Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

6186357My Rating: 4 stars

Date Read: July 27, 2014

Source: Purchased ebook

Publication Date: October 6, 2009

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genres: Young adult, dystopia

Summary (taken from Goodreads): "If you ain't scared, you ain't human."

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Review: It's difficult for me to write about this book, mainly because it's so complex. There's so much mystery, it's hard to review without spoiling something. This whole book leaves the reader wondering, guessing what is happening and what might come next. Every time a question is answered, several more form.

I enjoyed reading this, frustrating as the lack of answers could be. At first the whole world was extremely confusing and hard to get into, especially because all of the characters were thrown into "the Glade" without memories or any idea what to expect. It's difficult to learn about a world that's so blurry in the character's minds, and even by the end of the book I wasn't convinced I knew anything.

An important thing going into this one is patience. It's a book that I, at least, wanted to take my time with and really think about. I found it a great read when I took time off to theorize and consider what could be happening. Also, the lack of answers can be confusing if you're looking for a quicker read - even though it is pretty fast-paced and can be read quickly.

I'm also very glad I did a buddy read on this one - reading with someone else encouraged me to keep reading in the beginning, when I might have put the book down otherwise. If the beginning of this one doesn't hook you right away, I would encourage you to give it another shot - maybe try 50 pages or so before making a decision. It took me awhile, but by the end I really liked this one.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?


This is a review copy - the book comes out August 5th. I actually started it later than usual, thinking it was a novel in verse and I could speed through it. Actually, it's a regularly-written novel and not the easiest read, either! I'm really excited to review it, though, because so far I have a lot to say.

What did you recently finish reading?


I really enjoyed this one, although the beginning was rough for me. My review will be up tomorrow if you're interested in my thoughts about it.

What do you think you'll read next?


I put this one on hold while reading The Maze Runner, since that one was a buddy read and I couldn't finish this before the start date. I'm really enjoying it and didn't want to rush through or read it alongside any other books.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Here is a link to the Top Ten Tuesday information from The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From. For the sake of not counting ebooks (which is my main form of reading), I'm going to make this list only using books on my read shelf. So according to Librarything, here are my top ten most-read authors:
  1. Meg Cabot. I have only read one of her series, however The Princess Diaries contains 14 books. 10 novels + 4 novellas/short stories, I believe.
  2. Lauren Oliver. Surprisingly, there is a huge drop in numbers here - 14 all the way down to 6! Again, I've only read the Delirium series - 3 novels and 3 novellas.
  3. Sarah Dessen. I was actually surprised to see that I've read 5 Sarah Dessen books. I grew tired of her writing (probably through reading too many of hers in a row) and never went around to her other books, although I've wanted to for some time.
  4. Gayle Forman. Also one of my favorite authors! I've read 5 of her books, one being the novella from the Just One Day duology. The only book I haven't read is her oldest.
  5. Nicholas Sparks. Although I haven't read him in years now, he did make the list with 4 books.
  6. Lois Lowry. Again, four books. I read the entire Giver series pretty recently!
  7. J.K. Rowling. I'm probably the only one who's only read 4 from her. Don't worry, I'm planning to continue the fifth book next month!
  8. Maggie Stiefvater. I've read the Shiver series, as well as the companion Sinner. (4 books.)
  9. Ann Brashares. Another author I stopped reading, but soon plan to return to! I've read the first 3 books in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series and really need to plan a reread and complete the series!
  10. Susanne Collins. I've read the Hunger Games series - 3 books!
There's the list! There were plenty of others tied with three books as well, but I listed just the ones that came first on Librarything. If you're curious, others with three books were Robert Frost, Richelle Mead, Liz Reinhardt, Rainbow Rowell, Shakespeare, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Let me know your top authors (or link to your post!) in the comments!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is a weekly event started by Should be Reading where you share the books you’ve found throughout the week. These don’t have to be purchases, just books that you added to your TBR.

Here are the books I’ve added to my TBR this week:

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Neither of these have been released yet, but I've heard such good things already. Those with ARCs seem to love them and I can't wait to read them as well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?


I'm moving pretty slow through this, but am loving it! If you're looking for a summery read that focuses on friendships, this one is perfect.

What did you recently finish reading?


I really loved this one! My review is here.

What do you think you'll read next?


I began this one awhile back, but other books keep getting in the way. I really like it so far though, and am hoping to finish it this time around before starting anything new.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Readathon Wrap-Up

If you saw my TBR post, you know that I participated in two readathons this past week. One was a small one for a Goodreads group, and another was the booktube-a-thon.

Overall, I read half the books on my TBR (which only had four books) and a total of 5 books (3 of which were graphic novels) and 1,123 pages.

The books I read:
  • The Pirates Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • Saltwater Witch (Comic #1) by Chris Howard
  • Saltwater Witch Graphic Novel: Chapter 2 by Chris Howard
  • Nineteen, Twenty-One #1 by Yohan
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Booktube-a-thon Challenges Completed:
  • Read a book with pictures (graphic novels)
  • A book with red on the cover (The Pirate's Wish)
  • A book from the genre you've read least this year (graphic novels; I rarely read them.)
That's three out of seven, which I consider a success - especially since I wasn't really focused on the challenges while reading or even forming my TBR.

Goodreads Read-a-long Books:

Very few of these actually counted for my other readalong, since the graphic novels did not count. Still, I read two books and they were both ones I have waited to read for a bit now!

Overall Thoughts:

I did five days of reading for these, even though the booktube-a-thon lasted seven. (The other readalong ended earlier.) This weekend, I just wasn't in the mood to read and didn't want to push myself - after all, I don't need any kind of reading slump!

Anyway, I'm pretty proud of my reading, but I'm planning to slow down after this. I've been forcing myself to read more often since I began blogging, and I'm ready to slow down and take more time with the books I read. I'm still going to try to keep up the same review schedule - at least one a week - but I don't think that will be difficult.

If you guys participated in the booktube-a-thon, or another readathon, or just read this week, let me know what books you got around to! I hope you enjoyed your reading week as much as I did mine.

(Also, please note that graphic novels won't become a 'thing' for me and my blog. It was nice to try some out, and I plan to read them a bit more now, but I prefer words over pictures. Also, I am not comfortable at all writing long reviews for something I read so little of.)

Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

2My Rating: 5 stars

Date Read: July 17, 2014

Source: Purchased ebook

Publication Date: February 26, 2013

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Genres: Young adult, romance, contemporary

Summary (taken from Goodreads): Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.
Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Review: I was unsure about this book while reading the first few pages - and honestly, that's so difficult to believe now, because I loved it.

Eleanor and Park are so wonderful together. Even during the parts where they were just friends, they were so cute.

They were also realistic. Park cared too much about what people thought of him, and this didn't change. It didn't disappear because he liked Eleanor and suddenly didn't care about what anyone might think of him. I feel like that was really important, that the characters kept flaws through the story.
They didn't need to lose them to be great characters and people.

Even more important was Richie's character. For the first parts of the book, there were no real signs as to why Eleanor was afraid of him. Sure, he kicked her out - but that was all we knew. The rest came on slowly, building up later in the book. I think it's so important to show that not all abuse is obvious or plain to see. The fact that his neglect was such a key part of the abuse really stood out to me as well - it wasn't all physical, like most abuse in books seems to be.

I hated and loved the ending, in the way that I always hate open endings - but it was realistic and just as great as the rest of the story. Still, imagining what those three words could be is going to kill me!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Review: The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

My Rating: 4 stars

Date Read: July 14, 2014

Source:  Purchased ebook

Publication Date: June 18, 2013

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Genres: Young adult, fantasy, romance

Summary (taken from Goodreads): After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.

Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.

Review: I enjoyed this one so much better than the first. Ananna grew on me and there was a much more believable connection between her and Naji.

It was also a lot more enjoyable to read. It was fast-paced, a lot like the first, and maybe I just found it better because I could finally relate to Ananna - but another thing about this one was the side characters.

I loved the characters so much, and was sad to be parted from some of them. The manticore especially was my favorite; her and Ananna had such a strange, great friendship. I liked seeing her views on humans and her confusion. She didn't understand Ananna in a lot of ways, but her heart was in the right place and she did try to help her.

Overall, I think this was a great conclusion. A much better read after getting used to the writing style from the first book.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DNF Book Review - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

12700353I don't mark many books as DNF (did not finish). Usually I either force my way through them or forget about them all together, deleting them from Goodreads like I never began reading in the first place.

The real reason for this is that I don't feel right rating books I haven't finished. But, I recently realized, that doesn't mean I can't review them.

I'm not sure how many of these there will be, but I felt my opinion for this one should go someplace - most reviewers seem to love this one, and I've heard over and over how great it is, so I figured it would be nice to share a different opinion.

Onto the review:

I just don't see what made everyone love this one. I didn't relate to Greg in the slightest - which in itself isn't a bad thing. I enjoy reading about characters I disagree with and even dislike. Getting different viewpoints and reading from new perspectives is what reading is about. The thing is, I just didn't like his voice.

I read on hoping I could connect to one of the other characters, but I didn't enjoy Earl either from what I read of him (although I didn't get far enough to see how he was in person). And Rachel annoyed me a lot, probably more than Greg.

Many people have found this book funny, but I don't relate to the sense of humor. I'm not offended by it or anything - I just don't find it hilarious. A couple of times I smiled, but nothing more.

The script format threw me off as well, even though I've read books written that way and loved them. The writing style as a whole was repetitive and too flawed for me (although I recognize that these flaws are due to Greg's inexperience and the fact that this is supposed to be a book written by him).

Overall, this one just wasn't for me. And so many things didn't work for me that I had to write them here, because I feel like they aren't really mentioned in reviews - or at least not the ones I've seen.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

My Rating: 5 stars

Date Read: July 5, 2014

Source: Purchased ebook

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Genres: Young adult, paranormal, romance

Summary (taken from Goodreads): Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

Review: So many people have said that Cole and Isabel were their favorite characters in this series, but I never felt that way. While reading the trilogy it actually took awhile for them to grow on me, especially Isabel.

Of course, they did grow on me. I was very excited when I heard about Sinner, and it didn't disappoint. Cole and Isabel's story felt so incomplete before, and this gave them a much better ending.

I liked reading from their perspectives. The way people annoyed Isabel, like her cousin, when they had really done nothing wrong. Cole being so full of himself. Their emotions were alike at so many points, it was difficult to see them apart - stubbornly still not being together.

The writing style added to this as well. I haven't read the author's other work (although I plan to), but I've loved this whole series so much.

The only flaw is that it didn't feel completely wrapped up at the end (although it did come close, and I did enjoy the epilogue).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Readathon(s?) TBR

This is a little late, but I am participating in two readathons starting tomorrow. I thought I'd just do a quick post with what I'm hoping to get read this week! The first readathon I planned to participate in was the booktubeathon - even though I am definitely a book blogger, with no plans to make videos, the challenges seemed like fun and I was originally going to post my TBR for this a week ago. This one is from July 14-21. The second is for a Goodreads group I am in, which is a few days shorter: July 14-19. This one doesn't have any challenges; the only requirement is to start and finish the books within the time frame. I am pretty likely to change this up a bit, but here are the books I plan to read:
  • The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke: This one covers one of the reading challenges - a book with red on the cover. I also really want to finish this after reading the first book.
  • Blood Promise by Richelle Mead: I really want to get back into this series. I've also been wanting to read bigger books lately, so this should give me a start at that.
  • The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta: This one has been sitting around awhile, and it also completes one of the challenges - read the genre you've read least this year. I don't read a lot of adult fiction.
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: With the release of Landline, I really want to catch up with these books. I plan to read this one during the week and Landline within the next month or so.
That's about all I'm going to plan. If I finish these, I'll probably read more of the Vampire Academy series or pick something else up. Hopefully that book will complete one of the challenges, since I only have 2/7 on here! Also, one of the challenges is to have someone choose a book for you - so if you guys want, feel free to comment below with a book or two and I'll choose one of those to add to my TBR if I have time!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is a weekly event started by Should be Reading where you share the books you've found throughout the week. These don't have to be purchases, just books that you added to your TBR.

Here are the books I've added to my TBR this week:

Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
I really don't know much about this one, but the cover is adorable! I found it while searching Goodreads.

Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott
I entered a giveaway for this one. Although I didn't win, at least now I know of the book! It seems pretty fast-paced and action-y which is exactly the kind of book I've been looking for lately.

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
I don't remember how I found this one, but I do like the cover! (That's probably what caught my attention.)

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
This is probably the one I'm most excited for. The only real thing I know about it is that chocolate is illegal - which sounds too awful and interesting to miss! It seems pretty unique and I'm hoping to get my hands on it soon.

Book Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Rating: 3.5 stars

Date Read: July 1, 2014

Source: Purchased ebook

Publication Date: October 2, 2012

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Genres: Young adult, fantasy

Summary (taken from Goodreads): Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn't really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together.

To break the spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks--all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic...and the growing romantic tension between them.

Review: The writing style for this one took a lot of getting used to. I'm used to proper grammar and am picky about it, even in real life. It was appropriate, because Ananna was a pirate, but it was still difficult for me to read at times. I feel like it pulled me from the book a little.

It was also a bit difficult for me to connect to Ananna, or even Naji, although I did prefer his character to hers. Her voice felt detached to me and I believe I would have enjoyed the story more if it weren't in her point of view. The romance felt forced as well and I really didn't see it coming, but this might have been a lack of understanding and relating to Ananna's character.

I did enjoy the plot, though, and the characters were unique - even if I couldn't relate to them as much as I'd like to. I really want to know what happens next, and will probably read the sequel soon. I do wish the ending had wrapped up more, even if there is a sequel, but it wasn't too bad.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

I have wanted to read this one awhile, so I'm pretty excited to get into it. I've heard really good things!
What did you recently finish reading?

This one was a pretty fast-paced read. Review coming next week!

What do you think you'll read next?

I opened this book awhile ago and realized I really like the format, so hopefully it'll be a good one.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Here is a link to the Top Ten Tuesday information from The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's theme is Top Ten Blogging Confessions.
  1. I am awful at scheduling posts. Top Ten Tuesdays are a good example of this - they can be written ahead of time, but the soonest I've written one is the day before. My newest goal is to write everything out Sunday night for the following week, but we'll see how it goes.
  2. I worry about my blog content. Recently I've been thinking about how to make my blog more original. I'm not quite there yet, but hopefully I can think of something soon. Right now, I don't find my blog any different from other book/review blogs, and I don't want to continue that way.
  3. I don't read as many reviews as I'd like to. I think a huge part of writing reviews (or writing anything) is to read what others have written. I'm not following that many blogs and I don't check the book review tag as much as I think I should.
  4. I request books too often. I recently joined Netgalley and have been accepted for 9 books. Out of these I have read 2, and most of them come out in September. This isn't a huge amount but I still think I should have reconsidered requesting so many at once.
  5. I have tried making banners and icons for the blog more times than I can count. They never turn out the way I want them. Luckily, the blog is Books and Kittens meaning I could choose a picture of my kitten for my icon and not feel too lazy for it.
I'm going to end it there. To be honest, those were pretty hard to come up with. I don't think I have ten of them!

Feel free to link to your own post or let me know your confessions below!

Monday, July 7, 2014

FinishIt-A-Thon Wrap-Up

I didn't do as well as I hoped during the FinishIt-A-Thon, but I'm not disappointed either. Today was supposed to be another update, however I wanted to read a new book yesterday that doesn't count for this readathon - so I'm counting it as zero pages read.

To start off, here are my update links if you missed them:
In total, I read 490 pages. It's about what I read in an average week, and I was pretty busy, so I think I did well! I also varied from the readathon a bit and started a couple of other books, which didn't help my page count for this.

If you want, let me know what you've read this week in the comments!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

FinishIt-A-Thon Update: Days 3 - 6

Day 3:
  • 44 pages of Sinner
  • Total: 44 pages
Days 4 & 5:
  • No reading! (Which would explain the lack of updates!)
Day 6:
  • 223 pages of Sinner
  • Total: 223 pages

There will be one last update included in my wrap-up post for this readathon, which will come sometime on Monday.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you'll read next?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Here is a link to the Top Ten Tuesday information from the Broke and the Bookish.
This week's theme is top ten classics I want to read.


1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: I'm in the middle of an audiobook of this one and hoping to finish by the end of the summer.

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: I've wanted to read this for awhile, but for some reason I haven't gotten around to it yet.

3. Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allen Poe: So many times I've thought about starting this, but it's huge! Maybe after I get a couple of others out of the way.

4. The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit: I honestly don't know much about this one, but have wanted to read it for awhile now. It's been on my Goodreads TBR for months!

5. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery: This one's on hold right now, but I want to finish it soon along with the rest of the series.

6. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I want to read multiple books by this author, but this is one I'm hoping to start with.

7. Emma by Jane Austen: I really want to read everything by Jane Austen, but this will likely be my next.

8. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: Another one I've wanted to read for a long time but never got around to.

9. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: Nearly read this one earlier this year. I'm really not sure what changed my mind, but I ended up picking another book instead.

10. The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett: I've read two books already by this author and loved them, so I really look forward to this one.

FinishIt-A-Thon Update (Days 1 & 2)


Day 1:

Day 2:

  • 147 pages of The Assassin's Curse

  • 20 pages of Sinner

  • Total: 167 pages

*Not finished reading for today yet! Plan to continue Sinner.