Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Book Review

This is a hard review for me to sit down and write, because I have so many conflicting feelings about this book. Honestly, it was one of the more frustrating books I have ever read, but I didn’t want to put the book down. I was definitely intrigued, and mainly wanted to see how Oliver would wrap up the whole ending, which is completely bittersweet by the way. So overall, I liked this book. It wasn’t the best or anything and definitely had flaws, but nevertheless still a good read. Now that I got that out of the way, let’s delve into the specifics.

The characters in this book were the big thing for me. This book is told from the perspective of the “mean girls” of the school, and I absolutely hated them. They would say something and I was rolling my eyes, because I just couldn’t handle their attitudes. From the pov we are reading from, it is actually a bit sad, because they do these mean things and there are times when they don’t even know they are doing it. Even so, you learn that this book is about redemption, so you are clinging to the book, hoping that they will change their ways or at least attitude. Samantha was just a great character for me, because you don’t want to like her at first, but as you go on this journey with her, you see some subtle changes.

Another unique part of this story is it’s plot. It is a groundhog day sort of deal, but the middle of the book really begins to drag for a few pages. The same thing is happening over and over, and Sam at this point still hasn’t changed. However, her last few days solve this issue because they are very good and some are quite touching. In fact, my favorite scene of this entire book is the day she spends with her family and going out with her sister. It was seriously one of the cutest sibling scenes I have ever read! It also the real turning point for Sam, because she is starting to accept death in a way, and is trying to right her wrongs.

So yeah, the characters and overall story, while they may not be fantastic, were still pretty good. Here’s my main issue: all of these”redemptive” actions Sam takes really mean nothing. Because of the way the story is set up, after the final moment, all of her friends and family won’t remember what she went through the past 7 days except the last one. She kisses a guy that has loved her for years when she knows she will be gone in a few hours. We also never see what happens after the car accident, which I think would have been a great way to show how the people around Sam felt after she died.

As I said, this is a difficult book to review. I haven’t felt this conflicted over a book in a long time (I have no idea how I am going to rate this book!) If it sounds like a book you may enjoy, read it. I can’t really say whether you will love it or hate it, because after reading other reviews, they are very mixed.

 

I’m on a Rereading Kick?!?

So this past week, I have focused a ton of my time into reading. This put blogging on the back burner temporarily for a few days, but I got to say, it was great being in a mood where all I wanted was to read! The strange part is, I have been reading rereads, one series in particular. I haven’t read these books in forever, and with the tv show on, I wanted to read them so I can gauge the accuracy. Have you guessed the series yet?? That’s right, it’s the…

MORTAL INSTRUMENTS SERIES

Believe me, I am in more shock then you. You are probably thinking to yourself, The Mortal Instruments? You never even talk about those books Bri! That’s where I am confused as well. I’m one of those people who didn’t gush over The Mortal Instruments, and preferred The Infernal Devices much more. I didn’t exactly hate them by any means, they just weren’t my ~thing~.

So why have I been reading these again? Two reasons. First, I went to the store and Passenger and Bookishly Ever After weren’t there. Second? There is this part of me that absolutely can not watch adaptations without having read the book first. Seriously, I can’t do it. For some reason, I just love comparing and catching differences. (TANGENT: For example, I watched the first 3 episodes of Recovery Road on freeform app, and afterward figured out it is A BOOK. Now it is on my library list XD) So, when Shadowhunters premiered last week, I figured I would be fine since I had technically already read the books. Then I found myself looking something up online, and then in the book. Before I knew it, I have read 4 books in 5 days.

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2) City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3) City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

City of Heavenly Fire is still my favorite, due to the fact that Jem and Tessa are present. So after rereading (most) of this series, has my opinion changed? Not really. They still aren’t the best, but they are definitely fun and cheesy. Which is what I am expecting from the show, nothing though-provoking, but just a fun adaptation. Yeah it may not be the best series or tv show, but you got to admit, it is pretty entertaining.

 

Shadowhunters TV Show Reactions

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard that Cassandra Clare’s bestselling series The Mortal Instruments is now a TV show. The pilot episode aired last night on ABC Family (now called Freeform), and I have tons to say about it!

This is my first time watching a book adapted TV show, so even though The Mortal instruments isn’t my ~favorite~, I was still really excited to see how it went. And boy, did it go well! I have not seen anyone else and their thoughts on the show yet, but I loved it! It has a great take on the story and I am pumped to see where it goes from here. Here is a list of some of my thoughts/things I liked.

  • Clary is exactly, to the tee, how I imagined her.
  • I thought movie Simon would be the best, but TV Simon is giving him a run for his money
  • This invisibility stuff is hilarious
  • “Simon, how can you not tell that she is crushing on you” CLARY DO YOU NOT SEE THE WAY HE IS LOOKING AT YOU
  • I thought you actually had to draw with the steele, but how it just appears is cool too
  • MAGNUS
  • Jace, Izzy, and Alec = Perfection
  • Seriously, these characters are exactly how I pictured them?
  • MAGNUS
  • The demons don’t look too cheesy so yay
  • Where is the cup??
  • Intense fighting scene
  • Alec is angry at Jace now, so this is pretty accurate
  • “You are interesting”

I really can’t explain why I am liking this so much. It just looks really cool, like the institute is really different from I imagine, but I’m loving it. Plus these people aren’t talking in British accents, so everything is better.

DId you watch the premiere episode? How did you like it?

The Sunday Post: 2 Weeks In…

Top Ten (1)

The Caffeinated Book Reviewer created The Sunday Post as a weekly feature for bloggers to review their week. With this feature, you can talk about your latest posts, let your readers know what is coming on the blog, and any other information. Check it out here for more information.

Here we are at the second week of January! Last week was a very productive reading week, and this week I hope to make it a very productive blogging week. I am currently playing around with my graphics, so this week may look a little different. In the experimental process!

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  • Before I Fall Review
  • Shadowhunters TV Thoughts
  • Disney Character Tag

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Bookishly Ever After (Ever After, #1)JANUARY 12

This is a very anticipated debut novel, and it is coming out on Tuesday! In case you haven’t heard about this book yet, here is the goodreads summary.

“In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing”

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Seven Ways WE Lie by Riley RedgateSeven Ways We Lie

So this book wasn’t bought, but rather acquired from Netgalley! It is one of my first arcs, and I am super excited to read it! Youcan read it March 8, but here is the summary for now.

“Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.”

 

As you can tell, I am playing around with my layout for The Sunday Post. I am trying to add more features to it. I’m not quite done yet, but I like where it is heading. Have a great week!

Bout of Books 15 Round-Up!

Bout of Books 15

Technically, Bout of Books doesn’t end until tonight, but I know there is no way I am going to finish another book tonight. So, I decided to go ahead and post my round-up. This was my first read-a-thon, and I met my goal! I read a total of 3 books and started another. Every chance I got, I was reading! For some, 3 books in a week is normal for them, but with everything going on, it was quite the accomplishment for me! I definitely have some  full reviews in the works, but here are some quick thoughts on what I read.

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)   Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle, #2)   Before I Fall

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

This book has been sitting on my shelf forever now, and I am really glad I got around to it! It was an extremely fun and unique read. I loved the different kind of magic pulled in, giving in a different feel, as well as the humor of it. It’s nothing thought-provoking, just a fun time!

Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

I enjoyed Rebel Belle so much that I went out to the library to pick the next one up. While it definitely wasn’t as good as the first, I still had a great time reading it. Now I have another release (Lady Renegades) in April to look forward to, because I need to know what happens next!

Before I Fall

This will be quite an interesting review to write, as I simultaneously hate and like this book. It honestly was one of the most frustrating things I have ever read, but I still kept reading it. Much to say about this book.
I already had physical copies of Rebel Belle and Before I Fall, so I got to move 2 books from my TBR pile! In the future I would love to participate in more read-a-thons, and also partake in the challenges.

Before I Fall also counts toward my 2016 Contemporary Challenge, and will be my book for the “Read a contemporary with 400 or more pages.” So far in 2016, I have 4 books read and I am ahead of schedule. Who knows, maybe I will go over my goodreads goal this year!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Resolutions

Top Ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a certain theme assigned where you have to try to list ten for that category. For more information, visit their page here.

January 5: Resolutions for the New Year

I have done a small post on this already, but they were all pretty broad and book-centered. Since then, I have thought of some more things I want to do this year, so here they are, in no particular order!

  1. Read more books: This is pretty obvious, who wouldn’t want to read more books!
  2. Keep this blog consistent and try to keep to a schedule of some sort: This way, I can hopefully avoid blogging slumps.
  3. Drink more water than I am already!
  4. Interact more on my Twitter account: It is just sitting there, ready to be used!
  5. Learn more with graphics and try to incorporate them more into posts: I have been experimenting with this more, and I really like where it is going.
  6. WATCH DISNEY MOVIES!!! I just really want to watch some of my old favorites this year!
  7. Read books that I already have in my possession. 
  8. Participate in more blog events, like read-a-thons. I am participating in bout of books, and I want more events like that!
  9. Remember to keep a positive attitude.
  10. Eat more fruits and vegetables, because they make you feel great!

So those are some of my resolutions! What about you?

 

 

The Sunday Post: The New Year

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The Sunday Post is a weekly feature run by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It gives bloggers a chance to recap the week, talk about news, and show what is in store for the coming week. For more information, visit her blog here.

It is officially  2016! I have recently had a lot of time on my hands, so I got a ton of posts out pretty much everyday last week! The links are below in case you missed one!

Yes I know, there were a boatload of end of the years! Trust me, I know, it was hard to schedule everything I wanted to do in! Unfortunately, this week I will not have the luxury of posting every day, but I definitely have some posts planned! Check them out….

  • Carry On Discussion (SPOILER EDITION)- I have so many things I need to gush/rant about that I wasn’t able to put in my review, so if you have read the book, this post is for you!
  • Bout of Books Update- Just a post updating my progress in the read-a-thon I am participating in this week.
  • A Tag that has yet to be determined 😉

As always, my brain may come up with some random post idea (which it normally does), and I’ll end up posting it as well.

OTHER NEWS

  • So I am in the process of making some new graphics, so (hopefully) by the next Sunday Post, this post’s layout will be completely different and have some pretty graphics!
  • I have also found a way that I like doing my reviews, so one by one I am going to be reformatting and updating my old reviews. This will take a while, but I am know I could use grammar checks on most of them anyway (considering quite a few were written before I knew how to spell check on here) (don’t blame me I was a newbie!)
  • Passenger comes out this week!! I am so excited to see how it turns out!

Bout of Books 15- Sign Up!

Bout of Books 15

I am finally participating in a read-a-thon! I have always wanted to do one of these, and bout of books was the first one I could find in 2016. I’m not sure how much I will get to read this week, but even if this challenge motivates me to read 2 to 3 books, I’ll be happy! This is my official sign-up page, and here is the blurb from the website explaining what Bout of Books is!

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 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

More than likely, I will just pick up a book as I go, but here is a my sort of tbr for this readathon. I would definitely like to read these books, but if for some reason I’m in the mood for another book (that I already own), I’m fine with that too!

Tentative To Read List

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

 

 

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

 

 

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)

 

 

5th Wave by Rick Yancey

 

 

 

Before I Fall

 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

 

 

 

I already have 1 book read in 2016, so if I read 2-3 this week, I will have a great start on my good reads goal!

*EDIT: I realized that Passenger comes out during this week, so there is a large possibility that I will read that before any of these XD

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Book Review

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Before I get into the specifics, let me just say that  this wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. I went into this book with pretty high expectations due to the hype surrounding the novel. I had heard from countless people stating that even if you didn’t like the Simon and Baz shorts in Fangirl, that this was completely different. As someone who didn’t care for that aspect of Fangirl, my hope for this book was renewed, but I was unfortunately disappointed. Really, the saving grace of this book for me was the ending and climax.

First off, the pacing of this book drove me insane. It’s awkward in the beginning because we are thrown into the last year of Simon’s schooling, but with all things considered, I feel Rowell still did a good job of filling us in on everything we needed to know. Honestly, the first half of the book really dragged, and the few plot points that did occur were extremely predictable. That being said, once you get to the last 100 to 150 pages, SO many things happen, and while it’s a tad overwhelming, it is extremely exciting and intriguing.  As I mentioned before, this was definitely my favorite part and the saving grace of this book.

Then, we have the characters. I’m going to straight out say it- I don’t like Simon Snow. I thought that as the book went on I would grow to like him, but I was really more annoyed and frustrated with him, and could honestly care less about what happened to him. Not exactly good traits for a main character. Baz on the other hand was at least interesting, and we could see a layered character with several different emotions. Penelope was a carbon-copy of Hermione, so naturally I loved her and her boldness to pieces. Then there was Agatha, and I still don’t know why she has a pov, because she honestly contributes nothing to story at all. Now, the few and far apart Lucy chapters were very intriguing and it was probably one of my favorite story lines. So much information is revealed in these short chapters, and while reading them I had several realizations about the story.  While I may not have liked all of the characters, I do appreciate the fact that they all have distinct voices. This book changes point of view several times, even within the chapter, and you knew which character you were reading from without even looking at the name. That is something that other authors have not been able to accomplish, so props to Rainbow Rowell, because it is difficult.

This is one of the strangest fantasy books I have read, because it doesn’t feel like a fantasy! At most, it feels like a contemporary with magic thrown in. You don’t know much of anything about the World of Mages or how things works. Their spells are pop-culture references, which is honestly the most bizarre part of it all for me. Seriously, there are intense scenes where they are spelling nursery rhymes!? I love references in books, but in a fantasy it seems oddly placed. That being said, I still loved recognizing certain references, especially the spell “these are not the droids you are looking for.” XD Also the Insidious Humdrum was just a weird villain, but I can’t say much about him without spoiling.

So for me, Carry On definitely did not live up to what I was expecting. However, just because this book wasn’t for me, I won’t say it wasn’t a good. It just didn’t mesh with me very well, but at the same time, someone else could read it and love it! Another big thing for me is my general disliking for the enemy-to-lover trope, which is a big part of this book, so if that doesn’t bother you, Carry On is definitely a book I would recommend. This story is a different twist on fantasy, as well as a hint of satire, making the overall tone of the novel unique. Definitely give this book a try, and see what you think about this book.