December 2015 Wrap-Up

Guys. This year is coming to a close. I seriously can’t believe it. But this year has been a great one for me reading wise, and otherwise, and I can’t wait to see what the new year brings.

So without further ado, December was a spectacular reading month for me! What a way to close out the year after months of being in a reading slump. I’m really happy with how this year ended, and so here are the books, discussion topics, and other things I talked about in December.

What I Read

  • Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor – This is the second book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy and it was so amazing. It really took the story to another level and it made me dying to know what happens next. Laini Taylor’s writing is beautiful and I can’t wait to see the conclusion brings. Check out my review!
  • Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews – This is the third book in the Kate Daniels series and the books just keep getting better with each installment. This one had a lot of tense moments and a lot more badassery. Check out my review!
  • Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner – The third and final installment in the Starbound trilogy, this book was amazing. It had me wanting to keep flipping the pages right from the get go and though I am sad that it’s over, I am happy to have finished this trilogy. Check out my review!
  • The Selection Novellas by Kiera Cass – These four novellas followed different perspectives from the Selection trilogy, and I enjoyed each of them to varying degrees. I do think that they added their own charm and it was nice to see from other perspectives. Check out my review!
  • Destroy Me & Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi – These two novellas follow the story from the perspectives of Warner and Adam, respectively, and I highly enjoyed them. I thought they really added a bit more to who the characters are and I really enjoyed that. Check out my review!
  • The Future Collection Short Stories by Beth Revis – This group of five short stories were all from different perspectives and told all different stories, each playing with my heart and emotions in ways I wasn’t expecting. I highly enjoyed them and highly recommend them. Check out my review!
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – This first book in the Mistborn trilogy was epic and intense, with a unique magic system and empowering characters, this book is one I highly recommend to anyone. Check out my review!
  • Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews – This is the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series and like I said before, the books get better with each installment. I was really engrossed in the plot of this one and I really enjoyed the romance. Check out my review!
  • Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning – This is the first book in the MacKayla Lane series and it was okay, not awesome, but it held a lot of potential and so I’m going to continue with the series. Check out my review!

Discussions

Other

And that’s it! I did a lot this month and I’m really happy and proud of myself for doing so. I think that this was a very fruitful month and I hope you all had a great month to end the year on, too.

Have a safe and happy new year everyone!

What books did you read this month that were some of your favorites? What discussions did you talk about on your blog? Let me know!

Fall Time Book Haul

I haven’t done a haul since August. Wow. Well, I don’t think I’ve accumulated that many books, but then again, Christmas did just happen, sooooo… Yeah. Books.

Let’s get into it, shall we? These aren’t going to be in the order in which I got them, but they are from September until now.

Physical Books

  • The Raven Boys cycle, 1-3, by Maggie Steifvater. Okay, technically I’ll be getting the paperback version of the third book tomorrow, but close enough. And it will be hauled in December, so there.
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik. This was a book highly recommend by Sam of ThoughtsonTomes, so I really wanted to check it out. Fantasy, romance, political plots, oh my!
  • The Amazing Book is Not On Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester. I am a phan. I cannot help it. I also only discovered them right around the time their book came out in America, so this was just kind of like it was meant to be.
  • Binge by Tyler Oakley. I’ve been following him for several months on Youtube, and I do find him to be funny and weird and goofy, so I thought I’d give his book a go. And it’s a lot heavier than you’d expect (high quality paper).
  • The Fever series, books 1-3, by Karen Marie Moning. A series that Sarah Jane from TheBookLife loves to pieces, and several other Booktubers gush over, so I had to give it a go. Plus, faeries. I’m in.
  • Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner. I LOVE THIS COVER. And this book. I just. It’s amazing. Go read it and check out my review before you do.
  • Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes. This is the fourth installment in this six book series, and I am really digging this cover! It’s definitely my favorite cover out of all of them, and though I haven’t read the third book yet, I’ll definitely get to these two soon.
  • Carry On and Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I love Rainbow’s books! She’s seriously amazing and I just can’t wait to read these ones by her. I now own all of her works that are published, woo!
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. This book was so sweet and so filled with the need and desire to experience things before you realize what you’ve missed out on. Check out my review for more on what I thought.
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. If you didn’t see my gigantic review post on this book, where have you been? I obviously got this the day it came out and loved it to pieces.

Audiobooks

eBooks

Well, 22 books over four months isn’t horrible, right? Right. I’m actually kind of surprised this was all I got. Maybe I got more, but I honestly can’t remember, haha!

What books did you get for the holidays? Any you plan on getting soon in the new year? Let me know!

Destroy Me & Fracture Me Novellas Reviews

I just finished both of the novellas from Tahereh Mafi‘s Shatter Me trilogy, one from Warner’s point of view and the other from Adam’s, and so I’m going to put both of my reviews for them here.

destroymeTitle: Destroy Me
Series: Shatter Me #1.5
Pages: 101
Format: Purchased eBook*

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

My love for Warner just increased, I think.

I loved being able to see from his perspective and the different voices all of these characters have. Tahereh Mafi has a way with words, crafting them into beautiful sentences, and it makes my heart flutter.

Warner was actually really creepy to me in the first book, less so in the second, and definitely not in the third. For this novella, he was still kind of weird and foreign to me, but as it continued I really saw his struggle to maintain control. He likes order, he likes control; it’s what makes him feel most comfortable with the world, so for the world to be in disarray after the events of Shatter Me, it’s kind of eye opening to see how he reacts in the situations that are being thrust upon him.

I think that this novella definitely improved his character arc and I wish I had read it sooner. Not only do we get a look into why he did some of the things he did, but we got to understand that he’s human just like everyone else and, though he may try to hide it, he does have emotions and weaknesses and insecurities.

The plot followed the events right after the first book and into the second book, and I like that we got to see more of Delaliu and even his father. The plot itself was simple: find Juliette and the others, and even then that was a challenge given his injury and other factors. I thought that it was engaging and interesting to see what happened from the other side where Juliette and Adam weren’t at.

I really enjoyed this novella and definitely recommend it to Shatter Me fans and if you want to get a bit more out of Warner.

4.5/5 stars

fracturemeTitle: Fracture Me
Series: Shatter Me #2.5
Pages: 67
Format: Purchased eBook*

As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam’s focus couldn’t be further from the upcoming battle. He’s reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend’s life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James’s safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It’s time for war.

On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favor—but taking down Warner, Adam’s newly discovered half brother, won’t be that easy. The Reestablishment can’t tolerate a rebellion, and they’ll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.


Though I find Adam to be a pain in the butt, I’m actually really glad to have read this story from his perspective. To be able to see such brotherly love and affection overtake any other emotion is incredible, especially given the circumstances.

I kind of already had a feel for who he was as a character, but just knowing how much he cares for his brother and how he would put him before anyone else kind of makes him a little less of a jerk and a little more over protective older brother.

I get that he felt the need to protect Juliette – I do, I get it – and that he wrestled with himself as to who was more important to him was kind of eye-opening for his character: was he ready to risk the girl he loves, or his only little brother, the only person he has left in the world from his family? But I think that he made the right decision.

The plot followed the story during Unravel Me when everything kind of went to hell, which was an interesting place to see his perspective. I think he thought he was too needed, when in reality Juliette was fine without him. I found this novella to be a good edition to the trilogy.

And as always, the writing is lovely and descriptive without giving too much away.

3.75/5 stars

*Both eBooks were purchased for my nook Simple Touch.

The Selection Novellas Reviews

So I recently just read all of The Selection novellas by Kiera Cass, and rather than do separate reviews for them, I’m just going to combine them into one review here. There’s a few spoilery kind of things in the reviews, just so you’re aware.

theprinceTitle: The Prince
Series: The Selection 0.5

Before thirty-five girls were chosen to compete in the Selection…
Before Aspen broke America’s heart…
There was another girl in Prince Maxon’s life…
Don’t miss this thrilling 64-page original novella set in the world of the New York Times bestselling novel The Selection. Also features a teaser to The Elite, Kiera Cass’s hotly anticipated sequel to The Selection.

In this novella, we got to see part of The Selection from the viewpoint of Prince Maxon, and I was actually excited to read from his perspective because I liked his character when I read the first book. In this we saw him dealing with his emotions before the Selection process and I think that he stuck true to his character: he was shy, but confident, and tried to make the right decisions.

And then there was this girl from France who just kind of made a situation in the novella seem kind of abusive and I was like, “Um, yeah no.” Trying to make Maxon think he was in love with her and he just didn’t know it? Yeah, no thanks. She was nice up until that point and then BAM.

Then we saw him during his first encounter with America and a few more after, and I really enjoyed those scenes, being able to get his thoughts on what had just happened and all of that.

There wasn’t much to go on here, but it was nice nonetheless to see from Maxon’s point of view. If you’re a fan of the series, give this a read!

3.5/5 stars

theguardTitle: The Guard
Series: The Selection 2.5

Before America Singer met Prince Maxon . . .
Before she entered the Selection . . .
She was in love with a boy named Aspen Leger.

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection trilogy. This brand new 64-page story begins just after the group of Selected girls is narrowed down to the Elite and is told from Aspen’s point of view. The Guard also features a teaser to The One, the thrilling conclusion to The Selection trilogy.

So when I originally started this I thought I was going to read a bit more from Aspen’s point of view before he became a guard, and maybe his journey into it, or something like that. But this novella was about his time in the palace when America is going through her Selection and the various times they meet in The Elite.

Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of Aspen, so I had to push through this one. I found him kind of annoying like I did in the series, but it was still good to get a perspective from him.

He was confident in his role as a guard, but a lot of his thoughts were only about America. When he had a talk with Lucy, I was hoping for something else to happen, but he just went right back to thinking of America, which is fine since he was still infatuated with her.

Overall, I thought him to be a little too dependent on America. He tried so hard to show he still cared, but I didn’t really get that from him. I got a desperate boy trying to win back the heart of the girl he made brokenhearted.

The plot of the novella did follow some different sequences, though, and we did get to see him in action a little bit, which was cool. I wanted to know more about the rebels and see more fights, but alas, it didn’t happen.

3/5 stars

PrintTitle: The Queen
Series: The Selection 0.4

Before America Singer’s story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince….

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series. This prequel story takes place before the events of The Selection and is told from the point of view of Prince Maxon’s mother, Amberly. Discover a whole new Selection with this inside look at how Maxon’s parents met—and how an ordinary girl named Amberly became a beloved queen.

This was actually my favorite Selection novella and I wish there had been more!

This novella followed Queen Amberly when she was in the Selection back in the day. I found her to be reserved and polite, knowing a little bit more strife than some of the other girls that were there. I think that it was kind of adorable that she had been in love with (then) Prince Clarkson ever since she was a little girl from having seen him on TV and whatnot and the fact that that little girl crush continued on into her Selection process.

It was nice to see Clarkson take an interest in her and show some concern in his own way for her because of her medical condition. From there, their subtle romance took off and I actually thought that it was really kind of cute and enticing.

The plot itself showed a glimpse as to why Clarkson became the king he was due to his parents, and it showed how Amberly handled that situation. The two seemed kind of made for each other, which was sweet.

Definitely give this novella a go if you’re a fan of the series.

4/5 stars

thefavoriteTitle: The Favorite
Series: The Selection 2.6

While America Singer’s heart was torn between Aspen and Prince Maxon, her friend Marlee knew exactly what she wanted—and paid the price.

Revisit the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series in this digital original novella. Told from Marlee’s point of view, this all-new 64-page story returns to the fateful Halloween when Marlee and Carter were discovered, and reveals how that night—and Prince Maxon—changed their lives forever.

This novella took place during the events in The One and I actually really enjoyed this novella, too. It follows Marlee during the time she’s going to be beaten for treason, and it also goes into flashbacks about her and Carter first meeting and the times in between to their first kiss and beyond.

I was super suspicious of Marlee at the beginning of the series, but as it progressed I saw that she was really just a genuine friend, and after her little rendezvous with Carter, it kind of really showed that her heart was elsewhere.

This novella was divided into two parts, and I was honestly hoping the second part had more to do with a little bit into the future of their lives, but it was during one of the attacks from the rebels. As with the other novellas, I just wished for more because I wanted to see how they’d act and react in certain situations.

I really liked the characters explored in this novella, and though I wish the plot in the second half had been a little different, it was still good nonetheless, though there were some parts where I questioned why something was funny or why something had to happen the way it did.

Either way, check this novella out if you enjoyed the series.

3.5/5 stars

*All novellas were read in ebook format on my nook Simple Touch.

May 2015 Book Haul

It seems like I just can’t stop getting books. And that’s okay.

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J Maas. This is the first book in a new trilogy that Sarah’s writing and it’s about a girl named Feyre who accidentally kills a faerie in wolf form. For retribution, Tamlin, a fae from the Faerie Lands, comes to seek justice, but instead of killing her he offers to her to go with him and live in his home the rest of her days. There’s elements of the original Beauty and the Beast fairy tale retelling, as well as other elements thrown in.
  • The Heir” by Kiera Cass. This is the fourth book in the Selection series and it follows Princess Eadlyn, who is the first female heir in Illea’s history. When unrest in the kingdom starts to threaten their way of life, King Maxon and Queen America decide to have another Selection – only this time it’s Eadlyn who gets to choose from thirty-five suitors.
  • Magonia” by Maria Dahvana Headley. It’s a story about a girl who is allergic to almost everything in our world; she can barely breathe down on the ground, but when she sees a flying ship in the sky, she goes on an adventure that she never thought she’d be able to have – and she can breathe again, as well. The cover is gorgeous on this one and I’m excited to read it.
  • The Assassin’s Blade” by Sarah J Maas. I already owned this book in ebook form, but I decided to get it in hardcover because I need its presence in my life. It’s the compilation of five novellas from events taken place before the “Throne of Glass” story begins as they follow Celeana through many trials and different scenarios in Erelia.

So those are all of the books I got this month. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what your thoughts were, or if you are excited/interested to read them.