Thursday, June 16, 2016

five unique books that you NEED to read!

hiiii! i've been in a blogging slump lately, so i figured it was time to brainstorm a few blog post ideas. somehow, this one came to mind, so here i am, typing this up at 10:34 PM. i'm going to tell you all about some amazing, unique five-star reads that you just gotta read! here, in no particular order, are the five books i chose!

1) the love that split the world, by emily henry

if you'd like to read my review for this book, click here. it explains why i loved it so much! :)

2) between the lines, by jodi picoult and samantha van leer

i read both of these books in a 3 day time span (it is a duology, off the page being the second book) and they're such cute, easy reads! these books are about a girl named delilah and a boy named oliver. oliver lives in the pages of a storybook, but when delilah falls for him and realizes that they can speak to each other, they must find a way to get into the same world to finally meet face to face.

3) illuminae, by amie kaufman and jay kristoff

i think what really got me is the fact that 1) the format of it is AMAZING and like nothing i've ever seen, and 2) this is the book that got me into sci-fi (which is HUGE, because i used to hate it)

4) a little something different, by sandy hall

just read this. (from goodreads)

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. 

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....

if that doesn't make you wanna read it, i don't know what will.

5) the statistical probability of love at first sight, by jennifer e. smith

this is one of those stories that literally is love at first sight. hence the title. this book takes place in a one (or two?) day period. when hadley misses her flight, she runs into oliver. the two spend the plane ride getting to know each other, but what will happen when they must go their separate ways? i guess you'll have to read it to find out.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

caraval: why you need to read it & what to expect

despite the warnings, i DID get swept too far away in caraval (in a good way, of course).

first, i'd like to thank stephanie for writing this beautiful book that got me out of my three month reading slump. second, i'd like to say that you all had better be adding this to your TBR right now. third, this is my new favorite book cover. i mean, look at it!

caraval immerses you into a magical world full of games, mystery, betrayal, and friendship that will 
leave you guessing after every page. i couldn't help but try to predict what was gonna happen next, and let me tell you, nothing is as it seems. (meaning, all my predictions were wrong. i'm a terrible guesser.)

i'm not going to write a long review about this book until closer to release date, but to explain how incredible this book really is, take a look at the notes i made while reading:

-colorful detail
-mysterious but intriguing
-feels as if you're in a dream-like state while reading
-has the magic of fairytales but is uniquely woven into a circus-y atmosphere
-never uses specific color (ex. "the color of forgotten memories) and uses lots of interesting similes (ex. "wrapped in colors like a birthday present")
-lies. tests. betrayal.

if that doesn't make you more excited to read caraval, i don't know what will. i highly encourage everyone to pick this up when it releases, 1/10/17! i give this book ALL the stars. it exceeds the 5/5 star rating!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

review: how it ends, by catherine lo

Author: Catherine Lo 
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pub Date: June 7th, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books
Pages: 304 (hardcover version)
Source: ARC (won from a giveaway)
goodreads / amazon / book depository

There are two sides to every story.
It’s friends-at-first-sight for Jessie and Annie, proving the old adage that opposites attract. Shy, anxious Jessie would give anything to have Annie’s beauty and confidence. And Annie thinks Jessie has the perfect life, with her close-knit family and killer grades. They're BFFs…until suddenly they're not. 


when i first received this book, i hadn't heard much about it. the only thing i had read about it was the mini description on the back (which is different than the one above), but it was enough to intrigue me. i picked up this book not knowing what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised.

when we meet jessie, it is clear that she isn't one of those "popular" girls. she's the shy one who sits with the video-game-lovers, that is bullied by popular girls, but is also very smart and gets good grades. i appreciated the fact that this character seems realistic. jessie, in a way, reminds me of myself. i'm shy, don't have a HUGE amount of friends, but still care about my schoolwork. i haven't read a lot of books where the main character wasn't the star of the school, so it was nice to be reading from a different point of view. 

annie, on the other hand, is the opposite. she's fun, outgoing, and has (or, had, at her old school) a lot of friends. my first thought was "oh no, she'll be joining the popular squad" but i was wrong. right away, she decides she wants to be friends with jessie. this was another major thing i loved about how it ends. it shows that anyone can be friends with anyone, and that labels aren't everything. like they say, opposites attract. the fact that annie chose jessie over the popular group made me tear up. these kind of things don't happen often (at least, at my school they don't) but i sure as heck love to see it happen.

how it ends takes place in high school, so i found myself relating to and knowing about lots of the events that took place, such as parties, drinking (ew) and relationships. (not that i am ever a part of these events, NO WAY. but i've heard stories from others) it reveals the harsh realities of high school, and what it is like to be in both jessie's and annie's shoes.* 

*is this correct grammar? i can't remember...

they say even the best of friends have their fights, right? no friendship is perfect, including jessie's and annie's.* through the ups and downs, they learn the truths about one another and unravel the secrets that until now, had remained untold. could one little secret tear apart their friendship? i guess you'll have to read to figure this out ;) wow. that sounded like i was either reading off of the synopsis (which i'm not, i swear!) or trying to sell the book (heck yeah i am cause you all gotta read this).

*sorry if this grammar is still incorrect

ooh! ooh! another thing i'd like to say i loved about this book: PARENTS WERE PRESENT!rarely see this in YA anymore, but i'm not quite sure why. jessie's parents are super supportive, and willing to help her in any situation. annie, on the other hand, hated her step-mother and step-sister (her real mom died, dad remarried) so it was interesting to see their family lives play out as well as their school lives.


the only thing i didn't necessarily like about the book was the pregnancy. if the character were, say, age 20, i'd be okay with it, but FIFTEEN?! that just isn't realistic nor is it likely. so, um, yeah. that is all i have to say about that.

how it ends is a book primarily based on friendship, which is one of my favorite things to read about. even though their friendship isn't perfect, this book was a beautiful read. i already wish there was a sequel, because i need more of jessie and annie!

***quick note: i tried to make this review non-spoilery, so i didn't include too much detail! that being said, sorry this review was short. 

to sum up this review, how it ends is an outgoing, heartbreaking, meaningful story of friendship that will leave you wanting more of jessie and annie's story. i give it a 4/5 stars! you won't want to miss this one, so pick it up when it hits shelves june 7th!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

discussion: how does your age affect your reading experience?

trick question. it doesn't.

this is a topic that i've been seeing lots of discussions over. i originally got the idea for this post when i read jamie @ perpetualpageturner's post on reading harry potter for the first time at 30. it made me realize one thing: it doesn't matter how old you are when you read a book for the first time, as long as your reading experience was phenomenal.

as for me, i got into harry potter a lot later than my friends. i always remember how people used to talk about it all the time in elementary school, and i didn't know a thing about it. i got a lot of "YOU'VE NEVER SEEN OR READ HARRY POTTER???" during those years. so, i finally picked up the books and watched the movies shortly after i turned fifteen. and that was the moment i knew my life and reading experience had changed. SEE WHAT HAS BECOME OF ME?!

personally i think that harry potter is a magical, beautiful read for any age. every reader can easily be swept up into the wizarding world and experience harry's journeys with him. buying a wand and school supplies from diagon alley, going to hogwarts, massive feasts, magical classes, hogsmeade trips, butterbeer, quidditch matches, spending time with family and friends, and fighting off lord voldemort (okay, maybe not that last part).

in many of the books out today, especially in fantasy, there are lots of in-depth concepts that can often be hard to comprehend. magic, kingdoms, mythical creatures, ancient lands, battles, armies, and much more are incorporated into fantasy books. guess what? there is such thing as middle grade fantasy for younger readers. but here is my question: even if they're at a difficult reading level, why does that determine the age group of people who can read the book? 

oh, another quick point to bring up: i've never read percy jackson. i know lots of people who read this at a young age, as they did harry potter. and what, might you ask, did i read at age 11/12? the hunger games, divergent, and the fault in our stars (and any john green book tbh). but guess what? i understood them perfectly fine, just as well as any teen or adult could have. so why do parents tell their children, "you're not old enough to read that" when they really want to? why take that away from them?

it is understandable that some parents don't want their children reading "mature content" or "gory action scenes." i know my parents were hesitant to let me watch the hunger games movies, and it took a lot of begging to persuade them. in the end, the hunger games books were what sparked my love for dystopian. they probably even sparked my love for reading itself. 

all in all, i guess i wrote this post because i don't like when people say "isn't that a middle grade? why are you reading that? you're a teenager." i got this a lot while reading harry potter. my friends couldn't believe i became obsessed, because sophia you're sixteen! so what? LET ME LOVE MY HARRY POTTER.

i hope this post made sense. sorry it was so short and ramble-y, i just felt like i needed to get that out. thanks for reading! what is a book you absolutely love that is probably considered "middle grade" and when did you read it? for me: harry potter, age 15 :)