December 31, 2013

2013 End of The Year Bookish Wrap-Up

A big thanks to Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner for her end of the year book survey. I shortened it up a bit and added some little stuff at the end that I wanted to share with you all! All the book titles are linked up to their respective reviews.

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? 
Contemporary YA – If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic/Sci-Fi – The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau  & Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Fantasy — Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Sadly I read quiet a few disappointing books this year, but not too many at least. I think I'm going to go with Taken by Erin Bowman
 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 
Sanctum by Sarah Fine, for some reason I was hesitant about reading this but it turned out to be really really good.
 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
- The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle wasn't really a new genre but because there was a big Amish focus that was completely new to me I figured I would count it. Not to mention that I ended up loving the book! 
- Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart was my first zombie book and I enjoyed it a great deal! 
- Ten by Gretchen McNeil, I don't read horror books, but this one didn't disappoint. 
- Wavecrossed by Andrea Colt also needs to be mentioned. Who would have guessed I would enjoy a book about selkies?
 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
10. Most memorable character in 2013? 
Celaena from Throne of Glass & A from Every Day by David Levithan
11.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest – The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst Good thing it was short because I didn't like it. (160 pages)
Longest — House of Hades by Rick Riordan (597 pages)

 12. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It?  Be careful of spoilers!
Allegiant by Veronica Roth... I don't think I need to say more. 
13. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013.
Choal and Celaena from Throne of Glass! DUH! Their friendship and the romance and the everything is just... so many feels! 

14. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else

Pivot Point by Kasie West, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, and Sanctum by Sarah Fine, all hits and all thanks to Nicole @ The Quiet Concert!
15. Best 2013 debut you read?
16. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
17. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
I cried buckets for both The Fault in Our Stars by John Green & Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

Challenges I Failed and Finished

Goodreads: I read 102 books of my 100 book goal in 2013!

TBR pile challenge: I read 2 out of 12. :(

Series Catch up Challenge: I read only one out of many.

NaNoWriMo: I wrote 70,042 words in a month out of  the 50,000 required! :D

In case you missed these...

My Top Three Favorite Non-Review Posts On My Blog This Year

The Top Three Reviews I Really Enjoyed Writing in 2013

December 24, 2013

TTT #15: Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.  

This week for Top Ten Tuesday we are sharing what books we would love Santa to bring us. I kept my list strictly to books that are already published, because even though Santa is pretty awesome I don't think he would be able to get me books that haven't been published yet. Pictures are linked up to goodreads!

1. Premeditated by: Josin L. McQuein
I feel like I have wanted this book since forever. So why do I want this one? Because of the synopsis:  
A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.

2. Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy #1) by: Nora Roberts
I'm a fan of Nora Roberts' supernatural type books and I love witches! 

3. Life After Life by: Kate Atkinson
A story where the main character lives her life over and over again. I'm in.

4. Omens (Cainsville #1) by: Kelley Armstrong
Mysteries, murder, and an author I enjoy, are the reasons why this book made the list.

5. Amber House (The Amber House Trilogy #1) by: Kelly Moore, Larkin Reed, Tucker Reed 
A house that holds secrets always intrigues me.

6. The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1) by: Sherry Thomas
I've heard this is a really good book and the cover drew me in.

7. Out to Lunch by: Stacey Ballis

This just sounds like a very interesting and unique novel.

8. All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays #1) by: Cristin Terrill
I can't even begin to tell you all of the reasons why I want to read this, but you should check it out too.

9. The Princess in the Opal Mask (The Opal Mask #1) by: Jenny Lundquist 
There are two main reasons why I want to read this book. First, the cover is gorgeous. Second, the line from the synopsis "Every fairy-tale ending has a price..."

10. No Safety in Numbers (No Safety in Numbers #1) by: Dayna Lorentz
Survival stories always capture my attention.

I really wish so many of these were not in a series... So what books do you want Santa to bring you? Share below! 

December 16, 2013

Three Mini Reviews: Also Known As, The Fault in Our Stars, & Going Too Far

Also Known As by: Robin Benway (2013)
320 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: YA
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Goodreads Summary: Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies
has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

My Review: Also Known As was a delightful read. If you are looking for something light and funny then this is a sure bet. I loved reading about Maggie and her spy skills and her first time figuring out high school. All the characters are great, especially her best friend, Roux, who is a whirlwind of awesome. The plot was entertaining, and I'm not sure I have anything bad to say about Also Known As except that I would have liked to see Maggie in even more spy situations. This book made me want to be a spy so bad. The best news, there is going to be a sequel and it comes out in January! So start reading.

The Fault in Our Stars by: John Green (2012)
318 pages
Publisher: Dutton Books
Genre: YA
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Goodreads Summary: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

My Review: Tissues. You need tissues to read this book. Hazel and Augustus have a very cute and sad love story, but one that I'm glad I got to experience. Given their circumstances they seem to be full of life and Hazel is a hilarious narrator. (She made me laugh at times when I feel like I shouldn't.) Even the minor characters, especially Isaac, had something to bring to the table. The most important thing that I think that this book has to offer is the importance of trying to live life and to leave your mark. I'm a little behind in that I just now got around to reading this book and most of you probably already have, but if you haven't you should. I can't wait to see the movie!

Going Too Far by: Jennifer Echols (2009)
Publisher: Pocket Books/MTV Books
Genre: YA/Romance
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Goodreads Summary: HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO?
All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....

My Review: This was a very enjoyable read and for some reason I'm extra harsh on romance novels so for me to say it was very enjoyable is great news. The characters were intense and interesting. I actually wasn't annoyed by anyone, which for me is surprising. I loved that instead of a bad boy the book featured a "bad girl." The relationship between John and Meg didn't seem forced but flowed pretty well instead. I liked that I got to see the characters grow and change separate and together. This was a solid young adult contemporary romance and if you are a fan of those type of books you will probably enjoy Going Too Far.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
December 15, 2013

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!


I don't use Reddit and I didn't even really know what it was, but apparently readers, authors, and publishers are drawn to its book section according to this article. I went on there to check it out and it seemed pretty cool but kind of jumbled. 

So Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver series wasn't my favorite, but still enjoyable. When I found out she was writing another book in this series I wasn't so sure, until I discovered it was about the important but minor character, Cole, and it sounds pretty interesting. 

Do you like fairy tales? I enjoy them on occasion and I am a big fan of Disney movies, but this list includes nine fairy tale books for adults. I haven't read any of these, but some of them sound pretty good. 

Blog Posts

Parajunkee's Pretentious Book Buying Guide will get a chuckle from you guaranteed.

 Buckling Bookshelves is hosting a Banned Books Challenge for 2014 and sign-ups are now open! I have yet to decide If I am participating in any challenges in 2014 since I pretty much failed all of mine from this year, but we shall see.



December 11, 2013

Unique Gift Ideas for Harry Potter Fans

It's that time of year where everyone is out hunting down the perfect gift to give to their family member, significant other, child, friend, and the list goes on and on. Therefore, I'm sure you have at least one person that you are buying a gift for this year that is a Harry Potter fan. Lucky for you, I have compiled what I think are the most unique and fun gifts for all the Potterheads out there. I have sorted the list by price ranging from gifts that are under $10 and as much as $66. There is still time to buy these before Christmas. So what are you waiting for? You could always ask Santa for some of these for yourself. 

Unique Gifts for Harry Potter Fans

$10 and under

Who wouldn't want this key chain? A prefect stocking stuffer, or maybe just a little something to buy for yourself.

This bracelet is not only gorgeous but a great price. I want one so bad!

$15 and under

Who wouldn't want to smell like butterbeer? This organic butterbeer body scrub sounds delightful.

I have always wondered why my acceptance letter from Hogwarts never got to me, but now it can. If someone gave this to me for Christmas I would show everyone!

This Platform 9 3/4 Harry Potter book page matted gift decor is beautiful and would brighten up any room.

$20 and under

I own this Harry Potter mug! My friend bought it for me last year and I love it. When it gets hot it changes from "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good" to "mischief managed."

$35 and under

How cute is this Harry Potter pillow?

This leather luggage tag and bookmark is gorgeous. What Harry Potter fan wouldn't want one?

Over $50

The new Harry Potter box set is the perfect gift for any Harry Potter fan. It doesn't matter if they already own the books, as a HP fan myself I can tell you that I want this set to add to my collection even though I already own the books. **This is currently only $58 at, originally $100!

This is a 30 x 40 inch poster that has the whole first Harry Potter book printed on it! My husband bought this for me for our 1 year wedding anniversary (since 1 year is paper). I have received so many compliments! It looks amazing in real life.

So which of these is your favorite? If I didn't include one that you love comment below to share with me!

Library Loot #13

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I'm loving the books I got this week from the library! 

My Library Loot

December 9, 2013

Review: The Hallowed Ones by: Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones by: Laura Bickle (#1)
320 pages
Genre: YA/Horror
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

My Review
Why aren’t more people reading this?! I’m serious. If you are shying away from the Hallowed Ones you really shouldn’t. Don’t let the Amish part of this book make you nervous about reading it, I know sometimes reading about topics you are unsure of can be unsettling, but don’t let that keep you from reading this. I’ve never read an Amish book before, but I read an amazing review of this book so I gave The Hallowed Ones a chance, and it was totally worth it.

I’m still on a book high after finishing The Hallowed Ones yesterday. It was that good. It was fascinating, dark, chilling, and just plain awesome. I was worried the religious parts of the book would be a turn off for me, but they weren't, not even a little bit, they enhanced the book. The life of the Amish was interesting and the topic of what exactly the definition of faith is was unexpected and welcomed. Oh and this is definitely a horror book, and a darn good one at that. This is kind of a longer review, so if you bow out now I don't mind. Basically I go on to talk about how The Hallowed Ones rocked my world and that you should read it as soon as possible. Now carry on.

The characters are complex and easy to relate to. The main character, Katie, is so real, strong, and full of emotions. Bickle does a great job at showing us Katie’s struggle with her beliefs when something dark starts affecting the “Outside” which makes her start to question everything she has ever known. Her parents are present, which is different than a lot of young adult novels and a very nice different. Her friend who she grew up with is not what I was expecting. The young man Katie brings in from outside, saving his life, is Alex, and he shares with her ideas and things that are new and intriguing to Katie. The Amish elders are in charge of the Amish community, they have the last say in what goes on in the community, and how they handle the situation of the danger brewing on the outside is scary and crazy and believable. All the characters are just so…good.

I think one of the most important and interesting parts of this book is the relationships that are present. They are abundant and unique. During the course of the book Katie is challenged to figure out her relationship with old friends, her family, God, the guy from the outside, the elders, and the jealousy she starts feeling towards a fellow girl in her community. It’s intense and awesome and real and above all, really fascinating.

The pacing of the plot is spot on. The gory scenes dealing with the darkness is beyond gruesome. I refuse to talk about the darkness going on “Outside” because I don’t want to ruin anything and I want you to read this yourself, but I will say that it’s creepy good. The plot twist is a perfect “my mouth hung open” moment. This book really did surprise me in every good way imaginable. I could keep giving this book praises all night but I think you get the point.

Read The Hallowed Ones, preferably sooner rather than later. Just do it. If you don’t end up liking it I apologize in advance, but I really doubt I need to. It's not a perfect book, but it's really really close.

December 8, 2013

The Book 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!


You know those books that freaking you out as a kid... Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark? I even included these books on my spooky reads list this year. Apparently they are going to be made into a movie! Beware! I have yet to decide if I am strong enough to go see them or if I'm a scaredy cat. I'm thinking I am probably the latter.

Did you know that yesterday was Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day? Now I know a good chunk of the people that read this aren't parents, but I still think this is really awesome and people should spread the word. 

BuzzFeed has yet another funny post about us readers. Check out 21 Ways to Tell You're In A Relationship With Your Books. I know these are pretty much true. Admit it.

After several weeks of voting, Goodreads has announced The Best Books of 2013!! Most of the picks were pretty spot on, but there were a couple that surprised me. I couldn't believe Crown of Midnight got so few votes, but I guess that may be because it went up against Allegiant?

Blog Posts

If you ever want to go on a book binge (who doesn't?) take a second to read this funny post over at Writer of Wrongs. I think one of the most important steps is number 7, use the restroom before beginning. :)

You really should read this blog post about spoilers over at whY.A.not Reviews. She shares with us a time when she goes to a bookstore and the person checking her out spoils a book she was buying! I would not have been happy if someone did this to me. Not at all.


This is very interesting and kind of funny.

Copyright © 2015 It's a Book Life All Rights Reserved · All Logos & Trademark Belongs To Their Respective Owners | Template by These Paper Hearts
Back to Top