November 24, 2015

TTT #51: 10 Bookish Things I'm Thankful For

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's topic was anything Thanksgiving related. I decided to share with you the bookish things that I am thankful for. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I am more than excited and thankful to spend it with my whole family this year. I am thankful for a lot of different things, but here are the bookish items I can't live without...

10. Bookmarks - I love collecting bookmarks that are adorable, plus it doesn't hurt that they help hold my place in the book I am reading.
9. My New Reading Chair - It's cozy, warm, and I love it.
8. Libraries - They not only are my place of employment, which is kind of important, but they house free books and are basically amazing for many reasons!
7. Coffee - I wouldn't be able to blog or read in the morning (and sometimes the evening) if it weren't for coffee.
6. Bookcases - I love organizing these beauties. If I didn't have them where would all my books go?
5. Well Done Book to Movie Adaptations - I love them if done well, I cringe when done poorly.
4. Book Stores - Even if I don't buy, I love browsing.
3. Authors and Their Books - This is a given.
2. Goodreads - Seriously... What did I do before goodreads? Accidentally re-read books is what.
1. Book Bloggers - Not only have I made some wonderful book blogger friends, but I love reading their reviews and talking books with them!!!!


November 23, 2015

Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer
827 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Source: The library
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

My Review

Winter is here. It is finally here! I put this baby on hold at the library months in advance so I would be sure to get the book first. I got it. I read it. I freaking loved it.

I have no idea if this review will be easy to understand or if it will be anything other than me gushing about this series, but I had to write one. I had to fangirl for Cress and Thorne with all the other shippers out there. 

Winter is a long book so it took me almost a week to read. At 827 pages, I am beyond happy to report that there was never a dull moment. Winter is a stunning conclusion to the wonder Lunar Chronicles series. I already want to re-read this series and I plan to as soon as I get these beauties for Christmas. ;)

There are a lot of lovable characters that adorn the pages of Winter. I can't even being to pick a favorite. I loved them all and I loved all the point of views. Even though I usually am not a fan of an abundance of point of views, I adored every single one, and together the main characters make one hell of a team. Winter is kind. Thorne is charming. Jacin is loyal. Cinder is dedicated. Cress is brave. Kai is smart. Iko is unique. Scarlet is fierce. Wolf is strong. As for Levana... she is insane.  As for the ships... I LOVE ALL THE SHIPS!!!!!  I am sure you will be enthralled by these character's story just as I was.

If you have enjoyed the previous books in this series I am sure you will enjoy this one as well. A lot happened in this book. There are ups and downs and lots of close calls. There are even some spectacular fairy tale moments. I can't wait to see what you all think of this one! I am very sad the series is over, but I plan to relive it again and again.

November 19, 2015

A Short & Sweet Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows (#4) by Sarah J. Maas (Sept. 2015)
648 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

My Review

Fans of the Throne of Glass series won't want to miss the heart bursting fourth installment, Queen of Shadows. The stakes just keep on getting higher.

What I Loved: Celaena. Even when she frustrates me I love her. She is amazing.

What I Freaking Loved: Every other freaking character, but mostly Manon and Lysandra, bad-assery at its finest.

What I Was Beyond Thrilled About: The plot. Seriously. The action. The fighting scenes. This book was nerve wrecking.

What Disappointed Me: How Maas handled Chaol and Celaena's reunion. Sigh.

What Drove Me Crazy: That ending. Thank goodness we have two more books to go!

November 16, 2015

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Oct. 2015)
608 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

My Review

I had a million and one feels while reading Illuminae. I think that the best way for me to express those all over the place feels are through minion gifs. Let's begin.

When I first saw the cover...

This book was everything I could ask for and more. I don't usually read too much science fiction, but this book deserves my love.

This book is told solely through emails, IMs, military files, interviews, and more! It was freaking amazing. I love when stories are told in a unique format, and this one was more than unique, it was just so cool! If you are worried about not being able to connect with the main characters because of the formatting, I can assure you that you probably won't have a problem. If anything it made the characters feel even more real for me. Basically, I loved how I got to know Kady, Ezra, and how all the crazy was told. It was nicely done. Kaufman and Kristoff deserve mad props.

Kady is brave, crazy, strong, and everything you could want in a heroine. Ezra is a nice, cute boy. Both deserve to be together for all of time. As for the AI, I have no words, that specific character you will need to interact with on your own to try and understand it. Mostly I just felt like doing this to the AI...

The amount of action in this book made me swoon. I love a book that keeps me on my toes. One that makes me feel ALL the emotions. Illuminae was frustrating and funny. The building tension was suffocating, in a glorious way. Then twists happen and...

I was frantically reading to get the answers I wanted and needed to remember to breathe. I was freaking out.

WHY MUST I WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK? Seriously, I need it. I need it so bad. Illuminae lives up to all the hype. It was that good.

November 15, 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

Gwyneth Paltrow is launching her own publishing line!

I am beyond excited for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The sneak pictures released by Entertainment Weekly just made the wait seem even longer. I want it now!

Do you remember the television show Clarissa Explains It All? I was a huge fan! Apparently the writer of the show has released a book that features Clarissa as a 20 something young adult. I don't know what to say to that. Maybe I will read it.

Amazon opened its first physical book store. I don't even know how I feel about this. 

Amanda tells her touching story about how the library helped her get through some tough times.

This quiz is both easy and challenging! Can you identify the YA book by the tagline?

Fellow Book Blogger Posts You Don't Want to Miss

The Book Addict's Guide | Winter Release Day Lunar Chronicles Fun & Game | So. Much. Fun.

Caffeinated Book Reviewer | Black Friday Book Bonanza Giveaway Hop Sign-Up | This looks like fun! I can't believe it is already November. 

The Hiding Spot | YA Cover Reveals | I can't get enough of these! I want all the pretties.

These Paper Hearts | Why do reviews receive fewer comments? Let's analyze! | I still love reading reviews. <3

The Novel Hermit | 2015 YA Book Cover Choice Awards: Nomination Time! | I love judging books by their cover, even though I know I shouldn't. Go vote for your favorite YA covers of the year.

November 12, 2015

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (#1) by Leigh Bardugo (Sept. 2015)
465 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Henry Holt & Complany
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

My Review

You don't have to read Leigh Bardugo's The Grisha Trilogy to enjoy her wonderful spin-off novel, Six of Crows. Six of Crows is said to take place two years after Ruin and Rising in a whole different country, but is still set in the Grisha world. I want to emphasize that you don't have to read the other series to read this one. However, if you have read the other series you will enjoy all the little Easter eggs nestled into this book for the fans.

For everyone that claims Six of Crows is like a grittier Ocean's 11, they are absolutely correct in the most wonderful way. I honestly don't even know where to begin singing my praises of this wonderful novel. Let's just start with the characters.

We get not one, not two, but six wonderfully complex, slightly crazy, damaged, always interesting, and certainly unique main characters. Although the leader of the crew, Kaz, is definitely my favorite. He rose up to become the best of the best in the shady world of Ketterdam. I couldn't help but fall a little in love with this heart-breaking criminal. Even though he is my favorite, all six of these daring characters stole my heart. This was one of those times when I cheered on the criminals (although they are more complex than that label) and hoped they would get away.

Six of Crows was thrilling. I was never bored. I was always captivated. It was full of action, and wonderful, lovely, and sometimes horrendous surprises. I couldn't have asked for anything more. The writing was perfect with an even mix of dark, grit, laughter, smiles, and fun. I would love to join Kaz's team, and I will be for book two.

November 11, 2015

Library Loot #39

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.

**It is a great week to be alive. Do you see all of the beauties I got from the library this week? It has me super excited to read all the live long day, or at least during the times that I am not at work.

My Library Loot

1. You all know why I picked up this one. I put it on hold months in advance so I would be the first one to read it!

2. I am really enjoying most of these author's books and I can't wait to give this one a try.

3. I have heard a million good things about this one.

4. This is one of those books that I have checked out twice now and still haven't read for no good reason. I swear I will this time.

5. I didn't even realize this author had a new book out until my blogger bestie reviewed it!

6. I enjoyed the first graphic novel in this series so much that I had to get the next one.

7. My new audiobook!

8. I am very interested to see how this book is.

9. My supervisor at my job told me I just had to give this one a try.

November 8, 2015

I Conquer My Fear of Audiobooks

This is the true story of how I went from running away screaming from audiobooks with my arms flailing about to simply adoring them.

I never understood the attraction of an audiobook. I had tried listening to a couple before and it never turned out so well so I just gave up. They just never appealed to me. But now...

Why I Used to Avoid Audiobooks Like The Plague
- I used to think they didn't really count as reading. I was young and naive. (This was a long time ago before blogging. Don't throw stones.)
- I am not good at sitting still for long periods of time.
- My attention span wanders like crazy. (This is still true, but the right book can help that problem. See below.)
- I am a visual person.
- The two whole times I tried to listen to an audiobook I couldn't focus/I got bored and gave up.

Why I Now Love Audiobooks
- I now actually have a decent size commute to work and the radio is not for me. I can only listen to the same song so many times before I go crazy.
- I listen to them while I am cleaning. Brilliant.
- Finding the right narrator and story makes all the difference. My mind rarely wanders!
- It gives me a chance to use time I couldn't read during before to do so now. (Like the cleaning I mentioned earlier.)
- I get them from the library so if I don't like them they are free anyway.

The Audiobooks I Have Listened to So Far

The Diviners (#1) by Libba Bray (2012)
18 hours, 15 minutes
My Rating:
The Narrator: January LaVoy was fantastic! She did an amazing job at all of the different character voices, male and female.
The Story: So very creepy, and it easily held my attention. Even when the MC, Evie, got on my nerves a little bit, I still enjoyed the minor characters, the 1920's setting, and the disturbing serial killer mystery. This is a perfect fall read. I highly recommend it.

The Raven Boys (#1) by Maggie Stiefvater (2012)
11 hours, 9 min
My Rating: 
The Narrator: Although I had to get used to his voice, I think Will Patton did a great job.
The Story: All of the characters are interesting in this one, and I liked each one, flaws and all. There were a lot of mysterious happenings and I certainly was never bored.

How to Train Your Dragon (#1) by Cressida Cowell 
3 hours, 30 min
My Rating: 
The Narrator: I love David Tennant in all things, including this audiobook. He did a fantastic job at narrating Hiccup and the dragons! If you are a fan of his you may as well go ahead and listen to this one.
The Story: How to Train Your Dragon was full of laughs and fun times. It was easy to follow along and adorably funny. I loved it.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling (2011)
4 hours, 37 min.
My Rating: 
The Narrator: Mindy Kaling narrates this herself. I just recently started watching The Mindy Project and I am a fan.
The Story: Mindy talks about an array of subjects. She touches on her time at The Office, being bullied when she was younger, fashion, guys, and anything a 20 something would want to discuss. She had me chuckling a good amount. It was an enjoyable read.

Audiobooks I Plan to Listen to in The Near Future


What audiobooks do you recommend? I am willing to read/listen to just about anything.

November 2, 2015

Month in Review - October Edition

~ October Edition

What happened on the blog?

What went down behind the blog?

  • I finally received all of my big furniture for my house! Check out this post to see some of my favorites. 
  • I painted my first room! Our living room was a dark green color and it really needed to be lightened up in there. We ended up painting it light grey. It worked perfectly and really brightened up the room. I only accidentally stepped in and sat on some paint once or twice during the whole process. I call that a win.
  • I am so very proud of my Halloween costume this year. I was the blue crayon from the children's book The Day the Crayons Quit.
  • I dog sat for my parents for a little over a week while they were on vacation in Mexico. It was fun and hectic and fun. Here are the two adorable brats.
They were not really cooperating.

My Favorite Read of the Month

My Current Obsessions

The November Release I Most Look Forward to Reading

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