Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Book Check Up

It's time to take a look at the season TBR piles I made this year to see how many of those books I actually read.

Book Resolutions:
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
3. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
5. Jane Eyre by Emily Bronte
6. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
8. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garci and Margaret Stohl
9. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
10. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Honorable mentions:
Matched by Ally Condie
Legend by Marie Lu
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
2. Legend by Marie Lu
3. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
5. Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro
6. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
7. Divergent by Veronica Roth
8. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
9. Matched by Ally Condie
10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

1. Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
2. Prodigy by Marie Lu
3. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
4. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
5. The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
6. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
7. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garci and Margaret Stohl
8. Ready Player One by Ernist Cline
9. Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro
10. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
11. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

1. Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro
2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
3. Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
4. Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
5. The Bermudez Triangle Maureen Johnson
6. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
9. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
10. Dragonflight by Anne MaCaffery

14/35 books read = 40% of the books that I put on those list got read. Not bad, I'm going to shoot a little high for next year.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read in 2013

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

There is no order to this.  It's hard for me to put lists like this in an order.  It's like asking someone to pick a favorite child, you can't. Well, I imagine you can't, or at the very least you shouldn't and if you do, you should never write it down or say it out loud.

1. Anna and the French Kiss/Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
2. Cinder/Scarlet by Marie Lu
3. Legend/Prodigy by Marissa Meyer
4. Warm Bodies by Issac Marion
5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
6. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
7. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
9. The Entire Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
10. Divergent by Veronica Roth

I cheated a little but I don't care.  It's my blog.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Santa Could Bring Me

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

My Christmas List:

1. Splintered by A. G. Howard - The cover of this book is gorgeous and I wouldn't mind having it on my bookshelf.

2. Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - I've read both of these but I don't own them yet.  I would love for them to sit gracefully upon one of my bookshelves.

3. Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth - I have yet to finish this trilogy but maybe having it  in my possession would change that.

4. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - I am really interested in reading this series and I think the covers are really cool looking.

5. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (The 75th anniversary edition) - These are beautiful and I wouldn't mind having another set of these books hanging around.

6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling - This is the only book in the series that I do not own my own copy.  It got overlooked the year my parents decided to finished my collection. I'd love to have a completed set.

7. Legend, Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu - I really enjoy this trilogy so far, and would love to own the set.

8. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - I really liked this trilogy up until the very end, but it's definitely worth owning.  I read my brother's copies of the books, but I wouldn't mind owning my own.

9. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Salone - The cover on this book alone is enough for me to want to own it.

10. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones - I love this movie and I just feel the need to own and read this book, even though I have heard that it is completely different from the movie.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors in 2013

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 

Stephanie Perkins - It's hard to believe that I only just started reading her books this year. I feel like she's been in my radar for a long time. I'm so glad I decided to pick up both her books. I loved them and cannot wait for the next one. 

Veronica Roth - She knows how to write an engaging story that kept me wanting more. I cannot wait to finish her trilogy.

Marie Lu - This woman has a way of crafting an intense narrative and weaving in an infuriatingly brilliant love story that does not negate the important point of the story itself, it merely adds to it.

Marissa Meyer - It's a wonder that it took me so long to read these fairy tale retellings.  I love them and her for them.

Rick Riordan - I'd heard about the Percy Jackson books long before this year. I even saw the first movie when it came out, but I never got around to the books.  I just finished the most recent book in his mythical world. First Percy Jackson and now the Heroes of Olympus, these story lines are incredible. 

Meg Rosoff - I happened upon her by chance and I really enjoy her style of writing.  I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Leah Rae Miller - She had a great debut book mixing in the right amount of nerdy into a great read.  I am looking forward to reading more of her in the future.

Libba Bray - I've been told for years that I need to read her books and now that I've started I can't stop.

Laini Taylor - She created a world that both intrigued me and captivated me.  Her imagination is wonderful and I'm excited to read more from her.

Gayle Forman - She tells a good love story and in a unique way that is beautiful and haunting.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBR

hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

1. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
2. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
4. Champion by Marie Lu
5. Matched by Ally Condie
6. Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
7. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
8. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
9. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
10. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Each of these books have been on my bookshelf for quite some time, with the exception of Champion, and I'm hoping to get through them these next couple months.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Notable Quotable: F. Scott Fitzgerald (#24)

"Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead."
     --The Great Gatsby

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fever 1793

by Laurie Halse Anderson
published: Simon and Schuster, 2000
pages: 272

Mattie Cook was focused on one thing when the rumor of the fever hit: growing her family's business.  The coffee shop was situated far from the docks and the mosquitos, the seeming source of the fever. Only dock workers and others close to the docks became infected. But when the death count begins to rise and the fever spreads, people begin to evacuate Philadelphia. Mattie and her family have to make a decision to flee or to stay and take their chances. With their choice, they begin a new fight - one for their survival.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is that the story was centered on an event that actually occurred in history.  Even though most of the characters are fictional, some of them were real people trying to survive in a real yellow fever epidemic.  I find it fascinating how the world of fiction and reality collide so well in this story.

It took me a while to get into the plot of the book. I was not completely engaged until about a hundred pages into the book, which I think is quite a bit of the story for a 272 page book. I held on because I love Laurie Halse Anderson as an author and I have always enjoyed her books. That and it's a prize winning book which made me think there was something to the story that I hadn't figured out yet.

I was not drawn to the characters in this book very much, but I did really enjoy Grandfather. I thought he had the right mix of wisdom and spunk that kept Mattie going when she could have very easily given up on her journey.  I think she saw the spunk in her grandfather which allowed her stubbornness work to her advantage in parts of the book. When everything felt lost, she was able to keep going.  While I admire that, I didn't connect with her on a personal level.

The story was intriguing and I am glad I read this book, but I definitely liked some of Laurie Halse Anderson's other books better.

Stars: 3/5


"The plot rages like the epidemic itself."
     --The New York Times Book Review

"Readers will be drawn in by the characters and will emerge with a sharp and graphic picture of another world."
     --School Library Journal

"A gripping story about living morally under the shadow of rampant death."
     --The New York Times Book Review

"A vivid work, rich with well-drawn characters."

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I haven't really been looking into releases for 2014.  I've spent so much time "catching up" this year, actually, it feels like a constant uphill battle of  "catching up".  There are only four books that I am aware of that I am genuinely excited about.  I mean, there are other books that I will probably read and probably like, but I haven't read the books before it or even the first in the series, so I don't want to put them on this list.  That kind of feels like cheating.

1. Cress by Marissa Meyer - This is probably one of the books that I am looking forward to most.  I cannot wait to find out what happens next in Lunar Chronicles.

2. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - I am ready for another feel good love story with incredibly frustrating circumstances.

3. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith -  The more I think about Jennifer E. Smith, the more I realize that I enjoy her books.

4. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs - I am very intrigued by this sequel, although I'm going to have to reread the book to remember everything that happened.