October 21, 2016

Rachel & Carina's Infinite Playlist (113)

RACHEL •  "Around the World" by Kings of Leon
I'm a huge Kings of Leon fan but it's been a while since they've released an album I'd want to listen to in its entirety more than once. (I'm looking at you Come Around Sundown and Mechanical Bull.) But I'm pretty happy with WALLS! I don't love every song but I do enjoy most of them and there's definitely a few I've had on repeat. "Around the World" is currently my fave!

CARINA • "So Into You (Tamia Cover)" by Childish Gambino 
This song takes me back to high school days, sitting in my room with my headphones on always day dreaming. Everything seemed so simple then. I'm a big fan of the original but this cover is definitely a favorite. Enjoy!

If you like our music, you can subscribe to our playlist on Spotify which we'll update each week!

What have you been listening to lately?

October 20, 2016

Review: A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

Collaborative feature with Alexa since Nov 2013. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith
pub 10/25/16 by Roaring Brook Press
YA - Fantasy / Time Travel
Received ARC from pub
Plot • Reiko is angry. About a relationship gone wrong, her family, her suicide attempt. Her parents send her to Japan in the hopes that a summer away will help her face her issues. While there, she visits a historic village called Kuramagi and finds herself traveling back in time to 19th century Japan to embody Miyu, a young woman with inner rage very much like Reiko’s. We flip back and forth between past and present but increasingly spend more time in the past as Reiko prefers being Miyu. But it becomes clear that Miyu has an agenda of her own and soon Reiko is forced to face both of their demos.

Characters • I couldn’t connect to a single character. Whether it was Reiko herself or her family and “friends” in Japan, there wasn’t enough time spent developing the characters enough to feel like real people. Reiko is just all anger and while we find out the causes for it, they’re told in flashbacks that felt like after thoughts. Then her immediate family played an important role in her current circumstances but they’re not in the book at all, which I thought was odd. Even her extended family. The one cousin who was a part of her life was a superficial caricature and an awful person. Reiko did have a sort-of guy friend that I liked but he wasn’t in the book much. Plus even when Reiko was Miyu, we never really get to know her either. Basically — not enough character development.

Writing • This is the third Lindsay Smith book that’s fell short for me (I DNFed her previous book). I think she has very interesting stories to tell and I like how diverse her characters and settings are. I really do! But there just always seems to be something missing in the writing to truly hook me.

Overall feelings • It was okay. Again, I appreciate the diversity in this story and I think the overall concept was interesting but I wasn’t a fan of the execution.

What's your favorite anime? • Fushigi Yuugi. I loved that anime when I first watched it in high school but two years ago, Alexa and I decided to re-watch it and I fell even more in love with it as an adult. I guess some of the details had faded away (plus I don't think I ever finished it). But as a adult, I saw how mature the story was and how wonderful all the characters are (Tamahome and Miaka!). It's definitely my fave.

October 19, 2016

BookBags (42): Pique Week

Monthly feature where I pair books with bags or share what's in a bag (mine or otherwise!) est. 4/2013.

I'm participating in Pique Week! Abrams Books recently launched a new YA website called Pique Beyond. They're going to highlight exclusive excerpts and quotes from new and upcoming books plus show us readers cool behind-the-scenes stuff. This week, they're highlighting all of their newest titles, and I'm excited to help by featuring three books I'm particularly excited for.  

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria + Mini Mansfield Bucket 
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard + Mini M.A.C. Crossbody 

These are three books I'm personally looking forward to reading. Iron Cast is a mix of historical fiction (Boston Prohibition) and fantasy, which is a combo I really enjoy. The Romantics is about romance (obvs!) and heartbreak and is narrated by the personification of Love. And finally Roseblood (which I'm super excited to have an e-ARC of) is a retelling of Phantom of the Opera. 

See why I can't wait to read these books?

 And in case you were wondering, all the bags feature are from one of my favorite designers, Rebecca Minkoff. Make sure to add all these books to your TBR and maybe do a little shopping too!


Which bag + book pairing is your favorite?
And have you read any of these books?

Visit the site today at piquebeyond.com or follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @piquebeyond!