Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (4): THE DREGS

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: The Dregs (Dregs #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release date: ??/2015

Goodreads blurb: The project, describe as a blend of Ocean's 11 and Game of Thrones, is set in Kerch, a small island nation in the "Grishaverse" with tremendous economic power, the hub of all international trade and a country rich in art and culture...but also home to one of the most dangerous criminal underworlds. A crew of dangerous felonious misfits face impossible odds when they are pulled together to break into one of the most guarded places in the world. 

Thoughts: I read the first two books in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy last summer (Shadow & Bone and Siege & Storm), and couldn't get enough of them. So when Ruin & Rising, the third book, came out this June, I ran to Barnes & Noble on release day to get the special edition with the bonus short story. I ADORE that series and miss it already. So when she announced that she was writing TWO new books set in the same universe, AND hinted that we might see certain Grisha trilogy characters again? (*Cough, cough* NIKOLAI *cough, cough*) I was totally sold. I love Leigh's writing, and I absolutely cannot wait to return to this world again. So I need a cover and a release date PRONTO!! 

Tell me: what are YOU waiting on this week? Let me know in the comments below! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (4): Books I REALLY Want to Read, But Don't Own Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish!

10. The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Liz Braswell

This was made into an ABCFamily show a few years ago, and though I never really watched it, I did catch a bit here and there, and the concept seemed really interesting, and the guy was hot. So yeah, I definitely want to read this. Looking into getting the bind-up of all three books for Christmas! 

9. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

This sounds like one of those adorable contemporary reads, and I've been meaning to read it for FOREVER. I found a paperback copy of it at the Half Price Books HUGE clearance sale a few weeks ago, but it wasn't in the BEST condition, and it got left behind in exchange for some other, better conditioned books. And a few days later, I found a hardcover copy of it at a garage sale...missing a dust jacket! So it WILL happen sooner or later!

8. The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta 

I've heard AMAZING things about Melina Marchetta and her writing, and this series sounds so entertaining. I've gotten really into high fantasy, so these books sound right up my alley! 

7. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

For the LONGEST time, I put off even reading the synopsis of this book because the cover put me off so badly. But I have a friend who doesn't like a lot of young adult novels, and this is one of her favorite series. So when the movie came out in February, I went to see it with her and ended up loving it. So I figured I really should go ahead and read the series. And now that the boxset is out with the slightly better covers, what better time to ask for the set for Christmas! 

6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor

Once again, high fantasy series that has gotten rave reviews and is adored by many booktubers I follow. So yeah, need this series! 

5. Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness

I've wanted to read this trilogy for a long time, and that desire has only gotten greater since I bought and read A Monster Calls

4. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Three books in this series have been released. THREE. And I've been wanting to start it since Cinder came out! So why have I not started it yet? Not sure. Asking for Christmas! Christmas's book haul is probably going to be huge...

3. The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare 

I've only read City of Bones from The Mortal Instruments so far, but I've heard that this series is even better. Shadowhunters. Victorian London. Slightly steampunk. And hot guys. Need I say more? 

2. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

My mom and I saw this at Barnes and Noble last Christmas, and for some reason, I was just sort of "meh" about it when she picked it up. So we never got it. I have absolutely NO idea what I was thinking. This sounds AMAZING. And the second book comes out next month! 

1. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

I'm determined to become a Morgan Matson fangirl. This book came out FOUR years ago, but I haven't really heard of it until now. Morgan's latest book, Since You've Been Gone, came out this summer, and everyone has loved it. So I guess her previous books have just been rising in popularity again now. And Amy and Roger sounds like the PERFECT contemporary, so this is SUCH a priority for Christmas. Or maybe even before then...

Tell me: what books do YOU want to read but don't own yet? And don't forget to visit The Broke and the Bookish and click through some more Top Ten Tuesday posts! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (3): TRUTHWITCH

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

(since there's no cover yet, here's a picture of the author!)

Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard 
Release date: 2015
Summary: Garth Nix meets Avatar: The Last Airbender. 
The series is set in a world where three empires rule and every member of the population is born with a magical skill set, known as a "witchery." Now, as the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries-long war is about to end, the balance of power will fall on the shoulders of two young women, who must accept their fate, and themselves, to survive. 

Thoughts: I have become a HUGE fan of high fantasy, and that is in part due to Susan Dennard's BFF, Sarah J. Maas, and her Throne of Glass series. Now that I've finished Susan's Something Strange and Deadly trilogy, I can't wait to get my hands on her next series. Especially one that sounds so epic and fantastic! 

Tell me: what are YOU waiting on this wednesday? Let me know in the comments below! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published date: July 8th, 2014
Summary: Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it's been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply -- but that almost seems beside the point now. 

Maybe that was always beside the point. 

Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can't go. She's a TV writer, and something's come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her -- Neal is always a little upset with Georgie -- but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her. 

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she's finally done it. If she's ruined everything. 

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It's not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...

Is that what she's supposed to do? 

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened? 

Why I read it: I have been hearing great things about Rainbow Rowell for the last year, so for Christmas, I got both Eleanor and Park and Fangirl. I read both of them this spring and absolutely LOVED them both, so when her newest adult book came out this summer, I knew I had to get it. I actually took a break from Hollow City to read this one, and stayed up until 4 in the morning to finish it.

Thoughts: Rainbow Rowell is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary authors. Her books are always well-written and entertaining, while still dealing with different issues and personalities. I adore her. Landline just confirmed this love.

Rowell's writing style is so distinctive, often employing several parentheticals in a row, or flashbacks within flashbacks. It's a tribute to her talent, then, that I was never confused as to what or when I was reading. I always knew what was going on within the context of the story.

Speaking of the story, I was entertained from page one. We begin, in the very first chapter, with Georgie telling Neal she can't make it to Omaha for Christmas. We are thrown into the story with very little background for their relationship, but Rowell so easily paints both the tension and ease between Georgie and Neal. It's obvious they love each other, but also have some issues that cannot be fixed by a quick argument and a makeup kiss. From here, the story evolves.

The magic phone actually plays less of a role in the story than I thought it would, but I was okay with that. The real heart of the story is about present Georgie and present Neal, and the magic phone only serves to enhance that relationship.

The characters were my favorite part of the book. Our heroine, Georgie McCool, is so relatable. She seems so cool on the outside, often appearing like the coolest person at parties, while feeling nervous and anxious on the inside. Neal is complicated and sometimes unlikable, but he has his redeeming moments that make him totally swoon-worthy. Georgie's mother is hilarious; I can totally imagine her in real life, with her obsession with her pugs and dressing younger than she should. Georgie's sister, Heather, is so refreshing for her sarcasm and wit, but also her own insecurities that Georgie helps her begin to overcome.

My absolute FAVORITE character, though, is Seth. Seth has been Georgie's writing partner and best friend for almost twenty years, and their relationship shows it. Every conversation and interaction between the two of them was pure gold. I would gladly read a book all about Seth. I want a Seth of my very own.

I would absolutely recommend this book, especially if you've read and liked any of Rowell's previous books!

Rating: 5/5 stars

Friday, August 15, 2014

Film Review: THE GIVER

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes
Release date: TODAY! 

Pretty much all of us have read The Giver by Lois Lowry at some point in our lives. I read it in the eighth grade and loved it so much that I convinced my teacher to give me extra credit for reading the two companion novels (Gathering Blue and Messenger) and writing a report about them. I loved all three books. Now there is a fourth book, Son, completing what is now called the "Giver Quartet." I have yet to read Son, but it's very high on my TBR pile right now. 

The movie adaptation of The Giver have been in the works for years now, but Jeff Bridges has finally succeeded in getting it made, with himself in the title character's role. When the trailer came out several months ago, there was a lot of doubt and suspicion, and I completely admit to being among the naysayers. 

I was wrong. 

I had the opportunity to see a pre-screening of the movie in June, and I obviously went in with very low expectations. I was so pleasantly surprised once the movie was over. Yes, a few things had changed, but everything I had really loved about the book was there, present in the movie. So let's just talk about those changes for a moment. 

First of all, one of the biggest points of contention about the trailer among fans of the book was that the first trailer was all in color. By now, most people know that in the book, people don't see colors; The main character Jonas, however, begins to see color throughout the book. Fear not, book fans! The movie begins in black and white and the introduction of color happens gradually until everything is gloriously warm and rich with color. 

Also scrutinized is the aging up of Jonas and his peers. In the book, they are around 12 years old, while in the movie, they are around 16. In all honesty, I really didn't feel like this detracted anything from the storyline. Everything that happens makes just as much sense to a 16-year-old as it would to a 12-year-old. 

The romance aspect. Possibly one of the biggest outcries from fans. "The character is older," they said, "so they'll try to throw a bunch of romance into the movie!" While it is possibly true that because Jonas is 16, his feelings for his friend Fiona may be played up a bit more, it is still not the most important plot points. I even felt that that certain things in the story (such as the stirrings), made more sense with a little bit of age and a crush. 

Beyond all of these points, the story is just well-played. It's been a BIG year for Brenton Thwaites. Maleficent was a maistream hit, Oculus was a well-reviewed horror film, and The Signal has been getting tons of buzz in the indie crowd. With The Giver, I expect his star to continue rising! Jeff Bridges makes a great Giver, though I may be biased (I LOVE Jeff Bridges.) Alexander Skarsgard and Katie Holmes play Jonas's parents, and Holmes's performance may not be the most nuanced, but Skarsgard is great as Jonas's father. And Meryl Streep is so fabulous as the Chief Elder that Lois Lowry herself expressed a desire to go back and rewrite The Giver to make the character more like Meryl Streep's portrayal of her. 

There were, of course, a couple of things I didn't care for. The hovercraft/drones are still ridiculous, especially at the end. And Cameron Monaghan's performance as Jonas's friend Asher seems a little over-the-top, especially for someone who is meant to feel few emotions. Worst of all is Taylor Swift's performance as Rosemary. She is only present in about five minutes total of the film, yet she still managed to be my least favorite part of the entire movie. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this film, MUCH more than I thought I would. If you're still on the fence about seeing it, I would encourage you to give it a chance! 

Rating: 4/5 stars 

Let me know in the comments below if you saw/plan on seeing The Giver, and what you thought of it! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014



The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares

This is another series that was one of the first series' I ever read. This was my first real foray into contemporary, and I sometimes forget that I actually read them. I've seen the movies so many times, and even though they aren't the most faithful adaptations, I still love them.

The series follows four best friends who find a pair of jeans that magically fit all of them, even though they are all different sizes and heights. This occurs right before the first summer that they will be spending apart, so they decide to keep in touch by sending the pants to each other throughout the summer, and documenting what amazing things happen to them while wearing the pants. Though the covers suggest light-hearted summer reads, these books do include some really serious, deep issues and topics like death, depression, broken families and first heartbreaks. But that's what makes them so wonderful; because they don't pull any punches. And though the girls spend the summers apart, they always find their way back to each other when they need each other the most.

Note: There is a "fifth" book in this series. It is an adult book set when the girls are adults. I've been spoiled for the main plot point, and I HATE that plot point so much that I have refused to read it. Though I've heard that they are adapting the adult book into a movie, so I'll probably see it, even if it kills me.

I recently realized that I don't actually own them anymore, because I'd finished the series back when I wasn't actually collecting books. So I'm looking into getting new copies again, because this is one series that I'd like to keep for a long time. Who knows? Maybe my daughter will get to read them one day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (2): THE YOUNG ELITES

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine 

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Release date: October 7th, 2014
Summary: I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside. 

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina's black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family's good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever's survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars--they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites. 

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it's Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. 

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they've never seen. 

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one things they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn't belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her. 

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt. 

Thoughts: I am a HUGE fan of Marie Lu's Legend trilogy. I read all three books back to back this past February/March and just adored them. I flew through them because I couldn't put it down; I just HAD to know what happened next. And when I got to the end of Champion, the third book, I was bawling. Everything these characters had been through and everything they were...I cried. I don't cry often, but I cried for Champion. But it was beautiful. Utterly beautiful. So when I heard that Marie had sold a new series, I was in, even before I really knew what it was about. But now, it's described as being a mix of X-Men and Assassin's Creed 2 meets Game of Thrones. HELL YES. I can't wait to pick this up! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (3): Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week, I'm listing ten books that I'm a little bit on the fence about. Most of these are because I've heard really good things about them on booktube or bookblog lately, but they're in genres I don't often read much of. So, here we go! 

10. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I used to not be a fan of contemporary YA novels, but that is definitely changing more and more. I love both Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins books, so I'm slowly getting into more contemporary. I've heard great things about Huntley Fitzpatrick's books, so I will probably pick it up sometime, but I'm still a little on the fence about it. And I think it's the cover that throws me, because I'm not a huge fan of couples on covers. (Althought, I guess Anna and the French Kiss had one, too, but I'd heard so many good things about it that I finally decided, screw it!)

 9. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

This fulfills two different rarely-read genres for me: adult and historical. I've read a few adult books (most of them being books that were adapted into movies, and I'd already seen the movies). But I sometimes find it difficult to get into historical novels, and this especially sounds daunting because it is a HUGE book (and the first in a TRILOGY), and it's set in World War II era Russia. So...I'm not sure. But Catriona (of Little Book Owl) absolutely LOVES this series, so I may give it a go...eventually. 
8. Wait for You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Sigh. New Adult. I haven't really fallen into the genre yet. And my biggest pet peeve is that a lot of people describe New Adult as "young adult with sex." I have no problem with that, but I'd like to see the real New Adult genre be books about college-age people, with or without sex, that is still written like a Young Adult book. But anyway, this is an author I've heard great things about, both on the YA and NA ends of things. I'd like to read her YA books, so maybe once I get a taste of her writing style, I'll give her NA books a try as well. 
7. Losing It by Cora Carmack

Sigh. Another NA book. In fact, it seems like one of THE first big NA books that really started the genre. But...just look at that cover. Is it just me, or do NA books seem to have REALLY bad covers? This is one that I'm leaning much more towards "no" when I think about whether I really want to read it or not.
6. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I don't read many Middle Grade books. In fact, I haven't really read ANY yet. I have a few series that I'd like to read, however, like the Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer, and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. But I'm just not sure if this long series is for me. 
5. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Another contemporary that I'm just not sure about. Within the contemporary genre, I usually either go for the cute romance, or Ellen Hopkins. But the summary for this book on Goodreads mentions "for fans of Sarah Dessen," and I have absolutely never been interested in reading any of her novels. So I'm not sure about this book, but I've heard wonderful things about it. So I may give it a go in the future! 
4. The Falconer by Elizabeth May

I've been finding more and more YA fantasy series lately, and LOVING them. And I've heard good things about this book. Sarah J. Maas even blurbed it! (And you know I LOVE Sarah J. Maas.) But the premise just doesn't do it any justice. But let's just be honest...I'll probably read it. And I'll probably love it. 
3. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa

I like fairy/fey books, but this is one series that never really caught my eyes. But I've been hearing more and more about Julie Kagawa, and I really want to read her Blood of Eden trilogy. So maybe once I've read those books, I'll like her writing style enough to pick these up! 
2. Looking for Alaska by John Green

I had vaguely heard of this book a long time ago, but I had no interest in reading it. Now that I've read and LOVED The Fault in Our Stars, I'm still debating on whether or not to go back and read any of the earlier John Green novels. But even if I decide "yes," I think this one may be the very last book on my list. 
1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's written a lot, and a LOT of people love him, including many of my close friends. So I know I need to read some Gaiman, but his newest book may or may not be my exact cup of tea. So maybe I'll start out with some of his children's books and go from there. 
Tell me: have YOU read any of these books? What did you think? Are there any I should definitely get to sooner rather than later? 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Published date: May 13th, 2014
Summary: A beautiful and distinguished family. 
A private island. 
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. 
A group of four friends--the Liars--whose friendship turns destructive. 
A revolution. An accident. A secret. 
Lies upon lies. 
True love. 
The truth. 

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 
Read it. 
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. 

Why I read it: This summer, I really started getting into book blogging/booktube. I started following a bunch of booktubers on YouTube, and ALL of them started talking about this book. And it was one I hadn't really heard much about until then, because I'm not usually a contemporary YA reader (although that is quickly changing.) But since all of booktube started raving about this book, I knew I had to read it. I bought it at Half Price Books one day and as soon as I finished Where She Went, I dove into this book. And since it's so short, I flew through it in a day and a half.

Thoughts: We Were Liars follows the story of Cadence, who spends her summers on a private island with her beautiful, rich family, the Sinclairs. From what I've heard, the writing style in this book is different than Lockhart's usual writing style in her previous novels, but it is hauntingly beautiful. The way sentences are broken up onto different lines. The intense descriptions of Cadence's emotions. Early on in the book, Cadence describes the day her father left her and her mother. She says "Then he took out a gun and shot me in the chest." And at first, I thought that he had really shot his own daughter. But then her mother tells her to be normal, pull it together, and they walk back into the house, so I realized it was just a metaphor for her emotion. This happens several times in the novel, and it's one of my favorite parts.

The narration switches back and forth between the present, and two summers ago, when the incident occurred. Through these flashbacks and present plot, we discover all of the Sinclairs' secrets alongside Cadence, whose memory of that summer has been impaired.

Though the novel is short, the character descriptions are so perfect and detailed, and by the end of the book, I loved each of the Liars so much.

The description is correct, though. Go into this book knowing as little as possible. It's a contemporary like I've never read before, and I absolutely adored it.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Top Five Wednesday--Booktube (1): Blue Covers

I had some free time today, so I decided to do another booktube video! Today is a Top Five Wednesday video concerning my top five favorite blue covers. I may alternate Top Five and Waiting on Wednesdays from now on! So look for a new Waiting on Wednesday next week, and tomorrow there will be a new Throwback Thursday post, as well as maybe a new review for the Spirit Hunters trilogy by Susan Dennard!

So for now, enjoy the video! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

July Wrap-Up!

Here is my wrap-up video for the month of July! Head over to YouTube and subscribe to my channel if you'd like to be the first to see these videos each month. And let me know in the comments if you'd like to see me do any other kinds of bookish videos in the future!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

July Book Haul!

So I've decided to make my first foray into booktubing, as well! So at least at the end of every month, you'll see two videos from me. The first will be the kind of video I'm posting today, which is a book haul. In these videos, I'll show you all the books I bought that month! The other kind of video will be a wrap-up for the month, in which I'll list and talk about all the books I read that month.

So without further ado, here's my July Book Haul video! :)

Tell me: are there any other kinds of booktube videos YOU would like to see from me? Let me know in the comments below!