Top 5 Wednesday

This week for Top 5 Wednesday I will be mentioning authors that I have only read a book or a few from and I can’t wait to read more by them.

1. Sarah Dessen

I have great so many great things about Sarah Dessen and many have said she is their favorite contemporary author. I am a huge fan of this genre and I plan on reading all of her novels in publication order. I read That Summer and I can’t wait to continue this journey.

2. Maggie Steifvater

Most of you probably know that The Raven Boys is one of my favorite series of all time. Maggie Steifvater creates a new world with amazing descriptions and assembles complex characters that are impossible to not fall in love with. I am so excited to explore her other works!

3. Jandy Nelson

Jandy Nelson only has two novels out and I have read both of them. I’ll Give You the Sun is the first novel I read by her and after finishing it she instantly became one of my favorite authors. Her writing style is so beautiful and she just has a way to male a story feel so special to anyone reading it. She is releasing Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradise this year and I couldn’t be more excited to read it.

4. Alexandra Bracken

I have read the first two novels in the Darkest Minds series and I am so excited to read the final novel. The series pulled me in immediately with its unique concept and complex characters. Bracken is another author who know how to make a character that you can’t help but love and worry for. I am so pumped for the next series of hers I pick up.

5. Gillian Flynn

I think almost everyone has heard of Gone Girl whether its the book or the movie. I personally have not read or seen them but I have read Darkest Places and I really enjoyed it. Weird and twisted novels are one of my favorites to read and Flynn’s books hit the spot.  I can’t wait to read Gone Girl and all of her other works.

Do you agree with my top 5 picks? What are some author’s you need to read more by?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

For this Tuesday I will be listing my top ten things that make me instantly NOT want to read a book. If you want to learn more about top ten Tuesday, head over to The Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Things that Make me Instantly NOT Want to Read a Book

10. Horror- I have never been into scaring myself to the point where I can’t sleep. I love a good thriller especially psychological ones but horrors go a bit too far for me because I get scared at the slightest things.

9. Short Stories- Once in awhile I’ll give a hyped up short story a read but overall I try to avoid them. I like to get invested in different worlds and characters and I find this hard to do in only a few pages of writing.

8. Classics- I know so many people live for classics and have read hundreds of them but I find it so hard to enjoy it. I have attempted numerous times to pick up books by authors such as the Bronte sisters but I find it incredibly hard to finish the novel and actually have fun while doing so.

7. Poetry- Trust me, I want to love poetry, I really do, but I just can’t do it. I don’t find it enjoying to try and determine what the author is trying to say and I’d much rather be reading a fantasy novel.

6. Motherhood- This is something that I don’t feel the need to read about. Maybe that’ll change once I’m at that point in my life my perspective will change but I do not enjoy reading about women in their middle age taking care of children.

5. Ebooks- I have so many issues with ebooks. I understand that they are cheaper a lot of the time and much easier to travel with but I prefer paper copies 100%. Ebooks bother my vision so much and there’s something about holding a paper book and flipping the pages that I adore.

4. Westerners- I have never liked reading about cowboys in the wild west no matter how modernized the author has made it. It is not enjoyable to me at all and I’d much rather not even attempt to read in that genre.

3. Self Help- There isn’t much to say about this genre of novels for me. I read because love to drown myself in new worlds and escape my own life for a bit and that’s not possible when reading books in genres that are designed to make me think about myself and my own life.

2. Autobiographies/Biographies- Reading about other people’s lives never entertained me at the slightest. I despise history and I feel that this genre is too close to my history classes. autobiographies tend to be too exaggerated and biographies can be straight up boring most of the time.

1. Zombies- I can’t find any enjoyment in zombie books and movies. I adore all other supernaturals like vampires and werewolves but zombies make no sense to me.

What are somethings that make you not want to read a book?

Thanks for Reading! -Catherine 🙂

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. If you want to participate choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Make sure to give Lauren’s page a visit and link back to her blog.

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Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer. This is the twelfth expedition. Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

This is a book I recently picked up that was recommended to me by my sister. I have never heard of this trilogy beforehand which is surprising because it sounds amazing. I’m a big fan of creep sci-fi novels and this seems to be a mix of both. It is really hard to come across a novel that incorporates unknown life forms in a mature way and I will be extremely pleased if this one does.

Have any of you read this book? What’s on the top of your TBR?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

That Summer by Sarah Dessen

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For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She’s nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister—the always perfect Ashley—is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley’s reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future.

I picked up this book while reading The Darkest Minds series in order to prevent a book slump and give my mind a break from fantasy. Surprisingly enough I have never read anything by Sarah Dessen before this book. I’ve been hearing all of the hype behind her newest release and I thought what better way to get into Dessen’s world than reading every single one of her books in publication order; that is exactly what I plan to do.

I’m a huge sucker for contemporary books especially once the warmer weather starts coming around. Although this wasn’t the best read it was still a fun one that I was able to speed right through. The first three quarters of the novel were rather slow with no big events occurring the entire time which is why I took off 1.5 stars. It felt rather redundant and nothing exciting occurred.

Once the last quarter came into play it was like the entire book crossed a threshold into a much deeper feel that contained a lot more meaning. The novel does a great job in expressing how important it is do not dwell on frustrating or melancholy situations and rather enjoy the good times and move on to let yourself live. There is also a great amount of stress on the relationship between sisters which really warmed my heart.

Overall this was a quick and entertaining and I can’t wait to get deeper into Dessen’s writing.

Have you read this book or anything else by Sarah Dessen? If you have read this book, what is your opinion on Gwendolyn’s role in the book?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

 

Book Blogger Hop


Book Blogger Hop

Question of the Week

Would you stop reading a book if an element of the plot strongly clashed with your personal beliefs, or would you continue reading until you finished finished the book? (Submitted by Maria @ A Night’s Dream of Books)

Answer

I have personally run into this situation a few times when reading novels that I either didn’t know much about or picked up at a used book shop since they are usually titles I haven’t heard of. I have never not finished a novel because no matter what the issue is since I always hope there will be a change by the end or I possibly misinterpreted something; this is not always the case. I can’t just stop reading a book because I always find myself feeling guilty no matter how awful it is. I’m relatively fair when judging a novel and trying to find any possible good aspects within it while reflecting on them. When there are strong clashes with my beliefs I just remind myself that not everything thinks the same way as me and believes in the same things I do.

Top 5 Wednesday

This week for Top 5 Wednesday I will talk about my favorite LGBTQ+ novels. I have not many books in this category which is why I only list twi that I actually wanted to discuss. I would really love some suggestions because I would love to read more!

Favorite LGBTQ+ Reads

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My first pick is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I absolutely adore this book for more reasons than one. I gave every book in this series five stars mainly because Goodreads doesn’t let me add any more. This is an amazing story of a group of friends going against powers much greater than themselves. Plot aside, relationships are key in this novel which is why it is one of my picks. The relationship between Adam and Ronan is so innocent and pure and proves two opposites can be soul mates. It’s so beautiful to watch this relationship flourish throughout the four books as they begin to accept themselves and their emotions.

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I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is another five star booked that I fell in love with instantly. Jandy Nelson’s writing is so beautiful and descriptive that gives life to the story. The book tells the story oh Jude and Noah who are twins and the book jumps from a young age when they are very close to them being teenagers and no longer talking and we begin to learn what led to these events. Although sibling connection is a strong theme in this novel, there is also a relationship between the twins and their neighbor Brian. Noah and Brian’s relationship is something that stood out to me from the start. The shifts in time periods allow us to learn how Noah developed to accepting himself and goes against criticisms.

What are your favorite LGBTQ+ novels?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

For this Tuesday I will be listing my top ten things that make me instantly want to read a book. If you want to learn more about top ten Tuesday, head over to The Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Things that make me Instantly Want to Read a Book

10. Dystopia- Reading about a twisted and run down world can be very intriguing. Learning as to why that place has become the way it is can be very thought provoking. It’s so fun to be constantly left guessing as to why something happened and through the entire novel/series you cannot fathom how something so extravagant could have occurred.

9. Retellings/Fairy Tales- There is no hiding that retellings are extremely popular in the book community and it is not hard to see why. Fairy tales date back as long as I can remember and I have yet to encounter someone who says they are not a child at heart when reading a traditional tale. It is so nice to see how authors modernize old tales and sometimes intertwine multiple stories.

8. JK Rowling- There is not much to explain with this one. Anything and everything Rowling writes no matter if it’s a novel or a screenplay I must instantly read. She is such a talented author and her ability to make up such complex characters and world never fails to amaze me.

7. Time Traveling- If a review or summary makes any note of time traveling or even altering time I instantly am attracted to a book. I love reading about different time periods and if there just so happens to be a variation of them within a single novel I couldn’t be happier. I also really enjoy the typical plot of messing with time and screwing everything up because it’s not only super fun to read about but it really proves how are lives aren’t for nothing and we all play a role in the overall picture.

6. Dimensions- This one goes along with the time traveling but altering dimensions has always seemed to be such a cool topic to me. I like to read about completely obscure places that are nothing like the world we live in. It’s also fun to see how the traveler reacts because they usually freak out and panic with is very entertaining.

5. Complex Characters- This one is pretty self explanatory and obvious but a novel’s characters will make or break it no matter what the plot is. When a character has multiple sides to them and even they are learning new things about themselves and how they behave throughout the story I am instantly sucked in. No one likes boring, unoriginal character which is why complexity in characters puts a book on my TBR.

4. Weird/Creepy- There’s not really a set genre I have for creepy novels but for some reason I’ve always liked things that were slightly weird whether its gruesome and a bit “messed up” or something that is totally abstract and is almost hard to believe.

3. Love Story- What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good love story, but then again who isn’t. I adore contemporary books that have a cute relationship in them because it’s nice to imagine that’s how guys actually are haha. When I’m in the middle of a big series I like to pick up a short contemporary between books just to give my mind a break and avoid a slump.

2. Magic- I think magic is this high up on the list for me because of Harry Potter and I secretly wish I had some type of magic. Psychic abilities are also squished into this category since I love books that have characters with supernatural abilities. There’s something so exciting about characters who are so unique in what they can do and it is also great because all authors have their own version of magic which makes every fantasy novel feel like it’s something you’ve never read before.

1. Twists-  Finally there’s twists. If someone tells me that there is a big twist at the end of a book or movie I can’t help but delve into it right away. When done well, a large twist in a novel can leave you in total shock because you would’ve never guessed that as a possible outcome. The element of surprise can be so powerful and really make or break a book for me.

What are some things that make you instantly want to read a book?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine:)

 

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. If you want to participate choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Make sure to give Lauren’s page a visit and link back to her blog.

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The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals. But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

I wanted to pick a book off my TBR that I already own and I was given this book for Easter and I couldn’t be more excited to start this series. There has been a lot of hype about it in the booking community which is why I have very high hopes for it. I have a few series I’m finishing up at the moment but this is very high on my immediate TBR.

Have you read this book? What’s a book on your TBR?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine:)

Book Haul

Happy Easter everyone! To give a variety to my blog rather than just posting reviews I thought I’d include some new posts which is why I’m posting this haul. This is an accumulation of books I’ve bought and received mainly in the month of April and I’ll include where they are all from. Hope you enjoy and I’d love to know if you’ve read any of these books!

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I picked up this series by Serena Valentino at Barnes & Noble. They have a display of villain novels which is to die for so I thought I would give them a shot. I’m wrapping up the second novel now and they’re not too bad! Let me know if you’d like a review of any of these books.

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Over spring break I discovered a store by my house that has super cheap books and I couldn’t be happier! I picked up these six books for $20 and most of them are brand new!

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These are from my second trip to the book store I mentioned above. The Annihilation trilogy was recommended to me by my sister and it seems super cool so I can’t wait to read it. Sarah Dessen is one of the top contemporary authors and I have never read any of her book so I thought I’d get her first two novels since I found them for $4 and I want to read all of her books in the order she wrote them!

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The Handmaid’s Tale I bought on another trip to Barnes & Noble. I have read a few of Margaret Atwood’s short stories and I absolutely loved them so I thought it was appropriate to get into her novels. I also want to read Cassandra Clare’s work and I plan on reading in publication order which is why I will start with The Mortal Instruments series. I have never heard of Seraphina but I spotted it in Barnes & Noble and it seems very interesting.

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These are the second and third books to the Darkest Mind trilogy which I bought for myself. I already have a review posted for the second novel and I will write one for the third as soon as I finish the book! I’m so sad that I’m almost done with this series because I am so in love with the world and all the characters.

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Lastly are all these incredible books my parents bought me for Easter. These are all parts of series that I have been wanting to read for the longest time. I thought it was about time I hopped on the Sarah J. Maas wagon since I haven’t read any of her novels so far and I wanted to start withe the Court of Thorns and Roses series since the new book will be out soon and I have only heard amazing things about it. The Black Prism series is something I heard about throughout the book community and once I heard the concept of light magic and color wielding I knew I had to read it because it’s right up my ally. Leigh Bardugo is another super popular author that I have yet to follow and I thought the Grisha trilogy would be a good start and a great warm up before diving into the much raved about Six of Crows.

I have so much reading to do and that is a wonderful problem to have. All of these books I have heard amazing things about and I really cannot wait to find out what the rave is all about. Let me know which of these books you’d like to see reviews of and your thoughts on any of these novel if you’ve read them!

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

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My rating:

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Goodreads Spoiler Free Summary: Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster. When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flash drive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her. As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

My Thoughts: This book is on a whole new level in comparison to the first in the series. It was much more politically based on both the government and the virus instead of the relationships. The plot moved about so quickly because of this which kept the story fast paced and extremely exciting. It was so hard to put down because every chapter ends in a cliff hanger that made me continue saying “just one more” until it was wayyy past the time I should be asleep. It was really great to see Ruby develop even more in accepting herself and her powers without a lot of focus on Liam. Ruby struggles a great deal in coming to terms with her strength since she does learn a great deal about herself and what she can do.

I also really loves all of the new characters introduced. Vida is someone that made me so angry in the beginning and I could not stand her but I started to see that a lot of what she does is to protect those that she loves and her sass and fiery personality came to be quite entertaining. I was super suspicious of Cole in the beginning and I really thought that he had some deeper motivations but turn out he’s just a big flirt that is just looking out for everyone and willing to step up to the plate when he needs to. And then there’s Jude…Jude had my heart from the beginning. He is so down to earth and the way he looks up to Ruby warmed my soul. Seeing him take the initiative to play his role in OPS when he was needed always made me so happy because he feels so special whenever her can step in.

Spoilers Here (scroll to next paragraph if you haven’t read the novel): And now I go back to Jude…ARE WE KIDDING?! When Ruby realized he wasn’t there I could not stop panicking and to this moment as I type this I’m still frantic because he didn’t deserve this. I wish Clancy was under that scaffolding not poor baby Jude. On a brighter note, I’m still in love with Liam and Ruby’s relationship. The fact that everything Liam is feeling is all deep down and instinctive makes it 10000x more passionate because he can’t even remember all he went through with her and makes me root for them even more. Chubs and Liam also have such a great bromance going on. Their bickering just makes me laugh so much and when they have all their reunion moments I can’t hide my smile. Lastly, the ending makes me so pumped to read the last book. I have it being delivered tomorrow and I can’t contain my excitement since I’m so consumed in this world.

Wrap Up (Spoiler Free): This book topped all of my expectations going into it and I have to say I enjoyed more than the first. I still feel that the beginning was a bit slow which is why I took off half a star but the rest is so good which makes me really want to give it a full five. The bonds between all of the children is just so overwhelming and seeing them work their way out of fatal situations never fails to stun me. I strongly recommend this series to anyone who loves dystpian fantasy, you can thank me later.

Happy Reading! -Catherine 🙂