Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#27)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It showcases upcoming titles that we are currently awaiting.
A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)
This week's selection is...
A Darker Shade of Magic 
by V.E. Schwab

Synopsis: Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit. 

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Books I Would Read If I Had a Book Club

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They give bloggers a topic and we say our top ten things that fall under that list. This week's topic is the top ten books you would read if you had a book club. I don't have a book club, but these are the books I'd love to read if I did. 

1. Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin: None of my friends have read the Game of Thrones books, and I would love to discuss this with more people! 

65472582. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson: There is going to be a read-a-thon for this book on 
YouTube later this year, and I can't wait to read it and discuss it with people! 

3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: I need a push to read this book, because sometimes reading classics intimidates me. 

4. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke: This is another book that I would need the push of a book club to read! 

5. Winger by Andrew Smith: I think that this would be a really fun book to discuss with a group of readers. 

Winger (Winger, #1)6. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: I just wanted to throw this book in here, because I really want to re-read it!  

7. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: I need encouragement to read this chunky one, but I know I'll love it when I do! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

Sapphire Blue (Precious Stone Trilogy, #2)
Title: Sapphire Blue (Precious Stone #2) 
Author: Kerstin Gier
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt 
Source: Own 
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it:  Book Depository

Synopsis (Goodreads): Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

My Review
I was really looking forward to reading Sapphire Blue. Ruby Red left on such a good note, and I was so excited to read the next installment. Since this is the second book in the Precious Stone trilogy, there will be spoilers for the first book, Ruby Red. 

The first thing I noticed right off the bat when I was reading Sapphire Blue was the romance. It was insta-love, and it happened right at the end of Ruby Red and carried into Sapphire Blue. I don't like insta-love, so that really peeved me that it was in this book.

I felt like this book wasn't as captivating as Ruby Red was. It was slightly bland, but still interesting and energetic. Not as much happened, and there wasn't very much drama.

The characters were still good. Gwen is still trying to understand the time travel gene that she was born with, and is still slightly naive. I'm still trying to figure out Gideon's character, but I'm thinking that I like him. And of course, Lesley is still the best friend that anyone could as for.

Rating: 4/5 worms

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#26)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It showcases upcoming titles that we are currently awaiting. 
The Way We Bared Our Souls

This week's selection is....
The Way We Bared Our Souls 
by Willa Strayhorn

Synopsis: If you could trade your biggest burden for someone else’s, would you do it?
Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to make the biggest sacrifice of their lives.
Lo has a family history of MS, and is starting to come down with all the symptoms.
Thomas, a former child soldier from Liberia, is plagued by traumatic memories of his war-torn past.
Kaya would do anything to feel physical pain, but a rare condition called CIP keeps her numb.
Ellen can’t remember who she was before she started doing drugs. 
Kit lost his girlfriend in a car accident and now he just can’t shake his newfound fear of death.
When they trade totems as a symbol of shedding and adopting one another’s sorrows, they think it’s only an exercise.
But in the morning, they wake to find their burdens gone…and replaced with someone else’s.
As the reality of the ritual unfolds, this unlikely group of five embarks on a week of beautiful, terrifying experiences that all culminate in one perfect truth: In the end, your soul is stronger than your burdens.

What are you waiting on this week? Let me know down below! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Books That I Want to Read Right Now

Top Ten Books That I Want to Read Right Now
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They give bloggers a topic and we say our top ten things that fall under that list. This week was a freebie, so I decided to go with the top ten books that I want to read right now! 

1. Vicious by V.E. Schwab: I've wanted to read this for so long! A book about villains? Sign me up!
2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: I've never read a book about Scotland, and I've only heard good things about it. 

3. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons: I've been really in the mood for historical fiction lately, and even though this book is over 800 pages, I really want to read it! 

4. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: I read this book back in 2012, but I'm really in the mood to read it again and finish this series. 

5. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin: I read A Game of Thrones two years ago, and I'm in a fantasy mood right now, so I need to pick up this book now! 

6. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson: I've been wanting to read a Morgan Matson book for so long, and this one has been calling to me. 

7. The Diviners by Libba Bray: I love Libba Bray's books, and this one has been sitting on my shelf for too long. However, I hate the new cover. I mean, why would you mess with the perfection of the first cover? 

8. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray: The idea of parallel universes just draws me in!  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Title: Ruby Red
Author: Kerstin Gier
Release Date: May 10th, 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt
Page Number: 336
Source: Own
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Book Depository

Synopsis (Goodreads): Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

 My Review
So, this book was basically amazing. Not gonna lie. It was an extremely fast read that I flew right through, and I was mesmerized the whole time. 

This book was about a Gwyneth who can time travel. That's basically all you need to know, besides the fact that this book was so action packed that I didn't want to put it down. I was drawn into the world of time travel instantly, and I didn't want to leave. However, I will say that I felt like this book was really short, even though it is the first book in the series. 

I was really worried about reading a book that had been translated. Yes, I'd read translated books before, but not knowingly. I was afraid that somethings in this book would get lost, but that wasn't the case. I understood all the references and the dialogue and writing wasn't choppy like I expected it to be. Guess I can leave those stereotypes behind next time I jump into a translated novel. 

Gwyneth was a good main character. She was strong when she needed to, but she also had the innocence of someone who hadn't been exposed to a lot of things, which I feel is rare in Young Adult literature today. As for Gideon, he drove me crazy half the time, but I ended up liking him in the end. The rest of Gwyneth's family was just a giant soap opera, and it was hysterical to read about. And Gwyneth's friend Leslie was everything a best friend should be: loyal, caring, and imaginative. The characters get a gold star. 

Rating: 5/5 worms

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Waiting on Thursday? (#25)

So, I forgot to post my W.O.W. yesterday, so I'm posting it today. Better late than never, right? Well, anyways. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It showcases upcoming titles that we are currently awaiting. 
Made You Up
This weeks selection is....
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Release Date: May 19th, 2015

Synopsis: Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal. 

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

What are you waiting on this week? Let me know down below! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Discussion: The Shack by William Paul Young

Title: The Shack

Author: William Paul Young
Release Date: July 1, 2007
Publisher: Windblown Media
Source: Own 

Synopsis (Goodreads): Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!


Hey guys! So, I just finished reading The Shack, and I know what you're thinking. Lauren, isn't this a YA book blog? Well, yes it is. But, sometimes there are times when you want to branch out a bit and maybe touch on a subject that impacted you. This is one of those times. 

I initially picked up this book for the Popsugar Reading Challenge I'm participating in, to fulfill the challenge of reading your Mom's favorite book. My mom had been telling me how amazing this book is for about a year, and I was very intrigued. However, it wasn't something that I normally would read, so I kept putting it off. But, thanks to the wonder of reading challenges, I finally picked it up. 

Now, I don't really want to review this book. To review this book would take away all the beauty and messages that it has, and I don't want to do that. Instead, I wanted to just say that this book impacted me, and gave me a greater view on life and my faith. It has so many messages and themes in it, that it would be impossible to name them all without completely spoiling the book. I just wanted to say that I know everyone can find something for them in this book. I strongly recommend it. 

Rating: 5/5 worms
Just read it. You'll be glad that you did. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Ten 2015 Debuts

Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They give bloggers a topic and we say our top ten things that fall under that list. Today we're talking debut novels, so let's jump right in!

1. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga: This book just sounds quirky and weird, but also awesome! 

Made You Up2. Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett: This sounds intensely creepy, but strangely interesting. 

3. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia: The cover drew me in on this one, but a book about schizophrenia sounds really good, especially since I just watched "A Beautiful Mind". 

4. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley: Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. Does that not sound cool?

5. Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert: Another one with a cool cover and a really cool premise to back it up. 

6. I Am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore: Another twisted book, this one about revenge. This is definitely the theme for 2015! 

Everything That Makes You7. The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn: People trading sorrows, literally? That sounds kinda awesome. 

8. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra: I will read anything ballet, and this sounds like something I'll really like. 

9. When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez: Thirteen Reasons Why meet's poetry by Emily Dickinson? Count me in! 

10. Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay: This book is about what happens if things go differently in life, and sounds epic! 

So that's my Top Ten Tuesday, feel free to leave your's down below!   


Sunday, January 4, 2015

No More Chateau

 Today's post is a sad one for me, because today I'm talking about the closing of one of my favorite bookstores. No, this isn't an indie bookstore, but actually, a Barnes and Noble. But this Barnes and Nobles was special. In Rochester, MN, the old Chateau Theater was converted into a Barnes and Noble many years ago, and it was completely dazzling. Words can't do this place justice, so I'll just insert some pictures here.


Anyway, this bookshop was my favorite place to go when I was in the city; I would wander the shelves, look up at the starry sky, and gaze at the castle as I pondered my purchase. However, the Chateau Barnes and Noble has closed it's doors, and it's really saddening. I love supporting bookstores because I love to go to bookstores, especially this one. There is something special about walking through shelves of books and picking the right one for your mood at the moment, especially when you're walking through a medieval castle. I also loved getting something to eat at the Chateau Barnes and Noble and sitting down to read for awhile. The Chateau was mesmerizing, and I can't look at a normal Barnes and Noble the same way again.

The Chateau's future is still uncertain, but there is talk of it becoming a performing arts theater again. I hope this is the case, because this place is too historic to be closed forever. Tell me in the comments below if you guys have any historic bookshops in your area, because I would love to know.

Articles for more information:
What's next for the Chateau?
Barnes & Nobles closing the book on Rochester Store

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, Blog Changes?

Happy New Year! I hope that 2014 was a fantastic year for you, and I hope you're as excited for 2015 as I am. So, when I looked back on 2014 and made my list of booktubing resolutions for 2015, I noticed something. This blog gets neglected. I post one of two things a month if I'm lucky, and then I ignore it and focus on my YouTube channel. So this year it's my resolution to post more on my blog, preferably three times a week. I'm planning on posting my Booktube videos on here for you guys to see, as well as reviews, wrap ups, Top Ten Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesdays, and some other stuff that I'm working on in my brain. I might miss some days, but I'm gonna give this a try. Now, let's rock 2015!