Booking Sunday Favourites: “Good at the box office” Adaptation

Last week was a book to movie adaptation that did pretty badly at the box office so it makes sense that this week is the opposite.

philosopher's stone

It might not be the best of the bunch of the series but it was the first and it was the reason I ended up getting into the series after trying to hold out. The fourth movie was coming out so there was a marathon of the first three and it was raining. We ended up going to see the fourth soon after and buying all the books that were out. Definitely pleasant memories.

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Book Review: The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

dolls

The Dolls

2.5 stars

After spending most of her childhood in New York, Eveny Cheval and her aunt Bea are moving back to Carrefour, Louisiana. Neither has been back since the suicide of Eveny’s mother fourteen years ago. Eveny soon finds out that despite Carrefour’s beauty, there’s a darkness lurking and she’s right in the middle of it. The Dolls, a group of popular kids at school, are kids Eveny instantly doesn’t like or trust, but she will need their help if she wants to know the truth about who she really is, her past, her family, and find out who murdered a girl and who they might be after next.

This book ended up being a fairly quick read even though it was almost 400 pages long. It had an interesting concept and a Gothic setting that I enjoyed. It didn’t feel as Southern as I expected but with the town being basically cut off from everything else, it wasn’t something that was completely unbelievable.

The characters, especially The Dolls, were pretty shallow and self-centered but in a way that was oddly understandable after we met the mothers of the two main Dolls, Peregrine and Chloe. Eveny was an interesting character, though sometimes it felt like her voice was being overwhelmed by the mystery of the town and the strong opinions of those around her, which may have been intentional.

There was a pretty bad case of insta-love. That was disappointing since I do think there could have been a really nice build up between Eveny and the boy but it just went way too fast to have time to enjoy it.

I did like the magic mythology involved in the book, especially that there were consequences for the magic that was cast. The big mystery of the murder was unfortunately predictable and that took some enjoyment away from the last part of the book. It meant no big jaw-dropping finale that I look forward to when reading anything with a mystery.

Even with the predictability and insta-love, the concept was enough to have me interested in seeing where the series goes next.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

kiss of broken glass

Kiss of Broken Glass

3.5 stars

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is caught cutting herself in the school bathroom, she’s sent to a facility under a mandatory seventy-two hour watch.

This was a fast read, under 300 pages, and I ended up finishing it in a night. The whole book was in verse style which gave it a raw feel, as if we were reading the character’s private journal. The book also took place, at least most of it, during the seventy-two hours Kenna was being held at the facility. There we were introduced to all kinds of different characters, other patients, nurses, doctors. The patients were all there for different reasons, and even with self-harm having the focus of the book, there were still many reasons touched upon that a person could have for wanting to hurt themselves.

I like that the therapy group sessions were included and alternate methods of dealing with the need to cut were brought up. I also appreciated that there was no hinting there would be a magic cure-all method. The interactions between Kenna and the other patients were both sad and encouraging.

I did wish we’d gotten a little more of the after, seeing Kenna back with her family or back at school, and how she dealt with people knowing and if the people around her changed because they knew. Though I can understand why the book concentrated on her time at the facility and the before and after were left open.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

miss mayhem

Miss Mayhem

Release date: April 7th 2015

Goodreads: Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfriend, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.
Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or connect her to David for life.

Why I’m excited: I really enjoyed the first one and the way it ended has me really excited to see more of the mythology and more of Harper and David being their snarky selves.

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WWW Wednesday

www_wednesdays4

This was started by ShouldBeReading and every Wednesday posters answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently: darkest minds

Finished: essence bigpositive bigsnow like ashesLearning not to drownart of getting stared at

Next: stray

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Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is top ten underrated authors or books in X genre. I’m sticking with the broad YA/New Adult category since there’s a few authors I want to highlight.

10. reboot big Amy Tintera – Reboot series. In this series it’s the boy who’s sweet and innocent and in need of saving, and the girl who’s a badass but secret softie. There’s tension through the whole series, so many twists, little moments to make the reader smile and, of course, break hearts.

9. isle of night big Veronica Wolff – The Watchers Series. A lesser known vampire series but one with great mythology, hot romance, and a world that’s terrifying. And the main character is sarcastic and pretty badass.

8. Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071] Nicole Williams – Crash series, Lost and Found series. She has other but these are the two series I’ve read by her. The books are hot, the characters flawed, and Jesse is a cowboy(yes I have an obsession).

7. glass houses big Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires series. Another vampire series. This one is more known than The Watchers but still not usually not a top suggestion when it comes to vampire books. The first books especially are easy to read in a day(I would know. I spent an afternoon, sick on the couch, and read through four) and there’s so much growth through the whole series.

6. storm Brigid Kemmerer – Elemental series. This series is one of my favourites. Very character driven, Brigid Kemmerer knows how to make you fall in love with her characters until you don’t know which character you like the most.

5. something real Heather Demetrios – Something Real, Exquisite Captive. I’ve only read Something Real so far but really want to start my ARC of Exquisite Captive this month. I love her writing. It’s very smart and her characters are so easy to love.

4. under the never sky big Veronica Rossi – Under the Never Sky series. Not usually one that comes up when thinking of Dystopian series but it’s one of my favourites. The world-building, the romance, the friendships, everything comes together so perfectly.

3. avalon big Mindee Arnett – Avalon series, Arkwell Academy series. She has two series that are completely different. One sci-fi that has a Firefly feel to it and one paranormal steeped in mythology. Both are ones I loved.

2. sweet evil Wendy Higgins – Sweet Trilogy. The mythology is interesting, the characters are great, there’s funny moments, heart-wrenching moments, such a roller-coaster ride.

1. swan The Silent Swan – Lex Keating. This book came out in April of 2013 and I’ve been waiting on news, any kind of news, on if the author has another book coming since. All the elements of the book worked so well together and it’s one of the most realistic teen boy voices I’ve read.

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Book Recs: In the mood for….

A little something to put the spotlight on some 2014 books. Click the cover and be taken to Goodreads.

A strong female character without anything supernatural going on, try: rites of passage small

Your faith in humans to be shattered then restored, try: positive

Complex world-building, check out: snow like ashes small

An emotional roller-coaster of epic proportions, pick up: love and other unknown variables small

Something unexpected and addicting, check out: something real small

Something to make you think about the world and you in it, pick up: falling into place small then check out: The Infinite You a tumblr inspired by the book.

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Booking Sunday Favourites: “Bad at the Box Office” movie adaptation

Even if I didn’t enjoy a book or movie, I’m not a fan of calling them bad because someone probably did like them. So instead I’m calling this category “bad at the box office”, a book to movie adaptation that, well, didn’t perform well at the box office. But for some reason, I still love anyway.

vampire academy

Vampire Academy

I’ve seen this movie so many times. Yes, they changed a lot and they made the tone of the movie a lot more humorous than the book but it’s still a very easy movie to watch, makes me laugh, and I’m not ashamed that I enjoy it.

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Book Review: Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

love and other unknown variables

Love and Other Unknown Variables

Release date: October 7th 2014

4.5 stars

Charlie Hanson knows what he wants for his future. He’s going to graduate from the Brighton School for Mathematics and Science, go to MIT, work with one of his idols, and win a Nobel prize. Until that day in the coffee shop when he can’t help reaching out to touch the tattoo on the back of the neck of the girl in front of him. Charlotte Finch doesn’t think much of the boy in the coffee shop at first – until she finds out he attends the same school where her sister just accepted a teaching job. The chance meeting leads to Charlotte encouraging Charlie to continue the tradition of Brighton students pranking the English teacher but the deeper Charlie gets, the more he wonders about Charlotte’s true reasons for wanting her sister distracted.

I absolutely loved this book. I was a little worried at first because there was a lot of math references but it was never done in a way that I had trouble understanding it. I had to keep reading all night because I had to know what was going to happen. I loved the characters and all the different relationships that were present. It was just a great reading experience.

Charlie was this extremely logical, socially awkward character who was adorable. Charlotte was a vibrant, mysterious, sarcastic girl. I loved watching his fascination with her and her using his access to Brighton slowly develop into something more. Charlie, especially, went through so much growth during the book.

The book was told solely through Charlie’s POV and through him we got to know his two best friends, his little sister, an elderly neighbour, and all the relationships he had with them meant something. There wasn’t one I enjoyed more than another. Greta and James, his friends, were his support and encouragement but also his voice of reason. His sister Becca, who had seven overflowing bookshelves and got lost in her books so I loved her right away. Ms Dimwitty, the neigbour whose garden he ran over then was forced to fix, was hilarious and they would bicker so much but she was also teaching him about beauty and life. Even Ms Finch, Charlotte’s sister and Charlie’s teacher, was amazing in not giving in to the students and finding ways to teach them even when they refused to learn.

There were many, many laugh out loud moments through the book. The whole pranking the teacher could have been lame but instead developed into something that was a lot of fun to read and ran deeper than just being silly pranks. I know going into the book that it definitely had the potential to destroy my heart, and it did and I enjoyed it.

I also really loved that the chapters were all decimal points. 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, it was really cute.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

all the bright places

All the Bright Places

Release date: January 6th 2014

Goodreads: The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself-a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

Why I’m excited: The last book I read that compared itself to Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park was really good and this one definitely seems to have the quirky characters and the potential to shatter my heart.

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