Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Reading List

As all of you know, it is New Year's Eve and to some of us bookworms (or maybe just me) it means that it's time to update/finish my reading list and to make a new one. Every year I make a list of the books I read in that year and have a set goal. The most books I've read in a year was 105, but this year my goal was 50. I ended up reading 78 and here are the books I read:

1.       Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
2.       The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan
3.       Rebel Summer by Linda Palmer
4.       The Girl in the Converse Shoes by Yaritza Garcia
5.       Crush by Lacey Weatherford
6.       In Love with my Best Friend by Yaritiza Garcia
7.       Safe Landing by Tess Oliver
8.       How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles
9.       Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
10.   Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
11.   Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
12.   Double Crossed by Ally Carter
13.   Taking Chances by Molly McAdams
14.   Neverfall by Brodi Ashton
15.   Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
16.   Legacy Lost by Anna Banks
17.   The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt
18.   The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury
19.   Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
20.   Everbound by Brodi Ashton
21.   Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
22.   Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky
23.   Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder
24.   Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
25.   Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
26.   52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica  Brody
27.   Sometimes it Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
28.   The Boys of Summer by CJ Duggan
29.   The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan
30.   The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
31.   Hana by Lauren Oliver
32.   The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols
33.   The Duck Commander Family by Willie and Korie Robertson
34.   Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
35.   Annabel by Lauren Oliver
36.   Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
37.   Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
38.   Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson
39.   Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick
40.   The Mediator: Shadowland by Meg Cabot
41.   The Mediator: Ninth Key by Meg Cabot
42.   Crossing the Line by Katie McGarry
43.   Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
44.   The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
45.   Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman
46.   Revived by Cat Patrick
47.   That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J Howard
48.   Inside Girl: Lucky Break by J. Minter
49.   Aces Up by Lauren Henderson
50.   The Selection by Kiera Cass
51.   The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
52.   The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter
53.   Smitten by Lacey Weatherford
54.   Cruel Summer by Alyson Noel
55.   Major Crush by Jennifer Echols
56.   The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols
57.   Invitation Only by Kate Brian
58.   Untouchable by Kate Brian
59.   Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
60.   Confessions by Kate Brian
61.   Inner Circle by Kate Brian
62.   The Goddess Queen by Aimee Carter
63.   The Lovestruck Goddess by Aimee Carter
64.   Goddess of the Underworld by Aimee Carter
65.   This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
66.   Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
67.   Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
68.   Si-cology 101 by Si Robertson
69.   Annexed by Sharon Dogar
70.   Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
71.   Margot by Jillian Cantor
72.   Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen by Kay Robertson and Chrys Howard
73.   When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot
74.   United We Spy by Ally Carter
75.   A Gallagher Wedding by Ally Carter
76.   Code Name Cassandra by Meg Cabot
77.   Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
78.   Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

(Books in bold are my absolute favorite books I've read this year.)

I already have books lined up for my 2014 reading list and can't wait to get started on it. My goal this year is to beat 78, so I'm going to make my goal 79. I hope all of you have reached your goals in reading books, and if you haven't made any goals I hope you make some and reach them over the year.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hana by Lauren Oliver


Back-Story: I am a huge fan of Delirium and I borrowed Hana from my sister’s nook and started and finished it within the hour I got it.

Review: The novella is okay. I didn’t like it all that much. I liked Hana in Delirium, but in the novella I didn’t really like Hana all that much. In Delirium Hana is a free spirit and seems like the rebel type that wants Lena to join in the rebellion with her, but in Hana it seems like Hana is just as scared as Lena and she’s been putting up a front. The novella is really short and it seems like the whole point of it is to figure out what the secret is. I had figured out what the secret was before reading Hana and when I read Hana I was expecting a jaw dropping moment and didn’t get it which left me a little disappointed.

Looks: The cover is okay. I don’t really know what the flowers have to do with the novella. I wish it had a picture of Hana, or at least part of a face that shows her hair and mouth and such instead.
Content: It’s really short (which I expected since it is a novella) but it seemed shorter than the other novella’s I’ve read.
Likes: It was nice to see things thought Hana’s eyes and see how she really was.

Dislikes: I wish there was a little bit more depth to Hana’s character and I’m kind of disappointed that I like the Delirium Hana better than that Hana Hana. I was hoping to get the free spirit Hana and was disappointed with what I got.

Overall: Overall it’s an okay novella. I will probably buy it since I have the rest of the books, but you don’t have to read it at all to keep up with the Delirium novels. If you want to know the secret you can probably just Google it and it would be just like reading the novella and it’ll save you some money too.(

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sometimes it Happens by Lauren Barnholdt



Back-Story: I read The Thing About the Truth and I like Lauren Barnholdt’s writing and this is her only other book that my library has, so I rented it.

Review: I liked this book a lot. It was nicely paced and a good story line with great characters. It goes back and forth between the first day of senior year and the summer before it. The story is mainly between Hannah and her best friend Ava and Ava’s boyfriend Noah with Sebastian and Lacy as the co characters. On the last day of school Hannah gets her heart broken and while Ava is gone away to work at a summer camp, Noah helps her get over the heartbreak, but spending the summer together Noah and Hannah start to have feelings for each other.
Looks: I like the cover. It helps the feel of the book and it sums up how Hannah is.

Content: Cussing and there’s an incident but it isn’t graphic at all and it’s just an exchange in passing.

Likes: The main characters were good and I liked them a lot. I also liked Lauren’s writing and how she switched from the summer to the first day of school in the chapters.

Dislikes: Lacy and Sebastian were the only things I didn’t like. Lacy was super annoying with her anxiety and Sebastian was annoying because he wouldn’t leave Hannah alone.

Overall: I would totally recommend this book and it’s worth reading again.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson


Back-Story: I read Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour when it first came out and although I wasn’t blown away with it I liked it enough to read another of Morgan Matson’s works.

Review: The book is okay. It starts off really slow and overall it isn’t that interesting. It goes back and forth between what’s going on now to what happened five summers ago. Taylor’s dad is dying of cancer and the family decides to come to their summer house in the mountains for some family time. It’s been five summers since Taylor has seen her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend. It’s an emotional book about how Taylor has to deal with her father dying and reacquainting herself with her childhood friends. The book is kind of like a mixture of A Walk to Remember and The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks.

Looks: I like the cover a lot. It’s what drew me to read the book.
Content: There isn’t anything really bad in it, but the inevitable ending is sad and will make you want to cry.

Likes: I mostly liked the characters a lot. The only one I had a problem with was Gelsey because she's just really annoying, but the book was easy to read even though it dragged in the beginning. It did pick up a little bit towards the middle and end.

Dislikes: Wasn’t really that entertaining and it was missing the umph I was looking for.

Overall: If you like Morgan Matson’s writing then I recommend it, but if you want to be blown away and fall in love then I wouldn’t say this is the book for you.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder

WARNING: THERE ARE A FEW SPOILERS

Back-Story: While I was looking at books to order at my library I found this and ordered it.

Review: The book starts off with Rae in the hospital and obviously something major has happened to her. We then learn that her stepdad is abusive and her mom doesn’t really do anything about it. The book goes into how every time a guy pursues Rae she gets scared and runs away. Nathan is a new guy that just came into town and her friends encourage her to go out with him. She does and the relationship is moving too fast for her so she breaks up with him, but Nathan can’t have that. He basically stalks her by showing up where she is, calling her non-stop, and texting her all the time. He gets jealous when she hangs out with another guy and he whines all the time. Rae is struggling with her home life and the new Nathan drama just makes it worse. Rae’s stepdad keeps coming to her for her paycheck so he can pay off his debt and the whole scenario is what makes her end up in the hospital.

Looks: I hate the cover. This is the first cover that I have ever hated. In the book there is a scene where Rae and Nathan kiss in the rain and I’m assuming that it’s Nathan on the cover since the two are kissing and it’s raining, but it confuses me because ultimately Rae doesn’t end up with Nathan. Also, I think the angle of the girl’s face is a really bad angle and just makes it look weird.

Content: A few cuss words and creepy Nathan scenes.

Likes: The overall idea was nice. I started it and finished it the day I got it so it’s an easy read.

Dislikes: The description of the book talks about Rae’s stepdad being abusive. In actuality he slaps her twice and obviously, if he hits her it’s abuse but when I read the description I was expecting punches being thrown all the time, so this wasn’t really what I was expecting. Nathan is really annoying. I almost wanted to skip the pages he was in because he was such a baby.

Overall: It was enjoyable enough. It was interesting to see how things played out. I liked Rae’s character but the book lacked the romance I wanted. The book wasn’t necessarily bad it just didn’t meet my expectations. It isn’t a heart stopping book that makes you so sad that it’s over when you get to the last page, but it’s enjoyable enough to read at least once.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Smitten by Lacey Weatherford



This book gave me so many feels. I literally was blown away with this book, which doesn't happen to me with sequels.  I first discovered the first book in the series Crush when I was checking books out for my new nook. If you haven't read Crush already then I demand that you do. I demand it! It's an incredible book containing the "plot twist of the century" and Smitten was just as amazing.

It was great to see Cami and Hunter move on with their lives and move past what happened in the first book, and it was crazy when they were thrown into another mess. The fact that Cami and Hunter couldn't really be themselves with each other in the book is what made the book. I loved that they had to steal moments with each other and there was always the threat of what could happen if they were found out.

There again was a plot twist, but it didn't completely throw me as much as the plot twist in the first book. As always, I loved Cami and Hunter, but I also liked the new characters introduced to us. I liked how Lacey was able to write about the case and use terms that real people use in life and not just make up things that she randomly heard on TV like some authors do.

This book was seriously amazing and I really hope there's going to be another.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


Back-Story: I was the first person at my library to reserve this book and check it out when it made it’s debut, but after reading a couple chapters I couldn’t get past the writing and returned it. Then I read a description for Destroy Me and it made Warner sound hot, so I decided to give Shatter Me another try.

Review: The book is boring in the beginning. The writing annoyed me with all the crossed out sentences and the repeat of every word word word.. The middle gets better but my real interest in the book began at the ending. After a while you get used to the writing and it’s interesting to see things through Juliette’s eyes. I was so looking forward to falling for one of the guys because I hear there’s a Team Adam and Team Warner. I couldn’t really fall for either. Adam isn’t the type of guy I usually get into and Warner is just insane. Kenji was pretty interesting and I’m looking forward to getting to know Brendan.

Looks: The cover is okay. I think the dress is ugly but other than that it’s cool how the words are crossed out. There’s a new cover out and I actually like it better.

Content: There’s a lot of cussing towards the end of the book.

Likes: The idea behind the book is cool and interesting enough. I like the idea of the two sides fighting to get Juliette on their side and it’s going to be cool to see what happens.

Dislikes: I didn’t really like the writing and I just had to push through it. I didn’t like the cussing and Warner was too possessive and crazy for my taste.

Overall: I liked it enough that I want to read the novella and the sequel, but I don’t care enough to actually purchase the books for keeps.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle


Let is Snow is one book with three short stories inside it. Each story is written by one author and they all connect together. Because there are three stories I'm going to review each one separately and then do an over all review.

The first short story is called The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson. The main reason I wanted to buy this book was because of Maureen Johnson. I am a huge fan of hers and I've read almost everything she's written and I've been dying to read this. The short story is about a girl named Jubilee. She's being sent to her grandparents for the holidays, but while on the train down to Florida the train gets stuck in a storm and Jubilee gets off and walks to a Waffle House to wait. While she's waiting there she meets a guy and ends up over at his house spending the holidays with his family. It's a cute story, but it lacked Maureen's humor a lot in the beginning. Towards the end there was the humor that she puts in every book, but I feel like it wasn't her best writing. It could just be because it's a short story that she couldn't really put a whole lot into it, but that would be my only complaint about it.

The second short story is called A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green. I've never read anything by John Green before, but I've been wanting to. This short story was a good sample to get to know his writing. The story starts off right away with a bunch of humor, but sadly it isn't my type of humor. It was a bit crude and it really felt like John sat down and went, "Okay. These are the jokes I want to tell, now I have to work them in the dialogue." It felt like all the jokes were coming so fast and together that they just didn't seem to fit, and it felt very rushed. By the middle and the end though, the humor seemed to slow and came naturally, and once it got to that point I really enjoyed the book. I would say that this is my second favorite of the stories because it's a good story line with it taking place at the Waffle House with a bunch of cheerleaders. (It picks up where Maureen leaves off.)

The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle is the third and last short story. This story was actually my favorite. The first two stories were about people getting together, but in this story it's about them already being together. It's really cute the way things work out and I love the humor Lauren gives it. It was nicely placed and felt natural, but the main character got annoying at one point. Her friends keep telling her she's self-absorbed, so the character just keeps talking and talking and freaking out about being self-absorbed which proves that she's self-absorbed. It isn't highly annoying, but at that one point I was just like "Really?". This story was actually more predictable than the others (All Christmasy things are), but it was still an enjoyable read even though you knew what was coming. I really liked the ending a lot because all of the characters from the first and second stories came in and it was one final chance to hang out with them all before the book ending. It was really nice.

Overall, I recommend this book. It's cute and quick to read and it's a nice Christmas story. I have rarely come across Christmas books for the YA genera and I cherish them while I can. It puts you in the mood for Christmas and it just makes you want to wrap up in a blanket and drink hot chocolate while reading it. I really hope the authors make another installment and do a part two, but with a different set of characters. I think that that would be a pretty cool thing for them to do.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Crush by Lacey Weatherford


Back-Story: I downloaded a sample of this book for my Nook and immediately was intrigued and when I finished the sample I quickly bought the rest of the book.

Review: This book is amazing! The plot was really good and well paced. I really liked the interaction between the characters and I liked how the chapters changed from Cami’s point of view to Hunters. I normally don’t like books that change from point of views or have the main guys point of view, but this book completely changed my opinion on that. There is a major plot twist that I didn’t see coming and whenever I talk about the plot twist I refer to it as “The plot twist of the century” because I really think it’s that good.

Looks: I like the cover. I like it a lot. The model is hot and fits the description of Hunter and is exactly how I envisioned him. The sticky note in the background actually has a role in the book and I liked the lockers in the background because school is a main role in the book too.

Content: There’s a lot of make out scenes that goes into more detail than I’m used to, but there is no sex scene.

Likes: EVERYTHING.

Dislikes: Absolutely nothing.

Overall: Recommend? Yes. A thousand times yes.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Safe Landing by Tess Oliver


Back-Story: I had just bought a Nook HD and saw that this book was only 99 cents, so I went ahead and bought it. Usually I read the sample of the book first, but the description talked about a ghost living in the Brazils room and being a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s Mediator series I went ahead and bought the book.

Review: I was a little let down about this book. There was a lot of cussing and name calling that I didn’t care for. The ghost isn’t in the book all that much and he doesn’t end up as a main person like I thought he would be. The book is very long which I thought would be a good thing, but the book just kept dragging on and I was just wanting to finish it to get it over with.

Looks: The cover on Goodreads is different than the cover from the Nook. I like the Nook cover better (it’s a girl in a swimsuit on the beach), but it doesn’t look like a very professional cover. It looks more like someone took a picture and used an app from their phone to put the tittle on.

Content: A lot of cussing and Brazil puts herself in a dangerous situation with a guy that doesn’t have a good reputation.

Likes: The ghost and his story of way he’s still lingering on earth.(I just wish there was more focus on his story).

Dislikes: The language, the ghost doesn’t get as much attention as I thought he should have.

Overall: This book was cheap and long which I liked, but the book overall was disappointing. I’m glad I only spent a dollar on it and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you can’t find anything new to read and just want to kill some time.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Margot by Jillian Cantor

*THIS REVIEW CONTAINS A FEW SPOILERS*


Back-Story: I was fortunate enough to win this book off of Goodreads First Reads. It came within a few weeks which surprised me because the other book I’ve won took eight weeks.

Review: Fantastic. Incredible. Amazing. Intriguing. These are words I would use to describe this book. It is completely fictional, but it kind of feels like it could be true. Like maybe Margot didn’t die at Bergen-Belsen. Maybe she lived and moved to America and started a new life. That’s what this book is about. It shows you what could have happened instead of what did happen. Margot is a character that we don’t know much about. We always hear about Anne and Meip Geis and even Anne and Margot’s father Otto Frank, the only one to survive. Jillian Cantor shows us the possibilities of what could have happened had Margot lived. Margot, now known in America as Margie Franklin, works for a Jewish law firm and is in love with her boss. She hides it from everyone and kind of denies it herself believing that she is still in love with Peter. Margie hides her true identity from everyone, even wearing sweaters in the heat of summer to cover up her tattoo from the concentration camp. While in America Margie learns that her father is alive and married to another woman and he has published Anne’s diary which is now the biggest rage and has even turned into a movie. Margie has to cope with the book, the movie, and the belief that Peter might still be alive all the while helping out Jewish men and women that have survived the concentration camps. The book goes on with Margie’s struggles and how she copes with her past and accepts her future.

Looks: The cover is okay. It shows the decade which lets you know what era it’s set in, but what I don’t understand is the little girl on the right side. Is that supposed to be Anne? Is it supposed to be Margot when she was younger? I don’t see how the little girl could be either of them because the little girl’s hair is blonde and we know that both Anne and Margot had dark hair. What I’m going to assume is that the woman on the left is Margot in America and the little girl on the right is Margot in Germany. (Which really doesn’t make sense either because the little girl would still be too young to be Margot.)

Likes: The book is well written and is a page turner. Not once was I ever bored and waiting to get to an interesting part. The book held my interest the whole time and the author has made it as historically correct as she could to make it fit her story. I think Jillian Cantor has done a great job in creating this story and all its characters. She does well in doing the flashbacks from the Annex and the camps to what is presently happening. She does well capturing Margot mourning her sister and mother, her apprehension towards her father, her fear of being found out, and her avoidance towards the book and movie.

Dislikes: *SPOILER ALERT* I can’t really say that this is a dislike. It’s more of an ‘If I were the author I would have done this instead of this’. The very ending is Margie saying her real name, revealing who she really is. Then it’s the end. If I were the one writing the book I would have shown the reactions between Margie and who she reveals her true identity too. I, as the reader, would have liked to see what happened after saying “My real name is Margot.” Again, this isn’t really a dislike it’s just what I think should have been done instead.

Overall: As I’ve said before this is a great book. It’s never boring and is not something you’ll put down easily. I definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I am very, very glad to have won this book. I love it so much that I’d be willing to buy another copy just to buy it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

52 Reasons to Hate my Father by Jessica Brody


Back-Story: In one of Meg Cabot’s blogs she mentioned this book and wrote a blurb for it and since Meg Cabot is the Queen of Writing I decided to read it.

Review: I wasn’t really impressed with this book. I was expecting it to be great but at one point I got bored with it and picked up another book to read instead. Lexi is kind of annoying in the beginning but it’s understandable since her father is making her work one job a week for a year before she can get her trust fund. When she starts to accept the jobs and starts seeing the silver lining, the book starts to get interesting and likeable. Lexi is really hung up on the lies about her mother’s death and when it gets resolved it just made me wonder what the point of it was. It isn’t a major plot point and it kind of seemed like it was just added in for more words and pages.
Looks: I like the cover and I think it incorporates the feel of the book really well, but I like the new cover better.

Content: Cuss words and drinking.

Likes: The middle of the book on and the cover.

Dislikes: It was slow starting and had annoying characters (Not just Lexi in the beginning).

Overall: I would recommend it, but I would warn people that it isn’t as great as it’s made out to be.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Gallagher Wedding by Ally Carter


This story is only 12 pages long and it's really just a deleted chapter. If you're smart and can piece things together then you already know whose wedding this is. I can't really review it because it's so short but one thing I didn't like was that the actual wedding and I do's aren't in the story. It's just the getting ready part that we read about. Overall, I'd recommend getting it just because its a nice thing to have if you've been with the series a long time. If you can't or don't want to get it then its no big deal because you're not missing anything. I feel that this is really just a special thing for the fans that's been there since the beginning.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

United We Spy by Ally Carter

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers*


If you're expecting an amazing, incredible, fantastic book- this isn't it. I've been a fan of this series for a long time. I've read and reread all of the books and loved them, and when the final book was announced, I was a sad. And when I bought the book and read it within the same 24 hours I got it, I was disappointed. You can really tell that Ally was ready to finish the series. For one thing, it took her a while to put this one out because she started a new series. And another is just that it didn't have the fun and the humor in it like her other books. I think that this book (and the fifth one) was severely lacking. The plots were boring and predictable which is saying something because I can never guess things right. There isn't any romance in this either. The most you get out of Cammie and Zach are a couple kisses and that's it. And if you're looking for Mr. Solomon scenes? Forget it. He's only in two. I rarely get annoyed while reading books, but one thing that annoyed me was that the phrase 'Once Upon a Time' is used about twelve times in the book. Its once upon a time this and once upon a time that. I guess its used a lot to capture the feeling of moving on and graduating, and if that's the intention then well done because that's what it felt like. It was draining and at times even I was cringing at what was going on. I realize I'm staying a lot of negative things about this book but here is one positive: it had a nice ending. I liked where Ally sent her characters after graduation. It fit them well and felt right. I'd say the way that Cammie chooses to go is really predictable. You can just tell what she's going to do when she graduates and it's what I expected. I hope in some way Ally can continue the series. I know she has no intention of that, but I think a prequel with Gillian Gallagher as the main character would be pretty stinking cool. In conclusion, If you're a fan of the series then go ahead and read the book, but just don't expect an emotional goodbye.