Spring Bullet Reviews

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Hello everyone, and happy spring! I have been meaning to do this post for a really long time now, and I am finally getting around to it. It is a compilation of mini reviews (aka bullet reviews, because BULLET POINTS) of several books that I have read in the past few months. Hopefully you can find even more books to add to your TBR or discover a new opinion on something you have already read.

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Replica by Lauren Oliver

  • First, I loved the uniqueness of the two-in-one thing. It really made for a fun reading experience! (I did get tired of flipping it over after a while though)
  • I chose to read it in alternating chapters from Gemma and Lyra’s points of view, though I have heard the stories can be read in any order or combination of alternating views.
  • I really enjoyed the characters! They were all individual and contributed something unique to the story.
  • Things were constantly happening! I was never bored at any point in the book. There was always something going on that kept the story moving forward.
  • Also, Lauren Oliver’s writing is generally just really great, and it makes the stories even better!
  • There were tons of plot twists and unexpected surprises. (That’s one reason I would suggest reading it in alternating chapters, because they go at the same pace, and reading one may spoil the other perspective for you.)
  • The whole concept was great, with the mysterious Haven Institute and its ties to each character.
  • Overall, a really great, captivating read! Here is the excerpt if you are interested!

 

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Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

  • I am a really big fan of Brendan and Kathy Reichs’ Virals series, so I was eager to read this one.
  • I maybe had my expectations a little too high, but I still enjoyed the book.
  • It had a lot of twists and turns that I did NOT see coming. There was one especially big one (in my opinion), but I will not say any more than that…
  • I did not really seem to connect with the characters all that much. Min just seemed very distant and unrelatable, Tack was more like the underappreciated childhood friend, and Noah would change his views constantly.
  • THAT SAID, I still liked all of them, I just was not as connected as I would like to be. However, Ethan and Sarah just got on my nerves. I know they are supposed to be like the “bad guys,” but I just didn’t enjoy their presence at all.
  • I sometimes would get confused about whose point of view I was reading (Min or Noah), and I would have liked to see more of a difference in their styles.
  • As I mentioned earlier, there are a ton of different things going on and many, many twists and turns. It had an interesting plot that kept me waiting to see what was coming next.
  • I mentioned a lot of negative aspects, but I really did like the story! It was not similar to anything I have read, and it was enjoyable!
  • Check out the description!

 

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The Selection by Kiera Cass

  • This has been on my TBR forever, and I finally decided to pick it up.
  • I’m super glad that I did, because this book is really light, fun, and creative.
  • First, I was surprised by the element of dystopian. I did not know that their world was based upon a caste system and interesting history, fully equipped with rebels and battle scenes.
  • The romance was blended nicely with the dystopian, and it made for a unique combination.
  • I really liked all of the characters! They were all really fun and enjoyable. Especially May, America’s younger sister. She always made me happy!
  • America starts out with this really great, loving, kind boyfriend named Aspen. WELL let’s just say The Selection happens and Aspen is not quite so great anymore.
  • Enter the wonderful Prince Maxon!
  • He is so adorable! Like, he’s very intelligent and prince-like, but he’s also funny and provides a fresh perspective for America.
  • I enjoyed their relationship and America’s relationship with the other girls in the Selection.
  • Overall, I’m glad that I started this series, and I hope the rest is just as amazing! It’s such a fun, likable read!
  • Here’s the blurb!
  • I have also finished The Elite and The One as of right now, and I have the next two ready to go!

 

Have you read any of these books? If so, did you enjoy them? Do you ever have the need for a book that is just a simple, fun read?

Sunshine Blogger Award

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I was recently nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the lovely Alex Charming at Lord of the Trekkies. I am super excited to have been selected for this and I love that there are people who like what I am doing! So, thank you Alex!

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator has given you.
  3. Nominate 11 other people and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  4. List the rules and display the award

The Questions:

1. What is your favorite part of blogging?

Hmm… probably getting to talk about books without people giving me weird looks. I can share something I love with everyone else and maybe help them to love books and reading as much as I do. Also, blogging for me is time dedicated to books and books alone, and there’s nothing better than that!

2. Do you like to read? Why?

OF COURSE!! I literally have a blog entirely dedicated to reading! I enjoy it because it allows you to escape whatever may be happening in your life and go to a completely different world. You can be someone else for a while and experience different things without actually doing whatever the character is doing. Books are basically wormholes to other universes that are far more intriguing than our own.

3. What is your favorite song?

I’m a band nerd, so that’s a really hard question. On a side note, music is much like reading. It can take you someplace wonderful. So, I don’t necessarily have a favorite song or genre or anything. I generally just like it all, but some of the songs that I like best are ones that have good musical qualities and not just meaningful words. Oftentimes, the notes can carry more emotion than the words. (Sorry, I digress.) But my most favorites songs are usually the ones that we play in band, because they are personal and more meaningful to me. (Also, the Star Wars and LOTR soundtracks are AMAZING!)

4. What is your OTP?

Percabeth. One hundred percent, hands down Percabeth. (Percy and Annabeth from Percy Jackson, for those who are unfamiliar). That was one of the first books series that I read that I really, truly enjoyed, so their wonderful, most perfect relationship has stuck with me!

5. What is your NOTP?

I’m not positive what NOTP means… but I’m assuming it’s like the opposite of an OTP? If that’s the case, then I don’t have one. (Sorry!) I have not ever had a book where I didn’t like who ended up with who. At least that I can remember anyways…

6. What/Who is your spirit animal?

Well, this is also something that I can’t really answer. I know there was like a “spirit animal bandwagon” for a while, but I never hopped on. Umm… if I had to guess I would probably say a turtle or something that hides from things. I’m shy, and I like to hide from things that are dangerous, so a turtle it is then.

7. If you could have one famous author (living or otherwise) to write your biography, who would you choose and why?

That is actually extremely difficult because there are SOOO many great authors out there! However, I would have to say probably Dr. Seuss. He is generally great and I always loved reading his books as a kid (okay, even now). His books always make people happy, and I would want to be remembered in a happy, fun way. Also, J.K. Rowling, Marissa Meyer, or J.R.R. Tolkien would be good options as well.

8. Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune

Jeopardy. Although, I really love Wheel of Fortune, too! I just love the randomness and cool facts you can learn from Jeopardy.

9. Who is your favorite villain of all time?

Definitely Darth Vader. He’s got a sad backstory, a lost love, an ominous black outfit, a crazy awesome sword, and an entire space army at his command. Not to mention that he’s persistent with the whole Death Star thing. Gotta admire persistence. What more could you want from a villain?

10. Do you like Disney?

Of Course! Who doesn’t like Disney? There’s Disney World, Disney Land, Disney movies, Mr. Disney himself… I really loved going to Disney World, and I adore Disney movies. There are like childhood classics. And even after all the movies they have made, I have yet to be disappointed by one of them. They are all so wonderful, and they bring you back to your childhood and happiness and not having to do homework for seven hours after school.

11. What is your opinion on Loki? (From The Avengers, Thor, etc.)

Well, I’ve never seen the Avengers or Thor, and I’m not really familiar with either (I’m sorry, don’t hurt me!) Just not my thing, I guess. Although, I did read Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer a while ago, and Loki might have been mentioned somewhere? I also looked up his little “definition” in the back of that book and he seemed interesting, so… I suppose that Gods of mischief and magic can be cool.

I am nominating:

My Questions:

  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
  2. What is one thing that you wished you knew when you started blogging and why?
  3. What are your top five favorite books or series?
  4. What is your favorite dessert?
  5. What is the best vacation you have ever been on?
  6. If you could bring to life a book or movie character for one day, who would you choose? What would you do with them?
  7. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
  8. Do you like spending time outdoors?
  9. What kinds of shoes do you usually wear?
  10. What would your dream home look like?
  11. What is a fandom that you are envious of?

Top Ten Artsy Book Covers

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Hello! Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Freebie! I am linking up with The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday to share some of my most favorite artsy book covers. Check out their site for more TTT posts about covers!

1. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Oh, how I adore this cover! It looks like a water color painting, and the reflection of the buildings is really neat. All three books in the series are beautiful, and they look great together.

2. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

This one looks like string or yarn art. The fade of the colors is really pretty, too!

3. Champion by Marie Lu

This cover is simple, but it does the trick. It is like spray paint over a stencil, and who doesn’t love spray paint?

4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

The title is printed in a unique font that is kind of like calligraphy. The designs on the sides are doodly and fun as well.

5. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Music is an art, too, and the violin seems mysterious and regal on this cover. I love reading about music, and it was incorporated nicely into this book.

6. The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson

I really like how there are images that seem to be inside of the girl. They seem like a painting of sorts, and it has a mysterious quality to it.

7. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

This one is also like a watercolor, with blended colors and a whimsical vibe. The tree and foreground seem doodled with a marker. (Hey, this book comes out on May 16!)

8. Sometimes We Tell the Truth by Kim Zarins

Doodles again! I really like the “doodled” or hand-drawn look. It’s fun, even though there could be flaws.

9. This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Unfortunately, this book is not released until October. However, we can still enjoy it’s paint like cover! It reminds me of frosting, and the colors are really pretty. Also, the story has to do with art, so that’s cool!

10. You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

Spray paint! This book is about a graffiti war, so what better cover than one that has graffiti on it?

What covers are the “artsiest”? What things do you look for in a good cover? Link me to your TTT!

Top 10 Things That Make Me Want to Read a Book

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It’s Tuesday again! I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their blog for their thoughts and tons of other TTT posts! I will take you through a checklist of sorts that I tend to use when deciding if I want to read a book.

1. An intriguing description

Of course, I don’t always read the description first, but it’s the best way to get a feel for what the book is about. I want to be captivated and intrigued by the first sentence. In my opinion, a strong description equals a great book!

2. A pretty cover

I know I know, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. But I just can’t help it sometimes. Who doesn’t love a nice cover? Even books with not-so-great covers can be fabulous, but a cover is the first thing readers see.

3. Recommended by a friend

I have several friends that are also avid readers, and I completely trust their opinions. I have liked much of what has been recommended to me, so I tend to value their thoughts on books.

4. A topic I am familiar with

I tend to read books that are mainly about a topic that I am familiar with or something that I like or enjoy. I am in band and really like math and outer space. I tend to enjoy books that have to do with these things. Genre also works the same way for me (sci-fi and fantasy, but I’m working on branching out).

5. An author I like

Most of the time, if I like one book by a particular author, I end up enjoying all of their books. For example, Marissa Meyer (my favorite!!) and Rick Riordan.

6. Romance potential

I’m a sucker for a good romance, okay? It adds a little something to the story and usually makes the characters more likable. Of course, I don’t want it to be too overwhelming or completely take over the story. Unless it is specifically a romance novel.

7. Goodreads reviews

One of the only social media’s I am on is Goodreads. I think it’s helpful for organizing and keeping track of what books I have read and the one’s I want to read. I have found that reading reviews for a book that seems interesting is a good way to get a feel for what it’s about. Feel free to check me out and see what I’m reading!

8. Discussed by a fellow blogger

I love reading other book blogs! It’s what influenced me to start my own book blog. I love hearing what other people have to say about various books. It is a great way to find new books to add to my never-ending TBR and find friends who enjoy the same books as me! If one of my favorite bloggers adores a book, I’m most likely going to give it a try.

9. How long has it been on my TBR?

I really, really try to read books that I have been wanting to read since forever. Unfortunately, this hasn’t really been working out very well. There are just so many wonderful books being released and not enough time to read them all!

10. Is it a classic maybe?

Ok, this is more of a goal. I really want to get into reading more of the classics and things that are a part of the well-known literature group. So, I should add this question to my criteria and get reading!!

What do you look for in a potential book? Do you secretly judge by cover? What are some of your favorite book blogs? What classics should I read first? Link me to your TTT post!!

Review: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun is Also a StarThe Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

I was a huge fan of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything (which is being made into a movie, by the way) and I was super excited to read this one. I’ll admit, I had pretty high expectations, but the book did not disappoint! It is full of cute romance and random facts and tidbits. I also love the cover. The colors are super pretty together, and it’s got a string art type feel, which my artsy side adores.

Characters

Natasha and Daniel are both lovable, genuine characters. Natasha’s family is from Jamaica, and she moved to America when she was young. Daniel’s family is Korean, but he was born in the United States. Natasha and her family are being deported, and her efforts to reverse this deportation have more of an effect on her life than she could have imagined. Daniel is on his way to an interview that could determine his whole college education. And BOOM! Paths cross. Lives change.

I enjoyed watching Natasha and Daniel fall for each other despite the fact that it was basically impossible. Natasha was leaving and Daniel had his whole life planned out. Not only that, but they met and fell in love in less than 24 hours (which is kind of crazy and impossible within itself). HOWEVER, if we look past that minor detail, the story is adorable! They are so darn cute together, and I spent the whole book begging for them to end up happily ever after.

Aside from the wonderful romance, both Natasha and Daniel are so very real. They show what it is like to be an immigrant in America and that where you come from does not define you. Daniel’s parents want him to follow a specific path, but he longs to follow his own dreams. Natasha has taken it upon herself to right her father’s wrongs in order to continue living in America. Both of them want to forge ahead and make their own paths, which I believe makes them so relatable.

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Writing Style

I love the small chapters in both of Yoon’s books. It makes them seem easier to read. (Sometimes books with long chapters seem to go on and on and on, even if they are really good.)  It also allows for the inclusion of several other, random points of view. At first, I was not a fan of the many “background” characters, but they grew on me. They all contribute a little something to the story, and it adds a unique aspect.

There were tons of facts and tidbits thrown in throughout the story. From things about Jamaican culture to science facts, you can gain knowledge while reading this book! Being the nerd that I am, I loved these little random bits of information. They all connected in some way to whatever was currently happening, too. The book just generally had a fun, cute vibe to it, and I really enjoyed it!

Theme

Oh, how I love great themes! And The Sun is Also a Star had a really fabulous one. To me, it focused on how people should chase their dreams no matter what and how one small thing can affect a person’s entire life. Both Daniel and Natasha are out to chase their dreams and make their lives better. I adore their passion and drive to be successful, no matter what is thrown at them.

It also stressed the power of every little thing that you do and the effect that your actions can have on others. Something that seems teeny-tiny and insignificant to you could mean the world to someone else. Natasha and Daniel’s lives come in contact with many others and they impact each and every one of those people. In their world, a single day can be powerful. I really liked watching them change and grow throughout the course of this one day.

“We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.”

 Overview

I had pretty high expectations for this one, but I was not disappointed! I fell in love with the characters just as much as they fell in love with each other. Their personalities were realistic and unique. We catch a glimpse of a day in the lives of Natasha and Daniel, a day that changes their lives forever. It’s a book that keeps you wishing there were more days to read about, more cuteness to obsess over. I would highly recommend The Sun is Also a Star to anyone in need of a quick, unforgettable romance.

What did you think of the book? Do you like books that have unique themes? Are you looking forward to the Everything, Everything movie?

Top 10 Most Unique Books I’ve Read

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This post is inspired by Top Ten Tuesday, which is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I personally love reading TTT lists, as they give me tons of new books to read. I’m super excited to finally get to be a part of Top Ten Tuesday, so I hope you enjoy!

1. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

This book is the epitome of unique. The story is told through interviews, emails, instant messages, video footage, and awesome graphics. I loved the designs on all the pages and how they became such an important part of the story. The book would have a totally different feel had it been written traditionally.

2. Replica by Lauren Oliver

It’s practically two books in one! You can read the story in alternating chapters or straight through either story. (I read in alternating chapters, I think it seemed to flow better that way.) It’s like magic! You hold the book one way for Lyra’s story, flip it over and you’ve got Gemma’s point of view.

3. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

This book also has an original way of splitting the point of view. Half of the book follows Darcy and her journey to becoming a published author. The other half is the book that she wrote. The two have very different genres in my opinion. Darcy’s story is more contemporary, while the book that she wrote is more fantasy and paranormal-ish. Loved the mix of the two!

4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This is probably my favorite book ever, so of course I had to include it! Although, it is still very unique. It is such an interesting way of twisting the Cinderella story. Much of the time, I would forget that it was a retelling. Then, I would find something that really creatively connects Cinder’s sci-fi world to the original fairy tale. I adore the way that Marissa joined the two!

5. The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

I read this a while ago, but at the time I could not stop thinking “Wow, I have never read anything like this!” It had a really strong plot line and creative settings. I have not read many books that have had even a similar basis. Applause for originality!

6. The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

This book starts out with something similar to The Giver, which I was kind of “eh” about. BUT it takes a major sci-fi turn about halfway, which I was NOT expecting. It combines themes and genres really well, which I found to be really unique.

7. Elemental by Antony John

I know this is not a super popular book, but I really liked it! I actually got to meet Antony John, and got a signed bookmark from him. The book has an old-fashioned feel to it, but there is also a futuristic, dystopian vibe. I enjoyed how both old and new could be brought together in one series.

8. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Another Oliver book! This was another read from several years ago, but it has stuck with me. Oliver’s writing style is soooo wonderful, but the world building in this one is just as great. It also has an awesome take on an everyday thing: love. I never would have thought of turning love into something that is forbidden, but Oliver had done it, and extremely well, too!

9. The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

I adored the powerful theme in this one. It is concerned about humanity and what makes a human a human. Similar to love, this is such a deep, crazy topic to write about. I was truly impressed by the way Yancey turned it into such a great book! It really made me think about things in a different way, and I love how original the idea is.

10. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

This book provided a new view on World War II and all of the events that occurred during this time. Is sheds light on all of the people being displaced from their homes and on the sinking of a ship that was carrying these people. It is not an event I have ever heard of before, even though WWII is a very popular and well-known subject. It brings a new perspective on something many people already know a lot about.

What are some of the most unique books you have read? Link me to your Top Ten Tuesday post!

New Releases in March & Bullet Review

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I have compiled a list of some of the books that will be released this March. Of course this is not nearly all of them, just some that I am excited for or have heard a lot about. I hope you can find some to add to your long list of things to read!

March 7

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zenter: A boy blames himself for the deaths of three of his friends, and he helps their families get through this hard time in unique ways. It sounds devastating, but I look forward to giving it a try!

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz: This book is centered around family, friends, and the power of love. I’m super excited to read both this and Aristotle & Dante. (No, I have not read that one yet, but hopefully soon!)

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton: The sequel to Rebel of the Sands. I have heard wonderful things about this series, and I hope to read it soon.

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner: A book with diversity and art. It can’t get any better than that! A deaf student gets involved in a graffiti war while trying to fit in at a new school, definitely sounds interesting!

March 21

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs: I’m a huge fan of Virals, so I’m willing to give any of the Reichs’ books a try. Nemesis sounds full of secrets and mysterious happenings that require two teens to take action.

Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller: A sci-fi story with a young, female captain and an undercover prince aboard a spaceship. Hmm… sounds like a great book for Star Wars fans!

March 28

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves: A novel for fans of The Red Queen, a place where blood defines you. (I have not yet read Red Queen, but it’s on my shelf waiting for me!) Also, the cover is super great.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman: A book about a girl who finds herself in the guy who’s in her favorite podcast. I heard so many good things about this one; I hope it lives up to the hype.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: Librarians, dreams, and mysterious worlds collide in this novel. I was drawn in by the many questions in the summary, and I’m really excited for this one!

Bullet Review of Wires and Nerve

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I absolutely adore Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, and I was super pumped to read her newest graphic novel. I have never read a graphic novel, but it did not disappoint!

  • All of the original characters were present, and you can see what happened to them after the conclusion of Winter. 
  • Iko is the main character of this series, and she has all of her quirks from the previous books
  • Levana’s lunar soldiers are still roaming earth, so Iko is working to get them back to Luna.
  • Unfortunately, it was a very fast read (I did not want it to end)
  • The pictures represent the characters and locations very well, however some were very different from what I had originally imagined them to be.
  • The plot moves quickly, but the book is fairly short.
  • I loved being back in Cinder’s world!
  • The graphic novel nature of the book adds some fun aspects; it gives the action scenes a totally different vibe than a normal book.
  • It’s Marissa Meyer OMG what’s not to like
  • Now I must wait a whole year for the next one to come out…

 

Chat with me! What March releases are you looking forward to? Have you read the Lunar Chronicles or Wires and Nerve? What do you think of them?