Monday, October 13, 2014

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Stories by Rainbow Rowell, Kelly Link, Matt de la Pena, Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, David Levithan, Holly Black, Gayle Forman, Myra McEntire, Kiersten White, Ally Carter and Laini Taylor
Edited by Stephanie Perkins

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: ebook (galley)

I know what you're thinking — "how the HECK did you get to read this?!" Believe me, I'm still wondering that myself. A HUGE thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for inviting me to read this even though my request was denied. I am eternally grateful!

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.



THOUGHTS
My True Love Gave to Me was everything that I expected (which, if you didn't know, was AWESOME). All twelve stories were focused on some sort of love connection, but I found them to be pretty unique from each other and (for the most part) easy to get into.

For some reason, I was surprised to find magical elements woven into some of the stories (although it doesn't make sense because we're talking about Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, here ...) It was tough for me to read her story (The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer) and Kelly Link's (The Lady and the Fox) because it was fantastical, but I ended up appreciating how both were written.

Each story is pretty short, but there was so much to learn about each character. In terms of culture and ethnicity, there was such a great mixture of everything. It was beautiful :)

If I had to choose a favorite ... I think it'd be "It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" by Stephanie Perkins. Not only can she write in a way where I fall in love with the boy, but it's just one of those stories where I HAD to find out what happened next.

If you are looking for something to get you into the holiday spirit and enjoy love stories, this book is for you.

OVERALL RATING
      

This was such a fun read. There's just something about short stories that make me feel like superwoman (Done with the first? ONTO THE NEXT!) and keep me reading.

Will you pick this book up during the holiday season? Is there an author you are particularly looking forward to reading from? If you could compile an anthology, who would be on your top five list of authors?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Top 10 Books on My Fall TBR List

I don't know why I always torture myself by making these TBR lists (because let's face it, this is more of a list of books I won't be reading haha), but here's one for the near future. I brought all the books that have already been released with me to college, so I should be able to read at least one or two of them, hopefully ...

NEW RELEASES


1. Winterspell by Claire Legrand
I will DEFINITELY be purchasing this book and reading it this fall — the cover is beautiful, the synopsis is heart-pounding and it's inspired by The Nutcracker. I LOVED Mickey's Nutcracker as a child (please tell me you've seen it too) so I have a good feeling about this one! I'm hoping to read it with Rachel over at Paper Cuts :)

2. The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
I was exposed to this book through a giveaway on Goodreads and was immediately hooked to the description. There's just something about not doing what you're supposed to do and stumbling into something fishy that intrigues me.

3. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
THIS COVER. THAT IS ALL.

4. My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins
It is a MIRACLE that I have been allowed to read this book via NetGalley. Just seeing the list of authors who have written a short story in this anthology makes me giddy.

ALREADY RELEASED


5. Pivot Point by Kasie West
I have wanted this book for a really long time but couldn't justify spending $13+ and then I finally found it on Book Outlet, but I haven't read it yet. I know, something's wrong with me. I let one of my good friends, Esther (HI ESTHER), read it and she really liked it. So now I MUST read it to discuss with her :p

6. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
I discovered this book when I first started watching booktube and bought it in January, but I haven't been in the mood to pick it up. I think I'm hesitant to pick it up because it has received so much love and I don't want to be disappointed.

7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I wouldn't consider myself as someone who reads fantasy, but I think that could change with this one! I've heard a lot of contemporary lovers say they really like this one, so I'm excited to give this a try.

8. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
I am terrible at continuing series, but I really want to continue The Lunar Chronicles because I've heard nothing but good things about Cress, the third book. I really should just read this one before I forget what happened in Cinder.


9. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
I wanted to read her books in publication order, but now that I've finished both If I Stay and Where She Went ... it's time for more Gayle Forman.

10. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I wanted to read this over the summer, but it ended up on my shelf unloved ... this must be changed!

So there are the top ten books I hope to read this fall. I keep saying that TBR lists are nothing but trouble for me — I never stick to them because they're so ... RESTRICTING. This should, however, be a safe list because most of the books I mentioned have received lots of love from book bloggers and readers in general.

Are there any books I mentioned that you really loved and would read again, for the first time, if you could? What are you planning to read this fall? Are you usually pretty good at following TBR lists? Is there are certain genre you like to read during the fall?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: ebook (galley) // 416 pages

Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown, for allowing me to read this before it's released!

Goodreads summaryA sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder — and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane — a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.



THOUGHTS
Salt & Storm is about a young girl named Avery who was born into a family where the women become witches. Avery wants to become the next witch of Prince Island, but her mom refuses to let her learn from her grandma (the current witch) and has even put a curse on her to keep her away. Avery is willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill her destiny in becoming a witch, even if it means sacrificing certain things.

To be honest, I'm not really sure how I feel about Salt & Storm. It took me AGES to get through the first half because the development of characters and the "feel" of Prince Island happened very slowly. There were also a lot of repetitive things happening (for example, Avery's multiple attempts to break her mom's curse) that kept me away from continuing the story.

Luckily, I'm someone who HAS to finish a book she starts. Am I glad I finished this one? YES! I was glued to the screen during the last half — it was packed with action, which I wished was evenly distributed throughout the whole book, and I (surprisingly) ended up caring about a character that I initially had no feelings for.

OVERALL RATING
    

As a debut novel, I liked it. If you enjoy stories about witches and magic, I think you'd enjoy the story.

In Salt & Storm, Avery is able to interpret dreams. What is the weirdest dream you've ever had (and would you wish for someone to interpret it so you could find out what it means?)

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 2014 Happenings

I really can't believe that it's practically FALL. It definitely doesn't feel or look like fall (no air conditioning in my apartment + not being able to open any windows = death), so I am desperately awaiting the day that I can start wearing combat boots again.

I like the idea of sharing my plans for September, so here are some books I'm hoping to read, books I'm looking forward to seeing in its physical form, and goals for the month!


books i'm planning to read

I don't want to call this a September TBR because I KNOW for a fact that once I do, I'm going to read everything that is not on this list. So instead of that, I'll just give you a general idea of what I'm planning to read. That way I won't feel as guilty if I end up reading something else :p ("TBR" just sounds too final to me and I'm terrible at commitment.)


Eric from Quirk Books was asking for bloggers to review Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix, so I immediately tweeted back and this came in the mail! I love Ikea, so this being similar to their catalogs sent a signal to my brain that I must read this. I'm not a fan of horror/scary books, but I decided to give this a chance because IKEA.

Booksplosion, a book club on YouTube, is planning to read Rumble by Ellen Hopkins so I decided to jump in. I haven't read anything by Ellen yet, but I read the description and thought it would be quite interesting. I've only tuned in to one liveshow (for We Were Liars) but I like hearing what other people think of something I've read.

I stopped by my school library this past week and immediately picked up Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg because 1) I recognized her name and 2) I liked the cover. I have no idea what it's about (although it looks like the main character may be a singer!) but sometimes you just need a girly book.

I was lucky enough to win a copy of Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (thank you, Fierce Reads!) so I'll be reading and reviewing this in the near future. And YES, this is the same Ann M. Martin who wrote the Baby-Sitter's Club series!

ANTICIPATED RELEASES




I think my only goal for September is to finish Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper. It's not a terrible book, but I've been reading the thing for ages and I just need to move on!

What are you hoping to read this month? Which new releases are you most excited for? What are your plans for September?