Sunday, April 22, 2018

Science in Fiction (#39): Earth Day Edition (+ Giveaway!)

Welcome to this month's Science in Fiction feature! Science in Fiction is a meme I created to showcase the wonderful aspects of science in Young Adult fiction novels. For more information and previous feature, check out the "Science in Fiction" tag!

This month, I'm not featuring a specific book - I'm featuring Earth Day!

Today (April 22nd) is Earth Day. Earth Day was started in 1970, and it's April 22nd every year. It just so happens to fall on a Sunday this year, which is perfect for this month's Science in Fiction post.

This year's Earth Day has a special focus - ending plastic pollution by 2020. Plastic pollution is something I've talked about before, featuring different YA books. Last month, I featured Pacifica by Kristen Simmons, and I talked about trash islands in the ocean. Like the Great Garbage Patch:

And Roatan, Honduras.

Photographer Caroline Power said that a plastic waste island that she recently documented was "tiny compared to the ones in

Did you know that there is an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic in our oceans today? 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year. And think about this - it takes roughly 20 years for a plastic bag to decompose. It takes about 450 years for a plastic bottle (the kind you buy in cases at the grocery store) to decompose. So if I throw a disposable plastic bottle in the Chesapeake Bay right now, it'll decompose in the year 2468. And what it decomposes to (little tiny filaments of plastic) isn't great either. 

Check out this graphic from Ocean Conservancy:

Plastic Ocean
Source: Ocean Conservancy

People can say what they want about global climate change (is it real? is it a hoax made up by scientists to get more funding?), though you all know my stance on global climate change. But you can't deny the incredible pollution that is going on, in the oceans, in other bodies of water, in wastelands, underground. 

This Earth Day, we should pledge to make small changes in our lives that will have a lasting impact on our planet. Here are some things that you can do:

- Use reusable bags in the grocery and other stores. Use whatever reusable bags you want! They don't need to be ones that you buy at that store. Heck, I walk into Giant (our local grocery) with cloth bags that are from Giant, but also free cloth bags from other grocery stores.

- Use reusable bottles. Stop buying cases of water bottled in plastic. Think about where those bottles end up. Are you placing them for recycling? Are you throwing them in trash?

- Give up bottled drinks altogether. I'd argue that glass bottles are better to use/buy, but in general, bottled drinks are a good thing to stop consuming. It would be incredibly difficult for the average person (myself included). 

- STOP USING PLASTIC STRAWS. Plastic straws are terrible! Use reusable ones or just drink from the cup.

- Choose cardboard over plastic. Cardboard is usually easier to recycle than plastic bags and bottles are not.

- Stop using products with microbeads. Like hand soaps, example. We've all seen hand soaps with tiny little beads in them. Those beads do not break down and usually have a component of plastic in them.

- Stop chewing gum. Did you know that gum is made of plastic? Yeah. And then you spit that out, and a bird might get stuck in it. 

There are sooooo many other things that you can do, but these tend to be the easiest ones. If demand for certain products go down, then the companies producing them will have to limit supply. Which is fantastic! If we all did a few of the things on the list, we might see a huge difference, in the long run.

And now, the giveaway!

Win the above prize pack, plus some other books that will be a surprise! Open internationally, ends on May 11th. I'll try to announce the winner on my next Science in Fiction post. Giveaway rules apply. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#278)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, April 15th to Saturday, April 21st?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

Thank you, Harper! I think I'm most excited about A Thousand Beginnings and Endings. It's an anthology of stories based on Asian legends, written by Asian authors. I'm a fan!

Reviews from this week:

(Click on the cover to go to my review!)

Favorite Instagram post from this week:

A post shared by Alyssa (@theeaterofbooks) on

I just need to rant for a moment - I want it to be summer! Forget this 900th winter we're having! Why am I still wearing my winter coat?! I want to have that dry-cleaned and stored in my closet until October. Goodness, is that too much to ask for?! In 10 days it will be MAY! *forever bitter about the 7-month-long winter we're having*

Friday, April 20, 2018

My Favorite YA Books That Need A Sequel

Hey friends! Today is another day in which I didn't feel like writing/posting a review, but did feel like posting something... so I'm doing another favorites post! You can check out my favorite YA books with hate-to-love romance HERE, favorite books with the word "shadow" in the title HERE, favorite adult books (alphabet style) HERE, favorite Jane-Austen-Inspired YA books HERE, favorite YA foreign editions posts HERE, favorite YA books (alphabet style) HERE, favorite YA books with one-word titles HERE, favorite swoons from YA books HERE.

Here are some of my favorite YA books that really need a sequel! 

All Our Yesterdays  Brightly Woven  Two-Way Street
Transparent (Transparent, #1)  Where the Stars Still Shine  Silver Eve (Guardians of Tarnec, #2)

Don't you hate it when you finish a book and you're like OMG that was amazing, but where's the rest?! Sometimes we need more! 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#273): Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting

This week, my swoon is from Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris!

His hand tilts my chin up. I close my eyes. His breath is warm against my skin. Our noses brush against each other. I hold my breath. Before he kisses me, I can feel how close we are, like the nerve endings in my body are so sensitive they've extended inches outward, and the electricity between us charges the space between. Ben hesitates, and I wonder if he's changed his mind. I open my eyes to check.

And then his lips touch mine.

They're soft and smooth, ad they taste salty from his tears. And then he opens his mouth, our tongues touch, I taste mine, and his other hand slides around my waist, settling on my back. My mouth opens wider, and I don't know if I'll ever get enough of him.

- Finished copy, page 346

I read this book a looooong time ago - back in 2012 - and I loved it! I'm rereading it before reading the next book (for the first time). =)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#277): The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm featuring:

The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman
Book Three of the Lady Helen series
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen's demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world.

Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.

In the final book of the trilogy that began with THE DARK DAYS CLUB and continued with THE DARK DAYS PACT, the intrepid Lady Helen's story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal.

I love this series! I can't wait to read this final novel. It has been a long time coming!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (9)

Happy Tuesday! Today I've decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today's topic is: 

Frequently Used Words In [Insert Genre/Age Group] Titles

(I chose "Fire" in YA Titles!)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)  
Fire and Heist  Girls of Paper and Fire

It's funny because I just did a post on favorite YA books with the word "shadow" in the title. So I did "fire" for today's TTT. I cheated a little because the last three are books I have not read yet, but hope to do so this year!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Review: My Royal Sin by Riley Pine

My Royal Sin by Riley Pine
Book Two of the Arrogant Heirs series
Publisher: Harlequin Dare
Publication Date: June 1, 2018
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

She’s totally off-limits… 
…which makes her even more irresistible!

Famed for his iron control, Prince Benedict is unprepared for the chemistry that ricochets through him when he meets Ruby. She is temptation personified…but couldn’t be more inappropriate for a royal fling! Except after years of choosing duty over desire, his control has finally snapped—he’s choosing pleasure, of the most X-rated kind. After all, if he’s going to indulge in the forbidden, the higher the stakes, the greater the thrill!

What I Liked:

I read My Royal Temptation a few months ago and really enjoyed it. I didn't know the book would be part of a series, so I was really surprised and very pleased to find out about My Royal Sin and My Royal Hook-Up. While I didn't totally dislike this new book, I think my expectations had been a little too high, and I felt a little disappointed. Still, it was a fairly decent companion sequel.

Benedict is the second son of the king, the spare heir, the one destined for priesthood. There are only  a few weeks before he takes his vows and becomes a priest. But no one knows what goes on in Benedict's head - like how fascinated he is by desire and pleasure, and how much he wishes he could give in to temptation. It only gets harder to resist when a mysterious woman named Ruby shows up to seduce. Ruby - Evangeline - was set to seduce Prince Benedict and find a painting he owns. She doesn't expect him to be quite so tempting himself - or for her to fall in love with him.

It was an interesting struggle, with a priest-bound hero and a seductress heroine. Two opposites, both struggling with their lives. Evangeline isn't an escort - she's a struggling artist trying to provide for her sister-in-law and niece while her brother is in prison. She is given a job to seduce Prince Benedict, and she takes the job because she needs the money. Evangeline has never done anything of the sort, but she's desperate, and she'll do anything for her family.

Benedict has always struggled with his desires. He is determined to see his duty through, but he has always wanted to experience a great manner of things with a woman. And when Evangeline shows up, he knows she has an ulterior motive, but he doesn't want to resist her. Benedict is a good guy. I felt for him, and I understood his willpower in trying to fulfill his duty.

These two are a good pair. They learn to trust each other quickly, and they fall for each other. They are very compatible in other ways - the chemistry is there from the start. 

I like that there is something more than the romance going on in this book. It's not something you'd expect, so I won't go into details, but think secret societies and hidden treasures. Definitely makes the story even more interesting.

There is a happy ending! I always love those.

What I Did Not Like:

I think my expectations were a little too high, in terms of the sexy times. I soooo expect more sex, and the sex to be more x-rated (as implied by the synopsis). A virgin priest with a dirty mind and a novice seductress? That should have made for a combustible pair. And believe me, Benedict was ready for some dirty action. He is well-read in terms of pleasure and Evangeline is perfect for him. But I found the sexy times lacking - there weren't enough scenes, and the few that were there weren't particular hot - like, not more so. It was a little disappointing! This is supposed to be Harlequin's hottest line yet, AND here we have a priest with a filthy mind - come on! I expected more.

Would I Recommend It:

I recommend book one, and honestly this one isn't too bad so I'd recommend this one too. I think my own expectations had been high, so I felt a little let down, but if you don't have expectations for this book, then you won't be disappointed. It's hot, just not as hot as I was expecting. And the romance is also kind of sweet. This is a short, quick read, so there's low commitment!


3 stars. Despite this slightly low rating, I did enjoy the book, and I am looking forward to reading the next one. I love the idea behind this series and I'm so curious to see what kind of man the hero of the next book is.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!