Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want to Re-read

And we're back with another Top 5 Wednesday! This entire month has been chose-your-own flashback topics and for this week I chose Books I Want to Re-read. There are so many books that I want to re-read so for this topic, I decided to go with the books that I want to re-read in the near future!

At number 5, we have an obvious one in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. It's been a while since I last re-read this series and I miss it. I love the books so much and, while the movies are great, there's so much more adventuring in the books. I plan on re-reading this series in its entirety. 

For number 4, I decided to go with The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I love this series and I remember being absolutely obsessed. I definitely want to reread the books since it's been years since I first read and finished the series. 

At number 3, I have The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. I loved this book when I read it and I really want to finish this trilogy, but I've forgotten almost everything that happened in this book. When I read it the first time, I picked it up randomly and read it in one sitting. I think that if I were to read it again, that would be the case the second time around. As I'm writing this, I just really want to re-read it right now!

For number 2, we have Hide and Seek Her by H.B. Stumbo. I love this trilogy so much (even if only two books are out) and it's been a while since I read it. I've found myself over the past few weeks looking at my bookshelf, specifically at these books, and wanting to read them again. It's been a while and I'm ready to cry again.

And at number 1, I really want to re-read the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I loved this series so much when I read it and it was one of the series that got me back into reading. Now there's a spin-off/companion novel coming this fall and I'm beyond excited, but I definitely need to re-read the series before I get that one. 

So there you have it: the top 5 books/series that I want to re-read in the near future! I had a lot of fun compiling this list and it's made me even more excited to re-read all of these! Did you see any of your favorites on this list? Let me know in the comments below!



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

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Monday, May 28, 2018

Let's Talk: "Cinderella Boy" by Kristina Meister Book Review

Title: Cinderella Boy
Author: Kristina Meister
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 335 pages
Publication Date: July 2, 2018
Date Started: May 26, 2018
Date Finished: May 27, 2018
Rating: 3.75/5 stars
Goodreads

*I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I wouldn't say I loved it, but it was definitely a cute read. I think that what dropped the rating on this book for me was that it was so long and the main conflict in the story (outside of the main character's inner struggle) didn't come until halfway through the book. There were also parts that were way to detailed for my liking and very repetitive.

However, I thought the characters were multi-dimensional and I really enjoyed the journeys. I also thought that the topics this book dealt with were very applicable to today's social situations. I loved the relationship in this book and I was very happy with how the book progressed with everything.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and the ending but I don't see myself rereading it in the future. It was fun and cute at the time, and I really enjoyed the romance.



Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed! Stay tuned for another Top 5 Wednesday, new books reviews, and an upcoming giveaway!

xoxo
Lauren



Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Let's Talk: "Lies You Never Told Me" by Jennifer Donaldson Book Review

Title: Lies You Never Told Me
Author: Jennifer Donaldson
Genre: YA Suspense/Thriller
Page Length: 336 pages
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Date Started: May 18, 2018 
Date Finished: May 20, 2018
Rating: 2/5 stars
Goodreads

*I was provided a free advance review copy in exchange for my honest review*

I had high hopes for this book. When I got it in the mail, I was super excited to read it. Not only is the cover stunning, but the premise sounded interesting. What I got, however, was very disappointing, sadly. Overall, if it weren't for the high-action ending, I would have rated this book at a 1.5-1.75. I considered rating it higher when I had just finished it, but after sitting on my thoughts for a while, I decided upon a 2-star rating.

I would like to say that this review is mostly going to focus on the negative things that I thought could have been improved. I've noticed that two-star reviews and under for me tend to focus on the negatives simply because there was more of a negative reading experience for me than a positive one. Now that that's out of the way, let's get into my actual thoughts for this book.

I think that the first thing that really killed this book was the dual perspectives. Now, there are a lot of books that alternate two different perspectives, but this one did not do it well, in my opinion. Throughout the whole book, I was wondering why this was one book instead of two separate ones following two different people. While in the end, the storylines came together, it took a long time to get there and I was constantly annoyed by the change between the two.

Next thing that I didn't enjoy was the instant love. There was such insta-love in this book and it killed my enjoyment. After barely being introduced to two characters, suddenly they're talking about how in love they are and how they'd do whatever it took to be with the other. It was highly unrealistic. I found myself thinking that if it weren't for the dual perspectives, we could have had more development of each relationship and then I might have seen what made them fall in love. As it was, I was surprised when characters were suddenly declaring their love and whatnot.

Another problem I had with this book was the Romeo and Juliet parallel was not subtle and I found myself annoyed that R+J was the play that was chosen for the character's in the book to act out. There are a lot of different, amazing plays that could have been chosen instead that would have been equally as interesting. The student-teacher relationship could have developed with any play and I think that R+J being chosen was basically the author throwing it in our face that the relationship they had was supposed to mirror R+J.

The character depth and development was lacking, to say the least. There were very few characters that I liked. One of the main characters, while they went through a lot of problems throughout the book, seemed to stay the exact same. They didn't think differently or develop their personality more. It was very static and flat. Another character went through a big change but not in a way that made the reader care. They were a stereotypical character in that situation and I think that they could have been very promising if the author had written a different storyline for them. A lot of the other characters seemed to be there only to advance the two perspectives, despite four characters being listed on the cover.

One thing I didn't like was, while it worked well for the twist, one of the characters had a drastic change that we didn't see at all. One moment they were how we'd seen them the entire book and then they were a completely different person with the same name. I would have liked to see the development there because it turned a character that I was on the edge of liking into one I hated.

Other than those thing, what also hindered my reading experience from the very beginning was the little inconsistencies. Two main instances that are actually very subtle in terms of the overall book, but when I was already not enjoying the book, my brain seemed to pick out these inconsistencies and latch onto them. It really annoyed me, if I'm being honest. The first of these, while not a big deal at all, was when two characters were in the drive thru for coffee and they get their items and then pay. While I can't speak for the entire world, every drive thru that I have ever been in during my 18 years of life made you pay before you got your items. Again, not a big deal but definitely something that annoyed me.

The other thing that bugged me the entire story was the Snapchat deal. I won't say how exactly Snapchat is used, but one of the characters gets mysterious Snapchats from an "unknown number." When I read that, I had to stop and just look at it again for a few moments because that's not how Snapchat works. (1) If you're not friends with somebody on Snapchat, any snaps you send with be grey-colored and say "pending approval." This means that the receiver has to accept the friendship or message in order to see it (2) Even if that approval step was gone, Snapchat doesn't use numbers. It uses usernames. If the character didn't know the sender, they'd still see the sender's username. In fact, you can't even become friends with someone at Snapchat and then find their phone number through the app. That's not how it works. I felt like the author threw in Snapchat in a way to relate to the YA audience, but didn't do any research. It's clear that she didn't even download the app, which seems crucial if Snapchat is going to play any role in your story.

I felt that the author tried to write a suspenseful, high school suspense story, but the author doesn't know how teens really act and think. I think she tried, but she failed. The teenagers were unrealistic and stiff. At the very least, she should have hired teen beta readers because I've never met a teenager who thinks and acts these ways (except for Caleb and Irene).

So...here are the characters I liked:

  • Vivi, Gabe's younger sister. She was just super cute whenever we saw her.
  • Caleb, part 1 of Gabe's two best friends. He was funny and supportive.
  • Irene, part 2 of Gabe's two best friends. She was probably my favorite character, ngl.

Here are the characters I was neutral on:

  • Gabe: he didn't change at all and he alternated between being active and then passive. 
  • Elyse: she was interesting at some points, but overall she was impulsive and annoying at others

And here are the characters I disliked:

  • Catherine: there wasn't a moment I liked her; rude and annoying imo throughout the book
  • Aiden: read the book and you'll see
  • Elyse's mom: read the book and you'll see
Overall, I had high hopes for this book but was very disappointed. I was told this was a binge-worthy book, but I had to force myself to finish it in order to write this review. It was slow and the pacing was off. Barely anything had happened in the first 100 pages, except for a strong beginning which tapered off almost immediately. By the time I hit the last 100 pages, I wasn't even that glad to finally hit action, I was mostly just grateful that it didn't suck as much and I was almost done reading. 

Would I recommend this book? Not to my friends that have similar reading tastes. I believe that I would have enjoyed this book a lot if I had read it 3 years ago, but between reviewing books constantly and starting my first year as a college English major, I'm a lot more conscious of issues such as pacing, character depth, and more. Overall, I thought this book was poorly executed. Maybe things will change in the final edition, but I don't have high hopes.

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Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for my June preview as well as another Top 5 Wednesday and upcoming book reviews!
xoxo
Lauren

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Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

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~~~

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Book Series I Won't Finish

And we're back with not only another Top 5 Wednesday but also another controversial post! I adore reading/watching controversial posts/videos. I love seeing how other people's opinions disagree with my own. It's just fun. And it's helped me become more of a critical reader when people point out things they noticed that I maybe did not. That being said, today I'm going to be talking about a controversial point of my own: book series that I'm not going to finish.

These aren't all of the series that I'm abandoning, but they're the top ones that I think people would be interested in seeing. I also have read a lot of ebooks over the years and found new favorites and new books that I just dislike, but I'll be keeping those books out of this post simply because I'm too lazy to go through my kindle library.

That being said, let's go ahead and jump right in to the top 5 book series that I won't be finishing!

At number 5 we have the Doon series by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. This is one that I'm not 100% sure if I'm abandoning, but it's been a while since I've read the first once. I own the second and I genuinely liked the story when I read it, but I've forgotten most everything that happened. If I wanted to continue reading the series, I'd have to reread book 1 and then another 3 books, which isn't improbable, but it's most likely not going to happen in the near future.

For number 4, I decided to pick The 5th Wave trilogy by Rick Yancey. I read the first book and enjoyed it when I did, however, not only has it been a very long time since I read it, but I also wasn't thrilled with some parts of the writing style. I don't have any desire to finish the series at the time being, but I may reread book 1 at some point (because, again, I did enjoy it) and find myself reaching for the rest of the trilogy. Again, this is doubtful but it could, theoretically, happen.

At number 3 we have the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children trilogy(?) by Ransom Riggs. This is another case of me reading the first book and enjoying it, but my feelings have declined as time has worn on. I have no desire to read the rest of the books and, while the movie isn't 100% true to the book, I much prefer the movie. I have absolutely no desire to read anymore of the books in this trilogy. They just weren't for me. 

And for number 2, I decided to go with the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. I really enjoyed the first book, which is why it's still on my bookshelf, but when I tried reading the second, it fell flat. I couldn't make it past 100 pages before I had to DNF it (back before I even knew what DNF-ing was). After all this time, I just have zero interest in continuing on and finishing this trilogy. 

And finally, at number 1, I have The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I think for me personally, I went into this book with too high of expectations and not at the right time. I just really didn't enjoy it at all. I had to force myself to read it most of the time and I thought the writing style was not for me. I have zero interest in reading the rest of the books in the series and I already unhauled my books last summer. It's just not my thing.

Well, those are my top series that I won't be finishing! I'm sure I'll have an updated list in years to come, but hopefully not. Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for a new book review coming Friday and a new book tag on Sunday! 

xoxo
Lauren



Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

15 Thoughts While Reading "Furyborn" by Claire Legrand

And we're back with another "15 Thoughts While Reading..." post! I have been having a lot of fun with these lately, even though I've barely posted any. Still, I'm super excited for this one that we're discussing today. I read Furyborn at the beginning of this month and, as it was one of my most anticipated books of the year, I was thrilled to be able to read it early! You can find my review here!

Also, can we wish Claire Legrand a Happy Release Day for Furyborn?! I'm beyond thrilled that this book is finally out for the rest of the world to read so that I can discuss all my feels. Without further ado, here are 15 of the many thoughts I had while reading Furyborn
  1. Who exactly is Harkan? Are they just friends with benefits or actual lovers or what is the situation here?
  2. Remy you're so cute and I already love you
  3. HARKAN NOOOOO...ok but he can't actually be dead, right?!
  4. These trials are super intense and I hate the Archon
  5. Ok, so that mind meld with the emperor or whatever was super weird also how the heck did that lord not die also what is going on?
  6. Simon I’m finally seeing your excellent side 😍 I mean, I loved you from the prologue but now I’m in love 
  7. Oh shit they caught y'all smooching... but woh, Ludivine what a gem
  8. Okay this is definitely not good oh shit oh shit oh shit
  9. Ludivine NOOO
  10. CRAWLERS ARE CREEPY AS SHIT
  11. Woh Ludivine you're actually not Lu and you're an angel I'm confused how to feel
  12. Simonnnn you're too pure
  13. Oh Audric...I'm so sad about how you end up because you're such an amazing person
  14. Navi, I love you. Remy, I love you. Zahra, I have no particular feelings aobut you as of yet considering you're relatively new.
  15. WHERE IS THE NEXT BOOK AND CAN I HAVE IT?

I hope you guys enjoyed my discombobulated thoughts that I went through my head while I was reading Furyborn. I had an amazing experience with reading this book and I can't wait for the next one. Fingers crossed that arcs are printed soon because I need one immediately!

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Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for another Top 5 Wednesday, a new book review, and a secret tag!
xoxo
Lauren

~~~

Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

Follow my Instagram here. New giveaway will be posted in late May!

Get 10% off of HD Movie Codes (sponsored by Movies Anywhere) when you use "INFLUENCER" at checkout! *I do not receive commission from HD Movie Codes--I just want to save you some $*

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~~~

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Fierce Reads 2018 Tour Experience!

Hello everyone! So...Fierce Reads had their annual tour these past weeks and I had the chance to go...and it was amazing! It was actually my first book signing outside of BEA/BookCon and I had a blast. The authors that were there were Taran Matharu, Mary E. Pearson, Tricia Levenseller, and Maurene Goo. I got books signed by all of them and I still get filled with excitement when I look back on the night.

(All the books I got signed)

When the authors and tour schedule was announced, I was so excited because I knew and owned books by all but one of the authors. What's even better was that my best friend's favorite author of all time was on this tour, so I was super happy that I had someone to go with me. 

My friend and I drove a little over three hours from where we live to the signing venue, and I'm usually not good with car rides because I get severely motion sick, but I actually had a blast on the way. My friend and I sang a lot, ranted over shit drivers, and ate a lot of hummus. It was quite fun. 

We got there a little bit early and we were able to snag a seat in the front row. We bought a couple books...well, I bought a couple and my friend bought, like, 6...and then put our post-its inside and then we waited. 

The panel was super fun to watch. Not only was it awesome to see the chemistry between authors but I also got a lot of writing advice. I'm very excited to continue working on my novel while incorporating some of the tips and tricks that these authors gave us. After the panel, the signing began. My friend and I had so many books that we had to leave some at our seats as we went to each author individually. 

We started with Taran Matharu. As he was my best friend's favorite author, we began by waiting in his line. My friend was reading his newest book while we went and got to a specific part in the novel as we reached him, so she was able to talk to him about her feels for that scene. We talked with Taran about how we were able to come so far and how excited we were to be there. It was about 10 minutes of just chatting with him and signing our books. I also was able to show him a video of my gifting my friend an arc of his book and her reaction, and he loved it. Overall, I just had a really great time talking with Taran and I'm beyond excited to finish reading The Novice. Here's a picture from meeting him :)

We then went to Maurene Goo and chatted with her for a little bit about pin collections. She was really nice and I'm actually pretty interested in her book. I'm glad she was a part of this tour because I didn't know anything about her books beforehand. 

After that we went to Tricia Levenseller and she was really fun to talk to. We chatted about coming so far, hair colors, and more. She signed our books in colored metallic sharpies and I'm only very obsessed with it. I'm also even more excited about reading her books because she drew her inspiration from Captain Jack and I am so here for that.

The last author we went to was Mary E. Pearson. She was super cute and I love her signature. I'm also super excited to continue on with the series because after she described her newest book, I really want to finish the Remnant Chronicles and then be able to read the next. 

After that, we left and ate hummus on our way back. I had to take Dramamine to keep from getting motion sick and I ended up sleeping most of the way back (sorry Bella!). But I'm overall just so happy with the night and I can't wait for the next book signing that I'll get to attend. 

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Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren

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Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

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~~~

Friday, May 18, 2018

Let's Talk: "Furyborn" by Claire Legrand Book Review

Title: Furyborn
Author: Claire Legrand
Series: "Empirium" #1
Genre: YA High Fantasy
Page Length: 512 pages
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Date Started: May 12, 2018
Date Finished: May 17, 2018
Rating: 5/5 stars

"Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other."

*Non-spoiler review*

Holy shit I loved this book. It was phenomenal. I had high hopes going into this book and boy did it not disappoint. It was long and action-packed and I loved it.

If you aren't aware, this book alternates perspectives every chapter. The first perspective is from Rielle in Celdaria and the second is from Eliana, a thousand years later in Orline. I've definitely grown over the years and have started liking multiple-POV books more than I used to and this one was amazing. I always felt connected to the characters and I know that these ones will stay with me for a long time.

Things I Like About This Book:
  • morally ambiguous characters
  • the complex side characters that aren't there just to further the mains
  • the magic and lore
  • Simon and Audric (be still my beating heart)
  • the fact that there were cliffhangers almost every chapter
  • EVERYTHING!
Things I Didn't Like About This Book:
  • the fact that there wasn't more for me to read immediately?
This book was simply phenomenal. I loved every second of reading it and I never wanted it to end. I swear, the last 150 pages or so were such a fast read for me. I didn't even have time to comprehend that I was near the end before it was over. 

Each chapter alternated perspectives so it felt like a cliffhanger at the end of each and I loved that so much. It was a long and action-packed book, but because of my connection to the characters and the cliffhangers that I wanted to know the resolution of, I never felt overwhelmed or bored while reading. 

These characters were all flawed in their own ways. I can't wait for book two so that I can see how they all continue living because I just want them all to succeed, even if I know that's probably not possible. I think I connected more with Eliana than I did with Rielle, but I loved both of them nonetheless. I also can't decide if I like Audric or Simon more, but I know I'd definitely take both of them to bed if given the chance.

The magic and lore in this book was just so fun to read. Yes, it was complex, but I felt like I was never confused or in the dark. I'm not going to spoil anything so I'll leave this section by saying this aspect of the book was amazing.

All in all, I loved this book. I can't wait for the next one, which Claire just finished writing a few days/weeks ago. I only hope that arcs are printed soon so that I can try and trade for one because I need to know what happens. 

I highly recommend this book and you should definitely read it when it comes out! Who knows...maybe this will be one of the books that I giveaway over on my Instagram in the upcoming weeks? Follow me to find out!

Buy Links
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Author Links

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Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for my Fierce Reads Tour Experience + a new book tag and more!
xoxo
Lauren

~~~

Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

Follow my Instagram here. New giveaway will be posted in late May!

Get 10% off of HD Movie Codes (sponsored by Movies Anywhere) when you use "INFLUENCER" at checkout! *I do not receive commission from HD Movie Codes--I just want to save you some $*

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Subscribe to Owlcrate using this link and get a discount off your first box using AVIREADS

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link

~~~

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Villains

Hello all! I know that I didn't post a Top 5 Wednesday last week and I apologize...I totally forgot about it until it was already Thursday. I had an excuse though: it was the day after I moved home from college and I had a lot to do (such as unpack all of my books and sort my bookshelves). However, I'm back this week with a super exciting Top 5! As I stated in my last T5W, this month we all got to pick our topics in part of a T5W rewind. This week I decided to go with Favorite Villains. 

I am super excited for this one because I just love to hate so many characters. I mean, they're definitely bad people, but I just love reading about them! This is definitely different than the antagonists that I hate with a burning passion, though. Let's go ahead and jump right in!

Number 5 is Seraph's stalker from the Seraph Black series. I know their identity and I know the entire storyline from the very beginning to the end of the series, but I also don't want to spoil anything about who it is because it is somewhat of a big reveal. At the base, in the first book, they are Seraph's stalker. Throughout the books, we see inside their mind and inside their motivations, as well as into their past. It was really quite compelling.

Coming in at number 4 we have Loki from a whole plethora of Marvel movies and comics. I just really love Loki, okay. He was always such a fun villain to watch and I always smile when I see him in a movie. Tom Hiddleston also does an excellent portrayal and I couldn't be happier. 

At number 3, I chose Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker from the Star Wars movies. I think he's definitely one of my favorites because we see his growth from a little boy into Darth Vader. I also love that, while he was a part of the dark side, he chose a path of good eventually, even if it was only minutes before his death. 

For number 2, I decided to pick Voldemort from any of the Harry Potter movies. I feel like this list wouldn't be complete without him. He really was the first "villain" that I truly encountered because I read HP so long ago. I think that he's on this list mostly because we saw his backstory and his growth into Voldemort, and I always find it fun to see how a villain became who they are. 

And finally, at number 1, we have AIDAN from The Illuminae Files trilogy. Of course, AIDAN borders right on the line between villain and good guy, but he has definitely done some villainous things. It's hard to truly judge AIDAN, though, because he was programmed the think the way he does. Still, I loved his character in Illuminae and I can't wait to see him in Obsidio

Well, there you have it. Those are my top 5 villains that I love! I left off some villains that I just absolutely loathe, such as Maeve, Umbridge, Amarantha, and those of the like, simply because I don't even love to hate them. I just hate them outright. Overall, this was fun to do and I'm excited for the topic that I have picked out for next week!

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Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for some upcoming posts such as my Fierce Reads Tour Experience, Furyborn review, and a potential giveaway!
xoxo
Lauren

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Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Let's Talk: "A Court of Frost and Starlight" by Sarah J. Maas Book Review

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J. Maas 
Series: "A Court of Thorns and Roses" #3.1
Genre: YA High Fantasy
Page Length: 229 pages
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Date Started: May 4, 2018
Date Finished: May 10, 2018
Rating: 5/5 stars
Goodreads

I loved this book. I know that I start off a lot of my reviews with that, but I'm doing it again because I genuinely loved this book. I went in with very little expectations and emerged with such happiness and many tears. I've been seeing a lot of negative reviews for this book and I understand why those people rated this book that way. They had different expectations of how this book was going to be and those expectations weren't met. I didn't hold those expectations. I knew that this book was only going to be a novella that bridges the gap between the first trilogy and the second. I think it did a good job at doing that.

We got more of a conclusion to the first trilogy. The way that the last book wrapped up was obviously very nice and I couldn't have asked for anything better, but I think we all knew, deep down, that it wasn't going to be as perfect as that. This book showed a lot of the healing process and I was thrilled to be able to see more from Rhys and Feyre's perspectives.

There was some political talk to set up the upcoming books, but this book was also just about the solstice and family and everything good. I absolutely adored it. I didn't want a long fleshed out political novel, I wanted this cute book where my babies were going to be together and having fun.

Feyre and Rhys, once again, were just so cute. I love their romance and, while I'm sad to see our time from their perspective coming to an end, I'm just glad that we got this bonus book in there. That being said, I am absolutely ready for the next one.

The sneak peek that we got at the end was phenomenal. I was very much hoping that it would be these characters that the next book's POV was told from. The ending line to the sneak peek almost made me jump out of my bed because I'm so excited. I can't wait to see how that all plays out because I can bet there will be drama and action and so much more.

Overall, this book was exactly how I wanted it to be. It was cute and lovely yet also showed that not everything is perfect like we'd expect. I implore readers, however, to not go into this book thinking it will be as action-packed or intense as the other books in the series. Because, at the end of the day, it's a novella. It's not a full-fledged installment.

I'll just leave it on this note: I loved it and I'm so excited to see how future events play out. 


BUY LINKS
Books-A-Million (Special Edition)
Target

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Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren

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Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

33 Freshman Year Experiences

Hey guys! My first year of college just wrapped up last Tuesday and I had a blast. I adored every second of it and I'm so happy with the choice of college I made. I met a lot of amazing new friends that I can't wait to see this summer and next year. I took a lot of amazing classes and learned a lot about writing, publishing, and so much more. I can't wait for next year and what it might bring, but for now, I'm going to enjoy this summer and time I have with my niece.

I thought I'd list some things that happened during this school year. A friend of mine did this on Facebook and I felt really inspired to do my own post. Without further ado, here are 33 experiences, things, and events that I witnessed in my freshman year of college, both good and bad. 
  1. Moved away from home and said goodbye to my family
  2. Traveled through Chicago by myself for the first time
  3. Hit 1,000 bookstagram followers
  4. Met some amazing friends that I will cherish forever (you know who you are)
  5. Joined a coed service frat (#fratboy?)
  6. Started water polo
  7. Saved enough for a new camera
  8. Watched The Greatest Showman
  9. Endured multiple job rejections
  10. Lost a friend to suicide
  11. Joined choir
  12. Got an arc of Furyborn
  13. Went ice skating at Millenium Park
  14. Visited the Bean for the first time
  15. Went to Adler Planetarium for the first time
  16. Taught my friends how to dive into the pool
  17. Endured a semester of creepy crawly centipedes in my room
  18. Lost weight & avoided the freshman 15
  19. Cried
  20. Watched seasons 1&2 of Stranger Things back to back with Paige
  21. Ate a lot of Ben N Jerry’s
  22. Experienced virtual reality
  23. Got a bunch of free shit
  24. Lost another friend to a freak accident
  25. Switched my minors 3 times
  26. Fell even more in love with writing and English
  27. Got thrown up on...twice
  28. Went to formal at the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier 
  29. Realized a history degree is not the path for me
  30. Got my textbook signed by the author (nerd alert?)
  31. Finally got a tapestry (only took 2 years)
  32. Outlined and started drafting my fantasy novel
  33. Got all my books signed by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Looking back at this list helps me see just how much happened during this year. I've changed so much and I can't wait for what next year might bring!

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Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren

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Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

Follow my Instagram here. New giveaway will be posted in late May!

Get 10% off of HD Movie Codes (sponsored by Movies Anywhere) when you use "INFLUENCER" at checkout! *I do not receive commission from HD Movie Codes--I just want to save you some $*

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Let's Talk: "When Evil Comes to Play" by B.L. Brunnemer Book Review

Title: When Evil Comes to Play
Author: B.L. Brunnemer
Series: "Veil Diaries" #5
Genre: YA Paranormal RH
Publication Date: May 4, 2018
Date Started: May 4, 2018
Date Finished: May 4, 2018
Rating: 5/5 stars
Amazon

This book was an emotional rollercoaster. It really, truly was. These books have been getting more and more intense with every installment. I'm going to try to keep this as spoiler free as I can for the (entire) series except for one bit at the end that I think is important to talk about.

I love this series. I've talked a lot about my love for it throughout this past year and a half, but I don't know if I have ever truly said just how amazing this series is. These books have the ability to transport me out of my mind and into this incredible story. These characters are flawed and imperfect, but they're unique and amazing in their own ways. I found myself falling in love with these characters even more than I already was.

This book made me cry. The others books have made me cry as well, but this one seriously made me sob. There were parts of this book that were genuinely hard to read and I think B.L. handled them very well. The main character has PTSD and the characters around her have a lot of problems themselves and I think that this has been one of the better representations of these issues that I've read. These books make you feel things and it's amazing. You'll laugh and cry and scream right alongside these characters and you'll love every second of it.

I especially love how B.L. brought her two companion series together. She's writing an adult companion series adjacent to this one and I loved seeing them come together finally. I love the mythology and the world building that these two series have created together. It's easy to forget that there's an entire world outside of this town that Alexis and the other characters live in, and the companion novels helped that.

Now, there is a trigger warning that I want to put out there for this book. It is a minor spoiler, but there are occurrences of suicidal thoughts or actions in this book. As someone who has lost people to suicide before, these particular scenes were very difficult for me to read. I wanted to put a trigger warning for those who might struggle as I do when reading those types of scenes.

Overall, I loved this book. I thought it was a fantastic addition to the story and the cover is just gorgeous. We learned a lot of new information in this book and the relationships between the characters are really evolving and growing. It's been amazing to see that happen and I can't wait for what occurs next.

Veil Diaries:
Book 1: Trying to Live With the Dead
Book 2: When the Dead Come A Knockin'
Book 3: When to Fear the Living
Book 4: Whispers from the Dead

Books of Stone:
Book 1: Found

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Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren

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Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

Follow my Instagram here. New giveaway will be posted in late May!

Get 10% off of HD Movie Codes (sponsored by Movies Anywhere) when you use "INFLUENCER" at checkout! *I do not receive commission from HD Movie Codes--I just want to save you some $*

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~~~

Friday, May 4, 2018

April 2018 Book Haul!

Well, April was actually a pretty mellow month for me in terms of books that I acquired. The entire month, I only paid for one book and I had a gift card for it, so I only ended up paying about $2 this entire month on books. I'm very proud of that fact and super excited about the books that I did get. Let's go ahead and jump straight into my small-ish book haul!

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I got two physical books this month. One was an arc and the other was a book that released at the very beginning of May. Both of them are two of my most anticipated books of the year and I can't wait to finish reading them! 

The first was an arc of Furyborn by Claire Legrand. I already had an arc of this book, but it was the edition with the gold cover and I really wanted the arc with the finished cover on it. I was lucky enough to find someone on Twitter who was willing to trade this book for one that I had. I'm thrilled to have it in my collection. I can't wait for this book to be released so that I can have my gorgeous finished edition in my hands!

The second book I got this month was A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas. This book came in the mail a day early (it released on May 1) and I definitely flipped shit when I saw that it had been delivered. This is my second most anticipated book of the year and I can't wait to finish my assignments for today so that I can dive straight in! 

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I also got two e-arcs this month and an audiobook. All of these were free, which I'm super grateful about. I'm super excited to read/listen to all of them. I'll be reviewing the e-books in the upcoming months and I'm beyond happy to have them.

The first e-arc that I got was Bad Boy Brody by Tijan. This is a book that I knew nothing about, but as I had reviewed an arc of Tijan's previously, this one was sent to me as well. I'm pretty excited because I love indie-contemporary books, especially when it involves hot bad boys. 

The second e-arc that I got was Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister through Netgalley. The premise of this book just sounds awesome and I'm so excited for summer to arrive (5 days to go!) so that I can read this cute love story. 

The audiobook that I got this month was Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Libro.fm was giving away a bunch of different audiobooks this month in honor of Indie Bookseller Day (I think that's what it was) and I chose to get this one. I have this book in hardcover, but I'm super excited to also have the audiobook because I've heard that it's amazing. 

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Well, there's my book haul for the month of April. As I stated before, I only paid $2 all months for books so I'm pretty happy with how that turned out. I'm even more excited for what May will bring with all the amazing new releases that are coming out! Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for exciting bookish content and stay tuned for new book reviews this Sunday!
xoxo
Lauren

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Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

Follow my Instagram here. New giveaway will be posted in late May!

Get 10% off of HD Movie Codes (sponsored by Movies Anywhere) when you use "INFLUENCER" at checkout! *I do not receive commission from HD Movie Codes--I just want to save you some $*

Get 10% off your first order, plus 50 rewards points, when you use this link to purchase a personal aromatherapy diffuser from Monq

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~~~

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Hidden Gems

This month is a free-for-all in the community of Top 5 Wednesday! We got to either pick a completely new topic ourselves or go back and do one that we were bummed we missed. I decided to look back at previous topics and decided to do the Hidden Gems one. It's all about books that we feel are under hyped and don't get the love that they deserve. I have a few of these, so let's go ahead and jump in!

Coming in at number 5 we have the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. I have seen a few people talk about this book, but it's generally not talked about by most of the book community. It was weird for me that some people didn't know what it was because it was such a staple of my childhood, but that could be because the author came to my school when his second book was releasing. I just think that this is one of the most exciting middle-grade series out there and I wish that more people read and hyped it up! It's all about a pair of siblings who goes to stay with their grandfather only to discover that their grandparents are the caretakers of a dangerous preserve for magical creatures. Everything expands from there and it's honestly just amazing. 

At number 4 we have The Veil Diaries series by B.L. Brunnemer, with the first book being Trying to Live with the Dead. It's all about a girl who can see and interact with ghosts as well as her dealing with beginning at a new school and making friends for the first time. It's so much better than I just described it, but I fell in love with this series when I read the first book and I haven't looked back. The 5th book releases in two days and I'm so excited! It's definitely one of my favorite paranormal books out there and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book because everything is just getting so intense. 

At number 3 we have the Thunder Road trilogy by Katie McGarry, with the first book being Nowhere but Here. These books are about teenagers and romance and motorcycle clubs and drama. I love them so much and they're some of the first books that I ever got signed. I think that this series definitely deserves a lot more love than it gets, as I rarely see it featured around bookstagram or booktube, but I end up seeing it in shelfies. 

Number 2 is The Host by Stephenie Meyer. We all know Stephenie Meyer from Twilight, but she's also written two books outside of that series. One was an adult thriller (The Chemist) and the other was this one, a (new?) adult science fiction novel. It's about aliens--souls--who have inhabited earth by inserting themselves in human bodies. The story starts when a soul gets inserted into a human's body, only to find that the human is fighting back. Thus begins a story of friendship, romance, and suspense. I loved this book so much, and to put it in perspective, it's a 620 page book that I read in less than a day.

My number 1 hidden gem is Hide and Seek Her and Finders Keep Her by H.B. Stumbo, the first two books in a trilogy. These books are very dear to me as they're the first book an author actually sent to me to review (which I'm so grateful for). I love these books so much because of the characters. Charlotte is amazing and the ending of Finders absolutely broke me. I can't wait for the rest of this story because I'm officially obsessed. I generally cry a little at most books, but these books made me hardcore sob. I highly recommend them. 

What are some of your hidden gems? I have a lot of books that I love that are under hyped but these are my favorites. Just talking about them makes me want to reread all these amazing stories. 

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Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren

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Follow this blog by clicking "Follow" on the right hand column! Add me to your Google+ Circles on the left hand column! New content every month from Reviews to Hauls to Tags! Don't forget to check out all the other parts of this blog by following the different links at the top of the page! 

Follow my Instagram here. Giveaway at 1k followers!

Get 10% off of HD Movie Codes (sponsored by Movies Anywhere) when you use "INFLUENCER" at checkout! *I do not receive commission from HD Movie Codes--I just want to save you some $*

Get 10% off your first order, plus 50 rewards points, when you use this link to purchase a personal aromatherapy diffuser from Monq

Get 10% off your first order on A Court of Candles when you use this link.

Subscribe to Owlcrate using this link and get a discount off your first box using AVIREADS

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link

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