June 29, 2014

The Bookish Report

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. I put this post up every Sunday so come back again next week for more bookish awesomeness.

Click away and enjoy your Sunday!



News

I've decided to start this week's news post off with some wonderfully true laughs from Epic Reads.


I'm really hoping this 9-year-old will be able to put his free library back up. What a sweet kid.

I would never read Kendall and Kylie Jenner's young adult novel, even if they weren't the ones who wrote it.


These book dedications are a must read. I remember when I read The House of Hades dedication, it made me laugh, and the HP one made me cry.

Angry Robot's book imprints, Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A, will be discontinued. 

I'm sure you all remember the post (that I obviously don't agree with) about how adults shouldn't be reading young adult books that was posted on the internet not that long ago. The good news, this rebuttal post is exquisite. 

Blog Posts

I love planners and I love talking about organizing. I always want need all the planners. What about you?

I got lucky this week and found some awesome features on fellow book blogger sites. Literary Wanderings over at My Novel Opinion has a very unique one.

Another favorite that I'm not sure I have shared with you yet, but is a must read is Lite-Rate-Ture's Novel Beauty. It will make you smile. It will also really get you to stop and take a closer look at the book you are reading (if you haven't already) and enjoy all the hard work put into its design.

Trailer

I may not understand why they split the last book into two movies, and I may not be a big fan of the third book, but this trailer...

7 comments
June 26, 2014

ARC Review: The Fever by: Megan Abbott

The Fever by: Megan Abbott (June 17, 2014)
320 Pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Horror
Source: I received an ARC of The Fever from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Little, Brown and Company!
Goodreads Summary: The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security.

A chilling story about guilt, family secrets and the lethal power of desire,The Fever affirms Megan Abbot's reputation as "one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation"

My Review

I have such a wide range of feelings for this book, both good and bad. The Fever just didn’t turn out to be as awesome as the synopsis made it sound, and that was disappointing. It had its pros and cons but there is one thing I can say for certain, Abbott knows how to write a horror story that will give you the creeps.

When I first started reading The Fever I was utterly confused. The story is told from three different POVs, the teenage daughter Deenie, her dad Tom, and her teenage brother Eli. I didn’t realize this before starting, hence the confusion. Once I gained my footing I started to enjoy the different POVs from these family members. It’s just too bad the author didn’t use this uniqueness to its full advantage. I would have liked to really get to know Deenie’s family, but even with all the viewpoints I still never felt a closeness with them. My lack of connection and lack of strong feelings for any of the characters is one of the main reasons The Fever only received three stars from me. Not to mention that Deenie and her friends aren’t really nice people.

On a better note, Abbott sure can write. She continued to pull my attention further and further into the story even though I wasn’t connecting with the characters. I was fully emerged into the story of this community dealing with a mysterious outbreak affecting the health of its high school students. Once I hit at least the half-way point I just couldn't stop reading. I had to know how these kids got sick. I wanted to know all the secrets of the characters. Scratch that, I needed to know.

The one last big thing I want to comment on was the lackluster conclusion. After how invested and intrigued I became in the story I was very unsatisfied with how the book ended. The big reveal was nowhere near as exciting as I wanted or expected. It wasn't unique. It was actually just a little sad. I felt let down.

Although this book ended up being a little disappointing to me, I think fans of the horror genre would still appreciate Abbott's writing and the overall creepiness of the novel. One last thing, that cover is wonderfully and horrifyingly eye catching and it fits the novel perfectly.

6 comments
June 23, 2014

Review: Rebel Belle by: Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle by: Rachel Hawkins (April 2014)
345 Pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.

My Review

Rebel Belle and I didn’t always see eye to eye. I was actually really annoyed when I first started reading it. I wouldn’t necessary say it’s the book’s fault that we got off on the wrong foot so much as I was expecting something different than what Rebel Belle ended up delivering. I was expecting a more serious story, I don’t know why I just did, but really Rebel Belle is more of a comedy than anything. Once I became accepting of this oh so very wonderful trait Rebel Belle had to offer I enjoyed the novel a great deal.

The main character, Harper, is always trying to be the best and is always trying to be polite and proper, but when she becomes a Paladin, an awesome ninja type guardian, her life starts becoming just a little more complex and difficult to manage. Although Harper can be annoying with her very high school demeanor and attitude it was hard not to like her, especially with her always hilarious commentary on her Paladin abilities and situations she finds herself in. I did however 100% sincerely enjoy David and his snarky adorableness that he brought to the story and Harper’s life.

As for the overall plot of Rebel Belle, it was unique and very strong. Not to mention that Rebel Belle has a lot of good full blown laughing fight scenes in it and the ending was fast paced and full of little twists. Basically, Rebel Belle may be a comedy, but it’s also full of some awesome action that just added to its quirky weird funny charm.

Don’t pass up Rebel Belle. Pick it up this summer for a book that is just too much fun to ignore. I wasn't a huge fan of Hawkins’ Hex Hall series, (which was good but not great for me), but I’m glad I read Rebel Belle. Therefore, if you had the same feelings as me about Hex Hall don’t let that stop you from giving Rebel Belle a chance. I'm glad I did.




4 comments
June 18, 2014

Review: Dangerous Girls by: Abigail Haas

Dangerous Girls by: Abigail Haas (2013)
388 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Young Adult
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository 
Goodreads Summary: It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...

My Review

Ladies and Gentlemen, after what feels like an extremely long and slightly painful time I have finally found a young adult thriller that managed to truly blow my mind. With that being said, Dangerous Girls is a book worth reading this summer.


Dangerous Girls is crazy, crazy good. I could actually feel the tension among all of the characters grow and grow as the story unfolded. I could feel the emotions Anna was feeling. I felt the coldness of the media. I had so many feels for everyone and everything. Haas did such an amazing job at really putting you right in the story as Anna tells us how her fun trip with her friends turned deadly. Now, I wasn't a fan of the group of kids so much because they seemed young and reckless and occasionally annoying. They were so ridiculous at times that I just...


Although the characters weren't necessarily likable that didn't mean they were not well written or that I didn't enjoy reading about them, but they were not the reason why I gave Dangerous Girls a 4.5 star rating. This book deserves that rating because it managed to make be believe I was figuring out the mystery of who killed Elise, when in all reality I really wasn't. Haas did such an amazing job at weaving this complex story, every time I thought I was maybe figuring out a little piece of the puzzle, I was not even close. Sure I got some things figured out here and there, or at least I thought I did, until I got to the ending and well my reaction looked a little exactly like this...


and this


and then I did something along the lines of


and then I got even more crazy


and well I just couldn't...


my mind was blow. I just didn't see that twist coming. Therefore, Dangerous Girls is worth reading this summer.


It is guaranteed to shock you. It is guaranteed to entertain you. It is guaranteed to give you so many feels. I didn't think there were a lot of really good thrillers in the young adult category, until now. I'm going to say it one last time, Dangerous Girls is worth reading this summer. I know I will be reading Dangerous Boys by Haas the second it comes out in August.




15 comments
June 15, 2014

The Bookish Report

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. I put this post up every Sunday so come back again next week for more bookish awesomeness.

Click away and enjoy your Sunday!


News

Breaking News: There is going to be another Lunar Chronicles book featuring Levana out in January!

For all of you that live in Illinois the day has been set. July 12 will be Chicago's Independent Bookstore Day! I've always wanted to visit all of these bookstores and since Chicago isn't far from me now may be the perfect time.

The Great Book Format Debate may be a little longer of an article, but I promise it is worth your time and will give you some laughs.

Just because I love Sherlock. I had to share this one with you.

Eric Hall, the author of the adorable Spot children's books, has passed away. May he rest in peace and never be forgotten.

I think I am going to do this exercise here on the blog. I plan on sharing my bookshelves with you in more detail soon anyway. I love getting the break down of other blogger's bookcases so I figured it was time I share mine.

Epic Reads has some of the best and most creative posts featuring young adult books on their website. The Periodic Table of Epic Reads doesn't disappoint. 

Apparently the Delirium pilot will now be airing on Hulu on June 20th! A huge thanks to Christine for telling me this!


Blog Posts

Oh how I hate movie tie-in book covers, and I'm not alone!

Reviews from a Bookworm has a great discussion post this week where she shares how sometimes commenting on all the blogs can make her feel like a performing monkey. She is not alone.

If you are looking for a fun challenge to participate in this July then you should check out The ReReadathon and Shelf Sweeper. I'm not sure I will have time to participate, but I figured I would share the fun with you all anyway.

Source: http://anightowlblog.com/2013/06/happy-fathers-day.html
7 comments
June 12, 2014

A Straight to the Point Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road by: Melina Marchetta (Jan. 2008)
419 Pages
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs - the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.

My Review

Everyone should take a chance on Jellicoe Road.

Here is why…

The opening sequence of the book will blow you away.

It will frustrate you in a wonderful way.

It’s a brilliantly written intense puzzling novel.

It’s full of secrets, tragedy, laughs, and hope, it has everything.

The characters are realistic and very much memorable.

The Bottom Line: Jellicoe Road will leave you with so many feels.

10 comments
June 9, 2014

Mini Reviews of Sequels: The Unbound, Three, The Outside, & Split Second

The Unbound (The Archived #2) by: Victoria Schwab (Jan. 2014)
368 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Suspense/Thriller/Fantasy
Publisher: Hyperion
Source: Bought
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
Mini Summary: "Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive." After the traumatizing events of the last book Mackanzie Bishop is back. She must fight her nightmares, figure out why people are vanishing, try to keep her job as a keeper along with her memories, and all while being a normal average girl on the outside.
My Mini Review: Victoria Schwab never dissapoints, her writing is just as magical in the sequel as it was in The Archived. The Unbound may have been a little slow at times, but it didn't matter, my attention never wavered. The Unbound is a strong sequel, one of the strongest I have ever read, and the best part, there isn't a big cliff hanger at the end. I admire Mac, the MC, even more in this installment, I still love Wes, and I liked the minor characters, new and old. I was cheering on Mac like my life depended on it. I definitely want more and I hope the third one does end up getting published. The only part of this novel I wasn't a fan of... it needed even more Wes time.






Three (Article 5 #3) by: Kristen Simmons (Feb. 14)
384 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
**This review may contain minor spoilers of the previous books.
Mini Summary: Ember and Chase once again try to find safety and refuge in Three, the last book of the Article 5 trilogy. After finding the safe house destroyed they must find a new place to stay. Three finally is revealed and Ember will finally get the chance to really fight back.
My Mini Review: The Article 5 trilogy ended strong with Three. The first book was really good, the second book was okay, and this book left me feeling very satisfied. We get a lot more sensible and somewhat romantic interactions between Chase and Ember, which I enjoyed immensely. The plot was paced in such a way that I could just feel the tension rising between everyone in the novel and myself. There were also some very exceptional fight scenes and a great big rebellious stand. I don't regret reading this series. It's a young adult dystopian I enjoyed a great deal.





The Outside (The Hallowed Ones #2) by: Laura Bickle (Sept. 2013)
325 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Horror/Survival
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
**This review may contain minor spoilers of the previous book.
Mini Summary: Katie is kicked out of her Amish community and must survive with her two friends in a world dominated by a plague of vampires.
My Mini Review: I feel that The Hallowed Ones really deserves more attention than it is getting, and this sequel, The Outside, only reaffirmed those feelings in me. The book starts off strong and ends strong. I really liked the different relationships this story has to offer, maybe even better than the first. There is a lot of action to keep you entertained. Not to mention there are very unique vampires (nothing like what you have probably read before in young adult literature), and how people come to find a way to deal with the vampires is just as unique. Give these books a chance. They are superb.





Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by: Kasie West (Feb. 2014)
360 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
Mini Summary: Addie is having a hard time dealing with her life since her parents divorce, since she chose the path she had to take. Ever since then her world has become even more complex. Addie's ability has started acting up, she runs into a boy she feels like she should know, and finds out that her friend may be able to bring back her lost memories she so desperately wants and maybe even needs.
My Mini Review: Is it even possible for me to love Kasie West more than I already do? She once again wrote a story so enthralling and characters so real that I can't seem to get enough. If you loved Pivot Point then you will love Split Second, no doubt in my mind. Not only do we get some much needed and somewhat hilarious and painful Trevor and Addie time, we also get some Laila time. Did I mention we also get introduced to another wonderful boy besides Trevor? Well we do, and his name is Connor. (He is a love interest for Laila not Addie, calm down.) I couldn't read Split Second fast enough. It was full of good twists, great friendships, and a perfect ending. What are you waiting for?




18 comments
June 6, 2014

My Blog Turns Two Today & There is a Fun Giveaway!

It's a Book Life Officially Turns Two Today!!!

Let's party like these Snuggie people!


The meaning of this post is three fold. One, I want to open up to you a bit more and share some fun facts about myself. Two, I have a full paragraph with an accompaning gif to show how much I love every single one of my followers. Three, I am hosting a very fun giveaway!

Top Ten Facts About Me

1. I go by Kay on the blog but my real first name is actually Allison. Kay is just my middle name.

2. I love movies (not as much as books... calm down) and I re-watch my favorites a lot, especially The Help, Pitch Perfect, and Tangled.

3. To the right is a photo of my two bookcases! *A more detailed post featuring my bookshelves will be on the blog at a later date in the nearish future.

4. I am not, nor will I ever be, a morning person.

5. I work part-time at my local library. I love it!

6. I have an obsession with putting sugar-free vanilla syrup in my Diet Pepsi.

7. I get easily scared. Mostly just the creepy girl from the well in the Ring movies completely freaks me out.

8. Old Navy clothes are cheap, comfortable, and my favorite.

9. I went to Harry Potter World for my honeymoon.

10. I may live in Illinois, but thanks to my family roots I am a die hard Minnesota Vikings fan.


A HUGE Thank You to My Followers


I honestly don't know if I would have stuck with this blog for two full years if it were't for the daily support from my lovely followers. All of you are freaking awesome. Thanks for every comment, tweet, shout-out on your blog, and simply for just reading my posts. I love reading, but I almost love sharing my bookish thoughts with you all and hearing your bookish thoughts in return more, almost. I look forward to another amazing blogging year... hopefully with even more awesome posts to come! Now let's get to the good stuff.

It's Giveaway Time!!



Sit back and play...

Can You Figure Out That Cover?
**This giveaway was inspired by Love. Life. Read. who held a very similar giveaway on her own blog.

You will find 10 different partial book covers below. Your job is to figure out which book they belong to! Once you have accomplished this task then you must enter into the rafflecopter below for your chance to win a free book. For each correct answer you enter you will receive one entry into the drawing for one free book of your choice from the ones pictured below.

Rules:
- No cheating please! I'll be checking the entries.
- Anyone who lives where The Book Depository ships for free can enter. Here is that list.
- Each correct guess gives you one entry into the drawing.
- The winner will receive a book of his/her choice from the books pictured below.
- Good Luck!

Hints:
- I have reviewed all of these books on my blog. 
- The books featured happen to be some of my favorite reads this year.
- Don't over think the clues. It's supposed to be fun and easy... for the most part. ;)


Book 1
Book 2
Book 3


Book 4
Book 5
Book 6
Book 7
Book 8
Book 9
Book 10





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Answers

I once again want to thank all of my followers new and old for reading my blog and participating in my giveaway challenge! Below you will find the answers to the challenge and the winner is listed on the rafflecopter above. I hope you all had fun playing. Thanks again everyone, and happy reading!

Book 1: Cress by: Marissa Meyer

Book 2: Where'd You Go Bernadette by: Maria Semple

Book 3: The Distance Between Us by: Kasie West

Book 4: Split Second by: Kasie West

Book 5: Fire & Flood by: Victoria Scott

Book 6: No One Else Can Have You by: Kathleen Hale

Book 7: Half Bad by: Sally Green

Book 8: The Rich and The Dead by: Liv Spector

Book 9: Two Boys Kissing by: David Levithan

Book 10: The Winner's Curse by: Marie Rutkoski
18 comments
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