Top Ten Tuesday 10/25/2016

top ten tuesday

Woo hoo, first official book related post since I have been back! I love Top Ten Tuesdays and it could be because I love to make lists but I love also being able to quickly share some of my top ten favorite books pertaining to a certain topic. This Tuesday’s topic is:

Halloween related freebie: ten scary books, favorite horror novels, non-scary books to get you in the Halloween/fall mood, bookish halloween costumes, scariest covers), scary books on my TBR, etc.

So my top ten list is going to be…Top Ten Young Adult Thrillers

*Seriously if you’re looking for some last minute creepy thrillers to get you in the mood for Halloween,  I would recommend any of these.*

1.) Ten by Gretchen McNeil

2.) The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

3.) Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

4.) The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

5.) The Ruining by Anna Collomore

6.) Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

7.) The Cellar by Natasha Preston

8.) The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

9.) The Rules by Nancy Holder

10.) One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

If you’re looking for more scary/thrillers leave me a comment and I can suggest some more as I had about 20 and had to cut the list in half.

I’m Back! :)

So I know a couple months back I published a post explaining my previous and future absence to my blog. I honestly didn’t think I’d be back on here so soon (possibly even ever) as life has a way of staying crazy. Well, even though I’m working full time and attending college full time I have surprisingly found a lot of time to read lately. I’ve finished probably 8-10 books within the past month and I am so happy I have found the time for reading again. I now also want to start posting reviews again as I have read some really great books from all ends of the young adult genres. I’m currently reading Three Dark Crowns, which will most likely be the first review I post. From there I will plan out the rest, warning now there’s a good amount of thrillers though as I was in the mood for some creepy books during the month of October.

As for my previous post, my other blog came and went in one post. I never got the chance to log on and post anything. I wanted to start a blog that I could write about books, movies, trips/travel, make up and pretty much anything and everything but unfortunately it just didn’t work out.  Even though this blog is dedicated to posting book reviews and other book related topics, I may have a post here and there about other things as well.

I’m so happy to be back, and thank you to everyone who is still following me (almost 3 years later now!). Keep your eyes open for some new posts. 🙂

Long Time No Post

Hey everyone who is still following me after months of not posting lol, I thank you for that. I have logged back in to do two things.  1.) Explain my 3.5 month absence and 2.) Bring some exciting news (please stick around for that part of the post).

So basically life took over as it usually does. I got a new job in March, trained for a week, left for spring break and then jumped into my new job when I returned. Since then I have been working full time and during the spring I was still finishing 2 courses for school. Basically I have been lucky enough to finish 4-5 books since March. The spring semester finished, I still was working full time but the nights got warmer and longer and I didn’t spend the time I used to reading. It sucks and I still love to read as much as I did before but I’ve also been basking in the warm weather and sun when given the chance. I don’t know if I will eventually return to blogging on this site, I hope one day that I am able to but at the current moment, I’m just lacking the time needed to read and post reviews regularly.

Now onto the exciting news…I have started a new blog. I’ll refer to it as my “everything blog”. It’s called Lifestyle of A Twenty Something and is right here on WordPress. I know you may be wondering how could I have time for a new blog when I can’t even post on here. Well my new blog is going to include so, so, sooo much more than book reviews. See what I am lacking now for this blog is the time to read books in an efficient time to post reviews regularly. My new blog may touch on a book review here and there as I finish but I’ll be basically blogging about my everyday life from trips to movies to school. That is why I basically started a new blog, because I want to blog about life and everything fun and exciting going on. I felt like I couldn’t do that here because I had dedicated this blog specifically to reviewing books. So if you’ve enjoyed following me on here, I welcome you to go follow my new blog 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday 03/01/2016

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Woo hoo, first Top Ten Tuesday post of 2016 and better late then never, right? I recently started posting reviews again and am hoping to post 1 per week. I recently went from ‘undecided’ as my major to ‘pre-nursing’ so college is kicking my ass right now which is why my posts have kind of been few and far between this year. I really want to try to get at least 1 review posted a week though. I also want to do a Top Ten Tuesday every now and then and I really liked this week’s topic so here it goes…

Ten Books To Read If You Are In The Mood For X

X = Summer (surprise, surprise)

1.) Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

2.) Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

3.) Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

4.) Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

8   7   6   9

5.) Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin

6.) The Beach Lane Collection by Melissa de la Cruz

7.) The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han

8.) Five Summers by Una LaMarche

10   12   13   11

9.) Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

10.) Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer) by Michelle Dalton

14    15

There are obviously MANY more I could have included in this list. These are just some of my favorites that came to mind right away. I love love LOVE summer themed books so my Goodreads ‘Read’ list is filled with them.

(Two more I just thought of that I LOVED…

Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski )

The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

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Title & Author: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

Publisher/Year: Katherine Tegen Books/May 10, 2016

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By the Author: The After Girls

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

A passionate summer love story about a girl, her childhood best friend recently released from juvie, and the small-town lies that have kept them apart. A teen romance debut with a dark edge.

Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July.

Local teen convict released early.

Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock.

“Everything is not what you think.”

Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing him, she could lose everything. But what if there’s more to that horrible night than she knows? And how many more people will get hurt when the truth finally comes out?

“You’re the one person who believes in me.”

Leah Konen’s southern romance swelters with passion as it explores the devastating crush of lies, the delicate balance of power and perception, and one girl’s journey to find herself while uncovering the secrets of so many others.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

First let me start off by saying this is a summer based book and if you don’t know by now, I am obsessed with summer themed books. Leah Konen’s other YA book, The After Girls, has also been on my TBR list (as well as my bookshelf) for a while now and I definitely need to start reading it. The Last Time We Were Us was so, so good. It had me feeling so many mixed emotions throughout the book and had me racing through the pages at the end to see what had happened.

The romance in The Last Time We Were Us was insanely intense. I had no idea what was going to happen and definitely wasn’t expecting the ending to play out like it had. I can’t say I was shocked, but I also feel like some of the characters got what they had been asking for throughout the book. The book is also packed full of drama between multiple characters which kept it entertaining as well as kept me sucked into the book turning page after page. The book itself was longer than most I’ve read lately (almost 400 pages) but I was hooked and breezed through it.

I really liked the characters in The Last Time We Were Us. I have to admit though my favorite character was Jason Sullivan and I can’t really say why he was without giving anything away. I had mixed feelings about the main character Liz. There were times when I liked her and was rooting for her and other times when I wish I could have reached in the pages and smacked her. Innis Taylor was quite the character, once again can’t say much about him without giving things away. Liz’s friend MacKenzie was alright. She had a few good friend moments, but I felt like a majority of the time she was immature and over reacted to certain situations.

Overall if you’re into young adult contemporary and/or romance I definitely think you’d enjoy this book. It’s one of the better books I have read in 2016, it’s in my top 10 as of now. I could easily see this as a book I’d reread again in the future.

Entwined by Heather Dixon

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Title & Author: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Publisher/Year: Greenwillow Books/2011

Source: Amazon

Format: Kindle eBook

Other Books by Author: Illusionarium, Perchance to Dream: Classic Tales from the Bard’s World in New Skins

My Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Oh my goodness, let me start this review off by saying I freaking LOVED this book. This is my first ever fairy tale retelling I’ve read and I am so, so, sooo happy it was my first as well. With fairy tell retellings being on the rise lately, I kind of turned my nose up at them and didn’t think I’d be interested. I was participating in a challenge on Goodreads where the one option was to choose a retelling based off of a fairy tale, myth or legend. I knew I didn’t want to read the same ones everyone else had been reading (and even raving about lately) so I looked up lists on Goodreads and that is where I came across Entwined. Before finding Entwined I had never even heard of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which made this is ideal book for what I was looking for.

I was immediately sucked into Entwined. I loved the characters, the storyline, the setting. To put it short, I loved absolutely everything about this book. I don’t even know where to start with it. Overall it took me 2-3 days to finish during the work week and I spent a majority of my free time outside of school work reading. I loved the main character Azalea. She was such a strong, independent female lead character. Her sisters were just as amazing as she was and I would love to see sequels written for some of them. The whole palace and it’s garden and the silver forest was described in such detail it seemed magical.

As for the storyline, I feel like I can’t say too much without giving spoilers away. I thought the storyline did an excellent job retelling and extending the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It had romance thrown into it, along with some magic/supernatural moments and quite the action packed ending. The girls love of dancing was clear throughout the novel and their will to continue dancing although they were in their year of mourning showed how determined they were to continue doing what they and their mother loved.

I honestly would recommend anyone looking for a new book to get lost into to read Entwined. Don’t pass it by because it’s a retelling. If I had done that to Entwined, as I had done to so many other retellings, I would have missed out on an amazing book which is now definitely on my favorites shelf. If you love fairy tales, then there is no doubt you will fall in love with Entwined like I did.

Waiting On Wednesday: 02/17/2016

waiting on wednesday

I haven’t done a Waiting on Wednesday post in I don’t know how long, so I thought why not do one this week? There are so many books coming out in 2016 that I am highly anticipating but this one may take the top spot. I read this author’s other young adult book that came out last year (2015) and absolutely loved it. I was beyond thrilled to see she had another young adult mystery book coming out as well but was disappointed that I will be waiting until August to read it. Here is my first Waiting on Wednesday book of 2016:

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The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy

Expected Publication: August 2, 2016

Lana used to know what was real.

That was before when her life was small and quiet.
Her golden step-brother, Ben, was alive, she could only dream about bonfiring with the populars, their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, and living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder. 

Alexandra Sirowy’s other young adult mystery, The Creeping, came out in August 2015. It was original and kept me turning page after page to find out the shocking ending. If you haven’t read The Creeping yet and you’re into young adult mysteries and thrillers, I’d definitely recommend you read The Creeping and adding The Telling to your TBR list.

Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

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Title & Author: Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Publisher/Year: HarperTeen/April 26, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Another Little Piece, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, Among the Shadows

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

There’s a reason they say “be careful what you wish for.” Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for “balls of steel” and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.

These are things Lennie only learns when it’s too late-after she brings some of her uncles’ moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn’t mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles’ moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their “important family legacy,” she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I’ve read Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn last fall and her other novel, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, has been on my TBR list for quite some time now. When I saw she had a new young adult book coming out, I jumped at the chance to read an advanced copy of it and I am SO happy I did. I raced through this book in about 2 days and enjoyed every single page. The characters were awesome, the whole storyline was amazing and the author did a great job adding not only comedy but some dark moments as well. Kate Karyus Quinn also made a reference to Another Little Piece (and she may have made one to (Don’t You) Forget About Me as well but I haven’t read it yet). The books themselves aren’t sequels or a series but seeing one tie into another was pretty cool and original.

“May all your wishes come true, or at least just this one.” I’m not going to lie, this line will haunt me if I ever hear someone say it out loud after reading this book. Lennie heard her uncles say this many times when someone would come through to buy their moonshine and would make a wish and toast the first sip. Of course she never realized that this was much more than just a toast, so when she sneaks out several jars of her uncles’ moonshine to take to a party, she causes so much havoc. Some characters, such as W2 and Zinkowski, have hilarious wishes that some true, others are far more serious and a few are innocent. Watching each wish unfold was entertaining and seeing the outcomes of their wishes made you constantly wonder what would happen next and if Lennie would be able to find a way to make everything go back to the way it was before the party.

All of the main characters in the book were enjoyable, even the bad ones. They all brought something to the story and without even one of them there would have been something missing. Lennie may not be the smartest character, but in her defense she didn’t have any idea of her wish granting abilities until after the damage was done. She was genuinely caring though and was trying to fulfill her dead best friend’s wish of going to a crazy party. Lennie’s dad was evil in every sort of way, her mother was mostly absent but played a huge part in the family legacy, and Lennie’s uncles honestly seemed like the cool uncles you’d want to hang around at a family party. They were tough on Lennie but only wanted the best for her and to protect her. Lennie’s friend Dylan and Dylan’s twin Smith proved to be two key characters. Although we don’t get to know Dylan before she is murdered, we get an interested undead version of her thanks to Lennie’s wish. Smith on the other hand was a character I thought I was going to despise from the beginning but grew to love as the book went on. Last was Lennie’s friend Larry, who you ended up feeling sorry for a majority of the time. It was clear he had a thing for Lennie and would do whatever would please her. He was also such a goody two shoes and momma’s boy that you felt bad he got stuck in such a crappy situation.

Overall, I really enjoyed Down With the Shine, enough to want to purchase my own copy to reread once it is published. I’m also making a mental note now to also purchase myself a copy of her other book, (Don’t You) Forget About Me. I would love to see Down With the Shine turned into a movie, definitely think it would be awesome to see on the big screen and I cannot wait to see what book she writes next.

A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

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Title & Author: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

Publisher/Year: Greenwillow Books/March 15, 2016

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Stefan Bachmann – Goodreads

My Rating: N/A*

*Will post an updated rating once book is completed.

What This Book Is About

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she’s been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780’s to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .

A genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann for fans of The Maze Runner and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods.

You cannot escape the palace.

You cannot guess its secrets.

(Summary from Goodreads)

  

I started reading A Drop of Night about a week or so ago. I thought it was going to be another YA thriller that would suck me in until the final page. As of now I am about only 50 pages into the book. When reading a book, I always give it the first 50 pages before I decide if I do not want to continue because I don’t like to mark a book as ‘did not finish’. I had another book waiting to be read, so I put this to the side and flew through the other.

There’s been some flashbacks to the 1780’s of when the underground palace was built. It’s hard to get into the back and forth from the 1780’s and present in the beginning and I found myself forgetting who is who when it came to the characters. The beginning also seems kind of slow and hazy. The main character Anouk clearly has issues with her family, and I’m still waiting to figure that all out.

I definitely want to power through this book and see where it leads to and how it ends. The summary reminded me a bit of 172 Hours on the Moon which made me interested in reading A Drop of Night. I will be updating this post with a rating as well as a review once I do finish the book which will hopefully be over the next couple of days, so be on the look out for that.

Take the Fall by Emily Hainsworth

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Title & Author: Take the Fall by Emily Hainsworth

Publisher/Year: Balzer + Bray/February 16,2016

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Format: ARC Paperback

Other Books by Author: Through to You

My Rating:4hearts

What This Book Is About

WHO KILLED GRETCHEN MEYER?

Fear grips the residents of Hidden Falls the night Sonia Feldman and her best friend, Gretchen Meyer, are attacked in the woods. Sonia was lucky to escape with her life, but Gretchen’s body is discovered at the bottom of a waterfall. Beautiful, popular, and seemingly untouchable, Gretchen can’t be gone. Even as Sonia struggles with guilt and confusion over having survived, the whole town is looking to her for information…could she have seen something that will lead the police to the killer?

At the top of the list of suspects is Gretchen’s ex-boyfriend—and Sonia’s longtime enemy—Marcus Perez. So when Marcus comes to Sonia for help clearing his name, she agrees, hoping to find evidence the police need to prove he’s the killer. But as Gretchen’s many secrets emerge and the suspects add up, Sonia feels less sure of Marcus’s involvement, and more afraid for herself. Could Marcus, the artist, the screwup, the boy she might be falling for have attacked her? Killed her best friend? And if it wasn’t him in the woods that night…who could it have been?

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Lately I have been devouring creepy, thrilling books even though it has been the happy holiday season. Take the Fall had been on my radar so I was excited to be able to read and review it early. It definitely met what I had been expecting and I cannot wait to read Emily Hainsworth’s other YA novel now.

Take the Fall was definitely one of the best young adult mystery/thrillers I have ever read. I did not know who the killer was until I was reading it for myself at the end of the book. My shock level was easily a 9/10 as I had never seen that coming. Throughout the whole book I was constantly guessing and wondering who the killer could have been. It took me a total of 2 days to finish because I couldn’t put it down (aside from sleeping and going to work).

I thought the characters in this book were perfect. Sonia was the perfect grieving best friend who had all the right intentions of searching for her best friends killer as well as her attacker. Gretchen, while never alive in the book, was portrayed excellently through flashbacks and descriptions from her friends and enemies alike. Gretchen’s ex boyfriend Marcus fit the “bad boy” role quite well, but I found myself almost immediately siding with him and believing his innocence. Overall all the characters were great and there wasn’t one who I really didn’t like or couldn’t stand.

I did feel as though the beginning of the book was fast with Sonia’s attack, Gretchen’s murder and all the drama that followed. Towards the middle while Sonia was working with Marcus to clear his name and find the real attacker, I felt like the book kind of slowed down and not much was happening. Had the book been fast paced and had a few more unexpected twists I definitely would have rated this a 5. The ending though was so incredibly done and so unexpected that you need to read Take the Fall when it hits the shelves in February.