Friday, February 28, 2014

Dream Cast: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Hey! So, I know that today's blog entry was supposed to be all Mini-reviews buuut that's boring and I don't want to do that! Also, I'm too lazy to do mini reviews right now, sorry?

Instead, let's have a little fun! It is Friday after all. My idea of fun? Making a dream cast. Yeah, let's talk about how this came about, maybe?

Last night, as I was reading Under The Never Sky (finally) (also, OMG!), I stumbled across the beautiful specimen that is Roar and the first person that popped into my head was Colin O'Donoghue. In my mind, I then began to cast other celebrities into different characters. You know, just in case they ever decide to make a movie of this book (which would be epic if they did it right). And so I decided that my dream cast would be the focus of today's blog post. So yay! Enough of my yappin' now, let's get down to business...

Aria played by Lucy Hale
So yeah...I know that Lucy Hale already plays a character named Aria on her TV show Pretty Little Liars, but I just couldn't help but picture Lucy as this Aria! Like Aria, Lucy has got long dark hair and is a bit smaller in stature. Plus, Lucy Hale could bring out all of Aria's most fierce traits!

Perry played by Alex Pettyfer
There's something about Perry's blonde locks and rugged good looks that reminded me of Alex Pettyfer. I can't really explain it at all. Also, I'm sure that no one would complain about Alex Pettyfer being half-naked for a good majority of the film. That is all.

Roar played by Colin O'Donoghue
Roar and Colin O'Donoghue inspired this list, so I definitely cannot leave them out. Colin O'Donoghue is a beautiful man when he dresses up, but as luck would have it he's even more beautiful when he's dressed as a rugged pirate. OMG. I'm not even gonna explain myself. I need Colin O'Donoghue as Roar. That is all. 

Talon played by Jared Gilmore
Yeah...two Once Upon A Time actors in one movie seems pretty biased but seriously, look at how cute this kid is! If they ever made the movie, Talon would have to be aged up but that's ok with me as long as it's Jared Gilmore!

Vale played by Chris Hemsworth
Can't you see this guy as a Blood Lord?! I can! Which is obviously why I picked him...but seriously. Chris and Alex share similar ruggedly good looks. Chris Hemsworth can stay.

Lumina played by Carrie-Anne Moss
I don't really have a reason for this...I just look at her and immediately think Lumina.

Consul Hess played by Alec Baldwin
I know that Mr. Baldwin here like swore of fame and media or whatever and I'm pretty sure it's just cause I've been marathoning 30 Rock between reading, but I can't help but picture Alec Baldwin as Consul Hess always. He's got that scary, commanding presence that I imagine from Consul Hess. And he's a regulation hottie for an older dude.

Marron played by David Tennant
I just NEEEEEEEEEED more David Tennant in my life. Everyone does. He's staying.

Well, yep! There ya's my perfect Dream Cast for Under The Never Sky. Should they ever make this into a movie, they should ask me to be the casting director! Look for my review of Under The Never Sky next week!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

ARC Review: 18 Truths by Jamie Ayres

Title: 18 Truths
Author: Jamie Ayres
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Format: ARC
Links: Goodreads - Barnes & Noble - Amazon
SynopsisLying is unbearable, betrayal is inevitable, and choosing which path to take is impossible.

Olga Gay Worontzoff ended her senior year as an eighteen-year-old girl totally in love with Nate, enjoying their new romance and about to attend the university of her dreams. Now she’s spending her summer in the weird subculture of the Underworld, with charmingly witty and powerful angels, and problematic demons, trying to rescue Connor, the best friend and secret crush she was unable to save during a freak accident.

But Nate has other things on his mind, mainly Grace. She’s their first assignment as joint spirit guides, and Olga’s feeling hurt and jealous. His mysterious behavior has Olga questioning everything she believed about him and now she must decide whether to stick to their plan, or follow her heart. Unfortunately, a series of mistakes threatens everyone around her and plants Olga in the center of cosmic events much larger than she ever imagined.

Only one thing is certain: the chilling truths uncovered during her journey will leave no one untouched. (via Goodreads)
My Review

I received an Advance Reader Copy of 18 Truths from Curiosity Quills Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

18 Truths by Jamie Ayres starts of where 18 Things ended. If you haven't read 18 things yet, I'd suggest that you stop reading here and go read that one first!

Olga and Nate are coping with the whole fact that the last year of their lives was simply an illusion. Oh, and the fact that they've been dead the whole time. Together, they decide to spend their post-death lives (haha) as spirit guides, helping other misguided folks like themselves find their way to heaven. Their first mission, Grace, proves harder than Olga thought, especially since Nate seems more invested in their little project than he is in her. And what happens when Olga finds out that Conner, the boy she spent the entire last year getting over, is just a few dimensions away? I guess you'll just have to read to find out!

Seriously, though. Read this book. Just do it. Jamie Ayres is a wonderful author and that is evident in how beautifully written this book is. Not only are the characters well rounded and relatable, but the world that Ayres created is hauntingly beautiful. No matter what your beliefs about the afterlife is, Jamie Ayres' version of the afterlife is comforting and imaginative. 

In my review of 18 Things, I touched on how I enjoyed the religious aspect of the book and that has not changed with 18 Truths. I am a religious person and the touch of religion is extremely comforting to me. Even with the hints of religion, I don't think that mentions of it are overwhelming or preachy. No matter what your spiritual beliefs are, I'm sure that you could enjoy this book. Personally, though, I did like the various bouts of scripture placed throughout the book. I'll be honest, I kept my own set of scriptures next to me as I was reading the entire time so that I could look up and highlight the scriptures as they were presented.

Speaking of highlighting things, I think I did more highlighting and note taking in this book than I have in a really long time! Once again, this book was just beautifully written. I didn't want to miss a thing!

And now, let's talk characters. In general, Ayres does a great job with her characters. They're all fairly well rounded and relatable, but I felt myself relating 100% with Olga throughout the book. 

Olga is level-headed and smart. And, just like most teenaged girls, love makes her do crazy things. I felt just as conflicted as Olga did as she went through her whole love triangle business. Seriously, that totally hit home for me…I could feel what Olga felt as she pondered the idea of the two guys that she loved more than anything. Her decisions and realizations even gave me some realizations of my own, so thanks Olga! I don't know that I would have made some of the decisions that Olga makes throughout the book, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! Also, the book would have been super boring if Olga made the decisions I would have made :P!

As for her two guys, I couldn't help but compare them to the two guys I've been lucky enough to love in my life. What?! I couldn't help it! I promise! Anyway, I adored both Nate and Conner for different reasons (true to real life, of course). Conner is Olga's charming best friend and first love, that stuff does not die easily…let me tell you! And Nate is the one who held Olga up through everything that happened in the previous year, they've got an unbreakable bond. The relationships between Olga and her two leading men were realistic, beautiful, and, at times, absolutely heartbreaking. I loved it!

Of course, if there's anything that I learned from 18 Things, it's that Jamie Ayres loves a good plot twist (am I right?! ha). It was absolutely no different in 18 Truths. No worries, though, I love a good plot twist, too, and this one certainly didn't disappoint! But alas, you'll just have to read the book to find out what it is. I promise you won't be disappointed.

18 Truths is a wonderful story! It's not just a continuation of Olga and Nate's story, but also of Olga and Conner's story and Dr. Judy's story. I was never bored, I wanted to keep reading forever. It was beautifully written and it's definitely a story that sticks with you even after you close the book. 18 Truths will be just the second book in 2014 that I'm giving a 5 out 5 Star rating too! AND I'm recommending it to all of my friends!

Now, if only I could make time speed up so that I could read the next book already!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlight the releases we're anticipating!

Title: Strange Sweet Song
Author: Adi Rule
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
SynopsisA young soprano enrolls in a remote music academy where nothing, not even her mysterious young vocal coach, is as it seems

Outside Dunhammond Conservatory, there lies a dark forest. And in the forest, they say, lives a great beast called the Felix. But Sing da Navelli never put much faith in the rumors and myths surrounding the school; music flows in her blood, and she is there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth—not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians—but as an artist and leading lady in her own right.

Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school's production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary? 

Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.

Lyrical, gothic, and magical, Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule will captivate and enchant readers.

Why I'm Waiting
First of all, look at that cover! Is that not the most beautiful cover you've ever seen in your life? I know they say not to judge a book by it's cover or whatever, but I'm definitely judging this one and I say that it's worth the read.

The story itself sounds beautifully haunting. There's so many plot points in the synopsis alone that I can't even think of  what I want to talk about!

I'm so excited for this book and I'm so glad that I don't have to wait too long more to get it!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: Rewind!

Is it seriously Tuesday already?! When did that happen! As it turns out, I'm totally unprepared for this weeks Top 10 Tuesday with the Broke and Bookish...but alas, we shall move forward as usual! I'm mostly excited because I get to choose the topic this week....

What to choose....what to choose....Oh! I know! I'll go with......
....Top 10 Favorite Book Quotes!
Because, as it happens, I'm a total freak about quotes.
Seriously. I've been collecting them since I was 12.

"A flame may love a snowflake but they can never be together without each harming the other."
-Chris Colfer, The Wishing Spell


"The minute I knew I was in love was the minute when there was no question about it."

-Roald Dahl, The Twits

"Love and faith go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other. And as we all know, taking the leap ain't always safe. Sometimes you judge poorly, and you land right on your face. But unless you make the jump, you'll never know what's on the other side. You just gotta find the guts to do it."
-Kirsten Miller, The Eternal Ones

-Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

"Tink was not all bad: or rather, she was all bad just now, but on the other hand, sometimes she was all good. Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time. They are, however, allowed to change, only it must be a complete change."
-J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


"A person with no forgiveness in their heart for things they've done is doing nobody any favors. It's a punishment worse than death, worse than hell."
-Jamie Ayres, 18 Things

"She did not yet know that Tink hated her with the fierce hatred of a very woman."
-J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Well, there ya have it, folks! Just a few of my favorite bookish quotes! What are on your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Book Review: 18 Things by Jamie Ayres

Title: 18 Things
Author: Jamie Ayres
Publication Date: January 24, 2013
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Format: e-book
Links: GoodReads - Barnes & Noble - Amazon
SynopsisCan eighteen things save a life? 

Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name (after her grandmothers of course) and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten. 

Then Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible. When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled 18 Things. Eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday. 

All she has to do is fire-walk, try out for the cheerleading squad, break a world record, and err . . . go on her first date. Good thing Nate, a new hottie in town, enters her life with perfect timing. He brings the fun factor to her list and helps her discover the beauty and strength inside herself, then complicates things by falling in love with her. 

But there's more to Olga’s quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken. 

There’s only one thing she knows for certain: her choices won’t just affect her future, but all eternity. (via GoodReads)

My Review

18 Things is a solemn tale of death, grief, and acceptance. Jamie Ayres touches on a few darker themes throughout the novel-namely death and moving on when someone close to you passes on with a few other dark tones scattered throughout.

Olga and Conner are best friends-they always have been. Unfortunately, their friendship is cut short when they're out sailing one day when a lightening storm arrives and lightening strikes Conner. In mere moments, Olga loses her best friend and the love of her life. The story follows Olga as she tries to move on. Her therapist suggests that she write down 18 "bucket list" items, so to speak, that can help her cope and eventually move on. With the help of her friends, she completes these bucket list items over the course of a year. 

While the book was a little slow for me at some points, I thought the story was very well written. Dealing with loss and grief is not an easy thing, but the process was represented well. I, like Olga, have lost someone close to me so I could relate well to the different things that Olga was feeling. I felt her pain as she lost her best friend and I feel like I went through all the steps of the grieving process with her.

For the most part, the characters were well written. I sometimes wondered how Olga and her friends actually became friends because they seem so different, but they all fit together in a weird way. My only qualm was the way that the teenagers spoke to one another. I honestly don't know any teenagers who use such loose vernacular (I can't think of any specifics right now but "Oh My Gawd" was used a lot)…I don't know, maybe I just don't know a lot of teenagers!

I also loved that the big touched on the religious aspect of death and loss. I am a religious person, though, so touching on religion was relatable for me. 

Another thing that I enjoyed were the quotes and focus questions that could be found at the end of the chapters. It might be the teacher in me, but I enjoy a good focus question and being able to reflect on what happened in the book. 

Overall, the book was very well written and dealt with very heavy topics. I cried and cried throughout the book. It's been a long time since a book has touched me enough to make me cry! As far as the plot twist at the end, I just have one word: WOW. I would suggest this book for an older audience as it is pretty heavy, but it's definitely worth the read.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Coming Attractions #3

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope that y'all have had a fantastic week....and that the coming week is nice to you, too! Here's what's comin' soon around these parts...

Coming Soon
Monday: Book Review: 18 Things by Jamie Ayres
Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday--Top 10 Tuesday REWIND
Wednesday: Waitin' On Wednesday with Breaking the Spine
Thursday: ARC Review--18 Truths by Jamie Ayres
Friday: Mini Reviews
Saturday: ARC Review--Don't Even Think About It

Book Hauls
On My Kindle:
Pretty much anything having to do with Greek mythology is a great read to me! And the reviews that I've read were great, too! I cannot wait to dig into these.

On my Nook:
After reading (and reviewing) Talented, the first in the saga, last week I decided that I could NOT just stop at one! This was a steal at $9.99 for all 4 books! 

NetGalley ARC:
This is one of the ARCs that I was seriously, seriously hoping that I'd get to read and review. I'm excited to start on this one this week!

What I Read This Week
18 Things by Jamie Ayres
18 Truths by Jamie Ayres
Twinmaker by Sean Williams

Must-See Links
The Sunday Post

Saturday, February 22, 2014

ARC Review: Talented by Sophie Davis

Title: Talented
Author: Sophie Davis
Publication Date: January 11, 2012
Publisher: Smashwords
Format: ARC
Links: GoodReads - Barnes and Noble - Amazon
SynopsisWhen Talia Lyons was just a child, her parents were murdered before her eyes. Offered a choice between accepting their fate and exacting revenge, Talia trains to become one of the country’s deadliest assassins in order to kill the man responsible for their deaths: Ian Crane. Luckily, Talia was born with a gift- the ability to read and influence the minds of others. At sixteen, Talia is poised to graduate from the McDonough School for the Talented, where she learned to control her abilities. Now there is only one obstacle standing between her and the retribution she craves... Talia herself.

Her greatest asset may also be her undoing; while a formidable weapon in the field, Talia’s talents prevent her from both shutting off the mental connection she shares with her questionable boyfriend and blocking out the thoughts of a beguiling fellow recruit. But Talia can’t afford to have the feelings and distractions of a normal teenage girl, when her life is far from normal.

She must regain the single-minded determination that has brought her this far, or it may cost Talia her life when she finally faces Crane. And even after being molded in to a weapon of war, she’ll still have to find the strength it takes to pull the trigger.

If James Bond and Sookie Stackhouse had a love child with a yearning for vengeance, her story would be TALENTED: an adventure about powerful teenagers who aren’t afraid to embrace their fears and fight for what they believe in. (via GoodReads)

My Review 

Ok, so I seriously have a huge love/hate relationship with this book! At least, that much is evident on the notepad that I used to take notes to enable me to write a good and honest review. 

Talented is the first book of the Talented series which follows Talia Lyons, a girl born with unusual talents due to a toxic chemical spill about 100 years prior to her story. Talia, like all other "talented" children are taken in and trained by TOXIC, a government agency the teaches these talented children how to control and use their abilities in various areas. As a child, Talia witnessed the murder of her parents leading her to wanting to become a hunter for the agency, which is exactly what it sounds like. Throughout the course of the book, Talia faces the realities and hardships of being a hunter while also battling typical teenaged emotions.  

When I first started reading the book, I had a really hard time getting involved. I admit that I might have been a little harsh at first as far as the author's writing style went. I felt that there was too much written detail and not enough leeway as far as allowing reader's to imagine a world of their own. However, the setting of Talented has to be pretty specific to get the story across, so I could overlook that. I absolutely loved the world that Sophie Davis creates as far as Washington D.C. went. I want to go to that all blue restaurant featured in the story!

I was also incredibly annoyed with Talia at first. She seemed so standoffish to me and I thought that was completely unnecessary. I mean, the way that she treated her long time boyfriend Donovan sometimes made me want to slap her! As the story went on, though, I came to like Talia. I'm not in love with her, but I don't hate her either. She's an interesting and fairly complicated character. I think Sophie Davis does a good job writing her.

Talented also features some wonderful secondary characters. Henri and Erik, Talia's teammates, are adorable and I love them! They are super funny and bring an interesting dynamic to the story as a whole. Talia also makes a friend named Penny throughout the story. Penny is your typical girly girl. She's obsessed with shopping, boys, and all that good stuff. Between Talia and Penny, I found myself relating to Penny way more. I would love to know more about her story!

I'm giving this book a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. I liked the story enough, but I think that it could have been written a bit better. The characters were good, but not great. However, I do plan on reading the additional books in the series. I would recommend this book to my friends, especially those who are fans of the Hunger Games. In fact, I'm planning on gifting this series to my boyfriend's little sister! I think she'd love it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Book Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Title: Kill Me Softly
Author: Sarah Cross
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Format: Hardcover
Links: GoodReads - Barnes and Noble - Amazon
SynopsisMirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own . . . brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns. (via GoodReads)

My Review

Kill Me Softly follows Mirabelle, better known as Mira, on a journey to essentially "find herself." As the story begins, she's just a few days away from her 16th birthday and poor Mira is tired of being stuck under the overprotective regime of her godmothers. Mira decides to run away from home to her home town of Beau Rivage, the place where she was born and where her parent's died. There, she discovers that fairytales can come to life and -gasp- she is also part of this fairytale world! 

I absolutely love fairy tale retellings in books. Fairy tales are amongst my favorite things. However, I'm also a bit wary about fairy tale retellings in general because I can't stand for my favorite stories to be ruined. This fact alone is the reason why I have a love/hate relationship with this book.

Overall, I thought that the premise of the story was quite creative! Just about everyone can relate to Mira's need to find herself. Along the way, she meets the stars are fairytale stories who are struggling with their own roles in their stories. It was interesting to see such titular characters struggling with who they were and their fate.

As far as characters go, I felt more connected to the secondary characters than I did to the main character. Frankly, Mirabelle annoyed me to no end! She was selfish and childish for most of the story. And her indecision and rebellion absolutely killed me. I get that she's a teenager and what not, but I just could not relate to her at all. Was I that annoying as a teenager?! I hope not!
However, I did love the rest of the characters featured in the book. Layla was among my favorites. And Blue was simply adorable!

I rated the book 3.5 out of 5 stars. It was a cute story and as I said earlier, I did enjoy the plot and premise of the story. I think what really bugged me was Mira as a character. I did, however, like how things worked out in the end. Although this is a standalone book, I could see the author expanding the story into a series. I would suggest this book to just about anyone, particularly younger teenagers. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that is meant to feature upcoming releases that we're excited about!
I am so excited to link up for the very first time, so without further ado, here we gooo.

Title: Second Star
Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
SynopsisA twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them. (via GoodReads)

Why I'm Waiting...

I would totally, 100% be lying if I said that the main reason that I want to read this book is because of the allusion to Peter Pan. The title itself caught my eye on NetGalley and as soon as I read the synopsis I knew that I had to read it. Obviously because of Peter Pan.

To be honest, I'm a little nervous about this book in general. For one, I'm not a big fan of Wendy Darling at all so a story revolving around her may not be my favorite thing. Also, Peter Pan retellings just make me nervous in general (this coming from a girl who wants to write a story featuring Tinker Bell...hah) just because I adore Peter Pan and anything that seeks to change my favorite lost boy is scary.

On the other hand, though, Second Star seems like it's going to be quite the interesting story. I love that it's modern day Peter Pan without them being stuck in Neverland and I already have a feeling that they're going to be dealing with some pretty heavy stuff. 

Well, I guess that May can't come fast enough!

Got any books that you're "waiting" on?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Love Being a Blogger/Reader

Happy Tuesday, friends old and new! Today, I'm linking up with The Broke and Bookish for their weekly Top 10 Tuesday meme!

This week's topic is 10 Reasons Why I Love Being a Blogger/Reader. So let's get it started!

one. I love being a reader because I constantly get to escape the real world. The real world can be harsh sometimes. Give me a book and I can get away long enough to refresh my mind so that I can face the challenges head on!

two. I love being a reader because I get to live a thousand lives. I've down things that people could only dream of doing. I've done impossible things. It's a pretty great life!

three. I love being a book blogger because I finally have people to relate to. My friends like to read (that's pretty much a requirement of being my friend. Not really. But it should be). But they're not as serious as reading as I am. I love being having people that I can talk to about books!

four. I love being a reader because I get to fall in love over and over again. Specifically, with the ships that I sail. I love it when two characters that I love get together. It's like the feeling of falling in love with my boyfriend all over again! It's complicated and terrifying and just plain crazy, but the feeling when all of those emotions lead to happily ever after is beautiful. This can also apply to the feeling of falling in love over and over with an actual book that you love to re-read. But mostly the ship thing.

five. I love being a book blogger because it inspires me to read more books. Since I started this blog a little under a month ago, I've read and read and read. It's a great motivator to keep on reading!

six. I love being a reader because reading gives me something to talk about. I'm one of those people who talks about books all the time. My friends need advice? " this book I just read..." Meeting new people? "Hey, have you ever read...?" Carrying a book around is totally a great conversation starter!

seven. I love being a reader because it brings my boyfriend and I closer together. My boyfriend loves reading, too. The first time I walked into his room and saw his bookshelf, I knew that he and I were meant to be. Seriously, some of our best dates included going to the library than finding a spot on the beach just to read. No talking to each other, just being with each other, lost in a book. That is true love right there.

eight. I love being a book blogger because it increases my To-Read list. Reading book reviews is one of my favorite things so now that I see book reviews on the daily (any time I check Bloglovin'), I am constantly adding things to my To-Read shelf. All those books, not enough time!

nine. I love being a book blogger because of the occasional ARCs that I receive. Let me be clear that this is NOT the main reason, but it is pretty cool receiving new reads and being able to review them just for fun! I've found some awesome books that I went on to purchase through ARCs.

ten. I love being a book blogger because no one here thinks I'm crazy! Thank you, book blogger community for being just as crazy about books as I am!

What do you love the most about being a reader?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

Title: Roomies
Author: Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
Publication Date: December 24, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Links: Goodreads -- Barnes & Noble -- Amazon
SynopsisIt's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate. (Via GoodReads)

My Review

I had been wanting to read this book since the moment that I seen it in Barnes & Noble. At the time, I couldn't justify buying a book that I was sure I wouldn't read more than once (and one that I had to find room in a suitcase for), so naturally I was stoked when it was sitting on the 'New Releases' shelf at my local library!

What attracted me to the book was it's cover. It's so bright and detailed without being overwhelming. While I don't normally do the whole judging a book by it's cover thing, I was intrigued by this one. 

The story is told by two girls, Lauren and Elizabeth, or EB. They're prospective college roommates who are getting to know each other over the summer between their freshman year via e-mails. Aside from being written in e-mail format, each chapter is also written in first person narrative. 

Of course, the girl's could not be more different! Elizabeth is an only child of divorced parents living it up in New Jersey. Lauren, on the other hand, is the oldest child of six living with her entire brood in San Francisco. Readers follow the girls through their "last" summers at home, their "last" summers of child hood. They share their lives with each other as they get ready to say goodbye to their friends and family, leave the homes that they've always known, and prepare to embark on a big new adventure. 

The book was a cute and easy read. I read it in less than a day in between some of the heavier stuff that I've been reading lately. However, it was still a great coming of age book that I kinda wish that I had when I was preparing to go to college. Granted, my freshman year roommate had been one of my best friends from high school and since we went to boarding school, we were used to living together, so the situations were different. I thought the authors really captured the struggles and anticipation of going into your first year of college or any new situation, really, where you don't know anyone. I can say that the summer before I started college was one of the biggest transitions that I've ever made! I could 100% relate to the things that Lauren and EB went through.

I don't really have anything bad to say except that I got really annoyed with the girls once or twice. I later realized that it's because in my "old age" (as in, I'm 24), the whole adolescence thing is baffling to me. I mean, I know that I was a teenager once upon a time but I can't remember ever being that freaking annoying! I'm sure that I was but obviously that's a piece of my memory that I chose to just block out. That's how I roll.

I gave the book 4/5 Stars. It was a bit young for me but it was super well written and the situations were relatable. I would definitely recommend it to anyone in the midst of making big transitions in your life, specifically moving away to college!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Coming Attractions 002

Happy Sunday, everyone! And even better, happy round 2 of Coming Attractions!! So far, I'm thinking that I like this whole thing. It helps me keep things on track even if I may not follow through all the time...I promise, I'm working on that. was your Valentine's week?! I hope that it was absolutely fantastic whether you love or dread the actual holiday. My week was full of love and angst...fictional, of course!

I feel so semi-organized this week. Here's what's coming up on the blog this week (and what I'll be spending most of my Sunday doing...)

Coming Soon
Monday: Book Review--Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Tuesday: Top Ten On Tuesday--Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Being a Reader/Blogger
Wednesday: Waitin' On Wednesday with Breaking the Spine
Thursday: Book Review--Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Friday: Five On Friday--5 Must Re-Read Books
Saturday: ARC Review--Talented by Sophie Davis

and then we start all over again with next weeks Coming Attractions!

Hopefully, I'll be able to keep up with all of this!

Book Hauls
Didn't really get much of a haul this week, exactly...but I did get a new book, so yay!

I can't wait to read this baby before I read the ARC of 18 Truths that I got!

What I Read This Week
 Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
This Is A Book by Demtri Marti
Talented by Sophie Davis

My To-Read list for this week is pretty long! Hopefully, I'll be able to do allll of that AND school at the same time. Oh...and I have a social life now (apparently) so that's a thing now.

I hope y'all have a wonderful week! Read on, my dears, read on!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Review: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Format: E-book
SynopsisRapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can. (Via Goodreads)
My Thoughts

Now that I've finally gotten with the program (do people say that anymore?), I am absolutely, positively in love with the Lunar Chronicles. Part of me is wondering why I waited so long, but the other part of me is quite glad because I do not like waiting for series books to come out. Wanna torture me? Give me a great book that's part of a series but the other books in the series haven't been released yet. 

Basically, I'm just glad that I was able to buy Cress as soon as I was done with Scarlet (that review is coming soon too). 

Rapunzel is one of my favorite fairytale stories of all time so I was a little wary to see what Meyer was going to do with the story. I wasn't sure how the whole sci-fi and spaceships thing was going to work in the retelling of Rapunzel stories. But I am glad that I decided to push away those stupid negative feelings because Cress is definitely my favorite in the entire Lunar Chronicles series!

First things first, Cress herself. Cress is probably the most adorable human (....lunar?) being ever. Of all time. She's sweet, innocent, naive, and such a hopeless romantic. I found myself relating to her better than I did with Scarlet or Cinder. At first, I found myself wondering how this girl was going to fit in with the fierce heroines that are Scarlet and Cinder, but as the story went on she just fit. It seemed to me that the previous books were missing her presence--like she should have been there all along. Cress herself has a beautiful story from beginning to end. I may have shed a few tears. Multiple times. 

And now, let's move on to the wonder that is Thorne. I have to be honest, I wasn't a big fan of him in Scarlet (because my mind was 100% on Wolf then...we'll discuss this later), but I absolutely LOVE him in Cress. He and Cress have such an interesting dynamic. And he overcomes some obstacles in the book the proves that he's the all powerful Captain Carswell Thorne. OK, maybe he isn't all powerful, but those obstacles did provide him with more character depth--which is what I like to see. Also, he is Flynn Rider.

Of course, old friends join along in the fun, too! I love how Meyer is able to use different POVs and can tell different parts of the story without making it totally confusing. We're also introduced to a few new (and important) characters along the way. I am loving how each different character, major or minor, has an important place in the plot. There are connections everywhere! 

Marissa Meyer does a great job of adapting the fairytales into the world she has created with ease and simplicity. While the fairytale underbelly is not completely overwhelming, it's obviously there. I love that she's able to place her own spin on the fairytale plots while remaining true to said plots (this is important for a fairytale buff like me!).

I read Cress in less than a day because I absolutely could not put the book down. Seriously. I was on vacation with my best friend and instead of doing fun vacation things like going to the beach, we stayed in our hotel room and read all day because I just couldn't tear myself away. Cress was an emotional roller coaster ride (cliche, I know) but in a completely good way. I know that a book is good when I actually get emotionally invested in the story. Crying is usually a good indicator too. I absolutely recommend this book and the Lunar Chronicles to any and every one. Seriously, if there's just one book series that you read this year this would be the one to read! 

Cress is definitely deserving of the very first 5-star rating that I'm giving out this year!

Now, if only it were 2015 so I could get my hands on Winter already!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Swoon

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly link-up hosted by The Broke and Bookish. It's an opportunity for bloggers everywhere to share the books that they loved...and even some that they maybe didn't love so much! This week's topic is books that will make you swoon.

one. hush by stacey r. campbell -- As far as teen romances go, this one is just plain adorable. First of all, what high schooler doesn't dream of becoming a princess with her very own prince charming? Second of all, the relationship that develops between the main characters, Max and Blakely, is adorable and so sweet. 50% of the time, my heart was racing for these two...the other 50% I wanted to throw up everywhere because it was too much cute.

two. divergent by veronica roth -- I am quite aware that this book isn't meant to make me swoon, but with a guy like Four in the picture, how can you not?!

three. the eternal ones by kirsten miller -- The author hasn't written an Eternal Ones book in a very long time which is completely unfair because I'm in love with Iain Morrow and I need more of him in my life.

four. the probability of miracles by wendy wunder -- Asher. Just...Asher. Also, please read this book! It's beautiful.

five. the mark of athena by rick riordan -- I'm positive that this isn't going to be on the "typical" list of swoon-worthy books but I had to have it on mine. Because I am in love with Percy Jackson. I also love Annabeth. Basically, I will go down with the ship that is Percabeth.

six. little women by louisa may alcott -- Although romance wasn't at the forefront of the Little Women books, I'm pretty sure that the first swoon-worthy literary character that I ever came across was Laurie. 

seven. the catcher in the rye by j.d. salinger -- Yet another one of those books that aren't typically meant to make a person swoon. Also, I'm pretty sure that Holden Caulfield was meant to be the most annoying MC in the history of MCs. However, I'm just gonna ignore all of that and say that I loved Holden. He was the bad boy that 15 year old Tasia just dreamt of dating. That's why he makes the list.

eight. the lunar chronicles by marissa meyer -- I kinda feel like it's cheating, using the entire series as one...but I also need to save some very important list space. Also, I could never just choose one book! I am in love with every single book in the Lunar Chronicles, not to mention the lovely men (and women) that make up these books. Also, if anyone wants to send me Emperor Kai as a late birthday present, I would gladly accept!

nine. naupaka by aunty nona beamer -- The Hawaiian culture is full of love stories that could make anyone swoon, but this is my favorite one by far. It's a story of forbidden love and about how true love is eternal...even if you're separated in life.

ten. the fault in our stars by john green -- I would feel incomplete if I didn't include this on my list.

^^ Pretty much me after reading the books above.

What swoon-worthy books are on your list this week? I could always use a good swoon!