Top Ten Tuesday: ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years. In no particular order, they are:

The Night Circus

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

2. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Illusions of Fate

3. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

One Plus One

4. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)

5. The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

6. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

I've Got Your Number

7. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophia Kinsella

Defending Jacob

8. Defending Jacob by William Landay

Gone Girl

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Stephanie's Book Reviews

Taylor Swift Book Tag

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I’ve been a bad blogger lately since I’ve been spending most of time on NaNoWriMo instead of reading (books, I miss you!), so I looked through some “book tags” and decided to go with the Taylor Swift Book Tag. Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like to do it!

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Pick a book (or book series) that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. I loved the first book! And liked the second! I was sooooo looking forward to the conclusion of the series, and then Allegiant came along and I HATED it! It ruined my enjoyment of the series as a whole and I was not excited at all anymore for the movies.

2. Red: Pick a book with a RED cover.

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

3. The Best Day: Pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was just as naïve about things when I was in high school as Lara Jean is in this book.

4. Love Story: Pick a book with forbidden love.

Forbidden

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. I mean, it’s right in the name in everything. (While it’s a forbidden romance, I don’t think the song would be appropriate for it at all!)

5. I Knew You Were Trouble: Pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – The Darkling!

6. Innocent:  Pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.

Sentinel (Covenant, #5)

Sentinel by Jennifer Armentrout. No one ruined the ending, per se, but finding out about the spin-off before reading this book definitely gave some things away.

7. Everything has Changed: Pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Juliette throughout the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi.

8. You Belong With Me: Pick your most anticipated book release.

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

Fairest by Marissa Meyer. Out January 27th!

 9. Forever and Always: Pick your favourite book couple.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

The Raven Boys + Blue. They aren’t technically a “couple” but they’re all kind of love in with each other and me with them!

10. Come Back, Be Here: Pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.

Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. It’s one of my all time favorites and has a signed bookplate sticker in it.

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

Make it Count (Bowler University, #1)

Make it Count (Bowler University #1) by Megan Erickson. Read June 14-15. 3 stars. 

This book was pretty cute. Definitely one of the better New Adult books I’ve read. Though Kat annoyed me at times, I liked her growth throughout the story and I adore Alec.

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo. Read June 17-18. 4 stars

I still can’t review this. I’ve started it twice. I don’t know how to do it without spoilers. I don’t know how to do it with spoilers, either. I have decided on a rating, though:

Plot: 3.5
Characters: 4.5
Readability: 4
Enjoyability: 4 
Overall Rating: 4 Stars

I’m still holding out hope that I’ll get a coherent review done for this one day!

We Were Liars

We were Liars by E. Lockhart. Read June 18-20. 3 stars.

I did not see that coming! Great twist. Unfortunately, the rest of story I did not find as interesting. I really enjoyed Lockhart’s writing style, though. 

Tease (The Ivy Chronicles, #2)

Tease (The Ivy Chronicles #2) by Sophie Jordan. Read June 19-23. 1.5 stars.

The first book in this series was ridiculous, but overall cute. This book was just ridiculous melodrama.

Silver Bay: A Novel

Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes. Read June 23-26. 3 stars.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the other Jojo Moyes books I’ve read. While multiple 1st person is my favorite POV, there were too many views and their “voices” were not very unique. 10-year-old Hannah did not at all “sound” like a 10-year-old. I didn’t really connect with the characters and while I liked them well enough, I didn’t care too much about them. I also thought that Liza’s big secret was over-dramatized and the twist in the ending was predictable.

All that said, I still find Moyes an incredible writer and look forward to reading more of her books.

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RE-READS

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)

To gear up for Ruin and Rising, I re-read the first two book in the series, Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm.

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Put Back on the TBR Shelf

Slated (Slated, #1)

Slated (Slated #1) by Teri Terry. I tried to get into this, but I just didn’t find it very compelling. The plot was slow. I got about half way through before I got distracted by other books and this ended up expiring from the Library. I might try it again someday.

Monday’s Minutes

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Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)

Yes, I’m finally doing my Shadow and Bone re-read! Right now I’m on Siege and Storm. I think I like this book better than the first one. One word: Sturmhond!!!! I love him. Ruin and Rising comes out June 17th!

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)

I’m not sure, but I think I might go with Dorothy Must Die since I only have it for a few more days from the library.

What are you reading?

Monday’s Minutes

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Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4) by Katie McGarry. After reading City of Heavenly Fire, I had major book hangover and I tried starting three other book before landing on this one and being able to read more than the first chapter. So far, it’s very much  like the other books in this series, but that kind of what I expect.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)  Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)  Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

I think I’m feeling a Grisha series re-read (for real this time!) to get ready for Ruin and Rising on the 17th!

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I read because of the Blogging Community

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie week where we can pick our own topic. I’ve decided to go with the Top Ten Books I read because of the Blogging Community. Perhaps my favorite thing about blogging is all the books I’ve discovered from reading other blogs. I wish I could remember who the blogger was that made me read these books, but I just can’t remember. So know, whoever you are, I thank you.

The Night Circus

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)  Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)

2 & 3. Unspoken and Untold (The Lynburn Legacy) by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

4. The Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

5. Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo.

Storm (Elemental, #1)

6. The Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer.

The Fault in Our Stars

7. The Fault in our Stars by John Green.

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

8. Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins

Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1)

9. The Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey

My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door, #1)

10. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

What books have other bloggers inspired you to read????

 

 

Monday’s Minutes

MM

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry. So I know I wasn’t planning on continuing this series anytime soon after I finished the first book, but they were already available at the library, so I just went with it. I only have a few chapters left and I’m kind of ambivalent about it. I like the chapters from Rachel’s POV. Isaiah still isn’t my favorite, but he has grown on me a ton in this book.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

I’m not sure. I think I need to do a re-read of Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To The Reluctant Reader

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to “X Person”. I chose The Reluctant Reader – the person that doesn’t understand the concept of reading for fun. The following are books I would recommend from various genres to get someone into reading again.

Recommended to the Romantics/Lovers of Chick Flicks

Attachments  I've Got Your Number

1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
2. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Recommended to the History Lovers

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)  A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion, #1)

3. The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock
4. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

Recommended to the Crime/Mystery Enthusiasts

Defending Jacob  Gone Girl

5. Defending Jacob by William Landay
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Recommended to the Young at Heart

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)  Divergent (Divergent, #1)

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
8. Divergent by Veronica Roth (I hated the last book in this series, but the first is still one of my favorites)

For the Sci-Fi/Paranormal Fan

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)  Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

9. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I was “forced” to read

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is about required reading books, book club picks, books for your job or those books that it simply feels like other readers were going to tie you down until you read it.

I’m choosing to go with books that I “had” to read because of glowing reviews.

1. The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I saw this on so many sites and blogs and finally felt like I didn’t have a choice but to read it. And I loved it.

2. Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Divergent by Vernoica Roth. This one was actually recommended by a co-worker and I devoured it.

3.  The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It seemed like everyone in the world had read, loved, and cried over this book. I finally joined them.

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

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Another one where it seems like every blogger I read raved about it.

5. Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

6. Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

Angelfall by Susan Ee. This one was actually recommended by my sister.

7. Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This is another one that was recommended by the co-worker who recommended Divergent.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. What books are you glad you were “forced” to read?

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – 4 stars (out of 5)

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unraveling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

MY THOUGHTS:

-This is another of those books that I thought didn’t look like anything I’d like, but I really ended up enjoying it. It reminded me a bit of the Shatter Me series and a bit of The Bone Season, while still being it’s own story.

-There was a list in the beginning of the book that listed the different kinds of Grisha – people with special powers. It didn’t really explain what they were, though, and there was little definition in the actual story. I would’ve liked a little more of an explanation to start with instead of just throwing out the terms and letting us eventually catch up.

-Alina was a well-developed and mostly likable character. The story was told through her 1st person POV, so I felt a good connection with her. I would’ve liked to have seen Mal – her best friend/love interest – a little more developed. And then there’s the Darkling. I wanted more, more, more of the Darkling. Not because I loved him, but I was intrigued by him. Like Alina, I could never really get a good read on him.

SPOILERS

-I was actually surprised when we find out that the Darkling is the bad guy – The Black Heretic. I know I shouldn’t have been. I mean, his name is Darkling. Like there was ever a chance that he’s the hero of the story. But even in his villainy, he’s still such an interesting and charismatic character. I’m still not completely convinced that he won’t be redeemed later in the series.

-I felt like Alina and Mal’s relationship was pretty predictable. They’ve been best friends since childhood and she’s in love with him. He obviously feels the same, but doesn’t realize it until after she’s gone. None of the revelations or happenings between them was at all a surprise. I still like them together, though. I’m always a sucker for the neglected best friend – even if in this instance it was the guy neglecting the girl.

END OF SPOILERS

-Overall, I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone – much more than I thought I would. Though there were a few slow parts, it was mostly well paced and always had me eager for the next chapter. I’ve already read the next book in the series, Siege and Storm, and really look forward to the conclusion coming out next year. I would recommend this book to all those interested in sci-fi/fantasy YA or those that enjoyed The Bone Season and Shatter Me.