Halloween Reading Round-Up (Mini-Reviews)

I only read 3 of the 6 Halloween-ish books I set out to read in October. That makes me 50 % successful (see — glass half full thing). Part of it is being a mood reader and also this weird thing I’m going through. I really enjoyed the books I picked so I decided to round them up in one post and, at the end, talk about if I think they were good Halloween reads.

 

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs:

What It’s About In A Sentence: Jacob’s grandfather has always told these tales about his life growing up that were filled with strange and unusual things but, when his grandfather dies, he realizes maybe they were not tall tales and embarks on a journey to find the orphanage where his grandfather grew up.

What I Thought: This book was delightfully strange & wonderful. The cover made me think it was going to be kind of scary but in fact, honestly, the bottom of my purse right now is probably scarier — this is more of a fantasy/supernatural-y kind of story. I really enjoyed this one and really marveled at the brilliant writing and storytelling and it’s a book I would hand to people who think that YA isn’t well written. Despite the fact this book wasn’t scary like I thought it would be, it still had a perfect Halloween vibe. The photographs that are scattered about the book really added to the story,  the depth of the characters and the general feel of this extraordinary adventure. There’s magic, strange happenings and this mystery that is just woven so carefully and so smoothly that you can’t help but find yourself mesmerized. I didn’t know what to expect at first and was curious about these tall tales that Jacob’s grandfather seemed to tell and then when Jacob starts questioning if they are made up stories I was just absolutely enchanted by this life he lived. I cannot wait to see what the sequel holds in this incredibly unique series.

 

RATING:

RATING-loved-it

 

 

The Fall by Bethany Griffin

The Fall by Bethany Griffin

What It’s About In A Sentence: Madeline’s family, The Ushers, are cursed — they are plagued with strange illnesses, are not able to leave the house that seems to haunt them and watch their every move and nobody knows how to free them from it.

What I Thought: This one was creepy but not scary! It’s inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of The House of Usher and I was a little familiar with it but not enough to really know what was going to happen. The writing was fantastic and I was drawn in immediately to this sinister house and its history though there were points that were kind of slow for me..like really slow. If I’m honest I’m still a little confused as to what happened at the end for sure and also I THINK I get what was behind everything but also maybe not? As far as atmosphere goes, this book had it. PERFECT book to curl up with on a cool Fall day and just get lost in the life of a girl who lives in this house where strange things happen and whose family has this mysterious illness that eventually kills them. The house became its own character really. I will say that sometimes, while interesting, the storytelling — the chapters alternate from Madeline at different ages — was hard to keep track of and I’d have to flip back to double check what age we were at. This book would definitely be a great movie and when I kept reading I was visualizing so many scenes and the setting of everyone room and of the exterior of the house and outside of the house. Very creepy and I’m glad I read it around this time!

 

RATING

RATING-LIKED

 

 

Rooms by  Lauren Oliver

Rooms by Lauren Oliver:

What It’s About In A Sentence: A family comes together to clean out the house of estranged patriarch and secrets and the past hurts come unearthed as the ghosts of the house, wrought with their own secrets, watch on.

I really liked this one! Lauren Oliver is such a great writer and I think her adult debut was very solid. It’s definitely different than her YA and I think those looking for exactly THAT could be disappointed as this is definitely more character driven and more of a slow paced story but it really worked for me. It was NOT scary at all if that matters to you. There are ghosts but it didn’t feel like a typical ghost story and definitely explored some emotional things. The family dynamics were fascinating — a family comes together to clean out the house of house of their ex-husband/estranged father. All 3 of them are carrying their own burden and secrets and then the other two perspectives we get are the two ghosts that inhabit the house who have their own secrets they can’t let go of.  The multi-POV’s can seem daunting at first but I really enjoyed the perspectives from the family members and also the ghosts because ALL of their threads in the story were SO fascinating to me and I got swept up in them and the ever so slightly unraveling mystery. Lauren’s writing is just so haunting and beautiful and so full of depth.

RATING

RATING-reallyliked

Overall Scare Factor Of My Halloween TBR reading:

So none of the books I read were super scary. The Fall definitely was creepy and atmospheric but not scary — definitely takes the cake for “scariest” out of these . Rooms wasn’t at all creepy or scary and the ghost element wasn’t of the scare variety. Miss Peregrine’s was delightfully strange and all the magic and supernatural elements made it a great Halloween read. They all, though The Fall & Miss Peregrine’s more strongly than Rooms, had that FEEL of a good Halloween read.

I will say next year I’m hoping to add an actual SCARY book into my reading experience (hit me with recs in the comments!!) but I’m really pleased with the books I chose for my Halloween reads! So if you want solid, non-scary books but still have that FEEL for your Halloween reading I’d check all of these out!

 

What books have you read so far in your Halloween/October reading? Any REALLY scary books to recommend to me for next year (or just good recs in general)?

Not A Slump But A SOMETHING.

I haven’t been in a slump lately but I’ve been in a SOMETHING that has me reflecting a little bit.

I tweeted this recently:

 

Screenshot at Oct 27 19-59-34

It’s not that I’m not excited about books (I am!) and I haven’t been reading bad books but it’s just more so that I’m indifferent to whether or not I read each day in the past couple of weeks. I’m not racing to read the books around me and I don’t really care if I’m picking up a book to be honest — I don’t give it much of a second thought.

I’ve confessed that I don’t always read EVERY day though most of the time I at least get a little reading in. I might go a couple days without reading and I’m FINE with that. I like to go where my whims take me. But after a couple of days I’m normally CRAVING it — though I will say that it wasn’t always that way before blogging.  I went a lot longer in between books (I also read a lot less books per year). Of course it’s much easier to not feel bad about not reading when you physically don’t have TIME to read…as opposed to the fact I’m just choosing not to. And it feels weird that it’s lasted this long.

And it’s funny, even though I don’t need to read every day and am okay with that, I start to feel weirdly panicky after this many days. I sat here recently kind of laughing at myself — WHY AM I STRESSING ABOUT SOMETHING FUN? Who cares how many books I read per year? Who cares if I haven’t read in 2 weeks as long as I’m enjoying what I am doing in the meantime? And even though I have a lot of “OTHER” posts that aren’t book talks…it still is hard to run a book blog when you aren’t really feeling SUPER DUPER EXCITED ABOUT READING.

And I came to the realization that I think a lot of times it is easy to let the blog run you. To forget WHY I created this blog. I started this blog to chronicle my reading journey. I don’t read so that I can blog or FOR my blog. But it’s easy to get wrapped up in that and let the two be so intertwined. So intertwined that it feels like, “OH I have to read so that I have things to post/I’m a book blogger..this is what I do” or a similar sentiment. It’s easy to let the blog schedule (yeah, I don’t have one bc I’m a mood reader) or the ARCs or new releases or the blog tour you said you’d do start to dictate what you read and how you read. To let the fact of being a book blogger make you feel like you need to read faster and more often and almost superhumanly. (End of year counts stress me out so I think about this instead).

 

It kind of has the beginnings of an existential crisis of sorts. What happens if I feel like this for an extended amount of time? WHAT HAPPENS? Will this all be over? WHO AM IF I DO NOT HAVE A BOOK IN MY HAND? And that’s when I have to stop myself from spiraling out of control and worrying about something so silly. I am a person with many interests and passions that change and fluctuate and grow.

So, while I’m sitting here in the midst of WHATEVER this is, I’m just trying to remind myself that this IS my reading journey. This is part of it. And I’m just going to let it take me wherever it does. I will not let the act of blogging dictate my reading. I will not try to force myself out of whatever THIS is.  I mean, maybe that’s part of my problem right now. Maybe I’m burnt out on the way blogging does affect my reading life even when it’s not necessarily in a BAD way?

 

I’d like to know:

1. Do you read every day? Does it bother you when you don’t read?
2. If you are a blogger, do you sometimes feel like your blog runs you a little bit?

Ten Characters I’d Love To Dress Up As For Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Characters I’d Want To Dress Up As For Halloween

I’m imagining a fun Halloween party in which all my bookish friends are dressed up as book characters. HOW FUN WOULD THAT BE?

In other Halloween fun: Last year I actually made 10 costumes INSPIRED by books if you want to check that out — I did a whole photo set with how to put that costume together.  Last week I dressed up 5 of my favorite YA couples in couples costumes for Halloween. Can you guess who was Google Maps? Han Solo and Princess Leia?

YA-halloween-costumeshalloween-costume-YA-characters

Manon Blackbeak // Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas: If you haven’t read Heir of Fire yet, you don’t even KNOW the awesome that is Manon. She was a character I wasn’t sure that I was going to like but she won me over. She’s a witch and she is badass. Bonus points for a wyvern.

Linh Cinder // Cinder by Marissa Meyer — I actually put together this costume in my “costumes inspired by books I’ve read” post but I totally want to be a cyborg mechanic. Cinder is badass.

Celaena // Throne of Glass series: Caelana is a badass assassin and I want to be her. OKAY.

Sam McKenna //  Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley: It’s not often that I encounter a main character in contemporary who has that PHYSICAL badassness that I come across so often in fantasy/dystopian lit. But Sam? SHE IS THAT. She is one of the toughest people at her military academy even when the boys club is against her and trying to make life unbearable for her. One year I’m pretty sure I DID dress up in some military stuff my stepdad had so this would be easy. And Will could be my very own DRILL.

Mary Howard // Brazen by Katherine Longshore: I’m sorry but I’m just picturing the pretty dresses from Reign and it would be fun to dress up like a lady of King Henry VIII court!

Katniss // Hunger Games — Let’s just be honest…I want to carry a bow and arrow around.But can someone braid my hair because I SUCK at it?

Clara // Unearthly by Cynthia Hand: I loved this series and I would love to dress up as Clara when she is an angel (not the normal teenage girl part of her life) and I would SOOOO try to make Will dress up as my very own cowboy.

Elizabeth Bennet // Pride & Prejudice: I’d pick something that resembles the dresses Keira Knightly wore in the adaptation.

Eleanor // Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard: It would be so fun to wear a Victorian era dress & a parasol.

Maddie // Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: I actually made a Code Name Verity costume (very easy to make) but I would love to go as Maddie and be a fighter pilot for the night…something that I would NEVER do in my real life.

So tell me…which characters from books would YOU want to dress up as at my fabulous bookish Halloween party?

Before I Blogged I Read: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

There’s a lot of books I read before I started this blog in June of 2010 and I figured it might be fun to spotlight those! They won’t be an actual review because OMG YOU GUYS THAT WAS SO LONG AGO but I’ll just note a few things about it, if I enjoyed it and what my Goodreads rating was. So thus “Before I Blogged I Read…” was born. Because you know…I’m so original with my names for things. Check out PAST “Before I Blogged I Read” posts.

 

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

 Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

(Amazon | Goodreads )
Rating: I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads
Date I Read it: September 2008
Genre: Literary Adult Fiction

What it’s About:

Nice year old Oskar is precocious, bright an inventor and someone who definitely sees the world with a different lens. Oskar has also just lost his father who was killed during 9/11. After his death, he finds a key that was his father’s and he is certain that finding what it goes to will solve some sort of mystery and will maybe help his mother in her grief. He sets off to find what the key belongs to and how it relates to his father and meets people all across the city. Other chapters are letters telling another story that gives a bigger picture to the members of Oskar’s family.

THOUGHTS:

1. THIS IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS & I FELT ALL THE THINGS READING IT:  This was the book that got me back into reading in general (you should check out my reading history to get an overview) after not having read much in high school and college. It was one of those books that was the most all-consuming experiences that I hadn’t felt in a LONG time when I did read books here and there. I DEVOURED IT. I lived it. I bawled. I belly-laughed. My heart tore and twisted in ways in the way that only a special book can do to you. I’m honestly afraid to reread it for the reason I explain here. I mean, I got a lot of other people to read and love it but a close friend of mine read it and was like, “that was the most pretentious boring book I’ve ever read.” DAGGER TO THE HEART I TELL YOU. But, for me, this book was everything and more.

2. Oskar will be one of the most memorable characters ever. Oskar is just one of the best characters that always makes my heart flip flop when I think of him. Precocious and honest and funny. I just adore him and my heart broke for him as he tried to solve this puzzle. I loved the way he saw the world. I loved his phrases and made-up words. I will still always use the term “heavy boots” for how I’m feeling some days.

3. Some of my all time favorite passages and quotes come from this book:  The way that Jonathan Safran Foer conveys even the simplest of things just really resonated with me and I dog-earred so many pages. I read the funny bits out loud to Will. The emotions and the little truths just really hit me. I really loved this author’s writing style and read his other book, Everything Is Illuminated, and enjoyed that too though less than this one.

Favorite Quotes:

 

“I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.” ”

 

“We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our families and our friends, and even the people who aren’t on our lists, people we’ve never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs and for cities, a pocket that could hold the universe.”

 

“Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.”

 “It was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn’t think about my life at all.”

 

Have any of you read this one? Did you like it/not like it? Tell me what you thought!

More reading:

Before I Blogged I Read: Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
Before  I Blogged I Read: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Before I Blogged I Read: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

In Which I Dress 5 Of My Favorite YA Couples For Halloween

I’m taking part in a fun blog event hosted by Great Imaginations today — their annual Blogger Trick or Treat! Prizes, Halloween fun and visiting new blogs — what’s not to love?

 

I LOVED Halloween as a kid. I loved the costumes but mostly I LOVED THE CANDY. My neighborhood had a lot of people who would give the king sized candy bars (JACKPOT) and I was always trading kids in my neighborhood for my FAVORITE non-candy bar candy — MILK DUDS. Anyone else love Milk Duds?? I always hated how they got stuck in my teeth but they were so worth it.

Now as an adult I just really love coming up with costumes. And every Halloween I try and get Will to dress up in a couples costume and every year he refuses me. So I decided, since my persuasive powers haven’t worked yet on Will, that I would create couples costumes for some of my favorite YA couples. (I’ve also come up with costumes based on books I’ve read!)

 

 

couple1

 

just-one-day

Allyson & Willem met in London and, in a moment of spontaneity, have 24 hours together in Paris. The story of two lost people who desperately needed to find themselves (and each other) is a personal favorite of mine.

costume

Silent-Film-Star-Halloween-Costume
11Photo credit here.

I picked silent film stars for Allyson & Willem! If you’ve read Just One Day you know that the first REAL conversation they ever have, after he insults her breakfast on the train, is about who she looks like which ends up becoming her alter ego of sorts that gives her the courage to be someone else for the day which is the catalyst for EVERYTHING that happens next.

“You know who you look like? Louise Brooks.”
I stare at him blankly.
“You don’t know her? The silent film star?”
I shake my head. I never did get into silent films.
“She was a huge star in the nineteen twenties. American. Amazing actress.

And then a few lines later:

“You look so much like her. I should just call you Louise.”
Louise. I like that.
“No, not Louise. Lulu. That was her nickname.”
Lulu. I like that even better.
He reaches out his hand. “Hi, Lulu, I’m Willem.”

And then a little bit later as she embarks on her adventure:

“And this is the truth, because I may only be eighteen, but it already seems pretty obvious that the world is divided into two groups: the doers and the watchers. The people things happen to and the rest of us, who just sort of plod on with things. The Lulus and the Allysons. It never occurred to me that by pretending to be Lulu, I might slip into that other column, even for just a day.”

 

 

couple1

wanderlove-costume

In Wanderlove Bria and Rowan meet traveling in Central America and Bria drops her tour group to see the world a different way with Rowan and his sister.

costume

P1020350Photo credit

I thought the cliched tacky tourists would be an ironic costume considering Rowan’s view on traveling and also because they met traveling and Bria was TOTALLY in a group like this before she meets him.

couple1

eleanorandpark

Eleanor & Park meet on the school bus, share some tunes which leads to MORE and pretty much just made my heart ACHE.

costume

hans-solo-and-princess-leia-star-wars-couples-costume

Okay I know. Why would I not go the music route considering this book? Because one of the lines I love SO MUCH relates to this. I kiiind of want it to be gender-swapped. Little inside joke between them?

“He pulled one of his arms out from under her and traced her outline against the couch. He could spend all day like this, running his hand down her ribs, into her waist, out to her hips and back again. If he had all day, he would. If she weren’t made of so many other miracles.

“You know?” he repeated. She smiled, so he kissed her. “You’re not the Han Solo in this relationship, you know.”

“I’m totally the Han Solo,” she whispered. It was good to hear her. It was good to remember it was Eleanor under all this new flesh.

“Well, I’m not the Princess Leia,” he said.

“Don’t get so hung up on gender roles,” Eleanor said.”

The actual end of that conversation ends like this so I guess maybe Boba Fett could work too:

“You can be Han Solo,” he said, kissing her throat. “And I’ll be Boba Fett. I’ll cross the sky for you.”


 

couple1

amyandroger

These two get thrown together being pretty much strangers and take a cross country road trip. What better way to get to know someone than some good tunes and the open road in front of you. Oh & Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour just exacerbated my own wanderlust/love.

costume

 

sgfswImage via Redditor narkeeso

Okay, I’m sorry but they met because of a cross country road trip and they absolutely have to be Google Maps because, besides good tunes, a map of some sort is essential.

 

 

couple1

 Anna-and-the-french-kiss

 Anna and St. Clair meet at their boarding school in Paris and made our hearts melt as they fell in love in Anna and the French Kiss.

costume

*WARNING: Spoiler for Isla and the Happily Ever After*

DIY-French-Chef-and-Croquembouche-Costume1-600x899Photo credit here. Cutest blog!

The costume I picked for Anna & St. Clair, because obviously France & the pastries tie them together, is a French chef & a croquembouche. I had always seen pictures of these tiered desserts and never knew what they were. But apparently a lot of couples in France have one of these instead of a regular cake. Spoiler: And given the fact that at the end of Isla they get engaged SOMEBODY WILL BE NEEDING ONE OF THESE! :)

Tell me some of your favorite literary couples and what Halloween costumes you would dress them up in!

 

Other reading:

* My Halloween TBR List
* Halloween costumes inspired by books
* 10 Halloween Reads
* A Very Fall Post

Book Talk: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Book Talk: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin TalleyLies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Publisher/Year: Harlequin Teen- September 2014
Genres: YA Historical Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Other Books From Author: None -- debut novel!
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

I received this from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1

It’s 1959 and a high school in Virginia is integrating. It’s told from the perspective of two teenage girls — one white and one black — who are in this middle of this fight for integration/segregation. Sarah is a senior and should be enjoying her last year of high school in choir and with her friends but she’s now part of the small group of students that are the first to integrate into the white high school where it’s clear she’s not welcome by all the protests, the assaults and the nasty words being thrown. Linda is also senior and her dad is one of the biggest voices against the integration. The two get paired together for a school project everything they have ever known about themselves and the world feels uncertain.
.

a2My heart. And also, MAN I love historical fiction and want to see even more of it in YA.

a4

1. When I studied history in high school I always wondered what the teens were doing & this book explored that for me: You always are talking mostly about adults in history class but I would always wonder things like, “I wonder what the teens were doing during civil rights or what was it like for them during these wars.” Lies We Tell Ourselves gives me exactly that. Yes, they were being teens and worrying about the dance and relationships and school but they also were very affected and influenced by the current events of the day. We got to see the prejudices they learned from their parents and the media and just how the decisions made by the adults affected them so intensely. I mean, the decision to integrate schools was something that affected the kids more than it did anyone else. They were at the epicenter of that and I loved that we saw just how quizzical teens were and how they explored their own opinions — just as teens do about anything.

2. It broke my heart in a lot of ways and was so hard to read because I knew, while this was fiction, this was a reality: Reading what the black teens who integrated into the white school had to endure just made my stomach hurt and also made me want to hug them all and tell them how brave they were. It’s always hard for me to read about any sort of oppression or injustices in fiction but to read about that 1) REALLY DID HAPPEN and 2) was in recent-ish history and not like hundreds of years ago just killed me. You realize how far we’ve come but also, when I see current events of today, how far we still have to go. Reading the scenes of being mobbed in the halls, having things thrown at them and knowing people wanted you to die shook me up physically. Robin Talley wrote it in such a way where it just reverberated off the pages — the hatred boiling, the fear, the yells echoing. SO real.

3. I really loved watching both characters interact with each other because it felt pretty realistic: You can’t hate Linda — even when she does the wrong thing over and over again and is cruel and obviously racist. At least I couldn’t. So much of coming of age is also figuring out stuff for yourself vs. what you’ve always been told. When your parents believe certain things, they are easily rubbed off on you and that’s what we see with Linda. I loved watching her and Sarah interact and the curiosity that was there in both girls and started crumbling the walls that had been erected by society. Truthfully I thought this was just going to be a novel about two girls navigating a friendship when they weren’t supposed to so I was a little thrown for a loop when I realized it was more of a romantic thing. I think it was a lot to explore in one book considering both prejudices but Robin Talley did it well.

 

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ story, writing, FEELINGS
- No real criticism just maybe didn’t feel as head over heels as others despite really liking it.

Re-readability: Probably wouldn’t.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Maybe not for myself because I wouldn’t re-read/it wasn’t a favorite but I want this to be on the shelves of every high school and YA section in the library.

a5fans of historical YA fiction, people looking for fiction dealing with civil rights, readers looking for LGBTQ stories, anyone looking for a powerful story

a8Lies We Tell Ourselves is a powerful story that really reminded me how brave people are and that’s how change happens — standing up for what is right, figuring out WHAT you think is right for yourself and not being afraid to have a voice. Sarah and Linda were two brave characters navigating this battle of civil rights and it really made me wonder about all the real, unknown acts of bravery during this time that helped change happen. I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it!

review-on-post-it

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
Have you read any books set in this time period you could recommend me?
*

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

In Theory I Like Re-Reading

I talked before about how my re-reading habits have changed before I was a blogger and then when I became a blogger but I have been thinking a lot about re-reading lately and why/why not I don’t do it.

In theory I would say I am pro re-reading but in practice? NOT SO MUCH.

 

Why I Don’t Re-Read:

1. TIME, my TBR-list & also the desire to experience new stories — This is the biggest factor & honestly I need to get over this. As a blogger I have these shiny new review copies that always seem to take up my time and I don’t make TIME for re-reads which is a shame. I’m always so stuck in the whirlwind of new releases that I don’t think about it. And it’s not even that I think “oh, well I won’t have anything to blog about” because I have NO problem blogging about a re-reading experience…it’s just I’m so stuck in the world of new books. And not even just NEW releases but just any story I’ve never read before. It’s always so EXCITING to read something you’ve never read before and I always love meeting new characters and going on new adventures.

2. I’m sometimes afraid they will not hold up to what I first thought: It’s a scary thought to me. That I could read a book love it and then years later HATE it. That the words that once really resonated or a romance I fell for could just fall so flat. I mean, I get that I change and grow and so do my tastes but also sometimes I just want to have those good memories of the book. It would be a sad day to read a book I considered a favorite (especially a childhood favorite) and just dislike it so much.

Why In Theory I Like Re-Reading:

1. Cozying up with old friends is fun: Seriously, sometimes it’s just a comfort to settle in with characters you love or a story that left you breathless. I tend to always reread portions of favorites when I’m in a reading slump because they just remind me why I love reading.

2. As much as I’m afraid the book holding up, I get excited about the new lens I might view it: We are always growing and changing and the lens in which we view the world changes through experiences and such. I think it’s exciting to pick up on things I might not have before or see a character/the story in a different way because of the time that has passed and the ways I’ve changed since my first reading. Wouldn’t it be amazing to re-read a favorite book and then just have all these other elements and words change you all over again in a different way. I remember when I read Eat, Pray, Love at the age of 21-ish I immediately thought, “I want to re-read this book again when I’m 30.”

3. It solidifies the favorites: Yes, it sucks to not feel the sparks on a re-read but how amazing is it to be like YEAH THERE IS A REASON THIS IS A FAVORITE!! I want to read it over and over again!

 

What I Want To Do To Change My Re-Reading Habits:

In 2015 I want to re-read more. It’s that simple. I want to choose a book a month that was important to me or I considered a favorite (some will be childhood books so I know they will be quick reads) and re-read it.

I want to reflect on where I was at in my life when I read it vs. where I am now. How I remember thinking about it vs. how I do now. I want to not be afraid about the fact that sometimes we grown in and out of books. I want to not be afraid that sometimes a book is really important and shapes you at a certain point in your life when you need it but it’s okay for it to not be as meaningful upon a re-read. I don’t want to be afraid of not loving it this time around but rejoice in the fact it really meant something to me at one point but now I have books that do that for me now. I can acknowledge the impact. Remember it fondly. Be a little sad. But really I want to explore these books that shaped me and look at how myself and the world has changed since my first read.

I know I started to wax poetic there for a moment about something like re-reading but honestly it fascinates me that I will probably NEVER have the same experience reading the same book twice.

 

Some Books I Want To Explore In My Re-Reading Adventures:

I haven’t decided on ALL the re-reads I want to do but these I know for sure.

+ On The Road by Jack Kerouac — a favorite in college and I’m super curious if 29 year old Jamie will see it in the same way that pretentious 19 year old Jamie did. The Jamie who had all these fantasies for what life would be like and how it would unfold.

+ The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath I talked pretty personally about this and where I was at in my life when I read this book and I’m just really curious how I’ll see it vs. how 18 year old Jamie did in the middle of one of the single worst times in my life.

+ The Giver by Lois Lowry — This was my all time FAVORITE book growing up. I re-read it about 10 times as a kid.

+ Just One Day by Gayle Forman — This is a more recent one (Nov 2012 I think) so I don’t have a ton of distance from it but it really CHANGED my life. It’s a Gayle book so I know it will hold up! IT WILL.

 

So let’s talk about re-reading! Do you re-read often? Why/why not? Have you ever re-read a book and then it didn’t live up? Tell me anything about your re-reading habits!

In The Afterlight Giveaway (Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken)

I’m so excited to be able to share this giveaway with you — especially because there are SO many opportunities for you to win all across the bookish community! It’s a series I’ve been wanting to start  and I plan to carve out some time when In The Afterlight is out to binge read the trilogy and the novellas!

I get to offer you up a GREEN prize pack thanks to Disney Hyperion! Let’s get to peeking what’s inside this prize pack:

GreenPrizePack

Is that tote not the best EVER?

What you will win:

A custom Darkest Minds puzzle, The Darkest Minds series & the tote bag.

Giveaway Rules/Info:

US addresses only!
You must be 13 years old or older to enter.
Prize will be fulfilled by the publisher.
Ends October 27th at 11:59pm EST

How to Enter:

Leave a comment (with an email or a Twitter handle so I can get a hold of you) and tell me which one of the Psi powers shown below you would want to have (mind control, intelligence, electrokinesis, telekinesis, pyrokinesis):

isolated on white bright yellow sparks

I think my answer would be mind control. It would be SO useful. Why yes you WOULD like to give me all these books for free…why yes you will let me on this plane so I can take a vacation to Bora Bora.

 

About The Book:

Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Only Ruby can keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check. But with Clancy Gray, there’s no guarantee you’re fully in control, and everything comes with a price.

When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby rises up as a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam’s brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government “rehabilitation camps” all over the country. Freeing them–revealing the governments unspeakable abuses in the process–is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.

But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN, the disease that killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

About Alexandra

:AlexBrackenAuthorPhoto The Darkest Minds: In The Afterlight Giveaway [US Only]

Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia.  She recently relocated to New York City, where she worked in publishing and lives in a charming apartment overflowing with books.

Want more?

Visit Alexandra online at www.alexandrabracken.com

Follow Alexandra on Twitter & Instagram

Like Alexandra on Facebook

Follow Alexandra on Tumblr

Visit Hyperion Teens at the Official Site & on Twitter

Get The Books:

DarkestMindsseries

The Darkest Minds

In Time (e-book novella)

Never Fade

Sparks Rise (e-book novella) This one was JUST released last month and connected the last two books! A must read while you wait!

In The Afterlight

Be sure to keep an eye out for more giveaways from blogs representing the other colors!!

Top Ten New-ish Series I Want To Start

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten New-ish Series I Want To Start

For these purposes this is anything 2 years or newer (a little older than that for one). There are SO many series I am so behind on but these are the more recent ones that I want to jump on. Some have a couple books out and some just have one out so far.

Tell me which ones should be my priority in the comments (or Twitter or carrier pigeon, etc.)

TTT1TTT2TTT3

Splintered: Alice in Wonderland but like further up the family tree.
Rebel Belle: Southern sass + magic? COUNT ME IN.
Scarlet: Robin Hood retelling!
Wait For You: It’s time for me to read some JLA. Everybody says she perfects the romance thang.
The Burning Sky: Another fantasy series and everyone was been talking about the sequel (in a good way!)
Trial By Fire: Witches!! Also, I think semi-retelling of The Crucible? IDK IF THAT IS FACTUAL.
Taken: Dystopian series I’ve heard good things about and have been meaning to read!
Exquisite Captive: Inspired by Arabian Nights!
The Archived: Dead people rest on shelves like books and all their stories and lives rest there. VERY COOL.
Snow Like Ashes: Been really digging fantasy lately and this is a brand new series that just came out this month!

 

 

So tell me…which new-ish series have YOU been meaning to start? Any recs for me? Have you read any of these?

New To The Queue {7}

New To the Queue is going to be a sporadic thing around here wherein I tell you some of the books, movies, tv shows and bands I’ve recently added to my never ending queue of things to read/watch/listen to. For past posts, go here!

 

books-to-read

 

 

Every Breath Ellie Marney

 

Every Breath by Ellie Marney (Amazon // Goodreads)
Publication Date – October 14. 2014 (was out in 2013 in Australia)

Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list: It’s Aussie. I saw that Mands liked it and I ALWAYS add the books she loves to my shelf because she keeps me in the loop with the best Aussie books. And lately I have seen EVERYONE talking about it.

What It’s About: A guy and a girl, who are neighbors, find the body of a friend in the Melbourne zoo and realize something is not right with the scene and the guy, who is a troubled genius and interested in forensics, begs her to help him investigate. They find themselves in some trouble as they follow the trail. I also this there is romantic element to this thriller?

The Body Electric

The Body Electric by Beth Revis (Amazon // Goodreads)
Publication Date- October 6, 2014


Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list:
I really like Beth Revis and want to support her decision to self publish this nove.. Plus it sounds SUPER GOOD.

What It’s About: Ella has a unique gift, with the help of technology created by her mom, wherein she can enter people’s dreams and memories and help people relive happy moments. Then things start happening: shes asked to use her ability by the government who wants her to influence the minds of strangers, she starts seeing strange things like the memory of her dead father and then the leader of the rebel group is certain he knows her and they once loved each other but she has no recollection of who he is. 

 

Perfectly Good White Boy

 Perfectly Good White Boy by Carrie Mesrobian (Amazon // Goodreads)
Release Date: October 1, 2014


Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list:
It was on my radar because I liked Carrie’s debut Sex & Violence. But it was Estelle’s review that made me officially add it to my TBR.

What It’s About: I’m not too sure to be honest. I know it’s a character driven story that follows the senior year of a guy who gets dumped by his girlfriend who is leaving for college, is poor and whose future is so uncertain but he knows he wants to get away from his dad.

 

Your Perfect Life

Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke (Amazon // Goodreads)
Release Date: June 2014

 


Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list:
I think it was a “you also may like” to a book I liked on Goodreads.

What It’s About:  Okay this pretty much the female version of The Change-Up (with Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds). The two main characters have been bffs since childhood. One is a single, workaholic who gets to be around celebs all day while the other is married and the mom of three kids. They get into a fight at their high school reunion, take some shots to salvage the night and wake up in each other’s lives.

netflix-to-watch

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Tiger Eyes

Why I Added It To My Netflix Queue:  I saw it when I was scrolling Netflix and I was like OMG THIS WAS MY FAVORITE BOOK WHEN I WAS A PRE-TEEN. I didn’t realize it had been made into a movie.

What It Is About: “Following her father’s murder, a teenager goes to stay with relatives in New Mexico and falls in love.”

 

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Peaky Blinders

Why I Added It To My Netflix Queue: Will and I finished watching The Killing (LOVE THAT SHOW) and it recommended this to us.

What It Is About: “Tommy Shelby is the charismatic leader of a Birmingham, England crime organization known for its distinctive and lethal razor-brimmed caps. As the ambitious, deadly Tommy leads his crew to ever-greater success after World War I, they come to the attention of a chief inspector who is sent from Belfast to rid the city of its criminals.”

 

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Remembrance

Why I Added It To My Netflix Queue: I like a good romance and I do like watching foreign films.

What It Is About: “A married woman faces an emotional crisis when she learns that the former lover who rescued her from a concentration camp 30 years earlier is alive.”

 

music-to-listen-to

Broods- Evergreen

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Why I Added It To My Musical Rotation:  I feel like so many of my Monthly Rewinds have included a Broods song on the music portion of it. Every single they put out I fall in LOVE with. THANK GOD THE FULL ALBUM CAME OUT THIS MONTH.  Favorite songs thus far: Honestly the singles I’ve been listening to still are —  Mother & Father, Four Walls, Bridges, Never Gonna Change

Hozier – Self Titled Album

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Why I Added It To My Musical Rotation: Hozier is another one I always seem to talk about in my Monthly Rewinds and FINALLY this month the full album is out. This album is PURE PERFECTION. Not a bad song.  Songs you should check out first: Take Me To Church, Like Real People Do, From Eden, It Will Come Back

Milky Chance – Sadneccessary

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Why I Added It To My Musical Rotation: Another October release! I’ve been really digging Stolen Dance, Down By The River (shared on my June Monthly Rewind) and Flash Junked Mind since the singles were each released so I couldn’t wait to see what else they had!  Fave songs besides the 3 I just mentioned: Fairytale & Stunner

If you want to catch what I’m listening to…follow me on Spotify! Let me know who you are so I can follow back and check out youuur music!

lets-talk

YOUR TURN! Tell me one book you added to your TBR list recently! Tell me a movie/tv show you added to your must watch list! Tell me a new band/singer you just added to your musical rotation! Also, have you read/watched/listened to anything on my recently added list? Or did I make you add something to YOUR queue? Tell me, tell me!

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