Top Ten Tuesday: Time Passes and so does my Love

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Welcome to my first Top Ten Tuesday of the year! This week’s topic, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is: Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed (less love, more love, complicated feelings, indifference, thought it was great in a genre until you became more well read in that genre etc.).  This is a topic that I’ve actually been thinking about writing a post about on my own, so it seemed like the perfect time to jump back in to TTT.

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1. The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

I think that a lot of people identify with this one. After hearing so much about this I decided to give it a try and I ended up reading the whole series in a week. It was also the first time in a very long time that I had read for pleasure. The series reminded me what it was like to have fun reading, to fall in love with characters, to HAVE TO KNOW what happens next. It also had a super romantic lead and cute romance. I loved it. Then…I started reading a lot more. When I went back much later to re-read Twilight, I found myself not being able to get through it. I realized that the super cute romance wasn’t exactly a healthy relationship and the plot and writing left a lot to be desired. This series will always hold a special place in my heart, but it’s one that I no longer love or highly recommend.

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2. The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater

Ok, this is probably the most controversial one on the list. I remember being a little confused by the story, but loving the characters so much that I didn’t care. I raved about this series all the time. Then I decided to re-read it before the last book came out and I was a little underwhelmed by it. While I still adore the characters, I’ve found the confusing plot makes it unbearable at times. And the further away from The Raven King I get, the more dissatisfied I am with it as a series ender.

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3. The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Another series I absolutely loved the first time around and didn’t quite enjoy as much the second time around. My biggest issue is on the last book. Adam’s complete change in personality was such an easy way out of the love triangle and I think it did a great injustice to the character. It bothered me a little when I first read it, but after going back later it really bothered me a lot.

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4. The Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout

Ok, probably another unpopular opinion. I recommend this series ALL. THE TIME. I’ve said again and again it’s one of the best YA series around. But the last time I re-read it…I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. I mean, I still like it and I’ll still recommend it, but with a little less fervor than before.

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5. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This book really surprised me when I first read it by how much I loved it. However, when I went back to re-read it before the sequel came out, there were many parts of it that I wanted to skip through. It’s still a good book, but I think going from no expectations to really high expectations kind of ruined it for me. And I was pretty underwhelmed with The Rose and the Dagger which has soured me just a bit on the series as a whole.

Ok, so just 5 books this time. I need to work my way back into it. What books have you had a change in heart about over time? Do you agree with any of my choices?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 2015

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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

Introductions (The Ghost Bird, #1)

Introductions (The Ghost Bird #1) by C. L. Stone. Read May 31-June 1. 3 stars.

This is probably more like 2.5 stars, but I’m rounding it up to 3 because I’m looking forward to the next book. I’ve read a lot of reviews that list this series as a “guilty pleasure” and I think it will be the same for me.

The book does just what it says, it introduces all the main characters – which include SEVEN guys. And one girl. The guys are super protective of Sang (yes, stupid name) right away – like Edward Cullen level protective. Like made me a little uncomfortable level protective/possessive. But still…I’m intrigued.

Sang kind of got on my nerves. She kind of fell for every single guy she met and goes on and on about the tingly feelings she gets whenever one of them touches her in any way – which is often. I feel bad for the abuse she faces at home (and her mother isn’t just agoraphobic as the synopsis states – she’s a pill addicted, paranoid, crazy person), but it almost feels like her relationship with the boys is a little abusive in that they tell her what to do, what not to do, insist on following her around, etc.

Overall, though, I’m interested to find out what exactly this Academy is about. While the writing wasn’t exactly great, it was still fast and kind of addictive.

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First Days (The Ghost Bird #2) by C. L. Stone. Read June 1-3. 2 stars.

Oh dear. This series is driving me crazy, but I still plan on reading the next book. It’s like a train wreck you can’t look away from.

Sang still drives me crazy. The majority of the book continued to focus on how she feels whenever one of the guys touches her. She’s also verrrry immature. There was a random student who “proposed” to her and she actually wondered whether or not he was serious.

The boys continue to be protective/possessive of her in an unhealthy way. She now asks them for permission to speak and apologizes for trivial things. Bella Swan looks like a feminist hero compared to Sang.

All this said, and I still want to know what happens next. That’s the only reason it’s getting 2 stars from me instead of 1. The final chapter finally gave some answers, though I’m still a little confused.

Maybe in Another Life

Maybe in  Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Read June 6-7. 3.5 stars.

A full review of this will be posted closer to it’s release date (July 7). For now I’ll just say that it’s an interesting twist on alternate universes that I found enjoyable.

Her Backup Boyfriend (Entangled Bliss)

Her Backup Boyfriend by Ashlee Mallory. Read June 7-8. 3.5 Stars.

I was looking for a good fake relationship story and this definitely fit the bill. It was cute and the characters were likable.

Magnolia

Magnolia by Kristi Cook. Read June 9-10. 3 stars.

Cute story with likable characters. At times it felt a little rushed and there was a lot of subjects that could have been more explored, but instead it only scratched the surface. Overall, though, a quick read that works for my contemporary kick.

Friends vs. Family (The Ghost Bird, #3)

Friends vs. Family (The Ghost Bird #3) by C. L. Stone. Read June 4-13. 2 stars.

So there was some good which is why it’s getting 2 stars instead of 1. Finally some stuff happened towards the end of this book. Some answers about Sang’s family are finally revealed. Her crazy mom is finally getting some help (for now). Sang finally realized that “normal friends” don’t act like how the boys act like her.

However, then there was the ridiculous. They play truth and dare and Sang’s dares are to sit on one boy’s lap and give another hug and get her teeth brushed by another…Then in the end they *SPOILER* vote on SHARING her.

This series is weird, guys. But it’s kind of an addicting read. I’m going to have to take a break for awhile, though to see if I still want to continue it.

Black-Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. Read June 13-15. 4 stars.

A full review of this will come out closer to it’s release date (August 11), but for now I’ll say, Heaberlin effortlessly weaves together past and present into one suspenseful tale of a woman trying to outrun her monster. Ignore the Gillian Flynn comparison. Julia Heaberlin’s Black-Eyed Susans is so good it doesn’t need it.

Discretion

Discretion (Anna Curtis #2) by Allison Leotta. Read June 20-21. 4 stars.

I am so loving this series! Discretion is everything a DC based crime/mystery should be. The city’s top escort is found murdered outside of a powerful Congressman’s office. Anna and her (secret) boyfriend Jack investigate, filled with surprising twists. Added to the team is FBI Agent Samantha.

I loved both the progression of the case and Anna and Jack’s relationship. I had a lot of issues with Jack being condescending to Anna and I’m glad some of those came to light. I’m really looking forward to the next book!

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RE-READS

A Good Killing (Anna Curtis, #4)

A Good Killing (Anna Curtis #4) by Allison Leotta. Since I read this book before reading the beginning of the series, I wanted to re-read it to see what I thought once I read books 1-3. I still love it and knowing the background added some more emotional depth for me.

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Do not ask me what possessed me to pick this book up again. I do credit it for getting me back into reading several years ago, but the last time I tried to re-read the series I just couldn’t make it through. I feel like enough time has gone by that I can look at it more objectively. I don’t think it deserves all the hate it gets. Sure it’s ridiculous and not brilliantly written and we can all talk about the damaging relationship Edward and Bella have, but this book is really no more ridiculous than most YA books out there today, it’s just been much more hyped and has terrible movies.

The Fill-In Boyfriend

The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West. I won this in a giveaway and it came right after I finished reading a series and seemed just the ticket to help me transition out of my book hangover. So cute.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan. No other books were sounding good to me, so I decided to start re-reading this series. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read the first two books in this series, but I only read the third book once and never reviewed it, so I think I’m going to try and review it after it’s re-read.

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BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

The Other Typist

The Other Typist by Susanne Rindell. This was recommended to me and I thought it looked interesting, but I just could not get into it. There’s supposed to be a good twisty ending, though, so I don’t want to write it off completely in case I feel like trying it again later.

Friends Book Tag

25 Interesting Facts You Probably Didn't Know About "FRIENDS" | Cheating is SINfulCheating is SINful

I saw this over on BookLoversBlog and since I am off work early and watching Friends, I thought it would be a good time to do it. Enjoy!

The One Where Eddie Won’t Go-A Character I Wish Would Just Go Away

Kitty from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before duology. So many people love her, but she annoyed the crap out of me through both books.

The One Where Ross and Rachel Take A Break-Favorite Break-Up Scene

WE WERE ON A BREAK!

Fenton and Lydia in The Passing Bells. It’s technically not a break up because Lydia is married to someone else, but she basically propositions Fenton and he’s like, “Everything is becoming so shabby these days. So lacking in worth. I just don’t like feel joining the trend.” Love it!

The One With All The Kissing-A Book With Lots of Kissing

The only one I can really think of is Twilight. Half this series is Bella and Edward kissing.

The Last One-Favorite Series Finale

The final scene.

I can’t think of a series finale that I LOVED, but I think Ignite Me is the least pissed off I’ve been at a finale.

The One With The Blackout-A scene I’d like to forget

The rape scene in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The One Where Chandler Can’t Cry-A Book That Did Not Make You As Emotional As Other Readers

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. I was expecting an overwhelming amount of emotions to ruin me, but the book was just ok for me.

The One Where Joey Doesn’t Share Food-A Book You Won’t Ever Lend Out

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I’ve become less obsessive over my books and I’ll probably lend anything. But I guess my Jane Austen compilation book I might not just because it’s so big.

The One With The Thumb-A Recent Read That You Would Give Two Thumbs Up To

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

The One With The Ick Factor-A Book With A Pet Peeve

Friends Vs Family from the Ghost Bird series (or the whole Ghost Bird series). 1 girl, 7 love interests. JUST PICK ONE ALREADY. From what I’ve gathered, there are like 8 books published (and many more to come) and she never picks one – she even adds a couple more love interests. The point of the story is that she love alllll of them. I just can’t.

Feel free to tag yourself and link your post in the comments if you’d like to do this!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters You Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their OWN Book (minor or just maybe a semi main character you wish a book was from their POV).

1. A Nicolai/Sturmhound (I’m pretty sure I spelled both of those wrong) from The Grisha series spin-off would be amazing.

2. Eleanor from Illusions of Fate. She stole every scene she was in and I loved her!

3. While we get some of his POV in the Kate Burkholder series, a John Tomasetti prequel would be awesome.

4. Iko from The Lunar Chronicles series. She’s so funny!

5. Kenji from the Shatter Me series. I basically hated him until the final book, but then I couldn’t get enough!

6. Ethan Mirabelli from The Next Best Thing. Kristan Higgins now writes her books from the POV of each romantic lead, but when this was written, it was still just 1st person POV from the heroine.

7. Lucas from All the Truth That’s in Me. We only get Judith’s POV and I would love to see Lucas’s.

8. Edward Cullen from Twilight. I’m one of those people that devoured the Twilight series, which got me back into reading after a long hiatus, and then when I went back to read them later, did not enjoy them nearly as much. But I still want Midnight Sun!!

Ok, looks like a top 8 is all I’m going to get. I’m sure as soon as this posts, I’ll think of a bazillion characters. Oh, well. What characters do you want to see get their own book/POV?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Classic Books

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is Top Ten Favorite Classic Books (however you define classic) or Top Ten Classics I Want To Read (or spin it some other way…”classics” in a specific genre?)

I’ve decided to twist it a bit with FUTURE YA CLASSICS – YA books that will be referred to in the future for sparking the popularity of Young Adult literature today.

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Come on, you’ve all read it. Whether you loved it or hated it (or loved it until you hated it), it was the beginning of the YA revolution in pop culture. It was actually this book that got me back into reading several years ago, after years or not reading more than a book (or less) a year.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This series has taken the world by storm. My whole family (including my parents in their sixties and my brother in his twenties) has read and loved this series. (Fun fact: my sister also works on the Jabberjays.net fansite.) With themes of family, loyalty, courage, corruption, and justice it’s a timeless read.

The Fault in Our Stars

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This generation’s star-crossed lovers.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

4. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. A new twist on already classic fairytales.

Eleanor & Park

5. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. This beautifully written provocative story has already faced controversy and book banning. It’s tale of young love amidst the hardships of life is certain to live on for many generations.

That’s all I got for now! My Top Tens are Top fivess lately, but that’s ok. What books do you think should be added to this list?

Review: Lost in Starlight (Starlight Saga #1) by Sherry Soule

Lost in Starlight (Starlight Saga #1)

ISBN: 978-0692224427

GENRE: Upper YA / SyFy Romance

Release date: June 26, 2014

Available in both paperback and eBook formats

Rated: PG-13

I received a copy of this title from the author. It does not impact my review.

Synopsis from Good Reads:

High school reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind. Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.

They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and crazy dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova.

Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, über snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life….

I’ve heard the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout described as “Alien Twilight”, but now I have to disagree. “Lost in Starlight” fits the comparison much better.  And I don’t mean that in a bad way. (Come on, you all know you loved Twilight before it was cool to hate on it.) It has a lot of similarities to Twilight and to the Lux series, but it’s still it’s own unique story in a lot of other ways.

Sloane is a pretty great main character. I waffled at times on whether or not I completely liked her, but I think that makes her a more authentic character. Teenage girls are complex, complicated beings whose moods and personalities can alter at a drop of a hat. Sloane is a strong female with integrity, but was also slightly > a lot boy crazy/dependent when it came to Hayden.

I also liked that Sloane is not the perfect size two, super popular OR super “above it all”. She has a group of friends that are different, but not necessarily “outcasts.”  She dresses like an edgy Lola Nolan and in a size 12-14 (thought I don’t remember Hot Topic selling those sizes when I was in high school…). She deals with some guys only interested in her for her chest (I understood this part of the plot, but thought there was a little too much emphasis on it) and other guys fat-shaming her. I felt like her struggle with self-consciousness on her way to acceptance to be a refreshing change in YA literature – especially because the acceptance wasn’t just because a guy was into her (though it helped, obviously).

I didn’t feel Hayden was as developed as Sloane. He was a likable enough character, sweet and a little cheesy, protective. When the “big reveal” finally happens, I thought it was a little too rushed and I would have liked a lot more information on the Zetas and their community. Hopefully this will come in the next books.

The plot was a little slow, mostly focusing on Sloane’s investigation of Hayden and then developing their relationship. The end got a little more action-packed, but I wish there would have been a little more build up to it throughout the book. There is also a clue to a twist in the end that I guessed almost right away, but still really liked the way it was cleverly revealed.

Overall, I mostly enjoyed Lost in Starlight. Though there was some mild language and sexual content, I think the younger end of the YA spectrum would enjoy it a little more. I loved the character development of Sloane and the sweet moments between her and Hayden. I would recommend this book to fans of Twilight and YA paranormal romance.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 3
Characters: 3
Readability: 3
Enjoyability: 3
Total Average:  3 stars

Read an excerpt Here

Buy on Amazon Here

Add “Lost in Starlight” to your TBR List on Good Reads Here