Monthly Archives:: January 2014

Jan 31

January In Review

Month in Review 6

Month In ReviewJanuary started off great with a mini readathon with book blogging friends Kate and Steph. We always have a great time together, though we often do more talking than reading, but whatever! I then got what was the Worst. Cold. Ever. Seriously, it was so bad that I called in sick for the first time in my adult life. Normally I suck it up and deal but this was terrible!


This is the best my backyard has ever looked. The snow hides all that is wrong with it. ;)

January also brought near record cold for Virginia with temps hovering below freezing for a few days strait. However in true weather fashion, a few days later it was 60. I also had my first snow day as a teacher (and another snow day and two teacher workdays for a total of 4 days off for students, all for 1 in of snow). As much as I HATE snow, I love having an extra days off!

Until we got yet another two days off and now we have to start making them up. And that makes me sad :(

My goal this year is to read all of the book club books – no exceptions! I wasn’t able to physically be a book club this month – but I did read the book! We read Wild by Cheryl Strayed and…. I kind of liked it. I liked it. I did. I just didn’t like her (the author).

January in Review

New Books

From NetGalley

We Were LiarsOnce in a Lifetime

Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


Bond Girl

Bond Girl by Erin Duffy


EvertrueStill Blue ArchivedStardust

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

The Archived by Victoria Schwab


Winner's Curse

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski


Other Posts

Upcoming in February

Book signings!

Review of The Winner’s Curse and more!


Jan 30

Review * Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Reviews 2 ★★★

Review * Shatter Me by Tahereh MafiShatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1
Published by HarperTeen on October 2, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 340
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

What I Thought…

  • I had no intention of ever reading Shatter Me. I went to a book signing and met Tahereh Mafi, who was seriously awesome and funny. She made me like her and I totally caved on my “I’m only buying the books I actually want.” promise and bought her book. Which sat on my shelf for almost a year, because I really didn’t think I would like it. I heard it was written weird (anything weird sets me off) and honestly the idea of a girl who can’t touch anyone sounded lame. Fast forward to now and I’m planning on going to another signing that she will be at so I grudgingly pull out the book and… yeah. It’s actually pretty good.
  • The storyline that I thought would be so lame was actually really clever, though I did take issue with a few things like: View Spoiler », but overall I liked the uniqueness of Shatter Me and I can’t wait to see where the series is going and if she explains the things that I took issue with.
  • Out of the three main characters Juliette was my least favorite. I don’t know if it was because she was so whiny all the time or if it’s because she’s a little mentally unstable but she often rubbed me the wrong way. I wanted her to chill out and stop freaking out all the time!
  • Adam is my favorite. It’s slightly creepy that View Spoiler » however he is such a good guy that I can’t help but like him! I love the relationship that he has with his brother and what he is willing to do to protect the ones he cares about (even Kenji).
  • Warner falls in the middle for me. As a character I like him much better than Juliette, however I just don’t see his appeal. At all. I’ve been told that the novella will change my mind, but I don’t know… he’s kind of an ass!
  • The writing was a bit over the top for me. I’m not much for “pretty” writing and Shatter Me is all pretty writing. It got the point where I just started ignoring the metaphors because they are too smart for the likes of me. It’s also written very differently from any other book I’ve read ever. It’s chaotic, if that makes any sense. I am not a Grammar Queen by any means but sometimes I just wanted complete, reasonable sentences! I knew before starting Shatter Me that it was like this so it didn’t bother me enough to stop reading, but I definitely would have if I hadn’t known what to expect.
  • At the signing Mafi said that as the books progress Juliette gets more stable and so does the writing, and I am so glad for that!

Notable Quotes

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.”


Jan 28

Top Ten Tuesday * Worlds I’d Never Want To Live In

Top Ten Tuesday 10


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top ten worlds I’d never want to live in.

Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games Lauren Oliver Delirium Sarah Crossan Breathe James Dashner The Maze Runner

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Yeah I would be the girl stepping off the podium just to get it over with.

2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

No love, no thanks!

3. Breathe by Sarah Crossan

I don’t want to pay to breathe air.

4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I have no desire to have monsters chase me.

Phoebe Kitandis Glimmer Under the Dome  Not a Drop to Drink

5. Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis

This town and all it’s perfect happiness is just too creepy for me.

6. Under the Dome by Stephen King

Waaaaaay to much crazy!

7. Not a Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Don’t want to have to fight for water either.

Susan Beth Pfeffer Dead and Gone Beth Revis Shades of Earth Emmy Laybourne Monument 14
8. The Dead & The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Post Apocalyptic New York City? Not for me.

9. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

I definitely couldn’t handle a chemical weapon spill!

10. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Not digging the new planet or the spaceship.


Jan 27

Review * Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Reviews 3 ★★★★

Review * Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnikEpic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
Published by HarperTeen on August 2, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 295
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

- As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school--not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.
- As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn't exactly on everyone's must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise's beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince's best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.(

What I Thought…

  • I read The Trouble with Flirting earlier this year and loved it. It was cute and fun and LaZebnik became an author I knew I wanted to read more of. Epic Fail did not disappoint me at all! It was cute and fun and just the kind of pick me up I was looking for!
  • Epic fail is a modern day retelling of Pride & Prejudice. Admittedly I’m not a Jane Austen fan, but I did love the movie and I enjoyed the retelling in modern day times.
  • Elise’s mom took a principal job at Coral Tree Prep out in LA, which is not your typical high school. Coral Tree Prep is full of those with money and those with famous parents. The students think they can do what they want because there parents have money. It’s Elise’s and her sister Juliana’s misfortune that their mom is the principal, because of course her mom insists on embarrassing her!
  • Derek is the boy with the movie star parents who everyone wants a piece of except maybe Elise. He isn’t always very nice to her, but she isn’t always very nice to him. I loved all their interactions, both good and bad. Derek has quite a sweet side that will make you swoon a bit.
  • Elise’s sister Juliana falls for Derek’s best friend Chase and they were so cute together. Chase’s sister, Chelsea, doesn’t exactly approve and I pretty much wanted to smack her through most of the book.  Between her actions and her constant obsessive like behavior around Derek she is not someone I want to get to know.
  • Elise befriends Webster, against Derek’s better judgment (and really, who is he to say who she should be friends with anyway?). I was not a fan of Webster from the beginning and his behavior clearly reinforced my feelings.
  • One of Elise’s other sisters, Layla, was in the book quite often and was incredibly irritating (intentionally so). Her constant whining of not being able to do things or be included would have pushed me over the edge if I was Elise.
  • The plot of Epic Fail is all about relationships. Between Elise and Derek, Elise and Webster, Juliana and Chase, Elise and Juliana, Elise and Layla, the girls and their parents. I loved how they all intertwined and showed both the good things and the bad things.
  • I do wish that the story would have been a bit longer. The storyline with Layla was wrapped up too quickly and I felt like I wasn’t getting the complete story with Derek and Elise or Juliana and Chase.

If you haven’t yet read anything by Claire LaZebnik I highly recommend it!

Notable Quotes

“No one’s family is normal.  Normalcy is a lie invented by advertising agencies to make the rest of us feel inferior.”

“Basically, the world is a giant shithole. But some of us are capable of imagining something better.”



Jan 26

In Bed With… The Shadow of the Wind

In Bed With... 6


In Bed With is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed!

I wish I was going to be doing a lot of reading today, but sadly I have work :( I really shouldn’t complain though because I did get two extra days off work where I was able to get a lot of reading done!

ShadowEven though I’m working I will be listening to The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The narration is really good, but I’m not really feeling the story so this one might be a DNF. We’ll see if I can maybe get into it today.

If not I’ll probably start listening to Champion by Marie Lu.

If I have time at the end of the day I’m going to spend it with either The Boyfriend App (super super cute) or Vicious depending on my mood!

What are you reading today?


Jan 23

Review * Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Reviews 2 ★★★★

Review * Evertrue by Brodi AshtonEvertrue by Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath #3
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 21, 2013
Genres: Mythology, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Everneath, Everbound
Add to: Goodreads
Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself... which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

In this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, Brodi Ashton evokes the resiliency of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love.

While I don’t like to include spoilers in my review Everneath is the 3rd book in a trilogy so there WILL be spoilers for both Everneath and Everbound. No way to avoid it!

What I Thought…

  • Evertrue was one of my top 5 books I am excited for in 2014. So much so that I made sure that all the work things got done so I could read it the minute I get home from work. (Funny story: We had a snow day on Tuesday so I didn’t have to work so I was super excited because then I could read it the moment in graced my front doorstep. Which turned out to be 6:30 pm. Not cool.) Thankfully Brodi Ashton did not disappoint!
  • Evertrue picks up right where Everbound leaves off. I sometimes worry about this because what if I don’t remember? But I remember the ending of Everbound REALLY WELL so that wasn’t a problem here.
  • We continue to see Nikki grow and change and become the kind of person she wants to be. She is dealing with becoming an everliving and it’s weighing heavily on her because it is so not what she wants. I loved her struggles with this and her determination to not allow Jack (or Cole) to sway her to make a decision she is not happy with.
  • Nikki’s whole purpose in life right now is to destroy the Everneath. She will not give in to what she will become so she sees that as her only option. This results in an epic journey not just for her, but for Jack and Cole as well.
  • Speaking of Jack… sigh. He is still amazing as ever, with a bit of an extra bonus due to his time in the Everneath. His determination to protect Nikki at all costs was both sweet and frustrating since her and Jack didn’t always see eye to eye on what was best.
  • Cole was both what I expected this book and not what I expected. There was a twist that changed some things up that sent me in a different direction from my original thoughts, but at the same time Cole is still Cole, and cannot be forgiven for what he did in Everbound.
  • Like in both Everneath and Everbound the world building is fantastic. I could picture what it was like in my head, and that’s a rare feat for me. As twisted as the Everneath is I want to go there and see all the amazing things and watch all the amazing people and creatures and things.
  • There were beetles. *shudder*
  • Evertrue is pretty intense, though there were enough funny moments to not make it completely dark and depressing. It moves at a bit of a slower pace than Everbound, but not too slowly.
  • I had two issues with Everture. One was the plot twist with Cole. It was a little too convenient and is not one of my favorite things in books (because of its convenience). Ashton made it work (as it usually does), but still, not my favorite thing. The second was that the ending wrapped up a bit too quickly. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of how things had to go down and a bigger deal made of it.
  • Personally I loved the ending, though I can see that not everyone may like it. I thought it was fitting for everyone involved, and that’s really all I can say about that without spoilers.

If you haven’t yet read the Everneath Trilogy I definitely recommend it!



Jan 22

Waiting on… Split Second

Waiting on Wednesday 7


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases.

Today I’m waiting on Split Second by Kasie West which comes out on February 11, 2014.
Split Second

Life can change in a split second.
Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

Why I’m Waiting…

I’m waiting because it’s Kasie West! I loooooved Pivot Point and I can’t wait to see what happens next! I am also super excited because I will be going to her signing on February 21 in Chapel Hill, NC!


Jan 21

Impromptu Readathon!

Readathon 5

Today is a snow day here in Virginia, though I have not seen any actual snow yet. But that is neither here nor there because school has been cancelled and I have the day off! It’s chilly and will soon be snowing so it’s the perfect day to have a little readathon.

EvertrueI’m starting off with Evertrue by Brodi Ashton (I am all sorts of excited for this one!) and I plan on reading Attachments or Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell and then maybe Vicious by Victoria Schwab or maybe Shadowlands by Kate Brian or Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead.

The possibilities are endless!

What are you doing this fine day?



Jan 20

Non Fiction is a Four Letter Word (for me)

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 8


Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging is my opportunity to discuss my bookish and blogging thoughts, whenever I feel like!

Non Fiction: Just not for me.

I have a seriously hard time getting past the words “non fiction.” You could describe the most amazing book ever and then tell me it’s a non fiction book and I’m instantly turned off. I can’t help it, it’s a curse word to me.

I can’t tell what it is exactly that puts me off. Some of them are boring. Some read like a text book. Some I think I would just like better if I knew that it wasn’t actually real.

And maybe that’s the thing here for me. Maybe I don’t want my books to be “real.”

I read for a variety of reasons, but mostly because reading takes me places. It takes me to the happily ever afters that we don’t always see in real life, it takes me to places that can only exist in my (and the authors) imagination, it takes me on a journey, and in the end (even if it’s not a happily ever after) I know it’s going to be all right, because it’s not real.

I’ve read books that have stressed me out or made me cry because of certain characters deaths. I’ve read books where bad and terrible things happen to both good and bad characters. But once I step out of the pages it’s a relief to know that those things didn’t actually happen. No one actually died (though sometimes it certainly feels that way!) or get hurt.

Non fiction is real. It really happened. I read (and enjoyed) Helter Skelter but it was by far the most disturbing book I’ve ever read. I’ve read other books where bad and gruesome things happened, but the fact that that really happened made it that much worse.

I recently read Wild and I liked it well enough, but I know that I would have probably liked it more if I hadn’t known it was real. The fact that it was “real” makes me feel detached from the book. Not really sure if that makes sense, but I have no other words to describe it.

How do you feel about non fiction? Does it put you off? Do other genres put you off?


Jan 16

Review * The Program by Suzanne Young

Reviews 4 ★★★★★

Review * The Program by Suzanne YoungThe Program by Suzanne Young
Narrated by Joy Osmanski
Series: The Program #1
Published by Simon Pulse on April 30, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Time: 10 Hours 56 Minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

What I Thought…

  • Initially I had no intention of reading The Program. The synopsis did not look like anything I would like so I didn’t give it another glance. My friend Kate read it and loved it and recommended it to fellow book club member Katie. Katie hardly reads any YA so when she read it and loved it I knew I had to give it a shot and I’m so glad I did!
  • Young took what could have just been a plain, dark and simple dystopian and turned it on it’s side. There were a lot of sad parts but also some happy ones. She also kept me on my toes. There was a lot of action with a few twists.
  • The Program is the first book in a long time that has given me so much to think about after I finished. It raises so many issues and questions.
  • The Program is for teenagers that are identified as being at risk for committing suicide. Once they are at risk they go into The Program and basically come out as a zombie, with no memories of their prior selves. Once they are 18 they are no longer at risk for suicide. Personally it seems a bit ludicrous that everyone believes that once you are 18 that thoughts of suicide just go away, but whatever.
  • Sloane, her boyfriend James and their friend Miller are desperate to avoid going into the program. They’ve seen what it does (their friend Lacey was in the program) and want not part of it. The have to lie and fake happiness all the time just to convince everyone that they are “fine.” They are not allowed to grieve for those they lost, including Sloane’s brother Brady.
  • The Program is the adults vs the kids. The parents want what’s “best” for their children and the kids just want to survive and be honest about their feelings, which they can’t do if they want to avoid The Program. There is a lot of tension between the adults and the kids, especially surrounding the kids who have been through the program.
  • It’s really hard to talk about the plot without giving things away, but I will say that Young kept me on my toes and also tore my heart to pieces. There were times I laughed and times I almost cried (there were two times in particular that were soooooo difficult).
  • One of the things I loved about The Program was the realisticness of teenagers. Despite the fact that teenage suicide is an epidemic teenagers are still going through their regular every day things. They make out. They have sex. These things happen in real life and I liked that Young included them in the book instead of dancing around it or pretending it doesn’t exist.
  • I absolutely LOVED how the romance played out. There was so much outside turmoil and things that happened outside of their control and I can’t really say anything else without spoilers but it worked perfectly for me. There were so many cute moments between Sloane and James.

I know a lot of people are burned out on dystopian, but trust me, The Program is different! I highly recommend it!

Notable Quotes

“…some things are better left in the past. And true things are destined to repeat themselves.”

“If it’s meant to be, you’ll find each other again.”