MALLORY’S SEPTEMBER WRAP UP + OCTOBER TBR

images
I’m having a hard time believing it is my favorite time of year already. Where has this year gone? October is my absolute favorite, with the beautiful colors, the gorgeous weather, the yummy pumpkin treats and Halloween, what’s not to love?

September was probably my worst month of reading so far this year. I only ended up reading eight books when I usually try to get in the double digits. So here are the books I read in September.

1. Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★
Not my favorite of the series but I am still loving every minute of these books. I will be very sad for the series to end. I am waiting to finish this series to do a full series review.

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness ★★★★★
Absolutely adored this book. Do not be fooled by the plot, this one has some pretty heavy content in it. Full review to come this month.

3. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins ★★★★★
An absolute fabulous way to end out the series. I will forever love Stephanie Perkins and I hope she starts working on new books right away. Can’t get enough of her writing.

4. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica ★★★★
My book clubs choice for the month. I was very intrigued with this one and was blown away by the ending. A great thriller thrown in between the contemporary I was reading.

5. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp ★★★★
Not what I was expecting at all but still enjoyable. We did a group discussion on this one and you can find our thoughts here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/book-discussion-the-spectacular-now-by-tim-tharp/

6. Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter ★★★
One of my monthly reads with Maria. We are still making our way through this series and we will have a full review of this one to come.

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry ★★★★
Another one of my reads with Maria. We have already reviewed this one and you can find that right here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/book-review-the-giver-by-lois-lowry/

8. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman ★★★
Definitely not what I was expecting. As a dragon lover I had a hard time learning to love these dragons. But I have a full review of this one coming up next week and will let you know more of my thoughts then.

PumpkinCollage

I’ve got a lot on my plate for October. We have received quite a few books for review, Maria and I have a ton of books to read together and I have lots of Halloween and horror posts planned for this month. So I’m going to try and not let myself get overwhelmed with all that. So here are the books I plan to read in October.

1. The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer. Currently reading this one and am halfway through.
2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Reading with Maria.
3. The Merciless by Danielle Vega. Reading with Maria.
4. Chosen at Nightfall by C.C. Hunter. Reading with Maria.
5. Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. Reading with Maria, Marissa and Mackenzie.
6. Storm Siren by Mary Weber. Received from Netgalley and will be reviewing with Maria.
7. The Swallow by Charis Cotter. Received from Netgalley and will be reviewing with Maria.
8. When War Calls by Zy J. Rykoa. Making my way through this one and will be reviewing with Maria.
9. Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston. Received from Netgalley and will be reviewing with Maria.
10. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. My book clubs choice of the month.
11. Horns by Joe Hill. Was on my list last month but didn’t have time to get to it.

As you can see the two of us will have our hands full this month. But you can expect our blog to be very busy this month.

Hope you all have a great month of reading!

Mallory

Advertisements

TOP TEN TUESDAY (#1)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read.

toptentuesday

1. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. I think this is a book you definitely have to be in a certain mood for and I was not in that mood at the time. I will try again but I’m in no rush.
Click here to find it on Goodreads
9591398

2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. I think the hype really played a role in why I didn’t like reading this one. I made it about 20% of the way through and had to give up. I never really had a reason why I didn’t like this one but my guess is that I was reading it in the peak of the hype.
Click here to find it on Goodreads
11594257

3. The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti. I bought this a few years back at Chapters because it was only a couple of dollars and I finally just got to it because I chose it out of my TBR jar. I didn’t really like the writing style and found the characters dull and annoying so I put it down after about 70 pages.
Click here to find it on Goodreads
4031193

4. No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale. It still boggles my mind that I wasn’t able to finish this one. This book seems right up my alley yet I dragged through. I then had to return it to the library so I think I will definitely give this one another go.
Click here to find it on Goodreads
18052934

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Nothing against this one but I always get distracted by other books. But I am determined to finish this one!
Click here to find it on Goodreads
1885

6. Trouble by Samantha Towle. This was one of my book clubs choices a couple months back and I DESPISED this book. I ranted about this book so bad and I will probably never check out anything else she writes.
Click here to find it on Goodreads
17257484

7. The Passage by Justin Cronin. I really wanted to like this book. But it dragged on and on and on. I didn’t care for the story or for the characters and had it not been for the audiobook I would not have finished this one.
Click here to find it on Goodreads
6690798

8. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I do not like The Hunger Games. Out of the series the first book was the only one that I somewhat liked. But obviously I felt the need to finish the series. Throughout this book I had no idea what the hell was going on. I kept getting very confused and thought it was just a terrible way to finish off the series.
Click here to find it on Goodreads
7260188

9. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Just repetitive and annoying. Hated all the characters.
Click here to find it on Goodreads
10818853

10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. Hard for me to read because I didn’t want it to end. I still envy the people who get to read the Harry Potter series for the first time.
Click here to find it on Goodreads
136251

What do you think of my choices? Let me know in the comments.

Mallory

BOOK REVIEW: THE GIVER BY LOIS LOWRY

3636Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Published: 1993 by Ember
179 pages
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Jonas is an eleven year old boy who was brought up in a very interesting society where there was no such thing as war, where everything and everyone was equal. Sameness is the word that Jonas had used throughout the novel. On his twelfth birthday, Jonas would be assigned a job in the community. Jonas gets assigned a very special job, unlike any other. He would become the new Receiver of Memories. Without knowing exactly what this meant, Jonas meets with the Giver as instructed and learns the truth about how the world has become so perfect. No one else, except for the Giver, has any memory of the way things were before the Sameness. No memory of love, no memory of war, no memory of color… Jonas begins to receive these memories, some good and some painful, as he discovers the truth behind the Sameness.

Jonas was a great character to read about, always putting other people first. He was smart and very caring. I felt for Jonas as he learned the harsh truth behind the jobs done by his family and friends.

This is definitely a story that will make you think. As an education student, I can see why this is a very popular book to read in school. It had me questioning the world that we live in today, and I’m sure younger people would be able relate to Jonas more than I could. It would be interesting to hear different opinions from young readers. I think that Lois Lowry is a genius for coming up with this dystopian world and inspiring so many authors of today.

I rated The Giver 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Mallory’s thoughts:
Jonas lives in a perfectly controlled society. There is no fear, no war, no pain. Everyone has a job and everything runs smoothly. Each family consists of a dad, a mom and two children. At every age the children have ceremonies and the Ceremony of 12 is when the children finally receive the roles they will have in the community. Every child gets called up and presented with their role, except for Jonas. He is passed over. Jonas has been selected for a very special position. The Receiver. He is to meet with a man who he calls the Giver and receive all of his memories, and with those memories comes the truth.

This is known as one of the original dystopian stories that has influenced a lot of authors today. It is a very short novel but I am finding it very difficult to review this book as I still don’t seem to have my thoughts in order for this one.

I’m going to start out with the world building. Lowry does a great job of painting a picture of a futuristic world and it feels like you are thrown into it. It is a world where nothing goes wrong. Every aspect of the community and it’s inhabitants is controlled. Babies are given to families, you start taking pills once you start having ‘suggestive’ dreams, you may only ride bikes at a certain age and you are placed into a job that they see you fit for. This is how they live and do not question it until Jonas becomes the Receiver. He gets the memories of the time before everything was controlled and he also gets a look at the ugly and horrifying society they are living in.

I loved Jonas as the main character. He was very interesting to read about. For a twelve year old he was so brave and considerate. There are multiple times throughout the book where he puts others before himself. I’m sad that he won’t be in the sequel.

Lowry’s writing was fabulous. The ending leaves off on a cliffhanger that we know if not getting picked up in the second book since it’s about different characters. But it really lets you use your imagination to figure out what happened to the characters.

I will definitely be checking out the rest of this series.

And I cannot wait to check out the movie adaptation. You can watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxFJvlWqphM

4/5 star rating.

FRIDAY READS (#6)

Finally a weekend that I don’t have to work on a Saturday! But unfortunately I have a wedding to go to, so I’m going to be a little busy. But I do plan on making some very much needed reading time.

This weekend I will be reading Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. Right now I’m about 22% of the way through and I’m not loving it so far but I am really hoping it picks up!

Click here to find it on Goodreads
19549841

I’ve got a couple of posts coming up this weekend so be on the look out for those!

Let me know what you are reading this weekend in the comments!
🙂

Mallory

BOOK REVIEW: BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP BY S.J. WATSON

9736930Title: Before I Go to Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Published: 2011 by Harper
359 pages
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Christine wakes up every morning confused, not knowing where or who she is until seeing pictures of herself taped onto the bathroom mirror. Not even recognizing her own husband, Christine must be told, day after day, that she has a severe case of amnesia and will forget everything the moment she falls into a deep sleep. She has no choice but to rely on the husband that seems like a stranger to her, because she has no one else – that is until she starts seeing Dr. Nash.

Dr. Nash wants nothing more than to help Christine remember her past so she can begin living a happier life. He truly believes that writing in a journal on a daily basis may help trigger her memories. Christine decides to give this method a try – desperately wanting remember what had happened to her. The more Christine writes in her journal, which she keeps hidden away for only her to see, the more she questions if the story her husband is telling her is the truth.

Christine was a wonderful character to read about. She was very determined and strong. I kept putting myself in her shoes while reading and I don’t know how she did it. Throughout this journey, with many bumps along the road, Christine does not give up. She is also extremely smart. I enjoy reading about characters who put pieces together all on their own. Despite what people are telling Christine – there is really no way for her to know if they are telling the truth. She is brave, facing her fears and visiting the places of her past, no matter how frightening, and doing everything she can to remember who she is and what had happened to her.

S.J Watson has a very addicting and thrilling writing style. I had to keep reading. I could not let myself put this book down until finally finding out what really happened to our main character Christine. This book kept me on edge and guessing the entire time. I also really enjoyed that this story allowed us to read what was written in Christine’s journal. The journal entries added much more to the story and made it seem much more realistic.

I honestly had my doubts before picking this one up. I thought it might be boring because I typically read YA books, and I thought it would be repetitive because Christine has to be told who she is every single day. I WAS WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Far from being dull, this book was MYSTERIOUS, HAUNTING, SUSPENSEFUL and ADDICTING. I read this in one single night, staying up quite a bit later than usual (I also had a hard time falling asleep after finishing because I was mind blown after reading the ending.)

I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars. It has earned its rightful place on my favorite’s shelf, so I would DEFINITELY recommend this to mature teenagers and adults. Oh my goodness. Just read this book.

And one more thing… Be careful who you trust.

Mallory’s thoughts:
Morning after morning, Christine wakes up into the life of a woman she doesn’t know. Each morning she wakes up next to a strange man that she doesn’t recognize, only to find out that it is her husband, Ben. Over and over again he explains to Christine that she has amnesia and cannot remember anything after she falls asleep. He tells her to go into the bathroom where he has pictures taped to the mirror for her. She finally settles down for the day and Ben leaves for work..and then Dr. Nash calls. He tells her that they have been seeing each other and working on Christine’s memory. He also tells her that she has been keeping a secret journal that is hidden away in her closet. Day after day Christine reads through her previous days until little by little she starts to remember what happened to her.

One of the most interesting concepts I’ve read about all year. It was so interesting being inside Christine’s head and really feeling what she is going through. She was an amazingly strong character to read about and had me rooting for her the entire time. I now consider myself very lucky that I can wake up and remember my days.

I loved that a lot of this book is told from Christine’s journal, it gives such a great effect. I was a little scared because Christine reads the same thing over and over each day and I thought that would become repetitively annoying and boring, but it was so well done that it didn’t seem that way at all.

As a debut novel I am extremely impressed with Watson’s writing. He has a new book coming out next year and I will not hesitate checking it out.

There is also a movie coming out starring Colin Firth (swoon) and Nicole Kidman. The trailer looks great and I can’t wait to watch it! You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtSzAEvBIK0

I recommend this book to everyone! Please don’t hesitate checking it out because you mainly read young adult or other certain genres. This is a book that will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

A 4/5 star rating from me.

BOOK REVIEW: TAKEN AT DUSK BY C.C. HUNTER

12866426Title: Taken at Dusk
Author: C.C. Hunter
Published: 2012 by St. Martin’s Press
380 pages
Third in the Shadow Falls series
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Throughout this novel, Kylie continues to try to find out what she really is. People keep suggesting different paranormal creatures (werewolf, shapeshifter, healer…), but Kylie has been showing signs of not one, but many paranormal characteristics. Bits and pieces are being put together when Kylie meets with her birth father and other family members. The majority of the novel was based on this – and it isn’t until the very end of the book when we come across a major clue in finding out what Kylie truly is. The ending leaves readers with many unanswered questions.

The friendship between Kylie and her roommates never fails to amuse me. Della and Miranda are funny characters that add a lot of ‘fun’ to the story. I`ve also always loved Holiday. From the very beginning of this series, I’ve admired Holiday’s motherly character.

I must admit, Kylie annoys me at times. But that doesn’t stop me from being curious and excited to find out more about what she is. I really love reading about the ghosts. In fact, my favorite part of Taken at Dusk would have to be when Kylie visits the graveyard. The ghosts are so interesting to me, and the whole time I am thinking HELP THEM KYLIE.

When it comes to Kylie’s troubles regarding her parents, I can relate to that. I also enjoy reading about her relationship with her mom and her old friends from back home. It would be kind of stupid if she just dropped all of that the second she went to Shadow Falls – so I do appreciate the fact that it is still being talked about in book three.

Derek wasn’t in this book as much, and the whole ‘Lucas vs. Derek’ thing is starting to get old. I’m sorry. I LOVED the love triangle in the first book, but for some reason it just isn’t DOING IT for me anymore. Maybe if I felt more for the characters…

I honestly am not super attached to the characters in the Shadow Falls series. The books are good. Entertaining. Fun. Easy reads. But they aren’t AMAZING in my opinion. I also want to mention that this book got a lot more interesting towards the end.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Mallory’s thoughts:
Three books into the series and I am still not entirely hooked.

I had a few problems through this book, mostly with Kylie. I find her to be quite a baby and very dependent on the other characters. I love a good, strong female as a main character and she doesn’t fit it for me. It broke my heart and made me so angry that she kept ignoring Sarah, her best friend from back home, not a very good best friend in my eyes. And she was way too lenient with Derek throughout the book, because honestly NO girl forgives anyone that easily.

My favorite character is still hands down Miranda. She is so cute and absolutely hilarious, especially when she turned Burnett into a kangaroo. She always makes me laugh with her magic. I love Della too, and that phone call between Kylie and Sarah where she called Della a bitch was another scene that had me laughing out loud. Kylie is very lucky to have those girls as friends.

And now this love triangle. Is it ever going to end? Three books and she is still juggling the same guys? Hurry up and make your decision! *cough* team Lucas all the way… *cough*.

I find Hunter’s writing quite bland. I don’t find it exciting nor thought provoking. There were a few twists I didn’t see coming (one death in particular had me quite shocked) but I’m still waiting to be blown away. I’m very happy we finally found out what Kylie is because that was being dragged on just a little too much for my liking.

In the beginning of the book there is a disappearance of an older couple and then that problem is not addressed until a lot later on in the book. The book seems to jump around between topics instead of focusing on one main point, which makes it seem like there are holes in the plot.

This series feels very preteen with a few swears in there for the older audience. This book got more interesting towards the end, but book four better start off with a bang.

I gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

SERIES REVIEW: JURASSIC PARK BY MICHAEL CRICHTON

76778650
First book information 
Title: Jurassic Park
Author: Michael Crichton
Published: 1990 by Alfred A. Knopf
480 pages
Click here to find it on Goodreads
Second book information
Title: The Lost World
Author: Michael Crichton
Published: 1995 by Alfred A. Knopf
448 pages
Click here to find it on Goodreads

I have definitely been on a dinosaur kick lately and there sure aren’t that many dinosaur books to choose from. I’m sure everyone knows by now what these books are about. The creators of Jurassic Park have taken DNA from mosquitoes remains inside of fossils and have cloned it and made real dinosaurs. Which sounds freaking awesome, but of course it doesn’t take long for something to go wrong.

This was one of my favourite childhood movies and I’m not too sure why it took me so long to get around to this series. I’m not going to lie, I had low expectations for this series and I was quite pleasantly surprised by it. Crichton puts a lot of scientific detail into the books, especially the parts about the dinosaur DNA and the building of the park. I thought that all the science parts would be boring but I quite liked it. The plot and characters fall pretty close to the movie but a few extra scenes are added here and there. I did have a problem with Lex’s character. She was so great in the movie but in the first book she was just a whiney and miserable girl. Other than that the first book was fabulous and thrilling. The second book was a little more of a let down for me. The first 200 pages or so were so slow that I wanted to keep putting the book down. The second half was more action packed but I still did end up docking a couple stars. This is a great science fiction thriller series and overall I gave it a 3.5/5 stars.

Now of course after reading these I had to go check out some dinosaurs for myself
2014-09-01 13.35.30 2014-09-01 13.41.36 2014-09-01 14.18.20 2014-09-01 14.26.14 2014-09-01 14.37.04 2014-09-01 14.50.39
I had a fabulous time at Jurassic Forest. My younger self’s dream come true! It was rainy but it definitely didn’t dampen my spirits.

Mallory