MARIA’S APRIL BOOK HAUL (2015)

11166069_10153178984205465_1714532663_n1. Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting
2. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
3. Find you in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters
4. Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
5. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
6. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
7. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
8. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
9. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
10. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
11. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
12. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
13. Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
14. Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
maria

MARIA’S MAY TBR (2015)

mai_006I am in SUCH a reading mood lately and want to finish as many books as I possibly can, but ‘m just about to start my on the job training. I’ll be doing my practice teaching for the entire month of May and am feeling both excited and nervous. I want to put my 100% into this experience, so I’m not quite sure how much reading I’ll be doing. You never know though, I did end up having a pretty good reading month in April, even with the stress of final exams. Maybe I will need the reading break at the end of the day!

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Since reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, I have a huge craving for thriller books. So, I went out and bought The Bear by Claire Cameron and The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. I am really hoping to enjoy these. The Bear is very good so far! The story is told in the perspective of a five year old girl and I am adoring her narration. The Killing Floor by Lee Child is more of an action type of thriller and is the first book in the Jack Reacher series. I borrowed this from a friend and promised him a review. I would also love to jump into some fantasy in the month of May. I’ve recently purchased the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson because i’ve heard nothing but crazy awesome things about it. I may not have time to read the entire series this month, but I would like to start it. And last but not least, I plan on reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, a new release by the wonderful Sarah J Maas. I will be buddy reading this one with Mackenzie.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of the books that I’ve mentioned. It’s weird for me to stay away from the young adult genre, but i’m just going with my reading moods. Also, let me know if you have any thriller book recommendations for me. I hope you have a great reading month!
maria

MARIA’S APRIL WRAP UP (2015)

228198901. A Time to Reap by Jonas Lee ★★★★
Carter goes to a school for kids of the future that can time travel and read minds. When an explosion goes off at the Academy, Carter saves a girl by using his ability. Soon, he realizes that his powers are stronger when she is near. I have really been enjoying books about time travel. I highly recommend you check out this new author. 

120000202. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz ★★★★
I read this book in one sitting and loved it much more than I had expected! Both characters are very well developed and felt very real to me. Aristotle and Dante are extremely different, but become such amazing friends. I feel as though I learned a lot while reading this book. It also made me incredibly happy!

89091523. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★ REVIEW
Attachments is about a guy who falls in love with the a girl by reading her emails. It is a very light, funny read. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the things that Jennifer and Beth said in their emails. It wasn’t my all time favorite Rainbow Rowell book, but I loved it just the same.

115057974. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire ★★★★ REVIEW
Travis Maddox. What can I say? When I started reading this book, I thought that it was going to be dumb… But of course, I became enthralled with this bad boy like everyone else and ended up obsessing over this book.

157459505. Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire ★★★★ REVIEW
This is the sequel to Beautiful Disaster. I picked it up immediately after finishing the first book, despite it being the exact same story told in Travis’s point of view. I grew a bit bored with the same dialogue, but also really enjoyed being inside of his head.

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6. Landline by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★
REVIEW
I am so glad that I picked this up! Another fantastic book about going back in time, or in this case – talking to your husband of the past through a magic phone. Landline has got to be one of my new favorite Rainbow Rowell books. I really loved it! I grew extremely attached to Georgie, the main character. This book made me THINK and FEEL a lot! I highly recommend it.

225572727. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins ★★★★REVIEW
Such a thrill. I devoured this, not wanting to put it down until I had it all figured out. The main character, Rachel, is somewhat of an alcoholic who rides the same train day after day. She becomes fascinated with a certain house that she passes on her route, happened to be somewhere at the wrong time and ends up getting herself involved in a missing person case.

87095238. The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead ★★★★
It took me a little while to jump back into this vampire/alchemist world, especially since I haven’t been reading as much paranormal lately. Nonetheless, I always have so much fun while reading Richelle Mead’s books. So far, I don’t think I like the Bloodlines series quite as much as her Vampire Academy or Georgina Kincaid series, but that could change. I am excited to read the third book to find out more about Adrian and Sydney.
maria

BOOK REVIEW : THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS

22557272Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Published: January 13th 2015 by Riverhead Books
336 pages
Source: purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

The Girl on the Train is about a woman named Rachel, who takes the same train everyday. She finds herself staring out of her window, a gin and tonic in hand, observing the houses that pass. She becomes interested in one specific home, where a young couple are often found enjoying the morning with one another on the front porch. Rachel doesn’t really know these people, but she’s watched them for so long that she feels as if she does. When the woman goes missing, Rachel somehow becomes involved in this complicated case.

What made this story so interesting was definitely the unreliable narrators and the twisted plot. I felt so many emotions while reading this. I went from hating Scott, to liking him, from hating Anne to liking her, from liking Megan to hating her… As frustrating as the main character Rachel was, I always enjoyed reading from her point of view. She could seem a little crazy at times, but I still liked her character overall and I genuinely felt bad for what she had gone through. I sometimes questioned if what she was saying was true, due to her alcohol intake. I wanted so badly for her to remember the events of the night that Megan went missing, and hoped that she wasn’t to blame. Paula Hawkins did an incredible job at writing such complex characters. Every single one of them is extremely flawed and difficult to trust.

Not once did I have the ending figured out. The story flowed quite nicely and every plot twist had me hanging on the edge of my seat. I haven’t read a book that had me glued to every page like this since I read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I think I may have been even more captivated by this one. After I read about Megan’s disappearance, I couldn’t put this book down until I had it all figured out. The Girl on the Train is worth all of it’s hype in my opinion. If you’re in the mood for a great thriller, be sure to pick this one up! 5 out of 5 stars!
maria

BOOK REVIEW : ATTACHMENTS BY RAINBOW ROWELL

8909152Title: Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: April 14th 2011 by Dutton Adult
323 pages
Source: purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Attachments is narrated by Lincoln, who’s job is essentially to read other peoples emails. One day he stumbles upon an email from two very interesting women, and as much as he knows it’s wrong – he can’t stop reading. The more he reads, the more he falls in love with one of the two ladies…

I really loved Lincoln’s character growth throughout this book. He was portrayed as the cute, but awkward, computer guy. He was very unsure about who he was and where he was headed in life. Jennifer and Beth were fantastic female characters. Both of them were Hilarious. I definitely enjoyed reading their emails written to each other just as much as Lincoln did. Those conversations were my absolute favourite parts of this book.

At some points, I wasn’t certain about where the story was going. Beth had a boyfriend throughout the whole book, and Lincoln was way too scared to even approach her in person. It all tied together quite nicely in the end though. Rainbow Rowell’s endings never fail to WOW me. No matter how I feel in the beginning or middle of her books, the endings always blow me away. I thought that Attachments was a very original, fun, contemporary read. I am really glad that i’ve gotten around to reading more of Rainbow Rowell’s work. 4 out of 5 stars.

Mackenzie’ thoughts:
Before going into attachments, I was very excited because I previously loved Eleanor and park and Fangirl. Attachments was probably my least favourite out of the three, but still very good. I loved that it was set in the 90s and the concept of the book was so interesting to me. I loved reading the emails between Beth and Jennifer. At first I wasn’t crazy over our main character, Lincoln. I was really frustrated with him throughout the book. I really loved the side characters like Doris, she was always great! Overall I still recommend this book, it was really funny and enjoyable. 5 out of 5 stars!

BOOK REVIEW : LANDLINE BY RAINBOW ROWELL

18081809Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: July 8th 2014 by St. Martin’s Press
308 pages
Source: purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Georgie is a working mom who writes comedy for a living. She is SUNSHINE on a cloudy day, so full of life and laughter. I adored her personality. In her twenties, Georgie fell in love with Neal, who happens to be her complete opposite. He’s quiet, grouchy and antisocial. She almost never sees him laugh or crack a smile. After getting married and having kids, Neal decides that it would be best if he became a stay at home dad. Georgie continues working hard at writing her comedy shows. She often finds herself caught up at work and not having the time to spend with her wonderful family. She adores her children, but after working all day she barely has time to see them – let alone her husband. When Landline begins, Neal and the kids are going to spend Christmas with his mother. This was a trip that has been planned for a long time, but something comes up at work and Georgie has to stay back home. This was the icing on the cake. If her and Neal had been hiding the fact that they were having problems before, it becomes obvious to both of them at that moment. The entire time that Neal is away, Georgie is left with her own thoughts. Her cell phone is dead (literally), so she starts to call Neal on her old phone in her childhood bedroom at her mothers house. Soon, Georgie realizes that the Neal that she has been talking to is really the Neal from the past. The Neal before they were married. Why is she given this opportunity? What is she supposed to correct or change?

First of all, as much as Neal could be a cranky butt, Georgie was such a lucky woman to have him as a husband. He seriously did everything for her. He quit his job to raise their children, he cleaned the house, he did the outside work and he had a home cooked meal on the table every night. My point being, Georgie didn’t realize how lucky she was. Maybe if she gave him more attention, or made more time for him and the kids, he would be happier. I know that a lot of people might have been rooting for Georgie to end up with her best friend Seth, but I actually liked Neal the way that he was. They were very different, one extreme to the other – different, but they balanced each other out well.

This story made me think SO much about love and life. About how hard relationships really can be. About relationships being WORTH IT. I enjoyed this book immensely and I was incredibly happy with the way it ended. It had me feeling ALL of the FEELS. Landline was an interesting story from the very first page, but the last few chapters had me falling so completely in love with it. Like everyone, it left me wanting more. I want to know what happens to the characters that i’ve become so attached to. Georgie feels very real to me and finishing this book felt like saying goodbye to an old friend.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Landline by Rainbow Rowell. Leave me a comment down below!
maria

BOOK REVIEWS: BEAUTIFUL DISASTER & WALKING DISASTER BY JAMIE MCGUIRE

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Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1), Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publication: May 26th 2011 by Jamie McGuire, April 2nd 2013 by Atria Books

When I started Beautiful Disaster, I was seriously wondering what all of the fuss was about. The writing was just okay, and I felt as if the story was being rushed. For example, Abby and Travis became friends very fast and then BOOM he loves her. Thankfully, these initial thoughts did not keep me from reading or loving this book. I have to admit, the more I read, the more enthralled I became with their dysfunctional relationship. After reading the first hundred pages, I was down right addicted. I did not want to put this book down, at all.

Walking Disaster is the very same story told in Travis’s point of view. I enjoyed this one just as much. I did get a bit bored with the repeated dialogue, since I picked it up immediately after finishing Beautiful Disaster, but I loved reading about Travis’s thoughts and feelings. It was refreshing to read from a males perspective and I flew through it.

Travis is a bad boy with big time anger issues that he chooses to deal with by fighting in college. He is the kind of male character that you hate SO MUCH sometimes, but in the end you just can’t help but love anyway. Yes, my favourite kind. There were moments in this book when I seriously wanted to punch him in the face, or at least make Abby stay away from him. He was a disaster, but he had a big heart and tried SO hard to prove himself to her. Abby, however, is a good girl who had a hard upbringing. Her mother was a drunk and her father was a gambler, so she does everything in her power to stay away from that type of lifestyle – at least before falling for Travis.

Shepley, Travis’s roommate, and his girlfriend America also played big parts in these two books. They were such great friends to both Travis and Abby. I enjoyed following them and watching them grow as a couple, even though they weren’t the main focus of the story.

Jamie McGuire knows how to write some addicting books with lots of ups and downs. I am looking forward to reading A Beautiful Wedding and Beautiful Oblivion. If you have read any of these books, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

maria