Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Read So Far This Year

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Excluding the rereads this year, here are the books I've enjoyed the most so far.

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
2. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
5. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
6. My Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten

7. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
8. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

9. How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer
10. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Friday, June 26, 2015

Notable Quotable: Sarah J. Maas (#79)

"The music folded over itself like batter being poured from a bowl, one note atop another..." 
     --A Court of Thorns and Roses 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#44)

hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows Reviews.

If you had to use one, which Unforgivable Curse would you use?

None of them.  But for the sake of the question, I'm going to go with the Imperius curse.  I'd like to think I could never do the Killing curse or the Cruciatus curse.  Anything that's going to cause real immediate harm to a person makes me squeamish.  I don't want to be the source of anyone's pain.   The Imperius Curse seems to be the least evil of them all in terms of immediate pain and suffering.  Yes, it can be used for evil very easily, you are controlling them after all.  I won't do that.  If someone force my hand I would make a person dance or do something silly, but nothing that would put them or anyone else in harms way.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Little Bee

by Chris Cleave
published: Simon and Schuster 2010 (originally 2008)
pages: 266

 Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee, has just been released from a British immigration detention center where she spent two years of her life.  She has now made it her mission to find the only people she knows on the island, Sarah and Andrew.  Sarah is a well to-do young mother who has a son who won't take off his batman costume.  These two women met once upon a time on a Nigerian beach and now two years later their lives cross again. They will finally have a moment to bring closure to the horrific events that happened that fateful day.

This book was quite a slow read for me.  It took me a very long time to actually get into the story and to care about the characters. Frankly, I ended up not liking most of them anyway.  I'm not sure how people can like some of these characters, though maybe the point is that you're not supposed to like them.  Not all of them were despicable but they were all broken in their own ways, some by their own choices and some by the choices of others.

This book is definitely character driven and I usually like character driven novels, but I didn't connect with any of the characters.  Little Bee is by far my favorite character, to say she is probably the only character I liked in this book, well her and the 4-year-old boy, Charlie.

One of the things I actually liked was the way grief was portrayed in this book.  Each character grieved in their own way, whether is was refusing to take off a batman costume, going to a new country, becoming guilt-ridden over secrets, or pulling away from family.  Grief was palpable throughout the story.  If anything this book shows the reader that there isn't one specific and acceptable way to grieve.  There was ways to grieve and not hurt others, which is ideal, but not always how grief takes form.

I enjoyed the ending of this book as well.  It was very open ended; anything could have happened after we leave the characters.  Most the time I don't like not knowing what's going to happen next, but it fit this book really well.  The lack of closure is a consistent theme through out this book, so I was glad that the book ended the way it did.

This book is very well written, but it just wasn't really my cup of tea.

Stars: 2.5/5 


"Ambitious and fearless...Cleave immerses the reader in the worlds of his characters with an unshakable confidence."
     --THe Guardian (UK)

"Little Bee will blow you away.... Both surprising and inevitable, thoroughly satisfying if also heartrending."
     --The Washington Post

"One of the most vividly memorable and provocative characters in recent contemporary fiction.... Cleave paces the story beautifully, lacing it with wit, compassion, and, even at the darkest moments, a searing ray of hope."
     --The Boston Globe

An Alphabet Soup Challenge 2015 book. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite TTT Topics

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Seasonal TBR list - I love making lists, but I really love making lists about books.  I enjoy seeing what other people want to read each season and how the tastes change depending on how

2. Most Anticipate Releases - This is possibly my favorite posts because this is the main way I find out which books are coming out.  I probably read 100 of these posts when we do them.

3. Quote Lists - I love quotes and what better way to get a list of everyone's favorite quotes!

4. TV/Movie adaptation - It's so interesting to see which books people think would make great adaptations.

5. Bookish Item - I love bookish stuff, but I can't find all of it.  I love looking at these lists and finding new awesome bookish things for me to own.

6. Fictional Crushes - There are just some characters I crush on hard and I love seeing which character have grabbed hold of the hearts of others.

7. Authors that deserve more recognition - I love giving shout outs to authors that people should be reading.  It's like one giant book recommendation.

8. Memorable Secondary Characters - Characters are my favorite thing about books, and while I usually enjoy the main characters my favorite characters are the secondary ones, the sidekicks if you will.

9. Best/Worst Series end - I enjoy reading series, but there is nothing more irritating than spending all that time reading to have the series end poorly.  These list were entertaining but also gave me a heads up about some series I had been contemplating.

10. Goals and Resolutions - This list is always great because it gets me thinking about what I want to accomplish in the year bookishly and otherwise.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Notable Quotable: Jackson Pearce (#78)

"I like libraries.  It's a comfort that knowledge can be saved for so long.  That what we learn can be passed on." 
     --Sisters Red

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#43)

hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows Reviews.

Which Death Eater would you be?

Frankly, I wouldn't want to be a Death Eater, but if I had to choose I think the obvious choice is Bellatrix.  It would be so interesting living in the brain of someone that crazy and devoted.  I'm not sure I'd actually want to be her, but she would definitely be interesting.  Barty Crouch Jr. is another one of those extraordinarily crazy Death Eaters that I wonder where the fanatic nature comes from in these Death Eaters.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer 2015 TBR

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

In addition to last weeks books that are coming out this summer...SUMMER TBR! Let's do this:

1. The 100 by Kass Morgan - This book has been on quite a few of my lists lately but I've been loving the tv series and I need to know what the book has to say about the characters I love. (Or even if they are in the book...)

2. Road to Civil War by J. Michael Straczynski and Civil War by Mark Millar - I've been saying I'd read Civil War for ages, but I've been in denial.  If I don't read it, it doesn't happen.  Now I own Road to Civil War which means I have the prelude.  And they're filming the movie, so all arrows point to just read it already!

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - I'm finally going to pick up this classic this summer and I'm really excited about it!

4. Rook by Sharon Cameron - I got this book earlier this year when it came out and I'm ready for a good post apocalyptic book.  Hopefully, this will be the one!

5. Splintered by A.G. Howard - It's a retelling of Alice in Wonderland and you know I love retellings.  Alice is one of my favorite childhood stories and I've never read an Alice retelling.  I'm hoping it'll be really good! Plus, it's the beginning of a series.

6. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith - I've been hanging onto this book for a time when I miss reading new things by *coughJ.K.Rowlingcough*  and this book actually works really well with one of the challenges I'm doing this year so I'm going to read it!

7. Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill - This book sounds like a cute contemporary story, something I can fly through and enjoy.  I love my go to options, but every once in a while you need a good escape book and this book could be that!

8. Landlines by Rainbow Rowell - I've been reading everything by her that I can get my hands on and this is no different.  So far I've only read her YA books, but I'm excited to venture into the adult books that she has written.

These last two books were part of a gift to myself for completing my goals during the 2014 Booktube-A-Thon.  We've just gotten the dates for this year: July 27th-August 2nd.  I've decided to read all these books so that if/when I reach my goals this year I can get myself a victory gift again.

9. Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King - I got two A.S. King books last year and loved the one I have read.  I'm looking forward to diving into another one of her books.  I hope it's as good as Vera Dietz.

10. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - I'm told this series and the author are fantastic and it's about time I check it out for myself!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Notable Quotable: Amy Poehler (#77)

"Saying "yes" doesn't mean I don't know how to say no, and saying "please" doesn't mean I am waiting for permission."
     --Yes Please

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#42)

hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows Reviews.

You have to battle a Dragon from the Triwizard Tournament.  Which one would you choose?

I wouldn't ever want to battle a dragon.  The idea of that is rather terrifying.  I think it would be cool to look at a dragon, to observe a dragon in it's natural environment, to even touch a dragon, but not to antagonize one for sport, if you will.  I'm very comfortable with the idea of letting other people try to battle dragons.  However, if I had to I think, I'd go for the Welsh Green or the Chinese Fireball.  Those two seem to be the smallest and potentially the least fierce opponent.  I would stay away for the Hungarian Horntail altogether, but the other two might be manageable.  (She says with a laugh.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sisters Red

by Jackson Pearce
published: Little Brown Books, 2012 (originally 2010)
pages: 352

The March sisters are bound together by love, fate, and the Fenris, werewolves of a very malevolent nature.  Scarlett has an obsession with ridding the world of these God-forsaken creatures, making it save for everyone, but especially her sister.  Rosie hunts because she has to, but her interest lies in discovering new things, living life to the fullest.  Neither are tested by their true passions until Scarlett's old hunting partner comes back to town and they all set out to take down the Fenris once and for all.

I haven't read a lot of urban fantasy but I thought this story had a strong anchor in how the fantasy elements met the real world.  I loved the supernatural villains, the Fenris.  They were creepy and slimy, great evil characters.  I loved how they preyed on girls in the book.  I thought that was very interesting and clever.

I had a couple issues with this book, but the one that bothered me the most was the fact that I saw the big plot twist from a mile away.  I called it like 50 or so pages in jokingly, but then I realized shortly after that the story was going in exactly that direction.  I don't pick up on clues like that very easily, so I was a bit disappointed that I figured it out so soon in the story.  It didn't stop me from finishing the book, but I wish there had been a little bit of the plot twist that I didn't know from guessing.

I also wasn't a huge fan of the romance in this book.  I thought it was played very well in the beginning.  Boy notices girl, girl notices boy.  They dance around the idea of them as a couple for a while.  But in the time frame that the book takes place it's only a couple of weeks and it surprised me how fiercely they loved each other.  It seemed slightly out of sync with the rest of the book.  Plus, I thought there was going to be this really awkward love triangle, so I was on the fence about the romance anyway.

I liked Scarlett and Rosie, two very different characters and yet they were very similar somethings.  The story was told from their points of view, so it was cool to see the same situation through their eyes.  They had very different opinions about how life should be lived and the responsibility they have to people around them.

This is the first Jackson Pearce book I've read, but it won't be the last.  I'm interested to see how she has adapted other fairytales in her other books.

Stars: 3/5


"This well-written, high-action adventure grabs readers and never lets go...A satisfying read with a fantastic cover."
     --School Library Journal, starred review

"Unfolds with steadily increasing tension and unexpected twists to a shocking climax...may well appeal to Melissa Marr's readers and teens who like their fantasy on the gritty side."
     --Kirkus Review

"[Sisters Red is] a sweet and terrifying story I  couldn't put down.  I would like to apply for the role of March sister number three, please."
     --A. S. Kings, author of The Dust of 100 Dogs

A 2015 TBR Pile Challenge Book.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases Part 2

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1.  Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson (June 23) - I've been wanting to pick this comic up since it started being published and now that there are almost three volumes out I think it's time.  I need some more amazing female super heroes in my life and Ms. Marvel seems like a good place to start.

2. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (July 14) - Ever since I read To Kill A Mockingbird all I've wanted was more from Harper Lee.  She has a way with words and I am so excited to read this book, like over the moon excited!  I know there might be some shade going around, but it won't stop me from picking up this book.

3. Mechanica by Betsy Cornwall (August 4) - This was on my list at the beginning of the year, but I'm putting it on here again.  I love retellings and this one sounds so good!  I will definitely be reading this as soon as it comes out!

4. Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (August 4) - I have only read one Rebecca Stead book, if this is anything like When You Reach Me then I will be a very happy camper.  It's about three friends who's only rule is that they never fight.  I'm wondering how long that will last.  Whatever this book is about I'm sure it'll be a great story.

5. Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith (September 1) - This book sounds either especially cute, or heartbreaking, but either way it should be a touching love story.  I've read her first book and enjoyed that, so I've decided it's time to pick up another one of her books.

6. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (September 22) - There's just something about having a giant cat on the cover of this book that makes me want to read it.  I have no idea what it's about other than that.  I do trust that the writing is good because her last book one the Newbery.  I'm ready to read this!

7. The Rose Society by Marie Lu (October 6) - Okay so this is coming out in October which means I need to get on my game and read The Young Elites because this series sounds so good and I know I'm going to want to read this book as soon as I finish the first!

8. Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (October 20) - I don't know anything about this book other than the cover is absolutely gorgeous and it's really intriguing.  It definitely makes me want to find out what it's all about.

9. Hello? by Liza Wiemer (October 27) - This book is told from five different points of view, which I think will be really interesting.  Everyone as a different story but they are all connected through a phone call.  It sounds like it's going to be really good.

10. Winter by Marissa Meyer (November 10) - This is by far the most anticipated book of the year and it's slowly getting closer to its publishing date.  I am so excited to read this concluding book to this series.  I cannot wait!!!! (please excuse the excessive punctuation.)

11. Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom (December 1) - All I really know about this book book is that main character is blind, but she doesn't let that stop her and she doesn't let it become an excuse for people to treat her differently.  This could be a really good book.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#41)

hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows Reviews.

Who would I take to the Yule Ball?

Without a doubt I would ask Neville Longbottom if he would go with me to the Yule Ball.  He is so sincere, he even practiced dancing so that he wouldn't step on Ginny's feet when he took her.  I love that Neville is a gentleman and that he cares so much.  He's the kind of guy that I would have a lot of fun dancing with at the Yule Ball.  He's unafraid too look a fool and it's a beautiful thing.  Neville and I would have so much fun!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses

by Sarah J. Maas
Published: Bloomsbury Children's, 2015
pages: 416

Feyre is the only reason her family has survived their recent years of poverty.  However, when she accidentally kills a Faerie while out hunting, she must face the consequences of her actions.  She is dragged to a mysterious land she knows only from stories and nightmares.  Feyre discovers that her captor isn't an animal, but Tamlin, a High Lord of the faeries.  As her feelings for him begin to change, the looming threat against the faerie world grows.  It's up to Feyre to stop it, or lose Tamlin and the others forever.

I love Beauty and the Beast, but before this, I had never read a retelling of this fairytale.  Man, I chose the perfect book to read for retelling.  I loved reading this book, knowing a little bit about what was going to happen, but not how it was going to happen.  One of my favorite things about retellings is the incredible way in which authors take a familiar story and make it their own.  Right from the beginning this book exuded originality.  I loved the discord between the mortal and faerie realms.  The history between those two world was a perfect spring board for this story.

I loved that the "beast" part of the curse involved ornate masquerade masks rather than a true beast transformation.  It was a nice nod to that aspect of the story. The subtlety of the curse in this book was brilliant.  Because the story is told from the point of view of Feyre, the reader is just as blind to any hints Tamlin and his court might be dropping about the curse, which makes for a great revelation when Feyre starts putting clues together.

The characters in this book are so fascinating.  I absolutely love Lucein, for his charm and humor and his undying loyalty to Tamlin.  I love his snarkiness and his quick wit of exchange with almost everyone he meets. Feyre's character development is probably the most intense because the story unfolds through her eyes.  We get to watch her go from blindly hating the faeries to slowly falling in love with one of the strongest Fae.  It's entertaining when the narrator gets confused about their emotions.  Tamlin and Feyre's relationship is beautiful.  I love how their interactions slowly change over the course of the book.  It's a beautiful thing to watch people fall in love and be stubborn about it at the same time.

This was a great beginning to a new series that I will follow to the end!  Amazing story telling by Sarah J. Maas. (P.S. there's a map and it's cool!)

Stars: 4/5


"A gorgeously written tale as lush and romantic as it is ferocious.  Absolutely spellbinding."
     --Alexandra Bracken, New York Times bestselling author

"Simply dazzles...the clamor for a sequel will be deafening... Maas' Throne of Glass series has been a smash hit...this new series is primed to follow in its footsteps.
     --starred review

"A dazzling world, complex characters and sizzling romance.  Feyre is a charming heroine with a perfect amount of flaws and strengths, and her chemistry with Tamlin is wonderfully tangible."
     --Top Pick

An Eclectic Reader 2015 Challenge book.
A Full House Reading Challenge book.
An Alphabet Soup Challenge book.