Saturday, February 28, 2015

Epic Reads Tag (Booktube Tag)

Who doesn't love Tea Time? I was so excited when the ladies from Epic Reads created a tag and couldn't wait for someone to maybe tag me. So I broke the tag rules (like always)! It was great tag and I had a lot of fun! Consider yourself tagged if you want to do this.

Epic Reads: Channel and Blog 

Books/Authors Mentioned: 
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
Tamora Pierce 
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Graphic Novels Mini Reviews

As interesting and complex as graphic novels can be, I find that doing full reviews of them can be really challenging. I don't have as much to say about them. So I'm going to do a bunch of mini-reviews of all the graphic novels I've read in the past few months.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughn (Writer) and Fiona Staples (Artist) 

Saga #1  Saga, Volume 3 (Saga #13-18) Saga, Volume 4 (Saga #19-24)

Synopsis: Star Wars-style action collides with Game of Thrones-esque drama in this original sci-fi/fantasy epic for mature readers, as new parents Marko and Alana risk everything to raise their child amidst a never-ending galactic war.

My Thoughts: This graphic novel series is amazing. The art is so vibrant and detailed. I absolutely love it. The storyline is also very very good. It had A LOT of adult content though (swearing, nudity and tons of violence). This series is all the rage right now, but I still really enjoy it. The character's stories are very addicting/

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Anticipated Spring 2015 Releases

The only thing keeping me from freezing to the spot this week is my anticipation of V.E Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic. It is the last one on my list for Anticipated Winter Releases (kind of??) I mean technically Spring won't arrive until March 21st, but who doesn't bend the rules of seasons for their whims. I don't believe the groundhog saw his shadow on the second considering it was cloudy as all get out. So maybe Spring is already here? Although with -20 degree wind chills here in the North East, I'm not sure how well my argument is holding up.

Either way, I'm using March 1st as the kick off to spring and here are a few of my most anticipated Spring Releases. There are in chronological order, but my fangirling should tell you which ones I'm most excited for.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Review - Cress by Marissa Meyer

  Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Genre: Sci-Fi Retellings
Source: Purchased
Add It // Buy It 
Rating: 5/5 

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Another installment in this series has seriously impressed me. This story just keeps getting better and better. In this book we follow Cress who is a hacker on a spaceship orbiting Earth. While she is supposed to be working for the Lunars, her loyalties are more complex than that. This book is as fast paced and thrilling as the first two books and there are surprises around ever turn.

As you know if you've been reading this series, each book focuses on a different fairy tale and I was really excited to get to Cress after seeing a glimpse of her in Cinder. This is the retelling of Rapunzel (and I almost typed Tangled) and basically I loved it. The action and adventure in this book, again, is fantastic. My heart was pumping during so much of this book!

Meyer’s ability to weave the story together and craft an excellent futuristic world is impressive. I can’t imagine how muchh planning and thought went into her world and characters. There is great character development in these books and I really enjoy the relationships we saw develop over the course of this book as well. I'm so excited for the final installment of this series and I've already picked up Fairest! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review - Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

 The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Genre: Magical Realism 
Kindle Edition - 246pgs
Published June 2013 by William Morrow
Source: Library Ebook
Buy It // Add It
Rating: 5/5

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

There is very little I want to say about the plot of this book. If I could just badger you until you pick it up, I would. Before I read the book, I was skeptical since this story is hyped so much. Who hasn't been disappointed by a book that is praised so much? Once I started the story though, my doubts vanished.

The storytelling is magical and masterful. It completely drew me in and I was lost in the story. There are moments where the reader must suspense their disbelief and go with the flow though. The story is short, but I spent a lot of time thinking about it after I finished. Obviously I don't want to spoil anything so I'll just say this book is an experience. It is wonderful, odd and unlike anything I've ever read. I cannot wait to read more from Gaiman.

I really enjoy going into books blind and knowing as little as possible. For this book at least, it seemed that was the best approach. It made the story even more mysterious and interesting. I would be very interested to listen to this as an audiobook. The words mesmerized me while I read them and I think an audiobook would have an even stronger effect.

Highly Recommended.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Top Ten Book Related Problems I Have

This week Top Ten Tuesday is a great topic. We all have problems related to books and most of mine are because I just love books too much.  I can't be the only one right?

1) I want to read all the books at the same time - Who doesn't feel this pain? Looking at my shelves is is like a constant reminder of all the books I haven't picked up to read yet.

2) My Library has a great selection - This is an excellent problem to have! I love that my local library has such a great variety of books and I can choose from so many amazing titles. However, I then want to buy those amazing books after I've read them or I have a seriously difficult time choosing while I'm there! I end up taking too many books home and then I'm sad I don't have time to read them all.

3) I'm running out of space! - I have books on my shelves, under my desk, under my bed and piled everywhere else I can find room. My walls are closing in on me. I could get rid of them but...

4) I am emotionally attached to my books - It is really hard for me to unhaul books and give them away even if I didn't like them. I want to free up space and be willing to get rid of the books I don't think I want to read anymore. However, I do consider myself a book collector as well as an avid reader and sometimes I just can't let go. (Maybe Elsa should give me some lessons) ''

5) I like to buy used books when they look like new books - I'm not a complete snob. I buy books in used condition and


My life
Just one more problem! 
6) Books interfere in my life -  I get so involved with books and so full of feels I can't stop thinking about the book in everyday life. Its a problem. I ponder the characters' problems and get lost in thought about minute details of a world. (ex. I wonder a lot about why they didn't use truth serum on Sirius Black instead of throwing in in Azkaban)

7) I want to talk to everyone about books and no one understands - I don't have a lot of bookish friends in real life. So my thoughts on books go unexpressed for a long time. Then I get together with a couple and we completely freak out.

8) I carry too many books with me - Ever since I was a kid I carry at least two books with me all the time. Even if I know I won't have time to read, I still take a book with me or at least my Kindle. Never want to get caught without a book!

9) I have lots of books to choose from, but I can't decide what I'm in the mood for- Sometimes I get  so focused on picking a good book I can't pick one at all. This usually leads to a reading slump and more indecision.

10) Deciding which edition to buy - Which beautiful cover to buy can be a real problem! Especially when they are all amazing. I want them all!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Unboxing - February 2015

This week I received an exciting package in the mail for a preorder I have been anticipating for a long time! I cannot wait to pick up this book and read it soon!

Unboxed Book - Add It // Buy It

Controlling/Reducing My TBR

On January 1st I went through all the physical books I own to ensure they were on my "Owned to Read" shelf on Goodreads. I wanted to know exactly what that number was. I knew it was going to be high, but I didn't anticipate how high it was. 237 books! I was shocked and appalled. It feels out of control and ridiculous to have that many books in my collection I haven't read.

I outlined my plans for controlling my book buying and such this year in my video at the beginning of this week. As this was an idea that I just implemented in the past couple of weeks, my guidelines are fluid. Some of these have already been tweaked and I'm developing a system as I go.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Review - Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)

Genre: Sci-Fi Dystopian
Hardcover - 305pgs
Source: Purchased
Published by Speak in April 2013
Add it // Buy it 
Rating - 2.5 - 3/ 5 

From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths...

Until June's brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect.

In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books


No matter if it whirlwind romance or a love triangle that just won't die, there is romance involved in so many stories. Some of them are easy to support and others take some work or some more information (I'm looking at you Will Herondale) to win the reader over. Either way there are always things that make a romance work or not for me in books.


1) Love Triangles - In general I don't like love triangles. If they are really well done, I think they can make an interesting addition to the story. However, most of the time I just find them irritating, predictable and one sided. Usually they make me hate some of the main character's behavior. To me there are so many things that could be added to a story rather than choosing which love interest to pine over.

2) An Unrealistic Number of Suitors - When a girl complains about being plain and unnoticed, but has a group of men running after her, I want to throw the book against the wall. For me, this is absolutely one of the most irritating thing that can happen in a story.

3) Instalove -I understand attraction can be very strong on a first meeting or even a first sighting, but undying devotion from the moment people meet just doesn't do it for me.

4) Too Many Endearments- A few 'Darlings', 'Babes' or 'Honeys' won't throw me into a tantrum, but I think there are stories where these terms are overused. They don't really add anything to the story and they just get on my nerves!

5) Communicaion Issues -When couples don't talk to one another about problems/challenges in their story,  it really really irritates me. Use your words!


1)Fighting - Usually when characters start out hating one another, the romance ends up being even more satisfying to me and usually full of fireworks!

2)Slow Burn -  Romance in books can be full of tension and opportunities, both missed and taken, that make a slow build up SO good. I love that!

3) A Sneaking Suspicon - I love it when I romance between two characters sneaks up on me. When I am preoccupied with other parts of the story, but suddenly there is a moment. A moment where I'm like yes this should happen now and a ship is born.

4) Independent Characters Who Fall in Love- There is nothing more I love more than characters who are distinct and well developed on their own becoming a couple. It is the absolute best!

5) Relationships that are Tested - I think characters and romances are made better by trials. I don't mean getting past serious issues like cheating. Instead, if characters have to go through difficult things together and help each other through those tough times, the romantic moments and good times are even better.

My Last TTT-----> Top Ten Books I Should Shut Up and Read!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

January Book Haul (2015)

After the holidays and the generous gifts of books I received from my family and friends, I refrained from book shopping this month fairly well. Even so I picked up a few things. I've actually read or started quite a few of these as well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

January Wrap Up

This month has been a bit strange. I was so sure during the month I was in a reading slump and felt like things were not going well in the reading department. It turns out I was wrong! I read quite a bit this month and, at least during the first part of the month, did a fairly good job keeping up posting on the blog. I participated in a couple of readathons and wrote a few reviews! Check out this recap of my month.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Reading Funks, Novellas and Short Story Collections

I have been in a reading funk of some kind since mid-November. Nothing really appeals to me and books are hard to pick up. Everything I do pick up is quickly abandoned for something I think looks more interesting or I'm sure will break this reading funk. I read that book for a few days and the process starts all over again.

There are some books though I've been able to slowly claw my way through. I've been reading a lot of story collections, short books and novellas recently. I've picked up Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth, The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas and I am slowly working through The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yavanoff & Tessa Gratton.

Those are just a few of many I've pick up though. Recently I finished The Resurrectionist which was only 70pgs of text (with wide margins and lots of pictures and offset passages as well), while the rest was anatomical drawings of mythical creatures. Yes that is what I just said and yes it was SO cool.

I also have been working on my Sherlock Collection, which I've been attempting to finish for two years, and the Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan. Then I discovered The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood is actually short stories that are interconnected so I'm also picking these up at regular intervals.

All of these have short stories or short chapters so I can take long breaks in between reading and I won't forget where I am in the story. I don't know if these are really helping my reading slump, but I feel like I'm getting a lot of reading done.

I have also been purchasing a lot of these types of books as well. It seems like everything I've been looking at is a novella or collection of stories. Recently I purchased Across the Wall by Garth Nix which includes several stories about the Old Kingdom but also includes other short stories.

Fairest just showed up at my house as well which is rather long for a novella, but still a short book compared to Cress. Speaking of novellas, my last read of January was Night of Cake and Puppets by Lani Taylor. It is the novella between books two and three of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

Plus I borrowed The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman from the library. It is also quite short and easy to fly through and I've been picking up a lot of graphic novels like the Avatar the Last Airbender Series, Saga and several others.

As you can see I've been busy reading, but not novels! So while the pile of books I have tried to start grows even larger, the feeling of finishing a story or even a chapter is keeping my reading going and I'm really enjoying these stories. I'm excited to be reading just a little bit and I'm finally feeling like I want to read again. Maybe this is another step for me when I get in a reading funk. Alongside taking reading breaks and diversifying my reading, maybe I need to read varied lengths and formats.

Happy Reading!