Library of Souls #StayPeculiar Peculiar Tour & Giveaway

Ransom Rigg's, author of the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children books, is headed out on a 5-city LIBRARY OF SOULS #STAYPECULIAR TOUR. He'll be visiting NYC, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Each event will have surprises and awesome guests. Since Ransom's only visiting 5 cities, Quirk is running a sweepstakes for a chance to win a VIP trip to see Ransom at one of his tour cities! It's an easy sweepstakes to enter, peculiarize yourself, post it on Instagram, Twitter, etc with #staypeculiar, and share your link with Quirk at


To help celebrate Ransom's Library of Souls #StayPeculiar Tour Quirk is letting The Literary Files host a giveaway! For a chance to win this seriously awesome #StayPeculiar tote bag all you have to do is leave a comment with your email below.
The winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Monday August 17, 2015.

The epic conclusion to the best-selling series!

Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They’ll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever. . . . Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs.
Connect with Ransom:
Website - Twitter - Goodreads

The Television Files: Daredevil (Season One)

Network: Netflix Original Series
Season One: April 10, 2015

"The first in a planned series of shows detailing the Marvel universe, "Daredevil" follows Matt Murdock, attorney by day and vigilante by night. Blinded in an accident as a child, Murdock uses his heightened senses as Daredevil, fighting crime on the streets of New York after the sun goes down. His efforts are not welcomed by powerful businessman Wilson Fisk -- aka Kingpin -- and others whose interests collide with those of Daredevil. Though Murdock's day job portrays a man who believes in the criminal justice system, his alter ego suggests otherwise, as he takes the law into his own hands to protect his Hell's Kitchen neighborhood and the surrounding communities."

I went in watching Daredevil on Netflix with no prior knowledge of Daredevil's backstory, I hadn't even heard of the comics. If I'm being honest I only decided to watch it because I saw that Marvel was involved in making it. I love Marvel's superhero movies so I definitely wanted to give Daredevil a try. I also loved Netflix's original series Orange is the New Black so that was another reason why I decided to check this series out. 

I really fell for the show about halfway through the season, which is only 13 episodes. I felt the beginning of the season was a bit slow. There's just so many characters that you're learning about that it kind of strayed away from Matt, who's Daredevil, quite a bit. 

Something that I found both interesting, yet sometimes annoying, was how you're able to get into the lives of a lot of different characters: the villains, Matt's friends and of course Matt too. I really wish there was more Matt in the story, I felt like I knew more about Fisk than I did about Matt. 

I was so happy to see that Deborah Ann Woll is in this! I loved her as Jessica in True Blood and I adore her as Karen Page in this too! Charlie Cox, plays Matt Murdock/ Dardevil and Elden Hensen plays Foggy Nelson, Matt's best friend. I really loved the friendship between the two characters. The give and take they have with one another can be really hilarious at times. Rosario Dawson plays a badass nurse, I really hope we get to see more about her character in season two!

The villain of the season was Wilson Fisk/ Kingpin and he definitely freaked me out! He's one of those villains with a well-developed backstory and he genuinely believes he is doing the right thing. I thought Vincent D'Onofrio did such an amazing job playing this character! I felt sympathy for him sometimes, but then he'd do something completely insane and then I'd remember why he's considered the bad guy. 

Even though I thought Daredevil had a slow start, I really enjoyed the second part of the first season. I loved the well developed characters, interesting backstories and the setting of Hell's Kitchen. I'm so happy that it got renewed for a second season on Netflix, I'll definitely be eagerly awaiting season two! 

Author Interview: Susane Colasanti (City Love)

Published: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Amazon - Goodreads

Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives.

Sadie is a native New Yorker. She is hopeful, romantic, and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate. Then she meets her dream boy: cute, funny, and quirky in all the right ways. The chemistry between them is unreal. Could he be the one?

Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources. Moving to New York City is just another adventure for her. Darcy wants this summer to be all about boy adventures—nothing serious. But how much fun is too much?

Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC so she can put her past behind her and reinvent herself. The only thing standing in her way is the grand total of seventy-three cents she has saved. Then she meets a guy who wants to show her the glamorous side of New York—a side that she would never get to experience on her own. If Rosanna doesn't resist, she may find herself in city love.

Told from alternating points of view, City Love captures the moments in each girl's life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once . . . in a way it will never be again.
I was lucky enough to get an interview with the amazing Susane Colasanti about her new book, City Love! Don't forget to check out Susane's Twitter to stay up to date on everything Susane Colasanti.

-What are three words that best describe CITY LOVE?
Realistic, passionate, hopeful

-The book is told from three different points of view: Darcy, Sadie and Rosanna. Was there a character that you connected with most?
I’ve actually identified with each girl at different points in my life!

Rosanna was a lot like me in college. We both knew that New York City was our true home. One of my biggest dreams was to live in New York City where I could create a shiny new life and be the best version of myself. Putting myself through college and grad school (as Rosanna is doing) was not easy in one of the most expensive cities. There’s a scene in CITY LOVE where Rosanna is at the ATM and discovers that she only has 73 cents left in her account. That totally happened to me. It was such a scary, stressful experience that I knew I had to include it in this book.

Sadie is all about warm fuzzies and random acts of kindness. She radiates positive energy. She does not hesitate to open a door or reach a can on a high shelf for someone who can’t. Sadie is my role model. I want to be her when I grow up.

The girl I’m most different from is Darcy. She’s a wild child having fun and not worrying about tomorrow. But one thing Darcy and I have in common is a desire to be in the Now. Darcy is zipping through life at such a hectic pace that she’s trying this new thing where she stops to just be. I frequently have to remind myself to slow down, breathe, and fully experience the moment before it’s gone.

-The girls are spending their summer before college in New York City. Have you ever been to New York City? If so, do you have a favorite part?
New York City has been my home for almost twenty years. New York was, and always will be, my first city love. I’m originally from Middle of Nowhere, New Jersey. My hometown is a rural area that felt excruciatingly remote and isolated when I was a teen. I couldn’t wait to live in a big city one day where things were happening! My love for New York grew as I did, and I was finally able to move here when I started grad school at NYU. My favorite neighborhood is the West Village, where the CITY LOVE girls live and where I lived for nine years. The energy of that area makes me feel alive in a way no other place can. I tried to capture that amazing energy in this trilogy.

-Darcy, Sadie and Rosanna are on the verge of potentially having the best summer of their lives. What was the best summer of your life?
The same summer in CITY LOVE! The summer before college freaking ruled. High school was finally over. I was free of the haters, the bullies, the small-minded kids who tormented me for years because I was different. High school was the worst time of my life. I counted down the days until it was over. That summer after high school felt like an enormous weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I no longer felt like an outsider among strangers. I felt like someone who was about to find her place in the world. Fortunately, New York City welcomes every type of person with open arms. I found my people here and built my real family.

-While writing CITY LOVE did you have a playlist? If so, could you share a few songs that were on it?
Absolutely! Like my eight previous teen novels, CITY LOVE has a playlist you can find on my website, “Rewind” by Stereophonics, “Titanium” by Sia, and “Night Changes” by One Direction were among the top picks. And of course “Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys and “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift have to be included, too.

Susane Colasanti is the bestselling author of When It Happens, Take Me There, Waiting for You, Something Like Fate, So Much Closer, Keep Holding On, All I Need, Now and Forever, and the City Love trilogy. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from New York University. Before becoming a full-time author in 2007, Susane was a high school science teacher for ten years. She lives in New York City.

Connect with Susane:

Review: Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay

Received copy from publisher for review.
Published: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Amazon - Goodreads

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.

I absolutely love this book, it's a new all time favorite! Going into the book I was worried that Fiona was going to be more of a 'pity me' type story and Fi was going to be this fairy tale version, but it totally was NOT that at all. Both versions of the main character's story are inspiring, brave, honest and raw.

I immediately fell in love with Fiona's humor and personality. Fi took a bit to grow on me, but I think that was a super important part of the story. Throughout the book you can so clearly see both versions of the character grow.

I adored the sibling relationship between Ryan and Fi/Fiona's. It was interesting to see the changes and similarities in their relationship between the two versions of Fi/Fiona. Even though there were differences, you could still see how much they loved and cared for each other.

The book really focuses on the lives of Fi and Fiona, but there's also some cute boys thrown into the mix. I think there was the perfect amount of love interests without taking away from the importance of the main characters' stories.

Amazing Quote:
"I live with my parents, play for a terrible lacrosse team, take classes I don't care about. I'm just barely treading water here!" 
"So grab a vest, Fi."

Everything That Makes You talked about the big 'what if' of life and how it can change in an instant. Moriah McStay transported me into Fi/Fiona's world with her beautiful writing and amazing storytelling. The story is relatable, memorable and just all out incredible. Everything That Makes You is an innovative coming of age story that demands to be read. I highly recommend!

**I received this book for review from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Author Interview: Moriah McStay (Everything That Makes You)

 Published: March 17, 2105
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.

I absolutely love Everything That Makes You, it's a new all time favorite of mine! I was so happy to be able to interview the amazing author behind the book, Moriah McStay! (I'm seriously fan-girling right now!!) *breathe* Okay, onto the interview!

-What are three words that best describe Everything That Makes You?
What if and boys.

-The book has such an original concept by giving two stories to the main character. What inspired you to write Fi and Fiona’s story?
I wanted to write this story a long time. Like Fiona, I was in an accident as a child. It wasn’t nearly as bad as Fiona’s, but my right eye was badly damaged, so it looked very different than my left. You could tell. I got lots of questions, couldn’t play contact sports, had to wear big glasses. As I got older, I wondered what parts of my personality changed because of that freak accident. Or maybe none did.
In college, I engaged in this "what if" conversation with friends, and everyone had at least one moment of their own. Maybe not an accident, but an incident in school. A sick parent. A move from one city to another. I thought it’d be cool to write a book about it. So eventually (many, many years later) I did!

-Who do you connect most with, Fi or Fiona?
At first, I identified more with Fiona. I think approached Fi—the one “without any problems”-- with the same assumptions lots of us have about people who look whole from the outside. Without much empathy. But once I realized Fi had her own issues, I connected with her more. Now, I see parts of me in both. For example, I’m creative like Fiona, but not painfully shy. And while I’m not a jock like Fi, I am pretty competitive.

-Fiona is an extremely talented songwriter and guitarist. Fi is the best lacrosse player in the state. Other than writing, do you have any special talents?
This isn’t a talent—more a personality trait—but I’m pretty active. I do yoga and exercise a lot. I love the outdoors, and drag my family on day hikes whenever they’ll let me. That’s about all I have time for right now, with three teenage daughters and some books to write!

-Fiona and her group of friends hang out at a coffee shop called the Otherlands. Do you have an awesome coffee shop like the Otherlands or a cool place you go to hangout?
I have Otherlands! It’s real, and about a mile from my house. I wrote most of ETMY there. The chairs really are terrible.

-Did you have a playlist while writing EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU? If so, could you share a few songs that were on it?
I listened to a lot of singer-songwriter alt while writing, since that’s what Fiona would like. Some songs I kept coming back to:
Fix you by Coldplay
Song for Zula by Phosphorescent
7 Layers by Dotan
Winds of Change by Vance Joy

We Made a Mountain by The Mynabirds is a song I think Fiona and Fi would play for each other, if they could

Moriah McStay grew up in Memphis, TN, where she acquired a come-and-go drawl and a lifelong love of cowboy boots and fried pickles. She attended Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Two graduate degrees and seven jobs later, she finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up.
EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU is her first novel, and she's probably at home right now working on another one. 

Connect with Moriah: 

April Wrap Up 2015

I read three books in the first week of April and three books during the last week of April. The middle of the month was filled with making pocket letters and watching Daredevil on Netflix. 
I truly didn't think I read six books this month, I'm pretty pleased with that number! I definitely have to give credit to Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon because that definitely got me out of my reading slump. I came out of April with a new favorite, Everything That Makes You and I'm still in total awe over how amazing it was. I'll be interviewing Moriah McStay, author of Everything That Makes You, this month! 

Books Read
1. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
2. Fallen Too Far (Too Far #1) by Abbi Glines
3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler  
4. Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita
5. Hit (Hit #1) by Delilah S. Dawson
6. Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay

I read two new adult books, a memoir, a middle grade and two young adult books. I love how diverse the genres were for me this month, I usually just stick to young adult. I also put my Kindle to good use, I read three books on it in April. 

Reviews Posted
1. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
2. Wait For You by J. Lynn
3. Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita

For May I'm planning on reading City Love by Susane Colasanti. I was also lucky enough to get an interview with Susane so that will go up this month too. I'm hoping to read Unteachable by Leah Raeder in May. I got this book as a birthday gift from the totally awesome Briana and I can't wait for one of our book talks!

Stacking the Shelves: April 2015

Links lead to GoodReads.

-The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Medows
-Etherworld (Elusion #2) by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam
-Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay (Author Interview coming this month!)
-Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook
-Wrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnik
-Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy
-Encore to An Empty Room (Exile #2) by Kevin Emerson
-City Love by Susan Colasanti (Author Interview coming this month!)
-Invincible by Amy Reed 
A big thank you to HarperTeen and Katherine Tegen Books!

-Hit (Hit #1) by Delilah S. Dawson (My Review)
Thank you so much for Simon Pulse!

-Unteachable by Leah Raeder
A huge thank you to the totally awesome Briana from Bree's Books! I can't wait to read this one!

-Yes Please by Amy Poehler 

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Review: Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

Received copy from publisher for review.
Published: April 15, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Amazon - Goodreads


The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy's list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own.

Since yarn bombing is the only rebellion in Patsy's past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren't strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy's list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.

I know I'm not going to like every book I read and unfortunately Hit falls into that category. I thought the concept of a teenage bounty hunter was awesome, but it just didn't come across well in the book.

The main character, Pasty Klein (yes, that's really her name) is given the option to either become a bounty hunter for Valor (once a bank, but now it's the new United States) or she and her mother will be killed because they have outstanding credit card debt. Now, I have absolutely no idea why Valor all of a sudden decided to collect money from their clients, from what I can remember that was never clearly stated in the book.

I truly didn't like the characters. The main character killed a lot of people and I just didn't really respect her as a heroine or understand her decisions. I felt that death/murder was taken very lightly and I wasn't really into that.

I found the romance to be insane. Patsy and Wyatt's relationship felt inappropriate at times because of the deadly situation they were in.

I know this is a first book in a series so all the questions can't be answer, but there was just so much left unanswered. Most of the time I felt confused and, if I'm honest, just bored. I really wanted to like this yarn-bombing bounty hunter's story, but it just wasn't for me. I won't be continuing on with the series when the next book, Strike, comes out in March of 2016.

**I received this book for review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Waiting on Wednesday: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

I can't pick only one thing that I'm most looking forward to about this book, I'm just excited for it all! The secrets, the asylum, criminal psychology, how Grace will be assisting at crime scenes and a book that's a historical thriller?! Oh my goodness, yes please! Also, look at that cover. It's beautiful! I'm also a huge fan of the title too, I feel like it fits the summary so well. A Madness So Discreet is one of my most anticipated of 2015 so I cannot wait until October. It's going to be an awesome Fall read!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Review: Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita

Received egalley for review from Netgalley.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Published: March 3, 2015
Series: Fairy Tale Reform School #1
Amazon - Goodreads

Would you send a villain to do a hero's job? An exciting new twisted fairy tale series from award-winning author Jen Calonita.

Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she's not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its sweet mission. There's a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villain really change?

The main character, Gilly, is the daughter of a shoe maker. You know, that fairy tale of the family that lives in a shoe? Yep, that's Gilly's family. After getting caught stealing to feed her family Gilly is sent to the Fairy Tale Reform School in order to stop her from continuing down the path towards becoming a villain. The school is run by reformed villains: Flora a.k.a. Cinderella's Evil Stepmother is headmistress and the teachers are other well-known villains like the Evil Queen, the Big Bad Wolf and the Evil Sea Witch.

I absolutely loved the concept of a villains reform school, but I felt like it just didn't go all the way for me. It took almost until the end of the book before the story really grabbed my attention. It is the first book in a series, so maybe it'll be easier to get into the next book more quickly than this one.

Flunked is a middle grade book, but it almost felt like it should have been young adult during some places. In a way it reminded me of the television show Once Upon A Time and the young adult book Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. It was like a hybrid of those two, but for a younger audience.

**I received this book for review through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Dewey's Read-A-Thon: Wrap Up

I can't believe it, I actually read what I set out to read! It wasn't all during the read-a-thon, but this event seriously got me out of a reading slump.

On Friday night, the day before the read-a-thon, I read Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School and wrote the review (which will be posted on Monday.)

Saturday during the afternoon I read Hit and later in the evening I started Everything That Makes You. I'm 106 pages in and I'm absolutely loving it!

I will definitely be participating in future read-a-thons, it was so fun. I love all the encouragement from other readers and just the awesome sense of a bookish community.

Thank you so much to Heather and Andi for being such awesome hostesses of the read-a-thon!

Dewey's Read-a-Thon: Mid-Event Survey

The Read-a-Thon is halfway over! 
Here's a Mid-Event survey for Hour 12. 

1. What are you reading right now?
I'm about to start Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay.

2. How many books have you read so far?
One. Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I only plan on reading one more book which is Everything That Makes You. I probably won't finish it today, but I'm excited to get a good chunk of it read!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Just a few little ones every now and then, but I was able to go right back to reading.
I took a little break for lunch and a two hour one for dinner and Netflix. After I'm done writing this post I'm going to get back to reading.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
I'm shocked that I actually finished a book! Woo! I'm also surprised I want to keep reading. I thought I'd be drained by now, I think the break definitely helped.

Dewey's Read-A-Thon: Treasure Hunt (Mini Challenge)

Mini-Challenge hosted by Boghunden

Task: Find books with a Tree, Snow and a Weapon on the cover.

I'll be doing a few quick mini-challenge posts throughout the day. Since I want to spend the majority of my day reading, the photo quality won't be that great since I'm just using my phone camera and won't be doing any editing.

Books Read:
-96 pages in Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

I'll be back in an hour or two to post another mini-challenge and update! 

Happy Reading! 

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon

I've been in a reading slump all of April, I haven't even read a single book, seriously! It's going to be raining most of tomorrow and I have quite a few books I need to read for review so I thought this was the perfect time to participate in my very first read-a-thon!

Here are the books I want to read:

1. Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita
I've been about twenty percent done with this book for weeks. I'm having a bit of trouble getting into the story, but I received this from Netgalley and I really want to finish it so I can get a review up. It's a middle grade book so it shouldn't take too long to read.
EDIT: I finished this Friday night before the Read-A-Thon!

2. Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay
A book for review that I got this week that I'm absolutely dying to read, it sounds so interesting! It's inspired by that 'what if' question we all have in our lives. There's two sides to this story: Fiona, the version of our main character who has thick scar tissue on her face and Fi, other version that never had an accident. I'm super curious to see how this plays out and how different or similar the main character's life will be.

3. Hit (Hit #1) by Delilah S. Dawson 
I keep picking up Hit to start reading, but end up putting it right back down since I haven't been in the reading mood. I know I won't be able to finish this book during the read-a-thon, but I'd like to at least get a good portion of the beginning read.

There's so many awesome ways to get involved and stay motivated. There's Hourly Challenges, Cheerleaders, prizes and Twitter chats. I probably won't do every Hourly Challenge, but I'm planning on participating in a few!

The Read-A-Thon's website has start times up for all over the world so everyone can start at the same time. My time zone begins at 7am, but I'm sorry, but I'm totally not getting up that early on a Saturday! I'll probably set an alarm for 10:00!

For more info you can check out these Read-A-Thon links:

Are you doing the Read-A-Thon?

Waiting on Wednesday: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Release Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile 

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

I have a feeling The Wrath and the Dawn is either going to totally blow me away or I'm going to hate it. I'm hoping this book will be a super atmospheric read and have lots of character growth. I really want to find out why after every sunrise Khalid has his new bride killed and I definitely want to find out about Shazi, she already sounds like a total badass for going in to that brutal situation to avenge her friend. I love the unique concept, so I'm totally crossing my fingers that I'll enjoy it!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine

Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn

Bought: Amazon ebook for kindle
Publisher: J. Lynn
Published: February 2013
Series: Wait for You #1
Amazon - Goodreads

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

So this is definitely a bit more 'steamy' than the books I usually read, but I kept seeing it all over book blogs and I had to see what all the fuss was about. Like most books in the new adult genre Wait for You had plenty of angst and a main character with a dark past, which if I'm honest is why I stay away from this genre. However, J. Lynn's writing flowed great throughout the story which made Wait for You stand out among the other books of its kind.

The best part of the book for me was Cam, the designated hot guy that the main character, Avery, always pushes away, even though deep down she doesn't want to. During some parts I felt like their relationship reminded me of others that I've read about before, but there was still something really genuine and sweet about it that kept me rooting for them.

There was definitely character growth, which I love, and no insta-love, which I definitely appreciate! I read this book pretty quickly, J. Lynn's writing held my attention and I wanted to know what was going to happen with the characters. I felt like the plot followed most of the books in this genre, but that the characters and the writing helped it stand out among the others. I definitely recommend Wait for You for fans of the new adult genre.

I didn't know how to rate this one, so far it's been my favorite new adult book, but not an all-time book favorite, so I'll just give it four stars. Maybe three? Ahh, I'm over thinking this star rating system again, aren't I?

The Music Files: The Maine


In 2009 during my sophomore year of high school a friend and I exchanged mixed tapes for Christmas. It wasn't a huge deal because he gave all of his friends the same exact mix tape, but it still stands that the music was really good.

On it were gems like The Girl's A Straight-Up Hustler by All Time Low, Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Addiction and Her Name by There For Tomorrow and, of course, Everything I Ask For by The Maine.

My love for The Maine slowly started with that one song; at first I listened to it on repeat from my CD player, then I bought it from iTunes so I could always carry it with me, and soon after I bought the entire album, Can't Stop Won't Stop. 

My love for The Maine began when I was fifteen. 
I'm twenty-two now and I couldn't love their music more.

I love how their music has grown with me and that each album is something different, but the core of  of it still the same with the catchy music and meaningful lyrics. The guys work so hard and are so generous to their fans.

Bottom Lounge - House of Blues

I've been to three of their concerts and there's not much that can make me as happy as being there. I saw them at The House of Blues in Chicago, The Rave in Milwaukee and at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago. At the Bottom Lounge it was just them. They played their new album at the time, Pioneer, from start to finish and then came back out for a second set to play some old favorites and cover songs. It was amazing, I just feel so alive when I listen to their music and being there with everyone singing along to the songs we all love is incredible.

Not my video, but I was there! Song starts around 2:35, but the beginning part is fun!
Pioneer Tour - Bottom Lounge - Chicago - Dec. 21, 2011

Their third album, Pioneer, will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the one I saw entirely performed live and they did it all on their own. They left the bigger record company because it wasn't letting them produce the music that they wanted to. The guys were in a situation that was bad for their growth, so they left. They worked their asses off and created their best album yet, Pioneer. They didn't let anyone stop them from making the music that they wanted to.

One of my favorite things about The Maine's music is that they write it and it's amazing. The lyrics are always so incredible. Here are just a few of my favorites:

"Oh, I'm learning to be free."

"Some days taste like lemonade, 
some days can feel like razorblades. 
I wish I could float away, some days."
-Some Days

"We go together like the winter and a sweater."
-Ho Ho Hopefully 

"Unaware of where I'm going 
or if I'm going anywhere at all,
but I know I'll take the leap 
if it's worth the fall."

"Give me thunder, give me lightening, 
and I will give you every part of me." 
-Take Me Dancing

On March 31st of this year The Maine released their fifth album, American Candy.
I love it. I love how each of their albums always finds a way to be relevant in my life no matter where I'm at. It's more upbeat then their most recent album, but I think we all could us a little lightness to our lives right now, at least I know I could. The lyrics are still amazing, the music is incredible and I can't stop listening! It's been on repeat since last Tuesday.
All of the tracks are up on their YouTube channel, you should check it out here!

Garrett - Jared - John - Kennedy - Pat

I seriously could keep going about how amazing The Maine is and how generous they are with their fans (always touring, staying late after shows to meet fans, being active on social media, super affordable tickets/merch, and always creating amazing music) but that could get a little bit too long. So if you're interested in listening to or finding out more about The Maine here are some of their links:


Review: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Bought from Target.
Publisher: Dey St.
Published: October 2014
Amazon - Goodreads

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by.

After binge watching Parks & Rec on Netflix I knew I wanted to read Amy Poehler's book. I love her sense of humor and straight-up honesty in her book, Yes Please. She talks about when she was working in Chicago, to her time at SNL,  Parks & Rec days and her personal life.

I listened to the audiobook and followed along in the physical copy. I highly recommend listening to it! This was my first audiobook and I think I'll consistently listen to memoirs from now on. Amy is the narrator, she is just so funny and I felt like listening to Amy tell her own story added a whole other level to the book.

A little towards the middle, it got a little bit slow for me, but the first part of the book was awesome. There's a lot of funny parts, some bits of insight  and a much appreciated look into Amy's past days in comedy.

I loved Amy's voice (both literary speaking and literally speaking) it stood out and made it seem like I was sitting down and talking with her. She's so likable and doesn't hesitate to bring up times when she wasn't the best person she could have been, which is awesome to see someone acknowledge their mistakes and it's inspiring too.

Overall, Yes Please is a wonderfully hilarious book with some serious bits mixed in. I loved learning more about Amy's Parks & Rec days and falling in love with her kick ass attitude.

If you've read and enjoyed Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) then I definitely recommend you pick up Yes Please, they both have that honest yet hilarious feel to them.
You can check out my review of Mindy's book here.

Quote It: The Miniaturist - Unravel Me - Fangirl

Whenever I read I make sure that I have my trusty post-it note flags by my side. The past few years I started marking my favorite quotes in the books I've been reading. It's really awesome to be able to go back and see what lines caught my attention. 

I hadn't really done anything once I marked the quotes, so I figured I should change that and start picking out a few of my favorites and share them in some blog posts. 

For this post I chose 2-3 quotes from three books I read last month.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
"Freedom is a glorious thing. Free yourself, Marin. The bars on your cage are of your own making."

"But the problem is .... those with no horizons want to pull yours down."

"From little seeds great flowers grow."

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
"Loneliness is a strange sort of thing.
It creeps up on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in the dark, strokes your hair as you sleep. It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can't breathe. It leaves lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaches the light out from every corner. It's a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you're struggling to stand up."

"Because sometimes you see yourself - you see yourself the way you could be - the way you might be if things were different. And if you look too closely, what you see will scare you, it'll make you wonder what you might do if given the opportunity. You know there's a different side of yourself you don't want to recognize, a side you don't want to see in the daylight. You spend your whole life doing everything to push it down and away, out of sight, out of mind. You pretend that a piece of yourself doesn't exist."

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 
"I look like this because I'm alive," Reagan said. "Because I've had experiences. Do you understand?"

"They slow your brain down," he said, clutching an orange bottle of pills. "They iron out all the wrinkles. . . . Maybe all the bad stuff happens in the wrinkles, but all the good stuff does, too. . . . .
"They break your brain like a horse, so it takes all your orders. I need a brain that can break away, you know? I need to think. If I can't think, who am I?"

"Just . . . isn't giving up allowed sometimes? Isn't it okay to say, 'This really hurts, so I'm going to stop trying'?"
"It sets a dangerous precedent."
"For avoiding pain?"
"For avoiding life."

Do you mark your favorite quotes?

March Wrap Up 2015

I didn't read as many books as I read in February, but I knew that insane total of eleven books wasn't going to be repeating in March. I usually read in the evenings, but last month I binge-watched the entire series of Parks & Rec so that took away a good chunk of reading time. I so don't regret it though, I'm totally in love with that show, I just wish it wasn't over!

 Books Read:
1. Shadow Scale (Seraphina 2) by Rachel Hartman
2. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (My Review)
3. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles 3) by Marissa Meyer  
4. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover  (e-book, not pictured)

Total number of pages: 1,984

I'm in the middle of listening to Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I'm seriously loving it so far! Amy narrates it and there's also a few special guest narrators like Carol Brunette, Seth Meyers, Patrick Stewart and even more. I have the physical book too, so I'm following along with the narration since I'm not the greatest at concentrating while someone else is reading.

I also started Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover because of an awesome review by Benish from Feminist Reflections (you can check out Benish's review here.) I'm a little over halfway through and can't wait to see what happens next!

Reviews Posted:
1. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman 
2. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
3. Soulless (Parasol Protectorate 1) by Gail Carriger 
4. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
5. Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

This month I plan on reading and reviewing Hit by Delilah S. Dawson, Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, Trigger Warning: Short Stories and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman and Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School 1) by Jen Calonita.

Waiting on Wednesday: Da Vinci's Tiger by Laura Malone Elliott

Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Amazon - Goodreads
Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.

When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.

Absolutely everything about this book appeals to me. Renaissance Florence, a creative main character that is trying to find her voice and it seems like art will be an important presence in this book as well. I feel like the character growth and setting are going to be amazing! I'm seriously counting down the days until November 10th.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

The Lowdown: Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

Ever want to know just the quick, simple details of a book? The Lowdown is just that: just the gist, just an overview. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to join in on The Lowdown fun! If so, I'll create a linky for next week's Lowdown!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Series and Author:
Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Books in Series:
Shatter Me #1
Destroy Me #1.5
Unravel Me #2
Fracture Me #2.5
Ignite Me #3

Summary of Book One:
(from goodreads)

"I have a curse
I have a gift
I am a monster
I'm more than human
My touch is lethal
My touch is power
I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior."

Young Adult - Dystopian

Point of View:
First person (Juliette)

3 Words/Phrases to Describe the the Book:
Suspenseful. Beautifully written. Swoon-worthy.

Main Character:

Brave. Bold. Powerful.

Top Supporting Characters:

The Reestablishment

The Lowdown:
I fell in love with the Shatter Me books at page one. Tahereh Mafi's writing is just so beautiful and it puts words to feelings that so many people have. I loved watching Juliette grow throughout the series by gaining independence and acceptance for who she is. The supporting characters are total standouts, this series definitely has one of my all time favorite cast of supporting characters. I love how through the two novellas, Destory Me and Fracture Me, you can experience Warner and Adam's voices and stories. The plot is the perfect pace with the right about of unexpected twists and turns. I love how Mafi has you question first impressions and challenges you to reevaluate the way you look at yourself through Juliette's character. I'm obsessed with this series and can't wait for Tahereh Mafi's next book!

Stacking the Shelves: March 2015

Links lead to Goodreads.

-Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
-Hollow City (Miss Peregrine #2) by Ransom Riggs

I started Trigger Warning a couple weeks ago and am waiting to have full focus so I can completely dive into the stories. This will be my first Neil Gaiman book and I'm so very excited!
Thank you to William Morrow!

I'm halfway through Hollow City and it's seriously just as awesome as the first book. I've been halfway in the book for quite some time so I can't wait to finally finish!
Thank you to Quirk!

-The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (My Review)
-Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
-Paper Towns by John Green
-The Body Electric by Beth Revis (ebook)
-Literary Listography by Lisa Nola

I completely adored The Miniaturist, so I'm definitely happy I bought it despite the expensive hardcover price. I've been eyeing Burial Rites all year. I found it at Half Price Books last weekend and with my 40% off coupon I had to get it! Paper Towns is being turned into a movie so I want to read it before I accidentally see any movie trailers. Beth Revis' Across the Universe trilogy is one of my all time favorites so The Body Electric is a must read for me. I saw Literary Listography at my local indie book store and had to get it! It has all different list prompts about everything bookish.

-Kindle Paperwhite
My Kindle was a birthday gift from my lovely parents. Thank you Mom and Dad!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Bought from my local indie bookstore.
Published: August 2014
Publisher: Ecco
Amazon - Goodreads

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

"There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…"

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella's world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes' gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

You know you're buying an awesome book when the cashier goes "Oh! I've been wanting to read this one!" I loved The Miniaturist, it was just so interesting! The setting was perfect and the overall haunting feeling of the book is beautifully mysterious. I love books that are so much more than words on a page and I felt like with The Miniaturist there was meaning between the lines.

The Miniaturist is set in 17th century Amsterdam and follows a young bride named Nella who just moved to a new city to live with her older and secretive husband, Johannes. Their marriage was quick so Nella really had no idea what she was getting into, like how his sister would be living with them and that he would rarely be around. Everyone in the house is very closed off and Nella wants to know the secrets of the house and the people that live there.

I was sucked back in time so easily. Burton had a way of describing Nella's surroundings in a way that didn't feel forced. Since most of the time Nella is experiencing places for the first time while your reading, it makes the descriptions that much more enjoyable. 

All of the characters play an important role and are so well-developed. I really enjoyed watching Nella grow and take responsibility for her life. I found her to be a really interesting character and I loved reading about her story.

I loved the mystery that was the miniaturist. It added an eerie feeling to the story that I couldn't resist. 

I've been struggling with trying to comprehend my thoughts for this book because the overall feeling is indescribable. The perfect mix of mystery, suspense, 17th century Netherlands and Nella's odd situation was just so addictive. I felt like The Miniaturist took me fully into Nella's world with Burton's lyrical writing and suspenseful plot.

Waiting on Wednesday: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Amazon - Goodreads

Here is the stunning conclusion to the national bestselling Lunar Chronicles, inspired by Snow White.

When Princess Winter was thirteen, the rumor around the Lunar court was that her glamour would soon be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. In a fit of jealousy, Levana disfigured Winter. Four years later, Winter has sworn off the use of her glamour altogether. Despite her scars, Winter’s natural beauty, her grace, and her gentleness are winning admiration from the Lunar people that no amount of mind-control could achieve.

Winter despises her stepmother, but has never dreamed of standing up to her. That is, until she realizes that she may be the only one with the power to confront the queen.

Can Cinder, Prince Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne, Princess Winter, and the palace guard Jacin find their happily ever afters? Fans will LOVE this amazing conclusion to the series.

I finished the third book in The Lunar Chronicles, Cress, last weekend and now I'm dying to find out what happens next! I adore all of the characters in this incredible world Meyer has created and I'm always surprised by how easily I get lost into all their different stories.

According to goodreads Winter is going to be 800 pages, holy cow! I'll need to clear out that week of November, because let's be honest, it's not like I'll want to do anything else but read Winter! I can't believe this series is going to be over soon, it's one of my favorites and can't wait to find out how it'll end.

Also, isn't that cover gorgeous?! I love how the entire series followed a set color scheme and made all the covers so magical.

My review of Cinder is here.
My review of Scarlet is here.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.