Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Wrap-Up

As occasionally happens, things came up and I didn't have nearly as much time as I would have liked to properly participate in this readathon.. I was, at least, able to begin Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger and fall in love with it, and cheer on a few people. 

I'd like to sincerely apologize for being a terrible cheerleader. I know how important and appreciated it is to cheer on other participants, and I thank everyone who stopped by my blog with kind words. I just wish I had been able to do the same to more of you.

Alright guys, that's about all I have. I can't wait for the next readathon, and I hope to see all of you and more! 

P.S.
I'm also an awful blogger, and forgot to mention in my previous post that this readathon was hosted by the lovely humans at Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. If you wanna participate in the next readathon, this is the place to go for all the information you need!

Until next time,
xox

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Hey guys! I meant to make this post days ago, but work and midterms week got in the way. I then meant to write something up yesterday since I'm home for the weekend, but I spent the day out with my dad, and by the end I just wanted to sleep. So I apologize. But better late than never, right?

Anyway, I am participating, even if it's just for a bit! Here's a tentative TBR (I'm definitely not going to get through all of these- I just like having options):

The Secret History by Donna Tart

Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

Property Of by Alice Hoffman

Hopefully I can manage to get through at least one of these! Good luck to everyone participating and happy reading!

Until next time,
xox

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Changes are coming!

Hey guys! First, let me apologize for being MIA- I've been swamped with work, homework, and band, and really haven't had any time at all for blogging or even reading. I plan on changing that though!

So, just to let you know, I'm planning on getting more organized with this blog and with my reading. Also, I plan on getting more involved in the blogosphere. You guys are seriously the greatest, and the fact that I'm awful at commenting and showing my love for your blogs is inexcusable- although, let me just say that I read and love nearly every post of every blog I follow! You guys are seriously awesome!

Anyway, my first step in making this blog more enjoyable not only for you guys, but for myself as well, is going to be a minor face-lift. I don't know how, I don't know when, but I want to make my blog more presentable and fun-looking.

The second step will be to get on a schedule of some sort. I want to participate in memes and have at least one review up a week, so look out for those!

My third step will be integrating some new features into my reviews in an attempt to make them more interesting and easier to understand what I thought about a particular book without you having to read my rambling post (it's okay guys, I know I tend to not make much sense in my reviews).

My final step will be to get more involved with your blogs. Seriously, I can't claim to be part of this community without making some attempt at sharing and talking with you guys. You're all so sweet, and it's the least I can do in thanks for you stopping by my blog.

So this is the game plan. I'm telling you all because I want you to hold me to this! Don't let me flake! If you notice I'm not posting as much or missing weekly memes, don't be afraid to call me out! I promise I won't be mad. :)

Until next time,
xox

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Creep-Fest

Hey guys! In case you've just woken up from a month-long hibernation, it's FINALLY October! There are a couple of reasons why October is my favorite month- First, it's my birthday month! Whoot! Second, Halloween!!

Two awesome holidays in one month? (Wait, what do you mean my birthday isn't a nationally celebrated holiday????)

Seriously though, Halloween is a great holiday, and the perfect time of the year to knock some creepy reads off our TBRs. So, in celebration of the season, I'll be trying to read at least two creepy reads this month:

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House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

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I'll also be participating in a read-a-long hosted by Jackie's Bookbytes and reading Salem's Lot by Stephen King. You guys should all go check out her blog and join in, even if you don't have the book (Jackie has links to a free version of the book online, either as actual book or audiobook!)

What do you all have planned for this October?

Until next time,
xox

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Banned Books Week- Some of my Favorite Banned and Censored Books

As you might know, this week is Banned Books Week, and in celebration and support of having the freedom to read and write without censorship, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite banned/challenged books. Feel free to visit the American Library Association's page to see what other books are frequently challenged throughout the years.


1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
2.The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
4. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
5. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
6. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
7. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
8. Cut by Patricia McCormick
9. Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine
10. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Each and every one of these books and/or authors have affected me in significant ways. I literally wouldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for these books, and many others like them. These books defined my childhood and adolescence- most of which were read while I was in junior high and grade school.

These books, and others like them, are important to so many. These books save lives. These books help explain and teach things in a way that's relatable and understandable. Depriving anyone of any single one of these books is a crime of the worst kind.

As a final thought, I'd like you to think of the good things that these books, and the hundreds of other banned/challenged books, can teach and help kids understand. Seriously. Think about it.

Until next time,
xox

Review #16- Blazed by Jason Myers

*Goodreads page*
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Goodreads synopsis- Jamie uncovers life-changing secrets from his past when he’s sent to live with a father he’s never met in this gritty novel from the author of Exit Here. and Run the Game.

Jamie is invincible when he is high. His anger, his isolation, his mom’s manic mood swings—nothing can shatter his glass castle. But one brutal night upends everything, leaving his mom broken and Jamie betrayed.

Sent to live with a father he’s never met, Jamie is determined to hate the man he blames for his mother’s ruin. And he blocks out the pain with drugs, fierce music, and sweet, sweet Dominique. Except the more time Jamie spends at his dad’s, the more his mother’s scathing stories start to unravel. Who is he supposed to believe? And how much will he have to sacrifice to uncover the truth?

This actually isn't going to be so much a review as me rambling about how wonderful Jason Myers's books are why you need to pick his work up. Fair warning. 

Alright, so if you know me well enough, you know I LOVE all things Jason Myers.  Let me start off by saying that Myers's books are some of the strangest and most fucked up books I've ever read, and, again, if you know me well enough, strange and fucked up is my absolute favorite type of book. Granted, when I say strange, I mostly mean it explores a sub-culture I'm definitely not a part of but totally respect, and when I say fucked up, I mean take  just about every "bad" thing in life- excessive drug and alcohol use, profanity, sex, shitty life situations- and mush it all into one book, that's more or less what I mean. 

Myers crafts a world that's very real and that hundreds of thousands of people are living everyday, but that most people don't experience/notice. He then crafts very real characters and drops you into their lives and takes you on a journey in this world of theirs that's like the craziest roller coaster you've ever been on in your life that nearly destroys you by the end.

Now, most people I know would pick up one of Myers's books, read the first page, and toss it down in disgust. I'm here to tell you not to do that. Yes, his books have loads of profanity and drug and alcohol use from beginning to end, but you have to look further than that. His books really do have some great messages- the biggest of which, at least for me, is that life isn't all rainbows roses- that isn't an excuse to sit and wallow in self-pity, though. Live in the moment. Make memories with your friends. The only thing that really matters is right now.

Okay, this is starting to sound super freaking lame, and I'm not even coming close to doing justice to how amazing Jason Myers's books are, but trust me when I say they are worth it. These books really mean a lot to me and so many others, and they could mean a lot to you, too. And I guess these books probably speak more to people who've had shitty times, but I think everyone could take something from his books, especially Blazed.

And with that, I'll leave you with a couple of quotes that really spoke to me from Blazed, and hopefully they'll convey what I'm afraid I've been unable to adequately show in this rambling mess:

"I'll never compromise a thing I love in order to be liked by anyone else."

"All the monsters I've met in my life have come gift wrapped in gold or killer band shirts."

"...'What we might end up making is the only thing that's ever gonna outlive us. It's art, Jaime. It's timeless. Nobody can hear your excuses when you're dead. But they sure as hell can listen to your music.'"

"'Art is the only immortality we have,' Edie says.'To be able to positively affect people for generations after we're dead. This is what it's about.'..."

Until next time,
xox

Banned Books Week 2014- September 21-27



If you didn't know, today is the first day of Banned Books Week. If you aren't sure what Banned Books week is, here's a quick explanation from the About page of the website:

"Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular."

If you haven't already figured it out from some of my rants on here, I'm not the biggest fan of the banning and censorship of books. I believe that everyone should have their own say in what literature they want to read, and not miss the opportunity to experience a piece of literature just because one person is offended by the content. Everyone has their own opinion on what is and isn't appropriate to read, and that opinion shouldn't be dictated by anyone else. 

Throughout this week, I'd like to share some articles and maybe some thoughts on this subject and generally just try to spread awareness as to why banning and censoring books, particularly in schools, should be rethought. 

I'm also going to take this week to read at least one "banned book", which will more than likely be The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  

I really hope you'll join me in spreading the discussion and leave your own thoughts in the comments. 


Until next time,
xox

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review #15- The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

*Goodreads Page*
I received a copy of this book for review from NetGalley

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Goodreads synopsis-  What begins as a clever, gothic ghost story soon evolves into a wickedly twisted treasure hunt in The Supernatural Enhancements, Edgar Cantero's wholly original, modern-day adventure.

When twentysomething A., the unexpected European relative of the Wells family, and his companion, Niamh, a mute teenage girl with shockingly dyed hair, inherit the beautiful but eerie estate of Axton House, deep in the woods of Point Bless, Virginia, it comes as a surprise to everyone—including A. himself. After all, he never even knew he had a "second cousin, twice removed" in America, much less that the eccentric gentleman had recently committed suicide by jumping out of the third floor bedroom window—at the same age and in the same way as his father had before him . . .

Together, A. and Niamh quickly come to feel as if they have inherited much more than just a rambling home and a cushy lifestyle. Axton House is haunted, they know it, but that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the secrets they slowly but surely uncover. Why all the suicides? What became of the Axton House butler who fled shortly after his master died? What lurks in the garden maze and what does the basement vault keep? And what of the rumors in town about a mysterious gathering at Axton House on the night of the winter solstice?

Told vividly through a series of journal entries, scrawled notes, recovered security footage, letters to Aunt Liza, audio recordings, complicated ciphers, and even advertisements, Edgar Cantero has written a dazzling and original supernatural adventure featuring classic horror elements with a Neil Gaiman-ish twist.

I don't generally read this kind of book, mostly because I'm a little harsh when it comes to "scary" books because it's next to impossible to creep me out. Unfortunately, this book didn't succeed on that front. It did, however, make me fall in love with it's many other aspects.

This book follows A., a young man from England who has inherited a manor called the Axton House from his distant cousin, Ambrose Wells, from America. Along with Niamh, a mute teenage girl from Ireland, A. travels to Point Bless, Virginia to live in his new home. Not long after, A. and Niamh realize that things in this house and the late Ambrose's life were anything but ordinary. After finding a letter addressed in code to the missing butler, A. and Niamh find a series of clues that point toward the mysterious group that Ambrose was a member of and the possible cause of his suicide.

Add to all of that A.'s strange dreams, the appearance of several members of Ambrose's secret society, secret rooms, coded letters, and the installation of a swimming pool in the dead of winter, and we've got ourselves a pretty intriguing mystery!

The only thing I didn't like was that there are a few unanswered questions at the end of the book, all of which I hope will answered in a sequel, though *cough cough*.

Apart from that though, I really enjoyed this book. I stayed up much later than I should have just so I could finish this book, because I just HAD to know what was going to happen next, and there was no way I could sleep knowing shit was about to go down.

In short, pick this book up. You won't regret it.

Until next time,
xox 


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WWW Wednesday #1

This is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading

All you have to do is answer these three questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you'll be reading next?

*What are you currently reading?*
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Blazed by Jason Myers

*What did you recently finish reading?*
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The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

*What do you think you'll be reading next?*




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The Game by Barry Lyga


Review #14- I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

*Goodreads Page*
*NetGalley Page*- I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

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Goodreads synopsis-  What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

I'd seen this book around, never really thought much of it and didn't really have it on my radar. I don't know. Some books just call to you the moment you see them, you know? This book didn't really do that for me. However, I'm extremely glad I picked this book up!

I don't even know where to begin. This book follows Jasper "Jazz" Dent, 17 year old son of the world's most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent. With Billy safely tucked behind bars, Jazz is trying to live some semblance of a normal life- or at least as normal as a kid who thinks he is genetically disposed to one day follow in his fathers footsteps can live. However, with a string of fresh murders, Jazz is convinced there's a new serial killer on the loose in the Nod, and he enlists the help of his hemophiliac best friend and his tough-as-nails girlfriend to help convince Sheriff G. William of the same. Add in a bat-shit crazy grandmother, a meddling social worker, and Jazz's own belief that he's a monster waiting to snap, and you've got yourself one hell of a novel!

Seriously, the only things that held me back from reading this book in one sitting  were classes and sleep. This book was seriously amazing, and Lyga had me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire thing, desperately trying to figure out who the killer was.

And the end? Holy crap! The end left me desperate for book two!

So basically, what I'm trying to say is, if you haven't read this book, you really should. It's more than worth it, and this review doesn't even come close to doing it justice.

Until next time,
xox

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesdays #1

In an attempt to have more fun in the blogosphere, I'm going to try to participate in some fun memes, the first of which is going to be Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's Top Ten: Authors I've only read one book from, but am dying to read more by.Click the picture to visit each book's Goodreads page.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Review #13- Jackaby by William Ritter

*Goodreads page*
*NetGalley page*- I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley
Release date- September 16, 2014

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Goodreads synopsis-  “Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.


This book was FABULOUS! It isn't often that a book described as a cross between such and such actually turns out to be a cross between such and such. Let me tell you, this book was the PERFECT cross between Sherlock and Doctor Who!

There's really nothing better than an eclectic detective with a keen eye for paranormal detail. Add in a sharp and witty assistant, a string of unusual murders, and a few fantastic creatures and you've got an incredible book you'll stay up all night devouring.

If it weren't for the fact that sleep is a thing and that I had class in the morning, I totally would have finished this book last night, it was that great. 

My only issue with this book was the last few chapters- they seemed to drag on, and it felt like the author could have ended the book in any number of places, perhaps condensing the last four or five chapters into one, and ending it there. I don't know. Maybe it's just me. But really, apart from that little issue, this book excellent, and I truly hope there will be more to come!

Until next time,
xox

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Unfinished Review #1- The Fifth Vertex by Kevin Hoffman

*Goodreads Page*
*NetGalley Page*- I received an e-galley of this book from NetGalley.

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 Goodreads synopsis-  Urus Noellor--a boy born deaf who is about to be publicly branded as a burden, incapable of being the warrior his people demand--stands upon a rooftop, poised to throw himself over the edge. His failed attempt at suicide unlocks within him a long-dormant form of magic thought to have died out thousands of years before, a power that may be the key to saving the world from an equally ancient enemy.

Urus and his companions--Goodwyn, the greatest warrior in Kest, and Cailix, a mysterious orphan--must find a way to stop a powerful group of sorcerers from destroying the five long-hidden vertices that ward the world against threats from beyond, while fighting off threats from within. They soon learn that the scope of the coming danger may be more dire than any of them could have imagined. As the battle for the vertices spreads to the neighboring realms, Goodwyn must face the realities of war and death; Cailix discovers a devastating truth that could change everything; and Urus discovers his uncanny gifts and courage as he peels away clues to his true identity. But even as Urus gains the power he has always craved, he experiences it all in profound, lonely silence.

I feel awful, guys. Really, really awful. This book has AMAZING reviews on Goodreads, and I was really looking forward to it because the synopsis sounded awesome, but it ended up falling flat, and I just can't finish it.

This book started out great-- a deaf protagonist named Urus, about to be marked as an outcast, standing upon the roof of his home, ready to jump to his death, only to end up landing unharmed,- in fact, smashing the cobblestones beneath him with the impact of his fall-with blue light sizzling out of his fingers. Urus looks up and sees his uncle standing in the shadows and knows he's in trouble, and begins the trek back up to his rooms for what he knows will be a harsh discussion with his uncle.

In retrospect, this is where things got a little... sketchy. Personally, if I jumped from a building to what I assumed would be to my death, and wound up walking away with not even so much as a scratch, and blue light flying out of my fingers, I'd be a little more concerned and a little less inclined to worry about what my uncle is going to say about my trying to kill myself. Also, once we do get to the discussion with the uncle, it seems unreal, almost forced. I don't know. I just felt like it was all a little off.

Anyway, as for the rest of the book that I managed to read, I was slightly annoyed by a few gaping plot holes in some of the stories. There were some things that just didn't seem to add up, and some information that I think the author meant to tell us, but didn't, and then would later put into the dialogue as if it was common knowledge (which it wasn't. Unless I just blacked out some of stuff. It's a possibility...)

Also, another thing that bothered me was the speed at which the story accelerated. I know that really weird, but things just felt like they kept moving too fast. It was like boom, boom, boom big even here, big event there. It kind of gave me whiplash. 

I really do feel awful for not liking this book. It has some serious potential. I think if the author just goes back through, irons some things out, clears up a few other things, this book will be spectacular.
  
I really hate not finishing books, but obviously, if a book just isn't clicking for you, it's best to move on. Which is what I'm going to have to do with this book. I have a pile of other books that need to be read, and trying to slog through this book is keeping me from books that I really will enjoy. Who knows, maybe one day I'll pick this book up again and fall in love with it. Right now though, I have to set it aside and move on.

Until next time,
xox

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review #12- Althea & Oliver by Christina Moracho

*Goodreads page*
*Penguin's First to Read Page*- I received an e-ARC of this book from First to Read
Release date- October 8, 2014


Goodreads synopsis- What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?

Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.

Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love—and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good


Anyone who knows me knows that this type of book- YA contemporary, coming of age- really isn't my favorite. I have to be in the right kind of mood to want to read a book like this. And when I first picked this book up, I really wasn't in the mood- or at least that's what I thought.

I was hooked from the first sentence. That doesn't happen a lot. It usually takes me a few pages to fall into a book, or sometimes even a chapter. But this book- this book I fell in love with from the get-go. Moracho writes with such beauty and such wit that you can't help but fall into this book and wonder where her beautiful words will take you next.

I laughed, I cried, I cringed, and I reminisced on my days in high school and the pain and laughter and friends and adventures that go along with it. This is the kind of book that pulls at your heart, makes you stop and thing, pulls some more, and then lodges itself into the deepest crevices of your soul once it's all over. You won't forget this book, and you won't forget this author.

Until next time,
xox

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review # 11- The Quick by Lauren Owen

*Goodreads Page*


Goodreads synopsis- An astonishing debut, a novel of epic scope and suspense that conjures up all the magic and menace of Victorian London  
London, 1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society, and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Unnerved, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine city that greets her, she uncovers a secret world at the margins populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling “Doctor Knife.” But the answer to her brother’s disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of one of the country’s preeminent and mysterious institutions: The Aegolius Club, whose members include the most ambitious, and most dangerous, men in England.

In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created a fantastical world that is both beguiling and terrifying. The Quick will establish her as one of fiction’s most dazzling talents.

Named One of the Top 10 Literary Fiction Books of the Season by Publishers Weekly


Let me start off by saying that this book took me several tries before I got into it, but I'm beyond glad I kept trying!

Without giving too much away (because I feel like this book is one of those that you shouldn't know too much going in), this book is about a young man named James who has moved to London and is living with another young man named Christopher. Where James is quiet and bookish, Christopher is a partying, out all hours of the night, charming opposite.  James and Christopher eventually develop a relationship that inadvertently ends in tragedy. 

James is missing, and his sister Charlotte comes to London looking for him. What she stumbles upon and is pulled into will change her life, and her view of the world, forever.

Okay, so this is a little obscure, (hopefully not too misleading) but I promise you I'm leaving out a lot because there is a twist that I at least didn't see coming, and I really think if you go into this book knowing what that twist is, it won't be quite as enjoyable. I do promise that it's more than worth it! This book had me in tears, it had me screaming, it had me laughing. I honestly can't tell you the last time I enjoyed an historical novel so much! This book is dark and charming, and I honestly couldn't get enough!

The only thing I was upset about was the ending. However, that's probably because I like nice clean endings in these kinds of books, but at the same time the ending leaves room for a sequel (which I am fervently praying is in the works!).

All in all, this was a SPECTACULAR debut novel, and I really can't wait to get my hands on more of Owen's work! I urge you, if you have not done so already, to pick this book up! I promise you won't regret it!

Until next time,
xox

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Book Banning and Censorship

First off, let me apologize for dropping off the planet! I'm in my second week of college and I've just been bogged down by assignments (I'm making an attempt to not shrug off my homework this semester!) and band practices. I promise I'm going to try to make more regular postings soon though!

I know I've made a post about this before, but I saw this link from the American Library Association, and I couldn't help but make a small rant on my personal Facebook about it, and I decided I wanted to share with you guys as well. So here it is. Please feel free to share your thoughts and feelings on this subject! I love to hear other opinions and views!

There is literally nothing that makes me angrier than the attempted censorship of literature, not even because I love to read myself, but because every one on this planet should have the opportunity to decide for themselves what is and isn't "appropriate". People have to understand that we live in a world with opposing beliefs, drug and alcohol use, differing sexual orientations, and many other ideas, products, and facts that one might not want to be exposed to. However, pretending like these things don't exist just creates a world full of ignorance, and believe me, there's nothing more dangerous.

Many of the books on these lists I've read myself, and almost all of them have helped me understand things in my life in a way that wouldn't be possible otherwise. I can understand wanting to shield your children from some things like drugs and alcohol, but would you rather your kids learn bout these things from the pages of a book, or out on the streets?

Take it from someone who grew up on books, and knows many others who feel the same way: many of these books that are considered "controversial" or "inappropriate" can and will save someone's life. Just think about that before you condemn a book.

 Until next time,
xox 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bout of Books 11 TBR!

Bout of Books

Hello fellow book lovers! Guess what? It's that time again! Bout of Books time!

In case you don't know what Bout of Books is, here's a quick blurb, straight from the Bout of Books team:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


This is my second time participating in Bout of Books, and let me tell you, I'm super pumped! Bout of Books 11 will be going on during my first week back on campus (thankfully not during classes-I have band camp the 16-22), so I've decided to make a TBR of 3 e-books and 3-physical books- while I do need to cut down my physical TBR, I have an equally massive e-book TBR that needs to be shortened!

So, the books I'll hopefully be finishing/starting this round are:
The Dark Monk by Oliver Potzsch
The Secret History by Donna Tart
Jackaby by William Ritter
Blazed by Jason Myers
The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I hope to see you all participating if you have the opportunity and I can't wait to check out what you plan on reading!

Until next time,
zoz

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Authors Part 1

I recently posted this picture on Instagram, showing a handful of some of my favorite authors, and I thought I'd make a proper post about some of my favorite authors and my favorite books by them.

To start off, let me clarify how I categorize "favorite authors". For me, a favorite author is an author who writes books that I know, no matter what mood I'm in, I'll be able to pick up and fall in love with immediately. If you're a favorite author of mine, I've either read all of your books or have read a good many of them.

Now, many of my favorite authors are ones that I discovered at a young age, but they write the kind of timeless novels, that even today, as a young adult, I can pick up one of their books and immediately fall in love.

In order give a little more detail about what I love about these authors and an attempt to not bore you to tears, I think what I'll do is tell you about three authors now, and make another post or two discussing my other favorite authors. 

The three authors I'll tell you about today are three that, when I think about my favorite books as a child, come to mind first. 

1. Laurie Halse Anderson: The first book I read by her was Twisted, and this book got me hooked on all things Laurie. I know most of you probably know her best for her novels Speak and Wintergirls, but the book I fell in love with most was Catalyst. I'm not even sure why. It was the book I related with least on a personal level, but there's just something about the story that I absolutely love!

2. Jerry Spinelli- My first Spinelli book was Stargirl, and if any of you have read this book, I'm sure you know why I was instantly hooked! I remember going to the library in my town and checking out every Spinelli book they had. I even re-read a few of them, which is something I almost never do. Spinelli just has a way of writing about adolescent life that's so real and true, yet fun and exciting that you can't but devour more of his writing. Some of my favorite books by Spinelli are his Space Station Seventh Grade books, Crash, and Who Put that Hair on my Toothbrush?.

3. Robert Cormier- I fell in love with Cormier's writing after reading The Chocolate War. Cormier writes some darker stuff, but it's really good. If you haven't read anything by him, I encourage you to do so immediately! I promise you won't regret it! Some of my favorite books by him are Fade, We All Fall Down, Tenderness, and the Rag and Bone Shop

Alright guys, here are a few of my favorite authors! Please stay tuned for some more! 

Until next time,
xox

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Full List of Last Blast Readathon Challenges


1- A book you didn't think you'd like but ended up loving
2- A book you thought you'd love but ended up hating
3- A book you couldn't finish
4- The biggest book you've ever read
5- A ROYGBIV stack
6- Your favorite author
7- Your favorite series
8- A stack of your favorite color
9- A book set in your state/country
10- A book written by an author from a different country than you live in
11- A book you own as both a physical and e-book copy of 
12- The last book you read that made you cry
13- A childhood favorite
14- A book you've read more than once
15- Your most beautiful book
16- Your ugliest book
17- Your most well-loved book
18- The last book you bought
19- A book from your favorite genre
20- A book you feel was over-hyped
21- A book you read only because everyone else was reading it
22- Your oldest book (copyright)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Last Blast Readathon Days 4-6

Wow. Apologies guys! As per usual, things came up on Wednesday, and I was away the entire day, and yesterday my internet was acting up and I couldn't even load anything. Uggh...

Anyway, I'm having a super rough time getting through anything, so I've put 77 Shadow Street aside, and went completely off my original list and picked up The Quick by Lauren Owen, and I'm actually flying through this book. Keep an eye out for a review as soon as I finish it and if you haven't already, go pick it up!

Also, concerning the challenges, I think what I'm going to do is put up a complete list on Sunday, and just try to complete them when I can.

I'll be heading back to college in the coming week, so I'm going to be busy packing and the like, but I'll be trying to shove as much reading in as I can as well. :) Have a wonderful weekend guys!

Until next time,
xox

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Last Blast Readathon Day 3

First, a quick day 2 update:
Currently reading:
77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

Okay guys! Here we are on day 3! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I got a little busy yesterday and was not able to complete yesterday's challenges. (Funny, since these are my challenges!) So I'm going to post today's challenges, but I probably won't complete them until tomorrow.

Day 3 Challenges:
1- A book you couldn't finish
2- Your most beautiful book
3- A book you only read because everyone else was reading it

Until next time,
xox


Monday, August 4, 2014

Review # 10- Finding Lubchenko by Michael Simmons

*Goodreads Page*

Goodreads synopsis- From the acclaimed author of "Pool Boy" comes a new thriller. When his millionaire father is accused of murder, only Evan MacAlister can clear his father's name--but only by revealing his own crime.

I'd never heard of this book or this author before. I found this book and its sequel in a thrift shop for a couple of dollars. The synopsis sounded interesting, so I decided to pick them up, thinking if I didn't like them, I could just donate them back or give them to a friend. I'm so glad I picked this book up!

See, what happened is Evan's father is one of the heads of this research facility that also has live strains of smallpox. Evan and his father have a pretty strained relationship- his father is pretty distant and really hard him. His father is also really rich, but refuses to give Evan money, or let him get a car, or buy whatever it is that teenage boys with money like to buy- Evan's father is one of those men who, even though he has money, is still pretty frugal and doesn't like to spend his money on extravagant things. So, in order to afford the lifestyle that Evan feels he's been cheated by his frugal father, Evan resorts to stealing office equipment and electronics from his father's office to sell online.

However, when a researcher from Evan's father's office is found murdered, Evan's father is arrested as the prime suspect. It doesn't take long for Evan to realize that his father's been framed, and that Evan himself has the key piece of evidence, the missing laptop of the researcher, that can prove it.

So, enlisting the help of his best friend and reluctant co-conspiritor, Ruben, and the girl he's not quite secretly in love with, Evan embarks on an international search for the proof that will set his father free.

This book was pretty awesome. There's nothing better than three high schoolers running off to Paris in search of a possible spy/murderer/terrorist. Really. And the narrator, Evan, was pretty funny, too. It was a great kind of high school spy novel that kept you enthralled until the final pages. 

The only thing I didn't really care for was the author's use of choppy sentences. I understand that the narrator is a doofy high school boy, and it really made sense to write the sentences the way he did, but I found myself getting tripped up a lot by them. I don't know. It just bothered me.


Apart from that though, you should totally check this book out. It's totally worth an evening of your time.


Until next time,

xox

Last Blast Readathon Day 2

Hey guys! Happy Monday!

First off, let me give you my Day 1 update:
Books finished:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Books started:
77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

I probably could have finished the Koontz novel yesterday, but I got a little sidetracked packing stuff and cleaning... Hah!

Anyway, here we are at day two!

Today's challenges are:
1- A book you own as both an e-book and a physical book
2- Your "ugliest" book
3- A book you didn't think you'd like, but ended up loving

Don't forget to tag me @lilysreads with your challenge pics!

Until next time,
xox

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Last Blast Readathon Day 1

Hey guys! It's midnight here on the east coast in the US, which means the start of the readathon for me! Woot!

The books I plan on reading this week are:
1- 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz
2- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
3- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
4- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
5- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I think I'm going to start the week off with The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I've heard nothing but good things about this book, and I'm just super excited to finally get to reading it!

As promised, I have a few challenges for you guys. All you have to do is take a picture of the book/books fitting the challenge and post them on Twitter and/or Instagram and tag me @lilysreads! Unfortunately, there are no prizes for completing these challenges, but I'm hoping they'll make this readathon more fun!

Without further ado, the challenges for Day 1:

1. The biggest book you've ever read
2. Your favorite author
3. A childhood favorite

I can't wait to see all of challenge pictures! Happy reading!

Until next time,
xox

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July WrapUp

Wow, so this month really sucked reading wise. I managed to finish a whopping two books!!

Anyway, the books I read are:

1. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
2. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's been a crappy month... I'm literally torn between like five different books at the moment. It's super annoying. Hopefully August will be better!

Don't forget to join me August 3-10 for the Last Blast Readathon!

Until next time,
xox

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review #9- Virgin by Radhika Sanghani

*Goodreads Page*
*NetGalley Page* I received and read a proof copy of this book from NetGalley.

This book comes out August 5, 2014

Goodreads synopsis- Okay, I admit it…I didn’t do it.

Yet.

This is normal, right?  I mean, just because everyone I know has talked like they’ve already done it doesn’t mean that they’re telling the truth…right?

It’s not like I’m asking for that much. I don’t need the perfect guy. I don’t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed.

The guys I know complain that girls are always looking for Mr. Right—do I have to wear a sign that says I’m only looking for Mr. Right Now?

Sooooo…anyone out there want sex? Anyone? Hello? Just for fun?

I am not going to die a virgin. One way or another I am going to make this happen.

Hey, what have I got to lose? Besides the obvious.




I picked this book up after being in a reading slump, hoping to find a nice light read to bring me back into the mood to read, and let me tell you this book worked like a charm! It was so easy to get through, I read it in one sitting. I can't tell you how many times I laughed out loud while reading this book! It was such a witty and relatable novel about a subject that many are unwilling to talk about. The way in which Ms. Sanghani wrote this book would make even the most squeamish of readers completely comfortable reading this book.

I think one of my favorite parts about this book was how realistic the situations were. There was no real 'insta-love', the protagonist didn't necessarily find the love of her life and live happily ever after in the end at only 21 years old, and the reader is shown that life isn't all sugar and biscuits, you can get an STD after giving a blow-job one time. 

Another thing I loved about this book is that unlike basically every book/movie/TV show ever, this book doesn't make losing your virginity seem like an exciting and perfect experience. It shows it how it is- an awkward, frightening, messy and embarrassing experience, which I think is super unique and another really relatable aspect that I think many readers will be able to connect to. 

Also, as a young woman, also in college, who often struggles with the issue of how to not look like an ogre and not come off as a completely dull humanoid plant, I found this book incredibly relatable, and at risk of not getting too personal and TMI, many of the thoughts that Ellie had, I've had as well, and it was such a relief to find a metaphorical book-version of my mind (well, an almost version- I don't share all of Ellie's ideas). 

I also think that this book will be an important one in women's literature, empowering young women to think of themselves and their relationships in a new light, especially for women like myself who never necessarily realised that we should view the world in this light. I mean, I'm not super clear on feminism, but I feel like this book is exactly what feminists are looking for- actually, I think this book is exactly what any young woman trying to figure herself out is look for.

So, I give this book my stamp of approval, and recommend it to any and all, women and men alike (Come on guys, it wouldn't hurt to see just what us girls go through to impress you). 

Until next time,
xox



Monday, July 21, 2014

Last Blast Readathon Details!

Alright guys, I promised you some details, and here they are!

1- As you may or may not know, I'm hosting a readathon from midnight August 3- midnight August 10.

2- I've got some super fun photo challenges for all of us to do! I think I'm going to have you post them to either Instagram or Twitter under #lilysreadsreadathon

3- I've also decided to take a page out of the Booktubeathon readathon book and have come up with a few reading challenges that I'll post down below!

4- That's really all there is! If you plan on participating, do me a favor and take a picture of you planned stack of reads and tag me on Twitter and/or Instagram @lilysreads

Okay, so here are the reading challenges! I like numbers that end in 0 and 5, so I decided to pick 5 categories, giving you a total of five books to try to complete during this week, which should be totally doable!

1. Read a classic
2. Read a book by an author you've never read before
3. Read a nonfiction book! (A memoir, biography, science textbook, etc.!)
4. Read a book that has fewer than 250 pages
5. Read a book outside your preferred genre

Alrighty! That's all there is! I hope to see at least a few of you participating!

Until next time,
xox

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Late Night Rant on the Banning of Books

*Let me apologize ahead of time for any incoherency and/or rambling.*

I was just doing my nightly browse of Facebook, when I stumbled upon a Book Riot article discussing banned books in schools, and honestly, it's put me in a rage.

This issue has come up many times before, and it will come up many times again. That still doesn't make it okay. Anymore, the main reason many books are banned from school reading lists is because of a disgruntled parent or an ignorant school official. Most of the books mentioned in the article I unfortunately haven't read myself, but I did read John Green's Paper Towns, and the reasoning behind why this book was taken off the reading list is completely ridiculous- sexual content and language? Okay, lady, if you're afraid of a JOHN GREEN book ruining your child's innocence, you had best just lock her in a cement box for the rest of her life. Seriously. By time kids get into junior high these days, they know more about sex and swearing than I did in my senior year of high school.

I don't even know. The mere idea of preventing any child from reading any book for whatever reason just makes me so angry! I mean, yes, there are some books that some kids shouldn't read until later points in their lives, but there are also many kids who are mature enough to handle and understand the subject matter.

I think my main issue with this is that I never had any rules as to what I was allowed and not allowed to read. If it was a book, and it struck my fancy, I read it, no matter what age level it was geared toward. And the great thing about that is I learned SO MUCH! Books are more than just stories. They help you learn things about life that you might not have otherwise learned, or might have learned far too late in life. Books also help mold you into the person you are. A person isn't just a culmination of all their life experiences- a person is also the culmination of all the life experiences of all the characters of all the books they've ever read.

I can't even explain to you all the books that have helped make me who I am, helped me understand difficult things about myself, been the friend I needed when I had no one else or didn't feel like I could go to anyone else.

Jill Guccini, the author of the Book Riot article says it best, I think : "There are 10 kids whose lives could be saved by that book. That book might annoy or offend one parent. But it could literally SAVE. THE. LIFE. of a child."

Seriously, there are a number of books that have saved my life, and depriving any child of a book just because one person finds it offensive is the worst crime I can think of. 

Alright, end of rant, for the most part. There is definitely more I can say, but I'll leave it at this.

 Again, I apologize for the crazyness of this post... 

Until next time,
xox

Last Blast Readathon!

Hello everyone! Even though I really didn't get much of a response about the possibility of a readathon, I've decided to host one anyway! Worse case scenario, I'll end up participating by myself. :)

I've decided that it'll be from midnight August 3 to midnight August 10- midnight from whatever time zone you live in. This readathon will give you a week of recovery after the BookTubeAThon, and a week recovery before Boutofbooks.

I'll give more details in the coming week. I do have a few daily challenges lined up, and I really hope you all find them fun!

Until next time,
xox

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Possible Read-a-thon?

Hey guys! So, it's getting pretty close to the time when we (or I, at any rate) start heading back to college. Now, I don't know about any of you, but I personally have a TBR pile a mile high. It would be so amazing to knock that pile down before I head back to school.

So, what I'm proposing is a week long read-a-thon. I know Boutofbooks is the week of August 18th, but that's my first week back on campus and also my band camp, so I'm not too sure how well my participation will be. I was really hoping to get a bunch of people together and try to do a read-a-thon a couple of weeks prior, either the week of July 27, or the week of August 3.

Let me know what you think in the comments below or on twitter if you'd be interested!

Until next time,
xox

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Wrap-Up

Hello ladies and gentlemen! So, this month was terrible, reading-wise, but according to Goodreads, I managed to read 4 books, which is about 3 more than I thought I finished. So I can't complain too much, right? Anyway, here's what I read!

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini- I feaking loved this book! If you haven't read it yet, get on it!

Charm and Stange by Stephanie Kuehn- This book was an amazing rollercoaster of everything. I literally had no idea what was going on until the last few pages, but like, in a good way! Again, read it!

Virgin by Radhika Sanghani- I read an ARC version of this book that I recieved from NetGalley. I believe it comes out sometime in early August. I'll have a review up on it in a few weeks, so look out for that! I will say that I really enjoyed this book, though!

Black City by Elizabeth Richards- Surprisingly, I really liked this book. It's by far not the best book I've ever read, but it was good nonetheless.

Total pages read this month: 1346

Not too bad, I suppose. Here's hopoing July will be a better reading month!

Until next time,
xox

5 of My Not-So-Shameful Unread Books

If you get on YouTube and look at any BookTuber's channel, you might end up finding a video of their "most shameful unread books". This blog post is inspired by those videos, except, unlike these numerous people, I'm not really all that ashamed to have not read any of these books on this list.

Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with having books that you're ashamed you've never read. I have several of those. But the books below are books that basically everyone on earth has read, but I just have no desire to read, and can't be bothered to pretend I want to read because let's face it, I have about a billion other books I want to read more. I can't sit around and read a pile of books just because everyone else is reading them.

Besides, who knows, maybe one day I will read these books. As of right now though, none of them are at the top of my TBR.

1. The Hunger Games- I'm not sure why, but I never really felt the desire to read these books, even when I saw my friends who don't really read much reading them. The story just never appealed to me.
2. The Fault in Our Stars- Okay, don't hate on me for not reading this one! Also, please don't hate on me for what I'm about to say (er, write)- I'm not the hugest fan of John Green in general (I do really like him as a human though, and would love to meet him!). I've read a couple of his books (Look for Alaska and Paper Towns), but neither of them are on the top of my "Best books I've ever read" list, and so I've kind of put off reading any of his other stuff. This is, however, one the books that I feel like I might pick up one day. Not not anytime soon.
3. The Divergent Trilogy- Okay, I do actually own the first one on my Kindle, and I started to read it, but I don't know. I just wasn't that into the book. I'm just not the hugest fan of dystopians or anything like them.
4. The Shatter Me Trilogy- Again, I don't know why, but these books just don't call me in any immediate way. (Although, can I say that Tahereh Mafi if freaking gorgeous???)
5. The Lunar Chronicles- These books are on this list mostly because I'm not the hugest fan of cyborg stuff. However, the fact that they are fairy tale retellings is super tempting, so I really might actually read these books.

Okay guys, these are just a few of the books that I haven't read, and might never read. Do you have any books that you feel the same way about?

Until next time,
xox

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

May Wrap Up

Hello! So, this month wasn't too hot, and I definitely could have read more, but, I can't complain about what I did get read! I finished a total of 9 books this month, and started a 10th. So, like I said, not too bad at all!

Books I finished: Magyk by Angie Sage
                          The Darke Toad by Angie Sage
                          The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
                          Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
                          The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
                           The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
                           Every You, Every Me by David Levithan
                           Cut by Patricia McCormick
                           Teen Angst? Naaah... by Ned Vizzini

Books I started: It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Total Pages: 2269

So, that's about what I read this month. Again, it wasn't much, but I'm pretty satisfied. Hopefully next month will be better!

Until next time,
xox

Monday, June 2, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up #2

Okay, so I'm super bad at keeping up on what I've read through out the week, mostly, again, because of this new job. But, I did manage to finish one book, Teen Angst? Naaah... by Ned Vizzini, which, if you haven't read it yet, is a pretty great book. I also started It's Kind of a Funny Story also by Ned Vizzini, which I'm also loving and anticipating finishing today. So, um, yeah.. That's all I have this week. It's been rough, but I'll hopefully be getting back in the swing of things and knocking down my TBR pile!

Anyway, don't forget to check out the awesome Samantha over at The Book Corner, the originator of this fun thing, and be sure to check on the other awesome bloggers also participating in weekly wrap ups posted at the bottom of her blog!

Until next time,
xox