Things to be Thankful For

Hey fellow book lovers! (Or nah, but then I don't know why you would be reading this) So with Thanksgiving coming up on us tomorrow I thought I'd do a little more personal blog post about things to be thankful for, but keeping it book related. So set aside the thoughts about shopping and sales and delicious turkeys for a second...(I know, it's hard), and here we go. 

1. Books

Of course, we start out with the plainly obvious. I swear without books I would have never become the person I am today. Books are my love, my joy, my escape. I'm sure if not anyone else, all of you know the feeling of drenching yourself in a good story. I thank you, books. Much love.

2. Libraries 

I often think libraries don't get enough credit. But to me, they are literally my haven. I feel so at home and comfortable in them. I can put a book on hold, and bam, it magically appears before me. Kind of. But seriously, praise all libraries. (and librarians) 

3. Goodreads 

I cannot express in words how much goodreads has helped me as a reader and as a blogger. I have found some of the best books on it, and have met some of the best people. It's crazy. I can keep up with so many books! 

4. Book Bloggers, Book Blogs, and Blogger

It's getting close to a year since I started this blog, and it's been super cool to see so many other blogs and get inspired by them, and find a community of people with so many similar passions. And well this blog wouldn't be here without Blogger.

5. Authors 

Authors are some of the best people ever. They are so relaxed and chill and comfortable in their own skin. I have been inspired by so many authors that I've met, and without them, the books that we know and love would have never come to life. 

6. Book Festivals/Book Signings

Anywhere that offers an opportunity to meet an author, I am thankful for. Without these festivals and opportunities, I would not have met so many inspiring, life-changing, awesome people and authors. I thank everyone who makes these things happen immensely. 

So that's what bookish things I'm thankful for. But putting books and all aside, let's all remember that we don't just get the holiday because we want to go shopping or get fat on food. Let's make sure we remember and think about the things we are truly grateful for, and how fortunate we are. Thanks to you for reading this! 

Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish where we post 10 of our favorite things in each category. 

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

1. Les Miserables
Yup. That's right. I'm going to somehow finish this 1200-ish paged wonder. I will. I will. I will....

2. Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
I am so excited to read this! Apparently it's about feminism and I am so pumped.  

3. The Death Cure
AGH. Must finish this series. Must. 

4. Throne of Glass
So much hype about this series and I'm really excited to start it.

5. The Spectacular Now
Still haven't gotten around to reading this, and it looks like a really cute book. 

6. Delirium
It's sitting in my room. It's waiting. W-A-I-T-I-N-G. 

7. The Young Elites
Love this author, and I would really like to read more from her!

8. The Testing
Hunger Games ripoff maybe? I can't say for myself because I've never read it. 

9. I'll Give You The Sun 
Another book I've heard a lot about. 

10. Give a Boy a Gun 
The few of my friends who have read this fell in love with it, and I would like to see it for myself. 

My TBR list is always so long, but that's the list for this tuesday? How bout you? 

The Impossible Knife of Memory Review

Title: The Impossible Knife Of Memory
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Blurb: For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

Me: Oh, the perks of an amazing realistic fiction book. They always make me feel so enthralled.

The Ups: There was a very gritty, real feeling to this book. First of all, I really liked the main character, Hayley. I've heard a lot of controversy over whether she was a very realistic character or just a drab, uninteresting one. I personally thought that she was very relatable. There was something about her character that made me really dislike her in the beginning, but she came to grow on me, and I ended up loving her. It was really interesting to make that journey to get to know the protagonist as a reader and experience what getting to know her was like. 

I really enjoyed the pure honest rawness of the characters. At occasional times, it irked me, I'll admit, but most of the time I was captivated by the characters and their tragic yet uplifting lives. Hayley refused to acknowledge much of her past, lost her mother and grandmother at young age, and now had to basically take care of her father. Andy woke up from nightmares most nights and was trying to pretend like everything was okay, when it wasn't. There were points when I hated some of these characters, but that was okay. They still felt incredibly close to me. 
The book left me with a feeling of conclusion, and it was a very interesting emotion. There wasn't a special uplifting, inspirational part to the story, nor a super tragic heart-breaking ending. The journey for the characters ended and I was just left with the feeling that I knew the characters' lives would have many problems, but they would end up all right.

The Downs: I just got so annoyed with the way Hayley described her fellow peers. A small factor, I know, especially with a book of this massive content, but it ticked me off that she saw everyone as either a "zombie" or  a "freak". First of all, her explanation of why she felt that way was illogical and stupid, and when she talked about her peers like that, it felt like she thought she deserved much better and that she didn't qualify into those categories. 
Other people seemed to have a problem with the PTSD being described as too stereotypically and unrealistically, but having no experience with such things, I found it to be fine. 

Overall: An enthralling, gritty story about a girl's struggle to find her own self while trying to care for others. 

Rating: 4...and a half kisses!

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait to Get

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish where we post 10 of our favorite things in each category. 

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get

1. Firefight
Counting the days until this comes out....!!

2. The Death Cure
Not exactly a sequel, but I'm so excited to read this! 

3. Fairest
Can I just say that I am absolutely obsessed with this series..? 

4. Winter
Again. Obsessed. UGH. I. Need. This. 

5. Son
Although I didn't really enjoy The Giver on certain terms, but I really loved the world it created. 

6. Crescendo
This cover is kind of beautiful. 

7. Pandemonium
Totally cheating because I haven't read the first one but I want to so bad...

8. City of Glass
I need need need to restart this series so I can finish it this time. 

9. The Elite
The dresses are so beautiful...EEK!

10. Pretties 
An old series, but one I haven't yet finished. 

Any other suggestions? 

Counting by 7s Review

Title: Counting by 7s
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Publisher: Dial
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction 

Blurb: (from goodreads) In the tradition of Out of My MindWonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family. 

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life... until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is that not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

Me: Strangely touching and an inspirational, tragically uplifting read.

The Ups: I really fell in love with the idea of this family and all the beautiful people in the story. The book covered a very dark, sad experience but I never felt heart-wrenchingly sad at very many parts in the book. I usually ended up with heart-warming and touching emotions during most of the book. The Nguyen family was amazing, and I loved every single one of the characters, especially Dell Duke. I think that was the very strong point of this book. All the characters were believable, adorable, relatable, and flawed. 
The plot, setting, and everything that went through Willow's mind just showed how a girl felt a sense of acceptance in especially difficult times. The book was about coping with death, but it seems more of a coming-of-age story for a genius girl.
Willow's way of perceiving the world was very interesting as well. I think that her as a 12 year old genius sometimes didn't really get across, but there were also parts where I felt true sympathy and true love for her different brain and the small ways she would express herself. 

The Downs: I feel like a bad person for saying this. I felt like at some points in the book it got too inspirational. Things happened that were kind of cliche and didn't seem very realistic. There were times where the events were symbolic and other times when they were a bit groan-worthy. There was a certain quality to the book that made me feel like it was almost surreal, and while I think that kind of added to the personality of the book, sometimes it was hard to relate.

Overall: An inspiring story that I truly fell in love with.

Rating: 4 kisses! 

Unwind Review

Title: Unwind
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Sci-fi

Blurb: (from goodreads) Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Me: Kind of disappointed after all the hype.

The Ups: I think I only really loved one thing in this entire book. The scene where you-know-who is getting you-know-what and I wanted to puke but at the same time it was so intense and awesome and terrifying and I really felt like I kind of got the feeling of the book. It took a lot of bravery, I think, to write that scene and it was just an absolutely amazing piece of writing.
I don't know what it was, but I really like Lev as a character. His struggle to make sense of something he'd kind of been brainwashed into thinking his entire life and the constant struggle of his character was very interesting.

The Downs: I heard so many amazing things about this book and everybody told me it was phenomenal, but to be absolutely honest it wasn't very good. I think the plot kind of dragged on and made me lose interest after a while, and I didn't like the writing style of Neil Schusterman. It was very drab and I couldn't get connected to any of the characters.
Some things that happened in the book seemed very fake and I just couldn't picture this world very well. I found the concept of Unwinding kind of stupid and I didn't get the entire concept of the book. 
The characters were also unbelievable and not very relatable. I didn't feel myself connected to them.
After reading the book, when I discussed it with different people, they all told me that the entire point of the book was that life was viewed differently in this world, but I didn't feel like that message got across to me at all. 

Overall: Alone in my stand that it wasn't worth the hype..?

Rating: 2 kisses! 

Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish where we post 10 of our favorite things in each category. 

Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

1. Hermione Granger
Hermione seems to have a lot of depth as a character, and I always wondered what went around in her head when she had to part with her parents forever, and what it was like to be segregated as a Muggle. 

2. Gat from We Were Liars
Gat is the outcast in the Sinclair family, and no matter how hard he tries, he can't fit in. I always wanted to be able to see inside his mind and see what struggles he encountered. 

3. Ridley Ducchanes/Sarafine
Yeah, I'm kind of cheating for this one because there is already a book out for Ridley. I absolutely adored her character though, and when this book came out I absolutely died. Now that I think about it, Sarafine might be interesting as well. 

4. Anden from Legend
Elector Primo...He gets super exciting and his character is so nicely woven in the second and especially the third book. I'm curious of his upbringing and his childhood.

5. Steelheart from Steelheart
What was Steelheart before he became the horrible Epic he was? Was he just a normal human being? How did his core change? I'm really curious as to how Epics work. 

6. Simon Snow books
I consider them a character...right? My guess is that they are based off of the Harry Potter series, but I would still love to read them . :)

7. Charlie from Please Ignore Vera Dietz
Something about Charlie as a character was crazy addicting, and every time his voice came on in the book I felt myself so intrigued in the character. 

8. Patrick from Out Of the Easy 
Can I just say that I totally had a crush on this character? (although obviously it wouldn't work, if you've read it, you would know) He was smart, adorable, fascinating, and I would totally read a book with him as the protagonist. 

9. Snape
I know we already got a bit of his story, but I would like for it to be elaborated even more. I loved Snape as a character, and he felt so real. 

Sorry I couldn't do all 10 this week, but any other suggestions?