CAN I GET SOME MORE? | Prequel Edition

It has become apparent to me since I moved and only brought a sparse amount of books with me, that most of my books NEED prequels.  Of course I want sequels for some of them also but I find that sometimes getting some back story that is explained more thoroughly is much better than having a plot that is drawn out through two books.  So here are three books that I think the authors should write prequels for.

1. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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This book has been on my Top 5 Must Reads list ever since I read it a couple of months ago.  While the plot is mildly confusing when you first pick it up, there are so many cogs and pieces that bring this story to be the masterpiece that it becomes.  A couple of times throughout the story it is mentioned that Hector and the Man in Grey have had a competition like the one is this story in the past.  We also meet one of the people involved in a previous competition when we start meeting the performers for the circus.  I have been craving more from this author, even though it appears that this was her one and only book.  I think it would be perfect to do another book revolving around either more information on the Man in Grey and Hector (seriously how did those two meet?!) or revolving around the competition that occurred before Celia and Marco came together.  I can’t be the only one waiting for another book from this amazing author!

2. Impossible by Nancy Werlin

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While we did get a sequel to this book (Yay more information on Fenella!) I personally think it would be interesting to hear the story of Lucy’s mother.  We see her briefly throughout this story but we only get a glimpse of the woman who has gone insane due to the curse on her family.  We don’t see her struggle, we don’t see her form a bond with the family that took in Lucy and we don’t see her slowly going insane.  We only see the end result.  It would be very interesting to see a different side of the story, one that didn’t end with a happily ever after.  I always like seeing books where you see a darker side of a character and things don’t always work out the way you think they should.  I think it would be interesting to see what kind of character Werlin would make Lucy’s mother out to be before she lost her sanity to the curse.

3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

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Every HP fan always wants more of the wizard world in their life.  I will never be satisfied with only having 7 books in the series and will always want more sequels to watch the next generation enjoy.  But I have to admit I’m especially curious about what life was like at Hogwarts for James and Lily Potter.  What was life at Hogwarts like for Snape?  We got a brief glimpse into their lives as teens in one of the books, enough to know that James used to bully Snape, but I really want more.  Especially considering their lives may have been very different without the incredibly real threat of Voldemort.  It would be an interesting read and it would make my little Hufflepuff heart very happy.

While these are only my top three favorites, every time a read a book I’m always curious what the world was like for the older generations represented in the book.  What was life like for the grandfather in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children?  What was life like under the Mad King in the Game of Thrones world? So many questions and not enough books!  What prequels do you want to see?

Updates: The Blog is Back!

Hi y’all!

It’s been a long while since I’ve been in the blogging sphere, partially because of all the moving and partially because I haven’t been reading enough between jobs and Etsy to make time for the blog.

But I’m back!  With a new schedule and a promise to never abandon you again, hopefully.  So here it is:

  • Twice a week will be new book related pieces.  This includes books I’m excited for, how to get out a pesky reading slumps, bookshelf organizations, the list could go on!
  • Once a week will be an adorable book DIY project.  These will be either paper projects, knit or crochet.  If it is knit or crochet, the finished product will be over on my Etsy shop for purchase for those of us who love looking at crafty things but can’t ever muster up the courage to get into it.
  • Last but certainly not least will be book reviews.  My goal is to post one of these every two weeks since I work in a bookstore and finding time to read really shouldn’t be as hard as I’m making it.

If you have DIYs that you want to see definitely let me know!  Feel free to leave any book recommendations in the comments to! See you guys tomorrow for an awesome bookish post!

BOOK REVIEW | Outlander

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Rating: 5/5 Stars

Find the Book!

Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Connect with the Author!

Twitter | Official Website

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

“The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.
 
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.”

Review:

Going into this book I was expecting it to be an adjustment.  Up until this book most of my reading has been YA focused with a smattering of Adult Fiction (usually contemporary fiction).  So when I picked up this book I was assuming I would need to switch my mindset to a similar one needed for reading books like Game of Thrones.  I was very very wrong.  This book combines history, romance and battle between countries and clans with elegance that reminds me very much of the All Souls Trilogy written by Deborah Harkness (a trilogy that is one of my favorite works of Adult Fiction).  It uses just enough historical reference to allow the reader to adjust to not one but two different time periods while not being overwhelming. The plot in Outlander keeps the reader on their toes with events that last long enough to keep the reader held in the author’s grasp without making the reader wait three more books to get to the bottom of what’s happening. I will say though that my favorite part of this book, and the part I’m looking forward to in the next books in this series was the characters.

Gabaldon does an incredible job creating characters that the reader connects with instantly.  I don’t think there was a character in this book that didn’t create some sort of emotion for me, good or bad.  And when the characters were meant to be loathed it was easy as a reader to get that and then come to that feeling in our own time as we watched their actions unfold *cough* Jack Randall *cough*.  I keep saying it but these characters were brilliantly written.  Even towards then end, and in some of the events that happened throughout the book, I found myself genuinely caring about the choices that each character made and how it affected them as a person.  Absolutely brilliant.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the female lead in this book, Claire, is kickass.  She might be out of her own time period, might not speak Gaelic and definitely doesn’t know close to anything about how to function in the time period she got thrust into but damn if it stops her from being a strong independent woman who does what she needs to to take care of herself.  The fact that she can rely on other people while still being able to make decisions for herself is one of the many reason that she has become one of my all time favorite female characters in ANY book.

And can we just talk for a second about James Fraser? I will say that I’m usually wary of quick romances in books because sometimes they can get out of hand and end up turning a well written novel into something focused romance instead of plot.  But the introduction of James Fraser introduced an entirely new aspect to this book that I LOVED. And let’s be honest after reading this book everyone wants a Scotsman like James Fraser in their life! The amount of raw emotion that Gabaldon put into this one character was amazing and made me admire her writing style even more than I already did, if that’s even possible.

While I will say as a warning to those reading this that this book does contain adult material and also at least one scene that might be triggering for some people, this was well worth every bit of trauma I might have from it.  I highly recommend this book to people who are interested in reading historical fiction books or just anyone in general.  And now I’m off to pick up the next book in the series.

BOOK REVIEW | The Secrets of Life and Death

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Rating: 4/5 stars

Find the Book!

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.

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!