Top 16 Books Of 2016!

Ahhh! Can any of you actually believe that 2016 is almost over?? As I’m writing this we are t-minus eleven and a half hours until the ball drops and we begin a new year! And as you can tell…. I’m VERY excited. Seeing that 2016 was so amazing, I think that 2017 can only be better. So in honor of 2016 being such a great year, I chose 16 of my favorite books that I read this year and decided to share them with you! Hope you enjoy!

P.S. My top 3 favorites are at the bottom of the post. 🙂

P.P.S. These books are in no particular rating order aside from the last 3

P.P.P.S. All synopses are from Goodreads!


Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Cinder by Marissa Meyer:

This book was such a quick and fascinating read. One of my first retellings and it definitely didn’t disappoint! 4 stars!

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.


Since You've Been GoneSince You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson:

One of my all-time favorite contemporaries. Easy read, fast paced and definitely a sit-on-my-butt-for-3-hours-with-a-bag-of-popcorn type of read! 5 stars!

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?


A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas:

I could seriously go for a re-read of this novel. Fast-paced, a good amount of romance and SWOONY FAE. Where could someone go wrong with a book like that? 5 Stars!

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.


Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff:

This book is written through classified documentations. If someone thought I wasn’t going to read this, they should’ve thought again. Beautifully illustrated, and a must read for all of the lazy people out there who think chapter books are boring.

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.


City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)City of Glass by Cassandra Clare:

Didn’t join in on this series until LATE 2015 but it has definitely become one of my favorites! Love Cassie’s works! 4 Stars!

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.


The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater:

Okay either my copy had a “reading-slump-be-gone” spell in it or Maggie is just a genious. The Raven Boys is very different compared to many other YA books but, it is still really good! 4 stars!

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Gansey is different. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


The Problem with ForeverThe Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

I literally just finished this book a few days ago and couldn’t help but put it on this list. It was such and inspiring and uplifting book! (and maybe just a bit of a swoony romance.) 5 stars!

For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.


Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas:

This book made me want to continue the Throne of Glass series! It is super sexy, violent and….sob-worthy. Ugh I sobbed some ugly tears with this book. 4.5 stars!

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.


Diamonds are Forever (The Secret Diamond Sisters, #3)Diamonds Are Forever by Michelle Madow:

It feels like FOREVER since I read this. But, I remember it being super fun and romantic so I couldn’t help but put this on here! 4 stars!

It’s cold outside, but the drama is hot!

The Diamond sisters jet to the mountains for spring break, and Savannah’s flirt-mance with an international pop star heats up as her pursuit of stardom succeeds. But is this romance meant to be, or has the right guy been in front of her all along? Meanwhile, Courtney takes the next step with her secret boyfriend–and future stepbrother–and as their parents’ wedding approaches, the pressure’s on to reveal their relationship.

Peyton’s figuring out a plan for her future, but she still feels guilty about getting her former bodyguard fired and wonders if she can get over him in the arms of someone else. But the biggest bombshell will change everything once again, because Madison’s ready to tell the huge secret she’s uncovered. And with the boy who betrayed her but who could be the love of her life fighting for his own life, she might need the Diamond sisters more than ever.


Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins:

Such an amazing experience to read this with my book club friends, Alex and Emily! Emily’s blog is WhoGaveTheWrite and Alex’s is ReadersAreGonnaRead. Anyways, I was so happy they picked a paranormal book for our first month and I can’t wait to read more with them. (And where can you go wrong with a pink, badass book?) 4 stars!

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.


White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements, #1)White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

I absolutely loved this book! Jennifer L. Armentrout + Swoony Males + Paranormal goodness = my love! 5 stars!

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.


Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas:

Ahhh. Queen Maas never fails to pull me into her books. Although I did prefer one of her other books in this series, I still love this one. And can I just say…ROWAN. Like wow. 5 stars!

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry:

Ughh. If anyone fell in love with contemporaries this year, it was me! This one though, was one of my absolute favorites. Noah + Echo are one of my new favorite OTPs! Noho? Ecah? I don’t know! 5 stars!

So wrong for each other…and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again..


And….. The Top 3!! Boy oh Boy.


Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins:

Ahhh my 3rd favorite book of the year! I am so happy that I picked this up because…. Kaidan. Kaidan is the Rowan of Paranormal. 5 stars!

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?


Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas:

My #2! This book only has one word to describe it: ROWAN. The introduction to his character made me fall in love with another character! 5 stars!

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.


Obsidian (Lux, #1)Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

If anyone actually expected me not to put this on this post, you have not visited my blog before. I reread this book in the summer and IT WAS AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME! I’m starting to wonder if anything will ever beat this book! 5 stars of course!

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.


I hope you all enjoyed my last post of 2016! It’s been a good year. Hope everyone has a good time celebrating!

Happy Reading

~Alaina

 

Review: The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout (basically a explanation about the whole novel, not really spoiled)

**Mild spoilers throughout, and VERY long. You’ve been warned**

‘“You’ve never seen what everyone else sees when it comes to me,” he explained.’

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This book was one of the many books that I go into with no recollection of what it’s about. But sometimes, not knowing is the best way to read a book. It allows the author to take you on a wild rollercoaster filled with surprises. That’s what happened in the Problem With Forever.

I heard of this book coming out earlier in 2016 but never had thoughts of getting it. Although Jennifer L. Armentrout is my favorite author, I hate buying hardcovers. Let alone reading out of them. They are extremely pricey and I always end up breaking the spine from laying them flat on tables. But, then came Christmas and I couldn’t help but ask for it. Help me if I am the only person who asks for hardcover books for Christmas and any other celebrations that people bring gifts for. It’s a terrible and completely careless habit of mine but, sometimes the best books are in hardcover when you want them. That’s sort of how things went with this particular book.

I actually ended up picking this book up on the 27, very early in the morning. I think probably around one. I had just finished Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel and couldn’t help but dive straight into another contemporary. But oh boy, had I known what I was getting myself into, I probably wouldn’t have picked up this particular contemporary. But It wasn’t a disappointment on any terms so I wouldn’t rewind to the past and pick up anything different.

The Problem With Forever follows Mallory Dodge as she comes back into the realm of sociality. After being home schooled for four years, she decides that she has to face her fears and live the life of a normal teenager, not the mute girl she has become. She prefers to stay quiet, it’s her special weapon. But, on the first day of her journey to become a whole new person, she finds herself sitting right next to her childhood protector, Rider Stark. Before that moment, she didn’t believe that her life would change but really, it did.

Part I: Characters:

The characters in this book pulled me in until I couldn’t stop reading about them. I spent endless hours a day, reading page after page because of how unique each character was. But out of all of the characters, I would have to say that my favorite was Mallory. She was such a trooper within all 474 pages of this novel that I couldn’t help but pick her as my favorite!

Mallory Dodge, also nicknamed ‘Mouse’ throughout the novel was the mains tar of this novel. She is the adopted daughter of two doctors, Carl and Rosa Rivas. But, let’s be real, adopted children are nothing like their “parents”, their lives are just affected by them. So with that said, Mallory doesn’t have any of their beautiful looks or smarts. But, she is uniquely different. With her dyed red hair, few freckles and pale skin, she is herself. But along her pale skin are splashes of light pink that are a bright reminder of her past; the terrible and unforgettable past that haunts her every move. Aside from looks, Mallory is also super shy, sometimes even inaudible. Doctors have told her that it’s because of “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” but Mal knows by heart that it isn’t. Throughout the novel, Mallory learns how to get past her defensive weapon and learn to shine as the person she is.

Rider Stark is the famous ‘Jennifer L. Armentrout bad boy’ of this novel. But to be totally honest, he wasn’t a bad person at all. Of course if you were some random person who walked past him, he would totally look lie a bad boy. He’s just got the look to him: tousled coffee coloured hair, dark eyes and muscles all over. But along with Mallory, he has had a rocky past. They grew up in a house filled with danger, and at a young age, Rider took a stand and protected Mal through everything. He was her childhood best friend. He read to her, shoed away her nightmares, and even slept with her. He was her grounder. And when he returned into her life, both of there’s became even MORE messed up than the four years they lived without each other. But, everything always came back to how it should be.

And if I just bring out a little bit of my pop-music-loving-self, I think it’s the perfect time to quote an Irish fella by the name of… Niall Horan: “Over and over the only truth, everything comes back to you” ~This Town

Then we move on to our two “minor” boys who play such a big role in this story, Jayden and Hector. They lived with their grandmother throughout this novel who just so happened to be Rider’s foster parent. The two siblings live a poor life that is filled with bad stuff, but some how they live with it and still keep a smile on their faces. Although Jayden is younger than the rest of the “crew”, he still forced his way into Mallory’s life and GOD AM I NOT DISSAPOINTED BY THAT. I love books that have a really talkative, happy-go-lucky side character in it! And then we have Hector, almost a polar opposite of Jayden. Although he can still be as happy as his brother, he’s a bit more put together and chill.

Finally, we have our three minor ladies, Keira, Paige and Ainsley! All of these three characters played huge roles with shaping who Mallory became. So, let’s just start with the person who did the least to affect Mal’s journey to normal: Keira. She’s one of the popular and super pretty cheerleaders who just so happened to be one of the first people to talked to Mallory. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the prettiest and most popular people at a school can be super nice when it comes to someone new and struggling. Then we have Paige, who affected Rider waaaaaayyy more. Like off the charts ‘more’. She was chained like a dog to him. But instead of Rider leading their relationship, I’m pretty sure it was Paige. She was super pretty, but really snarky. Basically that cliché popular girl. And then we have the dear beauty, Ainsley. I loved her so much. Mal and Ainsley were basically homeschool buddies until they became best friends. And god, anyone who reads this book will fall in love with her!

Part II: Storyline

If anything, deep contemporaries are a no-brainer read for me. I love how inspiring and influential they can become. And this one has become one of my favorites.

When I first picked this book up on Tuesday, I skimmed through the first paragraph of the synopisis and dived straight into the book. And I will admit, the prologue was super confusing at first and I had to reread the first chapter a few times. But once I made it to the 50th page, I got the gist of Mallory and Rider’s past. And then we moved on to what I like to call “Mallory’s troublesome journey to normal”. But there’s the problem right there. No one is normal. Not even the girl who is currently typing up this review that is at 1242 words. We all have tiny imperfections that make us unique. And Mallory, she is “really” unique.

The story started out with a prologue that explained their past life. It was a flashback to four years before the actual story began and we got to view the tortured life both Rider and Mallory had growing up. Then, fast forward to the present day, we followed Mallory as she starts school and begins “project socialization” a.k.a., “Mallory’s troublesome journey  to normal”.

Wow. I make lots of nicknames and code names for things that happened in this novel.

Anyways, the storyline of this novel was PHENOMENAL. Although it wasn’t the overly cliché, happy contemporary novel I was in the mood for, this definitely satisfied me anyways. It IS Jennifer L. Armentrout we are talking about here, and her books always astonish me.

The book isn’t overly sad but be warned, you will definitely shed some big, ugly tears. It is the inevitable with this book. Especially once you hit page…. 371 I think. I was bawling some big tears at three in the morning when I read that part.

And….. That’s it!

This book is perfect for anyone who loves deep contemporaries (alike myself), not overly cliché romance, and very inspiring reads. It basically is the YA version of one of those super motivational adult books.

But before I end this post, I just wanted to let you all know that while reading this, try to figure out the problem with forever. Mallory has her own problem with forever, but I want to hear yours! Comment them down below if you have one and I’ll be sure to read them. Don’t forget to also like and share this post!

Some extra information about the book:

The Problem with ForeverYes, I know, I wrote this review in a backwards format. But we’re just going to go with it!

Title/Author: The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Standalone Novel

Release Date: May 17, 2016

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Page Count: 474

ISBN: 9780373212057

Buy The Book: Amazon | Chapters | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Add To Goodreads: Click Here

“Forever was something we all took for granted, but the problem with forever was that it really didn’t exist.”

Happy Reading!

~Alaina

What I Got For Christmas 2016!

I know, I know. I’m posting this on the 27th of December instead of Christmas day. But, everyone knows how hectic the Christmas season can get. The day of Christmas, my city was supposed to get hit by a very dangerous snow storm (we got close to two feet of extra snow!!), so all of our usual Christmas plans changed. Usually we go to our grandparents’ house and have a big dinner but instead, we had to compromise with an early dinner. And I got a bunch of new books then so I could’ve written up this post later that night, but I got too lazy.

Then came Boxing Day. I’m not a boxing day shopper so I basically sat my butt on my bed and read all day. And yes, I will admit that I had plans to get this post up that day but guess what?? That never happened! But hey, I did finish a book yesterday so there should be no complaining! Sooo, now that leads us to today, December 27. The day where I will finally put up this post and plan a bunch of special posts for the last few days of December. Also, the day where I basically read half of one of the books I listed below. So now, let’s get straight into this “very long” post!

NON-BOOK RELATED GIFTS! (FASHION, MAKEUP, ETC.)

I’m betting I’m not the only person who gets a lot of clothes for Christmas. But for once, I actually was really interested in the clothes I got, instead of just shoving them into my closet. So, when I sent all of my lists in, I specified stores I like and ended up getting everything from MY FAVORITE clothing store: Garage! It is a teen clothing store that sells some of the comfiest sweaters and leggings ever! So with that said, I’m guessing you can guess what I got. Listed below are the links to everything I got!

Fairisle Raglan Sweater (Super cute with hints of pink and tan!)

Lofty Funnel Hoodie (I am currently wearing this and it is sooooo comfy!)

Long Sleeved Bodycon Turtle Neck Top (The one linked is just plain white but the one I got is actually white and Light grey striped)

Shrunken Hoodie (This is probably going to become my new go-to sweater!)

Boyfriend Plaid Flannel Shirt (I am a sucker for flannels and love to wear them with anything! Number 5 for my collection!)

Super Soft Leggings (I got a Black, Grey and Grey/Black pair of these. I already had some but was growing out of them)

Brushed Skinny Sport Leggings ( I absolutely love these and cannot wait to wear them when I go for runs when the snow clears up!)

Relaxed Ringer Tee with Pocket (Sadly, this one was waaayyy too big on me and quite a bit see through.)

Grey Slouchy Beanie (Not exact one but, close enough!)

Button Leg Warmers (The ones linked have pom-poms so just imagine that there’re buttons instead of pom-poms)

I also got a few new makeup products. I have been getting into wearing makeup over the past year to cover some blemishes and make myself not look like the walking dead. SO when I opened up these three makeup-related products, I totally squealed with joy. Once again, each product is listed below and linked:

Garnier: Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream (This stuff works wonders! It’s basically a tinted moisturizer that can give full coverage without using a lot!)

Garnier: Micellar Cleansing Water (This is absolutely amazing! It’s a makeup remover, cleanser and toner all in one!)

Garnier: Clean + Refreshing Cleansing Wipes (I kind of really hoping these work good and smell like cucumbers!)

QUO Brush set (The link gives pages of the brand’s brushes. I got the powder brush, angled brow brush, basic eyeshadow brush, eyelash/eyebrow brush)

L.A. Colours Makeup Palette (I cpuldn’t get an exact link but it is a beautiful nude palette with a lot of shades!)

And finally, the extra things that don’t fit into the other two “non book-related” categories. This part of the list varies A LOT so beware!

New York Calendar (For those who don’t know, I have a huge obsession with New York! Sorry, couldn’t find a link.)

New York Poster (I got this beautiful, huge, poster of the Manhattan Skyline!)

Vanilla Bean Noel Hand Soap (This was probably my most random gift since my whole family shares our soaps. But luckily this is my favorite scent!

And then, I also got a bunch of chocolate to stuff my face with. YUM!

BOOK RELATED GIFTS

Well, I will admit that I asked for quite a few books this Christmas! If you would link to see all of the books I asked for, click HERE to be taken to my “Christmas Wish list” post. Out of all 6? 7? books I asked for, I received 4. I am so happy that I got some new ones and I guess I should tell y’all now that I’m already almost half way through one of them. Listed below are the books I got and their links!

Fallen by Lauren Kate (I’ve been eyeing this one in the book stores for quite a while now but, just never bought it. I probably won’t read it for a while but you betcha I will be done it before 2018)

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (If a name like Patch doesn’t make you want to read a book, who are you?? I’m a huge paranormal fan so this book is straight up my alley!)

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (This was the top book on my TBR list. And I may or may not have already read the prologue and cried. Ugh I would’ve continued it but, I was reading in the back of a super dark car. But, I am for sure picking this up after the book I am currently reading!)

The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout (a.k.a my current read! I finished a contemporary last night and couldn’thelp but dive into another one. So instead of reading EOS like I planned, I ended up picking up this beautiful book!)

I hope you all enjoyed this half-non-bookish post. It’s something a little different. But, don’t worry guys, I am definitely not straying away from books for makeup and fashion. Books are my favorite things ever and I could never stray away from them. Hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Happy Reading!

~Alaina

 

My Christmas Wish-List!

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Hello everyone! I wasn’t planning on posting today but, it’s 10:30 pm where I live and I have absolutely nothing to do. So, here I am! And I promised that I would share my bookish Christmas wish-list with you guys so here it is! I asked for quite a few books this year and although I probably won’t get them all, it’s nice to get a few. So without further ado, let’s reveal my Christmas list!

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)


Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick:

I have been wanting this book for YEARS now! I am a huge paranormal reader and love the ideas of angels and demons in books. So, this book is basically straight up my alley. I have heard some rumors about it relating very closely to twilight but, I don’t care. So many books are actually Twilight fan-fiction.

“Romance was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.”

Fangirl


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell:

Well, I am one of the few readers that haven’t already jumped on to the Rainbow Rowell bandwagon. I’ve always wanted to start one but I never bring enough money to bookstores to buy the expensive hardbacks that they sell. I wish Canada had paperback versions of them. if that was the case, I probably would already have all of her books!

“Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?”

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)


Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas:

A.K.A the book that I want the most for Christmas! I am a die-hard fan of Sarah’s and have been wanting a copy of EOS since it came out. But, money problems. Why are all of the books I want only available in hardback? But hey, we’ll all just pray that I receive this beauty!

“The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?”

The Unexpected Everything


The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson:

I’ve only read one other book by Morgan and I absolutely adored it! (Since You’ve Been Gone).It was such an amazing read and although most of her books are summer themed, I couldn’t help but ask for another one for Christmas! And even, it has a bunch of super cute dogs on the front cover!

“Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?”

The Problem with Forever


The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

I am also a die-hard Jennifer L. Armentrout fan! I’ve read her whole entire Lux series and have started her Dark Elements series. But, when I heard that she released this book, I needed to get my hands on it. But as y’all can see, it’s December and my hands aren’t grasping the book yet.

“For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.”

Fallen (Fallen, #1)


Fallen by Lauren Kate:

This book catches my eye a lot in bookstores but everytime I go to them, I prioritize other books. Such a bad habit of mine but maybe I will receive it for Christmas! Let’s all hope!

“What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.

Get ready to fall . . . “

I hope you all enjoyed this post! Don’t forget to like, comment, follow and share!

Happy Reading!

~Alaina

The Joy of Christmas Book Tag

“City sidewalks, Busy sidewalks, Dressed in holiday style, In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas” ~ Silver Bells

It’s that time of season where all I feel like doing is cozying up in front of a fire,  with a cup of vanilla coffee in hand, while being surrounded by fairy lights and belting out holiday carols. Christmas is such a joyous time of year and it is quickly approaching (really fast!). So, I decided to do one last holiday book tag before the Christmas spirit is gone. I found “The Joy of Christmas” book tag on Go With Flick’s YouTube channel and I automatically knew that I had to do this tag!

This tag was created by Samantha over at Sam’s Nonsense! I couldn’t find the exact original video but, feel free to scroll through Sam’s videos to find it. Now, let’s get straight into the tag!

ANTICIPATION: THE CHRISTMAS EXCITEMENT IS REAL, WHAT BOOK RELEASE(S) ARE YOU MOST ANTICIPATING?

I really can’t wait for Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth to come out. I really enjoyed the Divergent series (aside from Allegiant…) and I have been waiting for her to release something new. I always dislike when authors publish one super popular series and then never come back for more. Those are what I call one-hit-wonders, a.k.a. Suzanne Collins. But now we are finally getting another book from the author who brought us the wondrous Tris Prior and Tobias Eaton. I probably won’t buy this book the day in comes out, which is in January 2017, but I definitely plan to buy it sometime next year!

“On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.”

CHRISTMAS SONGS & CAROLS: WHAT BOOK OR AUTHOR CAN YOU NOT HELP BUT SING PRAISES FOR?

Ahhhh…. I can’t decide. My two favorite authors are an equal tie! Well, I guess I’m just gonna go with two answers. The two authors that I would sing praises for (which I actually have done..) are Jennifer L. Armentrout and Sarah J. Maas! Jennifer is the lovely author of a bunch of YA paranormal series including Lux, The Dark Elements and The Covenant. As most of you may already know, Obsidian is my favorite book EVER and Jennifer is the amazing author behind that masterpiece! My second choice was the queen of fantasy herself, Sarah J. Maas! I wasn’t a big fan of hers when I first started the Throne of Glass series but as I read on, I was so pulled into her writing. She is seriously the goddess of literature! Sarah is the awesome author behind both the Throne of Glass and ACOTAR series, which are both phenomenal!

GINGERBREAD HOUSES: WHAT BOOK OR SERIES HAS WONDERFUL WORLD BUILDING?

Since I already talked about some of Sarah J. Maas’ books, I’m going to have to give this to my second favorite world; the lands of Idris. The Shadowhunter world is filled with intricate bits and bobs but my favorite part of it would have to be the whole concept of Idris. I remember starting the series over a year ago and was so intrigued by the fact that the book took place in New York. it’s one of my favorite places to look at so I couldn’t help but pick up City of Bones. But once I got all the way to City of Glass, I became mesmerized by the closed-off lands of Idris. The way Cassandra Clare describes them is so beautiful and lush. It kind of sounds like Scotland in a way, although I’ve never been there!

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: FAVORITE CLASSIC OR ONE THAT YOU WANT TO READ:

Well, to be totally honest, I’ve only ever read half of a classic. Back in 2015, I borrowed a copy of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte from my school’s library but never ended up finishing it. My birthday came around when I was halfway through it and I ended up receiving a whole bunch of books and I couldn’t help but start some of those books. But, I own my own copy of Wuthering Heights and I can’t wait to start reading it! I remember being so mesmerized with Emily’s writing and cannot wait to dive into the world of Catherine and Heathcliff again. Some other classics that I can’t wait to read include Pride and Prejudice, To Kill A Mocking Bird and The Great Gatsby!

CHRISTMAS SWEETS: WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU LOVE TO RECEIVE FOR CHRISTMAS?

I really, really, REALLY want a copy of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas! I recently finished the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, Queen of Shadows and absolutely loved it! The climax of this series occurred in Heir of Fire and I’ve heard very mixed reviews about Empire of Storms but still, I can’t let this series go! Sarah’s writing is so good and Rowaelin is my total OTP. Rowan is so protective and Aelin is so fierce that they are the perfect mix. That is my most anticipated book that I asked for Christmas and if you would like to see all of the books that I asked for Christmas, stay tuned for my post on either the 23rd, or the 24th!

CANDLES IN THE WINDOW: WHAT BOOK GIVES YOU THE WARM, FUZZY FEELING?

This answer is quite funny but I think I have to go with After by Anna Todd. Although it isn’t my favorite book ever, I still thought it was decently written and had a great amount of unique characters. But, the part that gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling is how relative I am to Tessa. She is an 18 year old, freshman in college who loves to read and listen to The Fray and Bon Iver. I am a 14 year old, freshman in high school who loves to read and listen to The Fray. See some similarities? Although After is quite the mature read, I’ve read it 3 times just because o how it makes me feel. Having a character be almost an exact replica is pretty insane. But, you go Tessa, because The Fray are AH-MAZE-ING!!!

CHRISTMAS TRESS AND DECORATIONS: WHAT ARE SOMEOF YOUR FAVORITE BOOK COVERS?

Omg, I have so many. Well, we might as well start this long list now: Obsidian, Sweet Evil, ACOTAR, Crown Of Midnight, Heir Of Fire, City Of Bones, Since You’ve Been Gone, These Broken Stars, Cinder, The Secret Diamond Sisters, Ink, An Ember In The Ashes, Illuminae, The Fill-In Boyfriend, Weird Girl And What’s His Name, Pushing The Limits…… I could probably go on for a lot longer but I think Y’all got the gist of it.

CHRISTMAS JOY: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT CHRISTMAS AND/OR SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MEMORIES?

I think my favorite thing about the Christmas season is how it brings people around the world together to celebrate. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, there are so many different religious festivities occurring around the world during December that we all end up being brought together! I also really love all of the Christmas decorations! People decorate the outside of their houses, string lights around Christmas trees and display little bits and bobs around their houses. It’s all so lovely!

That’s it for today! I tag anyone who comes across this post to do this tag. I hope you enjoyed!

Happy Reading!

~Alaina

Unpopular Opinions Tag

Image result for unpopular opinionsThis tag was created by The Book Archer. Feel free to give the tag a go if you have a blog. Just so you know, these are my personal opinions. Hopefully they do not affect anyone’s current, past or future opinions. Hope you enjoy!

A POPULAR BOOK OR SERIES YOU DIDN’T LIKE:

Probably the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. As of now, I only own/read the first book in the series (Vampire Academy) and am very disinterested in continuing the series. It’s not that I wasn’t intrigued by the content in the book, because I definitely was! But, when I was reading this book, I wasn’t solely focused on the book. My mind was in 10 different places at once. I still think that I will try Frostbite in 2017 but it currently isn’t in my best interest to continue, since there are soo many other amazing series I want to read. But just you wait…

A POPULAR BOOK OR SERIES THAT EVERYONE SEEMS TO HATE BUT YOU LOVE:

This is such an easy question! Definitely Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. A good three quarters of the book community hates this book  hasn’t read it. But, the only reason people won’t read it is because they think it is pretty cliché. Well, I’ll inform all of you that many YA books are pretty cliché. But although Twilight is probably the cliché-ist of them all, it’s a definite must read for all YA readers. I’ve met so many people that have mixed feelings about this series but trust me, giving a book a go never hurts, even if you end up hating it.

A LOVE TRIANGLE WHERE THE MAIN CHARACTER ENDED UP WITH THE CHARACTER YOU DID NOT WANT THEM TO END UP WITH OR AN OTP THAT YOU DON’T LIKE:

Spoiler Alert For The 5th Wave**

There are so many books that I absolutely loved the couples in so this question was super hard. But, it all came down to two series: Throne of Glass or The 5th Wave. But Then I figured, pffttt, I liked both Chaol and Dorian in Throne of Glass…. so The 5th Wave it is! Many people will say different things about this series but, I really dislikes Evan. I was a full on Bassie shipper (Ben and Cassie). But I haven’t read The Last Star yet s maybe they got together  in that! I have my prayers set high.

A POPULAR BOOK GENRE THAT YOU HARDLY REACH FOR:

Hands down, Dystopian. I used to ONLY read dystopian books and now it is pretty rare if I even read one every two months. My favorite genres have definitely changed over the years and although I still enjoy dystopias, fantasy and contemporaries have pleased my eyes a bit more! But don’t worry dystopians will always be known as my first favorite genre.

A POPULAR OR BELOVED CHARACTER THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE:

Slight Throne of Glass Spoilers**

MANON BLACKBEAK from Throne of Glass. She was one of the only characters that I coukdn’t stand reading about. I was even tempted to sim through some of her chapters but, Sarah’s writing is too amazing for that. But somehow I ended up loving every single character in the series besides her. Yup, I’m officially a weirdo. But, I plan on starting Empire of Storms as soon as I can get my hands on it and I’m hoping to have my hatred wear off on Manon. She’s such a powerful and beautiful character that I really don’t want to dislike her..!

A POPULAR AUTHOR THAT YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET INTO:

I really don’t have an answer for this question. As of everything I’ve currently read, I have either loved or hated it. But for all of the books that I hated, it was either a first book of a series or a 5th or 6th book in a series. With that said, I couldn’t really say that I can’t get into an author if I only disliked one book by them and never read anything else by them. And if I only hate a book in the middle or end of a series (Allegiant) I couldn’t say that I couldn’t get into an author if I’d already read that far into the series!

A POPULAR BOOK TROPE THAT YOU ARE TIRED OF SEEING. (EXAMPLES: LOST PRINCESS, CORRUPT RULER, LOVE TRIANGLES, ETC.):

Ugh. Another question that I don’t have an answer for. But if I truly had to pick, it would probably be love triangles. Although, I do love myself some good ole’ love triangles. They make a romance so much more intense. And then you can discuss with the your opinion about the love triangle with the book community. Some of my favorite love triangles include Edward/Bella/Jacob from Twilight, Hermione/Harry/Ron from Harry Potter (yes, I’m counting this), Dorian/Celaena/Chaol from Throne of Glass and Simon/Clary/Jace from The Mortal Instruments!

A POPULAR SERIES THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING:

At the moment, the Percy Jackson series. But, I will get to it. Right now though, I have such a huge TBR and a bunch of new books I want to read that I have no intention to read the series. But hopefully by mid-2017, I will finally pick them up and give them a go!

THE SAYING GOES “THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE”, BUT WHAT MOVIE OR T.V. SHOW ADAPTATION DID YOU PREFER MORE THAN THE BOOK:

Definitely the If I Stay adaptation. I first watched it on a 6 hour flight in the middle of the night and my mom kept giving me weird looks for watching “kissing movies”… I was 12 then. But when I got home the next day, I sat on my bed for a whole two days re-watching the movie over and over again. It was such a beautiful and heartbreaking movie. In those first two days, I probably watched the movie 10 times back to back. After that, I found a PDF file of the book online and read it in less than 5 hours and moved straight on to the sequel. And then I watched the movie a few times each day until after a week, I finally stopped watching it. I still have yet to get a copy of the book, but hopefully I will soon!

Do you have any unpopular bookish opinions? Feel free to leave them down below. Make sure to like and share this post!

Happy Reading!

~Alaina

 

 

 

 

Picking a Bookish Playlist + Some of My Favorites

“The earth has music for those who listen.”

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I know most people don’t like listening to music when they read because it can ruin the book entirely but, I feel like music can make or brake a book altogether. It can take a book to a whole new level, or it can drown it out.

If you have been a person who has been scared to read books while listening to music, don’t fret. It’s all about picking music that fits the book. Whether lyrical or instrumental, the songs you pick must be powerful for a fantasy book or loose and cute for a contemporary. I’m not really a person to listen to a music when I read but sometimes I like to have something playing in the background! Below is a list of some of my recommendations to help you pick a perfect mixtape of songs for the books you like to read.

Set The Mood

Use music as your advantage to set the mood and bring a book to better heights. The best way to do this is start by figuring out what genre your current read is. Once that’s decided, all that is left is to find some music that will go good with the genre. Science-fiction and fantasy novels will be in need of something powerful to emphasize every intense battle scene. But on the other hand, a contemporary, depending on what mood the book gives you, will either be in need of cheerful music or something sad and slow.

Start Picking Some Songs

The number one rule to keep in mind when picking songs is to never pick pop music or hip-hop. Certain types of rock and alternative are okay but, indie and instrumental are your best choices. Both genres come with so many different types of songs.

If you choose to listen to indie because you prefer to listen to lyrical music, choose songs that you’ve never heard of or ones that you don’t know the words to. Indie music is better to listen to when reading a contemporary since sometimes, contemporaries need a little more to the background music to make it feel like you are in the book. If you are currently reading a contemporary, definitely try to figure out if it’s a sad or happy book. Not the hardest thing to figure out. If it has a deeper feel to it (books that focus on mental issues and death), try to go for some music that has a sense of melancholy or some peaceful piano. On the other hand, if the book is more on the happy side (love stories, friendship), choose content music that will bring a huge smile n to your face throughout your novel.

If you are reading a fantasy/science-fiction novel, I greatly suggest you try instrumental. Even if you highly dislike listening to it, just give it a go. There are so many powerful compositions out there that there is an endless possibility of music to listen to. I’m betting most of you are probably “beginner” instrumental music listeners, so my biggest tip to you is to listen to movie soundtracks. Yes, you guessed it, movie soundtracks. Most authors actually listen to movie soundtracks while writing our favorite novels. Basically, the easiest way to pick a movie soundtrack to listen to, think of your favorite movie. Once you’ve thought of one, search it up to find a soundtrack for it and ba-bam, you have a whole playlist of new songs. Some of my favorite soundtracks include Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones and If I Stay!

Listen and Read On

Once you’ve picked your songs, all you have to do is set your music to a low volume and continue reading your book. Usually if you picked the right songs, you will feel yourself read the book faster than before. But maybe the songs you picked don’t fit the book correctly. What do you do? Well… either don’t listen to music or pick and choose different music!

Hopefully all three of those tips will help all of you create beautiful and mesmerizing playlists!

Sample Bookish Mixtape

Below are some songs that I love to  listen to while reading. This playlist is set up to fit any genre so feel free to use it for yourself!

  1. Clary’s Theme by Atli Orvarsson
  2. Promise by Ben Howard
  3. Suite No. 1 in G Major for Solo Cello, BMV 1007
  4. Halo by Ane Brun, Linnea Olsson
  5. Blood Bnak by Bon Iver
  6. Roslyn by Bon Iver and St. Vincent
  7. The Nutcracker Suite, Op 71a, TH 35
  8. Swan Lake, Op 20, TH 12
  9. Prelude in D Minor, Op 28 No 24
  10. Nocturne in D flat Major Op 27, No. 2
  11. Hedwig’s Theme by John Williams
  12. Four Seasons op.8 Winter: Allegro non molto
  13. Evergreen by Broods
  14. Half The World Away by Aurora

A mix of songs perfect for contemporaries and fantasies. Feel free to use some or all of the songs to start a bookish playlist for your current reads!

Great Artists To Listen To

I’ve already said before that indie music is the way to go, unless the book gives perfect mixtapes for the book (Since You’ve Been Gone). One of my favorite artists to listen to while reading is Bon Iver. Most of his songs are soft and serene with the slightest feel of melancholy. His music is listened to by millions of people around the world and can be related to Band of Horses’ and is one of the most well known indie music. Ben Howard is another one of my favorites. His music is very much like Bon Iver’s but it has more of a content tone. Broods is a very unknown indie band that creates some of indie’s best music. Their music is quite a bit more upbeat from both Bon Iver’s and Ben Howards, but it still has that soft indie feel to it. (at least some of their songs)

Amazing Composers To Listen To

Compositions from well known soundtracks are my favorite way to listen to music while reading. One of the best modern day composers I’ve ever listened to is Atli Orvarsson. He composed music for one of YA’s least favorite bookish adaptations, The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones. In my opinion the movie was amazing! But aside from the controversy over the movie, the soundtrack is exquisitely composed. It is filled with powerful octaves and is very beautiful to listen to. If you are more on the old school side, definitely listen to older instrumental music. Great composers lived a long time ago such as Chopin, Tchaichovsky and Bach. Most of their music is cello and piano but it is definitely a wonderful thing to listen to when reading.

I hope this “mini” guide helped you with finding new music to listen to! It was so much fun to make and I hope to do updated ones in the future!

Happy Reading!

~Alaina

 

Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

“We’re all good until we’re not strong enough to be anymore.”

The Murder Complex is a gruesome, hell-bent novel that is a must-read for all YA readers. Perfect for the Halloween season or else you’ll be having a day of bloody fighters. Lindsay Cummings works magic with her debut novel.

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex, #1)Information:

Title/Author: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Release Date: June 10, 2014

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Page Count: 398

ISBN: 9780062220004

Buy The Book:

Synopsis:

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

My Thoughts:

When I first saw this book, the first thing that popped into my head was violence. Lot’s of bloody, murderous violence. But, it wasn’t as terribly violent as I had previously thought.

I saved this book to read around Halloween since I wanted something slightly scary to read during the scariest time of year. It was definitely a good idea to pick this up during Halloween because of everything that happens in it. Of course, I’ve already mentioned the violence in this novel but it was also quite the heartbreaker. This book made me shed some huge tears before it was over.

This book started out like any other dystopian: a young girl, trying to survive in the darkest of times. But this one turned in a bit of a different direction. We follow Meadow Woodson as she’s doing whatever is possible to help care for her family: including working in the dangerous city. But on the other hand, we also follow Zephyr James who is an assassin programmed to kill Meadow. When they meet, only bad things can happen.

This book was extremely captivating and fast-paced. The storyline was very intriguing and similar to Divergent. Both sides of the story were very different but weirdly alike. Both would do anything for the ones they love and to protect themselves. But oddly, they were enemies. And being together would cost them everything.

I loved Lindsay’s writing style. It’s super fast-paced, flows and makes you very anxious to continue. She’s also definitely a cliffhanger writer. Every single chapter ended in a cliffhanger, leaving me with very sleepless nights while reading this. But I don’t regret it whatsoever since it was amazing and I can’t wait to pick up more of her books!

So many deaths and tragedies occurred in this novel. So many times to cry out buckets of tears. If Lindsay is anything, she is definitely a writer who can make people cry. This book was written so beautifully and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

I gave this book a 4/5 stars and highly suggest that everyone grabs this book as soon as possible. It is an amazing thriller that cannot be missed. I hope you all enjoyed this post. Be sure to like, comment and share this post!

Happy Reading!

~Alaina

 

#IAmTheReader Book Tag!

Happy Blogmas day 4! I am so sorry that I wasn’t able to get a day 3 post up but, I am back and ready to dive into blogging again!

I saw this tag floating around booktube a while back and I thought I would give it a go since the title basically identifies me as a person. This tag is perfect for all book nerds so I highly suggest that all of you bloggers do it! Now, let’s get straight into the tag!

CHOOSE ONE WORD THAT DESCRIBES BEING A READER:

Ooohh this one is a tricky one. How can I only pick one? I would probably choose bibliophile because it is the only word that every reader can relate to. In case you don’t know what it means, here’s the best definition:

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Basically every reader, am I right? A reader is someone who loves to read; someone who enjoys reading. But the word bibliophile stretches that definition into one of an avid reader. It is one of the many words that makes us readers alike.

WHAT’S THE VERY FIRST BOOK YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH?

When I first read this question, the first book that I though of was Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Buuutt, if I wrote that one down, I would be lying. Obsidian was the first book I read that made me REALIZE how much I loved books. And don’t get me wrong, I love that book to pieces. but if we go a bit further back, even before I read Obsidian, the first book I fell in love with was Legend by Marie Lu. I had read a few YA novels before this one but this one started my addiction to reading. So basically, Legend was the first book I ever fell in love with but Obsidian made me realize how much I loved reading. I bet y’all always thought that Obsidian was the first one I fell in love with!

HARDCOVER OR PAPERBACK?

Although Hardback books are so much prettier, I’ve got to give this question to the good ole’ paperbacks! I’ve always been a bigger fan of paperbacks. They are so soft, smooth and sometimes even bendy. And who doesn’t love a bendy book? Paperbacks are also so much easier to read. When you are sitting with a book propped up on you legs, you definitely want it o be a paperback. It probably will flip and flop but it is a lot softer than a hardback. And one of my favorite parts about paperbacks is how affordable they are. A YA paperback will range in normal price from $9-$15 while a hardback will be $20-$30. Such savings!

HOW HAS READING SHAPED YOUR IDENTITY?

Reading has changed me as a person so much. Back in grade 6, before I even started reading I was that shy girl who wore cotton t-shirts and jeans, her hair always looked messed up and she wasn’t popular. But after a year of reading, I’ve come to be a person I like and have accepted. Books help you see the good an the bad about yourself. they can influence you to be who you want to be and never look back to the bad days. 2016 was the year that my pleasure reading slowed down and I started reading a book every week or two. And when I wasn’t reading I would be studying, watching YouTube or practicing using makeup. Basically what any other 14 year old is like. But when you read, you get to see through the eyes of popular, shy, and even futuristic characters. You get to live their life for 300 pages which can greatly change a person. Although watching YouTube and Pinterest have helped me find a style a makeup look that I love, reading has showed me that it’s okay to be different and that it is perfectly fine to be called a nerd, book worm or even bibliophile. Because that is what I am a nerd, book worm, geek. Whatever term you prefer to use to describe someone who likes to read.

WHAT BOOK DO YOU NEED WHEN YOU NEED TO BE COMFORTED?

If I’ve had a tough and stressful week, reading a good book with some tea is my favorite stress relief. Just sitting in a quiet room with hundreds of words in front of me showing me a whole new world is enough for me calm down. But, if life had been really rough, I probably wouldn’t want to read whatever book I would be currently reading. So then that’s when I grab the one book that I could reread a million tines over again and never get bored: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It is the perfect mix of Contemporary and Paranormal. And it is also the book that has had the most effect on me. It made me want to blog, want to hoard thousands of more books until my house was stuffed with them and most of all be myself. So I at least reread that book once a year, maybe twice if I needed just some comfort time with my alien friends!

WHO TAUGHT YOU TO READ? OR DID YOU DO IT ALL ALONE?

I’m pretty sure it is impossible to be taught how to read aside from those wonderful bedtime stories my mother used to read to me. But really, who really would’ve taught us how to read? Teachers maybe? But really, I think this is something I learnt all on my own. Of course we learn words in grade 2 and then we also started reading sentences but once you get a sentence, it’s pretty easy to catch on! So I am a self-taught professional reader!

DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM READING LOUNGE:

OOOHHH I actually really love this question! My dream reading lounge was actually featured in a New Adult book called After by Anna Todd! It is a really good book (that I just so happen to have read 3 times) and in the first book, the author described an apartment that the two main characters “lived” in. I don’t remember the exact definition but I remember it was a very modern apartment with red brick walls that were filled to the top with books. Every time I imagine that in my mind, it makes me want to live in a place like that!

WHAT BOOK CHANGED THE WAY YOU ACT OR SEE THE WORLD?

WELL THIS ONE REALLY ISN’T HARD TO GUESS IF YOU’VE READ THIS FAR ALREADY!

It is definitely Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. The book totally changed my view of life and made me realize how precious life is. Basically if you haven’t read the book, it is about a girl named Katy who moves to a small town in West Virginia and ends up moving into a house beside a bunch of aliens. But the cliché premise of the novel isn’t the moving part of this novel although Jennifer L. Amrentrout pulls it off insanely perfectly. But at the start of the book, Katy suffers a tragic loss when her father dies and really, nothing could ever be the same after that. But you know when a hot guy named Daemon Black comes into play, he makes everything better. But in the end, Obsidian showed me that there are mistakes that people make in life for the better. In return for a mistake you are always rewarded something better. SO basically, the book gave me a more…. emotional view of life. Or maybe more of a happier view. Yes a happier view.

So that’s all for today! I hope you all enjoyed this post and made it all the way to the end!

Happy Reading!

~Alaina

 

 

Snowy Book Recommendations!

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened.”
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Happy Blogmas Day #2! I posted on my bookstagram account (that you can find on the right side of my blog) about snow coloured books. So I thought, what better thing to post then white book recommendations!

Winter is one of my favorite seasons. Not necessarily because of the weather, but more about the scenery. I love to watch the thick, detailed snowflakes slowly fall from the sky, blanketing the ground with white fluff; curling up and drinking a nice, warm cup of hot cocoa while reading a huge book. There’s nothing better than being able to stay nice and cozy in front of a fire while reading a nice book. Preferably, I like to read deep contemporaries, intense high fantasy or classics during the winter but, today I will be recommending some of my favorite white-spined books! White (or maybe a cream or grey) is the only colour that I can use to describe the winter season (not Christmas). You look out a window and there’s snow. Snow everywhere. So in honor of it, here are some snowy book recommendations!


Lux: Consequences by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

Consequences: Opal & Origin (Lux, #3-4)This is a bind-up of the third and fourth books in the lux series. I recommend everyone picks up this if they have previously read either the Lux: beginnings bind-up or both Obsidian and Onyx. Although most of my “white” recommendations have nothing t0 do with winter, this one definitely does. The first book in this book fully takes place in winter. And the cover just so happens to be white and sparkly!

“Opal
After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different…and I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Origin
Daemon will do anything to get Katy back. After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? And will they even be together?”

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Ink by Amanda Sun:

Ink (Paper Gods, #1)Quite the unpopular choice of mine but I truly think that everyone should read this book! 1) the cover is super eye-pleasing, and is made out of a watercolour paper material. 2) It is based off of Japanese mythology, which isn’t found too often in YA fiction. And 3) it is simply an amazing novel!

“On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.”

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Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry:

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)If I do remember correctly, I did mention that I love reading deep contemporaries in the winter. Well, this has actually been one of my favorite reads of the year! Although the subject of the book is very deep, it’s very inspiring to read about Echo and Noah’s journey throughout their troublesome senior year.

“So wrong for each other…and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again..”

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Those are all of my Snowy Recommendations! I hope everyone has a good night and stays nice and warm wherever they are!

Happy Reading

~Alaina