BOOK REVIEW : SAINT ANYTHING BY SARAH DESSEN

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Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published: May 5th 2015 by Viking
417 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:

Sydney’s older brother gets charged with a drunk driving conviction. While everyone in her family is so focused on him and his well-being, Sydney feels like she is the only one who cares about the boy who was injured in this accident. She changes schools, starts a new job and develops a very special friendship with siblings Mac and Layla. The Chathams were an awesome family. I enjoyed every second of this beautiful book! The characters were both amazing and relatable. I loved how the author portrayed family and relationships. Sarah Dessen has a writing style that is very dear to my heart. It brings back many memories as I grew up reading all of her books.

5 stars on Goodreads

Mackenzie’s thoughts:

This was definitely my favorite Sarah Dessen book that I’ve read, I’ve read two other of her books years ago; just listen and that summer. I can really see how much her writing and story telling has improved over the years with this book. I really enjoyed the main character Sydney and how she really cares for her family and friends, I also enjoyed the Chathams family and learning about their family. I did not enjoy Sydney’s parents and Ames; he was just so creepy. Towards the end of the book I just couldn’t stand Sydney’s mom because she made Sydney out of the bad child and Peyton as the good guy. She took a lot out on Sydney and never bothered to see how she felt, which I didn’t like. I really liked how the relationship in this book happened throughout the book and not right from the beginning like most books. When I first read about Mac I was trying to figure out what it was short for, when I found out it was Macaulay, it was funny because that’s my brothers name. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it!

5 stars on Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW : IT WAS ME ALL ALONG BY ANDIE MITCHELL

20484545Title: It Was Me All Along
Author: Andie Mitchell
Published: January 6th 2015
240 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

It Was Me All Along is a memoir written by food blogger and instagrammer, miss Andie Mitchell. In this inspiring piece of literature, Andie talks about her childhood, her long-time struggles with weight loss and her fear of gaining it all back. It’s so much more than just a book about diet and exercise. She isn’t telling you what you should eat to get skinnier or what she did to magically lose all of her weight, she shares her true life story without sugar coating any of it.

So many things about this story made me reflect on my life. I could relate to the narrator in more ways than one. At times, I felt as if the author were an actual friend of mine and I was sad when the last chapter came to an end. It Was Me All Along really inspired me. I can’t think of a better word to use, than inspire. I can honestly say that I learned a lot by reading Andie’s weight-loss story, especially when it comes to BALANCE. It also peaked my interest when it comes to health, nutrition and self-help books. I would love to get my hands on other books like this!

What made this book so great was knowing that it was real. Andie Mitchell is a real person, just like you and me. I loved checking out her Instagram page and blog after finishing this book. Her blog posts are awesome and motivating. I highly recommend you all check out this new non-fiction author.

Click here to learn more about Andie on her BLOG

maria

BOOK REVIEW : THE SELECTION BY KIERA CASS


10507293Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
336 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

I am pretty late to the game when it comes to the Selection series. I’m pretty sure this was on my TBR back when I was reading the Hunger Games. However, I finally picked up book #1 and i’m very very very happy with how much I enjoyed it.

America Singer comes from a very poor family, so when she is asked to sign up for a competition to help them financially, she can’t say no. Much like the popular TV show, the bachelor, 35 outstanding girls are selected to move into a palace and compete to become Prince Maxon’s future bride. America is welcomed into the royal lifestyle with amazing food and gifts from the prince. She is surprised by his generosity and how much she really does begin to like him. The only problem is that she is in love with someone else back home.

I enjoyed this lovely dystopian/romance so much more thanI thought that I would! It sucked me in from the very first page, when I met miss America Singer. America is such a kind hearted, down to earth main character. She is never afraid to be her true self and I love her funny/stubborn attitude. Prince Maxon is simply everything that a girl would want in a prince. I must say, I don’t think I would be as cool as America is when it comes to sharing him with so many other beautiful ladies.

I was afraid that the Selection would be too girlie and princessie for me personally, but I was so wrong. It’s like reading this book gave me that chick flick fix that i’ve been needing! At this point, having only read the first book in the series, I’m totally rooting for America and Maxon. I have no idea what’s in store for book #2 and #3, but I am excited to find out! If you’ve read the Selection series already, let me know your thoughts in the comments below (without spoiling the other books for me.) XOX.
maria

MARIA’S JUNE WRAP UP 2015

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June seriously flew by and I can’t believe my first month of my summer vacation is OVER! I am beyond happy to have 2 more months to enjoy before university starts up again! Fun fact: I did not purchase 1 SINGLE BOOK in the month of June! Money has been very tight and I only started working my summer job a few weeks ago. It sucks, because my to-buy list keeps growing, but at least I got some good reading time in! I managed to read a total of 10 books in the month of June. That is the most i’ve read since DECEMBER guys! I am hoping to pass that book count in July.

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1. Clockwork Angel (TID #1) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★
2. Clockwork Prince (TID #2) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★★

3. City of Lost Souls (TMI #5) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★
4. Clockwork Princess (TID #3) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★★
5. City of Heavenly Fire (TMI #6) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★★
I am super excited to announce that I finally finished Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series. It took me a little while to get back into the world, but I flew through them and highly enjoyed them. The books just kept getting better and better. I have to say that Tessa was my favorite character out of them all. I am so glad that I decided to read the Infernal Devices series. It was so worth it! Now I have them all sitting beautifully on my shelf and I can say that I read them all! 

115943374. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate ★★★★★
This middle grade story touched my heart! Ivan is a gorilla, living in a mall. I loved Ivan! He wasn’t any ordinary gorilla, he loved to draw and paint. He makes a promise to an old friend, and does everything to keep it. The ending was adorable and perfect. I will definitely be rereading this someday.

71295882. Forget You by Jennifer Echols ★★★★
When I placed one of my first book outlet orders, I decided to get a bunch of Jennifer Echols books. It’s been at least a year since then, and I haven’t read any of them until now. Forget You was better than I had expected. I flew through it in one sitting. The characters may not have been that memorable, but the story was a really great one.

183445343. Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting ★★★★★
I had my eye on Clipped Wings for such a long time and guess what? It did not disappoint! This was such a good new adult romance for tattoo lovers! Throughout the entire book, Hayden is working on Tenley’s back tattoo and learns more and more about her past. The characters were amazing and the book ended on such a cliff hanger. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.

684299. The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson ★★★★★
I read the first book in the Mistborn series last month. It was good, but it took me a while to get into the story. The first half of the book was full of details and explanations, so it was slow for me. It wasn’t until the last half that I really started loving and appreciating the fantastic story. This second book had me invested from the very first chapter. I already knew the characters from the first book and  understood everything. The Well of Ascension was full of ACTION ACTION ACTION and I LOVED every single minute of it. At this point, I feel very attached to our main characters, Vin and Elend, and am addicted to this fantasy series.

582197810. The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han ★★★★

I started walking (almost) everyday in June and during that time I listened to The Summer I Turned Pretty on audiobook. It was the perfect summer read for those sunny days. The actual story didn’t blow me away, but I really did LOVE getting to know the characters. Plus the summer house setting was beautiful and so fun. I hope to read the other books in this contemporary series very soon.

I am currently reading the third book in the Mistborn trilogy, The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. I’m really loving it, but i’m not flying through it as quickly as the second book. Maybe I just need an afternoon to dedicate to this awesome series. Sorry about the lack of reviews lately! I really have to get back into the groove… Let me know what you think of these books, as well as the books that you read during the month of June. Happy reading!

maria

#TBRTAKEDOWN READATHON VLOG

I’m happy to say that I had a successful Readathon week! The little vlogging that I did definitely kept me motivated to read more. What a great way to start the month of June! If you took part in the #TBRTakedown Readathon, I would love to hear how you did and what books you read. Leave me some love in the comments below!
maria

MARIA’S #TBRTAKEDOWN READ-A-THON TBR

11348932_10153267815780465_1367828997_nHey readers! I just decided to participate in the TBR TAKE DOWN read-a-thon that is taking place this week, June 1-7th. I am going to do my best to stick to this TBR and knock out the 5 challenges below. I just started Clockwork Angel and am loving it, so I am hoping to marathon the Infernal Devices/Mortal Instruments series this month if possible. If you’re interested in participating, I would love to hear what you plan on reading. Following the challenges while making my TBR list was a lot harder than you’d think! CLICK HERE to watch Shannon’s read-a-thon announcement video

#TBRTAKEDOWN challenges:

1. A book that’s been on your TBR shelf over a year!

Forget you by Jennifer Echols. I don’t know why, but I can’t stand the small weird size of this book. It’s actually one of the reasons i’ve been putting it off… I’m terrible, I know.

2. An unread sequel sitting on your TBR shelf.
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, because it’s about time I continue on with her series.

3. A first book in a series on your TBR shelf.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.

4. An “out of your comfort zone” book on le TBR shelf!
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. It’s not that it’s really out of my “comfort zone”, but I really don’t read much middle grade and i’ve heard amazing things about this book.

5. A book from your most recent book haul!
Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting. Still in the new adult mood, so I hope it’s a good one!

maria

MARIA’S MAY WRAP UP (2015)

The-Bear-Claire-Cameron-Chatelaine-Book-Club1. The Bear by Claire Cameron ★★★★★
This thriller is extremely different from the ones i’ve previously read. It’s told in the perspective of a five year old girl, who’s family is attacked by a bear on a camping trip. The writing style seriously blew me away. Anna would say the funniest things as she described her surroundings, but the narration was also very sad because she didn’t fully understand what was going on. Very unique! This story will be staying with me for a while.

2. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick ★★★★★ REVIEW
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I read Freak the Mighty this month along with my 7th grade students, during my practice teaching. I can’t believe I didn’t come across this wonderful story of friendship before. It was very touching and eye opening. I highly recommend it to EVERYONE.

51E+7V-PDyL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_3. The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson ★★★★★
I finally took the Brandon Sanderson plunge and started the Mistborn trilogy. Being so busy with my practice teaching, it took me nearly all month to finish this book. That being said, I enjoyed every minute of it. It is not something that I would have wanted to rush through anyway. I love the magic system, as well as the characters. Looking forward to reading book #2. 

4. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young ★★★★★ REVIEW{B852F324-CE01-43F3-9B99-C82D53DE27BD}Img100
This hot little new adult romance blew me away! The characters are wonderful, flawed, beautiful… I really can’t wait to get my hands on the other books in this series. I want them now!


5. Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1) by Lee Child ★★★
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I was surprised by how much I was enjoying this mystery thriller. I thought that Jack Reacher was a freaking awesome main character. He always kept things interesting. That being said, I grew a bit tired of this one leading up to the end and just wanted it to be over. I’m still getting used to these chunky adult books.

6. Find You in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters ★★★★16081754
The writing and the characters in Find You in the Dark didn’t impress me as much as in On Dublin Street, however I did end up liking Maggie and Clayton’s story. A lot of times, I found myself frustrated with the decisions that they were making, especially in the beginning. But then it hit me – Maggie was just too much like my high school self. I made stupid decisions too, so who am I to judge? It definitely was not what I had expected, but the last half of the book really surprised me. I am interested in finding out what happens next… 


Let me know if you’ve read any of these books in the comments below!
maria