Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I've Recently Decided I NEED

I'm constantly adding books to my never-ending mental TBR list, but here is a look at the last ten books I've added. Some of these book are coming out in 2015, so I will make sure to add the release date if they are unreleased. All of these books, and many more, can be found on my Goodreads. Make sure you add me so I can see what you're reading!

Book Titles Link to Goodreads


I read The Steadfast Reader's five star review of this book and was intrigued. The synopsis reminds me of Chopin's The Awakening, so of course I'm interested. 

2. Immaculate by Katelyn Detweiler Release Date: May 26, 2015
The concept of this one is pretty unique for a YA. The main character is a pregnant virgin. This could either have a really scary twist or a magical realism twist, but the synopsis has made me curious to see which one it is.  

3. The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett Release Date: September 22, 2015
This is a standalone novel about parallel worlds, I don't really need any more info. than that to be interested. Plus, beautiful cover.


4. A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis Release Date: October 6, 2015
This sounds very creepy and very atmospheric.

Not a lot of information on this one yet and the release date is years away, but I loved I'll Give You the Sun and everything Nelson writes will be on my TBR list.

I love Smith's writing! I really enjoyed Winger and Grasshopper Jungle. His books are always so poignant and so weird.  


7. Extraordinary Means by Robin Schneider Release Date: May 26, 2015 
I haven't read Schneider's debut novel yet, but I've heard good things and this one looks good too.

8. Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa Release Date: September 8, 2015
This contemporary sounds funny and meaningful. 

9. Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown Release Date: October 20, 2015
This historical fiction spy novel looks full of girl-power

10. Da Vinci's Tiger by Laura Malone Elliot Release Date: November 10, 2015
Historical fiction set in the Renaissance? Sounds good to me. As long as they don't put Da Vinci in a romantic relationship. 

What have you added to your TBR? Let me know so I can add it to mine too! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Book Cake Tag!

I was tagged by Jess (thanks!) to do the Book Cake Tag! I love cake (and all other dessert) and I love books, so naturally I'm all about smooshing them together.

Flour: A book with a slow start that really picked up
The beginning on this book was a little slow, but I didn't mind it, but it really picks up in the middle of the novel when Jane comes into her own.  
Butter: A book with a rich plot
This plot is very political and rich, and I can't wait to see how it evolves in the second book, but first I want to reread this one. 
Eggs: A book you thought would be bad but ended up being enjoyable
I was a little leary to pick this one up just because it didn't sound like it was going to be my thing, but I was very pleasantly surprised by it! It wasn't as romance driven as I thought it would be, and I ended up liking the romance elements to the story as well. I still need to pick up the companion novel! 
Sugar: A sweet book
This book is very sweet, but look at that cover- would you expect anything else? 
Icing: A book with all of the elements you love
This historical fiction novel has it all: feminists, suffragettes, scary fathers, handsome hypnotists, adventure, and girl power.   
Sprinkles: A book series you turn to when you're feeling down
So, this isn't a book series per-say, but I love to turn to a Holmes story when I'm feeling off or in a reading slump.  

Cherry on Top: You're favorite book of the year so far
Oh man, I loved this book! It will definitely make my top ten list for the year, if not get the number one spot. This book is beautifully written- some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read. Read it!  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up: Well, It's Cold Again

What's New:
This past week was a bit hectic with school, as it is already time to register for next fall's classes, so I didn't get a lot of reading done. I watched a lot of Scandal, I'm almost finished with season three, and then I will have to wait until season four is done airing on t.v. and then put on Netflix (Ugh!). I also dipped in and out of my Edna St. Vincent Millay Selected Poems Volume. She is one of my all-time favorite poets, so I'm sure I will be talking about her on here very soon. I'm almost done with listening to Emma by Jane Austen on audiobook and I am loving it of course.

What I Bought:
My mom made a Bookoutlet order the other day and she kindly let me slip a few things into her order (moms are the best) so I got two Laurie Halse Anderson books I'm been meaning to read for quite a while and the beautiful Penguin Ink version of Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding which I already own and read, but I love this book and couldn't pass up this gorgeous edition for such a great price.

What I Posted:
Monday- I reviewed my favorite book of the year so far, I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Tuesday- I talked about books I loved as a kid
Wednesday- I'm waiting on this Girl-Power-Spy-Novel
Thursday- I shared the latest Literary Inspired Movies  I've purchased

Last Week's Wrap-up 

What's Next:
Not sure why I even bother to include this section on my wrap-ups because everyone knows, I have no idea what I'm posting next! Possibly a Poetry Spotlight on Millay and possibly a review of Emma if I finish it this weekend. I'll be just as surprised as you are next week!

How was your week? What did you buy?

Stacking the Shelves Hosted by: Tyngas Reviews
The Sunday Post Hosted by: The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Literary Inspired: Movies (2)

I've picked up a few literary related movies lately and I thought I would share them with you guys. Let me know if you have seen any of these!

Bright Star (2009) 

This is is about John Keats and his love Fanny Brawn whom was the receiver of Keats' beautiful love letters and poetry. I'm expecting this one to be over-the-top and way inaccurate since the two lovers didn't spend very much time together, but I'm thinking it will be entertaining none-the-less.

Midnight In Paris (2010)

This one is directed by Woody Allen and has an all-star cast. I'm fuzzy on the details, but I'm pretty sure some authors from the Lost Generation make an appearance in this movie, among other famous artists. 

Brideshead Revisited (2008) 

I won't be watching this one until I read the novel by Evelyn Waugh, but I picked this up cheap so I don't feel too bad. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

Velvet Undercover, Teri Brown
Release Date: October 20, 2015 
Summary from Goodreads:

Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them 

Why I'm Excited: This looks like the perfect mix of girl-power and drama. I love historical fiction novels, and the spy aspect of this one sounds really interesting. 

Hosted by: Breaking the Spine

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Past Me Loved and Present Me Wants to Reread

Shocker: I read a lot as a kid.Before I could read, I made my parents read to me constantly, and after I learned to read on my own, there was no stopping me. I'm very attached to my books from my childhood and most of the books on this list are books that I own my mom's hand-me-down copies of as a kid and still today, which made them even more special to me, and of course they still are. So here are ten books I loved as a kid and still love today and would love to reread.  


1. A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket
I never finished this series, I got to book eight or nine and then for some reason never finished. I would love to see how this over-the-top series finished. 

2. Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene
I love Nancy Drew's sass and fearlessness.

3. The Little House on the Prairie series, Laura Ingles Wilder 
This was one that belonged to my mom, and I haven't finished the series and I would love to. 

4. Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst
As a college student, I can relate to poor Alexander about 6/7 days of the week. I love the illustrations in this book and it would definitely cheer me up on a horrible, no good, very bad day.  

5. Junie B. Jones series, Barbra Park 
Junie B. Jones always cracks me up! I remember both of us cracking up when my mom would read these out loud to me! 

6. Because of Winn-Dixie, Kate DiCamillo
This is one of the first books that I read on my own that I LOVED. I read it multiple times and I would love to reread it. This was one of the first books that really made me FEEL something.


7. The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams
This was another one that was passed down from my mom, and one we always read together.

8. Time Stops For No Mouse, Micheal Hoeye
I read this one in elementary and loved it! It has great adventure and mystery.  

9. The Borrowers Afloat, Mary Norton
Another book that I read my mom's copy off! I love the illustrations in this one.

10. Ramona and Beezus, Beverly Clearly 
Another book that always made me laugh! I love the Ramona books, but this one is my favorite I think. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Recently Read: I'll Give You the Sun

Author: Jandy Nelson
Genre: Young Adult- Contemporary
Status: Standalone
Publication Date: 2014
Page Count: 371
Rating: 100/5 (no joke!)

I'll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson is the Printz Award winner for 2014.

This book is about Noah and Jude, twins who used to be so close they were almost the same person, but now they barely even speak. The events that caused the divide between the siblings are unfolded from Noah and Jude's perspective, from the past and the present. 

Okay, I'm just going to say I LOVED THIS BOOK. For real. I knew it was going to be good, but I had no idea it was going to be this good.

Nelson's writing is phenomenal. Every sentence is beautifully crafted and moving. Both Noah and Jude are artists, and this book truly breaths art and what art means to those who create it. I loved the constant flow of art that was in this novel. After I create something, I always feel so refreshed and this book gave me that same feeling. 

Reading from Noah's perspective was a really great experience. It was fascinating to be in the head of someone who loved and felt so deeply at such a young age, and I loved how he was always creating art in his head; he truly sees the world as a piece of art. His perspective was really unique from anything else I have read and I never wanted to leave his head.

This book has so many interesting and though provoking concepts within it. Noah and Jude's twin connection was so cool to read about. I have always found twins to be fascinating and their connection is almost other-worldly. Now I don't have a twin, but I do have a younger brother that I am extremely close too, so seeing this brother-sister connection was a little emotional for me because I always get emotional about brother-sister connections and this one was so strong and absolutely essential for both Noah and Jude. I also loved the concept of "Revolutionaries" and "Blow-ins" that Noah uses to describe himself and his mother. I also loved how fate and the universe were so important in this novel that they almost became characters in themselves. This book touches on every topic imaginable: family issues, sexual orientation, sexual pressure, ghosts, love, hate, etc. etc. But even though all these topics are dealt with, you never feel overwhelmed because they are all such a natural part of the story and the characters.  

I understand 100% why this was the Printz Award Winner for 2014. This book is beautiful and moving and as soon as I finished it, I wanted to pick it up and reread it. I have decided to add this to my list of books I want to reread every year because I think it will be even better the second time around. I will be picking up Jandy Nelson's first novel The Sky is Everywhere very soon. I love her writing.       

Have you read this one? Did you love it as much as I did? What about Nelson's first novel?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up: I'm Back!!

What's New:
Well, I took an unintentional, but much enjoyed break from blogging over Spring Break, but now I'm back with lots of post ideas! I'm officially half way through my semester, and after the semester is over I'm going on vacation and then it's summer break! The weather is nicer, the sun is out, so I'm in a pretty good mood! Reading wise, things have still been a lot slower than I want them to be, but I did read and LOVE I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson since my last wrap-up. I will be reviewing that next week so keep your eyes peeled. I'm hoping to get a reread in before the end of the month, but I'm not sure which one from my Classics and Rereads for 2015 List I want to pick up.

What I Loved:
Movie: Over Break I watched Kingsmen: The Secret Service and I really enjoyed it! I mainly wanted to see this one because Colin Firth was in it, and I will watch anything with his beautiful face in it. I loved how British it was and anything with Firth in it is oozing Britshness!

Music: My brother got me hooked on synth-pop, which I never would have thought I would be obsessed with, but I am. I'm loving Lazerhawk and Miami Nights 1984 right now.

What I Bought:
It's been a while since I have done a wrap-up, so this section is going to be a little messy. I've got a birthday gift from my family, a few things I bought myself for my birthday, and a random used bookstore purchase.
 Harry Potter Box-Set which I got for my birthday

From the Penguin Great Loves Series: 


Mary, Vladimir Nabokov 
The Women Who Got Away, John Updike
The Kreutzer Sonata, Leo Tolstoy 
Magnetism, F. Scott Fitzgerald

From the Penguin Great Ideas Series: 

Decline of the English Murder, George Orwell

From the Little Black Classics Series:

The Night is Darkening Around Me, Emily Bronte
On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts, Thomas De Quincey

Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

What I Posted:
Monday- I reviewed Uncle Tom's Children by Richard Wright
Tuesday- I discussed my Spring TBR
Wednesday- Waiting on Wednesday for Fans of the Impossible Life-- this looks like it's going to be really funny and poignant
Thursday- I did my second installment in my Poetry Spotlight series- this one on Two War Poems

My Last Wrap-up

What's Next: 
Like I mentioned before, I will be reviewing I'll Give You the Sun and as usual I will be participating in Top Ten Tuesday. Beyond that I am unsure as usual.

Stacking the Shelves Hosted By: Tynga's Reviews
The Sunday Post Hosted By: The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Poetry Spotlight (2) Two War Poems

In my second year of college I took an Introduction to Poetry class and I fell in love with reading poetry. Before then, poetry was always a little intimidating and a medium that I didn't have much experience with. But after that class, I became addicted to reading poetry, and during the class I actually found myself thinking in and expressing myself in poetry- which I never would have guessed would happen in a million years. So, with this series I'm here to share some of my favorite poems in a way that I'm sure will turn out rambley and unorganized.

Some of the most powerful poetry I have ever read has been about war. An excellent war poem that builds real but disturbing imagery has an exceptionally large emotional impact on me. I have a lot of amazing war poems I would like to share, but today I'm going to start with just two. As always, I would love it if you left me some of your favorite poems (war related or not) in the comments.  

Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen Read the poem here and Hear the 9th Doctor read it here

This poem leaves me speechless and with goosebumps every time I read it, and it is especially powerful to hear aloud. 

The first thing you need to know about this poem is the translation of the last line which is written in Latin: "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country." Now go reread the poem with that knowledge and I promise goosebumps with ensue. 

The second thing you should know is about the author Wilfred Owen. Now I don't usually like to bring author's biography into my interpretation of the poem, but his biography paired with this poem, and his other poems as well, is extremely powerful. Owens fought and was wounded in WWI. While in the hospital recovering from his wounds and shell-shock he wrote many of his most well known poems, including this one. After he healed he returned to war and was killed in action in 1918 at the age of twenty-five. Owen's poetry contains many graphic and all-to-real images of war, which were absent from earlier war poetry that was full of patriotism and images of strength and pride in fighting for your country. 

This poem is full of imagery and sound. The poem is paced out perfectly so the images come quickly, and the powerful lines punch you in the gut slowly. The images haunt your mind just as they do the speaker's mind, and the mention of children in the last few lines is a jarring reminder of how young many of these soldiers were when they entered the battle fields.   

Calvary Crossing a Ford by Walt Whitman Read the poem here  

This poem is quite a startling contrast to the above poem. I love placing two poems side-by-side that contrast each other so very much, just like these two. 

Wrote during the Civil War, this poem is obviously painting the patriotic and honorable portrait of war that was briefly discussed above. This poem is full of imagery too, but this imagery is calm, Romantic, and honorable. There is no death or suffering in this poem. It's possible that the speaker of this poem is an onlooker, not a solider in the midst of the battle field like the speaker in Owen's poem.  

It is interesting to note that his poem is seven lines and one sentence- perhaps connecting to the lines of men that make up one unit in the cavalry. This poem is also interesting in regards to the tendency to Romanticize the American South before and during the Civil War.    

Which poem did you like best? What is one of your favorite war (or not war related) poems?  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

Fans of the Impossible Life, Kate Scelsa 
Release Date: September 8, 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.

Ten months after her recurring depression landed her in the hospital, Mira is starting over as a new student at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to act like a normal, functioning human this time around, not a girl who sometimes can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby. 

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with a mischievous glint in his eye. 

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him like a backlit halo. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and secret road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives. 

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

Why I'm Excited: Now this is an interesting and new take on the love triangle! This sounds like it will be the perfect mix of humor and touching emotion. Plus I love the pastel colors on the cover. 

Hosted by: Breaking the Spine

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR

Spring is here! I'm so happy that the weather is warming up. The sun-shine and open windows have made me want to read and make art all day- and that's exactly what I would be doing if I didn't have eight more weeks of school left. But I've complied a list of the ten books I really want to read this Spring. Let me know what's on your Spring TBR, and what you are doing with the nice weather. (Hopefully you have some).

P.S. It's totally supossed to snow again later this week, but I am just ignoring this fact in hopes that it will go away.
Hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish


1. And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
I've been staring longingly at this one since I bought it- I've been craving some classic murder lately.

2. The Sin Eater's Daughter, Melinda Salisbury
I pre-ordered this one on my Nook for really cheap and the premise sounds really interesting. I'm thinking this one will be a quick and entertaining read.  

3. The Winner's Crime, Marie Rutkoski 
I really enjoyed the first book in this series so I'm eager to get to the sequel. These covers are beyond amazing- and I can't wait to see where Kestrel's character development goes. Actually, I'm thinking I might reread the first one before reading this one too- so add that one to this list too please.


4. Ghosts of Heaven, Marcus Sedgwick
I love Sedgwick and I haven't read his newest book yet, and that needs to change! This one sounds like it has a really interesting form, just like Midwinterblood, so of course I'm excited!

5. The Blood of Olympus, Rick Riordan
I can't believe I haven't read this one yet! I just keep forgetting about it- so I'm pushing it to the front so I can finish this series.

6. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
This is one of the rereads off of my 2015 Rereads and Classics List. I'm in the perfect mood to read about and share Holden's angst-y view of the world.


7. Ask the Passangers, A.S. King
I really enjoyed Everybody Sees the Ants by King and this one has been sitting on my Nook for a while. I'm thinking this one will go pretty quick, and I really enjoy King's writing.

8. White Crow, Marcus Sedgwick 
Another Sedgwick I own but have yet to read. Have I mentioned I love his writing yet?

9. The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater
I have been meaning to read this one for ages! Now is the time- it will happen soon.

10. All of the Poetry!! 
I have been in the biggest poetry mood lately, so I want to read all of the poetry on Earth! I have a few collections and some poets that I really want to check out, and of course I plan to write about them all.