Saturday, December 1, 2018

My December 2018 TBR!!

Happy first day of December, Bookworms!!

Can you believe it's December already?? 2018 is so close to being over!
This year has seriously felt like it has flown by,
and I'm kind of ready for it to be over already. :)

I have a few books picked out to read in December,
but I'm keeping my TBR kind of light this month,
as I don't really want to start any new series until next year,
so I'm basically planning on reading a few new reads, and a few re-reads.

Here's my TBR for December!!

I have two re-reads on my TBR for this month, Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo and Everless by Sara Holland, and both of these I'm reading again to refresh my brain before King of Scars and Evermore are released.

I'm super excited to *FINALLY* be reading Stars Above by Marissa Meyer, and The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, which I have been meaning to read for FOREVER, but haven't gotten to until now.

I have two cute reads planned for this month with Snow in Love by Kasie West (and other authors!) and The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

And I have a few historical reads planned as well with The Broken Girls by Simone St. James, The Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb , and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, which I have wanted to read for forever, and I'm finally getting to!

I'm keeping some spots open on my TBR this month so I can hopefully play catch up on a few books I'm behind on, and I'm hoping to be able to reach my (third) reading goal of 225 books. Wish me luck!!

That's my TBR for December! What are you planning to read this month??

Friday, November 30, 2018

My November 2018 Wrap Up & Book Haul!!

Happy Last Day of November, fellow Bookworms!!

Did you have a great reading month in November??
Mine definitely could have been better,
but did get in a pretty good bit of reading,
and added a lot of new books to my collection!

Here's my November Recap:
Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling
The Matchmaker's List by Sonya Lalli
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
Avenged by Amy Tintera
Sadie by Courtney Summers
One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin
The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw
The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano
Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill
The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Slow Burn by Tommy Wallach

(Books Read in November)

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern *
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo *
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo *
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare *
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

* - re-reads

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

November wasn't the best month for reading,
(or blogging, apparently)
but it was definitely a great month for new books!

Can you believe that we only have one more month left in 2018?!
I'm hoping to take advantage of the month to read as much as I can.
And hopefully I'll have a great update for next month!!

How was your month??

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #336 -

The Cursed Sea
(The Glass Spare #2)
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Publication Date: December 18th 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062491350

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The second in an exciting fantasy duology about a princess cursed to turn any living thing she touches into gemstone from Lauren DeStefano, the bestselling author of the Chemical Garden series. Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Renée Ahdieh.

Wil, the exiled princess of northern Arrod, must do what she never thought possible: return home to discover the origins of her own curse.

But home is very different from how she left it—Wil’s unpredictable elder brother Baren is now king, leading a war against the Southern Isles. And with time running out, Wil must navigate the dangerous secrets within her family to find the truth.

Nothing goes as planned, and suddenly Wil and her allies are fighting for their lives as the Southern king is out to ensure neither of his children will survive to take the throne. Traveling across cursed seas and treacherous kingdoms, Wil and Loom must make peace with their pasts if they hope to secure the future of their world.

But when their plans lead them right back to evil marveler Pahn, and to Baren—who is more dangerous than ever—can Wil and her friends outsmart their enemies, this time for good? (Goodreads)

Confession: I have not started this series yet!
BUT, I've had the first book on my TBR for forever,
and I just purchased a copy of it last week,
so I plan to read both books as soon as this new book is released!
I can't wait!!
Once a King
(Clash of Kingdoms #3)
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Publication Date: December 4th 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781328949974

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Aodren: A lonely, young king, searching for a way to dismantle his father’s dark legacy.

Lirra: A girl with the power to control the wind, torn between duty and following her dreams

For twenty years, Channelers—women with a magical ability—have been persecuted in Malam by those without magic. Now King Aodren wants to end the bloody divide and unite his kingdom. But decades of hatred can’t be overcome by issuing decrees, and rumors of a deadly Channeler-made substance are only fueling people’s fears. Lirra has every reason to distrust Aodren. Yet when he asks for help to discover the truth behind the rumors, she can’t say no. With Lirra by his side, Aodren sees a way forward for his people. But can he rewrite the mistakes of the past before his enemies destroy the world he’s working so hard to rebuild? (Goodreads)

Confession #2: I have not read this series yet either!!
I do own the first book, and I am hoping to read it and the second book soon.
And I'm super glad that I waited so I can read all of these together!!

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

My Thoughts: Legend by Marie Lu (Series Review)
by Marie Lu
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Publisher: Speak
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Sci-Fi | Dystopia

Legend (Legend #1)
November 29th 2011 • 305 Pages
ISBN: 9780141339603

Prodigy (Legend #2)
January 29th 2013 • 371 Pages
ISBN: 9780399256769

Champion (Legend #3)
November 5th 2013 • 369 Pages
ISBN: 9780399256776

In a violent, futuristic, half-flooded Los Angeles governed by martial law, fifteen year old Day lives on the streets as the country's most wanted criminal. When a murder forces him to cross paths with June--a wealthy, brilliant fifteen year old girl loyal to the state--the two are thrown into direct opposition and combat. But are they truly meant to be enemies? Or is there more to their society than meets the eye? (Marie Lu)

I was more than a little late to jump on the bandwagon for Marie Lu’s Legend series, but the series had been sitting on my bookshelf for THE LONGEST, and I was determined to finally read it, (as well as the Warcross series), this year. Now that I’ve finished the series, I’m totally kicking myself for not having read it sooner!! Here are my thoughts on the books!

(I thought about reviewing each book individually, but decided instead to try something new, and review the WHOLE series together. This is my first time doing this for a book series, if I remember correctly, so bear with me during this new process!!)

I went into Legend not really knowing what to expect, because even though the series is super popular, I never really looked up to see what it was about. I’m actually glad that I did this, because I went into the first book completely clueless to the storyline, and I just settled in for the ride.

So, what did I like about the series?? First, the storyline. I really enjoyed the fantasy and dystopian storyline. It has been a while since I last read a good dystopian, and even though I have read a LOT of them, I’m always curious to start a new one. Sometimes the story can seem so familiar, that I instantly lose interest, but that didn’t happen at all with the Legend series. The storyline was completely fascinating, and I was completely hooked.

Another thing I really liked about the series were the characters. June and Day come from completely different worlds, yet whose paths cross in the most unexpected way, and they end up having to work together, even though it’s the last thing either of them want. I enjoyed watching their relationship grow over the course of the series, and I LOVED their ending when I read the very last chapter of Champion. There are some pretty great secondary characters in the story as well, one of my most favorites being Eden, Day’s brother.

I also want to add that I even though I own all of the books for this series, I opted to listen to it in audio format, and I’m so glad that I did. All of the audiobooks for this series are narrated by Mariel Stern and Steven Kaplan, and they both did such a fantastic job with the voices and narration.

Overall; The Legend series by Marie Lu was on my list of book series to *finally* read this year, and I’m so thrilled that I have finally read it! I really enjoyed the storyline and the characters, and it was a great series all-around. I’m super curious for more info on the newly announced 4th book in the series, which is set to release sometime in 2019! While I wait for more news on that book, I will be working my way through Marie’s The Young Elites series, and then I will be officially caught up on her books!! If you’re a fan of good dystopian, sci-fi stories, do check out the Legend series!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books I Want to Read

November 6: Backlist Books I Want to Read

Today's Top Ten Tuesday post is right up my alley!!
I've actually been working my way through backlisted books all this year,
and I've read SO many that I've been meaning to read!

Here are just a few more that I've been wanting to tackle for a while now!!

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Talon by Julie Kagawa

Looking for Alaska by John Green
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

So yeah, these are just a few of the backlist books that I'd love to read,
and I'm hoping to get to them soon!!

What backlist books made your list today??

Monday, November 5, 2018

My Thoughts: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

(Renegades #1)
by Marissa Meyer
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Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 552
ISBN: 9781250044662
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
Source: Own

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Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone... except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both. (Goodreads)

I’ve had a copy of Renegades by Marissa Meyer sitting on my shelf since it was first released last year, and for some reason I’m just now getting to read it. (I can’t explain why, just that it kept getting pushed back farther and farther on my TBR for some reason.) BUT, I was determined to finally read the book this year, especially with the sequel, Archenemies, releasing this year as well. I am thrilled to tell you that I finally read the book, and I am now kicking myself for not having read it sooner!!

There are so many things to like about Renegades. I love the storyline, which is all about humans, (both heroes and villains), with all kinds of interesting superpowers and how they use them for both good and evil. I think the superpower parts was one of my most favorite things about the book, as I found them, along with how they were used, to be extremely fascinating. And since the story is told from two different characters’ viewpoints, one who is a Renegade, and one who is an Anarchist, we get to see both sides of the story, which was awesome. The book ends with a pretty massive cliffhanger, and thank goodness the next book is fixing to release, because I really want to dive into it ASAP!

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book were the characters. There are SO many in the story to like! Nova was definitely my favorite, and I totally found her quite relatable at times. I’m super curious to follow her, Adrian, and all the rest of the characters through the rest of this series to see what happens next for them!

Overall; Renegades was a really fun read, and I am seriously kicking myself for having not read the book sooner! I will most definitely be diving into Archenemies right away, and I’m thrilled that I don’t have to wait a for the sequel to be released, because I’m dying to know what’s going to happen next!! Fans of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, which I am also reading at the moment, definitely need to check out the Renegades series. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

Week in Review • Week 44

Happy Sunday Monday, Bookworms!!

Welcome to my weekly Week in Review post!

Here I share all the things I've been up to during the past week.
Check back every Sunday for new updates!

It's been a while since I've done a weekly recap, but instead of trying to figure out where I last left off, I am just going to recap for the last week, and hopefully I can do a better job of keeping up from now on!

Now, here's what I've been up to this week!

This past week has been a pretty good reading week for me, and I've managed to finish four books! I finished all of these in the last few days of October, and it's amazing how that seems so far away. :)

The new Nicholas Sparks book, Every Breath, was an interesting, and super quick read. I LOVED my re-read of Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, and I'm super excited to dive into Lord of Shadows soon. I also finished Legend series when I finished up Champion by Marie Lu, and finally started the Renegades series by Marissa Meyer, which I LOVED!!

I'm hoping to share my thoughts for Champion and Renegades on the blog this week!

I haven't watched any movies lately, but the hubby and I did finish Parks and Rec, and the first two seasons of of The Good Place, and have just started on season 3, and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!

Visit my Bookstagram HERE!

As you may have noticed, I have once again gotten behind on my weekly recaps. __ October was not a good blogging month for me, but I'm trying to do a better job this month of staying organized and on track with things. *fingers crossed*!!

I am currently enjoying a small break from Cheer Season for Kid #2, and I'm totally taking advantage of that little bit of free time before it starts back up next week. If I could get ahead on things, that would be awesome!!

That's about all for me this week. How was your week??

Friday, November 2, 2018

My Thoughts: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi (Audiobook)
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
by Tahereh Mafi
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Publication Date: October 16th 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780062866561
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Own

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It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down. (Goodreads)

I have read all of Tahereh Mafi’s books in the past, most of them the moment they were released, so of course I was super curious to check out A Very Large Expanse of Sea right away as well! Unlike Tahereh’s previous books, which are mostly fantasy and dystopian, A Very Large Expanse of Sea is a contemporary fiction novel. I think I was the most curious about this, because contemporary stories are my FAVORITE, and I couldn’t wait to get started on the very first one by her. The story did not disappoint.

With A Very Large Expanse of Sea, we get a small look into what life was like for a young Muslim girl, Shirin, a year after the attacks of 9/11. Looking back, I remember it to be quite an unsettling time for our country, but getting to read the story from the perspective of Shirin was an eye-opening experience. Reading about some of things she, and to other people of color, went through in the book were heartbreaking to read, and some parts, unfortunately, are still relevant today.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book were the characters. Shirin was such an interesting girl, and I didn’t really want her story to end once I finished the book. (I would also REALLY love to see her, her brother, and their friends break dance. It sounded awesome!) Ocean was quite an interesting character as well, and I enjoyed watching the relationship grow between he and Shirin.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the nostalgia! It brought back so many memories from that time period. For instance, I totally remember my first cell phone, and having to watch how many minutes I used, because unlimited was not a thing yet. And text messages were just becoming a thing at that time as well! Also, AOL Instant Messenger. I remember that was the best thing ever at the time!! Hah!

I also want to add that though I have a finished copy of this book, I opted to listen to the audiobook instead, mostly because I listened to a sample of the audiobook before I started the actual book, and I completely captivated by Priya Ayyar’s narration of the story. If you have the opportunity to check out this book in audio format, I highly recommend it.

Overall; I really, really enjoyed A Very Large Expanse of Sea, and I think Tahereh Mafi has another hit on her hands with this book! While parts of the book were heartbreaking to read, I loved the story, and the characters, and I am glad that these stories are being told, because, as I mentioned above, they are definitely eye-opening experiences. If you don’t already have this book on your TBR, definitely add it right away. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did!!