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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End of the Year Book Survey (2013)!

best books 2013 end of year survey

1. Best Book You Read in 2013?

I am going to have to cheat a bit on this one, it's just too hard to pick one book! Therefore, I'm going to divide it up by genre.

Contemporary YA - Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Dystopian/Post-Apocalytic - Shatter Me and Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Historical Fiction - The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Paranormal - The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black or The Tiger's Curse series by Colleen Houck

Science Fiction -  The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey or Cinder, Scarlet and Cress (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

Fantasy - Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn't

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - I know that a ton of people rave about this book and I really wanted to be a part of that group - I just didn't get it. I want to sit down with someone that loves this book and have a conversation about. I think I could love it if I could figure out what is going on within it. 

3. Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2013!

Just One Day by Gayle Forman - I didn't like If I Stay by Gayle Forman and was very hesitant to read another one of her books. I'm so glad I decided to give this book a chance, it is now one of my favorite books of all time!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommend to people most in 2013?

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi as well as Just One Day by Gayle Forman

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth - I finally read Divergent this year and just finished with Allegiant yesterday. I have not recovered yet..

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Easy, peasy, Rainbow Rowell all the way. I absolutely loved all of her work that I've read so far, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Books that involve cancer always intimidate me and I procrastinate reading them because I know they will make me cry. I am so glad that I gave The Fault in Our Stars by John Green a read. A beautifully written book for a beautiful story. 

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. This book was so fast-paced and action packed that I couldn't put it down.

9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman. I'm sorry to be repetitive but these books were just so amazing, please read them if you haven't already :)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass or The Darkling from Shadow & Bone or Ruby from The Darkest Minds.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Her writing is poetic and so beautiful, I can't get enough of it. 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I read this book a few months ago and still think about it often.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?


15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013?

We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day. -Gayle Forman, Just One Day

16. Shortest & Longest book you read in 2013?

Longest - Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick - 640 pages
Shortest - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - 180 pages

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?

OH, there are quite a few of these. ummm, the last half of Clockwork Princess, the ending of Allegiant, Chapter 62 of Unravel Me, and The Fault in Our Stars.

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013?

This is a hard one to answer and I have so many, but one that hasn't been mentioned yet is Cath and Levi from Fangirl.

19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you've read previously

Delirium by Lauren Oliver. 

20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else:

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles.

21. Genre you read most from in 2013?

hmm, I'm not sure since I usually jump around genres. Probably an equal tie between dystopian and fantasy. 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Warner in Unravel Me. Levi in Fangirl. Choal in Throne of Glass.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Pivot Point by Kasie West

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. It was like a movie playing out in my head.

25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013?

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. 

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013?

Allegiant by Veronica Roth had a steady tear flow for me. As well as The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?

Defiance by C.J Redwine. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saentz. Crave by Melissa Darnell. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Break!

Hello all!

It has been a bit since I've posted. Alas, finals have been upon me combined with the busy holiday season! My apologies for not posting, but not to worry I will be back the week after Christmas. In the meantime, enjoy your holidays!

Happy Holidays to you and yours :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Readathon TBR Challenge

#ReadingCram Readathon TBR Challenge

Here is a photo of my tentative tbr pile for this readathon. It's ambitious to think that I will read through all of these books (my goal is to read at least 6) amidst finals but I am planning on choosing books to read out of this pile. 

The Books:

The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski (currently reading)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner
Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Merlin's Blade by Robert Treskillard
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

Book Review | The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publication: December 18th, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Bought it

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call  the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse; frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her - East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. 

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living. 

Review: I haven't heard a bad thing about this book so far, and you won't find a bad word here either. This book left me speechless and feeling so many different things that I simply couldn't compute, in a good way. Let's start with the unique storyline. I haven't read any books that are similar to this one with the world that exists in this book. I love reading stories about kids or people with abilities and this one was no exception. The difference, however, lies in the fact that abilities were seen as something that cannot come to be and must be repressed.

The strength of all of these characters were incredible. The kids with abilities are treated very poorly and I was constantly amazed at the strength of each of the characters to push through and remain hopeful that things could change for them. I dearly appreciated each and everyone of the characters in this book and Liam has earned a very special spot in my heart. A boy that is good, kind and sensible is often hard to come across in YA lit, but this guy is a special one for those reasons! 

The adventure in this book had me turning page, after page yearning to know what happens next. This is a survival road trip - two of my favorite type of stories combined to make an epic journey Ruby, Liam and their companions have to go on. I read this book quickly as I simply could not put it down, I HAD to know what was going to happen next. 

This tale will ride by fast when you have to keep turning pages to satisfy the urge to know what happens next, but it's a story that will stick with you and characters that will nestle themselves into your heart. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Any good adventures that you've read lately? Or characters that have made a special place in your heart?

Friday, December 6, 2013

End of the Year Readathon!

I have been waiting for another readathon opportunity and I'm so excited for the End of the Year Readathon coming up! This readathon is hosted by Juliababyjen's Reading Room and Danasquare. This readathon's main goal is to chisel off some of your tbr pile before the year ends. This readathon is taking place from December 9th to the 22nd. On twitter we will be using #ReadingCram to tweet about the readathon. 

My fall semester at college will coming to an end during this readathon so I'm anticipating I will have some distraction and therefore won't get to read as much as I would like to. My finals aren't too bad and I still really wanted to participate so here I am :)

My Goals:

Read at least 6 books. hopefully more :) 
Read at least 3 ARCs.
Take at least 2 solid hours everyday to read, read, read.
That's it so far, I want to keep it manageable so that I don't feel overwhelmed.

There is still time to sign up!! Head over here to get in on the action and get some reading done!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December Stack of Five

Hey guys, please help me decide on a book to read and review for this month! 
Thank you :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

TTT: 2014 Releases

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten 2014 Releases I'm excited for

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me and Unravel Me are some of the best books I've read this year. I am anxiously awaiting this book to see how the series ends. I just don't even know what to say...just come out already...pretty please?

The One (The Selection, #3)

The One by Kiera Cass

I read The Selection and loved it! I haven't read The Elite because I know I'm going to need this book shortly after to find out who she ends up with. That wedding dress cover is driving me crazy...who is she going to marry?!

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door are two of my favorite contemporary novels and I cannot wait to read this one and add it to my favorites.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3)

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

This series has kept me guessing and guessing and I just need some answers! Plus Noah Shaw can visit my head again anytime :)

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

This is the follow up to The 5th Wave and it doesn't have a cover yet, so I just put in the first book. This book is full of action and left us on a big cliffhanger. I can't wait to visit this world and characters again to find out what happens in this second installment.

Split Second (Pivot Point, #2)

Split Second by Kasie West

I thoroughly enjoyed Pivot Point and can't wait to continue this series. A unique world with story that I want to learn more about!

Snakeroot (Nightshade Legacy, #1)

Snakeroot by Andrea Cremer

I loved the Nightshade series and was stoked to hear that she is continuing on in the Nightshade world with this series. I can't wait to see where Andrea Cremer takes us in this beginning to a new series!

Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

The premise of this book is so unique. I'm intrigued and in need to find out what this book is all about.

Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

I haven't read a Beauty and the Beast retelling and this book has me finally itching to read one, this one in particular. I've heard fantastic things about this one already.

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

This is another book that is peaking my curiosity and another that has been highly anticipated. I can't wait to dive into this unique story.

Some Other Books I'm VERY Excited For

The Geography of You and MeCity of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)   Panic  To All the Boys I've Loved Before

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith I loved, loved, loved The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and I must read more of her books!

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare This is on here for obvious reasons! I have only read the City of Bones, but the Infernal Devices trilogies is one of my favorites. I have a hard time seeing a series end, so I'm in no hurry to finish this one, but I am anxious to see what happens in this series.

Panic by Lauren Oliver I've enjoyed Lauren Oliver's other books and this one is another one that is promising to be very enjoyable. With a intriguing premise and high anticipation, I can't wait to read this one.

To All the Boy I've Loved Before by Jenny Han I want to read this book right now! I like the concept of this book and the realistic aspect that we all have something that we want to say to our past lovers. I can't wait to read what this character has to say to hers!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Book Review | Crave by Melissa Darnell

Title: Crave
Author: Melissa Darnell
Publication: October 25th, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Borrowed from the library

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any member of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences.

Review: Reading this book reminded me why it's worth it to pick up a book that you haven't heard anything about. Sometimes I get all mixed up in reading books that are often talked about or books that I have already heard good things about rather than reading books that I discover on my own. I was craving a paranormal romance when I found this book and it was just what I was looking for. 

The unique storyline drew me into this book. I had initially thought that it was a vampire story, but it was so much more than that, witches are just as much of the story as vampires and it was an awesome twist to an overrun vampire theme. The paranormal in this book kept me intrigued into what was happening with the characters and their abilities. I loved this world and I'm looking forward to visiting again in the next books in the series. 

I really enjoyed all of the characters in this book. I loved the parents, for once a paranormal romance in which there are parents present! Parents that are likable characters! Savannah's interactions with her parents and grandmother were entertaining and real. It was wonderful to read about an openly paranormal family! 

The love story in this book had a Romeo/Juliet feel to it. Savannah and Tristan are forbidden to see each other, yet they are drawn to each other and love from a distance until they are drawn together. I liked the fact that their romance is one that has been around since they were young and grew as they grew. One of my favorite parts in the way this story was written is the dual perspectives. Hearing from both Savannah and Tristan contributed to my deep empathy for these characters. Savannah and Tristan are one of the truest loves that I have ever read. 

If you crave a paranormal romance, or a romance at all, please check this book out. This book exceeded my expectations and I can't wait to continue on with the series and Savannah and Tristan's love story as well as the world they live in. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Any good paranormal romance that you've read lately? Any books you've discovered lately that have exceeded your expectations?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review | Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Title: Just One Year
Author: Gayle Forman
Publication: October 10th, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Children's
Source: Bought it

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.
Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began....
When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn't know where in the world he is - Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day - that girl - makes Willem wonder if they aren't fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he'd thought....

Review: AHHH all the feels this book delivered! This is the one and only book that I have ever preordered and that's because I got a signed copy with a whole bunch of other goodies. I couldn't resist when Just One Day(check out my review here) has become one of my all time favorite books. I got it the week after it came out and I dropped what I was reading and read it right away. I just couldn't wait any longer. And I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. 

I'm going to do this review spoiler free as best as I can, so please don't mind my vague references. Remember the major cliff-hanger ending to Just One Day? This book does not begin there and I was anxious all the way to end, in fact I was so desperate to find out what happened that I have to admit, I peeked. The beginning of this book starts with Willem waking up and we find out what exactly happened to him and why he disappeared the morning after the day him and Allyson spent together. When he finds out that she has already gone, he goes on a search for her traveling all over the world.

I enjoyed reading about Willem's adventures just as much as I enjoyed Allyson's. His traveling and experiences were fun to read about. I thoroughly enjoyed vicariously traveling on his back throughout the book.

I loved the realness of emotions that Gayle Forman does a fantastic job of presenting. I felt that they were realistic perspectives of what a guy or girl would do if they were heartbroken. Willem was trying to move forward, but he kept going back to Allyson and I loved that we got to see how much he cared for her. I loved that he was passionate and sturdy in his love for her and it withheld everything he was faced with in this book.

There are moments in this book where you are on the edge of your seat with anticipation. Is he finally going to cross paths with her? What is going to happen? Are they going to end up happily ever after? While this book chipped off pieces of my heart, the ending put it back together again and made it swell. While I could have wanted more from the ending, it was adequately satisfying and so very sweet that I was very happy with it. Here's to crossing my fingers that maybe Gayle will change her mind and write a third book...

I recommend this book along with Just One Day to anyone and everyone. These books are all time favorites for me and ones I'm already dying to re-read. 

Have you guys read either of these books? How did you feel about the ending? Any good travel books that you have read before?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Some Friday Fun: A to Z Survey

There's this cool thing that Jamie's created over on her blog at the Perpetual Page Turner. I love her idea of a Fun Friday post, so I'm doing the A to Z survey.

Author you've read the most books from:

J.K. Rowling. I've read the entire Harry Potter series, making that 7 books. 

Best Sequel Ever:

So far, I've really enjoyed Unravel Me!

Currently Reading:

Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Drink of Choice While Reading:

If I could have anything, it would be a coffee or hot chocolate - something warm when cuddling up to read is fantastic. However, I typically have water, diet coke, juice or tea.

E-Reader or Physical Book?

I prefer to read physical books, but I don't mine Ebooks on my Nook.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School:

hmm, too many good choices. Probably Will from The Infernal Devices Trilogy. Oh, Will Herondale!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Hidden Gem Book:

Aristotle and Dante Discover Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

When I found Goodreads! I was getting great book recommendations when I didn't have anywhere to get them.

Just Finished:

Carrie by Stephen King

Kinds of Books You Won't Read:


Longest Book You've Read:

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (859 pages)

Major book hangover because of:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Number of Bookcases You Own:


One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Preferred Place To Read:

A comfy chair or my bed

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:

"We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day." Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Reading Regret:

Not reading books fast enough. My tbr pile is so large that I should be finishing books quicker so I can read more. 

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all the books are out in the series):

Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant! I've only read Divergent so far. 

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

oh boy, this is so hard to choose just three. Here goes..
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Just One Day by Gayle Forman (and Just One Year)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
okay, I've already gotten five, I better stop...but there's so many good books!

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Harry Potter :)

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. I HAVE to know what happens next!!!

Worst Bookish Habit:

Starting series and not finishing them...I'm sad to see them end!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Your latest book purchase:

I got a few books with some birthday money.
From Barnes and Noble I got: 
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis 
Blythewood by Carol Goodman
Half Price Books is having a coupon sale this week so I got a few books (for super cheap):
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - I had to know what happened next. So action packed and filled with adventure and some romance!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review | Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Happy Halloween! Here is my review of my Halloween spooky read, and also what I'm reading today (on Halloween)!

What are you guys reading this Halloween? What are the creepiest books that you have read?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Review | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication: February 26th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Bought it

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love - and just how hard it pulled you under.

Review: I've heard quite a bit of hype about this book and that usually steers me away from the book until it cools down. This book I picked up during banned books week because of some impact it has had in my home state. A library in the state (not my local library) cancelled Rainbow Rowell's appearance because some believed that this book was inappropriate for kids to be reading because of the language in it. Since it was banned books week, I decided that this would be the perfect read for it.

I loved this book and the story in its pages. The realistic aspect of this book will have anyone relating to it in one way or another. There are always difficult aspects of a relationship and Eleanor and Park's relationship is no exception. Eleanor and Park are two lost, and broken people that seem to find more of themselves when they are together. There is a tie to my homestate of Minnesota in the book and I loved that!

Eleanor was a real girl that carried many burdens with her. She had to deal with a broken home along with a new school where she didn't know anyone. She's described as being larger than those around her, but what female doesn't feel that way and in that sense I related to her and loved her even more for her realness. I completely related to Eleanor in her imperfect attributes and I loved that about her. She quickly became one of my favorite characters.

Park was an average boy, that didn't stand out, but just lived his teenage life doing what he needed to do. He was a little rough around the edges but Eleanor softened him up by just being herself. Park is a guy that not all girls want but is a diamond in the rough and was perfect for Eleanor. I enjoyed reading about how he turned around to become quite the sweet gentleman for Eleanor and giving her the love that she deserved.

Addressing to why this book was banned: Yes there was some "foul" language in this book, but it is language that you could just as easily hear on the street or other media. I think this book carries so much that everyone can relate to. I don't think this book should be banned (I don't think any book should be banned), but rather I think that this story should be embraced and shared for I think many would enjoy reading this one.

Eleanor & Park is filled with realities of everyday life, hardships, happiness and love. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone for there is something for all that lies within these pages.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

TTT: "Forced" to read books

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I was "Forced" to Read in One Way or Another

TTT is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - I read this book in high school and I loved it. I think this one is due for a re-read.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - I also read this one in high school and didn't take to it all that well, however I re-read it this summer and loved it. I will be re-reading it again in the upcoming month for a college course I'm taking.

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - I just read this one for the same college class I mentioned above. This was my first Hemingway novel and I loved it! I can't wait to read more by him. 

Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck - This is another one I read in high school that I really loved. I have been thinking about this one as of late and I think it's also due for a re-read.

A Good Man is Hard to Find (a short story) by Flannery O'Connor - When I first read this one in high school, I hated it! But it stuck with me for the second time I read it last fall in a college course, I actually really liked it. I loved the unexpectedness of this one and the different representations that can come out of it. 

Divergent by Veronica Roth - When I first heard about this book it was in comparison to The Hunger Games and I was completely turned off by that - I didn't want anything to replace The Hunger Games to me. However, after hearing how good this book was on a consistent basis, I decided to give it a try and boy, was it amazing!

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles - This book has been out for awhile and I kept resisting it thinking that it was one of those cheesy romances. After hearing how great it was from a trusty blogger, I succumbed and read it and fell in love with it.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - I don't know if I would have read this book had I not heard so many great things about it from the book/reading community. I'm so glad I gave this one a shot, what an amazing story!

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green - I was hesitant for so long to read this one, I was scared that it wouldn't live up to my high expectations that I gained from hearing how phenomenal this book is. I was also nervous for all the feels it would bring me. I don't regret diving into this book nor do I regret the feels it gave me. 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Another book that I don't think I would have picked up if it hadn't been all the good things I was hearing about it. I'm so glad that I branched out and read this one. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

October Stack of Five(or Six)!

Help me pick out a book (or two) to read and review this month! Voting will end on Wednesday :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Review | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication: August 7th, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Source: Bought it

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted for her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Review: This is one of my favorites of the year! It is filled with assassins, magical elements, castles, and battles that will keep you turning pages. I loved the story, the characters and everything in this book, please mind my blubbering about how amazing this book is! 

We start by following Celeana and what an awesome strong female character to read about - she is fierce! Celeana is one tough chick that has a soft heart and a strong will to live and do anything she sets her mind to. I loved that she is one of the best assassins but so few know that she is a girl! She stood up for herself and I was so proud of her by the end of the book - she made a decision that most wouldn't have the courage to make and it was a great turning point in the book!

I am generally a fan of fantasy and this book is one of my favorite fantasies that I have read. I loved the story of a competition of the world's best criminals along with an underlying mystery surrounding the castle the same time the competition is occurring. This book is packed with action and there is never a dull moment!

I enjoyed the love triangle though I think it's a little heavily influenced on the one side than it is the other. I thought that both of Celeana's love interests, Dorian, the prince and Chaol, her trainer, are both good-looking men offering her completely different attributes and I find it hard to choose between which one I like more. I couldn't get enough of the story surrounding Celeana and her men.
I can't recommend this book enough. A strong book all around with a strong female, strong love and strong story that you won't be able to put down! I loved everything about this one and I'm looking forward to reading the second book, The Crown of Midnight.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sarah Dessen Book Club!

Okay, I'm finally jumping on the Sarah Dessen book wagon. Please don't hate me when I say that I have never read a Sarah Dessen book. I know, I know, I'm a terrible! Therefore when I saw that Heather, from The Bookables on YouTube, was starting a Sarah Dessen book club I had to join. Joining in is the perfect way for me to finally read some Sarah Dessen and be able to talk about it with others reading the same book! Here is the introduction video for it and during September the book to read was The Truth About Forever. Though I'm joining at the end of the month, I hope to have this one in a few days so I don't miss much.

I am excited to find out what we are reading in October and I hope you all will join in! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

This week was a difficult list for me to make - there are so many fantastic releases this fall. I've been saving up for these couple of months and I am going to go broke again very quickly. 

Top Ten (New Release) Books on My Fall TBR

(out October 15th)

This follow-up to my favorite read of the year so far, Just One Day, is my most highly anticipated release this fall. I'm growing more and more impatient for this one to come so I can read it!

(out today!)

I've heard some amazing things about this one! The cover is beautiful and I'm hoping this fantasy story will be just as great! 

(out on October 1st)

This contemporary sounds like a great love story and I can't wait to read it!

(out already!)

This is another book I've heard nothing but fantastic things about. I love the premise and it sounds like I can relate to the MC, Cath in a few ways. I'm anticipating this one to be one of my favorite reads this fall.

(out already!)

The CW has picked up this story and made it into a TV show. I really want to read this one before the show airs! This story sounds like it will be an action-packed, great read.

(out already!)

This one is about time travel...time travel?! Yes, please! I've heard great things about this one as well and I can't wait to pick it up!

(out already!)

As a fan of dragons, but not finding many books with dragons, I am so happy to hear about this one! I  couldn't be more excited to find out what's behind that pretty cover.

(out on Sept. 24th!)

This book has a unique story about super villains!! I've heard some really good things about this one as well! I cannot wait to see what all the excitement is about!

(out already!)

I just finished Throne of Glass this month and I LOVED it! I cannot wait to find out what happens next!

(out already!)

I've been reading some fantastic reviews on this one and I am looking forward to seeing if I feel the same way!

Book Review | Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Title: Gated
Author: Amy Christine Parker
Publication: August 6th, 2013
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: Won it in a giveaway

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:
Pioneer is her leader.

Will is her Intended.

The end of the world is near.

Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound's underground fortress - the Silo.

Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she'd rather think about a certain boy outside of the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of the days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.

Review: This book was not what I expected and I don't mean that in a bad way! I thought that this book would begin with a huge apocalyptic event and the story would be about everyone surviving in this compound while the world around them is dying. I was completely off with that one! To start off with, this book is about a cult. I actually really enjoyed reading about a cult, it's a topic that doesn't get discussed often and I found it intriguing.

I really enjoyed Lyla as our MC. I felt that she was a girl that stood boldly for her rights in the way that she went against those norms that were required in the cult - such as learning how to shoot accurately - while those around her were shooting at human cardboard cutouts (I think one even had was a child) she refused to because she had a hard time shooting at any human, let alone one that is innocent. She had a kind heart, and a pure drive to what's right and to seek the truth. She also had this curiosity factor that made her really enjoyable to discover new things with as you are reading. 

While this book isn't heavy on the romance, there is a slight romantic factor in this book. I usually like a little more romance (or potential for it) present in books I read, but this one I thought had just the right amount for the story. This story is about Lyla and her community - and that holds the interesting tale. I absolutely loved getting a new, fresh perspective from a world that you don't often get to read about in literature. This world of a community that follows one leader and has all these radical beliefs and rules that members must follow. This was a world set within a world and getting a glimpse inside of it fascinated me.

I would recommend this book for those that enjoy suspense and intrigue. If you're looking for a new take on a whole different world that similarly exists around us (in different ways) then you should check this book out. I really enjoyed this one and I liked that it was a stand-alone; I felt the story was a complete the way it was, and was a good one at that. : )

What are some books you've read lately that have given you a unique perspective in one way or another?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Library Haul - Vlog style

I recently checked out some books from the library! Check em out! While you're at it, check out some other videos by RayKayBooks :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Book Review | Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green

Title: Truth or Dare
Author: Jacqueline Green
Publication: May 14th, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Won it off of Goodreads

Rating: 3 out 5 stars

Synopsis: When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it's no longer a party game. It's do or die.

It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin "Angel" Thomas to prove she's more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn't even there; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they're forced to play along - or risk exposing their darkest secrets.

How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from the surfacing? And who's behind this twisted game?

Review: I haven't watched or read any of the Pretty Little Liars series, but this book reminded me of the premise and it sounded intriguing. This book revolves around a truth or dare game gone way too serious that people start to get hurt and serious events start to happen. It's hard to talk about this book without giving too much away, so please excuse the vagueness of this review.

I had a hard time relating to any of the characters. They were all annoying to me in some way or another. I felt that they all made stupid decisions and it seemed as though they all thought the world was about them which was a turn off. Not relating to characters made it difficult for me to get into the story.

I did however, like the storyline and the plot twists kept me intrigued and invested in what was going to happen next. I think that Green did a great job of interweaving the characters and completely blindsiding you with twists that you didn't see coming (and others that were predictable, but no less dramatic). 

I felt that this book could have been much shorter than it is. At nearly 400 pages, this book is quite big for the amount of action in it. I felt that parts of the story were dragging while I was waiting for the next event in the story. I heard that this book is going to be part of a trilogy and though this one ended on a small cliffhanger, I'm on the fence about continuing to read the series. 

Filled with drama and intrigue, this is an enjoyable read. While I didn't relate to any of the characters (normally if this happens, I can't even continue reading the book), I continued reading and was entertained with the many twists and turns that occur. I would recommend this one if you like mysteries or thrillers.

What are some great mystery/thriller YA books that you have read?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I received an email from The Book Depository with their new promotion cleverly titled Shelftember. This inspired me to think of a feature for the blog with my own shelves, and showing what books fill (and overfill) my shelves. I thought I would share a part of my shelves each week for the month of September. I am in no-way bragging, I just thought it would be fun to share what books I own. I always like to see what books people have on their shelves, so I hope you all will join in and share too! :)

Top Shelf:
Dualed by Elsie Chapman                                              
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
The Essence by Kimberly Derting                                  
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers                                    
Legend by Marie Lu
Delirium by Lauren Oliver                                              
Pandamonium by Lauren Oliver
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick            
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons
Black City by Elizabeth Richards                                   
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet By Marissa Meyer
Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Unremembered by Jessica Brody
Every Day by David Levithan
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Program by Suzanne Young
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Partials by Dan Wells
The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer
The Elite by Kiera Cass

Second Shelf: Most of these are ARCs that I received at ALA this year.
To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones
The Girl From Felony Bay by J.E. Thompson
The Burning by Elana K. Arnold
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington
Planet of Thieves by Dan Krokos
The Year of Luminous Love by Lurlene McDaniel
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Anomaly by Krista McGee
The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
The Vow by Jessica Martinez
Teardrop by Lauren Kate
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufmen and Meagan Spooner
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Hooked by Liz Fichera
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett
Forgiving Lies by Molly McAdams
Magical Fashionista by Tess Whitehurst
Hostage Three by Nick Lake
Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
172 Hours On The Moon by Johan Harstad and Tara F. Chace
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
Like After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Reboot by Amy Tintera

Any books on my shelf that are common with yours? Have you read and enjoyed any of these?