Monday, November 30, 2015

Lunar Chronicles Book Tag




I know, I know! I do normally post reviews on Mondays! But this week I'm reviewing Winter and I need a few more days to wrap my brain around everything that happened, so look out for that later this week! Instead, I thought I'd get ready for my Winter review by doing the Lunar Chronicles book tag, which is hosted by The Book Addict's Guide.


CINDER | The cyborg
a book that’s often misunderstood or under-appreciated


I first read Flowers in the Attic and absolutely loved it!! I was so caught up in the secrecy and forbidden romance of the entire series! Unfortunately, a lot of people can't get past some of the more taboo aspects.


KAI | The prince
a book about royals/royalty


The Selection is the obvious choice! I was skeptical when I finally picked up this book, but I ended up loving the original trilogy! 


ADRI | The evil stepmother
a book with a horrible/cringe-worthy parent


Marcus Eaton is one of the most cringeworthy parents in the history of books, in my opinion. I cringed so hard when I realized what a piece of scum he really was. 


IKO | The spunky sidekick
a book with your favorite happy-go-lucky character


Bethany from Bound By Duty was a truly great character who relieved the tension of this book and was also an incredible best friend to the main character, Amelia. 


SCARLET | The rescuer
a book with a character on a mission


An Ember in the Ashes is one of the most incredible books basically ever! Laia is on a super important and super dangerous mission and is one of the most badass and real characters I've read about in a long time. 


WOLF | The fighter
a book with a brutal fight (with words or fists)


A brutal fight? While any book in The Hunger Games trilogy could probably fit this category, I think Mockingjay definitely takes the cake. 


LEVANA | The villain
a book with the absolute worst villain


The evil queen in A Court of Thorns and Roses was definitely one of THE most worst villains I recall reading about. She made me cringe and want to actually kill her. 


THORNE | The rascal
a book with the biggest schmoozer


So, he might have a little bit of an  unfair disadvantage, but I'm going with River from The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. He definitely knows how to talk his way into and out of basically anything. 


CRESS | The hacker
a book about technology, or sci-fi


Sci-fi is not one of my go-to genres, but oh my god I just fell in LOVE with These Broken Stars!! I am waiting patiently to get the third book tomorrow!


ERLAND | The doctor
a book with an illness or revolving around medical issues


I'm not a huge fan of contemporary fiction... That being said, Everything, Everything, an amazing story about a girl who's allergic to pretty much everything, completely blew me away!! 


WINTER | The unsound mind
a book with the craziest character you’ve ever read


As with the original Phantom of the Opera, there were many times in Of Metal and Wishes that I wondered if Bo was completely insane!! 


JACIN | The soldier
a book with a military theme


Illuminae is packed full of people being forced into military service against their will, as well as military battles. It's also one of the most awesome new books of 2015!





I tag:

Anyone who loves The Lunar Chronicles!

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Weekly Recap: 11/22 - 11/28


My Super Exciting Life 

What an absolutely crazy week this has been! Obviously, holidays are always hectic, but this one has been even more insane than normal. This Thanksgiving, since we have just moved away from the rest of the family, we decided to go to spend the holiday at Disney's Hollywood Studios! We had dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby and saw the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! We also saw Fantasmic, one of our favorite shows at Disney World. I'll share a teaser video from Instagram, but I'm considering making a post in the next few weeks about Christmas at Disney!

video

Friday was obviously the day of crazy people shopping. However, I decided not to get up with the rest of the crazies. Instead, I went to Barnes & Noble bright and early on Friday morning for the signed books! I managed to get a copy of The Sword of Summer just in time! They sold out in about two minutes flat. I also got a signed copy of ACOTAR, although I already had a copy. I haven't quite decided what to do with that one yet... Lastly, I got a signed copy of Pewdiepie's book, This Book Loves You.

On Saturday, we had a more practical goal: haircuts. But where to get a haircut in Orlando? Um... where else? The Magic Kingdom! We went over to the Magic Kingdom and got on the wait list for Harmony Barber Shop on Mainstreet USA. It was honestly the most magical and least expensive haircut of my life. I even got sprinkled with pixie dust afterward!



New Books

Purchased:



Purchased (signed copies): 

    



In Case You Missed It

Monday book review of Black Ice
The topic was fairytales I'm thankful for this Top Ten Tuesday
I featured Their Fractured Light for Waiting on Wednesday
 On Thursday I discussed issues with Mockingjay Part 2
On Saturday I posted the sign ups for the 2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge



This Week I Read & Upcoming Review



I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
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Saturday, November 28, 2015

2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge



Welcome back to the new and improved Dystopia Reading Challenge! Last year I picked up the challenge in the middle of the year with not much of a clue what I was doing. This year I am much more prepared, I assure you! I have an amazing new co-host, Claudia from My Soul Called Life, and I am super excited to see what the new year has to offer!


You will find that a few things have changed (for the better) including:

✷ New Badges – These individual badges will be emailed personally to each participant once said participant has read and reviewed the highest number of books required for that specific level (see below). For example, in order to obtain the Recruit badge, you will need to have read and reviewed a total of 5 dystopian books. To receive the Rebel badge, you will need to have read and reviewed a total of 10 dystopian books; so on, and so on. You set your own personal goal and you decided how you want to display your badge (i.e. sidebar, reading challenge page, a blog post, etc.).

Quarterly Giveaways – We will be hosting quarterly Giveaways! These Giveaways will be exclusive to all the Dystopia Reading Challenge participants. Further details will be provided in our Monthly Dystopia Newsletter

Monthly Dystopia Prompts & Review Link-ups – Claudia and I truly love book blogging and bibliophiles, in general, and so we figured, what better way to share our love for all things dystopia then to participate in monthly dystopian prompts with all you lovely bookworms! That’s right! Each month we will include a dystopian prompt in our Monthly Dystopia Newsletter where you will be invited to participate! Please note that there are no obligations in this part of the challenge is ― it's completely optional. We strongly believe that reading challenges are meant to be fun and to help create a community that exchanges similar interests – like books, and in this case, repressive governments & revolutionists!

Monthly Dystopia Newsletter – We will be emailing a monthly newsletter to every participant with exclusive content on our Giveaways, monthly dystopian prompts, upcoming dystopian book releases, book-turned-movie releases, challenge updates and so much more!



Challenge Guidelines
  • This challenge will run from January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016.
  • You can join at anytime before October 15, 2016.
  • Books must be read and reviewed in 2016.
  • Audiobooks, re-reads, short stories, and crossovers are fine.
  • You don't have to be a book blogger to participate! You can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Booklikes, etc.
  • Sign up on the designated Linky below with your post, shelf, etc. and leave a comment letting us know what your personal goal is. 
  • Link up your reviews each month via the provided Linky!


Challenge Levels




Read and review 1-5 dystopian books to receive the Recruit badge.



Read and review 6-10 dystopian books to receive the Rebel badge.




Read and review 11-15 dystopian books to receive the Revolutionist badge.




Read and review 16+ dystopian books to receive the Leader badge.

(My personal challenge goal will be Leader - Track my progress HERE)



Challenge Update Schedule


Monthly Link-ups


Lists to Get You Started


How to Sign Up
  • Enter your information in the Linky tool below as follows: Your name @ Your blog name (i.e. Tracy @ Cornerfolds).
  • If you are a blogger, grab the button below, create a blog post or page letting us know you are participating in this challenge and what your personal goal is ― be sure to link back to this post!
  • If you are not a blogger, you can use Goodreads (or any other book tracking site) and create a shelf for the challenge and link to that
  • Lastly, Tweet about the reading challenge!



Grab the button for your post!


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Join the Challenge



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Thursday, November 26, 2015

On the issues: Mockingjay Part 2


Warning!! This post will contain spoilers for Mockingjay Part 2, so don't read if you haven't seen the movie 
(and/or haven't read the books) and don't want to spoil it for yourself!


Now that that's out of the way, I want to talk about Mockingjay Part 2. Let me preface all of this by saying that I read the book back when it came out. I have a selective memory that usually does not select to remember things I've read in the past (hence, the blog - to remember), so I basically went into this movie with only a very basic idea of what was going to happen.

Part one of Mockingjay had its own issues. Mostly, it was painfully slow. Still, I can get into a slow movie as long as it's interesting. Case in point, The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, although I know several people who fell asleep because there isn't much action. So I honestly enjoyed Mockingjay Part 1.

But there has been a lot of complaining about the final installment of the Hunger Games series. I have seen the same few issues brought up over and over (and over and over) over the last few days and I want to weigh in with my two cents.



1) It needed an R rating. 

This is one that I totally agree with, to be honest. The book, from what I recall, is a bloody one. I know that several scenes had to be cut from the final edit of the film because they did not fit within a PG-13 MPAA rating. I realize that the safer rating was maintained in order to ensure a younger audience, which the films are geared toward, would be able to get into the theater without their parents, but I definitely think that an R rating would have been much truer to the book and its content.


2) Parts 1 & 2 should've been one movie.

Again, I kind of agree. Despite enjoying both these films overall, I do think that whoever decided to split the final book (which was arguably the worst in the trilogy) into two parts did it as an obvious cash grab. If I'm not mistaken, it all began with Harry Potter, but that's because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was a MASSIVE book! There was just no way to cram everything into one film. Meanwhile, Mockingjay was less than half the size of Deathly Hallows and could easily have been one movie. Luckily, I've seen a lot of talk about a fan edit, which will cut out all of the fluff.


3) Prim's death is too fast. 

And here's where my controversial nature is going to shine through. I think that, while the quickness which with Prim is there and gone may not allow moviegoers time to process what has happened, that is the way things often happen in war. Despite the film's too-safe rating, I feel like this particular part conveyed war in a more realistic manner. War isn't pretty and it doesn't allow for time to process things. While I never saw actual battle in Afghanistan, I did experience many mortar attacks right outside my bedroom, and trust me when I say bombs don't care about the time you need to process events.


4) Katniss should've ended up with Gale. 

Again, I can't agree. While Gale may not have intentionally been responsible for the death of Prim, he did indirectly cause it. Whether or not Katniss' rational mind could acknowledge that Gale didn't set off the bomb himself, I can totally understand why she could not get over the fact that her sister might still be alive without his involvement. That being said, I don't necessarily think that Katniss should've ended up with Peeta either. I don't quite see why it had to be one or the other. I'm Team Neither.


5) Why did Katniss settle down and have kids?

Hopefully I don't ruffle any feathers with this but... I was surprised and confused by this too. Sure, I can understand that Katniss might have wanted a break after leading a successful revolution, but the ending seems to completely contradict everything we've learned about her up until that point. Most women do eventually settle down and have kids, but not all of them do. Not that there's any problem with settling down and having babies. It's just not what I expected and I was a little surprised that Collins chose to end the story that way.



As I've said, I did enjoy all four movies in this series, although I have my favorites. I'll end up buying Part 2 as soon as it comes out on blu-ray, I'm sure! I'm curious to hear your opinions on Mockingjay Part 2. Do you agree with the common complaints regarding the film? Or do you love it just the way it is?

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #77: Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


Happy Wednesday, fellow book lovers! This week's "can't wait to read" is:


Their Fractured Light
by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.
Okay, so I actually shared this one waaaaaay back in May, but now it's super close to being released and OMG THAT COVER!!! So, I'm cheating and bringing this back for WoW part 2! This is one that I will probably sit outside waiting to meet the mail man for...


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #71: fairytales & retellings I'm thankful for


Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Fairytales & Retellings
 I'm Most Thankful For


As you probably know if you hang out around my blog (like, ever), I am totally obsessed with fairytale (and other great story) retellings! Obviously, without the originals, there could be no retellings and my life would just be a lot sadder in general. These are the ten fairytales and their subsequent retellings that I'm most thankful for!


  

Retold as Splintered by A.G. Howard


  

Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont 
Retold as A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


  

Cinderella (Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones) by Giambattista Basile
Retold as Cinder by Marissa Meyer


  

Little Red Riding Hood (The Tales of Mother Goose) by Charles Perrault
Retold as Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge


  

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Retold as Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
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Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick


Title: Black Ice
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 392

Add to Goodreads

Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

I will readily admit that I'm not a regular reader of contemporary fiction - it just isn't my genre. That being said, I completely adore survival stories, regardless of the setting. Black Ice promised to be a riveting survival story set in the mountains during a snowstorm with some romance thrown in for good measure (okay, it promises a lot of romance). I had high hopes for this one. I've rarely met a survival story I haven't loved!

Britt and Korbie are best friends (apparently) and Britt has recently had her heart broken by Calvin, Korbie's brother. Normal enough so far, right? Well, that's where the normalcy kind of ends. Calvin dumped Britt via text EIGHT months ago, but she isn't over him even a little bit. While all of their friends are going off to Hawaii for Spring Break, Britt decides to drag her BFF on a 40 mile hiking trip in the off chance they'll run into her ex. Because that's a normal thing that people do.

As you can see from the blurb, she never quite makes it, instead finding herself stranded. That's where the REALLY stupid part begins. These girls are utterly clueless about life in general. Britt goes on and on and on throughout the book about how she has depended on the men around her to save her for her entire life, and I didn't doubt her for a second. When they're snowed into their car, they decide to leave it. They leave the car. The car with a heater and blankets and supplies and food. They.Leave.The.Car. And it gets better! They stomp around in a blizzard until they find a couple strange men and just hop on into their cabin. Because that's a normal thing people do.

Totally surprisingly, they're taken hostage. Korbie runs her mouth a lot and almost gets herself killed because she's a genius and thinks the entire world revolves around her. Thankfully, Korbie isn't a huge part of the story and instead we get to focus on the romance. Oh, joy. I'm going to be honest, the romance made me a little uncomfortable. It's total Stockholm Syndrome (but maybe not because he was nice that one time). Britt does her darndest to convince herself that it isn't, but it is. And it's annoying to watch her bounce back and forth between Calvin and Mason through the entire book.

The story itself is... interesting. There were some really good thrilling moments where I truly had to hold my breath. The setting is pretty great. I actually felt cold at times and had to bring myself back to the present! There was even a pretty good twist near the end that I kind of but not really saw coming. But ultimately the big reveal and all the convenient explanations fell flat for me. I didn't sympathize with Britt at all. She was helpless and stupid and constantly made excuses for everyone. I didn't think Mason was all that intelligent, despite being hit over the head with what a genius he was on every other page.

Black Ice was just not what I'd hoped for at all. I've read some really amazing YA and NA survival stories that included romance and this one just didn't work. Sometimes Stockholm Syndrome works (hey, I love Beauty and the Beast!) but in this case it was just uncomfortable. I hated almost every single character, with the exception of Mason, who I only mildly disliked. Still, it did have a few good moments and some pretty amazing world building to have been set in the middle of the woods. All in all I don't think I could recommend it unless you love totally unrealistic and cheesy Stockholm Syndrome romance novels.

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Weekly Recap: 11/15 - 11/21


My Super Exciting Life 

This week was the first full week at my new (at home) job! It was actually very successful and I'm honestly really excited about it working out! In addition, I spent some time at Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and I also hung out at the Magic Kingdom! I am most definitely enjoying my time here in Florida so far...

As far as bookish things are concerned, it was quite a slow week. For whatever reason, I thought starting two 800 page books this week was a fantastic idea. I'm currently stuck in the middle of both of them! The only new purchase I made this week was a coloring book, so I'm not quite sure what that says about me... But there is good news! Sign ups for both the Dystopia and Horror reading challenges will be posted late next week! And both are new and improved with incredible co-hosts! :D



New Books

Purchased: 




In Case You Missed It

Monday audiobook review of Rogue
The topic was great quotes for Top Ten Tuesday
I featured Reign of Shadows for Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday TV series review of Outlander Season 1
On Friday I participated in the Harry Potter book tag



This Week I Read

I finished exactly 0 books this week.


Upcoming Review



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Friday, November 20, 2015

Harry Potter Book Tag



1. An upcoming release you wish you could get your hands on right now.


I am literally dying right now. I thought this one was being released in April (as that was when book one came out and, until recently, when Goodreads said this one would be published), so when I realized it wouldn't come out until August... It's a cruel, cruel world. 


2. Favorite series starter.

Review
It's really a tossup between this one and An Ember in the Ashes, but since that series already got some love, ACOTAR it is. Few books made me feel like this one. I cannot WAIT to get my hands on A Court of Mist and Fury, but in the meantime I'm catching up on the Throne of Glass series.


3. A book that gave you all the warm fuzzies. 

Review
Truthfully, I don't usually get the warm fuzzies from books (I'm cold-hearted), but this series was just so adorable I could hardly stand it. At least until The Heir...


4. A book that made you ugly cry. 


Remember that one time when I said I was cold-hearted? Well... I've actually never cried over a book. This one came really close to making me cry, though (for obvious reasons, I'm guessing). 


5. Bookish hero or heroine you want around to protect you in real life.


Acheron is basically the biggest, baddest, most powerful hero in the book world. I think I would definitely want to have him around in any kind of pinch. 


6. A book you intentionally spoiled for yourself.


Okay, so I never, ever spoil books (or movies or shows) for myself intentionally. That being said, I did watch the Harry Potter movies before reading the books, so I guess that's almost the same thing.


7. A book you wish you could make everyone read because you loved it so much.

Review
I tried, but I can't help it. This book is just too good to only get mentioned once. I already forced my dad to read it and now I'm working on my brother. It's just amazing and I feel like it has something for everyone! 


8. A book or series you wish never ended. 

Review
Okay, so I know that series have to eventually come to and end, but just... WHY though?? Rosamund Hodge writes magic and torture and beauty and I love her books and I'm just so devastated that there won't be more books in the Cruel Beauty universe!


9. A book with an uplifting ending or message. 

Review
I've just realized that I don't read very many uplifting books... Oops. This one had a lot of ups and downs, but is a beautiful, amazing book with an uplifting (very) ending. Close enough!


10. A book you wish you could forget you ever read. 

Review
This book made me rant SO much! It was stupid and ridiculous and it pissed me off. I could not stand the way the gods were handled and the slut shaming was just the cherry on top. Suffice it to say I didn't pick up book two. 


11. An author whose books always get you out of a slump.

Review
Anytime I find myself in a reading slump, I return to my Harry Potter re-read. Even if I only read a few chapters, these books always bring me out of it!


12. A swoon-worthy hero or heroine. 

Review
Can we please just take a minute to admire Morpheus and how gorgeous and swoon-worthy he is? Every word out of his mouth makes me melt. I can't wait for Untamed so I can get another Morpheus fix!


13. A book that caused you to stop doing all other things until you finished it.

Review
Her Dark Curiosity was actually the second book in the Madman's Daughter series, but it was my favorite in the series!! I stayed up all night finishing this one! This is definitely one of my favorite series.


14. A book that was painful to read (for whatever reason) or broke you.

Review
If you've read this book, you know about that moment. That one moment that completely ripped my heart out and stomped on it. I've mostly recovered.


15. A book that had you laughing out loud.

Review
As it turns out, I don't read many funny books either. But Crown of Midnight had me laughing out loud and wondering what the heck was happening when a doorknob started talking.


16. A book that made you want to send it (or your eReader) flying.

Review
This book made me angry for a lot of reasons. I really wanted to slam my Kindle into a wall while reading about the relationship between Abby and Travis. Unpopular opinion, I know. 


17. Bookish world you wish you could visit.

Review
I could answer this one with about a hundred different options, but I'm trying to spread my answers out instead of favoring just a few (amazing) books. I think I could most certainly settle for Neverland with Captain Hook...


18. A book with a shocking twist or ending.

Review
Crimson Bound was so twisty and ohmygod I loved it so much! I want to read so many more books in this series because my heart literally cannot keep up with it! Unfortunately... see #8.


19. A character death that destroyed you.

Review
I am actually saying nothing about this one. You're welcome.


20. Best series conclusion.

Review
All of my yes to this book! I loved Mara Dyer so much from start to end. It completely blew me away and the ending is no different. Ugh, I need to re-read this one ASAP!



I tag:


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