Sunday, January 26, 2014

3 in 1 Book Reviews

As is sometimes the case when it's the beginning of the year/beginning of the semester/my birthday month, I've been so busy that I haven't had the chance to update this blog. Which is totally not cool because I've been reading like crazy and therefore have reviews to make! But I've also got no time to make them. Ugh. So that's where 3 in 1 Book Reviews steps in! Today, I'll be "reviewing" (i.e. rating and maybe a tiny little reaction line) 3 of the books that I've read in the past week or so.

Avalon High by Meg Cabot.
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Blurb: Ok, this was actually a re-read...I read this book for the first time when I was a Junior or Senior in High School. I loved the story line and I love history-made-modern type books so I thought I'd refresh my memory and read it again. The second time around was a bit meh for me. It's still got a great story but the writing is a bit mediocre.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Blurb: Uggghhh...I really wanted to like this book and I guess that I kinda did but I didn't love it. I love love love Lauren Oliver and I think she's a great author but this book just did not do it for me. There were times when I just wanted to smack the MC upside her head because she was being soooo annoying. IDK, maybe I'm just getting old?

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Blurb: LOVED this!!!! Time for me to come clean: this book has been on my To-Read list since 2012. My roommate read it back when it first came out and I was like "yeah, yeah...I'll read it eventually." Man am I upset at myself for waiting this long to FINALLY read it. To be fair, though, it was finally gifted to me (along with Scarlet) for Christmas sooo there's that. Plus, I'm glad that I won't have to wait very long for the third book to come out. Anyway, I loved the whole concept of futuristic fairytales. And even though there are the connections between the classic fairytale and Meyer's reboot, it's not totally obvious to the point of being annoying.

Well, there ya have it, folks. 3 book reviews in 1 blog post. I wish that I had more time to give each of the books the attention that they deserve but alas, busy girl right here!

I have one more book review coming this week (hopefully) for the ARC I received. I say hopefully because I'm going on vacation for 2 weeks and I'm not sure if I'll have time to post. Stay tuned, though!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: 2014 Debuts I'm Excited About

Hiya! Welcome to friends/followers (hopefully) old and new (mostly new...this blog is less than a week old, after all). Today I'm linking up with The Broke and Bookish for my first ever Top 10 Tuesday. To say that I'm excited is an understatement. Let's get this party started, shall we?

Top Ten 2014 Debuts I'm Excited About

Something Real by Heather Demetrios -- I'm pretty sure that this book was made for this generation. Reality TV at it's best, or worst, and in book form. I am so excited! I'm not gonna lie...I'm pretty sure that I'm attracted to this book because I was obsessed with Jon and Kate Plus 8 and I have a feeling that this book is going to be pretty reminiscent of that whole era.

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy -- Ugh...I have such a huge love/hate relationship with these kinds of books. Illnesses, especially cancer, are such a popular subject right now, you can't really avoid 'em. I'm not complaining, I'm a sucker for cancer books, they just make me feel so many feelings

Alienated by Melissa Landers -- I kinda have mixed feelings about this one. It seems pretty good from the summaries that I've read so far, I just have never been into the whole alien, other world story. I am hoping that this one will draw me in and prove me wrong!

The Islands At The End of The World by Austin Aslan -- Oh, look! A book that takes place in Hawaii. I know a little something about that. This book not only takes place in my home state, but also on the two islands that I've lived on, so I am excited about the setting. The plot seems pretty catchy, too. Why can't it be August already?!

Library Jumpers by Brenda Drake -- I have no real words for this. It looks thrilling and mysterious and I want to read it now.

Dream Boy by Madelyn Rosenberg -- I am, like, 90% sure that this book was made just for me. Okay, probably not, but I'm in love with it already and I haven't even read the darn thing yet. I think I'm drawn to it mostly because I love the whole concept of dreams-and nightmares-coming true. 

Learning Not To Drown by Anna Shinoda -- It's a story of a crazy family and secrets abound. When I first read the summary, I felt like I could relate to Claire. Not because my family is as crazy as hers, but because my family is crazy in their own way. I know that we all think that our own families are the craziest of the crazies, but it's still interesting to escape to a family who is more crazy.

Conversion by Katherine Howe -- My reaction after reading the summary for this book was, "Woah." That's usually a pretty good indication that a book is good enough for me to read.

Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule -- Both the cover art and the summary of this book seems so haunting and mysterious. I am a sucker for haunting and mysterious. Sure, this book may leave me with a few sleepless nights, but I am willing to sacrifice myself just to read this baby!

The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco -- I am both intrigued and frightened by this book. It's based off a popular Japanese ghost stories...and I love Asian ghost stories (they're terrifying and so realistic). 

I have so many more on my list. If I had time, I would totally list all of them. But alas, school work beckons me so off I go to be a college student and not, haha. In the meantime, what are some of the books that we share? Did anything on my list catch your eye?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Book Review: Hush by Stacey R. Campbell

I know, I know....two book reviews in as many days! I was gonna wait on this one, but I got a little to anxious, so without further ado, I bring you Book Review numero 2!

Title: Hush
Author: Stacey R. Campbell
Publisher: Green Darner Press. January 23, 2013
ISBN: 9780988478404
Summary: For small-town girl Blakely Henry, any hope of finding her biological parents died when she stopped believing in fairy tales and Disney princesses. That is, until she spots her boarding school’s new British exchange student, Max Ryder, staring at her. Why would a boy who looks like he stepped out of the pages of a magazine be looking at her? Because Max knows something Blakely doesn’t. 
Following the tragic demise of one of Europe’s most beloved royal families, Max has stumbled upon information he thinks may lead to a lost royal heir, and now he is on a quest halfway around the world to see if he’s right. 
Sworn to secrecy by his university professor and the headmaster of Lakeview Academy, Max is admitted into an exchange program with the sole purpose of finding out the truth. But will his personal feelings for Blakely get in the way? 
When a stolen email surfaces, Blakely and her friends’ lives are threatened, and Max starts to question what he is really after.
From the exclusive rolling lawns of Canada’s most prestigious boarding school to the University of Saint Andrews’ hallowed grounds, Blakely’s quiet, unassuming life is turned upside down. Is she really who she thinks she is? Can she survive long enough to help Max unearth the truth?

I started reading this book because I recently received the ARC for book number two in this series via NetGalley. Personally, I don't like reading books out of order so I bought the ebook on Barnes & Noble and began reading. And I'm sure glad that I did!

To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first. It's one of those 'lost princess' stories in which the girl is a princess but she doesn't know it, and the boy is responsible for discovering who she really is and keeping her safe when her royalty is confirmed. In general, I think that the whole 'lost princess' plot line is overdone and boring, but I was pleasantly surprised by 'Hush'.

First and foremost, I loved the characters. While they were a bit one-dimensional and maybe too typical, they were likable enough. Blakely, as the main female protagonist, was fairly easy to relate to despite her princess status. Max, with his British accent and his rugby skills, was quite easy to fall in love with. There was no question as to what Blakely saw in him. It was easy to develop a relationship with the two main characters, which is something that I think is extremely important when it comes to reading a book. I even found myself being drawn to the supporting characters and wondering what their thoughts and lives were like as I was reading.

I discussed the plot a bit earlier, but now I'd like to dig a little deeper. What I liked the most about this book is that it pulled me in. I did not want to put the book down, even after sleep began to overwhelm me. And even when I did, finally, put the book down, I immediately had to do a little 'review blurb' of what I was feeling in the moment.
"I cannot put this book down! Even now, I'm finding myself writing a review outline rather than sleeping and wishing that I could still be turning the pages (figuratively as I'm reading the ebook version) of the book. I told myself to put it down because it was probably best for me to save the rest of the book for the morning rather than staying up all night to read it. With just 100 pages left until the end, I'm thinking that staying up wouldn't be so bad--I doubt I'll sleep well without knowing the ending anyway. It's been quite a while since I've read a book that I was so reluctant to put down. I mean, I began reading at about 5pm and now, at nearly 11pm, I'm halfway done and yearning to read more. If this is how I feel about the book now, I can't wait to finish it…and to move on to number 2 in the series!"
What really got me was the mystery in the story. While I knew what was happening and who Blakely was from the beginning, the anticipation of her finding out who she was kept me interested and pushed me to read on. There were also the plot twists (I won't spoil it) that literally made me gasp! I love that Campbell emphasized the importance of family and friendship in the story as well. Blakely's family and friends played a big part in the story, rather just focusing on the relationship between Blakely and Max. 

I did love the relationship between Blakely and Max, though. I especially loved that it was not a love triangle! Frankly, I'm sick of books that play on the whole love triangle thing so this was definitely refreshing. The innocence of their relationship took me back to my own High School relationships. It was a sweet reminder of first love and it was beautifully written.

Another thing that I absolutely loved was the setting. There were a few different settings throughout the story but the one that stuck with me the most was Lakeview Academy. I attended a Boarding School as well, so I could imagine very clearly the school and the lives of those students. It definitely brought me back to my days as a high school student. The imagery that Campbell uses to describe all of the various settings, though, made it easy for me to visualize the scenery and made me feel like I was right there with them. 

There were some things that I didn't like, but they were pretty minor things in comparison to all of the things that I loved. While I loved the fact that the chapters were short and there were mixed POVs, the change of Point of View could be a bit confusing at times. Sometimes, the change made sense (like when chapters changed), at other times, changes were made right in the middle of a chapter and I wasn't sure who we were focusing on anymore. Another thing that I was a bit disappointed about was the climax. Maybe it's because I'd seen it coming but it felt a little anticlimactic to me. This was also a personal thing, but I couldn't imagine the climax scene in my head at all. After the climax, the ending did seem somewhat rushed and I kind of wish that we could have seen Blakely settle in to her role as Princess of Tamura a little better, but it turned out just fine in the end.

Overall, I enjoyed the book quite a bit. I would certainly recommend it to my friends and followers. If you're looking for a good, light-hearted YA romance, this is the book for you! It is an easy read that will leave you intrigued. It took me just under a day to read it, so if you find yourself in the middle of a boring weekend, fill it with this read.

Star Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Review: Peter Pan

Title: Peter Pan
Author: J.M. Barrie
ISBN: 0140621415
Summary: The boy who refuses to grow up teaches Wendy and her younger brothers how to fly. Then it's off to magical Neverneverland for adventures with mermaids, Indians, and wicked Captain Hook and his pirate crew in this illustrated, easy-reading adaptation of the classic fantasy. (via GoodReads)
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Finally, after years of being obsessed with Peter Pan (the Disney version), I settled down and read the classic novel written by J.M. Barrie. Honestly, it is certainly not what I expected but I loved it nonetheless.

"All children, except one, grow up." 

I was hooked from the very first line. Like most adults (can we really consider ourselves adults yet?) my age, I grew up with Peter Pan. Dreams of Never Land and a boy who never grows up haunted me from a young age. As a child, I was very much like Wendy Darling--a girl wise beyond her years--but in my teenaged years and even now, I became attached to Peter. I became attached to the idea of never having to grow up. Never having to face responsibilities in a world that asked for too much. 

However, the Peter Pan in the Disney movies and the Peter Pan brought to live through the words of J.M. Barrie are two very different boys. While he is carefree and quite rascally by Disney's standards, the book portrayed the darker, more sinister side of the boy who never grew up. Between my exploration of mermaids, indians, and pirates with Peter, Wendy, and the boys, I couldn't help but wonder what kind of life Never Land really had to offer. So I read a little more into the life of J.M. Barrie.

Mr. Barrie lived quite an interesting, albeit tragic life. As a child, his elder brother was killed in a tragic accident which scarred his mother so deeply that she was changed forever. As an adult, J.M. Barrie was a playwright who married one of the actresses in his plays. The marriage was short lived as Mr. Barrie was infertile leading his wife to cheat on him. However, he developed a relationship with George, John, Peter, Michael and Nicholas Llewelyn Davies. The four older boys became his inspiration for Peter Pan. J.M. Barrie lived quite an interesting life, if you're interested, definitely look him up!

I was surprised to find, as I was reading the book, that I was more drawn to Wendy than I've ever been. I'm not a very big fan of Wendy Darling in Disney's adaptation of the book, but as I read more about her, I could feel myself relating to her. She was such a grown up little Miss and I could see myself in her.

Some parts of the book were a bit slow and I'll admit that I might have skimmed through some of the fighting scenes, but overall the book was excellent! One part of me regrets not having read it as a child, but a bigger part of me is grateful that I didn't. Peter Pan, while it is a classic children's novel, is also very dark and very deep. Sure, it's meant to be a playful tale of adventure, but I also relate it to a mother's (or father's) loss. 

Overall, this book is beautifully written and it is absolutely haunting in the best way possible. I even had some dreams of Peter and Never Land every time I napped after reading this book. Would I recommend this book? Most certainly! It's such a fun tale and it has something in it for everyone. 

"Just always be waiting for me..."
Additional Reading: 
And that's that! My first book review for 2014!! Whooot! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

A New Book Blog!

Hello there, friends! looks like I gave in and decided to start a book blog. Even after a few days spent arguing with myself about why I didn't need to start one when my own personal blog would do just fine.

As you can see, the professional in me won this battle.

This new Book Review blog is meant to be just that, a REVIEW blog! While it would have been lovely to share book reviews on my personal blog (and I'm sure I still will from time to time), it's nice to have a blog that will be dedicated primarily to books, reading, reviews, and (eventually) my own writing.

I have high hopes for this blog, but first and foremost I want this to be a blog where imagination is abundant. What's the point of reading if not for the chance to escape reality to a world other than your own?

Second, this is a review blog. To be fair, not everyone will share my taste in books, just as I won't always share it with others. I try to be honest, precise, and fair in all of my book reviews. And honestly, I'm not sure that there will ever be a bad review on this blog because, frankly, if I don't like a book I'll stop reading it. I will be reviewing books that are already published--both mainstream and underground books. I will also be reviewing ARCs sent to me by Publishers in exchange for honest reviews. I am also open to being a beta reader or reviewing books by self-published authors. If you are ever interested in sending me a book to review, please feel free to e-mail me at

And third, this blog is a place where I hope to fall in love with reading even more. I started reading by myself when I was 4 years old and I haven't stopped since! I've always been a reader and I've always loved reading. Here, I hope to fall in love with reading all over again, continuously. I hope that my love of reading grows so much that I'm inspired to write more so that I can complete my other goal of becoming an author. Every good author knows that in order to be a good writer, one must be a good reader.

I am extremely excited to start this blog and I am beyond excited to share my reading world with all of you!

Before I go, here's some wise words from a man that I admire, and the inspiration for this blog's name

Happy reading, friends! Next time I'll be back with a review with the classic Peter Pan.