Top Ten Tuesday #4

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s Tuesday and as I looked around it seems that almost every book blogger has participated in Top Ten Tuesday, so I will too. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Top Ten New To Me Authors.

  1. Veronica Roth — I received the first two books in this series for Christmas and got started reading them at the very beginning of the new year. Definitely a fan of the Divergent series, although I thought the ending could have been better.
  2. Beth Harbison — So far she has been a one-hit-wonder for me. On a whim I bought one of her books at a secondhand shop and didn’t love it, but enjoyed it. Will read another eventually.
  3. Diane Chamberlain — The book I read by her was definitely a let down. I had heard such good things about her writing, but didn’t think it was up to par.
  4. Cassandra Clare — I began the Mortal Instruments series over the summer and although I am only two books in, I am hooked! Can’t wait to complete the series and start her others.
  5. Heather Gudenkauf — She has also been a one-hit-wonder, but I am dying to read more by her. The first, and only, book I have read by her, I completed within 12 hours. So good!
  6. Gayle Forman — When I found out If I Stay was becoming a movie, I decided it was time to read the book. I liked it a lot, but am deciding whether the sequel is worth reading.
  7. Emily Giffin — The book I read by her was a let down as well. I had heard great things about her work, but I just didn’t like it as much as others. I am contemplating trying another.
  8. James Dashner — Mastermind behind the Maze Runner series; I read the first book before I saw the movie, but I wasn’t THAT impressed. It didn’t suck me in like others have, but I still want to find out what is in store next.
  9. Jamie McGuire — I will gladly admit that I am a fan of the “Beautiful” series. Yes, there were things in there that I disagree with, but they are extremely addicting books. I can’t wait to read about the rest of the Maddox boys.
  10. Maggie Stiefvater — I joined a read-a-long in order to read her Wolves of Mercy Falls series and was taken by great surprise. Her writing is wonderful and I enjoyed the series so much!

xofarah

Advertisements

Book Review: Sinner

It was the first time I’d really realized I’d lost my soul and that the beauty of not having a soul was that you couldn’t seem to care that you no longer had one.

sinner_maggiestiefvaterTitle: Sinner

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

# of Pages: 357

Published: July 1, 2014

Rating: 3 Hearts

Synopsis:

found.
Cole St. Clair has come to California for one reason: to get back Isabel Culpeper. She fled from his damaged, drained life, and damaged and drained it even more. He doesn’t just want her. He needs her.
lost.
Isabel is trying to build herself a life in Los Angeles. It’s not really working. She can play the game as well as all the other fakes. But what’s the point? What is there to win?
sinner.
Cole and Isabel share a past that never seemed to have a future. They have the power to love each other and the power to tear each other apart. The only thing for certain is that they cannot let go.
[Goodreads]

My Opinion:

Honestly, I didn’t find this book as compelling as the prior three. I started reading it with such high hopes, because Cole and Isabel were my favorite couple in the original trilogy, so I was so excited to read a book dedicated to them. Although there were some scenes that I liked and enjoyed, most weren’t very powerful or creative; I just found it to be a bit cliche.

What I liked:

Cole continues to be my favorite character. He is so sad and broken, but also so witty. I have a soft spot for characters like this.

Isabel and Sophia’s relationship. Isabel was such a snarky character, but her cousin’s patience and love for her went so beyond family duty. I just really liked how they evolved as family members and friends.

Cole’s friendship with Leon. Sometimes Cole was so carefree and unexpected. I really liked how he befriended his driver and how they learned so much from each other.

What I disliked:

The reality show theme throughout. I didn’t not enjoy the fact that Cole had signed on for an awful reality show. The person running the show was so obnoxious and over the top, but I suppose Stiefvater was just trying to go for things clearly L.A.

I felt that Isabel was a bit more whiny and complicated in this one. There were so many times she got upset or angry or sad for no apparent reason or for reasons that didn’t make any sense.

What I thought overall:

So while reading this book, I had Thanksgiving and pre-finals week and so many other things going on that I wasn’t able to document better details on my likes/dislikes, but overall I just didn’t think it was as up to par with the others. I thought it was trying too hard at being L.A.-esque and that got old and boring after awhile. Do I recommend reading it? Yes. I am still glad that I read it, but I thought it could have gone in a better direction. I did like the ending though.

WWW Wednesdays #4

WWW WednesdaysWWW Wednesdays are hosted by Should Be Reading and is a meme where we discuss what we are currently reading, just finished reading, and hope to read next.

WWW Currentlysinner_maggiestiefvaterI have been enjoying the Wolves of Mercy Falls series and I am now officially on the very last one (so far!). Technically this one is a spin-off involving just two characters from the original three books, but it is still classified under the series name. So far I absolutely love this book. It is about my two favorite characters, Cole and Isabel. I loved them in the first three and was so thrilled when I realized they had a book to themselves. Their bantering is just too good and I could read about them all day… which I kind of do already.

WWW Finish

linger_maggiestiefvaterforeverThe Wolves of Mercy Falls series has had be hooked from the very first word of Shiver. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like them, but as I read I fell in love with the characters and the portrayal of the werewolves and the town. The characters were just so likable and relate-able that I just couldn’t help but get sucked in. I would highly recommend this series, but I am super biased toward anything with a love story (which this has two)! I am extremely sad that the trilogy is over and I am about to be done with the spin-off as well, but it will definitely be a series I reread eventually.

WWW NextSince I was just hooked on a fantastic series, I kind of want to take a break from continuing another one, so The Mortal Instruments and The Maze Runner are out. During the holiday season, I want to read a good Christmas-y/Holiday-y book… preferably with a feel-good love story/romance. If you have any suggestions, I would love to heart them.

xofarah

Book Review: Forever

Mutual, respectful, enduring love is completely attainable as long as you swear you won’t settle for less.

foreverTitle: Forever

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

# of Pages: 388

Published: July 12, 2011

Rating: 4 Hearts

Synopsis:

then.
When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their loved moved from curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.
now.
That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.
forever.
Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment – a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.
 [Goodreads]

My Opinion:

So I have to admit that I didn’t like this one nearly as much as I liked the previous two, but it was a nice ending to a great series. I don’t know what it was about this book, but it just didn’t hold my attention as well as Shiver and Linger, but I was so ready to know how it ended that I breezed through the end.

What I liked:

I would just like to say again that Cole St. Claire stole the show for me. Once he was introduced, he instantly became my favorite! I just love reading his chapters and love his character in general.

“Are you high? Why are you never wearing a shirt?”
“I sleep naked,” Cole said. He put both milk and sugar in my coffee. “As the day goes on, I put on more and more clothing. You should’ve come over an hour ago.”  

The relationship between Cole and Isabel was dynamic from the beginning. Bad broken boy meets sad broken girl equals to perfection.

“Cole,” I said, “do you think I’m lovable?”
“As in ‘cuddly and’?”
“As in ‘able to be loved,’” I said.
Cole’s gaze was unwavering. Just for a moment, I had the strange idea that I could see exactly what he had looked like when he was younger, and exactly what he’d look like when he was older. It was piercing, a secret glimpse of his future.                                                                                                                                                                                   “Maybe,” he said. “But you won’t let anybody try.”

Cole’s voicemails were also just too great. He continuously makes me laugh with the ridiculous crap that he says.
Voicemail #1: “Hi, Isabel Culpeper. I am lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling. I am mostly naked. I am thinking of … your mother. Call me.”

Voicemail #6: “So, yeah, I’m sorry. That last message went a little pear-shaped. You like that expression? Sam said it the other day. Hey, try this theory on for size: I think he’s a dead British housewife reincarnated into a Beatle’s body. You know, I used to know this band that put on fake British accents for their shows. Boy, did they suck, aside from being assholes. I can’t remember their name now. I’m either getting senile or I’ve done enough to my brain that stuff’s falling out. Not so fair of me to make this one-sided, is it? I’m always talking about myself in these things. So, how are you, Isabel Rosemary Culpeper? Smile lately? Hot Toddies. That was the name of the band. The Hot Toddies.”    

Voicemail #20: “I wish you’d answer.”

What I disliked:

The parents again. Grace’s parents have serious issues on how to raise a child. I think that the way Grace reacts is totally and completely justified. As for Isabel’s parents… I feel like it is reasonable that they would be at wits end due to the loss of their son, but I think that her father takes his hatred for the wolves a bit excessive.

What I thought overall:

Although I didn’t love it as much as I loved the first two, it was a good ending. I don’t want to spoil it, but I will just say that I approve of the ending. I am sad the series is over, but I am so so stoked to read the Cole spin-off. It was a fantastic series and I am so glad I was able to read it. Do I recommend reading it? Yes.

Book Review: Shiver

Some days seem to fit together like a stained glass window. A hundred little pieces of different color and mood that, when combined, create a complete picture.

shiver_maggiestiefvaterTitle: Shiver

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

# of Pages: 390

Published: June 1, 2010

Rating: 5 Hearts

Synopsis:

the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf–her wolf–watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn’t know why.
the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace…until now.
the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it’s spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human–and Grace must fight to keep him–even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.
 [Goodreads]

My Opinion:

I honestly have no words to describe this book. It was wonderful and an absolute joy to read!! I had seen the series around, but only decided to read them, because I joined a Read-A-Long. There was a whole ten days set aside to read this book and I finished it in four. I wasn’t sure what to think about the book at first with it being about werewolves… it seemed a bit too Twilight, but it was nothing along those lines at all.

What I liked:

The male lead, Sam. He was such a refreshing character. Lately, the books I read have had such strong, obsessive, dominant male characters, but Sam Roth, although a werewolf, was so vulnerable and sweet. I wouldn’t say he wasn’t strong (he was a freaking wolf!), but he was tender, thoughtful, and liked to read books. Definitely my new literary crush. “I had planned a thousand different versions of this scene in my head, but now that the moment had come, I didn’t know what to do.”

The recognition that the main female character’s obsession with the wolves was unhealthy. This may seem like a strange thing for me to mention, but I felt that one of the greatest things about this book (in comparison to Twilight) was that, yes, Grace had a weird thing for the wolves that lived in the woods behind her house, but the author made sure to have her friends mention that it was odd and unhealthy. Of course, later on you learn why, but I liked how it didn’t encourage the behavior.

The author’s take on werewolves was so interesting and unlike any I had read before. I don’t want to ruin too much, but to have their changing be due to weather instead of just whenever they want made for a great story and causing them to have an “expiration date” added a nice touch as well.

It is rare when I like the female lead of a book. I normally always fall for the guy, but I liked Grace. She had a pleasant personality and didn’t do anything that made me hate her. “Her eyes flicked over the shelves, seeking possibilities for escape.” Maybe I liked her, because I could see a little bit of myself in her. Not only did she like to read, but she was also an introvert. “We’re introverts. We like doing nothing together. All talk, no action.”

What I disliked:

In complete honesty, I enjoyed this book so much and I didn’t write down nor can I think of a single thing that I disliked about this book.

What I thought overall:

This book was fantastic. It was a quick read, but it was so well written. Some of the sentences, I had to read more than once, because they were just so good. The characters were so real and likable; I couldn’t find anything about it to rant about. I can’t wait to start the sequel! Do I recommend reading it? Yes.