Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Holidays

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to send out a quick message wishing all of you a happy holiday or winter season. Whether you celebrate holidays at this time of year or not I hope that you're days are filled with laughter and amazing books!

Wishing you the best and hoping to have a review soon,


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Book Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Title: Tiny Pretty Things
Authors: Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Series/Standalone: Tiny Pretty Things (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary
Pages: 438
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year Published: 2015
First Line: "It always feels like death."

At one of Manhattan's most elite ballet schools, wafer-thin ballerinas pull their hair into sleek buns and lace their pointe shoes high, waiting for their chance to shine. But beneath the pretty, polished surface, these girls are hiding some terrible secrets and telling some twisted lies.
Privileged Bette is tiny and beautiful- like a ballerina is a music box.  But living forever in the shadow of her ballet0star sister and under the weight of family expectations brings ut a dangerous edge in her.
Perfectionist, June can turn a flawless plie and diligently keeps her weight below 100 pounds. But she's never landed a lead role. Tired of always being the understudy, this year she'll settle for nothing but the best- even if she must resort to some less-than-perfect means to get there.
And new girl Gigi isn't your traditional ballerina. A free-spirited California girl, she's not used to the fierce competition. Still, that doesn't stop her from outperforming every dancer in the school. But even she is hiding a ticking time bomb, and the very act of dancing just might expose her secrets to everyone.
Being a prima isn't all satin and lace, sometimes you have to play dirty. With the competition growing fiercer with every performance, and harmless pranks growing ever darker, it's only a matter of time before one small spark ignites... and even the best get burned."

My Rating: 4/5

So I'm glad that I read this book after reading a manga because I felt like I had some time away from the drama. I thought that this book would be a fluff piece and show the joy and perfection of being a ballerina but it wasn't afraid to shy away from the ugly stuff. It showed how severe competition can affect people's bodies and minds. Everything even their spirits. As time went on I thought that this book really picked up pace. I thought that the first half was a little slow and I wasn't quite invested in the story right off the hope, but I finished the second half in one sitting. It was amazing. I started to love the characters and was surprised that I didn't figure out the mystery aspect on my own. I can't wait to read the second one.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

So if you haven't read this book I would highly suggest that you read the review rather than this spoiler. I read this book and didn't think that it would be a mystery and then boom it hits. I loved the idea of the ugly side being shown even more than the beauty of ballet. Seeing what someone would do for their passion. I really thought that it was interesting to see the three different takes. I thought that this story was important to read. It was definitely a thriller. I still don't know who the fuck did what. I know about what Bette admitted to doing, but what about the rest? Did Eleanor do that?

Gigi: I loved her from the start. She was unique and different and driven. She was able to put her passion first even above her bodily demands. Although that was a fear the whole time I read the book,  I thought it added an interesting idea to the ballet.  I don't blame her for starting to loose it but I can only hope that she'll be ok. I can't wait to see if she'll make an appearance in the next book.

Bette: I thought that she was pure evil when I started reading the series and she is not the nicest girl, but she is in the gray zone for sure. Her upbringing and her life hasn't always been as easy as it may look. That doesn't make up for the horrible things she did or the way she acted. But did she do it? What all did she do?

June: Seeing someone struggle so hard with their bodies felt crazy to me. But the more I read from her perspective the more it made sense. It was her therapy. It's how she coped with the stress, just like Bette with her pills. I wonder if she did it? To gain the light? To be the best? Two birds one stone? I don't know.

Alec:  I thought that he was a bit to nice to each prima. Is that what he wants? To be with the star? I was impressed by how he helped her with her foot, but what is he going to do now that she may never dance again. What now? Was he in cahoots with Bette? Ugh I'm lost.

Henri: I think he pushed her. But I think that everyone pushed her, though, so not reliable. But would he do what they did to Cassie? How does he even feel about Cassie? Shit who is this guy?

Eleanor: I think that she's in cahoots with Henri. The way there were caught that one time. Shoot.

Liz: The idea that she felt the need to be continually thinner. That it would help her in all aspects. The idea that she had no one who would help her hurts me.

Will: He's gotta be in on it right? Like Henri might be using him now.

Cassie: How will she coming back affect everything.

Mr K: He's a little bit of a sick freak isn't he? The idea that he would fool with younger girls makes me so totally uncomfortable.

Sen-Jin: What an evil word that I refuse to type on the internet. Even if she's not gay or bi, why would she be such a jerk to June?

Jahye:  I wonder what the heck they're going to do together next. Will he break up with Sen-Jin, and get together with June? Or naw. I thought that he might just be around to make her eat based on her mother's demands.. thoughts?

Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "My spotlight."

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Top Rated Books of 2016

Hey, guys.
So the year is almost over, which feels amazing cause this year was all kinds of hectic. So here I am with some happy memories of the time I spent with books over the past year and the ones that really just got me. That's right its time for the 5/5 of 2016. (These will be presented in the order that I read the books, not in the order of most loved because I loved them all).

23848559Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson: The first book I read in 2016 was a gift from a dear friend in college. I was having a tough time reading through college but I picked this one up over winter break and adored it. It is one of the few non-fiction reads that I read this year. I loved it! I thought that Jenny Lawson was an interesting person to hear about and some of her stories really hit close to home. 

16143347We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: This book caught a lot of flack around the book community. Many people didn't like it but I was one that did. And when I say that I liked it, I really mean to say that I loved it. This book follows four friends and that's all I'm going to say to keep it a mystery for anyone who might choose to read it.

23174274Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard: This is the second book in the Red Queen Series and I loved it. I thought that the world building grew incredibly and the change of pace was exhilarating. I love Victoria Aveyard's writing style and can't wait to see what will happen in the next book King's Cage.

25944381Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard: I ordered this when I preordered Glass Sword because I had a feeling I would need more from this world and it's just what I needed. I thought that this really helped to bring parts of the story together especially right after reading Glass Sword. I can't wait to see where this series will take its fans.

18798983The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: I picked up this book from a library by my college after hearing a friend say it was unlike anything she had ever read. She and I had similar tastes so I thought I would give it a go. I thought that it was an incredible story to read. It's a retelling of  A Thousand and One Nights and tells the story of a girl who weds a boy-king who is known to murder each new bride he takes. I thought that the story was amazing and would recommend to lovers of retellers or those looking for more diversity in their YA stories.

10507293The Selection by Kiera Cass: I can hear people clicking away from this page because this series gets a lot of hate. I read the whole series this year and while there were some stories that I enjoyed more than others, I thought that this first book was a solid starting point and while it looks like a fluffy novel it deals with so much more. I thought the world was important to see and learn about and while that kept me interested, the drama did even more so.

25778505The New Hunger by Isaac Marion: This is a novella based in the Warm Bodies world and while I hadn't read the book for quite some time I thought this book brought me right back in and interested me even more. The next book is supposed to come out shortly, so I look forward to seeing what other books will be in this series and where it will take the readers.

18635016The One by Kiera Cass: See I told you that I liked some more than others. What can I say, I'm a sucker for an ending and this book was full of drama and change. I loved it.

24465724Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass: Because I hadn't had enough back stories for some of the characters I picked up this book and fell in love with the first three books even more. I thought that the novellas gave real insight into the characters choices throughout the rest of the series and helped set me up for the fourth and fifth book.

23395680Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: So this is one of the first science fiction books I think that I've ever picked up. I loved it. The different media used in this book was amazing and helped the 500+ pages seem like nothing at all. I loved the action and world-building overall. 

16096824A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Everyone kept telling me to read something about Sarah J. Maas this year and I put it off until I found a paperback copy of this book for only $10. So I picked up this beautiful retelling and fell in freaking love. I thought that the characters were deep and the world building was fantastic.

Escape from Lucien & Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi: These were two amazing graphic novels that I read this year and sped through. I think this series really grew with each book and really came into its own throughout the series. I look forward to the next two novels when they come out.

26073150A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas: I thought I couldn't love this more than the first book and that there was no way it would be better and then bam! It happened. Sarah J. Maas is amazing and I'm trash for her writing. I still haven't read Throne of Glass but I'll get there I promise.

25187640Truthwitch by Susan Dennard: This is a fantasy novel that came out this year that focuses on female friendship. While there is a love interest it is not the most important aspect of the story and I loved that. Amazing! And not so patiently waiting for the next book to come out.

29405093The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer: I read this book when I really needed a good laugh. Something to get me through a tough time and it really did. I learned so much more about a comedian that I love and I rewatched her comedy specials with what I read in mind. Some how I loved her even more.

The Reptile Room and The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket: So I'm trying my best to reread this series before I watch the new Netflix adaptation. I can't wait to read the rest of the series but these are still two of my favorite in the series.

25332062The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski: Yes, I also read the first book, but this book was even better. I thought that it was far more fast paced than the first one. The characters showed so much more emotion and the suspense killed me at every corner.

29236299Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: The follow-up to the first book was so incredibly different and I'm just waiting here anxiously for the next book announcement... please... please?

So there is the long list of amazing books I had the opportunity to read this year. I look forward to reading even more next year and whatever books come our ways (*coughes* Kings Cage).

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review: Salior Moon Vol. 01 by Naoko Takeuchi


Title: Sailor Moon Vol. 01
Author: Naoko Takeuchi
Series/Standalone: Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (#1)
Genre: Manga, Fantasy, YA
Pages: 248
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Original Year Published: 1992

"The first installment of a magical adventure series that sees girls fighting evil. Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts) and together, they fight the forces of evil."

My Rating: 5/5

So I have never read a manga before, and have just recently started reading graphic novels, so this is a first for me. I really enjoyed it and was surprised at how easy it was to read. I quickly got wrapped up into the story, which wasn't a huge surprise for me because I watched a ton of sailor moon when I was younger. The nostalgia was strong and I felt like I understood so much more about the story overall as I'm older. Although I loved the story, I forgot how young Usagi was so if you are an adult reading this be prepared for a middle school girl. I really enjoyed the characters and the story line. I plan to pick up the next one as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Book Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series/Standalone: The Illuminae Files (Book #2)
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 659
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Year Published: 2016

"Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna's social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The saga that began with Illuminae continues on board the space station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech's assault. Hanna is the station captain's pampered daughter, Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza Invasion.
When an elite Beitech team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum may be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren't just fighting for their own survival. The fate of everyone of the Hypatia- and possibly the known universe is in their hands.
But relax. They've totally got this. They hope."

My Rating: 5/5

So I finally read this book. I'm so excited that I finished this book today. So excited that apparently, my body felt the need to be instantly awake at 6am on a Saturday. UGH! My poor sad tired soul is still filled with the emotions from this dang book. This book was amazing. I'd heard before this book is considered a companion to the first novel, but as you can probably tell by the description (only read it if you've read the first the book) there are some appearances from other characters. I thought that the continuation with the media format was perfect and I could not have asked for more. If you're looking for an action packed science fiction series, I would highly suggest the Illuminae Files series. I hope this review made sense without spoiling anything..... let me know you're thoughts below.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

So this is the second book in the Illuminae Files series and I can finally understand what everyone has been talking about. I'd heard alot of things about this second book but mostly it was a companion novel type series. That I shouldn't expect the same characters and then wham! The authors hit me with multiple huge surprises. To start, I love the new characters they are incredible to read about. I thought that the continuation of the mixed media writing helps to tell this story even more. I also thought that it was interesting to see another type of ship in this world and a different life style. It made logical sense to follow up the first book with this one at Heimdall. 

Hanna: I thought that it was such a different character to read from, other than Kady or Ezra. While in the first book they were badass in different ways. Hanna is physically bad ass. She was able to sort through the chaos that was happening to her and fight for those around her. I also thought that her media was helpful because of her journal entries. I can't wait to see where her story continues especially after the deaths she witnessed.

Nik: Nothing says unique quite like a space drug dealer. He was unique and in the end soft hearted. To see what he did for his brother and the crap he dealt with growing up. I do wonder how he turned out the way he did with his childhood. I thought his flirtation was cute and fun to get the story started.

Ella: I'm excited to see what happens with her and Kady on a team together. The two tech geniuses working together. I'm interested in knowing more about The House of Knives and how it started. She takes no shit and I can appreciate that.

Jackson: This little piece of work threw me for a loop. I didn't expect him to be the rapier. I thought that he would die and naturally Hanna would move onto Nik who she liked more anyways. Clearly. That way it wouldn't be cheating. But instead, he has to be a jerk who was playing with a girls feeling. I do hope that his death was slow and painful after all the things he put the station through.

Chief Grant: Did he get to see his daughter again? I sure hope so.

Falk: A villain who always smiles, even while killing is someone to be frightened off. I thought the way this character spoke was completely unique and kind of gave me a creep.

Kady: Yay. This girl is back!!! Awe hell yeah.

Aiden: I missed it/him. And his crazy ways. I'm excited to see what happens with him as well now that he has more power at his disposal. I thought that he might even out, but he's perfect. 

Leanne: The best kind of villain is the one who is at the top. Their pure evil without showing it. So what else did she do with her company and all this power? Who else will she punish? 

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 9, 2016

December TBR

So with the holiday's coming up I know that my schedule is going to start getting a little crazy at work as well as with family and friends coming home. So optimistically I would like to read at least 4 books. Hopefully a few more, but we'll have to wait and see.

So the book I'm currently reading is:


The books I plan to read next are:
23161323 25558608 18601430

If I finish those, I want to read:
 26236898 1756451919547856

So what are you reading this month? Let me know below.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Book Review: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski


Title: The Winner's Crime
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series/Stand Alone: The Winner's Trilogy (Book #2)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Pages: 414
Publisher: Square Fish
Year Published: 2015
First Line: "She cut herself opening the envelope."

"A royal wedding means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth of her engagement: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin's freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust herself?
Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. She's working as a spy in the court. If caught, she'll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can't help searching for a way to change her ruthless world... and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret. This dazzling follow-up to The Winner's Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them."

My Rating: 5/5

I am always so nervous going into a second book. I find that a lot of books have a second book slump for me. So needless to say I thought that this book was the opposite. It was better. I thought that it was even better than the first one. I was sucked in immediately and wasn't ready when this book ended. I thought that it was a tremendous cliff hanger and I want more. I thought that the characters really fleshed out in this book. The characters grew and became more real throughout the story. I thought that the changes in political drama also helped the story along. I really enjoyed Marie Rutkoski writing and look forward to the next and final book in the series. That being said, I still need to order the next book along with other sequels after reading through more of my tbr. 

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

So as I mention in the review above, I find that I'm a victim of second book slump. Often when I read a second book I don't usually enjoy it nearly as much as the first book. But I thought that this book was even better than the first. It was amazing. The characters, the continual world building and the political drama. I found that the drama was the part that I enjoyed the most. The tension between the Emperor and the other countries was clear, but his use of strategy and revenge kept me on my toes. Seeing Dacra for the first time was really interesting and seeing their different culture described was incredible. I'm curious to see where the countries relationships go. I think that the dual perspective really helped build tension overall.

Kestrel: I think that Kestrel really grew as a character.She had a lot more in her way, being right underneath the Emperor's nose. I thought that her attempt to forget Arin is very easy to relate to. Readers who are trying to get over a breakup although this is far more severe. I think that her emotions were portrayed amazingly well. I found that reading her perspective helped to build the story.

Arin: I thought that Arin as a leader was extremely interesting to read about. I thought that his changing mood helped this story grow. I won't lie that most of his choices broke my heart. I thought that his ever changing mind was causing the problems, but Kestrel's need to lie truly didn't help. I won't lie, I yelled when he went to Dacra, even though he was told not too. Ugh, just listen.  And now he thinks that she is perfectly safe, but she's going to prison so that's great.  

Jess: I think that her "betrayal" cut the deepest. The idea that Kestrel hurt her friends through it all and then still loved Arin is crazy, but the heart wants what it wants. Jess had every right not to see her friend ever again. 

Rolan: This is something that hit me deep. The fact that she didn't have the chance to explain or at least try and make amends for what she had done. To little to late. 

The Emperor: Villains grow in most stories, but he's a prime villain, one you love to hate. He's pure evil. I think that the way he uses those around him, even his son is amazing. It's horrible but truly brilliant to read. His waiting game he plays with revenge. 

Risha: The idea that she got sold to enemies is horrifying, but I can't wait to see what she does with her mastery of weapons.

Verex: He seemed fine, like he was growing on me but I wonder if he will always just be the emperor's puppet. I was very intrigued by his love for Risha and how that came to be. 

Tensen: I was sad to see him go, but I wonder how much he really told Arin. I know it wasn't a lot. I thought that he would give Arin her letter at least or explain that she was the spy in the end, but now everything is a huge mess.

The General: To betray your own daughter shows something horrible, like an evil form of loyalty.

Roshar: He is an interesting friend to have. I think that the way he tortured Arin was horrible, but also his job sooo... is it wrong that I kinda love him?

The Queen: I wonder how she will ally with Arin after he left in search for Kestrel. Although it's not looking like Kestrel will be making any appearances any time soon. That kiss was something interesting to read about.

Moments to Remember:
Pg. 315
"'Brother, you are mad,' said the queen.
'He loves me,' Roshar protested. The cub was sleeping, huddled against Roshar's leg.
'And when it has grown, and is large enough to eat a man?'
'Then I'll make Arin take care of him.'"

Final Line: "'I gave him nothing.'"

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Book Review: The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket


Title: The Wide Window
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series/ Standalone: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Book #3)
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 214
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year Published: 2000
First Line:"If you didn't know much about the Baudelaire orphans, and you saw them sitting on their suitcases at Damocles Dock, you might think that they were bound for an exciting adventure."

"Dear Reader,
If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know that Violet, Klaus and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted, but their lives,  I am so sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these children are unhappy and wretched, and the one you are holding may be the worst of them all.
If you haven't got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair.
I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket"

My Rating: 5/5

This book is the third in the series and I'm really enjoying this rereading experience. I hope to pick up at least 2 books from this series a month, but that will depend on my schedule this month. I thnk this is my favourite so far in the series, and it really got me thinking. I work with children in a daycare centre and seeing how characters react to these children got me thinking. The lack of understanding and listening in this story made me wonder if that's how children often feel in other circumstances. I also found that this book really highlighted the villainy which I loved. I love a good villain, even if I only love to hate them. These books make a change in this book from middle grade to young adult. As an adult, I'm finding these books to be so much more enjoyable, as I pick up on jokes I did not when I was in my preteens.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 2, 2016

November Wrap Up

I had a very good reading month even though it wasn't all from my tbr. I read three off my tbr pile and then finished up an audiobook. I also read 2 books that I had been planning on rereading for some time. 

So let's take a look at the books I read this month:






Thanks for reading,