Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Top 15 Read in 2015

I have read so many wonderful books this year, I think it’s a new record! These books were not necessarily published in 2015, I just read them this year. These are all wonderful and you should definitely pick them up if you haven’t already!

1. Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter by Marissa Meyer


The fourth and final book in the Lunar Chronicles series. It’s the PERFECT conclusion. The first book is called Cinder. These books are fairy tale retellings and take place in a future world; they’re a mixed of sci/fi and Fantasy.



2. Through the Dark by Alexandra Bracken



A collection of novellas set in The Darkest Minds universe. Bracken is a wonderful writer so you should definitely go check out her books if you haven’t yet.



3. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson



My absolute favorite contemporary I’ve read this year (not that I read a lot of them anyway). It’s a heart breaking story about twins Noah and Jude who are incredibly close at thirteen but rarely even see each other three years later. The story alternates between past and present. It’s a beautiful book. Click here for the Goodreads page.


4. End of Days by Susan Ee



The third and last book in the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy; the first book is named Angelfall. These books take place in a post-Apocalyptic world where angels have destroyed and take over Earth. This is a good series for fans of 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.


5. Fairest by Marissa Meyer


A companion novel for the Lunar Chronicles series. This tells the story of the villain of the series, Queen Levana. Learning her backstory was very interesting (I still hate her though).



6. The Rose Society by Marie Lu



The sequel to A Young Elites by Marie Lu. This takes place in a Fantasy world and follows the journey of Adelina Amouteru, probably the most morally ambiguous YA protagonist I have read about. 



7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman



The sequel to the infamous If I Stay. Personally, I prefer the sequel to the first book. This takes place three years after the first book and is from Adam’s point of view.



8. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed



This story follows a Pakistani-American girl Naila whose strict, traditional parents take her to Pakistan after they find out she had been dating someone. They force her into an arranged marriage and Naila finds herself cut off from her life in America. I loved this book way more than I thought I would.


9. The Young Elites by Marie Lu



The first book to the Young Elites series. This is a Fantasy series very different from Marie Lu’s Legend series but just as awesome.




10. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini


Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course… read more in Goodreads


11. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga



The first book to the I Hunt Killers series. This series follows Jasper Dent who is the son of the world’s most notorious serial killer. Jasper is brilliant, and these books are action packed and thrilling.



12. Free to Fall by Lauren Miller


What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness? What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice? What if you never had to fall? … Read more in Goodreads.


13. What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me

This story takes place in a world where every person is born with two souls. One of these souls usually “faded” away by the person was around six years old. The people whose souls did not fade were known as hybrids. The main character was a hybrid; both her souls remained in her body though Addie was more dominant than Eva. It was a different experience reading from the point of view of one character who was really two people. Read more in Goodreads.

14. Winger by Andrew Smith 


Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids in the Pacific Northwest. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy. Read more in Goodreads.


15. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

What's Left of Me

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth. Read more in Goodreads.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Review: “Then I Met My Sister” by Christine Hurley Deriso



Goodreads Synopsis: It's not exactly easy living in a shrine to your dead sister. Since birth, I've known that everyone loved Shannon. She was perfect--beautiful, smart, talented. And me? Not so much. My parents always expected me to live up to her greatness. But I could never measure up to her, so why even try?

This summer, I've started reading the journal Shannon kept just before she died . . . and suddenly nothing is what I thought it was. The more secrets I learn about Shannon and our family, the more everything changes. And as it turns out, facing the truth is no cakewalk, either.


The blurb of a book doesn’t usually catch my attention but this one did. And it was fairly small so I picked it up. For a book I had never heard of before, it was an interesting and mostly enjoyable read.

Summer’s parents had her as a coping mechanism after they lost their daughter, Shannon, in a car accident. Her sister was pretty much the perfect daughter: straight A student, never acted out, etc. Summer hates being in her shadow so she tries to act as different from Shannon as possible. Then one day, her aunt gives her Shannon’s journal and Summer “meets” her sister for the first time.

Now, when I read the blurb, I was expecting Summer to be one of those typical rebel teenagers who go out of her way to do the exact opposite of what her parents say. Gladly, that was not the case. Summer was, for the most part, pretty sensible and smart.

Although the story had a romantic aspect, it was more focused on family and Summer’s relationship with her parents. While getting to know who her sister was, Summer was also getting to know who her parents were before the accident. 

The romantic interest, Gibs, was actually my favorite character. After some long and painful YA books with overbearing bad-boy boyfriends, sweet and intelligent Gibs was a nice change. And he was a good influence on Summer instead of the other way around which seems to be the norm these days.

Cons: The writing, though not bad, could have been better. And some of the characters felt a little one-dimensional to me, but that’s understandable since it was a small book and the author was mainly focusing on Summer.

Overall, it was a nice read.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Review: "Through the Dark" by Alexandra Bracken



Warning: Through the Dark is a collection of novellas in the Darkest Minds universe. The following contains mild spoilers for the original trilogy.

If I had any doubts before, they’re all gone now. Alexandra Bracken is definitely, doubtlessly, my favorite Young Adult author. Her stories are magnificent, of-course, but it’s her writing that pulls me towards her books. It’s beautiful. 

I didn’t really know what to expect with Through the Dark because it’s a collection of novellas. I hadn’t read any of them before but I had heard great things about the first two. And Bracken did it again. I was laughing and sobbing during all three stories. I love the characters, both new and old. And I loved reading about this world again. As with all my favorite books, this ended way too soon.


In Time: I started to really warm up to Gabe. And I had completely forgotten what happens to him (it’s been a while since I read In the Afterlight), so the ending shocked me. It was horrible! Poor little Zu.

Sparks Rise: I fell in love with Sam all over again. And Lucas was great too. I like him almost as much as Liam (I did say almost). I was so sad at how this ended, I’m glad I was able to move on to the next story quickly.

Through the Dark: My favorite one out of the three. They have a happy ending! I LOVE happy endings! And the old gang was back! Reading about their characters again was like meeting old friends after a long time; it made me really happy. It was also interesting getting to see how the country was doing after In the Afterlight. Not as well as I hoped but I guess you can’t have everything.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Review: “Winter” by Marissa Meyer



Warning: this review contains spoilers for the first three books in the Lunar Chronicles series (the first book is called Cinder). Winter is the last book in the series.

I started this book the day it came out (first book I ever pre-ordered), and what an awesome decision that was. 823 pages of sheer Wow-ness. I am still unable to form coherent thoughts on this book. It’s over. *sigh* It was just SO GOOD! It had EVERYTHING I hoped for and more.

This book was probably the most fast paced out of the four. There weren’t any slow moments. None! Books like this is why the term page-turner was invented. Winter is definitely a page-turner.

Princess Winter’s character is fantastic (she reminded me of Luna Lovegood). Winter has gone crazy (she is always hallucinating) because she refuses to use her Lunar gift, which is unusual for Lunars. But she is also intelligent, more than people realize. And beautiful of-course which is why Levana made her scar herself when she was younger.

Every character has their own unique story. Marissa Meyer is one of the few YA authors who can pull off having several main characters and not force a few of them into the background (*cough* *cough* Blood of Olympus *cough* *cough*). Every character played a special role and helped in some way.

The relationship between the characters feel very real. Every pairing in this series is perfection. I completely fell in love with the relationship of Winter and Jacin. All the different friendship dynamics are also genuine; it’s clear that they truly are a group of friends who love and support each other no matter how difficult life gets.

This is an awesome ending to an awesome series and it won’t disappoint.


The following is just a series of random thoughts I have about this book or the series in general:

Kai PROPOSED! HE PROPOSED! Well… kind of. He asked if Cinder would one day consider being empress which to my Kaider mind is a legitimate proposal.

The friendship between Scarlet and Winter was really nice. It felt more real than Scarlet and Cinder’s friendship at-least; I can’t remember those two ever bonding much. But then again, they have been slightly busy.

Scarlet and Wolf are FINALLY reunited!! Seems like forever.

But I would be lying if I said I loved everything about this book. The one thing I was confused about is Wolf. They supposedly enhanced him but I really saw no difference between his new form vs his previous form excluding physical features. I guess that might be the point Meyer was making about his love for Scarlet being stronger than whatever they did to him but it wasn’t explained very well.

I’m still confused on how Iko can love. I get that she has a faulty personality chip but how do you program a robot to feel emotion? I don’t remember if there was an explanation. Or maybe this is just way over my head.

There are so many parts I loved though, they easily trump the few parts I didn’t. This review nowhere summarizes all my thoughts for this wonderful book.

Review: “Nearly Gone” by Elle Cosimano



Warning: I read this a while ago and am writing this review only now.

Goodreads Synopsis: Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.

Another book I would not have finished if it weren’t for something school related (Reader’s Rally, anyone?). Nearly (yes, that is her name) is kind of horrible. And the paranormal aspect of the book (Nearly can taste people’s emotions when she touches them) was completely unnecessary and unrelated. This could’ve been a perfectly good mystery novel if the paranormal aspect was missing. Instead of adding to the plot, it just made it more confusing and left a lot of questions unanswered.

And not to mention her horrible people skills. She has the perfect best friend: someone who knows her, has been with her through thick and thin, steals money from his abusive father so she’ll be able to pay rent. And who does she choose? The bad boy, of-course! Doesn’t every teenage girl?

This book frustrated me.


One thing that really bothered me was her friendship with Anh. It never really seemed like a friendship. The tension is high between the two (they’re both competing for a chemistry scholarship); they barely talked let alone bonded. I didn’t understand why Nearly kept referring to her as one of her closest friends when she is always trying to avoid her. And let’s not forget that even when she CHOSE Reece over Jeremy, she would still always get jealous when Anh and Jeremy were together. Make up your mind!