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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.

 

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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.

 

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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?

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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!

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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.

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January Book Haul

January Book Haul

In the month of January, I actually required a couple of books. This is abnormal for me, because I will rarely get so many physical book copies in a month, as I buy books on my kindle as well. However, since this month was my  birthday month and I have a much bigger shelf, I got more physical books. I will give you more information about each book below, and it will be from left to right.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
All Violet wants is to graduate and move away from her small town. Theodore just wants to die. As Goodreads describes it, All the Bright places is a perfect mix of two bestsellers The Fault in our Stars and Eleanor & Park.

When I first read about this book when writing my January Releases Post, I was intrigued by it. I feel like I will either really love it or it’ll be a complete flop. We’ll see!


I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Cody thought she knew everything about her best friend Meg. However, after Meg commits suicide in a hotel room, Cody is left to find the answers. Everything she thought she knew about her is gone and she discovers many things her ‘best friend’ never told her about.

Of course I picked this book up, it’s from Gayle Forman!


Fairest by Marissa Meyer

This is a bridge story between Cress and Winter by Marissa Meyer. So far, all we know about Queen Levana is how she uses her ‘glamour’ to gain power over people. That is, until now. Meyer has finally written the story of Queen Levana and it is definitely a must-read for fans of the series.

I am absolutely obsessed with the Lunar Chronicles, and this makes me even more excited for Winter!


Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson 

Before Sloane came into her life, Emily didn’t do anything. She wasn’t the one for partying and adventures. Just when she was preparing for a great summer, her best friend Sloane just disappears without a trace. The only thing she left was a list of crazy random things from picking apples at night to dancing until daybreak that Emily needed to complete that summer.

After I read the synopsis, this was another book I was intrigued with. It looks like a really fun summer contemporary, but i don’t know if I can wait that long to read it!


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Samantha was just done celebrating Cupid Day, a day for partying that guaranteed you to be popular, when she died in a terrible crash. However, she didn’t die. Well technically she did, but she relieves that day 7 times, noticing many different things.

I honestly haven’t heard anyone talk about this book. I knew it existed and knew the overall story, but I can’t remember if people liked it or not. Guess I’ll be the judge of that.


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

It’s Nick and Amy’s anniversary, when suddenly Amy goes missing. Nick isn’t helping himself out as he keeps on imaging her there. However, after reading into Amy’s diary, a whole new perspective is given. Everyone thinks that Nick killed her, but he still pleads innocent. But if it wasn’t him, who else could it be?

I’m kind of excited, yet kind of nervous for this one. I haven’t read any thrillers/mysteries in a while and I just hope this one is good!

Well those are the 6 books I got this month! I don’t expect to do this every month obviously, but I may start doing something like this after I buy a few books. Maybe something like every two months, and include kindle books? I’m not sure yet…

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2015 Most Anticipated Books (Jan-June) PART 1

I finally made up my list of the most anticipated books of 2015. Of course there are many great books that people are looking forward to that are coming out in 2015, so I narrowed it down to the 1st half of the year (January-June). However I found 16 total books, and I am breaking it into 4 posts. I am doing this so

JANUARY

Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall  (Jan 13)

This story takes place in a future dystopia, where there is a very powerful secret society called the Circle. This society believes that Avery is the key to an old prophecy and that she can fix everything. Avery must unravel the mystery by traveling all over with two boys in the Circle by finding clues. However after time, it is evident that these clues could possibly start World War 3. Not only that, but the boys hold some secrets of their own as well. Avery has a huge decision; chose the boy that will help her save the world, or choose the boy she is falling in love with?

Fairest by Marissa Meyer  (Jan 27)

This is a bridge story between Cress and Winter by Marissa Meyer. So far, all we know about Queen Levana is how she uses her ‘glamour’ to gain power over people. That is, until now. Meyer has finally written the story of Queen Levana and it is definitely a must-read for fans of the series. Not only that, but there is a 3 chapter Winter excerpt in the back, so that makes it even better.

I Was Here by Gayle Forman   (Jan 27)

Cody thought she knew everything about her best friend Meg. However, after Meg commits suicide in a hotel room, Cody is left to find the answers. Everything she thought she knew about her is gone and she discovers many things her ‘best friend’ never told her about. Like her room mates, Ben McAllister, and the secret computer file. This is a great book for fans of other Gayle Forman books.

 

FEBRUARY

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard  (Feb 10)

A very anticipated debut novel that is set in a world that is divided by blood. Literally. There are the silver-blooded people that have special powers and rule the world. Then there are the red-blooded, which is the majority, who spend their life serving the Silvers. However, everything is turned around when Mare, a seventeen year old Red, has powers that can overturn the whole system. I have a whole post that explains more about this highly anticipated book here.

Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead  (Feb 10)

This is the final book in Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series. Syndey and Adrian’s secret romance is discovered and now the Alchemists and the Moroi are mad. In this epic finale, someone they both care for is in danger, and Syndey risks everything to hunt down the enemy. While that is going on, Adrian is engrossed with a secret that could shake the Moroi world completely.

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga  (Feb 10)

Aysel is ready for it all to be over. The seventeen physics obsesses girl is constantly plotting her own death. She wants to get away from everyone, but isn’t sure if she can do it alone. That is until she find “Suicide Partners” a website where she finds Roman, a guy who wants to die like her. As they grow closer, Aysel isn’t sure is she still wants to go through with their suicide pact, but before she stops it, she has to convince Roman to stay with her.

 

MARCH

Mosquitoland by David Arnold  (Mar 3)

In this book described as an American Odyssey, Mim is taken from her home in Ohio and is forced to move with her dad and new step-mom in Mississippi. However, when she hears her mom is sick back home, she gets on a bus and heads straight back. She meets many different travelers along the way, and when some unexpected obstacles come in the way, Mim is forced to deal with her own problems.

We All Looked up by Tommy Wallach  (Mar 21)

As the asteroid is coming toward Earth, there are 4 high school seniors are putting everything on the line. Peter is the basketball star is worried, Eliza is ready to escape her reputation in Seattle, Anita (the perfect one) is wondering is the prestigious college is worth sacrificing her dreams, and Andy just doesn’t care. However, with the asteroid quickly coming toward them, they no longer have to worry about their future, but how they will spend their limited present.

 

 

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes  (Mar 24)

Max thought that faking permission slips and cover stories for his classmates would be great, especially since he didn’t like the truth much anyway. He and some friends start Liars, Inc. where they are paid to do many different things. When one member, Preston, wants to meet up with a girl he met online, Max didn’t think it would be a big deal. That is until Preston never came home. Now, all signs point to Max as the murderer. Will he be able to find the true killer before he is swept into jail?

 

Well there is the first nine books of the eighteen that are coming out between January to June. Of course, I can’t put ever anticipated book or my fingers would fall off, but if you know one coming out these next 6 months, please leave a comment down below!

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Reader Problems Tag

This is a tag created by About to Read on her youtube channel. Her video looked very fun, so I decided to answer the questions myself. Here is the link to her original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SfhSV-L3eo

1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

I would probably narrow it done first to a certain genre I want to read. After that would do some research on goodreads and see what other people are saying about the books. Then after all my researching, I would probably get frustrated and just pick up a random book and hope I like it.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

If I don’t like a book halfway through, I will more than likely continue reading because I am half done and I want to see what happens. However, if I am really not liking the book, I will definitely put it down.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

No, I would only try to catch up if I knew it was possible to reach the goal. If I was far away from my goal, I would continue reading as normal and see how many I read that year so I can readjust the next year.

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

I don’t. But if I really do love the series, I will look past the cover and just accept it.

5.  You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

This would never happen, but if it did, I would just stop reading it while I was in public.

6.  A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!?

It depends on how much I liked the first book. If I loved it, I would definitely re-read the book so I can catch all the small details that might be important. If I thought it was okay, I would read a synopsis on a website and then just read the sequel.

7. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

Say that you are in the process of rereading that series, say that you already promised it to someone else, it’s a book I borrowed for someone else. Really anything to protect my books.

8. Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?

Read something that I know I will love or go back and reread a favorite. If I read a book I love, I get back into reading gear and I want to read everything.

9. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

I will but my “absolutely must have most anticipated” books first and then go from there. After that I will reserve them from Library so I can get them one day.

10. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

It depends, because if I really want to read it I will. However, there are times I buy something and it just sits there forever until I’m bored one day and pick it up.

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

By now, you have probably seen this cover at least once…

Everywhere I have looked lately, Red Queen has popped up somehow. This is a new book from the debut author Victoria Aveyard, and it is on everyone’s TBR list. If you don’t know much about Red Queen, here is all the infromation I have gathered about the story.

– It is set in a place where there are two kinds of people; people with red blood and people with silver blood.

– The silver blooded people rule the kingdom. Since they have silver blood, they have these really cool and unique powers, and get to live a nice lifestyle.

– The red blood people essentially live to serve the silver blood people.

– The main character Mare has a really special power, but she is not a silver blood.

– The king obviously doesn’t want anyone to know about Mare, since she has the power to take down all the silver blooded people.

I am really excited to read this book, because I am very interested to see how the story pans out. This is the first book of the Red Queen Trilogy, and it will come out on February 10…..

 

However, if you really don’t want to wait, you could check out the first 7 chapters! EpicReads has posted the chapters and I know I definitely will be reading them soon. But beware, because you might not want to stop after the end of the 7th chapter and will have to wait another two weeks!

Click Here for the EpicReads Post!

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Rainbow Rowell New Book!

Some of you may have heard that Rainbow Rowell is writing a new story and it will be her first fantasy. She also revealed on her twitter account that the title of it would be Carry On. Now automatically, everyone who is a fan of Rowell’s book Fangirl knows what this is. Yep, that’s right! Rainbow Rowell is writing us Carry On, Simon about Simon Snow and his companion Baz.

For those of you who don’t know, the main character Cath in Fangirl writes fanfiction about her favorite series Simon Snow. In the book, Simon Snow is the equivalent of Harry Potter, even though Harry Potter exists too. Throughout the book, we see small clips from her hugely famous fanfiction about Simon and Baz.

Rowell said that after she wrote Fangirl, she was very interested in the characters and the story of Simon Snow. She said Carry On will not be a book about Cath or an author writing the story, but it will just be her take on it. This is a spinoff of Fangirl, but from what I have heard you don’t have to read one or another to understand it.

I’m excited for this even though I didn’t really care for the small clips throughout Fangirl. However, I think that was because I didn’t want to be drawn away from my favorite characters. I will definitely be giving this book a chance, and I am really looking forward to how Rainbow Rowell writes fantasy books.

Carry On will be out in October of 2015.