Cress By Marissa Meyer- Book Review

“It starts with kidnapping the groom.”

Cinder, Cress

Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 2014
Pages: 552

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Welcome back to the blog, or welcome to the blog if you are new! Today is the long awaited (not really it’s been like two weeks) review of Cress the third book in The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I have done reviews previously on Cinder and Scarlet if you are interested in checking those out as well. If you have not yet read the first two books in this series please read cautiously. There could be some spoilers for those two books in here. I will try to keep the spoilers about this book, and the two previous to a minimum.


Goodreads Summary

Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen 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.


My Thoughts

Cress was by far my least favorite book in this series. (I have read Winter at the time of writing this so I can confidently say this) The book was not bad by any means just was not my favorite new plot line. It may stem from the fact that Cress just isn’t one of my favorite characters. It also could be that my biggest gripe with this book was that by this point we were already starting to border on too many characters to remember. Just from Cinder and Scarlet we had Cinder, Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Thorne, Levana, and Sybil. As well as all of the characters that were part of their individual stories. With Cress we add in another main character, Cress, as well as a multitude of other characters that we meet throughout the book. It was a lot for me.

Though I liked Cress, as a character she was my least favorite so I just didn’t enjoy reading her entire story. That was probably just a me problem though because I know there were quite a few people that loved Cress. And Cress and Thorne. I just didn’t care for Cress’ back story and I also just didn’t care for how they were forced together. I am all for a good love story, but I was more focused on the love stories from the last two books. With that being said I did really like how Meyer’s was able to add the story lines we see from the first two books into this book. It was a great continuation and really made the idea of all of the characters paths crossing even more realisting. Apart from the overload of characters, which to be fair you are likely to get with you have really any series of books.

This is one of the few times I have gotten mid series of a book and have not felt like the book could have been completely skipped. You really do have to read this book to understand the last book. I know a big gripe with some of these books is that the endings are so abrupt, but they are meant to be that way. You are meant to have to read the following books to get resolution. Not many series that I have read have done that as well as this series has.

With all of those thoughts out on paper let’s talk about my rating for this book. I actually rated it a 5 star on Goodreads immediately after reading it. I think I was very stuck on what happened at the end of the book at that time and didn’t really think about the book as a whole. As a whole the book is good. It was not overwhelmingly fantastic like the rest of the books have been for me though. If I did not reread series the way I do I would probably not even reread this books. Which is why I am giving it 4 starts. If you have not yet read the series or you are trying to decide if you should read this book or skip it, read it. Though I did not care for the plot in this book you do get a little bit of movement on plots from the first two books and you will need to know what happened in this book to understand what happens in Winter. If you have not read the first two books though you HAVE to read those before you read this. If you do not you will be confused and it will make you hate the book.

Now for those of you that are dying to know my opinions on specific things that happen in the book keep reading. I have included spoilers about some of my favorite scenes and relationships in this book. If you do not want spoilers do not read any further!

SPOILER ALERT:

SPOILER ALERT:

SPOILER ALERT:

Now on to some spoilers for the book and the series! I know I don’t include these often but I just have so many thoughts.

First and foremost I love that Iko FINALLY gets a new body! What I love even more is that it is an escort body and she actually looks like a human. I had become so accustomed to her being a ship or being in what I assumed was a metal body that this just made me happy for her.

I was also very shocked that the kidnapping actually worked out well in the end. Usually Cinder’s plans don’t go to plan and it causes chaos. Not that I am saying it went to plan, but they were able to kill Sybil so I think that was a decent consolation prize.

Jacin is one of my more hated characters in this book. I know he just wanted to get back to Princess Winter, but the asshole sold them out!

I also am very up and down about the whole Thorne/Cress relationship. I find it a bit odd how obsessed she is with Thorne. I know she she been on the satellite for years by herself and she felt close to him but it was just odd. Oh also, how old is Cress? For that matter how old are any of the main characters in these books. That is something that really isn’t addressed and if it was I totally missed it. In my mind they are all like 18-20 but I think they are actually like 16-18 years old. Im at a loss for that one. I don’t have too much of a gripe with age, I just realized I really don’t know how old any of them are.

And finally let’s talk about Kai and Cinder. My favorite couple of the series, probably just because out of all of the fairytales that these have been based off of to this point Cinderella is my favorite. Kai honestly took finding out that Cinder was Princess Selene pretty well. He also took finding out that Cinder had a retinal display in her eyes even better than I expected. I guess that shows just how much loving someone can change how you feel about certain subjects. Like Cyborgs.

That is all I have for this book. Check back next Monday for my review on the final book in the series Winter where I talk about my feelings about the series as a whole, as well as what is next for me in terms of The Lunar Chronicles. See you then!


All links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, I earn a small commision from each sale using that link which I use to keep this blog running. Using the link costs you no extra money, it is the same price as if you purchased the book without the link.

My Reading Habits- Bookish Tag

Welcome back to the blog! This is the first time I am starting off a week with a blog post that is not going to be a book review, I am not sure how I feel about that. Actually I do. I am excited about it because it means I finally am caught up on my reviews and I am not playing catch up. Anyway, today I am going to be doing a tag that I found on Dreamland Book Blog it is a tag from 2013, so I am way behind on this but I still thought it would be something fun to do. The original creator of this tag was TheBookJazz but the video is no longer available on YouTube and the channel has no content anymore. 😦


1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

As of writing this blog post I do not, though I do end up reading on my couch most of the time, not because it is comfortable or anything, but just because it is convenient. Also when my boyfriend is home he is usually watching t.v in our bedroom and I prefer to read without the tv being on in front of my face. I do however have plans to set up a little book nook/office/closet at our new house and I am so excited. I am going to include some pictures of the inspiration pictures I have been using when making trying to pick items.

original picture from: bohotribex
link to picture: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6AooBLnToP/?igshid=1h7kqv4x5aid6
Original picture from: Tapestry Girls
Link to product: https://tapestrygirls.com/products/wall-vine-led-lights
original picture from: Jasmine Moonsong
link to picture: http://jasmeinemoonsong.com/wednesday-february-19-2020/

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Totally depends. Bookmark if I have one, but I usually lose them. So then I resort to random pieces of paper until I print out a cute clip art image and cut it into a book mark…and then lose it again and start the process all over.


3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?

Oh this one is good! I can stop pretty much anytime as long as I am not in the middle of a page. If I am in the middle of the page I will walk around with my book in my hand open to that page until I can finish it. I only put it down with a bookmark(or paper) in it and fully walk away if the page/chapter is complete. Whatever I am closest to finishing.


4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

Yes ma’am! Which I have had to bad a few times though mostly when I am reading something for school. I had a Mango Dragon Fruit Lemonade from Starbucks fall on my book the other day and I started to stress because it is pink. Eating is a little harder so I really only eat snack type foods while I read. ( I was so going to add a picture of the drink but do you know how hard it is to save a stock picture of a Starbucks drink….impossible….)


5. Multitasking- Music or TV while reading?

NEITHER! Okay to be fair I could do both, but I choose not to. Music is good only if it does not have lyrics and I can not sing along with it. The best thing I have found for this is classical music of anytime and Disney instrumentals. As for TV, personally I don’t watch it because then I don’t know what is going on in the tv show or in the book, however I can listen to the tv show if I am not in the same room. I don’t know why. I think I just can’t resist looking at the TV if I am in the same room as it.


6. One book at a time or several?

It depends on the situation. I try to do just one for fun book at a time so that I don’t start to get plots mixed up when I am writing reviews. If I have a book I need to read for school or one I want to read for work though I will read those at the same time as my for fun books. That is only because it is very clearly information that is not going to make me forget what is going on in the fun book.


7. Reading at home or everywhere?

Most of the time at home, unless I am listening to an audio book. If I am listening to an audio book then I will listen to that on my way to and from work and while I am at lunch. I don’t always like to take my books out in public because I am forgetful and I am afraid I will sit them down and lose them.


8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

This is another one that totally just depends on the situation. Most of the time in my head but if I am having a particularly hard time following what something is saying I will read it out loud. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of the books that because of the language I have to read it out loud multiple times to understand what is going on sometimes.


9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Yes and no. No if I really like the writing of the book and am loving the story I will read every word. Now, if I enjoy the story and the dialog but not particularly the writing I do sometimes find myself skimming the page for important information and skipping to the next section of dialog. That is pretty rare though to be honest.


10. Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

So I have only every broken the spine on purpose one time and it was because the book was so heavy and was taking me so long to read that my thumb started to cramp up. To be able to read the book I had to break the spine because I just couldn’t hold it like that anymore. Personally I don’t mind either way, I have books with broken spines and without them. The only ones that I get a little upset about are books that are brand new to me. But also no one ever asks to borrow my books, so it isn’t too big of a deal.


11. Do you write in books?

This is like the cardinal sin right here, and some people do and some don’t. I have some books that I have written in. I went through a phase recently where I wanted to write in the books to make doing reviews easier. I think the worst part is I do write in pen sometimes…I am currently trying to find out a better way to annotate books that works for me, so we will see if I continue to write in books. If I do I will make sure to do a post about how I annotate my books!


There you have it. 11 bookish reading habits your mostly likely didn’t know about me! I would love to know your reading habits! Leave them in the comments down below!

Scarlet By Marissa Meyer- Book Review

“Well, this proves it doesn’t it? The princess really was here.”

Thorne, Scarlet Page 323

Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 2013
Pages: 454

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Welcome back to the blog, or welcome to the blog if you are new! Today I will be doing another book review, this time for Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. This is the second book in the The Lunar Chronicles series. If you have not yet read my review on Cinder make sure to check it out (you can click on the title of the book to go to the review). This one took me a little bit longer to get through than I would have liked because I was just in a reading slump the week I read it. Which is actually how I ended up reading Lola and The Boy Next Door for my OWLs because I needed something to get me out of the slump I was in. Also there might be spoilers for the first book in this review since it is part of a series. If you have not yet read Cinder please proceed with caution.


Goodreads Summary

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.


My Thoughts

Scarlet started off a little slow for me. I knew that I would like it but I just had to get into it. The hardest thing for me about this book was that I fell in love with the characters from the first book and the beginning of this book takes you into a whole other “story”. You still get to see your favorite characters and it really is just adding on to the world, but the main story line of this one is different. While Cinder was a retelling/add on to the Cinderella story, Scarlet does a similar thing with Little Red Riding Hood. Now little Red Riding hood was definitely not one of my favorite stories growing up. I found it completely ridiculous that the girl was going to her grandma’s house and that she about gets eaten. Because of that fact I didn’t expect to love this book as much as the first but the way that Meyer’s changed up the story was great. It still integrated parts of the first book that were important to the world, like Lunars, but added on to make the world and story grow even more.

Personally I found Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship to be a bit weird at first, but by about midway through the book I was rooting for them. I have fallen in love with them, even more since starting the third book (don’t worry hopefully that review will be out soon) and I think a lot of my current love for them is based off of something that happens then.

I also am annoyed with Kai and Cinder in this book but mostly just because I want them to be together so bad. That obviously won’t happen anytime soon, cause Kai gets engaged (which let’s be real we knew was gonna have to happen at some point) and Cinder is trying to escape from prison. Thorne is also a thorn in my side and I just kind of wanted him to go away during this book.

Overall I really did enjoy this book. I think that it is a good mix of sci-fi, fantasy, and fairytales. The world that is created in this book is one that you just want to see yourself, even with all the crazy things happening. I also petition that this series needs to be made into a movie, or a tv show. A tv show would give me more time to watch it and you would be able to add ALL THE THINGS. So okay, tv show. I want a The Lunar Chronicles tv show.

If you have not picked this book up yet, make sure you do. It is so worth the read.


All links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, I earn a small commision from each sale using that link which I use to keep this blog running. Using the link costs you no extra money, it is the same price as if you purchased the book without the link.

Lola and The Boy Next Door By Stephanie Perkins- Book Review

“I let him go so that he can work, and he protests for several texts, which makes me even happier.”

Lola, Lola and The Boy Next Door Page 292

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published: 2011
Pages: 338

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Welcome back to the blog, or welcome to the blog if you are new! Today I will be doing another book review, this time for Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Last week I was in a reading slump and went from Sunday-Wednesday evening really not reading much of anything unless it was for school. It was a rough week for me, so I decided that I needed something I knew I would love to read to get me back to feeling normal. So there I was, looking for contemporary books that I could read for Muggle Studies when I saw this book. The name is what intrigued me. I knew just from that title that it was going to take me back to my comfort zone of reading. The place where I learned to love reading all day.


Goodreads Summary

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion… she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit — more sparkly, more fun, more wild — the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket — a gifted inventor — steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

My Thoughts

Lola and The Boy Next Door is your typical young adult romance book. It is filled with the cheesiest love story and funny moments, but it also has a few other good messages in the book. I usually don’t get overly sentimental in these reviews but I really think that the book has some good messages to offer, even to those of us who are not teens. Lola learns very quickly in the book what it is like to be confused about who she loves. Does she love the boy next door, or does she love her boyfriend? I felt this on a deep level because I think many of us have been there before, or at least in a situation that is similar. This book really does a great job showing the struggle that it can be to know you have feelings for someone, but wish you didn’t. It also does a great job of reminding you that just because you are with someone does not mean that someone better for you isn’t out there. Especially when it is your first love.

This book also really focuses on self acceptance. Lola, like many people who want to be fashion designers, has a pretty eccentric style that people make fun of her for. She is comfortable and happy with choices though because of something Cricket said to her when they were younger. After her jerk boyfriend says some very rude things to her you learn that she really is not so secure in herself and that all she really wants is for people to accept her. Cricket to the rescue. Perkins did a great job of showing that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. She also did a really good job with the development of Lola and Cricket’s relationship as neighbors. I had a neighborhood friend who did at one point sneak in my window, I still don’t know why and we were young, but it did happen. I have fond memories of the neighborhood boy that everyone though I would grow up and marry. (News flash that did not happen I don’t think I have actually talked to him since high school, if not before that)

If there is one thing I did not like about the book it was that Perkins chose to make Max 22 and Lola 17. Though I don’t have a huge issue with the age difference, I do have an issue with how people kind of shrug it off. It is brought up a few times, and it is addressed that it is wrong, but still. I was 18 when I met my current boyfriend and he was 21, but I was a legal adult and neither of us could get in trouble. Cricket is also older than Lola but he is 18 and she is 17 and that is much more realistic of something that would happen; something that does happen and is seen as acceptable. I dunno I thought it was weird but to fair it didn’t bother me so much that I didn’t like the story.

If you are looking for a cute feel good story then this is a book you need to pick up. I promise you will not regret it. It is typical young adult romance, but it is cute and will make you smile. It also put me right back in a mood of wanting to read, which is what I had hoped for. Also a big draw to the book was that is was very gripping. I did not want to put my phone down, I had to keep reading to know what would happen next for Lola, Max, and Cricket.


All links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, I earn a small commision from each sale using that link which I use to keep this blog running. Using the link costs you no extra money, it is the same price as if you purchased the book without the link.

The Last Song By Nicholas Sparks – Book Review

“No. This isn’t a date. This is fishing.”

Ronnie, The Last Song Page 144

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Published: 2010
Pages: 405

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Welcome back to the blog, or welcome to the blog if you are new! Today I will be doing another book review, this time for The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. If you have been here for while you would know that I have a love hate relationship with Nicholas Sparks. I love the movies that are made out of his books, but I really don’t usually enjoy his books themselves all that much. I only read this book because I absolutely adore the movie and I wanted to know all the details behind the story. So that is what we are gonna talk about today. Also a quick note, you may have noticed my rating system has changed, that is because I decided I didn’t like doing it out of 10 and I wanted to try doing some stars. It might change back, we might keep it this way, who knows!


Goodreads Summary

Seventeen-year-old Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father . . . until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms – first love, the love between parents and children – that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts . . . and heal them. 


My Thoughts

As I said at the beginning of the post I loved this book, which is rare for a Nicholas Sparks books. I had the same sensation with this book as I often do when I read books that I have seen the movies for. I saw the book playing out in my head, even with scenes that were not included in the original movie. I know the characters and I could see them acting the scenes. I also thought that the characters were very well developed. I enjoyed learning more information about the characters than what is given in the movies. Ronnie and Will are hands down couples goals for me. The funniest, and best, thing about this book for me personally is that Ronnie is a city girl who doesn’t know what mudding it and doesn’t like fishing and that Will is working at his dads break shop as a mechanic. This echos my own relationship pretty well. Not down to exact character traits but when I first met my boyfriend I did not really enjoy working on cars and going to play in the mud with trucks. I learned though that it is actually pretty interesting and fun.

The end of this book always gets me because Ronnie is such a bitch, but for good reason. I also have to say I love the ending of the book way more than the movie. I won’t give spoilers but there is so much more information and so much more to love. All I will say is if I was in another state and my boyfriend did that for me I would be ecstatic.

Overall I do think that this is a good book and if you want a typical Nicholas Sparks read filled with tragedy and romance then you will enjoy this book. If you for some reason have never read Nicholas Sparks then start with this book. It is one of this bigger ones page wise, but I am learning that part of liking Nicholas Sparks has to do with what books you read first.


All links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, I earn a small commision from each sale using that link which I use to keep this blog running. Using the link costs you no extra money, it is the same price as if you purchased the book without the link.

Magical Readathon 2020-OWLs Week 3 Update

Well it is that time again, the end of my third week of OWLs. If you don’t know what I am talking about (which is doubtful because the entire book community seems to be participating) you can check out my post all about the OWLs. There you will find the video from Book_Roast where her readathon is explained as well as my TBR list. Also if you are curious I do have a wrap up from week two as well. I don’t have an update for week one because somehow that post managed to lose itself…Enough with the rambling. Grab yourself a drink and get ready to check in for this week!


Sunday

“And on Sundays we do nothing..”- anonymous

Today was the epitome of lazy Sundays for me. I guess because it was Easter and I was not really allowed to leave I was just not into doing much. I did some reading for school late in the evening though, and was able to read about 50 pages of Scarlet by Marissa Meyers. The box set of The Lunar Chronicles paperbacks was delivered today so I got to open that on Instagram and be happy that I finally found the book covers that I like, instead of just having to settle for the new covers, which I am not in love with.


Monday

If each day is a gift, I would like to know where I can return Mondays.”-anonymous

You know those days where you have the best intentions of doing things and then somehow you just end up not doing them? Yeah that was how today went for me. I spend all day being pumped up to read some more of Scarlet and then just didn’t do it. I played Animal Crossing and then ended up spending 5 hours trying to make masks and failing miserably at them. Needless to say I still sit at 50 pages read for Scarlet and two books to finish for my OWLS.


Tuesday

“Tuesday is Monday’s ugly sister.”

You know this might be a better update if I had actually done ANYTHING towards my OWLs today. Instead I ran to the store for a quick trip for eggs, milk, and frozen pizzas (I know none of that goes together, but the pizzas are like the only thing my boyfriend will eat anymore) and spent most of the day working on making masks. I did finally figure out how to make some that look simi reasonable, it took me all morning though because I was out of elastic and had to make the straps myself. Also I went to school for sewing so all my perfectionist tendencies started to come out because I felt like I needed to match prints on fabric and 100 other things. I did zero work towards OWLs today, which I would find acceptable, except for the fact that I have done that for the last two days as well.

I struggled with the whole COVID-19 situation today. Unemployment still hasn’t paid out for me because like most states we are on stay at home orders and almost everyone is laid off from their jobs and filing. I was struggling mostly because bills are do soon. That being said if you are having a hard time as well and just need someone to talk to you can always message me on my Instagram (@reading.by.myself). My inbox is open. It might take me awhile to respond because my instagram messages can get a bit crazy with the book club and miniathon groups I am in, but I will see it I promise. The bookstagram community has seriously been my saving grace through all of this.


Wednesday

I’ll take a shot of whiskey with my coffee”-Me, and I don’t drink coffee or Whiskey

Do I see day number four of no progress on my OWLs coming? yes I do! It is 7:15pm and all I have done today is update the blog (do you like the new layout and the new post layouts?), take a nap, listen to my governors daily press conference of updates on nothing, and written two blog posts. I have been productive, just not on the right things. OH, I did also do a discussion board for class. Which might as well have been a paper with all the research I had to do for it.

I also updated my TBR for the OWLs today. Which ya know is interesting considering I only have two books left to read and on a normal week I would have already finished both of them. -.- Alas, let me tell you the update and then I will get off of here and read (yeah right). I decided that for Muggle Studies I would be reading Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. It has a 4.5 star rating on Kindle, and I rented the book through Libby. That means I have to finish it because I only have 14 days to finish it. Woohoo. So I have read 7 pages so far and it is cute. So far it is shaping up to my the typical cheesy YA romance but that is just what I need this week.

11:47pm Update: So I finally found the time to sit down and read, I am halfway through Lola and The Boy Next Door and I am loving th cheesy romance that it is. This was just what I needed to feel better and get back into the spirit of reading this week.


Thursday

From goodreads.com

“Better days are just around the corner. They are called Friday, Saturday, and Sunday”- anonymous

It is 2:10am when I am writing this first update and since I have not gone to bed yet I think this would generally fall under Wednesday, BUT it is technically Thursday and I just felt like putting this update here. I just finished Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins and I have to say I loved it. I won’t give too much away because I do want to write a review about it in the coming weeks, but it was such a cute love story. Totally cheesy and just what I needed. The book is about love but it is also about self acceptance and I think that is an important lesson for everyone to learn. And for all of us, no matter our age to be reminded of. That means that I only have one OWL left and I will have finished all 12 prompts for my OWLs. I may be speaking too soon, but I am really proud of myself for finishing all 12. That was not my original plan but it has given me something to work towards accomplishing this month. Now I just need to finish up Scarlet and I can move on to other books in The Lunar Chronicles as well as a book that was sent to me that I am dying to read!


Friday

Somehow today also turned into a day of not reading. I kept being distracted by a project for school and by animal crossing. I didn’t actually read a single thing that wasn’t school related today. Oh well! Tomorrow is another Readathon and I will finish Scarlet even if it kills me.


Saturday

As usual this post is going up on Saturday so I don’t have too much of an update for you. My hope is that my OWLs will be completed by today, which I am sort of sad about because that means I won’t have any more OWL updates for you guys 😦 I will survive though. Best part of today is that as usual I will be taking part in the 12 hour miniathon that Kira(@kcbookshelf) hosts every Saturday. Today’s prompt is books with strong female protagonists. I wrote a recommendations list that just went up yesterday that you can read if you are interested. I personally will be reading Cress which is the next book in The Lunar Chronicles. I hope I will finish it today that way I can start reading the book that was sent to me and get that review up for you all soon!


Have you ever participated in a mini- readathon? If so did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!

Strong Female Protagonists-Book Recommendations

This Saturday is another 12 hour readathon hosted by Kira (@kcbookself) on Instagram. This weekend’s prompt is books with a strong female protagonist. There are probably a thousand books that someone could choose from for this prompt, but I wanted to share 5 recommendations with you today. If you are interested in participating in this Saturday’s (or any Saturday) readathon head on over to Kira’s Instagram for more information!


#5- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

from goodreads.com

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.”-Goodreads summary

I will admit I have not yet read this book, which has been out for for 11 years now, but it has always been on my lists of books to read. If I can find it I just mind be reading it this weekend.

#4- Jane Eyre

from goodreads.com

Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.
But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?”-Goodreads Summary

A classic novel that I am embarrassed to say I have not yet read. I had to put it on the list though because it is a classic, and you can’t have a list of female protagonists without having Jane Eyre on it.

#3- The Hunger Games

from goodreads.com

“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and once girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.“-Goodreads summary

The Hunger Games is one of my favorite dystopian book series of all time. When I think about strong female characters Katniss is one of the first to come to mind. This is a YA novel, but the entire trilogy just pulls you in. If you have only seen the movies make this trilogy a must read. You will enjoy it.

#2- Divergent

from goodreads.com

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
“-Goodreads summary

If you have been reading this blog for any period of time you would know that I am in love with the Divergent Trilogy. Once again, I couldn’t make a list without including these books. Tris is a strong willed character who will do pretty much anything to prove not to underestimate her.

#1- Cinder/The Lunar Chronicles

from goodreads.com

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.”
– Goodreads summary

This series is my current obsession and is likely at least one of the books that I will end up reading for this weekend’s miniathon. The books are loose retellings of popular fairytales, but character’s from the book before seem to cross over into the next book. I truly have enjoyed reading this series and if you have not yet read it you need to.


It was hard for me to pick just 5 books to recommend because so many of the books that I have read in my life feature strong female protagonists, so here is a list of 5 honorable mentions. Some of these books don’t have the stereotypical “strong female” but I think strong is open to interpretation to be honest. Wake, Fade, and Gone are three books that fall in the not typical category but the girls can see people’s dreams. And some of them are horrible. I call that being strong.

1. I’d Tell You I love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You- Ally Carter
2. If I Stay &Where She Went- Gayle Foreman
3. A Wrinkle in Time– Madeleine L’engle
4. The Diary of a Young Girl- Anne Frank
5. Wake,Fade, and Gone- Lisa McMann


There you have it, 10 books that I think would be perfect for this weekend’s readathon, or for any time of the year when you want to read a book with a strong woman in it.

What books with strong female protagonists would you recommend? Let me know in a commend below!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer-Book Review

This was for a direct link. Do you know if it was Prince Kai? If Maybe he wanted to be able to get in touch with you without going through the net?”

Cinder, Cinder Page 200

Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 2012
Pages: 387
Rating: 9/10

Third time’s the charm. Or so the saying goes. In this case though it was correct. I bought Cinder quite a while ago out of the bargain bin at either Barnes and Nobles or Books A Million. Either way I thought it looked cool and it was $5 so I figured why not. I have tried to read it twice since then, and did not really get further than 20 pages in either time. I wasn’t even planning to read it this month, but I let Instagram decide on my book and alas everyone and i mean everyone picked Cinder.

Goodreads Summary

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.

But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for. 

My Thoughts

Fantastically fantastical. That is how I would describe this story. It is a retelling of Cinderella, which to be honest I wasn’t so sure about. I also wasn’t sure I was going to want to read the entire series (The Lunar Chronicles) knowing that this first book was a retelling. I am taking a wild guess (because I didn’t look into the other books yet) but I think all the books in the series are retellings of certain fairytales and then they weave in Cinder. Who knows though. Annnyway back to the review. I am happy to announce that I already bought the box set of all of the books and the companion books because I am very excited to read the series. I also might have bought the second book Scarlet on Kindle as well so that I could go ahead and start reading it instead of having to wait for the books to arrive. (They will have arrived by the time this goes up hopefully)

One of the things about this book that I really liked was that it wasn’t necessarily written from any one character’s point of view. It was more of a third person writing where you would know what everyone was thinking, but without it seeming out of place. I’m particularly thinking about a point in the books where Cinder is not around and Kai and his father’s advisor are talking. You will get to know what Kai and the advisor are talking about, you don’t just have sections of stories left out because Cinder isn’t there to hear.

If I had one criticism about the book it would be that I was able to guess the twist of the book about 150 pages in. Despite that Meyer’s was still have to throw some things in at the end that I did not expect. I wish the twist wouldn’t have been so obvious, but also this book was written for a YA audience it seems and I am 24. I love my YA books, but it does seem like I guess the endings for those a little quicker than I do with books for adults. Could just be because I pick up on context clues that a younger audience wouldn’t pick up on.


Final Recommendations

My final recommendation for this book would be to pick it up and read it. If you are having a hard time getting into it just keep going. Put it down for awhile and come back to it. It is a book that I love! Also if you picked this book up awhile ago and never finished it or never got the chance to start it, make it your next read. You won’t be disappointed!.

If you are interested in buying Cinder you can do so by clicking on the book title. This link is an affiliate link, by using it to purchase this book you will be supporting this blog at no extra cost to you! I earn a small commision from each sale, so if you are interested in helping keep this blog running please think about using the link above!

Missing by Shelley Shepard Gray-Book Review

Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
Published: 2012
Pages: 245
Rating: 6/10

UGH! So this book has taken be years to read, I couldn’t remember why and now I do. I don’t have much of an introduction to this book review other than that if you are going to be reading this don’t worry about spoilers on how the boy goes missing. Why you ask? BECAUSE YOU WON’T EVEN FIND OUT IN THIS BOOK!

Goodreads Summary

Perry Borntrager had been missing for months from the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky, when his body is discovered at the bottom of an abandoned well. The first death from mysterious circumstances in more than two decades brings the scrutiny of the outside world: A police detective arrives to help the local sheriff with the investigation. His questioning begins with Lydia Plank, Perry’s former girlfriend, and Perry’s best friend, the Englischer Walker Anderson.

Lydia and Walker know they didn’t have anything to do with Perry’s death, but they both hold secrets about his final days. Do they dare open up about the kind of man Perry had become? In the oppressive shadow of these dark times, they discover strength in a most unlikely companionship: one that offers solace, understanding, and the promise of something more.

My Thoughts

Let us begin with my review, where I will just start by saying I did not dislike this book because it was bad, it was a decent story, but I did dislike this book because not one thing on this book indicated the book would be about what it was.

So when I read the title and the back of the book I was like “man this is going to be about a murder mystery in an Amish town. I like murder mysteries, I am going to love this”. Now I also saw that this was part of a series but considering it tells you who was killed on the back of the book I just assumed this book would be about searching for who killed him and that it was a book that would take you down this wormhole of Amish secrets. To be fair I was thinking like the tv show Amish Mafia style, don’t ask me why. But that is really all I remembered thinking when I bought the book. THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT!

Okay so let me tell you something. I fell a little lied to. There is probably the equivalent of 1/4 of the book that actually focuses on the investigation of the murdered Amish boy. And that probably generous if I am being honest. The rest of the book is basically a love story…or well a story of friendship that turns to love. That is it. Do we find out how the boy went missing? No. Do we get some crazy investigation? No. Do we even get the satisfaction of knowing why the boy was killed? No.

I don’t want to trash this book too much because it honestly wasn’t horrible. Yes I am upset about being led to buy the book because everything about it told me it would be different than what it was, but I would have still bought the book had I known it was a love story. I like those kinds of stories. Throw a murder mystery in with it and I am bound to enjoy it. Just not when you lie about it.

Now Gray did do a really good job of showing how despite the murder having happened there are still people that have their own problems and own lives. Lydia learns secrets about herself and her family, and Walker is just trying to find out why he likes a girl he shouldn’t. It is a good story to mix in. Lydia and Walker both knew Paul and they don’t want to trash his name, but they also knew he wasn’t a good person. Lydia and Walker bond over that and then they have to start moving on with their lives. It is pretty realistic to how things work in the real world. I enjoy that.

Final Recommendations

I want to say don’t read the book, but it isn’t bad. Just don’t expect it to be something that it is not like I did. Just know that it is more a love story with a murder that happens to be going on, not a full on murder investigation where the love story just kind of pops in and out.

If you are interested in buying this book you can do so by clicking the title: Missing This link is an affiliate link, by using it to purchase this book you will be supporting this blog at no extra cost to you! I earn a small commision from each sale, so if you are interested in helping keep this blog running please think about using the link above!

Magical Readathon O.W.L Week 2 Update

Week Two of the Magical Readathon OWLs hosted by Book_Roast is completed. Time for an update on what I completed, short opinions on the books, and what I have left to complete. I also want to give a disclaimer that I am not participating in all the OWL events that Book_Roast is hosting, but am participating in a few events that other are putting on and using my OWL books towards those. Okay so with that said let’s jump into the update!

Sunday:
I made the decision today to finish My Big Fat Fake Wedding by Lauren Landish. It was a funny book and I enjoyed it, but it is definitely not what I thought it was going to be. Please do not read this book unless you are over 18. Or maybe even ya know, over 21. Just please don’t read it unless you are an adult. I did write a full review of it which you can read if you are interested in my thoughts. Not my favorite book I have read this month, but it was decent. After that I decided that I was not going to be reading anymore books because I clearly needed to digest that whole situation. I did read like 3 more pages of Harry Potter: A History of Magic and I still am not sure about it. I am still considering DNFing it because I enjoy it, but it is more of a coffee table book than a read all the way through book.

Monday:
I did not do too much towards my OWLs today. Mostly I played some animal crossing and did a little bit of cleaning. I did start reading If You Tell by Gregg Olsen. It is a true crime book, which is waaay out of my comfort zone. Not only is it a true crime story but there is a lot of talk about Trigger Warning

……………abuse to both children and family friends. It was a lot to deal with and sort out. I did not finish it today and got about 100 pages in before I decided that I needed to go to bed.

Tuesday:
Today was definitely an OWL day. It was 70 degrees and sunny today so I spent most of my day on my patio reading If You Tell. I was able to finish it today, but it was a lot. As I am writing this update I am still trying to sort out my feelings for it. I can say though that I will be reading more true crime books. I have always loved true crime tv shows but never tried books about it. I did get a full review up of this as well. It is a little different than my normal reviews and it has a lot of information that may trigger some in it, but if you are interested in true crime you will like the review. OH! in other random news about this book Gregg Olsen actually commented on my Instagram picture about this book!!!!!

I also think I have made the decision to DNF Harry Potter: A History of Magic. Like I have said before it is more of a coffee table book. I may purchase it to keep at home and read when I want to, but it is not something that I am loving right now. I hate to DNF books, but I think in this case I have to if I ever want to actually enjoy the book.

I also made the decision today to pick out books for the rest of the OWL prompts regardless of what I wanted to do career wise and just try to get as many OWLs as I can! So you will definitely start seeing books you didn’t see me talking about.

Wednesday:
Today was a productive day in general, not just for my OWLs. I was able to finish This Lullaby which I am using for my Ancient Runes OWL and got a book review written for it, which will also be up before this goes live! Just click on the title of the book if you want to check it out! It was a cute little book, and quick for me total it took me like 5.5-6 hours to read it. Instagram also picked out my new read for Astronomy. They decided unanimously on Cinder. This will be the third time I have tired to start this book so I guess maybe the third time will be the charm.

Unrelated to books, okay well sort of because I read This Lullaby, I was also able to enjoy most of my morning into early afternoon sitting on my balcony in the sun, so that was nice. I am still not enjoying being off work, but I am finding ways to make it better for myself. I have been really looking forward to a couple hours on the balcony when it is nice out. I also have really had a lot of time to work on this blog, which makes me happy. Next week I start back online classes for my Masters though, so we will see how intensive that is and how much extra I can do once I factor in reading, discussion boards, papers, and quizzes for that.

Thursday:
I spent the entire day without power. Like the whole day. It didn’t come back on until like 8pm last night. It was out for almost a whole 24 hours. If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my explanation but I got a better explanation a few hours after I posted those stories. Short and sweet version, we had some pretty strong storms on Wednesday evening and not only did our power go out, but the shingles on the apartments in our complex in front of us started flying off. It was wild. Any ways I ended up finding out that there were 39 (!!!!!!) power poles that had been taken out during the storm. Most of them were about two intersections away from us. So with the annoyance of that happening I struggled reading today. I did manage to finish one book though, but no joke it took me all day! Missing by Shelley Shepard Gray was not what I was expecting it to be, but I did finish it up and ended up enjoying it. I will warn the back of the book says it is about is not really what the book is about, but I will talk about that in a review, up next week! So with that being said, we only have a few prompts left!

Cinder- Transfiguration (thank you Kira,@kcbookshelf and Carol,@chilean_reader for helping me decide that this would work for this prompt!)
The Last Song- Divination (this one was number 4 on my shelf and that is what the third eye told me to read so alas another Nicholas Sparks book
Fallen- Astronomy (this one just has to be read mostly when it is dark out so there we go!)
Let The Sky Fall- Muggle Studies (this just has to be a contemporary book. I don’t know if this really counts but I am going to count it unless it turns out to be something completely different than what I think it is going to be)

Friday:
Today has started off with me wanting to read and then doing about 5 other things that are not reading. Mostly because we just started the new group chat for tomorrow’s miniathon so everyone is chatting and getting to know each other and I’m getting distracted. Oh and Nugget keeps bringing me her toy mouse so that I can throw it and she can go get it and bring it back. The reading agenda for the day is Cinder, so I will let you know how that goes when it finally starts going.

I ended up finishing Cinder today and let me tell you, it is a shame I never got into it before now. It was such a good book. I predicted about halfway through what the twist was going to be and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it if I was right, but I got way too excited at the end when I was correct. I have now purchased the entire box set and the kindle version of the second book so I can start reading it straight away. Which means I will have one hardback copy of the first book that I am not going to need since I have the full set in paperback on the way. I am thinking of putting it in a giveaway when I hit 200 followers on instagram. We will see. So anyway here is the updated list of what is left for OWLs.

The Last Song- Divination
Scarlet- Astronomy (this one I changed because I want to continue bingeing this series. Here is to the hope that I will be done soon enough that I can read the rest of the books this month as well. But let’s be real my class starts back on monday so I dont know that that will be possible.)
Let The Sky Fall- Muggle Studies

Saturday:
That is today! I am once again going to be participating in Kira’s (@kcbookshelf) 12 hour miniathon that she has every saturday. It is always so much fun, so I am looking forward to it. This weeks prompt is books with a blue cover so I will be reading The Last Song which is also a book for my OWLs so killing two birds with one stone there. I am also doing a live stream today at 1pm EST on my Instagram (@reading.by.myself) if you want to stop by and chat.

This week was much more productive than I thought it would be when it first started! How are you doing so far on your OWLs? Have you DNFed any books yet? Let me know in the comments!!