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Monday, August 1, 2016

My August 2016 TBR





Hello Lovelies,

I am trying something new for the month of August and I am making a TBR for the month of August, and I am going try my hardest to stick to it. I generally really don't like to make specific TBR lists for myself each month, however, I have been finding that I have been wasting a lot of time choosing what to read next, as opposed to simply reading. So, let's try this and see how goes.

Wish me luck. 


The Books 


  •  The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey - My book club book
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Which is a bit of a cheat, as I just finished this one today.
  • The Winner's Curse- I am dying to finish this series and I borrowed it from the library and it's due back on the 15th, so I need to get er' done. 
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince- I have been listening to the series on Audio and have been getting them from the library. But, now I am eager to get the series finished, so I will either just read the physical book or buy the audio. 

August Release

  • The Beauty of Darkness- hits stores tomorrow (Aug 2nd), and I am eager eager to get my hands on this one.  I am pretty big fan of this series and with the way The Heart of Betrayal ended....




Current Audiobook
  • The Raven King- I started listening to this one yesterday, and am about two hours into it. It's very strange- but I really want to get this series finished. 









But First

Voyager- I need to finish this one. I have been reading this book for week,. it is a beast at 870 pages. I have about 190 pages left to go and, which I must finish by the 3rd, because the book is due back at the library. It's good, I am enjoying it, it's just to bloody long. 









So, there you have it. My August TBR and what I am currently reading at the moment. I hope you enjoyed that. I hope you all have an amazing month and I will speak to you soon.

~Happy Reading Everyone!



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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Best of 2016- So Far







Well friends, I disappeared again. But, just because I have been gone from the blog- doesn't mean I have forgotten it, nor does it mean I have not been reading. I just have been consumed with all things life and being a grown up (so over-rated if you ask me). But, here we are, officially six+ months into 2016 and I have read/listened to 51 books this year, and I have a few favourites I want to share with the my friends on the interwebs.

Counting down from:

5) The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint- Exupery


Can you believe I haven't read this book until now? I can't. I read this pretty early on in the year and I was completely amazed at the story and the message it was trying to share. It was beautifully written, and such a delight to read. If you have not read this book, you absolutely must, it's incredible and it's not very long at all.


4) Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson


I read this one the beach- while on vacation in February, and I loved it. What a perfect summer/vacation read. What I really loved about this book, was the friendship- I love a good friendship and that is what this book is all about. I also loved the min-adventure the new friends embark on together. This was just a really fun book to read.


3) Big Little Lies by Liana Moriarty


I have read a number of Moriarty's novels, and she is quickly becoming one of my favourites. Her stories are funny but still have depth and a little suspense. She has a really great talent at making the mundane interesting (if that makes sense). Again, what made me love this novel, was the budding friendships between the three main women, and how fiercely loyal they were to one another. There were so many levels to this book. I am very excited for her newest release Truly, Madly, Guilty- out later this month.


2) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin


This book tore me apart. I honestly have no words. While I am not the one who struggles with mental illness, I have someone close to me who does (a couple of someones actually) and I can honestly say, the behaviour one specific character displayed in the novel was a very authentic portrayal of someone who suffers from bi-polar disorder and mania. This book needed to written and it needs to be read. 


1) The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry


This book TOTALLY surprised me. This book was so creative and neat. It was beautifully written. I loved the parallel universes and the small element of time travel. I also loved the discussion on culture and faith and family. The characters were great and so well developed. I really did love this one. It was just--- SO good.

***

So there you have it. My top five of the year so far. What have been some of your favourites? I want to know, I am always looking for my next great read and have been feeling the urge to expand my horizons so share that love.



~Happy Reading!

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Curse of the Unfinished Series

Hi, my name is Sara and I have over 50 unfinished trilogies/sagas/series under my belt.




As most of you know, and have realizing for years, trilogies/sagas (we're just going to call them series from here on out), have been a major trend in most YA fiction. Specifically in the fantasy, sci fi, dystopian/post-apocalyptic genres. Very rarely are we seeing stand alone novels outside of most contemporary stories. In saying this, I was curious about how many unfinished/half finished series I had hanging around. A couple of weeks ago I took the time to do an inventory of all the series I had started. As I was doing this, I got a little overwhelmed and I began to create categories: Series I've completed; Series I've read one book from; Series I've two or more books from; Series I just need finish (the final book has been published, I just need to read it); Series I am totally caught up on (just waiting for the other books to be published).

I was a  little blown away by what I discovered- I have only finished thirteen series (which is kind of pathetic to me), and a few of those are adult romance/paranormal sagas I started and finished before I started this blogging adventure. Thirteen!!! That's it?!?! Terrible.



 The thing is- I have over 40 'book ones' in my repertoire. That's 40 series I read the first book in, but for some reason I chose not to continue for one reason or another. So, I have made the decision- and I am committed to this decision- not to start any more trilogies/sagas/series until I complete two other first. If I complete two, I can start a new one. Which should be good incentive, because there are some pretty fun books coming out that I am eager to read. And I have some firsts on my various shelves that I am eager to get to.

I have 12 series where I only have the last book to read- those are no-brainers. I am going to finish those. Perhaps, in the future, if I am struggling with actually reading these books, I'll get your input on those. But first...What I need your help with is choosing which series I absolutely should keep reading.


Below is a poll of four series in which I have read the first book- and while I enjoyed the first book (for the most part), I wasn't totally taken with the story, and didn't feel like I needed to rush and keep up with the series. I want you guys to vote on which series I absolutely need to keep reading. It's an easy click- and if you feel so inclined to add a comment on what you voted for and why, I'd love that- I want to know what your favourite series is and why.


You gotta keep reading...

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Jessica Darling by Megan McCafferty
Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Do Quizzes

My goal is to have one of these series completed my the beginning of June- it's ambitious, but I am going to try. Make sure to vote, friends. I'll be using the blog to continue this discussion on all my unread series- Stay Tuned.

~Happy Reading Everyone.

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Winning Kiss: The Winner's Kiss Blog Tour



I am beyond ecstatic to be a part of The Winning Kiss blog tour, to celebrate the conclusion of Marie Rutoski's The Winner's Curse trilogy, The Winner's Kiss. I am a big fan of this series, and have been anticipating The Winner's Kiss all year.  You can read my thoughts on the first installment of this series here.




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?


**Le sigh** I haven't read The Winner's Kiss yet, but you better believe I will before to much longer.


My Favourite Literary Kiss

I cannot be the only one who struggled with this. My favourite kiss? Seriously? Have you met me? I am a romance junkie and I love all the kissing! So I struggled, and I waffled. However, in the end I figured it out. 


Ana and Sam
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Ana and Sam has been floating around this kiss for the book's entirety. Sam's will power was a force to be reckoned with. But finally... 

Let me set up this scene for you. Sam and Ana are at a Masquerade. They're both wearing these pretty intricate masques and Ana's having a hard time figuring out who Sam is... and then, there he is (she thinks), dancing with her. 

"His fingers brushed my cheek, down my neck. The entire masquerade stretched out before me, but my focus tunneled to the man behind me. Hands eased around my hips and held tight as we spun; my feet lifted off the ground, but even when I thought the wings might carry me into the breeze, he held me tight."

Swoon, right? 

"A cold breeze made me shiver as I tightened my grip on his. Stepped close. Searched his eyes. 
His lips tilted up at one corner, like amusement. I'd known, but still, the familiar expression stunned me so much I almost didn't act. 

I kissed him." 

Finally!!!

"It wasn't an easy, sweet kiss like I'd imagined mt first kiss would be, but frustrated and hungry. That was good, better than easy and sweet, because after everything, I was frustrated and hungry for him, too."

Oh, this scene, just gives me all the feels: 



So, now that The Winner's Kiss is upon us...

What kiss do you hope will occur?


I am hoping for the bottle to burst with Arin and Kestrel. Those two have been denying their feelings for far to long now. It's gonna to be reminiscent of Ana and Sam's kiss. They're not going to be able to help themselves. I just can't wait.

The Winner's Kiss
by Marie Rutkoski
On Sale March 29th, 2016 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

February Recap





It's March 1st and time for me to reflect on the past month.

February was full of good and bad. I have a pretty high stress job, which has been VERY high stress and a little overwhelming for me since about October. So, at the beginning of the month a friend and I went to Tulum in Mexico- The Mayan Riviera- and it was absolutely amazing!  This was my very first tropical vacation, and I absolutely loved it.


It was so relaxing. We had two full beach days- where we sat on the beach, read and jumped in the ocean when we got hot. I freaking love the ocean! It's so clear and blue and I swam (well snorkeled) with Dori fish and sea turtles and I saw eagle and manta rays. It was lovely. We were there for seven days and I was able to start and finish two books (it probably could have been more, but the first book I wasn't a huge fan of, so it took me some times to finish). 

After that, I came back to madness at work, got sick and am now trying to play catch up- again. 

Anywho, onto the bookish recap




Number of books completed

9 

Physical books

5

Audiobooks

  4


Favourite Read of the Month


Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

This was my vacation and read and it was absolutely perfect for the beach! It was a light fun book, and I loved the characters so much. If you haven't read this- get on it! 


Favourite Listen of the Month


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

I am slowly rereading the Harry Potter series by listening to it. My local library has them all on audio and the narrator, Jim Dale, is absolutely genius. He's really making the series fun. Now I am eagerly waiting for Goblet of Fire to be available, but I have five people ahead of me- BOOOO!!


How am I doing on my bookish resolutions: 

Okay- I read The Little Prince as part of my List of Twelve goal. And I am currently reading a debut, which I thought I would have finished by yesterday, but work has been insane and I come home exhausted. So, I'm not reading at much. My goal for March is to get at least two debuts read. It's really important to me that I get that done. 

That's about it for me. Bring on March, and hopefully things on my end will slow down and I can get some serious reading in. I would like to have physically read six books (break this cycle of five), and go from there. 
~Happy Reading Everyone! 


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Monday, February 22, 2016

My Thoughts: Ready Player One By Ernest Cline


In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.




I have been dying to read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline for ages now! Some of my go-to reader peeps highly recommend this book and I have not really heard anything bad about it. So, in order to convince myself to read it, I added it to my List of Twelve and read it back in January- Finally! Here's the kicker- I am probably in the minority when I tell you, I didn't love this book.  That's not to say I didn't like it, I just wasn't blown away by it.

Ready Player One takes place in the future- a future where the world's resources are limited and poverty is everywhere. People have resorted to interacting with one another through the OASIS, a sort of virtual reality- it's actually pretty cool. When the founder of this system dies, he plants an Easter Egg in the game and who ever finds it wins his fortune (which is a crazy amount). Naturally, everyone and anyone has been trying to find this egg, including our protagonist, Wade.

Ready Player One is a fun story. Really- the idea of an quest and an Easter egg was so intriguing. I really enjoyed the challenges and would get totally stressed out when Wade was in the middle of one, or when he was trying to decipher a clue. I was really rooting for him. I loved how obsessed participants of the Oasis were in finding this egg and winning this fortune, that they became scholars of 80's pop culture. It was pretty intense- albeit a little unrealistic- but it was fun none the less.

I also really like the friendships Wade was able to make with some of  the other folks who were also hunting. Everyone was very apprehensive of one another and extremely distrustful, so when actual friendships were developed- it was pretty great. There were also some pretty nasty villains who do some pretty terrible things.

But, after all that, why wasn't this book as magical for me as it was for others. Here's the thing- Ready Player One pays homage to the 80's. And yes, I appreciated all the 80's references, but in all honesty, more than half of them were lost on me. I am a child of the 90's and give me anything from that era and we're golden, but the 80's that's a little tougher for me. Therefore, in that sense, I just could not connect with the story. All the references to movies and television shows were not that exciting to me. I wanted to be excited though, cause it's a pretty awesome idea! I want a book like this for my decade.

There were also times that I felt like the story was taking to long to go anywhere- Wade does something about three quarters in that I am not 100% certain was totally necessary for the overall movement of the plot. I found there was a lot of stagnant space, where I was on edge and waiting for something to happen or be revealed and nothing did or it was really slow coming. Now, this maybe just a style of story telling I am not used to, and therefore don't fully appreciate.

Overall, Ready Player One is such and unique and entertaining read that I would recommend this to everyone. I loved the gaming world (and no, you don't need to be a gamer to enjoy this book), I loved the adventure and I loved the quests. I am indeed curious about Cline's other work, Armada. I am pretty sure I will read it some day- soon.

Happy Reading Everyone!

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Monday, February 8, 2016

January Recap




Let's try this.

I know it's like almost the middle of the month. But whatever- let's get to it.


Number of books completed

10 

Physical books

5

Audiobooks

  5


 
 
Favourite Read of the Month



Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 How is it possible that I have never read this book before- It was fantastic. So clever and fun, and I got all the feels reading it. 


Favourite Listen of the Month



The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

After my experience with I'll Give You the Sun last year- I knew I needed more Nelson in my life. This one is narrated by Julia Whelan and I really liked what she did with the story.


How am I doing on my bookish resolutions? 
Not to bad- I wasn't able to get to a debut, but I did read TWO books from my List of Twelve.  So, I don't think I am doing to badly. 

That about sums up the month of January for me. 

~Happy Reading Everyone!

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"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl