Wrap Up/TBR

October 2015 Wrap up and November TBR

oct wrap-up-and nov -tbr

Welp! October has ended. AND I stuck to my guns. I didn’t buy any books this month. Which means no book haul but more money in my bank account. lol. I can’t believe the year’s almost over.

It’s been a relatively good reading month with most books being rated over 4 folded pages, so yay!!

September Wrap Up

Books Rated 5 Folded Pages:
Books Rated 4-4.5 Folded Pages:
Books Rated 3-3.5 Folded Pages:
Books Rated 2-2.5 Folded Pages:
  • Diva by Alex Flinn
Books Rated 1-1.5 Folded Pages:
  • None!!
Books I’ve given up on:
  • None!

Total books for September: 10

2015 Reading Challenge

This month I read 2 books for my reading challenge! In total, I’ve read 37/50 books for the challenge. To see further details about it click here! At this rate, I probably won’t finish but it’s been fun!

September To Be Read

This past month I got to 4 books on my October TBR. I did ok. I got to more of my wouldn’t mind putting off and if everything above has been read but oh well.

What I REALLY want to get to:
What I want to get to but wouldn’t mind putting off:
If everything above has been read:
2015 release, book releases

Top 5 November 2015 Releases I’m Looking Forward To

So it’s come to my attention that just because I’m excited for books doesn’t mean I will necessarily bother to buy or get the book from the library. That being said, I like this series so I will continue to do it even though it feels like a waste. lol. Enjoy!

#5 A Talent for Trickery by Alissa Johnson

a talent for trickery alissa johnson

Expected Publication: November 3rd

Summary (Via Goodreads):

The Lady is a Thief

Years ago, Owen Renderwell earned acclaim—and a title—for the dashing rescue of a kidnapped duchess. But only a select few knew that Scotland Yard’s most famous detective was working alongside London’s most infamous thief…and his criminally brilliant daughter, Charlotte Walker.

Lottie was like no other woman in Victorian England. She challenged him. She dazzled him. She questioned everything he believed and everything he was, and he has never wanted anyone more. And then he lost her.

Now a private detective on the trail of a murderer, Owen has stormed back into Lottie’s life. She knows that no matter what they may pretend, he will always be a man of the law and she a criminal. Yet whenever he’s near, Owen has a way of making things complicated…and long for a future that can never be theirs

Thoughts:

Honestly, the blurb isn’t very good. It’s all over the place and it doesn’t seem to tell you what it’s really about. But, the reviews on Goodreads seem promising and this cover is gorgeous. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but I can’t help it.

#4 The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

the lies about truth courtney c stevens

Expected Publication: November 3rd

Summary (Via Goodreads):

Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she’s unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she’ll always be trapped in the past.

Thoughts:

I’ve heard some really great things about this novel. Also, I’ve been really feeling contemporaries recently so I’m excited to maybe get this from the library. Also this cover is gorgeous. I will probably end up buying it if the paperback is the same.

#3 November 9 by Colleen Hoover

november 9 colleen hoover

Expected Publication: November 10th

Summary (Via Goodreads):

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day of her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Thoughts:

I’ve only ever read a small novella by Hoover but this book sounds SO interesting. It’ll be fun to see how she does a plot twist when you know a plot twist is probably coming. Also, I’m already interested in the relationship between the characters and exactly how it will play out.

#2 Half Truths by Sally Green

half truths by sally green

Expected Publication: November 3rd

Summary (Via Goodreads):

Half Truths follows Gabriel’s story from the time he arrives Switzerland, seeking help in recovering his magical powers from the conniving Black Witch Mercury, and goes up until the moment when he first meets Nathan and their paths become forever intertwined.

For the new reader, this is the perfect bite-sized introduction to the world of Half Bad, where witches and humans live alongside one another. And for the returning reader, this story sheds new light on one of the trilogy’s most beloved characters.

Thoughts:

Anyone who has read my reviews of the first two books in this series (Half Bad and Half Wild) knows that these books have completely taken me. I CAN’T WAIT until the third book comes out but hopefully this novella will help to tide me over. 🙂

#1 Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer

winter by marissa meyer

Expected Publication: November 10th

Summary (Via Goodreads):

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Thoughts: 
I mean, do I even have to say why I’m super duper excited for this? This is the only book this year I’ve been constantly thinking about and I *almost* wish I liked hardbacks just so I would be able to buy this right away but alas I will wait for the paperback before buying and just get it from my library.

www wednesday

WWW Wednesday #16 (10/28/15)

WWW Wednesday

This post is scheduled and I’ll reply to comments and visit your guys’ posts when I get home!

I did not have a good Monday: computer problems, a creepy guy, training that cut into my lunch, my ID not working at the gym, almost hitting a deer on the way home.

Suffice it to say Monday I ate an entire box of mac and cheese and went to bad. Thankfully Tuesday was better and I have high hopes for today. The rest of the week should be pretty great actually so I’m staying positive.

This meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words but was originally hosted on Should Be Reading. To do the meme answer these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What are you currently reading?

Rereading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has been put on hold. Not sure when I’ll be in the mood for it again. Hopefully soon.

I actually started Gone by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge so go me! So far I like it but I just now realize it’s the 6th book in a series. It’s working well on it’s own actually. I’m reading it to complete the “a book your mother loves” bit of my 2015 challenge.

I haven’t gotten anywhere with Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid because I’ve been having a hard time reading electronically recently. It just hurts my eyes and the words tend to blur. I think it’s because my job involves so much reading on a computer now. I may give up reading electronically for the time being effectively dropping this book but I only got one chapter in anyway.

What did you recently finish?

I’ve only read one book this week but it was a monstrous book at over 500 pages. Also with my new job, I just haven’t really been able to read a lot. I am reading a lot more consistently since I’m on the train again which is nice.

What do you plan on reading?

I think I’m going to try to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak next and I have Saga Volume 5 out from the library but that will be an easy read. I’m excited to continue that story.

contemporary, young adult

Book Review: Diva by Alex Flinn

diva by alex flinn

Title: Diva
Author: Alex Flinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 304 pages, Paperback
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 2.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
In Diva, the companion to Alex Flinn’s YA novel Breathing Under Water, Caitlin is dealing with a lot. She’s living through the aftermath of an abusive relationship, she has a youth-obsessed mother who just doesn’t understand her, and she’s on a constant yo-yo diet to live up the standards of her nitpicking friends.

All Caitlin wants is to escape her not-so-glamorous life and pursue her dream of becoming a singer, but when she’s accepted into the Miami High School of the Arts, her life doesn’t magically become perfect. Yet despite some struggles to keep up with her competitive classmates and the distraction of cute new crush, Caitlin never loses her sense of humor and eventually gains the confidence to achieve her goals.

Review:
This was a disappointing reread for me. I remember loving this novel and connecting with Caitlin so much. I love to sing and I’m super shy especially when I was in high school. So I really related to her. But now, I don’t connect with her as much as I wish.

Now Caitlin annoys me. She’s childish. I feel like she acts like she’s 12 not 16. I think this might just be my age talking though. At 22, it’s a lot harder for me to connect with teenage characters. I almost wish I hadn’t reread it so it still held a good memory for me. This is a companion to Breathing Underwater (click to see my review of it), but Diva doesn’t hold the same depth or statement as that novel does and it’s saddening to see.

I can’t say much else. When the main character annoys me there’s almost nothing that can save the novel in my book. The writing was nice. I enjoy the way Alex Flinn writes and I love a lot of her books.

The side characters were interesting but because I saw them through Caitlin’s eyes I’m not sure I really understand or saw any of their real character. She has some moments of realization about them that are nice but a lot of the time the other characters are just flat because Caitlin can’t imagine more dimensions to them. Especially her mother and father.

This novel was a quick read at least which was nice. It has good memories from when I was in high school and for high schoolers I think I would recommend it but I’m not sure it’s a YA that translate well for older people.

science fiction

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

the martian

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Publisher: Broadway Books
Length: 387, Paperback
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Review:
I finally read this book after seeing so many rave reviews. I was worried that the hype was more than the book deserved but after reading it I can safely say it probably needs more hype. I’m not sure I’ve ever said that about a book but no one I know in real life had even heard of the book until the movie.

I think most people’s biggest problem with the book was the information dumps it has frequently but I actually really enjoyed those parts. It was written as if Watney was recording his life on Mars for when someone found it long after he was gone and I think a real scientist would have done just as many info dumps so people would know how he survived.

The writing was simple and easy to understand for a science fiction novel. I went into it expecting to have to struggle through a lot of science verbiage that I’d have to look up but that wasn’t the case at all. It was nice. Sci-fi books tend to be a bit intimidating for me because I am awful at science. The Martian doesn’t let that happen.

I do think it had some slower parts but they didn’t last long and the whole novel was intense and suspenseful so the slower parts were a nice breather. I don’t read a lot of suspense filled novels so I enjoyed the bits where it wasn’t so suspenseful.

fun fact friday

Fun Fact Friday: Analog Sci-Fi lit mag [8]

fun fact friday

This series occurs (almost) every Friday and will feature Fun Facts about me. At the end I will also pose a question or questions to you guys that will relate to my fun fact so I can get to know you better. Feel free join Fun Fact Friday on your own blog and post a link below!! Or just answer in the comments. 🙂


This week’s (maybe not super) Fun Fact: I have a bunch of Analog: Science Fiction and Fact magazines that I pulled from my Great Grandma’s house after she passed away.

Okay, so I know that this week’s and last week’s fun facts haven’t been so fun but I promise this does get fun!!

A little over a year ago my Great Grandma passed away. She was 93 and lived a long, very happy life constantly surrounded by her daughter, her grand kids, and great grand kids. She, like me, loved to read anything she got her hands on and was a subscriber of the literary magazine Analog: Science Fiction and Fact.

Anyone, when she was on hospice in a nursing home and it was clear she wasn’t going to be coming home, my grandma started going through her house. It started with cleaning it and seeing what was around. Eventually she asked everyone to come over to see if they wanted anything. (a little morbid but my great grandma would have been furious if we didn’t)

Anyway, I poured over all her old books. Aside from the magazines I nabbed (which span from 2011 to about June 2015 because my grandma couldn’t be bother to cancel the subscription), I also got really old copies of the Iliad and the Odyssey (let me know if you guys may want to see pictures some time of any of these books I’m mentioning). Some special editions of Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.  I got The Tree of Life, a book that talks about different religions and philosophies and how they fit together. The complete works of Edgar Allan Poe and a book on the Middle ages. I also grabbed a few of her writing books. The Key: How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth and The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference.

However, it’s the magazines that really fascinate me. In the time I was getting the things from her house I was in a Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature course. I knew had would have to write a term paper on a work of my choosing and I thought about using Analog. This, sadly, didn’t happen because I just didn’t have time to comb through all the magazines to see if there was a worthy thesis hidden in any of the stories or a group of the stories.

Instead, these gorgeous lit mags have been sitting on my shelves unread and unloved. I want to change that. I keep meaning to read them but something is stopping me and what’s stopping me (right now) is  that I want to make my reading useful. I want to be able to add it to this blog. So I have a question for you guys???

How would you feel about Sci-Fi Sunday being a thing? Every week (or maybe every two I haven’t decided) I will read one of the Analog magazines I have and write a post about it. I might end up doing it regardless of feedback but I thought it’d be nice to see what you guys might thing.

I know this is a long drawn out post. Sorry about that. But I really want to know what you guys think.


Aside from wondering if you guys like Sci-Fi Sunday…(please let me know!!) Have any you been given something from a passing relative? Have you ever stumbled upon old books or literary magazines? 

www wednesday

WWW Wednesday #15 (10/21/15)

WWW Wednesday

I love my new job! I LOVE MY NEW JOB!!

Okay that’s out of my system. But seriously did I mention how much I love my new job?? The work I’m doing is enjoyable and I’m working for a non-profit so it benefits people. (it’s a medical journal of course it benefits people) and basically I’m so happy. The only things that could make me happier is having more than $15 in my bank account and moving out of my parents house. But both of those things will be accomplished in the nearish future now that I have my ultimate happy goal which is finding a job in my field that I love (and makes p good money).

Sorry. Now to the books. Also as a side note, this post is queued (and probably will be from now on) I’ll reply to comments and comment on other posts on my lunch break or when I get home.

This meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words but was originally hosted on Should Be Reading. To do the meme answer these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What are you currently reading?

Rereading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has been put on hold. I started The Martian and I couldn’t bring myself to read anything else for a while. But I also had a lot of family obligations the end of last week and over the weekend on top of starting my new job Monday.

I’m going to start Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti on the train this morning. Or rather, I started it on the train. This post is queued to go up at 8 and my train gets to the station at 8. Anyway!

I also started reading Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid just as something light and easy to read when I’m not in the mood for heavy.

What did you recently finish?

Since last time I’ve finished two books. Not bad considering everything that has been going on in my life.

What do you plan on reading?

I still want to read Gone by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge soon. It will probably be the next thing I start. I might also see if I can get Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins from the library because I’m craving a cute contemporary and I think that will do just the trick.

contemporary, young adult

Book Review: Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn

breathing underwater by alex flinn

Title: Breathing Underwater
Author: Alex Flinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 304 pages, Paperback
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
To his friends, popular and handsome sixteen-year-old Nick Andreas has led a charmed life. But the guys in Nick’s anger management class know differently. So does his ex-girlfriend Caitlin. Now it looks like the only person who doesn’t realize how far from perfect Nick’s life has become is Nick himself.

Review:
This book is scary. Not in a thriller, horror movie kind of way but in a real life, this could happen to me kind of way. I originally read this in some life course everyone at my high school was forced to take. The class was supposed to give you morals and lessons for life. Honestly I hated the class and thought it was a waste of time which means I totally dismissed this book. Oh, how I regret that.

This is a book I think everyone needs to read in high school and I’m sad it’s not apart of every high school curriculum. Despite dismissing the book, I still carried the lessons with me through school and learned to recognize when guys were being abusive to me.

This book is also scary because it puts you in the shoes of an abuser and makes you see his side of things. Makes you sympathize with Nick. I understand where he’s coming from even if he’s wrong and in the end I like Nick. He realizes he’s wrong and what he’s done.

I can’t really say more than this on the book. It was such an emotional read. This time around I read it in on 4 hour sitting, tearing through page after page. By all means, if you have abuse triggers don’t read this. But I think everyone should at least try. To learn the signs of an abusive relationship and be able to recognize if you or a friend is in one.

fun fact friday

Fun Fact Friday: I go through phases [7]

fun fact friday

This series occurs (almost) every Friday and will feature Fun Facts about me. At the end I will also pose a question or questions to you guys that will relate to my fun fact so I can get to know you better. Feel free join Fun Fact Friday on your own blog and post a link below!! Or just answer in the comments. 🙂


This week’s Fun Fact: I go through phases.

No I don’t mean like physically though that would be hella cool. I mean that for some reason I can’t ever seem to stick to something for very long (aside from writing and music but those have phases within them). I have phases where I play The Sims for hours on end for a month and then I don’t touch the game for year. Or (as you may have noticed) I’m able to read any book I get my hands on. Reading upwards of 10 books a week and then suddenly I’m struggling to read one a week.

It’s been like this my whole life. The first phase I remember having is my A&W Cream Soda phase. I got a rootbeer out of a vending machine once but instead of rootbeer it ended up being cream soda. I was hooked. My mom was constantly buying it for me along with Pepsi lime for herself. I drank almost nothing but cream soda when I visited her on weekends. Definitely not my healthiest phase and it lasted for about half a year.

I’ve always had cereal phases. I have cereals I love for about 4-6 months and then it changes. Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Frosted Flakes, Captain Crunch (this phase never lasts long because it hurts the roof of my mouth), Special K, Cinnamon Bunches of Oats, and so on and so forth.

I have phases of extreme video games, and no video games. Extreme Korean drama watching and not watching anything at all. I have phases where I love watching movies and then phases where I absolutely no matter what can not seem to sit still or be bothered to try to watch a movie.

Sometimes I enjoy that I’m constantly flitting from thing to thing. And mostly I have set phases that I switch between. Reading to shows to movies to videos games and back to reading or something like that. But most times, I’m extremely frustrated with myself. I’d love to be able to stick to one or two things and do them consistently in moderation instead of having these over the top phases where I want to do nothing but my particular phase for that time.

This post is more about my frustration than a fun fact but I wanted to share and get it out somewhere. No one really understands my phases. Hell I don’t really understand them but I figured if there was anyone, anywhere who could relate it’d be on the internet. Though it now occurs to me that these phases could be part of what makes me bipolar. The phases being different expressions of my manic periods. But that seems a little too Meta for me today.


So, do you have phases? What are your phases like? Do you enjoy it? If you don’t have phases, how do you keep the things you love doing fresh?

contemporary, romance, young adult

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

wpid-20150930_160908-1.jpg

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Length: 448 pages, Special Edition Hardback
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life–and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review:
This was a reread for me. I originally read it in January of 2014. I had some spare time while driving from Illinois to Minnesota to visit my Grandma on winter vacation. I read it basically in a day then and I did this same this time around as well. I just can’t ever seem to put it down once I start. When I did have to put it down, I was thinking about when I could start reading it again.

Cath isn’t my favorite character but I also love her for that. She kind of annoys me and I feel like she needs to grow up but that’s part of what makes this novel so good because she does grow up and you get to watch it happen.

The side characters are amazing even when annoying. Levi is sweet but a bit naive and kind dense. I love the relationship between Cath and her roommate and I love seeing how Cath’s relationship with Wren has shifted over the years.
I think the book also holds a lot of good lessons about growing up, love, fandom, and thoughts about shunning those who “don’t” read. Things that a lot of people should read about and try to understand more of.

I love this story as much as the first time I read it and I’m glad I got the chance to reread it.