Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Pretty Ugly By Kirker Butler

This is a book review for Pretty Ugly by Kirker Butler. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

After eight-and-a-half years and three hundred twenty-three pageants, Miranda Miller has become the ultimate stage mother. Her mission in life is to see that her nine-year-old daughter, Bailey, continues to be one of the most successful child pageant contestants in the southern United States. But lately, that mission has become increasingly difficult. Bailey wants to retire and the reality show Miranda has spent years trying to set up just went to their biggest rival. A bright new voice in satirical literature, Kirker Butler pulls no punches as he dissects our culture's current state of affairs. It's really funny, but it's also pretty ugly.

The first thing you should know about this book is that it is written by the creator of Family Guy so you know it's going to be twisted. If twisted is what you are looking for, then this is the book for you. Miranda is pregnant and is the stage mother to end all stage mothers. Her daughter, Bailey, has won more crowns than she can even count. She wants to retire but knows her mother won't allow it so she secretly skips workouts and binges on junk food to gain as much weight as possible. That's okay though because Miranda has big plans for her unborn daughter. Miranda's husband, Ray, works as many hours as he possibly can, both to pay for all the pageants Bailey competes in and to spend as much time away from home as possible. He is also a pill addict nurse who is juggling an affair with the seventeen year old granddaughter of one of his hospice patients. Joan is Miranda's mother and has delusions of Jesus actually speaking to her. The author also delves into Courtney's point of view (the mistress). Courtney is selfish, deluded and incredibly naive.

As you can see, there is really no sympathetic character in the book . . . except for the children of course. Miranda actually tells Bailey that it is a shame she isn't "blessed" with an eating disorder so she can remain thin. Little does she know, Bailey is well on her way to an eating disorder, just not the kind of eating disorder Miranda would prefer. Miranda and Ray also have two sons, who Miranda barely acknowledges. If the child isn't a girl she can dress up and parade around, she isn't interested. There is so much craziness and insanity going on in this book that it can seem pretty overwhelming at times. There wasn't one single character that I didn't want to shake. But I think that's the point of the book. Kirker Butler takes everything you think you know about stage moms, cheating husbands, young teenage girls, pageantry, and exaggerates it to the thousandth degree. Yes, some parts of the book made me angry but there were other parts that made me laugh out loud. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: I am going to say buy. Yes, it is twisted but it is also compelling and so funny.

Top Ten Tuesday - My TBR List Hates Me!!

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They feature a different top ten list every week. This week's topic is recent books I added to my TBR . . . also known as even more books added to my ever-growing TBR list. 

I have put a temporary moratorium on buying any more books so I haven't purchased any of them yet. But soon . . . 

1. The rest of the Lunar Chronicles series - after recently reading Cinder, let me just say this: I get the hype. I absolutely loved this book and I can't wait to read the rest!

2. Hollow City - another continuation of a series. I finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children last week and it was so amazing. I need to read the sequel!

3. 17 and Gone by Nova Ren Suma - I really loved her book The Walls Around Us and I have heard great things about this one as well.

4. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moscowitz - a story about a black lesbian struggling to fit in

5. Little Peach by Peggy Kern - Shannon from It Starts At Midnight talked up this book so much that I must read it. It's about a runaway girl lured into prostitution.

6. Made for You by Melissa Marr - a suspenseful novel about a girl who wakes up from a car crash, able to foresee others people's deaths when they touch her.

7. Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum - Book Riot has really been talking up this book. It's about a married American living in Switzerland who begins having an affair. 

8. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia - a book about a girl struggling with schizophrenia

9. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson - a story about a boy struggling with his identity and his desire to be a girl

10. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed - a story about a woman struggling to resist her parents and an arranged marriage

What books have you recently added to your TBR? Have you read any on my list? Any recommendations on which ones I should read first?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Musing Mondays - Would You Rather?

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! This is when we speak about bookish rants or issues, among other things.

For this week's topic, I thought I would play a bookish game of Would You Rather? I have seen questions similar to these floating around a few blogs and I thought I would come up with my own Would You Rather questions!
Would you rather . . . 

1.  Read just one book for the rest of your life or read every book only one time? 

Since I don't usually have the time for rereads, I am going to choose to read every book only one time. 

2.  Have someone spoil the ending for every single book you read or never be able to read the ending of a book?

Man I hate spoilers. But I would hate to never know the ending of any books, so I guess I would choose the spoiler option.

3.  Read only print books or read only ebooks for the rest of your life?

I love my Kindle, so I will choose to read only ebooks!

4.  Read your favorite genre for the rest of your life or read everything except your favorite genre?

Argh, I know I said I liked variety earlier but I will choose to read only my favorite genre for the rest of my life. My favorite genre is contemporary YA so I really don't think I will get bored with that one.

5.  Would you rather live in the world from Divergent or the one from Hunger Games?

I would choose the one from Divergent for sure. I would never, ever make it in the Hunger Games arena.

6. Would you rather read a poorly written book with a great story or a beautifully written book with poor content?

Bad writing just bugs me so I will choose beautiful writing with poor content.

7. Have to buy every single book you read online or borrow every single book you read from the library?

As much as I love libraries, I will choose the online option.

8.  Would you rather burn your favorite book or burn your favorite library?

Okay, I HATE burning books, which is why I thought this would be a tough question. And it is. I will choose to burn my favorite book though . . . as hard as that would be. Better one book than countless others in a library.

9.  Would you rather take only one shower a year or read only one book a year?

I thought this was a funny one and would show if there are any people out there who don't care much about hygiene. As much as I love to read, I would choose to only read one book a year. Man, I would savor the hell out of that book!

10. Okay, so this one isn't a traditional would you rather question. Brewing Up Books gave me this idea in an award they tagged me in. Okay, you have Edward from Twilight, Park from Eleanor and Park and Gatsby from The Great Gatsby: who do you kill, whom do you marry, and with whom do you have a one night stand?

I intentionally came up with three very different characters to try to make this hard. It was a little difficult. I think I would kill Edward, marry Park (when he gets a bit older of course) and have a one night stand with Gatsby. I was torn on that one. I know Gatsby is rich, but I have a feeling he would not be super faithful in a marriage. 

Feel free to answer any of these questions (or all of them) in the comments below!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Florence, Italy!

Happy Sunday!! 

I hope everyone has had a great week. My husband and I returned from Florence on Monday and it has taken me this long to get out of vacation mode. I believe I have almost caught up with all my comments and my reviews, so progress is being made! Daylight Savings Time finally hit Italy today and we celebrated by sleeping in until 9:30am. Even the dog slept in, which is unusual for her. Of course it could have to do with the fact that we allowed her on the bed this morning. A comfortable human bed always equals more quality shut eye for my favorite canine.

I wanted to share a few pictures of Florence, Italy. It was so gorgeous. And we took a day out of our trip to explore a little bit of the Tuscany region. I am so thankful that I live in a place with such beauty. We will only be here another 2-4 years so I plan on soaking up every beautiful minute that I am here.

Hope you guys have an amazing week!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Memes

Happy Friday everyone! 

I think I have neglected my comments section a bit since coming back from Florence. I am getting to them bit by bit. Thank goodness I had a few blog posts scheduled this week because I have been in a bit of a blogging slump. I have several reviews to write, but absolutely no desire to do it.

Meanwhile, I just finished an amazing book, Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova. Man, this book just blew me away. I will be posting a full review next week. In the meantime, I thought I would use this week's Friday memes to give you a few teasers.

Here is the synopsis:

Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He is then handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease. Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader where we share the first sentence (or so) of a book we are reading.

"Damn woman is always moving his things. He can't kick off his boots in the living room or set his sunglasses down on the coffee table without her relocating them to 'where they belong.' Who made her God in this house? If he wants to leave a stinking pile of his own shit right in the middle of the kitchen table, then that's where it should stay until he moves it.
Where the fuck is my gun?"

Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice. Here are the rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.

"Joe puffs on his stogie, hating the bitter taste but loving the sweet experience, soaking in this magnificent moment in JJ's life. The birth of his first child. A son. Joe's grandson. And then it hits him. This is a pretty fuckin' magnificent moment in Joe's life, too. Right here on this bench with his son on a cold December morning in Boston. Proof that even a life cursed with Huntington's can be magnificent."

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Fahrenheit 451 By Ray Bradbury

This is a book review for Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I read this for both my Banned Book Challenge and my TBR Pile Challenge.

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

First of all, can I just point out the irony of a book about burning books being on the Banned Books list? Okay now that I have pointed that out, I want to say that I really, really wanted to enjoy this book. It seemed perfect: a dystopian novel where firefighters burn books instead of actually putting fires out. But I was not a fan of Ray Bradbury's writing. He just kind of hit me in the head over and over with his flowery language and his metaphors. And the metaphors he used weren't even about anything major. He would go on and on for a full page about how the street looked in the rain. Maybe it was because of all the metaphors, but when his wife tried to commit suicide, it actually took me about two pages to realize what happened. Meanwhile, I felt no connection to the character and some of his actions made no sense. When Montag meets Clarisse, he acts perturbed that firefighters used to put fires out and acted as if burning books was his lifelong calling and his dream come true. The synopsis indicates that it isn't until this meeting that he starts questioning his job and starts hiding books. This isn't really accurate. It turns out that he had been hiding books for a while. The only really exciting part of the book was the end. Just in case there are people who haven't read it, I won't give away any spoilers. I will say though that the end had a lot of action. It was very suspenseful, wondering if Montag would be caught with the books or what would happen. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: I know it's a classic, but honestly I would recommend skipping it

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou

This is a book review for I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I read this for my TBR Pile Challenge. I also read this for my Banned Book Challenge.

Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.”  Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned. Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.

For someone who is not a big fan of nonfiction, I sure have read a lot of it this year. And I have read some pretty great memoirs. But as much as I loved If you find this letter, I think this is my new favorite memoir. I cannot believe it took me so long to read this. I also can't believe this book was banned, but then again I feel that way about every book that has been banned. This was such a powerful memoir by a very inspiring woman. Maya Angelou does not shy away from tough subjects like the racism that her family experienced or the rape she experienced when she was only eight years old. When I read that part, it broke my heart. Maya Angelou describes her life growing up in the South in a very poetic and raw way. It was heartbreaking to hear not only of Maya's rape, but her stories interacting with white people and the racism that she experienced. I think everyone needs to read this book. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Books From My Childhood!

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They feature a different top ten list every week. This week's topic is the top books from my childhood that I would love to revisit. Most of these are from my teen years, but yes there are a few of them that are from when I was really young.

1. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein - I LOVE this book! I bought the 40th edition last year and loved rereading all of his hilarious (and inspiring) poems.

2. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman - I know this one is going way back, but it always brings back so much nostalgia. This is one of the first books I ever learned to read. My mother read it to me and I read it to my younger sister. I can't wait to have kids so I can read it to them.

3. Any of the Sweet Valley High books by Francine Pascal - I think I read every single SVH book when I was younger.

4. Any of the Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene - I have no idea how Nancy Drew didn't suffer brain damage because of all the hits she took to the head. But I still loved them.

5. Are you there God, it's me Margaret? by Judy Blume - Yep, Judy Blume . . . she's timeless.

6. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - This book has always stuck with me because it is the first book that ever made me cry. I reread it last year and it was just as heartbreaking. I love the show New Girl and a quote in that show made me laugh: "You should call yourself Bridge to Terabithia because you make children cry." Ha. It's so true!

7. Any of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary - Did anyone else love Ramona as much as I did?? And for some reason, I have lost my books in this collection. I need this box set! '

8. The Flowers in the Attic series by VC Andrews - I think I read this series about five times in high school. It is twisted, but I loved it!

9. My Sweet Audrina by VC Andrews - Another V.C. Andrews book that I read several times. I loaned this one out and never got it back! Argh, it was such a tragedy.

10. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit - I loved this book so, so much! It's weird that I never saw the movie, but I'm sure it wouldn't have held up to the book anyway.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Musing Mondays - Censorship

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! This is when we speak about bookish rants or issues, among other things.

For this week's topic, I am talking about censorship. I read a Washington Post article that talks about a new app, Clean Reader. This app will actually take just about any ebook and clean up the swear words. You can choose three categories: Clean, Cleaner and Squeaky Clean (I don't even think I want to know how they could get some books to Squeaky Clean). Now I do know that technically this app doesn't constitute censorship. And maybe some people (adults included) are just uncomfortable with swear words. But I can't help but think how that would change some books. I just finished listening to To Kill A Mockingbird. Listening to the story, hearing the N-word was startling and blunt and definitely made me uncomfortable. But isn't that the point? TKAM doesn't shy away from the racism experienced in the deep South.

From what the article says, this app was developed because the creators' fourth grade daughter informed them of some swear words in books she was reading. The ironic part was that their daughter was a bit of advanced with her reading and they wanted books that would challenge her. Instead of creating this app, couldn't these parents have had a discussion with their daughter about which words were in the book and why they were used? But no, their solution was to censor the words. In my opinion, that is no different than banning books. Now people are just banning certain words in the books. I do think that changing the original words of the author is censorship. Read it or don't read it. But don't ban it and don't change it. Is that really too much to ask? Of course the bright spot in this is that unlike the banning of books in schools, this app isn't being forced on anyone. People can choose whether to download this app and sanitize their favorite books.

What do you think of this app? Would you use it? Would you make your kids use it?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Taken and Frozen by Erin Bowman

This is a 2 in 1 book review for Taken and Frozen by Erin Bowman. They are the first two books in the Taken series. The final book, Forged, is scheduled to be published on April 14, 2015. Just as an FYI, I am not going to reveal any major spoilers in my review. However, my review of Frozen will probably reveal a little bit about what happened in Taken

Goodreads synopsis for TakenThere are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. They call it the Heist. Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept. Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

Okay, I really liked the premise of this book. I actually did like the first chapter or two. But after that, it went downhill. I felt like the author did not delve into a world without men very deeply. Because there were no men, girls and the boys in the town engaged in "slatings." Basically for a month, these individuals would have sex for purposes of procreation. At the end of the month, the boy would be assigned to someone else and move on.  I would have loved for the author to develop the emotions around that more deeply. I think the author revealed the mystery surrounding the Heist too soon. It was revealed about halfway through the book so the pacing was just a little too fast for me. I also had huge issues with the romance part. Gray has known Emma his whole life so his feelings for her aren't exactly instantaneous. Hers are. He states at the beginning of the book that she barely gave him the time of day growing up. She was a lot closer to his brother. Then his brother is heisted. They spend a couple of days together and suddenly she is in love with him. <insert eye roll here> She escapes Claysoot with him, but they are separated after a while (no spoilers about how). He spends a couple of months apart, meets another girl named Bree, and suddenly finds her irresistible, despite the fact that he has supposedly been in love with Emma his whole life. Oh bother. The truth of the matter is that I didn't sense any chemistry with either girl so it was really hard to care who he ended up with. The ending wasn't really a cliffhanger. It was just kind of blah. 

Goodreads synopsis for Frozen: Gray Weathersby escaped from the primitive town of Claysoot expecting to find answers, but what he discovered shook him to the core: A ruthless dictator with absolute power. An army of young soldiers blinded by lies. And a growing rebellion determined to fight back. Now Gray has joined a team of rebels on a harsh, icy journey in search of allies who can help them set things right. But in a world built on lies, Gray must constantly question whether any ally—or enemy—is truly what they seem. 

I really liked the pacing of this second book. I actually thought the author did a great job with a few twists and turns. There was a lot of action and some shocking stuff happened. It was an interesting road for the team in search of the allies. The ending was quite surprising as well. But again, the romance dragged my rating for this book down. On the surface, Gray seems like a great guy. He is very loyal and also very stubborn. But he is also impulsive and a bit spineless, especially when it comes to Bree and Emma. One minute he is acting like he with Bree, but then when a guy so much as approached Emma and possibly had interest with her, then he became jealous and irrational. He led both women on, but acted stupid when Bree called him out on it. Whenever he was with Bree, he just kept comparing her to Emma and vice versa. If this book had been just about the search for allies, this book would have been a lot better. 

Even though I had so many issues with parts of this story, I still want to read Forged. I don't care at all which girl Gray chooses (if he has a backbone to choose at all), but I am interested to see how the story plays out. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: I would maybe borrow this series. It has an interesting premise that will keep you engaged. But the love triangle will make you roll your eyes endlessly. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is an audiobook review for To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The narrator is Sissy Spacek. I read this as part of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I also read this for my Banned Book Challenge.

I have always had a hard time with audio books. My mind wonders too much and I just can't focus on the story. When I mentioned this on the blog, Lisa from Bookshelf Fantasies suggested I try one as a reread. With Harper Lee's sequel for To Kill A Mockingbird coming out in just a few short months, what better time was there to delve back into the world of the Finch family? When I heard that Sissy Spacek was the narrator, I was even more enthused. I just love her! Listening to her narration, I do think she was the perfect choice to narrate this wonderful story. Sissy Spacek's narration made me want to listen to this story for days and days. The only downside about an audio book is that it takes so much longer to finish than a print book. In this case, I did not mind because I was able to savor the story in a way that I am sure I wasn't able to when I was younger. 

I had not read this book since high school, but I still remembered the basic plot. I think everyone is pretty familiar with the story. Atticus Finch is the honorable lawyer in a small Southern town and father to Jem and Scout (the narrator). This book tells the story of the eccentric, withdrawn neighbor Boo Radley and the case that nearly tore the town apart. Atticus takes on the case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white girl. I am sure so many people have reviewed this book, so I am not sure I can contribute anything new. Harper Lee did an amazing job of describing life in a small southern town where everyone knew each other and everyone knew everyone else's business. As someone who grew up in a similar southern town, I could relate. Atticus Finch is probably my favorite fictional father of all time. He was firm, but fair and he was willing to stand up to everyone to defend a man falsely accused. He was also much more empathetic than I probably would have been. As he told his children, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . .  until you climb in his skin and walk around in it." I love this quote and think it perfectly sums up Atticus as a father. I loved this book so much and can't wait for the sequel. We get to see Scout as a grown up!

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy! If you like audio books, I highly recommend the audio version of To Kill A Mockingbird

Thursday, March 19, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Don't Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine

This is a book review for Don't Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel by R.L. Stine. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my review. The scheduled publication date is April 7, 2015

Ever since a car accident killed her father and put Lisa and her mother into the hospital, Lisa can't think straight. She's plagued by nightmares and hallucinations that force her to relive the accident over and over again in vivid detail. When Lisa finds out that a neighbor is looking for a babysitter for her young son, she takes the job immediately, eager to keep busy and shake these disturbing images from her head. But what promised to be an easy gig turns terrifying when Lisa begins to question exactly who — or what — she is babysitting.

I was feeling quite nostalgic when I requested this book from NetGalley. I used to read the Fear Street novels all the time when I was younger. Reading it again after more than twenty years, I can't help but wonder why I loved them so much. Maybe R.L. Stine's work has changed. Or maybe I have outgrown it. Here is what I liked about the book: the ending was a surprise. I kept thinking I knew what was going on, but there were several twists and turns that kept me guessing. Here is what I didn't like: everything else. 

I hated the main character so much. Lisa was overdramatic about everything. She talked in exclamation points and had two modes of communicating: shrieks and screams. And man did she scream at everyone about everything. After the death of her father, she showed no grief and no remorse, despite the fact that she was partly to blame for the accident. Yes, it was an accident but it wouldn't have happened if she hadn't been such a screamer. Oh yes, when her boyfriend tried to comfort her she did scream at him that she killed her father. But that was pretty much the only statement about guilt she ever showed (of course it wasn't a statement but a yell). I think that was pretty much the last thought she had about her father too.

Here is another issue I had: she woke up from the accident with a concussion and started having hallucinations. The doctors hold her hallucinations and nightmares are a symptom of the concussion. I know I am no doctor, but since when does a person with a concussion of hallucinations of demons and dead people? I also thought the doctors must be quacks to wait weeks to even suggest medication. Even though she knew she was having hallucinations, Lisa still screamed at every single person who told her they didn't see what she did. Man, she was annoying. I won't even talk about the romance part of it because there was zero chemistry and it seemed more of a subplot anyway.

There were a few creepy parts in the book, but it wasn't really scary. It was just gruesome more than anything at some points. Like I said, there were some twists and turns and I wasn't expecting the ending. But that was about it. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: just skip it

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

So tomorrow I am leaving for a long weekend to Florence! I am so excited. I love the ease of traveling within Europe that comes with living in Naples, Italy. I will be back next Monday evening. I have a few posts and reviews scheduled to post, but unfortunately I won't be able to respond to any comments. I promise to respond as soon as I get back. And I hope you have lots of beautiful pictures for you guys!

Thank you so much Olivia and Sarah at Brewing up Books for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their site.
  • Post the award's logo on your blog.
  • Answer the ten questions you have been asked.
  • Nominate ten bloggers.
  • Set ten new questions for your nominees.
Here were their questions:

1. If you could change the ending of one book, which book would you choose and why?

I am going to say Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell for this one. The ending was just so ambiguous. I want to know what happened with them!

2. One pairing that you completely disagree with.

I know that everyone loves this book, so please don't hate me but I will choose Bianca and Wesley from The DUFF by Kody Kiplinger. Nope, I don't get it. These people had sex with each other, despite the fact that they hated each other. And both characters annoyed me. Sorry, but I was not a fan of this book.

3. Where is your favorite place to read?

In bed for sure.

4. Favorite and least favorite book to movie adaptation?

Since I just read The Princess Bride for the first time, I am going to list that one as my favorite adaptation. I just love that movie! My least favorite is Twilight, definitely. I hated the casting choices and I just think the ruined the movie.

5. Most recent tear-jerker?

It's been a while since I have read a book that really made me cry. I guess the most recent was All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I stayed up until 2 am reading that one and I was a sobbing mess at the end of it.

6. What book stressed you out the most?

The Wayward Pines trilogy by Blake Crouch; the final one in the series was so suspenseful I had to stop reading it for a few minutes because my heart was pounding too fast. When I was done with the trilogy, I couldn't read anything else for weeks because I couldn't imagine what book could follow that one. And it's being made into a TV series starring Matt Dillon!! It comes to Fox this year!

7. If you could make a book into a movie, what would it be?

Oh wow, that is a tough question. Part of me kind of dreads when a book I love is going to be made into a movie because I am afraid they would ruin it. But if I had to pick, I would pick the Gone series by Michael Grant. This is hands down the best series I have ever read (only beating the Wayward Pines trilogy by a hair). But come to think of it, this one might be a better TV show especially since there are six books in the series.

8. One book you can't live without?

Now that I have read it, The Princess Bride by William Goldman. This one has become one of my favorite books of all time. I have it on my Kindle, but I intend to buy it in print. That doesn't happen very often.

9. You have three BBF (best book boyfriends) who do you kill, marry and have a one night stand with?

I LOVE this question! Okay so the one I would want to marry would be Westley from The Princess Bride by William Goldman. He obviously loves Buttercup with everything that he has and it would be pretty spectacular to be on the receiving end of that. For the one night stand, I would choose Sylvain from The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand. He is way too arrogant to ever marry, but the sex scenes in that book were totally hot. I wouldn't mind having that just for a night. And I am sure he would feed me lots and lots of chocolate! For the one I want to kill, it would be Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I just want him gone!

10.What book character would you friend zone?

Are we talking male or female? I guess it doesn't really matter. I would choose Lynn from Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis. She is such a total bad ass. It takes a lot to earn her trust and respect, but once you have it, she is fiercely loyal. And I think it would be great if she could teach me how to shoot. 

I'm not really going to nominate anyone for this one. There are so many amazing bloggers that I follow! Feel free to answer any of the above questions in the comments below. Do you disagree with some of my choices?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 10 Books on my Spring TBR List

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They feature a different top ten list every week. This week's topic is the top ten books I must read this Spring! Most of these are brand new releases this Spring, but a few of them have been out for a while.

1. Forged by Erin Bowman - This is the third book in the Taken trilogy. I just reread the first two and I will be honest . . . I wasn't impressed. I am at the point of just reading the finale to see how everything ends.

2. Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

3. The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

4. All The Rage by Courtney Summers - Excited to have this ARC!

5. Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova - Also have this ARC!

6. Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay

7. None of The Above by I.W. Gregorio

8. 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

9. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer - YES, I will finally start this series!

What books are you planning to read this Spring?