Thursday, October 31, 2013

November TBR

Happy Halloween! I hope you are enjoying lots of delicious candy. This month should be a little less hectic so I hope to get a little more reading done. I have a lot of books that might come in from the library so I will leave this pretty short.

The List
The Ninth Wife- Amy Stolls
Gone- Michael Grant (started-need to finish)
Iron's Prophecy- Julie Kagawa
Silent Harmony- Michele Scott
The Book Thief-Markus Zuzak (Re-Read)
This Song Will Save Your Life- Leila Sales

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

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

I do not generally read a ton of creepy books because I do the most reading before I go to bed and usually I go to bed before my fiance so I hate freaking myself out, especially when he's not come but I did manage to locate some creepy books I have read.

1) The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman
2) Asylum- Madeleine Roux
3) The Coldest Girl in Coldtown- Holly Black
4) I Hunt Killers- Berry Lyga
5) Doll Bones- Holly Black
6) Ten- Gretchen McNeil
7) Anna Dressed in Blood- Kendare Blake
8) In The Shadow of Blackbirds- Cat Winters
10) The Madman's Daughter- Megan Sheppard

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (93)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I have way to many books this week. I need to start reading the books I have because they are piling up not only in my house but also on my Kindle. What did you get?

Bought New (Kindle and Chapters)

Allegiant- Veronica Roth 
Slated- Teri Terry
A Little Too Far- Lisa Desrochers (Kindle)
Silent Harmony- Michele Scott (Kindle)
Iron's Prophecy- Julie Kagawa (Kindle-free)
The Program- Suzanne Young (Kindle)
The Fierce Reads Anthology- Multiple Authors (Free on Kindle)
The Fierce Reads Anthology: Volume 2- Multiple Authors (Free on Kindle)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Smoke- Ellen Hopkins

Title: Smoke
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:

Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life, but is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?

This is the newest book by Ellen Hopkins and like every single book she writes I really enjoyed it a whole lot. I read Burned quite awhile ago so somethings took me a bit to understand but she does a good job of making you able to understand the story without either reading the first book or not remembering all the details. 

This is a continuation from Burned and it brings back some of the characters from Burned but we are also introduced to new characters. The story starts with Pattyn on the run from her family and her past. When she leaves, her sister Jackie who is the only one that really knows what happened that night is left behind to deal with their mother. While Pattyn is trying to start over, Jackie is trying to survive without her sister feeling isolated. The story goes between Pattyn and Jackie's points of view.

Pattyn has been handed some pretty awful cards so far in life. First she lost Ethan, then the baby and now she is on the run away from her family and friends trying to make a new life for herself. She winds up at a farm where she finds work. Jackie is struggling to deal with what happened the night her dad died, she does not remember everything that happened and her mother is trying to forget what happened and make the family move on. 

The book went in a lot of different directions, the dark sides of side characters made an appearance and brought some pretty tragic scenes. This book main focus is on the abuse that Pattyn, Jackie and their mom had to deal with before Pattyn's father died. 

As always I really enjoyed this story even though it was bittersweet. I would recommend reading the first book first because it is good. If you skip Hopkins shows scenes from the first novel so you able to understand what is going on. It feels like their might be another book because of the ending but I do not think at this time that there is a definitive answer. I gave this a 4/5.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (92)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This week is a Kindle haul. I am addicted to the Kindle daily deals, I check everyday and if there is anything that sounds I might like it even a little I buy it. This is a problem for my wallet but bonus my fiancee does not complain that I have too many books in the house so there is that.

Bought New (Kindle)
Nobody but Us- Kristin Halbrook
Arclight- Josin L. McQuein
Escape Theory- Margaux Froley
Forgive my Fins- Tera Lynn Childs
The Winter Prince- Elizabeth Wein

Across A Star-Swept Sea- Diana Peterfreund

Borrowed from the library
Omens- Kelley Armstrong
Smoke- Ellen Hopkins
Were'd You Go Bernadette- Maria Semple

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Really Awesome Mess- Trish Cook

Title: A Really Awesome Mess
Author: Trish Cook
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Standalone
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary:
A hint of Recovery Road, a sample of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and a cut of JunoA Really Awesome Mess is a laugh-out-loud, gut-wrenching/heart-warming story of two teenagers struggling to find love and themselves. 
Two teenagers. Two very bumpy roads taken that lead to Heartland Academy. 
Justin was just having fun, but when his dad walked in on him with a girl in a very compromising position, Justin's summer took a quick turn for the worse. His parents' divorce put Justin on rocky mental ground, and after a handful of Tylenol lands him in the hospital, he has really hit rock bottom.
Emmy never felt like part of her family. She was adopted from China. Her parents and sister tower over her and look like they came out of a Ralph Lauren catalog - and Emmy definitely doesn't. After a scandalous photo of Emmy leads to vicious rumors around school, she threatens the boy who started it all on Facebook.
Justin and Emmy arrive at Heartland Academy, a reform school that will force them to deal with their issues, damaged souls with little patience for authority. But along the way they will find a ragtag group of teens who are just as broken, stubborn, and full of sarcasm as themselves. In the end, they might even call each other friends. A funny, sad, and remarkable story, A Really Awesome Mess is a journey of friendship and self-discovery that teen readers will surely sign up for.

The story follows the lives of two teenagers, Justin and Emmy. When Justin's dad walks in on him with a girl in a compromising position he sends him off to Heartland Academy. Emmy has never felt like she belongs with her family. She was adopted and feels like an outsider. When a picture of Emmy circulates the around school she threatens the boy who started it and winds up at Heartland Academy.

This book had a lot of potential but I felt like it fell a little flat. The idea and the characters had the beginnings of something good but parts of the story felt incomplete. I enjoyed seeing the different points of view and the flashbacks but I felt like the two main characters did not have a lot of depth.

Emmy felt very stereotypical. She is adopted from another country and blames her adopted parents for feeling incomplete. She was very selfish and she really frustrated me. She grows a lot as a character and we start seeing this new side of her. Emmy's recovery was slow then it sped up and soon she was recovering and accepting everything even thought all her life she felt incomplete. Her character felt rushed, and a little jumbled. Justin's progress to recovery was more realistic. He would make progress but he did on occasion have a relapse.  His character was left a little incomplete at the end which I enjoyed. This novel has a lot of great side characters who really added to the story.

The story has some pretty interesting twist and turns that really added to the story. Overall I enjoyed the concept of this story even thought some of the character did lack for me personally. I gave it a 3/5.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (91)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I am back and sadly it is cold here. I had an awesome trip and I cannot wait to go back. My library books piled up while I was away so I have a pretty extensive library haul this week.

Borrowed from the Library

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown- Holly Black
Vicious- V.E. Schwab
Asylum- Madeleine Roux
Starry Nights- Daisy Whitney
Thornhill- Kathleen Peacock
A Really Awesome Mess- Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Lucid- Adrienne Stolz , Ron Bass
Arise- Tara Hudson

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Life is but a Dream- Brian James

Title: Life is but a Dream
Author: Brian James
Source: Bought new
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4/5

Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? her decision may have fatal consequences. 

Brian James calls Life is But a Dream "the most intense book I've written. Bringing this unique character to life and seeing the world through her eyes, with all its beauty and confusion, was an immense challenge that I hope is just as rewarding to read as it was to write." Intense--yes. Unforgettable--definitely.

I finally got to read this book. This book was on my wish list since it came out which was over a year ago. I was hoping my library would order it so I went to get it from my local Chapters and they did not have it either then online I had a hard time finding it also. It kept coming up as unavailable so I gave up hope of ever being able to read this then Book Close Outs had it and it was cheap so I ordered it immediately and I loved it. I was a little nervous about reading this after waiting for so long to get my hands on it.

Sabrina is diagnosed with schizophrenia so her parents take her to the Wellness Center to help her. Sabrina meets Alex who is convinced that she is not "crazy" but the world is crazy. Alex convinces her that she should not allow them to treat her because they will take away her artistic creativity. Sabrina is torn between listening to the doctor and listening to Alex who she believes she is meant to be with.

The story starts with Sabrina being checked into the Wellness Center. I liked Sabrina for the most part but there was times when she did frustrate me. I blamed most of her irritations on the other characters around her. I was not a fan of Alex. I felt like he was using Sabrina to make his point about the world being crazy and not them. He does not seem to understand Sabrina at all and feels like he can help her without the doctors or her family. I also thought her parents were pretty clueless, and the doctors seemed quite clueless as well. They seemed completely oblivious to Sabrina's changing personality. She goes off her medication and none seems to notice this, there is the occasional comment but none monitors her.

This is a character based story, there is not much of a plot outside of Sabrina\s life, there is a little back story on how she ended up at the Wellness Clinic but a lot was left to the imagination. The ending was a a little disappointing. The story was laid out really well and the pacing was fantastic but the ending felt abrupt. The book wraps up quickly with everyone riding off into the sunset. The ending did not leave me thinking about the book after I was done. I enjoyed it while I read it but there is nothing left to ponder or discuss. 

I recommend this book. It handles the topic of mental illness really well. The book feels like you are with Sabrina as she struggles to divide reality and fantasy. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Two Boys Kissing- David Levithan

Title: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:
New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. 

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other".

This is the fourth book I have read by David Levithan and this one did not disappoint. This is so far my favorite book by him with The Lover's Dictionary as a close second.

The story begins with a brief history of a unknown narrator that we later find out is the story of other men throughout history who were gay and the history of how they were treated. It is a voice that is united and is the narrator of the story of Harry and Craig and how they are planning to break the world record for the longest kiss, it is also the story of Peter and Neil and their relationship. The narrator also follows Avery and Ryan as they meet and finally of Cooper who feels alone and who does not have the support of his family.

The characters start off leading their separate lives but in the end, Harry and Craig's kiss bring them together. I liked the story of Harry and Craig the most mainly because they were based of the true story of a two college students who kissed for thirty-two hours, thirty minutes and forty- seven seconds and broke the Guinness World Records for the longest continuous kiss.  I loved how the story of Harry and Craig tied everyone together and brought out the best and worst in people. Peter and Neil are a couple who is not hiding but Neil's family is not exactly open about him being gay. They acknowledge he is but they do not talk about it. Ryan has a supportive aunt who loves him unconditionally and amazing friends who love and support him but he is still unhappy and feels angry but when he meets Avery who makes Ryan feel not so angry and then there is Cooper. He feels like he is alone and his family does not accept him so he runs away and tries to find a way to end the pain and sadness he feels. 

This book was very touching and incredibly well written. I enjoyed how the author showed all sides of the characters stories from the families to friends and people who choose to judge people based on sexual preference. I felt like the author captured the story well. I really enjoyed this book. It is a pretty fast read. The stories of each character are switched every few pages and the way it was set up really worked for this story. I gave this a 4/5. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (90)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I am currently on vacation so this is my books from pre-vacation. I stuck with super deals I found on Amazon this week to save money for my vacation.

Bought New (Kindle)
Just Breath- Heather Allen (Free)
Insight- Jamie Magee (Free)
The Scarlet Letter- Nathan  (Free)
No Escape- Michelle Gagnon (Free)
Shadows- Isla J. Bick ($1.43)

Friday, October 4, 2013

I Suck at Girls- Justin Halpern

Title: I Suck at Girls
Author: Justin Halpern
Source: Bought used
Series: No
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary:
"Growing up, every time I saw a men's magazine cover that had a headline about '73 Ways to Please Your Girlfriend', all I could think was 'I'm good with one; just tell me one way to please her. Also, I don't have a girlfriend. Is there an article about that?'"

Soon after Sh*t My Dad Says began to take off, comic writer Justin Halpern decided to propose to his then girlfriend. But before doing so, he asked his dad's advice, which was very, very simple (and surprisingly clean): "Just take a day to think about it." This book is that day. Crossing the warmth of The Wonder Years with the candour and observational humour of David Sedaris, this follow-up to the hottest comedy debut of last year is a hilarious, toe-curlingly true book about life, and love".

This is the second book I have read by this author. I unfortunately did not like this book as much as I liked the first book. The first book I read by the author was amazing. I laughed so much so when I seen this book at my used book store I jumped at the chance to buy it. I felt like the author used the success of his first book to try to sell this book as similar. The tones in the book were completely different. He was telling about his life leading up to meeting his wife, Amanda and at times I laughed out loud at the situations he got himself into but other times I felt the story dragging. 

The story as a whole was interesting but it felt like he whined a little too much about how he was not good at getting girls and how he went to school and moved to LA just like everyone else in his field and he was unable to find a job. The book felt like it forced humor at times. My favorite parts of the books where when his dad gives him advise and tells him how it is straight up. At times he did not appreciate the advise but I always agreed with what he was telling him.

I think I would read more by this author because I do enjoy the stories he tells but I would not rush out to buy his books. I gave this a 3.5 overall.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September Wrap Up

I completed the TBR I set for myself this month so I was pretty excited about that. I also got a lot of other books read. 

This month I also discovered Orange is the New Black on Netflix. It is soo good! and my two favorite TV shows started up again.

My September TBR

Me before You- Jojo Moyles
Want to Go Private? - Sarah Darer Littman
The S-Word- Chelsea Pitcher
Canary- Rachel Alpine
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
In The Shadow of Blackbirds- Cat Winters
Six Months Later- Natalie Richards
The Sealed Letter- Emma Donoghue

The List

Books I own: 17
Borrowed from the Library: 3
For Review: 2
E-Books: 8
Total: 20

Want to Go Private? - Sarah Darer Littman
The S-Word- Chelsea Pitcher
Canary- Rachel Alpine
In The Shadow of Blackbirds- Cat Winters
Six Months Later- Natalie Richards
Let The Sky all- Shannon Messenger
Shadowland- Meg Cabot
The Transfer- Veronica Roth
Crossing the Line- Katie McGarry
Au Revoir Crazy European Chick-Joe Schreiber
Those who save us- Jenna Blum
Love in the time of Global Warming- Francesa Lia Block
Harken- Kaleb Nation
Love is the Higher Law- David Levithan
The Sealed Letter- Emma Donoghue
Life is but a Dream- Brian James
Me before You- Jojo Moyles
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
I Suck At Girls- Justin Halpern
Two Boys Kissing- David Levithan

What did you read/watch this month?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October TBR

This month is another small TBR. I am going to away for a few days then the rest of the month is going to be super busy. I will be away from the 6th to the 11th and then I have a buck and doe the weekend I get back plus thanksgiving and all the other things I need to do in October so I do not think I will be getting a lot of reading done.

This month I tried to pick spooky books but I got distracted by all the other books I own so I have one Halloween themed book and a few books I think will be creepy.

October's TBR
MaddAddam- Margaret Atwood (Started but need to finish)
The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman 
Gone-Michael Grant
My Life Next Door- Huntley Fitzpatrick
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock- Matthew Quick
Rose Under Fire- Elizabeth Wein
On Dublin Street- Samantha Young