Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014 - No comments

Stacking the Shelves (7):

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers share what we've recently added to our physical and/or virtual shelves! Since it's nearing Christmas and holiday season, I'm hoping that this list can give provide you with some awesome bookish gifts :D!

 Hopeless by Colleen Hoover:
I'd heard sooooooo many good comments about Hopeless that I decided to give it a shot. Wow, just wow. There were a ton of plot twists and jaw dropping moments that I seriously didn't see coming. Also, the romance aspect was very well done, but maybe a little too mushy for my tastes. Don't let the title fool you, because this book isn't depressing, nor is it about being hopeless. 

4 out of 5 stars 

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins:
This was my first Stephanie Perkins novel and I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed. At the time of purchase I didn't know that this was book 3 in the Anna and the French Kiss series. However, speaking from experience you don't need to have any prior knowledge to enjoy this book. I went in knowing absolutely nothing and LOVED the book! It honestly made me want to read more books with a French setting.

4.5 out of 5 stars

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin:
The cover of this book is what initially drew my attention. After all, it's shiny, has bold coloring, and has a non symmetrical design, what more could you want? As for the story, I wasn't a fan for the first 50 pages or so, but very shortly after hitting that mark I became obsessed with the story. 

4.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014 - , , No comments

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage:

Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Haruki Murakami
Version: Hardback

Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine', and Oumi, ‘blue sea', while the girls' names were Shirane, ‘white root', and Kurono, ‘black field'. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it.

One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want to see him, or talk to him, ever again.

Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.

Ok, so this book was absolutely amazing and I'm no doubt going to go ahead and call it the best read of 2014. Let's just start with the book design. It's unique, but an awesome unique! The size is a little smaller than your normal sized book, the colors are elegant, and when you remove the dust jacket it's a map!

I'm sure you've heard of Colorless, it was highly, highly discussed by both book bloggers and just about every other type media you can imagine. In Japan alone, it sold over 1 million copies just one month after publication. As for me, I love all things Japan. So, I was super excited about reading this book and I remember putting this book on my TBR list, but it never seemed to get purchased. However, I was fortunate enough to have the book jump out at me when I was browsing my local Barnes & Noble bookstore. I cracked open the book, read the first page, and decided that I HAD TO HAVE IT!

There were so many parts of this story that I could relate to that it was almost like Tsukuru was a personification of myself. In fact, this was the first book that ever made me want to highlight - physically.. with a highlighter - specific passages and quotes. The way Haruki Murakami tells this story is absolutely captivating. It's both elegant and simplistic, but so effortlessly done that you can't help but devour this book. Now, I had never read any of Murakami's previous works, but he quickly became a favorite author of mine and I plan on reading more of his publications very soon. 

As for the plot, I believe the GoodReads summary does a well enough job, so I won't be elaborating any further. However, I just want to make it clear that this book was hyped for a reason. Usually, I tend to avoid books that are overhyped, simply because they typically don't live up to my expectations. Colorless not only lived up to, but surpassed my expectations in every way possible. Needless to say, I wanted to reread it as soon as I turned the last page, but I'm saving it for another day. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I'll Give You the Sun

Rating: 5 stars
Author: Jandy Nelson
Version: Hardback


A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell 

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.


I’ll Give You the Sun wasn’t only a contemporary, but almost a mystery novel as well. The reason I say this is because as you progress through the story, you gain more clues as to why Jude and Noah’s relationship fell apart, as well as some shocking truths that escalated that separation. Also, on top of this being an extremely awesome story, Nelson tackles a few modern issues such as sexual identity; coping with death and grief; personal discovery and growth; and of course, love.  

This story was unique in it’s telling, because the chapters are told from not only alternating points of view, but also from different periods in time. For instance, one chapter might be coming from a 12 year old Noah, while the next will be told from a 16 year old Jude. However, the way she blended Jude and Noah’s story together seemed almost effortlessly done, since the story progressed very fluidly. Needless to say, this method of storytelling was very interesting, because to progress further into the book, you had to delve deeper into the past. 

As for the characters, I would probably say that Noah was my favorite. Although, I loved reading Jude’s journey as she rediscovered/reclaimed her former self, Noah and I could relate on so many different levels. As for Noah, he is not your typical child, he’s creative, funny, introverted, passionate, and a bit of an evil genius. Jude on the other hand, is bold, creative, superstitious, emotional, and extremely caring. Another one of my favorite characters was the grandmother, despite most of her appearances being in ghostly form. There’s no way you couldn’t like the grandmother, she had such an influential part in Jude’s life and the “Bible” she was infamously known for, was simply hilarious! The dad on the other hand was pretty terrible. I couldn’t believe some of the comments he made to his sonand I lost all respect for him when he fell apart when his children needed him most. Although, he does get a little redemption towards the end :). 

I highly recommend this book to all my readers. It was one of the most touching and unique stories I’ve read all year. The connection between Jude and Noah, as well as both their journeys of self discovery are truly what make this book memorable. It’s so much more than just a contemporary novel and it will quickly become one of your favorites. Also, you can’t help but smile when you learn where the title comes from because it was so... moving.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Girl On a Wire:

Rating: 4.5 Stars
Version: eBook
Author: Gwenda Bond

GoodReads Summary:
A ballerina, twirling on a wire high above the crowd. Horses, prancing like salsa dancers. Trapeze artists, flying like somersaulting falcons. And magic crackling through the air. Welcome to the Cirque American!

Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies.
Jules ignores the drama and focuses on the wire, skyrocketing to fame as the girl in a red tutu who dances across the wire at death-defying heights. But when she discovers a peacock feather—an infamous object of bad luck—planted on her costume, Jules nearly loses her footing. She has no choice but to seek help from the unlikeliest of people: Remy Garcia, son of the Garcia clan matriarch and the best trapeze artist in the Cirque.
As more mysterious talismans believed to possess unlucky magic appear, Jules and Remy unite to find the culprit. And if they don’t figure out what’s going on soon, Jules may be the first Maroni to do the unthinkable: fall. 

This story is truly a modern day Romeo and Juliet retelling at its finest. This becomes even more apparent when you learn the true names of Remy and Jules later on in the book. Also strikingly similar to Shakespeare's cast of Montagues and Capulets, the Maronis and Garcias both possess a history of hating each other. However, the reason behind this hated remains a mystery for most of the book. Although you're given bits a pieces from different family members, you won't get the full story until it's forced out of the Grandmother, who is completely awesome by the way. The way Gwenda told the story not only kept me interested, but completely hooked me, so that I couldn't put the book down. 

The setting of the story is forever changing, since the Maronis and Garcias are members of a traveling circus. How awesome is that? Honestly, this story is packed with a ton of circus lore and it was SO GREAT! Without going into too much detail, Jules makes a decision to better her family's financial situation, but at a cost of forcing them to cooperate with the Garcia's. Now as if that fact alone wasn't enough, just as in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the attraction between Remy Garcia and Jules Maroni is almost palpable. They fall in love and struggle to keep it a secret. This becomes increasingly more difficult as a mystery killer attempts to throw Jules, who is a tightrope walker, off her balance. What's so unique is that the mystery murder uses "mystical" possessions that date back to when the feud of family originally began. Now, it's left for the reader to decided if these objects are inherently magical or if it's the superstitions that give them strength. As for the mystery killer, can you figure out who it is before the story ends? I couldn't. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - No comments

Stacking the Shelves (6):

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers share what we've recently added to our physical and/or virtual shelves! I know. It's been a while and I apologize for my lack of presence. However, I'm back, and I'm here to share what I've collected over the past few weeks!! Don't get too excited though, school's been hectic and I've literally had just about every kind of drama thrown at me that's humanly possible. 


  • None recently, however I highly, highly recommend Girl on a Wire. Not only was it the most recent eBook I read, but it was EXTREMELY good :>!

Physical Books:

1. Dust - Joan Frances Turner: This book was a gift and although I really love the cover design, I'm not looking forward to reading it. The plot doesn't sound too interesting and the GoodReads rating is relatively low. However, I'll surely give it a try sometime the future. 

2. I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson: I was in desperate need of some contemporary fiction, so this was the book I reached for. Not only does it have good reviews, but the plot sounded extremely unique, since the story is told from both twins at different stages of time. I recently finished this book and will have a review up shortly!

3. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami: I've been wanting this book for AGES! So, while I was browsing at Barnes & Noble, I just so happened to see this book and it's like I literally heard it shout my name. Needless to say, I purchased it and IT WAS AMAZING. Yes, I finished this book as well and the review will be posted just as soon as I figure out how to convey how much I loved this book. 

4. Empty - K. M. Walton: Yep, I'm on a contemporary fix. Once again, I was browsing at Barnes & Noble and happened to run across this book. The cover expressed exactly how I've been feeling recently, so there was no chance in hell that I was putting this book back on the shelf. Needless to say, I finished it within 12 hours of the purchase and the review is scheduled to be posted in the near future. 

5. Just One Day - Gale Forman: Unlike the last few books I've mentioned, I haven't finished reading this one. However, from what I've already read, the reviews I saw, and the amount of recommendations I received, I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to spending more time with this story. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Hello everyone :)!

I know it's been a while.. I apologize, but school has been a priority and it will continue to be until around May of 2015. ANYWAYS, as the title of this post says.. IT'S OCTOBER, which is exciting for me for so many reasons! For starters, I love halloween, I love how the weather transitions from summer to fall, I love how the leaves change color, and yeah.. this time of year is amazing.

SOO, to try and get back into reading, I'm going to make a list of some of the books I plan to finish this month. Now of course since it's October, these books are going to be primarily magically themed. Let's begin:

1. The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness 
I read the first two books of the All Souls trilogy last year and I've been wanting to get my hands on the third  for a while. However, I have this thing about not reading books that are over hyped. Now don't get me wrong, Deborah Harkness's books are pretty awesome, but I wanted to wait until all the hype faded away.. maybe I'm weird, but yeah. Anyways, with Halloween approaching, I think it's time I finally time I see how this trilogy ends. I'm super excited :D

2. Girl on a Wire - Gwenda Bond
As far as I know this book doesn't contain magic, per se, but the cover was too appealing for me to not pick this book up. Plus, I think Girl on a Wire reminds me of The Night Circus, which is one of my most FAVORITE books ever, so reading this was a must. So far, I've really enjoyed what I've read and look forward to seeing how it ends :). 

3. Family Magic - Patti Larsen 
Not sure if I will be able to make it this far down the list, but if I do, well then this is the book I will be reading. I know nothing about this book besides what the summary gives me. However, I'm a little scared of books that sound cliche, but since the GoodReads rating isn't too bad, I'll give it a try and let you guys know how it goes. 

Recommendations for Others:
Now maybe you've already finished some of the books above, or perhaps you have no interest in reading them whatsoever. If that's the case, well here's what I recommend you read if you haven't already:

1. A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness 
2. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern 
3. The Graveyard Book  - Neil Gaiman 


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014 - No comments

How We Learn

Rating: 4.5 Stars
Version: Netgalley eBook
Author: Benedict Carey

Netgalley Summary:
In the tradition of The Power of Habit and Thinking, Fast and Slow comes a practical, playful, and endlessly fascinating guide to what we really know about learning and memory today—and how we can apply it to our own lives.

From an early age, it is drilled into our heads: Laziness, distraction, and ignorance are the enemies of success. We’re told that learning is all self-discipline, that we must confine ourselves to designated study areas, turn off the music, and maintain a strict ritual if we want to ace that test, memorize that presentation, or nail that piano recital.

But what if almost everything we were told about learning is wrong?

And what if there was a way to achieve more with less effort?
In How We Learn, award-winning science reporter Benedict Carey sifts through decades of education research and landmark studies to uncover the truth about how our brains absorb and retain information. What he discovers is that, from the moment we are born, we are all learning quickly, efficiently, and automatically; but in our zeal to systematize the process we have ignored valuable, naturally enjoyable learning tools like forgetting, sleeping, and daydreaming. Is a dedicated desk in a quiet room really the best way to study? Can altering your routine improve your memory? Are there times when distraction is good? Is ignorance always bad? Is repetition necessary? Carey’s search for answers to these questions yields cunning strategies that make learning more a part of our everyday lives—and less of a chore.

By road testing many of the counterintuitive techniques described in this book, Carey shows how we can flex the neural muscles that make deep learning possible. Along the way he reveals why teachers should give final exams on the first day of class, why it’s wise to interleave subjects and concepts when learning any new skill, and when it’s smarter to stay up late prepping for that presentation than to rise early for one last cram session. And if this requires some suspension of disbelief, that’s because the research defies everything we’ve been told, throughout our lives, about how best to learn.

The brain is not like a muscle, at least not in any straightforward sense. It is something else altogether, sensitive to mood, to timing, to circadian rhythms, as well as to location and environment. It doesn’t take orders well, to put it mildly. If the brain is a learning machine, Benedict Carey asserts, then it is an eccentric one. In How We Learn, he shows us how to exploit its quirks to our advantage.

To be honest, I've been looking for a book like this for a while. Not too long ago, I started reading “Thinking Fast and Slow”, but it couldn’t hold my attention long enough for me to finish it. I’ll admit, there were spots in this book that were a bit dry, but overall it was packed full of knowledge that was truly interesting. For instance, I really like how the author included a few brain teasers, as well as some truly bizarre brain experiments (splitting the brain, removing the hippocampus, etc…). By the way, I felt absolutely horrible for the poor guy with no hippocampus.  Not sure what a hippocampus is? Read this book :P!

One thing I really liked about this book, was the fact that it affirmed notations I’ve often thought true, but were unable to scientifically backup, as well as supported advice I’ve heard throughout the years. For instance, there really is a science behind taking a break when you’re stumped on a problem, instead of attempting to just power through. Also, who would have known that forgetting is actually helpful? It turns out, that forgetting is the brains way of employing a spam filter, which allows the most important or relevanant information to stay available. Also interesting was the “Forget to Learn” theory, which basically stated that when information is stored, it’s never truly lost, but simply governed by the strength of the storage and retrieval ability that’s linked with that specific memory. Even more interesting, if not partially embarrassing, were the moments that I’ve personally experienced. For example, the false sense of fluency and/or misplaced confidence when prepping for a test, only to realize on test day that you don’t know half as much as you thought you did.

One thing that really stands out about this book, is the simple fact that it was written to be applicable to daily life. Unlike other books I’ve read, which were jammed with scientific terminology and theory, “How We Learn” was written for the everyday reader. This book provides you with tips to help you with studying and recall, which actually go against what we hear today. For instance, take the nap, study with music, and change up your study location/time.
Additionally, I took off .5 of a star, because the majority of the book was about recall, which isn't exactly learning.. plus it took me many start-and-go sessions to finish it. However, it's worth it, start reading :).

I’m certainly glad that I happened to run across this book and will be looking for a hardcopy in the near future. As for all my readers, I highly, highly, suggest purchasing a copy of this book.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014 - No comments

Stacking the Shelves (5)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers share what we've recently added to our physical and/or virtual shelves!  I'm currently in a little reading hiatus until things settle down with school and all, but I couldn't resist getting these books :D!


How We Learn: I picked up a virtual copy of How We Learn from NetGalley a while back and so far it's been really interesting. Many of the brain operations and experiments discussed are throughly shocking. Also, it's never a bad idea to learn some tips of increasing memory retention, which this book is all about! 

Physical Books:

I was browsing one of my local bookstores and these two books just seemed to call out to me. Abarat didn't even have a dust jacket, it was just a blue cover, but I couldn't resist picking it up. also, Savvy put me into a very nostalgic mood. Perhaps it was the silver Newbery honor book symbol that reminded me of my childhood AR reading times, or the awesome looking cover art, but either way I just had to have it. 

Well that's all for this time, but be sure to let me know what you're reading! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014 - No comments

A Little Hiatus

Hey everyone! I just wanted to have a post explaining why I'm not reading, nor posting, as much as I usually try to. 

Firstly, school is starting the 20th of August, so I'm really anxious about finishing off my college career.

Secondly, I'm in the process of moving (very late at that) from my old apartment, to my newer one. This has been made even more stressful due to the fact that the staff hasn't answered my phone calls for FIVE DAYS IN A ROW! Needless to say, I'm not happy.

Lastly, I recently got a new kitten and I'm going to spend what little bit of time I have left (class, homework, meetings, reports, etc...) with him. Try to handle all this cuteness:

Anyways, those are the reasons why I'm slowing down with my posts and reading sessions. I still plan on reading during my free time, but that free time has become severely limited. Hopefully when things settle down and I get back into the flow of school, I can resume a normal reading schedule :). 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - No comments

Stacking The Shelves (4)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers share what we've recently added to our physical and/or virtual shelves!  I don't have many books to share this week since things have been busy and I'm in a bit of a reading slump, but lets get started, shall we?


The two novels above are books two and three of Kim Harrison's "The Hollows", respectively. I've already finished reading and reviewed book two, The Good, The Bad, and the Undead, which you can find here. I'm currently in the process of reading book three, Every Witch Way But Dead and needless to say, I'm really enjoying where the series is heading! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Good, The Bad, and the Undead:

Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Kim Harrison
Version: eBook

Rachel Morgan, sexy witch, independent bounty hunter, prowls the downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night. She can handle leather-clad vamps and a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is an ancient, implacable evil that threatens her very soul.

The second book in Kim Harrison's "The Hollows" series entitled The Good, The Bad, and the Undead did not disappoint! The book continues right where the first left off, except now Rachel and Ivy are both owners and full time runners for their business Vampiric Charms. If you haven't read book one, well firstly you should, and secondly, a runner is someone who tracks down/arrests wanted criminals - not unlike Dog the Bounty Hunter. Anyways, just like every new business, Rachel and Ivy are having a difficult time establishing their name. However, much of the struggle falls into Rachel's lap, since Ivy is a well known and talented runner.

Speaking of Ivy, something major happens to her and it was heart wrenching to read. Obviously I can't tell you what is was, but needless to say, I didn't expect such a powerful, independent, and strong-willed character to be victimized. Furthermore, the first book underscores Ivy's struggle with accepting who she really is, but that struggle is intensified to the extreme in book two.

On the other hand, Rachel spends the majority of the book working on an FIB run that's seemingly connected to Trent Kalamack - the man she's determined to take down. I seriously hate the FIB, mainly because they treat Rachel like crap. Yes, Rachel is impulsively intuitive and a bit rash, but without her the FIB would be next to useless with Inderlander cases. I really wanted Rachel to show them just how useless they truly were, but instead she kept seeking their involvement.  In addition to dealing with the FIB, Rachel has some seriously close calls with a few powerful/influential characters, such as master vampires, a demon, Trent, and let's not forget the precarious situation with Ivy.

A few other characters I want to touch on are Jinx and Trent. Jinx, the pixy, is still awesome. Enough said. However, Trent is a more complicated story. It's pretty obvious that he's dangerous and possibly evil. notice how I chose the word possibly? Well, that's the problem, because the ending had me questioning where Trent lies on the good vs. evil indicator. At the moment he's straddling the middle somewhere and it doesnt help that the author makes him such a likable character.

Overall, I throughly enjoyed reading The Good, The Bad, and the Undead and I plan to continue reading the series. Truly, it's been a while since I've been able to fully immerse myself in a book and and I'm looking forward to seeing wherever Harrison's writing takes me.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dead Witch Walking

Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Kim Harrison
Version: eBook

All the creatures of the night gather in "the Hollows" of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party ... and to feed.
Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining -- and it's Rachel Morgan's job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she'll bring 'em back alive, dead ... or undead.

I was very skeptical about starting Dead Witch Walking after first viewing the cover - Yes, I do judge books by their covers. However, after seeing that over 71,000 people gave the book a combined rating of over 4 stars I decided to give it a shot.

Now I've said it before, but I love books with witches and magic. With this restated, I was a little disappointed in the type of magic Rachel practices. To give some background, there are three categories of witches in this book:

  1. White Earth - Witches who use plants to make potions and amulets. The theory is that the plants dilute and store ley line magic. Requires a small amount of blood (finger prick).
  2. Black Earth - Witches who use animals/people as sacrifices. 
  3. Ley Line - Witches who tap directly into the "ever after", which is where demons are believed to live. This type of magic doesn't use blood, but instead feeds off the user's/victim's soul. 
Rachel is a white earth witch, so she relies primarily on charms, potions, and amulets as source of magic. One thing that irked me was the difficulty level assigned to creating potions and spells, despite some only having a few simple instructions (referencing Rachel's mink transmutation spell). In fact, most witches in this book have to rely on purchasing their charms, which was a little lame. However, towards the end of the story, Rachel has to rely on making her own charms and the lameness started to fade away. 

In terms of action and suspense, this book is packed full of it!  A death threat was placed on Rachel by her former boss and he goes to the extreme in an attempt to kill her. So, much of the book involves fighting off/eluding hired Vampire, Were, and Fairy assassins. There were honestly times that I just couldn't put the book down. 

I also found Dead Witch Walking to contain quite a bit of humor. The banter between Jinx (an awesome pixy), Ivy (Rachel's partner and living vampire), and Rachel had me literally laughing out loud. One particular instance I can recall was when Rachel suffered major blood loss and became delusional. Some of the things said were not unlike the videos you see on YouTube of people after being released from Dental surgery (example)

This book seems to be fairly well known, but if you haven't given it a chance yet, I recommend doing so. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 2 comments

Stacking the Shelves (3)

It's been a little while since my last Stacking the Shelves post, because I had SO many books to read. However, this week I'm going to share the books I've purchased and/or received since then! Anyways, Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers share what we've recently added to our physical and/or virtual shelves!  So lets get started, shall we?

This week I only have three eBooks to share, but I'm looking for some recommendations!


1. Dead Witch Walking: Kim Harrison
  • I was a little afraid to start reading The Hollows Series, because it has at least 11 books in it! However, I'm already around 40% through Dead Witch Walking and I'm really enjoying it!  
2. We Were Liars: E. Lockhart
  • I've already finished reading We Were Liars and you can find my review here!

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Stephen Chbosky
  • Already finished this book as well and I really enjoyed it. I didn't write a review, because there's not much I wanted to say other than 4.5/5 stars. I didn't give it a full 5 stars since it's not a book I want to reread. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

We Were Liars

Rating: 5 Stars
Author: E. Lockhart
Version: eBook

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I went into reading We Were Liars pretty much blind, since all I knew was that it was a contemporary and about a group of kids. Throughout the book, what I thought the story was about changed not once, not twice, but THREE times. I'll try to explain what I mean without giving away too much:

At first I believed the story was about the narrators's childhood. Since most of the content was memories and her experiences on their private island. For this reason, I was disinterested in the first 30-40% of the book. Yet, as I continued reading, the story changed into a manipulation game and power struggle between family members. My interest level spiked. Then, the final part of the book blew me out of the water and became something I didn't expect entirely!

One thing I found unique was the narrator's use of graphic metaphors. For this reason, the opening of this story was a bit of a shocker. Even more so shocking, is that she doesn't give you any indication it's a metaphor until you keep reading and realize not to take it literal. Here's what I  mean:
That June, summer fifteen, Dad announced he was leaving… My father put a last suitcase into the backseat of the Mercedes… Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wood,then from my eyes,my ears,my mouth. 

Yeah... upon first reading this, my jaw dropped. Oh and by the way, metaphors not unlike the one above, are selectively placed throughout the whole of the story.

Another detail unique to the narrator is the incorporation of fairy tales, which help to illustrate current situations and foreshadow future ones. The first few tellings I took lightly, but by the third or so I started to read further into the lines and decrypt what she truly meant. It was fun to say the least.

As I said earlier, the ending of the book was mind blowing! It had me questioning SO many things. Who/what are the group of Liars? Why didn't they plan their actions logically? Is this even a contemporary? Seriously, read this book, but go into it blind or without knowing anymore than what I've written above.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Faking Normal

Rating: 3 Stars
Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Version: Hardcover

An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

I enjoyed reading Faking Normal, but I was very, very frustrated with the main character, Alexi. Throughout the whole of the book she was constantly berating herself for not saying “NO” when she was statutorily raped. Yet, throughout the whole of the book "Lex" is constantly refusing to stop any sort of contact or situation that her mind tells her to. So, what you have is a girl who’s mutalating herself for keeping silent and regretting her past decisions, while also continuing to make those same decisions in the present. Maybe this is what people who’ve gone through a situation like Lex’s experience, but as a reader I was extremely frustrated. 

A large part of Lex’s struggle is that she cannot determine why she’s so passive and lacks voice. This mystery is a good 2/3’s portion of the book and the underlying reasons are extremely week in my opinion. For instance, she’s plagued by a memory of seeing a naked boy, who was at the time the same age as she was… ~6 years old. I’m sorry, but children see each other naked when they’re little, they are innocently indifferent, and it’s not something that should haunt her for 10+ years. There were just so many instances in the book that made me want to turn against the victim and I had to almost constantly remind myself not to do so. 

All in all, the book sends out a very good message to those applicable, which is to find your voice, don’t blame yourself, and speak up. Yet, the build up and foundation of the story is extremely weak and very predictable at times. However, the author’s letter, as well as her video on Amazon, clearly express how passionate she is about getting her message out. For that, she’s earned my respect. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Few Books I Love to Reread

I was looking at my shelf this morning and thought "how many of those have I actually reread?" Personally I don't reread often, so if I do reread a book, I consider it to be a definite favorite. After all, there's a lot of time invested in reading a book, so if I want to read it again it must be amazing, right?? Anyways, here are some of the books that I've reread and absolutely love:

1. The Night Circus:
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BOOK! The story is nothing like I've read before, the setting is so alive, and the writing is extremely elegant. I honestly, don't think I've ever read a book and praised the author's writing style. Every time I open this book I feel as if I can truly see, and smell Le Cirque des Reves - The Circus of Dreams. 

2. The Inheritance Cycle:
This might honestly be one of the first series I've ever reread. Although, part of the reason was because by the time Brinsingr and Inheritance were published, a two year time span had passed and I'd forgotten much of Eragon and Eldest. However, the second time I reread these books was purely because I missed them and wanted to step back into the world of Elves and Dragon Riders. As a side note, I've read that Christopher Paolini is writing a fifth book that follows Angel the herbalist, but it could just be gossip. 

3. Panic:
I wanted to reread Panic as soon as I turned the last page. Lauren Oliver literally had my jaw dropping when at the challenges, I still can't get over a few of them. For all it's worth, I managed to hold off a couple weeks before I read it again. 
Books I Want to Reread Soon:

1. The Raven Cycle:
I love this series and plan to reread it alongside a few other bloggers in a couple months. 

2. The Host:
Something about this book just clicks with me and I really want to reread it. For those concerned, it's nothing like the movie (which was horrible in my opinion), nor like any of Stephanie Meyer's other publications. I highly recommend reading this book if you haven't yet. 
3. Fangirl:
It's Rainbow Rowell, nuff said. All joking aside, I'm not entirely sure why I want to reread Fangirl. After all, this book wasn't my favorite Rainbow Rowell story, but it did rank pretty high (#2). It could be because I can personally relate to Wren who's shy and introverted. It could also have something to do with the nostalgia of growing up with Harry Potter, or sharing some of the exact same feelings that Wren had during my first year of college. Whatever the reason, I want to reread it. 

Now I have a couple questions for you! Have any of my rereads matched your own? Also, what do you plan on rereading soon? 

Monday, July 21, 2014


Rating: 4 Stars
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Version: Hardcover

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Hmm.. I'm not really sure where to start with this one. I guess I could say I liked the book, but it might be the least favorite of my Rainbow Rowell collection - right behind Attachments. Speaking of Attachments, Landline definitely shared some similarities. For instance, Neal was very reminiscent of Lincoln and likewise with Georgie and Beth. Furthermore, the two stories seem to be paced similarly by progressing rather slowly at first and then sucking you in later. 

Don't get me wrong, after all I’m giving Landline a 4 star rating, but the story seemed a bit slow and I got a little tired of hearing Georgie ramble about Neal. I feel like that sentence is wrong since the Neal situation is a major plot theme, but yeah.. Sometimes it just got a little too "Neal, Neal, Neal..." for me. Also, I had a problem with the way the ending didn’t address the show, which was a huge part of the book. I really wanted to know if became a success and if Georgie and Seth made it big.

Now that the major negatives are out of the way, let me address some of the things I enjoyed. For starters, I love the way Rainbow Rowell writes and the way she tells a story. I don't really know how to describe it, but it always feels so... Warm? It's like sitting in front of a fireplace, while reading in a big comfy chair. Is that weird? If so, then let me adjust my sentence and say that her writing style is warm and comforting. Regardless, I liked the majority of characters in landline, but there were two that didn't seem developed enough. The two children, Alice and Noomie, came across as something that didn't quite fit or were perhaps misplaced. Maybe I was just thrown by Noomie's insistence on being a green kitty and her meowing habit that was never addressed, or maybe they just didn't get mentioned enough for me to like them. Whatever the reason, I feel that they didn't fit. The rest of the characters I enjoyed. For example, I liked Seth's personality, Scotty's humor, Neal's straightforwardness, Georgie's wit, the mother's flamboyant sexuality, and Heather's playful humor. Additionally I really enjoyed the crazy situations Georgie finds herself in. For those who haven't read Landline yet, you can look forward to a weird, but touching pug, dryer incident; a hellacious trip to Omaha; and of course a magic phone.

Overall, I liked the book and would definitely recommend it. I would especially recommend it to those who enjoyed reading any of Rainbow Rowell's earlier works and to those craving a good book that mixes contemporary with bits of fantasy.