Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recently Purchased: January

Here's what I bought in January. I would like to read a lot of the books that are already on my shelves this year, but that hasn't stopped me from adding new ones.


Nancy Drew The Haunted Doll House, Stefan Petrucha and Sho Murase (Young Adult graphic novel borrowed from my mom)
Peter Pan and Peter in Kensington Gardens, J.M. Barrie (You may know that I already own and love Peter Pan but I have never read Peter in Kensington Gardens so I picked up this Penguin edition with both stories and the original illustrations)
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte (If you remember this post you will know I plan to reread this book this year, so why not buy this beautiful Vintage Classics version, they are my favorite publisher of classics)
The Virgin Suicides, Jeffery Eugenides (My first Eugenides book)
Tiger Lilly, Jodi Anderson (Retelling of Peter Pan from Tiger Lilly's perspective, Tinker Belle narrates)  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Recently Read: Out of the Easy

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys was an impulse read. I saw it on my library website to borrow and I picked it up and finished it in two days. I really didn't know anything about this book, but I had seen it mentioned a couple time because of the author's previous book, Between Shades of Gray which I have not read. 

This book is about Jo who lives in New Orleans in the 1950's with her mother who is a prostitute. Jo has been practically raised by Wille, the Madam her mother works for. Jo works at the local book shop and has big dreams of getting out of the Easy and going to college out east. 

Jo's mother wins the worst mother ever award. One thing I liked about this book is that Jo realizes how bad of a person her mother is, but she does not blame it on her profession. She knows even if her mother was a doctor, she would still be a horrible person.
 New Orleans in this time really interests me and I would love to read more stories that take place in this time. Jo was a great character, as were the others in the book, she felt very authentic, and the plot has an element of suspense to it. I think this book would make a great movie, I would love to see 1950's New Orleans in movie form. 
Do you know any books that have a similar setting you would like to recommend? 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Recently Read: I am the Messenger

I recently finished I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. This was my second Zusak book (I read The Book Theif last year and loved it.) I have been using my library website to borrow books on my Nook HD a lot lately, this book is one of them. I highly recommend checking out your library's website if you have an e-reader.

This book centers around Ed Kennedy. He lives in a small shack of a house he is renting by himself, he is a nineteen year old taxi driver who lies about his age to keep his job, and he has a seventeen year old dog named The Doorman. One day while at the bank with his friends, Ed witnesses a man rob a bank. He stops the bank robber, and becomes a local hero. Shortly after his heroic feat, he receives a playing card in the mail, with three addresses on it. Ed tries to figure out who is sending him these messages, while he deliverers his own messages to the people the playing cards point him to.

This book has really great characters. Ed and his friends, but mostly Ed, are so lovable and understandable. All the characters go through a great transformation in this story. The plot is really well thought out and very clever. I have never read a book with a plot similar to this and of course Zusak exquisited it perfectly. I also loved Ed's relationship with his dog. I found that to be funny because of how true to life it was.

This book left me thinking about it for a while after I finished it, and I'm still thinking about it. The longer it has been sitting in my mind, the more I appreciate this book and the ending. I would recommend this book, as well as The Book Thief. Zusak is an excellent author, and I am looking forward to checking out more of his work in the future.  

The Book Thief reveiw   

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rereads and Classics for 2014

I only reread one book last year, which was great because it meant I read a lot of new to me books, but I really enjoy rereading books. I decided to make a list of books I wanted to reread, as well as a list of classics I really want to read this year.

Deenie, Judy Blume
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Rules of Civility, Amore Towles
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
An Abundance of Kathrines, John Green


Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
On the Road, Jack Kerouac
A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
Emma/Persuasion/Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen 


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Recently Read: House of Hades

I just finished the fourth novel in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series, The House of Hades. I am so sad that I now have to wait until October for the final book in this series. I am going to miss Percy and his friends while I wait, and then after the wait is over, the series is over!

If you have not read this series, or the Percy Jackson series, you need to! Both are so great and so full of action and humor. 

Our characters go through a lot of self discovery in this book of the series, especially Percy. I will keep it spoiler free, but I loved what happens to Leo in this book, as well as what we learn about Nicco. I think that piece of information we learn really helps us to understand his character. I love all of these characters, and I don't want anything bad to happen to any of them in the final book! I have heard rumor that Rick released a statement on twitter that one of the Seven will die in the final book. 

This book picks up right where our cliff hanger ending left us in Athena. Percy and Annabeth face an impossible journey, as do the rest of the Seven aboard the Argo II.

Here is the link for the review for The Mark of Athena the third book in the series, which also contains the links for the reviews for the first two books in the series.
The Mark of Athena   

Monday, January 13, 2014

Recently Read: Why We Broke Up and Eleanor & Park

I've got a double review for you today. I got a nook HD for Christmas, and I have been really enjoying it. I find it convenient to travel with and lay in bed and read. Anyway, I have read Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, (AKA Lemony Snicket) and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I loved both of these books, and already have both of them marked to potentially be on my best books of 2014 list.

Why we Broke Up is the story of Min falling in love with one of the popular guys in her school, Ed, and of course their break up. This book has really beautiful illustrations, and if you read the actual hard copy of the book they are laid out in a very aesthetically pleasing way.

This book came out in 2011, but it was not until recently that I learned it was written by Lemony Snicket, who wrote The Series of Unfortunate Events. This really sparked my curiosity because the two stories were so different. I really enjoyed this novel. It was real and true to life, which can be a problem with contemporary novels. All of the characters in the book progressed by the end of the novel. I would recommend this, and I am interested in checking out some of Daniel Handler's other works.

Elanor & Park was a much hyped, and talked about book, in fact it still is. It was many people's favorite book of last year. I had been kinda unsure about reading it, partly because of all the talk, and partly because I have so many other things I really want to read. But I saw it on my nook for a reasonable price and decided to pick it up. I ended up reading it in two sittings, and I had to force myself to put it down the first sitting.

This novel is the story of Eleanor, a sophomore girl with a troubled past and a less than desirable family situation, who moves to a new school, and Park, the only kid who will let her sit next to him on the bus on her first day. These two go through all the typical stages of a first love, and end up forming a very powerful bond with each other.

This book made me so nostalgic. It was so true to real life; the dialogue, the small things that cause excitement in a new relationship, and how you feel about your first love were realistic and right on point. While I was reading this, I was constantly remembering how I felt when I first started going out with my boyfriend. A lot of people have said that this book has a sad ending, but I would have to disagree. The ending sure doesn't tie everything up in a neat little bow for you, but it was, in my opinion optimistic and endearing.            

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Recently Read: A Monster Calls

I have been snowed in for the past week, temperatures have been crazy cold, and we got around a foot of snow. I have been blazing through this months TBR which is really great since my next semester of college starts next week. I am taking all English classes so my required reading and paper writing will be through the roof. The other night I sat down and read a beautifully illustrated version of Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls in one sitting and I loved it!

The story centers around Conner, a young boy with a sick mother. Conner has been having the same nightmare every night ever since she got sick, and one night a monster comes to visit him, but it's not the monster Conner has been expecting.

This book was beyond beautiful. If you are interested in reading this book, please read the illustrated edition, with pictures by Jim Kay. The pictures add so much atmosphere to the story. This book was quite an emotional read, and I cried at the ending. Despite that, this book is hopeful and inspiring, not depressing and crushing. As soon as I finished it, I sat down and wrote a couple pages about the power of stories. It had been a long time since I felt the urge to sit down and write so I was glad for the boost of inspiration.

I would highly recommend this story, especially if you have the evening to sit and read it straight through. I can already predict that this novel will appear on my top books of 2014 list.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Recently Read: The Mark of Athena

I finished the third book in Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus series, The Mark of Athena just yesterday. This was my favorite in the series so far. In this book the Seven come together for the first time, which I really enjoyed.

This book starts off from Annabeth's point of view, which I also enjoyed. I like the dimension that is given to the story and the characters by Riodrdan's choice to tell the story from alternating P.O.Vs. A book with seven major characters could get a little scattered, or some of the characters could seem underdeveloped, but Riordna;s characters are all lovable and important with unique personalities and perspectives.

This book had a great sense of adventure, and the overall plot for the series is really moving forward. I am excited to read the next book in the series The House of Hades, for the end of the third book left a couple of our characters in a large amount of danger and I'm anxious to see them get out of it safely!  

Here is the review for The Lost Hero
Review for The Son of Neptune

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January TBR

This month I have some books I want to get through before school starts up again.

Currently Reading: The Mark of Athena, Rick Riordan I am about 3/4 through this book at the moment. I hadn't planned on reading the next book in The Heroes of Olympus series House of Hades this month, but I have heard that Athena has a killer cliff hanger ending, so I may have to add Hades to my January list.

Next I hope to read:
A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness
Flappers and Philosphers, F. Scott Fitzgerald 
Elanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell
The Sign of Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Favorite Books of the Year

In 2013 I read a total of 51 books. I read nineteen classics, twenty one Young Adult novels, reread one book, and read one whole series. I hope to read even more in 2014 of course. Here is a list of my favorite books from the year, in no particular order.

The Paris Wife, Paula McLain
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak 
Looking for Alaska, John Green
Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie (this was my reread)
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
An Abundance of Kathrines, John Green  
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky 
Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Papertowns, John Green
The Fault in Our Stars, John Green 
Lolita, Vladamir Nabokov
City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare