Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: Book Reviews (18)

This is going to be the last of this series, which is kind of sad. I'm glad that I did this, even though I have different plans for 2015. I hope your year has been great, and I wish you well for 2015. And now - the books.

The Raven Boys & The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (5/5)
You might be having déjà vu, I'm having déjà vu. Yes, I reread these books less then a month after reading them for the first time. I wasn't reading anything and wanted to get myself back into it and I just love these books. It's the kind of thing where it I'm completely biased now and you cannot change my opinion about it for anything.

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan (3/5)
It was... good. It was cute at points or funny, but I guess since I knew about 85% of these myths, I was just kind of eh. Also - it felt like he was trying to hard, at points, to add in that zingy, silly PJ humor. Which I love, but the constant jokes about modern stuff made me want to hit my head against the wall.

The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) by Colleen Gleason (3/5)
This was a lot of fun - steampunk, but with some strange elements. I did enjoy it, but I also wasn't crazy about it. I know there are reasons for it, mostly because I was bored for the first part of it and then wasn't really invested for the stuff. The stakes never felt high, even though they were.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (5/5)
It is no surprise I loved this book - it was witty and fun and ridiculously good. I'm so glad I ended up reading it and am definitely going to trust everyone more about these funny female memoirs.

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco (5/5)
I loved the first chapter or so, just was like: yes, give me more, that was fucking awesome. But I wasn't really in a reading mood, so I didn't force it when I started to loose interests. and I'm really glad I didn't because it is a little slow at points. However - I don't think that's bad, it's just slower, and I really enjoyed this book.

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen (4/5)
A fantastic adult.... fantasy/scifi thing. I'd suggest not looking too much into it, if you want to read it, because I didn't and it was kind of a delight to find things out. It's slow at points and some of the writing can drag - but overall I loved this book, the story, and I'm looking forward to book two now.

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu (3/5)
Good. I liked it. It was dark and strange, but it also dragged a bit, at points, or I just had trouble getting into it. I'm not sure why, but some things just jarred me out of the story a bit. Still, I'm definitely going to be continuing with this series.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (5/5)
This book was fantastic - there's time travel, there's serial killers. There's random things brought up from history that are so obviously heavily researched and I loved that they were there - radium girls, for example, or underground abortion groups. It's very good and very dark. And I highly recommend it if you like, or don't mind, those kinds of things.

And that's it - that's the year. I'm not going to be reading anything else this year, a little surprisingly, but I am very pleased with what I have gotten done. Very pleased. I'll be posting all kinds of things the beginning of January - favorites, a yearly reading wrap-up, most anticipated for 2015. All kinds of things!

See you in the new year.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014: Book Reviews (17)

Part seventeen, I can't believe how far this little series has gone (and this is definitely not going to be the last part). Before I get onto any tangents - onto the books!

Chew, Vol. 2 & 3 by John Layman (4/5)
Oh man. I keep liking these more and more, great series.

The Wicked and the Divine #2 & The Wicked and the Divine #3 by Kieron Gillen (5/5)
This comic series, I'm going to end up also buying the bind up. It's just gorgeous and I love the colors, and the story/characters.

Old Man's War (Old Man's War #1) by John Scalzi (5/5)
A very interesting book and was intense as hell, at points, but also really funny. I highly recommend Scalzi, and I can't wait to read more books in this series.

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad (2/5)
I enjoyed the beginning of this book, but as it went on, I just... eh.

Half-Bad by Sally Green (2/5)
I enjoyed the flashbacks and such more then the actual story, and I don't think I'll be continuing on with the series. (Unless I forget how much I didn't like this one, which is possible).

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater (5/5)
I loved this book more then I expected to. It made me squeal, which hasn't happened in a long time, being so blindly in love with a book.

Click-Clack the Rattlebag by Neil Gaiman (5/5)
A small little audiobook that was free on Audible for Halloween times. It was cute and creepy.

Hawkeye, Vol 3 + Up to #19 by Matt Fraction (5/5)
I love this series - it's fantastic and gorgeous. And I like this Clint, Kate, and the bad guys.

The Dream Thieves (THe Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater (5/5)
I was surprised at how much I loved this one, considering my love for the first one. I never thought a hug would give me so many feels - I love these characters, all of them. So much. Now I want to reread these and read the third one. Gah. (Saying that, I wrote this before rereading them, and now that I've reread them - I still feel the same, I might love them more. So freaking good, but also probably not for everyone with the writing style).

White Cat, Red Gloves, Black Heart (#1-3) by Holly Black (5/5)
I read these book back to back, and I definitely think it made me love it more, but also I was just in the mood for exactly this kind of thing.

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle #1) by Dianna Wynne Jones (5/5)
I can't believe how long it took me to read this book, and watch the movie. This is one of those rare moments where I think I liked the movie more? But it's hard to say because I loved both of them, and I think I just think that because I saw the movie first (and Howl's castle was so cool in the movie).

No Plot? No Problem: Revised and Expanded by Chris Baty (5/5)
This is by the lovely creator of NaNoWriMo and it's about writing a book in a month, and I tend to read it every year. And this year I splurged on the new edition, which is signed if you buy it from the NaNo store. Highly recommended.

The Siren (The Original Sinners #1) by Tiffany Reisz (5/5)
I was pleasantly surprised by this, someone recommended it on a post (or to me, I can't remember). And it has pretty high ratings on Goodreads. (Not for younger or squeamish audiences)

Wallbanger (Cocktail #1) by Alice Clayton (3/5)
I wasn't expecting what this was, but it ended up being really cute and funny. I'm not sure if I'll continue on with this series, because I just liked how this ended, but we'll see.

Girl in Love (Kylie Ryans #3) by Caisey Quinn (2/5)
I don't want to talk about the fact that I finished this series, when I was only ever eh about it. These are the things I read at 4am, when I can't focus on worldbuilding and have less energy to be furiously annoyed at the immature way the characters act. Still - it's fun, I guess, which is why I continued with it.

Rock Chick (Rock Chick #1) by Kristen Ashley
I skimmed a lot of this book, I just did not enjoy it. It was boring, at first, a little ridiculous. And then the main love interest made me want to sit the girl down and explain to her that she was a person. And that's all I'm going to say, since I basically DNFed it with the skimming.

The Unknown Unknown by Mark Forsyth (5/5)
This is an essay about bookshops and the importance of them. I really enjoyed it, but I also think some of it was one sided in thought. Because, yes, real bookshops always expose me to stuff I've never heard of, but so do people. Or the internet - people talking about stuff in blogs, forums, videos. I'd of never found quite a few of my recent favorites if it weren't for the internet.

Jackaby by Will Ritter (5/5)
This book was a ton of fun. At the beginning, I wasn't too sure about it, and then I was just sucked in. The atmosphere was interesting, the use of supernatural creatures now often used, or used right (I was sold by a certain banshee, I loved that heart-wrenching depiction, it felt very real and horrible).

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bout of Books 12 (January 5th - 11th)

Ah, another Bout of Books read-a-thon is on the horizon, definitely my favorite read-a-thon. This is my official "I'm participating in this" post, but I'm writing it so early, I don't feel comfortable even trying to guess what I'll be reading, so I'll probably post a TBR closer, maybe just on the kick-off post.

If you're participating, let me know!

The official blurb(website):
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Monday, December 15, 2014

Debutathon Wrap-Up

This read-a-thon didn't go well, and I even set my goals very low. I'd been thrown into a slump by a book I just didn't like. (Do you ever have that happen? Try and read a book and it just kind of makes you worry about reading other books and not liking those? So it doesn't matter if you're in a reading mood or not, which I've been in all week, all that matters is that you can't read).

It is completely infuriating and frustrating, if you were wondering.

And I wanted to read things and they were good, really good, but as I kept going I just started to feel a little eh. And, of course, I didn't want to push it because that never works well with reading. I ended up only finishing one book, all week, which is not usual for me lately.

Jackaby by William Ritter was the only books I finished - but it was fantastic. And surprising. I never read the full description and I was very pleasantly surprised, especially by the creatures who are rarely used.

I did get a bit into The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco (can we pause for two seconds to talk about how much I love the name Rin? No idea why, might be because of Fruits Basket, that's probably where I first saw it, I'm just very fond of it). I didn't get very far in this book, but what I've read I've read enjoyed but, like I said, I just wasn't feeling like reading and didn't want to push it.

(I ended up marathoning anime, because I might of been a little sick, too. I watched Ouran High School Host Club, which I highly recommend with warnings of... cute things? And implied incest? Also - Psycho-Pass is fantastic futuristic kind of thing, really good, but I haven't finished season one yet, and it's definitely for older users but the psychology is very interesting. Maybe I should do a whole post on anime. After I watch more, that is).

I hope your reading weeks were better. Did you participate in this read-a-thon? Do way better then me? What did you read (this week or for this read-a-thon)?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014: Book Reviews (16)

Part sixteen, I'm catching up surprisingly quickly, maybe I will be able to get these all up by the end of the year. As long as I don't read another ridiculous amount of books in December, we should be fine. Saying that, though, I think we should be getting right into the books.

Girl on Tour (Kylie Ryans #2) by Caisey Quinn (2/5)
My only note that I wrote down, after finishing this, was 'eh.' Which is think is a good explanation for how I feel about these books. These don't involve any thought to read, and the main character makes me want to shake her, at times, she's so... much still a teenager and so childish and no one ever just talks to each other. Argh.

Imitation in Death (In Death #17) by J.D. Robb (5/5)
I really enjoyed this one - the copying of past serial killers is one of my favorite things (wow, that sounded creepy), and it was really interesting in this book. And, of course, I just over the characters to death.

Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1) by Brandon Sanderson (5/5)
I thought this was a standalone, at first, but I'm really glad he's going to expand on the story. Anyway - I really enjoyed this book. It was a lot different then what I expected, though his books always are, and while it was a little slow in the beginning, I kind of liked it that way. Really, really good.

The Think of the Doorstep by H.P Lovecraft (5/5)
Look, I read some Lovecraft! Technically, I think this was a short story, but it honestly creeped me out? I'm not sure why, books don't normally creep me out or scare me, but this one just... made me shiver a little. I'm slogging through a book with a bunch of his short stories right now - they're good, his language is just strangely dense, at least to me, and also I'd rather not read it before bed and dream of evil sea gods. Highly recommend checking out his stuff, though, what I've read so far is very good.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (4/5)
This was also different then expected, I didn't know it wasn't told from Jekyll's point of view - but I actually really enjoyed it that way. It was strange and very interesting. I'm glad I gave Stevenson another try, after not being able to finish Treasure Island. Though, I've always loved the Jekyll/Hyde stuff that came off this (this ended in me marathoning the BBC show Jekyll, actually. Surprisingly held up after so many years).

The Heroes of Olympus #1-4 by Rick Riordan (5/5)
I'm seperating out the last book for some reason - all of these were rereads, first of all. But I also don't want to spoil any of this series - if you liked Percy Jackson and the Olympians, then I'd definitely give this one a try, knowing it isn't Percy central, though they do show up. I really enjoyed this series, Riordan's books are fun and strange at points, and I like the humor.

The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan (5/5)
Short stories. I, surprisingly, hadn't read this before even though I bought it at some point intending to do so. It was cute, short and sweet, and I'm glad I read it before rereading House of Hades.

Percy Jackson: The Ultimate Guide by Riordan (3/5)
It was... cute? It was informative, but of information I already new. Maybe a good way to refresh yourself of what happened, but I kind of expected some new stuff, even a little, and I didn't find a scrap

The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan (5/5)
I adored this book - I know people had some problems with Percy and Annabeth kind of being pushed to background characters (among other problems that I'm not going to get into because spoilers), and that did annoy me a bit. But I was too over the moon about chapters from Nico's perspective. That's a main thing I wanted from this book and I got it, and am mildly obsessed with the Nico/Will thing, well I was right after reading this. I do kind of wish, even though I know it's a middle grade book, Riordan touched more heavily on how probably fucked up, excuse the language, all of these kids are. I'm thinking Percy, Annabeth, and Nico might need some therapy, and those two are definitely going to have extreme separation anxiety. Not to mention all the PTSD (and nightmares, and dreams).

The Arrival by Shaun Tan (5/5)
This was more a work of art then a graphic novel. It was truly gorgeous and incredible. There are no words in this graphic novel and I highly suggest checking it out.

East of West, Vols 1, 2, &3 by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta (5/5)
I didn't know what to expect picking up volume 1 - all I knew was strange possible future, apocalypse, four horsemen, a wild west-ish vibe. Holy shit, guys, this is a fantastic comic series. I loved these three and I am itching to get my hands on volume 4. Apparently this wraps up 'year one' of the series, and I don't know when they're going to keep going, if they are (I think they are, nothing is decided here, guys, give me more).

Chew, Volume 1 by John Layman
I... wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up loving this. The different art style, the gore, the whole 'mythology,' the characters - I loved all of it and it was all slightly ridiculous. Fantastic - the whole black market chicken then is hilarious.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (4/5)
Lovely, beautiful art work (seriously it's stunning). A strange series of comic short stories, and a little sad.

In Real Live by Cory Doctorow, Jen Wang (4/5)
The illustrations in this, the colors, were lovely. It reminded me, originally, of Sword Art Online - the being inside a video game things. But then I realized they weren't, it was just how they were showing it. Still - I really enjoyed it, a lot of fun.

Captain Marvel, Volume 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More by Kelly Sue DeConnick (4/5)
I enjoyed this more then I expected - it kind of throws you into the story with no real explanation. But I ended up really enjoying it, it was a lot of fun.

Wytches #1 by Scott Snyder (5/5)
This actually gave me nightmares after. Probably shouldn't of read it right before bed. But it was very interesting and strange and creepy I'm definitely interested to read more. (issues are monthly, I believe).

Alcatraz and the Scriveners Bones (Alcatraz #2) by Brandon Sanderson (5/5)
No surprise I loved this book - if you don't know I'd suggest checking into the first one, but only if you've read Sanderson before and/or know and enjoy his strange sense of humor (which I love).

Wayward #1, #2 by Jim Zub (4/5)
Really interesting, I'm intrigued to carry on. The colors are a lot of fun in this, bright. And I really like the part at the back that's an essay on something important/related to the story, it might be my favorite part (because I'm a weirdo).

The Wicked and the Divine #1 by Kieron Gillen (5/5)
Holy. Shit. I love it. I don't know why I was kind of instantly sold, but I am. The art and coloring is gorgeous and I love this idea and these characters. I highly recommend this (and I think the bind up of the first five or so issues just came out!)

And I think I'm going to end this part here. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on these books, I hope I kept them all short and sweet enough, but with actually also giving you my thoughts. Any questions - just let me know. And if you've read any of these books, graphic novels, single issue comics - then I'd love to hear your thoughts as well.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish, this week is all about authors that were new to you in 2014. I'm not even sure, at the moment, who I'm going to be picking. There were a few new to me authors I've fallen in love with this year.

These aren't really in any particular order, just as they popped into my head or as I browsed through my goodreads challenge pages to jog my memory.

Maggie Stievfater - I read The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves so far and completely fell in love. The first books in a while that I've just fallen head over heels for, I can't explain what I mean by that, but they were different. And I've already reached the point where she can do no wrong in this series (which is my favorite point to be in a series. Who wouldn't want to enjoy a series instead of be disappointed?) I haven't read Blue Lily, Lily Blue, or any of her other works, but I'm definitely planning on it very soon.

(Note: I hate this cover, the paperback US one. It's just... they look like a boy band, alright? Don't even try to deny it - They've even got The Raven Boys over them and the head tilt, looking off things going on. Boy band. Which is hilarious if you really start to think about it. I can't hate it because of how amusing I find it, which is a strange feeling).
Stephanie Perkins - I'd met Stephanie before and actually first heard of her books through either John Green or at LeakyCon (and then realized her husband was in Gred and Forge, it's a weird word friends, also there's a wizard rock band rec for you). I read all three of the Anna books, I'm not sure what else to call them, and I really enjoyed all of them. I'm hesitant to pick a favorite, but I'd probably say Lola if pressed.

Emery Lord - her debut, Open Road Summer, was one of the contemporaries I read this summer, when I suddenly got thrown into a contemporary kick. And it definitely pushed me to read more contemporary. It had a fantastic friendship between these two girls and also a good love story, and talking about it makes me want to reread it. Fantastic debut, and I'm super excited for her next book.

John Scalzi - I owned Scalzi books, meaning to read it with the Sword and Laser book club, but never ended up doing it. And then, randomly, I picked up Redshirts and had this kind of 'holy shit' moment. I'm not a Star Trek fan, but I don't think you have to be. I was, and still am, mildly (very, like very) obsessed with Stargate SG-1 (the show) and the jokes about some of the stuff was completely hilarious to read about. And Old Mans War was incredible, I wasn't sure what to think about it, but I highly, highly recommend it.

James S.A. Corey - Space. Opera. I'd never really thought about it, considering how much I loved Stargate, that I'd like space opera. The Expanse series is a set in a far future and has so many elements - there's the ship crew element, the noire detective element, and then the horror element. It's fantastic, I highly recommend it. So far I've only read books one and two, and four are out, and five is coming out next year. And there's going to be a show starting next year on SyFy.

Patrick Rothfuss - I've only read The Name of the Wind, but I'm including him because I loved that book. He has a gorgeous writing style and such a way to tell stories. Normally I just want to know what happens, but this book was different - the story, the way it was told, everything that was happening. Basically - highly recommended. (Full review)

Derek Landy - Skulduggery Pleasant. It's a middle grade series about a young girl, who is strong and kickass, and a skeleton detective. It's smart and the dialogue is hilarious, and I just really have loved the first two books in this series (haven't had time to read it book three yet, but I'm planning to soon).

Kelly Armstrong - I'd never read Kelly Armstrong before this year. I know. And I've only read one book so far by her, Sea of Shadows, but I really enjoyed that and I'm definitely going to have to try out her other series. And I can't wait for book two in Age of Legends series.

Gene Luen Yang - I've read American Born Chinese and the Boxers & Saints duology by him, just this year of course, and I really enjoyed all three of them. I don't know if I can articulate anything about these - but they're freaking fantastic.

Matt Fraction - A comic book author, I've read Hawkeye and Sex Criminals, and I'm loving everything I've read by him. I can't wait to read more by him. Hawkeye was fantastic and the art, too, was also incredible. (Same for Sex Criminals)

I'm cheating with a bonus author: Leigh Bardugo. I marathoned her Grisha trilogy and really loved it, and I'm sure I wouldn't of loved them so much if I hadn't. But I really did and I'm really excited for her new book in 2015 that's set in the same world.

Whew - that was last minute, normally I do all my TTT's ahead of time, knowing which ones I want to do, but this was one of those 'I saw all the lists and wanted to join in.' I read so many good books this year and I know I've never going to be really able to spotlight all of them. I'm already trying to work on my top books of 2014 list and am considering making a separate post for the comics/manga I read in the year.

What are you top new-to-you authors? And were these any of yours? Or are you looking forward to reading any of these?

Monday, December 8, 2014

2014: Book Reviews (15)

More mini reviews! About more books! Because I read so many books this year! That's literally all I'm going to say, I'm just going to jump into the books because there's a lot to go. This is going to be a long post, I think.

The Infernal Devices Manga (#1-3) by Cassie Clare and HyeKyung Baek
I really enjoyed these - I liked the art style, I loved all of them but Clockwork Princess is definitely my favorite, in both/any format. It's just so painful.

Sex Criminals, Vol 1 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarky (5/5)
This was a very interesting and kind of strange graphic novel - and I completely loved it. I loved the art/coloring for the scenes where everything, but the characters, was frozen, but also kind of in general. Fun series, can't wait for volume 2.

The Sea of Monsters: Graphic Novel  (4/5)
This was kind of - eh. I really liked the art, but it felt like it left out / was missing too much, I just think it should have longer.

Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez (3/5)
I just really enjoyed this book? It was a fun ride - it was just that, though. It's like a weird pulp fiction, urban fantasy... horror type thing. It wasn't amazing, but it was a lot of fun to read.

Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest by A. Lee Martinez (4/5)
Strangely really fun. And just strange in general. It has the same kind of feel to it, but it's more polished (his newest novel, I believe, while I think Gil's was his first). I did a full review of this one.

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1) by Samantha Young (4/5)
I really hated this love interest at the beginning (the guy), but I ended up warming up to him and really enjoying this book over all. It's just fun and has some interesting parts to do, some therapist scenes I thought were good/interesting.

Wife by Wednesday (Weekday Brides #1) by Catherine Bybee (3/5)
Uhh... this was one of those books I'm not sure why I read it? I only gave it two stars for some reason, but I continued with the whole series and surprisingly enjoyed it. It was a weird/strange troupe that I think is used in fan fiction, but this book was just a lot of fun. And sometimes that's all I want from a book - so I should probably raise this rating to at least a 3/5 stars, I think I will.

Married by Monday (#2) by Catherine Bybee (3/5)
I also raised this rating. I'm not someone who uses the term guilty pleasure, because I don't believe in that idea of feeling guilty for reading something. But these would be those books. They're like junk food, addicting and fun and probably not strictly good for you/the best, but whatever give me the next one. (insert "another!" thor gif. You know the one)

Fiance by Friday (#3) by Catherin Bybee (3/5)
I marathoned these three books over a ridiculously short period of time. I'm not sure I'd recommend them - but they surprised me and were fun... and free if you have the Amazon Unlimited thing. Though, they're pretty cheap, anyway, only a few dollars.

Ariel: The Restored Edition by Sylvia Plath (5/5)
And on the completely other end of everything - some Plath. I was never really yes I need to read Plath, but then something happened and I realized I just wanted to read something of hers. I'd bought The Bell Jar recently, but I wanted to try her poems first, to see if I liked them. I loved them - my favorites probably being Lady Lazurus and Tulips, though I don't think I didn't really enjoy any of them.

The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde (4/5)
This took me a surprising amount of time to read for it being, technically, less then a hundred pages. I enjoyed it, but the language was a bit dense.

The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #1-3) by Brandon Sanderson
I marathoned these books over a surprisingly short period of days, I feel like I keep saying that, and gave them all 5/5 stars. I want to write a full series review for this first Mistborn trilogy, but I don't know if I can make it coherent enough to post. It would just be like: oh my god, read these books. Don't read the last 100 pages of any of them in public because oh my god. ohmygod. I highly recommend this series, and Sanderson, and this trilogy was amazing.

The Merciless by Danielle Vega (4/5)
A bit of gore, a bit of fun. I was just kind of eh about it until the last, like, sentence. (Full review here)

Tinder by Sally Garner (3/5)
Eh. I was really enjoying it at first, but it dragged on much too long. It's a gorgeous book, though, I'd highly suggest just picking it up to look at it and how pretty it is. And I thought it was okay, over all, just by the end of it, I just wanted it to be over, which isn't a good sign for a book. I might of tried to read it too quickly, but I was just in the mood to read something, not wait.

Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz #1) by Brandon Sanderson (5/5)
This is a middle grade series and I didn't know what to expect out of middle grade Sanderson - but holy shit, guys, this book is fantastic and hilarious. However, probably not for most people. If you are familiar and enjoy Sanderson's humor, then this book/series is for you (go forth, read them). I think this one is fantastic, I've only read #1 and #2 as of writing this, but I've really enjoyed them both.

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (5/5)
I reread this whole series in a very short time period. I think this was my third time reading the series, I'm pretty sure I reread them immediately after finish The Last Olympian. I marathoned them all three times. I really enjoy these books, love them to pieces, but it'd been years since I'd read them so I wanted to reread them so everything was fresh and ready for The Blood of Olympus. Obviously, I highly recommend this series. I don't think I'll do a full series review, since I'm sure everyone had heard of it and probably knows if they want to read it or not.

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick (4/5)
I really enjoyed this book. It was a super interesting, quick read, that was also pretty intense at parts. It was also my first books by this author and I'm looking forward to more, especially because all of his books sound really interesting.

Single by Saturday (Weekday Brides #4) & Taken by Tuesday (#5)  by Catherine Bybee (3/5)
This wraps up all the books that are out in this series, though obviously there's going to be seven (I think) because days of the week. I might end up reread them next year when they're all out and just marathoning all seven of them because I'm just not sure I'm going to remember anything by then. And it's not really needed to remember eveything - but I'm sure there will be a readathon and it sounds fun to me.
Once again - this series is just fun, I'm not sure I'd recommend it, but if you like slightly ridiculous, trope filled romance novels then have I have got a super quick reads series for you. (Which I really enjoy, but I've got pet peeves I try to avoid).

Opal Fire (Stacy Justice #1) by Barbara Annino (2/5)
I really wish I had DNFed this book when I was 20% in and not feeling it, but for some reason I kept going. I need to start letting myself DNF things. I don't know, I have no real feelings about this book. It wasn't horrible, but I just didn't care?

Not Quite Dating (Not Quite #1) by Catherine Bybee (3/5)
Do you see a trend? Of reading this authors books. I'm not even sure how it keeps happening, they're just addicting and I can't escape. Anyway - this was fun and a fluffy romance book. Also I've learned something about myself, I find the cowboy thing (in books) strangely charming. It might be the use of the word darlin', I am not sure if I should be embarrassed by this or not?

Not Quite Mine (Not Quite #2) by Catherine Bybee (3/5)
I liked this one better then the first and a surprising amount, for some reason. There's a baby, there's romance cuteness, and a lot of confusion. It's still trope-y, but I apparently don't mind tropes. (I've kind of always known this about myself, as long as they're done pretty well and not eye roll inducing/bad).

Purity in Death (In Death #15) & Portrait in Death (#16) by J.D. Robb (5/5)
Not much can be said because spoilers, but I really am loving this series. Also - Eve's reaction to what Mavis tells her in Purity was hilarious and fantastic. I just love this series, I don't know why, I just do.

And I think I'm going to stop myself there, before this post gets too long, though it probably is already too long. Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Or are you planning on reading any of them?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

#Debutathon - A readathon

This is a read-a-thon hosted by Amber at Books of Amber. The debutathon is a week long read-a-thon all about reading books by debut authors - basically, books that came out this year where the author hadn't previously been published. The read-a-thon runs from the beginning of December 8th to the end of December 14th (your time zone).

Sign-Up/Info post

The post has links to certain lists if you're at a lost for ideas of what to read. Sadly, I'm not lacking ideas. Or books. I'm always buying new releases and then, too many times, I don't get to them for a while. So I actually have a stack of recently released debuts that I'd love to get to during the week. I have no idea how many books I'm going to be getting to, but I thought I'd just list the books I could read (aka: the ones I want to that I won).

  • The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen- I want to read this, because I'm over halfway through it, I just want to finish it. I don't know why I haven't yet. I was loving it and it's still really good, I just stopped and have had a hard time getting back to it.
  • Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis - just short of 400 pages, but apparently has a very diverse cast and I've heard really good things about it. 
  • Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne - also just short of 400 pages. Fantasy and I've heard good things, also, and I'm pretty sure I preordered this?
  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara Saasch - also don't know what it's about (I swear I knew more what these were about when I bought them, but I've forgotten. I think it's post apocalyptic or dystopian). it's a bit over 400 pages and I've heard good things.
  • Jackaby by William Ritter - about 300 pages. I've been hearing some eh things, some really good things. This sounds like something right up my alley, though, so hopefully I love it. 
  • Every Breath by Ellie Marney - Sherlock stuff. I love Sherlock stuff. And I think I've heard just good things. I haven't looked too far into this, just saw a good review from a person I trust and... now here we are.
  • Grave's Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-up by Grace Helbig - this counts, right? It is a debut book. I'm not sure if I'll read this one, but it's only like 240 pages and I'm sure will be hilarious (and possibly have some actual helpful things?). 
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown - some people have been reading the sequel recently (which comes out in early 2015. I want to say January, but I'm not sure). It sounds really good, and I just ordered the paperback (I was convinced by Crini's review).

I think that's all of them, that I own. See what I mean? I have read a good amount of the new releases I've bought, but I fell behind when suddenly all of the books started coming out. I also own Conversion, but it doesn't like it's going to be a fast read (I think there's time jumping, I think just in the narrative?, and Salem witch trials).

I'm definitely not going to be able to read them all, but - I'd like to read a few of them? A good few, even, if I can. 1-5 is currently my goal, 2-5 really but putting pressure on myself never ends well. However, if I only finish The Queen of the Tearling, I'll also be happy. I'll be posting a wrap-up post at the end of the week.

I'm such a mood reader and I haven't been in a reading mood all month, that I might end up reading other books during the week. Obviously, I won't count them towards this read-a-thon, but that's why I'm not aiming too high. Maybe I'll be able to work through the pile, that'd be good. (God, I have so many books I want to finish before the end of the year...)

If you're participating let me know! And let me know what you're reading, and if you've read any of the ones I've got to read.

Friday, December 5, 2014

2014: Book Reviews (14)

Part fourteen, last part ended up being the series one, mostly TMI and ID. And this part is going to start with a book that I read about six months before it released, I got an ARC copy at LeakyCon, and devoured it surprisingly quickly (it pulled me out of a mixture of 'TMI series is over slump' and post travel slump, I always have a hard time getting back into reading after traveling, no matter how long or where).

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (5/5)
I'm looking at my notes I wrote right after I finished it and the first thing I wrote was: "such beautifully strange perfection," which feels like a good description. I'm hoping to put a review up close to when this book comes out, hopefully I remember, I'd also like to reread it. It is beautiful and a lot of fun. I really like faeries, though, am possibly a bit of a sucker for them, so if you don't like them as much, you might not enjoy it as much. But I'd still suggest reading this - incredible, lovely.

Say Her Name by James Dawson (4/5)
I've always really liked Bloody Mary as an urban legend, so I was a bit suspicious of what this was going to entail. I ended up liking it - it was strange and weird, at points, and eye roll inducing at others. But overall I thought it had a good story, a good reason for Mary, and also a fantastic ending.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna #1) by Stephanie Perkins (5/5)
I didn't expect to love this book - I've always been a little eh about the young adult contemporary I've read, but for some reason I just loved this. It was fun and strange and a little lovely. Not my favorite of the three, but I did love their story. And the setting, I've always wanted to go to Paris, and now I think I might bring this book along to go where they go in the book.

Mortal Danger (Immortal Game #1) by Ann Aquirre (5/5)
I had a few problems with this one (suspension of disbelief at the beginning) but when it started getting going more and I got more into the story - I just ended up really enjoying it. I don't know why, but I just got caught up in the story. I should probably of just given it 4/5 stars since I struggled with it at the beginning, but even when I was struggling, as soon as I got past page ten or so I flew through this book. (full review here)

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna #2) by Stephanie Perkins (5/5)
I think this was my favorite - I just love Lola and her clothes and wigs and personality. And I don't know why, but I had a lot of fun reading this one. Another place I've always wanted to go, not quite as unattainable as Paris, but still hasn't happened for some reason.

Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome by John Scalzi (4/5)
I haven't read Lock In yet, but I read this before Lock In even came out. And, obviously, really enjoyed it. It's short, only 68 pages, and just in the style of World War Z, but it's the actual official report of what happened, mostly, and I think it definitely adds something to the story, when a lot of the time prequel novellas can be hit or miss on goodness/importance to the story. Scalzi is a writer that I've learned this year that I adore.

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles #1) by Patrick Rothfuss (5/5)
This book took me forever to read, but only because of it's length and it's a bit dense. The writing is beautiful, though, and I was listening to the audiobook on and off (the narrator was fantastic, I've never gotten hooked into an audiobook like this one before). (full review here)

Isla and the Happily Ever after (Anna #3) by Stephanie Perkins (5/5)
I really enjoyed this book and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I know other people haven't or haven't as much as the other two, and it definitely is probably my least favorite of the three but I still really enjoyed it. These two were sweet together and a little ridiculous. And the end was perfect.

My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart (5/5)
I'm going to keep this short and sweet so I don't just start spouting love for Hannah, which is why I haven't, and probably won't, write a full review of this. This book is good, it's fantastic, and it made me laugh at multiple part. If you don't know who Hannah Hart is well.... YouTube Channel.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 | The End

The last week of NaNoWriMo this year was not the best for me, and I'm already thinking about how I can make next year better. How I can push myself in a more sure way. I like writing all of the words, but I'd like to refocus on stuff and write maybe not all the words (though a lot of them, let's be real here, once you overachieve, you never go back, friends. Be warned).

It was still an okay week. I had one day where I wrote nothing, however, and another day I wrote the equivalent of nothing (I think I wrote 200 words? It's few enough, I'm just skipping that day, too, mostly because I didn't post about it).

And now, after the month, a few days after - I'm still exhausted. And it's not the good 'yes, I fucking did it, take that, novel' exhausted, which is an exhaustion I don't mind and actually kind of revel in, because hell yeah I did it. This exhaustion is sadder, more just sigh.

Though I'm still proud of what I did this year - 300k is nothing to shake a stick at. And I'm overly proud about writing 50k day one but am more convinced then ever about never doing that thing again unless I have a lot of story to write in a limited timeframe. Even then, I'm not so sure about it, honestly.

Saying this, I'll probably still be considering joining the lovely, and as insane as me, overachievers who end up doing it every year.

If you participated this year - I hope it went well, at least, and I'd love to hear a sum up of your month. Or let me know if you posted some kind of wrap up (just the month/weekly/whatever). And if you're on the fence - next year! Even if you on'y write ten thousand, fifteen thousand, twenty five - that's that many words that I'm sure you wouldn't of written otherwise. November makes you push yourself - write more then you thought you could or write on a project you thought you were stuck on.

It's more then worth it, trust me, even just giving it a try. I challenge you, next year, NaNoWriMo 2015 - see you there (it'll be my seventh year, which is incredible that this was my sixth).

Day Twenty Two (261,876)
Day Twenty Three (263,323)
Day Twenty Four (273,113)
Day Twenty Five (285,259)
Day Twenty Six (292,129)
Day Twenty Nine (300,613)
Day Thirty (308,128)

NaNoWriMo profile
Writing Tumblr/Blog

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 2014 TBR

I can't decide if I want to read all of the things, or just take a break. I've already hit my 250 book goal that I switched to in a moment of insanity (apparently not insanity because I made it! A month early!). I do kind of want to see how much I can read this year, I have a feeling I won't be having a year like this again, probably ever, but I can strive for it.

I'm currently feeling pretty burnt out from November - I wrote a ton, read a ton, had to deal with family on Thanksgiving, went out shopping on Black Friday. And now I just need some rest and time to recharge (which has been hard for me lately, for some reason, and as an introvert, is also very important).

I'm not sure, at all, what I'll be reading this month, but I'd also like to get a bunch of blog posts done, if not posted, that I've been working on (especially those mini book review posts, before the end of the year comes. How the hell is it December already?). I would like to finish some, if not all of the books I've started and haven't finished. I'd kind of like to start 2015 with no books on my currently-reading shelf, even if I keep my bookmarks in them, if I'm not actively reading them, I might take them off.

Anyway - there are a bunch of books I want to read, or could read. I'm planning on probably reading some romance novels at the beginning of the month, mostly because of that burned out feeling. Ones I have on my kindle, or that I can get through Amazon Unlimited, most likely. And I'd also like to finish one more series, as I've technically finished 11, if my count is right, so far this year (which is ridiculous, and I'm planning on doing a 'series' post in January 2015, just not sure when/how to do it).

What are you planning on reading? Are you close to your goal, if you have one, or is it going to be a stretch? Are you already planning 2015 stuff? (Or are you way ahead of me and already have some done? All my planning has been mental planning so far).

Monday, December 1, 2014

November 2014 Wrap-Up

November was a very strange month for reading because of NaNoWriMo. I'd planned on just writing a smaller amount then normal and take time to write and read - but I forgot how addictive over achieving is. So that plan, quickly, dissolved.
  • The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater (5/5)
  • Click-Clack the Rattlebag by Neil Gaiman (4/5)
  • Hawkeye, Vol 3: LA Women by Matt Fraction (5.5)
  • Hawkeye: #13, #15, #17, #19 by Matt Fraction, and illustrator/artists (4/5)
  • The Wicked and the Divine #3 by Kieron Gillen (4/5)
  • The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater (5/5)
  • White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black (5/5)
  • Red Gloves (Curse Workers #2) by Holly Black (5/5)
  • Black Heart (Curse Workers #3) by Holly Black (5/5)
  • Chew, Vol. 3: Just Desserts by John Layman (4/5)
  • Howls' Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle #1) Diana Wynne Jones (5/5)
  • Three to Ride by Sophie Oaks (2/5)
  • Siren Beloved (Texas Sirens #4) by Sophie Oaks (3/5)
  • No Plot? No Problem: Revised and Expanded by Chris Baty (5/5)
  • The Siren (The Original Sinners #1) by Tiffany Reisz (4/5)
  • Wallbanger (Cocktail #1) by Alice Clayton
  • Girl in Love (Kylie Ryans #3) by Caisey Quinn
  • An On Dublin Street Christmas (#1.1) by Samantha Young
  • Until Fountain Bridge (On Dublin Street #1.5) by Samantha Young
If I've counted right, I read 22 things this month. Considering it was NaNoWriMo and I also wrote 300k+ words, I'm very pleased with this. A few were single issue comics, and I think I won't count them towards my reading challenge on goodreads last year. I can't decide (any opinions?)

Anyway - I really enjoyed quite a few of the books I read this month, even though it feels like I read some of them months ago, instead of just a month ago. Stills, out of all of these books, I'd have to say The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves were my favorite - I'm loving this series and I can't wait to read the third on. They're incredible and I'm still surprised at how hard I feel for these books.

The Hawkeye comics are also pretty incredible, I'm loving them and am in denial about them ending (two issues left right? Or is it over? I don't want to check). And the Curse Workers series was really good, and I marathoned them in like eight hours, I think. Howl's Moving Castle was breathtaking and the fantasy world was incredible. Though, I do think I enjoy the movie more, which is rare, but it's just so good (I watched that, in full, for the first time this month as well).

I also read some predictable romance, towards the end, just because I was feeling so burnt out. On everything. Writing, reading, I couldn't even try to watch a TV show. I'm still kind of in that mood, so the beginning of December will probably be filled with some romance - but I can't fault them. Sometimes you just need some light, fluffy stuff to read, right?

How did your month go? Reading and otherwise? Have you read any of these books and how did you feel? I hope you had a great month! And my December TBR(ish) post should be up tomorrow).