July 31, 2014

ReReadathon Thoughts and Final Tally

It's the last day of July, which means the last day of RRSS14!  I've pretty much finished all my books, although I've purposely saved two for next weekend and I didn't get to Free to Fall.  They'll still be a part of my Summer of Rereads, but since I leave for Asbury on the 10th, I wanted to leave Fangirl and Roomies for the drive down.

What I've Read Since July 14:
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
I haven't reread this in months, so RRSS14 (and my Summer of Rereads) was the perfect opportunity to make time for it.  It was still snarky fun, a bit fluffy and it wrapped up a bit too quickly, but I still want a finished copy.

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
This book is not like the Throne of Glass series, which makes me want to thrash about and cry because of the feels.  But The Winner's Curse is still amazing.  It's a quiet good until the last few chapters and then I'm overwhelmed with how amazing it is and how shrewd Kestrel is and how much I want to be her.

Heist Society by Ally Carter
*flails because Hale*

Nil by Lynne Matson
This is my sole title for the Shelf Sweeper portion of RRSS14.  A friend gifted me this book several weeks ago, and I meant to read it before MMBB.  However, I never had the time, so I knew once I had a signed copy, I needed to read it!  A bit too much language for my taste, but it was an interesting book that I couldn't put down.

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
It's been several months since I reread any of the Heist Society books, so I decided to binge-read the whole trilogy.

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
All the Hale.  Also, I'm hoping since this is my 4th or 5th reread, I'll finally fully comprehend the heist.  Because I'm still confused about everything that happened after Niagara Falls in this book.

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
I really wanted to reread this one, so I chose it for RRSS14 because of its length.  It's only 184 pages, which means I could easily finish it in a day and move onto my next book.

Landry Park by Bethany Hagen
This is a book I've been meaning to reread for quite awhile, especially so it would be one less book I had to bring to Asbury.

The Final Tally: 14

Overall, I really enjoyed participating in RRSS14, especially since I wasn't originally planning on it.  It was a good way to further convince me to reread some old favorites before I leave for college (so I don't have to bring as many books with), and I loved squealing over cute relationships, gasping over plotlines, and just generally feeling happy because I don't reread books I didn't like.  Rereads like these are nice, especially when read at the same time as books I DNFed or couldn't enjoy.

July 30, 2014

Beautiful Covers

I don't know what sparked it, but one day, back in May, I cruised through Goodreads to find foreign editions of various books.  I think foreign covers can be really cool and some are works of art.  And I knew I had to share some with you.  So without further ado, here are my top 17 foreign covers.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Chinese 
(I just love the colors of this one.)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - French 
(How adorable is the French cover for this book set in Paris?)

Heist Society by Ally Carter - French 
(And this French cover is just as cute as the former.)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Thai
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - Italian/French/Czech
Cress by Marissa Meyer - Czech
(The Lunar Chronicles have some of the best covers.)

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - Czech
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi - Indonesian
(Both are pretty dress covers, but they play with the titles in a great way.)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - German
(I haven't even read this book yet, and I think the German cover is fantastic.)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - German
(Although the U.S. editions have great covers, you have to admit
this one is beautiful, too.)

Grave Mercy by Robin La Fevers - Italian (left), Polish (right)
(The one on the left has that perfect fierce assassin look in her eyes,
and the one on the right plays with the original colors and it looks

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers - Russian
(The colors, the weapons, ahhhh!)

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone - Hungarian
(Reminds me of the U.S. cover but changes it up slightly - nice!)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Portuguese

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith - Italian
(This is such a cute cover.  Really. I just may have to go to Italy and hunt down a copy.)

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - Indonesian
(So fun, and I think this represents the book way better than the American cover.)

So what foreign covers have you found and what are your favorites?

July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own the Most Books From

I decided to back this post up with physical evidence, so check out the photos below!

1. Robin Jones Gunn - 11 physical + 4 ebooks (I have the Sierra Jensen volumes on iBooks.)
2. Jessica Burkhart - 12
3. Maud Hart Lovelace - 11
4. Ann M. Martin - 10
5. Ally Carter - 9
6. Erin Hunter - 9
7. Rick Riordan - 8
8. Heather Vogel Frederick - 7 (I'm not counting my signed copy of Home for the Holidays, but it can stand in for my copy of Once Upon a Toad that is somewhere else in my room.)
9. Melody Carlson - 6
10. Marissa Meyer - 5 (If you count the fact that I own both hardcovers and paperbacks of The Lunar Chronicles.)

Voila!  That's 92 books total.  I also own a lot of books from authors who only have trilogies or 1-2 books under their belts as of yet.

July 28, 2014

So You Like... #4

Welcome to my fourth So You Like... post.  I've previously done futuristic books, Downton Abbey (if you count that Top Ten Tuesday post), and the American Girl books.  This time, I'm covering...


If you liked...




Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is the perfect twist on the Beauty and the Beast tale.  Rosamund played with the original expertly until it became a fresh take on a well-known classic.

If you liked...




Melanie's retelling is less fantasy and more historical fiction.  But if Christian lit isn't your thing, you may want to steer away from The Healer's Apprentice.

If you liked...




Shannon's retelling is fairly straightforward, but she threw in many twists and also turned this one book into a whole series (Books of Bayern).

If you liked...




Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's best plays, in my opinion, and this modern retelling certainly did it justice.

If you liked...




This is less of a retelling and more of a "what happened after Romeo and Juliet."

If you liked...




Emma Approved will forever be my favorite Emma retelling, but The Espressologist is a close second.  Jane is a fun character, and I think everyone will enjoy seeing who corresponds to who in the original.

If you liked...




I have not yet read The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I absolutely loved this futuristic genderbent retelling.

If you liked...




Scarlet is the perfect genderbent retelling of Robin Hood, but be forewarned: this book (and its sequel Lady Thief) will give you epic book hangovers and leave you suffering from all the feels.

So that's it for the fourth So You Like...!  And trust me: there were a lot more books I would've liked to include in this post.  Stay tuned for the next So You Like..., though, and if there's a genre you want to see me cover, let me know.

July 27, 2014

Review: The Jewel

The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Grade: D
Release date: September 2, 2014
This ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Jewel was a train wreck I couldn't look away from. It was a fast read but, overall, not very memorable.  The writing was very simple, so I think that helped how quickly it went by.  And honestly, I'm relieved this book didn't drag because I hardly enjoyed any of it.  There's insta-love, stupidity reminiscent of Aspen and America in The Elite, and many characters that I didn't give a hoot about.  I relish connecting with characters and that didn't happen at all in The Jewel.  I did find the Duchess of the Lake to be an interesting character, and I did enjoy her to some extent.  She's probably the only thing that'll keep me reading this series.  I'm still confused on a lot of the worldbuilding, though.  Is this book futuristic?  Is it fantasy?  Is the world completely made up or is it based on real life places?  Honestly, it's all hazy.  The city where they all live did have some good worldbuilding in how it's laid out.  That was definitely cool.  But the names that match where each character was from?  Ugh, that was ridiculous.  I caught on quickly that all the royalty seemed to have gemstone-themed names and those from the Smoke (Ash, Cinder) had related names.  Plus, the descriptions annoyed me.  Raven is described as having skin the color of caramel, and eyes shaped like almonds.  What's up with describing someone's appearance with food-related words?  Not to mention that Violet has violet-colored eyes. -_-  And as mentioned before, there's insta-love.  Holy wow is that insta-love.  Ash and Violet meet maybe once or twice and she's already head-over-heels for him.  And then, although he's hired to be a companion (ew) for the Duchess's niece and she isn't supposed to date anyone, they start to have a secret affair.  I got mad at Aspen and America for this, and I'll get mad at any other characters who do the same.  You're not supposed to be together, and you could be killed if you continue to see each other!  Do you not value your life???  In fact, there's a big twist towards the end, and honestly, they had it coming.

The Verdict: Not worth your time (I'm still upset over that cover that basically copies The Selection trilogy), but if you're interested in reading this book, get it from your library. (I have included links below so you can buy it if you really want to.)

July 26, 2014

My Bookshelves

I've shared a few "shelfies" over the last several months (mainly on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook).  I get a lot of questions about what books I recommend and what books are my favorite and what-not, and a universal answer to that is my bookshelves.  Obviously, I don't own every single book I've enjoyed or recommend, but I own a great majority of them.  But I've decided to share (fairly recent) pictures of my bookshelves.

The two main bookcases are organized by genre: historical fiction, futuristic, science fiction, contemporary romance, contemporary (where there may be romance but the focus is more than that), fantasy, Christian lit, middle grade.  The other bookcases have random organization.  The small one has two series that I couldn't fit on any other shelves.  The long one has my ARC shelf, nonfiction and some classics, Rick Riordan books, more middle grade, and another classics shelf.  This is actually the most organized my shelves have ever been.  They used to be a bit more random.  So without further ado, here's a look at my bookshelves.


(And yes, it pains me greatly that my Throne of Glass books are split between two shelves.)

And now that I've finished this post, I can start undoing my organization system since I have to pack the books I'm bringing to Asbury.