Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lauren Reviews Beacon 23: The Complete Novel by Hugh Howey

Beacon 23: The Complete Novel by Hugh Howey
Published: August 2015 by CreatespaceSource: PurchasedRating: 5+ Stars

For centuries, men and women have manned lighthouses to ensure the safe passage of ships. It is a lonely job, and a thankless one for the most part. Until something goes wrong. Until a ship is in distress. In the 23rd century, this job has moved into outer space. A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at many times the speed of light. These beacons are built to be robust. They never break down. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. 

So we all already know Lauren is a Hugh Howey fan... but c'mon now. It seems that everything I read by him is golden. Maybe he's my soulmate? Shhh... don't tell my significant other. 

We've got a male main character who is a lighthouse keeper... in space. You know how in Star Wars and every space movie or TV show ever how spaceships go into hyperspace and ZOOM... they're light years away. Well there are lighthouses (aka beacons) that are in different sections of space that let spaceships know where they can and can't hyperspace jump to. For example, if a certain beacon went down and a spaceship is about to hyperspace jump to that sector, that spaceship could end up smack in the middle of an asteroid or heck, another planet! 

Our main character has had a pretty interesting past. One I definitely would not like to have lived, but hey... we don't always have choices. His attitude is extremely relatable to me as I might be a bit of a smart ass, but he has his weak moments as well... just as we all do. 

This is one of those easily spoiled books (well a collection of novellas) where I'm just going to write yet another vague review. You can call it lazy, you can call it a teaser. Either way, I loved this book and I know anyone who frequents the science fiction genre, especially pertaining to space, will love this one as well. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Top Ten Of Our Latest 5 Star Reads

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

Jamie's Picks

1 -- When We Collided by Emery Lord: 
I have loved all of Emery Lord's books and this latest DEFINITELY did not support! It's such a beautiful book! Emery just keeps solidifying herself as an autobuy author for me!! Must read!!

OH THIS BOOK. The setting, the characters, the beautiful writing, the feels. Seriously an amazing debut!

Lauren's Picks

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top Ten Books We Love But Feel Like We Haven't Talked About In A While Or Enough

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

Jamie's Picks

1. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay: One of my favorites!!! But I find that I don't talk about it enough and I don't even know why!! I think sometimes it's just SO special to me and it was a hard one to talk about how great it was...that I just don't. 

2. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: I LOVED this book (even gave it 5 stars) and it was one of the first books I read in 2014 and then I went on to have a great reading year with lots of 5 stars and new faves. I think it got lost when I talked about all my faves because I read it so early in the year that it wasn't as fresh and also I had books that impacted me a lot. But omg I will take this time to say READ ITTTT!

3. Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager: I LOOOOVED this book and shouted all about it when I read it back in 2011. But it's been a while!!! Also, I think I didn't talk about this one as much after because it wasn't available in the US (at least at the time). It's worth ordering from Australia!  

Lori's Picks

4.  My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh:  This was a wonderful coming of age story that I just couldn't put down.  I devoured it in about a day and a half.  I refused to go to work or eat until I had finished.  It was that good.  Yet, I feel like it never really got all of the love it deserved from me or from the critics.  Please read!

5.  Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes:  I read this a while back and I absolutely loved it.  I loved the discussion about remodeling and all of the work that went into that home.  I loved the discussion about food.  I loved the discussion about learning and becoming a part of a new culture.  I definitely need to re-read soon.

6.  Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine:  This was an interesting story about a boy whose parents die and he goes to live with his exotic, older half-sister.  They have to figure out how to make their way in the world of New York City and it's a toss up over who really raises whom.  But they love each other and make it work.  Ugh.  I need to re-read this one soon too...

7.  East of Eden by John Steinbeck:  Several summers ago I read this one for the first time and it was transformational.  A wonderfully epic re-telling of Cain and Abel.  Full of grand sweeping descriptions of the landscape that only John Steinbeck can pull off.  Fun fact--At the time of my first reading, Jamie and I totally fangirled over this novel.  :)

Julia's Picks

8. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffennegger:  This is one of the few books that I have loved and read again and still loved. It brings me to tears each time I read it. It just is so good to me, way better than the movie. I haven't read it in at least 5 years. I think it is time for me to break this puppy out again!

9. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (review): This is another book that I ripped through and just fell in love with. I studied abroad in China so I feel sort of connected to their culture in a way, but this book really transported me back in time to a time where women only really had each other to rely on and were not in control of their own destinies. But despite that distance of time and culture, you can relate to Snow Flower and Lily in so many ways. 

10. The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy: I just had to include this one. I was introduced to this book in high school in my Classic and Modern Novels class (best high school class ever. Literally we sat in our seats and read the entire period). This was a wonderful coming of age story and a story about some great friendships. The characters really jumped off the page at me and I was so invested in their lives. This is the only Conroy book that I have read, and I have been meaning to revisit it as well as his other novels. I was so sad to learn that he had passed. His work will always hold a special place in my heart. 

What books have you not talked about in a while or enough but SUPER love? Tell us!!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Daisy Reviews Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Title/Author: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Publisher/Date published: G.P. Putnam's Sons, March 22nd 2016
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks!

Goodreads summary: "Reader, I murdered him."

A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked - but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate's true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household's strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him - body, soul and secrets - and what if he discovers her murderous past?

So OBVIOUSLY I was excited when I saw the summary for Jane Steele because HELLO, I have so much love for Jane Eyre and to have this be inspired by it, but with a murderous Jane, I just could not resist!

And I'm so glad I picked this up, because it was SO GOOD! I mean, wow, I was a bit anxious when I started it because of said love for Jane Eyre, and the fact that I was wondering whether or not I would be able to connect to a character who murdered people, but I ended up very much loving Jane Steele as a character and I'm really glad that it wasn't just mindless killing but I could understand why she did what she did. And in some cases I definitely cheared her on because holy wow, EVIL people!

Jane definitely has a hard life, it starts with a less than ideal childhood, a complicated family situation and then boarding school, which as in Jane Eyre, is just not run by nice people. I cannot even begin to imagine how you can get out of something like that and still have a shred of humanity left in you, but Jane managed. And in the hardships she makes a friend, but then they flee together and things go South again after that. Which is how she finally ends up at Highgate again and the real fun can begin because YES I SHIPPED IT!

I mean, I love Jane for her strength and her loyalty and that she's willing to just do anything for the people she loves and has a strong sense of what is right. And when she met Mr. Thornfield, Sardar Singh and Sahjara, I was just happy that she was finally with people who appreciated her, and Sahjara is an adorable little girl who has been through a lot, it made my heart happy to see her and Jane interact.
But now let's talk about Mr. Thornfield: I totally adore this man. He has this amazing big heart and sees all the good in Jane and her flaws and just takes it all. I loved his sardonic humour and the way he is with Sahjara, because you can just feel his love for the people at Highgate shining through in the thing she says. I loved that he and Jane both have dark things in their past, but together they find a way to deal with them. Basically, they were just better together and I totally shipped it and wanted to yell JUST KISS ALREADY and had tears in my eyes and just ALL the feelings.

So yes, I'd definitely recommend you read Jane Steele. I love the voice that Lyndsay Faye gives Jane and the whole mystery surrounding Highgate and Mr. Thornfield. And I had lots of feelings over the romance and the ending totally made me smile because what Jane describes must be the best feeling ever!

My rating: 5 stars

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Cocktail and Conversation with TB&TB -- It's Been Awhile!!

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. 

The question this week is:

What is something you'd like to learn or a hobby you'd like to take up?

Lauren says...
Does something you kind of know how to do, but want to start again count as a hobby? Yes. Yes it does. I learned how to play bass guitar in high school, but I didn't really get into it. I knew some chords, but I STILL want to learn how to play by ear and be the rocking badass bassist that I know I can am. Sometimes a girl just needs to play a little Metallica herself and find her happy place. 
Also... does opening up a dog resort count? Yeah... that too.

Julia says...
I have a few things that I have been wanting to take up or continue learning. First is sewing. I really want to learn how to sew. I think it would be fun and useful! I just haven't had the time to go take a class. Also I've always wanted to learn an instrument that I can play while I sing. I've tried guitar and piano in the past. So I'd like to pick that up again.

Jamie says...
Oh man I have so many things I would love to learn/take up as a hobby. First, I would love to learn a few languages. I took AP Spanish in high school and then tested out in college but I wish I would have kept up with it. I've had the app Duolingo on my phone for the past couple years and I go through phases of relearning the Spanish but this Fall I started again pretty seriously when we booked our Madrid trip and it's AMAZING how much I've retained. Like some of these lessons I already know all the words and meanings and stuff which is pretty cool considering the last time I took Spanish was in 2004. I also have ALWAYS wanted to surf since college when I was friends with a bunch of guys who were surfers. Big problem: TERRIFIED OF SHARKS SOOOO.

What about you all? What is a hobby you'd love to take up or something you'd like to learn?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Top Ten Books On Our Spring TBR

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

Daisy's Picks

1. The Geek's Guide To Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash: This cover is AWESOME and it sounds all kinds of warm and fuzzy and funny to me!

2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas: OBVIOUSLY this is on my list. I'm betting it will be on lots of lists ;) I need more of this world!

3. Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima: I have SO much love for the Seven Realms series and I will devour this new series set in the same world. Because obviously.

4. The Inside of Out by Jenn Marie Thorne: I am so ready for this book and to see how it adresses an important issue. And bonus points because I share the main character's name ;)

5. The Inquisition by Taran Matharu: I feel like The Novice, the first book in this series, hasn't gotten much buzz and you should all really get to reading that because it was SO good! It has a boarding school and cute demons and just lots of awesomeness and I can't wait to find out what happens next!!

Lori's Picks

6.  Sycamore Row by John Grisham:  I've been devouring A Time to Kill over Spring Break, so I definitely need to pick up the sequel!

7.  Ruby by Cynthia Bond:  I have owned this one for a while.  I almost picked it up to take on a short getaway, but didn't.  I will have to in the very near future.

8.  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck:  This is one of my favorite books of all time.  I love the imagery and the deeper meanings.  I love the feelings that this novel evokes.  I try to revisit it every couple of years.

9.  West of Sunset by Stewart O'Nan:  This one takes a look at the last couple of years of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life, which he spent mostly out in Hollywood.  Fitzgerald is one of my favorite authors and I have something of a weakness for these reimagined biographical fictions.  It recently came across my radar and I bought it immediately.

10.  The Last Love Song by Tracy Daugherty:  I mentioned this title in my post from last week about Joan Didion, but I felt it needed mentioning a second time because I am so excited about this book!

What's on your TBR for this Spring?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Julia Reviews Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen

Title/Author: Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen
Publisher/Year Published: Jan 2016 by Forever
How I got this book: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: The summary really intrigued me. How could I not want to give it a try?
Rating: 5 stars

Captain Maximus Harcourt, the unconventional tenth Duke of Alderidge, can deal with tropical storms, raging seas, and the fiercest of pirates. But he's returned home from his latest voyage to find a naked earl—quite inconveniently deceased—tied to his missing sister's bed. And he has only one place to turn. Now he's at the mercy of the captivating Miss Ivory Moore of Chegarre & Associates, known throughout London for smoothing over the most dire of scandals.

Miss Moore treats the crisis as though it were no more serious than a cup of spilt tea on an expensive rug. As though this sort of thing happened on the job every day. Max has never in all his life met a woman with such nerve. Her dark eyes are too wide, her mouth is too full, her cheekbones too sharp. Yet together, she's somehow...flawless. It's just like his love for her, imperfect, unexpected—yet absolutely true.

I have a problem. I am really, really picky on my historical romance novel authors. I rarely try new ones, and when I do the hook has to be good. When I read the summary for Duke of My Heart, I knew I had to give it a shot, and I am glad that I did.

Max and Ivory were super interesting characters. First, you have a hero running away from his lot in life, and coming back to everything in shambles. Then you have Ivory, a woman who built herself from the ground up and continues to adapt and shape her life regardless of what twists and turns life has thrown at her. They meet in the most odd of circumstances, in his sister’s room with a dead naked man tied to her bed and the sister missing. I mean that plot thread right there is enough to get me to want to read on.

The story takes place around finding out what happened to the Duke’s sister. It moves through this at a good pace, though I will say it seemed at times there was a lot going on. At one point you are following thread A and now all of a sudden thread F comes out of nowhere and we are on that train now! But honestly that was a minor quibble and wasn’t enough to distract me from liking and devouring this book.

I really enjoyed the characters, especially the fact that they didn’t lose their sense of themselves as they fell in love. It sometimes frustrates me when the hero or heroine makes a complete 180 by the power of love. I like to see how they grow and change, and grapple with the things that are happening. We get that here.

This was my first book by Kelly Bowen, as I mentioned, and I definitely want to pick up the next in this series

Thanks to Forever and Netgalley for the review copy of this book. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Jamie Reviews The Crown's Game + A Fabulous Giveaway

 I'm so happy to be sharing my thoughts on The Crown's Game on a tour stop for this book! I highly, highly recommend you check out some of the super creative posts on this tour!

Whew boy. You guys...I would be lying if I said that I LITERALLY read this all in one gulp but I *FEEL* like I did. This book is so addictive for many reasons and I feel like I'm still a little verklempt upon finishing. And by a little I mean A LOT.  I will try to get my bearings in 3....2....1...

Okay, so what it's about in a sentence?


Set in an alternate Imperial Russia, it follows Vika and Nikolai, two teens who have to compete against each other using their magic to impress the Tsar to become the The Royal Enchanter who will advise the Tsar and help keep Russia safe from an impending uprising/war -- but there can only be one and the one not victorious will die.

A short list of things you need to know about The Crown's Game


- historical fantasy set in alternate Imperial Russia
- a "last man standing" competition in two teens are forced to duel it out with their magical skills
- Their magic can legit do some of the coolest things I've ever seen in YA fantasy -- and like sometimes frivolous and beautiful rather than fierce and mighty (even though they CAN totally do that kind of stuff) and it's great?
- OMG THE FOOD DESCRIPTIONS -- be sure to have food handy or you might perish.
- a sort of cat and mouse game ensues between the two in the competition that is the most delightful dance to watch as they try to outdo one another but also maybe kill the other in the process to ensure their own victory? BUT ALSO MAYBE KINDA GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER WHICH COMPLICATES THINGS. AND MAKES YOU WANT TO CRAWL IN A HOLE AS THE READER.

What stood out to me?

1. The setting -- an alternate Imperial Russia: I looove historical fantasy and I love alternate history so adding a setting like Imperial Russia into the mix? I almost launched my panties in the air like the true history geek I am. And, boy, did Evelyn Skye deliver on the setting. It was richly and vividly written so I felt like I was dropped in the middle of St. Petersburg or Ovchinin Island or the ballroom of the Royal Palace or anywhere the Dream Benches took you. It was in the little details that Skye just wove together to make every change of setting in this book to feel like it was before your eyes. It was utterly impressive and I have to say I really enjoyed the way she played with the history of this time and the things she added or subtracted from history to make it this great alternate world.

2.  The magic: I loved that it was set in a world where magic was rare and that Vika and Nikolai were the only two enchanters in the same generation which doesn't happen a lot. I don't want to reveal a whole lot about the kinds of things that Vika and Nikolai can do but their magic was very different from one another yet both ridiculously powerful and awe-inspiring. I also enjoyed that it was set in a world where the majority of the people don't believe that magic actually exists. Plus the magic is ancient and rooted in Russia itself but there's only so much magic to go around hence only ONE Royal Enchanter. I just really had a lot of fun seeing all the things they could do. I felt like their magic was refreshing from all that I've read.

3. The way the Crown's Game works: The way they compete is that they each have 5 turns to outdo the other and impress the tsar with their magical skill. So one would perform an enchantment and then the next would have to answer to could be hours or days in between. The stakes are death, in the end, but also if they don't perform fast enough they can die. The setup was so fun for how it worked and it became this beautiful sort of dance they did as they each performed their enhancement to outdo the other but also it becomes more personal conversation between the two of them each time they do yet another. I just loved watching them duel back and forth in the way that they did.

4. The relationship between Vika and Nikolai: Oh, you guys. It reminded me so much of The Hunger Games in a way and not in that it was a copycat, not at all, but that FEELING you get between two people who are up against each other and knowing they care about one another but will be responsible for the others demise. I felt their reluctance to even know who the other was because it would be easier to kill the other or basically sentence them to death when they were crowned victor. But the allure you could feel between these two people who are the only of their kind. It was so bittersweet for them to even get to know each other through their conversations but also between their back and forth enchantments for each other for The Crown's Game -- because you KNOW one of them is going to die. The whole time you are reading you are just HOPING there is a way around this clause.

My Last Thought: 

Reading this book felt very much like a dance in it of itself -- you start out with this slow and deliberate waltz around as they find their bearings in the Crown's Game, then the tempo picks up as the stakes get higher and by the end of the book I found myself whirling and twirling around as the tempo is almost impossible to keep up with until the final dizzying pages that just had me falling to the ground in a frenzy of exhaustion and emotions. It was so exhilarating and I thoroughly enjoyed it. To be honest, it kind of exceeded my expectations for it.  I NEED BOOK 2 THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

My Rating:

4.5 stars!! I really loved this one

Official Synopsis If My Bare Bones One Wasn't Enough: 

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Book Details:

Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Balzer + Bray

About The Author & Where To Find Her On The Interwebs:

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on "So You Think You Can Dance," and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn't writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN'S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

Pre-order links and info:

Check out the rest of the tour:

Monday, February 29: Bookish Lifestyle - Review + Pinterest Boards
Tuesday, March 1: One Less Lonely Blog - Review
Wednesday, March 2: It Starts at Midnight - Review
Thursday, March 3: Stories & Sweeties - Review + Russian Tea Cake Recipe
Friday, March 4: The YA Book Traveler - Review + Dreamcast & Book Trailer
Saturday, March 5: Pandora's Books - Review
Sunday, March 6: Seeing Double in Neverland - Review
Monday, March 7: Out Of Time - Review + Song
Tuesday, March 8: Book Nerd Addict - Review + Favorite Quotes
Wednesday, March 9: Paper Fury - Review + Reasons to Read This Book!
Thursday, March 10: A Reader Under The Sea - Review
Friday, March 11: The Broke and the Bookish - Review



One lucky winner will get an arc of The Crown's Game to devour for themselves plus the most gorgeous tote bag.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Short Love Letter about Joan Didion (From Lori)

I have a new girl crush.  Joan Didion.  :)

Lately, I've been wishing that I had been born about fifty years earlier and able to join the journalism scene of the 1960s and 1970s.  If you were bold enough, you could have a lot of great adventures.  You could see the best and the worst that society--worldwide--had to offer.

I've read selections from Slouching towards Bethlehem, her first collection of essays.  Most spectacularly, she discusses how to keep a notebook.  Highly recommend!

I've also read her novel, Play It as It Lays.  I need to read it again now that I know more about her for more context.

Most recently, I've been hung up on her collection The White Album.  So far, I've only read the title piece, but it knocked me over in a way I haven't been knocked over for quite some time.  I cannot wait to read the rest.  And dive into her other work too!

In this piece is a fantastic packing list that is, on its surface, useful for making a quick getaway, but also is truly representative of a time, of a person.  It is a statement that resounds fairly loudly and widely.  At least in my opinion.  You can find the list with a couple of context paragraphs here.  I hope it encourages you to pick up the rest of the collection.

I have spring break coming up next week.  I don't think I've ever been so ready for spring break in all my life.  I have to do a fair amount of prep work for the finals looming in the not as distant as I would prefer future.  But I definitely want to spend a lot of time ensconced in a book.  Fiction hasn't been my jam too much lately, so I think I want to spend the week with Joan.  I want to read her work and finally devour this biography of her.

Have you read anything by Joan Didion?  What?  Any thoughts?  I'd love to hear what you have to say about this wonderfully inspiring woman.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Top Ten Characters Everyone Loves, But Lauren & Kimberly Just Don't Get

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

This week's topic...

Top Ten Characters Everyone Loves, But I Just Don't Get

Lauren's Picks

1 -- Bella from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Even though I am not a fan of the Twilight series, I am still grateful for them. I truly believe they reintroduced many young adults back into the wonderful world of reading. But... I don't like Bella. She's incredibly whiny, incredibly needy, and a little dumb at times. But... I think we all have our days. So don't gouge my eyes out. I'm not knocking the series, I just felt like knocking Bella out a few times when I read the books. :)

2 -- Christian from 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James
I'm legit not going to attempt to explain why this character is one of picks. Just keepin it real.

Man this book had some potential, but I felt like Kenna dragged it down. She was so unsure of herself, so undeniably in her own world that she never looked at the big picture until someone knocked her on her ass. I'm starting to see a pattern to my thoughts here...

Do what you mother says, do what your father says, do what all others before you have done... these are not only Quin's thoughts throughout the book, but her way of life. At what point do you take a step back and look at your situation? It just took her way too long for me. 

Oh poor Willem. He had the looks, the passion... oh so much going for him. Unfortunately he still bored me to tears. I am a Gayle Forman fan, so after this book, I was disappointed. Willem did not stand out in a crowd and that's what you want in a main character. Especially when that main character is traveling the world to find someone.

Kimberly's Picks

6 -- The Darkling from The Grisha Series
I know so many people just adore him, and I just don't. I never liked him. I thought he was a terrible for Alina. He was cruel, he hurt anyone that got in his way or disappointed him in anyway. I'm not one to romanticize the "tortured soul", maybe that's my problem.

Waterfall (River of Time, #1)
7 -- Lord Greco from The River of Time Series
I know that there are more than a few fans that prefer him to the actual love interest in this series. I don't. I think he's selfish and cold. He does redeem himself a bit in the end, and he played an important role in the life of the MC, but that doesn't make me like him.

The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)
8 -- Julia from The Magicians
The whole second book works hard to make you understand, and possibly, like Julia. I'm still not impressed. I think she is very cold hearted. Some people may like a book with characters that aren't designed to be liked... I'm not one of those. I have to like the characters I'm reading about.

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)
9 -- Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door
Okay, I don't HATE her. I just got really frustrated with her. I love the characters in this "trilogy", and she's just at the bottom of the list. She did and said a lot of stupid things. She grew up, but I was still left a bit unsatisfied.

Matched (Matched, #1)
10 -- Ky from the Matched Trilogy.
I know I know! SOooo many people love him. I don't hate him. I just don't particularly like him. He was... OKAY in the first book. After that however, I just got annoyed. He was too self sacrificing. I wanted a bit more of a push from him.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Lauren's Most Recent Broke and Bookish Book Haul

We haven't done a book haul in a while because.. well life. I haven't bought that many new books lately, but I thought I'd share the ones I have.

So... what books have you splurged on and bought yourself lately?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

February Faves & March TBR

Here's what we loved in February and what's on our priority list of things we plan to read in March!

February Faves

Jamie's Pick
OMG this book was so intoxicating and addictive from pretty much the first couple of pages. I was swept up in the friendship and the study abroad opportunity in France to the point that I completely forgot about going to bed and stayed up until 2am (with a 6am wakeup) because I HAD to finish it. 

Lauren's Pick
This novel is gorgeously written. It is incredibly refreshing to see new concepts come to life in the Sci-Fi genre. I loved it and can't wait to read more novels by the author. 

Julia's Pick
Of Silk and Steam by Bec McMaster
Book 5 in the London Steampunk series. This one was super climactic and an amazing conclusion to what was building in the last few books. Plus I loved the romance between the two leads.

Daisy's Pick
I LOVE Maria V. Snyder's books and this one has got to be one of her best. I adore this universe!

Bridget's Pick 
This is the first in the Southern Reach trilogy and I finished it on my way back from Ireland a few days ago! It was very good; not quite what I expected, but I thought the prose was stunning. 

March TBR

Jamie's Pick 
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro 
YA Sherlock retelling. ALWAYS HERE FOR THAT.

Lauren's Pick
Why haven't I read this novel yet? I don't understand. This will be rectified. 

Julia's Pick
I think I found this book on NPRs book list for 2015? I just started reading it the other day and am super excited to keep going! 

Daisy's Pick
I NEED THIS!! A Darker Shade of Magic was AMAZING and I just need to know what happens next!

Bridget's Pick
These are the second and third books in the Southern Reach trilogy. The first ended on something of a cliffhanger, so I'm excited to dig into the next book!

Tell us one of your faves from February and a book you plan to read in March!
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