The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: June 9th, 2015
Pages: 396
Song I Played While Reading: Hold Me Down by Halsey
Rating: 4 stars

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.
And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.
Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something about what happened that night. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she relives the events that led to her incarceration and struggles to unlearn everything she has been taught to believe. But when an FBI investigator approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she's always dreamed of- if she's willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past. 

I didn't actually think they cut her hands off. I thought it was some metaphorical crap the Prophet had made up and the author was using it in the summary to throw people off. Boy, was I wrong!
I struggled for the first 50 pages. I don't know if it was because it was such a huge change from the previous fantasy books I had been reading (The Raven Boys cycle), or maybe because I had a headache and it was hard to focus. But once I got comfortable, the story completely sucked me in.
Minnow is in a juvenile detention facility, and the plot runs in flashbacks, jumping around a little through her past. Sometimes not going in chronological order bothers me (like it did in Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian) but this was done very smoothly, so I enjoyed it, rather than feel confused.
I've never read about a cult before, so to say I was a little fascinated (and disturbed) was a major understatement. Actually, I wasn't just disturbed and fascinated, I was also angry, shocked, confused, and a little in awe. This book made me feel ALL the feels. I love a story thats a little sick and twisted, so this definitely fed my hunger for the creeps. Oakes writing is flawless. She managed to weave together a story that was simultaneously horrifying and beautiful. We really know what its like to live in a religious cult, with its lack of modern amenities and twisted ideals and consequences, but we're also in awe at the strength Minnow shows while living there and what she goes through afterwards.
But not only do we get the flashbacks, but we get present day Minnow's musings on religion, life, and justice. What constitutes right and wrong? If someone kills someone in self-defense, should they be punished? Guiding her along is Angel, her roommate, and the FBI agent, both of whom I immensely enjoyed. Angel was both a riot and a source of sadness for me; she lightened multiple situations with her vulgar/ enlightening comments, but she also was a total science geek, and I really think she could have made a different in the world. She was studious, always reading about outer space and modern scientists. I wish we had gotten more of her backstory, or at least what was in store for her in the future, because I believe she really helped Minnow during her first couple days of regular life. She was a total softie at heart, but had a steel wall built around it.
If you have any interests in religious cults, victims, the justice system, or a good 'ol coming-of-age story, then this is the one for you. As long as you like a coming-of-age story from a girl who was in a cult. Then definitely pick this up. If you don't, run away from this book.

""Outside, everything gets so distorted. In here, a banana's just something they give you because the government says we inmates gotta eat less junk. But, you know what the pastor at my uncle's church used to say about bananas? They prove the existence of God."
"He said they must've been designed by a creature because they're easy to open and are shaped perfectly for the human hand. But you know what else is shaped perfectly for the human hand? A dick, but don't try telling them that means God intended people to masturbate because that will get you kicked out of Sunday school. I can vouch from experience."

"We stepped headlong into a new place where we knew there was something other than good daughters and sons inside us. Because for the first time, somebody bothered to tell me why they were in pain. Everyone around me was in pain, I realize now, but none of them ever poured it out of themselves into another person.
Jude taught me what love was: to be willing to hold on to another persons pain."

"I try not to dwell too much on the bad that happened to me growing up, in the past. So I'm going to tell you a little about my future. It is beautiful. I write books and get degrees and get married and have babies and go on to do a million other wonderful things because even after everything, I'm still hopeful. The people who hurt me couldn't kill my spirit. I'm dreaming still. See me, right now? Dreaming. And, given everything, that's pretty wonderful. 
So thats why I'm deserving. Not because I need your help. But because I am going to make it with or without anybody's help." 
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Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Booknerds (TTT)

Monday, July 27, 2015

This meme is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish :)

1. Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series
Not only can she kick your ass into next week and look fabulous doing it, she's also an avid reader. When asked if she was lonely, she responded with "I can survive well enough on my own- if given the proper reading material." I also have that memorized, so we can all tell what I like to do in my free time. (T-MINUS 35 DAYS TIL QOS AHHHHHH)

2. Dorian Havilliard from the Throne of Glass series

(Mail exchanged between Celaena and Dorian)

Your Highness-
It has come to my attention that your library isn't a library, but rather a personal collection for only you and your esteem father to enjoy. As many of your million books seem to be present and underused, I must beg you to grant me permission to borrow a few so that they might receive the attention they deserve. Since I am deprived of company and entertainment, this act of kindness is the least someone of your importance could deign to bestow upon a lovely, miserable wretch such as I.

Yours most truly,
Celaena Sardothien

My Most True Assassin,
Enclosed are seven books from my personal library that I have recently read and enjoyed immensely. You are, of course, free to read as many of the books in the castle library as you wish, but I command you to read these first so that we might discuss them. I promise they are not dull, for I am not one inclined to sit through pages of nonsense and bloated speech, though perhaps you enjoy works and authors who think very highly of themselves. 
Most affectionately, 
Dorian Havilliard

These two are PRIME book lovers.

3. Katy Swartz from The Lux series
This ass-kicking sassmaster has a booktube channel. I would FOR SURE watch her videos!

4. Tessa Grey from The Infernal Devices series
Tessa is like a literary goddess- calm, ethereal, reads all the classics and can quote them. I find that insanely admirable because I have a love/hate relationship with the classics. I'm just imaging her and Will's library they had in their home and not so subtly tearing up. DONT LOOK AT ME.

5. Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines series
This girl is literally a walking dictionary. She's studious and insanely smart and super admirable because her love for school is eye-popping. Can I please love school like she does?! PLEASE.

6. Liesel from The Book Thief
This is the story about a girl who, you guessed it, steals books. I love, love, LOVE this book and it's made so much better with Liesel's love for reading. It was life changing!

7. Cath Avery from Fangirl
She writes fan fiction on her favorite series. HOW COOL IS SHE? THE COOLEST.

8. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series
Does this need an explanation? No. She's probably on everyones list.

9. Madeline from Everything, Everything
This story started off by saying her entire room is white and her books are the only splash of color in there. AESTHETIC GOALS.

10. Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
"The world was hers for the reading." Francie is so cute and inspiring, I had to have her on my list. There's nothing I love more than coming-of-age stories!

I had a hard time coming up with 10! Who's on your list? Link your post in the comments :)
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Happy Monday!

Hi guys! I have a meeting with my school's counselor today to pick my online classes and I'm weirdly excited! I always get like this before school starts, all excited to have a set schedule and to get new supplies and do homework. The idea of school always sounds exciting, but once I'm actually doing it I want to kill myself. School and I haven't had the best relationship in the past, so lets hope this time it actually works out.

Read Last Week
Started but couldn't finish The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Talk about a disappointment!
The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Currently Reading
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oaks

To Read
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
One Fling to Rule Them All by Deanna Dee
The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Accomplishing my TBR pile is wicked cool. Lets hope I can keep this up!

Happy readings :)

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Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 21st, 2014
Pages: 391
Song I Played While Reading: Faith and How Deep Is Your Love by Calvin Harris
Rating: 3 stars

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have became theirs.
The trick with finding things, though, is how easily they could be lost.
Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

I read the last page in a daze. I have no idea what the hell it was, but it was like my brain just stuttered. And died. Because the second I finished the last sentence? BAM. I forgot everything. I couldn't tell you what happened in the book even if my life depended on it. Like it was some freaky shit. So I frantically flipped through the pages, slowly jogging my memory back to life, then sprinted into the living room and proceeded to walk through the story, chapter by chapter, with my mom and grandma until the juices started flowing. And once they did, I waited for it to happen. I waited and waited for the book hangover. The groaning and moaning of how AMAZING this book was. The explosion of feels because c'mon? IT'S THE RAVEN BOYS WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE.
And it never happened. Because I realized there was no explosion of feels. Because I was simply 'meh' about this book.
Okay, that was super dramatic and I apologize, but seriously? 3 stars? What the hell just happened here? I'll tell you what happened: nothing. This book was like one small baby step towards finding Glendower, with the same storyline from The Dream Thieves and The Raven Boys. The whole thing was so... anti-climatic. From the crazy amazing reviews I saw on Goodreads, I expected some knock-out storyline that would leave me with a cliff-hangar that had me tearing my hair out. Instead, I got a jumbled mess of information that was slightly confusing. Overall, I get what happened, as if I was looking at a pretty picture from a distance, but if I pinpoint something specific, or look closer at this picture, I'll notice there's cracks. It's not perfect. So it just needs some internal tweaking, especially where Adam is concerned.
And then theres this "three sleepers" prophecy, and to not wake the third sleeper (which I'm assuming was the red box, right?), and it bugged me because I didn't see any correlation between that and finding Glendower. I didn't mind straying from the quest in The Dream Thieves because we needed to find out about Ronan's gift and what it contributes to Cabeswater. But now it just seems like Stiefvater is stretching this out and trying to throw in another problem before we deal with Glendower. Which leads to the ending and how THAT is important. The whole red box scenario confused the shit out of me because I didn't see what was so bad about it. What is it? Why is it so dangerous?  I wish we got more information on it! Cause with that maybe I would have felt more emotion on the cliff-hanger but instead I felt like a robot. Seriously, it hurts my soul to talk like this about Stiefvater and her amazing series but... I CANT HELP THE WAY I FEEL.
Now, don't get me wrong, this book killed it, as usual, in the character development/romance/funny moments department. Plus Greentmantle. My man. How the hell does she come up with such likable villains? I don't even know why I call them villains because they end up being one of my favorite aspects to the story. They're just so quirky and funny! And, of course, of course, the writing was A++++++++++++. Give this woman a medal, for christ sake.
So it's an evan draw down the middle, and 3 stars it will be. I have high hopes for the fourth and final book, The Raven King, but a small part of me is a little worried cause theres so much that has to be wrapped up. But I have faith in Stiefvater. If anyone can do it, she can!

""You can be just friends with people, you know." Orla said. "I think it's crazy how you're in love with all those raven boys."
Orla wasn't wrong, of course. But what she didn't realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in love with one another. She was no less obsessed with them than they were with her, or one another, analyzing every conversation and gesture, drawing out every joke into a longer and longer running gag, spending each moment either with one another or thinking about when next they would be with one another. Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn't all-encompassing, that wasn't blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she'd has this kind, she didn't want the other."

""Are you Jesse Dittley?"
It was true that Blue was just shy of five feet and it was also true that she hadn't eaten her greens, but she'd done the research and she didn't think the two were related."

"This wasn't how it was supposed to be.
Adam swept the flashlight again.
Blue said, "Ah..." and then changed her mind.
The hair moved.
"Jesus shit Mary fuck," said Ronan."

""I'm going in," Gansey said as Ronan sat down on the step beside Adam. As Gansey shut the door behind him, he heard Adam say, "I don't want to talk," and Ronan reply, "The fuck would I talk about?"

"What an impossible and miraculous and hideous thing this was. An ugly plan hatched by an ugly boy now dreamt into ugly life. From dream to reality. How appropiate it was that Ronan, left to his own devices, manifested beautiful cars and beautiful birds and tenderhearted brothers, while Adam, when given the power, manifested a filthy string of perverse murders."

"Adam finally sat down on one of the pews. Laying his cheek against the smooth back of it, he looked at Ronan. Strangely enough, Ronan belonged here, too, just as he had at the Barns. This noisy, lush religion had created him just as much as his father's world of dreams; it seemed impossible for all of Ronan to exist in one person. Adam was beginning to realize that he hadn't known Ronan at all. Or rather, he had known part of him and assumed it was all of him.
The scent of Cabeswater, all trees after rain, drifted past Adam, and he realized that while he'd been looking at Ronan, Ronan had been looking at him." *swoons* *heart eyes* YES YES YES
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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: September 7th, 2014
Pages: 437
Song I Played While Reading: Faith and How Deep Is Your Love by Calvin Harris
Rating: 4.5 stars

If you could steal things from your dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.
One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.
Ronan is one of the raven boys- a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface- changing everything in its wake. 

The day I come up with enough words to form a coherent sentence on why I love Maggie Stiefvater's writing is the day pigs fly. I'm a loss for words. I will ALWAYS be at a loss for words. Luckily, Stiefvater is not and uses them to make amazing books.
And this book just so happened to center around my favorite person: Ronan Lynch. He took the spotlight. Glendower? Who? It was almost hysterical how shoved aside this infamous king was. It was like Stiefavter gave us a little insight to what this series was going to be about in The Raven Boys, and then slammed on the breaks and threw us for a loop and made the entire second book about Ronan and his power. Gift? Whatever you want to call it. I'm so not complaining, though!
Ronan is a hard, hard character to connect with. I know loads of people had issues with this book solely cause of that. For me, I try and not worry over that because I read specifically sometimes NOT to read about someone like me. Does that make sense? Ronan is the blunt, I-dont-give-a-shit-about-anything type of character that I admire. I'm nice and polite. Ronan is the opposite. So I think he's the most fascinating creature ever and I loved being in his head. He's raw and honest and dangerous and scary and angry and JUST SO COMPLEX. And also possibly gay. I guess if he can't be my fictional boyfriend he can be my fictional bff... just kidding, he'll always be my fictional boyfriend.

Ronan is so the opposite of pure, but nonetheless, I find myself thinking of him whenever I see this. HE'S TOO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD, DAMNIT. 
Okay, so the only reason why this wasn't a 5 star book was because of Adam. Good 'ol (sexually confused) Adam. (Maybe thats pushing it but I don't give no frick fracks.) His condition and what his ties were to Cabeswater confused that absolute poo out of me. I couldn't connect what the apparitions had to do with Cabeswater. Are they people who died on the ley line? Does Noah know them? I actually still don't have an answer to that first question, but I at least know they have ties to that magical forest. I just think his situation could have been better written out, in a way where we could 100% say, "Yes, all this is happening because of Cabeswater." I mean, we obviously knew it was, but... also didn't. At least I didn't. This is confusing me too. Let's just say his chapters were a blur and could have been written better. 
I LOOOOOOOOVED the pace of the romance in here. It's so natural. Theres no insta-love, no, "Oh, theres a prophecy saying I'll fall in love with this guy, LETS DO IT." Blue takes her sweet time and I'm damn proud of her. She's just such a great over-all character. I have zero complaints with her. Or anyone else for that matter. Noah? Sweetest little munchkin ever. Gansey? Only my dream guy. Blue's crazy family? Hilarious and crazy and absolutely perfect. THE GRAY MAN? Amazing. I 100% adored him. He had that perfect sense of dry humor going on, with a brutal honesty that had me laughing my ass off because what hitman says he's a hitman during polite conversation? 
Though Kavinsky was a total ass, he electrified this book. I liked him in a sense where I knew he wouldn't be a problem after the final page, so I enjoyed the chaos he caused. Those last 40 pages? Holy cow. Thats really what synched the deal for me. I can't even describe the level of amazingness that ensued during it. IT WAS JUST SO GOOD AND IT LEFT ME TOTALLY BREATHLESS. 
I already can feel the deep hole these characters have burrowed into my chest and the book hangover looming, even though I still have Blue Lily, Lily Blue to read. Pray I live through the wait. PRAY.

"In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys." 

"From the deck of the boat, Orla said, "I'm having a physic moment. It involves you and me."
Distracted, Gansey glanced up from the computer screen. "Were you talking to me or Ronan?"
"Either. I'm flexible."
Blue made a small, terrible noise."

"Orla tossed her head, her magnificently large nose describing a circle in the air. Then she tore off her bell-bottoms so fast that all the boys in the boat just stared at her, dazzled and stunned. Gansey couldn't understand the speed of it. One moment, she was wearing clothing, and the next moment, she was wearing a bikini. Fifty percent of the world was browned skin and fifty percent was orange nylon. From the Mona Lisa smile on Orla's lips, it was clear she was pleased to finally be allowed to demonstrate her true talents. 
A tiny part of Gansey's brain said: You have been staring for too long.
The larger part of his brain said: ORANGE.
"Oh, for the love of God," Blue said, and jumped out of the boat. 
Ronan began to laugh, and it was so unexpected that the spell was broken. He laughed as Chainsaw hurled herself into the air where Blue had gone, and he laughed as Orla let out a honking sound and cannonballed into the water. He laughed as the image on the laptop distorted with the rollicking water. He laughed as he stretched out his arm for Chainsaw to return to him, and then he sealed his lips with an expression that indicted he still found them all hilarious on the inside.
The boat, previously stuffed to capacity, now contained only three boys and a small, discard pile of girls' shoes and clothing. Adam looked at Gansey, expression dazed. "Is this really happening?" 
It was really happening, because the side-scan sonar showed two forms below the surface. One of them was nowhere near the objects and seemed to be moving in rather aimless circles. The other shot purposefully toward the vicinity of the raven, moving in brief surges that suggested a breaststroke. Gansey, former captain of the Aglionby crew team and a not untalented swimmer, approved. 
"I feel rather ashamed," Gansey admitted. 
Ronan ran a hand over his shaved head. "I didn't want to mess up my hair." 
(I'm sorry, I know that was ridiculously long for a quote but that whole boat scene was GOLD. I had to include at least some part of it in here :))

""Yes," the Gray Man agreed. "I certainly am. Would you say that this thing is a box?"
"No, I wouldn't say that, because I don't know. Would you say that?"
"No. Probably not."
"Why did you ask, then?"
"If it was a box, I could stop looking at things that weren't boxes."
"If I'd thought it was a box, I would've told you to look for a box. Would I say it's a box. Why do you have to be so damn mysterious all the time? Do you get off on it? You want me thinking about boxes now? Because I am. I'll look it up. I'll see what I can do." 

"She wore a dress Ronan thought looked like a lampshade. Whatever sort of lamp it belonged on, Gansey clearly wished he had one.
Ronan wasn't a fan of lamps." Ahem.

"Then Maura made something with butter and Calla made something with bacon and Blue steamed broccoli in self-defense."

Okay I'm done with the quotes. I just have so MANY FAVORITES, ITS HARD TO PICK WHICH ONE GOES IN MY REVIEW. 
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Underhyped Recommendation: The Strange Angels series

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow

Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

That's a pretty pathetic summary, if I do say so myself. This series, though dealing with the usual amount of otherworldly creates, is really unlike anything I've ever read before. The only comparison I can really make is with Dru- she reminds me a little of Katniss Everdeen. She's shoved into this situation because of a family member, wants absolutely nothing to do with the opposite sex, and becomes this symbol of hope for people when really all she wants to do is run away from it all and lay low for the rest of her life. I think the thing that bothers me the most about the summary is the love triangle part. When I say she wants nothing to do with the opposite sex, I mean NOTHING happens until at least the third book. The romance takes a back seat in this story, popping its head out and making everyone super uncomfortable, so really nothing concrete happens until the last two books. Dru is as independent as they come, so if you're into to that kind of narrator then this is totally for you.
If I were to pick a word to describe this series, it would be raw. Crow keeps things pretty honest and open about what its like to be in Dru's situation, and theres no fluff. It's hard to describe unless you've read it, but its just... real. Theres no sugar coating what its like to be homeless, or to be fighting monsters, or to not have access to a shower for a couple of days. If you like action-packed, no-nonsense books with a strong female lead, then I think you'll really like this one. Don't be discouraged if the first book doesn't hook you in, it gets better as the series progresses!
Plus this story kick-started my obsession with boys names for girls. Does Dru not sound like a badass name?!

Happy readings :) 

(Pictures and summary from Goodreads)
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Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/ Diverse Characters (TTT)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This meme is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish :)

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon / The Wrath and the Dawn Renee Ahdieh / The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie / More Than This by Patrick Ness / The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare / To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han / Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves / I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson / The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi / Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

I gotta admit, I don't read many books that feature diverse characters. I've done much better this year but could use some recommendations! And please link your TTT down in the comments, I love seeing which books you posted :) 

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Pages: 408
Song I Played While Reading: Faith by Calvin Harris
Rating: 4 stars

"There's only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve. Either you're his true love... or you killed him."

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them- until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
   His name is Gansey, and he's a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. 
   But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.
   For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore. 

(I apologize for how long this review is, holy crap.)

I've heard so many great things about this series. I mean, SO. MANY. My tumblr is absolutely filled with Raven Boys and I've always felt left out of the loop. I liked the Shiver series, at least the first two books. I never got around to reading the third one. But I remember reading this summary way back when it first came out and it didn't sound very interesting to me. So I forgot about it, until I made my book tumblr. And then it was like I wanted to smack my self in the head for not giving it a chance and picking it up, because it sounded amazing. I've heard so, so, SO many things about these Raven Boys that I was a little in awe when I read Gansey's first chapter. It felt like I was reading about celebrities, and I could not stop smiling.
Now, before we get onto the topic of those beautifully broken boys, we're going to talk about Steifvater's writing. Stop the fucking press. This is one of those times where the saying, "I can't even." adequately describes my feelings. I LITERALLY CANT EVEN. She could be writing about dog poop and I would have felt like I had just read my version of the Bible. I don't even know what it is about her writing that fills me with so much awe. And its funny because a lot of people who've read this have mentioned that it takes them a while to get used to her writing style, that for the first 50 pages they were a little turned off. And I'm over here like gasping and tweaking out because those first 50 pages we're like the entire world opening up under my hands. The words lived and breathed; they were their own person. It was absolutely incredible, and Stiefvater is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Watch out Maas and Johansen! (Just kidding, YOU'RE ALL BAE TO ME.)
Okay, now we can talk about the boys :)
Gansey, Gansey, Gansey. He's the All-America boy; polite, handsome, smart, and an old soul. He's my sweet little cupcake, and I just wanted to squish to my chest. He comes off incredibly condescending sometimes, something he doesn't ever realize and seriously does not mean to do, and I could relate to that. Not the condescending part (I hope), but the doing something and not realizing how it came across part. I've gotten in trouble multiple times because of something I either said, or didn't say. I say things a lot more politely and properly then most of my friends from Chicago do. For instance, I pronounce aunt like ah-nt. Not like the insect, ant. Instead of saying, "I'm sorry," sometimes I say, "I apologize," and my friends all give me weird looks. One them has actually said I sound like I belong to a rich family in Virginia. Clearly Gansey and I are meant to be.
But for all his bravado, the sweet-talking, the polo shirts, the boat shoes, and the overall completeness to him, theres this small side of him that is so self-concious that it pulls me to him. I think even without having read from his POV I would have noticed it. Theres no way someone who's on a mission to do the impossible, wake a mystical king from his centuries long slumber and get granted a favor, who wouldn't have any doubts, any realizations that his life's work so far is based on a possible hallucination he had while almost dying. So its his self-conciosuness, plus the confidence he has in himself, that makes him attractive to me, more so than his looks. Does that make sense?
Now, Ronan, is my beautiful cinnamon roll. I've used this saying a lot recently but I don't care. He's my abused puppy and I SERIOUSLY JUST CANT DEAL. It's actually a little troubling because I seem to like the damaged type, and I know that won't work out in real life, so I need to keep this preference strictly to fictional boys. The snarky, dangerous attitude is just so refreshing. You don't know what to expect from him. On some level, I'm a little jealous; to have the ability to straight up not give a shit about anyone or anything (besides like two people), and to freely speak his mind at all times is almost hard to imagine for myself. The politeness is ingrained in me, and I couldn't be mean unless I was really, REALLY pissed off. So to be able to easily give into that anger is almost admirable. Obviously, he pushes the line between being merely honest and angry to cruel and scary. But even then, he doesn't have anyone or anything he doesn't like in his life. I wish I could easily cut those things out my life, too.
Now, Blue was the perfect narrator for me. She wasn't too much of anything; not overly sarcastic, or quiet, or happy, or grumpy. She walked an easily relatable fine line of being human. But you know how some people, like Celaena Sardothien, are always on their A game and constantly crack jokes or threaten people? Blue wasn't like that. She had some great one-liners, and I loved when she stood up to Ronan, but sometimes she would people watch and thats what I love to do. To just sit there and watch, to break down their facial expressions and body language, to try and gauge what kind of life they live by the clothes they wear or the phone they have, is just so fascinating to me. And Blue did it a lot with the boys, especially Gansey, and I think thats why she finds him so compelling. Hell, thats why she finds them all compelling! They're a complex group of motherfuckers. If I were friends with them I would love to watch them interact with each other and probably would never speak.
Okay, this review is getting waaay long, so I'm gonna try and wrap it up. The only reason why I docked a star was because I found the climax of the story, where they're in the woods with Whelk, to be a little confusing. I'm not sure exactly what happened and it seemed... smaller then Stiefvater made it seem. Specifically, Adams part. If anyone has any theories I would love to hear them! But overall, this was a fantastic start. I loved all the characters and their complexities, the history, the family dynamics, the writing, and the whole prophecy Blue has had surrounding her since she was born. That part sucks the readers in, the need to know if it comes true. There was a surprising undertone of sadness weaved throughout this story, making even the happier moments feel as if they're a memory being fondly thought back on. Does that make sense? As if I'm already mourning someones death.

"Gansey once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn't know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves."

"Because of course President Cell Phone had brought most of his posse from Nino's, everyone but the smudgy boy. They filled the hallway to overflowing, somehow, the three of them, loud and male and so comfortable with one another that they allowed no one else to be comfortable with them. They were a pack of sleek animals armored with their watches and their Top-Siders and the expensive cut of their uniforms. Even the sharp boy's tattoo, cutting up the knobs of his spine above his collar, was a weapon, somehow slicing at Blue."

""My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them."

"When Gansey was polite, it made him powerful. When Adam was polite, he was giving power away."

"Gansey, installed comfortably behind the wheel with expensive sunglasses and Top-Siders, took his time answering. "I don't know. Because it's on the line, but it's not... whatever Cabeswater is. I have to think more about Cabeswater before we go back."
"Because its like we're going into someones house." Blue tried not to look at Gansey's boat shoes; she felt better about him as a person if she pretended he wasn't wearing them.

"Of course, she could still walk away.
She won't, he thought. She has to feel it, too.
He said, "I've always liked the name Jane."
Blue's eyes widened. "Ja- What? Oh! No, no. You can't just go around naming people other things because you don't like their real name."
"I like Blue just fine," Gansey said. He didn't believe she was really offended; her face didn't look like it did at Nino's when they'd first met, and her ears were turning pink. He thought, possibly, he was  getting a little better at not offending her, although he couldn't seem to stop teasing her. "Some of my favorite shirts are blue. However, I also like Jane."
"I'm not answering to that."
"I didn't ask you to."
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Happy Monday!

Hi guys! A miracle occurred last week; I actually followed, and finished, the TBR books I had posted on my last Happy Monday post. I don't think I've ever done that before, and I gotta admit, it feels so damn satisfying. Let's see if I can follow this weeks TBR too! Also, IT WAS A THREE BOOK WEEK. *happy dances*

Finished Last Week
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Into A Million Pieces by Angela V. Cook
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

To Read
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

I think its doable. I've got a pretty easy week ahead of me. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Happy readings :)
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The Reading Habits Tag

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hi guys! Krystianna from Downright Dystopian posted this tag yesterday and tagged anyone that wanted to do it. I thought it sounded super cool so lets get into it! 

1. Do you have a certain place for reading at home?
Usually on my bed or the couch in the living room. 

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
Neither....? Oh god, don't hate me, but I dog-ear my pages. I've literally done this my entire life, and I've tried multiple times to use bookmarks but I always just forget or get annoyed with them. Why this is such a bad thing is beyond me but I DO IT AND I'M NOT AFRIAD TO SAY IT. 

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain number of pages?
Do people really stop reading in the middle of a scene? If I'm stopping on my own it'll always be at the end of a chapter. But if I'm called away and don't have enough time to finish the chapter then it's the end of the page. 

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
Yep! I tend to always eat either my protein bars or chocolate covered almonds if I'm hungry. Water is my drink of choice so it's always that as well. 

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music whilst reading?
Music all the way. As some of you may have noticed, I have a different song I play with each book I read. I don't remember exactly how I picked up this habit, but I've been doing it for a while now. It adds more emotion to the story, makes it more intense and realistic. And theres really no method to picking a song, it's just whatever sounds right for the book. When I was younger I just played whatever I was listening to, something I now regret and am immensely embarrassed about. What song did I choose to listen to while reading Harry Potter? Down On Me by Jeremih and 50 cent. ITS SO NOT OKAY. 

6. One book at a time or several at once?
One. I want to give the book my undivided attention. Plus I get the stories jumbled together if I read multiple ones at once, which doesn't help my review process at all.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?
Everywhere! As long as I have my music I'm good to go.

8. Reading out loud or in your head?
In my head! Theres no point in me reading it out loud cause I'm not reading it to anyone. 

9. Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?
Only if I'm super, super, SUPER bored with a story or super, super, SUPER excited for a scene and unintentionally peak at whats to come. Do you know how many damn times I've spoiled myself because my eyes have betrayed me and jumped ahead?! I usually have to cover the paragraph with my hand if I'm really anxious.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it new?
I used to keep my books in mint condition and would flip out at the slightest crinkle or tear in them. And now I'm into the wear-and-tear look and don't mind cracking the spine. It makes the book look like it's been loved. 

11. Do you write in your books?
Not usually. I have before, though. I remember doing it in The Book Thief because I was just so hung up on Zusak's writing. I swear, if there was a writing God, it would be him.

12. What're you currently reading?
I'm currently reading, and LOVING WITH A FIERY PASSION, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Now, if there ever was a writing Goddess, it would be her. 

I tag anyone that wants to do this :) 
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Into A Million Pieces by Angela V. Cook

Friday, July 17, 2015

Into A Million Pieces by Angela V. Cook
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publication Date: January 27th, 2015
Pages: 206
Song I Played While Reading: Under The Shadow by Rae Morris
Rating: 4 stars

Allison McKready is a succubus. So is her twin sister. But while Allison spends her summer break hiding in the library behind her Goth makeup, Jade fools around as often as she can. Allison can’t believe Jade would ignore their mother’s fatal example so recklessly, but concealing a cursed bloodline and its dangerous effects is far from Allison’s only problem. Mean girl Julie’s snob mob is determined to ruin her summer, and Aunt Sarah’s Bible thumping is getting louder. Only her new friend, Ren Fisher, offers safe haven from the chaos of her life.

When one of Jade’s risky dates leads to humiliation and sudden tragedy, Allison reels, and Ren catches her. But as her feelings for him grow, so does her fear that she’ll hurt him—or worse—in an unguarded moment. The choice is coming—love him or save him—but Allison might not live to make it. One way or another, the curse will have its due.

I'd like to thank Angela Cook and Red Adept Publishing for providing me this copy in exchange for an honest review. 

I gotta admit- I judged this book with the mention of goth makeup. I thought this would be about a sad and annoying girl who hated her life and constantly complained about it. Boy, was I wrong. Allison personally put me to shame. Not only was she a kick-ass and lively character, but she was so damn relatable! I usually always have issues connecting emotionally with characters; I'm never as mad, or as sad, as the character is. I know I'm not always supposed to be exactly on par with the character and their feelings because I'm not standing in their shoes, but I like to connect with them on that kind of level. And oh boy did I do that with Allison. 
Her anger at her sister for fooling around and endangering the guys she messes with, the scoffing and aloofness with her Aunt Sarah and her religious habits, the ease at which she talks to Ren... I felt all of that. The feelings were as instinctive as if I were right along side Allison in the story. She was honest, down-to-earth, selectively judgmental (just like moi), sarcastic, and funny. What the hell isn't there to love about this girl?!
Ren, her aunt, sister, and all the other supporting characters were just as lively as Allison. They each added their own spark to the story, so it super well-rounded. It wasn't too sad, it wasn't too fluffy. It was just right. The plot was a little slow at times, especially in the beginning, but it quickly fired up at the half way mark. The writing was super well done, too. Everything flowed and nothing felt rushed. Each scene progressed smoothly into the next and it made the book fly by. Granted, it was pretty short, so thats why I'm hoping theres a sequel in the works. Plus that open ending had me squirming for more. PRETTY PLEASE. 
Overall, this was a super awesome story and I recommend it if you want to know more about succubus. I've personally never read about them before, and remember thinking how cool it would be to be one. You're beautiful and men fall all over themselves to please you. How bad could it be? Pretty shitty and sexually frustrating, apparently. There needs to be an off switch.

"With her hands on her hips, my aunt stared at me with narrowed eyes. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing, except my sister is a reckless little whore." 

"The sky twinkled as if all the souls in heaven were holding up lighters."

(Picture and summary from Goodreads)
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All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Thursday, July 16, 2015

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Pages: 530
Song I Played While Reading: Wasting My Young Years by London Grammar
Rating: 4 stars

Marie-Laure lives her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood to she can memorize it by tough and navigate her way home. When she is twelve the Naxis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With  them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge. 

I have a soft spot for historical fiction. Granted, I never read much of it, but when I do I tend to fall completely head over heels in love with it. The Book Thief and The Pillars of the Earth are some of my favorites, and now All The Light as been added to it as well.
I loved the multiple pov's. I loved the short chapters. I loved the characters and their dynamics. I loved the setting. This book was absolutely phenomenal and so so incredibly sad but uplifting at the same time. There's just something about 1940's Germany that plucks at my heartstrings, but also piques my interest. The dedication and love and admiration the people had for Hitler is incredible, in a sickly fascinating way. The warped views and blind justice. Did half the soldiers even know why they were fighting? Probably not. Yet they went out and threw themselves into the fray and died for their country.

"You will strip away your weakness, your cowardice, your hesitation. You will become like a waterfall, a volley of bullets- you will all surge in the same direction at the same pace toward the same cause. You will forgo comforts; you will live by duty alone. You will eat country and breathe nation." 

Our main characters, Marie-Laure and Werner, were diverse enough that it held my attention. Some reviews I read complained about the slow pace, but I honestly never felt that. I looked forward to reading about how Marie-Laure functioned while blind; the strings leading from doorways to kitchen tables, to the trip wire that rings a bell if the gate is opened, to the way she counts drainpipes to get a sense of direction. It was fascinating. It gave her a depth that few kids have, a sense of awareness in the world. She never whined about the disability; instead she made the most of her life, enjoying the small things, like the smell of flowers or the feel of snails or the ocean surging around her feet. She was my precious little child and I wanted to scoop her up and snuggle her to my chest.
Werner was my precious little cinnamon roll. All the poor kid wanted to do was build radios and get answers to all his question, yet was swept up into the Hitler Youth and used for his tech brain. He witnessed things most people don't see in their lifetime today, except for maybe on tv or in movies. He was sweet and thoughtful and small and had white hair. I mean how much more cute could a kid get?! And when him and Marie-Laure met... THE TEARS, PEOPLE. THE TEARS WERE FLOWING. I couldn't figure out what the connection between the two were, and I loved how elaborate it was. It wasn't just one thing, or a small stroke of luck; it was something that was set before they were even born, and that only made the book even more beautiful and thoughtful.
The writing was amazing and vivd, and I could easily picture all the cities they were in; Paris and Saint-Malo for Marie-Laure, and the small mining town where Werner was born, and then all the places he traveled too while in the army.
All The Light We Cannot See is an alluring story about the different aspects of war, the destruction of it, and how sometimes, the most unlikely of people can be set on paths that intertwine in the most unlikeliest of ways.

""So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?"

"Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever."

""You know the greatest lesson of history? It's that history is whatever the victors say it is. That's the lesson. Whoever wins, thats who's decides the history."

"There is pride, too, though- pride that he has done it alone. That his daughter is so curious, so resilient. There is the humility of being a father to someone so powerful, as if he were only a narrow conduit for another, greater thing. That's how it feels right now, he thinks, kneeling beside her, rinsing her hair; as though his love for his daughter will outstrips the limits of his body. The walls could fall away, even the whole city, and the brightness of that feeling would not wane."

""When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don't you do the same?"
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Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession (TTT)

Monday, July 13, 2015

This meme is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish :) 

1. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

3. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oaks

4. We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

5. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

6. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

7. Amy & Rogers Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

8. Kiss of Death by Lauren Henderson

9. Trail By Fire by Josephine Angelini

10. Salvage by Alexandra Duncan 

What have you recently bought? Any recommendations for my next purchase? God knows I shouldn't buy any more books but, oh well. 
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Happy Monday!

Hi guys! Sorry this was posted so late, I had work this morning and forgot to do it. This has definitely been a slow reading month for me so far, which I'm trying not to stress too much about. I was sick for almost a week and couldn't read, it was awful!

Finished Last Week
Nada. Ouch.

Currently Reading
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

To Read
Into A Million Pieces by Angela Cook
The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

Happy readings :)

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Underhyped Recommendation: The Unearthly trilogy

Friday, July 10, 2015

So, since I was in a book slump all last week and these last couple of days (it's finally gone, praise the lawd!), I've been severely neglecting my blog with fresh content. So I was trying to think of something to post and finally thought that I would make a list of my favorite underhyped books! Or maybe even do a weekly/ monthly feature of them. Anything to show some love for my favorite not-so-popular books :)

And once I'm finally reunited with my beautiful books, I'll feature some more prettier picture of them, but for now we'll just have to deal with collaged pictures. T-minus one month until I have them EEEEP<3

The Unearthly trilogy by Cynthia Hand

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees...
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

This is a trilogy I look fondly at because, besides my annoyance at a character, I liked it in every aspect. The plot, characters, pace, drama, love interests, and the writing. It was just... good. Plus, the ending surprised me in the best way possible. I usually have issues with endings and just am never really satisfied with them (unless we're talking about Ignite Me). It's not my favorite, but it's definitely high up there as being a solid trilogy. And I was wowed that it was Hand's debut series. And I know that summary makes the love triangle seem really sappy and weird, like she's going to fall for both the angel and the devil ooooooOOOHHHH IRONIC CAUSE HELLO SHES PART ANGEL, but it's not. It's really well developed and sweet and so NOT what you expect. I loved it, and this book opened my eyes to the beauty of Wyoming as well. If you like reading about angels, or want to start, this is the perfect place to begin! 

(Pictures and summary from Goodreads)
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Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

This meme is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish :)

1. Legend by Marie Lu
People literally scream about how the last book in this trilogy ripped their hearts out aND I NEED TO KNOW WHY ARGGHH.

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I'm a huge fan of contemporary, so it hurts my heart to say that I haven't read this book. I've literally heard NO negative comments on this book. 

3. Angelfall by Susan Ee
Another amazing dystopian people scream about that I haven't read yet. *sighs*

4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Nothing pulls at my heartstrings more then 1940's Germany.

5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater
Seriously THIS IS ALL I SEE ON TUMBLR. I have this book on my TBR shelf and it's gonna happen, damnit. I'M TIRED OF BEING LEFT OUT OF THE LOOP.

6. Amy and Rogers Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Who doesn't love road trips and playlists and romance?! 

7. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
I personally was very, very, VERY excited for this book. You know when you're so excited for a book, but it takes so long to come out that you've forgotten how amazing it is? I know that once I read it I'll curse myself to hell for not having read it sooner.

8. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Woah hype. Seriously, everyone raves about this book. I'm hoping to get to it before the sequel comes out. 

9. Anything by Colleen Hoover
I've only read Maybe Someday and Ugly Love, and since I loved both of those so much, I naturally want to read her other novels. And seriously, everyone raves about them. She's superwoman! 

10. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I have this book on my TBR pile. It'll happen. I SWEAR. 

What books are on your list? Let me know down in the comments! :)

Also, apologies for any grammatical errors! I'm slightly loopy as I type this and have a weird feeling that some of the blurbs I've typed don't really make any sense. When will I get over this weird sickness? The world may never know. 
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Happy Monday!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hi guys! So I've been pretty sick these past couple of days, something I absolutely hate cause I can't read. So it's tv and staring at the wall for me. I watched season 4 and 5 of Vampire Diaries and the first five episodes of Reign, which I'm really liking. Except for the creepy potato sack girl. Does she creep anybody else out?! She reminds me of the horror movie The Strangers *shudders*

Read Last Week
Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Currently Reading
My Soul Immortal by Jen Printy

To Read
Into A Million Pieces by Angela Cook
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I have a feeling I won't get to either of these books for at least another week. Damn you, sickness!!

Happy readings :)

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Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Friday, July 3, 2015

Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: September 9th, 2014
Pages: 304
Song I Played While Reading: Roses by The Chainsmokers
Rating: 4 stars

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. 

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? 

This book reminded me of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, mostly because it evoked the same reaction in me when I finished it; that quiet, thoughtful mood where you contemplate life and realize how precious it is.  I don't read a lot of suicidal/illness books because it leaves me with this weird hollow feeling, as if I'm wasting my life or not appreciating it enough. But the way Zhang intertwined Newtons Laws of Motions really cinched the deal for me. Plus, it might have been free on Amazon. Shoutout to whoever tweeted about it and made my day a whole lot better!
Theres nothing as complex as the popular girls in high school. I mean that shit is fascinating, in a weird sort of way where its like watching a train wreck and wanting to look away but not being able to. It's awful, but... you have to keep watching. Or reading, in this case. And I always say, when an author can make a reader care about the villain, or a cruel character, then you've stumbled upon gold. Some people don't like Liz solely because she's the mean girl and don't care that she struggles with depression. She chooses to say and do those mean things, and what her personal life and relationships are should not affect what she does to other people. I know this because I usually say this. But once in a blue moon, I stumble across a character who I can't help but want to cradle in my arms, even though they're awful and rude to people. I felt that way with Samantha in Before I Fall, and now I feel that way with Liz. 
She's so different from me, and had that all American upbringing and high school experience, that a part of me thrived off of reading about her. What person isn't ever jealous of the popular girls? To do whatever you want and get away with it all, to party all night and still show up to school hunger but beautiful, to be filthy rich and have everything you want at the tips of your fingers? It's so glamorous. 
But there was also this dark part of me that couldn't help but relate to her. It was the irrational fear of invisibility; of not having left your mark on the world. It was the feeling of being completely lost and scared, of not knowing who you are and struggling so hard to find that connection that once made you strong. I think everyone has gone through this is in some sort of way, and thats what really makes you care for Liz. She struggles to live. 
Besides her point of view, we also see the effects of her accident from her mother, best friends, and a boy who has a crush on her. It shows us the complexities of human nature, how everyone is flawed and struggling with something. No one is solely good or bad; there's a balance between them, and we see what happens when one side is tipped too far. Each person had a hand (all unintentionally) in her choice to driver her car off the road, and I love the idea of those connections bringing her back and making her want to live. It was beautiful to see how much of an impact Liz had on each of them too, and I teared up A LOT at the end. It's funny, but sad, how some people can only see the bad they cause when they can bring so much joy to others. 
I can't recommend this book enough, especially for people who like complicated characters. It was was absolutely breathtaking and refreshing, making you really think about human nature and the different type of masks people wear to survive. 

"Because Liz Emerson held so much darkness within her that closing her eyes didn't make much of a difference at all." 

"It was her oldest fear, that silence. She had always hated when there was nothing to say, hated the minutes of darkness at sleepovers as everyone drifted off but didn't quite sleep, hated study hall, hated pauses in phone calls. Other little girls feared the dark, and they grew up and left their fears behind. Liz was afraid of silence, and she kept her fear clenched so tightly in her fists that they grew and grew and swallowed her whole."

"She wished they had talked more about how all of the equations were derived. She wanted to know how Galileo and Newton and Einstein discovered the things they discovered. She wanted to know how they could have lived in the exact same world as every else but see things no one else did."

"Some people died because the world did not deserve them.
Liz Emerson, on the other hand, did not deserve the world." 
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June 2015 Wrap Up

Thursday, July 2, 2015

- The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

- The Selection, The Elite, The One, The Heir, and the two novellas, The Prince and The Queen by Kiera Cass

- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

- The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi

Overall, this was a fantastic reading month! My favorite would have to be The Invasion of the Tearling. What did you read this month? :) 
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