August 31, 2015

Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (May 2015)
438 pages
Genre: Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

My Review

Well. Well. Well. I finally read this very hyped up fantasy novel. In the end, I had a hard time coming up for a rating for Uprooted. Did I like it? Yes. Did I love it? I think so... I still can't really say.

Uprooted reads like a dark fairy tale, and that just wasn't what I was expecting. That didn't make it bad, it just made me a little shocked when I began reading. Once I got into the flow of the book I had no problems diving in and appreciating its uniqueness. 

The other little snafu I ran into, I had a horrible time with the characters at first. At least when I reached 100 pages in the story the characters finally started to become interesting and less annoying. At that time I finally really started to appreciate the now more complex characters and I no longer had a problem with the MC, Agniezka. I do wish we could have gotten some chapters from the Dragon's point of view. That would have been nice. I ended up liking him the most, and Kasia, Agniezka's best friend, was close second.

The best thing Uprooted has to offer, the utterly fantastic world building. The vivid descriptions were intense. I sure as heck wouldn't ever go into the Wood. No way. The details of where the Dragon lives, the descriptions of the villages, the clothes, the magic, everything was also wonderful. The whole world was captivating and magical. I couldn't ask for a more interesting magic system.

The bottom line: Uprooted was a really good book, but it didn't quite hit epic status for me. Fans of dark twisty tales, fairy tales, and just a good fantasy world with some interesting magic will enjoy Uprooted.

August 27, 2015

Two Mini Reviews: Colleen Hoover Edition

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (2014)
322 pages
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn't even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn't want love, she doesn't have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don't expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can't handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

My Mini Review

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover blew me away and made me want to read more of her books. So I asked a friend and she recommended Ugly Love. I liked it. I liked it a lot.

Ugly Love is the perfect title for this book filled with ugly love. Don't worry, there is also cuteness and hope throughout the story as well. But on the downside, it was also a pretty typical new adult romance.

I do like the mystery surrounding Miles and his past, but this book is mostly just simply a romance. I also thought Miles and Tate were super adorable and steamy together. The not so great thing about Ugly Love, Tate's brother was a little over the top and Miles and Tate's relationship wasn't really healthy thanks to some issues in Mile's past. I am warning you of these things because I think that if you know what to expect of this book in advance it helps you enjoy the story more. 

To end on a more happy note, I think my favorite part about Ugly Love is the lyrical writing of Colleen Hoover. Once I finished this one I had to grab another. Even though this book wasn't epic and didn't blow me away, I was still completely engaged with the story and enjoyed the fast read.

Confess by Colleen Hoover (March 2015)
306 pages
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

My Mini Review

Confess is another solid well written book by Colleen Hoover. 

Maybe Someday is still my favorite Hoover novel, but this one didn't disappoint. Even though it is another new adult romance it does have some uniqueness to it. This book deals with confessions, Owen uses anonymous confessions as inspiration for his art work. I love this idea. The most interesting thing, all of the confessions in the novel are real. Real people sent them in to Colleen Hoover to use in her book. I also really liked that Hoover included pictures of Owen's art along with some of the confessions. 

What else did I enjoy? The dual POV between Owen and Auburn. I liked both of these characters equally and I am glad I got both of their point of views. Another great thing about Confess that I just have to mention, Auburn's roommate. She is hilarious, caring, and weird. I loved her!

I had a lot of feels reading this one! I will probably continue to read more Colleen Hoover books in the future if the synopsis catches my eye.

August 26, 2015

Library Loot #36

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 have been craving a new pile of library books for a while now and I love this week's loot! I would have gotten more if I would have had more time, but I still got quite a few.

My Library Loot

1. Egyptian Mythology - Count me in.

2. I really liked the first book in this duology.

3. I heard it is good from fellow bloggers.

4. This series is called The Great Library. Enough said.

5. This one was recommended by a co-worker of mine.

6. My graphic novel choice of the month.

August 25, 2015

TTT #45: Books That Would be on My Syllabus if I Taught "Animals in YA Literature 101"

Here are the top ten eight books that would be on my syllabus if I taught Animals/Creatures in YA Literature 101. In no particular order here are the books I would choose for this topic and their corresponding animals...

1. The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde - Dragons and Quarkbeasts, oh my!

2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - The shadow creatures living in The Fold.

3. Heir of Fire by Sarh J. Maas - Wyverns

4. Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott - Madox and other Pandoras

5. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall - Squirrel (He even has his own POV.)

6. Defiance by C.J. Redwine - Dragon type creature.

7. Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot - Fat Louie, Mia's pet cat.

8. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - Water horses.

What books would you add to this list?

August 24, 2015

ARC Review: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon (Sept. 1. 2015)
320 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: I snagged an ARC at ALA Midwinter. This didn't affect my honest review. Thanks Delacorte!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My Review

I love everything about this book. Everything Everything is a wonderfully written heartfelt young adult novel. It touches on romance, family, sickness, and what it means to live.

I am sure that just like me, that even without my review or reading the synopsis, that this beautiful cover has grabbed your attention all on its own. I honestly don't think I have seen a more fitting cover for a young adult book. It is perfection. This is one of those times you should judge a book by its cover, because the inside is just as beautiful as the outside. 

Everything Everything is one of the more unique young adult books that I have come across lately. This isn't your average YA romance or coming of age story, yet it is those things but it's also more. It is about a newly turned 18-year-old girl named Maddy and the obstacles she must overcome to be able to actually live, not just be alive, but live. Maddy has known no one but Carla, her nurse, and her Mom her whole life, but everything changes when a new strange family moves in across the street. Maddy is a sad, yet strong willed, and very lovable main character. She is one you will want to meet. As for the new mysterious boy across the street, you will probably like meeting him as well. He is as unique and interesting as everything else in this novel.

You will find surprises, light, darkness, loveable characters, and a wonderful message when you read Everything Everything. I say when because I know If the cover or synopsis hasn't convinced you to read this book yet that I have. Everything Everything is unique and different. It's adorable and sad. One of its unique qualities and one of my favorite parts is getting to see Maddy's little doodles, journal entries, emails and other random items she keeps track of in her life. I love when things like that are included in a story. 

Everything Everything is a book that shouldn't be missed. There is nothing not to love about this one. Go forth and read it!

August 22, 2015

Bout of Books Challenge: Road Trip

Road Trip Challenge

The Challenge: Come up with a list of the top 4-5 states/places you'd love to visit and find a book (you either read or want to read) that takes place in that state/place or a book by an author who lives or is from there.

My Book Road Trip

This challenge has to be my favorite of the week! This is a road trip bucket list of sorts, because I really want to visit all of these places at some point in my life before I die. As for the books, I decided to choose books that I have already read and enjoyed.

August 20, 2015

Bout of Books Challenge: Four Seasons in Book Covers

Four Season in Book Covers Challenge

The Challenge: Convey the four seasons in book covers – through color, title, cover, etc. You can be literal or take a more creative approach. Anything goes! Just show me four seasons in book covers.

Four Seasons in Book Covers

August 18, 2015

Bout of Books Challenge: Book Scavenger Hunt

Book Scavenger Hunt Challenge

The Challenge: Go on a book scavenger hunt! You can take your own pictures or use images you find online. You can complete as many of the hunts as you like. The more you do the more chances you have to win! If you like hashtags, use this one – #boutofbookshunt

Book Scavenger Hunt

1. A Book that begins with “B”  (for Bout of Books!)

2. A book you’re planning to read/currently reading for Bout of Books.
My Current Read

3. Blue Book(s)
These are the blue books that I have read this summer!

4. Books from your favorite genre!
Some of my favorite fantasy books!

5. A book on your TBR shelf, or your full TBR shelves
Two books on my Bout of Books TBR pile. :)


TTT #44: My Auto-Buy Authors

What are your auto-buy authors?

August 17, 2015

Straight to the Point: A Quick Review of The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (July 2015)
370 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Political Thriller
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: This thriller YA is Scandal meets Veronica Mars.

Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather's ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess's classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.

My Review

Let's cut right to the chase and talk about how everyone should read The Fixer.

It has hilarious, smart, and wonderful memorable characters.

There are secrets, shocking surprises, and thrilling twists.

It's a quick read guaranteed to entertain.

The Fixer is a unique novel.

I am a fan of the television show House of Cards and this book reminded me of that. It was almost like a young adult version. Maybe that will sway you to read it.

The Bottom Line: The Fixer is fun. Read it.

August 16, 2015

Bookish News

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

Why wouldn't you want to pick a color palette for your reading room based on your favorite books?

Want to know what President Obama is reading this summer?

Can you tell the difference between Draco and Harry quotes?

These books will lift you up next time you are down.

Fellow Book Blogger Posts

My Friends are Fiction - Lego Cover Art - I love this! 

Girl in the Pages - Don't Be Author Shy - I am still author shy and love these tips, but I probably still will just word vomit ever time I meet an author I love.

Bookmark Lit - Review Writing: How to Stop Hating It - I still enjoy reading and writing reviews, but just in case this can be a good resource if you need a pick me up.

The Perpetual Page-Turner - Watcha in the Mood for? - I always love book rec posts.

Prajunkee - How to Piss off a Book Nerd - For some laughs. 

The Book Addicts Guide - Discussion: In Defense of Instalove - If done well I don't mind it. I just don't need or want to see it all the time.

The Quiet Concert - Graphic Novel Mini Reviews - I am on a graphic novel kick!

Picture of the Week

If I was rich this would be my book order.

August 14, 2015

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon: Sign-Up, Goals, & Updates

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
It's that time again. The time where I am participating in a completely fun and amazingly encouraging read-a-thon! I love having the extra boost of reading in my life. I love the mini challenges. I love the twitter chats. I love it all! So go ahead and sign up if you haven't already!

My Goals

Reading Goals
~ Read 5-6 books. (I normally read 2-3 books a week.)
~ Keep detailed notes as I read so it will be easier for me to write my reviews later.

Social Goals
~ Participate in one Twitter chat.
~ Participate in at least two challenges.
   - Book Scavenger Hunt
   - Four Seasons in Book Covers
   - Book Road Trip
The Books (These may change depending on my mood.)
~ Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
~ The Selection by Kiera Cass
~ The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
~ Uprooted by Naomi Novik
~ Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill
~ Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson
~ Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
~ The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis #1-4) by Marjane Satrapi


Number of pages/books I've read today: 200 pages/.5 books
Total number of books I've read:  .5 books
Total number of pages I've read: 200 pages
Books Today: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Number of pages/books I've read today: 40 pages/.25 books
Total number of books I've read: .75 books
Total number of pages I've read: 240 pages
Books Today: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Number of pages/books I've read today: 96 pages/.25 books
Total number of books I've read: 1 book
Total number of pages I've read: 336 pages
Books Today: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Number of pages/books I've read today: 280 pages/.75 books
Total number of books I've read: 1.75 books
Total number of pages I've read: 616 pages
Books Today: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Number of pages/books I've read today: 140 pages/.75 books
Total number of books I've read:  2 books
Total number of pages I've read: 756 pages
Books Today: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon and The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Number of pages/books I've read today: 80 pages/.25 books
Total number of books I've read: 3
Total number of pages I've read: 836 pages
Books Today: The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Number of pages/books I've read today: 359 pages/.75 books
Total number of books I've read: 3.75
Total number of pages I've read: 1195
Books Today: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Final Thoughts

I didn't read nearly as much as I was hoping I would, but I still read almost 4 books! It's hard finding time to read when you have a guest staying with you, you work 6 days a week, and laundry and such still needs to get done. Considering all of that, I think I did pretty freaking good. I am still proud of myself and I can't wait to participate again next time! 

August 12, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #14 - All the Feels & Burning Glass

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Because... the word feels is in the title

All the Feels by Danika Stone
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Goodreads Summary: College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.

Because... Rare Gifts are the best

Burning Glass (#1) by Kathryn Purdie
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Goodreads Summary: Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.

What are you waiting on?

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