Saturday, June 21, 2014

Reading Right Now! (#11)

Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
I'm on page 255 of 330 pages, which makes me 77% done with this book.

I'll give a quick summary, Cate and her sisters are witches. In any other world, this could have been a good thing. In Cate's world, being a witch could lead to death. Cate must protect her sisters from the evil Brotherhood and decide just what to do about her own future.
I've been eyeing this book for awhile, so I'm really glad that I've finally got my hands on it and am able to read it. I am really enjoying this one so far. The writing style just really pulls me in to the story. I like the witches aspect to it. Cate as a main character is pretty okay. I admire her for taking care of her sisters. I'm really enjoying the historical feel to the story, even thought it's not a true history of the time period, I'm really enjoying the 1900's feel to it. I very much enjoy a good historical fiction and this one is just nice. I'm also really enjoying the romance to it. I'm a girl, so I'm allowed to enjoy the romance and all the feels. Although, I don't know what to think of our two love interests. I don't know what the intentions are of one (Paul). And with the other (Finn), you might think me a mean person for saying this, but when the author first described him for the readers, the image that automatically came to mind was kind of a geeky, not necessarily attractive, guy. As the story has gone on, I've liked Finn more. So yeah, I'm really liking this one!! I probably should check the sequel out from the library soon, because I know I'm gonna want more of this world when the story ends.
So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! Tell me what you're reading below.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Naked Book Covers

So you see this topic and immediately think scandal! But that's not what it is, I promise. This weeks Top 5 Wednesday is all about our Top 5 Favorite Naked Cover Books, or hardbacks without the dust jacket. I don't know about you, but I love when the hardback of the book has a little design or something extra on it. What's the point of making a beautiful dust jacket, and then just leaving us with with a bare hardback book? Where's the fun in that? So here's some naked books that I think look fantastic with their clothes (dustjackets ;D) off.

1. The Diviners by Libba Bray
Now that naked hardback is just beautiful!! You cannot deny it. The actual cover for Diviners is really nice too, but then they decided to do a cover change, which while okay, doesn't even begin to match the opulence of the first book. I've yet to read this chunker, but I do plan on it. Let's hope the sequel has an equally beautiful naked hardback too.
FYI: I didn't take this beautiful picture because I do not have the book in my possession. Here's the link to the site where I got the image from.

2. The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
I haven't actually started this series yet, but that naked hardcover is so pretty. Makes me wish I got all the series in hardback. 

3. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
I love the image on this hardback. I think it's so cute to stick a little, red Dorothy on the cover... even if she must die in the end. But look at that little bow and little red shoes. I bet many people would be wondering  what I was reading just by seeing this cover.

4. The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
Another book in the I Am Number Four series, but it is still so pretty! Gahh I really do need to start this series. Actually, in all honesty, I haven't read any of the books in this post and I should probably get around to doing that. I blame my library addiction for never reading the books that I actually own... oops. I have a problem.

5. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
This naked book cover is creepy and intriguing. That razor is scary looking! I'm glad I'm not a man and had to shave my face with one of those things.

So that's it for my Top 5 Naked Cover Books. What are your favorite naked hardbacks? Do you love having little designs on the hardback just as much as I do? Sorry for my own crappy pictures. I do what I can and hope that my pictures help convey the beauty of these naked hardbacks. And as always... here's the list to all the other Wednesdayers:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy

Title: The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle (Book 2)
Author: Christopher Healy
Illustrated by: Todd Harris
Published by: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins
Released: 2013
Summary: After saving the kingdom from certain disaster the past year, one would think The League of Princes would be respected and the Prince Charmings' would be swimming in fame and adoration; instead because of a stolen statue and the bard's making up another catchy and factually inaccurate hit, the princes are a laughing stock. When Prince Liam is kidnapped, The League must band together once again to save their friend. When the straight forward kidnapping turns into something much bigger, The Princes must once again become heros and save the kingdom, while finding a feasible way for breaking and entering into a certain someone's castle. Let the hijinks begin!
My Thoughts: Another fantastic and funny book in this great middle grade series. I loved The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, so I was super excited to get my hands on the sequel, and it did not disappoint. The story was super fun with everyone's favorite princes out to save the day in their own particular ways. I was so excited to read more of The League of Princes. Each and every prince has a special place in my heart and they always cause a good laugh. I loved how the story played out and being able to spend more time with all the characters from the first book.
I love Christopher Healy's humor, writing, and story. There was a particular scene involving the "dwarfs" and Duncan that still makes me chuckle. I will only say that it involves a reenactment of past adventures and I could just picture and hear it in my head. I love the humor of this series, such fun.
I also want to appreciate the beauty of Todd Harris's illustrations. His pictures are perfect representations of this quirky cast of characters and really help bring this book to life. It was a smart decision to bring Todd Harris into this project.
Prince Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav have earned a place in my bookish heart. I love them and their adventures and can't wait to see what they get up to next. They are gonna have to watch themselves with this new enemy. I also appreciate how Healy made my feelings for Briar Rose change. I just can't seem to hate her as much.
I recommend this series to anybody searching for a sweet story and a good laugh. I <3 this series and these princes. Can't wait to see what happens next! 
Huzzah, Huzzah, HUZZAH!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Reading Right Now! (#10)

Title: Icons
Author: Margaret Stohl
I'm on page 146 of 428 which makes me 34% done with this book.
I was curious about this book, so I requested it from my library and they got it in. I haven't read the Beautiful Creatures series, but I do own all of them, and was curious to read one of the two author's solo works. I was drawn to this book because of the really cool looking cover and the synopsis which involved aliens. I just recently read an alien book (Earthfall by Mark Walden which I enjoyed very much) and was ready to sink my teeth into another out of this world tale. So far, I'm just kind of ehh. We follow a girl called Dol who can sense what people are feeling and can ferret out emotions and secrets from the mind. She lives in the wilderness, which I guess is called the Grass, at a mission where the Padre seems to be hiding her from unknown forces. She has her best friend Ro there with her. Dol vaguely remembers the Day where the aliens came down and killed billions of people with a mysterious force. Her family was killed that day, but she somehow miraculously survived. How? No idea. So now her and Ro have gotten captured and taken to this mysterious island/place where the Ambassador lives. Dol is kind of falling for the Ambassador's son, who has secrets of his own.
So the reason that I'm just feeling ehh about this book is that I'm having a lot of confusion with the story. I don't understand the aliens or really how this future world came to be. I would like a lot more background information on the "Icons" and "The Day"just so I don't feel as much in the dark.
I am interested in Dol and Ro and their mysterious powers and mysterious dots. I also don't know what to think about the romance. I haven't formed a definite opinion on it yet, but so far it seems lukewarm and a little rushed.
So yeah, that's what I'm Reading Right Now! Long story short, it's okay so far but it could be a lot better with more background information at the start. Though I do love the secret documents at the start of each chapter. I am a sucker for secret documents, journals, or even letters scattered throughout texts. So what are you Reading Right Now?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books I Struggled to Finish

So this week is an interesting topic and another one that I had to think about. Some books came to my head automatically and others I really had to search for. There have been many occasions where books haven't lived up to my initial excitement, and I have had to kind of push myself through them. But, I'm really not a super harsh judge of books. So here's the books that I can remember really struggling to finish. I'm going to even mention one I just plain gave up on.
A Discover of Witches
by: Deborah Harkness

The reason I struggled with this one, because I absolutely hated it. I had to force myself to read through it and get to the end, just in case something great happened. I think my problems with this book were that I hated the characters, there was not enough action throughout the story, and I was taken in and then disappointed by all the hype. This only ended up getting a 1 star rating from me, which really never happens. This book just left a really bad taste in my mouth and it was a struggle to read all 580 PAGES!!! That's just ridiculous. I've known other people that really like this book though, so to each their own.

Sense and Sensibility
by: Jane Austen

Now I might get a lot of hate for this one, but I'm just telling the truth. I struggled to get through this book and I just didn't really like it. This might be what put me off reading classics in general. I read this in 10th grade for an A.R. assignment. Everybody had to read some type of classic and take an A.R. test on it, I chose an Austen book because I had heard good things. I couldn't find Pride and Prejudice on the shelf, so I just went with Sense and Sensibility. I found the whole thing incredibly boring. There was nothing in the story that hooked me and made me want to continue reading it for pleasure. The language that it is written in also caused non-enjoyment on my part. So nope, nope, nope. I haven't read a Jane Austen book since. Maybe I'll try again in the future, I might just have been too young, or it might be that classics just aren't my cup of tea.

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb
by: Melanie Benjamin

I struggled while reading this one, because it just got boring. I loved the subject of the book and had read another of Melanie Benjamin's books and loved it. I might have over hyped this book a little in my head too. Our main character Vinnie just kind of disappointed me. I wanted an epic love story, I didn't get it. I wanted to really hear about being in a traveling circus/freak show and it was just kind of glossed over. Also a majority of the story was just the same things happening over and over. The history behind the story was cool, but just not as exciting as I wanted it to be. I've heard that Vinnie's real autobiography is even more of a bore.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
by: J.R.R. Tolkien

So I might get hate for this too, but it is what it is. I actually struggled with this book so much that I put it down and never finished it. I know, Blasphemy! I just got really bored while reading it. All the traveling, and singing, and more traveling, and rhymes. I tried to read this in middle school, so I might have just been too young to really appreciate it. I'm gonna try to give it another go and hopefully the next time will be better.

by: Mira Grant

I struggled with this book because all the character's pretty much annoyed me. I didn't like how melodramatic the whole story was. I wanted zombies! and instead I get a big government conspiracy and journalists who are much too serious about their jobs. Yeah, I was just annoyed by this book. I didn't like how author continued the story after the shocking first book ending. And the main character Shaun.... ehhh. I do plan on finishing this series though, but the struggle was real with this one.

So those are the Top 5 Books I Struggled to Finish. What makes a book a struggle for you? Reading is all about enjoyment. If you're struggling to finish a book, is it worth it? I don't know if I even have the answer for that because I like to finish every book I read. With some books that can be difficult though. So, that's it for this Top 5 Wednesday. Here' the list to all the Top 5 Wednesday-er's:

Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Title: Ruby Red
Author: Kerstin Gier
Translated by: Anthea Bell
Published by: Henry Holt And Company
Released: 2011
Summary: Gwen has always been aware of the time travel gene that runs in her family, and has accepted that that gene went to her cousin Charlotte. The majority of the family fawns over Charlotte and waits anxiously for her symptoms to show and for her to magically disappear into another time. With all the attention focused on Charlotte, Gwen has been allowed to have a normal childhood and hang out with her best friend Lesley whenever she likes.
One day the unexpected happens, Gwen is sucked back in time. Gwen finds out she is the true inheritor of the gene and she becomes sucked into the Secret Order of the Guardians and a secret mission that involves using her gift to travel through time. Partnered up with a time-traveling, hot boy named Gideon. Gwen must accept her new destiny and try to understand her role in the Order and her time traveling mission.
My Thoughts: Such a fun read. I'd been hearing good things about this series for a while and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I really enjoyed every second of it and ended up getting so caught up in the story that I had to read into the wee hours of the morning to finish it. Gwen was such a fun character because she feels like a real teen girl. She's slightly immature, a little spunky, and funny. Being with her as she tries to understand her new role in this time-traveling Order was a very enjoyable experience.
Gideon was definitely a crush-worthy character too. It only made me sad to read the year he was born in, because I felt like a creepy old lady for thinking this young guy was so adorable. One of the downfalls of being an adult(ish) person who reads YA.
There were some aspects of the book that did feel a little funny to me. One was that this book really didn't have an ending, at all. I guess it could be called a cliffhanger, but it just felt rather abrupt and no real conclusion was reached. It literally ends with a kiss, a first kiss, which was one of the weirdest ways to end a book. I really did want to pick up the second book, but I have some other books that are on my TBR pile next. The other weird thing about Ruby Red was the prologue. It didn't seem to fit with the story and really made no sense, until the reader gets to the epilogue where they find out some interesting stuff. I'd advise readers to re-read the prologue after finishing the book, because then things start to come together and make more sense. The placement of that scene contained in the prologue just felt off and didn't really make sense.
Also, I'm always confused of books originally written in German, but then are set in London or the U.K. This is the second book I've read that does this, so I don't know if this is a thing or a fluke.
All in all, great book! I can't wait to continue on with the rest of the trilogy and find out what happens to Gwen and Gideon and between Gwen and Gideon ;)
Go start this series if you haven't yet, you won't be disappointed.
Time travel looks fun!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Characters You Wish You Were More Like!

This week's topic is interesting and I kind of had to really think when choosing people. A lot of characters that I read about in books appeal to me because they are so different from me. I'm not sure if I would want to be just like them or anything, but the 5 I picked do have traits that I wish I had for myself. I'm not saying that I want to be carbon copies of these characters, rather there are one or two things about them that I wish I could add to my own DNA/personality to make me a 10 times cool-er human being. So these are the Top 5 Characters that I wish I was more like! In no particular order.
Luna Lovegood
Luna is one of my favorite characters in the universe of Harry Potter, and I'm sad that I didn't get more books with her in it. Having her not show up until the 5th book was such a shame. What I love about Luna and wish that I had for myself, is her ability to just be herself. She doesn't pretend to be who she isn't, she's a really loyal friend, and she's just so genuine. I like to think that I don't put on an act around people, but I do sometimes get embarrassed for admitting to liking something, Luna is not like that at all. She's true to herself and that's what I love about her. I wish I had some of Luna Lovegood's lovable quirkiness. 
Katniss Everdeen
I haven't actually read this book series yet, it's something that I do plan on, but I have watched and loved all the movies that have been released so far. The traits that I love about Katniss and wish that I had are her bravery, selflessness, and love and ultimate loyalty to family. I also wish I possessed her sweet archery skills. I did take an archery gym class and got a bow and arrow for Christmas, but man I wish I was as good as Katniss. I want those skills!!!
Cas Lockwood
So what I love about Cas is his sense of humor and his bravery. I think I have the sarcastic edge kind of down, but I'm really a scaredy cat, so I could use a little of Cas's bravery. Going into haunted houses and killing ghosts would make me the ultimate bada**.

Rebecca Bloomwood
If I could steal one thing from Becky Bloomwood, it would be the ease she has around people. She just seems like a ton of fun to be around, and not saying I'm a wet noodle or anything, but I am more of an introverted person and sometimes I wish that I possessed the ease to put myself out there and not be afraid to talk to people. Also, this is a great book series and I highly recommend it. Of course I recommend all the books on this list!
Alexia Tarabotti
What would I take from Alexia Tarabotti? Well one thing would be her immunity to the supernatural, that could prove helpful if I run into any stray werewolves or vampires. I also admire her ability to accept herself. In this first book, she's a spinster and she's okay with that. She's okay with herself, which is maybe something I wish I had more of and confidence, I could really do with a bit more confidence. Also she's funny. I like funny people. I've been told that I'm sorta funny, but if you can make people laugh with you instead of at you, that's a good skill to have.

So that's it for this Top 5 Wednesday. What did you think of my choices? And I'd love to hear which characters you'd like to be like. 
Complete list of Wednesdayers: