My First Giveaway!!!

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Have you ever wanted to win books? How about signed copies of books? Or signed book marks? Or free tattoos? Well, it’s a good thing you’re here because I have the perfect giveaway for you. The Ultimate YA Giveaway is now live!

I wanted to make a video because I’m super excited about this but unfortunately it’s pretty late and I promised I would post this tonight and I’m a woman of my word. A video may still come later so look at for that. Until then here’s the details of the giveaway.

Here’s what you would win:

  • A signed copy of Something True by Kieran Scott with a Only Everything bookmark and post card
  • A copy of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • A copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • A copy of Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  • Three The Lonely Hearts Club buttons
  • Five signed book marks by Maria V. Snyder (author of the Magic Study trilogy, the Healer series, and so many author amazing books)
  • A signed bookmark by Katie Sise
  • A Penryn and the End of Days book mark plus  Angelfall and World After tattoos

And that’s it (but isn’t that so much???). The way to enter is down below and the contest will end next Sunday. After that I’ll send the lucky winner their prize. Good luck to you all and may the odds be ever in your favor!

I also want to thank Kieran Scott, Maria V. Snyder, Elizabeth Eulberg, Katie Sise, and Susan Ee for their wonderful contributions to this giveaway. I wouldn’t be able to do this without them so if you haven’t checked out their books yet do yourself a favor and check them out. They’re great authors and also great people.

Click here to win books!

Unfortunately the widget for the giveaway won’t appear here in the blog post so click the link to enter! Working on getting this fixed. Sorry about that.

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Book Review: Allegiant

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*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2015 Reading Challenge*

Synopsis from Amazon:

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

I went into this novel with very low expectations because almost everyone I know didn’t like this book. That being said I actually didn’t hate it. I understand why people were upset about the ending but I just didn’t hate it. That being said I still wasn’t a big fan.

As many scenes as there were that made me smile the book just seemed so thrown together. I tried to understand Veronica Roth’s plans and intent for the novel but honestly it seemed like she didn’t know how the series was going to end before hand so when the time came to end it she threw something together.

If you haven’t read the first two Divergent books beware because here comes some spoilers.

Insurgent ended with the ultra secret video finally being released, showing one of Tris’ ancestors explaining how it was the Divergent’s job to live Chicago and do their job or something like that. It was pretty vague to be honest. Either way this turns out not to even be the whole truth so it doesn’t really even matter what the video said.

What I really didn’t like about Allegiant was Roth’s explanation for everything. The way she explained why there were factions and the purpose of the Divergent just seemed so ridiculous. I was so mad. All of this violence and people dying just for this? Really? It was nonsense.

Besides that lackluster reveal there were parts of the book I truly did enjoy. Tobias and Tris’ relationship being one of them (and that’s all I’ll say about it – no spoilers!). Despite what a lot of people said I thought the ending was fitting and I appreciated the realness of it and the message Roth was putting forward. Do I think she could’ve gave the same message differently? Sure. Did I hate the ending? No.

All in all, not my favorite book but not too bad.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Not a book I’d reread.

Favorite Line: 

I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.

Stars:
3 stars

Other Reviews

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POLL: Who’s The Best Dystopian Heroine?

Dystopian Heroine

Dystopian’s are widely popular right now. Between The Hunger Games and Divergent, dystopias have left book form and moved to the big screen. Of course, a lot of these dystopians start to run together and some could even argue they’re all the same. Even so, that doesn’t stop people from having their favorite characters. So are you more a Katniss or Tris? Choose you’re favorite dystopian heroine and see if yours comes out on top. (Note: This poll only includes the main heroines of these novels. It’d be too big of a list if I included every heroine from every dystopian novel but that’ll be another poll, don’t worry.)

Book Review: Insurgent

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*This book is part of my Dystopia Book Challenge*

Synopsis from Amazon:

Now includes an excerpt from the upcoming Four: A Divergent Collection.

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful.

Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

If you thought Divergent was good, you’ll be blown away by it’s sequel.

Insurgent begins right where Divergent left off with Tris, Tobias, Peter, Marcus, and Caleb arriving in the Amity camp looking for refuge. Although the Amity is willing to help them there’s some conditions: they can’t fight with anyone and the Amity will remain neutral in the conflict between Erudite and every other faction.

Obviously for three on edge Dauntless refugees keeping the peace is easier said than done. I won’t go into anymore detail in an attempt to keep this review spoiler free but Tris and Tobias are forced to confront their own fears and multiple obstacles throughout this book.

Tris is still recovering from killing Will and is having a heard time dealing with her guilt and grief and Tobias has been keeping way more secrets than just his true name. These two struggle with being honest with each other and it puts major dents in their relationship. They just could not keep it together. They were very up and down the whole book but I enjoyed every second of it.

Besides their relationship drama this book was filled with betrayals, surprises, plot twists, great fight scenes, and finally a fantastic cliff hanger. Thanks for putting me on an emotional roller coaster Veronica Roth. I really appreciate it.

Honestly what I loved most about this book, especially, was after reading so many dystopias this book was still a little on the depressing side but was also so packed with action, romance, and funny quips that I really liked it and didn’t feel like curling into a ball and crying when it ended. Actually, I did want to curl up in a ball and cry when I finished it because I realized I was number 60 on the wait list for Allegiant and I’m very impatient.

Overall, definitely a must read. I greatly enjoyed Insurgent even more than Divergent and I’m very anxious to learn what happens next and how this will all end.

Favorite Line:

I am his, and he is mine, and it has been that way all along.

Stars: 5 out of 5. I really enjoyed this book. I don’t remember how long it took me to finish exactly but I know it wasn’t long because I couldn’t put it down. This was one of those books where I caught myself smiling at it on the Subway and quickly changed my face so people wouldn’t think I was crazy.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. I don’t think I would actually sit down and read this WHOLE book over again but there’s definitely some scenes that I just need to read 100 more times before I can truly be satisfied.

Other Reviews

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Book Review: Divergent

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Finally after being on the waitlist at my library (twice!) I finally got and read Divergent and yes it’s as awesome as everyone says.

Not wanting to see the film before reading the book I had to get my hands on the book that is apparently a phenomenon. I resisted at first because it just seemed like another Hunger Games and as much I loved that trilogy I didn’t want to read the same thing all over again.

Although there are obvious correlations between the two dystopian novels Divergent was, well divergent. The main character Beatrice (who later goes by Tris) is born into the Abnegation faction of her dystopian world. There are five factions and Abnegation is the selfless one, which is as boring as it sounds. Tris can only look in her mirror on special occasions and has to wear plain clothes so she doesn’t bring attention to herself. And that’s only scratching the surface of what being in Abnegation means. Not that they’re all bad just that I personally wouldn’t pick that faction.

When Tris takes her aptitude test to help her choose her faction she is told that she is divergent meaning she doesn’t fit perfectly into one faction but instead could belong to three different ones.

In our day being divergent would be just fine but during Tris’ time it’s really dangerous (not that Tris has any idea why but she figures it out). Tris then chooses to join the Dauntless (fearless) faction where she’s put to the test, both physically and mentally.

Of course there’s a love interest. His (nick)name is Four and I personally love him and thanks to the movie I only pictured him in my mind as the handsome Theo James.

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Besides trying to survive Dauntless initiation (if Tris fails she becomes factionless which is our equivalent of being broke and on the streets) there’s a revolution forming. The Erudite (smarty pants) faction is rising up against Tris’ old faction (and the faction of her parents). The Erudite want power and they’re willing to do anything to get, even brain wash people.

Overall I love Tris. She’s got a lot on her plate but she handles everything pretty well. Plus it’s really fun to watch her struggle with the idea of physical contact. Truly though it was great to see her come out of her shell and become such a strong girl that comes very close to being fearless. Also her relationship with Four is awesome.

The only negative thing I would say about the book is it is pretty dark. I wasn’t expecting so many people to *spoiler alert* die in the first book of the trilogy. I guess I was still in my Hunger Games mentality and wasn’t expecting a battle until at least the second book. I was highly mistaken.

Still, as tearjerking as this book was I loved it can’t wait until I get the next one. I think I’m number 80 on the waitlist. Oh, dear.

Favorite Line: “Then I realize what it is. It’s him. Something about him makes me feel like I am about to fall. Or turn to liquid. Or burst into flames.”

Stars: 5 out of 5. I loved it!

Borrow or Buy: Definitely buy. I’m already planning on buying it so I’ll have it in my collection always.

Other Reviews:

The Book Smugglers

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My Summer Reading List

Nothing’s better than being able to lay by the beach and catch up on some much over due reading. This summer there are plenty of amazing books coming out that must be read. Additionally there’s a long list of books that have already been released that I can finally get a chance to read. Here’s my list of all the books you should check out this summer if you haven’t already.

New Releases

1. Opposition (A Lux Novel) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – August 5

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Anyone that follows my blog on a regular basis knows how obsessed I am with this series. Opposition is the last book of the series and although I’ll be sad to see it all end I’m so excited to know what happens. The wait is driving me crazy. If you haven’t read the previous books in the Lux series I would definitely recommend checking them out. The series focuses on a girl named Katy who just moved to a new town with her mom, after her father’s death from cancer. Their neighbors, the Blacks, are an interesting bunch that includes Daemon, a hot jerk that Katy can’t stand but is regrettably attracted to, and his sister Dee, an eager beaver who really wants to be Katy’s friend. Eventually Katy learns the truth about the Blacks (they’re aliens) and it turns her world upside down. From there drama, mystery, fights, and a lot of romance ensues. The first one isn’t the best but they get better over time. Trust me.

2. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet – June 24

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If you have any interest in adaptations this may be one of the coolest things ever. It’s a book adaptation of a YouTube series adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The premise of the novel is a retelling of Austen’s original novel but in the point of view and context of the The Lizzie Bennet Diaries YouTube series. If you’ve never watched this YouTube series I encourage you to check it out. Even if you’ve never read Austen’s novel (finishing it is still on my to do list) you don’t have to read the book to love the show. Does having background knowledge make the show even more entertaining? Certainly. However, if you watched the 2005 movie version with Kiera Knightley you’re basically covered. Either way you should definitely watch the show and then read this book when it comes out because I believe it’s going to be fantastic.

3. Silver Shadows (A Bloodlines Novel) – July 29

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It all began with Vampire Academy, which was an excellent series. Then Richelle Mead decided to stick with this awesome fictional world she created and do a spin off series focusing on a human Alchemist, Sydney. To give a little background as an Alchemist Sydney’s job is to ensure that humans don’t learn the truth about vampires and dhampirs (half vampire, half human people). Even though she’s meant to work with them she’s not supposed to like them, recognizing that they are actually abominations. Well it’s a little difficult for Sydney to stay true to her beliefs when she’s forced to live with vampires and dhampirs on a regular basis and learns they’re not as bad as they’re made out to be. In fact, not only can she like them but she can love them too. If you haven’t read any books in this series or the Vampire Academy series you have a lot of catching up to do but it’s totally worth it. Besides, if you read like I do you can finish all the books in no time; they’re that good.

4. Endless (A Shadowlands Novel) – July 22

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This is the last book in Kate Brian (aka Kieran Scott’s) awesome trilogy about the afterlife. The trilogy follows Rory Miller and her family who have run away from their hometown to escape a killer who’s after Rory. They end up in Jupiter Landing where things get strange. Or at least they do for Rory. People start to disappear yet no one seems to notice except Rory. Eventually Rory learns the truth about Jupiter Landing and it rocks her to her core. Definitely a must read and of course if you haven’t read the first two you should check them out before this book is released.

Already Released

5. Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

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I love Ellen Hopkins. I’ve read all her books, both adult and young adult and they’re great. The best part about her books is that they’re written in poetry style but they come together to tell a whole story. Smoke is the long awaited sequel to her book, Burned, about a Mormon girl who falls in love and risks everything to finally found her own independence away from her father. I’m definitely going to have to reread Burned before I dive into this one but I’m excited to finally have a chance to read it.

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth

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When I first heard about this series I was very hesitant to read it because it just sounded like another dystopian trilogy to me and I was just so sick of reading dystopian fiction. However, now that I’ve given it some time and the movie has come out I feel ready to dive into another dystopian world. I’m currently number 159 on the waitlist for the book from my digital library. Here’s to hoping I actually get to read it before the summer is over. Fingers crossed. If you haven’t heard of this book before, it focuses on a young girl named Beatrice (aka Tris) who lives in a world where everyone is placed in a faction: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. Each person has to take a test that will determine their faction, however, for Beatrice she is not placed in a faction but instead is classified as “Divergent”. This goes against the society’s rules thereby putting her in danger. Similar to many other dystopian novels no one is really happy with the way this new world is set up and of course there’s those who are ready and willing to rebel against it. There’s also a lot of romance involved as well. Basically, it’s my kind of book.

7. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Ever since I read Speak I’ve been obssessed with Laurie Halse Anderson. She has the ability to write about such serious topics that isn’t preachy but instead eye opening. In this novel she focuses on a young girl, Hayley, and her father, Andy, who return to Andy’s hometown so Hayley can attend school. Andy has been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder since his return from Iraq and it has greatly affected him and Hayley. This father-daughter pair tries to find peace by going back to Andy’s roots but one can’t run from their demons forever. I have a feeling this book will break my heart but in the most incredible way.

8. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

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Since The Fault in Our Stars there has been this fascination with teens with cancer, mostly because it’s a pretty scary thought to face death at such a young age. In Julie Murphy’s novel Alice is diagnosed with leukemia and in an effort to right all her wrongs and get revenge before she dies she creates a bucket list that she and her best friend fulfill. Regrettably, however, Alice then learns she’s in remission and she’s going to live a bit longer. Now she has to face the consequences of her actions. I’ve never read a book by Murphy before (which makes sense since this is her debut novel) but this book sounds like a heart warming and funny novel that will be good to read by the pool.

9. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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Another author I’ve never read before but am excited to try. This novel focuses on Kestrel, a 17 year old girl, who is the daughter of a general and is at the age when she has to choose whether to join the military or get married. Kestrel has no intention of doing either and instead buys a slave, Arin, who she begins to have feelings for but also has his own secrets. Truthfully, I’m not sure what to expect from this novel. There’s obviously going to be romance but I’m not sure what else. It seems like a dystopian novel but also different. Either way I’m excited to give it a chance and you can download the first five chapters free from Amazon if you want to try it before you buy it.

10. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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I first heard about this novel when I interviewed Kieran Scott a few months ago. When I first read the synopsis it reminded me of Frozen (the book not the movie). Alexandra Bracken’s novel focuses on a girl named Ruby who has extraordinary powers that got her sent away to a government rehabilitation camp when she was a child. Now having escaped she’s on the run with other kids just like her. The groups leader, Liam, begins to fall for Ruby but scared of what getting close to him could mean Ruby is determined to keep a distance. The first in the series I think this will be a great adventure/love story that I will quickly fall in love with.

I’ll definitely be adding to this list of books throughout the summer but for now I believe this is a good start. Happy reading!

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Books Into Movies (2014)

As Hollywood gets less creative and innovative we see the increase of books being turned into movies. Of course, this isn’t a new practice its just become more frequent. Here’s the books that I’m most interested to see on the big screen this year (so far anyway).

1. The Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters (February 14)

I love this book series by Richelle Mead (I own almost all of the books), which is why I’m a little disappointed in what I’ve seen of the movie so far. This film looks more like a comedy then the drama and love filled series of books I remember. Even though I’m going to try to resist, I’m sure I’ll still end up going to see this movie in theaters. Maybe since my expectations are so low the movie will actually surpass them.

2. Divergent (March 21)

I’m still on the waiting list to get this book from the library so I can’t really say how the trailer compares to the novel. What I can say is the trailer looked so good I felt inspired to actually read the first book in this trilogy created by Veronica Roth. I’d heard a lot about these books and it was all over Tumblr but I resisted reading it because it sounded like just another dystopian novel with a heroine and her love interest. Even though I tend to love books like that I was getting sick of reading the same thing. Even so, this trailer does look really good so I’m willing to give a book a try to prep for the film.

3. The Fault in Our Stars (June 6)

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I loved this book by John Green. It’s probably my favorite book by him and he’s written some great ones. There’s no trailer yet so I can’t say how close I think it’ll resemble the book but the movie poster looks great and Green was heavily involved in the making of the film so I have high hopes for it. All we can do now is wait and see. If you haven’t read the book yet I would definitely recommend it.

4. The Maze Runner (September 19)

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This is based on another book I didn’t read. I did try to read it however, I just couldn’t get into. I think I got three chapters in before I gave up. However, because Dylan O’Brien will be playing the main character and I’m obsessed with him I might still give this one a try. It depends on how the trailer looks when it comes out, which I’m guessing will be released when Divergent drops. We shall see.

5. Mocking Jay Part 1 (November 21, 2014)

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In my personal opinion (and I’ve found many others agree with me) this was the worst book in the trilogy. Though I applaud Suzanne Collins for keeping it real with all the deaths that occur in this last book (because lets face it, this is a war; there will be casualties) it was still not the best book. Therefore I’m kind of hoping the writers, directors, and makers of this film take creative license over this one. As long as they didn’t stray to far from the novel I’d be okay with it. We’ve got a long way to go before this comes out but I’m hoping for the best. The first two films were great and I’m expecting these last two will be just as good.

6. The Giver (August 15)

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I don’t even remember how long ago I read this book but similar to a lot of these novels that are being adapted into films, this is based on a dystopian world where the Giver is the only person who is allowed access to the true memories of the past. Every child is dictated what their job will be for the rest of their lives and the main character, Jonas, is chosen to learn from the Giver so he can become the next one. Its too early to tell how this will turn out. The fact that Taylor Swift has been casted in it doesn’t bode well for me since she didn’t do well in Valentine’s DayHowever, Meryl Streep will also be in the film and I love her so I’ll give it points for that. Fingers crossed.