Monday, June 30, 2014

Movie Monday: The Selection Series

I've decided to start a Movie Monday series where I share my favorite characters in books, as I see them in my head. Now, just as a disclaimer before we begin, I can't control exactly what comes into my head. I follow the descriptions in the books, but you know how sometimes you just have this person in your head no matter what they may say. They could say they have black hair that's swoopy and for whatever reason that means you're picturing Harry Styles even though he doesn't have black hair. Well, that's me. I just go with what comes in my head.

First up, The Selection. I loved this series. It's not the most intellectually stimulating series, but it's incredibly enjoyable and would make a really fun movie in my opinion! There are a lot of characters, so I'm really just doing the main 3 because that's where my focus was.

America Singer is the main character. She has fiery red hair and blue eyes. She describes herself as not being as attractive as the other girls in the Selection, but others don't agree. I picture her like this...



Maxon Schreave is the Prince of Illea and one of America's love interests. He is described as having short, honey-blonde hair and brown eyes. America describes him as handsome. I picture him like this...


Finally, Aspen Leger is America's best friend and boyfriend from back home. He is described as "the most attractive guy in town." He has dark hair and green eyes. I picture him like this...


So, those of you who have read The Selection - do you agree? If not, who were you picturing?? I would love to compare!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

50 in 2014 Full List

Here's the overall breakdown of my 50 in 2014...

Dystopian: 1 (2%)
Paranormal Fiction: 1 (2%)
Fantasy Fiction: 2 (4%)
Nonfiction: 2 (4%)
Mystery: 2 (4%)
Historical Fiction: 7 (14%)
General Fiction: 9 (18%)
Contemporary Romance: 26 (52%)

Middle Grade Books (3 books = 6%):

Turtle in Paradise
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Historical Fiction


Three Times Lucky
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre:  Mystery


The One and Only Ivan
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre: Fantasy Fiction



Young Adult Books (27 books = 54%):

The Sea of Tranquility
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre:  Contemporary Romance


Dangerous
Should you read it?: No
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Chain Reaction
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Looking for Alaska
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: General Fiction


The Raven Boys
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre: Paranormal Fiction


Rules of Attraction
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Fangirl
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Are You Experienced?
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Historical Fiction

Prom & Prejudice
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre:  Contemporary Romance


Falling for Hamlet
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre:  General Fiction


An Abundance of Katherines
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: General Fiction


The One
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre:  Dystopian


Out of the Easy
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Historical Fiction


Eleanor & Park
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Why We Broke Up
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: General Fiction


The Distance Between Us
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Lola and the Boy Next Door
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Pushing the Limits
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


The Fault in Our Stars
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Story of a Girl
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: General Fiction


Anna and the French Kiss
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Paper Towns
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: General Fiction


What Happened to Goodbye
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Avalon High
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Fantasy Fiction


The Luxe Series (4 books)
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre: Historical Fiction



New Adult Books (10 books = 20%):

Fallen Too Far
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Finding Cinderella
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Fallen Crest Family
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Fallen Crest High
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Maybe Someday
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Beautiful Wedding
Should you read it?: Yes 
Genre: Contemporary Romance


The Perfect Game
Should you read it?: No
Genre: Contemporary Romance


My Favorite Mistake
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Hopeless
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance



Adult Books (8 books = 16%):

Back to You
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Beautiful Ruins
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: General Fiction


Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
Should you read it?: Yes

Genre: General Fiction


Attachments
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary Romance


The Flight of Gemma Hardy
Should you read it?: Maybe/No
Genre: General Fiction


The Rosie Project
Should you read it?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary Romance


The Art Forger
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Mystery


Nadia Knows Best
Should you read it?: Maybe
Genre: Contemporary Romance



Adult Non-Fiction Books (2 books = 4%):

Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood
Should you read it?: Yes (if you are a parent)
Genre: Non-fiction Parenting


Pathways to the Common Core
Should you read it?: Yes (if you are an educator)
Genre: Non-fiction Education

Fallen Crest Public & Thoughtless

Fallen Crest Public
by: Tijan

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you like New Adult.
 Category: New Adult

This one is tough for me to review. While I am not confident that everyone would like them, I read all 3 of these books with a fury. Like couldn't put them down. They are a little more risque than what I usually like to read, but they are about these 2 brothers who are like the bad boy leaders of their school & the girl who ends up just coming into their lives & changing everything for them. I don't even know why I like them so much or couldn't put them down, but I really couldn't. And I will probably read the 4th one whenever it comes out as well. That being said, I still don't feel confident that this wasn't just some fluke in my opinion of a book and that I just liked them all for some random reason. I posted about the other 2 here.

Things I liked:
I love Mason & Logan Kade. Like love them. Why, I don't know.

I like how tough Samantha is. She also makes me wish I enjoyed running, but I really don't.

Things I didn't:
Some of the plot points were a little forced. Like in all of the books. There were some things that just weren't completely backed up.

It is never fully explained why the girls at Fallen Crest Public really hate Samantha. Well I guess it is, but it doesn't make sense. It just seems completely ridiculous for them to be so completely angry and violent. While that is basically the conflict of this entire book, that was difficult for me.

I just am not sure about where they leave us and where they're going with the 4th book, but at the same time, I will probably read it.

Overall: I just don't even know.


Thoughtless
by: S.C. Stephens

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you like New Adult & are okay with reading about a full-on cheating love triangle.
Category: New Adult

This is another new adult romance book. It was recommended by several people. It's about a girl (Kiera) and her boyfriend (Denny) who move in with his friend Kellan Kyle, who of course is a gorgeous lead singer of a band. Denny has to go out of town for work for an extended period of time and enter the love triangle aspect. This book is pretty steamy as well (between the 2 of these, I'm left looking for some real young adult books with very little risky business, I may even pick up one of my middle grade books). While I did like this one, I do have to say that the more I think about it, the more I find things I didn't like about it and the more confident I am that I won't be picking up the second & third books in the series. Now, again, I cried a lot at the end of this book, so I enjoyed it and got really into it, but I just don't think I'll continue with the series.

Things I liked:
Of course I loved Kellan Kyle. He's hot, he plays music, he's broody & mysterious. I mean, come on.

Things I didn't:
Well, I didn't like Kiera. First of all, Denny is a really great guy & I felt like Kiera was kinda ridiculous through some of this. She also was incredibly indecisive which was not fair to either of them on so many levels. I was frustrated with her through most of the book.

I just didn't love reading about a love triangle like this. It's one thing when there isn't a long-term committed relationship and rather just 1 person who is attracted to 2 other people. It's something completely different when there is a major committed relationship and then somebody sneaking around throughout that. And I mean with a roommate...some of it just felt so disrespectful. Again, I was frustrated with Kiera through a lot of it.

I also felt like this was overall just too long. It felt like things kinda dragged on a little. I do understand that the author was probably trying to really build the relationship between Kiera and Kellan and explain a lot of why this all happened, but I just had a hard time with it. I just found myself at several points thinking, "how is there so much of this book left??"

Overall: Again, I just don't know. I could see how some people would love it.

Wild Cards

Wild Cards
by: Simone Elkeles

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you like Simone Elkeles & young adult romance.
Category: Young Adult

This one was cool because it's about a female football player & her sister's stepson. Just drama all around, I guess. Again, it was another one that didn't knock my socks off, but it was interesting and enjoyable. Simone Elkeles wrote the Perfect Chemistry series, which I liked, and similar to that one, I read this one quickly and enjoyed all of it, but can't exactly tell you why.

Things I liked:
I really liked the idea of a female football player. That's cool. It's just definitely a different role for girls than most young adult romance. I liked how she played football & everything that would require of her, but at the same time, she was still very much a girl. It was just well done on that front.

I liked the relationship Ashtyn had with her other teammates. It was genuine & respectful, but also protective. It was just fun. Overall the football aspect of this was cool for me.

Things I didn't:
Again, on the football side of things, it's not a football book. There's very little game play or specifics about the sport itself. It's more just about the girl that plays and less about football itself. So I could see how people wouldn't really be on board with that. For one, there's very little evidence that she's actually good at what she's doing except what she says about herself.

I just thought some of it was a little cliche. Derek was supposed to be a bad boy or something, but he's kicked out of his private school for a dumb reason and then spends the rest of the book being nothing but respectful to most everybody. I just feel like they tried to pigeon-hole some character dynamics without giving it much substance to back up the characteristic.

The last thing I didn't like - and this is me just being picky - but I hated the subtitle or catch-phrase or whatever on the cover. Under the title it says "Love is the toughest game of all." Gag me. That's stupid.

Overall: It was enjoyable, but not the best.

Dare You To

Dare You To
by: Katie McGarry

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you like Young Adult Romance.
Category: Young Adult

This book is part of the Pushing the Limits series. I read Pushing the Limits earlier this year and I liked it. It's got the bad guy/good girl thing going on. This one could be read alone because it's not a continuation as much as it's just a story about one of the main characters in Pushing the Limits. While Pushing the Limits is about Echo and Noah, Dare You To is about Noah's friend, Beth. This time it's a bad girl/good guy story, which is interesting. I liked it. It didn't knock my socks off or anything, but I enjoyed reading it and thought it was just a fun young adult romance.

Things I Liked:
I liked the bad girl idea this time. It was fun to read a book that took that side of it.

I thought they did a good job of dealing with the challenges the characters faced, from drug-addicted parents to overcoming your past as well as the too-conservative parents on the other side of things, pretending to have it all together. It was just interesting on a lot of sides.

I think this author must live in Kentucky. I haven't looked into it at all, but both of her books I read took place in Kentucky & as a Kentuckian, that's always fun!

Things I Didn't:
Honestly there wasn't anything in particular that I didn't like, it just wasn't completely fabulous in my mind. I'm not sure why.

Overall: Definitely worth reading if you like young adult romance at all!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Favorite Books for Girls

First of all, I have to share the website A Mighty Girl, because it is where I found most of my great girl books for my kids! I quickly realized that I have really girly girls and they love all things pink and princesses, no matter what I may have done to prevent this. So I had to learn to embrace those things with them, but I still wanted them to understand their strength and independence and to read books that had great, strong female characters! So here are a few I found that I love!

Picture Books:

Tea for Ruby
by: Sarah Ferguson

This one is written by Fergie, of royal fame, and it's an adorable story about a little girl excited to meet the queen! It's all about manners and it's just really cute and the illustrations are beautiful!!

Pinkalicious
by: Victoria Kann

We love all the Pinkalicious books in our house! We have Goldilicious, Silverlicious, Emeraldalicious & several of the holiday ones. Pinkalicious is so cute and I love how the books have something to do with her individuality and learning to be herself.

Princess in Training
by: Tammi Sauer & Joe Berger

Another great book about a girl who doesn't fit the mold and that's okay! I love a strong princess character!

The Princess and the Pizza
by: Mary Jane Auch & Herm Auch

Yet again, princesses don't have to be pushovers! I love that this one has some of the traditional princesses from fairy tales, but then you've got the main character who just pushes through & is an individual. Such a great role model for girls.

The Paper Bag Princess
by: Robert Munsch

I feel like this was just the original rock-it-out princess story. Just the absolute quint-essential "I don't need a stupid prince" kind of story. Love it!

Lovabye Dragon
by: Barbara Joosse

This girl isn't scared of a dragon! She longs for a dragon! Seriously adorable.

Chrysanthemum
by: Kevin Henkes

As someone who names their kids unique names, I absolutely love this story about a little mouse with a fancy name who learns to love who she is! Kevin Henkes just can do no wrong in my opinion.

Me...Jane
by: Patrick McDonnell

I read this book for my grad school children's literature class and I loved it so much. Such a great story about Jane Goodall and a great way for kids to see that the things they love and dream about as a child can come true.

Princesses are Not Quitters
by: Kate Lum

I love these princesses! They do not just sit back and do nothing. They work hard and they do not quit! It's such a great message for girls. I also love Princesses are Not Perfect by the same author. Again, just a great message.


Middle Grade:

Three Times Lucky
by: Sheila Turnage

This is a murder mystery that somehow works perfectly for 3rd grade or older. I loved it and a lot of my students have loved it as well! The main character, Mo, is an adorable, spunky little girl who makes a perfect main character. (I posted a review of this one before.)

Turtle in Paradise
by: Jennifer L. Holm

This has another main character who is strong and individual. Her name is Turtle and she moves to Key West, FL to live with her aunt and cousins because her mom has a job she can't bring Turtle to. It takes place during the Great Depression, so it's also a great historical fiction book for children. Again, it's for probably 3rd/4th grade or up. (This was also reviewed on the post with Three Times Lucky.)

The Mighty Miss Malone
by: Christopher Paul Curtis

This one I actually haven't read yet, but I'm planning to read it this summer. Several of my girls in my class this year read it, though, and they just adored it. They were all telling me how I have to read it, which is why it's on my to-read list! 


50 in 2014: Top 10 So Far

I finished 50 books and it is only June!!! I can't believe it. When I set out to read 50 in 2014 in January, I just didn't expect the journey this would take me on. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do it, but now here I am halfway through the year and it's done. I have read so many and I'm posting a list of all of them later. But I also wanted to share my top 10 so far. I am definitely not stopping here and I'd love to make it to 100! We'll see how that goes.

(In the order I read them)

The Luxe
I actually read the whole series & loved all of them.

The Rosie Project
Such a fun narrator!

Anna and the French Kiss
I gave this one a Maybe, but the more I think about it, the more I loved it.

The Fault in Our Stars
This is absolutely fabulous. I love John Green & can't wait to see the movie!


Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
I thought this book was hilarious. Like laugh out loud funny.

Eleanor & Park
Such a heartbreaking, but beautiful story.

The One
This is the last one in the series. I loved all of them!

The Raven Boys
This is the first in the series & I can't wait to pick up the rest of it!



Maybe Someday
So unique and fun!

The Sea of Tranquility 
Beautifully written, perfectly timed. This is just an excellent young adult romance.

The Sea of Tranquility

The Sea of Tranquility
by: Katja Millay

Should you read it?: Yes
Category: Young Adult

This book was so good. Oh my gosh. It's about a girl, Nastya, who moves in with her aunt a couple of years after a tragedy, and starts attending a new school. She meets a boy named Josh who seems to have just as many issues as she does. It follows their friendship and relationship and her story as she works through what happened to her. I just really really loved it. It was beautifully written and the story unfolded really well. I was completely sucked into it.

Things I liked:
The relationship between Nastya and Josh unfolded slowly, but in a way that completely kept me hooked. It felt real and it didn't feel rushed, but it was still completely entertaining. I believed it.

I also loved the friendship between Josh and Drew. Their friendship was just a highlight of the book for me. You don't often see the best guy friends in a way that has some substance to it.

I thought they did a great job of dealing with the things that had happened to Nastya and Josh. The author worked through those things with honesty and raw emotion, but also just naturally and with the appropriate amount of complexity. I just felt like nothing in this book was rushed, but it also didn't feel like it was drawn out.

I also loved the ending. I wondered how they would wrap it all up and what would happen, and it just didn't disappoint. I felt really satisfied with the way it ended. Overall it was just a really enjoyable read for me.

Things I didn't:
Honestly I can't think of anything I didn't like about this book....

Overall: A beautiful, complex and honest look at finding love and overcoming tragedy in our lives.

Book 50 of 50

Reading Rundown

First of all, I have apparently just been in this summer romance kind of mood since summer started! That's all I've been reading. So don't pigeon-hole me into that genre. It's just where I'm at right now. 
 
Dangerous
by: Suzannah Daniels

Should you read it?: No 
Category: Young Adult


This was a free book on Amazon and it was alright, but just not really anything special. I think it's a series, but I won't be reading any more of them. I just didn't really care about the characters really.

Book 45 of 50


Fallen Too Far
by: Abbi Glines

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you don't mind explicit romance scenes. 
Category: New Adult/Adult


This story was good and I read the entire thing in 1 sitting so it was an easy read. It's New Adult, although I think it's more adult in my opinion. This one actually has more explicit sex scenes than I'm really into. I can definitely understand how people would really love Abbi Glines if they're okay with all of that because the relationships & characters were easy to get into it, but it just wasn't for me.

Book 46 of 50


Finding Cinderella
by: Colleen Hoover

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you like Colleen Hoover & read Hopeless 
Category: New Adult


Colleen Hoover is quickly becoming one of my favorites. This is a novella that goes along with Hopeless and Losing Hope. I haven't read Losing Hope yet, but I will! I loved this one! It was really cute!

Book 47 of 50

Fallen Crest High & Fallen Crest Family
by: Tijan

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you like Beautiful Disaster, Colleen Hoover, or anything else in that genre.
Category: New Adult (although it's about high schoolers)


Fallen Crest High came as a part of a $0.99 e-book that I got on Kindle that actually had 10 books in it. I looked up reviews & everyone talked about this one in particular as their favorite, so I read it. It's a quick & easy read and it's got the whole bad boy/good girl thing again, which is my favorite theme. It does have some explicit scenes in it, but not as bad as some, so it's doable for me. I will say that I find it extremely unrealistic that the things happening in this book would happen to a high schooler, but whatever. It's fiction. I actually bought Fallen Crest Family & Fallen Crest Public later after reading Fallen Crest High because I just kept thinking about Mason & Samantha! So I wanted to continue their story. I think there will be a 4th one as well.

Book 48 & 49 of 50

Monday, June 16, 2014

Maybe Someday

Maybe Someday
by: Colleen Hoover

Should you read it?: Yes
Category: New Adult

Okay, this book made me giddy. Like I literally stopped and squealed out loud a couple of times while reading it. It was so so so good. Now it is new adult, so it's got some sexual tension and a little more explicit-ness than young adult books, so I don't usually give New Adult books a yes because in order for it to be a yes for me, I have to confidently believe that at least 90% of the people who read it would love it. But this one, I'm willing to take the chance because I just love love loved the story.

Things I liked:
The male lead character is very different than normal lead characters and I loved it. I don't want to go into detail about why because it's not on the back cover and I loved the way I experienced the whole thing & found it out as I read. But just trust me.

I am learning that I really love books where the sexual tension comes from the fact that they have to live in an apartment or something together. Super fun.

I enjoyed the way the ending worked out. It was a tough story to write and again I don't want to go into too much detail about it, but I just thought it was written well. I liked the way she did the whole storyline.

Things I didn't:
The story has an aspect of song-writing to it and while I like the idea that Colleen Hoover collaborated with a musician to actually write the songs that were in the book, I listened to the songs that are on her website at the beginning of the book and I just didn't like them that much. It kinda messed with my view of the songs. I preferred to read it without listening to the songs.

Overall: Just trust me and read it.

Book 44 of 50

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Books I Couldn't Finish

I have come to a point in my life where I just don't have time to read a book I don't really love. That's why you will rarely find me giving a book a "No" on here as far as if you should read it or not. If I do give it a no, it's probably because I enjoyed it for some dumb reason and I don't really think anyone else would because I'm a weirdo. So I felt like I should include a list of the books I couldn't finish so you know that I am reading some and not liking them enough to even finish them. I am aware that some of these could just be my personal mental place when I'm reading them and I'll probably pick them back up again later. Here they are...

A Great and Terrible Beauty
by: Libba Bray

Should you read it?
...I couldn't finish it
Category: Young Adult

Why I couldn't finish it: 
I just could not get into the storyline. It's very dark. I did think it was interesting and I got about halfway through it, but I just never felt happy when I was reading it. Something about it just made me feel kinda not great. I'm not saying it's bad or anything and it is one I may pick up again. I was just in the mood for a happy book and this wasn't it.

Will I try again: Maybe


This is Where I Leave You
by: Jonathan Tropper

Should you read it?: 
...I couldn't finish it
Category: Adult

Why I couldn't finish it:
Honestly, and I'm going to sound like a prude, but I thought it was just kinda vulgar. And it's not about anything that should be vulgar. It's in no way a romantic or erotic kind of novel and still there was this scene in the beginning where the main character walked in on his wife in the middle of sleeping with another man and the detail it went into what was going on and not at all in a sexy way was just way too much for me. It just wasn't for me. There is a movie coming out and I may be able to do the movie because it'd be a brief kind of scene rather than a drawn-out explanation of where hands are and stuff. We'll see.

Will I try again: No


Panic
by: Lauren Oliver

Should you read it?
...I couldn't finish it
Category: Young Adult

Why I couldn't finish it:
I just wasn't into it. I was about 6 or 7 chapters in and I still didn't totally understand what Panic is or why the kids want to play it. I get that there's money, but people die and it just seems weird. I just couldn't connect to that idea. I don't know, again this one could just be where I was at the time when I started it. I picked up The Raven Boys and just got way sucked into that one, so in comparison, it just didn't even seem worth picking up again right now.

Will I try again: Probably


The Interestings
by: Meg Wolitzer

Should you read it?:
...I couldn't finish it
Category: Adult

Why I couldn't finish it:
Again, I just couldn't get into it. I wasn't even through the first chapter and I just wasn't hooked and it was seeming like a lot of thought to really get into it. Now, this is one I could definitely see myself reading in the fall or something, but it just didn't feel like a summer read and I wasn't in the mood.

Will I try again: Yes

Reading Rundown

Chain Reaction
by: Simone Elkeles

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you read the other 2.
Category: Young Adult

After reading Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction, I had to pick this one up! It's the final installment of the Fuentes brothers books. I have to admit, after reading the back of the first book, I was nervous about the idea of gang members and the cheesiness that it sounds like it would entail, but ultimately, I really loved these! Much more than I thought I would. They were quick reads & had everything you'd really want - a great love story, a little action, the bad boy/good girl thing, which we all know I love - they were just great. The more I think about it, the more I enjoy them and would recommend them!!

Book 40 of 50


Back to You
by: Priscilla Glenn

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you like Chick-lit
Category: Adult

This is just a cute love story. I can't figure out if it's new adult or adult because it goes back and forth between high school and present day, when they are almost 30. It's just a cute story of 2 people who have a friendship in high school, then get separated for years and come back together later. I enjoyed it!

Book 41 of 50


Looking for Alaska
by: John Green

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you like John Green
Category: Young Adult

Okay, this is hard for me. I did love this book. I love how his books always have this overall theme or idea that just runs through the whole thing and makes it so much deeper than a normal young adult book. This one is dealing with the question of suffering and loss and dealing with those feelings and what that looks like and what the meaning of all of it is. I really enjoyed that a lot. And it is one of the better John Green books I've read, but I think the problem for me is that once I read The Fault in Our Stars, everything else he writes just seems to pale in comparison. I hate that because I feel like it leaves him with this one great book & in my mind it'll all be measured against that one, but when it comes down to it, I have faith that he'll write another one even better & I will keep reading until he does!!

Book 42 of 50


The Raven Boys
by: Maggie Stiefvater

Should you read it?: Yes
Category: Young Adult

I loved this book!!! I read the Shiver series by her and I loved it as well, so I wanted to pick this one up. I wasn't really sure what it was about when I read the back and honestly, I'd encourage you to just pick it up and read it and not read the back first. It was one of those where I think you'd just enjoy just taking my word for it and going with it. I had started reading Panic by Lauren Oliver and I just couldn't get into it, so I picked this one up because I knew it was due back to my library soon. I could not put it down. I was hooked at chapter one. I think I should change the name of my blog to "I judge a book by it's first chapter" because it's so true. If I'm not hooked by then, I probably won't ever be. Anyway, read this one. It's great.

Book 43 of 50

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2014


Beautiful Oblivion
by: Jamie McGuire
Release Date: July 1, 2014

Why I'm looking forward to it:
It's a new book in the Maddox Brothers series. I loved Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster, which are Abby and Travis' perspective of the way they met. Beautiful Oblivion is Trenton Maddox's story. Trenton is one of Travis' brothers, who you meet in Abby & Travis' story. I'm pretty pumped about the fact that she's going to apparently write books about all the brothers! I'm down.

What you should read while you wait:
Beautiful Disaster, Walking Disaster and Beautiful Wedding


Landline
by: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: July 8, 2014

Why I'm looking forward to it:
Well, this year is the year I discovered Rainbow Rowell and John Green. They have become 2 authors whose books I will pick up immediately just because there is a large chance that I will love them. I loved Attachments and Eleanor & Park this year by Rainbow. I didn't love Fangirl, but it wasn't enough to throw me off the Rainbow Rowell bandwagon. Landline is the story of a marriage that is in trouble and a wife who finds herself with the ability to speak to her husband in the past. Interesting.

What you should read while you wait:
Attachments and Eleanor & Park


The Book of Life
by: Deborah Harkness
Release Date: July 15, 2014

Why I'm looking forward to it:
It's the 3rd book in the All Souls trilogy, which I have loved so far. The series basically takes the idea of vampires and witches and takes it all the way back through history. You learn that all these famous people were supposedly vampires or witches in hiding. It's so fun to see how she weaves that through history. I have loved both of the first 2 and I'm excited to see how the story concludes with this one.

What you should read while you wait:
A Discovery of Witches & Shadow of Night


Isla and the Happily Ever After
by: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: August 14, 2014

Why I'm looking forward to it:
It's another book in the Anna and the French Kiss (dumb name, good book) series by Stephanie Perkins. I loved the first 2. Each of the stories features a different main character, so you could read each one separately if you wanted, but they have cameos from the main characters of the previous books, too. I just really love how her books make the setting like another character in the story. This one takes place in New York City, Paris and Barcelona!! I'm so excited!!

What you should read while you wait:
Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door


Ugly Love
by: Colleen Hoover
Release Date: August 5, 2014

Why I'm looking forward to it:
I read Colleen Hoover's book Hopeless earlier this year. It wasn't my absolute favorite, but I read it really quickly and in the summer I do tend to love just flying through some quick, fun reads, so I'm looking forward to picking this one up in August. Of course it'll be the end of summer for me, but it'll still be a fun read!

What you should read while you wait:
Hopeless & I'm planning to read Maybe Someday as soon as it comes in at my library!

Rules of Attraction

Rules of Attraction
by: Simone Elkeles

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you like young adult books and/or bad boy/good girl storylines.
Category: Young Adult

This is the 2nd book in the Perfect Chemistry series. I read Perfect Chemistry about a year ago and I loved it. It's just a young adult book about a Mexican kid, Alex Fuentes, living in Chicago, who falls for a white, blonde girl from his high school. He is in a gang and he has to get out and it's just this whole overcoming your bad-ness kind of thing. Which sounds kinda dumb or cheesy, but it works.

Rules of Attraction is about Carlos Fuentes, Alex's brother, who comes to live with Alex after he gets into some trouble at home in Mexico. Carlos meets a girl at his new high school and again it's a similar sort of bad guy/good girl story and the gang trouble is back, but I still enjoyed it.

Things I liked:
I like the Fuentes brothers. I'm looking forward to reading Chain Reaction, about the 3rd brother, Luis Fuentes.

I always like a bad guy/good girl story. I just love when bad guys change their ways! I am a sucker for that.

It is an easy, quick read - which in my mind is a good read. It may not be literature that will go down in history as award-winning or anything, but I read it super fast, which means I enjoyed it a lot.

Things I didn't:
This book has more profanity than other young adult books I've read. It's probably the whole gang idea, so I guess it does fit with the surroundings, but I still just don't love that. (Also as a parent disclaimer, it has a little more sexiness than more young adult books as well, but it's still definitely a young adult book - not new adult or adult.)

Overall: It's a fun bad guy/good girl love story!

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Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins
by: Jess Walter

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you're looking for a love story that spans a lifetime.
Category: Adult

I enjoyed this one. It didn't knock my socks off or anything, but it was a great story and I liked seeing the before (in the 1960's) and the after (currently) and seeing how everyone's lives were changed and affected by this one chance meeting of these 2 people. It is about an American actress in the 60's who has a part in the Liz Taylor Cleopatra movie when it was filmed in Italy. She ends up at this little hotel on this tiny island called Porto Vergogna and she meets the hotel owner, Pasquale Tursi. The story immediately jumps to present day and you're following the life of this movie producer who was somehow involved in the whole thing. As it goes back and forth between the past and the present, you learn how the story unfolds.

Things I liked:
The cover! I know that sounds silly, but I just wanted to look at it every time I picked up the book.

I liked the story of Pasquale and Dee Moray. Their storyline was definitely my favorite through the whole thing.

I was interested in the way they weaved film-making into the whole book. You've got actors, producers, screenwriters, artists and you're seeing how their lives intertwine. It was fun to read about Liz Taylor & Richard Burton, too.

I liked the ending. I got a little lost in the middle with all the people, but I did like the way it wrapped up.

Things I didn't:
There were some storylines I just didn't really care for. I will say that there are a lot of characters in this and we go in depth into more people's lives than I really expected when it first started. I had a hard time following some of them and some of them I just didn't like even though it seemed like the author wanted you to like them (Alvis Bender was like this for me).

Overall: It's definitely a beautiful read about how our lives and stories come together through all of our ups and downs.

Book 38 of 50

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fangirl

Fangirl
by: Rainbow Rowell

Should you read it?: Maybe
...and I really mean Maybe, if you've enjoyed other Rainbow Rowell, but don't let this be your first one.
Category: Young Adult

Okay, let me be honest, I really didn't love this book. Like much at all. And that's really sad for me to say because I just adored her other 2 books I read (Attachments and Eleanor & Park). I don't really know what it is that I couldn't get into. The book is about a girl named Cath, who is a writer of fanfiction for Simon Snow, who is basically like a Harry Potter-esque character. Her entire life is Simon Snow and she spends most of her time alone in her room writing the fanfiction. She starts the book on the first day she moves into her dorm in college and it's all about learning to grow up and move on and away from the person you were in high school. I like the idea of it, but I have to say, I hated the fanfiction & there was a lot of it in here. And it wasn't even that I hated it because she's writing gay fanfiction, I just really didn't care a thing about Simon Snow or anything that happened to him. I honestly skipped over all the fanfiction parts after the first part of the book when I realized I just hated reading it.

Things I liked
I do enjoy the characters in Rainbow Rowell books. They are well developed and I am interested in what happens to them.

I liked the relationship between Cath and Levi. I liked how he appreciated her quirkiness and let her be who she is.

Things I didn't
The fanfiction!!! I just hated Simon Snow and I didn't care anything about him. Also, Simon & Baz is like creating a romantic relationship between Harry Potter & Draco Malfoy. Just no. Maybe Ron, but not Draco. Ugh. I just didn't like it at all.

Overall: You might like it if you like fanfiction or are just in a better mood when you're reading it than I was, apparently.

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Are You Experienced

Are You Experienced
by: Jordan Sonnenblick

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you have any interest in Woodstock or the music of that time period.
Category: Young Adult

This book is about a 15-year old boy named Rich who ends up back at Woodstock with his 15-year old dad. He gets to experience Woodstock in all its glory. He learns a lot about where his dad came from and why he has such a troubled relationship with his dad now. He also spends the majority of the book trying to save his uncle from starting a drug addiction which ultimately led to his death. I actually really enjoyed this book. It took me a little bit to get into it, but once I was, I was all about it. I've always loved music from the 60's and 70's so reading about the people who were there and the artists had me looking up information again about their real lives. It obviously centers around Jimi Hendrix, hence the title, and that also left me feeling both good and bad for his life and legacy. I thought this was really well done. The only reason I wouldn't give it a "Yes" rating is because I'm just not 100% positive that the majority of people would feel the same way I did.

Things I liked
I loved the music. I have always said I wish I could've attended Woodstock, so it's almost like I could this time.

I liked the way the book explores his relationship with his dad and learning to understand and appreciate where we come from and who that leads us to become.

Things I didn't
Like I said, it took me a little while to get into. I guess I found that I enjoyed the Woodstock part more than the modern day part, so I started really getting into it once he was at Woodstock.

Overall: Great read for music lovers.

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