I have a bad habit of continuing to buy books… LOTS of books when I haven’t read a lot of the ones already sitting on my bookshelf. I’ve made resolution after resolution to stop doing this but when I walk into a bookstore and see a shiny new book sitting there all lonely, I can’t help but want to pick it up and give it a good home. It just seems like the right thing to do. Granted, sometimes I receive books from publishers in an exchange for an honest review so that will dictate what I read, but I still want to get better about reading what I own. Here are 5 books that I’ve already purchased that are sitting in my TBR pile.
Alienated by Melissa Landers
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
I was basically SCREAMING when I saw this new collection being released by Pinup Girl Clothing. The estate of Mary Blair has agreed to collaborate with PUG and the result is this stunning line of 50’s and 60’s inspired clothing. I’ve been a fan of Mary Blair’s artwork for as long as I can remember and I have a ton of books about her. These new pieces of apparel “bring this iconic artist’s whimsical Mid-century modern art to life in beautiful and timeless style for the modern woman. PUG’s creative director Micheline Pitt has long been inspired by Mary’s drive to succeed in the male-oriented world of illustration, as well as admiring and respecting her unique artist vision.” The collection includes dresses and skirts which range in price from $102 to $156. Everything is so gorgeous that I can’t even decide which is my favorite print! I do especially love the planes, roses and train border prints though! The full collection can be viewed here.
Fairest by Marissa Meyer acts as a prequel to The Lunar Chronicles series and it gives us the full backstory of Queen Levana. (I’ve previously reviewed the first book in the series, Cinder.) The book was marketed as a full length novel with illustrations but it’s only about 200 pages and the only illustration is on the front and back inside covers. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an absolutely stunning illustration of the palace on Luna and I could stare at it for hours, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting. We also get to read the first three chapters of Winter which is the final installment in The Lunar Chronicles which is being released in November (after being pushed back).
It’s so rare for us readers to get a full 200 page novella dedicated to a villain’s past and I’m so grateful that we were allotted the opportunity with Levana. However, her backstory did not make me pity her or help me to understand why she is the way she is. Levana is a terrible person through and through and she’s been making awful decisions since she was a child. She is manipulative and constantly uses her powers to get what she wants. She feels no remorse about taking the lives of those who oppose her and enslaving those who she craves acceptance from. I loved getting to read about the early stages of the development of letumosis, and about the younger versions of Princess Selene and Princess Winter. I also can see why Levana is acting the way she currently is towards Prince Kai in the current storyline.
Fairest is a quick paced read that any reader would be able to consume it in one sitting. I didn’t like that it wasn’t broken up into chapters (but instead with little section breaks). It also did nothing to make me feel pity for Queen Levana. If anything, I just want Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Prince Kai to defeat her even more. At times it was hard for me to read Fairest because the things Levana did made me really uncomfortable. While it’s not necessary to read Fairest if you’re involved in the quartet, I think it enriches the story which makes it worth checking out. I’m glad that I finished the book despite how mad it made me at points. There are so many past events that relate to what’s transpiring in the main storyline that any Lunar Chronicles fan will be pleased overall with the novella. Plus it’s a small fix to help us until Winter!
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.
Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series. (via Goodreads)
I am in love with Melissa’s apartment. When I see how crafty she was and what she was able to make work on a reasonable budget, it makes me want to get my own place immediately. On New Years Eve, Mel invited Andrew and I over and I got to take photos of some of my favorite areas of her decor since it was less crowded than her birthday party. We were also in for a huge treat because we got to be taste testers in her new obsession with French pastries. You can read about some of the fancy foods she’s prepared in her Baked by the Other Melissa column. Everything was so delicious but my favorite were the baked rose petals. She also has a darling little bunny named Teela who hopped around us when she wasn’t being shy.
Some other New Years festivities included 1) champagne (obviously!) 2) Melissa forcing us into watching Magic Mike, not once, but twice, because she’s in love with Alcide from True Blood, 3) making Andrew watch RoboCop in full for the his first time, and 4) after the ball dropped, slaying some zombies in Left 4 Dead.
I’ve been reading these books in order (I still have to read Isla and the Happily Ever After but I also have to wait for the paperback because I’m OCD about my book buying), but I’m reviewing them out of order. Anna and the French Kiss is the first book by Stephanie Perkins in her companion trilogy but I’ve already written about the second book, Lola and the Boy Next Door. Both stories are contemporary young adult and if you’re in the mood for a great slow burn romance, prepare to swoon. I actually preferred Anna to Lola, but only ever so slightly. And I think it’s because of the setting. Anna’s story takes place in Paris which is the city of love and a place I’ve always dreamed of visiting. She gets sent to boarding school and throughout the novel she explores the city while gradually falling for Etienne St. Clair. And oh my goodness, the feels I have for this boy. *fans self*
A big reason of why I fell in love with St. Clair is because he’s such a real teenage boy. There are things he does which make me want to shake him and scream “NO! STOP!” in his face until he handles some of his emotions better. I also really appreciated how long it took for the Anna and St. Clair to acknowledge their feelings towards one another. They connected deeply and formed a strong friendship because they bonded over a mutual love of the arts (Anna for films and St. Clair for art). Anna was also authentically teenage and I appreciated her quirks (like her OCD neatness which I can relate to). She’s very shy but she’s also sarcastic so her internal monologue is really pleasing to be part of. I love that Anna is so passionate about films and I can relate to her wanting to see as many as possible and continue to improve the way she writes reviews.
Anna and the French Kiss is packed with swoonworthy moments and a healthy dose of drama. It didn’t feel like the drama was overly dramatic or too romantic-comedy like. It’s a very natural progression for the story to flow into. I was absolutely rooting for Anna and Etienne since the moment they became friends and Stephanie Perkins’ story left me feeling oh so satisfied. I am even considering re-reading the book soon.
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? (via Goodreads)
Now that I’m hosting videos for THINKAboutTheINK which deal strictly with comics, I decided it was time to revamp my personal YouTube channel and post about my other true love, books. The first video which I released yesterday is my January Book Haul. I hope you like it!
5 Fandom Friday is getting into the Valentine’s Day spirit! Our topic this week is about which fictional couples we ship. Anyone who identifies as a fangirl or a fanboy has VERY strong opinions about which characters belong together. Here are the ones that I feel most strongly about!
1) Peter Parker & Gwen Stacy (Spider-Man) – Gwen > MJ. No question. Gwen loves Peter and MJ loves Spidey. Gwen and Peter connect on a deeper level and I wish that they would’ve been able to explore their relationship further. Stupid Green Goblin *cries*
2) Cath & Levi (Fangirl) – This pair is adorable. Levi gets Cath to be open to new experiences and it’s the best thing for her. Their love is so innocent and ahhh.
3) Anna & Etienne St. Clair (Anna and the French Kiss) – I just wrote a full review of this book which will be posted this weekend and it explains ALL of my feelings about Anna at Etienne but trust me, this pair will make you swoon. It’s a slow burn romance and it’s so so satisfying.
4) Lupin & Tonks (Harry Potter) – The FEELS.
5) Chuck & Blair (Gossip Girl) – Chuck and Blair’s relationship was such an emotional roller coaster for me. I had read the books so at first I thought that the idea of something between them was absurd, but Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick (*swoon*) have the best on screen chemistry possibly ever. I think they may be my OTP.
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
I’m so excited to be hosting a giveaway to celebrate the release of The Duff film which is based on Kody Keplinger’s novel of the same name. I’ve heard such great things about both the book and the film and I’m really looking forward to reading this one soon. You can enter below for a $25 Visa gift card, a t-shirt, a copy of the book and a mini-poster! Plus, Mae Whitman is in the film and she’s totally awesome!
About THE DUFF
#TheDUFF – In Theaters February 20th – A comedic snap shot about what it’s like to be a teen today
Bianca (Mae Whitman) is a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her as ‘The DUFF’ (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends (Skyler Samuels & Bianca Santos). Now, despite the words of caution from her favorite teacher (Ken Jeong), she puts aside the potential distraction of her crush, Toby (Nick Eversman), and enlists Wesley (Robbie Amell), a slick but charming jock, to help reinvent herself. To save her senior year from turning into a total disaster, Bianca must find the confidence to overthrow the school’s ruthless label maker Madison (Bella Thorne) and remind everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone’s DUFF.
Based on the Novel by Kody Keplinger.
Visit the Official Website
Follow TheDUFFMovie on Snapchat for exclusive chats and content debuts
Prize pack value, $85
Open to US mailing addresses only.
Prizing provided by CBS Films
People always say not to judge a book by it’s cover but I’ve picked up some amazing books in the past by breaking this rule. I can’t help it. I am a visual person who loves and appreciates artwork so when I see a great cover, chances are I’m going to pick up that book. Here are some of the loveliest red & pink book covers in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.
This book was sent to me by the publisher for review consideration. This is no way swayed my opinion.
Wow. Wow. Wow. I do not say this lightly. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is one of those rare books that is immediately fascinating from the first page. It begins with a flashback recounted by the protagonist David from when he was 8 years old. It does a fantastic job of introducing the reader to the state of the world and the Epics who’ve destroyed it. Epics are similar to superheroes but none of them use their powers for good. They’ve overthrown all forms of government because no one can control them or have any chance of stopping them without knowing their one unique weakness and they show no remorse for killing normal humans. In the flashback, we also learn why it’s become the protagonists sole purpose in life to exact revenge on an Epic named Steelheart.
Like any nation where the mass population is not looked out for, a group of rebellious citizens have banded together with one goal: kill Epics. They strategically plan their hits and they never stay in one city for long. Their existence is a rumor but David has spent so much time tracking them that he manages to cross paths with them when they visit Newcago. The way that David tells the story is part of why I loved it so much. David is only 18 so his youthful sense of hope and believing in being able to do the seemingly impossible shines through in all of his decisions. He’s both clever and fearless and his understanding of the world has mostly been learned from books. Also, his inability to craft proper metaphors is very charming. I can honestly say that there was never a dull moment or lull in the plot while reading. All of the minor characters were fully developed and while most didn’t like to offer tidbits of their past, they all had such unique personalities that you could get a sense of where they came from.
If you enjoy reading about superheroes and you’ve thought about what it might be like if they actually existed, Steelheart is the perfect read. I’m so happy the second book is out already because I don’t think I would be able to wait to find out what’s going to happen next. I am so charmed by this underdog story and I constantly found myself rooting for the average people to emerge triumphant. Brandson Sanderson really gets how to craft a story and I’m definitely going to be picking up everything else he’s written. Before researching more about him, I hadn’t realized that he took over the Wheel of Time series for Robert Jordan.
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.
Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.
And David wants in. He wants Steelheart – the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning – and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge. (via Goodreads)