Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stacking the Selves (78)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I honored my book buying ban and bought 0 books. I am very proud. SYNC Audio has started their free summer downloads for audio books. The schedule and list of books available is here.

Sync Downloads (Free)

The Raven Boys- Maggie Stiefvater
Once- Morris Gleitzman
Letter's From Birmingham Jail- Martin Luther King Jr.

What did you get in you mailbox?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Going Vintage- Lindsay Leavitt

Title: Going Vintage
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree3. Sew a dress for Homecoming4. Find a steady5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

Mallory decides to take a break from technology when she finds out her boyfriend Jeremy cheated on her with a girl he met through the Internet. Mallory enlist the help of her sister Ginnie to help her go vintage. Mallory finds a letter her grandmother wrote in high school and decides to try to complete the list. As Mallory distances herself from technology she starts to find out how hard things can be without the convinced of technology and her grandmother's life was not as simple and sweet as she first thought.

Ginnie and Mallory's parents are a little eccentric and they embarrass them often. Ginnie is a super sweet and supportive sister to Mallory even when Mallory gets a little out of control. I liked Mallory's family as a whole,   although they kept a lot of secrets of each other. Mallory's mother is keeping secrets from her family and Mallory's grandma has been keeping secrets from everyone, including Mallory's father. The family dynamic was fabulous, her family is a large part of the story. Mallory's and Jeremy's relationship is slowly picked apart throughout the novel. In the beginning, Mallory is obsessed with him but as the story progresses she sees a new side to him and as she grows apart from him and see him from a new light we see the other side of Jeremy. There was a lot of awesome side characters which I will not go into detail because I don't want to spoil the plot.

The concept of the story was intriguing. Mallory thinks that if she goes vintage that she will transport herself back to a time that was simpler and things will be simpler but she soon learns that is not the case and things are not always what they appear. She does her best to complete the list but she does meet a few obstacles along the way that hinder her progress.

Overall: Quick, and light with serious undertones. This is not a book I would likely re-read but I am glad I did read it. I do have one of Leavitt's other books on my shelves and I am looking forward to reading it. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten Tuesday topic is the top ten books I have read in 2013 (So far). I have not put these in any particular order.I just put them down as I thought of them and it was really hard to narrow it down. I have read a lot of good books so far this year.

1) The Evolution of Mara Dyer- Michelle Hodkins
2) Days of Blood and Starlight- Laini Taylor
3) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian- Sherman Alexie
4) Unravel Me- Tahereh Mafi
5) Maus: Volume 1: My Father Bleeds History- Art Spiegelman
6) The Woman in White- Wilkie Collins
7) Dark Triumph- Robin LaFevers
8) Blankets- Craig Thompson
9) The Miseducation of Cameron Post- Emily M. Danforth
10) Unbreak My Heart- Melissa C. Walker

**Bonus**- I think these two do not count as full books because they are novellas but I loved them so I am including them.

1) Among the Nameless Stars- Diana Peterfreund
2) The Prince- Kiera Cass

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (77)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This week I got rid of four bags of books and bought none. I did however forgot some books from last week's extravaganza so here they are.

Bought Used

Chain Reaction- Simone Elkeles
Revelations- Melissa De La Cruz

Bought New (Kindle)

Small Town Sinners- Melissa C. Walker (I think it was $1.99)
Lonely Souls- Karcie Bolton (Free)
Mila 2.0 Origins: The Fire- Debra Driza (Free)
Just Remember To Breathe- Charles Sheehan-Miles (Free)

Borrowed From The Library

Nantucket Blue- Leila Howland
Starstruck- Rachel Shukert
Robot Dreams- Sara Varon

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The 5th Wave- Rick Yancey

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

1st wave: Only darkness remains
2nd wave: Only the lucky escape
3rd wave: Only the unlucky survive
4th wave: Trust none

This was my first Rick Yancey book so I was pretty nervous but this book did not disappoint me.  This book has a ton of hype surrounding it which turned me away from it in the beginning but seeing a lot of great reviews made me take a chance on it. 

The point of view starts with Cassie but as the book continues on we start to see the world from different points of view. I liked Cassie in the beginning but after she meets Evan she started to be a little too trusting. She was weary of him and was questioning everything which seemed realistic to me but then the walls around her fall down she starts trusting everyone a little too much. 

The plot was fabulous, An alien invasion causes the world to be hit in waves, and the people who are left are trying to figure out what is going on and who they can trust since none is who them seem to be. This book was hard core, the world building was spectacular. The big issue I had this book was the ending, it felt a little too clean cut for the story. The book is a slow start, there is a lot of world building then things start to happen and the story picks up then the ending seemed a little abrupt. The ending with Cassie really bothered me which I do not want to give anything away but if you felt the same way leave a comment below so we can discuss it or if you disagree let me know.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten Tuesday topic is: Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List.

1) Games of Thrones- George R.R. Martin
2) Nantucket Blue- Leila Howland
3) How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True- Sarah Strohmeyer
4) Starstruck- Rachel Shukert
5) Wicked- Gregory McGuire
6) Small Town Sinners- Melissa C. Walker
7) Something Like Normal- Trish Doller
8) Catching Jordan- Miranda Kenneally
9) Gone- Michael Grant
10) Rules of Attraction- Simone Elkeles

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (76)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I found the Kindle sale for YA books and I really limited myself to the books I was really excited for so I have no guilt plus most of them are books my library does not have so double win.

Borrowed from the Library

How Zoe made her dreams (mostly) come true- Sarah Strohmeyer

Bought New (Kindle)

Glitch- Heather Anastasiu ($2.99)
Breaking Beautiful- Jennifer Shaw Wolf
The Liar Society- Laura Roeccker ($1.99)
Also Known As- Robyn Benway ($2.99)
Something Like Normal- Trish Doller ($2.99)

What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Discussion Post: Series Vs. Stand Alone Novels

Cass from Books With Cass is hosting a summer of stand alone challenge and this made me start to think about a stand alone novel versus a series.

Advantages of a stand alone novel

1) You do not have to wait for the next book in the series to come out.
2) If I know there is not a series, I will normally purchase over getting it from the library.
3) I am more likely to start a stand alone novel over a series since I have to invest a lot more time into a series
4) Reading a new genre/topic, trying out new genres.

Disadvantages of stand alone novels

1) If I love a character or a world and there is only one book.
2) The book can feel rushed or the ending is too neat and tidy.

Advantage of Series

1) The world/ characters are amazing there is more than one book to learn about the characters.
2) Likely going to be a cliffhanger ending that leaves me in agony but loving the series.
3) Spin off series
4) More time for character/ world development.
5) Changing your mind fifty times over who is good/evil. I do this a lot...
6) The satisfaction of finishing a series

Disadvantage of Series

1) Getting burnt out on all the series coming out
2) Feeling like the series is not long enough/ too long.
3) Trend followers, something becomes popular and a ton of new series come out.
4) Second book syndrome. There is always the book in the series that is always a bit of a disappointment.
5) Cover changes in the middle of a series.

Personally I do not have a favorite, sometimes I am on a series kick and sometimes I just want to read stand alone novel. Do you have a preference? 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Title: The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Author: Emily M. Danfiorth
Source: Bought new (Kindle)
Series: Standalone
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:

When Cameron Post's parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they'll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.

This book left me speechless I have so much love for this book.. Seriously. It brings up so many topics that are controversial and really need to be spoken about more openly. I would recommend this novel for a mature audience, it touches on a lot of hot topic issues.

Cameron's parents die in a car crash and the first feeling she has is relief that they will not find out she was kissing a girl. After the crash, her religious aunt Ruth moves in with Cameron and her grandmother. Cameron keeps her feelings from her family then Coley Taylor comes into her life. Coley is pretty and smart and takes things to the next level with Cameron. When Cameron's aunt Ruth finds out about Cameron she sends her to a religious camp to "fix her".

The characters in this novel were outstanding. I wanted to shake a lot of them, especially Ruth but I understood why the author had those characters there and I appreciated what they brought to the story. This story made me think and feel for Cameron. She is a character I think everyone can relate to. She is a girl struggling to find herself. She is dealing with the loss of her parents, first love and heartbreak. The fact that she is a lesbian in a closed minded religious town makes her story that much more compelling. I felt like every character had a purpose and they each represented someone we know or know of. I was heartbroken for Cameron to not have the support of her family, especially from her aunt Ruth who for being super religious still engages in pre-marital sex.

The layout of the plot was a lot different that I had first anticipated in such a great way. We see Cameron learn about first love and heartbreak. We get to see Cameron grow as a character, watch her fall helplessly for the wrong person then as she picks up the pieces of her broken heart.  This book will not leave you with all your question answered. I felt like the author was sitting and telling her story but she did not give a nice little bow at the end because her story is not complete, there is more to come. I felt satisfied but I still have more questions about what is going to happen next. I was completely in love with this novel and I hope more people read it because it is absolutely breathtaking.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish

This week's top ten Tuesday topic is top ten beach reads. My criteria for a beach read is I want something that will grab my attention. I also usually go for a contemporary novel as my beach reads because I do not get to as many contemporary novels as I would like to the beach is a perfect excuse to read them.

1) Unbreak my Heart- Melissa C. Walker
2) The Summer I turned Pretty- Jenny Han
3) Anna and the French Kiss- Stephanie Perkins
4) Someone Like You- Sarah Dessen
5) Second Chance Summer- Morgan Matson
6) Wanderlove- Kirsten Hubbard
7) Summer Boys- Hailey Abbott
8) The Duff- Kody Keplinger
9) One for the Money- Janet Evanovich
10) The Devil Wears Prada- Lauren Weisberger

What are your favorite beach reads?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (75)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I broke my two week book buying ban. I had a moment of weakness in Target so I broke it by buying books which were all inexpensive. I am going to try to last longer than two weeks this time but there is no guarantee.


The Knife of Never Letting Go- Patrick Ness

Bought New 


Between the Lines- Tammara Webber ($1.99 on Kindle)
Catching Jordan- Miranda Kenneally
Stealing Parker- Miranda Kenneally ($1.98 on Kindle)
Burn for Burn- Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian ($1.99 on Kindle)

Where She Went- Gayle Forman (It was $6 at Target so I broke my book buying ban)

Borrowed from the Library

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks- E. Lockhart

Going Vintage- Lindsey Leavitt
Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell

Bought Used (Both $1.99)
Delirium- Lauren Oliver
Quidditch Through the Ages- J.K. Rowling

What did you get this week?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer of Stand Alone Challenge

This challenge is being hosted by Cass from Books With Cass. Her challenge is to read more stand alone novels. I find myself reading a lot of series so I want to try this out!

The books I want to read are

1) The Miseducation of Cameron Post- Emily M. Danforth
2) Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell
3) The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks- E. Lockhart
4) When You Were Here- Daisy Whitney
5) Nothing More, Nothing Less- Ashley Dukart
6) Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell- Susanna Clarke

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Smart Girls Get What They Want- Sarah Strohmeyer

Title: Smart Girls Get What They Want
Author: Sarah Strohmeyer
Source: Bought new (Kindle)
Series: Standalone
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren't the most popular girls in school, they aren't too worried. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they're missing out on the full high school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge—and they will totally rock it.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . 

Gigi, Bea and Neerja are girls you know. At least in my high school we had girls like them, super smart girls who maybe you didn't talk to all the time but you knew they were around. I loved how this novel played out. It was realistic and fun and sad at times. I loved seeing high school through the eyes of Gigi.

The summary of this book makes it sounds fluffy and light but do not fall for it. This book has meat to it, some parts were a little fluffy but over all this book has a lot more to it.  Every single character was given more depth, the "villains" had so many layers and we got to see a different side of these characters that was not completely obvious and made me understand them a lot better. Gigi and her friends may be the smart girls but they do not have high school figured out and when they start to join in they find out a lot of things they had no idea about.

I loved this book, I read it in a day because I could not put it down, I recommend this book to everyone, look past the summary and read it because it has a lot of depth and a great story that is not completely obvious at first. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books Featuring Travel In Some Way (road trips, airplanes, travelogues, anything where there is traveling in the book!).  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish

I cheated a little with this top ten Tuesday because I love books about travel but I realize I have not read a ton of them so I included all sorts of travel. I could also only come up with eight books. 

1)      Wanderlove- Kristen Hubbard

The main character travels to South America.

2)  Ready Player One- Ernest Cline

I cheated a little with this one since it is virtual travel in OASIS but it;s still travelling.

3) The Raft- A.A. Bodeen

Robbie is involved in a plane crash and she is stranded in the ocean on a raft. Technically she was travelling.

4) Across the Universe- Beth Revis

Space travel to new Earth.

5) 13 Little Blue Envelopes-  Maureen Johnson

The protagonist follows thirteen envelopes her aunt left her when she died to travel to London.

6) Unbreak my Heart- Melissa C. Walker

Clementine is travelling on a boat with her family for the summer. 

7) Code Name Verity- Elizabeth Wein

Flying planes in WW2 Europe.

8) Violins of Autumn- Amy McAuley

       Flown to Europe to be a spy during WW2 so she takes a plane and a lot of bicycles.



Sunday, June 2, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (74)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This is week two of my book buying ban and I am doing good so far. I have been tempted but not as much as I thought it would be.

Borrowed from the Library

The 5th Wave- Rick Yancey
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen- Lucy Knisley

What did you get this week?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June TBR

I love big books and I do not read enough of them. I put them aside for smaller books because I feel guilty when I look at all the books on my shelf waiting to be read.  I choose some of the larger books  and decided to try to tackle them. I know one book is at least 800 pages and another is over 1000 but I am hopeful.

This month I want to read...

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell- Susanna Clarke
Game of Thrones- George R.R. Martin
Vampire Academy- Richelle Mead
Frostbite- Richelle Mead
Wicked- Gregory McGuire
Every Living Thing- James Herriot
Tails of the Mouse- Graeme Scott
Nothing More, Nothing Less- Ashley Dukart
The 5th Wave- Rick Yancey
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks- E. Lockhart
The Miseducation of Cameron Post- Emily D. Danforth (Started this and it's good so far)

What are you reading this month?