Waiting on Wednesday: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

waitingonwednesday“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights one book that we are super excited about being released! (click the cover to head over to goodreads!)

 glory obriens history of the futureGlory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Expected October 14, 2014

Summary from Goodreads:

WOULD YOU TRY TO CHANGE THE WORLD
IF YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD NO FUTURE?

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 everything in her power to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

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Wow. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future sounds amazing! I have no idea what I would do if I started seeing visions of an inconceivable future for women of the world, but Glory seems to have a pretty good plan. I’m interested to see how King’s execution of this novel is, or if it is a premise that only sounds good as a little blurb about it. I really really hope that it has turned out well though, because it sounds like something I’ll really love! I mean, we can always use some more feminism in life, right??

Are you looking forward to reading Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future? Have you read any of A.S. King’s other work? What book are YOU waiting for this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday: The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

waitingonwednesday“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights one book that we are super excited about being released! (click the cover to head over to goodreads!)

the perfectionistsThe Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

HarperCollins
Expected October 7, 2014

Summary from Goodreads:

In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke…until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes another story of dark secrets, shocking twists, and what happens when five beautiful girls will do anything to hide the ugly truth.

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I’m all about mystery books, especially murder mysteries! Sara Shepard’s latest book, The Perfectionists, seems like it will be the book to fill the mystery story void that has occurred on my bookshelves as of late. The premise sounds quite interesting, with these five girls who plan out the perfect murder – with no intent to act on their plans – as a joke, or just a way to get their hateful feelings out. Then the murder happens, and they have to find out who did it. If this book is anything at all like the Pretty Little Liars series, I’m prepared for anything and everything that could possible happen. I can’t wait to read this edge-of-your-seat story!

P.S. I’m loving the typography on the cover!

Are you looking forward to reading The Perfectionists? Have you read any of Sara Shepard’s other work? How do you feel about mystery books? What book are YOU waiting for this Wednesday?

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

paper townsTitle/Author: Paper Towns by John Green
Publisher/Year: Speak on September 22, 2009
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Nope.
Other Books by Author: The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines
How I got this Book: Purchased
Summary From Goodreads: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life — dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge — he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues — and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

My Thoughts copy

 

I’m going to start off by saying that I think that Paper Towns has been my favourite John Green novel to date. I was so absorbed by the content in this book that I had trouble focusing on any other task at hand! The plot moved swiftly, and was paced very well leaving my unable to put the book down for only very short intervals!!!

Paper Towns is centred around a boy named Quentin, or Q, for short, who has been admiring his love, Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar for far too many years. They used to be friends when they were younger, but time has torn them apart. However, on one fateful night in Q’s high school life, Margo climbs back into his life – literally! She crawls through his bedroom window in the middle of the night wanting his help on an epic nighttime revenge adventure. I think that this part may have been my favourite part of the book. Their dangerous, rule breaking escapades had me living on the edge vicariously through their story. It was fun for me, because I’m always the person who never breaks the rules, and never even comes close to toeing the line of rebellion. Anyway, after their super fun night out, Margo has mysteriously disappeared, but not without leaving a couple of clues behind.

Quentin takes it upon himself to look for Margo with all his might. And boy does he take his search seriously. I can’t imagine being able to piece together little tiny bits of information from the past with very, VERY subtle clues in order to find my friend. Even if I really wanted to and was trying with all my might! So props to Q for that one. Throughout the course of this novel, Q grows in so many ways, and is on his way to becoming part of a new person. I’m always a sucker for some good character development! Ben and Radar, Q’s friends are two of the most funny characters in the book, and I was always glad to read about them. As for Margo, she really is a mystery.

One more thing to note about this book is that although it may seem pretty heavy in terms of content, it is laced with humour on every page. Reading this book is easy and fun and interesting and I encourage everyone to do so.

Final ThoughtsLike I said above, this is my favourite John Green book. I don’t really know why, because I also really love Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. Paper Towns just has some sort of intangible amazing quality about it that I cannot describe, but is experienced when it is read. If you are looking for a witty, funny mysterious novel written from a male POV, then this is the book for you!

5 hearts

Favourite Quote

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

Second opinions

Jamie says that Paper Towns is “witty, heartwarming, and quirky.”

Estelle says “READ THIS NOW.”

Talk to me

Have you read Paper Towns? What did you think of it? Have you read anything else by John Green? Do you have any suggestions of books similar to this one? LET ME KNOW! :)

Waiting on Wednesday: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield

waitingonwednesday“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights one book that we are super excited about being released! (click the cover to head over to goodreads!)

 afterworldsAfterworlds by Scott Westerfield

Simon Pulse
Expected September 23, 2014

Summary from Goodreads:

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

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I remember reading Scott Westerfield’s Uglies series way back when I was in elementary school, and I really liked it! He always comes up with interesting ideas that get you hooked, and the cover art on his novels is always simple, yet really draws you in. It looks like Afterworlds is going to be no exception to the rules!

The thing that is most interesting to me about this book is how there is going to be a story within a story – literally! I’m excited to see how that plays out; if the two stories may end up tying together in some way. But even if they don’t, both sound interesting enough to stand on their own. Darcy’s life story will be no doubt interesting to all of us aspiring authors who haven’t taken a leap quite as drastic as her character has, and getting to read the story about a place between the living and the dead that she put everything else aside for sounds fantastic.

Are you looking forward to reading Afterworlds? Have you read any of Scott Westerfield’s other work? What book are YOU waiting for this Wednesday?

Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

First things first, let me apologize for my absence this summer. I thought I was going to have way more time to blog, but life got in the way, even after I posted my Hiatus is Over post!!! :( I wish I had had more time for blogging this summer, and even my reading took a hit! However, I am back, and I am here to stay! (*fingers crossed*)

I have spent a lot of time getting myself organized for this school year’s classes as well as planning and scheduling a lot of blog posts. I really hope that I will be able to keep this up, and I will strive my hardest to keep this blog up and running. And now, onto the review!!! :D

also known asTitle/Author: Also Known As by Robin Benway
Publisher/Year: Walker Books for Young Readers on February 26, 2013
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮
Genre: YA Contemporary/Spy Thriller/Romance
Series: Yes!
Other Books by Author: Going Rogue (Also Known As #2); Audrey, Wait!; The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June
How I got this Book: Purchased
Summary From Goodreads: Which is more dangerous: being an international spy… or surviving high school?

Maggie Silver has never minded her unusual life. Cracking safes for the world’s premier spy organization and traveling the world with her insanely cool parents definitely beat high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. (If it’s three digits, why bother locking it at all?)

But when Maggie and her parents are sent to New York City for her first solo assignment, her world is transformed. Suddenly, she’s attending a private school with hundreds of “mean girl” wannabes, trying to avoid the temptation to hack the school’s elementary security system, and working to befriend the aggravatingly cute son of a potential national security threat… all while trying not to blow her cover.

From the hilarious and poignant author of Audrey, Wait! comes a fast-paced caper that proves that even the world’s greatest spies don’t have a mission plan for love.

My Thoughts copy

I will admit, due to falling behind on blogging I am writing this review about a month after I finished reading this book, which is going to be difficult. However, it is not going to be as difficult as it would have been if I were writing a review about a book I didn’t love! So that’s what I going to start off with – I LOVED Also Known As and (mostly) everything about it. It was downright hilarious, had awesome characters (main characters as well as secondary), and had an interesting mystery plot too!

Firstly, how often do you read a book about a girl who grew up in a family of spies?! Not often enough is the answer to that question! I thank Robin Benway for writing a superb spy-girl novel that is as equally hilarious and heartwarming as it is witty and smart. Maggie, the MC of the book, is a teen safecracker who works for a spy agency called The Collective. Her first solo assignment is set in New York City, and involves cracking the safe (who knew? ;P) of a person who poses the threat of releasing the identities of many of the espionage agents who work for The Collective. NO PRESSURE, HUH?

Maggie, who has never really had the chance to be a teenager in the real world before, gets to go to high school! How exciting is that! Well, I guess for most of us it’s not that big of a deal, but for Maggie the opportunity to be around hundreds of peers her age is the most appealing thing in the world. At school she meets Roux, a quirky, rebellious teenager who has fallen from her high rungs on the social ladder due to some relationship drama. They become fast friends, and Roux helps Maggie come out of her shell, as well as helping Maggie out with a little boy trouble of her own.

The boy in question is Jesse Oliver. Doesn’t that just sound like the name of a smart, attractive teenage boy? Although Jesse wasn’t all that special to me, he was utterly fantastic for Maggie! I wouldn’t call their relationship instalove, but I would say that the whole thing was a little fast paced for my own liking. But, I think that had to do with Maggie’s lack of real-life experience and the fact that an apparently perfect boy just dropped out of the sky for her! So, all the power to her.

My favourite character was Angelo, no question about it. He’s like your cool Aunt, or your best friend’s dad who is just totally awesome and gives you great advice and life tips. Whenever there was a scene involving him, I couldn’t help but picture him as Michael Caine in his role as Victory in Miss Congeniality. Don’t ask why, because I don’t know. But that’s how I pictured him speaking and acting!

Final Thoughts

You will want to read this amazingly cute and laugh out loud book all in one sitting. Also Known As has it all! A spy girl, a super awesome best friend, a cute boy, a witty and helpful adult friend, and best of all – a mystery.

5 hearts

Second opinions

Brittany says “it’s super, super cute.”

Alexa says Also Known As is “laugh out loud funny [and] packed with superb characters.”

Judith says that “this book may cause uncontrollable giggling and/or the unability to wipe that smile from your face.”
Talk to me

Have you read Also Known As? What did you think of it? Have you read anything else by Robin Benway? Do you have any suggestions of books similar to this one? LET ME KNOW! :)

HIATUS IS OVER!!!! An update on my life for the past five months + Single Sentence Reviews of all the books I’ve read in that time!

I’m baaaaaaack!!!!

I’m so sorry that I disappeared without a trace, but I am so thankful to all of you lovely people who stuck around with me on twitter and tumblr, and who will pick right up where they left off with me! <3 I love you guys! But my life has definitely not been the same without blogging and the wonderful friends I’ve made through blogosphere. I’m so excited to be back online!

giphy

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to for the last five months! Well, mostly school stuff. Second term was a lot busier than first term, and I had a lot more meetings and training sessions to attend to prepare me to be a Frosh Week leader for September! I successfully completed my first year of university, and discovered where my passions lie. I will be pursuing an English Major degree with a minor in math. These are the two subjects that I want to teach when I become a teacher.

I also just had my first ever student teaching placement, and it was in a full day kindergarten class for two weeks.  It was so much fun, and the little kiddies were so adorable!!! It was an eye opening experience, and I learned a lot. I’m glad that I got placed with such a young group, because it is basically the complete opposite end of the age spectrum of who I want to teach – which is high schoolers.

I also signed the lease on a house with four of my friends that I made at school this year, and I can’t wait to move in and live independently next year. I mean, I was in residence this year, which is independent, but it is no where near as much responsibility as living in your own house where you need to cook and clean for yourself.

Now, let us move on to talk about all of the books I’ve read in that time!

Natalie’s Single Sentence Reviews

OK. OK. They’re not all single sentences… but they’re short.

3-59the perks of being a wallflowerallegiantmy life next door image

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

This book was the perfect blend of creepy and alternate universes.
5 hearts

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This one wasn’t really my cup of tea, but it was still an okay read.
3 hearts

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

 I really enjoyed how Veronica Roth ended off the Divergent Trilogy with Allegiant, despite what a lot of others have said about this book.
4.5 hearts

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

This was one of the cutest books I’ve read in a while, and I loved the twist at the end!  I also fell in love with the entire Garrett family, and would love to have them as my own next door neighbours! I can’t wait to read What I Thought Was True!!!
5 hearts

Anna and the French Kisssmart girls get what they want angus thongs and full frontal snogging the fault in our stars

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss did not let me down after I heard all of my blogging buddies raving about it! I need to find myself a St. Clair. *swoons*
5 hearts

Smart GIrls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

I absolutely adored the main character Gigi, and was able to relate to her and to her relationships with her two best friends.
5 hearts

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging

I didn’t find this book as hilarious as I know loads of other people have, but it was still a quick and enjoyable read for me.
3 hearts

The Fault in Our Stars

Let’s just say that when you get to the end of TFiOS you won’t want to be reading it in a classroom full of students… the tears will still come even if you will them to stop.
4.5 hearts

Love and other perishable itemswhy we broke uphopelesssiege and storm

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

This book was refreshingly real–the characters, the plot, and all the emotions.  I devoured this book over one night and one morning. I quite enjoyed how the story was told in chunks by the two MCs because it really allowed me to understand their feelings. All in all this was a really good book, it just lacked the WOW factor for me.
4 hearts

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

This one was a DNF for me. I got about 80 pages in and it was just so repetitive and whiny. I was rather upset because I ADORED A Series of Unfortunate Events.

DNF

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

I literally have no words to even begin to explain how amazingly wonderful this book is. If you take my word, and only my word for just one book, this is the one you should take it for.
5 hearts

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

The second instalment in Leigh’s Grisha Trilogy, this book was just as fantastic – perhaps even more so – as the first!
5 hearts

perfect chemistryhyperbole and a halfcrankthe infinite moment of us

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

This book was your classic “good girl” meets “bad boy” book and it was enjoyable but nothing special.
3 hearts

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

If you want a book that will make you laugh until you cry, and also give you a new perspective on serious issues like depression, this book full of short stories with hilarious illustrations is for you!
5 hearts

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

This book grabs ahold of your heart and doesn’t let you go until you finish the very last page.
4 hearts

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle

Something about this book didn’t sit quite right with me, and I think it was the writing that was somewhat colloquial at all of the wrong times.
2.5 hearts

anatomy lessondead girls dont write letterssince youve been gonecity of ashes

Anatomy Lesson by Matt Spadafora

(This book is going to get a little bit longer of a review than the other ones.) (Also my review of this book is not biased in any way.) Anatomy Lesson is a book of short stories written by my good friend Matt Spadafora. He took a “Making a Book” class in his last year of university and successfully wrote and published this book! The interesting concept is that each of these short stories revolve around a memory about a part of his body. Some of them are hilarious, some are revolting, and some of them hurt your heart. Also another major selling point about this book is that I’m mentioned ;)
5 hearts

You can purchase Matt’s book online from Amazon, and you can read more of Matt’s writing on his blog, Mathew John Writes.

Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters by Gail Giles

This one is a very quick read, but will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time, and you’ll never know what to think about everything!
4 hearts

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

I can’t get over how amazing this book was!!! I fell in love with the characters and the story and I literally have no bad things to say about this! And the cover is super cute too :)
5 hearts

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

I didn’t love this book as much as the first TMI book, City of Bones, but I still liked it! I’m excited to read the rest of this series, and City of Glass is coming up soon in my TBR pile.
4.5 hearts

the replacementevery dayThe programwhere the stars still shine

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Creepy, weird book that didn’t seem well thought out, and left too many questions unanswered for my liking.
2 hearts

Every Day by David Levithan

The concept of this book is very interesting, but lacked slightly in execution. The writing was beautiful, but the story itself felt repetitive and drawn out.
3 hearts

The Program by Suzanne Young

I literally could not put this book down. The characters and the superbly unique plot had me captivated from the very first page.
5 hearts

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Phenomenal writing and exquisite characters and development = TEARS. In a word? Flawless
5 hearts

Well, there you have it. A complete list of short review of all of the books I’ve read in the time since I let blogged (minus finishing a couple of series that I want to write about in separate posts.) Thank you for sticking with me and welcoming me back into the blogosphere with open arms!!! I’m so happy to be back :)

ARC Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic_HC_JKT_des4.inddTitle/Author: Panic by Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: HarperCollins on March 4, 2014
Rating: ✮✮✮½
Genre: YA Thriller/Contemporary
Series: Nope. STANDALONE!
Other Books by Author: Delirium Series, Before I Fall
How I got this Book: ARC provided to me from HarperCollins Canada in exchange fr an honest review. Thank you! Here’s a link the book on their website.
Summary From Goodreads: Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

My Thoughts copy

Panic is a game that is played every summer in a town called Carp, where there is nothing else fun to do. It’s a dangerous game – people have lost their lives in the past, or have become seriously injured. Essentially, the game is full of dangerous tasks, and the last few people to complete each on are eliminated. The last man standing wins a pot of $64,000 – enough money to make a new life for themselves outside of Carp.

Heather and Dodge both have their own reasons for entering the game, and both of them are in it to win it. I personally would never enter a game like this!!! Some of the tasks they had to complete are INSANE, and I would never ever risk my life to win some money. Anyway, throughout the story, we discover why each character has entered the game and what they want to use the money for. We also learn secrets about other characters in the story, and where everyone’s true motivation lies.

Lauren Oliver wrote Panic from dual POV, which I am usually not a fan of, but she pulled it off well enough. While not written in the first person, we still got a good glimpse into the mind of each main character. I do think that writing in the first person would have added more to the story for me, and would have allowed for more evidence of character development and growth. And I give Oliver major points for not having the two MCs be each other’s love interests!!! I was delighted when I realized that they weren’t going to fall for each other, and that they were both interested in other people. It was unexpected (especially in the case of dual POV) and I applaud the choice.

Even though I wasn’t completely enthralled by Lauren’s writing this time (which was a shame, because I absolutely adored Delirium and Before I Fall) I was still unable to put the book down because the plot was riveting! I always needed to know what was going to happen next, and what the next dangerous task was going to be. Unfortunately, when I reached the end of the book it just didn’t hold up to the same standards at the beginning and middle. To me, it felt rushed and didn’t pack the same punch as the rest of the book.

Final Thoughts

Panic by Lauren Oliver was an attention grabbing, action packed book, with a slightly lacklustre ending. The writing is not as great as the rest of Oliver’s work, and I don’t recommend this to be your first read by this author! (If only for the fact that her other books are in my opinion better written and more captivating and interesting.) Overall, I still thought this book was an enjoyable read, I just would have liked some more depth and growth in the characters.

3.5 hearts

Favourite Quote

Taken from the ARC:

“It was so strange, the way that life moved forward: the twists and the dead ends, the sudden opportunities. She supposed if you could predict or foresee everything that was going to happen, you’d lose the motivation to go through it all. The promise was always in the possibility.”

Second opinions

Christina says, “It’s fast-paced, high octane, and a definite page-turner,” and gave it 3.5 stars!

Nikki highly recommends Panic and gave it 4.5 stars!
Talk to me

Have you read Panic? What did you think of it? Have you read anything else by Lauren Oliver? If you haven’t read it yet, do you think you’re going to add it to your TBR? And what are your thoughts on the dangerous game of Panic?? LET ME KNOW! :)

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirlTitle/Author: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher/Year: St. Martin’s Press on September 13, 2013
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Series: Nope. STANDALONE!
Other Books by Author: Attachments, Eleanor & Park
How I got this Book: Finished copy sent to me from St. Martin’s Press. Thanks!
Summary From Goodreads: In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Thoughts copy

Wow. That’s the first and only word I can think of to start off this review. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell was just perfect in every aspect. Fangirl centres around Cath and her sister Wren and their transition into University as freshman students. Reading this after having only been at university for a month myself, I was able to relate very easily to the feelings that Cath was having. Although I know that I am a much more outgoing person than Cath, I could very easily imagine a person in my position who is not feeling the exact same way, and I thought that was great.

Rainbow Rowell also created extremely realistic relationships in Fangirl. And when I say this, I mean all of them. Cath and her sister, Wren; Cath and her father; Cath and her absent mother; Cath and her roomate; Cath and Levi. In every single situation that each of these relationships were submersed in, the way that they acted and interacted together felt genuine and real. Now, speaking of relationships, this leads me to Levi.

Levi. Ohhhhhh Levi. What’s not to love? He loves coffee… and I don’t really want to say too much else about him, because learning all about him and how his relationship with Cath evolves is one of the best parts of the book. I’ll leave that part for Rowell to take care of ;) But one thing that I especially love about the romance in this novel is that although it is a main part of the book, it doesn’t ever really take centre stage, and it shares the spotlight with other important aspects of the story.

Fangirl touches on a lot of different topics, and does it well, never going too much overboard with one and forgetting about the other. There is a perfect balance between all of them. This book has it all: a girl who had a perfect, easy time in high school thanks to a great relationship with her twin sister/best friend and all the perks that brought about, but who needs to break out of her shell now that she’s in university and on her own; a father who has raised his two daughters wonderfully, despite experiencing worsening depression; and a wonderful relationship that slowly develops between to people who are so different and yet so alike.

Final ThoughtsI have nothing bad to say about Fangirl at all. Cath was a wonderful, relatable character who I would love to be friends with. Levi was, well, Levi. Rainbow wrote a book that I will love for years and years to come, and that became an immediate favourite once I was finished.

5 hearts

what monica thoughtY’all remember Monica, right? Well she had her first guest post here on Books, etc. just a few days ago! Anyway, I thought it would be fun if she shared some of her thoughts on Fangirl with the rest of you too, so here they are:

I cannot think of one major thing that I disliked in Fangirl. My favourite part was how relatable it was.  Since I’m a first year student at university too, I could really relate to what Cath was going through with a new school.  I could just picture this story happening as if it was happening at Queen’s, maybe even to the girl down the hall from me.  Also the way that Rowell created the relationships between the characters was realistic and relatable too.  Oh and Levi. He was definitely one of my favourite parts about this book, hands down, for many reasons. ;) This book also gives me hope that me and my own fangirly, flailing arms will one day be accepted and appreciated.

Favourite Quote

“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.”

Second opinions

Lauren said, “the characters were outstanding.”

Yasmine says Fangirl “is a very good book so reading it is definitely something everyone should do.”
Talk to me

Have you read Fangirl? What did you think of it? Have you read anything else by Rainbow Rowell? Do you have any suggestions of books similar to this one? LET ME KNOW! :)

Mini Book Reviews: Cinder by Marissa Meyer, For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

As most of you know, this summer had been pretty busy for me what with work, getting ready to move away to university, and trying to hang out with all of my friends for one last time before I leave! And now that I’m actually in university, life is even more hectic! So, because of this, I have A BUNCH of books that I’ve read dating back to mid-June that I haven’t had time to review yet! I figured that instead of taking a bajillion hours to give all of these books full length reviews, I will have a series of mini reviews come out during the next few weeks, featuring three books per post, just until I get myself caught up. Sound like a good plan?? GOOD! (clicking the book covers will lead you to goodreads)

review cinder

cinderSummary from Goodreads: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

 What I liked:  Well, I am already a big fan of fairy tale retellings, and I just loved this futuristic take on the classic Cinderella story! I thought that Cinder’s relationship with her stepsister Peony was so perfect, and I also liked that Cinder was such an independent girl!

What I didn’t like:  The only this that is holding me back from giving this book a solid 5 stars is the fact that the BIG TWIST was for me, totally foreseeable. I had 100% guessed it at the first time it was mentioned. Oh well, still good :P

Swoon factor?:  YES! Prince Kai is soooooo dreamy <3<3<3

Favourite character:  Iko, Cinder’s little helper robot/friend!

Favourite quote: “Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

Rating: 4.5 hearts

review for darkness shows the stars

for darkness shows the starsSummary from Goodreads: It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PersuasionFor Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

What I liked: Where do I start?!?! I loved everything about this book. Its beautiful prose, the characters and their development, the world building, the story. I should have read this long ago, and I can picture myself reading this book a thousand times over. I also definitely need to check out Persuasion by Jane Austen now too. Simply put, there isn’t one thing about this book that I disliked.

What I didn’t like: See above ;)

Swoon factor?: Yup! And with another character named Kai, just like in Cinder above! What are the chances of that??

Favourite character: Elliot North. She was a smart young girl that knew where she stood in the world and knew exactly what she needed to do to take care of herself and her family and friends.

Favourite quote: “Three syllables and three thousand memories.”

Rating: 5 hearts

review city of bones

city of bonesSummary from Goodreads: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

What I liked: City of Bones definitely draws you in and keeps you hooked. Once you start reading you really can’t stop because you just NEED TO KNOW what is going to happen next! The world building in this book is pretty good, and gives you a good understanding of the hidden life that is happening all around. And then there is Jace. Oh, Jace. He’s a pretty boy Shadowhunter who also plays the piano. What’s not to love?

What I didn’t like: Well, there is a love triangle which I am not usually a fan of, but it kind of works here. No instalove, which is good, but yeah, still a triangle.

Swoon factor?: I personally like Jace the best out of the two boys involved in the love triangle. The other is Simon, Clary’s best friend. But for me, Jace is the one she belongs with. I appreciated the buildup to their romance and the fact that it wasn’t instalove, and I also like that Jace is blonde and pretty kick-ass if you ask me!

Favourite character: Clary. She does what she has to do for herself and isn’t just some helpless little girl character.

Favourite quote: Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?’
Jace said, “Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself.”
…”At least,” she said, “you don’t have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland.”
“Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”

Rating: 5 hearts

Well ladies and gents, there you have it! Three mini reviews for three good books! Let me know your thoughts on any or all of the books below!!! I love getting feedback from all of you lovelies <3

Mini Book Reviews: Angelfall by Susan Ee, The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell, and The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

As most of you know, this summer had been pretty busy for me what with work, getting ready to move away to university, and trying to hang out with all of my friends for one last time before I leave! And now that I’m actually in university, life is even more hectic! So, because of this, I have A BUNCH of books that I’ve read dating back to mid-June that I haven’t had time to review yet! I figured that instead of taking a bajillion hours to give all of these books full length reviews, I will have a series of mini reviews come out during the next few weeks, featuring three books per post, just until I get myself caught up. Sound like a good plan?? GOOD! (clicking the book covers will lead you to goodreads)

review angelfall

angelfallSummary from Goodreads: It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercyof his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

 What I liked:  First of all, I want to thank Octavia for sending me this book! I won it through one of her twitter giveaways a while back. It took me a while to get started with the book, but after lots of prodding from Debby, Octavia, and Nikki, I finally started it! To be honest, I was quite skeptical of this book. I’m not usually a huge fan of angel books, but this one took me completely by surprise, and I ended up LOVING IT! This book starts right off the bat with some serious action, and it never slows down! You will be in the edge of your seat the entire time you are reading this book. It’s insane! There are also some pretty crazy plot twists.

What I didn’t like:  Honestly, nothing. This book was perfect just the way it is.

Swoon factor?:  Yes!! And there is NO INSTALOVE!!!!! Yaaaaayyyyyy!!!! The romance between Raffe and Penryn is perfect. It progresses nice and slow, just like a real life relationship.

Favourite character:  Penryn. She’s such a kick-ass heroine, and at the same time has the thoughts and actions as a real life teenage girl. She’s just a perfect character!

Favourite quote: “What if they don’t let us go through?” I ask, trying not to move my lips.
“They will,” he answers from the dark recesses of the backseat footwell.
“How do you know?”
“Because you have the look they’re looking for.”
“What look is that?”
“Beautiful.” His voice is like a caress from the shadows.”

HOW CUTE IS RAFFE OMG.

Rating: 5 hearts

carrie diearies review

carrie diariesSummary from Goodreads: Before Carrie Bradshaw hit the big time in the City, she was a regular girl growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut. How did she turn into one of the most-read social observers of our generation?

The Carrie Diaries opens up in Carrie’s senior year of high school. She and her best friends — Walt, Lali, Maggie, and the Mouse — are inseparable, amid the sea of Jens, Jocks and Jets. And then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture. Sebastian is a bad boy-older, intriguing, and unpredictable. Carrie falls into the relationship that she was always supposed to have in high school-until a friend’s betrayal makes her question everything. With her high school days coming to a close, Carrie will realize it’s finally time to go after everything she ever wanted.

Rabid fans of Sex and the City will love seeing Carrie Bradshaw evolve from a regular girl into a sharp, insightful writer. They’ll learn about her family background — how she found her writing voice, and the indelible impression her early friendships and relationships left on her. We’ll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where the next Carrie Diaries book will take place.

What I liked: I picked up this book from the library because I’ve seen the first season (plus other random episodes) of Sex and the City and I wanted to learn more about Carrie and how she ended up doing what she’s doing in the NYC. This book was only ok for me. The only thing I really liked about this book was seeing Carrie develop more as a writer, and figuring out who she is as a writer. Other than that, not too much about this book appealed to me. (see below)

What I didn’t like: Quite a bit of stuff. The way guys and girls interact in this book is crazy, and completely unrealistic if you ask me! Two can be dating each other one day, and then broken up and dating someone else the next!! There was also a lot of smoking and drinking in this book, which I understand does happen, but for some reason it just didn’t sit right with me in this book. Carrie is also sometimes a bit of a bitch to her “best friend,” which I wasn’t a fan of.  Also, the book wasn’t particularly well written.

Swoon factor?: Kind of, but it didn’t work for me. NO MORE LOE TRIANGLES!

Favourite character: Carrie…. but only because I had to choose someone.

Favourite quote: “What if I’m a princess on another planet? And no one on this planet knows it?”

Rating: 2.5 hearts

the duff review

the duff coverSummary from Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

What I liked: UHM, everything?!?! Well, close enough to everything. This book is pretty much flawless. Bianca is such a real portrayal of today’s teenage girl. In fact, almost all of the characters in this book were fairly realistic. I also enjoyed how although this book dealt with some heavy-ish issues, they were handled very well, and they also didn’t take away from the main plot of the book. Can I also just throw in there that this book was written by an 18 year old girl!!!! I was blown away when I found that out! I also laughed out loud multiple times when reading this book!

What I didn’t like: My only small complaint about this book is that the teens (as realistic as they are) seem slightly more sex-obsessed than all of the teenagers I know.

Swoon factor?: YES!!! Bianca + Wesley = <3

Favourite character: Bianca. She’s just so real! (I know I know I said it before, but it’s so true!)

Favourite quote: “Wesley Rush was the most disgusting womanizing playboy to ever darken the doorstep of Hamilton High… but he was kind of hot. Maybe if you could put him on mute… and cut off his hands… maybe—just maybe—he’d be tolerable then. Otherwise, he was a real piece of shit. Horn dog shit.”

Rating: 4.5 hearts

Well ladies and gents, there you have it! Three mini reviews for three good books! Let me know your thoughts on any or all of the books below!!! I love getting feedback from all of you lovelies <3