Tuesday, April 28, 2015

February, March, and April Wrap-Up

Oh my gosh, you guys do not even know how unbelievably sorry I am that I have neglected my blog for so long. I've been reading and keeping up with my challenges, but actually getting around to reviewing each book I read is...not working out. I started working at McDonalds, I'm currently in a play that's based off the book Little Women, I have tons of school stuff going on, and, believe it or not, I've kinda started dating. It's not official with this guy yet, but I think it has the potential to go somewhere.

But anyway, I've been coming into the library every few days now to work on school stuff and I realised that I have access to computers, which is why I'm making a promise to myself, and to you, that I will come on at least once a week to post a review...at least until school ends that is. I mean...I only have a month until I graduate :D

Now that life updates are out of the way, let's get down to bookish business! I've accomplished a lot in my 105 Challenge for this year!! My status is the following:

I have read

7 of 13: 2015 Releases
-The Ruby Circle
-I'll Meet You There
-Red Queen
-I Was Here
-Second Posistion

5 of 12: books released before 2015
-The End of Alice
-Snow Like Ashes
-White Hot Kiss
-Stone Cold Touch 

5 of 11: New to me authors
-Winner's Curse
-Damsel Distressed
-The Collector's Society
-Blood Red Road
-My True Love Gave to Me

4 of 10: contemporary
-Ugly Love 
-Paper Towns
-The Problem with Heartache

1 of 8: Paranormal

1 of 7: New Adult
-Wait for You

-The Walls Around Us
-Curse of Fire
-For the Love of Ash
-Changing Everything

2 of 5: eBooks

I actually feel really accomplished by the amount of books I'e managed to read this year! I'm really close to finishing some more categories and I can't thank Nori enough for putting together this challenge!

Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke

Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke
Average Rating on Goodreads: 4 of 5 stars
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Page Count: 321

Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters' story. Those girls don't get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing 

Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.

When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.

While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.

And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.

Enhance the experience with the companion soundtrack, Imogen Unlocked, by the author's band, Wedding Day Rain.

Gosh it's been awhile since I've written a proper review /: Let's see how this goes shall we?

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I had heard a lot of hype about it from my dear friend Nori and when I got the chance to read it, I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the fact that Imogen wasn't the typical main character. She was overweight, had horrible anxiety and depression issues and went through a lot of the same problems teens today are facing. All in all she was very relatable.

I also liked the take on the Cinderella fairy tale. Macke gave it her own unique spin and I absolutely loved the fact that Cinder, Imogen's new stepsister, was the one who was a bitch, when everyone knows the story of Cinderella to be about a sweet nice girl who finally finds love.

It's been awhile since I've read this, so some of the details are a bit fuzzy, but I think the reason I gave it a 4 instead of a 5 was because half of the time I was usually yelling at Imogen to stop being so stupid. Don't get me wrong, she was an amazing main character and I loved being able to relate to her so well, but sometimes I just wanted to shake her and tell her to talk to her friends. I mean that's what they're there for! To help you through problem! Plus it was obvious that her best friend was in love with her to everyone but her apparently, but I guess that's how all books usually are :P

Second Position by Katherine Locke

Second Position by Katherine Locke
Average Rating on Goodreads: 4.24 of 5 stars
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Four years ago, a car accident ended Zedekiah Harrow’s ballet career and sent Philadelphia Ballet principal dancer Alyona Miller spinning toward the breakdown that suspended her own. What they lost on the side of the road that day can never be replaced, and grief is always harshest under a spotlight...

Now twenty-three, Zed teaches music and theatre at a private school in Washington, D.C. and regularly attends AA meetings to keep the pain at bay. Aly has returned to D.C. to live with her mother while trying to recover from the mental and physical breakdown that forced her to take a leave of absence from the ballet world, and her adoring fans.

When Zed and Aly run into each other in a coffee shop, it’s as if no time has passed at all. But without the buffer and escape of dance—and with so much lust, anger and heartbreak hanging between them—their renewed connection will either allow them to build the together they never had…or destroy the fragile recoveries they’ve only started to make. 

Book One of the District Ballet Company

**I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review**
I enjoyed this book. It was a little different than I thought it would be, but I can't say that it was bad. There were some things that I didn't like, but that's the case with most books.

Aly's eating disorder seemed realistic and the problems her and Zed faced seemed real enough to me that I was able to connect with the characters on an emotional level. One thing that bothered me though was that Zed seemed unconcerned about her eating disorder unless she was talking about starting ballet again. 

It was a sweet story about two lovers finding each other again. Most of it seemed realistic and the writing was beautiful. I recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporary stories 

Ready to step back to the barre with Zed and Aly? Get a cup of tea and follow the links! 
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Hrq3IH
B&N: http://bit.ly/1CTpVxr
iBooks: http://bit.ly/1Cjym67
Add on Goodreads! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22663595-second-position

Don’t forget! You can check out the prequel novella TURNING POINTE at Carina Press right here: http://carinapress.com/blog/free-reads/ See Zed when he danced, how they got together, and what happened years before SECOND POSITION starts!

About the Author: Katherine Locke lives and writes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she’s ruled by her feline overlords and her addiction to chai lattes. Her dayjobs always vary, but in the past she’s worked in nuclear weapons abolition activism, lead poisoning prevention and education, and food safety programs at a mushroom farm. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, and when she’s not reading, she’s tweeting about reading and writing. She likes her heroes boyish and her heroines with dirty mouths. She secretly believes most books are fairytales in disguise. Her debut novel, SECOND POSITION, arrives in April 2015 from Carina Press.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins and 11 other authors
Average Rating on Goodreads: 3.79 of 5 stars
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
 Page Count: 321

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love. 

My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of various short stories written by many of our favourite authors that follow characters during Christmas time. Now, normally I try to stay away from short stories because I always want more from them. I'm always left wondering "what happened?" Or "did everything work out?" I find it very frustrating because most of the time they end with so many endless possibilities that I have no idea what to think. My True Love Gave to Me, however, held my attention and only left me with a small lingering sense of wanting more. The authors wrote short, sweet stories that were both touching and inspiring.

There were a few stories that I found it hard to get into. I'm unsure if it's because of the style of writing or if the story itself just didn't grab my attention, but it wasn't often that that happened. Many of the stories held my attention and there were even a few that touched my heart more than I had been expecting...especially considering the titles of some of them xD

One of them was about a trouble maker getting a second chance. The story was fantastically sweet and I loved every minute of it. In the midst of chaos, a Christmas pageant was put on, and a love was formed. "Did I go to far?" She said. "No," I replied, "you went just far enough." God that line made my eyes all misty. It was a great ending to the story.

Another one I didn't expect to like went against the traditional Christmas holiday and celebrated Krampuslauf, a holiday that didn't have naughty and nice, only justice. It brought the feeling that there is magic everywhere if only you look around.

I have to say that my absolute favourite was a story about a Jewish girl spending the holidays alone. It isn't until she meets a handsome stranger that her eyes are opened to the hidden beauties of her new town. She discovers that there are no minor miracles, every miracle is worth noticing.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Each story was unique and taught a different lesson with each roadblock the characters faced. I gave My True Love Gave to Me 4 stars because even the stories that didn't fully grasp me, still had something important to say. It was also pretty amazing getting to experience the writing of authors I hadn't even heard of before!