Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish.  Each week a new list topic is posted, and book bloggers fill in their choices.  This week's topic is "My Bookish Bucket List.

Here's mine:

1. Read more classics.  There are so many classics that are free on Amazon, so I have tons downloaded on my Kindle.  I really need to start them soon!

2. Meet more of my favorite authors.  I've been lucky enough to meet many of my favorite authors, but I'd love to meet some such as Lauren DeStefano, Cassandra Clare, John Green, and Kasie West.

3. Read the Harry Potter books.  Can you believe I've never read them?  *ducks* I know, I know.  I'd like to give them a try eventually.

4. Have a library in my house.  I'm only 16, but once I move out and get my own apartment or house, I'm definitely going to have my own personal library!  I've gotten so much inspiration and ideas from seeing libraries and bookshelves on Pinterest.

5. Do more bookish crafts.  I'm big into DIY and quirky crafts, and I really want to start doing more book-related crafts.  Again - I have tons of ideas from stuff I've pinned on Pinterest, so I want to try it soon!

6. Go to more events and conferences.  It feels like I'm one of the few bloggers who hasn't attended BEA or ALA or something similar, and I am absolutely dying to go sometime.

7. Visit bookish places.  I would love the chance to visit the settings of Jane Austen novels, the Anne of Green Gables series, or even go to New Zealand to see where they filmed The Lord of the Rings. *sigh* A girl can dream, right?

8. Get blurbed.  I think it's safe to say that this is every book blogger's dream.  Who wouldn't want a snippet of their review to be featured inside a book?

9. Read all the books I own.  This was actually one of my New Year's Resolutions. :) So far, I've already knocked out seven or eight, and I think I have around fifteen left.

10. Have a bookish engagement photoshoot or bookish wedding.  How amazing would this be?  Not to mention Pinterest again (can you tell I'm addicted?), but there's so many great ideas and inspiration to be found there.  At the very least, I'm going to do a book-themed photoshoot for my senior pictures next year!  But a literary/bookish wedding (think Pride & Prejudice) would be so much fun.

What's on your Top Ten Tuesday list?

~ Kaitlyn

Saturday, March 22, 2014

ARC Review: Remnants: Season of Wonder by Lisa T. Bergren

Goodreads summary:

In the first book of the new futuristic dystopian series from author Lisa T. Bergren, the chosen remnants must work to redirect humanity’s course.

The year is 2095. Gifted teens known as Remnants have been chosen and trained to act as humanity’s last hope to rectify the horrors that are now part of everyday life.

The Community has trained these teens as warriors and assigned them Knights of the Last Order as protectors. Together, they are a force that will be difficult to bring down.

But the Sons of Sheol, of course, are determined to do just that. As the Remnants begin their mission to course-correct humanity by saving and protecting key individuals, their enemies move to stop them, placing the entire world in peril.

Bestselling author Lisa T. Bergren presents the first book in her new YA futuristic dystopian series—The Remnants Novels—fitting in with the current dystopian trend in the marketplace.

My review:

I'm a huge Lisa T. Bergren fan.  I loved her River of Time series, and when I found out she was writing a new dystopian series, I was thrilled.  Luckily, I won a galley of this book in a contest and proceeded to fangirl and instantly read it as soon as it arrived in the mail.

I was slightly nervous when I started reading Season of Wonder, because honestly?  I've gotten pretty tired of all the dystopian books lately, although I do stumble upon one now and then that blows me away.  And this book was definitely one of those rare, well-written dystopians.  It has a fantasy-ish feel to it that helps set it apart - think medieval customs and knights - and this unique blend of fantasy and dystopia sucked me in.  Props to the author for creating such an original setting and backstory!

There's a wide cast of characters.  The only problem I had with this book is the fact that all the characters were a little confusing at first.  However, it didn't take long for me to get used to everyone and start remembering their names, and I grew to love all the supporting characters.  And I loved the main character, Andriana.  She's strong-willed and has really great character growth.  The romance between her and Ronan is so sweet and swoony.  I appreciated that it wasn't cliched, but instead very realistic.  They start out as friends, and gradually start liking each other as something more.  Ronan is very chivalrous and heroic; I loved his character.  And for anyone who's worried about the romance becoming the main focus of the story - no need to fear.  The action and tension remains at the forefront of the story.  

I was blown away by the creativity and addictiveness of Season of Wonder.  This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys dystopian and/or fantasy and is looking for something different to read.  I can't wait to read the sequel.  Lisa T. Bergren has done it again!

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

~ Kaitlyn

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (41)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to read.

My pick is Take Me On by Katie McGarry!

Goodreads summary:

Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

My thoughts:

I am so ridiculously excited for this book!  I have no idea how Katie McGarry manages to churn out so many books so quickly - she is a writing machine!  (Her last book, Crash Into You, was published this past November.)  I'm looking forward to getting West's story.  His character was introduced in Crash Into You and I can't wait to learn more about him.  Can May please hurry up and get here?!


Take Me On releases May 27, 2014.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

(P.S. To all my followers, sorry I've been absent lately - school has kept me pretty busy.  I'll be posting a book review later this week, though!)

~ Kaitlyn

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (11)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted at Tynga's Reviews.

I just realized it's been a couple months since I've done a post about a book haul, and I went to the library recently, so I decided it was perfect timing. :) Here's my haul!

Books I bought/received
- Let the Storm Break by Shannon Messenger
- Remnants by Lisa T. Bergren

Books I got from the library:
- Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
- Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter
- Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
- UnSouled by Neal Shusterman
- Enders by Lissa Price

Really excited about all these books!  Most of them are sequels/companion novels, and I can't wait to get started - so far, I've only read Remnants (which I loved!).

If you posted a book haul on your blog, feel to free to comment with a link.  I'd love to stop by! :)

~ Kaitlyn

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (40)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to read.

My pick is The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes!

Goodreads summary:

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is used to getting what she wants, and when her boyfriend Jason breaks up with her for no reason, what she wants is to win him back before the start of their senior year. Lainey and her friend Bianca check the interwebz for tips and tricks, but the online dating advice is all pretty lame. 

Then the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. Didn't someone once say that love is a battlefield? Jason isn't going to stand a chance once Lainey and Bee go all Zhou Dynasty on him... 

Old school strategy and subterfuge meet modern-day dramarama in the story of a girl who sets out to win at all costs and ends up discovering what's really worth fighting for.

My thoughts:

I'm so excited for this book!  Paula Stokes also wrote the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series under the name Fiona Paul, and I'm looking forward to see how she transitions from writing historical fiction to contemporary fiction. 

The Art of Lainey releases May 20, 2014.

What's your Waiting on Wednesday pick?

~ Kaitlyn

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Top 5 Books of February 2014

I didn't get too as many books as I'd hoped to in February, partly because it's such a short month, and partly because of my continuing obsession with Supernatural. :) Luckily, I had lots of really good 4- and 5-star reads!  Here's what I read last month:

- Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
- Minders by Michele Jaffe
- Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
- Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
- White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Heiber
- Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
- Be With Me by J. Lynn
- Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
- Love After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
- Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier
- Descendant by Lesley Livingston
- The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
- Split Second by Kasie West
- Hover by Melissa West
- Vortex by S. J. Kincaid

My top five books:

1. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi.  Warning: this book will give you a lot of feels.  It will make you laugh and squeal and cry and hold your breath in awe.  I cannot express how much I loved this final book in the Shatter Me trilogy, and how thrilled I am that Mafi ended it in a way that was unexpected, yet made me so ridiculously happy.  It's hard to say much without spoilers, but I loved it.  And Warner?  Gah, he's as swoony as ever.  If you haven't read this yet, what are you waiting for?!

2. White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  It was tough for me to choose between this one and JLA's Be With Me, but I think White Hot Kiss wins.  It's perfect for fans of the TV show Supernatural.  Not only is there a fantastic main character and adorable romance, but the world-building was impressive and the plot is full of tension and action.  Not to mention there's a mindblowing twist at the end.  Armentrout has done it again, and I can't wait for the next book.

3. Split Second by Kasie West.  I love Kasie West's books, period.  She is the master of sass and sarcasm.  In this sequel, she manages to flawlessly combine two points of view and two separate romances in a way that'll never leave you bored.  Split Second definitely doesn't suffer from Second Book Syndrome.  I loved the new characters, and the plot is perfectly paced, filled with a mix of cutesy romantic moments and pulse-pounding action and twists.

4. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.  I've been meaning to read this book for so long, so I finally caved and checked it out from my library.  This is a rare book that actually lives up to the hype.  Similar to Kasie West, Rachel Hawkins has many funny and sarcastic moments in Hex Hall.  I enjoyed the main character Sophie's narration; she's hilariously awkward and I found myself easily relating to her.  There were some good twists in this book, too.  It's just an all-around fun paranormal read.  I can't wait to start the sequel.

5. Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn.  This book doesn't come out for a couple more months (I got an e-arc from Netgalley), but if you enjoy contemporary books, you're going want to buy a copy of this the day it comes out!  I zipped through it in a day while I was at a family event - and I was so engrossed in the story that I was never distracted by the chatter around me.  This is a funny, heartwarming contemporary that will keep you guessing.

Honorable mentions to Fire & Flood and Vortex!

What have you read lately that you loved?

~ Kaitlyn