Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Teaser Tuesday [February 18]

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. All you have to do is grab your current read, open to a random page, and share two teaser sentences (that don't give too much away).

This week's teaser, via Rose Hathaway of Vampire Academy:

"Forcing five-year-olds to spell Vasilisa Dragomir and Rosemarie Hathaway was beyond cruel, and we'd—or rather, I'd—responded appropriately. I'd chucked my book at our teacher and called her a fascist bastard." 

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (page 8)

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Quoteables [February 14]

The Quoteables is an original meme here at The Writeables, in which I share one or several of my favorite quotes and/or book excerpts.

Today's quote is in honor of Valentine's Day:

"Love changes what is probable and makes unlikely things possible."

Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie

Thursday, February 13, 2014

TAG: Playing with your emotions

The "Playing with your Emotions" TAG was created by PadfootandProngs07.

Which books made you feel...

1. Happy:

Always a huge fan of Merlin/Arthurian legend spin-offs, Avalon High by Meg Cabot has remained one of my all-time favorite books for about five years now. I have reread this book I don't know how many times, and it never fails to make me happy — the perfect mix of contemporary-adventure and fluff.

2. Sad:

I usually try to stay away from books that make me want to sob hysterically in a corner for hours on end, but John Green has captured my heart in a way that few authors have; with his very real portrayal of life, love and growing up. The Fault in Our Stars is my favorite book of his and, despite the heart-wrenching topic, I absolutely adored the characters and their story. I cannot wait for the movie!

3. Angry:

I don't remember much about this book, just that the ending made me very, very angry, which is something you do not want to be at three in the morning (sorry, Twitter). There were so many unnecessary deaths, and things were wrapped up a bit too quickly - leaving me with a ton of unanswered questions and leftover feels and I just, askflaslkdf....

4. Nostalgic:

What else could it be, but the first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - the one that started it all! I cannot help but rediscover my childhood within these pages; roaming Hogwarts for the first time, listening to Miss Mayer read the books to our fourth grade class, reading into the night, dressing up for midnight book releases, and falling in love with each of the characters all over again...

5. Scared:

It has been about two years since I first picked up The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, but no amount of time could make me forget how frightened I was while reading. The Mara Dyer series deals with the darker aspects of psychology, love and death - all of which can be very eerie when handled correctly (subjects I would not recommend reading about at night).

6. Surprised:

This emotion coincides with an entire series, rather than just one book. Before last year, I had never really been a fan of Sci Fi; preferring contemporary, fantasy and action/adventure reads over those that deal with machines and space. After being bombarded with amazing reviews about Beth Revis' Across the Universe series, however, I finally caved and bought them, mentally preparing myself for disappointment and boredom. What I did not count on was falling in love with this series; the characters, development, plot and action so nail-bitingly delicious that I could not put the books down, and had to read them, one after the other. This series really surprised me, and has helped me to be more open, genre-wise, when choosing which books to read!

7. Disappointed:

The Kill Order was, by no means, a bad book. It was just as beautifully written as James Dashner's other works and had likeable characters that were easy to get attached to and nail-biting situations that left you going, "What just happened?!" The sole reason I found this book so disappointing was because it was not at all what I was expecting. We spend the majority of The Maze Runner trilogy experiencing flashbacks via the memory-deprived characters that are telling the story. When picking up The Kill Order, I was hoping we would be seeing the apocalypse as it actually happened, rather than just getting snippets of it through our main character's memory. The whole "going crazy" thing was really, really cool, but I wanted to live through this fictional End of the World, not learn about it a year after it had happened.

8. Distressed:

Between the spoilers floating around the internet and the anxiety that comes with reading the last book in a series, Allegiant by Veronica Roth left me feeling very distressed and panicky the entire time I was reading it. So much was either happening or not happening, characters were dying or getting into trouble, and I was in such a rush to finish the book and find out what happened that my nerves were a complete mess when I finally finished.

9. Confused:


As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott has got to be one of the most confusing books I have ever read... Ever. It was interesting in a Sci Fi, parallel worlds kind of way, but things were left unexplained, nothing made sense, and I had the worst headache after finally completing the story, which is never a good sign. I have been debating whether or not I should reread this book, give it a second chance, but given the low ratings it has received on Goodreads (2.95 average), I am assuming that I was not the only person to feel this way and doubt I will ever get around to picking it up again. A shame, given the gorgeous cover.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Author: Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Pages: 399
Format: Hardcover
Average Rating: 4.20
Read it in: 4 days
Source: Bought from Walmart

- Summary -

September 3, 1940. Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters, and only one person can help them — but she's trapped in the body of a bird.

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom.

Hollow City draws readers into a richly imagined world of telepathy and time loops, of sideshows and shape-shifters—a world populated with adult "peculiars," murderous wights, and a bizarre menagerie of uncanny animals. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January 2014 Wrap-up [spoiler free!]

January was a pretty great start to the new year, reading-wise. I completed six and a half books, took part in a Read-a-Thon, finished a reading goal for 2014 and started two others. Also, despite my week-long reading slump, I am still on track with my Goodread's Reading Challenge. Fist bumps, all around!


1. Hourglass by Myra McEntire. To kick off the new year, I picked up a book that had been sitting on my physical TBR shelf for several months; the first book in McEntire's Hourglass series. The beginning of this book was a little slow, full of back-story and complicated explanations—as well as a very Insta!Love-like vibe and quite a bit of back-and-forth between Emerson, our main character, and her love interest—but the story began picking up towards the middle, and I absolutely enjoyed how complex everything was; with its talk of time travel and the past/future. The story was a little predictable, but the characters were so well developed and the bigger surprises so... surprising, that I was able to ignore the smaller problems I discovered as I made my way through the book. I was extremely sorry I did not pick Hourglass up sooner.


2. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. Not only was this the first 2014 reading goal I was able to complete, but it was my very first read of the Bout of Books 9.0 read-a-thon. I fell in love with Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief in December and could not wait to get my hands on some of his other works. Unfortunately, I did not love this book as much as I had the latter; the situations seemed a little far-fetched and I just did not connect with the story as much as I had anticipated. However, it was extremely heartwarming and hilarious, and the characters—especially Ed—so raw and honest, and I loved the depth and how beautiful the message was. It was typical Zusak and, though I felt a bit cheated in the end, I could not give this book anything less than four stars.


3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. My second read of BoB 9.0, and the first step in completing my goal of rereading the entire Harry Potter series before 2014's end. It was just as magical as I remembered, and definitely one of my favorite reads of the year, thus far. The first book will always have a special place in my heart, and I really enjoyed re-introducing myself to all of the characters and experiencing their first year at Hogwarts once again. I love how young and innocent Harry is, and am looking forward to watching him grow.


4. Timepiece (Hourlgass #2) by Myra McEntire. Third and final book in the read-a-thon; one and a half more than I was able to complete the last time! I was extremely nervous, going into this book, due mostly in part to the change in POV. Now, I absolutely adored Kaleb in book one, I really did. It is just weird, spending so much time getting to know the main character in one book, only to have the voice switch in the second. However, the three stars was not related to Kaleb as the narrator. I really, really loved hearing/seeing things from his perspective - his feelings for Emerson and Lily, how he dealt with his powers and his father's lack of trust. Kaleb and Lily's growing feelings for one another and their quick and easy banter was definitely my favorite part of the entire story, as well as how engaging everything was; with the time travel and corrupted timelines. The reason for the three stars is because, while the actual plot was really exciting and original, everything was extremely confusing. Things from book one were left unexplained until much later in the book, and descriptions of the characters were lacking—I could not mentally picture Kaleb and some of the other, lesser characters, even though I had read book one only a few weeks earlier. Other than that, I really enjoyed the reading experience, and am looking forward to book three. Hopefully it is a bit better, detail-wise.


5. Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay. There is really not much to say about this book. Though it took me a while to get used to the poetry-like diary entries, it was a really unique way to tell the story and turned the 400-something pages into a super quick read.

6. Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard. I am sure that you have picked up on the fact that I am a HUGE fan of Alice in Wonderland, and enjoy reading/watching the book/movie's various spin-offs. Thus, Splintered, by A.G. Howard, which I read in May of last year. When Unhinged came out this last month, I ordered it from Amazon right away, and reached for it as soon as it arrived in the mail. Unfortunately, after completing the Bout of Books read-a-thon, I was not really in the mood to read anything, let alone a book I had built so much hype over. So, six days and 78 pages later—yes, the slump was that bad—I did something I rarely ever do, and set the book aside. I have no idea when I will pick it up again, but I definitely feel like putting it down was the right decision, because my slump ended after I picked up my next read.


7. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I first read this book waaay back in 2011, after its release, and I LOVED it. Ransom Riggs has this way with words; creating magical and terrifying worlds/situations and keeping the action and events suspenseful enough that you just cannot stop reading. With the release date of the second book in the series a few days away, I grabbed this book—realizing that I was in a slump and probably needed something I knew I would thoroughly enjoy to pull me out of it—and read; experiencing the wonders of Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children all over again. I adored it just as much as I had the first time; leaping out of my slump and ready to begin the second book.

8. Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs. And the final book I cracked open in January is the one I am currently reading; the second Miss Peregrine book, because I was far too excited about its release to pick up anything else. I'm about halfway through and am really enjoying it. Though I did not manage to finish it before January's conclusion, I suspect I will have it completed within the next couple of days.

. . . . 

January Stats:

Read 6.5 books (and a few pages of another)
Read 3,442 pages

Upcoming Releases:

The Guard (The Selection #2.5) by Kiera Cass -- February 3, 2014
Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi -- February 4, 2014
Unite Me (Shatter Me #1.5 and 2.5) by Tahereh Mafi -- February 4, 2014

How are your New Year's reading goals going so far? Which books are you most excited to see released this year?