Today’s video is a combined wrap up covering all the books I read in May and June! I didn’t get to make a separate May video since I was deep in the throes of the final wedding countdown. I decided to just cover the novels I read in this video and I’m planning on making a separate video about all the manga and graphic novels I binged during May because there were a lot of them! What have you been reading lately?
Vicious by V.E. Schwab is a book I had always planned on reading but I kept pushing it back because I love Schwab’s writing and I didn’t want to not have a book of hers to look forward to reading. Since the release of This Savage Song has been drawing nearer, I decided to pick it up on a whim and I couldn’t be more happy that my July reading started off with such a bang! Vicious explores a complicated relationship between an anti-hero and villain and I love that it’s up to the reader to determine which of the main characters falls into which role. The story begins ten years prior when Victor Vale and Eli Ever are working on their thesis involving EO’s or ExtraOrdinary humans. They make several groundbreaking discoveries which leads to experiments and chaos.
I love that Schwab chose to acknowledge and go with the Marvel route of naming superheroes, that is to say, each character is named alliteratively. Victor Vale has spent the past ten years in prison planning exactly how he would try to kill Eli Ever when they were finally reunited again. He meets a chocolate milk loving friend Mitch and an intriguing twelve year old girl named Sydney along the way and it is a pleasure to see the story unfold along with them. I love how it’s constantly jumping perspectives and periods in time. Between the flashbacks told as if they were currently occurring and the present situations everyone finds themselves in in real time, I felt even more connected to the story than I would have if the stories had simply been relayed from a character who experienced it to a current fixture in either of Victor or Eli’s lives. Even more fascinating than the present, is watching each character’s descent into madness and attempting to determine who is the hero and who is the villain (or if there even is one or the other). For those wondering, I’m team Victor.
Final Thoughts: Vicious by V.E. Schwab is a quick paced adventure story which delves into the psyches of Victor Vale and Eli Ever. It’ll have you questioning what it means to be a villain vs. a hero and the constant switching between past and present timelines will allow you to see the hero vs. villain origin stories developing as soon as those initial seeds are planted. Vicious reads like a really engaging contemporary psychology novel with a sci-fi twist as the main characters begin experimenting with ExtraOrdinary humans. Vicious is technically an adult novel but everything about it is very accessible for anyone who typically reads and enjoys YA. I definitely recommend this one wholeheartedly!
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? (via Goodreads)
Okay, so first things first, how many of you are also addicted to Pokemon Go?!?! It seems like only yesterday that the game was announced despite it feeling like forever until the release. The game slowly appeared in app stores across the globe but the U.S. had yet to get it yet so Andrew posted this hilarious video and literally one minute later we were able to download it for iOS! We walked all over our apartment (where we both found an Eevee<3) and chose our starters (Squirtle for me and Bulbasaur for Andrew). Obviously we wanted to keep playing so we walked around our neighborhood in mismatched pajamas scouring the land for Pokemon. I didn’t go to sleep last night until the app was having server issues so I’m rather tired this morning but I am seriously looking forward to my morning commute! I can’t wait to see how many other Pokemon trainers I pass while walking the streets of NYC. As for what else is new this week, Andrew and I went to our photographer and picked up all of our wedding photos on Tuesday night(!!!) so expect a post of those in the near future.
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley became an instant favorite of mine as soon as I started reading it (review here). On top of that, I think this might be my favorite set of outfit photos thus far. I love how the rainbow pastels in the skirt compliment the neon colors on the book cover. And I’m wearing a favorite bow of mine behind my head because Andrew and I have been really into RWBY lately and Blake is my favorite character. The top I’m wearing is actually a dress but I love how the yellow just amps up the bright and cheeriness of the overall look.
Shoes (Melissa – N/A) | Necklace (Kate Spade – N/A) | Bracelet (House of Harlow – N/A)
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly awaiting. This week I’m choosing The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. This new series is pitched as Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars so it seems like one of those quick-read sort of guilty pleasure type books. I’m particularly interested in this series though because while it seems like a contemporary, there’s a sci-fi twist. The story takes place in Manhattan in 2118 in the now tallest building in the world, a skyscraper with 1,000 floors. The main characters are all rich NYC kids living on the thousandth floor and the story kicks off with someone falling to their death. Color me intrigued!
New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.
Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.
Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.
Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.
Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?
Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.
And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.
Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall…. (via Goodreads)
I really super love Morgan Matson so I was eager to read her new book, The Unexpected Everything as soon as it debuted. The Unexpected Everything is about Type A girl named Andie who is a serious planner (which really speaks to my heart). Andie has gotten used to a certain way of life but as her summer is beginning, her father gets caught up in a big political scandal which results in him spending much more time at home than he ever had before and Andie’s impressive summer internship getting cancelled. She’s forced to spend the summer at home but things seem to be going much better than she anticipated, especially when Clark comes into the picture. She has a very close group of girlfriends, gets a job as a dog walker and begins seeing the joy in the unexpected, despite it being a huge adjustment.
The Unexpected Everything is longer than Matson’s previous novels and while the beginning was a tiny bit slow for my liking, I still ended up loving it overall. In The Unexpected Everything Matson covers romantic relationships, parental relationships and friendships so it’s no wonder the book is 519 pages. I appreciated that she managed to cover and get the reader to care about all three. It’s obvious that a huge amount of planning and development went into each unique relationship and it all works so harmoniously. I love that she is able to cover everything since it’s rare that an individual would only be dealing with one at a time. The romance in this book is my favorite of any of Matson’s previous books (although I haven’t read Second Chance Summer and I’m not sure if there’s romance in that one). Clark is a fantasy writer and he’s such a swoony character. I love how nervous and insecure he can be at points and I love how interested he is in other people. He’s a keeper! I also really liked Andie’s dad and I was rooting for him to be able to mend their relationship after a distance grew between them. And as for Andie’s friends, they are such a fun and tight knit group. There was one predictable thing that I saw coming but I thought it was handled really well. The Unexpected Everything really encapsulates everything that I love about Matson’s books from the adventurous summer vibes to the delicious eateries (Captain Pizza and Paradise Ice Cream which you may recognize from Since You’ve Been Gone) and of course, the heartwarming characters that capture your heart.
Final Thoughts: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson is a wonderfully in depth summer contemporary about a girl learning to let go of her plans and go with the flow of life. Andie, Clark, her friend group and her father will leave you wondering about their futures long after you finish reading. They’re the kind of characters that stay with you. Also there are cute puppies. If you want a quick paced beach read that’s a bit on the heavier side and you enjoy witty banter and texting with emojis, you should check out The Unexpected Everything.
Andie had it all planned out.
When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
Important internship? Check.
Amazing friends? Check.
Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.
Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.
And where’s the fun in that? (via Goodreads)
My bookshelf tour is a request I get on videos ALL THE TIME. I’m so excited to finally be releasing this video because it took hours to film and even longer for Andrew to edit. I’m pleased with the way it came out and I hope everyone enjoys it!
Earlier this year, Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit, Cristina of Girl in the Pages, Sierra of SDavReads & I all discovered that we shared a mutual love and appreciation for Sailor Moon! After exchanging plenty of flailing tweets and constantly bringing up our love for this magical girl story, we felt it was only right to celebrate it – and that’s what happening this July. Every week will feature a brand new blog post per day from each of us, and we’re so excited to be sharing the Sailor Moon love with all our readers!
This week, we’re each discussing our favorite Sailor Scouts and giving book recommendations based on their personality! My favorite scout has always been Sailor Venus. First of all, we’re introduced to her because she’s the star of her own video game and Sailor Moon is addicted at the arcade. Plus, she has her own manga series that’s collected in two volumes so I feel like she’s one of the scouts that we get to know the most (if you read Codename: Sailor V). She’s very similar to Sailor Moon but she’s not as much of a crybaby. She’s outgoing and ambitious and she’s a born leader. She tends to get serious when she transforms, hiding away her sillier side. Sailor Venus (who attempted to give herself the nickname ‘The Goddess of Love”) is also pretty boy crazy which is always entertaining to me. She’s obsessed with celebrities too and she’ll follow them anywhere which reminds me of my own fandom tendencies. One area where we differ is that Sailor Venus is much more athletic than I’ve ever been / hope to be.
I think she would most enjoy reading contemporary romances and anything about celebrities or fans. Here are my recs for her!
The Hundred Oaks Series by Miranda Kenneally – This is the first series that immediately popped into my head when I thought about books Sailor Venus would enjoy because it’s a sports romance. Each book focuses on a different story and a different sport (but all the stories are set at Hundred Oaks High).
Something Real by Heather Demetrios – I think Sailor Venus would love to read Something Real because of her fascination with celebrities. She would get to read from the perspective of a teenage star and I think she would love it so much, she would read it in one sitting!
The Pivot Point Duology by Kasie West – Pivot Point and Split Second are also contemporary romance novels where football plays a part in. Plus they have a sci-fi twist, which is similar to Sailor Venus’s own story!
Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout – This is another one that I think Sailor Venus would like because of her love of celebrities. It follows an American girl who moves to Korea to study abroad and ends up falling in love with a K-Pop star.
Today I’m kicking off Potter Month with a good ole book tag! I was tagged to do this one by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books ages ago but ya know, wedding planning (I wonder what I’ll have to start saying now that that excuse is no longer valid :-P) But in all seriousness, I’m obviously thrilled to be tagged since Harry Potter is my life. Megan and I even dedicated this whole month to Harry and gang! I decided not to use the Harry Potter series as answers to any of the questions below because that would be too easy.
AN UPCOMING RELEASE YOU WISH YOU COULD GET YOUR HANDS ON RIGHT NOW
I just need this is my life ASAP. Laini Taylor’s writing is a thing of beauty and my BEA chapter sampler has sat unread on my bookshelf because I know I won’t be able to start reading it knowing that I’ll have to wait months to get more.
FAVORITE SERIES STARTER
I adore this series. A Court of Thorns and Roses was my favorite book of 2015 and I didn’t think I could possibly love anything more. It has all the elements that I love in a story: 1) fantasy, 2) not only a fairytale retelling but a Beauty and the Beast retelling, 3) a realm of faeries, each one named and modeled after the seasons and times of day and 4) the beginning of an epic love story.
A BOOK THAT GAVE YOU ALL THE WARM & FUZZIES
I just finished reading The Unexpected Everything yesterday and I loved it to pieces! Unlike Morgan Matson’s other books which each focus on a very specific relationship, this one covered friendship, family and romantic love. And Clark is a fantasy writer! *swoon*
A BOOK THAT MADE YOU UGLY CRY
If you’ve ever read If I Stay, you’ll completely understand why this book really got to me. The beginning is probably one of the saddest things I’ve ever read and just being in the mind space of a girl who’s lost her entire family and is deciding whether she wants to continue living or let go was enough to get my tear ducts going.
BOOKISH HERO OR HEROINE YOU WANT AROUND TO PROTECT YOU IN REAL LIFE
Celaena Sardothian is one badass assassin. Over the course of the four books that I’ve read (I still have to get to Queen of Shadows – I SWEAR I will soon) I’ve come to adore Celaena’s character. She’s a fashionable assassin with a conscience and a penchant for reading so in addition to having a personal bodyguard we’d also have to literature to discuss when our lives aren’t in danger.
A BOOK YOU WISH YOU COULD MAKE EVERYONE READ BECAUSE YOU LOVED IT SO MUCH
This is one of my favorite YA series and I’m EAGERLY awaiting the third book which finally has a title! The Archived series follows a girl named Mackenzie who’s responsible for guiding lost souls back through a doorway which will allow librarians to re-catalog them where they belong. Plus there’s an amazing book boyfriend that’s pretty irresistible.
A BOOK SERIES YOU WISH NEVER ENDED
As I stated in the first question, Laini Taylor is a beautiful word magician and I never want Daughter of Smoke and Bone to End (so much so that I haven’t read the final book because I can’t come to terms with not having more Laini Taylor to read).
A BOOK WITH AN UPLIFTING MESSAGE
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is such an uplifting and humorous book. It’s full of geeky references but most importantly, it’s about discovering who you are and how to be comfortable in your own skin. I was rooting for Simon from page 1 and I think anyone who reads this would agree!
A BOOK YOU WISH YOU COULD FORGET YOU EVER READ
Now I know you’re thinking WHAT ARE THINKING KRISTIN?! ISN’T THIS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS?! And the answer to that would be a big yes! I wish I could forget it so I could enjoy the experience of reading it over again for the first time and being immersed in Kvothe’s world.
AN AUTHOR WHOSE BOOKS ALWAYS GET YOU OUT OF A READING SLUMP
Kiera Cass has the ability to completely get anyone out of a reading slump. Her Selection series got me out a mini slump I was in last year because reading this series was like being addicted to an awful reality tv show. I couldn’t stop reading and I had to know what would happen next despite disliking the main character and getting really annoyed at her life choices.
A SWOON-WORTHY HERO OR HEROINE
A BOOK THAT CAUSED YOU TO STOP DOING ALL OTHER THINGS UNTIL YOU FINISHED IT
I could not put Carry On down when I read it last year! I thought it was going to take me a while to read since it’s over 500 pages but I’m pretty sure I devoured this over a two day period. I remember sneaking in minutes of reading any time I had the opportunity!
A BOOK THAT WAS PAINFUL TO READ (FOR WHATEVER REASON) OR BROKE YOU
Anyone who watched the December Spines with Wines book club knows just how much Cassie, Melissa and I loathed this book. All three of us only finished it because we had to discuss it for book club. I remember always looking at it and frowning and just wishing I could move on already. It had so much going for it with it being a standalone Nutcracker retelling but this one was just not for me.
A BOOK THAT HAD YOU LAUGHING OUT LOUD
My most recent laugh out loud read is Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley. The main character Solomon struggles with agoraphobia but he has one of the best senses of humor. He has the best rapport with his family and his new friends and it led to me laughing out loud on the train several times during my commute.
A BOOK THAT MADE YOU WANT TO SEND IT (OR YOUR E-READER) FLYING
This is a book that I just could not get behind. I enjoyed a lot of the elements of the main character (she wears retro clothes and bakes cupcakes with her grandma) but her views on astrology were just too unbelievable for me. I couldn’t stand the way she handled choosing a relationship and sibling love triangles just kill me.
A BOOKISH WORLD YOU WISH YOU COULD VISIT
I would love to visit the faerie world in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I loved the courts described in A Court of Mist and Fury way more than the Spring Court. I took a quiz yesterday which said that I would belong in the Autumn Court which we haven’t yet seen in the books but it’s the place I would chose to live if I resided in the world. I just want to stroll through fall foliage, drink pumpkin spiced lattes and wear chunky scarves and boots and perpetually celebrate Halloween and Christmas.
A BOOK WITH A SHOCKING TWIST OR ENDING
A CHARACTER DEATH THAT DESTROYED YOU
BEST SERIES CONCLUSION
Everything about this series is pure perfection. I see so very many re-reads in my future because I just need to live here forever with the Aglionby Raven boys.
Cassie from The Bibliomantics
Kay from My Open Sketchbook
Sara from Sincerely, Sara
Melissa from Readerly Geek
Welcome to my reading challenges recap for 2016! This is a monthly post where I’ll be updating my progress throughout the year by challenge so you (and I) can see a breakdown of what I’ve read and which goals those books apply to. I’m always open to suggestions in the comments as well!
Read so far: 66
FLIGHTS OF FANTASY
Read so far: 26
Books that Qualify:
April: The Winner’s Kiss, The Rose and the Dagger, The Raven King
May: A Court of Mist and Fury (review), Clockwork Princess
June: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Shadow Hour
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE READING CHALLENGE
Read so far: 18
Books that Qualify:
May: Kindred Spirits
THE RE-READ CHALLENGE
Read so far: 4
Books that Qualify:
February: Superboy: Smallville Attacks (review)
March: The Fellowship of the Ring
June: Flashpoint, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
2016 TBR PILE READING CHALLENGE
Read so far: 25
Books that Qualify:
March: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (review), Split Second (review), Clockwork Prince (review), Dark Triumph (review), Tiny Pretty Things (review), Madly, Komomo Confiserie Volume 1, Catching Jordan (review)
April: The Distance Between Us (review), Sword Art Online Girls Ops Vol 1
May: Clockwork Princess
June: Heartless (Pretty Little Liars), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
2016 FINISHING THE SERIES CHALLENGE
*This challenge will fluctuate throughout the year based on whether a new book in the series has been released. A star denotes that I am either finished or current with the series.
Goal: 3-6 series
Series completed so far: 6
Series current with so far: 10
Books that Qualify:
February: Grave Mercy (review), Boomerang (review), Into the Dim* (review), Poison Study (review), The Storyspinner (review), The Assassin’s Blade (review), Reign of Shadows* (review), Shadow and Bone, Ranma 1/2 volume 3
March: The Crown and the Arrow*, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (review), Split Second* (review), The Skylighter* (review), Clockwork Prince (review), Dark Triumph (review), Tiny Pretty Things* (review), Madly*, The Shadow Queen*, Catching Jordan
April: The Winner’s Kiss*, Archie Volume 1: The New Riverdale*, Map of Fates*, The Rose and the Dagger*, The Raven King*
May: A Court of Mist and Fury (review)*, Clockwork Princess*
June: Heartless (Pretty Little Liars), The Shadow Hour*
This has been a weird week. The week preceding the 4th of July is typically a quiet one but several of the fandoms I love turned Monday to Wednesday into stressful days! On Monday I SCRAMBLED to get tickets to the NYC premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which JK Rowling herself and Eddie Redmayne will also be attending. That was the most stressful of my experiences this week but more on that later. On Tuesday I sat at my computer refreshing constantly to get my hands on a Mondo Ramona Flowers figure that had been previewed at San Diego Comic Con last year and seemingly disappeared into the void until they finally announced on Monday that preorders would go live the next day. Andrew and I both scored one of these so we have an extra if anyone didn’t get one and is in need! And then Wednesday. Wednesday was the NYCC ticket rush. This is the first year that I will not be attending as press (I wasn’t able to go last year because I had to attend a wedding – literally a devastating moment for me) and now I have to join in the horrific ticket queue but I’m just happy to be going! I already have a cosplay planned and I’m super excited that NYCC is adding a BookCon section this year! The ticket queue was my worst nightmare. It gave no indication of where you were in line or how long it would be until you were able to buy tickets. Luckily, I teamed up with my friend Lauren and she got in first so she scored some of the last 4 day tickets before NYCC announced that they were sold out. VICTORY. Now today I’m too mentally exhausted to do a thing- bring on my three day weekend!
Anyway, on to my outfit photos :-) I put this outfit together with Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger in mind. I was lucky enough to read this book early and I ADORED it (review here). The conclusion to this duology, Wayfarer is due out in January of 2017 and you can bet I placed my preorder as soon as it showed up online. I chose to wear my Chopin music note leggings and music note necklace because the main character Etta is a very talented violinist. I also went with some more classic pieces, like a denim jacket and oxford shoes because Passenger is all about time travel and we meet the other main character Nicholas in early American history.