2014: Summer of Series Recap Post

If you don't remember or if you're new to the blog, back in June I decided that 2014 would be my summer of series. You can find that post here, but if you don't want to read the outline, I'll do a quick recap of why I did this and what my goals were. And then I've gotta tell you if I met those goals.

I decided to do this because I have a terrible issue with finishing series. Of course, this was a worse problem for me prior to blogging. Now that I am a blogger, this issue of mine is getting better, but it's still an issue. This summer was meant for me to pick up some series I was scared to because of my inability to say goodbye to characters, as well as finish some series that I've been waiting to for a while.

It happened in stages.

~*~Stage One~*~

Read a full series each month, with the exception of August where you can read a duology or the last two books in a series because of school.

Verdict: 2/3 of the way there  

  1.  I read the entire His Fair Assassin Trilogy and fangirled over all three books: Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph, and Mortal Heart.
  2. I'm counting Dangerous Boys & Dangerous Girls as a duology because they sort of are related, you know?

~*~Stage Two~*~

Read the last five books in a series over the course of the summer. It's five and not six because of August being a month to pack for school.

Verdict: 3/5 of the way there.

  1. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  2. False Future by Dan Krokos
  3. Isla & The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

~*~Stage Three~*~

Start my re-read of the Harry Potter series. 

Verdict: 2/7 of the way there.
  1. Sort of obvious, I re-read the first two books.
~*~How I Think I Did~*~

Statistically, it looks like I failed, but in the end this was a challenge. It was a challenge to not only read a lot of series and complete many, but to help break me out of a habit. Every book on the list above was a struggle for me to get through. Why? Because of my weird "I don't want to say goodbye therefore I'll just never finish the series" syndrome. There were countless times where I picked up UNDER THE NEVER SKY or another trilogy/final book then just put it down because it didn't feel like the right time to read it. But I got through those two series as a whole and completed another three. And furthermore, I started the Harry Potter re-read, though I'm just going to re-start it over winter break so I can truly read them back to back.

Honestly, I think that I could have completed my realistic goals if I had a better start to my summer. July and August were absolutely awesome, but I ran into some unecessary drama in June that makes me laugh constantly now at how high-school it all was. But with that behind me, I know that when I attempt my summer of series #2 in 2015, I can do better than this. And, furthermore, I'm a few steps closer to conquering a really weird reading habit of mine.

So tell me, do you have the same issues as me? Do you like my series idea? Would you be interested in making this an event for a group of people in the summer or doing your own version of it? Comment below with your thoughts! <3

Stacking the Shelves #81

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Well, this week was full of awesome. I managed to obtain three books I really wanted and had the awesome-sounding FINGERPRINTS OF YOU forced on me. Full of bookish fun to say the least.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Soulprint by Megan Miranda
Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia

What did you add to your shelves?

Stuck in Books Blog Hop & Giveaway

This hop is hosted by the awesome Stuck in Books and I Am A Reader.
 I decided to participate in this hop because, hello, good books! And my choice of a prize is...

a signed copy of CINDER by Marissa Meyer!
As a devoted fairytale nut, I can say that this is one of my favorite series ever and I obviously have to share the love!
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
1. International! Yay!
2. One entry per household.
3. Must be 13 years or older.
4. If you cheat, I'll disqualify you from all future giveaways. I do check entries.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Review: I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Dial
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 384 (ARC)
Source: BEA 2014
A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Warning: This book is so perfect and beautiful and full of awesome and amazing feels that this review may not be coherent. At all. Seriously.

I have a confession...I have never read a novel by Jandy Nelson before this one. For a while I simply wasn't a contemporary fan. When you look at it in retrospect, you'll see that my love of contemporary really only emerged in the last year or two. Rest assured after reading this gorgeous gem, I'll be reading THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE as soon as possible. I'll kick myself if I don't.

Noah and Jude are weird yet perfect twins. There's no other way to describe them. Noah's chapters are in the past when he was the perfect artist at age thirteen. Him and Jude were very different but incredibly close. Fast forward three years and you find Jude's chapters. Noah had lost what it meant to be Noah and Jude lost herself along the way, instead living in fear of everything and focusing on the insanity that was her grandmother's entertaining made up bible. Seriously, guys, I'll never look at oranges the same way again because of Jude. At this point in time, her and Noah have drifted apart and they're two completely different people that are shockingly dissimilar to their past selves. Through a series of self-discovery, coincidences, and perhaps even fate, they unwittingly rediscover themselves and learn about the chaos that broke apart their family while realizing it may not be too late to piece their shattered lives back together. 

Noah and Jude's story isn't a single story. It's the culmination of several different stories found in a single novel. Truly, this book can only be described as a roller-coaster of despair. But through it all there is a shining beacon of hope that truly displays itself in the end of the novel and you can't help but be wowed. For such a convoluted, tumultuous novel, you can't help but smile, and that honestly says something about the author.

Nelson's writing is so vivid and beautiful that words cannot even begin to describe the emotions she evoked from me. I think that her prose was more evident in Noah's chapters since he is the most wonderfully eccentric blow-in I have ever come across, though the way she wielded words was evident in Jude's chapters as well. Both of them are written so differently that it's hard to wrap your head around the fact that this is one author blowing your mind with her descriptions and quirky yet devastating characters over and over again. 

This book can also be described as an unlikely romance. Both relationships are rocky roads, but they both have the potential to lead somewhere amazing. With Noah being very eccentric and gay, his love interest is seriously out of this world and perfect. And with Jude being closed-off and weird, you know it's going to take a cocky bad boy to get her out of her shell. Both Brian and Oscar are deliciously complex characters that can rival Jude and Noah's insane lives, which is what makes them perfect as well. OSCORE *smashes keyboard* WE NEED MORE OSCORE. Just read the book and you'll understand.

With perhaps the strongest cast of characters I have come across to date, I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN is a novel about passion, first love, discovering oneself, and learning to forgive. It is full of hope and strength, struggle and despair, and coming to terms with who you are. It is full of love and beautiful prose, metaphors that will take your breath away, and a plot line that can rival the best of them. I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN is powerful and Jandy Nelson is a literary goddess.

5 stars


FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for an honest review.

Waiting on Wednesday #50

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.

My pick of the week is...

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

~*~Why I Am Waiting~*~

I absolutely loved OF BEAST AND BEAUTY by Stacey Jay. Her retelling skills are so awesome it's nuts and I am a retelling nerd so this is an obvious win-win. Plus, it's not like this book is just Sleeping Beauty...it's Sleeping Beauty's daughter! Instant curiosity and excitement on my end!

What're your thoughts on this book? Anything that you are looking forward to? Don't hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below! <3

Top Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED To Read More

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

This list sort of makes me ashamed of myself! haha

1. Stacey Jay - OF BEAST AND BEAUTY is among my favorite retellings ever, so I need more! I just got THE PRINCESS OF THORNS in the mail, so I can't wait to cross her off this list.

2. Robyn Schneider - Her debut, THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING, is one of my favorite books of all time. It truly spoke to me, so I can't wait to see what punny book she produces next.

3. Maria V. Snyder - I have only read POISON STUDY by this author, but I can't wait to read more.

4. Jenny Han -I read TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE and I now need more. Like yesterday.

5. Leila Sales - THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE was one of the most amazing books I have ever read. I have a feeling that I will love everything this author ever produces.

6. John Green - I read and loved THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I hold this book on a very high pedestal. I'm hesitant to read more of his books for fear that I won't love them as much. However, in the back of my mind I know I'm being an idiot because it's John Green and everything he writes is amazing.

7. Megan Whalen Turner - I absolutely adored THE THIEF and I have to finish the series! I just have to find the time!

8. Michael Barakiva - ONE MAN GUY is among my favorite LGBTQ books ever. I know he only has one book out, but I will happily read anything else he writes!

9. Paula Stokes - Technically, I've read several books by this author but the others were under he pen name. I have only read one book under Paula's real name and I know she has 5 more contracts currently. I am eagerly anticipating each and every one of them.

10. Kendare Blake - I have only read ANTIGODDESS by her and I loved it. I can't wait for its sequel, but I'm hesitant to read anything else by her because she's primarily a horror author and horror novels don't sit well with me.

11. Always, one for good luck! Jandy Nelson-  I just finished I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN and now I have to read her debut stat. Enough said.

My Current Obsession: Netflix

Over the summer I barely touched my Netflix account. Of course, that all changed when I had to start packing for school and I welcomed all forms of procrastination possible in my life. I could stick my headphones into my ears and make it look like I'm doing some of my online class's homework, but instead I was really watching ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK.

This show, guys. THIS SHOW. I am absolutely obsessed with this show. I binged both seasons in under ten days, which is absolutely ridiculous for me. I never do things like that.

The sad thing is amidst my roommate issues my first year here, I did attempt to start this show when only the first season was on Netflix. I quit the first episode about twenty minutes in from boredom and didn't look back until a few friends yelled at me to watch it. I forced myself through the first episode and part of the second and before I knew it, I was on episode seven of season one. I missed out. But Red is seriously my life now.

While this show is gritty and groundbreaking, it's also funny and sentimental. I feel connected to so many characters for so many different reasons. This cast is so diverse and talented and all I want is for season three to be available now. I don't want to wait until June!

Because I'm now back at school, Netflix is a usual part of my life again. I wasn't really anticipating it to be, though, until one of my roommate's decided to force BREAKING BAD on me. Needless to say, I'm currently on the brink of being in season three of five already. Granted, there's only seven or thirteen episodes a season, but whatever.

This show also has me hooked, though I have to admit it's probably not something I would have watched while it was airing on TV. It's gritty, at times downright disgusting, and the darkest subject matter I've ever seen shown on television shows and not movies. And that's what makes it so amazing. It's so easy to get attached to these characters except I hate Skyler because she's so annoying. And I've discovered I also desperately want a Heisenberg t-shirt.

So, here is my call to all you fellow devoted Netflixers that are much better at year-round Netflixing than I am. What should I watch when I finish with BREAKING BAD?  What should be my end of September and an unknown amount of October binge? What can my new obsession be?

Comment below with your thoughts! <3 Also, any opinions on either of the aforementioned shows that don't include spoilers for people who have yet to see them would be awesome. I need to geek out, guys!