Tuesday, June 30, 2015

top ten tuesday: best of 2015 (so far)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, where each week we have a different themed list of fun bookish things! This week's theme is: "June 30: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015," which is really difficult for me, because I have really been having a spectacular reading year so far! But I did manage to narrow it down to ten, so here we go!


1. Heir of Fire – Sara J Maas

This was the first book I finished in 2015, and if that isn't getting the year off to a kick-ass start, I don't know what is. This third installment in the Throne of Glass series definitely solidified it as one of my all-time favorite series, it's just so kick-ass and amazing, and I cannot wait for the fourth book, which comes out in September. If you haven't jumped on this bandwagon yet, do yourself a favor and read these books!


2. The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

I'd heard amazing things about this before I started it, and it definitely lived up to the hype. I absolutely love everything having to do with Greek mythology and stories, and I liked that this was a retelling, but it actually does take place in ancient Greece. I loved the take on Achilles and Patroclus, I felt that this book really humanized them in a way I hadn't seen before. I have a full review of this HERE

3. A Thousand Pieces of You – Claudia Gray

The multiverse and a love that spans dimensions... this is one of the most unique stories I've read this year for sure, and also one of my absolute favorites. This book has some absolutely breathtaking settings, as the characters travel from dimension to dimension, and that was a big plus for me with this one. Also, the love story is just so dang adorable, I couldn't put this one down. I have a full review HERE


4. Mosquitoland – David Arnold

A completely unexpected gem, for me at least. I wasn't expecting to love this one at all, but it was incredible. The narration was, dare I say, poignant, and I connected to the characters and their struggles right away. I love Mim Malone, and the fact that the adventures she has in this book are utterly ridiculous just adds to its charm. I was completely taken in by the spell that this book weaves, and I know I will be going back to this one again and again. I have a full review HERE

5. A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab 

This was one of my most highly anticipated books of the entire year, because I was so impressed with the description, and I had heard amazing things about V.E. Schwab. It definitely lived up to the hype. I loved the magical world, with multiple Londons layered on top of each other, each more fantastic than the last. I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those epic series, and I can't wait for the next book. Full review HERE.


6. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

One of only three contemporaries on this list, this one was probably the most fun I had reading a book all year. I actually listened to the audiobook, and that probably contributed to how hilarious it was, but I seriously loved it. Simon's voice is so real, like I could actually picture one of my friends saying what he was saying, and I loved the cast of characters that surrounded him. Definitely a must read! Full review HERE.


7. An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

The world of this novel is the thing that really drew me in when I first started it. It is incredibly well-developed, without ever making you read pages and pages of tedious world building. The plot had me on my toes through the entire novel, there was never a place where I felt ok putting the book down for awhile. I encourage you to get swept away in this incredible setting, because this series is going to be amazing, I guarantee. I have a full review HERE.

8. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas

You know that I'm obsessed with Sarah J Maas when she has two books on this list, in two different series. This is actually my perfect novel, as I have mentioned before. It is a beauty and the beast retelling, combined with fae lore and all of the badass girls and sexy dudes. I am obsessed with this book, so I encourage you all to read it, for my sanity, because I don't think I will rest until everyone has read this amazing novel. Full review HERE.

9.The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh

I wasn't even planning on reading this book. I thought it looked good, but it wasn't something that immediately captured my attention. However, upon the recommendation of SO MANY people, I had to finally cave and join the hype. And let me tell you, I am so glad that I did. This book is so different, everything from the setting to the hints of magic to the main protags. I loved every single second of it, and I think that everyone could find something to love in this one too. Full review HERE.

10. The Start of Me and You – Emery Lord

This is my summery romance novel of this list, even though it is also much deeper than just a summer romance novel, but I digress. I cannot express how much I loved the relationships in this book, whether they were familial, friendship-y or romantic, they were all very compelling and real to me. I loved that the main character had to learn to move on from her past and accept herself before she could accept someone else into her heart. All very emotional stuff for me. Full review HERE.

&&& a bonus duo honorable mention
11-12. The Winner's Curse & The Winner's Crime – Marie Rutkoski  

what have you been loving this year??


Saturday, June 27, 2015

look at her go: reviewin' reviewin: the start of me and you

The Start of Me and You – Emery Lord

synopsis: Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

full review under the cut!  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

waiting on wednesday: Beyond the Kingdoms

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted over at Breaking the Spine, where each week everyone talks about a highly anticipated upcoming release!

This week's pick: Beyond The Kingdoms (Land of Stories #4) by Chris Colfer
release date: July 7

(obviously, since this is the fourth book in a series, there will be spoilers in this description!)

synopsis: Fairy tales are just the beginning.

The Masked Man is on the loose in the Land of Stories, and it's up to Alex and Conner Bailey to stop him...except Alex has been thrown off the Fairy Council, and no one will believe they're in danger.

With only the help of the ragtag group of Goldilocks, Jack, Red Riding Hood, and Mother Goose and her gander, Lester, the Bailey twins discover the Masked Man's secret scheme: He possesses a powerful magic potion that turns every book it touches into a portal, and he is recruiting an army of literature's greatest villains!

So begins a race through the magical Land of Oz, the fantastical world of Neverland, the madness of Wonderland, and beyond. Can Alex and Conner catch up to the Masked Man, or will they be one step behind until it's too late?

Fairy tales and classic stories collide in the fourth adventure in the bestselling Land of Stories series as the twins travel beyond the kingdoms!

I absolutely love this series, I think it is so clever and nicely crafted to appeal to small kids but also to be enjoyable for older people. I've been waiting since last summer for the fourth installment to come out, so I am super excited because it is so soon! If you haven't read this series I would highly recommend that you give it a try! 

What are your picks this week?


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

look at her go: reviewin' reviewin': the wrath and the dawn

The Wrath and the Dawn – RenĂ©e Ahdieh

synopsis: A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

full review under the cut! 

attending the Paper Towns Q&A

 This post is going to be something a little different from anything that I've ever done before, simply because the event that spurred this post is different from anything I've done before. It does still have to do with books and with this community and it was seriously one of the coolest experiences of my life, so I figured I share the story and some pictures here!

OK! So here is the story. As some of you may know, I am studying abroad in London this summer. So when John Green tweeted that he would be doing a Q&A for the Paper Towns movie here, I had to get tickets. The minute I saw that they were released, I snagged two for my roommate and I (FOR FREE might I add), and so we were excited just at the chance to see John from a distance. 

We got to the movie theater where the event was being held about four hours early, because we figured, if we're going to do this, we might as well go all out. We were about 15 people from the front of the queue, and about 4 hours later, everyone is antsy to get inside. There are dudes with huge cameras filming us in line and doing mini interviews with some people, and its just all very exciting. 

Finally, they started letting us in. They let in the first probably thirty people before anyone else, and at first we couldn't figure out why, but then, standing there in the lobby of the theater, was John Green himself!!! He was taking pictures and signing copies of the book and it was seriously so surreal. I have loved and looked up to John for over five years now, and to be meeting him was something that I've only dreamed about. He was seriously so nice, taking the time to really talk to every single person who met him, and meeting him just made me love him even more. 

After all of that excitement, we got seated in the theater. My roommate and I were dead center, second row, which was awesome, and after a bit, the hosts, who were youtube stars Dan and Phil (danisnotonfire and amazingphil), came out to introduce the night. We got to see a 20 minute sneak peek of the movie (the prank scene!) and then John came out and started answering questions. 

About halfway through, they were talking about Nat Wolff, aka Q, and then all of a sudden, Nat himself popped out, which was unexpected to say the least. After a while of Nat and John answering questions, Cara Delvigne, aka Margo Roth Speigleman, came out as well! 

Everyone there was so lovely, and they were all answering the questions in a really thoughtful and well-spoken manner. Cara is gorgeous, as is to be expected, and hilarious as well. She wouldn't stop messing with Nat and John. They answered questions for about an hour, and it was seriously just so surreal. I mean, John Green is the most famous person I've ever met, and I have never in my life been less than two feet away from a supermodel? It was crazy fun, and I hope everyone gets a chance to experience something like this with their favorite author as well. (also here is a gpoy of me in John's instagram post lol)

It was an amazing night!


top ten tuesday: the past five years

 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, where each week we have a themed list of ten books/authors/etc. This week's theme is "June 23: In honor of 5 years of Top Ten Tuesday ( our first Top Ten Tuesday debuted June 21, 2010) -- My Ten Favorite Top Ten Topics We've Ever Done In The Past 5 Years." Though I haven't been posting for five years, I have had a lot of Top Ten Tuesdays just in 2015 that I have loved answering! So here are my Top Ten Top Tens (mouthful?) with links to my posts! 

1.  Top Ten Favorite Heroines – Since I have a deep abiding love for our badass book heroines, this was probably my favorite Top Ten post to do.

2. Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like _______ – I like the open ended-ness of this one! I ended up doing books for people who like to travel. 

3. Top Ten Books From My Childhood – This one was fun because it had me going way back into the archives of my mind, and I even remembered some books that I loved when I was a kid that I've forgotten about now!

4. Top Ten Characters You'd Like to Check in With – This one was fun because I do think about my favorite characters sometimes and what they'd be doing after their printed story ends. 

5. Top Ten Books I'd Love To See As Movies/TV Shows – Considering the Excitement we all feel when a new movie or tv show book adaptation is announced, this one was fun to think about. 

6. Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors – Who doesn't love talking about all of their favorite authors? 

7. Top Ten Books I'd Read If I Had a Book Club – I like this idea, it made me think about books that I love that I would want to read with other people, books with lots of things to discuss and argue about, books with deeper meaning, etc. 

8. Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike in a Romance – Five likes, five dislikes, it was fun to think of some of my favorite tropes in romance and even more fun to tear down the ones I HATE. 

9. Top Ten Beachy Reads – Maybe its because I'm really enjoying this summer, but I loved doing this summer themed tag. 

10. Favorite Books of the Last Three Years– Three years ago was when I joined Goodreads and really started getting involved in the online book community, so they bring back all of the good memories and I loved thinking over all my bookish adventures.

I truly love Top Ten Tuesday– it is a fun part of my week where I just get to chat to lots of people about some of my favorite books and authors. I'm so thankful for it! 


Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Liebster Award

I was recently nominated for The Liebster Award by Olivia over at Fluttering Pages. Thank you so much for thinking of me, Olivia!! I'm really excited to answer your questions :) These are the rules of the award:
1 - Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
2 - Answer the 10 questions given by the nominator.
3 - Nominate and link 10 bloggers (with less than 200 followers).
4 - Notify all the bloggers you've nominated.
5 - Create 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.
1. If you could only ever read books from ONE genre, which genre would it be?
This is a really hard one for me, considering I get very much in the mood for one genre or another, and I can't read anything else but that particular one for awhile, but I'm going to say fantasy/adventure. I think a lot of books fall under that umbrella, and even though I love contemporary and thrillers etc etc, I don't think I could live without fantasy. 
2. If you could change places with one fictional character for a day, who would it be?
Lara Jean Song Covey from the To All the Boys I've Loved Before duology. She's so adorable and sweet, and she has an amazing family (and boyfriend?? lol) plus she's an amazing baker and scrapbooker. I just think living her life would be so fun. 
3. What is your biggest bookish pet peeve?
Cover changes for sure. I'm one of those people who is particular about how the shelf looks, and when a series changes covers halfway through, I just get like irrationally angry, especially if I liked the original covers more. 
4. Who is your favorite fictional couple?
Either Tessa and Will from The Infernal Devices trilogy or Levi and Cath from Fangirl. I can never get enough of these pairings... even after years. 
5. Favorite series of all time?
I'm going to go ahead and say Harry freaking Potter (which has to be sung) because where would any of us be without Harry and co? Some runner ups are Percy Jackson, The Infernal Devices and Throne of Glass. 
6. Is there a particular book that got you into blogging?
I wouldn't say there was a particular book, just that there was a point where I'd read so many amazing books that I was bursting over with things to say about them. Also, my friend Violet was who really got me into this world. 
7. If you could meet any author, who would it be?  And what would you say?
OK EXCITEMENT! Because two days ago my answer would've been John Green and that I would tell him how much both his books and videos have meant to me for so many years, but then I ACTUALLY DID MEET HIM on Friday night and it was magical and wonderful. (a post about that will be up soon.) Post this meeting, however, I'd have to say Sara J Maas or Rainbow Rowell. I have so much respect for these two ladies, and I love absolutely everything they write, so I'd love to just get some advice (both for writing and life) from them and just chat. 
8. What other things (except for reading) do you like to do?
Hmm. Writing (always), baking (to feed my sweet tooth), listening to music and finding new artists, going to concerts, sitting and people watching in coffee shops, traveling. 
9. What is your favorite type of music and who are your favorite bands/artists?
I am willing to give any type of music a try. My favorite artists are Mumford & Sons, Florence + the Machine, The 1975, Bastille, Ben Howard, Ed Sheeran, Walk the Moon, Hozier, George Ezra, Of Monsters and Men, and The Head and the Heart. 
10. What books are you most looking forward to reading for the rest of 2015? 
 I did a TTT post about this two weeks ago, so I'll just copy paste from there! QUEEN OF SHADOWS! (by Sara J Maas) Winter by Marissa Meyer, Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray, Armada by Ernest Cline, A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis, The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Da Vinci's Tiger by Laura Malone Elliott, and A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnson. 

Thank you so much for nominating me Olivia! These are my ten questions. 

1. What is one book or series that you think changed your life?
2. If you were a writer, what kind of books would you want to write?
3. Do you have a preference of time period to read about in Historical Fiction?
4. What is your favorite place that you've ever been?
5. What book do you think is perfect for a rainy day?
6. What genre have you just not been able to get into?
7. What are the books you recommend to people who aren't that into reading?
8. Best book of 2015 so far?
9. Last book that made you laugh? Last one that made you cry?
10. What is the number one thing on your bucket list?

I am nominating
Corinne: Bookish Adventures 


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