Friday, February 28, 2014

Giveaway: The Pentrals by Crystal Mack (and other goodies!) - Last day to enter!!

Guys! The Giveaway is going to be over at midnight tonight! Enter now before it's over!!

We are giving away a SIGNED copy of The Pentrals by Crystal Mack, a Pentrals poster and "oculoy" tattoos! The Giveaway ends on February 28, 2014, at midnight. The Giveaway is for U.S. only (sorry!) - it is not international.

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Thanks for stopping by! :)


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

ISBN: 9780786838653
Source: Purchased
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1
Release Date: March 21, 2006
Goodreads  |  Amazon

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

I've realized, after re-reading and reviewing the Harry Potter series over the last few months, that it's hard to review books that you've already come to love despite their faults, etc. Percy Jackson is one of those series for me. After re-reading it, I did realize that some of the action scenes lacked a little bit for me and that yes, these books, at their core, are middle grade fiction. They are fun and silly, but for children nonetheless, so just a bit simple at times, too.

The world building is awesome and not only to we get a mythology lesson, we learn about Percy's new world, his new life at Camp Half-Blood. Though simple, the writing is great and easy to understand and fly through. The characters are hysterical, and I love Annabeth and Percy's dynamic and how they help each other grow, as regular kids and as demigods. Its hard not to love a series you can just get lost in... not to mention the fact that I have an unhealthy obsession with Greek Mythology, so that also bumps the entire series up a whole lot (as if it needed a bump).

     RATING: ★★★ 1/2

A fun, clever start to an awesome series! The rating is relative and the book gets a 3.5-4 from me mostly because I know how much better the books get and they are a little a lot juvenile at first. Not to mention it being 5 years since the first time I read them. It doesn't make much sense to say that the later books are better, but rate them all with a 5, right? I especially enjoy the books when Percy and friends mature a bit, so though this is a great start to one of my favorite series, it's definitely not my favorite in the series.

Have any of you read this book (or the whole series) yet? If so, what did you think!? If not.... well, what are you waiting for!? Can't wait to hear from you all!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

ISBN: 9780807583692
Source: eARC (Netgalley)
Series: No, stand alone
Release Date: March 1, 2014
Goodreads  |  Amazon

All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction.
Kate's dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she's still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he's a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?


Can I just say that again? WOW. So, basically, I was putting off reading this book for weeks and weeks because I thought I would hate it. For the life of me, I couldn't remember why I even bothered to request it on Netgalley. The reviews on Goodreads made the book seem like it was horribly written, stupid, etc. Well, FYI - I wholeheartedly disagree. I adored it, and I was really not expecting to at all.

I really enjoyed Kate despite the fact that she was a stubborn teenager with a tendency to say things she shouldn't say (why is that such a thing in YA lately?). Maybe I even liked her because of that. I really identified with her as she struggled with her illness, for some reason. Possibly because for the first part of the book, she definitely played the part of the victim, and I mean, don't we all play the victim sometimes? But Kate was also funny and sincere and it's hard not to like a girl like that.

And Aidan.. oh, Aidan. First of all, in my mind, he's Hot. Second, he's another brooding main character for whom I was totally able to excuse his cliche broodiness (all YA male MCs happen to be brooding, lately). He had some serious reasons to brood, though. He'd just lost his arm, his career, his friend, the life he always thought he'd have. But he was so sweet and sincere, and his awkward confusedness over girls and pretty much life in general were just too freaking adorable to bear. I loved their chemistry and OH MAN, that love scene! Okay, admittedly, it was a little much for a YA novel, but dayummm, Jolene Perry. Props to you, girlfriend!!

Both characters went through some real issues in this book and their character growth by the end was humbling to watch. There's not much to be said about a soldier losing a limb in battle.. it's a tragedy, point blank. I'm not trying to downplay it at all, but I don't see any controversy related to Aidan's tragedies. I felt for Aidan just as I felt for Kate, but Kate's issue stuck with me more.

I saw a lot of reviews (mostly the negative ones) that mentioned how they didn't understand why Kate's type 1 diabetes was such a big deal. Not gonna lie, that pissed me off quite a bit. I remember as a kid when my mother was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She was distraught - and she was an adult, with type 2. She'd be on pills and diets and special instructions, etc., for the rest of her life. I remember a few years later when she became pregnant with my brother and the doctors told her that the pills were too dangerous for the baby, and she'd have to inject herself with insulin for the entire pregnancy. I remember her being even more distraught. How is that something people can't understand? Add in the fact that Kate is a teenage girl with an even more dangerous type of diabetes, and I'm left wondering if I'm overreacting or if those reviewers were insensitive jerks.

Well, basically, long story short, as someone with a family history of diabetes (mom, grandmother, grandfather, etc.), being diagnosed with diabetes is one of my biggest health fears. I was able to identify with Kate wanting to ignore her disease because she hated having to live that lifestyle, that it wasn't fair. Again, yes, she was playing the victim, but to say that her diabetes was not a big deal after reading about every issue she dealt with, especially the life-threatening ones, is kind of ridiculous.

Alright, alright, sorry - rant over.

Anyways, I think the writing was great and my only wish was that it had been a bit longer. Two of the things that people complained about in this book were that the title had nothing to do with the book as it was not set in the summer, and that the author kept jumping back and forth between Aidan and Aiden. I only noticed these things more than simply in passing because of the reviews. This in no way took away from the story. Was it sloppy? Yes. Should an author, editor or publisher catch something so conspicuous? Yes. Is this just an ARC? Yes. Do I even give a crap? NO.

RATING: Excellent! (4.5 stars)

The Summer I Found You was a great story and I look forward to reading more by Jolene Perry in the future. Have any of you gotten to read this ARC? If so, what did you think? If not, do you think you'll be picking up a copy when it's officially released in a few days? Can't wait to hear what you think!


Friday, February 21, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday: The Last Book That Made Me Cry

Happy Friday! The week is finally over. That never usually means anything for me because I work weekends, but this time I'll be enjoying some time off. This week's Feature and Follow (Alison Can Read) topic is:

What was the last book that made you cry?

I just finished this book for the first time two days ago and I'm still suffering from it. For the record, no I don't hate the book or the ending. I posted a jumble of my thoughts on Goodreads a couple of minutes after I finished it in case you're interested in what I mean. Otherwise, I'll be posting a review in the coming weeks, but regardless - this book broke my heart. And I totally respect Veronica Roth for doing things the way she did. She literally had me sobbing and curling up in a ball on my couch - that's how hard I was crying over this book. I can honestly say it has been a really, really long time since I've cried like that over a book and I'm still not over it.

So first of all, what did you guys think of Allegiant? Like I said, it's only been two days since I've read it and I'm still so interested in discussing it... Second, what is the last book that made you cry?

Leave a link to your blog in your comments so I can pay you a visit back! :)

Happy Friday,


P.S. My Giveaway ends in one week! Enter below while you still can! You can win a SIGNED copy of The Pentrals by Crystal Mack, a Pentrals poster and tattoos! Giveaway ends February 28, 2014, at midnight. The Giveaway is not international (sorry!). U.S. only.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

ISBN: 9781595143068
Source: Purchased
Series: Vampire Academy #6
Release Date: January 1, 2010
Goodreads  |  Amazon
See reviews for previous books in this series

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir's Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.
Now the law has finally caught up with Rose - for a crime she didn't even commit. She's in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She'll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.
But the clock on Rose's life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back...and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

So after the events of Spirit Bound, I think we were all kind of expecting an epic conclusion to the series, amiright? Wellll.... about that...

Last Sacrifice picks up very shortly after Spirit Bound and moves right into the action. The story is action packed and, yes, you guessed it: DI. MI. TRI! The romance was pretty much perfect except for a few blips in the form of Adrian, whom I adore, just not for Rose. On that note, I am pretty excited for what I expect to be a boat load of character development for him in Bloodlines, because he needs it, badly.

Anyway, there's not much left to say after having reviewed the first five books in the series. We know that the world-building was pretty good throughout the series. I think it was a little strange how some new things were thrown in with this last book that had never existed before but I hope to see more of those things in the spinoff anyway.

I had the majority of this series spoiled for me accidentally, but somehow this book did throw me a few curveballs I was not expecting, and I was pleasantly surprised. However, all in all, I think Last Sacrifice was a lazy (not to mention a little too convenient) ending  to a pretty good series. It had the potential for so much more! The entirety of this book builds up for a BANG of an ending, but **warning - spoiler** with Rose being incapacitated, we miss out entirely on Lissa taking the throne, and she just shows up kind of like.. "Oh hey, I'm the Queen, btw." **end spoiler** The book was pretty long, but I think some of the less important scenes could have been cut out and more added to the ending that deserved way better.

With that being said, I did still enjoy this book. Rose's sarcasm gets better with every book and I found myself cracking up with her several times. I loved the romance and the book was rather action packed. It wasn't a perfect book, but I enjoyed it.

RATING:  4 stars - Pretty Good

Good ending to a good series. In my opinion, the series as a whole gets a "Pretty Good" rating from me, or in other words, 4 out of 5 stars. Not amazing but I enjoyed it and I loved the romance and the world is so unique and fun to be a part of.

Have you finished this entire series? What did you think of this final installment and the series as whole?

Get a Second Opinion
Kat Kennedy's Review (Goodreads) [2 of 5 stars]
Choice Reads [3 of 5 stars]
Team Tynga's Reviews [5 of 5 stars}


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Why I Love Being a Reader/Book Blogger

I'm so excited about today's Top Ten Tuesday because we get to talk about why we love doing what we do here on our blogs! (Check out The Broke and the Bookish for more info on Top Ten Tuesday). This week's topic is:

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Reader/Book Blogger

10. Blogging is a creative outlet. For me, I love to write but sometimes don't have the discipline to continue writing the book that I started (over a year ago... um... oops), but as someone who loves words, it's hard for me not to write. Blogging helps me get it all out when I don't have the time to work on a particular story.

9. Books are a totally healthy addiction. I ask my fiance all the time - would he rather me be addicted to drugs or something like that? At least I'm only making us broke by buying tons of books. :)

8. ARCs. Let us be honest here. Who doesn't love the added perk of advanced reader copies, be they e-books or actual copies? Not only are they free, which is sweet, but we, as bloggers, get to help spread the word for upcoming books before their release.

7. Connecting with authors/publishers. Making contacts in the blogging world is beneficial, but meeting new people is a lot of fun too. I've met some great authors along the way and it's been awesome getting to know them as more than just a name on a book.

6. A feeling of accomplishment. How awesome do you feel after you've gotten a bunch of posts done or picked a winner for your giveaway or changed your blog layout? Sometimes it's nice to just look at my blog and realize that I'm the one who put all of that together. It's a great feeling!

5. "A reader lives a thousand lives..." We all know this quote. I love being a reader because I have and will explore worlds that I know I'll  never get to see in real life. I'll have lived through each character a life outside of my own. So many adventures!

4. Keeping a record of things I've read and what I thought about them. Really, this is why I started my blog. I was making my way through a list of books and I wanted to document my journey. My reasons for blogging have since expanded but this is how it all started. Hopefully years and years from now, I will still be referring back to my blog and what I thought of the books I was reading.

3. "Respect" outside of the blogosphere. Most of my friends know that I blog, but most of them don't read much. However, when they do, they either check out my blog to see what they should read, or come straight to me to ask for an opinion. So many of us want to be taken seriously and it's an awesome feeling to know that people outside of blogging come to me because they take my opinion seriously.

2. Spreading the bookish love. I simply love talking about books and putting all of my bookish thoughts out there in hopes that fellow bloggers or others who stumble upon my blog might get something out of it.

1. Blog Friends. I have met some seriously awesome people through blogging and have made some great friends all over the world (especially Amber) who I couldn't imagine blogging-life without! By far, my favorite thing about blogging are the connections I've made with people who's opinions I've come to respect the most.


What about you? What do you love most about being a reader and book blogger? Leave the link to your blog in the comments so I can pay you a visit!


P.S. Don't forget to enter the Giveaway below! You can win a SIGNED copy of The Pentrals by Crystal Mack, a Pentrals poster and tattoos! Giveaway ends February 28, 2014, at midnight. The Giveaway is not international (sorry!). U.S. only.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

ISBN: 9780545537469
Source: eARC (Netgalley)
Series: Fire & Flood #1
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Goodreads  |  Amazon

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.
Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.
The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

I was so ridiculously excited when I saw this book and it's description on Netgalley, and even more excited when I was approved for it. After reading the synopsis, I couldn't help but feel the need to read this book immediately. Unlike most people, seeing it described as "Hunger Games-esque" made me want to read it more. Usually descriptions like that are mostly wrong, which I'm okay with. I actually did think that were a few similarities to the Hunger Games until the race took off, then Fire & Flood really developed into it's own.

With that being said, I think this book started off a little too quickly. If the book as a whole had been a little longer, a little more drawn out, the way it all happened would've been a little easier for me to believe. As it stands, I had a hard time believing that Tella, the MC, would just up and join the Brimstone Bleed the way she did - a 16-year-old-girl, a little bit spoiled, never worked a day in her life. It was just too hard to believe. However, once things got to the actual race, though, the pacing was much better and I kind of stopped caring how she got there in the first place.

Tella is... a very unique character. I really loved how different she is from every other YA female MC out there. She was quirky, funny, silly, and seriously, downright weird at times. Her stream of consciousness had me cracking up at times... and yes, maybe sometimes rolling my eyes or wondering if the girl was on crack. But mostly laughing.

I loved all of the supporting characters, especially Madox because he's the f---ing coolest Pandora out there (though that elephant was a close second)! The love interest was great, I loved watching Tella and Guy slowly begin to form a relationship. I especially liked Guy because, even though he was dark and brooding (like every other YA male love interest), he had reasons. Real reasons, and I can tolerate dark and brooding when there's a reason to be that way.

I was a little disappointed with the ending in that it seemed kind of abrupt. Maybe I'm just being a brat because I really just wanted more of the story! I just couldn't get enough of reading about this mysterious race through the eyes of a totally relatable, sometimes weird, possibly annoying, completely irrational, but absolutely brave and smart teenager who is unlike any MC I've ever read.

     RATING: ★★★★ 1/2

I really, really loved Fire & Flood and this is one of the few eARCs I think I am going to have to go out and buy an actual copy of, and possibly read again because I'm going to be miserable waiting until God knows when for the second installment.

On a side note - did anyone else have issues with their Kindle version of this eARC? Mine was all screwed up and I ended up having to read the majority of it from my computer. Paragraphs (or maybe sometimes chapters) were missing, or mixed up in some later spot in the book. It was a bit inconvenient, but I guess I'm over it. It's not like I couldn't read the book at all, just couldn't read it on my iPad like I wanted to.

Have any of you read this eARC yet? If so, did you love it as much as I did!? If you haven't read it, are you going to pick up a copy when it comes out next Tuesday? I totally am! Tell me what you think!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

ISBN: 9781595143662
Source: Purchased
Series: Vampire Academy #5
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Goodreads  |  Amazon
See my reviews for previous books in this series
*This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series*

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong...
After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.
She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever.

Ever read a book that frustrates the ever loving crap out of you? Well Spirit Bound was that book for me. The thing is: I liked it so much because it caused so much emotion in me. Maybe that emotion was mostly frustration, but still. I wouldn't be frustrated if I didn't care right?

There were a few things that annoyed me, though, that I didn't find acceptable. This was a book of epic proportions from start to finish and some of just wasn't pulled off the best way it could be. Rose made some very out of character decisions, other characters acted in ways they never had or never should have.  ****spoiler**** I hated the fact that the very same day that Rose came back from hunting Dimitri and being so distraught over everything that happened, she just all of a sudden decides to date Adrian, well.. because she promise him she'd try, right? WTF. The same day, woman!? Too soon!! Also, I seriously could not stand the way Lissa and Dimitri were acting toward each other and toward Rose at the end. I mean, Dimitri, I understand. But Lissa? Back the f*** off Bitch! Oh man, that really, really got to me.****end spoiler****

All that annoying stuff aside, Spirit Bound really did jump right into the action, and while I didn't agree with everything that happened or how it went down, I think it was all very clever and the pacing was great. After reviewing four of the books previously, I guess I don't have much else to say. This was my second favorite book of the series (after Shadow Kiss) because well... Dimitriiiii!!

     RATING: ★★★★ 1/2

I really did enjoy Spirit Bound as it began to tie up a lot of loose ends and set up for what has the potential to be an awesome series-ender. And Dimitri. I think that one word says everything that anyone needs to know about the series.

How far have you gotten in the series? Did you read book 5, and if so, what did you think? Let's talk books!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Giveaway: Signed Copy of the Pentrals by Crystal Mack (plus extra goodies!)

Back in November of last year, I read an eARC via Netgalley called The Pentrals by Crystal Mack. I read it on a whim when I was bored with some other things I was reading, and I was enjoyed it so much! (Make sure you check out my review if you want to see what I thought about the book!) Since then, I've talked with the author a little (who is so, so sweet!) and it's thanks to her that i solemnly swear is having this awesome giveaway!

We are giving away a SIGNED copy of The Pentrals by Crystal Mack, a Pentrals poster and "oculoy" tattoos! The Giveaway ends on February 28, 2014, at midnight. The Giveaway is for U.S. only (sorry!) - it is not international.

Did any of you get a chance to read The Pentrals via Netgalley last year, or a regular copy since it was released? What did you think? Did you love it as much as I did?! Leave a comment below for anyone who hasn't read it so they can see what you thought too! Good luck!! :)


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Swoon

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today's topic on Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is:


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Seriously, I did not expect this book to keep me up late, make me grin like a fool and cry like a baby, but it did. The romance just so.... sigh...

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
This book destroyed me emotionally, but that was after it made me swoon over a 16 year old boy (it's not as creepy as it sounds)

The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry
I was so super surprised by this book! The romance was absolutely perfect and gave me all the swoony feels.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Another Rowell book but this one didn't emotionally destroy me like E&P. Actually I think this one repaired my broken heart and the romance was so stinkin' cute, it was impossible not to swoon!

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
This series as a whole didn't necessarily make me swoon but this book by itself... well, it's where I fell in love with Dimitri.

What books made you swoon? I feel like a left a lot of potentials off because, while I loved the romance, it didn't really, physically give me any kind of reaction, whereas the books I listed left me with either a gigantic grin or a river of tears on my face. Do we share any swoon-worthy books? Leave me your link so I can pay you a visit!


P.S. Don't forget to enter the Giveaway below! You can win a SIGNED copy of The Pentrals by Crystal Mack, a Pentrals poster and tattoos! Giveaway ends February 28, 2014, at midnight. The Giveaway is not international (sorry!). U.S. only.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

ISBN: 9780312642976
Source: Purchased
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Goodreads  |  Amazon
See my reviews for previous books in this series
*Please note that this review may contain spoilers for the first two books in the series, Cinder and Cress*

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

It has been a long, long time since I've been as excited for a book as I was for Cress. I spent days texting, tweeting and posting about the countdown to #SaveCRESS and it was so much fun! Thankfully the book lived up to the hype, too!

I have so many thoughts about this book that I can't seem to form coherent ones. First of all, it was amazing. I LOVED Cress and at first I didn't think I'd love her but she was smart and innocent and sweet and ADORABLE. I did think, however, that with so many POVs that are now in play, Cress didn't really get her due. She still has so much development potential as well as some with Thorne and I was kind of hoping for something a little more solid on that front, but hey, ya can't win em all.

I went through so many emotions while reading Cress, but mostly I was angry, scared and weepy! The characters did not have an easy go of it this time around. I spent most of the book with my mouth gaping open hoping and praying that Meyer was not going to let things end up badly. For the most part, it ended up alright but I'm still a little heartbroken over a few things. :(

We met a few more extremely important characters in this book, like Winter and Jacin Clay. And um, the jury is still out on them. I have to be honest, I was not loving Jacin. He was a little bit of a tool, and I felt pretty bad about that considering I know he'll have a pretty big role in Winter. And Winter... I am so, so interested in her character but she is so far from what I was expecting that it makes me kind of nervous.

I sort of forgot how much I liked Meyer's writing in that it's still a bit juvenile considering the age group that is really becoming the fandom for this series. I like the innocence that is still part of the story, especially in a genre that is flooded with smutty adult fiction disguised as YA because the hero/heroine is 17 or 18. However, sometimes it was a little slow because she took her time with every little detail but I loved it and I love that every thing that happens at this point adds a new puzzle piece to the story as a whole.

I really, really loved Cress and I'm looking forward to re-reading the series again before Winter comes out because um, I CANNOT WAIT ONE ENTIRE YEAR FOR WINTER. GIVE. ME. NOWWW.

RATING: ★★★★ 1/2

Cress was my most anticipated book for 2014 and it did not disappoint. I love every character even more than I already did and I'm really intrigued to see how this is all going to work out with Winter and Jacin, and how things will resolve for the characters that we already know and love.

Did you get to read Cress already? What did you think!? I absolutely loved it and I hope you did too! Tell me what you thought!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book-to-Movie Review: Vampire Academy

Happy Sunday everyone!! Who went to see Vampire Academy this weekend?

THIS girl did! To be completely and totally honest with you, I expected it to be really, really bad. Have you seen Beautiful Creatures? Remember how god-awful that was? That's basically what I was expecting. Nonsensical, cheesy, alternative endings... etc.

I was so, so wrong. The usual concern for a book-to-movie adaptation are plot changes and things being added in or taken out. I won't lie: things were left out - but it worked for the movie. It moved swiftly and hit all the major plot points including things with Natalie and Victor Dashkov, and I thought it was awesome that they added in some of the tiny little details that are used in later books and could be used in later movies. ***SPOILER*** They did add in this weird little thing about Moroi spraying blood on the walls with their wrists like some strange fad which was awkward and incredibly stupid but, hey - ya win some, ya lose some. ***END SPOILER***

Vampire Academy was hysterically funny. I originally hated the trailers because they seemed cheesy and silly but the movie really played up Rose's sarcasm while still keeping the air of darkness that is part of the books. I was cracking up the whole time and even the "let's make tonight our bitch" line from the trailer seemed less cheesy in context.

Zoey Deutch did an awesome job playing Rose! She was the perfect mix of sarcasm and bad-ass, I just loved her! Lucy Fry who played Lissa made me like her character when I never liked her much in the books. She was brought to life and was a little bit more 3-dimensional in the movies. I wasn't entirely crazy about the casting for Christian but I think Dominic Sherwood did a good job, even if he didn't look exactly how I'd pictured him in my head.

Okay, so maybe I didn't hate the casting of of Dimitri that much..
And I know you're all wondering: Dimitriiiii! I was not happy with the casting for Dimitri. Danila Kozlovsky looked too old (and I think he was actually older in the movie than in the book) and he wasn't.... sexy, for lack of a better term. I think we've all pictured Dimitri as this sexy guy with a hot bod but what we got was a little more mediocre. Attractive but not sexy, stocky but not chiseled. Not to mention the creep factor of him looking like he's 34, not 24. So needless to say, I was not happy with the choice for Dimitri..... until that secretly-hunky man SMILED. I about died when he smiled...those dimples... and when he says "Roza, my Roza"... Sweet Baby Jesus, I was a goner.. He did have a heavier accent than I was expecting though, which sometimes made it hard to understand him, but it was adorable and I loved it. I went in there expecting to hate him but I actually kind of love him, just wish he was hotter (and um.. younger..).

As further evidence of the awesomeness of this movie, I dragged my fiance with me (it was our anniversary and how could he tell me no?) and he said he fully expected to hate every second of it,  but he didn't. He actually gave it a rating of 3.5 out of 5. Again... an almost-30-year-old man, hates vampire crap, hates YA crap, hates everything I'm into... and he actually kind of liked it. He said he granted the extra .5 because it made him laugh out loud. I'm still amazed.

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Overall, I really, really liked Vampire Academy. I was pleasantly surprised and I think it did a great job of bringing the story to life! I actually liked it more than I liked the first book (it feels blasphemous to say this). I hope they make a movie for the next book too (kind of hoping they combine some of them so it's not a 6 movie series, eek). They definitely did everything right and left it open for the movie series to continue (instead of changing the ending, *ahem Beautiful Creatures ahem* to provide "closure"). Great movie and I actually kind of want to see it again.

Did you see Vampire Academy? What did you think? I loved it, I hope you all were as pleasantly surprised by it as I was!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Review: Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

ISBN: 9781595143105
Source: Purchased
Series: Vampire Academy #4
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Goodreads  |  Amazon
See reviews for previous books in this series
*Please note that this review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series*

Now Rose must journey to the ends of the earth to find - and kill - her one true love....
Or has the time come to join him?
My heart shattered. My world shattered.You will lose what you value most....It wasn't my life.... It wasn't even Dimitri's life.What you value most.It was his soul.

Coming off of the emotional rollercoaster that is Shadow Kiss, book 3, I was really anticipating reading Blood Promise, but I was also pretty nervous on how the rest of the story was going to play out. The entire journey through the books, especially Blood Promise, had an underlying feeling of Rose's pain through everything. Unfortunately for me, though, I had the majority of the story spoiled for me, so nothing was really a total surprise for me. However, it was still nerve wracking not being 100% sure if the horrible things at the end of Shadow Kiss would be resolved by the end of the series and how.

I liked meeting some more new characters, Sydney, Abe, the Belikovs. I think that was my favorite part - branching out. Rose finally really gets to leave St. Vladimir's and I think it did wonders for the story. It opened up the world that much more and allowed us some insight into the Vampire Academy world outside of St. Vladimir's and the Royal Court.

I did, however, come to the conclusion, about halfway through this book, that 6 books is just too long for a series that isn't mind-blowingly amazing. Probably, I'm hardwired for 3-book series and that's it. By book 4, I was dying to know how it all ended already and kind of pushing myself through. Not that I didn't enjoy them all, but then the books started getting to 500-600 pages. I love a good long book, but sheesh. The whole thing was a little too drawn out and I think a lot of it could've been cut out and sped the plot along better.

Unfortunately, this installment had a lot of random little plot holes that really annoyed me. None of them were things that really affected the story - just things that make you go "hey... wait a minute....???" And none of them were ever explained. To me it seemed like straight up lazy writing which really annoyed me because the writing as a whole had gotten so much better since book 1, and then it began regressing.

But, all in all, even when I don't absolutely love one of the books in this series, my favorite thing about them is: Dimitriiiii!! Have I said that before? Even when there were bad, bad things happening, I still loved him. There honestly was no romantic development in Blood Promise, not in the real sense of the word, but it was still perfect... It killed me in so many ways, I just don't know how to describe it...what more can I say?

     RATING: ★★★★

Blood Promise was a bit predictable at times and very drawn out. I enjoyed venturing outside of the standard settings for the Vampire Academy books, but I was anxious to get through this one to move onto the next so I can finally find out how it all goes down. Did I mention that 6 books is just too many for a non-mind-blowing series?

Have you read this far into this series? What did you think of this book in particular? Can't wait to hear from you!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Bring on the Waterworks

Happy Tuesday! It's been a while since I've participated in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is:

Top Ten books that will make you cry

The Color Purple by Alice Walker - Need I elaborate?

The Host by Stephenie Meyer - Some parts in this book had me crying like a baby.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt - I love this book. It's one of the first ones I read as a kid and it gets me every time. And the movie? Don't get me started.

Anything by Jodi Picoult. I have literally cried over every book by her that I've ever read. And sometimes been enraged or overjoyed. I can't think of a time when a book by her hasn't left me emotionally unstable for a day or two... sigh..

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - another one that I read early on. Actually, this is the first book I can ever remember making me cry. Group reading in 6th grade and I was the one weeping discreetly in the corner. Ugh, I was a sap, even then.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - it definitely wasn't my favorite book of all time but I dont think I need to explain. Some people said it didn't make them cry at all. To those people: you have no soul (kidding not kidding).


Harry Potter Books 4-7 by J.K. Rowling. I cried at the end of every one of these books. You know why.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Again, need I elaborate?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - I had to read the last chapter several times just to be sure it was real. I cried and cried and cried. I've never felt so broken by a book that made me smile as much as it made me cry. 

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - Seriously, guys, I don't think I've ever cried as hard over a book as I did this one. Like, if you want your heart broken beyond repair, read this book. It's amazing.

So, some people don't like books that destroy them. I, however, do. I generally grant an extra half to a whole star for books that get me that emotional. To me, it says something about the writing, the story, and the way the author made me connect with it as a whole.

Do you like to read books that make you cry? Which ones made you cry the most?
Leave a link to your posts so I can come visit!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

ISBN: 9780316122382
Source: Christmas Gift! :)
Series: No, Stand-alone
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Goodreads  |  Amazon

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?
Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Let me start by saying that I'm obsessed with the cover of this book! Its so unique and not overly flashy. Not to mention the adorable picture of what I believe to be Hadley and Oliver at the airport! I picked up this book in between binge-reading another series because I didn't have the next series book yet. I wanted something light and fluffy, a cute romance to occupy my time and it did not disappoint. I've seen some negative reviews of this book talking about it's lack of depth, but I thought that it did have more depth than what I was expecting, really. And anyway, look at the title - did you really expect something life-changing and earth-shattering? Come on, people.

Anyway, Smith's writing is really great and the third-person, present tense POV was really unique! It was engaging and gave it a more exciting feel, like the reader is right there with Hadley, experiencing all of her emotions along with her. I liked Hadley - she seemed smart and cute and just a bit (well... maybe a lot) damaged. I had some issues with Oliver. I thought he was funny and witty but I didn't quite catch the chemistry between him and Hadley as much as I'd have liked to. It was there... it just didn't quite make me swoon.

As I mentioned before, this book actually had much more emotional depth than I was expecting. Hadley is still reeling from the breaking apart of her family and now having to watch her father remarry before she is ready for him to. Smith touches on tough issues like cheating, divorce, remarriage, etc. and I found myself really connecting and feeling more emotional (and even getting a bit misty) toward those parts of the book rather than the development of a relationship between Hadley and Oliver. Somehow I connected more with the adult in the book than with the teenager... (does that mean I'm too old for YA!? Nooo)

While a bit predictable and with a romance that lacked that something, I really did enjoy this quick and easy read. I was very pleased with the way it all turned out. Maybe a bit too far into the "tidy-bow" department (as I like to refer to endings with too clean of a happy ending), but I expected no more and no less from this book, so I was happy with it.


Cute - Fun - Quirky. These are the words I would use to describe most of this book. The chemistry lacked a little but it was made up for in funny one-liners and more emotional depth than you'd expect from a young adult romance novel, so bravo to Smith!

I enjoyed this one a lot. Have any of you read it? What did you think about the romance? The family issues for both Hadley and Oliver? I can't wait to hear what you think!