Sunday, September 21, 2014

Goodreads Summary

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...


This was part of my required reading this summer. I was actually really excited to read it. I recognized it the second I saw the list. I've actually had it on my TBR list on Goodreads for a while now. So I finally had a legitimate excuse to buy myself a copy.


Here's why.

First off, it's a dystopian. I really love dystopians. But more than that, I love those books that present worlds that make me think. And this one just had my mind racing. It was deep, and beautiful, and heartbreaking, and frustrating. I wanted to know more than Offred could ever tell us. I was in agony over everything she did tell us. I wanted to somehow fix everything, but it's a book, Wolfie, stop being crazy.

Offred's world is about as controversial as it gets. Women are for procreating. Except for those that are servants (the Marthas), the leaders (the Aunts), or the slaves (women sent to the Colonies to clean up, well, the pollution or toxic waste or something equally deadly). There's no polygamy, but the Handmaids are pretty much legal ways to sleep with other women. It's okay because there's no passion and it's just to create children *insert cringe here*.

But it gets you thinking. Or, it got me thinking.

Not too long ago I had this discussion with my best friend. I was pretty freakin frustrated a tad annoyed. I can't remember why exactly, but I was ranting about, well, girls. And how absolutely immodest some can be. And women want health care to cover birth control. And they don't want to be judged for sleeping with guys. They want to have abortions when they get pregnant. And this all makes me cringe and I get very upset. Because I'm all for strong women, really. Some women are just incredibly strong and independent. But why can't women also realize the very basic principle that sleeping with guys leads to children. If you don't want them, don't sleep with guys. I promise it's not that hard. Being a little responsible goes a long way... I'm going to stop there because I'm sure I'm already being labeled.

But this book brings up a lot of those woman issues. Love, freedom, independence, children. Offred had an incredible love (although he was cheating on his wife for her - I'm sure that's significant somehow). She had a gorgeous little daughter. She lost them both. She has to conceive or she'll be sent to the Colonies. She wants love, she wants her child, she's so utterly trapped and there's no one she can trust.

There's so much going on, I love it. The backstories were so insightful, brief as they were. They tied everything together. Offred's monologue were just beautiful. I connected with her so much. I felt like I understood her. I wish I knew how she turned out.

Worst. Ending. Ever.

The Historical Notes at the end were awesome, but I wanted a real ending. Instead I'm left with speculations and it hurts. I want to know.

I want to know her name.

I have a lead on that name, but I want to know. You know?

Overall, this book was just amazing. It was fast-paced, interesting. You're always on the edge of your seat because it's just so intense. The world was portrayed very well. The characters were set up nicely. Loved loved loved it.

(The only reason it's not a five is because that ending upsets me.)


Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommendation: for those who love dystopians and books that make you think

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Goodreads Summary

Cabaret meets Cassandra Clare-a haunting magical thriller set in a riveting 1930s-esque world.

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don't always seem to stay that way. 


I guess I see where the Cassandra Clare comment comes from. But I must say that I can't compare the two. I see Cassandra Clare in two different lights. The one who wrote TMI and the one who wrote ID. I loved ID. TMI was okay (but I have yet to read the last book so the jury's still out on that one). As it so happens, this one reminds me more of TMI which is why I see where the comment comes from. BUT I WOULDN'T COMPARE THEM LIKE THAT.

First off, the simple fact the Cassandra Clare writes huge books. I think the shortest is a TMI just shy of 400 pages? I'm not exactly sure, but I feel like 400 pages is a good average of all her books. Dark Metropolis might have been 302 pages, but it sure as hell didn't feel like it. Rephrase: it took forever for me to get through the book. But holding it in my hands, it didn't feel like 302 pages. Yeah, it was an ARC but still. Still.

It did keep me going, even though it took forever. I was interested in finding out more about the bringing-people-to-life thing. And I was curious to see if Thea would find her father. The romance(s) did very little for me. One even less than the other. I won't say anything more because if you've read it or heard about it, you'll have enough words for me. I don't need to add more fuel.

Third person has been an issue with me lately. So that's probably why I didn't connect to these characters. I don't know, really. I tried to like them, but I couldn't. Not enough, anyways. So I was glad when I finally finished it, but just because it was finally over. I'm not sure I'm curious enough to look into the series-

I just did. The next one is Glittering Shadows and it release June 16.

In case you're interested. I think I'll just let it slide, though.

Rating: 3 stars

Recommendation: for those who want fantasy

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Goodreads Summary

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 spiraling 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!

A prism of genres, Remnants of the Damned promises to be a truly different approach of a series of novels with one of the main characters being gay – a rare occurrence in a mainstream piece of literature in this kind of genre.


So I just read the summary. I hate this book even more now.

I feel like I might be a little harsh here, but I was expecting so much out of this book. I haven't read a horror since... Needful Things by Stephen King. That was about a year ago? I don't even know, but when I read this back in May, I was utterly disappointed. And the fact that I still feel it now says a lot.

  1. This book tried a little too hard. It took pretty much every scary thing you could possibly imagine and crammed it into this little town. There were ghosts, monsters, witches, cannibals, killer clowns, masked murderers, and so on. I'd be fine with any of those singularly. Even a few of those combined. But all of them? Was it necessary? And that's just the characters. The settings were cliche, too. There was an abandoned amusement park and a house in the woods.
  2. It wasn't scary. I wanted to be scared. I got a little bit paranoid, I guess. But I was never genuinely surprised or even concerned. I did not like any of the characters. I shook my head constantly because these people live in a town with killers and they're pretty much begging these killers to come after them.
  3. The ending. The entire book was going for a mysterious thing. (Who's the killer? What's with the clown? Where did so-and-so go? And I know they revealed a story that explained why the ghost appeared, but I'm not sure it ever said who the ghost was?) But the ending was just - no. No no no. If I had liked the book at all, I guess I'd be enticed to read the next one. But I was just annoyed. I knew it was a series, but there was no closure. None.

So I had issues with this book. I don't know, maybe you'll be more attached to the characters. Maybe you'll actually see the connections between the clown and the cannibals. Give it a shot and let me know if I'm missing anything. I'd be open to reading the next one.


Rating: 1 star

Recommendation: you actually can recommend a book you don't like. So I still recommend this to people who like horror. Maybe you'll like it more than I did.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Goodreads Summary

DEUCE is the epic conclusion to The Vortex Series where we learn the fates of tennis star, Cassie Moore, and time-traveling musician, Trent Astor.

At the end of Double Fault, we discover that everything will change for seventeen-year-old Cassie after she disappears into thin air. Together, she and Trent must figure out why she's jumping time and if she will be sent on further missions to the past, all while keeping it hidden from Cassie's family and friends.

However, all this secrecy causes Cassie's parents to suspect Trent is a bad influence on their daughter. They do everything in their power to keep them apart, making Cassie’s new circumstances nearly impossible to manage.

Meanwhile, it seems Trent and his sister, Lorelai, will never be safe from the greedy world and its hunger for Trent's power. A new force threatens to destroy the anonymity Trent has fought his entire life for unless he can stop this new opposition first. But every choice has a consequence, and Trent must face the most difficult choice of his life.

Set in contemporary Northern California, The Vortex Series is a teen romance for those who also enjoy a bit of science fiction and fantasy. Told in dual perspectives, we get an intimate view of both Cassie and Trent’s worlds. Family relationships, how they interconnect and drive our personalities, is the heart and soul of this YA time traveling novel.


Okay, so I liked the first two enough to read this one. And I finished this a few months ago. And I'm still not sure how to take it. It was exciting. I was hooked.

And then I was utterly pissed off and heartbroken.

Oh, I won't say what happened. But why did it have to happen? Why why why?

Ignoring the (horribly huge) thing that happened, it was good. It tied up all those loose ends. The ending was a real ending.

I have nothing else to say.

I'm still upset.

Rating: 3 stars

Recommendation:I'd definitely recommend it to those who love time travel

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Thursday, September 11, 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:

Where were you 13 years ago?

I hate how it took me a second to understand that question...
That was the first thought that came to mind. (I feel like that makes me sound insensitive, but I was just really young back then.) Then I realized it was September and decided to check out what date Thursday was and well.... It's 9/11 you guys.

I watched a few documentaries on tv today. There's always so many, it's kind of hard to choose which one to watch. I love watching them though. Maybe love isn't the right word, but I watch them. It's hard to wrap my head around it, even though I've spent most of my life being aware of it. It just seems unreal and incredibly far away. I mean, I'm from California. I've been to New York. I actually saw when they started building the memorial and museum. But I don't really feel it until I see those documentaries. And it's still unreal. My mind can't process it. But I know some part of me does because I can't exactly stop my heart from pounding or my eyes from watering. It's hard reconciling what happened that day. It's hard for me, I can't even imagine what it's like for people who actually remember it.

Which is why I always watch those documentaries. They're stories that need to be heard. These people need to be remembered. And I've always been one for stories, especially the more heartbreaking...

My dad always tells this story about 9/11.

I was four back then. I was in pre-school. My mom always got up at six and she always turned on the news for the weather. I guess I was watching the news while she was getting ready. And I saw when the story came on about a plane crashing into the North Tower. I ran upstairs to tell my dad about the airplane flying into the building. He told me to stop watching that because he thought it was some sort of violent movie that a four-year-old generally shouldn't be watching. I went back downstairs and saw the second plane hit the South Tower and ran back upstairs. He was so horrified that I was watching some violent movie, he decided to get up and change the channel for me. Instead, my mom told him that it was real.

So it's a sad day. But a very patriotic day. We faced tragedy and we still stand strong. Maybe America isn't perfect. But it takes quite some character to go through something like that. And I think that says a lot.

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Tuesday, September 9, 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.

This week's theme is...

Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in X genre

What's a Top Ten Tuesday without bending the rules? 
This week  I'm doing...

top ten underrated authors AND books in ANY genre

1. Flawless by Jennifer McGill-Sadera

I think I speak for all of us when I put this as number one. It's part of the reason I chose my co-bloggers in the first place -- they loved one of my favorite books and that says a lot considering what this book is all about. Awesomeness, for sure. But also love, friendship, family, bit of mystery, totally devastingly beautiful stuff.

2. The May Bird series by Jodie Anderson

I suppose this is MG but it's the awesomest series ever. I read this in middle school and I absolutely loved it. I desperately want to reread especially since my household now has the whole series - I say it like that because I bought the first one for myself but the other two for my sister. And now they're hers. Grrrrr...

3. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Probably a children's book. But this is the most beautiful story ever. I decided long ago that I MUST read this to my children. Kate DiCamillo is a big name - Because of Winn-Dixie or The Tale of Deseperaux ring a bell? But this one isn't a popular (I don't think) and it should be. It's a short book, but nothing short of miraculous. I'm serious.

4. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Adult contemporary I suppose. I'd say realistic fiction, but, well, the dog tells the story. He doesn't talk or anything, but he thinks like a human and wants to actually be a human and yeah. It's hard to say whether that's realistic or not, but who cares? It was a great story, great voice. The book is a work of art in itself. I find it thought-provoking and funny, beautiful and sad...

5. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (series)

Weird, I know. Maybe it's just my corner of the world. Vampire Academy was big, I know. But I feel like the spin-off series isn't quite as big AND IT SHOULD BE. Maybe it's because of Sydney, maybe that's why people are hesitant to read it. But I honestly love it so much more than VA. Blasphemous, I know. But something about Sydney and her character and the whole plot-
Who am I kidding?
It's Adrian. Always.

6. The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong

When I first read The Summoning, I was not impressed. The Awakening kind of.. awakened me to how awesome it is (pun totally intended). It was mostly Derek. I have to admit. He is great. But it's actually a really cool series. Short. Interesting. Action/adventure stuff. Paranormal stuff. Fun.

7. Impossible by Nancy Werlin

I read this quite a while ago, but I've read it at least three times. Once from the library and again when I bought it because I loved it. I've always thought it was really unique. The story is a little different. And the message is rather beautiful.

8. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Another short little book. Third person. The small role of the love interest is unsatisfying. But given the whole idea of the book, it's not really important anyways. So I'm still upset by that but I've accepted it. It's still really amazing. It's the little ones that surprise you most.

9. The Razorland trilogy by Ann Aguirre

Maybe it's bigger than I think. I don't know. I also haven't quite finished it yet. But I do love it. It pushes aside the whole love thing because Deuce is a clueless girl. It's main focus is zombie-like things, living underground, being exiled above-ground, surviving, etc, etc. It's just awesome like that.

10. The Gone series by Michael Grant

 I really love this series. I don't know what there's not to love. It's got the sci-fi, the awful society run by kids, rebellions, powers (like light shooting out of your hand), and other awful mutations (it's the snakes that get me. Oh, and the worms. Ew.) It's not fun, because it's awful for the kids. But it's exciting for the reader. It's great. Ahh.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Goodreads Summary

DOUBLE FAULT is the 2nd book in The Vortex Series where Cassie and Trent’s problems have only just begun. As they fight through the repercussions of creating a parallel world, other dangers are lurking. After years of running, Trent and his orphaned sister, Lorelai, sense the dangerous and power-hungry Dr. Fox is close to discovering their whereabouts.

While Cassie fears for Trent’s life, her tennis career hangs in the balance. Caught between her old and new life, she watches her world slowly crumble until it’s a tragic portrayal of all that she used to know. But worse yet, if her secret is revealed, she might lose what’s most dear to her heart.



Wow, where do I begin? Well. I liked the first one enough to read the second. And I liked the second one enough to read the third one. I feel like that about sums up my feelings.

The concept is still very interesting. I loved seeing the alternate life Trent created, even though it kind of sucked. It's one of those things that was cool, but frustrating. If he hadn't tried "fixing" his "mistake" things might have turned out okay. But nooooooooooo.

Putting that aside, I loved how everything wasn't always about the romance. Dr. Fox was actually a huge threat. I just wish he'd been a little more evil. Weird request, I know. But the attempt to make him seem misunderstood just made me go, really? Are you kidding me? NO.

Usually I love when villains turn out to be not-so-bad (See: I LOVE ONCE UPON A TIME). But this time it just didn't work for me.


Apparently I cared about the characters a little because that ending upset me. Why can't things just go right?


Other than that, there's not much to say. And this is a mini review so I don't have to say much anyways!

Overall, it was an interesting read. Not great, but not terrible. I did enjoy it.

Rating: 3 stars

Recommendation: those who want another time travel book

PS: I also loved how I understood the titles. Rematch and Double Fault actually make sense if you know just a little bit of tennis. It reflects the plot very well. That's very cool of Janine Caldwell. I approve.

Book provided for review by YA Bound Book Tours
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hello to you!

I am a new member of "The Forest of Books" blog! I'm Steph and this post is just a little introduction or "ice breaker," if you will. So basically, I'll just go on my usual babble and talk about my interests and what-nots!

First off, I'm a 19 year old college student, so here's to sticking to school! On top of that, I hardly ever have time to read for fun...actually, I'm forced to read books that make my head hurt so I have to wait for Winter or Summer break to catch up on my favorite series.

Speaking of series, if you haven't noticed already, I love reading! And I could go on and on about how awesome it is to jump into a new world and connect with different characters. But, for the sake of keeping this post short and sweet, I'll hold my tongue.

My favorite books/series so far are:
~The Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead (I'm still not done reading them so don't ruin it!)
~The House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast (Hooray for Vampyres with tattoos)
~The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
~Hush Hush Saga by Becca Fitzpatrick (Fallen Angels=Drooling)
~Vampire Academy Series (Too bad the movie ruined it)

And, I'm about to start reading, when I have my break, sadly. Moreover, if you haven't figured, I'm into YA books, but really I can read anything that has a good plot and relatable characters. If I had summer reading assignments in the past (like reading Charles Dickens...ew.) and managed to get through them...then I think I'm capable of reading anything....except 50 Shades of Grey- been there, done that, no thanks.

To wrap this post up like a salad wrap, I'll just say that I'm pretty easy to get along with, I'm a dork and proud of it (or at least used to it) and I love playing sports of any kind!

I hope you all have a nice evening, morning, afternoon, wherever you are and I'd like to thank you for taking your time to read my 1st post. And finally, I'd like to thank Wolfie for letting me be a part of this awesome team!

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Saturday, September 6, 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.

It has been so long since I've done one of these. So I'm just going to list books I got since.. May I believe. I took pictures of the ones I could easily access. As for the rest... Trust that I have them.


Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Prodigy by Marie Lu
This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl
All the Wrong Questions: Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket
Dark Lord by
Virals by
Blue Notes by Carrie Lofty
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
1984 by George Orwell
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen
Ishmael by Danial Quinn
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

For review

Threats of Sea and Sky by Jennifer Ellison


From the lovely Ashtyn over at Wonderland's Reader, I won...
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The 5th Wave by Rick Yaney
(my second copy and I haven't even read the first one)
Hexed (ARC) by Michelle Kays

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

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Goodreads Summary

As an old woman's lifeless body lies on a cold stone floor, her soul stands before an angel who offers her a miraculous opportunity: the chance to do it all again. But that is easier said than done. In order to change the path her life has taken, she must put aside years of self-loathing and pain, so she can help the young girl she once was become the woman she should have been.

At 17 years old, Grace Bennett is a bitter young woman. Though blessed with a loving family, looks and brains to spare, she hides her light under a bushel, spending most of her time in the darkness of her mind with little more than sarcasm and self-pity to keep her company.

But things are about to change for Grace. While delivering food for her family's bed and breakfast, she turns onto a desolate dirt road and drives straight into her destiny.

It's on this isolated country lane that the damaged girl meets a strangely familiar old couple and two mysterious young men. Together the group fights the demons that surround Grace, and they teach her what it means to let her light shine.

"Illuminating Gracie" is, at once, a metaphorical tale of the fight between good and evil and a spiritual saga of one girl's journey from darkness into the light. If you liked "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games," you will love the story of Gracie.


I read this book so many months ago and I've been meaning to write this review for a while. But before I even get into the review, I need to comment on that last line of the blurb. First of all, Twilight and The Hunger Games are very totally different. I don't think they could be more different, honestly. So why they're being used to entice readers to read this book is beyond me. Is it referring the the actual books or the audience the books attracted or the fact that both books attracted a huge audience?

I don't get it. But enough about that.

As for the actual book, I enjoyed the beginning way more than I enjoyed the end. Mostly because I already knew who the old lady was. I don't know if I was supposed to know that from reading the blurb or not, so just in case, I won't say. But I thought it was obvious. So when it was revealed I was like, eh, saw that coming. Moved on.

The beginning was awesome, though. You really got to see Gracie for who she was and while she wasn't exactly... pleasant.... I could see that she had potential and I loved watching her change as a person.

But I don't remember the ending very well. I feel like it says a lot that I only remember some fire and a transformation and someone almost died or did die or thought about dying or maybe death wasn't even a part of it. I don't remember. I just remember thinking, oh. That was it?

It was interesting. I loved the concept. But the book didn't really hit it home, you know?

Still, you might like it. Hope you like it more than I did, at least.

Rating: 3 stars

Recommendation: if you want a good story about metamorphosis... go for it

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