The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Top Ten Tuesday #97: Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them July 26, 2016

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them

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  1. Archery. Now, I won archery in high school gym class, but I would love to learn and practice the skill to rival Katniss. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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2. Quidditch. True Harry Potter Quidditch. While the Muggle Quidditch looks entertaining, I would much rather play real Quidditch! Harry Potter by JK Rowling

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3. Epic Road Trip with Friends. I’ve gone on tons of road trips and tons of band trips, but I would love to go on a road trip with friends that doesn’t involve a school bus! Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

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4. Help a soldier/servicemember with PTSD. My step-dad has PTSD and my husband is in the service. PTSD is close to my heart and I think more awareness needs to be raised. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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5. Explore Prague. I would absolutely love to go to Prague! Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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6. Travel to different Londons. I love our London (Grey London). It would be fascinating to explore the other Londons too. Even if they are fantasy! A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab.

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7. Find Glendower. Not with the intention of obtaining a wish, but just to find him. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.

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8. Explore Paris. I would love to go back to Paris. I would get on a plane in a heartbeat. Die for Me by Amy Plum

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9. Learn the violin. Well, this made me want to learn more. I’ve wanted to learn how to play the violin for ages. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.

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10. Do marching band again. Oh, heavens do I miss marching band! Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols.

What are some things books have left you wanting to learn or do?

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A Bookish Tour June 13, 2016

Filed under: Books — Maura @ 12:01 am
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Not sure if I have ever done a bookshelf tour post before, but I thought I would do one today. My bookcases are currently stuffed to the gills and will probably be redone or added to in the coming year, but I thought I would give you a glimpse into my organisation. Keep in mind this is strictly my YA books. My children’s, middle grade, and adult bookcases are super hot messes. We recently attempted to reorganise my children’s bookcase, but there are so many that it is still super stuffed and messy haha. The kiddos also need a new bookcase, but hubby isn’t wanting to budge on more bookcases until we remodel downstairs. *sigh* Anyway! Welcome to my shelves!

The first two bookcases are actually small bookcases in my bedroom at the foot of my bed. They were empty for a while until I reorganised my books back in early spring. I decided to move favourite series and oversized books to these bookcases to free up some space on my main YA bookcase. It helped, for like a week until I reorganised that bookcase! haha. Left picture: Top shelf: JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s books and Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books. Bottom shelf: Sarah J Maas, Melissa de la Cruz, and two of the Eragon books that wouldn’t fit anywhere else. Right picture: Top shelf: the rest of  my Harry Potter collection. Companion guides and more foreign editions (German, Spanish, and French). Also Jodi Meadows collection. Still on the hunt for an Incarnate ARC if you can help a girl out! (This shelf is also precarious now. I went to put Mirror King on the bookshelf and it collapsed. I couldn’t find all of the pins to put the shelf back up! Not that the bookcase is in the best of shape anyway haha) Middle shelf (which is laying on the books on the bottom shelf!) is full of oversized books. I just kinda have them shoved on here for this picture because The 5th Wave trilogy is in my June TBR. Bottom shelf: A combo of oversized books and my Maggie Stiefvater collection. Ballad is also in th stack, but I just realised from this angle you can’t see it. Oops!

Now my main YA bookcase in our office/den. We have three big bookcases in our office/den. The first is my Adult/School books. The second is overflow adult with my middle grade collection. The third, above, is my YA. The fourth is the kiddos’ bookcase stuffed full with picture books. If you notice, there are books with flags on them. Those are all unread books. I finally gave up on keeping my TBR books from my read books separate, but wanted a system to ID unread books. This system is not completely foolproof. The kiddos like stealing my flags on books they can reach, like the Ruta Sepetys books in the last picture. Everything easily fit on my bookcase for maybe a month. I’ve been promised floor to ceiling bookcases in my office when we remodel, but I need more space now! I’m thinking I might pick up another bookcase soon. Not sure where I’ll put it yet though! haha. Most of these, excluding the majority of my Melissa de la Cruz, JK Rowling, and Stephenie Meyer books have been accrued in the last four or so years. The bulk coming in since right around when I started blogging. Pretty sure Hubs thinks I have a book hoarding problem. I do not think so!

Anyway, that’s my organisational system. All books on the YA case are alphabetical except a few that have been displaced, but I didn’t feel like completely overhauling my bookcase for one or two books. How do you organise your books? I love the idea of by colour, but I HAVE to have all of my books together by author haha. It bothers me if they’re not!

 

Goodbye May – September, Hello October! October 1, 2015

Filed under: Books,Hello Goodbye Monthly Review — Maura @ 12:05 am
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I really can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by! It’s really kinda ridiculous. Totally meant to update May in June. That didn’t happen. Summer was HECTIC. Hoping autumn will be a bit more forgiving and laid back haha. I had a great summer and got a good amount of reading done. For a quick summer recap: In May, I did a down and back trip to Nashville with my friend Lauren to see Sarah J Maas on her ACOTAR tour. AMAZING. Talked publishing and books for hours with the incredible Lizzy Mason. One of hubby’s cousins got married and it was super awesome to get to see part of his family! In June, our English Mastiff, Maggie, was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. Her back left leg is limp and drags. She has good days and bad days. There’s no treatment or cure. She’s learned to compensate for the weakness. We’re enjoying her every minute that we can. We know that sooner, rather than later, that we’re going to have to put her down. She’s super excited to be an indoor dog again though! June also brought hubby’s Annual Training with the National Guard. Maggie got sick THE DAY BEFORE he had to leave. It’s always something, I’m telling ya! July brought two beach trips. The kiddos and I went to Northern VA to visit hubby’s side of the family for the Fourth of July at the family cottage on the Potomac. SO MUCH FUN! Bug kept trying to figure out a way to get the newest baby in the family home. HER BABY. Haha. I celebrated my second book blogging anniversary, without actually doing anything. Oops! We also went to the beach with my mom and step-dad. The kiddos love the beach. I am super proud that I made the 6 1/2 hour and 8 hour beach drives solo with the kiddos. We also said goodbye to my 94 year old great-grandmother in July. It was hard. August brought Hubby’s 30th birthday! We also went to the fair with my (ex)step-dad. The kids had such a blast. Bug wanted to ride the BIG rides so bad and was quite upset she was too young. She loved the carousel and the pony rides though. Punk loved the animal exhibits. Punk also started pre-k this year. It hit me hard that I now have a school age kid! He’s loving it and I love that he’s loving it. I’m really enjoying the chance to have some one on one time with Bug. There are some days that she cries and doesn’t want to take Bubby to school. There are others that she cries because she doesn’t want to go pick him up! She’s sitting in my lap now as I work on this post haha. September was a bit more relaxed. Hubby’s unit had family day and we also went to an MTSU home game. That was a looooong day! Five hour drive down and back after a full day of fun! Now it’s on to October! I love October. Autumn is in full swing. My birthday is this month and so is HALLOWE’EN! How was your summer?

affiliate links used

Books I read in May-September (in order of completion)
The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Hunt (Goddess Test) by Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test Book 2) by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Inheritance (A Goddess Test Novel) by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Legacy (The Goddess Queen / The Lovestruck Goddess / Goddess of the Underworld / God of Thieves / God of Darkness (Goddess Test) by Aimee Carter
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
The Heir (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel by VE Schwab
Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 4) by Cassandra Clare
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
The Hidden Prince (Orphan Queen Novella 1) by Jodi Meadows
The Queen: A Novella by Kiera Cass
The Evil We Love (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 5) by Cassandra Clare
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Vicious by VE Schwab
Most Likely to Succeed (The Superlatives) by Jennifer Echols
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel by Melissa de la Cruz
Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 6) by Cassandra Clare
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord: A Throne of Glass Novella by Sarah J Maas
Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Life by James Dean
The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas by Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass series Book 1) by Sarah J Maas
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass series Book 2) by Sarah J Maas
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass series Book 3) by Sarah J Maas
Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass series) by Sarah J Maas
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
Bitter of Tongue (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 7) by Cassandra Clare
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
The Demon in the Wood: A Darkling Prequel Story (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
The Glowing Knight (Orphan Queen Book 2) by Jodi Meadows

Coming up in October:

My birthday!

Punk’s class’s field trip to the corn maze

Hallowe’en!

Punk’s school’s fall festival

Goals for October

Stay ahead of schedule

Learn to successfully juggle two blogs

Spend time focused on the kiddos

Catch up on review writing

BALANCE

October releases I’m excited for:
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1) by JK Rowling
The White Rose (Jewel) by Amy Ewing
The Rose Society (A Young Elites Novel) by Marie Lu

October TBR:
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
The White Rose (Jewel) by Amy Ewing
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1) by JK Rowling
Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer
The Fulfillment (The Fulfillment Series) by Erin Rhew

Challenge Update:

2015 PopSugar Reading Challenge books completed:
A book with 500+ pages: Brazen by Katherine Longshore
A book turned into a movie: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
A book published in 2015: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
A book with a number in the title: The 5th Wave: The First Book of the 5th Wave Series
An author under thirty: Vicious by VE Schwab
A book with non-human characters: This Shattered World: A Starbound Novel
A funny book: Most Likely to Succeed (The Superlatives) by Jennifer Echols
A book by a female author: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
A book with a one word title: Forged (Taken) by Erin Bowman
A book of short stories: The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas
A book set in a different country: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
A popular author’s first book: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
A book a friend recommended: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
A Pulitzer Prize book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A book based on a true story: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
A book that scares you: The Fault in Our Stars
A memoir: Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
A book read in one day: A Curious Tale of the In-Between
A book set somewhere you want to visit: A Cold Legacy (Madman’s Daughter) by Megan Shepherd
A book with bad reviews: (either love or hate this one!) The Heir (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
A trilogy: The Hunger Games Trilogy
A book from your childhood: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
A book with a love triangle: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements)
A book set in high school: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
A book with a colour in the title: The Red Tent: A Novel
A book that made you cry: The Assassin and the Empire: A Throne of Glass Novella (Throne of Glass series Book 1)
A book with magic: A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
A graphic novel: Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
A book by an author you’ve never read: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A book set in your (college’s) hometown: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
A banned book: The Giver by Lois Lowry
A book turned into a TV show: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

How was your summer? What’s up for October?

 

Hello May, Goodbye April, 2015! May 1, 2015

Filed under: Books,Hello Goodbye Monthly Review — Maura @ 12:05 am
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I thought about including the months since my last Hello, Goodbye post, but then I thought about how many books I’ve read and shuddered lol. So! I decided to just start back with the current month. Crazy to think we’re almost halfway through 2015 already! Summer is quickly approaching and I’m super happy. My kiddos love to play outside and super cold days are no fun being cooped up in the house with them. I do love the snow, and so do they, but we much prefer to not be on top of each other all day long. A lot happened in April! My dad got remarried. My aunt and uncle are in from New Mexico! YAY! I’m trying to figure out if I can sneak back to New Mexico in one of their suitcases haha.

affiliate links used

Books I read in April (in order of completion)

This Shattered World: A Starbound Novel by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner
The Heir Apparent by Lauren DeStefano
This Night So Dark (The Starbound Trilogy) by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner
Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 1) by Cassandra Clare
The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 2) by Cassandra Clare
Frozen (Taken) by Erin Bowman
Forged (Taken) by Erin Bowman
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
The Artemis Fowl #2: Arctic Incident Graphic Novel 1st (first) Edition by Colfer, Eoin (2009)
Artemis Fowl The Eternity Code Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl The Opal Deception Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer

 

Coming up in May:

Sarah J Maas signing in Nashville

My dad’s birthday!

Mother’s Day! (:

Memorial Day

 

Reviews posted

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Most visited
Secret Sister March Unwrapped
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Have You Seen This?
Please Be Kind, Rewind 12-18 April 2015
Top Ten Tuesday #71 Characters I’d Like to Check In With
Waiting on Wednesday #41: The Heir by Kiera Cass

 

Goals for May

Stay ahead of schedule

Learn to successfully juggle two blogs

Spend time focused on the kiddos

 

May releases I’m excited for:
The Cage by Megan Shepherd
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
The Heir (The Selection Stories) by Kiera Cass
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

 

May TBR:
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
The Heir (The Selection Stories) by Kiera Cass
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
The Cage by Megan Shepherd

 

Challenge Update:

2015 PopSugar Reading Challenge books completed:

A book with more than 500 pages: Brazen by Katherine Longshore

A book published in 2015: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

A book with a number in the title: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

A book with non-human characters: This Shattered World: A Starbound Novel by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner

A book with a one – word title:Forged (Taken) by Erin Bowman

A book set in a different country: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

A popular author’s first book: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

A book set somewhere you want to visit: (Scotland) A Cold Legacy (Madman’s Daughter) by Megan Shepherd

A trilogy: The Hunger Games Trilogy Box Set by Suzanne Collins

A book set in high school: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

A book with a colour in the title: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

A graphic novel: Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel

A book based on/turned into TV:Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

How was your April? What’s up for May?

 

Top Ten Tuesday #54: Characters I Would Be For Hallowe’en October 28, 2014

b301e-toptentuesdayEach week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Characters I Would Be For Hallowe’en

1-3 Bellatrix Lestrange, Lily Potter, Hermione Granger Harry Potter by JK Rowling
4. Celaena Sardothien Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
5. Alina The Grisha Trilogy
6. Captain Holly Short Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
7. Lucy Pevensie The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
8. Katniss The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
9. Cinder Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
10. Bug’s bookish choice! Ladybug Girl Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis & David Soman

 

Top Ten Tuesday #46: Characters I Want with Me on a Desert Island July 22, 2014

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Characters I Want with Me on a Desert Island

Two weeks in a row this has been super easy and super challenging all at the same time!

 

1. Katniss, The Hunger Games. I’m betting she’ll be on a lot of lists today. But let’s face it, she’s an incredible hunter and on a desert island, you need all the help you can get as far as food is concerned.

2. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter. With all of her random knowledge? She’s definitely a good girl to have in a stick spot!

3. Alina, Grisha. The Sun Summoner? Yes, please. Light when we need it!

4. Magnus, The Mortal Instruments/The Bane Chronicles/The Infernal Devices. A witch and a warlock? We SHOULD have it made!

5. Mal, Grisha. Essentially a perfect tracker? Score!

6. Fia, Mind Games. Perfect instincts? We’ll take them!

7. Tarver, These Broken Stars. Okay. He’s totally some eye candy. BUT he’s a decorated solider and good in a tight spot so it’s a win-win. Plus he’s been stranded on an essentially uninhabited planet so he’s got experience!

8. Logan, Defiance. Inventor of all the awesome things and eye candy. We need it and he’ll probably be able to invent it!

9. Roar, Under the Never Sky. Superhuman hearing abilities? I definitely think that would come in handy on a desert island. Doesn’t hurt that he’s some eye candy too!.

10. Drill, Rites of Passage. Badass drill sergeant? Mmmm. I’ll take him any day of the week! Scouting and survival skills will be handy too!

11. Nerissa, The Aquarathi. Shape shifting don’t want to mess with her sea alien? Well. We’ve got fishing covered! (: Plus. She’d be super awesome to hang out with!

12. Sam, Incarnate. We totally need a musician that can play all the things. I’m sure he’ll have some sort of instrument with him! Plus, again, EYE CANDY.

 

*Review* The Selection by Kiera Cass June 29, 2014

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 24 April 2012 
Publisher: HarperCollins, HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Format: hardcover via library
Status: Book one of The Selection trilogy

Summary:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

 

My thoughts:

Okay. Let me start this off by saying I went into The Selection with virtually no expectations and an open mind. I know The Selection is a very polarising book. It’s very divided on if you like it or not. It’s very divided between the two boys vying for America’s affection. That’s virtually all I knew going in. The Selection was recommended to me by Mary. (As usual, right? haha) I decided to wait until The One came out so I could binge the whole series. As I do. We didn’t really discuss it more than that. We have a good spoiler free relationship. She tells me I should read and eventually I do. Usually much later than I should haha. I didn’t read any reviews beforehand. I didn’t want to be swayed in anyway. Okay. Now I have that off my chest. (:

I really enjoyed The Selection. My first impression was similarity to The Hunger Games due to the eligible girls putting their names in to be drawn mixed with The Bachelor. (I’ve never actually seen an episode, but I get the gist.) The Selection came out first, but I also felt a pull to Pawn by Aimee Carter with the caste system.

I foundhow Kiera revealed info slowly was well done. In first person through America, we learn things as she does and through her musings. The dystopian world could’ve allowed for a massive info dump, but Kiera does a great job revealing as you go. I still have unanswered questions, but there are two more books and two novellas, so I’m not concerned by that yet. I much rather have things revealed slowly than info dumps.

I was surprised by how quick of a read The Selection was. I picked it up Saturday morning and was done by Sunday afternoon. Part of that was a few glorious hours of uninterrupted reading time on Mother’s Day. My hubby is the best for that! ❤

I very quickly related to America which is always a biggie for me. If I don’t like a character, it’s hard to get into the story. I could see a lot of myself in America so that made reading all the more enjoyable. She’s stubborn, independent, and musical. She starts off strong and continues to grow. She realises assumptions based on rank don’t always hold true. She’s also realising friendship can develop into romantic feelings, which to me, is the best kind of love. Her determination to help her family is inspiring.

As far as the other Selected girls go, I only really liked Marlee. She seems like such a kind and loyal friend. I absolutely hated Celeste. That list on reasons why could go on forever.

On the boy front, I can say I’m still Team Undecided. Both boys have impressed me and made me want to smack him upside the head. I do think I am leaning a smidge toward Maxon over Aspen though. That freaking ego issue. UGH. No. JUST NO.

I have to say my favourite parts of The Selection were the scenes with Maxon and America. I think they make the best of friends and I can see that blossoming into romance. I still feel on the fence about Maxon though. He did win major points with that first kiss scene though. ADORABLE.

I’m very excited to continue with my binge of this series. I recommend this to dystopian lovers. It’s not as dark on any level (so far) as The Hunger Games, Divergent or Chemical Garden, but it’s a great read. Even if you don’t love it, I believe it’s still an entertaining read.

About the author:

100 Things I Love:

Being married. Cake. The smell of Autumn. Motherhood. Books. Elephants. Back rubs. On demand movies. Actually going out to movies. Faith. Cinnamon rolls. My family. Butterflies. When my kitchen is clean. Crayons. Pink. Tote bags. Dancing. Organizing via color coordination. That my wedding dress was tea length, not floor. Baking. My house. Writing utensils. Paper. India. The sound of water. Making videos. Buttons. The word Episcopalian. Making people laugh. Layering clothes. British accents. Pinterest. Animation. Fireworks. The smell of the Ocean. My wedding rings. Aprons. Reasons to get dressed up. Sex. Pop music. Stars. Taking walks. Daydreaming. Stickers. School Spirit. My friends. Living in a small town. Japan. Singing. Painting my toenails. Pranks/ practical jokes. Painting. Stretch canvas. Costumes. Dipping my fingers in melted wax. Style. Soda. Spending an hour typing at a coffee shop. Musicals. Back to school season. Mopeds. Good hair days. Naps. Not walking up but looking at a beautiful staircase. Driving alone. My ankles. Playlists. Spending entire days in pajamas. Holidays. Telling stories. Spontaneity. Theme parks. Bookshelves. The word copacetic. Boxes. Empty journals. Surprises. Doing things in groups. Doing things alone. Getting real mail. Decorating. Small forks. A good hug. Gift cards. New Years Goals. Going out to dinner. When someone else remembers some great story about me/us that I’ve forgotten. Toy stores. Fireplaces. Breakfast foods. Journaling. Crying for a good reason. Doorbells. Pointless adventures. Voting. My birthday. Reasons to make wishes. Recycling

http://www.kieracass.com/

 

Top Ten Tuesday #35: Characters Who X April 22, 2014

 

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Characters Who Inspire

Maddie Brodatt from Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. Maddie was absolutely incredible. Such courage and determination. Kiss me, Hardy!

Gretchen Mueller from Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. It was inspiring to watch her learn to think for herself.

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I saw a lot of myself in Hermione growing up and reading the series. Fiercely intelligent and loyal. I loved watching her grow into all of her abilities and always being true to herself.

Annemarie Johansen from Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I loved Number the Stars and Annemarie when I was younger. She was such a strong young girl in the face of danger in World War II.

Ana from Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. Oh, Ana. Born into a world that hates her because they do not remember their past or understand her. She’s determined to protect other newsouls. She comes into her own strength.

Anne Neville from The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory. I loved learning about this little known queen. In this historical fiction portrayal, she goes from scared child to strong, determined Queen of England. The road wasn’t an easy one, but she rises to the occasion every step of the way.

Katniss from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Immature and naive in many ways, she also is strong and determined to protect her family.

June Iparis from the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. She goes from naive unquestioning soldier to strong young woman. Her journey is a difficult but rewarding one.

Davina Hamilton from the Uninvited duology by Sophie Jordan. Her entire world is torn apart and flipped upside down, but she refuses to abandon her true self and that speaks volumes to me.

The Little Prince from Le Petite Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Oh, the Prince. He really makes an adult stop and thinking about some of the ridiculous things we do. Children have an innocence that often gets stripped from them unnecessarily.

Those are my top inspirational characters! I could write volumes about each one. I really could. I love all of them. Who are your most inspirational characters? What did you pick for this week’s topic? Feel free to leave a link to your page and I’ll come visit!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #25: Top Ten Characters I’d NEVER Want To Trade Places With January 28, 2014

Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Characters I’d NEVER Want To Trade Places With

Katniss Everdean in Panem, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Really? Who would actually want to live in this world? And if I did, I’m totally with Katniss on the no having kids thing. I wouldn’t be able to watch my kids go through it. Nope, nope, nope.

 

Aria, Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi. Aether storms? No thanks. A life trapped in Pods? Nah, I’ll pass. I like natural sunlight and being outside too much for that.

 

 

 

Tella, Montana and Brimestone Bleed arenas, Fire & Flood series by Victoria Scott. While having a Pandora would be pretty awesome, I do not envy Tella’s situation in which she gets a Pandora. I would like to see the Amazon one day, I would not like being dropped in the middle of a rain forest/jungle situation. I really want to see the pyramids of Giza, I’m not fond of the idea of being dropped in the middle of a desert and told to get to point B.

 

Voldemort, Europe, Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. Seriously. Who would want to trade places with Voldemort? Incapable of understanding what love is or being able to fall in love. Not me. Besides, the idea of picking on a kid isn’t my cup of tea either. And the Death Eaters? C’mon, I’ll take true friends over those nutcases any day of the week.

 

 

 

Lilac LaRoux, the Icarus and unknown planet, These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner. While it would be nice to be alone with the delightful Tarver, surviving a space crash and being stranded on an unknown planet to do it doesn’t make it on my must do list. Especially with that certain event near the end happens. I’ll pass, thanks.

 

 

Any character in the world of World War Z by Max Brooks. Zombie outbreak? Nah, I’m good. Even if those interviewed are the survivors, I’ll still pass. Though I highly recommend the full cast audiobook if you haven’t checked it out. (:

 

 

Rhine, USA, The Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren Destefano. Seeing as if I traded places with Rhine, I’d be dead already, I’m really not enthusiastic about that thought. Also not crazy about the whole getting kidnapped and forced to marry a complete stranger thing either.

 

Nerissa, USA, Waterfell by Amalie Howard. Not only can she not return home because her throne has been stolen, but her father was murdered. While Lo is tasty and I’d love to get to know him better, I would not like to find myself in Nerissa’s shoes! It will be nice to see how things continue on for Lo and Nerissa in Oceanborn though!

 

 

June Iparis, dystopian Los Angeles, Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. It would be awesome to be a kickass heroine, but the world that the United States has become is not a pleasant one and I would not want to live in it. Antarctica, however, would be a pretty badass place to visit, but overall, no thanks. I’m good here.

 

Sookie Stackhouse, Bon Temps, Louisiana, Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris. Yeah, no. I would NOT like to be able to read people’s minds for anything. Yeah, sometimes I do wish I could see what people were really thinking when I know they’re holding something back, but I really do believe that would be a curse and I’m not up for it. Plus the vampires, werewolves, and everything else she encounters is just too much. I love reading about those things, but I’ll keep them in my novels, thanks.

 

End of Year Book Survey 2013 December 27, 2013

Since this is my first year blogging, I decided to take part in Jamie’s End of Year Book Survey (all graphics are from her original post! I thought they were awesome and wanted to use them. Thanks, Jaime, for your wonderful creativity!) to see how my first 1/2 year of blogging went as well as my year of reading. I’m excited to look back on 2013. I can’t believe this year is almost over! This time last year I was pregnant and miserable. This year I have two beautiful children running and crawling around the house! (:

 

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Contemporary YA –

I absolutely ADORED Fangirl. It was so close to my freshman year that it was overwhelming. I loved it. Definitely a new favourite!

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic –

I read a lot of dystopian/ Post-apocalyptic this year, but the Legend trilogy had to be my favourite.

Historical Fiction –

This is actually an adult series, but I LOVE Philippa Gregory. I loved this entire series (excluding The Red Queen) and can’t wait to see what The Last Rose will bring to the table in 2014!

Paranormal —

I loved the ending of this trilogy. I do wish we could see more of after the epilogue! (No spoilers for those who haven’t read it!)

Science Fiction —

I’ve never been a fan of Cinderella, but oh man. Marissa Meyer KILLS it with this retelling! Gimme Cress!

Fantasy —


I cannot express how much I loved this trilogy. I am SO sad it’s over. And Cris. Oh, Cris. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let Jodi tell your story! I promise I won’t be mad!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Sorry, just not that into you. Matched was awesome. Crossed and Reached were found wanting.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?


Oh my gosh, guys. This book BLEW MY MIND. I’m not into mermaids. This is not your typical mermaid story. I am SO glad I won this in Amalie’s additional YASH giveaway. PLEASE check this out if you haven’t already!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

See above. I CANNOT push it enough! It was INCREDIBLE!

ALSO:

READ IT! Erin is AMAZING! #TeamWil

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

C’mon guys. Just read this series already. Wow. ❤

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

I loved Amy’s series and I can’t wait for After the End!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the experimentation going on, but man, this book was amazing! Hoping to start Her Dark Curiosity in the next week or so!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Romance has never really been my thing, but oh man. I LOVED this book. Rachel is amazing! (: So glad I was able to read this as an ARC!

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’ve gotta prep for City of Heavenly Fire! So excited! (:

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?


*swoon* I love this dress. I want this dress. I NEEEEEEEEEED this dress. And Cole. I need him too. Smack him around a bit for being so SNEAKY! >.<

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

So I’m cheating a bit. Using a movie pic. But come ON. Finnick is the shiz. WHY Suzanne, WHY?! (And I re-read The Hunger Games trilogy for the movie release. It was not a first time read!)

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Wow. Lauren created such an amazing world. Definitely not a world I would want to live in, but wow. These characters. Read it. Now.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Oh man. Do you know Anderson Cooper’s story? No? Well, check out this book and see what all ONE human being has been through. It will rip your heart out.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Hubby and I listened to this audiobook and I loved it. I can’t believe it took me this long to read it!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

Music overwhelmed me, soaked into my skin like water. I didn’t have words for the squiggles and dashes across the pages, or the way his fingers stretched across the keys to make my heart race. If I could hear only one thing for the rest of my life, this was what I wanted.” – Jodi Meadows, Incarnate

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest 10pg, “Magnus’s Vow” from City of Bones

Longest completed (read entirely) in 2013 570pgs

Longest completed in 2013 597pgs (I WAS pregnant at the beginning of 2013 lol)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

For reasons. Mary will understand.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).


I ADORE the relationship between Artemis and Holly. Holly and Foaly are pretty epic too. I seriously need to finish this series!

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously


Again, I LOVE Philippa Gregory. It’s a toss up between The Kingmaker’s Daughter, The White Princess, and The Lady of the Rivers for the favourite of her books this year!

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Incarnate and Infinite have already gotten some cover love, now it’s time for Asunder to shine! I will forever be thankful and grateful for Mary’s recommendation of this FANTASTIC series! Jodi is such a wonderful person and I will promote the heck out of all of her future books because she is a spectacular author! (:

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

I’m going to say fantasy. And I mean this loosely. As in combining supernatural/paranormal with it. I did read a large amount of dystopian this year too. I’ll just go with fiction. Yeah, fiction.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Oh goodness. I’ll just make a list instead of covers! Jace from The Mortal Instruments, Jem from The Infernal Devices, Prince Wil from The Prophecy, Lo from Waterfell, Day from Legend, Jules from Revenants, Dossam (Sam) and Cris from Incarnate/New Soul, Jack and Cole from Everneath, Edward IV and Richard III from Cousins’ War (okay, more so from The White Queen on Starz, but still), Levi from Fangirl, and Linden and Gabriel from Chemical Garden. I read a lot of new series this year, don’t hate!

23. Best 2013 debut you read?


Oh wow. This book was AMAZING! (: *grabby hands* for book two! (:

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

I am so stoked to see more of the satellite aspect! Marissa’s world is awesome!

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

I have loved this series since high school. It was so bittersweet to see it come to an end! I love all of the Jack and Sky action though. Mmmm Jack…. (: I’m totally excited about her new series coming out next year that’s an extension of Blue Bloods

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

OH MAN. The feels. There was one scene that had me blubbering. It was so intense and heart wrenching, I had to go check on my own sweet babies while they were sleeping. Oh… I get chills just thinking about it!

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

This deserved so much more hype for being Megan’s debut novel! Here’s hoping I can help pump up the hype for Her Dark Curiosity.

reading-life-2013

(optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?

I helped get my lovely Mary’s blog going by spreading the word, but I would have to say The Broke and the Bookish

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?

My review of Waterfell

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

*crickets chirp*

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

All of the ones I read about book piracy. It’s a very polarising topic.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

It was a personal event, but definitely getting to meet up and have lunch with the lovely Jodi Meadows. Best day before my birthday EVAAAAAARRRRRR! Second place goes to the signing with Megan Shepherd! Six hours in the car coming back from the beach to make it in time! (:

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

See above! (:

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My Feature and Follow Friday post back in August.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Honestly, all of them! This beginning stuff is hard work!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

My public library! Well, specifically the Children’s library of our library. The kiddos LOVE it! We try to go at least once a week.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I technically completed my Goodreads challenge, but my own personal challenge I haven’t met. I’m not giving myself too much grief though. I did have a baby and newborns are just a bit of a time suck lol.

2014-books

 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

Yup. It’s the goal. I’m still avoiding all movie things! (: Hubby and I are going to read it together!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Oh, yes. I’m so excited!

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I’m very excited about this debut!

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

I’m super excited about actually reading this one when it comes out. I know it will be bittersweet as all series endings are, but I’m ready. I think….

I’ve already read an ARC of this masterpiece, but I can’t wait for the book tour and to get my hardback copy and to hang out with Jodi again! (:

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I hope to continue to learn how to balance blogging with being a mama. I love to read and blog, but in all honesty, my kids come first.

Did you read any of the amazing books I read this year? What books do you recommend? 2013 was definitely a great year full of first for me. Tell me about your 2013, I’d love to know! (:

 

 
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