June Wrap-Up and Haul!

Hello, readers!

It’s the end of the month, and that means it’s time to let you know what books I read this month, and which ones I purchased over the month!

Let’s get started, with the wrap-up first and the haul second!


1.) So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones

Series: The Charmed Life, #1

Rating: 4 stars

Time I Read: 4 days

Synopsis: Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy’s MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model. When Bella’s mom falls in love with a man she met on the Internet–a factory worker with two bratty sons–Bella has to pack up and move in with her new family in Truman, Oklahoma. On a farm no less! Forced to trade her uber-trendy NYC lifestyle for  down-home charm, Bella feels like a pair of Rock & Republic jeans in a sea of Wranglers. At least some of the people in her new high school are pretty cool. Especially the hunky football player who invites her to lunch. And maybe even the annoying–but kinda hot–editor of the school newspaper. But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it’s not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter’s instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.

Note: I technically read this one in May, but my May wrap-up had already gone live and I hadn’t expected to finish this book in May, so it ended up in my June wrap-up.

2.) The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle, #4

Rating: 5 stars

Time I Read: 5 days

Synopsis: Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted. For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him. Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

3.) Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Series: N/A

Rating: 4 stars

Time I Read: 8 days

Synopsis: After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland. So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

4.) Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Series: N/A

Rating: 2 stars

Time I Read: 3 days

Synopsis: Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family — on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that’s where their differences begin. For Kaeleigh, she’s the misplaced focus of Daddy’s love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites — and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex. Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept — from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it’s obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is — who?

5. The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker

Series: The Ghost Files, #1

Rating: 4 stars

Time I Read: 6 days

Synopsis: Cherry blossom lipstick: check. Smokey eyes: check. Skinny jeans: check. Dead kid in the mirror: check. For sixteen year old Mattie Hathaway, this is her normal everyday routine. She’s been able to see ghosts since her mother tried to murder her when she was five years old. No way does she want anyone to know she can talk to spooks. Being a foster kid is hard enough without being labeled a freak too. Normally, she just ignores the ghosts and they go away. That is until she see’s the ghost of her foster sister… Sally. Everyone thinks Sally’s just another runaway, but Mattie knows the truth—she’s dead. Murdered. Mattie feels like she has to help Sally, but she can’t do it alone. Against her better judgment, she teams up with a young policeman, Officer Dan, and together they set out to discover the real truth behind Sally’s disappearance. Only to find out she’s dealing with a much bigger problem, a serial killer, and she may be the next victim… Will Mattie be able to find out the truth before the killer finds her?

6. The Crown by Kiera Cass

The Crown (The Selection, #5)

Series: The Selection, #5

Rating: 5 stars

Time I Read: 2 days

Synopsis: When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone. Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.


Now for my June book haul!

1.) The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle, #4

Length: 438 pages

Have I Read It: Yes

2.) Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Series: N/A

Length: 342 pages

Have I Read It: Yes

3.) Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen, #1

Length: 388 pages

Have I Read It: No

4. ) The Crown by Kiera Cass

The Crown (The Selection, #5)

Series: The Selection, #5

Length: 279 pages

Have I Read It: Yes

5.) I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun

Series: N/A

Length: 375 pages

Have I Read It: No


I really liked reading these books this month, and I look forward to reading the two books in my haul that I haven’t read yet! See you tomorrow for my June book favorites!

The Crown by Kiera Cass Review!

DISCLAIMER: This is the fifth and final book in The Selection series by Kiera Cass. If you want to read this series and do not wish to be spoiled, then please do not read this review! It is not spoiler-free, so please just turn back if you haven’t read this book! Thank you!

Started: June 25, 2016

Finished: June 26, 2016

Rating: 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone. Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.


I am so blown away by this novel.

Going into this, I didn’t have super high expectations, although I did expect it to be a good conclusion to this series.

It was that and more.

I really enjoyed The Heir, even though Eadlyn was a bit less than likeable in that book. I was unsure going into it because I was so used to America and Maxon’s story, and I didn’t expect this book to be nearly as good as The One.

I was wrong.

I actually enjoyed this book more than The One, and it’s probably my favorite book in the series. I really liked the story and the characters a lot more than in The Heir, and I felt like Kiera Cass’s writing somehow improved in this finale.

The story in this book was well-developed and fast-paced. With only 279 pages to tell the story, something had to be done to make it quick. Even though it was fast-paced, I felt like it was so much longer because of everything that was crammed into the chapters. Usually when events happen in quick succession, the book can feel rushed and overwhelming, but I didn’t feel anything like that while reading this book. I felt excited, anxious to read what was going to happen next.

The story took turns that I definitely didn’t anticipate. I was expecting for a few things to happen with America and for Eadlyn to pick a husband. There were so many other things that happened, from Marid’s selfishness to new revelations about Maxon’s father and his family. There was so much new information, and I was amazed because I thought that everything was closed up for Maxon’s part of the story. Kiera Cass wrote all of this new information really well, and I wasn’t confused by any of it, despite the pace.

The characters were a great part of this story, and probably my favorite part of the book as a whole. My one big complaint about The Heir had been the fact that all of the characters we knew and loved seemed so out of character. America seemed uptight and passive, and Maxon seemed strict and unassuming. In The Crown, I think Cass mended this problem. She gave me back the characters that I adored. America was snappy, and Maxon was powerful but loveable. I loved the newer characters as well, even Eadlyn. I loved all of these characters, and I hate to say goodbye to them.

All in all, I loved this book as a series finale and as its own story. It’s an amazing installment in one of my favorite series, and I don’t know what I’m going to do without this series. If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend that you do very soon. If you have read this series, let me know what you thought of The Crown in the comments!


NEXT READ: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker Review!

Started: June 14, 2016

Finished: June 19, 2016

Rating: 4 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): Cherry blossom lipstick: check. Smokey eyes: check. Skinny jeans: check. Dead kid in the mirror: check. For sixteen year old Mattie Hathaway, this is her normal everyday routine. She’s been able to see ghosts since her mother tried to murder her when she was five years old. No way does she want anyone to know she can talk to spooks. Being a foster kid is hard enough without being labeled a freak too. Normally, she just ignores the ghosts and they go away. That is until she see’s the ghost of her foster sister… Sally. Everyone thinks Sally’s just another runaway, but Mattie knows the truth—she’s dead. Murdered. Mattie feels like she has to help Sally, but she can’t do it alone. Against her better judgment, she teams up with a young policeman, Officer Dan, and together they set out to discover the real truth behind Sally’s disappearance. Only to find out she’s dealing with a much bigger problem, a serial killer, and she may be the next victim… Will Mattie be able to find out the truth before the killer finds her?


I got this book because I saw it on another blogger’s wrap-up back in April, and I am so glad that I did that.

This book was really good. Not jump out of your seat, spine-tingling good, but it was really good.

I’m not a big horror fan (books are okay, but movies are like N O). I get scared very easily, even if it is only a book. I don’t really know what drew me to this book because it is listed as horror. If you have the same uneasiness going into this book as I did, let me tell you something.

This book shouldn’t have been listed as horror.

I definitely think this book falls more into the thriller category. It wasn’t scary, but it was chilling. I believe that when they release the movie adaptation, it will be scarier than the book was (yay me -_-).

The story was really intriguing to me. The concept of a girl who could see ghosts and the fact that she uses them to try to solve a crime was really interesting to me, and I wanted to see how a ghost story like this moved along. It was short (276 pages), and it moved at a quick pace. I didn’t really have any problems with it, except for a couple of holes that may have just been me missing something.

There was a twist in this story (I really need to stop reading books with twists in them for a while), but it wasn’t a big shock to me. I didn’t predict it, but it seemed kind of insignificant compared to everything else in the story. There were actually two twists, and the second twist definitely made my jaw drop, unlike the first one.

The story was a great part of this story, and I look forward to reading the sequel. Part of what made the story enjoyable were the characters.

I really like books that have good friendships in them, and I also really like books that have damaged main characters. Good for me, this book had both. I really liked all of the characters (my favorite was probably Mattie), and her friendship with Dan was really sweet. The only thing that I didn’t really like was that their friendship seemed a little like instant-love, which I’m not a huge fan of (even though I love romance). I’ll have to read a little more of it in the other books before I pass any judgement on that though.

All in all, I really liked this book. It was fun, it was chilling, and it was definitely worth the read. I’d recommend this to those of you who would like to get into horror reading, but are big scaredy-cats like me. Also, pro-tip: if you have a Kindle, this book is free on Amazon (that’s how I read it)!


NEXT READ: The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Summer Book Recommendations!

Hello, readers!

Happy summer!

It’s the official first day of summer where I live, and I thought that it would be the perfect day to do some summer book recommendations!

There is nothing I love more in the summer than sitting outside by a pool with a great summer standalone novel, and now I’m going to share some of my favorite summer reads with you!

For this post, I am only going to recommend standalone novels to you because I do tend to read more of those in the summer, so don’t expect any series in this recommendations post.

Let’s get started!


1. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

Synopsis: This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book: Pictures. Words. Stories about things that happened to me. Stories about things that happened to other people because of me. Eight billion dollars*. Stories about dogs. The secret to eternal happiness*. *These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

*GASP* A nonfiction book on my blog? Say it ain’t so! I never read nonfiction (it’s just not my thing), but guys. This book is hilarious. Like I was laughing out loud for ninety percent of it (except for a section that just made me want to cry a ton). I loved it, and it’s perfect for laughing with your friends next to the pool. Also, there are tons of relatable pictures that you can point to and tell your friends that it’s them, and who doesn’t like doing that?

2. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Synopsis: Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough. Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby. Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby? Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

This book just looks so summery to me, and it takes place in a beach town so it’s a perfect summer read to take to the beach and lay out in the sun while you binge-read.

3. Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Synopsis: Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she’s carrying his baby, she was devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it’ll never break–because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

A bit of a more emotional pick, but it’s a great friendship story and still a very good summer read. It’s short, so it’s a book that you could pick up and finish in the same day if you wanted to. Plus, the cover is gorgeously summery, isn’t it?

4. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Synopsis: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date. After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be – especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London. Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk – so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?

Warning: this book is fluff to the max. Even though it takes place during the school year, this fluffy standalone is perfect if you just want to chill out and laugh at a lighthearted and fun novel. I love this book, and I think that anyone who reads it will think that it’s a good summer read.

5. The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

This book is another one that is a great book to just lay out in the sun and read. It’s a fun read with a considerable bit of emotion and heart to it, and I just couldn’t put it down when I read it. It’s fun to read, and I think it would be a great read to just breeze through during the summer.

6. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Synopsis: Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina–a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

This one is a pick for those of you who want something more than fluff to read during your summer break. I read this last summer and I actually really enjoyed it (obviously or I wouldn’t have put it on this list). It’s emotional and raw and I think it’s a great read for someone looking for a little more substance in their summer reads.

7. The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

Synopsis: As America’s Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Lifemagazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons. Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; JFK made it clear that platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was his favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived with a secret that needed to stay hidden from NASA. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, providing one another with support and friendship, coffee and cocktails. As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragedy began to touch their lives-the wives continued to rally together, forming bonds that would withstand the test of time, and they have stayed friends for over half a century. The Astronaut Wives Club tells the story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.

This TV show is one of my favorite TV shows of all time (if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it!) and the book is just as great. I read it last summer after the show ended, and I was really stunned by how much a nonfiction book gripped me. It’s a great book, and I think it’s a great one to read in the summer.

8. Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

Synopsis: Paradise wasn’t supposed to suck. Not the state of being, but a resort in the Caribbean. Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all there for different reasons, but at Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Paradise will change them all. It will change Jena, whose first brush with romance takes her that much closer to having a life, and not just reading about those infinitely cooler and more exciting. It will change Dakota, who needs the devastating truth about his past to make him realize that he doesn’t have to be a jerk just because people think he’s one. It will change Skye, a heartbreakingly beautiful actress, who must come to terms with the fact that for once she has to stop playing a role or face the consequences. And it will change Owen, who has never risked anything before and who will take the leap from his online life to a real one all because of a girl he met at Paradise. . . . From confused to confident and back again, one thing’s certain: Four months after it all begins, none of them will ever be the same.

This book is heartfelt and fun at the same time. You get invested in these characters and it’s a book that takes only a couple of days to read because it’s just so easy to binge-read it. It’s a great beach read, and I think any fan of contemporary YA would love it.

9. All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Synopsis: Bridget Flannery and Maureen O’Malley have been BFFs since forever. Then a brief moment of inattention on an icy road leaves one girl dead and the other in a coma, battered beyond recognition. Family and friends mourn one friend’s loss and pray for the other’s recovery. Then the doctors discover they have made a terrible mistake. The girl who lived is the one who everyone thought had died. Based on a true case of mistaken identity, All We Know of Heavenis a universal story that no one can read unmoved: a drama of ordinary people caught up in an unimaginable tragedy and of the healing power of hope and love.

Okay…hear me out on this one.

This book is freaking fantastic. This book falls in the ranks of the best books that I’ve ever read because it is haunting. I read this book two years ago and I still think about it to this day. I read it in the summer, and even though it’s a drama, it’s worth the read. And even if it’s too heavy for you to read in the summer, it’s definitely a must-read for any season of the year.


And that’s it for my summer recommendations!

These books are all quick reads for the summer, and I hope that you feel like picking one of these beauties up and giving it a read! Come back soon for my next post!

See you next time!

Identical by Ellen Hopkins Review!

Started: June 12, 2016

Finished: June 14, 2016

Rating: 2 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family — on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that’s where their differences begin. For Kaeleigh, she’s the misplaced focus of Daddy’s love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites — and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex. Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept — from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it’s obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is — who?


I don’t know what to say.

I honestly never thought I would see the day where I give an Ellen Hopkins book less than four stars, but here we are.

Let me get something straight: I didn’t like this book, but I didn’t dislike it.

I am an avid fan of Ellen Hopkins novels, and I had high expectations for this one, the only one I haven’t read (except Traffick, which is still relatively new). I was very disappointed in this read.

I base my ratings on the Goodreads rating system, which means that I gave this book two stars for “it was ok”. For me, this means that this book was just meh.

I never thought a book from the author who gave us Crank, a beautifully written and incredibly structured story, could be so sloppily structured.

The characters were just plain unlikeable. There wasn’t a single one that I can say truthfully that I liked. I was indifferent to a lot of them, but it would have been impossible for me to like them. Honestly, the characterization was lacking and I found it hard to know anything about any of the characters. The characters were nothing special, and some of them just felt like they were often there for show. But the characters, however unlikeable they were, were nothing compared to the story as a whole.

The story just felt sloppy to me. The plot was never really driven for me at all, and at times I couldn’t even tell what the plot was. At the best of these times, I could grasp at threads of the plot, but never really latch on to anything. At the worst of these times, this book felt like a messed up slice of life novel, where the life that we are observing is full of darkness and horror. This unassuming plot technique works in some of Hopkins’ other novels (BurnedTricks, and Perfect, to name a few) but in this one it fell flat.

When the plot did finally pick up (about 400 pages into the novel), I started becoming more interested in the story. That is, until the twist. If you’ve read this book, you’ll know what I’m talking about, but since this is a spoiler-free space (unless I’m discussing part of a series), I’ll just be telling you what I thought about the twist. And here it is: it was terribly executed. There was no setup whatsoever for the twist, and it came out of nowhere in the story. This was used for shock value, and I expected more of this book than an unprecedented twist for shock. Usually it’s a good thing when twists are unpredictable and unwarranted. In this case, it simply served as an “Are you serious?” moment for me. There wasn’t any big reaction on my part, which falls on me as a reader (and I am not the biggest fan of shock value plot twists), not Hopkins as an author. I’m sure this twist caused a bigger reaction out of other readers, and that is perfectly fine with me. But in my opinion, this twist was not worth the time.

All in all, I was disappointed by this average novel, especially when all of Hopkins’ other works stunned me and honestly shaped me as a reader. I will still continue to have high hopes for her novels because this book is simply one book that I didn’t like out of many others that I loved. If barely-there plot development and shocking twists are the kind of thing that you like to read, then I would definitely recommend you give this book a try. It was simply not my cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t someone else’s!


NEXT READ: The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker

Birthstone Book Tag!

Hello, readers!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book tag (I’ve been in a major block with them, combined with a super productive reading month!), so I though I should get back into the swing of things and get one up before my next review.

For this tag, I’ve chosen the birthstone book tag, created by Jay G on Youtube, and her video can be found right here.

Let’s get started!


1. January (GARNET): Associated with warding off negative forces and dark energies. Name a book with the darkest/evilest character you can think of.

Sebastian from City of Fallen AngelsCity of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more disgustingly evil character in my entire life. Sebastian was the absolute worst, and even though I was tempted to pick Dolores Umbridge for this, Sebastian just grosses me out with how evil he is, so I have to pick him.

2. February (AMETHYST): Purple is associated with royalty. Name a book with regal qualities…You can base this off of characters or choose the king of all books.

The Selection by Kiera Cass. Literally, if you say the words “regal book”, my immediate first thought will be The Selection. I love this series, and it’s just so regal.

3. March (AQUAMARINE): Washed out. Name a “wishy washy” character, a character who is not strong or a follower.

Cho Chang from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I understand that she was grieving, but honestly she just seemed like a wishy-washy character that should have picked some sort of world view and opinions for herself.

4. April (DIAMOND): A diamond in the rough. Name a book that you loved but is not well known.

The Everafter by Amy Huntley. I love this book, but no one else in the world seems to know about it. Everyone should definitely read this book at some point in your life!

5. May (EMERALD): Said to balance energy. Name two characters who balance each other well.

Gansey and Ronan from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. They’re just perfect complements to each other, and their friendship is amazing because of that balance.

6. June (PEARL): Associated with loyalty. Name a character who is loyal to the end.

Travis from The Choice by Nicholas Sparks. I can’t say anything without spoiling it, but if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

7. July (RUBY): Blood red. Name a book that made your blood boil, one that made you angry.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. No offense to anyone who likes this book, but I absolutely hate this book. It’s the only book that I had any strong feelings of dislike toward. The entire story made me angry, the characters made me angry, even just thinking about my reading experience with this book makes me angry. Usually books don’t make me see red, but this one definitely did.

8. August (PERIDOT): Pale green (it pales in comparison to other gems). Name a supporting character who you like better than the main character.

Finnick Odair from Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Enough said.

9. September (SAPPHIRE): Blue like the ocean which is calming. Name a book that had a calming effect on you.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. When I first read this book, it definitely wasn’t a calming experience. But now every time I read it, it feels like coming home, and that is definitely calming to me.

10. October (OPAL): Iridescent. Name an iridescent book. This can be a book with a beautiful cover, or you can base it off of a character.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. This cover is just gorgeous, and that’s why I picked it.

11. November (TOPAZ): Associated with resilience. Name a book with a character who rises to the top in a time of adversity.

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This is totally a cliche answer, but Katniss definitely rose from adversity and rose to the top, and I admire her for it.

12. December (BLUE ZIRCON): Associated with friendship. Name a book with a friendship you want to be a part of.

Percy, Annabeth, and Grover from the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in their friend group?


And that is it for the birthstone book tag!

I hope you all enjoyed it, and I’m glad that I’m out of my rut with book tags.

My review for Identical by Ellen Hopkins will be up in the next few days.

See you then!

Mosquitoland by David Arnold Review!

Started: June 5, 2016

Finished: June 12, 2016

Rating: 4 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland. So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.


I went back and forth several times on whether  I wanted to give this book four stars or five because I really, really liked it, but I don’t think I loved it.

This book was right up my alley in terms of content and story. I love a main character who doesn’t really know what’s going inside her own head, and I also love a story that involves an eccentric cast of characters.

The characters themselves were fun and interesting. I wanted to know more about them throughout the novel, even when some of them had left the story. Their eccentricities made them exciting.

Mim was my favorite, which is a big change for me because main characters are hardly ever my favorite character. She was a smart, funny, enjoyable character and my heart broke over her relationship with her father. I couldn’t really relate to her as much as I wanted to, but I can definitely see how Mim would be relatable to people.

The story was wonderfully told, and I loved David Arnold’s writing. I plan to read his other novel, Kids of Appetite, when it’s released. His writing moved the story along quickly, and it didn’t really drag for me at any point. It kept me in suspense throughout the book (I never once guessed one of the plot points), and I loved it.

The thing that I really, really loved about it was the portrayal of mental illness. I love books that show a good portrayal of mental illness, as talked about when I reviewed All the Bright Places (here). I think that young adult literature about mental illness is often lacking something that makes it a good portrayal, and this one wasn’t lacking much. It was a different choice of a mental illness to portray, but I think that choice made the story much better. I’m very satisfied with the way Arnold portrayed Mim’s mental illness (which I believe she does have, even if it was left open-ended), and I think it’s one of the better portrayals in YA literature.

Even though I don’t really have a complaint about this novel, I don’t think I can give it five stars because while it was a great read that I really enjoyed and will probably reread, I don’t think it’s going to be one that I think about for days after I finish it. It just didn’t resonate with me as much, and that is why I can only give it four stars.

All in all, I really liked this novel, and I look forward to reading more of David Arnold’s writing when his next novel is released. I enjoyed it a lot, and I would highly recommend this book to everyone who wants a contemporary read that’s a little bit different than others.


NEXT READ: Identical by Ellen Hopkins

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Review!

DISCLAIMER: This is the fourth and final book in The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. This is my absolute favorite series, so I’m not sure I can make it through this without spoilers. If you have not read this book and plan to read it or want to read it, then please do not read any further! Thank you!

Started: May 31, 2016

Finished: June 4, 2016

Rating: 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted. For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him. Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.


Wow.

What can be said about the end of a series that I fell so deeply, madly in love with nearly three years ago?

Maggie Stiefvater has done it again with the final installment in The Raven Cycle series. I was completely blown away by this novel’s beauty and magic.

When I read this series, I always felt like I was being taken away to a world completely unlike my own. This book was no different.

It started out in a way that I had believed it would, and I was immediately taken back into this world, despite not being in it since September 2015. These characters were exactly how I remembered them, and I read this book so quickly because I just felt like I was reading about characters that were my friends.

The story was absolutely breathtaking. It was everything I dreamed of for this novel and more. It was exciting and interesting. While this series is one of my favorite series of all time, it’s no secret that I wasn’t nearly as engulfed in the second and third books as I was in the first. For me, this book was extremely reminiscent of the first book. In a series about time being circular, this is perfect writing.

This story had me captivated by its twists and turns and had me quickly flipping pages just to find out what happened next. The story definitely took twists that I never expected based on what had happened in the previous books, and these twists made the book unpredictable and exciting.

The only thing I didn’t understand about the story was Henry Cheng’s role in it. It seemed as if he was only introduced for the sake of bringing RoboBee into the story. Here was this character, mentioned in passing in the third book, and suddenly he was part of Gansey’s group at the moment that should have belonged to them and them alone, in my opinion. It definitely didn’t take away from my reading experience, I just didn’t really understand why he had such a large role when he had been mentioned in the third book only.

Every single part of the story was incredibly written, but I believe Stiefvater’s raw writing talent shown brightly in the ending of this novel. I flew through the last one hundred pages today while I traveled to a wedding, and the chapters were compelling and absolute page-turners until the very end. I didn’t want to put this book down, and I also never wanted it to end.

All in all, I absolutely loved this final installment of The Raven Cycle and I believe that it is some of Maggie Stiefvater’s finest work to date. None of her novels will ever replace Shiver in my heart, but The Raven King is definitely one that I will return to in the future and love for a very long time.

And now I am halfway through my June TBR list and it’s only June 4. Looks like I’ll have to find more books to read in the month of June! See you next time!


NEXT READ: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

June TBR!

Hello, readers!

This post is all about the books that I plan to read in the month of June!

I have four books on my TBR list this month, and if you’ve read any of them, let me know what you think of them in the comments (no spoilers please!).

Let’s get started!


1. So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones

Synopsis: Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy’s MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model. When Bella’s mom falls in love with a man she met on the Internet–a factory worker with two bratty sons–Bella has to pack up and move in with her new family in Truman, Oklahoma. On a farm no less! Forced to trade her uber-trendy NYC lifestyle for  down-home charm, Bella feels like a pair of Rock & Republic jeans in a sea of Wranglers. At least some of the people in her new high school are pretty cool. Especially the hunky football player who invites her to lunch. And maybe even the annoying–but kinda hot–editor of the school newspaper. But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it’s not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter’s instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.

I found this book in the two dollar bin at a local indie bookstore, and it was on my May TBR, but I ran out of time, so it just transferred over.

2.) The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Synopsis: Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted. For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey…and is certain she is destined to kill him. Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

This is the book I am most excited to read, because I’ve wanted to read it since it came out at the end of April. I’m so ready to read this, and it will probably be one of my quickest reads of this month, simply because I’ve been excited to read it.

3. Mosquitoland by David Arnold

I just got this one as a birthday present, and I’m very excited to read it!

 

4. Identical by Ellen Hopkins

This is the only book by Ellen Hopkins that I haven’t read (besides Traffick, because it’s still quite new), and I just picked it up from the used bookstore, so it will get read this month!

 


And that’s it for my June TBR! See you next time!

May Book Favorites 2016

Hello, readers!

Time for another monthly book favorites!

I’ve read three books this month, and I’m here to tell you my favorite character, cover, title, story, and book!

Let’s get started!


1. Favorite character

Akiva from Dreams of Gods & Monsters

How could I pick anyone than my love Akiva from Dreams of Gods & Monsters? I’ve loved Akiva since I first started the series, so I definitely have to pick him as my favorite character for the month of May.

2. Favorite cover

I don’t really have a favorite cover for this month because none of these covers really wowed me. So I’m passing on this one for this month.

3. Favorite title

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I love this title, and I loved the way Ruta Sepetys incorporated it into the story (if you’ve read this book, then you may have noticed it!).

4. Favorite story

Legend by Marie Lu

This story didn’t amaze me all that much when I first started it. By the end, I really enjoyed the story and I plan to read more of it when I read the rest of the trilogy.

5. Overall favorite book

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys!

This book was the only book that got a five star rating from me this month, and it was honestly the best book I read this month. It was gritty and emotional, and it was a great historical fiction novel. I was really excited to read it, and I was really satisfied with it when I was done. It is definitely my favorite book of May 2016.


And there’s my monthly book favorites for the month of May! I had a great time reading these books, and I look forward to the books that June will bring.

Come back tomorrow for my June TBR post to see what I plan to read this month!

See you then!