OMG. SUMMER IS OVER?! | Allie’s Biggest Book Haul EVER!

Hey, guys! I am very excited to talk to you all about the massive amount of books I have bought/received this month because it’s a lot. Like this is what I get for just not posting a book haul for a while. It is totally, 100% my fault for procrastinating. I am proud of myself because many of these I did not buy myself, but I still have a lot of books to go through. I received around 16 books, which is absolutely insane, even for my standards. But let’s go ahead and get into the books I have accumulated over the past couple of months!

Books I Bought:

The first book I bought was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

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This is a book that I have read already, and I am sure most of you have heard of at least once due to the hype surrounding the Netflix series. But if you have not, this is a standalone that follows Clay Jensen, a teen boy who wakes up one day with a box of tapes on his doorstep, thirteen tapes exactly. Each tape is a reason as to why a teen girl named Hannah Baker killed herself. It’s a really great book, though I haven’t read it in years. I have seen the television show, and I absolutely loved that (though, I will acknowledge the television show did have some problems). I just did not own a copy of this, surprisingly, and when it was only like three or four dollars at Half-Price Books, I decided to pick it up. I am hoping to reread this soon, so hopefully, I can do that!

The next thing I bought was the box set of The Hunger Games trilogy, which consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

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This is a dystopian series that I have already read, and if you don’t know what this is about, where the hell have you been? This has literally been everywhere. The movie franchise was absolutely fabulous, and I did really enjoy the books when I read them, though I have never reread the series. I have not reread any of the books at all because I actually did not own a copy of them. That is absolutely crazy, right? But the reason I did not own a copy of any of these books was that I read library copies of this before I started collecting books. I read all of these in like seventh grade before there was even a thought of making them into movies (I pride myself on being a Book Hipster with this series). So I haven’t read these in like seven or eight years. I bought these because I didn’t have them (obviously) and because this $40 box set was marked down to $7.97 at Half-Price and only an idiot would pass up a deal like that. Also, I just like these covers so much more than the US covers. Aren’t they gorgeous?

The next book I bought was The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead.

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This is the second book in the Bloodlines series, which is a spin-off of the Vampire Academy series, and I am so excited to finally have a copy of the second book! I read the first book like forever ago, and I have been meaning to pick up the next book, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. But I am just excited to be able to continue on with this series! Bloodlines has forbidden romance, alchemy, vampires, magic, and I just love it so much. I flew through the first book, and I know I will do the same with this one. I just hope I can get to this one soon! And please do not judge this series or the Vampire Academy series by their covers. All of the covers are cheesy and just romance novelesque book covers, but they make up for the horrible covers by being gorgeous on the inside. Highly recommend!

And the final book I bought was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

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This is a classic that I am sure everyone has heard of, and I honestly had no intention of ever reading this until I saw it in Half-Price Books. It’s not for lack of trying. I have tried to read the original edition in the 1800’s English, but I just could not do it. But I read the back of this and it sounded really interesting (not going to lie, the cover is why I picked it off the shelf…), plus it is has been adapted into modern English (it says modern English, but it’s more like a mix of 1800’s and modern English). The combination of the easy-to-read modern(ish) language and the intriguing story line is why I have decided that I want to try to read it, the entire tome. This is something I am hoping to do before the end of the year, so wish me luck…

Books I Was Gifted:

The first book I was gifted was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling.

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This is a book that my brother got me, and it is one of two Harry Potter books. He went to this bargain variety store in my hometown and turns out that they were giving away free books, and he saw this one and one other book in this series. There was this lady who was looking for the books in this series so before she could see them, he quickly snatched every Harry Potter book he saw and got them for me. This actually means a lot to me because my brother believes as my parents do, that Harry Potter is trash (though, probably not as vehemently as them), and for him to get these for me just means a lot considering how feels about them. But if you can’t already tell, this is the fifth book in the Harry Potter series, and it was one of the books in the series that I do not have, so I am excited to have this (AND ITS HARDBACK, GUYS. ITS A HARDBACK WITH THE DUST JACKET AND EVERYTHING. *fangirls*)

The next book I was gifted was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling.

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This is the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, and this is actually my second copy of the book. I now have two copies of Deathly Hallows, both without a dust jacket, because that is just my luck. But this copy is actually in better shape than my other copy, so I am still really happy that I have it. I have been trying to get a hold of the rest of the series because I want to reread the entire series as I have yet to do that, so hopefully, I can a hold of books 2, 3, 4, and 6! Fingers crossed…

The next book I was gifted was The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.

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This is a classic that I absolutely love, and I have loved it since I first read it in eighth grade. This is a book that I think everyone should read, and you should go into it blind like I did, so I am not going to tell you anything about the story line. But this is a book that I end up referencing at least once in every book or story that I write, just because I love it so much. There is actually a story behind my brother getting this for me. He actually ordered this book for himself through my Amazon account and somehow our mail carrier screwed it up and did not send it to the correct mailbox. So I contacted Amazon Customer Service about it, and the guy was so nice. He not only called the mailing service to figure out where it was, he also sent my brother a replacement copy at no extra charge. And since the Customer Service guy also talked to the mail carrier about the original copy, we ended up getting two copies of it in the mail. So instead of just sending one back, obviously my brother and I just kept one each since we both just love this book so much. And this is a hardback edition with the original cover, so it just ended up being a fabulous adventure that we had. What started out as a very frustrating and irritating experience turned into a fun-filled adventure with a new book for each of us. That was a good day…

The next book I was gifted was The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

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This is yet another book that I was gifted to by my brother (he is literally like the greatest, guys), and I am sure some of you are scratching your heads because you are well aware of how much I don’t like this series. I think I made it about six chapters into this first book before I gave up. And again, it’s not for lack of trying. I have tried several times to get into this series, but I just am not a fan of it at all. But my brother absolutely loves this series, so I think I am going to try to force myself to read this series someday. But that day is not going to be today. I just have no interest in this series whatsoever, but I will try to read it one of these days because my brother loves it so much. You’re lucky I love you, Andy…

The next book I was gifted was The Death Cure by James Dashner.

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This is the third book in The Maze Runner series, and you guessed it. It was gifted to me by my brother. I literally have no excuse not to read this series now since I have two of the books other than the fact that I hate James Dashner’s writing style, and I really think all of the characters in the books are annoying, but those are not legitimate reasons, right? If nothing else, at least the cover looks cool. And I actually love the movies, so even if I never read this series, I still have a love for those movies. So there’s that…

The next book I was gifted was Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

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This is yet another book that my brother gifted to me, and it is the fourth book in the Left Behind series. He had no idea what it was, just figured it looked like something I would enjoy, so he got it for me. I did at one time want to read this series, but I haven’t had that kind of desire since they did a reboot of the original book to movie adaptation. I don’t know. I might want to eventually read this. This series is a Christian fiction series that is centered around the rapture and those that are left behind in Tribulation (as in what happens in Revelation). I really liked the movie, so maybe I will gain a desire to read this series again in the future.

The next book I was gifted was The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket.

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This is the seventh book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, and I was, of course, gifted this to by my brother. We have had many conversations about me wanting to own and read this entire series, so when he saw this and one other book in the series at the bargain variety store, he went ahead and got it for me. This series follows the three Baudelaire children (Klaus, Sunny and Violet) who are experiencing the deaths of their parents and have been shipped off to a few “relatives” houses, the first of which was Count Olaf, a horrible man who wants their family fortune and is willing to do anything to get it. I really have been enjoying this series, and the Netflix series was fantastic, so I am just excited to get more into it!

And the final book I was gifted was The End by Lemony Snicket.

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This is the thirteenth and final book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, and I was gifted this to by my brother. I am so excited to have another book in this series. Hopefully, by having these two books, it will give me the nudge to continue on with the series since I have only read the first four books. This is a children’s series, and it is so unlike anything else I have ever read, which is why I love it so much. This series is so strange and manages to take the same general story line and make it different with each book, which is just so intriguing. Here’s to hoping I will read the rest of the series very soon!

Books I Received:

The first book I was sent is The Crowns of Crowswald by D. E. Night.

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This is the first book in a new fantasy series, I believe, and I was sent this by the author, D. E. Night, so thank you so much for sending this my way! This book follows Ivy Lovely, a girl who has been hidden behind the wall that separates the mundane world from the magical realm. When she crosses the border, her powers awaken and she ends up going to the Halls of Ivy, a magical school that helps students learn to master their magic and the gems of Croswald. When Ivy’s life and magic are threatened by the Dark Queen, Ivy is forced to unearth her own history to save all of Croswald. Not only does that sound like a kickass story, but the cover is one of the most gorgeous ones I have ever seen. All of this just has me very excited to read this novel, so hopefully, I will get to this soon!

And the last book I received was Egypt’s Sister: A Novel of Cleopatra by Angela Elwell Hunt.

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This is a historical fiction novel that was sent to me by Bethany House Publishers, so thank you for sending this my way! This novel follows Chava, a friend of Urbi who soon becomes Queen Cleopatra. When Chava and Urbi have an argument, Chava finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery. That is literally all I know about it, and that is all I need to know. This sounds like it is going to be amazing and very interesting, so I am super pumped to read this. I am in love with Egyptian history and historical fiction, so this definitely seems like it is going to be a book that I enjoy, so I hope to get to this in the near future!

And there you have it! That was my August Book Haul. I told you there were a crap ton of books to haul. I received most of these mostly due to my generous brother, so thank you, Andy, for getting me all of these books and thank you to every author and publisher who sent me a book! What is your favorite book that you have read this summer? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for sticking with me and reading all of this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am so freaking excited to come at you all with a review of this book, The Book Thief! It has taken me forever to finally finish the entire thing, but I have finished it, and I absolutely loved it. This is easily right at the top of my all time favorites list, and I almost want to say it is my favorite book of all time. But this book is set in World War II, its narrated by Death, and it is beautiful. Highly recommend this story because it was absolutely bloody fantastic. But let’s go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

“It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.”

My Thoughts:

Jesus, Budah and Allah, I am a sobbing mess right now.

It’s kind of hard to express how much I love this book. I totally get why so many people have been obsessed with this because I almost want to say that this is my new all time favorite book. Like, ever. I just was so in tune with all of these characters. I cared about them, loved them, and by God, I can positively tell you this book has made me cry more than I have in my entire life for a book. I have never cried this much for a book. And the fact that I did cry is pretty miraculous because I am not a book crier. I don’t usually cry. And I nearly went through an entire box of tissues that my brother conveniently had. But I don’t think anything I can say would do this book justice, but I will try my best.

Let’s just talk about Mama and Papa (Rosa and Hans) for a bit. From the beginning, I absolutely loved Hans Hubermann. He is such a caring and selfless man. He loved Liesel so much. He wanted to help the Jews. He knew that what Hitler was doing was absolutely wrong. He kept a Jew in his basement, for crying out loud. He was easily one of my favorite characters from this story (I have a lot of favorites). Rosa Hubermann was not someone I liked right off the bat like her husband. She is more of an acquired taste for me. It took me a bit to really understand her character and just to love and connect with her. But while she is definitely rough around the edges, ultimately she does truly have a big heart and she loved many people very deeply. I really grew to love and respect her character.

Now, let’s get to talking about Rudy. I loved his character. I loved how much he really loved Liesel. He cared about her so much, and they were so close. I think under the right circumstances they might have moved past the friendship barrier and started dating. But I was not focused on any semblance of romance. He just was always there for Liesel and she for him. They were best friends, and they would have died for each other. That kind of friendship just made a lasting impression on me. I think it was a very powerful and wonderfully portrayed friendship, and it was one of my favorite things about the book.

Oh, Liesel. You have lost so many people. And yet, she still gets up in the morning. She doesn’t let her past cripple her. She is so strong. She truly cares about the people in her life. She loves them so deeply, from Max to Rudy to Mama to Papa to her neighbors around her. And that isn’t even close to how she feels about books. She loves to read so much and she spreads that love to the people around her. She allows reading to help distract her and everyone else from the air raids. She reads to them and they don’t think about the dangers of the air raids as much. She really teaches us the power of words and how words can make or break a person or situation. Words are a very powerful thing. Not to mention the fact that she is the book thief, the girl who steals books every chance she gets and stealing from one particular person actually ends up giving her a friendship later on. I just think Liesel is the strongest person ever, after all she has been through, and I just really love, respect, and admire her character.

Now, the plot. I guess you could say the main plot is just everything that goes on in Liesel’s life. We see the kind of things Death must do, how he truly does care for the souls he collects. Even the ones he doesn’t, like Liesel Meminger. It was super interesting for this story to be told in the perspective of Death. I think we really got to see the entire scope of the story by being in the POV of Death, and it ultimately really added to my interest and enjoyment of this book. We get to see Liesel grow up and face so many things in her life. We see how the war affects her family and the people around her, and it just really put the war in a new perspective for me. We don’t normally see the German side of this war. Usually, we see a character who is a Jew going through this war, but I loved seeing the opposite side of it. It really added even more to my understanding of this terrible war.

Also, this book just hit me right in the feels. I just was so happy in some parts, scared in others, and so sad for the last half of the book. Speaking in particular of the last one hundred pages or so, I did not stop crying. I was a sobbing mess throughout that entire section of the book, and it was nonstop sobbing. I just was so upset and so not okay with what was happening at the end of that book. It was really convenient that my brother had a box of tissues right by his bed because I ended up going through almost that entire box. I just was so connected to all of these characters that with what happened, I could not deal with it. The injustice of it all, though it is very accurate to the kind of thing that was bound to happen because it was the war. It just still upsets me. There are tear stains on multiple parts of that book just because of how I was feeling, how upset I was, and how I just wanted more chances for the characters at the end.

I need to talk about the audiobook version of this book. I did audiobook it for the majority of the novel but ended up reading the last one hundred and fifty pages using my physical copy. The narrator was absolutely fantastic. I thought he was so unbelievably good. And that is high praise coming from me because I am very picky about the audiobooks I like, especially if there is only one narrator rather than an entire cast of characters. He just was really fantastic. Also, while I thought it a bit odd, I ended up really liking the format of this book. It was pretty different compared to a lot of other books I’ve read and while it made me question my decision to read the book in the beginning (that’s why I mostly audiobooked it), it ended up growing on me, and I think it really fit with the story. I really enjoyed it.

And my God, the writing. I loved the writing of this novel. Markus Zusak is so talented with words and with stories, and I just really loved the writing of this novel. It was not distracting at all, and it really helped me to keep going with the story. I think he is just a phenomenal writer.

Overall, I absolutely loved this novel. I loved the characters, plot, setting, writing and so many other things that I can scarcely describe. I loved the historical fiction aspect of the novel as I really felt like I was in Nazi Germany. The overall tone of the story was very accurate to the story and the content of the story, so I just ended up really enjoying it. I am really excited to read more books by Markus Zusak because he is just such a talented writer and this book really reflected that.

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. What is your favorite historical fiction novel? Sound off in the comments below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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The Summer Biannual Bibliothon Tag

Hey, guys! Today is the first day of the Biannual Bibliothon, and to kick it off, the first blogging challenge is, of course, to do a book tag. This tag was originally created by the host of this challenge, the lovely Nana @ 4 Teen Liars, so you definitely should check out her original post. This tag is pretty self-explanatory. It’s just a bunch of questions about the readathon and summer in general. But let’s just go ahead and get into the tag!

1.) What are you planning to read for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon?

I am hoping to finish The Book Thief by Markus Zusak today, but for the entire readathon, I also hope to read Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling.

2.) What is your favorite genre to read in the summer?

I am always in the mood to read contemporary books in the summer. They just have that summer vibe, not to mention the fact that most contemporaries are set during the summer time.

3.) Where is your favorite place to read in the summer?

I usually just read on my bed, no matter what the season is. The outdoors and I are not a great mix…

4.) What is your favorite challenge done in the Summer Biannual Bibliothon?

I really love the throwback challenge because it is giving me the opportunity to start the reread of one of my favorite series, Harry Potter!

5.) What fictional character would you hang out with in the summer?

This is so hard, but probably Cath from Fangirl because we could stay inside and read together rather than actually go outside into the real world. It would be so much fun.

6.) What are your plans for the summer?

I don’t really have any other than to prepare for the upcoming semester in University.

7.) Do you have a summer playlist? If not, what would be on it?

I do have a personal one on my phone, and it has a lot of Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato on it, which should not be that surprising.

8.) What is your favorite summer movie?

I’m not really a summer movie kind of girl, but I am more likely to watch a Nicholas Sparks movie in the summer. I literally do not watch his movies any other time of the year.

9.) What book do you read every summer? If you don’t read a specific book, what do you do every summer?

Every single summer ever since I was like ten or eleven, I have reread the entire Vampire Diaries series by L. J. Smith, and I still love the story every time I read them. They are so good…

10.) What other book tags are you planning to do this summer?

Oh, gosh. I have no idea. I was going to do the Mid-Year Book Freak Out tag, but there really isn’t much to talk about since I have been in a reading slump since like March.

And there you have it! That was the Summer Biannual Bibliothon Book Tag. What is your favorite summer read? Sound off in the comments below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you tomorrow with my next post!

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TBR | SUMMER BIANNUAL BIBLIOTHON

Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to, for the first time ever, participate in The Biannual Bibliothon! This is a week-long readathon that happens twice a year, once in winter and once in summer. This is hosted by seven booktubers, who are Emma @ emmmabooksKassie @ MissSassyKassieRed @ Little Red ReaderKelly @ Kelly’s BookSpillBrittni @ Brittni’s Book FindMomo @ The Booktube Girl, and Catriona @ Little Book Owl. This readathon begins on July 23 and ends on July 29. All of the details about the Bibib and the various reading and video challenges is on the official channel, so you definitely should check that out. You don’t have to be a booktuber to participate in this, so there is also a list of Blogger challenges for each day. All of that information is in this post by the lovely Nikki & Amy @ Bursting With Books. But let’s go ahead and get into the books I plan on reading during this readathon!

1.) Read the Group Book.

23308087The Group Book is Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh, but I unfortunately will not be participating in this challenge. I don’t have the money to buy the book currently, so I can’t read it along with everyone else participating in the readathon.

2.) Read a book from a host’s favorite genre.

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Emma’s favorite genre is diverse books, so I want to read Simon vs. The Homosapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli. This book follows a sixteen-year-old boy named Simon who is still in the closet about being gay. He has been emailing this boy in the school who goes by the pen name Blue, and Simon ends up getting blackmailed by the class clown. He has to help him hook up with Simon’s best friend or his secret will be out along with Blue’s privacy. I have heard nothing but fantastic things about this book, and I am super excited to finally get to read it!

3.) Read a Book That Is or Has Been Banned in the Past.

harry-potter-1A banned book that is actually still banned in my household to this day is Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. It was banned originally because of the magic that is in this series, but my parents ban it because it has sorcerery and they believe all of the spells in the books are real spells. Sounds very ridiculous, but I am choosing the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This is actually a reread for me, and it will be the first time I have ever reread this book. I’m not even going to bother explaining what this book is about because at this point, if you don’t know what it is actually about, you are just a lost cause. Anyway, I am super excited to read this as I haven’t read it since freshman year of high school, which is when I first read it. I am just pumped to revisit this world and these characters, and it is just going to be so much fun rereading this!

4.) Read A Book That You’ve Heard/Seen Somewhere Other than Booktube or the Blogosphere.

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The book I chose for this challenge is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I actually learned about this book from my best friend Megan who absolutely loves this book and has been telling me for years to pick it up, and I am really excited to finally do that! This book is historical fiction, its set in World War II, and it is told from the POV of Death. How could anyone not want to read this? I actually am going to be audiobooking it as I have actually started the audiobook before and just have never finished it. But it is so good from what I have listened to, and I think it is going to be a very powerful read for me.

5.) Book-to-Movie Adaptation: Read a Book That Has Been Adapted Into a Film and Watch the Adaptation.

harry-potter-1I am going to be doubling up on challenges, so I am going to be rereading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling for this challenge as well. I haven’t reread any of the Harry Potter books, so I am very excited to start the process of rereading the entire series. I think it is going to be a lot of fun, and I just am excited to revisit this story and these characters and the writing and the world. It is just going to be a blast, and I can’t wait to reread this one!

6.) Throwback: Read a Book From An Author You’ve Never Read Before.

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For this challenge, I want to read Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor. I have been meaning to read this for weeks, but it has just been sitting on my bookshelf, collecting dust. But this book follows a girl named Reggie who goes to the pharmacy to get her antidepressants and meets a guy named Snake who is there to get his antidepressants as well, and the story just takes off from there. I have been dying to read this, but I have just kind of lost motivation to read, so it has remained unread. This is apparently an amazing book on depression, and I think I will personally relate to these characters and this story a lot, so I am just really excited to read this!

7.) Read a Book With LGBTQIA+ Rep.

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I am also going to be doubling up on this challenge and reading Simon vs. The Homosapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli. This book features a gay main character, so it fits perfectly with this challenge. I have been meaning to read this story for forever, and the movie is coming out next year, so I just really want to read this before that comes out. Now just seems like the perfect time to do that, so I am really excited to see what all of the buzz is about that is surrounding this book!

And there you have it! Those are all of the books I am hoping to read for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon. I actually am participating in this readathon solely for the purpose of getting back into reading. I really need to kick this reading slump. Do you plan on participating in this readathon? If not, what is your favorite book with LGBTQIA+ representation? Sound off in the comments below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

Fates and Furies by Raye Wagner | BLOG TOUR

Hey, guys! I am super excited to be a part of the launch for the final book in Raye Wagner’s fantastic Sphinx series! Fates and Furies will definitely mess with your feels, rock your world, and take you on a roller coaster ride you will not want to leave. My review will be up soon, but it is just so exciting to be working with Raye again, and I am super excited to be a part of the launch of her very first blog tour! So let’s get into it.

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Title: Fates and Furies
Author: Raye Wagner
Release Date: June 29, 2017
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis:

The Olympian gods cause nothing but chaos…

Hope escaped the Underworld with her life, but her memories are as blank as the Book of the Fates she brought back. Still determined to break the curse, she and Xan take an offering to the Olympian temple to solicit the goddess Artemis for aid. But the petition has disastrous results, and now the gods are hunting her.

Athan sacrificed everything for Hope, but she’s leaving him behind to travel with Xan to Mount Olympus. But the closer they get, the more Athan’s mortality becomes a liability. Forced to seek refuge in mists and darkness, Athan tangles with deities that weave the very threads of fate. But these goddesses also wield the immortal blades that lay ruin to destinies.

With everyone she loves damaged or destroyed by the blood of Olympus, Hope must face the power of the past to change the fate of the future…

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About Raye Wagner:

Raye Wagner grew up just outside of Seattle, Washington. As the second of eight children, she was surrounded by chaos, and escaped the mayhem by reading.
Raye studied the art of medicine long before she had an interest in the Gods on Mount Olympus.
One sunny afternoon, the history of Apollo’s ancient curse and the myth of the Sphinx dropped into Raye’s consciousness. She started scribbling notes down after her sister convinced her the story was worth writing.
She writes young adult fiction for teens and adults.

Connect with Raye:

And there you have it! That was my post for the Fates and Furies Blog Tour! What is your favorite book/series involving Greek mythology? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!
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June Book Haul

Hey, guys! I am super excited to talk about the books I bought/received in the month of June! Now I was on a book-buying ban, but you know me. As soon as I get enough cash to buy a book, I immediately run to the bookstore. But I actually only ended up buying two of the seven books, so I didn’t go crazy. I am on another book-buying ban, though…But let’s go ahead and get into the book haul!

The first book I bought this month was Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor.

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This is a standalone contemporary novel that follows two depressed teens who end up meeting while getting prescriptions for their antidepressants. This is a love story, but from what I’ve heard, it is not the sort of novel where love cures you of depression or any other mental illness, which has me really excited to read this. In addition to this, I believe this novel is different from other novels about depression because our main character, Reggie, doesn’t have a trigger. There was no trauma or abuse or anything like that growing up, which mirrors my experience with depression, so I definitely feel that I will connect with the story and the characters a lot, so I am just really excited to get to this one.

The last book I bought was Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewe.

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This is the second book in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series, and I actually don’t have the first book, but this book was marked down to a quarter at a local bargain store, so I just bought it. All I know about the series is it involves some aspect of vampirism. I know a lot of people really enjoy this series, and I’ve been meaning to read it for like ever. So maybe having the second book will give me incentive to buy the first book and start reading this series. But I am really excited to maybe one day in the near future read this.

The first book I received was Train Wreck by Elise Faber.

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This was sent to me for review by the author, so thank you so much for sending this to me! This is a standalone adult contemporary romance novel that I actually have already read and reviewed, and it was absolutely fabulous. I didn’t really know much of anything regarding this novel going into it, and I definitely think that’s the way to go. But this book gave me all of the feels, and I cried several times while reading this. It just was so good, and I am so happy that Elise sent this to me because I loved it. This book was released on May 31 of this year, so I definitely recommend you pick it up!

The next book I received was Fates and Furies by Raye Wagner.

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This was sent to me by the author, so thank you so much, Raye, and I am so freaking excited to read this. This is the fourth and final book in Raye’s fantabulous Sphinx series, and I am so hyped for this novel. You all should know by now how completely obsessed I am with this series, and I am so excited that I get another opportunity to work with Raye Wagner because she is like the sweetest person ever. But this series has greek mythology, kickass characters, amazing plot lines, and just general badassery. This is one of my all time favorite series, and if you haven’t picked this up yet, what are you doing with your life? You have got to read this series! But I am super excited to see how this series wraps up in the final installment! I am sure it will give me all the feels and it will be epic an everything I want, so I am so down for this novel.

The next book I received was The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase.

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This book was sent to my for review by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, so thank you so much for sending this book my way! This book is scheduled to be released on July 25, so definitely keep your eye out for it! From what I can tell, this book follows four very close sisters in 1959 who are spending the summer at Applecote Manor, a place they haven’t returned to in over five years, not since their sister, Audrey, vanished. They begin to discover the dark secrets of the Manor and end up starting to drift apart until one explosive night when they form a powerful bond that is much thicker than blood. This book sounds so interesting! It seems like it will be a bit of a mystery and definitely a thriller, so I am very excited to get to this very soon!

The next book I received was Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas.

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This is a YA contemporary novel that follows a girl named Chloe who is having a pretty terrible time at the moment because everything is going wrong. From crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of one of her not-so-nice coworkers to being caught in a snowstorm that has ruined her hair and the way she looks, resulting in absolutely zero progress with her crush and coworker, Tyson. And to top it all off, she is being accused (along with the other teenage employees) of stealing $10,000. So this follows her dealing with all of this and trying to prove her innocence in stealing the money. I received this from Rachel @ Life of a Female Bibliophile who hosted the Fun In the Sun giveaway, and I won the YA box! So thank you so much, Rachel, for hosting the giveaway and sending this my way!

And the last book I received in the month of June was Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn.

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I really can’t tell you much of anything regarding this novel, to be honest. I’ve never heard of it, the synopsis is really confusing, and from the couple of reviews I read, you will spend the entirety of this novel wondering what the hell is going on. I do know that this is a psychological mystery novel with apparently a very explosive ending, so if one has patience, the ending makes all of the frustration and confusion of the rest of the novel worthwhile. I can tell you that this was the second book I received from the Fun in the Sun giveaway hosted by Rachel @ Life of a Female Bibliophile, and I am apprehensive, but still very excited to get into this!

And there you have it! That was my June Book Haul. What is your favorite psychological thriller that you have read? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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COVER REVEAL for FROM THE FALLS by Heather Renee

Hey, guys! I am so excited to be a part of the Cover Reveal for the second book in the Falls trilogy that is titled From the Falls! This is the second book in a YA fantasy series that I am super excited to read because it sounds really interesting to me and you all know that my favorite genre is fantasy. But this cover is absolutely gorgeous. Its one of the most beautiful covers I have seen like ever, and that just makes me want to buy a physical copy of this when it releases on August 4 of this year. But let’s go ahead and jump right into the Cover Reveal of this gorgeous book!

From the Falls

 

Title: From The Falls

Series: The Falls Trilogy, Book Two

Author: Heather Renee

Release Date: August 4th, 2017

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Amazon US Preorder Link: http://amzn.to/2rivByA

Amazon UK Preorder Link: http://amzn.to/2sPAtgs

Amazon AUS Preorder Link: http://amzn.to/2rNXoue

Goodreads Link: http://bit.ly/2r4osme

Synopsis:

Arvata is thriving and Kali is finally getting a handle on being an Elder. She’s been learning her Arelia abilities, while enjoying being a newlywed. The only thing missing from Arvata is their town healer, who left a year ago and didn’t tell anyone why.

Lorelle finally returns and explains to the Elders what the Fates had assigned to her, but she now needs their help with the mission. Half-Guardians, that shouldn’t even exist in their world, are out there and need to be protected, but time is running out.

Dark magic lurks within these hybrids and nobody knows how they came to be. They possess powers unlike full Guardians and it’s up to Kali and her friends to figure out how to protect the half-Guardians and prevent more from being created.

Trust will need to be earned, unseen powers will emerge and loved one’s lives are threatened. Will the risk be worth it in the end?

About Heather Renee:

Heather Renee lives in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest in Oregon. She writes YA Fantasy that has a mixture of suspense, humor and a little romance.

When Heather’s not writing, she is spending time with her beautiful daughter and amazing husband. Two cats and a dog who loves the snow, complete their household. On weekends, if she doesn’t have a book in her face, you can find Heather going on different adventures with her family. Her favorite being hiking Multnomah Falls.

She loves to hear from her fans, so visit her webpage and the Contact Me link for ways to connect. http://www.HeatherReneeAuthor.com

Want a Teaser?

Teaser

And there you have it! That was the cover reveal for the second book in the Falls trilogy, From the Falls by Heather Renee. What is your opinion on the cover? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to come at you with a review of Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves. But before I even start to talk about this, can we just sit back and admire this cover. Its absolutely gorgeous! This is the first book in a fantasy series that I had heard some pretty decent things about, especially on bookstagram, and you know me. I am in love with fantasy, so I picked this one up. This book is actually a 2017 release; it came out on March 28, 2017, but let’s just go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.”

My Thoughts:

I would love to say that I absolutely loved this novel. But ultimately, this book fell kind of flat to me. Now it has a lot of potential. I think it started out pretty strong, and it was an interesting concept. I was really intrigued by the world and the magic system. That’s what originally intrigued by this novel, and it was why I wanted to read it. However, while the concept was super interesting, the execution of it wasn’t the best in the novel.

Let me explain. The magic system was pretty much mixing Catholicism with a little bit of magic. There was a government that was controlling the magic use and who was allowed to use it or even have it. Similar to your first communion, your confirmation evaluates how in tune you are with magic and how much you even have. I loved this concept because not only was it displaying the flaws in government control, and it was a different take on magic, different from anything I had read before. And while I did love the magic system, I had a problem with it being more like background noise. It just isn’t even part of the main focus. Next to all the drama that unfolds in this novel, it just wasn’t a big deal or even something that was explained a lot or touched upon, really. That was just really disappointing to me.

But I would say the main reason I just had such a problem with this was that nothing actually happened over the course of this novel. This is over four hundred pages with a plot that didn’t really go anywhere. It felt like a lot of filler. Pretty much the entire thing was nothing but filler. It felt like there was a lot of build up with no end result. Like we were waiting for this fantastic ending that just never came. The ending was very disappointing to me.

I also had a problem with the characters. I think that our main character Anna does go through some character development, but I had a huge problem with her character. The thing with this society is women are viewed as inferior, just something to look at it or to do tricks, and people who don’t have magic (like Anna) are treated like heretics in that society. Anna spends almost the entire book trying to do what is proper in society’s eyes. She tries to find a husband and tries to fit into society while ignoring those who want to fight back against this government and against this tyranny. Those who want a better world, and it just seemed like she didn’t care. This book just didn’t challenge that portrayal of women hardly at all, and as a feminist, that was something I had a big problem with.

I also just was not a fan of the romance. I didn’t get Anna’s appeal to Gabor. Like was it just that he’s a gypsy? Like I just don’t understand. His character, like many of the characters in this story, was just very one dimensional, and I did not feel any chemistry between them. I just never understood why she was so drawn to him and because of that, I just could not get behind the romance in this story.

One thing I did enjoy was the writing, however. I loved the simplistic style that Rosalyn had, and it did make it a little bit easier to get through the book. While it didn’t have the vivid descriptions and imagery I was expecting, I did enjoy how it made the book easier to read.

Overall, this book was just not for me. I didn’t like the plot or the characters. But I did enjoy her writing style. I’m not saying you all would not enjoy this. I think this book was just not my cup of tea. If you think this synopsis sounds interesting, then go for it, but I personally just did not enjoy this novel.

3-stars

But there you have it! That was my review of Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves. What is your favorite book you have read thus far in 2017? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today! Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me for review by Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, opinions, and feels on this book were my own.

June TBR!

Hey, guys! I am so excited to talked about the books I can hopefully get to before the end of the month. My reading life has not been the best over the past few months, but hopefully I can change that this month before I get too much behind on my reading goal for this year. I honestly just think I need to read really short books, so that is what I am going to be doing. But let’s just go ahead and get into the books I want to read in the month of June!

The first book I plan on reading this month is Nothing But Shadows by Cassandra Clare & Sarah Rees Brennan.

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This is the fourth book in the novella series Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy, and I am really excited to get one step closer to finally finishing it. I have just been dragging my feet with this, and I do have half a mind to see if I can get a hold of the audiobooks for the rest of the series so I won’t have to drag my feet with it, and I can just marathon it. I just want to finish it so I can read Lord of Shadows. But this series follows a character from The Mortal Instruments series, and I can’t tell you who that is because that is a major spoiler for the finale to that series, which is City of Heavenly Fire. But this series is really good, but it takes me 5ever to make my way through it. Hopefully I can push myself to read this!

The next book I hope to read is Train Wreck by Elise Faber.

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This is a standalone contemporary novel that I was sent for review by the author, and I am really excited to read this. This is definitely an adult novel, so it has mature content. It follows the daughter of a famous film producer named Pepper O’Brien who has screwed up a lot in her life, and after her latest disaster, she moves across the country to start over where she meets her former teenage crush who also happens to be the best friend of her older brother. I am all over this story line like white on rice, and I am so freaking excited to see where the story leads, so hopefully I will get to this very soon.

And the last book I plan on reading in the month of June is The Evil We Love by Cassandra Clare & Robin Wasserman.

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This is the fifth book in the Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy series, and this one actually seems like it is going to be the most interesting one yet as it involves the rise of the Circle and what made Valentine rise up against the Clave. I am super interested in this one, so hopefully I can get to it. This series does occur after the events of City of Heavenly Fire, but prior to the events of Lady Midnight, and I am hoping that someone will finally answer me to say if I need to read the rest of this series before I read Lord of Shadows because if I don’t have to, I will briefly stop reading this series, and I will marathon Lord of Shadows. But for now, looks like I will just keep reading this series…

And there you have it! That was all of the books I plan on reading in the month of June. What books are you planning on reading? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Train Wreck by Elise Faber | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am so freaking excited to discuss this fantastic book! I loved this so much. I literally could not put it down, and I read it in only a few hours. I was not expecting much from this, and I just absolutely fell in love with this book. This is probably going to be one of my favorite books of the year. However, this book does contain mature content as it is an adult novel, so if you aren’t comfortable with explicit sexual scenes, you probably should express caution when reading this novel. But enough with the gushing. Let’s get into the review!

Synopsis:

“train wreck
noun

1. A chaotic or disastrous situation.
2. An utter catastrophe or mess.
3. A devastating calamity or source of trouble.
4. Pepper O’Brien.

As the daughter of a famed film producer, Pepper O’Brien is Hollywood royalty.

Also, her life sucks.

Because, unfortunately for her, the old adage is true: money can’t buy everything—including grace, true love, or the ability to not screw up every single opportunity her life has brought her.

After her latest disaster, Pepper moves across the country to start over but, as usual, her life has other plans, namely in the form of Derek Cashette, her former teenage crush and now ridiculously handsome friend of her older brother.

Derek is determined to salvage the train wreck of her life and Pepper’s determined not to let him. Her life is her problem and, dammit, why can’t she be her own hero?

But sometimes fate has other plans. Or maybe it’s hormones. Especially when her rescuer comes with a killer smile, a chest Thor would be jealous of, and a butt that any girl just wants to—”

My Thoughts:

OH. MY. GOD. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO DAMN MUCH.

This is a book that I was really interested in, but I wasn’t sure if I would actually love it because I usually do not fall in love with books I am sent for review. They aren’t usually books I would personally pick up myself, but this book was freaking fantastic. It just really made me emotional, and I loved the story line, the characters were well-developed, and I just really loved this book. It definitely took me by surprise. I just marathoned this in a few hours, and I am so glad that I got the chance to read this!

Let’s just talk about the characters for a minute. I really loved Pepper’s character. I just appreciated how she was a natural disaster; she was definitely a train wreck. But that’s what the press and her family treated her like. They were not nice people. They pissed me off 100% of the time. But she had been searching her entire life for something that she had a passion for, something she was good at. And she just stumbled upon it by accident. And that is just really beautiful to me. Its something that I really enjoyed, and I just loved how she overcame what others had forced her to believe for her entire life. It was really amazing just to watch her grow so much as a character, and I loved that!

Now we need to talk about Derek. Immediately, I shipped them like a vengeance. And I was frustrated when Pepper kept making excuses for why they couldn’t/shouldn’t be together, but it made it all worth it when they actually got together, and it just made me all kinds of happy. But there is this section of the book towards the end where Derek does one of those annoying character things where he is trying to do something to help Pepper and to help their relationship, but he just doesn’t tell her that is why he’s doing it, so all she can see is that he is being a distant, cold asshole because she doesn’t know why she is doing that. And that really frustrated me to no end, and I really just wanted to slap him across the face multiple times. But it all worked out in the end, so its okay. But he still should have gone about that whole situation differently…

Now let’s talk about Samantha and Rylie. That little girl was so freaking cute. I absolutely loved her, and when Derek would interact with her, I definitely understood why Pepper melted into a little puddle because it is such a turn on (like, it makes me like a guy 10x more) to see a guy be so good with kids. But I also loved how we got some real insight into Samantha’s life as well as Derek’s and Pepper’s. Elise made these character real to me. Like they felt like real people, which I loved. We got to see how unhappy Samantha was, which was understandable. Her husband was a fucking asshole. But one complaint I do have is we never got resolution on Samantha. Like what went down with her and her husband? Are they working things out? Getting a divorce? How is Rylie handling everything? I NEED TO KNOW.

I am just going to briefly say that I hate every member of Pepper’s asshole family. Like whenever something even remotely goes wrong, they blame her. Derek punched Andy? Oh, that had to be Pepper’s fault when she was the LITERAL VICTIM. But that was her brother who blamed her. And the wedding dress thing. It pissed me off so much when she took it upon herself to try to fix the ruined dress that someone else ruined, and her brother immediately blames it on her. Says it had to be her. She’s the screw up of the family. The amount of verbal abuse these people unleashed on Pepper just made livid, made sick, and I wanted to just bitchslap all of them…

Okay, but Derek and Pepper are the cutest couple ever. Like I loved them so much. Derek cares about her so much, though sometimes he has a funny way of showing it, and she cares about him so much, but she will not allow herself to continue to be hurt by him when he was distancing himself from her, so she stands up for herself and tells him to stay away from her. We, of course, know that everything worked out, but their relationship was not all unicorns and rainbows. They had rough patches they had to work through, which made the relationship really realistic to me. They had to go through a lot of shit to be able to be together, and I just appreciated the realness of it.

But this book also made me super emotional. I definitely was crying during the really sad parts. And this is pretty rare for me because I am not a book crier. Nope. Not me. And I really cried when I was reading this book. And whenever Derek would distance himself from Pepper, it literally was causing me physical pain. Like this is really weird, but during super sad and upsetting parts (and when I am super connected to the main character), my left hand actually has pain shooting throughout all of it. And it was probably the most intense I’ve it in a while. I was very upset, and it hurt so damn much to have to go through the pain she was going through. And the ending just made me cry because I was so happy. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. I have never happy cried in my life, until this book. That’s a pretty powerful thing…

I think this book is just so absolutely amazing. It deals with important topics, has beautifully developed characters, and I absolutely loved the story line. This will definitely be one of my favorite books of the year, and I am so excited to read more from Elise Faber in the future!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Train Wreck by Elise Faber. What is your current favorite contemporary novel? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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