August Wrap Up!

Tomorrow marks the start of September, my birthday month! Woop woop, I'm proud to say I read EIGHT books this month!



I have successfully conquered:

1. The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey

2. The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey

3. The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

4. The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

5. The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass

6. Playlist For The Dead by Michelle Falkoff

7. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

SIX of these just so happened to be on my August TBR, so I'm going to give myself a pat on the back. Here's to September!

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas


4/5 Stars
Published by Bloosmbury Children's Books
Published August 7, 2012

Synopsis: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. She's bored stiff by her court life, but things get more interesting when the princes starts to show interest in her ... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead ... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? 

Wowza! This book was amazing! I've seen tons and tons of hype surrounding Sarah J. Maas' books, so I finally decided to pick up this beauty and it was not a mistake. This is a fast-paced thriller, and does not fail to keep you on the edge of your seat. It was so easy to lose track of time while reading this book --- I would pick it up at seven, then all of a sudden it was two in the morning! This happened simply because Sarah J. Maas' writing was so elaborate, yet so easy to fall into.

There were many things that I enjoyed about this book, but first let's discuss the characters. I really enjoyed how much depth was put into them. There were tons of layers underneath that one outer layer that these characters mainly portrayed. Celaena Sardothien, the main character of this story, is an amazing female lead. She is super intelligent and analytical, almost like June Iparis from Legend by Marie Lu, very independent and stubborn, yet you can see that she craves a real friendship. I found it very interesting that despite her profession as an assassin, she really proves to be more than just her career --- she is caring and develops a deep bond with those around her. Also, Dorian and Chaol (deep sigh), were so beautifully established. I especially enjoyed watching Chaol's reserved personality begin to open up to Celaena. I really liked Dorian and his childish, yet sophisticated anitcs, but I really fell for Chaol. There is just something so raw about his character that is yet to be developed, but there are so many twinges of giddiness in him that makes me want to hug him.

The plot was so exquisitely developed and the world holds so much potential for more building in the future of this series, so I am super excited! This book was so action-packed and filled to the brim with life, I'm truly left in awe of how amazing it was. Sarah J. Maas features multiple POV's in this story and, like I've said before, I love reading from different point of views. She does an excellent job of making you feel what the character is describing and making you hold onto every last bit of detail. There were times where I had to stop and think about what was happening and had to analyze the characters, because each of their personalities were so different, but that really moved the plot along.

There were so many pros to this book and I really recommend this to anyone in a dire need of a good fantasy novel. I also recommend it to anyone who is a romance geek, because the budding romance in this story is one to keep an eye on! Definitely cannot wait to start the other books in the series, I've already bought Crown of Midnight, so I'm eager to get started!

Queen of Shadows, the FOURTH installment of the Throne of Glass series is released September 1, 2015, so you better get cracking on this series!


Friday 56: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas



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.

Woohoo! First week of senior year over and done with! Here's to a good weekend!

I just started Throne of Glass last night and I am completely hooked, so I decided, since the book is already in my hands, to use this as today's Friday 56!


"He leaned against a table, a hand still on his sword. At least one of them remembered that they were alone together in the library. "Reading is a bit out of fashion, I'm afraid." 
"Yes, well - more for me to read, then."
"Read? These belong to the king." 
"It's a library, isn't it?" 
"It's the king's property, and you aren't of noble blood. You need permission from either him or the prince." 
"I highly doubt either would notice the loss of a few books."
Chaol sighed. "It's late. I'm hungry."
"So? " she said. He growled and practically dragged her from the library." 

Harry Potter #4: Would you rather be locked in a room with Voldemort or Bellatrix?

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a weekly meme created by Uncorked Thoughts. Each week there is a new question about Harry Potter and all you must do is answer the question! This is an excellent way to keep the celebration of Harry Potter alive.




Would you rather be locked in a room with Voldemort or Bellatrix?

First off, I would like to tell you that I despise Bellatrix Lestrange with all of my heart. One, she used the Cruciatus Curse on Frank and Alice Longbottom, torturing them into insanity. Second, she killed her cousin Sirius Black (my fave) with absolutely no remorse. Lastly, she is definitely more likely to hex me than Voldemort, which is why I would rather be locked in a room with Voldemort. 


I'm sure Voldy and I will exchange a lot of awkward banter, as well as share a few nasty looks. However, I think getting to know Voldy will be a bit easy since he seems to be more of a talker/listener than Bellatrix.

Who would you want to be locked in a room with?


Playlist For The Dead by Michelle Falkoff


3.5/5 Stars
Published by HarperTeen
Published January 27, 2015


Synopsis (taken from Goodreads): A teenage boy tried to understand his best friend's suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind. Here's what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam- listen and you'll understand. As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it's only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend's story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

This was a lovely debut novel! It was gripping, heart-wrenching, and overall a well written story. It is a bit similar to that of 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, but it follows a completely different storyline. Michelle Falkoff did an excellent job depicting the after effects of teen suicide. As we watch Sam deal with the death of his best friend, we see parts that are brutally honest and harsh, but we watch a character develop into much more. This was definitely a sad read because it dealt so much with serious issues (bullying and death), but I felt that it brought a very needed light upon the affects of such topics. 

Everything in this book was very well written and had a nice, easy flow to it. It was very slow paced, which made it easier to get a feel for the characters and the plot, and it really made my attachment for Sam grow. I really began to feel for his character and understand him a lot more as we made our way through this slow, ever-moving plot. There was a lot of depth to the characters in this book, which made it intriguing to read. Each found that they were responsible for Hayden's death and each felt that they had their own part that added up to this one giant picture. With this came one of the most raw quotes I have ever read regarding teen suicide: "Because if none of us is a hundred percent responsible, then it's probably just as likely that none of us could have stopped this from happening."

As you can tell from the title of this book, music has a very prominent part in this story. Hayden and Sam were huge music junkies, and so they shared every last bit of music with each other. They would argue over their favorite bands and genres, so it only seemed fitting that Hayden would explain his decision through something they both loved. At the beginning of each chapter there is a different song, each of them making up the twenty-seven songs on Hayden's playlist. In some chapters Sam explains what situation is related to which song --- the conversation they shared whilst that song was playing, the argument they had related to that band ---, or you're just left to listen to the song and figure it out for yourself. Sometimes Sam didn't even know the reasoning behind Hayden's song choice and so you would be left to piece it together. This helped me understand Hayden in a way Sam may never be able to do.

This book was really thought-provoking and took me longer to read simply because I spent so much time actually listening to the playlist and trying to decipher what was going through Hayden's head. It was definitely a mystery that both Sam and I were trying to figure out. It was really nice to see how all the characters were connected in some way, despite having nothing in common. The romance aspect really threw me off, maybe because it was during a very untimely event. The progression was just a bit awkward and quick, but it definitely introduced hope and light in a time of darkness. I definitely did not see the ending coming, so if you love a little surprise and mystery, I really recommend this book! I felt that the ending really tied everything together nicely (I may have shed a few tears here and there) and the messages and morals of this story were made very clear.



Waiting on Wednesday: The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey


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




Synopsis: We're here, then we're gone, and that was true before they came. That's always been true. The Others didn't invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won't end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart. 

After finishing the first two books in this trilogy, I've been itching for the release of the FINAL book! We left off at a very intense and mind-boggling cliffhanger, so that obviously does not help my sanity. This trilogy features some of my favorite fictional characters of all time, so finally finding out what their fate will be is very stressful. Due to the post-apocalyptic theme, the characters have all hardened their outer shells (both physically and mentally) in order to maintain their composure, or to at least appear in control. With this, Cassie has become one of my favorite female leads because she is a so strong and is someone who should not be trifled with. 

I expect that this book will really explore the central theme of this story (trust), since the second book focused so much on filling us in on bits of information. This really leaves leeway for Rick Yancey to pull together an action-packed plot. I think the characters will really begin to figure out who they are and will develop stronger relationships between each other. 

The Last Star is expected to be released May 17, 2016!

I am super stoked for this release! What are you waiting on?





Where to preorder:



Book Boyfriends: William Herondale

                                  

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!

Sigh, this Monday I finally return back to school. Senior year has begun! Let's celebrate with a book boyfriend --- William Herondale from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare.

Will is a seventeen year old, badass Shadowhunter in Victorian England. He is described to have dark (most likely luscious) hair, blue eyes, and overall a very good-looking face. We spend a lot of time talking about his graceful cheekbones and long lashes, as well as his beautifully sculpted jawline. Tessa described him as "every fictional hero she's ever conjured up in her head." Since he's been training as a Shadowhunter since he was twelve, Will has a slender, yet muscular frame. From his time working with weapons, his fingers are calloused and rough. Will is very caring and will do anything for the people he loves. He is very charming and thoughtful in the sweetest of ways, but he hides that under his playboy demeanor. He has a great capacity to love and spread his deeply hidden light. Will has an adoration for books, making him super intelligent and a romantic. 

My Will Fancast:

Joshua Anthony Brand is so perfect for Will. Ever since seeing this fan edit, I've never seen anyone else as Will. Thank you for your good looks.




Favorite Will Herondale quotes:

1. "It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them."

2. "You are the first dream, the only dream I ever was unable to stop myself from dreaming. you are the first dream of my soul, and from that dream I hope will come all other dreams, a lifetime's worth."

3. "She leaned forward and caught at his hand, pressing it between her own. The touch was like white fire through his veins. He could not feel her skin, only the cloth of her gloves, and yet it did not matter. You kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, into fire. He had wondered once why love was always phrased in terms of burning. The conflagration in his own veins, now, gave the answer."




The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass


3.5/5 Stars
Published by HarperTeen
Published May 6, 2014

Synopsis: The time has come for one winner to be crowned. When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown - or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose - and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

This was definitely my favorite book out of the three! I felt very satisfied with how Kiera Cass wrapped up this series; it put a definite end to everything. The plot was a lot more action packed than the last two, which really peaked my interest. There was more reckless behavior and risks that were taken in this book, which made it so much more fun. This series remained a constant 3.5/5 stars throughout its stressful journey. There were many ups and downs, and parts where I wanted to rip the hair from my scalp, but it was beautifully wrapped together with a bow. 

America Singer, oh America, she continued to rile me up. Her behavior was a bit better in this book, and she really began establishing relationships with the other girls, which was lovely to see. There were multiple scenes where the girls were really enjoying their time at the castle and that made me really enjoy the book. The small scenes and minor details really made up for my annoyance with the main character. What I truly liked about this book, was that America began trying to win Maxon over. Instead of Maxon constantly chasing America, we begin to see mutual feelings with a fight and drive. Maxon was truly the best character in this book, maybe even along with Celeste (which is surprising, I know). He was able to keep the plot moving forward while America was fighting with herself.  

There were a lot of relationships in this book that were introduced for the first time, but they weren't as developed as I hoped they would be. For example, we learn more about the Northern rebels, but this relationship wasn't as establish as I wished. The king starts forming a relationship with America, but it definitely does not begin with a good start. He begins to seriously confront her as she tests his patience, but it is definitely a relationship you all wanna watch out for. The one relationship I loved the most was America and Queen Amberly. She really viewed America, as well as the rest of the girls, as one of her own. She began to give them advice and approach them on certain topics, she even began participating in activities. There was an overall appreciation for her presence that was given off by the girls, and she certainly returned that right back. 

I saw many different directions this plot could have taken, but I think the ending was probably the best solution. This series has been the most stressful series I've ever read in my entire life. I never knew I could cheer for and loathe a character at the same time, but I managed to do that with America Singer. If you're looking for a fun read, I recommend this a hundred percent, but if you're quick to get frustrated, you may want to take this read slow and steady. It was certainly addicting, but definitely enjoyable when you take a moment to look at the story as a whole. 

I hear there is a fourth installment to the series entitled The Heir, but I do not know how long it will take me to come around to it. This trilogy felt like the perfect dosage of the entire idea of a Selection. 







Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon


4.5/5 Stars
Published by Delacorte Books
Publishing September 1, 2015

Synopsis: My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black --- black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster. 


In her debut, Nicola Yoon writes a fantastic YA contemporary romance that is definitely going to make your heart clench and ache. This story was beautifully executed. The writing was so smooth and easy to glide over, it was like absorbing butter. The narrator of this story is so similar to teenagers nowadays, that I could feel myself relating to her in many ways. Her narration was brilliant and witty, capturing your attention as soon as you begin. I think having a connection to the protagonist of a story is one of the greatest gifts you could ever receive, and I received that while reading this novel. I heard many good things about this book, but it never occurred to me that those reviews were not doing justice to just how flawless this story is.

Everything, Everything introduces to us the story of Madeline Whittier, a girl who has spent her entire life in a bubble. When she was a baby, she was diagnosed with SCID, a rare disease that is based off an immune deficiency --- basically meaning she is allergic to a lot of the things she comes into contact with. Due to this disease, Maddy has spent her entire life at home with her mother and can only come into contact with people that have gone through rigorous decontamination. Maddy is able to get a piece of the outside world through a multitude of books, and is content with her life until Olly moves across the street.

Maddy is not a protagonist you would find in every YA novel you pick up. She is Afro-Asian, which is a very unlike the 'typical' protagonists we read about. Maddy has warm brown skin, with big, long, wavy hair, and her eyes are a perfect blend of her African and Asian descent. Despite her predicament, she is a very wise character. I could guess that this is due to all the time spent in her room reading, but she is also witty and jovial. She surprised me with her strength and her drive to keep going; she didn't dare let her disease get the best of her. Olly is a very adorable character, that will most likely capture your heart immediately. His determination to protect Maddy warmed my heart, especially after learning about his family history. He is definitely a bit of a flirt, which had me giggling along with Maddy. What I loved the most about this relationship was that it was so pure and innocent. None of the relationship was forced, and Maddy's reactions to everything Olly did was exactly like falling in love for the first time.

There were a lot of small details about this book that made me fall in love with it. I really enjoyed the illustrations that popped up here and there --- it really made the connection between the story and I feel more personal. Plus, I thought the IM'ing section was perfect and completely relatable to every teen out there. Nicola Yoon did an excellent job of keeping my emotions on high, because I was constantly on edge. One moment I was giddy, the next I was tearing up, then all of a sudden I was laughing. There were some surprising twists that had my jaw dropping, but they all tied into the plot effortlessly. I was hooked on this book from beginning to end! Maddy and Olly will live on in my heart. Everything, Everything deserves all the hype it is getting. Kudos, Nicola!


*Disclaimer: ARC provided to me by Netgalley* 

Nicola Yoon

Where to pre-order:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Indiebound



Friday 56: Legend by Marie Lu



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.

TGIF! Here's one of my favorite books of all time by the wonderful Marie Lu. I hope you all decide to pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did!


"I gingerly move my ankle in a circle. It's a little stiff, but otherwise pretty painless - no torn muscles, no serious swelling. My bullet wound still burns and my ribs ache something fierce, but this time I'm strong enough to sit up without too much trouble. My hands go automatically up to my hair, which is loose and hanging past my shoulders. With one hand, I pull it up into a messy tail and twist it into a tight knot. Then I lean over Tess, grab my beaten newsboy cap from the chair, and pull it on. My arms burn from the effort."

Harry Potter #3: One thing I would change from the first film

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a weekly meme created by Uncorked Thoughts. Each week there is a new question about Harry Potter and all you must do is answer the question! This is an excellent way to keep the celebration of Harry Potter alive.





If you could change one thing in the first film, what would it be?

I've always been a bit disappointed that my favorite ghost never made the cut for the film. Peeves was such an important part of the entire series, but unfortunately he never made the silver screen. If he were involved in the movies, we would've seen him picking on first years, causing a trouble, and overall scaring the socks off of Harry and his friends. 

Another thing that I am upset about not making the film, are Snape's potions. We all know that before Harry can get to the Stone, the golden trio must pass through these protective tasks. This is the part in the book where we all begin to question whether Hermione is supposed to be a Gryffindor at all. Instead of solving the riddle, Hermione stays behind to tend to an injured Ron, and Harry moves forward to face Quirrell. 

One more thing! The Sorting Hat song! The Sorting Hat sings three songs throughout the series, but his song never made any of the films. You can read all three Sorting Hat songs here


I know that is more than one thing, but I couldn't help myself! 


The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass


3.5/5 Stars
Published by HarperTeen
Published April 23, 2013
*May contain light spoilers*

Synopsis: The Selection began with thirty-five girls. Now, only six remain. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is as harsh as ever - and America is still struggling to see where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or is it with her first love, Aspen? America is desperate for more time, but the other girls know exactly what they want - and America's chance to choose is slowly falling from her grasp. 

Wowee, I really flew through these books! I didn't enjoy The Elite as much as I enjoyed The Selection, however there were still some very redeemable qualities about this book. I still continue to see the potential, because I really do like the concept of this plot. There was a lot of drama in this book --- it was basically the central element --- which made it hard to really stay sane. I found myself getting really frustrated over little things that America would do and say, which was terrible for my mental stability. The one thing that really kept me going was my never-ending love for Maxon.

What I enjoyed the most about this book was the character development, but I'm not talking about the main characters. The five other girls who were participating in the competition really took the stage and showed me their personalities. It was a lot easier now to connect to these girls simply because it's been cut to a smaller number. Marlee has definitely been my favorite throughout this series. She is very kind and genuine, and overall she adds a lot of happiness to this story. Another one of my favorites, surprisingly, is Celeste. She's very spunky, with a lot of attitude, and it just adds a lot of diversity to the bunch. I also really enjoyed the world building that took place. We get a glimpse at the past and learn about the history of this world. Kiera Cass provided us with more details about the palace staff, Maxon's family, and the different cultures. There was a bit of a political theme that was revealed as well, which really proved how wrongly governed Iléa is, and I am hoping something is changed in the next book.

The worst thing that came out of this book was America's attitude. I found that she was very indecisive and worst of all, she continued to drag out her relationship with Aspen. She constantly found fault in everything Maxon did, yet she did the exact same thing behind his back in spite of him. For such a smart character, America acts very stupidly. She is very rash and doesn't think things through, and worst of all she get's caught up in a love triangle. America goes back and forth trying to decide whether she loves Aspen or if she's meant to be with Maxon the entire novel. Aspen is also very infuriating, because he gets in the way of America actually revealing how she feels. When she begins to get an idea of what to do, there's Aspen reminding her that he's still active in her game. I do not support Aspen being in this story anymore, I feel like all he does is cause trouble for America and gives me a headache. 

Kiera Cass did an excellent job setting up this beautiful world, and I really hope she takes advantage of it. It's been a really crazy ride so far, but I think the plot of this story has been the best. There are a lot more events that take place, America is taken outside of her comfort zone, and she is tested on her ability of becoming the future princess of Iléa. We are introduced to more characters outside of the palace that we hopefully see in The One. Plus, there is a lot more action in this book as rebel attacks become more frequent and secrets are slowly unraveled. I hope that in the next book Maxon continues being his lovely self, America has a reality check, and Aspen is set in his rightful place.



Waiting on Wednesday: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard




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



Synopsis (taken from Goodreads): On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble - as two desperate young women know all too well. 

Safiya is a Truthwith, able to discern truth from lie. It's a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her - but she cannot see the bonds that touch her won heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi's hotheaded impulsiveness. 

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship's captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch. 



I've heard a multitude of lovely things about this book! Ever since the cover reveal, I've been dying to get my hands on this. The plot seems to be full of potential for an epic story, which is evident in the synopsis. What I think is awesome is the friendship between Safi and Iseult. With a lot of romance being a common theme in YA novels nowadays, it's refreshing to see someone bring to light the joy of having a great friendship. I cannot wait to see how this world unfolds, because it seems like Susan Dennard will do some excellent world creating and developing. With a good mixture of fantasy and magic, I know this will be an amazing release.

Truthwitch comes out January 5th, 2016!

What are you waiting on?

Susan Dennard

My Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors


I've been watching this meme float around a lot, so I've finally decided to join in the fun! This meme was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there is a new list that involves all things books! 

Top Ten of my Auto-Buy Authors

1. Cassandra Clare: Ever since The Mortal Instruments series was brought onto the scene, I've been hooked on her writing. She is amazing at character development and world building; there is not a single detail out of place. 

2. Leigh Bardugo: Leigh has a writing style that is so easy to fall into, it is impossible to stay away from her books! I've fallen in love with majority of her characters and I can't wait to read Six of Crows!

3. Marie Lu: Marie Lu was able to captivate me with her Legend trilogy, and since then I've been wrapped around her finger. Her writing is very straight forward and to the point, which makes it very easy to follow along and get caught up in the words.

4. J.K. Rowling: J.K. Rowling in my queen, I will always buy anything she writes.

5. Michelle Hodkin: Michelle really caught my attention with her Mara Dyer trilogy and I've been waiting ever since then for a new book! She was able to build a connection between me and her characters that was unbreakable. To this day I still ponder over her writing; it was truly mesmerizing!

6. Rick Riordan: I've read Rick Riordan's books for as long as I can remember! He was a very prominent part of my childhood, which is probably why I will forever be a fan of his books.

7. James Dashner: The Maze Runner is one of my favorite series due to the complex plot line and intensity of character development. James Dashner has a way of keeping you planted to the book and hoping for the best.

8. David Levithan: David Levithan has a very witty way of writing that makes me enjoy devouring his works. 

9. Rainbow Rowell: I enjoy everything Rainbow Rowell produces for the mere fact that the characters' situations feel so real. I'm able to really relate to the characters she brings to life.

10. Rick Yancey: His explosive The 5th Wave trilogy was phenomenal and had me craving more with each page I turned. Rick Yancey's writing is so well developed that it keeps the wheels in your head turning and turning, searching for any grasp of something logical. 

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu


4.5/5 Stars
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books
Published October 7, 2014


Synopsis: Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina's black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abominations, ruining their family good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever's survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars - they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Oh Marie Lu, how you kill me. After reading the Legend trilogy, which to this day remains one of my favorite trilogies, I was very keen on continuing to read Marie Lu's writing. She, of course, did not disappoint. The Young Elites follows the story of a girl who is pretty dark and twisted, which isn't common in YA fiction and is quite saddening, because I find those stories to always be the most interesting. In a world of darkness and devastation, Marie Lu brings us through a journey of self understanding, trust, and hate.

This story begins with the heartbreaking story of Adelina Amouteru. The blood fever that swept the nation left her marked and feared, for many suspected the survivors to have unnatural abilities. Her father is harsh and cruel, branding her the family outcast. This thus leads Adelina to have very dark opinions about the world and people around her. She is twisted, but she is not iniquitous; she still has a sense of what is morally just, she just has a hard time of seeking out ways to go about it. Sometimes the darkness in her soul is too overbearing and she will isolate herself from her past and the present, but at times you can almost sense a subtle strand of hope. Although she has a dark past and certainly struggles from it, she does care for a select few characters, which is quite surprising. She made me feel sympathy, anger, love, and fear all at once. Adelina is a very multi-layered character, and probably one of the most complex ones I've ever read about.

Structurally speaking, this book was outstanding. The character development and world building were through the roof. Every description Marie Lu wrote, I saw. Every ounce of self reflection Adelina felt, I felt. I really enjoyed the concept of powers (The Dagger Society) and controlling them, plus the eagerness to gain more power. The plot of this story really pulled you along for a wild ride. There were times where you could not begin to guess which moral was the best to support, and there were times where you were dropped on your head due to new perspectives. Marie Lu is a wonderful writer and The Young Elites deserves all the hype it gets. Her detailed plot, dialogue, characters, and world will leave you intoxicated.

There are a lot of small things that went into the creation of this story that really made it a worthwhile read. For one, I really enjoyed the multiple point of views. I've stated in multiple reviews thus far that I am a sucker for multiple POVs, because we get the chance to see what each character is thinking and feeling. There is a large amount of raw emotion that comes from Adelina as she struggles to find herself, but I think that is something beautiful that comes from this plot. A central theme throughout this story is darkness, hate, and rage, which is interesting to dive into. Adelina moves through the day as a ticking-time bomb waiting to explode, and Marie Lu does an excellent job exploring the darkness that lurks beneath the surface.



Waiting on Wednesday: The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2)

Marie Lu




Book Boyfriends: Day (Daniel Wing)

                                 

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!

Happy Monday, it's time for another book boyfriend!

Why hello there Day from Marie Lu's Legend trilogy, it's been a long time coming but you're finally here. 

Day is described by June to be extremely attractive. He has long, blonde hair and blue eyes, and tan skin from a life on the streets. Day also has a strong, lean body frame. He is of Asian/Caucasian descent, which gives him an exotic look. In the series, he is branded as a criminal and blamed for crimes he has not committed. This turns him into someone who is sly and agile, since you need to be quick to avoid a bad fate. He is selfless, brave, and deeply cares for those close to him. Day has this type of personality that makes you want to be friends with him. Day has a quick wit and is fast paced; always on his toes. He makes you feel safe and secure, but also like you should take risks for the matter of having a good time. 
My Day Fancast:

Nice one!

Some of my favorite Day quotes:

1. "'Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.'"

2. "The boy who walks in the light."

3. "Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don't last forever, you know. But I'll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that." 

4. "I've been searching a long time for something I think I lost. I felt like I found something when I saw you back there." 



Friday 56: Paper Towns by John Green



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.

Woohoo! It's that time of the week again folks! Happy Friday 56

In honor of just watching the movie this morning, I decided to dedicate this Friday 56 to John Green and the beautiful novel, Paper Towns.


"She opened the stairwell door and we were inside a huge room with an oak tabs as long as two cars, and a long bank of floor-to-ceiling windows. "Conference room," she said. "It's got the best view in the whole building." I followed her as she walked along the windows. "Okay, so there," she said pointing, "is Jefferson Park. See our houses? Lights still off, so that's good." She moved over a few panes. "Jase's house. Lights off, no more cop cars. Excellent, although it might mean he's made it home, which is unfortunate.'"

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass


3.5/5 Stars
Published by HarperTeen
Published January 1, 2012

Synopsis: For thirty-five girls, The Selection is an opportunity of a lifetime. This is the time for them to escape the life that's been laid out for them for generations before them. The Selection brings glittering gowns, priceless jewels, and a grand palace with charming Prince Maxon. Although this seems like a dream, it is a nightmare to America Singer. To her this means leaving behind her family and her secret love, Aspen, to join a competition for a crown she doesn't even want. Then, America meets Prince Maxon and she begins to question all the plans she made for herself. She realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to the future she never imagined. 

I was really not expecting myself to enjoy this book as much as I did. Surprisingly, I found this book to be very addicting --- I could not will myself to put it down! The plot was a bit predictable, but the world building was very satisfying. I liked how Kiera Cass developed the society and really included a political theme in this story. It reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games and Divergent with the different castes, but it was also like a reality dating show like The Bachelor.

My favorite aspect of this book was the characters. Although there were many side characters, they were each individually developed and set up with different personalities. Despite the multitude of characters, Kiera Cass did a great job in emphasizing who we were focusing on. The relationships between America and the other girls were very interesting to read about. Some of the competition were snarky and rude, but others were kind and ambivalent, so it was fascinating to see how America went about dealing with all the girls. It was also lovely watching America stay true to herself. I've read many novels where the protagonist always changes to suit the needs of others, but America makes it clear from the beginning that she will not permit being stepped all over. In all honesty, it was also truly hard for me to be fond of every single character in this book --- and I'm talking about you, Aspen. 

The one thing that had me swooning in my seat was the connection between Prince Maxon and America. I found the chemistry between them to be very pure and innocent. It was endearing that it started off as a friendship, because from there you can really see when they realize their feelings for each other. There are subtle actions that pass between the two of them in secrecy throughout the story that had me blushing along with America. Prince Maxon was a gentlemen with quite the charm from the beginning and continued to prove his good soul. He isn't the stuck-up, arrogant, royal type who lounges around all day expecting to have women drooling all over him. Instead he is very responsible for his actions, analytical, and determined to set things straight in his country. Kudos to you, Maxon.

I thought the idea of having The Bachelor meet dystopia was something that had great potential and Kiera Cass did hit that mark. Of course theres the unrequited love triangle that I wanted to avoid, but we'll find out what happens in the sequel. It was quite amusing to read about all these girls fighting over a boy and running rampant around a palace, but it was able to get some good chuckles out of me. The plot was very straightforward; as soon as the main conflict was introduced, it stuck to it. This made it a pretty quick read, as there weren't any twists and turns, or action-packed drama. Overall it was a good read and I am excited to see what happens in The Elite.


Kiera Cass

Harry Potter #2: Rename the books from Ron's point of view

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a weekly meme created by Uncorked Thoughts. Each week there is a new question about Harry Potter and all you must do is answer the question! This is an excellent way to keep the celebration of Harry Potter alive.

Rename the books from Ron's point of view
(This took quite a while, if you ask me)

Ron Weasley and The Red Hair and Hand-Me-Down Robe



Ron Weasley and The ..... SPIDERS?!?



Ron Weasley and The Rat That Wasn't Really A Rat



Ron Weasley and The Bulgarian Bon-Bon Viktor Krum


Ron Weasley and The Year He Became A Prefect


Ron Weasley and The Drastic Hormonal Change



Ron Weasley and That Crazy Ass Locket



Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo


5/5 Stars
Published by Henry Holt and Co.
Published June 4th, 2013

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads): Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try and make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while she tries to keep her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. Alina can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous pal that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power,  and the love she always thought would guide her --- or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Siege and Storm picks off right where Shadow and Bone leaves off. Alina and Mal continue on their dangerous journey to find a sanctuary, while The Darkling has escaped the Fold and is on a search for Alina and Mal. In comparison to the previous book, I feel like Leigh Bardugo's writing improved dramatically. There is this underlying tension that is constant throughout the entire book, which makes it very potent. A lot of thought went into developing this world and it is very obvious. There are redolent settings, original folklore, and a bunch of other imaginative details that were put into this storyline. 

There was a lot of character development that took place within Alina during this book. She really began to develop a sense of who she was and what she stood for, but there was this power-hungry urge that really drove her towards success. Alina was really able to explore her powers and gain a sense of trust with her abilities. Along with this, a lot of other characters were introduced. Throughout this book, I felt like the side characters were that ones that really held the whole of the plot together. Leigh Bardugo did a great job of developing the side characters with enough personality without, perhaps, 'over-exposing' the characters; she left enough hidden to keep you guessing throughout the book.

Sadly, there was a huge lack of The Darkling in this story, which made my heart sad, but a new, beautiful character was introduced that filled that void and expanded into deeper corners of my heart. Nikolai Lantsov is my one of my favorite male characters to ever to be introduced into my life. He is cunning, charismatic, and absolutely hilarious! He gives the book a lot of personality and it didn't take him long to carve his way into my heart.

This book was definitely an engaging read and had me at the edge of my seat the entire journey. There is just something about Leigh Bardugo's writing that leaves you speechless and grasping for more. I love this stunning world that Leigh has taken the time to produce and the sheer brilliance that runs its course through this novel. Her attention to detail is so distinct, that her characters are so radiately formed and left to run rampage through this mesmerizing world.


Where to buy it:


Waiting on Wednesday: Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare

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



Synopsis (taken from Goodreads): Los Angeles. It's been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge. 

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention - they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn't the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, the'll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise its open war between faeries and Nephilim. 

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she's absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. 



I have loved Cassandra Clare and her writing for as long as I can remember. Ever since picking up City of Bones in the 6th grade, I have been immersed in the world of Shadowhunters. I have heard many comments left and right about how it is time for Cassandra Clare to leave behind the world of Shadowhunters and move forward with her writing, but I think the world she has worked so hard to develop should stick around a bit longer. The Shadowhunters universe is so intricately designed, that you can vividly see everything Cassie has written out for you and it makes you want to devour it.

The main characters for this story were well introduced in City of Heavenly Fire (if you have not read The Mortal Instruments, I fully recommend you do so because it is to die for). Small character developments were made for these characters that I am sure will carry over in this entire series. Emma Carstairs has a very fierce character and goes through everyday life with a fiery purpose. She has a sarcastic bit of humor to her which makes me like her a lot, but she has a temper and is easily offended. Emma is very much like Jace in the sense that she likes to fight and train - demon hunting is her passion. Julian Blackthorn is Emma's polar opposite. Jules is typically gentle and patient, but when he gets stubborn he will fight for what he believes in. He is very considerate, thoughtful, and overall a loving character.

I think the plot of this story will be interesting simply because it heavily involves the faeries. We find out that Helen and Mark Blackthorn are both part faerie, so that will definitely add complications to this plot due to the potential war of Shadowhunters and faeries. Cassie has a very distinct writing style that captivates you as soon as the plot unravels, so there is no doubt in my mind that this book will be as good and if not better than her previous novels.

Unfortunately, this beautiful book will not be released to us this upcoming fall. Instead, it will be released March 8th, 2016. Until then, you may want to catch up on her previous series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. You can also satisfy your dire need for this book by reading snipits from the story on her Tumblr and Twitter!

Cassandra Clare's Tumblr
Cassandra Clare's Twitter

Where to preorder:

Amazon
Books-A-Million

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey

4/5 Stars
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Published September 16, 2014

Synopsis: Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a word in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others' ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven't seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

Rick Yancey, how dare you! After finishing The 5th Wave I jumped right into The Infinite Sea with high expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed this story just as much as the previous book, however the plot was lacking a bit. The 5th Wave was more action packed and fast paced, whereas this story focused a bit more on developing the side characters and providing us with more background information. This of course is not a bad thing, I was just looking forward to an action-packed thriller. However, I was still intoxicated by the edgy language and hypnotic story. 

One thing that I really enjoyed in the first book that Rick Yancey brought over into this one, were the dual-perspectives. It really gives the insight on what everybody is thinking and how they go about different situations, but it was so difficult to differentiate between the characters. I would read ten pages in one section thinking it was one character and then find out it was someone completely different. However, I was still intrigued by each characters' individual voices. The dual-perspectives really brought to light a character we all probably shrugged aside and that is Ringer. Rick Yancey really used Ringer to move the plot forward, which I thought was a brilliant idea. She appeared to be strong in the first book, but here it is proven that she is as tough as ever, and she really became one of my favorite characters.

Ringer, whose secrets were slowly unraveled as she fell into confused darkness, was definitely the star of this novel. Since the second half of the book was in Ringer's perspective, that really gave us more insight into the corners of her mind. Learning about the origins of her ferociousness was enough to make my admiration for her strong heart escalate. With this we are also introduced to another new character named Razor who I enjoyed very much. In a lot of ways his character is very confusing because he is constantly changing his attitude, but eventually he opens up. Razor added a childlike lightness to this story, which made it all the more enjoyable.

This book really took the time to answer a lot of questions we may have had during The 5th Wave. Instead of focusing on an enthralling plot, Rick Yancey worked more on what the Others were all about and why they began inhabiting our planet. Once again the writing in this story was fluid and easy to fall into. It continued to be intense with the themes of hope and hopelessness, and had a lot of thought provoking moments. In times of death and destruction, people will always find something to hold onto and I think Rick Yancey does an excellent job portraying such a disastrous event and the resulting emotions.