April 2017 TBR

april2017tbr

Hey everyone!

I can’t even believe it’s already April! This year is going by so fast! I’m happy to say that I am fairly certain I’ve emerged from my reading slump. Though I only managed to read four books last month, I feel really good about that—it’s a lot more than I’ve been able to read recently. I feel a lot more motivated to get going on my TBR, so I’m definitely going to be taking advantage of that!

Like last month, this will most likely be another review copy catch up month! I’m going to start out the month with the last few books I didn’t get to from my March TBR, and then begin these. This list is probably way too ambitious, but I’ll give it my best shot! 🙂

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

adarkershadeofmagic
Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.
There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strangethedreamer
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? 
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real? 
In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.

The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horwitz

thewingsnatchers
Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going under, Carmer is determined to win the cash prize in the biggest magic competition in Skemantis. When fate throws Carmer across the path of fiery, flightless faerie princess Grit (do not call her Grettifrida), they strike a deal. If Carmer will help Grit investigate a string of faerie disappearances, she’ll use her very real magic to give his mechanical illusions a much-needed boost against the competition. But Carmer and Grit soon discover they’re not the only duo trying to pair magic with machine – and the combination can be deadly.
In this story perfect for readers of the Lockwood & Co and Wildwood series, Sarah Jean Horwitz takes readers on a thrilling journey through a magical wooded fairyland and steampunk streets where terrifying automata cats lurk in the shadows and a mad scientist’s newest mechanical invention might be more menace than miracle.

The Heartstone Thief by Pippa DaCosta

theheartstonethief
In the City of Brea, thieves and sorceresses do not mix.
When Curtis Vance—professional thief—stumbles into a sorceress’s trap, he’d prefer to kill her than help her. Now bound to the insane sorceress, his only escape (and chance to turn a profit) is to find the long forgotten Dragon Eye gem. Little does Vance know, the Dragon Eye holds more than the key to Vance’s freedom. The Eye could awaken a devastating power—a worldkiller bent on destruction, and Vance is all that stands in its way.

Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

maresi
Only women and girls are allowed in the Red Abbey, a haven from abuse and oppression. Thirteen-year-old novice Maresi arrived at the Abbey four years ago, during the hunger winter, and now lives a happy life under the protection of the Mother. Maresi spends her days reading in the Knowledge House, caring for the younger novices, and contentedly waiting for the moment when she will be called to serve one of the Houses of the Abbey.
This idyllic existence is threatened by the arrival of Jai, a girl whose dark past has followed her into the Abbey’s sacred spaces. In order to protect her new sister and her own way of life, Maresi must emerge from the safety of her books and her childish world and become one who acts.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

everyheartadoorway
Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. 
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter. 
No matter the cost.

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

furthermore
Inspired by her childhood love of books like The Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other. 
But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

The Waterfall Traveler by S.J. Lem

thewaterfalltraveler
All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it’s impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive with the power to travel through water—she’ll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressed city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she’ll not only have to confront Samuel’s unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.
In this tale of bravery, friendship, and unexpected love, Ri must discover her own strength to save the men she cares for.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

geekerella
Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.
Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?
Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

madmissmimic
Born into an affluent family, Leo outwardly seems like a typical daughter of English privilege in the 1870s: she lives with her wealthy married sister Christabel, and lacks for neither dresses nor trinkets. But Leo has a crippling speech impediment that makes it difficult for her to speak but curiously allows her to mimic other people’s voices flawlessly. Servants and ladies alike call her “Mad Miss Mimic” behind her back… and watch as she unintentionally scares off every potential suitor. Only the impossibly handsome Mr. Thornfax seems interested in Leo…but why? And does he have a connection to the mysterious Black Glove group that has London in its terrifying grasp? Trapped in a city under siege by terror attacks and gripped by opium fever, where doctors (including her brother-in-law) race to patent an injectable formula, Leo must search for truth in increasingly dangerous situations – but to do so, she must first find her voice.

Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger

followmeback
Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…
Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.
When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…
Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.

What books are you guys looking forward to reading this month? What are your favorite books this year so far? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

signaturetardis1

logo2

Top 5 Wednesday – August 24th, 2016

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. 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 want to read before the end of the year. Welcome to yet another installment in the “Ari’s TBR Shame” series! Today, we’ll be doing a bit of New Year’s reading resolution shaming, as I believe that all of these books are off of my “16 in 2016” TBR from the beginning of the year. However, on the positive side of things, I have a fairly good feeling I’ll be able to finish all of these novels by the end of the year (she says with eternal optimism…). 🙂

5. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

thefinalempire

This one comes straight off my “been on my TBR for way too long” list from yesterday. Even though I’m sure I’ll love this one, I am so overloaded with books right now, I think I’ve been putting this series off mainly because of the length. I’ve been trying to put a bit more of a dent in my TBR before starting on this one, but I’m going to make sure it gets read before the year is out!

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

agameofthrones

Tying in with yesterday’s Top 10 Tuesday post, this is a book that I’ve had sitting on my TBR for a very long time—definitely since well before I started blogging. In fact, it was one of the first books I added to my Goodreads TBR. I’ve started working on this one already, so my finishing it before the end of the year is pretty certain.

3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

daughterofsmokeandbone

This is another one that’s a duplicate from yesterday’s list. I’ve owned a copy of this novel since it was first released and have been dying to read it for years—and yet, it’s still siting on my TBR. I started it at one point, got really busy with schoolwork, and unfortunately had to put it aside. But I already know I love the story—or at least what I’ve read—so this is a must read before the end of 2016!

2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

thehobbit

As I said before, this was on my list from the beginning of the year, and it’s been a goal of mine to read my first Tolkien novel in 2016. Thus, The Hobbit makes it onto this list. I figure this will be a good one to start off with, and then I can jump into LOTR later on.

1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

adarkershadeofmagic

And once again, another one rolling over from yesterday’s list! I’m really determined to get some of these ones that have been sitting on my TBR done soon. Though this has been on my list the least amount of time out of the five I’ve chosen, this is by far the craziest one. Victoria Schwab is one of my favorite authors and it is absolutely insane that I haven’t begun this series yet! This is a top priority!

What books are you guys hoping to eliminate from your TBR before the end of 2016? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

logo2

Top 10 Tuesday – August 23rd, 2016

toptentuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is the top ten books that have been on your shelf (or TBR) from before you started blogging that you STILL haven’t read yet. Well, this is quite an easy list for me to make. Or rather, a hard one because I have too many to decide between! 😛

Now, I’ve only been blogging for a year, but there are still some pretty embarrassing books sitting in my TBR pile. So I chose the ones that I am most mortified about still having not read—ones that I’ve been consistently saying for this past year of blogging that “I’m getting to them next” and then don’t. Most of the books that I picked out for this list have been in my pile for much longer than a year, and you may see some of these popping up in tomorrow’s Top 5 Wednesday post as well…

daughterofsmokeandbone theknifeofneverlettinggo adarkershadeofmagic

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

sixofcrows thefinalempire morethanthis

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

More Than This by Patrick Ness

thedarkestminds thenightcircus throneofglass soulless

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Soulless by Gail Carriger

What books have been on your TBR the longest? Which ones do you keep saying you’ll get to next, but then put off? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

logo2

The Olympics Book Tag

olympicsbooktag

I was tagged to do the Olympics Book Tag by the wonderful Richard from The Humpo Show. Richard is an absolutely fantastic blogger who writes a wide variety of very interesting posts about both books and films, so please make sure to stop over and check out his blog.

I have been enjoying watching the Olympics so much this year—in fact I am watching them while I’m writing this up—so this is definitely a very fitting tag to do right now! I did the seven from Richard’s tag and tacked on three other topics I found at the end.

100m | A book you have raced through.

amonstercalls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Not only is this by far the most gorgeous novel I have ever read in my life, I also absolutely sped through it. It’s not a long book and, on top of that, it was so captivating there was no way I was going to put it down before I turned that final page. It only took me about an hour and a half at most to read this, which is pretty fast for a generally slow reader like myself!

Michael Phelps | The best book you’ve ever read.

tokillamockingbird1 theadventuresofsherlockholmes

It is incredibly difficult to think of just one book that is best out of the hundreds I’ve read throughout the years. It would probably be a three-way tie between A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. All three of these books are so unique compared to each other in all types of ways, and I love them all for different reasons—it would be impossible to say that one is better than the others.

Synchronized Diving | A perfect couple.

percabeth3

Percabeth

In trying to answer this, I realized just how few books I’ve read that actually involve romance and couples—to any extent, but at least between main characters. But I do have one particular favorite, and I am in complete agreement with Richard. Percabeth is the best!

Simone Biles | A short and sweet book.

thelittleandroid

The Little Android by Marissa Meyer

This is a novella that Meyer wrote in the same world as The Lunar Chronicles series. As the name suggests, it is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, and I found it to be such a quick and truly enjoyable read. In just a short time, she packs this story with a huge range of emotion, staying true to the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen while putting her own unique twist on it. Though it was a sad story, overall, it was an incredible short and sweet read.

Rugby 7s | A tough book you struggled to finish.

insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

In terms of the text and writing itself, this is not a difficult book to read. However, I just could not get into this novel—despite absolutely loving Divergent—and I ended up really not enjoying Insurgent much at all. Everything I loved about Divergent was missing from the sequel, and I somehow could not manage to connect with the characters in the same way. It took me almost a month of on and off reading to finally finish it, compared to the four days in a row it took with the first.

Golf | A new genre outside of your comfort zone.

thestatisticalprobabilityofloveatfirstsight loveandotherunknownvariables

Romance/Young Adult Romance

Though I am totally a hopeless romantic, for some reason, the romance genre is not a favorite of mine, and these two novels—The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Love and Other Unknown Variables—were way out of my comfort zone. However, I found them both to contain a lot of serious subjects that were dealt with in an intelligent and mature way, and I ended up thoroughly enjoying both. While these books have a concentration on romance, there is also a good amount of attention given to different types of love, such as that of friendships and the relationships between family members. Neither novel falls victim to the clichés of many that have a focus on romance, particularly those that are young adult.

Heptathlon | The best series.

hp

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Like I’m sure many people would, I am going to agree with Richard on his choice once again and say Harry Potter is the absolute best series of all time. There is so much to adore about this novel—so much for people of any age to connect with. It’s hard not to enjoy immersing yourself in this magical world. For me, it was just such a huge part of my childhood and played an important role in the discovery of my passion for writing and storytelling. I know that there is no way that any series could top this one for me.

Gymnastics | A book with a lot of plot twists.

gonegirl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I think if you look up the meaning of “plot twist” you just get a picture of Gillian Flynn. She is the master of making complex and twisted plots, and Gone Girl is completely packed with examples of this. It’s a beautiful portrayal of Flynn’s skill as a writer and her ability to captivate and constantly shock her readers. Even though I had been spoiled on a bit of this novel before reading it, I was still in utter disbelief through most of the story.

Swimming | A book that made you sob.

loveandotherunknownvariables

Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

I very rarely ever cry while reading books, watching movies, anything like that. A Monster Calls is probably the book that I cried over the most out of everything I’ve read, but since I’ve already used that twice, I figured I should choose a new book. Love and Other Unknown Variables was a novel that took me completely by surprise in terms of how much I ended up enjoying it, and it totally made me bawl my eyes out!

Trampoline | A childhood favorite.

thelionthewitchandthewardrobe

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Next to Harry Potter, the Narnia series pretty much defines my childhood as a book nerd. A favorite of my mom’s when she was a kid, she passed them down to me and I completely fell in love with these stories. I have many fond memories of reading these books over and over again, never getting tired of them. And of course, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is my favorite in the series!

I Tag:

Lashaan and Trang @ Bookidote

The Orang-utan Librarian

Ellie @ Ellie’s Bookshelf

…and anyone else who wants to do this, I tag you! 😀

logo2

A-Z Bookish Survey

a-zbookishsurvey

I found this survey through my friend and fellow blogger, Jen over at J.N. Cahill, and she found this through Sarah Sunbeemz’s Booktube channel. Jen is an amazing writer, so please head on over and check out her blog. Also, make sure to go check out Sarah’s video as well! 🙂

On to the survey!

A — Author You’ve Read The Most Books From:

At the moment, that would be a tie between J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis. However, my copy of The Cursed Child just arrived, so I believe this will be changing in a few days!

B — Best Sequel Ever:

Catching Fire, hands down! And I’m even passing up using my favorite Harry Potter novel, Chamber of Secrets, because it’s just that amazing.

C — Currently Reading:

I’m in the middle of a couple of books right now, but my primary read is It’s All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett.

D — Drink of Choice While Reading:

Usually tea or water. Sometimes a fruit smoothie can be a nice drink while reading.

E — E-Reader or Physical Book?:

While I do love my Kindle and I’ve definitely gotten more into the habit of using it in the last year or so, I will always choose physical books over e-books. Nothing can compare to a physical edition.

F — Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School:

Definitely Neville Longbottom. He will forever be my first and favorite book boyfriend!

G — Glad You Gave this Book a Chance:

The Giver by Lois Lowry. I first read it some time in middle school and absolutely hated it. Then, given how many of my friends enjoyed it when they read it in their late teens/early 20s, I decided to give it another go, and oh boy am I glad I did. It was fantastic!

H — Hidden Gem Book:

Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander. This was a book that was way out of my typical reading comfort zone, but I picked it up on a whim and ended up really enjoying it.

I — Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

This is going to be a very common answer, but I have to say discovering/starting the Harry Potter series for the first time. This is a series that has inspired me in countless ways, turning me into not only an avid reader, but a writer as well. I owe a lot to this series.

J — Just Finished:

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

K– Kinds of Books You Won’t Read?:

Erotica. I have nothing against the genre or anyone who likes to read it—it’s just not my thing.

L –Longest Book You’ve Read:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (according to my Goodreads shelf!).

M — Major Book Hangover:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I don’t get book hangovers frequently, but this gave me a huge one!

N — Number of Bookshelves You Own:

Zero…embarrassing for a book nerd, I know! I promise, I will fix that soon!

O — One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

P — Preferred Place to Read:

I love to just curl up in my bed with a good book. Reading at the beach is pretty nice too, though… 🙂

Q — Quote that Inspires You and Gives You All the Feels:

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

R — Reading Regret:

The massive amount of book to movie adaptations that have been coming out lately have made me realize that there are a bunch of pretty well-known children’s books/series (ex. The BFG, Percy Jackson, etc…) that I regret not reading back when I was a kid. I have read or plan to read many now, but I wish that I could have had that experience of reading them through younger eyes.

S — Series You’ve Started and Need to Finish:

Way too many! I would say my top ones right now are The Lunar Chronicles, the Legend trilogy, and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

T — Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.

U –Unapologetic Fangirl/boy for:

Gillian Flynn. As I have said before, she is my spirit animal. 😛

V — Very Excited for this Release More than Anything:

Since The Cursed Child is already here, I’ll go with Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

W — Worst Bookish Habit

Like many other book nerds out there, one of my worst bookish habits is buying too many books before reading the ones already in my TBR pile! I do this far too often, and now my pile is a mountain!

X — X Marks the Spot–Start at the top of your shelf and pick the 27th book off it:

Since I don’t actually have physical shelves, I’m going to use my Goodreads shelf of owned books, set to alphabetical by author. So my 27th book would be The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury.

Y — Your Latest Book Purchase:

I just did a huge book haul post since I went on a bit of a shopping spree recently, but I guess my latest purchase would be Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel.

Z — The Zzzzzzzzzzzzz Snatcher Book (Book That Kept You From Sleeping):

When I was a kid, any of the Harry Potter or Narnia series. But the most recent novel that kept me up all night was The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

Anyone count how many times I referenced Harry Potter, Narnia, or To Kill a Mockingbird? 😛

I’m not going to tag anyone specific to do this, but this survey was incredibly fun to fill out, so I highly recommend giving it a go. If you have done this survey or decide to do it, make sure you leave a link for me in the comments so I can come check out your post!

-Ariana

logo2

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…

thebirdcage7

Okay, let’s get into that list! 😀

5. Under the Dome by Stephen King

underthedome

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

thefinalempire

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

thefellowshipofthering

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

agameofthrones

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

thenameofthewind

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

logo2

The Book Courtship Tag

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 2.32.43 AM

I was tagged to do the Book Courtship Tag by my friend Heather from The Sassy Book Geek. Thank you so much for the tag! Heather is an absolutely wonderful book blogger, so please take some time to head on over and check out her posts!

Phase 1: Initial Attraction – A book you bought because of the cover?

allthelightwecannotsee jackaby rebecca

I’ve never bought a book solely because of its cover. However, covers and editions are definitely important to me when it comes to buying books. Two books whose covers were the main reason I checked them out in the first place were All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Jackaby by William Ritter. They kept catching my eye every time I went to the bookstore, so finally I looked into what they were about—they ended up being right up my alley. The edition of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier that I own was a total cover buy. The movie adaptation is one of my favorite films, so I had been wanting to read this novel for a long time—when I saw this beautiful copy, I absolutely had to get it!

Phase 2: First Impressions – A book you got because of its summary?

morethanthis

I pretty much only ever buy books based on their summaries, except in the rare case of auto-buy authors. However, I remember finding the summary of More Than This by Patrick Ness particularly captivating. It was a very vague description, incredibly cryptic, and sounded like it would be one of those intense, heart-pounding stories. I completely adore mysteries and thrillers, so I knew I would have to give this a try. Plus, Patrick Ness is perfection. ❤

Phase 3: Sweet Talk – A book with great writing?

amonstercalls vicious

Speaking of Patrick Ness… 😀 Okay, so I’m not going to be able to choose just one novel for this answer, but I’ll keep it to two: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Both of these novels had some of the most spectacular writing that I have ever come across—Schwab and Ness are extraordinarily talented authors. They are both masters at creating a captivating plot and a cast of characters that their readers can easily connect with. On top of this, their words themselves flow beautifully. If you have not yet picked up either of these novels, I highly recommend them!

Phase 4: First Date – The first book of a series that made you want to pick up the rest of the series?

thehungergames

I have always been more of a standalone reader than a series reader, and any of the series on the embarrassingly small list of ones that I’ve read would fit this question. However, The Hunger Games is the one that stands out the most in my mind. I was totally addicted after just a few chapters and I could not put it down. This was the first series after finishing Harry Potter that I got really excited about, so it holds a special place in my heart.

Phase 5: Late Night Phone Calls – A book that kept you up all night?

theadventuresofsherlockholmes

This is one I’m going to have to narrow down a bit so I don’t write an insanely long list (yeah, I basically don’t sleep…who needs sleep anyway?). A somewhat recent one that comes to mind is The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. It took me forever to pick this novel up, but as soon as I did, I was immediately hooked. I spent multiple nights reading these stories until…well…it wasn’t actually night anymore. 🙂

Phase 6: Always On My Mind – A book you could not stop thinking about?

gonegirl

There are so many books that I’ve read just in the last year that I still cannot get off my mind. One in particular that really stands out is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This is one of the most insane, twisted, and mind-bending stories that I have ever read, and I adored every second of it. It’s definitely one of those novels that requires a lot of mental processing afterward and really sticks with you. Gillian Flynn is an evil genius!

Phase 7: Getting Physical – A book that you love the way it feels?

thehobbit

I love the way the edition I have of The Hobbit feels. I prefer books that have a textured cover rather than a smooth one, and this one does (and it’s a gorgeous edition in general!). Just for the record, The Lunar Chronicles novels—both the hardcovers and paperbacks—feel amazing as well!

Phase 8: Meeting The Parents – A book you would recommend to your family and friends?

hyperboleandahalf

I definitely have to agree with Heather on this one and say Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Recommending books to my friends and family (and basically anyone who will listen to me!) is one of my favorite things in the world to do. However, everyone is going to have a different taste when it comes to what they are interested in reading, so I usually have to tailor my recommendations to the person. Hyperbole and a Half is one novel that I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone—it’s hilarious, clever, heartfelt, and something that I truly believe everyone will enjoy.

Phase 9: Thinking About The Future – A book or series you know you will re-read many times in the future?

tokillamockingbird1

I don’t tend to re-read books too often, though there are some very obvious exceptions. The Harry Potter series and The Chronicles of Narnia will be series that I will definitely read a countless amount of times throughout my life. But of course, the number one book that I know for a fact I will re-read many times in the future is…you guessed it…To Kill a Mockingbird! 😀

Phase 10: Share The Love – Who do you tag?

The Orang-utan Librarian

Papercutpetals

Chelsie @ Chelsie’s Book Addiction

Jasmine @ jazzycliffhanger

Ragan @ Read.Rinse.Repeat

Anna @ Cheeky Column

Emma @ Em Does Book Reviews

logo2

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

gonegirl

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

agameofthrones

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

thebookthief2

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

legendtrilogy

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

allegiant

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

logo2

New Year’s Resolutions Book Tag

I was tagged by the lovely SSJTimeLord to do the New Year’s Resolution Book Tag. Thank you so much for the tag! 😀 She is a fantastic book blogger, so please make sure to take a moment to head over and check out her blog.

This tag was created by Emily over at Embuhlee liest and Shivii from Brown Eyed Musings.

Get in shape – name a book that doesn’t quite fit on your shelf correctly.

tkam grimmsfairytales

Surprisingly enough, I don’t actually have too many books that are oddly shaped or don’t match the size of a fair amount of other books. However, my leather bound editions of books, though they match each other, are taller and wider than all the other books I own. My editions of To Kill a Mockingbird and Grimm’s Fairy Tales in particular don’t quite fit with everything else and stick out among my book piles.

Eat healthily – name a book you feel was good for you to read.

tokillamockingbird2 thekiterunner

It’s difficult to choose just one book for this question. I would have to go with either To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee or The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. These are beautiful novels—two of my favorites of all time, mainly because they are both very thought-provoking reads. Both deal with some extremely important topics in brilliant ways. I feel like they were also good reads for me because they are books that have truly inspired me in my own writing.

Read more – name a book you keep telling yourself to read but haven’t yet.

thehobbit

Now that I have read The Book Thief (yes, I finally did it!), there is one main book that I keep telling myself to read but haven’t yet—The Hobbit. It is pretty crazy that I have not read a single Tolkien book by this point in my life, and that is something that desperately needs to be fixed. I have been telling myself to read this for ages, and I am absolutely 100% determined to read this book before the end of the year!

Quit smoking – name a book you kept going back to even though you had finished it.

37449

I’m going to have to say To Kill a Mockingbird again for this one, since it is by far the book that I have read the most times in my life. Growing up, I actually used to read this at least twice a year for a number of years. This is my go to read when I am in a slump or just want to read something I know that I will love. I will never get tired of reading this novel!

Save more money – name a book you got for a really good price.

theassassinsapprentice

I am totally someone who is very picky about the editions of books that I buy since they are becoming a part of my permanent collection, so I am happy to invest more in a copy that I really want. That being said, I am also someone who loves hunting for deals on everything, especially books. I’ve found some fantastic prices on books over the years, but a great deal I got recently was a copy of Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb for only two dollars!

Be more organized – how do you organize your bookshelf?

I’ve mentioned this a few times before but, embarrassingly enough, I don’t have any bookshelves at the moment. Right now, all of my books are sitting in storage boxes, and there is absolutely no order to them whatsoever. When I finally get some shelves, however, I will organize my books alphabetically by author.

Be punctual – shortest time and longest time it took you to read a book.

10694831

Shortest time – While I am not generally the fastest reader ever, there are tons of books I’ve read in a very short amount of time over the years, so I decided to choose from my more recent reads. A fairly recent quick read was A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, which took me about an hour and a half to two hours to complete. It was fast but utterly beautiful, and has become one of my favorite books of all time. If you have not read this yet, definitely give it a go!

insurgent

Longest time – One of the longest reads for me was Insurgent by Veronica Roth, which took me about three months to complete. I absolutely adored Divergent when I read it a few years ago, and I was very eager to continue on with the series. Unfortunately, while I did not by any means hate it, I ended up being fairly disappointed by Insurgent and had a lot of trouble getting into it. Because of this, I didn’t have as much motivation to finish it and only read a tiny bit at a time.

Go out more – what book made you isolate yourself from the outside world?

thechroniclesofnarnia gonegirl thehungergames

Oh man, so many books to choose from! Any of the Harry Potter books or The Chronicles of Narnia would fit this question for sure. Divergent and Gone Girl were two more recent ones that caused me to do this. I also have to add in the entire Hunger Games trilogy. They were the first novels since finishing Harry Potter that I genuinely could not put down once I started reading them.

Be unique – what was your favorite book of 2015?

vicious

I read a lot of great books last year, but my favorite by far was Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I read this in December in a buddy read with Heather from The Sassy Book Geek and we had such a fantastic time. Vicious is an incredibly well-crafted story, with beautiful writing and vivid characterization. This novel is utterly epic and it was particularly fun to read and discuss with a fellow superhero/supervillain nerd! I cannot say enough good things about this book—in fact, I will (hopefully) be posting my review of it tomorrow.

Be more personal – what book are you waiting for most this year?

heartless thissavagesong

This is a difficult one because I have a ton of upcoming releases that I am excited for. If I had to choose, I would say that Heartless by Marissa Meyer is probably my most anticipated release of the year. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab is an extremely close second, however. I am just dying to get my hands on any novels written by these two wonderful ladies!

Really, resolutions? – what book do you promise to read this year?

thefinalempire

There are a ton of books that I’ve promised to read this year (check here, here, and here!), but one in particular that I promise to read is The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve been wanting to read a Brandon Sanderson novel for a very long time and this is definitely going to be the year I finally do that. I am hoping that I can get through a few books in the Mistborn series before the end of the year, but I will be reading The Final Empire for sure!

I Tag:

Everyone! 😀 Since I’m running a bit late with this, I won’t tag anyone specific. However, if you do complete this or already have completed it, make sure to link me to your post down in the comments so I can check it out!

logo2

January 2016 TBR

januarytbr1

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic end of 2015 and are having a wonderful start to 2016. It’s time to create the first TBR of the new year, and I am excited to get going on a new reading challenge! This year, I have some standalones and series that I am particularly determined to read, so I’m creating some bookish resolutions lists for myself. I have already posted my series/trilogies TBR (click here to check it out!) and I’ll be posting my standalone list sometime in the next day or so.

I am going to try to read at least one or two books from each list every month, so with those lists in mind, I created my (somewhat tentative) TBR. I am attempting to pull myself out of a slight reading slump, so I don’t want to make a TBR that is too overly ambitious. Many of these are roll overs from other months, so I apologize for the repetitiveness! I probably won’t be able to get to all of these, but they all sound fantastic so I think any of these reads will be a great way to start off 2016!

January TBR

1. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

passenger

This is one of my most anticipated releases of 2016, and it’s coming out in three days! I am so eager to get my hands on this one, and I am definitely hoping to read it before this month is out. There’s no way I can possibly resist any book about time travel!

2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

scarlet

This one is rolling over from last month’s TBR. Cinder was one of my favorite reads last year, but I never managed to get around to continuing on with the series before the end of the year. Now that the main books are all out, and with Stars Above coming soon, I really need to finish the rest of these novels. I am completely adoring these stories and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

missperegrineshomeforpeculiarchildren

I meant to read this back in October and never got a chance to. And now, with the movie coming out this year, it’s become a top priority on my reading list. In fact, I am hoping to read the entire trilogy this year, so I definitely want to get going on it.

4. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

darkplaces

This is another one rolling over from last month’s TBR. Once again, I must continue my quest to read every word ever written by Gillian Flynn. I am trying to pace myself, since there are only two novels left to read, but I can’t wait any longer. I have to read this one soon!

5. Alice by Christina Henry

alice

I blame Heather for this one! She’s gotten me so excited to read this book that I had to include it in my TBR for the month. I have not heard too much about this one, but what I have heard has been spectacular. From what I gather, it’s a very dark reimagining of Alice in Wonderland with a morally ambiguous villain. I think this book was written for me! 🙂

I am also hoping to start reading a few stories out of The Return of Sherlock Holmes over the course of the month.

Read in December

I had a rather unexpectedly slow reading month and, embarrassingly enough, only actually fully completed one book. However, that one book was absolutely incredible; it was definitely my favorite read of the year! And the second book that I started this month is shaping up to be another new favorite of mine as well.

vicious thebookthief3

1. Vicious by V.E. Schwab – I read this in an incredibly fun buddy read with Heather from The Sassy Book Geek and absolutely fell in love with it. The writing, the plot, the characters, everything about this book was wonderful. As I said, this ended up being my favorite novel of the year, and having someone to read and discuss it with made it even more enjoyable. I’m so excited that I finally got a chance to read this book; I can’t believe it took me so long to get around to it! Click here to read my review!

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I started this toward the end of the month and I’m only just under halfway through it now, so this will technically be one of my first completed books of January. As expected, I am absolutely loving this novel so far, and I am incredibly eager to continue on and finish off the rest of it. This is another novel I’m so glad I’m finally reading, and I can’t believe I didn’t read this sooner!

December Book Haul

aknightofthesevenkingdoms wool alice aclashofkings

thedreamthieves passenger

  1. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin
  2. Wool by Hugh Howey
  3. Alice by Christina Henry
  4. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
  5. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  6. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (Pre-order)

What books are you guys planning on reading to start off the year? Did you get any books or bookish gifts over the holidays? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

logo2