Tuesday, January 27, 2015

top ten tuesday: if i had a book club

Top ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, and is a weekly feature where every week there is a different theme, and you must come up with a list of ten things under that theme. This week, the theme is "January 27: Ten Books I'd Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club (or you could pick a specific kind of book club -- like if you had a YA book club or an adult book club or a science fiction book club etc.)" List is under the cut!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

sunday summations

This is an old series that I've chosen to revamp. Sunday Summations is a time where we discuss what we've read in the past week and our goals for the next week!

Last week I finished Ignite by Sara B Larson (4 stars), re-read the Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White (5 stars), read The Year I Turned Sixteen by Dianne Schwemm (3 stars) and re-read These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (4 stars).

Today, my friend Violet and I will begin our readalong of Frostfire by Amanda Hocking, which I am super excited for! The Trylle trilogy were some of my favorite books of 2013, so I can't wait to get back into that world. I have also just begun Splintered by A.G. Howard. I've been meaning to pick up the series for a while, and now that I have attained the conclusion to the trilogy, I am planning on marathoning Splintered, Unhinged and Ensnared this week. Those are tentative goals, though, because I'm also working on something very exciting...

I've just finished planning and workshopping a new novel idea! So, this week will be the first bit of actual writing involved, which I'm very excited about. That being said, I might not have as much time for reading as I'd like, but this is such an exciting thing that I don't mind it that much.

So, what have you guys read this past week, and what are you planning on reading this coming week?

Friday, January 23, 2015

judging books by their covers

Admit it. It's something we all do. As much as we want to claim that we are fair and objective when it comes to books, everyone forms opinions about books based on how they look. That's why we cringe so much when bad covers happen to good books, and when covers change to something that we don't think represents the story. It's also why we happy-tears cry over covers that are just so gorgeous they HURT.
I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. There are so many amazing YA books out there today, there is no way you can walk into your local bookstore and spend hours combing through the section, reading every single synopsis and ignoring the covers. I think covers are our first filter for the books we think we might like. I know I am definitely drawn to certain books over others because they have a pretty or interesting cover. And most of the time, my cover senses end up being pretty dead on in picking good books. So, maybe not such a bad thing, as long as we don't completely rule out books that don't have those amazing covers.
I thought I would share a few of my most favorite covers!


1. These Broken Stars and This Shattered World – Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

2. Throne of Glass Series – Sarah J Maas

3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz

4. I'll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

5. The Chaos of Stars – Kiersten White 

6. The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

7. Starry Night – Isabel Gillies

8. Unspoken – Sarah Rees Brennan (a cover change I will NEVER FORGIVE)

9. The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

10. A Thousand Pieces of You – Claudia Gray

Those are just a few of my personal favorites. Let me know some of yours!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

highly anticipated books of 2015

it only feels natural to follow up a 2014 wrap up with a 2015 look ahead. there are so many books that I am looking forward to this year, so this is just a sampling of the ones that I am biting my nails until the release date.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

top books of 2014

I know its the middle of January already, but I feel like 2014 isn't over until I do a wrap up of all of my favorite books from the last year. I'll try to rank them in order of preference, but after like the top three I pretty much like them all an almost equal amount.

1. I'll Give You The Sun - Jandy Nelson (goodreads
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. 
The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.  

2. Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta (goodreads)
I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.
Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs - the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.
And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

3. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) - Sarah J Maas (goodreads)
Because this is the second book in a series, beware of SPOILERS in the description below.
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.
Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.
Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

4. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour - Morgan Matson (goodreads)
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way. 

5. Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)- Marissa Meyer (goodreads
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had 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 of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

6. To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han (goodreads)
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

7. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (goodreads)
It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

8. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe- Benjamin Alire Sáenz (goodreads
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

9. If I Stay- Gayle Forman (goodreads
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.
I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.
Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.
If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

10. The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5) - Rick Riordan (goodreads
Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.
The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.
The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

11. Isla and the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins (goodreads
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

12. The Enchantress Returns (The Land of Stories #2) - Chris Colfer (goodreads
After decades of hiding, the evil Enchantress who cursed Sleeping Beauty is back with a vengeance.
Alex and Conner Bailey have not been back to the magical Land of Stories since their adventures in The Wishing Spell ended. But one night, they learn the famed Enchantress has kidnapped their mother! Against the will of their grandmother, the twins must find their own way into the Land of Stories to rescue their mother and save the fairy tale world from the greatest threat it's ever faced.

13. Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge (goodreads
Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

14. Alienated- Melissa Landers (goodreads
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.
Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.
Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.
But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.
Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

I didn't actually mean to make this a "top 14 of 2014" but hey that's how it turned out! these were a few of my favorite books that I read in 2014!! what were some of your favorites? 


top ten tuesday- characters i'd like to travel with

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Each week, there is a different category that you must fill with ten things. This week was a free week, but my friend Violet over at Paper Worlds and Swirls of Ink did an interesting thing with her free week, so I am using her idea. I love traveling with all my heart, and I'd never thought about bringing along some of my favorite characters on my travels. I love the idea, so here we go!

1. Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor- She can speak tons of languages, she's already extremely well traveled, and she's just all around very cool under all types of pressures and circumstances. 

2. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling- Hermione has been one of my favorite characters since I was little, and I would love to be besties with her and travel around the world, seeing all the magical and muggle wonders. 

3. Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare- Will is my number one male protagonist, and he's well read and snarky and hilarious. Also, there's the accent. I would drag him around everywhere just to banter with him in many different countries.

4. Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Jason Grace, Piper McLean, Hazel Levesque, Frank Zhang, Leo Valdez,  Nico di Angelo and Reyna Ramirez-Arellano from Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan- I know that's an ensemble of characters, but I would love to hop on the Argo II and sail around the world with these kick-ass demigods. I love them all so much, and this is one cast of characters that I think is completely flawless. 

5. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas- She's one of the most amazing characters I've ever read, and I would love to spend time with her traveling to dangerous locales and hiking up like, live volcanoes and stuff like that. 

6. Cath and Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- one of my favorite couples, I feel like they would be so fun to go on a vacation with. Me and Cath could bond over our mutual love of fanfiction and Levi would be all around floppy and cute. 

7. Isadora and Ry from The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White- They speak every single language known to man and have godly families who could fly us all around for free. That's all I have to say.

8. Étienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins- He's French, British and also American, so there's the well-traveled factor, as well as, again, the accent, and also the fact that he's so utterly charming and cute that he will probably gain us favor with the locals. 

9. Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green- I mean, I know he's a bit pretentious, but I think that's the whole point of him. I think he'd be as excited as a five year old to see all the wonders around the world, and I would enjoy seeing his face light up as he experienced it all. 

10. Noah and Jude from I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson- This was probably my number one book of 2014, and I find these twins so interesting. I'd love to travel the world with their artistic minds. 

This was a fun tag to do! Let me know who your choices would be! 


a hello and some challenges

Hi Guys! *waves*

I know it's been quite a long while since I've posted here (almost a year, if we're all being honest with ourselves), but I am back! 2014 was a huge year in my personal life, and I just basically knew that I wouldn't be able to dedicate the time needed to running this blog.

But it's a new year, and I've decided to try and come back! I have really missed putting all my feelings and opinions out here, and I have read A LOT of good books over the past year. All that being said, I don't know if I can promise very consistent posts, but I am going to try my best to balance this with a busy schedule!

Now. Onto the fun stuff! To help myself weed through my TBR pile and also to branch out in directions I may not have experienced before, I have decided to join a few challenges.

  1.  2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge - Hosted by Bookish - My Goal: A Friendly Hug (11-20 Reviews)- I chose a lower level so as to have less pressure to complete a lot of reviews. I like this challenge because it is comprised entirely of books that were released in 2014 or before, so they are easily accessible to most people. This challenge also helps me weed out my ever-growing TBR pile, which, frankly, is becoming a bit of an embarrassment.

2. 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge - Hosted by Hello, Chelly and Alexa Loves Books - My Goal: to read and review 7 fantasy books. I love a good fantasy book- some of my very favorite books of my entire life have been of this genre. However, they aren't something that I find I can just pick up at any time and fly through. I have to be in the mood for fantasy to really delve into their worlds. I love this challenge because I would like to be challenged to read more fantasy books, but I am still keeping a low number so that I have a better chance of meeting it! 

3. Pop Sugar's 2015 Reading Challenge- This isn't an official book blogging community challenge, but I came across it on tumblr and I thought it would be an excellent way to try and expand my horizons. I don't know that I will check all the boxes on this list, but each time I do I will try and post a review about it. 
80% Read the Printed Word!