November 30, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #14

Stacking the Shelves is a feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's about sharing the books you got this week--virtual or physical--from the bookstore, the library, borrowed from friends, etc.

I bought three books yesterday on Black Friday, two hardback and one paperback. I'm really excited about all three of them, especially because I'll be reading them soon - NaNoWriMo ends today!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

The Distance Between Us is not normally a book I'd pick up. Books with those types of covers generally make me cringe. Nevertheless, I picked this one up and began reading it - it only took me a page to be completely drawn in to the story. I now have high expectations for it, so we'll see how it goes!

I read and loved Fangirl recently (review here), and I've been wanting to read Eleanor & Park for a while. Because of how much I enjoyed Fangirl, and all the good reviews I've read, I couldn't just let it sit on the shelf.

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick is another one of those books that I've seen around but avoided. The cover was so pretty that I just had to pick it up, though. Again, I loved the first few pages and decided to buy it.

I'm so excited to read and review all of these books! I think I'll read Eleanor & Park first after I finish The Madman's Daughter, which is creepy and thrilling but I'm loving it.

November 28, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 11.26.13 (On Thursday)

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

I didn't have time to do this on Tuesday, so I thought I'd do it now, especially as it's appropriate for Thanksgiving. But the topic was things that we're thankful for. :)

1. Words
I am thankful for words that can be weaved into stories and songs and phrases and understanding.

2. Books
I will forever be thankful for books and the stories they provide.

3. Winter
As well as snow and hot chocolate and fireplaces. For the fact that it can be freezing cold outside and I will be inside, safe and warm. 

4. My Friends and Family
They have been there for me through thick and thin, and I don't know where I would be without them.

5. My Blog
I am thankful for my blog and all of the people I have met through it. I hope that it will continue to grow and that I will continue to blog throughout the years.

6. Music. 
Playing it, listening to it, and really anything involving it.

7. Libraries 
I am thankful for libraries and the fact that I can get books for free (because otherwise I'd be broke).

8. My Laptop
Because how else would I blog and write and waste time on Goodreads?

9. Writing
And the ability to write, no matter how terrible it is.

For some reason I can't think of a tenth thing, so I'm just going to leave it at that. Anyway, happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have an awesome day and eat lots of delicious food. :)

November 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 11.27.13

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming books that we're eagerly waiting for!

I haven't posted for a few days - I've been really busy with school and NaNoWriMo. But I'm planning on doing my Top Ten Tuesday tomorrow instead, partly because it goes with Thanksgiving and partly because I missed it yesterday!

This book doesn't have a synopsis yet, so I'm going to add a teaser that was revealed about a month ago!

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
June 10, 2014
I slipped in and out of consciousness as time stretched and flowed around me. Dreams and reality blurred, but I liked the dreams better. Noah was in them. 
I dreamed of us, walking hand in hand down a crowded street in the middle of the day. We were in New York. I was in no rush—I could walk with him forever—but Noah was. He pulled me alongside him, strong and determined and not smiling. Not today. 
We wove among the people, somehow not touching a single one. The trees were green and blossoming. It was spring, almost summer. A strong wind shook a few steadfast flowers off of the branches and into our path. We ignored them. 
Noah led me into Central Park. It was teeming with human life. Bright colored picnic blankets burst across the lawn, the pale, outstretched forms of people wriggling over them like worms in fruit. We passed the reservoir, the sun reflecting off its surface, and then the crowd began to thicken. 
They funneled into a throbbing mass as we strode up a hill, over and through. Until we could see them all below us, angry and electric. Noah reached into his bag. He pulled out the little cloth doll, my grandmother’s. The one we burned.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Again, sorry for the lack of posts. NaNo is almost over, though!

November 24, 2013

Super Six Sunday #13

Super Six Sunday is a book meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms

Today's topic is books I'm glad I took a chance on! I'm sorry I haven't posted for a few days - it's the last week of NaNoWriMo, and that's been my focus. I can't wait for it to be over so I can focus on reading and blogging more, even though I'll miss it. :)

So as per usual for November, I'm not going to really be talking about the books, just listing them. 

Again, sorry it's so short! But I was skeptical about picking up any one of these, but I found that when I did I ended up loving them.

I'll post again soon!

November 21, 2013

Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil. 
Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

 Does this book have to be over? Lauren DeStefano’s writing is breathtaking and beautiful, and I wish I could get my hands on the second book. Sadly, it’s not written yet.

The first aspect of this novel I loved is the world building. DeStefano has created an intricate place called Internment, a world hidden in the sky. From the moment we open the book, we want to know everything about it—and everything about what’s below and above their small place. We learn everything from huge prospects of the place to tiny little details, and we come to love it. I’ve never seen so much world building covered in the first book, but DeStefano did an excellent job.

I also really enjoyed the characters in this novel. They felt like real people, all with varying personality traits but some similar. The relationships were excellently portrayed, too. Despite their hardships, I really found myself loving Lex and Alice’s relationship. Morgan has a good friendship with Pen, her best friend, but also had a good relationship with her betrothed, Basil. I have to say that though I love Basil, Pen is probably my favorite character.

The plot was smooth and even-paced. I was always interested in what was going on, and each plot point was exciting in its own way. Something that bothers me in other novels is when the characters have unrealistic reactions to main events in the story, but they all seemed realistic in Perfect Ruin.

Lauren DeStefano’s writing is dreamlike and beautiful. It was the same gorgeous writing from the Wither trilogy, but even better.

The only problem I had with this book is that I had trouble remembering Morgan was a teenager. At least for the first half of the novel, her voice sounded young and na├»ve. It bothered me for a while, but eventually it got better. That’s the only reason I took off half of a star.

But overall, I loved Perfect Ruin and I can’t wait for the sequel.

November 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 11.20.13

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming books that we're eagerly waiting for! 

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
April 15, 2014
From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions. 
Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is. 
A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.

I loved My Life Next Door, as evident from the fact I've been raving about it for a while now. :) I can't wait for her new book - it looks really promising!

November 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 11.19.13

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

The topic today is books you would recommend to X person, and I decided to make this list for people who love contemporary! Similar to the past few weeks, this is going to be short with no descriptions because of NaNoWriMo, homework, tests, and all that jazz. 


I have twelve books here, just because I love contemporary and I couldn't resist putting all of them down! Most, if not all, of these books have made me cry and laugh and smile until it hurts. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed them. I was going to pick a couple that I would recommend the most, but I'm struggling! So if you like contemporary, you won't go wrong with any of these.

On a completely unrelated note, this is my 100th post! Just a little cause to celebrate. :)

November 17, 2013

Super Six Sunday #12

Super Six Sunday is a book meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms

This Sunday's topic is characters you want to be! This is such a great topic. There are so many choices, and I'm not sure I'll be able to decide. :)

Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson
Because who wouldn't want to be Annabeth Chase?

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
Hermione is my absolute favorite character from Harry Potter, and I can't even imagine how awesome it would be to be her.

Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments
She's such an awesome fighter, but also has a soft side. It's impossible to not love Izzy. :)

Max from Maximum Ride
Smart and strong, she can always win a fight. 

Cath from Fangirl
I feel like - aside from the obvious fact that she is in a contemporary novel and the others are fantasy/dystopian - she is the most realistic, and I can relate to her the most.

Taylor Edwards from Second Chance Summer
Bad things happen to Taylor, but she still manages to fight and come through her mistakes and grievances with a positive outlook.

That's all for today! Sorry again for the somewhat short post. I think they'll all be like this during November, unfortunately.

(Just in case you're wondering, the artwork I posted with the characters comes from Burdge Bug for the first four and Simini Blocker for Cath.)

November 16, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #13

Stacking the Shelves is a feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's about sharing the books you got this week--virtual or physical--from the bookstore, the library, borrowed from friends, etc.

I bought two books this week (today, actually) that I'm really excited about!


Today I bought Friday Never Leaving and Goodbye, Rebel Blue. I've been interested in both of these books for a while but never picked them up, so I can't wait to read them!

In other news, I've almost hit one hundred posts. It seems pretty crazy...

I'm sorry the post is pretty short today - I haven't started working on my NaNoWriMo yet, so I need to get working on that. :)

November 15, 2013

Let's Talk: Valued Books

Let's Talk is a weekly feature hosted by I Swim For Oceans. It's a discussion post with questions or prompts that have to do with books and reading (what else?). :)

What books on your shelves do you value the most and why?

This is a tough question, because there are multiple factors that do into this. I know for sure that my signed books mean a lot to me. Then again, so do books that made a huge impact on me. Between these two things, there are a handful of books that I really value. 

The first three are signed books - one I've picked up recently and the other I acquired sometime in the past year. :)

I met Lauren Oliver and got two of my books signed by her a few months ago! She was so funny and sweet. I also love these two books, especially Before I Fall, which was really inspiring.

I just picked up Champion at the store the other day, and it just happened to be signed! (I wrote a post about it here.)

The next few include signed books and simply books that made a huge impact on me.

The House of Hades is a pretty obvious choice, and I got this signed by Rick Riordan when I went to his even here! The Fault in Our Stars and Daughter of Smoke and Bone are both books that I really loved and have impacted me.

That's it for today! Any books you own that you really value?

November 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 11.13.13

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming books that we're eagerly waiting for! 

Today's going to be a little different. Instead of doing a book I'm waiting for, I'm going to do a movie - the Divergent movie, which is the movie version of Divergent by Veronica Roth. I'm doing this in honor of the official trailer release today, which I will post below!

Divergent Movie
March 21, 2014

Despite the fact that I don't love the casting, let me just say that I cannot WAIT for this to be released. Casting aside, I think they've done a really good job with the trailers and everything so far and I'm not sure I'll be able to wait until March to see the movie.

Without further ado, here is the official trailer!

Ugh, SO GOOD. 

Thoughts? What do you like or dislike about it? Anything you love?

November 12, 2013

The Pentrals Release!

The Pentrals, a book I received as an ARC and LOVED, came out today! (Review here or here.) I figured I'd do a release post to celebrate. :)

About the Book
Title: The Pentrals
Author: Crystal Mack
Publisher: Apologue Entertainment
Pages: 246
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Picture your life without free will.  
No choice. No voice. No personal direction.  
For 17 years, it's the only path I've known. Always a follower, never in control, I am an afterthought, burying my impulses as I bend to the whims of another. I dream of someone taking notice-of falling in love and being kissed. But I probably never will.  
My name is Antares. I am a Shadow. 
Deep in a secluded canyon lies Talline, a metropolis of mirrors filled with forces called Pentrals that outline our very existence. Antares, Pentral Class Two, took an oath to act without influence—to echo without opinion. But in a cruel twist of fate, she must watch as Violet, her person, encounters a tragedy that will change both their lives forever. When Violet starts making careless choices, Antares can no longer remain a silent silhouette. She won’t allow lost friendships, broken hearts, or those mysterious menaces looking out from the glass to tear apart Violet’s very being. In doing so, Antares unknowingly crosses forbidden boundaries and ends up illuminating a darkness much deeper than her own.

About Crystal Mack

Hi, my name is Crystal. I'm a California native who has been braving Chicago winters after twenty-plus years. I married my high school sweetheart, and along with our curly-haired daughter, we spend our days riding bikes, eating deep dish pizza, and cleaning up drool puddles left by our bulldog Eleanor. 
I hand-write all my stories (always with a Uni Ball fine point pen-- no exceptions!), a habit carried over from first grade. Hats and jewelry are my kryptonite and I am always planning my next trip to Disneyland. 
I'd love to learn more about you! Come out of the shadows and say hello through Twitter, Tumblr, or a direct message.

I suggest checking out The Pentrals - it's such a unique book and I really enjoyed it! 

November 10, 2013

Super Six Sunday #11

Super Six Sunday is a book meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms

So today's topic is books on our TBR pile that we need to read ASAP. If any of you have ever been to my Goodreads profile, you'll know that there are over one thousand books on my to-read list. Which is a lot to choose from. I'm just going to stick with a select few I've been eager to read for a while.

I've heard so many good things about all of these books and still haven't read them. I have high expectations, and hope they meet them when I finally get around to reading them. :)