Monday, June 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (1)

So I've finally decided to start writing some Stacking the Shelves posts! This is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we share books we've recently added to our physical and/or virtual shelves!  

Physical Copies:

  1. Attachments: Rainbow Rowell
  2. Stargirl: Jerry Spinelli
  3. The Book Thief: Markus Zusak

  1. Darkness: Erin Eveland (NetGalley)
  2. Witchcraft Works Manga

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Lauren Oliver
Version: Hardcover

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.
Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.
For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

This is one of my all time favorite contemporary reads and if you haven’t read it yet, you need to do so ASAP. Literally, go purchase this book now. 

The hook for this story is extremely enticing, or it is to me anyways. Part of this probably stems from the fact that I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere, not too unlike Carp - the story’s setting. I can honestly see something like Panic being a real thing at my old high school, but thankfully it wasn’t. 

The challenges of Panic were extremely intense! The players know nothing of the challenges beforehand, except for receiving a small riddle detailing the location and hint of whats to come. As such, the reader goes into the challenge with as much knowledge as the players, which really adds to the mystery and suspense. My jaw literally dropped when I finally figured out what some of the challenges where. Personally, the second challenge was my favorite… I mean honestly, there’s no way I would have made it. 

The characters of Panic came across as being very real. Most of them come from a poor family and horrible situations, which drive them to win Panic ($$$$$). I don’t want to give away anything, but Heather’s situation truly sucked and you couldn’t help but root for her to win. I don’t think I could pick a favorite character, but maybe Heather or Ann? 

Anyways, I literally could not put this book down and wanted to reread it as soon as I finished. I managed to push aside that want for two weeks before I read it again.. the story is just that good!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday, June 28, 2014 - No comments

Since You've Been Gone

Rating: DNF
Author: Morgan Matson
Version: Hardcover

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

I tried to like this book, I really did, but I couldn't get past the first 100 pages. For starters, I hated how the main character, Emily, was so dependent on her best friend that she basically couldn't function. I understand this was the basis for the plot, however the dependence was to the extreme. Also, I hated how the name Sloane was repeated in almost every sentence. It just became obnoxious to the point that I decided to return the book: Sloane did this, Sloane did that, I miss Sloane, where is Sloane, they only know me as Sloane's Friend, I'm nothing without Sloane, Sloane, Sloane, Sloane. You know how if you repeat a word enough that it starts sounding weird? Well, imagine this for 449 pages.

In essence, I went in with high expectations, thinking Matson's book would be of similar caliber to Panic by Lauren Oliver. Unfortunately, I was sadly mistaken. Despite having a pretty high rating on Goodreads, this book wasn't for me. Try it out and let me know what you think?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Eleanor and Park:

Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Version: Hardcover


Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.


I absolutely loved this book - as I do with all of Rainbow Rowells’s works! 

If you’ve ever changed schools or been to high school in general, then you’ll be able to relate to Eleanor. She’s just transferred schools and is met with a less than welcoming environment to say the least. Things aren’t better at home either, because her stepdad makes life a living hell and he’s the financial backbone of the household. Eleanor shares a small room with her siblings, who cling to each other for support, especially when hearing their “parents” fight. 

This book bothered me, simply because I could relate to Eleanor. I also had a step parent who made my life a living hell. However, that’s all in the past. Yet, like then, I can’t understand why Eleanor’s mom couldn’t escape her situation or why she CHOSE to allow situations to happen. It’s really hard to say what I mean without giving away spoilers, but Eleanor’s mom allowed Richie (the stepdad), to treat her like trash. She even forced Eleanor and her children in the car when Richie was driving drunk. There are plenty of other instances that are up for discussion, but I’ll stop here. 

The ending of this book was a huge WOW factor. I caught a little bit of foreshadowing when Maisie and Richie were watching TV together, but I honestly didn’t connect that to Eleanor’s situation. Another part of the ending I really enjoyed was seeing Eleanor’s ‘enemies’ helping her in her time of need, it was truly heart touching. 

I realized I haven’t said a word about Park yet. For Eleanor, Park seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel or the sole thing keeping her alive. Without Park, Eleanor would be in hell 24/7 and the little bits of time they can schedule together: bus rides home, “Tina’s” house, etc… are why she keeps preserving through. It was nice being able to see how their relationship grew and changed from each’s perspective, Rainbow Rowell is just fantastic at doing this.  As for Park, I disliked him at first, but he slowly grew on me. HIs family on the other hand, I still don’t particularly like his dad, but his mom was awesome. 

Let me know what you think of Eleanor and Park when you read it, because you’re definitely going to, right? Of course you are :D. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014 - , No comments

Grave Mercy

Rating: 4 Stars
Author: Robin LaFevers
Version: eBook

GoodReads Summary:
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a review, but here we go!

I purchased Grave Mercy after hearing it mentioned in Christine’s YouTube channel and then finding it on sale at The plot sounded super interested and the cover looked amazing - Yes, I judge a book by the cover.

I really prefer reading physical copies of books, but if I can catch a deal with the Kindle version, then I’ll do so. With that said, it took me about a month of on/off reading to get through 47% of the book. The main problem I had with the story was that I kept getting bogged down trying to track characters and understand historical information. However, Ismae’s adventure was enough to keep me pushing through for awhile. Eventually, I just put the book down to burn through some Rainbow Rowell novels. 

However, for some reason this week, I had a strong desire to finish reading Grave Mercy. That being said, I picked back up where I left off and guess what? I finished the remaining half in two days! The second half was simply amazing- full of action, mystery, romance, and oh my god the plot twists. What’s more, the story is mostly based on historical events. This means that the 12 year old Dutchess desperately fighting to save her country through marraige and the events that transpire are real!! LaFevers goes further to say that he excluded about half of the conspiracies that happened in real life to make the story easier to read. Wow, just wow - you’ll see my point if you read the story, which I highly recommend you do!