Recommend A…Book That Kept You Up All Night

Today’s Recommend A is for the book that kept you up all night. My pick for this is The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. 

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her-East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

This book is long, but kept me up into all hours of the night to finish it! It catches you from the first page and keeps you hanging until the last, when you will want to jump right onto Never Fade, the sequel. 

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Blood Red Road by Moira Young Review

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)

Summary: Saba lives in Silverlake, a wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms where her family scavenge from landfills left by the long-gone Wrecker civilization. After four cloaked horsemen kidnap her beloved twin brother Lugh, she teams up with daredevil Jack and the Free Hawks, a girl gang of Revolutionaries. 

Saba learns that she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Saba and her new friends stage a showdown that change the course of her civilization.


Review: I actually read this book a while ago, but I wasn’t sure how to approach this review. This book was a large book, somewhere around 400 pages. A lot happened in those four hundred pages – every page was packed with action and character development. It was almost overwhelming with everything happening in the book. 

Saba is a strong female character, literally strong. She is the most Katniss-like character I have seen in a female character. If it was Saba vs. Katniss in a fight, Saba might even pull of the win. She is not only physically strong, but mentally as well. She is smart and cunning, a good decision maker, strong willed. Everything about her is likable, but she also has such a strong front that it may seem a little hard to connect with her for the first few pages. Saba really is a character to desire to be like. Even to the way she deals with her love interest is admirable. Loved, loved this character!! 

The action is so well paced and plotted out. Everything is exciting and fun. There is no scene that feels boring or used as a filler scene. The book is long, but never boring. Everything is very well written, from all the fight scenes to the beautiful descriptions of the barren desert they fight their way through. It’s really fun to read about. I would compare it to The Darkest Minds or Hunger Games in action. 

The writing style is a little awkward to read. It is written like The Knife of Never Letting Go, in Southern speak with misspelled words and bad grammar. It does add to the story, but sometimes can get a little hard to read. Eventually, it just seems natural, but I suggest reading certain scenes aloud if you can’t understand them. It really does fit Saba’s character, especially seeing their lifestyle and conditions. 

Overall, this book was a super fun read! I highly suggest it to any fans of action packed dystopias. 

5/5 Stars

Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell Review

Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries #2)

Summary: Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she’s finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream. 


This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country “sparrow”—as Samantha Jones dubs her—to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

With her signature wit and sparkling humor, Candace Bushnell reveals the irresistible story of how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of New York City’s most unforgettable icons, Carrie Bradshaw.

Review: The last book in Carrie’s prequel duology was not as good as the first. The Carrie Diaries was a fun book about Carrie’s high school struggles. This one fell short from the first one in a lot of ways. The actual writing was not changed at all. Most of the problems came from Carrie’s decisions in the book that really do not make sense with her character. 

The first major problem that I had was with her love interest. He was not a very likable character and the entire book I hated him. Carrie spends most of her time obsessing over him though, making him a major character. It was really hard to read those scenes. It also seemed kind of strange that she would be with someone like that after just having been through everything with Sebastian – who is maybe mentioned a whole of two times in the entire book. 

The second problem that I had was just with Carrie’s character in general. Her decisions all seem very risky and wild. I understand the thrill that comes with New York City life, but she really doesn’t have her career in mind at all when she comes. She misses so many opportunities in the city to make her dream come true for her friends and boyfriend. There are other ways that the story could have been taken to actually make Carrie a successful writer, someone who really shows talent. Then again, I have never read the original Sex and The City books, so maybe this was done for a reason. I don’t really know. 

That being said, I loved the minor characters. Miranda was such a good compliment to Carrie. L’il’s story was unique and interesting. Samantha really helped Carrie to grow throughout the book. Capote and Ryan were both interesting characters, both together and separate. I like that we got to catch up with Maggie, Walt, and Dorrit, but they do all just fade away. The plot was also a good concept, but got distracted with all the minor characters and Carrie’s bad decisions. 

Overall, this book was fun and a good light read. It was nothing too special, but I do suggest the first book in the series to fans of SATC or The Carrie Diaries television show. 

2.5/5 Stars 

Friday Reads: January 24

Hey everyone! So today is the first in a new series on my blog, Friday Reads. I know some other bloggers do this, but I just wanted to keep you updated with what I am reading each and every Friday, as well as my hopes for reading accomplishments this weekend.

Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries #2) Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell is what I am currently reading right now. It’s super fun and is really making me want the summertime back!

Enclave (Razorland, #1) Enclave by Ann Aguirre – This is a super short paperback, so I am sure I can finish it quickly.

Wanderlove Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard – Another short paperback, plus I will finish my January TBR with this one!!

That’s all for this weekend! Let me know what you are planning to read in the comments.

A to Z Bookish Survey

AtoZsurvey

I’ve seen a couple of other book blogs do this, so I decided to join in! This was created by Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner.

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Sara Shepard – at 16 books. Then Cassandra Clare and Rick Riordan at 11 and 9, respectively. 

Best Sequel Ever:

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. No explanation needed, that book is pure epicness from cover to cover.

Currently Reading:

Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll 

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Apple cider. I know, weird, right?

E-reader or Physical Book?

Physical book, all the way! I do have a Kindle Fire, but it sits on the shelf more than I use it.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Percy Jackson. Because he’s so adorable and he would probably fit in really well with my friends. 

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. 

Hidden Gem Book:

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Finding Booktube. It showed me how many books there were and really changed my perspectives on reading.

Just Finished:

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Well – erotica, obviously. Other than that, I’ll pretty much read whatever. 

Longest Book You’ve Read:

The Iliad/The Odyssey/The Aeneid by Homer/Virgil – 1648 pages

Major book hangover because of:

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Number of Bookcases You Own:

3. They are more like boxes and I double stack them though…

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. 

Preferred Place To Read:

In bed…also, on the floor.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.” – Catching Fire

Reading Regret:

Not reading The Hunger Games the first time I saw it. I waited an entire year after.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I’m on book two – Frostbite.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

Catching Fire, Just One Day, Forgive Me Leonard Peacock

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. Seriously, we need a bigger fandom!

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Cress by Marissa Meyer. See above.

Worst Bookish Habit:

Umm…library fines…yeah, they get pretty bad.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson.

Your latest book purchase:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Classics Book Club: An Introduction/February’s Pick

Many of you may have made some reading goals and I, for one, have seen many people wanting to read more classics! Including me. Classics are important to the way we read. Too often, I find myself stuck in a young adult rut with no other books to read. A few years ago, I was only reading dystopians. But classics are important to push the boundaries in which we read. 
Therefore – I have decided to start The Classics Book Club! 
Every month, I will be picking a classic book that we will read. The majority of this will be conduced on the Goodreads group, which you can join here! 
For January (I know, a little late) we will be reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll! I will have a review up for both of these books soon. 
In February, we will finally get to reading a book together, not at the super last minute. So, for those of you who wanted to get started buying or reading or making a tbr or whatever else you may do, it will be Aesop’s Fables by Aesop. The discussion will be hosted on a Goodreads forum, another reason to join the group. 
I hope you all will join this book club and learn more about classic literature!

Just One Day by Gayle Forman Review

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

Summary (via Goodreads): When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.


Review: THIS BOOK! Was so good. Like incredibly good. I’m not really sure how to describe it – a feel good book? Not really. There was nothing incredibly mushy or heartwarming about it, but it still had an overall feeling of hope. It wasn’t incredibly sad or happy. It was just like life. And that was beautiful. 

Allyson can relate to many people. She’s the classic girl – not one created by movies – a real girl with an extroverted best friend, conflicting dreams, parental troubles, and her own internal problems as she tries to fit into the world. Her double persona of Lulu lets her become the person she has been wanted to be, a person that most people respect for their crazy daringness, like the personification of YOLO. However, Allyson doesn’t always fit into this life. When she comes back to the States for college, she is faced with the dual personalities fighting for the way that she lives her life. As much as she wants this crazy part of her back, it will not come. She’s haunted by the day in Paris. This day changed her life. First, I never thought one day could change your life before I read this book. One day seemed only a span of twenty four hours. After reading, I could probably make a list of over-looked days that did change my life. And while none of them are as crazy as Allyson’s day in Paris, they still are important to the people we have all become. And then I figured – why can’t every day be that one day that changes your life? That may seem impossible, but everyday we should do something new and exciting. That was what I took the most from this story.

It’s been a while since I could really pull some type of deeper meaning from a book. Most of them, as according to the popular dystopian trend in young adult right now, focus on the same meanings of girl power and strength and heroism and self sacrifice. But after that message being pounded into my head for the past two years since The Hunger Games hit it’s peak  and the onslaught of dystopian worlds being changed by one girl, I get the message. And I know what it means – it just seems hard to truly understand that when these people are in some terribly messed up government situations fighting for their life. That’s not how I live though (and hopefully it never is). But in Just One Day, the girl and her relationships and her situations are real. They are relatable, even through the stretches of life in fiction. 

Overall, Gayle Forman nailed it with the writing. It was beautiful and flowing, with metaphors filling up every page, but not ever being thrown at the reader to understand them. The book took its reader in the direction it wanted, while letting them openly interpret, which is really how a book becomes meaningful. 

All of the locations were so well written. I could clearly see the various European locations, although I have never stepped foot on that continent. It was such a good idea of every place that they went. The characters were the same way – I felt like I knew all of them. It showed how there are good and willing people to help you wherever you go, just as they all help Allyson on her adventure to get back to Paris and Willem. 

This book is absolutely stunning. I highly suggest it! 

5/5 Stars