Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #18

Hosted by Pen to Paper
Since I received books for my birthday on Saturday, I'm definitely not lacking in reading material. However, ARCs always make me drool, so here's what I'm wishing for this week.

Title: Six Months Later

Author: Natalie Richards

Publication date: October 1, 2013

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her? 
And why can't she remember?

Why I want: 

The synopsis makes me so very intrigued! She sleeps in study hall and then wakes up months later, unable to remember her old life. However, now it feels like she's in a parallel universe. What happened? Why is everything "better" with a different future? What's up with her parents? Wouldn't someone realize that she's been asleep for six months? I'm thinking a kind of parallel universe/dream thing is happening like they do on TV shows. But I do think that it will have a somewhat darker tone.

What are you wishing for this week?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Warning: This will be a selfish pointless post. 

I had been trying to finish up any school by Friday since I was not going to do it on my birthday (if I even found time to do so) and with that, I had to push back blogging duties. So this post won't be a review or a giveaway, even though I considered such a thing. That was a horrible teaser, wasn't it? It's like my mom saying, "I was thinking about baking cookies [or another dessert] today and was going to, but...didn't." I decided to hold off until the blogoversary in October since I just had to fork out a chunk of my paycheck to my parents. 

This isn't a complaining post either, no worries. 

Basically, I'm writing to say that today marks my 17th birthday! Not 18 or 16, the monumental birthdays, but still a pretty big deal. Over the years, many things have changed, naturally. One of those is how I have viewed gifts and my view on this topic is the opposite of how I view books. 

In the past, I would give my mom a full one or two page list of birthday gift demands ideas. This year, I gave her a measly section and told her to go at it, not being able to think of anything worthwhile except for a few books. I love gifts though. 

You know...just saying ;) 
With books, I have gone from not caring about them to I NEED THEM IN MY LIFE. I loved them in the past, but it was a different, more shallow version than it is now. 

Of course, no matter how many times I think "eh, birthdays are no big deal," when it starts to be the week beforehand, I start to plan out a multiple day celebration in my honor. So some things really don't ever change. Hey, I get one time out of the year that is about me. I'm going to soak it up. 

My plans for the day? If you're reading this in the morning, I'm probably in IHOP with my friends, taking advantage of their free birthday meal coupon. If you're reading this in the afternoon, I'm probably napping or cramming in an exercise before the big meal. If you're reading this in the evening, I'm probably chowing down on my mom's delicious homemade meal of Mexican food and BANANA PUDDING, my favorite dessert of all-time. 

If you actually stuck through reading all that, thank you. Now go enjoy your Saturday!

Happy Birthday to all the July babies out there! We're pretty awesome. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Words/Topics That Makes Me Stay Away

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Finally, a Tuesday that I am able to participate in and actually be able to do! In April, it was words/topics that make me want to pick up a book. This week, it's the exact opposite. I initially thought this would be easy, but I have a premonition that it will be harder than I think. There is the fact that I like to give books a chance. Hopefully I don't come off as a book snob in a few moments.


I think this trend has finally seen its death, but if I do see it around, I won't be reading it. The usual premise of these "creatures" make me feel blah inside as a reader. That does NOT mean I hate on the readers who do read these type of books. I just personally won't read one. 

Male main characters 

I know. It's horrible, it really is. Most of the time, I won't read a book because it's narrated by a guy. However, I do love to read dual perspectives from both genders in a book, so that mollifies it by at least some, right? 

If I can't understand half of the synopsis

This usually is for fantasy books. I love fantasy and different worlds, but I don't like looking at a book's description with foreign words and every other word is capitalized and I have never seen that word before in my life. The whole synopsis feels riddled to me and if I can't understand the back cover, how in the world will I be able to keep up in the book? The exception? My sister might hand me a book and it's a bonus if she explains it to me in simple, already-read-it language.

Insta-Love/"Love at first sight"

If a book really is about the dreaded insta-love then they will probably use that second phrase. I hate when people are unrealistic and so I don't care for it when it's in my books too. On top of that, I think it's utterly stupid that someone thinks you can instantly love someone. It's called insta-attraction, people, and that's completely fine.


These are considered the dreaded verse books, for me at least. One, I can't understand them. Two, I hate poetry. Always have, always will, thanks to it being the only thing I was bad at in English. I see a great synopsis and I'm all excited says "written in verse." 


I DO like sweet kisses, scenes, gestures, relationships, etc. However, I would rather not be uncomfortable through the whole book. If they advertise "steamy" or a synonym of it, that usually means that's what's happening through the WHOLE book. No thank you. 

"Popular" "Homeschooled" Other bad stereotypes
When authors make demeaning stereotypes.
There a few exceptions to the rule of the first stereotype mentioned, but none for the homeschooled. We aren't uncivilized and usually when they mention that he/she is homeschooled, that means they are going to have to face some kind of social "difficulty" and be "introduced" to the world. As for the popular side, I'm getting sick of it. They use the same kind of characters as they do for the other stereotypes. I'll stay away mostly, thanks. 

"Bad boy" "Dangerous" etc. 
"Oh, you're a self-proclaimed bad boy?" 
I love bad boys, I really do. However, I have found that I like them when they are not already proclaimed as one in the synopsis. I want to be SHOWN. They're a bit cheesy otherwise.

"For fans of..."

When I see a book saying "for fans of..." or "if you're a fan of..." I think, this author doesn't have any imagination and they are basing their work off of somebody else's popular YA book. I think of all those  authors who suddenly became Twilight and Hunger Games-esque authors, straying from what they knew. Also, I don't like being told by someone in a far away city, who could very well be a robot, that because I like this Book A, I will like Book B. 

Love triangle

It's disappointing to see a love triangle already introduced on the back cover/front flap. I have found that means that is what the book is mainly centered around, no matter what other problems the main character is having. Love triangles might be growing stale, but I do like some, especially when done right. I do not like it when I see that's what a book is about. I want it to be introduced in the book and even better, if it is unexpected of sorts. 

Do you agree or disagree with these? What are some words/topics/phrases that make you stay away from reading a book? 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

Author: Corey Ann Haydu

Publication date: July 23, 2013

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Source: an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he's her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again. 
But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can't stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a ton about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she's obsessed. 

Bea tells herself she's got it all under control, but this isn't a choice, it's a compulsion. The truth is, she's breaking down... and she might end up breaking her own heart.


Lucky for me, I don't get panicky in small dark spaces or anything. I'm a different breed of crazy.

I knew coming into this that OCD Love Story and my feelings on it could go either way. I was intrigued of the different aspect that this YA book held since I haven't read any other OCD-centered book before. At the same time, I was hesitant at the thought that the main character is a teenage girl stalker. A teenage girl stalker is way different than a normal stalker in my mind. A teenage girl can have different narratives while stalking and can verge on being annoying, at least that is what I pictured them to be.

In a way, I was correct in Bea being annoying. In another, I wasn't. After a stalking incident with her ex-boyfriend and a traumatic experience with a former crush (boyfriend? croyfriend? boyfrush?), Bea was forced to go to therapy. Now, in addition with her one-on-one sessions, she has to go to group therapy. There, she sees that she is in the same group as the very hot guy she had to calm down earlier during a blackout.

This book was slightly disturbing in the way that wasn't bad or good. I think the outcome was what Haydu was wanting, but I still sat afterwards and wondered if I liked it or not. I did and I didn't. Yes, it's another floppy answer, but this book evokes many floppy answers from me. Many people, myself included, will probably joke that they or someone else has OCD. I think of OCD in a way that everything needs to be in order and you can get pretty darn touchy about it. But Haydu shows it in a different light. Bea stalks. To "help" her anxiety, she picks a person and obsessively takes notes on them, following them, "checking up" on them, and that anxiety won't go away until she has done her "duty." There is also another detail that casts her in a "Um, let me just keep my distance here" light. SEMI-SPOILER Her violent thoughts made me hesitant, I'll admit. I think everyone wonders about how those seemingly harmless people can commit horrible things and there's the fact on what happened with the traumatic incident she saw in her past, but Bea really took it to the extreme. SEMI-SPOILER DONE.

With all that, I think Bea and Beck were intentionally set as characters you would have mixed feelings for. I may be wrong and Haydu wanted us to sympathize with them, but I felt a vibe saying that we were supposed to be iffy about them both. They are messed up characters and make really stupid decisions. The decisions they make are ones that force you to howl with frustration and tell them point-blank that they are screwed up. I think that was the whole point though. They ARE screwed up. They have panic attacks, anxiety issues, and deal with them differently. It affects not only themselves, but the people around them.

Bea's best friend Lisha is a character that I had mixed feelings on and then the dislike finally took over at the end. I put myself in her place and saw how hard it must be to have Bea as a best friend. Bea is selfish. She sees her problems, denies that they are really problems, but allows her life to be ruled by them and to satisfy her anxiety cravings, she makes the people around her miserable. She shows a little improvement in one scene when Lisha's life starts to crack, but Bea still is placing herself center stage. However, no matter how Bea behaves, I couldn't condone Lisha's. Like any best friend, she probably didn't know how to act when Bea was being odd. But that did NOT give her an excuse to do some of the things she did.

The love story aspect of OCD Love Story wasn't exactly what I was expecting either. It had its moments, but this book was mainly about her problems and his problems. They had their sweet interactions and I'm not necessarily saying that the romance was bad. I just hope that no one places a firm expectation on it. They tried to help each other and Bea wanted to lessen his pain while appearing fine herself. She wanted to love him and did, but she couldn't behave like a normal sort-of girlfriend when she was stalking some other man. In amidst of the romance, Bea made me feel like I was cringing all throughout the book. I was embarrassed for her and sometimes that can be the worst emotion for a reader to feel. I already feel stressed about my own life as it is!

Unfortunately, if I did rate by stars, it would lose at least half of one based on the ending. Haydu seemed to attempt at a not-so-clean ending, but it still felt a little too neat. A little too unrealistic. A little too odd. However, odd can probably be ignored since that was the reoccurring theme.

This is a hard book to review because it was a hard book to read for me. It dealt with odd and somewhat disturbing things. It involved characters that I didn't necessarily like or enjoy. It dealt with issues that I hadn't been exposed to before. That might all seem negative, but overall, I applaud the author for writing this book. She wrote something that I personally think is unconventional in YA fiction. Her work was brave. Slightly uncomfortable and probably not a book I will read again, but brave.

Verdict: A book that I didn't necessarily enjoyed, but was glad to have read with romantic and relationship plusses mixed with cringe-worthy and weird negatives.

This is an ARC. Any quote used may be changed.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Presenting a Blogger...Jasprit and Rachel from The Reader's Den

I originally thought to space out blogger interviews more, but I really enjoy doing these so I let my impatience get the better of me. Today, The Reader's Den girls, Jasprit and Rachel, are here! Their blog was one of the first ones that I read and really enjoyed (one of the first I subscribed to as well). These ladies are some of the nicest bloggers and they're great at commenting. Since I always looked up to them, I'm giddy with pleasure that I've gotten to interview them!

Jasprit! Rachel! *waves* Please introduce yourself and your blog. 

Hello, we’re Jasprit and Rachel and we can be found on the blog The Readers Den

The really interesting thing to me is when people co-blog (although it is common in the community). Why did you decide to be co-bloggers? How did you meet? 

J: Rachel and I met on Goodreads, we had quite a few friends in common, and we were always popping up on each other’s feeds that our friendship was inevitable. I think it was Rachel’s review of Catching Jordan that made me realise that Rachel had brilliant taste in books. Before you knew it, Rachel was contributing more and more gorgeous reads to my already out of control tbr pile and we had started pining over our fictional crushes through our read-alongs (Rachel has finally agreed that Alex is mine). And then a year or so after we met, I started my own blog, and because we already chatted nearly every day on Goodreads, I figured it would be fun to have Rachel on the blog too contributing with her awesome reviews. I think we had originally decided that Rachel would be a guest reviewer on the blog, but we ended up having so much fun, that we quickly became co-bloggers. Rachel is one of the sweetest people that I couldn’t have asked for a better co-blogger.

R: Ditto on all of Jasprit’s comments above. I couldn’t ask for a better co-blogger or an easier person to work with.  I work full-time and the commitment of running a blog on my own would consume my life.  This is why it’s so very nice to have a partner with comparable tastes and a similar vision as far as the blog goes.  

Yay for Goodreads!

What genres do you love reading and/or reviewing the most? 

J: I’m a contemporary girl at heart, nothing makes my day more than coming back home from a tiring day at work and curling up with a contemporary book which could take me anywhere such as a fun road trip across the US. I love the feeling that I can be completely lost in a gorgeous world, with a sweet romance and huge smile left on my face afterwards.

R: I find myself gravitating towards adult mystery/suspense/romance novels lately.  They are my original love in reading, and the plots are usually exciting enough to keep you anxiously flipping through the pages to find out what happens next. 

I definitely agree with both! Feeling lost in a book is a great moment to have.

Top three favorite authors? 

J: This is a tough one I have so many favourites, but three which immediately come to mind are: Sarah Alderson, Jenny Han, and Miranda Kenneally.

R: Karen Marie Moning, Tarryn Fisher, and Melina Marchetta. These are the three that immediately come to mind, yet there are SO MANY MORE!! 

I need to go to my library ASAP because I shamefully admit that I've only read one book total out of all those authors...

Describe your dream bookish event. 

J: My dream bookish event would take place in the US of course; it has always been my dream to visit there one day. All my favourite blogging friends would be there too (Sunny you’d totally be there!). We would have a fantastic day/week with amazing bookish adventures. It would be a bit like BEA, but just with my favourite authors and blogging friends that I’ve been dying to meet!

(And RIP Cory Monteith)
R: Jasprit’s sounds lovely and like a dream.  I’m currently at the ALA in Chicago and I have to say that it rocks!!  I do love an event that includes authors with a wicked sense of humor!  I’m lucky enough to live in Southern California, and we have no shortage of authors coming on through!  Did I say how lucky I am?

I forgot that you're from the UK, Jasprit, it would be amazing if you came here! I would also love that dream of bookish adventures with bookish people and a dream-like BEA. Rachel, you are incredibly lucky and I am so jealous. Note: This post is being published late so ALA is done now, but still exciting that she was at one point there :) 

If you could be like one character in a book (that includes the setting he/she is in!), without the worry of dying though, who would you like to be? 

J: Tris from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. She is such a strong and fearless character and of course because she gets to spend all her time with Four! <3

R: Mac from the Fever series! She lives in a dark, fantastical world with powers that make her special AND she has JERICHO BARRONS!!! What more incentive would you want before running?! 

What is one book that you have recently read and loved? 

J: Parallel by Lauren Miller, this book thoroughly messed with my head, but I just loved it so much, I think it’s one of my definite favourites of 2013!

R: Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks. It’s a historical adult romance that was just amazing!  I listened to the audio version and the narrator was PERFECTION!  

I am very excited now because I'm going to be reading Parallel soon AND I've been wanting audiobook suggestions!

Anything else you ladies would like to add? 

J: Thank you for having us on your lovely blog Sunny! 

R: Yes, thank you Sunny for having us on your blog! I enjoy reading your insightful reviews!

So sweet. Thank you both! 

This or That: 
Chocolate or vanilla?  
J: Chocolate
R: Chocolate!
Ebook or paperback?   
J: Both, I can’t go anywhere without my Kindle, but if I end up loving a book so much, I usually have to have a gorgeous paperback copy on my bookshelf too.
R: Both as well.  I love my e-books because I can highlight passages and view other’s notes, and in terms of space, you can’t beat an e-copy! But there is something to say about a physical copy! You can hold it, smell it, and pet it! 
Star Wars or Star Trek?  
J: I haven’t watched either, but if I did I would probably prefer Star Wars I think..
R: Star Wars! 
Brunette or blonde? (of the boy variety) 
J: Blonde
R: Brunette
Winter or Summer
J: Summer.
R: Summer. 

Wow, you guys have similar tastes even outside of books! 


Once again, I'd like to thank Jasprit and Rachel for taking time out to answer questions. I love reading their posts and reviews and they're definitely considered "big bloggers" to me. Now that you know them (or just know them more), stop by their blog to say hello! 

Twitter: and
Goodreads: and

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Books I Read But Never Reviewed

I was going to write another mini review pile-up, but ultimately decided to do this instead. Thanks to my good friend Gillian, who had this awesome post first, this is basically a quick summary of how I felt towards several books that I never got around to reviewing.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Publication date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Travel, romance, obedient girl turned rebel, finding's all there. Thankfully, I thought that Gayle Forman did a great job at making it her own though so it didn't feel like you were reading the same story once again. Allyson was a little hard to stomach in the beginning because I sometimes have a Low MC Tolerance syndrome where I get really picky about my heroines. However, she grew quickly and became a lovable character. The plot picked up and all the elements were in place. There's also a cliffhanger that made me have another syndrome called Cliffhanger syndrome where I needed the sequel before the last chapter ended, thank you very much. 

Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough
Publication date: November 8, 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Press

First of all, I think the cover is so cute, which made me first drawn into it. That's especially a good thing since "cute" is the theme throughout the story. Unfortunately, you should take the title seriously and don't expect a lot of magic in the book. Hopefully there will be more in the sequel (which is coming out this year, yipee!), but there's a lot of introduction to the Delaney and her backstory and all these family and friend elements. Overall, it was an enjoyable and cute read. Bonus: Delaney does grow as a character, which is a good thing because I can't stand it when authors leave me unsatisfied like that. 

Five Summers by Una LaMarche
Publication date: May 16, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill

I had every intention to reviewing this book, but after I devoured it in about a day or two, I basically had too many thoughts and emotions on it that I kept putting it off. I loved all the different stories of the different girls and while its theme is friendship and secrets, I actually would have liked more friendship. LaMarche took a different route than the normal, but she executed it well. There were things that did annoy me, but I was hooked nonetheless. I liked (most of) the characters, their (somewhat predictable) personalities and varied backstories, and the loyalty mixed with camp and secrets sprinkled on top recipe. 

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
Publication date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

A smart girl develops an app that helps girls get boyfriends. I thought this would be a fluffy story, but it turned out to be more technical than I thought...and I liked it! Audrey is a geek, thanks to her father, and gives more information on how computers and apps work. For me, she did it without being an information dumper and kept it interesting. Also, the characters are great and I really enjoyed the plot. Thanks to authors being nice and their books sounding great, I picked this one up from the library and loved reading it. 

Publication date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

I had such high hopes for this one and it was good, but not great as I was expecting it to be. Molli from Once Upon a Prologue said something a while ago that accurately states my feelings on this one: whelmed. I'm not overwhelmed by it nor am I underwhelmed. Can I just be whelmed? I couldn't write a good review on this one because I didn't have much to say on it, unfortunately. 

Publication date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen

Technically, I did write a review for this one. I wrote it and it was only mediocre because I felt the same way about the book. I liked the book, but when I tried to have a certain feeling for it, I couldn't pinpoint it. I know it was positive (mostly), but it left me feeling slightly better than whelmed.

For bloggers, what are some book you never got around to reviewing? For readers, what are some books that made you feeling whelmed?

Note: I'll be taking my Exam II today for science, which means that I will hopefully be more involved in the blogging world. Finally commenting, blogging, and reading. The whole sh-bang! I also applaud all of you who have a full-time job (which absolutely includes staying home with kids) and have had a blog for a looong time.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Disappointments of a Blogger

Here's the no-duh statement that I would like to get out: Book bloggers love books. You can get those scoffs, eye rolls, and sarcastic statements out of the way now, but I had to say it first. Book bloggers love books so much that they devote lots of time to them by making a website, reading, and talking to others about reading/books/authors. However, with that large amount of love for books, there will evidently be disappointments too.

You meet somebody who doesn't like to read.
I have met way too many of these people. I admit it, I still wonder if they're joking whenever someone says they don't like reading and my heart still breaks when I realize that they are, indeed, telling the truth. Those poor souls. As a book blogger, I can't comprehend how they don't like them and why they won't give my favorite worlds a chance. It's so strange. 

You meet somebody who hasn't read one of your favorite books.
This goes with the one above because it just DOES NOT COMPUTE. I have a favorite book and when I see or hear that someone didn't like it (specifically a friend), I can't understand it. I have this huge love for a certain book/series and then someone doesn't like it? Excuse me? 

You see somebody got a coveted ARC..that you didn't get.
Yes, it's petty. Yes, it's warned all the time. Yes, it's pure jealousy. But if you know me well, you know that I have a continual problem with jealousy. It's a bad thing, that monstrous little green bug. You request an ARC, hear nothing, but then see on someone's blog that they got it. So then you can't help, but wonder why didn't you get it? 

You read an anticipated book and it didn't live up to the hype.
Another disappointment related to feeling insecure. You know, there's always that one book that you are so excited for and you see only positive reviews. All the trusted bloggers and friends rave about it and not a one rated it lower than three stars. Then you get to it and you keep checking the cover to make sure that you really did pick up the right book. When I write a negative review, it's relieving in a way, but when I see that so many people liked it and I feel like that I'm the oddball, I feel like a failed reader. Of course, that feels like a failed blogger. Expectations are powerful. 

You realize you now have less time to read.
This may be only me, but after the start of blogging, I go through phases of reading. I'll either have tons of time to read or suddenly life happens and blogging feels like a pressure and I suddenly have no time to read. With reading being a strong passion, this is one of the most disappointing things to ever happen. I see great posts encouraging bloggers to not feel pressured about their blogs and to not let reading become like a chore. I definitely appreciate those posts and this is me saying that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Also, congrats to the bloggers who don't find themselves in this situation. 

You get negative comments.
Thankfully, I haven't had to experience this one, but I know it can be a disappointing thing to bloggers. Some of them brush it off, some of them might even like it, but I can imagine it to be pretty deflating. As a devoted reader to others' blogs, I hate when I hear that commenters are nasty to them or write something that tears them down. So thank you to everyone who has written the sweetest things on here. 

I know there must be way more so go comment below! I appreciate hearing your thoughts, you lovely people. I promise this week I will be better at blogging, reading, and commenting on others' blogs because I desperately miss it.