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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TTT | Sequels I'm Dying For

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish. This week the topic is:

Sequels I Can't Wait to Get

Throne of Glass #4 by Sarah J. Maas - This one is a no brainer. I LOVE this series. SO MUCH.

Snow Like Ashes #2 by Sara Raasch - Snow Like Ashes is my favorite debut of this year, so of course I'm dying for the next one to come out already!

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray - I read The Diviners last month and loved it, so Lair of Dreams is already on my highly anticipated list for 2015.

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski - The Winner's Curse is one of my favorite reads of the year, I'm DYING TO READ THIS ONE because of that ending. and Arin. 

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson - The Kiss of Deception is another fave I read this year. This ending left such a huge cliffhanger that I was ready to sell my soul for the next book - I'm ever so anxiously waiting for this book to arrive. 

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han - I really enjoyed To All The Boys I've Loved Before and I can't wait to get re-acquianted with the characters in the next book.

End of Days by Susan Ee - I liked Angelfall and then I loved World After. I NEED to know what's going to happen next. 

The Jewel #2 by Amy Ewing - I read The Jewel recently and I liked it way more than I thought I would. It ended with a cliffhanger and like anyone who ends a book they really liked on a cliffhanger, I'm (im)patiently for the next one.

Winter by Marissa Meyer - Cress is my favorite book in this series so far. Each book has gotten better and better. I CANNOT WAIT to see how this series ends.

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson - I love Sanderson. I really liked Steelheart. But I want to know what type of brilliance Sanderson is going to craft into this series. 

What are some sequels you can't wait to get to get ahold of??

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review | The Diviners

Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Publication: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought it
Series: Yes! This is the 1st book.

Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York city - and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It's 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he'll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dane with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

Review: Wow, this book was so much more than I thought it would be. I've heard some great things, but I didn't know it was going to be that good. There were so many fantastic elements in this book, I don't know where to start...

I think I'll start with the writing because it was stunning. The words seemed to flow straight in and tell such a good story that I couldn't stop reading. The way that Libba Bray tells a story is flawless and I can say with confidence that this is the first book I read by her, but it definitely won't be the last.

There are multiple perspectives from different characters in this book, which is not what I expected, but I think it added to the tale. And Bray crafted these stories so well that I never got lost or confused and they interwove so intricately and perfectly. 

Speaking of different perspectives and characters, I loved just about all of the characters. I think they all delivered they're own unique stories that I thought were all incredibly interesting. I was a bit put off by the romance, it seemed off to me. 

This book tells a story that has not even come close to being similar to anything I have ever read before. I loved the setting of the 1920's. The paranormal aspects were unique and so intriguing. Things kept happening that I didn't expect and I was completely enthralled and invested into this story and its characters. I cannot wait to get the next book - can it please come out already??

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think of the paranormal abilities? Have you read Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty, what did you think of it (I think I might read it soon)? 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sharing My Favorites for October & Wrapping Up the Books I Read

Books I Read:

I only got around to reading 5 books last month. It's not enough for me! I wish I was reading more! I started out the month good, but then well school, and life got busy and took up all my time. See my feels when reading accidentally falls off my priority list. But, alas,

In October, I read and finished:

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - Not sure what took me so long to start this series, but I'm so incredibly glad that I finally gave it a go. This was a definite 5 out of 5 star read for me!

The Jewel by Amy Ewing - I'll admit that I was a bit hesitant going into this one, but I came out really enjoying it. I'm dying for the next book in the series! This was another 5 out of 5 star read for me!

Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo - I aimed to finish this series this fall and last month it was calling to me to read it. This one was a really good piece to the story and might have been even more action-packed than the first book. I gave this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo - I fell into a bit of a lull reading this, but it wasn't the book, it was all me. The ending was okay for me. I liked it, but maybe would have preferred things turn out differently. I gave this one 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levine - This was the only spooky book that I got to this month because my lull continued after I finished Ruin & Rising. But I really enjoyed this one and it was a perfect Halloween read. Gave this one 4 out of 5 stars. 

My last week of October Obsession:

Can TS make a bad cd? I think not. I've had her cd on repeat since it came out. My constant repeats have been Style, This Love and Wildest Dreams.

Some Shows I've Been Addicted To:

How To Get Away With Murder - Each episode gets better and better. I can't wait to see where this is going!

Selfie - I liked this one ALOT more than I thought I would. It's a new fave.

Manhatten Love Story - This show might be my new FAVORITE. And I think there isn't enough buzz about this one... please check it out if you haven't already. Love this show!

Gilmore Girls - Started marathoning this show and I've forgotten how good it is. Before I only watched a rerun here or there and for a few months I've been dying to watch the whole series from start to finish and now I'm finally doing that. Also Rory has been strongly motivating to read, and to pick up some books I normally wouldn't have!

What shows did you start (or continue) watching this month???

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

When Reading Accidentally Falls Off the Priority List

Reading has accidentally fallen off my priority list recently and I'm HATING this. Because. ALL I WANT TO DO IS READ. But there's taking care of the little guy, doing homework, housework, and well there's Halloween and my birthday just 3 days after that. In other words too many priorities that bump themselves up my list and knock reading down to a lower priority. BUT I MISS IT.

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How can I remedy this situation? Well it's simply, really, I'll have Hermione tell you. 

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Or maybe I can just catch a few pages when I can.

What are your tricks to sneak in some reading when life is just to busy?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TTT | New Series I Want (NEED) to Start.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish. This week the topic is:

Top Ten New Series I Want to Start

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review | The Demon King

Title: The Demon King
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publication: October 6th, 2009
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Source: Bought it
Series: Yes! This is the 1st book.

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell - the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked - as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off. 

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history - it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back. 

Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains - riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raise wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea - the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her - including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for. 

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards. 

Review: This is my first Cinda Williams Chima book! I can't believe it took me so long to read one of her books.. but I'm so glad I finally picked this one up. 

I fell into a bit of a reading slump after I started this one, but it wasn't this book that did it. Don't get me wrong, I loved this book. a ton. but I think I would have loved it a little bit more if I didn't end up putting it down for almost a month right in the middle of the action. This book is filled with action and it never stops so it was easy to get right back into the story. 

I love the writing style of Cinda Willaims Chima's writing. It's so eloquent and once I picked the book up again after that break, I had to keep reading. I had a hard time putting it down. The world in this book is fantastic! I love the magic, the political system, the kingdom, everything. I can't wait to learn more about the world as I continue in the series. 

The characters were all perfectly wonderful! Hans was one of my favorites because he always kept me on my toes. I never knew what he was going to do next. And Raisa was a fantastic female character, I loved that she has strength to stand up for herself and a curious aspect to her that made her actions interesting throughout the story. 

If you like fantasy, I highly recommend this one to you! If you are looking to get started with a new series, look into this one, you might really enjoy it!

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Have you continued the series? What other Cinda Willaims Chima books do you recommend? 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Review | Snow Like Ashes

Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Publication: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Borrowed an ARC copy (Thanks Rachel!)
Series: Yes! This is the 1st book.

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making. 

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians' only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter's magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter's defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians' general, Sir. Training to be a warrior - and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather - she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter's magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she's scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she's always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn't go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics - and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own. 

Review: THIS BOOK. IS AMAZING. One of my favorite books of the year so far! I devoured it in one day, didn't want it to end and nearly cried when it ended and I couldn't start reading the next one immediately. 

The writing was beautiful, the world was interesting and unlike anything I've read before. I really enjoyed reading about the rebel cause, and from the point of view of a group of people that have been refugees for most, if not all, of their lives. I also loved the magical elements within this story! And kudos to the way this society values females to run the kingdom!

Meira is a fantastic female MC. She's strong-willed and hard-headed which can be admirable qualities. With Meira, at times her stubbornness made me frustrated with her. However, but the end of the this book I FREAKING LOVED HER. She grows as the book goes on and I can't wait to watch her grow more, especially after that twist at the end (which I had no idea was coming, and literally made my draw drop).

A boy that smells like worn book pages. Can I have one? I didn't entirely see a love triangle in this book. I think it started to form as the book went on and I'm worried about it taking on life in the next book, or for the rest of the series. Because, well, both of the guys are wonderful. I might have to say that I love Theron a little bit more, because he smells like worn book pages (and he's pretty awesome, too). 

I highly, highly recommend this one. Please, friends, check this one out anyway you can (legally of course). I don't think you'll be disappointed in what you find. For now, I'm going to be counting down the day until I can get my hands on the next book in the series. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think about the world? Which boy caught your eye? Did you see that twist coming in the end?? 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TTT | Places Books Make Me Want to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish. This week's the topic is 

Top Ten Place Books Make Me Want To Visit

1. Hogwarts. We all know what series this is from and I'm sure it's not a surprise that it's on this list! Hogwarts would be the NUMBER ONE place I'd visit if I could go anywhere in any of the books I've read.

2. Medieval Times. This comes from all the fantasy books that I have read. The stories of knights, kings, sword-fighting, archery, and magic are something that I would absolutely love to immersed in!

3. 19th-Century England. After reading some Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, I would love to visit the time that their characters lived in! It would be an incredible and interesting experience. 

4. Backpacking across Europe. I'm referring to the traveling done by Alison and Willem in Just One Day/Just One Year. I loved reading about their travels and dreamed of traveling like that myself someday.

5. Sorry-in-the-Vale, England. I believe this town is fictional, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to visit it. I encountered this lovely town in Unspoken, First book in The Lynburn Legacy, by Sarah Rees Brennan. Sorry-in-the-Vale is a small town with history and all kinds of secrets and paranormal stories going through it. I'd love to visit this town, its history and all the secrets it holds. 

6. The Strand Bookstore, New York. This is a pretty famous bookstore in New York city. I first read about it in Dash and Lily's Book of Dares and since then I've wanted to visit The Strand. Since this is a real place and I have a friend or two that live in New York, I hope to be able to walk into The Strand someday! 

7. Pacific Northwest (Washington state). I first fell in love with the Olympic Peninsula while reading Twilight. When I got the opportunity to travel there a few years ago I fell in love with it again. My husband and I both feel the same way and would move there if it wasn't for leaving our families behind. 

8. San Francisco, California. I loved reading about this city in Lola and the Boy Next Door. After reading it, I've been wanting to visit the city and experience all the awesomeness it has to offer!

9. Camp Half-Blood, in New York (I think). This camp sounds epic. I love greek mythology and any chance to immerse myself in an experience surrounded by greek mythology(and their abilities), you can sign me up! 

10. Amsterdam. I read about this trip in The Fault In Our Stars. Gus and Hazel had a beautiful experience in Amsterdam that it made me want to go! Also I think it would be amazing to visit The Anne Frank House!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Finally Started This Series(and so glad that I did!)

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Publication: July 14th, 2009
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Bought it
Series: Yes! This is the 1st book.

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creatures: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Review: I've heard so much love for this series, and that only made me more nervous to start reading it. I've been wanting to, but scared that I wouldn't like it as much as everyone else. But I knew that I needed to start this series. Thankfully I picked it up after I felt like it was staring me down. 

The writing in this book is so unique. It took a little while to get used to it, but once I did it completely immersed me into Todd's life and his thoughts. The random pieces where you saw how it felt to hear the "Noise" was incredible and added even more to the story's experience. 

Todd is an incredible character, not only in who he is as a person, but also his growth throughout the story. I can't wait to see him grow and learn through the next two books of the series. I enjoyed seeing Todd bounce off and learn from the other characters in the novel as well, the men that take care of him, the girl he meets and many of the other people he meets on his journey. 

I can see why this book won a literary prize, and it was well deserved. There are so many themes and messages sent through this book, that if I discussed all of them, this would be a super long post! I will say one, and I apologize if I'm a bit cryptic in trying to avoid spoilers! I enjoyed the way that war was played into this book and specifically, the way that men (and women) reacted to war and the way that innocence was played into the whole mix. 

This book has so many great qualities it's hard to talk about them all without doing a bit of gushing.  Filled with fantastic characters, a great story and an incredibly unique world, this book will hook you in with the writing from page one. Todd's thoughts will keep you going, and then the action will kick in. This book is action-packed. I'll admit, I forgot I was turning pages after a certain point, I just had to know what was next. I'm def. looking forward to continuing this series!!

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? How did you feel about the writing style? What were some of the themes of the story that stuck with you (if any, and if not what were some themes of the story that came to mind when reading)? 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Three Reasons Why I'm LOVIN' Fall This Year

Fall is finally here! My favorite season. Scarf weather! Coffee...hey, you, pumpkin spice, we meet again;)! Here's some other reasons I'm loving fall this year...

I found this new recipe, Bloomin' Baked Apples, on a blog called The Gunny Sack. It's simple and delicious. It's like a warm slice of apple pie and it's oh sooo good. Here's some pictures from when I made it last night:
Any good recipes you've tried this fall?

There's this beautiful tree in our back yard that's huge and so colorful. Our whole backyard is full of beautiful leaves and the site out our window is one of beautiful bright colors. 

Here's the view outside our window:

What's the most beautiful fall color area around you?

SOOOO MANY GOOD BOOKS COMING OUT THIS FALL! Afterworlds, Talon, Even in Paradise and Endgame: The Calling are just a few that I'm very excited for. Also excited for The Retribution of Mara Dyer!!! What books are you excited for this fall?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Review | The Elite

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication: April 23rd, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought it

Rating: 3 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Just a heads up: This is the second book in the series, there may be spoilers for the first book, The Selection, listed in the synopsis and my review. 
The Selection began with thirty-five girls. 
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever - and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want - and America's chance to choose is about to slip away. 

Check out my review of The Selection if you're curious how I felt about the first book in this series :)

Review: I love this series, but I'm not too fond of this book. This book is my least favorite of the series. Most of it I was going crazy with how America was acting throughout the entire book. The story mostly revolved around one thing: America bouncing back and forth between Maxon and Aspen and who she was going to pick to be with. 

It wasn't only America's indecision that drove me crazy, it was her actions as well. She was so indecisive and immature throughout this book. I don't think I've ever been so frustrated with a character. It's hard to say more without spoiling anything, but my overall feelings was my frustration with America's inability to make a decision and the childish way she acted throughout the entire book. So what kept me going through the book? Maxon. He's one of my favorite male characters, ever. He's sweet, honest, and incredibly thoughtful. I'm totally team Maxon. 

There isn't much world-building in this book which was a bit frustrating, but there was enough to keep the story going and to have a little more substantial plot line throughout the story. I loved getting to know Queen Amberly. I have yet to read The Queen, but I'm looking forward to reading her story. I've already read The One, so look forward to my review of that coming soon! 

PS Have you heard the news?? Kiera Cass is going to write 2 more books in this series! There's more info on this, but I'll post it to my review of The One. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What team are you on, Aspen or Maxon? 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Wrap Up & Favorites

Books I Read:

I only read 4 books last month...just 4! I can't believe it. Mostly because I started a lot of books and didn't finish them yet (because I was a major serial reader last month). 

In September, I read and finished:

Isla & The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - LOVED this one. Such a lovely ending to series!

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas - LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this one too. Such an amazing series! I hope if you haven't started this series yet, then you will soon :D

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - I read this one in anticipation for the movie and I really enjoyed it. It was entertaining and so intriguing.

Fire in the Woods by Jennifer Eaton - I read this one for a blog tour and really enjoyed it. Check out my vlog review.

Some of my Favorite Posts around the Blogging Community:

Hannah over as So Obsessed With wrote a lovely post titled "To Thine Own Self Be True". Her post is about picking up books your interested in reading even though you find out that it has not-so-good reading. I've been victim of skipping out on a book because of the ratings on it aren't high enough...but I've also picked up some books and loved them even after finding out that they're ratings are lower. I loved that Hannah wrote about sticking to your guns and still reading those books you're interested in even when they may not have the best ratings.  

Maggie over at Just a Couple More Pages wrote a great post about Independent Bookstores titled "Where Are All The Good Independent Bookstores?" While the post starts out with some disappointing service that Maggie received at one of her local independent bookstores, the post ends on a really nice note. I like that Maggie emphasizes her support of independent bookstores, as well as talking about some great ones that she has visited before. Love this post!

Ginger over at GReads! Books wrote a wonderful post titled "That Moment When You Hit a Reading Block..." As you can see I might have hit a reading block this past month since I only read 4 books. I love that Ginger talks about four different types of readers. I have to say that I'm a bit of all four types of readers. I'm a little bit of a late night reader, and I have the same problem some nights as Ginger where I only read about 10 pages before falling asleep. I'm also a little bit of a scheduled reader, making sure I do some reading while my son takes his nap during the day. But I also slip in being an Anytime Reader and a Sporadic Reader as well. I think she did such a great job talking and describing these different types of readers and I definitely related to this post!

Some New Shows I Started Watching (or dvr'd to start watching):

How To Get Away With Murder - The pilot sucked me in. I'm so excited to watch the second episode tomorrow night! 

Gotham - I dvr'd this show and haven't started watching it yet, but I'm excited to see what this show is all about. 

Selfie - I kept seeing commercials for this one over and over and figured WTH, I can just dvr it and see if I like it. 

Manhatten Love Story - This one seemed pretty cute so I dvr'd it to see what happens. I haven't heard much about this one, so I'm looking forward to watching it. 

What shows did you start (or continue) watching this month???

I also have to throw in that Gilmore Girls is on Netflix(!!!) I've been dying to watch this show from the very beginning through all the seasons so finally I can! So much excitement. I might not be getting much done this month... ;)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review | Unspoken

Title: Unspoken
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publication: September 11th, 2012
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: Borrowed from the Library

Rating: 3.5/4 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Kami Glass loves someone she's never met... a boy she's talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn't silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn't suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head. 

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, align with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown - in fact, she's determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Review: I've heard nothing but good things about this book and I think I went in with expectations a little too high. It's not that I didn't like this book, I actually really enjoyed it, but I didn't fall completely in love with it. 

One thing I kept hearing about this book is that the main character, Kami, is a pretty kick-ass female. I would say this definitely rings true throughout this story. She's a character that stands up for herself, and fights for what she wants. She's loyal, honest and very sensible, I love her! As for her relationship with Jared, I love the dynamic couple that they make! I am really excite to see where their relationship goes in the next book. 

This book was really unique, not only with the awesome main character, Kami, but also with the tone and the world of this book. The local small town that holds such mystery and intrigue sucked me in and kept me hooked and wanting more when the book ended. I can see what makes this book/series so addicting! 

I'm having a hard time deciding on a rating for this book, I keep bouncing back and forth between 3.5 and 4. The characters and the world were my favorite parts of the book but there were certain moments where I felt the story slowed down a bit for me. There were also moments that I thought things would solve or happen a little too conveniently to be realistic. While I really enjoyed this book, it didn't blow me away...I can't decide my rating but what I do know if that this book is worth checking out and giving a read.  

If you're looking for a fun, addicting read, I recommend this one! If you want something with an interesting, lovely, hauntingly mysterious world with some fantastic characters, I don't think you'd regret picking this one up! I just picked up the next one from the library and I have a feeling it's going to be a perfect read for the fall. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What was one of your favorite(or disliked) aspects of this book? What is the last fun book that you've read and enjoyed lately?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Then and Now Book Review: If I Stay

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publication: April 2nd, 2009
Publisher: Speak
Source: Borrowed from the Library

Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces - to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. 

Review: This book has a background story for me. I read it when it first came out back in 2009 and I hated it. I never understood the hype surrounding this book. I disliked it so much that I was scared to read another book by Gayle Forman - my current self is like "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!". I don't regret giving her books another shot since I read Just One Day because that book (and Just One Year, Just One Night) are some of my favorites of all time. In fact, Just One Day was one of the first books I reviewed when I started blogging :) After reading those and wanting more of Gayle Forman, along with the movie coming out I decided to give If I Stay another try. And, of course, I'm so glad I did. 

Then (going into it): Like I mentioned, I read this one back in 2009 when it first came out and I have a hard time remembering, but I think there was quite a bit of hype surrounding this one. Back then I usually stayed away from books that would make me cry so I was hesitant to pick this one up. I think part of the reason I disliked it so much was because I went into it with high expectations based off all the good things I had hear about it.

Now (going into it): Going into the book I had no expectations, I knew certain things that happened from the previous time I read it, but I tried to take everything in stride and just read the book like I'd be reading it for the first time. I think I was pretty successful because I didn't feel much of a bias while reading that I thought I might. I actually found myself really enjoying the book. 

Then (the writing): I didn't have much appreciation or even distinction for writing. I didn't think about writing, I just either liked the story or not. I guess I attributed the writing as the story. 

Now (the writing): I love, love, love Gayle Forman's writing. Her writing makes the flow of this book so lovely. I read this one day, I didn't want to put it down and it wasn't because I had to know what was next, it was because I didn't want to stop reading the writing and the story that it delivered. 

Then (the characters): I disliked most of the characters the first time I read the book. But I LOVED Mia's family, her parents, grandparents, her brother, I loved every single one of them. They were my favorite part of the book the first time I read it. I thought Mia was weak-minded and while I could sympathize with her, I just didn't relate to her or find anything she did to be something that resonated with me in a good way. I remember Adam being an okay guy, but I wasn't impressed with him. 

Now (the characters): I love each of them in their own way. Mia was put in an incredibly tragic situation and had a lot to deal with throughout the book, and putting myself in her shoes made me feel for her. I felt for her and through her throughout this book. Her relationship with Adam was sweet this time around for me. And Adam...I love him (what is there not to love about Adam?!). Still love her family, they are one of my most favorite families that I have read in YA.

Then (the story): I remember distinctly hating the accident scene. And I was SO MAD. Here we were given this beautiful, wonderful family that I loved already and then tragedy struck them. I was devastated  This may have been the main reason I hated this book so much back when I first read it.

Now (the story): I am a bit speechless about the story, there's so much full of feels that I just don't know what to say. Okay, I'll try.. This time around the accident really struck me hard like it did the first time, even though I knew it was coming, but I think it didn't shock me as much as it did the first time. I braced myself for it. There were little bits along the way that struck harder for me. 

Now (overall): I really, really enjoyed this book. I might even love it, a little bit. I'm really glad that I gave this one a second chance. Now I'm excited to see the movie! I highly recommend this book to you if you enjoy contemporary, a good story or some fantastic writing, but be warned, you may want a box of tissues near you when you read this one. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think about Mia's family ? Have you seen the movie yet, if so, HOW WAS IT??? :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Books on my Fall To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is created by the lovely ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish
This week the topic is listing my 

Top Ten Books on my Fall To-Be-Read List

1. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld - This book comes out today and it is my most anticipated book of the fall, and it comes out today(!!!)! I preordered it and am anxiously awaiting for my copy to arrive!

2. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - I am dying to know how this series is going to end. If you haven't read the first book yet, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, it is a perfect fall book to pick up :)

3. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - This book has been staring me down. I keep putting it off to read it (it was on my TBR last fall!), so I need to get to it this fall. I can't wait to finally read it!

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - This is another series I've been meaning to start. While it hasn't been on my TBR for as long as #3 has, I still can't wait to get to this one. It seems perfect for the Halloween season. 

5. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepard - This book sounds eerie and creepy which is a great mix for now. Very excited to dive into this gothic tale!

6. The Shining by Stephen King - Last fall/Halloween I read Carrie, so I think it's time for another Stephen King novel and what better to read than one of his scarier ones. I've heard this one is scaaary and I'm so intrigued to see why!

7. Conversion by Katherine Howe - This book takes place in a Salem village. I'm hooked. I always have the desire to read some witch books in the fall, this one sounds creepy as well as witchy. Perfect!

8. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood - This is another one I think I had on my TBR last fall. But I still want to read it and I'm looking forward to reading this witch series!

9. Siege and Storm & Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo - I NEED to finish this series and find out what happens! 

10. City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls & City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare - I've been lucky not to get spoiled so far for the ending of the this series. That means I MUST finish this series before something does spoil me!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

#FridayReads | Vacation Reads

I did a vlog talking about what I'm reading this Friday as well as what books I'm taking with me on vacation tomorrow!

Would love to hear what you're reading this Friday/Weekend as well as what books you like to take on vacation with you!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review | Love, Rosie

Title: Love, Rosie
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publication: December 1st, 2006
Publisher: Hyperion
Source: Borrowed from the Library

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Sometimes you have to look at life in a whole new way...

Rosie and Alex are destined for one another, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, their relationship gets closer by the day, until Alex gets the news that his family is leaving Dublin and moving to Boston. At 17, Rosie and Alex have just started to see each other in a more romantic light. Devastated, the two make plans for Rosie to apply to colleges in the U.S.

She gets into Boston University, Alex gets into Harvard, and everything is falling into place, when on the eve of her departure, Rosie gets news that will change their lives forever: She's pregnant by a boy she'd gone out with while on rebound from Alex.

Her dreams for college, Alex, and a glamorous career dashed, Rosie stays in Dublin to become a single mother, while Alex pursues a medical career and a new love in Boston. But destiny is a funny thing, and a trail of missed opportunities, Alex and Rosie find out that fate isn't done with them yet.

Review: I'm going to try to form some coherent thoughts for this review. I LOVE THIS BOOK. Sorry, that just slipped straight from my brain through my fingers. But seriously, this book left a huge impression on me. It had so many aspects, I was enthralled with Alex and Rosie's story from the very beginning. I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Let's talk about why I picked this book up in the first place. Well, I happened to have seen the trailer for this movie. Yup, this book is being made into a movie. Here's the trailer, 

Did you see that was Sam Claflin?! And Lily Collins! Yup, after watching the trailer, I immediately requested this book from the library. When it finally came in, I devoured it! Maybe part of it was because I could see the characters clearly after watching the trailer, but I was so entirely invested in Rosie and Alex and their stories that I couldn't put this book down. 

I've run into some books, like this one, that go completely dead at one point throughout the book. I'm talking about those points where it's like, get on with it already. But this book was never boring and of course, I wanted Alex and Rosie to happen at every moment in the book and at many points I was practically on the edge of my seat wondering if this would finally be the RIGHT moment. My only complaint is a spoiler, so I'll avoid that one, but it's hardly a complaint and more of a wish. 

This book is told in letters and emails. I really loved this. I loved that you see the life as the characters are telling it to each other, to someone that matters dearly to them. I also think this aspect made the book a bit more readable to me, I seemed to fly through it. Although, maybe it was just me going, "just one more letter/email..." over and over again!

I think this book is well under-hyped. I haven't heard anyone talk about it, or even mention that they have read it. So I'm asking you, if you love contemporary, if you like chick-lit, or if you want a good love story, please pick this book up! And then can we talk about it, pretty please?

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Did you like the form of the book written in letters/emails? Any good chick-lit books that you've read and enjoyed lately?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

#CurrentlyReading multiple books. Why?!

I've always been a one-book kinda girl. Reading only one book at a time gave that singular book all of my attention and I didn't pick up another one until I had finished with the one I was already reading. But recently I have been a bit of a noncommittal reader. I can't seem to commit to reading one book at a time. I've gone up to reading 6 books at a time. Currently...I'm reading 5.

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I think I've been in a bit of a weird reading kinda-slump. I'm still reading, it's not that kind of reading slump... but I'm finding it hard to get into books (and stay there). So I've been constantly picking up new books to start in the hopes that they'll suck me in. And some of them have, but then that leaves the other books behind that I already started reading. But then there's so much excitement for me when I dive into a new book that sometimes I can't resist picking up a new one just to feel that excitement.

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The second reason is there are way too many books I want to read. Seriously. You all know what I'm talking about...there are numerous books on our tbrs that we want to get to. Some of these have been on my tbr for too long and its getting to the point where I'm like "I've been waiting too long to read this, so I'm doing it. RIGHT NOW." So I pick them up and start reading. Then I'm all

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(and then I start another one and it starts all over again).


Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
I will hopefully finish today. I've only got about 100 pages left and this is the one I'm currently completely into.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I started this one the other day because I planned to read this one with my sister this month. And there's a whole bunch of other people reading it this month too. The excitement got me.

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
I've been reading this one for awhile. And I love this series. But I don't want it to end, I think that's part of the reason why I've been putting it off. But I really want to know what happens which is why I picked it up in the first place. I'll finish this one eventually.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
I don't know why this one hasn't been finished yet. I was completely into this story, loving it and into it and all that, but I think I put it down to read a book due back at the library soon and then I never picked this one up again. I'm planning to remedy this soon. 

This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl
I started reading this one and it's such a wonderful story. But it's heartbreaking too. I took a quick break from it and started reading something else. I know I'll finish this one soon because it's a fairly quick read and I want to read Esther's story.

What about you.. Do you read multiple books at once? What's the most you've read at one time? Why do you find yourself reading multiple books at a time?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review | Brazen

Title: Brazen
Author: Katherine Longshore
Publication: June 12th, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Source: Borrowed from the Library

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she's married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII's illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court's inner circle. Mary and "Fitz" join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court's strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed... but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

Review: I picked this book up when I was craving some historical fiction, and had heard good things. This book exactly what I was looking for and thoroughly delivered more than I needed in that beautiful cover. I'm a bit of a sucker for Tudor England, and if you are too, this is a must read. 

The romance in this book was so lovely. Mary and Fitz had me rooting for them from the very beginning and never once was I swayed away. They're incredibly respectful of each other and held an equality within their relationship that was modern for their time, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. Don't get me wrong, there were definitely some classic Tudor relationships going on here, especially of course between Henry VIII and Anne.

I'm not incredibly knowledgable on the Tudor era, but for the most part the story seemed accurate from what I remember. I'm mostly referring to Henry VIII and his many wives. I previously had not known about Mary Howard but when I read a little extra from the author on how she was drawn to Mary, I enjoyed the book even more. To avoid spoilers, I won't go into detail, but it revolves around how incredibly independent Mary is for her era, and this aspect made me appreciate the book in a whole new perspective.

This book wouldn't have been complete if not for some drama, and that was widely entertaining and kept the book interesting. There were constantly things happening and people's decisions intersecting and impacting more than they thought. I flew through this book, there was always something happening and I couldn't get enough. This was the kind of book that when I put it down, I couldn't stop thinking about it and was dying to pick it up and keep reading. 

If you like historical fiction, Tudor England, or a fantastic love story, this is a perfect read for you. Once I finished this one, I immediately sought out Longshore's other two novels that seem like sort-of companion books to this one. I'm hoping to read them when I'm craving another historical fiction read. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Who was your favorite character from this book? Any good historical fiction books that you've read and enjoyed lately?