Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Books Daisy Added To Her TBR List Recently

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

This week's topic is about books we've added to our to-be-read list lately! I (Jamie) love sharing what I've recently added to my book/Netflix/music queue on my own blog monthly-ish so I thought it would be fun to peek at what everyone has added to their TBR's lately!

So take it away, Daisy!

1. The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley: I LOVED The Emperor's Blades, it was on my TTT of Best Books of 2014, and somehow I missed the release of this one. But luckily, the Goodreads community is awesome and someone alerted me to it, so now it's on the TBR!

2. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan: I came across the sequel while looking for what to buy next and this cover and the summary seemed SO familiar, but I cannot for the life of me remember where I've seen it before, but it's on the TBR now (and also on its way here). Yay for fantasy goodness!

3. Kamikazo Kaito Jeanne vol 1 by Arina Tanemura: so I totally listened in on all your manga recs to Jana, because I've been meaning to expand my reading experience and added this to the TBR and it's also on its way here as we speak :)

4. Death Note vol 1 by Tsugumi Ohba: same goes for this one, I'm really excited!

5. Simon vs. the Home Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: people are raving about this book and somehow I missed all the excitement before last week, so it's added to the TBR and pre-ordered!

6. Flunked by Jen Calonita: the first book in the Fairy Tale Reform School series, does that not sound awesome?? I need this book in my life.

7. Undeniable by Liz Bankes: I'm all for holiday love stories, especially when they feature British boys.

8. The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn: about the youngest of the three Fates. Count me in!

9. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy: this has the potential to totally win my heart and an attitude of "the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body." sounds like a winner to me!

10. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston: this sounds like a retelling of 1001 Nights/Arabian Nights, and also, it sounds awesome!

So, tell me what you've added to your TBR recently!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 3/15 - 3/28

Daisy's Book Haul

-I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson: so this has been all over the blogosphere and I've heard amazing things about both this book and the author in general, so I decided to get myself the sunshine-y paperback!
Wanted by Sara Shepard: I decided to go ahead and get the second boxed set even though I've only read the first book in the series. I know I'm gonna want to read them all ;)
-Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor: this is one for my shelf of shame (named own-full-series-haven't-started-first-book-yet), but I couldn't resist!
-The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith: people seem to be all over Jennifer E. Smith's books, I want in on the action.
-Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano: I haven't read the first book yet, but I just cannot help myself...

Egalleys for review:
-Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker: I'm always in for anything to do with witches and wizards and this sounds like it could be amazing!
-Aimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London: the best friend's brother combined with a British accent. I really don't need anything more to know I want to read this.
-Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid: this sounds like a really cute read that will make me smile, so I'm in!
-Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella: I LOVE Sophie Kinsella's adult contemporary romance and now she has written a YA novel?? MY BODY IS READY!
-Starborn by Lucy Hounsom: the summary for this just makes me excited to be starting a series filled with what I hope to be fantasy goodness!
-Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly: about a girl with a wicked witch for a mother who's "used to stopping the witch’s crazy schemes for world domination". WANTS! NOW!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tahleen gives two mini reviews

Tahleen here!

So I'm the worst and am only now getting my post up for today, and for that I'm sorry. I'm going to do a quick little review of the last few books I read, just enough to whet your appetites for some nice YA books.


This one is a Morris Honor book for this year (for those of you who don't know, the Morris Award is given to the most outstanding YA debut of the year). Dragon slayer, you think; must be a high fantasy of some sort. Well, kinda. Not really.  It's more like urban (rural?) fantasy, set in a small town in Canada outside of Toronto. Just, dragons are normal here. And Owen is the nephew of the most famous Canadian dragon slayer since St. George, and the son of two more dragon slayers. He doesn't tell his own story though; that is Siobhan's job, a girl who turns out to be his bard.

What I liked about this book was Owen was just kind of this scrawny kid, who happened to be super famous by association with his Aunt Lottie, and because he was also training to be a dragon slayer (as is custom; the job is hereditary). It's a school story, but with dragons. And maybe a little outside investigation of possibly true nutso theories about the surge in the dragon population. The world Johnston has created here is very clever, so kudos!

That said, this one wasn't my very favorite book ever, and it took me a loooooong time to get through it. Speaking of the end, though, it was pretty abrupt and part of me is wondering if another one is in the works. It could go either way the way this one ended, to be honest. I was also annoyed to see some typos in there, but what can you do.


Yay, it's Annith's turn to get a story! Quick catch-up: This trilogy is about assassin nuns of the convent of St. Mortain, god of death, in 15th-century Brittany. These ladies are pretty intense.

 Annith, to escape the Abbess's plot to make her the next Seeress of the convent of St. Mortain, has escaped to the wider world and quickly gets caught up in a band of Hellequin, dead men who serve the god of death in order to atone for sins they committed in life. She falls for Balthazar, their broody dark leader, but worries they are indeed hunting her because of her choice to abandon the convent. So once again she escapes, and finds her way to her sisters Ismae and Sybella who are serving the Duchess of Brittany in their attempt to keep their country free and safe.

We get some doozy revelations here, so I won't say a whole lot, but I thought this was a fitting end to a well-written trilogy. This one did start to feel a little long toward the end, but everything wrapped up well, so I can't complain too much. I especially liked the author's note at the end, providing readers with fact vs. fiction has far as history is concerned. Gold star for that.

Quick note on the audio version of this: I didn't think it was particularly good, but not awful. It wasn't as good as the second book's narration (excellently done), and it was not as bad as the first. So, whatever. It got the job done and I'm happy.

Did you read either of these? What did you think?

Disclaimer: I got these books from my local library (and you should too!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Julia's on Vacation - Tell Me about Yours

Me on my balcony in Maui

Today I actually have a backlog of three books that I could write reviews for, all of which I liked at least, Every Day, Three Weeks with Lady X and The Silkworm. But unfortunately for you guys I am on vacation and want to sit out in the sun and read instead of write up a review. Sorry about that all.

So instead, while I bask in the Maui sun and jump of waterfalls (I screamed like a girl once I worked up the courage to jump!), I want you guys to talk about the upcoming spring and summer months. Who is going on some cool vacations? Tell us about them!

This vacation is the first family vacation we have been on together in seven years. I am super stoked to leave the cold Ohio winter-spring season to burn all of my skin off in the Hawaii sun. I got so red between snorkeling and whale watching. Anyway, that's enough about me. What about you guys?

Tell me about your upcoming or recent vacations. If you don't have any planned, tell me about your dream vacations!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday -- Ten Books From Our Childhood/Teen Years We'd Like To Revisit

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

We've talked favorite childhood books and the ones you WISH you read as a kid a while ago on Top Ten Tuesday so we figured it was high time to talk about the ones we would want to revisit.

Tahleen's Picks


1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and the rest of the Time Quartet. Every once in a while I feel the urge to reread this classic, beloved by me and many other readers out there. I feel like I gain something new each time, and it's like catching up with an old friend.

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief

2. The Sammy Keyes series by Wendelin van Draanen. I started reading this series in 6th grade, and I still love it. It has been a while since I read one of them, though, and it might be time for me to pick up where I left off.

Bridget's Picks 

3. The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin (and various ghostwriters). I loved these books growing up; I actually read them well into high school as a break from the drudgery of school when I needed something mindless and easy. If I could find my old collection I'd totally read them again.

4. Nancy Drew!! I used to read the crap out of these—and my love of them was actually inspired by Claudia Kishi's collection in The Baby-Sitters Club. I would read these too if I could find them; I don't know what happened to my collection, unfortunately, but I had a whole bunch of them!

Jamie's Picks

5. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: I read this book my senior year and I'd love to revisit it. It was the kind of book I read at the right time and it saved me.

6. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger: I LOVED THIS BOOK AS A TEEN. I want to know what adult Jamie would think. I also want to reread Franny and Zooey but that was a college read so technically doesn't fit!

7. The Boxcar Children series: I LOVED THESE BOOKS. SO MUCH.

8. The Crucible by Arthur Miller: I remember loving this in high school and I wonder if it was the book or the amazing English teacher I had.

9. Blubber by Judy Blume: I loved all Judy Blume's books but I remember this was the first one I ever read.

10. Sweet Valley High books: I LOVED THIS SERIES. I read it as a pre-teen and wanted to live in those books.

Tell us YOUR favorite childhood faves that you would love to revisit!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jana has no clue when it comes to YA Manga. Help!!

As you know, I'm currently in grad school to get my master's degree in library and information science. This semester I'm taking a YA Lit class. If you're interested in seeing the list of required reads for this class, click here!

Anyway, I'm hoping you can help me with my reading choices for week 10: graphically speaking. Here's that week's reading list:

Required: The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Choose 2: Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (2 books count as 1)
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman (2 books count as 1)
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2 books count as 1)
Drama by Raina Telgmeier
The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki
Blankets by Craig Thompson.

Plus: Read a single YA manga title of your choice.

Feel free to comment on any of the books from the list I have to choose two from. I would LOVE your opinions.

My biggest issues here, though, is the single YA manga of my choice. I'm at a complete loss. I've never read manga, never seen it... I barely know what it is! So, can you help me? Tell me what to read!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Lori Reviews WILD by Cheryl Strayed

Title:  Wild:  From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Author:  Cheryl Strayed

Publication Information:  2012 by Knopf

How I Got This Book:  I purchased a copy online.

Goodreads Synopsis:  At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.

My Thoughts:  I loved this book.  Go read it.  :)

Oh, you want more than that?  OK, fine...

A lot has been said about the risks Strayed took in hiking the trail alone, without any sort of training ahead of time, and without much of a clue as to what to expect.  OK, yes.  Probably not the best idea in the world.  But I looked past all of that towards the personal journey she was on.

The first part of the book details Strayed's past and how she got to the point of hiking the trail.  She had an unusual childhood in a very primitive house.  Her mom got sick and it destroyed her and her family.  She went down a negative path, filled with drugs and lots of promiscuous sex, which led to the breakup of her marriage.

She decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail as a way to finding a path to redemption.

She learns a lot about herself along the way.

I've had a year filled with a lot of change and a lot of grief--quitting a job, moving, caring for my grandfather while he was in the hospital, and then losing him.  There were tons of moments along the way where I wanted to just run away and do something so physically taxing that I could leave behind all of the emotions.  Like Strayed, I wanted to be so consumed with the very act of making it through the day that I couldn't focus on what was going on in my regular life.  Reading about Strayed's own journey helped me process a lot of things.

I loved how open and honest and raw her writing was.  She let it all out there, warts and all.  She spoke in a voice I was able to relate to, though I have not had the same struggles or experiences she has had.

Aside from the personal, inner journey, I loved reading about the outer journey of hiking that kind of distance.  I really enjoyed reading Bill Bryson's journey through the Appalachian Trail in A Walk in the Woods.  It appealed to my inner travel bug.  So much so that I told my mom that I want to go on a major hiking trip at some point.  And so much so that I am hitting a local trail this afternoon.

Bottom line--for my this book was appealing on more than one level and I would highly recommend it to people interested in the physical adventure and to people interested in the inner journey.  Not a "fun" read (in the sense of light), but definitely a good read that will make you think.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Daisy Asks For Your Fluffy Contemporary Recs!

Ok guys, I've asked you for recommendations before, and obviously you're all awesome at this! So now I REALLY need more fluffy contemporaries in my life and I'm asking you to tell me what I should be reading. I want cute and aww-inspiring and swoony and just something that will make me smile. I prefer YA or NA, but if you have a good adult rec, that's fine too :)

If you're interested in my Goodreads shelves, you can find them here.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday -- Books On Our Spring TBR List!

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Daisy's Picks

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: I know so many people have already read this, but I'm not one of them and I cannot wait for my copy to get here to so I can meet all of these characters that everyone keeps raving about!

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West: Give me a fake relationship any day and I'll be a happy reader. Especially if it's written by Kasie West, cause she's awesome.

The Novice by Taran Matharu: this sounds like the start of an epic fantasy series and OMG that cover is just GORGEOUS!

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: I need this in my life after loving The Queen of the Tearling last year!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: it's a Rome-like world combined with fantasy goodness, OF COURSE I'M IN!

Tahleen's Picks

The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson: I've been waiting for this one to come out since I read the last book in the series, The Madness Underneath. I was super disappointed in the ending of that one, but I was told by a very reliable source that this one was better. Here's hoping!

Jackaby by William Ritter: I started this one a couple of months ago and enjoyed it, but things happened and I put it down for a bit. Then I saw it was going to be a Forever Young Adult book club pick in a few months, so I figured I'd wait to read it until then. It's sort of like Sherlock Holmes, but with paranormal stuff, a female Watson, and in late 19th-century America.

Jana's Picks

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski: I LOVED The Winner's Curse, and can't wait for the next one! I've had it for ages, I've just been so busy with school. Next week is Spring Break for me, and I plan to enjoy it!

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson: Pretty much ditto to my reasoning above. The Kiss of Deception is one of my favorite books ever, and I'm planning to read this one as soon as I'm done with my current read!

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows: I've been hearing that this book might ruin me, but I love Jodi so much that I don't even care!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Kimberly Reviews A Dog Called Homeless

Book: A Dog Called Homeless
Author: Sarah Lean
Why I Read It: Goodreads Recommendation
Rating: 4.5 Stars

"My name is Cally Louise Fisher and I haven't spoken for thirty-one days. Talking doesn’t always make things happen, however much you want them to."

When Cally Fisher sees her dead mother, real as anything, no one believes her. So Cally stops talking – what’s the point if no one is listening?

The only other living soul who sees Cally's mum is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mum appears. But without a voice, how will Cally convince anyone that her mum is still with them, and how will she ever persuade her Dad that the huge silver-grey dog is their last link with her?
Cally is your typical kid. Stubborn, sweet and sometimes she talks a little too much. When someone suggests that she wouldn't be able to win the class fundraiser (not speaking for a whole day) she jumps right in to prove them wrong. Then she realizes, no one really noticed that she hadn't spoken, so she just stays quiet. Her family has been through a rough time. Her mother died, and while Cally is struggling to cope, so is everyone else.

I really loved this sweet book. I picked it up as a quick read, and fell in love with the sweet main character. There are a couple of very frustrating characters, and I found myself getting angry with them. However, there are a few other characters that I loved to keep the story engaging instead of frustrating.

This is a nice, quick MG read. It's very sweet and cute, I'd recommend it to about anyone!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 3/1 - 3/14

Daisy's Book Haul

-The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory: I love Philippa Gregory's books, so obviously I had to own this one as well!
-The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski: I haven't read The Winner's Curse yet, but I hear amazing things about it and couldn't help myself so I pre-ordered this one. I regret nothing.
-The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows: OMG ALL THE EXCITEMENT!!! I cannot wait to read this, it sounds AMAZING!
-Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver: I don't know all that much about it except that it's written by Lauren Oliver and about a sister who disappears. That's enough for me.
-The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace: I need this book in my life! It sounds like a very Daisy-type of book!
-Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: So basically everyone and their aunt fangirled all over this, so I decided to get a shiny copy and read it soonish.
-Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins: I've been eyeing this for a while now, it sounds so fun! And Rachel Hawkins is awesome, so :)

Egalleys for review:
-A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin: EEEE! I'm SO excited!! This sounds really good and I can't wait to read it!
-Spelled by Betsy Schow: I will pretty much forever read all fairytale retellings or anything resembling it that cross my path.
-The Waterborne Blade by Susan Murray: I'm so ready for the start of what looks to be an epic fantasy series!
-Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen: it sounds a bit like the plot of Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake, only contemporary and I LOVE it!
-School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough: that title alone is reason enough to read this book.

Friday, March 13, 2015

On Reading Diversely

Hi all! I’m participating in the Dive Into DiversityChallenge hosted by Rather be Reading and Reading Wishes this year, and I’m enjoying it so far, but I’ve run into a roadblock or two. The biggest one, and the one I’d love some input on, is: what does it mean to read diversely?

One of the suggested titles to read for this challenge was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I really enjoyed it, and I’d recommend it to anyone who liked Ender’s Game and/or enjoys some good 80s nostalgia. However, I’m not really sure where “diversity” comes in. The main character, Wade, is a white male, as is the author—not very diverse. On the other hand, Wade is poor, as is much of the country in this vision of the future. Does that make it diverse? (Economically diverse?)

People in the OASIS can be whatever color, age, gender, etc. that they want; you can also be a witch or a wizard or any manner of fantastical creature. Some of the people Wade meets along the way have taken advantage of this, using avatars that don’t match their real-life gender, age, or race. We don’t find this out until toward the end, though, so I don’t know if it qualifies as “diverse.”

My next Dive Into Diversity read is probably going to be Little Peach by Peggy Kern. Peggy is white, but women are still disadvantaged in the publishing world, so does that alone make it diverse? Is it the topic—underage prostitution—that makes it diverse? I don’t yet know what race or sexual orientation the protagonist is; if she’s a PoC, does that make it diverse, even if it’s written by a white straight woman? I’ve also read Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones for the challenge—I would definitely consider that one diverse, as it’s written by a woman of color about women of color.

When you try to read diversely, what “boxes” do you check before you consider a book diverse? Does the book have to be written by an author of color? A woman? An LGBTQ author? Or does the book just have to have diverse characters (LGBTQ, people of color, economic diversity, differently-abled, etc.)? But what if the diverse characters are written by someone who isn’t “diverse”? Does that make it less authentic/less diverse? I want to say yes, but is that fair?

Sorry if I rambled a bit—there are a lot of questions here. I’d love to hear your opinions on any and all of them!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Hub Reading Challenge, and mini reviews from Tahleen

You might remember from my last post how excited I get by the Youth Media Award winner announcements. Well, now that they have been revealed for over a month, the YALSA Hub Reading Challenge of 2015 is here!

What is the Hub Challenge, you ask? Basically, the objective is to read 25 books published for young adults that were awarded something or other by YALSA. You can read all about how to participate and which books are included here. They also have a handy dandy checklist you can print out and use to keep track of your reading and listening!

Of course, every year I try to participate, though often I don't come anywhere close to completing the challenge. This year I feel like I'm doing an okay job, though! I've already listened to (almost) two audiobooks, and have finished reading one book that was given an Alex Award. Here are my brief thoughts on them:

Bellweather Rhapsody

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

Lots of stuff goes down on the weekend of the Statewide high school concerts in the Bellweather Hotel. All hell breaks loose when a young flautist prodigy disappears suddenly, and her roommate claims to have seen her hanging from a pipe in their room--and that she was murdered. All while a major snowstorm descends upon them. I loved this book. Full of quirky and sometimes downright awful characters and a rather large (and perplexing) mystery, this book will keep you turning the pages pretty much until the end.


Skink: No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen, narrated by Kirby Heyborne

If you've read anything by Carl Hiaasen before, you know how awesome and off the wall his novels can be. If you've read any of the books that contain Skink, you especially know. Skink is a one-of-a-kind ex-governer of Florida who takes justice into his own hands, sometimes (most times) not always legally. In this installment, Skink meets Richard, our narrator, whose cousin Malley runs away with her online boyfriend--but it soon becomes clear she is in over her head. So Skink and Richard set off to find and rescue her. Heyborne, as always, does a fantastic job with the narration, and this is a fun and wild ride.


I am not quite finished with this one yet, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. It's kind of a like a mix between a Victorian comedy of errors akin to The Importance of Being Earnest, and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. There's a lot of humor in this novel about seven girls at a boarding school for young ladies in the English countryside who try to cover up their headmistress's and her brother's mysterious deaths--by poison, as they come to figure out. There is also a nice little twist in the rising action that I SO wanted to talk to someone about, but no one I know is reading it! As always, Jayne Entwhistle's narration is just delightful. (You might recognize her as the narrator of the Flavia de Luce mysteries, which I also highly recommend.) Well deserving of its Odyssey Honor.

That's it for me so far! I'm going to work on getting some of those Printz winners read soon, and the Morris Award winner and honor books. Have you read anything on the list?

Disclaimer: I got all of these books from my local library, whether they were physical copies or digital.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Ten Books For Readers Who Like Series That Have More Than 3 Books In Them


 *EDIT: So sorry! No idea what happened to the linky! It showed up when I previewed it last night. Blogger is CRAZY. Woke up at 3:30 (yeah, idk why I am wide awake) to messages about the lack of a linky. It's up now! SO SORRY!*



For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

This week is pretty open-ended (top ten books for readers who like X)! We chose to talk about series with more than 3 books!

We love duologies and trilogies. WE DO. But we also really love getting caught up in a story that spans more than 3 books. So if you are looking for a longer series, we've got you covered!

Jamie's Picks

1.  Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas: This one is a planned series of 6 and book four will be out this Fall! I LOVE this series so much. Like all time favorite series status thus far.
Seconded by Daisy!

2. The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty: I LOVED this series so much. Getting to watch Jessica grow from a high school student to a young adult was the BEST. If you love contemporary and are looking for a series, this one is AWESOME and so, so funny!

3. The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting: This one is 4 books so not SUPER long but still a good size. If you like ghosty/supernatural stuff, check this one out. The main character can hear the echos of the dead who have been murdered and she begins to help solve their crimes.

4. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: LOVE this series so much. Kickass sci-fi fairytale retellings!

5. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater: I haven't finished all the books that are currently out but OMG THIS SERIES. It's brilliant and unlike anything I've ever read plus the characters are AMAAAZING.

Daisy's Picks

4. The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon: this one is planned to be a 7 book series, so this will last me a while! I really loved the first two books in this series that are out so far! Don't feel daunted by their size, it's awesome.

5. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin: so obviously I couldn't leave this one out. This is EPIC fantasy and it's amazing and I REALLY need to read the fifth book and then the endless wait for the next one can begin...

6. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan: I LOVE the Percy Jackson books and while I still haven't started the Heroes of Olympus series yet, I hear it's AMAZING and also, both series are 5 books, so you can feast yourself on 10 books in total! WIN!

7. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: Yeah, I couldn't resist. So this is 7 books and if you haven't read this you should. If you have, you should re-read it. I'm itching to!

8. The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard: I've only read the first book, but there are what, like 16 books now? I hear from the boyfriend's sister, who's read them all, that you can read the first 8 and have an answer to who the heck A is, so I'm probably gonna ignore the books after that one.

Monday, March 9, 2015

View from Page Thirty: Every Day by David Levithan

Happy Monday, dear Readers! It's been a while since I went to the list of books you call provided to me, the lovingly named Slumplist, and gave one of them a try. Since I had to read a stupid work book (which actually wasn't too bad, just nothing I feel like reviewing) and I just started The SilkwormA View from Page Thirty* post seems just what we need today!

Today, I am actually reading the beginning of something that I put back on my To-Read list on Goodreads in September 2012. It was suggested on the Slumplist post by Rachel saying that it had "that addictive quality" that I was requesting to get out of my slump.

The Book: Every Day by David Levithan
Release Date: August 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genres: Contemporary YA, Fantasy
Series: I thought it was a stand alone, but apparently book two comes out this summer.

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day

A View from Page Thirty:
Well, those first two chapters went by fast! This book starts off right into the action. This person has an interesting life in that every day he wakes up as a different person. The author jumps right away into a decent enough explanation without getting too bogged down in the details from page one. Since his first body that I read about was a guy, I am going to call him a guy and use male pronouns, but the book says he can be either guy or girl though always around the age of how old he would actually be if he were a stationary person.

Anyway he ends up being this kid Justin and we get a glimpse into how his day usually works. How do you figure things out about a person without letting any of the people in their life know that somethings is off? It's quite a balancing act... and one that you would never get a day off from.

He meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon, and ends up breaking all of his rules and forming an attachment to her. They actually have a really sweet afternoon together, but soon night comes and he wake as Leslie.

Leslie's brother and thus family is not having a good day, which makes it harder for the main character. Even harder still because he can't stop thinking of Rhiannon. But he navigates his way though the waters, trying to do things that seem like the would be Leslie's actions without trying to change the course of her life too much.

What I am Loving:
This concept is outstanding. I keep wondering off thinking about all of the consequences of living a life like this - no possessions, no family, no ties, no real sense of self. It truly sounds like an awful existence. I love that he gave himself a "possession" in the form of an email address. That's smart! I also wonder how this life would work as an adult with having to figure out jobs and how that would work. Urg, so much stress in this life!

I am curious about how he is going to cope with this attachment that he has made even though it broke his "don't interfere too much" rule. Is he going to start altering other people lives just to get to her? These are the big questions that suck you in!

What I am Unsure of
I don't know how I feel about the narrator. I get his life is horrible, but I am a little worried at how much I will be able to connect. But I am still curious to see where and how the story play out. Will he get to see and explain everything to Rhiannon?

Another thing is that I am fearful this could turn into a story that I have read before (boy meets girl, boy has problems getting to girl, YA drama, love triangle, etc) and thus lose site of the awesome concept.

Final Verdict:
I am definitely going to keep going on this. It seems it's only a few hungered digital pages long. I like the concept and I think it has a lot of potential, but I am a little concerned that it may turn into every other YA model love story and the concept will fall to the wayside...

So have you guys read this? Should I keep going? Try to keep it spoiler free for me if you will. :) Also if you have any books you want me to read for the Slumplist or this feature, please feel free to suggest some!

*For those not familiar with a View from Page Thirty, basically it is me giving my thirty page first impression of a book. I have a personal rule that every book I start gets at least thirty pages. If I am not feeling it by then, time to move on. So I figured it would make a fun feature. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring Reading

I've read ten books so far this year.  I am truly stunned by this because I usually struggle to read twenty books in the whole year.  I think a lot of this has to do with my decision to--paradoxically--stop taking my reading so seriously, but also take it more seriously.  I started worrying less about what I was reading and focused more on reading what I've felt like reading.  If I don't have another book in mind as soon as I finish my current read, I don't stress.  I take a brief break, watch some TV, and eventually pick up something that I blaze through.  A big part, I think, of my success has been not trying to force myself to read certain things.  If I want to read a few thrillers and a few collections of essays, washed down with some contemporary fiction--great!

That said, the changes in the seasons always affect my reading tastes.  I can rely on wanting to read (and reread) a few authors or titles each year.

Among these...

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith  Maybe it's because in the spring the trees finally bloom and it's the perfect weather to read outside--not too cold, not too hot, plenty of sun, and plenty of shade.  But spring always finds me wanting to re-read this novel.  I always get lost in the beautiful language and the beautiful story.  I root so hard for Francie to be able to start life anew (and maybe that's part of it too).

William Faulkner  In college I would skip class on the first true spring day of the year and read As I Lay Dying.  The windows would be thrown open to get out the stale winter and to bring in the warm breeze.  I would make fresh lemonade.  Those days would always move slowly, languidly, at their own pace, much like Faulkner's story.  This spring, however, I am branching out and reading Light in August.  Next week we're supposed to have weather in the upper 60s after too many days of cold.  I am going to my grandparents' house for a few days, where I will sit out on the deck and devour this novel.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee  When I think about this novel, I remember so much of it being hot, taking place in the summer, but the purity and the simplicity of it make me want to read it during the spring.  When I think back to the first time I read this novel, I recall being outside.  Maybe I read it for the first time over spring break or maybe it was just very early in the summer.  At any rate, this novel makes me want to be outside while I experience it.

What books do you like to read in the spring?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Cocktail & Conversation -- To Mark As DNF or Not?

Every other Thursday here at the Broke & The Bookish is  A Cocktail Conversation time. One of the TB&TB members will pose a question to 2-3 of the other members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends.

In the book world we talk a lot about books that we mark as DNFs (did not finish). I'm curious about everyone's habits when it comes to deciding when to abandon a book! Are you quick to put a book down if you aren't jiving? Are you able to do it without any guilt? Or do you struggle when knowing to put it down? Do you keep hoping it gets better?

Jana says:

 I used to have a REALLY hard time DNFing, especially if the book came from an author or publisher. A few years ago I went through a two-week period where I was forcing myself to read a book I was really struggling with. I got to the point where I hated the idea of reading, and I wasted time on social media so I would not have to.. And then I had an epiphany. WHY was I reading this if I hated it? The author/pub does not WANT a bad review, and they know not everyone will love every book. So I DNFed it. And it felt amazing! Now I don't have a problem with it at all. Life' too short to read bad books.

Lori Says:

I don't think I really and truly DNF very often.  More often I will start a book, enjoy it for a while, then kind of let it fall by the wayside as I get into another book, but always with the intention of picking it back up eventually.  To me, "DNF" has such a note of finality that there aren't many books I've started that I decided I would not finish.  I will unquestionably DNF if the writing is just that bad and I have done this recently.  I've also DNFed because I decided I just didn't care if I ever finished the book coughcoughUlyssesbyJamesJoycecoughcought, but it was a struggle for me and I'm not even 100% sure that I will never, ever, ever finish at least the audiobook.


Kimberly Says:

I really have a hard time DNFing. I just keep thinking "Another chapter. Maybe then I'll be hooked!". Sometimes that is true, other times... not so much. I've been much better about it lately. If I'm not even slightly excited to go back to reading, I will put it on my "read later" shelf. There have been a few books I flat out DNFed. I'm not going to say what book, but if you go to my Goodreads page, I have a DNF shelf. You'll see it there. There are just too many books out there waiting to become new favorites, can't waste time on something I hate reading!

What about you, dear readers??

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday -- ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!



Bridget's Picks

1. 14 – Peter Clines. A super fun story about a possibly-haunted, possibly just really WTF building in Los Angeles. I originally read it on NetGalley and recently bought a hard copy so I could read it again, and it was just as awesome as when I read it the first time.

2. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson. Easily one of the best horror stories I’ve ever read. So wonderfully creepy.

Julia's Picks

3.  Ready Player One by Richard Cline
This book surprised me. It was the first book that my now defunct work bookclub read and I was blown away. I loved the nostalgic adventure and devoured the audio book read by none other than Wil Wheaton. For geeks like me with a love of things from the 80s/90s, this book is a must read. (review)

4. Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare
Another book that fell into my lap. I went to a book signing for Eloisa James and Tessa Dare. There were some travel mishaps and only Eloisa could make it. I loved the way Eloisa sold Tessa's book and decided to give it a try. And wow did I love it! It is one of the few romance's that don't blend into all the others that I read. (review)

5. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
I found this book on Netgalley a while back and it surprised me how much I liked it! It was a twist on the dystopian YA and I loved it so much! Just two characters trying to survive on a new world, running into all of these unexplained problems. Seriously a fantastic book! (review)

Jana's Picks

6. Love, Lucy by April Lindner: This is a retelling of A Room With A View. Lucy backpacks through Florence, Italy and not only falls in love with the food in the architecture--she falls in love with the street performer. I love books that take place in Italy, and that focus on travel. The books made me so happy, and I wish it could have gone on forever. (my review)

7. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson:READ this. The plot is complex and exciting, and there's a pretty amazing twist. Plus, Lia is spunky and the writing is glorious. (my review)

8. Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker- I just love this contemporary romance so much! It takes place over the summer on a sailboat, and it deals with heartbreak, new love, family, friendship, and so many smiles. (my review)

Jamie Picks:

9. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson: THIS BOOK IS THE MOST PERFECT THING IN THE WORLD. My words = paltry little things when it comes to this book.

10.  Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: I haven't read a ton of adult books in the past 3 years but this one so totally blew me away. MUST READ.

Monday, March 2, 2015

February Favorites & Our TBR For March

Hello March, where did you come from?!! Today we'll talk about our favorites from February and the books that are on our TBR list for March!

February Favorites    

Jamie's pick:

Mosquitoland by David Arnold: This book comes out tomorrow and MAN, you guys need to meet Mim. She is unlike any character I've met and her journey from Mississippi to Ohio is full of mishaps, tears, laughs and a whole vibrant cast of characters that she meets along the way. Equal parts funny and tender, brilliantly written and like nothing I've ever encountered before—get on this one!

Bridget's Pick

The Glittering World by Robert Levy. The Glittering World is magical in the way that Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane is magical: it's a dark contemporary fairy tale that will leave you breathless with its beauty. This is author Robert Levy's first novel, and it is one heck of a debut. You've gotta pick this one up. (My review)

Julia's Pick

Soulbound by Kristen Callihan - I love The Darkest London series. It never fails to live up to the hype. Adam and Eliza's story was unique, and it was lovely to watch how they fell for each other or ended up together. This is seriously my favorite paranormal series and I am always super excited when the next one is available. (review)

Daisy's Pick

Half the World by Joe Abercrombie: I LOVE this series and all the characters in it and this one was the much appreciated sequel to Half a King.

Lori's Pick

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom  I worked on this one for a while before finally deciding to finish.  It's about two sisters during the World War II years who search for stardom and purpose.  It was an absolutely lovely novel about family and finding (and being true to) yourself.  The last chapter alone is worth the read.  (Honorable mention to My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh because it left me kind of destroyed--I would have done two if I could have!)

Jana's Pick

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - I've been wanting to read The Book Thief for a long time, and finally had to because it was on my reading list for my YA lit course this semester. I loved it, even though it was really heavy and hard to read at times. The writing and narration are beautiful, and I love the character of Death. I'm so glad I finally got to it!

On Our March TBR List 

Jamie's Pick

I've been SUPER excited about this one ever since I heard of it. An asteroid is headed down to earth and all the future plans people made kind of go out the window as they are prepared that this could be their last days on earth. I started a book that had a similar premise and I couldn't even finish it because it was awful...but I'm hoping THIS one is everything I wished THAT one had been!

Bridget's Pick

I've heard a lot of good things about this one, and I'm always up for a good pandemic story. This one is different from most I've read in that the disease begins with Alzheimer's-like memory loss instead of grotesque physical symptoms. This is Laura van den Berg's debut novel after publishing two short story collections.

Julia's Pick

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith - I loved the Cockoo's Calling. It was one of the best mysteries I've read in a while. J.K. Rowling certainly lived up to my expectations. So I can't wait to crack the spine on this second Strike novel!

Daisy's Pick

Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes - I really like Paula Stokes' writing and this sounds SO good!

Jana's Pick

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - I received this in the mail in January, and have been so slammed with required readings that I have not had time for it until now! I can't begin to tell you how excited I am!!

Tell us your favorite book from February and something you are planning on reading in March!

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