Favorite Book Friday: Valerie from Indecisively Restless

6 Feb

favorite book friday

Hey everyone! Another week has come, and another Friday! This one brings you Valerie, who blogs over at Indecisively Restless! This recommendation in particular is one that I’m VERY excited to share because I love this series, too! It’s one that I started reading a long, long time ago and need to read again. It’s great!

But don’t take my word for it–take hers!

Without further ado, here’s Valerie!

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Hi Caught Between the Pages readers! I’m Valerie from Indecisively Restless. Books have always been a huge part of my life so I’m more than excited to be here today talking about one of my favorites:

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty.

Sloppy Firsts is the first in a five-part series about Jessica Darling. Jessica is a junior in high school when her best friend Hope moves away. Since then Jessica has become an insomniac. Hoping that journaling will lull her to sleep, Jessica recounts her worries, pains, and hilarious observations that occur throughout the day. We’re privy to the most inner workings of her mind. From her annoyance to the girls she’s forced to hang out with now that Hope is gone; to the mysterious Marcus Flutie, the school’s bad-boy druggie who seems to keep popping up everywhere. With each day a hardship to get through, will she be able to find someone else to fill the space Hope left?

I love this book because I was Jessica. I didn’t fit in, I had a best friend who didn’t go the same school, and I had a hard time making new friends. But the cringe-worthy moments within the book remind me that everyone feels awkward every once in a while and it’s all about how you deal with it. It’s a great book to laugh and reminisce on all the things that felt so huge and life altering when you were going through them the first time. Things like boyfriends, best friends, best-friends-turned-boyfriends, parental expectations, and your own grandiose ideas of the person you’re meant to be.

McCafferty captures Jessica’s personality perfectly. She’s smart, complicated, witty, snarky, and always trying to figure out who she is. She’s so real that I wish we could be friends. I’m sure that if you’ve ever experienced awkward teenage angst, you’ll love this book. And if you haven’t, consider yourself lucky.

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Thanks so much Valerie! Everyone go check out her blog and say hello to her! :)

If you’d like to join in on Favorite Book Fridays, email me at caughtbetweenthepagesblog at gmail.com!

Favorite Book Friday: Tayler from The Morrell Tale

23 Jan

favorite book friday

Hi everyone! It’s Friday, and today Tayler is here to talk about her favorite book! I’m really excited for you all to read what she has to say. If you have a chance, check out her blog, too, and give her a few comments!

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Hey, y’all! I’m Tayler and I blog at The Morrell Tale. I blog about motherhood, teaching Junior High English and History, recipes I make, books I read, and anything else that I think about.

I love to read–always have, always will. I’ve been reading since before entering Kindergarten, and I’ll be reading to the day I die. I read because it allows me to escape and travel. I can live a thousand lives, travel to hundreds of worlds and times, experience new adventures I’d never be able to in real life. And the crafting of novels! I once fell in love with a boy because I was in love with his writing.

My favorite book is actually a trilogy. And, it was definitely hard to choose this above my other favorite series, Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. But, this trilogy beat them because of the outstanding art of the written word.

Inkheart!

I actually love all of Cornelia Funke’s works, but Inkeart is a step above the rest. Funke even said, “I think it is my best writing so far, and all of my passions for books is in there.”

Inkheart is about Meggie, whose father has been called Silvertongue because he has the gift to “read” characters out of a story. He accidentally read some villains (and a loveable fire juggler) out of a story called Inkeart. They want to get back, so they try to use his gifts for their own evil purposes. (How’s that for a short synopsis that doesn’t give anything away?)

But, what I love about it, it is a meta-book: a book about books and writing. It is so beautiful. Each chapter also begins with a quote from another great piece of literature that applies to the events of that chapter. I looked forward to those, and was excited to see if it was from a poem or story I had read.

Funke even explained why she wrote the novel: “Every reader knows about the feeling that characters in books seem more real than real people. So I was surprised to hear that there were no stories about people coming out of books.” I know I have always dreamed of stepping into novels, and here, I had found one with characters stepping out! And then, when I read the sequel, Inkspell, Meggie discovers she has the same gift and is able to “read” people into novels–and does so with her group into Inkheart! Then, in the finale, Inkdeath, they are still in the novel. How I wish I could be with Meggie, enjoying her gift and not just seeing the adventures in my imagination as I read, but to actually, truly experience them!

If you could “read” a character out of a book, or yourself in a book, who or what would it be?
 
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Inkheart! One of those books I feel is severely underrated and needs to be read by all! I absolutely loved these books when I was younger. I can’t remember if I ever finished the trilogy . . so that just means I’m going to need to pick them up and enjoy them again!
Thanks so much for sharing, Tayler–and reminding me that I need to reread this trilogy!
If anyone else would like to join in on Favorite Book Fridays, email me at caughtbetweenthepagesblog at gmail.com!

Favorite Book Friday: Vicky from The Outpat Expat

16 Jan

favorite book friday

Hello everyone! Today I’m super excited to share another favorite book with you–this one comes from Vicky! Her blog, The Outback Expat, is definitely worth a visit! Check out her review and comment below to welcome her to the blog!

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I haven’t really written book reviews before, I’ve commented on a couple of books I have liked on Goodreads but that is about all so far.

It’s not news that I love to read and I often ask and am asked for book ideas from a couple of my close friends when we can’t decide what to read.

I chose to write this review of The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.

Synopsis
Sage Singer is a young woman who has been damaged by her past. Her solitary night work as a baker allows her to hide from the world and focus her creative energies on the beautiful bread she bakes.

Yet she finds herself striking up an unlikely friendship. Josef Weber is a quiet, grandfatherly man, well respected in the community; everyone’s favourite retired teacher and Little League coach.

One day he asks Sage for a favour: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses.
Then Josef tells her that he deserves to die – and why.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who’s committed horrendous acts ever truly redeem themselves? Is forgiveness yours to offer if you aren’t the person who was wronged? And most of all – if Sage even considers his request – would it be murder, or justice?

My Review
I have enjoyed Jodi Picoult’s books for years and read quite a few of them. I hadn’t read any for a while though so decided it was time to give them a go again. I found I had already downloaded The Storyteller onto my Kindle app on the iPad so it seemed like the perfect choice.

Without giving anything away, the theme of this book is heavy going and at times I wondered whether I could continue reading it because it was harrowing but whilst this is not a true story (as far as I know) these events or similar events really took place.

This book just blew me away to be honest and has stayed with me still several days after I finished reading it. I find myself stopping and thinking about the characters and what happened to them during and after the book ended because it really feels like you lived the story with them. It was definitely one of those stories where you desperately want to know what happens but don’t because then the beautifully written story would end.

I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and gave it 5 stars on my Goodreads rating. You can also read an excerpt of the book here.

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Thanks for the review Vicky! I’ve only read a few Jody Picoult books and have been meaning to read more by her. This is going to the top of my list!

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If you’d like to participate in Favorite Book Fridays, email me @ caughtbetweenthepagesblog at gmail.com!

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

7 Jan

Crown of Midnight

Throne of Glass #2

Book 1: Throne of Glass

author : sarah j. maas

pages : [hardcover] 420

memorable quote I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.

favorite character : chaol

summary :

“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie…and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

review :

While I wasn’t in love with Throne of Glass, I was excited to read the sequel–and I think that I liked this second book more than the first! Crown of Midnight focuses more on the action and adventure than the romance between characters, which was all that I wanted. Even though I’m sure that there’s much more to come, and I have my predictions made about what will happen next, there were some surprises in this book that I just didn’t see coming.

On the other hand, unfortunately, I think one of the big reveals in this book was something I’d seen coming since the middle of book one. I’m not sure if readers were supposed to pick up on the subtle hints about it or not so for me, the ending kind of fell short of amazing. I’d really like to hear about what other people thought about the conclusion and if they were surprised by what was revealed there!

While there wasn’t so much focus on the love triangle, I was disappointed because we still didn’t learn much more about Chaol or Dorian outside of their undoubtedly undying affections for Celeana. They never really seem to fixate on anything but her which, I guess, is understandable, but also annoying when they have so much more potential! It’s the captain of the guard and the crown prince–how much more potential could you have? They both have backstories that could be learned, or other duties that they could  be performing. Their lives shouldn’t revolve around Celeana, should they? It wouldn’t be safe for the kingdom.

I’m definitely going to read book three in hopes that this series only keeps going upward for me. I still think that there’s so much that can be fleshed out and told so I’m excited to see what Maas decides to do with her characters and story. I’m still uneasy about what may come and at the moment it isn’t a favorite series of mine, even though it’s fun to read. It’s something that I’ll recommend to friends–if only to show them how much of a fun, badass main character Celeana is!

4/5 stars

Top 7 Books to Look For in 2015!

5 Jan

It’s a new year, and you know what that means–no, not new resolutions. Nope, I’m not hitting the gym or starting a diet. I’m looking forward to more books! There are SO many great ones that will be coming out this year and I’m absolutely excited to finally get the chance to put my hands on them! Of course, some are still months away . . . we’ll see if I’ll be able to contain my enthusiasm for that long. Here (in no particular order) are the top seven books I think you should also be crazy about reading!

1. The Sword of Summer

No, I don’t really know what this is about, apart from it being Norse mythology and Rick Riordan! I didn’t enjoy the Kane Chronicles, but Percy Jackson is one of my all-time favorite series so I need to give this one a try when the first book comes out in October!

2. Fairest by Marissa Meyer

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Lunar Chronicles so of course I want any installment in the series–even if it’s a prequel! I’m so excited to learn more about Levana and the back story to the entire series. I’m absolutely sure that I’ll love this!

3. The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

I absolutely love the Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson and book three is coming out in February! I need to read it now . . but suppose I can wait another month.

4. The Winner’s Crime

The Winner’s Curse was one of those books that really intrigued me from the cover and then surprised me with how well-done it was. I loved it, and the sequel is coming out in March!

5. Shadow Scale

Most books have their sequel come out a year or two after the first is released. Seraphina was released in 2012 and only this year are we getting its sequel! I need to reread the first, after so long, to remind me of why I loved it so much, but I’m sure I’ll like the sequel. After waiting so long… it better be perfect!

6. The Queen and the Courtesan

I LOVED The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz and I’m super excited that it’s getting a sequel, even though the first book put me through so many different emotions I’m not sure I’ll be able to survive this one.

7. The Darkest Part of the Forest

Basically, I’ve been meaning to read more Holly Black, this book looks awesome, and the cover is gorgeous!

What are the books you’re most looking forward to in 2015?

Favorite Book of 2014!

3 Jan

I can’t believe that this year is over! And it was a great one. One full of fantastic books and great news as well–I found out that next semester, I’ll be doing the Disney College Program! That means my posts may slow down a little, but I’ll be having the time of my life living and working (and reading!) in Disney!

Here are my top favorites of 2014 and why I think that you should read them!

favorite short story collection:

This is one that I read at the end of the year but still made it to my favorites list! I love short stories and honestly I don’t feel like there was a single bad one in this collection, which is just awesome. My True Love Gave to Me features some of my favorite authors (Laini Taylor!!!!!) and shows off their writing at its best!

favorite end to a series:

Percy Jackson has been a big part of my life for years so I was both excited and devastated when books featuring him came to an end this year. I loved The Blood of Olympus and can’t recommend it enough!

favorite stand-alone :

I fell in love with Rainbow Rowell’s books and I’m so glad that I read Fangirl this year! It’s perfect and I didn’t expect to love it so much. It’s one novel I think everyone should read!

favorite graphic novel :

I read this book when I needed to read through a stack of graphic novels to see if I could use them for a research paper I was working on and this is the one that absolutely stood out. Adventures of Superhero Girl is like a parody on everything you’d expect in a superhero book and then some!

favorite start to a series :

This is one of this year’s books that I was looking forward to and was still happily surprised by. This book is big but worth getting through; all of the information builds up into a plot and setting that are deliciously complicated and have me wanting to read more! I can’t wait to get to book two of The Queen of the Tearling.

favorite children’s book :

When I heard that this book was coming out, I just had to get it! The illustrations are gorgeous and the story is so sweet. It’s a worthy read to people of any age. A Sister More Like Me will make any Frozen fan happy, just like it did with me!

favorite adult novel :

I absolutely love Neil Gaiman and need to read more of his work. I’m so glad that I had the chance to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I can’t even really describe how magical, wonderful, and yet heart-wrenching this story was for me.

favorite continuation of a series :

One of my absolute favorite series is The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Cress is the third installment and honestly it only makes the series that much better! I love the story of Rapunzel and love how it was adapted into this action-packed, futuristic, twisted set of fairy tales.

What were your favorite reads in 2014? Comment below so I can add them to my list to read in 2015! This year is going to be a great one!

Just One Year by Gayle Forman

2 Jan

Just One Year

companion to: Just One Day

author : gayle forman

pages : 336

memorable quote There’s a difference between losing something you knew you had and losing something you discovered you had. One is a disappointment. The other feels like losing a piece of yourself.

favorite character :

summary :

Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.

Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began….

When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . .

The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents that happen—and the happiness we can find when the two intersect.

review :

I was very excited to read this companion novel to Just One Day because I love Gayle Forman’s books and wanted to hear more about these characters, particularly Willem because now we get to hear a little from his point of view. Unfortunately, this book just wasn’t up to par for me.

I know that many people will be disappointed because this is a companion novel, not a sequel. It’s Willem’s story about what goes on with his life while “Lulu’s” story in Just One Day takes place. Same timeline, different details. I knew this going in, so I wasn’t disappointed, but I’ve seen so many reviews that were negative just because people were expecting something different from Gayle Forman. I don’t fault her for writing the book she wanted to, rather than one she might feel pressured into. Besides, I kind of feel like it’s her ‘thing’ to write ambiguous endings that are somehow simultaneously perfect and frustrating.

While I did like some portions of this book, overall Willem’s narration just wasn’t very interesting and this did nothing to make me like him more as a character. I wasn’t very intrigued by any of the adventures he went on, the travel he was able to experience. I did manage to finish the book but it was very dull and boring to me. Although I didn’t like him any less for all that I was learning about him, none of the supporting characters were captivating. I kept getting them mixed up with one another or I’d want to skip to another chapter in the hopes that he’d meet other people to speak with.

I don’t think I’ll recommend this book to anyone, though I will recommend Just One Day. I absolutely loved that book, though I could have done without the companion novel.

2/5 star

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