Book Haul

A pre-Christmas book haul. No more buying books until after Christmas now. Unless they’re presents for other people. Let’s see if I can stick to that.

Bought:

unwind bigwalled city

The Unwind Dystology boxset – Neal Shusterman. Just finished Unwind. Wow creepy and crazy.

The Walled City – Ryan Graudin. Keep hearing awesome things about this one.

ARCs:

remedyoblivion

The Remedy – Suzanne Young. This is a prequel to The Program, which I read and liked. Haven’t yet The Treatment yet but plan on doing that soon.

Oblivion – Kelly Creagh. Third book in the Nevermore series. It’s the conclusion and those make me nervous but I’m still excited.

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Book Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

goodbye

The Last Time We Say Goodbye

Release date: February 10th 2015

4.5 stars

Lex was happy before, before her family split apart, before the break-up with her boyfriend, before everyone stared at her like they were waiting for her to break. Now, she’s the girl whose brother killed himself. She keeps trying to move on, to block out that night, but a secret she’s been keeping is holding her back, a secret that could have changed the events of that night.

As someone with three younger siblings, it didn’t take long for this book to break me into little pieces and make me feel like I would never be whole again. That was how much this book affected me. Right from the start there was a weight on my chest and it stayed there the whole way through. Even now, just thinking about the book, it comes back.

There was no doubt this book would be heartbreaking. I knew that from the description. I wasn’t prepared for just how much it would affect me but I’m so glad I read it. As heartbreaking as it was, it was also about Lex’s journey through her grief, her acceptance, her forgiveness, her realizations. Could she forgive her father for walking out of their lives for a new woman? Could she forgive her mother for checking out on her? Could she forgive herself for not seeing the signs? It was beautifully written.

I liked that we got to know her brother Tyler through her, mostly through her diary entries she had to do for therapy. It was easy to see that they had a great relationship. There were so many characters that were present, either connected to Tyler and grieving him in their own ways or to Lex and wanting to help her.

I found the whole book to be written very realistically. It was a slow process for Lex, one that had a step forward then back then forward. Things that mattered so much before suddenly didn’t seem as important. The book really focuses on the ripples of such a tragic event, the way no one in town is left untouched.

Honestly, this is a book that I will not be forgetting any time soon.

Emotions wise, I’d put this one on the same level of shattered-me as Me Since You. The whole book, nothing but feels.

*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:

hello i love you

Hello, I Love You

Release date: June 9th 2015

From Goodreads: A teen escapes to a boarding school abroad and falls for a Korean pop star in this fun and fresh romantic novel in the vein of Anna and the French Kiss.
Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.
She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.
Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

Why I’m excited: It’s compared to Anna and the French Kiss, it has music, it’s set in a country I haven’t read yet in a YA book, and it just sounds like a super-sweet summer-y read.

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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: cold legacy

Finished: unraveleddream thievesgoodbye

Next: unwind big

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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 books I read in 2014.

10. goodbye The Last Time We Say Goodbye – Cynthia Hand. This one doesn’t come out until February but, especially as someone with siblings, this hit me hard. I read with a constant pressure on my chest because the main character’s grief was so overpowering and something I could understand.

9. dream thieves The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater. This is one I kept putting off because of how much I loved the first one. How could it measure up? What if it ruined my feelings for the first? No worries, it was amazing. I love all the multiple POVs and how each character brings something to the story.

8. something real Something Real – Heather Demetrios. It feels like forever ago that I read this one but it stays with me. I loved the main character, her friends, her crush, her relationship with her brother, and it makes a reader stop to think about the consequences of children being exposed to reality show life.

7. love and other unknown variables Love and Other Unknown Variables – Shannon Lee Alexander. This had quirky characters, math, pranks, heartbreak, love, everything I needed at the time I was reading it.

6. isla Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins. I knew I would love this one before I even started reading it. And it didn’t disappoint. It had more angst than the previous books but that just made me want them to succeed even more.

5. rites of passage Rites of Passage – Joy N Hensley. Definitely one of my favorite female characters ever. Sam was strong and determined and the bonds that developed within her core group was great to see.

4. sacrifice Sacrifice – Brigid Kemmerer. I was on the edge of my seat the whole book. I always have the ‘someone’s going to die’ feeling in the last book of the series even if no one does so every time it seemed like it could happen, I wasn’t ready.

3. thousand pieces of you A Thousand Pieces of You – Claudia Gray. Such a beautiful cover! The logistics of world-jumping after someone you think killed your father might be a little extreme but it was written in a way that I didn’t care. The relationships and the characters were complicated, the science was understandable, and it was a lot of fun to read.

2. snow like ashes Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch. The second I finished reading this, I added book two(still untitled*sad face*) to my TBR. It was complicated with great characters and I just wanted more. Now.

1. positive big Positive – Paige Rawl. I don’t know if at the beginning of the year that I would have predicted my best boo of 2014 to be a memoir, but here it is. I felt for her, her mom, I cried, I was mad, just so many emotions. She is definitely a strong woman and I’m glad I took the time to read her memoirs. They left an impression.

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Book Review: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

forbidden

4 stars

It all started with Jayden’s betrothal ceremony, the night she danced with the women of her tribe for the first time. Soon she would be wed to Horeb, son of the tribe leader, and her family’s place within the tribe would once again be secure. It is her duty, even if it goes against what she desires. On the journey to the tribe’s winter lands, Jayden’s family encounters a wounded stranger, to whom Jayden finds herself growing close to, something that is forbidden. Her intended Horeb has a violent temper and dark secrets, ones that Jayden wishes she could escape. And escaping might be the only way for her to survive.

This book really drew me in from the beginning. The cover was enticing, I really liked that the model was looking away from the reader, the font of the title was pretty, as was the detailing around the spine of the book. It started off right at Jayden’s betrothal ceremony and right away, it showed how important the art of dancing was to their culture. It was described wonderfully so I could imagine each dancer doing their own moves.

Jayden, the main character, I really liked. At times she could be judgmental toward other cultures that she’d been warned of, but with all the stories she’d been raised on it made sense that she’d be wary of them. She really showed how even strong women, in circumstances back then, could be made helpless, sometimes nothing more than a bargaining chip to secure wealth through union. Jayden was strong. She loved her family and would do anything to keep them safe, she could think for herself instead of blindly following the orders of the men, she was determined to save herself.

The setting was beautiful but also so dangerous, especially for single or small groups of travelers. There wasn’t a whole lot of action in the book, it was more about Jayden’s journey of strength and the romance, but there was always that lingering danger, the feeling that something could happen at any time and knowing something would eventually happen.

I enjoyed the romance, Jayden had chemistry with Kadesh, and the fact that it was forbidden made all their little moments all that more tense and dangerous. It did seem to happen a little fast but it was also something I could understand given Jayden’s circumstances. Horeb was cruel and she despised him while Kadesh was sweet and gentle and wanted to keep her safe.

My favorite bond though, was that of the sisters and Jayden and her grandmother. Leila was everything Jayden was not and they often disagreed but they truly cared for each other. Her grandmother was a great example of someone Jayden could one day become, a strong woman with a mind of her own who won’t blindly do a man’s bidding.

There’s quite a long wait until the next book, January 2016, more than a year away but since I originally thought this was a standalone, I can be patient as long as we get more Jayden and Kadesh.

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

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Booking Sunday Favourites: Fantasy Cover

This week’s choice was easy for me. I fell in love with this cover the second I saw it.

snow like ashes

Then I read the book and fell in love with that too, which made me love the cover even more. It’s just so pretty but it has meaning to the plot, which I love when that happens.

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End of Year Book Survey

survey

The original @ The Perpetual PageTurner. The list could change before the end of the year if I read something that should be on here in the next few weeks. The stats part will change since I’m not going to stop reading.  After filling this out, I realized how many books I chose that were actually released in 2014, not just that I read in 2014. It’s been a great year for books.

2014 Reading Stats:

Number of books you’ve read:Right now I’m at 185 but still counting

Number of Re-reads: 16

Genre you’ve read the most: Contemporary with 62

Best In Books:

Best Book you’ve read in 2014:

something real

I fell in love with this book right from the start. It’s my go-to recommendation.

Book you were the most excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t:

love letters big

I wanted to love this one so much, I kept hearing amazing things, but the narration style just didn’t suck me in.

Most surprising(in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014:

rites of passage

This book was so much more intense than I expected, in all the good ways.

Book you “pushed” the most people to read(and they did) in 2014:

something real

Still recommending it to everyone.

Best series you started in 2014? Best sequel? Best series ender of 2014:

Started: snow like ashes

I loved this world and the characters.

Sequel: golden lily big

Sydney, Adrian, Eddie, Jill, so much fun.

Ender: opposition

I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know who would live, how it would end.

Favorite new author discovered in 2014:

love and other unknown variables

This one was hard but I went with Shannon Lee Alexander. I loved the way she wove math into the plot without making it feel forced in, the characters she created, the humor she interjected.

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/out of your comfort zone:

asylum

I usually don’t read a whole lot of horror so this was a little out there for me. The sequel has been bought so it was a successful venturing outside of the comfort zone.

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year:

snow like ashes

There was always something going on, every single page.

Best book you read in 2014 that are are most likely going to re-read in 2015:

something real

Curious about this one yet?

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014:

thousand pieces of you

It’s even prettier in person.

Most memorable character of 2014:

rites of passage

Sam’s a girl enrolled at a previously all male military academy and she just might be tougher than all of them.

Most beautifully written book read in 2014:

exquisite captive

Something Real stole my heart first but the writing in this one is so beautiful and just flows.

Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2014:

falling into place

This one really made me think about a lot about the different versions of yourself you show different groups.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to read:

reboot big

I loved it and the sequel but it was out almost a full year before I even bought it.

Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014:

let's get lost big

“What if she was supposed to be a painter, but no one ever gave her a brush?”

Shortest and longest book read in 2014:

Shortest: poisoned apples

114 pages

Longest: witch

1207 pages

Book that shocked you the most:

sacrifice

I was prepared for feels but there was so many twists that made the feels cut even deeper.

OTP of the year(I will go down with this ship):

isla

Isla and Josh. And not just because Isla got her name from Prince Edward Island. Hello birthplace.

Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year:

no place to fall

Amber and Devon. Just a great friendship.

Favorite book you read in 2014 from an author you’ve previously read:

fiery heart big

Bloodlines series. The whole thing. So good.

Best book you read in 2014 based solely on a recommendation from somebody else:

not a drop to drink

Put off reading it but finally caved to the peer pressure. And loved it. That usually doesn’t happen for me.

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014:

exquisite captive

Raif. Mmmmm Raif.

Best 2014 debut you read:

Choose one…..crap

something real

My go-to choice. Still awesome.

Best world-building/most vivid setting you read this year:

snow like ashes

The eight different kingdoms, how they were set up, the city names, everything was amazing.

Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read:

top ten clues

This really was so much fun to read. Perfect way to sum it up.

Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2014:

Again, choose one?

love and other unknown variables

I confess. I bawled.

Hidden gem of the year:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00013]

There was so much character growth and a unique plot. I loved it.

Book that crushed you soul:

faking normal

Recovery is a painful, difficult road and this book shows every inch of that.

Book that made you the most mad(doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it:

love and other theories

The main character, her friends, and their theories really annoyed me.

LOOKING AHEAD

One book you didn’t get to in 2014 but will make it your number 1 priority  in 2015:

crown of midnight

I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting to this one in the few weeks left of the year but definitely plan to in January or February.

Book you are most anticipating for 2015(non-debut):

ruby circle

I just….need it. NOW!

2015 debut you are most anticipating:

red queen

Again, need it. NOW!

Series ending/sequel you are most anticipating in 2015:

cold legacy

I’m not ready to say goodbye to these characters.

One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2015:

Get some debate posts going on certain subjects.

A 2015 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone:

goodbye

Definitely put it on par with Me Since You, which I loved.

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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:

wrath and dawn

The Wrath and the Dawn

Release date: May 12th 2015

Goodreads: Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Why I’m excited: I love a main character that shows determination and strength and intelligence and Shazi seems to have all of that. And I love a good ‘it’s not what it seems’ twist.

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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: unraveled

Finished: push biglove and other theoriesinsigniasometimes it lasts big

Next: dream thieves

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