All the Bright Places – Review

You make me love you…

My eyes are heavy with all the tears I have shed; my nose is stuffed from the weight of crying and my mind is numb in the way it is when something takes everything from you and leaves you with nothing, with a blank space.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is funny and honest and heart-wrenching. I saw so many reviews and comments that gave me a pretty clear idea of the general direction of the story, but somehow, I was still shocked. The ending punched me, hard, and I was in complete and utter disbelief.

Continue reading All the Bright Places – Review

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The Madman’s Daughter – Review

But as much as I knew I should be repulsed, my curiosity burned so brightly it made my humanity flicker and dim. 

This book. The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd was entirely not what I had expected, across the board. Characters, setting, plot, they all just took my breath and stole my heart, and I’m not entirely quite sure what to do with myself except shudder and weep and look for the next book in the series. Continue reading The Madman’s Daughter – Review

Pinocchio – Episode 15 thoughts

I’m in love with this drama. It satisfies every part of my Korean drama loving self: it’s romantic, it’s hilarious, it’s thrilling, and it doesn’t hurt that I’m practically in love with the main lead. Along with an entire nation, at least. We’re at episode 15 of 20 right now and I’m getting nervous. I don’t want this to end! The storyline has taken so many twists and turns and we’re finally at the origin, the heart of the story. It’s exciting. Episode 15 was amazing, as usual. Across the board, everything about it was beautiful, classic drama – I’m so upset there’s only one episode this week!

Here’s a look at my thoughts on this episode! Continue reading Pinocchio – Episode 15 thoughts

Ignite Me – Review

I will forge forward or die.

I think Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi gave me the most physical reaction to a book I’ve felt in a long, long time. It was crazy. I was flushed with passion, enraged with, well, rage and just a giggly, screaming mess the whole way through. I read this book in three hours which is pretty much unprecedented. Food, sleep, family could not have torn me from this book.

13188676With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her. 

Okay. Where do I even start? This was an amazing way to start off 2015 and I’m so utterly and wholly and thoroughly satisfied with Ignite Me and the entire Shatter Me series. I don’t think there’s ever been a series where I felt like every single book was perfection.  The plot was flawless – great pace, things always happening, always on the brink of happening, and a great conclusion to the book and the entire series. I do wish that the end of the conflict would have been more drawn out, but maybe it had to just be over at last. But in Ignite Me, the characters totally won the story.

One thing I loved about the first two books, Shatter Me and Unravel Me was the prose, the use of numbers and the strikethrough. The prose is completely different here, the numbers and the strikethrough completely gone. The prose in Ignite Me is less flowery, less abstract and more grounded – and that’s because Juliette is, too. She’s completely changed; she’s finally learned to accept herself so there’s no more of that self-censorship that we saw in the strikethrough and she’s got her head on straight, so it makes sense that the prose is more grounded. I like both Juliette’s. I didn’t think I would, but they both have their appeal. The Juliette in the first two books is a little unhinged, entirely unsure of herself, and endearing in that way. The Juliette we see in Ignite Me is on fire. She knows exactly what she needs to be doing and she finally figures out a way to be true to herself. So although I miss Unhinged Juliette, I know that the old Juliette could never fathom starting – or winning – a war.

I fell in love with Warner in Unravel Me and was utterly devastated because I felt that the Warner-Juliette was a ship that was destined to sink. But, oh my gosh, WarnerIf I loved him then, I’m just sljdnsdcvefy3e12 about him now. The way he speaks to Juliette, about Juliette is just breath taking – as in literally it leaves me oxygen deprived and if I ever had anyone say half the things to me that Warner says to Juliette in the way he says them, I would have no idea where my heart (or undergarments) would have fled to. He was just perfection and everything and he unravelled me and I felt like I could hardly breathe and it was just incredible. Hands down my favourite book boyfriend, that is all, end of story, goodnight. I don’t think I’ll ever recover.

Kenji will always be in my heart, though, because as ever, he’s got his smart-ass/serious sexy vibe going on there and I really wish I could find out what happens in the rest of his life because: Kenji? In love? That’s the gold medal winner. And as for Kenji’s little buddy, James, James is the light of my heart, seriously. He breaks my heart and then pieces it back together and he’s so cute and innocent and he’s the kind of child you protect with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul.

Now. There was a certain person. Who STIRRED UP THE FURY IN MY HEART AS I HAD NEVER FELT IT BEFORE AND I WAS SO AFFECTED I COULD HAVE TORN THE BOOK APART WITH MY BARE HANDS. I will say no more for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet and for the sake of my blood pressure; just know that I think this person is SO DUMB AND I WILL HATE HIM TO THE VERY LAST FIBRE THREADS OF THE EARTH FOREVER AND THAT IS ALL.

Overall, I will be gifting this series to anyone and everyone who shows the slightest interest in reading fantasy to the end of time and they will have to do with getting the entire series for their birthday and Christmas and even just when I feel like they need. Because the Shatter Me series was possibly THE best I have ever read, and if I really love you, just know what to expect for your next three birthdays.

An Open Letter to All the Books I’ll Read this Year

To all the books I’ll read this year,

Hey, you. Yes, you, with that sexy book spine of yours. I’ve been watching you. Creepy it may sound, but it’s true. Perhaps I’ve been watching you for a year, perhaps I spotted you from across the aisle, but either way, you’re looking damn fine. And you smell fantastic, too. I just might take you home tonight.

You’ve got all kinds of secrets hidden under that cover jacket of yours; entire worlds I can just dive into. Something fantastical or gritty or tragic or epic; I’m going to meet new people, new personalities, and I might even scoop up another book boyfriend. You never know. Either way, I’m going to be carted off into another dimension. You might make me cry, you might make my heart pound, you might even make me scream. The things I’m going to discover between your pages is going to be special, inspiring.

But wait, let’s not be too rash or too crude. Someone’s taken a lot of time to craft you. You were born, just barely a plot of a character in the brilliant pockets of their mind, and you grew, you blossomed. You took form in ways they never could have imagined, expanding until you were this great and glorious idea that they couldn’t help but love. And somebody else loved you too, and they took a chance on you, made a decision on you that probably made your creator ecstatic, wildly happy and proud – and they should be. You’re a work of art.

So when I take you home tonight, I’ll be gentle, soft, and considerate, knowing that I hold someone’s brain baby in my hands, that they’re anxious for me to love it the same way they love it.

I hope I do.

 

Waiting on Wednesday – The Conspiracy of Us

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall is going to be one of my first buys of 2015, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Seeing the copies of the book on her Twitter (you can follow her here) and how excited she is about her debut novel is so adorable and heartening! Her excitement makes me even more excited!

17134589To fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe. Forbidden love and code-breaking, masked balls and explosions, destiny and dark secrets collide in this romantic thriller, in the vein of a YA DaVinci Code.

Avery West’s newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war.

They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle of Twelve, and Avery is their missing heir. If they discover who she is, some of them will want to use her as a pawn. Some will want her dead.

To thwart their plans, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the landmarks of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and through a web of ancient legends and lies. And unless she can stay one step ahead of beautiful, volatile Stellan, who knows she’s more than she seems, and can decide whether to trust mysterious, magnetic Jack, she may be doomed after all.

I love this cover. I’m a sucker for both gorgeous cover dresses and dramatic covers, and The Conspiracy of Us has a little bit of both. Seriously, can I have that dress? I love the compass she’s standing on and I can’t wait to see how it figures into the plot. Did anyone notice the dual cities at the bottom of the page? Looks like we’re going to have some gorgeous settings!

I read a sampler of this book (see my review here) and it sounds great so far! The pace, the writing style, everything is pulling me in and telling me I need this book to start my 2015.

2015 Contemporary Challenge!

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I’m going to be trying to expand my reading scope in 2015, so I’m taking part in several challenges to motivate me to read a wide variety of books in the upcoming year!

The 2015 Contemporary Challenge is hosted by The Book Belles. The challenge is to read a certain number of contemporary books – they don’t have to be released in 2015, just read during the year. As a bonus, there are monthly international giveaways for all those participating! I’m going for the Peony Level so I will be attempting 11-15 contemporary reads.

Contemporary isn’t a genre I read much of, so I’m really excited to see what reads this challenge will lead me to!

Peony Level: 11-15 books. Books read:

1. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: great read, I cried.

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