Friday, February 26, 2016

review: joyride, by anna banks

Author: Anna Banks
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Pub Date: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel And Friends
Pages: 288
Source: Anna Banks

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico. Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects. All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

*i was sent this copy of joyride (and some awesome bookmarks & bookplates!) by anna banks in exchange for an honest review. in no way does this affect my opinion of the book itself*


to start off, i'd like to say thanks again to anna for sending me a HC copy of her book! i received the book + signed bookmarks and bookplates in the mail last week and was super excited to dive into this book!

joyride follows the story of two teenagers, carly and arden, who are complete opposites. carly is a girl who studies hard in school, gets good grades, and works long shifts at her job. arden is a boy who is a total prankster, football dropout, and doesn't try too hard in school. when their lives intertwine, it creates one heck of a joyride (see what i did there?) 

carly, for me, was a very relatable character, and i think this really helped me better understand situations from her point of view. i really liked the fact that she wasn't one of those stereotypical-perfect-dream-girls. she felt like a true person, a true character, someone more realistic, and i loved that about her. she wasn't worried about looks or popularity. she valued family over anything, and as everyone knows, family comes first. 

there was rarely a point in the book where i was bored. anna did a great job of keeping the story consistently flowing all while keeping it interesting. i especially liked the fact that she created so many characters with unique characteristics, like carly, arden, julio, mr. shackleford, and arden's father. often times, when a book has lots of characters who are similar to each other, it doesn't seem as interesting, but joyride was the exact opposite. 

however, there were a few things about this book that i disliked. it had a couple grammar errors, and this is one of my biggest pet peeves in books. especially when it is a spelling error. c'mon, people!

the story was slow-paced in some places, and faster in other places. i think this makes a book hard to get into, but once you're in, it (hopefully) gets better.

one thing about this book that really stood out is the fact that anna put her characters through real life situations, such as family problems, having to work to support your family, etc. it made the story feel more realistic, and i loved that about it!

overall, i really enjoyed joyride! definitely recommend this for anyone who wants an easy, contemporary lifelike read!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

love-a-thon mini challenge #3: book spine poetry

i know, i know, i'm late for this challenge. but better late than never, right? 
here is my book spine poetry!

[in the] frozen winter,
let it snow.
[the] snow like ashes,
[and the] ice like fire
ignite me.
[i am] the coldest girl in coldtown.

link me to your blog below so i can check out your book spine poetry!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

love-a-thon 2016 questionnaire


1) what is your name?
my name is sophia!
2) where in the world are you blogging from?
i'm blogging from massillon, ohio.
3) how did you get into blogging in the first place?
i got into blogging after seeing lots of other bookstagrammers' blogs and i remember thinking "that. sounds. awesome."
4) how did you come up with your blog name?
even though i'm not fluent, i love spanish, and "viva la" means "live the" so my name translates to "live the book life."
5) what genre do you review most on your blog?
i mostly review fantasy because that's my favorite, but i'll do an occasional sci-fi, dystopian, or contemporary.
6) what other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?
cover reveals, discussions, favorite books, bookish things, random stuff. at the moment i am working on snack recipes and trying to think of other more lifestyle-ish stuff.
7) best blogging experience so far?
meeting so many fellow booklovers! i have about 2 friends in real life that enjoy reading, and my other friends tease me for it, so it's nice to have people who actually understand!
8) favorite thing about the blogging community?
the people in it, for sure. i've met some of the sweetest, most amazing friends through bookstagram & blogging!
9) name the 5 books you're most excited for this 2016!
HEARTLESS, throne of glass 5, lady midnight, crooked kingdom, the fever code (gemina, a court of mist and fury, a torch against the night, etc)
10) name the 5 books you want to read this 2016 that you didn't get to read in previous years!
daughter of smoke and bone, the darkest minds, the young elites, PERCY JACKSON, i'll give you the sun
11) what's an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?
legend! shadow and bone! the stars never rise! a little something different!
12) which book boy or girl would be your book BFF?
13) which book boy or girl would be your boyfriend/girlfriend?
will herondale of course!
14) who would you recruit for your apocalypse squad?
celaena sardothien, william herondale, finnick odair, harry potter, and carswell thorne
15) apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?
learning foreign languages! i'm currently learning spanish, i'll be taking french next year, and soon teaching myself italian and german!
16) apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?
17) at a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song-- and its your song. what song would be playing?
masterpiece by jessie j or ice ice baby
18) pick out either a book you want turned into a TV show or a TV show you want turned into a book.
the lunar chronicles or throne of glass!
19) what would your dream library look like?
20) author you would want to meet and sit down to tea with?
jk rowling or sarah j maas

Friday, February 19, 2016

review: the love that split the world, by emily henry

The Love That Split The World
Author: Emily Henry
Genre: young adult, fantasy, time travel, psychology, romance
Pub Date: January 26th, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 396
Source: Purchased

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves. 

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.


“love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.” 

i knew this book was going to become a favorite at page 5. yes, it's that good. plus, that cover is GORGEOUS.

lets begin with our main character, natalie. she sees this "hallucination" who calls herself grandma. grandma tells her old stories, and tells her to pay attention because she will need to know/remember them someday. the stories originate from ancient-indian-tribe tales and are woven into the story beautifully. they're very interesting and it's so cool to see how they connect to parts of the story! (maybe its just me, but i LOVE making connections like these in books!)

the relationships in this book are like none other.
MEGAN. the best friend. i want a friendship like megan and natalie's. they were both always there for each other, and megan is the only one who really seems to want to understand what natalie is going through. even being miles apart, they have one of the strongest friendships i have ever seen. i remember reading something about emily where she said she based their friendships off of one of her own, (i believe this was in the back of the book?) and i think that its amazing that she chose to incorporate that into natalie's story!
BEAU. the boyfriend. piano skills. accent. need i say more? it was clear he and natalie were meant for each other from the beginning, and their journeys together throughout the story are just perfection.
GRANDMA. probably my favorite side character in the book, even though we only see her at the beginning and end. she's the one who tells ancient stories to natalie, and this is what ultimately ends up helping her piece everything together. i just loved her so much, she was so sweet, so helpful, so supportive, and reminded me of my own grandma!

the psychology and time travel concepts of this book are seriously incredible. emily creates it and writes about in such a way that it keeps you on the edge of your seat and constantly wanting more. the way natalie and her psychologist get down to the reason for her visions is wonderfully detailed and makes me super excited to take AP psychology next year to learn about this kind of stuff! (ex. the reason you dream about flying, or what it means when you see the kind of stuff natalie does)

i was extremely happy i was able to keep up with the pace at which things were being explained. it's a lot to take in, with the psychology and time travel. these are not easy topics to write about, especially in the same book, but emily did a fantastic job at keeping a steady pace. she described it so well that the reader could tell what was happening at all times. this is a major problem i have with a lot of books, i get behind and confused and get frustrated. but not with this book.

on to the time travel: this version of time travel, and there being more than one world really brought this book to life. it also helped the reader see the connection between natalie and beau, and what they're each currently going through a lot better. the idea of being able to switch worlds? how cool is that? and the fact that there can be two different versions of the same person? GIVE ME MORE.

last but not least, THE ENDING. (don't worry, no spoilers) i loved the way emily wrapped the story up. it felt complete, but still left you wanting more. i actually messaged emily on twitter when i finished reading it to ask about the ending. i wasn't exactly sure what happened. this was her reply: "i actually intended to keep the end open so that the reader has to experience it with natalie and decide what they believe happens." how freaking awesome is that??

to wrap up this review, the love that split the world is by far one of the best debuts i have EVER read. i fell in love with this book, the world, the characters, the concept, the cover, and everything else. the way she wraps the story up left me wanting more. if she writes another book, i'll surely be buying it.

what are your thoughts on the love that split the world? lets discuss!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

the stages of persuading your friends to read a book you like


stage 1: persuading them to actually read the book

for me, this is probably the hardest part. i have literally FOUR friends who actually enjoy reading. FOUR. 

stage 2: them finally realizing that reading is fun

i forced my friend to read the infernal devices and she's liking it so far so i guess i'm accomplishing something ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

stage 3: getting to say "told you so."

"admit it, i'm amazing. what would you have done without that book?"

stage 4: seeing their reactions while reading

all of my friends text-rant, and let me just say, their reactions are in all caps and downright hilarious

stage 5: if a character they've come to love died

just when they think nothing else could possibly go wrong... >:)

stage 6: once they finish the book

admit it, we've all done this.

my friend is currently reading the infernal devices trilogy (she's on clockwork princess *sobs*) so thats where the inspiration for this post came from! what are some of the stages you go through to get your friend to read a book?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

review: stars above, by marissa meyer (semi-spoilery!)

Stars Above
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult, Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Pub Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Feiwel And Friends
Pages: 369
Source: Purchased

The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?
With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.
The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...



oh. my. gosh. this is the best beginning/end to a series i have ever read. 
(i'm going to try and do a mini review of each short story so this review sounds decent and not like a fangirling mess.)

the little android: this short story is about a little android (hence the title) named Mech6.0 (or, as later stated, Star). she falls in love with a man named damartan, but unfortunately, he is in love with someone else. she trades her old android body for a new one, in hopes that he will like it. however, it comes with a price: she will be mute. this is about all i can say without spoiling anything, but remember this: it is a retelling of the little mermaid, so you may notice similarities! i thought this was a cute short story and marissa did an amazing job of keeping it close to the story of the little mermaid!

glitches: i had previously read this in the special edition of cinder, but still loved it just as much the second time around. we get to meet the man who brought cinder home and protect her from levana. we also get to see little pearl and peony, who may i say, is ADORABLE! this story was so cute and was a great prequel because we got to see one of the first waves of letumosis and how the people react! and of course, this story is the beginning of cinder and ikos friendship <3 

the queen's army: and now we come to wolf's prequel! this story revolves around wolf's transfer from a regular lunar to one of levana's creatures. although he despises the transfer, he grows to be one of the stronger soldiers, and this earns him his alpha rank!

carswell's guide to being lucky: guys. carswell thorne was a bigger flirt at age 13 than he is as an adult. (okay, maybe thats a bit of exaggeration, but seriously.) this story was ADORABLE, mainly because of thorne of course <3 but we also get to see what he went through as a child, such as bad grades, getting bullied for standing up for a girl everyone thought was weird, flirting, etc. this was one of my favorite prequels!

the keeper: this story focuses around scarlet's mother, michelle benoit, when she is asked to house cinder's body in her hangar to prevent her from being found. this story answered all the questions i had while reading cinder, and was super interesting to read! and of course, we get to see a little bit of child scarlet who was as sassy then as she is now!

after sunshine passes by: cress' story! we got to see 9 year old computer-prodigy cress and learn what she went through before being sent onto a (satellite, i think?) for years. and, marissa even made a point in saying how cress didn't really want to cut her hair (hence why it was so long!) this story was pretty short, so theres not much i can say without spoiling anything! 

the princess and the guard: little winter and jacin are SO FREAKING CUTE. (i know, i've said that a lot) but they really are. it was clear after reading this that winter and jacin have been and always will be best friends, from playing pretend rescue-the-princess-from-evil to handling the tough stuff like winter's hallucinations. and guess what? this is when we find out the reason winter decides to never use her lunar gift!

the mechanic: cinder and jai's first meeting omggg. so cute. you can tell they love each other just from the way they look at each other and talk to each other. of course, at this point, cinder wasn't a fan of kai like every other girl in new beijing, but we all know how that turns out ;) 

something old, something new: THE WEDDING! THE WEDDING! THE WEDDING WE'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! (well, some of us. i thought it would be two different people, but was pleased with the results!) can't say much about this without spoiling anything, but this was a beautiful wrap up to the series. getting to see the crew reunite and hang out together once again brought tears to my eyes! so much love for this series and these characters <3

what was your favorite story? mine was something old, something new! let me know yours in the comments!

Friday, February 5, 2016

discussion: why do shelfies get more attention than the average bookish photo?

recently, whilst on instagram, i was scrolling through some of the feeds of other book accounts and started to see a trend: every single picture of their shelves got nearly double, even sometimes triple the amount of likes they have on their other photos. same thing on tumblr, the shelfies often have more notes. why is that? well, thats what i'm here to discuss today.

so, the shelfie. a pretty picture of your bookshelf. you can find one on pretty much any book related account. each one is a unique shape and size, some with tons of books and some with just a few. what makes them so different from the average photo that they deserve more likes than, lets say, a picture of your favorite series? what makes shelfies so special?

here's my prediction: i think lots of bookstagram and booker people enjoy seeing other peoples shelves. it's nice to see so many awesome-looking bookshelves arranged differently than yours. i've seen it all: by color, by series, by size, alphabetical order, by author, horizontally, vertically, etc. there are tons of ways you can arrange them- i arrange my fantasy books by series & author, and my contemporary by size & color. 

sometimes you may even find inspiration from a shelfie and say "that's how i'm going to rearrange my shelves." (i am definitely guilty of this) people work hard to make their bookshelves look nice. i think its great that they get so much appreciation for it. i've seen a lot of bookshelves where the person has  added decorations, such as fairy lights, bookish merch, and character funkos. tbh, i wish my bookshelf had some decoration because right now, it's pretty boring.

to wrap this up, i guess what i'm trying to say is that shelfies have everything a booklover could want: nice shelves, pretty decorations, and of course, LOTS OF BOOKS! i think this is the reason they're more popular than other bookish pictures. and of course, everyone loves books! 

**please know that i am not hating on shelfies.** 
i absolutely think they deserve as much attention as there is work put into making it look awesome. lots of attention. in fact, they're probably my favorite type of bookish photo and that's why i'm writing this post! 

just 'cause this is a discussion about shelfies, i have to add a photo of my very own... :D

what are your thoughts on shelfies? why do you think they are more popular than the average bookish photo? let me know, i'd love to discuss!

Monday, February 1, 2016

fifty bookish confessions


hey everyone! the other day, i saw this post on princessicaofbooks's blog (click here to view her post!) and decided to try it out myself!

1) i have a really hard time reading non fiction and historical fiction, i find most of them really boring
2) fantasy books take up 80% of my shelf
3) the other 20% is full of contemporary books
4) i didn't really like divergent, these broken stars, or eleanor and park... i think they're a bit overhyped
5) i don't like most of the books we have to read for school 
6) although i read a lot, my worst subject in school is english and i'm a terrible writer
7) i didn't read harry potter / watch the movies / join the fandom until last year (2015)
8) it took me 30 days to read the entire harry potter series
9) i've never read a book via audiobook
10) i really want to meet my favorite authors (you can see who they are here!) and get my books signed by them
11) hopefully i'll get the chance to when i go to bookcon in may! anyone else going to bookcon?
12) i am extremely picky when it comes to the condition a book is in when i'm buying them
13) i offer to let people borrow my books but i never really want to lend them out because i have trust issues 
14) awhile ago, i lent clockwork angel (one of my favorite books) to my friend, and she spilled hot chocolate on it, bent the corners, and cracked the spine... i didn't really know what to say 
15) i've bought books before just because the cover was pretty
16) my goal is to read 100 books this year but that will most likely not happen
17) i really really liked the maze runner series and red queen (a lot of people seem to hate these books...?)
18) i have never read a book by rick riordan
19) my room is 50% books, 30% bookish merch, and 20% other stuff
20) i love will herondale (but who doesn't?)
21) i didn't like the mortal instruments near as much as the infernal devices
22) whenever i pick up a new book, i turn to the last page to see how many pages the book has and 90% of the time i accidentally read the last sentence and spoil the book for myself
23) i didn't really like any of john green's books except tfios
24) i plan out monthly TBRs but never actually read most of the books on them
25) the hunger games was my first fandom
26) i was kinda disappointed in the mockingjay part 2 movie, i expected it to be better :/
27) i've only ever not finished 2 books, allegiant and an abundance of katherines
28) i like the old infernal devices and mortal instruments covers better than the new ones
29) some of my favorite series are harry potter, the lunar chronicles, throne of glass, and the infernal devices
30) i'm the only one in my family who likes to read
31) but i am forcing my brother to read percy jackson
32) i always bring books on planes and car rides but never end up reading them because i can't focus
33) i can't listen to music and read at the same time (a lot of people seem to be able to do this?)
34) i pre-order most of my books (pre order goodies are the best!)
35) the song "halo" by beyonce is literally will herondale's song to tessa gray (thats the way i see it, seriously go listen to it. you'll see.)
36) i prefer paperback over hardcover, but i like the look of hardcover better 
37) i like my series to match #OCD (meaning all the books in the series are HC or all are paperback, not some of each) 
38) ^ sadly, not all of my series match 
39) i used to organize my books by color, but now i organize them by series and by size
40) my heart rate has gone up before because of a book (cough cough QUEEN OF SHADOWS. thanks, sarah.)
41) my bookshelves are an unorganized mess right now
42) i still haven't seen paper towns (i've read the book though)
43) the scorch trials and catching fire are my favorite movies
44) i currently have 172 books (these are most of them below!)

45) of those, i have read about 80
46) if i read a really good book, once i'm finished i immediately search it on every media known (mainly tumblr though bc character aesthetics)
47) in july of 2015, i preordered a ton of books so now at least once a month a book will show up on my doorstep
48) i really wanna get an owlcrate subscription
49) none of my friends irl know i have a blog & bookstagram oops
50) the lunar chronicles are life and if you haven't read them you really should

so those are my 50 bookish confessions! what is one of your bookish confessions?