book tag · Uncategorized

Ten books to read if you want to celebrate (+ it’s my birthday!)

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It’s my 22nd birthday!!! To celebrate, here are 10 books to read if you’re in the mood for a celebration, because they all revolve around some kind of celebration.

1. If you’re looking to celebrate the coronation of your sister, when she’s finally come of age to take the throne as Queen of Arendelle. The Art of Frozen.

2. If you’re looking to celebrate the anniversary of one of the most beloved films and book to movie adaptations of all time. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride.

3. If you’re looking to celebrate a wedding and feel all the feels. Stars Above.

4. If you’re looking to celebrate coming of age Southern Belle style with some superpowers thrown in. Rebel Belle.

5. If you’re looking to celebrate finally taking the throne that’s rightfully been yours but your stupid uncle has kept until you came of age. The Queen of the Tearling.

6. If you’re looking to celebrate at a ball where you might meet an amazing prince. Cinder.

7. If you’re looking to celebrate an annual horse race that is much too intense to be practical. The Scorpio Races.

8. If you’re looking to celebrate a birthday every day but possibly as part of a curse. Happy Birthday to Me Again.

9. If you’re looking to celebrate at the circus every night. The Night Circus.

10. If you’re looking to celebrate living the high life and your acting dreams. Secrets of My Hollywood Life.

young adult

Books I NEED in 2016

This next year is going to be filled with awesome books. Some I’ve been hoping will be written for years (like Meg Cabot’s Remembrance, which is a continuation of her Mediator series) and some I just learned will be coming out (like Stars Above by Marissa Meyer). Either way, I’m sure that even between these release dates, I’ll find dozens of other books I need to get my hands on.

25689074 17302879 18584855

17378527

 

26874946

What books are you looking forward to in 2016? What books do you hope will eventually get written–even if the author has said they might not write any more?

 

 

 

 

 

 

promotion

What Can Make a Book Bad

I use Grammarly’s online plagiarism checker because it saves me time I can use to do fun things instead, like color or create world peace!

Today I’d like to talk about all of the things I’ve noticed through the books I’ve read that really make me dislike them for one reason or another. Some can easily be fixed and others take a little more to completely alter. Let’s get started!

1. The book cover. I know, I know. We’re all taught not to judge a book by its cover. Honestly, it happens sometimes, or at least a beautiful cover never hurts. Sometimes an attractive or interesting cover will be what makes me pick up a book and flip it over so I’ll be able to read the summary. If the cover has nothing to do with the story or looks too cheesy, maybe I won’t go for it. Sometimes I’d rather have something simplistic to look at than a cover I don’t find appealing. I also don’t like it when a cover is too childish or adult for the audience it’s been written toward. This might be one of the harder things about a book to fix because everyone has different tastes and it’s impossible to please all of us readers!

2. No character development. If the book I’m reading is the start of a series, it gets a little pass on this one because I know the characters will have more time to change and grow. But if I’m reading through a novel filled with flat characters, I’m not going to be a happy person. I want someone that I can relate to, someone who has flaws and interests and needs to learn. If I’m not reading a book that’s going to give me that, I’m not going to be too invested in the characters. What’s the point in reading if I don’t care about what’ll happen to the people in that story?

3. Grammar. This is one of the easiest mistakes for writers to make and it’s also one of the easiest to fix up! It’s always good to have a basic knowledge of spelling and grammar but if you ever find yourself wondering how your writing might read to others or if you’re spelling something correctly, you can always use a website to check all of that for you. For something like that, I’d recommend Grammarly. It takes seconds to copy and paste whatever you’ve written onto the site. Not only does it check for grammar, it also detects plagiarism, which is great if you’ve done some research for your book or if you’ve written a paper and you aren’t sure about those citations. Because I’m sure that we’ve all been there! It saves you the heartache of publishing something filled with mistakes and unchecked for plagiarism (nobody wants to read that!) It saves me and readers like me from reading something that should have been double-checked.

4. Bad or unhealthy romance. This is something that has come up a lot recently especially in young adult lit because almost every book has a romantic aspect of it. At times, these relationships are wonderful and give every reader too many feels, especially when the book or series is over! Other times, the romance can just seem forced, or . . well, creepy. Think carefully about your characters and how they’re interacting with each other, if you want me to love the love interest. If I wouldn’t be surprised that he turns out to be a bad guy just because of how he acts around ladies and he’s really supposed to be the hero then something’s wrong there. Same goes for the girls. Women can be weird in relationships, too, unfortunately.

5. A plot that drags. This is especially true for a series. What might be a great idea for one book can turn sour if that plot if stretched into a trilogy. It’s even worse if there’s only one book and you’re flipping through the pages to see how many more you have left until the end. Some good editing could take those boring parts right out of there and set a good pace for the story that’ll leave readers craving more or falling apart because there isn’t more to read. Then, maybe, those bonus scenes will come in handy, to stave off starving fangirls.

thursday thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: Spooky Things I love for Halloween!

Hello friends! Happy Halloween!!! I hope today is filled with wonderful costumes, loads of candy, and plenty of spooky fun! Just don’t  overdo it . .

Yep. I absolutely love Supernatural. (Anyone else? Join me in obsessing over it on Tumblr ^.^) But, on Halloween, I like to rewatch a few of my favorite episodes, scary or not. Because there are a few that could really give me nightmares if I let them . . . and others that just make me laugh. It’s good to have a mix, right?

Of course, after you get some TV time in, you should probably eat a few Halloween-y treats.

I want to make these so badly!!! Okay, they aren’t exactly spooky . . . they’re downright adorable. But it’s scary to think about how guilty you might feel the next day, if you’re like me and overindulge on Halloween. Ooo. So spooky.

Alright, back to the TV now, this time for a movie! Every year I LOVE watching the Nightmare Before Christmas! Of course, part of it is Christmas-y, but Jack and Sally are the ones running the show.

And then, to wrap up a day of candy and movies and TV, costumes and parties and trick or treating, I like to sit down with a nice, spooky book. Not always the best idea because then I might really get those nightmares. This year I can’t decide between rereading Anna Dressed in Blood or starting The Returned, which looks to be mighty good!

What are you planning to do today?

5 stars · fiction · young adult

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls

Author : patrick ness

pages : [hardcover] 215

memorable quote You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.

favorite characters : conor & the monster

summary :

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

review :

I love Patrick Ness’ writing style so much! I read the Chaos Walking trilogy a while ago and that was and still is one of my all-time favorite things to read, both because of the great characters and the way the author has with words. He definitely holds onto that skill in A Monster Calls and uses it to draw the reader in from the first page.

First of all I loved the beautiful way that the book was set up. There are illustrations scattered throughout the book, all dark and dreary and depicting the monster that comes to visit Conor. Sometimes they frame the text and they really drew me into his story so that I could see what he was while he was speaking about it. Conor is mostly just the average kid though Ness makes even that seem special. Everything about this book is so realistic which is part of how horrifying it truly is. All of this realism is faced with the monster and the reader is guessing along with Conor as to whether or not the monster is really there or is just in his imagination.

A Monster Calls deals with very tough issues in a beautiful and powerful way. I didn’t know much about this book before I picked it up, only that I’d heard great things about it and already had a love for Ness’ work. What I didn’t expect was to become so emotionally connected with these characters that I felt like I was going through this horrible time alongside Conor. I really have to applaud the author for the way he conveyed this story without making it overdone or feel false. By the time the monster was demanding for Conor to tell his story of the truth the book brought me to tears.

I really recommend this book to everyone looking for a quick and wonderful read you will never forget.

book trailer :

If you like this book, you might also like Deadline or The Knife of Never Letting Go

3 stars · fiction · romance · young adult

Towering by Alex Flinn

Towering

Author : Alex Flinn [also wrote: A Kiss in Time, Beastly, and Cloaked]

pages : [hardcover] 293

favorite characters : rachel & wyatt

summary :

At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Alex Flinn knows her fairy tales, and Towering is her most mind-bending interpretation yet. Dark and mysterious, this reimagining of Rapunzel will have readers on the edge of their seats wondering where Alex will take them next!

review :

I’ve loved all of Alex Flinn’s fairy tale retellings and when I heard she was doing one based on the tale of Rapunzel I was overjoyed. I love Disney’s Tangled and wanted to see what one of the most well-known names out there in modern fairy tales could do with the story. I was excited for the creativity, how the girl would react to being saved, what the evil villain would be like . . Towering was nothing like what I expected and not really in the best of ways.

First of all, and a little thing too that probably only annoyed me, I was kind of hoping for a more romantic, fairy tale name for the heroine rather than Rachel. Second, in the book she mentions that she can clearly see a lake from her tower and can see people there in the summer, etc. The town that this story is set in is one where everybody knows everybody else and there’s practically nothing to do. Don’t tell me that no bored group of teenagers wouldn’t go and investigate a tower that they can see out in the woods, even if it does seem abandoned. It kind of seems impossible that no one but Wyatt could have ever found it.

I didn’t really feel the entire evil plot going on, either. It was an interesting take on things but just didn’t work for me. It seemed too little and insignificant, contained in that small town. At times it just felt . . off.

I did like how Wyatt was with Rachel, being so kind and gentle and allowing her to experience things that she’d never had before because she’d been kept up in that tower because of Mama. I loved hearing about his past and what had brought him to stay in that place, so far away from home and everything he’d ever known. That said, I do hope that I enjoy Alex Flinn’s next book more than I did this one. I’d recommend checking out another of her tales before trying Towering.

3/5 stars

If you like this, you might want to try Sisters Red or Tiger Lily

5 stars · dystopia · fiction · romance · science fiction · series · young adult

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me

Shatter Me #2
Book 1 : Shatter Me

author tahereh mafi

pages : [hardcover] 461

memorable quote “Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.”

favorite characters : adam & kenji

summary :

tick
tick
tick
tick
tick
it’s almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

review :

I have waited so long to read this book! I read Shatter Me last year and it gripped me immediately; I loved the colorful and embellished writing style and couldn’t wait to read more about Juliette and Adam. At the end of book one there are so many exciting revelations that set up the sequel to be much different from what I ever could have imagined it to be when I first started reading. There were so many new, interesting characters to learn about as well as a new villain and, of course, Warner returns.

I love how the writing style has evolved as Juliette changes and grows stronger. It’s less centrally focused as she comes out of her shell and less whimsical as she’s forced to face reality for maybe the first time in her life. She’s found people who might come to accept her if she gives them the chance. I think it’s really brilliant, how Tahereh Mafi manages to pull this off so smoothly and seamlessly and doesn’t interrupt the flow of the plot at all. Unravel Me is more fast-paced than the first book. Now that everything has been set up it’s time for action and I can’t wait to see how that climaxes in the next and final book in the trilogy.

I’ve always had a thing for characters with superpowers, even more so when they’re flawed and the reader really gets to see the changes the character has to make throughout the book. As a rather shy person myself, it’s awesome having a leading lady like Juliette who is often afraid to speak for herself or offer up information even if it’s being asked for or she feels ridiculous for not speaking up. I think that having a person like her as a role model is great; even if she isn’t perfect, it’s easy to see how she’s testing the surface and making her way now as her own person.

I’d recommend this series to anyone! I love the characters so much . . even if the only complaint I have is the whole thing between Warner and Juliette, that I didn’t warm up to until near the end of the book. Other than that this book was as great and gripping as I’d hoped it would be and now I can’t wait to read more!!

5/5 stars

If you love this book, try reading Paranormalcy or The Darkest Minds!

 

4 stars · fiction · romance · science fiction · series · young adult

The Candidates by Inara Scott

The Candidates

Author: Inara Scott

Pages: [hardcover] 293

Delcroix Academy #1

Memorable Quote: I blinked and tried to focus on what he had just said. My heart slowed abruptly. Apparently he hadn’t pulled me aside to ask me to be his one true love.

Favorite Characters:
Hennie & Jack

Summary:

Dancia Lewis is far from popular. And that’s not just because of her average grades or her less-than-glamorous wardrobe. In fact, Dancia’s mediocrity is a welcome cover for her secret: whenever she sees a person threatening someone she cares about, things just…happen. Cars skid. Structures collapse. Usually someone gets hurt. So Dancia does everything possible to avoid getting close to anyone, believing this way she can suppress her powers and keep them hidden.

But when recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy show up in her living room to offer her a full scholarship, Dancia’s days of living under the radar may be over. Only, Delcroix is a school for diplomats’ kids and child geniuses–not B students with uncontrollable telekinetic tendencies. So why are they treating Dancia like she’s special? Even the hottest guy on campus seems to be going out of his way to make Dancia feel welcome.

And then there’s her mysterious new friend Jack, who can’t stay out of trouble. He suspects something dangerous is going on at the Academy and wants Dancia to help him figure out what. But Dancia isn’t convinced. She hopes that maybe the recruiters know more about her “gift” than they’re letting on. Maybe they can help her understand how to use it…But not even Dancia could have imagined what awaits her behind the gates of Delcroix Academy.

Review:

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book, ranging from gushing recommendations to people telling me to never pick it up. Of course I had to read it and decide for myself, although I was marginally disappointed. It was an alright read, though not as good as the summary and amazing cover made it seem like it would be.

Dancia was an okay character, who was easily overshadowed by more minor roles. Her two friends, Ester and Hennie, each have something interesting about them that really drew my attention, whereas Dancia really only has her powers to set her apart, and nothing more definitely than that. Jack had to be my favorite character, because I loved seeing his reactions to everything throughout the book, seeing how he changed with what was happening. He really held it together for me.

The plot was generally pleasing, with enough mysteriousness to keep me hooked and I wanted to know how different things were going to turn out. It did lag a bit in parts, and I’m just hoping that in the sequel, now that most of the things I’ve been looking forward to have been cleared up, there can be more action, more interest. The last few scenes in the book were some of the best, I think. Hopefully that means the next will be a continuation of that.

I give The Candidates 3.5/5 stars. It was an okay read that I probably won’t pick up again, but I’ll continue with the series to see how it will go. Hopefully I’ll start to like it more, but only time will tell.

5 stars · Fantasy · fiction · romance · series · young adult

Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau

Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings

Author: Helene Boudreau

Real Mermaids #1

Pages [paperback]: 224

Favorite Characters:
Jade & Luke

Summary:

Freak of nature takes on a whole new meaning…

If she hadn’t been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?

Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.

Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?

Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke?

This summer is about to get a lot more interesting…

Review:

I loved this book so much. I read it in a day, not only because it was a short book, but because I couldn’t get enough of it. It was fun, fierce, and fantastic. Yes, I meant to use all of those ‘f’ adjectives.

Jade is such a unique and interesting character, I liked her immediately. She’s a bit on the chubby side, a bit socially awkward, and crushing hard on a guy, though she has no idea what to do about that. I loved how her insecurities were portrayed so beautifully without getting too exaggerated or overly dramatic. Actually, all of the characters stayed true to themselves the entire time.

There was never a dull moment. Even when Jade was avoiding the mermaid issue, she had to struggle through the problems of the average teen. Bullies, friendships, what to think of the guy that keeps bumping into you everywhere. There were some hilarious moments between her and her dad, especially the mall incident, and I found myself laughing out loud. Then there would be a sweet or serious moments that would make the plot even better.

I’d love to gush on and on about everything that was wonderful about Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings, but I’m afraid I’d probably have to mention the entire book, it was that good. Perfect in that pleasantly surprising way, where I thought it would be a silly little book I’d enjoy then promptly forget about. I’m so happy I was wrong. I loved this book, and wanted to dance with joy when I saw that there will be a sequel, but it will take much too long to come out. Despite the anticipation killing me, I give Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings 5/5 stars.

5 stars · classic · fiction · young adult

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Peter Pan

Author: J. M. Barrie

Pages: [paperback] 208

Memorable Quote: To die will be an awfully big adventure.

Favorite Character: Peter Pan

Summary:

The classic tale of a boy who refuses to grow up, Peter Pan follows the Darling children as they accompany this boy away from their London home to a world of dreams, Neverland.

Review:

 I’ve been in love with Peter Pan ever since I first saw the Disney movie. It’s taken me until now to read the full novel version of the story, and I wondered if it would meet with the expectations I had set for it. Peter Pan blew those thoughts away, and then some. This story, light and childish while also being harsh and, at times, cruel, was a joy to read. I’ll definitely be rereading this classic throughout my life.

Peter Pan is both mischievous and selfish when he first meets the Darling children, first wanting nothing more than to get what is his and get back to having fun. Then he realizes that they-more specifically, Wendy-have something he wants, and he does whatever he can to get the children to come along with him. The story shows how kids tend to only think of themselves, and that nothing has any consequences. The magical fantasy backdrop makes the reality of the children running away seem less jarring and more adventurous.

This book is certainly more violent than the movie productions let on, but much of it is implied, so don’t think that everything is constant killing. It didn’t detract from the story, but add to it, contrasting the usual view of innocent children with these tendencies that are more adult and foreign.

This book is filled with great quote-worthy lines, and I loved all of them. I’d post them here if I could, but it would take up too much room. Suffice it to say that I was alternately laughing and gasping at the narrative, and I never had to struggle to figure out just what was trying to be said, always a plus with an old classic.

I give Peter Pan 5/5 stars. It was a great, fun read that will stick with me forever. I loved every moment of it, and hope that others who haven’t given it a chance decide to pick it up. It’s more than worth it!