Friday, December 23, 2016

ARC Review: The Sun is Also a Star

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion or my review of the book in any way. Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with this eARC!
by Nicola Yoon
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: November 3, 2016
Published by: Corgi Childrens
Paperback, 348 pages
My rating: 4.5/5 ★

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

The Sun is Also a Star turned out to be everything I had hoped it would be: a cute contemporary romance that went deeper than just two teenagers falling in love. 

The story of Natasha and David takes place in only one day, and while I think this really helped emphasize the seriousness of Natasha's situation (i.e. trying to do anything to not have to leave the country), it did make the romance aspect of the story a little too instalovey for me. Since this is really the only aspect of this whole book that I had slight problems with, I want to get it out of the way now: I am not a fan of instalove, and I do not believe that falling in love in one day is possible. But I will say that reading this book made me question this view a little. The way Natasha and David meet, and especially the way David is absolutely convinced from the beginning that they are meant to be together, definitely made me want to believe it too. So while two people falling in love in such a short period of time would usually ruin a book for me, with The Sun is Also a Star, it only made me take off a half star. That's how well written this book was. It definitely did make me feel all the feels, so there's no need to deny that I enjoyed the romance even if it all happens in one day.

My favorite part of the story was without a doubt the cultural aspects, even more so the dynamics of both Natasha's and David's family. I don't want to give anything away by talking about it, but let me just say that I was deeply impressed with how the topic of immigration and especially second-generation immigrants was presented. This story especially made me understand the perspective of David's parents who came to America for their children to have better lives, which I thought was extremely interesting.

Overall I think this book is extremely well written, and the way it's told from various different points of view made it even more special and unique. I also especially loved the ending, which was a very positive surprise for me as I hadn't liked the ending of Nicola Yoon's first book, Everything, Everything, very much. 

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone! If you, like me, can't usually deal with instalove, I'd still say give this book a go, and try to look over this fact in order to see the by far more important and (in my opinion) extremely enjoyable and interesting aspects of this story.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

ARC Review: Holding Up the Universe

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion or my review of the book in any way. Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with this eARC!

by Jennifer Niven
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: October 4, 2016
Published by: Penguin Books UK
Ebook, 400 pages
My rating: 3.5/5 ★

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed 'America's Fattest Teen'. But no one's taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Since her mum's death, she's been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby's ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER.

I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he's got swagger, but he's also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can't recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He's the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can't understand what's going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don't get too close to anyone. Until he meets Libby.

When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world - theirs and yours.

Overall, this was an incredibly cute story about learning to love who you are, and also falling in love with someone else. It had some very positive aspects, but I still can't say that it's one of my new favorite books.

First of all, let's talk about the characters. I liked both of the main characters a lot. Jack is the popular guy who's actually really insecure on the inside, and Libby the outsider who's actually very confident and strong. I admired Libby for how she stood up for herself and how she handled her past that was always threatening to pull her back down. But most of all, I enjoyed reading about Jack and his struggle with prosopagnosia. Learning about his condition is definitely what stayed with me the most when I wasn't reading the book, and it kept me thinking and trying to imagine how life must be for Jack. 

The story itself was cute, but also way over the top in my opinion. The romance was fortunately very subtle and well developed, which I absolutely loved. The characters' feelings seemed to develop over a reasonable amount of time, and what I liked most is that it wasn't this big deal when they discovered their feelings. As for the other aspects of the story, it was all too dramatic for my taste. I just can't deal with these public, out-there proclamations and actions, and I also struggle to identify with characters whose thoughts seem way too big for their age, etc., and this book unfortunately had all of that. I'm not saying that's entirely bad, or that I hated that, because I still enjoyed reading the book; it just kept me from really connecting to the characters and the story, and it would have definitely taken that connection to make this a 5 star raving review.

Another thing that I struggled with at first was the pacing of the story. There were a lot of jumps between what seemed like random scenes and flashbacks to the past, and we never really got to see anything play out. I don't know if that actually changed in the second half of the book or if I just got used to it, but I felt like towards the end there was more of a story with a natural flow and progression, which made it a lot easier to follow.

So overall I can say that if you're looking for a cute, well developed contemporary romance with interesting and likable characters, go read this book! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication date: June 5, 2012
Published by: Henry Holt and Company
Hardcover, 356 pages
My rating: 3.5/5 ★

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

I enjoyed this first book of the Grisha trilogy, but I have to say that it didn't blow me away. I am interested to continue with the series, though, so that's good.

I had two main (though altogether still rather small) issues with this book, which I think kept me from falling completely in love with it. First of all, there are a lot of 'technical terms' with regard to the magic system, which made it pretty difficult to get into the story and the world. I still don't fully understand the whole system, and I definitely don't understand what exactly the different 'types' of Grisha do. I'm hoping that this will become clearer in the next books.

The second thing was the writing. I have heard a lot of people rave about Leigh Bardugo's writing, which makes me think that maybe the 'problem' I had with it is only in the first book. But to me, the story didn't have a very great flow. The important things happened too abruptly in my opinion, where I would have wanted the scene to be fleshed out a little more. All in all this made me feel more distanced from the story, and I definitely didn't get as invested with the characters as I would have liked. Also, none of the romance scenes made me feel anything at all, which is pretty disappointing for me.

I really hope to get more into the story and the characters in the next book!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Review: The Crown (The Selection #5)

This is the fifth book in the series and might contain spoilers for the previous books!

The Crown
by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #5
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Publication date: May 3, 2016
Published by: HarperTeen
Paperback, 278 pages
My rating: 2/5 ★
When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Unfortunately, The Crown did not live up to my expectations at all. Especially considering that the story actually ended the way I had hoped it would after The Heir, I am very disappointed to say that I didn't like this book. Eadlyn ends up with the guy I had secretly hoped she would while reading the previous book, yes, but by the time she decides she was in love with him, there was actually a different, much better choice. 

The first half of the book was actually pretty good. I was enjoying myself until about the last 100 pages, but then it went downhill really, really fast. The ending was essentially just one big rush of huge revelations. There was so much important information dumped on the reader without that it had been previously hinted at or really explained at all.

The plot in general and especially the romance (if one can call it that) was very, very rushed. There are two books centred around Eadlyn falling in love and in the end there wasn't any room to actually develop it? This was definitely the biggest disappointment for me. It had been going so well for so long: Eadlyn getting to know the boys and starting to like them for different reasons, it all felt really natural. But then this life-changing second happened (well, nothing actually happened) and destroyed it all. I had such high hopes for a well developed, slow-burn romance, but then Eadlyn literally fell in love in a single moment. First she talks about liking all the boys and not knowing what love even means, and then suddenly she's throwing around words like 'soulmate'. Wait, what? 

I've read and enjoyed four books by Kiera Cass, but this one just didn't work for me. Even the writing seemed rushed. The dialogues especially felt forced to me, so that even though I actually liked some of the quotes, I was just rolling my eyes because they were too 'big' and didn't fit the situation at all. Conversation didn't flow naturally, and that is something that always throws me off in books. 

Overall, it just felt like Kiera Cass wanted to get this book over with. I don't really mean that because I know how much work goes into writing a book, but in my opinion, The Crown doesn't compare to the other books of the series at all. It's a very weak ending to what I found a very fun and entertaining series. 

As I said, I'm very disappointed. Considering how short this book is, I feel like there would have been so much room to flush out the story more, give it more depth and develop the characters and especially the relationship further.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

U.S. West Coast Road Trip

Well, hello there! Do you still know who I am? No? Well, it has been over two months! Once again, university has taken over my life for the past few weeks, but my exams are over and I am back. Well, I am leaving again this Saturday, but that shouldn't affect this blog. Hopefully. I have one post scheduled and that's quite the achievement for me, so be proud.

Anyway, today I want to talk about what I'll be doing the next three weeks, because I'm going on HOLIDAYS. I'm going on a road trip in the U.S. with two of my friends! Now that we have finally managed to book all our hotels etc., I am relaxed enough to actually talk about the trip. We have a pretty packed program and there will be lots and lots of driving, but I can't wait to see all of the things!

So we are flying out to Las Vegas on July 16 where we will stay for two nights. I'm not sure what to expect in Las Vegas, and I'm pretty sure it won't be my favorite place in the world, but it felt like we just had to include it in our trip.

We are then going to visit a number of national parks in the area, namely Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon and Grand Canyon. This is where we'll do most of the driving, as we only planned to stay at these places for one night each (except Grand Canyon with two nights). I am super excited to see these places, as the landscapes will be entirely different from what I'm used to here in Switzerland. The only problem: the heat. I don't think mid-July is the best time to travel into the desert, but oh well.

From Grand Canyon, we will drive down to Palm Springs and then San Diego, where we will again be staying for (only) two nights. Next up is Los Angeles (of course!) for two nights and then we'll make our way up to San Francisco, where we will be staying for three nights. This is probably the part of our adventure that I'm most excited about. These are cities that I've seen in movies and read about and I can't wait to see them in real life. I really hope my expectations aren't too high!

Overall, I think we probably have a little too much planned, but we just wanted to get to see as much as possible. Because of this, we of course have to make the absolute best of our time in all of these places. That's super difficult in my opinion because the more I research a city for example, the more things I discover that I feel like I absolutely need to see, and we definitely don't have time for everything.

This is where you might be able to help me: Have you ever been to any of these places? If so, what's something we absolutely have to see or do? Any suggestions or tips will be much appreciated, since we are leaving on Saturday and don't really know anything about anything. We're a very organized bunch as you can see. I am super excited (if a little nervous) though, so I'm sure that makes up for all the lack of planning. Somehow.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

April 2016 Wrap-Up

Hello there and happy May! Let's have a look at what I read and bought last month, shall we?

What I Read

  • The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski, 5/5 ★
  • This one was the perfect ending to an even more perfect trilogy. If you haven't read The Winner's Curse yet, what are you even doing?

  • The Score by Elle Kennedy, 3/5 ★
  • After such an epic fantasy book, I needed some light reading, and this one worked wonderfully for that. New Adult is my go-to genre when I need to stop thinking and just read, and Elle Kennedy has managed to keep my eye-rolling at a minimum with her Off-Campus companion series.

  • The Heir by Kiera Cass, 4/5 ★
  • This was definitely the biggest surprise for me this month. I went into this book with pretty low expectations, and they were far exceeded! Here's my full review.

  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab, 5/5 ★
  • This book blew me away. I still think about it all the time, and it's given me the worst book hangover. Nothing will ever live up to the awesomeness that was this book. I attempted to write a coherent review, but mostly just shouted how much I loved EVERYTHING.

  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, 3/5 
  • Unfortunately, this book didn't really meet my expectations. I wrote a full review for this one as well.

  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik, 5/5 ★
  • This was all around great. Beautiful writing, gripping plot, complex characters and a unique, rather dark feel to the whole story - it definitely lived up to the hype for me!

What I Bought

That's it! What are some new additions to your bookshelf? 
Any new favorites you discovered this month?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review: Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: September 1, 2015
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 306 pages
My rating: 3/5 ★

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

This book got quite a lot of hype when it was released last year and so my expectations had been pretty high. Unfortunately, I have to say I was a little underwhelmed by the story. There were some things that I really loved, such as the writing and the unique format of the book with its illustrations, etc. I also pretty much flew through it, so I can't say that it didn't get me hooked. 

So why didn't I give it a higher rating? Everything, Everything is a pretty short book, and that was very noticeable for me while reading. I wish the characters were more fleshed out and the story better developed. A lot of times, things happened very abruptly and there would definitely have been room for more of a build-up for the big moments of the story.

The plot also really didn't make sense to me. I realize that a fictional story doesn't have to be logical or anything but for example a lot of aspects of Maddy's sickness weren't really explained. There are some people that are allowed to touch her, others aren't. When her teacher comes to visit her he has to go through decontamination but I don't think her mom or nurse do. I would have needed more information to actually buy the story, but before I really got to know anything or anyone, it was already over.

I can't really talk about one of my main reasons for not loving the book without spoiling anything, so only click below if you read the book!

View/Hide Spoiler

As I said, Nicola Yoon's writing is one of the things I really loved. It was light and easy to read but there are also some very quotable lines in the book. I'm definitely interested in reading more by this author, even though Everything, Everything wasn't quite what I had hoped it would be. I'm a huge fan of books written in letter, e-mail or IM format, so Yoon definitely made a fan by including all of that.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Review: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)

This is the second book in the series and might contain spoilers for the previous book!

A Gathering of Shadows
by V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #2
Genre: Fantasy
Publication date: February 23, 2016
Published by: Tor Books
Hardcover, 512 pages
My rating: 5/5 ★

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift – back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

WOW! This book was amazing! I definitely enjoyed the first book in the series but this one was so much better! While ADSOM was a rather slow read for me, I couldn't put this one down. The emotional involvement (aka feels) I didn't really have with the first book was overpowering in AGOS. The whole book was absolutely perfect.

First and foremost, I adore all the characters.

Lila is reckless and sometimes stupidly so, and even though she is completely different from me personally, I felt like I understood her so well. All the things she's running from, her trust issues, her fears - they felt very authentic. I'm really impressed by the long way she's come and am very much looking forward to seeing what development she will go through in the next book. There were moments when I thought 'Oh Lila, what are you doing?' but I was never annoyed with her thoughtless actions. Lila is overall a really fascinating character and the relationships she's building with the other characters are giving me LIFE.

Speaking of which, Kell and Lila are my favorite thing ever. Their relationship is incredibly well developed. I loved their comradery in the first book but I love where it is headed even more. It is so well written and absolutely perfectly paced. Their stubbornness when it comes to deliberately not thinking about the other person fits their characters so perfectly and it makes my heart sing.

Kell himself is another very complex and interesting character that I absolutely love to read about. He is in a very difficult situation throughout the book as he doesn't really know where he belongs and has the most conflicted feelings. His internal conflicts were portrayed perfectly. All his thoughts made so much sense to me and I really hope we (and he himself) learn more about him and his past in the next book.

As to Rhy and Alucard, I can't wait for more of both of them. Alucard is such a fantastic addition to the already amazing set of characters in this series and he might actually be my new favorite. I see great things in his future!

I honestly can't put the amazingness that is this book into words. I would tell you to read it, because you definitely should, but I don't want to be responsible for anyone's death-by-bookwait because that ending killed me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

March 2016 Wrap-Up

Let's ignore the fact that it's already mid-April for a second, because I want to share my March Wrap-Up today! March has been a pretty eventful month for me and on top of that my uni workload is getting bigger and bigger. Somehow, I still read (and bought) an acceptable amount of books though and I even managed to catch up with my goodreads reading challenge for a second (now I'm behind again, but that's okay).

What I Read

  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, 3/5 ★ 
  • I think my problem with this book was that my expectations were simply too high from all the raving reviews I had read. As it was, I was rather underwhelmed, and didn't even cry a single tear, which in itself is a miracle for me. For my full review go here.

  • Stars Above by Marissa Meyer, 5/5 ★ 
  • This book was everything I had hoped for. Additional background information on all my favorite characters as well as more closure. I loved every single story in this book. If you're a fan of The Lunar Chronicles (and who isn't?), this book will definitely make you very, very happy.

  • Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell, 4/5 ★ 
  • I don't have much to say about this other than: read it. It's a short story about a girl camping out for the new Star Wars movie, and even though I'm not very much of a Star Wars fan myself, I really enjoyed it. It was quick, cute and quirky and left a smile on my lips.

  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, 5/5 ★ 
  • I honestly feel like Cassandra Clare's books are getting better and better. Lady Midnight offered so much, and I loved it all. So many new characters were introduced that were all very individual and interesting. The whole Blackthorn family has definitely found a special place in my heart and so did Emma and Christina and everyone else. And as always, this book was super fast paced and action packed. Even though it's huge, I never lost interested or felt like the story was moving too slowly. Definitely recommend this one to all the Shadowhunter fans out there!

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, 5/5 ★ 
  • V.E. Schwab is without a doubt incredibly talented with words. I love the worlds she created in this book and most of all, I loved how different the three of them were. While this book didn't make me feel all the feels or anything, I definitely care deeply for the unique characters and I can't wait to see what the future books will bring.

What I Bought

That's all for my March wrap-up! I hope you all had a successful month!

What's your favorite book you read this month?
Any exciting new addition to your shelves?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review: The Heir (The Selection #4)

This is the fourth book in the series and might contain spoilers for the previous books!

by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #4
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Publication date: May 5, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen
Paperback, 342 pages
My rating: 4/5 ★
Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

The Heir is one of the books I was super excited for before it came out but then when I actually had it, I never picked it up. But now, almost a year later, I decided it was time, and I don't regret it. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it gave me everything I had wanted from it: a fun and light read that I finished quickly. From all the mixed things I've heard, my expectations were quite low and therefore I was pleasantly surprised. 

A lot of people seemed to dislike the book because of the main character and I can understand that but at the same time I don't feel the same way. I found Eadlyn to be quite irritating and I feel like if the story had been told from anyone else's point of view, she would definitely be a character I wouldn't like. As it is, I actually found it interesting to read from her perspective. I liked that Kiera Cass created a flawed and rather unlikable character and didn't try to somehow cover it up and give reasons that would make Eadlyn's behavior okay. Some things she says and some of her actions are simply awful and she doesn't even realize it, and there's no excuse for that. She is spoiled and arrogant and pretty selfish. I think it is her way of trying to handle a job she clearly isn't qualified for and I don't really blame her for it but that doesn't mean I like her because of it either. 

At the same time, I think Eadlyn has some very admirable qualities. She is proud, and she hates to be looked down upon for being a young woman (especially because she will be the first female ruler Illéa). Even though she is very insecure at times and unsure whether she can handle all the pressure her job brings, she doesn't think she needs a man by her side in order to rule a kingdom. I loved that. She also tries really hard to do a good job at being a princess and future queen, and her dedication definitely shows a more mature side of her. 

Overall, I think Eadlyn is exactly how I would imagine an 18 year old future queen to be. Obiously, she has grown up very privileged and that makes it hard for her to actually understand the problems and challenges the 'common people' face. But she wants to be a good queen, and she tries to do the best she can under the circumstances, even if it backfires more often than not. 

I'm really interested to see how the story will continue, obviously also because of the huge cliffhanger at the end! I hope Eadlyn will be able to open up a little, but I also want her to stay true to herself. I mean, it's not like it's impossible to find love if you're not the kindest, sweetest soul in the world. People will love you for your flaws too, and I hope the next book will prove that. I'm also very curious to see how the uprisings in the country will be faced and resolved. 

This book turned out to be a positive surprise for me and I definitely intend to pick up The Crown at some point. If, like me, you have been debating whether or not to pick up this book because of the mixed reviews, I encourage you to give it a go!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #10: Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven't Talked About Enough

I'm finally doing another TTT again, yay me! This week's topic is books we really love but don't talk about enough and if that isn't the perfect topic, I don't know what is. So here are my ten books that I want to take this opportunity to talk about:

  • THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE by Jennifer Mathieu: I read this book last year and feel like I barely even mentioned it since then, even though I actually really enjoyed it. This story deals so well with bullying and related topics and it deeply impressed me. I didn't actually get what I wanted as the story didn't developed the way I had hoped (I always need a happy ending for everyone), but I really appreciated that. It helped support the point the book was making and also underlined the topics/problems that were addressed, as did the different perspectives the story is told from. Overall I thought this was an important and thought-provoking book and I'd highly recommend it.

  • ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell: I guess this book's problem is that it's always overshadowed by my undying love for one of Rowell's other books, Fangirl. But Attachments was brilliant in its own way. I laughed out loud so many times while reading this book as the characters, the plot, the writing, everything simply worked together brilliantly. I have a weakness for books told in letters or the like, so the fact that an important part of the story is written in e-mails worked out perfectly for me. If you're looking for a book that will make you laugh as well as give you all the fuzzy feelings, this is the one for you.

  • THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman: I can't tell you exactly what it was about this book that made me love it so much. I was pretty freaked out by the story for the most part (I don't do scary, okay??), but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. Neil Gaiman's writing was so magical and wonderful, there are definitely some highly quotable sentences in this book.

  • REMEMBER ME? by Sophie Kinsella: Sophie Kinsella is one of my pre-blogging favorite authors. I used to love all her books, and I guess I still do but I just haven't read them in a while. Her stories are always witty and unique (if pretty unrealistic) and they're overall just fun, light reads. 

  • THE ELVEN by Bernhard Hennen: This one is German (Adult) High Fantasy that I loved it long before I ever read English books. I can't exactly recall the story of this 900 page monster, but I remember spending two weeks of summer holidays at my grandparents' and doing nothing but read this book (and the many sequels). I have a number of songs that I must have listened to while reading it that, when I hear them today, make me think of certain parts of the story. I just absolutely love that feeling and all the memories I have connected to reading this book (if not the actual story itself). 

  • THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green: I guess the reason why I don't talk about The Fault in Our Stars that much is because it's such an obvious choice. This book is so well loved that everyone knows about it anyway. But it never hurts to mention it anyway: I loved The Fault in Our Stars. It's one of the books that really got me back into reading and it's definitely the first one that made me sob. I read it in one day and let's just say, it was a very emotional day for me.

  • THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton: I'm 100% sure that this isn't everyone's cup of tea and that's why I hardly ever recommend it. But for me, the story and especially the writing worked out perfectly. I loved the magical elements and how unique it all is. This is a special story and it will always have a special place in my heart.

  • THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer: I will never get tired of defending this book to anyone mocking it just because Stephenie Meyer happened to also write the very controversial Twilight series. Believe me, The Host is its very own book and to this day, I still love it with a passion. The story is unlike anything I've ever read and it made me feel all the feels. I can't even tell you how many times I've read and re-read this book, and yet I hardly ever mention it.

  • DESERT FLOWER by Waris Dirie: This one couldn't be more different from what I usually read and maybe that's exactly why I love it so much. I think I read it after seeing the movie at the cinema. I was absolutely horrified by what I'd learned, but also deeply impressed by the strength of Waris Dirie. 

  • LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD by Ava Dellaira: Since I read this book, I've seen a number of mixed reviews and I guess I get it, but I also don't. I understand that not everyone can read this book the way I did. Throughout it all, I was so heartbroken by the fact that Laurel had lost her sister, I don't think I even registered anything else. The way this story is written just made me feel the raw pain her sister's death had caused Laurel and it constantly reminded me of how absolutely horrible it would be for me to lose my own sister. Because of that, I cried throughout the entire book (seriously, I was cried the entire time). And since this book could evoke such strong feelings in me, of course I love it. 
What are some books you love but never tell anyone about?
Have you read any of the ones I mentioned?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

ARC Review: The Mother Road

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion or my review of the book in any way. Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with this eARC!
by Meghan Quinn
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Publication date: January 12, 2016
Published by: Hot-Lanta Publishing, LLC
Ebook, 273 pages
My rating: DNF at 74%

Never in a million years would I have pictured myself as an axe-wielding, dragon lady, chopping up multi-colored flannel shirts into my very own plaid mulch. But here I am, chopping away my frustrations.

It all started when my brother, Paul, convinced me to go on one last family road trip across the Mother Road with him and my dad.. Just like old times, right? Wrong. What Paul fails to mention is his best man, Porter, will be joining us, who just so happens to be my childhood crush and the man who broke my heart four years ago.

What is supposed to be a fun, family bonding experience across Route 66 turns into a war of pranks, awkward moments and bathrooms full of dirty flannel shirts and day old beard clippings. Paul’s know-it-all attitude and Porter’s devilish charm brings me to the brink of my sanity on my seven day trek across the United States with three bearded men in a small 1980’s RV.

I am admitting defeat at the 74% mark. I put this book down a while ago and thought that maybe I would pick it back up and actually enjoy reading it, but I have no desire to continue on with the story. 

I requested this book on Netgalley because it sounded like it was made for me. Roadtrip? Hate-to-love kind of romance? It all sounded so good. Unfortunately, it didn't work out.

First of all, I know this book is supposed to be really funny, but it wasn't my kind of humor. The pranks and the very embarrassing situations that our main character finds herself in didn't make me laugh but rather made me feel very uncomfortable.

I also didn't like the family dynamics. Marley's relationship to her brother felt so awkward and weird, I didn't enjoy reading about it at all. Her dad seemed like a nice guy and I liked his character, but how they all interacted with each other again didn't really feel right to me. 

And then there's the romance. Just, no. It was so full of stereotypes and I swear I've read it all before. First of all, Porter is not the kind of guy that sounds attractive to me at all. But obviously Marley doesn't feel the same way, which is totally fine. But then their 'trying not to be attracted to the other person' thoughts and actions were just plain boring. Again, this might just be me getting over the New Adult genre, but it really didn't work for me. I don't want to read about how a girl 'hates' a guy but at the same time can't keep her hands off him ever again. Marley was exactly that. She resents Porter for what he did to her four years ago but is at the same time super attracted to him. And then of course there's the great explanation for Porter's actions which doesn't make any sense at all, but is good enough for Marley and they can finally be together. No, thank you. 

So, yes. The story of The Mother Road was nothing special, and I had hoped it would be. The very stereotypical romance didn't work for me and I also didn't particularly enjoy the way it was written. All in all, it wasn't worth pushing through the last third of the book for me.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Review: Me Before You

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #1
Genres: Fiction, Romance
Publication date: January 5, 2012
Published by: Penguin
Paperback, 481 pages
My rating: 3.5/5 ★

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

I have the most conflicted feelings about this book and mostly, I just feel frustrated. My expectations had been sky-high when I started reading this. I was so ready for a beautiful, if heartbreaking love story. And I'm going go be honest, I feel a little let down. I can see why this is such a beloved book, and I definitely think the story is beautiful, touching and thought-provoking. But something just doesn't sit quite right with me. 

For one thing, I didn't really cry, especially not at the end of the book. And coming from me, that's very unexpected and a bit of a disappointment in itself. As I said, I just feel frustrated. I feel like this book did not make use of all its potential (there had been so much potential to leave me a sobbing mess). And I don't even mean that I want it to have a different ending (although I kind of do). There was just a little something missing for me. I don't know if this makes me one of those people like Lou's mom. I don't think that I am. I am very much pro choices and I think that everyone should have the right to make their own decisions. I still can't help but feel frustrated. Maybe that's okay, though. 

It's not all about the ending, though. I liked this book, I did. However, I was pretty irritated by Louisa, but then I'm very happy with the character development she went through. Louisa's sister and family in general were another aspect that really just frustrated me. It all seemed so miserable and Louisa's relationship to her sister and parents felt so wrong. And then there's Patrick who I thought was just completely horrible. 

Overall this book was pretty depressing where I simply expected it to make me cry. It makes me feel really down, but not actually sad. It's weird.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

February Wrap-Up

Hello there. Well, isn't this year just off to an incredibly speedy start? It's already March, people! For once, February actually felt like a proper month to me, which is kind of ironic considering it's actually the shortest month of the year. So let's see what I've been up to.

What I Read

So I read a total of four books, one graphic novel and three novellas this month. Yay me! I finally feel like I'm out of my reading slump. This also has me almost caught up with my goodreads challenge, which is great. Two of the books I read were rereads, but I'm counting them anyway.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: The Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay (Illustrations), 5/5 ★
  • Not surprisingly, this was completely amazing. Not only was the story fantastic as always, but it profited so much from the gorgeous illustrations. It made for a completely different reading experience, and I loved every second of it.

  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, 5/5 ★
  • When I first read this book, I only gave it three stars (and I'm not changing my goodreads rating now). But of course, I felt so much more connected to the characters now and I couldn't help but smile the whole time reading this. I actually listened to the audiobook (my first audiobook, yay!) while I lay in bed sick for two days.

  • Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
  • The Fiery Trial: 3/5 ★ Born to Endless Night: 5/5 ★ Angels Twice Descending: 5/5 ★ Overall I am just so glad that I read these short stories. At first, I thought I would wait for the bind-up to come out but I really think that it was the best idea to read these before Lady Midnight is released. If you love the Shadowhunters world, go and read these novellas!

  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, 3/5 ★
  • This book just didn't quite manage to pull me in. None of the characters really grew on me and I didn't really care about where the story was going for the most part. It just wasn't really my book.

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, 5/5 ★
  • I was over the moon when I read this book. It just made me so happy, especially because I had read so many mediocre ones before. This one definitely lived up to the hype for me. It was witty and adorable and it warmed my heart.

  • Saga Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Illustrator), 3/5 ★
  • I really like this graphic novel series but with this volume, I had been a little confused (probably because it had been a while since I read the last volume) and then I was finished before I really got into it.

  • Where I Belong by J. Daniels, DNF
  • Reading this book showed me that maybe I should stop with the New Adult for at least a little while. If you want to know more, I wrote a review here.

What I Bought

I'm not 100% sure this is right, but I think I only bought one book this month. It's almost too good to be true. I know for sure that I also got some ebooks but I'm not even going to try and keep track of those.. So here's what I can remember buying (though I had actually forgotten I had preordered it, so receiving it was a nice little surprise):


So at the end of February, uni started again and before that I had been sick for almost two weeks and then spent one week in Turkey with my soccer team. All of this has obviously taken a toll on my blogging (which is why I decided to just leave out the 'On the Blog' section completely this time). But luckily, I still got some reading done and if I could just get rid of this lingering cold that I still have, I would feel completely ready to get back into things, uni, reading and  blogging wise. 

I hope you all had a great month and happy March to you!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

DNF Review: Where I Belong

Where I Belong
by J. Daniels
Series: Alabama Summer #1
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Publication date: June 27, 2014
Hardcover, 486 pages
My rating: DNF at 40%

When Mia Corelli returns to Alabama for a summer of fun with her childhood best friend, Tessa, there's only one thing keeping her on edge. One person that she’d do anything to avoid.

Benjamin Kelly. World’s biggest dickhead.

Mia hates him with a fury and has no desire to ever see him again. When she decides to start her summer off with a bang and finally give away her v-card, she unknowingly hands it over to the one guy that excelled at making her life miserable, learning a valuable lesson in the process. Always get the name of the guy you’re going home with.

Ben can’t get the girl he spent one night with out of his head. When she leaves him the next morning, he thinks he’ll never see her again. Until he sees her lounging by the pool with his sister. Mia is determined to hate Ben, even though she can’t forget him. Ben is determined to prove he’s not the same guy he used to be.

What happens when the one person you wish never existed becomes the one person you can’t imagine being without?

Warning: rant ahead. I don't mean to offend anyone. 

I don't like writing negative reviews because it always makes me feel so mean. I know how much work authors put into their books, and it feels wrong to criticize that. But I need to get some things off my chest about Where I Belong. Because unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book. At all. So much, in fact, that I didn't make it past the 40% mark. And here's why:

First of all, Ben is awful. He used to hate Mia and teased her constantly when they were younger because she wasn't super pretty and a little chubby. Now they meet again years later and she's lost weight and turned into a beautiful woman. Suddenly he's all over her and absolutely in love. He literally can't shut up about how gorgeous she is. Are you kidding me? How shallow is that? What sort of lesson does it teach people who read this book? That you can't be liked if you're not skinny and gorgeous? 

Secondly, I am sick and tired of guys being dictating, overly jealous and overprotective in New Adult books. Ben is threatening any guy that looks at Mia with interest. They're not even together. NOT EVEN FRIENDS. How is it okay to force yourself on someone by threatening any other guy that might be interested? Of course we know that Mia is also attracted to Ben in this case, but in real life, chances are that the girl actually wants the guy to leave her alone and it's not okay to just ignore that and keep pushing. I have hardly ever read a New Adult book where the guy isn't completely overbearing, and it annoys me so much. Sometimes I can overlook some small actions and comments, but this book is all over the place. 

Of course, Mia also embodies the stereotypical New Adult girl. She swoons whenever Ben is near and suddenly looses the ability to speak because he wears his police uniform or smiles at her. She wants to stay away from him because of what of a jerk he used to be to her, but she also can't stop thinking about him. And yes, you guessed it, she's a virgin. And yes, correct again, when she loses her virginity to Ben (I'm not even going to comment on the fact that she didn't recognize him), it's the most magical night for both of them. I don't know why women always have to be virgins. I don't understand why, when they lose their virginity, it always has to be a mind-blowing night. I just don't get it. 

I'm so disappointed with this book. I've read some great reviews from people I trust, especially when it comes to New Adult. Maybe I'm just starting to dislike this genre in general because I'm so fed up with reading about the same stereotypes again and again. Where I Belong just sums up everything I dislike about the genre. 

I kept hoping for the story to get better and I even put the book down for a while because I thought that might help. Then I picked it up again and within two minutes I was rolling my eyes and ready to throw my phone at a wall. So no, it's not going to happen.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016 Wrap-Up

Hello there. I'm already here with my first wrap-up for 2016. Can you believe it?

What I Read

2016 didn't start out very well for me reading-wise. I've been in somewhat of a reading slump and only finished three books this month. This means I'm already three books behind on my goodreads challenge but I'm not trying to let this stress me out. I mean there are still eleven months left to catch up, right? I'm not doomed, right? *breaks down crying*
  • Winter by Marissa Meyer, 4/5 ★
  • So this is the only book in the Lunar Chronicles series that I rated four instead of five stars. Why, you ask? It was just too long and I'm going to be honest, I kind of lost interest in the middle. I talked about this in my December Wrap-Up too. Winter just took me forever to finish and I'm sad I didn't like it as much as the other books in the series. Of course it was still very good, and a more or less satisfying ending to this brilliant series. I'm still really looking forward to reading the epilogue in Stars Above, though. 

  • Long Way Down by Krista and Becca Ritchie, 4/5 ★
  • I enjoyed this immensely for the most part. My only minor complaint is about all the lovey-dovey talk. I was honestly a little annoyed by Ryke at parts (I know, how is this possible?) because he just kept talking about how Daisy and he were destined to be together and how much he loved her and things like that. It was cute, but you know, also a little annoying. Sorry, Ryke! I still love you. 

  • The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, 2/5 ★
  • So this was a pretty big disappointment for me. I had been hoping for a thrilling start to a new fantasy series and with all the hype surrounding it, I was so sure I was going to fall in love. Unfortunately, that didn't happen for me at all. The only thing I liked about this book was Kaden, and even he was a little boring at times. If you want to know more about why I didn't enjoy The Kiss of Deception, go here for my review.
So those are all the books I read this month. To be honest, all three of them I was a little disappointed with. Of course there's The Kiss of Deception, but Winter and A Long Way Down didn't really meet my expectations either.

What I Bought

I only bought two books this month, which I definitely think is a success

On the Blog

I am very happy with the amount of blogging I managed to get done this month. Yay for a good start to the new year in that regard. Here are all the posts of the past month in case you missed one:


January mainly consisted of working and studying for me. I'm still on semester break from uni and I'm using my 'free time' to earn some money and to try to catch up with all the university work I neglected to do during the past semester. I also cleaned out my room and did some redecorating which I'm really excited about. I feel so much more comfortable in my room now. 

How about you? Any good books you read this month?
Tell me about all the fun things you have been up to in January!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

7 Reasons Why I Didn't Like The Kiss of Deception

by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Published by: Henry Holt
Hardcover, 486 pages
My rating: 2/5 ★
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.
I'm going to warn you. There is a whole lot of negativity ahead. I don't want to offend anyone, so please don't take any of this personal if The Kiss of Deception is your favorite book ever. It just wasn't the right book for me, and that makes me sad. It didn't keep my interest and unlike all the raving reviews I've seen so far, I'm going to talk about all the things that bothered me about this book.
  • THE MAIN CHARACTER. I did not like Lia. She was naïve, arrogant and selfish; add to that the most dumbest actions and thoughts ever, and you've got yourself a protagonist that I just couldn't stand. It was impossible to connect to her and most of all, I couldn't understand her relationships with any of the other characters. Everything just felt off.
  • THE LOVE TRIANGLE. Yes, no one likes love triangles, me included. But usually, I don't mind them that much if I can at least see the appeal of both love interests. Here? no. I felt like the author wanted the whole thing to be very subtle, which is fine, but for me it just ended up being weird, especially considering my next point. 
  • THE BORING LOVE INTEREST. Rafe was the most tedious person I have ever read about. Honestly, I could not see the appeal. Maybe that had to do with the fact that I didn't even get to know him, like, at all. All the conversations he supposedly had with Lia were only mentioned and hardly any were actually written out, which made it impossible for me to get an idea of what kind of person he is. Mostly, it was just described that he had (for some mysterious reason) been attracted to Lia from the very first moment he laid eyes on her (come on, love triangle and instalove??) and then next thing you know, they are madly in love and he is willing to risk everything for her. What? 
  • ALL THE INSTALOVE. Yes, you guessed it, the second guy also happened to be in love with Lia from day one. While I found Kaden more interesting and intriguing than Rafe, he was still pretty boring and stereotypical most of the time. I would like to learn more about his personality and past, though, which is more than I can say about anyone else in the story, so I guess he was my favorite. But back to the romance. The worst part about it isn't even that Rafe and Kaden both seemed to have fallen madly in love with Lia for no reason right from the start, but even at the end of the book I couldn't see why they were even interested in her. It all made no sense. 
  • NOT EVEN THE FRIENDSHIPS SEEMED GENUINE. Pauline is Lia's supposed best friend. While she seemed like a sweet girl, I'm not going to act like I know anything about her. Her friendship with Lia didn't feel at all genuine and - again - I couldn't really understand it. What angered me most is that Lia didn't tell her the most important news but rather lied to her. I absolutely hate when people lie to each other under the pretense of wanting to protect them. It just doesn't make sense. 
  • THE WRITING DIDN'T WORK FOR ME. Pearson's writing just wasn't for me, and I think it's the main reason for all the above mentioned dislike. It was all so very descriptive, but not in a way that worked for me. There was by far not enough dialogue, for example. Most of the parts where the characters got to know each other, and where I as a reader would've been able to learn more about them, were just briefly mentioned or summarized. No details, nothing. Instead, it all focused very much on Lia and her thinking, which of course didn't help because her reasoning annoyed me 99% of the time. 
  • NOTHING HAPPENED. Honestly, this is a 500 page book, and I could summarize the entire plot in about five sentences. I kept hoping for the story to finally pick up but it all went at a snail's pace. I wish the book would have focused more on developing the relationships and such. Just a little more on the other characters. Lia was so self-centered, there was almost no room for anyone else. There was also only very little room for world building. I mean, this whole magic aspect still doesn't make any sense and other than some excerpts from Vendan texts, and some rare mention of Morrighese stories, we don't know anything about the world's history. I realize there are two more books in the story, but I would've just needed a little more in the first book to spark my interest.
To end this rant, I want to say that it wasn't all bad, it really wasn't. I can totally see other people enjoying the book, but it just wasn't for me. I don't understand the hype and it definitely didn't live up to my expectations.

Monday, January 25, 2016

On the Topic of Changing my Blog Name

Hello there. I'm here to discuss something dear to my heart today: I have been toying with the idea of changing the name of my blog, and I need to talk about it.

When I first started this blog at the beginning of 2014, I was absolutely clueless as to what I wanted to do with it. I had previously written another blog in order to keep my friends and family updated when I spent three months in Vancouver in 2012. But after I returned back home, there wasn't really a reason to keep the blog going, so I stopped uploading. I still missed the writing aspect of it, which is why (although only a year later) this blog was born. I didn't really think very hard about the name (clearly), and so I just meshed my first and last name together to create schakarin

I don't absolutely hate the name; it's my username for pretty much all social media sites, so it seemed fitting at the time to name my blog the same. But now that I've turned (or rather: it turned itself, because when did that even happen?) this into a full-on book blog, I keep thinking that the title of my blog needs to represent that.

So I've pondered over what I would want to use as a new name for almost a year now, and besides the fact that I haven't yet come up with something I'm 100% happy with, I'm also still not entirely sure whether I really want to change the name at all.

One of the reasons for my indecisiveness is because I don't want to confuse people. To be honest, I don't think that there are that many people that even recognize my blog name, so I'm most likely unnecessarily worried. But somehow I'm still a little unsure. Do I have to change all my social media usernames afterwards? Are people going to unfollow me or something because they don't recognize this new name that I came up with? All these things are kind of keeping me back.

The other main reason why I'm hesitating is because of the whole issue with actually coming up with a new name. First of all, I don't have that many ideas. And now that I know and read quite a few book blogs, I'm scared that any name I come up with will be a rip off of some blog or another. That is the last thing that I want. Yet, there are so many book blogs that it's nearly impossible to find something I like that doesn't already exist, or isn't at least similar to something that already exists. This doesn't only concern the blogosphere. I would want to change my bookstagram account name as well so it's the same as my blog, but on Instagram the problem of finding something original that no one else already uses is even more difficult to solve. And don't get me started on twitter.

I also put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with something good. Well, not just good, but brilliant. I mean, I don't think schakarin is a very original and clever name for a blog, but then again I feel like I can get away with it because I literally had no clue what I was doing when I first started this blog. Choosing a stupid name was okay back then, but now that I've been doing this for two years - even though I'm definitely not a pro (yet – hah!) - I feel like people have expectations. You can't just go call yourself bookluvvahh_345 and expect people to applaud you. I mean, it has to at least be better than schakarin.

I also don't want to be limited to only bookish posts if I have a very clearly book-related blog name. I know that I can still post whatever I feel like even if the name suggests that this is a book-related blog but it has still crossed my mind that I might feel more restricted.

I could go on and on, but I guess what I really want to say is that I'm super scared and insecure about this, so I need your advice.

Do you think it's a bad idea to change blog names?
Have you maybe changed yours at some point?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #9: Top Ten Books I've Recently Added to my TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is books I've recently added to my TBR. I chose to focus on the books on my physical TBR because my goodreads to-read shelf is a mess and I just add whatever I feel like on there. But of course the one I end up buying are the books that I'm more 'serious' about, so these are the ones I'm going to talk about today.

  • SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertally: I am so excited for this book. I have only heard the very best things, so I'm very happy to finally own a copy of this book.

  • THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan: Another very exciting new addition to my TBR. Yes, I'm one of those few people that are not already in love with the Percy Jackson books and I'm hoping to change this soon. It's finally time to read this series and I'm ready.

  • UPROOTED by Naomi Novik: Definitely the prettiest recent addition to my TBR (I seriously can't stop looking at it). Another book I've heard nothing but great things about and I'm looking forward to learning what it's about.

  • THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness: Another gorgeous cover, another book I'm hoping to enjoy. I'm not really a fan of Patrick Ness but I'm willing to let this book change that.

  • THE MOTHER ROAD by Meghan Quinn: I received a digital copy of this book through NetGalley and I'm super excited to read it. I haven't really heard anything about it but it sounds like something I'll enjoy. Basically, it features a road trip, so I need it in my life.

  • EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon: This story just sounds super cute and refreshing. I think I need to read an uplifting contemporary book soon and I'm hoping this book will be everything I want it to be.

  • ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: Everything about this book sounds awesome and I'm glad I finally have it in my hands.

  • MADE YOU UP by Francesca Zappia: This TTT could just as well be 'gorgeous covers' because I love the cover of Made You Up. I'm also excited to see what the story has to offer as I have heard some fantastic things (but also a few negative ones).

  • UNINVITED by Sophie Jordan: This is one I can't see myself read in the immediate future. When I feel like a sci-fi/dystopian read, I'll definitely pick this one up. It sounds super interesting and I can definitely see myself enjoying it but I think it's one of those books that I need to be in the mood for.

So that's it for this week's Top Ten Tuesday. I realize I only mentioned nine book but that's because I didn't want to feature books I bought months and months ago. I did go on a book buying ban at the end of last year, so I didn't get too many books, as you can see.

What are some books you recently added to your TBR?