July 29, 2015

Books I Didn't Blog About

It's that time again when I want to do a clean sweep of the books I read but have yet to review. I will hopefully be in the process of moving when this post goes up and instead of dragging my notes about these books with me to my very first house I wanted a clean slate. Therefore, I decided to compile some super short mini reviews into a list like I did before at the beginning of the year when I wanted a fresh start in 2015. Without further ado, here are the books I read so far in 2015 that I had yet to write reviews for. They are organized by their star ratings.

4.5 Stars

The Eye of Zoltar (#3) by Jasper Fforde
This was a very strong third book in a four book series. It was hilarious, fun, exciting, had interesting new characters, and I loved every second of it. It even had a lot of good surprises and twists. I can't wait for the last book to come out!

4 Stars

The Song of the Quarkbeast (#2) by Jasper Fforde
This may be my least favorite book in this series, but I obviously still enjoyed it a great deal since I am giving it four stars. It was still silly and fun, and I still loved the main character, Jennifer Strange. I guess the story line just wasn't as interesting to me as the first one was.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
This was an adorable book full of emotions and hope. It had a slow start for me but did pick up. It was unique and had strong characters. I would recommend it. 

3.5 Stars

Zombies Vs. Unicorns by Many Authors
Some of the stories in this anthology I loved and some I really didn't like, but mostly I enjoyed these stories of zombies and unicorns. Some were dark and some were funny, but all were interesting.

3 Stars

Miss Mayhem (#2) by Rachel Hawkins 
I hate to report it but this sequel to Rebel Belle was kind of a disappointment. It lost some of its charm from the first novel, but I did still like it. I wanted more butt-kicking scenes. Maybe in the next book.

2.5 Stars

H2O (#1) by Virginia Bergin
I had a hard time rating this book. I loved the premise, the survival aspects of the book, and the killer rain, but I didn't love the characters. The main character, Ruby, seems to be really dumb and doesn't really grow all that much. She was frustrating.

July 27, 2015

A Straight to the Point Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (June 2015)
288 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

My Review

I loved Finding Audrey. Loved it. You should read it. You should read it right now. 

Here is why...

Finding Audrey has a cast of wonderful, creative, crazy, sweet, and memorable characters. I loved adorable Audrey and her whole family. Her mom may have been a little tiny bit annoying at times, but I still loved the whole family drama. 

First love is always sweet. 

I think teens and adults should give this book a chance simply because it deals with social anxiety disorder and how hard it can be for someone who has it. I don't think mental illnesses are taken as seriously as they should be still today and this book shines a light on that. It also talks about the important subject matter of bullying. Even though Kinsella tackles those tough subject matters in this book, she still manages to fit in humor (many LOL moments) in what I thought to be a respectful way. 

I closed this book with a smile on my face.

July 23, 2015

I Try Some Graphic Novels

Besides reading Through the Woods by Emily Carroll I never really read any graphic novels before. I finally decided it was time to give them a try. Here are some quick reviews on the ones I have read so far. I'm hoping this post will get you to try some graphic novels, or perhaps you can see what ones I have read so far and recommend more for me to try out. Either way, I am excited to hear what you think about graphic novels in the comments below! (Sorry if some of my reviews get a little repetitive. I could only think of so many ways to say how I felt about the illustrations.)

Five Stars

El Deafo by CeCe Bell (2014)

The Cover: Perfect.
The Illustrations: I love that instead of humans the characters are all rabbits. The pictures do what they should, make the story even better. They were just right.
The Story: It was heartbreaking, adorable, and educational. This is a graphic novel that every person young and old would enjoy and should read. I loved every page.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (May 2015)

The Cover: Just looking at the cover will clue you in on how awesome this book is.
The Illustrations: Love them! I knew I would since I loved the author's illisturations for the cover of Fangirl. Yup, that is the same person!
The Story: It's unique, hilarious, and everything I could want in a hero/villain story. I love the relationships between all the main characters, the evil plots, and how spunky Nimona is.

The Babysitters Club (#1): Kristy's Great Idea by Raina Telgemeier and Ann M. Martin (2006)

The Cover: It matches the mood of the book and it is cute. What more could I ask for?
The Illustrations: I really enjoy all of Raina Telgemeir's illustrations.
The Story: It was a wonderful and super cute graphic novel. I reminisced about when I was young and a babysitter, and of the original babysitter books. I had a fun time reading it.

Four Stars

Amulet by Kazi Kibuishi (2008)

The Cover: I must know about this bunny, and this monster behind the door!
The Illustrations: Pretty freaking cool. The use of color is awesome.
The Story: This was darker and creepier than I thought it would be, but it was still really good. I think kids will love the adventures this book holds inside its pages. The next book in the series looks good too!

Smile by Raina Telgemeier (2010)

The Cover: Simple and perfect. I love the shiny braces on the smile.
The Illustrations: They were cute and fun.
The Story: I loved this story. Not only did it send a great message to its readers, but I related to it on a personal level. I too had braces when I was younger and pretty much went through everything Raina did. I think both kids and adults will like this one.

Lumberjanes Vol 1 (#1-4) by Noelle Stevenson (2015)

The Cover: This cover didn't do a whole lot for me for whatever reason. I still like it though.
The Illustrations: I am running out words to describe the illustrations in graphic novels. They are all unique and so far I have enjoyed them all, including this one.
The Story: This was a humorous story about a group of girls from camp who just so happen to come across some crazy creatures on their adventures. It was a lot of fun!

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley (2013)

The Cover: Fits with the title and the story. I like it. Although a picture of delicious food would have been just as good.
The Illustrations: They worked for me. I loved the pictures of all the food.
The Story: Although at times I struggled to follow the story since it isn't necessarily told chronologically, I really enjoyed Lucy's adventures with food. It made me hungry and the recipes she provides sound delicious. I will have to try some.

Primates by Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicksm (2013)

The Cover: I love everything about this cover! All three girls and the types of primates they studied along with a lush green leafy background is flawless.
The Illustrations: They are just as good as the cover, adorable and fun!
The Story: What a fun way to learn about Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas! This was a cute and informative read. Female scientists for the win!

Three Stars

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (2014)

The Cover: Simple. I love it!
The Illustrations: They have the perfect comic book and super hero vibe for the story.
The Story: I love the diversity happening in this book, but the story wasn't really for me. I think many will enjoy it and that I am just one of the few that only liked it and didn't love it.

Exquisite Corpse by Penelope Bagieu (May 5, 2015)

The Cover: I like it, but there isn't really anything to write home about.
The Illustrations: They fit really well with the story.
The Story: I enjoyed the idea of a girl stumbling upon a writer that had faked his own death. It was entertaining and the ending was fabulous. I just wasn't a fan of any of the characters.

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act (The Wicked + The Divine #1-5) by Gillen, McKelvie, Wilson, Cowles (2014)

The Cover: Eh, I like it but it is kind of boring.
The Illustrations: The drawings of these intense characters were amazingly well done. They just fit.
The Story: Although it was a little hard to follow at first, I did enjoy the story. The idea of these famous pop stars actually being Gods that are reincarnated every ninety years was interesting. My favorite character was Lucifer.

July 22, 2015

Library Loot #35

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.

** I acquired these gems right before my hiatus. I know I will be moving and super busy with work as well... but darn it, I am also going to find time to read.

My Library Loot

1. I am always down for trying a new fantasy novel. It doesn't hurt that I heard this one was amazing by several of my blogger friends.

2. I love me some time travel.

3. The tag line: Any problem can be fixed for a price.

4. I don't think I need to explain why...

5. I can't get enough of Merit and Ethan!

July 20, 2015

I'm Going on a Short Hiatus

How long will I be gone? It's a Book Life is on a hiatus as of today. Although I will still have a few blog posts scheduled to go up automatically while I am on hiatus, I will not really be around to respond to comments and such. I plan on being away for two weeks. I will be back on August 3rd. 

Why am I going on haitus? My husband and I are buying our very first house! If everything goes as planned we will be closing on the house this Thursday. Fingers crossed! I am so very very excited.

I am going to miss you all very much. Although I will probably miss blogging and my blogging friends a great deal while I am gone, I know that I have to do this. I don't want any pressure to blog while I am going through this big move. I think with how busy I have been lately that I need a break anyway.

July 15, 2015

I Feel Like Gabbing Today

** 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.

Random Thoughts

1. I will be taking a hiatus in the near future.... because if everything goes according to plan I will be closing on my very first house in two weeks!!!! I will write a hiatus post so you all will know in advance. Don't worry, I will only be gone for a week or so.

2. I finally caught up on all the comments on my own blog! I love reading the comments, they always make me feel better. Now I just have to go visit all my friends' blogs and catch up with them.

3. Where does all the time go? I would like a time turner. The end.

4. I am enjoying my new job a lot! I love working at libraries, even if it makes me tired.

5. I now remember that I have a love/hate relationship with packing.

6. I sometimes wish I had never discovered Gossip Girl on Netflix. I also am kind of embarrassed to admit that I am getting a huge crush on Chuck Bass of all people. He really does grow throughout the show.

7. I got my very first maxi skirt a few weeks ago. The verdict is in, they are soooo comfortable! 

8. I wish I could have an IV of iced coffee at all times. No joke.

9. I really want some kind of bookish tattoo, but I haven't figured out what yet.

What's going on with you?

July 13, 2015

Review: The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman (May 2015)
416 pages
Genre: Magical Realism, Young Adult
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: I bought a copy.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking, brilliantly written, and totally original realistic contemporary debut about three teens who must deal with the consequences of spells cast on them in the wake of their classmate’s sudden death.

“The most creepily awesome cautionary tale ever. Magic—or hekame—does exist, and wishes can be granted…but always at a cost. Brilliant, provocative, and absolutely spellbinding.”
 — Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of The Infinite Moment of Us

My Review

I knew after only one page in that The Cost of All Things was going to be good. It grabbed my attention right away. The suspense was already building and I was already begging for some answers. Although I had a hard time really connecting with the characters, I still was interested in their lives. Anyway, I think the best way for me to review this book is to show you my goodreads updates. Here you go.

The Bottom Line: It did have a We Were Liars feel to it so if you loved that book like I did you will probably love this one too. I recommend it.

Side Note: The author, Maggie Lehrman, actually came to do a signing and a presentation at one of the libraries I work at! I had a lot of fun and she was very sweet. I'm so glad I got to meet her and get a signed copy of her book. 

July 9, 2015

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

The Taking (#1) by Kimberly Derting (April 2014)
368 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

My Review

The cover of The Taking is what got me to read this book. It popped up on my radar and before I even read the synopsis I had decided I was going to read it. Then I saw who the author was and that further sealed the deal for me. When I read the synopsis I was a little hesitant since it didn't sound like something I would normally read, but I was already committed so I gave it a go.

The Taking ended up being an average read for me. I liked it, but nothing really unique stood out to me while reading. I liked the writing and the overall plot, but I think there were a few tiny plot holes that bothered me a little bit. I am kind of sad to report that nothing stood out to me while reading. There was just nothing overly memorable about it.

BUT I did like the characters a lot. They were cute and interesting. They seemed real and were very likable. The romance was a little weird, but I liked Tyler so much that I was fine with it. I did like all the interesting/cool things going on with Kyra's disappearance, and I did love the how the author decided to use the plot device of her not remembering a single thing that happened to her in five years. It made me very curious, exactly what I believe that the author was probably trying to get me to feel. 

Even though The Taking didn't blow me away, I still thought it was a good book. I do plan on reading the sequel at some point.

July 7, 2015

TTT #42: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read

The Ones I Don't Plan to Read

The Ones I Will Read Someday

The Ones I Plan to Read Really Soon

July 3, 2015

A Field Guide: What to Do When It's Book Release Day

Before The Big Day - Be Prepared

If you took the day off work so you could have a whole day of uninterrupted reading or if you have the day off already, congrats! If you can't do either please don't worry, you have three options. 1. Read the book in shifts. 2. Go to work sleepy the next day. OR 3. Wait to read it until you have a whole day off.

This one is pretty self explanatory.

Sleep a LOT before the big day, because once you have that book in your hands you probably won't.

Stay out partying all night.


Tell people that you will be unavailable for the next 24 hours. Warn people to just stay away.


Find your reading space and pimp it out (make sure a bathroom isn't too far away since you will be drinking a lot of fluids).

Gather snacks.

Eat too much in advance to help ease your craving for food while you are reading. Hence why you should have snacks handy. Preferably snacks that are easy to eat while reading because we all know you won't stop just to eat.

Make sure you have caffeine and a lot of it nearby.

Have you done all of the above? Yes? Good. You are ready. It's time. The release day for that book you have been dying to read (you know, the one where the previous book in the series had a big cliff hanger) is finally here!

The Big Day

Get excited!!!!!!!!!

At this point you either grabbed your copy at midnight and are already reading, (there are still some midnight release parties for books right? There should be.) or
if you pre-ordered a copy you are waiting for the mail to arrive. If that is the case then you should...

Try to be as patient as possible.

Get aggressive with the mail person.

Or maybe you just straight up bought the e-book copy at midnight and will get a physical copy later. I've done it before. I don't regret it. Anyway, at this point you now have the book.

The Book is In Your Hand


Take a second to realize that the wait is finally over.

Pet, hold, caress, sniff, etc. the book to your heart's content. I'm sure the book likes it too.

Read. Read. Read. 

Additional Advice/Encouragement if Needed

If you have in fact been doing nothing but reading since you got your hands on a copy of that book you have been dying to read and start to get tired... don't let sleep win. Just remember...

Shake it off, BUT don't feel bad if you need to take a short nap.

Remember that this is the Best. Day. Ever.

There you have it. A field guide on what to do for book release day. I hope you enjoyed this post! I had a lot of fun putting it together. It helped pass some of the time as I continue to wait for Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas to be released. I guess I still have a ways to go, but at least I will be prepared for when the wonderful time finally comes!

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