Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Favorite Books of 2013!

It's the last day of 2013 and in Louisiana we only have about 1 hour and 45 minutes until 2014 officially begins. I'm very excited for 2014! I'm looking forward to moving forward with my life and to all the things 2014 has to offer. I'm also very excited for the books that are coming out, especially one book that made my favorites list that I finished today!

I saw so many great posts about wrapping up the year and I'm not that original when it comes to creatively drawing attention to my blog my participating in tons of questions. They looked fun, but I would have cheated on them and made an entirely long post that no one would've bothered to read. So without further ado, here are my favorites of 2013. I listed done my favorites books and I've come up with 25 books that I really want to get more people to read. I'll leave links to my review of the book if my small comments peek your interest.

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Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon surprised me by being an incredibly awesome book with an interesting plot and dinosaurs! How could you pass up an offer like that in a book?! My review
24.12260608
Insomnia by J.R. Johansson is  about a boy who enters the dreams of the last person he touched that day and it's causing him to die. I thought it was a really awesome concept! While I loved it, others not so much, but it's an acquired taste. Yes, the main character becomes a stalker, but it's a psychological thriller and if he hadn't become truly crazy it wouldn't have been believable. My review
23.1617
Night by Elie Wiesel was my first memoir and first ever school read that I enjoyed. Elie's tale of the horrors in Auschwitz broke my heart and made me weep for humanity and the cruelty that people can so easily inflict on one another. I hold this book dear to my heart as a reminder of the horrors that can happen so easily occur and I can't stress enough how important it is to read this book to fully understand the impact of the Holocaust and its victims. My review
22.13132403
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma is a haunting account of a girl obsessed with the missing girls that has a shocking revelation at the end. I adore Suma's writing. Imaginary Girls was beautiful and I was so happy to have won an ARC of 17 & Gone. It's a truly haunting book. My review
21.15751398
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton comes out March 25, 2014 and I suggest marking your calenders! I was truly captivated by the lives of the Roux women and I can't wait to write my review and share it with you guys. It's an amazing story that has an air of beauty and sorrowfulness around it that fits the title perfectly.
20.17162437
Shadows by Paula Weston was an awesome kickass angel story written by an Aussie. How could it not be awesome!? An Rafa stole my heart.♥ My review
19.6068551
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater was a book I would've never expected to find on my favorites list. I started this book in 7th grade and left it abandoned halfway through, not because I hated it or was bored, but because I was distracted. Earlier on this year or maybe it was late last year I promised the lovely Wendy Darling over at The Midnight Garden that I would read and finish Shiver by 16th birthday. And I did! It was so good! I adored it and Sam slowly stole my heart and just... it was such a beautiful story and it had one of the most beautifully done endings. Review to come soon!
18.11356211
Darkhouse by Karina Halle was a deliciously spooky story and I adored Perry's attitude and Dex slowly got my attention and I'm hungering for more of him. I'll be reading Red Fox soon and I can't wait! My review
17.15752340
Gated by Amy Christine Parker is about an occult! It's so awesome and heart stopping. I was thrilled and had an adrenaline book rush. I'm not sure if I want a sequel, but I'll definitely read it! My review
16. 9302583
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta was my favorite Marchetta book I read out of the two I read during the summer and it was a truly beautiful tale of a broken Australian family. I was so captivated by Marchetta's beautiful style and Tom and his aunt, Georgie, were an interesting duo. My review
15.13623150
Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi was the point of Warner, the villain of Shatter Me, and OH MY GOD! Can I say swoon? Warner had my insides in a twist and my heart-aching for him. I love him and Juliette doesn't want him I'll take him! My review
14.8074967
Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh was my first book of 2013 and it didn't disappoint, but it was also a very dark tale and it's the fourth book in the Guild Hunter series. I don't suggest reading it out of order, but since this is a different character from the first three books it wouldn't affect it too much, but you would be confused. Dmitri's tale was truly dark and horrifying and this book left me emotionally cripple for a few days. My review
13.16161543
Fearscape by Nenia Campbell was a horrifying look at a girl who falls in love with the worst kind of guy... a psycho. It was horrifying and captivating. Nenia can write gold (and she's awesome!). I can't wait to start Horrorscape! My review
12.6148028 7260188
Catching Fire & Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and all I can say I know what took me so long to complete this amazing trilogy. Well, fear my friends. I have a fear of finish good series. I finished Vampire Academy and I hate that I did even though I adore it, but it wouldn't be the same if I returned to the world. I have gotten over this fear and I finished Catching Fire before I went see it for the opening (the movie was amazing) and then divided right into Mockingjay. I will write reviews for these as soon as possible!
11.8306857
Divergent by Veronica Roth was my favorite school assignment ever! I'm so in love with Tobias and this awesome world. I can't wait to read Insurgent and Allegiant (even though I know what happens). My review
10.12043771
This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers was a horrifying tale of deciding whether to live or die in the zombie apocalypse. Summers is one of my favorite writers and she is just a captivating and beautiful writer. My review
9.8349244
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma was one of the most heartbreaking stories I've ever encountered. You thought Flowers in the Attic was messed up with incest, well this was worse and I wanted Lochan and Maya to be together no matter how wrong it was. My review
8.1421990
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost was so kickass and Bones. Bones. I love Bones! I want him and I need him. My review
7.12842115
Just One Day by Gayle Forman was just so good. There's no other way to describe a Forman book. She's a truly amazing writer and I become Allyson for the short while that Just One Day captivated. Williem, you and I will meet when I get my hands on Just One Year. My review
6.7920450
Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas I'm not sure what to say. I loved this book so much and I shouldn't because the subject matter is disturbing and sick, but I like Emily couldn't live without my Comfort Food and my need to find out what happened to her and her sick kidnapper. My review
5.22628 
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky was a book almost a book I never read and I'm glad I did because it was beautiful and can I just say that it is also one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I've ever seen. My review
4.15784613
The Devil's Metal by Karina Halle was a true rock-n-roll tale and I devoured it. Plus, TDM is scary af. Sage, you are my rock book God. My review
3.11870085
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green was another book I was late to getting to, but Augustus you broke me. If asked if you should read this? I say most definitely. I do, Augustus. I do. My review
2.12578077 1304709013362536
Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of the best YA series I've read. I adore it and Opal has left me broken and screaming inside. Thanks, Armentrout. My (Obsidian) review (Onyx)
1.8709526
The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead is amazing and I love Adrian and Sydrian is almost as amazing as Romitri. I love Bloodlines so much!Just read these books they are amazing! My review

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

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Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

4 stars

Sloane Emily Jacobs used to be the best figure skater her age and then she choked and suffered an injury that’s crippled her career. Her mom is gunning for a comeback and shipping her from the ever watching eye of paparazzi in Washington, D.C. to a camp in Canada. Sloane Devon Jacobs is an ice hockey player who has had one too many penalties. After a coach threatens to bench her next season, her dad decides that she has one last chance at redeeming herself and he’s already talked to the coach. She finds herself shipped off to Canada and with bags that have her name on them but are way too fancy to be born. When the two Sloanes meet Sloane Emily proposes they switch places and it just might be what they need.





The main female characters, Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon, are both strong characters that have a presence. Both of their POVs are entrancing and the worlds of ice hockey and figure skating are done wonderfully. As a child I went through a brief obsession with figure skating and loved to watch the competitions during the Olympics or whenever they were on TV. Sloane Emily’s transformation from broken, figure skater who does things to please her parents to someone who finally does what she wants and needs were well done. Sloane Devon’s transformation from rebel with extreme anger problems to someone who can take a breath and let things go. Both Sloanes have a lot of family problems and they were touched on perfectly. I really enjoyed seeing the growth of both girls and they went from being people who were handicapped by personal problems to people who were able to cope with their problems and embrace them knowing that they would get better.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: Sloane Emily- 8 Sloane Devon- 8

The main male characters are Matt and Nando. Matt and Sloane Emily got off to a bit of a rocky start and I loved it! Their small budding romance was my favorite of the two. It was so sweet and I could feel the chemistry between Sloane and Matt. Sloane Devon and Nando’s romance wasn’t as captivating, but it was still sweet. I honestly don’t think Sloane Devon’s story needed to have a romance part in it. I do like Nando and Sloane and Nando knew each other as children, so it wasn’t completely random, but I feel like it just wasn’t necessary.


Swoon Worthy Scale: Matt- 8 Nando- 7.5
The Villain- There wasn’t really a villain. Just more of a girl who enjoyed ruining Sloane Devon’s life when thinking she was Sloane Emily. It was actually interesting. The drama was melodramatic, but interesting nonetheless.


Villain Scale: 6

I really liked Sloane Devon’s skating partner and their friendship was funny and light. (I forgot his name since I read this book in November. Oops!) I also like the characters that Sloane Emily had to face like her roommate who didn’t like her and the college scout dropping by. Everything was interesting and it flowed well.


Character Scale: 8

Being Sloane Jacobs was a fun story with a fun swap and great character growth. It was never a dull moment when reading and I’m definitely going to check out Morrill’s other works.


Cover Thoughts: I adore the cover! It’s cute and fun and the colors are just so perfect. It’s what made me want to read it!

Thank you Netgalley and Random House for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. It was my bday yesterday and I'm officially 16!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Cat Calls by Cynthia Leitich Smith

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Cat Calls by Cynthia Leitich Smith

2.5 stars

Tiffany works at a carnival. Her grandmother is a fortune teller and she's leaving Tiffany on her to discover what she's capable of. Of course, fortune telling may not be the only thing in Tiffany's future. Well this one was rather a let down. Of course, I wasn't expecting much from something so short, but this one was just... weird. I don't mean the concept was weird. No the writing was completely weird. It felt stilled and forced. Just off. It made the story very un-enjoyable. I also had the strangest sense of deja vu when reading. It was just strangely similar to a short story I read in Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction. At least at first it was and then it went in a good direction. I think this would've been better if it was longer and had more depth. More time to really flesh out and create a solid short story or novella.


The main female character is Tiffany. I don't really like her all that much. She calls herself a flirt and does stupid things to mess with the guys at the carnival. It's just weird and I don't think it really needed to be mentioned at all. I wanted to see where the story with her grandmother and father could've went. There was room at the end to have an explanation at some point by her grandmother about who her father was. Really Tiffany was just so underdeveloped that she didn't know who she was or where she came from and since it wasn't touched on, it made Tiffany seem like more a placeholder than an actual character.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 5

Then there was just some random guy who looked like a cowboy named Trevor. He, like Tiffany, had a lot of potential of character development if this would've been longer.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 5

The Villain

If you've read the story this makes total sense.

Villain Scale: 0

So overall it's a quick and easy read. It's free on Kindle Amazon and if you (like me) want to hurry up and complete your 2013 reading challenge this is a quick read that is under 30 minutes.


Cover Thoughts: It's simple and nothing special. Just a basic black cover with the title.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Shadows by Paula Weston

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Shadows by Paula Weston

First in The Rephaim series

4.5 stars

Gaby Winters watched her twin brother die in a car accident a year ago. She’s moved to a new town, but she can’t escape her grief or the strange a violent dreams featuring an incredibly handsome guy. One night at bar with her friend she meets Rafa, the boy from her dreams and he claims to have known her brother. Meeting Rafa unlocks all kinds of secrets and Gaby is feeling left in the dark in her own life. What is she and what happened the night she almost died and her brother did? I went into with pretty high hopes. Not exceedingly high because angel books can be tricky. They can either be great, good, or horribly bad. Shadows was pretty excellent. It’s never a dull moment in the uncovering of Gaby’s past and who she is. The writing was captivating and the story entertaining. One thing that is extremely disconcerting is the amount of angel information. I wouldn’t call it info-dumping because it wasn’t that bad, but there is a lot of information to take in about angels and their background. My brain was slightly overwhelmed.


The main female character is Gaby. I immediately loved Gaby. She was awesome in all the right ways and then all of sudden she just kept making stupid decision after another. When a hot guy shows up at your door claiming to have your best friend, why would you happily go with him? In what world is that a good idea? Really Gaby went from having common sense to being an idiot in a small time period. She does eventually collect her marbles and isn’t as much of an impulsive idiot. By the end of the book I liked her again, but I don’t appreciate the writer making Gaby a sudden poor judge of character. Gaby isn’t the best judge of character because people seem to house a thousand secrets, but it seemed like Weston purposely changed Gaby’s personality to fit the story and that’s not okay. At least she can handle herself in a fight.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 8.5

The main male character is Rafa. At first Rafa seems like a jerk at first, but I quite adored him. By the end of the book he stole my heart. Rafa doesn’t pressure Gaby and he’s quite the gentleman. He can be a jerk, but he’s a jerk with sweet moments. I hate how he keeps secrets though, but I understand why he keeps them in some weird way. I look forward to seeing more of him.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 9

The Villain- I actually like where Shadows went with the villain(s). It wasn’t shocking, but it fit well to the story. It made the battle scene awesome. It wasn’t a boring scene to read about in the least.


Villain Scale: 8

Maggie is a really good friend to Gaby. I didn’t like her a lot because I feel like she wasn’t developed enough for me to like her, but she was a good friend to Gaby. Jason, Maggie’s boyfriend, was someone who I called out for having more secrets than being truthful. He was sketchy. Of course, he turned out not be what I thought he was and I like the shocking revelation he brought to the ending. Simon is a bartender that has a thing for Gaby and I wish he would just go away. He is just such an annoying character. He tries to be the hero and it just makes me want to throw him to the hellions. I don’t like Daniel or really any of the angels from Sanctuary.


Character Scale: 8

Shadows has faults, but they aren’t extreme and they are easily overlooked. Overall Shadows was a really good read and I can’t wait to read the sequel!


Cover Thoughts: I love the cover. I think it’s brilliantly done and the wings have a really good effect of being not completely there (much like Gaby’s angelic abilities).

Thank you, Netgalley and Tundra Books for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas & a Christmasy Post!



Merry Christmas, my lovely followers! I was going to write a review and I'll probably post one tonight, but I thought I would do Christmas post in the spirit of Christmas.

Things I love about Christmas:
 Candy canes

I love colorful candy canes. I don't like peppermint very much and the sweeter the candy cane the better!

Food
 
I love holiday dinners. They are the best and they always leave me feeling like I ate a whole turkey even if I've only had a bit.

Presents

Who doesn't love getting gifts? I love getting them, giving them, and even wrapping them.

Movies


 
I love holiday movies, even if they are terrible.

Family
Nothing is better or more important to me than spending time with family and I spent a wonderful day with them and it made me appreciate them even more.

I'm so very grateful for all the fantabulous things I've encountered this year. Thank you for following me, commenting, and reading my posts and reviews. You guys are the best present a blogger could ask for (besides more books;)).

Merry Christmas! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Red Riding Hood by Lydia L. Very

Hi, guys! Sorry for my absence. I had computer problems and midterms! I'm so excited that Christmas break is here! So many things to look forward to! I'm so happy to be back and I will go back to stalking the blogosphere.:)



Red Riding Hood by Lydia L. Very

3 stars

Everyone knows the tale of Red Riding Hood. It is a story my mom used to read before bed and it was one of my favorites. There are many different variations and retellings of this famous fairy tale. I have read many and seen many films based on it. Red Riding Hood is a childhood favorite and I like retellings. This is a really short story and it took me under twenty minutes to read. I wouldn’t call this retelling a story; it’s more of a poem. Well, actually it is a poem. I quite like it. The writing flows nicely and it doesn’t feel choppy like some poems do.


“The tall old trees above them
Their winter fire supplied
When Autumn’s flaming sunsets
From their red leaves had died.”


I particularly like this quote. It’s all very well written. There are a few grammatical errors that wouldn’t have bothered me if they weren’t such elementary mistakes. I stress that writers and editors should know the difference between bye and by and faggot and fagot.


Red Riding Hood is quite na├»ve. She is the representation of every child. One who listens to their mother, does good deeds, and doesn’t question the world.
“And beautiful as good,
With daily acts of kindness,
Little Red Riding Hood.”

Red Riding isn’t the smartest child in the world and she is all too trusting of people, but I like the simplicity of her character and her representation of all children.


The wolf is quite creepy. He probably wouldn’t have bothered me if he hadn’t said, “Take off your clothes my darling.” (Of course, Red Riding Hood does.) I don’t really care what he represents other than the fact that he creeped me out and I wouldn’t have stuck around long enough to take off my clothes.


“And she said the fright had taught her
To mind her mother dear.
Then listen, all ye children,
And mind you mother’s word!
For the great WOLF, men call EVIL
Is prowling round unheard!”



I think I’ll listen to my mother more often.