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

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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

BOOK REVIEW : ON DUBLIN STREET BY SAMANTHA YOUNG

Title: On Dublin Street
Author: Samantha Young
Published: August 31st 2012
322 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

Jocelyn/Joss moves to Scotland after finishing her studies, to make a new life for herself. Ever since her parents and younger sister died in a car crash years earlier, she’s been doing her best at avoiding dealing with this trauma and keeping her emotions in check. She ends up moving into a flat on Dublin Street with a girl named Ellie. Ellie and Joss hit it off, becoming fast friends. Not long after, Joss meets Ellie’s wealthy and very attractive brother, Braden. That, my friends, is where the story takes off.

Jocelyn feels attracted to Braden since their very first encounter in a taxi. Braden wants Jocelyn. Jocelyn has long sworn off relationships, not wanting to let anyone in. It takes a guy like Braden to break her walls down. I ADORED THIS. ADORED!

I read this book in one sitting. On Dublin Street had me so invested so fast. It took me on such an emotional roller coaster. So much happened in only 325 pages. SO MANY FREAKING FEELS. I feel deeply for Braden, Joss and Ellie. These three characters are rough and real. Now that it’s over, I just want more.

Does that sound like rambling to you? How many times can I say SO in one single book review? I’m sorry, but I just barely put this book down and just HAD TO share my thoughts and spread the love. I don’t want to give too much away, as I went into this book blind. If you’re even a tiny bit interested in the new adult genre, and you’re looking for a steamy read with an extremely good storyline – you MUST read this book. I can’t wait to try some more of Samantha Young’s work. 5 out of 5 stars, clearly…
maria

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

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

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

BOOK REVIEW: UGLY LOVE BY COLLEEN HOOVER

17788401Title: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover Published: Published August 5th 2014 by Atria Books 337 pages
Source: Purchased
Click here to find it on GoodreadsValentines day is coming up ladies – I recommend you pick this one up!

Maria’s thoughts: Beware, rambling ahead. The story is told in alternating chapters. One being Tates point of view in the present and the other being Miles point of view in the past, six years earlier. As the story progresses, we learn why Miles behaves the way he does and what happened to him that caused him so much hurt. I appreciated seeing the past through Miles eyes as it helped me connect more to his character and fill in the blanks. It was refreshing to read about him when he was so young and so in love, but also painful.

I loved each and every one of the characters in Ugly Love.

I loved Tate. She was a responsable twenty three year old with a great future ahead of her. She respected her brother, even though his overprotectiveness could become a bit overwhelming at times. Her feelings were so relatable and very real. All she wanted was to be loved. And she ended up falling very hard for her neighbour across the hall…

I loved her brother Colin. I really liked that he was the protective older brother type and that he was so close to his sister. It’s nice to read about a good relationship between siblings every once in a while. The more the relationship between Tate and Miles became serious, the more scared I was of what Colin would do when he would finally find out about them. No guy was ever good enough for Tate in his eyes and the fact that they were doing it behind his back… Not good. Plus, every time she snuck into miles apartment, it described how loud she was being and I was like shut up shut up shut up YOUR BROTHER IS GOING TO HEAR YOU WOMAN.

I LOVED Miles.
I fell in love with this character SO EARLY ON. He had my attention from the very beginning of the story. I could totally relate with Tate because I don’t see how you could not fall in love with this guy. His career is important to him, he values relationships so much that he refuses to love again (6 YEARS with no sex guys. WHAT even is he), he is a good friend to Colin… I loved the way Colleen Hoover describes his appearance (his scar, his smile). I loved the way he was slowly falling head over heals in love with Tate and would always be trying to sneak her away from her brother. Miles was nice and caring towards her, despite his effort not to become attached to her. He his share of issues and flaws, but I couldn’t help but love him anyway. I’m sure tate felt the same way. I FELT FOR HIM SO MUCH.

I loved CAP. Oh my, this old man brought so much to the story. He was such a good friend to Tate. She could open up to him and trust him with her secrets. He understood her and could always cheer her up. He never failed at making her laugh with the jokes he’s learned over the years.

I am in love with the writing style. The characters are so real. The descriptions are so fitting. Every thought and detail that went into the work of this brilliant new adult romance was well worth it. EVERY KISS was written PERFECTLY. Nothing felt repetitive, or “too much”. I wish I could write like Colleen Hoover.

“A kiss is so much easier than what we’re doing. When you kiss, you can close your eyes. You can kiss away the thoughts. You can kiss away the pain, the doubt, the shame. When you close your eyes and kiss, you protect yourself from the vulnerability.”

This book was exactly what I needed. I’ve been waiting for a NA novel to WOW me. This was a true love story, even if it was an ugly one. I really am beginning to worship the ground that Colleen Hoover walks on. I now feel the need to go out and purchase everything she has ever written.

Because of the connection I felt with the characters, I loved this book even more than Maybe Someday. Her novels just keep getting better. Seriously. Pick this one up! I think it’s pretty obvious that I rated this 5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.

I read this book along with Mallory, Marissa and Mackenzie.
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OUR BOOK DISCUSSION