Monday, December 16, 2013

TBR Pile Reading Challenge 2014

Hi all!

Exciting news today! Thesestardustwords has decided to join in the fun and insanity that is the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge! I don't know why thesestardustwords is referring to herself in the third person, but yeah this is happening.

This challenge is hosted over on Bookish (visit them here) and basically its this big book party where everyone tries to finish the books they've bought or looked at or coveted but never got to. The rules are simple: you have to read books that are from 2013 or earlier, then review them. This is a way for us to weed out our ever-growing TBR piles, that will keep on growing from all the 2014 releases, and also to read books that we've always wanted to but never got the chance to. I'm so excited to be a part of this challenge, as I have a TON of books that I've bought, either in e-book or real book form, over the last two years that I've just never gotten to.

I'm going to start at the level of "A Friendly Hug," which is 11-20 reviews. I want to start low just to make sure I can meet it, because while you can move up levels, you can't move down. So that means that, over the course of the next year, you'll get 11-20 book reviews that you can easily pick up, seeing as how they're from 2013 or before. The other good news: you don't have to have a blog to participate in this challenge! As long as you post a review somewhere (goodreads, amazon, wherever) you're good to go. There's also going to be challenges, giveaways, and a place to link up your reviews each month. I think that its a great way to get everyone reading together.

Anyways, I'm super excited to be able to participate in this challenge! If you want to join as well, there will be a link included at the end of this post. Happy reading!

Join the challenge!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Summations 12/14

Sorry for the lack of these weekly posts... I felt it was a bit pointless as I had nothing to show for the past couple of weeks. I did reread The Hunger Games trilogy, but mostly just to pull me out of my reading slump. This week, however, I got myself out! Just in time for finals. *smart Sunny is smart*

But yeah! This week I finished An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, and a prequel novella to upcoming release Midnight Thief called Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne.

Starting this week, I'm hoping to get through three or four books. The first four on my TBR pile are These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner (CAUSE I GOT AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY THANKS MALAPROPS BOOKSTORE ASHEVILLE, NC), Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist, The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White and The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

What are y'all reading this Christmas season?


Bookish Identity Tag

1) What dystopian/fantastical world would you live in?

V: Everyone says this during the tag, but I have to wonder- who would live in a dystopian world? I'm not ready to off into the Hunger Games. I'm a fantastical world fan to start with, it's taken me awhile to get into the whole dystopian world thing. (ok...I can actually see myself living in the Shatter Me world if I can be with Warner, but...) so for this answer I'm going with... The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Sunny and I said no having the same answers, so you can have Harry Potter Sunny! Merry Christmas! I would love being a Shadowhunter, though. I could travel the world and go to different institutes, I'd be a badass Shadowhunter...yeah. Shadowhunter world. I'm goin' to Alicante, woo!

S: I agree with Vi on this one. Going to Panem? No, thanks. But there are plenty of fantasy worlds I'd be perfectly happy to go into. Harry Potter is an obvious choice, but I also really like the Graceling world... so I'm vacillating and then: DING. I'm going to Camp Half Blood. I want to pick strawberries and swim in the lake and scale the lava climbing wall! I want to be friends with Percy, Annabeth and Grover and be taught by Chiron. I even want to play Pinochle with Mr. D. As long as I'm not the child of a lame god. I'd be someone with super awesome powers and a pegasus. 

2) Who would your partner be?

S: I mean. What kind of a person would I be if I didn't choose my husband, the love of my life, hands-down best male protagonist in the history of the world? Will Herondale. We'd be living in London, happily running about, all badassery and bravado, killing demons and such, then return to hearth and home and hole up in the library reading everything in existence together. The feels. THE FEELS. 

V: If you guys haven't heard, Sunny over here has been reading The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. I read this book sometime back in er...October? And I. FELL. IN. LOVE. WITH. GAVRIEL. Oh Gavriel my love, the mad poet who is secretly the most awesome person in the entire book and kicks butt and is so loyal and loving but also crazy and powerful and obsessive and poetic and freaking AWESOME. He freaking rocks! Gavriel is the singular most unpredictable, wild, fantastic guy I've read this year. I LOVED READING THIS BOOK BECAUSE OF HIM. Gavriel and I can be happily married and in love and just happily ever after. The end. 

3) Who would be your godly mother/father? [Percy Jackson]


V: Ok, so I've only read Percy Jackson and the Olympians, not the Heroes of Olympus yet, but I'm going to have to go with Hades. Hades was always a mythological character that fascinated me. Plus, ask Sunny, I'm weird. But I could totally see myself being (SPOILER FOR PJO HERE) Bianca de Angelo and kicking butt. Except, you know (AGAIN A SPOILER I'M SORRY) actually living...but see Persephone is also a character that interested me a lot, so I don't want to have her dislike me like she does Nico, so can I be Hades and Persephone's daughter? Or like a demigod but their demigod? Because Persephone isn't a major god so I want this to work...HEADCANON.

S: This isn't one that's like majorly focused on in the book, but this is one I imagine to be really awesome. I'm going to say this is how I think of being a kid of this god to be, even if it wouldn't actually be like this in the books. So I think it'd be awesome to be the daughter of Apollo. He's archery, medicine, poetry, music AND THE SUN. THE SUN. If Percy can control water, Jason air, Leo fire, why can't a child of Apollo control light? I would be burning people to a crisp with THE POWER OF SUNLIGHT. Bam. And I'd be Katniss. And I'd be healing those bitches with my mind. And singing while I did it. I just really like Apollo ok. 

- Would you be a downworlder or nephilim? [Shadowhunter world]

S: Nephilim. FO SHIZ. I mean, I'm not really digging being a werewolf or vampire, and I like the powers of a warlock but I don't really want to live forever. But being a whip-slinging, rune-drawing, black leather wearing badass of a Nephilim. That I could reconcile myself with. Like IMMEDIATELY. Also if I could live in the London institute and be married to a Herondale that would be much appreciated. 

V: NEPHILIM NEPHILIM NEPHILIM. I was already living in the Shadowhunter world as a Shadowhunter, so what else can I say? For more, see fangirling above in question one!

- Which house would you be in? [Harry Potter]

V: Pottermore sorted me into Slytherin, and I hadn't really thought of what house I'd be in. Then Sunny told me about a super legit Harry Potter house quiz- link it sister!- and I took it. SLYTHERIN! And I really like that about myself. So Slytherins are NOT all the terrible thugs people make us out to be. We're very loyal to each other (Slytherin is like a family, people, we don't step on each other in a competition we look out for each other), we can trust people, but trust is essential to a Slytherin. We're ambitious so we get what we need to done. But we can still have fun, enjoy music, all the ordinary things. I really love being Slytherin, and I'll wear my green and silver proudly. Also, we do get along with people of other houses. Promise. Also, mini rant aside, Draco Malfoy in a Very Potter Musical was awesome!!!

S: Ok so Pottermore sorted me into Gryffindor, which, tbh kind of surprised me. I had myself pegged for a Ravenclaw, but after I took a second quiz (LINK) and I still got Gryffindor, I could see it definitely. I do, in fact, tend to rush into situations without thinking, and while usually I can pull it off, sometimes it backfires in my face. I do tend to have very few fears, either out of stupidity or bravery (or both), and I'm very loyal to a small group of friends. Also, if Hermoine Granger can be a Gryffindor, so can I. (even though the ravenclaw common room is still the coolest thing at Hogwarts). So: I finally have my HOUSE PRIDE! And Vi and I get along pretty well, for a Slytherin and a Gryffindor. :) 

- Which faction would you be in? [Divergent]

V: Dauntless. Let's go jump out of a train guys. 

S: What she said. 

- We wanted to add a question that I really liked: What would your Grace be? [Graceling]

V: It has been FOREVER since I've read these books. But Sunny said I could pick anything. I want to say weaponsmaster like sword and bow because that would be practical in that world. But I'd want to be away from the influence of the king so I wouldn't be used like Katsa. So, a rogue weaponsmaster? That sounds like an interesting life... 

S: I really love the Graceling world. It is one of my favorite series, but if I was to live there I'd just have to be graced. I think I'd want to be graced with the ability to control the elements. Air, wind, fire, earth. That would be super awesome, and no one would be able to touch me. 

Hope you enjoyed! Comment your answers below!


S (+V) 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Look at Her Go; Reviewin', Reviewin': An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines- John Green


I'm slowly working my way through all of Father Green's books. I'll pick them up when I'm feeling something contemporary, or when I feel myself slumping because I know that any of his books will snap me right out of it. This time, it was because of the latter. I'd already read Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars (obviously), Let It Snow, Paper Towns and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. So when I found this book on a bargain table in Boston, I knew it was time.

So, in case you aren't familiar, this book is about a child prodigy with an enormous affinity for anagrams; Colin Singleton. And, at the end of his senior year he's been dumped by nineteen- yeah- nineteen girls, all named Katherine. And at the end of the torrid breakup with Katherine XIX, his best friend, Hassan, drags him on a road trip to leave his troubles behind.

I really did enjoy this book, as expected with a John Green novel. It has its fair share of hilarious moments and the quotable quotes we've all come to love from his books ("That smile could end wars and cure cancer" p. 32 is one that pops to mind), and I just always find his books immensely readable. The characters are hopelessly flawed but hopelessly lovable, and this is just a quick, amazing read.

Full, spoilery review under the cut!

Find this book on Goodreads

Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Sacrifice Tag

Book Sacrifice Tag- Created by Ariel Bissett on

COLLAB TAG! Violet and I did this whilst sitting in a mexican restaurant so... that was fun. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Look at her go; Reviewin' Reviewin': The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys- Maggie Stiefvater

1st Book in the Raven Cycle Quartet


So I was in a reading slump. For the past week or so, my brain seemed to be way more interested in watching past cycles of America's Next Top Model than working its way through my To Be Read pile. Which means it took me TWO. WEEKS. To make my way through The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. That doesn't mean I wasn't completely enthralled by the story of this book, it just means that I was stuck on page 52 for a looooong time. Alas, I finally finished it last night, and I have to say I loved the way the story progressed and ultimately ended.

If you're unfamiliar with this brilliant first book in an eventual quartet, here's a bit of groundwork for you. We have Blue, the female protagonist, eccentric and strong, who is the daughter of a psychic, but has no psychic abilities of her own. Then there's Gansey, the privileged but not pretentious student at the nearby private school, Aglionby Academy, whose students are also known as Raven Boys. Gansey has around him a colorful cast of close friends; shy, smart Adam; rebellious and impulsive Ronan; and quiet, mysterious Noah. These boys are on the hunt for a Welsh king of myth, somewhere along their small town of Henrietta, Virginia's powerful energy lines (called Ley lines), which also allow Blue's mother's psychic abilities to be strengthened. When their stories collide with Blue's, things get really complicated, and there are brilliant twists as the plot unravels.

So there's a synopsis. If you haven't read the book, you can go and get it and then come back and discuss once you have. I rated this book 4/5 stars on goodreads, and only because it took me awhile to get into the action. I would say this is a definite must-read if you're looking for something a little different, a little weird, to throw into the mix.

Find this book on Goodreads

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Summations: 11/17

I'd like to introduce a new weekly post here on Stardust and Words. I'm calling it Sunday Summations, and so every Sunday we'll sit down together and discuss what the past week has held and what the coming week will look like, book-wise.

Ok, so this week, I'm in a bit of a reading slump, stuck on The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater. I hope to finish this either tonight or tomorrow, then move on to the sequel, The Dream Thieves. After that I want to reread the Goose Girl and the Covenant Series, because the fifth book was recently released.

We shall see how far I get this week! Wish me luck.


Tip Top 25 Favorite Books/Series

This is probably one of the hardest things I've ever tried to do. Narrowing down the hundreds of books I've read in my life to a slim list of the top twenty-five books/series. I tried to be selective, at first only putting down the books that I would save if I only had thirty seconds to pick books, but then I couldn't leave out any of my other favorites, sitting there, staring at me with their sad book faces...
I went a little crazy, I think.
In the end, I came up with fifteen series and ten stand-alones, all of which I feel adequately represent my reading choices, at least for the past few years. If you haven't read one or many of these books, I definitely recommend every single one of them! It doesn't matter your taste in books, I truly believe that all of these books have something for everyone.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bump In the Night Tag

As a bit of an introduction, one thing I'd like to introduce to this blog is the existence of book tags! Mostly taken from the booktube community on YouTube, they can be adapted into blog posts as well. Mostly, its just a series of questions that you must answer with the title of a book, name of a character, setting, etc. They're a fun way to talk about some books and elements of books that you may not otherwise think about!

This particular tag is more of a Halloween tag, but it's so much fun I'm going to do it anyway. *NOTHING CAN STOP ME* :D

October Wrap-Up

This will be coming a little late, seeing as how it's already November, but I thought it would be a nice first post, since I read quite a few books in October!

Coming in with a grand total of 11 books: reactions, summaries and ratings under the cut.

80% Read the Printed Word!