Birthday Recommendations!

Hello, readers!

I have some very important news:


I love celebrating my birthday in various ways, so to mark my first birthday with this blog, I want to recommend my favorite books to you all.

Now, these books are not related in any way other than the fact that they are my favorites. These are my favorite books from any time of release, except for 2016, because I will do a post on my favorite releases at the end of the year.

Let’s get started!

1. Blade Silver: Color Me Scarred by Melody Carlson

Trigger Warning: Cutting

Synopsis: Ruth Wallace knows she can only hide the scars on her arms for so long. Cutting herself doesn’t make her problems disappear, but at least it helps her cope. Ruth needs to find some way, “any” way, to heal her scars–the ones she hides and the ones she can’t–before something terrible happens.

This was one of the first young adult novels I read, and it’s stayed in my heart for so long. It’s a dark-themed book, but it’s beautiful and really amazing to read, and I feel so lucky to have read this book, and it’s one that I wish I could experience again for the first time.

2. The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart


Synopsis: Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it’s unusual, but give her a break—she’s had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days she: lost her boyfriend (#13 on the list), lost her best friend (Kim), lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket), did something suspicious with a boy (#10), did something advanced with a boy (#15), had an argument with a boy (#14), drank her first beer (someone handed it to her), got caught by her mom (ag!), had a panic attack (scary),lost a lacrosse game (she’s the goalie), failed a math test (she’ll make it up), hurt Meghan’s feelings (even though they aren’t really friends), became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch), and had graffiti written about her in the girls’ bathroom (who knows what was in the boys’!?!). But don’t worry—Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.

Let me say something: I don’t believe in guilty pleasure books. I’m not ashamed of anything I read and get joy out of, even though I have been made fun of for reading this book before. But I would never call this book my guilty pleasure.  This entire series should be on this list because it’s amazing. It’s funny, and it’s probably one of the best contemporary series that’s out there. I’ve read standalones that are a bit better, but this is the probably the best contemporary series. It’s really heartfelt, and the main character is a great protagonist. If you’re into contemporary, you should definitely read this series.

3. Burned by Ellen Hopkins

Warning: I can guarantee this won’t be the last Ellen Hopkins book on this recommendations list.

Trigger Warning: Child abuse, alcoholism

Synopsis: It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, the kind of dream that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a religious — yet abusive — family, a simple dream may not be exactly a sin, but it could be the first step toward hell and eternal damnation. This dream is a first step for Pattyn. But is it to hell or to a better life? For the first time Pattyn starts asking questions. Questions seemingly without answers — about God, a woman’s role, sex, love — mostly love. What is it? Where is it? Will she ever experience it? Is she deserving of it? It’s with a real boy that Pattyn gets into real trouble. After Pattyn’s father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn’t know. Pattyn is supposed to find salvation and redemption during her exile to the wilds of rural Nevada. Yet what she finds instead is love and acceptance. And for the first time she feels worthy of both — until she realizes her old demons will not let her go. Pattyn begins down a path that will lead her to a hell — a hell that may not be the one she learned about in sacrament meetings, but it is hell all the same.

Ellen Hopkins is one of my favorite authors ever, and her novels are beautiful. The free verse poetry style is brilliant, and this is my absolute favorite novel by her. The story is haunting, and its suspenseful. I love this book, and I can’t wait to reread it when my year of no rereading (my personal 2016 challenge) is over.

4. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Synopsis: Becky Bloomwood has what most twenty-five-year-olds only dream of: a flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it — not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Savingmagazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. Still, how can she resist that perfect pair of shoes? Or the divine silk blouse in the window of that ultra-trendy boutique? But lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank — letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read — and they’re getting ever harder to ignore. She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something … just a little something … Finally, a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life — and the lives of those around her — forever.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Becky Bloomwood and I are two halves of the same soul. She is the character that I relate to more than any other (except maybe Cath Avery from Fangirl), and this book is just funny. This book made me get into this series, and I’ve read this book itself seven times. I love it so much, and I will never be able to forget about this wonderful book.

5. Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Trigger Warning: Drug abuse, rape

Synopsis: In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.

This is it. This is the book that got me into Ellen Hopkins’ novels. I adore darker novels, and this one is extremely dark. It’s gorgeous, thought-provoking, and overall so dark to read. I love it, and it’s a definite instant recommendation.

6. The Everafter by Amy Huntley

Synopsis: Madison Stanton doesn’t know where she is or how she got there. But she does know this – she is dead. And alone in a vast, dark space. The only company Maddy has in this place are luminescent objects that turn out to be all the things she lost while she was alive. And soon she discovers that, with these artifacts, she can reexperience – and even change – moments from her life. Her first kiss. A trip to Disney World. Her sister’s wedding. A disastrous sleepover. In reliving these moments, Maddy learns illuminating and frightening truths about her life – and death.

This book is my absolute favorite standalone of all time. I have loved this book since I was ten years old and got it in the ARC club at my library, and I’ll love this book until I’m dead. This book carries such a large part of my heart with it, and it’s the first book that I will instantly recommend to anyone.

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis: Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan… But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Remember what I said about Becky Bloomwood being the character I relate to the most? Well, she’s in close competition with Cath Avery. In that synopsis, replace the words “Simon Snow” with “Harry Potter” and you have a pretty good description of my life. There are only a couple of things different between Cath and I (my parents are still together and my sister is much older than me), but I have never related to a character more than I did while reading this book. I could see myself in Cath, and I loved this book so much because of it. It was also just a touching and hilarious read, so I would recommend this to everyone.

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Synopsis: Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing – if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfill the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?

I could include the entire Harry Potter series on this recommendations post and it still wouldn’t describe how much I love it. This one is my favorite in the series, and I’ve read it a total of fifteen times because when I first read the series I couldn’t stop reading it. I was and still am obsessed with Harry Potter. I love it so much, and if you somehow haven’t read it, go out and check it out from your library or pick it up from a bookstore immediately.

9. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Synopsis: Rosie and Alex are destined for one another, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, their relationship gets closer by the day, until Alex gets the news that his family is leaving Dublin and moving to Boston. At 17, Rosie and Alex have just started to see each other in a more romantic light. Devastated, the two make plans for Rosie to apply to colleges in the U.S. She gets into Boston University, Alex gets into Harvard, and everything is falling into place, when on the eve of her departure, Rosie gets news that will change their lives forever: She’s pregnant by a boy she’d gone out with while on the rebound from Alex. Her dreams for college, Alex, and a glamorous career dashed, Rosie stays in Dublin to become a single mother, while Alex pursues a medical career and a new love in Boston. But destiny is a funny thing, and in this novel, structured as a series of clever e-mails, letters, notes, and a trail of missed opportunities, Alex and Rosie find out that fate isn’t done with them yet.

I read this book last year because I was obsessed with the movie. Before I even saw the movie, I knew that it would be one of my favorites (I was right), so when I found out that it was based on a book, I knew I had to read it. This book is funny, emotional, and a great romance read, and it will stay on my favorites list for quite a long time.

10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Synopsis: Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I love this book so much. This is probably my second favorite book, after Shiver. If you’re active in the book blogging community, then you’ve probably read this book, or at least seen it. It’s beautifully written, and I recommend it to everyone.

11. Reality Check by Jen Calonita

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-olds Charlie, Keiran, Brooke, and Hallie have just been signed up for their own reality television show. They can’t even believe it. “You’ll be The Hills meets The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” the Armani-suited executive tells them, “and the hottest thing on our network.” How could they say no? But soon enough, cameras following them everywhere and interfering producers surreptitiously scripting their lives start to affect the four best friends’ relationship. Brooke seems to want all the screen time. Keiran is abruptly written out of the show-and consequently the group’s friendship-when she doesn’t rate well. As soon as Charlie realizes what’s going on, she figures out the perfect way to give the studio and her home audience a much-needed reality check. Because friends don’t let friends do reality shows.

Ah, yes, another book I’ve been shamed for loving. I love this book, and love everything about it. I have reread this book every year since I was thirteen. This will be the first year that I don’t reread it, and that’s only because I’m not rereading any books this year. It’s funny, and it has a good message in the end with great characters. I won’t let anyone shame me for loving this book, and I recommend it to everyone.

12. Renegade by J.A. Souders

Synopsis: Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law. But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster. Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb… and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

This is my absolute favorite dystopian novel. I love it. I don’t say that lightly. If I had to sacrifice every other dystopian story to save this one, I would. It’s a beautiful story with brilliant characters and brilliant writing. The other books in the trilogy are just as beautifully written, but nothing compares to this one.

13. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Synopsis: For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

I can’t make a favorites recommendation post without including my favorite book of all time. I’ve read this book more times than I can count, and I consider my paperback copy one of my prized possessions. I can directly quote this book, and I have on multiple occasions. I never thought it was possible to fall in love a book as much as I have with this one, but I’ve had it since I was eleven, and it’s been such a big part of my life ever since. Everyone should read this book, and I hope that you do.

14. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Trigger Warning: Anorexia, self-harm

Synopsis: Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit. Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

This book is definitely one of the darker ones that I recommend to people, but this is an instant recommendation when people ask me for book recs. This book is beautiful and powerful. I cried a million tears while I was reading this, and I wish I could experience it for the first time again.

And that is it for my birthday recommendations! These are all some of my favorite books ever and I hope that you all found at least one book that you want to read now! I’ll be posting again tomorrow for my May book favorites!

See you then!


May Wrap-Up and Haul!

Hello, readers!

So this is the first post of this type that I’ve done, and I hope that you all like it.

I do my monthly favorites every month, but sometimes books that I read that month get left out of the favorites, so this is my way of letting you know what I’ve read this month and the books that I’ve bought or received as gifts this month!

So without further ado, here we go, starting with the May wrap-up!

1.) Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3

Rating: 4 stars

Time I Read: 18 days

Synopsis: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. Common enemy, common cause. When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

2.) Salt to Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Series: N/A

Rating: 5 stars

Time I Read: 8 days

Synopsis: Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets. Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war. As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom. Yet not all promises can be kept.

3.) Legend by Marie Lu

Series: Legend, #1

Rating: 3 stars

Time I Read: 9 days

Synopsis: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Now for my May book haul!

1.) The Guild Shakespeare, Volume 1: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Two Gentlemen of Verona

Series: The Guild Shakespeare, #1

Length: 405 pages

Have I Read Before: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, yes. Two Gentlemen of Verona, no.

2.) The Guild Shakespeare, Volume 2: Romeo and Juliet and Titus Andronicus

Series: The Guild Shakespeare, #2

Length: 531 pages

Have I Read: Romeo and Juliet, yes (multiple times). Titus Andronicus, no (but I’ve seen the play twice).

3.) The Pocket Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz

Series: N/A

Length: 211 pages

Have I Read: No

4.) Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Series: N/A

Length: 565 pages

Have I Read: No

5.) 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass

Series: Willow Falls, #3

Length: 339 pages

Have I Read: No

6.) Twelve by Lauren Myracle

Series: The Winnie Years, #3

Length: 202 pages

Have I Read: Yes

7.) Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

Antony and Cleopatra

Series: N/A

Length: 333 pages

Have I Read: No

And that is my wrap-up and haul for the month of May! I really enjoyed reading these three books, and I’m happy to have all of the books I got in my collection. Come back tomorrow to see my recommendations of some of my favorite books (because it’s my birthday post!). See you then!

Legend by Marie Lu Review!

Started: May 19, 2016

Finished: May 27, 2016

Rating: 3 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

This book has been on my TBR list since I received it as a gift two years ago, and I finally got around to reading it.

I was a little bit let down by the hype.

Legend is a book that I’ve seen hundreds of times on booktube and bookstagram (@books_and_crafts if you want to follow me!), and I knew that I needed to read it, but I never felt any motivation to. Eventually, as all over-hyped books do, it just got to the point where I was dreading reading it. Finally, I looked at it on my shelf, said that it was time to read it, and put it on my May TBR list.

It wasn’t a bad read, but I didn’t love it.

The characters blended together for me. If a book has dual perspectives, I expect the perspectives to be a little bit different. June and Day were so similar, despite their backgrounds, that their perspectives blended together. They were different, and I could sometimes see the difference, but overall the tone of each perspective ran together into one cohesive tone that would have been more at home in a single perspective novel.

Despite the blending, I really enjoyed the dual perspectives. I think the story worked well with both perspectives, and that it would not have worked with only June’s perspective or only Day’s perspective.

The story was the saving grace of this novel. June wasn’t entirely likeable, and neither was Day. If it had not been for the story that they were a part of, then I don’t think this book would have even received three stars from me. I’ll admit that I was a bit bored with the first half of the book, but by the end of the book I was so interested that I could barely put it down. It was suspenseful and well-written, and I was really happy with the way the end of the book carried the story. One part of it made me tear up and almost cry and I’m actually shocked that it was able to do that when some five-star books aren’t able to make me cry. It was interesting and I plan on reading the sequels to see where the story goes.

Overall, I was disappointed that this book didn’t wholly live up to the hype surrounding it, but I was intrigued by the story. I plan to pick up the sequels when I can, and I’m interested to see where the story goes.

NEXT READ: So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys Review!

Started: May 12, 2016

Finished: May 19, 2016

Rating: 5 stars

Summary: Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets. Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war. As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom. Yet not all promises can be kept.

Well, I want to cry.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys was phenomenal. I read Between Shades of Grey a couple of years ago when Ruta Sepetys came and visited my high school, and I loved that novel. This one I enjoyed a little bit less than that one, but I still thought it was a fantastic novel.

It was raw, it was emotional, and it was beautifully written. I personally had never heard of the Wilhelm Gustloff tragedy, and I was curious to see what it was. I didn’t do any research before I started this book, and I believe that contributed to my reading experience because I had no idea what to expect. I knew that it was a shipwreck (got that from reading the summary), but I didn’t know anything else. If you’re going to read this book, I recommend going in blind, and researching afterwards.

The story was amazing. I’ve read multiple novels about the sinking of the Titanic (I was obsessed when I was little), and I have never read a better telling of a shipwreck than I read in this book. It had me on the edge of my seat, constantly wondering what was happening and what was going to happen next. Part of that could have been due to the fact that I didn’t know anything about it, but I still believe it was based in Ruta Sepetys’ brilliant writing.

A significant portion of the brilliant writing was dedicated to the characters.

Joana, Florian, Emilia, and Alfred were all interesting characters. There some that I loved immediately (Emilia) and others that I simply detested (Alfred). But disregarding how I felt about them, let me just talk about their characterization and how they were written. Each one of these major characters were given lives that came to life when I read them. I felt like I knew all of them personally, and that is such a huge sign of brilliant characterization and brilliant writing that I was amazed.

The minor characters were almost as heartwrenching as the major ones. If I had had just a little bit more information about them, then they would have been equally as heartbreaking. Heinz, Klaus, and Ingrid were the ones that affected me the most out of the minor characters (of which there were few), and I ended up wanting to learn more about them. They were well-written, but written in a way that I couldn’t forget that they were minor characters, despite how much I wanted them to be major at times.

Overall, I loved this book. It was a great historical fiction novel, and I think it may have turned Ruta Sepetys into one of my auto-buy authors (I just want to read everything this woman ever writes). I still think I liked Between Shades of Grey a little bit more, but this one is definitely up there on my list of favorite historical fiction novels.

And now I’m off into the world of dystopia! See you next time!

NEXT READ: Legend by Marie Lu

OTP Book Tag!

Hello, readers!

There’s something that you should know about me: I am a MASSIVE fangirl.

When it comes to shipping, I drown myself in it. I read fanfiction, I write fanfiction, and I love anytime a ship that I love happens in a book.

So it only seems right that I do the OTP book tag.

I believe this tag was created by Kirstin Reads on Youtube, and her video is right here.

Let’s go!

1. An unpopular OTP that you ship

I don’t know if they’re unpopular or not, but I don’t think I’ve seen another person online ship them.

Noah and Blue from The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater! I love these two (Noah is my fave), and they have a beautiful friendship. But there is a certain scene (I won’t spoil it if you haven’t read the second book in the series!) that makes me want them to be a couple so badly. I love them as friends and as more than friends, so either way I’m happy with this couple.

2. An OTP that you didn’t ship but you do now

Ronan and Adam from the Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater! I didn’t really ship them in the first book (probably because I wasn’t sure how I felt about Ronan). Once I read the other two books (I haven’t read The Raven King yet!), I really started to ship them a lot more than I did.

3. Your most hated OTP

I’m not too sure what this one means, and I can’t think of one for it, so I’m just going to pass!

4. An OTP that took way too long to get together

Karou and Akiva from the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. They were pretty much actual soul mates, and they didn’t get together for real until the final book in the trilogy. I wanted them together so badly, and they just took way too long to get together, in my opinion.

5. Your favorite non-canon OTP

This one is from a manga, which I haven’t mentioned that I like to read yet on this blog! I really like manga, and this one is my absolute favorite!

Kyoya Ootori and Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club are my favorite non-canon OTP. If you’ve read this manga or watched the anime, you know who the actual canon couple is. I think Kyoya and Haruhi work so well together, and they’re just so compatible. Haruhi balances out Kyoya’s serious personality, even though she’s quite serious herself. They’re just an overall cute couple, and I wish they were canon so badly.

6. Your favorite BROTP

Liam Stewart and Charles “Chubs” Meriwether from The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken. Now, I love a good BROTP. But Liam and Chubs are the very definition of BROTP. They’re witty, joking with each other, even teasing each other, but when it comes down to it, they would kill for each other. They are the sweetest friendship while still being really funny, and I enjoy it every time that I reread this series.

7. An OTP you adored in the books but not as much in the movies or TV adaptation

Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter series. I really liked this couple in the books. I thought they were compatible, and I thought they really balanced each other out. In the movies, though, I felt nothing for them. There wasn’t any chemistry, and there wasn’t any reason for them to be together. Part of this has to do with the movie’s writing of Ginny’s character, but I just didn’t like this couple at all in the movies.

8. A popular OTP that no matter how hard you tried you just can’t ship it

Katniss and Gale from The Hunger Games. Gale is my least favorite character in the entire series, and even though Katniss and Gale aren’t the endgame pairing, they’re very popular in the fandom, and I just could never get into the pairing of Katniss and Gale.

9. Your favorite LGBT+ OTP

Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. This series is one of my all-time favorites, and I think that Magnus and Alec just work so well as a couple. I didn’t like Alec in this series at all, but Magnus balanced him out and made him much easier to tolerate and I’m really happy with how this couple turned out in the end.

10. Your all-time favorite OTP

I had no idea what book cover to use for this, so I chose the first (and only) book that the characters appear in. My all-time favorite OTP is…

Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. These characters are in canon for only two pages together, but I love the general idea of Scorpius and Rose. The idea of the Malfoy and Weasley families being joined together through the children of two enemies is just a wonderful concept. I’ve read and written tons of fanfiction for this couple and I don’t think my love for them will ever go away.

And that’s it for the OTP book tag! I had a lot of fun doing this tag, and if anyone else wants to do it, you definitely should!

Tell me about your OTPs in the comments, or link me to your OTP book tag! Seriously, I love hearing about people’s OTPs. I live for it.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my OTPs! It was a fun thing to do before my Salt to the Sea review goes up. That review will be up probably on Saturday, unless I happen to have the time tomorrow or Friday!

See you then!

Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor Review!

DISCLAIMER: This is the third and final book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. If you have any interest in reading this series and have not read the first and second books, please know that there could be spoilers ahead! Thank you!

Started: April 25, 2016

Finished: May 12, 2016

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. Common enemy, common cause. When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. What power can bruise the sky? From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

What to say about the end of a trilogy that I love so much?

First of all, I want to just ramble about Laini Taylor’sincredible writing. The prose has such a poetic quality to it, and it’s just so beautiful to read. The words she uses and the way that she crafts sentences is a form of magic to me, and I never wanted it to end. I love her writing, and I look forward to reading more of her writing in the future, although I don’t know if it will ever hold such a special place for me that theDaughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy does.

Now let me talk about the actual trilogy.

I read the first two books two or three years ago, and fell in love. I fell in love with the story, the world, and especially the characters (I might actually be in love with Akiva). The idea of this story that simultaneously takes place in our world and a world that we can hardly dream of was so intriguing to me. The second book is my absolute favorite in the trilogy, so it was very hard for this book to live up to the hype that I had built up for it.

This book lived up to that hype.

But it also…didn’t.

It lived up to the hype in every way that I thought it would. It was a good conclusion to the story, and the characters were as perfect as ever. The writing was absolutely gorgeous, as Laini Taylor’s writing always is.

It didn’t live up to the hype with the story.

I was so excited to read this book when it first came out, but I simply forgot about it. This trilogy, as much as I loved it, faded to the back burner of my mind as other books (see: City of Heavenly Fire) were being released shortly after. Since then, I have checked this book out four times from the library with the intention of reading it quickly, and only this fourth and final time was successful.

I expected a more thrilling conclusion to this fantastic trilogy, and I was disappointed. This was the only aspect I was disappointed about, and other parts of the story made up for it so well. If I had read this book when I intended to, the week it came out, then I feel like I would have enjoyed it so much more than I actually did.

This book took me longer to read than others, and I believe the slow-moving story was part of that. I’m also not much of a fantasy reader at all (although I do appreciate good angel stories, and this is one of them), so getting into this world took me quite some time. The story didn’t keep me from finishing it quickly once I got into it (and once finals were over). I read two hundred pages today trying to finish this book because I simply wanted to know how it ended.

The ending was a perfect ending for this trilogy. It was everything I wanted for these characters, even if it wasn’t quite in the way I expected it. The ending could not have been better, and it made up for the story being less excited than I expected.

The characters were as wonderful as I remembered it, and I think the character development was spot on. Karou was an entirely different person than I remembered it, and I appreciated that because it showed just how far she had come in this series. She wasn’t the only great character development, but she was the big one that I enjoyed the most.

Overall, I really liked this book, and the less than exciting story was only a small fraction of this book, because there was so much that I loved about it. I will miss this trilogy and these characters, but I’m glad that I finally read the ending to one of my absolute favorite trilogies.

NEXT READ: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Totally Should’ve Book Tag!

Hello, readers!

It’s time for another book tag!

I’ve seen my favorite booktubers (abookutopia, JesseTheReader, and Katytastic) all do this tag, and I thought it would be a fun tag to do while I finish up my next read and get ready for the May book photo challenge!

This challenge was created by emmmabooks on YouTube, and her video can be found here.

So without further ado, here’s the Totally Should’ve book tag!

1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

She Thief by Daniel Finn. I love this book. I got it when I was younger, when I was a part of the ARC club at my local library. This book is amazing. It has amazing characters, an amazing story, and such amazing writing. The story ended quite abruptly, and I just wish that Daniel Finn had given a little bit more closure with a sequel.

2. Totally should’ve had a spin-off series

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Now, you can probably guess why this is my pick for this question. Two words: Finnick. Odair. Finnick has such an interesting backstory, and his dynamic with Mags and his relationship with Annie is just so much material that could be explored in a completely separate series of its own. His Hunger Games, his experiences in the Capitol, and even the events of the actual series in his POV. I would take anything to hear more about him. Please, Suzanne?

3. An author who should totally write more books

Amy Huntley! The Everafter is my favorite standalone novel of all time (if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you do), and it’s the only thing that Amy Huntley has written. It’s beautiful prose, and it’s such a haunting story that I crave more and more of Huntley’s writing every time that I read it.

4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else

If you read my review of this book (found here), then you’ll know what couple I’m talking about. It’s not necessarily that they ended up with the wrong person. I don’t think they should have ended up together at all. It didn’t seem natural to me, it seemed like a forced progression of events in an otherwise phenomenal novel. If you haven’t read this book, then go read it and if you have read this book, let me know in the comments what you think about the couple!

5. Totally should’ve ended differently

This one’s pretty self-explanatory if you’ve read it. This book left me shattered into pieces for a solid month, and I wish it didn’t have to end that way.

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I love this series. I still need to finish it, but it’s my favorite vampire series that I’ve read to date. And it’s already had a movie. A fantastic, hilarious, and accurate movie that could have been turned into a franchise. But sadly, there’s been no word on a movie sequel, but I keep my hopes up every day that there will be.

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show

I’ve got a tie for this one between my two favorite series. I am a part of the (very popular) opinion that The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater should be a TV show. It’s got the perfect plot for an exciting TV show, and the perfect characters for it. But on the other hand, Shiver is also fantastically suited for TV. This book had a movie in the works at one point, and my heart has still not recovered from the shattering it felt when that project fell through. I wish for a Shiver adaptation in any form all the time, so it is tied with The Raven Cycle for this one.

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view

Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I mean…I understand why it has two point of views, but it just didn’t flow with the rest of the series for me.

9. Totally should have a cover change

I can’t think of one, so I guess I just like normal covers.

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater. This is my favorite series of all time. I love this book, and I will defend it to the ends of the Earth. But, when I see the cover on the right, my heart breaks just a little. I love the old covers. And now, it’s rare that I see them on bookshelves. I can hardly meet someone in person who knows what the original covers look like. I met a girl in line at a Maggie Stiefvater signing who was shocked that I had the original covers because she had never seen them. I don’t mind the new covers (I’ll probably own them at some point to match my copy of Sinner), but I would much prefer that the old covers be back on store shelves.

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. The second book hasn’t even been released yet, and I already don’t want this series to be a series. That’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

I hope you all enjoyed my Totally Should’ve book tag! I enjoyed thinking about it and doing it! I’ll have my review of Dreams of Gods & Monsters coming up soon!

See you then!

April Book Favorites 2016!

Hello readers, and welcome to another monthly book favorites! I didn’t have a very active reading month, but I do have three books to go through that I read this month!

As usual, my categories are favorite character, favorite cover, favorite title, favorite story, and overall favorite book!

Here we go!

1. Favorite Character

Magnus Chase from The Sword of Summer

I really like Rick Riordan, and I love his series. Even though I only gave this book three stars, I really liked the main character. Magnus Chase was similar to Percy Jackson (another one of my fictional loves), and his sarcasm made the book hilarious to read, even in the darker moments of it. Magnus made this book infinitely more enjoyable, and for that reason, he is my favorite character of April.

2. Favorite Cover

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. As much as I was disappointed by this book, I have to admit that it has a very pretty cover. The typography on the front is nice, and the picture just screams summer, which is when this book would be a great book to read.

3. Favorite Title

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

The alliteration in this title makes it sound pleasing to the ear, and it just rolls off the tongue nicely. I think it’s a great title, and more pleasing than the other two titles that I read this month.

4. Favorite Story

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

This story was the only story this month that didn’t frustrate me in some way. I loved it nearly as much as I loved the first book, and this story was just a flawless continuation of what was established in Across the Universe.

5. My favorite overall book in April 2016 is…

A Million Suns by Beth Revis!

This is the one book that I completely enjoyed in April, and the sequel to one of my favorite books. It would have been impossible for me to not pick this book, and I was so excited to read it. It had the best story, and one of my favorite characters (even though Magnus beat him out for the top spot). It’s a wonderful book, and that is why it’s my favorite book of April 2016.

That’s all for the April favorites! I look forward to the books that May will bring. I have them planned out and I am so excited to read all of them, along with doing a few book tags here and there!

See you then!