Summertime Madness Book Tag

Wow, I realized I haven’t posted anything since Thursday morning! This weekend I took some time to go visit my college & my college friends ( a few of my best friends had to stay an extra semester…I missed them too much!). Since I was four hours away, in a house with NO air conditioning (but ya know, 90 degree heat),  and no WiFi….that means no blogposts for me! Also, my boyfriend & I tried to build a bunny cage when I got home…let me just tell you one thing: NO. Never doing that again, too many nails stepped on & wood splinters…plus we made the cage FIVE FEET too tall by accident…HELLOOOO giant man eating bunny friends, much? Not sure what bunny we were thinking was gonna be chilling in that cage….

Anyways, as much as I loved being with my friends, made me realize that their summer is over which means that MY summer of fun is over. Although I won’t be going back to classes this year (after 22 years of classes, this is weird), it just means that I need to get to a job. Which let’s face it, is twenty times worse than having to sit in a classroom. Don’t graduate guys! It’s a trap! (no really, enjoy school but real life can be fun…sometimes) Anyways,  I got this overwhelming feeling of sadness that summer was actually over. I love summer, summer and I have a amazing relationship where I am in a good mood 24/7 & everything is bright and happy.   (Sorry I babble so much on here…)

SO I was mega stoked when I came home tonight & saw a tag from Olivia Emily @ Bibliomad , who challenged me to a Summer Madness Book tag! Woo! I am summer stoked , because that means I can live in summer for just a few more minutes. I’ve never done a book tag…but why not?
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Review: Made You Up

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Release date: May 19th 2015
Purchased from Amazon
Rating : 3.5/4 stars ( leaning more towards 4!)
What is it about?

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 did I think?

Wow. That was my reaction after I finished this book & honestly, I am still trying to figure out exactly how I feel. I felt a lot while reading this and I won’t lie to you, this isn’t a simple read. It’s so complex, dealing with a mental disease like Schizophrenia, and it will tug at all those heartstrings. So, just stick with me as I try to explain to you exactly how I felt about this book & why I gave it such an iffy ranking.
I genuinely liked Alex, the main character, maybe it was because she’s someone that I’ve never read about before/ never seen before in YA. She has been dealt a serious number in life, but she was funny and she was real. There were so many times she said things throughout the novel that I was just like, “that’s great”and would laugh out loud. But, the thing about laughing out loud with this book is that afterwards I just felt sad for her. She makes a joke about the hallucinations that she sees, but it just really made me feels something for her. I felt how desperate she was whenever she couldn’t distinguish between the real & the fake. The writer just did such an amazing job at highlighting the difficulties that people with Schizophrenia deal with every day. I really truly felt that I had a better grasp on what this mental illness was and I just wanted to jump in the book & hug Alex so hard. That’s what makes this book so heavy, her life is not easy at all and I just wanted everything to be okay for her.  I also had a love/hate relationship with her parents. There was a part of me that kept saying, “she just needs you to show her whats real & for you to be supportive!!” but then another part saw inside Alex’s brain & knew that she was struggling and I understood their reactions & understood why there wasn’t a clear answer for how to deal with things. That didn’t stop me from disliking them, just a little bit.
I don’t want anyone to get t he impression that this  book is heavy the entire time. It is mainly comical, as the relationship between Miles & Alex is complex & also a hilarious. The pranks that they pull on each other had me cracking up and also wishing that I had the guts to pull off something like that.Their relationship isn’t instalove and I think that a lot of people would appreciate that. In fact, they actually really really hate each other and at some points I truly believed they were going to rip each other apart. Let me just tell you, Alex is not a girl to mess around with. If she doesn’t like you or your attitude, well she’s not afraid to stick up for herself. I think that I need to add that to another reason why I enjoyed this book. Even though Alex deals with something really serious, she doesn’t take the bullying and she comes right back at people who try to give her shit. She sticks up for herself and for others, honestly I really admired her for that.

Why did I not give it such a awesome ranking? Well, it’s really hard to explain because some of the things that I loved also are tied up with the things that took away from the book. The hallucinations were so well done, but at the same time I was very confused about a lot of things in the book. There were times where I thought that everything was real, only because she did such a good job at making them real, but then it was just so far out there that I kept saying “is this really a thing?” So I kept having to go back and figure out what had just happened. Also, I loved the relationship between Alex & Miles, but at the same time Miles as a character confused me. I just didn’t get where we were going with him. He does such a 180 degree turn from how he’s described in the beginning of the book that I kept wondering how I was supposed to feel about him. (Which could have been the authors way of having us feel how Alex usually feels–confused & unsure about what is real). Also the school had me questioning what was happening in the book, I’ve just never even heard of a public school that acts the way this one does & no one questions it. I don’t want to say too much about the conflict in the story, but also that had me saying what the heck?? The story itself was amazing with Alex’s journey, that I felt the second conflict was almost unneeded and took away a lot from the story.

I could go on and on about this book, but the simple fact of it is that I had so many mixed emotions. It’s such a beautiful book, it really is, but there were just so many things that left me feeling one way and then another *which sometimes a GREAT thing in a book, just means amazing writing!!* but in this one I just found myself unsure how to feel. I would say pick this up. Its deff a book that needs to read & loved, and you should form your own opinion on it. I would even recommend it to my own friends, I still really really enjoyed reading it just cause I felt this protectiveness of Alex. Also, the dialogue in it is pretty damn funny & witty. I wouldn’t go into this book thinking you’re going to be depressed the entire time that you read it. It’s truly a one of a kind read & I want you all to give it a try!
Hopefully you were all able to follow my thoughts! 🙂
If you’ve read it, what did you think??? Also, that ending….ugh my heart. Did you like the way it ended??

Waiting on Wednesday

Hi all! Waiting on Wednesday is hosted over at  Breaking the Spine! This post will be all about giving the spotlight to some fabulous new books that we all can’t wait to get our hands on!
( Before finding this post, I did one of my own earlier in the week, so I won’t be highlighting any of those books! If you wanna check it out, just look at my other blogposts!)

Since I don’t actually have a picture of the cover yet ( right now there is just a filler cover, but I am dying to see what it’s going to look like!) I decided to go ahead and post a adorable picture of my boyfriends dog. (If he ever sees this blog post he’s probably going to question why I didn’t put MY dog up instead of his…..Kota just wasn’t feeling the picture taking love today, had to take your doggie Wes!)  That’s the Pup that you see across the top of this post! Okay….on  to the actual important stuff, books!

What am I excited for!?
Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare
March 8th, 2016 ( Summary from Goodreads!)

Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica

Why am I excited?

I have been following Cassandra Clare since the first release of her Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones. She is hands down one of my favorite YA fantasy writers & I CANNOT wait to see what happens after the ending of her last series TMI. We got a brief glimpse of the upcoming characters in Lady Midnight, when we read the final books in the TMI series. I just loved them and I am really excited to see a shift in setting. We have seen London Shadowhunters & New York Shadowhunters, but I think Los Angeles Shadowhunters are going to be even more kick ass. Plus, I’m interested to see how this love story is going to go, Clare is famous for giving us gut wrenching/heart stopping romances that make you want to curl up with your dog, cookie dough, a few hundred tissues.

What do you think? Have you read anything by Cassandra Clare? If not, what are you waiting for!? Go check it out at your local library or head on over to your favorite bookstore & grab a copy!
What are YOU excited for when it comes to books?
Let’s chat!

Top Ten Tuesday

top 10 tuesday blog

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by the wonderful blog, The Broke and Bookish. I saw a bunch of bloggers participating in this last week & I thought it was a great way to communicate with other book lovers! (The Top Ten pic is from their website, so that you all know who I got this from!) This week the topic is:

Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught YA Fierce Female Protagonists 101
( We could pick our own to put in for __101, this was one that they recommended we could use & because I’ve mostly been talking about contemporary YA i thought I would talk about some of my favorite fantasy novels! Here are some that I love so much, I would  have to teach them!)

1. Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas): I LOVE LOVE LOVE Throne of Glass, seriously. I think because it reminds me a little bit of Game of Thrones  (the sword fighting, the murders, rulers that are horrible). t’s important to show a fantasy novel where the main character is a female kick ass assassin. Rock on Caelena!

2. Shatter Me (Tahereh Mafi): Juliette, the main character, shatters my heart and puts the pieces back together. Seriously. I would use this novel not because the fantasy elements are so well done, but because she just changes so much AND BECOMES SO BEAUTIFUL! Juliette embraces Juliette & I would NOT cross her.

4. The Mortal Instruments ( Cassandra Clare); The world building, the demons, the romance, the character development…I am just in love with this series. Completely.

5. Under the Never Sky (Veronica Rossi): I love this series & I love the main characters quest to save her family & home!

6. The Infernal Devices(Cassandra Clare): Anything by Cassandra Clare is a favorite of mine. This series is set in the 1800s in London and it’s just amazing how well written it is.  It also shows that women can kick butt even in petticoats. Huzzah for that!

7.A Court of Thorns and Roses (Sarah J. Maas): All I have to say is this…IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIS, WHY!!!!! Seriously. I really cannot explain how awesome this book is in just a few short sentences but please please PLEASE do yourself a favor and pick it up.  I don’t even need to explain why the main character is so awesome…SHE JUST IS.

8.Sanctum (Sarah Fine):
I need to give this book some love, because I don’t think that it’s gotten as much as it deserves.It’s all adventure & creepy creatures & a kick ass protagonist. 

I know…I know…I only got 8…but there are just too many to choose from! I wanted to go with the ones that I was 100 percent sure of and there they are! 
What do you all think? Who would you use? Have you read any of these books?

Let’s chat!

Review: The Start of Me & You by Emery Lord

Title: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published: March 2015 by Bloomsbury
Ranking: 5 STARS!!

What’s it about? (Summary taken from Goodreads, check it out here! )

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

What I LOVED about it:
1. The main character: Let me first start out by saying that I really loved Paige as a person. She’s been through such a rough time,  losing her first boyfriend to drowning, and she deals with it in such a real way. It’s this interesting mix of, “he was my first boyfriend & I only was really dating him for a little bit” & “oh my god we are so young and he’s just gone”. Her reactions to things make complete sense & there were so many times I just wanted to hug her and let her know it was okay. I love that she takes hold of her own life though & starts making this list of things to do. She goes into everything with “beginners mind” (what she calls it throughout the book) and I really admired her for that. I wish that in High School I had gone into a lot of things with that mindset instead of being scared to take a risk. I think that’s what made her so likable, how flawed she is & how just completely normal. She doesn’t just jump into things and is like “woah yeah this is great!!”, she’s only human and she second guesses herself a lot and still stays true to who she really is! Yay Paige!!
2. The Best Friends: Emery Lord is Queen of THE BIFFS. Seriously, if you haven’t read her other  book (Open Road Summer) you need to. She writes friendships where I’m like, “wait…where were these girls when I was in High School and dealing with stupid petty drama?! I needed real friends then too!”  There are four of them in the group (including Paige) and they are all so different, but in a  way that makes sense why they are biffs. Plus, they admit how they don’t always get along & they get into stupid little fights that we all get over so quickly!  I also liked how Lord shows how realistic having that many friends in a group is, how there is always that one person that you’re a little closer to but the group still works as a whole. It’s so sweet all the things that they do for each other & they just know exactly how to react to the others problems. Plus, Paige is pretty kick ass in a certain part when she has to save one of her biffs & she does something she never normally would do. It just shows how far you will go for friendship! Plus, I loved her number one friend Tessa, she’s the kind of girl we all wish we could be or the person that we just wish would be our friend cause she’s that chill!
3. The Romance & “Bro”mance: I’m a huge believer in being best friends with your significant other & the slow build up of relationships in YA.  *there may be a bit of spoilers here…but I am trying my hardest not to give anything away!* I LOVED LOVED LOVED the romance & the friendship with both boys in this novel. Ryan Chase is the boy that every girl would love & honestly I was going to be super disappointed if he fell into his stereotype. Most boys like Ryan Chase get portrayed as jerks in novels & playboys, but I knew that Emery Lord wouldn’t let me down here! Ryan is ADORABLE! Seriously. What a sweetie & I fell in love with him instantly. He’s just a good guy and he deals with Paige so so well ( even when she acts a bit nutty around him). Which brings me to his dorky, adorable, sweet cousin Max who I instantly became a fan of. He’s EXTREMELY smart & he knows it, but he isn’t shy or embarrassed about who he is. Dorks get this bad wrap in YA novels & usually are subject to bullying ( not saying this is a bad thing and that it doesn’t happen, it totally does, but it’s nice to see a story where a nerdy kid actually owns himself & has no problem showing that in high school. Confidence =key ). The banter between Max & Paige is freaking awesome and I love how supportive he is of her when she tries new things. He pushes Paige and shows her just how truly great she is if she just had confidence in herself! Paige isn’t really sure about Max in the beginning and she sort of judges him at first, but they turn into such best friends. I won’t say anymore, but these two alone make the novel 5 stars!

Overall, this is one of my favorite books this year! I’ve already read it twice and it gets better the second time around. Emery Lord writes fantastic stories filled with kick ass friends, boys, and main characters who are exactly who they should be. High School is rough and it’s so refreshing reading a book where the main characters are comfortable and who accept each other, faults & all.

Have you read The Start of Me & You? What were YOUR thoughts? If you haven’t read it yet, WHY NOT!? Go out there and pick up a copy, you won’t regret it!
Let’s chat!

Sunday Favorites

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Here’s a little something between reviews & a little wrap up of the weekend. I wish I could say that I spent the weekend reading, but I ended up having no time! Guess that’s what happens when you start to act like a real human….you have to do real human things that don’t include laying on a hammock somewhere with a favorite book.
So I wanna talk about what authors I can’t put down & whose books I ALWAYS buy without looking at my bank account or the summary:

Contemporary (Romance-ish?) Young Adult
1. Sarah Dessen (Truth About Forever, Saint Anything, Just Listen, etc): I would like to think of Sarah Dessen as the Beyonce of YA.  She’s the queen of romance, family issues, self empowerment, girl empowerment, and an advocate for BFF lovin’. She draws you in & pulls out the issues that you were afraid were only your own. No worries, Dessen leaves a mark on ya that makes you remember why you loved reading in the first place. I own all her books & have yet to regret a single purchase.  CHECK HER OUT! Seriously. I’m practically beggin ya.  Feel free to follow her on Twitter, Dessen makes you feel like you’re one of her best friends & her daily encounters are pretty funny.
2. Morgan Matson (Amy & Rogers Epic Detour, Since You’ve Been Gone, Second Chance Summer): I picked up Amy & Rogers Epic Detour on a whim at the library one day and I am SO glad I did. Matson’s stories are all extremely different but they all have an adventure. I wish my teenage years had been spent the way that Matson’s characters spend them. To top it all off she just knows about to make you feel, oh the FEELINGs her books pull out of me. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she has some swoon worthy romance in all of her books, but that’s not the central focus. She’s a big supporter of having the most epic best friends ever, a reminder that boys are important but having  kick ass best friend is how you survive a lot of the important stuff, ya feel me? Check her out!  I am itching to get my hands on a new Matson book.
3. Emery Lord (Open Road Summer, Start of Me & You): This author makes the cut because she just knows how to write the perfect summer read. They are adorable, but they aren’t filled with just fluff. Start of Me & You is an all time favorite that I would recommend, the romance is real and has you actually believing that this  high school relationship can happen. They connect on such a deeper level and make you think, “huh. Wow. Maybe I didn’t really love that boy…cause we sure didn’t connect like that!”  I would LOVE to become biffs with her main characters & plus she’s really down to earth it seems from her twitter account. You won’t be disappointed if you pick up one of her reads.
4. Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl, Eleanor & Park): Rainbow, Rainbow, Rainbow…man, do you sure know how to  make a girl cry. Eleanor & Park was the sweetest love story that I have read in a while. Her main characters are ordinary girls who are extraordinary on the page, for real. It’s not just the cookie cutter type of characters that she writes about, we have ones that we can actually relate to. At one point I was literally mad I couldn’t climb through the page & be like, Eleanor! I feel you! You’re  not alone & I want you happy!! As you can see, it brings out the feelings .  Her novel Fangirl will always remain one of my one true loves, her main character Wren took me back to my freshmen year of college & I was all about her story.  I will never hesitate to pick up one of her

Tell me, what authors you love? Any of these ones? What do ya think? Let’s chat!

Swoon worthy Saturday

Every saturday I decided to start something called “Swoon worthy Saturday”, where I talk about upcoming books that have me excited to read! Here are just a few that I think will be new favorites by the end of the year:

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Sept.1st 2015):
I am SO excited for this release. I have loved Maas’s novels since Throne of Glass & cannot wait to see what happens next. Her books are always so full of kick ass characters and amazingly detailed kingdoms.This is a book in a series (Throne of Glass)  about a assassin named Celaena Sardothien, you won’t be able to put it down. Trust me!

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Sept. 1st 2015):
I stumbled across this when looking at upcoming releases on Goodreads and man does this look great. A girl who is allergic to the world AND romance? Sign me up. I will definitely be grabbing this when it hits the library shelves.

The Next Together by Lauren James (Sept 3rd, 2015):
I’ve always had a soft spot for anything that has to do with time traveling. I’m  really hoping that this one doesn’t disappoint! It seems like it’s going to take us to some pretty cool time periods and I’m interested to see how the romance plays out. I will be checking this one out when it hits stores!

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (Sept. 8th):
OH MAN DO I WANT THIS BOOK! I follow the author on twitter and let me just tell you…she makes me crack up. Her tweets are basically my life story and I’ve heard nothing but AMAZING things from bloggers who have ARCs. A plus sized girl who loves her body, takes on a  beauty pagent, and a hottie love interest? IS IT SEPTEMBER YET? You can bet this one will be a new favorite.

What do you all think? Any books coming out that you just can’t stop talking about? Let me know, I would LOVE to add to my growing list.