Chocolate Book Tag


It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Today, I’m going to be doing the chocolate book tag because that is one of my favorite parts of Valentine’s Day. This was created by A Daydreamer’s Ramblings. You can click on the covers of these books to see my reviews as well (if I’ve done them)! Let’s go ahead and get started:

Dark Chocolate — A book that covers a dark topic (abuse, domestic violence, rape, lonlieness, bullying, death, etc)

The Truth About Alice

This book talks about so many dark topics, but focusing on rumors and bullying. It’s a really touching and short book, packed with lots of emotion.
White Chocolate — Your favourite light-hearted/humourous read

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Here is a book that is kind of un-traditionally funny. Bernadette disappears and it’s all about her daughter and husband’s search to figure out where she went. Berndaette is kind of crazy and the things that she does are pretty funny and outlandish!
Milk Chocolate — A book that has a lot of hype that you’re dying to read.

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

With the movie trailer just dropping, I have seen so many people either buying this book or reading it right away. And so far, they have all said good things!
Chocolate with a caramel center — Name a book that made you feel all gooey in the middle while you were reading it.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

Of course, any Stephanie Perkins book will do this! I just think that the romance paired with the setting in Paris makes this book TOO CUTE.
Wafer-free Kit-Kat — Name a book that surprised you lately.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)

Talk about surprising! This is filled with twists and turns and I had to go out to the bookstore the very next day to get my hands on the next one. I would clear a weekend for this series!
Snickers — A book that you are going nuts about.

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

I would necessarily say I’m going *nuts* about it, but with the new TV show (that I’m still hesitant about) and just finishing this series, I am back on board the Shadowhunter fandom! I can’t wait to see where else this world expands.
Hot Chocolate with cream and marshmallows — What book would you turn to for a comfort read?

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

I recently did a whole Top Ten Tuesday post about these and this was pulled from that list! This book is so light hearted and fun, definitely something good for escaping the real world for a little bit.
Box of chocolates — What series have you read that you feel has a wide variety and a little something for everyone?

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)

The Hex Hall trilogy is packed with supernatural, mystery, action, romance, and humor! It’s a great series that I absolutely adore.

How would you answer these questions? Happy Valentine’s Day! Wishing you all a great time, filled with loved ones and chocolate!


Discussion: My Rating System


Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about my rating system!

Every book blogger has their own way of rating books, so today, I want to talk about the way that I personally rate books. I start with the typical five-star rating system. I never do half-stars (mostly because they aren’t compatible on Goodreads). Although I sometimes feel like I should give a book a half-star, I typically will round downwards anyway. Here’s the breakdown of the way that I look at a book when picking it’s rating:

5 Stars – Unlike most reviewers, for me, a five star book doesn’t not have to be perfect or even a new favorite. I have plenty of 5 star books that aren’t favorites and some four star books that are. For me, a 5 star rating is given to books that make me really involved within the whole world without doing anything that pulls me out of the novel. If I always want to read the book, constantly think about it, or lose track of time while reading, these are signs that I will probably rate the book 5 stars. I’m trying to limit the amount of 5 stars that I give this year because I honestly didn’t remember some of my 5 star books from last year. However, I’m hoping to be more picky this year, while still holding on to the idea of FEELING the book.

4 Stars – For this, I’m looking for books that are really close to getting to perfection, but maybe had a couple minor issues or one major one. Some major issues that I will take a star off for include plot inconsistencies, if something doesn’t make sense, insta-love, or writing that distracts from the book. Minor issues have to combine together, so having one or more issues such as annoying characters, an underdeveloped romance, an underdeveloped world, or something that pulls me out of the book. This is more of a feeling that I don’t quite want to give it 5, but it was still an above average read.

3 Stars – This is just an average book. I didn’t really feel anything about it. This is actually the average rating that I give books which seems to be about fair. There’s not a lot to say here, mostly because it’s just an average feeling. I’m pretty ‘meh’ about these.

2 Stars – I didn’t like these books. I struggled to finish them, it had multiple major issues, or it was just bad. I often will not continue on with books in these series. These books are the ones I have big problems with and it’s the lowest rating I will give any book I finish.

1 Star – Finally, these are all the books that I have DNFed (did not finish). I DNF rather easily and it’s nothing too particular why, mostly just a feeling again. I also tend to DNF early on in the book, although I have done it at 80% before. For me, I DNF books if I’m really struggling, want to read other books, or never have a desire to pick it up again. Some books I will consider re-reading, however others I have totally given up on.

So, that’s it! A breakdown of my rating system. It’s not perfect and doesn’t cover every circumstance, but this is generally the way that I think about the books while rating them. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of how I review when looking at my ratings here or on Goodreads.

How do you rate books?


Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl Who Fell


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine, featuring unreleased books. This week, I’m talking about:

The Girl Who Fell

The Girl Who Fell by S.M. Parker

To be published March 1 2016

In this gripping YA debut, high school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense and volatile relationship—by the new boy in school. THE GIRL WHO FELL is a powerful and important read that School Library Journal calls, “(a)n invaluable addition to any collection. (SLJ *STARRED REVIEW* January 1, 2016)

His obsession.
Her fall.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

This book sounds so interesting! It sounds like a dark romance, which is really unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I also love the cover.

What are you waiting on?


Top Ten Tuesday: Cutest Couples

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is all about Valentine’s Day, so today, I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite couples from the past few years of reading!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)    Lock and Key    The Program (The Program, #1)

The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us, #1)   The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1)   I'll Meet You There   The Distance Between Us

The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1)   Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)   These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)

  1. Mara and Noah from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  2. Ruby and Nate from Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
  3. Sloane and James from The Program by Suzanne Young
  4. Avery and Jack from The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
  5. Ivy and Bishop from The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
  6. Skylar and Josh from I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
  7. Caymen and Xander from The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
  8. Alyssa and Brandon from The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris
  9. Anna and St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  10. Lilac and Tarver from These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Who are some of your favorite couples?


Under the Dusty Moon by Suzanne Sutherland Review

Under the Dusty Moon

Under the Dusty Moon by Suzanne Sutherland

To Be Published Dundurn February 16 2016

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Format: I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of this review in any way.

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400She’s with the band, whether she likes it or not.

Victoria Mahler is the sixteen-year-old only daughter of rocker Micky Wayne, whose band, Dusty Moon, took the world by storm when Micky was just a teenager. The band broke up under mysterious circumstances, but, after years spent off the road being a mom, Micky’s solo career is finally starting to take off.

When an offer to tour Japan falls into her mom’s lap, Vic is left to spend the summer under the care of her distant grandmother, and without her built-in best friend. Fortunately, a boy with a secret geek side and a group of feminist game-makers save the season, and Vic starts to see herself as her own person, out from under her mother’s shadow.

But when Micky finally comes home — with a poorly chosen boyfriend in tow — all bets are off. Will Vic be able to maintain her newfound sense of self amidst the building thunder of Micky’s second chance at stardom? And through it all, will Micky still really be her best friend?

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998Under the Dusty Moon had so much going for it – an interesting plot, a setting in Canada, promises of a mother/daughter relationship, and classic rock inspired music. All four things I love and need more of in a contemporary. But this one took a weird direction somewhere and it didn’t work out in the way I hoped it would.

My main problem with this book is that I hated Vic. She’s whiny, mean, and inconsiderate. All that really matters to her is her potential boyfriend, who I did not find attractive at all. All of her descriptions of him were slimy and kind of gross. He’s not the typical beautiful boy with passions and a super hot look. Instead, he is just the average guy. But in making him the ‘average guy,’ I didn’t care about him. I didn’t understand why Vic fell for the guy, why she loved him (in a couple weeks time), and why he should take up so much of the story. I felt like he was only there to add to the tension of her mother’s popularity, something that frustrated me. I love romances in books, so I would’ve been okay if that was what had happened during the story, but this one didn’t work out. If your love interest is an average guy, I still want him described as amazing! Give me some quality that makes him attractive! Anything!

Micky was a really cool character and a fun mother. She’s been in a band for a long time, and I liked the little bits of information we get about the band and their relationship. Now, she’s going solo and is back to touring. I was excited for her, but Vic was not. She cried all the time about her mother leaving her, but ALL she ever talks/thinks about is her mom too. If you want her to not be popular, quit bringing it up! Their relationship isn’t the Gilmore Girls like relationship I was expecting. Micky really tries to be a good mother and I sympathized with her, but Victoria was a brat. She steals from her mom and gets drunk and doesn’t really pay attention to anything. Because her mother is a musician.

Overall, none of these characters really made sense. As a contemporary book, it needs to thrive off the characters and all of them fell flat. I didn’t care for the romance, got annoyed by the mother/daughter relationship, and was all too excited to be done reading from Victoria’s perspective. The writing wasn’t too bad, but I think there could be some improvement before I try another book by Sutherland.

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Confess by Colleen Hoover Review


Confess by Colleen Hoover

Published Atria 2015

Genre: New Adult Romance

Format: Kindle ebook

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998I love contemporary and I’ve read a ton of YA contemporary/romances over the years. However, I have never really adventured into the new adult genre. I decided to start here, with some Colleen Hoover, because I’ve heard that she is the queen of new adult! I had some mixed feelings on this, but I’ll be for sure reading more and continuing to explore this genre.

Auburn and Owen are really sweet together. Auburn is a typical girl, but I really enjoyed her backstory. I don’t want to spoiler anything about her confession or anything, but she does have some secrets to be revealed! Auburn is a great female lead and I found her very relatable. She’s hard working and I admired her resilience. Owen is much less focused as compared to Auburn, but still has his own set of goals and values that lead him through life. I was also pretty surprised by his big confession. Colleen Hoover is very good at keeping things a secret and dropping NO hints!

Their interactions are super fun! They have some banter, but it isn’t a really obnoxious banter that is drawn out throughout the entire book. There is some insta-love, so I did take off a star for that, especially because they understand how they are both in love with each other after like a week? A little too fast for me and I would have liked more development between them. Everything moved a lot faster in their romance than in a typical YA romance, which is really the only big difference from YA in this book. I’m sure other books have more than this one, but I feel like this is good to start with if you are bridging from YA to NA.

Overall, I liked this book. I don’t really have much to compare it on because this is my first New Adult book. I was pleased with it, but I still wanted some more buildup on the romance and some more quirky characters. I’ll be reading more from CoHo though and keep trying more NA!

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Discussion: My Perfect Historical Fantasy Book


Today continues in my new feature, talking about what makes my perfect book in a particular genre! I did fantasy one a while ago and this past month, followed it up with supernatural. Going in line with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I am now talking about what my perfect historical fiction book just HAS to have.

  1. A new take on a time period. I’m all up for some time periods (give me WW2 for days!), but I want to see different perspectives from them. This includes different sides of the war, different social classes, different genders. Whatever it might be, I want it to be distinctive from all the other books in that time period. Or, taking on a whole new one!
  2. Being grounded in a LOT of history. I tend to prefer my history with gobbles of history. In fact, my preferred way is if the book is actually a retelling of some sort or a little-known story from a time period. Seeing the research that went into building the character is really fun, especially if I know that it is realistic. Nothing worse than an unrealistic setting.
  3. Characters that fit into their time period. If anything messes these books up, it’s characters that don’t really fit into their time period. And I’m not saying they all have to fall into the gender/society rules for their period, but some phrases of dialogue maybe didn’t exist yet. Or a romance moves WAY too quickly than would have been socially acceptable.
  4. A world that doesn’t get TOO big. There’s so much history! And it gets crazy when they jump around time periods in time travel books, especially too often. It’s crazy – focus on something! Or, even without that, just a little small town thing could be fine. I feel like it should be really narrowed in onto a certain place or time..
  5. A good plot. Obviously, critical for any story. But especially so here. Otherwise, it reads like a nonfiction book! I see a lot of romance/contemporary issues or mysteries in historical fiction and those are really fun. But I still want it to hold up against other plots.

So that’s it! The five things that I want to see in the perfect historical fiction book. Here are a few of my personal favorites that rank pretty close to this:

The Book Thief   Elephant Run   The Help   Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)   Between Shades of Gray

And now, a couple on my TBR list that I want to live up to my perfect historical fiction novels:

Vengeance Road   Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1)    The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)   The Luxe (Luxe, #1)   Out of the Easy

What makes up your perfect historical fiction novel? Any recommendations?


Waiting on Wednesday: Into the Dim


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each week, we pick new, unreleased books. This week, I have:

Into the Dim (Into the Dim, #1)

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

To be published March 1 2016

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.      Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail,Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

So I haven’t read Outlander yet…but I know the idea of it is right up my alley! I think this one sounds really good at combining historical fiction elements (big fan!) with some fantasy, which I am slowly working my way into more. Anyway,  I can’t wait to pick it up!


Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Settings

top ten tuesday key

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is all about historical fiction – favorite settings, books, whatever! I’ve decided to talk about ten time periods and locations where I would love to read a historical fiction set. These books don’t even have to be YA, but that would be fun too. Here they are:

  1. Imperial Russia. What I’m talking about here is some of the stories that we’ve all heard about – Moscow, Peter the Great, Anastasia. There are a few books I know of that are set in Russia, but none that have really nailed it so far.
  2. Pre-Colonial America. Something about Native Americans that is historically accurate and set before any Europeans arrive! I think it would be fascinating to read about a story set in their culture, without the arrival of colonists (where most historical fictions here are set).
  3. Imperial China. Just very old-age China, once again, maybe before Europeans came. They have such a rich culture too that could have so many different perspectives.
  4. Gold Rush-era West. I know Vengeance Road played on this one a little bit, but more!
  5. Vikings. Vikings are great. That’s it.
  6. Roman Empire. I love classics, so hearing about something set in Rome would be really cool.
  7. African Colonization. I’m not entirely sure what I meant here, but I read Things Fall Apart last year which was all about an African tribe being affected by colonists. So, anywhere really? I’m not totally familiar with this region’s history, but I really loved that book and would be up for more like it.
  8. Space. – Obviously, space isn’t really a time period! But, space race?
  9. Medieval France. – Maybe this is just because I’ve been binge-watching Reign lately, but I love that time period and would love to see some more palace drama.
  10. Renaissance Italy. – It’s a time period practically ingrained in us with all the glorious art and stories of rival artists.

Those are some of what I’m thinking! There are so many regions and time periods to explore though. What are some places that you would love to go (fictionally)?


February TBR

Another month, another TBR! February is a shorter month, so I’m only expecting to read about six books this month. My TBR list is actually a little longer though, just to give me some room to pick from lots of options! Here are the eight books that are my priorities for February:

Charlie, Presumed Dead    Trust Me, I'm Lying (Trust Me, #1)     In Real Life     Valhalla

My Rebellion Checklist    The Moor's Account     Humans of New York     I Was Here

  1. Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel – I have been waiting for this book to come out for a really long time. It’s a YA mystery/thriller.
  2. Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer – This is another mystery book, I believe, and I love the idea of having an unreliable narrator.
  3. In Real Life by Lawrence Tabak – I received a copy of this book to read from the publisher!
  4. Valhalla by Ari Bach – I have seen some good reviews for this and I am trying to branch more into sci-fi because I love it so much when I do read it.
  5. My Rebellion Checklist by Susan Soares – This is another book I was able to receive from the publisher!
  6. The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami – This book is carrying over from my January TBR. I didn’t actually get my hands on it until the end of the month, so I wanted to keep it around for February.
  7. Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton – I am trying to read about one nonfiction book per month and this was my pick after following his Facebook page for a while.
  8. I Was Here by Gayle Forman – Last year, Gayle Forman came in at my number one favorite book of the year! I’m hoping to find another great story here.

What do you hope to read this month?