I was lucky enough to be contacted by Quentin and I received a solar book light in exchange for a review, but this in no way affects my honest opinion about the product.
You can find it here: SOLAR BOOK LIGHT
First of all this light definitely gets ★★★★★'s from me!
I have very light sensitive eyes (bright lights hurt), so the fact that this book light comes with an option of off, half brightness, and full brightness is just AMAZING! Not only that, it can be solar powered or plugged in to be charged, but I do love that this gives people the option to be eco-friendly! (plus I live in Cali, so... solar powered it is!). It also has a bendy neck that allows readers to move the light to wherever they would like. Lastly, this book light is practically weightless, which is amazing! I hate reading off brightly lit screens (phones, laptops, etc.) so this light is so handy to read physical copies, or my kindle late at night. (Plus it's so light I can enjoy a good read right it my bed! I would seriously recommend this light to all readers!
PS: My dad even borrowed this and said he liked it! (So it is father approved lol)
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Synopsis: "Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm."
Review: First off, this is the SECOND book of the Grisha Trilogy so don't read this is you don't want spoilers for Shadow and Bone!
Siege and Storm was action packed, so much so that I honestly had to pause a couple times to take everything in. There really was a bit of everything in this novel! I loved the action, adventure, romance, and emotions I experienced while reading this and I have to say that I can't stop thinking about this plot!
Now that the Grisha world was pretty much all set up, Leigh Bardugo really started the whole adventure of Alina vs the Darkling. Alina's struggle with Mal, the Darkling, Nikolai, and saving Ravka is something that is present throughout this novel and really caused a LOT of emotions. Alina really goes through a lot in this storyline whether it involve romance drama to saving the world, Alina has a lot on her shoulders. I love that Alina can make mistakes and that Alina comes from a poorer upbringing because after she is thrust into this new found glory, I just can't imagine would it would of been like if she already came from a higher upbringing.
We are also introduced to Tamar and Tolya, grisha twins whom I LOVE DEARLY (especially since I'm a twin too), but I just found them to be the side characters that really captured my attention. I actually found the characters in this novel to be incredibly unique and I really love them all.. except certain ones (cough Genya couch the Darkling)
This book had more of a focus on the culture of the people now that Grisha world was fully constructed. Although this book had much less world building than Shadow and Bone, SO MUCH HAPPENED ALL THE TIME. I honestly loved that about it! It feel like a plot induced adrenaline high? (if that's even possible because then book cardio could be real) I don't want to give anything away for those who haven't picked up this book yet so let me just say that I laughed, cried, yelled, and probably yelled some more (but mostly in my head ... I share a room ).
If you didn't get any of this review let me just make it known that this book was amazing and everyone should go and read it. (This is not even a suggestion, yeah it's that good).
Favorite Quote(s): " 'You were like a stranger, Alina. Beautiful,' he said. 'Terrible.' "
" 'he just blooms wherever he's planted.'
'I'm more of a weed,' I said drily."
" 'We're giving them hope. That's better than nothing.'
'Spoken like a man who's never had nothing,' "
" 'Fearless is other word for stupid.' "
" 'The world is changing,' ... 'We change with it, or there will be nothing left to remember us but the dust.' "
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne
Synopsis: Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Review: WOW ok first of all HARRY POTTER. Anyways, I know there are plenty of mixed reviews out there but let me just say that this review is MY opinion and you guys are free to think whatever you want! I'll start by addressing what other people disliked. Many people didn't like the format... but it's a script so I definitely was prepared for it and to be honest it helped me get through the book much quicker. Although I do have to agree it felt slightly like a fanfiction, but who cares right? (She didn't have to write any more but she did so take it or leave it!) Some people also didn't even like the plot, but let me get to that in a minute.
I honestly wasn't even planning on getting this book when I did because I just happened to be at Costco to return something and my dad asked if I wanted anything and I was really hoping they would have this book and THEY DID SO I WAS LITERALLY JUST HUGGING THIS BOOK ON THE RIDE HOME. Ok whew breathe, getting a bit too excited all over again. Now let's get into it. First of all I was already aware of the mixed reviews so I was a bit cautious reading this book, but let me just say this script was intended to be a play and for all intents and purposes it did a REALLY good job. I get that maybe it didn't make the best novel, but it's a PLAY, and there isn't meant to be anymore.
My favorite part was really getting to see the crew back at it again. Harry, Ron, Hermione, just made me feel at home again. They are the three characters I could never read enough on. They are literal squad goals (seriously how many squads have the saved the world and had fun doing it?). Just getting to hear about Hogwarts again made me feel nostalgic.
Right in the beginning we are introduced to Harry's third child, his son, Albus. Albus instantly felt like a little Harry Potter clone to me despite the differences that both Harry and Albus claimed. Ok so the interesting stuff may include spoilers so I'll hide the rest and you can choose to read it or not! :)
Opinion Spoilers: We also get to meet Scorpius, Draco's son. As it turns out Albus is sorted into Slytherin as well as Scorpius and they become the best of friends, but also loners at Hogwarts due to people believing Scorpius is Voldemort's son and Albus just because he wasn't very good at magic. Honestly, I wasn't drawn in by all the new characters I just really liked seeing how the old ones were doing and what the wizarding world was like after so many years. The time traveling stuff. Ok I get it so at the end nothing was really achieved, BUT I would just like to reiterate that this is a PLAY and that this is pretty much how plays work themselves out... Besides happy endings are nice and I loved that bit of action! The time traveling also allowed for some of my favorite parts to happen!! UM SNAPE yes that's right because Scorpius and Albus go back in time, Scorpius does get to meet Snape and touching moments happen. (Seriously I was tearing up plus I mean it felt nice to get to know that Snape sort of got to know that everything was good. It felt unfair that he couldn't before.) Now Voldemort's daughter... yea she didn't make me feel anything at all. She seemed sketchy to me since the beginning and I wasn't devoting and sort of connection to her, so that part didn't do much for me. However, the rest of J.K. Rowling's amazing plot twists got me ready to read this script as quickly as possible! I could honestly see the play come to life in my mind! (well with the movie characters because they will always be the originals to me) No matter how much I wish there was more I know there really can't be more and that's why I'm grateful for the nice ending J.K. Rowling has provided with this script. All the loose ends seemed pretty tied up and I am not left yearning for another 1000000 books instead it just feels like the end and I have to say I'm pretty satisfied.
Over the past couple of months my reading tastes have really evolved. I was definitely in a bit of a contemporary phase last year but this year is the year of fantasy. Fantasy is just another way of saying that the book can be filled with anything. It can literally include anything and everything you think of.
Last year, I was incredibly loving books like P.S. I Still Love You and Fangirl. I was most definitely in some weird sort of romance loving stage. The relationships were the main focus of contemporary books and at the time, that was what I really enjoyed reading. I loved seeing how the two characters would get together (or sometimes not get together #ATBP too soon...). I was drawn to things that pulled on my heart strings and left me in tears or made me so giddy that I couldn't physically (and mentally) stop smiling for the rest of the day. Don't get me wrong I still love a good contemporary! However, I found myself really enjoying using my imagination a lot more recently instead of my emotions.
Ever since I was little everyone wondered why I loved to read so much and why they couldn't get me to read anything, but fiction. The truth is when I read fiction novels, it's not so much of reading as watching a movie that no one else can see. My imagination is pretty crazy if I do say so myself, and so fiction books were practically the same as heading to the theaters. For this same reason I found myself drawn to fantasy A LOT this year. In contemporary novels, pretty much all the stories are set in standard and possibly real-life locations that don't require much imagination (you could probably google to find a similar location). In fantasy novels, the entire story takes place in a world someone else created, something the reader has never seen or even imagined. This is where it became exciting for me. I could see entirely new (and usually magical) things that contemporary novels could never indulge me in.
Although I think fantasy will be my top choice for many years to come, don't worry because I'm sure I'll be reading plenty of contemporary novels as well!
Let me know in the comments what your favorite genre is and if it was always that genre!
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Synopsis:"Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.
A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page."
Review: I am filled with emotions because of this book. I was honestly quite skeptical BUT LET ME EXPLAIN WHY. I connected with Cam A LOT. I started reading this book with a VERY realistic view and everything that occurred made me laugh or shake my head at the craziness. However, I found myself wishing for more and more miracles as the book went on.
Now let's back up to the beginning of the story. I loved the way Wendy Wunder wrote this novel. Cam is definitely one of the funniest characters I have ever read about. She is sarcastic and throws jokes, but her pain and suffering make her feel real. I could honestly imagine meeting Cam in real life, which is something that can be hard to say especially when reading a fiction, young adult novel.
I absolutely LOVED the plot. Ridiculous at times, but that just made it even more hopeful and inspiring(? don't know really how to describe it.) The vibe of this book is just unbelievable and not something I can even put into words (SO JUST GO AND READ IT ;) !),
Cam is one of the most inspirational bookish characters. She is funny, smart, and adventurous and it makes this novel such an adventure to read. Then there is Asher, who is fictional boyfriends goals. He is sweet, and caring and almost too perfect. Their romance is a sweet very traditional YA love story types, but it's cute and who doesn't love a good YA romance!
(FYI) This is the PERFECT summer book. I felt that summer haze feeling as soon as Cam entered Maine. Since it is currently summer, it felt really nice to read!
Favorite Quote(s): "Magic, Cam knew from a lifetime of working for the Mouse, was a privilege and not a right."
"The whole sky turned to indigo and the stars blinked on, slowly at first, and then all at once, blanketing the sky with pixie dust."
Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor
*I received an ARC from Penguin First Reads, but this in no way affects my review.*
Synopsis: "Skip O’Rourke is dragged into one last con . . . but he doesn’t know the con’s on him in this funny, page-turning debut YA for fans of Winger and Ocean’s Eleven.
Cameron Smith attends an elite boarding school and has just been accepted to Princeton University alongside his beautiful girlfriend, Claire. Life for Cameron would be perfect, except that Cameron Smith is actually Skip O’Rourke, and Skip O’Rourke ran away from his grifter family four years ago…along with $100,000 of their “earnings” (because starting a new life is not cheap). But when his uncle Wonderful tracks him down, Skip’s given an ultimatum: come back to the family for one last con, or say good-bye to life as Cameron.
“One last con” is easier said than done when Skip’s family is just as merciless (and just as manipulative) as they’ve always been, and everyone around him is lying. Skip may have given up on crime, but there’s one lesson he hasn’t forgotten: always know your mark. And if you don’t know who your mark is . . . it’s probably you.
Witty and irresistibly readable, this standout debut will always keep you guessing."
Review: I am slightly sad that this book did not make it up to my full expectations. I had a good mix of mystery, action, and romance, but I couldn't find that spark while reading this book. Although this book was not particularly up my alley, I think that this could be a great read for someone really into mystery and action.
Thieving Weasels had a lot of potential and that is why I liked the core of the novel, but I think it could have been built upon more. There were many scenes I found that went on for too long and other scenes I wanted more of. The characters were all present and had interesting roles, but the confusion and constant conning left me a little lost on all the character development. I found myself very partial to keeping Skip happy (and alive), but I didn't seem to know anyone else well enough to really want to have them have their happily ever after.
The romance was a bit unrealistic for me. I found it practically impossible for them to resolve their issues with just a single conversation. However, I liked that there was romance included in the novel, because a lot of action or mystery novels seem a lot more focused on the mystery/action part. The relationship also helped Skip seem more realistic (even though the relationship didn't seem realistic if that makes sense?).
The plot line was really what kept me reading. I may not having liked some parts of this book, but the plot did have me questioning what the conclusion of this book would bring. There were also many surprises along the way. This book is not something I would usually pick up, but I'm glad I did because even though it didn't become my favorite book I think that this would be a great recommendation for those who love a good action filled young adult novel with hints of mystery!
Favorite Quote(s): "They're a pack of weasels. Who knows why they do what they do?"
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Synopsis: "Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken."
Review: This book has left me in one of those trances where when you close the book you can't seem to stop thinking. Emily Henry touches on SO many of life's lessons in just a short 396 pages.
By using Native American influences stories, she is able to recreate a surreal story that has readers impossible to turn away.
Let me just admit in the very beginning of the novel I was quite confused. (PS: this is NOT a good book for people easily offended by different religious views... good thing I'm not one of those people because I liked this book!) For me, this book didn't completely capture my attention until about 100 pages in, BUT once I was in, I was IN. The world Emily creates is gorgeous and although obviously is fiction is surprisingly good at mirroring our world.
My favorite part of this had to be the Native American stories. Some just had the purpose to connect with the plot, but many really had me thinking about life. Each and every story drew me in and left me feeling sad, happy, confused, and about every other emotion possible.
The fantasy aspect of this novel was very fitting with what seems to be very popular in 2016: Time Travel. Yes time travel is a very large part of this novel as well as traveling through dimensions. This was another aspect of the novel I really enjoyed. Emily Henry really knows how to describe the smallest details and makes it feel like all of us are right in the scene with Natalie and Beau!
Talking about Natalie and Beau, this is how the young adult aspect kicks in. Their love is just the typical YA love, but just as cute all the others. It starts quick and feels slow until they hit a problem that threatens their relationship. The novel infers their love is true, yet at the same time I felt a bit skeptical even with their obvious connection with their abilities, it felt too quick of a romance for me.
Overall the novel was an incredible read, but my one complaint would have to be the ending. I was SO CONFUSED. I still am... I understood some parts and others I really have no idea. I may just have to read that again. (Though I don't think I'm the only one who thinks this because I asked a friend in hope for some answers, but she was confused as well.) Oh well.. maybe we just weren't deep enough to understand the philosophy and analogies?
I would really recommend this book to anyone looking for a romance + life lessons sort of book, someone who really wants to think about life, or even people who are solely interested in only the Native American stories (because those were quite amazing!).
Cover: ★★★★★ (UM ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS COVER)
Favorite Quote(s): " 'I saw my whole life for what it had really been, and even though I was goddam terrified of all the things that could happen to you, when I looked at you it was like all the bad things had been a dream, and I was finally waking up. That's how I know, sugar cube. This is only the beginning. If you want the good, you can't give up.' "(pg. 206)
"The sky split open then.
The stars fell like silver rain.
The world stopped turning. The Universe held its breath." (pg. 389)
Highly Anticipated Books
Ahh the infamous mile long TBR list.
(these are in no particular order)
Comment below if any of these books are on your TBR list or if you're as excited as me for these to be published !! Have a happy sunday!
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Synopsis: "Even in the future. there are damsels in distress...
In the third installment of the Lunar chronicles, Cress, having risked everything to warn Cinder of Queen Levana's evil plan, has a slight problem. She's been imprisoned on a satellite since childhood and has only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress a great hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress involving Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes as a high price. Meanwhile, Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has."
Review: As you guys may know from my review of the first two books in this series I AM LOVING IT! The characters, the plot, the EVERYTHING is AMAZINGGG. Marissa Meyer has me completely hooked in this world.
In this novel there is obviously a main focus on Cress (aka Rapunzel) and Thorne being her 'prince'. I found this novel easier to read compared to Scarlet just because I got a bit more used to the way the character viewpoints switch and because Cress meets them much earlier on than Scarlet did with Cinder.
Romance wise we also mostly see developments happening between Cress and Thorne, a bit more for Cinder, and close to none for Scarlet (read it and you'll see why.) As usual Marissa Meyer is amazing at young adult romancing (is that even a word?) and this novel really not only retells Rapunzel's story incredibly well we also get to see a different kind of love bloom when a certain doctor reappears!
Although I really loved the strong independent women Marissa Meyer put into the first two novels it was also nice to see a timid girl that believed in love more than anything. Cress put in a new kind of perspective into the Lunar Chronicles which was really refreshing to read. I think she also represents many of us stereotypical book lovers: shy, quiet, awkward, but lovable and pretty smart sometimes!
Cinder and Kai! yes something happens but no spoilers right!?
This novel also has one heck of a plot. I literally gasped out loud or said really strange comments out loud and I didn't care at all because SO MANY MIND BOGGLING THINGS HAPPENED. If you've read my reviews before you guys know I love predicting things and a lot of the time I can accurately guess something but this novel just had me completely entranced.
PS. Marissa Meyer writes so beautifully that I have too many favorites quotes so I may have to cut some out... ;(
Cover: ★★★★★ (CAN YOU BLAME ME?!)
Favorite Quote(s): " 'You know, when I was a kid, I was tricked into thinking that princesses wore tiaras and hosted tea parties. Now that I've met a real princess, I must say, I'm kind of disappointed.' "
"The sky was a haze of violet, and where that faded away - blue and black and stars. The same stars she'd known all her life, and yet now they were spread out like a blanket over her. Now there was an entire sky and an entire world ready to engulf her."
It's been A YEAR since I first started this website... I don't even believe it. Time has passed so quickly and not enough books have been read!
Thanks for all the amazing support! The bookish community is honestly just a group of the nicest people ever (especially on the internet there are practically no trolls or hate! even for people with huge amounts of follower/readers, I barely see ANY negativity!)
In the last year alone I have been able to: - write a decent review (whereas I had no idea at the start)
- take much better pictures for bookstagram!
- read around 50 books?
- really get to understand the YA book community
- visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- obtain 40 books and counting :)
It's really strange, but I realized that reading has brought me a bit out of my shell. I feel like I understand myself a bit better by reading all these different stories.
Thanks for joining me in my little story and I'll be posting more reviews, blogs, and whatever else I have to say soon!
PS: fun fact, my signature and logo are both a crown because that's the definition of Stephanie!
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.