Sunday, May 29, 2016

Illuminae Book Review

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff



This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes


Holy...Wow. I'm pretty sure that Jay Kristoff summarized this book better than anyone, "ILLUMINAE is the classic story of girl meets boy: Girl Loses Boy: And Parents: And Planet: and Ends Up on a Cripples Spaceship: with a Mad Computer: and a Deadly Virus Outbreak: in the Middle of an Interstellar War." Illuminae is one of those books that are really hard to talk about without spoiling something. 
“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.” 

The way this book was put together was a work of art in itself. The creativity that was put into this book, everything from computer programming to teen angst, was incredibly entertaining and very engaging. The formatting for the AIDAN and the way 'he' thought and processed things, was probably my favorite; especially during the space fight scenes. AIDAN really made this book what it was.
“Am I not merciful?” 
The human characters were so real and relatable that you couldn't help feel for them. The way the ship captains lead their ships and worked through the crisis was realistic and slightly heartbreaking. They were having such a hard time but had to do everything in their power to hide the worst of it from everyone else. What made matters worse, was the forced enlistment of all capable bodies into the army. I just couldn't deal with everyone getting even more separated. 
“She is catalyst.She is chaos.I can see why he loves her.” 

In the end there was just so much that pulled your emotions in so many different directions, and the story was just awesome. I can already say this is going to be one of my favorite reads of the year. Definitely a good read for those whom love Science Fiction and adventure stores. (5/5)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters I Defend/Unpopular Character Opinions?

As Always Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam at thoughtsontomes All past topics and the rest of March topics can be found on the Goodreads group page.
While trying to think of characters I defend it occurred to me that I rarely defend characters. Usually I just straight up dislike characters that everyone else defends. So I decided to mix the T5W topic of 'Characters I Defend' with my 'Unpopular Character Opinions?'. Hopefully this isn't a complete disaster.

AIDAN from The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I realize that some people don't like the AI because 'he' is a little disjointed and hard to read. I, on the other hand, loved AIDAN, I thought 'he' was kind of awesome. Than again, Portal is like one of my favorite video games and it has a few crazy AI's in it, so I might be a little biased. But I still thought 'he' was brilliant.

Boromir from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Boromir was a weak fool. But when you think about it, he was under a spell and everything he did, he did for his people. I actually liked Boromir.

Winter from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
I know that there are a lot of people out there who liked Winter, but holy guacamole, I wanted to skip over a lot of her scenes. I get the kind of character she was, but her naivete was just a bit too much for me.

Jebediah Holt from the Splintered series by A.G. Howard
If you've read the books you know exactly who Jebediah is very suckish. UGH. I'm pretty sure most people realllllly don't like him.

America and Aspen from The Selection series by Kiera Cass 
I didn't get passed book 2 in this series for one main reason, I could not stand the main characters. Yeah, the story was nothing special, but it was the characters that really turned me off of the series. Most of them where winy, annoying, overly indecisive, and frustrating to read about. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Haunting Of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie Book Review

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl #1)
by Paige McKenzie and Alyssa B. Sheinmel



Something freaky's going on with Sunshine's new house . . . there's the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine's always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . .

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can't help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.


Usually, for me when it comes to YA ghost stories they tend to fall flat, being very predictable and ending a little to nice. This story was not the same. McKenzie made sure her story had layers, was set a good pace, and left you wanting to know more. The overuse of 'creepy' definitely fits in when describing the book.
“I prefer creeptastic,” Mom answers with a smile.” 
The book starts with Sunshine and Kat's move to Washington. I really enjoyed the description of the desolate streets; no children playing, houses practically silent. The moment they pull up into the driveway and the house comes into view, Sunshine immediately has a reaction to the 'creepiness' that it seems to have over it and the seemingly never ending dullness of everything. One of the things I really enjoyed was that the story as a whole was the pace at which the story is set, with 'paranormal' things happening basically right off the bat, the first few chapters really drawing you in.
“Mom was just teasing when she asked whether I felt safe being left alone in a haunted house. But now I know: once you move into one, you're never really alone again.” 
I will say that the first third or so of the book was definitely pretty creepy, but after that I felt like it lost some of its momentum. You start to learn more about Sunshine's past and some of the other players that are making things happen behind the scenes. Which, don't get me wrong, add much more depth to what would otherwise be a pretty normal, 'creeptastic' ghost story, but the story sort of sways into something much more than your average ghost story, which is both kind of exciting, but also a little frustrating. Once you learn more about what is going on, what everyone is capable of, and who's behind certain things that are happening, much of the story begins to loose its creep factor. (Like when you learn how a magician does one of his tricks.) I mean, towards the end it stops being about the haunting and more about Sunshine's 'destiny'. Which of course takes a little bit away from the whole ambiance of the story, things begin to become kind of convenient and even more predictable. In the end, the twists and turns made the ending just a little bit disappointing. But! I will say that I absolutely loved the stalking mentor. His perspective was always fun to read and though I was kind of mad about one of the things he does to Sunshine (in regards to boys), I found him quite entertaining. 
Overall the book was a fun read but far from fantastic. The writing was relatively armature, only being saved be the overall feeling of the book and the story-line. (3.5/5) - Can't decide.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday: Summer Reads

As Always Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam at thoughtsontomes All past topics and the rest of March topics can be found on the Goodreads group page.
Summer. The time of year where you don't (usually) have to worry about classes or socializing. A season of reading, sunshine and pretending like fall will never come. I mean, if you dream hard enough it won't come right? Personally I absolutely love summer, not just for vacations and the lack of judgment received for not being as productive as usual, but for the smultering heat and smell of sunscreen...don't judge. In regards to books, I realize that most people go for breezy contemporaries in the summer, but due to the fact that I'm just not into that kind of thing, I mean, the last thing I need is for someone to remind me of my perpetual singleness, I lean towards adventure and fairy tales. I wan't to be whisked away to fantastical lands and plunged into worlds that are a far cry from ordinary. Anyways, let's just get into what I would say are some of my favorite summer reads.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - A romantic classic
I don't know if it's because I watch the movie more often in the summer than any other season, but I like myself some Jane Austen in the summer, my favorite being Pride and Prejudice. Usually I'm not into romances of any kind, but Austen's stories always have more to them than the boy getting the girl. Plus, like I said, I watch the movie way more often than I probably should. Sorry, not sorry. (Review

Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter - An adventurous, fun read
The Jackaby series, so far, has been such a fun read. The play on Sherlock Holmes with a twist of supernatural is just, for lack of a better word, fun. I've written reviews on both Jackaby and Beastly Bones if you want to know more about why I love them so much. Side note, book three, Ghostly Echoes, comes out this year and I'm pretty darn excited! 

Yes Please by Amy Poehler - A humorous memoir
I'm sure I've said this before, but I freaking love Amy Poehler, and her book is so great. In fact, it would make such a great summer read because it's light and humorous, plus, because it's a memoir, it's easy to pick up randomly without having to worry about forgetting whats happened so far. Because I enjoyed this book so much when I read it in January, I'm considering reading Bossypants by Tina Fey this summer. If you've read it let me know what you think about it, or if there's another similar book you think I should pick up. (Review)

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine - Fairy tales, especially those written by Levine
So far I've read Fairest and Ever by Levine and I've really enjoyed them both. She's great when it comes to easy to read fairy tale books. I've actually been meaning to read Ella Enchanted by her, and obvious classic, but, like many other books, it's just been sitting in my TBR pile forever...maybe this summer will be the summer.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - An adventure full of far away places and exciting new things
Did I cheat for mentioning The Hobbit? I mean, isn't this the most obvious. The Hobbit and the LOTR series are never a bad idea in my opinion. Actually, I might go to Australia for a few months at the end of the year and have been debating on rather or not I should take The Hobbit with me. Opinions? P.S. Random thought; I've never noticed this cover before, but I actually really like this editions cover. 

What are some of your favorite summer reads, and is summer your favorite season? 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bookish Influences: Peter Pan

Peter Pan is one of those classic stories that we all know. It's magical, full of adventure, flying, and fairies. Plus, the Lost Boys never grow up. What more could a young chap want? Because the story of Pan is such a classic it's had an influence in many things, from music to films, from plays to retellings, and so much more. Because I'm currently in the progress of reading the book Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum I thought I might discuss some other things I'm currently really enjoying that have been influenced by the wondrous J.M. Barrie's original story.


There are so many wonderful Peter Pan based movies out there, form the classic Disney movies to Hook (with the legendary Robin Williams) to Finding Neverland (with the fabulous Johnny Depp). Plus, let me know what y'all think of Reese Witherspoon being Tinkerbell in the live-action Tinkerbell movie.

The live-action Peter Pan movie that came out in 2003 used to be my obsession when I was younger. It was actually the first movie I ever saved up to buy. (I say saved up because I was like 7 at the time). I bought the movie and even the matching watch, which I wore everyday, Even now I still love this movie. The magic has definitely not worn off yet, I mean, I do still believe in faeries after all.

On a more recent note, the movie Pan came out last year that was a great new take on the story. Not gonna lie, I thought the pirates singing was pretty funny and I really like the whole pirate kidnapping thing they did. (which kind of sounds wrong when you say it out loud). I mean, the whole mining in Neverland concept and the pirate buying children (okay, still sounds kind of wrong.) Plus, the soundtrack to it was pretty great, and soundtracks can really make a movie, so A+ there. 


Of course, TV has had to have its spin-off mini series as well. I know a lot of people are part of the Once Upton A Time fandom that has it's one Hook and Peter Pan and such, but I don't watch the show so I'm just going to skip over that one. 

Then there is the SyFy network that has a tv show or movie based on basically anything, don't even get me started with the Sharknado movies...Anyways, in 2011 they came out with a pretty damn entertaining mini series that I really really liked. Everything about it definitely screamed magic, plus it had some pretty great actors in it as well; Keira Knightly was Tinker Bell which is pretty awesome.


Fun fact, I'm always listening to music. I probably spend a little too much time looking at music on Spotify, but it's actually how I got the Idea to create this post in the first place. My goal for the music part of this was to find some Peter Pan influenced music that wasn't from the movies.

My favorite song created from the magical tail has got to be Neverland by VanLadyLove. This song capture so much of the classic story and I just love it. 

Another wonderful Peter Pan song that I listen to a lot on Pandora, especially when I'm reading, is Lost Boy by Ruth B. 

And last but not least, a song I found while writing this post. Sadly I couldn't find it on youtube, but I had no problem finding it on Spotfiy- Neverland by Hailey Gardiner


We all love a good retelling. So here are some Peter Pan rettellings that I am dying to read. A lot twist the fun and magical original tale into something much darker. Oddly, I kind of dig evil Peter. But, if you know of any other good ones I don't have listed let me know, I'm sure I missed some. 

7514925The Child Thief2608552022840374

And while were talking about books, can I just mention that I found the most beautifully illustrated version of Peter Pan ever, by MinaLima? The illustrations in this book are to die for. It's got a map, tinker bells wings, and so many other gorgeous things! I absolutely love it. 

I know there are a crazy amount of plays/musicals out there as well, but that's not really my thing so I don't think I could accurately talk about them. (not that I ever really know what I'm talking about) If you know of any other great movies, music or book that I didn't talk about, let me know!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters I'm Most Like

As Always Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam at thoughtsontomes All past topics and the rest of March topics can be found on the Goodreads group page.
This ended up being a lot harder to do than I thought, it's true what they say, it's much easier to judge other people than it is to judge yourself. Regardless, I think I did an okay job at it. Maybe?

Abigail Rook from the Jackaby series by William Ritter - Pointing out the obvious
Seriously, I may have a problem, but I'm always pointing out the obvious. Especially when something very obvious goes unnoticed. I can;t help it, 

Alina Starkov from the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo - Can be naive to what's going on around me. When I'm not pointing out the obvious, I'm being incredibly clueless. Like I can be talking to someone who I know is a pathological liar and I'll still believe every word they say.

Lucy Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - Trusting and very loyal.
I trust just about everyone, probably to a fault. Unless you do something to brake my trust, I'll probably trust you with just about anything.

Arya Stark from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin - I like to stand my own ground and not stick to what everyone wants from me. I can be very VERY stubborn when it comes to my opinions and goals. If there's something I really want to do and I know it's achievable, I'll do it.  

Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by MArissa Meyer - I can be super sassy/sarcastic and I'm bad at showing my emotions. My sarcasm is a problem sometimes. No joke, a friend of mine in middle school actually signed my yearbook saying that she would miss my sarcasm. I probably do it a lot because I am down right terrible at verbally expressing my emotions. Eh, plus I just really like Thorne. *sly-smile*

Let me know what fictional characters you're most like! I would love to know, plus I like to creep on other peoples blogs...but I swear I'm not creepy. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Soundless by Richelle Mead Book Review

Soundless by Richelle Mead 


Goodreads Synopsis
 In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

This was the first Richelle Mead book that I've ever read and part of me wishes it hadn't been. I hear such great things about her work, such as the Vampire academy series and the Bloodlines series. Having read this book I can already tell it wasn't her best work, and I won't give up on her books as a whole because of it.
After first finishing the book I didn't really know how I felt. But now that I've collected my thoughts I'd say that, even though the book isn't bad or anything, I was disappointed with it as a whole. I expected more sacrifice, adventure, and journey. Much of the book was predictable and, compared to the rest of the book, the ending seemed a little far-fetched. Mead at such a good start to the story. The main character, Fei, regains her hearing, which is the beginning to a string of events that leads her down the mountain in which she was raised. So many, normal things, that you'd expect in such a journey, occur, and the fantasy elements of the book mostly all happen in the last 15 or so pages. Like, what? Honestly, it kind of confused my at first, almost like the idea was just thrown in there in the end because Mead wasn't completely sure how to end it. Even though, the story wasn't very strong, you could still get the feeling of what the village was like, and what they were going through. I do still wish there was some more world building and that she went more in depth into the characters, the villages past, and the line system as a whole.

“Look what we've done so far. We're pretty good at the impossible.” 
The characters made me feel so back and forth towards them. Fei was a strong female lead but sometimes she could be so incredibly indecisive and naive. Li Wei is exactly what you would expect in a love interest, and the sister, Zhang Jing, is so clueless and has obviously given up to the point you want to slap her, hug her, than tell her to stop being so negative. Though I did enjoy the characters to an extent, I wish that they had more depth to them.
“Some things don't need words. Sometimes it's enough to just feel. You don't have to label and articulate all that's around you.” 
In general the book was just alright to me. I really enjoyed the play on Chinese mythology and some of the turns that Mead took within the story. It was a fast paced, short read, that was good for someone like me who was just getting out of a reading slump when I was going into this book. Oddly,  thinking about the book now, it almost reminds me of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. Please tell me I wasn't the only one who thought this... (3.25/5) 

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Reflections Of Queen Snow White by David Meredith Book Review

The Reflections Of Queen Snow White by David Meredith


Goodreads Synopsis
What happens when "happily ever after" has come and gone? 

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven's fiancĂ©, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing: 

The king is dead. 

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old. 

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means? 

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
My Opinion 

This was an interesting take on Snow Whites life after the "happily ever after". In this story, Snow has aged and lost her dear Charming. This loss had sent her into a seemingly unending depression that she can't escape, causing her to shamingly ignore her daughter Raven. One of these days, over a year after Charming's passing, Snow stumbles upon her Arglist's (her step-mother) magic mirror. It is the mirror that shows Snow parts of her life that she had tucked deep into her memories, teaching Snow that there was more to her than her deep love for her late husband. It show's flashbacks of what it was like for her growing up under Arglist's rule, how she was practically shunned and wore a burlap sack in place of proper clothing. The mirror reminds Snow how she used to have strength within herself that she has apparently forgotten. 
I enjoyed so much about the story. For one, I appreciated how Meredith incorporated German into names and places. I for one though Charming's full name was pretty great; Charming Von Gerechtigkeit Von Freide Von Gnadenbrot, Crowned Prince of Geschictia. I mean c'mon, that's pretty great right? Also, the story itself was very realistic, it showed that there is no such thing as perfect and how even though you can whole heatedly love someone, you have your own strength to rely on as well. Also, Meredith nailed the length of a fairy tale quite well, it wasn't too long, but it was also not so short that the details weren't ignored.
Though I enjoyed the story greatly, I did have a few problems with it as well. For one, I found a few grammatical errors within the story that momentarily distracted me. That, and when the mirror was speaking to Snow, I feel like there could have been a significantly less amount exclamation points in his (it's?) dialogue. Oh! and for goodness sake I did not expect Snow's story to be so violent. Holy cow, it was a little crazy. Especially when they go on about harming's wedding gift to Snow...let's just say Arglist was in a world of pain when that went down. That and the gruesome details of Snow's poisoning, that's a whole other thing. Don't get me wrong, what happened to her is a hell of a lot more realistic than the prince waking her up from a long sleep with nothing more than a kiss. Either way this book was better than I expected, a fun read for those who enjoy fairy-tales. (3.5/5)

I know this gif didn't really have anything to do with this review, but I just thought it was funny...Comment if you know where it's from, so I know I'm not the only one.

**This book was generously given to me by the author for an honest review** 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors I Want To Meet At BEA And Bookcon

To be honest, narrowing it down to just 5 is a pain in my ass. The only author that I've met before was Maggie Stiefvater, and that was before she became the amazing author she is today, I'm talking, when she was first writing The Wolves of Mercy Falls series (I'm pretty sure it was about the time that Forever came out). Anyways, it was a while ago, before The Raven Cycle was even a thing. Long story short, at the time, I had no idea who she was and I wish I could go back to that time and buy all her books and get them signed. But I digress. Here are the 5 authors I want to meet the most if I were to go to BEA or Bookcon, which, sadly, I'm not.

@Joan Allen Photography
1. Pierce Brown - Bookcon 
I would probably have a total fan girl moment if I ever met Pierce Brown, which says a lot. I'm the kind of person who's good at keeping their composure in such situations but I don't think I could around him. His writing is so wonderful. I can't wait until I finish the Red Rising trilogy and he releases Iron Gold.  

Marissa Meyer
2. Marissa Meyer - BEA - Heartless
Another wonderful writer. I would probably read any book she releases no matter what it's about. But can we talk about not only how awesome The Lunar Chronicles was, but also the fact that Heartless is coming out soon and that she's writing a new series, The Gatlon Trilogy. I am so pumped for her next work!

Leigh Bardugo
3. Leigh Bardugo - BEA - Crooked Kingdom 
I've read the first few chapters of Six of Crows (lol I may or may not have been in a bookstore), but she has such an interesting writing style and her worlds are just so intriguing. I can't wait to see what other worlds she creates in her books as she diverges from the Grisha world and into something new.

Maggie Stiefvater
4. Maggie Stiefvater - BEA - The Raven King 
With one of the most unique and poetic writing styles, who wouldn't want to meet her? That, and the fact that I would like to meet her now that I actually know who she is and what amazing things she has written. Let's just say I would like to redeem my naive self.

5. Ransom Riggs - BEA - Tales of the Peculiar 
Okay, though he may not be my favorite author, I'm starting to really enjoy his work. I'm Currently reading Library of Souls, the third and final book in the Miss Peregrines Peculiar Children trilogy, and I really am starting to get into his writing. It's like the more he write the better it gets. That and he just seems like a cool guy. 

I will say that these aren't the only authors I would really enjoy meeting, but since I sort of have to choose 5, (not that I always stick to that rule) these are the authors I would probably want to meet the most. Especially Pierce Brown. if I had to only choose one, I would choose him with no hesitation.