Mini Book Haul!

I took a break yesterday from a long morning of studying and decided to go to one of the Barnes & Nobles in my city (the biggest one). I could go to the book store every day of my life and I would find a different book I want to read. Here’s the books I bought yesterday:

speakFrom the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party.

I’ve been hearing a lot about this book recently. I know that it covers sensitive topics. Topics that I won’t discuss here, but if you want to know more, you can Google search and find out for yourself.  It was originally released in 1999. I’m sure this book resonates with many young people which may be why it was re-released. It basically covers topics no one wants to voluntarily talk about.

soldLakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family’s crops, Lakshmi’s stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

I’ve seen this book PLENTY of times and finally decided to pick it up. A movie adaptation is available now. I’m not sure if I’m going to watch the movie, but the book interests me. I had to chose between this book and The DUFF, Sold won! It also covers a sensitive topic. I’m always looking for books about young girls and women with a setting in other countries. I find stories about foreign girls and women the most intriguing, especially if they’re experiencing something considered taboo.

I cannot buy anymore books before I move! I’m going to have a hard time moving my book collection, so I have to have a physical book buying ban until April 1st! *fingers crossed*

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Run Fast. Trust No One. Always Carry Your Knife.

the walled city730. That’s how many days I’ve been trapped.
18. That’s how many days I have left to find a way out.

What an adventure! This book covers so many things that most of society looks over and it’s so compelling. The story takes place in the Walled City, which was an actual place in Hong Kong that had over 20,000 occupants and notorious for poverty, drug trafficking, prostitution, and a series of other unspeakable crimes. Graudin gives us insight into the lives of street kids and those who have power over them within the confines of these walls from the three perspectives of Dai (A young man who has to fulfill a special run to clear his name), Mei Yee (A woman sold to a brothel), and Jin (Someone who is full of revenge and a mission to accomplish).

If you aren’t a fan of violence (all forms), then this book isn’t for you. You will get a bird’s eye view of what goes on in this city. I love that the author researched before he began to write this book. He changed several things to make it a work of fiction, but I think it did not make the story any less appealing. While reading, events I thought would happen did not. You want to believe two people will fall in love because they spend the most time together. You will think one thing and it will become the opposite. One of the best things about this book is unpredictability.

The characters are well developed. I liked every single on of them. Like I mentioned previously, the story is told from three perspectives. It reminded me of Marie Lu. She is the queen of multiple perspectives. It’s not as good as her artfulness, but close. The tale begins really slow, but it picks up as you read.

I wish there was a second book! It seems like there was much more to know about the characters and the story ended too soon. I feel the story in its entirety was underdeveloped. The story should have been longer or a book two should be in the works. It leaves you wanting more. The author included an epilogue, but it wasn’t enough! It’s a fast paced read. However, the events occurred too fast to be pleasurable.

I recommend this book. Keep reading until the end!

 

 

You Think You Know About Vampires? Think Again!

bookish-fledglingAfter picking this book up at the beginning of the month, I finally finished it. Finally. If you think you know all there is to know about vampires, think again, my dear. I had a bit of cognitive dissonance while reading this book because Ms. Butler took everything I knew about vampires and said it was all wrong! This is a work of fiction, but all of the other fictional books about vampires seem to run into each other. None are significantly different than the other until I read this book.

This the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly unhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted-and still wants-to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself.

The story began really mysteriously and had my attention until I got done with more than half of the book. The story is very interesting. You will learn about things concerning the nature and makeup of vampires that will make you a little uncomfortable; especially if you love reading similar stories. Towards the end, the storytelling started to become repetitive and I lost interest. I think it’s great to keep refreshing the reader’s mind, but it can become annoying.

Also, I love when authors are descriptive in their storytelling. However, Ms. Butler was a VERY descriptive author. Every character in the story is fully developed. Background information is given about every character and family. Sometimes it can make a book longer than it should be.The human-vampire relationships took me off guard. You would never think humans would be welcoming to vampires (and vice versa) and they will actually live together in harmony.

I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style. Race, politics, sexism, and poverty are common ground in this book. I recommend it if you love reading books with vampires and don’t mind getting a different perspective.

Insanely Popular Unread Books On My Bookshelf

Have you ever had books on your bookshelf that everyone raves about, but you have yet to read them? I think we all do. As I read and watch people talk about these books, I began to think about the same books I have on my bookshelf that I haven’t read yet! Here are a few popular books I have yet to read (or finish reading. oops):

IMG_9499bone seasonIMG_8821winnerIMG_8613Shatter Mecinder5th wave

 

Some of these books I started reading, got bored, then put them down and haven’t picked them up again. Others I haven’t started reading at all. I am curious to know why they are so popular, though. I want to get back on populars soon, but I don’t know exactly win. It seems as if my TBR pile gets higher and higher by the minute. I am literally drowning in books!

I know this is off topic, but you may have noticed that I haven’t posted any book reviews lately and it is for good reason! I’ve been studying to get my teacher certification. I take the exam next Monday, so it will all be over soon and I will start posting book reviews again. Hopefully, I’ll be able to review at least one book before the month is over. *fingers crossed*


Happy Valentine’s Day! + eBook Deal!

I hope you all are having a wonderful day of love. I am VERY pleased to say that one of Jenny Han’s popular books, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is now $1.99! You can purchase it through Amazon or Apple at this price until February 28th. I have a physical copy of this book, but eBooks are so much easier and comfortable to handle than physical books. Here’s more about the book:

IMG_9499

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

There has been recent news of a sequel to this book, so if you’re interested it is great price right now!

Yay! New Book Releases!

I couldn’t wait for these books to be released and they are finally here for me to read. I don’t know if I want physical copies or eBooks. Here are two books that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on and they are finally available today.

Glass-ArrowOnce there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued, and women could belong only to themselves. But that was ten generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. 

Only in the wilderness, away from the city, can true freedom be found. Aya has spent her whole life in the mountains, looking out for her family and hiding from the world, until the day the Trackers finally catch her.

Many books are being written about people who are being used as property and  sold at auctions. I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing. It seems to me that once a storyline with certain situations become popular, authors write similar stories with their own twists. I hope I enjoy this one. Interesting synopsis.

I have a copy of Article 5, a dystopian book that she wrote as well, but I haven’t read it yet. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for months. It would probably be best if I read that book first to get a feel of her writing style before I buy The Glass Arrow.

red_queen_book_cover_a_pA sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book. I may wait to purchase this one, but I have to admit that I’m interested in finding out why this book is titled The Red Queen and the lead character is a commoner. Will Mare become the Red Queen or will she try to dethrone the Red Queen. I don’t know! That is what I want to find out. Even though I’ve heard mixed reviews I want to read it for myself. I may wait for my library to add it to their collection.

God Loves Haiti

bookish- haitiA native of Haiti, Dimitry Elias Léger makes his remarkable debut with this story of romance, politics, and religion that traces the fates of three lovers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the challenges they face readjusting to life after an earthquake devastates their city.

Reflecting the chaos of disaster and its aftermath, God Loves Haiti switches between time periods and locations, yet always moves closer to solving the driving mystery at its center: Will the artist Natasha Robert reunite with her one true love, the injured Alain Destiné, and live happily ever after?

This is the first book I read this year that was actually released this year. Also, the first book I completed for this month’s TBR!! I’m getting better! I went into this book without any prior thoughts and reading the synopsis. The story is very popular and heartwarming. When you pick this book up you wouldn’t want to put it down. This love story is told by three point of views. Each character has their own version of events and significant positions in society. We get a look into the minds of the president of Haiti, his wife, a former orphan and well-known Haitian artist, and her lover, a Haitian businessman from an affluent family.

I don’t have any complaints about this book other than the chapters being super long. Even though this is a work of fiction there is a great deal of realism. Meaning, the events that happen in the story can easily happen in reality. Of course, the earthquake in Haiti happened which adds even more realism. The author even introduced the term goudou-goudou to put words to the sounds of shaking and falling buildings during the earthquake. It is great to have a story for this particular natural disaster. If you aren’t a native of Haiti, visited, or don’t know much about the country, you will learn a lot from reading this book.

A love story with rich history (The French language, spiritual/religious) and the coming together of a community to form one common bond is wonderful to read. Reading about the characters and how they saw the world before goudou-goudou and how they see their lives and those around them after goudou-goudou is a unique form of storytelling. People aren’t perfect. People become someone other than themselves when they are faced with tragedy. The ending of such a beautiful story was perfect! I highly recommend this book.

Tips For Decluttering Your Bookshelf

bookish-bookshelf minimalist

Since I’ve been having a hard time with overcrowding my bookshelf with books (imagine over 200 books on one bookshelf. Yikes!), I want to save you from your impending doom! Here’s a list I compiled for making your bookshelf look fabulous!

1. Stop buying books!

Physical books, of course. 🙂 I know this may be hard to swallow, but you have to do what you have to do! Why buy more books when you know you can’t read them all at once and you never know when you may get to them? This is the very first step to keeping your bookshelf decluttered and looking its best. Maybe you can focus on building your Kindle or Kobo library?

2. Only include the books you plan to read soon on your bookshelf.

Some people have what is called a TBR bookshelf; meaning it is reserved for books they plan to read very very soon. The more books you can read from your TBR bookshelf, the better. When you read those books, you can replace them with books you want to read next.

3. Use neat decorative items to fill in empty spaces. It gives your shelves a finished, yet simple look.

If you really want to give your bookshelf a new life, then narrow your collection down to only a few books on each shelf and make sure to leave empty spaces, that way you won’t feel so overwhelmed. Feel free to occupy those spaces with figurines, candles, cards given to you for special days, etc.

4. Buy more bookshelves.

If you’re like me, you don’t mind crowding loads of books on your shelves. Even double and triple stacking them as I am known for doing! The easy remedy to this is buying more bookshelves. Bookshelves are really expensive, but I have found a few on Amazon that look pretty good for the price.

5. Use other areas in your home to store your books.

Currently, I have books stored around my apartment. I have books on my bookshelf, of course. I am using my media stand to store books and I have another wood stand to store books in the past. The best way to have many books is to store them in different places around your home instead of one place, which can be overwhelming on the eyes.

6. Donate books to your local library.

One new thing I’ve started this year is to donate books to my local library at the beginning of every year. I donate books every January. I accumulate many books during the year and some of those books I didn’t like, so the best way I thought of getting rid of them was to donate.

7. Try to find books at a good price so that you wouldn’t mind giving away a few to friends and family once you’ve finished reading them.

I know giving books away can be hard, but at least they won’t go very far! If you love getting bargains, even for books there are sites that offer books at a bargain price. I found sites like Half Priced Books and Book Outlet to help me in this area. When I only paid less than $5.00 for a book, I wouldn’t mind giving them away opposed to paying over $15.00 for one.

8. Invest in book subscriptions. 

There are popular services out there like Oyster and Amazon that charge you per month, which allows you to have thousands of books at your fingertips. I have an Oyster subscription and it has cut down on my book buying tremendously. My only gripe about it is they never finish the trilogies/series! For example, I read book one and two of the Mara Dyer trilogy and they don’t have the third book. The same with the Throne of Glass trilogy. Stand alone books are in abundance. If you read a lot, these services are worth the money.

9. Check out library books.

Checking out library books can be great and save you a lot of money, especially if you read a book that you wouldn’t dream of buying. It comes in handy when you read a book and hate it. You can return it without any strings attached!

10. Read as many books from your bookshelf as possible.

I have to admit to having a problem with this! I read more books on my Kindle (books I bought and checked out from the library) than books from my bookshelf. Even then I continue to buy more physical books. Here’s a way to read more books on your bookshelf: Set a number of books to read from your bookshelf per month. Easy!

I’ve listed 10 things that work for me. What are some things that work for you in decluttering your bookshelf?

bookish-thanks for reading

Kindle Book Haul #2

bookish-what's in my kindle

It’s that time again! I haven’t posted about books I’ve accumulated in my Kindle for a while. I posted one last year and I have a lot more to share this time around! I hope you all don’t mind if I only list the titles. Uploading an image for every book would take forever! And to the fun…

  1. The Black Mage: First Year by Rachel E. Carter
  2. On The Inside by Kim Cano
  3. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  4. Die For Me by Amy Plum
  5. The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri (The Inferno) by Dante Alighieri
  6. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
  7. When I Married My Mother by
  8. The Startborn Rising by Jason D. Morrow
  9. Run by Patti Larson
  10. Hysteria by Megan Miranda
  11. Dream Student by J.J. DiBenedetto
  12. A Game of Proof: A Mother’s Fight To Defend Her Son by Tim Vicary
  13. Always With You by Andrea Hurst
  14. The Uncanny Valley by Gregory Miller
  15. On The Edge of Twilight by Gregory Miller
  16. The Story of Awkward by R. K. Ryals
  17. Origin by Nathaniel Dean James
  18. If I Break by Portia Moore
  19. Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge
  20. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  21. The Human Aura, Astral Colors, and Thought Forms by William Walker Atkinson
  22. Girl Behind Glass by Abby Wilder
  23. Crushed by Leen Elle
  24. Identity Thief by J.P. Bloch
  25. The Metronome by D.R. Bell
  26. The Big Good Bye by Michael Lister
  27. Out of Time by Monique Martin
  28. The Ghost Files 2 by Apryl Baker
  29. The Fire Seekers by Richard Farr
  30. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  31. The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker
  32. Skeleton Park by Christina Smith
  33. Code Breakers by Colin F. Barnes
  34. Clarity by Loretta Frost
  35. Ebola by Bobby Adair
  36. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  37. The Darkest Secret by Jessica Pine
  38. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  39. The Witch Within by Iva Kenaz

I listed all of the titles that are on my device; not including the titles in the cloud. If I missed some that were in the cloud, I will include those in my next post. Hopefully, I will post updates every three months from now on.

bookish-thanks for reading

 

Tales of Redemption and Self-Sacrifice

bookish-book review

 

February just began and I’ve already swayed (sort of) from my TBR list. *sighs* I have reviews of two books I read and finished on Saturday and Sunday. In my defense, I started reading these books on Friday and Saturday. I started reading On The Inside on Friday and finished on Saturday. I started reading the The Jewel on Saturday and finished on yesterday, so it really isn’t THAT bad. It could be worse. At least I finished a book and didn’t start a new book that isn’t on my TBR list on Sunday, so I think I can slide this time! Let’s get to the reviews!

inside

I don’t remember how I came across this book. I bought it on my Kindle and I started reading it the same day. On The Inside is compared to the popular Netflix original show, Orange Is The New Black. I don’t know how the two relate because I haven’t watched the show. I became interested in fiction books that take place in prisons because The Enchanted.

This story follows Kristen, an inmate who has to serve a few years in prison because of committing a white collar crime and points of views of other inmates and those who work inside the prison. Kristen has to deal with losing her family and everything she once knew. Meanwhile, she meets fellow inmates with troubles of their own. One of the officers in the jail has a peculiar obsession with getting a glimpse into the lives of inmates through reading their letters sent from family and friends. This pretty much sets up the story from the beginning and ultimately forms the ending. Parts of the story are also told from the perspectives of the warden and the therapist. It’s an interesting story about prison life, life lessons, and a chance for a new beginning.

The author’s writing style isn’t terrible. What really got under my skin were the constant grammar and punctuation mistakes. Secondly, I found that while having several points of view is a good thing, it can be troublesome if it’s too many. Other than that, I think it was a decent book.

________________________________________

I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about The Jewel, so I decided to read it. I honestly don’t knowjewel how to put my thoughts on this book into words. I’m literally speechless. The story is a bit disturbing to me. How can I possibly review this without giving the story away? Ok.

It’s about a girl named Violet who was born with the surrogate gene. Girls who are tested and carry the surrogate gene are immediately put into isolation until they are ready to be auctioned off to royalty who are incapable of having their own children naturally because of a genetic mutation. Like most of the girls, Violet has to leave her family behind. She will never see her family again, but her mother will get money every year for losing her daughter. Eventually, Violet is sold to one of the most powerful women in the Lone City. The story unfolds from there.

From first glance, it reminds me of The Elite. I didn’t care for it (I couldn’t finish the first book), so I was resistant to read it. I like The Jewel  because I haven’t read anything like it. I love unique stories. It’s pretty much the same concept as The Elite with girls being ranked and fighting for the top spot to be chosen by a royal family. The writing is okay. I don’t love it. The romance is not lovey dovey to a sickening level and that I can appreciate.

Some parts of the story I wanted to scream because I didn’t know what Violet was thinking (“She can’t be serious.” “Be quiet!” “What?”). She could be so ungrateful in one chapter and completely selfless in another. It isn’t the best story ever written, but the surrogacy element holds my interest. However, the cliffhanger is enormous! If my head could spin like the girl’s head in “The Exorcist,” it would have.  I never would have guessed. I plan to read the second installment.

bookish-thanks for reading