underhyped, in my opinion!

SO! wow, a second post in just as many days? If you saw my last post, I reworked and restarted the TYLC17 challenge…AND I AM ALREADY ON CHALLENGE 2! But more on that….whenever.

For challenge one: series you meant to start in ’16, I read The Book of Ivy, by Amy Engel. AND I FREAKING LOVED IT. I finished it in one sitting [under 4 hours]…so good! So good, that I read book 2: The Revolution of Ivy, in one sitting, about 3.5 hours….IT IS A DUOLOGY, I am actually really happy about that. Yeah, after finishing, it’d be awesome to have a third, but I think it was perfect just as.

I don’t think I have ever seen this series over on IG, so I am planning on buying them in paperback as soon as I can, so I can start showing them off on there and hopefully get it some much needed attention.


about the book: After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…


I really did enjoy this one, so if this sounds interesting to you, go read it! and let me know, I’d love to talk to anyone who ends up loving it like I did. It is super fast paced, and there is quite a bit of action. ALSO, BISHOP *drool face*

~A

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#TYLC17

Today is a momentous occasion! I am not only writing here for the first time in like a month, but at 230 am, I FINISHED the reading challenge! So I thought I would do a little run down on all the books I read because of it, and what I plan to do with my life now.

There were 15 challenges, with all the books in any one of those series that I OWNED ALREADY, I had the possibility of reading up to 22 books [and more if I had bought books in those series]. I ended up reading 18! I decided that some of the books were not for me, and I didn’t continue on in the series. I hate that…you don’t buy all the books so then you’re stuck waiting because you absolutely devoured the first one, BUT if you buy them all, you only read one and have wasted money. READER PROBLEMS.

My favorite books [in no order] were The Longest Ride, This Savage Song [& Our Dark Duet], and Salt to the Sea [WHICH I FINISHED THIS MORNING, AND I AM DEAD].

My LEAST favorite books were This Great & Terrible Beauty & Breathe….which honestly, I didn’t finish, or more like, I skimmed through and read the ends.

My least favorite that I actually finished MIGHT earn me some haters. I did NOT like the Six of Crows duology, which were the first two books I finished.
I did NOT like Lady Midnight, although, the ending did pick up, so it wasn’t altogether awful.
I did NOT like Red Rising, sorry Suey! there is just something about rough, made up languages that I just can’t stand.

Other books I didn’t like: the infinite sea, although that doesnt surprise me, since I didn’t like book one.

The rest were good, or were just okay. Heartless wasn’t bad. I read that in about 4 hours. My Lady Jane was slow to begin with, but I ended up liking it once I got past the change in historical facts.

I decided to not continue on in the falling kingdoms series after reading book one. It wasn’t bad, but it took me forever to read, and I didn’t really find it to be very interesting. Sadly, I own two other books in that series….but thats okay.

I reread The Kiss of Deception [which I didn’t really care for the first time…] and ended up skimming through the previously tabbed parts. I had the sequel [challenge pick] on my currently reading list for WEEKS, and having only read 30 pages that entire time, I forced myself to sit down and read and finished less than 24 hours later. It wasn’t bad…..not really, but I don’t see myself going out and buying book three, because I don’t really care to see what happens THAT much.

I decided to change challenge 10 from ACOMAF [yeah, no thanks….] to the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes, which I had been meaning to read forever. I enjoyed it, but I think the first one was better.

I finally finished the young elites trilogy. I loved it as I read it…..but IDK, thinking about it now, I don’t think it was really that great….and although the ending wasn’t terrible, I felt like more could have been done.

annnnnnnnnnd I think that is all the books. Sorry thats so randomly put together. BUT REALLY, who reads this anyways? haha.

WHAT DO I PLAN ON DOING NOW? It is only August, so I have a few months left. I have loved this challenge, and getting some of those books off my shelves. I thought about just adding a couple of “bonus” challenges, but then I decided to just go through these challenges again and pick different books. I may have cheated, as I went through and made my list, but since its August, and its OWNED BUT UNREAD, not necessarily Pre-2017 books, I have gone ahead and added some of my earlier in the year purchases. I changed some of the challenges too, but thats more to suit what I own more than anything.

SO! I present to you: TYLC17 [B]

C1 SERIES BEGINNER:
the book of ivy [amy engel] – I have actually already started this and am liking it a lot so far! I couldn’t sleep after finishing the salt to the sea [because it was so sad and I didn’t want that in my head as I laid down], so I went ahead and started this, having made this new challenge list last night before I actually started C15.

C2 ONE WORD TITLE
caraval [stephanie garber] – I’ve seen mixed reviews of this, but mostly good ones. I want to read it before I have to add it to my 2018 challenge [which I am definitely making!]

C3 NON YA READ:
pucked [helena hunting] – I’ve had this one a while…it is actually a Kindle read [same as the book of ivy], I am not sure why I haven’t read this one yet, but it has been a while since I’ve read a NA/MA book, so I figured i’d just force my self to get back into those genres.

C4 LAME COVER [I shortened the title :D]:
hex hall [rachel hawkins] – I can’t really say how long i’ve had this book, a good while! so its just time to read it and see if its worth keeping or if there will be more room on my shelves.

C5 SCENE ON COVER:
the goblin wood [hilari bell] – like c4, I don’t know how long I have had it, I don’t even know where I got it, so definitely time to give it a try!

C6 500 PAGES:
a discovery of witches [deborah harkness] – I guess this is being made into a movie, or a tv series….so I figured I would give it a shot and see what it is all about.

C7 RECOMMENDED BOOK:
and I darken [kiersten white] – THANKS BECKY [@suey_library] for telling me to read this, I hope I love it as much as you do. I also own book two on my kindle, so here is to loving it enough to read that one too!

C8 MULTI AUTHOR:
summer days and summer nights [misc] – I had originally changed this challenge, but remembered that I had gotten this recently, figured this was a good way to make sure I at least gave it a try.

C9 2016 RELEASE
dark days club [alison goodman] – I had hoped to get to this one this year, because I’ve heard good things, I just haven’t and this is a good way to motivate myself to read it.

C10 BOOKISH LETTER [A]
altered [jennifer rush] – I am noticing that a lot of these are books I randomly picked up and have just been sitting on my shelves too long. I know almost nothing about this one, so we shall see how it goes.

C11 CHAPTER NAMES:
sweet temptations [wendy higgins] – I don’t actually know if this one has chapter names, but since the sweet evil trilogy DOES, and this is basically those books but in the male perspective, I would imagine it does. I meant to read this after finishing the trilogy, but never did. So yep, definitely time to give it a try.

C12 LOVED TITLE
the flame never dies [rachel vincent] – this is definitely a book I want to read before the year is out! I really liked the first book, and I meant to read this when it released but never got around to it. I definitely plan on rereading book one first.

C13 BOOK WITH ROYALS
the stars above [marissa meyer] – I actually got this book recently, but since I couldn’t find many options for royals on my shelves that I haven’t read or are not YA books that I don’t feel like reading, I figured I’d just read this since I’ve been meaning to since it released.

C14 PERSONLESS COVER
carve the mark [veronica roth] – despite all the hate for this book, I need to read it. I will pass judgement on it then, and only then.

C15 STANDALONE
roseblood [ag howard] – I didn’t like her splintered series, well the first book anyway, which I barely got through…but! its phantom of the opera….so I figured I would give the author another try. I have avoided reviews of this book, but the few I’ve seen are less than favorable…but that just gives me more reason to see if it is worth keeping on my shelves or if I can make room for new books.

Annnnnnd that is it. This is the new 15. It took me almost 9 months to finish the first list, but that was with heavy breaks, having only read the first 4 challenges in the first 4 months or so. I have completed the last half in only a couple months, so let us see if I can keep up with that pace and knock these all out before the new year.

I really do want to make a challenge for 2018! So if you have any ideas for prompts let me know.

-A

 

That Glass Throne


5/5

“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.” 

That quote is still one of my all-time favorites and I feel like it’s just so perfectly representative of Celaena and her journey. 

I don’t think I could ever express my love for this book and this series properly. Man, do I adore it though. I remember the first time I picked this book up, completely blindly back when only the first two books had been released. I found a copy at the library, desperate for a good fantasy series and devoured it in less than a day. I immediately text my friend and told her she had to read it, while I went to grab the second book from the library. I gave her the library copy, and we’d both finished the first two books in less than four days. Lucky for us, that happened to be the day after book three was released. What was a reader to do when the waiting list at the library was ten people long? Drive to Barnes and Noble ten minutes before the close and pick up two copies, dropping one off at my friend’s house before rushing home to read my own copy. :p This series called out to me from day one and I’ve adored it since I picked it up from the library. 

People can be harsh with this series- and so many others; I’ve yet to let anyone else’s opinions change or alter my own though, and I tend to take books at face value. I enjoyed the storyline, and to me, that’s what books are all about- the escape, the new world, the characters. And this book certainly offered all of that and then some. I’m tired of what this community has turned into at times, hating on authors or readers for what’s written or enjoyed and it makes me sick sometimes. Unless a book is BLATANTLY sexist, or BLATANTLY racist, agist, etc. I have no problem with them if I enjoy the storyline. And in all honesty, I don’t need that negativity, I don’t need those sorts of people surrounding me. Celaena said it best, “No. I can survive well enough on my own— if given the proper reading material.” 

Thank you, Maas for providing this world. I adore Celaena and her journey. I love Chaol, Dorian, Nehemia, and everyone else alongside them- good or bad. I will stand by this series until the end, I adore it with all my heart.

_____________

-Lauren

Currently Reading:

-Crown of Midnight

-The Last Magician

It’s Been A While….

I can’t even say when I posted last….May…? June….? longer? A lot has happened, but that isn’t really why I have neglected this blog.

I just felt like I was doing the same thing over and over and over again, and repetition gets to me after a while. I am not sure if the whole blog thing is for me, as I don’t live a very exciting life, and I don’t really like the reviewing thing.

I feel like you can only talk about your bookshelves so many times, and if you want progress on books, why not just go to Goodreads?

SO! lets talk about what has been going on.

I was in a very unhappy living situation for almost a year, It seemed that every passing day added to the depression that I have lived with for a long time. I can’t do the meds, they make me feel worse. I just need to stay in a semi-positive environment, which that was not. SO! back in June, that whole 30 days ago….well, a little more….I was finally done. I had reached my breaking point, so I packed myself, and my son up, and went to my mothers. I spent the afternoons with my husband, but other than that, I was with my mom, surrounded by her daycare kids [which consist of my 3 nephews and 1 niece]. My son got to visit with children finally, as unless I see my siblings or go to my moms during the day, his life basically consists of me, his daddy and his grandparents [on his dads side]. You know, I should have been really upset that I was basically homeless, and that my son was basically homeless, but! for the first time in months I felt freaking relieved. I had NO idea what we as a family would do from there, but I knew I was free from that incredibly negative situation, so I was happy. Since we hadn’t really time to plan anything, as we had actually planned on leaving a month or two later than I did…..I was at my moms for a bit until we were able to find a place.

I AM REFERRING TO JUNE 23 as my Sunday miracle. I had looked at a few places online, and we had a few appointments lined up to see some of those places, so, I shouldn’t have had to look, but Sunday morning, I woke up early, before L, and I just happened to jump online while I was waiting for my coffee to brew, and right at the freaking top… “PRICE REDUCED” 2 bedroom with a garage…. NOT an apartment building, not some small little place, BUT A TOWNHOUSE. a very nice townhouse, with an incredibly affordable price tag…..so I immediately texted the info to my husband, who called them right away. We still went and saw the place we had an appointment for that day, WHICH FUNNY THING, was on the OTHER side of the Cul de sac from the place I had found that morning….it wasn’t bad, but I didn’t see myself living there long term. It was small, no place for storage, no garage [even though there WAS one, the owner just wasn’t renting out the garages with the apartments….which was lame, and a deal breaker…], SO! we had hours to kill before our other showing, but just as we were leaving they had texted Nic saying YOU CAN COME NOW! so, we hopped in the car and went that whole….10 hours down, haha, and we get there…. AND IT IS NOT THE SAME APARTMENT THAT WAS ADVERTISED….. It was FREAKING BETTER. So the layout of this building….the 4 garages are in the front, there are 2 entrances on either side. Units 1 and 3 are end units that are located in the back with 2 levels. Units 2 and 4 are in the front on top of the garages. We originally went to look at Unit 2, but were shown Unit 1…..I thought the price would go up, I didn’t think it was going to work, BUT EVERYTHING WAS THE SAME, except we got a two level townhouse that had a half bath that the upstairs front unit didn’t have. SO! We jumped on it immediately, and 2 days later we were moving in.

I can’t say my depression has totally dissipated from what it has been the last few months, but I am getting better. Being on our own again, finally, after such a long time has been wonderful, and it is really nice for our son who basically has the whole downstairs to explore [except the bathroom and laundry room, of course]. He is going to be 1 here, in less than a month, and it has been so amazing watching him grow. He is definitely a happy child, with a huge personality. He learns new things every day, and I am really happy that he has a true home again.

 

THAT situation is not why I haven’t been posting, per se…well, maybe the depression thing, but I am, in general….kind of over the social media thing. I’ve strongly considered just being done with Instagram. I am pretty much done with Goodreads, as I’ve only been using it to keep track of books instead of being active and talking to people. I feel like Bookstagram is more of a place for people to hate on people, and be assholes, and to voice their NON BOOKISH opinions and then go on rants because people shut them down, or other people jump on board and it creates even more negativity. It was fun at first, but now I am not really liking it…WHICH IS A SHAME, because my husband knows I’ve been wanting to move to an indoor theme, so he purchased some really awesome lighting for me as an early anniversary/birthday present. The atmosphere just seems tainted somehow. It was so fun at first, everyone coming together no matter what genre or subject matter of book they were reading, and now we have people bullying others because they want to read a book to form their own opinion, when the bullies themselves take opinions of others and over exaggerate content matter. I feel like everything is about diversity. If you read books with white straight ablebodied people you’re the worst person in the world. If these authors TRY to be diverse, they aren’t doing it “well enough” so people tear them, and the readers down….etc, etc, etc….

There is just way too much drama….I pick up a book, and read…..if it is entertaining to me, I read it. If it is boring, I don’t read it. I don’t care if the characters are white, yellow, brown, black, purple, straight, gay, or any number of the other orientations there are, if I don’t like the writing, I am not going to like it. I think people spend way too much time concentrating on the tiny little details that they hate anything they pick up. I don’t think people should judge, or be judged for the books they read. It reminds me of all the “girl on girl hate”….that person finds enjoyment in reading, just as much as you do….so just let them read what makes them happy, and you do the same thing.

I don’t even know where that rant came from. It is late, I am tired….and I guess my lack of recent posts has made me miss writing, haha [but not enough to make this an every day thing again].

What bookish thoughts do I have……

I have reached my Goodreads reading goal of 65 books in 2017, and have surpassed it. I am currently reading books 71 & 72 of the year. One of which is my challenge 10 pick for the tackleyourlibrarychallenge17 reading challenge. I feel like I am the only one actually taking part in it, but since I did it for just Lauren and I, and THEN decided to make it a public thing, I am not too worried. It has helped me tremendously, and I can’t wait to make one for 2018.

I’ve spent the last 3 days cleaning and organizing my goodreads shelves. In my “want to read-to be bought” shelf, I went from somewhere around 400 to just under 90. Books I’d either bought since I’d organized last, found for free, borrowed, or simply just didn’t want to read anymore. Today, I started with my Amazon wishlists. Most of the books on Goodreads made their way to “wishlists” on Amazon over the years, so that I could keep track of prices for kindle books….Honestly though? I don’t even know why I ever put a good 2/3 books on there, because they did not sound at all interesting to me….so I’ve lowered those lists a lot too.

Wellllll, I am getting kind of bored writing, so I think I will end this and go back to my movie before heading off to bed.

~A

 

Remember It’s Only a Game

5/5

“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find yourself to magic in this world.”

This book was on my radar for several months before it’s release; I mean, after reading Night Circus, I absolutely adored the whole concept of these magical circuses/ performances. When I saw that Owlcrate’s theme was “Night at the Circus” right around this book’s release, I knew that this was the book that would be included and it killed me waiting to buy the book from stores. And now, after finally reading the book, I’m kicking myself for not having read it sooner.

I fell in love with this book pretty much from day one when I read the premise, and I definitely was not disappointed when actually reading the book. Talk about some amazing world-building! It was even more incredible than I could have ever hoped for it to be.

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold onto. But not much is needed.”

Without giving too much away, I will say that I loved all the characters. I loved the storyline. I loved the twists. I loved the world. I. Loved. Caraval.

I’m not sure that I can ever recall a time that I read a book with as many unexpected twists as this book. I know the whole tag line, “Remember it’s only a game” and Scarlett being told constantly to not believe anything that she sees or hears as truth, I should’ve expected more than I did; but no matter how much I guessed at, there was always something new right around the corner. It definitely held my interest and left me guessing at what certain things could possibly mean- like those damn clues! Every single time I thought I’d figured something out, a new twist came about or something big arose that made you realize you were wrong the whole time. After finishing, I realized something that left me both endlessly pleased and frustrated: the whole book was written with the intent of subtly misdirecting the audience… just like a real magic show.

Pretty sure that this book is, and will remain, among one of my top reads for the whole year. If you’re on the fence about reading this book at all, give it a shot. It’s definitely worth the read.

Waiting for the next book to come out is going to be a whole new breed of torture. With that damn cliffhanger ending, I’m sure I’m not the only one chomping at the bit for the sequel.

“Some things are worth persuit regardless of the cost.”

_______

-Lauren

Currently Reading:

-Dream a Little Dream (Kerstin Geir): page 40

-Novice (BR with boyfriend): page 104

Curses, Swords, and Magic, Oh My!


5/5! Loved this.

 “…your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight but what you fear.” 

In all honesty, I bought this duology out of order and without having the tiniest clue what they were about. I’ve had them just sitting on my shelf for at least a year now- this seems to be a common occurrence for me. Though, I know I’m not alone in that problem. In fact, as many of you know, Ash and I even created a whole reading challenge for the year in order to tackle some of the ones we’ve got. 

Definitely glad to have finally picked this one up!! I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. I’ve always been a sucker for things that involve witch hunting (such a horribly tragic time in human history) and when one like this includes actual witchcraft and an interesting take on Magic and everything that goes along with it, I can’t help but love it. Ugh.

The storyline was super unique but very easy to follow, though not without its twists. And the book as a whole flowed so seamlessly. I was hooked while reading this entire book- there was so much depth to all aspects of the storyline and the characters. 
I loved watching Elizabeth develop as a character throughout this book. Her growth was amazing and seeing how she worked through her fear(s) was such an incredible thing to witness. Such a good book!
_______

Lauren 

It’s the End(game) of the World as we know it.


5/5

First of all, a big thank you to my lovely boyfriend Matt for picking this book out and for being willing to read it with me. Being able to hear your thoughts as you read, seeing who you liked first hand as I formed my own opinions and finishing the book within ten minutes of you just proves all over again that I’m lucky to have found you. Thank you for being willing to put up with my craziness and doing a buddy read with me. (:

REVIEW TIME! 

“This is Endgame, bitch. Best get used to it.” 

Oh, man. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Despite there being periods of time I didn’t touch it at all, picking it back up I was always thoroughly immersed in the story and the characters and everything else that was going on. This one hooked me from the first page and kept me hooked until the very end. 

Given the premise and everything, I definitely anticipated enjoying this book, but I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy it. 

One qualm I’d have, given the premise, is that there really wasn’t enough death. Albeit, the deaths that did occur were quite brutal and I felt like that was true to the aim of the book, but I’m anticipating a lot more death in the future books or I’ll be quite sad…. sounds weird, I know. But it’s a book about the impending doom of the planet and I can count the number of deaths we witnessed on one hand- aside from one exception. 

I don’t want to give too much away because this book was like a puzzle at times and I loved being fed little bits of information at a time. It really did make me want to continue reading. I absolutely cannot wait to pick the next book in this series up!!

__________

-Lauren

Currently Reading:

-The Witch Hunter (just starting)

-Island of Exiles (just starting)