August with Nicholas Sparks

Hello and Happy August!

This month, there is a theme to my reading. Mr. Nicholas Sparks!

Why do you ask? Well, here’s the thing. My Mom is quite the reader and she discovered Mr. Sparks way back when Message in a Bottle came out. She has read every, single book. She owns every movie adaptation. He is her absolute favorite.

Somehow. I have never read one of his books. I have seen all of the adaptations. Mom claims I will love his books. And since we do own them all. And it just so happens that August is Mom’s birthday month. I am going to read Nicholas Sparks for the month of August.

I’m not sure that I’ll only read him but I would like to attempt to read a few at the very least.

I am starting with Two by Two and A Walk to Remember.

Leave  a comment with which of his books you think I should pick up this month?

Rapid Fire Reviews: Gemina

Note: This review is 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers. 

 

HOLY SHIT! I mean COME ON! This book was a ride, to say the least. If you have not jumped on the Illuminae Files train and you enjoy Sci-Fi reads with a YA flare, PICK IT UP NOW.

I was audibly yelling at this book while I read it. I said the phrase, “plot twist,” out loud and then sat with my jaw hanging while I continued.

This was such a good sequel. If you have not heard of Illuminae (my review is Here) it is a story that takes place in space after a crazy massacre happens and everyone escapes to different ships in a fleet. The first book follows Kady and her people and her lovely adventures with Aidan. Aidan is the AI system aboard the ship and he is by far one of my favorite elements of this story.

This book takes place aboard another ship and follows Hanna and her people. Now, in the first one, I loved Aidan so much that I about threw the book from excitement when I realized he was popping up again in this one.

My favorite part of this one was the surveillance updates. Whatever employee was writing those was just 100% snark and sarcasm and I loved it.

The book is made up of all kinds of different documents, just like Illuminae, and the addition of Hanna’s journal was beautiful. I loved the artwork.

If you follow me on GoodReads you will have seen the journey this book took me on. OMG the weird little slimy drug providing creatures were things of nightmares. Those poor cows! Also, cows in space?! hahahaha.

I absolutely loved this one from beginning to end. I may wager that I liked it even better than the first. I can not WAIT for the third installment. It was pushed back already but is slated to be released in March 2018.

Rapid Fire Reviews: June

I have a feeling this may be my style of review. Well, atleast this time around because I have not written any reviews for the past ohhh six books I’ve completed and I don’t want to feel like I am INSANELY BEHIND ON LIFE.

Thus, rapid fire review. Let’s talk about the books I completed over the past month.

Note: These opinions are my 100% own. These reviews may include spoilers. 

Ready? GO!

 

Room by Emma Donoghue

I have this whole goal to pull things off my very, super crazy, stuffed shelves by reading books by the same author, if I have them. I completed  The Wonder and knew I had Room kicking around on my book shelf from what was supposed to be a group read years ago. I was impressed with Emma Donoghue’s writing style and wanted to get into another of her books.

I love Jack. I love him. I love him so much. He is the sweetest, most adorable, little fictional boy. I mean, I love him like I love Lucy from Narnia. The way that this particular author writes children makes you remember how it feels to be innocent and untouched. To be vulnerable and imaginative. I love Jack.

The story itself is a dark one at its base. A girl gets kidnapped and held captive for 7 years by a swarmy kind of dude who lied about a sick dog to grab her. Jack is the light. I loved that he has a kind of growth that no other charectar gets in the book.

I gave it 5 GR stars and would pick up anything by this author.

Bonus: Watched the movie (cause I do that) and I have to say- I get why people lovvvve Brie Larson and Jacob Trembley so much. MAN! They were lovely. I found the discrepancies from book to movie made parts of the story lack the same feeling they did in the book but overall a solid film.

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café by Max Lucado with Eric Newman and Candace Lee

You know how Hallmark makes all those feel good, sometimes Christain centric, made for TV movies that you end up watching without meaning too? That’s what this is.

I was grabbing a book for Mom at my library and this super cute cover distracted me and 20 minutes later I was devouring this book. Seriously, it’s super short, it’s kind of adorable. It has a bit of an It’s a Wonderful Life vibe with the angel coming to help the struggling Momma.

The whole story gave me the warm fuzzies. Manny, Mr’ Angel come to help, is hilarious! And totally obsessed with Star Wars which made me happy. Your main charectar is Chelsea; a separated, newly single Mom. She is trying to keep a café that’s been in her family forever running. She is a baker. She is struggling and it just so happens that her sister is part of a church (married to the Pastor) and they all pray and it’s lovely. And then poof! Manny shows up and people can talk to God in her café. Yup. They can connect to God through WiFi and ask him questions directly. It’s like a newfangled prayer line.

It was an adorable read. I kind of loved it without meaning to. Super quick read.

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

This is the one Epic Reads made me pick up and OMG was it worth it. Holy Crap! This has twists and turns and crazy drama on just about every page. It’s told through dual perspectives. So one chapter is the twin sister, Carys, and one is the twin brother, Andreyus. I swear, at some points, I don’t know which one was crazier. I mean, your dude is in love with a Seer and willing to risk everything for her. Oh and POWER HUNGRY. Your chick is some kind of medieval drug addict and a badass!

The only negative I had with this book was the sudden need to give Carys a love interest. I mean, why? Was it necessary? Did she need to have a crush annnnnnd some dude who came to be her hero? I don’t know. Despite not liking that aspect, I did love the appearance of a random hero who I’m fairly certain is evil. Or at least related to evil.

I can’t wait to grab the next one in this series. I will say, if you’re not a fan of cliffhanger endings-wait for the next book to come out before you grab this. MAN.

If that wasn’t enough reading I blew through two more books this weekend while on Dog Duty at my sister’s place.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

OMG! I get the hype! I am one with the hype! I loved this. Loved it, loved it, loved it. This is novel that is comprised of a collection of documents about a crazy event that occurred. Therefore, this isn’t your typical read. Some of it is in chat form. Some is email. Some is letters. Some is diagram or drawing. And then there is the actual dialogue moments.

The event is uhhhh well, its the future and we live on planet-ish sectors. One sector gets destroyed. Everyone jumps on a spaceship and then the spaceships start flipping out. Legit. The spaceship has an Aritficial Intelligence system and it has a bit of breakdown.

I have to say. I really liked Aidan. The fact that the AI system gets to have a voice was fun. If you’ve ever wonderied (like me) if your GPS gets mad when you don’t listen to it, this book kind of gives you the insight that Yes, SHE GETS PISSED>

It was sooooo good. Like so good. Like if you haven’t picked it up yet and you like YA Fantasy Sci-Fi reads–go! Get it! NOW! Read! and then discuss it with me because none of my real life bookish friends know what I’m talking about!

Also–already started Gemina, the sequel, and YES!

And then! Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This one is because I was at my sister’s and finished Illuminae and needed another book. I went and raided my niece’s book shelf and she loved these books. The book is about hidden children. The country has determined that each family can only have two children. The third children are illegal and kept hidden. And that’s where Luke comes in. I’ll say that it was written well. The concept was interesting. The first book was a good one. I could not get into the second one so I doubt I’ll continue with the series.

Oh! I forgot one.

Son by Lois Lowry

This is the fourth and final book in The Giver Quartet. Now I absolutely loved The Giver. It was such a cool read. It had intrigue and a weird society and a kidnapping and crazy deaths. It was gooooood. Then Gathering Blue was not as exciting and felt like it belonged in a different series. Messenger, book number three WAS AWFUL. Beginning to end awful.

I had decided I just wasn’t finishing this quartet after Messenger. But! An old friend assured me that Son would wrap everything up and then the two middle books would make more sense.

Well screw that. Son was not any better than the two previous books. And yes, it does let you know where that ridiculous cliff hanger at the end of The Giver ends up but! it takes a hell of a long time to get there. It’s predictable and all in all just wasn’t a good read. The caliber of The Giver does not follow through to the rest of its books.

And that! That is why I was referring to myself as a Book Dragon because I am actually ahead on my Good Reads Challenge and just really enjoying devouring books.

With that said, I’m going to go back to Gemina!

Book Dragon!

I have always associated myself with the term “book worm.” I was a child that always had her nose in a book. I was reading full series at a young age. Example, in Kindergarten, I was one of 5 kiddos that already knew how to read. While the rest of the class was learning how, we had the option of going to our library and picking out books. During that year of school, I read the entire collection of Junior Biographies, all of Dr. Seuss, and the Mercer Meyer books I didn’t have at home.

A few years later, my aunt gifted me the Little House on the Prairie series and I devoured it. Then it was Anne of Green Gables (OMG I still love miss Anne with an E). Then the epic series that is The Baby Sitters Club. Side note: Did you know they are sill writing these? And it’s up in the 100’s now. I’m toying with the idea of starting from the beginning and reading them all again.

I read allllll the Roald Dahl books but somehow never read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. By 13, I was into the creepier reads. I attempted Stephen King (Because Maine) but preferred the movie versions (unheard of, right?)  and then picked up R.L. Stine instead because my cousin was reading them. I read those through a summer and then moved on to some chunky mysteries and suspense horror by the time I was 15.

I also read all of Shakespeare’s works at that time because I was a little obsessed with Othello and Romeo and Juliet at the time. (Cut to college when I had to read them all again TWICE due to having to take Shakespeare twice to get my degree. I haven’t picked up one since).

In high school, I still read a lot. More so in the summer than any other time but I always had a book or five going. Harry Potter came around when I was in high school too.

College, as an English Language and Literature major, to say I read a lot is an understatement. Due to the major, I was reading intensively, everything. Legit, this is what I remember putting down in my first two years at Rivier–ready?

  • 90 % of Shakespeare’s Plays (my teacher loved the tragedy’s so we did allll the Kings)
  • The entirety of Major British Writers Volume II
  • Frankenstein
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Dracula
  • Beowulf
  • Some horribly written Post-Moderninisim themed book about a wine tasting that I’ve blocked out
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • The Alchemist
  • The Book of Genesis (Bible–cause Catholic College)

And that’s just off the top of my head and doesn’t include actual text books or the amount of Chinese I had to study for that class.

On top of that, because my happy place has always been books, I discovered I really liked YA. I read the Angus, Thongs, and Snogging series. The A to Z List series. I read Prep then and loved it.

My next run of college brought along with it Popular Fiction. The class in which I read 10 books in 8 weeks. YUP.

I think the speed in which I had to consume books in college is why I sometimes take my time and spend a month lost in a book.

BUT! This month. This month, I have been more than a little book worm. I have been a book dragon! I feel like I just keep getting into good books and then attack another and another.

With that said, I have reviews to do! Talking books makes me happy. That soul happy, you know. SO! Expect to see reviews in the near future.

Woop Woop! I’m feeling good about it. 🙂 Book Dragon FTW.

Epic Reads Strikes Again!

I am a lover of bookish things, quite obviously. I’m also a chronic subscriber and a lover of giveaways so it should come as no surprise that I get a lot of bookish emails each day. One of my absolute favorite daily emails is the Epic Reads First 5.

If you do not know what Epic Reads is, let’s educate you shall we. Epic Reads is a site that feels like a YA movement. It’s full of lists and entertaining videos, quizzes, and articles about upcoming Young Adult authors or books. Epic Reads is the YA part of Harper Collins and holy crap, do they publish some amazing books.

The First 5 newsletter is literally the first 5 chapters of a book in the Epic Reads/HC family. This was how I used to pass my time at my horribly boring hotel reservation gig. I’d just go through the Epic Reads site and pick out the “read a preview of insert-book-title-here” and read a chapter or five.

This resulted in me racing to my local Books-A-Million after work to grab Queen of Hearts because five chapters was not enough.

I signed up for the newsletter and have been adding books to my TBR rather steadily ever since. I enjoy this newsletter so much because you aren’t just going by a synopsis, you get to actually get into a story and then decide if you want to continue.

Well! I’m catching up on my emails today, as is a usual Sunday event as of late, and the first five is fannnnntastic! This time its Dividing Eden and I am hooked. This one is about twins in a kingdom where their Father is the King. Their brother is next in line for the throne but apparently something is going to happen to him. And there are secrets and intrigue. IIIIIII like it. So much so that at the top of Chapter 3, I went and searched for it on my library’s website and requested it.

Good on you, Epic Reads! You win again!