MALLORY’S NOVEMBER WRAP UP + DECEMBER TBR

Well I don’t feel like I read very much in November at all. I had a busy month and I switched jobs. My plan in December is to make more time for reading, especially since I’ll be getting quite a bit of time off for Christmas.

So on to the wrap up. I read a total of nine books this month.

1. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater ★★★
I found myself getting lost throughout this a lot. Definitely nowhere near as good as the first book.

2. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson ★★★★★
Probably my favorite book of the month. Loved loved loved it. We have already posted our discussion on this book and you can find that here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/book-discussion-the-kiss-of-deception-by-mary-e-pearson/

3. Redwall by Brian Jacques ★★★★
Loved this book. I have already posted my review and you can find that here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/book-review-redwall-by-brian-jacques/

4. This is Sarah by Ally Malinenko ★★★★
Maria and I received this from the author herself and we have already posted our review. Check that out here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/book-review-this-is-sarah-by-ally-malinenko/

5. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover ★★★★★
Adored this book. We have a discussion coming up for this one sometime next week so be sure to check that out.

6. The Lake of Souls by Darren Shan ★★★★★
The 10th book in the Saga of Darren Shan series. This series is so great. I have a full series review coming up within the next few days.

7. The Lord of Shadows by Darren Shan ★★★★★
The 11th book in the Saga of Darren Shan series. Just as good as the rest.

8. The Sons of Destiny by Darren Shan ★★★★★
The 12th and final book in the Saga of Darren Shan. Definitely not how I was expecting the series to end but loved it. I’m now sad that it is over. Be sure to checkout my series review within the next couple days.

9. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss ★★★★★
Obviously this deserves five stars. So adorable and now I want to watch the movie again!

Okay so for December I made quite a large TBR, as always. Depending on how much time I have I might switch things up but we will see as the month goes on how I feel.

1. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by various authors. This is our discussion book of the month.
2. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I’m currently reading this and it is my book clubs choice of the month.
3. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. Starting this one AS SOON as I finish my current read.
4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Carrying this over from November.
5. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I want to read this with my sister on Christmas Eve. She doesn’t know that yet though.
6. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. Have already read this before but The Grinch is my all time favorite Christmas story/movie.
7. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.
8. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World by Brian Lee O’Malley.
9. Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness by Brian Lee O’Malley.
10. A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer.
11. The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman.
12. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman.
13. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.
14. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi.
15. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins.
16. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
17. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.

So as you can see I have some super easy reads on there that shouldn’t take long at all. So I’m going to try and make my way through the TBR as much as I can. I always find myself slacking each December but we will see how this one goes.

How was your November? What are you planning on reading in December? Let me know in the comments.
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BOOK REVIEW: STORM SIREN BY MARY WEBER

18806259Title: Storm Siren
Author: Mary Weber
Published: 2014 by Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins
320 pages
First in the Storm Siren series
Source: Netgalley
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Storm Siren is about a seventeen-year-old slave girl named Nym, who has spent most of her life being tossed around from one owner to another, until she was purchased by Adora. Adora had wanted to use Nym only as a weapon to end war, knowing that she was born with a rare elemental ability.

Nym was a fantastic main character. She was a very sweet girl, despite the horrible things that she had done because of her power. As a reader, I loved being able to watch her grow into a confident young woman and learn more about her past. Also, I have to say that Nym’s power was totally interesting to me. Unlike most gifted characters that I read about, Nym’s elemental power was original and refreshing (…not going to give anything away!) Eogan is assigned as her trainer to help her learn to control her abilities, but he is also keeping a secret. I loved Eogans character  from the very beginning and couldn’t help but “root” for him and Nym to be together throughout the entire book.

I feel like the side characters aren’t getting half enough of the attention. In my opinion, Colin and his sister Breck brought a lot to this story. Breck was so cute and funny. She worked as a servant for Adora and was a true friend to Nym. I loved the way Breck talked on the audiobook, her accent always made me laugh and smile. Colin was always there for Nym. He was the sidekick/bestfriend/brotherly figure and never came between her relationship with Eogan (thank goodness).

I began reading Storm Siren as an audio book, but as the story progressed and pulled me in further, I had to switch to my eReader because the audiobook just wasn’t allowing me to get the information fast enough. The more I read, the more Storm Siren had reminded me of the Shatter Me series (in a good way of course!) Both Nym and Juliette were faced with a constant struggle. Both young girls had so much power, and no idea what to do with it. Both were forced to learn to control their abilities. What can I say, I love reading about people with awesome powers! Can’t get enough of it!

I believe that Storm Siren is an excellent novel to draw new readers into the YA fantasy genre. It is fascinating, but not overly complex, and it has magical powers (which I love!)

Storm Siren really surprised me and I can’t wait to see what else Mary Weber comes up with.

I rated Storm Siren 4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads. You should definitely check this one out!

Mallory’s thoughts:
Halfway through reading this I found out a lot of people did not want to give this book a chance as it was published by Thomas Nelson (Christian books). Mostly everyone thought it was going to be preachy, but I was shocked to find this was published by a Christian book company as I did not get that vibe from it all.

Nym should not exist. She is a seventeen year old elemental. Something that only boys can be born with and then they are killed immediately. She cannot control it and has been sold through over ten owners because of it. She catches the attention of a court advisor, Adora, who plans to train her and use her as a weapon, whether Nym wants to or not.

I was extremely intrigued after reading only a couple chapters of this. I absolutely love reading about elementals, and the fact that Nym should not even be living made it way more interesting. I loved that she was a slave girl thrown into a world of rich parties and politics. She has a kind heart and I felt myself rooting for her the entire time. I really liked getting to know each character but I mostly liked the interactions between Eogan and Nym. Nothing like a forbidden romance to spice things up. The only thing I wish is that there would have been more world building. I love being able to completely immerse myself in a world and this fell just short. Hopefully there will be a bit more of that in the next book. I did feel a bit lost through the second half of the book, but all in all I was very impressed.

I rated this a 3 out of 5.

A big thanks to Netgalley for this copy.

And make sure to check out Mary Weber. She is super awesome and interacts with her readers!
Website: mchristineweber.com
Twitter: @mchristineweber
Instagram: @maryweberauthor

WWW WEDNESDAY (#3)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should be Reading

To play along just answer the following three questions
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
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I am currently reading book eleven in the Saga of Darren Shan series by Darren Shan, Lord of the Shadows (click here to find it on Goodreads). I recently finished book ten, The Lake of Souls (click here to find it on Goodreads). And next I plan on picking up The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (click here to find it on Goodreads).

Let me know what you guys are reading.
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FRIDAY READS (#10)

Well I have switched jobs and now unfortunately I work Friday, Saturday and Sundays. So probably not much reading for me, but come Monday I will be getting lots done!

Right now I am almost finished with Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (click here to find it on Goodreads), and I am adoring it! Maria and I will be discussing this one with Marissa and Mackenzie! This is my second Colleen Hoover novel and now I can’t wait to read the rest of her books!

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I’m torn on what I should read next so maybe you guys should help me decide. I’m torn between Outlander by Diana Gabaldon or A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Vote in the comments to let me know which one I should read!

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Happy weekend reading!
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MALLORY’S OCTOBER WRAP UP + NOVEMBER TBR

Is it seriously November already? Where has this year gone? It’s so hard to believe our blog has already been up and running for four months now. It seriously does not feel like it has been that long at all.

In the month of October I ended up reading quite a few books. I’m really happy with how much I got done considering the busy month that I had.

So on to the books I finished this month. In total I read 14 books.

1. Soppy: A Love Story by Philippa Rice ★★★★★
Probably one of the cutest graphic novels I have ever read. Loved every little bit of this. Mine and Maria’s review  of this one will be up tomorrow.

2. The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer ★★★★★
My review has already been done and you can find that here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/book-review-the-enchantress-returns-by-chris-colfer/

3. When War Calls by Zy J. Rykoa ★★★
Both me and Maria have reviewed this and it can be found here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/book-review-when-war-calls-by-zy-j-rykoa/

4. The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty ★★★
I read this for book club and I already forget most of what happened. The story was interesting but not delivered as well as it could have been. I think the multiple perspectives threw me off a little too much.

5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman ★★★★★
Both me and Maria have review this and it can be found here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/book-review-the-graveyard-book-by-neil-gaiman/

6. The Merciless by Danielle Vega ★★★
Both me and Maria have review this and it can be found here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/book-review-the-merciless-by-danielle-vega/

7. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami ★★★★
This was my second Murakami novel and I am working on completing a full review. Hope to have it up in a couple weeks.

8. Chosen at Nightfall by C.C. Hunter ★★★
Maria and I finally finished this series and we might do a full series review, so be on the look out for that in the next couple weeks.

9. Storm Siren by Mary Weber ★★★
We received this book from Netgalley. Maria is going to try and read it this month and once she does we will have our full review up then.

10. Killers of the Dawn by Darren Shan ★★★★★
Still continues to be one of my favorite series. As soon as I finish the series I will do a complete series review.

11. The Death Cure by James Dashner ★★★★
I can’t believe this series has ended. Why oh why couldn’t it have been more than three books? Absolutely love this series and I think everyone should read it! I was scared that this last book wouldn’t live up to my expectations but I was happy with the outcome.

12. Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston ★★★★
Another book from Netgalley. I really enjoyed this one and I can’t wait for Maria to finish so we can put our review up!

13. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan ★★★
Nothing at all like I thought it was going to be. I felt very confused at times and the story was a little weird. Still a very interesting concept though.

14. Where She Went by Gayle Forman ★★★★★
I may have liked this better than If I Stay. Absolutely fantastic. Gayle Forman is definitely in my top favorite authors. She certainly has a way with words.

Now on to the books I plan to read in November. I made a very long list again.. oops. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish quite a few of these.

1. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. This is my book clubs choice of the month.
2. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. Time to see what all the fuss is about with this series.
3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This has been on my TBR so many times, I just want to read it already!
4. Stargazer by Claudia Gray. I read the first book so long ago, it’s finally time I get to more of the series.
5. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory. This is something I am just craving right now.
6. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I am currently reading this one.
7. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris. The fourth in the series, just wanting something fun.
8. Redwall by Brian Jacques. I own so many in this series it is time to finally start it.
9. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Bought this while I was on vacation in Victoria and I can’t wait to dive into this one!
10. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. I have sort of started this one before but am going to restart it.
11. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis.
12. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead.
13. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. Reading this with Maria.
14. Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. Reading this with Maria, Marissa and Mackenzie.
15. The Swallow by Charis Cotter.

I think there are a few more that I am missing, but I can’t seem to think of them right now.

So I’ve got a lot of reading I want to do this month. Better finish up this post and get to it!

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books or what you are planning on reading this month!
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