Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Read in 2014

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by Broke and Bookish. Today's topic is top ten books you read in 2014, and with the year coming to an end it's so very hard to choose just ten. However I did manage to whittle it down! The links lead to the Goodreads summary!

  1. The first, and by far my favorite, book of this year was The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima. Chima was a new author to me, and when I picked up the first book in this series (The Demon King) for five dollars, I have to admit I wasn't expecting anything special. But boy, was I wrong. Romance, action, and intrigue, the Seven Realms series hooked me and my love for reading was re-lit. All four books were amazing, but my favorite was the final book, The Crimson Crown
  2. Next up is a book that I read based upon the hype surrounding it, which was Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I love fantasy, but science fiction is not really my thing. So when I read this book (and the other two in the series) I was greatly surprised! I loved it!
  3. The Selection by Kiera Cass is next on my list, and again, is a book that surprised me. I had heard nothing but awful things about these books, but I quite enjoyed them. I read the first book in only two days, and the second one in less than one day. Both were fun, light reads.
  4. Although I don't read much Middle Grade, The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani definitely stood out to me this year. I had been excited to read it, and it lived up to my every expectation. It was a fun but intense book, and I am so excited to read the second and third books in the trilogy.
  5. Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson came as a shock to me when I read it. I read it as an assignment for school, and nothing more, but then, I became hooked. The characters are so strong, and the ending came as a real shocker for me. This was a historical fiction book, so not something I normally would read, but it deserves a place in the top ten without a doubt.
  6. I'm not sure if it's a favorite, but Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta stood out to me from this year. The writing was so, so, beautiful and I felt as though this novel, seemingly light from the cover, was so much darker and more intense than I expected.
  7. I know, I know, another Cinda Williams Chima book, but to me, The Enchanter Heir was a great read. I didn't love it as much as The Seven Realms series, or some of the others on this list, but it was fun to read either way.
  8.  The 100 by Kass Morgan was a book I had been looking forward to reading, because of the hype around the TV show. It was a good book, and a fast read, and while I had a few problems with it (my book review is here if you'd like my more in-depth thoughts), I had no trouble balancing the four POV's and it ended in such a cliffhanger!
  9. Another science fiction book I enjoyed this year was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I loved this book, and it definitely deserves a spot on my top ten list. What a fast-paced, action-packed plot! I loved the idea and how it was carried out, and this was another super fast read for me.
  10. Last but certainly not least, is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I know I'm not the only one who could really relate to Cath, as a socially anxious author who has a thing for peanut butter... it was such a great and relatable read, and Rowell's writing is great. I hope to read more books by her in the future.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

November Wrap-Up

Sorry for not keeping up to date on my Wrap ups these past few months!! Here's my wrap up for November...

This month I read 3 books.

The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

The third in the "Heir Chronicles" series, Chima's book, The Dragon Heir was probably my favorite of the first three. I loved the surprises and action that took place in the book, and near the end I was almost in denial of a few events taking place to a certain few characters... if you've read the Warrior Heir and The Wizard Heir, and were iffy about continuing, I'd like to say it was well worth it.

4/5 stars on Goodreads

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

I hadn't ever been planning on reading this book, because of reasons. But it was for a school assignment, so obviously I had to, haha. (Got 100% on the assignment by the way... *yes*). It was okay, and I liked the characters in the book. I thought the prospect of having a child as the main character was a very smart move. Overall, I can see the appeal with this book. It would be fun to discuss with someone, I think, since most people in my class loved it.

3.5/5 stars on Goodreads

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

I had been really looking forward to reading this! Two books in one, a look at the publishing world, and paranormal reads? Sounded fun. I loved the representation in this book, and it was a fun read. I liked the fact that we got to read Darcy's book, as well. Zipped right through this one!

4/5 stars on Goodreads

NaNoWriMo 2014 Wrap Up

Hello, friends! I know my posts have been dwindling as of late, but for those of you who still keep up with my blog and everything, I want you all to know how grateful I am.

So, as you all know, last month I participated in NaNoWriMo-- or National Novel Writing Month. I am pretty sure everyone knows what this is, but the goal is to write 50k words in the month of November. My goal was to double that and write 100k.

And guess what?

I did! I wrote 100k exactly, on a fairytale retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses called Of Roses and Royalty. The book went a direction I didn't think it was going to (and I haven't quite finished it yet... oops?) but I'm glad I got the quantity of words I was aiming for, even if I did not get the quality of the words.

Now for a few quick stats.

Total Word Count: 100,000
Day Reached Goal: The 30th
Day Reached 50k: The 11th... my fastest ever!
Highest Words Per Day: I got 15.3k words for my first day word count... beating my previous highest (11k) by more than 4,000 words!!

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? If so, how'd you fare?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rainy Reading

There are many things I love about Autumn and Winter... NaNoWriMo, Thanksgiving, Family, delicious food... but one of those things is also rain. Rain is just so comforting to hear against the windowpanes and I love the smell of rain.

And, because the sound of rain is so comforting, it's the perfect time to read a book. Fantasy seems to work especially well for reading in the rainy weather. (Not in the rainy weather exactly... I really prefer to stay inside when it's raining. But to each their own.)

Currently, I am reading The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima, the fourth book in a series about magic guilds. The fifth and final book in the Heir Chronicles (this is the name of the series) came out last month, and I'm in luck-- the library has it. So it is lucky for me that over the Thanksgiving Break I get to binge read both of these thick fantasy books.

In NaNoWriMo news-- I'm at 74k words right now, which means I'm behind my goal by ~3k words, but I'm hoping I can catch up (despite the masses of homework I have been assigned. Woe is me.) Additionally, I'm beginning to lose faith in this book. The inciting incident has not even happened yet, and the entire novel is just really lousily written, and really rambly. I'm trying to decide if I should rewrite it. I don't want the 100k words I'm planning on writing to go to waste, but, I really feel like being sick every time I think of my book.

That's a bad sign, isn't it?

I could really go for a bit of cheering up right now. Is anyone else writing for NaNoWriMo? Perhaps you are doing the Blog Ahead challenge I've been hearing about? If so, how is that going for you? Hope to hear from you all!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

30 Day Novel Meme... in One Post!

I "borrowed" this meme from this link right here. It looked like a good way to flesh out my novel, and after all, I did warn you about that ramblings thing. My blog might be mostly writing stuff until November is over, in which it will return to its bookish madness.

Speaking of writing ramblings, I was wondering something: what do you think about me starting a whole separate blog about writing? It would be about my journey in my novels, useful tips, and general rambling, as well as editing, prepping, etc. a novel. I'm conflicted at the moment as this would mean running 3 blogs (one a November-only blog, one bookish blog [that would be this one!] and a writing blog [the new one.]) I would like some opinions! :D

Anyway, today I'm going to be answering the questions best I can for you. Here goes nothing.

1- Name of current Project and back story of the name.
The title is Of Roses and Royalty. Since all the sisters are named after flowers, I knew I was going to include some sort of flower in the title. After talking to my writing buddy, she helped me come up with the current title.
2- Genre of the story explained in detail
High Fantasy for sure. It features two royal kingdoms with princesses and curses, but alas, no magic users. I'd say it also has a bit of questing in it, but not much. More just royal conflict, as well as Fairytale retelling.
3- Explain your PoV and Style of writing usedAh, well see here. This is my November project and POV hasn't exactly been settled yet. I'm thinking 3rd person as always, but 1st person might work too.
4- Describe your inspiration and what message you wish to bring acrossI want to portray the message of peacefulness and unity, since it's an important message to me. My inspiration for this came from out of the blue really. I don't remember.
5- Main Character Bio
6- Main Villain Bio
7- A third important characters Bio
8- Descriptions of all other important characters
All these are in my prep notebook.
9- Explain the main basis of the plot A retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. No dancing involved in this version though. And no king trying to get people to search for the princesses. Pretty much the only things it keeps from the actual tale are the second kingdom and the twelve princesses.
10- Describe the world that the story happens in (use photos or graphics if you want)Hmm, there was a really cool castle I found earlier that would be perfect. Pretty much it takes place in a Fantasy world, but with no magic save for the curses, which can be explained by the twisted science of my novel, and no magical creatures. The first kingdom is very poor, in poverty, with threats from all kingdoms attacking Daesi (the kingdom MC's live in.) Lore, the kingdom they sneak off to at night, still needs developing.
11- All the Ships in your novel/ Story
-Theodore/Caspia (Thaspia? Caspidore?)
-Bella/Hugo (Uh... uh oh... oh no...how about Bugo, aye?)
Not much romance in this book.
12- Your favourite character to write about and why
CASPIA because I love her character so much. She's so noble, and just wants the best for everyone, but often doesn't get the best for herself. She's the eldest.
13- Your least favourite character to write about and why
Probably Bella, because I feel like I'm really forcing her character more than I ought to.
14- Which character you are most like
Hm, Dahlia probably. We are both very timid and quiet. She likes to garden more than I do, though. And she isn't fond of books.
15- Your favourite part of the story
I can't wait to see what it will be.
16- Describe any other books related to this one (eg. Prequel, sequel, follow up) or If it’s a stand alone, a sequel or prequel that you could writeI'm not sure if it will be a series or not. It depends how many more ideas pop into my head. A possible sequel could be called Of Lupines and Loyalty or Of Lilies and Loyalty. It rhymes! Get it?
17- Which published book it is most likeIt depends if the Twelve Dancing Princesses itself counts. If so, that one.
18- What stage of editing/ writing are you at?Still in prep mode!
19- Writing Playlist
The Medallion Calls (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Anything Two Steps From Hell
20- If it were made into a movie, which Director would direct it and which band would make the soundtrackI don't know.
21- Dream Cast (with pictures)
Emilie de Ravin as Caspia
Anna Popplewell as Freesia (second eldest sister, and villainess)
Anna Saffer as Belladonna "Bella"
Jessica Sula as the twins: Heather and Hydrangea "Heidi"
Jessica Brown Findlay as Dahlia
And I don't know about the other sisters
22- The Ten best things about your story
23- The ten things you could improve

None yet for either.
24- Why are you going to do with it when it’s done?Edit it! And then keep it for myself to look back on and laugh at in 10 years.
25- What is the main twist/ plot point?When they find the door to Lore is the inciting action.
26- What is the most exciting scene/ chapter/ partTheodore entering Lore, because that's what set off the curse.
27- How often do you write it and in what environment?Hopefully all November and December will be writing the novel, and I tend to write at the Write Ins in my region, and my school, and then in my room at 2 in the morning.
28- Who else has read it? Or heard about it? Does anyone know you’re writing?My writing buddies have heard about, as has my brother, and my dad knows I'll be writing it, but I've been very vague with him. (Him: "Have you been doing NaNoWriMo stuff?" Me: "Mm hmm" Him: "What are you writing" Me: "Uhhh a book, probably" that's about as far as it has gotten.)
29- Pretend you’re a critic and give a fair but concise criticism of your project so farWhen it is in the makings, the critics would probably kill it with fire. I'm a terrible writer, which is why I hope I'm never, ever published. haha.
30- Post a chapter or so for everyone to read and review
You know the drill.

NaNoWriMo, Writings, and Bookish Musings (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of my delayed update post! In this one, I'm going to be talking about my NaNoWriMo plans, general excitement, and so forth. Yay!
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who don't know. The goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days-- specifically, the month of November. November is only 13 days away, which means, that NaNoWriMo is looming ever closer.

Last year, I won NaNo with 92k, and for my second year, I want to beat that count and write 100k in the month of November. 3,334 words per day. Let's hope I can make that goal!

Now, the question is: What am I writing? I've actually put some planning into it. It's a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, but with less dancing, and more Sleeping Beauty. I've got all my character summaries in one notebook, and so far, 7 of the 12 sisters have bios done... I promised myself I would get them all done by the 20th. I better get working on that...

Also, I will probably not post on here during NaNo due to my daily updates on My NaNo Diary where I will be uploading my word count daily, along with writing out my tales of woe for all of you to read.

So yes. Hopefully you will learn more about my project soon-ish. I'm sure as November gets closer, my babble will increase.

NaNoWriMo, Writing, and Bookish Musings (Part 1)

Hey guys! I realized due to how busy October has been for me, that I hadn't actually updated this blog for awhile, and I wanted to get back in the swing of things! Today's post will come in two parts, because a lot has happened in the past  month in my little bookish bubble!

First, my Bookish updates. I finished reading The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima, and while it didn't live up to my (admittedly sky high) expectations, it was still a good book. The final book in the Heir Chronicles is coming out on the 21st, so keep your eye out for that!

Currently, I'm reading the second book in that series, The Wizard Heir. The main character in this one is Seph, who I think I like better than I liked Jack. The plot is more interesting to me personally in this book as well and there's one mystery I can't wait until it's solved!

Other books I have finished include Hattie Big Sky and Spook. Hattie Big Sky was historical fiction, so not something I would normally read, but Kirby Larson, the author, did such a wonderful job on this book. The characters were so--so-- they were so good. Not good as in, I baked a pie and it turned out scrumptious. Not good as in 'that was a good book. maybe I'll read it again sometime.' They were good as in they had such kind hearts, such reasonable intentions, such life inside of them that it felt they were real. This is the best historical fiction novel I have ever read.

Spook by Mary Roach, was about the science behind the afterlife. It was for a school project, and if I am remembering right, I posted a review on it on my Goodreads page. I'm Waffle Writer on Goodreads, and I post a lot of reviews on that site. I gave it 5 or 4.5 stars at the time I finished reading it I think. It had lots of humor and hilarity that made me keep turning the pages, but it also had research that the author put into it, and I could tell this was not an easy novel to write. I was also impressed by how unbiased her writing was. She wasn't trying to convince us, or herself really, just was curious about why or why not.

And, last but not least, the other book on my "Currently Reading" stack is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I've heard not-so-great things about the author, so I didn't want to read this book, but my English class requires me to, if I want to pass, so alas, I shall have to get over it.

Stay tuned for ramblings about NaNoWriMo, musings about my Novel Work in Progress, and more!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy Hobbit Day!

Image does not belong to me.
Happy Birthday to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins!
I had to interrupt my usual blogging to make a Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins appreciation post. Both of them have their birthdays on September 22nd, and guess what? That's today! I hope everyone celebrated with a hearty second breakfast.
Bilbo Baggins is probably my favorite book character ever, for a lot of reasons. One, his exchanges with Gandalf and everyone else in the Hobbit are really hilarious to read. He just gets so flustered so easily and starts tripping over his words and it reminds me a lot of myself, when I get flustered so I suppose I can connect to him in that way as well.
Secondly, do you know how much Tookish courage it must have taken him in order to go on the quest with Thorin and Company? A lot. A whole Smaughoard worth. He's a hobbit, and hobbits are fairly respectable, especially Bagginses, and they don't just go off on random Dragon-slaying, thieving adventures. All Bilbo wanted was to stay comfortably at home. But then his Tookish side awakened. And thank Goodness it did.
He changes so much over the course of the book, and I remember even when I was young I loved listening to my Dad read about his journey. Even though Bilbo doubts himself in the start, he continues to persevere. The company would not have succeeded without him.

There are so many more reasons why Bilbo Baggins is my favorite book character, but those are just a few. He proves that no matter your age, your reluctance, your self-esteem, all of us have a Tookish spark in us. And if you are unhappy with your current state, then you can always, always do something a little unexpected.
Happy Hobbit Day, everyone.

Monday Musings (3)

Hosted by Should Be Reading every Monday! Haven't done one of these in awhile, but since I haven't done one, I wanted to! Here is the description she has to share:

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Today, I'm going to talk about what books I am currently/about to start reading! Lucky me, I get to do book reports in two classes! My favorite type of homework. For History Class, I have to read a novel set in a historic time period of the twentieth century, and I chose 1918. The book I'm going to start reading is Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson.
It's about a sixteen year old girl named Hattie who moves out to Iowa to claim her Uncle's land after he passes away, all by herself. Why did I choose this one? I really love independent women/young women protagonists from this time period. Her adventure sounds like a very entertaining one to read.

Secondly, I have a book report for English due, and it's to read and do this whole big assignment on a Non Fiction book. For this one I chose Spook by Mary Roach. It's about Science investigating the afterlife, and to be honest from what I have read it's a lot different than I had expected. It's actually pretty witty and humorous in some parts. My favorite quote so far is after she apologizes to the person she was working with. He says: "It's okay, you only lost your mind twice."

And the last book I am reading right now is The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima. This is just a free time reading book. I wanted to read this one because Chima has been a favorite author of mine ever since I read her Seven Realms Series in May or June, I believe. A very skilled author. Thus far her Heir Chronicles isn't quite as good in my opinion as the Seven Realms but I am still liking it.

[[On a non-bookish note, Once Upon A Time returns this Sunday! Who else is excited?]]

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

This review is posted on my goodreads account here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1054856378
I wanted to post it on this blog too, because I'm proud of it haha. Plus, I'm trying out a new, less formatted style of review for this book.
Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
Siege and Storm is the second book in the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I finished it on September 18th, 2014.
My rating is 4.25 because of reasons.
This first reason is because this book was so much better than the first book in the series. There were still a few points in the middle where personally I got through rather slowly, but that's more of a personal problem than a problem with the book.
This took me eleven days to get through, probably difficult with school just starting up. Lots of homework, less time for reading, but it still wasn't quite at the level of hooking where I was putting my reading above everything else.
I did like the characters though, both Mal and Alina were very well thought out, and showed a lot of character growth throughout this book. It was interesting to see how Alina has changed from the beginning of the first book, where she denied having powers and despised being unique, to the end of the second book where she says she would never give up her Grisha abilities. It shows that the events of the trilogy thus far truly have changed her.
The setting was very in depth, I felt like it could have had a bit something more, for example a bit more explanation about who the Fjerdians are, and why they have such a rivalry, and so on but overall it was satisfying.
The plot was steady, I felt like it maintained a steady pace throughout, there were some exciting parts and others that weren't quite as exciting, but it was all quality matireal.
It left me wondering at the end of the book: where's Nikolai? What happened to him? And what ended up happening with Baghra, where is she? Why did Genya change in appearance so much? Why did Alina? And most of all, how will this all end?
I guess I'll just have to pick up the last book to find out!

Thanks for reading. Do you think I should post my Shadow and Bone review on my blog as well, or leave it on my Goodreads? You can find more of my reviews on my Goodreads account, here.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 Wrap-Up

Here it is! My final Bout of Books 11.0 Update, and this time it is the long overdue wrap-up post...

First off, thank you so much for the hosts of this read-a-thon, and the individual challenge hosts for each day. I loved how encouraging everyone was and the challenges were so creative and fun to do! Also, to anyone who commented on my blog during the read-a-thon, thank you! It really encouraged me to read even more.

Now, before this turns into a full on speech, I should get to my progress for the week! I read three and a half books in seven days!

  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta-- This book was a solid five star book for me, which was really something as I was venturing out of my genre with this book. Jellicoe Road was a real emotional rollercoaster and it had me sobbing, laughing, and gasping out loud at the sheer cleverness of this book.
  • Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards-- While this book was still enjoyable and I finished it in one day, it wasn't quite as good as Jellicoe Road in my opinion. The characters weren't quite as powerful as Marchetta's were, and I just didn't find myself invested into the writing style. However the plot had me hooked!
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld-- Four stars from me, because while I really liked it, it just took awhile for me to get really into the book. I have loved the steampunk genre ever since reading Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, and I've always wanted to read something by Mr. Westerfeld. The illustrations in this book were spectacular.
  • Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld-- Next, I continued on with the Leviathan Trilogy and read the second book, Behemoth. I thought there was quite a bit of character growth in this one and I found myself really able to connect with these fully-fleshed out people. While I didn't manage to finish this one during the Read-a-thon, I did get halfway through!
There we have it, the three and a half  books I read! I might post a review of The Leviathan Trilogy soon, so stay tuned. That's all I really have for this post! Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Sitting At My Lunch Table

Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is hosted by Broke and Bookish and this week the topic is Top Ten Characters who would sit at your lunch table. I thought it was a very fitting topic for today! (And just to set the record straight I never eat lunch with other people. I'm pretty anxious when it comes to socialization. But let's pretend I had people sitting at my table.)

  1. Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck from Lord of the Rings by J R. R. Tolkien and...
  2. Peregrin "Pippin" Took from Lord of the Rings because the two of them are such fun and energetic hobbits that would make lunch really entertaining. It wouldn't get boring with these two around.
  3. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by J K Rowling because we share the same interest in reading and she's super smart so maybe she could help me with studying during lunch sometime.
  4. Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones because she's a bit on the quieter side like I am and she's a really sweet person most of the time.
  5. Cather from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell because we both like to write, and we're both rather introverted.
  6. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit by J R. R. Tolkien since who can have too many Hobbits at their lunch table, am I right?
  7. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter by J K Rowling is a very likely choice for me as well, since she is kind-hearted and just a wee bit strange, like the rest of my friends. I think we would get along really well.
  8. Cat from The Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima because even though she's a little on the tougher side, I feel like she would be good at our table.
  9. Annabeth from Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan since she is also really smart, and I feel like she might fit in at our table.
  10. Agatha from School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani because she's a misfit just like me, and we could get along famously.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Wrap-Up

Oh, dear, I certainly haven't been keeping up on my Wrap-ups have I? First, I forget a June Wrap Up, and a July Wrap up, then I forget a Bout of Books Wrap up (Or rather, I don't know what to say in a Bout of Books Wrap up! That and being lazy of course.) But here we are, responsible me with an August Wrap up. I may have one more post later today, the Beautiful People Meme, or I may have a Summer Wrap Up to make up for the months of missed Wrap ups.

All ratings out of 5 stars as usual, and if I did a review for the book already, I shall link it with the mini-review. All mini-reviews are spoiler free.

This month I read 7 books.

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
    Rating: 4.5 stars

    Finished on August 10th I picked this book up because of the hype and excitement around it. Besides, High Fantasy is my favorite genre and I really wanted a new series to read my genre from. It was good, I'm not sure if it was spectacular like I had expected, but it might also have been how long it took me to read it. My full review is here. However, sometimes it takes a while for me to warm up to a series.
    Take the Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima for example. If you look at my May Wrap Up I wasn't a huge fan, but now that series is among my top 3 favorites.
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin SloaneRating: 4 Stars
    Finished on August 12thThis is another book I'd been hearing quite a lot about. And I ended up really enjoying it, I did. It was a fun fast paced read with enough mystery and geekiness to whip through and still enjoy. I read it while camping which was the perfect time to read it, in my opinion.
  • Ready Player One by Ernest ClineRating: 5 Stars
    Finished on August 17thI forgot to mark this one/review this one on Goodreads because I'm a stinky fish-head. But yeah, I remember just reading and reading this one because I could not put it down. I loved the action in it. Ernest Cline did a great job with plot and writing style. There were a few points that I felt didn't need to be included in the story, but overall I'd still say 5 stars.
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta Rating: 5 stars
    Finished on August 19thI read this one for the Bout of Books Read A Thon, so if you were following my updates you probably heard quite a bit about it. This book gave me all the feels, to say the least. It was an extremely powerful book that I personally believe deserves more attention. I loved it and if you like the sort of "darker" contemporary reads, this is a hearty recommendation from me.  
  • Six Months Later by Natalie D. RichardsRating: 3.5 Stars
    Finished on August 20thI've heard next to nothing about this book, but I read the first couple pages as well as the back of the book and decided to give it a try. It was a perfect Read a thon read, very quick and suspenseful. I finished it in one day and it was enjoyable enough, obviously I liked it if I read it in one day! ha ha.
  • Leviathan by Scott WesterfeldRating: 4 Stars
    Finished on August 23rdSo I'd heard good things about Scott Westerfeld and saw this full trilogy at the library, so how could I pass it up? This book had such wonderful picture accompinements to it, ones that fit the book perfectly. It was an alternate World War I, with clankers-- machines, and darwinists-- who used fabricated beasts. It was very good.
  • Behemoth by Scott WesterfeldRating: 4 Stars
    Finished on August 27thThis was the second book in the trilogy, and it was every bit as good as the first. Some questions were answered, but other questions popped up. It was a very good mid-point for the series.

    Currently Reading:
  • Goliath by Scott Westerfeld 405/543 pages read thus farAs you can certainly guess, this is indeed the third book of the trilogy. The final book is really good so far, it might be my favorite of the three based on what I've read. I'm going to read more of it today!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: TBR Books I Don't Own

Another Top Ten Tuesday brought to you by Broke and Bookish!  Today's topic is books you want to read but do not own. Which, alas is all my TBR pile so far. Anyway these are the ones at the top of my TBR at the moment so I decided to go with these.

Also, my Bout of Books Wrap Up should be up tomorrow, or the next day or the day after that depending on how lazy I feel. Maybe sometime next week. Or maybe never. Anyway...

I) The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima - Chima is one of my favorite authors currently and it's a shame I've only read one series by her! With the last book in the Heir Chronicles releasing this October, what better time to pick up the series?

2) A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin- I'm a Fantasy addict and it's just a shame that I haven't read arguably one of the most popular Fantasy series currently out. I want to read this soon.

3) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - Ah, yes, this is one that has had a lot of attention lately. Now me being me I must follow the crowd and read this one of course. Plus, it sounds like it might be supernatural or something? I literally know nothing about this other than the protagonist's name so it would be an interesting read!

4) Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas - Even though I could have gone either way with the first book, sometimes (especially in Fantasy) it takes a while for the series to get going, so I can't wait to give this one another shot.

5) Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan - Let's be honest here... who doesn't want to get their hands on this book? The release date is so close... and yet so far...

6) The One by Kiera Cass- I read the first two and they quickly became my guilty pleasure series... so I really want to read the third book.

7) Winter by Marissa Meyer- Another series finale I am anticipating... but it doesn't come out until next year! *howls to sky* Whyyyy?

8) Zodiac by Romina Russell- I saw this one in a lot of BEA hauls and it caught my eye. Even though it isn't out yet (this is really turning into a "Books I want to read even though they aren't out yet" post isn't it?) I am looking forward to it.

9) A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani - I love the first book in the middle grade series, in fact it was one of my favorites of the year, so I really want to get my hands on Book 2 next time I'm at the bookstore.

10) The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson- Surprise! Another Fantasy! And this book sounds really good so I want to give it a chance.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bout Of Books 11.0 Update (Day SEVEN)

Here we are, arrived at the very last day of Bout of Books 11.0-- and my very first Bout of Books, might I add! So far I have read 3 books, and with my reading today, I hit my goal of 1,200 pages to read. I was so happy. I will put up a wrap up post tomorrow.

Total Pages Read: 1,402
Pages Read Today: 220
Total Books Read: 3
Currently ReadingBehemoth by Scott Westerfeld

There was one last challenge today, which I decided to participate it, meaning I participated in all but one of the challenges. Yay! This one was hosted by Falling Down The Book Hole. I loved this challenge, it was so much fun and a perfect way to wrap up the week. The idea is this-- you choose 5 books to bring with you if the world was ending. Mine are as follows...

+ The Crimson Crown, by Cinda Williams Chima: If you've read my blog even a little bit, you probably know that The Seven Realms series is one of-- if not my very-- favorite books series. And the last book is my favorite, it kept me totally engaged in the world, instead of the real world. It would provide a lovely escape.

+ The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Because this certainly has some survival tips in there that I could use in this end of the world mess.

+ A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin: Mostly because this is a really thick book that a) I haven't read yet b) is something I want to read c) is right up my alley and d) by the time I finished this one, I probably would have forgotten everything that happened in all the other books

+ Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: This would be something to remind me who I am when I seem like I'm about to disappear, and also it would be something light, cute, fluffy, and entertaining that would cheer me up after these other reading choices and the real world

+ The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien: Because it's about a hobbit who is unwilling to go on any adventures, but is forced into one anyway. Rather like how I would feel when the end of world would come.

So those are my picks! Do you agree? Disagree? Why or why not? As you can tell I'm a really big fan of those giant fantasy books... whoops.

So I shall see you tomorrow with my wrap up post! Until then, keep reading!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bout Of Books 11.0 Update (Day SIX)

Oh no! Bout of Books is coming to an end! I'd like to think I have read quite a bit today, even if I really procrastinated on writing this blog post. I guess I'm just despairing that tomorrow is the last day of the Read a thon. Also Doctor Who returned today can I get a whoop whoop

Total Pages Read: 1,182
Pages Read Today: 209
Total Books Read: 3
Currently Reading: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Other Comments: So you know what I said yesterday about getting so distracted while reading this book? Well, yesterday was an off day for me all around and today I got back in the reading mood... and I got super into this book! It captivated me! I'm glad I checked the next book out from the library because I finished this one today and am ready for the next title.
There was only one challenge today which was hosted by  Kimberly Faye Reads with the Spell it Out challenge. Pretty much, it's like the title implies-- you spell out your name, initals, anything with book titles.

I decided to go with my name-- Emma.

E-- Emma, by Jane Austen
M-- My Neighbor Totoro by Tsugiko Kubo based on Miyazaki's movie
M-- Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
A-- Amazonia by James Rollins

I couldn't take a picture because I don't actually own a physical copy of "Emma" by Jane Austen-- it's on my kindle, but alas, this will do, won't it?

I hope everyone has a great day or two of reading!
See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bout Of Books 11.0 Update (Day FIVE)

Day five of the Bout of Books read a thon is officially here and we are nearing the end. I hope to finish my book that I am reading before then, but we'll see! At the same time I'm trying to savor my book because it's one of those that is perfect for a rainy day. It also reminds me quite a bit of another one of my favorite books, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel.

Total Pages Read: 973
Pages Read Today: 125
Total Books Read: 2
Currently Reading: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Other Comments: So close to that 1,000 page mark! I'm liking this book so far, but I just find myself getting distracted while reading it.
There were two challenges again today! Hurrah!  The first one was to Recreate a Cover, hosted by Spines and Covers. Now, keep in mind when you look at the cover that all I have is a terrible quality backwards webcam. And ok, maybe it's also that I'm a bad artist. Haha.  
I took great pleasure in ripping this drawing to shreds, I assure you.
I present...
1/4 of Airborn by Kenneth Oppel cover!
Sorry about the glare and the bad drawing and bad handwriting and backwards cover and the small size and the funky arms and faces. I drew this in about two minutes because I wanted to do the challenge but at the same time drawing stuff really frustrates me. So that was the end product.
...Anyway, ranting aside, there was also a second challenge hosted by Christian Bookshelf Reviews and it was the Book Chain Challenge. The Challenge was to connect the books by last/first word. Words like "The" "A" or "An" did not count for this challenge. The books I chose for this challenge were...

"The Gray Wolf Throne" by Cinda Williams Chima*
"Throne of Glass" by Sarah J. Maas*
"The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls
"Castle in the Air" by Diana Wynne Jones **
* = book I have read in the past 12 months
** = on my TBR
....and that is where I hit a dead end. Oh well?
So, I might fix one of these challenges later, but I guess we shall see about that. Anyway, see you soon with an update on my progress tomorrow!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bout Of Books 11.0 Update (Day FOUR)


In case you didn't gather from the title, today is day four of the bout of books read a thon. We're halfway there! (exactly for me actually, as it is 12:00 on the dot.) I am also more than halfway to my goal of 1,200 pages that I set out for myself.

Since I finished my book yesterday, I started a new one. I am not far into it (only 10 pages) but I really like the illustrations and writing of the book. It's also my first Scott Westerfeld novel I believe.

Total Pages Read: 848
Pages Read Today: 106
Total Books Read: 2
Currently Reading: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Other Comments: So I got this whole trilogy and I am planning on marathonning all three books in a row. I am really looking forward to it as the first book seems very promising from what I have read so far. Also, the illustrations are stunning! I know I mentioned that right above, but the detail put into them amazes me. I cannot wait to read more of this book.

The challenge today was "If you like ___, try ____ because ____" which was hosted by Writing My Own Fairytale so here we go!

If you like...

Once Upon a Time
Bad quality images taken off of Google...ONCE UPON A TIME
Then try...
read the sisters grimm with my mom and my brother it was about these ...
A slightly better quality image taken off of Google!


Who doesn't love a slightly better quality image, am I right?
Both the TV series and the Books feature fairy tale creatures living in the real world. Sure, the books are middle grade but they are really quick to get through and have a high entertainment factor. Plus both of them are so addicting that you can binge read or binge watch both of them without noticing how much time has gone by.
Trust me, I know this from experience.

Okay, that was actually so much fun that I might do another one. But maybe later because right now I have some reading to do!
Until tomorrow, happy reading!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 Update (Day THREE)

Whoo! Who else is excited about Day Three of the Bout Of Books Read a thon? I know I am. I managed a trip to the library today and I've got four more books ready to read. I know I'm not going to finish all of them during the Read a thon but I am excited to read them anyway.

Total Pages Read: 742
Pages Read Today: 323
Total Books Read: 2
Currently Reading: Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards
Other Comments: Wow, was this book a whirlwind of a ride! I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as Jellicoe Road... it didn't get me invested and it was lighter than Jellicoe Road, but it was still really good. It was very mysterious, and kept me hooked and turning pages until the very end. Obviously I enjoyed it a lot, since I flew through it in only one day! The author's fast paced writing style also helped with that though, methinks.

There was only one challenge today. It was hosted by Book Reviews From A Christian Gal The challenge was to create a sentence using the first two words of books. Since I've only read one book so far it has the first two words from that book as well as a few other favorites.
My father, Han Alister, was there after a wind howled.
Books, in order
"Jellicoe Road" by Melina Marchetta
"The Demon King" by Cinda Williams Chima
"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell
"Throne of Glass" by Sarah J. Maas
"Eragon" by Christopher Paolini
The first two words of Fangirl were switched up because it has been clarified that that is allowed! Phew!
Happy reading!

See you with another update tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bout Of Books 11.0 Update (Day TWO)

It's the second day of Bout of Books #11 and I am finally making some progress. I am almost 200 pages into the book as of 12:32pm, and I plan on reading even more today. My stats at the end of today will go right here....

Total Pages Read: 419
Pages Read Today: 264
Total Books Read: 1
Currently Reading: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Other Comments: So, I ended up finishing Jellicoe Road. I wasn't able to get to the library today but I am planning on making a trip the third day of Bout Of Books! Let me tell you, Jellicoe Road took me on quite a ride, and I would highly recommend it. To anyone really. This style of book isn't really my genre but I still loved it!

There were another two challenges today I am not sure whether I will do both of them but I will try! The first one is OTP challenge hosted by Infinite Ink. Participants are supposed to relay their feels down below.

I'm not going to say whether my OTP is canon or not so you'll have to read the books and find out for yourselves. Haha.

My One True Pairing is from the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. And they are Dancer and Cat. Because come on people, those two are absolutely perfect for each other! I love how they stick true to the "opposites attract" rule-- the two of them have very different personalities, but when they combine together it's just too cute.

Also, there are just some points in the series where it makes me want to follow the point of view of one of them to see their true feelings for one another. Dancer is the only one secretive Cat ever opens up to, and I find that really sweet.

That was my lame fangirl rant, because I didn't want to spoil anything for anyone who has not read that series! (If you like High/Epic Fantasywith adventure action and romantic elements I would recommend this series 100%) The other challenge for today was the Book Spine Poetry Challenge hosted by My Little Pocketbooks.

The goal for this challenge is to make poetry (it doesn't have to rhyme) out of book titles. For every title you use, you get one free word. My poetry is like so...

My poem is standing on the mug I got from the National Art Gallery, in case you were
dying to know.
The Sorceress reveals the
Secret Of The Sirens
over Distant Waves
during The Pearl Wars.
Book Titles Used;
1. "The Sorceress" by Michael Scott
2. "Secret Of The Sirens" by Julia Golding
3. "Distant Waves" by Suzanne Weyn
4. "The Pearl Wars" by Nick James
I know, I know, I should be a professional poet. Not. Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys their books today. Have a great week.
Until next time!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bout Of Books 11.0 Update (Day ONE)

And... it's officially Day One of the Bout Of Books Read a Thon. Who else is super excited that this has begun? I'm going to make one post for each day updating my progress. As of 1pm I actually haven't started reading anything yet... but don't worry, there's still time!

Total Pages Read: 155
Pages Read Today: 155
Total Books Read: 0
Currently Reading: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Other Comments: So I ended up making the dive into this book a little after 2pm. I got really into it, and the dark aspects of the book intrigue me as well as the mystery clouding the pages. I find myself flipping pages as quickly as I can! What a fast-paced and interesting book.

There were also two challenges for today. I did my best to complete both of them. The first challenge was hosted by The Book Monsters and it was Book Scavenger Hunt. The hunt as filled out by me is down below...

1. A Book that begins with “B”  (for Bout of Books!)
2. A book that has been made into a movie/tv show
3. A series you love
4. An anthology of poems or short stories
5. A book on your TBR shelf, or your full TBR shelves
And I found...
1. For "B" title, I found "Belly Up" by Stuart Gibbs
2. For a Book made into a Movie, I found "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini"
3. For a series I love, I found the first book in "The Seven Realms" series by Cinda Williams Chima
4. For an anthology of short novels, I found "The Works Of Stevenson" by Robert Louis Stevenson (obviously, I would hope)
5. For a Book on my TBR shelf, I found "The Diviners" by Libba Bray
And, for the second challenge, it is hosted by LuloFanGirl and it is to make a playlist centering around one of the books you plan to read, with at least five songs. I'm planning on doing this one later today, as I don't have my books planned out, and I haven't quite started reading yet!
Until tomorrow!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: Throne Of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Title: Throne Of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Series: Book #1 in the Throne Of Glass series
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 404
I went into this book with high expectations.
Finally, I found it at the library and was so excited I decided to
check it out then and there. So, here's my review on what my
thoughts were after finishing this book!
I'll admit something I'm a bit afraid of admitting: For the first 
100 pages of this book or so, the protagonist Celaena,
annoyed me. Maybe it was my high expectations for her
character that made me findher annoying, but she just came off as that
way to me personally because of the way she sort of strutted around like she owned the place, and felt like she was better than anyone else.
Soon though, I realized it was because she was.
After I adjusted to the initial sort of shock, her character really grew on me and by the end of the book, she was one of my favorite characters.
And, despite common disagreement, I actually enjoyed the love triangle between her, Dorian, and Chaol. I felt like each of the characters had their own backing and none of it was insta-love in the least, which was a nice change from a lot of other books I have read.
I'm Team Chaol.
The setting of this book was Erilea, a fantasy land where magic has been banned and kings and queens rule the kingdoms. I found the magic banishment of Erilea intriguing, and it was clear that this land had been thought out. There was enough to this world that readers were introduced to, that made it unique from other fantasy worlds, but at the same time it wasn't unbelievable.
This was the thing that initially drew me in to reading the book. An assassin is taken from the mines of Endovier to compete in a competition and complete tasks in order to become the King's personal assassin. How cool is that? It's very cool, let me tell you.
And while I was hoping for maybe a bit more look into the tasks, and a bit more information and detail about them, the book had a different story to tell. And that was okay, it was great, because I immensely enjoyed the story it did tell!
Writing Style
As you can tell from above, I enjoyed every aspect of this book. It was fast paced, but not too fast paced, it had an awesome heroine, and it had a unique world it all took place in. But the thing that bound all those together for me was the writing style of the author.
Let me tell you, once I picked this book up, it hooked me. I could not put in down, not if I was brushing my teeth, not if I was doing the dishes... nothing! Okay, so maybe while I was doing the dishes (don't want to damage a library book after all ;) ) but not for much else.
I loved this book. There a few issues for me at the beginning, but one of my friends asked me while I was out "Hey, what's that book you're reading? You seem really into it." I held up Throne Of Glass, and let her read the summary and first couple pages. She then warned me to keep it close, or else she might steal it!
So, needless to say, this was amazing. It might be one of my favorite series starters at the moment, and I feel like if I had read the prequels before hand I might have felt the connection with Celaena at the start rather than the middle.
This book get 4.5 out of 5 stars!