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!!

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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!