April 30, 2015

Month In Review - April Edition

~ April Edition

What happened on the blog?


What went down behind the blog?

  • I turned 27 on April 5th! I got to celebrate Easter and my birthday with my parents, husband, and little brother. One of my favorite gifts that I received had to be this bookish mug that my husband gave me.
My New Bookish Mug
  • My husband turned 30 on April 17th so I gave him 30 gifts! I had a lot of fun with this. I numbered each gift and then he randomly selected a number and that was the order in which he opened all of his gifts. I got him serious gifts, fun gifts, and yummy gifts.
My husband's 30 presents!
  • I was actually in a wedding in Florida the weekend of the 17th so my husband and I took a mini vacation. The wedding was beautiful, my matron of honor speech was a hit, and we had a lot of fun hanging out with friends. I also got to pet a penguin!!! (Picture to come.) My husband and I also went to Clearwater Beach the day after the wedding with two of our close friends. It was beautiful and a lot of fun. 
Mandatory reading on the beach photo. If I am being honest... it is kind of too sandy to read on the beach when it is windy.

My favorite read of the month


My new obsession

My Baby Groot Magnetic Bookmark


Some books on my May TBR pile

The ARCs

Already Published

16 comments
April 29, 2015

Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Uninvited (#1) by Sophie Jordan (2014)
384 pages
Genre: Dystopian/Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: I got it as a gift for my birthday last year.
Purchase: Barnes &  Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

My Review

I am doing something completely different with this review. I am showing you an actual picture of my post-it where I took my notes while reading. How cool is that? I will elaborate on each point below. Usually I have a lot messier of a post-it with scribbled notes all over, half of which I usually can't really read, so I chose this particular book to try out this new review style because it is a lot neater and easier for you to read. Now let's begin, from top to bottom.

My Post-It
- Why does it say Texas in the corner? That is where the book took place. I am trying to keep track for the reading road trip challenge. If I don't write it down as soon as I figure out the setting of a book I will completely forget later on.

- A book about people with the kill gene? How could that not be intense.

- I may have loved this book, but the whole time while I was reading I wanted real proof, the actual science behind the kill gene. We do get little snippets of information, but considering how everyone was treated I wanted more.

- The very good comment was just a vague note that the book was turning out to be very good indeed.

- The way these kill gene carriers were treated broke my heart, and I hate to say that it seemed like something that would happen today if this became a thing.

- Once again I take note of how much the way these people were treated bothered me.

- Can you tell that I like mystery men? I swooned.

- The character does struggle a lot. She has to really work through all the changes happening to her once she is tagged as someone with the kill gene. Considering everything that happens to hear I think she handles it pretty well.

- "Devouring" - A self explanatory note.

- "Super Good" - Also self explanatory, although a little vague. My bad.

- So why am I not sure about reading the next book? I did love this one, but according to some reviews and the synopsis I think I would be better off with just sticking with the ending with this one and creating my own future for the characters than reading the next book.

What do you think of this review style? I'm not sure I am sold on it yet. Was it easy to follow? Did you like seeing my actual notes that I took while reading?

10 comments
April 27, 2015

ARC Review: Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly (May 5, 2015)
208 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: I received a free ARC from Tor Teen. This didn't affect my honest review. Thanks Tor Teen!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: The only thing worse than being a witch is living with one.

Camellia’s adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom’s a seriously wicked witch.

Cam’s used to stopping the witch’s crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose—and into Devon, the cute new boy at school.

Now Cam’s suddenly got bigger problems than passing Algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween Dance.

To stop the demon before he destroys Devon’s soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she’s willing to work spells like the witch...will that mean she’s wicked too?

My Review

It may have a flaw or two, but Seriously Wicked is seriously cute and fun.

Likable yet eccentric characters make Seriously Wicked a novel full of humor, witchy stuff, and adventure. Cam is an amusing main character. Although I wish she stood up for herself more, she does learn to do so over time. I found Devon to be entertaining and rather unique. I also liked the witch. Even if she did have a lot of crazy schemes and wasn't always kind to Cam, she was a good addition to the book. 

Although I liked pretty much everything about Seriously Wicked I think it had one main flaw, it was lacking some depth and length. I loved the adventure and the fun, not to mention the dragon, demon, and other interesting things, but I just wish I would have been given more time with the characters so I could have gotten to know them even better. I think the story could have been fleshed out just a little more.

Overall I was very pleased with what Seriously Wicked had to offer. I do think it is geared more towards a younger audience, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. I also must confess how much love I have for this cover. It is what got me interested in the book to begin with and it is beyond adorable and fun. I think it represents the book perfectly.

Next time you need something light, quick, and entertaining, pick up Seriously Wicked.

10 comments
April 23, 2015

A Short & Sweet ARC Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West (May 5, 2015)
352 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: I received a free ARC at ALA Midwinter. This didn't affect my honest review. Thanks Harper!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Synopsis: When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

My Review

Read this book.

Here are the short and sweet (just like the book) reasons as to why you should...

I'm just going to say it. Kasie West is a master at writing young adult contemporary romance novels. She has yet to write one that disappointed me. Not a single book. Full of laughs, swoons, friends, romance, and banter, The Fill-In Boyfriend is yet another hit from Kasie West. It was wonderful and perfectly cute. 

The characters are full of life. Gia may seem very shallow at first glance, but this didn't deter me from enjoying the book. Not only does she change and grow, but her personality only made her seem more real. I love fill-in Bradley (he was probably my favorite), his sister, and all of the other characters in this book.

This is a fun one to read. It's a story that touches on friendship, family, and romance.

The Bottom Line: The Fill-In Boyfriend was an easy read that I have no problem recommending to everyone.

15 comments
April 21, 2015

TTT #37: My ALL TIME Favorite Authors


This week's topic was HARD. Here is what I came up with for my ALL TIME favorite authors. Tell me which authors made your list in the comments!

Author Favorites From My Younger Years

1. J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter)
2. Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries)
3. Cate Tiernan (The Sweep Series)
4. Jodi Picoult (The Pact)
5. The Bronte Sisters (Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights)

More Recent Author Favorites

6. Kasie West (Pivot Point)
7. Sarah J. Maas (The Throne of Glass Series)
8. Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles)
9. Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)
10. Sarah Fine (Guards of the Shadowlands)

16 comments
April 20, 2015

ARC Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1) by Sarah J. Maas (May 5, 2015)
432 pages
Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Source: I was lucky enough to get a free ARC at ALA Midwinter. My review is still 100% honest. Thanks Bloomsbury!!
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

MY REVIEW

My Initial Reaction: Are we really doing the whole hungry girl hunting to survive bit? I hope this gets better... (Don't worry friends, it does. It gets so much better.)

I almost died when I got my hands on an ARC of A Court of Thorns and Roses at ALA Midwinter. I have been dying to read this book before I even knew what it was about simply because Maas wrote it and Throne of Glass is my new all time favorite series. I was so nervous when I first started reading ACOTAR. It wasn't grabbing me at first. I wasn't really caring about anything. Luckily it took only about 50 pages in before I finally said "Okay, Here we go." and I was finally hooked. I wanted to know anything and everything about the fearie world and its inhabitants. I warmed up to the book rather quickly.

I had no idea A Court of Thorns and Roses was going to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but it just made the story that much more awesome. I guess sometimes it pays off not to pay close attention to the synopsis.

I was instantly drawn to Tamlin and had a strong feeling that he was going to become my new book boyfriend. I wasn't disappointed. Every character was complex. Every character piqued my interest. Every character pulled me deeper and deeper into the story, giving me an escape from the real world. Feyre especially is a strong woman who has flaws, making her human but still completely bad ass. I loved her. More importantly, I freaking love Tamlin and Feyre together. I don't think there is necessarily as many steamy scenes as everyone says there are, but there is some good tension and what not between the two.

ACOTAR was so very good, frustratingly good. It continued to get better and better as the story went on and became more intense with each page that I read. It's pretty dark and does get a little crazy. The story tugged on my heart and made me laugh. I'm not sure there wasn't a single emotion I didn't feel while reading it.

The Bottom Line: I'm ready for round two of this emotional ride. I'm sure Maas will more than deliver with the next book. I can't even say I have a firm grasp on what is coming next, but I don't care. I want to read it. I want to read it now.

7 comments
April 16, 2015

I Feel Like Gabbing Today - Library Edition


 ** I have no idea how often I will post this feature. It is a work in progress. I do however know that I want to share with you the very random thoughts that pop into my head and chat with you about them. Many are bookish thoughts and many are not. I feel like I don't have enough discussion type posts on the blog so I am giving this a whirl. Some days I will talk about a specific topic and sometimes I will just throw some random thoughts at you. So please sit back, relax, and take a second to chat with me today.

LIBRARIES ARE AWESOME - HERE IS WHY

It's National Library Week!! I know you know I love my local library and use it all the time. I got really lucky a year and a half ago when I moved to a town with a large and amazingly awesome library that even has a drive-up window to pick up books. I also work at that said library... and I LOVE it. I love seeing how many people use our library, but I also don't understand a whole bunch of people I know that don't use their local library. Therefore, I decided to put together a list of why you should use your local library. 




A reason you may claim as to why you don't use the library... It's inconvenient.  Here is why it isn't.
- Holds can be your best friend and are very convenient. Normally you can place holds over the phone or online for an item you want and then when you are notified when it is ready you just have to run in for one second to pick up your book/movie/cd etc. Some even have drive up windows (like mine. I'm bragging a bit. I apologize.) and some libraries can do a hold over the phone and have it ready for you to pick up in an hour! An hour!
- Most libraries have easy drop off boxes for when you need to return items. Sometimes they even have them around town and not just at the library.
- E-books are readily available at most libraries and you can get them while sitting on your butt at home.
**See what your local library has to offer. Check out their website, stop by, or give them a call.

It's free! - Who passes up on free things?
- Movies & TV Shows - Free! (I do think some small libraries charge you a small fee to check out a movie. Usually it is only like a dollar, less than redbox.)
- CDs are free too!
- Books of all kinds (large print, fiction, non-fiction, kids, teen, cookbooks, test prep books, etc.) = Free!
- Magazines - Free!
- Audiobooks - Free!
- Don't forget the free videogames!
- Some libraries even have projectors, vhs to dvd converters, tools, assistive devices, and even more helpful things that you can check out... for free!
- I know a good amount of people that claim they don't have a lot of money but spend a good amount of money on books, movies, and other items that they can borrow for FREE from the library. Don't get me wrong, I still like to support my favorite authors and bookstores, but I don't have the money to buy all the books. I buy about a book a month on average, but I use the library more than I purchase books (and especially more than I purchase expensive tv shows) since money doesn't grow on trees. Also, you live in your town and pay taxes... those help pay for the library... So why not use it?

Need a reading suggestion?
- I know my blog is a great source for that as well as other blogs, but its those librarians' jobs to help find what you want/need. They like it when you ask them questions. Just like us book bloggers they like giving out reading suggestions.

Need help doing research for a school project or any project at all?
- The librarians have you covered on this too! They are experts at finding the best resources that you can use for your project. Not only will they help you gather information for the project, but if you need to fax something, copy something, print something, or anything of that nature... you can do that at the library as well!

Do you want to be a library book hoarder? You don't want to pass this opportunity up.
- Come on, who doesn't want to be like me and hoard all the library books? Come join the club. Sure, I feel bad sometimes when I'm keeping the books from other readers, but I can only renew an item twice (three weeks per most books though) and if someone else puts a hold on it and wants to read it bad enough I can't renew it. So in all reality I shouldn't feel all that guilty. Overall, I like having so many reading options at my disposal all the time thanks to my local library.

Need a place to study, a meeting room, a quiet place to write or blog, or maybe a nice place to read? 
- The library has got you covered. Most libraries have study rooms, quiet areas, tables, etc. for your needs. They have computers if you don't want to bring your own laptop. Heck, my library even has laptops you can check out to use while you are in the library. Did I mention that most even have nice comfy chairs to read in? One more thing... some libraries even have coffee shops! Now what more could you want?

Do you want to participate in a book discussion? Or maybe you have a child that would like story time? Or perhaps you want to learn a new craft or watch a movie? 
- Libraries have free programs for their patrons. Look up your local library and see what they have to offer. Some free library programs offered at my library include Lego building time, card making classes, knitting classes, technology help, and a whole bunch more!

This is all that pops into my head right now. I'm sure more will come up later after I have already posted this, but you get my drift. Libraries are awesome. Use yours. Support your local library. At the very least, let your kids get a chance to discover the amazingness that a library has to offer.


12 comments
April 13, 2015

ARC Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby (April 21, 2015)
304 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: I received a free arc at ALA Midwinter! Thanks Harper! This didn't affect my honest review.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

My Review

I knew before I even read this book that it was going to be memorable. I knew it was going to pull on my heart strings. I knew it would make a lasting impression on me. I just knew. So I took a deep breath, picked up Things We Know by Heart,  and braced myself for what I knew was going to be an emotional read. I actually became so engrossed while reading this book that I fell off the couch at one point! Talk about not paying attention to your surroundings while reading.

Quinn is a teenager who is traumatized by the death of her boyfriend. No young person should have to go through what Quinn did, but sadly it does happen. The writing was so poetic and beautiful, so much that I could feel Quinn's pain through the words on the page. I have dealt with the pain of having two friends pass away when they were younger so I felt a special bond with Quinn. I found Colton to be a true fighter. These two come together and try to appreciate life and not take it for granted. Reading about these two characters come together with their struggles and seeing how they need each other (they make each other better) pulled on my heart strings. I loved these characters. 

In my opinion, I think there are two very important things to take away from this book. First, be an organ donor if you can. I am already an organ donor and I think everyone should be. I know for some it is against their religion and I respect that. Personally, I think being an organ donor is very important and should be done. It could save a life, maybe several. (I don't think of anyone less who isn't one. I am simply giving my opinion on the matter.) The second significant thing I took away from this book, life is short. It really is. I am going to try and start thinking of that before I do something that I don't really want to do. I want to fit in as many crazy wonderful adventures that I can.

Things We Know by Heart is unique, memorable, and it gave me all the feels. I sped through it and cherished it. It was everything I thought it would be. I won't be forgetting this story any time soon. It may have been a tiny bit slow for some people's tastes in the middle of the book, but besides that I don't think I have a single bad thing to say about Things We Know by Heart. I simply think you should read it.

7 comments
April 12, 2015

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!

Fun Bookish News

Who doesn't love looking at animals? Check out the bookstore pets of northern California. 

These April Fool's pranks for book nerds are both funny and even sometimes cruel. 

Because I can never show you enough pictures of pretty libraries I wish I could live in.

These 15 very helpful diagrams for book lovers shouldn't be passed up.

Fellow Book Blogger Posts

A Southern Girl's Bookshelf - 2015 Summer Reads List (Adult) & YA - So many good books on these lists!

The Emerald City Book Review - Does spelling matter? - I say yes with the understanding that typos happen. This is a really good discussion post.

The Perpetual Page-Turner - Fear Not! - This is a great post that you don't want to miss.

The Book Addict's Guide - Blogger Spotlight Features - Check this out if you want to be interviewed on another blog or want to find out more about other book bloggers. It is a good resource.

Photo of the Week - Library Edition

SOURCE

4 comments
April 9, 2015

Random Mini Review Pile-Up: Invaded, Out to Lunch, & American Gods

Invaded (Alienated #2) by Melissa Landers (Feb. 3, 2015)
356 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Romance
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe...until a threat to both their worlds reunites them.
Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?
My Mini Review: When I first started reading Invaded I had the worst time trying to remember everything that happened in the previous book. It was frustrating, but I did catch on after a bit. I don't think Invaded was as strong as Alienated (the first book). It took a while for me to look past the cheesiness and actually laugh. I liked Cara just fine and I liked Aelyx. I think perhaps I didn't like this book as much because our two main characters aren't really together at all for most of the book. I liked getting to see more of the L'eihr planet, but it was still frustrating. There is a cute pet in Invaded, it has perfectly good characters, and it is more complex than it pretends to be at first, but it was missing the IT factor. I still enjoyed Invaded and will read the next book in the series, but I was a little disappointed.



Out to Lunch by Stacey Ballis (2013)
388 pages
Genre: Adult General Fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: A touching and hilarious novel from the fabulous Stacey Ballis about best friends, true love, and the joy of food—for fans of Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin...

Jenna has lost her best friend.

With Aimee gone so tragically young, Jenna barely knows where to turn. Aimee was the one who always knew what to do—not to mention what to wear. The two built a catering company together and had so much in common—well, except their taste in men. Jenna never understood what the successful, sophisticated Aimee saw in Wayne, with his Star Wars obsession and harebrained business schemes.

And gained her best friend’s husband…

But Aimee has left a shocking last request: Jenna now has financial custody of the not-so-merry widower. True, Wayne needs someone sensible around to keep him under control, but what was her dear departed friend thinking?

The thing is, as she gets to know Wayne better, his latest moneymaking idea actually starts to intrigue her. Her attractive new lawyer boyfriend doesn’t approve of it—but then, Wayne doesn’t approve of her attractive new lawyer boyfriend. Now Jenna has to figure out what direction her life is going to take next. And she can’t help asking herself: What would Aimee do?
My Mini Review: Do you love food? Do you love dogs? Do you love a good heart-warming story that will make you laugh and cry? If you answered yes to any of the above then Out to Lunch is a book for you. Jenna is a very easy to relate to character that you won't be able to help but care about. Wayne is a man full of life and I loved him from the beginning. What a sweetie. Jenna can't stand Wayne but her best friend wants to her to try to get along with him, and since she has passed away Jenna can't do anything but do what her late friend wants. They are opposites and both have their flaws. (Just a heads up, this isn't really a romance between these two if that is what you think.) There was just something special about this story that made me love it. It wasn't really like any book I have read before. Out to Lunch was a memorable book for me. I plan on reading other books by this author.



American Gods by Neil Gaiman (2001)
588 pages
Genre: Adult
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: I got this as a gift for Christmas!
Purchase: Barnes and Noble|The Book Depository|Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she's been killed in a terrible accident.

Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible.

He warns Shadow that a far bigger storm is coming. And from that moment on, nothing will ever be the same...
My Mini Review: American Gods is the first book I read by Neil Gaiman, and quite frankly it wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. I chose to read this book because it is the most read book in the state where I live, Illinois. I figured I should join the club, but for whatever reason I struggled to start and finish this book. It seemed to take me a long while to really get into the story. I had trouble following along, and really I just got bored a lot for whatever reason. I think it may partly have to do with me not being in the right mood to read this one. I'm not sure though. It's a little weird and filled with dark humor and I liked that about it, but I had such a hard time connecting with any of the characters on any level. I think that was my undoing. I did like Gaiman's take on America past and present. With that being said, now that I have read my first Gaiman book and it didn't blow me away, I have decided that I am willing to give one other book by him a chance because he is such a highly acclaimed author. If you have any Gaiman reading suggestions please share them with me below!

8 comments
April 8, 2015

I Feel Like Gabbing Today - Summer Movie Edition


** I have no idea how often I will post this feature. It is a work in progress. I do however know that I want to share with you the very random thoughts that pop into my head and chat with you about them. Many are bookish thoughts and many are not. I feel like I don't have enough discussion type posts on the blog so I am giving this a whirl. Some days I will talk about a specific topic and sometimes I will just throw some random thoughts at you. So please sit back, relax, and take a second to chat with me today.

SUMMER MOVIES I'M DYING TO SEE


Minions (July 10th)
~ Considering that the minions are my favorite part of the Despicable Me movies I wouldn't miss this movie for the world.


Jurassic World (June 12)
~ I am a Chris Pratt fan and a Jurassic Park fan.


Inside Out (June 19)
~ I am a sucker for funny and adorable kid movies.


Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15)
~ I hope this one is as good as the first.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)
~ Why not?


What movies are you excited to see this summer?

12 comments
April 7, 2015

TTT #36: Characters I'd Like an Update On


Here are the top ten seven characters I would like to check in with. In no particular order... 

1. The Harry Potter Series - I was going to say all the characters but that felt like cheating. Instead I am picking the childen of all the main characters... So I guess I still kind of cheated. 


2. The Distance Between Us - I would love to get an update on Xander and Caymen.


3. The Grisha Trilogy - Strumhond - How amazing are you doing? I know you are doing well. I just know it.


4. The Hunger Games - I would like to see that Katniss is content but not truly happy because she is not with Gale. Kidding. Maybe.


5. The Scorpio Races - Puck - I also really want to re-read this book!

6. I really want to know if Alex from Delirium is happy. I always rooted for him.

7. The All Souls Trilogy - Diana and Matthew - Because who wouldn't want an update on these two?

17 comments
April 6, 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen (#1) by Victoria Aveyard (Feb. 2015)
383 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Not Sure Exactly
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: I got a free copy from ALA Midwinter! Thanks Harper! This didn't affect my honest review.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

My Review

I should start this review off by saying that Red Queen lived up to its hype, at least to me. After the first page I asked myself (or more accurately I was talking to the book in question) Will you be epic? I can say that yes, for me, Red Queen was epic. I devoured it. I loved it. I would read it all over again in a heartbeat if I had more time to do so. I enjoyed the writing. It was exciting and thrilling. It was what I hoped it would be. So what is the best way for me to share my love for this power filled X-Menesque book? Share with you my goodreads updates while reading of course.


The Bottom Line: Even when the main character Mare drove me a little crazy (to an extent I understand why she is so judgmental but I also think sometimes she was a little over the top about it), I still loved this book. Red Queen is for readers who love powers, action, never being bored, and not knowing who is a friend and who is foe. It is pretty much a book for anyone and everyone. You should read it if you have yet to do so. Just my opinion. Just look at that cover.


12 comments
April 3, 2015

April Book Prescriptions - Reading Suggestions

Book Recommendation Friday is back with a new name and a new look! I plan on posting this feature on the first Friday of every month.

Each month I will come up with at least five different and unique reading suggestions for each post. I only recommend books I have already read unless noted.

The Books I suggest aren't always necessarily the same genre/plot so much as they have the same feel... and are great reads of course.

Click on the book title to found out more about each one. Enjoy!
If you liked The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas then you should try...

1. For a lot of awesome powers - Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
2. For a forbidden romance - The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
3. It has magic in the title - A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
4. For even more magic - The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
5. When you want something fun and crazy and magical - The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde


Please share your book recommendations below and any other ways you think I could make this feature even better! If you have a specific book you want me to highlight in the upcoming months please feel free to share your ideas with me. For other reading suggestions that I have completed in the past check out my If you liked...Then read... page.

4 comments
April 2, 2015

Review: The Union by T.H. Hernandez

The Union (#1) by T.H. Hernandez (Nov. 2014)
325 pages
Genre: Romance/Dystopian/Young Adult
Source: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks T.H. Hernandez!
Purchase: Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes - the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn't have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she's kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she's ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.

Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she's in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she's ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.

My Review

The Union started off strong and ended with enough flourish to have me curious about the second book in the series. This is going to be a shorter review that jumps straight to the point. Sometimes I just think that lists are the best way to describe how I feel about a book. Without further ado...

What I Liked
  • The Main Character (Evan) - Despite her flaws, I found her endearing. I also enjoyed watching her try to figure out who she really is and who she wants to be.
  • It has a strong and cute romance develop, one I easily cheered on and supported.
  • I liked all the future technology that I got glimpses of. (cool trains, restaurants, etc.)
  • The differences between the Union and the Ruins (the world building). It was rather intriguing.
  • I liked the story more and more with each page that I read. It was pretty much almost always interesting enough to keep me engaged. This made for a  pleasurable and quick read.

What I Didn't Like
  • The pacing. During the middle of the book I really felt like the plot stopped moving forward. It didn't stall for long though.
  • The book focused more on the romance than anything else and I was expecting a book more about fighting an evil government. Basically, I wanted more action.
  • It didn't blow me away. Even though it had some unique elements, it wasn't an overly new dystopian.
  • Although sometimes necessary, I felt like a lot of the book was made up of  just descriptions of people, places, and things. Sometimes I got tired of reading all of those descriptions.

The Bottom Line: I enjoyed The Union a great deal. It may have been more of a romance story than what I was expecting, but luckily I did like the relationship it focused on.  I do plan on reading the next book in this series. I see no reason not to. 

2 comments
April 1, 2015

The Outlander Series 2015 Reading Challenge: April Review Link-Up (Book #3)


Link your reviews to the first book here and head over to discuss what you thought. Link your reviews to the second book here and head over to discuss what you thought. 

How am I doing? I admit that I have only read the first book so far. Don't worry, I plan to read the second book, Dragonfly in Amber, super soon. I hope everyone else is doing well with the challenge! Tell me how you are doing below.

Do you want more information about the challenge? Do you want to sign-up? Read this post first.

What is the purpose of this post? To link-up your reviews of the third book in the Outlander series (Voyager) that you read for the challenge so that we can read them! Link to wherever you post reviews -- your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, etc., etc.

I will be posting a review link-up post on the first of every month for the next book in the Outlander series. I think this will be a good way for me to keep organized and motivated to read a book a month. In September there will also be a giveaway for everyone participating in the challenge! So keep a look out for that as well.

When you link up below please make sure to use the direct URL to your individual post/review, not the book's information page or your blog's homepage. You don't have to write a review to participate. You can just tell me in the comments below that you read the book.

Please also use this space as a place to discuss all things to do with the third book. Try to avoid big spoilers, but if you do want to talk about them just warn us first. Share how the challenge is going for you. Which book are you reading now? I want to know how you are enjoying the series. Some discussion prompts for Voyager will be posted on this page at the end of April.


Voyager Review Link-Up

2 comments

Library Loot #32


Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

** Now is the time when I ask you not to judge me. I may not have read a single book from my library loot from last week, but that didn't stop me from getting more books this week. My bad. Sorry. Not Sorry.


My Library Loot

1. I am in the mood to binge read a trilogy. 

2. This is the one I am most excited about from this week's loot.

3. I have been meaning to read this one for a while.

4. This one is for the banned books challenge.

5. This will be my third Rowell book.

11 comments
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