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! (:

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Book Tag

For as long as I can remember every time I went over to my best friend's house, the television show FRIENDS would be playing as a kind of background noise. I caught a few episodes here and there, but it wasn't until it was on Netflix that I finally began to watch it. Of course I texted my best friend every single thought I had along the way, no matter what time it was. So when Mariam tagged me for this post, I was crazy stoked about it! Here we go!

"So no one told you life was gonna be this way." - A book which surprised you.
I was pleasantly surprised by The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley and I don't think I'll ever stop pushing this book on people. It's an adult contemporary about a man facing a tough decision in regards to his wife's care. That's all I'm willing to say. However, I know that a lot of people my age read young adult more than they do adult so I'll also mention The Blood Between Us by Zac Brewer. I recently finished this one and will post my review soon. I went in knowing that I would enjoy it, but I was surprised at how much I loved it and how much I wanted more. Side note: Did anyone else feel the urge to clap like I did?

Chandler - A book which had you on the floor laughing.
No book has had me on the floor laughing, but if there's one author who never fails to make me chuckle a few times, it would be Rick Riordan. So far, I've only read six of his novels, but I own thirteen of them because he hasn't let me down yet. Riordan sprinkles just the right amount of humor within his adventure stories. Even when you think a character might die, you're likely to find a joke.

Monica - A book that you never want to be damaged or broken.
Oh lord, I hope none of my books ever get damaged! It's so hard to choose one. I suppose I'll choose one of the first adult books that I remember falling in love with. This so happens to be Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Water for Elephants was so far out of my comfort zone when I picked it up, but I did because the movie was coming out and I prefer to read the book first. It's been a very long time since I've read it, in fact it's about time for a reread, but I remember loving how this young man's world was shattered and he just got away and started over.

Joey - A book that you love and would like to become a movie.
So many of the books that I love are already movies, but it's a tie between Winger by Andrew Smith and Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes. If you haven't read either of them, you need to. Winger is kind of a coming of age story and Liars, Inc. is a good mystery/thriller.

Phoebe - A book that had bad reviews, but you loved.
I wouldn't say this book had bad reviews, but Paper Towns by John Green. John Green is a hit or miss for a lot of people and I get that. Paper Towns was in some ways an eye opener for me. My favorite quote being, "What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person." Like Q, I had my eyes on someone and believed they were the end all, be all. In reality, he was just a person and I try to look at everyone that way.

Ross - A book that you can't decide whether you love it or hate it.
I actually don't have an answer for this one. I'm pretty sure minded when it comes to my opinion on books and I actually love most of what I read. But I will mention a book that I have a love hate relationship with. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall pissed me off to no end, but I loved it. It is basically a novel of near misses, but the end made up for it. Oddly enough this is how I feel about Ross. He makes me so damn mad and I love him.

Rachel - A character that had major character development.
I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the logistics so I'm tempted to say Sita from the Thirst series by Christopher Pike. Throughout the series she changes a lot, but also stays the same. I know this answer is very vague and I'm sorry. The series is amazing. I always say that it isn't your typical vampire novel. My favorite thing about it is actually the religious aspect and how nothing is black and white.

Central Perk - A book to go to when you're bored.
When I'm bored, I usually grab a steamy book. A recent favorite is The Score by Elle Kennedy. I absolutely love Dean. The Score is the third in a series of companion novels called the Off-Campus series. You can read them out of order, but because of the appearance of past characters I prefer to read them in order.

Gunther - A book that you always hear about, but never buy.
I'm always hearing about the Outlander series and the Game of Thrones books. I don't see myself ever reading them. They're so large and intimidating. Not to mention that there are just so many of them. No offense to Diana Gabaldon or George R.R. Martin.

"Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you?" - A book that has a nice smell.
Every book smells different, but every book smells nice. I can' think of a particular book that has a better smell than any other one.

"How you doin'?" - A book character that you love so much.
One of my favorite book characters is Tobias Eaton, more commonly known as Four. Because of my past, I felt a deep connection to him, specifically when reading his short stories. I know most people like Tobias because they want to date him or whatever, but I'm more into how he managed to face his his fears. Maybe one day, I'll be able to do the same.

"WE WERE ON A BREAK!" - A book that you stopped reading for some reason.
Oh man, I have put down so many books! I absolutely have every intention of giving them all another shot, which is why I still have them all. Most recently I put down Dumplin' by Julie Murphy. I just simply wasn't in the mood for it at the time and I don't know when I will be. Maybe in the Summer? Who knows, but I'm looking forward to it regardless.

This was my first tag and I really hope you enjoyed it, I sure did! Thank you to Mariam for tagging me. I tag Grace, Cassie & Jocelyn, Abigail, and anyone else who would like to do it! Feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments, I would love to read them!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tucson Festival of Books Take Two

Tucson Festival of Books
March 12th & 13th of 2016
If you've been around for a while, then you'll know that last year I went to the Tucson Festival of Books for the very first time and had an absolute blast. I've been waiting for it to be time again ever since. I never knew that my city hosted an event full of my people, crazy right? This year was absolutely amazing and I am left waiting for the same great experience next year.

Day one I went with my cousin and his girlfriend as we all planned to see R.L. Stine. My favorite quote from his presentation happened to come after some story telling, "I always make up my true stories." This earned a laugh from the audience. Afterwards, the plan was to meet him and get my copy of Eye Candy signed, but after 45 minutes in line we gave up. Turned out that his line was going to be around 3 hours long and I had other things to do! It's still quite the bummer though. While I stopped at the Sweet Sixteens' booth I was able to meet Kathleen Glasgow and Shannon M. Parker and they were both so kind! Shannon even gave me a signed copy of her debut, The Girl Who Fell. Later in the day, I was lucky enough to finally meet Danielle Paige, who I had previously talked to on Twitter, and get my copy of Dorothy Must Die signed! I also met Rae Carson, Suzanne Young, Karen Bao (unfortunately I forgot to ask for a picture), Aprilynne Pike, Heidi Heilig, Liz Fenton, and Lisa Steinke. I wasn't able to meet Tommy Wallach, but the UofA Bookstore did have a signed copy of Thanks for the Trouble and I just had to buy it! I may have gone home with a lovely sunburn, but it was worth it to have such a wonderful day!

Day two I was lucky enough to experience with a childhood friend that I hadn't seen in years! The first thing we did was go and say hello to Zac Brewer and get my copy of The Blood Between Us signed, which I had gotten the previous day at the Epic Reads booth. SCORE. I was also able to meet Sara Raasch, Terry Brooks, and Caragh M. O'Brien! Drisana and I went to a panel about World Building in YA Lit featuring Zac Brewer, Carol Goodman , Caragh M. O'Brien, and Sara Raasch. My favorite thing said from this session was from Zac. The question was whether you write for you or for your fans and Zac said, "My minions, that's what I call my fans, are so similar to me that I kind of assume that they'll include themselves in the story." I can't wait to see if I feel this when I read The Blood Between Us. Which if you've been living under a rock, will be the first book published under Zac Brewer rather than Heather Brewer. How awesome is that?! You do you. Lastly, I purchased a painting from the Creative Juice booth and definitely hope to take a class there soon!

Two of the most exciting things to happen during this amazing festival happen to have a little something to do with debut authors. The first being meeting the lovely Abigail Johnson. We got to talking while in line for Danielle Paige when I just had to compliment her super cute boots. I'm glad I spoke up because as it turns out her debut will be out later this year and she gave me her card! If you're interested If I Fix You comes out in the Fall and Better Read Than Dead will be reading it in January of 2017. The second exciting thing is that while talking to Kathleen, we discussed possibly doing an interview! Her debut, Girl in Pieces, will be out on September 6, 2016! Overall, I was able to meet some seriously awesome people and I cannot wait until next year! If you'd like to donate to the Tucson Festival of Books, you can do so on their website. This helps keep the festival free to all of us bookworms.


I went a little nuts. Here's my haul for the weekend!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Darkest Minds Review

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
5 Stars

The Darkest Minds was the Better Read Than Dead book club pick for February 2016 and boy did I enjoy it. For those of you who don't know a "disease" swept through the country and seemed to only affect children. Those who survived were not the same afterwards and thus were sent away.

I found the beginning to be a little slow and was unsure about my feelings toward our main character, Ruby. However, when we were introduced to Liam and his eclectic bunch I just could not put it down. It's safe to say that I loved him. Maybe a little too much. Lol. I found Zu to be absolutely precious and also quite the mystery. I was drawn to her partially because we knew so little about her. Chubs however, rubbed me the wrong way for a good amount of the novel. He did eventually grow on me, so I encourage you to hold out hope. One character that I had severe mixed feeling for was Clance. He pulled me in so much, but my brain was telling me no. So I guess you could say I sensed something deep down. I like how Bracken gave these people such depth. No one's backstory, or personality even, is just black and white. There are so many shades of grey and I really appreciated that.

This was quite the adventure. While I have never seen what the East coast of the United States looks like in person, I could sense the destruction and general devastation through Alexandra's words. It was all so real to me and I felt bad for these people. You really get a great sense of the world she has created within her mind. I'm so glad she decided to put it on a page because it's incredible. I'd never want to live there though. Some things just felt a bit too cult-like for me. Anyone else get that feeling?

To sum up, The Darkest Minds was quite the page turner. In the end I was left feeling broken. I had developed such an attachment and man was I crushed. Book two in the series, Never Fade, is for sure in my future. Anyone is welcome to join Grace and I for book club. We read one young adult novel a month and discuss as we go. If you've read The Darkest Minds, let's talk about it.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Wild Swans ARC Review

Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood
5 Stars
To start off, I'd like to thank NetGalley for providing me with yet another lovely novel. I went into this book thinking it was basically about some family curse where the women die young and talented. I was wrong. This is a contemporary novel that, in my opinion, centers around family issues, finding your voice, and acceptance. Boy did I eat it up.

I found our main character, Ivy, to be smart, strong-willed, but also a tad whiny. I understand her issues, believe me, you will too. But sometimes I just wanted to scream at her for not speaking up when she truly needed to. It was one of the most frustrating things and often it had to do with her grandad. I absolutely adored Grace and Ella. I hope you will as well. These two, while young, can really teach you something.

On to my least favorite characters. I wasn't a huge fan of Alex, he seemed quite possessive, but maybe if there is a future book, he can redeem himself. My most hated character was Erica. However, you are made to hate her. She's the villain of this story and I think Spotswood did a fantastic job at creating her. At the end of the novel I really wanted more so I could know how her story turns out.

While I love the not-so-perfect family aspect of this novel, there is one thing that I love even more. Spotswood added a transgender character and delicately touched on all the emotions of the people around her. This person is in no way a focus of the story. I love that such a minor character has such an important lesson to teach the reader. While talking about lessons, I might as well mention Claire. I didn't plan on talking about her, hence her not being mentioned above. But Claire has some great outlooks on life. I would just like you to pay attention to some of the things that she says.

All in all, this was quite the enjoyable read for me. My family is not perfect in any way and I really love reading about other families and their issues. Especially ones that cause huge rifts. Another thing I appreciate is how while there is a romance, it's not at the forefront. The focus remains on this family the entire time. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good Summer read that isn't super lovey. Wild Swans is not some fluffy read and it's not some divine mystery like I initially assumed. Wild Swans will be out on May 3, 2016 for those of you who are interested. Be sure to come back and discuss it once you've read it.