Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
(Harry Potter #6)
by J.K. Rowling
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Publication Date: August 27th 2013
(first published July 16th 2005)
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 652
ISBN: 9780545582995 (15th Anniversary Edition)
Genre: Children's | Fantasy | Magic
Source: Own

Add to Goodreads

Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.
And yet…

As in all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate — and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it’s the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort — and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

While I had read the other books in the Harry Potter series before, this was my absolute first time reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. While I was super excited to be moving along in my Harry Potter readathon, I was also a little worried, especially considering how dark the previous book had been. This book, well, this is the book that completely broke me.

I know I've gone on and on in my previous posts about the characters in this book, so I'm just going to say, I still love them all. Actually, I love them even more after reading this book, if that's even possible. Harry, Ron and Hermione have a friendship that everyone wants, but most people rarely have, and I've loved watching this bond grow more and more as the series has gone along. I have so many favorite characters in this series, and this post would be more like a novel if I went on and on about them. I just love them all.

As I mentioned above, this is the book in the series that completely broke me. I knew what was coming near the end, as it is super hard to avoid spoilers for a book that has been out so long, but while I knew the main events, I did not know the details, and that's what really got me. I was an absolute complete blubbering mess from chapter 27 on to the end of the book. While I have cried at the previous books in the series, this one was super ugly crying. That ending, it just broke my heart. Sigh.

Overall; even though this book broke my heart into so many pieces, I still adored so many things about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I'm so glad to have finally read it. I really wish I had read it sooner. It looks like I'm actually going to finish the Harry Potter series this year, bring on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #261 - Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
Traitor to the Throne
(Rebel of the Sands #2)
by Alwyn Hamilton
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Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780451477859

Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

The sizzling, un-put-downable sequel to the bestselling Rebel of the Sands!

Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she's fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan's palace—she's determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan's secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she's a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she's been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change. (Goodreads)

Ahhh, I'm super excited to get my hands on this sequel!
I really enjoyed Rebel of the Sands when I read it last year,
and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next in the series.
I have to admit, I am a bit bummed with the cover change,
but I'm still really excited for the book. :)
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016

December 6
: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016

1. Alexandra Bracken (Passenger) - I have quite a few of Alexandra Bracken's books on my TBR, but Passenger is the first book I read of hers. I'm super excited to read the rest of her books now!

2. Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea) - I had heard many, many good things about Ruta Sepetys, and I was really excited to read something by her! Salt to the Sea did not disappoint, and I have more of her books on my TBR to read now!

3. Jessica Brody (A Week of Mondays) - Jessica Brody is another author whose books have been on my TBR for way too long. A Week of Mondays was great, and I'm definitely a new fan!

4. Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything) -I was a little late to the Everything, Everything bandwagon, but once I read it, I was hooked! I have The Sun is Also a Star sitting on my shelf, and I hope to get to it soon!

5. Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) - I had this book sitting on my shelf for way too long, and I ended up listening to the audiobook of it instead, and it was SO good! Super excited to get started on Becky's upcoming release now!

6. Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls) - I picked up this book for a Halloween Read, and it ended up being one of the best books I've read this year. I can't wait to read more by Patrick soon!

7. Victoria Schwab (This Savage Song) - Believe it or not, This Savage Song is the first book I've read by Victoria Schwab, even though I have two of her other books sitting on my shelf. I loved it! So excited to read the rest of her books now!

8. Renee Ahdieh (The Wrath & The Dawn) - Another book that I was late to the party for, The Wrath and the Dawn! I'm pretty picky about my retellings, but I LOVED this book, and the sequel is great as well! I'm really looking forward to Renee's next release, Flame in the Mist!

9. Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) - Ahh, I finally read this book after it has been sitting on my shelf for years! And, I enjoyed it so much more than I expected to. I'm super excited to continue the series!

10. William Ritter (Jackaby) - This is another book I picked up for my Halloween Reads week, and I seriously couldn't believe that I hadn't picked up the series sooner. I love it, and I can't wait to read the last book!

There you have it!
Just a few of my favorite new-to-me authors this year!
I'm still SO behind on my reading lately,
but I'm excited to read more by these authors soon!!

Who were your favorite new-to-me authors this year??

Monday, December 5, 2016

My Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
(Harry Potter #5)
by J.K. Rowling
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Publication Date: August 27th 2013
(first published June 21st 2003)
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 870
ISBN: 9780545582971 (15th Anniversary Edition)
Genre: Children's | Fantasy | Magic
Source: Own

Add to Goodreads

Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

There is a door at the end of a silent corridor. And it’s haunting Harry Potter’s dreams. Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror?

Here are just a few things on Harry’s mind:
• A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey
• A venomous, disgruntled house-elf
• Ron as keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team
• The looming terror of the end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams

…and of course, the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. In the richest installment yet of J. K. Rowling’s seven-part story, Harry Potter is faced with the unreliability of the very government of the magical world and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts.

Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he finds depth and strength in his friends, beyond what even he knew; boundless loyalty; and unbearable sacrifice.

Though thick runs the plot (as well as the spine), readers will race through these pages and leave Hogwarts, like Harry, wishing only for the next train back. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Moving along in my Harry Potter re-readathon, I was super excited to start Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! I listened to the audiobook for Order of the Phoenix in the past, but unfortunately, I don't remember much from it. But I'm ok with that, because it's almost like getting to read the series from the beginning again!

Harry Potter continues to amaze me more and more as this series goes along. As do Ron and Hermione. I was not nearly as clever as these kids were when I was their age, and there's no way I could have made it through some of the things they went through. But their friendship is everything, and I'm so glad that they have each other.

I love seeing my favorite characters from the past return in this story.  Professor Mcgonagall, Hagrid, and Dumbledore will forever be some of my favorite characters, and I especially enjoyed seeing Siruis and Lupin again as well. And like with most books in the series, in Order of the Phoenix, we are introduced to a lot of interesting new characters. I absolutely adore Luna Lovegood, Tonks and Grawp. They are all awesome. There is, however, one character in this story, who I know you'll know who I'm talking about before I even say the name, that made me rage so many times!! I don't think I've EVER hated a character so much as I hated Delores Umbridge. Oh my, this woman was pure evil, and I can totally see why so many people hate her.

The storyline for this book felt a lot darker than any of the previous books, and to be honest, it was hard to read at times. So much anger in so many people. Which, of course, was completely justifiable. I was SO angry as well. I did love that we got some answers along with the story, and a lot of things are starting to make better sense now. Can I also add that this book was massive? Coming in at 800+ pages, I was really worried that it was going to take a while to read, but I managed to read the bulk of it in one weekend, and I'm surprised that the time flew by so quickly while I was reading!

Overall; I didn't remember much from when I read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix the first time, so rereading this book was a great refresher. I'm enjoying this series so much, and I really can't wait to get started on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I have NOT read before!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My December 2016 TBR & Most Anticipated Releases!!

Hi Friends! Can you believe it's December already?? I'll be super busy this month trying to get caught up on my reading goal, and I have a lot of exciting books planned to read! I only have two books left in the Harry Potter series to read, so I'm really excited to finish that series. I'm also planning to read some more of the *Series of Unfortunate Events* series as well. I also have some books I'm trying to catch up on, and I'm hoping to fit in some Christmas stories as well!!

My December TBR:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Super excited to get started on these, and I hope I can reach my reading goal this month!!

Here are some more exciting December releases:

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Island of Glass by Nora Roberts

What books are you most excited to read in December??

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 2016 Wrap Up & Book Haul

*November Book Haul*

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern
Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

*November Wrap Up*

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket*
The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
The Amateurs by Sara Shepard
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

While I didn't get to finish ALL the Harry Potter books like I had hoped to in November,
I did manage to read three of them, so I only have two to go in my Harry Potter rereadathon!
I also started listening to the *Series of Unfortunate Events* audiobooks this month,
mostly because the series coming out in January on Netflix, which I'm super excited for.
And, the books pretty neat.

I love ALL the books I added to my collection in November!
I can't wait to read them all, and I'm hoping to get to them soon.
(I know, I always say that.)

That's my Wrap Up & Book Haul for November!
What books did you read and add to your collection?

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