Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge

Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge

I came across this Popsugar reading challenge on Pinterest and knew that it was something I really wanted to do. As I go through the year I will keep you guys updated with the books I have read and review them as well.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Book Review: Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster

By Jaime Mcguire

Book Review

Holy moley! What did I just read? This story is so addictive. It is easy to fall in love with Travis Maddox. It is also easy to hate him. He is a very polarizing character that has extremely good qualities and extremely bad ones. In real life, Travis Maddox is the type of guy that I would tell any friend of mine to run away from. RUN not walk. However, this is just a story, and since it isn't real you are able to enjoy all of the deliciousness of who Travis is without having to worry about any of the real life implications. Let's just face it, Travis Maddox is hot. 

All of the characters in this book really appealed to me. I loved that Abby was a little rough around the edges and that she scorned the typical slutty girl image. She has a mind of her own and can also look after herself pretty well. Shepley is a character that I love because of his loyalty. He's also pretty funny. Abby's best friend American might just be my favorite character of the book though. Her fierce loyalty and her sheer understanding of her friend would make any girl wish that they were her best friend. 

There are so many negative reviews on this book and I will have to admit that I just cant understand where those people are coming from. If you don't like a book because you can't stand the story, that is understandable. However, I feel like a lot of the reason people are hating so much on this book is that they cannot handle Travis's character. Yes, he is a little misogynistic, controlling, angry, and so many other things but I would urge people to remember that this is a work of fiction, not real life! We can read and enjoy moral ambiguous or even immoral books as they are not based in reality. 

In my opinion it was a great book! Can't wait to start the sequel. 5 stars!

"To douchebags!" he said, gesturing to Brad. "And to girls who break your heart", he bowed his head to me. His eyes lost focus. "And to the absolute fucking horror of loosing your best friend because you were stupid enough to fall in love with her". -Travis Maddox

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Movie Review: Mockingjay: Part 1

Mockingjay: Part 1

Movie Review


Oh my goodness holy crap! What did I just watch? Okay so I know I'm a little behind in seeing this movie but hey, I just don't like going to the theater when I know there are going to be practically thousands of people swarming to see the same movie. Just one of my many eccentricities. Anyways, I will have to say that I'm pretty much obsessed with these movies. I love it when movie adaptations follow the books very closely and all of the "Hunger Games" movies do this really well. I loved actually being able to watch the movie and not having to be interrupted a million times by thinking, "that's NOT what happened in the book!". Oh come on, you know you do it too! 

To be concise I will list my favorite parts of Mockingjay: part 1

1. Peeta. Yes, Peeta is my fictional character crush so anything he's in I will be happy about.
2. Finnick Odair...no more to be said
3. Katniss singing the hanging tree. This is probably the most beautiful and powerful scene in the entire movie. 
4. The very last scene with Peeta thrashing on the bed
5. The edition of Effie
6. All of the fight and uprising scenes
7. Peeta seeing Katniss of the TV while he was in the capitol. His recognition and love for her was amazing.
8. Pretty much everything

Things I don't like

1. Not enough Peeta 
2. Not enough Finnick 


This movie is incredible. If you haven't seen it GO NOW!

List of the Hunger Games movies in order of my favorite:
1. Catching Fire (gotta love the humor)
2. Hunger Games (still not quite as dark as Mockingjay)
3. Mockingjay:part 1 (probably the best production quality but come on, the movies pretty dark)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review- Stolen: A letter to my captor

Stolen: A Letter to my Captor

A Review

Okay so first things first. I ended up giving this book three out of five stars.

I know a lot of people really loved this book so let me explain. I gave this book three stars because I was not as connected or invested in the characters to give this book a "really like" or "loved it" rating. It just gets a rating of "I liked it" and I feel like thats the best I can do. I would have loved to know more about Ty and Gemma's life before the kidnapping, their personalities, etc. Instead I felt as though I was left with pretty flat characters. This book really did have so much potential and was a truly interesting story. Perhaps I am being unfair. This book is technically a YA book and at 24 I am no longer a young adult. Maybe this book just wasn't deep enough for me for my age. Who knows? 

I will say though that I was in love with the last 50 or so pages of this book. The way the story ended was so riveting and I had a hard time not skipping over whole paragraphs trying to get to the end faster. For that reason, those last 50 pages definitely earn a 5 star rating from me. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Best 14 Books of 2014

I honestly cannot believe 2014 is already over. WOW! This year I moved home to Kentucky after living in New York City for a year, added a new corgi puppy to the family, bought my first house, and hey, I also read a lot of books! (40 to be exact). I've never had a blog before so this will be my first "best of" blog but I'm really excited because goodness did I read some good books this year. I'm also pretty excited about this new blog of mine because while I am a new Booktuber on Youtube, I'm not very natural in front of a camera. I'd much prefer to write about my thoughts. Okay so now that we've got the introductions out of the way, lets get down to talking about the books!

Note: These are not books that were published in 2014 but books that I personally read in 2014. I also tried to put these in order with number 1 being my favorite but in all honesty who can really choose a favorite between such wonderful books!?


1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 

Summary: The main protagonist named Anna is forced by her parents to move abroad to France in order to attend boarding school. She leaves behind a best friend and a budding love interest. However, being in France is much better then she expected it to be and she meets a couple good friends as well as a boy name Etienne St. Claire. Throughout the book Anna struggles against her feelings for St. Claire while he tries to repair his relationship with his girlfriend.

My Thoughts: This book for me is the years winner by a long shot. Nothing even came close. I could just go on and on all day about the feels this books gives me...but I wont. I will say though that I really enjoyed the way this books romance developed. I usually don't mind a bit of insta-love but I was glad that this book actually took its time to develop a believable romance. I was a big fan of the way it took Anna and St. Claire awhile to figure out where their head and heart was at. It is certainly more realistic that way. I love that this book is light and fluffy and that you can read it in one sitting. This book is like receiving a big bear hug and I would recommend it to anyone who feels like they need a little pick me up.

"I mean really. Who sends their kids to boarding school? It's so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn't have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons." -Anna

2. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Summary: This is the third installment in the Stephanie Perkins companion series. The story begins in New York City with the chance encounter of Isla and and her long time crush Josh. Sparks seems to fly but in the end nothing comes of it. Both Isla and Josh return to boarding school in France. They become and item almost immediately. Eventually however Isla begins to question whether or not Josh's feelings for her are real.

My Thoughts: I feel like most people like Lola and the Boy next door much better than this story but what can I say, I'm a wallflower (haha)! For me I just liked the feeling of being back in Paris in this story rather than San Francisco in "Lola". There is something so romantic and magical about a love story taking place in Paris. I have heard many criticisms of Isla in this book, mainly that she is immature. I would have to disagree however and say that she had good reason for acting the way that she did. In all honesty, Josh did hop from one girl to another and he threw himself into relationships at an alarming rate. Any girl would question whether or not his intentions were true. One of the things I love the most about this companion series is the tie in's from the other books. It was great to be able to catch up with Anna, St. Claire, Lola, and Cricket in this book. Another great thing about this book is the wonderful friendship that Isla shares with Kurt. I love their friendship because it feels so real. They do not always like each other and they occasionally ditch one another, but that's what makes it so real. It is also great that Kurt is able to showcase a character with Autism.

"Theres no story, I say. I saw you one day and I just knew." -Isla

3. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Summary: Lola and Cricket used to be next door neighbors. They both had a crush on each other. That is until Cricket blew off Lola and moved away. Years later though Cricket is suddenly back next door and confessing his love for Lola. Unfortunately she already has a boyfriend and it doesn't help that Cricket is the one person she has vowed to loath forever. As time goes on a friendship blossoms between the two and Cricket lets it be known that his feelings for Lola are true and that if he has to, he will wait for her. 

My Thoughts: WOWZA! I cant believe that my top three favorite books of the year were all written by the same author. I guess I'll have to once again refer to the "feels" that these books are able to give. I'm a sucker for romance and even more so for a happy ending. I cannot tell you how much I detest the main character or love interest dying or being separated in a book (I'm looking at you Allegiant by Veronica Roth). I love that in these stories there is no chance of that happening. You are always going to finish reading the book happier than when you started it. Talking about this books specifically, the reason that I did not like this book quite as much as the others is due to Crickets character. I simply did not find him as believable as the love interests in the other books. I mean, its pretty stinking hard to believe that Cricket is still in love with Lola after all those years apart. Plus, I hate to say it but Cricket seems kind of like a doormat to me. He does whatever Lola wants all the time and rarely stands up for himself, even when she is treating him really badly. Still an amazing book though.

"I don't believe in fashion. I believe in costume. Life is too short to be the same person everyday." -Lola

4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Summary: Katniss and Peeta are back in district 12 after winning the Hunger Games. While preparing to go on the victors tour, President Snow lets Katniss know that it is her job to convince the districts of her love for Peeta. If she cannot, her families lives as well as the lives of Gale's family will be in jeopardy. During the victory tour Katniss and Peeta are not able to convince or appease the districts. It is obvious that the districts want to rebel against the capital, and they seem to be using Katniss as their mascot. When the next Hunger Games (the Quarter Quell) comes around, it becomes known that the the tributes will be reaped from the existing winners in the districts. Katniss and Peeta prepare to go back into the arena, only this time they will be fighting against seasoned killers. The pair are able to make allies in fellow tributes Finnick, Johanna, and Betee. The arena itself is much different this time and the tributes struggle to stay alive in an place in which they must face 12 different horrors, one for each hour. 

My Thoughts: This book is my favorite story in the Hunger Games trilogy for many reasons. One reason is that I love the romantic development between Peeta and Katniss. In the Hunger Games it seemed as if Katniss was only playing the role of loving Peeta in order to stay alive. In this book however I felt like she was actually starting to care about him, even if she wouldn't admit it to herself. Peeta and Katniss are one of my all time favorite couples and it was amazing to see them come into themselves and be such loyal friends to one another. The second reason I loved this book more than the others is because of the supporting characters. I was seriously in love with Finnick and Johanna while reading this book. They definitely provided the comic relief and I loved how quick witted Finnick was as well as Johanna's problem with authority. 

"I pull an arrow, whip the notch into place, and am about to let it fly when I am stopped by the sight of Finnick kissing Peeta. And it's so bizarre, even for Finnick." -Katniss
See what I mean? Hilarious!

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary: The story begins in a futuristic America, specifically a place called District 12. In this place most people are hungry, working in the coal mines, and barley getting by. Katniss Everdeen is our protagonist and you learn that she has struggled a lot during her life, particularly with the death of her father, her absentee mother, and raising her sister. The country has a tradition of drawing one boy and one girls name each year for what they call the Hunger Games. During these games, the boy and girl chosen will fight to the death in a elaborate arena until only one person remains. When the tributes enter the arena each must struggle to either outrun or kill their fellow tributes. When it is announced that two victors from the same district may both win the games, Katniss and Peeta lose no time in joining forces to try to be the winners of the Hunger Games.

My Thoughts: I originally read this book several years ago and really enjoyed it. I re-read it again this year in order to begin reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I was so in love with these books I finished all three of them in three days on my cruise. I love this particular installment of the trilogy so much because it just feels so real. I have read few other books that make can make me feel like I am completely immersed in the story the way that these books can. Cudos to Suzanne Collins for that! Like I said above Katniss and Peeta are one of my favorite literary couples of all time so this book really struck a chord. I'm not gonna lie, I pretty much love Peeta and Josh Hutchenson isn't so bad either ;-).

"I don't want to lose the boy with the bread" -Katniss

6. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Summary: War is beginning after an attack on Abnegation by the Erudite and Dauntless factions. Tris and Tobias are on the run after the roll they played in the attacks. In this second installment, factions and individuals must choose sides in not only a ideological but real war. Tris and Tobias fight against Erudite and even at times Dauntless faction members to do what is right. Their love for each other grows but there is also dishonesty and mistrust. They must both work to not only save each other but also their entire city.
My Thoughts: Okay, so here I am again liking the second book in a series more than the first...hmm I wonder if that is a pattern with me? Anywhoo... I think I liked Insurgent better than Divergent because the reader got to experience more of Tris and Tobias's romance. I mean they weren't together as a couple very long before the end of Divergent. I really enjoyed how true and honest the couple was on paper. Roth is able to show that neither character is perfect and that each has some serious flaws. I love the reality of the relationship but I will have to admit I'm a sucker for those literary guys that are perfect in every way (I'm thinking of you Peeta). Who's not? The action was also amazing in this book. It was non-stop from cover to cover. My favorite part is Tobias breaking Tris out of the Erudite compound. It is a heart pounding moment made even more dramatic by the role that Caleb plays.

"I'm still the person who would have died rather than kill you"- Tris

7. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Summary: At the the beginning of the story we meet our protagonist, Beatrice Prior. She lives in a future dystopian Chicago. Her world is divided into five factions, (Abnegation, Candor, Erudite, Dauntless, and Amity) each based on a different personality trait. Every child takes a test before choosing the faction they will be in for the rest of their lives. The test will tell them what they should choose. However, Beatrice's test is inconclusive which means she does not fit into any of the factions and therefore is a Divergent which is dangerous to the system. Because of this she must keep the fact that she is Divergent a secret from everyone or it could cost her her life. Beatrice is a member of Abnegation, which is a selfless faction. That is until she chooses to join the fearless Dauntless faction at the choosing ceremony. From then on she goes into training to become a Dauntless in hopes that she will meet their standards and not end up factionless and on the streets. 

My Thoughts: In my opinion this books was absolutely amazing! I have never read anything quite like it before or after. I know that the faction system is not popular with most people and in the book the factions only serve to keep the people down. However, for some reason I really understand and relate to the faction system and I find them very appealing. (I would be in Dauntless of course because Buzzfeed quizzes are never wrong, haha). Another part of the book that I really enjoy is all of the training that the Dauntless must go through. I love seeing a little girl kick some ass and be one of the best in the class. Girl power! Of course I also really liked Tris and Tobias as a couple but even that was taken to a new level when the movie adaptation was released. I mean Theo James...enough said.

"We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage the drives one person to stand up for another"


8. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Summary: After Katniss is rescued from the arena, she is taken to district 13 along with Finnick, Beetee, Haymitch, and Heavensbee. Peeta and Johanna have been captured by the Capitol. In district 13 she learns that war is breaking out and the rebels want her to be their mockingjay, their symbol of freedom. Katniss will not consent to this however until they rescue Peeta from the capitols control. When Peeta does arrive in district 13 he is a completely changed man. He no longer loves Katniss and believes that she is a mutt due to the Capitol's brainwashing. Katniss and her team travel around Panem in order to shoot video or to help in the fighting against the Capitol. Katniss struggles to win the war for the rebels all while trying desperately to bring Peeta's mind back to her.

My Thoughts: Let me start off by saying that this obviously wasn't my favorite book in the Hunger Games series. Not by far (obviously). I have a ton of gripes with it like the fact that I felt cheated with the ending. I mean I read three whole books only to have the whole thing wrapped up in five pages! Aghh!! Also on a personal note I didn't like that Peeta didn't have as much of a role in the story as he did in the previous two books. I realize though that it is of no fault of the author, it's just how the story goes. However, I do love me some Peeta and I just want him in the story as much as possible! 
:-) Anyways, there were so many great things about this book. The themes and lessons were excellent and I'm sure that the book taught those who read it a lot. Katniss is a great hero because she is brave, honest, transparent, and she thinks for herself. I love how she saw the danger in President Coin even when no one else could. She truly is a literary character that we can look up to and admire.

"You love me. Real or not real?
I tell him, real." -Peeta and Katniss

Awww, that quote is one of my favorites of all time! For some reason it always reminds me of this Severus Snape quote from the Harry Potter series... 

"After all this time?
'Always' said Snape"

9. Where she Went by Gayle Forman

Summary: This book starts three years after Mia's accident. Mia broke up with Adam after the accident and moved to New York City and is a rising Opera star. Adam is making it big with his band and is very successful. One thing is for certain though, Adam desperately misses Mia. One night Adam finds himself in New York and decides to crash Mia's opera concert. During this chance meeting the pair are able to spend the whole night together, talking about their problems and reminiscing on the past.

My Thoughts: I feel like I have to start off by saying that I really, really did not like "If I Stay". I almost did not bother even picking this book up at all but the reviews on Goodreads were so positive that I couldn't help myself. I'm so glad that I read it! I enjoyed reading from Adam's perspective much more enjoyable than Mia's. I have heard that some people think Adam is nothing but an annoying whiner, but I don't see it that way. He is the perfect kind of melancholy in my opinion. The kind that tugs at your heart-strings and gives you the feels. I guess I didn't enjoy the first book because even when Mia wasn't going through a hard time I still found her character peculent and boring. I really related to Adam though and felt immense sympathy for his plight. Like I said, I think this book is perfect for anyone who is looking for a good cry. I am happy though that it still has a happy ending.

"Hate me. Devastate me. Annihilate me. Re-create me. Re-create me. Wont you, wont you, wont you re-create me." -Adam

The lyrics in this book are sooo amazing it makes me really wish that Adam's band was real!

10. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Summary: The story starts off in India with a boy named Pi. He has a father, mother, and brother and they own a zoo. They board a ship with their family and all of their animals on the their way to make a new life for themselves in Canada. Unfortunately the boat sinks during their trip and all of the family and animals die except for Pi and a tiger named Richard Parker. The two unlikely partners are stuck on a small life boat with little provisions. During their journey, Pi has to figure out how to keep both himself and the tiger alive in a harsh environment all while avoiding the tigers hungry jaws.

My Thoughts: So I know I am ridiculously behind on reading this book. I'm actually pretty embarrassed I'm also so glad that I finally did get around to reading it though because I truly could not get enough of the story. I remember originally not wanting to pick it up because I thought "hey, how interesting can a story be that is just about a tiger and a boy on a boat?". I'm here to tell you that I was so wrong and that this book is so much more than that. I was amazed by the fantastical story Pi told. I loved the island with the cannibalistic plants, the way he trained his tiger, and the way he was able to survive such a long time at sea. I was sincerely floored by the end of the story. I usually hate when the ending is ambiguous as I am quite the control freak and need to know all of the answers. However, in this particular story the ambiguous ending was actually a nice surprise. It was kind of neat to think about both the fantastical story that could have been while also thinking of the tragic mundane realistic story that Pi told. The only part that I found rather boring and tedious would have to be the beginning of the book when all of the setup happens. I find that to be the case for a lot of books though so I don't hold it against Pi ;-).

"I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye." -Pi

11. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Summary: Hazel Grace has terminal cancer. She's a homebody that is obsessed with a particular book called "An Imperial Affliction" by Peter Van Houten. Her mother forces her to attend a support group for other kids with cancer. There she meets a gorgeous and witty boy named Augustus Waters. His cancer had been cured when his leg was amputated and he was given a prosthesis. The two develop a bond and eventually Gus uses he cancer wish to take Hazel on a trip to Amsterdam to meet the infamous Peter Van Houten.

My Thoughts: Before I read this book I was familiar with John Green and his brother from their Youtube channel. I particularly enjoy watching their history videos. I could really see Green's humor and quick whit shining through in the personalities of Hazel and Augustus. I loved that even though this book has such difficult subject matter, that it was still able to be light hearted and funny. The fact that this story deals with cancer is something that I really enjoy. I think that it is important for authors to discuss difficult topics. It brings awareness out there to those of us who do not suffer with this condition. It also exposes the young readers of this book to different ways of thinking about people with a debilitating illness. The love story in the book was completely perfect while also being completely heartbreaking. It actually physically hurts me to think about two people that are that perfect for each other, loosing each other so soon in life. Yes, yes, I know some people will say that I'm getting too emotional about a book but hey, thats what us book lovers are good at! :-)
I will confess that this book made me cry like a three year old. My grandmother happened to walk in on me while I blubbering like an idiot and trying to find a place to wipe my nose. Oh for shame. 

"It's a metaphor you see: you put the killing thing right  between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do it's killing." Augustus Waters

12. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Summary: Nick and Amy meet in New York City, fall in love and get married. They brag about not being the typical husband and wife. She doesn't get fussy at him when he stays out with his friends without asking or when he doesn't pick up after himself. They are blissful. Everything goes horribly wrong though when Nick moves Amy back to his small hometown in Missouri. There Nick loses interest in Amy and starts seeing someone else. Amy goes missing. Nick is suspected of murder. Did he really murder his wife or is Amy more clever then anyone could have given her credit for?

My Thoughts: Hmmm what to say about this book? Well all I can really say about it is that it is twisted, and that is what makes it so wonderful. It was the only mystery type novel I read the entire year and it was pretty awesome I must say. I never knew what was going to happen and Amy was always one step ahead of me as well as her husband. I have to give it to Mrs. Flynn. If you can think something like this up I would have to say your multiple kinds of awesome! I will say it is pretty hard for me to feel sorry for a person that cheats but this book was able to accomplish it. I mean Amy is a pretty hardcore psycho! I've got to respect her though for her superior intellect and her determination. While this book really didn't teach me any life lessons, it was seriously entertaining. 

"Because you can't be as in love as we were and not have it invade your bone marrow. Our kind of love can go into remission, but it's always waiting to return. Like the worlds sweetest cancer" - Amy

13. Four by Veronica Roth

Summary: A collection of stories told from Tobias's point of view.

My Thoughts: I was very interested in this compilation of short tales. It was intriguing to learn more about Tobias's young life and how he got his start in Dauntless. I also really enjoyed reading first hand about his feelings for Tris. The only thins I disliked about the book is that for the most part I don't enjoy short stories, I would prefer a novel. Also it just reminded me too much of the ending of Allegiant and that made me sad. Just writing this paragraph is making me want to tear up. Okay thats enough...on to the next before I have to get a tissue!

"I want some kind of reminder that while wounds heal, they don't disappear forever- I carry them everywhere, always, and that is the way of things, the way of scars." -Tobias

14. The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx

Summary: This is a memoir written by Nikki Sixx, the bassist for the band Motley Crue. Nikki and his bandmates are heavily involved in drugs and alcohol. Nikki however is in deeper than the rest. He has a problem with cocaine, heroin, and women. This book follows Nikki and his band through around year of life, touring, and drug use.

My Thoughts: I found this book to be really refreshing. After reading a lot of fiction it is good to hear some true stories. What makes this book better than most is that the stories are even better than some fiction! The life that Nikki lived is indescribable but immensely interesting. It is like that car crash that you just can't look away from. Another bonus this book provides is that Nikki isn't just some rockstar with no brain. He is actually very intelligent, has a quip for everything and writes amazing lyrics (the pictures are also amazeballs too!). Overall this book was very informative about what life was like being a junkie and a rockstar in the 80's, even if some parts were a bit repetitive.

"Anything worth doing, is worth overdoing"- Nikki Sixx

Thanks for reading my post everyone! I'd love to know what you think about these books or which books are your favorite of 2014. Let me know! Until then I'll leave you with this one last gem from Nikki Sixx...

"It would be too much for me to deal with to be sitting up there next to God, Bon Scott, Sid Vicious, and Jimi Hendrix and hear somebody read my obituary from below:
Nikki Sixx died today...FUCKING golfing" -Nikki Sixx