Monday, November 16, 2015

Review - Every Day by David Levithan

"Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day."

Genre: YA, romance, contemporary, sci-fi
Topics: romance, suicide (trigger warning!), family
Publication date: August 28th, 2012
Pages: 324 (paperback), 322 (hardcover)
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Links: Goodreads Website

Every Day is the story of A, who changes bodies every single day. The trick, though, is that they actually get put into the person's life. Because of that, A tries to distance themself from everyone they meet, rarely ever making connections and just dealing with the fact that that is how their life is going to be. That is, until they wake up as Justin, a sixteen year-old guy, and meet Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon. A ends up falling in love with her in one day, and is completely transfixed with the idea that they could somehow be together.

The writing, characters, and idea of this book was all fantastic. The fact that the chapters are all days makes it a very easy read and because of that style, it flows very well. I found it very hard not to fall in love with many of the characters, even a few that A only "possessed" for a single day. A is a a bit naive at times, but they're also only a sixteen year-old. Looking back to when I was that age, it's clear to see that David Levithan wrote A to be a believable character - even with the crazy thing that happens to them each day.

The different thing about this book that totally opened my eyes was the fact that A doesn't identify as any gender. They are always floating from person to person, day in and day out, without ever feeling completely comfortable as one gender or the other. It helps you see from the perspective of a genderless person and the ways that A carries themself can enlighten you of the mentality of people like them. You really don't fall in love with a gender!

As for the story, you will be completely dragged in from start to finish. When bad things are happening to A or around them, you might actually start to feel how they do! I was balling my eyes out at the end of Day 6005 because of my own personal experiences in life. But even on days like Day 6000 when I had never experienced anything of the sort, I felt anxious, scared, and totally engrossed in A's journey. You should definitely read this if you are looking for a tear-your-heart-out, but at the same time heartwarming, story about life and love.

If you're looking for a book that has a wrapped-up ending, however, STOP RIGHT NOW. This isn't the kind of book that explains everything. I am still going through a mini-rant in my head about that ending, man!! Because of that, I only rated it 4 1/2 stars, when I originally rated it 5 stars on Goodreads. I'm also looking forward to reading Another Day, which is apparently from Rhiannon's perspective.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Showcase Sunday #3 - Suggestions and Series

Hello everyone! I hope this week has treated you well. Sadly, I haven't been doing very well as far as keeping the promise to myself to not buy a lot of books. This will hopefully be better soon, though because I'm to the point now where I have barely anywhere to put new books and I have too many books that are just the first in a series that I haven't even begun yet.

As for this haul, there were three that I bought from Book Outlet a couple weeks ago, totaling only $10 plus shipping! Those books were Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, and The Remedy by Suzanne Young (not shown in image because I forgot it at work on Saturday). They were all on my TBR list before I went on the site and I didn't feel bad for purchasing them because they were just so discounted. One more book that isn't pictured, but I got for very cheap is Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, which sounds pretty good, but also like a toxic relationship story. I also got a couple ebooks, two being Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and Fallen by Lauren Kate.

Showcase Sunday was originally brought to you by Vicky and her blog Books, Biscuits, and Tea. She encourages bloggers to post the books they've collected over the last week by using the meme, and I am excited to be doing this! 
Because I already read Anna and the French Kiss, I will just be reviewing it soon - so look out for that! As for the other books, here's why I bought them and/or what they're about!

    The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkosky
    I was absolutely in love with The Winner's Curse when I read it last week. It was a tough decision on whether I should wait for the paperback version to come out (in MARCH!!), buy the ebook for ten bucks, or break down and buy the hardcover. Obviously I chose not to wait, but it helped that Books-a-Million was having a 20% off sale today, so it brought the price significantly down. I'll deal with the downfall of reading a hardcover book!

    Wither by Lauren DeStefano
    I've wanted to read this series for a while now. The basic plot of this story is that everyone dies way too early and women are kidnapped and sold to bear children. The typical-sounding heroine is sold and chaos ensues when she finds out that not everyone is who she thinks they are. Sounds really interesting to me! Plus, the cover is gorgeous!

    Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
    This was a suggestion from a girl that works at my local bookstore and it sounds quite interesting!
    "All her world's a stage.
    Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
    She's not an orphan, but she has no parents.
    She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
    That is, until now."

    Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
    I was watching some BookTube reommendations and Zoe from readbyzoe suggested Amy & Roger's Epic Detour in this video! It has playlists and notes in it, and apparently a cute love story. It sounds like a very entertaining read.

    Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
    Before joining the blogging community, making a Goodreads account, or going on the internet for anything book related, I heard about this trilogy. A few people recommended it to me and since watching recommendations videos, I have heard even more amazing things about it. Since it was very cheap on Book Outlet, I figured that was the best time to pick it up! It follows a dystopian world where people are considered "uglies" until they have a surgery to make them "pretties", but the protagonist finds out that being a "pretty" isn't all it's cracked up to be. I'm excited, you guys!

    The Remedy by Suzanne Young
    Another tough decision to make when it came to patience. I could either suffer through the hardcover version of this book or wait until March (I believe) to buy the paperback version. This book is the first of a prequel series to The Program duology, which happens to be one of my favorite reads this year. I loved the characters in those ones, but apparently this focuses on a completely different set of characters and it takes place before The Program was ever created. I feel like I say "I'm excited!" with a lot of these books, but I truly am!! The Remedy sounds brilliant.

    I accidentally deleted a lot of last week's Showcase Sunday post, so I'm pretty upset about that. However, I hope you enjoyed this week's edition! See you guys soon when I'll be posting reviews on Every Day by David Levithan & Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 

    Have you read any of these books/series? Are they worth putting at the top of my TBR list?

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

    Review - The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

    "Winning what you want may cost you everything you love...  
    As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.  
    One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.  
    But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.  
    Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart."

    Genre: Fantasy, YA, Dystopian
    Topics: war, romance, slavery
    Publication date: March 4th 2014
    Pages: 384 (paperback), 355 (hardcover)
    Format: Ebook
    Source: Bought
    Links: Goodreads Website

    This is a book that I bought a little while ago because it was on sale for my kindle. I heard about it a little bit from the "booktube" bloggers I follow and figured it would be worth a shot.

    Right from the first chapter, I was hooked. This book takes place in the Harran peninsula that was overtaken by the Valorian General Trajan who then enslaved the Harrani people. Ten years later, we have the chance to meet our main protagonist, Kestrel. Yes, she is the General's daughter, but she is so much more than that. Her character building was so in-depth and not one bit stereotypical.

    As the General's daughter, they could have molded her one of two ways - strong and powerful, or weak and the "damsel in distress". BUT you're not thinking of the other possibilities. She is quick-witted and intelligent, but not too fantastic in battle. She has her own political opinions, but doesn't have all that teen angst that you see in YA where the girl is so different than anyone else so she sneaks out at night, messes around, and defies her parents. Kestrel is one of my favorite main characters that I've ever read about. She is badass in her own way and it's hard not to love her!

    Kestrel and her friend Jess accidentally end up at a slave market where she happens to see a Herrani slave who can sing, which intrigues the music lover in her. She buys him, and finds out his real name is Arin. Arin is another character to love. Yes, he lies to her in the beginning, but it's amazing to see a story in which the main characters slowly fall in love. It was paced in a way that made it feel absolutely genuine. So if you hate insta-love, this is a good book to pick up, just for that purpose!

    This book was just so amazing. There were times I wanted to keep reading, but had to work or go to sleep for work and I probably would have finished in one day if that weren't the case (damn you, work!).

    I feel like this book made me fall in love with the characters so much that I didn't get to know the world as much as I would have liked. I have heard, however, that The Winner's Crime involves more world-building, so I only docked off half a star for that.

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

    Review - The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

    "At the heart of The Husband's Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read... 
    My darling Cecilia,
    If you’re reading this, then I’ve died... 
    Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive…
    Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret."

    Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Chick-Lit, Romance, Contemporary
    Topics: deceit, family, secrets
    Publication date: April 1, 2013 originally & March 3, 2015 re-released as paperback
    Pages: 416 (paperback), 396 (hardcover)
    Format: Paperback
    Source: Bought
    Links: Goodreads Website

    When you look at the cover of this book, you may think it's going to be a light-hearted, feel-good romance novel that has some secrets being hidden, but isn't going to be too catastrophic to alter everyone's universe. MY GOODNESS - YOU'D BE WRONG.

    The Husband's Secret follows three (really four) women through their daily lives. It's difficult to figure out how they're all connected by the first couple of chapters, but once you start putting two and two together, you will probably be completely baffled

    You meet Cecilia in the first chapter. She's an organization Goddess that sells Tupperware while her husband is off on his business adventures. She was definitely a likable character for me from the moment I started reading and I wish I had an entire prequel about just her cause that would be AMAAAAZING ♥ One day, while Cecilia is looking for something for her daughter in the attic, she finds a letter addressed to her from her husband that is labeled "For my wife, Cecilia Patrick, To be opened only in the event of my death". Dun dun duuuuun ~

    And you know what this woman does? It drove me absolutely insane that she contemplated for chapters as to whether or not she should open the letter. But seriously, it frustrated me in a good way. I wanted to keep reading and reading until I could finally figure out what was in the damned letter! There are several hints as to what it is, and I wrote down some of my theories before we finally got to know what is says - HOW and WHEN she does, I will not tell you ;)

    Second, we have Tess who has a husband and almost-sister cousin who tell her they've fallen in love. Her story is hard to figure out - it probably took me the longest before I even realized why her point of view was included at all. I loved Tess as a character in the sense that I related to her personality - introverted, not super peppy (although I am when I force it - I'm either super introverted or super extroverted :p), and usually relies on others for her happiness. Her character seemed the most complex.

    As for the third woman, Rachael - I absolutely hated her at first, Her character made me drag through the third chapter and almost want to put the book down. I have vowed not to do that this month, though, so I continued to tread through the chapter and ended up liking and getting a sense of why she was the way she was. I even smiled at the last sentence!

    The stories of these ladies take crazy twists and turns that keep you entertained and questioning everything. I thought there would be way more romance than there is, but I know that's a positive for some of you guys! I would have given this story a 4.5/5 stars, if it were not for the fact that I didn't agree with some of the decisions made and didn't think the same way as some of the characters. It threw me off a bit, so here's my rating!

    Sidenote: I didn't realize until I was half-way through the book that this wasn't the first book I've read by Liane Moriarty! She also wrote a book titled The Hypnotists Love Story which was AMAZING! I read it like four years ago and own it, but it's in storage with all of my other books right now. You should check that one out as well, especially if you're looking for more of a romance.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    November TBR Pile - Fix the Reading Slump Edition

    November is probably one of your favorite seasons for reading - the crisp breeze flowing through your window, being able to sit by your fireplace, or even just drinking some hot cocoa to get in the spirit. Living in sunny Florida, however, means that there will be no breeze, no fires, and no cocoa. The low today is 76°F (24.4°C) and if I started kindling a fire, my boyfriend would probably be livid because we still have the air conditioning blowing and the electricity bills here are already ridiculously high.

    This doesn't mean I won't be reading, though! If anything, I'm excited to finally have a day that doesn't involve 95°F (35°C) weather and I can walk outside without sweating to death. Maybe I'll try to sit in my backyard with a fan blowing and pretend it's finally sweater weather!

    As for the physical books I plan on reading, I've posted about them in my last Showcase Sunday entry, so I'll probably just list them here so you can see my plan.
    • The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
    • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver - need to pick back up asap
    • Possession by Elana Johnson
    • The Cellar by Natasha Preston
    • The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
    • The Husband's Secret by Liane Morairty - currently reading

    There are a few ebooks I've bought that I'm planning on reading as well if I can get to them...
    • Gut Feeling by Victoria Browne
    • The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
    • A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

    To be honest, I am just avoiding my reading slump right now and decided posting another non-review didn't matter much since I'm pretty much just doing this blog for fun. If you're ever interested in what I am planning on reading soon, but I haven't posted a TBR, you can always visit my reading / to review list for an updated list.

    Thank you so much for reading, you guys! Running this blog has been super fun so far - I'm anticipating an exciting reading experience from doing this with y'all :)

    Sunday, November 1, 2015

    Showcase Sunday #1 - October Haul!

    I'm new to the book blogging community, so I did some browsing with other popular blogs and found the lovely Vicky and her blog Books, Biscuits, and Tea. She has a feature called Showcase Sunday that encourages bloggers to post the books they've collected over the last week, which immediately caught my interest. I go to the book store at least once a week, and I think it would be lovely to share the things that I've collected.

    So here's my first haul! In the future, I plan on doing it either weekly or bi-weekly, but since it's my first, I decided to post all of the books that I bought in October 

    As you can clearly see, I bought SO MANY books in October... It's kind of sad, actually. I bought a lot of these because I was browsing through the sale rack at my local Books-A-Million and they sounded like stories I would rather enjoy. I checked the GoodReads ratings and reviews before purchasing, of course, but they're still just books I picked up for the heck of it and plan on reading when I get to them. Here's the list so I can move on - I'll post reviews & more about them once I read each one ;)

    • Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin - Never. Going. To. Happen. This pissed me off to no end within the first two chapters. I won't be picking this up again.
    • Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius
    • The Sister Wife by Diane Noble
    • Faking 19 by Alyson Noel
    • Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews
    • The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban
    • The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennett by Bernie Su & Kate Rorick
    • The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard

    Onto the books I bought with a clear reason...

    Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
    Pandemonium is the second book in the Delirium series. The first was a favorite last month in this post, so you know I had to pick this one up as soon as I finished! Sadly, though, I couldn't get into the new characters that were introduced and I was missing the first book too much to care about this one. I only got through about 60 pages before I had to put it down.
    I'll pick it up again, but it might be a little while before I can wrap my mind around the plot twist and things that are going on so far in this book.

    Possession by Elana Johnson
    I bought this book after my sad start with Pandemonium. The story sounds almost the same as Delirium, which intrigued me and made me wonder whether I could have a book that was similar, but didn't have the annoying plot twists that were introduced. Possession seems like it would be a great series, so I am super excited to read this one! It doesn't hurt that it has a really pretty cover and it kind of looks like the Matched trilogy!

    The Cellar by Natasha Preston
    If you just read the description of this book, you'll understand what compelled me to buy it.
    "Colin Brown, is a thirty-year-old solicitor living alone after the death of his mother. He suffered a traumatic and abusive childhood, and is left with no sense of right or wrong. Desperate for the perfect family, Colin, referring to himself as Clover, turns to drastic measures to get what he wants."
    HE KIDNAPS GIRLS. That's just an automatic interesting story to me. I'll be picking this up very soon.

    The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
    I watched this movie before I even knew it was a book because I love Shailene Woodley. After I found out it was a book as well, I knew I had to read it. It's one of those stories that make you laugh and cry. I'm looking forward to reading this, but I hope it isn't ruined because I know what happens in the end.

    The Husband's Secret by Liane Morairty
    On GoodReads, I follow many reviewers and this book was reviewed by Jennifer recently. She said it was a definite 5-star read and the synopsis sounded brilliant to me.

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .

    I'm very curious to find out the secret and what happens!

    The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
    The first part of The Iron King put me in a reading slump. There, I said it! But once I finally finished reading it, it left me curious to find out what was going to happen next. I have avoided starting The Iron Daughter because I was scared that I'd get in another slump and not be able to read anything else for a while. But HEY, the cover is sooooo beautiful, it was hard not to purchase *-*

    The Treatment by Suzanne Young
    Finally we one I read! This is one of my favorite books that I read in October and I recommend it to everyone who likes dystopian, but is okay with having their heart ripped to shreds. I enjoyed everything about this book and cannot wait until I can purchase a paperback copy of The Remedy so I can start the prequel! Side note: I hate hardcover books and I don't like that I can't get the paperback version at the same time as the hardcover... Why must they do this to me?!

    So there we have it - my super long crazy impossible to follow list that you're probably just skimming through to find out why I buy so many books that I don't read for months and months. This list also doesn't include the ebooks I purchased, but I will write about those once I review them!

    Have you read any of these books/series? Are they worth putting at the top of my list?

    Saturday, October 31, 2015

    My Favorite Sept/Oct Reads - The Waiting Edition

    The Program & The Treatment by Suzanne Young

    "In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
    Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
    Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them."

    My boyfriend bought me a paperback copy of The Program along with some other books for my birthday. It took me about a month and a half to actually pick it up, since I had so many other books on my shelves, but I wish I had picked it up sooner.

    Set in a time where depression is thought to be "contagious" and suicide has become an epidemic, these books just blew me away. After about 25 percent, I couldn't even bring myself to put The Program down. The twists and turns that Sloane and James go through just during the first two "parts" (of three) of the story, though inevitable, are just insane. There are definitely some unexpected plot points that happen during Sloane's time in the program. (I'd put that as a spoiler, but clearly there are two people holding hands in scrubs on the front - so that's just obvious.)

    I finished the last 70 percent of The Program in less than a day, so I had to immediately run to Barnes & Noble to purchase The Treatment. I couldn't wait to tackle it!

    The Treatment was more than I expected from a sequel to such a fantastically written book. If you're looking for surprises, you're definitely going to get them by reading this one!

    I own both of these (thank goodness) so I can add them to my shelf and let friends borrow it or even read it again in the future. I also plan on reading The Recovery as soon as I can get my hands on it. I'll buy The Remedy once it comes out on paperback.

    Books related to The Program & The Treatment:

    Delirium by Lauren Oliver

    "Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

    I bought this book for my kindle in October of 2014 without ever picking it up. I went through a horrible reading slump throughout the middle of 2015, so that explains why I kept forgetting that it was on there waiting for me.

    Delirium is also a dystopian that has something that is contagious,,, but that thing is a disease, named amor deliria nervosa, commonly referred to as "the deliria". That's right, LOVE is believed to be a disease to these people - so they've developed a cure which is mandatory for anyone once they turn eighteen,

    Delirium had a lot of predictable moments, but I was too captivated by the relationships between the characters to care. I get tingles in my stomach when I think of how much Lena actually changes throughout the book. She starts off as a do-gooder who just wants to live her life and is counting down the days until she can finally have her procedure.

    I plan on picking up the second in the series, Pandemonium again, but there were so many things that happen at the end of Delirium that made me hesitant on even picking it up in the first place. I'll be posting a review on it once I finish, though, cause I definitely will.

    Books related to Delirium: