Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Anna and the French Kiss by: Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 372
Published: December 2nd, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile 

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?


My Thoughts:
Why have I waited so long to read this?!?! That is what I keep asking myself because I actually liked it. For so long there was so much hype about Anna and the French and it's companion novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door that I just wasn't convinced that I would like this book. I had so many preconceived thoughts and that is what kept me from giving this book a chance. And it doesn't help that I've had this book on my shelf for soooo long. I can say now that I am so happy that I gave it a fair shot because I just love it, and absolutely love the characters.
Stephanie Perkins definitely adds a twist to a romance story because most books make it seem like when two characters see each other for the first time they instantly fall in love and then everything clicks into place happily ever after. Life doesn't work that way though, and that is one of the things that made this book awesome. And then St. Clair!! I thought he was perfect even though he has flaws (which are realistic, compared to the incredibly cute guy that has the perfect abs, hair, etc.) and it just made me like him even more although he really annoyed me at times. Actually St. Clair and Anna gave me a huge headache over and over again. That's what happens though when two people belong together but they have too many hang ups to actually get together. Regardless of my rambling, I am so excited to read Lola and the Boy Next Door. I also like Stephanie Perkins writing style which makes it easier to get into the book. One thing I can say though is that the cover (I have the old covers not the new ones) does this book no justice, and that may have been another thing that put me off from reading this book sooner than I did. Overall, I recommend this book to anyone read it if you haven't!

Favorite Quotes:

  • "Where have you been all my life?" I ask the beautiful panini. "How is it possible I've never had a sandwich like this before?" He takes a large bite. "Mmmph grmpha mrpha," he says, smiling. Which I'm assuming translates to something like, "Because American food is crap."
  • "St. Clair coughs and shifts again. His leg brushes against mine. It stays there. I'm paralyzed. I should move it; it feels too unnatural. How can he not notice his leg is touching my leg?"
  • "Rashmi iss me," Josh said into my phone. "Mer? Put Rashmi on. Iss emergency." "It's not an emergency!" I yelled. "They're just drunk."
  • "Because I was right. For the two of us, home isn't a place. It's a person. And we're finally home."


Final Verdict: 4 Stars

If I Stay by: Gayle Forman

If I Stay (book 1)

Edition: E-book
Pages: 201
Published: April 2nd, 2009
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.


Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

My Thoughts:
I have been meaning to read this book for quite sometime now, and finally found the time to read it. Also after hearing so much hype for the movie that is coming out I decided that I want to be in the loop as well. Before reading this, I had no clue what this book was about. The only thing that I had heard was that this was such a heartbreaking story!
I have to say that I am not as in love with this book like most people are. The story is very unique, especially with the events that took place early on in the book, but after that hardly anything happened. With that type of beginning I excepted way more jaw dropping events to happen (which they did...Kind of) but I wasn't really impressed. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this book enough to want to go on and read the second book, Where She Went, but this just isn't a favorite of mine since I feel that the majority of this book was filler.

Cons:
I literally only had one con while reading this book and that was the flipping back and forth from the present and the past. I found it to be confusing at times and boring. When the storyline picked up I found myself not caring to read the past events (I did read them though) because I just wanted to get on with the story.

Overall, I think this is an interesting read that everyone should at least try. Plus it's such a quick read that it will hardly take much of your time. As far as the movie is concerned, I will see it because I am curious as to how they are going to portray Mia since the majority of the book was a lot of "internal reflecting" on her life.

Favorite Quote: "Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you. Does that make any sense?"

Final Verdict: 3 Stars

The Gunslinger by: Stephen King


The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower 1)

Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 231
Published: June 10th, 1982 (1st published)
Publisher: Plume

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: Book I
In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.

My Thoughts:
The Gunslinger is the first installment in The Dark Tower series by: Stephen King.  This story follows Roland a gunslinger (the last one actually) who is on a journey to find "the man in black". While on this journey Roland runs into a few people, including a child name Jake who accompanies Roland for a good portion of his journey until he meets his fate, so to speak. While reading this book you also get a glimpse of Roland's childhood and the world that he lived in, which is much different from the world that Jake once lived in.

What I gathered from this is that this is a post-apocalyptic book with hints of magic in it, and every character has experienced very different lives but can't seem to remember much from their past lives due to something "the dark man" has done. This book was quiet hard for me to follow compared to another Stephen King book that I had read. Events kind of skipped around and certain things were implyed but never really explained so I found myself struggling to understand certain portions of this book. Also some of the lingo that was used was older so that could be a reason as to why I was confused while reading this book.

Overall, I thought this was an ok book, I might feel differently if I re-read this sometime down the road. I will be continuing on with this series though because I have heard that some of Stephen Kings books connect back to the Dark Tower series. My favorite character is Jake hands down!!

Final Verdict: 3 Stars

The Maze Runner by: James Dashner



The Maze Runner #1

Edition: E-book
Pages: 374
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: October 6th, 2009

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: "If you ain't scared, you ain't human." 

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.


My Thoughts: I decided to re-read The Maze Runner because I wanted to finish the series, which I started so long ago. The first time I read this was in 2012, so I basically forgot 90 percent of the events that took place in this book.  Looking back on my review from when I first read this book, my opinion has defintely changed.  Before I gave this 5 stars and was completely head over heels about this book because I had never read anything like it. This is the time when I was just getting back into reading again.  Now, after reading so many dystopian books I can say that this is not one of my favorites, like it had been before.  This book is still good and pretty entertaining for the pure fact that I don't know any YA novels that puts kids in a maze and expects them to solve certain "puzzles" in order to gain their life back, even when that means killing several of them.  To be honest, I found the majority of this book to be boring, even when some jaw-dropping incidents were happening.  I think this was because I was annoyed with most of the characters and certain things that I will leave unsaid just seemed to fall into place way to conveniently.  The main character Thomas annoyed me most of the time because of how he acted through this book. Some times he would be completely brave on the most riskiest (and sometimes deadliest) tasks, and then on small things (like stepping up to a bully) he would act so afraid which I didn't understand.  Overall I think that this book is good enough to give it a shot and see how each individual feels about it (some will be blown away and some will not).  I am still interested enough to continue on with the series, especially after reading the epilogue because it seems like these teens may not be as lucky as they thought they were.

Side Note: I did love how the author painted a very descriptive picture of the grievers.  They sound completely horrible and I am so glad that I don't have to come in contact with those things.

Favorite characters: Chuck, Thomas, Teresa, Newt, and Minho

Final Verdict: 3.5 Stars

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bout of Books 11



The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I am so excited to be participating in another Bout of Books read-a-thon!! The last one that I participated in I set pretty strict goals and accomplished quite a lot, but this time around I will be taking a more relaxed approach. So, below are my goals that I wish to achieve for Bout of Books 11.

Goals:
  • Read at least 100 pages a day (last read-a-thon I went for over 200 pgs a day)
  • Document progress throughout the week
  • Finish 2 books from my tbr list
My Tbr:
So I have a few different choices to choose from during this read-a-thon so hopefully I can read at least 2. Keep an eye out for my daily updates!!!

Updates:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer/Fall Reads 2014

In an attempt to reduce my large Tbr pile, I will be compiling a list of books that I want to read in the next few weeks/months. Most of the books that I will put on this list will be those that I have had for a while. So with that being said I hope to get at least 15 books knocked off of my Tbr shelf. Here is the list of books that I will be reading:

Summer/Fall Reads:

 1. Allegiant by: Veronica Roth
 2. Unravel Me by: Tahereh Mafi
 3. Beautiful Darkness by: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
 4. The Final Empire by: Brandon Sanderson
 5. Spirit Bound by: Richelle Mead
 6. Last Sacrifice by: Richelle Mead
 7. Anna and the French Kiss by: Stephanie Perkins
 8. Partials by: Dan Wells
 9. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by: Lani Taylor
10. Cinder by: Marrissa Meyer
11. Desperation by: Stephen King
12. Clockwork Princess by: Cassandra Clare
13. Fever by: Lauren Destafano
14. The Grimm Legacy by: Polly Shulman
15. Across the Universe by: Beth Revis

*You can check out all of my unread books (minus my e-books) under the Unread Books tab at the top of my blog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On Vacation From Sanity by: Elizabeth Ross Yurich

On Vacation From Sanity

Edition: E-book
Pages: 327
Published: May 20th, 2014
Publisher: Grid Media

Purchase: Amazon | BarnesandNoble

Goodreads Synopsis: What do you do when your world is turned upside down and you're forced to recreate your life?

Life is perfect for sixteen-year-old Jenna Webb. She lives with her rock-star dad in New York City, she has a perky, fun, beautiful best friend, and a super-model, sort-of stepmother. An artist, writer, bass player, Jenna has her life planned to precision—well, until her dad is killed instantly by a New York City cab driver.

With every aspect of her life turned upside down, Jenna is forced to recreate a life in Los Angeles with her Mom, stepfather, and his two daughters—a life she did not want. Travel along on the journey that includes rock and roll, the Buddha, crazy friends, a creepy stalker, unexpected romance, and a downward spiral into a world Jenna never imagined, but needed in order to find herself.

My Thoughts:
* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
From the time I first started reading this book, I knew that I was going to like the main character Jenna.  In the beginning of this book Jenna is faced with drastic changes after her father Sean dies and has to move all the way to L.A. from her comfortable home in New York.  I found this book to be very enjoyable and lighthearted at times, so I think it would be a great summer read.
The style of this book is written quiet differently than most of the books that I have read before because the events that took place seem to skip around a bit, so I found myself confused on a few sections. Once I got use to the writing style I can truly say I really liked it and enjoyed the characters. The things that I loved about this book is how everyone was so close and went out of their way to help others. I felt like the whole concept of this book being surrounded by music was a great idea, especially since Jenna's dad was in a band.  I also thought that James was incredibly charming but found myself to heavily dislike him in the middle of the book, just to start liking him all over again towards the end. And I can't forget Gavin because he has to be my favorite character in this whole book for the simple fact that he was always willing to help others, stayed positive, and was always so nice to Jenna even if James wasn't. For the character that I hated the most, which shouldn't be a shock is Will. I knew something was up with him as soon as he was introduced in the book. At the same time I am really glad for his character because he added a very interesting twist to this whole story.

Cons:
One of the things that I had a problem with while reading this book is how at first everything seemed to just click into place for Jenna and that no matter what happened to her she was extremely nice (not in all instances but most), so it would've been nice if she had a little edge to her.  The second thing that I felt was odd was how Ryan, Jenna's step-dad, yelled at her after finding out where she spends most of her time and then her mom just assumes the worst. I guess I could see why they behaved that way but to me it just felt over the top considering how mellow Ryan is. Lastly, I felt like in the first half of the book the characters lacked emotion, so when I read what they thought I didn't really believe it, but most of that went away in the last half of the book.

I am actually going to keep my review as is, as to not spoil the book for anyone.  I feel like so much goes on in this book that it's best to not know anything and to just take it all in on your own. I do have to say though, that Jenna is an outstanding character because she is hit with so much negativity I don't know how she keeps going everyday! So, I will recommend this book to anyone that wants a light book to read and likes contemporary style books.

Final Verdict: 4 Stars

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Edge of Shadows by: Cege Smith

Edge of Shadows
Book 1 in the Shadows Trilogy

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 276
Published: November 2011
Publisher: N/A

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: "Beware what lurks in the darkness of Cege Smith's paranormal Shadows series..." Darkness has been Ellie Coulter's constant companion since her parents' untimely death when she was eight, and she harbors a secret that never fails to remind her that she's different than everyone else. Fresh off a failed marriage with a man who harbored his own dark secrets, Ellie shut herself off from the world as a form of self-preservation. For months, Ellie's protective bubble includes nothing but her coffee shop, her few friends, and her dog. The attention of a handsome young doctor, David Mitchell, pushes her out of her comfort zone, and Ellie warms to the idea that she may have found a risk worth taking. Then one of Ellie's friends abruptly leaves town; entrusting her home to Ellie's care. The house has its own mysterious past that draws Ellie into a tangled web of deceit. Her ex-husband resurfaces with premonitions of Ellie's death. And suddenly Ellie's life is being turned upside down yet again. Something old and evil has found Ellie, and wants to keep her all to itself. Edge of Shadows (Shadows #1) is the first book in the Shadows series. Shadows Deep (Shadows #2) is available now!

My Thoughts:
*I had received this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review*
When I began reading this book I had absolutely no expectations for this book, I just wanted to go into with an empty mind, so to speak.  Let me just tell you I was very surprised!  I didn't know that this book was going to draw me in the way it did.  Ellie was a character that at times annoyed me because of how down in the dumps she would always be.  As the story progressed I grown to love her character because she is actually strong and not broke down as she comes off as.  This book as an element of surprise because really it is hard to tell what is going to happen, it just keeps taking several different turns and ends so wonderfully making you want to hurry and read the next book in the series.  I really don't have anything bad to say about the characters or the character development because I think that everything was exactly how it should be.  Linda's character was awesome, weird, and creepy at the same time!  There were a few things that I do wish I knew more about, like why twas he Realtor acting the way he did, it just seemed odd to me how he started to change into a completely different person.  And what is the importance of one of the characters ( I won't say who so I don't spoil anything) seeing Auras, besides of course being able to tell what mood they were in?  I guess those are things that I will learn as I read the next book in the series.  As I keep thinking about this book I find that I really didn't like Jenny, she annoyed me so much and had this terrible attitude throughout the book.  I guess I can forgive her though because she did go through a lot :)
Overall, I feel like this is a book that more people need to read, it is definitely underrated.  There are a few areas in the book where there are typos but if you look past those it truly is a great story that draws you in.  I can't wait to read the second book in this trilogy because I feel like the terrible ghost/demon like things have just begun.

Final Verdict: 4 Stars

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by: Jenny Han



To All The Boys I've Loved Before

Edition: E-book
Pages: 288
Published: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository


Goodreads Synopsis: 
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

My Thoughts:
I literally just finished this book, and I have to say that I am highly impressed.  Going into this boo I thought that it would be pretty interesting to hear about a girl who writes loves stories to the boys that she loved at one point in time. Especially since I knew a lot of people could relate to this topic (being young and having a lot of crushes).  I can say though that this book made me go through so many emotions to the point that I wasn't quite sure if I liked the book, and then other times I was head over heels for it. So, I'll start by saying what I liked about this book...  I think Jenny Han's character's were so realistic and each one had a completely different personality, so it made me feel like I was actually reading about someone else's life.  Kitty, the youngest of the Song girls, had to be my favorite character because she was so mature for her age, and at times would put Lara Jean in her place when she was having one of her moments (If you read the book you will know what I mean). At times I found myself just LOL and asking myself what's with this kid!!! She was amazing. I also liked how this book portrayed school for teens and displayed how mean girls can be to one another because those are the things that girls are having to deal with today.  Lastly, believe it or not I really did like Peter K. I felt that he made Lara Jean's life a bit less predictable and made her live a little, because she was definitely uptight.

Cons:
There are only a few things that I didn't like about this book and the main thing was how Margaret treated Lara Jean. I know that she was just trying to keep her sister in the right direction but I felt like it was too much pressure constantly telling Lara Jean to sign up for this and that, and volunteer at this place, etc.  I am glad that Lara Jean started to become her own person at the end of the book.  Lastly, I didn't like Lara Jean at the start of this book because I felt like she didn't act her age and that she was way to dependent on her sister Margaret. I think that that was the main reason why I struggled to get through the first half of this book.

Overall, I think that this is a great book and would recommend to anyone who likes love stories with a splash of some high school drama in it.  Plus, I felt like there were so many things left unsaid so I will def be reading the next book (I heard there will be a sequel and I sure hope so, I need more!!).

Favorite Quote:
"Josh, you break my heart. And you're a liar. Because you know me, you know me better than almost anybody, and you don't love me."

Final Verdict: 5 stars

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Attachments by: Rainbow Rowell


Attachments by: Rainbow Rowell

Edition: Hardcover
Published: April 14th, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Pages: 336

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: "Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

My Thoughts: 
Everytime I hear great things about Rainbow Rowell's books I am always so happy to get them and start reading them to see what all the hype is about.  Altthough I get so excited to start reading one of her books, there is also a small part of me that is worried that I won't like it (I'll explain).  Attachments is Rainbow Rowell's adult novel about a guy named Lincoln that gets a job to read peoples emails that get flagged at their job. As he is reading these flagged emails he happens to stumble upon Beth's and Jennifer's emails and finds himself drawn to there conversations/personal lives.  I really enjoyed Lincoln's character, although at times I just didn't understand him.  For instance, I feel like I never got a good grasp on why he had all those college degrees and I was actually curious to know what he majored in (since I am a college graduate as well).  Plus I felt like Lincoln came across younger than what he actually was.  Beth was incredibly funny and I felt like one of the main reasons why I kept reading was to hear more about Beth, and her Cute Guy because we all have experienced one of those.  And I found myself really liking Jennifer for the fact that she was so realistic and when she said certain things she didn't try to make things sound better than they actually were.  I do have to say that in all the Rainbow Rowell books I have read she sure knows how to make her male characters charming and just so freaking cute! Overall, There were several parts in this book that I found to be boring because a lot didn't happen, but I did really enjoy this book even though it wasn't one of my favorites.  I do believe that I would recommend this book as well as the other books Rainbow Rowell has written because her writing is just amazing (especially Eleanor & Park), and I will continue to read each book she publishes.

Final Verdict: 3.5 Stars

Stacking The Shelves #2



Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews.  It is all about sharing the books that you have recently acquired, whether they are books you bought, borrowed, or got for review!

There was a huge sale going on at a used book shop that I frequently go to so I couldn't help but to pick up a few books.  These are the books I got:

The Notebook by: Nicholas Sparks
Feed by: Mira Grant
Flowers in the Attic by: V. C. Andrew
Petals on the Wind by: V.C. Andrew
The Waste Lands by: Stephen King
The Drawing of the Three by: Stephen King
Brave New World by: Aldous Huxley
Betrayed by: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Chosen by; P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

*Mass Market paperbacks were $0.50 and the last 3 books were $1 each

My mom also surprised me with a Nook so of course I had to get some books!! :)

E-book:

Losing It by: Cora Cormick
Beautiful Disaster by: Jamie McGuire
Awakened by Jaime Guerard
To All The Boys I loved Before by: Jenny Han

Library Books:

Rebel Belle by: Rachel Hawkin
Sweet Evil by: Wendy Higgins  (e-book)
If I Stay by: Gayle Forman (e-book)
We Were Liars by: E. Lockhart (e-book)

Once again this is a pretty big book haul, but I had been forgetting to make a post about the books that I had gotten over the last few weeks. Have you read any of these?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blur by: Steven James

Blur by: Steven James

Edition: E-book
Pages: 368
Publisher: Skyscape
Published: May 27th, 2014

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: The isolated town of Beldon, Wisconsin, is shocked when a high school freshman’s body is found in Lake Algonquin. Just like everyone in the community, sixteen-year-old Daniel Byers believes that Emily Jackson’s death was accidental. But at her funeral, when he has a terrifying vision of her, his world begins to rip apart at the seams.

Convinced that Emily’s appearance was more than just a mere hallucination, Daniel begins to look carefully into her death, even as he increasingly loses the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality.

What’s real? What’s not? Where does reality end and madness begin?

As Daniel struggles to find the truth, his world begins to crumble around him as he slips further and further into his own private blurred reality.

Full of mind-bending twists and turns, Blur launches a new trilogy of young adult thrillers from Steven James, a master of suspense.

My Thoughts:
*I was given an E-book copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review*

As I began reading this book I found myself trying to piece together all the things that were happening in order to make sense of what happened to Emily.  I later found that it is best to just read the story for what it is because there are so many twists, especially at the end that will have you torn between who committed these crimes regarding high school students.  When I thought I had everything figured out the story would twist again leaving me so confused.  This is a good thing in my opinion because it will keep you entertained all the way til the end of the book.  I do have to admit that some parts in the middle of this book were slow but I felt that this was necessary in order to have the ending develop like it did.  Daniels character was very sweet and kind but at times I felt like he wasn't all the way there.  To me he just felt really empty, if that makes sense, so at times I found him to be boring.  I also liked the whole idea of him trying to figure out what had happened to his fellow schoolmate, even when everyone else didn't look any further into her death.  I found this book to be a little gory in some sections (which was awesome!), especially where Emily was concerned.  I couldn't stop myself from saying, "OMG Emily what are you doing?!!!!"  There were a few things that I did have issues with and wanted to know more about.  For instance, I think that Daniel's friends reacted to relaxed and understanding when he told them about the Blurs.  Also I want to know more about Daniel's mom and the story behind her, I just felt like there wasn't much said about her but every now and then she would make an appearance in the story which I found to be kind of odd.  Like I said before I think that some of the characters just seemed to be "empty", I felt like I couldn't really get a feel for their character because they acted so bland at times.  Ty is the exception though, he was really weird and frightening, but I still wanted to know what his deal is because he is way to creepy to not have an understanding as to why he behaves the way he does.
Overall, I think that this is a really good paranormal YA book that kept me guessing from start to finish.  The whole concept was awesome and very unique compared to a lot of books that are out now.  Before reading this book, I couldn't get a grasp on the title, Blur, but now that I am finished reading it I think that it was the best name that could have described the events that took place in this book.  I am very excited to see what happens in the second book of this trilogy, Fury, because I need to know more!!!  I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read paranormal fiction, or just wants a new take on the YA genre.

Final Verdict: 4 stars

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides by: Jeffrey Eugenides

Pages: 249
Edition: Paperback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Published: November 1st, 2005

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: The haunting, humorous and tender story of the brief lives of the five entrancing Lisbon sisters, The Virgin Suicides, now a major film, is Jeffrey Eugenides' classic debut novel.

The shocking thing about the girls was how nearly normal they seemed when their mother let them out for the one and only date of their lives. Twenty years on, their enigmatic personalities are embalmed in the memories of the boys who worshipped them and who now recall their shared adolescence: the brassiere draped over a crucifix belonging to the promiscuous Lux; the sisters' breathtaking appearance on the night of the dance; and the sultry, sleepy street across which they watched a family disintegrate and fragile lives disappear.
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My Review: I had been wanting to read this book for quite some time now, especially since so many people were talking about how good this book was.  I also heard great things about this authors other books (The Marriage Plot and Middlesex) and decided that this should be a good starting point to see what the hype was about.
I am going to start of by saying that this book is very mind boggling.  In no way shape or form is this a light read due to the fact that it is about suicides.  Now, i can say that I wasn't prepared for the content in this book.  The story was very good to the point that I could physically imagine how the Lisbon sister's lived.  It made me feel completely sad for them, for having to live in the circumstances that they did (the overprotecting mother, strict rules, promiscuity, the terrible living conditions, etc.). 
This book is solely about five sisters who commits suicide told by a few neighborhood boys who were completely obsessed with these sisters, and to this day they can't forget the Lisbon girls.  It goes into detail not only of how each sister committed these suicides, but also you get a glimpse of why.  There were quite a few things that I really did enjoy about this book.  For instance I liked how the author captured each sister and made them completely different from the other.  I also liked how he went in depth with how the suicides had occurred, which is something that most books shy away from.

Cons: One of the biggest cons that I have for this book is how i felt that most of the book was just filler.  The first suicide had occurred during the first few pages and it wasn't until the end that I found out what had happen to the other 4 sisters.  I also didn't understand why the neighborhood boys was so obsessed with the girls, even decades after they had died.  It just seemed over the top to me.  Lastly, I would have liked to see a bit more of what the girls were going through so I could get a better idea as to why they would have wanted to kill themselves.  I just didn't think that it was talked about enough for me to have closure at the end of this book.

Although, I had a few qualms with this book I do think that it is really good and very different from anything that I have ever read before.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who can handle dark subjects.  And I do believe that I will reread this book sometime after I recover from this book hangover I currently have!

Final Verdict: 3 Stars

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bout of Books 10 Read-a-Thon!!


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
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This is going to be my second time participating in Bout of Books.  The first time I participated was in Bout of Books 9.0 and I didn't read one book in that week.  I think that was do to the fact that my college courses was very overwhelming at the time.  Since I will be graduating college before Bout of Books start I think I have a better shot at completing my goals.

Time devoted to reading:
I will try to read atleast 2 hours a day, and at the very least read 150 pgs a day.  The books listed below have a total of 843 pgs.  I hope to read more than that but I am going to start off slow.

My Goals:
To read atleast 3 books, anything beyond this set amount will be a bonus.  And to write updates through out the week, as well as write a wrap-up at the end of the read-a-thon.  You can also see what I am reading on Goodreads.

TBR Pile;
Updates:

Monday
# of Pages read: 213
Book(s): Eleanor & Park

Tuesday
# of Pages read: 152
Book(s): Eleanor & Park (Finished), The Virgin Suicides

Wednesday
# of Pages read: 68
Book(s): The Virgin Suicides

Thursday
# of Pages read: 0
Books(s): - - -

Friday
# of Pages read: 63
Book(s): The Virgin Suicides

Saturday
# of Pages read: 0
Book(s): - - -

Sunday
# of Pages read: 160 
Book(s): The Virgin Suicides (finished), and Edge of Shadows
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Bout of Books 10 read-a-thon Wrap-up!!
I was hoping to get through 3 full books during this read-a-thon but instead I got through 2.5 books, which is better than the last Bout of Books read-a-thon I participated in.  Next time though, I will keep track of how many pages I read through out the week way better than how I did it this time.  On Sunday I completely did not write down how many pages I read that day, which made me have to guess the amount.  Overall I feel like this read-a-thon was a success for me even though I didn't read every day, finish 3 books, or even read for 2 hours each day.  I am happy with my results and hope to set the bar higher on the next read-a-thon.

Books read:
  • Eleanor & Park (325 pgs)
  • The Virgin Suicides (249 pgs)
  • Edge of Shadows (138 pgs read out of 276)
Total pages read: 712

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Stacking The Shelves #1 | May Book Haul




Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews.  It is all about sharing the books that you have recently acquired, whether they are books you bought, borrowed, or got for review!

I am so excited to start my first Stacking The Shelves post!!!!!!!!!
This post is going to be packed with a lot of books that I have gathered over the last few weeks (It's a lot).


Bought:

The Bachman Books by: Richard Bachman (a.ka. Stephen King)
Winter's Tale by: Mark Helprin
The Virgin Suicides by: Jeffrey Euginides
The Final Empire by: Brandon Sanderson

Library

Chibi Vampire vol. 2 by: Yuna Kagesaki
Chibi Vampire vol. 3 by: Yuna Kagesaki
Half Bad by: Sally Green
Horde by: Ann Aquirre
Never Fade by: Alexandra Bracken
Attachments by: Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor & Park by: Rainbow Rowell
Fire & Flood by: Victoria Scott

e-Library

Ready Player One by: Ernest Cline

For Review:

Blur by: Steven James (Netgalley)

What books did you get?





Chibi Vampire Vol. 2 By: Yuna Kagesaki

Chibi Vampire by: Yuna Kagesaki
(Volume 2)

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 176
Published: April 8th, 2006
Publisher: Tokyopop

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: Kenta sees Karin at work and school, each day serving as a reminder that something about the girl with the oft-bloody nose just isn't right! He's suspicious...and he's not exactly subtle about it. Fearing that he might discover her secret, Karin decides to kill this potential problem--with kindness! She goes out of her way to do all kinds of nice things for him. But when Kenta catches her "feeding" yet again, the gig may be up. So what's a vampire girl to do? Why, take the boy home to meet her parents, of course!

My Review: In my opinion the second volume of this series is so much better than the first volume.  I am not sure if it is because I have gotten use to reading Manga now, or if it is because there is a little more going on in this book.  In this volume Karin struggles to stay away from Kenta (the new boy in her school and the boy who makes her blood react strangely) but he keeps popping up every where.  The importance of staying away from Kenta, is making sure that her "secret" stays a secret.  But this isn't an easy thing to do since he already seen her expel a lot of blood and is really curious as to why she is acting so weird.  With the help of Anju (Karin's little sister), Kenta finds out what he has always wondered...
I thought that this book was so good and had plenty of funny moments.  I just can't get over the cuteness of this manga.  I can't really say much else, except for that I really liked it which I'm sure I have already said.  This manga is very light and sweet, with a few slow moments as well.  Nothing in this manga happens at a fast pace, but I am ok with.  The slow pace doesn't take away from the story line one bit.  I highly recommend this if you want a good light read.

Final Verdict: 5 stars

Chibi Vampire Vol. 1 by: Yuna Kagesaki

Chibi Vampire by: Yuna Kagesaki
(Volume 1)

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 176
Published: April 11th, 2006
Publisher: Tokyopop

Purchase: Amazon  |  Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: Karin is a cute little girl who also happens to be a vampire... with a twist. Once a month, she experiences intense bleeding from her nose - we're talking gushers! In other words, she's a vamp with blood to spare, so rather than stealing blood from humans she actually gives her blood to them.

My Review: I'm going to start by saying that this is my second time reading a Manga, so it took me a little while to get into it since the style is completely different from that of a novel. Since I am obsessed with anything that has to do with vampires I thought that this would be a good Manga series to start with (I wanted to start being more diverse in the things that I read), especially since the series isn't as long as most Manga series are.  I thought that this was a wonderful take on vampires...seriously, a vampire who doesn't take blood from people but instead gives them blood! Yes, I definitely had to see what that was all about.  The first volume goes into some background information on Karin's information and about her personal story.  What makes her so different from her family is that while she is a vampire in reverse, the members of her family are actually "real" vampires.  I really enjoyed the different characters especially Karin because she is clearly a hot mess in every way.  I mean nothing goes right for her.  Her brother Ren is quite the character as well, being such a ladies man that is drawn in by other peoples stress (weird I know, but that is what makes this manga so good).  Throughout this story you get to understand Karin a little bit, also as she learns about herself.  After all there hasn't been anyone who is a vampire in reverse.  So you get to see why Karin expels so much blood, and what characteristic in certain people causes this reaction.  Overall, I really did enjoy this manga because it was so different from the books that I typically read.  I would suggestion Chibi Vampire vol. 1 to anyone who wants a light read in-between heavier books.

Final Verdict: 4 stars

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by: Matthew Quick

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by: Matthew Quick

Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 273
Published: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Purchase: Amazon | BookDepository

Goodreads synopsis: In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was—that I couldn't stick around—and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.


My Review:
Upon reading this book I did not know that this was a book about suicide so I did not have any expectations for this book, nor did I hear reviews about this book.  I am glad for that because I was able to sort out my own feelings without my judgement being clouded.

This book follows Leonard who on his birthday will kill his bestfriend (ex-bestfriend rather) but first he has a few stops along the way to address those that he cherished the most.  The parts of this book that I really liked were also parts of this book that were the deepest, emotionally.  I liked when there was light shown on Leonard and his ex-bestfriends friendship in their earlier years.  I did not expect it to turn out so badly from the abuse that these two boys had suffered.  I was rather furious when Leonard's mom  and how she witnessed some of the abuse that was going on with her son, yet did nothing and acted as if everything was ok.  I also felt so sad that Leonard did not have anyone to turn to for help, which then led to him to start forming these dark thoughts/plans.  I also loved Leonard's relationship with Walt, who gave him a sense of belonging and Herr Silverman, who helped pull him out of this dark despair even when no one else seemed to care.

Cons:
I have a few cons with this book that led me to give it the rating that I did.  The first thing that I did not like was the letters from the future.  I did not like them because they were placed randomly throughout the book and it made me really confused.  At first I didn't know what I had just read but as the story progresses you later find out what those letters mean to Leonard. Even though I thought the letters to the future were confusing I do believe that they helped Leonard in the end and helped him see what the future could hold for him even if that means enduring the pains he faces in the present.  The last thing that I did not like is that it took almost the whole book to figure out why Leonard wanted to kill himself.  Once I found out this part of his life I felt so much sadness for Leonard and wished he did not experience the things that he had throughout his life.  I would have loved to hear more about that trauma because that is a topic that isn't really touched on much but effects so many individuals and families today.

Overall I think this book was a good read, that made you turn page after page in order to figure out what else Leonard had up his sleeve.

Final Verdict: 3.5 Stars

Numbers Infinity by: Rachel Ward

Numbers Infinity by: Rachel Ward
(Numbers #3)

Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Published: May 1st, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Purchase: Amazon | BookDepository

Goodreads synopsis: The mind-blowing conclusion to the chilling NUMBERS trilogy: Because everyone wants to live forever.

No matter what it takes, Sarah's desperate to escape from the numbers.

Always numbers. Sarah loves Adam, but can't bear the thought that every time he looks in her eyes, he can see her dying; can see her last day.

It's 2029. Two years since the Chaos. Sarah and Adam are struggling to survive. She knows he always envisioned them together "'til death do us part." But will a child come between them? The child she loves. The child he saved.

Little Mia was supposed to die that New Year's Day. The numbers don't lie. But somehow she changed her date. Mia's just a baby, oblivious to her special power. But ruthless people are hunting her down, determined to steal her secret. 

Because everyone wants to live forever.

My Review:
Since this book is the a conclusion to a series, this review is going to be short and pretty vague.

This book follows Adam, Sarah, and Mia who are trying to find shelter and peace after the Chaos.  Things are not really any easier for them especially when men come looking for Adam.  Sarah just wants to find safety and convinces Adam to go to the safest place left.  They soon find out that safety is going to be hard to come by.

This book in my opinion is the better one of the series.  The ending was so unpredictable and really brought some feels that I did not know I felt at the time.  The characters are very loveable and it really makes you have a soft spot for Adam and Mia.
Mia, although so young, has the spirit of an older person and always seems to sense when things are wrong.  She is so sweet and even though she may not know it or atleast understand it at her current age she seems to want to help so many people no matter how dangerous they are, or what harm doing so could bring her.
Something that I really enjoyed about this book is all the lies and secrets that kept coming up.  Normally that would annoy me but in this case it made you stay on your toes because you didn't know who to trust.
Overall, this was a good book that contained most of the action towards the end of the book.  I would recommend this to someone who is wanting a different take on YA dystopian books, but also who do not mind a slow paced book.

Cons:
There is only one con when it comes to this book, and that is it being so slow in the beginning.  It was kind of hard for me to get into this book at first, but once you got to the middle of the book it just got better and better.

Final Verdict: 4 Stars 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Vampire Academy by: Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy By: Richelle Mead
(Vampire Academy #1)

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 332
Published: August 16th, 2007
Publisher: Razorbill

Purchased: Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Synopsis: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

My Review:
Rose is like a bodyguard who has been protecting Lissa from something unknown...  She will go through great lengths in order to ensure Lissa's safety, even if that means neglecting her own needs.  Lissa, at times has a strong sense of someone following her but Rose does everything in her power to reassure Lissa that everything will be ok.  This is not a hard task especially sense their bond is so strong.

This book had a very different take on vampires which I was thankful for. The Vampire Academy is a school that young vampires learn things, such as dealing with their powers that they specialize in.  It is also a place where people like Rose go through education and training in order to become a guardian to protect the vampires (Moroi) since their race is dying out.  Rose was a very likable main character and extremely selfless, always being their for Lissa when she most needed it.  Lissa was not a character I liked very much because she did not really stand out to me.  I think the reason she did not stand out was because she seemed very helpless at times always needing someone (Rose) to rescue her.  And then when she did try to take situations in her own hands she would go to deep extremes in order to save her friend, which seemed unnecessary at times.  I did like the concept of Lissa's gift that will truly unravel towards the end of the book.  It seems like a gift most would love to have and yet a curse at the same time. Dimitri was to die for! Something about him just made him seem so adorable even though he hardly said anything and was mostly "statue-like" through this book. The reason I held off from reading this book is because people said that the ending was very predictable.  After reading this all the way through I have to disagree.  I did not see the ending coming the way it did, which turned out to be really weird (weird in a good way). This book is slow paced but I feel that it gives you enough detail about the history of the Moroi and Dhampir's which is something you need to understand, especially sense this book is not about ordinary vampires.
I think this is a great book, that has just enough action to keep you wanting more.

Final Verdict: 5 stars