Announcement: Happy Harry Potter Month!

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So I’m super excited to announce this, so I’m going to get right to it!  I have deemed this month (July 2016) Harry Potter Month!  In celebration of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child being released on July 31, I am going to have several Harry Potter-themed posts this month, both here and on my YouTube/BookTube channel (my announcement on my channel can be found here).

I have several posts outlined, some of which will be videos, and others will be blog posts.  I’ll be giving my thoughts on characters, concepts, themes, etc., and posts will vary in length.  I’m not sure how many posts I’ll be making, but the entire month will be Harry Potter-themed, except for my Top Ten Tuesday posts (and I’ll throw as much HP into those as makes sense too).

I haven’t talked much about Harry Potter on my blog, and I think it’s time to remedy that, as it is my favorite series of all time!  Get ready for some Harry Potter related material; I hope that you are as excited as I am!  Please feel free to comment/discuss; one of my favorite parts of the Harry Potter experience is the community that comes along with it.

All right y’all!  See you all in the next one!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books that Have Been On my Shelves Forever & Haven’t Read

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Oh hey hey hey!

Happy Tuesday everyone!  For anyone who isn’t aware, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and each week has a different topic.  This week is actually a FREEBIE week, where you can make up your own topic, or do a topic that you’ve missed in the past.  TTT has been around for MUCH longer than I’ve been blogging, so I wanted to pick up a topic from the past, hence – Top 10 Books that Have Been On My Shelves Forever & Haven’t Read.  This gives me a chance to briefly talk about a few of the books I haven’t mentioned lately (if at all), so I’m all about it.  Let’s just jump into it!

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  1. A Deeper Love Inside – Sister Souljah:  This is the sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever, a book that I read and LOVED in high school.  I think I’ve been afraid of a letdown in the sequel, but I definitely want to get to this soon, if only as an excuse to re-read The Coldest Winter Ever.
  2. The Perks of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky:  I committed the cardinal sin here and watched the movie before reading  the book.  I loved the movie, and have been promised by several people that I will enjoy the book too, so I’m looking forward to it!
  3. Quiet – Susan Cain:  This is a non-fiction book about the power of introverts.  As a self-proclaimed introvert, it can sometimes seem like the world isn’t set up for us to thrive, and this book addresses that and gives introverts some insight into the power that they can have.  I have started this book, but am only about 50 pgs. in, so it’s about time for me to pick this back up!
  4. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins:  This is a book that I have on my PopSugar Reading Challenge List, so I will probably get to it soon, but I’ve had it on my Kindle since it first became a big deal, but I haven’t read it yet.
  5. Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit:  This is a nonfiction book, written on the topic of mansplaining, and while I’ve had a bit of experience with this, I’m interested to see where this book goes and what I can learn from it.
  6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot:  I have heard so much about this, have owned it for at least 2 years.  As with all of these books, I want to get to this soon, but I’m still  making no promises!
  7. Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch:  The main reason I haven’t read this yet is because I’m avoiding a lot of first books in a trilogy/series so that I don’t  have to rush out and buy the sequels, but I was really interested in this when I bought it, so I might give in soon…
  8. The Quantum and the Lotus –  Matthieu Ricard, Trinh Xuan Thuan:  I have started this book, and already knew that it would be something that I read over time, but I haven’t picked it up in awhile, so it might be time to give this book a little love.  It’s nonfiction, and about the connections between  science and religion; specifically between science and Buddhism.
  9. Tandem – Anna Jarzab:  This was in my first ever BookOutlet Haul, and I didn’t know when I purchased it that it was the beginning of a trilogy, so much like Snow Like Ashes, I have put this off but really want to get to it relatively soon.
  10. Death By Black Hole – Neil deGrasse Tyson:  I am HUGELY interested in outer space, the universe, the possibility of a multiverse, etc., and so I am really looking forward to this nonfiction book, all about black holes and other “mysterious” things about outer space.

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Ok all; thanks so much for reading!  Let me know what you all are reading, and what you think about these books if you’ve heard of/read them!

See you all in the next one!

Lily and the Octopus: A Review

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Back at it again with another book review!

Greetings all!  Today I will be reviewing Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley, which came out on June 7th of this year.  I received it for free from a Goodreads Giveaway, and providing an honest review was encouraged.  Most of what is written here was initially posted as a Goodreads review, but I’m adding a (very) few thoughts as well.  I entered this giveaway not knowing a whole lot about the book, except that it sounded interesting.

It is hard to review this book because so much of it can be considered a spoiler. I can tell you that for most of my reading experience with this book, I was wholly confused. I understood what was happening, for the most part, but I didn’t understand why (much like you may feel reading this review). I could not connect with the main character, Ted, for most of the book, and had a lot of problems with his family and friends for much of the book because of things I felt they left him get away with. At the end of the book, I realized that the people in his support network were simply seeing him as a whole person going through a tough time, while I could only see him the way that he presented himself -which, to me, was EXTREMELY 2-dimensional.  I think that the author, in trying to show how important the central topic of the book is to Ted, made him seem very flat and not relatable. For most of the book, I thought he was mentally ill, and I’m still not entirely sure that he isn’t, but it was not at all addressed.  I would have no problem with a mentally ill character, but the lack of discussion around this makes me think that this wasn’t the case.  If it were, it probably would have lent itself to a more dynamic and complex story, but again, I think Ted just wasn’t written well.

In terms of the story itself, there were parts of this book where I laughed, parts where I cried, and parts where I wanted to throw something at the wall (I did not entirely rule out having that “something” be this book). The last 50 pages of this book redeemed it for me, and helped me to make sense of what I had read. I think much like with many of life’s truest emotions, coming out the end gave me the perspective I needed to understand and appreciate everything that this book had taken me through.

I don’t know that I would widely recommend this book, because I don’t think it’s for everyone. However, I think I would be able to recognize a soul who needs this journey, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to those folks at all.

I gave the book 3 stars because I had high and low points with it, but I do think that it has given me a lot to think about and to try to understand, so I’ll always be grateful that I read it.

Thanks for reading!  If you’ve read this book (or want to), let me know your thoughts.  Catch you all in the next one!

Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far

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OMG!

It’s been FOREVER since I last wrote a blog entry, and I am SO sorry!  I have no excuses other than…  you know… life, but I’m back and ready to jump back into the swing of things!

Before I get carried away, let me remind you all that Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, so definitely check them out if you’re interested.  And with that, I’m going to go ahead and jump into this week’s topic.

The topic of the week is: Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far.  I have been consciously trying to read more books from my TBR (remember the Mount TBR Challenge?), so I haven’t read too many 2016 releases, but I will also include a few books that I want to get to that have already come out, as well as some that I’m looking forward to that are coming out after this post goes up.  Here goes!

2016 Releases I’ve Read (and LOVED)

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  1. The Rule of Mirrors – Caragh M. O’Brien – I’ve talked about this before a bit; it is the sequel to The Vault of Dreamers, one my favorite reads of last year.  It was a GREAT second book, especially considering how the first book ended.  I won’t say much about it since it’s a sequel, but if you like YA psychological thrillers with a very cerebral feel, I suggest this series.  The third and final book is HIGHLY anticipated on my end.  (Rating: 4 stars/5)
  2. Morning Star – Pierce Brown – I have raved about the Red Rising trilogy enough here to last a lifetime, so I won’t go into detail, especially since this is the final book in the trilogy, but I *will* say – if you haven’t read this trilogy, I suggest you drop what you’re reading (unless it’s for school/work) and get to it!  My review of the series is here.  (Rating: 5stars/5)
  3. Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare – This is the beginning of the third official series in the Shadowhunter world.  You have most likely heard of this, even if you haven’t read it.  It’s the beginning of a trilogy, but continuing a larger set of stories, so not too much detail here either, but I really enjoyed this book; more than I thought I would, honestly.  There is one main theme/trope that I am OVER (especially from Casssandra Clare), but even though it’s a MAJOR plot point, the rest of the book more than made up for it.  (Rating: 4.5stars/5)

2016 Releases that I Haven’t Yet Read, But Am Anticipating (Already Released)

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  1. The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson – I have only read one Morgan Matson book (Since You’ve Been Gone), but I really like it, so I’m excited for this.  I recently bought Second Chance Summer, so I’ll probably get to that before this one, but I’m still very ready for this one!
  2. Murder – Ella James – I read Sloth by Ella James (and yes, she is writing books based on the Seven Deadly Sins), and it was SO good.  A very tiny bit convoluted because of all the twists and turns, but I like that, so I’m hoping there is a bit of that in this book as well.  Which I’m 115% sure there will be.
  3. A House for Happy Mothers – Amulya Malladi – I haven’t heard anything about this book, but I have a Kindle, and participate in Kindle First monthly – basically you get a book that is being released soon for less than $4.  I don’t remember what this one is about too much, but I know it’s set in India, and that alone makes me super excited.  This was one of the books for May.

2016 Releases that I Am Anticipating (Not Yet Released)

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  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany – Enough said.  (Being released: July 31, 2016)
  2. Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor – I haven’t finished the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy (have only gotten to the 1st book so far), but it’s so well-written and increasingly interesting, so I’m  definitely down to pick up this new Laini Taylor book. As always, the blurb basically tells us nothing.  (Being released: September 27, 2016)
  3. Gemina – Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – It took me awhile to get into Illuminae (Gemina is the sequel), but I flew through the last 2/3 of the book, and I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.  I hear we are following a new couple which doesn’t really make me happy, but I just…  need it.  So, yes.  (Being released: October 18, 2016)
  4. Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty – She is an auto-buy author for me, and I can’t wait for this book to come out.  She can really draw out a mystery, and generally in a way that is well-paced and the release of information is perfect (even though I get very impatient sometimes).  (Being released: July 26, 2016)

So those are the 10 books on my list this week, and I hope you enjoyed it.  Let me know what you think about any of these books, as well as the books on your list.  I look forward to hearing from you all, especially since it’s been so long…

Thanks all; catch y’all in the next one!

Trial By Fire (Worldwalker Trilogy #1): A Review

Hello hello hello!

Trial By Fire

I hope all is well with you all!  Today’s entry is a review of Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini.  This is the first book of the Worldwalker trilogy, and if the rest of the books are as good as this one, it’s going to be one of my favorites when it is all done.  This is a YA fantasy read, and incorporates elemental magic as well as parallel universes, and it sounds like a lot, but it is SO WELL DONE.

Trial By Fire follows our protagonist, Lily, and it seems that life is killing her.  She is allergic to so much, and it affects her life so much that she is distanced from her peers at school.  She has one friend, Tristan, and he looks out for her, as does her sister, Juliet.  Lily wants as much as possible to live a normal life, but an incident at a party makes it clear that that is not something that is in her grasp.  Lily eventually finds herself in another world (universe), and everything that works against her begins to make sense and makes her strong in this new world.  The alternate version of herself (Lillian) brought her to this world to rule it, but as Lily finds out more and more about the new world, her desire to return to her old one increases.

That’s pretty vague, but there is quite a bit that can be spoiled in this book, so that’s all I’m comfortable conveying about the plot.  What I CAN say is that I REALLY enjoyed this book.  I rated it a 4.5 star read, and a little something that I can’t name kept me from giving it 5 stars.  It’s hard to say what it is.  I think I’m waiting for the series to develop more, but despite not being perfect, it was still amazingly good.

The world-building in this book was really well done, and it was easy to imagine a parallel Earth, under the influence of magic, and with different inventions and customs because of it.  I won’t spoil the little details of the book, but I enjoyed the way they seemed to be thought out and appropriately nuanced.  Again, the magic system is elemental, and I typically enjoy that kind of magic because I like how connected to the Earth it is.

The characters in this book were part of my favorite aspect, because through them, the book explores what makes up a person, at their core.  Lily encounters alternate versions of the people she knows from her own world in the new one, and while there are differences based on entirely different existences, the core of those people remained the same.  I loved exploring the idea of how we may be different in alternate universes, but I was touched by exploring the idea of how we may be the same.  Lily was able to center herself and push forward because the bonds with the people she loves were enough to connect her to them, even in another world.  There is a romance in this book, and it is complicated and a bit angsty, but I enjoyed it.  There is still much to be developed, but I look forward to watching them grow.

This book guaranteed that I will finish the series, and I can’t wait to continue.  The second book, Firewalker, is out now, while the third, Witch’s Pyre, comes out September 20, 2016 (expected), so hopefully I will have a great late birthday present.  There is also a novella titled Rowan, so I want to read that soon.  I believe it fits between books 1 and 2 of the trilogy.

Anywho, thanks so much for reading this review, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!  See you all in the next post!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

Happy Tuesday!

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It is time to revisit the weekly meme, Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week, we’ll be sharing 10 of our most recent 5-star reads.  Since I just started actively reading Goodreads about 6 months ago, and rarely sat down to give books a star rating before that, I’ll just be listing my very most recent 5-star reads (with one exception, but we’re getting there).  I’ll be starting with the most recent and moving backward in time.

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  1. Pretty Girl-13 (Liz Coley) – I really enjoyed this book; a review is coming so I don’t want to give too much detail right now.  Ultimately, this is about self-acceptance and the way we choose to confront our issues, and I thought it was really fantastic.
  2. Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do About It (Kate Harding) – I have reviewed this book already on this blog (here), but again, I really appreciated that this book gave me some vocabulary to illustrate the points I’ve been trying to make over the years.
  3. Steadfast [Spellcaster #2] (Claudia Gray) – As you can see, this is the 2nd book in a trilogy, so I won’t go too far into detail.  I loved the whole trilogy, but this book was such a great “book 2 of 3,” which can be difficult to do, and I really loved how the bonds between people were explored in this book in particular.  (The third was amazing in this regard too, but a very few points were shaven off for the ending, which wasn’t what I was expecting.)
  4. Necessary Lies (Diane Chamberlain) – I have also reviewed this book (here), but I just loved the realistic way that the story was told, and the questions I had to ponder while reading.  I really enjoyed this one.
  5. The Vault of Dreamers (Caragh M. O’Brien) – Sometimes I’m still surprised that I gave this book 5 stars.  It’s not that it isn’t good, but I am often still hard-pressed to explain WHY I love this book so much.  I think it caught me at the right time, and provoked me to think about concepts I never really had before.5StarReads2
  6. The Wednesday Group (Sylvia True) – I really liked this book as well, and it is the first that I reviewed on my BookTube channel (here), meaning it was a long and somewhat awkward video, haha.  But I really enjoyed this; it is ultimately about addiction, love, lies, and self-discovery, and I thought it was really well done (but with a kind of open ending – fair warning if you aren’t into that kind of thing).
  7. Sloth  [Sinful Secrets #1] (Ella James) –  I really enjoyed this.  It has its sex-heavy parts, but I thought the plot was also really engaging.  I liked it even if it was a bit unbelievable, and am really happy that I read it.  There is a lot to spoil, so I don’t want to say much about the plot, AND I just heard that this is the first in a series, so I need to see if the next book is out!
  8. Red Rising Trilogy (Pierce Brown) – Technically, I read the last book in this trilogy pretty recently, but I decided to wrap all of these together toward the end since I’ve also reviewed this series in this blog (here), and I gave all 3 book a 5-star rating.
  9. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Brene Brown) – I really love this book; it put into words so many of my feelings, and helped me to see the power that lies in vulnerability.  I think back to this book in so many aspects of my life, and am so happy that I decided to pick it up when I did.
  10. Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell) – This is a pretty popular book, so I won’t say too much, but I really related to the main character, and was invested in all of them (so much so that I wanted a little more from a few of them).  I really like the way the story unfolded, and all of the feelings I had while reading it.

Well y’all, those were my most recent 5-star reads!  Let me know if you’ve read any of these, or any of your thoughts.  I really enjoy the conversations I get to have on my TTT posts (and others’), so let me know what you think!  I will catch you all in the nest post!

Quarterly Reading Challenge Check-In (+PopSugar Reading Challenge 2016)

Hello friends!

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I am very excited to announce that I will be taking on yet another reading challenge for 2016!  I haven’t mentioned it here, but the first challenge I entered this year was the Goodreads Challenge.  This is very loose; you only set a goal for a number of books to read for the year.  This year, I set a goal of 75 books, and I’m excited to see if I can get there by the end of the year!

Next, I joined the Mount TBR Challenge, which I introduced in my first ever post on this blog.  Go ahead and click that link to check it out if you’re interested.  This challenge is dedicated to reducing your TBR pile.  You select a “level” which corresponds to a number of books that you will read from the pile.  I chose the Mount Vancouver level, meaning I have committed to reading 36 of my unread books.  The main catch is that you must be reading books that you owned before January 1, 2016.  As you buy books, your TBR pile continues to grow, but only the ones from before 2016 count.

NOW I am throwing my hat into the 2016 PopSugar Reading Challenge.  If you don’t know what that is, click that link for more information, but it’s a challenge that consists of 40 prompts (resulting in 41 books, as 1 prompt includes 2 books).  Everyone decides to do this challenge differently.  Some people are strict about reading a book for each prompt.  Some find books that hit as many prompts as possible and finish that way.  I am choosing a middle path, and have decided that of all of the books that I read, no more than 5 can count for multiple prompts, and even those can only count for 2 each.  This means that I will be reading a total of 36 books connected to this challenge.  I did this to challenge myself a bit outside of my comfort zone, but also to put some structure to my Mount TBR Challenge.  I don’t typically enjoy adhering to a pre-determined TBR list, but the main reason I haven’t read many books in my TBR is that I can’t decided which one to pick up.  Now I have fit as many TBR books to these prompts as possible, and I should knock out 16 of my pledged 36 with this challenge.  I will put the prompts and my completions so far at the end of this blog post so you can see it if you’d like!

Quarterly, I will be checking in to let you all know where I am with my challenges.  Even though I started most of these challenges later into 2016, I am going to be pulling from all books I’ve read in 2016, even if I read them before I joined the challenge.  All right; let’s see how I’m doing!

Quarter 1 of 2016:
Goodreads Challenge – 22/75 books read (This is great; I’m on track to complete this goal!)
Mount TBR Challenge – 6/36 books read (I am a little off-track here, but there is plenty of time left, and PopSugar should help with this a bit.)
PopSugar Reading Challenge – 7/40 prompts completed (I am slightly off here too, but I feel like this challenge is going to consume me until it’s done, so I think I’ll be making some progress soon.)

So it looks like things are going well so far!  I’m a bit off track with everything but Goodreads, but I’m not worried at this point.  These challenges are fun, but I refuse to live my life reading only to meet a goal.  If I feel these are too overbearing at any point, I’ll stop because reading should be enjoyable, but I am really excited about these, so I think I’ll be ok.

Anyway, this is getting pretty long so I will cut this here (but don’t forget to check out my PopSugar completions below)!  Also, let me know what’s going on with you all!  Are you participating in any reading challenges this year?  If so, how are you doing?  Any other thoughts?  Let me know in the comments; I look forward to it!  Byyeeee!

PopSugar Reading Challenge Completed Prompts

A book based on a fairy tale
A National Book Award Winner
A YA bestseller
A book you haven’t read since high school
A book set in your home state
A book translated to English
A romance set in the future
A book set in Europe – Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins)
A book that’s under 150 pages
A New York Times bestseller
A book that’s becoming a movie this year
A book recommended by someone you just met
A self-improvement book
A book you can finish in a day
A book written by a celebrity
A political memoir
A book that’s at least 100 years older than you
A book that’s more than 600 pages
A book from Oprah’s Book Club
A science-fiction novel – Morning Star (Pierce Brown)
A book recommended by a family member
A graphic novel – The Wicked and the Divine: The Faust Act (Gillen, McKelvie, Wilson, Cowles)
A book that is published in 2016 – The Rule of Mirrors (Caragh M. O’Brien)
A book with a protagonist who has your occupation
A book that takes place during Summer – Savor the Moment (Nora Roberts)
A book and its prequel
A murder mystery
A book written by a comedian
A dystopian novel
A book with a blue cover – Made You Up (Francesca Zappia)
A book of poetry
The first book you see in a bookstore
A classic from the 20th century
A book from the library
An autobiography
A book about a road trip
A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with
A satirical book
A book that takes place on an island
A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy – Vision in White (Nora Roberts)

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough/In A While

Hello everyone!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and here is my latest offering!  This week the topic is “10 Books That I Haven’t Talked About Enough/In A While.”  I had a really good time thinking of these books; many of which I read in high school (shout-out to my English teachers for assigning some really fantastic books).  I will go ahead and get into my list; I hope you enjoy!

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  1. The Crucible (Arthur Miller) – I read this play in high school (school assignment), and I really loved it.  It is so well-thought out/written, and it made my mind go in so many different directions as a high school student.  I plan to re-read this book this year, and I’m sure I’ll love it just as much as I did back then.
  2. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb) – This is another book that I read during my high school years, and I immediately related to the main character in a way that hadn’t happened in a long time.  I still think about this book from time to time, and wouldn’t mind re-reading it sometime soon.
  3. Sloth (Ella James) – I recently read this book (in the last 6ish months), and I enjoyed it so much!  I haven’t spoken much about it, mainly because there is a lot to be spoiled, but I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a someone dark and intense adult fiction book.  Warning:  There is a lot of sex in this book, but I also enjoyed the overall story and think there is a lot to take from the book in general.
  4. The Other Boleyn Girl (Philippa Gregory) – I don’t really consider myself someone who reads a lot of historical fiction, but I stumbled upon this book in college, right before it became a movie (which I also thoroughly enjoyed).  Philippa Gregory made these characters come to life (again) and reignited a long-lost interest in British royalty.  I could not put this book down.
  5. The Coldest Winter Ever (Sister Souljah) – I also read this book in high school (although definitely not for school), and it was a very popular book when it came out (and I still hear people talking about it today).  It is very adult, but so interesting.  I think teachers pried a few copies of this book out of people’s hands while I was in school.

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  6. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (Ernest E. Gaines) – I read this when I was in 7th or 8th grade, and although I believe it is written for a slightly older audience, it is still accessible to that age range.  This book was written from the perspective of a woman who lived a long life – long enough that she was a slave, yet also remembered the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.  I remember finding it remarkable, and have read it several times since then.
  7. Linden Hills (Gloria Naylor) – This was another book I was assigned to read in high school, and has stuck with me for all of these years.  The story drew me in, and although the metaphors and other literary devices were strong and painted a huge picture, the story itself was also brilliantly compelling.  I’d like to read this one again as an adult to see what my thoughts are now.
  8. Snow Falling on Cedars (David Guterson) – It turns out that I read a lot of good literature in high school, because this was another assignment.  I really liked this book; it is focused on a culture/time period that I hadn’t known much about before reading this book, and I just really enjoyed the way that the story was told.
  9. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) – I feel like most people have heard of or read this book, but I don’t talk about it often, so I definitely wanted to bring it up here.  I read this during my later college years, and enjoyed being immersed in a culture that I was not familiar with, and learning while reading an engrossing story.
  10. Sharp Objects (Gillian Flynn) – This is one of my favorite books of all time, and I don’t talk about it nearly often enough.  I feel like Gone Girl gets a lot of Gillian Flynn’s shine (I haven’t read it yet – I know, I know), but this was such a good story.  I related in the strangest way, and I just really liked the journey that this book took me on.

Well, those are 10 books that I don’t talk about nearly enough.  Let me know what you think in the comments, and share a book or two that you don’t talk about enough.  I’m always looking for the recommendations!

Thanks y’all!  I will see you all in the next one…

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on My Spring TBR

Hello all!

TTT

It’s that time again, so let’s get started!  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, so head over there for more lists and to participate!  I missed last week, so I’m excited to be back in the mix.

This week’s topic is: Books on My Spring TBR.  So if you know me, you know that I don’t really make TBR lists, especially monthly, because I like to read what I’m in the mood for and I know I will ignore my TBR most of the time.  However, there are books that I’d like to get to this year, and a season also seems like a reasonably long time to set a TBR for.  Most of these books will count toward my Mount TBR Challenge because of my “read 5 before buying 1” policy (which is only moderately working), but there is at least one book coming out this spring that I’d like to get my hands on.  Let’s get into the list…

SpringTBR-1SpringTBR-2

1)  The Leftovers – Tom Perrotta [I have read another book by Tom Perrotta, and I LOVED it (I may re-read it soon).  I bought this soon after, yet never read it.  And now it’s a TV show, I think.  I doubt I’m going to get into the show, but I do want to read the book; I’ve heard good things.]
2)  Wildflowers – Lyah Beth Leflore  [This is one of my books that I’ve owned since my early college years and just haven’t read yet.  I should have gotten rid of it a long time ago, but I’m going to try to read it again.  If I can’t get through it this time, I’m afraid it’s headed for an unhaul.]
3)  Subliminal – Leonard Mlodinow  [I’ve been excited about this book since I got it YEARS ago, and I think it’s finally time to crack it open.  This is a non-fiction read.]
4)  Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston  [This will be a re-read for me. It’s been awhile since I’ve read it, and I feel like it’s time to pay this one some attention again.]
5)  Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare  [I just got this book a few days ago;  I didn’t realize how HUGE it is!  But I’m all in for the Shadowhunter stories, so I’ll get to this one soon.]
6) The Now Effect – Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D  [I like to clear my mind and set goals in the spring, rather than the beginning of the year.  This way I have a chance to set my bearings in a new year and get an idea as to what goals will benefit me most in the rest of the year.  Living mindfully is something that I have been wanting to pay more attention to for quite some time, so this book will be perfectly timed.  This is non-fiction.]
7)  Days of Blood and Starlight – Laini Taylor  [I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone in January, and I want to finish this trilogy this year, and this will give me time to purchase and read the last book well before the end of the year.]
8)  The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood  [This is another re-read, but it’s one of my favorite books and I haven’t read it in years, so I think it’s time!]
9)  Saga, Vol.1 – Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples [I have started this graphic novel, and like it so far, so I want to finish it to determine if I’m going to continue with the series over the course of the year.]
10)  Three Wishes -Liane Moriarty  [I have started this on my Kindle, and since most of my unread books are on there, I need to start knocking that pile down as well…]
Anywho, I hope that you all enjoyed this list, and if you have thoughts on any of this, let me know in the comments.  Thanks all!  🙂

Weightless: A Review

weightless

Salutations, my good people.

I am here with yet another book review.  This review is for Weightless  by Sarah Bannan.  This was another BookOutlet purchase; I felt drawn to the story even though the summary was a little vague/generic.  I really enjoyed reading it; it was something different that surpassed those early expectations.

Weightless is the story of a girl named Carolyn Lessing, who moves to Adamsville (read: small town), Alabama from New Jersey right before her junior year of high school.  She is instantly envied and loved, and just a little bit hated (see again: envied).  She is nice, talented and smart, and everyone wants to be her friend.  She is immediately popular, and then she starts dating.  She begins dating a senior, the ex-boyfriend of one of her classmates, and… things go from there.

The synopsis for this book is vague, as is my description, but because there is SO much in this book that you have to read for yourself.  Ultimately, this is a book about bullying, but it’s also a book about small town life (especially in the South), and a book about mental health, and a book about hindsight being 20/20.  It is written from the perspective of “we,” and the reader never finds out who “we” refers to, but probably because it can be any of us.  There is a quote on the back of the book:  “Weightless is an unflinching study of the slow cruelty of the crowd.” (Anne Enright, Man Booker Prize-Winning author of The Gathering)  It stuck out to me before I read the book, and is even more startling afterward.

The characters are realistic, if not brutally so, which Sarah Bannan managed even writing from the “we” perspective.  I had some pretty strong feelings about them, and they ranged from disgust to affection to disappointment and beyond.

I will admit that it took me a little while to get into this book.  It actually pulled me in quickly, but the writing style, a kind of plural stream-of-consciousness, threw me off a bit, and I got stuck in that style for a little while.  However, as I kept reading, the pages kept flying and I was in the middle of the book before I knew it.  It is a book that definitely gathers steam before you’ve even realized it, and by the end I was in love with how the story was told.  There are also little tidbits in the book presented via different forms of media, which lend some insight to what is going on.

I think the best part about the book is that it tells a complete story while still trusting the reader to put together their own version of the events that make it up, and that seems particularly masterful.  This was Sarah Bannan’s debut novel, and I can’t wait for what she comes up with next!  I gave this book 4 stars, and I will definitely read it again sometime.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA “issue” books that are more than just that, and who appreciates a slow burn, yet high intensity read.

Well, that’s all that I have about this for now!  Please discuss in the comments if you’ve read this book (or want to), and I will catch up with you all in my next post.

Toodles!