Would You Rather Book Tag

Ello everyone! I’m here today with a book tag :) No one tagged me to do this, but I thought it looked fun! My goal on the blog is to write a review for Tuesday, and do a tag or list for Friday. We’ll see how that plan goes.

Now on to the tag!

Read Only Trilogies or Stand-alones?

Definitely trilogies! Off the top of my head I can only think of one stand-alone I’ve ever read.

Read Only Male or Female Authors?

Weird question… But I’d have to say female :) Most of my favorite authors are female, for example: Nadine Brandes, Jill Williamson, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Melanie Dickerson, CJ. Darlington… Well, you get the idea :) I would hate not reading more book by them!

Shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a book from Barnes and Noble. I love browsing the store though! So, I’m saying Amazon.

All Books Become Movies or TV Shows?

I’m gonna say movies, because I’ve never watched a TV show based off a foot.

Read Five Pages a Day, or Five Book A Week?

Hands down five books a week! Only five pages a day would be torture!

Be a Professional Reviewer or Author?

Probably author…

Only Read Your Top 20 Favorite Books Over and Over Again, or Always Read New Ones You’ve Never Read Before?

I LOVE re-reading my favorites! But ONLY re-reading my favorites would get boring after awhile… So gonna have to go with read new ones I’ve never read before.

Be A Librarian or Book Seller?

I’m gonna have to say librarian.. wait, if I got a discount as a book seller I would choose that one :)

Only Read Your Favorite Genre(s), or Anything But Your Favorite?

This is a hard question, because fantasy is my favorite genre! But sometimes I don’t feel like reading fantasy… I’m gonna have to go with anything but my favorite. There is still Sci-Fi and Dystopian which I love!

Only Read Physical Books, or E-Books?

Definitely physical! E-books don’t have the same feel as real books. And my shelves would be pretty empty without any books.

I Tag:

Rivka Ray of 26 Countless Possibilities

Allie of Confessions of a Teenage Bookworm.

There you have it! Hope you enjoyed!

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Review: Golden Braid {Giveaway at the end!}

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
The Golden Braid
Genre: Romance, Christian.
Age Range: 13+
Favorite Quote: “So, you see, a man can love you, but only imperfectly. It is God alone who can be God.”
Series: The sixth book of The Hagenheim Series. Each book can be read individually, but I recommend reading them in order.
Stars: 5/5
About the Author: Blog and Facebook.
 
 

     Melanie Dickerson did it again!!! The Golden Braid was phenomenal! Oh, that plot twist! Melanie didn’t really lead up to the plot twist, just BOOM! There it was. I could probably write a review just about the plot-twist, but then it wouldn’t be a spoiler-free review ;)

 

     I am very happy I was able to re-visit some of my favorite Hagenheim characters again! I love all of them, especially Lady Rose as she was the first heroine written by Melanie Dickerson that began my appreciation for her writing.

 

     The Golden Braid overlaps with The Princess Spy. You are able to read it through the eyes of different characters and see other scenes you weren’t able to witness before!

 

     Rapunzel, as a character, is amazing. When she was a child she didn’t learn how to read and write, but she did learn how to do everything else. From knife throwing to painting to singing. Rapunzel can pretty much do it all. I love her gentle spirit and her caring nature.

 

     The main guy, Gerek, is a great character. Melanie put just as much work into his life and personality as Rapunzel. I normally don’t enjoy reading from a guy’s perspective, especially when there is a girl character involved. There are mentions of him noticing her hair and beauty, but he didn’t linger for it to get awkward for the reader.

 

Overall:
    Definitely my favorite of the series so far! If you love romance and YA go pick this up!

 

Giveaway!!! Hardback copy of The Golden Braid.

Mandatory entry: Be a follower of this blog.

Extra Entries(let me know in the comments which ones you did and the name you did it under!): Follow us on Facebook, Follow us on Instagram, Follow us on Twitter and share on social media (tag us and leave the link below!).

Winner will be chosen on the week of the eight and will be announced on the blog. Good luck :)

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Book Review: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 12.47.57 PMTitle:  I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

Author: Ally Carter

Genre: Contemporary, Teen-Spy, Espionage

Series?  Book 1 of 6 in the Gallagher Girls series

POV: First person, past tense, one narrator.

Cliffhanger?  No.

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Author’s Website

About the Book (from backcover)
The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school – typical, that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE, the latest in chemical warfare in science; and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes computer class. Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but its really a school for spies.

Even though Cammie Morgan is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist” –  but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

My Thoughts
I had been wanting a change from my normal high action, fantasy or dystopian reads.  This was a great book for that.  It was a change of pace, and I was in the mood for that.

The Plot
While I am not one for romance, and most of the plot revolved around the romance, it did not bother me too much.  That’s not to say I wish something other than a relationship drove the plot, it was cute enough.  There were many unrealistic elements, but then again, this book revolves around a school or teenage spies.  Not exactly the most realist thing, but fun all the same.

The Writing
Cammie tells the story in a very casual way.  It’s written like she is talking to the reader.  I know this doesn’t work in all cases, but it is very appropriate here.

Things I liked
Without giving anything away, this book touched on misperceptions. There was a particular character the girls initially hated, but as things evolved, they learned to get along and even go to that character for advice.  I also liked the theme about making choices even if that means letting go of something.

Favorite Character
Bex was my favorite character in this story.  She often provided humor to the story line.  She also stood beside her friends the whole way through the story.

Other Thoughts
This is a very cute, fun read.  I’ve heard that this series starts out slow, and improves with each book.  I would read the next book anyway, but this makes me more interested in continuing!  I’m actually halfway through the second book now, and enjoying it even more than this book! :)

 

Content:  The plot revolves around romance, so lots of handholding and one non-descriptive kiss.  Words like “hot” and “sexy” are used quite a bit.  One of the girls uses the “B-word” (used in text like in the quotes, not actually written)

Have you read this book or any others by Ally Carter?  

What did you think?  Will you be reading this one soon?

Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday’s theme is: Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added to my TBR Pile. (I think I can safely say my TBR “pile” is a mountain!) I want on my handy dandy Goodread’s account and pulled the last ten books I had added to my TBR. Here we go.

Impactibity

Impactivity by Tracy Higley.

Apollo

The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan.

I am so excited about this book!!! I was a little disappointed at the ending of The Heroes of Olympus series because, Rick Riordan thought it was necessary to add a gay character and I wasn’t happy about it. Besides that I really like him as an author!

The Progency

The Progeny by Tosca Lee.

I love this cover!

Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu.

These are the second and third book in the Legend Trilogy!

Ignite.jpg

Ignite by Sara Larson.

This is the second book in the trilogy! I am not sure what it’s called :D

Only you, Sierra

Only you, Sierra by Robin Jones Gunn.

I loved Robin Jones Gunn when I was younger, and I really want to read her books again!

The Shadow Queen

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine.

I LOVE the cover of this book and can’t wait to read it.

The Thorn Healer

The Thorn Healer by Pepper Basham.

This book doesn’t have a cover or a synopsis yet! It’s the third book in the Penned in Time series.

And the last book I put on my TBR pile is:

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Journey by Rachel Starr Thomson.

That’s it! What was the last book YOU marked as To-Be-Read? What’s the last book you bought?

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Appreciate a Dragon Day!

Apparently, Donita K Paul made January 16th Appreciate a Dragon Day and I thought I would celebrate by giving you five of my favorite series/books that have dragons!

 

Donita K. Paul’s Dragonkeeper Chronicles, This is the series that made me fall in love with dragons!

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The King’s Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight. This whole series is great, but the dragons don’t come in until this book!

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Amazing series I recommend it to all dragon lovers!

Heartless

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. The dragon is a bad guy, but hes still really interesting and this is one of my favorite books.

The Lost Hero

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. This might seem like a weird choice to some of you. The dragon in this book/series is a machine created by Leo. I still found Festus, the metal dragon, very fascinating and was glad he was in the whole series!

There you have it! What are some of YOUR favorite dragon books?

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Opposing Book Review: A Time to Die

A Time to Die

Title:  A Time to Die

Author: Nadine Brandes

Genre: Christian, Dystopian

Series?  Book 1 of 3

POV: First person, present tense, one narrator

Cliffhanger? Yes

My Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Author’s Website

About the Book (from author’s website)
How would you live if you knew the day you’d die? Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.

My Thoughts

Sierra has a very different opinion on this book.  You can read her review by clicking here.

Here it is.  The long awaited review.
I know some of you are really curious to see my thoughts, especially with my two stars on Goodreads.  Truth is, this review is nearly impossible to write.  This book is definitely a “it’s not for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for you” kind of book.  And I don’t say that too often.

On that note, I’m not going to soften the aspects I didn’t like.  I stand by the fact that these made me dislike the book.  I may be overly critical because I don’t feel like I was in the right mood for a dystopian when I read this.

Let’s start off with the negative, so we can end on a positive note.

THE NEGATIVE

Plot Driven
Uuuuughh.  Seriously, so many of the events in this book are plot driven.  Sure, God could be pushing Parvin into situations so she can grow, but it seemed too convenient.  There was one time where Parvin prayed, and a tidal wave came down upon her shortly after.  Was I worried?  Nope.  Why?  Because Parvin just prayed.  Of course God sent the flood to help Parvin out/prove a point.  I’m fine with prayers being answered in unexpected ways, but the plot moved too fast from one thing to the next, and this happened too often to take it seriously.

Cliff Hanger Chapter Endings
I do NOT have a problem with a book ENDING in a cliff hanger.  Okay, yes I do.  I’ll complain, whine, and get over it.  It does not effect the enjoyment of the overall book.  Ending EVERY SINGLE chapter in a cliff hanger DOES effect the enjoyment of the book.  I don’t believe I have read a single book that uses this device that I have liked.  I find it distracting.  Sometimes I’m sure something happened just so the chapter could end in a cliff hanger.  Plus, on repeatedly recovering from whatever just happened, I no longer worry about anything happening to the main characters.

Parvin was Useless
And I’m not talking about her wasting her life, which she has done.  Parvin is soooo annoying and stupid naive.  She makes emotional decisions without thinking first.  For so much of the time, she was just being erratic.  I wanted to slap her.  She also had many lengthy inner dialogues that could have been cut down.  Towards the end I started skimming them.  Oh, and I did think Parvin had grown by the end of the book, so I could not believe when she brought up dying unkissed again.  I quit reading for a week when this was brought up near the end.

Now to counter this one.  Parvin reminded me a lot of Tris in Insurgent.  When I read Insurgent, four years ago, it was one of my favorite books.  Have I changed that much?

Reid’s Journal
She also had abundant time to read her brother’s journal, which became the only interesting part of the book for a while, but Parvin didn’t read it until it was too late. I WAS SHOUTING AT HER TO READ IT; WHY DIDN’T SHE LISTEN TO ME???????

I Thought the Characters Already Know the Big Plot Twist
THIS SECTION IS TOTALLY SPOILERY – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!
(highlight to reveal spoilers) I knew Jude and Hawke were brothers.  (I also knew that deleting Hawke’s contact information was the stupidest thing to do – just another one of Parvin’s erratic desisions.)  I seriously thought the characters already knew this.  I’m not sure how Parvin missed it.  Then, while Jude is dying, Parvin finds out Hawke is Jude’s brother.  It was a BIG SHOCK because I thought she already knew.  Talk about ruining a character death scene….
(end spoilers)

Other “What was the point?” Moments
– I didn’t get the point of the preacher.  At all.  He may be explained more in later books, but for such a big build up, he was so non-essential to the plot. (other than that thing that Jude did for her that hurt him in the end)  And why did Parvin still want to see him after hearing some things that proved he was not the smartest guy after all?
– I’m sure I’m suppose to feel warm fuzzy feelings for Willow…..
I cannot pinpoint what happened here, but I’m quite indifferent to her.


THE POSITIVE

Interesting Concepts
The premise of the book is very interesting.  The start of the book was promising.  I was really into learning about the world and life with the clocks.  The first 50 pages went by really fast.  The technological concepts were very neat to read about.  The nonobook charging with solar power was the best.  Why hasn’t someone come up with a solar charged phone??

The writing (other than my qualms about plot/style listed above) was good.  While I will not be continuing this series, I may pick up a future book of Nadine Brandes’.  And her blog is most entertaining!

Notable Quotes
This book, despite all my complaints, is very quotable.  I have many highlights in my ebook.

“As I still my own nerves, the restless dragon scratches against my lungs, urging me forward.  It builds like a halted breath, growing, pushing.  The dragon needs air- it needs action.”

“I can’t comprehend the full emotion in his wrinkled brow and grinding jaw, but his eyes hold deeper sorrow than I’ve ever witnessed in my short life. In this moment, I realize how very different sorrow is from pity.”

“Mere survival holds no purpose. I refuse to believe God created us to just get by, so where does that put me?”

“I am on a pilgrimage. As Jude said: a quest to something sacred. A quest to shalom.”

Goodreads Tag – Rivka’s Answers

Sierra found another awesome tag, and can you believe that she tagged me in it? :P  You can read her answers here.

What is the last book you read?

Last book I read was The Exile Queen (review to come), but I only read the first 300 pages (it’s about 600 pages).  I didn’t finish it, so I’m not sure that counts.  The last book I finished was The Demon King.

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What book are you currently reading?

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I’m reading this one for school.  It started out slow, but it is getting more interesting now.

What is the last book you marked as To-Be-Read?

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It’s full of Lord of the Rings fan art!  Speaking of which, it as been a while since I did a Today in Fan Art post.  Would you guys like to see another one soon?

What book do you plan on reading next?

Two more books for school.  At least they look interesting!

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Do you use the star-rating system?

YES!

Do you have a 2016 reading goal?

Yes.  My goal is 35 books.  I decreased my goal for the second year in a row because I expect to be even busier this year than I was last year.  Oh the college life!  This year will be crazy, but next year should settle down enough to at least allow me to read lots during the summer.

What book(s) do you plan on buying next?

Firstly – 95% of my books come from one of three libraries (the one I work for, the one in the next county over, the college library)

Secondly – Whenever I buy books, they are usually from a second hand store, so it is kinda hard to plan books I want to buy

Thirdly – I’m a poor college student without any money

Fourthly – I try to only buy books the library does not have or I know the author is really good

Fifthly – Every time I buy a new book I usually hear something about not needing any more books in our house from a family member.  Not that the opinion of a non-bookworm counts, but still…

What’s your favorite quote?

 

Who are your favorite authors?

Jill Williamson, Mary E Pearson, Lisa T Bergren, Ruta Sepetys, Shannon Dittemore, and Jordyn Redwood
(not that this list is totally inclusive)

Are you a part of any Goodreads groups?

Yes, several :)

What could Goodreads do better?

Half stars, drafts for reviews, easier way to sort and edit friends and bookshelves.

And that is The Goodreads Tag :) Now to tag some people.  Be sure to check out their blogs!

Dee from Reverie of a Glitter Aficionado

Lucia from Reading With Lucia