Thursday, July 31, 2014


Title: Where She Went

Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #2
Published Date: April 5, 2011

Thoughts: In the interest of being spoiler-free, I won't post the summary, and I'll try to discuss this in the abstract. I posted my review for the first book, If I Stay, a couple of weeks ago, and gave it 4 out of 5 stars. I had high hopes for the sequel, and I wasn't disappointed. I enjoyed it so much, even much more than the first. Where She Went is written from Adam's POV. In all honesty, I found it much more refreshing and intriguing that Mia's POV in If I Stay. Adam's personality is multi-faceted, and almost more well-drawn than Mia's, though I do still love Mia. The present day and flashback alternating chapters work in the sequel almost better than the first. And I love the character development throughout. Overall, I loved Where She Went, and I'm so glad I picked up this duology.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars.

Bonus: Here's the trailer for If I Stay, releasing to theaters on August 22nd!

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Published date: September 27, 2011

Summary: At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting--he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd--whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself--Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss and monsters both real and imagined. 

Thoughts: I picked up this book because I'd heard really great things about it, as well as the author, Patrick Ness. This novel is a fairly short read, enhanced by the fact that many pages are edged by beautiful black-and-white illustrations. Some illustrations even dominate entire pairs of pages, but each picture ties directly into the events of the story. The writing is equally beautiful, as I've heard of Ness in general, and it evokes the dark, somewhat foreboding tone of the novel, though there are moments of humor. Conor is a nuanced character, and the minor characters are richly drawn, even the characters we see for only a few pages. Early on, it is obvious what the central conflict of the story is, and though I guessed the content of the nightmare early on, there were more revelations to be had. And by the last twenty pages or so, I was crying as I finished the book. This is a book that can appeal to anyone, whether a regular reader of YA or not. I absolutely loved it, and am looking forward to picking up Patrick Ness's other books. 

Rating: 5/5 stars

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (2): Most Owned Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

For today's Top Ten, I've discovered which authors I own the most books from! And we'll do this in a countdown, from number 10 to number 1!

10. Maggie Stiefvater -- 4 books. There are a LOT of authors that I own four books by, but I decided to include Maggie above all since she has other books I'd LIKE to read, as well! I currently own the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy (Shiver, Linger and Forever), as well as the standalone spin-off, Sinner, none of which I've actually read yet. But I definitely want to, and I'd like to read her Raven Cycle series, as well! 

9. Stephenie Meyer -- 5 books. Of course, I own the Twilight Saga. What kind of young adult reader would I be if I didn't? Especially since the first one came out when I was really starting out in the young adult would. I also own The Host, which I actually REALLY enjoyed. 

8.  Melissa Marr-- 5 books. I own the entire Wicked Lovely series, made up of Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, Radiant Shadows, and Darkest Mercy. This was my first fairy series, and I still absolutely LOVE it. 

7. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl -- 5 books. Since I only own books that are co-authored by Kami and Margaret, I am lumping them into one spot here. I own the Caster Chronicles, made up of Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos and Beautiful Redemption. Then I also own the first book in the spin-off series, Dangerous Creatures. However, I have only read Beautiful Creatures. But I really enjoyed it, and would like to continue the series!

6. Michael Grant -- 6 books. I own the entire Gone series, comprised of Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear and Light. I have read the first two, though it has been so long that I will have to re-read them if I ever plan on finishing the series.

5. Alyson Noel -- 6 books. Ugh. Okay, I own the entire Immortals series. But believe me. It's really NOT that good. At all. It made me so angry. But it was one that I had already invested so much time into, that I really couldn't just leave it hanging. So I finished it and will probably never pick up an Alyson Noel book again. But this series is made of Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, Night Star and Everlasting. 

4. Cassandra Clare -- 7 books. I own the entire Mortal Instruments series, including City of Bones (which I've read, and haven't read any others yet), City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire (which is a BEAST of a book). I also own the Shadowhunter's Codex!

3. JK Rowling -- 9 books. Of course. I mean, come on. I own all seven Harry Potter books, as well as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I only have to find a copy of Quidditch Through the Ages, and my HP collection will be complete!

2. Stephen King -- 11 books. My mom really loves Stephen King, and I've read a couple myself. But we've decided to start collecting hardcovers of the old ones again, and we of course always buy the newest one for her to read. So I own The Shining, Salem's Lot, Carrie, Desperation, Full Dark No Stars, Dreamcatcher, Mr. Mercedes, Doctor Sleep, The Wind Through the Keyhole, 11/22/63, and Under the Dome.

And my number one, most owned author IS.........
1.SCOTT WESTERFELD -- 12 books
I absolutely love Scott Westerfeld's young adult books. I started with the Uglies series, and just kept going from there. So I own the Uglies trilogy and the companion novel (Uglies, Pretties, Specials and Extras), the Leviathan trilogy (Leviathan, Behemoth and Goliath), andthe Midnighters trilogy (The Secret Hour, Touching Darkness and Blue Noon). I also own So Yesterday and The Last Days, which is the sequel to Peeps. Somehow, I don't own Peeps, whether I borrowed it or just lost it, so I will be buying that one soon. And you better believe that I'll be buying his newest book this fall, Afterworlds

Tell me: who do YOU own the most of? Which author(s) dominate your bookshelves?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (1): Book Boyfriends

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Since I'm new to the book-blogging community, I decided to go ahead and do one of the old Top Ten Tuesdays that I've missed already. Because really, who can pass up listing their favorite book crushes? And keep in mind, that really the order of these doesn't matter very much. Because I love them all. (Except #1. He's definitely my #1.) 

1. Chaol Westfall -- Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Guys, seriously? Chaol is my official book boyfriend. Every book blogger or booktuber has one. THE one. The most crushable of all book crushes. And here is mine. He's attractive, and protective, and fierce. There is a moment towards the end of the book that just made me fall head over heels for him (as if I wasn't already there.) If you haven't read these books yet, DO IT. Because you won't regret it. 

2. Daniel Sheridan -- Something Strange and Deadly trilogy by Susan Dennard

Also a no-brainer. Maybe it's because Sarah and Susan are BFFs, but something about both of their books just make me swoon. Daniel is a rough-around-the-edges inventor with little to no manners, but he genuinely cares so much about the rest of the Spirit-Hunters, even when he may not come across as the kindest person. He's amazing. (PS. The 3rd and final book in the series, Strange and Ever After, released today! Happy book birthday, Susan! 

3. Adam Wilde -- If I Stay duology by Gayle Forman

A bad boy rock star with a heart of gold? Literally say no more. 

(But he gets even better in the sequel, which is from his POV!)

4. Day Wing -- Legend trilogy by Marie Lu 

Day is a rebel who would give up EVERYTHING to protect his family, and he's ridiculously strong to boot. This was a slow burn book crush for me, because it took until the second book for me to really fall in love with him. And then I loved him (and the other characters) SO much that the third book nearly killed me. This is one of my very favorite dystopian trilogies. 

5. Sturmhond -- Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo (Books 2 and 3)

A dashing privateeer with  loads of secrets, and tons of charm to match. Need I go on? 

(And he just gets better and better.) 

6. Oren -- Skylark trilogy by Meagan Spooner 

AHHH. Seriously, I can't really talk about him much without giving away plot details. But suffice it to say, I ADORE HIM. 

7. Augustus Waters -- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

Come on. You all knew it was coming. Gus is a pretentious butthead sometimes, but when you finally break through that facade and see the hurt and fear underneath, it's impossible NOT to love him. 

8. Cricket Bell -- Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins 

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Etienne St. Clair from Perkin's Anna and the French Kiss. But there's just something about how earnest Cricket is that gets me. And that name. Now, come on. I'm a sucker for adorable names like that. 

9. Ian O'Shea -- The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Yeah. I know. Stephenie Meyer. But while the Twilight saga was disappointing after a while, I still absolutely LOVE The Host, and Ian is just such an amazing character. He falls for a soul, not just the person on the outside, and there's nothing sexier. 

(It doesn't hurt that for most of the book, I pictured him as Ian Somerhalder.) 

10. Peeta Mellark -- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins 

I was Team Peeta from the start, and he's just amazing. He's fiercely loyal and protective, but he's such a gentle soul. I love him so much. 

Tell me: who is YOUR favorite book crush?  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Celebrity BOOK-Alikes

Have you ever looked at the cover of a book with a model on the cover and thought, Hey, that totally looks like...celebrity X?

It can either be really intriguing, or really distracting. But I first noticed it on the cover of Where She Went by Gayle Forman. Doesn't the girl on the cover TOTALLY look like Emilie de Ravin?

So I went hunting for other celebrity BOOK-alikes! And here are some I've found. 

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen TOTALLY looks like AJ Michalka. 

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer TOTALLY looks like Malina Akerman.

Sorceress by Claudia Gray TOTALLY looks like Emma Roberts OR Bitsie Tulloch.

Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr looks like Cate Blanchett

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead looks like Angelina Jolie

In the case of Fragile Eternity, I had already pictured the character Sorcha as Cate Blanchett, so when the cover came out and looked a lot like her, I felt validated. On the other hand, the cover for Vampire Academy is what has kept me from reading the series for so long. Only after I saw the movie this winter, did I finally decide that I need to read the books in the near future. 

Tell me: have YOU found any other celebrity book-alikes? And how do you feel about them?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The HARRY POTTER Series

The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

Today's Throwback Thursday is the series that really started it all. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was really the first novel that got me into reading young adult novels. So here's one for my pal, Harry. Thanks for getting me started. 

This was really inspired by the fact that just yesterday, I FINALLY bought The Tales of Beedle the Bard, the last of the Hogwarts Library "series" that started long ago with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (who else is really excited for the movie series?!?) and Quidditch Through the Ages (which I still need to pick up.) 

Tell me: what books first got you into the young adult section at the bookstore? Let me know in the comments below! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (1): STRANGE AND EVER AFTER

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Release date: July 22, 2014

For my first WOW, I thought I would choose a book that's coming out really soon. Next week, in fact. Since this is the third book in a trilogy, I'm not going to post the summary here, as it's more than a little spoiler-y. I've been following Susan Dennard (and all of her friends at Pub Crawl) since before they were actually published, so I've been excited for this series for quite a few years. Now, the third and final book is almost out, and it's a little bittersweet to see it ending. But for now, I can't WAIT to find out what happens to our beloved Spirit-Hunters. 

Tell me: what are YOU waiting on this Wednesday? Leave a comment below! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #1
Published Date: April 2, 2009
On a day that started like any other,

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she'll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

Thoughts: I'd heard rave reviews about this book all over the internet, and from a few friends. So when the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation was released a couple of months ago (and I cried like a baby just at the trailer,) I knew I'd have to pick up this duology and read it before the movie came out. So we (my Mom and I) picked them up at Target for 20% off. 

I really enjoyed the book. It raises so many questions about mortality, family, friendship and romance. You begin the book knowing that something horrible is going to happen to Mia, so the first chapter is automatically full of tension as you wait for the inevitable. When the crash happens, Forman skips the actual crash and goes straight from driving to the aftermath, which is extremely abrupt but powerful. 

Mia is such an interesting character, being a classical cellist coming from a punk-rock family. It's a combination you don't often see in YA. Usually, it's the straight-laced parents and the rebellious teenager, so Mia is a breath of fresh air. Her flashback narrations shed a lot of light on her parents, as well, making them fully fleshed out characters. And Kim is a great YA best friend. 

And Adam. Oh, Adam. Such a swoon-worthy YA boyfriend. Adam is more like Mia's parents than she is, and while their relationship has it's problems, they are realistic and nuanced problems, with no sense of melodrama in sight. 

Unfortunately, the nature of Mia's narration means that she does not feel things fully, physically or emotionally. Because of this, I felt it a little hard to feel completely emotionally invested in the story. It was sad, obviously, but I didn't connect with the sadness because Mia didn't connect with the sadness fully. 

I liked it. I didn't LOVE it like I thought I would, but I liked it. The framework of the day at the hospital allows Mia to think back on other events in her life, illuminating the backstories little by little and making every character feel like an important part of the narrative, even the smallest characters only mentioned a few times. 

I'm starting the sequel, Where She Went, and hopefully will enjoy it just as much, or maybe even more! 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars 

A Beginning

First post on a new project. I'm so nervous!

So if you're here right now, it's probably because I actually know you. In real life. So, hey! Welcome! I'm so glad you're here! I'm hoping to use this blog to review books I read, talk about upcoming releases that I'm excited for, and discuss other topics that pertain to young adult novels.

I love YA. Yes, I'm 23 years old. So what? My mother reads almost every book I read, as well. And she loves them. So the love of YA knows no boundaries of age. And I will feel no shame in reading and reviewing them. And who knows? Maybe I'll convince some more people to give YA a chance.

So here's to happy reading!