Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #22

Hosted by Pen to Paper
Title: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Why I'm wishing: 

Can we just take a moment to take in that beautiful cover? I'm absolutely loving it. Now we can all join in together and hate that February is so far away. I've been seeing this mentioned on my Twitter feed and desperately want this one. It involves a Rapunzel retelling, but we will also get to see our old favorites, like Cinder and Scarlet

It doesn't hurt that I hear Thorne is the love interest, which I so guessed in my interview with Marissa Meyer earlier this year. Yes, please.

What are you wishing for this Wednesday? 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: THE VOW by Jessica Martinez

Title: The Vow
Author: Jessica Martinez
Publication date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: an ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for an honest review
Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

No one has ever believed that Mo and Annie are just friends. How can a guy and a girl really be best friends?

Then the summer before senior year, Mo’s father loses his job, and by extension his work visa. Instantly, life for Annie and Mo crumbles. Although Mo has lived in America for most of his life, he’ll be forced to move to Jordan. The prospect of leaving his home is devastating, and returning to a world where he no longer belongs terrifies him.

Desperate to save him, Annie proposes they tell a colossal lie—that they are in love. Mo agrees because marrying Annie is the only way he can stay. Annie just wants to keep her best friend, but what happens when it becomes a choice between saving Mo and her own chance at real love?


When I saw the cover and then read the synopsis, I knew I had to read it. How could I not? Two best friends come together to save one of them from moving back to Jordan by falling in fake love. I went on Edelweiss and being a newbie member, I thought, why not? Then I got accepted. 

Unfortunately, that was short-lived. 

The story switched from Annie's to Mo's perspectives every other chapter, which I didn't mind. I like seeing into each character's mind, especially in this type of plot. We start off with their normal day life. It takes a little less than 90 pages for us to actually reach to the point of Mo finding out that he has to be deported. Then twenty pages later, they have the idea of marrying to save him. Technically, it was Annie's idea. Calling him in the middle of the night, she proposes to him. 

They go through an awkward day of not mentioning it again, both wondering if the other had backed out. When they finally confirm that yes, they will do it and Mo keeps asking Annie if she will back out, they finally formulate a plan...of sorts. 

That was my biggest beef. I appreciate some background and some bonding time with the characters before we have to sympathize and cheer them on, but it felt like too much time. We know what will happen. We know that Mo will have to get deported and then he tells Annie and that somehow, some way, they will get the idea to marry. So during the first 90 pages, I started getting more anxious and more impatient to just get on with it. When they finally had the proposal out of the way, they both were so unsure of themselves. Understandable, but I was already impatient to get the show on the road. 

I like to be swept away on emotions. Since that did not happen, I retreated into my realistic mindset. Annie and Mo were incredibly unorganized. Mo's family moves away that week after they finally decide to go to the courthouse and get hitched. Mo believes that he can still be the high school boy whose only responsibilities are basketball and school and of course, his sister's demon cat. His father is mad at him, but still is paying for all living expenses. However, he continues to come off as if his whole life is so unfair. When he runs into a friend who is furious with what happened, he starts talking about telling him the truth. He hates the fact that he's alone, bemoans about his family, but continually tries to be sensitive by asking Annie if she wants to back out through the whole novel.

Boy, you just got handed everything you wanted. Snap out of it. 

When they met with the law student, Annie and Mo were baffled to find out that they actually had to act like a real couple. What a shocker. That seemed so unrealistic to me. If you were going through with this plan, I would think you would have researched and found that out on the internet. It's very easy. Of course, cue Mo telling Annie that if she wants to back out, she should do it now and that he understands. 

Annie, for her part, was not as bad, but still annoyed me to some extent. She does get brownie points for standing strong. No matter what crud she got from her parents or obstacles she faced, she stayed loyal to Mo. She even kept going and stood her ground when he kept offering her to change her mind. I even wanted to applaud her when she told him to not do it again. I understand how her relationship with her parents needed to be treaded lightly, but since I was not in her situation, it was easy for me to tell her to grow a backbone. Thankfully, with the whole situation with Mo, she was able to do that. I thought the scene with her mother and the credit card was unnecessary though. Rude, in my opinion. 

The main emotion I picked up on was fear. Her parents are scared. Annie is scared of scaring her parents. Mo is scared to leave Jordan. Mo is scared to stay in America. Mo's sister is scared to go to Jordan. EVERYONE IS SCARED. 

It did get better when loyalty started to conquer any fear, but I felt impatient. What Annie's family had to go through was traumatic. Please do not think I'm taking it lightly. I feel horrible for any family that has to be put in that situation and wish that it never has to happen again. But the daughter inside of me thinks that the parents shouldn't be insane helicopter parents and that Annie should regain her life. As for Mo's fear, he needs to make up his mind. 

After flipping out on Mo for the thought of telling his friend the truth, which was justified, she then has the nerve to be a hypocrite and do what she told him not to do. Of course, it was for the sake of love. Blech. 

I guess I didn't read the whole synopsis, because I don't remember that last sentence: 

Annie just wants to keep her best friend, but what happens when it becomes a choice between saving Mo and her own chance at real love?

I thought I had read somewhere that there was a teaser question about what if they find love along the way, or something similar to that. I was surprised when it kept going the path that I did not want it to tack. Reed? I wasn't a fan. I might have been if I wasn't rooting the whole best friends route. I didn't hate him, but I didn't like him either. 

Overall, I think my expectations should have been different and that would have helped with my liking of this book. I wanted more of the difficulties a marriage or a proposal would bring to two friends. I wanted everything that this storyline would generally bring, but received something much different. I commend the author giving this plot a different twist and more of a focus on loyalty and best friends. I also like the whole idea that two opposite sex friends can still remain friends. I think it would have played out better if there wasn't that one scene with Mo and how his thoughts started changing...something that was never resolved or explained. 

It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great to me either. 

I would have rather had Starbucks, please.
Verdict: A contemporary storyline of loyalty, friendship, and overcoming grief that I did not get into due to annoyances. 

Friday, October 25, 2013


Author: Kasie West
Publication date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


First line: My eyes burn a whole in the page.

Kasie West, you have earned yourself another fan! I book binged on The Distance Between Us. I binged so much, it really came back to bite me in the butt the next morning. 

First, let's talk about the cover. There actually isn't much for me to say except that I love it. I want her dress. I want his car. I want HIM. I don't see the main character, Caymen, actually wearing that though. Do I care? Nope. 

Caymen works in her mother's doll shop, which makes the story stand out right there. I have read plenty of books where the character has to work in a family shop, but never have they been dolls. Caymen was somebody who I wished I could be. She said all the sarcastic one liners that I think of later or just never voice. She was absolutely snarktastic in a good way and I loved that. Because if you had to work in a failing doll store with so-called snooty wealthy people, you need a sarcasm outlet for it.

No one truly appreciated her sarcasm except for maybe Xander.
Most importantly, I connected with Caymen. Even though I only think the things she says, I knew how she was feeling when it came to humankind although she mostly had a problem with the rich while I just don't like anybody and I totally amen'd her when it came to how creepy dolls are or when she refused to drink *high fives* or just simply her narration about her life. I related to her voice and couldn't stop smiling at her wit.

"No, I'm fine with boringness, thank you." In fact, I've settled into my monotonous life pretty well, only feeling the urge to rip my hair out about once a week now.

I did have a shaky time with her and her mother though. Caymen has never been a fan of the rich since her mother got knocked up by a rich guy and was paid by his parents to go away and to not contact them. While her mother got disowned by her own parents as well and left to run a rapidly sinking doll shop, the rich father went off to be a lawyer. That hurts, I get it. But Caymen only mentions how her mother doesn't like the rich. We never actually see it though. Caymen remarks on their well-off customers or has a well-balanced snarky attitude as she waits on them and her mother corrects her. She doesn't encourage it whatsoever. Am I missing something here? I'm not annoyed with this supposedly bitter mother because she's doing what a mother should be doing, encouraging her daughter to be well-behaved and nice especially to the people shopping in your store. But why is Caymen so paranoid about her mother meeting her rich sort of boyfriend when her mother hasn't given her one hint that she would be disappointed in her? 

"Why do I get the feeling you didn't want me to meet your mom back there?"
I thought it had escaped his notice. Apparently not. "Because I didn't."
"Well, that would explain the feeling."

Which leads to Xander. 

Sure, he may come off a little pompous in the beginning by "beckoning" her, but I knew that he was truly a good guy from the start. He was definitely one of the best, realistic love interests I've read this year, that's for sure. Sweet, charming, unashamed of their growing relationship/friendship, respectful, eager to meet the mother, BRINGER OF HOT CHOCOLATE...the guy is a keeper, folks. I loved seeing their relationship grow. She was witty and sarcastic, he was smitten and basically everything else. They connected through his belief that they were very much alike, both trapped in futures they didn't want to have. Neither of them care for their lives, but Xander won me over because he constantly encouraged her to break free of the dolls' chains. While Caymen seemed to be in sweet turmoil since Xander entered her life because they were so not right for each other whatever, Caymen, he still balanced her life out by being him.

"It's not just grave digging, Xander. It's about this whole place. Living a quiet life surrounded by peaceful death."
"You are morbid."

My only real issue was the ending. Of course, I can't really say why. But Kasie West made me a bit disgruntled at the fact that everything was wrapped up too neatly. Oh, this thing happens and now this thing just magically is made better? Then this is quickly explained and this subplot is miraculously fixed? So that's it? We're all good? Well. Okay then. 

I wouldn't trade my reading experience of this book for anything else because I absolutely enjoyed it. I book binged way later than I should have and happily slept with thoughts of Xander and even Caymen's snark and woke up with sad realization that I finished the book. So thankfully, the ending didn't ruin the whole story for me, but I wished that it was somehow handled better. 

Verdict: A super enjoyable read that makes me anxiously await West's other books and AH, ADORBS ALL AROUND.

Note: As an ARC, these quotes may have changed. 

Also, don't forget you have one more week to enter in my blogoversary giveaway!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Names

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This is the kind of topic that makes me want to kick myself because I can think of many books that relates to the topic any other time, but when it comes to the post, I totally blank. So this week, I'll be posting top five names that I would possibly name my children after and top five names that I think are so ridiculous, the authors should be ashamed of themselves. These lists are in no particular order.

Possible Children Names

1. Finnick from Catching Fire & Mockingjay. The first time I read his name, I might have crinkled my nose and mocked it by saying, "Finnick like finicky?" Now, after he stole my heart in the series, I actually quite like the name. 

2. Mia from Princess Diaries or If I Stay. Common name, but attached to lovable characters. While I wouldn't want my daughter to be as emotional as Princess Mia, I have always liked the name.

3. Ismae from Grave Mercy. Resembles the popular name Esme, but with an "I" so it makes it way cooler.

4. Jo from Little Women. In moderation, I'm in favor of "boy" nicknames for girl names. Of course, she would have her real name be Josephine, which evolve into many variations. But I promise you now, she will not have an Amy as a sister.

5. Roar from Under the Never Sky series. I'm a fan of lions. I love this character. The name grows on you. 

Bonus: Anne or Gil from Anne of Green Gables, Addie from Two Sisters of Bamarre or American Girl, Lucy from Chronicles of Narnia, Rue from The Hunger Games, Henry from The Extraordinary Lives of April, May, and June, basically anyone from Gallagher Girls, Kat or Hale from Heist Society, Jane from Pride and Prejudice.

Ridiculous Names

1. America from The Selection series. *gags*

2. Caymen from Distance Between Us. I absolutely loved the book (review will come), but that name bothered me to no end. Another character nicknamed her Cavemen, which is what I dubbed her throughout the whole story. Why would an author want her character to resemble a hairy guy?

3. Tally from The Uglies series. All I think of are those chalk marks on a board.

4. Glimmer from The Hunger Games. I like all the unique names in the series because it pays tribute how punny to Ancient Rome, but I knew right away that anyone named Glimmer needs to go.

5. Tris from Divergent series. I think of tryst, making me think of lovers which then leads my mind to sex and ultimately to all the things that might happen after sex (like a baby). So, in all, my irrational and disturbing mind thinks that anybody named Tris is a seductive baby. 

What are some names that you either like or are too crazy?

Friday, October 18, 2013


Author: Trish Doller
Publication date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Source: an ARC provided by the publisher for an honest review.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.


First line: Yellow light slashes the darkness as Mom sneaks into the apartment again.

I had high hopes for this book. Nothing outrageously high or expectations that will inevitably fall because nothing can meet up to my already-set standards. Just hopes. I hoped I would love this one. I hoped that I would be reading about a girl joining her family who she was horribly separated with. I hoped to be emotionally connected. I had read an adult book similar to this synopsis years ago and really liked it, but refused to set up a comparison as I read Where the Stars Still Shine. But in all, no matter what I hoped it to be or refused to compare it to, my expectations fell flat. 

Callie's mom is the stereotypical, contemporary, Sarah Dessen-like mothers, who's a deadbeat. She has had a string of jailbait boyfriends, hopping around from one place to the next, and there's the fact that she's kept her daughter away from her father and his family. Then Callie is reunited with her dad and his family in the beginning and we are soon introduced to the love interest, Alex. 

Unfortunately, I am in the minority with my feelings on this book. I didn't care for it. It wasn't bad, perse. I wasn't connected, I wasn't buying it, and I felt like I was duped.

The romance: 

Miranda from On the Nightstand says it perfectly, "I never really got the impression that Callie and Alex were in love with each other so much as they were in lust with each other." This whole story is mostly centered around Callie's "romance" with Alex and their "relationship." I put these words in quotes because there was no relationship. They meet, they "connect," and then they suddenly get very intimate. I think part of the reason was because Callie had a shaky childhood and usually girls coming from her background are, um, faster with guys because they want that stability and love. 

I couldn't swoon or root for them because I didn't like them. I wasn't a fan of Alex and honestly, I didn't care for Callie that much. How was I supposed to cheer them on? 

The story: 

I have seen many people rave about this book and say that they could connect with Callie and her story. They have, in one way or another, been in her place. So I do not bash these people, doubt them, or completely wave off their life. However, I couldn't get into it. Like I've said before, I wasn't able to connect with her. I have read plenty of contemporary "issue" books, some of them I was invested in while others I wasn't. This fell in the latter category. I thought some parts were unrealistic such as the certain romantic elements as well as her father's parenting choices. 

Mainly, I wanted to see more family. She did have moments with her father, a problem with her stepmother and her kids, befriended her cousin, and definitely lots of attention on her mother. But I wanted that large and loving family I thought I would get. I wanted more family scenes, more family interactions, more everything. Callie was cold and closed off with her family (reasonable), but as a reader, I felt no attachment. I was indifferent, as if she was just another girl I randomly had an encounter with in Walmart.

Verdict: I wanted to love it. I love Bloomsbury and the author was incredibly nice, but I sadly disliked the book. 

Note: This book contains darker is a contemporary issue book.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books "Forced" Upon Me

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

When I saw the topic for this week, my mind instantly searched for all the awful books that I had to read for school and, yes, during middle school when Shae would "recommend' some to me. However, this is TOP Ten Tuesday, so here are some books that were better than the rest, which some turned about to be my favorite reads!

Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy
Forced by: School

If you didn't already know, I was/am homeschooled. I'm full-time dual enrolling now, but back in the day, my mom would assign me reading materials. God bless her, I was super picky about what I read in middle school. She got this suggestion from my sister since this was in the same time period that I was learning about in history. Turns out, this book became one of my favorites. Who doesn't love a girl disguised as a boy? 

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Forced by: sister

Believe me, this was extremely forced. My sister is the ultimate fan of this series and she even bribed me to read it. I did and ended up really liking it.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Forced by: sister

Although this wasn't as forced as The Thief—it was more of a really big suggestion—I added this on here because this was not a book I wanted to read. At all. Back then, when I was in the process of starting my blog, I hated the cover and thought it was totally out of my reach. I hated the slow beginning and was going to DNF it, but my sister made me stick through it. So yes, once again, this is thanks to my sister. 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Forced by: sister

Another book that was out of my realm (although I loved The Hunger Games) with a slow beginning and I was barely holding on. However, after a "oh my gosh, it's so good" face from my sister, I kept on at it.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Forced by: sister

My sister is probably too smug for her own good right now. But, unlike the other ones, I actually did want to read this one. I just didn't have the motivation to do so. I was a bit wary of it, but I loved the cover and the synopsis. Not until she was practically threatening me to read it did I do so. 

Forced by: school

I love the movie. Always have, always will. But I didn't read the book until after, when I had to read it for school. Back then, I liked it a little bit, but I really wasn't used to reading that kind language (old timey British), only watching it. I'm planning on reading it again to see if that like turns into love.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Forced by: school

While the other school books were forced in middle school, this was in high school days. Sure, there were pages that I skimmed over, but in all, I enjoyed it more than any other school book I had to read during my school days. Let's not even talk about the movie in which I was horribly disappointed and my butt was screaming after ten bajillion hours.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Forced by: school

Anne-girl! The movie is one of my favorites and I did want to read the book, but didn't actually finish it until school forced me. 

And to finish off the top ten here are two books that I'm being pressured to read, but haven't yet.

Forced by: everyone

I still haven't read this one, but I want to, I swear! Everyone in the whole blogosphere seems to have read this one and I'm feeling the pressure. I will. I'll get to it and then be angry that I waited too long. 

Forced by: sister

I may have liked the first book, The Thief, but that doesn't mean that my sister is having an easy time in getting me to read this one. I do want to, but I never seem to have any time. I see it in my very near future though...partly because I want to and partly to make her stop nagging. 

What are some books that people have pressured/forced you to read? Do you listen?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mid-October Rewind & Review

Hosted by Shae Has Left the Room
Since I skipped September, I'll be doing Rewind and Review a little differently, temporarily. Right now, I'll be catching up on October (sorry, September).

Blog Posts You May Have Missed:
Note: If you missed any September posts, they're on the sidebar as well as any reviews in my Review Archive above. 

Stuff I Received:
Things That Happened: 
  • I'm celebrating my ONE YEAR blogoversary! Meaning, there's a giveaway and a hoorah fest going on, which you can join by clicking the link in this post or on the sidebar. Really, why miss out? 
  • I got accepted into a university! Not just a university, but definitely a top contender. *sighs happily*
  • Like I already mentioned above, I received a hardcover copy of Gallagher Girls #6, but I already have my own copy of it. Very appreciative of Disney-Hyperion...but now mulling over multiple options on what to do. 
  • Super nice people again on Twitter. You all make my day.
  • The video below can show another event in my life where I...well, you'll just have to watch until the end. 

Have a Happy October! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #21

Hosted by Pen to Paper
Title: See Jane Run
Author: Hannah Jayne
Publication date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

For sixteen-year-old Riley, one question will change everything: Who is Jane O'Callahan?

Riley Spencer never thought twice about keeping secrets from her parents-not big ones, at least. They didn't need to know that her math tutor was also her boyfriend and that cocktail dress she "borrowed" from her mom would be back before she missed it. But when she finds a birth certificate with the name Jane O'Callahan wedged inside her baby book, Riley must face the reality that her parents are the ones who might be lying to her.

Why I'm wishing:

Adoption? Switched at birth? Kidnapping? I want to know! This whole birth dilemma/mystery has always intrigued me. Not a total fan of the theme of lying (why can't she tell her parents she has a boyfriend?), but I'm interested nonetheless. 

What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's
Source: a finished copy A HARDCOVER! provided by the publisher for an honest review.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

 In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

First line: There was a boy in her room.

How I felt about this book.
I love this book. I have written and rewritten this introduction who knows how many times because I simply cannot find the words to express how much I fell in love with this book. So I'll simply leave it at "I love this book." And, of course, you can picture me dancing along with Genie. 

We meet Cath. Unlike her twin sister Wren, she's antisocial and way nerdier. Both of them have enjoyed fanfiction—Simon Snow fanfiction to be exact—but Cath took it way farther. Her life was revolved around writing the stuff, even doing it so long that it made my butt hurt just thinking about how long she was sitting.

What I really loved about Cath is that she embraces her geeky life. Some might say that she embraces it too much, but Rowell writes her in a way that it just made me love her even more. Unless you have never been fanatical about something which is so against human nature, are you a robot?, then you can relate to Cath. While I have never associated with fanfiction (we'll get to that later), I have been so personally invested in some form of entertainment that I easily connected with her.

So there's Cath, who not only is being thrown into the scary world of college with a new roommate and  experiencing separation anxiety from her sister and her unstable father, but then you add in the potentially lethal element of boys.

...Cath kept noticing things. 

She doesn't understand them (another thing we connect on) because, hey, she barely understands people. What's amazing is that even in third person, Rowell manages for me to feel what Cath is feeling and sympathize with her on a level that's hard for authors to do even in first person. She's confused. Wary. Suspicious. Vulnerable. They're a mix of emotions that I had no problem connecting with and giggling at as she tries to wade through all the situations in her life. 

"Look..." Cath said. "I can't just let strange guys into my room. I don't even know your name. This whole situation is too rapey."
"You understand," she said, "right?"
He dropped an eyebrow and shook his head, still smiling. "Not really. But now I don't want to come in with you. The word 'rapey' makes me uncomfortable."

And we meet Reagan. She was one of my favorite characters, providing humor and snark. After they ignored each other, Reagan decides to help a pathetic sister out by bringing her into the real world. 

"I feel sorry for you, and I'm going to be your friend." 
"I don't want to be your friend," Cath said as sternly as she could. "I like that we're not friends."
"Me, too," Reagan said. "I'm sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic."

Reagan was actually like Cath in the way of people. Even though Cath was socially awkward and therefore, did not want to be around people, Reagan just didn't like people. I love people, I do, but I felt like I was a mix of them both. Similar to Cath, I always/usually sometimes would rather be with my beloved fictional characters than people and like Reagan, I also just look at people and think, "Why do I have to be around you?" 

Wren was sporadically absent, but that was fine with me because less Wren meant more Reagan. And with Reagan comes the charming Levi. I have so many wonderful amazing, swoony, did I say amazing? quotes for him, but really, they're best when you read them as you're reading from the book, in context. 

I never understood fanfiction before. I always judged it as someone being lazy or even to the point of being rude. That's someone else's work, characters, and setting. Why are you messing with it? But I thank Rowell because I see the pull of fanfiction through Cath's eyes. She explained it in the book that she fully believes that they're the author's characters, she won't take credit, and she doesn't seek money from her fanfiction. Instead, it's her way to manipulate her favorite characters, to play a what-if scenario on her terms. I mean, who doesn't sometimes imagine how your favorite book should have turned out? Ahem, Mockingjay.

I really can't explain this book better than in gifs so for your gif-looking pleasure...

What Cath was like...and what I'm like

What I was like during a "revelation"

The romance

What I was like after I ended the book at an ungodly hour
Because I hated that it was over.
Verdict: An outstanding book that most definitely lives up to all the hype.

Friday, October 4, 2013

One Year Blogoversary Giveaway!

October marks the starting point of this blog. Blue Sky Bookshelf has been running for one year, people.

This all started because of two reasons: 
  1. I had the common problem of most book lovers, which was that no one I knew loved books as much as I did. If they did, which probably happened a maximum of once, they didn't have the same taste in books as I do.
  2. My sister had started a blog earlier that year and every time we were together, she kept pressuring me to blog. She claimed that there were so many people like us, it would be a great way to develop thoughts, and really, what was the harm? If I didn't like it, I could always stop. 
Well, I caved. It was probably one of the best decisions I ever made too since I have experienced more than I ever dreamed that sounds so corny, but it's so true. I won't list stats because I think it's incredible that I even made it this far. A year ago, I had zero people to interact with, zero followers, zero reviews, and zero everything. I reread the same books over and over, not trusting my sister's suggestions (ever since she picked out The King's Shadow for a school reading assignment for me *shudders at the past torture*) and as silly as it sounds, not trusting myself to branch out. But then blogging forced me to pick books my eyes usually only skimmed over. Who knew there were so many books and authors out there?!

I also can't even begin to list all the amazing people I have met in the past year. I don't have the greatest memory and I know I would kick myself later for forgetting a key person. Just know that I appreciate all the squeal-fests, ranting sessions, fist pumps, hugs, support, comments, and everything else that you all have done for/with me through the grand internet. All of you have shaped my reading habits as well as likes and dislikes, contributing to showing me a whole new world. *breaks out into song*

Along with other bloggers and readers, I have met the most amazing authors. From interviewing several of them (Robin LaFevers, Marissa Meyer, and Stacey Kade) to meeting them in person (Leigh Bardugo, Ally Carter, and Jessica Brody) to having lovely chats and connecting with them (Natalie Richards, Stacey Kade, and bff Jessica Brody) to many other encounters with many other authors; I realized that they really are amazingly nice and down-to-earth. The fangirl inside of me has danced in the computer chair too many times to count when an author replied via Twitter or commented on here. Would I have ever been able to connect with them without this blog? Nope, not for me anyways. 

So after all that rambling mush, to celebrate this humongous moment in my blogger life, I'm doing TWO giveaways! However, this will only be for followers since this is commemorating the start of the blog and all the lovely people who have read it. 

Prize 1: a book of your choice from The Book Depository up to $15 and this is INTERNATIONAL as well! Don't worry about shipping factors because I have Amazon Prime.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize 2: one of these ARCs (or paperbacks) that I have received this past year, but only for people in the US. Shown below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

OR one of these:

Each one must follow three rules: 
  • Must be a follower (duh).
  • Must respond to the email notification in 48 hours or less.
  • Must not cheat (double duh). 
Enter, share, and hopefully win. I'll just be over here, resuming my little dance party.