December 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (1) - Holiday Edition

Hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

This is my first time participating in this meme and I am not sure how often I will in the future, but I just had to share all the books I got this Christmas. I am just too excited not to share! These are the books I received from my TBTBSanta, my husband, my parents, my brother, and my in-laws. :D

The Books I Received This Christmas

Did you get any new books this holiday season?

December 22, 2015

I Feel Like Gabbing Today

** 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. Holidays are exciting AND stressful. 

2. I love buying presents more then getting them. My favorite person to shop for is my husband. I have way too much fun picking nerdy stuff out for him for Christmas. 

3. I had a blast decorating my house for Christmas for the very first time. We kept it really simple. We put up a small tree and a few odds and ends we acquired throughout the years around the house. Out front we just threw a couple of those Christmas light nets on our bushes and we have one light up penguin. I think it turned out super cute! I am sorry I don't have a picture, but every time I tried to take one it turned out blurry.

4. Participating in #TBTBSanta was so much fun! It was my first time and I am sure there will be many more. I had a blast picking out gifts for Holly @ The Fox's Hideaway! I bought her copies of Sanctum by Sarah Fine, ACOTAR, an Olaf Tsum, warm and fuzzy fox socks, and some cheddar/caramel popcorn mix. My gift was from Deanna @ Deanna Writes and is pictured below. Thanks again Deanna!
What was gifted to me from Deanna!
5. My husband and I have started collecting Funko Pop guys to decorate our DVD area in our media room in the basement. We have Dancing Baby Groot, Adipose, Jon Snow, and Batman. We are thinking of getting a Rick Grimes and at least three more!

6. I am doing a big purge of all my library items by the start of 2016. I want to start fresh. It always makes me feel better when I start 2016 without any books currently checked out on my library card.

7.  My mom brought us a whole bunch of cookies that she baked this past weekend as part of our early little Christmas celebration. Delish! (We may have already eaten a whole bunch by the time I took the picture.) I am going to gain so much weight this holiday season.

8. I have officially decided to not sign up for any year-long challenges for 2016 except for the goodreads challenge. Other than that one challenge I will just participate in month-long or week-long challenges that pop up throughout the year. Challenges seem to bring me too much stress and/or I never actually complete them.

9. I started re-watching FRIENDS for the billionth time this past week. I think I may just have to do a post about my favorite episodes sometime in the near future. Get excited! ;)

10. Now just a tiny little bit TMI: Even though this winter has been pretty mild weather wise, my hands are still 100% grossly dried out. I feel like that no matter how much lotion I put on it makes no difference.

11. I hope every single one of you has a wonderful Christmas/whatever holiday you celebrate! 

December 21, 2015

Review: The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas

The Immortal Heights (#3) by Sherry Thomas
432 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: I bought it.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
**This review may contain spoilers of the previous books in the series.**
Goodreads Summary: In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort…

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

With The Immortal Heights, Sherry Thomas brings the acclaimed Elemental Trilogy to its breathtaking conclusion.

My Review

Immortal Heights starts off exactly where the story left off in The Perilous Sea. It took me a second to get my bearings, but when I did was happily immersed back into the world of Iolanthe and Titus.

I have to say, Iolanthe and Titus are probably one of my all time favorite ships in YA. There is just something about these two that works. They click. Reading about them always brings a smile to my face. They both have grown since the first book and are still just as lovable. I am so glad they work together so freaking well. They still have their differences of opinions yet never act childish about it. (For the most part, or when they do it makes sense and thankfully isn't the annoying relationship woes because they don't talk about things type of arguing.) I would have liked for these two love birds to actually get some more alone/calm time together, but I love that they enjoy and cherish the time they do have.

Immortal Heights is just as exciting and thrilling as the previous books in the trilogy. It was full of non-stop action, and there were still several surprises for its readers. While I was reading Immortal Heights, besides the emotion and the swoons, I kept thinking one thing, would I want to know my future if I could? Titus' mother prophesied his and Iolanthe's future long ago and he has lived with that knowledge for a quite some time. After reading this book and many others that deal with knowing one's future, I have to say that I don't think I would want to know when/how I would die. The pressure! It would change the way I live my life and I am not sure I would like that.

Anyway, let's get back on track. I think everyone should read this series! If you love magic, friendship, love, hilarious moments, and some amazing action scenes, then this book is for you! It was soooooo good. If you loved the first two books like I did then I am sure you will love this one too. I am sad that this wonderful series is over. I will definitely read this series again.

Review of Book 1: The Burning Sky & Review of Book 2: The Perilous Sea

December 17, 2015

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Come Back to Me by Mila Gray

Come Back to Me (#1) by Mila Gray (Dec. 8, 2015)
Genre: New Adult/Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source:  I received a copy of this book for a tour through Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Mila Gray and Xpresso!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
My Rating:

Synopsis: In this heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, a young Marine and his best friend’s sister plunge into a forbidden love affair while he’s home on leave.

When a Marine Chaplain knocks on her door, Jessa’s heart breaks—someone she loves is dead. Killed in action, but is it Riley or Kit? Her brother or her boyfriend…

Three months earlier, Marine Kit Ryan finds himself back home on leave and dangerously drawn to his best friend Riley’s sister, Jessa—the one girl he can’t have. Exhausted from fighting his feelings, Kit finally gives in, and Jessa isn’t strong enough to resist diving headfirst into a passionate relationship.

But what was just supposed to be a summer romance develops into something far greater than either of them expected. Jessa’s finally found the man of her dreams and Kit’s finally discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.

When it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither one is ready to say goodbye. Jessa vows to wait for him and Kit promises to come home to her. No matter what.

But as Jessa stands waiting for the Marine Chaplain to break her heart, she can’t help but feel that Kit has broken his promise…

Riley or Kit? Kit or Riley? Her brother or her boyfriend? Who’s coming home to her?

My Review

I am always beyond happy when I come across a well written, captivating, and unique enough new adult novel. Come Back to Me met all of my high standards. 

Come Back to Me starts off beyond emotional and gripping, even without really knowing our characters yet I was already starting to feel the feels. That is strong writing. I was automatically drawn to Jessa and Kit's love story. I love that he was her brother's friend and has been her friend as well for quite some time, and then they start crushing on each other. It is just really cute you guys. Their story is a sweet one full of hope and heartbreak. Jessa and Kit's relationship is both full of laughs and some very steamy moments. I fell into their story and there was no climbing back out until I reached the last page. Their relationship isn't always easy due to the different complications that families sometimes create, but it felt true.

What about all those other characters in the book? I found every character to be complex and interesting. I loved Jessa's brother Riley, it would be hard not to like him. I also enjoyed her best friend Didi's humor, it added a nice amount of comic relief and wonderful friendship moments. I am not sure I have much more to say about this book, except that you should give it a try. Who doesn't love a marine romance type of story? It reminds me how amazing our troops are, and the family and friends that support them.

There were times when I felt the story could have had a little more something to it, but I can't quite put my finger on what. Come Back to Me was a delightful book that new adult romance fans will undoubtedly enjoy. I look forward to reading the next book in this series, This One Moment.

The Author

Mila Gray is the pen name for Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila, Losing Lila, The Sound, Fated and Out of Control.

Originally from London she has lived in Bali for the last four years with her husband and daughter.

As well as writing young adult fiction under the name Sarah Alderson and adult fiction under the name Mila Gray, she also writes screenplays.


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December 15, 2015

TTT #53: My Favorite Reads of 2015

This week's topic is so hard! (I want to emphasize that I am saying this in a whiny voice.) How am I supposed to pick only 10 of my favorite books of 2015? How?! Okay, so instead I picked 16 books. I just couldn't help myself! I can't wait to see what everyone's choices are this week.

Best Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Best Contemporary

Best Graphic Novels

December 14, 2015

New Adult Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9 by Colleen Hoover (Nov. 10, 2015)
320 pages
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

My Review

There were many things I liked and disliked about Colleen Hoover's new novel November 9. I think her fans will devour this book just like her others, but for a new Hoover fan I gotta say that I wasn't that impressed. I liked the writing and the characters, but this story wasn't as captivating as the other books that I have read by her.

Fallon and Ben are an interesting pair. I liked them from the second I met them. Ben was rather humorous, see for yourself.. "She's probably pissed at me right now, and we've only been fake-dating for half an hour." ~ Ben, pg. 23 I really did cheer this couple on and hope for the best.

But it wasn't the characters I didn't like or the unique way their story was told. I liked that they met up every year on November 9 and that was when we found out what happened to our characters. So what didn't bother me? It was the crazy things that happened that I swear would only occur in a romance novel. I know I read a lot of fantasy and other unrealistic novels, but when I am sitting down to read a contemporary romance I do expect it to have some sort of realistic vibes to it, because I like reading a romance novel that is at least somewhat believable, because it gives me hope that big romance can happen in real life. Does that make sense at all?

Anyway, I did like November 9, but I didn't love it. I didn't really like where the plot went and I'm just not sure this one was for me. It did still pack a punch on my feels though as all of Colleen Hoover's books tend to do, but Maybe Someday is still my favorite book of hers and probably will be forever.

December 8, 2015

I Try Even More Graphic Novels

I have recently become a huge fan of graphic novels, which is a good thing since I am in charge of the young adult graphic novel collection at one of my library jobs. I have found that short little reviews of the graphic novels I read are easiest to compile and share with you. My first round-up can be found here. Now it's time for the fun!

Five Stars

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol (2011)

The Cover: Cute and creepy at the same time!
The Illustrations: I loved the bluish/purple tint of color throughout instead of just straight black and white.
The Story: Surprising. It took me a little bit to really get into the story and appreciate it, but Anya's Ghost ended up being a surprising, unique, and fun graphic novel to read. 

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm (2015)

The Cover: It is simple, bright, and makes me want to go on vacation!
The Illustrations: I loved the color and pretty much everything about the illustrations.
The Story: This story is about how a young girl named Sunny who deals with some family issues and has a fun summer with her grandfather that turns out to be full of firsts and laughs.

Y: The Last Man (The Deluxe Edition Book One) by Brian K. Vaughan (2008)

The Cover: I would read about this cute guy's adventures and his cute monkey.
The Illustrations: They were in color and they were spot on! The characters really came to life.
The Story: I love a good survival/post apocalyptic story, and this one doesn't disappoint! I was enamored from page one. I like this author's other graphic novel, Saga, but this one was more my style and I loved it!

Four Stars

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2007)

The Cover: It doesn't blow me away, but I like it.
The Illustrations: Black and white really worked well for this dark coming of age story.
The Story: This is Marjane's true life story and it will not only make you laugh, but it will also break your heart. I learned a great deal about Iran and some of its history while reading this book. I can't believe I knew so little! I really think everyone should read Marjane's story. It was captivating.

Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson (2015)

The Cover: Adorable!
The Illustrations: This one is also in black and white, but I think it works just fine. Although it may have been a little bit more cute if it was in color.
The Story: It is a fairy taleesque story that I truly enjoyed, but it still seemed to lack something. I'm just not sure what.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (2012)

The Cover: Adorable as ever.
The Illustrations: Cute, perfect, and adorable as ever. I also love that this is in color!
The Story: I think you know what I am going to say... this book was adorable. I loved reading about Callie's work on her school play and her boy drama to boot. She is a super fun, and of course adorable, main character. Raina Telgemeier is the bomb.

Lumberjanes Vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson, Ellis, Allen, & Watters (2015)

The Cover: Makes me want to be a Lumberjane.
The Illustrations: Fun and colorful just like these girls' story.
The Story: Full of crazy adventure and a whole lot of fun! Too bad this isn't a real camp. There are also a lot of good messages about friendship and taking chances that are well done.

Unshelved by Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum (2004)

The Cover: There is a lot going on, exactly like a day at the library!
The Illustrations: Very simple.
The Story: I loved everything about this book, but that may be because I work at a library. Even if you don't work at a library I am sure you will find this humurous, and let me tell you, it may not seem believable, but a lot of this type of stuff does actually happen at your local public library.

Three Stars

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (2012)

The Cover: It's definitely eye catching.
The Illustrations: Detailed the perfect amount.
The Story: This was a very weird read. I did enjoy it, and I do plan to read the next volume, but it was a little more weird and graphic than I thought it would be. That is really all I can say about that. It was surprising, but not necessarily in a bad way. I look forward to hear more of Hazel's (the baby who is also the narrator) story.

Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks (2012)

The Cover: I think it fits well with the story. I like the details and the color.
The Illustrations: I enjoyed the details, but I am a little sad it wasn't in color.
The Story: Although I liked the story of a young girl who used to be home schooled going to public school for the first time, I felt like the main plot and the little subplots were not fleshed out as much as they should and could have been.

ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times by Andrew MacLean (June 2015)

The Cover: It works.
The Illustrations: I wasn't a fan, but that is just personal preference.
The Story: It was pretty good, but even with the background that we are given the story felt super rushed. I still liked it, but I was hoping for something a little more memorable. I liked the cat the best.

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks (May 2013)

The Cover: Very high school, a good choice for this one.
The Illustrations: I like them. They were detailed when needed and simple when it was called for.
The Story: It was pretty good. It gave me many laughs. I like teens will really like this graphic novel.

December 5, 2015

Review: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
384 pages
Genre: YA Gothic Historical Thriller
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

My Review

A Madness So Discreet is creepy, but not in the way that you probably think that it would be. This book is just more proof that Mindy McGinnis has a special talent for writing unique and dark young adult novels. She deserves an award, a hug, or a big thumbs up.

Grace has been dealt a horrible hand in life. Even though she has done nothing wrong herself she is forced to stay in an insane asylum until her pregnancy is over. She does the best she can to survive, but the living conditions are beyond harsh and it is no way for a young woman, or any man or woman for that matter, to live. Luckily, she comes across a rather unique character when she is sent to the dark damp cellars after a slight altercation she had with the jerk that runs the institution, and this stranger turns out to be her savior.

While reading A Madness So Discreet I felt dirty, creeped out, disgusted, happy, pained, and thankful. This is one dark novel, one that you don't want to miss out on. The writing is brilliant. The setting and characters will snag your heart. You will want to scream and beg for Grace to get some sort of closure/freedom from her horrible past. This book is going to make you feel for every character. None are to be taken lightly.

A Madness So Discreet is like no other young adult novel I have read before. There is so much more to this story than the synopsis even begins to give away. It's not only a historical fiction novel focusing on trying to define what it means to be sane, but it has a mystery at its core. Grab a copy and brace yourself for one creepy, yet still amazing read.

December 3, 2015

**Spoiler Review** I am in love with Jessica Jones

Here I share with you all the thoughts that were running through my head as I watched the very first episode of Jessica Jones. I got this idea from Buzzfeed when they do this for The Walking Dead. This show is my new obsession! If you are watching it please discuss all things Jessica Jones with me in the comments!

My Review: Jessica Jones (Season 1 | Episode 1) "AKA Ladies Night"

**This review contains spoilers.**

1. I am liking the colors and the graphics of the intro/opening credits.
2. Jessica is rather entertaining right off the bat. So far so good.
3. Sex already? I guess that makes sense since she is a P.I.
4. Bye, bye window!
5. "People do bad shit." I hear you Jessica.
6. That chick on the bus is going to be important later. Foreshadowing for the win.
7. I love Jessica's attitude.
8. This new chick reminds me of a dark haired Claire from House of Cards.
9. I really do like Jessica's scarf.
10. Who doesn't get pissed when they are on the toilet and realize they are out of TP? No one blames you Jessica. It happens to the best of us.
11. Is the thermos for the cold or just because? I'm thinking just because.
12. That would be me during a workout....
13. Ewwwww is right.
14. Finally! A David Tennant sighting! He is going to be one creepy bad-ass.
15. This girl is a mess. #Adulting
16. Her facial expressions make my day.
17. Did she just try to give him Elmer's glue to fix her door? Love it.
18. Was it open? Was it?
19. These two are characters.
20. Jerk alert.
21. Yeah, just a normal Friday night. Lifting cars and stuff.
22. I forgot that she lives in the Marvel universe where people know about the Avengers.
23. I may have not fought that (David Tennant licking one's face doesn't sound too terrible), but still kind of creepy. Just kidding... (Here is a little comic about how I feel about David Tennant while watching Jessica Jones.)
24. I gotta say, this show makes me laugh more than I thought it would.
25. Make up your mind Jessica, go in the damn bar!
26. I think that is the guy she was spying on earlier! Hmmm.....
27. Good idea. Who says no to free drinks?
28. I feel some heat between these two.
29. She is observant.
30. I want to know his history.
31. This is awkward more than anything...
32. I think we may have found the reason, or should I say woman, behind why this guy cherishes his bar so much.
33. I think Jessica knows more about him than she let on.
34. I'm glad I no longer have to deal with neighbors in an apartment.
35. Look! That blonde girl again on another poster! When do we get to meet her?
36. Someone (aka probably Tennant) messed with this guy's head. Sorry I keep calling him Tennant. I don't know his evil name yet.
37. She runs so fast she turns day into night!
38. Shit just got real.
39. I wish I had the money for an impromptu trip as well, for different reasons of course.
40. Ohhhh, black haired Claire is a cheater. I feel like there will be a lot of those in this show.
41. The blonde chick finally makes an appearance!
42. Friends, lovers, or sisters? I put my money on BFFs.
43. This is intense.
44. She is going to change her mind.
45. Called it!
46. I would be scared too. I am creeped out to the max.
47. Chills.
48. Ah, his name is Killgrave. How appropriate.
49. It would be horrible to have no control over your body.
50. That got her to calm down.
51. Poor girl.
52. Jessica is one strong woman.
53. She should get her door fixed.
54. No freaking way!!
55. Nope. No. Nope.
56. OMG!
57. This show is dark.
58. I hope Jessica catches Kilgrave and kicks his ass.
59. That was one hell of a first episode.
60. I am so glad this is on Netflix and I can binge watch it.

What did you think?! Should I do this for every new show I try? I have yet to decide if I will do this again, but I had a lot of fun doing it!

December 2, 2015

Month in Review - November Edition

~ November Edition

What happened on the blog? (It was a slower month)

What went down behind the blog? 

  • I met Joelle Charbanue, author of The Testing trilogy! I got a signed copy of her new book Need.
  • Thanksgiving has come and gone. I ate a lot, savored my time with family, and actually had three whole days off of work! I may love my jobs, but I enjoyed every second of my time off. Now my husband and I for the very first time get to decorate our house for Christmas. :D
  • I saw the new Peanuts movie in theaters. It was adorable and hilarious. A great movie for the whole family!
  • Raking leaves was both fun and a chore. It took us forever! We had sooo many leaves. This isn't even half of them!
  • I started shopping for my #TBTBSanta! This is my first year participating and I am having a blast!

My Favorite Read of the Month

My Current Obsession

Some Books on My December TBR List

December 1, 2015

TTT #52: 2016 Debut Novels I am Looking Forward to

I have a feeling that this week's topic, as per usual, is going to blow up my TBR pile. Here are the 2016 debut novels I am looking forward to getting my hands on.

1. A duel of magical skills?! This book can't come soon enough. (May 17)
+ Add to goodreads
2. Secret societies and time travel? Two of my favorite things. (March 1)
+ Add to goodreads
3. I never pass up a book that features a MC with a rare gift. (March 1)
+ Add to goodreads
4. "Jane Austen meets X-Men." (Feb. 9)
+ Add to goodreads
5. This just sounds too unique to miss. (Feb. 2)
+ Add to goodreads
6. I don't read too much romance, but I won't be missing this one. That cover! (Jan. 26)
+ Add to goodreads
7. This is going to be an emotional read. (Jan. 5)
+ Add to goodreads
8. This one sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun. (June 7)
+ Add to goodreads
9. Another sorcerer book! I think I am seeing a trend... (Sept. 20)
+ Add to goodreads
10. Just read the synopsis and you will know why this one is on my TBR pile. (Feb. 9)
+ Add to goodreads

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