Top 5 Wednesday – April 20th, 2016

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five books that you’re intimidated by. Though I am an avid reader that will gladly read (almost) anything you hand to me, I get intimidated by books fairly easily. This never prevents me from picking up the books and giving them a go, it just makes me put them off for ages. Most times, my fear is caused by the length of the novel. I’m a relatively slow reader who loves fantasy and sci-fi, which can by a problematic combination, at least for me! Hype surrounding novels can also make me nervous, and since I take forever to get around to popular series, this is a major issue for me as well. And of course, let’s not forget about the potential of massive quantities of feels…

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Okay, let’s get into that list! 😀

5. Under the Dome by Stephen King

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Two words: Page. Count. 1000+ pages definitely freaks me out, even if it is a book by an author I love. Also, the copy I have to read is my dad’s hardcover edition, which (probably due to the troubles I have lifting it up!) is psyching me out even more. I’m very interested in both this novel and the television series, having heard fantastic things about both. I may have to get a copy on Kindle—that might help…

4. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

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I find the entire Mistborn series pretty daunting, but actually less so than the other series I have on this list. This intimidation comes purely from page count. Based on what I know about these novels, I have a feeling that I will not have a difficult time actually getting into the story and the writing. I am determined to get through at least this first book before the end of the year. Now if I can just find the time…

3. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Once again, I must address my shame at never having read any Tolkien books or seen any of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit films. I intend to finally fix the film part this year, as well begin reading the LOTR trilogy, but I definitely feel intimidated. I’m certain that I will love it—I can’t imagine not adoring these stories! But I still feel pressure since these are such well-loved classics. To be honest, I’m also pretty nervous about trying to remember everyone’s names as well!

2. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

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All right, so I’m intimidated by this entire series, but I’ll just stick with the first one for now since I haven’t even gotten through that yet! I’ve already started watching the television show (which I know is a bad book nerd move!), and I absolutely love it, so I’m sure that I will enjoy these books. They are definitely worth the time and effort…but that page quantity though. Since I’ll be traveling a bit this summer, I figured that might be a good time to get started. I am going to feel so accomplished when I finally finish this series (or at least what’s been released)!

1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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This is right up my alley in terms of subject matter, but holy page count, Batman! My main concern is that this novel might be hard to get into, which is more likely to discourage me with a book this size. Nevertheless, if everything I have heard about this book is true, it is certainly worth the read!

What are some books that have intimidated you guys? Do we have any in common? Are there any books that you were nervous to pick up but ended up loving? Let me know down in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 5 Wednesday – February 24th, 2016

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five worst love interests (male or female). I don’t read many romance heavy stories, so I was unable to think up five love interests that I didn’t like. Instead, I’ve decided to go with last week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic since I was unable to do it on the day. Last week’s topic was the top five suggested books (books recommended to you) that you loved.

It goes without saying, if there are any books on this list that you haven’t read yet, I recommend them to you! 😀

5. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

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I actually bought this one as a Christmas gift for my mom. She ended up loving it and immediately told me I needed to read it too. This story was everything I had hoped for—lovely, heartwarming, and with spectacular writing to boot. It was a wonderful read, and an absolutely perfect book for book lovers. I promise, I will have a review up for this one day!

4. Alice by Christina Henry

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If there is one thing I like more than a retelling, it’s a dark retelling. This one was recommended to me by my friend Heather from The Sassy Book Geek. It was disturbing and twisted and creepy and fantastic—overall a fascinating and extremely creative reimagining of a classic and well-loved tale.

Full review coming very soon!

3. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

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I’ve been a massive Neil Gaiman fan for a long time, so this was already on my radar. However, I read it when I did because my best friend had just finished it and kept going on about how good it was. Actually, I was over at her house and she handed me the book and told me to start reading right then and there; that’s definitely the sort of recommendation you know you can trust! Obviously, I ended up absolutely adoring this novel—in fact, I think this may be my favorite Neil Gaiman novel that I’ve read so far.

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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This one will come as no surprise to anyone since I rave about it (and Gillian Flynn) way too much! On top of the entire world talking about this book, it was specifically recommended to me by both my best friend and my dad. My best friend and I have extremely similar reading tastes, so I always trust her recommendations—and she loves Gillian Flynn. A few months before I picked it up, my dad also read and loved this, so when I was out visiting my best friend at school, I began reading it. It rapidly became one of my favorite novels of all time, and made Gillian Flynn one of my favorite authors.

Click here to read my full review!

1. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Though I had known about these novels for ages, this is another recommendation that I have to credit my mom for. If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you probably already know that this is one of my favorite novels of all time (and that it’s another one I talk about way too much!). I attempted reading my first Sherlock Holmes novel—The Hound of the Baskervilles—when I was far too young to really enjoy it, and thus, I assumed that I did not like Sherlock Holmes…oh boy was I wrong! I had to read The Speckled Band in class a few years later and enjoyed that, but it wasn’t until my mom gave this to me as a gift one holiday that the obsession truly began! ❤

Click here to read my full review!

What are some recommendations that you’ve received and ended up loving? Do you have any favorites you would like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 5 Wednesday – February 10th, 2016

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five books you were spoiled for. I actually had a fair amount of trouble thinking up books for this list today, which I guess is a good thing! This got me thinking about spoilers and how they affect me and my reading experience (or viewing experience with movies and TV shows). I have come to the realization that they don’t really bother me all that much. Sure, I definitely prefer avoiding them, but I’ve never felt like they have ever completely ruined my personal experience with the content.

I would also like to thank Lainey for giving me a shoutout in her video today. It was incredibly kind of you to do that, and it completely made my day; I haven’t stopped smiling since I saw it! And to everyone who has come over from her video, welcome! Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my posts, and for all the follows as well. You guys rock! 😀 ❤

So, without further ado, here are a few books that I was spoiled for prior to reading them. Side note, I will not be revealing any of the specific points of these novels that I was spoiled on. In fact, for a couple of these, if you have read them, you will probably know exactly what those plot points were!

5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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As you are about to see, many of the books I’ve been spoiled on—actually maybe all of them—are due to the fact that I am insanely slow getting around to popular novels. Gone Girl falls into that category, as I only just read it last year. For this one, I was accidently spoiled on arguably the most important plot point of the entire novel by overhearing people talking about it. It was unavoidable, and though I do wish I could find out what my reaction to this story would have been without knowing anything ahead of time, it absolutely did not ruin my experience. I completely adored this novel—it was one of my favorite reads of last year. And I’m fairly certain I acquired a Gillian Flynn addiction in the process…

4. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

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Okay, so this one was entirely my fault. I still have not read this book yet—though I do intend to begin the series this year—so obviously, I’m quite late to the party with this one. Not only have I been massively spoil due to…well…the Internet, I have also already started watching the television series. However, the spoilers have not ruined my viewing experience with the show, and I’m sure it will be the same way with the novels. I’m going to enjoy getting to dive into these stories for myself no matter what!

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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This is another one that was entirely my fault. This was always an option on reading lists for school and, though I kept meaning to choose it, I never actually got around to it. In fact, I just read it for the first time last month (and absolutely loved it, not surprisingly!). So, not only was I spoiled on a few bits just from the fact that I took so long to get around to reading it, but I may or may not have also gone to see the movie beforehand… I know, I know! Bad Ari! My excuse is that my best friend was home visiting and wanted us to go see it together. I blame her! 😀

2. The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

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Specifically, I was spoiled on some important plot points in the second novel and the end of the final novel. However, this once again did not at all ruin my enjoyment of this trilogy. I accidently read this spoiler, just after finishing Legend, in a review that did not have a spoiler alert on it. This is one of the best examples I can give for this topic because I was genuinely upset and rather disappointed when I learned of this plot point. I was worried that it would end up negatively affecting my enjoyment of the novels, but thankfully that has so far not been the case at all.

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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I feel like this one is going to be on a lot of people’s lists today. This was another combination of me taking forever to read a popular series and being a book nerd with access to the Internet. Now, Allegiant is the only one that I’ve not yet read, and at this point I am unsure if I am going to. This actually has very little to do with the spoilers and more to do with the fact that I just really did not enjoy Insurgent when I read it last year. I do hate leaving series unfinished and I feel bad because I absolutely loved Divergent, so those things may sway me toward finishing this last book one day.

How much do spoilers tend to affect your reading experience? What books have you been spoiled for? Let me know in the comments (but remember…no spoilers! 😀 )!

-Ariana

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Top 5 Wednesday – January 27th, 2016

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five books that were disappointing eye candy—so basically, books that were more enjoyable to look at than to read. I have this tendency to walk into the library and randomly grab books that have eye-catching covers. This can be a good thing sometimes because I have found some fantastic underhyped novels with this method. However, that also gives you a higher probability of reading a lot of not so great novels as well. Here are a few books whose covers drew me in, but whose stories ended up being rather disappointing.

5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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This has got to be one of my favorite covers of all time, and honestly, this was the best read of this entire list. I did not completely dislike this novel, I was just disappointed with it overall. The concept was incredibly interesting and the writing was absolutely fantastic, which in itself has made me want to continue on with this series. I had more issues with this first novel than I expected to have, but I do believe there is a good chance many of them may be resolved as the series progresses.

Click here to read my full review.

4. The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu

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I will admit, I picked this one up almost solely on the beautiful cover. The concept for this novel was a very interesting one, but the actual execution of it left a lot to be desired. It began solidly, but about halfway through, the story just started to feel like it was going nowhere. I was never able to become fully invested in the lives of the characters, and the events of the plot did not have the intended emotional impact on me. It was a fast read, but this novel did not end up being my cup of tea.

3. Doll Bones by Holly Black

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After all the wonderful things I had heard about her work, I had been meaning to read a novel by Holly Black for a long time. This was the one that had been on my radar the longest, so I chose it as my first one. While the story had a promising and—as the cover implied—creepy start, the feel of it quickly changed. It was far less of an eerie story than I was expecting, which was incredibly disappointing. That, coupled with a cast of characters I couldn’t bring myself to like and frustratingly unrealistic circumstances caused this to be an unsatisfactory read for me.

2. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

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This was one that I had heard a little bit about prior to reading it, and the cover really sealed the deal. In hindsight, I’m not overly shocked that I disliked this book; I typically never enjoy contemporary romance novels. However, the fact that it was to be told from fourteen different points of view really had me intrigued. That aspect of it was creative, and I did like a number of the voices quite a lot, but it was a bit excessive. I felt far too disconnected from the story, and I couldn’t get myself to care enough about the main characters. On top of that, the progression of the romance became extremely repetitive and frustrating, to the point where everything about it was completely implausible. I applaud the author’s creativity, but everything was just slightly too over the top.

1. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

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I had heard next to nothing about this, but I loved the cover, so that was definitely the main reason I picked up this novel in the first place. The synopsis sounded fantastic and my hopes were very high for this book. However, it ended up being absolutely nothing like what I had expected, and what should have been an intensely intriguing story ended up feeling like reading a pile of paperwork. They story was very dry and the characters were all fairly dislikable. The visual aspect of this novel ended up being the only really positive thing about it.

Click here to read my full review.

What are some books that ended up being disappointing eye candy for you? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 5 Wednesday – January 13th, 2016

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top five favorite self-published books. Now, I’ve not actually read all that many self-published books over the years; my experience in that area is really lacking. I would like to start getting into the habit of reading more of these types of novels this year, and I already have a few picked out that I would like to read soon. So instead of making a list of my favorites, I’ve decided to make a list of the top five self-published books on my TBR that I am most looking forward to reading!

5. Angelfall by Susan Ee

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It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

4. Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie

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Life sucks for orphans Callum Tate and Harper Bailey.

Kicked out of their foster homes because they suffer the ‘eighteen disease’ with nothing but a hundred dollar check from the government and a pat on the back, they’re forced to rely on a system that failed them miserably.

So they sit. They sit inside Social Services, waiting for their social workers to call their names and offer them the miracle they know will never come but they sit anyway because they have nowhere else to go, no other options on their very literal and figurative empty plates.

But as they sit, they notice the other. Although captivated, they each come to the conclusion that life is complicated enough without throwing in a boiling tension that can’t ever be acted upon because they’re both too busy thinking about where their next meal will come from but when their names are called and both are placed on a year long waiting list for permanent housing, suddenly relying on each other seems like a very viable plan B.

And, oh, how lovely Plan B’s can be. 

Well, except for the psycho from Harper’s past that haunts her and, oh, yeah, there’s the little issue that neither of them knows they’re in love with the other.

Needless to say, Callum & Harper’s life just got a bit more complicated.

3. The Reluctant Sacrifice by Kerr-Ann Dempster

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Centuries ago, sibling rivalry tore Aramith apart. As punishment, the losers were stripped of their immortal birthright and banished to Earth. There, they wasted away from old age and diseases. However, there is hope…

If a Shaw child, born on the 12th day of the 12th month offers her soul in a public sacrifice, then the exiles will be forgiven and welcomed home to Aramith.

Aubrey Shaw is that child, but dying for the exiles is not on her to-do list. Using her gift as a Jumper, Aubrey leaps between bodies to escape relentless shape-shifting hunters. Only, shedding her skin is not enough. Not when Joshua, her best-friend-turned-hunter, is hell-bent on dragging her to the altar.

Will Aubrey’s love for Joshua change his mind?

Or, will she have to trust the scarred stranger who shows up out of the blue cloaked in lies and secrets? Doing so means giving up on Joshua. But betting on Joshua’s love could do more than break her heart.

It could kill her.

2. The Inn by Deirdre Swinden

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The Inn had stood for more than 200 years. No one who knew any better would live within its walls. No one who had heard its sordid past would venture within a mile. But Innkeepers Paula and Martin Kent had found the aging red brick charming and the house itself an alluring investment. After all, what more could a bed and breakfast need for success than to be “haunted”? Its history spoke of deadly winters, lusty rovers and immortal lovers. It called to them as it had sung to others, and at a time when ghost hunters achieved success on reality television, the Kents had found a profitable attraction.

When Samantha Brogan arrives to meet her estranged husband Chris in an attempt to repair their crumbling marriage, she is instantly unsettled by an image her failing sight struggles to comprehend. Trapped by a severe snowstorm, guests and caretakers seek out the Inn’s other inhabitants through ghost hunts and chilling tales of the site’s unnaturally violent history. As the storm gains power, Sam’s visions grow darker and more disturbing. As an unseen enemy draws closer, the guests experience nightmare realities of their deepest fears. One by one they succumb to an inescapable fate until there is only one course left for the remaining occupants – attempt to communicate or die trying.  

And death is waiting to take them all.

1. Dissonance by Mariella Hunt

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Fifteen-year-old Allie Grant lives crippled by her illness. Though kept in isolation, she’s never alone: A spirit named Song lurks in the silence of her bedroom.

When Song reveals its dark nature on the night of her recital, the show ends in tragedy. Verging on death, Allie’s taken in by an uncle she’s never met. 

Julian claims to be a Muse with power over music and answers that’ll heal her. The cure she needs is rare, requiring of him a difficult sacrifice. Allie soon suspects her uncle has a secret that’ll turn her world around.

But with days left to live, she might fade without learning the truth…like the finishing chord of a song.

What are some self-published novels that you have read and enjoyed? I’m always looking for some more recommendations, so definitely let me know in the comments! 🙂

-Ariana

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Top 5 Wednesday – December 30th, 2015

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top 5 favorite books that you read this year. While I didn’t read nearly as many books as I had hoped that I would, this year was pretty fantastic in terms of quality of books read. It was difficult to narrow this list down to just five, but there were definitely a few novels that particularly stuck out this year. These have not only become some of my top favorite novels of all time, but all of these authors were new to me and are now on my favorite authors list as well!

5. Jackaby by William Ritter

jackabyThis was pitched as “Doctor Who meets Sherlock”, so of course I had to read this immediately—and thankfully, it did not disappoint!

Click here to check out my full review!

4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

cinderThis was my first read of 2015 and an absolutely brilliant way to start off my reading for the year.

Click here to check out my full review!

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gonegirlThis was my first Gillian Flynn book, and by far one of the most intriguing and captivating novels that I read all year.

Click here to check out my full review!

2. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

thememoirsofsherlockholmesThis is my first time making my way through this series and I am kicking myself for having put these novels off for so long—they are fantastic!

Click here to check out my full review!

1. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

viciousThis was my most recent read and my last completed book of the year—and it was definitely my favorite of them all!

Review coming soon!

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Top 5 Wednesday – December 23rd, 2015

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five series you want to start next year. I have only recently realized just how massive my series/trilogies TBR is. I tend to read a lot of standalone novels, and I have not actually completed all that many series or trilogies in my lifetime so far. But this shall no longer be the case! I am hereby declaring 2016 the year of series reading!

Because my TBR is so long, I decided to do a bit of a twist on today’s topic. Since it was impossible to narrow things down enough, I essentially decided I should make two different top five lists: one of the top five series and one of the top five trilogies I want to read during the course of 2016!

Series

Most of these are series that I intended to read in 2015 and never got around to starting (yes, I did indeed fail quite epically!).

5. The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

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4. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

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3. The Raven Cycle Quartet by Maggie Stiefvater

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2. The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

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1. The A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin

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Trilogies

Again, many of these are trilogies I wanted to, and subsequently failed to get started on in 2015. I am determined to get going on, if not to finish, a good amount of these trilogies in the new year.

5. The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken

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4. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

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3. The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

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2. The Shattered Sea Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

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1. The Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Trilogy by Ransom Riggs

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Honorable Mention: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien

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This is an honorable mention because I am not sure that I will be able to make it to this trilogy before the end of the year. I do intend to read The Hobbit in 2016, and to at least finally begin watching the movies. I am hoping, though, that I will be able to make it through at least The Fellowship of the Ring!

What series are you guys planning to read in 2016? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 5 Wednesday – November 25th, 2015

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five books you’re thankful for. Of course, as an avid reader and writer, I am just generally thankful for the existence of literature in general. However, there are definitely a few books that have especially affected my reading and writing. These books have truly touched my life, have taught me so much, and have gotten me through tough times. They have inspired me in so many ways and continue to do so every day. These are books that never get old, and become more meaningful to me each time I read them. I cannot express how extremely grateful I am that these works exist.

5. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

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4. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

(I know this is a play not a novel, but it still counts!) 😀

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3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

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2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

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1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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What novels are you most thankful for? What stories have impacted your life the most? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

-Ariana

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Top 5 Wednesday – November 11th, 2015

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five books you did not finish. I don’t often stop in the middle of books, so this was a hard list for me to compile. Usually, no matter how I’m feeling about it, I absolutely hate stopping before the end of a novel or series. I’m not sure why, but I just can’t seem to leave anything unfinished; it really bugs me! However, there are a handful novels that I have stopped partway through because I truly could not get myself to continue them.

Since some of these picks may be a tad controversial, I thought I should include a little disclaimer! 🙂 These are not by any means bad novels; in fact, for a number of these, I can completely see why they have so many fans. The books on this list were simply not my cup of tea and, for that reason, I personally found them difficult to finish.

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

thecuriousincidentofthedoginthenighttimeAll right, so this one is technically not an official DNF forever. I started this a year or two ago and just could not get into the story. The writing style was not my favorite and the plot itself upset me more than I expected. I only read a few chapters, but I was not enjoying my reading experience at all, so I ended up putting it aside and I have not yet gotten back to it. I will say, I believe my reading mood at the time partially contributed to my feelings; I don’t think I should have started it when I did, which is why I do actually intend to give it another go at some point. But at this moment, it is a DNF.

                                        4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

shiverI’m not exactly sure why I attempted to read this series because it is not at all the type of story I like to read. I’m pretty sure it was due to the fact that I had heard all the hype and praise surrounding these novels; I thought I should give them a go and maybe they would surprise me. I really hoped that I would enjoy them, but unfortunately that did not happen, and I made it about halfway through Shiver before giving up. I do intend to give Maggie Stiefvater’s other novels, such as The Raven Boys, a try despite not liking these stories; some of those storylines seem a bit more suited to my personal tastes.

3. Dead Rules by Randy Russell

deadrulesAgain, we have another case where I have no clue why I attempted to read this. A few years back, I picked it up at the library on a whim, but absolutely could not get into it. I remember that I could not stand the main character, and the plot, which had sounded like an interesting idea, fell completely flat for me. On top of that, I never clicked with the author’s writing style. I read only about a third of the novel and it was just going too slow and not showing any signs of picking up. I truly could not find anything I really liked about the story, and figured it wasn’t really worth trying to continue on to the end.

                                         2. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

songofsolomonSong of Solomon was a book that we read in high school, but I switched schools a couple of months into the year and was no longer required to read it. This is also one of the only classics that was required reading in school that I did not enjoy. I could not get into this story at all and was not interested in seeing how it wrapped up so, when I left school, I just ended up putting it down. I do not, at the moment, have any intention of trying to finish it off, however, this is another case where I would like to give some of the author’s other work a try one day. I know Toni Morrison is a very popular writer, and maybe another novel would be more my type.

1. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

eclipseThis is probably my most controversial choice on here, but I have to admit, I am not a fan of the Twilight series. This series was never my type of series; the main reason that I had begun reading it was due to all the hype surrounding it. Now, I did not completely hate the first two books, but I didn’t particularly like them either. Since I had gotten halfway through, I figured I would just finish off the final books in the series since I hate to leave anything incomplete. However, I genuinely could not stand this book and all the drama and angst, and I just decided it was time to put it aside.

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What novels have you stopped in the middle of? Are you like me where you have trouble stopping in the middle of books or series once you start? Let me know down in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 5 Wednesday – November 4th, 2015

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top five favorite series novellas. I have read a few series novellas, enough to create this list. However, I am afraid that there isn’t going to be a whole lot of variety in series or author because many of them are from the same one, namely Marissa Meyer and The Lunar Chronicles. I absolutely love short stories, and I am definitely a huge fan of series novellas in general. I do have others I intend to read at some point, but I have not begun any of those series yet. In the meantime, here are my top five favorites so far!

                                                         5. The Queen’s Army by Marissa Meyer

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This is the third series novella that Marissa Meyer wrote for The Lunar Chronicles, and it falls between the first novel, Cinder, and second novel, Scarlet. It functions as a bit of a bridge story and prequel to Scarlet, and introduces one of the new main characters of that novel.

I read this recently since I am preparing to jump into Scarlet very soon and, though this is my least favorite of the novellas so far, I still really loved reading it. It is a very short read but sufficiently captivating and intense, and it gives great insight into both this new character and the inner workings of the Lunars that we have not previously seen. I am even more excited about reading the next novel and seeing where these plot points lead!

4. The Map by William Ritter

themapThis is the first series novella that William Ritter wrote for the Jackaby series and it falls between the first and second novels. The Map is a standalone adventure starring the main characters from the series. It tells the tale of what happens when Jackaby plans a celebration for his assistant, Abigail Rook’s, birthday.

I really enjoyed this novella; it was such a fun read and wonderful to have while I was eagerly awaiting the next full novel. It was lovely to be back in this world with these loveable characters and to follow them on another one of their wacky exploits. This was just as hilarious and entertaining as the full novels themselves, and reading it made me all the more excited about Beastly Bones!

                                                         3. Glitches by Marissa Meyer

glitchesThis is the first series novella that Marissa Meyer wrote for The Lunar Chronicles and is the prequel to the first novel, Cinder. It was actually my first experience with her writing, as I decided to read it prior to reading Cinder; and I’m glad that I did.

Though Cinder would still have been enjoyable if I had not read this first, this prequel offers much more insight into Cinder’s past and fills in some of the gaps in that area that are present in the novel. It also gives you a chance to connect with her before diving into the main action of the plot, and I found that this made me love her as a character even more. On top of all that, I completely fell in love with Marissa Meyer’s writing style, which made me all the more excited to dive into the series. This is a great prequel story and I would highly recommend it if you are planning on starting The Lunar Chronicles or already have and have not read this novella yet!

2. Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge

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Gilded Ashes is a Cinderella retelling that takes place in the same world as Rosamund Hodge’s first novel, Cruel Beauty. It is a standalone story and can be read without any knowledge about her other novel. Reading this was my first experience with her work and I was quite impressed.

This was very well written, and a surprisingly detailed story for the length that it was. I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel about it, as I tend to be fairly picky with retellings, but I ended up really loving it. There was just the right balance of sadness, heart-warming moments, and dark twists, and I thought it was a great reimagining of Cinderella. Along with that, I absolutely loved Rosamund Hodge’s writing style and I am looking forward to reading her full novels!

                                                     1. The Little Android by Marissa Meyethelittleandroidr

This is technically the second series novella in The Lunar Chronicles, though it doesn’t have much to do with the actual series itself; it is more of a standalone. As the title suggests, it is essentially a retelling of The Little Mermaid (the original tale, not the Disney version) with an android twist.

This story was absolutely fantastic! It is incredibly detailed and well rounded for the short amount of pages that it consists of. It is adorable and emotional and just a beautiful rendition of this classic tale. I would very highly recommend giving this a read even if you haven’t read the other books in the series, particularly if you are a fan of retellings.

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What are your top five favorite series novellas? Which ones would you recommend the most? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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