Author Archives: stenoe0

The Circle by Dave Eggers Book Review

When I got my hands on The Circle I was happy to get to read this month. In fact, at the beginning of the year, I was looking for book-to-movie adaptations coming out this year. The Circle was one of them and I had a good feeling of it. I even liked the trailer and being a Tom Hanks fan I knew I wanted to read it. So finally I finished and I will tell you that the book left me with mixed feelings. So let’s get to the review, shall we?

  • Title: The Circle
  • Author: Dave Eggers
  • Year Published: 2014
  • Page Count: 497
  • Buy Book: Amazon
  • Goodreads: Here

Synopsis:

For those that don’t know what The Circle is about, I will tell you. This book focuses on a young woman in her twenties who gets a job of a life time and goes to work to the most powerful tech company. This company which is called The Circle is a combination of Google, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter and pretty much most well-known social media sites that continue to innovate. The main character Mae gets the job as a CE(Customer Experience) and must learn the ropes. She also learns about the value of being on social media and being part of a community. Later she learns the company takes sharing to the max and learns what it means to be under control of a tech company looks like.

My thoughts:

Like I said from the top I was left with mixed feelings. There were many things I liked about the book. For starters, I like the fact that Dave Eggers built this whole utopian world of a company that rules the world with their innovation, and ideas. But I also like how he built the company’s community. Another thing I enjoyed about the book was how it makes you think. It asks great questions like what happens if a tech company has way too much power. It also covers how much should we be in each other’s lives. Lastly, the idea of transparency within a company, people, and even those in power.

That said I do have my problems with the book. And this is mostly aimed at the characters. When comes to main character Mae I felt she was the most irritating character in the book. She starts off as a quiet, private shy girl without tech skills and gets hired to a tech company. But towards the end of the book, she becomes a self-absorbed person that cares more about gaining an audience and is ok with just being brain-washed. I also did not like the fact she never questions anything about the company and just blinding goes along with everything.

I also think the rest of the characters were really flat and felt one dimensional. I think this is due to the fact that everyone disappears a lot throughout the book and appears when you least expect it. The book also never explains anything except leaves me with questions.

Conclusion:

Overall The Circle had its great points to it. And even though I am not a fan of the characters I don’t find the book horrible or dislike it. I found the book very fast paced and it held most of my attention and I liked how it made me think. I also like Dave Eggers built the world that was run by a powerful tech company and showed us what could happen. This was more of a book before a dystopia happens. So that is it for the review on The Circle. Let me know in the comments below on what you think about the book. And what are your thoughts on transparency in the company and do you think there is a point where we draw a line? Until next time keep on reading.

Links:

Buy on Amazon

How I Get Cheap(free) Books Part 1

Hi, guys. It is Friday and today I am back with another post. And today I will be talking about the ways I save on books. I go, to be honest, I think books are expensive and my own personal financial situation makes it hard to buy expensive books all the time. I also know that many others who just starting out with book blogging or even booktube can’t always afford books all the time so I am here give you my tips on how I get my books without breaking the bank. So in this post, I will be broken this subject into two different posts. Today I will be covering physical books and on my next post will be about e-books.

Cheap Books

Starting things off I will be skipping out on buying physical books online because I don’t really shop for books online unless I got a gift card for my birthday or Christmas because I find shipping cost to be pricey for me.

Used Bookstores

One of my favorites places to go is a used bookstore. I love how each store is different and you never know what you’ll find. I also like the fact that you can walk in and not have to worry about a sales person following you around and asking you if you need something like tens times. Which sadly happens to me a lot when I shop at other stores(Victoria’s Secret).  Another thing about used bookstore is the fact that most of the books are affordable. The books can go between $5 to a $1 depending on the store.  Another great reason I like about Used bookstores is that you can trade in your own books for either money or store credit and can use to buy more books. But note to not expect to be paid a fortune just probably $10 bucks or less. Just check with the bookstore.

In the Streets:

This is something I learned on a nice day while going to a gelato store in my area. I was walking down the street and spotted a chair and on it had junk all over. It even had old books, papers and so on. Along with the stuff on the chair, there was a sign that said: “Free take it”. I decided to take home one of the books that were on my TBR list and since then I came up with this tip. If you are even walking down the street or just anywhere and see a book that interests you just take it. Someone has to give it a home and give it some one appreciation.

Library Book Sales:

Another great place I love getting books is library book sales. I got to say that this is my favorite place because I visit and support the local libraries I go to. I also can return the books I borrowed and then buy books. Most library books sales happen once a month and last a certain amount of time. Usually a week or a few days. What I like about library book sales is that you never know what you are going to find and can find that hidden gem. I also like the super dirt prices. In fact, the prices are so low I barely spend more than $4 at a book sale. By the way, my personal library has a $1 a Bag day where for just one dollar I get can a whole bag full of my choice of books. Deals like these vary depending on the library but these sales are great for anyone who wants to do book haul videos.

So those are my favorite ways to get books. I hope this list helps you on your journey to finding books and as well saving money on them too. If you totally enjoyed this post do share it on social media. And if you have any suggestions let me know in the comments below and until next keep on reading.

 

York by Laura Ruby Book Review

This week I bring you the awesome world of The Shadow Cipher with the first book York by Laura Ruby. This book brings the combination of cipher puzzles, the beauty of architecture in New York and even some steampunk. York was a book that I had so much fun reading. For those.

  • Title: York
  • Series: The Shadow Cipher
  • Author: Laura Ruby
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Page Count: 496 pages
  • Buy Book: Amazon
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis

In the Laura Ruby’s book York, we start off with the mysterious disappearance of the famous Morningstar Twins who were known for their vision of the buildings in New York City. Years later the Twin’s beautiful architecture slowly go away as well. In order to save the legacy of the famous buildings and solve the mystery, one must solve the cipher puzzle.

In modern day, twins Tess and Theo team up with their friend Jamie to solve cipher puzzle in order to save their building after it was bought by a real estate developer. Later do the kids know that this puzzle takes them on an adventure through the city of New York.

Review

I had so much fun reading this book. The took me on an adventure through the city of New York. I also like the mystery surrounding the cipher puzzle which reminds me of National Treasure but with steampunk elements. The book also gave me a much greater appreciation towards architecture and how we must work hard to preserve old buildings.

The book also is fast pace and there is a ton of action throughout. I also liked the three main characters. The twins Tess and Theo are funny. Like there would be moments they will pick on each other in a sibling kind of way where they will say a ton of funny lines which made me laugh to the point where I was in tears. Literally in tears. I also liked how even though the twins pick on each other they still have this greater bond between them. I also liked Jamie because he is geeky, artsy and also smart. Despite not being an expert in cipher puzzles he also has a way of contributing to problem-solving.

Closing

Overall I really enjoyed reading York and didn’t find many things I didn’t like about. I personally enjoyed the cipher puzzles and the steampunk elements throughout the story. Lastly, I thought the characters were enjoyable and can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. If you are interested in this book I have links below in the link section. Until my next review keep on reading.

LINKS

Buy Book:on Amazon

If you use this link I do get a small comission when item purchased.

June Favorites 2017

Hi, guys. It’s the beginning of July and we are at full summertime. Well, today I will be talking about some of my favorite books of June. I read a lot of great books this month but there are some that left me wanting more. Below is my list.

BOOK 1: Freya by Matthew Laurance

After reading both American Gods and Norse Mythology I wanted to read more books about Norse related stories so I picked Freya. Freya is the goddess Freya from Norse Myths. And in the book, Freya goes by Sara and goes on the lamb when a secret agency wants to use her to capture gods. On the run, she teams up with a boy named Nathan. Together discover secrets the agency is hiding and plot to find a way to take them down. I really enjoyed this book because of the combination of a badass female character, strong friendships and the mixture of myths from around the world. Check out the book at Amazon

Book 2: Your One Word by Evan Carmichael

The book Your one Word is written by one of my favorite Youtubers. Evan Carmichael is a well-known entrepreneur and wrote this about finding that one word that describes you, your brand, business and using that word to start your business. I love how inspiring this book is. The book not just takes about finding your word but also shares stories of famous well-known successful people and how they got to where they are. Check this book at Amazon

Book 3: #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso

I wanted to pick #Girlboss after watching the new Netflix show Girlboss and wanted to know more about Sophia’s story and how to start a business. I think this book was really inspiring and was amazed at how Sophia started her business just from selling vintages clothes on eBay but then it leads to becoming a major business. I think proves anyone can do anything. Check out this book at Buy on Amazon

Book 4: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

Lastly, my other favorite book that I read this month was The Black Witch. I totally think that this is the book of the summer in my opinion. The book is about a girl who is related to the amazing Carnissa Garner who helped save the Gardnerian Empire and is the powerful Black Witch. Sadly the girl whose named is Elloren is powerless and has to live underneath the shadow of her grandmother. During the book, Elloren and her brothers go to the Varpax University and school is known for its diversity and go to study apothecary. Sadly, arriving at this university she learns about how divided this school really is and must use her inner strength to survive. Check out the book at Buy on Amazon

That is it for this edition of favorites. If you enjoy learning about my favorite during each month let me know in the comments below. And until next time keep on reading.

Links:

Buy Books:
Freya by Matthew Laurence
Your One Word by Evan Carmichael
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

The 6 Books to Look Out For this Summer

Hi, guys! Are you excited for the summer? Well, I am and this summer there are a ton of great books that are coming out this summer. There is a mix of standalone, returning series and even some superheroes coming to your favorite bookstore. In this post, I will be discussing my list of most anticipated reads for summer 2017. So let’s get started.

Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo


I don’t know about you but I am super stoked about Wonder Woman coming out. After the movie Wonder Woman I been in the mood for books with bad ass female characters that can kick butt. To learn more about Wonder Woman check it out here.

Ash and Quill (Book 2 The Great Library) by Rachel Caine

This is another book that I am excited about. If you missed the first two books of The Great Library Trilogy I have links below that will lead you to my past reviews in case you are interested. Ash and Quil continue off where we left off with the characters after escaped London and now ended up in Philadephia. There they must save lives and the books they love from the mysterious burners. The only way to save themselves is the secrets to holding about The Great Library. To learn more and pre-order your copy click here.

Link to past review on Paper and Fire

York by Laura Ruby

If you love mystery, and science fiction than check out York by Laura Ruby that literally comes out this month. Like a few weeks ago. Laura Ruby was known for her other well-known book Bone Gap. Now she returns with this adventure that centers around three characters to go on a quest to discover the secrets from a cipher in order to save their homes from being taking from an evil developer.

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

In this new series after the king and queen of Eden is murdered two twins must battle it out in order to get the crown. Who will run the kingdom of Eden? Who will survive? Click here to find out.

Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman

After reading Bird Box I couldn’t wait to see more of Josh Malerman and so when I heard about this book I reserved it ahead of time. He previous work was fresh and a great work of art. In this book, he returns with a story about the US Government that hires a band named Dane to go to Africa to find the source of a mysterious sound. On their quest, the band learns about secrets that could up becoming a conspiracy.Check out the book here

The Last Magician

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell focuses on a thief who has a talent for stealing magical artifacts decides to travel to old New York to steal a magical mysterious book that content secrets about the reasons behind the dark energy forces that keeps magic trapped in Manhattan and also about an evil magician that wants the book for himself. This seemed like an easy task for Esta but she soon finds out that the streets of Old New York may be more dangerous than the magician himself. Click here to learn more about the book.

So those are some of the books that I am most excited about this summer. If you are excited by any of these books let me know in the comments below. And if there are other books that you are excited about let me know as well. Until next time keep on reading.

Links:

Top Books of 2017 So Far

Hi guys! Happy Friday. I gotta to say my week went by fast and I am happy for the weekend. Well, today I will be talking about my favorite books of 2017 so far. This year there was a ton of great books and many books that I had on my most anticipated list came out during the beginning of the year. So below I have a list of my favorite books.

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

Starting off my list is The Black Witch which is written by Laurie Forest. This is book was discovered on Goodreads and I had a feeling it would be a great book. The book blew me away and I couldn’t stop reading it. It had the combination of magic, a fantasy realm, strong group of characters and fae. The Black Witch also covers different issues like discrimination and prejudices which I liked. I liked the idea of using a fantasy world to create a message.If you are interested in learning more I have a review that goes into detail of the book. You find the link below

Freya by Matthew Laurence

After reading both Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and his other book American Gods I had a kick for the Norse Mythology. In my search of Norse Myth inspired books I found a book called Freya a book written by author Matthew Laurence. This was a really fun book and I am sure if you are into books that have a balance between action and comedy this is it. If you haven’t heard of this book Freya focuses on Freya the goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. And in this modern world, she is known as Sara and she goes on the lamb after she learns a secret agency is looking for her and is hunting down gods and goddess. Sara also teams up with a man named Nathan and they both learn about the agency and their malicious secrets. This leads them to plot a way to take down this agency.

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

I read Ever the Hunted at the beginning of the year and this got to be in my top three books so far. I loved it so much that I read it in under three days. The book has magic, mystery, and adventure. This book also has a strong female character who is also smart. If you haven’t read my full review on the book hope over to bottom of this list and click on the link to the book review.

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

I was excited to get my hands on Windwtich when it came out. I even reserved it ahead of time at the library because I knew it was going to be awesome. And it was. The book brought back the same action from the first book Truthwitch but gave an extra dose of strong female characters and more sword fighting scenes.

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Wayfarer got to be the best in the duology. Passenger was one of my favorite books of 2016 and made another splash and didn’t disappoint me in any way. The book brings back all my favorite characters but instead a romance focused book it gives you more time travel and more adventure. I actually thought the book had a lot of thrills and unexpected twists.

Lifeblood by Gena Showalter

The last book on the list was Lifeblood is the second book in the Everlife series and continues where we left off from the first book Firstlife The first book was a fresh take on a dystopian and was thrill ride. The second book extends the world building and takes you to what would be the afterlife which is split into different realms Myriad and Troika which are at war with each other and a girl named Ten must choose where her loyalty rests. She must choose the world she has chosen Troika or her boyfriend who is from Myriad. I think this book doesn’t get enough attention and must be well-known because I think it’s original.

So, that is it for this list. Stay tuned for the end of the year for my top books of 2017. And for you guys, I will like to know what your favorite books of 2017 so far. Let me know if you read these books and your thoughts. Until next time keep on reading.

Links:

Past Reviews on books mentioned

Buy Books on Amazon

The Black Witch Book Review

Hi, guys. Welcome back to another edition of Where Stephanie Reads. I also can’t help but say that the year is going super fast. And now the summer is finally in motion. Well, to start the beginning of summer with a new book review I will be discussing the book The Black Witch. This is a book that recently came this month and has the combination of magic and is character driven.

  • Title: The Black Witch
  • Series: The Black Witch Chronicles
  • Author: Laurie Forest
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Page Count: 601 pages
  • Buy Book: Amazon
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis

The Black Witch focuses on the granddaughter of a famous legendary Black Witch who saved the Gardnerian people. Unlike her well-known grandmother, the character Elloren doesn’t have her powers. In fact, she pretty is shy and was raised in a small town sheltered by the on-goings of the world. During the story, Elloren and her two brothers get to go to the famous Verpax University to study apothecary. The school that is known to be diverse and made up of students from different regions and different ethnic groups. Soon, Elloren must face the ugly truth that the school is way more divided and the ugly truth of her grandmother’s legacy.

My Thoughts

The Black Witch was so good. I started it on Sunday and finished it this morning. To be honest I didn’t know what it was about but saw thumbnails of the book cover on Booktube and decided to pick it up. I also really liked the cover and it gave me chills. Chills in a good way. The book has a mixture of fantasy world building, magical elements and a female character that was easy to relate to.I like how regardless of Elloren’s struggles with fitting into the world she knew nothing about she kept true to herself. I also like the fact that the book touches topics of prejudice and discrimination.

If you wish to learn more about the book hop over to the bottom to head over to Amazon and until next time keep on reading.

Links: