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

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BOOK REVIEW: THE MINE BY JOHN A. HELDT

19353394Title: The Mine
Author: John A. Heldt
Published: February 2012
290 pages
Source: Author
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
A story of time travel, family and love.

Joel Smith is a confident college senior who decides to take a trip with his best friend before graduation. Seeking adventure, Joel finds himself exploring an old Montana mine. However, when he exits the mine, things aren’t quite the same as they were when he’d entered. He soon learns that he is no longer in the year 2000, but in 1941. This travel through time leads to many wonderful relationships, one of them being with a much younger version of Joel’s grandmother. Joel has no trouble fitting into this time period as he befriends a wonderful family and friends. Of course, Joel can’t possibly stay in the past forever, he has a life of his own in the present, but he’s grown so attached to his new family and lifestyle that it is hard to imagine his life any other way.

I enjoyed this book immensely. The writing was extremely well done and the story pulled me in from the moment Joel discovered he was in 1941. I had predicted it to be about a mine and time travel, though I never imagined there to be a love story involved. The romance had caught me by surprise and had really pulled me into the story. Needless to say, Joel and Grace had my full attention.

Every character was complex and had an interesting backstory of their own. Joel was both intelligent and funny, he brought joy to many characters in this book. Known for seeking adventure and taking risks, Joel also had the heart of gold and genuinely cared for his new friends. Tom and his father accepted Joel right away, taking him into their home. Tom’s girlfriend, Ginny, and her group of friends were no exception. That’s how he meets Grace, and it isn’t not long after that that Joel begins to fall in love with her. The author did a remarkable job at bringing these loveable 40s characters to life.

It was extremely fascinating to read about a young boy meeting his grandmother in the past, when she was only 21 years old. I loved learning about her friends, her first love and her life before her children and grandchildren came along. The old 40s setting was very captivating and the mystery behind the time traveling mine was more than enough to keep readers interested. The entire time that I was reading, I wondered if what Joel was doing in 1941 would affect the future. Not once did I feel like I knew what was about to happen. The author kept me on my toes and in the end, I still didn’t know what choice Joel would make.

Mr. Heldt, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read about Joel’s journey. I assure you that your story will not be forgotten. It has given me the urge to pick up more time travel related novels and I would be happy to read your second book in the Northwest Passage series.Readers, if you are interested in getting into the science fiction/time travel genre and have a love for romance and great characters – this book is for you!

Mallory’s thoughts:
Joel Smith is thrown 60 years back in time after entering a mine as a strange planet alignment is occurring. From 2000 back to 1941 , Joel is left with no money (that he can use) and no place to stay. He parks himself on a bench to sleep for the night when he hears a fight going on. Coming to the rescue of a boy named Tom, who decides to take Joel home with him to his family. From there we follow Joel as he tries to make a life for himself in a time that is headed straight for war.

Time travel books can always be iffy for me, but I’m happy to report that I fell in love with this one. I’m going to start out by talking about the setting. I loved the feel of the book and how easily it shifted from modern time to the 1940’s. The detailing in the writing was done so well that visualizing was so extremely easy that I felt like I was watching a movie.

Moving on to characters. To put it simply: I fell in love with all of them. They each had a purpose and characteristics that stood out. They each felt like a friend that I took my time getting to know. Joel was one of my favorite main characters to read about. He was so genuinely selfless and thoughtful of everyone other than himself. He was very refreshing to read about. The Carters (Tom’s parents) gave the book such a great feel too. They brought Joel into their family and home even though they didn’t know him and yet they acted as true parents towards him. My heart melts when I read about characters like them.

The romance (as Maria said in her review) was quite a shock. I was not expecting it at all and yet it just clashed so well with the whole story. I loved Grace and Joel together as a couple and what they brought out of each other.

I am so happy we were contacted to review this book. It was the perfect start to my 2015 reading list. An easy 4.5/5 stars for me. And thank you so much to the author again for sending this our way!

WHAT WE GOT FOR CHRISTMAS

Maria:

I am so happy with what I received this Christmas from my loved ones and am very thankful. The last few years, I’ve had three Christmases. One at my moms house, one at my dads house and one with my boyfriends family. As crazy busy as it is, I love spending that special time with each of them. I’m not going to name every single thing that i’ve received as gifts, but I am going to list a few of my favorites for you guys 🙂

The first gift that I opened this year was before Christmas. My boyfriend bought me a bookshelf and wanted me to open it at our apartment instead of bringing it all the way home. I was so excited! I seriously asked him for a bookshelf for a year. With the shelf, he got me four books that I had on my wish list: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire and the Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas and Captivated by You by Sylvia Day. It was really fun putting the bookshelf together and setting up all of my pretty books with my love.

I went to visit my mom first this year. My main gifts from her were a Keurig and a rice cooker. I was so excited when I opened them on Christmas morning and have been addicted to making coffee and cappuccinos ever since.

My dad earned some golden stars when he got me a Sephora gift card for Christmas. I don’t know how he got that idea, but I loved it! As soon as I got back to the city I went makeup shopping.
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Mallory:
I got unbelievably spoiled this year from my family and boyfriend. My parents are Christmas crazy and they go all out to make sure we have an amazing year every time.

From my sisters and brothers I got a huge goodie bag of East Coast Lifestyle swag. Hats, socks, a sweater, tank tops, shirts, stickers, a bracelet. It was crazy! But I love it. Gotta love representing the East Coast! From my little sister I also got the CUTEST crazy cat lady journal. It’s hilarious but its adorable and I am in love with it.

From my mom I got some new fitness clothes, a gym bag, some pjs, and two new rings. She got me a white gold chevron ring which is absolutely stunning, as well as my birthstone (which is blue topaz) in a white gold setting. So grateful.

From my dad I got an iPad mini! Was not expecting it at all and I was shocked. Along with that he got me a beautiful Kate Spade cover for it. He also gave me some visa gift cards as well as a Chapters gift card.

From my boyfriend I got a new Fossil purse. It it gorgeous and exactly the one that I wanted. He also got me a  6-pack meal prep lunch bag but it was almost bigger than me so I am going to try and find the three meal bag instead. And to top it off he gave me gift cards to Lululemon and Nike.

I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas. I am going to school at the end of January for personal training and a lot of these things are going to be great for school!

In no way was this a way to brag about what we received. Honestly we are nosey and love to know what others got for Christmas so we thought you might like to know too!
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2014 STATS

This post is a recap of our reading and blogging year, inspired by THIS post by odetojoandkatniss. We are really happy with what we have accomplished and are super thankful for the support of our followers. Keep in mind that we just started our book blog in July of 2014! These posts are great to look back on in the future. Let us know how your reading/blogging year was in the comments below! Home-Sale-Stats

MARIA’S READING STATS
Final reading count of 2014: 92
Page count: 33247

Genres:
Young adult fiction: 70 books
Adult fiction: 10 books
New adult fiction: 5 books

Ratings:
5 stars: 39 books
4 stars: 40 books
3 stars: 12 books

2 stars: 1 book

Most anticipated releases of 2015:
Confess by Colleen Hoover
Never Never by Colleen Hoover
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop
The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E Pearson
Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5) by Marissa Meyer

Top 3 books read in 2014:
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Top 3 series read in 2014:
The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
The Divergent series by Veronica Roth
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin

MALLORY’S READING STATS
Final reading count of 2014: 138
Page count: 45932Ratings:
5 star: 47 books
4 stars: 60 books
3 stars: 29 books
2 stars: 2 books

Most anticipated books of 2015:
The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Top 3 books read in 2014:
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Top 3 series read in 2014:
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan
The Maze Runner by James Dashner


READSBYMANDM BLOG STATS
Total posts: 118
Total views: 2,015
Total visitors: 1,069
Total likes: 141
Total comments: 69
Total followers: 79 amazing followers
Busiest day of 2014: October 9th with 78 views.
Posts that got the most views:

WINTER WONDERLAND BOOK TAG

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1. What book is so happy and sweet that it warms your heart?

Maria: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
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Mallory: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

2. What is your favorite book with a white cover?

Maria: I really love the UK Throne of Glass covers by Sarah J Maas
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Mallory: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion!

3. You’re sitting in a nice comfy chair, wearing a onesie, with a lovely warm hot chocolate but what MONSTER read are you reading? 

Maria: I love doing this, it’s the best kind of night ever. One of my favorite chunky books is the Host by Stephanie Meyer. I devoured that book.

Mallory: Probably one of the books from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin!

4. It started snowing so you decided to have a snowball fight! What fictional character would you love to have the snowball fight with?

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Maria: Katy from the Lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout.

Mallory: Fred and George Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

5. Sadly, your fire is beginning to go out. So what book would you tear the last few chapters out to throw into the fire?

Maria: This is a hard one! There is one particular part in the ending of the Retribution of Mara Dyer that I wouldn’t mind tearing out if I had to. I still loved the book, but I believe that something could have been left out.

Mallory: I could probably throw in Trouble by Samantha Towle. Not just the last few chapters, the whole thing.

6. What book is so close to your heart that you would gift to someone this Christmas who hasn’t read before but wants to get into reading?

Maria: If this person is around my age, I would love to give one of Colleen Hoover’s books.

Mallory: Well the Twilight series is what really got me into reading, maybe that. I feel like people now would be less likely to enjoy it as when the series first came out.

NAUGHTY OR NICE?

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Continuing on with our holiday themed post, here we bring you some of our favorite nice boys as well as our favorite naughty boys. Let us know in the comments who would make your nice and naughty lists!

Boys on Maria’s nice list:
Noah Shaw – Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin
Liam – Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken
Miles – Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Augustus – The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Boys on Maria’s naughty list:Warren – Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover
Adrian – Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead
Gideon – Crossfire series by Sylvia Day
Warren – Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Boys on Mallory’s nice list:
Etienne St. Clair – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Kishan Rajaram – Tigers Saga series by Colleen Houck
R – Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
North Drummond – It’s a Yuletide Miracle Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins (story from My True Love Gave to Me)

Boys on Mallory’s naughty list:
Daemon Black – Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Eric Northman – The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
Kaden – The Remnant Chronicles series by Mary E. Pearson
Mike Montgomery – Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard

FAVORITE COVERS: GREEN

Hello friends! Today we have some of our favorite green book covers to show you to help put you in the Christmas spirit. The month of December is going by so fast and soon Christmas will be here!

10836122_10152847933595465_1434314580_nMaria’s favorite green covers are:

Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson
Since you’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson


Mallory’s favorite green covers are:image

Oppression by Jessica Therrien
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
How to Love by Katie Contugno
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout