Friday 56: Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling

For any post here I am simply grabbing a book and turning to page 56 and choosing a couple of lines that grab my attention. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.

In honor of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling's birthday, I have decided to start off Friday 56 with a little dedication to Harry Potter!

"But at that moment, Hagrid leapt from the sofa and drew a battered pink umbrella from inside his coast. Pointing this at Uncle Vernon like a sword, he said, 'I'm warning you, Dursley - I'm warning you - one more word ...'"

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

4.5/5 Stars
Published by St. Martin's Press
Published April 12, 2012

Synopsis: Two misfits. One Extraordinary love. This story is set over the course of one school year and tells us the tale of two star-crossed sixteen year olds. Both of them smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. 

Eleanor ... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough ... Eleanor.  

Park ... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises ... Park. 

This book was absolute PERFECTION. Eleanor and Park features one of my favorite love stories because it wasn't your average everyday love story. The story is set in the 1980's, which made it fun to read in the sense that the fashion, the technology, and the lifestyle were different. What I liked the most about this story was that the main protagonists were so different from the stereotypical 'perfect' character. Eleanor was not stick thin and blonde with blue eyes. Instead, she had wild red hair and she was curvy. Eleanor had a crazy fashion sense, sticking to her own sense of individuality. She truly was a unique character and added a great sense of diversity to the ever growing list of female leads. Also, Park was half Korean, which you didn't see very often during the 80s. Rainbow Rowell was able to address the issues of racism and being 'different' by showing how those characters were affected --- especially during this specific time period.

The characters in this book had so much depth that they felt so real on the page. The romance between Eleanor and Park was exactly what you would expect a first love to be. It was awkward and quirky, but it was so pure. This book can be relatable to everyone because it deals with first loves and everyone has either had or will have their first love. It was so sad going into the book knowing that it wasn't going to work out, but it had me grinning like an idiot because they tried so hard to make it happen. It really surprised me how much the two of them were able to click together; it was like seeing two puzzle pieces finally find each other. You could feel the intensity of the emotions between them like it was oozing off of the pages.

Besides the beautiful, blossoming romance between Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell was able to address really important issues like abuse and sex. The way she went about both of these subjects was so powerful that I found myself constantly tearing up. Her wording of the different situations made you want to cheer for the characters and hope that things would end smoothly. The love between Eleanor and Park is much more complex than you would expect from two sixteen year olds, but being able to share in the development of their love was surreal.

This is a beautifully written book by Rainbow Rowell. It was heartwarming as well as heartbreaking, and had an ending that had me clutching my pillow for dear life. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to dabble in a bit of cheeky, young love romance.

Rainbow Rowell

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

4/5 Stars
Published by Dutton Juvenile 
Published April 6, 2010

Synopsis: One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens - both named Will Grayson - are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide, they each find their lives going in new and unexpected directions. Their lives build up to unforeseen romances and internal struggles; teenage identity crises and the questioning of friend loyalties. 

What a brilliant collaboration between John Green and David Levithan! Reading this book was like a breath of fresh air. The writing was edgy, raw, and offensive, but never crossing the line. Throughout the book I could not decide whether I should be cheering with glee or shrinking away in fear of the accuracy of everyday struggles. 

This book perfectly portrays the thoughts of two angsty teenage boys, who happen to both be named Will Grayson. They are ultimately trying to find themselves but instead find each other in the most unlikely - and rather quite awkward - place. I was constantly doubling over with laughter, but I could also feel my heartstrings contract due to the occasional sympathetic moments. This book was able to shine a bright light on modern day issues of homosexuality, depression, love and loss, friendship, and the ever painful self-realization. 

Will Grayson #1, or rather, John Green's Will Grayson, was definitely more relatable to me. He was the stereotypical, self-deprecating, hilarious character that John Green is infamous for, whose life motto was one, don't care and two, shut up. He had moments where he relished in valuable lessons and began to question whether his own life motto was the right one to follow. Some of my favorites include his game of ' Ten Minutes of Truth' where he just straight out defies all rules of his life to question his relationship with this girl. His best friend, Tiny Cooper, who is a 300+ pound, gay athlete who constantly challenges Will Grayson and his mindset, had me wrapped around his finger. Boy oh boy, his flamboyant and rather out there personality had me loving every moment Tiny was placed under the spotlight. He seemed to be self-absorbed and only cared for what was good for him, but he truly began to understand the meaning of friendship as the book carried along. He started to realize that his entire being was to help other people and make them feel anything other than distress.

It took me a little while to warm up to Will Grayson #2, who was written by David Levithan, but when I did I was a full fledged fan of his character. Will Grayson #2 was snarky and quick to snap if he needed to. He really made a turning point for me when he revealed the pressing details that made up his life: depression, the loss of his father, money issues, and homosexuality. It was sad to see that the poor little guy just wanted a simple break from the harsh life that he was living, so you ultimately hope that he gets it. He had a humor that was more negative, degrading, and sarcastic than WG #1, but that was the amusing part of the story. The contrasts between the two Will Graysons made it enjoyable. We watched as these two totally different boys had their lives thrown upside down as they collided that one night in Chicago. From there on the rest was history.

Overall I thought the book was brilliant. The writing was quirky and easy to fall into sync with. At times I felt as though I was living the story with them. I would begin to relate little details back to my life and that is how I began to grow a connection with these characters. This novel is remarkable for both its compassion and polished wit. Kudos to you, John Green and David Levithan.

John Green
David Levithan

Waiting on Wednesday: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Here is where I share with you my anticipation for upcoming books! This meme belongs to Breaking the Spine and I am super excited to get to participate. Please feel free to comment what books you are looking forward to as well!!

Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first. 

This is my very first Waiting on Wednesday meme so I felt the need to start off with my most anticipated book of 2015: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. 

First off, I just want to give a huge compliment to the cover. It's absolutely beautiful! After devouring the Grisha Trilogy I've been craving more of the Grisha universe and thankfully Leigh Bardugo has decided to reward us all with much more than just the existing Grisha novels. I absolutely fell in love with each character she put her heart into, so I have no doubt in my mind that I will fall in love with the ones in this series. 

Leigh's writing is so easy to be captivated by, which is how I fell so deep into the Grishaverse. You can see the love and compassion she puts into every detail which was why it was such a smooth (well I mean my emotions were like a crazy roller coaster but thats besides the point) read for me. After finishing Ruin and Rising I realized I truly had no meaning in this world and so I just let the story lather all over me. Then finally it hit me that Ruin and Rising was one of the greatest books I had read in a very long time. Even weeks after finishing it I would still constantly think about certain characters or find myself saying random quotes from the series, it was impossible to let them go. This is why I am super excited for this new series to begin! I know it will take me right back onto that emotional roller coaster and I will never get off.

Despite how far away the release is, I was able to satisfy my immediate and dire need for this book by reading the Six of Crows excerpt that was released on Valentines Day (however I am still a bit thirsty). Oh Leigh, why is the release date so far away! 

Six of Crows comes out September 29, 2015. Make sure to mark your calendars folks! This one is definitely a must read!

Talon (The Talon Saga #1) by Julie Kagawa

2.5/5 Stars
Published by Harlequin Teen
Published October 28, 2014

Synopsis: Long ago dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a society of legendary dragonslayers. The dragons of Talon have spent generations hiding amongst the humans and adapting to their mundane ways, becoming cunning and strong, wise and devious. Ember and Dante Hill are the only known brother and sister to dragonkind. They are transferred to Crescent Beach, California and are expected to assimilate in order to complete their training. Ember wants to enjoy her last summer of freedom before finally taking her place in Talon's rankings. However, her relaxing vacation is cut short when a rogue begins to challenge everything Ember has been taught about Talon. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George. 

What I found extraordinarily interesting about this book was that it covered a different topic than most YA novels nowadays. I have not seen a book about dragons since Eragon by Christopher Paolini back in 2006. The cover is brilliantly designed to resemble that of a dragon scale and is deep red to represent the dragon in the story. I was immediately attracted to this book.

Julie Kagawa did an excellent job in creating this universe as I could see the potential in every little aspect. Kagawa has impressed me endlessly with her Iron Fey series so I eager to delve into this. 

What I especially enjoyed about this story was the brother/sister relationship between Ember and Dante. I loved watching Ember lose sight of their overall goal and Dante getting her right back on track. Dante was constantly looking out for her and protecting her. Ember also never forgot about Dante. When she was making quick decisions she always thought about him first before anyone else; she always thought about the consequences. I also really enjoyed the background information on Talon, the dragon headquarters. Kagawa gave us a little bit of insight on the rankings of Talon and the job titles that are given out, which made me crave even more. I would love to learn about Basilisks and Chameleons, which I'm hoping will be revealed in Rogue. I also have many questions on how humans became involved with dragon relations, which is another reason why I continued on reading.

The one thing that mainly bothered me was that this book dragged on for quite a while. There was little to no action in this and for my taste definitely not enough character building. Ember Hill, in my opinion, barely expanded or grew throughout the whole of the story. She remained stubborn and hard-headed, and too easily blinded by her love for this boy that she could not see the truth in the relationship. Throughout the story she kept forgetting her true roots as a DRAGON and fell too much under the category of a stereotypical teenage, HUMAN girl --- and that was the main conflict throughout the plot. It wasn't the problem about the dragon hunters or the crazy trainer, it was the problem that she was so caught in between the life as a dragon and the life as a human. Along with this there was an unnecessary love triangle, which felt a little forced at times. 

The side characters were a bit more interesting and better developed than the leading female role, which definitely made up for Ember's lack of depth. For example, I really enjoyed learning more about Dante and what he thought about Talon. The one character that I felt really saved this story for me was Riley/Cobalt. He was introduced as the Rogue who was looking for Ember and was hoping to make her turn her back against Talon. Each part with him was infused with fire and bit more life than the other parts that dreaded onwards about the romance between Ember and Garrett.

Despite a couple offsets, I did find myself rooting for the romances to blossom and I did find myself holding on to some characters. Julie Kagawa knows how write a story and produced a new and definitely different plot from all the other YA novels out there, she just did not write the exhilarating adventures I so hoped this book would have. Hopefully Rogue (The Talon Saga #2) will change my mind.

Julie Kagawa

Where To Find The Book:

Book Depository

Book Boyfriend: Noah Shaw from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

I have seen many participate in this, specifically Reading Lark and so I decided I would give it a shot! Every monday I'll post a new favorite. Here are my book boyfriends!

For my very first book boyfriend, I decided I would choose the infamous Noah Shaw from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

My word, this boy is described to be the dreamiest boy alive. He is British, so he has that cute accent that makes all the girls melt, AND he has grey-blue eyes. He's describe to be lazy and sloppily put together, but he obviously uses to that to his advantage since he is quite the popular lad.

Noah Shaw is such a charismatic character. His personality and the way he carries himself really gets to me. Plus, the way he acts around Mara (his love interest) is completely different from the way he is around other people. All of a sudden he is attentive, sympathetic, and protective. Noah stuck around Mara despite all the attempts she took at pushing him away all throughout the series, which is a quality I really admire in him.

My Noah Shaw Fancast:
Daniel Sharman from Teen Wolf - YES PLEASE!

Some of my favorite Noah Shaw quotes:

1. “You're the girl who called me an asshole the first time we spoke. The girl who tried to pay for lunch even after you learned I have more money than God. You're the girl who risked her ass to save a dying dog, who makes my chest ache whether you're wearing green silk or ripped jeans. You're the girl that I--" Noah stopped, then took a step closer to me. "You are my girl.”

2. “Je t'aime. Aujourd'hui. Ce soir. Demain. Pour toujours. Si je vivais mille ans, je t'appartiendrais pour tous. Si je vivais mille vies, je te ferais mienne dans chacune d'elles. I love you. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever. If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If I were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.” 

3. “You can't hurt me the way you think you can. But even if you could? I would rather die with the taste of you on my tongue than live and never touch you again. I'm in love with you, Mara. I love you. No matter what you do.”

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

4/5 Stars
Published by Little, Brown Company
Publication Date: December 1, 2009

Synopsis: Sixteen year old Ethan Wate, who lives in small Gatlin, South Carolina, has been counting down the days and hours until he can finally leave. Ethan lives at home with his recluse father and his heavily superstitious house keeper Amma. Worst part of all is that Ethan is being haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. Nothing ever really happens in Gatlin, it has been the same regime ever since he could remember. The same friends, the same teachers, the same families and their carbon-copy descendants all with the same mindset. However, all of that changes when Lena Duchannes moves into the towns most infamous and oldest plantation. She is strange and unlike anyone in town, and is struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted the family for generations. Ethan is immediately drawn to her and determined to uncover the truth between their strange connection. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

What really drew me in to reading this story was the cover art. I found it to be an eye catcher with the dark background and the bright text. Plus, the praise at the back of the book made me more eager to devour it. "A hauntingly delicious dark fantasy" - Cassandra Clare (who happens to be one of my absolute FAVORITE authors) 

At the beginning of the book, I found the slow pace to be refreshing. They gave time to establish the town and the characters in it, developing this lovely setting. To me, the slow pace made it an even more interesting read. The development of this world was absolutely magnificent and I truly enjoyed how the plot was unraveled. 

What I found really invigorating was that it was told from the point of view of a guy! There aren't many YA novels out there that are told from the perspective of the male lead. Ethan Wate is a strong willed character, but very lovable. He gives up his routine life and changes it up a bit when Lena (who I adore) moves to town. He throws away his normal group of friends, he defies his guardian, and his ever-changing outlook on small Gatlin, South Carolina intensifies. Ethan is definitely one of my favorite male characters in a novel.

Along with this male lead comes another strong female role. Lena Duchannes spends her entire time in Gatlin fighting for herself. There are times where she finds the girls at Jackson High School to be rude and unruly, but is able to contain herself and not bend to their expectations. I truly felt a connection to Lena merely because despite being viewed as an outcast, she was still able to trot through everyday with hope. I feel as though this occurs as a problem in everyone's lives at some point. 

The narrative was absolutely brilliant. It was written exceptionally well with very good detail and had me craving more. There were some scenes where I just could not believe what I was reading and scenes where I wanted to hold these characters close and never let them go. This book did open up a lot of different twists and turns; I certainly was not expecting it to end like it did.

The single problem I had with this book was that it was very long and I feel that the rest of the series may drag on. However I have hope that these two authors will be able to pull it off. 

In all I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of Ethan and Lena and cannot wait to start Beautiful Darkness!

Beautiful Creatures Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Contact Info

Find me on:  Twitter   Tumblr   Goodreads

About Me

Hello! My name is Lillie and I am here to give just a brief background on my life!

I am currently attending a performing arts school and am entering my senior year! I am a dance major who dabbles a bit in musical theater. I enjoy participating in extracurricular activities such as softball. I've been a very avid reader since I was young a child and have thankfully taken that hobby with me all throughout middle and high school. Reading has been a way to escape my everyday life and immerse myself in a world that is completely mine to imagine.

As to why my blog's name is 'Little Lillie Reads,' my nickname when I was growing up was Lil Lil, for Little Lillie, so I just decided to bring that back - plus it has a nice ring to it.

I mostly read books in the young adult, fantasy, and dystopian genre, but I do also enjoy reading paranormal, contemporary, historical fiction, and mystery/thrillers.

Happy reading!