January Wrap Up

First month of the reading year is down! I had a great reading month, an okay month personally, and I’m overall just ready for February. Let’s see what I read this past month:

Bright Young Things by Anna GodbersenHeads in Beds by Jacob TomskyWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John GreenOedipus Rex by Sophocles

Rebel Belle by Rachel HawkinsRuin and Rising by Leigh BardugoPeaches (Peaches, #1)

My favorite book of the month is Rebel Belle! I loved this book so much and it’s one of my new favorites.

Bookish Bingo Update:

beginning 2015 bingo

Start a series – Bright Young Things

LGBTQIA – Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Free spot

Over 400 pages – Ruin and Rising

Romance – Peaches

2014 release you missed – Rebel Belle

Based on mythology – Oedipus Rex

Male POV – Heads in Beds

Challenges Update:

Back to the Classics Challenge – Completed the classic play challenge, 1/12 classics

New Author Challenge – Read 4/25 new to me authors

Prequel and Sequel Challenge – 2/30 points (for Ruin and Rising)

7/60 Books Read

2156/18000 Pages Read

Favorite Songs of the Month:




What were your favorites of the month? How are your 2015 reading challenges coming?

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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo Review

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #3)

Published Henry Holt and Co 2014

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Format: Hardback

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998There were parts of this book I really enjoyed and then again, some parts I really did not like.

Things I Liked: This was actually a pretty good conclusion of the series. I didn’t feel like any of the plot holes were left open. All of the characters like Alina, Mal, and the Darkling made SO MUCH character development over the series of three books. I liked Alina’s development the most, plus we get to feel a little bit more sympathy as we learn about the Darkling’s past in this book. It was also consistently action packed – there was always something happening. After reading some series’ conclusions recently that ended with them sitting in a cave waiting for something to happen, I liked how they went out into the world and back on the adventures that had led them in the first two books. The twist on the mythology and overall, just all of the crazy twists, were really great. They added something to the book that it probably would’ve missed without them. The final battle between Alina and the Darkling was well worth everything. Unlike other series, it was well built up to and lasted for a while. That scene was probably my favorite of the entire novel.

Things I Didn’t Like: The Mal/Alina romance. I’ve had some struggles with it from the beginning of the series, however it didn’t get any better in this book. Plus, I’m kind of getting tired of the way the couple’s relationship develops over the trilogies. It always seems like they go through the same relationship steps…Other than that, there was nothing in this book that really made me feel anything. Of course, I was sad to let this series go because I have been reading it for a while, but I didn’t care in the end. I wasn’t – at any point – emotional. I don’t have to cry or swoon or get angry or happy while reading every book, but I wanted this book to emotionally grab me more than it did. Also, it dragged in the middle. I kept waiting for something as they made their way through the wilderness, but for 100-something pages, it just got a little tedious.

Overall, I was pretty split on this book. I thought it was overall a good conclusion to this trilogy, but I wish there was a little bit more emotional attachment involved and the book was faster paced. I’m looking forward to reading Leigh Bardugo’s next series!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Want to Read With My Book Club

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is ten books we would want to read with our book club if we had one! I’m not a member of any, but I’d really like to be in a discussion group for classic books, especially because there are so many interpretations and I feel like I’m missing something with just my perspectives. Or even just some books with huge topics. Here are my top ten books I’d want to read for some great discussion, both classics and contemporaries and modern day bestsellers!

Fahrenheit 451Gone GirlThe Miseducation of Cameron Post

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)The Ocean at the End of the Lane2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1)Lolita

Tell the Wolves I'm HomeWater for ElephantsPersuasion

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – I’ve always enjoyed Ray Bradbury’s writing style and I want to read this book of his!
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Of course, the hype is so huge with this book and the movie. I need to see what it’s all about, with the support of my book club to push me to the end.
  3. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth – This covers some important contemporary topics that I would like to see some more opinions on.
  4. A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin – Another super popular one! I’d really need motivation to get through it.
  5. The Ocean of the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – I don’t know too much about it, but I’ve heard lots of good things.
  6. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke – This one really intrigues me (mostly just to see where the world was predicted to be 14 years ago).
  7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – Probably one of the strangest classic novels, but it would be fun to read in a group.
  8. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt – I haven’t heard much about this one either but I love the cover!
  9. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – This is a movie as well, so maybe the club could do a book/movie type event!
  10. Persuasion by Jane Austen – I need to read some more Austen…

What books do you want to read in your book club? Any that I have too?

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Those Beautiful Gowns – Book Cover Inspired Prom Looks

It’s almost that time of year again – prom season! I love looking at all the pretty dresses, even the ones that are really expensive and out of my price range. And since there are so many books with beautiful dresses on the covers, I decided to play a little game of matchup to find prom dresses inspired by some of my favorite book cover dresses.

prince collage

Based on the cover of Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? by Ella Martin

I love this yellow dress! The color is really fun, plus it reminds me a little of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. You can find the dress here.

something college

Based on the cover of Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

I really love the Victorian, elegant vibe of this dress. The black also looks really sharp and chic – perfect for fighting zombies! Or dancing. Find this dress here.

stars Collage

Based on the cover of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

One of my favorite things about the cover’s dress is the really interesting neckline, so I like how this dress keeps that look! The colors are also a beautiful shade of blue. It would look beautiful with the space background. You can find this dress here.

sweet evil collage

Based on the cover of Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

I love this series and the beautiful dresses so much! I really like the mermaid look with the deep red color, something that comes through in this prom dress. You can find it here.

the one collage

Based on the cover of The One by Kiera Cass

And another series with beautiful dresses taking the lead! I love her white dress and the intricate pattern on the bottom. You can find this dress here.

I had so much fun with this! While I couldn’t get exactly with these covers, I tried to keep the general style and what I really loved most about them.

What are some of your favorite dress covers? Do you wish you could have any of those dresses in real life? Because I definitely do!

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Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins Review

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle #1)

Published Putnam 2014

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Format: Hardback from the library

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998I had so much fun reading this book. I could not put it down until I finished, and now I really need the sequel. My immediate reaction a la Twitter:

Harper is a Southern belle to the heart and I loved her character so much. She’s fiesty and fun, but has a really girly part of her. I liked all the Southern traditions from Cotillion and the little tea shops. While Harper does care about her looks and her social life, I liked how much she respected her job with her newfound powers. She doesn’t freak out, but fights back constantly. That mix added a great layer to the book. Also, I actually really enjoyed the love triangle in the book. David was really adorable and one of my new favorite book boyfriends. Ryan is also a really good candidate. The love triangle never extends itself to become a major issue and is resolved in the course of the one book. I’m glad we have a resolution though so we can have more cute, couple-y moments in the next books!

The action and fantasy elements were really sharp. All of the action scenes were described really well so I could easily follow along with what was happening in my head. There aren’t too many, but when they do happen, they are awesome! I also enjoyed all the mythology/fantasy that was involved in the world building. It wasn’t complex and didn’t take long to establish most of it. While there are a few details that were probably left for resolution in the next books, but that was okay. It wasn’t too complex, so readers who are just wanting to start reading some light fantasy would really enjoy this one!

Overall, I LOVED this book. It was super fun and everything I was looking for. I haven’t had that emotional rush during/after reading a book in a long time. I can’t wait to pick up the next book when it comes out!

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Teaser Tuesday: Rebel Belle

TeaserTuesdays2014e

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly post where I open a book I’m currently reading to a random page, share two teaser sentences, and post them here! This is hosted by Should Be Reading.

And even though I’m currently reading Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (but that is the third book in the Grisha trilogy and therefore the whole book is a spoiler for the first two), I’ve decided to tease my last read and favorite book I’ve read in a long time:

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins “Leaning against the giant four poster bed, I clasped my hands behind my back. ‘Can I say something insane?'”

Seriously, friends, pick up this book. My review will be up soon!

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan Review

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Published Dutton Books 2010

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Format: Paperback from the library

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers are about to cross paths. From that moment on, their world will collide and Iives intertwine.

It’s not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chiacago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old – including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire – Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most awesome high school musical.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998Will Grayson x2 saved me from a reading slump and for that, I am forever grateful. Or at least, my reading goals as they stand right now.

Going into this book, I was mostly hoping to like John Green. I’ve read TFiOS and thought it was okay, but I’ve never been able to finish any of his other books. However, I love David Levithan’s books. They have a really quirky, witty humor that I enjoy. I was hoping that mashing together an author I loved with an author I hope to love would help me try to pick up some more of Green’s books. And this book delivered. I’m reconsidering…any suggestions of your favorite John Green book?

Anyway, Will Grayson should really be titled, Tiny Cooper. He’s almost the heart and soul of this book. Without him, there would be none of this novel. While it does contain a very interesting segment about how the Will Graysons met (which I would love to meet someone with my same name), they stay together because of Tiny Cooper. And not really even together. They just both have a mutual friend, but I would not consider the two Will Graysons to be friends at all. In that case, I found the summary to be a little bit misleading, but I liked the characters enough not to care.

Will Grayson (the first) was really witty and like a classic high school boy. He’s shifting friend groups at the beginning of the novel and trying to figure out his relationship with a girl named Jane. Of the two perspectives, I enjoyed his more. The other Grayson was extremely pessimistic and was not very fun to read. Thankfully, Tiny Cooper balanced him out. Will Grayson (the second) was struggling with so much, something I didn’t expect considering the general fluffiness of the rest of the book. Tiny Cooper’s play was so over the top and so crazy but I loved it. While it was a little bit far fetched, it was fun and light. The only part that brought the book down for me was the second Will Grayson.

I enjoyed the writing, but I actually liked Green’s part more than Levithan’s. Like I said, Will Grayson (the second) was very pessimistic and depressed. I’m typically okay with reading about these types of characters, but I wasn’t expecting that for this story. It took me a little out of the world with his overwhelming sadness. I often found myself skimming those chapters to get back to the other Grayson.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked more Grayson than the other. Tiny Cooper played a bigger role than I expected as well. It seemed like both a realistic, sad contemporary and a happy, fluffy contemporary and the mix didn’t always work for me.

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