Saturday, April 5, 2014

10 Influential Books Tag

I have seen a lot of people talking about their top ten books that have influenced them in their life and I definitely find those so interesting! Here are my top ten most influential books in my life:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling - When I first read this series, I didn't really like the first book, but I really fell in love with the series after this.

The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1) The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau - This book really got me hooked on dystopians and kept me thinking through the entire series.

The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1) The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene - Also known as Nancy Drew. I spent around a year of my life reading only Nancy Drew novels, but the original series is my favorite.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (Theodore Boone, #1) Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham - I read this book as child, but it put my levels up higher and really defined what I liked in a 'smart' book.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Actually this entire series. It brought me to the realm of the fandom internet and put me on a very interesting journey. I love this story and its truth.

The Interpretation of Dreams The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud - This book is a bit of a nerd problem, but it really got me interested in psychology, which would end up impacting a large portion of my life.

1984 1984 by George Orwell - I love this entire story and how it relates to real life. Seriously, it creeps me out how intense this book is!

Bunheads Bunheads by Sophie Flack - I quit dance because of an injury and I never really got over that until I read this book. It really showed me how dance can impact your life without being obsessed in this dance world.

Night (The Night Trilogy, #1) Night by Elie Wiesel - This book is just really important and incredibly powerful. It really showed me about the Holocaust and respecting people.

Thirteen Reasons Why Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - The first book that really made me cry. It's just so important to my life and how it turned out, just once again, showing me how to treat other people.

Those are my top ten most influential books! What are some of yours?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver Review


Panic by Lauren Oliver
Published HarperCollins 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Hardback from the library
Other books by this author: DeliriumLiesl & PoBefore I Fall
Buy this book: Amazon - Barnes & Noble
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
I adored this book. I sat down and read the entire thing straight through, the entire time having so much fun reading it, but also totally feeling for the characters! I love both Heather and Dodge, although Dodge definitely was not my favorite person. He would come off as a little annoying and confusing, but overall, he was an interesting character and was written very well, so I still enjoyed reading about him. Heather, however, I totally loved. She is such a relatable character. I loved everything she does and goes through. One of my other favorite characters was Bishop, especially his relationship with Heather. He reminds me of my best guy friend. Bishop was so lovable and funny and I adored the scenes with him in them. Our other main character was Natalie (known as Nat) who was just okay. I cared about her, but I wasn't totally in love with her character. 

The writing in this book, like all of Lauren Oliver's books, is absolutely gorgeous. Everything is so well placed and ties together beautifully in a bow. It was so interesting and kept me reading the entire time. The two POVs tied together very well, both showing different characters from different opinions and points of view. The challenges were crazy and exciting. Everything was just so well described and beautiful and I loved the writing style.

The challenges in this book were crazy insane. They were terrifying and so scary. I have no idea how some of these were even completed, which they weren't as some people got eliminated throughout the book. It was so crazy to read about and really scary. I have no idea how I would do in those challenges. Let's be honest, I wouldn't even enter into Panic. The ending was amazing and I adored everything about it. Some people haven't liked the end, but I really liked how it closed. The epilogue was also really nice and tied it up really nicely. The themes in this book were really cool and I really want to reread it again! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer Review

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Published Little Brown 2008
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Romance
Format: Kindle ebook
Other books in this series: New MoonEclipseBreaking Dawn
Buy this book: Amazon - Barnes & Noble
About three things I was absolutely positive:

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him - and I didn't know how dominant that part might be - that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

When Bella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.

What Bella doesn't realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And it might be too late to turn back...
First, I would just like to clear up that this is my first time reading this book. I know, I missed all the hype a couple of years ago. However, I still wanted to read this book so I could finally catch onto the very end of the Twihard bandwagon. I was expecting this book to be miserable. It is constantly made of fun of and Bella is ridiculed as a character. That's not really what I got though.

Sure, there are multiple eye roll moments. I suffered a couple of them myself. But for the majority of the book, I loved Bella and Edward's banter mixed into their romance. Sure, it was sometimes a little cheesy, actually it was often cheesy. But it was still fun and kept me reading. As for the vampires in the book, that was probably where I had the most issues. Their descriptions were almost funny. The myth behind them was a little confusing and I missed why James was such a threat. Everything in that area got very twisted, so I feel like New Moon may help clear that up a little bit. 

Bella is also hated by most people. I didn't quite hate her. Maybe I will the next book. But for now, Bella, while not a strong female character, was interesting and unique. I really liked the way she talked to Edward and dealt with her issues. At the end, she got a little love obsessed and rash. The writing was also really childish. It seemed like she wasn't a professional author, which she wasn't. It comes through very clearly in the way the book is written. 

Overall, this book was okay. It wasn't really worth the initial hype, but at the same time, it was not the terrible book I was expecting. I will keep reading the series to learn more about the vampires and Bella's character development! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Villette by Charlotte Bronte Review


Villette by Charlotte Bronte
Published 1853
Genre: Classics
Format: Kindle ebook
Other Books by this author: Jane EyreShirley
Buy this book: Amazon - Barnes & Noble
"VilletteVillette! Have you read it?" exclaimed George Eliot when Charlotte Brontë's final novel appeared in 1853. "It is a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre. There is something almost preternatural in its power."

Arguably Brontë's most refined and deeply felt work, Villette draws on her profound loneliness following the deaths of her three siblings. Lucy Snowe, the narrator of Villette,flees from an unhappy past in England to begin a new life as a teacher at a French boarding school in the great cosmopolitan capital of Villette. Soon Lucy's struggle for independence is overshadowed by both her friendship with a worldly English doctor and her feelings for an autocratic schoolmaster. Brontë's strikingly modern heroine must decide if there is any man in her society with whom she can live and still be free.
I am honestly so happy for being a member of the Classics Book Club. This was our read of the month. Villette would normally be the type of book I would never pick up on my own. I had never heard of it before and it is incredibly long, almost 500 or more pages. Without the encouragement of my fellow readers, I have thankfully pushed through this book and really found a hidden gem in my first read of a Bronte's work!

The hardest part about reading this book is the character of Lucy Snowe, yet she is also the best part about this book. Lucy is the most complex character that I have ever read. She does not even read like a character, but like a person. She is troubled by the problems of her past and is closed off to the people around her, including the reader. The first person writing style is so different from what we see in today's modern novels. Very little is known about her, yet the reader still cares deeply for what happens to her. Yes, she does make some bad decisions and is frustrating, but she is a very smart character at the end of the day. She is easily the heart and soul of the book.

The plot of this book is really nonexistent. Like I said, the main point of this book is the life of Lucy Snowe. It is like a contemporary novel in this type of way. We follow her through her journies in her new home of Villette, France and all the people she meets there. I found it interesting how she ended up working as a teacher for Madam Beck. The minor characters were also really interesting. I really loved the character of Ginevra. She provides some comic relief and I loved her banter with Lucy! There is a great cast that really has so many cute developments. 

The writing of this book is also a little bit hard to read, but I liked that. In modern day novels, it is so easy to just read quickly without really process what they are saying. Parts of this book are in untranslated French, because they are in France. With my Kindle, it translated these passages for me, but otherwise, it was a bit difficult to try and decipher them. However, it really pushed me as a reader and I really enjoyed that challenge for once!

Overall, this was a great book to read, and something I am very happy I decided to pick up! I loved the character of Lucy and she is definitely the highlight of this book. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring 2014 TBR List

You do not even want to know how happy I am that it is finally feeling like spring here! We have had a miserable winter, so feeling the sunlight is absolutely magical. Today's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is for the top ten books on my spring 2014 TBR list. Most of these are books that have not come out yet, but I am really looking forward to reading, but there is a little mix.

Beauty QueensThe Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2)Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)This Song Will Save Your LifeDorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)
The One (The Selection, #3)GoldenBefore I FallIncarnate (Newsoul, #1)Twilight (Twilight, #1)

  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
  • The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Lelia Jo Sales
  • Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
  • The One by Kiera Cass
  • Golden by Jessi Kirby
  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  • Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
What books are you looking forward to reading this spring? 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Far From You

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's unreleased book that I cannot wait for is:
Far From You

Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice.

The first time, she's fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that'll take years to kick.

The second time, she's seventeen, and it's no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina's murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery.

After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina's brother won't speak to her, her parents fear she'll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina's murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina and about the secret they shared

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in the Fantasy Genre

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in X Genre and for that genre, I picked fantasy! Here they are:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, # 1)Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-GlassUnearthly (Unearthly, #1)Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)Savvy (Savvy, #1)

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
  • Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Savvy by Ingrid Law