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10 Books Recently Added to My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday" is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish to share lists (because we love them) about books and bookish things.

I finished Outlander  this month, so of course I am completely hooked on the series. I am holding off on buying A Dragonfly in Amber  until about May (I have an ebook of this, but I want to collect the series in the floppy paperbacks), when I know I will have the time to read on with the series. (If you haven't finished Outlander yet, don't read the synopsis for Dragonfly in Amber. It will spoil you!) 

I have been hearing nothing but wonderful things, especially recently, so The Final Empire  will be at the top of my TBR as soon as it arrives from my recent Book Outlet purchase.

I've never read any Gaiman, and a lot of people say Stardust  is a good place to start.

I recently picked up Since You've Been Gone  from Book Outlet because of all the praise. I really, really want to read it.

Elisabeth Paige recently read The Kiss of Deception  with her Goodreads group, of which I am a part, but I couldn't pick up the book because my library is taking a while to order it.

Now, A Court of Thorns and Roses  hasn't come out yet, but some of the Booktubers I watch have received (and read) review copies. It's all praise, but I'm going into this one with a grain of salt because Throne of Glass  was not my favorite.

Again with the Booktubers. A lot of those that I watch have received review copies of An Ember in the Ashes  (which means it's not out yet), and it sounds amazing. I mean, a standalone YA fantasy. It's one of a kind.

I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Ms. Schwab. She (sometimes) lives in my beloved Nashville, Tennessee. I've never experienced having a local author before! Isn't that so cool? Anyway, A Darker Shade of Magic  is her most recent release, and I want to read it so, so badly.

While you might think The Queen of the Tearling  is on here solely because it is the Booksplosion book for April, it's not. It is a big part though. This is going to become a movie with everyone's favorite: Emma Watson. And look at this cover. Look. It's stunning. Don't you think?

I honestly feel ashamed that I haven't finished The Mime Order  since The Bone Season  was my favorite book that I read in 2014. I even preordered this one. I started it, but there were like twelve other books that wanted my attention. This one will be read in April!

What books have recently caught your eye? Have you added them to your physical TBR or just your Goodreads TBR? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Readings!

Tomes Project

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist - Book Review

Prologue:  Okay, I'll admit it: I picked up this book because it was the Booksplosion book of the month for March. I don't see any problem with that. However, I didn't think that I would be able to pick it up at all in March because the public library system was taking it's sweet time ordering it. That's when my school library dropped by my English class one day with Josh's book perched happily, just waiting for me to pick it up. So I did.

Background:  Josh is a YouTuber, whom I didn't really know about before listening to the Ear Biscuit with Rhett & Link where I discovered his YouTube channel. Both of which I recommend listening to/watching prior to reading the book just so that you have a little background on who he is and his sense of humor, just to see if this book is for you. So after doing a little digging, I knew that I had to pick up this book. I just had to because I connected with Josh's sense of humor, something that is a rarity for me to come across in humorous books.

Hypothesis:  Upon looking at all of the "research" compiled, I figured that I would think the book was pretty okay. After all, March hasn't been the best of reading months, so I figured I would just pin it as an average YouTuber's biography.

Investigation:  This book is a fun time.  If you are not really in a reading mood, but still want to read something: you should read this book. If you've never really ventured into nonfiction, but you kind-of-maybe-sort-of want to: you should read this book. For me, I don't really connect to a lot of YouTubers on a personal level because on a personal level, we are polar opposites of each other. Josh's story, on the other hand, I really connected with because of how he talks about his home life: Christian parents, youth group, Young Life (the terror that it is), homeschooling (I'm not, but so many of my friends are), and being the one that doesn't  drink at the frat party because Oh, hey, I'm not 21.  

Results of the Investigation: As you might have noticed (or not, no offense taken) I set up my review to mimic the way Josh set up his book. To be honest, if I hadn't known that there was a happy ending (kind of SPOILER ALERT??: Josh has a fiancĂ©e)  I might have put the book down just because the repetitive rejection kind of put me down. But the end of the book, while vague and left more to be desired, was sweet and heartfelt, truly bringing the story full circle. While this very much is a book about Josh's mess-up-kind-of relationships, it's also a story that says: just because you are different (e.g. missing on leg due to a battle with cancer) doesn't mean you don't deserve love.

"Side benefit of dating me: free motivational speeches. It's like friends with benefits where the benefits are inspirational."
"I prefer to say that I dress like a model for Goodwill, thank you very much."
"So now I was taking the Whole Foods approach to finding a girlfriend: I was going to let it happen organically."

Overall, if you really enjoy getting a glimpse at people's personal lives and seeing how someone matures through relationships (or the lack thereof) and maybe want to learn a lesson or two about yourself, you should definitely pick this one up.

We Should Hang Out Sometime  by Josh Sundquist
Published: 23 December 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format - Pages: Hardback - 336 pages
Source: School Library
Genre: Nonfiction - Memoir
Buy it: Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble
Josh Sundquist only ever had one girlfriend.
For twenty-three hours.
In eighth grade.

Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down the girls he had tried to date and asked them straight up: What went wrong?

The results of Josh's semiscientific, wholly hilarious investigation are captured here. From a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), to a misguided "grand gesture" at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love--or at least a girlfriend--in all the wrong places.

Tomes Project

Have you read Josh's memoir? What did you think about it? If not, do you want to pick it up?
Tell me down in the comments!

Happy Reading!

Stacking the Shelves: Red, White, and Blue [7]

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and it's all about sharing the books that have come into your possession throughout the week.
The school library is vastly underrated. At least mine is. I hate that I'm really just really getting into reading now that I'm a second semester Senior, and I won't have the library for forever. I'm angry at myself for being ashamed of my reading life. Have you ever experienced that?

Anyway, onto the haul.

So, our school library does this awesome thing called "the mobile library" where one of the librarians puts some of their favorite reads on book carts and brings them down from the library and to your English class. I think it's a great way to get kids to read. Isn't it so awesome?

On the cart, I picked up two books. I would have picked up twelve, but I didn't want to look crazy.

The first thing I picked up was We Should Hang Out Sometime  by Josh Sundquist (signed! can you believe it?) because I've been eyeing it for some time now. Then I was glancing around the carts and saw this gorgeous edition of Stardust  by Neil Gaiman. I have heard so much about Gaiman, and I wanted to read something of his.

One of my public library holds came in this week: The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act. I've heard fantastic things about this graphic novel, and I can't wait to dive into this one. Also, I got to download an electronic audiobook of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. One of my goals for the year is to reread the Harry Potter series, and I wanted to listen to at least one of them.

I even bought a book this week. The 100  by Kass Morgan was only $3.97 in the bargain section of my local Books a Million, so I couldn't just let it sit there since I love the TV show so much. Are you shipping Bellarke? I'm shipping Bellarke. So hard. Also, I have already read and reviewed this book here.

What books and/or bookish things have you guys gotten this week? I even downloaded a new comment system so that you guys can actually  comment down below and tell me that! 

Happy Reading!

Next Week: #BookOutletHaul

Tomes Project

The 100 by Kass Morgan - Book Review

Spring is here!  And I've read the first book off of my sort-of TBR for spring, so I am super proud of myself. I quit doing monthly TBRs because I sucked at keeping to them. 

So this book follows four main perspectives. Three of the four are delinquents under the age of eighteen. One is a twenty year old who will do anything to protect his sister. The book starts off right in the thick of it. We don't know what is happening other than the few sentences Clarke gives us at the very beginning setting up the story. Then there are guards in her room, and she is being taken away. Along with 99 other delinquents that are all headed to Earth, a planet that no one is sure is inhabitable or not. 

There are a lot of things that I like about this book. Sadly, there are more things that I don't like. 
One of the most important things to me when reading a book is that I like the main character. And if I'm not supposed to like a character, I have to be able to appreciate them, their story, and where they came from. It is the reason that I gave Cinder  3 stars: I didn't like Cinder. I do like the characters in this book. Not because they are extremely likeable, but because Kass Morgan writes them to be relatable (for most of the book at least).

I love all the backstory on the character. I don't like how Kass Morgan went about giving us the information. Literally half of the book is flashbacks. I felt like Kass was telling  us the characters's stories when she could have shown  us the history. 

Speaking of history, we don't get enough of it. It's not the suspicious-build type of leaving out information either. It's like her world is half built. On the Arc, there are three groups of people that are, apparently, easily distinguishable. How are they distinguishable? Skin color? Clothing? Hair? We don't know. These three groups are not really allowed to intermingle. Why? We have no idea. 

From what I gathered, it is kind of a three-tiered class system. The people from Pheonix are basically first class citizens, Arcadians are middle/second class citizens, and Waldenites are third class citizens. I think. I hate the fact that I have to question myself, but the way Kass Morgan built the society was very vague and not really well built at all. 

Also, I got a lot of overarching plot from this book, but in the book itself, there was not really a plot. It was really just 100 delinquent kids get sent to Earth. It is not even really a survival story. It's a teen drama and love story. There is too much undying love amongst our main characters for me to be comfortable with the love interests. 

I was the biggest Bellarke shipper at the beginning of this book, but now it has been diluted by all of the other love stories. I still really like Bellamy, I am still iffy on Clarke, I don't really like Wells, and I kind of wish Glass wasn't even in this story. With four character point of views and only 320 pages to do it in, there is not a lot of room for growth and development.

That is one of the major problems that I have with this book: all the alternating perspectives. Each character only has 80 pages to themselves. I wish that we could have just stuck to a third person omniscient point of view would have been really helpful with this book. With only 80 pages for each person, there is not expansion on some of the more mature themes that would have for good content.

If you like the TV show, like me, then I would recommend that you pick this up. It gives you different insight on some of the characters as well as new characters to love. 

Content: PG
Language: PG
Sex: Implied that it has happened
Violence: Nonexistent
Themes: PG-13

Yes. I will continue the series, but I do not plan on buying them for myself. My school library has both Day 21 and Homecoming, so I will pick them up in April and marathon through them one weekend. 

The 100  by Kass Morgan (The Hundred #1)
Published: 1 Jan 2013 - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format - Pages: Hardback - 323 pages
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Buy it: Amazon, Kindle, B&N
My Goodreads Rating
In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.
Tomes Project

Do any of you watch The 100 on the CW? Have you read the book? Let's fangirl about Bellarke in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

Heck Yeah, Harry Potter Haul + Review

Now, I want to preface this haul with this: I have read (and loved and fangirled over and written stories about) Harry Potter. However, my six-and-a-half year older sister was the one that owned the books and "grew up with Harry", so when she moved out two years ago, I was left Harry Potter-less. Obviously, I needed to buy my own collection of the versions that I read. While I did contemplate buying the special edition box-set, this ended up being cheaper.

All of the nitty-gritty details about shipment, prices, quality, and date received are in this google doc.

Now, onto the site review. 

I have used for about four years now. I bought all seven, original hardbacks in "Like New" or "Very Good" condition. They all came with dustjackets intact and in practically perfect condition. If you go through my Google doc, you will see that I made six different orders and purchased them over the course of about a month. This was mainly because I only wanted to purchase "Like New" and "Very Good" books with dustjackets because anything less than those and I get a little wary of good quality. 

I did have to place two additional orders with them when I had issues with two of my books. On my second order, I received the wrong edition (I think it was a scholastic school or library binding) of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They gave me a full refund, and did not make me return the book. (I will probably end up using this book for crafting purposes.) Additionally, my third order never arrived, so I was again given a full refund and ordered another copy at a later date. 

Saying that, thriftbook's customer service is the most phenomenal that I've come across of online booksellers. The service (at least via email) is quick, fast, and consistently fast. After I emailed customer service about PoA, I received a response 10 minutes later, and then I was able to email back and forth with the contact. 

All items -quality wise- were what I ordered. All the books were in fact in "Like New" or "Very Good" condition. I have had a few books in the past that were not up to their standards, but these instances were few and far between. 

Overall, I recommend this site, especially if you are buying books on a budget (which most of us are). Some of the more recent and less stocked items are closer to list price, but this is just because they are more recent releases. Also, they don't always have the most recent releases, but that usually isn't a problem for me. 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - Book Review

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
Previous Book: Cinder
5 February 2013 - Feiwel and Friends
Format - Pages: Hardback - 452 pages
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Buy it: Amazon, Kindle, B&N
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
If you haven't read Cinder yet, then this little section is for you. The Lunar Chronicle Series is a series of fairy tale retelling. Kind of. Except it's cooler than that because part of it is in space. The first book is very much a retelling of Cinderella, but Scarlet is less retelling and more action and fun, which I really enjoyed. I will say that I like that Scarlet more than I liked Scarlet.

Okay, so from now on, this review WILL HAVE (probably) SPOILERS FOR CINDER. Let's go!

I really liked Scarlet as a character, so much more than I liked Cinder. So much more. Throughout all of Cinder, I saw her as a weak, whiny character. This book, however, made me like her considerably more. I do still have problems with the Cinder/Kai relationship, but I am hoping that will improve in Cress. I think Cinder's time away from Kai has made her a stronger character, and she will (fingers crossed) bring that strength into their relationship.

So, Scarlet is not just Scarlet's perspective. That surprised me. I did not like that in the beginning because I wanted to know Scarlet and her character (and at this point I still really did not like Cinder), but it grew on me as Cinder grew on me. However, that mainly had to do with this new character that we meet through Cinder: Captain Thorne. I love him. So much. He made Cinder's chapters bearable for me. I am picturing him as a young Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time. He's the good guy with a side that you're not sure if he's good or just grey. I mean, you never know since Cinder did pick him up in prison.

Captain Thorne is a great character, and I love the way he interacts with Cinder. He loosens her up, which was very much needed, and he changed her gradually for the betterment of her character. He is my favorite character from this book, and I was slightly upset that he is meant for Cress (just a speculation, but I have a very good feeling that I'm right) because I shipped Cinder/Thorne more than I ever shipped Cinder/Kai.

Now onto the supposed main character of this book, Scarlet. She is feisty and great and loves her Grand-mere and an overall kick-ass. Also, Wolf is a great morally-grey character, and I really liked him. I did not, however, like the Scarlet/Wolf romance. It was great in the beginning, but just kind of went downhill, which is also what I experienced with Cinder and Kai, so I am no longer blaming the romance of the fairy tale, but on Marissa Meyer because it has now happened twice. I am praying that this doesn't happen with Cress and Thorne because as stated he is my favorite character.

I did really enjoy the furthering of the overarching plot, but I feel as though the reader didn't understand that it was overarching plot until 2/3 of the way through the book, you connect Scarlet's plot to the plot of the series.

Content: PG/PG-13
Language: None - Practically None
Sex: Nonexistent. We are fighting a war with teenagers.
Violence: Present, but not gruesome.

Yes! I am glad that I continued to Scarlet because I was wary after finishing Cinder. However, I will continue to pick these books up from my library because this series -so far- is not a stand-out series to me.

Have you guys read The Lunar Chronicles yet? If so, tell me what you've thought about it (no spoilers, please!) down in the comments!

Happy Readings!

Tomes Project