Top 10 Series I Have Been Meaning to Read

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Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish! This week’s prompt is “Ten series I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t.” Well, let’s just say I’ve got a lot of them, so here we go!

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I have heard SOOO many good things about this series (and S. J. Maas in  general). I have wanted to read these for quite some time now, however I am currently working on the ACOTAR series. (It’s pretty good so far, for those who were curious…) My sister has read Throne of Glass and said good things as well, but that may or may not be a reliable source. Anyways, there will come a day when I will tackle this series!

2. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Again, I have hear such wonderful things about these books! It’s a really long series though, and I haven’t found the time to get through something that requires that much dedication. Anyways, maybe someday I will have time to sit and read 24/7 after I get my own personal library…

3. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

This one has been sitting on my shelf for about a year now, just staring at me. It probably thinks it can guilt me into reading it, though I will NEVER give in. Ok, eventually I will but not today. ANYWHO, I don’t really know what it’s about, but my sister has said pleasant things, so it must be alright!

4. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

My very bestest friend absolutely loves these books, and so I must listen to her recommendations. I wanted to read it before she fell in love, but eh. Plus, Mafi is writing more! How wonderful is that? MORE books for us to read!!

5. The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I must base my reads heavily on other people’s opinions, (though that probably isn’t a very good idea) because I also want to devour this one because of what I’ve heard. I love hearing wonderful things about a book, and I must see for myself!

6. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

I really enjoyed these movies, so I figured it would be good for me to read the books. I have read The Hobbit, but none of the others. It had a bit of a classicy vibe, which I am not super fond of, but I must finish them one day.

7. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Once again, I have heard some good stuff. And, I walk by them every time I am in the library and think, “Man, I should read those sometime.” However, I have yet to get around to it. Authors just keep writing more books and then I read the new books and never get to the older ones. Stop it, authors!

8. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

I LOVE the titles of these. They are so majestic and beautiful and make me happy. I saw the cover/title of the second one (Like a River Glorious) and was like, HAVE TO HAVE. Yet, I do not own any of them. Maybe I should get on that, then I ca read them!

9. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Ok, there’s kind of a long story to this one, but it basically started when I discovered a lovely blog called Paper Fury. The owner adores this series, and so I looked into it and found it sounded pretty good. And, that best friend I mentioned earlier likes it, too. BUT I still haven’t read it…

10. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

I really liked Lu’s Legend, and I was excited to hear that she was writing another series. Three books later, I have yet to read it. I hope that I will not be disappointed by this series, as Legend is one of my favorites. Maybe that’s why I haven’t read it, fear of disappointment.

What series have you been meaning to read since forever? Do you take book recommendations from your best friend? Link me to your TTT post!

Top 10 Summery Reads

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It’s Tuesday again! Which means we’ve got another Top Ten Tuesday post, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Today’s ten are inspired by Summer and all of its greatness! I hope you can find some wonderful summer reads!

1. Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Ice cream!! (Or gelato, whatever). Anyways, who doesn’t associate ice cream with summer? I LOVE ice cream because it is wonderful and amazing and makes summer seem less hot. Also, this book looks super cute and it even takes place in Italy during the summer.  

2. We were Liars by E. Lockhart

This is one of my all time favorite books. Although, it seems to be one of those that you either love or hate, and I am fortunate to have loved it. It takes place over several summers on the Sinclair’s private island. There’s some crazy stuff going on in this book, but we are here to focus on SUMMER and its greatness!

3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Okay, this one is mostly based on the cover. It just looks like a perfect summer night for looking at stars or doing something fun outdoors. I still have not read this book, but it’s on my summer reading list (haha) and I have heard such good things about it!

4. We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

I also chose this book because of its cover.  Again, there’s a nice looking evening sky that makes me want to go outside and enjoy the outdoor world (even though I despise the outdoors). And ants remind me of picnics which remind me of scorching hot summer days, so that’s a plus! (Even though I’m pretty sure there are no actual ants involved in the story…)

5. One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

Well, I’d day this one is pretty self explanatory. Another book about girls visiting European countries on their summer break, boy am I jealous. Paris is someplace I would love to visit, whether it is summer or not.

6. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Hello, ice cream again! And another one I chose based on the cover. (Are you seeing the common themes here?) The girl is walking lots of dogs in front of an ice cream truck, and she’s wearing shorts and sunglasses. Everything about this screams summer to me!

7. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

It appears the people on the cover are having a nice summer pool party, which definitely sounds like great summer fun! Nothing is more summery than swimming (unless you live in, like, a warm place where you can swim all year ‘round).

8. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Guess what? More ICE CREAM!! And a book that actually takes place during the summer. Based upon the blurb, it sounds like Emily could be having a really great summer in her future!

9. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 

There’s not a real summery connection here, but it seems light and fun? Summer is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, so why not?

10. Anything you will enjoy!

I have run out of summer books (as can be seen by choice number 9), so I have some helpful advice. Summer is a time for fun and happiness, and allows you to be carefree. So, transfer that into your reading, and choose something that will make you happy! I have recently gotten into contemporary and romance books, and they are usually pretty light. For me, they are the ideal summer read (hence all the contemporaries on this list). Be sure to take time to enjoy reading, and have a fabulous summer!!

What are your favorite summery things? What kinds of books do you usually read in the summer? Link me to your TTT posts!

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?