Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Wrap Up (Part 1)

This month has been quite a dismal one especially in the second half. I struggled to read so much! Maybe I should have expected it after reading so frantically last month, but it was a frustrating. Like I mentioned in the video, I'll have a second Wrap Up for the comics I read in March in a few days!

Book Mentioned: 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Today is my first Waiting on Wednesday post! I've never done one of these before which is strange because I love new releases and am always anxious for them.  Maybe you'll see more from me in the future now that I've done one!

There is only one book I consider myself waiting for at this point in time. You may be able to guess because I've put it on every anticipated release list or books I'm reading in April list I've made this year. I am so excited for this release I honestly don't know how I'll act when I'm no longer need to wait and have the book in my hands.

And it is (drum roll please)...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

It is Top Ten Tuesday again which means we get to talk about some exciting books! The topic this week poses a little bit of a problem. Five star books are a bit rare so I had to look back pretty far into 2015 to find my most recent five star rated books. 

Basically, resent will be relative in this post!! This list will be in chronological order (or as close to it as possible)

1) The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson - Last summer I read this book at the beach and I loved it! The world building and the characters were so amazing. I am so anxious to pick up book two and continue on with this series. 

2) Demelza by Winston Graham - After the first book, I was really excited to check this book and see where the Poldark family goes in the next one. This installment did not disappoint. It is a very emotional ride from start to finish. 

3) S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst - This is the most unique book I think I've ever read. It was an incredible experience and I am so glad I took the time to read it (many many times through).

5) My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins - This series of stories is adorable from start to finish. I loved them! I can't wait for the summer time ones to be published now! 

6) Darcy's Tale by Stanley Michael Hurd - After finding out the printing problem with my book did not impact all books, I bumped this from a four to five stars. Amazing retelling of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's Perspective. 

7) The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle - This book! Oh this book is amazing. I loved everything about it. Just go read it already! 

8)  Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - The heist story to rule heist stories with an amazing set of characters that I will defend with my life. 

9) Lumberjanes by by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen - Fantastic graphic novel about female friendships and adventure. Great for kids and adults! 

10)  Harry Potter Books by J.K. Rowling - I reread this last year and in the beginning of 2016. I gave so many five stars to this series that I love so much. 

My Last Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR

Monday, March 28, 2016

Intimidating TBR Pile Tag

Oh TBR piles! How I love and hate you. So many books to read and so little time to do it. They intimidate me and I hope someday I will get this pile of books reduced to something manageable because right now it is out of hand. Anyway here is a video all about the books that scare me into not reading them.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review - Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

Sacrifice (Elemental, #5)
Series: Elemental Series #5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased 
Published - September 2014
Paperback - 324 pgs

Rating: 3/5

One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick understands pressure. He's the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it in for his family, and he's all that stands in the way. His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She's got a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could put her life in danger at any moment.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael's defiance, his family's 'bad luck'. Before he knows it, Michael's enemies have turned into the Merricks' enemies, and they're armed for war. They're not interested in surrender. But Michael isn't the white flag type anyway. Everything is set for the final showdown. Four elements, one family. Will they hold together, or be torn apart?

Quick Thoughts: This was my least favorite installment in the series so far and I'm disappointed we didn't make any progress in this book. I have mixed feelings because I thought this was the end of the series, but it seems there are more books to come. 

Full Review: 
In the past year I have been sucked into the Elemental world. This series is easy to speed through. The writing is simple but evokes powerful emotions and covers difficult topics with respect and honesty. I love this series. Going into Sacrifice I was sad this would be the last installment and worried because the title is so ominous. 

I'm left confused and disappointed though. If you've read any of the books in this series you know Michael is the strong older brother, who leads and defends his siblings while they casually cause trouble. (As boys who have powerful supernatural powers and who are falling in love often do) I've loved Michael as a father/brother figure and was frustrated in this book when his own voice/POV sounded so immature. While I know what Kemmerer was trying to do, have Michael lose control and need to ask for help because we all need help at some point, it didn't feel right and didn't sit well with me.

This installments is short (less than 300pgs) and in general I wanted more. There was a lot of wrap up. In Secret we barely made any progress in regard to the Guides and not much changed in this book either. 

I also thought Hannah and Michael's relationship in this book was much weaker than any of the other romances thus far. There was also this weird love triangle introduced in this book which annoyed me. There are other ways to introduce new characters to this group without shoving a love triangle into the mix plus we've seen this as a plot device before in Storm. Overall the romance portion of this book was lacking for me. Its a big reason I've enjoyed these book so far. Even though they are predictable they are fun and I look forward to the courting and romance of each book. I knew this one would be a little different but it seemed to just drop off the map. 

If this was the last book in the series, I would be VERY disappointed. Nothing seemed cleared up or resolved. However, Kemmerer answered a question on her Goodreads page late last year mentioning she is writing book six right now. The book itself says it is on hold indefinitely. SO I'm confused. This definitely wasn't the end of the story, but I have no idea when the next book will be released.

I hope this series moves forward soon so my bad feelings over this book don't fester too much.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Top Five Wednesday - DNF Books

This week on Top Five Wednesday we are talking about books we DNF'ed (Did Not Finish). This was an interesting exercise and I actually picked out the books I disliked the most as my top five. They aren't in a specific order but I struggled with all of these!

Books Mentioned:

Monday, March 21, 2016

Courtship Book Tag

Who doesn't love a good cover or a good synopsis? This clever tag is all about my favorite parts of my favorite books and why I love them! Check out The Courtship Book Tag!

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Review - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Series: Six of Crows #1 
Genre: Fantasy 
Source: Purchased 
Published: September 2015 
Hardcover - 465 pgs

Rating - 5/5

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first

Quick Thoughts: This is a great heist story that expands Bardogo's world from The Girsha Trilogy and introduces us to a new exciting cast of characters. I am already sad we will only get two books with them. I was obsessed with this book from page one and it was one of the easiest five star ratings I've given in a long time.

I also have created a three reasons you should read this about this book. I'll warn you now I talk about the characters a lot. Three Reasons is a series of videos I've made about some of my favorite books and series. I talk about three reasons you should read that particular book without spoilers. 

Full Review:
I'll be honest. I was skeptical going into this book. The hype was Big! Huge! (Pretty Woman fans?) and I loved The Grisha Trilogy. I didn't want to be disappointed so I rationalized by thinking this couldn't be as good as the hype...

But this was amazing. I don't want to add to that hype I was just talking about, but I can't help it. I want to heap praise on this novel, shove it into your hands and break into a publishing house to get my hands on book two of this duology. Speaking of book two how am I going to survive with only two books? 

This cast of characters is diverse, unique and interesting. Their voices are distinct from one another and I can't get enough of them. I'm addicted to their companionship and they are all thieves of varying degrees so I adore them. None of them are purely good, but they all have hopes, fears, dreams and desires that make them human. I love their diversity. I love each one is in-between good and bad, but I want to root for them. The characterization for all is spot on.

There were many times during this book I thought I had the characters or the situation out, but Bardugo always threw me for a loop. It was incredible how cunningly the POVs were used and it is one of the most effective instances of this technique I've ever read. Throughout the story Bardugo used the different POVs to surprise her characters and her readers.

This is the heist story to rule heist stories. The multiple POVs are used brilliantly and each one is rich with character. Surprises are around every corner for the reader and the characters. The world is rich and full. I was excited to see a glimpse into the larger picture of the Grishaverse. All the characters had different backgrounds and described their homelands and cultures. It was obvious Bardugo has a completely picture of the world not just Ravka and though her works may leave the Grishaverse, I hope we will read more about it in the future. 

Waiting for November is going to be tough.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

T5W - Fictional Items

Once again Top Five Wednesday has rolled around and this week the topic is irresistible. What fictional objects would you want? If you could take anything out of the stories you've read, what do you want the most? I can't wait to see what other people came up with! I did avoid the most obvious choices like a want from Harry Potter or even a magical owl from that series. Instead I tried to think a little outside the box.

1) Hermione's Beaded Handbag (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling) - Personally, I can think of a thousand things (mostly books) I would like to carry with me all the time. Plus the bag is tiny and weighs next to nothing! This would be a fabulous thing to have.

2) Celaena's Suit (Assassin's Blade and Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas) - This suit just sounds amazing. Celaena can climb buildings and hide blades in this suit. I believe it is the outfit she is wearing on the front of the Queen of Shadows cover. I just want to wear it to feel badass.

3) The Crucible (The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas) - This item is a dream. In the Crucible you can insert yourself in fairytales, fight the monsters, and test your magic in different environments. Also even if you fail and die, you are ejected out of the book but you don't die. It is a little more complicated than that. However, the book sounds amazing and I would love to relive some fairytales!

4) Any of Ronan's Dream Objects - (The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater) - I tried and tried to decide on one of Ronan's dream objects I would want to pull out of the books. I just cannot choose though! The puzzlebox is amazing. Chainsaw would be an interesting pet. One of his cars would be a great and useful thing to have. I just cannot choose.

5) Inej's Climbing Slippers (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo) - Can you tell I wish I could climb things? I wish I had the skill to just scale buildings like Inej. She is an amazing stealthy climber and her slippers make her even better.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4) The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1) The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR

Normally I skip over the TBR weeks on Top Ten Tuesday because I'm more of a mood reader and I tend to ignore TBRs after I make them. However, I am excited for many things right now (many releases, many series enders and many series starters) so I thought I would throw out a TBR and hope that it sticks. Check out the Broke and the Bookish for past and future topics.

This week my top ten feels a little bit like the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Three New Releases

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4) A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)

Six I Need to Finish:

Origin (Lux, #4) Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4) All the Light We Cannot See 

One Book Club Pick:


My Last Top Ten Tuesday --->  Eight Books That Need a Score

Monday, March 14, 2016

Currently Reading - March

This month so far has been a little lackluster compared to February. I've only finished three books and I'm not on track to finish that many more. Me from this video doesn't care too much though. She is trying to push ahead and end this reading slump ASAP. We will see how that goes in the upcoming days.

Also I must return Wolf by Wolf to the library today because someone reserved it and I didn't have enough time (or willpower) to read it in my allotted time. Le sigh. I guess I'll have to return for it again some other time.

Books Mentioned:

Friday, March 11, 2016

Review - The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

 The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1) 

Series: The Wrath and The Dawn #1
Genre: Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling
Source: Purchased
Published - May 2015
Hardcover - 395 pgs
Add it // Buy it

Rating - 4/5

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Quick Thoughts: After finishing this I have very mixed feelings. There was a lot of hype surrounding this release, but it didn't quite live up to all the buzz. There were a lot of things I liked, but I wasn't blown away like I expected to be after so many people rated it so highly. 

Full Review: Overall, I like more than I didn't. The premise was what captured my attention in the first place and the set up to this story was well crafted. Shahrzah herself was one of the strongest parts of the novel. She was cunning and curious which drove the plot forward in ever changing ways. Personally, I thought the romance was well paced and Shahrzad's voice was believable. The inclusion of the original storytelling element was interesting and I'm excited too see if that will still be relevant in the next book. 

Many of the things I had issues with could change in book two and toward the end of the book I saw some hopeful signs that they will. The secondary characters were very flat to me. I would have like more character development from them and, in general, there could have been more world building. The magic especially needs to be fleshed out. It didn't play a direct role in many of the events in this book, but I think it will be important soon.

My biggest disappointment was I wasn't really engaged in this story until late in the book. Towards the end I became very engaged with the characters and events as they unfolded. Now I'm exited for book two, but I wasn't sure until late in the story if that would be the case.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

ReReading - A Dicussion

In the past month or so I've been on a rereading kick. I've flown through series and read new books. I've refreshed my memories and relived my favorite scenes again. I've enjoyed it so much I want to convince you to try it too. Today I've thrown together a few of my thoughts about rereading and why I do it. I'd love to hear from you too about your experiences rereading and why you do or do not reread.

Happy (Re)Reading!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

T5W- Top Five Books Featuring Time Travel

This week I am putting a little twist on the Top Five Wednesday topic. These are the top five books featuring time travel that I want to read! I'm not sure if Landline actually counts as time travel, but I think it is close enough. (I also really want to read it!) Please let me know if you've read any of these and which ones I should prioritize!

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1) A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1) Passenger (Passenger, #1)

Landline Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)

Happy Reading!!

My Last T5W - Top Five Book Hangovers

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

February Favorites (2016)

As has become tradition, it is time for Monthly Favorites! I enjoy making up this post every month and reflecting on all the things I've done and posted lately. It is a fun way to go over the products I've been using and the media I've consumed.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) 

Book Favorite:

My Book Favorite was probably the hardest favorite to determine this month. I read so many books and they were all so good. I had to consider some amazing rereads and great books I read for the first time this month.

Six of Crows beat out the competition though by being the most addictive story I've read in ages. I love the characters and the world building. I can't wait to read book two!

Blog Post Favorite: 

Though the topic of Top Ten Tuesday a few weeks was about music, I put a little twist on the topic in order to feature something I had been thinking about a lot. Why do we just insist on movies and television adaptations of our favorite books? What if someone wrote a score to go along with? Doesn't that sound like fun?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Three Reasons to Read - The Accident Season

As you may have heard The Accident Season was my favorite book of 2015. It blew me away at the end of the year. Three Reasons is a series I've created where I talk about three reasons to read a book. Three great things about a book and give a short synopsis. In between a review and a discussion video but without spoilers!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

February Book Haul

This month was a quiet book buying month. While I was tempted, like I am on the daily, to indulge I stayed strong for the most part. I did pick up a few books and my dog helped me haul one book.

Books Mentioned:

Friday, March 4, 2016

Review - Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Secret (Elemental, #4)
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Purchased
Published - Kensington Teen
Paperback - 328 pgs

Rating - 4/5

Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He's trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won't get in to college. He's trying to keep his brother's business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He's trying to keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel - or he fears he'll lose his family. And he's trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his 'girlfriend's' partner.

And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.

Quick Thoughts: Throughout this series I have swooned over the romances and waited anxiously for the action sequences. It was no different this time and Kemmerer continues to astound me. I am so pleased there was just as much sexual tension and tenderness included in this book as in others. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

T5W - Top Five Book Hangovers

Everyone has experienced a book hangover I imagine. That feeling when you are completely absorbed in a world and can't stop mentally living there well after you've finished the book.OR when you've read late into the night and the next day feels like a dream rather than reality?

This week for Top Five Wednesday we are featuring the books that made us feel like that. I have a mix of both reactions. Some of these were books I couldn't pull myself out of long after I finished  the book while others I stayed up late in the night reading.

1) The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle - At the end of 2015 I was surprised and delighted by this story. I was thinking about this book for days after I finished it and relistened to parts of the audiobook over and over again. This book had me under its spell long after I finished it. The magical realism enchanted me.

2) The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater - This book blew my mind when I first read it. I was completely wrapped up in the characters and the story I couldn't stop thinking about it and could not pick up another book for a long time.

3) Clockwork Princess / City of Heavenly Fire - When I read Cassandra Clare finales I cannot read anything else for a while. They blow my mind and I love the nice neat packages Clare writes for her characters. I end up thinking about the future of the Shadowhunter world long after I finish the book.

4) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - This book! Last year I was completely wrapped up in this series. I read the book and watched the TV series right after. I was completely submerged in Claire's story and want to continue reading the series soon.

5) Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas - Upon reread Heir of Fire has put me in a bit of a reading slump. I don't know if it is from the book itself (probably) or the face I read like a madman in February. It is a toss up but I'm blaming this amazing book.

Happy Reading!