Things
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 499

I promise I’m almost done with my Elizabeth Gilbert phase (in fact, this is probably the last review). I was particularly interested in this novel, because it’s one she wrote after Eat, Pray, Love. From what I’ve read about her previous writing, it was fairly masculine and kind of Western. The Signature of All Things is Elizabeth Gilbert as she appears in EPL – feminist, spiritual, world-traveling, a little sensual. It’s a novel, of course, so it’s not actually about Gilbert. But her voice (as from EPL) pervades the book.

Signature follows Alma Whittaker, the plain, curious, lonely, and brilliant daughter of a botany legend. Through family deaths, thwarted love, career changes, and a trip across the world, she struggles with who she is as a woman and scientist. Continue reading