In which I say goodbye

You may have noticed this blog looking a little sparse over the past few months. (Actually, I just took a look at the last post date and it was two months ago! Totally didn’t realize it had been that long.) This year has been a struggle for me blogging-wise, even more so than the year before. I lost my passion, my inspiration, and my motivation to do anything blogging-related. First it was commenting on other blogs, then it was responding to the ones here (I DO read every single comment though!), then it was reviews, then it was reading in general. Books just haven’t felt as magical as they used to, and I really miss that feeling. A slow march towards this moment now, with me writing this post.

Though I’ve never posted about my blogiversaries, it’s been over three years since I decided to start a book blog and wrote up that first review. A lot has happened in that time: I graduated from grad school, I spent a long year unemployed, I moved to a new city for my first time job, and I finished the first draft of a novel I’d spent years tinkering with. After I started my job, I suddenly had so much less time on my hands and yet so many more things that I wanted to do. TV! Writing! Photography! Learning a new language! I just didn’t have time for all those things, and blogging started to feel like an obligation, not a hobby.

When I was unemployed, blogging was a savior. I was living at home, and there were so many hours to fill. Blogging gave me a space to talk to people about what will always be my number one passion: books. The job search can be super dejecting (as I’m sure others can attest to), but blogging never felt that way. Blogging also led to me meeting my book club, a group of ladies I can’t imagine life without now.

Blogging has been good to me, and so it really is bittersweet to announce that this will be the last post here. At least…for now. Who knows…I might change my mind in the future and rediscover my joy for blogging! It’s happened before.

I’ll still be around though! I’m on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Goodreads, and Pinterest and I’m always up for bookish conversations.

And before I go, I just want to say…thank you. Thank you to anyone who’s ever read any of my blog posts, commented, or otherwise enjoyed my blog. I’m so grateful for every single one of you.




Book Review: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Title – Author: Wolf By Wolf  Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Series/Standalone: Duology – Wolf By Wolf #1
Format – Source: ARC – Publisher

Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission? (via Goodreads)

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THIS BOOK. Goddamn it, this book. I literally could not put it down. I was walking around my apartment with it in my hand because I just had to keep turning the pages. Put this one on your immediate to-buy list, people. It’s worth every penny.

So where do I start? With where this story begins and ends: Yael. Yael. God, even weeks later, I’m still thinking about her. I loved, understood, and rooted for Yael on every page. She’s the kind of character who both breaks your heart and mends it. Her story is one of revenge, yes, but it’s also about the simple fact of identity. Who is she, when she can’t even remember what her real face looked like? Is she the girl a sick, twisted doctor created, the girl who lost her entire family, or someone else entirely?

While at the heart of the novel is the gripping, emotional story of Yael’s past, there’s also the sweeping epic of a world where the Axis powers won. A world where all eyes turn to a motorcycle race of endurance, cutthroats, and alliances. Once the race begins, it’s one twist after another. Every second of the race is so thrilling that it feels real.

AND THAT ENDING. What a twist! It opens up so much more possibility for a world that’s already fascinating and compelling. I can’t freaking wait for what happens next. I just know it’s going to be good. And by good, I mean a punch in the heart.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 11.56.59 PMWolf by Wolf is a powerful, tense, and thrilling story of revenge, identity, and sacrifice that will hit readers emotionally and leave them begging for more.

Fine, Make Me Your Villain // Villain Squad + The Rose Society

I’ve been hella excited for The Rose Society after I LOVED The Young Elites last year. So when Penguin Teen asked me to write up a post with a badass villain squad of my own, I was all in. I’m getting this post up a bit late (gahhh vacation was amazing but it messed up all my schedules!), so the book comes out tomorrow (SO. SOON).

First up is my name. *drumroll*

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Powers include: time manipulation, immortality, mind control, and a killer wardrobe.

Theme song:



The White Witch

The Dark One


Harley Quinn

The Darkling

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Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness? (via Goodreads)

Heir of Fire Revisited

Favorite Quote

“Because I am lost,” she whispered onto the earth. “And I do not know the way.”

Favorite Character

Manon Blackbeak. Because she’s fierce and deadly and merciless and loyal and brave and cunning and a true leader.

Favorite Scene

When Aelin faces the Valg and her own demons and picks herself up.

Why I Love This Book In One Sentence

Heir of Fire is the book that really changed the series for me: from one I enjoyed to one I cared for with my whole heart.


Crown of Midnight Revisited

Favorite Quote

“What does that mean?” he demanded.
She smiled sadly. “You’ll figure it out. And when you do…” She shook her head, knowing she shouldn’t say it, but doing it anyway. “When you do, I want you to remember that it wouldn’t have made any difference to me. It’s never made any difference to me when it came to you. I’d still pick you. I’ll always pick you.”

Favorite Character

Nehemia Ytger. She’s the princess the world deserves.

Favorite Scene

The scene where Celaena almost kills Chaol, because it’s scary and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Why I Love This Book In One Sentence

Crown of Midnight ups the stakes in the best and worst possible ways.


Book Review: Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu

Title – Author: Rules for Stealing Stars  Corey Ann Haydu
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format – Source: ARC – Publisher

In the tradition of Sharon Creech and Wendy Mass, Corey Ann Haydu’s sparkling middle grade debut is a sister story with a twist of magic, a swirl of darkness, and a whole lot of hope.

Silly is used to feeling left out. Her three older sisters think she’s too little for most things—especially when it comes to dealing with their mother’s unpredictable moods and outbursts. This summer, Silly feels more alone than ever when her sisters keep whispering and sneaking away to their rooms together, returning with signs that something mysterious is afoot: sporting sunburned cheeks smudged with glitter and gold hair that looks like tinsel.

When Silly is brought into her sisters’ world, the truth is more exciting than she ever imagined. The sisters have discovered a magical place that gives them what they truly need: an escape from the complications of their home life. But there are dark truths there, too. Silly hopes the magic will be the secret to saving their family, but she’s soon forced to wonder if it could tear them apart. (via Goodreads)

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Basically if you compare a book to Sharon Creech, I’m automatically interested. I was OBSESSED with her books when I was younger. Rules for Stealing Stars is the first time I’ve felt that someone else has captured a similar magic in storytelling.

This book tackles a lot of tough issues: an alcoholic mother, a spacey father, sister cruelty, aching loneliness, mistakes, and trying to escape reality. I loved how the author faced these issues with sensitivity and vulnerability. There are elements to this story that every reader can relate to.

Silly herself was not only relatable, but also so familiar. She reminded me of myself when I was younger, even though I’ve never been in a similar family situation. Silly wants to be included in what her sisters are doing, even though they think she’s too young to handle it. She yearns for something to give her hope. She makes mistakes, but she tries so hard to fix them. She can be self-centered at times, but she’s also loyal, caring, and brave.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 11.56.59 PMRules for Stealing Stars is a beautiful story about loneliness, family, and hope for the future.

Book Review: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

Title – Author: The Scorpion Rules  Erin Bow
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Series/Standalone: Series – Prisoners of Peace #1
Format – Source: e-ARC – Publisher via NetGalley

A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace – sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals – are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.

Enter Elián Palnik, the Precepture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war? (via Goodreads)

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I wanted to love this book and I went back and forth quite a bit in my feelings of it. Still, a few days later, I feel conflicted. Because I did read through it rather quickly, and I never once felt bored. And yet…I still don’t know if I liked it or if I would recommend it to others.

Let’s start off with what did work for me: Talis, the AI overlord of this dystopian world. He’s a mix of terrifyingly predictable and surprising, with a touch of unexpected human vulnerability. In short, he’s fascinating, and the best character in the novel.

I also liked the friendships between Greta and her cohort. In a situation like this, where any hostage could die at any time, they just as easily could’ve separated themselves from each other and never grew close. But instead they chose each other, supporting and protecting each other. I think a lot of the book is about choices: the ones you can make and the ones you were never given.

This is the second review I’ve written this week where the romance just didn’t do it for me. Clearly, I need to find something I like stat! There’s a sort-of love triangle, which isn’t my favorite. And I think I would’ve preferred if Greta was just friends with them both. The friendships were so strong that it almost felt as though the romance was thrown in as part of a YA-dystopian formula.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 11.56.59 PMThe Scorpion Rules had an interesting premise and some good points in its favor, but ultimately, this wasn’t the book for me.

Book Review: Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

Title – Author: Lock & Mori – Heather W. Petty
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Series/Standalone: Series – Lock & Mori #1
Format – Source: e-ARC – Publisher via Edelweiss

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.(via Goodreads)

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I wouldn’t say I’m a Sherlock Holmes fan, though I do really enjoy both the Robert Downey Jr. movies and the Benedict Cumberbatch series. I’ve considered watching Elementary too since I love Lucy Liu (side note: does anyone watch this? Let me know in the comments if you think it’s worth it!). It seems like Sherlock is everywhere these days, but when I read the summary for Lock & Mori, it sounded like a completely new take on these classic characters.

I went into the novel with only a little background on the characters (Sherlock solves crimes, Moriarty is his nemesis). I love a villain origin story, and reading Mori’s narration knowing (or rather assuming, since you never know if the author will go in a completely different direction!) where she’s headed in the future definitely created a lot of tension. I kept waiting for a moment when she would tip over into her darker side. While this book is only the beginning, the ending definitely started connecting the dots between Mori, the teeange girl with a difficult home life, to Moriarty, criminal mastermind. This is something the author does so well: the story is new, but you can feel how this episode fits in the larger scale of the classic epic.

The weakest point to me was the romance between Sherlock and Mori. I initially really liked the idea of a romance between the two, but it felt rather rushed and forced at times. Luckily, I don’t often read books for the romance, so there was plenty to keep me interested. The mystery of the murders and how they connect to Mori’s family was fascinating and I loved seeing Mori put all the pieces together.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 11.56.59 PMLock & Mori is a solid start to a series centered around a thrilling and terrifying murder mystery and ending with the hint of more to come.

Book Review: Vivian Apple Needs A Miracle by Katie Coyle

Title – Author: Vivian Apple Needs a Miracle – Katie Coyle
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Series/Standalone: Series – Vivian Apple #2
Format – Source: ARC – Publisher

“GET ANGRY. We should all be so pissed at the Church of America that we’re willing to break our hands in the metaphorical punching of its metaphorical face.”  —Harpreet Janda, fugitive   

The predicted Rapture by Pastor Frick’s Church of America has come and gone, and three thousand Believers are now missing or dead. Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple and her best friend, Harpreet, are revolutionaries, determined to expose the Church’s diabolical power grab . . . and to locate Viv’s missing heartthrob, Peter Ivey. This fast-paced, entertaining sequel to Vivian Apple at the End of the World challenges readers to consider how to live with integrity in a disintegrating world. (via Goodreads)

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I loved Vivian Apple at the End of the World. It’s an odd story (what if the rapture really happened?), but the witty dialogue and girl power of Vivian and Harp captured my heart. The sequel brings all of this back, once again making me fall in love with Viv and Harp’s adventures.

Now that Viv and Harp know the Rapture was faked, they’re on the run from the Church of America. Suddenly they find themselves part of a revolution whose aim is to bring down the Church by whatever means necessary. I loved the struggle this presents to Viv, who’s torn between an overwhelming desire for revenge and the need to keep casualties at a minimum. People are constantly underestimating Viv and Harp, almost always to their detriment. Together, these two girls can do anything, and I love how strong their bond is.

I love how uniquely these books explore the different ways people deal with the end of the world. When faced with the unexplainable, what do we decide to believe in? It makes a lot of sense how powerful the Church is able to become. I also appreciated how nuanced both Believers and Non-Believers are portrayed. Neither side is entirely good or evil.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 11.56.59 PMVivian Apple Needs a Miracle is a clever book that explores both the religious and political aspects of belief through the eyes of the flawed and badass teenage Vivian.