August Wrap Up: Summer can’t be over! I’m not ready for school!

imageedit_1_5523356880

So remember last month when I was like “Oh hey how did the summer go so fast?!?!?!”

Well now the summer is actually over and I’M NOT READY FOR SCHOOL TO START AGAIN.

I mean, I am…. but I really just want another month of summer before I have to face actual school work.

I could also use an extra month of summer to do the summer course work that I haven’t exactly started yet…. *cue frantic scrambling for my summer reading*

Talking about reading… I didn’t read as much as I planned to this month.

That’s mostly because of the road-trip I went on (more on that later). But even so, I still had a good reading month.

Books I have reviewed this month:

5‘s: Wait Till Helen Comes // Little Monsters
4 ‘s: Gemina // Cruel Crown // Haunting the Deep // Hunting Prince Dracula// P.S. I Like You
2 ‘s: A Week of Mondays
1 : Scrappy Little Nobody // The Infinity of You & Me // Dreamology

Books I’ve read but haven’t posted reviews for yet:

These reviews are coming soon along with a Throne of Glass themed giveaway. I’m planning on posting that this upcoming week!! So if you are a Throne of Glass fan, be sure to keep an eye out!!

Books I’m reading right now:

I’m almost done with City of Thieves (I have less than 50 pages to go), and I’m still in the beginning of The Breathless.

I really only read 10 books this month, but that’s still pretty good considering how busy I have been!

So what exactly have I been busy with?

  • I went on a huge road trip down the east coast with my best friend!! (Check out all the details in my post about it!!)
  • Setting up the epic Throne of Glass giveaway that I keep talking about (I promise it is coming and it is going to be amazing)
  • Taking care of Nike (our new puppy! who you can check out in the road trip post!)
  • Making sure I have everything I need for my dorm and for school
  • Seeing some friends that I haven’t seen in years (it was great!!)
  • Babysitting
  • Painting (or at least trying to…)
  • Visiting my cousin at her college
  • Dropping off my best friend at school and then going back to visit her a day later because separation is hard
  • Re-watching Suits because I haven’t seen it in years and it’s amazing
  • Watching the Game of Thrones season finale even though I haven’t watched since the middle of season three
  • Driving around aimlessly because I’m nostalgic and like seeing the town I grew up in
  • Driving past my old house enough times to raise suspicion because #ChildhoodMemories
  • Reading other blogs in all of my spare time

And now for a list of things that I probably should have done this month but haven’t gotten to yet:

  • MY FREAKING SUMMER COURSE WORK (I’m kind of screwed at this point)

Yeah that’s pretty much it. So I’m just gonna go ahead and call this month a win.

But guys I have some awesome news: I now have close to 650 blog followers!!! I seriously love you guys!!!

I also have no idea what prompts you to follow my humble little blog, BUT I’M NOT COMPLAINING!!! You guys really make me feel accomplished in life.

I don’t want to make this post too long, so I’m gonna wrap it up here… but I want to hear all about your August!

Did you read everything you wanted to?

Did you go on any adventures?

Did you do your summer course work? (Hahaha does anyone? Wait… don’t answer that)

Let me know how your month went in the comments below!!

Thanks for reading!!

Advertisements

Novella Reviews- Cruel Crown (Red Queen 0.1-0.2)

25944381

 

Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on January 5th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Novellas: Queen Song and Steel Scars
Goodreads
Amazon

Queen Song


Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars

Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.


25005214.jpgQueen Song (Red Queen 0.1)

Pages: 53

This novella follows Coriane from when she is 16 to her death.

The story feels a little cramped, and I wish there was a lot more detail, but then again it is a short novella, so I didn’t expect it to be super detailed. I loved to learn more about Coriane, and Tiberius (or Tibe) as they met and got married and eventually had Cal.

This novella definitely gave me a lot more of the King’s background, and it’s so interesting to see him in this vs. how he is in the Red Queen books. It just goes to show how much Coriane’s death and Elara really affected him.

It was also really interesting to be able to see into Coriane’s head, through her diary entries, as she spiraled into Elana-induced insanity. It did feel a little rushed, but again, it is a short novella, so I didn’t expect it to be too detailed.
Although I don’t think this is a “must-read”, I am glad I read it, and it gave me a lot of insight into some of the less explored characters of the Red Queen series.

I am going to give Queen Song four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


untitledSteel Scars (Red Queen 0.2)

Pages: 94

Farley is one of my favorite characters from the Red Queen books, but sadly this novella fell a little short for me.

Farley was as cool as ever, but this story was a little confusing. There were these correspondences between the Scarlet Guard that took me forever to figure out how to decipher, which was pretty frustrating.

And then there was Shade. Beautiful, lovely Shade who I seriously love so much. I just don’t feel like this novella did him justice at all. Yeah, it was cute seeing how he and Farley met and started working together and stuff, but it felt like I was reading about a different Shade who kind of had the same characteristics as the Shade from the main novels… if that makes any sense.

This novella wasn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t as amazing as I hoped.

I am going to give Steel Scars three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Thanks for reading!!

And don’t forget to check out my reviews of the rest of the Red Queen Series:

Red Queen
Glass Sword
King’s Cage

YA Series Recommendations- What are your favorite series? What series are not worth the read?

imageedit_5_9054792933

Finding a new series to dive into can be a hard and daunting task. Series are a big commitment. They are scary. And more often than not, they get shoved down to the bottom of a TBR because who has time for that?

What are you talking about? Obviously people read series.

Obviously. But think about it for a minute: has there ever been a series that you put off reading for so long and then when you picked it up you were like “why did I wait so long to read this? This is amazing.” ???

If your answer is “no, does that really happen to people? Hah puny mortals.” then get out of here what are you doing you wizard/god

wait, actually on second thought please come back and teach me your secrets because I need them

But seriously, what is the purpose of this post?

Well:

We are gathered here today to join John and Jane in holy… oops.. wrong place

We are gathered here today to discuss great YA series and inspire each other to finally pick up that amazing series and stop missing out! I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite YA series, and then we can talk about them and you can tell me what your favorite series are and then we can all be sprinkled with pixie dust that will make all our responsibilities go away so we can read forever.

Or something like that…

So what counts as a series? Basically anything with more than one book. So douologies through 100 book series (if such series exist). Or at least that’s my definition of a series, so I’m rolling with it.

My YA Series Recommendations (in no particular order):

Anna Dressed in Blood (Duology) by Kendare Blake

I will never not recommend these books. They are amazing. The end.

Red Queen (Quadrilogy) by Victoria Aveyard

I’m not sure if this series is going to stop at 4 books, but that’s all I know of for now, and based on the ending of King’s Cage, I think the fourth (still unnamed book) is probably going to wrap everything up.

This series is one of my favorite dystopias, and I can not wait for the fourth one to come out! It is gripping and exciting. There are powers, princes, rebels, high stakes, and heart wrenching events. If you love dystopia, this is not one to miss.

Ruby Red (Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier

I regard these books as the best time travel books to grace the planet. Good luck convincing me otherwise.

The Selection (Trilogy) by Kiera Cass

I adore everything about this trilogy. I know that technically The Heir and The Crown exist… but I don’t really consider them a part of this (do you?). Plus I’ve only read The Heir and I don’t really think it lives up to the glory of the original trilogy.

This series is so adorable and swoon worthy!! And it’s a quick read, which is always a plus!

Throne of Glass (6 books? 7? More?) by Sarah J. Maas

So remember in the beginning of this post when I said something about putting off a series for wayyyy too long and then being like “why did I wait so long?” Yeah so that’s pretty much this series.

I’m only on the second book as of right now, BUT ITS SO GOOD I HAD TO PUT IT ON THIS LIST. Seriously this writing is some sort of sorcery. Don’t deprive yourself of the amazingness.


Okay so that’s it for my list.

Are there more amazing series out there?

Obviously. That’s where you guys come in! I want to hear what your favorite series are!

28962906And, also, there are of course series that are just starting. As in only the first book has been published as of now. Like Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. SOOOO GOOD.

But I tried to only include complete or almost complete series on this list, so if anyone decides to start one of the series I recommend, you won’t be stuck waiting for the rest of the series to come out (which could take years).

Because binge reading rules!

But also support new authors. Because that is important.

But what about the series that are not worth the read?

Well, I’m sure that ever series has it’s fans. And, a lot of people like the series that I had a lot of trouble reading. But, here is a list of series that I could not get in to. Just remember that these are my opinions, and if you like any of these series that is great and I’m glad that you were able to find something in them that I wasn’t.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Trilogy) by Ransom Riggs

I don’t have anything against this series (I actually kind of enjoyed the first book… kind of), but I could never bring myself to pick up the second book. I just don’t think this series is worth reading.

Shatter Me (6 books) by Tahereh Mafi

I don’t want to say I hated the first book of this series….

A lot of people enjoy this series, but I can’t figure out why for the life of me. I just can’t stand anything about it.

Girl Online (Trilogy) by Zoe Sugg (Ghost Writer Siobhan Curham)

These books are the bane of YA. I don’t know why they exist. The first book was so cringey that I could barely finish it.

The Maze Runner (Trilogy? Not really sure at this point) by James Dashner

The Maze Runner was actually a DNF. I tried to read it several times and never got past the middle of the book. I watched the movie, too, just incase that would inspire me to finish the book… but I didn’t really like the movie either.


Anyway, that’s it for this post!

What are your can’t-miss YA series? What series are not worth the read?

Also: if you make a post similar to this one, link me in it so I can see it!

Thanks for reading!!

Comparing US and Foreign Edition Covers!

imageedit_4_9862725686

I don’t know about you, but I love looking at foreign edition covers of my favorite books! So, I decided to put together a little comparison post of US edition covers vs. foreign edition covers to look at the differences!

This list is going to be made up of some of my all time favorite books. So here we go!


1. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Russian Edition vs. US Edition

I love both of these covers. They are both pretty much the same image-Anna standing outside of her house in a blood-tinged white dress-but in very different styles. I think they both do a wonderful job conveying the tone and feel of this book.

Winner: Tie
Foreign Editions: 1
US Editions: 1

2. Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Croatian Edition vs. US Edition

I love that both of the covers have the flowers covered in words! I think that is so cute, and if you read the book, it really does have a deeper meaning. The US edition cover is very pretty, but I have to say that the Croatian Edition just blew me away when I saw it. I think it is absolutely stunning, and I wish I could get Letters to the Lost in that edition, just so I could look at the cover.

Winner: Foreign Edition
Foreign Editions: 2
US Editions: 1

3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Finnish Edition vs. US Edition

I adore the US edition cover of The Red Queen. It is simplistic and powerful and stunning. I love the Finnish edition too, but it just doesn’t bring the same feeling of danger and high-stakes that the US edition conveys.

Winner: US Edition
Foreign Editions: 2
US Editions: 2

4. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Polish Edition vs. US Edition

Both of these editions are gorgeous. I love the lamps in both of them, and the smoke. Although I like that Zahra’s face is in the US edition, I feel like the Polish edition brings more elements of the story to the cover, and conveys all of the magic and the gorgeous setting much better.

Winner: Foreign Edition
Foreign Editions: 3
US Editions: 2

5. Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Latvian Edition vs. US Edition

Both of these covers ARE SO PRETTY. The Latvian one is definitely more to-the-point (with that dark figure in the background and all), but the US one is much more mysterious and intriguing.

Winner: US Edition
Foreign Editions: 3
US Editions: 3

6. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

German Edition vs. US Edition

This book was actually written and first published in German, so that edition is the original one. Buttttt…… I’m really not a fan of the German covers. They don’t do it for me. The US covers, however, are gorgeous.

Winner: US Edition
Foreign Editions: 3
US Editions: 4

7. How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

Italian Edition vs. US Edition

If I’m being completely honest, I’m not really a fan of either of these covers. The US edition cover doesn’t really convey the feel of the book, and the Italian edition cover makes the book look a lot spookier than it actually is. That being said, I do love that the Italian cover added the raven, and I feel like it is a better match for the story.

Winner Foreign Edition
Foreign Editions: 4
US Editions: 4

8. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Spanish Edition vs. US Edition

These covers are so different, yet they both fit the story so well. The US edition has all the little numbers counting down in the back, which provides a sense of urgency… and makes the cover look a little more sci-fi. It also has multiple Janelles and Bens, which kind of hints at the big reveal (which I will not spoil for you). The Spanish cover, on the other hand, hints at the same thing with the shattered effect, which I honestly like a little more.

Winner: Foreign Edition
Foreign Editions: 5
US Editions: 4


So it seems the Foreign Editions have won this round. What covers would you like to see foreign editions of? Did you agree with my favorites in this post?

Book Review- King’s Cage

30226723

 

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on February 7, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 528
Goodreads
Amazon

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

If you have not read my review for the first two books in this series, click these links: Red Queen, Glass Sword

MY HEART!!! NOOOOOOO

Okay so I have so many feelings about this book. Like my heart has actually been destroyed.

Mare allowed herself to be captured so the ones she loves could get away. AND OH MY GOSH DOES SHE PAY FOR IT. I knew Maven was bad, but damn this took it too a whole new level. And then there were moments when I felt so bad for Maven and liked him and then I was reminded about what a bad person he is. The feels are too much here guys, it’s killing me.

My love for Mare is ever growing, and I just think she is an amazing character. She is so strong and resilient, even though she has been through so much. I just want a great ending for her. She deserves it.

The plot of this book was AMAZING too. It had me on the edge of my seat THE WHOLE TIME. There was a little foreshadowing, but for the most part I had no idea what was going to happen next and I NEEDED TO KNOW. Which meant yet again, I was up all night finding out the fate of Mare Barrow and the Guard.

Can I just take a second to address the FEELS IN THIS BOOK?!?! Everything was so raw and real. The love, the anguish, the heart break, the hope… it just all was too much for my poor heart. King’s Cage just ruined me. Completely.

The ending of this book (no spoilers, I promise) wrenched my heart out. WHY?!?!!?! HAS MARE NOT BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH?!?!?! I guess not. But I can not wait for the fourth book to find out what is going to happen.

If you love dystopia and have not read this series….. YOU DON’T LOVE DYSTOPIA. If you want a good dystopian series to read: LOOK NO FURTHER.

As you probably guessed, I am going to give King’s Cage five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Glass Sword

23174274

 

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Harper Teen on February 9 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 444
Goodreads
Amazon

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

*If you haven’t read my review of The Red Queen, click here

This book was every bit as exciting as The Red Queen, if not more. Quick warning: if you have not read The Red Queen, this review will probably contain some spoilers.

Mare, now on the run, is attempting to build a New Blood army to face King Maven. Everything about her journey is filled with heart pounding danger, and taunts from the new king. I love how Victoria Aveyard not only included physical struggles, but emotional and mental struggles. Mare is heartbroken. Cal is heartbroken. They struggle with Maven’s betrayal and struggle with the fact that now they are being hunted by the boy they once–and still–love.

There is a bit of a love “v” in this book, between Mare, Cal, and Kilorn. But it wasn’t in the cheesy-to-the-point-its-unbearable. It was actually very realistic, and wasn’t overplayed. The romance kind of took backseat, even though it did add a romantic element to the book that was very well done.

Lots of characters were introduced in this book; which makes sense considering Mare and her gang are trying to build an army. All of the characters, no matter how small they were, each had a distinct personality that made the story all the more interesting. I loved the interactions and the tensions and fights and battles and closeness and love and need. Everything felt honest and real. Also, not gonna give away too much here, but I definitely cried at the end. This book wrenched my heart out.

It’s really hard to hate any of Aveyard’s characters, and when I do hate them, I love to hate them. The Red Queen series so far is much better than I expected, and is a must-read for anyone who loves dystopia or anyone who wants to try a dystopian series.
I am going to give Glass Sword four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- The Red Queen

22369406

 

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Orion on February 12, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 383
Goodreads
Amazon

This is a world divided by blood-red or silver.

The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

After having this book recommended *ahem, shoved in my face* multiple times by multiple people, I decided I should probably just read it- so at least I could tell people to back off if I didn’t like it. But, I was actually really surprised by this one.

I’ve been trying to move away from the dystopia book, mostly because after a while they just all sound the same. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed this so much- because I haven’t read a dystopia in quite some time.

Anyway, I’d be lying if I said that this book doesn’t remind me of others. It reminded me A LOT of The Selection series (which I also enjoyed, so I didn’t mind that at all), and had some similarities to a bunch of other dystopias, like the Hunger Games (the whole area/fighting aspect), and pretty much any dystopia where the main character finds out they have powers.

I loved the characters in this book, and the depth they had to them. Yes, some of the *ahem* not as important characters were a little one sided *ahem* Evangeline *ahem*. But for the most part, the characters were interesting and some had some very surprising sides to them.

The one thing that really sets the Red Queen apart from other dystopias was the theme repeated throughout the book: Anyone can betray anyone. It was so relevant throughout the story, and I felt like it really tied the events of the book together.
BUT THE END. OH THE END!!!!!! I wont spoil anything, but that just threw me for a loop. UGH. WHYYYYYYYY.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book to people who love YA, The Selection, and/or dystopia (or are looking to get into/back into dystopia). But just be sure to have the second book on hand, because if you are anything like me then you’ll have about two seconds to breathe before your nose is buried in the Glass Sword!

I am going to give Red Queen four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥