Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Wrap-Up!

I don't normally do monthly wrap-ups mostly because I forget, but since I am doing so many challenges in 2015 I want to start making a habit of talking about what had gone on in the past month.

I really feel like January has gone by way too quickly, but I am really impressed with myself in how many books I was able to read this month. It makes me feel really accomplished!

BOOKS I READ




AUDIOBOOKS


I also started listening to audiobooks more. For the most part I've been listening to books I've already read because I feel like it's another way to experience a book you loved. I started venturing out to books I never read or was going to but then heard negative things about them. I listened to If I Stay yesterday and I have to admit I wasn't that impressed. It wasn't bad, but I just felt like it didn't live up to the hype.

CHALLENGE PROGRESS


I've only read one of the ten books I'm challenging myself to read this year for this challenge, but I do have another one in my queue.


I read 2 of the books I challenged myself to read this year at the beginning of the year and haven't read another one yet. Oops, better get on that!

I'm very close to finishing the first series of this challenge, but I've only read book two in the Leviathan Trilogy.
All in all I've feel really accomplished this month and I have a lot in store for next month where I will be dedicating the month to Historical Fiction and hosting another giveaway. Be sure to check it out and link up if you want to participate.

What books did you read in January?


Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Historical Fiction February + Giveaway

*Hey look at me attempting to do graphics HAHA!
As you can see from my participating in Sci-Fi November and my attempted Fantasy December event, I really like to have months where I just read from one genre. Right now I am feeling some burnout from reading so much sci-fi/fantasy that I decided for the month of February I want to dedicate it to historical fiction. (but also because I'm DYING to finish the Leviathan series and it gives me an excuse).

Unlike Fantasy December I think I'm actually going to do more than just reviews for the books I'm going to read for this month. I'm going to do that too, but I also am planning on doing some discussion posts about my favorite historical fiction novels, top ten books, TV and movie posts, and maybe a post about why I love the genre.

Here's what I'm planning on reading this month:




I am also going to be doing an international giveway! YAY! It will not be a requirement to participate in the event to enter the giveaway.  I tried to pick books that offered a diverse time period and culture so to appeal to anyone's historical fiction interests. As long as the book is under $17 on the Book Depository you can choose whatever you want. Please make this fair for everyone, and do not cheat! I will be checking this time.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


I'm really excited to start putting together my posts for everyone in the upcoming months. I want to hear from you. What is your favorite historical fiction novel?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: Behemoth



Yooooooooooo!!!

Go read this book. That's my review, go read it!

My Rating:
★★★★★





Just kidding!!!

But seriously I cannot recommend the Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld enough. If you are not sure if you like the steampunk genre, don't worry Westerfeld unravels this tale so elegantly that you will come away from it with high expectations. I know I have.


Behemoth is the sequel to the trilogy's first book Leviathan and I was really impressed with it. You know how some series have that "second book syndrome"? Behemoth does not have that. I think that Westerfeld does a really fine job of continuing this epic story without making it trite as I've found happens in a lot of series.

Like in the first novel a good portion of it takes place with our two heroes Alek and Deryn in separate places having their own adventures. I found Alek to be less annoying in this one, but I also think it brought about a lot of his ignorance of the plight of the common people. He was kind of annoying me with his thoughts about women. I was just thinking, "um...Deryn is a girl who could kick your ass...can't wait for you to find out that secret." Westerfeld is definitely setting him up for some more characters development in the final book, so I'm interested to see how he changes.

As for Deryn...um why isn't she a part of the BAMF girls club? Home girl is so resourceful! She is so fierce and I just want to be her, or be her best friend. I also love that Westerfeld strings these foils of assertive women in front of her, like Dr. Barlow or Lilit. Deryn doesn't have to pretend to be a boy to be powerful, and I think this message is going to come to the forefront in the final novel.

I've already started the final book Goliath and I'm so excited but also avoiding it because I don't want it to be over.

What did you think about this novel? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Reads Everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday: books I'd love to read with my book club


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is the top ten books you want to read with your book club. Or if you don't have a book club what you would want to read if you had one.


I actually do have a book club! I go to the teen book club at my local bookstore and sometimes they make me feel old because some of them are 14 and I'm a decade older than them. I'm not even that old! I think I have suggested a few things to the group before but here is my ultimate list of the books I want to force them to read.


Jinx By Meg Cabot

I suggested this book before but everyone shot me down. This is a book about witches and trying to figure out who you are. We try not to read the start of series, so I suggested this one because I think it's a solid standalone book about magic in modern society.


Seraphina By Rachel Hartman

The girl who runs the club has been trying to get us to read a traditional fantasy book for awhile. That's why we read Snow Like Ashes for January. This one has been suggested before and since it's on my list I would totally want to read this one with the club.


Code Name Verity By Elizabeth Wein

We haven't read a good historical fiction novel in awhile, and I think this one would be a good pick. World War II stories are always popular and I've had this one on my list forever!


Cruel Beauty By Rosamund Hodge

I think this was an option that we talked about before but we ended up not reading it. I want to read it for one of my challenges, so maybe we will reconsider this one.


We Were Liars By E. Lockhart

I've heard some mixed reviews about this one, so I would like to hear what the other girls have to say about this contemporary novel.


The Duff By Kody Keplinger

This book seems like a nice break from the heavy books we've been reading. I know some of the girls like contemporary more than other genres so I think this would be a good pick.


M+O 4EVR By Tonya Cherie Hegamin

I think we need to read some more diverse books, and I think Hegamin's novel would be a good one to add. Hegamin did a guest lecture at my college so I've also been meaning to read her books for some time.


The Disenchantments By Nina LaCour

I've had this book on my list for a really long time, and I think it could be a nice "fluffy" read for the summer. 



Being Friends With Boys By Terra Elan McVoy

This is another contemporary novel that I think would be a good one for book club to read. Maybe I'm just being selfish because I just got it from the Book Outlet.


The Body Electric By Beth Revis

We haven't read too many sci-fi books in book club, so maybe this would be a good one for us to read. Although, it doesn't seem like the other members are not too keen on the genre. 

What books would you want your book club to read?


Happy Reads Everyone!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Book Confession: I Don't Like Novellas



Hello fellow book lovers, I'm afraid today I have a book confession to make. I honestly don't like novellas. I'm just one of those readers that doesn't care for novellas.

So why don't I like novellas? I HAVE NO IDEA.

I really don't know what it is that makes me not like them, but I've never had any interest in reading novellas. Back in the early 2000s when I was first reading The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot wrote a few novellas for her series, but I had no interest in reading them. Back then there didn't seem to be a lot of them on the market but I've noticed in recent years a huge influx of novellas complimenting popular book series.

Maybe I don't choose to read them because they are too short. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing but when you're used to reading 300+ novels in a series you tend to skip those shorter writing pieces. I think maybe one of the main reasons I chose not to read them is because they are not necessary to the overall story. You don't have to read novellas that connect to a certain series, because it is not like you will miss an important aspect of the story arc.

So maybe it's not that I dislike or hate novellas. I think it is actually because I have so many books on my shelf that I rather be reading full novels than spending my precious reading time on shorter pieces that compliment a series I've already read.

I want to know your opinion about this. Are you a fan of the novella trend? Do you always reads novellas from your favorite series? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Snow Like Ashes



My Rating:
★★★☆☆

Before I get into this review I want to mention that I think I am burning out on fantasy novels. I've read so much recently that I think I need a break because I'm not impressed with things I think I normally would like a great deal. I think Snow Like Ashes is one of the books that suffers from this fantasy burnout. 

Snow Like Ashes is a debut by Sara Raasch that is a high fantasy young adult fiction series. In this series we deal with 8 different kingdoms (4 rhythm, 4 seasons) whom all possess magic but the ruler of Spring is hellbent on destroying Winter and possibly all the other kingdoms once he gets the chance. The story is told in the perspective of a young Winterian refugee whom feels like she doesn't belong and doesn't have any worth. The novel encapsulates her journey as she starts piecing together the true history of her people.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Authors I Always Go Back To


Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme hosted by the bloggers over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is...a freebie. FREEBIE?!? You guy's can't do that to me, I'm so indecisive!




At first I was going to do my top ten bookish pet peeves but then I only had like three and I sounded too whiny, so I decided to do my top authors that I always go back to. These are authors that I have read at least 60% of their novels. Wait...I suck at math. I don't really know the percentages but these authors are all ones that have meant a good deal to me, and whenever I hear they are releasing a new book I know I have to read it. I only ended up with eight this week, but close enough. 

Unlike most of my TTT lists, this one kind of is in the order of my favorites. My Big Three are on here so it shouldn't be a surprise.




Um...duh? This should not be a surprise to anyone that has visited my blog since I started it back in May. Meg is my ultimate favorite author. I love her so much. I have to admit that I haven't read all of her books, and I'm not too crazy about her earlier adult novels, but she was one of my first influences in the young adult genre. The Princess Diaries is also what inspired me to want to become a writer. 




I started reading Sarah Dessen in 9th grade and I have never looked back. A lot of people have criticized her for having a "formula" and I do agree that there are a lot of similar themes in her novels, but I always love them so much that I don't even care. I always try to get her next book whenever I can.



I've been reading Anderson forever, just like the previous two authors. I was first introduced to Speak in the 8th grade, and I continue to always go back to Anderson's work. Whenever she puts out a new book I am there. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

The perks of being the last to read a series



Everyone is always talking about how being the last person to read a popular book series is the worst thing to happen to them, but I like to disagree. Granted you can get caught in the spoiler game, but as long as you stay out of the tag and don't have shitty friends that give away endings, I think you can avoid them.

Also if you're on tumblr you can always use Tumblr Savior to blacklist certain books (I did this with Blood Of Olympus). So if you're good at avoiding spoilers or just don't care about being spoiled, there are some advantages to being the last person to read a series.

No Waiting!

You know your friends whom are always crying, "Why do I have to wait a million years for the final book?!?" Yeah, jokes on you suckers because I didn't start reading this series until the last book came out! One of the biggest advantages to being the last to read a series is that there is no annoying time period where you are sitting around waiting for the next book.

I think this might be one of the reasons that I do end up reading series so much later than when they originally came out. There is no impatient waiting for the next book, so I can just blow through the series as fast as I care to. I rather binge read a series than have to wait in agony for the rest of the series. (Do you hear me George R.R. Martin?)

No Forgetting To Finish That Series!

As you all should know by now, I'm pretty awful at keeping up with all the series I am in the middle of reading. Part of this is because I start reading a debut book and I don't realize that it is a series. Since the next book isn't out yet I tend to just forget about it while I try to finish reading the other books on my list. By the time I remember about the series it's already finished so I can binge read the rest of it right away! Win-win!

Matching Books

If you buy a lot of books, which I imagine is a lot of people in the bookish community, you probably like to have your books match. I don't really care about this, I mean the first four of my Harry Potter books are paperbacks and the other are hardbacks. I don't really care about this type of thing, but some readers have a strong opinion about covers and the debate between hardbacks and paperbacks. I actually have a friend that likes to wait for the paperback because they're A) cheaper, and B) she ends up preferring the version they publish for the paperback.

Sometimes for whatever reason the publisher changes the cover for all the books in a series once the second or third book is released. At times redesigns change the dimensions of the book as well. So you might have the first book in the original cover, but the second book is different in both size and cover. Again, I don't really care about this but some book lovers do, so sometimes it is a good thing to wait until the series is over so you can have the whole series looking all pretty on your shelf.

Don't get me wrong there are definitely some disadvantages to being the last person to read a series, but I actually don't mind it at all. I'm also the type of person that is not too bothered about spoilers. What is your take on this? Do you like to read series after they are already finished or do you like reading them as they get released?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

TBR Pile Challenge: Throne of Glass Review


I'm participating in the TBR Pile Reading Challenge hosted by Evie-Bookish, and I can now say that I have already marked off one of the books I intended to read for this challenge.

I like this cover SO much better!
My Rating:

★★★★☆

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass is also the readalong book for January for this challenge, but I finished it a little before the final discussion post. So if you read my first half discussion post on this book, some of my thoughts about the novel have not changed.

One of the things I didn't like in this book was the brewing love triangle that I could see between Celaena, Chaol and Dorian. I preferred Chaol, but I really did not care about whom she ended up with because Celaena's story is not defined by her love interests. She does make somewhat of a choice in the end, and I liked that Maas nipped that conflict in the bud...I hope.

I loved that Maas didn't write Celaena with all the stereotypes of a "strong female warrior." Celaena wasn't mannish, nor was she cut off from her emotions or vulnerabilities. She was a kickass assassin that could easily kill you, but one that also loved the feel of silk on her skin and was hurt that she couldn't go to any of the court feasts. I loved this about her character because it made her feel more real. I also loved this complexity because Maas didn't make her choose to be an assassin or to be feminine, she was rightfully allowed to be both.

I thought at times the action was slow, but I think I latched onto the characters that I got sucked into this world immediately. The pace of the story does improve as you start to find at what or whom is killing off the other champions and in the final duel in the competition. I think that scene was so bat shit crazy that I couldn't read it fast enough! It was probably my favorite part of the book.

Overall I really liked this book, and I'm kicking myself for putting it off for so long. I definitely will continue to read this series...eventually! (You should know By know how terrible I am at keeping up with series.)

What did you think about this novel? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Holly Black To Visit Doylestown Bookshop

*Not my graphic, belongs to Doylestown Bookshop & its designer

I think I've written ad nauseam about how much I love my local indie bookstore. You all are probably sick of hearing about it, but listen up because they are having another exciting author event that I wanted to post about. Next Tuesday, 1/20 they are having Holly Black visit for a book signing to promote her newest book Darkest Part of The Forest. 



I LOVE me some Holly Black so I jumped on registering for the event as soon as I saw them promoting it. I even pre-ordered her new book and FINALLY got myself a copy of The White Cat (my favorite book by her) so I can get her to sign it for me. I'm so excited for this event!

Black is definitely in my Top 5 young adult authors list. I've been reading her for a very long time, so long that I can't actually remember when I first starting reading her books. I do remember being in middle school and seeing her first book Tithe at a book fair. I know that I later got it from the library, if my memory is correct and I did it that school year that means I have been reading her books for close to a decade. Although I didn't finish that series until I was in college. See! I've always been bad at keeping up with series!

I haven't really been keeping up with her latest stuff but I do have Coldest Girl in Cold Town sitting on my shelf. I'm trying to read it for one of my challenges this year. Since I loved The Curse Workers series so much, she has been one of those writers that I will always go back to. I don't think she's written about fairies in a while so this new novel kind of came out of nowhere. Based on the synopsis and this creepy trailer it seems really dark, and I really like that she is going back to her faerie roots.





I have no idea when I'll get to her new novel because um...my TBR list is forever and a day long. Unfortunately there's definitely no way I'm finishing it before Tuesday. I'm excited to read it...eventually!

If you are in the Doylestown area you should definitely check out this event. For more information about registration, etc make sure you visit the bookshop's website.

Happy Reads Everyone!