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

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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

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 ★★★★
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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

MARIA’S APRIL TBR

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I’ve been on a bit of a contemporary kick lately, so I will be reading more of that genre than usual this month. There are many more books that I would love to be able to read in the month of April, but I have to be realistic – it’s exam month people! If all goes well, I will be studying hard during the day and still making time to read these books and relax in the evenings. I just don’t want to be putting TOO much pressure on myself.

A Time To Reap by Jonas Lee and The Gatekeepers Son by C.R. Fladmark are the “review books” that Mallory and I will be tackling in the next few weeks. Both of which were sent to us by the authors.

Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe is the book pick for our monthly discussion with Mackenzie and Marissa. I am really excited about discussing this one! You can check out last months discussion HERE.

Let me know if you have read or plan on reading any of these beauties!

maria

MARIA’S FEBRUARY AND MARCH WRAP UP

February
1. The Duff by Kody Keplinger ★★★★DISCUSSION
2. Never, Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher ★★★★ REVIEW
3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James ★★★ REVIEW
4. Treasure Darkly by Jordan Elizabeth ★★★★ REVIEW
5. Hawksong (The Kiesha’ra #1) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes ★★★★★ REVIEW
6. Extraordinary Sam and the Adventurers’ Guild by Kevin Springer ★★★REVIEW
7. Snakecharm (The Kiesha’ra #2) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes ★★★★REVIEW

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March
1. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven ★★★★
2. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner ★★★ REVIEW
3. Falcondance (The Kiesha’ra #3) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes ★★★
4. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard ★★★★REVIEW
5. Dark Legend : The Supernatural Chronicles by R.A. Reene’ ★★★ REVIEW
6. You Can You Will : 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner by Joel Osteen ★★★★
7. Succubus on Top (Georgina Kincaid #2) by Richelle Mead ★★★★★