Saturday, March 28, 2015

TBR List March: Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Book: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Publication: April 15th, 2014
Source: Purchased
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Read: Mar 14th-24th, 2015
Summary (from Goodreads):

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

My Thoughts:

This month for My To Be Read List I read To All the Boys I've Loved Before. This came out April of last year and the 2nd book is coming out really soon so it was time to get this book read. This was my sister's favorite book of 2014. I had pretty high expectations going in just because my sister and I usually enjoy the same books. If I tell her she needs to read a book then she usually loves it as well. I Loved this novel.

The characters were so relatable. I'm currently a Sophomore in College and My sister is a Junior in High School. The oldest sister Margot was leaving for college in Scotland. I could not imagine going to college so far away from my family. I'm used to coming home every couple of weekends. The middle sister Lara Jean is the main character of this novel. I related to Lara Jean in the sense that she is horrible at directions, but I'm glad I'm not as bad of a driver as she is.

Lara Jean has never had a boyfriend, but she has loved five boys and she has wrote each of them a letter, then buried the letter, and figures that will be the end of all the boys she has loved before. That is until all her letters get mailed and she is forced to face her past. Peter is supposed to be the character that we don't like, but I found that I liked him better than Josh at some points. I loved watching their relationship grow and change throughout the novel. I found myself wishing that their relationship would move forward. That is for you to find out.

There is a love triangle in this YA Contemporary, but it is not the typical love triangle we see in YA and I didn't find it annoying. I have loved every book that I have read by Jenny Han and I'm excited to read the 2nd book, P.S. I Still Love You. So if you have not picked up To All the Boys I've Loved Before, I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Series Review: Princess Series by Jessica Day George

I have been wanting to read this series since I first fell in love with Fairy Tale retellings. The first book was at my library and I always saw it on the shelf. So I kept putting the series off because I knew that I could pick the book up whenever I wanted to. This year I finally decided that I would start the series and binge read the series. This was a great series to binge read.

I loved the characters of the Princess series. Some authors would struggle to have 12 characters and have them all somewhat involved in the story, but George pulled it off. She managed to give each character a different personality so I wasn't confused. Some of the sisters had a small roll in all the books, but some had pretty big parts also. There was one main sister for each book. It was Rose in Princess of the Midnight Ball, Poppy in Princess of Glass, and Petunia in Princess of the Silver Woods.

Princess of the Midnight Ball was my favorite book of the series. The storyline and fairy tale retelling were very strong in Princess of the Midnight Ball. I also fell in love with Galen, which is the love interest in Princess of the Midnight Ball. Christian and Oliver were great love interests in the other two novels, but I did not fall in love with them the way I fell for Galen. The mystery surrounding the worn out dancing shoes made a strong story and mystery for Princess of the Midnight Ball. Princess of Glass went off this original story to a different story. Princess of Glass could almost be read on its own. The Princess of the Silver Woods comes back to King Under Stone to wrap up the mystery.

I enjoyed reading this series. These were the first three books I have read by Jessica Day George and I look forward to reading more books by George in the future. For now I recommend this series as a must read for fairy tale retelling lovers and people who enjoy the fairy tale of The 12 Dancing Princesses.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Post #7: Spring Break Ends

Hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Last Week On the Blog

February Wrap Up & March TBR
My Resources for Cheap or Free Books
My To Be Read List Winner
TBR Read-A-Thon
Read My Library Challenge

This was actually a pretty exciting week on the blog. I have been busy getting a lot of posts ready for Fairy Tale Fortnight, so you guys will see my blog pick up starting April 1st. I hope.

This week for #fitreaders I took the week off. I hoped that it would be nice enough outside to run and it was, but my roads were muddy so I decided to take it easy. I weighed myself this week and I have lost 6 lbs. I'm very proud of this number. My Spring Break is over as of today and I'm heading back to college. I'm hoping to return to running this week and will for sure return to Zumba. I'm staying at college this weekend so I should get my swimming in this week. I'm ready for the summer sun.

Spring Break was a relaxing week. I got to spend a lot of time at my neighbor's house. I visited work on Wednesday. I love seeing all the new babies. It was nice to catch up with everybody. I'm looking forward to returning back to college. I miss my friends and need to catch up on their lives.

Read This Week

In the past two weeks I have finished Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, and A Little House of their Own by Cecelia Wilkins

Currently Reading

I'm getting a jump start on my TBR List book, To All the Boys I Have Loved Before by Jenny Han.

Snagged at the Library

Here are my current checkouts. Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I'm very excited to read Kristin Hannah's new book. 

New Books

I added one new book to the pile, but this book was a steal at the library book sale. It is in almost perfect condition and I got it for a $1. 

Events this Week

The TBR Read-A-Thon is a short one and ends tomorrow. I will be wrapping that up sometime this week. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Read My Library Challenge Sign Up

I have been loving these monthly challenges this year. So far I have joined the Put the Library on Hold Challenge, Winning at Reading, and Take Control of Your TBR Pile. Plus I have the TBR Double Dare, which ends April 1st, 2015. Winter COYER just wrapped up last week. All these challenges were meant to help me tackle my physical and kindle TBR. I have read 2 books I borrowed from my roommate, 1 book I own, 3 kindle books, and 10 library books.

From those stats you can see that the library is my favorite method of reading. I'm cutting down on library books for the rest of the school year as I won't be home very often. Even if I read one library book during the whole month of April this challenge is worth it because it celebrates everything I love to celebrate in April. 

April 12-18th is National Library Week, so check out your local libraries this week for even more fun activities than usual. The most important part about this challenge is celebrating libraries and all the good they do for the community. Even a family that is struggling to get by can afford to read through their library. I for one would not be able to read 70 books a year without getting over half of the books from the library. I love owning books, but I'm a college student so the library is a favorite location of mine. 

I have celebrated library on my blog for the past two years and this challenge gives me another chance to continue to tell you guys why I love my library and why you should love the library too. I will try to update weekly with which books I have checkout and update my reading progress. 

I will also be announcing My Library Books 2015 Read-A-Thon Date during National Library Week, so you have that to look forward to. I will put up a current checkout post on April 1st and Happy Reading!

TBR Read-A-Thon Sign Up and Progress

I'm a little bit late on starting this Read-A-Thon, but I'm starting To All the Boys I've Loved Before today on page 0. I will post my progress in this post also. I hope to make progress in Jenny Han's book during this read-a-thon. 

Day 1 March 13th
Finished Little House of Their Own

Day 2 March 14th

March To Be Read List~ Winner

Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading

This month was really interesting. I had a tie between The Infinite Moment of Us and The Geography of You and Me and I asked for more votes. I asked for more votes only to have a three way tie. Then I got lucky and one more person voted to decide my winner. 

And the Winner is.....
I secretly wanted this book to win. I have had this book on my TBR list several times, but always put it off because I own it and there is no deadline, but my sister has sang this book's praises ever since it came out in April 2014. I want to read every book I put up for a vote this month, but I'm excited to get to this book first. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

My Resources for Getting Free or Cheap Books

I skipped February's budget post. Opps, but my budget can be found in my monthly wrap up each month. 

1. Library
How can I have a free book post without the library? The library is my number one resource for free books. The problem with the library is that you have to be patient and there is a deadline on the book. I love the library. It gives me the resources to read all the books I read. I can't afford to buy an entire library otherwise I would, but thankfully I can support my local library and they can support my reading habits.

Here's an interesting fact. I currently have three library cards. That's right three. I'm a college student so I have my local library at home, which is still my most used library because I grew up in a big city and this library has more selection. My Student ID is my library card for my University Library. To this date I have not checked out any books since the library is more focused on research then reading. Then there is the public library in my college town, which doesn't have the widest selection or the greatest hold system, so I use them, but rarely. My advice is to take advantage of being a dual member at a couple library systems if you can.

2. Friends
Right now the only friend I have that read is my roommate, Ashley. She borrows me books every so often and I let her read my books. It is great to start a swapping system so the book can get read more times.

3. Amazon
I have a kindle fire and find many free or cheap books on Amazon.

I hope to learn about more places to get cheap or free books through this months posts.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

February Wrap Up and March TBR

I read 3/5 books off my February TBR List. I read 7 books in February. 2 were Kindle books and 5 were Physical.

I started the Princess series by Jessica Day George in January and finished it in February. I really enjoyed this series. Fairest was another one of my favorite for this month. I read it in a day and really enjoyed getting to know more about Levana's story.

  • $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 only swam twice in a week once in February, so $1.00 earned.
I exercised at least twice 3 out 4 weeks in February, so $3.00 earned.
Princess of the Midnight Ball and Princess of Glass were both Monthly Keyword books, so that is . 2o cents earned.
I did not read any books I own in February.
I finished the Princess series, so .10 cents earned.
I read 5 library books so that is .50 cents earned.
I read 2 kindle books and earned .60 cents.
I have saved $17.32 cents with coupons so far this year. That is .05 cents earned towards the book budget.

I had $1.23 left over in my January book budget and I add on $5.45 for February. My total budget at this point is $6.68.

I'm not really planning on a set TBR list this month. I'm focusing on Book I own for the Take Control of Your TBR Challenge hosted on Kimba the Caffienated Book Reviewer. I have a shelf on Goodreads for my Owned Books. I'm hoping to get as many as possible done this month.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

March To Be Read List~ Let's Vote

Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading

For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now... not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them...

 Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality.

Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father. Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

 A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.

 They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

This month is all about books I own. I have mentioned these books a lot on my blog, but have yet to read them, so I'm hoping to read one or more of these this month. I will for sure read the one you guys pick.

My To-Be Read List Review February: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (no spoilers)

Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading
Book: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publication: May 4, 2010
Source: Gifted
Read: Feb 21-Mar 2
Summary (from Goodreads):

Amy 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.

My Thoughts:
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour was my February To-Be Read List pick. I'm quite late on this review in fact my voting for March will be up later today, but time just got away from me this week. I'm officially on spring break this week so hoping to get ahead on blogging.

I really enjoyed Amy and Roger's Epic Detour. It did take a while to get into, but once I was in I was hooked. This book was one I was excited to tell everybody about and it made me want to take a road trip although I know they aren't as fun as Amy and Roger made them out to be.

The mystery behind the car accident was one of the things that was really interesting in this book. It was always in the back of my mind wondering what happened. It was fun to watch Amy change throughout the novel. She went from being closed off to finally opening up to new experiences. Roger also changed and grew throughout this novel. He decided that he needed to move on and enjoy the adventure.

I loved the pictures, the receipts, playlists, and the description of the places they went. The scrapbook aspect of this book just added to the character. Even though I finished the book I still like to pick it up and look at the pictures. This book was all about adventure and finding happiness. They took a detour from the route Amy's mom originally set for them and they grew so much over the journey. The romance in this book developed slowly, but once it developed they moved quickly. Almost a little too quickly in my opinion. This whole book took place over 5 days and a lot happened in those 5 short days.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun summer read. I grew pretty attached to Amy, Roger, and their Epic Detour across America. It was such a fun read and a great way to live this cross country adventure. Definitely on my recommend list!