Recent Reads | 2019 Wrap Up #1

Hey guys it’s Trina! This is my first
wrap-up of the year and I just wanna talk a little bit first about wrap ups
and things that are changing and then I’ll get into the reviews. I will put a
timestamp in the description if you want to jump straight to the reviews but I
just want to talk about the fact that I am doing my wrap ups differently as of
right now. I may go back to doing them how I used to, I don’t know what I really
want to do yet so I’m just trying things out. The wrap ups that I’ve been doing
since the start of my channel have been month by month and I’ve done all the
really pretty like book close-ups with the ratings and stuff and you guys love
that, I love that, believe me I love that. That is something that I feel like
that’s the only style that I bring to my channel, like that’s the only ‘me’ thing
that I do because I’ve been doing it since the start of my channel but I have
been noticing, especially last year, especially towards the end of last year,
that wrap ups were becoming kind of a tedious chore, something that I didn’t
want to do because I read so many books in a month – for me I consider like you
know 10 to 12 books a month a lot to cover in one wrap-up because I’m trying
to remember the books I read at the start of the month, I don’t really
remember them that well, and I end up just saying kind of the same thing for
every book and I want to be able to discuss books better. Also the time that
goes into doing all the book shots and then editing those together and then
editing them on top of the wrap-up video, it is a labor of love and it was just
taking up a lot of time. I don’t have as much time now as I used to with a young
one in the house. It was just labor intensive and I realized I wasn’t
enjoying doing that anymore but I was holding on to it and I think that
holding on to this idea of what I need to do, what I have to do because I’ve
always done this was preventing me from actually making wrap-up so I’d put them
off so long and then not enjoy them when I was doing it. I need to just experiment,
see if I like things better when I don’t do that. Also, it would be a burden off my
chest if I don’t have to request all those books from the library every
single time because I a lot of times listen to audiobooks or I will read a
print book and then it has to go back to the library
but I keep it overdue or I have to get in line for it again
to have it to do the physical part of my wrap ups. I just want to see if my
channel feels more fun when I am not tied down to making sure every single
thing lines up right and I hope that means that I can produce more content,
better content that you guys enjoy even if it means certain elements won’t be
there. Long story short, right now I am thinking about trying to sit down every
book or so that I read and film my review of it like immediately or as
close to the time I finished it as I can so it’s still fresh on my mind. So I’ll
be doing more of like a recent reads style wrap-up. It’s not gonna be like
every three books, every five books, it’s just gonna be like however many end up
making it into a video. So in this wrap up I am reviewing the
first three books that I read this year. The reason for the delay in getting
this up because these are the first three books I read in the year and I’m
already at like 12 or 13, it’s just because I really didn’t know where to start with this change. I didn’t know how many
reviews to put in one video or anything so I’m still playing with this and you
know what in a month I may decide I don’t like this and I’m not gonna be
doing this type of wrap-up anymore and things may change again. I don’t know but
let’s see how this goes. So now let’s cut to those reviews. I am really excited to
talk to you guys today about Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. This
is the first book I read in 2019 and I’m really glad that it was the first one
because it kind of started the year off on a really great note and hopefully
that means it’ll be a great reading year. So this is YA sci-fi and it was
pitched as Indiana Jones and Lara Croft set in space and that marketing
comparison was 100% accurate. I grew up watching the Indiana Jones movies, and
Star Wars so there’s the space aspect, and I also really fell in love with the
Tomb Raider games around the time that I think the second one came out is when I
really discovered those games. My best friend and I in high school we played
these games together and we would write I guess back then it
might [laughs] be considered fanfiction of like X-Files and Tomb Raider crossovers [laughing] but we
would just pass them as notes to each other in class. So Tomb Raider was
something that we were into, I was really into, and I grew up watching the Indiana
Jones movies because my dad was a huge movie buff. He had an extensive VHS
collection back in the day and he was a movie theater manager at one point so um
movies, video games, those were my things growing up and Indiana Jones meets Lara
Croft set in space is a 100% way to get Trina interested in a book and I
definitely think that was an accurate description. If you like those things I
think there’s a high likelihood that you will really enjoy this book. It does have
the exploring an ancient temple or tomb and having to figure out different
puzzles in order to progress into it. This is set in Earth’s future. We’ve
basically depleted the earth of all of its resources, which sounds pretty
realistic TBH, and then we have received a message from some alien race. It leads
them to another planet that is very similar to earth and so Earth starts
kind of harvesting resources and trying to get energy sources. The message was
kind of leading them to that planet but other people suspect that the message
was kind of a warning maybe telling them not to go there because it could be
Earth’s total destruction. So the two characters we follow in this they’re
very Lara Croft and Indiana Jones. Jules, the male main character, he is the book
smart guy. He is an archaeologist, he’s there for like just pure nerdiness. He
wants to know what the message said and what was it all leading to? He happens to
know the exact location of a yet undiscovered temple that he thinks holds
all of the answers to this and he is stranded on this other alien planet – but
it’s deserted there’s no one that actually lives on the planet anymore – but
he’s stranded there and he comes across the path of Mia who is the female main
character and she is like the street-smarts girl. She’s kind of scrappy. She knows how to survive on this planet. She’s
really just there to like loot some stuff and take it home and get money
because she has family issues that she needs quick money for so that’s how she
makes a living. So he’s there for research, she’s there for money, they end
up being forced to team up because they’re kind of getting into trouble and
he convinces her to come with him on this quest to find this hidden temple
and then once they get there there are all these different puzzles and stuff
that they have to solve and I really appreciated that the book, especially the
first puzzle, it gives you kind of details as to what’s going on but then
it didn’t spend a ton of time laying out a billion elaborate puzzles after that.
It did kind of just brush over a few of them but some of them were done enough
that I got the idea that yeah these were elaborate puzzles, these characters
really did have the intelligence to figure them out even if every second
wasn’t shown on page. So the adventure puzzle solving side of me was really
fulfilled. There is a romance here. It’s not as heavy as their Starbound trilogy.
I want to keep in mind that these characters are I think 16 and 18 ish and
so when they first meet there is an instant attraction, an instant
infatuation. It is not instant love and I feel like a lot of people read scenarios
like this and they say, “oh it’s insta-love, I hated it.” They weren’t instantly
in love, dedicated, committed to each other or anything. It’s just a crush. I
think it did embody the crush feeling very well. They think about what would it
be like to kiss each other or like, “oh my gosh his hand just brushed mine,” but
there are things that come between them that are roadblocks for this like
relationship that may or may not be being set up. They have secrets from each
other, they deceive each other at points because they don’t have the same common
end goal. They’re working together but they don’t want the same things out of
the end of it. Scenarios like that come across to me
more of a slow burn because you know that there’s that attraction there and
you want them to act on it but then they don’t but they want to and you’re just
spending the whole book like is it gonna happen? Will they, won’t they? I like that
kind of thing. So there is romance in this. That is kind of the setup of it. I
hope that gives you a good enough overview to determine whether or not you
would like it. I really enjoyed this book. I gave it
four stars. The ending was something exciting. I had so many theories going on
as I read this book. I loved the last line of the book in particular. It just
like turned everything on its head. It made me go, “wow that’s what everything
meant this whole time?!” and made me also really look forward to
knowing more, wanting that sequel ASAP. So I think book 2 is definitely gonna
give us more answers. This was definitely more build up but it had such a sense of
urgency and mystery to it that it was a fun adventure, a fun journey getting
there so I – I really liked this book. The second book I’ve read this year was An Unwanted
Guest by Shari Lapena. This is an adult murder mystery. It’s very classic murder
mystery. It’s about, I think we’re following about eight different
characters or so. They are all unconnected, like couples and some of
them are just by themselves and they all go to a hotel for a weekend and they get
snowed in, the power goes out, the next morning they get up and someone is dead
and it’s not exactly clear if it was an accident or a murder but they can’t
contact the police because the phones are out and the roads are completely
snowed in so no one can get out, no one can get in. And then another death
happens. It’s definitely a classic whodunit where different characters die
throughout the progression of the story and I feel like every time I started to
suspect a character then they ended up dead so I was not guessing well on this
one which is great because if you guys remember I’ve talked about a little bit
last year every single book I ever read, every mystery especially, I was just
guessing it way too early. And it doesn’t always mean I will not enjoy a book if I
guess it but I was like I really want something to shock me and my friend
Jordan from thejordanjournals suggested this book. So I didn’t guess the ending
but I do think that the book just doesn’t give you any kind of hints to
pick up on until the very end when it wants that reveal to happen which I
guess it’s good for keeping the secret but I also really like mysteries where
the hints are there, you just have to pick up on them. Maybe
they were there, I’m not sure because I did listen to the audiobook and that is a
format I can’t easily like go back in and I love when I’m reading a mystery to
be able to flip back to previous chapters and be like “well what’s that
character doing in this chapter earlier? let me tie everything together,” and I
don’t really feel like I needed to do that in this story. My favorite thing
about it was that the last chapter like it just laid everything out from the
killer’s point of view. Like it goes back to the start and tells you exactly who,
when, why, where, how, all of that kind of stuff, just laid it all out, every single instance that the killer was doing
something that you saw happen earlier now you know what it really was from
their point of view and what their whole motive was so I really enjoyed that
about it. A lot of mysteries seem to wrap up with like a detective or some
outsider just assuming this is what happened or like relating information. I
loved being in the head of the killer and knowing everything there and knowing a
little bit more about what led them to that and how they pulled things off. I
have also recently finished My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren.
This is the third Christina Lauren book that I have read in just like the past
month or two. They write adult romances. These are pretty steamy, they do have
some explicit sex scenes. It’s not excessive, like I think in this book
there were maybe two or three scenes that were described but the stories are
very very solid and that’s why I get invested in them. Of the three books of
theirs that I have read I think this is actually my favorite which is weird
because I gushed so much about Josh and Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating last year. I
think if you liked Josh and Hazel you will like My Favorite Half-Night Stand
because this is another story that is friends to lovers, and another thing
that’s common between this and Josh and Hazel is that throughout this book they
end up kind of going on dates with other people. Part of it – it’s an online
dating site and part of it is that they’ve written each other’s dating
profiles so they’re like putting all this like glowing stuff about this
person and you’re just sitting there screaming like, “you know you love him! you know you love her! why aren’t you guys together yet??” Like there was a lot of tension. I do think that Christina Lauren writes that
well. I understood the friendship, I had a good feel for it and how a romantic
relationship would kind of upend everything within their friend group and
with their families and their jobs because they also work together. These
characters all had very established careers which was something else I
enjoyed. But I could really tell that they did have a strong connection, they really
knew each other well before going into this so that just kind of makes the
stakes a little bit higher because there’s so much potential to just ruin
what they already had but you’re also knowing that they’re perfect for each
other and you know you’re hoping that it will work out. I also really liked the
characters of Millie and Reid because Millie, she really is a stereotypical guys
girl, just one of the guys but Millie, the female, is the one that’s really closed
off emotionally. She doesn’t open up very easily and then Reid, the guy, is the one
that’s really emotional. He’s into that stuff. Like some of the other guys say
over and over he lives for that kind of stuff, he wants the emotion, he’s a really
emotional guy. And usually it’s the opposite. A lot of times women are
caricatured as the overly emotional one and the men are the stoic non-emotional
guys who don’t want to open up and the woman just craves all the emotion and
this time it was kind of opposite so to me that was very refreshing and I just
really liked seeing that. I really loved Reid as a character because of that
because you don’t come across too many romantic hero leads you know that are
that way. That is it for this first recent reads. Feedback is always
appreciated although I’m gonna do [laughing] whatever works for my schedule in the
end but I do want to hear from you guys. Thinking of me personally,
how many minutes of a video can you stand to sit through listening to me? How
many books do you like to see in these recent reads style wrap ups and all of
that. Um yeah let me know. Thank you guys so much for watching and I will have
another one up soon. Bye! [music only]

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