Friday, April 29, 2016

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the pic.

I’ve seen this image so many times, but I always chuckle at the chaos that is the Supernatural set at this moment. I don’t know how they ever get anything done.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: My Lady Jane

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

My Lady Jane
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Hardcover, 512 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Historical

For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.

Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

My Thoughts

I really have no idea what this is about, other than what I’ve read in the blurb. I know it’s historical and it was written by Cynthia Hand and Brodi Ashton, two authors whose work I love. (I haven’t read anything by Jodi Meadows, so I’m not sure about her yet. ;)

What book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top 10 Tuesday: Top Ten Bookworm Delights

I have decided to join the awesomeness that is Top Ten Tuesday! This feature/weekly meme was created here by The Broke and the Bookish to highlight bookish things in bookish lists. How’s that for specificity?

This week’s topic is “Top Ten Bookworm Delights.” I’m going to share some of the things I love about books that aren’t necessarily about reading them. Oh, and these aren’t necessarily in any particular order.

Now, onto the Top 10!

When book spines of the same series match AND when book spines from different series match each other on my shelves.


Look at the Abandon trilogy with Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles! Those spines just look goooood together!

 When you buy a book at a used bookstore and find out it’s a signed copy. 


This happened with Tracy Deeb’s Tempest Rising and Beth Revis’ A Million Suns.

Maps in books! 


Need I say more?

Bonus content at the end of the book. 


Even if it’s just chapter samplers, I love it.

Finding a book that’s on your TBR/to-buy list at a used bookstore. 


This is always a nice surprise.

Fanart that’s just too beautiful for words.

https://scontent.fcou1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlp1/v/t1.0-9/1898117_469014303200137_2105160329_n.jpg?oh=fee29abb2bbf062e6c9eaa53f2d1a460&oe=57AF8B2D

Look at Roth here. He’s gorgeous.

Being able to lay in bed all day and just read.   


I haven’t been able to do this in sooo long.

Seeing a book’s trailer on TV.


It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's cool.

Seeing a cover reveal for the first time and loving it. (If I don’t like the newly revealed cover, then my delight is not as high.) 

 
The anticipation for the reveal is also fun.

Embossed, matte, or other types of fancy dust jackets. 


The shiny slick ones just aren’t as fun to stroke.

***

Well, there you have it. Those are my top ten bookworm delights. Do you have any bookworm delights? If so, feel free to mention them in the comments!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves: The Random Assortment Edition


"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

So I got some books. I wasn't supposed to. It just happened.
Find You in the Dark and Light in the Shadows by A. Meredith Walters (Traded)
The Pleasure Slave by Gena Showalter (Trade Credit)
The Little House Cookbook by Barabara M. Walker (Borrowed)

Technically I traded for the Walters books. (Thanks, Maryssa!) I still had to pay to send off my book though, and stupid FedEx is expensive. That’s the last time I’ll pay to ship anything there. Ugh.

The Pleasure Slave I got with my trade credit at a local used bookstore, and The Little House Cookbook is for that fandom food project I mentioned in last week's Stacking the Shelves.

Oh, and I won a swag pack from Harlequin Teen for their Firstlife contest. Thanks, Harlequin!

vvb32 was also very generous and sent me some Katie McGarry swag. (Thanks, vvb32!)

Before I forget, I also bought something very exciting.



I can't believe I'm graduating in less than a month. I also can't believe I decided to stay in school for another year. Ugh. What was I thinking?

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the gif.

Dean is in a robe. I repeat: Dean. Is. In. A. Robe.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Kiss
(The Winner’s Trilogy #3)
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Hardcover, 496 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genres: YA, Fantasy

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

My Review

I really don’t know what to say about this book other than it’s all over now. I seriously can’t believe that this trilogy is finished. No more Arin and Kestrel. No more Roshar, who I was just beginning to really enjoy. And, more importantly/devastatingly, no more Arin.

I have to admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first book in this series. The Winner’s Curse just didn’t draw me in as much as it seemed to draw in everyone else, but once I picked up the second book, I was hooked. I think most of my issue revolved around the character development, but in the second book, Kestrel and Arin really start coming into their own personalities more. And, in this last installment, they’re practically completely different people. In a good way.

While The Winner’s Crime left off on a rather large cliffhanger, things get resolved there pretty fast. Actually, a lot of major events happened a little too fast in some cases, like the ending and the beginning. The middle was just the right speed, though. I’d have to say that this was my one major qualm with this book. However, Rutkoski does a fantastic job using the two separate and very distinct voices of Arin and Kestrel to weave an amazing fantasy tale. Arin’s storyline practically had me drooling, and Kestrel always managed to spout out some amazing piece of dialogue.

Beyond just the plot and characters, I have to say that this story was very different from the way the first two books were told. This arc wasn’t about political issues anymore; instead, all of the characters are in the thick of the action. Even Kestrel, who doesn’t like violence, is managing to turn herself into what she believes is necessary for her own survival. It was an interesting development that I didn’t expect to resonate with me so much.

All in all, this review is one of my shorter ones, simply because I don’t know what to say. This was a fantastic ending to a beautiful series, and I wish I could read a few more books from Kestrel and Arin’s point of views before Rutkoski called it quits, but, alas, that’s just the reader’s dilemma.


*Note: I borrowed a copy of this book from my library. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

The Darkest Torment
(Lords of the Underworld #12)
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Hardcover, 448 pages, Harlequin HQN
Genres: Adult, Romance, Paranormal

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he's back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he's unable to withstand the touch of another...and he's quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she's taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she's plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them...and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she'll have to teach him to love...or lose him forever.

My Thoughts

I’m not super excited for Baden’s book. I was hoping for Cameo or William to be the next protagonist, but I’m still excited that this is coming out. There wasn’t a LOTU release last year, and it bummed me out.

What book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Top 1% Goodreads' Reviewer

This post is a little late, but better late than never. ;)

So on Wednesday, April 6th, I received an email from Goodreads. A lot of bloggers/reviewers did.

Turns out, Goodreads hit the 50 million reviews-written mark. And, apparently, I’ve contributed 378 of those since I joined in 2010. Cool, right? I mean, I know it’s not a lot, but I didn’t really start writing reviews for every (YA) book I’ve read since about a year ago. Up until then, it was just me reviewing books I’d requested or been sent. 

Anywho, I’m in the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! Sweet! This email just made so randomly and freakily happy. I just wish my most popular review wasn’t such a negative one. Oh, well…

Find me on Goodreads here.

Monday, April 18, 2016

YA Adaptations I Need to Watch

This post is simply going to be a list of all of the 2016 YA book-to-movie adaptations and TV adaptations that I have yet to watch.

Get ready to be disappointed in me.



Pride and Prejudice and Zombies sounds and looks so cool! Unfortunately, it stopped playing at any of my city’s theaters. Grr...




The 5th Wave movie wasn’t on the top of my must-watch list, but I was really looking forward to it. Somehow, I just let the time it was in theaters slip away from me.




Okay, so I’ve watched Shadowhunters. I just haven’t caught up on the last four or so episodes yet. Also, I was distracted during the last one, so I’m going to have to re-watch it.




The Vampire Diaries is another one I’m behind on. I blame this on the fact that I’m not excited to watch a season without Nina Dobrev.




My last disappointment comes in the form of… The 100. Everyone has been talking about season three and I have yet to even start it! GAH! People are really bad about spoiling this show on Twitter too. 

***

There you have it. Those are the YA shows and films I need to catch up on. There just aren't enough hours in the day. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My Thoughts on the Allegiant Movie

I finally managed to watch Allegiant. I’ve been so behind on my movie-watching lately. It’s kind of ridiculous.

In case you haven’t seen the Allegiant trailer for some strange reason, I’ve posted it below:


I knew going into this film that hardly anything was going to be the same as the book. I accepted that with a very happy mind because I loathed Allegiant the book. (I have many reasons for this that don’t just include the ending, but that’s a post for another day.) And, for the most part, I’m happy with the movie. I have a list of things that were strange and awkward, but I felt things were infinitely better in the film than they were in the book.

I’ll start with the bad so we can get those little issues out of the way and get to the good stuff. Sound good? First off, there was some weird sci-fi technology in this film. The plasma bubble things are just ridiculous, and the shower scene goop… That stuff just ain’t right. Also, sometimes the tech, like the ships and the guns, were a wee bit cheesy-looking. Not always, but sometimes. My second issue revolves around Four’s mother. Now, she did look slightly older in this movie compared to Insurgent, but she still appears too young to be Four’s mom. Not a big deal, but still a small point against it.

Okay. Well, that’s really it for the bad. On to the good.

While Allegiant the film’s plot wasn’t the most unique one, I still really enjoyed it. Four managed to have some really kick-butt scenes which I couldn’t/didn’t want to take my eyes off of. ;) Caleb managed to be way better in this movie than he ever was in the book, and, for some reason, even though I’m not Veronica Roth, I feel like this was more true to his character. Now, Peter, I was worried about him, but he ends up showing his true colors soon enough. Unfortunately, Tris didn’t have as many action scenes as Four and she didn’t really redeem herself in any way, but I think she did grow a little in this film. I won’t say how because that’s a little spoiler-y, but she does.

As for the rest, the dialogue was good, the outfits were cool (and I finally know why Four’s pants were that awful red in the trailer and on the poster), and the soundtrack was great. Everything was new and refreshing in regards to the world-building, and I’m excited to see what Ascendant brings. Although, I’m not sure what they’re really going to do with the part two adaptation.

All in all, this movie kind of felt like it was just using the same characters from the past two films, but putting them in a completely different world. And, I actually liked it. So if you’re worried that you may not enjoy this movie because of Allegiant’s ending or just the Allegiant book in general, I’d say give the movie a try. It’s actually pretty good.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Stacking the Shelves: The My First Tote Bag Edition


"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

I didn’t buy any books this week! It’s an April miracle!

Another miracle for this week was that I won Bloomsbury’s #GirlstoRead Instagram giveaway for Women’s History Month. I ended up getting some awesome swag and books. Thank you, Bloomsbury! 


Also, this is the first book tote bag I’ve ever had! I mean, I have a couple I bought from Barnes & Noble that have The Jungle Book and The Great Gatsby covers on them, but those don’t count because they’re not YA and I had to buy them myself. Plus, this is a Throne of Glass tote! And it has Chaol’s name on the back (which I didn’t post because I’m lazy)!

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski (Borrowed)

I forgot that I put The Winner’s Kiss on hold at my local library. I originally did this because of the cover change. I thought I was going to have to wait for the third book to come out in paperback, and then buy the entire series again. Thankfully, the cover was changed back. However, I plan on buying my own copy of the book for the Fierce Reads signing coming up, so I’m not sure if this copy will be the one I read or not.

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz

I almost forgot this thing. I borrowed it from my professor for a cooking research project I'm doing over fandom food. Believe me, it isn't as fun as it sounds.

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the gif.

You can definitely tell neither of the boys can fit in the Impala like this, but I appreciate their attempt. I especially appreciate Jensen. I’ll never not appreciate Jensen.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Symptoms of Being Human
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Hardcover, 352 pages, Balzer + Bray
Genres: YA, Contemporary, LGBT

The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is…Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

My Review

First off, this book is a touching story. There’s no doubt about it. It’s also an incredible piece of literature when it comes to analyzing why we as human beings care about other people’s desires, lives, looks, etc. so freakin’ much. Garvin has managed to create a story that should have every reader questioning his/her thoughts, hopefully, for the better.

This book is told from Riley Cavanaugh’s point of view. As the description says, Riley is gender fluid, some days Riley identifies as a boy, sometimes a girl. While I know there are plenty of people in the world who struggle with the binary gender system society has forced upon them, I have never read a book in a character’s head who has this dilemma. And, honestly, reading about Riley and the struggles happening within Riley’s family had me seriously questioning my own actions.

I’ve always thought of myself as an accepting person. People can wear what they want, be who they want, etc., with the only limitation being that someone’s actions can’t interfere with another person’s rights. This book had me truly second-guessing how progressive I actually was, simply because I kept wanting to know Riley’s sex. I would have to remind myself that Riley’s body didn’t matter to the storyline. Only Riley’s heart and voice ability were what mattered. And I hope that’s what Garvin was trying to get at by writing this story: that no matter if you have questions about someone else’s lifestyle choices, you should always recognize that the only thing that truly matters is what’s on the inside.

While this book had a fantastic message, there were a couple of problems I had with it. Mostly these problems just dealt with the pacing and convenience of some of the happenings in the plot. Oftentimes, events just happened way too quickly when they should have been flushed out a little more. Also, towards the end, Riley’s journey took a very monumental turn that came out of nowhere and wasn’t as delved into as deeply as I feel would have been realistic. Even Riley’s blog gets a little too popular a little too quickly to be 100% lifelike.

All in all, this book is a great story about not being defined by what’s on the outside, and I commend Garvin for writing Riley’s voice so well.


*Note: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library. This in no way affected my opinion/review.