November TBR

Happy November!


Because I am feeling super ambitious about reading right now I have decided to post a tbr for this month. Now that it is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, curling up with a good book just feels right. Here are the books I am planning to devour this month.

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Jackaby by William Ritter
  4. Beastly Bones by William Ritter
  5. Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter 
  6. The Dire King by William Ritter
  7. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 
  8. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  9. Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young
  10. Waking Gods by Sylvian Neuvel
  11. Vicious by V. E. Schwab
  12. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  13. Throne of Glass by Sarah j. Maas
  14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Even though there are a ton of books on my tbr this month, 9 of these books are rereads. I am definitely in the mood to go back into my favorite worlds again. 

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Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Review

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5/5 Stars

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This book follows the character Percy Jackson as he comes to terms with being a “half blood” or demigod. Because of this, it is not safe for him to stay at home with his mother, so he is sent to live at Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for the children of the Gods. Throughout this book the reader is taken on an adventure with Percy and his friends Grover and Annabeth as they take on a quest leading to the underworld.

One of my favorite parts of this book were the cast of characters. Each one is vastly different yet they are able to come together as a team. Slowly throughout the book I started to fall in love with the characters and really cared about what happened to them. Rick Riordan is able to immerse the reader in an incredible adventure which makes you feel like you are right there fighting alongside Percy and his friends. 

The writing style of this book is also really well done. At points I was laughing out loud about certain scenes. Riordan also drops hints throughout the story about who was behind it all, especially with the oracle’s prediction, but in the end I was still surprised. After finishing it, the ending seemed so obvious yet while reading I did not predict what was going to happen.

Even though this book is considered middle grade, I believe that someone of any age will enjoy it. Overall this book was an enjoyable read that took me away from reality and on a mythical adventure. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was a strong start to the series and I am excited to continue on.

October Wrap Up & Mini Reviews 2016

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1. A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)

by V.E. Schwab  4.5/5 Stars

  • I really enjoyed the second installment in the Shades of Magic series. I liked how the plot centered around the Element Games, which gave readers more information about the world, such as different kingdoms, additional characters, and the mysterious Black London. I fell even more in love with the original characters Kell, Rhy, and Lila, as well as new ones such as Alucard. Overall this was a great second book and I cannot wait for the next to be released.

2. Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2)

By Willian Ritter 4/5 Stars

  • After reading the first book in this series, Jackaby, I had to continue with the series straight away. This book continues with Abigail Rook assisting the supernatural detective Jackaby in the small New England town of New Fiddleham. Each case that they take on is such an adventure and it does not disappoint.

3. The Map (Jackaby #1.5)

By William Ritter 3/5 Stars

  • I was very happy to find out that there was a novella included in the Jackaby series. This takes place in between the first and second books, and follows Abigail and Jackaby while they celebrate Abigail’s birthday. This novella was fun and entertaining, but because of the short length it lacked depth.

4. Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3)

By William Ritter 5/5 Stars

  • Out of the first three Jackaby books this one was my favorite. In this one we learn more about the character Jenny Cavanaugh, which I previously had so many questions about. This book left me wanting more, and it will be torture to wait for the next installment to come out in 2017.

5. The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3)

Mary E. Pearson 4/5 Stars

  • The Beauty of Darkness is the final book in The Remnant Chronicles. Overall this was a good ending to the trilogy. It was the longest book of the series, and a lot happened during it. I really liked how the characters developed, and the major decisions they made were logical even though they were sometimes painful. I was glad it ended the way it did, but I did want a little more.

6. Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy #3)

By Sally Green 5/5 Stars

  • The final book in the Half Bad Trilogy lived up to my very high expectations. The conflict between the white and black witches really comes to a dangerous high. My favorite characters from the previous books, Nathan and Gabriel, evolved and grew into very important tools for the Alliance. The ending of this book slaughtered me; during the last few chapters I was crying literal tears. This was an amazing wrap up to the trilogy and I highly recommend it.

7. Half Lies (The Half Bad Trilogy #0.5)

By Sally Green 3/5 Stars

  • Half Lies is a novella which is written as a diary by Gabriel’s sister Michele. Even though I enjoyed this novella, it was quite short, and focused on a character that was not actually in the Half Bad Trilogy so I did not feel a strong connection to her. I think that it sets up the next novella Half Truths really well, and includes important information, but I just did not love it.

8. The Dead House

Dawn Kurtagich 2.5/5 Stars

  • The set up of this book was the main reason that I decided to read it. The Dead House is written through files, diary entries, and voice recordings, which makes it very interesting. The characters in this book were likable, and I was kept guessing with who was good/evil. The main problem I had with this book was that the ending fell flat, even though the whole book builds up to a dramatic conclusion. I was left with tons of questions which were never answered which annoyed me.

9. You

Caroline Kepnes DNF (Did Not Finish) 0/5 Stars

  • I cannot say much about this book because I only read about 140 pages of it before giving up. I had heard wonderful reviews of this and I feel like I must have been reading an entirely different book? You is told in the perspective of a stalker and is his thoughts about the woman that he is stalking. This book was creepy, but I did not feel a connection to any of the characters which lead to me DNFing it.

You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour Review

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3.5/5 Stars

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan is a contemporary novel that takes place during Pride week in San Francisco, California. This novel is told in a dual perspective format following the main characters Mark and Kate who meet at a bar and become fast friends. Even though they have been going to the same school, they had never spoken until that night.  During the week they both help each other navigate through their complicated love lives.

One of the main reasons that I picked this book up was the fact that it featured diverse characters. There were many gay characters who were all in different stages of coming out. I enjoyed how each character in this novel was very different and memorable. I thought that both of the love interests, Violet, and Ryan, acted in believable ways towards the relationships. I also really liked the aspect of friendship that was focused on in this book.

I really loved the writing style in this novel. I really could not tell that two authors wrote the book. The story flowed really well, and I actually read it in one sitting. From the first chapter I was hooked. I was so invested in what happened to the characters, and wanted to know if everything was going to end well.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book. It was a light and fluffy contemporary that was easy to read. I especially enjoy reading this genre after I have read a couple of fantasy novels. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a light and fun read.

And I Darken by Kiersten White Review

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3.5/5 Stars

And I Darken by Kiersten White is a Historical Fiction/Fantasy novel about the Wallachian princess Lada and her brother Radu, who have to navigate through life on their own after being abandoned by their father, Vlad Dracul, and left in the Ottoman Empire. The plot of this novel is loosely based on the history of Vlad the Impaler, if he had been female.

 

The aspect I enjoyed most about this novel was the setting. I do not usually read books set in the Ottoman empire, and this made it stand out from other stories. I enjoyed the political aspects of the time period, and the fact that as readers, we got to experience the role of the sultan and the inherent danger that comes with it. I also enjoyed the inclusion of different religions and the way that faith affected each character individually.

 

The character’s in this book, specifically Lada, Radu, and Mehmed, were what kept me reading. Lada is brutal, and not afraid to show it. At first I felt a little put off by her because of this, but overtime I grew to like her. Radu was my favorite character in this novel because of how sweet and honest he is. I had instantly fallen in love with him. The character Mehmed was also likeable, and the controversy surrounding him intrigued me.

 

Even though I did enjoy Kiersten White’s writing style, I felt that this book could get a little boring at times. During the middle of the novel I felt like I was just waiting for something interesting to happen. I do feel that certain parts could have been cut out, and it wouldn’t have drastically changed the story.

 

Overall this novel is very creative. I am excited to see what Lada will do next. As a female in a male dominant era, she does not let the discrimination stop her. I also believe that as the story progresses, it will become more eventful. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Vlad the Impaler, or Historical Fiction that is not one hundred percent accurate.

The Intimidating TBR Tag

 

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This tag was originally created by Lindsey Ray on Youtube.

  1. What book have you been unable to finish?

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I am currently halfway through it, but put it down and haven’t picked it back up, even though I was enjoying it.

  1. A book you have yet to read because you just didn’t have the time?

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, I really want to read it but it is chunky and I havent picked it up yet.

  1. A book you haven’t read because it’s a sequel?

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab, I recently finished the first book in the A Darker Shade of Magic series and just haven’t gotten around to the second one yet.

  1. A book you haven’t read because its brand new?

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas, because my hold has not come in yet at the library.

  1. A book you have not read because you read a book by the same author and did not enjoy it?

I don’t really have an answer to this, I don’t really have anything on my tbr from an author that I didn’t like.

  1. A book you have not read because you are just not in the mood for it?

The Diviners by Libba Bray. I picked this book up a while ago and could not get into it because of the gruesome scenes, so I figured I may enjoy it more during the Halloween season.

  1. A book you haven’t read because it is humongous!

Lux Consequence. I absolutely loved the first bind up of the Lux series, but haven’t picked this one up because its over 800 pages.

  1. A book you have not read because it was a cover buy and ended up having negative reviews?

Cruel Beauty by Rosamond Hodge. I do plan on reading this at some point but I have only heard okay things about it, so I’ve been putting it off.

  1. What is the most intimidating book on your tbr?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy, because I’ve tried a couple of times to read it and never finished it.

  1. Who do you tag?

YOU!

How to End a Reading Slump

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So you are having trouble finding the motivation to read. This happens for many reasons, maybe you have just finished an amazing book/series and nothing seems to compare. Or maybe you haven’t been able to find the right book for your mood. Whatever the reason, the dreaded reading slump will soon come to an end. By using these tips you can quickly get back into reading regularly.

  1. Try a different genre.

Sometimes reading too many books in the same category can become monotonous. If you are having trouble picking up your current read, try choosing a book that you wouldn’t normally try. Not only can this help you find great books in a different genre, it can also help inspire you to read again.

  1. Go to your local library/bookstore.

Browsing shelves lined with new reads may be all you need to leave behind a reading slump. I personally love to walk around the stacks of my local library to become inspired about reading again. It is also fun to ask the librarians or store clerks what they recommend, this way you can find new books that you may not have picked up otherwise.

  1. Take a break from reading.

This sounds like it would do the exact opposite of ending a reading slump, but sometimes you just need a break. Take time out to binge watch the show you have been putting off, or go out and get some fresh air. Doing something other than reading can help ease the frustration of not being able to focus on a book.

  1. Force yourself to read.

Occasionally sitting down and forcing yourself to read 20 pages is all that you need to do to end a slump. Reading a couple of pages may be all that it takes to become hooked by a story. After 20-50 pages, if you are still not interested in reading, try something new.

  1. Reorganize your bookshelves.

Take time to clean up and reorganize your bookshelves. While doing this you will see all of the books that you have been meaning to read but have forgotten about or put off. Sometimes we just need to take the time to pull some books off the shelf and flip through them. This can peak your interest about books you already own.

  1. Reread one of your favorite books.

Sometimes the only way out of a reading slump is to revisit your favorite world. Whether it was a recent read, or a favorite book from your childhood. Rereading books is a great way to ensure that you enjoy what you pick up.

Lastly, don’t stress too much over not being able to read as much as you would like. Take time for yourself because reading will always be there to come back to.

When We Collided by Emery Lord Review

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5/5 Stars

When We Collided by Emery Lord is a contemporary novel about mental illness, family, and loss. The main character Vivi has just moved to Verona Cove to spend the summer with her mother. While working in a pottery shop she meets Jonah and one of his younger siblings, who invites her to dinner. From here their relationship blossoms into something unexpected.

 

While reading this novel I could not help but notice the beautiful ways that Emery Lord writes. Many times I would reread a few sentences to really get the full affect of what was being said. I also loved how the character Vivi saw the world differently from the other characters. Emery Lord creates two distinct perspectives within the story, which made it easy to tell when Vivi or Jonah were narrating.

 

I really liked how this author was able to accurately portray bipolar disorder, and major depression. Mental illness is difficult to write about, and this book deals with multiple cases of it. All of the events that took place in this novel were believable, and realistic. Even though the relationship between Vivi and Jonah is fast paced, it did not feel rushed, especially considering the situations that the main characters were in.

 

The ending of this book made sense. It was not the average contemporary ending and I enjoyed that. Emery Lord was able to wrap up the story in a realistic way, which is not always found in young adult contemporary novels. All in all this book was extremely enjoyable, and I recommend it to everyone.

Giant Days by John Allison and Lissa Treiman Review

5/5 Stars

Giant Days is a graphic novel series about three girls; Susan, Esther, and Daisy, who are all starting their first year at university. Volume one follows the girls while they deal with meeting boys, the flu, feminism, and so much more.

 

The art style of this graphic novel was what really made me want to pick it up. The pages are very colorful and the drawing adds emotion to the dialogue. I love how Lissa Treiman is able to bring the characters to life. I honestly felt like I was reading about friends.

 

While reading this I found myself relating to each of the characters in some way. Because I am currently in my final semester at college, I found myself looking back on my first year with fondness. I felt for these girls, especially while they are going through hard times. The plot of this graphic novel is realistic to the actual college experience, and I especially appreciated the depiction of the flu, which always seems to be worse when you are at school.

 

Overall this was a very enjoyable read even, and I am excited to continue with the series. I recommend volume one to anyone who has attended, is attending college, or anyone who likes graphic novels.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Review

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5/5 Stars

The novel A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab is an urban fantasy set in four versions alternate of London. There is a red, white, black, and gray, London; which all have different amounts of magic within them. Kell, our main character is one of the two last Antari; humans with the ability to travel between the four worlds. Throughout the novel we follow Kell as he delivers items for the rulers of the Londons while also smuggling artifacts back to his home in red London for himself. When one of his deliveries becomes dangerous, he runs to gray London where he meets Delilah Bard, a thief who wishes to travel the world. From here a treacherous journey begins and the reader is thrust into a magical battle for power between worlds.

 

One of my favorite parts about this book was the original plotline. The alternate London’s really intrigued me, and I loved how there were only two people able to travel between them. It was interesting how different the two Antari were. Each London had a distinct tone, and there was no confusion as to which one Kell was in.

 

Delilah Bard was also a nice addition to this book. She was not the average female character and her personality was eccentric and hilarious. I really enjoyed her chemistry with Kell and how they worked together as a team. I appreciated how despite the fact that there was a main male and female character, this book was not focused on romance.

 

V.E. Schwab’s writing made me fall in love with all of the characters, even the ones that we did not see much throughout the book. Holland, the second Antari, was very compelling and I loved how complex he was. I also appreciated Rhy, although he was very naiive, he was still extremely likable.

 

The ending to this novel left me satisfied yet wanting more. I really want to know what happens to both Kell and Delilah in the next book. I also do not think we have seen the last of Holland, and I cannot wait to read the sequel.