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Monday, February 20, 2017

Series I Probably Won't be Finishing

Hello friends, about a year ago I did an inventory of all the unfinished series and was a little stunned by what it revealed- check it out here. I had over fifty unfinished series, which is madness. Since then, I have finished a couple series, but I have also started a couple more.  I really hate starting a series, and not finishing them. However, after some serious thought, I have come up with a pretty substantial list of series I just will not be continuing. So, I thought I'd share those books with you.





1) The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare- I finished City of Fallen Angels, the fourth book in this series, and decided I was done. Personally, I think the series should have ended with City of Ashes, but what do I know?

2) The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini- I've read both Eragon and Eldest a loooooong time ago, and I really enjoyed them. But because it's been so long, I think I've just lost interest, and there are SOOOOOOOOO many other books to read.

3) Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl- I've only read the first book in this series, and I found it very unmemorable. I have zero interest in continuing with this series.

4) The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig- I was really excited to read this book when I read the synopsis, a ship and time travel- sounds like my cup of tea. However, the book was actually pretty boring. Nothing really happens, so I won't be reading the sequel, The Ship Beyond Time.





5) Fallen by Lauren Kate- This was one of the first books I read when I started blogging, and boy was it bad. I didn't think so when I first read it, but now that I have read so many other books and so many other stories, I have realized The Fallen series is not good, and I have no intention of continuing.




6) Bloodlines by Richelle Mead - I read this one before I started the Vampire Academy series and I Vampire Academy series, but I don't know, I thought it was fine, but, kind of boring. I may give this another go once I have finished the

7) Wildefire by Karsten Knight- This was another book I read my first year blogging, and I really enjoyed it. But again, it's been to long and I've lost interest.









8) Stork by Wendy Delsol- This is a little series that is pretty underrated. I read the first two books Stork and Frost and I really enjoyed them.  But, the synopsis of the third book sounds a little hokey.  I may read it, it's one book, but I don't know when or if that will happen.

9) Starbound by Amie Kaufman- I read These Broken Stars and wasn't so in love with it that I felt the need to rush and read This Shattered World when it came out. I am not opposed to reading the rest of the series, but I am not in any rush.

10) Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi- I just hated this book when I first read it. I am pretty sure I am in the minority with this one. But no, I can't.





11) The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa- Fairies are my thing, I love them. I was pretty excited about this series. I read The Iron King and thought it was okay, went on to read The Iron Daughter and again, thought it okay. I wasn't terribly eager to read the next in the series, and now it's been a few years, and my reading tastes have matured.

12) The Syrena Legacy by Anna Banks - Another series that I really enjoyed reading. I read the first two books, Of Poseidon and Of Triton, but when Of Neptune came out, I had lost interest.


The Maybe's 

So there are a few series that I haven't fully decided to let go of. But I need your input. on- should I keep going? I am on the fence a bit about the following.



13) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes- I am not sure whether it's worth reading After You. I really liked , and I loved Lou, but I am not sure if reading on will ruin things for me.
Me Before You

14) Choas Walking by Patrick Ness -  I read The Knife of Never Letting Go at the insistence of  Aylee from Recovering Potter Addict. I really liked it, but it was really my thing. I could keep going, but I don't know. What say you?

15) Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian- I think I liked this one (I've only read the first book). I am a little curious about where things went/ended. But again, I am not sure it's worth the time.





Well that's enough I think, there are other unfinished series I could talk about it. But I haven't fully convinced myself that I am quitting. Maybe this time next year there will be another post. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

All the Books





Hello Friends,

I don't know if you have noticed this, but I don't generally do book hauls. I used to do them all the time, back when I used to get a lot more ARCs and before I reigned in my book buying addiction, but these days I very rarely buy books and I just don't get that many ARCs anymore- I just don't have the space. But in the last month and a half (well, since Christmas really), I have found myself with a number of new books, some I bought and some I have been gifted. So I thought, why not share those books with you.



Gifts:


- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo from my lovely internet BFF Aylee from Recovering Potter Addict
- Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley from my other lovely buddy Sabrina from Beyond the Book Reviews 
- More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera & Heartless by Marissa Meyer from my #TBTBSanta, Wulfie from Youtube Channel Silly Little Ravenclaw 
-Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra  from my friend Anna 





Bought:
I didn't actually buy as many as I thought, but I did it all for the Plum Points at Chapters/Indigo. 

- A List of Cages by Robin Roe
- Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
- Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This may not seem like a lot of books, but for me it is. I am a big fan of the library. I would really love to have all eight of these books read by the end of the year- I have already read

Have any of you read any of these? Which are your favourites? I am pretty excited for them all, I am particularly excited for Shadow of the Wind.

That's it for me this week.

~Happy Reading Everyone


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Stefanie's Thoughts: By Your Side by Kasie West




When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?
 



I can officially say I love Kasie West’s books. I know when I pick one up I’ll end up with a smile on my face and I’ll leave it feeling good. By Your Side was no exception. I even cut down the time of buying it vs. the time I take to read it (it was bought on a Saturday and I started it Monday, I’m taking that as a huge win for me).

I have to start off with the obvious: is it really believable that two people would get trapped in a library over a long weekend? I work in a library and I know I would never leave it before I triple check for students (I guess mine is a little different since I’m in a school library and the couple of locked rooms we have are only accessible by staff who all have keys to get in and out). How was it that not a single door opened from the inside? I also found it a little unbelievable that the librarians there didn’t have any food; I have an entire food cupboard by my desk! Yes she was without her cellphone, but the librarians didn’t have landline on their desks? I know landlines are becoming a foreign concept, but all libraries have phones in them. Also, how come neither one of them read anything! Seriously, an entire room of books and nobody reads, that just depresses me.

Even if I do find this a little bit unbelievable, it worked with the story. It provided a great backdrop for Autumn and Dax to be forced into getting to know one another, even if it started off that neither of them was really sincerely interested in sharing personal information with each other. I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow. Like all of Kasie West’s books, the relationships grow naturally and don’t feel rushed. She spends time on her characters and gives us lots of time to see them transform into the characters they are on the last pages.

Kasie West also always makes great parental roles. Autumn’s parents are so supportive of her anxiety disorder and it’s so refreshing to read about parents that actually act like parents and support their children. I loved her mom; she checks up on Autumn, and regularly after the library incident, encourages her to take days off of school to rest and just be.

Autumn’s friends were something else. I liked Lisa at times, but overall her friends were real jerks. Dellin or whatever his name was, was just so mean to Autumn all the time. Plus, not one of her so-called-friends realized she wasn’t with them and just left her in the library. What kind of friends do that! Especially if you text her and she never replies, wouldn’t you check where you last saw her to make sure she’s ok?

The downside: love-triangle. Well a sort-of love-triangle. I’m not sure which is worse? Autumn has a sort-of-boyfriend Jeff, and then meets Dax in the library and starts falling for him. This story would have worked perfectly without the love-triangle.

Plus the ending, I loved it. I’m always a fan when everything gets wrapped up nicely and we’re not left wondering what’s going to happen after the book ends.

This is a solid 4.5 star (that half star got removed due to the love triangle) from Kasie West. She’s an auto-buy author for me and I need to get my hands on a copy of Pivot Point.


Re-Read Update

I love Princess Diaries and this re-read left me with a smile on my face, because it was written seventeen years ago so the references just made me laugh. It actually made me feel old at how outdated the technology was already (like instant messaging). It was also nice to come back to this and having currently read Royal Wedding not long ago, it’s nice to see how much Mia, Michael, Lily, Lana (oh Lana, I still picture her being played by Mandy Moore) and company have grown up.

Next up is Ghost Girl by Tonya Hurley

That cover! I was initially drawn to it when I bought it and knew nothing of the synopsis, but I’m in when it involves a girl dying from choking on a gummy bear. I think book three is around Valentine’s Day, so I’m going to be re-reading these three back-to back.








Happy Thursday everyone.

Until my next review,


Stefanie


Sunday, February 5, 2017

January Recap






Whelp, it's February. How did that happen? January flew by!! I can barely believe it.

January was the month I recovered for the craziness of Christmas. I took the week between Christmas and New Years off, which was a much needed break. However, it went by way to quickly and real life has since resumed. Other than work, I have been keeping it pretty low key. I barely socialized at all in January, I played homebody this month. I did go to a Teen Trivia night hosted by Chapters/Indigo I brought my little twelve year old friend, it was actually a lot of fun, I got some pretty sweet bookish swag. I also got together with my local book blogger "book club" and we were finally able do our Holiday gift exchange. It's always fun to get together with those girls and discuss all things bookish, pop culture, politics. I always look forward to our little hangouts.


A photo posted by Sara (@jstanotherstory) on


The last couple of weeks though have been all about The Fall





I watched the first season of this show a few years ago, and really liked it. At the time season two wasn't yet on Netflix. When it was finally added I didn't immediately watch. I needed to be emotionally ready for the roller coaster that is Paul Spector. I would petition anyone who would write Jamie Dornan off due to his role as Christian Grey to check out The Fall. This man is a brilliant actor, Gillian Anderson also is marvelous. I started season two of this series at the insistence of a friend, I hopped in and whew. I am have two episodes left of the series and WHOA!  British television is so smart, It's remarkable. 



The Books:


Number of books completed 
10 

Physical books 
4


Audiobooks 
6
Physical Books:
Worth the Scandal by Karen Erikson (2.5 Stars)
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (3.5 Stars) 
Blood Vow by JR Ward (4 Stars) 
A List of Cages by Robin Roe (5 Stars)  


Favourite Read of the Month 





I don't think I need to say much about this book. I shared my full thoughts in my review. But this book was magical and it's done something to me. There are a few books that have really changed my life and this is certainly one of them. 
 Audiobooks: 
Winter by Marissa Meyer (4 Stars)
Listen to Me by Kristen Proby (2.5 Stars)
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (4 Stars)
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (5 Stars) - reread
The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones (5 Stars) - reread
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones (4 Stars) 


Favourite Listen of the Month




This was a reread for me. My book club was reading it, and I wanted to reread it. It was just as wonderful the second time and it was the first time. Don Tillman is such a wonderful character. 


2017 Resolutions Update: 

I think I am starting off this year in an okay way. Check out my resolutions here
 
I have read 10 books which is two books ahead of my reading challenge
I have listened to more audiobooks than physical books read and I haven't actually listened to any audiobooks in my stock pile (but I'll get there)
I read TWO 2017 releases in January- Eleventh Grave in Moonlight and A List of Cages
I Read A Wrinkle in Time - which was on my list of seven books to read this year. 
For February I would like to focus on reading more. I initially thought I would try and read 100 pages a day- It's the second as I sit here and write this, and I have already failed. But I would like to aim for 2500 physical pages read this month. 


This Month on the Blog

Stefanie's 2017 Reading Goals
2017 Bookish Resolutions 
Stefanie's Thoughts: Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Stefanie's Thoughts: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
My Thoughts: The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins 
Stefanie's Thoughts: Sea Change by Aimee Friedman 
My Thoughts: A List of Cages by Robin Roe


That was my month! I hope you enjoyed. Till next time. 

~Happy Reading Everyone!






Friday, February 3, 2017

Stefanie's January Recap



Hi everyone,

How is it already February; I can’t even believe it. Where did January go?
January was a great reading month, I was able to get more books off my tbr (including the first book I ever added back when I first joined in 2013). The only thing is that I feel like I went through a reading slump this month; nothing except three books really struck me and stood it. I was so excited about starting all of them and I hate when they don't live up to your expectations. I don’t think I’ve ever had this many two stars reads in a single month before. I guess if there’s a positive it’s I have more room on my bookshelves now for more books! I’ll be moving next month so I’m not sure how much reading will get done. Actually the more important question is how long it will take me to unpack all my books and get them into their shelves. I’ve slowly started packing and my current shelves are starting to look a little sad and empty. I’m thinking about keeping a couple books set aside to make sure I have some books at the ready when I get tired in between moving boxes and before I get my cable set up.



New Books Read:

Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder (two stars)

Trouble with Flirting by Claire LaZebnik (two stars)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J. K. Rowling (four and a half stars)

Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer (four stars)

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman (three stars)

Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West (four stars)

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (one star)

Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg (two stars)

Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid graphic novel (two and a half stars)



Re-Reads:

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard (3 stars)

Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnik (two and a half stars)

International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams (three and a half stars)

Hex Education by Emily Gould and Zareen Jaffery (three stars)


Total: 13


    


I didn’t really do much else this month, except seeing La La Land in theatre. It was so good; I loved all the little hints at Classic Hollywood (I love Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and the whole era really). If you haven’t seen it I recommend it. I’m not a big fan of jazz, but even the jazz parts weren’t that bad. I just wish Emma Stone sang more! 

      

I’m starting to get really pumped about the new Beauty and the Beast movie ever since the full two-minute trailer was released; the animated one is my absolute favorite movie of all time so I have extremely high expectations of this live-action one, to the point that when it was first released I almost didn’t want to see it. That has quickly changed.

I binge-watched Fuller House season two and am now desperately waiting for season three to be released. I started watching Stranger Things based off of numerous recommendations, but it hasn't been what I was thinking it would be. My goal is to  finish watching the season by the end of February so I can start watching A Series of Unfortunate Events. Neil Patrick Harris looks perfect for this show.


February Reading Goals:

Keep up with the weekly re-reads. I’ll be starting February off with re-reading The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.

Read as many romancey-contemporary books I can find and binge-watch as many Hallmark cheesy movies I can find. Half of that is book related, but for February I like to watch and read as many Valentine things I can get. Maybe eat some chocolate, or a lot. Chocolate is always a good idea!

When I look over this, I feel like I had a pretty low-key January and I really like that. More time for reading and watching movies!

Until my first February post,

Stefanie

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My Thoughts: A List of Cages by Robin Roe


When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian—the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kindhearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives…


I am going to say this right off the bat guys- This is one of the best books I have ever read. For real. It is worth ALL of the HYPE it's been getting. After some thought, I don't think I can properly review this book, but I will try and share some of my thoughts in a semi coherent fashion. 

I don't think I can summarize Robin Roe's A List of Cages the way it deserves, but I will kind of try. Generally, the book is all about Julian and Adam and their friendship. Where it starts, how it develops and is sustained. It's actually quite beautiful. I went into the novel knowing very little about the plot and I think that was a good decision. It's best going into this book now knowing a lot, it'll really add to the experience.

I bought this book on a Saturday, started reading it on Sunday afternoon, finished it Monday after work. I NEVER read a book that fast. If you plan on reading A List of Cages, make sure you have some time. This is not a book that is easy to put down. It's a book you could easily read it one sitting. It wasn't an easy book to read. It deals with some serious topics: mental health, abuse, learning disabilities. It's absolutely heartbreaking. But Roe also makes it incredibly hopeful. A List of Cages is not at all a hopeless story.

I loved this book and everything it said. There is a lot more I could tell you: The story is told in dual perspective and I loved that. I loved hearing from the two voices. I loved the focus it puts on friendship and the lasting affect it can have. I loved the beautiful way this story was told, Roe has a real gift with words. And I love Julian- he's such an amazing character and he's so special.

I know these thoughts of mine were all over the place, but it's hard to share about something that meant so much to you. This book is an amazing and I am very glad to have read it.

Overall, I am going to be pushing this book HARD this year. Everyone should read it. Love it and share it.

~Happy Reading Everyone!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Stefanie's Thoughts: Sea Change by Aimee Friedman



Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science. . .and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.

There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship. . .and reality.


Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?





Hi everyone, 

On my quest to get as many books off my TBR, I finally read the first book I added to the TBR back in 2013 when I first signed up for Goodreads; Sea Change by Aimee Friedman. I felt like I had actually accomplished something by finally getting the satisfaction of checking it off as currently reading. 

I loved the book right from the opening quote. “The Cure For Everything Is Salt Water – Sweat, Tears, Or The Sea” Isak Dinesen. What I didn’t know was how perfect that quote was for the book. The setting was so wonderfully described that I felt I was right there with Miranda and Selkie Island might be one of my new favorite fictional places. The imagery that Friedman has included is honestly so unbelievable. I pictured this lush, green mist filled island the entire time I was reading it.

Miranda was a great main character because she changed so much throughout the book. I felt she really did go through growing pains and realizing who she was before (logical and only believed in science facts) she came to Selkie. I must admit, I loved the captain of the ship when Miranda was in-route to Selkie. I think my favourite part was how Miranda got her information about the island from one of her grandmother’s books than going on the internet.

The plot itself was fun and simple and I don’t mean simple as a negative. It wasn’t one where I felt like I needed to know how to calculate quantum physics to understand and I loved it. For me, some stories are better with simplicity and I can focus on the world around me.

I did have a couple disappointments. The first was the fantasy element wasn’t mapped out or used enough. I wanted it more right in my face than how it was used subtly. I wanted a whole selkie underwater world like Atlantis, but while I was reflecting on the book I realized after that the lack of in-your-face fantasy really does fit with the simplicity of the book overall.

I especially disliked the whole islanders/ visitors quarrel. I don’t know if in real life this happens as much as it does in books, but for once I’d like the year-rounders or the families that have vacationed there for years to just accept the newcomer. I really also didn’t like the girls Miranda meets there; they all just seemed so stuck up and snobby. Also for me the plot dragged when she was with them. I would have rather those pages been filled up with exploring the island’s past more.

The romance seemed a little off to me; I almost felt that it was added in because the reader expected it. It did add to Miranda’s growth, but I don’t know if Leo was a character was fully developed, plus there was some insta-love..so I’ll just leave the romance on that note.

Overall it was a nice read where I fully felt I was transported into another world. That cover really is perfect for the atmosphere of the book and it was the first thing I noticed about it.

3/5 stars

Re-Read Update

Tweet Heart. All I can say is what was I thinking with the 5 stars originally? I gave it three stars this time around but it’s more of a 2.5 star book. The plot itself was so juvenile, but I still enjoyed the format of tweets, blogs and emails.

Next up is Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

 I’m keeping up with the mermaid/ folklore theme I have going on here. I’m actually really impressed with myself for keeping up with the weekly re-reads. I know it’s still only January but I felt for sure I would fail after the first couple weeks.
















Happy Thursday.

Until my next review,

Stefanie
"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl