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 🙂

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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My rating: ★★★★☆

Spoiler Free  Goodreads Summary: Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink

My Thoughts: Okay let me start off by saying that this book surprised me big time. I didn’t know much about it and was just expecting a nice and sweet contemporary…Anyone who has read this knows that this book is not just a love story. This novel had such an impact on me and wrecked with my emotions.

I adored Violet’s and Finch’s relationship. They worked together so and I really appreciated how it still ended up being believable instead of making what they had something out of this world. On the other hand, I would have liked to see more of Violet’s thoughts on Finch in the beginning because I feel it was too much of “love at first sight” and it would have been nice to see a little bit of a resistance rather than Violet just letting Finch hold her hand straight off the bat. Other than that I really loved them together, especially the way Finch exposed her to all of the horrors in the world that she has ignored since Eleanor’s death which prepared her for living life on her own after high school and going back to writing which is something she seems to be very passionate about.

Spoilers Here (scroll to next paragraph if you haven’t read the novel): The ending came extremely unexpected to me. Even though it was obvious Finch was having some serious mental issues I never expected them to escalate so quickly. On his own he became a totally different person rather than when he was with Violet which seems to lead to her shock as well. I no joke was expecting Violet to actually find him well and alive at the end and this whole thing was his vanishing act but I secretly knew that wasn’t true and just didn’t want to release the true emotions that I was feeling about him being gone. I also find it incredible in how much he really changed Violet’s life in a positive way while going through everything he had going on. Violet learned how to live her life again instead of just avoided all her problems and getting her way out of almost everything due to the loss of her sister. Although she lost two very important people in her life, she had something Finch felt her never had which is time and time really does heal all.

Wrap Up (Spoiler Free): Overall I think this is a beautiful book that everyone should read. This novel has such a beautiful love story that has some roots to Romeo and Juliet. Putting the relationship aside, this novel teaches many valuable lessons in regards to suicide awareness, mental disorders, grief, loss, and suffering. The book by no means gives false hope in portraying loss as something that is easy to get over. There is no hiding that its gonna suck and hurt at first but it does get better if you surround yourself with the right people and just give it time.

Also, there is a movie coming out next year!!! Make sure you read the book before then and let me know what you thought!

Happy reading!- Catherine 🙂

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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My rating: ★★★★☆

Since I’ve been in a serious dystopian fiction YA mood I thought I’d finally hop on the band wagon and give this book a shot. In the beginning we meet our protagonist Ruby at the very young age of ten. A disease known as IAAN is spreading throughout the world and killing off children, usually on their tenth birthday. The government does not seem to be very concerned with these children but is rather worried about the survivors who seem to hold new extraordinary mental abilities. In an attempt to control this, children are sent to “rehabilitation camps”, color coded based on their abilities, and treated in an inhumane fashion. After six years Ruby is still here when she starts to realize she is not like the rest of the kids and has some unrecognized abilities which may cost her life. She has no choice but to go on the run in an attempt to reach safety, but how can she do this when no one has every escaped?

Okay so this book was a crazy read for me with plenty of ups and downs. I picked it up awhile back and couldn’t really get into it. I feel like the beginning is quite slow and didn’t offer anything exciting that pulled me in which is why I had to give the book four not five stars. But I pushed through and I’m so happy I did. The book seems to instantly pick up a quarter of the way through with plenty of action and cliff hangers that made it impossible to put the book down.

When Ruby teams up with Liam, Chubs, and Zu I couldn’t stop smiling. Their friendship is so incredible and genuine but not fake at all. It was so sweet to see Ruby and Zu’s connection and how Zu grew into her own person. Chubs and Ruby on the other hand were absolutely hysterical together and total opposites. Liam and Ruby had an instant connection and the relationship between them grew so strong just as friends and later developed into something stronger. I appreciate that the author did not rush all of the relationships and made sure to emphasize the growth.

Another key aspect of the novel I enjoyed was watching Ruby discover herself and what she can truly do. She goes from never using her powers to learning how to navigate her strength. This is also very symbolic for Ruby coming to terms with who she is and even though she may be dangerous she needs to accept that since she will never change that.

Overall this book has a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to go out and get the second book and this needs to happen soon because I’m getting desperate.

Thanks for reading!! -Catherine

I’M BACK

Hey everyone!! I know I’ve been totally MIA for a good amount of time. I’ve had a lot going on in school and have just been super busy and I’m super sorry it’s been forever. I’m finally ready to get back into reviews so stay tuned! I might also start doing some other posts such as recommendations and hauls and what not so comment if you’d like to see that! Posts coming shortly! -Catherine 🙂

Edna in the Desert by Maddy Lederman

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My Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer- this book was sent to me in exchange for my honest review.

Edna is a 13 year old Beverly Hills teen. Her snide comments and disrespect towards her parents leads them to abandon her in the desert with her grandparents. Edna is in complete shock by this and now must do chores everyday and be respectful to her grandparents who live in the middle of nowhere. She has no idea how she will survive with no contact to the outside world. She tries everything she can in order to get out of this situation. But when Johnny, a handsome 17 year old that lives in town, appears she realizes that this summer might not be so bad after all.

I truly adored this book and everything about it. Edna is such a funny character which keeps the novel enjoyable and upbeat. No doubt she can be a real witch at times but that makes her even more entertaining. Throughout the book we see her develop from her old, self-centered self into someone who learns to appreciate everything around her and her condition in life. Johnny is another character that sparks lots of interest. It is evident that he is much more mature than Edna but there connection is so amazing.

Besides Edna and Johnny’s relationship, Edna’s relationship with her grandparents is beautiful as well. In the beginning she wants nothing to do with them but once she begins to understand both of them and what they have been through she finds herself looking up to each of them as well as the love they share.

Overall this was such an entertaining, quick read that has much more depth to it than I expected. A big thank you to Maddy for sending me this because it is such a beautiful story with incredible life lessons and morals weaved within. I recommend this book to anyone that is on the lookout for an entertaining and gorgeous read.

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Everything Everything is a novel about Madeline Whittier, a young girl who has SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency). Her diagnosis is being allergic to the world which restricts her from leaving her home and living a normal, teenage-girl life. Maddy’s life consists of a lot of reading (same here except I have no excuse), online school, and an abundance of mother-daughter time. One day a boy names Olly moves in next door and his mysterious look and fun personality attracts her attention. After constantly watching him through her window they begin to communicate through means of IMing and window notes. After Olly visits her in her home, Maddy finds herself falling for this boy. She knows that being in love is not a logical option for her due to her restrictive lifestyle, but she finds it near impossible to remove Olly from her life.

Overall, Everything Everything is a good book. It was a quick and easy read that didn’t call for much thinking. Maddy and Olly’s relationship is one of my favorite parts of this book. Maddy has never had a relationship with someone her age which makes everything new and foreign to her. This causes the relationship to be very sweet and innocent. I found myself smiling on numerous occasions because of how adorable Olly and Maddy are.

Besides the relationship, I didn’t really enjoy a lot of this novel. I feel like nothing necessarily special was in its content. The book lacked depth in many circumstances, a main one being Maddy’s disease. I would have really loved to hear more about her SCID since I don’t have extended knowledge on it. Besides being rare and causing near death experiences, I learned nothing about SCID. The addition of this aspect would make the story much more intellectual and not just another YA romance.

Despite my opinion, I believe you should definitely read this book and gather your own opinion on it. Although I can’t necessarily say so, many people are over the moon in love with this book. If you have read it or are planing to do so, let me know! I’d love to hear everyone else’s opinion.

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

The One by Kiera Cass

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The One by Kiera Cass is the third book in The Selection series and wraps up the story told by America. The novel has such an amazing start. I found myself laughing out loud on the plane at America’s attempt to be seductive towards Maxon. The story circled around the rebels and what exactly their plans are and why they do what they do. America and Maxon go as far as leaving the castle to meet up with August and Georgia in order to get insider information. The southern rebels have taken things to a new level and are killing people by cast in relation to the castes of the remaining girls in the selection. Maxon and America find their relationship building back up due to this new found connection. However, America’s constant misbehavior in the castle could mean cost her the chance to be with Maxon due to the king’s dislike of America.

I give this book a 5/5 stars.

We learn so many new things about each of the characters in this book. We get an inside scoop on how each of the girls truly acts when placed in hard situations that they might not see acceptable. America’s bravery and loyalty shines through every time and I found myself rooting for her more than ever before.

Maxon’s love and compassion for America is so noticeable throughout the book. He risks his life numerous times just to make sure she is safe. Their relationship is filled with arguments and rough patches which makes me love it even more. Even when they are arguing, the two manage to stay connected and never lose touch of one another.

I really can’t put into words how much I love this book. From the relationships to love to war and conflict I found myself not able to put it down. I read through this book in one day and it hurts to only give it 5/5 stars. This book deserves 5000 stars. The ending was so touching and suspenseful and I was filled with anxiety and stress for all the characters. This is the first book that has made me cry since the fifth book of Harry Potter which says a lot. I will read the rest of the series very soon but for now I need to let the amazingness of America and Maxon’s story sink in.

Thanks for reading!! -Catherine 🙂