Tuesday, December 31, 2013
HAPPY 2014 GUYS!! I can't believe it's another year. It's so weird to think about. I'm so excited about the prospects this year brings both in life, and in books! It's also fun to think back on the awesome that was 2013!

I read 64 books last year, which is not my best but still awesome! I've been wanting to do this post for a while to tell you about all the amazing books I've read! Sooo here's my

TOP 13 of 2013!

Disclaimer: I read quite a few books that weren't published in 2013 those I haven't limited this to books released in 2013. It's just anything I've read this year, including some mind-blowing upcoming 2014 books!

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) Such a Rush The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) 
 Let The Sky Fall 
for it's interesting premise, fantastic world building and the swoon factor
The Program 
 for being the kind of book that engrossed me so much it read in a day
The Distance Between Us
  for the witty characters who made me laugh
for blowing my brain and making me think as much as every other Sanderson book
 The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) 
 for all the feels
 for blowing my mind with even more feels
 for realistic characters who stayed strong in the face of a crazy plot
for the beautiful end to this beautiful trilogy
 The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) 
The Rules
for giving me a thrill
Hates List
for making me think about things
Ender's Game
for making me think even more
Smart Girls Get What They Want
 for making me laugh when I needed it
 Breathe (Breathe, #1) 
Midnight in Austenland
 for being the funnest book ever
And this it for me! I have so many other favorites of the year that chances are there will be yet another post tomorrow sharing them. Happy new year!! XOXO,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Eee! It's December 25th! Merry Christmas to all of you wonderful people! To those of you who don't celebrate Christmas I hope you have/had a wonderful holiday season as you spend time with family and friends!!! You guys are so AWESOME. I can't believe it's almost 2014 which will bring my 3rd blogoversay! I've been doing this for so long now it's CRAZZZZZY! But undoubtedly the best part has been interacting and having so much fun with you guys! You make blogging worth it! So have an amazing holiday!

Speaking of blogging, I apologize for the lack of posts lately! This has been the busiest season for me yet! Filled with activities, bajillions of choir performances, and a little sickness, Christmas has seriously snuck up on me! I'm so glad to have a day or two to sit down and sleep!! I hope you have a beautiful morning (snow filled or not) to snuggle in pajamas! Nothing beats sitting around a dying tree pulling presents out of socks!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013
The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson
Published: 9.20.11
Pages: 423

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will. 
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.

The Rest of the Series:

#2 The Crown of Embers: Goodreads - Amazon
#3 The Bitter Kingdom: Goodreads - Amazon
I’ve always loved a good fantasy! That’s why it surprised me it took me so long to pick up The Girl of Fire and Thorns and sequels. But I finally did and having recently finished the trilogy I decided to bring you my collective thoughts in one post. (cheap blogger) Some call this the “Game of Thrones for YA”, but I call it “Hectorific.” Because that is what I think of when I think of these books. [More on that later.]

Note: My thoughts will proceed somewhat in order of novels, but there will be mild spoilers attached. You have been warned.

Book one starts off with a kick. Princess married in secret…shipped off to be secret bride queen. Oh and don’t forget she’s the Chosen One of the century. And does our heroine want this role? Nonsense! Who wants to be a hero? Since when is that cool? Elisa, Elisa, Elisa. Where do I begin with you. We’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship you and I. See, in book one you kinda annoyed the crap out of me. In book two, I tolerated you more because Hector was on the scene, and in book three, we formed a truce of peace. By the end we were friends…I think.

In book one we see her start as a shy timid, but very thoughtful kind of a character. She was interesting, but I didn’t connect with her. We know she’s pudgy and not the skinniest girl on the block. Oh we know alright. It was constantly in the back of Elisa’s brain, making in the back of the readers. That’s probably what annoyed the most. Her belittling  and annoyance of herself. What made me laugh was her awe at the change in her body (in size and fitness) after walking across the freaking desert. Haha. However,  she did have some great moments in thinking, and character. She just didn’t resonate with me.
But before you go and thing she’s just mediocre, let me assure Elisa has her brilliant moments. For example, her tactical genius. Her brain grows up so much in Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom and this is where I started to appreciate her so much more. She gains this layer of smarts and I loved the council scenes and watching her take charge. This was when she rocked and made me feel like she earned her right to Hector.

Now, in book one we’re introduced to a romantic interest, Humberto. Because I already knew darling Hector would be the main love interest, I didn’t care much for Humberto. It was pointless in a way. Now I did have that foresight, and that might have been what dragged this down for me, but that pretty much led to me no caring so much for this book because I wanted all the Hector we could get in book two.
Boy did we ever. Oh mama, Hector was probably THE highlight of Crown of Embers. Can he do any wrong? NO! Can he be wronged? *glares at Elisa* I just loved this book for the moments of Hector. He’s strong, smart, handsome, and he can FIGHT. He’s so loyal to those who are under his care, and those he cares about. It was honestly in this book, while Elisa was still growing in brains and character that I fell for him. He deserves Elisa, of that I have no doubt, but I wasn’t sure she deserved him. Esepescially since the romantic switch between books was somewhat sudden. I wasn’t sure I liked how COE ended in regards to that. [If you know what I am talking about here.]So going into The Bitter Kingdom, I was very hesitant because I still wasn’t on the Elisa train. Not to mention something else still had to win me over.

My other main issue with these books was the world building. It was interesting and we had a neat plot/set up going on, but I was so often lost and confused and bored by it all. Gimme a break. All these things and names of peoples and places to remember…it just wasn’t for me. 
We didn’t click. Here it was there, next minute it was gone. Are they good or are they bad? Wait, how are they connected again? What’s this country/community/badguy? Straighten out this lore, connect these dots. These questions basically made up my lack of interest and connection to the world, which was nice I suppose but not something I cared about. I found myself skimming political and explanatory parts, wanting it all giving to me and wanting to just know the outcome. (mainly in the last book). It’s a shame, but true.

My main drive eventually became Hector. He was such a great character in Crown of Embers that I just wanted his happy ending! Basically it took me two weeks to read The Bitter Kingdom, for lack of me wanting to read everything. I kind of had to make myself read it through to the end. *spoiler* But the ending did come and Hector got his HEA and Elisa became a freaking Empress and it’s all happiness and gumdrops. Huzzah, end of the book!

To conclude, this trilogy was enjoyable to a point and then the rest of it was boring or annoying. Basically Hector wins all. Elisa had her moments of tactical genius and there were elements of action and fantasy I did appreciate. The rest was mediocre. But if you like fantasy, don’t just take my bored word for it. Try this book! Read other more positive reviews. Who knows, you may love these books and come back to curse me for ever disliking them. What? It could happen. 
Series Rating: 3 Stars

Phew! My thoughts have left me without words.Your turn now! What do you think? Merry Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hey guys!!! So, today I'm doing something a little different. My Nator Twin Jessi has begun a new meme on her blog called Life of a Blogger, discussing aspects of our lives outside of books! Today's topic is Your Career, and since I've been thinking a lot about that lately, I thought it would be fun to do a post about it!

In The Present:

Because I have a high school student, and a minor I don't really have much of a job yet. I have done quite a bit of babysitting for the past four years that was my main source of income. I still do that, and have a few families I love, but recently I took on the venture of teaching beginner piano lessons. I have 5 weekly students with a couple sets of siblings who I teach. This is a lot more stable than the occasional babysitting, and it's a very interesting experience for me! Espescially dealing with the business aspect, since I do it myself.

If I did get a job outside of these, I have two that I really want to try and apply for next year since I am old enough now to do so. First, I'd love to work as a tour guide at the Winchester Mystery House, which is down the street from me and would be the FUNNEST JOB EVER. It's such a crazy and cool house, and it would match my love of history so much!! Plus, they hire minors! For tours? I hope so!

My second teen dream job would be this adorable indie book store also somewhat close that I LOVE called Hicklebee's(Mentioned it in THIS post!). I've been there a few times for events and just to shop with my friends. It's so funky and it's run by these sweet older ladies who love books. Plus it's an awesome bookstore. Um HELLO.

In The Future..

Being a junior in High School, a lot of thought has gone into what I want to do in the future, and while I've always wanted to be an author, but lately that tune has changed just a tad. For a while I opened up to more aspects of publishing, such as becoming a Literary Agent, Editor or even Marketor. All would be so fun and encompass my love of books and interest in the publishing industry that I'd developed because of my blogging. Who wouldn't want to work with books all the time?

And while I still want to be published some day, I've come the conclusion that I want to pursue Editting as a career. I love to discuss and analyze books and think from a writer perspective what I can do with that. It's been interesting to beta read for others and really think about how to make books better, including in my own writing. It's FUN for me and I would love to be able to join a publishing company as an editor for YA. Since being in New York City I can totally picture myself in one of those huge publishing offices on the island. HOLLA! I'm currently doing research into the kinds of things needed for these job so we'll see where I end up!

So that's me!! what about you? Thanks to Jessi for the fun meme to do! Happy Weekend! XOXO,
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! It's been quite a while since I've done this, but I loved this week's topic and just had to join in
Today's topic is the Top Ten Books you are dying for in 2014. Because it is called Top Ten Tuesday, you will find my top ten list below. However because we're also talking about the whole freaking YEAR, it's not entirely possible to only pick ten. Yay for honorable mentions!!

in no particular order
The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)Such a RushBreathe (Breathe, #1)Deity (Covenant, #3)
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
It's Paula Stokes. (Aka Fiona Paul) It's the most adorable sounding contemporary ever. I wants it. Not to mention, when the author keeps telling you that you look like the cover model...it ups the excitement.
Since You're Been Gone by Morgan Matson
I read my first book by her this year and I've fallen in love with her writing style and storytelling. I can't wait for another smashing contemporary from her!
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
I don't really have to say anything. Percy. Book FIVE. Conclusion to the series. BLOOD OF OLYMPUS COME TO ME NOW.
The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
Ever since hearing about this book I've been excited! It sounds fascinating and quite different from the already wide-spread array or Dystopian style books out there. Plus- UBER COVER LOVE
Such a RushThe Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)Such a RushBreathe (Breathe, #1)
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page
Uuuuh, twisted Oz? Yes. I love when retellings take the dark twisted path of a well-known story (such as Splintered) So excited to see where this goes!!! Not to mention the prequel novella was UH-MAZE-ING!
Minders by Michelle Jaffe
I have been obsessing over this book recently. The cover must have hypnotized me or something. This just sounds so cool!!!! Okay it's the cover. I'm kinda in love with it.
Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore
Historical. Need I say more? Oh wait, it's Katherine Longshore, who writes amazing historical taking on Downton Abbey times. #Win
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
EEEEEEE! A, the cover. B, the title, C, THE FREAKING PREMISE. Again, it's historical so there really shouldn't be any explanation necessary, but this book is also set in WW2!! I'm like obsessed with WW2 fic right now. GIMME. 
Deity (Covenant, #3)The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)
A Mad , Wicked Folly by Sharon Briggs Walker
So much awesome historical fiction is releasing this next year. Including this one! Don't you just love that cover? *swoon*
Dangerous by Shannon Hale
No words. It's Shannon Hale's name on a completely kick-butt cover with a completely kick-butt premise on the side. It's gonna be kick-butt awesome. 

again, in no particular order
Such a RushSuch a RushWake (Watersong, #1)Croak (Croak, #1)
Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Really enjoyed the first two books in this companion trilogy. Excited for more!
On The Fence by Kasie West
Have you read The Distance Between Us? Kasie writes the cutest chick-flicks!!
Dear Killer by Jatherin Ewell
This premise just fascinates me. And I love the cover!
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
EEP! A beautiful sounding contemporary.

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)Breathe (Breathe, #1)Deity (Covenant, #3)Such a Rush
The One by Kiera Cass
If Maxon doesn't win, I will physically combust
Free to Fall by Lauren Miller
I kind of love this idea behind this. It just sounds so lovely. And I love the cover.
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Meep. Beep. Squeak. Eep!
Vitro by Jessica Khoury
I enjoy a good sci-fi book and Vitro sounds fabulous!

Well those are my top 18!! Haha. If you made a TTT post leave a link in the comments so I can come flail with you! So excited for all the yummy 2014 goodness to come my way! Know of any good books coming out in these categories that I didn't mention? I'd love to hear some recs to add to my growing TBR. XOXO,

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