Top Ten Series I Want To Start

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

I know it's supposed to be new series, but since it's established that I suck with finding a way to read an entire series, as evident by this post and this post, I think I'm just going to do ten eleven series in general that I want to start and hopefully one day complete.

In no particular order...

1. Abhorsen by Garth Nix- Fantasy is my favorite genre and I feel like this is a series that I missed out on because I wasn't a huge fantasy reader when I was younger. Must remedy that, yes?

2. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale- Because I intern at Bloomsbury, I am hoping to fix this one sooner rather than later. Again, I just wasn't that huge of a reader when I was younger.

3. Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi- I want to meet Roar and everyone else! I promise! I accidentally damaged my copy of book one at a pool, though, so I need to fix that...

4. The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger- I love her YA series, so I have a feeling I will love her adult series, too!

5. The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan- Now that all of the books are released, I can binge this series at one time!

6. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin- Everyone seems to love these. I want to love them, too! The waitlist at my library is disturbingly long, though.

7. The Dregs by Leigh Bardugo- I am a slave to anything Leigh Bardugo writes.

8. The Dark Elements by Jennifer L. Armentrout- I am always curious about what JLA writes!

9. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris- Sorta cheating because it's a duology, but I have heard nothing but great things about this duology!

10. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson- Like Garth Nix, I feel as if this is a series I've missed out on as a fantasy lover and I have to remedy that.

11. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot- So, it was recently a big deal that I read my first ever Meg Cabot books in the form of her Mediator series. Now, I want to take on another one of her beloved set of books whose movies I adored when growing up. Bring it on!

Don't forget to link your TTT posts below! Comment and share any series you think I would enjoy!

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 432 (eARC)
Source: Edelweiss
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

This was my recently chosen book to read in class while my teacher lectured because he wants us to be physically present though he doesn't test on lecture. Yup, you read that correctly. While it takes me longer to get through the books that I use for such purposes, it makes them all the more enjoyable and I am beyond happy to report that, at least for me, the hype surrounding this title was well deserved. As a fantasy nut, specifically a high fantasy nut (which this is), I am definitely satisfied after completing this story as I begin the long wait for book two.

I have to admit that the first ten percent of this book did not wow me. In fact, it was a very slow beginning that made me fear about the pacing for the rest of the novel and I didn't really feel for the main character, Meira. Meira is a teenage soldier for the kingdom of Winter. When she was a child, Spring destroyed her kingdom and enslaved all of its people that did not die. She, however, was a baby orphan on the street that was aided by the commander of the military in her escape. Now, all she wants to do is fight for her kingdom and help protect her best friend, Mather, who is also the King of Winter and last remaining member of the royal family line.

The beginning of the book is a lot of her complaining about this and that. She can't be with Mather because Mather is the future King who has to think about his people, yet she's secretly in love with him. She can't go and fight despite training for it because Sir "hates" her and refuses to let her go. Then, conveniently, the first time he allows her to go, she comes back with half of the locket that Spring stole and broke in half, which is the royal conduit for the magic of the kingdom of Winter. While this is where things began to get super interesting (at 10%) I was also slightly skeptical that the Winterians have been trying to retrieve this locket for a while and she managed to get it on her first ever attempt. All the power to you, girl, but this aspect of the story was slightly strange to me. I have to say, though, my attitude in regards to Meira drastically shifted after this and I very quickly began to not only feel for her, but also to root for her. She is definitely a strong heroine, even though it doesn't seem that way in the beginning, which is very similar to The Kiss of Deception in my eyes.

I won't reveal any more of the plot to you because it consists of a ton of amazingness and political intrigue that a reader has to discover for his- or herself.

The world-building in this one was phenomenal as well. I'm a stickler for solid worlds with no plot-holes and while the world, at first, seems very basic in regards to the four seasonal kingdoms, it is very quickly apparent that there's a lot more to it. There's eight kingdoms with different specializations and agendas, and so much political intrigue taking place between the kingdoms that my mind was constantly spinning. The lore was absolutely mind-boggling and fascinating. I would read an entire novella modeled after the Harry Potter novellas that act as "textbooks" about the series because I like the history of this world so much.

And I have to say I like the characters, too. Every character was memorable whether they were good or evil because they all stood apart. None were two dimensional and they all served a solid purpose of some kind. However, I have to say that the romance threw me off a bit. Mather, while an amazing character, was not a suitable love interest in my eyes. They were the only two in camp close to each others age and they're of opposite genders, thus it was obvious they would start to develop feelings for each other. However, I think it has the potential to transform into an obsession because they were all each other had for so long.

Contrarily, I really loved Theron both as a character and a love interest. He is level-headed, intelligent, and confident and there's a lot more to him than meet's the eye. I can't wait to learn more about him in the future. Who is Theron, you ask? Well I can't tell you! Read and find out and discover this amazing plot twist for yourself. Because of Theron and Mather, my only true worry about the future of this series is the development of a love triangle. Please, please don't let this happen!

Full of amazing plot twists and well written characters, SNOW LIKE ASHES is a strong debut novel that will appeal to longtime epic fantasy fans like myself and even newcomers exploring the genre for the first time. Raasch has given us a complicated, dark, yet juicy world that is easy to get immersed in. I am already eagerly anticipating book two!

Side note...anyone else think the cover is absolutely breathtaking? They hit the mark with this one!

4 stars


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

Comic Con Day Two Recap: Friday

Friday was the day of books for me. I did the Spin 'N' Win at the HarperCollins booth and I also went to two signings for Penguins authors on top of coming across so many awesome galley drops! Just look at this amazing haul!

Comic con day two haul
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir- This was tied for the book I was most looking forward to at NYCC14 alongside RED QUEEN. I literally sprinted from a panel I was sitting in to grab it when Kelly told me they were dropping it as a surprise. Someone screamed when they first began putting these out. I just want to pet it forever.
  • Proxy by Alex London- I have not read this book yet, though I really want to! It was given away as part of a group author signing at the Penguin booth and I now have my own personalized copy. My best friend, Max, who is not typically a book person has read it and loved it, so I have high hopes.
  • The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima- I happened upon this signing and flipped out because I love Cinda Williams Chima. Naturally, I own all of her books but none are signed. I now have a signed book of hers that they gave away for free during her signing while giving us the option to buy any of her others. I will most likely be giving away my non-signed copy, so stay tuned!
  • Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes- I haven't read book two in this series, but that's because I was told to wait until I could read book three since it was so intense. Well, now I have book three so I can read book two. Anyone else hear that it was just announced this will be a six book series now?
  • Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly-The cover of this book is adorable and the premise caught my attention immediately when I found out this was about a girl monster. I seriously can't wait
    to delve into this one. Thank you Harper Spin 'N' Win for giving me the chance to read this!
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner- I grabbed this book when it was dropped at the Random House booth alongside a Dashner Army t-shirt. I have never read this book because my sister protects her Dashner novels with her life. Well, now I will definitely be reading this book and wearing his awesome shirt. This is one of those instances where I went out of my way to see the movie before the book and I'm thankful I did because I feel as if the movie would have lost some shock value if I didn't.
  • The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson- I may not be a huge Buffy fan, but hello, Amber Benson! Firstly, you're gorgeous. Secondly, I am really excited to read your book! Thirdly, I accidentally snagged two copies since I visited a group signing Saturday and they handed them out, so there will be a giveaway.
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon- I flipped out when I realized the Random House Adult booth was giving away this bestseller! I know that it's now on TV, though I have not watched it yet, but many people have yelled at me to meet Jamie, including Dana, so now it can happen!
  • The Young Elites by Marie Lu- This was a surprise drop by Penguin that happened when I was conveniently walking by. I think they were trying to get rid of their remaining copies since it still said ALA exclusive on it. However, since I purchased this book at her launch at Books of Wonder the week before NYCC14, I already gifted my ARC away to someone who I knew really wanted it.
  • Dove Arising by Karen Bao- I'm really bummed they changed the cover of this novel, but either way I am excited. I was upset when they removed it from the BEA list of book drops, so now I finally have it a few months later!
  • The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost- I have to say I really like this cover re-design. I had no idea this book would be there, but I've had my eye on it for a while.
  • Zodiac by Romina Russell- This was part of a Penguin group author signing. I already have a signed and personalized copy from BEA, so I will be giving this signed copy away on the blog to a reader who was unable to attend comic con! Stay tuned. (:
  • Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Ruvin- I saw them drop this at Random House and it disappeared really fast, so I got curious. It's pretty much about this world where your time of death is tattooed on your arm, so you know the exact date and time you would die. How would you live your life differently and what you do during your last day alive? Well, I'll have to read the book to find out what Denton Little does!You have to admit the premise sounds awesome.
  • The Name of the Star and The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson- I am not good with scary things. At all. But I vowed I will attempt to try to change that, though there are no promises. This is the series I am going to attempt that with since I now have books one and three. However, if I wimp out, I'll probably send these to a friend. Fingers crossed I find the guts to read these because I have heard amazing things. Thank you Penguin for this awesome signing! Maureen Johnson is so nice!
  • Stolen by Melissa De La Cruz- So, a friend grabbed this one for me. I couldn't really get through book one, so I'll be giving this one away to someone who would enjoy it sometime soon on the blog.
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown- I spent the summer interning at an agency which is located in the same office as Pierce Brown's literary agent, so this book followed me everywhere. It was super nice to finally get my hands on my own copy and get it signed by the attractive author.
Because today was predominantly book related, I didn't do many other things. I did pick up two awesome t-shirts though! I had to pay for the Comic Con shirt, but look at the Dashner army shirt! I freaking love it!

After picking up all of the aforementioned shirts and (amazing) books, I waited it out to see the Once Upon A Time panel. This show is my favorite television show that is currently airing, so I was determined to see this panel alongside the Disney panel that I saw on Thursday and mentioned in my first post. So, I actually sat through two panels alongside Jackie in order to ensure that we were not only in the Once Upon A Time panel, but that we were in the front row.

The first panel was actually a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panel. I watched this a few times growing up though I was never a huge fan. However, it's really interesting to see the direction they are taking this franchise because it has been around so long. The turtles have changed their looks so many times I can't even count. It helps that this panel was beyond entertaining and literally LOL-worthy.

The next and final panel standing between me and ONCE UPON A TIME was a DC comics panel about all upcoming comics. Now, I'm not a big comic fan, but this was super interesting, too. And they even have a new comic called Gotham Academy that is meant for young adult readers who may try to cross-over into comics. If I ever attempt comics, it would be with this one. The main character seems awesome and, get this, she hates Batman! I want to find out why!

Finally, finally the ONCE UPON A TIME panel happened and, I have to say, it was really disappointing. This is a room of thousands of super-fans, many of which were dressed as characters like Regina, Elsa, Emma, and Hook. So what they did was show us Sunday's episode. While it was a  beyond amazing experience to watch such a pivotal episode with a ton of super fans (and react to it together) it was completely unnecessary. Obviously, if we are all willing to wait hours to see this panel, we are going to watch the episode anyway.

Last year, they apparently showed about fifteen minutes and then spent 45 minutes talking about the show and taking questions from fans. They wasted 48 minutes of an hour long panel on showing us the episode this year. Jen Morrison (who plays Emma) and the two creators than only answered about four or five questions and took three to four fan questions before hurrying out of there. And it's doubly frustrating because after that massive wait and disappointing panel, one of the few fan questions was wasted by a woman in an Elsa costume who sang the line "Do you want to build a snowman?" and their awkward response was "oh...was that the question?" Not the greatest question if you ask me, especially when so few were able to be asked.

I know the creators are getting a lot of flack for what they did at the panel and I think it's entirely deserved. I've yet to see a replacement why fans were blown off so greatly the way they were, but gah, it just wasn't right. If I go again next year of course I would do this panel again, but I hope so deeply it won't be a repeat of this year. I was looking forward to this panel above all else and can only say I am deeply disappointed.

If you want to see my first recap post, click here.

Stay tuned for my final recap of days three and four together, which consist of even more bookish awesomeness AND a lot of fun author shenanigans. As always, every comment is appreciated <3 What book out of the above stack is everyone most excited about?

Stacking the Shelves #84

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

I had a huge haul recently thanks to Comic Con, but since I have two more recap posts ready to go up, I'll just reveal the hauls there. Aside from Comic Con I got...

For Review From Macmillan via Netgalley (thanks!)
The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Borrowed from a Friend
All Fall Down by Ally Carter
My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

What did you add to your shelves this week?

Comic Con Day One Recap: Thursday

I started off my first day at Comic Con by waiting in line with my good friend, Jackie, for the Disney panel. This panel was advertised as a discussion with the cast/directors of the upcoming Disney movie BIG HERO SIX releasing in November and some new knowledge about TOMORROWLAND, the secret under-wraps project for 2015 starring Hugh Laurie and George Clooney.

This is me and Jackie once we got inside the panel and were waiting for it to start. I look like a ghost! D:
This panel was absolutely hilarious. The cast of BIG HERO SIX had me dying. They showed several clips from the movie and I was flipping out. Trust me, Jackie can attest to this. Just watch this trailer and behold the awesomeness for yourself. I mean, it's coming from the creators of WRECK-IT RALPH, TANGLED, and FROZEN so it has to be good. But it's made doubly good by the fact that it relates most to WRECK-IT RALPH in the super entertaining but really meaningful kind of way. The extended trailer is all the way at the bottom of the post!

Basically, the plot of this movie is that the main character, Hiro, is a thirteen year old genius. He lives in the future in a city called San Fransokyo which, you guessed it, is a combination of a high-tech San Francisco and Tokyo. His older brother, Tadashi, is in college designing Baymax, the marshmallow-looking robot that is there to be a nurse. Unfortunately, he passes away (Lion King similarity!) and Hiro is forced to figure out who he really is. In the process, an evil guy in a mask begins to steal previous inventions and use them to destroy the city and only Hiro, his genius friends, and Baymax can stop him if they break out their secret inner super-hero and save the world. I know this description sucked, just trust me that it's as awesome as I am saying it is.

Also, did I mention it's hilarious? 'Cause it is seriously hilarious.

Next, the stars of TOMORROWLAND came out to talk to us. It was really cool because this movie is so under wraps. The only thing we really know is the cast, though we don't know who is good or evil. We also know that two scenes were filmed in Disney World and that the plot itself was taken from the ride, Tomorrowland. Essentially, the main character picks up this special pin and is transported to another dimension. I can't say much else because it is so under wraps and they were extremely vague (in the most awesome of ways) and didn't reveal anything clearly. What I can say is that the one scene they showed us was awesome. There was a house rigged to kill robots and a bathtub that served as a getaway space-pod. Yup. You read that correctly.

Seeing Hugh Laurie at Comic Con was really cool because we all know he typically doesn't do things like this. Then again, Disney can pretty much convince anyone to do anything. And then, out of nowhere, George Clooney came out! I was less than fifty feet away from George freaking Clooney. Let me tell you, he is glorious in person and absolutely hilarious and he probably has a slightly frustrated new wife since he technically spent his honeymoon at Comic Con. WHO CARES?! The fans loved it!

My cousin works for George Clooney's tequila company and I can promise you there was a lot of screaming on my part when I got home because he knew George would be there and he didn't tell me! Ugh. And the entire time he doesn't see any sense in my predicament and is just sitting there like:

After the panels, attendees got some cool swag like a pin that resembles the pin in TOMORROWLAND, an excerpt of the TOMORROWLAND book that Disney is going to sell alongside the movie's release, and I got some cool signed posters by the actors in BIG HERO SIX and the two producers of TOMORROWLAND.

I can't get this one not to be sideways! My laptop is still being frustrating, sorry guys!

I then spent the next several hours running around and exploring the publishing booths with Jackie, Jon, Kelly, and occasionally Grace. Naturally, I picked up some books.

  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard-This was the highlight of the day. Jackie's friend did the Harper Spin-n-Win and won it for me!
  • The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer- This is what I won on the Spin-n-Win! I was vair vair happy.
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black- Thank you Little Brown!
  • The Walled City by Ryan Graudin- Little Brown gave me this when they realized I am a book blogger. Thank you!
  • Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton- This was the big comic con title for Random House!
  • Scripted by Maya Rock- This was part of a group other signing/drop.
  • Blythewood and Ravencliffe by Carol Goodman- I'm very curious about these! Thanks for the awesome signing, Penguin! Also, the title of book two makes me think of Harry Potter for some unknown reason, so that's cool.
  • The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant- This looks like such a cute middle-grade. Random House seemed to be pushing the mg this year, but I'm not complaining! ;)
Stay tuned and be sure to read my three upcoming recap posts because I will be giving a few books away on the blog at the end. (: I nabbed more than I thought I would and simply don't have room for all of them in my dorm room.

After running around to grab some books, I went to my first book related panel entitled How to Survive in a Dystopian World. The authors on this panel were absolutely hilarious. It consisted of Alex London, James Dashner, Maya Rock, Pierce Brown you are so good-looking!, Rachel Cohn, Margaret Stohl, Joshua David Bellin, and it was narrated by Scott Westerfeld. It very quickly became apparent that Margaret Stohl had no filter and Alex London would always speak his mind. You can imagine the shenanigans that ensued. And the best part of it was that I got to meet my sister's favorite author. James Dashner is such a huge sweetheart. I hung out at this panel with Jon and we both had a blast!

However, I have yet to explain the coolest part of the evening. At the aforementioned Disney panel where there was roughly three thousand people, they hid about 125 white wristbands in peoples goodie bags. This wristband got you into an advanced screening of BIG HERO SIX. Unfortunately, I did not get a wristband. Fortunately for me, I met these two awesome people named David and Melanie who did and since they're allowed to take two people, they invited me along so that the ability to take people didn't go to waste. People at Comic Con are so nice, guys. I just met them in line and talked to them for an hour and then they offered me this ticket and I could have cried tears of joy and excitement if such a combination was a thing.

David and I went to the screening at seven. They took away our phones and everything. This was really serious and super amazing all at once. It was a collective "Sh** just got real moment" when they started patting us down and taking away all of our technology. The movie was hilarious, the score was awesome (then again, anything featuring a Fall Out Boy song is), and I did have to break out the tissues at one point. This is one of those movies with a comedy style meant for today's youth, myself included. And this is a movie that I can already tell is going to be universally loved. After the screening I met Ryan Potter who voices Hiro, the main character in the movie. This guy is so cute! I, on the other hand, am a huge sweaty mess after this entire day, but I wouldn't have changed a damn thing about it.

Then I got back to my dorm at 12:30 and passed out, prepared for day two and super hyped to continue to experience my first ever Comic Con. Now, as my way to force you to see BIG HERO SIX in theaters when it releases in November (I know that I am!), here is the first trailer released for the movie. Click below to truly meet Baymax, aka your new best friend.

And here is the exclusive FALL OUT BOY song, Immortals, written solely for the movie. It's pretty kickass and it'll make you HAVE to see the movie. The scene that it plays was literally perfect, and that's not just the superfan that has loved this band since DEAD ON ARRIVAL in me.

And here Stay tuned for my recap of day two, Friday. In other words...the day with the ONCE UPON A TIME panel and lots and lots of books! (:

As always, your comments are super appreciated! Have any of you been to comic con? Does anyone have thoughts on BIG HERO SIX? Do you have any thoughts on my post? Comment below!

Review: Chaos by Sarah Fine

Series: Guards of the Shadowlands #3
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Skyscape
Reading Level: Older Young Adult
Pages: 385 (Hardcover)
Source: eARC from Netgalley/NYCC14
With Juri in control and everything in absolute chaos, Lela plunges into the depths of hell to free Malachi from creatures that have waited decades to exact their revenge. But the Judge has her own way of doing things, and Lela must work with Ana, the new Captain, who has a very personal mission of her own. Together, they infiltrate the most horrifying realm either has yet encountered in the Shadowlands—the bitter landscape ruled by the Mazikin.

The stakes could not be higher, and Lela must accept the help—and love—of people she barely knows or trusts. As alliances and loyalties shift and she realizes the soul she came to save isn’t the only one in need of rescue, can Lela summon the strength to see the fight through to the very end?
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

It's very hard for me to say goodbye to this series. SANCTUM, book one in this series, is among my favorite books ever and Sarah Fine is both a dear friend and favorite author of mine. These characters have a special place in my heart and so does Sarah, not only for acknowledging me in book two, but also sticking with me for so long as a friend. It's weird to see that their story is over.

With that in mind, I am extremely happy to report that this is a satisfying ending. It has one of those awesome final showdowns with lots of death and destruction and twists that make your heart beat fast and breathing shallow while you flip pages. It makes you wonder if you'll have a chance at getting what you want as a reader, and it makes you worry for the survival of your favorite characters. Then again, when are we ever not freaking out over Lela and the gang? I mean, the mazikin are ruthless and constantly trying to kill them. Speaking of which, we finally get some answers in regards to the mazikin, which is simultaneously terrifying and fascinating all at once.

I was wary of this book because of how I felt at the end of FRACTURED. This cliff-hanger was among the worst ones I've ever encountered. It literally ripped my heart out. I could see it laying on the floor next to me beating pathetically because I was so done with the emotional trauma Fine inflicted in me. Granted, the fact that she elicited such strong emotions from me is a great sign, but it took me reading the final book to finally get over that.

Lela is as strong as ever. While we finally see a vulnerable side to her in the way she breaks down every now and then, I'm happy this happened. There's only so much a girl can take. While I have so much respect for her, it was almost necessary to see her break down--to remind us that despite the fact that she is a Guard with noble intentions and kickass fighting skills, she's still a human being with a broken heart and ten times more despair than the average person. The fact that she is still standing and fighting for what she believes in is a testament within itself. This girl has heart and we need more heroines like her. As for the other characters in this novel, I'm not going to say anything aside from the fact that they are as strong and diverse as ever. While we have many returning and we are finally getting to know characters we have only previously glimpsed, there are also many new ones that stand out among the rest. They're very real, very solid, and vair vair interesting. Fine can definitely characterize.

Plus, I automatically give major props to an author who can keep us interested in one love match throughout an entire trilogy without even entertaining the idea of a love triangle. You've saved my heart from being torn apart again by doing this, Sarah. I'm sure I'm not the only reader thanking you.

I also have to say I like how this story was set up. It never slowed down and it read really fast. Initially, the story seemed much shorter than it was because there's this huge climax in the Shadowlands and your mind is completely blown from it all and then you sit there...realizing that the book is not done. There's still more! And that more is another type of climax in and of itself. It's the most final showdown there could possibly be and it is even more twisty than you initially thought. It's as if so many separate plot lines are getting tied up beautifully with a pretty little ribbon on top--obviously splattered in some blood because when are Fine's deaths ever clean and simple? They're always cool and fascinating.

Onto my negatives...there are really only two nitpicky things. The first being that, at times, I felt like the action was almost too fast and perfect. Granted, Lela has a lot more experience now, but it's like her gut was always correct seconds before things happened. Everything was just so fast. I was literally taking mental breaths. Also, as I said before, I'm super indebted to these characters. I want to know how everyone ends up. As we know, there's a life after death in the world that Fine has created so even if they die, there's more. I want to know that more for a few certain people. Are there reunions? Are there lies and shocks that were never expected? What is next for them? Perhaps a novella? I'm totally down for reading one.

I suppose the reason I can't give this book five stars is because of how much SANCTUM means to me. This book is amazing and while this entire series is among my favorites that I will push onto everyone, I can't say that this book is quite on the same level as book one. It's right under par, but it's falling just short. I'm attributing this to the fact that book one was so shocking and powerful that it made us love these characters and while the rest of the series was their story, that initial whoa-factor just can't be repeated.

So, if you haven't gotten the gist of this review yet, you need to read this series. Our friendship may be at stake if you don't. ;)

Warning: There is violence and death in this, also the mention of drugs. There's mild language and mature situations as well.

4 stars


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

My Bookshelf Calms Me Down When I'm Emotional

So, I have a confession...when I'm emotional, my bookshelf always calms me down. Really, I go to my dad or my friends, but when I'm so upset or distraught or outright angry that I need to be alone and not talk to anyone, I turn to my bookshelves. Something about organizing the books is just good for the soul, you know? It's therapeutic.

And no, I don't talk to them, though you may catch me petting the occasional pretty or two. ;)

I find myself ripping all my books from my shelves and reorganizing. Now, I have four individual deep bookshelves at my Mom's house and 3 legitimate floor to ceiling bookcases at my Dad's house. This is a lot of reorganizing, but I do it every time, and the way I reorganize tends to reflect my mood.

When everything is falling apart and I don't know what to do, I tend to organize my shelves by book size. I do it so I can fit as many books on each shelf as possible while still being able to read the spines and keeping a series together. No regard to alphabetical order, spine color, the author's other books, or the format of the book. It's all about making space. And because I'm the lunatic who put this unorganized mess together, only I can find the books and my sister will temporarily stop stealing my pretties.

When I am upset, I tend to organize by author's last name with ARCs mixed in. I think I do this because I need to be able to control something when I find that I can't do anything else. I need some semblance of order in my momentarily chaotic life and I feel bad leaving the ARCs left out because really, who wants to be left out? I'm sympathetic to inanimate objects when I'm upset, obviously.

When I am mad, I tend to organize by color. There's something pretty about rainbows, guys. They cheer you up. Then the series nut in me gets doubly mad that many spines in a series don't allow you to keep a full series together, but by then I worked out all my emotions and I deal with fixing the bookcase again later.

And, then, of course, I have the way I organize my shelves when I'm sane and looking for something to do with my hands on a rainy day. I organize my shelves alphabetically by author's last name and within that author's last name by the series name or book title if I have more then one ones and/or stand-alone from that author. ARCs get their own section and own organization unless they are part of a series that I have not yet replaced with a finished copy, then they get to hang with their bookish brethren. Most of the time you will find my shelves organized this way...

...Except they'll have a lot of random books piled along the edges. These random books are the books that I most recently read and 1) wanted easily reachable so that I could pick them up when writing my reviews if I had to reference something and 2) if my shelves are looking pretty, then I'm gonna have to mess them up again to find a way to deal with my emotions. If they're pretty with a few rough patches, then I have something to do when I need to take my mind off things. I can move around my shelves to shove those 10 - 20 new books in where they belong and work out my pent up emotions while I get a legitimate work out. Because let me tell you, the quickest I was ever able to reorganize my shelves was a solid hour, and that was over 2 years ago before I started blogging.

It's really rare that I find myself doing a full reconstruction of my shelves. I typically leave small bits and pieces to add in here and there, but I would say that I fully re-do my shelves about 4-5 times a year, though they always end up alphabetical by author's last name with ARCs getting their own section plus a few new reads strewn haphazardly here and there so that I can linger on my bookshelves instead of allowing my mind to wander the next time some stupid little thing has me silently fuming again.

I think even my Dad has caught on to this weird little habit of mine because whenever he can sense something is wrong, he always conveniently mentions how my bookshelves in my room, on the other side of the apartment from his room are in desperate need of organization. Dad's just get things, don't they?

Does anyone else find that they do something similar? If not, how do YOU organize your shelves? I've got so many books that my shelves are beginning to bow, so I'm sending some into the attic, but maybe it's time to freshen up the shelves and introduce the pretties to new neighbors, eh?