Bout of Books 11 TBR!

Bout of Books is here everyone! Welcome to my “entry post”; this week shall be one full of late-night reading and madness, and I couldn’t be more excited! It will be my very first read-a-thon, and is set to be a good one. My TBR is lookin’ awesome and my tea has been brewed ..bring on the read-a-thon!

Bring-it-gif

 

Before I get into the books on my TBR, however, I am going to post a snippet from the Bout of Books blog that they have for other bloggers to put in their “entry posts.” This blog is where you get all of your information about the read-a-thon so check them out!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 

As for the books I shall be attempting to read, here is my list!

1) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

 

 

images

I’ve been meaning to read this particular classic for a while now, and I decided that this time I’m really gonna do it! I’m hopefully going to knock this one out in the first day or so of the read-a-thon.

2) Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston

download

This book I rented from the library and picked it for my TBR mainly because it’s going to have to go back soon, but the premise is really interesting! The main character is a Blackjack dealer in a place called “New Vegas” which is Las Vegas frozen over, and she needs to journey to a place called the “Blue” where the weather is apparently much better – and to be honest that is about the extent of my knowledge because the summary had me at “Blackjack dealer.”

3) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 

download (1)

Shadow and Bone is a bandwagon I am totally late too and it is about time that I picked up this series, I am so excited to dive into it!

4) Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy_Marie_Lu_Book

I am halfway through the second book in the Legend trilogy and loving it so far! I stopped reading it when I left for vacation and never picked it back up so it’s about time to get back to it. I love Marie Lu’s writing style and can’t wait to finish this series!

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FANGIRL_CoverDec2012

loved Eleanor&Park by Rainbow Rowell and since I am literally THE last person to read this book I decided I needed to tackle it for this read-a-thon, so here it is! 

 

And those are my books! I’m really psyched for this week and I’m hoping I can get through all of these. Is anyone else participating in the read-a-thon? 

Also, I’ll be doing some updates and maybe a few challenges throughout the week on my YouTube channel so feel free to check that out:)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC48v_4lP3LpPJcLS65u0Isw/videos 

 

Happy Bout of Books 11.0 Read-a-Thon,

BookishSniffs

Advertisements

Four: A Divergent Collection Review!

*While this review doesn’t contain any specific spoilers, if you haven’t read the Divergent series you may not want to go too far into this!*four

BOOK: Four (A Divergent Collection)

This book is a 4 part story that precedes and overlaps with the time period of Divergent, following Tobias and his choice to become Dauntless, his initiation, his journey in the new faction, and everything leading up to his meeting Tris and th events that unfold during the time period of her initiation There are four parts: The Transfer, The Initiate, The Son, The Traitor as well as three short scenes at the end of the book: “First Jumper, Tris!”, “Careful, Tris”, and “You Look Good, Tris”

AUTHOR: Veronica Roth

RATING:  UHM ..10/10, 100%, 5/5 STARS

awesomeness-achieved

REVIEW:

I am a long-time, hard core lover of Veronica Roth and her creation of Divergent. The series is just barely behind Harry Potter on my list of favorites – I could read it a thousand times over and never be bored. My respect for Veronica and and her writing is so intense, in fact, that I have vowed to myself that I shall purchase and read anything that woman ever publishes.

Needless to say, Four was at the top of my TBR from the second it was released; and I was absolutely not dissapointed!

When writers publish these types of books after such a successful series, it is extremely important to be true to the story and the characters and execute it the right way, because if readers dislike the new book it can taint the rest of the series for them. Of course, I needn’t have worried because Veronica has mad skills. Four just made me love Divergent even more. (If that was even possible).

In a truthful testament to his character, Roth wrote the story with an intense and thoughtful style. It really felt like Four, not like Roth was trying to force anything or add anything that was uncharacteristic of Tobias. It felt effortless. Maybe that was due to how well she developed his character throughout the Divergent series or to a connection Veronica felt with Four (most likely it was both). Either way, no question that Four was perfectly written and included just enough information to be satisfying yet wasn’t unnecassarily lengthy. BRAVO, Veronica, BRAVO!

slow clap

NOW, on to the specifics!

*Again, no really obvious spoilers but this section does give more detail, so for those who want to go into this book mostly blind, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!*

The four-part story kicks off “The Transfer” which outlines Four’s relationship with his dad and everything leading up to the choice he makes in the choosing ceremony ending when he gets his name – “Four”. I was particularly interested in this section because it gave readers the “Four” version of what the forefront of Divergent is composed of. It revealed more information on things you already know from Divergent; more on Tobias’s family and his test experience as well as little things that added to his character and gave us a better understanding of him. I loved all those little nuggets of history that Veronica so carefully selected to include and it felt like I really got to know Four so much better, I loved it!

Part two, “The Initiate,” included lots of really fun scenes to read — we see a crazy game of dare that made me want to jump into the pages and play along, lots of butt-kickery on Four’s part, awkward friendships, as well as events that lead to deeper revelations about what Four thinks of this new faction he’s chosen and his tug of war thoughts about whether or not he belongs.

Part three, and it’s title “The Son” follows Tobias as he settles (a little uneasily) into Dauntless life. There’s a strange mystery to ocupy his thoughts, a job he’s not positive he wants to take, family stress, and growing doubts about the values of those in charge of his faction. Despite the unease, however, Tobias finds pockets of happiness in his friendships, and in small, stolen pieces of rebellion.

And finally, section four “The Traiter,” was my very favorite part to read. It jumps into Tris’s initiation into Dauntless and we get to see the evolotuion of their relationship from Four’s point of view. Can I just say…….AWE.

In between all of this wonderful and beautiful Four/Triss-ness, we get to see what Tobias was up to when he wasn’t training initiates, and begin to discover some dangerous information. Four has to prioritize his loyalties as he decides what to do about his new found knowledge. Who can he trust? And who should he be trying to protect? Veronica doesn’t stop there however.

butwaittheresmore

She leaves us with three short scenes from Divergent. Three of my favorites, in fact. “First Jumper, Tris!”, “Careful, Tris.”, and “You Look Good, Tris.” Reading some of my favorites from Four’s perspective added invaluable dimension to Divergent, and when I finished them, I just wanted more!

Overall, Four nuzzled Divergent even closer to my heart. It made me love characters I’d only seen blinks of before, it kept me interested with enough variation to not be too predictable (even though I thought knowing what happens in Divergent might take out the surprises for me), and most importantly, I feel like I know Tobias almost as much as I know Tris. I’m so very glad that Veronica Roth gave this gift to her readers. As she would say..

“I feel like it’s only fitting to end with a <4”

THANKS FOR READING

BookishSniffs

Book Review: Paper Towns

THIS IS MY VERY FIRST REVIEW!

PT

 

 

Book: Paper Towns
Author: John Green

Synopsys:
Paper Towns is set in modern day Orlando, Florida where Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman are neighbors. The two have a sort of childhood friendship, and as they grow older they grow apart as they become two very different people.  Quentin has grown into the familiar pattern of marveling Margo from afar, until one night she requests his presence for a crazy all-night adventure to get revenge on a few classmates who have severely wronged her. The next day, however, Q finds that she’s gone, and he’s not sure if she’ll be coming back. She’s left him clues that take him to things he’d never have done on his own and he struggles through the seemingly impossible task of finding her. As he searches, Q learns a few things about people and about the way we view each other.

Overall:
As a whole, this book was incredible. It skillfully balanced wit and thought provocativity-ness (that is SO not a word) and the dialogue was hilarious to a point that I did not even know was possible. The chemistry between all of the characters was amazingly well developed–the friendships and relationships were so very real and believable. Not to mention how constantly i was diving for my post-its to mark some page that perfectly put into words some of those feelings or thoughts that I’ve have but wouldn’t know where to begin to describe. Authors that truly understand both their characters and their audience and then write their stories with such raw honesty are very valuable finds. I now have such a different way of looking at how we view the people around us, and I’m incredibly glad to have read this book. Paper Towns is a truly excellent story, and definitely a must read.

Rating: 8….okay 8.7
NOW ONTO THE FULL REVIEW!

(there are spoilers all up in this business!!!)

I’ll be totally honest. TFIOS was a brilliant novel and I really did enjoy it, but it just wasn’t enough to convince me of the gold-star genius status that people tend to hold John Green to. Paper Towns, however, pretty much obliterated every shred of doubt I was still harboring. I mean, the book was incredible.

There is just SO much in it, so many mind blowing things to discuss that it’s simply impossible to get to it all and I don’t even know where to start…..I have so many notes flying around right now.

I guess that the best place would be to begin with Margo’s last name, Spiegelman. In a Q&A video about PT (I’m giving it an acronym because if TFIOS gets one then Paper Towns deserves one too!), John Green said that Spiegelman is actually a German word for “mirror maker” and that he picked it because “when people look at her they don’t see anything that’s essentially true about Margo, what they see is some funhouse mirror reflection of themselves.” pointing out that no-one actually ever saw the real Margo, who was really a paper girl. They saw someone who practically dripped awesomeness. Quentin was, of course, especially guilty of this and always saw Margo, as a lot of people did, as this adventurous and magnificent enigma who he marveled at from afar.

What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.

I especially LOVE this theme and it rings very true for me as a highschooler, where paper people are at the top of the high school food chain (that metaphor never gets old) and they are surrounded by people who worship them and view them as untouchable entities.  This book gave me such a fresh perspective on that.

There are tons and tons of other ways to show how we mis-imagine people in this story as well. The way Margo was always planning her big adventures, the trip to Mississippi specifically, and then not even really enjoying them, just liking the idea of having done them. Or the journey that Q went on to find Margo and how it contained so much more craziness and drama than what actually happened when they found her. Just like Margo Roth Spiegelman herself; she was an enigma, and the actual her wasn’t at all what anyone imagined.

“And all at once I knew how Margo Roth Spiegelman felt when she wasn’t being Margo Roth Spiegelman: she felt empty. She felt the unscaleable wall surrounding her. I thought of her asleep on the carpet with only that jagged sliver of sky above her. Maybe Margo felt comfortable there because Margo the person lived like that all the time: in an abandoned room with blocked-out windows, the only light pouring in through holes in the roof. Yes. The fundamental mistake I had always made–and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make–was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.”

While all of these mind-shatteringly deep ideals are what make PT such a moving and eye-opening story, all of the other elements to it are the reason why I love the book so much. It is important to make sure your readers are not too overwhelmed, and John Green balances intensity with plot-lines that are just really, really fun to read. Exhibit A: I was so, SO surprised at how much this book had me laughing. Whilst Radar, Ben, and Q discussed Radar’s fear of taking his girlfriend to his parent’s house because they own the second largest collection of black Santas in the world, I was laughing so hard that my sister was seriously contemplating my sanity. Seriously, who else could have thought of black Santas?? There were hundreds of other little hilarious and quirky tidbits; like the Omnictionary website and Radar’s devotion to it’s upkeep, Ben’s ongoing struggle of finding a prom date, the email exchange between Q and Jase about the incriminating picture, and of course the use of the word KERFUFFLE on page 263. (Yep, kerfuffle).Perhaps one of the greatest testimonies to John Green’s comedic genius however, was the roadtrip. Everything from them being naked under their gowns and having to go for hours like that to Ben peeing in a bottle to the unbelievably creatively funny dialogue throughout that entire section which had me laughing so hard I was in danger of suffocating from not being able to breathe for like a hundred pages.

All of that brilliance is not even to mention how much I loved the characters and how honestly John Green portrays them. They act and think just like graduating seniors would and their relationships are so very REAL. The chemistry between all of them really works and is incredibly enjoyable to read. This becomes especially apparent during the road-trip scene where they get conversations going and the dialogue is like a tennis match just bouncing back and forth so naturally between them all. Lacie is also one of my very favourite characters in this book. Someone Q and his friends thought to be a stereotypical Mean-Girl turned out to be a really complex, funny, and caring character.

All of the wonderfulness that this book contains came to a ginormous bang of a conclusion. Earlier in the story, Q’s dad planted this idea of not being able to really understand others and not being able to express ourselves correctly either; we think of people as somehow either more or less of a person than we are. and then during the conclusion we get two sort of “explanations”. Margo starts talking about her and how she thought of Q as a paper boy, someone with flat dimensions, until that night she realized he wasn’t paper at all, he was very real and he was someone she really liked. And then Q explained understanding of others like interconnectedness–grass is all interconnected and the idea helped him to actually think of Margo like a person which ultimately brought him to her. Then he talks about cracks in a vessel and how then light can get in and light can get out, the light being an understanding and it being a way we can really get each other–this transfer of light.

“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”

And then all of a sudden there’s like this click and we realize that this whole journey and all those discoveries have lead to Q becoming so real, and so completely him. And Margo….she’s no longer a paper girl. Having gotten away from people’s various Margo’s and all the different ideas of who she is, she was finally able to start being more herself than ever before. They were both more themselves and had so much more understanding and they could really, truly, GET each other. The ending is seriously perfect for this book. I loved that Margo stayed because she needed to really be herself, and Q really got that and also knew he had to leave her in order to be himself….and then that very last paragraph. It melted my heart with perfection because it tied everything together flawlessly and beautifully. I absolutely loved it.

“I feel her hands on my back. And it is dark as I kiss her, but I have my eyes open and so does Margo. She is close enough to me that I can see her, because even now there is the owtward sign of the invisible light, even at night in this parking lot on the outskirts of Agloe. After we kiss, our foreheads touch as we stare at each other. Yes, I can see her almost perfectly in this cracked darkness.”

Seriously, John Green, BRAVO! This is the type of story that changes the way people view other people and the understanding of others as well as ourselves. It has given me the gift of perspective carefully wrapped inside lots of laughs, many more “woooah’s”, and even a few tears. Thank you for this beautiful read.