30 September 2015

Madly Blog Tour!

The Madly blog tour has started, and you should follow along and check out all these other blogs! 

Review: Fangirl

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Pages: 445
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (thank you Goodreads): Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Thoughts: This was one of those books that I wasn't expecting. I wasn't anticipating loving this book or this story of Cath so much. And then I started and I couldn't stop because I just connected with her so much so instantly. Cath and Wren are twins and are going off to university together. They've got that cool twin bond and haven't really spent any time apart. Until they start school and Wren decides she wants to
experience the college life without Cath by her side every step of the way. So they get new roommates and are off on their own, separate adventures. 

Cath is shy. She's incredibly shy and loses herself in the wonderous world of books and fanfiction and characters that rip your heart out just to put the pieces back together again. She is almost completely dependent on Wren and has no idea what to expect when she starts school. She cares for her dad dearly, she just wants to protect everyone, and when she is hurt, she feels it deep within herself. Basically, she is me. I'll admit to you, and only you, that I once even wrote the fanfiction. 

Levi was a fantastic character, Cath's roommate was fantastic, and they were all so wonderfully different from one another that it made you feel like you were right there with Cath. You were a fly on her wall and watching her experience all this stuff for the first time. There were parts of this book that made me cry just because of how truthful they felt. This book was just so incredibly real

The only thing that stopped me from giving this a 10 was the Simon and Baz fanfiction... I know, I know, it's near and dear to Cath's heart but I found myself just skipping through the fanfiction parts barely even skimming them.

Final Thoughts: I don't care if you're just starting university, are in your final year of university, or have no intentions of going to university or college or any post secondary institution, I encourage you to pick up this book. Because I loved it. Seriously, loved it. 

28 September 2015

Review: Paper Towns

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: John Green
Format: Paperback
Pages: 305
Rating: 4 out of 10

Summary (Goodreads...I don't have a witty comment for Paper Towns but you're swell): 

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...

Thoughts: What's colour does a Smurf become when it's chocking? Oh...you didn't want that kind of thoughts, did you? Want a thought about this book? THIS WAS THE WORST BOOK I'D EVER READ. Na, I'm just kidding. Well, I'm kind of kidding. I didn't like this book at all. Okay, that's a lie. Wow, this post is one heck of a train wreck. 

I didn't like Margo. I liked that she helped to bring Quentin out of his shell and that he was able to do wild and crazy things and grow as a human being and that he became more interesting for having spent time with Margo. I still hated her though. I thought she was self-centred and only cared about herself and that she was plain rude. Yeah, that was probably the point of her, I know.

In general, I enjoyed the sense of adventure and craziness that this book focused on. I absolutely loved the road trip scenes (the rest of the cast of characters were great). It was funny and scary and always a surprise. The rest of the novel, not so much after the opening Margo experiences. 

I still like John Green. This book just wasn't my favourite and it's getting a lot of hype lately. I wouldn't say that it was a waste of time. It had its highlights and exciting moments. Other characters in it had redeeming qualities. I just don't think that this novel is worth the hype. 

You know what though? I am glad that this novel was this novel. I'm glad that I was able to read something aside from the gooey romances or dystopian nightmares or fantasy weirdness or mythical character mayhem. I'm glad that I choose to read something easy and still thought provoking yet not at all like everything else there is to read out there, in the world of YA right now. It's no The Fault in Our Stars (Sorry John Green that people will forever compare your books to that; it's not fair) but it was still a half-decent book. Just don't believe all the hype.

23 September 2015

Review: The Sea of Tranquility

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Katja Millay
Pages: 426
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 8.5/10

Summary (thanks Goodreads, you've saved my fingers a whole lot of typing): I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

My Thoughts: At first, I had no idea what to expect. I mean, don't most contemporary novels boast about being the most heart breaking and realistic and wonderful book out there? I mean, most do. At least that I've seen. But Sea of Tranquility is one of the few that truly delivers. The reader is introduced to Nastya, a girl who has clearly had some issues and has had some hard times dealing with them. We don't know what happened to her, but we learn pretty quickly that it was something huge. Something life altering. Something that nobody should have to deal with and something that she didn't know how to deal with. Whatever had happened had took her voice - both literally and figuratively. She moves schools to live with her aunt and changes everything about her. She wants to run away from herself.

Then we are introduced to Josh, and while it's obvious that Josh is going to somehow be of great significance to Nastya, we don't know why. Josh has his own problems that are actually problems, and not issues that are just present so he can somehow have a deeper connection with Nastya. No cop-outs, he has problems and he knows it. And so does apparently everyone else at the school. They're drawn together, and form some kind of bond over the course of the school year, while in shop class and while hanging out in his garage late at night when all Nastya wants to do is run. Their connection is intense and real and thought provoking and everything I didn't know I was looking for when I picked up this book. 

There were parts that I wasn't too fond of, but I don't want to give them away for spoilery purposes. But the good far outweighed the bad and I'm so glad that I picked this one up. It will most likely be in my top 10 of 2015. 

Final Thoughts: This book is an emotional powerhouse, and I definitely, without a doubt, recommend it. 

22 September 2015

September 22: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

Yo yo yoey, vote for Zoey. Did you guys see the "What Did Zoey Say?" time capsule thing oH MY GOD I DIED IT WAS SO UGH THATS PLOT DEDICATION LET ME TELL YOU. anyways, todays top ten Tuesday topic is top ten books on my fall TBR and I don't know how I'm going to keep it at 10 books but I will try. Also this is a TBR that does not include school readings because those are boring af books. As per usual, credit for the topic goes to BrokeandBookish LEGGO

The Heart of Betrayal (currently reading)

Clipped Wings

The Martian

The Hunger Games trilogy (reread)


Night Circus

Red Queen

Shadow and Bone

The Raven Boys

 I'll Give You The Sun

I've heard so many amazing things about all of these books and I know I should have read them so long ago but what can I say? So many books, so little time.

And with that, I bid you adieu,
Kayla @ one-chapter-ahead

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Reviewer: Kayla
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Pages: 486
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 8/10

Summary (Goodreads. Da real MVP):

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

My Thoughts:

"In the farthest corner, I will find you"

Oh my god this book was a whirlwind of everything you could want in a book. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made my heart stir up emotions I didn't even know existed. And THAT PLOT TWIST?! One of the best I've ever read. That technique on the author's part was one I was definitely NOT expecting, but I applaud her for her cunning deception (pun absolutely intended)! At first, I thought I hated it, because i felt so dumb, and I was actually going to lower my rating I had in mind for it. But then I thought about it and how brilliant and clever it was on Pearson's part, and I couldn't let her brilliance be disregarded.

There are so many things about this book that I very very much enjoyed, especially the characters. Lia's character is one that I liked at the beginning, but ended up absolutely adoring by the end. She really came into herself and her newfound freedom; she really exemplifies what she's learned during her time working for Berdi, and she takes that practice and portrays it even towards the end of the book. She learns so much about love and life and the world and its so refreshing to witness her development so intricately. The things she does for other people left me absolutely stunned and brought me to tears (esp near the end because omg aka horse aka brother) and she's definitely moved up to one of my favourite female leads.

Not only did Lia astound me, but also Pauline, Gwyneth (I freaking loved her), Walther, Dihara, Berdi, and especially Rafe and Kaden. I'm not going to go into too much detail about what I think of these two men and the romantics that befell these characters, because that would be hardcore spoilery, but if you want to talk about this PLEASE I WOULD LOVE TO I HAVE SO MABY OPINIONS AND FEELS THAT I CANT EVEN ADDRESS RIGHT NOW AND ITS KILLING ME. But hey I will say RAFE. That's all you need from me about that. Anyways, all these characters play a significant role to the story and toward Lia. The character that distinctly proves this point is Pauline. Their relationship and dynamic was so natural. They balance each other out and know each other well enough to make a such a good partnership. I feel like something is totally up with Gwyneth (obvs) but I CANT FIGURE OUT WHAT YET. Also not one character got on my nerves, except Malich, but for good reason.

The only reason I couldn't give this book a full 5 stars was because of the world building. I thought it could have been expanded on earlier on in the book, and while we did get some tidbits of history and how their world came to be and their gods and all that stuff, I feel like it wasn't adequately explained enough, and that it could have been done more clearly. Even now I'm still a bit confused about Lia's *discovery* and what that means for her and how it came to be for her. Also, I thought Jezelia was her last name? Is it not? I need to look that up. Also I thought the pacing in this book was quite slow at times, and while I can see that being used to the advantage at some points, I feel like at other times it was too slow for my liking.

Final Thoughts:
Besides that, I really have no other complaint about this book. It definitely was not what I was imagining it would be, and it completely surpassed my expectations. It goes without saying I am picking up the next book ASAP

21 September 2015

Review: Plus One

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Elizabeth Fama
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 373
Rating: 4 out of 10

Summary (I'll be your Plus One, Goodreads): It takes guts to deliberately mutilate your hand while operating a blister-pack sealing machine, but all I had going for me was guts.

Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller in an America rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays who live and work during daylight. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol deliberately injures herself in order to gain admission to a hospital, where she plans to kidnap her newborn niece—a Ray—in order to bring the baby to visit her dying grandfather. By violating the day-night curfew, Sol is committing a serious crime, and when the kidnap attempt goes awry it starts a chain of events that will put Sol in mortal danger, uncover a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population, and throw her together with D'Arcy Benoît, the Ray medical apprentice who first treats her, then helps her outrun the authorities—and with whom she is fated to fall impossibly and irrevocably in love.

Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights—and a compelling, rapid-fire romantic adventure story.

So: I'm tired of novels about the struggle that is social justice. Don't we have enough of those? It's our normal life a struggle enough. Sigh.

The night versus day concept was interesting and the cover was beautiful but the follow through was lacking. WHO JUST KIDNAPS A BABY? A character that does that is a hard character to get behind. Is it really worth your life? It's nice that you want to help your only remaining family member but I bet he would tell you not to do this too.

I loved D'Arcy but, man, was he stupid too. I thought his father was pretty great. 

Also, to make matters worse. The ending sucked. It just stops, leaving you in the middle of nowhere, on a desert road where robbers will come and rob you and take everything you own, leaving you to die and let the bird pick out your eyes...okay, sorry, I'm bitter. 

This novel wasn't as good as I'd hoped. I think that this novel is for younger readers who can deal with a little violence but don't expect too much from a story. It was too... simple (?) in many ways. It was a story with conspiracy but little detail or explanation at how we arrived at ideas or how a teenager managed to accomplish all that she did. 

I didn't like this novel. What do you think about it?

P.S. I think a prequel book for this series could be something really cool with a bit of work. I want to know what happened to get us to the point we are at in this novel. 

18 September 2015

Review: Let the Storm Break by Shannon Messenger

Reviewer: Kayla
Author: Shannon Messenger
Pages: 381
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 7/10

Summary (Goodreads. Da real MVP):

Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?

My Thoughts:
Wow, holy wow. This sequel was an absolute treat! We get a lot of development of the characters, mystery, new but connecting plot lines, and a lot of questioning the motives of certain characters. I can’t say much about this aspect without giving away vital information, but it definitely had me questioning. The new aspects to the world and the powers that Vane and Audra have and are forced to use makes this story even more intricate and unique.

Vane is progressing with his newfound powers at a remarkably believable pace. Rather than automatically becoming accustomed to his new life and new identity, his getting used to his powers is something he continuously works on and struggling with, and I actually enjoyed that about it. It is clear Vane is still new to this life, especially as he tries to protect his adoptive parents. His identity crisis over who he is and what he is supposed to accomplish was quite realistic, and his wavering confidence was expected of someone in his position. Not that I’d know, but you know what I mean.

As for Audra, her adventure, while distinct from Vane, reveals a lot and adds more complexity to the action and world. We find out more about her past and her powers, and just how kick ass she really is. It is quite clear how much Audra and Vane care about each other, and the ending was absolutely heartbreaking! So many things were added to this book that complicated eVERYTHING, and now

Final Thoughts:
Let the Storm Break was a solid sequel to Let The Sky Fall, and I know I need to reread it before the release of Let the Wind Rise!

16 September 2015

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Jesse Andrews
Pages: 295
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 7.5/10

Summary (my bae, Goodreads): Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

My Thoughts: I know what you're thinking: great, another book about cancer. At least, that's what I was thinking when I read the description of the book. I thought it was going to be another John Green-esqe book (you know, the profoundly beautiful and incredibly moving and the oh my god I understand life a little bit better for having read and connecting with these characters), and boy oh boy I was wrong about it. I mean, I usually am, but I'm not usually this wrong about it. This book was hilarious. And well written. And quirky. And some of the most realistic fictional feelings about fictional events that I've read in a long time. 

When the description said that Greg was the master of awkwardness, I thought that it was going to be the typical "oh my god he said one odd thing and now we must turn our backs on him and shun him from our hostile high school society", but he was honest to God, basically me in high school. Awkward. Awkward. And a little more awkward. Did I mention awkward? He was all that, and then some. But he was funny, and he was relatable, and he was fantastic and Greg was my favourite part of my novel. Which was good, since you know, he was the main character. 

The format of the book was a little wonky for my usual taste. Since Greg was into making movies, a lot of the conversational part of the book happened in script form, and there were other little add ins that helped shape the book into what it is. I didn't think I would like it, but I couldn't imagine this book without it. 

I think what I loved most about this book was that there wasn't some profound revelation, and Greg didn't somehow break free of the awkwardness that plagued him and was suddenly cured. He was who he was, he thought what he thought, and he did what he thought he could to make Rachel's life a little easier than what it was. He tried to make her laugh, he tried to be his friend. And even though he didn't always succeed, and even though the movie he tried to make for her wasn't the greatest movie he ever made, he still tried. And I think there is something incredible about the journey to trying to make her life something more even though what she had was already enough. Her life didn't revolve around Greg, and Greg's life didn't revolve around her. For the most part. 

Final Thoughts: A quirky little read that actually had me laughing out loud and constantly wishing the book was just a little longer. 

P.S. Have any of you seen the movie? How was it?

15 September 2015

September 15: FREEBIE -- your choice!

YOOO A FREEBIE! hm, so much free will i don’t know what to do with it… okay, how’s this. Top Ten Characters You Want To Be Best Friends With. Long enough name? hahaha..
ANYWAYS, yes, let’s go.
As per usual, Top Ten Tuesday is created by those at TheBrokeAndTheBookish, so go check em out cause they're pretty rad.

1. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass Series
Celaena is my favourite female character ever. She is pure badass and has that soft side for those she cares about. And she deserves the world. She needs more female companionship and I will be that for her. **I'm trying so hard not to spoil QOS rn so I'm just going to leave it here** Plus I'd have an in with Dorian and we would fall in love. That's all I want in life. Mrs. Kayla Havilliard. I like it.

2. Gwyneth from The Remnant Chronicles
Okay, don't spoil me, because I am currently reading The Kiss Deception, but I love Gwyneth's character. She's spontaneous and though I know something else is up with her that I have yet to find out, I think it would be really cool to just sit and talk with her. She also seems like an awesome and genuine friend to Lia and Pauline, and her antics with the male gender are also pretty awesome. She's just awesome.

3. Cress from The Lunar Chronicles
Cress is such an innocent, inexperienced, adorable girl, and I want to take her under my wing and show her the ropes. For example, show her how to get Captain Thorne to fall in love with her because honestly I am waiting for them to get together they are adorable. While that innocent side of her is what stands out the most, she also has a strong side of her, and her knowledge of technology is something to be admired.

4. Sam from Perks from Being A Walflower
Sam is just awesome. She is so out there and not afraid to be herself, and I highly admire that quality in people. I feel like she would be the one to help me get over my fear of being on stage and the centre of attention, cause she would prob make me join Rocky Horror and though I would downright refuse, I have no doubt she'd find a way to get me on stage, much to my dismay. Plus, if we're speaking of movie Sam, she's beautiful and should share her secrets and stop being so selfish.

5. Lucien from A Court of Thorns And Roses
Much like a lot of these people on this list, Lucien is awesome. He was probably my favourite character in this book, and when we found out about his past, I felt an overwhelming need to protect him. I loved him so much holy crap. His friendship for Feyre is one of mutual respect and protection, and he has a sarcastic side to him that I absolutely love. Honestly, with this best friendship, I would try and form it into a romantic one because I feel like Lucien and I would have a blast and a half with random adventures and general chaos. It would be great fun. Plus we would piss Tamlin off to no end. What an adventure.

6. Cath from Fangirl
Cath and I are pretty similar, though I am a tad more outgoing than she. We would totally write fan fiction together and edit each other's writing, and then take writing classes together and write together and then sometimes go out but like not often because public places are :/ ... But me and Cath would honestly probably be best friends and while she fangirls over Simon Snow, I would just be fingerling over Throne of Glass and One Direction and she couldn't judge me too hard it would be so fun.

7. America Singer from The Selection series
Honestly, the only reason I would want to be best friends with her is so I can slap some sense into that stubborn head of hers and tell her to make a damn decision because it is quite obvious that she needed someone to do this for her throughout the trilogy.

8. Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn
My poor, misunderstood Khalid. I can't say much about him and my love for him without spoiling the book, but MY POOR KHALID. I would help him in any way I could and hold him in my arms and pet his head.... This got insanely creepy I'm stopping here.

9. Roger Sullivan from Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Oh Roger, what a little cutie pie. Honestly, while him and Amy clearly belong together, I would settle for Roger's bff. Me and him would legit just have such a blast wreaking controlled havoc and going on road trips all summer long it would be hella cool

10. Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games
I feel that if Finnick and I were best friends, we'd literally make Katniss' life a living hell, and it would be so much fun. Assuming that Panem wasn't going to shit and there wasn't the separation of the Districts, and all that shit going on in the Hunger Games world, Finnick and I would swim and catch fish all day and then hide it in Katniss' bed or some shit. Again, wreaking havoc. Plus I mean, LOOK AT HIM! Who wouldn't want to be even an acquaintance with this god-like creature?

So there we have it, my list of characters I would no doubt be best friends with if they were real human beings in this world. Or if I was in their world. Whichever. Make sure to leave a comment below about what you think of this list and link us to yours so we can find out what you chose for this freebie Top Ten Tuesday!

And with that, I bid you adieu,
Kayla @ one-chapter-ahead

1. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
These two are kind of a packaged deal, so I'm going to list them together. I don't even want to imagine a world where Katniss Everdeen exists without Peeta Mellark or where Peeta Mellark exists without Katniss Everdeen. I just love these two idiots, way too much. They just compliment each other perfectly and they're so pretty to look at.

2. Lysandra from Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
Who woulda thunk it? Not I. After reading The Assassin's Blade, I hated Lysandra with the same firey passion that Celaena hated her with. But after reading Queen of Shadows, I can't imagine a world without Lysandra being a total badass, like 24/7.

3. Rowan Whitethorn from Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
Okay, can you get more badass than Rowan? Rowan is just fantastically moody and sassy and hardcore and I think I need some Rowan in my life. Even if he barely tolerated me, it would be all kinds of worth it.

4. Captain Thorne from Cress by Marissa Meyer
Do I even need to explain this one? Captain Throne is freaking hilarious, and smart, and kind, and very Finnick-esqe (who is only not on my list because he is on Kayla's). He would just be a great person to have when the world is going to shit, ya know? Like, awful things happen to him, but he just rolls with it. I need him that kind of positivity in my life, guys.

5. Alina Starkov from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Alina is a freaking fantastic character, and if I had the choice, we'd definitely be best friends. She's smart, she's cunning, she's friendly, she's complex, but most of all, she's all kinds of awesome.

6. Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Let's forget for a second that he's totally on my book boyfriend list, and that if Cath was ever out of the picture, I'd be right there taking her place. I think I could settle with Levi just being my best friend. Like all of the characters above, he's smart and kind and funny and I'm definitely starting to see a pattern.

7. Lou from Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
So, if you've ever read this book, you know that Lou is freaking amazing and hilarious and determined and stubborn and great. I feel like at this point I'm just using the same kind of description and just changing the character in each of these description thingys. I get it, I like what I like.

8. Cassie from The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
So, I'm only like 200 pages into the series, so no spoilers please, but so far, I'm loving Cassie something fierce. She's hilarious, and we literally have the same mind okay. We think the same things, we are basically the same people. If I survived the first wave (which I wouldn't) we'd totally be an unstoppable team, man.

9. Williem from Just One Year by Gayle Forman
I definitely want to be best friends with Williem from Just One Year (not so much Just One Day, because you don't really know what is deal was yet). I'd love to travel all over the place with him, and watch the plays he was in. That would be all kinds of fantastic.

10. Jem from The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare 
Jem is precious, and underrated. I love Will, don't get me wrong, but Will wouldn't be half the person he was without Jem in his life. I want a Jem, who can hook a sister up?

So, I want to date be best friends with all these wonderful characters. What about you guys? Who would be your fictional best friend?
- Kristen

Okay, my turn! I'll answer the same question as Kayla (I don't know if I've done it before but I don't care either way, so ha!).
1. Cath from Fangirl
2. Levi from Fangirl
(I really liked the characters in Fangirl)
3. Lucien from A Court of Thorns and Roses
4. Magnus Bane from ...like 800 books. Where have you been?
5. Syndey
6. and Warren from Maybe Someday
7. Luke from The Longest Ride
8. Mac from Saint Anything
(Yes, we can take a moment to joke about the fact that most of these guys I would also want to date but that, my friends, is beside the point.)
9. Rosie
10. and Silas from Sisters Red

I apologize for my slight cheating but, honestly, this was hard. Bye.
-- Kelsey

14 September 2015

Review: Confess

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Colleen Hoover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 306
Rating: 5 out of 10 (this makes me SO sad)

Summary (I confess that I need Goodreads): Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

What I think: Okay, so, here's the thing. I absolutely love Colleen Hoover. I follow her on Facebook and Snapchat and I might have a little girl crush on her because I think she is hilarious and perfect and I wish she was my friend. She's simply fantastic. That sad, I'm really sad to say, this book wasn't my favourite (Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover is though, so you understand my sadness). 

The biggest problem I had with this novel was the insta-love. It's such a mistake to have that in the novel. I understand that it was due to a large surprise plot point but I don't care. I could understand it being one-sided then, but it wasn't. That just made it worse for me. I wanted something a little more realistic (in a fictional kind of way, of course). 

I did, however, love the concept. Maybe Someday had music; Confess had paintings. That was great. They were beautiful and helped me to connect to the book more. I think that the cover is perfectly wonderful and the characters had amazing depth and backstory (aside from the insta-love). I also was interested in the confessions that were used in this novel. They came from real people. What a wonderful way to include fans in the writing process and to connect with them. That's one of the reasons that I love the author so much. 

Sadly, this novel was just missing that spark. There just wasn't enough time. It was too short. They fell in love too soon. It's made worse by the fact that the writing is so good and the language is smart enough for the characters to be real people. BUT NOBODY FALLS IN LOVE THIS FAST. It's creepy.

Recommendation: Check out one of Colleen Hoover's other novels first. Check out Ugly Love (becoming a movie with super hot actors...just saying) or Maybe Someday and it's wonderful sound track that will have you falling in love with a musician as well. Confess was okay but it should have been CoHo Fantastic. 

[Fun aside: Kristen and I went to go get this book together on release day. Our local Chapters is horrible with putting books out on release day but we went anyway. We searched for about an hour, wandering up and down aisles. We searched for it on the computer (we are stupid, we should have done that first). The computer informed us that it was, in fact, in stock. Excited, we checked the selves again. Nothing. We checked the computer once more. Two in stock. We stood by the computer, whining that we might not get the book that we so badly wanted. What if there was only one copy. Kristen and I agreed that it would be a Hunger Games style battle to the death. While we debated various ways to kill each other should we ever find a copy of the book, we looked to the shelf next to us. Kristen found it, practically screaming, "There it is!" And there is was. Two lonely copies. No where near the rest of the CoHo books. I don't think either of us had ever moved so fast. There was no battle to the death but we came close, almost falling on our faces as we ripped the books off the shelf. We went home right away to read them. It didn't take too long. Thank you Chapters, for saving us from the Book Games.]

[Edit: we went to Chapters before release date for this novel and found it there by chance after looking for it even though we were well aware that release date wasn't for another week. We are stupid. Thank you Kristen for reminding me.]

11 September 2015

Follow Friday

 Undiscovered talent - tell us about a book you loved  but no one else seems to have heard of. It can be old or new, any genre. Let's spread the love!

Okay, this one is so so so easy for me. I didn't even have to think about it. I absolutely LOOOOOVED Persistence of Vision by Liesel K Hill. It's everything that I love in a book, and the writing is beyond spectacular. If you haven't read this, I definitely, definitely recommend that you check it out. Seriously. Do it. You won't regret it! I'm even going to give you all the Goodreads info on it, because I'm that serious about it. 

In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...

*New Adult futuristic dystopian fantasy

Go get!
- Kristen

I too liked the Persistence of Vision, just so you all know.
A book that I liked that nobody has really heard of? Okay, um.
I had to go far back for this one because I usually read what Kristen tells me or what is placed in popular spots in our local bookstore.

I remember really enjoying The Clockwork Giant by Brooke Johnson. I remember it as being a very interesting world that I fell in love with. I mean, sure, it was a little bit juvenile and it really wasn't the best writing that I ever saw but it was interesting. I wish the second novel had some out. I knew that there was one planed but I never heard anything more. I think this came to us as an ARC way back when we just started.

Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl. Still, she refuses to give up, tinkering with any machine she can get her hands on, in between working and babysitting her foster siblings. 

When Emmerich Goss—handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild—needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she’s been waiting for. But if her involvement on the project is discovered, Emmerich will be marked for treason, and a far more dire fate would await Petra.
Working together in secret, they build the clockwork giant, but as the deadline for its completion nears, Petra discovers a sinister conspiracy from within the Guild council … and their automaton is just the beginning.

I'm not as serious about this novel as Kristen was about her's but I figured you might want the Goodreads info anyway so there you go!

- Kelsey
I, unlike those two wieners, have not read The Persistence of Vision, but Kristen is probably gonna throw it at my face until I read it. For my book that I liked that no one has heard of, I'm going to have to give it to Leftovers by Laura Wiess. This book deals with pretty serious and heavy topics, and I haven't heard of many people mentioning this book. While it wasn't really the best thing I've ever read, I find the narration style to be quite individualistic. It is essentially a story of two girls who tell the story of an act of revenge and the events leading up to this vengeance. While I don't see many male readers able to understand, though I think many woman and girls who go or have gone through daily pressures of life and high school can read this book and appreciate the messages it relays. Again, this may not have been the best book I've ever read, I still enjoyed it and recommend it for any woman to pick up!

- Kayla

Review: Let The Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Reviewer: Kayla
Author: Shannon Messenger
Pages: 404
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 7/10

Summary (Goodreads. Da real MVP):

Vane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past - except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she's real.

Audra is real, but she isn't human. She's a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She's also a guardian - Vane's guardian - and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book. While encompassing many traditional elements of YA dystopian/fantasy novels, there are also many aspects that differentiate itself as being a unique and one-of-a-kind book. The writing style is average, and I have read better. What kept me reading was the storyline and how different it is. The element of using wind as a powerful resource is something I’ve never heard of or even thought of. The term “whisper of the wind” takes on a literal meaning here and it’s so intriguing! The plot, while a bit dry in some areas still had me yearning to find out what happens next. The mystery and unpredictability of so many characters had me guessing and on the edge of my seat, wondering what could possibly happen next. The world-building was also great. I thought it was unique and unlike anything I’ve even heard of before.
The romance was predictable and inevitable, and I wish it would have been more slower-paced. Still, I felt the feels and I enjoyed the dynamic between them. The scenes where she attempted to train Vane were hilarious, and the banter between them was so entertaining and relatable.
The ending raised a lot of questions because of the action-packed conclusion this book, had so Let the Storm Break is a must-read after. The anticipation kills!

Final Thoughts:
This book was quite the enjoyable read, and I recommend it to anyone. Because it lies in the beginnings of paranormal and fantastical genre, I think it would be a great starter read for those who want to try either of these genres for the first time. Though some of the vocabulary takes getting used to, it doesn’t take a lot to catch on to.

9 September 2015

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths

Reviewer: Kristen 
Author: K.A. Tucker
Pages: 262
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 1 out of 10 

Summary (Goodreads, I lava you): Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

My Thoughts: I know that I should be more positive on this blog, and I really debated whether or not I should even review this because I didn't even finish it, but I'm going to anyway because I wanted to explain myself and my thoughts about it (or at least try to, y'all know how I ramble). Normally, I love me a good contemporary. I love it when it's gut-wrenching and sad and full of hot swoon worthy boys who make me gag with the sickly cute stuff they say to each other. But this one just didn't do it for me. And neither have the last few that I have read, so this may not be a contemporary issue and may just be a Kristen issue. 

The plot of the book had so much potential, and I thought that I would just connect with the main character and understand her and feel for what she's gone through. I mean, she's this badass kickboxin mother trucker who seemingly has a good head on her shoulders and is doing her best to keep her sister out of harms way. She won't let anyone stop her from successfully getting her sister away from the crappy situation that they were in. And that sounds awesome, right?! Kacey has so many demons to overcome and I just wish that she could have believed in herself a little more (mind you, this could have been her character arc but I just didn't get to that point). 

The romance was a little too cheesy for me, and Trent was a lot too stalker-y for me. Actually, I stopped reading the book when he kept coming to the strip club where Kacey worked just to see her. Hello, they've had like one conversation and I wouldn't even call them acquaintances, and there he is. Not drinking (which is supposed to be hot), not talking to other ladies who work there (also supposed to be hot) and just staring at her (okay, dude I'm going to need you to tone down your Edward just a little bit). He just didn't do it for me. Again, maybe he actually isn't as creepy as he seems at first (I truly doubt it) but it was enough for me to put it down.

I did love Storm though, she was completely unexpected and a complete badass in her own right. She was what kept me going for as long as I did. 

I also really need to point out that none of the issues that I had was with the writing of the book itself. I thought that the writing was fantastic and whatever was being described I could actually see. The characters were just a little iffy to me. I know that I am in the minority when it comes to what I thought about this book, so if you've read it, I'd love to have a discussion with you about it! Let me know what you thought down below. 

Final Thoughts: I wish that I could have loved this, but I tried twice and just could not do it. 

8 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten *Completed* Series You Have Yet To Finish

Hello fellow earthlings! It is that day of the week again where we discuss our Top Ten Tuesdays *audience cheers*. Today is also the day that your favourite book bloggers start University… *audience boos*. Yes yes, it is a sad time of the year isn’t it? In saying this, we will do the best we can to have reviews for you guys. I know Kristen has reviews scheduled until December, so you’re guaranteed at least one a week. *audience cheers*. Yes yes that’s all fine and dandy, but let’s get to why we’re all here, shall we?

This week’s top ten Tuesday is brought to us yet again by TheBrokeAndTheBookish, and the topic is Top Ten Finished Series I Have YET to Finish *audience oohs, audience ahhs* Again, this is my personal list (it is I, Kayla), as I know Kristen and Kelsey would have a distinctly different list. Also, disclaimer, these are series that are FINISHED, in that all the books in the series are out, ready for the reading. If this list involved series in which we are still impatiently waiting for the publication of the next book(s), this list would be different. Let’s get started!

1. Shatter Me trilogy: Yes, yes I know. I hate myself for it too. Out of all the list, this is the one I am most upset about having yet to complete. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, Shatter Me, so I just have to take on Unravel Me, and Ignite Me. I will get to it I promise.

2. Penryn and the End of Days trilogy: While I read the first book and throughly enjoyed it AND I own the second book, I just haven’t had the inclination to start it. Don’t ask me why because I haven’t an inkling of a clue. THERE’S JUST SO MANY BOOKS YAKNOW?!

3. Legend trilogy: I remember flying through the first book, Legend, and I read it in one sitting. Immediately following it’s conclusion, I picked up Prodigy… and then put it down. And then picked it up… and then put it down. This cycle remained for about two months. I don’t know why but the connection I felt to the characters and the story dissipated. Again, I don’t know why this is. Because I own the third book as well, one day I will suck it up and finish the trilogy, just to say I’ve completed it.

4. Starbound companion novels: I don’t know if this counts as a series but I’m gonna make it count. I read the first one in the companion series, These Broken Stars, and honestly, I bought it because the cover is absolutely GORGEOUS, and the rating on goodreads was high enough for me to be convinced. While I did enjoy this book, it lacked a certain something for me. There is a slight possibility that one day I may pick up the other companion novels, but I don’t think it will be any time soon.

5. Anna and the French Kiss companion novels: Again, I don’t know if this counts as a series, but I am going to make it count. I only read Anna, and I did see the appeal and I understand why so many people love this series. And Etienne, damn. But again, something was missing. I did enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, and again there’s a slight chance I may pick up Lola and Isla in the future, but I don’t think that will be anytime soon. 

6. Fire and Thorns trilogy: Ah, this one. Well, I read the first book, slowly and painfully. There were aspects of the novel I did enjoy, such as the non-aesthetically beautiful female lead, as well as her development throughout the story, but that’s about it. I thought it was dry, the characters didn’t do much for me, and a very bad thing happened to the one character that I actually liked, therefore I have no desire to continue on the series. I did attempt to read the second one, but I just didn’t care anymore #oops

7. The Mortal Instruments: Now don’t hate me, okay? I just … well, okay maybe I’m being unfair. I probably am, ngl. But I read City of Bones, and thought it was pretty good, and when I continued onto City of Ash, I got about a quarter of the way through and had to DNF it. I just didn’t care. I didn’t care about the characters, I didn’t care about the story, I didn’t care. So I figured I wouldn’t waste my time on a story I didn’t care about. Makes sense, right? Now I know a tremendous amount of people have said that the books get a thousand times better the more they progress, and I promise I believe it, but I have absolutely no desire in confirming it for myself. I have debated on reading the Infernal Devices, and I'm still in that debate. We will see. Also sorry please don’t hate me.

8. Across the Universe trilogy: I think, I THINK, this was my first fantasy/sci-fi book I’ve read, and I did really enjoy it. While I unfortunately can’t remember everything that happened, I remember I really liked it. That being said, the reason I haven’t picked up the other books in the trilogy is simply because THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER BOOKS?! Like I do want to finish the trilogy, and maybe one day I will. Hopefully. Because I do want to know what happens.

9. The Fallen series: I picked up the first book on a whim, because I thought the cover was intriguing. And I read it, and I liked it. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. It was pretty good. I had all the intentions in the world to buy the rest of the series and continue on, but again, THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER BOOKS TO READ?! I don’t see myself picking up the rest of the books, but who knows? Maybe I can be swayed.

10. Vampire Academy: Oh my god. Oh. My. God. Okay. Again, I know this series is a lot of people’s favourites, and it gets better as the books progress, and blah blah blah. I borrowed this book from my friend on her recommendation, and at first I thought it was okay, but I found myself absolutely hating it. I thought the main character was annoying as hell, the storyline was cheap, and frankly, I just don’t like vampires. I find I steer far away from anything vampire related. I loathed the first book and maybe it does get better as the series goes on, I can’t vouch for that testament, but I sure as hell am not going to find out. Again, sorry.

And there we have it, the top ten series (completed) series I have yet to finish. Some of these series I hope to get around to, and some I’ve completely written off. What about you guys? What are your (completed) series that you have to finish? Make sure to leave us a comment so we can check out your list!

And with that, I bid you adieu,
Kayla @ one-chapter-ahead
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