Friday, February 28, 2014

Weekend Reads(3)

On this chilly Friday (It was 3 degrees at my house when I got out of bed this morning!) I started Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce. This reading slump I've been in is like a bad cold. As soon as I think its over it comes back with a vengeance. Bloodhound was calling my name and hopefully something that I'm bound to like will kick this slump to the curb.

This week I also started The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steivater which is the sequel to The Raven Boys, my favorite book of last year. I was hoping to wait until there was a release date for book three before I read this one, but I'm dying to continue the series.

What are you reading this weekend?

Bookish Five Friday(16) - Books I Read Without a Description

This week I want to focus on the books I picked up without knowing what they were about. These are books that I've read based on knowing a few snippets about and recommendations from people. Most of these were all the better because it made the book even more surprising and interesting for me to read! I actually prefer to read books with as little description as possible because I tend to guess what will happen if I'm given too much information.

5) Game of Thrones by George RR. Martin - I read the first book before the TV series was released so I went into the book mostly blind. I knew it was high fantasy and a lot of people love it. I thought it was fun to have no expectations about the world, the characters or anything especially because I think knowing anything would have distracted me from the many details within this book.

4) Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake - This is a sequel so you may be asking: how did she read that blindly? I had no idea how the story was going to continue. I ended up being very pleased and it was so much fun. I was so surprised with how the story went and how much the world was expanded (even though this is only a two part series). This made me love book one even more and I am so sad there won't be more books.

3) Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan - My experience buying the first three books of this series went as follows: My best friend and I were out shopping. She told me she had bought the first book and loved it and we proceeded to go into a book store where I picked them up. I started casually reading when I went home and never put it down. I've always loved Greek mythology and this book appealed to me so much. It was a lot of fun going in without any clue of who Percy was or why this was happening to him. I read all three that week and the next weekend purchased the final two in the series.

2) Shatter Me by Tehareh Mafi - I knew the basic premise of this book, but I had avoided hearing any details about the characters and especially about Team Adam and Team Warner up until I read this book. I was totally engrossed by the story and the characters because I had no prior exposure to them. I don't think I've devoured a series so fast since Percy Jackson.

1) The 5th Wave by Rich Yancey - I bought this book last summer because I had heard so many people that it was amazing. The basic concept that a girl was the sole survivor of an alien invasion captured my interest and I diligently avoided hearing too much about this story until I could read it. I've said before I ignored my family on a family vacation because of this book and its completely true. The story totally captured my attention and I would recommend going into this book with as little knowledge as possible. It just makes everything better.

Last Week's BFF------> Most Intimidating Books On My TBR

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February in Review (2014)

This month was unexpectedly successful for me despite some setbacks. I had a heck of a time finishing anything during the middle of the month, but I've slowly picked up some steam. My success this month is mostly thanks to the Shatter Me series. As you will see I devoured this series this month and I am so sorry to see it end. I also picked up one of my favorite books of last year for a reread. As far as posts and videos, this month has been a little sparse because my laptop has slowly dying, then it was in the shop and now I am replacing it. Therefore, until my new laptop arrives, bear with me and my lack of posts and updates. 

Also I'll be doing a more extensive update/video wrap up for February later. This is just a listing of what I have finished. It will be soon (asap because new laptop will be shipping around March 13th). 

Books I Finished in February:

1) Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs 
2) Unravel Me - Tahereh Mafi 
3) Ignite Me - Tahereh Mafi 
4) Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan 
5) Unite Me by Tahereh Mafi (Novella)
6) The Raven Boys by Maggie Steivater 
7) The Tudors by G.J. Meyer 

If you want to check out my Series Review of the Shatter Me Series  that is already up. 

I'm very pleased with how many books I read this month and I'm very excited to finish more of the books that I started in March. I also hope that the warm weather comes back to the North East because it is freezing again! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bookish Five Friday(15) - Most Intimidating Books on My TBR

This might be a bad week for this topic. Right now everything feels intimidating on my TBR because Ignite Me (which I cannot stop talking about) has taken over my brain. Everything I start just pails in comparison. Needless to say I'm struggling to finish books this week. These are just a few of the books that are sitting on my shelves that are the most intimidating and the hardest for me to pick up.

1) Storm of Swords by George RR. Martin - First of all these books are immensely popular and this is largest and most liked in the series. Why do I have trouble reading it then? Reread the first sentence. Everyone loves this book and even though books one and two were good, I read book two a while ago and would probably have to reread some of it to start this book. I'm worried I'll be confused and scared of who is going to die in this book because the outlook looks like all my favorite characters.

2) The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefavter - Even though I've heard that this sequel is amazing, I'm worried I won't love it as much as The Raven Boys. I love the first book in this series so much and I'm reading it for the third time in preparation to read book two. Hopefully it will live up to all my expectations.

3) Victoria: An Intimate Biography by Stanley Weintraub - This is a non-fiction book that I read parts of during college and I want to read more of it. I'm especially interested in Victoria's early life before her husband passed away. Even so this book is huge and has been sitting on my shelf for two years. I don't know when I'll get to read it, but sheer size (716 pages) and the fact that it is non-fiction is intimidating.

4) Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - I remember that I really loved Beautiful Darkness, but I don't remember anything that happened in the book. I read it in a day and I've forgotten everything. I started readingBeautiful Chaos and I had no idea who was alive and who wasn't. So this book is freaking me out because I don't remember anything about the other one. I'll have to do some rereading before I dive into another adventure with Ethan.

5) Eleanor and Park/Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - These two books are intimidating for the exact same reason. I have heard nothing but good things about them and everything else Rainbow Rowell has written. I cannot make myself pick them up even though I'm dying to read them. My expectations are so high I cannot help but be worried that the books will not live up to what I am expecting. Hopefully, I'll be able to get over it soon and read them because they are both sitting on my shelf begging to be read.

Last Week's BFF-----> Valentine's Day-Favorite Fictional Couples

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ignite Me - Review (Shatter Me Series)

by Tahereh Mafi 

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)    Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3)

 Genre: Romance/Paranormal with a hint of Dystopian 
 Published: Shatter Me (2011) Unravel Me (2013) Ignite Me (2014) 
 Series Total Pages: 1217 

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior

I have a hard time reading books in a series in rapid succession. Usually I end up waiting weeks or months to read the next novel even though it may be currently sitting on my self. Knowing that, you would be surprised to find that I finished this series in a month and these three books were four of the last books I read. I was completely shocked by this series because I was totally unprepared for the fervor I have developed for this series.

It is absolutely impossible for me to talk about Ignite Me without spoiling something from the first two books. Therefore, I'll be giving an overall recommendation for this series. GO READ IT NOW! In this post I want to give my overall impressions of the series and gush about how much I loved it.

Throughout this series it becomes obvious this story is all about Juliette. Even though the world is falling apart and other characters are involved, everything is about Juliette's growth and change. I went into Shatter Me expecting a dystopian story like Divergent or Hunger Games where the world building reveal the problems in society and the corrupt government. If you are looking for that story, this might not be your book. Without that element I was thrown off a bit. I was in the middle of Shatter Me before I even realized what the genre/style/focal point of the story was. 

Honestly, I'm so glad that it wasn't the typical dystopian. I've begun to tire of the typical dystopian story line. While there are dystopian like parts of this book, the problems of society are just not the focal point in this series. I think Mafi makes this such a unique series because it is less about saving/changing the world than it is about Juliette.

The writing style is another unique aspect of this book. Before I started reading, I heard from many people that the writing style could make or break the book for people. Personally, I had a love/hate relationship with the style in this book. At times I really liked the beautiful description and fitting dramatics that came from such interesting writing and the cross outs were especially interesting, but other times I was frustrated because the writing slowed down the plot to me. This was particularly evident in the first two books. Overall though the writing style makes the books memorable and it didn't distract me too much considering I devoured each one of these books. (I read the majority of each book in under a day)

One random thought. Did anyone else feel like Uriah and Kenji were like brothers? I'm not sure if anyone else got this vibe, but it was so strong for me.

I wasn't completely sold on the series by the end of book one, but if you even remotely liked Shatter Me it only gets better from there, and I think this series is completely worth the time. Even though I have some problems with different elements of the book, like that the world isn't fully explained or developed, I could not put the books down. I found Juliette to be frustrating, but likable character. Her character development through the series is simply phenomenal and fun to read. The romances (love triangle warning) kept me guessing and conflicted through most of the story which is fun.

I think it would have been interesting to see what happened after Ignite Me. It would have been nice to have a few more chapters, an epilogue or even a novella from a few years down the road. The ending to the series felt a little abrupt, but I'm happy with the end of this series. I rated the first books in this series 4/5, but Ignite Me received a 5/5 from me and it is my favorite book in the series without a doubt. I loved this series and highly recommend it. I cannot wait to see what Mafi comes out with next.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

Friday, February 14, 2014

Weekend Reads #2

I have about 15 different books started and I cannot seem to finish anything. Personally its been a little crazy because here in the NE we had a huge winter storm and my sleeping pattern is screwed up again. Therefore between cleaning up snow and trying to catch up on some sleep, every time I pick up a book I fall asleep. Its been a problem, but hopefully I'll finish something this weekend. I've started Fitzwilliam Darcy Such as I was by Carol Cromlin and Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi.

Let me know what you think I should finish first either from these books or anything on my Goodreads Currently Reading shelf.

Bookish Five Friday - Valentine's Day Edition

Favorite Fictional Couples 

As you probably know, today is Valentine's Day so I'll be highlighting five of my favorite fictional couples this week. There are so many romances and couples that I love across all genres, but for today I'll be focusing on five of my favorite Young Adult Couples.

1) Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase (Percy Jackson and the Olympian Series and The Lost Hero Series) - Ever since The Lightening Thief I've been rooting for this couple. I know Percy and Annabeth are young when we first meet them, but I wanted them to be together in that someday this will be an amazing ship type of way. I love this couple and I always root for them and want them to be together. There isn't unnecessary drama or trust issues in their relationship which is refreshing. They know each other and understand each other which is fantastic and fun to read. 

2) Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series) - I do not care what JK Rowling has stated recently. I wanted Ron and Hermione to be together since I was 12 and I read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They were the first couple I remember shipping and they are one of my favorite couples. They may not always get along, but they stick together. I read an article on a blog recently that I think explains a lot of what I love about them. Check it Out 

3) Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters (The Fault In Our Stars) - Who doesn't love this couple? And will there ever be a BFF where I don't mention this book? Honestly Hazel and Augustus are one of the most believable and realistic couples I've ever read. There is a lot more to this story than two kids who have cancer and I think I took a lot away from it about life and romance. They are honest and their story is truly powerful. I'm a fan of John Green and all his works, but this one is easily my favorite.  

4) Anna and √Čtienne St. Clair ( Anna and the French Kiss) - This is one of the cutest romances I've read in a while. I loved both the characters and the setting of Paris is epically romantic. I read this book two of three times in 2012. For some reason the characters kept pulling me back until I knew their story inside and out. Anna is relateable and St. Clair's personality is easy to fall in love with. Also we get to see peaks into their relationships in Stephine Perkins' other book Lola and the Boy Next door (which I also enjoyed). 

5)  Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins (Pushing the Limits) - I wasn't expecting to love this book when I read it, but I instantly fell in love with both characters and their stories. I remember being giddy while reading just because I was having so much fun reading the story. Even though there are heavy parts to this story, the romance was fun and easy to go along with. They are supportive of each other even through the many tough moments in this story. 

Last Week's Bookish Five - Favorite Book Design Elements

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Gods of Olympus - Youtube Book Tag

I thought this tag looked like a lot of fun and as some of you may know, I am obsessed with Greek Mythology. I love the gods and this tag correlates one question with each god. It was fun to film and look through all my books.

All the links for where I found the tag and who originally created the tag are in the description of the video.


All over the online book community people talk about what they are reading over the weekend. This weekend I am just starting two books and so tempted by a third. I've already started Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. The Raven Boys is a reread and my favorite book from last year while Ignite Me is the series final for the Shatter Me series that I have been tearing through over the past month! The third book that has been calling my name since I purchased it last weekend is, The Space Between by Brenna Yavanoff. The cover just draws me in! These are all very different, but all three appeal to me right now.

Anyway let me know what you are reading or what you think I should pick up first this weekend!

If you are interested in seeing what I thought of the Raven Boys the first time around, you can check out my review here

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bookish Five Friday(13) - Book Design Elements

I often buy books or don't buy books because of their covers. Unless I've heard something good about a book, I have trouble picking it up if it has a cover that doesn't appeal to me. These are some of my favorite cover elements or things I find appealing in covers.

1) Keep it Simple - When covers are too busy, I just put the book down and slowly walk away. I think a lot of times a simple cover coveys the book plot better than something overly complex. Sometimes I think eye catching isn't always a good thing. One example is The 5th Wave. The cover is simple and relevant to the story. 

2) Interesting Spine - Obviously if I'm walking through a book store and a book has a beautiful spine, I'll want to pick it up. Since books after often placed "spine out" on the shelf, I think its one of the best ways to bring attention to a book. I bought the hardcover edition of My Life Next Door just because the spine is pretty. It helps draw attention to the book more than a plain spine. Also I like it when people look at my shelves and ask about a book because they noticed it has a unique spine. 

3) Hardcover Surprise - One of my favorite things about buying hardcover books is there are often surprises under the dust jacket. I love it when a book has a design or something extra under the dust jacket. It makes buying books even more fun. A Monster Calls is a wonderful example of this idea. The physical book is beautiful and the inside cover also has a nice design. 

4) Deckled Edge - This is when a book has uneven pages and the book almost looks like parchment on the edges. I love this. I am 200% more likely to take a book home if it has deckled edges. I don't know why because I do think it makes it harder to flip pages, but I still love the look of the book. When Ignite Me arrived I was thrilled to see it has a deckled edge . 

5) Interesting Cover Texture - When a book feels different when I pick it up, its peaks my interest a little more. I'm not even sure why! Even so, I love it when books are soft or sleek. 

What appeals to you when you are shopping for books? Also if you want to see examples of covers and books that appeal to me you can check out last week's BFF which was my favorite covers right now. 

Last week's BFF----> Favorite Covers Right Now

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January Month in Review

In January I read a total of 6 books and started a new way of picking the books I'll read in the future. If you want to read more about my new Book Jar system you can check it out here.

Books I read in January:

Back to the Divide - Elizabeth Kay 
Frigid  by J. Lynn - My Review
Frostbite by Richelle Mead 
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake - My Review 
Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi
I didn't get quite as much as I wanted to, but I've started a 600 page book and it is taking me quite a while to get through it. Hopefully next month I'll be able to read a few more books.