Friday, May 29, 2015

#TBRTakedown TBR

So the awesome Shannon (@leaninglights) is hosting a readathon next week to help decrease the ever growing TBR. The readathon goes from June 1st to June 7th and I will be participating! There are five challenges to go along with this readathon and they are:

1. A book that's been on your TBR shelf over a year!
2. An unread sequel sitting on your TBR shelf.
3. A first book in a series on your TBR shelf.
4. An "out of your comfort zone" book on le TBR shelf!
5. A book from your most recent book haul!

Honestly this was a hard TBR to decide on, but I have chosen 5 books to fit these challenges.

For a book that has been on my TBR over a year I'm going with Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I've started this book twice now and haven't finished it, so I just need to finish it and this is a great opportunity.

As for an unread sequel, I'm going with Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter. I loved the first one so now is a good time to read the 2nd one.

The first book in a series one is hard because I have so many but I'm going with Sekret by Lindsay Smith. I recently won it in a giveaway, so I really want to read it. Plus spies and Russia, it should be great!

My out of my comfort zone book is A Letter to My Mom, I got this for review from BloggingForBooks and need to read. Again this readathon is a great time to do that.

Finally, for a recent book haul, I really want to read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. So I'm tentatively going to say it for this challenge, but I'm going to read the other 4 books first and then determine if I will have time to finish Outlander. If I do not think I will, I will probably pick up The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen or Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Book Haul #10- Too many books

I have not posted a book haul since March 10th, so it has been awhile and I've accumulated way too many books in that short time period.

I'm going to do this in groups of when I got them. There are a total of 29 books. Links to Goodreads as always!

The Fault in Our Stars (P4A Edition) by John Green, This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl, Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam, Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck, I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, and Walden and other Writings by Henry David Thoreau.

I bought myself the TFiOS, but my parents got me the other books!

Then I got my newest prized possession, these books are so gorgeous and I absolutely love them. Plus I got the box set for $26 dollars which was amazing! I know own 3 complete sets of HP books...

Next group was some new releases including: All the Rage by Courtney Summers, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (from the lovely TopianBooks), The Heir by Kiera Cass, and two copies of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (one of which I got signed when I met her!!!)

Then when we were on vacation in Alabama, my parents took be to a Books-a-Million (which we don't have where I live) and I got 4 new books thanks to them. I'm beyond ecstatic about the 20th Anniversary Edition of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I also got Icons by Margaret Stohl, The 100 by Kass Morgan, and Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick for $4 each!
Finally, I there were a few more books waiting for me when I got back from vacation, including an ARC I cannot wait to read! I bought myself the B&N Collector's Edition of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I was sent A Letter to My Mom from BloggingForBooks, I won Dorthory Must Die by Danielle Page, Sekret by Lindsay Smith in giveaways, and Catch Me When I Fall by Vicki Leigh in giveaways. And Novl sent me an ARC of Court of Fives by Kate Elliott!

That is it for this ridiculous book haul. My TBR currently sits at 64, so I'm hoping the summer lets me get this down quickly. Of these 29 books, I have read 14 already so that is something! What books have you gotten recently? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Teaser Tuesday #13- Betrayed

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you post a quote from a book you are currently reading. It is hosted by A Daily Rhythm.
“Remember, darkness does not always equate to evil, just as light does not always bring good.”
                                                          - Betrayed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Find the book here: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Let me know in the comments what book you are currently reading!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Lady Thief
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publication Date:  February 11th, 2014
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.
“His grin by the moon were wicked and handsome. 'Thief of my heart.'” - pg. 115
This book starts off about a month or so after the events of Scarlet. We see the aftermath of those events and how it affects everyone. We got Allan a Dale in this one and that made everything great. I really hope we get to see more of him in the last book of the trilogy. Especially once he joins up with the band and works with them rather than only with Scarlet.

This book was a lot of pain and suffering for both Scar and Robin and I did not appreciate that at all. And it set up the third book to be just as bad, if not worse. But it does look like the final book with be about more than just Nottinghamshire and cover more of England. 

There is not much I can say about this book because of spoilers, but I can say that I did prefer Scarlet to Lady Thief. I think this book definitely set up a lot of the series, and what is to come.  I definitely was not prepared for the secret that was revealed and I'm very intrigued to see how it plays out in the next book. 

The writing in this book was the same authentic style that I loved in Scarlet and I appreciated that it was continued in this book just as flawlessly as in the first.  

Let me know your thoughts on the book and the trilogy in the comments! I cannot wait to get my hands on Lion Heart.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Scarlet
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publication Date:  February 14th, 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Will Scarlet is good at two things: stealing from the rich and keeping secrets - skills that are in high demand in Robin Hood's band of thieves, who protect the people of Nottingham from the evil sheriff. Scarlet's biggest secret of all is one only Robin and his men know...that she is posing as a thief; that the slip of a boy who is fast with sharp knives is really a girl.

The terrible events in her past that led Scarlet to hide her real identity are in danger of being exposed when the thief taker Lord Gisbourne arrives in town to rid Nottingham of the Hood and his men once and for all. As Gisbourne closes in a put innocent lives at risk, Scarlet must decide how much the people of Nottingham mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles have the rare power to unsettle her. There is real honor among these thieves and so much more - making this a fight worth dying for.

I know what it's like when you can't get no one to listen to you. When what you say don't matter. I half think every girl knows what it's like to be silenced."
This was as good as I remembered. I absolutely love the story of Robin Hood. It has always resonated with me. I love both the BBC Show and the Disney movie, for me they both showcase the story in different ways. While Scarlet is a Robin Hood retelling, A. C. Gaughen puts her own flair on the story. The cast of characters is roughly the same, however he have Will Scarlet who is actually a girl. When this book begins it is only Robin and his lads that know Scarlet is actually a girl. 

First, I want to talk about the writing style. When you first start this book, it can be extremely off-putting because it sounds and looks wrong, but after a bit you get used to it and it is less noticeable. But I applaud A. C. Gaughen's ability to write so flawlessly and consistently in this Old English style. The writing is definitely authentic to the time period of the Crusades. While the writing is a small aspect overall, I loved the detail that went into making it authentic for the time period. 

As for the characters, I have a lot of thoughts. For Scarlet, she is definitely an extremely flawed character, there is a lot from her past that she is hiding from everyone. She is ashamed and blames herself for a lot of the outcomes. This hatred causes her to shut down and hide herself from everyone around her, even the ones who love her. While I respected Scarlet's desire to help save and protect the townspeople, her hatred and reasoning for it made her a weaker character in my mind. I also appreciated that she did not let the other guys tell her what to do and constantly protect her. 

Robin. Robin is one of those characters that you cannot help but love. He does everything for the people and takes any and all risks to keep them safe. While it was clear he loved Scarlet, I disliked the way he went about it. Calling her a whore and constantly ragging on her about John was really annoying.

John. He was definitely my least favorite character. He was overly flirtatious and totally obnoxious to Scarlet. Luckily the romance (and ridiculous love triangle) were such as small aspect of the book and my dislike of his character did not affect my overall enjoyment of the book.

Much. For me Much and Allan a Dale have always been my favorite outlaws. While we do not get to see Allan a Dale in this book, we do get Much. Much was one of the best "main" characters in this book. He does not have a big role but he is the voice of reason a lot and does give Scarlet someone to talk to and practice with.

Overall, this book was really enjoyable for me. There may be some flaws with the plot overall, but I love the adventure and the story. This book definitely leaves a lot of unanswered questions and I cannot wait to pick up Lady Thief.

First read April 2012

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Teaser Tuesday #12- NOS4A2

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you post a quote from a book you are currently reading. It is hosted by A Daily Rhythm.
“She breathed deeply of the scent of decaying fiction, disintegrating history, and forgotten verse, and she observed for the first time that a room full of books smelled like dessert: a sweet snack made of figs, vanilla, glue, and cleverness.”
                                                            - NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Find the book here: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Let me know in the comments what book you are currently reading!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Guest Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publication Date:  December 28th, 2006
Publisher: Speak
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.
The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” 
Today we have the first guest post. Looking for Alaska is my favorite John Green book and I finally got my friend Sara to read it. I also was able to get her to write a review about her thoughts. Here is her review:

The first thing I look for in a book is the character building. Whether it be love or hate I need to feel for the characters. I need them to be relatable even if I have nothing in common with them. This is where John Green excels. He does an exceptional job in capturing human nature within each of his characters. You can picture each one of them and know how they’ll react in a certain situation, or not, as was the case with Alaska, which is in itself a different type of beast. When it happens, you grieve. It’s sad. They’re your friends and you want to be there giving them all hugs. Honestly, I had no idea what was going to happen and I think it was better that way. The event was well done. It wasn’t flashy or in your face, it was real, it happened in a non-spectacular way, just as in real life.

Death is something that every human on this planet thinks of. It’s inevitable. The second thing I  appreciated was Pudge’s obsession with last words. This book has made me fascinated with last words. There is a lot of wisdom and irony associated with someone’s last words. Although for as much as he obsesses, I feel like there was a moment where he acknowledged that he didn’t know what the deceased’s last words were, but not as much as I thought he would. Either way I think it's an interesting take on further understanding human nature in general. How last words change in the situation: being in a state of knowing death is imminent or thinking you have more time. The shift from lighthearted to serious was more effective in the first half of the book and brought about more feeling, maybe because the character that created that shift wasn’t there in the second half and the memory alone wasn’t strong enough to bring it about. The person who’s story was the most serious and sad was gone, and I had a hard time having pity for people who were still living and had much better circumstances than the one they were grieving over.

Which leads into my only complaint: pace. The book starts off as an immediate page-turner. It’s upbeat, lighthearted, and made me laugh harder than I ever had at a book. You really feel as if you’re there and a little jealous because you know you’re not and wish you were. There’s a guilt trip, that takes them “Looking for Alaska”, that drives the second part of the book to completion, I just didn’t get the same type of page-turning feeling I got through the first part. It tried to be serious, but I didn’t get enough transition as from the first part to really feel the remorse. There wasn’t enough juxtaposition in the mood. I felt more as if I was skimming; it started to go in circles and I was ready for it to be over. When they discovered the real reason at the end I felt as if I didn’t care anymore. I’m glad the characters found it for closure, because again I did care about them thanks to John Green’s excellent character building, but the only person I felt sorry for the whole time was the deceased, because of their life and the fact that they were dead while everyone else was still alive.

If anything it taught me to be happy for every moment I have and what great circumstances I have had the luxury of growing up in. I will admit that I am a very horrible person when it comes to dealing with death. So I feel anyone with a soul would appreciate the second half of the book. I just don’t have one, so take it for what you will. My favorite part was the final prank/tribute because she was there, in every aspect. I applaud the think-tank that is John Green that thought that one up. I cried because I was laughing so hard and cried because it was sad. The funniest part was also the saddest for me, and I think that in itself takes a great writer to pull off. I wish he would’ve ended it with that, with some comment about it being her last words, but I’m not the author.

Above all this book makes you think. Which is the most important thing we as a society need to do. That, and read more books, with the passion of Alaska Young.

So there you have it. I  am hoping to convince Sara to read and write more reviews so the blog has thoughts other than mine. I also would be open to having someone else have a guest review if they wanted.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date:  April 28th, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Giveaway via Topian Books
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and pulse-pounding read. Set in a rich, high-fantasy world with echoes of ancient Rome, it tells the story of a slave fighting for her family and a young soldier fighting for his freedom.

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
“This life is not always what we think it will be. You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.” - pg. 65
 I have so many different thoughts about this book. Between the writing, the characters, and the worlds, I was in love. Sabaa Tahir is an amazing writer and I cannot wait to see what else we get from her. As for this book, An Ember in the Ashes has been highly, highly hyped, even more so than Red Queen. As since it is a YA fantasy that is also a stand alone (as of right now), I was even more excited for it.

As for the actual book, we start out right away with action. I was immediately pulled into the Laia's family struggles and the life of the Scholar while also feeling incredibly bad for Elias and what he goes through as a Mask for the Empire. This story is told so well with the alternating perspectives and also with how the two stories eventually intertwine.

I have been really lucky this month so far with reading really amazing and well done books, and I'm so glad this book did not disappoint. I was a little bit worried about the hype ruining this book for me. But the action, the fantasy elements, and the political ramifications of the book were so engrossing, I was pulled right in and spent most of the day finishing the book. I just had to know how it would end.

And I know I said it is a stand alone as of right now, but I have to say that while it ends with many things wrapped up, I need so much more. This story is by no means done, there are still so many storylines that were not finished and still so many unanswered questions about the fate of both the Empire and the characters, especially Elias and Laia. I really hope we get at least a sequel of this book because I really want more!

I'd also like to add how absolutely stunning the book is in person. Between the cover and the initials under the dust jacket, it is gorgeous. However, the best part for me is the end pages with the maps. You have the Empire in the front and Blackcliff in the back and they are gorgeous black and white pictures. 

Let me know if you've read the book and what your thoughts are in the comments! Or if you plan to read the book!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review: The Clouded Sky by Megan Crewe

Title: The Clouded Sky
Author: Megan Crewe
Publication Date:  May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: Copy via NetGalley
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: When seventeen-year-old Skylar escapes the time-bending Enforcers who secretly control Earth, her troubles have just begun. She and her friend Win take refuge on Win’s home space station with his fellow rebels, but the fate of Skylar’s planet still spins out of her control.

To avoid detection, Skylar poses as the Earthling “pet” of Win’s rival, an arrogant boy named Jule. Homesick and faced with a cool reception from the other rebels, she throws herself into the group’s mission: assembling a weapon to disable Earth’s restrictive time field. Gradually, Skylar’s skill for detail gains respect—even from Jule, who is more vulnerable than he lets on.

Yet challenges spring from every side. Not only must Sky navigate the muddy waters of romance, but suspicions of betrayal grow among the rebels as their work narrowly misses sabotage.

In the latest in Megan Crewe’s Earth & Sky series, can Skylar expose the traitor before time runs out and Earth is destroyed?
“Working together, we can become something so incredible that we'll set all our lives on a completely different course.”
While I enjoyed this sequel more than the first book, Earth & Sky, the writing was still a weakness for me. The characters gained some depth, but it was still flat overall. I did fly through the book since it was a quick read. This book also spanned a wider period of time which I appreciated. The entirety of Earth & Sky focused on basically a week.

I really enjoyed seeing life on Kemya or more specifically on the ship. There were so many new things that Megan Crewe added to the world. And we got to see even more of how much Kemya hates Earth and the Earthlings. I also appreciated how much more depth Skylar got in this book. She went from this very obsessed paranoid girl in the first book to someone willing to do whatever it takes to protect and save Earth. I appreciated her as a character much more in this book than the previous.

This book ended in a way that makes me really anxious to read the final book in the trilogy, but also extremely weary about what the final installment entails. I have a feeling that the third book may be incredibly drawn out to be a full length novel. While the ending was exciting and not what I was expecting, there were many other plot points that were incredibly predictable. I was able to guess pretty early on who the traitor was. I also found it incredibly convenient how easily Skylar learned the new language.

The only other complaint I have is the ridiculous inclusion of a love triangle. I do not think it was necessary at all. There are some books that this works for, but for the majority of them, it does not. For me, the love triangle was not compelling at all. I'm really hoping the love triangle does not persist in the next book.

Overall, this was a stronger installment than Earth & Sky, but I still had some issues with some of the plot choices and character development. I love the premise of this book and the overall story, but the writing falls flat for me. That being said when the final book in the trilogy does come out, I will probably read it to see what happens.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are if you've read the book or if you plan to read it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Meeting Sarah J. Maas!!!

So I got to meet one of my favorite authors of all time yesterday, Sarah J. Maas. She is so amazing and such a down-to-earth person. She is a great conversationalist and some of her stories are absolutely fascinating. The other thing that really struck me was how much of a fangirl she is, just like the rest of us.

I was so nervous to meet her, but she totally made me feel comfortable and talked to my roommate and I for a decent amount of time. We even talked about what I'm studying at school and whatnot. I'm a little sad I could only get three books signed, which meant I had to choose between the four Throne of Glass books. But I decided on Heir of Fire and Crown of Midnight because those are my  favorites (especially CoM)!

So if you didn't notice, she initially spelled my name wrong in ACOTAR and I now have an the best  signed book. But yeah, that was one of the best evenings meeting one of my favorite authors. Now I just need to meet Pierce Brown and Andrew Smith!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: All The Rage by Courtney Summers

Title: All The Rage
Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: April 14th, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: From the publisher
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?
He covers her mouth. That’s how you get a girl to stop crying; you cover her mouth until the sound dies against your palm.” 
FYI, there is a huge trigger warning for this book. It contains abuse, bullying, and rape. This review consists of my initial thoughts right after I finished the book. I do not typically right reviews right away, but with this book, I decided it was important to have my initial thoughts in the review.

I do not even know what to say about this book. It was beyond infuriating and so real. The writing was beautiful and at the same time hauntingly disturbing. The fact that what Romy went through in this book is something so many people go through everyday is disgusting. This book is accurately named and while I made me so angry and upset to read, at the same time I loved it. This book is important. It showcases something our society typically shies away from. It is important that people see what victims of abuse and bullying experience. And while it is disturbing and upsetting to read about it, it is also important that people talk about it.

This book is told post-trauma in Romy's point of view. We see her hate herself more and more as a result of something that was never her fault. I hated how everyone in the town treated her. It was horrible to read.

One thing that I found interesting about this book is that we never actually meet Kellan. I really liked this choice, because it focused the book solely on Romy's story. It kept the book about her and how she was dealing with it.

This book is adequately named due to the feelings it evoked in me. There were so many times where I was so aggravated at what Romy's was going through and how she did not think she could tell anyone what was going on with her. It upset me so much that she felt that alone that she could not share her life with someone.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher through a giveaway* 

Let me know in the comments if you've read the book and what your thoughts are! Or if you are planning to read it.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass

Title: The Heir 
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication Date:  May 5th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.
Didn't they know who I was, what they'd trained me for? I was Eadlyn Schreave. No one was more powerful than me.So if they thought I was going down without a fight, they were sadly mistaken.
I really enjoyed the original Selection Trilogy, I loved the story between Maxon and America and I loved how quick I flew through the books. The writing was fun and I loved the light nature of the books. So when Kiera Cass announced two more books in the series following the next generation, I was really excited. However, while I was really excited, I was also very apprehensive about it because I had a feeling this was one of those, let's make more money out of this series even though it already ended sort of thing.

And I have to say, I was really disappointed in this installment. It felt like Kiera Cass was making drama for no reason other than to take away from the fluffy aspect of the first three books. I found Eadlyn to be annoying (and yes, America was annoying, but Eadlyn was worse). The romance between Eadlyn and the suitors was cute, but I feel like in this book she is so against The Selection as a whole that we do not even get to see her truly try to get to know the guys. I also feel like the main three (not going to give names, because spoilers) are all cliche picks and I do not like that. I definitely have a favorite, but at the same time I do not think picking him is the best move, either.

So while I was disappointed with this book, the plot and some of the characters, I still love the world and idea of The Selection. With how the book ended however, I'm going to be forced to pick up the fifth one.

Overall, I was really disappointed with this book. While I still enjoyed the writing and the premise, I do not think continuing this series was necessary.  I may be in the minority by saying this though, and I totally get if you really loved this book, but for me it was a let down after the original trilogy. This book is getting 3 Crowns because while it irked me to no end, it was still enjoyable and I love the world.

Let me know if you have read this book and what your thoughts are?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Bought it!
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
“Though I supposed that for Tamlin- for High Fae used to ethereal flawless beauty- it had been a struggle to find a compliment. Faerie bastard” - pg. 69

As one of my most anticipated releases of the year by one of my favorite authors, I could not wait to get this book and as soon as it was delivered, I had to read it right away. I read this book in two sittings and it was two not one because I had class. As for my actual thoughts, the writing and world was amazing as I have come to expect from Sarah J. Maas. Her writing is gorgeous and the worlds she creates are stunning.

This book was definitely for a more mature audience than the Throne of Glass series. This book was darker, had more gore, the romance was more prominent,  and the language was more harsh. Even though this was such a dark book, you still had the beauty of the Fae and Prythian.  I loved all the instances in this book straight from the story of Beauty and the Beast . Whether it was Feyre cleaning up Tamlin when he was hurt, Tamlin taking her to the “library”, or them dancing, I loved every moment that reminded me of one of my favorite fairy-tales.

The characters in this book were so enjoyable to read. They were so sassy and there was such great banter between them. Whether is was between Lucien and Tamlin, Alis and Feyre, or Feyre and Lucien. And of course Tamlin and Feyre! There were many times I would be giggling at how ridiculous they were with each other. And I loved the sassiness. I really hope that the characters continue to be this way in future books.

While this book was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, it did have many different new aspects to it as well. I can honestly say it did not end at all the way I was expecting. The ending has me very curious as to where the next two books in the series are going to go. However, I do hope we get to see more of Prythian, especially the other courts.

Since this was a first book in a trilogy, there were a lot of instances of info dump but they did not bother me in the slightest. I also may be incredibly biased since I do not think Sarah J. Maas could write anything that I would not love immediately. That being said, I cannot wait until we get the next book in this trilogy. I cannot wait to read more about Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, and even Rhys! 

Have you read this yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teaser Tuesday #11- Peculiar Children

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you post a quote from a book you are currently reading. It is hosted by A Daily Rhythm.
"There was romance in the unknown, but once a place had been discovered and cataloged and mapped, it was diminished, just another dusty fact in a book, sapped of mystery. So maybe it was better to leave a few spots on the map blank. To let the world keep a little of its magic, rather than forcing it to divulge every last secret. Maybe it was better, now and then, to wonder.”
                                                            - Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
Find the book here: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Let me know in the comments what book you are currently reading!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Title: All The Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: Scribner
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When Marie-Laure is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
“What is blindness? Where there should be a wall, her hands find nothing. Where there should be nothing, a table leg gouges her shin. Cars growl in the streets; leaves whisper in the sky; blood rustles through her inner ears. In the stairwell, in the kitchen, even beside her bed, grown-up voices speak of despair.” - pg. 27
I do not know where to begin with this book. The writing in it is absolutely beautiful. Anthony Doerr's prose is amazingly intertwined within the story. This is one of those books that you need to read slowly, so that you can absorb everything within it. When reading books, I tend to mark favorite passages and quotes and I have so many pages marked in this book. There were so many beautiful passages about all different kinds of things and about life.

The main aspect of this book that made it so great for me was definitely the writing, but I also loved the characters. For the most part we follow Marie-Laure and Werner but even beyond them there are so many different stories unfolding throughout this book. Since this book was told in multiple perspectives, I knew at some point all the stories would become intertwined and we would learn about all the connections between the characters. Anthony Doerr surprised me though with the shear number of different connections that were all encompassed within this book. Even the smallest little details had some connection to the overarching story.

The only reason I am not giving this a full five crowns is due to how slow and long it took me to get into the story. That is not to say that I did not enjoy it, but there is a lot of description and time before the plot really picks up. It takes a very long time to introduce the story. Another aspect that was slightly off-putting was the changing timelines. While the book focused on WWII there were jumps in the chapters all falling somewhere between 1941 and 1945 and at times it was confusing after the year changed. However, even though the book was slow, I had no problem reading it because the writing more than made up for the slow aspect. There were times where I had to tell myself to stop reading so I did not rush and could absorb everything I was reading.

This book also ends in a very different way than what I was expecting. I also appreciated how wide open the ending is. It leaves the reading without all the answers but also has a level of finality to it. For someone who does not typically read historical fiction, this was an amazing book. I really enjoyed this book and I cannot recommend it to everyone enough. The writing alone should be enough to at least make you give this book a chance.

Have you read this yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

And because I loved the writing so much, here is another quote from the book.
"Streets sucked empty one by one. Each time she steps outside, she becomes aware of all the windows above her. The quiet is fretful, unnatural. It's what a mouse must feel, she things, as it steps from its hole into the open blades of a meadow, never knowing what shadow might come cruising above." - pg. 274

Friday, May 1, 2015

April 2015 Wrap-Up/May 2015 TBR

I was actually pretty successful when it came to sticking to my TBR. Only thing that was a slight fail was my DNFing of Not Cool. I read 25% and decided that there was no reason to finish it. As for books I actually completed, I read 11, which is less than normal, but as you will see there were a lot of really big books this month. As always links to my reviews if I have one!

  1. Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes (4 Crowns)
  2. Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes (4.5 Crowns)
  3. Rumors by Anna Godbersen (3 Crowns)
  4. The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons (3.5 Crowns)
  5. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (4 Crowns)
  6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (4 Crowns)
  7. A Magic Dark and Bright by Jenny Adams Perinovic (4 Crowns)
  8. We Are All Suspects Now by Tram Nguyen (3 Crowns)- read for school
  9. This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl 
  10. Awakening by Shannon Duffy (3.5 Crowns)
  11. Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe (3.5 Crowns)
#0by16 is still going decently. I only read 4 ebooks again this month and those were all for review, except Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. My total TBR stands at 65 right now, so I'm starting to get a little nervous about finishing but I'm still confident. The only books I bought this month were the HP Special Edition Box set since it was on sale. And those books I have read so they do not count against the TBR pile. 

I'm currently in the middle of All the Light We Cannot See and I will be finishing it shortly. Other than finishing that one in May, I have again picked 4 books out of my TBR jar. May is when I graduate so I will have 1/2 the month of finals and craziness related to graduation, but after that I have the rest of the month to just read! Due to the free time I will be having, my TBR is more ambitious than normal. The first four are what was picked from the TBR, the rest are personal picks. As always links to Goodreads.

  1. Betrayed by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  2. Invaded by Melissa Landers
  3. Wool by Hugh Howey
  4. Graceling by Kirstin Cashore
  5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (meeting her the 11th, so have to have it read by then)
  6.  Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen (this is a reread, but I do not remember really anything from it)
  7. Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen (want to have this read so I can get Lion Heart)
  8. Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper (going to his show on the 16th so want to read this before then)
  9. The Heir by Kiera Cass (new release so have to get to it right away)
  10. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (I have 3 huge books that I have not read yet, so I'm going to read one in May, one in June, and one in July) 
  11. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (slightly embarrassed that I own two copies of this book and still have not read it)
Only books I have for review are A Letter to My Mom by Lisa Erspamer and The Clouded Sky by Megan Crewe. It will be very interesting to see if I actually accomplish reading all of these or if being at home with all my books makes me pick up other books instead! 

How did you do in April? What are you planning for May? Let me know in the comments!