Rating System:

For those of you who don't know, I rate books based on their ability to hold my attention. I don't really like to rip apart someone's hard work. If I don't finish a book, then I don't feel comfortable rating it. So you might see a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings. However, if I do have issues with a book, I will always tell you. Enjoy! (:

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Reading Survey










Number Of Books You Read: 52
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: I believe it was contemporary.





1. Best Book You Read In 2015? I think the best book for me was A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I couldn't put it down and I still find myself thinking about it almost a month later. I'm also tempted to reread it, which is typically not something that I do. 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? I would either have to say Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summers or The F-It List by Julie Halpern. I actually loved them both in the end, but I expected something completely different than what I got from both of those novels. Going into The F-It List I was kind of hoping it would be more about her friend having cancer and how they're dealing with it together. Instead, I got a novel with a cancer ridden friend kind of in the background. Trust Me, I'm Lying on the other hand dealt with situations that just didn't seem realistic for a teenager and I would've liked it if the characters were just a tad older.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley really took me by surprise. I bought my best friend and myself a copy on a whim and, although she isn't much of a reader, we both fell completely in love with it. Our hearts got broken, we were angry, ugly tears were shed as well as happy tears. It was an all around fantastic read and I'm pretty sure it was a debut novel as well. Highly recommend if you're looking for a book that will really make you feel.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? I would say I spent most of my time pushing people to read Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes. I'm not quite sure how many people actually read it because of me, but I was told by a few people that they really enjoyed it and that made me happy.
5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015? Mmm, I'm trying not to repeat myself so I guess I'll choose Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard for best series I started. Rick Riordan could write a book about practically anything godly or magical and I'd buy it. I'd just buy anything he writes. For Best sequel, I'm going to go with either Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban or Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, both by J.K. Rowling. I'm actually reading the series for the first time and those were the only two I finished this year. Both were amazing and I'm currently reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Ignite me by Tahereh Mafi, hands down, best series ender. I want more. I fell absolutely in love with Warner and I just want to know how things are holding up.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015? I've read from so many new authors this year, but I'm going to pick one that I haven't seen anyone pick yet, Elle Kennedy. Her new adult Off Campus series just gets me. I'm beyond hooked. They're great, but if you're not cool with graphic scenes, I wouldn't pick it up.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? A Work in Progress by Connor Franta. I don't read a lot of nonfiction and memoirs. However, this one was great. The photography was beautiful and the words Connor wrote really made me think about my life. Frantastic! ;)
 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? Never Never Parts 1 & 2 by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher. I wouldn't call these action-packed, but they were certainly thrilling. I NEED part 3!
9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? I don't reread, but if I were to pick up a book that I read this year it would definitely be A Court of Thorns and Roses! Need I say more?
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015? Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi, the US Cover. I find it to be absolutely mesmerizing. It's my favorite out of all of her covers.
11. Most memorable character of 2015? Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses left quite the impression on me. I'm really hoping to see a lot more of him in A Court of Mist and Fury.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015? I can't really say, but for some reason The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider keeps popping into my head. I just remember really loving that one for the meaning.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015? Maybe it was Riding in Cars with Boys by Beverly Donofrio. While reading that autobiography I was really thinking about the choices we make and how they change our path, but also how we can get ourselves back on course. Even what seems to be the worst thing to ever happen can be a blessing, it just might take us a while to realize it.
 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares for sure. It was so cute and while I had seen both of the movies, I had never read the books. I finally picked up book one towards the end of the year and I really enjoyed it.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015? “Loneliness is a strange sort of thing.
It creeps on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in the dark, strokes by your hair as you sleep. It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can't breathe. It leaves lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaches the light out of every corner. It's a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you're struggling to stand up. 
You wake up in the morning and wonder who you are. You fail to fall asleep at night and tremble in your skin. You doubt you doubt you doubt. 
do I
don't I
should I
why won't I
And even when you're ready to let go. When you're ready to break free. When you're ready to be brand-new. Loneliness is an old friend stand beside you in the mirror, looking you in the eye, challenging you to live your life without it. You can't find the words to fight yourself, to fight the words screaming that you're not enough never enough never ever enough. 
Loneliness is a bitter, wretched companion. 
Sometimes it just won't let go.” Tahereh Mafi, Unravel Me
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015? Shortest book was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Thea Feldman and the longest book was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most? Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I didn't think that person was the murderer at all. I probably should have figured it out, but I didn't.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)? Is it too boring to say Hermione and Ron? I guess I could throw in Feyre and Rhysand. I definitely ship them. Argue with me all you want about how her and Tamlin are perfect for each other, I don't really care.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year? Feyre and Lucien, I love their banter throughout A Court of Thorns and Roses.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously? Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. I know it started slow and there was a lot of world building, but I enjoyed every bit of it. Rick is so good at making you laugh even through the dire situations.
21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley. Although, I did buy this, my best friend started it without me and finished it before me. I kept getting messages telling me to hurry up and finish so I guess you could say she pressured me.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015? Dean DiLaurentis from The Score by Elle Kennedy. He's pretty great and those green eyes? To die for.
23. Best 2015 debut you read? The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi. I found this to be so realistic and relatable. I missed my friends the whole time I was reading it and the novella that goes with it was great as well.
24. Best World building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? A Court of Thorns and Roses I suppose. I can see that world perfectly in my mind, but that may also be because of Sarah J. Maas' pinterest board for the book.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Ignite by Lily Paradis. It was the very first book that I read this year and I finished it the day I got it. The romance was cute, the kids were adorable, and the struggle was real. And by struggle, I mean the struggle to make a decision. Although I will say that I could kind of tell where she was leaning most of the time even if she couldn't.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015? The Promise of Stardust, again. This book brought out the ugly tears. I'm talking Kim Kardashian ugly crying. Not to poke fun because I look like that when I cry too. Priscille Sibley just really knew how to tug on my heart strings and the meaning of the word "stardust" in this novel... OH MAN. I bawled my eyes out for a while over that one.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? I wouldn't really say it was hidden, but Eye Candy by R.L. Stine. This book really messed with me. It was my first book by him, I know, shame on me. I picked it up after the television show was cancelled to compare the story and they weren't really all that alike. They were both wonderful in their own right.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? For fear of being super repetitive, I'm going to say The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. The whole book didn't crush me. It was just one chapter towards the end involving, I believe it was a coyote? Something along those lines. Ugh, that killed me to read. I was about ready to throw the book across the room.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015? Inked by Eric Smith. I loved the premise of this book. Tattoos deciding your fate? Amazing. I'm really looking forward to book two.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I wasn't mad at the book. All my anger was aimed at one particular person, John Hammond. In the movies, they make him out to be this sweet, albeit crazy, old man with a dream. However, the book shows his true colors and he blames everyone around him. So frustrating, I really wanted to scream at him. Despite my anger, I loved the book. It was everything I expected it to be and so much more.




1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015? I don't read as many blogs as I should. I prefer to watch Booktube videos just because I can get other things done while I listen, but I really enjoy my friend Grace's blog. Her reviews are so well thought out and they've convinced me to read a few books. You can find Grace at The Grace Lucy Review or her twitter @gracelucyreads.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015? My favorite review of mine has been my review of A Court of Thorns and Roses. I personally think it's my best review. If you look back at all the reviews I've written and compare them to that one, you can just tell I had so many thoughts. I thought so highly of the book and I needed to get everything I could out there without spoiling anything. I hope more books do that to me in the future.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? I didn't really post much other than reviews, but I did have fun writing about my experience at the Tucson Festival of Books earlier this year. I also loved being able to help promote a sale going on for Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes later in the year. I really believed in that book and it was great to draw people in and get them to pick up something I enjoyed so much.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? The Tucson Festival of Books was my first bookish event and it was amazing! I am seriously looking forward to going again in 2016! To be surrounded by so many people who love reading just as much as I do was truly mind blowing for me.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015? My best moment was getting my first follower. It was around six months after I began blogging and it took me by complete surprise. I still only have two followers that I know of and I am very grateful for them. It's not so much about the numbers, but knowing that someone out there cares about what I have to say.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? Reviewing every book I read. I can tell you right now that I didn't get to every book. Mostly, for the ones I missed, it was simply because I had waited so long after reading the book that I had forgotten what I wanted to say. Therefore, I ended up just not saying anything. There are at least 4 books that I read and didn't review after starting my blog. 

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? My most popular review was of Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes. I attribute this to her being kind enough to tweet out the link so people would see it.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? I wish my post on A Court of Thorns and Roses got a little more love. I can honestly say that I worked the hardest on that particular review and even had Grace proofread it for me.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Book Outlet for sure. I haven't gotten my first order in yet, but I did finally give in and participate in their Boxing Day sale. You'll hear more about that when the package gets here. (:

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? YES! I set out to read 24 books in 2015 and I ended up being able to finish 52 of them! I'm actually quite proud of myself. I also planned to purchase a boxed set, which I did. I haven't read them yet, but the entire Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan sure does look good on my shelf. I managed to fail a few goals as well, but we won't get into that.




1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016? It's not that I didn't get to it, I just was't able to finish it. I'd like to finally finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I've been slowly reading this one for almost 3 months now. I'd have to say it's my least favorite so far because I just really want to slap Harry a good portion of the time. However, his attitude is improving a tad and I think my pace might pick up if I don't get too distracted.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)? I have a few books I'm really looking forward to in 2016. I won't go into depth, but they are A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes, Vicarious by Paula Stokes, and The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? Mmm, I'm going to have to say Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn. There are definitely a lot, but I'm drawing a blank. The premise of this one intrigues me. "Seventeen-year-old Mercedes provides a unique service to her virgin classmates: the opportunity to get their awkward first time over with, judgment-free. But what was meant to be temporary spirals out of control, and Mercedes begins to question where her heart really belongs." How can that not draw you in?

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016? My absolute most anticipated sequel is A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. I need to know what happens and I just want to be back in that world and be able to explore it more.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016? I want to review every book I read. I was close this year, but some books I just waited way too long and couldn't remember anything. So I guess I just want to be more efficient. I think it'd also be cool to get more comments/followers. It's not the numbers, it'd just be cool to be able to discuss things with my readers. If y'all didn't know, not a lot of my friends read so my opportunity to actually talk about books is quite limited. So whether it's one comment or fifty comments, I'll be just as excited. However, that's not my main focus. I want to improve my writing and my efficiency because I just love blogging!

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: I've only read one 2016 release so far and that was The Score by Elle Kennedy. I recommend it to anyone who loves a really good, steamy read.

Now, I'd like to thank Jamie for creating this survey as I've had loads of fun filling it out! Feel free to tell me a few of your answers in the comments. See y'all in 2016!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

The Beast Within Review

The Beast Within by Serena Valentino
5 Stars
Sometime last year I was walking through my local Barnes and Noble when I spotted Beast's face on a book. I squealed and told my mother I had to get, but went home empty handed. I finally got it for Christmas this year and I finished it so fast! The Beast within is all about the Beast before and during his curse. In all honesty he was a jerk and I kind of thought he deserved the curse. However, I was not a fan of the three witches and all of their meddling. The most shocking thing was who was the Beast's best friend growing up. Seriously, WHAT?! If you're a fan of Beauty and the Beast, I truly believe you'll love this one. It's only 215 pages and it's so worth it. If you've read it, let's discuss. If not, go and get it now.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Riding in Cars with Boys Review

Riding in Cars with Boys by Beverly Donofrio
5 Stars
I don't know if any of y'all have seen this movie, it came out in 2001 when I was around 6 years old and I fell in love with it. So naturally when the adult me found out that it was actually based on an autobiography, I had to buy it despite my struggles reading non-fiction. Let me tell you, I finished this book in a matter of hours. I just couldn't put it down! I did have my problems, but they weren't with the book itself. Instead they were with the decisions being made by Beverly most of the time. Don't get me wrong, it was a fantastic read, hence the rating, but it was so hard for me not to be judgmental. If you don't know, Beverly finds herself pregnant in high school during the late 60's if memory serves. It's all about her parenting journey, but mostly how she finds herself along the way. I definitely recommend this one and it's also very short, barely over 200 pages so it goes by so fast! If any of y'all have read it, I'm dying to hear your thoughts! Even if you've only seen the movie, it stays pretty true, let's discuss.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Score ARC Review

The Score by Elle Kennedy
5 Stars
Holy shit. I swear these books keep getting better and better. In this one we focus on Allie, a serial monogamist fresh from a breakup, and Dean, an unbelievable ladies man. Kennedy does her thing and creates a very steamy read that you won't be able to put down. I found myself wishing I was Allie the whole time out of complete jealousy and love for the leading man. Dean is just mesmerizing and it's honestly not hard to see why no one can resist his charms. He's kind of a cocky bastard, but it works for him. I devoured this novel in one sitting and I still wanted more! I seriously hope this isn't the last book in the series because holy cow, that bomb dropped at the end?! You can't do that to me! I'd love to be able to say so much more, but you honestly just need to read it for yourself. The Score comes out on January 11, 2016 and while it is the 3rd book, it's a companion series so you don't have to read the other two first. However, you might get minor spoilers, so if that's an issue I would go in order. They're all amazing books and like I said, they just keep getting better. I can't wait for y'all to get your hands on this one so we can discuss it!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Review

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
5 Stars
I still cannot believe that it took me until I was 21 years old to actually read this book! I found it quite enjoyable and in one way or another I could relate to each of the four girls wearing "the pants". Although, I did find myself getting more and more annoyed with Carmen as the story progressed. I seriously hope her attitude changes in the next book because I just cannot handle her! I personally loved how these girls are all so different from one another and yet their friendship remains strong. While reading, I really missed my own friends and longed for a good adventure. I also liked how the book didn't really focus on making grand adventures happen. Instead the focus was on these girls and how their Summer changed them and how they felt about everything going on around them. We see Bridget make a bold choice and instead of being completely over the moon, she's quite down on herself. If you know the decision I'm talking about, then you also probably know how realistic it is. Just perfect. I can't wait to buy book two and continue to grow with these characters. Let's talk about it.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Geek's Guide to Dating Review

The Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith
5 Stars
First off, I want to thank Eric Smith for so kindly sending me a copy of his book to review. Secondly, I just want to say that despite the absurd amount of time it took me to finish this book, I really loved it. I just struggle when there isn't something making me go, "OH MY GOD, I need to know what happens next!" Moving on, this is a literal guide to dating. It's completely relevant and full of pop culture references that will help you understand what is being said. Example: "If you're an autobot and she's an aerialbot, you can't expect her to suddenly transform into a ground-based vehicle. But you can still bond over your mutual love of administering beat downs to Decepticons. Be respectful, be patient, be open to learning about her passions." Smith also adds the right amount of humor to his work. I personally found myself laughing at several points and I know you will too. I've seen a few complaints about how this is aimed at males and yes, it is. However, Smith makes it a point to say that these tips apply to females just as much as they do to males. He even includes "A Note for the Gal Geek" on page 18. I really appreciated that even though I had no problem with the focus being on men. Lastly, I want to throw in a quote that made me really happy; "Here's the thing, Player One. As much as this concept has been romanticized, it neglects the fact that women are human beings with their own issues--they don't exist just for you." Overall, I found Geek's Guide to be quite helpful and entertaining. I honestly recommend this to anyone who needs help dating or even just needs a good laugh. I'd love to discuss it with anyone who has read it or even wants to.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
5 Stars
When I first heard about this book it was on Booktube and everyone was saying it was going to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Being that Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite, I was so going to make sure that I read it. Despite having preordered it, I hyped myself up too much and didn’t end up reading it until now. Which worked out since I made it the Better Read Than Dead pick for December.


Now this may be kind of irrelevant, but I use an Android app called “Read Tracker” that tells me how long it takes me to read. When I found out that it took me 17 minutes to read just 12 pages, I immediately snapchatted my friend Grace about how this book was going to take me absolutely forever to read. Boy was I wrong, I had read all 416 pages by the following evening. Sarah J Maas blew my mind! At first I was prepared for things to go slow considering the first couple of chapters hadn’t grabbed me yet, but once Feyre was taken away I couldn’t put it down.


Now to take a better look at things. Feyre, our main character, is not someone I found myself focusing on too much. Maybe it’s because in some odd way, I wanted to be her or maybe it was just because she was surrounded by cooler characters. I’m not saying that I didn’t like her because I did, I just enjoyed the men in this novel a whole lot more. I loved Tamlin’s awkwardness despite his strength and “celebrity”. I definitely found myself being drawn in by his charm. However, Lucien might be my favorite. Throughout this novel he is so sassy and he is unafraid to express himself. I often found myself giggling at his remarks, they’re just gold. Rhysand though, I couldn’t trust him one bit. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with him though. The way he was first described really drew me in, but his personality and the way he presented himself kept me around. I am looking forward to seeing more of him in A Court of Mist and Fury.


Lastly, I didn’t really care for Feyre’s family. They seemed quite ungrateful to me. They may have shown another side, but I’m still not quite sold. A few things that I absolutely loved were that our main character wasn’t portrayed as some fragile, innocent virgin like so many YA novels have the tendency to do. In fact, her virginity wasn’t discussed because it was long gone. I appreciated that the sex scenes weren’t fluffy. While not graphic, Maas did not beat around the bush. We all knew what was happening and it was damn good. Now I’ve seen a few reviews talking about a particular moment being kind of “rapey” or having been an assault. Now I am not encouraging this behavior in the real world whatsoever, but, and this is a big but, this is a YA fantasy novel where one of the characters in question is quite literally animalistic in several aspects. The man has claws for christ’s sake. However, I do see why those things are being said and I actually would love to hear what Maas has to say about it.


Overall, I enjoyed ACOTAR. I honestly would have given it more than 5 stars had that been possible. If any of you have read this, please leave a comment. I am dying to talk about it! Meanwhile, I will be not so patiently waiting for the sequel to come out in May 2016. Also a reminder that anyone is welcome to join our bookclub (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/157333-better-read-than-dead-bookclub), we’d love to have you.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

The Sword of Summer Review

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
5 Stars
I absolutely love the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series so when I saw that Rick Riordan had another book coming out, I had to read it. This was the Better Read Than Dead book for November and I loved it. I will say that at some points it was a little slow, but things always picked back up again. I found that Norse mythology is actually a tad complicated and was grateful for the glossary in the back of the book, but you'll be fine not knowing anything so don't feel the need to shy away because of that. Our main character Magnus Chase is actually 16 years old and homeless which was quite different, but he is every bit as sassy as Percy is. I tried not to compare the books as I read, however, I just couldn't help myself. I fell in love with these characters. If you haven't heard, we have a deaf character and also a character of Middle Eastern descent and they're both wonderful in their own ways. I felt the need to mention these characters because I personally haven't read enough books with that kind of diversity. You can expect a lot of humor throughout The Sword of Summer as well as pop culture relevance with mentions of Taylor Swift, Arrow, Breaking Bad and more. I must say that Thor and his goats crack me up. If you've read it, then you know exactly why I had to mention them. I honestly have so much to say, but everything is so spoilery! Ugh! I recommend you give this book a try whether you've read Rick's previous works or not, but especially if you have. As always, feel free to join us over on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/157333-better-read-than-dead-bookclub).
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Liars, Inc. Black Friday Sale!

Liars, Inc. Black Friday Sale Blitz
If you've been around for a while, then you know I absolutely adore Paula Stokes and her book Liars, Inc. If not, welcome! When I heard there was going to be a sale, I decided I had to share this with all of you. I've never read a book that blew me away quite like this one and I know you'll love it. Now on to the fun stuff!



“This is one exciting ride.” –ALA Booklist

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something, and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?
When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn't think twice about it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead to Preston's body.
Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer….
 
Paula: I was super-thrilled to see that HarperTeen put the Liars, Inc. ebook back on sale for Black Friday, this time across multiple digital platforms. You can score an e-copy all week for the low price of $1.99 from AmazonAmazon CanadaB&N and iTunes!
 
I'm a girl who will buy almost anything if it feels like a mega-deal, but I realize that some people are a little more discriminating when they buy books. Therefore, I've designed a handy decision-making tree to help you determine if Liars, Inc. is right for you!

 
Paula: If you started to cry while reading the above chart, it's possible that you, like me, are a person who struggles to make decisions. It's okay. Some of us need additional information. Click here to read the first chapter of Liars, Inc. It's a great example of what you might be getting yourself into :)

JUST FOR FUN:  Check out the top ten things I would bring with me if I had to go on the run from the feds.Includes essentials like Chapstick, chocolate, and flash bangs. If you leave a comment, tell me the top 3 things you'd pack if you went on the lam.
 
And hey, just for stopping by, you can enter to win a $25 gift card to B&N (U.S.) or your choice of any book from The Book Depository up to $20 value (INT).
 




 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
Now for those of you who have already read and enjoyed Liars, Inc. by the ever so lovely, Paula Stokes, I suggest you recommend it to a friend and tell them about this great sale. You can also Check out her previous books or the next two coming in 2016 on her website, http://authorpaulastokes.com. If you hate waiting, like me, you can fill your time with other YA mysteries such as Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer, The Lying Game by Sara Shepard, or The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Happy reading and I hope y'all have a wonderful holiday weekend, or a great weekend if you live outside of the United States! Thanks for stopping by and feel free to tell me what you love about Liars, Inc., or mysteries in general, in the comments. Maybe one of you will earn yourself a signed bookmark? (: Also, a big thank you to Paula for writing such a wonderful book and allowing me to share it with all of you!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Matt's Story Review

Matt's Story by Lauren Gibaldi
5 Stars
Lauren Gibaldi has done it again! For those of you who don't know, Matt's Story is the novella that goes with The Night We Said Yes. Matt's Story follows Matt during his time away living in Texas. In these short 63 pages we get inside Matt's head and see why he decided to keep to himself so much. New friendships are made and some old ones are mended. I'd say this novella is all about growth and how sometimes it's better to let people in and let them help you even when you don't want to. Lauren does a wonderful job of creating characters you'd want to interact with, they're just so realistic. I wanted to hug Matt, but also knock some sense into him most of the time. Plus Kat and Cindy were awesome. I'd love to be surrounded by the joy that they seem to radiate. I definitely recommend picking up The Night We Said Yes and then this wonderful novella. I can't wait to see more work from Lauren Gibaldi. She's seriously wonderful. I would love to hear your thoughts!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Trust Me, I'm Lying Review

Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer
3.5 Stars
This was the Better Read Than Dead Bookclub pick for the month of October and I must say it was decent. At the very beginning I found myself quite bored. The was a cliff hanger at the end of one of the first few chapters and I was actually able to put it down for a few days. This worried me. I thought, "Oh crap, another book I'm not going to finish." However, I kept reading every now and then. Basically forcing myself to get through it. About half way through, I suddenly became interested. I'm not sure if it was the story or the introduction of a cute boy, but it happened. Note that this boy alone earned a half star, without him I would've only given it 3 stars. The story suddenly became a bit of a thrill and I needed to know more. If you didn't know, this book happens to be about a teenage con artist searching for her missing father. As I read, I kind of had it in my mind that the main character needed to be older than she was in order to be dealing with all of the things that were coming at her left and right. I suppose part of me still feels that way. Regardless of my issues with this novel, I find myself considering picking up the sequel just to see where things head and in hopes that the story improves. If you've read this, I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, anyone is welcome to join our book club! (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/157333-better-read-than-dead-bookclub)
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Promise of Stardust Review

The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley
5 Stars
This novel gave me a full range of feelings. I sobbed a ton, full on ugly cried, and I even wanted to throw the book across the room. I would say that is the mark of a fantastic book. I buddy read this one with my best friend, who isn't much of a reader, and when she finished it I was basically told that she hated me and I needed to finish it. One of the best texts ever. Anyway, in this book we are introduced to a couple as a big shift is happening in their lives and slowly we go through flash backs and begin to really understand them. This book will absolutely break your heart in the best way. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that it deals with when life begins as well as when life should end. If any of you have read this, I would absolutely love to talk about it. If you haven't and you would like to, it's decently priced on the Barnes & Noble website.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Jurassic Park Review

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
5 Stars
As a lover of the Jurassic Park movies, I just had to read the book. Now there were some changes and I actually didn't mind them much. An example being the nephew is older than the niece and it's the opposite in the films. I actually loved that difference. The boy being older made a ton of sense to me. I personally really enjoyed how this book jumps from the people that are in the park to the people that are in the labs and control rooms instead of only getting one side of the story. It's very interesting to see how each person reacts to all of the chaos. I would have to say one of my absolute favorite things was every time Dr. Ian Malcolm started rambling about how things wouldn't work, etc. When it came to the action, it was every bit as thrilling as the movies, if not more. I definitely needed to know what was going to happen next and I could not put it down! Within a few days of finishing Jurassic Park, I found myself at my local Barnes & Noble to buy the sequel. I would say if you enjoy the movies, you should give the book a go. However, keep in mind that it was written in 1990. Tell me your thoughts, I'd love to hear them!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Friday, September 18, 2015

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Review

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
5 Stars

I feel like I'm one of the last people, out of my age group, to read this series. Of course I've seen all of the movies, but that's just not the same as experiencing the magic and detail of the book. Going into this book I was very nervous for two reasons. One being that I heard a lot of people saying this was their least favorite book and also because it was my favorite movie. I didn't want to be disappointed and I definitely wasn't. J.K. Rowling has me at a loss for words. I was happy to see cute little Dobby was back and that Sirius was more prominent than he was in the movie. Lots of sobbing happened while I read, whether happy tears or sad tears, they were there. There's not much more I can say without spoiling it for the few others who haven't picked it up yet, but I will say that as fantastic as the movies are, the books are truly pure magic. I will be buying the next book in the series as soon as I possibly can. Also, I would so wear the socks that Dobby made. What are your thoughts?
Xoxo,
Gabriella


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dark Places Review

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
4 Stars
I picked this book up a couple of months ago because my mother was desperate to see the movie and I obviously had to read the book first. Starting off, I really wasn't that into it and I kept putting it down for days and sometimes weeks. I actually found myself only enjoying the "Ben" chapters for most of the book. It wasn't until the last 150 pages or so that I began to enjoy every perspective as the story unraveled. The book felt a tad slow to me for the most part, only speeding up towards the end and boy did I need to know what was going to happen next. I felt the same way while reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn so I think that if you enjoyed the writing style there, then you'll enjoy it in this novel as well. I don't want to give anything away, but this one took me by surprise. I actually had no idea who actually committed the murders. If you haven't read the synopsis, I recommend not reading it. I personally feel that it gives too much away and you should go in blind. Definitely a 4 star read and I hope to read her other novel, Sharp Objects. Have any of you read Dark Places or seen the movie? Do you feel they did a good job representing the novel? I'd love to hear your thoughts and discuss them with you.
Xoxo,
Gabriella


Monday, August 10, 2015

Let's Talk About SLUMPS

I want to read, but I don't want to read.
These past few months I've found myself in quite the slump. I call it a life slump, but we're only going to discuss the reading portion of said slump. Now what exactly is a slump? Google defines a slump as a sudden severe or prolonged fall in the price, value, or amount of something. I believe we all go through slumps every now and then, reading or otherwise. How do I know that I'm in a slump? I've only finished a total of four books in the past two months. Considering I've finished thirty-one books so far, this is quite disappointing. 

How do you deal with a reading slump? After all of my experience with other readers and booktube videos, I've realized there are several ways to get out of a slump and it always depends on the person. Some people try to force themselves to read a certain book while others pick up several books until one catches their attention. I seem to be one of the latter, but we'll get to that later. Another strategy is to simply just find something else to do until the urge to read comes back. One way is to reread an old favorite since it's something you already know you enjoy. Lastly, I've seen people try to read maybe one chapter a day or a small amount of pages until they either finish the book or regain their rhythm.

What if the slump never ends? In my experience all slumps end, even the ones that seemingly go on forever. I've been through ones that last more than a year. While it's unfortunate, it's completely normal. Maybe you're stressed, busy, or haven't found anything of interest. Don't worry. Things will get better, this applies to life as well.

I'm hoping my slump comes to an end soon. I've picked up and put down at least eight different books in hopes to find one that will just grab me and never let me go. It's not that these books aren't good or enjoyable, it's that I can't deal with it. I can't force myself no matter how badly I want to. How do you manage to make it through a slump? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Pact Review


The Pact by Karina Halle
4 Stars
Had I written this review sooner, I would probably know what I wanted to say. What I can tell you is that I did enjoy reading this book. It's a classic friends to lovers story filled with a lot of near misses that may or may not frustrate you. I was certainly frustrated, my head was going, "GET TOGETHER ALREADY!" You can tell this is going to happen from the very beginning when "the pact" is first brought up. I enjoyed how while you are going through several years of these people's lives, you don't linger. Maybe one chapter is dedicated to unimportant years just to give you a glimpse of something that may be important before moving on to the more important years. Overall, I enjoyed it and I have already purchased it's companion novel The Offer. If you enjoy friends turning into lovers then this is the book for you, but I will say it's like most others. If you're looking for something absolutely special and different, this might be a let down. Tell me your thoughts!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Night We Said Yes ARC Review

The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
5 Stars
I was so excited when I was told that I won this ARC! I still can't believe it. It took me a while to read because of finals and all that, but I still loved every second of it. Basically this book centers around a relationship. The chapters alternate between then and now, so you can look at this relationship forming while also seeing the aftermath. Each "then" chapter matches with the following "now" chapter making them completely relevant to the story and not random at all. Of course along with this relationship you see kind of an epic group friendship that I found completely realistic. It actually reminded me of my group of friends in high school. I actually am an Ella who has her own Meg. I hope everyone has that friend that pushes you out of your comfort zone every now and then. Through the book the characters just say yes, within reason, to ideas thrown out about what to do leading to an interesting adventure. Gibaldi created a perfect Summer read that makes you want to say yes, sometimes you just need to. I would absolutely love to revisit these characters, they're not perfect, but that's what makes them great. I know I'll be pre-ordering a copy of the novella "Matt's Story" which comes out on August 4th.


A few things I have said yes to include:
- A spontaneous trip to Phoenix.
- Sneaking on to my high school football field to watch the sun rise.
- Getting a matching tattoo with my best friend. (This girl is my Meg)

Here's to new adventures! What will you say yes to? I'd love to hear!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Mistake Review

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
5 Stars
Going into this book I wasn't completely stoked about following a different set of characters because I had fallen in love with the main characters of the last book. At first, the change was not welcome, but soon I found myself falling completely in love with these ones as well. I could relate to Grace in her awkward babbling around men and I could relate to Logan in that his future seemed bleak. I really love when I relate so much to characters that I can feel their emotions as I read. Ms. Kennedy wrapped me up yet again in this hot romance and I seriously hope for more of these novels. I still have a problem with the use of "my sex" as a way to describe one's genitals, but that might just be me. I will also say that while these books are companion novels, I think they should be read in order. I can't wait to see more of these books! Share your thoughts?
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The F-It List Review

The F-It List by Julie Halpern
3.5 Stars
I was really struggling with whether to give this book 3 stars or 4 stars. Clearly I settled on the midpoint, 3.5 stars. I enjoyed reading Th F-It List, but I also found the main character to be a little annoying. Maybe this is because I struggled to see how she could be making some of the decisions she made or treated people the way she did. Regardless of these issues, I couldn't put it down. I had to see where the story went, mostly for Becca. I found myself having little interest in what happened Alex and that's not what you want in a novel. I appreciate the fact that someone showed how it may be like to find out that your best friend has cancer and may be dying, but at the same time I found it to be whiny and the character to be quite self-deprecating. When I bought this novel, I thought it would be more focused on the friendship rather than Alex finding love. While there is some focus on friendship, I personally would've preferred that to be the main focus. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Deal Review

The Deal by Elle Kennedy
5 Stars
This was my first full on new adult novel and I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did to be honest. On page one we find out that Hannah had previously been raped and I was surprised. The rape is brought up a few times throughout the book, but it's never described (thankfully). Hannah has since moved on and has developed a crush on someone who seems to not even know she exists. Garrett is not doing well in one of his courses and is seeking help from one of the few people who seems to be doing well. Now Garrett is not Hannah's crush, but he thinks he can help her get noticed. Thus, the deal. Both of our main characters have experienced some sort of trauma and we get small glimpses into how it has changed them. When it comes to these traumas, I really like how Ms. Kennedy made it so outsiders normally wouldn't suspect these things had happened. This is typically how life is, people hide things and we don't know everyone's story. I thoroughly enjoy the friendships within this novel. I feel like I can relate to them and find my friends within the characters. I might be the only one who does this, but I love to compare my surroundings to those in books and television shows. As for the steamy scenes, they were also enjoyable. I found them quite realistic. My only problem was the use of the term "my sex" as a way to describe Hannah's sexual organs. I've just never heard anyone my age ever describe their vagina as their sex. I'd actually really love to hear your input on this. The book alternates between Hannah and Garrett and I have to say, as much as I enjoyed Hannah's chapters, I really enjoyed reading from Garrett's perspective. I can't wait to pick up the companion novel which follows Garrett's friend Logan. Fingers crossed that I love it just as much or perhaps even more. What are your favorite new adult novels? Have you read this one? I'd love to hear from you!
Xoxo,
Gabriella