Friday, November 6, 2015

November Weekly Wrap Up #1

I read 5 books this week!
Check out this video to hear my thoughts.

What did you think of these books?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Remember Me

Remember Me

by Sophie Kinsella
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Publication Date: February 26, 2008
Publisher: The Dial Press
ISBN: 9780385338721

Available to purchase:
Amazon | Book Depository

Lexi wakes up in a hospital bed after a car accident, thinking it's 2004 and she's a twenty-five-year old with crooked teeth and a disastrous love life. But, to her disbelief, she learns it's actually 2007 - she's twenty-eight, her teeth are straight, she's the boss of her department - and she's married! To a good-looking millionaire! How on earth did she land the dream life??!
She can't believe her luck - especially when she sees her stunning new home. She's sure she'll have a fantastic marriage once she gets to know her husband again. He's drawn up a 'manual of our marriage,' which should help.
But as she learns more about her new self, chinks start to appear in the perfect life. All her old colleagues hate her. A rival is after her job. Then a dishevelled, sexy guy turns up...and lands a new bombshell. What happened to her? Will she ever remember? And what will happen if she does?


Remember Me is another smash hit in a long line of bestsellers for Sophie Kinsella. It is the story of a woman who last her memory and has to find it, along with all the secrets and develops along the way.

I wasn't the biggest fan of the romantic dynamics of the book, but it was entertaining as all get out to watch. It would have been a 5-star read until the last chapter. Not a bad ending, but I was hoping for something else.

I still want to know how Sophie is able to write the most cringe-worthy embarrassing scenes that make you almost want to turn away because they are so uncomfortable... yet at the same time you can't put it down because it's so hilarious. It is a rare gift to be able to balance that dynamic and Ms. Kinsella has it.

Most Kinsella fans have probably read this book (I am very late to the party), but I really had fun and if you haven't picked Remember Me up yet, I highly recommend it :)

4.5 out of 5 stars

Top Ten Tuesday #1 - Debut Authors

Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

*This list is in ascending order, with my most anticipated being last!

Sandy Hall

I might be cheating the slightest bit on this one, but I realized I haven't read that many debut authors this year! Sandy Hall debuted last year through Swoon Reads and I picked up her book because: 1) The cover is flipping adorable. 2) It was newly released in paperback, which is very rare in the US. 3) I heard the premise and was so intrigued. I thought A Little Something Different was downright adorable and it has made me a fan of Ms. Hall. Her newest book JUST came out October 20th and I bought it, but haven't yet read, so I think this counts!

Nicola Yoon

Nicola's debut novel was a classic case of "I loved the idea, but the book wasn't perfect." I had a couple issues with Everything, Everything, but overall I think the idea was great and most of all, I really enjoyed Nicola's writing style and choices. So because of this, I am eagerly anticipating whatever she comes out with next. 

Aziz Ansari

 Unless you've been living under a rock, you know who Aziz Ansari is. He is one of the new and fresh faces of today's Hollywood elite comedians. He started in stand-up and carries his off-the-cuff sarcastic humor wherever he goes. Aziz got his big break on the beloved sitcom, Parks & Recreation, starring Amy Poehler. It was on Parks & Rec that Aziz captured the hearts of America, playing the despicable yet lovable Tom Haverford. Modern Romance was Aziz' debut novel and was quite surprising. Most people, including myself, simply assumed it was a typical comedian memoir, but it was actually a book studying and assessing the state of modern dating and relationships with the addition of technology. It was surprisingly refreshing and unique and it made me very excited to see what Aziz will write next!

 Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles is a debut author but not writer. As a musician who writes most of her own music, Sara is not stranger to pen and paper. And I think this translated perfectly into her debut memoir, Sound Like Me: My Life (so far) in Song. I think it was authentic and honest. Sara put herself out there and I can't wait to see how her career goes moving forward. I would love to see a Part 2 to her first book, chronicling the next years of her career.

 Amy Zhang

Amy Zhang is amazing. She's currently in college and also writing books. She wrote Falling Into Place in high school. Yes, you read that correctly, HIGH SCHOOL. I was blown away by this book when I read it last year. I think fans of If I Stay by Gayle Foreman will enjoy the story and I can't wait to check out her upcoming book, This is Where the World Ends in 2016!

 Nathan Filer

You might have been living under a rock if you missed the hype that was The Shock of the Fall in 2014. Nathan Filer's book was everywhere and especially on BookTube. I wasn't reading a lot of adult literary fiction at the time, so I waiting until the hype died down to read it. And I am so glad that I did because I thought it was amazing. A story of mental illness and how secrets and family can mold and shape us, it was a stunning debut. Hopefully we will get something from Nathan Filer soon in the future!

 Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes was one of the most hyped YA debut novels of 2015. It was EVERYWHERE, and I mean everywhere. I was lucky enough to win a Twitter giveaway for a signed arc, so I got a copy a few weeks early. AEITA was a fantastic debut fantasy novel with a world similar to that of the Roman Empire. I was thoroughly enthralled and cannot wait for the second book in the series as well as anything else that Sabaa writes in the future! 

 Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was also one of the most hyped YA releases of 2015. There has been a big movement this year in the book community to read diverse books and I feel like Simon was one of the books that became the face of the #weneeddiversebooks movement. So I was excited to read it just for that, but I was so happy when the book itself was actually really good, not just for it's social message. Becky has a great writing style with amazing comedic timing and I am very excited to see what she writes next!

 Celeste Ng

What do I even say about Everything I Never Told You? It was Celeste's debut novel and I really have a hard time accepting that fact. It is adult literary fiction that tackles so many important issues from racism to family to marriages and infidelity and so much more. It blew me away and I really fell in love with Celeste's writing style. It packs such a punch for being such a short book. If you haven't read it, GO GET IT NOW. I'm not kidding, this was amazing! I cannot WAIT for Ms. Ng's next book!

 Leslye Walton

And last but absolutely not least, we have Ms. Leslye Walton, author of one of my favorite books of all times, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. I cannot even begin to describe my love for this book. It was stunning, so so SO beautiful and an absolute masterpiece. And like Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, I still have no idea how such a beautiful book was told in so few pages. I am waiting eagerly to hear of any books news about what Ms. Walton will write next because I need that book YESTERDAY. If you have not read Ava Lavender, please go pick it up. You will not be disappointed. 

So there you have it! My top debut authors of late.
Thanks for stopping by!

What debut authors are you excited about? 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature by The Broke and Bookish.

Booking Through Thursday #1 - Damaged Books

Have you ever damaged a book? Dropped it in the bathtub? Spilled a bottle of ink? Used it to mop up spilled wine? Or just broken its back (poor thing).

If you know anything about me, you know I am very particular about my books. I would rather BUY a book for someone who asked to borrow one of my books and simply let them keep it. And in all honesty, I've done that... more than once.

And that might sound extreme... okay, it IS extreme. But the truth is that books are the one thing that I collect -- they are the only physical items that have extreme value to me... I'd rather have a hole in my pants than a broken book spine... see what I'm saying?

And in terms of personally damaging my books? I have actually done it one time (fruit punch on a special edition Goblet of Fire... yes, it was as traumatic as it sounds) and then another time, I had a hardcover book complete fall apart while I was reading it... an actual nightmare (I will never forgive you, Prodigy). And sometimes I buy used books that aren't in 100% perfect condition, but they have to be in pretty good condition to make it to my shelves.

So basically I am your typical booknerd. I value my books more than most things and when one of them gets hurt, I am emotionally invested.

How do you feel about damaged books?

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly bookish meme :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October Reading Wrap-Up

18 books read.
This is not a drill.
October has been slayed.
*drops the mic*

The Books

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
4.5 out of 5 stars

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
4 out of 5 stars

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
3.5 out of 5 stars

The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis
4 out of 5 stars

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis
4.25 out of 5 stars

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
5 out of 5 stars

Mosquitoland by David Arnold
3.5 out of 5 stars

Sound Like Me by Sara Bareilles
4.5 out of 5 stars

Chew Vol. 9: Chicken Tenders by John Layman & Rob Guillory
4 out of 5 stars

The Scam by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg
3.75 out of 5 stars

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
4.25 out of 5 stars

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
3.75 out of 5 stars

Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella
4.5 out of 5 stars

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
5 out of 5 stars

Born of Shadow by Sarah Benson
3 out of 5 stars

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
3 out of 5 stars

The Rose Society by Marie Lu
4 out of 5 stars

Armada by Ernest Cline
3.5 out of 5 stars

What did you read in October?

Waiting on Wednesday #1 - Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight

by Cassandra Clare
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN: 978-1442468351

Available for pre-order:
Amazon | Book Depository

Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.
Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.
The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica... (Goodreads)
Bottom line on this one is that I CANNOT wait.
City of Heavenly Fire was not my favorite book in the TMI series...
But the characters we saw that will be the MCs in TDA were my favorite parts of CoHF.
This is also the first time I will be reading a Cassie Claire series as it is published.
Very exciting stuff!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

*Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

by Patrick Ness
Format Read: Hardcover & Audiobook
Page Count: 317
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: October 6th, 2015
Date Read: November 3, 2015
What if you aren't the Chosen One? The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?
What if you're like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.
Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.
Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.
So I'm not going to sugarcoat it - I wasn't a big fan of this book. There, I said it. I fessed up.

And the truth is that I'm pretty bummed out by that fact. I really wanted to love The Rest of Us Just Love Here because 1) PATRICK NESS 2) Best title to any book ever 3) Such a cool premise and 4) Did I mention PATRICK NESS?

The story is exactly as it was marketed before release: the story of the regular people who live in a hero-driven world. You have the "indie" kids, who are the chosen ones, always running off to save the day. And then you have everyone else, who is normal and hasn't got a clue what is happening. This is the story of those guys.

I really wanted to love this story and for parts, I did. But I didn't connect to it overall -- it was SUPER short and lacked a lot of depth. I think there were some awesome characters that I wanted to know more about, but again, I didn't get nearly enough of them. 

Ultimately I felt like we were just scratching the surface to a really great idea. But as a finished product? Mmmmmmm... I don't think it quite worked. Obviously it's well-written because it's Patrick freaking Ness, and also super entertaining with witty dialogue but this one didn't grab me like the rest of the books I've read by him (Chaos Walking and A Monster Calls).

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Black Widow: Forever Red

by Margaret Stohl
Format Read: Hardcover & Audiobook
Page Count: 401
Publisher: Marvel Press
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Date Read: November 3, 2015
Natasha Romanoff is one of the world's most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow's infamous academy for operatives.
Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn't really the big sister type.
Until now.
When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava's dreams. . . .

What do you expect from the first ever YA novel about a comic-book superhero? That was the question many of us were wondering upon the news that Marvel was branching out into one of the biggest book markets today.

If I'm being completely transparent, I need to disclose that I had no intention of reading this book. I am a big fan of the Marvel Avenger's movie franchise, but I've never read the comics nor have I invested a lot of time into the characters. And after the big backlash to the Black Widow storyline in Avengers: Age of Ultron, I wasn't that interested to see what happened next.


I did manage to grab a copy at my library and figured I wouldn't actually read it, but I'd at least take a look. 24-hours later, I am happy to say that sitting down to read the first chapter spiraled into reading the entire book in a day. Yes, it was that good.

There isn't much I need to tell you regarding the plot or style of Black Widow: Forever Red. It's the (sort of) origin story of Natasha as well as the rise of a new Marvel superhero, Red Widow. I thought the two women's storylines interwove beautifully and I am truly excited to see more from both their stories.

If you are an Avenger fan, you will not be disappointed, as several of our favorite superheroes make cameo appearances. If you are a YA fan, you will not be disappointed, as their are classic elements and tropes that will give you all the feels.

One of my only critiques comes from the marketing and title of the book itself. The title "Black Widow: Forever Red" leads to imply that this is solely Natasha's book, and it isn't at all. This book is told in multiple perspectives and dare I say that Natasha's is smaller than others. It does all revolve around her but she isn't the stand-alone MC of the book. And if you think this book is going to 100% remedy the problematic storyline from Age of Ultron, I'd say you might be disappointed. As much as the book gave in regards to Natasha's past, we still didn't get the full picture. BUT I do think it's satisfactory and well done.

Also, a tad bit of instalove but I was shipping it, so I overlooked for the most part :P

So all in all, I really loved this book! I am shocked and delighted because I had less than zero expectations going in (I didn't even think I'd finish the book), but I was deeply invested and brought to tears. It was moving and you could tell that the author, Margaret Stohl, truly cared for the beloved character she was writing about.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)

Life Unaware

Red Queen (Red Queen #1)

Maybe Not (Maybe #1.5)

Maybe Someday

The Shock of the Fall

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