Top Five Favorite Classic Books

toptentuesday-1Thank you The Broke and The Bookish for creating this great meme!

Hey Hey Hey! I’m back! Sort of… Well I’m back as much as I can be back, but I’m here and that’s what counts (or at least that’s what I tell myself). This week we have Top Ten Five Favorite Classic Books and I wasn’t too sure I should do this, but I said why not!

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1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I really hated being told what to read in school, but I did it anyways. One day, my freshman high school english teacher made us read this book and it was the first book of assigned reading I had ever enjoyed. I think it’s still my favorite modern classic to this day. I even bought my own personal copy.

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2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Yes, it’s dark and twisted. Yes, it’s a horrible example of what love and family is. The thing about this book though is that it’s addicting, it’s dark, and there is something there that makes you feel sympathy for the very twisted, selfish, and bitter characters. I think I also like it because it was the first old classic that I ever tackled on all my own when I was in high school. I was so proud of myself when I had finished it.

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3. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

This classic play is my favorite play of all time. I laughed when I read it the first time around and I was more than happy to write an essay about it.

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4. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

I read this in the 9th grade because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I actually really liked it. If I do remember correctly, it’s a sad book, but what counts is that I enjoyed it and have fond memories of it. On the list it goes.

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5. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

In middle school and high school I was obsessed with dolphins. They were my favorite animal. If it had dolphins, I wanted it. I was browsing the library one day when I saw this book about dolphins and I snatched it before anyone else saw it and took it home. Over the next couple of days I was introduced to a type of writing I had never read before. When I try to remember this book, I remember parts of it in a foggy way. I just remember reading it and thinking to myself, “Wow, how can a book make me feel like I’m there with her, I can see the fog, and see the beach she sees.” Fourteen year old me thought it was crazy and cool. Island of the Blue Dolphins was the first classic I ever read.

What are some of your favorite classics?

Book Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

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Goodreads Summary:

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Review:

Ummmmmm. I do not have words. At all. I am speechless. Absolutely speechless.

Okay, first of all, the first chapter is totally misleading! It had me believing Holder was bad when he is an absolutely, adorable, endearing book boyfriend. I just declared him one of my top book boyfriends. Yes, yes, I know. My list is very long at this point, but I don’t care. I don’t.

It’s been a day since I read it and I cannot find fault within it. Okay maybe the cover is misleading and not the best choice when trying to promote it (and Kayla will probably never read this even though I want her too because she is such a book cover snob. I love you too), but it’s that good.

I have this habit where I get impatient and ruin books for myself (I spoil myself), but I didn’t want to do it with this book so I went into it blindly. Hopeless looks like a NA book, but it’s not. There are no explicit sex scenes. None. Zilch. Nada.

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One of the reasons I love Hopeless so much is that we have a very real character that I can actually see myself befriending in real life.

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That’s basically Sky. We could really be best friends. I can be Five for all I care since six and seven are taken. (You won’t get this if you haven’t read the book. Yes I’m basically forcing you too). One more thing about Sky. That girl can kick some butt! She says what she thinks, she’s brave, and strong, and doesn’t put up with anyone’s bullcrap. I’m so happy I’m seeing strong female characters in books because we need more of them. Lots of them.

I also liked that we were able to see the relationship play out over a period of several months. There isn’t really any insta-love… It’s….Insta-lust!? Even Sky is like WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME! I just loved that the author made Sky like that because it just made things ten times funnier. I feel like Ms. Hoover was totally making fun of insta love. It was great.

This book hits every spot. The recipe for this book is as follows: heart wrenching feels + happy feels + comedy + fangirl moments + a strong kickass female protagonist + a hot strong male character = Hopeless.

Rating: 5/5

Let’s Talk About… Most Owned Authors!

I was recently catching up on my YouTube subscriptions and I saw Katystastic’s (a YouTube Book Blogger) video talking about her Top Ten Most Owned Authors. She went into detail that the authors on her list were not just authors whom she owned the most books by, but also that they were on her auto-buy list (if you want to watch the video, click here!) So, I thought to myself, I should do that too. Why the heck not right?

So today I will be talking about my Top Ten Most Owned Authors that are also on my Auto-Buy list. Here we go!

 

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If you know me really well, this is not surprising. I own 12 of her books. All of the “Vampire Academy” Series and all that is out of the “Bloodlines” Series. I also have in my possession both “Age of X Series” books, “Gameboard of the Gods” and “The Immortal Crown”. Anything this woman writes, I love. Whether it be her paranormal young adult novels or her new adult series that has Fantasy, Dystopian, and Science Fiction themes in it, I read it all. Her writing has the ability to suck me in and make me forget reality for a couple of hours.

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Now this may come as a surprise to many because I hardly ever mention Ms. Ally Carter. Probably because I read most of her books before I started my blog December of 2012. I own all of the Gallagher Girls Series, and all three books of the Heist Society Series. Total of 9 books. She has a new series coming out soon and I have no clue what it is about, but you can bet I will buy it without reading the synopsis.

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A lot of people think of her as the YA Contemporary Queen of the early 2000s. Her books were crazy popular with good reason. Although I don’t click with the characters in two of her books, I will buy any book she writes. Her writing is poetic and beautiful. Some of my favorite quotes come from her books. She knows how to write a coming of age story that will sit with you for years.

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She recently became an auto-buy author for me. The first book I ever read by her was “The Disreputable History of Frankie-Laundau Banks”. That novel was eery and haunting. The emotion was raw and deep. I felt things I never had before reading this book and really brought to light the issues we have with romanticized rebels (or criminals). Two years later, I listened to her read her new book  “We Were Liars” at the LA Times Books Festival and it prompted me to buy it. “We Were Liars” left me breathless. After that I went and bought most of the books she has published. I have 6 of her books in my possession.

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There was a time in my life where I wanted fun summer contemporaries that still gave me some substance, but I also didn’t want them to be too serious. In comes “The Daughters” Series by Joanna Philbin. She’s another author whose writing just sucks me in. I feel as if I know her characters personally and I am their friend. It’s that intimate. I own 5 of her books.

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Isaiah & Noah. That’s all you need to know. Okay, okay, just kidding. I’m not ending it there. :)

I own 4 of her books because that is all she has published. If she had more books published, I would own them all by now. What I love about her stories is that her characters are real. Their issues are real. You could say she uses the same freaking formula in each book, but she writes it in a way that doesn’t feel like she’s using the same formula to tell the story, and I freaking eat them up. She writes grittier young adult contemporary and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to writing her books. She learned how to drive stick just so she could legitimately write the car scenes in “Crash Into You”. If that is not dedication to your work, then I don’t know what is.

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We now have Ms. Sarah Ockler. Gosh Darn her stories make me happy. Her stories aren’t really always happy per say (“Twenty Boys Summer” broke my heart), but she writes them so well that I will sob through her books if that’s the price I have to pay to read them. I say she falls in the same category as Katie McGarry’s books with the whole characters dealing with real issues, but Ockler’s characters are a little less rough around the edges. I proudly own 3 of her books (and I need to get my hands on #Scandal as soon as its out! *grabby hands*).

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My lovely Morgan Matson. How I love her so. I know that sounds a little weird, but I have been a faithful fan of her writing since “Amy and Rogers Epic Detour”. I waited for “Second Chance Summer” for an entire year, and now I have “Since You’ve Been Gone” in my hands. Although the premise for SYBG doesn’t sound as intriguing to me as the other two, I still wanted it and got it (Thank you Kayla you are the best!). Her writing takes me a little bit longer to read, nonetheless it entertains me and makes me happy. Even though her books are seen as sad, I don’t feel sad when I see them or read them. I get all giddy and happy. Yes, I’m weird. Deal with it. :)

(proud owner of all three books!)

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She’s actually a last-minute addition because I didn’t think I owned enough books to add her to this list, but alas I do! I own 3 of her books and a novella. Jessica Park wrote “Flat Out Love” which is one of my favorite contemporaries of 2013. I loved it so much that I went on and read “Flat Out Matt” and “Left Drowning”. I devoured them. I recently purchased “Flat Out Celeste” her newest novel in the “Flat Out Love” world. (Kayla I know you’re gonna be mad, but I bought the kindle version okay! It was only 3.99. I couldn’t resist!!). I think the reason I am so amazed by her is because she is an independent author. She does not publish her books through a big publishing house, but through an independent publisher. Her books are edited so well that I almost want to pee my pants at how happy it makes. She’s an indie author who got it right. It gives me hope for future indie authors and indie books.

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Surprised to see this? I know I’m not. Why? Because I’m one of those few people who loved “Allegiant”. I loved the Divergent Trilogy as a whole. The world she created, the way she wrote it, the trilogy sucked me in and I never wanted to leave it for the real world. Sadly, I had to, but if she publishes something in the near or far future, even if it sounds boring, I will buy it. I don’t care. I love her that much. (And honestly how can we forget Divergent? That was one of the best first books in a trilogy I have EVER read!) I own three of her books (and soon four! haha get it?! Because the new book is titled Four and it’s the fourth book!!! No… I just think it’s funny… okay… *walks away shamefully*).

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Lastly, we have an honorary mention because if this woman had published “Isla and the Happily Ever After” sooner, she would have been able to make it on the list officially. We all love Stephanie Perkins and we all know why. I feel like she is the recent Queen of YA contemporary and no one has come close to dethrone her. At least not in my book. Her books are all sugar, sweet, and honey. They make you feel all happy and bubbly inside. BUY HER BOOKS!

 

We have finally reached the end of this really long post for which I apologize, but I did have a lot to say and yet I feel like I didn’t say enough. I’m going to go ahead and tag Kayla over at The Thousand Lives and demand she do this because I want to see what she comes up with, and I think most of you might want to know too! If anyone decides to write a post like this, please let me know and send me the link. I want to read your posts and have discussions about our most owned authors that are also on our auto-buy list.

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Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

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Goodreads Summary:

It’s been three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life.

And three years he’s spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good – or can you really have a second chance at first love?

My Initial Thoughts:

My thoughts you say… well they weren’t pretty. Not because I thought I was going to dislike it, but because I knew it was going to tear my heart apart. I heard Where She Went would open the water gates, so I kept avoiding it.

Review:

I can just tell you from the get-go that this may just turn into a fangirl session. I am ab-so-lute-ly head over heels with Where She Went. 

The rawness of this book just hit the spot deep within me. I am a sucker for heart-breaking tales, and this is one I will not easily forget nor do I want to. WSW is absolutely breathtaking because it was everything I wanted it to be and more. I mourned with Adam, and I felt his pain. I understood his lyrics and the need get it out the only way you know how. For him it was writing music, and for me… poems.

One of the reasons I love the If I Stay duology so much is because I can personally connect to both Mia and Adam. I didn’t go through the same tragedies as they did, but I’ve gone through some of my own, and to have on the page before me the same thoughts and feelings I’ve had before is an indescribable experience. It’s like that quote we see around tumblr so much, “We read to know we are not alone.” I read to know that I am not the only one feeling those same things, thinking those same thoughts.

Some readers that loved If I Stay did not like Where She Went because they say Adam is selfish and a jerk. I am not blind to his characteristics and attitude, but are we really going to say we are not all at one time or another a jerk and/or selfish? If we say we have never been a jerk or selfish we would be lying. Even the people who we think are selfless and the nicest people in the world at least have selfish or mean thoughts sometimes. The difference is that they don’t act out their thoughts or give them voice. Nonetheless, I understand their stance and respect it. I don’t need everyone to agree with me. If they did, well life wouldn’t be fun now would it?

Overall, this book will be going in my “Favorite Books of All Time” shelf. It was an indescribable experience that I want to experience all over again.

Rating: 5/5

 

ARC Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

And We Stay2Thank you Random House for providing me with a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description (on NetGalley):

Award winner and critically acclaimed writer Jenny Hubbard’s riveting account of a teenage girl whose boyfriend brings a gun to school and shoots himself. This is her story before, during, and after the tragedy.

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

Review:

I started reading this book at the beginning of this year and it has taking me this long to read it. 6 months to be exact. Why you may ask it has taken me that many months? Because I had to be in a certain mood to read it. It’s not a lighthearted book at all. It’s heart wrenching, and tragic. If you’re not in the correct mood, it might bore you or turn you off.

The writing in And We Stay is poetic. I could even say lyrical. What I really enjoyed were the poems after every chapter. I could picture Emily late at night writing the poems, letting out all  of her feelings into that journal and beginning the process of healing that she desperately needs. The entire book is about the beginning of her healing process and realizing exactly what Paul was to her, as well as learning the consequences of her actions and what saying the truth may lead to.

If I were Emily, it would have taking me longer to heal from this, but the again at the end of the book she is barely starting to heal.

I really loved Emily’s roommate toward the end. At the beginning I thought of her as a snotty, rich, drama-loving girl. When Emily tells her to invent her past, her roommate doesn’t hesitate to make up a sob story that everyone eats up.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It may not be for me, but I wholly appreciate the poetic writing that enraptured me two nights ago as I binge read the last 80% of the book I still had left to read.

Rating: 3/5

Top Ten Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag

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Thank you to The Brooke and The Bookish for creating this wonderful meme!

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Open Road Summer is the perfect beach read because it has that wonderful summer feeling. This book will only enhance your beach experience.

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You might start to see a trend, and that trend is that most of the books on my list are books you will experience happy gushy feelings over. Someday Maybe is not light, but it makes you feel all the feels. It’s sweet at times, it is heart-wrenching at other times. Overall, perfection.
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When I go to the beach, I laze around for a while. I don’t automatically go in. I like to have an umbrella, break out the chips and drink, and read for a while first. This book is slow to start, but perfect for the beach because it will help you kill time in the morning before the beach scene intensifies. Or if you like to get in the water first, well then it’s the perfect book to kill time while you wait for everyone to leave at sundown.
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This book makes me feel all the feels. Racing Savannah has a strong female character, a hot cowboy, and horse racing. It just makes me happy okay. READ IT!
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Another book that makes you feel all the feels. This is one of my babies. I’ll cradle it and hold it. It’s the perfect companion at the beach.

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This book might not be the best beach read because it will make you cry rivers, but I honestly think it would be a perfect beach read. A must in your beach bag.

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The reason I am putting this in my beach bag/beach read is because… well Isaiah is hot. The beach is hot. If someone sees me blushing or getting a little hot no one will know it’s because of the book. They’ll just assume it’s because I’m at the beach. Muahahaha.6936382

Adorable. Cute. Loveable. Need I say more? No, I don’t think I do. READ IT!

amy-and-rogers-Epic-DetourThis is a book I think will be enchanted if read at the beach. It just has that summer lazy vibe. (Warning: lots and lots of feels and not all happy and gushy.)11071466This last book is a book that makes a lot of people cry. It’s bittersweet like chocolate. It’s good, we want it, but oh man does it hurt too. I’m all for reading emotional books at the beach because if you decide to face down, people will think you are taking a nap or tanning. No need to explain that you are a puddle of feels.

What are some of your must have in beach bag recommendations?

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Goodreads Summary:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

My Initial Thoughts:

I bought the book after I heard E. Lockhart read an excerpt about two months (maybe one month) ago at the LA Times Book Festival and it intrigued me. Also, Kayla raved about it, and said she loved it so with Kayla’s and Ms. Lockhart’s push, I bought it.

Review:

Oh My Gosh, this book was… amazing! E. Lockhart’s writing is poetic. Every lines flows into the next and it’s just perfection. I really love her writing style. AUTO-BUY AUTHOR!

It is true what everyone says, that you need to go into the book without knowing anything. I only knew what Ms. Lockhart read at the panel and really that was enough. You need to go into this book not knowing anything. (PLEASE DONT SPOIL YOURSELF)

Cady Sinclair is the perfect character to tell this story. I don’t think the story would be the same if any other liar was telling the story. Johnny, Gat, and Mirren will forever be imprinted in my heart.

I wish I could say more about this book but I really don’t want to spoil it for you. I really don’t.

I will tell you this, carve some time in your day and if you can, read it all at once. That is what I did and it was perfect. Also, if you know someone who read it and you can fangirl with, it would be perfect. I texted Kayla at a certain point in the story and she was there to fangirl with me.

If you don’t have anyone to fangirl with, spam me with comments, I don’t mind. I WILL FANGIRL WITH YOU!

Rating: 5/5