Posted in Uncategorized

A-Z Tag Tuesday!

I saw this A-Z tag on Night Train Books blog and thought that it would be a little something fun to do!

This reminded me of being in middle school and doing one of those get to know me quiz things and posting them on your myspace page. So I figure, eh why not? This will give my readers a little bit more insight on me.

So here goes:

A – Age: 26

B – Book I’m currently reading: I am currently reading Me Before You in paperback, The Forbidden Wish in audiobook, and Burning Glass in ebook. I like to read multiple books at once and in different formats. You never know when you’ll have spare time to read or listen to a book, I like to be prepared!

C – Chore you hate: The dishes. I just wish they would do themselves!

D – Dessert you love: Banana splits, banana pudding, or anything chocolate. =)

E – Essential start your day item: Coffee. I can’t function without having my daily cup of coffee!

F – Favorite author/book: Man there are so many good books out there it’s hard to just pick one. I guess my all time favorite that I can just read over and over again would be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

G – Gold or silver: I am slowly turning into a rose gold fan. Not too much of a gold fan myself, unless it is silver coated.

H – Height: I am 5’1” (and a half inch ;), every half inch helps)

I – Instruments you play: I can play french horn and trumpet, although it has been years so don’t judge my playing skills.

J – Job title: I am currently a full time student, working part-time at the university.

K – Kids: I have three of the cutest furry kids in the world! They are all mutts and I love them!

L – Living Arrangements: I live with my husband and our 3 dogs.

M – Most overused word/phrase in your vocabulary:  Currently, probably oh my god (in the angry birds voice)

N – Nicknames: Sam, that’s about it.

O – Overnight Hospital stay other than birth: In 6th grade, I hit a car while roller blading. I broke my left arm and fractured my right. So needless to say,  I was in the hospital for quite awhile. #daredevil, #livinglifetotheextreme 😉

P – Pet peeve: Using my things without permission (especially if they don’t put the items back where they found them)

Q – Quotes I like: I have so many favorite books it’s hard to pick just a few. But, I’ll try.

“Men always want to be a woman’s first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about things. What we like is to be a man’s last romance.” -Oscar Wilde

R – Right or left-handed: I am a lefty.

S – Siblings: I have 3 sisters, 1 step-brother, and 2 step-sisters

T – Time you woke up today: About 7:30 am

U- Unique thing about you: Hmm…I don’t really know. When I was born, I didn’t have that much room in the womb (being the first born and all) so my feet actually folded up to touch my shins. Now I can barely do yoga poses without falling over.

V – Vegetable you love: grilled asparagus

Y- Yummy food you make: I don’t really cook, unless you count popping a pizza into the oven.

Z – Zodiac sign: Capricorn

I tag all the new blogs, and also all the older ones, who haven’t done this yet or want their newer followers to get to know them better.

Posted in Young Adult

Starstruck Review

Starstruck by Brenda Hiatt18374994 (1)

Published: August 22, 2013 by Createspace

Goodreads summary:

Nerdy astronomy geek Marsha, M to her few friends, has never been anybody special. Orphaned as an infant and reluctantly raised by an overly-strict “aunt,” she’s not even sure who she is. M’s dream of someday escaping tiny Jewel, Indiana and making her mark in the world seems impossibly distant until hot new quarterback Rigel inexplicably befriends her. As Rigel turns his back on fawning cheerleaders to spend time with M, strange things start to happen: her acne clears up, her eyesight improves to the point she can ditch her thick glasses, and when they touch, sparks fly—literally! When M digs for a reason, she discovers deep secrets that will change her formerly humdrum life forever . . . and expose her to perils she never dreamed of. Yes, the middle of nowhere just got a lot more interesting!

I wish I could say that there was something I enjoyed about this book, but I can’t. I didn’t enjoy this book at all, and all I can say is that I am glad I got this book for free.

“I never would have believed a guy—any guy—could affect me like this.”

Marsha is probably the worst main character I have ever read, and that is saying something because I have read a lot of books in my lifetime. She falls in love with Rigel after hearing him talk for the very first time. Let’s be honest, this is the worst cliche ever and authors should just stop using it. This was the first in many cliches in this entire book, but really the whole book is one. M’s whole life now is dedicated to Rigel; her every thought, emotion, she is basically obsessed with him. When they fake break up, she becomes very depressed and pines over Rigel. If I wasn’t listening to the audiobook while I worked, I would have thrown the book across the room.

Also, lets talk about the “twist” in this book. Marsha finds out she is an alien from Mars… Ok…but it gets better, she is not only an alien from Mars, but she is also their long lost princess! All I could think about what Princess Diaries when Mia said “shut. up.” I think from here I really lost interest in the book. (Well, if I am honest with myself, it was way before then)

“I admitted, still drinking in his eyes, his amazing face. I never seemed to get enough of that.”

Even when her life was in danger, she just thought that the adults were just lying to her to get her to cooperate. If I am a long lost princess and was told that the bad guys who killed my parents and grandparents were after me, I think I would have listened to them and been very cautious. Instead, what does she do? Goes right up to the guy to see if he recognizes her as the girl they were looking for. She also cared more about her relationship and going to the homecoming dance than the “danger” that was around her.

If you are looking for a good alien novel, then this is not for you. If you are looking for something similar to The 5th Wave look elsewhere!

I give this novel 1 out of 5 stars (and even a 1 is being generous)

Posted in Young Adult

The Siren Review

The Siren by Kiera Cass25817407

Published: January 26, 2016 by Harper Teen

Goodreads Summary:

Love is a risk worth taking.

Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.

“Life was just a collection of small decisions”

As a big fan of The Selection series, The Siren was something completely different. This was Cass’ first novel that was edited and re-published earlier this year. This novel, I felt was more real even though it had the mythological element of the girls being sirens. While the blurb makes it seem as if this novel is about soulmates and true love, it wasn’t the only theme. There were many themes that made the book not feel like a giant cliche, such as motherhood, family, sisterhood, and self-discovery.

“There’s always room for love. Even if it’s as small as a crack in the door.”

Kahlen has accepted her life as a siren, but never liked having to kill thousands of people to help feed the Ocean. We see how killing affects Kahlen deeply and what she does to manage her depression. When she meets Akinli, Kahlen starts to really live again. I liked how it wasn’t an instantaneous love, but a gradual process. When she realized the danger that she put on Akinli, Kahlen left him so that he could live a normal life without her. This to me made the love and the character feel more real.

Kahlens sisters-Maika, Elizabeth, and Padma- were a major part of the novel as well. We got backstories on them, and saw them grow as characters as well. At first their sisterhood was very centered around themselves, but as the story continued they grew closer together.

“Books were a safe place, a world apart from my own. No matter what had happened that day, that year, there was always a story in which someone overcame their darkest hour. I wasn’t alone.”

This story didn’t have a real villain of sorts. The Ocean, who acted as their mother, for the most part could be considered the main villain. The Ocean is portrayed as only taking lives and demanding a lot from the Sirens, but She is constantly telling them that She doesn’t enjoy making them do this. Even though She puts them through a lot, and you want to hate her, you can’t help but feel pity for the Ocean. Everything she does, she does for her Sirens.

If you are looking for a quick standalone read, you should definitely check this one out. I devoured this book in almost one sitting, and I didn’t even realize that half the day was gone by the time my husband came home with dinner.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

“I picked up another book, and we sat there in the happiest silence I’d ever known.”

 

Posted in Subscription Box, Young Adult

Alice Takes Back Wonderland Review

Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons

Published: September 28, 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press

Goodreads Summary:

After ten years of being told she can’t tell the difference between real life and a fairy tale, Alice finally stops believing in Wonderland. So when the White Rabbit shows up at her house, Alice thinks she’s going crazy.

Only when the White Rabbit kicks her down the rabbit hole does Alice realize that the magical land she visited as a child is real.

But all is not well in Wonderland.

The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland and is systematically dismantling all that makes it wonderful. Plain is replacing wondrous, logical is replacing magical, and reason is destroying madness. Alice decides she must help the Mad Hatter and all those fighting to keep Wonderland wonderful.

But how can she face such danger when she is just a girl?

Alice must journey across the stars to unite an army. She discovers that fairy tales are real in the magical world beyond the rabbit hole. But they are not the fairy tales she knows.

Fairy tales have dangers and adventures of their own, and Alice must overcome the trials of these old stories if she wants to unite the lands against Ace.

With the help of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and heroes old and new, Alice may have the strength to take back Wonderland.

This was in my May’s LitCube box subscription, and I couldn’t put the book down! I was a little skeptical going in after reading some reviews, but I fairly enjoyed this book.

“Why is the raven like a writing desk?”

This book starts off with Alice at home and basically acting like a crazy person. Her mother treats her with little kid gloves and makes her take all kinds of medication to help her understand reality from fantasy. The story quickly moves with Alice falling down the rabbit hole and ending up back in Wonderland, only it isn’t exactly how she left it. After realizing that she could not outsmart the Ace of Spades, like she did the Queen in her previous trip, is when Alice’s adventure really starts.

Along her journey, Alice starts to make new friends and helps them out in their situations in order to build up an army. I liked how the author introduced a new character/fairy tale. At each stop, Alice builds up alliances and also gains more self confidence that she was lacking in the beginning. Throughout the whole book, Alice is constantly asked why she is fighting for Wonderland and what it means to her. It wasn’t until nearly the end that Alice could respond with an answer that she herself believed in. I thought this should tremendous growth on her part as a character, and made her more believable.

The other characters in the book, I thought were great, and really added to the story. Because really why just have one retelling, when you can just add all the ones you want?

Overall, if you like the original story or just fairy tales in general, then you should definitely pick up this book. It had just the amount of mad to make you keep reading until the end.

I am 99.9% sure, that this month’s theme was only because Alice Through the Looking Glass is being released tomorrow. I finished this book just in time to go watch the movie! I am going to be Wonderlanded(??) out by the end!

As a side note: If you really enjoyed this book, the journey doesn’t have to end here. David D. Hammons will be releasing a second book, Alice and the Ice Queen. I don’t know when it will be released, everything that I have found just says coming soon…

I give Alice Takes Back Wonderland a 4 out of 5 stars.

Posted in NetGalley, Young Adult

Class Zero Review

Class Zero by Y.A. Marks

Expected Publication: May 24, 2016 by Sugarstone Publishing

Goodreads summary:

I’m sixteen. I’m p*ss poor, and I steal to eat. Me? My life is great.

In my brilliance, I “adopted” two hungry orphans. When I’m not with them, I avoid every human being I can, trying to keep the kids safe and protected. It’s pretty easy to do because half the country lives in abject poverty.

A week ago, I treated myself to a cup of coffee, and ran into a mysterious boy with intense gray eyes. After a security drone worth billions blew up above my head, he chased me down to simply tell me that “change was coming.”

“What?”

When I got back to the homeless shelter, where I live, guess what was on TV? Me and the gray-eyed idiot who happened to have half his face covered. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky.

Oh, but there’s more! The government, which shoots first and asks questions later, not only think that I’m a part of a rebel organization that they’ve been trying to eradicate for the last seven years, they actually believe that I’m the leader.

I could stop there with joy, but unfortunately the government kidnapped the two orphans—my two orphans. That’s when they really started to tick…me…off.

This dystopian novel is set in Atlanta sometime in the future. How convenient that I happened to be in Atlanta visiting family, when I started reading it! So as far as dystopian stories go, this one wasn’t terrible. I was glad that it wasn’t as long as Divergent, but it was still long enough that I understood what was going on.

Alright, so first off let’s talk about the characters. Paeton for the most part is a believable character, she has her quirks, and out of all of the characters is the most flushed out. You can easily see her strengths and weaknesses, and you know what drives her every day.

“Yeah. You’re special, Paeton.”

Why does every lead character have to be the “special” one? Why can’t they just be normal and be thrust into situations out of their control and somehow over come them? Anyway, most of the other characters were a little more one dimensional than Paeton. It was more of what you see is what you get and very little growth from that.

Plot: The plot was very similar to a lot of books that are already out there. The population is split into three different categories; Upper-C, Middle-C, and Lower-C. (I believe you can guess which category our main character is in.) Paeton gets dragged into the rebellion because she is caught on camera with one of the rebels, and she just happened to be the only one without a face mask on. So what does the government do? Label her as the leader of the “terrorist” group. When does a 16-year-old, who has to steal to survive, have time to plan and organize a terrorist group? This is probably one of my main problems with reading YA sometimes, but I can’t seem to stop myself from reading these type of books! It is one of my guilty pleasures in life.

“I looked at the star. All my life the flag meant very little to me, but in that moment I tried to search deeper, to see the hope the American flag once symbolized. I wondered, when did it become popular for Americans to only care about themselves? When did the powerful begin to loath the weak? When did humanity begin to die?”

Romance: I was glad that the romance wasn’t one of those insta-love type of situations, or a love triangle. Rylan, or Gray-Eyed Fox as Paeton refers to him in the beginning, is one of the characters that I wished had more growth. As the love interest in the story, I wish he had more of a voice rather than dropping everything and doing Paeton’s bidding. Other than that, I liked that he taught Paeton how to live like a teenager again instead of the way of life she was used to. I thought they were really cute together, even though it’s totally cliche, I liked that he kept saving her no matter how many times she pushed him away.

“I recognized I just had to live long enough to try for my first kiss again”

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Posted in Subscription Box, Young Adult

May Uppercase Subscription Review

This is my very first #UppercaseBox from Lisa Parkin and I was so excited to open it up to see what new book I get to add to my TBR shelf!

Every month you receive a brand new hardcover book, the book is either signed or you receive a signed bookplate, 1-2 high quality bookish items, Uppercase reading experience with exclusive content, and a special note! You can choose from two different plans:

Expert plan: comes with everything above for only $23/month plus s/h;

Book exclusive plan: comes with everything above except the 1-2 bookish items for only $17/month plus s/h.

As you can see everything came inside this little drawstring bag, so cute! This months book is Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes. This book has a retail value of  $17.99, but you can find it on Amazon for $10.22. This book is also signed by the author, which I think adds value to it.

Goodreads summary:

Maguire is bad luck. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

As soon as I have a chance to read this, I’ll make sure to leave a copy of my review here. 😉

Update (7/22/16)-I have finally read the book, and I loved it! Check out my review here!

These two items are part of the subscription, and I believe they don’t add any monetary value to the box but are pretty cool features. The picture on the left is a letter that tells you what you can expect in your box as well as a note from Lisa. The bookmark on the right is a read along bookmark with codes for when you hit certain pages – and you’ll get questions, polls, videos, etc. that go along with the book.

Sorry for the glares in the pictures, but you get the gist of what the items are. On the left are book paradise postcard set by Eric Nyffeler (an Uppercase exclusive). And on the right, we have Girl Against the Universe sticker and bookmark!

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Lastly, we have 2 oz loose leaf tea blend from NovelTea Tins. I am not a tea person, but I know someone who is who would love this!

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Verdict: Overall, I really like the items inside this subscription. The book is intriguing and I can’t wait to read it! Although, I might not use all of the items, they will be perfect gifts for people who love to read just as much as I do (and who like tea).

What do you think of this months box?

 

Posted in Lists

The Alphabet Book Tag

I have seen a few posts about this tag recently and thought ‘why not’ I wanna do this. 

The Rules:

Pick a book that is on your shelf (TBR) or one that you have read in the past and fill out each letter of the Alphabet with the title.

The Tag:

A- Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield (TBR)

B- Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie (TBR)

C- (The) Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (TBR)

D-  Divergent by Veronica Roth

E-Eon by Alison Goodman  (TBR)

F- Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong (TBR)

G- Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes (TBR)

H- Harry Potter (all of them) by J.K. Rowling

I- Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

J- Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

K- Killer Game by Kirsty McKay 

L- (The) Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

M- (The) Medium by mr graham

N- (The) Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

O- (The) Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

P- Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (TBR)

Q- (The) Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter

R- Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo 

S- (The) Shadow Queen  by C.J. Redwine

T- Trial by Fire  by Josephine Angelini

U- Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

V- Velvet by Temple West

W- Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

X- Xenocide by Orson Scott Card (TBR)

Y- Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige (TBR)

Z- Zathura by Chris van Allsburg (TBR)

This was a fun tag to tag part in and I hope it gives you guys an insight into the types of books I read. I TAG EVERYONE (Just tag me in it to let me know you have done it, I wanna see your answers)

Does anyone else have any problems finding X or Z books?