Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Last Sentences | Top 5 Wednesday

This week's theme is Top 5 Last Sentences. I will put forth the warning that these will be spoilery especially if you have not read the books yet. So you have been warned! If you are more interested in First Sentences, you can check out my post for that here :) You will also see that there are some overlap in some books in both categories, so you can definitely tell which books are some of my favorites! ;)

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
"The scar had not painted Harry for nineteen years. All was well." (page 607)
2. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde 
"It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was." (page 188)
3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
"I do, Augustus. I do." (page 313) 
4. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
"A moment later, the cold ran up her arms, and caught her breath, and beneath her hands a heartbeat fluttered, as Victor Vale opened his eyes, and smiled." (page 364)  
5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
"She looked at his golden-brown eyes and all of the promises that lay within them, and linked her arm with his as she smiled. 'Tell me tomorrow.'" (page 404)  
What are your top 5 last sentences? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Premise: The story takes place in a dystopic world where everyone is categorized by numbers due to their family ancestry and job. America Singer, the protagonist is a Five in this world. She lives with her family and is secretly dating a neighborhood boy, Aspen who is a six. She loves him very much but he has so much pride and wishes a better life for her. There is an event called The Selection, which is a process that will help the Prince, Maxon find his future wife. 35 girls are selected and he gets to know them and from there selects his future wife. Aspen encourages America to enter for the sake of it and she actually makes it to be one of the girls. There in the castle, America must navigate the difficulties of royal life, deal with the other thirty four girls competing for Maxon and ultimately her feelings between the two boys.

My overall thoughts and review: I've had this series sitting on my shelf for quite some time now, and I thought I might as well read it since the final book already came out. I was told that it was a very addictive series and it was sort of The Bachelor meets a dystopic world. I will admit, I have indulged in a couple seasons of The Bachelor/The Bachelorette from time to time. It is complete fluff but incredibly addicting. That is what this book was. I finished it in one sitting (in fact, I finished the second one immediately after that too!). I really enjoyed America at the beginning and admired her for sticking true to her character and not just conforming to her surroundings, but at times, she was incredibly frustrating. She was incredibly indecisive between the two love interests and acts that were supposed to be perceived as endearing were seen as selfish, especially when it came to her family and friends. She was really topsy-turvy with what she wanted and at moments I just wanted to reach into the book and shake her! I really liked the character of Maxon and I thought he was incredibly lovely, but also mysterious, so it is an interesting set-up for how the rest of the series will go on. Overall, I liked it, but I didn't love it. I do recommend it if the premise sounds like something you would read. I will however say, the world, the dystopic world is fascinating and it is a shame it is lost and muddled in the love triangle throughout the book.

Rating of the book: 3/5 stars.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Wives & Daughters Read-a-long!

 So for this month and the next, one of my really good friends Alysia is hosting a read-a-long and the book is Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. We will be using the hashtags #ilikebigbooks and #gaskellreads, so you can track your progress on twitter/instagram/goodreads. I am participating, so be sure to head over to twitter and follow my updates. I will have a full review for the book when I am finished! :D 

Let me know in the comments if you are participating! 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Review: The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

The Premise: The story follows the protagonist Ezra Faulkner, the "golden" boy of his highschool that has everything going for him. His friends, his beautiful girlfriend Charlotte and his tennis career. His life seems perfect.. until an accident one night that changes everything. The accident shapes his life in a way where everything he had going for him is now lost to him. But he is reunited with an old childhood friend Toby and meets an intriguing girl, Cassidy. He tries to figure out who he is with new friends, new love and an overall new outlook on life.

My overall thoughts and review: I've had this book for quite some time now on my shelf but I only got around to reading it recently because it has gotten a lot of hype recently. I also heard that there were some Harry Potter and Doctor Who puns - so I thought now was a good time as any to read it. To begin with, let me just say, I am a huge fan of that 1920s era and the authors that come from that time period, so the fact that the main protagonist's name is Ezra Faulkner.. well that is just amazing! (Though those two: Ezra Pound and William Faulkner are not exactly my favorites, I can live with it and it is a nod to that time period - so I approve!) I really liked Ezra as a main protagonist and he was hilarious to read from, I loved his sarcasm. I also really loved the character of Toby, his bestfriend. Overall, it was a really good contemporary read that did not focus so heavily on the love relationships (which I really appreciate) and it came down to more about who Ezra was after the accident and who his true friends were. I can't say much without spoiling it, but I think if you are a fan of a contemporary coming of age story, then I recommend you give this a whirl! :D

Rating of the book: 3.5-4/5 stars.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

#100happydays | Day 32 - June 14th 2014

Got this ARC in the mail and I started to read a bit of it. Loved this series and I am so sad this is the end!

#100happydays | Day 31 - June 13th 2014

Jeremy and I went to IKEA to get a new shelf for me on Friday and he built it for me (thank you again!) and look at it. Here is the top two shelves and they hold most of my favorites/classics. So pretty!

#100happydays | Day 30 - June 12th 2014

#100happydays | Day 29 - June 11th 2014

It was my mom's birthday and we celebrated with pretty flowers, pizza and delicious vanilla cake. :)

#100happydays | Day 28 - June 10th 2014

Had some serious dental work done and literally all I could eat was yogurt and soup for days. But at least the yogurt was delicious every time I added strawberries. :)

Naked Cover Books | Top 5 Wednesday

This week's theme is naked book covers, so hardbacks without dust jackets. I included a wide range of my favorite ones on my shelf, that are significant to me also on a sentimental level, so I hope you will all enjoy this post! Onto the list shall we?

1. William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher 
I now own all three books in the trilogy and without the dust jackets, the books are revealed to be a lovely brown that has an ~old book feel~ with it. It looks and feels like an old library book. I absolutely am a huge fan of Quirk Books in terms of how they decided to produce this book aesthetically, it is beautiful! And it goes along really nicely with the overall series of the books because even though Star Wars has been around for quite some time, the book represents a spin on it, with a tinge of Shakespeare.

2. Looking for Alaska by John Green
So this edition of Looking for Alaska is not my original one. I got this signed copy in a charity event called Project for Awesome and I gave my very loved copy to one of my best friends Nikki (who also wrote her top 5 wednesday post which you should go read here) I know that this looks quite simple, but I love this so much without the dust jacket because it actually has his signature embossed on the cover (and also an actually signature inside). This is by far my favorite book by John Green, so it holds a special place in my heart along with looking SO beautiful! :')

 3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I have yet to read this, but I own both this and Hollow City now and the graphic novel and they are all stunning without the dust jackets. Don't get me wrong, the dust jackets are beautiful as well, but the hardback, wow! The color, the detailing, the font, design.. I love it all! 

4. The Program by Suzanne Young
This is the first book in the series and I love this hardback so much because the dust jacket shows the two characters and their back and when you remove the dust jackets, you get to see their faces which I think is such a cool concept! 

But for today I decided to choose A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
I own all of the currently released Penguin Drop Caps and I have to say they are definitely one of my most prized possessions on my shelves. They make a rainbow and they are simply stunning. The detail that goes into each book is just amazing. I love the quality of them and how even though there is the same ~outline~ with the spine design and the front showcasing the letter of the author, each has a unique twist on it! 

That is it for today's post. Let me know in the comments what your top 5 favorite naked book covers are and if you wrote a post, please link me to it! I would love to read it! 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ten Books On My Summer TBR list | Top Ten Tuesday

June 17th Theme: Ten Books On My Summer TBR list

I recently posted a list of Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer and a lot of those will be a part of my TBR for the summer. So for this post, I am going to include books that have been sitting on my shelf for quite some time now that I think this summer will be the perfect time for me to take the plunge into. A lot of these are not new releases, so if you have read them, please let me know in the comments below what you thought of them! :D 

1. Legend by Marie Lu

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

3. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

4. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

5. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

6. The Program by Suzanne Young

7. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

8. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian 

9. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

10. The Diviners by Libba Bray

So those are the ten books that will be on my summer TBR list. What books are you hoping to read this summer? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Friday, 13 June 2014

Review: To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

The Premise: The story follows protagonist Lara Jean, who has loved five different boys. For every boy, she writes a love letter to them, but not to tell them that she loves them, but to pour out her heart and feelings to finally move on from them. It is in a way a goodbye letter to them, a way that helps he resolve her feelings. Lara Jean always places her letters in a hat box that her mother gave her and she never actually mails the letters out, until one day, all five of her letters go missing and they are sent out to the recipients. Lara Jean must navigate the consequences of this action of the letters being mailed out, while dealing with family problems, such as her older sister moving for University, and having to take over the role of the older sister for her younger sister. The story follows Lara Jean as she moves out of her shell and tries to cope with how the letters are received by the boys while juggling the regular drama tropes of school, family and friends.

My overall thoughts and review: I had picked up this book because I was going to the signing for Jenny Han which you can read about here :) This was my first Han book ever and I went into it with high expectations after hearing all the rave about it, and it lived up to my expectations and even exceeded it! I LOVED Lara Jean's story so much. She was definitely a frustrating characters at time, but she was so real, and reminded me of myself around that age, dealing with everything and how at that age, it is normal to make mistakes when dealing with boys and how it is all a learning process which helps you grow from it. I loved the family dynamic as well, and reading about her relationship with her older sister Margo and her younger sister Kitty. Kitty was amazing! She was so quirky and just so much fun to read about. I really loved the love interest as well (and this is mostly because it reminded me so much of my own boyfriend). I love relationships that are grown out of friendship because I believe those are the best ones and the strongest ones. Overall, I really really loved this book and I could not put it down at all! I actually read it all in one sitting! When I got to the end, I was gob-smacked by how quickly it ended, but then I learned through the social grape vines that it is a two-part story, so there will be a sequel for it.. (THANK GOODNESS!). I really enjoyed this so much, and it is up there as one of my favorite books now. Jenny Han just has an amazing way with words. I definitely recommend this if you are interested in a romantic young adult contemporary read, it will not disappoint!

Rating of the book: 5/5 stars.

Have you read this book? If so, let me know what your thoughts are below in the comments! :)

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Review: Tic Tac Tome by Willy Yonkers

The Premise: So this is actually a Tic Tac Toe game but in book form. Written by Willy Yonkers, the tag line of the book is "The Book that will Beat You at Tic Tac Toe". The idea is to play Tic Tac Toe alone, using the book, with two options, either you go first or the book goes first, and either or can be chosen depending on which end of the book you start from. In the foreword of the book, the book itself takes on a personality (which I personally love) and it explains that it is nearly impossible to beat it and that has been "created" for the sole purpose of beating you (the reader/the player) at the game.

My overall thoughts and review: First of all, the premise of it sounds so interesting. I think that this book would make for great fun to bring along on trips and stuff, where you can play it, your friends can play it, etc etc. I have played it multiple times now starting from the front where I pick the first move and the back where the book starts first, and I have yet to win. I haven't lost though so I guess that is a good thing, but it is mostly a draw. I even got the boy to play it too, and so far only draws. I really enjoyed this and how well the book predicts your move so perfectly, to win. My favorite part is especially the Frequently Asked Questions in the front of the book that really made me laugh out loud. Overall I really enjoyed it, and will continue to try to beat it (even if it says it is impossible) it is such fun. Definitely recommend this if you are a fan of the good ol' fashioned game and would like a creative way to have this game sit on your bookshelf.

Rating of the book: 4/5 stars.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me from Quirk for consideration/review. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Books You Struggled to Finish | Top 5 Wednesday

This week's theme is so fascinating. I am going to put a descriptive reason of why I struggled to finish all the ones I am going to mention.. and I did finish them all! 

1. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
I had read the Island of Doctor Moreau by him and I really enjoyed that so I went into this with great expectations. Unfortunately, it was quite dull and slow, so I kept picking it up and putting it down again. In the end, I had to force myself to finish off the rest of it and even then, I did not come to enjoy it. The concept is really fascinating but the way it was executed was simply not my cup of tea. 

2. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Okay before I start, I just want to say I am a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan and I own most of his books, so with a heavy heart I am saying this. I saw the movie first and I loved it. It is by far one of my favorite films EVER. So I thought you know, the book would be just as awesome and even better. Unfortunately no. This is the one case EVER (you will ever hear from me) that the movie was better. The book was really blah and did not wow me like the film did and I just simply grew tired of the novel. I was really disappointed with this so it took me forever to finish it. Please don't let me saying this deter you from Palahniuk books because they are so amazing! Especially Choke. If you read one book by him or you were considering this one.. go read Choke instead. 

3. The Death Cure by James Dashner
So this is the final book in the Maze Runner trilogy. I loved the first book so much. It was so intriguing and so fascinating and then came the second book which I thought was okay, but by the end and when this one came around, I was quite sick of it all. I did not enjoy it anymore, I didn't really care for the characters as much anymore either. It just felt really blah towards the end and unfortunately, I did not enjoy this final book at all. I was hoping for more from it. 

4. Rumors by Anna Godbersen
So I have owned this series for quite some time now and I only got around to reading it last summer. I read the first one and enjoyed it and decided to continue on with the next one. For some reason, I just could not get into it and it took me quite some time to finally finish it. In the end, I just didn't really enjoy it and I haven't picked up the other two books in the series since then. I want to finish it at some point because I hate leaving series unfinished, but I just can't see myself breezing through the final books. It was something about this one where the narrative just went in a direction I just did not enjoy. 

5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
This is the one book from this entire list, where the reason I struggled to finish it was not that I disliked it, but because it honestly scared me. The concept of it.. and how she is immediately murdered just seriously terrified the hell out of me. In the end I really enjoyed it.. but I just kept putting it down because I was scared and did not really enjoy reading it (especially before bedtime!)

What top five books did you struggle to finish? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Ten Books I've Read So Far This Year | Top Ten Tuesday

June 10th Theme: Ten Books I've Read So Far This Year

I have read quite a bit of books this year and if you don't follow me on goodreads, you can check out my progress here :) I am ahead of my goal for the year so that is pretty good. I will include ten books that I have read this year that I have really enjoyed so far. I will link reviews if I have written any for them below for you all, but also be sure to check out goodreads, because there is always a rating on there and sometimes a mini review. If you want a review for any of the books listed, please let me know! I will get to it soon ;) Okay, onto the top ten books I've read so far this year! 

1. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Review: here

2. To All The Boys I'ved Loved Before by Jenny Han
Review: here
I met Jenny Han - Details Here!

3. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Review: here

5. Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour
Review: here

6. Cress by Marissa Meyer
I met Marissa Meyer - Details Here!

7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

8. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

9. The Archived by Victoria Schwab

10. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

What are the top 10 books you've read so far this year? Let me know in the comments below. Also any requests for any book reviews you'd like to see soon for the books I listed above! ;)

Monday, 9 June 2014

#100happydays | Day 27 - June 9th 2014

Good mail day. New bookish tote bags from Book Depository! Love!

#100happydays | Day 26 - June 8th 2014

I went to the Francis Bacon and Henry Moore Exhibit at the AGO again with the boy and his parents. There wasn't photography allowed in the actual exhibit, so this was the only photo I could get from one of the iPad screens on there. It was a great exhibit, I've been twice now and I think it is definitely worth checking out!

#100happydays | Day 25 - June 7th 2014

Had a study session at the lovely Aroma Cafe and I got a delicious Marshmallow White Hot Chocolate. Noms. I am pretty happy with myself in terms of how much work I accomplished that day, hooray!

#100happydays | Day 24 - June 6th 2014

Vegan cookie sandwich from a shop in Mirvish Village which is dunkaroo flavor. SO GOOD.

#AYearAThon June - Rick Riordan | Update & Wrap Up

So you were most likely wondering what happened to all of the update posts suddenly.. Unfortunately things came up last week and I had a pretty busy week that I just could not set aside time for leisure reading. I ended up only finishing one book by Rick Riordan, the first one in the Heroes of Olympus series, The Lost Hero, which I really enjoyed and will have a review up for that one soon, but that was all I was able to finish. I think that is pretty good still though, since I did at least finish one! I have three more left in that series to prepare for the 5th book, and there is still a good chunk of time left to accomplish that!

Anyways, just thought I'd write a mini wrap-up post for you all. Let me know how you ended up doing on the read-a-thon below in the comments!