Monday, September 19, 2016

Review: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)


City of Glass is the third book in the Mortal Instruments series.  It is my understanding it was originally a trilogy, which Cassandra decided to expand into a 6 book series.  The ending definitely felt like the conclusion of the series.  Everything comes together nicely and I was very content with how she left each of the characters. 

From what I have heard, that isn't the feeling readers have had that continued reading books 4 through 6.  For that reason, I am going to consider this series complete for the time being and move onto Cassandra’s Infernal Devices series, which numerous people have told me I HAVE to read.

I love the Shadowhunter world Cassandra has created.  The battles against Valentine and his demons added the necessary danger and excitement to keep the pages turning.  I also enjoyed watching the characters grow though out the series.  Simon gains a tremendous amount of confidence in this installment as he comes to terms with being a vampire and embraces his new talents.  I also enjoyed seeing Alec open up about his relationship with Magnus.  Perhaps the greatest revelation was discovering who Sebastian really is and how that news impacts the rest of the Shadowhunters. 

What I enjoyed the most about City of Glass is that it brought the Shadowhunters and Downworlders together to fight for a common cause.  They all have unique abilities, so it always surprised me that the Shadowhunters looked down upon the vampires, warlocks, fae, and werewolves.  If only they would have aligned themselves sooner, a great deal of death and evil likely could have been prevented.  The alliance also makes it possible for all of our favorite characters to live together peacefully, which definitely contributes to the warm and fuzzy ending to this trilogy.

I would definitely recommend this series to any YA fan.  If you have read the last three books in the series, I would love to hear your thoughts.  Should I read them or not?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth


I loved Divergent and gave it 5 stars.  There were some things I didn't really care for in Insurgent, so I gave it 3 stars and was REALLY hoping the series would end on a solid note the way it started.  I pre-ordered Allegiant, but was reluctant to read it after so many readers gave it mixed reviews.  People seemed to either love it or hate it, with the majority of my friends being on the latter end of the spectrum.  

As part of the COYER (clean out your e-reader) challenge, I decided it was time to finally complete this series.  I managed to avoid spoilers with one not so minor exception.  I did hear that someone significant dies, I just didn't know who it would be until I actually read the book.  All in all, that is pretty remarkable since the book was released almost 3 years ago and sparked a ton of conversation and debate in the blogging world.

I'm not going to give a synopsis like I usually do because I honestly don't feel like I have anything to say.  At just over half way through this book, I sent a message to Book Nerd Flo and said "Literally nothing has happened so far."  She said she felt the same way when she read the book.  Until the last 75 pages or so I felt like I gained next to nothing from the time I had invested.  Then there is a major twist that nobody would have seen coming, which is what lead to all of the debate.  I personally did not care for how the series ended and would not recommend reading beyond the first book in the series.  

I think Veronica could have wrapped things up in two books instead of three.  Readers could have saved their time and money and the majority of people would be able to look back on the series in a far more positive light. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bookish Goals Status Update: August 2016


In an effort to help keep myself on track, I am going to post monthly status updates showing where I stand for each of my 2016 Goals.

  • Read and review at least 45 books 
    1. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
    2. First Family by David Baldacci
    3. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
    4. Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan (39 Clues Book 1)
    5. I Survived Hurricane Katrina (I Survived #3)
    6. I Survived the Joplin Tornado (I Survived #12)
    7. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer 
    8. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
    9. One False Note by Gordon Korman (39 Clues #2)
    10. The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis (39 Clues #3)
    11. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins
    12. Shade Me by Jennifer Brown
    13. Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson (39 Clues #4)
    14. Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
    15. 738 Days by Stacey Kade
    16. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
    17. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
    18. The Crown by Kiera Cass
    19. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
    20. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
    21. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  • I am once again participating in the New To You Challenge hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup.  I'm going to aim for the "Dipping the Toes" level with 12 - 24 books that qualify. Any book over 80ish pages qualify as long as it is new to you.  New author, new genre, new series, etc.
    1. Confessions of a Shopaholic  - New series
    2. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - New author and New Series
    3. Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan - New series
    4. I Survived Hurricane Katrina - New author and New Series
    5. One False Note by Gordon Korman - New author
    6. The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis - New author
    7. Shade Me by Jennifer Brown - New series
    8. Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson (39 Clues) - New author
    9. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig - New author
    10. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire - New author
    11. The Maze Runner by James Dashner - New author & New Series
    12. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee - New author & Series
  • Read at least 10 New Adult books (My definition of NA = protagonists are post high school, but under 30)
    1. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
    2. 738 Days by Stacey Kade
    3. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
    • Last year I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which was the book that had been on my Goodreads TBR list the longest.  This year, I have 49 books that were all added on September 7, 2010 that would qualify.  I plan on reading at least 3 of them.
      1. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
    • Finish reading at least 5 series I have already started.  (I have several trilogies with final books I still need to read.
      1. The Crown by Kiera Cass - The Selection Series
      2. Allegiant by Veronica Roth - The Divergent Series
    • Attend a book convention
      • I had an absolute blast at BEA this year.  I posted daily recaps with pictures and highlights in May.
    • I joined the Mount TBR Reading Challenge. My goal is to reach Mount Blanc level - Read 24 books in 2016 that I owned before January 1, 2016.  Ebooks that you own count, but you must own the book....No library books.
      1. First Family by David Baldacci
      2. Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan (39 Clues #1)
      3. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
      4. One False Note by Gordon Korman (39 Clues #2)
      5. The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis (39 Clues #3)
      6. Shade Me by Jennifer Brown
      7. Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson (39 Clues #4)
      8. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent #3)
      • Achieve a Professional level in the 2016 Prequel and Sequel challenge with 76 - 100 points.  I finished last year with 82 points, so hopefully this year will be similar.  The sign up and description can be found at Novel Heartbeat. (Link Up Quarterly)
        1. First Family - King & Maxwell #4 - 2 points for a sequel 
        2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - Lunar Chronicles #2 - 2 points for a sequel
        3. The Girl Who Played with Fire - Millennium series #2 - 2 points sequel
        4. One False Note by Gordon Korman (39 Clues #2) - 2 points sequel
        5. The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis (39 Clues #3) - 2 points sequel
        6. Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson (39 Clues #4) - 2 points sequel
        7. Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Naturals #2) - 2 points sequel
        8. The Crown by Kiera Cass (Selection Series #5) - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        9. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent #3) - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
                                                          Total Points = 38
      • Complete 2 half marathons during 2016
        1. I ran in the Glass City Half Marathon on April 24th and finished in 2:17:25
        2. I ran the Emerald City Quarter Marathon in 1:02:26
        3. I'm registered for the Columbus Half Marathon October 16th
      • I joined the New Release Challenge hosted by Unconventional Book Views and Books, Movies, Reviews Oh My! My goal is to reach New Release Pro status with 16 new releases read/reviewed during 2016.  The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages.
        1. Shade Me by Jennifer Brown - Release date 1/19/16
        2. 738 Days by Stacey Kade - Release date 6/7/16
        3. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig - Release date 10/4/16
        4. The Crown by Kiera Cass - Release date 5/3/16
        5. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee - Release date 8/30/16
        6. I picked up a TON of new releases at BEA, so I should make serious headway towards this goal the last half of the year.

      Tuesday, August 30, 2016

      Happy Book Birthday to Stacey Kade and This Life Only




      Happy Book Birthday to Stacey Kade and For This Life Only!

      I just downloaded For This Life Only and can't wait to read it!.  I read 738 Days this past June, which was Stacey's first NA book, and LOVED it.  Now only a couple of months later she is releasing her first YA Contemporary.  It is nice to see her branching out into different genres and I wish her the best with her latest release. 

      For This Life OnlyGoodreads Overview:

      A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this gripping, coming-of-age tale about loss, redemption, love, and the moment you begin to see the world differently.

      Three minutes.

      Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes.

      And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is broken. Jace’s planned future is crushed, along with his pitching arm. Everyone keeps telling him that Eli’s in a better place, but Jace isn’t so sure. Because in those three minutes, there was nothing.

      Overwhelmed by guilt and doubt, Jace struggles to adjust to this new version of the world, one without his brother, one without the certainties he once relied on. And then Thera comes into his life.

      She’s the last girl he should be turning to for help.

      But she’s also the first person to truly see him.

      Monday, August 29, 2016

      Marathon Monday: Emerald City Quarter Marathon


      August 28th was a beautiful morning for the Emerald City Quarter Marathon in Dublin, Ohio.  This is the second time I have participated in the event as a training run for the fall Columbus Half Marathon and I really enjoy this well organized, but local event.  The weather was a little warm for a 7:00 AM start, but it was manageable.  I'm really looking forward to some cooler fall temperatures as I continue to ramp up my training. 

      I am shooting for a 2 hour half marathon this fall, so I will need to pick up my pace a little over the next several weeks.  The following are my official results.


      The paparazzi were out on the course...AKA my husband and son, so here are a couple of pictures from the event.



      Wednesday, August 24, 2016

      Waiting on Wednesday: The Bronze Key by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black


      Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

      The Bronze Key by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
      Release Date: August 30, 2016

      I received an ARC of the first book in this series at BEA a few years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed following this series.  

      The Bronze Key (Magisterium,  #3)Goodreads Overview:

      Magic can save you.
      Magic can kill you.

      Students at the Magisterium are supposed to be safe. Under the watchful eyes of the mages, they are taught to use magic to bring order to a chaotic world.

      But now the chaos is fighting back. Call, Tamara, and Aaron should be worrying about things like pop quizzes and magic contests. Instead, after the shocking death of one of their classmates, they must track down a sinister killer… and risk their own lives in the process.

      As Call, Tamara, and Aaron discover, magic can only be as good as the person who wields it. In evil hands, it has the capacity to do immeasurable harm, unless it is stopped in time.

      In this striking third book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare present us with a school where anything, good or evil, can happen, and the only way to unlock the truth is to risk everything to find it.


      Tuesday, August 23, 2016

      Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My TBR List Since Before I Started Blogging

      Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Every Tuesday they post a new Top Ten List on something bookish.  Click on the link above if you wish to participate.


      Top Ten Books Still on my TBR List Since Before I Started Blogging

      The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

      The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

      The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
      On the plus side, I did read The Maze Runner a month ago.

      The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)

      Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
      My brother gave me this book for Christmas, so I no loner have an excuse not to read this book.

      Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)

      If I Stay by Gayle Forman

      If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

      Matched by Ally Condie
      I picked up a copy of Matched in my little free library and hope to get to it soon.

      Matched (Matched, #1)

      The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

      The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)

      Mrs. DeWinter by Susan Hill
      I loved Rebecca in high school and really want to read this book, but for some reason I still haven't gotten around to it.  

      Mrs. de Winter

      The Sixth Man by David Baldacci
      This is the 5th book in the King and Maxwell series.  I just finished book 4 and should get to this one soon.

      The Sixth Man (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #5)

      Kay Scarpetta Series by Patricia Cornwell.  
      I've read the first three books in the series and added several more to my TBR list prior to starting my blog.

      Cruel & Unusual (Kay Scarpetta, #4)

      The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich
      I've read the first three books in this series as well and have been trying to play catch up.

      Four to Score (Stephanie Plum, #4)