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

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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 : 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 REVIEW: EMBRACE THE SUCK BY STEPHEN MADDEN

20525598Title: Embrace the Suck
Author: Stephen Madden
Published: 2014 by HyperWave
256 pages
Source: Published
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Embrace the Suck is Madden’s personal memoir of his venture into the world of Crossfit. In the past year and a half I have really gotten into fitness but I have never worked up the courage to try crossfit, so I figured why not start reading about it to see if it is something I would be interested in doing. And let me tell you, from the sounds of this book it does not sound easy or even fun at all, but I still very badly want to try it.

I knew nothing of crossfit so I enjoyed him explaining how it works, like with the WOD (workout of the day). I found it to be quite motivational. Madden was a lot older and not as fit as everyone else he worked out with, but I loved how he replayed his thought processes about not giving up. Your body can withstand a lot, it’s your mind that you have to convince.

This was a very fun, quick and easy read. If you need some motivational reading, you should probably check this out. While reading it I found myself relating and then when I finally finished all I wanted to do was go for some long sprints and lift some heavy ass weights.

I rated this book a 4/5 stars and recommend it to those of you who are fitness obsessed like myself!
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FRIDAY READS (#16)

Is it Friday already?
It’s been a weird week. Where I live, we’ve been getting some pretty nasty weather lately, so I feel like I barely went to school this week. Somehow, the week flew by and I barely even did anything. I would have liked to have gotten more reading done, but I spent some time visiting my mom and didn’t get the chance to pull out my book. This weekend we are supposed to be getting yet an other snow storm here, so I am planning on staying inside, where it’s nice and quiet and cozy, to get ahead on both my school work and my reading. I am currently reading three books:

20639274I started to read Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan earlier this month, but I haven’t continued on with it for quite a while because it’s on my cell phone. I always end up getting tired of reading on such a small screen. I haven’t really decided if I wanted to keep reading this one, or just forget about it. I’m not that far in, but I really did like what I read and do think that it has great potential. If you’ve read this by any chance, please let me know if it is worth it!

20613470I am finally on the third book in the Throne of Glass series, Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas. As of right now, I am only 35 pages in. I really loved the ending of the second book, so I can’t wait until the action picks up in this one! I really wanted to have finished all three of the Throne of Glass books in January because I received them as Christmas gifts, but will most likely carry this one on into February. I have it in hard cover and it looks pretty chunky!

20706757The last book that I picked up was You Can, You Will by Joel Osteen. I’ve never read anything like this before, but my mom loves the author and really wanted me to read this one. It’s in the christian/inspirational book genre and it’s under 200 pages, so I figured I would give it a shot. I could use some positive inspiration in my life.

See how random my book picks are? I went from new adult romance, to young adult fantasy, to adult christian… Yeah. I would definitely be happy to be able to get ahead in reading Heir of Fire this weekend. I am really loving the Throne of Glass series so far, and I heard that the books just keep getting better and better as the series progresses. Let me know what you’re weekend reading plans are and what you think about my book picks in the comments below!
maria

BOOK REVIEW: WRITTEN IN RED BY ANNE BISHOP

15711341Title: Written in Red
Author: Anne Bishop
Published: March 5th 2013 by NAL
433 pages
First in The Others series
Source: Purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

So many feels! Everything I want in a book! 

 Written in Red follows a young blood prophet named Meg and the Others. A blood prophet is a human being that is able to see the future when cut, while the Others are different beings such as vampires, elementals and shape shifters. In this world, the paranormal beings and the human beings co-exist. Meg is finally able to escape from the people who have held her captive for so long and is then hired as the Others human liaison to deal with their mail and deliveries.

Anne Bishop created so many wonderful characters in this story. Even the side characters were amazing and complex. I may have been a bit confused with the multiple point of views in the beginning, but by the end of the book I felt as if I knew every one of the characters personally.

Meg was a very interesting character to read about. Having spent most of her life held captive and controlled, she isn’t used to living in the real world. She is funny, very down to earth and innocent. She has no trouble making friends because everyone can’t help but love her.

Simon is another one of the main characters. He is part of the group of Others and is a wolf shapeshifter. His personality is more rough around the edges, but he means well. He is a true leader and protector. I can’t help but root for him and Meg. Fingers crossed that they get together eventually because I would absolutely LOVE them as a couple.

emmastone-thebestWritten in Red is the best adult urban fantasy book that I have read thus far. I loved it so much! I took my time with this over the holidays and enjoyed every second spent reading it because it was so freaking refreshing. I am a hardcore paranormal/urban fantasy lover, and this book blew me away with it’s originality and amazing characters. This is definitely going to have a place on my favorites shelf and I can’t wait to get my hands on book #2! I apologize for the babbling. It’s been a while since i’ve posted an actual review and I find it hard to express how much I loved this book! If you are a fan of urban fantasy, you won’t want to miss out on this one. Let me know if you have read it or would like to read it in the comments below! 5 out of 5 stars!

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