Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book & Movie Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner
(The Maze Runner #1)
by James Dashner
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Publication Date: October 6th 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780385737944
Genre: Young Adult | Sci-Fi | Dystopian
Source: Library

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Available for Purchase:
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"If you ain't scared, you ain't human."

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying. (Goodreads).

My Thoughts...

My first experience with The Maze Runner by James Dashner was back in 2014, when I started listening to the audiobook of the series. I remember really enjoying the story, and I ended up binge-listening to the next two books in the series as quickly as possible. When I heard about the #DashnerDash, a binge read of the series in anticipation of The Fever Code's release on September 27th, I knew I wanted to participate! This time I actually read the book, instead of listening to the audiobook, and I FINALLY watched the movie as well. Here are my thoughts on both!!

As I mentioned above, it's been a good 2 years since I first read The Maze Runner, and I was worried that I might have forgotten a lot of the story since I've read a LOT of books since then, but once I got back into the story, everything was surprisingly familiar to me. I love the setting for the story. Can you imagine, living in a huge maze? I also really loved all the characters, and most importantly, the friendships that were formed over the course of the story. It was all great, and I really loved diving back into the story.

I ended up enjoying the movie a lot more than I expected to, even despite all the changes from the book. I do understand that they have to make some changes when they make a movie adaptation, but for me, those changes can either make or break a movie. These changes I was not at all annoyed with.  All of the actors in the movie were so great, especially Thomas, Chuck, Newt, Minho, Frypan, and yes, even Galley. Theresa as well. Also, the graphics in the movie were pretty awesome. That maze was HUGE!! I loved how realistic it all looked, and I can't wait to watch the next movie.

Overall; This is my second time reading The Maze Runner, and I can't wait to continue on with the series. I'm excited to read ALL the books this time as well! Check back soon for my book & movie review for The Scorch Trials, which I'm reading now!! There's still time to participate in the #DashnerDash reread, so if you haven't started reading the series, here's your chance!! And don't forget to check out the movies as well!

Friday, July 1, 2016

My July 2016 TBR & Most Anticipated Releases!!

Hey, Bookworms!!

Can you believe that it's July already?!
Half of 2016 has already come and gone.
I'm currently 4 books behind on my reading goal for the year,
So I need to step up my reading game this month!

One thing I'm really excited for this month is that I'm starting my
Harry Potter Readathon!!
One of my goals for 2016 is to reread the series
and actually finish it this time!
I'm so excited to get started on it, and ALL the other books I have planned for July!!

My July TBR includes:

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Poppy by Mary Hooper
How to Keep Rolling After the Fall by Karole Cozzo
A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
(#DashnerDash Reread!!)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J. K. Rowling
(for my Harry Potter Re-Readathon!!)

Here are some more July releases I'm super excited to read:

Flying by Carrie Jones

What books are you most excited for in July??

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June 2016 Wrap Up & Book Haul

*June Book Haul*

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by BeckyAlbertalli
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Flying by Carrie Jones
Nemesis by Anna Banks
The Graces by Laure Eve
The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent
Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelly
With Malice byEileen Cook
Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman

*June Wrap Up*

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jessica Brody & Jodi Meadows
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Reread!)
And I Darken by Kiersten White
The Heiresses by Sara Shepard
Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff  (not pictured)

While June was another slow month for me,
I'm thrilled to FINALLY be out of my reading slump!!
Now if I can just get out of my blogging slump, life would be great!!
Here's hoping for a LOT more reading in July!!
(Can you believe it's July already!?)

How many books did you read in June??

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thank God It's Monday!! Blog Tour - Guest Post with Jessica Brody!!

*Hey, Bookworms!!*

Today we are kicking off the
Thank God it's Monday! Blog Tour
for Jessica Brody's upcoming release, A Week of Mondays!!

Keep reading to find out more information on this awesome book and author,
and check out the guest post from Jessica below as well!!

*About the Book*

Ellie is having the worst Monday of her life. She messes up her school  speech for the class vice presidency position, she manages to take the world's  worst school picture, she bombs softball tryouts, and the icing on top  of this awful cake: her perfect boyfriend who is in a high school rock band dumps her. At the end of  the day, Ellie wishes she could redo everything. When she wakes up the  next morning, she discovers that it's Monday again! She has six more chances to redo the day in the hopes of having everything go exactly the way she wants. But in the process, she just may find out that what she really wants and what she actually needs are two very different things.

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*Guest Post from Jessica!!*

ELLISON “ELLIE” SPARKS: An idealistic, ambitious sixteen-year-old junior with a lot on her plate.

Those were the first words I ever wrote about Ellie Sparks. They were written in a synopsis for my publisher when I was first trying to sell them on the idea for a book called A WEEK OF MONDAYS.

Of course, you can’t write an entire book about a one-sentence character. Just like you can’t live your entire life as a one-sentence person. But every character has to begin somewhere. And this is where Ellie began for me.

As an idealistic, ambitious sixteen-year-old junior with a lot on her plate.

In my mind, this is who she had to be. I thought, if you’re going to write about a girl who relives the same horrible Monday over and over again, trying to “get it right,” these are the adjectives that must describe her. She has to be idealistic enough to think she can fix everything in her life. Yet, she also has to be ambitious enough to try it. And how else are you going to fill seven Mondays with interesting storylines if the main character doesn’t have a lot on her plate.

So there was Ellie. And there was me, ready to write her, thinking I understood her. Thinking I knew everything I needed to know about her. 

This is the writing process for me. I start with an idea of who someone is. I draw a box around them, like an identity fence. I stuff them inside and I lock the gate. I tell them, “This is who you are. Don’t try to change that. Don’t try to be or do anything else. I don’t have time for detours. I’m on a deadline.”

I never learn.

A WEEK OF MONDAYS is my tenth published novel and I’m still trying to lock characters inside fences. Eventually, though, they always break free. They always get bigger than their boxes. And even though I try to adjust, I keep drawing bigger and bigger boxes around them, trying to contain them to the world I built, the world I envisioned, they never quite want to stay inside. Just like people. You can try to identify them, label them, build a fence around them that makes you feel safe, and yet they’ll always surprise you. Because no character—no human being—fits inside a box.  

One of my favorite reviews of A WEEK OF MONDAYS says, “Watching Ellie relive her horrible day is something like peeling an onion. Each Monday, a piece of her people-pleaser facade melts away, revealing more of her real self.”

I smiled when I read that because it wasn’t until then that I realized exactly what had happened in the writing of this book. I had done it again. I had tried to put yet another character in a box, and she had slowly, word by word, page by page, Monday by Monday broken free.

This book is ultimately a story of self-discovery.

Seven days. Seven chances to completely reinvent yourself. Wear different clothes, make different choices, explore different paths, say different things, be different people.

Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out who you really are. And when you finally do, you may find yourself thinking 'Thank God It's Monday' after all.

For the next five Mondays, blogger friends across the internet will be sharing their best and worst Monday. Follow along with us online with #TGIM and #AWeekofMondays, because whether a Monday is memorable for good reasons or memorable for bad reasons, we stand to learn a lot about ourselves.

*About the Author*

Jessica Brody is the author of several popular books for teens, including the Unremembered trilogy, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, and The Karma Club, as well as two adult novels. She splits her time between California and Colorado. Find out more at jessicabrody.com.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: Lost in Love by Susane Colasanti

Lost in Love
(City Love #2)
by Susane Colasanti
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Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780062307736
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

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Available for Purchase:
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In this second book of the City Love trilogy by bestselling author Susane Colasanti, three girls share a Manhattan apartment the summer before college begins. Lost in Love captures the essence of summer love, self-discovery, and sisterhood, a perfect fit for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Sadie was convinced that Austin was her soul mate, but after discovering his secret she wonders if she even knows him at all. Darcy was all about fun boy adventures with no strings attached . . . until her ex moves to New York City to win her back. Things are getting serious with Rosanna and her boyfriend, but will she be able to break free of her past and let him in? With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, this is the summer that will change their lives forever.

Told from alternating points of view, Lost in Love weaves a story of first love, first heartbreak, and everything in between. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Last summer I picked up City Love by Susane Colasanti, and found it to be a really fun summer read. So of course I was excited to finally start Lost in Love, especially after that pretty massive cliffhanger ending in City Love, and I was dying to know what was going to happen next.

The story is again told from our three main characters points of view. I actually really enjoy books that are written this way, as I feel we get SO much more information when it comes from all of the characters involved. I liked being able to see a little bit about each girl, and what was going on in their lives. Things weren't so great for them in this book, unfortunately, but that bond that was beginning to form between Sadie, Rosanna and Darcy in the first book is starting to get even stronger as the story goes along, and I'm enjoying watching the friendship between them grow.

The storyline for the book follows along the same storyline for City Love, so if you've read that book, you will know what to expect from Lost in Love. The story felt a bit darker this time around, as there were so many hearts being broken and so much going on, it felt a bit different than the first book. I'm curious for the third book in the series, however, as I'm super curious to how it will all end for these three friends.

Overall; If you like a good summer read, you should definitely check out the City Love series. These books are really fun reads, and, as I mentioned before, I'm super curious to get my hands on the third book in the series to see what's going to happen next!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #244 - What Light by Jay Asher

What Light
by Jay Asher
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Publication Date: October 11th 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
ISBN: 9781595145512

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

From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing again. . . .
Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.

Um, does this book sound great, or what??
It's been a while since I've read a book by Asher,
but this one sounds awesome, and I can't wait to check it out!!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

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