New Site: Subtitled

Well, you all might have noticed a little bit of a lag over here the last few weeks/days… That’s because I’ve been slaving on moving everything over to my new site:

http://subtitled-abookblog.com/blog/

Which I am so, so, so excited about!! I won’t be posting on this one anymore. I’m sad to see it go, but I’m looking forward to the new one. Feel free to join me over there! I’ll be doing much the same thing, so please please keep up the funnnn with me!

 

Advertisements

No Romance?? No Problem.

Are you buying the marked down candy at CVS today, like me? Can’t even step up and buy yourself the full priced gift of love this Valentine’s Day. Sick of seeing the couples floating around on Cloud 9, as if their very existence isn’t rubbing you the wrong way. Well, have no fear. I have a list of books that have little-to-no romance that you can feel free to enjoy without worrying that a sneaky little love story is going to pop up in the middle there and just ruin your day! I mean, even that How to Be Single movie looks like there’s going to be a freaking love story in the middle of it. You can’t have a movie about being single and then have ROMANCE in it. That’s not how it works. So please, my books will not be having any pesky romances. Not today, my friends, not today!

(Disclaimer: if my books are part of a series, there might be romance later in the series. I can’t be held responsible for what the characters do when they grow up, after all. And, I might be in a more of a mood for romance when everything isn’t plastered in hearts. Hey, I said might).

Hobbit_cover.JPGThe Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Published Year: 1937
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 5 stars

“Bilbo Baggins is a reasonably typical hobbit: fond of sleeping, eating, drinking, parties and presents. However, it is his destiny to travel to the dwarflands in the east, to help slay the dragon Smaug. His quest takes him through enchanted forests, spiders’ lairs, and under the Misty Mountains, where he comes across the vile Gollum, and tricks him out of his ‘Precious’ – a ring that makes its bearer invisible, and wields a terrible power of its own.”

It really doesn’t get much better than this one. And NO ROMANCE. Just straight up adventure in Middle Earth. Join Bilbo as he really discovers what it’s like to go on an adventure for the first time. If you’ve never read this book (or the other Lord of the Rings), I really and truly recommend that you read them!

HP.jpg

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (#1 of 7) by JK Rowling

Published Year: 1997
Genre: Children’s
My Rating: 10 stars

“Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

I might have mentioned this before (cough, cough), but these books are my favorite of all time. And Harry is 11 in the first book so NO ROMANCE YAY! If you’ve never read these, HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING UNDER A ROCK (or in a cupboard under the stairs)?!

21473404.jpg

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (#1 of 5) by Rick Riordan

Published Year: 2005
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 stars

“Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.”

Such a great series, and I just started the second series, Heroes of Olympus! But they are much younger in the first series which means… NO ROMANCE, of course. Percy introduced us to the world of Greek myths and the Olympians and I just have such a place for him in my heart that can never be replaced.

19063The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Published Year: 2005
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 5 stars

“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.”

Most people have heard of this one because of the recent movie, but the book itself is really powerful. And if it made the list, then NO ROMANCE. Set during World War II, it’s obviously going to be really deep, so don’t go into it without knowing what you’re signing up for, but I would recommend it. Very well written and just in general, excellent.

16250900.jpg

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Published Year: 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 4 stars

“Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.”

Another wartime novel. Easy for NO ROMANCE in the midst of war. Although, it’s also easy for the opposite to be true, so nevermind. But this is a good read as well, if you’re in the mood for a thriller that’s not as intense as Gone Girl with a little more historical fiction thrown in.

285943.jpg

Holes by Louis Sachar

Published Year: 1998
Genre: Children’s
My Rating: 4 stars

“Stanley Yelnats’ family has a history of bad luck, so he isn’t too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a boys’ juvenile detention centre. At Camp Green Lake the boys must dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the dried up lake bed. The Warden claims the labour is character building, but it is a lie. Stanley must dig up the truth.”

I might actually like the movie more than I like the book. Don’t get me wrong, I love the book. It was my go to when I had to check out a book at the school library (they also had like a dozen copies, so I always knew they would have one).

(featured image source).

Mythical Books of 2010

So, apparently I’ve read lots of books published in 2010. According to my year of 2015, you wouldn’t know it though. It’s just that I didn’t read any of them last year! I swear, like Mockingjay was published in 2010. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, and Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins all published in 2010! So it’s not that I have anything against that year, but I want to make sure I give it some attention this year. So here’s my TBR of books published in 2010…

7736182.jpg

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who;s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason’s amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?”

7157310.jpg

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

“In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half.

Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice.

He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.”

 7089277Mansfield Park and Mummies by Vera Nazarian and Jane Austen

“MANSFIELD PARK AND MUMMIES: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights Spinsterhood or Mummification!

Ancient Egypt infiltrates Regency England in this elegant, hilarious, witty, insane, and unexpectedly romantic monster parody of Jane Austen’s classic novel.

Our gentle yet indomitable heroine Fanny Price must hold steadfast not only against the seductive charms of Henry Crawford but also an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh!

Meanwhile, the indubitably handsome and kind hero Edmund attempts Exorcisms… Miss Crawford vamps out… Aunt Norris channels her inner werewolf… The Mummy-mesmerized Lady Bertram collects Egyptian artifacts…

There can be no doubt that Mansfield Park has become a battleground for the forces of Ancient Evil and Regency True Love!”

6764886.jpgEnchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones

“When Andrew Hope’s magician grandfather dies, he leaves his house and field-of-care to his grandson who spent much of his childhood at the house.

Into this mix comes young Aidan Cain, who turns up from the orphanage asking for safety.

Who he is and why he’s there is unclear, but a strong connection between the two becomes apparent.”

Can’t Wait for Books of 2016

It’s that time of year again! There are so many good books coming out this year guys. A lot of them are sequels, so if you haven’t read book one, you’ve got some reading to do!

20983362.jpg

Passenger (#1 of ?) by Alexandra Bracken

Release Date: January 5

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.”

21793182.jpg

Starflight (#1 of ?) by Melissa Landers

Release Date: February 2

“Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world–and each other–the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…”

17302879.jpg

Rembrance (#7/#1 of ?)
by Meg Cabot

Release Date: February 2

“In REMEMBRANCE, the seventh installment of the Mediator series, all Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva).

But when she stumbles across an ancient murder, old ghosts—and ex-boyfriends—aren’t all that come back to haunt her.

REMEMBRANCE will be the first ever adult installment of the Mediator, published by William Morrow, the adult division of HarperCollins, the company that brought you the YA books in the series.”

23174274.jpg

Glass Sword (#2 of 3) by Victoria Aveyard

Release Date: February 9

“Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?”

17378527.jpg

The Raven King (#4 of 4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: April 26

“The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death.

She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”

 

 

17927395.jpgA Court of Mist and Fury (#2 of 3) by Sarah J Maas

Release Date: May 3

“Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost.

Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.”

16131489.jpg

The Last Star (#3 of 3) by Rick Yancey

Release Date: May 24

“We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came.

That’s always been true.

The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it.

Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us.

It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

25591568.jpgA Torch Against the Night (#2 of ?) by Sabaa Tahir

Release Date: August 30

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.


18584855 (1).jpgHeartless by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: November 8

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

(featured image source)

Infinity Dreams Award Tag

unnamed

Huge thanks to Beth at Betwixt the Pages for tagging me (sorry it’s so late!), this was so much fun to do! I’m not just doing this because it’s rule #1 and I’m a rule-follower, but you should totally follow her blog!

The Rules

1. Thank and follow the blog that nominated you
2. Tell us 11 facts about yourself
3. Answer the questions that were set for you to answer
4.  Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them

The Facts

  1. I’m a 24 year old avid reader (hah, bet you didn’t know that one!).
  2. I beat my goal for reviewing books this year, which was one per week.
  3. I did not beat my Goodreads goal for reading books (I epically overestimated myself).
  4. I’ll be lowballing 2016’s goal, don’t you worry.
  5. I didn’t read any books published in 2010 this year (SO weird right?! This was unintentional, promise).
  6. I have two different sets of the Harry Potter series (and they’re beautiful and I love them).
  7. I love audiobooks because I can multitask while “reading”; it’s freaking wonderful.
  8. Elizabeth & Darcy, Anne & Gilbert, Lily & James, Anne & Wentworth, Amy & Rory (my OTPs, in case you couldn’t tell).
  9. I’ve never broken a bone.
  10. My only “surgery” was to have my wisdom teeth removed.
  11. It’s almost been a year since I’ve started this book blog!

Betwixt the Pages’ Questions

  1. If you could live in ONE book’s world for a week, which book would you pick?
    • Harry Potter HARRY POTTER hands down, can I go now?! When can I go? It would be freaking easy to see everything; I could apparate from place to place, person to person. Ugh, please!
  2. Would you live the BOOK’s adventures, or strike out on your own to make some?
    • Oh gosh, I don’t think I could handle Harry Potter’s life story… He had it pretty rough. So I’ll say, strike out on my own, especially if it’s only for a week.
  3. Which characters (bookish or not) would you hang out with?
    • All of them haha
  4. If you could spend one day as any animal/creature (real or made up), which would you pick and what would you do?
    • Dragon, probably. I think it would be really cool to be a dragon for a day. I’d probably fly around, check out some dragon-y things.
  5. New or secondhand books…and why?
    • Either, I’m not picky! There’s a really great secondhand bookstore near me that I frequent, so probably would lean towards that one. But that’s convenience not preference.
  6. What is your favorite dessert?  Least Favorite?
    • Anything with chocolate. And I’m not a fan of cheesecakes or pies.
  7. Favorite protagonist? (bookish or not)
    • That I identify with: Lizzy Bennet
  8. Favorite antagonist? (bookish or not)
    • Rumplestiltskin (from Once Upon a Time)
  9. What fandom do you feel as if you’re in all by yourself?
    • Anne of Green Gables! 
  10. Would you rather…only see holograms for the rest of your life, OR only ever hear in colors?
    • Hear in colors, I think?

The Nominees

Macy @ Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Books

Shea @ Bookish Wanderlust

Anne @ Inked Brownies

Steph @ bookishswint

The Mud and Stars Book Blog

Find Me at the Library

Dee @ thebookishkhaleesi

The Questions

  • If you could have any two characters from different books meet, which two characters would they be?
  • How would they meet? (Yes, this is a meet cute)
  • If you could meet any 5 characters from any books/worlds/whatever, who would they be?
  • How many books do you physically own? (Excluding digital copies)
  • Do you write on your books? If so, what’s the last thing you wrote?
  • What is your favorite sea creature, mythical or otherwise?
  • How do you organize your book shelves?
  • Have you ever read a book more than 10 times?
  • What kind of candy would your favorite book be?
  • What’s the last book you fell asleep reading?
  • Have you ever read everything an author has ever written?

My Year in Books (2015)

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 6.58.34 PM

Well, I think it’s safe to say that little novella skewed my results a bit, but it’s also safe to say that Winter is a freaking long book! 824 pages! I don’t think I realized that as I was reading it (yes, I did it — I thought it would never end)! I’ve done pretty well this year, if I do say so myself (pats myself on the back, does a little jig of celebration).

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 6.58.45 PM.png

Fun facts, I read a book that literally everyone else read (The Girl on the Train, no review sorry folks) and also one that basically no one else read (Thirteen Guests, I did review this one). The really ironic part is that they’re both thrillers/mysteries. So that’s pretty great.

Thus ends the Goodreads portion. I went a little further, because I like finding out stuff, and I like graphs. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.14.47 PM

I mostly read eBooks. This isn’t necessarily a preferences for eBooks but more of a readily accessible thing. My library has an excellent eBooks collection, not to mention how freaking easy it is to “check out” an eBook without getting out of my bed. Sign me up. Check me out? (That was bad, sorry).

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.14.28 PM

This is probably the purdiest pie graph I’ve seen. I mean except for that 2015, it’s almost perfectly 11% all the way around. I’m kind of in awe! I apparently didn’t read a single book published in 2010 or 2007 though, which is really interesting… (THIS IS WHY I LOVE GRAPHS)

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.12.13 PM

Where do I get my books, you ask? Clearly I’m mostly a-borrowin’ or a-buyin’. There is the small case of an ARC, as you can see, but mostly I’m hitting the library and my local used bookstore to feed my addiction.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.10.59 PM

Can you tell what my favorite genres are from this graph? Clearly I don’t have any preferences. Nope, no way. I see a VERY distributed graph here. (I’m lying).

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.08.10 PM

See? So much fun! I know the bottom one is the most interesting, and apparently I read WAY more books I enjoyed than books I didn’t. I mean look at that graph! The 5s and 4s heavily outweigh anything else, and I still enjoyed most of the 3s even. So I’m calling that a good solid year!

(featured image source: Goodreads)

 

Top 12 Books of 2015

I know this is very cliche, but I honestly cannot believe that 2016 is right around the corner. I’m also coming up on my anniversary of this blog, and I haven’t decided how to celebrate that (any ideas?). But either way, a retrospective post was definitely in order! There have been so many good books this year, published and ones I’ve read in general, and as I was doing this one I almost decided to do two posts. But alas, one post it is — so it’s a combination of books published this year and books that I just read this year. But either way, if they made this list, I loved it. Some of them I’ve reviewed (if so, I linked to the review); some of them I didn’t review… you get it, right? Onward!

9969571

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (fave)

Published: 2011
Genre: Science Fiction/Virtual Reality
Rating: 5 stars

“In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.”

9361589 (1)

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (also fave)

Published: 2011
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.


Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.”

20170404

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Published: 2014
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Rating: 4 stars

“Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.”

25735012

Career of Evil (#3 of ?) by Robert Galbraith

Published: 2015
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 5 stars

Cormoran Strike is back, with his assistant Robin Ellacott, in a mystery based around soldiers returning from war.


When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.”

20560137

An Ember in the Ashes (#1 of ?) Sabaa Tahir

Published: 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars

“Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.”

8909152 (1)

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Published: 2011
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4 stars

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your email, and also, I love you . . . “


Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now: reading other people’s email.

22557272 The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Published: 2015
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 5 stars

“Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?”

SpinningStarlight

Spinning Starlight by RC Lewis

Published: 2015
Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Rating: 4 stars

Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it’s hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it’s just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired. Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi’s vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.

16096824 (2).jpg

A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1 of ?) by Sarah J Maas

Published: 2015
Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Rating: 4 stars

“A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beastwith faerie lore.


When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.”

17878931

Red Queen (#1 of ?) by Victoria Aveyard

Published: 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars

“This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.


The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.”

13206900 (1)

Winter (#4 of 4) by Marissa Meyer

Published: 2015
Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Rating: 5 stars

“Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.”

14995.jpg

Odd Thomas (#1 of 7) by Dean Koontz

Published: 2006
Genre: Horror/Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars

“The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.”

But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn.”

(featured image source)

Liebster Award (12/22)

I was tagged by bookishwanderlust to do the Leibster Award last week (rules and other stuff below all my answers), and I’m just now getting around to it. Thank you so much for tagging me! These were really fun to answer 🙂

1. How many books are you planning to read in 2016?

I totally overestimated in 2015, so I’m planning to lowball 2016 (shhh). I haven’t actually decided yet. Maybe around 100?

2. Favorite book you’ve read this 2015.

Oh, so many. But probably the top of the list is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I just loved it SO much. If you haven’t read it yet, READ IT NOW.

3. Books you’re ashamed you haven’t read?

Probably a lot of the classics. Actually, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. (See, told you it’d be a classic).

4. Book that made you cry?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. You know when.

5. What book got you into reading?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading. As soon as I learned to read, I loved it. I’ve always enjoyed it, but the first series I remember totally fangirling over whas Nancy Drew. Totally wanted to be her.

6. What is your all time favorite book?

Can’t pick just one, are you kidding?! How about Jane Austen, JK Rowling and Tolkein. And we can call it a day.

7. What are your hobbies?

If I say reading, is this a cop out? (I keep answering your questions with questions, and that’s probably a cop out). I also enjoy movies/Netflix/TV, hanging out with friends, food/snacks, photography, ceramics, and exploring (flea markets, the outdoors and other places TBD).

8. Book that you hate but everybody loves.

Never was a big fan of The Mortal Instruments series, but I loved The Infernal Devices. So I was a big fan of the world, I guess. I don’t know if it was Clary that annoyed me? I’m going to give the new Shadowhunters TV show a shot, so we’ll see how that goes…

9. Who is your ultimate fictional book boyfriend?

Gilbert Blythe. (Husband: Mr. Darcy)

10. Fictional character that you could totally relate to.

Lizzy Bennet (sorry, not really tho)

11. Favorite bromance?

I never know what to do with this question. Is it about the friendship? I’m going to answer based on my favorite friendship: Harry & Ron, or maybe James & Sirius if I knew more about their friendship.

Liebster Award Rules

  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
  • Answer 11 questions that the blog gives you.
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5-11 blogs you think are deserving of the award that have less than 200 followers.
  • Let the blogs know you have nominated them.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer

11 (very) Random Facts 

  • I love to read (duh, I figure 11 facts are going to be difficult)
  • My favorite color is green (don’t judge me)
  • My current favorite food is macaroni and cheese
  • I like to interject random movie quotes into conversations
  • I live in Tennessee, USA
  • I majored in Fine Art in college
  • I’m currently binge watching season 10 of Supernatural (I’m in love with Dean, it’s fine)
  • Fall is my favorite season
  • I love sweat tea
  • Harry Potter is probably my favorite series of all time, probably
  • I have brown eyes

Nominations

Your Daughter’s Bookshelf

Inked Brownies

Devouring Fictions

Londiniumgirlbooks

Mad Tea Party Books

Questions for Nominees

  • What is your favorite type of book to read?
  • Where is your favorite place to read?
  • Do you have a favorite snack or drink for when you read?
  • Do you listen to music or anything while reading?
  • What is your favorite book quote?
  • Who is your favorite author?
  • If you could have any signed book, which would it be?
  • If you could meet any three authors, living or dead, which ones would they be?
  • If you could meet any three characters, living or dead, which ones would they be?
  • Who is your favorite OTP?
  • What book/series do you wish was a movie/TV show?
  • Which Hogwarts House are you in?

(featured image source)

5 Wintery Wonderland Novels

I absolutely love this time of the year, and especially reading during this time of the year. A good thunderstorm makes me want to curl up and read a book, sure. But a freaking snowstorm? Grab the blankets, crank up the fire (we have a gas fire, don’t judge me), give me my TBR pile, and a mug of hot chocolate and don’t disturb me until the snow melts. No, I don’t want to build a snowman (I’m lying, I also want to build a snowman, I can do both!!).

100915.jpg

The Chronicles of Narnia –  The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

“When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realise what adventures are about to unfold. And as the story of Narnia begins to unfold, so to does a classic tale that has enchanted readers of all ages for over half a century.”

Any of the Narnia books would qualify for me because they’re all so tightly related to one another, but this one specifically is so associated with Winter/Christmas for me that I always want to read it this time of year. I wish I could say I was consistent enough for it to be a tradition to actually read it every year, but I’m not and it isn’t. But if you are, I would highly recommend adding this one to your lineup if it isn’t already in it!

6068551Shiver (#1 of 3) by Maggie Stiefvater

“For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.”

Because Winter the season is so pivotal to this series, all three books would fit this theme, but again as with the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Shiver is particularly wintery for me. Something about it (possibly the cover) holds an especially winter read spot on my calendar. I love this series. MS’s writing style is so unique and even though this might sound like a cliche and you might be feeling burnt out on paranormal creatures (can’t really blame you but) give this series one last shot in these winter months!

15994514A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“With A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens created a modern fairy tale and shaped our ideas of Christmas. The tale of the solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of the season by a series of ghostly visitors and given a second chance, was conjured up by Dickens during one of his London night walks, who “wept and laughed” as he composed it. Taken to readers’ hearts for its humour, compassion and message of redemption, it remains its best-loved book.”

A classic on my list! Confession time: I haven’t actually read this one, (yet, but it’s normal of me to include a TBR!! right??). I really, really want to read this one, I love all of the adaptations of it. I have it downloaded on my kindle app, but I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I have a feeling about this winter season. This is the season, guys. I can feel it.

161887East by Edith Pattou

Rose has always been different. Since the day she was born, it was clear she had a special fate. Her superstitious mother keeps the unusual circumstances of Rose’s birth a secret, hoping to prevent her adventurous daughter from leaving home… but she can’t suppress Rose’s true nature forever.

So when an enormous white bear shows up one cold autumn evening and asks teenage Rose to come away with it – in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family – she readily agrees.

Rose travels on the bear’s broad back to a distant and empty castle, where she is nightly joined by a mysterious stranger. In discovering his identity, she loses her heart– and finds her purpose– and realizes her journey has only just begun.”

You know I had to have a fairy tale retelling in here and this one is about as wintery as they come. I also really, really like this one. It’s also really rare. Anyway, I definitely really enjoy reading this one when it’s cold outside, and if you’re in the mood for a (discrete) fairy tale retelling, pick this one up!

42672The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

“Smaug certainly looked fast asleep, when Bilbo peeped once more from the entrance. He was just about to step out on to the floor when he caught a sudden thin ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug’s left eye. He was only pretending to be asleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance…

Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole in Bag End by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon…”

I love this book so much. I’m not really sure why I consider it a winter read, maybe the first time I read it was in the winter and now it’s an association thing. I did find it on several winter lists so it’s not just me! If you haven’t read this one and are daunted by the LOTR, I would definitely recommend reading this one. It’s easier to get into than LOTR, but it’s definitely a good segue into Tolkien’s style (which is fantastic, btw). Also, love Martin Freeman. The end.

(featured image source)

My Favorite Historical Fiction Novels

I watched V for Vendetta for the first time last night, and it’s got me in this historical fiction mood. Which, if you think about it, is kind of odd, since it’s set in a near-future world. But, if you think about it more, it’s not that odd, because it has all that at the beginning about the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and the Guy Fawkes mask, that just has me itching to read a good historical fiction novel (with magic obviously, the best ones always have magic…)

9361589

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.”

This book has such excellent prose that if I tried to describe it I would just disgrace myself! I absolutely loved this story, characters, setting, basically everything about this book (full review here). I’ve been mentally begging/wishing EM to write another book asap, but so far nothing has been published (don’t worry, I’ll continue with my ESP).

7278720

A Matter of Magic (books 1 & 2) by Patricia Wrede

“When a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into a traveling magician’s wagon, Kim doesn’t hesitate. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London, Kim isn’t above a bit of breaking-and-entering. A hard life and lean times have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But when the magician catches her in the act, Kim thinks she’s done for. Until he suggests she become his apprentice; then the real trouble begins.”

This version is actually books one and two combined (picked it for the cover, no shame). I loved these two books, again historical fiction AND magic? How could I not love it? Kim is an engaging character, and I of course also love characters like hers. If you’re in the mood for some magical historical fiction, this is the book for you (mostly it’s the book for me, but I hope it’s the book for some of you too!).

40440.jpgThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

“Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise — she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.

Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.”

Definitely a more serious novel, and unfortunately no magic (if you’re into that sort of thing, though why anyone would be against magic is beyond me), The Thirteenth Tale makes the list because it’s one of those books that I think about often. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I read it, but it stayed with me a long time after I read it.

64481A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly 

“Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace’s drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could reveal the grim truth behind a murder.

Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, Jennifer Donnelly’s astonishing debut novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.”

Classified as a coming of age novel, A Northern Light is one of my favorites. Also, two in a row without magic (see, I do like just regular old historical fiction)! A Northern Light is a really great read, I absolutely loved watching Mattie’s character growth. She was such a fantastic character and I loved JD so much for writing this book (also, didn’t hate the murder mystery, love a good intrigue).

18143977All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

“Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.”

So I actually haven’t read this one yet, but it sounds so freaking good. It’s been on my list for awhile, and I’m excited to finally read it! Has anyone read it yet? What did you think? I know there’s no magic (right?!), but was it good?

(featured image source)