Top Ten Tuesday: 3/17



218536661. After We Fall by Emma Kavanaugh | I received this from NetGalley forever ago but have been waiting until it gets closer to its publication date to read it.

2. Angelfall by Susan Ee | I’ve never actually read a book about angels, so this should be interesting!

3. At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen | A historical novel by the author of Water for Elephant’s, this one is set in Scotland. It’s about some socialites who are hunting the Loch Ness monster, so we’ll see about this one.

4. Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center | There’s something about spring that screams renewal and goals to me. This is about a lady who goes into the remote wilderness for three weeks to find herself (sound like Wild, anyone?) so I’m pretty excited.

5. An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund | I’m most excited for this one. I’m a little nervous it will be a love…square, though.

Basically my NetGalley shelf is full of TBRs that I HAVE to read ASAP!

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Grace6. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch | This was a belated Christmas present that I got back in late January and I still haven’t read it. I’ve been hearing nothing but rave reviews though!

7. The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan | I won this in a Goodreads giveaway and started it in January but haven’t been able to finish it yet, so it’s first on my list! Also, the cover is GORGEOUS.

8. The Glass Series by Maria V. Snyder | I read Shadow Study a couple of weeks ago and it took place after this series so there were a lot of tidbits I didn’t understand. I need to read these 3 books so I can!

9. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray | I started this awhile ago as well, and got sucked into it but had to put it down when my schedule got busy. It’ll be nice to finish it!

10. 20 Something, 20 Everything by Christine Hassler | This is described as “a quarter-life woman’s guide to balance and direction” and that is something I’ve desperately been looking for in my life lately. Even though I’m in school and working full time, I feel like I don’t know what to do with my life or where to go from here. Hopefully this helps me as much as it’s helped others!

Looks like my Spring Break will be full of fantasy novels! I can’t wait to get a break from school and just READ.

lauren (1)Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish. Check out more Top Ten features on their site. 


Top Ten Tuesday: 2/24




Blair1. Hermione Granger – the Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling DUH. It’s HERMIONE. If there ever was a badass heroine in literature, it’s her.

2. Yelena – the Study Series by Maria V. SnyderIf you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that I’m OBSESSED with the Study Series, so Yelena is a very obvious choice for me.

3. Blair Waldorf – Gossip Girl. Gossip Girl is hands down my favorite TV series (it’s surprisingly taken Sex and the City’s spot in my world) and Blair Waldorf is such a strong female character. While she’s manipulative and sometimes crazy, she’s still my absolute favorite. She is definitely the heroine of her own life.

4. Katniss Everdeen – the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  I recently watched Mockingjay Part 1 and while I didn’t think it was good as the others, it’s a strong reminder of how heroic Katniss is.

5. Annie Walker – Covert AffairsI had to throw her in. My husband and I binge-watched Covert Affairs over the span of December and I am totally in (platonic) love with Annie Walker. When I was little, I wanted to be in the FBI when I grew up, and while Annie is in the CIA so it’s different, I love living vicariously through her.

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tumblr_mcbzqwLt0Y1qekaheo1_r2_5006. Dr. Temperance Brennan – Bones and Temperance Brennan Series by Kathy ReichsI love Temperance on TV and in the books—though I would say they’re completely different characters, personality-wise. However, both are resilient, kick-ass, and smart…I love that!

7. Agent Carter – Agent Carter. We’ve been watching our fill of the new short series, Agent Carter. I haven’t read the comics, but I’m definitely digging the TV version of her. In a male dominant profession (you know, being a spy and special agent), she’s constantly battling (and beating) gender stereotypes.

8. Alanna – Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce When I first read The Song of the Lioness series, I was completely captivated by Alanna. A total badass lady, she passes as a boy to fulfill her dreams of becoming a knight.

9. Avry – Healer Series by Maria V. Snyder. After rereading Fire Study, I think I’ve realized that the Healer series is my favorite Snyder series…primarily because of Avry, who is selfless and strong.

10. Hermione – Harry Potter by JK Rowling. There is no way I could have possibly left Hermione off of this list. Being the poofy brown haired nerd-child back in the day, I could seriously relate to Hermione. She helped me learn to be proud of my book smarts. (I don’t even care that she’s on here twice!)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish. Check out more Top Ten features on their site. 

Top Ten Tuesday: 12/16

TOP TENTop Ten Books We Read In 2014

9781402298684-3001. The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister – this one is still fresh in my mind, as I just finished it. It doesn’t come out until January 2015, but I’ll still count it. It was an absolutely captivating read. Check out the review and giveaway (live until Friday!).

2. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – I haven’t posted my review yet, but I just finished this over the weekend…totally loved it and can’t wait until book two is released!

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – review here. These books have been around for a while but I finally decided to read them. I loved the first book, but couldn’t seem to get into the second.

4. His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers – maybe it’s cheating to post an entire series, but I loved them all! Review for book one here and for books two and three here.

5. The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas – okay, cheating again. Review for book one here and book two here.

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6. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin – I love the Heaven that Gabrielle writes about, and the whole cycle of life – you die, stay in Heaven as you age backwards from the age you were when you originally passed, and then you are sent back to Earth as a baby. Super intriguing. 5/5 on Goodreads. Elsewhere

7. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder – review here.

8. Pointe by Brandy Colbert – I wrote about Brandy Colbert a week or so ago, and she’s a pretty amazing author. This book is definitely not something I’ve ever read anything similar to in the past, and the that Brandy wrote it makes it so much better than I could have ever imagined. 5/5 on Goodreads.

9. All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner – review here.

10. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder – review here.

Only a couple of these were actually published in 2014, but I read them all for the first time this year and they stand out in my mind. I’ve linked back to my reviews of the ones I’ve blogged about, the others I read earlier in the year.

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Top Ten Tuesday: 12/9


Top Ten New-To-Us Authors We Read In 2014

1. Brandy Colbert – I read Pointe back in May and fell completely in love with Brandy’s writing style. Pointe itself is a really good, albeit creepy, story and she just made it that much more amazing and creepy. I really hope she writes more, I will read it all. heiresses

2. Maria V. Snyder – I’m currently on the last book of the Study Series and now I can’t imagine not loving everything Maria writes. It’s all SO good.

3. I had heard of Rainbow Rowell before, but I didn’t read any of her books until this year. I started with Fangirl and it was really cute!

4. For years, I’ve been hearing about Stephanie Perkins and her all-around amazingness but I finally read one of her books, Anna and the French Kiss, this year and I wondered why I had waited so long! It was lighthearted and funny, slightly predictable though. I can’t wait to read her other books!

5. I am a big Pretty Little Liars fan, and when I found out that they were based on books, I had to read them. I tried to start with the first, but I just couldn’t get through it and set it aside for a long while. This year though, Sara Shepard (the author of the Pretty Little Liars series) came out with a new book! The Heiresses was SO much better than the PLL book I never finished and I’m so glad I gave her another shot. Technically, she wasn’t new to me since I tried her previous series, but it still counts because I never actually finished a book of hers until this year.

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233828406. Shawntelle Madison – I had never heard of Madison until I stumbled across Under My Skin on Net Galley. I absolutely loved it! She has another series that I’m excited to try.

7. Sherry Thomas – I spotted The Burning Sky at Barnes and Noble and fell in love with the cover—I know you shouldn’t choose your books based on their covers, but the jacket description sounded good, too 🙂 So happy! I might even consider reading her historical romance novels, if the mood strikes.

8. Liane Moriarty – I really enjoyed Little Big Lies, and can’t wait to try out some of her other books.

9. Sarah J. Maas – I picked up the first Throne of Glass book in February and read the rest in the same week! Very, very excited for her 2015 releases.

10. Elizabeth Vaughan – I can’t remember which book made Warprize pop up as a recommendation on Goodreads, but I’m glad it did. I loved the Warprize series, but wasn’t as thrilled when I branched out to Vaughan’s other series.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish. Check out more Top Ten features on their site. 

Top Ten Tuesday: 12/2


Top Ten Books We’re Looking Forward To In 2015

215703181. Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder – So incredibly excited for this—it’s made multiple lists of ours! I’m definitely planning on setting aside a weekend to finish this—I know I won’t be able to put it down.

2. Untitled (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas – It wasn’t until I saw this on several people’s Top Ten Sequels list several weeks ago that I realized this was an actual thing. I love the first three, and this one will be no different.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – Again—I love the Throne of Glass series and all that Maas has to offer, so I will definitely be picking this one up!

4. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows – She’s a princess, she’s magical, she’s a spy—basically, Princess Wilhelmina is a BAMF. I’ve never head of Jodi Meadows before, but I’m definitely anticipating this release.

5. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge – It’s inspired by Little Red Riding Hood and sounds like an interesting read.

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6. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen – the Waverly Sisters from Gardenspell are back and I AM SO EXCITED. It comes out in January, so I won’t have to wait very long for it.wicked

7. Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder – duh. If you’ve been reading my posts for the past month or so, you’ll know I’m completely addicted to the anything Maria V. Snyder writes. This is the beginning of a new series, the Soulfinder Series, but it continues Yelena’s story. Can’t wait to get my hands on this!

8. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen – I love every single thing she writes, and according to her, this book is different from her usual. I’m very intrigued to see how it’s different.

9. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – this is a debut novel and I’m very curious to see how it’s written. It’s about a world that is divided by blood – common Red blood and elite Silver blood – and a girl named Mare who is a common thief thrown into the Silver court as a long-lost princess. It sounds very intriguing and different!

10. Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout – the first in the Wicked Saga, it’s about Ivy Morgan, a girl that lost everything to evil creatures and has sworn her life to the Order to hunt them down, and what happens after she meets Ren Owens, a handsome man that is demanding to lay claim to her heart and soul. It sounds like something I don’t normally read, but the cover really drew me in. Plus, it takes place in New Orleans so I’m pretty sure I have to read it!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish. Check out more Top Ten features on their site. 

Happy Thanksgiving: Books We Are Thankful For

Books we're

To many people, a book is just a book. To us, a book has the power to change a life, a perspective, a bad day into a good one, a regular moment into an extraordinary one. A book has the power to transport you to another place, another person’s life, another time. In the spirit of thankfulness, we would like to highlight the books that we are most thankful for.

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The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

6I wouldn’t be doing my list justice if I didn’t mention Harry Potter. I first picked up Harry Potter from my local library in 1999. I was almost ten and actually believed that my American Hogwarts letter would come in the next year. After finishing the first book, I immediately ran out (just kidding—my mom drove me) to the library to pick up the Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. By the time I’d finished, my entire family was hooked on the book. My first midnight release party at Barnes and Noble was for the Chamber of Secrets—that’s right—my mom let me stay up past midnight.

As a homeschooled kid who lived in the country, friends were sparse. Books, on the other hand, were numerous, and my only rule at the library was that if I couldn’t physically carry the stack, I had to put some back. I grew very strong for such a nerdy child. Harry Potter was the first real series that I became an obsessive fangirl with, and I continue to hold that status today.

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler

94053This book gave me the travel bug, and a love of learning about other cultures. I read this during my sophomore year of college; I was in an Eastern Civilizations class, and this was an assigned reading. I read it in a week. It was truly the first nonfiction book I read that I really, really felt a connection to. It made me want to join the Peace Corps for several years before I decided against it. I haven’t re-read it since that class, but I think I ought to.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I read Life As We Knew It for a Teen’s Choice Award committee I was involved in for the library (because I wasn’t nerdy enough in high school, being on yearbook, newspaper, and showing chickens in 4-H). It’s about a girl who is trying to survive with her family when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth, creating disaster and devastation all over the globe. It made me realize how unprepared we all would be in that situation, and that we need to stop taking our way of life for granted.

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60510The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder

I know I sound like a broken record here, but seriously. THESE BOOKS. I feel like before I (finally) read Poison Study, I was kind of at a stagnant place with reading. I would read all of these books and while I liked them, I wouldn’t get as sucked in as I remember getting when I was younger and I couldn’t figure out why. Reading this series has completely changed that and renewed my hope in books, renewed that hunger for reading that I’ve always had and that had somehow dwindled over the past years. So thankful Lauren recommended the series, and so thankful that I finally started reading it.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah1472878

I can’t NOT put this book on here. I read it and recognized the similarities between Kate & Tully’s lives and mine & my best friend’s and immediately made her read it. We’ve both read it numerous times since then and it’s just as good the 2nd and 3rd times as it is the 1st.

hpThe Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

We moved around a lot when I was growing up, and I remember before I made any friends in my newest neighborhood, I would spend all of my free time reading these books. I even made my mom buy me all of them because the library closest to our house always had an insane wait list for them. HP and all of this friends (and foes) got me through starting new schools, making new friends, and dealing with the angsty teenage feels that we all go through. As I got older, the series became a way to bond with my younger brother and brought us closer than we ever would have been without them. Hogwarts and Harry, every character and every setting, JK Rowling herself… they’re all lifesavers and I will forever be grateful for it all.


Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

magic studySo, I started and finished Magic Study in one night. That alone says SO much about how I feel about the book. There aren’t many books that I get so into that I finish them in one sitting, and I really wasn’t planning on doing it with this book but I fell so very much in love with the story, once again. Magic Study was an amazing follow up to Poison Study and yet again, I’m so thankful for Lauren telling me about this series.

In book two, Yelena has traveled to Sitia with Irys to meet the family she was kidnapped from so many years ago. I must say that her family and the Zaltana Clan… they’re all very eccentric. No other way to describe them. I love how much love they have for Yelena after all the years she was apart from them, and how welcoming her parents are.

After meeting the family she’s forgotten over the years, Yelena heads to the Academy so that Irys can teach her how to manage her magic. She of course encounters trouble along the way, and once she gets there it just keeps coming.

The only thing I didn’t like about it was that Valek wasn’t around for most of the book. It made me SO happy to finally see him when he did show up but it just wasn’t enough. I am a huge Valek fan and it was disappointing to not have him there for Yelena. The whole storyline started to get a little overdone with how much she was put through (beaten up, magicians trying to access her mind, etc.), but I really didn’t mind. Everything kept very true to the Study Series and to Yelena’s character – trouble seems to follow her everywhere but she does her best to help combat it.

I rated it 5/5 on Goodreads even though there were a couple of things I didn’t like, mostly because I love the world the series takes place in and the writing is brilliant. Maria V. Snyder is a genius in my book.