Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Post #6: Stressful Week

Hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Last Week On the Blog

Love of Books Wrap Up
Fallen Review

Not much happening on the blog this week. I didn't even really log on this week to read blogs. This week has been very stressful. My friends have been going through a lot of hard times and it is emotionally taxing on myself also. Things are on the mend now and I was able to have a happy weekend. One of my friend's mom and sister came to visit so we were able to come to the hotel to swim. We spent Saturday shopping. Today we are making jello and watching the Oscar's.

There really is no #FitReaders update this week because I didn't work out at all. I went swimming for fun this weekend a little bit, but that mostly consisted of sitting in the hot tub.

Read This Week

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George

This was my least favorite book of the series, but it still wrapped up a lot of loose ends.

Currently Reading

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Snagged at the Library

No Library Books this Week

New Books

No New Books this Week.

Events this Week

The Last COYER READ-A-Thon. I'm sad to see this event end. The hosts do such a great job of making the event interactive.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Review: Fallen by Ann Hunter (no spoilers)

Book: Fallen
Author: Ann Hunter
Publication: October 3rd, 2014
Source: Author for Review
Read: Jan 5-Feb 4, 2015
Summary (from Goodreads):

"Once upon a time, I fell in love. Madly, deeply. With my whole being. I'd do anything for the girl who robbed me of my heart. I tried to save her... but darkness came. The ban sidhe, Crwys, death herself, wants me for her own. She thinks I am someone from her past, and she will not rest until I submit. I have secrets. Some I can barely live with myself for, and every night I dream of two women. One I cannot save, the other I cannot escape...."
--Prince Sylas of Killeagh
My Thoughts:
*I received Fallen in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own and I was in no way compensated for this review*

For Sylas Mortas happily ever after is not meant to be. Once upon a time Sylas fell madly in love with Ciatllait. Sylas tried with all his heart to save the girl who robbed him of his heart. 

I loved Subtle Beauty by this author. Then I didn't love Moonlight quite as much, but still enjoyed it. Fallen so far has been my least favorite read by this author. I was really engrossed in the beginning that is until Ros came in. Ros is a chicken and this is a retelling of The Frog Prince. I had littler interest in his character and he didn't fit very much in the story. 

I fell in love with Ciatllait (Laittie) as a character and when she was in part of the scene this book shined. Most of the first 50% of this book I was bored with Sylas story. I understand he was heart broken, but there wasn't a strong storyline. Then once I got past 50% the book really picked up and I was so interested in Sylas's nigthmare. Sylas makes a deal with Crwys that is selfish and takes him away from his love. Sylas's spends most of the book trying to get back to Laittie. Some part of this book were so emotionally heartbreaking. 

I was very intrigued in the last little bit when Hunter mixed in the story of Moonlight into Fallen. I'm glad I finished Moonlight before reading this book. I will say that Fallen was not by favorite by Ann Hunter, but I do enjoy her as an author and will continue to read her books. Although I didn't overly enjoy Fallen. I think it was okay and was still worth reading for me. I will continue reading this author's books.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Love of Books Read-A-Thon Progress and Wrap Up

Hosted by Novel Heartbeat

Day 1 February 9th

pg 0 to pg 65

Pages Read: 65

Day 2 February 10th

pg 65 to pg 105

Pages Read: 40
Total Pages Read: 105

Day 3 February 11th

pg 105 to pg 130

Pages Read: 25
Total Pages Read: 130

Day 4 February 12th

pg 130 to pg 159

pg 0 to pg 32

Pages Read: 61
Total Pages: 191

Day 5 February 13th
Didn't Read
Watched Gone Girl

Day 6 February 14th

pg 159 to pg 190

Pages Read: 31
Total Pages: 222

Day 7 February 15

pg 0 to pg 220

Pages Read: 220
Total Pages: 442

Wrap Up
Overall this was a pretty good read-a-thon for me. I read really slowly throughout the week, but doubled my page numbers by reading the whole day Sunday. I read a total of 442 pages in 7 days which is an average of 63 pages per day. I started Hopeless by Colleen Hoover and Princess of the Silver Wood by Jessica Day George. I finished Fairest by Marissa Meyer.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Post #5: Valentine's Day Gone Wrong

Hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Last Week On the Blog

My Life with The Walter Boys Review
To Be Read List Winner

I haven't been very active on the blog in the last couple of weeks, but I'm working on some posts that you guys will see soon. I hope to pick up again here soon. I posted about my friend's Valentine's Day surprise  last week with excitement and I'm sad to say it didn't go as planned. Apparently my friend doesn't like other plans being canceled for surprise dates with her boyfriend. My friend and I got in a lot of trouble for deceiving her, but it is over. We will just consider this Valentine's Day as not the best and move on. On the other hand my Valentine's Day plans worked out. We watched Gone Girl last night. It is a pretty good movie, but very strange at the same time. I'm on the struggle bus as to what to give up for Lent this year. I want something that will really renew my commitment to God, so I was thinking today that I could add something for Lent this year. I could write on a piece of paper everyday one thing I'm thankful for and then read them all at the end of Lent. I think this really would add perspective to my life.

For my #FitReaders update for the week. I only fit in one swim this week for 30 minutes on Thursday. I completed 3 Zumba workouts, so that is pretty good.

Read This Week

This week I finished Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George and Coralina by Anita Valle

Currently Reading

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover.

Snagged at the Library

Here's my two new library books for this week. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer is my blind date with a book. You fill out a short survey on the library's website and they pick out the book for you. The other book is Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross. I still have Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George, Fairest by Marissa Meyer, and Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber checked out. 

New Books

No new books this week.

Events this Week

This Read-A-Thon was by far my best COYER Read-A-Thon. I finished Fallen and got close to finishing Coralina. I have now finished two books for COYER. I'm working on the third. 

Today is the last day for the Love for Books Read-A-Thon and I did great. I will get my progress and wrap up post up on President's Day. 

I kind of forget all about the COYER Valentine's Day Read-A-Thon so nothing to update there. 

Have a Great Week!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My To-Be Read List...And the Winner Is

Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading

Here are the choices. 
And the Winner Is...

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson received 5 votes. Wonder received 4 votes and Titan Magic received two votes. I'm looking forward to reading this book. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review: My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak (no spoilers)

Book: My Life with the Walter Boys
Author: Ali Novak
Publication: March 1st, 2014
Source: Inter-Library Loan
Read: January 19th-26th, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):

My Life with the Walter Boys centers on the prim, proper, and always perfect Jackie Howard. When her world is turned upside down by tragedy, Jackie must learn to cut loose and be part of a family again.

 Jackie does not like surprises. Chaos is the enemy! The best way to get her successful, busy parents to notice her is to be perfect. The perfect look, the perfect grades-the perfect daughter. And then... 

Surprise #1: Jackie's family dies in a freak car accident.

 Surprise #2: Jackie has to move cross-country to live with the Walters-her new guardians.

 Surprise #3: The Walters have twelve sons. (Well, eleven, but Parker acts like a boy anyway)

 Now Jackie must trade in her Type A personality and New York City apartment for a Colorado ranch and all the wild Walter boys who come with it. Jackie is surrounded by the enemy-loud, dirty, annoying boys who have no concept of personal space. Okay, several of the oldest guys are flat-out gorgeous. But still annoying. She's not stuck-up or boring-no matter what they say. But proving it is another matter. How can she fit in and move on when she needs to keep her parents' memory alive by living up to the promise of perfect?

My Thoughts:

This is the first book of the five book challenge with my sister of 2015. I'm starting early this year and this was a perfect book to start off the challenge. My Life with the Walter Boys is about Jackie who after her family's accident moves from New York City to Colorado. Jackie's loss of her family was not a primary focus of the story, but there were some sad parts. Jackie initially didn't want to go to Colorado, but when she finds out that Mr. and Mrs. Walter have twelve boys, well 11, but Parker acts like a boy, Jackie is even more nervous. How will she ever fit in among all those boys?

Jackie has a lot to learn about living with the Walter. They reminded me at times of Cheaper by the Dozen. There is never a dull moment in their house. The boys are loud, pranksters, that don't respect personal space. I love how Ali Novak was able to give each boy a personality. Some boys were focused on a lot more such as Cole, Alex, Nathan, Danny, but with so many characters I think Novak set a good balance.

I enjoyed getting to know Jackie better and watching her build a relationship in the Walter house. I think this house would be fun, but crazy to live in. The love triangle between Cole and Alex was at some points annoying, but for the most part I enjoyed their characters. I have a clear favorite when it comes to which one I want Jackie to be with. I really liked Nathan and Danny as characters. Their connection with Jackie was very special and their personalities were great.

I felt really connected to all the characters by the end of the novel and I wasn't ready for the ending to come. Then the ending was satisfactory, but totally had the opening for a sequel. I am so invested in these characters that I wanted a sequel. I learned that Ali Novak is planning one for 2016, so I will be anticipating that release. When I finished this book it is was a rush of emotions and I had one of those moments where I just stare at the book in amazement. This book was a fun, light, contemporary read.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Post #4: Library Book Sale

Hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Last Week On the Blog

Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings I Haven't Read
My True Love Gave to Me
My To Be Read List~Vote
Love of Books Read-A-Thon Sign Up

It's been two weeks since I did a Sunday post because of the end of the month wrap up I posted last weekend, so I have a lot to catch you guys up on. Nothing too terribly exciting going on in real life right now. I got a good grade on my math test and got to spend a lot of time with my friends this week. I found out what my friend is getting for Valentine's day from her boyfriend and she is going to be so surprised. As for me for Valentine's Day I'm looking forward to a long weekend at home and a date night with my sister to watch Gone Girl. I'm trying to finish my pile of Library books so that I can focus on the books I own for end of February and the month of March.

For my #fit readers update. For the week of the 25th I got in two swims and two zumba workouts. Then for this past week I did four zumba workouts and two swims. Both of my swims lasted for around 35 minutes. I feel like I'm slowly getting back into shape and losing some weight. I have been eating really healthy ever since I came back to college.

Read This Week

Over the past two weeks I finished
My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak
Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel by Jenni James
Fallen by Ann Hunter
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

(I'm so behind on reviews)

Currently Reading

I'm currently reading Coralina by Anita Valle and Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Snagged at the Library

Here's my new additions from the library. Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel by Jenni James had short check out dates so I returned them during the weekend I read and returned them when I was home for superbowl weekend. I still have Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber, Fairest by Marissa Meyer, and A Little House of Their Own by Celia Wilkins checked out. I also still have Princess of Glass, and Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George on my library pile. 

New Books

For the week of the 25th I didn't get any new books persay, but I did add a new reading tablet to my family.

This is my new Kindle Fire. My first ever e-reader. My reading habits have really changed due to having this device. I wake up in the morning and I read before I get out of bed. 

Then I scored this week at the public library in my college town. They hold a book sale at the beginning of every month. This month they were having a box sale. All the books you can fit in a box for $5. They have a lot of older books that I don't see myself reading so I decided to buy just these three for 25 cents each. I got three books for 75 cents. That means I have $1.23 leftover in my book budget for February. I got Susannah's Garden by Debbie Macomber, Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix, and The Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine. Susannah's Garden is the third in the Blossom street series. I own the fourth also. Just Ella is the first in a series of three. It looks like The Princesses of Bamarre is a standalone. Tell me if I'm right there because if so I will read that one first. 

Events this Week

Hosted by Novel Heartbeat
This is my read-a-thon for the week. It starts on Monday. 

This has by far been my best COYER Read-A-Thon. I finished Fallen and I'm 22% through Coralina by Anita Valle. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Love for Book Read-a-Thon Sign Up

Hosted by Jessi @ Novel Hearbeat

I'm ready for another read-a-thon and I'm hoping to get a lot done during this one. I am trying to tackle all the library books I have taken out so I can read some books I own. Here are my choices.

Library Books:
Princess of Glass (currently reading)
Princess of the Silver Woods
Mr. Miracle
A Little House of their Own

Books I Own:
To All the Boys I Loved Before

Kindle Read:

So as you can see I have a lot of choices, so we will see what I get read. 

My To-Be Read List~ February 2015

Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading

It is time for another round of the My TBR list meme. I finished Sold for Endless Rue by Madeleine E. Robins and Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George in January. I was able to knock two books off my list for fairy tale fortnight. I was really tempted to choose all fairy tale retellings again this month, but thought you guys could help me with my Winning at Reading Challenge. 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio has been on my TBR list since December 9th, 2014

You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

 My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. 

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside.

 But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.

 Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

 Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, WONDER is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson has been on my TBR list since July 19th, 2014.

Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

Titan Magic by Jodi Lamm has been on my TBR list since July 26th, 2014.

Mute, heartless, and tormented by auditory hallucinations, Madeleine Lavoie never questions why her family has hidden her from the world. But the night her brother casts her out, she learns the mysterious voice she thought existed only in her mind is no delusion, and no matter how hard she tries, she can never disobey it.

 Now Madeleine must find her own voice in a cacophony of powerful tyrants, monsters, and gods. If she fails, she will forfeit her life and the lives of everyone who loves her. But if she succeeds, she may finally gain the ability to love someone in return.

These are all going to be great books and since I own them they will get read at some point. I would love for any of these books to win.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book Review: My True Love Gave to Me by Various Authors (no spoilers)

Book: My True Love Gave to Me
Author: Various
Publication: October 14th, 2014
Source: Local Library
Read: Dec 22nd, 2014- Jan 2nd, 2015
My Thoughts:

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell

This was not my favorite story of the book. I found it hard to understand. It is was a midnight love story told over serveral year. It was a lot of random conversations and I don't think the story was able to be fleshed out as much as it could have been. Eventually everything came together.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link

I liked this story, but the writing style did sometimes get in the way of the story. I was sometimes confused by this one also. The story involved ghosts of Christmas past, which was a interesting element. I think this story could have been better with a more clear writing style.

Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena

This story was about two college students who were snowed in during Christmas break. Shy is housesitting for the landlord of the apartment building, Mike. Haley's pipes break down and she asks Shy if he will fix them. He doesn't know the first thing about plumbing so Haley has to come down to Mike's apartment to shower and that is where their romance begins. I think this was my second favorite story of the book. I loved the writing style. It was so conversational and I really found a connection with the characters since they were both college students. I would have loved to see their romance blossom more.

Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han

I loved this story about Nattie who was adopted by Santa and living in the North Pole. It was fun watching Nattie fall in love with a boy she barely met and an elf she had known for a while. There were a few loose ends when the story finished. I thought this story was magical. I had a vivid picture of the north pole in my mind and fell in love with the characters.

It's A Yuletide Miracle Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins

In classic Stephanie Perkins fashion she was able to craft a believable love story that happened in only a few hours. Marigold buys a Charlie Brown Christmas tree from a Christmas Tree Farm from a boy named North, but she needs help getting it home. So their love story begins. I found this story very sweet and I would have loved for it to keep going.

Your temporary Santa by David Levithan

This story was very short. I read the entire story before I got out of bed one morning. I thought it was sweet that a brother would go to great lengths to see his little sister Riley believe in Santa. I have often talk how Santa brings the magic of Christmas out for me. I love how the LGBTQ theme was worked into the novel. There wasn't too much substance to the story, but I did enjoy it. 

Krampuslauf by Holly Black

This story was strange. It was by far not my favorite of the book, but I still liked it. This was a New Year's story about Penny throwing a fancy New Year's party. I enjoyed the contemporary aspects, but some of the magical realism elements just didn't click with me. I still liked this story just didn't love it. 

What the Hell Have You Done Sophie Roth?  by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman's story was really disappointing for me. I spent a good portion of the story confused and by the time I understood everything that was happening I did not have enough time to connect to the characters. What I did relate to was that Sophie was a college freshman and she was feel homesick during her first semester of college. That was me last year so I understand. Sophie was lucky enough to meet Russell who helped her celebrate Hanukkah. 

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire

Vaughn Hatcher gets himself into a lot of trouble, but when he burns down the barn that houses the churches nativity scene. Vaughn has to do community service to rebuild the nativity scene in time for Christmas. There he is able to connect with his crush Gracie Robinson. It isn't long before sparks begin to fly. This story of a rebel and a pastor's daughter falling in love is familiar, but I really enjoyed this take of the story. 

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White

Maria is a resentful teenager forced to work at her families Christmas themed diner for tips only. Maria also watches her friend Candy suffer from an abusive relationship. Then there is Ben, their new cook. Ben believes he can change people and help people through food. Maria and Ben form a special bond. This is my favorite story of the novel. I loved the feeling of hope I had at the end of this novel. This story was by far the longest and totally my favorite. There was a lot of time for development and happy endings. 

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter

This story was about a girl named Liddy who pretends to be an icelandic foreign exchange student who flies across the world to meet her boyfriend Ethan. I found this story interesting. I thought what the family did at the end was really sweet. I enjoyed this story. 

The Girl Who Work the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

This story did not have a story Christmas theme to it besides the advent calendar. I did enjoy the magical elements of this story as the girl talked about her dreams as it gets closer to Christmas. I think the idea of the Dreamer was cool. I think Laini Taylor created a good story, but I also wish it had more Christmas elements to the story. 

Overall I would recommend reading this anthology. I enjoyed the Christmas reads and all the new authors I got to experience. Kiersten White and Matt De La Pena are two authors I need to read more of.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings I Haven't Read

Top Ten Tuesday is Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's topic is to choose 10 books from a genre that you can't believe you haven't read. I chose fairy tale retellings. I'm pretty new to this genre still. I started reading fairy tale retellings when I started book blogging. I did pick out some staples I can't believe I haven't read, but also some newer releases I want to read. 

I'm trying to get ahead on Top Ten Tuesday posts so I'm writing this post on January 18th, 2015. 

1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine- I have seen the movie and everybody says the book is 10 times better yet I have never read it. 
2. Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross- Since I'm going to focus on Snow White retellings this year I'm hoping I will get to this one soon. 
3. Cloaked by Alex Flinn- or any book by Flinn to be honest. I have almost picked up this book quite a few times, but have never read it due to get distracted by other books. 
4. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George- I have heard so much about this book. 
5. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier- Misty at the Book Rat raves about this one every fairy tale fortnight. I feel like I'm missing out. 

6. Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker- I now own this book and therefore have not excuse not to read it. 
7. Ophelia and the Marelous Boy by Karen Foxlee- This book came out last year, but I never got to it. 
8. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynnee Jones- another one that looks like a fairy tale retellings staple. 
9. Of Beast and Beauty by Stacy Jay- Everybody seems to love this book. 
10. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch- another one that came out in 2014 that I didn't get to. 

I read 16 fairy tale retellings out of my 69 books read, so about 23% of my total reading. As you can imagine it is hard to keep up when these are being published so quickly. Which one of these books should I get to first? Have you read any? 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Wrap Up and February TBR

I can't believe the first month of 2015 is already over. January went by so fast. I read 6 books in January. I'm in the middle of Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, Fallen by Anne Hunter (kindle), and Cruel Beauty by Rosamond Hodge (overdrive). I will finish some of these books in February.

My first book of the year was My True Love Gave to Me by Various Authors. Then I read The Hunger Games and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. After that I read Sold for Endless Rue by Madeleine E. Robins, My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak, and Cinderella by Jenni James which were all inter-library loans.

January saw the 2nd crash of my desktop computer. I should get it back on Monday. I had to get a new hard drive. January was a pretty warm month for weather. I say that when today we are getting snow. I also started my 2nd semester of my sophomore year of college. So far my classes haven't been too bad. I just need to keep on top of them otherwise the homework will over take me.

  • $1.00 for every week I swim twice a week 
  • $1.00 for every week I exercise twice a week
  • $.10 for every monthly keyword challenge book completed
  • $.20 for every book I read that I own
  • $.10 for every series finished
  • $.10 for every library book read
  • $.30 for every kindle ebook read
  • $ .05 for every $10 saved using coupons
  • $ .05 for every $1 saved in textbooks purchases.
Here is my book budget.
I managed to go swimming 2x/week for 3 weeks so that $3.00 earned.
I exercised at least 2x/week for 2 weeks  so that is $2.00 earned.
I managed to complete 2 monthly keyword books which is $.20 earned.
I read 0 books I owned in January.
I finished one series in January so that is $.10
I read 4 library books in January so that is $.40
I read 0 kindle books in January

I did not earn any money though coupons this month. I did manage to save $8.85, so I will have some money earned in February. I bought textbooks at the beginning of January and saved $161, so that is $8.05 earned. In total I earned $13.75. I spent $11.77 on books in January, so that means I currently have $1.98 to spend. I'm sure I will purchase a few books next week at the library books book sale.

I read 2/5 of the books I set on my January TBR. I'm 50% through Fallen so I have started that one. I'm hoping to read Princess of Glass and Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George, A Little House of Their Own by Celia Wilkins, Fairest by Marissa Meyer, To all the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han.