Books, Reading, Uncategorized

The Color project review (cue all the feels y’all)

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Every booknerd I know has “a list” of books they cannot wait to have in their hands, to cry over and love and basically recommend to ALL THEIR FRIENDS, and I am no different. My list was relatively short, and there were smatterings of different genres and one of the most anticipated reads was The Color Project written by Sierra Abrams.

I randomly got an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) at the beginning of May and sat down and read it in one sitting. Like I was so engrossed in this book and the story that I didn’t even put it down while I was making dinner (which is why that day I had very sad tacos consisting of tortillas, one piece of chicken, no sour cream or cheese and hot sauce on only one of them)

This book is pure 100% perfection. But of course I can’t just state that and expect y’all to go and get it (though you should) so I shall show you some lists of what I absolutely loved in this book! (because lists convince everyone, general fact.)

Can we first just talk about how ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS the cover is? The design and color and it’s just so pretty!! I honestly want to take ALL THE PHOTOS with this book because it is just so pretty!

-I adored Levi. He is precious and wonderful and real, no 2d romance trope for him. He is driven, having started The Color Project and loves to be goofy and just…. *Swoon* seriously, some of the girls who have already read this have been like “He’s mine” and I hate to tell them, but Levi is so totally mine it’s not even funny.

-Bee. Oh my gosh she is just a sweet little bundle of anxiety and worry and I LOVED reading about a character who actually had trouble stating what they were feeling. She is snarky and fearful but at the same time, she’s the person you root for. She does this thing where she will say something and then she will think “WHAT AM I DOING?’ and I relate to that so much y’all.

-Gretchen. Oh I’m Gretchen. I love her with her positive upbeatness and the things she says randomly and just…I now need a spin off story with Gretchen and what she is doing and a love story of her own (hint, hint Sierra)

It would take forever and a day to go through all the wonderful characters that I fell in love with so let me just stop there and start with some of the other things that I loved!

-Characterization: You guys know when you get into a book and realize that the plot is the only thing that you like because none of the characters are redeeming? NOT IN THIS BOOK!! Y’all, all of these characters are fleshed out and full dimension. They actually have side lives and laughs and different personalities and that is so wonderful to read about.

-Families. There are so many positive families in this book and I just loved them all! The Wescotts with their cute parent’s romance and the older brother and younger sisters, the single mom, and even the crew at TCP: and the best thing is that they ACTED like normal families, like the teasing and annoying habits but at the end of the day they loved each other and that was good. You can definitely tell that Sierra comes from a bigger family because how she treats her creations of family they are spot on! (Especially coming from someone who was older of 2 girls)

-The Feels. I won’t say much about this but one thing: THIS IS A KISSING BOOK AND I APPROVE! Seriously I kept telling Levi and Bee to kiss already because the feels are so real and wonderful in this book. Also, there may or may not have been some ugly crying. Just as a forewarning.

So as a wrap up (though I could go for quite a long time gushing about this book) if you are fans of Morgan Matson and Emery Lord you need to get this book. Sierra’s writing is phenomenal and does not sound like a debut novel. You need this book. Sadly it doesn’t come out till July but preorders are available (the links are down below for both the e-book and regular)

Favorite quotes:

-I was light and stardust in his hands.

-There is darkness but in that darkness are a million pinpricks of light and they are all shining at me.

-You should be doing all the things that will make you happy if the world does end tomorrow.

Synopsis: 

Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing that she doesn’t want anyone to know, her name. 

That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project. 

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giver up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her. 

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project–a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds–is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that has ever happened to her.

 

This book is incredible. I am so happy that it actually exceeded my expectations and I cannot wait for it to be out in the world for everyone to enjoy! Now if you’ll excuse me, writing about this book has made me realize I really need to reread The Color Project again.

Happy Reading Dragons!

~Stephanie

 

 

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Books, BookTube, Reading, Uncategorized

10 books I’m constantly recommending

 

Ok, so I was going to do this for the Top Ten Tuesday post but I fell a bit behind so I thought I would put my own spin on it and state some of the top books that I constantly am recommending to people. These will range from “Do you want YA, adult etc.” to simply “You should read this book”

These are in no particular order, just how I thought of them. Enjoy!

1- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. (All of them but specifically the Voyage of the Dawn Treader) Narnia was my gateway to reading fantasy. It was the turning moment for me realizing that fictional characters could make you cry and laugh, and I wanted nothing more than to find a passage to Narnia. I cannot imagine what my reading would be like if I hadn’t discovered Narnia, and I’m so thankful for that series.

2- From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwieler by E.L. Konigsburg. This holds sweet memories as it was one of the books my mom would read out loud to my sister and I when we were younger, one chapter per night. I loved the story of Jamie and Claudia running away to hide out in a museum. Always struck my fancy and I will admit I thought about doing that sometimes after a fight with my sister. And it’s one that I recommend simply because it’s a great quick read.

3-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Seriously this is one of my all time favorite books, it has it all: Romance, intrigue, wealth and snobbery, and it’s one of my favorites of all time. Besides, after watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth playing Mr. Darcy, tell me if he isn’t your ideal bloke. 🙂

4-The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This book is my stepping stone into high fantasy. There are elves, and dwarfs and even dragons. I love the simple story of a small hobbit going there and back again, and it makes me so happy. The only thing that could have made this better was that the movie adaptation was better than what it was. But all in all, this was an amazing book and one I always read right before I need courage to do something or to remind myself that even the smallest person can change the course of the history.

5-Jackaby series by William Ritter. This series really got me into YA about 3 years ago. It is like a Buffy meets Sherlock meets Supernatural, in the 19th century. I love this series, where there are vampires, skin shifters, dragons and guardians. It has so much action and such a strong female character that I gush about this series pretty much all the time. It makes me so happy.

6-The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. This is a magical realism series regarding Cabeswater, a search for a Welsh King, an amplifier, Raven boys and magic. I fell in love with how Maggie writes her stories and how she drizzles each word with magic and strength. This was one of the best series that I have read so far, and I cannot wait to read more by her.

7-Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. This is a gritty heist book where none of the crew is good, or nice or actually very good except for Matthias. And it’s amazing. Think V for Vendetta with the wisecracks of Oceans 11 and food, and you might have the start of what this is about. I love the snark, and the heist and this is one I cannot believe was just a duology because it was so good I needed more, like yesterday.

8-The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is one of my absolute favorite books, it has magic and a game and love and a circus. Not just any circus though, this circus is only done up in black and white with dashes of red, and it is specific to talents. Why have a large tent when you can have many small tents where you can see the illusionist or the lion tamer or have a cloud maze? Trust me when I say I wish she would write something else, because her writing is fabulous.

9-Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie. I am a sucker for mysteries, and you add the Great Christie onto that, I’m gone. She is one of my favorite authors and the reason that I love this book so much is that it is one of 4, like she doesn’t introduce a random person towards the end that could do it, it is only one of the 4 previous introduced. Also I love her twists and turns. And then there was none is another favorite of mine.

10- The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord. This is a sweet and wonderful story that revolves around Max and Paige and I just fell completely in love, head over heels for their story and build up. They are slight friends that turn to good friends and maybe more? Plus Max is a geek who knows and loves things like Firefly, Star Wars and Chucks. I love him immensely and want him all for myself. Like, no one else can have him.

Honorary Mentions: The Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy by Trenton Lee Stewart; Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater; The gold seer trilogy by Rae Carson; Love fortunes and other disasters duology by Kim Karalius; P.S. I like you by Kassie West; Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman; The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; A darker shade of magic by V.E. Schwab; Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson; Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling; Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman; The invisible library series by Genevieve Cogman; the Rebel Mechanics series by Shanna Swendson; Uprooted by Naomi Novik; The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. 

 

What are some books you constantly recommend? Any that you have read on the list that I recommend to people? Any you now want to read? Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers!

Stephanie

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Books, BookTube, Reading, Uncategorized

steps for how you become a “READER”

There are certain things that happen when you become a reader, things that people maybe should have prepared you for, things that you won’t expect to happen just because you are reading a book.

See, it starts small, you get a recommendation from a friend, you get a coupon in the mail you decide that maybe you should check out whatever book they were talking about, because they won’t ever stop till you finally read it.

So you go to the store and find it. Surprisingly (especially if they are someone who knows books) you will have no problem finding it. And then you buy it, making some little joke about how it’s something your friend wants you to read, because you would never actually read something like this in real life.

Then you go home. Maybe you set the book down and forget it for a few days until you meet up or hear from that friend again, and then somehow mention that you got that book they are always going on about. Which makes you have to be able to read it now, without any excuse.

But then, you actually liked the book.

And then you found yourself spending more time on sites like Amazon and BookDepository, finding cheap books because a hunt, and then you discovered the bookish community.

A whole community of people who not only talk about books, blog about books, but also take pictures of books, and even film about books. You find people that you absolutely love to watch and read every review they write.

And then you realize that you are drooling over shelfies (pictures of bookshelves), wanting all your books to match and you start having almost an attack because you see people bending their books backwards or dog-earring pages. And your collection of books starts to rival those BookTubers that you see.

How did it get to this, just one simple step at a time.

Congratulations you are now a reader.

Welcome to the rest of your life.

Grab a new book, get some tea or coffee, and enjoy this new life that you have embarked on.

Cheers fellow readers,

Stephanie

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 books that have been on your TBR since the beginning of time….

So, let’s be real y’all.

I have a lot of books. Mainly because I am a book-hoarding, shiny loving dragon who prefers to never run out of books to read because then that would be a fate worse than death.

And instead of being a smart bookish dragon and actually reading ALL THE BOOKS that are on my TBR pile…stack….mountain….I just banish them to the back of the pile and get new shiny books, ones that I read.

yep, I buy new books and read those, instead of the ones sitting there giving me stares…I’m fine…

This is in no particular order, and it’s quite a list of shame to be honest. To make sure that I got some that have been hanging around for a while, I limited my pickings to those that had been added before January 2016, that way I could tell how old “approximately” these books were. 🙂

1- Mistborn. This one should come as no real shocker to anyone who follows me on instagram or on Booktube, because that baby has been on so many of my TBR listings for months that it’s not even funny. I personally am interested in finishing the story, and Branden writes really well. I mean he builds a scene and it’s fantastic how great he builds the world, but this is huge.

Plus when i first got it I was unaware that it is in fact a trilogy, and every single one of those is way over 600 pages, really makes me just wonder if I could actually get through all of them…and considering the fact that I have been working on Mistborn for about 10 months well, yeah the trilogy is not looking solid.

2-Wolf by Wolf.

Alternate history where Hitler is still alive and you win a race to talk to him? Yes please that sounds amazing. And yet this book still is on my shelf, waiting for me to pick it up and read it.

3-The Nightingale.

I have heard rave reviews about this book, from a lot of BookTuber’s who loved this book, and I even got this for a random gift last year. And yet I still haven’t started it. I really think because this and Wolf by Wolf are both WW2 novels, maybe it’s a mood thing? Maybe I have to be in the right sort of mood to read those books? Or maybe I just don’t feel like sitting down with history for an evening. 🙂

4-A Tale of Two Cities.

This one has been on my TBR almost as long as Mistborn, and I’ve been working on it almost as long. I think the reason for the stopping and starting on this one is because Dickens is just…dull. And dark. And also, wouldn’t know a comma if it bit him in the armpit. But I want to read him. You know why, seriously, the main reason I want to read Dickens is because The Doctor is such a fanboy of him and his work (see Episode The Unquiet Dead). And I thought about it and realized I have only read 2 I think of his, the Oliver Twist one, and the one with the cake and the weird lady who stayed in her wedding gown? Great Expectations? But I’ve never really read any other of his, and wanted to try. I might get this one done by next year.

5-Tonight the streets are ours.

Ok, I bought this one when it first came out, because the cover was gorgeous. I wanted to read it right away but it still sits because of two reasons, the first is that I have heard of a lot of mixed reviews of this book, and because I am an indecisive dragon, I have let myself get jaded by those; and the second is that I found out that this author wrote a book that I have previously read, but actually really strongly disliked. Which makes me really uneasy to try and read it.

6-Rook.

I want to read this book badly. A standalone, with swoon-worthy scenes, set as a post-apoptotic society that has pieces of modern time but no knowledge of what it is, along with a pretty kickin’ female lead? Sign me up! Unfortunately, this is one you cannot read with another book racing through your head, and I was trying to read it with another book and that didn’t fly.

7-Graceling.

I really don’t know why I haven’t started this one. Possibly because it’s huge. And I got it just because hello sale at BookOutlet (I keep their site quite busy). But all in all, I haven’t even started it, so who knows when I will even start it (I hear 2018 is looking better for reading all these)

8-the Grisha trilogy.

Well, actually the last 2 of them, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising. I fell in love with Leigh’s writing with Six of Crows and bought the Grisha trilogy immediately, and read the first one right away. But because I have a lot of books that I keep buying, I didn’t finish the series. And because my spirit animal is Dory, I cannot really remember anything about the first book, but do I reread the first book, when my TBR is so high? Who has the time for that?

9-TID: The clockwork princess

This is probably one of the ones I know I’m actually not going to finish. And the main reason is that I didn’t care for 2 of the 3 main characters and I felt like the story line was just not pulling me in. So that is one that is on my TBR that I just probably will be doing a book unhaul with.

10-Dreams of gods and monsters.

Again, I read the first 2  books quickly, but didn’t get into the last one quick enough, and now all the memories of the first two books are gone. I’m sure I should reread the trilogy, mainly because I loved the first two, but I also have some trepidation of how it might end.

So that’s my TBR list of shame. What’s yours? Do you have any immediate recommendations for me to get started on right away? What does your TBR look like?

 

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Books, BookTube, Reading

Why I no longer do a TBR list….

 

I am a BookTuber, and one of the things that I have stopped doing in the past couple of months is not posting a TBR list of books I want to read that month. (TBR=To Be Read)

I’m not knocking that those work.There is nothing more satisfying then looking at the list of books you wanted to get to and crossing all of them off and making sure that you let people know, you have conquered the ever elusive TBR pile, at least for this month.

But for me, they don’t work.

I have tried.

And I have failed. Numerous times in fact.

Posting TBR lists somehow always make me seem like I’m a failure at reading because to be honest, I don’t complete them.

I will actually avoid the books that are on my TBR because I’m just not in the mood for them. Or I was in the mood to read that certain book when I posted a video about it, but then as the video went up and the month went along, my feelings changed.

I would no longer want to read that book.

Or I would hear of a mixed review.

Or someone would tell me a different book that I just had to pick out and read because that one had all the feels attached to it.

So there are many reasons why I stopped posting a TBR. And you know what dragons?

It’s made me a better reader. It’s made me really want to read more books because I tell myself I can read whatever I want in whatever order I want.

This is actually termed as being a mood reader, and there are so many readers who really understand this and go with the fact that they are just not in the mood for a book they said they wanted to read.

Now the only exception when I do post TBR posts is when I am doing a Readathon. And for those I always post a video with a TBR because there are usually challenges and contests attached to each one, and I like seeing if I can get through all of them.

Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I complete all the challenges, and sometimes I don’t even complete one of them.

But I keep reading. I guess that’s the most important part isn’t it? To make sure that we are still reading, still striving towards the unattainable goal of conquering our TBR pile.

What about you dragons? Do you do a monthly TBR? A yearly TBR? Tell me down below!

~Remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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Books, Reading

22 boxes, 1 shelf and other reasons moving is not the best

I recently moved.

This already ranks on the “I hate this most” award, but here’s the thing that makes it worse, I have books.

Not just books but 22 boxes of books.

And not just 22 boxes of books, but I ended up having 2 of my shelves break when I moved so now I’m down to one measly shelf that is literally holding over 200 books on it.

I have books piled on my desk and nightstand, on my tv stand and even in my bed. (that last one is a really bad habit that I need to break mainly because I don’t want to kill any of my precious babies, but still haven’t).

And not only did I move recently but I moved 2 times in the past 5 months. And each time someone thought they would be funny by telling me that my books should be donated or sold because I have too many. (Nope, I sure don’t. Don’t even try, not gonna happen)

I don’t have too many books, what I have is inadequate shelf space. And boxes that are still unpacked because of the books that reside in them.

I am hoping to get some new shelves this weekend, mainly because I feel all out of sorts.

All my series are out of order, and not even near each other. My carefully planned bookshelf is a mere caricature, now sitting among stacks and piles of books. And it’s overwhelming.

But for all my grousing about how bad moving is, at least all my books made it this time. One of the times I moved, I stored some boxes in a friend’s garage and left them there for a couple months. What neither of us realized was that the garage flooded, and my boxes of books that were off the ground and setting on plastic tubs, had been moved by one of the roommates looking for her things and were setting on the ground. Fully immersed in the water. I don’t want to tell you what happened when I found out what books they were, but tears were shed. (here’s a hint, 1st ed. HP HC if you want to know)

So from that day, I promised if I had to leave something behind it would never be my books. And I never have.

The funny thing is when you move enough and when you have enough books, people start to remember why they don’t help you move. And one of my jokes is that I have to get new friends to help me move every time because they all remember how many boxes of books I have. And it keeps increasing. 🙂

Anyways, hope y’all are having a great day, and remember life is too short to read mediocre books!

happy reading Dragons!

 

~Stephanie

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judgement free zone

So something happened the other day that kinda wrecked what I was going to talk about today, and even though it happened over a week ago, it still bothers me every single time that I think of it, or try and talk about it, so this personally is going to be a sort of rant, but not much of one.

For the seasonal time of the holidays in the US over here, I worked a second job as a bookseller at Barnes and Noble. I really do love telling people what I thought of certain books and what they should or shouldn’t get, (which is also why I started this blog) and I love seeing kids get excited about reading.

So I was checking out this girl who was maybe about 8 or 9 and she was getting a couple of books, one of which was the Ever After High Book #3, which she said was one of her favorite series. Now, I had just come on shift and had passed the newest book when I came in so I told her about it. Her face lit up and she asked her mom and dad if she could get that one as well. Her parents agreed and she sprinted off and got it.

(this part was awesome, I love seeing kids run for books).

Then the girl asked if I had read them. Well, I had so I told her yes I have, they are pretty cool. The girl standing next to me on the cash register snorted with laughter but didn’t say anything until the girl left.

Then my coworker, still laughing, manages to say “Nice lie about those books, good thing you thought on your feet to sell more.”

Me: Why would I lie to someone? I don’t care if she bought another book or not, I was just letting her know.

And this dear readers was where it went down hill. This coworker proceeded to not only mock me, but also anyone who had the audacity to read something outside of their age group. She said “If you are older than 16 you shouldn’t be reading anything that is geared towards Kids or Teenagers.”

I couldn’t put into words precisely what I was thinking because I was so irritated.

I know I told her that she shouldn’t have any judgments on what people choose to read or not to read, and that age shouldn’t tell me that I can’t pick up a YA book and enjoy it.

I love YA, simply because there is a lot in there that you don’t realize. Not just the Hunger Games/Divergent/Twilight but more thought-provoking, more plot entertaining, more of a thrill than most of the adult books I’ve read. Age should never deter you from buying or reading a book, just because you are older than teen or YA, doesn’t mean that you should feel shame for liking or reading that book.

Let’s be real, all of us have a guilty book pleasure, one that we read but that we would never admit to anyone that we like. Maybe because of the stereotype surrounding it, maybe because it’s in the wrong section, or maybe because we just feel “too old” to be reading something that 12 year olds are reading, but let’s stop bookshaming each other. Let’s stop making the snide comments about age, or gender or whatever.

Do you like it? Do you enjoy it? Then why does it matter what others say or think? At least you are reading.

Personally I think that we need to just remind people that reading is reading, no matter what you are reading. (ok one exception because I know that I know that people are going to start twisting saying that I’m saying that kids should read whatever they want, no…the age rule doesn’t apply to them. They need to read in their genre, but for adults it doesn’t matter. Got it? Ok good)

For the record, when I got off of work that day I walked over to the YA section and picked up Jackaby which I had been waiting for, for about 2 months to come out, and went through her line. And when she rolled her eyes at me again, I laughed and said “I can’t wait to read this book. It’s for me.”

Cheers friends.

Stephanie

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