29 December 2016

2016 End of Year Book Survey

The Annual End of Year Book Survey is hosted by The Perpetual Page-Turner
 2016 Reading Stats

  • Number Of Books You Read: 275 (although I'm not finished reading for the year)
  • Number of Re-Reads: 4..I have to do better with this
  • Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy -- I'm not surprised. 

 Best in Books

  • Best Book You Read In 2016? I'm going to have to cheat with this one and go with genre! 
    • Young Adult: A Study in Charlotte
    • New Adult: Calloway Sisters Series
    • Children: Masterminds
    • Literary Fiction: Homegoing 
    • Non-Fiction: Between the World & Me
    • Historical Fiction: The Nightingale
    • Graphic Novel/Comic/Manga: Saga Vol. 6
    • Fantasy: Game of Thrones 
    • Picture Books: Separate Is Never Equal



  •  Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? I'm really surprised
    but I thought I was going to like Gotham Academy Vol. 3 more than what I did. It was okay, but it wasn't as spectacular as the other volumes. 


  •  Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  Okay so this going to really different. I didn't expect to read so many picture books this year. I just started in the summer and I fell in love with them so I know I'll read a lot of them next year. 

  •  Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? I actually pushed people to read two books together as a pair. They were The Nightingale and All The Light We Cannot See. The reason why I did this is because they were two great historical fiction books that took place around the same time. I always told people that if they read one then they needed to read the other. 


  •  Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016? Best series I started in 2016 would have to be the Mastermind Series by Gordon Korman; Best Sequel of 2016 would be Crown of Embers by Rae Carson; & Best Ender of 2016 is definitely Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. 


  •  Favorite new author you discovered in 2016? Sister Souljah! She was the first author I read in the genre of Urban Fiction and I really really enjoyed her writing. 


  • Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? Choices by Skyy. This was an urban fiction book that contained 3 lesbian main characters. I've never read a book like that before and it was AMAZING. 


  • Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? This is a tough one, but if I had to choose I definitely would go with A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. That book was amazing and was definitely filled with action and a lot of drama. 


  • Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? For this I would definitely go with the Heroes of Olympus series. I waited so long to read the last book that I forgot some details of previous books. 


  • Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016? I had to choose Food Wars Vol. 3 simply because it contains my favorite character Megumi on the cover. 


  • Most memorable character of 2016? The most memorable character of 2016 would have to be Winter from the Coldest Winter Ever. She definitely stands out to me. 


  • Most beautifully written book read in 2016? There is a tie for this one. I could either go with the Nightingale or All the Light We Cannot See


  • Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016? This one is easy. It definitely was Between the
    World and Me
    . That book made me think about my life and the lives of others around me. 


  • Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? Food Wars! I don't understand why it took me so long to discover this wonderful manga series. 


  • Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016? "I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people's interests. The library was open, unending, free." --Between the World & Me-- 
  • Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016? Shortest Book: How Things Grow by Eric Carle (14 pages) Longest Book: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (838 pages)



  • Book That Shocked You The Most Surprisingly, I didn't have one of those this year. I wish I could say I did, but I didn't. I read some crazy books, but none that really stand out. 

  • OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
    My one true pair of the year would definitely have to be Daisy and Ryke from the Calloway Sisters series. 

  • Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year Definitely all the kids from the Heroes of Olympus series. There were some romantic relationships, but I absolutely love the friendships between all the characters. 


  • Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously Definitely
    Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I fell in love with this book this year and I cannot wait to continue the series next year. 


  • Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Three Times Lucky. My co-workers kept telling me how amazing the series was so I definitely had to pick it up. 


  • Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016? My newest fictional crush...to be honest I don't really have one. It was a interesting reading year, but no one stood out to me as a fictional crush. 


  • Best 2016 debut you read? A Study in Charlotte


  • Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? A Game of Thrones and Mistborn are definitely tied for this one!


  • Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? The Blood of Olympus! I was so happy to be back in this world again. 


  • Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016? The Nightingale definitely brought tears to my eyes this year. 


  • Hidden Gem Of The Year? Everything I Never Told by Celeste Ng. Definitely a wonderful book that I wouldn't have found if it wasn't for my book club. 


  • Book That Crushed Your Soul? The Coldest Winter Ever


  • Most Unique Book You Read In 2016? Food Wars--this isn't unique in the sense that it's a manga, but it's the fact that it's a battle manga with food and I love that aspect of the story. 


  • Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? L.A. Candy--The main character Jane is extremely frustrating. 

Blogging/Bookish Life


  • New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016? I have so many new blogs that I found this year there is no way I can narrow it done to just one! 

  • Favorite review that you wrote in 2016? My review of Anna Karenina is probably my favorite simply because I think that reading that book was a great accomplishment. Link: http://www.bookishrealmreviews.com/2016/10/anna-karenina-by-leo-tolstoy.html

  • Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? "Why I Read Picture Books." So many people think that picture books are simply for children; however, they are also great reading material for adults. Link: http://www.bookishrealmreviews.com/2016/07/reading-picture-books-why-i-read-them.html

  • Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? This year I went to YallFest again and I'm so happy I attended. I still kept up with some memes and tried some new ones including: Book Traveling Thursday & Waiting on Wednesday. 

  • Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016? Finding new blogs through the monthly discussion group on Twitter. 
  • Most Challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? I was so inconsistent this year and I wish I was more active on my blog. 

  • Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? My most popular post was a blog tour I was on for the book 100 Days of Cake. Here's the review: http://www.bookishrealmreviews.com/2016/05/blog-tour-100-days-of-cake-by-shari.html
  • Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? I didn't discover any new book sites or stores, but I did meet and discover some amazing bookish people. 

  • Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? The only challenge I completed this year was my Goodreads challenge! haha I plan to do better next year! 


Looking Ahead

  • One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017? My priority for 2017 will definitely be to finish up the series I was supposed to finish this year and make progress on the series I started this year. 

  • Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)? History Is All You Left Me. I must say that I absolutely love Adam Silvera. 


  • 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? The Hate U Give! This book is bound to be exciting. 


  •  Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017? The End of Oz by Danielle Paige. 


  • One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017? I need to be MORE consistent. I think I can do great things with this blog if I actually update on a consistent basis. 

  • A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: Once again The Hate U Give! I haven't read it yet, but I think this book is going to be amazing and I definitely recommend it to everyone. 

14 December 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #6: The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas


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.


Okay! So I just recently heard about this book and the amazing synopsis behind it. In fact this movie is so amazing that movie rights to it have already been sold. With the Black Lives Matter movement creating such an important stir in various parts of the nation and in our own communities, I think that this book couldn't have come at a better time. It definitely will be one of my high priority reads for 2017. 



Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.

13 December 2016

TTT: New Releases in the First Half of 2017


It's Tuesday so you know that means another Top 10 Tuesday hosted by the girls over at the Broke and the Bookish. This weeks theme is related to the new year! It's all about the new books we're excited for in  the first half of 2017. So I'm going to list mine out by month with the cover, title, and a synopsis! I hope you enjoy! : ) 

JANUARY



Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
 



In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera. 

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.




When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.




Fifteen-year-old Aki Hunter knows she’s bisexual, but up until now she's only dated guys—and her best friend, Lori, is the only person she’s out to. When she and Lori set off on a four-week youth-group mission trip in a small Mexican town, it never crosses Aki's mind that there might be anyone in the group she’d be interested in dating. But that all goes out the window when Aki meets Christa.













FEBRUARY


In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers. 

So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.



On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find 
une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?


Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.








MARCH



The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveler may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes. Fans of Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, and Outlander will fall hard for Heidi Heilig’s sweeping fantasy.

Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father? 

Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices. Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. But at the center of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. The sequel—and conclusion—to the indie darling The Girl from Everywhere will be devoured by fans of Rachel Hartman and Maggie Stiefvater. Includes black-and-white maps

APRIL



Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

MAY

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she's quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she's ever known.

08 December 2016

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr



Published: 2014
# of Pages: 530
Source: Audiobook from Overdrive 


From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).
 


Set against the back drop of WWII, All The Light We Cannot See explores the life and challenges of a blind French girl and a German boy forced to fight in a violent and bloody war. What captivated my attention the most about this novel was definitely the writing. It was so fluid and beautiful that the reader could tell the author spent a significant amount of time crafting every single sentence. It's not often that I come across books that make me feel that way. With that being said there are two other elements of the book I wish to discuss mainly in the form of the characters and plot. 

Characters: Doerr created some of the most realistic characters I've seen in a long time. Marie Laure was the epitome of courage. She was brave, intelligent, gifted, and seemingly knew all the crooks and corners of Paris despite the fact that she was blind. Watching her navigate through the hardships of the war was difficult to read. At her age I do not think it would have ever been possible for a child to be so actively involved in the Resistance against Germany. She was always willing to risk her life to empower the French people. In the same respect we meet Werner, a young boy, whose ability to work with radios propels him to work in Hitler's regiment of military youth. What I enjoyed most about his character is the fact that despite all the negative propaganda he witnessed he still turned out to be such a wonderful and heartfelt character that truly cared about the well being of others. 

Plot: In terms of the plot, I will say that it is fast in some parts and slow in others. The best advice that I would give for the plot is to be patient and really appreciate the writing. He writes in a manner that draws the reader in regardless of whether the plot is slow or not. Appreciate the building of the story as well as giving the author the opportunity to work towards the big reveals of the story. 

If you are interested in historical fiction with a plot that works on your emotions and contains the most beautiful writing then I would recommend this book. It truly was an amazing novel and it never failed to captivate me or pull in my attention. 



  

06 December 2016

Sausage Party - Movie Review

Okay guys so like I said this is definitely something new that I'm trying by writing movie reviews; however, I noticed that I watch about as many movies as I read so I wanted to start getting my thoughts out about movies that I have watched. So today I'll be taking a look at the infamous Sausage Party! I hope you enjoy! : )


Director: Greg Tiernan & Conrad Vernon 

Actors/Actresses
  • Frank Wienerton: Seth Rogen 
  • Brenda Bunson: Kristen Wiig
  • Carl: Jonah Hill 
  • Firewater: Bill Hader 
  • Barry: Michael Cera 
  • Druggie: James Franco 
  • Mr. Grits: Craig Robinson
  • Douche: Nick Kroll
  • Kareem Abdul Lavash: David Krumholtz
  • Sammy Bagel Jr: Edward Norton
  • Teresa del Taco: Selma Hayek 
Genre: Adult Animated Comedy 

Rating: R

Brief Plot Analysis: Sausage Party chronicles the adventure of food items as they seek refuge in the "Great Beyond." To them their ultimate life goal is to be chosen by humans as those same humans grocery shop. The movie itself focuses on the journey of Frank Wienerton and Brenda Bunson as they attempt to figure out what the great beyond really is. In reference to the plot, I must say it was hilarious to watch the characters figure out what exactly happens when they leave the grocery story and enter into the homes of humans. In the fashion of Seth Rogen, the humor of the movie is both underlying and crude and it took a re-watch for me to pick up on everything that was occurring within the plot and between the characters. I will say that if you haven't seen this movie be prepared for a rather inappropriate and crude ending. It is cringe worthy and definitely caused some awkwardness when I watched it with others in the movie theater.

Film Features: The animation of the film was brilliant. If Seth Rogen was aiming for writing a film that imitated Pixar and Disney then he definitely was successfully in that realm. I also think that the overall concept of the film was pretty interesting and I like the adventure aspect of it. This film even included songs just like a typical children's animated film.

Characters: This was probably the best and my favorite aspect of this entire movie. Every food object mimics an ethnicity, race, or specific origin of food. Although it may be seemingly offensive, it really made sense once you paid attention to each one of the characters. Here's a rough list of the characters and origins they may or may not represent:

  • Teriyaki Sauce: Asian
  • Earl Gray Tea: British 
  • Bagel: Jewish 
  • Flat Bread/Pita: Middle Eastern 
  • Mr. Grits: Southern Black Man 
  • Tequila: Hispanic 
  • Potato: Irish 
I'm sure there are a lot more; however, those are the ones that stood out the most to me. Generally, I thought that the characters were funny and entertaining. The only character that seemed to annoy me was Barry. He was sweet, kind, and sincere, but his inability to stand up for himself drove me absolutely crazy. Nevertheless, Barry does accomplish a lot in explaining what really happens to grocery store items after the leave the store. Another character that I strongly disliked would have to be Douche simply because he fit perfectly into the perimeters of his name. He was evil and just couldn't get past the fact that his dream of leaving the grocery store were becoming non-existent. 


Overall Thoughts: Overall, I thought that the movie was just okay. It wasn't anything particularly special as the humor in the movie was extremely crude. I did like the animation style as well as the manner in which they were slightly make fun on Pixar, Disney, and other children animation teams. If
I had to choose a scene that was the most entertaining, it would have to be the time that the characters spent in the "great beyond." It was graphic but hilarious and really illustrated the ignorance and misconceptions of the human world by the grocery story items. The part of the movie that pretty much ruined it for me was the ending scene. It was simply too crude and too over the top and honestly made me feel uncomfortable when I watched the movie in theaters. It didn't make any sense and really ruined what could have been fairly decent film. So overall, I would say the beginning and the end were entertaining; however, they lost me in the end. If you like adult animated themes with a crude sense of humor then you'll probably enjoy this film; however, if you don't enjoy these things then I would steer clear of it. Sidenote: Do no watch this movie with your parents! It will be wayyyy too awkward.