Thursday, March 31, 2016

Post from the Library

HEY GUYS!!!

Who entered the Rafflecopter giveaway?! I hope many of you did. It's such an awesome opportunity. Ally Condie is such a talented writer, and I have a good feeling her new book is going to be fantastic!

Anyway, this is just kind of an update/random post. I'm currently reading "The Last Olympian" by Rick Riordan, which is the final installment in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. I will put up a series review when I finish, which should be tonight or tomorrow! I will definitely have a review up by Saturday!!! I will then be starting The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan, which is a companion series to Percy Jackson & the Olympians. I am absolutely adoring Percy Jackson. I can't wait to tell y'all my thoughts.

Have you read Percy Jackson & the Olympians? What did you think? Who was/were your favorite character(s)? Which book was your favorite? Have you read The Heroes of Olympus? What did you think?

Have a lovely evening, everyone!

XOXO,

Janine :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Summerlost Book Birthday + Giveaway

Note: This is a promotional post hosted by Word Spelunking and Penguin Kids.





Title: Summerlost
Author: Ally Condie 
Release Date: March 29, 2015

Summary:

It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar. 

Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching middle grade debut from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series, that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy.


Praise for Summerlost

A Spring 2016 Kids' Indie Next List Top 10 Pick!

Named one of Publishers Weekly’s Most Anticipated Children’s and YA Books of Spring 2016

« “Condie (Matched) strikes a deep emotional chord with this coming-of-age story.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

« “Multiple, seemingly random details, including a family of turkey vultures that now roost outside Cedar’s window, an absurd soap opera narrative of a woman buried alive, and Leo’s quest for a trip with his father, coalesce into metaphors that help Cedar make sense of her grief and the life she now has to look forward to. Thoughtful, poetic chapter endings guide readers new to psychological depth toward meaningful connections between plot events and thematic reflections.” – BCCB

“A moving tale of friendship and loss. I loved these characters—I wish we could have been friends when I was a kid.” –Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Five Kingdoms series

“Ally Condie’s first middle grade book might also be my favorite out of ALL her books to date. Summerlost is a story packed with nostalgia, heart, and gorgeous prose.” – The Novel Novice

“A nuanced portrait of grief deeply grounded in the middle-school mind-set.” – Booklist

“Honest, lovely, and sad.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A sweet, heartfelt story.” – School Library Journal

“Achingly good.” – Summer Laurie, Books Inc.


A Letter from Ally!

Dear Readers,

I think most of us have had our hearts broken. Sometimes we can see it coming, and sometimes it comes down with the unexpected force of a sudden gale of wind or a rising of waters that we thought were still and safe. Loss is universal to human experience, but the way we each feel and recover is one of the most personal things we do.

In Summerlost, Cedar is dealing with the loss of her father and younger brother. And my intent was to show how hard their deaths are for her. But this is also a book about the healing power of friendship. Most of us have been broken-hearted; I hope that most of us have also discovered the miracle of friendships that were just what we needed. Cedar and Leo’s friendship is based on someone I met when I was twelve. Like Leo, my friend was fun and liked to enlist me in crazy adventures (although we never gave a secret guided tour of our town the way they do in Summerlost). And, like Leo, he thought I was wonderful and of worth at a time when I needed it most.

SUMMERLOST is my attempt to pay tribute both to the pain we feel and the friendships that save us. Thank you so much for supporting this book, and for your willingness to give Cedar’s story a try. I hope it makes you think of a wonderful friend of your own, whether that is someone you met in the pages of a favorite book or outside, in the world where it is often hard and beautiful to live.

Best wishes and happy reading always,
Ally Condie


Use the link above to enter and win the Ally Condie Prize Pack, which includes: 5 finished copies of Summerlost, a paperback copy of Atlantia, and a copy of book one of the Matched trilogy!!!



Helpful Links
To find out more: Excerpt, Goodreads 
To buy your copy: Penguin Random House, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound

Ok, guys, so there you have it! The amazing Summerlost is on sale now. I have a good feeling it's going to be an awesome book!

XOXO,

Janine :)

Monday, March 28, 2016

I'm Now on Bloglovin'

Hi guys! Below is the link to my Bloglovin' account. If you want to stay updated with when I post new blogs, please subscribe. Also, I just started an actual website, so I will have that information up shortly.

There's going to be a surprise post tomorrow!!! Can't wait!

XOXO,

Janine :)

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14807491/?claim=nd2zwn2ddh9">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday's 7 Selections (1)

Ok, so for weeks when I don't have a review, I'm going to do a new segment called "Saturday's 7 Selections." In this segment, I will list 7 books I've read fairly recently that I absolutely loved and would highly recommend. I'm going to try to make varied genres, so there's a little something for everyone, but I do tend to read young adult and contemporary, so we'll see. I am going to try though!

So without further ado...


  1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. This was the last series I read, and it is now one of my favorite series of all time! It's a fairytale retelling series that includes Cinder (Cinderella), Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel), and Winter (Snow White). And it's sci-fi too. (Cinder is a cyborg!) There's hot love interests and an evil queen, and it's just...AMAZING! It's a pretty hyped series, and I thought it really did live up to its hype. Overall series rating: 4.5/5
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I actually just read this book this past summer. I know it's usually a required reading for high school, but it wasn't for me. So, I decided to pick it up, and I'm so glad that I did. It was absolutely FANTASTIC! I can't even describe it. You seriously just need to read it if you haven't. If you have, you should read it again. Rating: 5/5
  3. Panic by Lauren Oliver. I'm a HUGE Lauren Oliver fan, and this book was no disappointment. There's a ton of action, and the characters are so awesome. I absolutely loved the main character, Heather, and I loved the concept of the book. The kids have to literally face their fears. It was very original. Oh, and Bishop??? YES!!! Rating: 4/5
  4. Percy Jackson & the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan. Yes, this is a juvenile fiction series...and it's AWESOME! I am actually currently reading it right now. (I'm on The Battle of the Labyrinth) I had read the first book twice before, but I just never finished reading them. So I decided to read them now, and I'm so glad I did. Yes, you can tell it's a juvenile fiction, but the story and characters are so good you don't really notice. And it's about demigods! How cool is that? Rating (so far): 4.5/5
  5. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. I finished this series over the summer, and oh. My. Gosh. It was absolutely amazing! The worldbuilding was awesome, and the characters were so lovable. And Lady Midnight just came out, and the end of The Mortal Instruments laid the foundation for that trilogy...I just can't even. Just amazing! Rating: 4.5/5
  6. The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau. I read this trilogy over Christmas break, and I wasn't sure what to expect. I just knew it was a dystopian (my fave!), and it had kind of a Hunger Games vibe. Little did I know, it was so much more! The characters were fantastic! You're taken on a journey, and it just never slows down. There's twists and turns and some "Oh my gosh, that just happened!" moments. It was absolutely fantastic! I can't believe there's not more hype about this trilogy! Rating: 4.5/5
  7. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. I read this book in the winter, and it was absolutely beautiful. It's a collection of short stories and essays from Yale graduate Marina Keegan, who tragically died in a car accident a couple of days after she graduated from Yale. Tragedy aside, Keegan's writing was amazing! Her attention to detail is mesmerizing. I had heard a lot of mixed reviews about this book, but, in my opinion, I thought it was great. It showed so much passion for words and writing, and there was just so much raw emotion in all of her works. Rating: 5/5

Have you read any of these books? If so, which are your favorites? If not, are any on your TBR? Which ones?

XOXO,

Janine :)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

So this review is on the ENTIRE Lunar Chronicles! That's really exciting. However, due to me reviewing a total of 6 books (4 books in the series, a prequel novel, and a collection of short stories), this post may be quite long. I am still deciding if I will be doing series reviews as one big review (like this one) or individually as I finish each book in the series...What do you guys think? Let me know!

Ok, so on to the humongous review!

I am going to start with a review of the series as a whole, and then go into detail about each book individually.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

I know many people gave this series a 5/5 stars, and I can see why. There were only little things that kept me from doing so myself. Of course, no book or series is perfect. But, if I am going to give a book or series 5/5, it has to be as perfect (to me) as possible. This series was almost there. Like I said, it was just minor things. But a 4.5/5 is still excellent! I would still recommend this series to anyone, especially people who love sci-fi, adventure, and/or fairy tales. Each of the stories was unique, and they each built upon the last one, which I really liked. I loved each of the characters. They were well-developed and interesting. Each had their own talents they brought to the story, which made them special and memorable. I loved the villain: Queen Levana. She is now one of my favorite villains. There was so much more to her than just her tyranny, and I really liked learning more about her back story. Don't get me wrong, I didn't like her as a person. She was just a great villain. Oh, and of course, I loved the romances. The couples in these books are just so darn cute. Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, Cress and Thorne, and Winter and Jacin. I literally found myself smiling and laughing out loud at these characters and their romances. They were just so cute. Uhhhh....#relationshipgoals!

Now for the individual ratings:

Cinder: 4.5/5

Cinder is the story of a teenage cyborg named Cinder. She is a mechanic living in New Beijing. When Prince Kai visits her shop to have her repair his tutor android, her life goes from fairly ordinary (or as ordinary as it can be when you're a cyborg) to extraordinary. I won't tell too much, but I will say that there's a plague, a cute prince, adventure, and a huge sci-fi fairytale adventure.

There was really only one "problem" I had with this book. And that was that I had already figured out the entire book in the first 100 pages. And it's not really a problem because it is a fairytale retelling. I just wish I wouldn't have figured it out that quickly. But it was still a lot of fun to read.

There were so many things I loved about this book. I loved how Cinder and one of her stepsisters, Peony, were actually friends! I loved that twist on the story. I really fell in love with the characters. Cinder, Prince Kai, Iko (Cinder's android friend), and Peony were so lovable, and I couldn't get enough of them. I thought the story was well-paced. I didn't find myself wishing it would just get on with it already.

Scarlet: 5/5

I thought in terms of predictability, this one was less predictable. Scarlet tells the story of Scarlet as Little Red Riding Hood. After her grandma goes missing, Scarlet works with a mysterious street-fighter nicknamed Wolf. This leads them into a world of Lunar soldiers that have been genetically altered. It also continues Cinder's story after she escapes from jail, with the help of the ever-charming Captain Carswell Thorne.

Again, I loved the characters. Scarlet was such a fiery lady with so much personality. Wolf and his devotion to protect Scarlet was so touching. Meeting Thorne was honestly a real treat. He is freaking hilarious. I love his character so much. Then when they all meet and join forces...YES, just yes! The story was fast-paced, and I found it so hard to put this book down. I gobbled this book down in a little over two days, which is fantastic considering I am also in school. It left me wanting the next one in the series so much, and I'm so glad I had it ready to go!

Cress: 5/5

Cress tells the tale of Cress, who is the equivalent of Rapunzel. When Cinder, Scarlet, Thorne, and Wolf come to rescue Cress from her satellite prison, things go awry. They get separated. Thorne and Cress end up stranded in the desert. Scarlet gets captured and taken to Luna. Thorne, Wolf, and Cinder end up in Africa. It follows all of their stories, simultaneously weaving the storylines, and I thought Marissa Meyer did a fantastic job of this. I was never confused, and I was never bored. And Captain Thorne and Cress were just too adorable! I couldn't get enough of them. I found myself smiling and literally laughing out loud.


Fairest: 4/5

This tells the backstory of Queen Levana and how she came to rule Luna. It's really interesting, and I loved learning more about this villain. She has become one of the all-time favorite villains. Her need to rule and be loved turned her into a monster, and it's really sad in a way. It's a quick read, and it's well-paced. I liked the introduction of some of the other characters, including Princess Selene, Princess Winter, Solstice Hayle, and Evret Hayle. I also liked seeing more firsthand her manipulation. It's known throughout the other books that she does it, but it's not shown as vividly as in this book. I thought it added to her image as a great villain.

I didn't really have any problems with this book. I just don't like Queen Levana as a person. I took a star away just because it's her and because I can. She's just a despicable person.


Winter: 5/5

If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would! (Well, I guess I could, but that'd be cheating). This is a monster of a book (over 800 pages), but every page is beautiful. This book is just so epic. It introduces Winter (Snow White), while still following Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. Cinder is leading a revolution, Scarlet becomes Winter's "pet,"  Cress is separated from the others and has to still use her hacking skills to help with Cinder's revolution, and Winter is helping in any way she can while fighting her Lunar sickness. There's so much going on, but it's easy to follow and never dull. You continue following the story of the leading men as well as they fight alongside their leading ladies. I don't want to say too much, but this book is just so fantastic. A million stars...I can't get enough.


Stars Above: 4.5/5

This is a book of short stories that tells stories of the characters and even includes a sort-of epilogue. It was nice to read about the characters one last time and see that they're living their happily ever afters. It wasn't a necessary read, but it was still fun.




Ok, so that about wraps up my review. In conclusion, I LOVE the Lunar Chronicles, and I would highly recommend it to anyone! It's just a fun and thrilling story, full of interesting and memorable characters and so much action. It's just a thrilling ride, and a great retelling of our favorite fairytales!

Have you read the Lunar Chroniccles? What did you think? Who were your favorite characters? Which couple was your favorite? 

XOXO,

Janine :)


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

YET ANOTHER UPDATE!

Hi everyone! Ok, so once again, I am not very good at this whole keeping up with this blog. So I have decided that from now on, I will post EVERY Saturday. That will be my blog day. There may not be a review every week, but I will come up with something to post every Saturday. That's not to say that I won't ever post any other day, but Saturday is a guarantee! I'm actually really excited about this. I've decided to do blog day on Saturdays and Booktube day on Sundays.

Yes, about my Booktube. I am working on filming my first video. I'm on Spring Break, so I've had a little extra time. So I'm going to try to have my first video up this Sunday. Hopefully. Again, I'm not making any promises.

So, I just finished the ENTIRE Lunar Chronicles (including "Fairest" and "Stars Above") today. I am going to do a full review next. I am going to try to have that up tonight or tomorrow. All I'm going to say right now is that I couldn't be anymore in love with this series. It was fantastic, and I literally found myself smiling and laughing out loud at parts.

Ok, so that's it for now. Oh, and from now on, I'm going to add questions at the end of all my posts. Please feel free to comment!

What book/series made you literally smile or laugh out loud? Have you read The Lunar Chronicles? What did you think? Who was your favorite character(s)?

XOXO,

Janine :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Another Update!

Hey guys!

What a CRAZY week! I have had so much schoolwork and so little time for anything else. However, I have managed to get through 500 pages of "Winter!" And...It is AMAZING! Oh. My. Gosh. I cannot wait to start the review for the entire series. I have SO MUCH to say! I know everyone says their favorite book was "Cress," and while I really enjoyed "Cress," "Winter" is just so epic. Everything is coming together, and it is just...uhhh so good. I just bought "Stars Above" this past weekend, and I will be reading it after finishing "Winter." Hopefully, it won't take me as long to finish. It's a collection of short stories, and is way shorter than 800+ pages, so fingers crossed. And, after I finish that, I will start the review of the ENTIRE SERIES! YAY!

Unfortunately, after I finish "The Lunar Chronicles" I'm not sure what to read next. I put "Black Ice" by Becca Fitzpatrick on my March TBR. However, I'm not sure if I want to read that now or not. "The Luxe" series by Anna Godbersen just arrived in the mail, so I'm thinking about starting that. However, I also really want to read "I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson, "Hotel Ruby" by Suzanne Young, "The Museum of Intangible Things" by Wendy Wu, and "The Summer I Turned Pretty" trilogy by Jenny Han. Have you guys read any of these? If so, what did you think? Also, which do you think I should read next?

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Also! Spring Break is NEXT WEEK! :) So excited! So I will be filming my first video(s) on my new Booktube channel. So be on the lookout for that.