Saturday, May 31, 2014

May was practically non-existent here on the blog... That is to say, I have very few posts. Because busy me didn't have time to schedule or wing stuff or anything. I was basically away from all book and blog related things for about three weeks. It was weird. And getting back into it is never easy. I can't guarantee a full return until school is over. And hopefully I am not jinxing anything because I plan on doing a lot of stuff over the summer... But more on that later.
If anybody missed me, I'm sorry. I'll try to be more regular in my posts.
My life's been crazy, but then again, whose isn't?

Books I read this month

Remnants of the Damned by Gavin Hetherington (2 stars)
The Only Boy by Jordan Locke (3 stars)
Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore (3 stars)
Rematch by Janine Caldwell (4 stars)
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (5 stars)

Breakdown: 2 physical copies, 3 e-copy

Total: 5 books

Average Rating: 3.4 stars


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Three by Sarah Lotz
The Only Boy by Jordan Locke

Life of a Blogger

I talked about some of the things on my bucket list.

Blog Tours

Remnants of the Damned by Gavin Hetherington [Spotlight and Giveaway]


I spotlighted my A to Z Challenge posts and other April posts.
I shared the books I got in April.
I explained/pointed out my absence, just in case you didn't notice.
I made a list of ten covers I love so much I might just frame them and put them on my wall.

2014 TBR Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
(I count this because I've been wanting to read it since the beginning of the school year and wanted to buy for a while before I actually got the chance to)

May: 1
April: 0
March: 2
Feb: 5
Jan: 1

Grand total: 9 books out of 21 books

In other news...

 I have fourteen more days of school and I am freaking out. I'll leave it at that for now.

Hope you guys had a great May!


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Friday, May 30, 2014

Goodreads Summary

Trent Astor is many things—orphan, runaway, musician. But what’s most extraordinary about Trent is that he’s a time traveler. His supernatural gift sends him on missions to the past to save unsuspecting victims from harm. However, when he fails to save the life of a young girl, his life changes in ways he could never have dreamed.

At eleven-years-old, Cassie Moore suffered through a horrific shooting. Tragically scarred from the ordeal, the once promising tennis prodigy was forced to throw away all hope of a future in tennis. Now, as she begins her senior year of high school, the past continues to haunt her. She struggles to find herself, her self-esteem at an all time low. If only she could resolve the past, she might be able to move on with her life. She never imagined that could be possible until she meets the gorgeous new student in her PE class.

DOUBLE FAULT is the 2nd book in The Vortex Series available now.


Time travel has been popping up more and more in YA, it seems. Personally, when I think of time travel, my mind goes directly to The Time Traveler's Wife. (Which is totally not YA. Clearly, I haven't read many time travel books. I can't think of any others off the top of my head right now.) When I was reading this book in particular, I kept getting reminded of The Time Traveler's Wife. I guess it's because of the romance mixed in with the time traveling. Some of the same personal issues were addressed - is it right for me to be with her when I can leave at any moment with little to no warning? Which is a very valid question. And true to form, the girl does not care one bit about that. But what I liked about Rematch was that it wasn't quite that cliche.

I was actually surprised by how much this book tackled. It had the romance, sure. But it touched on friendship, family, expectations, guilt, and overcoming difficult situations. 

The romance was not an entangling mess across time like TTTW. Trevor did meet Cassie when she was young, but it was the briefest of encounters (not a spoiler, it's the first chapter). And when they do meet again, she has a boyfriend (second chapter) and he just wants to know if/how he screwed up her life. So it was all normal, no weirdness beyond the fact that he saved her life a few years ago. And from there, it kind of evolved on its own. Was it slightly cliche? Yeah, he's hot and she's "average". But I still kind of liked it. They got to know each other. He genuinely cared for her, and not just because she was his mission once.

There was a friendship in this book, although I hate how it was shoved aside. There's some spoilers if I say more than that. I mean, it was a nice friendship. But it wasn't the point of the story. Which would be okay, if the friend hadn't tried so hard to, you know, be a friend. 

As for the family part, it did introduce her parents and her younger brother. We got glimpses of each one at some point or another. This is hard to explain without spoilers, but we basically see two sides of most of the people, her family included. I loved and hated that. Loved because it was interesting. Hated because dammit, everything was going so well.

But anyways.

The expectation Cassie had to live up to was basically her tennis career. And Trevor had to deal with the guilt of failing 11-year-old Cassie. And of course, they overcome these things. (Honestly, it's so hard to explain without giving away the entire second half of the book.)

Overall, I really liked everything the book explored. I like how it was explored. Were some parts a little cliche, a little rushed, a little forced for the sake of plot? Maybe. Maybe maybe maybe. But I feel like there wasn't too much of that. I very much appreciated what she did with this. And I definitely want more.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Recommendation: you need more time travel books in your life. Trust me.


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!
This is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week there's a new theme and bloggers from all over choose their top ten.

I know it's like, really late... and Wednesday... But forgive me. I really wanted to do the Top Ten this week, because I was supposed to put it up last week but never finished the post. And since we can choose this week's theme, I'm doing the one I missed-

Top Ten Book Covers I'd Frame As Pieces of Art

1. Above by Leah Bobet
Not a fan of the book (though I might reread it one day... Maybe.), but I absolutely love this cover. Isn't it just gorgeous?

2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Ross
More the background graphics. It's just so science fiction-y. I love it.

3. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
It's the San Francisco bridge! Orange is hardly my favorite color, but for some reason I like it here (: 

4. Under the Dome by Stephen King
I feel rather morbid for putting this on here. The cover kind of creeps me out because I know what it contains within its page. But it's science fiction-y and has these great colors. And it's like a farm town. So that's rather scenic. 

5. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
This cover is art. Literally. The guy in the book makes this kind of art. I always thought that was cool and it doesn't get more original than that. I'd love to know what Craig thinks the map of my head is like. But I'll settle for a poster exactly like the cover. I'd hang it with pride. 

6. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
This story is a mix of fantasy/sci-fi/retelling. I want the series mostly because of the covers (since I no longer remember the actual contents, just that I liked the books a  lot). The first one is my favorite. It's just wow. Everything about it. Wow. 

7. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
This cover is what originally drew me to the story. It's cute and mysterious and I just get these swelling in my heart whenever I see it. It's such a beautiful story. With a beautiful cover to match.

8. Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Yet another sci-fi! The huge moon gives it that sci-fi feel, but other than that it's rather normal. I don't know what draws me to this one. Maybe the colors. And the - isolation. Yup, I think that's it. I love it.

9. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Sci-fi. Amazing colors. Encases an amazing book. AND IT'S ALL DRAMATIC. They're all reaching out for each other! And her dress!

Okay, I'm calm. 

 10. Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

This was my first really negative review on my blog o.o But I do love the cover. I love the blues and the silhouettes and the light... Darn cover.


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Monday, May 26, 2014

Series: Abyssal Sanctuary #1
Release date: October 9th 2013
Purchase: Amazon



Witness the Birth of Fear.

There has always been something wrong with the sinister and secluded town of Lakefield View. For one, people get murdered on the streets and nobody does anything about it. Even if they hear their screams curse the night skies, the number of saints has diminished. But it isn't the sick and twisted residents of Lakefield View that are the ones who you should avoid... it's the killers, the psychopaths, the witches and the monsters you should watch out for.

Five unsuspecting workers of a picturesque café get the shock of their lives when a family member is killed before their eyes. A chain of events ensue and they are all catapulted down a spiralling road of mystery and magic, each struggling to overcome constant obstacles that threaten their lives and the safety of their families. As the mystery progresses and the secrets get darker, the friends find it harder and harder to keep their heads above water.

The only thing worse than being alone in the dark, is finding out you're not!


Gavin Hetherington currently resides in the town of Gateshead in the United Kingdom. A literature fanatic of fantasy, Gavin began writing stories when he was young, mainly about witches and the supernatural.



Check out the rest of the tour and enter the giveaway below! 


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Friday, May 23, 2014

Goodreads Summary

Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.

Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed.

Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.

Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.


I'm a little bit conflicted here. On one hand, I wanted to put this book down a few times. I started reading it in April, but kept putting it off. I personally write in short scenes that alternate between POVs... I want to stop that now. In theory, I love it. But reading it was kind of annoying. The scenes were too short, just like the ones I write... There's a reason I keep rewriting. Long chapters are not something I can just dish out. I have yet to accomplish one. I understand that it's difficult when you're trying to write something great.

I felt like this book was trying a little too hard. Oh, I feel mean for saying it, but that's how I feel. If it hadn't tried so hard, I might have gotten into it sooner. I might have enjoyed it more. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it... towards the end. I spent most of the book wondering why I was reading it. There was drama and action, but a lot of repetition. Some plot twists could have been presented better. I did like the background, though. I'm a huge fan of backstories and such. So getting a glimpse into the world before the "Cleansing" was really cool. And getting a glimpse of the Matriarch was kind of worth it.

To understand how badly I didn't connect: the epilogue did not phase me. Okay, there was one part. I was just a tiny bit worried. But I recognized the trick right away. It's something I would have done myself. I liked it, but I didn't get the element of surprise I should have.

I don't really have much else to say about this. That's how much I didn't care for this book, sadly. The characters weren't bad, the plot wasn't bad... But it could have been better.

I've read a few books where women rule the world, quite literally. Across the Wire (parallel universe), The Risen Empire (Scott Westerfeld, almost a race of women), and I think another one, but I can't remember it at the moment. And I find it funny that men are accused of making such a terrible world. But somehow a world of women is always much worse. Weird observation. Feel free to disagree. But I'm not the ones writing these books.

Rating: 3 stars

Recommendation: for those who want to know what a world with very few males would be like. It is interesting.


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Thursday, May 22, 2014

You have no idea how awful it is to come back after being away unintentionally... I had my posts lined up nicely but never had the time to finish them... So I unscheduled them all and never had the time to go back to finish... I'm not sure what I should do with them now. I guess I'll be pushing everything back. Well, the reviews anyways. The Top Tens and Life of a Bloggers are probably going to be deleted. Unless I find some other way to use the contents. But anyways!

Back to my apology.

You see, May is the crazy month of AP testing and California testing. And I haven't taken the Common Core crap, but that was this month, too. And it totally screwed up the schedule. Because even though I didn't take it, the schedules had to be rearranged for those who did. So that was annoying.

Things aren't exactly back to normal yet, but it's calming down. I'm prepping a few posts to last at least a week. After that, I'm not sure. I may disappear randomly again. But I will post all my blog tour stuff, so don't worry about that.

All that being said, I have not been reading. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration. I'm reading East of Eden for my English class and I absolutely love it (more on that later). I also finished three books for review. But these were books I started in April and barely finished within the last week. Those reviews will be up soon.

I have not been writing either. I'll leave it at that.

Just rest assured that I am not gone forever! It's just hard squeezing this in with so much stress and school stuff... Anyways.

Hope you guys are having a good day!


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Monday, May 5, 2014

Goodreads Summary

Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he's right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed 'The Three' by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children's behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival...

Note: won this book on Goodreads through First Reads.


I am not quite sure how to feel about this book, so I'll start with the basics. I absolutely tore through this book. I started it over spring break. When I went down to San Diego to visit my aunt, I brought it with me. Not sure why, but I did. Whenever there was some downtime, I took it out and read. After staying up late with my aunt, I stayed up even later reading this. Then I regretted it because I'd become irrationally afraid of turning my back on the door. But then the doorway scared me so I did anyways. I don't know what it was that made me so paranoid. That's probably why I liked this book. But also why I'm not entirely convinced.

The premise was definitely interesting. And the way Sarah Lotz carried out the story was somewhat new to me. It was like a book within in a book. Which I actually found to be pretty cool. The 'book' contained primary resources regarding "The Three". It included chapters from a biography, instant messages, interviews left and right, and a few other documents. It follows the people surrounding the three kids. At the end, it has a review of the 'book' and a letter from the 'author' and a third person account of what happens to her after she published the book.

That last part is the part that gets me. I liked it, because the way the 'book' ended wasn't quite enough. But at the same time, I wish the real ending had been more straightforward. Especially because I didn't quite like the implications. I'm all for creepy weird stuff, but... I don't know. It has to be done a certain way. (I was if-y about the ending of Under the Dome by Stephen King. For the same reason I'm if-y about the ending of this book. Make of that what you will. I will note that I loved Under the Dome. And I need to read more Stephen King books.(

But as for this book, it wasn't bad. It was way better than I expected. Except for the ending. That was a bit disappointing.

As a side note: isn't that cover so cool, though? Creepy and cool. Love it so much. I swear every time I look at it, I get a mini panic attack. I don't know, I'm weird.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Recommendation: for those who like conspiracies and strange, controversial topics. And creepy stuff.


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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Goodreads Summary

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I'm hesitant to call this a review. But it's more of a review than my Looking for Alaska post. So we'll stick with review.


I'm not sure how I can describe in words just how beautiful this book was. I feel like this entire post is redundant, because what can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? I don't think I'd go so far as to say this is the greatest book ever. But it was pretty damn beautiful.

Predictably so, I cried. A lot. That ending could no have been more perfect. Maybe it's just me that thinks that. I don't know. But it was beautiful beautiful beautiful. And while I had hoped for it, it was not what I had originally expected. Not by a long shot. I don't want to ruin absolutely anything because I decided to make this thing a review. But I will say that I was caught off guard. My friend said she wasn't devastated because they both have cancer and cancer is never really cured. I think, that doesn't even matter. I agree with Hazel's dad on this. It's hard to reconcile that these things happen to good people who don't deserve this in the least. But it does.

Part of the beauty will always be the humor John Green seems to put into everything he does. Hazel was funny, unique. There were a few instances where I didn't agree with her. She wasn't always right, but then again - who is? She was real. And that's what matters.

Maybe all cancer books are the same. I haven't read enough to say one way or another. But the three most recent ones - TFiOS, Side Effects May Vary, and Before I Die - were all so vastly different. And I they all had their own way of dealing with death, but also life. 

In TFiOS - 

Hazel needs an oxygen tank, takes a drug that prolongs her life, but is guaranteed nothing. Which really doesn't make her much different from the rest of us. Who really knows when they're going to die? No one. Some just have the advantage of knowing that they will probably die sooner than later.

Augustus has a bit of a hero complex. He wants to be something amazing. Meaningful. He wants his life to have worth. He's missing a leg. Isaac has to have his eyes removed. And there's the whole girlfriend/ex-girlfriend issues with both of them.

There are just so many problems that seem heightened because they are all sick. They might die tomorrow. But any of us could die tomorrow. So what do we do with today?

We get our hopes up, we get let down. People lie in an attempt to save us from pain. People get hurt anyways. We travel halfway across the world, searching for an answer to something because there is no answer for anything else. We do not know what kind of world we will leave behind. We don't know the effect we have on people.

The whole title comes from the Shakespeare quote:

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, 
But in ourselves...."
And as John Green pointed out, this is not necessarily true. I agree. But only so far this - the universe certainly has its share of fault. But we have the rest.


PS: sorry it's long. Part review, part discussion-y stuff
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Saturday, May 3, 2014

This is a weekly meme by Tynga's Reviews, but I'm doing it once a month. It's all about sharing the books added to your shelves, either physical or virtual.

Another month and I have bought no books! Still working through what I bought in December. And all my e-books.



For review

Rematch by Janine Caldwell
Double Fault by Janine Caldwell
Deuce by Janine Caldwell


Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
via a Rockstars Book Tour giveaway :D

How about you guys? Any new books? Looking forward to buying some soon?


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Friday, May 2, 2014

This is a feature created by Jessi over at Novel Heartbeat. Each week there will be a non-book-related topic that we can discuss. This is to give us a chance to get to know each other better(:
This week's topic is:

Bucket list

This is definitely a topic that interests me. I don't have an official one or anything. It's not anything I've ever written down before. So I'm going to wing it and see what my list looks like :D

* Go back to Seattle, Texas, and Hawaii
* Go to Italy
* Go to Ecuador
* Go horseback riding
* Get better at ice skating (I'd love to do some basic spins and stuff)
* Learn how to surf
* Learn how to skateboard
* Get better at Spanish
* Learn Italian
* Finish every novel/story idea I've come up with so far (about three big ones)
* Finally win at NaNoWriMo
* Learn  archery and own a bow and arrows
* Have my own library
* Own a dog
* Swim with dolphins
* Read bedtime stories to my kids and sing songs for them even though I suck at singing
* Learn how to make chicken and gnocchi soup
* Find the perfect macaroni and cheese that's not from Fresh and Easy
* Use a typewriter. Legitimately. For something other than work.
* Write a song. Because why not?
* Do something really amazing (not sure what yet)

And I'll stop there! Seems like a pretty solid list to me. I might be missing something, but oh well. I'm sure I'll do another bucket list post.

So how about you? What's on your bucket list?


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Thursday, May 1, 2014

April has come and gone. The month of my birth, this blog's creation, and the fabulous A to Z Challenge. All of it is in the past now! And I am looking ahead. The beginning of May means seven more weeks of school you guys. Seven more weeks. I don't know how I'm going to get by. But I will somehow.

Sadly, April was a really unproductive month. I didn't read a lot, or study nearly as much as I should have. I did keep up with my A to Z posts but I haven't done much else.

Books I read this month

Insurgent by Veronica Roth (4 stars)
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman (4 stars)
The Three by Sarah Lotz
(3.5 stars)

Breakdown: 2 physical copies, 1 e-copy

Total: 3 books

Average Rating: 3.83 stars


The Polaris Uprising by Jennifer Ibarra
Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards

Blog Tours

The Field by Tacy Richardson [Review, Giveaway]
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman [Review, Giveaway]

2014 TBR Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Progress: none

Grand total: 8 books out of 21 books 

A to Z Challenge

A is for Another Attempt [at blogging]
B is for Birthdays, Blogoversaries, and Boyfriends
C is for Crappy Handwriting and Calligraphy [Life of a Blogger]
D is for Daily Life
E is for Enticing Elephants [Birthday celebration]
F is for Failure and Food
G is for The Great Perhaps [A Looking for Alaska Post]
H is for...  [Songs that start with H]
I is for Impressions
J is for Journals: A Question
K is for... [Songs that start with K]
L is for Laziness and other Life Lessons
M is for Mandatory Reading
N is for Nonsense
O is for Offices
P is for Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankma...
Q is for Quietly Missing Someone You Shouldn't
R is for Rereading
S is for Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards
T is for Tests
U is for Under my Umbrella...
V is for Veracity [An observation on writers]
W is for Wolfie [An interview with]
X Marks the Spot
You're Almost There
Z is for Zee End


Stacking the Shelves #10
Birthday/Blogoversary Celebration!

In other news...
The A to Z Challenge is over! I don't know how I will survive next month! I will try to read more, though. Have a few reviews I need to squeeze in ASAP.

How about you? How was your April?


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