23 August 2016

Bout of Books Update #1 and Challenge #2



Okay so as you guys know I'm participating in the Bout of Books Readathon taking place this week. Today is just going to be a quick update of what I read yesterday and also the second challenge. Today is the last day to sign up so be sure to follow all of the directions below in the description of the readathon. 
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Tuesday Challenge: Mix 'n' Match

Okay so today's challenge was to choose 10-15 books and flip through them and choose a random word. Since I'm at work I didn't have time to flip through each book so I chose the first word in each title and came up with the following sentence: 




"I'm Always Keeping Stella's Loot When Dancing Ninja'(s) Spy." 



Monday: August 22nd 


  • Book: 
  • Page Count: Mister Bud Wears the Cone: 40 pgs & Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens: 5 pages
  • Total Page Count: 45
  • Books Finished: Mister Bud Wears The Cone






Tuesday: August 23rd 


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Wednesday: August 24th


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Thursday: August 25th


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Friday: August 26th


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Satuday: August 27th 


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Sunday: August 28th


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21 August 2016

Bout of Books 17 Readathon !



Okay guys so I've made a last minute decision to participate in Bout of Books 17.0. This is my first time taking part in this readathon and from what I've heard it's really laid back with daily challenges and great flexibility in TBR. Since I've been awful with TBRs this year I'm just going to attempt to read as much as I can this week and document it along the way. Here are the rules and guidelines for this cycle's participation:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
Here is the progress chart I plan to follow all week:

Monday: August 22nd 


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Tuesday: August 23rd 


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Wednesday: August 24th


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Thursday: August 25th


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Friday: August 26th


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Satuday: August 27th 


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Sunday: August 28th


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18 August 2016

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson


Published: 2006
# of Pages: 541
Source: Purchased Copy, Book Outlet


In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson's intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage — Allomancy, a magic of the metals.
 


There is no way in the world for me to be able to write down all of my thoughts and opinions about this book so I decided to review it based on several different elements including plot development, world building, and characters. So let's go ahead and get started so I can completely and totally gush about how much I loved this book. 

Plot Development: Brandon Sanderson has to be the king of plot development. He skillfully builds his worlds in layers only allowing the reader to get access to the world one piece at a time. Although you may think this would make the world move really slow it actually moves rather quickly. Sometimes the conversations amongst the characters seemed endless and rather pointless if just viewed from the surface; however, they turned out to be extremely intricate and important to the plot. I loved that as a reader I never knew what to expect. There were so many twist and turns and unexpected decisions. This is what made the novel so good. It was not what I had in mind by far. The manner in which Sanderson drives the plot is brilliant and with the addition of world-building I could find no fault in the novel. 

World Building: One of the most intricate aspects of the world building in the novel was the magic system. Allomancy which is the basis for all aspects of this novel is one of the most unique and interesting magic systems I've ever seen. I mean the characters in this book make use of the most common elements that we see and use daily. I did have to keep notes of all the powers affiliated with each metal so I could understand their powers and limitations. However, the more I read about each metal characteristic affiliated with the metals the more I knew and understood the metals off the top of my head. Brandon Sanderson broke the powers of Allomancy down in a way that I could understand them and learn their usages the same way Vin had to learn. I would suggest utilizing the reference section in the back of the book if the metals get too confusing. 
My notes while reading. 


Characters: I absolutely loved the characters in this book so I'm going to go through each of the main characters and express my thoughts on them. 

  • Vin: Gosh I absolutely love her and the progress she makes from the typical street urchin to a well established user of Allomancy. 
  • Kelsier: My hero! My everything! I absolutely love him. There are not enough words to describe how amazing he is and how powerful he is in both spirit and mind. I loved reading everything about Kelsier. 
  • Sazed: He is one of the most beautiful and loving characters in this entire book. I adored the relationship he built with Vin and how he cared for her throughout the process of her learning to use Allomancy. Outside of Kelsier he definitely was my favorite male lead. 
  • Elend Venture: Elend and i have a love/hate relationship. I liked the fact that he pushed so hard for social reform; however, I don't think he did enough. He just talked so much about change, but I don't think that he actually worked hard enough for that change until the very end. 
Overall this novel was AMAZING. I can't wait to read the next installments. Brandon Sanderson has created a world that I can't get enough of and I love it. If you're looking for an intricate magic system with great characters I would definitely recommend reading this book. 





16 August 2016

Top 10 Tuesday: Books Set In A Boarding School



So it's Tuesday which means it's time for another Top 10 Tuesday hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is focused on a topic where bloggers could choose to highlight 10 books in a particular setting. I chose to focus on boarding school. Keep reading to see what I chose!! : ) 



Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: This list would not be complete without Harry Potter. It has boarding schools & MAGIC. I mean come on who wouldn't want to go to a magical boarding school. 










A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro: This is definitely for individuals who are fans of Sherlock Holmes. Murder, mystery, and suspense all at a boarding school. 













Morning Glories: This is probably one of the most twisted boarding school stories I've ever read. It's creepy, but also unique and it definitely was fun to read. 













The School for Good & Evil by Soman Chainani: What I think I loved most about this book was not only that it takes place at a boarding school, but also the fact that nothing is what it seems. And when I say nothing I mean absolutely nothing. 











Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray: If you know anything about Libba Bray you know that she has this tendency to write AMAZING stories. So I definitely had to check this series out. It not only takes place at a boarding school but it also has some mystical/paranormal elements as well. 












Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Two words: mythology & boarding school. That's all I'm going to say. 














Gotham Academy: If you're a fan of anything related to Gotham City I would definitely recommend checking this series out. It takes place at a boarding school and it pays a lot of homage to the original city in which Batman fought most of his crime! : ) 












Looking for Alaska by John Green: This isn't my favorite John Green book, but it contains a boarding school element and definitely has some unexpected twists and turns. 












Hex Hall Series by Rachel Hawkins: This is the series where I fell in love with Rachel Hawkins. It's a paranormal book that takes at a boarding school and contains so many different elements that you as a reader do not see coming. I highly recommend this series. 












The Private Series by Kate Brian: I will start by saying this isn't the best written series, but it was my guilty pleasure growing up and I loved the boarding school elements. 

11 August 2016

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Publication: April 2012 
# of Pages: 329
Source: Library Copy 


There is need. And then there is Fate. Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's other half is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon--and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude--or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.


I want to start off by saying that this book was a great improvement in terms of plot and character development. Jennifer L. Armentrout clearly improved on this story line and made it more fast-paced and engaging. 

What I liked most about this book in the series was being able to see the new rules implemented since half-bloods can be turned into demons. Watching these stringent rules be put into place illustrates the different ways in which half-bloods and pures are treated differently. It's clear that pures are valued more in their society than their half-blood counterparts which is awful considering the fact that they are both descendants of the gods. Another aspect of the novel that I readily enjoyed was the development of the relationship between Seth and Alex. If you didn't know I have been completely rooting for Seth simply because he is raw around the edges and he's not scared to tell it like it is. He doesn't baby Alex, but he still manages to show that he has her best interest at hand. The only thing  that bothers me about Seth is that he's secretive and never gives a straight answer. When Alex has questions about becoming the next Apollyon he refuses to give her any exact answers. Part of this frustrates me, but then I think all the answers will come with the next couple of books. 

One aspect of the book that I definitely did not enjoy was Alex's obsession with Aiden. It's completely dangerous and reckless and can ruin everything that she has worked for. It is simply outrageous to know that Alex is willing to ruin her life for Aiden. Meanwhile I commend Aiden (who probably really loves Alex) on putting their safety first. It takes true strength and confidence to look past romance and think more about safety. 

With that being said I think that Alex has a lot of growing up to do before she takes on the role of becoming the Apollyon; however, I'm really loving where this series is going and I can't wait to see where the future books take me. If you are interested in fast paced, high action books that contain mythology I would definitely recommend this series. 


10 August 2016

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen



Publication: 2004
# of Pages: 228
Source: Purchased Copy 


Colie expects the worst when she's sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast -- first for being fat and then for being "easy" -- Colie has no friends at home and doesn't expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina. 

But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.


Imagine being ridiculed for not only your physical appearance but also your personality. Sarah Dessen's main character Colie knows all about it and doesn't expect anything to be any different when she spends time with her eccentric aunt in North Carolina, but it is there that she learns the most about herself and grows into a beautiful young woman. 

What I enjoyed most about this whole novel was the characters. My favorite had to be Colie's eccentric aunt Mira. I love when people are so comfortable in their skin that they don't care what anyone thinks. It takes an unusual strength in character to be able to do something of that nature. Because Mira is able to define herself as such a strong and unique character she serves as a role model for Colie who needs to learn how to be comfortable in her own skin. Another character aspect that I enjoyed was the friendship amongst all the girls. Even when one of them was doing something completely out of control or nonsensical they still found reasons to stick together through a series of harsh events. 

The only aspect of this book that didn't do anything for me was the romance between Colie and Norman. In my opinion it fit into a classic trope of "falling in love with your best friend." Don't get me wrong, Norman is a great character and I think he teaches Colie a lot about finding the beauty within; however, I think that the novel would have been great if it only focused on the development of self-confidence and the importance of female friendships. Not ever contemporary book needs a romance. 

Last, but not least, I truly appreciate Sarah Dessen's writing style and how she tackled all these different issues. If you are looking for some insight to bullying and growing to love oneself and others for not only the outside, but also the inside then I recommend this book. With the issues of bullying occurring worldwide this an important book to read. 


Waiting on Wednesday #2, Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. This is my first time participating in this meme, but I've seen it across so may different blogs I just had to participate. To participate all you have to do is spotlight upcoming publications you're eagerly anticipating. Keep reading to see what I have chosen for this week!


If you didn't know I'm a huggeeee fan of the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes so I am super excited that the fifth book is coming out this year. If you've never read it before I would definitely recommend checking it out. It's written in multiple perspectives and can be described as Game of Thrones for young adults. I fly through all of these books and their spin-offs so I know I will fly right through this one. Let me know what book you're most excited for in the comments below. 


 Expected Publication: December 13, 016
# of Pages: 336
Publisher: Razorbill 


MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he's no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.

LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise. 

JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.

AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she'll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.
And what kind of darkness will descend--and who will be safe--after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?