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Monday, January 25, 2016

My Thoughts: Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King

Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities--but not for Glory, who has no plan for what's next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she's never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way...until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person's infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions--and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying: A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women's rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she'll do anything to make sure this one doesn't come to pass.

So- let's talk about Glory O'Brien's History of the Future and my feelings on it. What a STRANGE little book. I started reading this when I spent a cold winter day at the cabin. I thought, I'll spend the 2+ hours driving there reading, read while at the cabin and finish it on my home- no. This book took me ages to sink into. I think it's  because this book was so weird, and I needed time to figure out where the author was going. I never did, I just gave up and went with it.

Essentially, Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, tells the story of Glory O'Brien and her buddy-Ellie- drinking the remains of a dried bat (ya see- strange). Which, totally does something to them, and they start to see things. In Glory's case, she's getting snippets of the future- and to be honest- it's pretty bleak looking. Full of civil war and human trafficking and all kinds of ugliness. Naturally, this causes Glory to panic a little... and go a little cuckoo.

What bothered me about this book was Glory- she was major Debbie Downer. I like to think of myself as a fairly optimistic individual, I don't tend to think the worst of people or situations, and I usually like people. This wasn't the case for Glory, and I really struggled with that. She was kind of a jerk. Some would say she has good reason to be so miserable- she's still confused about her mother's death and angry at the world because of it, add now that she's now seeing the end of the world- I guess that would weigh on a person. But I couldn't connect with her. I found that she used her situation and her mother's death to keep people at arm's length. When people got to close she would antagonize and insult them, which I just found mean. However, she wasn't all bad (sigh)...What really saved Glory for me was how she cared for her dad- she wanted him to be happy and to live a happy life. She didn't want him to be stuck loving her long dead mother and never living again. This was really important to her and it really revealed her heart. You would get at these little nuggets of a kind and loving Glory through out the novel and truly, that's what kept me going. She does evolve and comes into herself- like I said, she's not all bad. But, I didn't really like her.

What I did like was the secondary characters, I liked Ellie a lot. She was this little hippie girl, who was torn between loyalty to her family and the life she was raised in, and wanting to break free and live her own life. She was self-involved, but she tried. I think she was my favourite. I liked Glory's dad and how strange he was.

The story was interesting. The concept of a second American Civil War and what it stems from was super intriguing. I often found myself thinking, 'this could never happen... could it?' Kudos to A.S. King for that. I don't want to spoil to much here. But I looked forward to these parts of the book, where we would get snap shots of the future.

Overall, I am torn. I couldn't love this novel because I really didn't like Glory and her attitude. But at the same time, the concept and the way it was told was really cool. So, I don't know, I really don't know. Try it for yourself.

~Happy Reading Everyone,

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Monday, January 18, 2016

The List of Twelve

Hello Friends,

 I have mentioned in the past, I don't do well with strict TBR lists. I am to much of a mood reader for that. I like reading what I want when I want. So being constricted to a set of books per month kind of sucked for. This would often result in me reading less. However, I REALLY love lists- more, I love completing a task and and crossing that task off. There is nothing more satisfying.

Moving on- as many of you know first hand- there are so many books and so little time. I could fill pages and pages in a notebook with all of the books that I would like/need to read. Whenever I am with friends who read (or worse fellow bloggers), I find myself often saying "Oh, I haven't read that" or "I have been meaning to read that" or "Not yet, but it's on my TBR," So many times, it's embarrassing.

SO- The List of Twelve- which I mentioned briefly in my 2016 Bookish Resolutions-  twelve books I want to read in 2016. This is a random selection of novels, some I have been saying to myself I have to read, some are classics that I ashamed to say I haven't read, others are books I am just curious about and want to experience. It's an odd assortment. And I am very excited to tackle it.

1) Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen 

2) Jane Eyre 
Charlotte Bronte

3) The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery 

4) The BFG 
Roald Dahl 

5) Ready Player One
Ernest Cline

6) An Abundance of Katherines 
John Green

7) The Shadow of the Wind 
Carlos Ruiz Zafon

8)The Five People You Meet in Heaven 
Mitch Alboom

9) The Archived 
Victoria Schwab 

10) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe 
Benjamin Alire Sanez 

11) To Kill a Mockingbird 
Harper Lee

12) Dracula 
Bram Stoker

Note- I am starting the year with Pride and Prejudice, but I am not reading these books in this particular order, I am going to read them when I feel like it- the goal is just to read at least one per month. I love the diversity of this list and I am excited about it. I can't wait to look back on it next January and see if I completed this mini challenge for myself. I'll be referring back to this post throughout the year to help me stay on track and to scratch off the books I have completed. 

~Happy Reading Everyone
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Best Read of 2015

Again, I know I am a little behind on this- but better late then never. I thought about not posting it, but I felt like I needed to round out 2015 and share with you my favourite five reads of the year. Yes, there are only five.

A few months ago I shared a similar list- my favourites so far- and reviewing it, there is some overlap (2 books), but I read some really fantastic books in the last quarter of the year.

So here they are:

5) Vicious by VE Schwab

I was actually very surprised with how much I enjoyed this one. I really loved the concept of what makes a super hero and what makes a villain (I have a thing for super heroes). This book just did it for me.

4) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

It's maybe a little cliche to have this one as a favourite- but this book made me think about life and what living really means. It stuck with me. If you haven't read this, you really need to.

3) Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

As I mentioned in my review of Attachments, I felt like it could have been talking about MY life. It was freaky. But the way Rowell told the story was so beautiful and honest. I really appreciated that. Being a grown up is hard, but you gotta  do it, and you gotta move with the shakes.

2) Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

This one kind of snuck up on me. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. For me it was very reminiscent of Huntley Fitzpatrick's The Boy Next Door. I really liked Sydney and how her character developed. I also appreciate the role of the parents in the majority of Dessen's novels (I've only read 3). I find in a lot of YA, the parents are very absent (sometimes for no reason).  However, in this book the parents were very present and played a significant part.

1) I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Despite how I felt when I initially read this book (my thoughts), I absolutely adored it. Going through all the novels I read in 2015, this book stuck with me. I really feel like I want to reread this book and experience it all over again. It truly is a beautiful story- and the way Nelson tells it... breathtaking.

So, there you have it. My top five of 2015. I hope you enjoyed. I am really looking forward to reading even more amazing novels in 2016. I feel fired up to read. 

Happy Reading Everyone! 

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 -Bookish- Resolutions

Hello Lovelies,

Well, I know I am a little behind when it comes to sharing my 2016 goals- this is mostly because I have been thinking and pondering about them and wanting to make sure that I am setting realistic goals/resolutions. So I have been thinking and planning (my new favourite thing).

I don't have a lot of crazy bookish resolutions. They are simple, but at the same time, I think they will also challenge me. So, here goes.

2016 Reading Challenge

This year I have been a little ambitious with my reading goal- I have aimed high and set a goal of 90 books for 2016. 2015 I only read 72 books (and let's be honest, a good chunk of those books were audiobooks). Really, I got a little lazy in 2015--more, I was focused on other things and reading was put on the back burner. Which is totally okay, but I certainly felt like something was missing and I wasn't as relaxed. So, 90 books this year.

Finish at Least ONE (1) Book a Week

I actually mean read read. Audiobooks were my thing in 2015 and I am sure they will continue to be my thing in 2016, but I find sitting down and reading a physical book extremely comforting and truly relaxing. So that is my plan- one book a week. Ideally I would finish one book Monday-Friday and another on the weekend, but come on, I also am hoping to maintain what little of social life I have.

Read One Book a Month From my List of Twelve (12)

In the past, I have tried to do monthly TBRs- Those didn't really work out for me. I am a mood reader and can't be contained to a specific set of books each month. However, there are a number of books I have said I wanted/needed to read. I would like to tackle this list. While I don't have the list completed yet, here is a sample:

Pride and Prejudice (Can you believe I haven't read this book yet? terrible).
Jane Eyre
The Little Prince
An Abundance of Katherines (This is the only John Green novel I haven't read).
Ready Player One
The Shadow of the Wind

The idea behind this is to broaden my horizons. I tend to read a lot of contemporary/romance-y type novels. Which I am totally okay with. However, in the last few years I have tried to move away from my usual and try fantasy a bit and discovered some really amazing novels and authors. Again, I am wanting to stray from my comfort zone a bit. One book at a time.

Read One YA Debut Author a Month

I am not officially participating in the 2016 YA Debut Author challenge (I have in the past and it was a really wonderful experience for me) and I really love the concept of it. There are so many new authors releasing their books this year and I want to read them. I have explored the list on Goodreads a bit and was excited with what I saw. If you have any recommendations on what I should read- let me know.

Tidy up my Goodreads bookshelves. 

They are a mess and I need to clean house.

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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