Top Ten Books Recently Added to My TBR

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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

Volition by Lily Paradis 
You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach that stays with you, then tears you apart slowly at first, and all at once shreds every fiber of your being? 
It’s because you’re contradicting the universe. 
Everything lines up so perfectly that you couldn’t have imagined it to work out better, but then you have to go and do everything humanly possible to ruin it because you can’t stand to have it go right? 
That’s what I did. 
I did it because there’s a darkness that surrounds me, and I think I want it there. 
My name is Tate McKenna, and my soul is blacker than my heart.
Like... ??? I have no words for how creepy and awesome that sounds. Kudos to whoever wrote that. I don't even know what this is about. Is it a fantasy  A contemporary? A dystopian? NO ONE TELL ME. I want to be surprised. 

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen 
This is the story of a princess who has been in hiding for 19 years, and finally decides its time to take her rightful place on the throne. Though she led quite the normal life before descending the throne and in turn feels very insecure about her abilities as a princess, she has one thing on her side: the Queens cadre (boys boys BOYS) and a magical necklace that has immense power. Shenanigans ensue as soon as she steps foot into the castle. What I liked most about the description of the book was that she was described "plain", which always helps a girl relate more to a character if she has some self-esteem issues (is that horrible of me to say?), she loves to read (can I get a hell yeah?!) and I like how the story is flipped. Instead of running away from her responsibilities at court, she's made the decision to put on her big girl panties and confront all those nasty royals. Plus the hardback cover??? G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S 

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Finally jumping on the Gayle Forman bandwagon and decided to start with this beaut. Mostly because I don't plan on reading If I Stay since I saw the movie, and I'm in this huge traveling phase, so I figured this sounds perfect. And it takes place in one day. I can't tell if I'll hate that or not. So we shall see! 

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
I was a huuuuuuuuge Sarah Dessen fan when I was younger. That's all I read when I first started inhaling books; SD, Meg Cabot, Alyson Noel (in her contemporary days), and Hailey Abbot. You know, those coming-of-age contemporaries that feature first love, death, or suicide. My goal this year is to read more contemporaries and I feel like she's the queen of them. 

Loosing Hope by Colleen Hoover
Another queen of contemporaries! *insert raised hands emoji* 

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
The second I read that this was a love story between siblings.. I got a flashback to Stolen by Lucy Christopher. Its the kind of love story that makes you hide behind your fingers and wish you didn't feel this way cause it's wrong. You know its wrong, yet you fall in love with their love and I just have a feeling I'll do exactly that with his book and it will break my heart. I'm ready Suzuma. BREAK IT.

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
The thing that pulled my in first was the cover. Y'all. It's STUNNING. Then, I read that it was about a crazy girl. I love crazy people. Their minds are completely fascinating. And THEN I read that it was also a murder mystery and I dropped everything and drooled on my computer a little. And then I cried cause it doesn't come out till October. DAMNIT.

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
Another cover that pulled me in the second I saw it. Kate's mother dies, leaving her completely alone. She's reeling from the death and doesn't know what to do. So isn't it the mother of all surprises when her father shows up in her living room, whisking her away into his politically-fueled life. He's running for President. I've always wondered what it must be like to be the daughter of a president. I'm hoping he wins early on in the book so we get the full affect of the White House and all it entails when you live in it. Plus I read a review where a person described it as being like All American Girl by Meg Cabot and that is ONLY one of my all time favorite kiddy books. So hell yes this is going on my TBR list!

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I've been dying to get my hands on one of Armentrouts other books ever since I devoured The Lux series. I've heard she's the queen at romance and that all of her other books rock as much as the aliens did, so I added this to my list. Plus, theres elements of Shatter Me in here because the main character can kill anyone by kissing them. And she's half demon and half gargoyle. That.. just sounds weird. But cool. 

99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Theres nothing I love more than a love triangle with two brothers. It's my weakness. And this book is what happens when you have an explosive break up with one of them because you hooked up with the other. And you're stuck for the summer in your home with everyone hating you. And uh oh, the one brother you cheated on was supposed to be gone but SURPRISE HE'S HERE. And so is the other one. Does this not just sound awesome?! And hopefully not too confusing because I'm bad at summarizing books.

What're some of your recently added TBR books? 
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Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

Monday, March 30, 2015

Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 14th, 2014
Pages: 360
Song I Played While Reading: I Wish You Would by Taylor Swift
Rating: 3 stars

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.
Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.
But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden... until now.

As I've felt with the past couple of books I've read, I have mixed feelings on this story. There wasn't really a plot; instead, this spans a year and a half (ish) of Charlottes life, which definitely gives it more of a realistic feel instead of a whole bunch of crap happening in the span of a month or two. I found everything to be a little flat, definitely not glamorous, with the exception of a few scenes. I had a hard time emotionally connecting to the Buchanan's, though the ending definitely took me off guard and twisted my heart a little. No family deserves a tragedy. But I thought the way they handled it, and the way they handled Charlotte too, was just outright rude. So their appealing life was ruined for me. 
I liked Charlotte. She was easily relatable and I found myself thinking that I would have done all the same things she did. She wasn't super spunky, but wasn't super shy. She flowed down the middle and was content to watching this fascinating new world she was introduced to from the sideline, just like I would be. Plus she owned her tall stature. Of the tall narrators I've read from, she's one of the few who accepts it. And this made me like her a lot more because I'm slightly jealous of tall people.
The rest of the characters, like her friends from school, were refreshing. They all came from different backgrounds and did different things, but were a great bunch of girls. My favorite was Rosalie.
And of the Buchanan group, I think I liked Cordelia the most. She was the youngest and always tried to use big words, and I admired that about her (even though she usually mixed them up or butchered the pronunciation). 
I love a well executed past tense. Theres a sad finality to it, an inevitability that makes you wonder what went wrong. 

"Even knowing, as I do now, that grace, power, and yes, love, can hide the darkest elements of the human heart,  I would do it all again. Beginning with the night I met her, then him, then the rest. I would it all again just to know that for a moment I was one of the Great Buchanans."

Knowing you can't do anything about it, that all the false promises and whispered secrets will soon fall upon deaf ears, pulls emotions from you. Knowing is worse than being completely caught off guard because at least you were fully there in the moment. There was a future. You were excited. 
Bah, that just made me sound so morbid. I swear this book is 70% happy and fun. So if you enjoy a coming-of-age story about friendship and first love, with a glittering backdrop of finely-written places, then I recommend this one. 

""Charlie, I'm serious." She took both of my hands and slapped them together between her own. "Say you'll at least think about it. I want to run away and I want my best friend with me."
I would have promised her the moon, if it had been mine to give." 

“Before that night, I didn't grasp that the shadows that sometimes crossed her face weren't momentary clouds passing in front of the sun. Her deep silences were more than daydreams. And her habit of standing with her arms wrapped around her ribs was a way of holding herself together.
I didn't get there must be balance.
She couldn't hold so much life, light, and joy without also containing their opposites.” 

(Image and synopsis from Goodreads)
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It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Hello hello! Can anyone believe it's almost April? I sure as hell can't. A month has never flown by so fast for me. I had quite the morning; I woke up at 8:30 and got an email from my boss asking if I could come in at 10 to fill out some paperwork for my new job. He had the entire weekend and choose THAT morning to respond. Boo people.
This meme is hosted by Book Journey.

Finished This Week
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (reread)
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Walking Disaster by Jenna McGuire
The Winners Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Currently Reading
Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

Upcoming Books
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
The Madmans Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepherd or the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. Which one should I read?

Happy readings :)
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The Winners Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Winners Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014
Pages: 384
Song I Played While Reading: Talking Body by Tove Love
Rating: 3/3.5 stars

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love... 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

This book had its strong points and its weak points. It definitely didn't live up to the hype for me, but I did enjoy the read. Honestly, my only complaint would be how slow it was. And its not because its the first book and we're being introduced to a new world. Because we aren't, in a way. It's a weird mix of fantasy and history because its just like our past, but with a few tweaks here and there. And those tweaks were refreshing and new. They worked.
The problem was that nothing really happened. The relationship between the two narrators was slow (I'm not complaining), and it didn't shake up their world until the middle of the book. So for the first 100 pages or so Kestrel went about her days like she normally would.
It was a pleasure being in such a bright mind though. She wasn't like the normal heroines, strong and able to fight. What she lacked in fighting skills, she excelled with her brilliant mind. She never faltered, thinking through every decisions and taking into account any missteps. She was cunning, smart, and knew how to use her words as a weapon. I admire that more in a person than simple strength. She also was fair and level-headed, never taking anyones shit. She was determined to pave her own path. 
I also really enjoyed Arin. He was similar to Kestrel in their composure and struggled to do the right thing, even if other people were telling him to do the opposite. Their was no insta-love. These were just two people who found a kindred spirit in each other.
The plot was a little sluggish at times, but overall developed well. I was surprised at the direction this novel went and really enjoyed seeing it from Kestrel's pov. I related easily to her internal struggles and wasn't quiet sure how this story was going to end. But once it did I was clamoring to get my hands on the next book. I have high hopes for it and expect it to completely blow this book to the dust. 

"Kestrel remembered the woman's stricken gray eyes. "The Herrani tell too many stories." They had been dreamers. Her father always said this was why they had been easy to conquer."

"This didn't trouble her- which did trouble her. Shouldn't she care? Didn't she welcome Ronan's attention? Yet the idea that he had fathered a child skimmed the surface of her mind and slipped in quietly, without a splash or gulp or quiver." 

"He opened his saddlebags to reveal lunch, then unfurled a picnic blanket with a flourish, settled onto it, and stretched out his long form. Kestrel joined him. He poured a glass of wine and offered it.
She lifted a brow. "That is a rather large amount of wine for this time of day."
"I hope to ply you with it, and make you say things you won't regret."
She sipped, watching him pour a second cup, and said, "Are you not afraid for yourself?"
He drank. "Why should I be?"
"Perhaps it is you who will reveal things he'd rather not. I understand you've been paying call to Lady Faris?"
"Jealous, Kestrel?"

""Kestrel." The general touched her shoulder. When he spoke, his voice was uncharacteristically hesitant. "It's every child's duty to survive her parents. My profession isn't a safe one. I would like- Kestrel, when I die, do not mourn me."
She smiled. "You do not command me," she said, and kissed his cheek."

"Ronan didn't speak for a few moments, then touched a slim braid that curled in a tendril along Kestrel's cheek. "This is pretty."
The memory of Arin's hands in her hair made her stiffen.
"Gorgeous?" Ronan tried again. "Transcendent? Kestrel, the right adjective hasn't been invented to describe you."

(Synopsis from Goodreads)
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Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Pubilsher: Atria Books
Publication Date: January 1st, 2013
Pages: 448
Song I Played While Reading: Don't by Ed Sheeran
Rating: 1 star

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My mom was the one who introduced me to Beautiful Disaster while at the book store. She thought the cover looked pretty. I thought the story sounded awesome so I bought it and quickly raced home, eager to crack it open. I didn't realize it was New Adult. Hell, I didn't even know New Adult existed. But that wasn't my issue with the book. 
You know how you read the blurb on the back and then read the book and realize they only skimmed the surface of the story and decided to keep most of it a secret? Thats how BD was. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. For me, it didn't. The blurb only mentions them making the bet, but theres so much more that happens after that that I was caught of guard. It was not at all what I expected and it kinda pissed me off. 
But when I saw this book and realized it was from Travis's POV I thought I might enjoy the story more. Girls are more dramatic and I figured Travis would be more of an easier head to slip into then Abby's was. Sadly, it wasn't
It was almost worse in his head because he was so hung up on Abby that whenever they were would get into a little argument, or really duke it out, he would mope around and complain and literally think of nothing else. His entire world revolved around Abby and it got boring after a while (and super annoying). I felt no sympathy for either of them because they were bringing it on themselves. They never talked, and the few times they did, they skirted around the issue and made themselves completely miserable. Like I've said before I hate drama, and these two are that couple that fights hard and loves harder and blows things completely out of proportion. It's exhausting to me. 
I was surprised at some of the things McGuire chose to omit from the story and found that to be one of the reasons why the story felt so rushed. You definitely need to read BD before this one so their conversations and quick transitions from scene to scene make more sense. 
I enjoyed parts of the book and would find myself jumping back to BD to see it from Abby's POV. The contrast between them was amusing, but they lacked the depth for me to emotionally relate to them. They weren't flushed out well enough and were very flat, which is ironic because I also found them to be completely outrageous. 
One thing I absolutely loved about this book was the epilogue and thought it was the perfect ending to this story. It wrapped things up perfectly and put to rest some lingering issues. This was definitely an interesting read and I recommend it if you enjoyed Beautiful Disaster!

"Becky put her soft, warm hand on my shoulder, just like Mommy used to when I was upset. "Your mom wants to be here with you. She wants that very much. But Jesus wants her with him right now."
I frowned. "I need her more than Jesus does."

"I headed to my bedroom, and slipped on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. Wallet, phone, keys. I couldn't imagine being a girl. The bullshit routine they had to go through just to get out the door consumed half their lives."

(Image and synopsis from Goodreads)
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Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Friday, March 27, 2015

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: March 18th, 2014
Pages: 384
Song I Played While Reading: Theres a soundtrack to this book and let me just warn you now: it's going to rip your heart apart. I'll leave the link for the website here and a free download here
Rating: 5 stars

At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her—and she’s forced to decide what her next move should be.

Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can't take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.

Where do I begin with this book? How do I piece together my broken heart? It's taken quiet the beating this week, the poor thing. 
This novel was breathtaking from start to finish. Everything about it was flawless; the plot, the characters, THE MUSIC, the romance, and the writing style. Like I've said before, Hoover writes in a refreshingly straightforward way and it doesn't disappoint. Something I noticed while reading was how long it took me to get through this. I literally felt like I had read 200 pages when I had only read 50. But that was probably my favorite aspect of the book because I really got to know the characters and their world (plus I'm pretty sure I listened to each song 5 different times as they popped up in the story). Sydney was a very relatable character for me and I loved her. Everything she felt, I felt, and I just wanted to be able to throw my arms around her and cry alongside her because she goes through so much. 
This book was just one surprise after another, and the biggest of all was Ridge. Y'all know what I'm talking about if you've read this. This book gets an added depth and beauty to it once we're introduced to him, and it was fascinating. He's probably one of the most selfless guys I've ever had the honor to read about. Every page left me wishing, over and over again, that I would find someone like him. We rarely get guys like this in stories. Sydney and Ridge also hold nothing back and I loved how they handled everything in such a mature way. I hate unnecessary drama and it was so refreshing to see two people work things out instead of letting the emotions simmer in them. 
There were added twists that I didn't see coming and I kept thinking to myself "How the hell is Hoover going to work this one out?", and then she would go and do it and it would usually leave me heartbroken. 
Thats one thing this book doesn't lack: heartbreak. 
Never mind the fact that I now know every thought process behind each song on the album and have it on repeat (I like torturing myself), but their situation is so shitty but also so achingly stunning that you just want to scream and throw the book against the wall. I was torn in two and the crying really started in chapter 19, and escalated with every page until I had to put the book down cause I couldnt see anything. The love between these two characters was more than just the usual NA romance. Besides the unusual choice of barrier between them, they fall in love with each other through music. They pour their hearts out, giving life to these songs. Their connection is the main focus and it truly will take your breath away at how Hoover manages to weave their building relationship. It's unlike anything I've ever read. 
I have a feeling Colleen Hoover is going to become one of my new favorite authors and more than likely be the death of me. 
Another character I squealed over was Warren. He was the major comic relief and for that I (obviously) fell in love with him. Nothing can undo me like a guy with a sense of humor. It also doesn't help that I'm reading the novella, Maybe Not, right now and its centered around how him and Bridgette first met and I've had to set my kindle down multiple times to wipe away the tears of laughter. Plus fan my face a little because they have quiet the connection. Hoover definitely makes up for the almost zero foreplay we get in Maybe Someday and piles it all in Maybe Not. 
This book is absolutely amazing and one of a kind. Pick this sucker up pronto, you won't regret it!

"Me: Gigs are what gets your name out there.

Brennan: OUR name. I'm not telling you again to stop acting like you aren't half of this.

Me: I won't be if I can't work through this damn block.

Brennan: Maybe you should get out more. Cause some unnecessary drama in your life. Break up with Maggie for the sake of art. She'll understand. Heartache helps with lyrical inspiration. Don't you ever listen to country?" 

"For her I bend, for you I break"

"It wasn't the fact that she texted about hooking up with someone. What terrified me was my knee-jerk reaction. I wanted to throw my phone against the wall and smash it into a million pieces, then throw her against the wall and show her all the ways I could ensure she never thinks about another man again."

"There are only twenty-six letters in the English alphabet. You would think there would only be so much you could do with twenty-six letters. You would think there were only so many ways those letters could make you feel when mixed up and shoved together to make words.
However, there are infinite ways those twenty-six letters can make a person feel, and this song is living proof. I'll never understand how a few simple words strung together can change a person, but this song, these words, are completely changing me. I feel like my maybe someday just became my right now."

(Synopsis from Goodreads)
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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 25th, 2010
Pages: 470
Song I Played While Reading: Young Blood by Bea Miller
Rating: 5 stars

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is… until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

I have been wanting to reread this for so long. It's one of my absolute favorites and it killed me. Again. 
Never has a book been so cruel and sad, yet also so achingly beautiful and honest that it takes your breath away. Its honestly so hard for me to write this review because it's left me speechless. The only way for you to understand how stunning this novel is is to read it. Then you'll want to break things and scream about how unfair life is, like I feel like doing right now. 
My high school is nothing like the usual high schools you read in books and see on tv. We don't have a bullying problem. We don't have cliques. Its... bland, I guess you call it. Each class is divided only by the people you hangout with, and theres usually no issues between them. And we're all so friendly with each other that most of the grade shows up to parties. So I've never been able to relate to the all-american high school or had to deal with "the popular girls". Nor have I been as mean as Sam was. Don't get me wrong I did stupid shit and maybe hurt some people in the process, but the amount of times I did it with the full intent of malice? I can count them all on one hand. And most of it happened in 6th grade. So the kind of cruelty Sam, Lindsey, Elody, and Ally throw at Juliet still to this day makes me cringe. 
But this book is also filled with that kind of friendship that I've always wished I had; the glamorous kind, where you dress up for school and gossip and party and smoke cigarettes and basically get away with anything you want. It reminds me of Gossip Girl. So I absolutely loved that aspect to this book, even if the friendships did get a little ugly. 
I'm a sucker for good character development, and oh Lord did this book deliver in that area. Actually, it almost delivered it too well (Sam realizing and accepting the direction her life was heading?? I DONT THINK SO, DAMNIT). It reminds me of the five stages of grief:
Personally, angry Samantha is my favorite. She doesn't give a fuck and does whatever the hell she wants, and its invigorating since it's so unlike her. Can you imagine doing whatever you wanted for one day, knowing time will rewind itself? The possibilities are endless. I would like it if I had someone there with me, and knew it would end at some point. 
I loved all the characters, even the annoying ones. They all helped her along her journey. And it was absolutely insane realizing that a single action could create a reaction that could make or break someones day. Or by not doing that action, it could create a whole different set of reactions. All the different counteractions we see when Sam does something different is cool but it also kinda gave me a headache. I always end up thinking way too hard on the topic and it just gives me a giant brain fart. 
Please, please, please do yourself a favor and read this book. It'll make you cry at how beautiful life can be. It'll make you appreciate your family and friends and all the little things in your life. It might make you realize some things and hopefully guide you along to changing them (if you find that you need to). It'll also be a kick ass ride and you'll fall in love with Lauren Oliver's writing. 

"His hands inch over my stomach and his fingers are pulling at the underwire of my bra. He's not very good with bras. He's not that good with breasts in general, actually. I mean, it's not like I really know what it's supposed to feel like, but every time he touches my boobs he kind of just massages them hard in a circle. My gyno does the same thing when I go in for an exam, so one of them has to be doing it wrong. And to be honest, I don't think it's my gyno."

"Walking into parties always gives me a crampy feeling at the bottom of my stomach. It's a good feeling, though: the feeling of knowing anything can happen. Most of the time nothing does, of course. Most of the time one night blends into the next, and weeks blend into weeks, and months into other months. And soon or later we all die.
But at the beginning of the night anythings possible." 

"Heres one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It's like that old riddle about a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if theres no one around to hear it. 
You keep drawing a line farther and farther away, crossing it every time. That's how people end up stepping off the edge of the earth. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to bust out of orbit, to spin out to a place where no one can touch you. To lose yourself- to get lost."

"So many things become beautiful when you really look."

""I'm gonna flash them," I say, and am suddenly thrilled with the perfect, pure simplicity of it: I'm going to do it. So much easier and cleaner than Maybe I should or Won't we get in trouble? or Oh my god, I could never. Yes. Three letters."

(Image and synopsis from Goodreads)
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Top Ten Books I Want To Revisit

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hi guys! On this fine Tuesday we will be talking about books from our childhood/teen years (for me I'm making it preteen years) that we wish we could revisit and read for the first time. This meme is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

My preteen years were so wrapped up in these books that my mom calls it my Twilight phase. I was 150% OBSESSED with these books. I lived, breathed, ate, and slept twilight. For a while I was super embarrassed over this period in my life and now I look back on it fondly (that makes me sound so old). I've read these books so many times that I can't even remember when I first started reading them, but I would love to be able to feel all that I did that first time.

My other biggest book obsession, Vampire Academy. I actually found a picture on my computer of when I first started reading VA, Christimas of 2008. My mom got me the first three books for Christmas and I've thanked her a billion times since then for introducing me to the VA world. Rose Hathaway is my number one girl and always will be. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to read these books for the fist time.  I hope I gave them justice and flipped the shit out like I would do now.

(THE SLIPPERS. THE IPOD. THE FLANNEL PANTS. Nothing has changed, I kid you not. I'm typing this from the same house too!)

The first books (that I can remember) that got me into reading. I'd never had any hobbies and absolutely hated reading. I remember in Kindergarten when we would have to read a book to the teacher I would pick the book with the least amount of words, which usually consisted of each page depicting an animal and the name of it written at the bottom of the page. I was a clever little brat, wasn't I? Anyways, we had to do Book Reports in fifth grade and I had already read Holes and enjoyed it, so me and my friend decided to read Small Steps and raced to see who could finish first. I finished it 2 days before her and remember thinking "Holy shit. I'm good at this. I finished it a whole 2 days before her!" I rubbed it in her face and she got super pissed but I didn't care. I was hooked (also I definitely didn't think "holy shit" to myself at that age, so maybe it was like "holy cow" or something. But you get my point). 

A Time for Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin
I don't remember exactly when I read this, probably in middle school, but all I know is that this broke me. I ran into my moms room bawling my eyes out, crying about how unfair life is, and I think this is when she realized how insane I could get over books. This is one of those inconsequential books that you read, expecting to fly through it, and instead it makes such a huge impact on you that you always remember it.

If I Have A Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? by Melissa Kantor
One of the first books I bought from Borders once I moved on from devouring the entire YA section at the library. It still has the sticker on the back and I absolutely adore the cover, though I remember little from the story. It was a light read but will always hold a place on my bookcase as the start of my book buying craze. 

Inside Girl by J. Minter
The best way I can describe these books is that that they are a more tamed and nicer version of Gossip Girl. Theres 8 books in total and I actually haven't read them all, but I was completely hooked by Flans glamorous life. I remember wishing I could live in New York and strut around the streets in Marc Jacobs and kiss pretty boys and go to amazing parties.

Naturally I read Gossip Girl next and boy was I obsessed. On my christmas wish list that year I asked for everything Serena Van Der Woodson and Blair Waldorf had, and to say that my mom was simultaneously amused and annoyed is an understatement. Luckily I moved on from that expensive phase and got a reality check. But reliving that first read-through would be quite amusing.

Summer Boys by Hailey Abbott
I shared these books with my cousin and we were both completely swept up in the stories. What girl doesn't love a cliche summer romance? Plus these covers are amazing.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet
I think you guys are going to be a little surprised at this next book... My cousin was reading this on our family vacation in San Diego when I was maybe 11? 12? Anyways I picked it up, curious to see what it was about, and started reading it. It was so different from what I usually read that I was completely enamored and went out and bought it and gobbled it up. Needless to say my parents were alarmed and in awe (and so were most of my school teachers when they saw me hauling this huge ass book around) when I finished this. Maybe I was trying to prove something? Who knows. I loved it though and am dying to reread it, especially now that I'm not, you know, 12. 

The Mediator series by Meg Cabot
I absolutely loved these books and Meg Cabot. In 6th grade I went through a huge Meg Cabot phase and still hold a spot in my heart for all those books. My other favorites from her are the All-American Girl duology and Avalon High. The latter is the first book where I ever swooned over a guy, so that DEFINITELY holds a spot in heart. Specifically, the love triangle in it *drools*  

What're some of your childhood/teen year favorites? 
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It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Monday everyone! Who saw Insurgent over the weekend? I did! I'm a little disappointed, to be honest. It felt really rushed and all the emotions seemed forced. Tris suffers so much trauma from Divergent and we see that in the book, but it wasn't portrayed well into the movie. The two things I really enjoyed were Four and Peter, especially the latter. He stole the show and I was cracking up whenever he had screen time.
I also saw Fifty Shades of Grey and surprisingly enjoyed it.
Okay, meme time. This one is hosted by Book Journey :)

Finished This Week
I had a surprise visit from my cousin and she asked me if I wanted join her in Monterey for couple of days, so I was only able to finished two books this week.
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Upcoming Books
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and then I'm going to start either the Unremembered trilogy by Jessica Brody or Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. I'm on this major contemporary kick, which is rare for me, so I kinda wanna keep it going. We'll see!

Happy readings :)
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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 5th, 2014
Pages: 322
Song I Played While Reading: All You Had To Do Was Stay by Taylor Swift
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

This was my first Colleen Hoover book. I've been dying to get my hands on one of her books ever since they exploded across the book world a year ago. It's funny because she's been writing books for years but I never heard her name until last year, when my favorite booktuber mentioned her, and then she started popping up everywhere I looked. All I knew of her was that she wrote NA contemporaries and that they simultaneously gave you the feels but ripped your heart open. So I was excited to start this, and I wasn't disappointed.
Her writing style was the first thing I noticed. Specifically, how straightforward it was. There was no frilly, lyrical woos or descriptive metaphors. It was black and white, and I found it refreshing, albeit a little odd in the beginning. I've been reading so much fantasy lately that whenever I'm stuck on Earth with regular human issues it takes me a little while to adjust.
Something that really really REALLY bothered me while reading other reviews on Goodreads was all the shit people were talking about Tate and how she "let this hot guy walk all over her." If you had a heart, or even any sympathy at all, you'd realize that is so not the case. Tate was an awesome narrator and I hate seeing people demean her just because she enjoys sex and agreed to have a purely physical relationship with a guy. You know from his chapters he has some emotional trauma and that's the reason why he doesn't want a relationship. But just because we know that doesn't mean we also don't know HE CLEARLY WANTS TATE. He was just as hurt as Tate was, and the whole situation was shitty, but don't belittle the book by saying all that garbage. It's rude. Tate is independent and knows how to handle herself. Don't hate her because she fell for a beautiful, broken boy. It happens. 
Okay rant done, I promise. 
As you can probably tell I have MAJOR feels for this book and loved it. I was drunk off it for the fist 100 pages and was cackling to myself like the weirdo I am. Theres nothing sweeter then the first stage of the relationship; meeting, usually not liking the person, begrudgingly noticing how hot they are, and the rest that leads to them getting together. Specifically, epic stare downs that had me choking on my own spit because picturing it in my head was too ridiculous. 
I loved Tate and sympathized with her immensely. If I had been in her situation, I would have done and felt the exact same feelings, which is rare for me. Miles was a more surprising character, simultaneously being closed off and super emotional. The chapters from his pov were such a contrast to the man he was with Tate that I would often think of them as two different people, so I was a little caught off guard at the ending and how everything came full circle. 
I loved Corbin and how protective he was of Tate. I also absolutely adored Cap and all his little jokes and knowledge, specifically the one about birthmarks and how there placement signifies how you were killed in your past life. How cool of a thought is that?!
The reason why I didn't give this a full 5 stars is because I lost a little interest in it after Miles and Tate settled into their arrangement. It was the same thing; sex, emotional confusion, sex, more emotion confusion, sex, emotions, emotions, emotions. I didn't hate it, but I had to dock half a star for it. But besides the little lull this book was fantastic!

"I toss the covers off and stand up, then walk to the door and meet his gaze. "Do me a favor and take a step back."
Surprisingly, he does. I keep my eyes locked with his until the bedroom door slams in his face and I'm looking at the back of the door. I smile and walk back to my bed. I lie down and pull the covers over my head.
I win."

"Everything is Miles.
That's how it is when a person develops an attraction toward someone. He's nowhere, then suddenly he's everywhere, whether you want him to be or not."

"When we reach the bathrooms, he walks into the men's restroom without pause. He doesn't turn and look at me. He doesn't wait for me to walk into the women's first. I push the door open, but I don't need to use the restroom. I just want to breathe, but he's not letting me. He's invading. I don't think he means to. He's just invading my thoughts and my stomach and my lungs and my world."

"The different between the ugly side of love and the beautiful side of love is that the beautiful side is much lighter. It makes you feel like you're floating. It lifts you up. Carries you.
The beautiful parts of love hold you above the rest of the world. They hold you so high above all the bad stuff, and you just look down on everything else and think, Wow. I'm so glad I'm up here."

(Synopsis from Goodreads)
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Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher: Ember Books
Publication Date: March 13th, 2012
Pages: 335
Song I Played While Reading: Next In Line by Walk The Moon
Rating: 4 stars

It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.
Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.
But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

This book has been on my Goodreads TBR pile for years. I've never read a book about backpacking before, and have always found it interesting. It was only when I started considering traveling myself that I realized, holy crap do I really wanna read this. So I got it for dirt cheap on Book Outlet and voila! I read it.
I liked this book a lot. I didn't love it, like I was expecting to, but that was probably my only complaint. The characters were a great bunch of people who I personally wanted to backpack with, the writing was fabulous and made me feel like I was really there, and I LOVED the drawings in this. It brought the entire book to life, vividly giving me a glimpse into these amazing moments.
The relationship between the Bria and Rowan felt true, not at all rushed or fake. They each held the answers to helping each other, and I love how they really dug deep and hashed things out, never afraid to speak their minds. I also absolutely adored Starling. She's exactly the kind of person I aspire to be.
The writing flowed easily, turning Bria into a surprisingly relatable character that I found myself laughing or crying along with. We get small journal entries, travel tips, and flashbacks, but sparingly enough so that it doesn't weigh down the story. Hubbard also touches upon the different reasons why people backpack and I found it absolutely fascinating, especially when told from the natives of the island. There was also as surprisingly big amount of emotional depth in here too. Bria really struggles with coming to terms with her past and accepting herself for who she is, and you can't help but cheer for her.

"I expect instant culture shock when our plane touches down, but the Guatemala City airport looks like every other I've seen. Just with more Spanish. I loose sight of the blonde girl as I attempt to navigate all sorts of foreign customs, like Customs."

""You think theres any place left in the world nobody been before?" I wonder.
"I stopped traveling many years ago," Sonia says. "So I don't know the answer."
Then she leans forward, wedging her coffee mug in her cleavage. "But what I do know is this: you got to find your own places. The places you get, girl, the ones that stick in your heart. And if you're lucky, you find people to share them with."

"Emily kneels with both hands on the seashell. "Okay," she says. "My question is... have you ever cheated on someone?"
Ariel and Jack answer yes, while Rowan and I answer no. I'm impressed until Rowan winks at me and I realize I dont know whether he's lying.
Great. This is going to be a mindfuck."

(Image and synopsis from Goodreads)
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Top Ten Spring TBR Pile

Everyone needs to pray for me because I'm simultaneously super sick and have horrible spring allergies. So much for wanting to coo over how pretty the flowers look, I feel like smashing them with a baseball bat. IN HAPPIER NEWS, this meme is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. And Happy St. Patricks day!!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas *SQUEALS*

An Ember in the Ashes  by Sabaa Tahir

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Before I Fall (reread) by Lauren Oliver

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

The Winners Curse Maria Rutkoski

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

Walking Disaster Jamie McGuire

(Images from Goodreads)
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It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hi guys! Last week was quite the whirlwind. I visited two of my friends at school, UCLA and USD, and we also went to a Walk The Moon concert. I didn't have time to read or post so its awesome to be back in my normal schedule. This meme is hosted by Book Journey

Finished This Week
Nada. I DNF The Young Elites by Marie Lu and decided to put it down. I had zero interest in the story but will probably try and pick it up again in the future.

Currently Reading
Wanderlove by Kirstin Hubbard. I like this book for many reasons, specifically because I'm in the same gap year, I-really-want-to-travel fiasco.

Upcoming Books
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Unremembered trilogy by Jessica Brody

Happy readings :)
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Book Haul

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hello hellllllooooooooooo! Ahh it's good to be back blogging. I visited two of my friends at college this week and had a blast, but I swear my excitement over seeing boxes full of books on my bed rivaled the excitement over reuniting with my friends. 

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson 

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Wanderlove by Kirstin Hubbard

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

The Winners Curse by Marie Rutkoski
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The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Publication Date: January 13th, 2015
Pages: 324
Song I Played While Reading: The Rhythm by MNEK
Rating: 5 stars

Sixteen year old Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily start a war. They are part of a secret society known as the Circle of Twelve, and they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery threatening her life, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle: beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But both boys are hiding secrets of their own, and when the clues expose stunning new information, Avery realizes the conspiracy could destroy her life- if it doesn't destroy the world first. 

I have so much love for this book it's not even funny. One word to describe it? Fun.
Seriously, I had so much fun reading this that I could not stop thinking about it. Whenever I would put it down I would have the last scene I read on repeat in my head. And the best part? The way Maggie Hall managed to weave this story into reality so that I could see something like this actually existing. The backstory of the Circle was absolutely fascinating and I gobbled it up, loving how the information could span pages. My mind was blown.
The main character was sweet, super likable, and both the boys were wonderful. It's not really a love triangle, but their fates are tangled up in a way that has you snickering in your palm because it's so funny and awkward. This book spans only a couple of days but each scene is well drawn out and constructed, resulting in a book that makes you feel like you went clubbing in Istanbul, then quickly jetted over to Paris to go to a ball. It was lavish, but Avery was innocent enough that you got excited along with her at how powerful her new family was.
This book is elegant, sexy, thrilling, and witty, leaving you with an ending that has you bemoaning the fact that it's going to be almost a whole year until the second book comes out.

"A change," he continued with a slow smile when he saw my face. "A way away from 'the ache that is your existence.'"
Zee ache. In Stellan's light accent, it sounded especially weighty, like an ancient prophecy. I leaned forward without really meaning to.
"Toska." He leaned forward, too. "It's a Russian word. It has no other translation into any other language, but the closest I've heard is the ache. A longing. The sense that something is missing, and even if you're not sure what it is, you ache for it. Down to your bones."

"She and Luc had cracked a bottle of champagne on the plane, and even though I hadn't had any, I wasn't sure it was possible to feel entirely sober in a club. Between the lights and the unbuttoned dress shirts and the glistening bare shoulders and the driving beat of the music that got under your skin even if you weren't dancing, I was swaying by the time we got to a tall bar table where the lights flashed a little less brightly."
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