Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review of How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

How to Read Literature Like a Professor
by Thomas C. Foster
Non-Fiction Standalone
Age Range: This isn't inappropriate is just isn't necessary until high school/ college
Grade Level: Unnecessary until High school/ college
Pages: 314
Publisher: Harper


This is a book that helps you analyze literature as if you were in school/ a literature professor. 








What I Thought:
Most of the book seemed unnecessary, and somewhat obvious. Having said that it was somewhat helpful, and should help me in my future studies.

The Good:

  • Will help me with school.
  • Some new things that I haven't been taught before.
  • Short


The Bad:

  • He would go on long tangents about specific books that I haven't ever heard of or ever plan to read and that just seemed unnecessary.
  • Overall just boring.
Recommend?:
I would recommend reading this if you're having trouble subtextually analyzing books, or if you have to read it for school, but if you don't fall into either category I would say it is not needed.


Rating:

XOXO,
Belle



Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books That Made Me Cry

I wouldn't consider myself a very emotional person in general, but when it comes to books, I cry at everything. I don't specifically remember the amour of tears shed in all of these books (I know it would be helpful if it counted the number of tears shed for each book, but I didn't so sorry), so these are just 5 books that I remember bawling during.

5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
We have all read this/ seen the movie, so you know exactly why tears were shed.

4. Allegiant  by Veronica Roth
I'm not going to say why I cried because spoilers. If you have read this book, YOU KNOW!

3. Raging Star by Moira Young
The end of this book was just heartbreak after heartbreak, and after the first few, I was just so done with crying.


2. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
This just ended in death, so crying.

1.  The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
I haven't read this one in a few years, but I vaguely remember bawling my eyes out at the end, and middle, and start of this book.

If I had a dollar for every book I cried over, I would have more than $5. 


XOXO,
Belle

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Under-Hyped Readathon Wrap Up

I should just name this post My Failure as a Reader.

I read 19 pages of How to Read Literature Like a Professor, and that is it!

I had so many books planned for this week, but it just didn't happen.

Sorry for the short and failure of a post, but I thought it would reflect the week.

XOXO,
Failure Belle

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books I Wish I Read Earlier

Since I just really got started reading again about a year ago, I have missed out on a TON of books in the two years that I thought reading was for "losers." I am aware that I used to be extremely lame, and I have accepted and come to peace with the fact. ANYWAY, books.


5. I am choosing Ask the Passengers by A.S. King.
This is not a very new book (2012), but I wish I read this book on the day it came out because it was one of the best books I have ever read.

4. Just because I wish I was cool, I am selecting Divergent by Veronica Roth.
I chose this one only because I when everyone started going crazy about this book, I could be like, "I read this one when it came out. You all are just late." Then I would feel like a hipster, and I would feel good about myself. 

3.  I don't really have a great explanation fro this one, but A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.
I am only picking this one because Libba Bray is so bae, and I wish I discovered her before last year, but my advantage of waiting was finding it at Goodwill, so I don't really know if I lost.

2. I know you will all be surprised about his one. I am picking The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.
This is another book written in 2012, so not very old, but as you very well may know, it is my favorite series of all time (and its not even done yet!!), so how could I not include this. 

1. To end this list I am going with Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
Since I only started this series last year (:/), and am only done with the first four books, I am not one of those people who grew up reading Harry Potter. I know, I am ashamed of myself. 


Now I can wallow in the fact that I am not at all hip, and can never be hip.

XOXO,
Belle

Monday, July 21, 2014

BookTube-A-Thon Wrap Up

I'm sorry that my updates haven't been a thing for the last few days. It has been hectic. I drove 30 hours there and back to Philadelphia, and didn't have a WiFi connection. I was somewhat still reading, but It was not very good.

1. A book with pictures: In the Shadows by Kiersten White
2. Start and finish a series: The Peaches Trilogy by Jodi Lynn Anderson -  
I read the first two!
3. A book with red on the cover: In the Shadows by Kiersten White
4. A book someone picks for you: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson -  
 didn't happen at all
5. A book from the genre I've read the least of this year:  Choke by Chuck Palahniuk -  
 I read 8 pages
6. A book to movie adaptation: also changed to Choke by Chuck Palahniuk - 
I read 8 pages
7
. 7 books/ an average of 300 pages a day:  Nope

My extra book will be Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth 

PERSONAL CHALLENGE:

  • Read some of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin.  - a little
  • Read and finish books from 4 different genres.  - I am at 3 genres (paranormal, contemporary, dystopian)
  • Review every book that I read.Yes!!
  • Don't buy any more books for the week. -  WOOO!! Will Power. 
  • HAVE FUN!!! - WOOOOOOOOO!!!!





         TOTAL PAGE COUNT: 1381 TOTAL PAGES
                                               ____________________

                                               384 of In the Shadows (completed)
                                               8 of Choke
                                               285 of Four (completed)
                                               320 of Peaches (completed)
                                               299 of The Secrets of Peaches (completed)
                                               40 of Love and Peaches
                                               45 of A Clash of Kings

Overall I am completely satisfied with my total for the BookTube-A-Thon! That was fun, and I can't wait until next year!
  XOXO,
Belle

Review of The Secrets of Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

The Secret of Peaches
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Book 2 of The Peaches Trilogy
Age Range: 13+
Grade Level: Middle School-ish
Pages: 299
Publisher: Harper Teen

Since this is the second book in a series, I am not gonna give you much of a synopsis because spoilers! This takes place during the school year that follows the summer covered in Peaches. It is about the hard times that the girls face trying to stay connected before they have to leave at the end of the year for college, or whatever they have in store for themselves.






The Short:
I didn't like this as much as the first book, but that is usually the case with second books in trilogies. This was just melancholy, and was just kind of sad.

The Good:

  • I really like and connect to the characters in this series. I really like the three main girls, and hope that they stay friends through the third book.
  • The setting was fun, and well done, and I think I liked it more because I am familiar with Georgia.
  • I love all the times spent at the peach orchard. I think it is the perfect sweet, summery setting for this story.
  • The BOYS! Yum!
  • Murphy is so funny, and snarky. She is probably the best character.
The Bad:
  • Leeda was annoying is this book. For a good majority of the story, she was at a disconnect, and it didn't make much sense to me.
  • The whole story seemed sad. I thought the first book was fun and happy, but this was just kind of disappointing.
Rating:


XOXO,
Belle

_________________________________________________________________________________
Content:
Sex: it happens once, but after that it is just a lot of kissing. and streaking once
Language: not a thing
Violence: nope


Review of Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Peaches
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Book 1 in Peaches Trilogy
Age Range: 13+
Grade Level: Middle School-ish

Pages: 320
Publisher: Harper Teen


3 girls who should never have become friends met one fateful spring break when they work (and live) on the same peach orchard. They meet and become friends during the spring break and the summer that ensues. 








I liked this book, but didn't love it. It was just as cute as it should have been, and I am happy for that. It seemed to take too long for anything interesting to happen, but once the author was done with the setting and backstory, it was a very fun read. I thought the setting was comical, not because it was poorly done, but because I know Georgia VERY well, and it is hard to make that seem at all romantic. 

Rating:



XOXO,
Belle
_________________________________________________________________________________

Content:
Sex: some kissing, and at the beginning it talks of someone going to second and third
Language: not a thing
Violence: no

_________________________________________________________________________________
PS:
I'm sorry for the short review, I am on vacation, and am exhausted. Normal reviews should be back soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Cover Buys

A cover buy is classified as any book that you bought solely on the cover. I am not gonna lie, I do this a lot when I am in a bookstore and I see something pretty. I am going to do this list with books that are all read, so LETS GO!

5.  Divergent by Veronica Roth
I read this last year, but it was at a time where I was literally just scrolling through Barnes and Nobles' YA section and the cover caught my eye. I am not disappointed that I found this baby.

4. The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQueery
This one was found in the bargain section of Amazon, and I thought it was interesting, and the synopsis sounded somewhat cool, and you know a $7 hardcover is not to be passed up. This book was very quality, but I want a sequel to this standalone.

3. Circle Nine by Anne Hertzel.
I thought this was cool, and Amazon bargain section. I was disappointed with the story, but I am not planning on getting rid of the book because the cover is too gorgeous. This dealt with the topic of abuse, and that is just not something I want to read about. But nice job on the cover!

2. Breathe by Sarah Crossan
Can you guess where I found this book? If you guessed Amazon's bargain section, you would be 200% right. I thought this sounded more than intriguing, and I had fun reading this. I don't know why the sequel has gone unread so far because I own it (Book Outlet bargain section). I love this cover; it is very unique and portrays the story perfectly.

1. The Selection by Kiera Cass
I love this cover, it looks glamorous and futuristic, and does a pretty good job describing the story through a picture. As the cover suggests, this is just about girls in dresses doing the bachelor in the future. Not gonna lie, I loved this series; did it have unrealistic character changes? Absolutely. Was it super fun and girly? Absolutely. 


In the comments, let me know if this is something you do too, and if so what cover buys are you happiest that you bought?

XOXO,
Belle

Review of Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Four: A Divergent Collection
by Veronica Roth
Bindup of 4 Novellas and 3 Exclusive Scenes
Age Range: 13+
Grade Level: Middle School-ish

Pages: 285
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books

These novellas are about Four's initiation and experience with Dauntless. Three of the four novellas take place before before Four meets Tris, but the sat novella occurs during her Dauntless initiation. Al of the exclusive scenes are during Tris' initiation. 







Initial Thoughts:
I liked reading this. I love Four as a character, so this was naturally a good read for me. I had fun reading the stories, but they were in not that great. 
The Good:

  • It seemed like Veronica did a better job developing Four's voice than she did in Allegiant. I could actually tell that he thought differently that Tris when reading this book.
  • I liked reading about Four's initiation, and getting a different take on how the initiation changed from Four's year to Tris'. The initiation was my favorite part of the normal series for me, and I loved getting a different take on it.
  • You really got to see how much of an ass Eric is not only as he was in Divergent, but how he has always been since he joined Dauntless.
The Bad:
  • I'm just going to put it out there that I thought the exclusive scenes were kind of pointless; they were scenes from Divergent from Four's perspective, and they were just not very interesting scenes. There were much more interesting things that happened in Divergent that we could have gotten in the exclusive scenes.
  • I don't think Tris should have been a very big part of the novellas because it is 100% about Four's experience, and Tris was after the fact.
Rating:

XOXO,
Belle

_________________________________________________________________________________

Content:
Violence: Pretty frequent and pretty graphic
Language: Not a thing
Sex: kissing
Misc: child abuse

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

BookTube-A-Thon Day 2 Wrap Up

I am not gonna lie, I was not very productive today. OOPS!

1. A book with pictures: In the Shadows by Kiersten White
2. Start and finish a series: The Peaches Trilogy by Jodi Lynn Anderson
I started the first book.
3. A book with red on the cover: In the Shadows by Kiersten White
4. A book someone picks for you: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson 
5. A book from the genre I've read the least of this year: changed to Choke by Chuck Palahniuk 
6. A book to movie adaptation: also changed to Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
7
. 7 books/ an average of 300 pages a day: TBD probably gonna end up w/ 300 page thing

My extra book will be Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth finished second novella

PERSONAL CHALLENGE:

  • Read some of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. LOL NOPE
  • Read and finish books from 4 different genres. I am at 1 genre (paranormal)
  • Review every book that I read. Doing well so far
  • Don't buy any more books for the week. WOOO!! Will Power. 
  • HAVE FUN!!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!


PAGE COUNT FOR TODAY: 194 TOTAL PAGES
                                               ____________________

                                               131 of Peaches
                                               63 of Four

         TOTAL PAGE COUNT: 676 TOTAL PAGES
                                               ____________________

                                               384 of In the Shadows (completed)
                                               8 of Choke
                                               184 of Four
                                               100 of Peaches

Since it is about the average, I am averaging 338 pages/day so far. So basically I am ahead of schedule.

I may read more tonight, so I will add that to my total for tomorrow!

How is your reading going?

XOXO,
Belle

Monday, July 14, 2014

BookTube-A-Thon Day 1 Wrap Up

As day one comes to a close, I have to reflect on if I actually did well, or if I just perceived that I did well. I will copy and paste my TBR and mark any changes in it, or if I finished any books.

1. A book with pictures: In the Shadows by Kiersten White
2. Start and finish a series: The Peaches Trilogy by Jodi Lynn Anderson
3. A book with red on the cover: In the Shadows by Kiersten White
4. A book someone picks for you: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
5. A book from the genre I've read the least of this year: changed to Choke by Chuck Palahniuk 
6. A book to movie adaptation: also changed to Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
7. 7 books/ an average of 300 pages a day: TBD


My extra book will be Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

PERSONAL CHALLENGE:
  • Read some of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. LOL NOPE
  • Read 4 different genres. I am at 1 genre (paranormal)
  • Review every book that I read. Doing well so far
  • Don't buy any more books for the week. WOOO!! Will Power. Although I did receive 3 books in the mail today, but those were from a giveaway, so they don't count.
  • HAVE FUN!!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!!



PAGE COUNT FOR TODAY: 447 TOTAL PAGES
                                               ____________________

                                               384 of In the Shadows 
                                               8 of Choke
                                               55 of Four



I am doing well today, and I hope I keep that momentum going for tomorrow! Good luck to everyone else doing the BookTube-A-Thon!

XOXO,
Belle

Review of In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo

In the Shadows
by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo
Standalone
Age Range: 13+
Grade Level: Middle School-ish

Pages: 384
Publisher: Scholastic

5 very separate lives are brought together by a boardinghouse in a vacation town, and a mysterious secret society. As the secrets go untold, the lives of these 5 kids are changed, and not for the best.








My Thoughts:
This was a very fun, quick read (perfect for a readathon.) The pictures were BEAUTIFUL! They may have been more than a bit confusing, but I always loved looking at them. The characters were always fun, and a real pleasure to read about.

The Good:

  • Like I said before, the pictures were stunning. The art always looked superb, and I loved the way the characters were drawn in a way that you could really tell someone's personality just by looking at the drawing.
  • I was intrigued by the secret society. It was a cool concept, and it was well thought out and was executed okay.
  • The ending was actually hilarious. The last few pictures were some of the funniest, most random drawings I have ever seen. Having said that, I loved how the story ended, and thought it was the perfect way to end the book.
  • I am just going to put it out there that I liked the paper. Yes, yes, I know. It is the most random comment I could have said, but the book has really nice paper.
The Bad:
  • Although the pictures were stunning, they didn't really make sense. They always portrayed the story of some random guy who goes through time and never ages, but it isn't until near the very end of the story that you know who the man is. I did guess from the beginning who the man was, and I know it was supposed to build up suspense, but I just found the picture story out of place. 
  • I never really connected to the characters. They were well developed, but they were just not people who I could attach myself to on an emotional level. 
  • I loved the drawing chapters, but most of the writing chapters just seemed bland.
Would I Recommend This Book to Anyone:
YES! I had fun reading this. If you're looking for a fun supernatural/ paranormal read, then you should give this book a go. If you are looking for beautiful pictures with a story tied in, then you should also try reading this book.

Rating:

XOXO,
Belle

_________________________________________________________________________

Content:
Language: not a problem in the slightest
Violence: there is much talk of violence, but minimal written that really happened to the characters. There is some drawn "violence" but it is mostly just cruelty.
Sex: kissing. not even a lot.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini
Standalone
Age Range: 15+
Grade Level: High School

Pages: 367
Publisher: Riverhead Books

This book is about two girls who live in Afghanistan who live very separate lives that should never cross paths. But twists and turns of fate brought them together. They rely on each other and care for each other; they share good times, bad times, and more than a few secrets. 







The Short:
I disliked this book. I hated everything about this book. I didn't like the characters or the story. It was just bad. If I didn't have to read it for school, I would never have finished it.

The Long:
From the start of this book I knew it was not a book that I would like. I didn't connect or even like any of the characters. They were ALL flat. There was no change in how any of the characters acted. If there was an interesting character, I may have liked reading this book. I didn't like either of the girls POV (even if the POVs were done well). They were very bland. To describe the girls in one word it would be pleb.
The plot was dull at its best. It never got to the point where I HAD to keep reading. I was always dreading picking up the book. Literally, the whole plot was the husband getting mad and the girls trying to make it better. NOT GOOD!
I don't know if people actually like this book if they have read it, but it was not for me.

Rating:


XOXO,
Belle

________________________________________________________

Content:
Language: minimal
Sex: Frequent
Drugs: Not a thing

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Under-Hyped Readathon TBR

The week after the BookTube-A-Thon ends, there is a readathon going on for books that are "under-hyped" or have less than about 5,000 ratings on Goodreads. It runs from July 21-27, 2014. They have a Goodreads group.
Here is my TBR:

How to Love by Katie Contugno
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
Adaptation and Inheritance by Malinda Lo
The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye
September Girls by Bennett Madison

I am going to cheat and get started on a school book this week, and it has about 7,000 ratings on Goodreads, so IT COUNTS!

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

I think this will be a fun readathon, and it will be cool to feel like a lone hipster. ;)

XOXO,
Belle

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday- Top 5 Books That BookTube Made Me Buy

I like a lot of other people like to watch BookTube (or people who make videos on YouTube about books- books+YouTube=BookTube). They will often talk on and on and on about one specific book, and that will make you really want to read said book. That has been the case for multiple books for me. On this list I will only include books that I have already read.

5. Once I started watching JesseTheReader, I was informed about Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.
I really liked this book, and I am stoked to have picked it up (for only $7).

4. I started watching BookTube about when The Mortal Instruments movie came out, so everyone and their cat was raving about this series. It is City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.
I haven't finished this series, but when everyone was raving about the series it really made me war to pick it up. I am liking it and am glad that I picked it up.


3. Am I ready to be embarrassed/ harassed? Not really. Will I subject myself to it anyway? Yes. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
Yeah. I may or may not have started this series last year.

2. This series. This series. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.
Do I need to elaborate?


1. No list would be complete without me rambling on about this book. Can you guess what it is? You're [probably] correct. It is The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.
Peer-pressure at its finest. 

I love me some peer-pressure. Honestly, BookTube is as dangerous for my wallet as drugs. You know, because I am broke.

XOXO,
Belle

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

BookTube-A-Thon TBR 2014

The BookTube-A-Thon is coming around the corner, so I have to decide what I'm going to read. First off the CHALLENGES!!

1. A book with pictures: In the Shadows by Kiersten White
2. Start and finish a series: The Peaches Trilogy by Jodi Lynn Anderson
3. A book with red on the cover: In the Shadows by Kiersten White
4. A book someone picks for you: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
5. A book from the genre I've read the least of this year: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton or The Giver by Lois Lowry (classics)
6. A book to movie adaptation: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
7. 7 books/ an average of 300 pages a day: TBD

With this I have 5 books, so that would mean I would have to finish 2 more to complete the last challenge. To satisfy my need to win ALL the challenges I think I am going to finish The Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han AND maybe start a book for school. I think all of these should be pretty quick reads, and they all sound very good.

PERSONAL CHALLENGE:
  • Read some of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
  • Read 4 different genres. 
  • Review every book that I read.
  • Don't buy any more books for the week.
  • HAVE FUN!!!

Info of the BookTube-A-Thon:
Dates: July 14-21 starts midnight YOUR time!
Sites:

I hope this is super fun! This will by my first REAL read-a-thon, and I am stoked for it!

XOXO,
Belle

Monday, July 7, 2014

Series Review of Wings by Aprilynne Pike

A little bit ago, I read the Wings series by Aprilynne Pike. I really did enjoy the books; they were in no way quality literature, but they were so fun and easy to read that I was addicted to them. They were fun, and a great way to start my summer.


The series is about a girl who moved away from her childhood home for her sophomore year of high school, and finds out she is a faerie. She is launched into the faerie world, and has to find out if it is the world she wants. 


It took some getting used to, but once I got into this book, I enjoyed reading it. It was not very good, but IDGAF. 



This book was a lot better than the first, and the characters got more interesting. The faerie world was cool to see, and I had a lot of fun reading this one.


I liked that we got a lot more Tamani in this book, but it seemed like Pike was trying too hard to create drama. Nevertheless, this was a fun read.
Then we get to this book. This book was comical. It was literally a 300 page battle sequence. I had fun, but I wanted something more than just fighting. 
PS Laurel made the right choice in who she wanted to spend her life with.


Overall, this was a fun series, and I'm glad I read it, but I will probably never reread it. I do want to check out all of the Aprilynne Pike books in the future. Her writing was great, and it will only get better from here.
RATING:

XOXO,
Belle


______________________________________________________________

Content:
Violence: minimal- except in last book-
Language: infrequent mild language
Sex: kissing
Drugs: One scene where there was drinking at a party- main character didn't partake in the drinking