Waiting On Wednesday - Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


 

In the second book in the New York Times bestselling mystery series, Veronica Mars is back with a case that will expose the hidden workings of one of Neptune’s most murderous locations.

The Neptune Grand has always been the seaside town’s ritziest hotel, despite the shady dealings and high-profile scandals that seem to follow its elite guests. When a woman claims that she was brutally assaulted in one of its rooms and left for dead by a staff member, the owners know that they have a potential powder keg on their hands. They turn to Veronica to disprove—or prove—the woman's story.

The case is a complicated mix of hard facts, mysterious occurrences, and uncooperative witnesses. The hotel refuses to turn over its reservation list and the victim won’t divulge who she was meeting that night. Add in the facts that the attack happened months ago, the victim’s memory is fuzzy, and there are holes in the hotel’s surveillance system, and Veronica has a convoluted mess on her hands. As she works to fill in the missing pieces, it becomes clear that someone is lying—but who? And why?

Yes, I realize that it's a day early, but I have work tomorrow. *Sigh* So, I thought I'd get the post up now.
 
This week, I'm waiting on Mr. Kiss and Tell, the second book in the Veronica Mars mystery series, which releases January 20th.
 
I'm a huge "marshmallow," despite the fact that I haven't even finished watching the series yet. >.< (I get nervous watching shows, alright?) I loved Veronica and her world the moment I watched the first episode, and since I was a big fan of mysteries, I squealed with excitement when I found out they were making a book series. I'm a little reluctant to pick them up yet, seeing as I haven't finished the series or watched the movie yet - I don't want spoilers - but I'm still eager for it to come out; it just means that I'll have more Veronica to look forward to when I finally finish up the TV episodes.
 
What are you looking forward to this week? Let me know in the comments and feel free to link me to your own WoWs!

Christmas Goodies!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hey there, everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, full of joy, good food, lots of fun and family and friends. =)
 
And, of course, books!
 
I was pretty pleased with my Christmas. I actually had Christmas Eve off of work - and I was finally recovering from a bad case of sinus infection. My family and I mostly hung out that night. My mom and I made cookies for Santa, as well as cooked some of the side dishes for our big Christmas get-together with the rest of the family the following day. As per tradition, my brothers and I popped a bunch of popcorn before watching a couple of movies.
 
And Christmas day was just as fun. We always get up pretty early and open presents from "Santa" as well as from each other. We spend the rest of the morning, relaxing and playing with our new goodies, before heading to my grandmothers for the big dinner.
 
To say the least, I made out like a bandit! I got plenty of books - just about every one that was on my list! As well as an Amazon gift card for the ones I didn't get!



I also got a bunch of cute non-book related stuff. I'm such a geek. The first was Anna, Elsa, and Mowgli FunkoPop Figurines to join my Merida one. I'll have a little collection before too long! I also got a Meowth winter hat from Etsy, a Pokémon keychain with chibi Sylveon, Espurr, and both versions of Meowstic, a dragon handmade by JULIE KAGAWA, and a collectible costume card of Luna Lovegood.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I also got a new American Girl doll to add to my collection, a bunch of nice clothes, a cute purse, and a dual heat/cool headache mask and humidifier for the next time I get sick. ;)
 
Overall, it was a great Christmas! Did you do anything special for the holidays or get anything special? Feel free to let me know in the comments! I hope everyone had a great holiday and here's to the New Year!

Top Ten Books Santa Can Bring Me

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


 
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we're supposed to list the top ten books we wouldn't mind finding under our tree on Christmas morning. This is a little hard for me, considering any book under the tree is a blessing and the fact that my birthday and Christmas are pretty close to each other, so I tend to get WAY more then ten books... But here are my top ten!
 
 
Number Ten: Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep
 
I've been meaning to finally finish this series up and if I get this from Santa, I won't have any reason not to!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number Nine: Mai Tai'd Up by Alice Clayton
 
I'm eager to read Chloe's sexy story, especially so soon after finishing the third book! This will be one of the few that I'll definitely have to go and buy if I don't get it for Christmas.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Number Eight: Talon by Julie Kagawa
 
Anything Kagawa automatically goes on the Christmas wish-list. The fact that it's dragon related makes it even better! Crossing my fingers I find it under the tree!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Number Seven: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
 
While I wasn't a huge fan of White's Paranormalcy, I definitely want to give this one a try because, well, it's Egyptian mythology and I love it. XD Here's hoping that it's good!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Number Six: Let It Snow
 
This is a nice seasonal read I hope to get to keep me occupied when I go through the post-Christmas blues. Christmastime is my favorite time of the year and I always feel sad when it's gone. A Christmas-y book will cheer me up.






 
 
 
 
 Number Five: The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
 
Of course the Cassie Clare book has to be on the list! It's a little short of my liking, but I have high hopes for it. Even if I don't get it, I know a friend who already has it, so I have a back-up plan, should it not be under the tree, lol.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number Four: Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout
 
Everything about this book looks awesome, from the cover to the synopsis. This will be my first JLA book, so I'm hoping that I get it and that I enjoy it as much as I think I will!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number Three: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
 
 
This looks like it's a retelling of The Crucible, so you can bet I want my hands on it. I can't wait to see how it holds up!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Number Two: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
 
I've been meaning to get to this forever, but I just haven't had the time or, really, the money to get it. Hopefully Santa can remedy that situation. ;)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Number One: H20 by Virginia Bergin 
 
I have to say, the cover looks awesome! There are several mixed reviews, but I have to say I'm interested. Here's hoping it will be good!
 
What about you? What are you hoping to find under your Christmas tree this Thursday? Let me know in a comment or even link me your TTTs.

 
 

Review - Battle Angel by Scott Speer

Monday, December 22, 2014

Battle Angel
By Scott Speer
Release Date: August 28th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
 


Gosh, there are so many conflicting emotions involved with this book. There were parts where I wanted to hug the book close, go "aww" and swoon and then there were parts where I wanted to yell at it, rip the pages, and throw it across the room. And, more often than not, I went from one extreme to the other within a few chapters.

That's a lot of emotion to feel in one book.

Battle Angel kicks off right where Natural Born Angel left off  - addressing that terrible cliffhanger. Everyone who read the second book was dying to know who Maddie decided to end up with. And, seeing as this bombshell is dropped in the first three pages, I won't feel to bad telling you she picks Tom.

Cue me wanting to throw the book within the first three pages.

Moving on from that sucker punch, the rest of the story unfolds when the sinkhole containing the demons grows and, eventually, the deadly demons spill out and reek havoc on the town. All the other angels, after having been snubbed by the humans in their bill to limit the angel's power, decide not to intervene and protect humanity. It's up to Maddie alone, as well as Tom and the US government to try and stop the invasion. Several small battles ensue, causing gigantic damage to property and loss of life, before Jacks finally has a change of heart and agrees to aid Maddie in helping the humans. His leadership causes other angels to follow in his footsteps. Eventually, with the help of Detective Sylvester, Maddie and Jacks learn who is really behind and controlling the demons. With this information, it's up to all the angels and humans to work together and save Immortal City in it's darkest hour.

Again, seeing as this is a final book in a series, I don't want to go into too much detail for fear I will spoil something for my readers. So, I'll address the things that didn't hit with me and the things that did without trying to put too much plot into it.

First of all, the love triangle. Ugh. I'm a die hard Jacks fan. And I always will be. Tom was nice and all, but I felt that he was a needless foil that Speer threw into mix to create drama. And considering that the Immortal City is facing a full-fledged apocalypse, I don't think any other drama needed to be added. When will YA authors learn that there doesn't need to be a love triangle in EVERY book EVER written? Maddie and Jacks were both going through so much change and character development at this point in the story that drama and tension could have been achieved by them just trying to work out their problems on their own. There really was no need for another character to be thrown in.

Secondly, Maddie. I don't think I've read such an annoying main character since, like, Twilight. She's wishy-washy, far too emotional, and I don't think she'd even be able to blink without looking to someone for approval. I let this pass in the first two books because I reasoned it away, saying that she had thrown herself into a new world and was trying to find where she belonged and yada yada. But it's book three now. It's time to start putting your big girl panties on and working on that personality you've been trying to piece together. I wanted to her do something special and epic and praise worthy during the battle but she did nothing. She didn't even fight one good scene before being badly injured and put out of commission. It was up to Jacks to do all the saving. And, hey, I'm down with that. I love the guy, but there's something to be said about a female lead who can hold her own, too... That and the fact that she just couldn't decide which guy she wanted. I mean, she tells one guy she loves him, then goes and sleeps with another? *Pulls hair out* I just... Never felt that we got to see Maddie at her best, using her full potential. And seeing as she's the main character, that's a major negative for me.

Luckily, there was plenty of positive to make up for the negative - at least for me. First of all, there was action and suspense in every chapter. I loved the talk of guns and raids and battle tactics. I loved all the gory details of how the demons appeared and what happened during the climax of the battles. I loved the tension that came with feeling that the war just couldn't be won and I loved the small romances that managed to crop up between the side characters, ones that you didn't even notice were there until it was right in front of  you.

But mostly what won me over was who had me at the very beginning - Jacks. It was great to see him grow throughout this series. One of the main things that drew me to Immortal City in the first place was how "human" the angels seemed. It was fascinating getting to see a side of the angels that fell to human weakness, such as greed and pride. And Jacks was no exception. In book one, he's hot and a ladies' man, but he's also self-absorbed and vain. In book two, he's learned to love and care about others more than himself, but as soon as that happens, he's faced with a life-altering event that leaves him ultimately bitter. In this final book, he pulls himself out of despair and learns his true purpose and identity. He comes full circle and it's not often we get to see the ugliest and the most beautiful aspects of a character. I applaud Speer for creating such an insight into Jacks and making me love him all the more.

And that ending? While others might think differently, I don't think it could have ended better.

So, yes, there were issues with this book but overall I was satisfied with the story and I'm very pleased to have stuck through and seen the entire series through to an end. I definitely recommend this series to any angel genre lovers out there, as well as anyone who might be in the market for a new book boyfriend - Erm, I mean, anyone who would like to see some great character development. ;)

Review - Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Saturday, December 20, 2014


The Blood of Olympus
By Rick Riordan
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Genre: Children's Fiction
Source: Purchased


I was so nervous to start this book, seeing as it was the finale to one of my favorite series. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy when it released and to finally get my hands on my own copy last week, but it was a bittersweet moment. The ending had finally arrived, but… a part of me didn’t want it to end. I left the book store satisfied but a bit melancholic. Whether I liked it or not, Percy and his friends would see their quest through to the end and I felt it was my duty to see it through with them.

Okay, that might sound a little dramatic, but it’s a series I’ve really come to love over the years. I’ve grown with the characters and I was reluctant to read about their ending. I mean, who doesn’t feel a little weepy when the series they love comes to a conclusion?

Anyway, I finally mustered up the courage to pick it up and I devoured the 500 page book in a single day. All the while I was reading through it, a part of me wanted to sneak to the last few pages and see if everyone I loved made it through, but I steeled my resolve and finished the series.
And, I’ll admit it. Riordan is a master story-teller. He deserved every award and fan he gets. Sure, I bitched and moaned about the last installment not giving my much suspense, but boy did this book make up for that.
In Blood of Olympus, Percy and Annabeth have finally dug their way out of Tartarus and, with Nico, Reyna, and Hedge on their own quest to return the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood, the rest of the seven are left to complete the prophecy. Within two weeks’ time, either Gaea would awake and destroy the world or they would succeed. Success is good, of course, but the group is uneasy because the prophecy states that one of the seven has a “oath to keep with a final breath.”
Don’t tell me you other fans out there weren’t a little scared by that. You know you were. But I won’t elaborate too much on the details because there are FAR too many spoilers in the book and I want to keep those of you reading this as spoiler free as possible.
Between the fierce action sequences, there was plenty of humor and love to be had. I loved seeing Piper grow to be confident in herself, as well as seeing her make friends in Hazel and Annabeth. I loved that Frank grew into the warrior he was bound to be. I loved that Nico accepted and dealt with his past and wrote a new future for himself. I love that Reyna stayed true to herself and Leo remained who he always was, a mechanical genius and goofball – and a loveable one at that. I loved seeing the book and the characters go full circle. They had all grown and become young adults, rather than the children they were before.

And while I finished this book feeling a little bruised, I was most certainly satisfied. I laughed and I wondered and I even shed a few tears at the end. There were a few loose ends that were left untied, giving me hope that we haven’t seen the last of Percy and his friends. Sure, Riordan is going on to Norse mythology next, but we can always hold out hope for seeing our favorites again. After all, it’s Magnus Chase, right? There has to be some connection.
It’s rare that a book makes me feel so much love for characters. In every book by Riordan, I’ve felt invested. I’ve felt that I’ve traveled with friends. I felt that the characters could walk among the streets and that there was more to this world than meets the eye. Not all books are capable of making you wonder who your godly parent might be. Whether you’d find yourself in the Greek or Roman camp. Or even if the Mist is controlling you, keeping you from seeing the secrets that are right before your eyes. But, for me, Riordan has definitely made it possible for me to say that I’ve walked among both camps. I’ve been to Tartarus. I’ve helped carry Nico’s burden, I gave Reyna strength, I’ve worked side by side with the members of the Argo II. I may not have devine parents, but I’m a demigod, thanks to Riordan.
Ave, Percy and friends. It’s been quite a ride. And I loved every minute of it.

Review - Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton

Friday, December 19, 2014


Screwdrivered
By Alice Clayton
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Genre: Romance
Source: Purchased
 

Screwdrivered is the third book in the Wallbanger series by Alice Clayton. I actually didn’t even intend on reading this series, but I bought the book for a friend for Christmas last year and, well, I’d just finished my current read and I thought, “Well, it’s not like would ever know I read it before giving it to her, right?” I felt a little guilty, but it turns out this was one of the best ideas I had had in a while. It was hilarious, sexy, and full of fun!

Unlike the two previous installments, which focus on Simon and Caroline, this book focuses on one of Simon’s friends from back in the day, Vivian, who has a head for computers and a heart for dirty romance novels. While she has traveled to exotic places and had sexual liaisons with plenty of guys, she has never really been in love and she longs for the fairy-tale romances she’s read in the past. When she gets a call in the middle of the night, saying she’s inherited her eccentric old aunt’s beach house, she finds herself out in California and meeting an incredibly hot “cowboy” who takes care of the animals on her aunt’s property. Viv thinks she’s walked right onto the pages of one of her romance novels, but what she doesn’t anticipate is a meddling librarian and historian, Clark, getting in the middle of things and trying to tell her how she can and cannot renovate her aunt’s run down place.
First and foremost, I just want to know where this sexy librarian has been my entire life. A guy who loves books and history and is as sweet and caring as can be? Count me in. I don’t know what Vivian is thinking, but I’d be throwing myself at Clark. While Hank has his sexy body, I think I’d prefer someone with a bit more gray matter in his head.  

Anyway, this was a fantastic read, as per usual with Alice Clayton. She weaves wit and humor into her stories and I always find myself smiling or even laughing out loud as some of the banter the characters exchange – even if some of the jokes are rather dirty and low-brow. That’s all part of the fun, though. And while the humor is great, the steam is wonderful as well. For those of you who aren’t into reading much sex, this book has it, but only in the last chapter and pretty tastefully done. Not to mention the epilogue, which was freakin’ adorable.

Vivian is also a character we can root for. She’s smart and strong and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. The fact that she has a hard time wooing and catching the cowboy Hank’s attention is amusing, given that she’s so used to having an impact on men when she sways her hips or expertly buttons her blouse with “just the right amount of cleavage.” And the fact that she finally ends up with who she really needed – and releasing that she only needed to be herself – was incredibly sweet. It was nice to see both her and her significant other get that happy ending they were both dreaming of.
So, if you’re looking for something quick, funny, sexy or something with heart, this is definitely your read! If you haven’t checked out Clayton’s work yet, be sure to get on it. I can’t recommend her enough!

Review - Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Becoming Bea
By Leslie Gould
Release Date: October 24th, 2014
Genre: Christian/Amish Fiction
Source: eARC via Netgalley
 

I was excited to be approved for the final book in Gould’s Shakespeare’s retelling series, entitled Becoming Bea, which is a retelling of the comedy Much Ado About Nothing.

I’ve really come to appreciate Gould’s artful intertwining of the original source material into the Amish world. Many of the plays have been very well adapted and I consider myself to have a pretty healthy appetite for retellings of any kind, whether they are classics, fairy tales or anything in between. This one, unfortunately, fell a little flat in comparison to some of the other novels written by Gould.

One of the things that I liked most about Minding Molly was that plenty of aspects of the original play were added to the novel, even those that were more minute. They just added a little extra flavor to the plot that readers of Shakespeare would enjoy, while the casual reader might not even catch them. I suppose I was rather spoiled with that, because the only real correlation between Much Ado About Nothing and Becoming Bea is the fact that the two main characters are named Beatrice and Ben, where in the play the characters are named Beatrice and Benedict. Of course, the main characters in the play and in the novel find themselves victims of unrequited love, are secretly madly in love with each other, and swear up and down they will never marry – but that is where the similarities pretty much end.
In the play, their friends realize they love each other and try their best to convince them, and even trick them at one point! – into liking each other. Gould never really touched on this in the book, unless it’s by the sporadic mentionings by their friends that they would be a good together. I would have liked to see a little more matchmaking going on. And even a singing in which Ben and Bea reluctantly spoke with each other.
In Gould’s retelling, a major part of the plot is that another Amish bachelor, Don, wants to court Bea while she still has feelings for Ben. In the original play, Don John is up to all sorts of mischief, similar to Gould’s character, but aside from one major incident (which I won’t elaborate on, for fear of spoiling anything), there wasn’t much correlation. In the play, he’s trying to disrupt Claudio and Hero’s wedding, but in the book he’s trying to break up Bea and Ben? I’m just… confused. Perhaps I’m not remembering the original play correctly, but these facts just don’t add up.

That said, it’s not like the whole book, in and of itself, was bad. I enjoyed seeing Bea change from a self-absorbed and prickly individual to a gentler and more understanding person and the banter that she and Ben shared was amusing. I loved their little spelling game!
Despite the fact that some parts of the book dragged and that some plot devices didn’t correlate with the play, I’m glad I read it and saw the series through to an end. If you are a fan of retellings like I am, this series (although, not particularly this book) is definitely one of the best.

Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Here's another edition of The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten! This week we're supposed to list the top ten book we read this year. I'm not going to choose any sort of category or anything, just pick straight from the massive pile I read. Some of the times might be more obscure; others you'll recognize right away. They're not really in any particular order, either.
 

Number Ten: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

The fact that I liked this series blew me away. I was never a fan of werewolves, but I was so entranced with Maggie's writing and the biology behind the wolves... But what I loved most of Cole and Isabel. It was great to see that they got a book to themselves. And I loved delving into the secrets Cole kept hidden.






 
Number Nine: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
 
I actually had to go back and check the date I read this. It seems like I've been a fan of her forever, but indeed, I read this at the end of January this year. I really need to get to reading her other work. The possibility that she's writing a Simon & Baz book has me so stoked.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number Eight: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
 
I was late jumping onto the Infernal Devices bandwagon. In fact, I was late getting to the Mortal Instruments bandwagon, too. But I never regret picking them up. Jem was always my favorite, so - naturally - his book left a good impression on me. ;) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number Seven: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
 
This was one of the books I anticipated most this year, as it was a conclusion to a series I'd really gotten invested in. The book was amazing, naturally, despite the fact that the ending felt a little rushed. I'll always love me some Perry. <3
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number Six: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
 
This was a surprising read for me. It was the first time I had read O'Brien and I ordered an ARC of it simply because of the premise. It was definitely one of the most engaging and original books I've read all year. Pick it up if you haven't read it already!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number Five: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
 
This had been in my TBR pile for ages but I finally read it in anticipation of the movie. Definitely a roller coaster of a read and one that I won't easily forget. THAT ENDING!!! So fantastic and the movie was astounding, too!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Number Four: Storm Front by Jim Butcher
 
I regret not picking this series up sooner. It's so fantastic and the fact that I have over 15 books to read and digest. Just. Yum. A book lover's dream. But seriously, the originality, mystery and humor in this series is fantastic. I plan to pick the next one up as soon as I can. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number Three: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
 
This was another highly anticipated series conclusion. There was just so much this book had to offer to the series as far as character development and action. I absolutely devoured it, despite being scared to turn every page for fear something this happen to my beloved characters. I finished the book bruised, but definitely satisfied.
 
 
 
 
 
Number Two: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
 
I think everyone knows if you want a romantic, fluffy read that you don't need to look any further than Perkins. Isla left an impression on me in Anna, so I really looked forward to seeing her make her own happy ending. I devoured the book, smiling and squeeing all the way. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number One: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
 
You all knew this was going to be number one, right? This book ending just like we all wanted it to and it was pure joy reading every single page. And, considering it was 725 pages, I was a happy girl for several days. Now I have to (im)patiently wait for the next series! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Very Honorable Mentions:
 
Secret by Brigid Kemmerer
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Take Me On by Katie McGarry
 
So, that's my list! Did you share any of the same books? Want to share your favorite reads? Feel free to link me to your TTTs or comment. 


Review - My True Love Gave To Me: Twleve Holiday Stories

Saturday, December 13, 2014


 
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Edited By Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
 


I was so lucky to receive this book as a gift last week! And it was all thanks to a great friend who knew exactly what I wanted for my birthday. She even got me an edition that was signed by Stephanie Perkins! And, now that I’ve read it in anticipation of the holidays, it will now sit all pretty on my shelf.

As for the book itself, it would be hard and would result in an incredibly long review if I reviewed every single short story, so instead of going through each one, I’ll point out the ones I really liked, as well as the ones that didn’t really meet my expectations. For the ones who didn’t get mentioned, they were – altogether – pretty good, but nothing too special.

The Best:

1.)  “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor – Let me just say it now: this is the first bit I’ve ever read by Laini Taylor. And I completely regret it. Her writing, admittedly, took me a few pages to get used to, but the setting of the story really fit the older language that was used. (For example, Christmas was referred to as Advent.) The setting of her story seemed to be in an alternate history, where courting happened during the month of December. The guys would leave gifts for their chosen sweethearts on their porches, and, on Christmas Eve, if the girl loved the boy, she would take his hand and agree to marry. This, in and of itself, is romantic and I would have read and enjoyed it simply because of the premise. But Laini mixes in, even within this short story, memorable characters, an exotic locale, and beautiful imagery. I couldn’t believe how poetic and lyrical her words are. I officially HAVE to read her books now!

2.) “What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?” by Gayle Foreman – Again, here is another embarrassing secret. I haven’t really enjoyed Gayle’s books. I found Mia in If I Stay incredibly annoying and selfish, as well as found Allyson from Just One Day impulsive and irritating. Not to mention the fact that both books end abruptly. But, finally, I’ve found something by her that I truly liked! The premise of her story isn’t so unique like Laini’s – it deals with big-city girl Sophie adjusting to life in a college that’s in the middle of nowhere, where she seems out of place and alone. She meets a guy, Russell, the last night of Hanukkah and they hit it off. The characters are cute, as well as the story, but I think that it was the message behind the story that really stuck with me. Sophie learns that she was never truly as alone as she felt and that there is no such thing as a “minor miracle.” It reminded me that Christmastime can bring with it new promises and beginnings.

3.) “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins – And of course Stephanie’s story would be great, too! The premise deals with Marigold, who has a crazy obsession with the son of the town’s Christmas Tree famers, whose name is North. Not only because he’s crazy gorgeous, but because she wants to use his voice in an animated sketch. So, to get his attention, she agrees to by a tree from him, despite the fact that she has nowhere to put it in her apartment. So, North helps her set the tree up, all while they grow closer and closer. I simply loved this story for his hilarious banter, which is Stephanie’s forte it seems, as well as the sweet, fluffiness I knew I would find in Perkins’ writing.

The Worst:

1.) “The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link – Now, let me get this straight, these “worst” stories aren’t necessarily badly written. In fact, the writing was fairly good! But it was more the content that didn’t connect for me. A prime example would be this story, which involves a girl, Miranda, who falls in love with a boy who happens to be a captive of the Snow Queen. It’s an interesting premise, but the language used in the book led me to believe that this was a historical setting. In fact, I didn’t even realize it was present day until tanning beds and Skype was mentioned. To me, it’s a big turn off if I can’t even distinguish which century your story takes place in within the first few pages!

2.) “Star of Bethlehem” by Ally Carter – This was another relatively harmless story. It’s cute and enjoyable enough, but the premise was just too unbelievable for me. Within the first few pages, the main character Lydia, gives her plane ticket to a complete stranger, agreeing to take the stranger’s ticket and fly wherever she was initially going. Um, no. Stranger danger, much? She finds herself in a place she’s never been, with a family she’s never met – and she stays with them. For days. STRANGER DANGER! I just couldn’t believe how stupid the character was, as well as how stupid the family was for taking in someone they clearly knew was an imposter. She could be a murderer running from the cops for all they knew! Call me crazy, but I like a little reality where my realistic fiction is involved.  

And that’s pretty much it. Despite a few nitpicks here and there, the book was great! It definitely got me into the Christmas spirit and even introduced me to a few writers I’d never read before! I look forward to reading more from some of them and, if you are wanting something seasonal to read to pick up your spirits, definitely check this book out!

The Taytay Book Tag

Friday, December 12, 2014

I've been tagged by the lovely Lauren from Always Me to do the Taytay Book Tag. Thanks for the tag, Lauren! Be sure to check out her blog!
 
So, I don't even really listen to Taylor Swift's music much. I'm a die hard country music fan and her country music... Well, let's just say I've heard better. But her pop stuff is a little better, at least. At any rate, I don't really need to know her music that well to do the tag - just books. So that works out well!

1.) We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - pick a book or series you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.




I really wanted to like this series. I really did, but I just couldn't get into it. I read the first book, but I don't think I'll continue. I'd have to have a serious lack of books to read, and that's not going to happen anytime soon, so... Yeah, probably won't do Neverfade.






 
2.) Red - pick a book with a red cover.
 
 
 
 
Yeah, I guess it can't get much redder than this. I really want to get my hands on it, too, despite the lower rating it's gotten for a Kagawa book.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3.) The Best Day - pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.
 
 
 
 
I know this one is probably chosen by a lot of people for this category, but it's the one I grew up with and remember so fondly.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4.) I Knew You Were Trouble - pick a bad character you couldn't help but love.
 
Umbridge. Hands down. Well, technically I love to hate her, but still. XD 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 6.) Innocent - pick a book someone ruined the ending for.
 
 
 
 
I was spoiled by someone SOB on Goodreads. I guess I really should thank them, though. I never intend to finish the series now...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7. ) Everything Has Changed - pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.
 
 
 
 
I did one better. Not one, but four main characters go through extensive change. That's what made the series so special to read. I loved getting to know all the characters and seeing how they grew over the years.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8.) You Belong With Me - pick your most anticipated book release.
 
 
 
 
Just LOOK at that cover! That would be one that I brought just for the cover. Seriously, whoever designed this needs a pay raise. Anyway, this is a retelling and you know I have to have it if it's a retelling.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
9.) Forever and Always - pick your favorite book couple.
 
Gosh, there are several couples who could compete for this spot, but I have to go with Ron & Hermione. Just because. ;)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10.) Teardrops On  My Guitar - pick a book that made you cry a lot.
 
 
 

 
Yeah, such ugly crying with this one...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
11.) Shake It Off  - Pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters.
 
 
 
 
I really love this series. Like, really. >.> I know it's not very well known, but I try to promote it as much as possible. It really deserves all the love it gets.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
12.) Blank Space - pick the most over hyped book or series that didn't work for you at all.
 
 



 
 
 
 
I really don't understand why so many people love this book. Blech!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
13.) Invisible - Pick the most under hyped book or series that you think deserves the spotlight.
 
 
 
 
 
Oops, guess I should've put Sisters Red here. Oh well. The Red Pyramid is another one that doesn't get as much credit or attention that it deserves, simply because it is shoved out of the spotlight by Percy Jackson. Definitely read it if you haven't yet!
 
 
 
 
 
 
14.) The Story of Us - pick a couple you think should end up together.
 


 
 
Well, I picked one where the character should've ended up together. Liesel and Rudy for life!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
15.) Love Story - pick a forbidden love in a book or series.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meghan and Ash! They're one of my favorite pairings!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You've been tagged!
 
 
Thanks again for tagging me, Lauren!