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Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review | Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publication: May 4th, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought

Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't read to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

Review: This book had me at road trip. Yes, yes, I LOVE road trip books. Therefore a major plus for me was the road trip in this book. It was even more awesome because I think that Morgan Matson has taken the exact road trip, so they places they go are all legit. I love the way the story was broken up with pictures of receipts and playlists for the songs they listen to. Okay, I'm getting a little carried away with the great things about this book, let me organize my thoughts into some coherent paragraphs.

So, the characters. Amy was an interesting character to me. I related to her on most levels, but there were some small points where I got a tad (just a tad!) annoyed with her. I really enjoyed watching her grow out of her shell and try new things. She kept surprising me throughout the book (as she surprised herself) and her spontaneous decisions made the book even more intriguing than it already was. 
Now Roger. I really enjoyed Roger. Like a lot. I love reading about genuine good guys, and Roger is one of them. His compatibility with Amy is through the roof and I loved every minute of their interactions together.

The story. I know I already stated my love for road trip stories and this is very much a wonderful road trip story, but there is so much more to it than that. This is a story about loss. About family. About relationships. About finding yourself. There is so many depths to this story that made it seem realistic to me, a story about real-life people. 

Overall, this book is all things lovely and wonderful. I would highly recommend this as a summer read and for those that love a good road trip book. I have now read all of Morgan Matson's books and can honestly say I will buy and read anything she writes. Check out my reviews for Second Chance Summer and Since You've Been Gone to find out more about her amazing books. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Have you read any other Morgan Matson books? What are your favorite road trip books?    

Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekend Reading Recommendation: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

It's the weekend! And this is one book I'm excited to recommend this book to you guys. I read this one a couple weeks ago and it completely surprised me. I LOVED this book so much more than I thought I would. So on to how awesome this book is both on the inside and out!

This weekend's recommendation is Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour

What is this book about?

This book centers around a girl named Emi who is a set-designer. Emi is trying to make it as a Hollywood set-designer and you get to see her as she designs sets and tries to make her way into the scene. Emi's love life isn't in the best spot, she has gone back to the same girl too many times and all she want's is to be in love. There's some mystery to this book when Emi finds a letter from a famous man's estate sale and she sets out to find who the letter is addressed to. On the way, she meets Ava, who has an unstable past and present, but she leads Emi to find so much more than they both thought could happen.

Why should you pick up this book this weekend?

It's unlike anything I have ever read before! The film aspects were fascinating. The story is lovely, the characters are fantastic, and the cover is beautiful. Also, this is a diverse book! 

For more details(and raving), check out my review.

Happy Reading!

Let me know what you guys are reading this weekend, and if you have a weekend rec for me, I love getting book recommendations!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Review | The Summer I Turned Pretty

Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Publication: May 5th, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Borrowed from the library

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks unit the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.  

Review: This is another book that has surprised me. I've seen this one hyped so much that I was worried about if I would like it as much as everyone else or not. While I didn't love it, I really, really enjoyed it. 

The setting was one of the most enjoyable parts of the book for me. I really enjoy books set in beach houses, or sea-side towns. I love the feel of them and the strong summer feelings that these settings give. This book takes place at a summer beach house with two families that come together for the summer.

The families were another aspect I loved about this novel. The interactions and strong relationships between the families were a lovely aspect of this story. I love the reactions between the two mothers, as well as between Belly and the boys. The way they had the right amount of heart-to-hearts and fun conversations joking with each other made them seem like realistic families to me. 

I really liked Belly as a character. I thought she was relatable and rather straight-forward. In fact, I enjoyed all of the characters. It was awesome to see the way that the interactions over time between all the characters, made them change; and it was a visible change to me. The bond between these characters was strong in the story as well as a strong likable aspect of the book. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this quick and lovely summer read. I can't wait to pick up the next book. I wish I would have read this book sooner - if you're waiting to read this one, I hope you'll pick it up this summer. :) 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Have you read the rest of the series? What are your favorite summer books?    

Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review | The Truth About Alice

Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publication: June 3rd, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan)
Source: ARC from netgalley-Thanks Macmillan!

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it's stopped mattering whether it's true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice's fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. 

Review: This book surprised me with how good it was! I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy but, but I ended up liking this one a lot! So much, that I bought a copy for my sister for her upcoming birthday!

This story is told through four different perspectives - Elaine, one of the most popular girl's in school, Josh, a football player, Kelsie who is a former outcast, and Kurt who is a shy genius. The different perspectives added to the story for me, I thought it was really interesting to read the story through four differing perspectives. Not only did I get to see the story through their eyes, but I also got to see each of the characters stories as they tell them. There's more to this story than the truth about Alice. There's a story within each character. 

One of the first things I've heard about this book is that it deals with/addresses the issue of slut shaming. Before I read this book, I had an idea of what slut shaming was, but wasn't completely sure. So to clear up my thoughts and for those that didn't know what it means, slut shaming, as defined by Urban Dictionary(because they can define it better than I can:)), is "An unfortunate phenomenon in which people degrade or mock a woman because she enjoys having sex, has sex a lot, or may even just be rumored to participate in sexual activity." This book does in deal with and address slut shaming, in my opinion. I think it did it in a well-rounded way. 

I think this is one of the most realistic contemporaries that I have ever read. The characters were all flawed which made them real to me. The situations they were put in were realistic as well. Situations such as, slut shaming, which I think happens more often than we like to realize.  These realistic aspects of this novel makes me highly recommend it to who's interested in the issue of slut shaming or anyone in high school, like my younger sister who's turning 16 in a couple weeks! So I got her a copy of this book:)

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I love the issues presented in the book, I love the realistic aspects of this book. I enjoyed reading from different perspectives and watching the characters grow both as individuals and together. I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes contemporary. This book will have you thinking, tearing up, and smiling, it's a story that well worth the afternoon you'll spend reading it. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Who was your favorite character or perspective? Have you read any books dealing with slut shaming?    

Friday, June 20, 2014

Weekend Reading Recommendation: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

I'm thinking of doing this as a new feature on the blog. I feel like book recs are a little different than reviews in the sense that I'm giving a book idea to someone rather than talking about how I felt about the book. Obviously if I love a book, I'm going to recommend it, but I like to pay attention to books that have stuck with me even after I have read and reviewed them weeks ago, because I want and hope everyone will love them as much as I do! 

All that being said, my first recommendation goes to Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson.

What is this book about?

Emily's friend, Sloane has disappeared right before what was supposed to be an epic summer. While Emily tries to find Sloane, she instead finds a letter from Sloane giving her 13 tasks to complete that summer. A few tasks include Dancing until Dawn, Hugging a Jamie and going Apple Picking at Night. Believing that the list could lead her to back to Sloane, she starts to attempt to complete the list. What she finds is love, new friends and adventure. 

Why should you pick this book up this weekend?

Full of summer adventure, summer love and summer nights, this book screams summer. It also screams a weekend to devour it. 

This is one of my favorite books of the year. I loved everything about it. It still pops up in my head since reading it a few weeks ago - I actually think I want to re-read this one already! Check out my review for more of my thoughts on this book. 

Happy Reading!

Let me know what you guys are reading, or if you have any book recs, I'm always looking for more books to check out:)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review | Wonder

Title: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Publication: February 14th, 2012
Publisher: Knopf
Source: Borrowed from the library

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

Review: This is one of the best stories I have read. It's a story filled with alllllll of the feels. I laughed, I cried, I didn't want to put it down and when I finished it I wanted to stand on the street corner and hand it out to everyone passing by. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. 

Auggie is one of the sweetest characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. What an incredibly strong, real and inspiring guy. I spent the whole book wanting to reach in and hug the kid. I also enjoyed each of the other characters - they all had flaws and it made the story that much more real to me. 

I loved what Palacio did with giving multiple perspectives of the story. I feel like it made the characters that much more dynamic and real. There was a friendliness to this story that envelops you in.  A story that teaches and loves you at the same time. 

This novel was incredibly realistic. From the characters to the story, this is easily a story that I could see being played out in various different schools with different, but very similar situations. This is a book that I would love to see read and discussed in schools. 

I hope you guys pick up and read this one - and most of all I hope you love it. I hope you laugh, shed a tear, and hug someone after you finish the book. Or please come back and comment (or email) me, I would love to talk about this book with someone!

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Did you want to give Auggie a hug through the whole book like I did? Did you find the multiple perspectives to be a valuable part of the story or did you feel that it didn't work?    

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TTT: Summer TBR

It's been awhile since I've done a TTT post. Since I have been planning on doing a summer tbr post, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to do the post I've been bouncing around in my head.

If you didn't know, TTT is hosted by the lovely ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish. This week we are talking about our summer TBR lists. I made two different TBR lists, one for YA and one for Adult (I'm sorry, I cheated;)) because I couldn't narrow it down to just one list - there's too many books I want to get to this summer :)

**Quick note: All of these books are out already because if I added in books not released yet, then this list would have been twice as long. There are some books not released yet that are high on my tbr once they arrive (such as ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER), I think I might do a separate post for that. Also I forgot to add SEIGE AND STORM because Ruin and Rising is coming out today, and I can't wait to find out what happens in this series!

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR

1. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. I've been hearing so many good things about this one and I want to see what all the hype is about.

2. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I recently read and loved My Life Next Door (check out my review), so I'm looking forward to devouring another one of Huntley's books.

3. 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen. I've been hearing some great things about this book, particularly one glowing review that has me curious about it. It comes out today! Very excited to read this one!

4. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. My friend, Rachel, snagged this one for me at BEA and I'm dying to get into this book. At the same time, I don't want this series to get closer to ending. It's one of my favorite series ever.

5. The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove. This is a book I haven't heard too much about, but I'm loving the synopsis and idea of different continents with different time periods. So unique - I must see what it's all about.

6. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. A series I've been really wanting to start. The urge to pick up this book just keeps getting stronger, so I'm sure this will get read soon!

7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Another series that I've been wanting to read. I feel like I need to experience this series to see what everyone talks about!

8. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. And yet another series that I've been interested in starting. Now that it is a completed series since earlier this year, I feel as though I should finally start this series.

9. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Thought I've been dying to read this one, the size of it is a bit intimidating. I'm clueless as to why because I read a lot of huge fantasy books. Anyways, it's about time I read this one since I know I'm going to love it.

10. The Mortal Instruments series - the last three books - City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire all by Cassandra Clare. Now that the final book has come out, I need to finish up this series and find out how it ends! 

Top Ten Adult Books on My Summer TBR

1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. This book sounds so cute. A story that takes place in a bookstore, you can count me in! (Also wanted to add Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore to this list). Also I've heard great things about Gabrielle Zevin. 

2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. This book has been everywhere. I feel like it's been haunting me. I want to know what all the talk is about and since I found this one on sale at my local Indie bookstore, I now have it (versus waiting forever for my request to get through at the library).

3. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. A book that has been highly recommended to me. I think I'm going to love this one. 

4. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I haven't heard a bad thing about this book, just people RAVING about it. As a huge fan of fantasy, I really need to devour this one.

5. S. by J.J. Abrams. I love the premise of this book and the way it was put together with different inserts. This story seems to be one that is going to go beyond just the pages and what a perfect time to do some exploring this summer.

6. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I have all of a sudden felt an urge to read this book. I think I want to find out what the sky pirates are going to be like. Oh, and I need more Neil Gaiman in my life.

7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I've had this one on my tbr for awhile now. And as I mentioned, I need more Neil Gaiman in my life. 

8. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I've heard raving reviews on this book since it's release. Though it's not one I would normally pick up, I'm always looking for something new (that I wouldn't have otherwise picked up) to read. I'm excited to find out what this one is all about!

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I want to read this one before the movie comes out. Oh, and I'm curious as to what all the hype is about.

10. Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. I saw this one a list of books to read this summer and the premise sounds really interesting. 

What are you guys looking forward to reading this summer?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review | Ignite Me

Title: Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publication: February 4th, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins, HarperTeen
Source: Bought

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Warning: This could contain spoilers if you haven't started the series yet. 

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn't know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won't keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world... but there's not all he wants with her.

Review: I was quite nervous going into this book. This is one of my favorite series and I was so nervous how it was going to end. I'm exploding with happiness at how this series ended. This book might have been my favorite of the series so far, I'm not sure, I LOVED every single book in this series. 

First off, the story is packed with action. I loved the development of the world and politics that got a little deeper than the last two books. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen next. One of the few qualms I have about the ending is that it felt a bit rushed. Things just happen, and they happen way, way too fast. I got very nervous when there were only about 50 pages left and so much to happen. I think that there could have been a less-rushed ending the book (also part of me didn't want it to end!) 

WARNER. Yes, he was bound to get his own paragraph in this review. He is officially a book boyfriend. I love the more we got to know him in this book. I loved the way he was constantly surprising everyone. I want to say more, but I don't want to spoil the book for anyone. 

Okay, I was a little put off by Adam in this book. I found him to be a changed man from the first, and even second book, and not necessarily changed from the good. I was constantly getting annoyed with his interactions with Juliette and nearly rolled my eyes every time they were interacting. Once again, I don't want to give too much away, but let's just say that I drew further and further away from Adam every time he came around.

I swelled with happiness at Juliette's development in this book. In book one, she was completely discouraged and down on herself. Throughout this book, you really get to see her come into herself and I loved it! I was constantly saying "Do your thing, girl!". Love the direction she went and those that helped her get there. Shout out to Kenji here, for being one of the best side-kick characters I have ever met and had the pleasure of reading about. 

Overall, I loved this book. This series ended perfectly for me even if it was a bit rushed. This series is one of my all-time favorites and one that I constantly keep recommending to various people. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think of the character development in this book (Juliette, Warner, Adam, Kenji)?    

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Indie Bookstores > Amazon.

INDIE BOOKSTORES FTW! Hey guys! I wanted to do a (short) post explaining a change in my reviews for the future. I've heard a lot of negative things that Amazon has been doing lately and to be frank, I've been rather disappointed in Amazon as of late. 

Therefore, I have decided to stop linking Amazon in my reviews. Instead I'll be linking that helps you find local bookstores around your area. I personally love this site, and love supporting my local indie bookstores! I hope you guys are okay with this change, let me know what you think about the change in the comments! 

Also, would you guys like to see a post highlighting my local bookstore(s)? I've been floating this idea around in my head, so let me know if you would like to see a post, cause I'd LOVE to do one :) 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book Review | The Husband's Secret

Title: The Husband's Secret
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publication: July 30th, 2013
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Source: Borrowed from the library

Rating: 3.5/4 out 5 stars

Synopsis: At the heart of The Husband's Secret is a letter that's not meant to be read

My darling Cecilia, if you're reading this, then I've died...

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . . Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all - she's an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia - or each other - but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband's secret. 

Review: I did not know what to expect going into this book, so I went into it with an open mind and rather low expectations(since I had no idea what type of turn this book would take). What I found was not mind-blowing, but was a rather enjoyable and entertaining story that kept me guessing, as well as surprising with all the plot twists.

So the characters. I found most of the characters in this novel hard to relate to. Many of them had flaws, but they were the type of annoying, "get over yourself" flaws that drove me crazy at first. However, the more I got to know the women, the more relatable they became to me. I really enjoyed this aspect of the novel because it's true to real-life in the sense that what you see on the outside is not true to what some people are really like. 

Another note on the characters, there are no "bad" characters. You think something bad has happened with the synopsis (and something very bad has happened), but each of the characters have their contributions to the bad things that happen. I sympathized with just about every one of the characters, which was a big surprise for me. I didn't like I'd like the characters, much less sympathize with any of them. This aspect made the whole story change for me. 

The story does start out a bit slow. You don't even find out what's in the letter until about halfway through the book. While I was interested enough to keep reading, I think some people would have more of a problem getting into this book. It's worth it to keep going, though! If you're struggling through the first half, I recommend to push through, it will be worth it!

There are three different POVs within this book. I loved that as the book went on, you start to see their stories intertwine. And not only intertwine, but get more complicated and woven with each plot twist. I guessed right on what the letter was going to say, but every plot twist after that was surprise after surprise for a good way!

Overall, if you enjoy contemporary and  adult novels, then I would recommend checking this one out. If you are looking to branch out from what you normally read and this isn't what you normally would pick up, then I'd recommend this one to you. If the synopsis sounds intriguing then I'd recommend you give this one a shot, I'm glad that I did. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think of all of the plot-twists within the book, did you predict any of them? What are some good adult books that you've read lately?   

Monday, June 9, 2014

Book Review | Everything Leads to You

Title: Everything Leads to You
Author: Nina LaCour
Publication: May 15th, 2014
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Borrowed from the library (though I wish I would have bought it, its that good!)

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world. 

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She's enigmatic... She's beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi's understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance. 

Review: This book, quite honestly, blew me out of the water. I have heard so much talk about the cool film aspects that are presented in this book so I knew and was looking forward to that, but this book was so, so, so much more than that. I was a bit hesitant reading it, but I'm so glad that I did because I love this book. 

The writing of this book was fantastic. I devoured this book and didn't want to put it down. The flow and the style of the words just seemed to take the story away and had me very willingly chasing after it. It was brilliant. I'm a fan of LaCour. I can't wait to read some more of her work. 

Emi is one of my favorite contemporary characters that I have ever met. She's just so damn cool. She designs movie sets, she know who she is and she's not ashamed at all. She's passionate about everything she does. I would love for her to be my best friend. Additionally, I loved all of the other characters in this book. I don't think there was a character that I actually disliked. 

The movie aspect of this book is one of my favorite parts. I loved the parts where it's like a behind-the-scenes to movie sets and how movie are made. There's so much more to movies that I've never thought about before. Not only that, but this book make so many connections to movies that I've felt, but never realized. (See one of my favorite quotes below to know what I'm talking about). 

This book is filled with fantastic quotes, but I wanted to share a few with you guys because I love these particular quotes in abundance. 

"We love films because they make us feel something. They speak to our desires, which are never small. They allow us to escape and to dream and to gaze into eyes that are impossibly beautiful and huge. They fill us with longing.
But also.
They tell us to remember; they remind us of life. Remember, they say, how much it hurts to have your heart broken. Remember about death and suffering and the complexities of living. Remember what it is like to love someone. Remember how it is to be loved. Remember what you feel in the moment. Remember this. Remember this."

and another favorite quote...

"As much as I had wanted a love story out of a movie, I know now that movies can only hope to capture this kind of love."

ahhhh, this book is so good. If you haven't caught my drift yet, know that I highly recommend this book. I hope it will surprise you, in the best way, as it did for me. PS. This is a DIVERSE BOOK, too :D

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think of the behind-the-scenes movie aspects of the book? What are some good diverse books that you've read lately?   

Sunday, June 8, 2014

6 Book That I Would Slip Into Your Beach Bag If I Could

Summer is here! Time for some beach/outside/hammock/sun-bathing reading time. If you're looking for some book recommendations I have a few for you. If you have any for me, please let me know in the comments!

6 Books That I Would Slip Into Your Beach Bag If I Could

       Since You've Been Gone    Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)    Everything Leads to You

           The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)    Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

1. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I finished this book a few weeks ago and I can't stop thinking about it. It was filled with everything that makes a book perfectly wonderful. 

2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. If you're looking for some action-packed adventures this summer, then dive into this book. This book has one of the most kick-ass females that I have ever encountered and has easily become a favorite of mine. Fantastic book.

3. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. I just read this book and LOVED it. My review will be going up tomorrow for it, so stop back to see my thoughts along with two of my favorite quotes. Also, this is a diverse book

4. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkowski. If you like excellent story-telling then check out this book. Built in a world that I couldn't get enough of, with characters that I couldn't get enough of, this book is one of my favorites of the year so far. 

5. Just One Day by Gayle Forman. A book filled with traveling, romance and a girl that's just trying to figure out who she is. This book is one of my all-time favorites, it's incredible.

6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I read this book last summer and it has stuck with me since. A beautiful story with wonderful characters and such an epic love story. Also, this is a diverse book.

The Husband's SecretWe Were Liars

What are some of your beach read recommendations?

Friday, June 6, 2014

How about a GIVEAWAY.

Hi, friends. So I haven't done a giveaway in a long time. I wanted to do one for you guys to show how thankful I am to have your time and thoughts while reading and commenting on the blog. Seriously, thank you so much. I happen to have acquired a signed copy of The One by Kiera Cass to give away to thank you guys and celebrate over 1 year of the existence of The Book Sphere. YAY!!!

Giveaway For:
A signed copy of The One by Kiera Cass

Because you guys are awesome.
Aaand it's a (4 month late) celebration of my 1 year blogversary.
Better late than never:)

US ONLY. I'm so sorry to my international readers. I genuinely feel terrible doing this, but I can't afford the shipping costs overseas.

How Long:
I'll be closing the giveaway on June 21st, 2014

How to win: 
Enter the Rafflecopter below
Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review | The Shadow Prince

Title: The Shadow Prince (Into The Dark, #1)
Author: Bree Despain
Publication: March 11th, 2014
Publisher: Egmont
Source: ARC from Andye over at Reading Teen (Thanks, giiirl!)

Rating: 3.5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High - a haven for children of the rich and famous - Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High's prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father's mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn't the only student in Olympus who doesn't quite belong. 

Haden and Daphne - destined for each other - know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers' lives collide. But Daphne won't be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended - he's fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds. 

Review: As a fan of mythology, I was really looking forward to this book. While I did enjoy it for the most part, I was a tad disappointed by it. The little disappointment I had could come from the high expectations that I had going into this book. 

I've read Bree Despain's other series a few years ago and I remember devouring it. I was thinking I would fall right into the same thing with this book, but I was completely wrong. I felt that there were points of this book that seemed to drag on and on. To be frank, I even skimmed a few pages. To give you an idea, the two main characters don't even meet until 100 pages in. The action doesn't actually start to happen until the last 150 or so pages. And this book is just over 500 pages. That's a lot of pages filled with getting to know the characters more so than the world. 

While I was interested in the characters, I was much more interested in the mythology of the story as well as the characters role in this mythological world (which as mentioned I didn't come to find out until the last 150 pages or so). This isn't a negative review, I really did enjoy the characters, they were interesting. Particularly, I loved the sass and feminist qualities that were within Daphne. Haden was quite naive and reading about him learning about pop culture and the way life is on Earth was quite endearing. One big plus, there is absolutely NO insta-love. NONE.

Now for the mythology, my favorite part. I loved the way that Bree Despain took her own spin on mythology. I loved all the references she placed in relating back to other mythological stories. I loved the fresh spins on the plot that I never saw coming. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the mythological aspects of it the most and I would have to say if you're a fan of mythology as well, I'd recommend this one to you. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think of the mythology tie-ins? What are some good books with mythology in them that you've read lately?   

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monthly Wrap Up | May 2014

Did you know...The world' most expensive book ever purchased was bought by Bill Gates at auction for $30.8 million dollars. The title of the book is Codex Leicester by Leonard da Vinci. Do you know how many books you could buy for $30.8 million dollars??? You could fill up a whole library bigger than the size of Belle's in Beauty and the Beast! Anyways... so it's now June and that means that it's time to talk about what happen in May.

Books I Read

I had a pretty lame reading month because I just didn't get too much reading done. I'll tell you why later. The books I did read were all pretty good though, so let's talk about them. 

1. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkin - I rated this one 4 out of 5 stars. Check out my review to see why.

2. The Elite (The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass - Rated this one 3 out of 5 stars. America just started to get on my nerves in this book. But the series it is so addicting. I'm debating on whether to do a full review or a mini review of this and The One - what would you like to see?

3. The One (The Selection, #3) by Kiera Cass - Rated this one 4 or 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was a good satisfying ending even if it was a tad bit rushed in my opinion. Full or mini-review(with The Elite) - what do you think?

4. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han - Rated this one 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed it and flew through it in a day. 

5. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg - Rated this one 4 out of 5 stars. I've heard this one described as a modern Harry Met Sally story and it was just as cute as Harry and Sally's story. Read this one if you love contemporary. 

6. The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark, #1) by Bree Despain - Rated this one 3.5 out of 5 stars. While it was a bit slow at times, when the action happened it punched you in the face. Loved the mythological aspects of this book, full review to come this week!

Yup, that's it. I only read 6 books. But they were all good books. This month will be better.

Best Moment of May for me

I got married! WOO HOO! We got married in a park on the lake on our five-year anniversary date. It was pretty chilly that day, but we have only warm memories which makes up for the chilly weather. :)

Music Shout-Out

My husband(how different and awesome it is to say that!) downloaded the new Cartel cd and I've been listening to it whenever I put some music on. I'm impressed with their new cd. What music caught your ears in May?

Movie Shout-Out

I'm trying to think of what movies I saw this past month. We saw Godzilla, and while we didn't know what it was about going into it (other than it was centered on some type of dinosaur-looking creature), we still enjoyed the movie. What movies caught your eye in May?