Monday, November 30, 2015

November Monthly Wrap Up!

Hello little snowflakes!!  I hope everyone who celebrated had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I for one am completely still stuffed and plan to never look at turkey again...well until next year ;)  
This month was another amazing one for us filled with super fun blog tours and quite a few awesome books!  Here's how our month broke down...

For the month of November, I didn't tackle as many books as I thought I would. I added 9 completed reads to my bookshelf, but I did get a head start on my holiday reading! Here's my round-up!
Highest rated book -
Soundless by Richelle Mead. Amazing novel!
Lowest rated book -
Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul. Not what I expected. :(
Special feature (most anticipated book, movie or trailer you're excited about) -
December marks the month I re-watch all of the Harry Potter movies, AND I'll be visiting the theme park in the beginning of the month. So, I'm really excited to dive into my annual tradition of Potter-fest!
What's on your tbr for next month-
For the month of December I plan to read more holiday novels and possibly get started on the second installment of Outlander. I can't wait for the next TV season to start!

Highest rated book-
Falling Kingdoms & Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes...AMAZING series!!!!
Lowest rated book- 
Calling Maggie May by Anonymous 
Special feature- 
This month I am just excited to spend time with my family and bake, bake, bake!!  
What's on my TBR for next month-
After the Woods by Kim Savage, Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes & Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace!
Highest rated book-
Though November wasn't the best reading month for me because of essays, thesis plans etc., I managed to read a couple of pretty amazing books. During November, I gave five star reviews to HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy (HOT HOCKEY GUYS ALERT!) and AFTER THE WOODS by Kim Savage.
Lowest rated book-
The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan. It still got three stars though, so not bad at all!
Special feature-
Christmas is quickly coming, which means my favorite time of the year is upon us - THE HALLMARK COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS original movie marathon. I know I am supposed to be this serious film student, but there is just something about these films that I absolutely love. From the films released so far, ONCE UPON A HOLIDAY has been my favorite - it has a runaway princess, cute romance and an extremely handsome leading man.
And now that I have mentioned Hallmark, it is only fitting to mention a new TV show obsession I have, which is Hallmark Channel's original show WHEN CALLS THE HEART. I have been studying North American history this semester, and I love how the setting of this show kind of fits into what I've learned. The budding romance between the leads is to DIE FOR! And the male lead, Daniel Lissing, looks so good in a Mountie uniform.
What's on my TBR for next month-
I don't really know yet about my TBR for the month. All I know is that I at least want to read something Christmas related. So if you know any good Christmas books, leave me a recommendation! I also have THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE by Heidi Heilig still waiting on my Kindle and I am hoping to get into that one at some point in December.

Highest rated book-
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - 5 Stars- So so so good!!
Lowest rated book-
MiNRS by Kevin Sylvester- 3.5 stars- Entertaining and fun!
Special feature-
Star Wars 7 baby!!!
What's on my TBR for next month-
Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Untamed by A.G Howard- Gimme Gimme!!

Looks like next month will be filled with Christmas reviews LOL!  I hope everyone had a wonderful month as well and I can't wait to see how our December ends up!


Review: Tell the Story to it's End by Simon

Tell the Story to Its EndTell the Story to its End by Simon P. Clark
Publisher: St.Martins Griffin
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
In this beautiful, haunting debut, a boy is whisked away to the country in the wake of a scandal, and finds a captivating creature in the attic whose attention comes at a sinister price.

"Tell the story to its end," says Eren with a grin.
His yellow eyes are glowing like embers in the night.
"When I reach the end," I say, "what happens? You'll have the whole story."
"Hmm," he says, looking at me and licking his lips with a dry, grey tongue. "What happens then? Why don't we find out?"

People are keeping secrets from Oli. His mum has brought him to stay with his aunt and uncle in the countryside, but nobody will tell him why his dad where his father is. Why isn't he with them? Has something happened? Oli has a hundred questions, and only an old, empty house in the middle of an ancient forest for answers. But then he finds a secret of his own: there is a creature that lives in the attic…

Eren is not human.
Eren is hungry for stories.
Eren has been waiting for him.

Sharing his stories with Eren, Oli starts to make sense of what’s happening downstairs with his family. But what if it’s a trap? Soon, Oli must make a choice: learn the truth—or abandon himself to Eren’s world, forever.

Reminiscent of SKELLIG by David Almond and A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness, EREN is richly atmospheric, moving, unsettleing, and told in gorgeous prose. A modern classic in the making.
My thoughts:
This was certainly a strange little book.  The summary sounded really interesting and I thought hmm this could be super creepy.  If I look at it one way it is creepy, but if I look the other way I just don't get it.

Oli and his mom have moved to the countryside for the summer and are hoping Oli's dad will join them sooner rather than later.  What Oli finds out though is that the reason behind the move isn't a good one and he seeks solace in the attic with a monster who just wants to hear Oli's stories.  Or so he thinks.

So the thought of a story eating monster intrigued me.  I knew this monster would only grow stronger with every story he was told and become creepier and creepier. I was right to a point, but I found out that creepier came with a side of strange.

I think what threw me off was that this book talked in riddles and in circles.  At some points it even sounded like a deranged Cat in the Hat from a Dr. Seuss book.  I kept tripping up on the strange lingo and punctuation.  I didn't know going in that this was written from an English author and normally I don't have any trouble settling in to the Englishesque storylines, but man this one really threw me for a loop. I've never seen so many exclamations points and "yes"'s thrown around.  I think the story probably would have still been a strange one but adding in the strangeness of the writers flow just increased the oddness.

The story itself was yes strange, but I felt bad for Oli.  He was kept in the dark about his father and then when the cat jumped out of the bag (a reference you will totally get if you read the book) he fell apart.  He didn't understand why things were kept from him and I have to agree.  The adults were not very adult and didn't see what was happening to Oli.  I ended up being frustrated and when the end happened I wanted more from the adults point of view.  I wanted to know what they thought and what they were doing.

One extra chapter would have been great because the story is left so open and well I just didn't get it.  I got the scary part of it, but I didn't get the overall point.  Well I guess that's not true I got what happened I guess it's more accurate to say I didn't get all the why's of each character.  If someone could please let me know all the why's I would be forever grateful.

2 snowflakes

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram, #1)A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
Pram Bellamy is special--she can talk to ghosts. She doesn't have too many friends amongst the living, but that's all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram's power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.
My thoughts:
The best word I can think of to describe this book is eerie.  It wasn't scary and it wasn't creepy it was just really really eerie.

Lauren DeStefano has written a unique story about a girl who can see ghosts, but I half of me wondered throughout the whole book whether or not Pram was actually seeing ghosts.  At times it felt like maybe Pram was just talking to an imaginary friend, but as the story progressed I did see where the ghosts did indeed become a factor and the story took an interesting twist.  I am curious though because I think I would have liked Felix to have been an imaginary friend.  I think the story would have been a bit stranger which I think is what the author was going for with this one.

I will say that the major plot line was really interesting and I loved use of the asylum.  I've started looking for asylum books and it was a pleasant surprise to find one in this book.  I would have liked to have known more backstory about Lady Savant because she was an interesting character for sure.  I just discovered this will be a series so maybe more of her story will come out throughout the next book.

Pram was strange and when you read about her backstory you will understand why.  She was a very likable character and very brave.  I've found in middle grade books the young characters tend to be way braver than most teenage/adult characters.  I am not sure why this is exactly, but it makes for a strong character for sure.

I loved the innocence between Clarance and Pram.  Lately I have been hunting down books that have zero to no romance because I can't read another instalove story, but this romancish relationship is what I think I've been looking for.  It's completely innocent and sweet and what first crushes are made of.  The author did an amazing job with this relationship and my only wish is that YA takes note.

Other than the initial request to change the story a bit I wouldn't change anything about this.  I loved DeStefano's writing. She has some of the best quotes and honestly made me think throughout the book about death and loved ones.  She has crafted a unique tale that I know I will be thinking about for days to come.

I've come to really enjoy middle grade books and I think this is another strong one to add to my shelves!

4 snowflakes