BOOK REVIEW | Shatter Me

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Rating: 4/5 stars

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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

Connect with the Author!

Twitter | Official Website

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

“You can’t touch me,” I whisper.

I’m lying, is what I don’t tell him.

He can touch me, is what I’ll never tell him.

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.

No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.

Review:

This is actually the second time I have read this book.  The first time I read it I don’t think I found anything especially memorable about the plot or the characters.  However this time around I found myself getting much more into the characters, the world and the plot throughout the book.

This book focuses on a girl named Juliette, who for whatever reason can kill people with her touch.  I found the idea of Juliette’s “powers” was an interesting component in this book.  Especially in a dystopian world where being around large amounts of other human beings can be rare.  The society is falling apart and many people have died, so to have someone who can kill another human accidentally just by touching them is intriguing and something that many people seek throughout the book.  The other portion of Juliette’s character that I found interesting was the distinct idea that while she felt helpless, when the situation called on it she was able to protect herself without relying too much on the people around her.  I enjoyed the idea that the author allowed Juliette to be confused and dazed but at the same time created a character that was willing and able to take care of herself and fight back when she needed to.

The other thing, in terms of characters, that I liked about this book was the fact that the romance between Adam and Juliette wasn’t center stage.  Granted it wasn’t particularly hidden in the plot but compared to some teen and YA novels where the romance takes center stage (Twilight I’m looking at you) this book created an environment where the actual problems were very apparent and a much more pressing concern than if Adam and Juliette would get together and live happily ever after.

I believe that the only main problem I had with this book was the fact that the ending just seemed to fall off for me.  After all of the build up from the second half of the book, the ending just seemed to plop into place rather than leave me on the edge of my seat or making me feel the need to run to the nearest bookstore and demand a copy of Unravel Me to help ease the burning desire to find out what happens next.  I wasn’t disappointed in the ending, I just wanted more.

Overall I have to say that I was extremely happy I re-read this book.  I’m not sure why I don’t remember much of reading it the first time around but this time it was definitely a worth while read.  While I won’t be rushing to the bookstore to pick up the next two books in the trilogy I will definitely be reading them and finishing the series sometime in the near future!

BOOK REVIEW | The Secrets of Life and Death

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Rating: 4/5 stars

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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

**I received this book as a review copy through Random House’s Blogging for Book program**

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret–She’s Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won’t rest until they’ve taken the magic that keeps her alive….

In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess’ malady, is the magic that might be able to save her…
As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee’s assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying.

Review:

It took me a while to pick this book up off my shelf.  After initially requesting it I found myself not terribly drawn to it like I thought I would be.  But I was pleasantly surprised when I did pick it up.  I flew through this book in a matter of days and although it did drag in some places (let’s be honest what book doesn’t)  I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some of the things that worked the best in this book were the shorter chapters, which made the novel flow better and the twining together of the themes of the book.  From magic, alchemy and the occult I thought that the author did a phenomenal job of bringing each of these pieces together.  The only other book that I have read that accomplished a task like this was Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and that book is now one of my must-reads for all of my bookish friends.  I felt that the fact that her book covered topics that have had a strong pull for people over a large span of time made the transition between the two time periods in the book much easy to comprehend.  Normally in books with time travel, or split time frames, it gets difficult to transition seamlessly from one time period to the next.  So I applaud this author for taking the time to make sure that her plot was not only interesting but was something that was relevant and intriguing for both time periods.

The other thing I really enjoyed about this book was the characters.  While sometimes I found the characters to be a bit dull, for the most part I was very drawn to all of the characters in this book.  The fact that each of the characters had desires, strengths, flaws and weaknesses that were very apparent in the way they acted and handled situations made the more interesting and allowed me to relate to the characters themselves.  These characteristics are what brought them to life and made them fly off the page.

Overall I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in it!  Definitely a great read.

POPSUGAR CHALLENGE GROUP | 2015 Challenges

Book Challenge

Since it has been requested I have created a group on Goodreads for the PopSugar Challenge.  The group is open so anyone who wants to join is able to.  Feel free to add in friends that you have on Goodreads and introduce yourself on the “Welcome” thread so we can get to know each other.  I will be updating the threads tomorrow while I am at the airport so that each portion of the challenge has a thread so that people can discuss the books they are reading for each specific portion.  If there is anything else you would like me to add to this page please let me know and I would be happy to add it.

As with anything on the internet there is always the possibility that people may be unkind.  I have yet to experience this on Goodreads but please keep in mind that the group welcomes ALL people and is a place were we can discuss books and such in a safe environment.  I doubt that there will be any problems with that but I thought I would make the disclaimer when putting this group out there!  Hope to see all of you in the group and see what you have started reading for the challenge!

BOOKS & MOVIES | 2015 Edition

Before I get this started I realized that I didn’t announce the winner of the giveaway for the Winter Re-Read-a-Thon book!  The winner was Cait Toliver and she chose to get Ask the Passengers by A.S. King!  So thank you to everyone who entered and participated throughout the read-a-thon!

Next I have heard from a couple people that they would be interested in doing some of the 2015 challenges with me so I was considering making a Goodreads group for the PopSugar challenge.  If you are interested in that sound off below and I will set that up and send out a link for everyone!

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Now onto the fun stuff!  Books have been a starting point for a ton of movies over the years.  Movies like Mary Poppins, literally any Disney movie (thank you Grimm’s Fairytales) and a host of others have all brought characters that we have fallen in love with to life on the big screen.  In some fashion it is a right of passage for books to make the transition from novel to movie.  Sometimes the movie does a phenomenal job of bringing light to a story that many people love, but sometimes it strays just a bit to far and makes people wonder just how much input the author had in the movie making process.

In 2015 there are a handfull of movies coming out that are based on books and I must say that I am incredibly excited for all of them to make their debut.  So I decided to put together a list of the book to movie adaptations that I am most excited for this year!

5. Paper Towns by John Green 

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This book was the second John Green book that I had the pleasure of reading.  While I didn’t like it as much as The Fault in Our Stars, it was still a great read and one that I would highly recommend.  The story follows to main character, a boy named Q and a girl named Margo.  Margo has always been adventurous and daring and when she disappears, Q makes it his mission to find his childhood friend.  John Green has had a major role in the making of this movie (he’s producing it), so I have tons of faith that this movie will stick very close to the book like The Fault in Our Stars did.

4. The Choice by Nicolas Sparks

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Let’s be honest here for a second.  If anyone is a hopeless romantic its me.  I read all the cheesy romance novels, love the hopelessly unrealistic love stories and swoon over the handsome man who sweeps the girl off her feet.  The whole idea of a slightly troubled relationship or the bachelor who just can’t grow up until he meets the perfect woman, OR the story of two lovebirds growing old together just tugs at my heart strings.  And let’s be honest now, Nicolas Sparks knows what he’s doing when he writes for us hopeless romantics in the world.  The Choice follows the story of a bachelor who ends up falling for the girl next door.  And then comes all of the wonderful Nicolas Sparks magic.  Nicolas Sparks books have always translated very well into movies so I am incredibly excited to see one of my favorites make the transition!

3. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

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Gone Girl came out earlier this year and wowed everyone who went to see it, to my knowledge at least.  So when it was announced that Dark Places would be coming out this year I was super excited.  While I have not read this book yet, I did read Gone Girl and it was amazing.  If you haven’t read it yet I would HIGHLY recommend that you pick it up. Dark Places focuses on another chilling story, featuring the main character Libby, whose mother and sister were murdered in their farm house.  Libby’s testimony ends up sending her brother to jail for the crime, but then she joins Kill Club and starts to rethink was actually happened.  This story sounds amazing, haunting and chilling so I can’t wait to see what the all-star cast of this movie does with the story.

2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Speaking of creepy stories, this book by Ransom Riggs features not only a chilling story but also some brilliantly creepy photography inside it’s pages.  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a young adult book focusing on a boy named Jacob who grew up listening to his grandfather’s stories of levitating girls and invisible boys.  After his grandfather dies, Jacob finds a strange letter that sends him to Welsh island where he finds the children that his grandfather told him about. It’s creepy and supernatural and I’m super pumped to see how they choose to translate this to film and if they do the sequel as well.

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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MOCKINGJAY IS COMING! I couldn’t possibly be anymore excited to see the final chapter in the Hunger Games movie saga.  The Hunger Games trilogy is a dystopian novel that while many people realize is definitely disturbing but in a way that captures everyone’s attention and draws them in, also holds some terrifying parallels to our society today. We are the capitol and the districts all at once and that in itself is terrifying and heartbreak.  It’s also extremely interesting.  For me these books represent what Young Adult literature should be, especially in the dystopian genre.  Books are meant to make us think, make us notice things in our society we wouldn’t have before.  I have been incredibly pleased with this movie franchise so far and I can’t wait to see how they wrap things up.  You better believe I am going to marathoning this trilogy before I go to see the final movie.

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These are the top 5 book to movie adaptations I’m excited for this year.  Let me know down in the comments below which ones you are excited for and your thoughts on the ones I chose!

NEW YEAR NEW CHALLENGES | 2015 Book Resolutions!

2015 HAS OFFICIAL STARTED! And since it’s a new year it means that for this book reader there is a whole year of new challenges!  I will be participating in two year long reading challenges this year that I have already established for myself as well as one challenge on BookTube.  So let’s dive right in with what the challenges are!

The first challenge I am setting for myself is the Goodreads reading challenge for 2015.  This is a common challenge for most people who are on Goodreads.  The idea is to set a reading goal for yourself, whether it be 20 books or 100 books and then attempt to read that many books throughout the year.  This last year I set my goal at 50 and it was a bit high for me.  I think if I would have started at the beginning of the year with the goal I would have been find but I decided to set it a bit lower this year.  So for 2015 I set my goal at 30 books and I might update that if I end up hitting it before the year is over.

The second challenge is one that I found while searching Pinterest for some reading challenges for this year.  The one that I found originated on PopSugar and has a long list of different types of books to check off as your read things in 2015.  My idea for this is to supplement my Goodreads reading challenge with this one to get me to read more diverse books that I probably wouldn’t pick up otherwise.  I normally stick to a pretty predictable set of genres and I am making a goal for myself to branch out and explore more genres in 2015.

The last reading “challenge”  that I might be participating in on BookTube is the 2015 TBR Jar challenge which was created by Katytastic.  The video she created has all of the qualifications for books that you can submit to the TBR jar for the year.  Each month, one book on my TBR list will come from the TBR jar that I will be creating!  Hopefully next week I will have a post about making my jar and deciding which books to put in it! So keep an eye out for that :)

If you want to participate in any of these challenges let me know below and we can chat about them as the year goes along!  Happy 2015 everyone!

GIVEAWAY | Winter Re-Read-a-Thon

It’s finally up! WordPress doesn’t allow Rafflecopter to post onto the actual blog so there is a link below to click on. If there are any problems accessing it please let me know in the comments below! Follow the instructions for the required entries and then do the optional ones if you want! :) All the words you comment will be made into a giant story by myself and will be posted as a blog post once the giveaway is closed!  I will also announce the giveaway winner then as well! :)

Link to the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

READ-A-THON TBR | Winter Re-Read-a-Thon

THE READ-A-THON IS UPON US!

There were a series of challenges to complete during this read-a-thon.  For me I’m going to be relying a lot on books that I have on my Kindle due to the fact that I am currently in the process of packing up all of my belongings before I make the move to Texas early in January.  Either way I will be hosting Twitter sprints tomorrow so be sure to check that out!  I will also have some fun challenges of my own and a giveaway for people to participate it.  So if reading your favorite books again wasn’t enough incentive NOW THERE IS ALSO A GIVEAWAY FOR YOU!  I will also hopefully be doing more giveaways in 2015 for you all to participate in so that’s cool!

Here is my TBR for this read-a-thon:

1. Re-read a stand alone book: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

2. Re-read the first book you remember reading (that you own): A Horse Called Wonder by Joanna Campbell

3. Re-read a book by your favorite childhood author: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (or any of the Harry Potter books really)

4. Re-read at least 6 books: To fill out this portion of the challenge I will also be re-reading the First Comes Love trilogy by Katie Kacvinsky

What books will you be reading?  Link me to your TBR’s below and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the first Twitter Sprint tomorrow as well as the opening of the giveaway tomorrow! :D