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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

top ten books for readers who like character driven novels

Hi, guys! Sorry I've been so MIA lately, school has been absolutely crazy and I haven't had any time to read for fun, let alone blog about it. Sadface.  But I have a bit of a break for a week or two, so I'm hoping to at least get a couple smaller posts up! 

As you all know, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, we're talking about character driven books - the ones that don't really focus on plot as much as the people within the story. 

1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - This book.  Such a good job of really getting into Cadence's head and showing how she learns the truth. 

2. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - I feel like I'm cheating a bit because I just read this book for one of my classes, but hello. 

3. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - I mean, I think we can all agree that Morgan Matson is the queen of heartstring-tugging, tear-inducing stories. And the way she revolves the plot around the characters rather than the other way around just makes it even more effective.

4. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - Ditto. (Yes, I just said ditto. Yes, I mentally live in 2004. Get over it.) 

5. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - I MEAN. Does this even need an explanation? Really? 

 6. Just One Day by Gayle Forman - For me, the most interesting part of the book is the last two-thirds that don't include Willem. I just really loved seeing Allyson come into her own and grow up. 

7. Paper Towns by John Green - If Morgan Matson is queen, let's make John Green king. All his novels are very character driven, but I recently reread Paper Towns and it really resonated with me how much  Q grows throughout the course of this book. 

8. The Torontonians by Phyllis Brett Young - This book is totally the ugly duckling of the list, but oh well. I'm sure most, if not all, of the people reading this won't have heard of this book, but I read it for my Canadian Prose class and figured it was a good fit since the whole thing is totally introspective. 

9. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I know, I know, this book does have an extreeeeemely fast plot. But I'm thinking of the series as a whole, and how much Katniss grows internally during all the shit she goes through.

10. If I Stay by Gayle Forman - Duh. (Update: Still living in 2004.) 

So, there's my list! Let me know if I missed any you guys would have added, or if you agree with any of my picks!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

liebster award aka i'm basically famous

I got nominated for the Liebster Award! Thanks to Anna for nominating me, definitely check out her blog.

So, since I had no clue what this award was about when I got nominated, I'm just going to assume a good amount of people don't know either. Basically, the point of the Liebster award is to spread word of new and relatively unknown bloggers. Which is awesome.

Here are the rules:
1. Link and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions they asked. 
3. Pick 1-5 other bloggers with no more than 200 followers to nominate.
4. Ask them 11 questions and let them know you nominated them by commenting on their blog. 

Let's get started! These are the questions Anna asked.

1. Paperback or hardback? 
It depends. I usually like paperbacks better just because I find them easier and don't have to worry about dust jackets and stuff like that, but if I get a series that isn't finished yet and some are out in paperback but the newer ones are hardback I'll go with the hardback versions because I like my series to match all pretty. :) (holy run on sentence, by the way)

2. Do you ever write in a book?
Ugh. No. Unless it's a book for school and I know I'm never ever going to read it again. But even then, it physically pains me to ruin the book. I'm cringing just thinking about it. Ugh.

3. What is the best book you have read this year?
So many. This one was best at fucking with my emotions. This one was best at making my heart smile and poop butterflies. This one was best at making me fall in love with a preteen.

4. How would you describe your favourite book series of all time in an ice-cream flavour? 
So, my favourite series is Harry Potter. And I'd probably say the ice cream flavour for that would be bubblegum. Not what you expected, right? Well, hear me out: When you start reading the series it's all sweet and relatively simple, just a good book to get lost in. BUT THEN. Eventually you get the little gumballs that make it more complicated, more substantial. And you have to be careful when you eat those gumballs because you might choke on them and not be able to handle how intense it gets.

5. Do you own any autographed books?
Yes! I own two, and both of them were super duper cheap from Target. I got this one a couple months ago for I think 25% off, and then. YOU GUYS. The other day I was at Target and they had a buy one get one free sale on books, and I got a signed copy of this one for free! I know, right?

6. Who is the character you want to kill the most at the moment? 
Probably Angie from Seventeenth Summer. I had to read it for one of my classes and oh my god, she is so irritating.

7. Do you ever read all night? 
That's basically how I live during school.

8. What's your favourite casting for a character in a book to movie adaptation?
I'm just gonna go with the first one that popped into my head, which is Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson. Not because of its accuracy, but just because I have a teeny tiny crush on Percy, and the fact that Logan isn't a twelve year old makes me feel a bit better about that.

9. A song to fit your fictional crush? 
I can't think of a song right now. But Percy Jackson.

10. A place where you want a book to be set in? 
I think it would be awesome to read a book set in North-Western Ontario (where I live). I know Anna Dressed in Blood  is actually set in my town, so that's awesome. I really want to read a book that captures how gorgeous this area of the world is.

11. Do you ever have book related dreams? 
Only every day of my life. I actually had a Nyquil-induced dream last night which involved Voldemort kidnapping me out of loneliness. So, yeah, that happened.

I'm going to nominate the lovely Erin @ Book VoyageurKay @ It's A Book Life, and Erin @ The Hardcover Lover. Here are your questions:

1. What is your all time least favourite book?
2. Do you read every day?
3. What's your favourite book cover?
4. Do you read fanfiction?
5. Have you met any of your favourite authors?
6. What's the next book you plan on reading?
7. If you could pick one character to push in a pit of lava, who would it be?
8. Who is your favourite fictional pet?
9. Do you ever prefer the movie over the book?
10. Who's your favourite book couple?
11. Ebooks or physical books?

Monday, 8 September 2014

birthday book haul!

I love my birthday. Seriously, if you know me at all you're probably SO tired of me talking about my birthday by this point. You probably want to come to my house and punch me in the throat just for bringing it up again. I'm sorry. I just love it. 

I'm going to just put a little disclaimer out here now that I know I got super spoiled this year, and I'm really not trying to brag or anything, I'm just really excited and want to share how happy I am! If you're a friend who I saw on my birthday or who wished me a happy birthday, I love you! Let's get into the haul.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

top ten books i want to read but don't own yet

It's time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This week, The Broke and the Bookish is asking us to talk about books on our wish lists - which is a very fitting theme, since my birthday is next week. (Hint hint, any friends/family that read this). Basically, this whole post is going to be filled with me lusting over pretty books, so let's just prepare ourselves early on, shall we? 

1. Unravel Me  and Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi - Shatter Me was just amazing, and I read it a few months back. The fact that I haven't picked up these two yet is just unacceptable. NEED. 

2. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira - I've wanted this book for sooooo loooooong. Look at the cover. Look at the description. I just. UGH. The concept is just so intriguing to me, I feel like I won't physically be able to feel happiness until I get my hands on this beautiful specimen. 

3. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - I'm kind of slowly getting into a bit of a post-apocalyptic kick right now. Or maybe it's just my obsession with this book that's making me think about aliens and the end of life as we know it constantly. I feel like I'll be completely terrified after I read this but we're just gonna roll with it. 

4. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler - Do you ever have those books that you just obsessively look at, pick up, and then put down whenever you go to the bookstore? That's this book for me. I discovered it when it first came out a couple of years ago and for some reason, didn't buy it. And I still haven't. And every single time I go to Chapters, I pick it up and decide against it. The ratings aren't even that great. I just want it, okay? 

5. Is Everyone Hanging Out WIthout Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling - This is basically the same thing as Why We Broke Up. I just eternally love Mindy Kaling. I just want her to be my best friend. I just want to read this book and hug it forever. 

6. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith - I read her other two books at the beginning of summer and absolutely loved them. Jennifer E. Smith just does so well with cutesy contemporary YA. Honestly, the only thing holding me back is the fact that it's still in hardcover and I'm too cheap to pay for it. 

7. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins - First of all, this cover! Perfect blend of girly and badass. To be perfectly honest, I'm not 100% sure what this is all about aside from the Goodreads description, but it just sounds like such a fun read. 

8. Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid - It wouldn't be a books-I-want list without a road trip story. That's all there is to it. 

9. Cress by Marissa Meyer - Just because I have Cinder and Scarlet and I really want to binge read the series. But again, full-price hardcovers are so expensive it hurts. 

10. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson - Everyone has been going nuts about this book lately. And it sounds awesome - runaway princess, mystery, assassins... It's got all the makings of a great story. Plus, I'm trying to expand away from my little contemporary comfort zone, and this seems like a good transition!

I mean, feel free to buy me any of these books. If you want. Just sayin'. ;)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

waiting on wednesday - i'll give you the sun

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and is all about upcoming releases! This week's pick is... 

I'll Give You the Sun  by Jandy Nelson 
384 pages
Publisher: Dial 
Publication date: September 16, 2014

from Goodreads: 

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell
Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world. 
This radiant, fully alive, sometimes very funny novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

Why I'm Waiting: 
First of all, THAT COVER. Have you ever seen such beauty? I think not. It's absolutely stunning. Apart from the outside, I really love the fact that this is a sibling story, and a story with a gay main character - these are both things that we really don't get to see a ton of in the YA world, especially not together. I'm so excited to see what Jandy does with it. Also, I read The Sky is Everywhere a couple years ago and it was absolutely beautiful, so I have high hopes! I'm definitely going to buy a couple boxes of Kleenex in anticipation of this book. 

Let me know what you're looking forward to this fall! 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

top ten books people have been telling me i MUST read

Look at me, actually doing Top Ten Tuesday on the right day. Do I get a prize for this? 


This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted as always by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about books people have been telling me I have to read. Now, seeing as I don't have a ton of book-loving friends, a lot of these are going to be indirect recommendations - from bloggers, BookTubers, all those kinds of things. Books that seem really popular and awesome, but for some reason I haven't picked up yet. A lot of these are series, too, so we're just gonna go ahead with that. 

1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - I feel like everyone read this in high school or middle school except for me. And I know there's a movie, too, and I haven't seen that. It's just one of those books that everyone needs to read, I guess? 

2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - When my best friend found out I hadn't read this, I swear she wanted to punch me in the face out of pure shock and disgust. I'm only exaggerating a little bit.  

3. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - I'm slowly trying to get more into fantasy and everyone on booktube is obsessed with this series. Might as well jump on the bandwagon. 

4. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak - I know. I know. Let's just leave it at that and agree that I suck. Okay? 

5. All of Cassandra Clare's books - Because duh, they're EVERYWHERE. I read City of Bones a few years ago and really liked it but just never started the rest of the series, or the Infernal Devices. Gotta get on that. 

6. The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout - I read Obsidian, loved it, then got distracted by other books. This is how it goes for most of the things I read. Also, the copy I have of Obsidian is the old cover so I've been trying to decide how to go about getting the rest of them. I think I'm just gonna splurge on day and buy the whole series in the pretty bind ups. 

7. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken - I feel like this series has been getting enough hype lately that I don't even need to go into detail about it. 

8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer - This is a story about me being cheap as hell. Basically, I found the hardcover on sale for $6 a couple years ago and picked it up because obviously. Then I didn't read it for some reason. And a couple weeks ago, I found Scarlet also on sale. And now I'm waiting for Cress to be cheap, too, before I read them because I kind of want to marathon the whole series. But I definitely intend to read it!

9. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - Again, super hyped up and also ASSASSINS. Need I say more? 

10. The rest of the Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies, because I AM SO INCREDIBLY OUT OF THE LOOP I DISGUST MYSELF. I've read the first books of each but just didn't continue. And also I really want to see the movies but refuse to until I've read the books. 

So, there we have it. Now we all know how behind I am on every single series. I've basically been stuck in contemporary since Twilight stopped being cool so I've been missing out on all these cool books, it's really depressing. 

What should I read first? Make my decision for me please.:) 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

review: isla and the happily ever after

From Goodreads:

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

This book, guys. 

I kid you not, when I finally turned the last page and closed it I had happy little tears in my eyes. And there are not a lot of books I can say that about. I was extremely late to the whole Stephanie Perkins bandwagon - I only read Anna and Lola at the beginning of the summer - but I swear, the wait killed me just as much. And once this book was in my hands, it was squeals all day. I actually was lucky enough to get the book early since I preordered it and it just ended up at my house way before expected, so that was awesome. 

If you're looking for a cutesy romance that will fill your tummy with warm fuzzies and make you smile, look no further. Stephanie Perkins has a way with teenage romance, and I am all for it. She's an expert on capturing the feeling of first loves and everything that goes along with it, good and bad. About 60 pages in I got that excited, falling-in-love feeling that only a really well-written book can give - you know, butterflies, giggly, all that jazz. I was actually reading at work and started smiling to myself so much that I had to stop and just put the book down. It's that captivating. 

A huge part of this book, as well as Anna and Lola, are the descriptions of settings. When I was reading, I could see Paris. I could see Kismet Cafe, a boy drawing in his sketchbook. I could see the streets of Barcelona. Every detail comes to life. This is the secret ingredient of a great book. 

I have to say, even though a lot of people had issues with Isla and her enormous crush on Josh, I found it endearing because girl, I've been there. I've been that girl with an irreversible, inconsolable crush on a boy. I'm dating that boy now. I think the fact that I identified so strongly with Isla is a huge reason why I loved this book so much. I could see so much of myself in her, and I understood her thought process down to a tee. 

And Josh. Oh my goodness, Josh. I just couldn't get enough of the artsy, kinda mysterious, romantic type. The graphic memoir. The fact that he rewrote it. The fact that he makes mistakes and fixes them. I just. Sigh. I won't lie, he's might just be my new book boyfriend. 

One last thing that I absolutely love (and there are way more, but I just can't sit here and list them all day because we'll end up with a novel-length analysis and nobody wants that): the cameos. THE CAMEOS!!!! They made my heart so happy and I just smiled so huge for that entire scene. Even the references to St. Clair and Anna throughout the book made me smile, but that part near the end of the book... 

And the thing.

You know. 

The thing. 

With St. Clair and Anna.

I might have shed a tear or five million.

I think this is a good stopping point now that I've gotten a good deal of my fangirlish squealing out of the way. If you haven't already guessed, I adored this book and I will read it over and over again. This is the most bittersweet thing because I know this series is over and that's so sad, but it is such a good series. And this final book is just the icing on the cake. Utter perfection. If you haven't picked this up yet, please do yourself a favour and sprint to the nearest bookstore. I promise you won't regret it.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

top ten books i'm not sure i want to read

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday on Thursday! Because I suck at doing things on time! This weekly feature is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week is all about books I'm not entirely sure I want to read. A vast majority of the books on my list were bargain books - mostly hardcovers for $5. I have a problem with taking advantage of sales, and end up buying a bunch of books I know nothing about. OR, books that have received a lot of hype, both positive and negative, that I'm not completely sure are my style.

1. Elixir by Hilary Duff - I grew up completely worshipping Hilary Duff. Like, 100% loved her. If I read this book and hate it (which, according to reviews, I might), the whole perfect illusion of her is shattered. 

2. You Have Seven Messages by Stewart Lewis - This sounds so intriguing - a girl trying to figure out the mystery behind her mother's death. Unfortunately, I've heard a ton of complaints about the MC in this book, and I'm not sure how much obnoxious teenager I can handle right now. 

3. Hold Still by Nina Lacour - I actually really want to read this but it sounds depressing as all hell, so we're gonna put it on the backburner right now. 

4. Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan - Picked it up because I really like the books I've read by David Levithan, from what I've heard this is an instalove story, which I'm really not a huge fan of. 

5. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling - Ugh. This is probably the book I'm most torn about. On one hand, it's J.K. Rowling and she is queen. But on the other hand, what if? What if it's not on the same level as Harry Potter? What if I hate it? We're back to the Hilary Duff thing again - this could potentially ruin my love for an author.  

6. Between The Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer - At first I thought this sounded good, and I really like what I've read from Jodi Picoult. But in all honesty, I don't remember what this story is about. It just doesn't stick out to me as something that I need to pick up. 

7. The Here and Now by Ann Brashares - Such a pretty cover! But such terrible reviews! 

8. Gone by Michael Grant - I feel like there was a ton of hype about this series a while back, but I don't know. I picked it up and it's been sitting on my shelf forever. I don't have a reason other than the MCs are too young for my taste. 

9. Catching Fire/Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - I KNOW, I know. I read The Hunger Games and loved it, and got about 20 pages into Catching Fire before putting it down. I want to finish the series because I'd like to see the movies and be part of the big following, but I'm just not sure. 

10. Insurgent/Allegiant by Veronica Roth - Basically the exact same reason as above. Also, I've heard a TON of complaints about these books, the last one in particular, and I'm just not sure I want to subject myself to those kinds of feels. 

What do you guys think? Any books on this list I need to pick up? Let me know!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

top ten books i'd recommend to people who haven't read contemporary

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, a feature hosted at The Broke and the Bookish! This week's topic is books we'd recommend to people who are new to a certain genre. Obviously, since I'm a total contemporary junkie, I had to go with these ones. So, without further adieu, here we go! 

1. All of Morgan Matson's books. I really tried to narrow it down to just one. I really did. But, the fact is: she is queen and I worship every word she writes, and I love them all equally and unconditionally. As far as I'm concerned, she's the perfect contemporary YA author. 

2. Audrey, Wait! by Lauren Benway. If you love a hilarious, spunky MC, you're going to adore Audrey. She's one of my favourite characters in all the books I've read just because of her no-bullshit attitude. Be warned, if you're heavily opposed to swearing you might want to stay away from this one. 

3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. For all the slightly antisocial bookworms, Cath is your girl. She's such a relatable character and it was incredibly easy for me to put myself in her shoes. Not to mention the family dynamics in this book are awesome. Everything in it is just extremely realistic.

4. The whole Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins. Honestly, I'm sure anyone who has the slightest interest in YA contemporary will have heard of these fantastic, wonderful books. I'm currently in post-Isla-reading bliss after finishing it a couple hours ago, and I couldn't be happier. Such a fun, romantic, funny, and sweet series. 

5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This is such a heartbreaking, sobering story of mental illness and suicide. It's definitely not a lighthearted read, but I recommend it as something that does a great job of tackling a really hard subject. 

6. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Sticking with the theme of heavier books, this one focuses on  a girl who struggles with an eating disorder. It's really chilling to see the thought process involved with these kinds of illnesses. Not necessarily a fun book, but definitely worth the read. 

7. Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher. Just. FEELS. I really liked how complex the characters were, without giving anything away. It's just good. It'll make you hurt. 

8. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. Ohmygod. I can't even describe my love for this book. It sounds really cheesy from the title, and that kind of made me hesitate to read it but it's really an amazing story that isn't nearly as shallow as it looks. 

9. Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. Obviously Sarah Dessen is very well known in the world of contemporary, so it wouldn't feel right not mentioning her! Someone Like You is one of my favourites by her, if not just for the amazing friendship between Halley and Scarlett, and how they stick together to deal with a really tough situation. 

10. Paper Towns by John Green. I mean, of course he had to be on this list, too. I didn't really want to mention TFIOS because everyone's heard of it by now, so recommending it would kind of be useless. This is a really amazing book as well, and if you haven't read it now you definitely should before the movie comes out! 

So, there we have it. I'm sorry for being so late on this (again)! Please forgive me. :) 

Recommend some books for me, any genre! What do you think I need to read?

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

top ten authors i own the most books from

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, we're talking about the authors we own most books from. Now, while I'll admit that compared to a lot of people I do own a lot of books, I don't have nearly as much as other book bloggers and booktubers do. So while some of these are authors that I really do own a lot of books, a good amount of them are instabuy authors - those authors whose books I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO READ as soon as they come out.

1. J.K. Rowling - 12 books
I have the entire Harry Potter series, with doubles of the last four books, and A Casual Vacancy. Haven't picked up her Robert Galbraith books yet! 

2. Sarah Dessen - 8 books
Sarah Dessen is the first YA contemporary author I really got into, so I owe a lot of my obsession to her books. I'm missing 3 of her novels, but I'm sure they'll be added to my collection eventually. 

3. David Levithan - 6 books 
I have the books he co-wrote with John Green and Andrea Cremer, as well as four of his own works. Most of them are still sitting on my tbr shelf at the moment.

4.  Stephenie Meyer - 5 books 
Don't even judge me, you know you have them, too.

5. John Green - 5 books 
Obviously an instabuy author. I don't have Let It Snow, but I'll probably end up getting it closer to winter.

6. Gayle Forman - 4 books 
This might be cheating because I technically only have Just One Day at the moment, but Just One Year, If I Stay, and Where She Went are all currently in transit on their way to my house. So there. (Also, she really has a thing for three-word titles, doesn't she?)

7. Rainbow Rowell - 4 books 
Total instabuy. Attachments is on its way to me right now, too, and I CAN'T WAIT TO READ IT.

8. Sarah Ockler - 4 books
Loved Twenty Boy Summer and instantly had to read everything she's ever written. I've gotten really lucky with her books in the way that I'll go to the bookstore not even looking for something of hers and just  find it out of nowhere. When The Book of Broken Hearts came out in paperback I just randomly stumbled across it and almost peed myself in excitement. True story. ALSO, if #scandal is in stock at Chapters when I go tomorrow I'm totally gonna snag that, too. 

9. Morgan Matson - 3 books
I will literally read every word this woman writes, ever. Hands down. No questions asked. Bye.

10. This is a total cop-out and cheating and doesn't even count in my opinion but R.L. Stine - upwards of 20 books
Just because I have a giant bag of Fear Street books that I'm too lazy to bring to the library even though I'm never going to read them.

So, there we have it! There's a lot of other authors I have 3 books from but I feel like that's a lot of effort to list them all just for 3 books. Because it really isn't that impressive to have 3 books from the same author.

What about you? Any authors you immediately have to buy books from? 

Friday, 25 July 2014

booktubeathon recap

I just wanted to write a quick little post about my experience with BookTubeAThon 2014. If anyone saw my tbr for the week you might actually be slightly impressed by the reading I did, just not by my total lack of updates throughout the week.

So, without further ado, here are the books from my list that I finished last week and the challenges!

The Lightning Thief - I read this on Monday and Tuesday and got COMPLETELY hooked, and now I really just want to buy the rest of the series. Seriously, I don't know why I didn't get to these books before. And I watched the movie after, so that completes the challenge of a book to movie adaptation.  (377 pages)

A Monster Calls - After I finished The Lightning Thief I was kind of on a roll so I jumped on this one right away and finished it in about 2 hours. I might have to read it again because I just kind of flew through it and didn't get to experience the whole thing, AND I kind of want to get the other version that has pictures in it but we'll see what happens. But the version I had was the one without it and I just read it for the book with red on the cover challenge. (224 pages)

Just One Day - Read it in - you guessed it - just one day. And I loved it and my plan was to read the sequel, which would take care of the start and finish a series challenge, but hardcover books are expensive and I'm cheap. (400 pages)

The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend - I basically counted all the books on my tbr shelf and got my boyfriend to pick a number, and ended up with The DUFF! Super quick, easy read, although the MC kind of pissed me off at times. But this one took care of the book someone else picks out for you, so we're all good! (280 pages)

The Little Prince - I might have cheated because I read the original French version of this in high school, so I already knew the story. Basically skimmed through it in an hour to complete the book with pictures challenge. (85 pages)

So those were the five books off my list that I completed. I also read half of The Catcher in the Rye (124 pages) and picked Going Bovine (480 pages) to take the place of Just One Year.

SO. The challenges I completed were:
A book with pictures.
A book with red on the cover.
A book someone else picks out for you.
A book to movie adaptation.
A book from the genre you've read least of this year (attempted - halfway completed?)

In total I read 1970 pages during the BookTubeAThon, which averages out to 281 pages a day. So, not quite 300 a day, but I'm pretty happy with how I did! Especially considering the fact that I worked every day and was busy with a summer class. :)

How was your BookTubeAThon experience?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

top ten characters i'd want on a deserted island with me

Let's just get this out of the way before we start: I suck. I know it, okay? I really did plan on posting daily, or at least every-other-daily BookTubeAThon updates, but the whole work/school/social life thing got in my way. I'll be posting a recap for the week tomorrow (hopefully) and until then, here's a little something to make me look like less of a failure. 

This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is all about being stranded on a deserted island and dragging some poor, unfortunate fictional characters along with you. I feel like a lot of these could solve everything realllly quickly so I'm gonna be creative with this. 

For Survival: 

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) - Girl can hunt, okay? And if I'm stuck on an island for God knows how long, I'm gonna need some food. 

Molly Weasley (Harry Potter) - What's the law about how creating food out of nothing is magically impossible? I feel like Molly's the kind of person who can pretty much make a delicious meal out of anything, and the magic helps, too. Plus: she can put up all kinds of protection spells and clean up with just a wave of her wand! Yes, please. 

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) - With Hermione's brains, I'm sure we'd be home safe in about 3 seconds. Even if we're not, she'd figure out a way to make life on the island awesome, not to mention her never-ending pouch that WE COULD FILL WITH ALL THE BOOKS!

Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) - She's just a total badass and if any supernatural beings tried to mess with us, she'd be on that. 

For Getting Off the Damn Island: 

Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter) - Because ACCIO GILLYWEED. See ya never, island. 

Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) - I'm pretty sure the whole breathing underwater thing would come in handy when you're stuck on an island. He could just swim over to the nearest boat or wherever civilization is and get someone to come save us. Or better yet, get his dad to split the water so we can walk home. 

Galen (The Syrena Legacy) - I mean, he's a hot mermaid. He's got this.

Elsa (Frozen) - She could just turn the ocean into ice and problem solved, just like that. 

Just Because: 

Audrey and Victoria (Audrey, Wait!) - I'm 1000% sure that these girls are my fictional soul sisters. And if we were on an island together I'd definitely join their best friend group. 

Etienne St. Clair (Anna and the French Kiss) - He's my book boyfriend forever, okay? He needs to be there. 

Who would you want to be on a deserted island with you? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

booktubeathon tbr!

I decided to take part in this year's BookTubeAThon to get me a little bit more involved in this little community here. This year's BookTubeAThon is hosted by a lovely bunch of Booktubers and challenges us to read a shitload of books in one week! YAY. 

 There's a few challenges set in place for the week, so here's how I'll be fulfilling these challenges.

1. A book with pictures.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery 

2. Start and finish a series.
Just One Day & Just One Year by Gayle Foreman 

3. A book with red on the cover.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (it has a little bit of red on the flowers, okay?)

4. A book someone else picks out for you. 

5. A book from the genre you've read the least this year. 
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (I haven't read any classics yet and this one's been laying around for about a year, so it's a perfect opportunity)

6. A book to movie adaptation. 
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (bonus points because I need to read this for school anyway!) 

7. Read 7 books (or 300 pages a day). 
If all goes well, this'll be 7 books! Fingers crossed, guys.

The BookTubeAThon is running from July 14-20. What will you be reading?
Thursday, 26 June 2014

to be finished: books i started and abandoned

Do you ever pick up a book and start reading it, just to lose interest in favour of another story? It's not that they're bad books, it's just that something else caught your attention. Or maybe this just happens to me and I have the attention span of a 2-year-old. 

In any case, I've found that there's quite a lot of books I've abandoned. Maybe I lost interest in reading for a while. Maybe I bought a new book and just had to read it right away. I'm going to try and make a point of finishing these books by the end of the summer, at least. 

bookshelf scavenger hunt

My creativity is lacking today and I'm still working on a review so here, have a tag! I'm not sure who started this but it was fun and I know it's kind of an older tag but you should do it too.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

review: since you've been gone

From Goodreads:

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um...

Let me start off with a little disclaimer: Since You've Been Gone is, without a doubt, my favourite book I've read so far this year. I love everything I've read by Morgan Matson and would probably pay to read her grocery lists, just because she writes that beautifully. Seriously, I'm already going through withdrawals and I'm kind of dying a little bit inside because I have no clue when her next book is coming out. But, I digress. 


The relationship dynamics - This book puts a refreshingly strong focus on the dynamics of friendship over the romantic aspect of the story - Emily is so completely focused on finding her best friend, she doesn't even begin to consider Frank as a potential love interest until much later in the story. I find that often with YA lit, the relationship between friends takes second place to romance. The fact that Matson switches this around and leaves romantic relationships as kind of an afterthought is just awesome. Even more, I loved how at the beginning of the book, when Frank is introduced, it isn't even mentioned that he has a girlfriend. Because it's honestly that irrelevant to Emily at that point in time. There's no whining about the unattainable guy, there's no love - or even attraction - at first sight. He's just some guy from school that she's seen around who becomes a friend over the summer. This is probably my favourite part of the book, to be honest. 

Sloane - I want a friend like Sloane. My high school self would have benefited so much from a Sloane in my life, I just want one. At some points in the story I was starting to get scared that it would end with Emily and Sloane not being friends anymore, and that would have just ruined me. 

Emily's transformation - I loved seeing Emily come into her own during the course of this book. I know everyone says stuff like this, but I could see a lot of myself in Emily at the beginning of the story, feeling so lost without her best friend. It made me proud in a weird way to watch her grow up and become confident on her own. It's very inspiring! 

The new friends - Frank, Collins, and Dawn play such a huge role in helping to break Emily out of her shell without even realizing what they're doing. They adopt this lonesome little lost puppy into their lives and help her find who she is outside of Sloane. 

Frank - Duh. (But in all seriousness, the fact that Frank isn't this total alpha-male hot guy is awesome. Their runs together were awesome. His wheezing and not being super athletic and strong was awesome. Frank is awesome.) 


The whole Sam/Gideon storyline - This isn't really even a con, it just felt kind of unnecessary to me. Like, I didn't really get why seeing Gideon after not even dating was such a big deal? I know that the flashbacks were meant to show how strong and unbreakable Sloane and Emily's friendship was, so I guess there's that. I can't even say I have an issue with this, so let's not even count it as a con. This book is perfect. 

Final Thoughts:

Since You've Been Gone is one of those rare books that has a perfect mix of friendship, romance, and self-discovery that's really hard to balance in a way that works just right. It's unique in its fixation on strong, true friendships over love, and it tells a story of growing up and finding who you are once the person who defines you is gone. This book is about taking chances, being independent, and doing things you've never done before. I think everyone should read this book, it really is amazing. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

top ten books on my summer tbr list

Hi, guys! Sorry about how late this post is, I've been super busy with work and everything this week. Obviously this blog isn't completely up and running yet, so I gave myself a little bit of leeway in getting  myself organized. But anyway, here we are.
This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about books I want to read in the summer! Some of these have already been released and some are summer releases, so I kind of have a mix of everything in here. 

1. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith - I absolutely adored the other two books I've read by her, and I'll definitely be picking this one up next time I hit the bookstore. 

2. The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder - a) THIS COVER OMG I LOVE IT, and b) friendship-summer-roadtrip stories always have my heart. And again, the cover is just perfect and beautiful. 

3. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - I have this book sitting on my shelf just waiting for me to pick it up. It'll probably be the next one I read, and I have a feeling I'm going to love it. 

4. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord - What can I say, I just love friendship stories in the summer. I've heard from a lot of people that the relationship between these two friends is amazing, and I can't wait to experience it for myself. 

5. #scandal by Sarah Ockler - I just love Sarah Ockler, okay? 

6. Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes - It's described as a mix between The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Mean Girls, which sounds awesome. 

7. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - If you saw my Waiting on Wednesday from last week, this is an obvious one. Stephanie Perkins' books are just perfect summer reads, and we'll leave it at that. I'm so excited. 

8. The Merciless by Danielle Vega - This is not my usual type of book at all, and to be completely honest, there's a very good chance I'll have nightmares for a month after reading this. But the whole concept of a group of girls performing an exorcism is really intriguing to me. Maybe I'll get too scared and leave this one, but who knows?

9. Falling into Place by Amy Zhang - Again, not exactly a lighthearted summer story, but the Goodreads description says it would appeal to fans of Jay Asher, Lauren Oliver, and Gayle Foreman. Since I love all of them, I think I'm in pretty good hands! Also, the author is apparently in high school and I'm going to go re-evaluate my life now. 

10. Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid - Another road trip story, but not quite the best friend type of story this time. Four strangers, only sharing one thing in common: this girl named Leila. I really want to see how this plays out, and how all these strangers are connected. 

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer? 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

waiting on wednesday - isla and the happily ever after

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

This week's Waiting on Wednesday pick is...

Isla and the Happily Ever After  by Stephanie Perkins
352 pages
Publisher: Dutton
Publication date: August 14, 2014

from Goodreads:
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.
Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Why I'm Waiting:
I devoured Anna and the French Kiss in about a day, and as of right now I'm halfway through Lola and the Boy Next Door and absolutely loving it. I'm sure that as soon as I finish I'll be waiting impatiently until August when I can get my hands on this last instalment! 

What new books are you anticipating? 

top ten books i've read so far this year

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week is all about my favourite books I've read so far in 2014. To be honest, I just got back into reading a lot after I finished school in May, so most of these books are ones that I've flown through in the last couple of weeks, and others are from late 2013. Cheating, I know. 

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - I could relate so much to Cath, it was insane. Not that I write fanfic or anything, but I totally get the devotion she felt toward the Simon Snow universe. The fact that it was basically an alternate version of Harry Potter didn't hurt, obviously. Just all around smiles for this one. 

2. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith - This book was just so cute. That's all I can say. It's one of those books that leaves you with a smile on your face and a nice feeling and happy thoughts all around. I loved the whole emailing-a-stranger-and-falling-in-love thing, too. Screw stranger danger. 

3. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith - I want this lady to write my life, okay? It really is that simple. This books takes place over a 24-hour period, and makes you think about fate, family, and things to come. Loved it. 

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - Maybe this one's cheating a little bit since I've already read it more times than I can count, but it was one of the required texts for my Children's Literature class this year. And let's be honest, Harry Potter is always a favourite for me. 

5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - I honestly didn't expect to like this book as much as I did, but it kind of stole my heart. I obviously have a thing for sappy, contemporary YA, and this one completely fits the bill. I also love stories that take place in cities I want to visit, it's like taking a trip for free! 

6. The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan - I loved how unique this book was. The story is told completely through dictionary entries, and it doesn't go in chronological order so you get to see different parts of the relationship, including the outcome, in a different order than you normally would. It was a really interesting concept! 

7. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler - If we're being completely honest, I picked up this book without even reading the back of it just because I love Sarah Ockler so much. This one definitely did not disappoint. It had just the right amount of everything, and really sheds light on the reality of a certain disease, without being overly serious. And Jude's attitude is just the best. And motorcycles. 

8. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour - Best friends, music, summer road trips, and unrequited love.  I mean, seriously, what more could you ask for?

9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Again, I'm kind of cheating because: a) I read this when it first came out, and b) Everyone and their dog has read it by now. But I wanted to read it again before seeing the movie, and already having read it did not change the fact that there were tear stains all over my copy when I was finished with it. Okay? Okay. 

10. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West - The protagonist, Caymen, is totally the kind of girl I'd want to hang out with if I knew her in real life. Total friend crush. 

What's the best book you've read this year? 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

why, hello there!

Hi everyone!
Or, I suppose it's more appropriate to say - hi no one at alllll! Because seriously, this blog has been up and running for a grand total of thirty minutes and I'm not THAT magical. But hey, if you're on here for some reason, good for you. Let's be pals.
Just a quick little post for tonight before I get the real stuff going in the next few days. I'm Ryley, and I'm a 19 year old Canadian YA-aholic. I'm also an English major, music freak, makeup lover, and travel enthusiast.
I've wanted to start some sort of book blog for a while, and decided that there really was no better way to spend my summer than reading and ranting. So, here we are. Currently, I'm in the process of figuring out exactly how I'm going to be running this - I figure I'll try for a review once a week to start, and some of the popular features and memes I've seen floating around the blogosphere.
Let me know if you have any suggestions!