Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and, if you want to, add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s posts (typically put up midnight EST on Tuesday) so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
This week’s theme is Top 10 Books Favorite Releases of 2016. This is an awesome topic which will include some books I’ve finished reading and others that I’m currently (or hopefully soon will be) reading.
1. A Study in Charlotte 
A Study in Charlotte
2. In The Hope of Memories 
In Hope of Memories
3. The Siren
The Siren
4. The Curse of the Bruel Coven
The Curse of the Bruel Coven
5. The Glass Sword
Glass Sword
6. Everland
Everland
7. Replica 
Replica
8. My Lady Jane
My Lady Jane.jpg
9. A Torch Against the Night 
A Torch Against the Night
10. Salt to the Sea
Salt to the Sea
What are you favorite reads of the year? Anything you’re still looking forward to?
XOXO,
Mary

Book Review: Once Upon a Dream

Once Upon a Dream
Once Upon a Dream
Liz Braswell
Hardcover April 2016
Available Here

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dreammarks the second book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.

It should be simple–a dragon defeated, a slumbering maiden, a prince poised to wake her. But when said prince falls asleep as soon as his lips meet the princess’s, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over.

With a desperate fairy’s last curse infiltrating her mind, Princess Aurora will have to navigate a dangerous and magical landscape deep in the depths of her dreams. Soon she stumbles upon Phillip, a charming prince eager to join her quest. But with Maleficent’s agents following her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are, and moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?

The Good:

-I enjoyed Aurora a lot towards the end of the story but it was a case of too little too late
-I liked the parallels of the real world to the dream world at times it was confusing but overall I thought it was utilized well
-My favorite quote: “You don’t get it. They gave me beauty and song, and then I was left in the woods to grow up for sixteen years before being handed over to you. I don’t know anything about ruling. I don’t even really know what taxes are. I was in the woods in the real world. In the dreamworld, I hid like a mouse and then organized balls and parties.” (if only the rest of this book had been as a badass as this quote)

The Bad: 

-Philip was just god awful I was hoping to see more of a unique spin on him since Aurora developed into this strong and sarcastic leading lady I had hoped for a dashing prince who could match her
-It was too long way way too long. There were so many times where I seriously contemplated not finishing it.
-The writing was pretty childish. The dialogue was very basic and just randomly placed through out and the conversations weren’t interesting or even long enough to be considered conversations.
-Aurora spent a huge huge amount talking about how she liked to sleep and how to do anything was far too much energy. I mean I get it she’s Sleeping Beauty but you really don’t have to beat us over the head with it.
-It was too little too late. This book had so much potential and the last third or so was rather powerful but I don’t think most people will get that far.

The Rating:
2 Stars

I really enjoyed Aurora’s progression from damsel in distress to kick ass queen but the journey to get there was just not engaging enough. The writing was a little disjointed and not dialogue driven enough for me personally. Overall, I felt this book had so much potential if it just moved a little faster.

Has anyone else had a disappointing read lately? At least I can be happy to post a much more positive review for my next read. 

XOXO,
Mary

Summer TBR

So I am totally a mood reader thus making it hard for me to put together a reading pile for one month. So I’ve decided to do seasonal reading lists that way it gives me three months to get through the titles. Plus I’m trying to experiment more with reading multiple titles at the same time. So without further ado here is my summer reading list:

In Hope of MemoriesA Torch Against the NightWe Own the NightThe Curse of the Bruel CovenThe Square Root of SummerThe Unexpected Everything

Most of these are from Top Ten Beach Reads List so yeah I kind of need to read them during this 3 month period lol.

Replica.jpgEverlandGirl in Pieces16096824Glass SwordThe Heir

Yes you are seeing Replica on my list even though it doesn’t come out til October I was able to score an ARC (I’m still hyperventilating over that). And yes I still haven’t finished ACOTAR but not because I’m not enjoying it I’m just really taking my time. Depending on how the summer goes I might throw the sequel onto this list otherwise it will be one of the first reads for the fall.

So has anyone tried a system like this where you don’t really commit to specific books for the month? So what should I start reading next?

XOXO,
Mary

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and, if you want to, add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s posts (typically put up midnight EST on Tuesday) so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week’s theme is Beach Reads. This is a little hard for me because even though I live at the Jersey Shore I am not a fan of the beach. I really don’t like super hot days, wet sand, or having to sit in a ton of a traffic when I can go across the street and go swimming. So I’m going to just base it more on a summer reads theme.

In no particular order here are some fun, light, enjoyable books for the summer:

The SirenThe Unexpected EverythingThe Square Root of Summer.jpgFInding AudreyThe Loose Ends List.jpgWe Own the Night.jpgIn Hope of Memories.jpgThe Curse of the Bruel CovenA Torch Against the NightWe Were Liars.jpg

The Siren by Kiera Cass. This is about a group of girls who have to live by the water because well they’re sirens! You can’t get much beachier than that and it has a super sweet romance which just screams beach to me.

 The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I haven’t read this yet but it seems like the perfect summer read the cover is bright and definitely sunny.

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Hapgood. This seems like a pretty obviou choice given the word summer in the title lol (that was lame I know). Plus I love that there is quite a bit of brains involved in this book so you can be smart and sassy while still indulging in some summer romance.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. I can’t rave about this book enough it’s sweet fun and endearing and if I were to venture out to the beach I would definitely pack this one for the ride.

The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone. This is a case of love at first sight for me. The cover is so sweet and wonderful and one of my favorite GoodReads reviewers gave this a 4 star rating so you know it’s being added to the TBR pile.

We Own the Night by Ashley Poston. I just received the ARC for this and I am giddy to start it. It seems like a super fun contemporary read that I’m hoping to devour.

In Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers is another ARC I have received and been holding on to even though it was released in May. Even though the backstory is sad (our girl Hope dies and sets her friends on a bit of a scavenger hunt) I think this story about 4 teens finding themselves despite the loss of a friend will prove to be an uplifting read for the summer.

The Curse of the Bruel Coven by Sabrina Ramoth. This is another ARC that I received although this one comes directly from the author herself (Hi Sabrina!) and if you’ve followed my blog for a decent amount of time you know that I love fantasy so even though my summer reading list is pretty heavy on contemporary I can’t leave out my tried and true fantasy reads. And this is one that is sure to be a lot of fun set in Louisiana featuring a 17 year old who has discovered that not only is she adopted but she’s a witch (this is definitely perfect for everyone who is feeling a lack of witch and wizard literature post-Harry).

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. I’m pretty sure Sabaa is my spirit animal I mean there was no other book in 2015 that blew m mind as much as An Ember in the Ashes so of course summer will not be complete until I read this gem.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This was another book I fell in love with two summers ago the writing blew me away and the twist ending was amazing. All-in-all definitely a cool fun summer read that takes place on a private island, what more could you want for the summer?

So what is everyone else plan on reading this summer? I’m actually planning on doing seasonal book lists so my first is going to be a list of books to read between Jun-Aug,Sept-Nov. etc. etc. I am definitely a mood reader and I find that there are certain genres I gravitate to during certain seasons. Is anyone else like that? Make sure to leave a link to your Top 10 for me to read.

XOXO,
Mary

The Book Sacrifice Tag

Thank you so much to Giovannard for tagging me for The Book Sacrifice Tag! I’m super excited to do this!

1. AN OVER-HYPED BOOK: 

Situation: You’re in a store when the zombie apocalypse hits. The military informs everyone that over-hyped books are the zombies only weakness. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you disliked do you start chucking at the zombies?

50 Shades.jpg

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. I don’t get it there’s nothing sexy or romantic or even likable about anyone in this book plus it’s based off a Twilight fan-fiction which is another series I can’t get into at all.

2. A SEQUEL:

Situation: torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself?

HPATPOA.jpg

Please don’t hate me for this. Typically when I read the first book of a series and I decide to continue with it I very rarely find that I dislike anything about the sequels. So even though I’m putting a Potter book which is blasphemous I know this is the only one I could think of. I just wasn’t digging the whole time travel thing and I hated meeting Sirius only to have Harry not be with him over the summer.

3. A CLASSIC:

Situation: You’re in English class and your professor raves about a Classic that “transcends time”. If given the opportunity to travel back in time, which Classic would you try to stop from ever publishing?

Of Mice and Men.jpg

Buh-Bye Of Mice and Men ugh just thinking about this book gives me chills and not the good kind. I pretty much everything by Steinbeck but this one really takes the cake.

4. A LEAST FAVORITE BOOK:

Situation: apparently global warming = suddenly frozen wasteland. Your only hope of survival for warmth is to burn a book. Which book will you not regret lighting?

Cinder

Hmm this is kind of tough but I’m gonna have to say Cinder by Marissa Meyer (please don’t hate me). I just could not get into this story at all it was too far-fetched for me and I love fairy tales and re-tellings but this just didn’t work for me. I’ve heard the series gets better but I don’t know if I’m gonna try it. I’m still looking forward to Heartless though because I think she’s a good writer the story just didn’t click with me.

So there you have it my Book Sacrifice Tag. Thank you again to Giovannard for tagging me and now I tag anyone who wants to do this just leave me or a comment. Or if you’ve already done leave me a comment as well because I definitely want to check it out. 

XOXO,
Mary

Exciting News!

So I am super excited to let everyone know that I have had two authors reach out to me to review their books!!! I never thought in a million years that would happen to me I am so excited. So I’m gonna have to shuffle around my TBR pile and probably put some of the stuff I’m currently reading on the back burner. Let me introduce the two new books that have just gone to the top of my reading pile.

The Reflections of Snow White.jpg

This book by David Meredith looks at what happens after Happily Ever After. Here we find Snow on the eve of her daughter, Raven’s, wedding. Sadly this event is not a happy one for Snow as she is still mourning the loss of her own Prince Charming. I am really excited to read this because I adore fairy tale retellings and twists so I can’t wait for my e-reader to charge so I can get to reading this.

The Curse of the Bruel Coven.jpg

Ok first can we just fangirl over this cover? Omg I love love love it!!! It’s amazing and intricate and just the perfect amount of color. Ok now that I got that out of my system let’s get into the plot. This book follows teen Vivienne as she discovers she’s not quite the ordinary girl she’s been brought up to believe she is. In fact she is adopted and just like her birth mother she is a witch. When her birth mother goes missing Vivienne must tap into her power to save herself and her mom. This is the first book in a new series.

So, basically my e-reader cannot charge fast enough. And I have work tonight ugh. At least I can get some reading in during my break.

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday

Every Tuesday Bibliophile by the Sea hosts a meme where you can share the first paragraph (or few) of something you’re currently reading or about to read. Since I couldn’t think of 3 much less 10 books I bought on a whim for Top Ten Tuesday I decided to do this one instead.

The next book I have on my TBR pile is:

Once Upon a Dream.jpg
By Liz Braswell
Published April 2016
Hardcover 448 pages

Consider The Dragon

A dragon was dead.

A giant black and purple fire-breathing dragon from the very pits of hell itself was dead somewhere outside the castle. Thorns were falling from the battlements like rain, making curiously pleasant wooden sounds on the grounds of the bailey. Many strange and dire things were happening to an ancient keep that had already endured enough unusual treatment for the past sixteen years.

The handsome prince had killed the dragon with the help of the three strange little fairies he now followed. Without them, he would have done no good whatsoever.

What do you guys think so far? I love fairy tale retellings and you don’t come across too many sleeping beauty ones in YA so I’m pretty excited for this one. 

Book Review: The Siren

The Siren
The Siren
Kiera Cass
Hardcover republished 2016
Available Here

“You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won’t lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time…”

The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can’t bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she’s been waiting for doesn’t seem nearly as important as the one she’s living now.

The Good: 

-Kahlen was an interesting and sympathetic character. I think her feelings were a little too insta-love considering how little we actually see Akinli but overall I thought she was an interesting MC
-The Ocean was by far the most interesting character. Was she the villain? I don’t know maybe she falls more into the antihero category. Regardless her presence was very welcomed and definitely moved the plot.
-In general the supporting characters were well-built and interesting. I would read more stories about sirens if they were told from any of Kahlen’s sisters.
-I really enjoyed seeing sirens interact in the modern world since every story I’ve read about them is set in the past. I think Cass came up with clever ways to have the be part of society while still being out the outskirts.

The Bad:

-I would have liked more build up the Kahlen and Akinli’s relationship. I understand that they were soulmates but there was still much needed development.
-There was a lot of whining in the middle. Kahlen was just really really annoying during that section. Again I understand why but I felt like it could have possibly be written differently.

The Rating:
4 stars 

This was a quick enjoyable read. I really enjoyed learning more about sirens and getting to feel a part of the sisterhood. The characters were well-written and it was easy to focus on them since there wasn’t much of a need for world building. If you’re in the mood for a nice romance I would definitely recommend it. I thought overall the story was very well written and I found myself laughing and crying which is a good sign for me.

What are you reading this weekend? 

XOXO,
Mary

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!

Last Week:

This was an OK week for reading. I was in a really romantic mood and finished The Siren by Kiera Cass in one sitting! So expect a review for that later on this week. I will also note that this is a rewrite so if you’ve read the book previously Cass has since made a great deal of changes. I can’t comment on that though because I’ve never read it.

The Siren

I also attempted I’ll Give You the Sun. I was hoping to change up my current run of fantasy but sadly I cannot get into this book at all. It relies a little too heavily on metaphor and the characters just aren’t that interesting or realistic. Maybe I’ll try reading it again but it’s most likely going in the DNF pile which is incredibly upsetting because it has a 4 star rating on GoodReads.

I'll Give You the Sun

This Week:

For this week my goal is to start A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Mass it’s a pretty hefty title and with my work schedule I’m not sure I’ll finish it this week but I’ll try.

16096824

I’m also gonna read Glass Sword even though I kind of don’t want to because I don’t want to wait a whole year to find out what happens in the next book but I need more Mare and Cal (and let’s be honest Maven too).

Glass Sword

I think tomorrow I’ll take a trip to Barnes and Noble and pick out something new. In case you didn’t know this the biggest titles always come out on Tuesday. These are the titles that are either by well-established  authors or the new releases that the publishers have a lot of faith in. Last week was huge for new young adult titles so I’m sure between last week and tomorrow I’ll find a book I want. I also need to get the rest of The Selection series.

So hopefully this week will go better in terms of reading. What are your plans for reading this week?

XOXO,
Mary

Book Review: Red Queen

22328546

Red Queen
Victoria Aveyard
Hardcover Pub Feb 2015
Available Here

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

The Good:
-The world building was really strong. I feel I got a really good sense of the two different worlds, that of the Red and that of the Silvers. I really enjoyed spending time in the different halls and palaces and then being transported to the desolate lands of the reds.
-The pacing was really good I felt like it was a good mix of dialogue and action
-The princes. They both made me swoon for different reasons but ultimately I am team Cal ❤
-The ending. I did not see it coming at all and I think it did a really good job of catapulting the reader into a whole new set of problems and action.

The Bad:
     -Mare. I feel bad for saying this but I am kind of over the kick ass heroine. I kind of want to read about a female protagonist who enjoys wearing dresses and is just a little bit girly. I will say that I liked how we got to see her train on how to use her powers and she wasn’t just magically gifted at using them
-Kilhorn. I think I just have a thing about guys who are the best friend and want more from the female lead but you already know it’s not going to happen. I refer to it as the Gale complex. I never liked him from the get-go and when we were introduced to Peeta I knew him and Katniss were never going to be end game. And that’s how I feel about Kilhorn. Maybe my mind will change as I get farther into book 2 but for now I feel like his exsistence it to just create romance drama.
-The way Victoria Aveyard just ripped out my heart and stomped all over it in regards to one of the characters

Rating:
4 stars definitely

This was an awesome read from a brand new author. I think it has a lot of similarities to other books in the dystopian genre but she manages to make a lot of changes and her characters are really strong and well-written. I definitely imagine this to be translated for the big screen (Aveyard is a screen-writer after all) and I for one will be fangirling all over it.

Have you read Red Queen? Who would you cast as Mare, Cal and Maven?

XOXO,
Mary