Illuminae (Bk 1): Book Review

illuminae   This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Note*** Blurb was taken from Amazon.com

I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and I have to say that it took me a bit longer than I expected. It’s a pretty long read at 599 pages long. However, the format is very different from any novel I have ever known and this is what really sets this book apart from any other. The story is told in a series of dossiers, emails, interviews, and secret encrypted messages. This is by far the most unique read I’ve encountered since being introduced to Ellen Hopkins and her writing style in Crank many years back. This is my first science-fiction read and I really enjoyed it. My only complaint is that while the format is extraordinary, I found it challenging at times. The story made up for that and it was a minor setback to staying on track with the reading. This way of storytelling is innovative and eye-catching to say the very least. Illuminae has all the elements a young adult novel should have, young love, breakups, makeups, and heart-stopping twists in this dystopian setting. When I first laid eyes on this hardcover, I knew I had to have it. It’s so beautiful and when you take a look inside, you know you’re in for a real treat. This book is one of three and I give this first installment 4.5/5 stars. I will definitely be picking up the second book very soon! If you’ve read this book, please let me know what you think!

Happy reading!

xSteph

 

#supnerdsRC2017

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Book of the Month Subscription Box: Review

***Note: I posted this yesterday and it disappeared! Poof! Gone! I really wanted to share how great this review on the sub box so here we go! 🙂 

 

It’s been a while readers! School has been crazy! It’s totally consuming. All worth it though 😉

So, I’m coming to you today with a subscription box I joined in January. If you have been following my blog, you know that I am an avid reader and jump at any chance to have another book added to my library, digital or hard copy. I decided to give the Book of the Month Club sub box a shot because there is not commitment and I rather enjoy receiving a book in the mail each month. Especially a hardcover! I have not read these books yet because I want to make a nice dent in my reading challenge,

BOTM selection

How does it work?

You choose one book from a selection of five, carefully put together by a set of judges. If you do not make a choice then a book will be chosen for you. When you sign up you select the genres you enjoy reading so no worries on getting a novel you won’t enjoy! If you don’t see a book you have to have then you simply skip the month. Pretty sweet, right?

How much does it cost?

When you join for the first time, we offer 3 standard enrollment offers:

  • 1-month for $5.00, then $14.99 per month
  • 3-months for $9.99 per month, then $14.99 per month
  • 12-months for $11.99 per month

All membership plans automatically renew, but you can cancel anytime.  

If you were previously a member, and are looking to rejoin BOTM, we offer 3 re-enrollment plans.

  • 3-months for $14.99 per month
  • 6-months for $13.99 per month
  • 12-months for $11.99 per month

For both new members and former members, special offers, different from those listed above, are occasionally made available through email and our partners, like magazines, blogs, and instagramers.

Note*** Payment information taken from https://www.bookofthemonth.com/contact-us

I love this deal and you get the chance of receiving hardcover novels before they hit the shelves! Along with the book, you receive a written review from one of the judges on a BOTM bookmark! I love this extra touch!

Below I will share the books I received along with a synopsis of each. 😉

January 2017

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When I signed up, there was a special offer going on where new members received Gillian Flynn’s book, The Grownup. I also received a BOTMC tote bag because I signed up for the 3-month membership. This sold me immediately on that membership because hey, we need another tote for all of the new books we’ll be lugging around! 😉

 

Lucky You by Erika Carter

An official Book of the Month Club selection.

In Erika Carter’s fierce and darkly funny debut novel, Lucky You, three women in their early twenties find themselves aimlessly adrift in the Arkansas college town they’ve stuck around in too long. Ellie, Chloe, and Rachel are friends (sort of), waitresses at the same dive bar. Each is becoming unmoored in her own way: Ellie obliterates all feeling with alcohol and self-destructive acts of sexual promiscuity; Chloe pulls out patches of her hair and struggles to keep incipient mental illness at bay; changeable Rachel has fallen under the sway of a messianic boyfriend with whom she’s agreed to live off-grid for a year in order to return to “health”, and she asks Ellie and Chloe to join them in “The Project.” In a remote, rural house in the Ozarks, nearly undone by boredom and the brewing tension between them, each tries to solve the conundrum of being alive.
By turns funny, knowing and hauntingly sad, Lucky You is a study in damage and detachment, a fearless portrait of three women at a crucial point in their lives. With startling exactitude and wickedly deadpan humor, it lays bare the emotional core of its characters with surgical precision. The writing is deft and controlled, as natural and unforced as breath–which makes it impossible to look away.
Synopsis was taken from Amazon.com
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

“The Grownup,” which originally appeared as “What Do You Do?” in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology, proves once again that Gillian Flynn is one of the world’s most original and skilled voices in fiction.

Synopsis was taken from Amazon.com
February 2017
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I’ll let you have a moment while you coo over the cover. Yes, cooing over a book is a thing!
As soon as I saw this gorgeous cover among the selections, I knew I had to have it! I was so pleased that the story sounded as powerful as this cover reflected!
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
National Bestseller

A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of A Fine Balance and Cutting for Stone.

Profoundly moving and gracefully told, PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life.

So begins a sweeping saga of exceptional people in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history. In Japan, Sunja’s family members endure harsh discrimination, catastrophes, and poverty, yet they also encounter great joy as they pursue their passions and rise to meet the challenges this new home presents. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, they are bound together by deep roots as their family faces enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

Synopsis was taken from Amazon.com
March 2017
51n+GHTDlNL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ I haven’t received my March box yet so I have included a photo from Amazon. This novel will be released April 4, 2017.
Marlena by Julie Buntin

An electric debut novel about love, addiction, and loss; the story of two girls and the feral year that will cost one her life, and define the other’s for decades

Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat, inexperienced and desperate for connection, is quickly lured into Marlena’s orbit by little more than an arched eyebrow and a shake of white-blond hair. As the two girls turn the untamed landscape of their desolate small town into a kind of playground, Cat catalogues a litany of firsts―first drink, first cigarette, first kiss―while Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try to forgive herself and move on, even as the memory of Marlena keeps her tangled in the past.

Alive with an urgent, unshakable tenderness, Julie Buntin’s Marlena is an unforgettable look at the people who shape us beyond reason and the ways it might be possible to pull oneself back from the brink.

Synopsis was taken from Amazon.com

 

I will definitely continue my membership with the Book of the Month Club! I love the selections thus far! If you want to give this sub box a try, click on the link below!

https://www.mybotm.com/835s7cfrc3ow29

 

Happy Reading!!

x Steph

 

 

2017 Reading Challenge

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I am so excited to share this post with you all! I didn’t read as much as I would have liked to last year. However, I’m ready to stay motivated with a challenge my best friend and fellow blogger over at  SupNerd, created and shared with me. The more I got into the list, the more excited I became. Below I am sharing with you the categories and books I have chosen. I will be sharing my reviews on each book as I finish them.

Please feel free to join in and add the hashtag, #supnerdsRC2017, so we can check out what books you’ve chosen!

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A Book You Haven’t Read Since High School

Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree

flyy-girl  Tracy Ellison, a young knockout with tall hair and attitude, is living life as fast as she can. Motivated by the material world, she and her friends love and leave the young men who will do anything to get next to them. It’s only when the world of gratuitous sex threatens heartbreak that Tracy begins to examine her life, her goals, and her sexuality.

A Book of Poetry

Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda.jpg   Drawn from the most intimate and personal associations, Pablo Neruda’s most beloved collection of poetry juxtaposes the exuberance of youthful passion with the desolation of grief, the sensuality of the body with the metaphorical nuances of nature. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W. S. Merwin’s masterly translation faces the original Spanish text. This edition also features an insightful Introduction by Cristina Garcia. More than eighty years after its publication, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair stands as an essential collection that continues to inspire lovers and poets around the world.

A Book with A One Word Title

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

speechless

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.

A Memoir

(I chose two for this category)

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When breath becomes air.jpgAt the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air, which features a Foreword by Dr. Abraham Verghese and an Epilogue by Kalanithi’s wife, Lucy, chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

Elena Vanishing by Elena Dunkle and Clare B. Dunkle

elena-vanishingSeventeen-year-old Elena is vanishing. Every day means renewed determination, so every day means fewer calories. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety becomes artillery against herself as she battles on both sides of a lose-lose war in a struggle with anorexia. Told entirely from Elena’s perspective over a five-year period and co-written with her mother, award-winning author Clare B. Dunkle, Elena’s memoir is a fascinating and intimate look at a deadly disease, and a must read for anyone who knows someone suffering from an eating disorder.

A Book You Can Finish In A Day

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay.jpg   

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

A Book From The Year You Were Born

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

howls-moving-castle   Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

A Science Fiction Novel

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae.jpgThis morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

A Popular Authors First Book

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club.jpgIn 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. With wit and wisdom, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between these four women and their American-born daughters. As each reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined… New York Times Book Review: “Beautifully written… A jewel of a book.” Los Angeles Times: “Powerful… full of magic… You won’t be doing anything of importance until you have finished.” San Francisco Chronicle: “Wonderful… a significant lesson in what storytelling has to do with memory and inheritance.”

A Book Set During Christmas

What Light by Jay Asher

what-light   Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that’s moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.

A Graphic Novel

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Through The Woods.jpg  ‘It came from the woods. Most strange things do.’

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there…

A Book A Friend Recommended

The House of The Spirits by Isabel Allende

The House Of The Spirits.jpgIn one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies.

Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.

The House of the Spirits is an enthralling saga that spans decades and lives, twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate.

A Book Where The Protagonist Has Your Occupation

Heart of the Matter by Emily Griffin

Heart of the Matter.jpgTessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her own mother’s warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie—a boy who has never known his father. After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance—and even to some degree, friendships—believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children.  But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.

In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

A Satirical or Funny Book

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride .jpg    As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini – the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik – the gentle giant; Inigo – the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen – the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

“Buttercup’s Baby” is at the end of this edition.

A Book Based On A True Story

Spilled Milk by K.L. Randis

spilled-milkBrooke Nolan is a battered child who makes an anonymous phone call about the escalating brutality in her home.

When social services jeopardize her safety condemning her to keep her father’s secret, it’s a glass of spilled milk at the dinner table that forces her to speak about the cruelty she’s been hiding. In her pursuit for safety and justice Brooke battles a broken system that pushes to keep her father in the home.

When jury members and a love interest congregate to inspire her to fight, she risks losing the support of family and comes to the realization that some people simply do not want to be saved.

Spilled Milk is a novel of shocking narrative, triumph and resiliency.

A Book Under 150 Pages

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness.jpegDark allegory describes Marlow’s journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad’s finest, most enigmatic story.

A Book Based On The Cover

Born of  Illusion by Teri Brown

Born of Illusion.jpgA gifted illusionist, Anna assists her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums, and mentalists in 1920’s New York. As the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini—or so Marguerite claims—sleight of hand illusions have never been a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her own gifts secret from her opportunistic mother. Because while Marguerite’s own powers may be a sham, Anna possesses a true ability to sense people’s feelings and foretell the future.

But as Anna’s powers intensify, she begins to experience frightening visions of her mother in peril, which leads her to explore the powers she’s tried so long to hide. And when a mysterious young man named Cole moves into the flat downstairs, introducing Anna to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, she is forced to confront her past and rethink everything she’s ever known. Is her mother truly in danger, or are Anna’s visions merely illusion? And could the great Houdini really be her father, or is it just another of Marguerite’s tricks?

From Teri Brown comes a world bursting with magic, with romance, and the temptations of Jazz Age New York—and the story of a girl about to become the mistress of her own destiny.

A New York Times Best Seller

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection.jpgFor thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

A Book At The Bottom Of Your Reading List

Love Bites (The Vampire Kisses Series BK 7) by Ellen Schreiber

love bites.jpgAs a mortal girl dating a vampire, Raven knows that love isn’t always easy.

And will Alexander ever make their love immortal?

Now that Alexander’s parents have returned to Romania, Raven and her dreamy vampire boyfriend are happy to resume their cryptic romance. But soon another visitor comes knocking: Sebastian, Alexander’s best friend, arrives for a stay at the mansion. At first Raven is wary, and then thrilled–this is the perfect chance to learn more about her darkly handsome boyfriend and his past! Sebastian could be her guide to the love habits of Alexander and his kind. But when Sebastian falls for a particular Dullsvillian, will another mortal beat Raven to the bite?

A Self-Improvement Book

No Excuses!: The Power of Self Discipline by Brian Tracey

no-excuses   You don’t need to have been born under a lucky star, or with incredible wealth, or with terrific contacts and connections, or even special skills…but what you do need to succeed in any of your life goals is self-discipline. Unfortunately, most people give in to the two worst enemies of success: they take the path of least resistance (in other words, they’re lazy) and/or they want immediate gratification: they don’t consider the long-term consequences of the actions they take today.No Excuses! shows you how you can achieve success in all three major areas of your life:

1. Your personal goals.
2. Your business and money goals.
3. Your overall happiness.

Each of the 21 chapters in this book shows you how to be more disciplined in one aspect of your life, with end-of-chapter exercises to help you apply the “no excuses” approach to your own life. With these guidelines, you can learn how to be more successful in everything you do—instead of wistfully envying others who you think are just “luckier” than you. A little self-discipline goes a long way…so stop making excuses and read this book!

A Previously or Currently Banned Book

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

to kill a mockingbird.jpg   The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

 And that concludes my reading list.! I’m nearly half way through my science fiction book and can’t wait to dive into the rest! 🙂

happy-reading-anime

Happy reading!!

x Steph

**Note: All blurbs taken from Goodreads.com**

Never Never BK 1: Book Review

 

 

never-never

“Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.

Complete strangers since this morning.

He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.”

I read this book in two sittings. It was a pretty quick read and REALLY confusing. But in a way that you absolutely had to find out where the missing puzzle pieces had vanished to. This is the first installment of three by Colleen Hoover. I admit that this book caught my eye with its neat cover. I have been known to dive into a novel because of a severe case of cover crush on numerous occasions. What I enjoyed about this book, without giving away any details, is that from the very first page you are walking with the main characters. You literally have no idea what has happened to them and are on a whirlwind of awkward positions in order to find out the truth and why they have zero memory of who they are.I give this book 3.4/5 stars. I felt that there were a few parts that dragged on but boy did Colleen Hoover give us the cliff hanger of a lifetime. I will definitely be picking up the next installment quite soon.

Until next time…

Happy reading! x Steph 🙂

 

**Note: Blurb taken from Goodreads.com**

Me Before You: Book Review

me_before_you Last night I managed to finish reading this book without drowning in my own tears. Yes, this is sure to bring on the water works. Unless you are made of complete stone, of course. Louisa Clark is absolutely lovable from the beginning with her eccentric style, wittiness, and loyal heart. Will Traynor builds a wall of bricks after an accident that lands him in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the chest down. This is not your every day love story. However, this will definitely open your eyes to the kind of love that is forgiving and completely understanding in ways unlike anything you’ve heard of before. I give this book a 5/5 stars.

There is also a film production of this novel starring two amazing actors, Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. They were both amazing choices for the roles of Lou and Will. I will say this though, if you want every ounce of detail to this amazing story, read the novel before watching the film. That is all. 🙂

 

“They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?”

*** Blurb taken from Amazon.com

Happy Reading! x

Book Haul!

book-haul

 

It’s been a while since I have allowed myself a book haul. As of late, I have been unsuccessfully withholding the urge to buy more books by getting one or two a month :).

Who can ignore the emails with the big SALE promos jumping from their mobile? I simply couldn’t. There’s nothing like getting what you want at a bargain. Especially books!!

Let’s get right into the haul! 😉

rooms

Rooms by Lauren Oliver is a horror novel. Something new for me. I can’t say I have read much horror so I was very excited when I stumbled upon this one.

Estranged patriarch Richard Walker has died, leaving behind a country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His alienated family – bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna – have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Alice and Sandra, two long-dead and restless ghosts, linger within the house’s claustrophobic walls, bound eternally to its physical structure. Jostling for space and memory, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself – in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a lightbulb.

The living and dead are haunted by painful truths that surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide – with cataclysmic results.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.

 

trial-by-fire

It has been a long time since I’ve read a book about witches so I am SUPER excited to jump into this one! 🙂

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem – one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

In Josephine Angelini’s Trial by Fire, what makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

 

pp-puffinchalk

 

pp-classics

Everyone knows the story of the boy who never grows up. I was absolutely dazzled by these two covers! I could not choose one, I had to have them both! On the left is the Puffin Chalk cover. On the right we have the Puffin Classics. I am so excited to read these to the kids!

One starry night, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland – the island where lost boys play, mermaids splash and fairies make mischief. But a villainous-looking gang of pirates lurk in the docks, led by the terrifying Captain James Hook. Magic and excitement are in the air, but if Captain Hook has his way, before long, someone will be walking the plank and swimming with the crocodiles…

 

Here we have another set of beautiful Puffin covers. On the left is the Puffin Classic and the right is a Puffin Chalk. I can’t get enough of these! They are simply gorgeous!

Let’s begin with Anne of Green Gables. I’ve never read this one but I can’t wait to get into this classic novel.

Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland is another classic I have never read but very excited to see how the book and movie production differ in the story telling.

When Alice follows the White Rabbit down a rabbit hole, she finds herself in an enchanted world, filled with creatures like the Mad Hatter, the disappearing Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts. Alice quickly finds out that nothing is as it seems in the wild world of Wonderland…

I purchased all of these books from bookoutlet.com. If you are due for a new read or perhaps a nice haul at ridiculously low prices, I suggest you head over to the site right now!! 🙂

 

Happy reading friends! 😉

-Steph

**Note: All blurbs were taken from the book outlet website**

The Rose and the Dagger

I am exploding with excitement right now! Tomorrow, April 26th, is the release of The Rose and the Dagger!! This is the second installment of The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. You can read my review on the first book here.

Okay, shall we get to business? 🙂

the-rose-and-the-dagger

 

How beautiful is this cover?! I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book as I sighed heavily reading the last line of The Wrath and the Dawn. The world in which Shahrzad and Khalid live in is filled with danger, love, mystery, and magic. The story is simply riveting and keeps you engaged with every turn of the page. It was only natural that I pre-ordered this baby as soon as it was up. 🙂 I can not wait to dive right in where the story left off and I hear there may be a magic carpet ride or two in this one :). Below is a blurb I have taken from amazon. If you haven’t read the first book, go get your copy NOW and immediately get your hands on a copy of the rose as well. Trust me when I tell you that as soon as you finish the wrath, you will definitely want this sitting by your side. 🙂

“In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.”

Happy reading my friends!

xo