2013 Wrap Up and Top 13 Books of ’13!

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Oh my goodness, we have made it through another year! Happy 2014 everyone!

So for 2013 my goal was to read 100 books. And I… fell short. BY 6 BOOKS!!!! Ugh. All that studying got in my way. But I accomplished my goals of school, so I guess I’ll accept that I only read 94 books (haha, only).

I read some awesome books this year, and quite a few awesome series (serieses? I know that’s wrong but it’s kinda cool.) I also read some not so awesome books (City of Fallen Angels, I’m looking at you). And I even read some books that I had to put down repeatedly because I would feel rage coming on (Beautiful Disaster, I’m side-eyeing the shit out of you). And yes, there were some books I started and simply could never finish, such as The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, which I conveniently lost my place in 1/4 of the way through. I also couldn’t finish City of Lost Souls, even on an audiobook, because I just could not handle Clary and Jace for one more second. Sorry Ms. Clare.

I picked 13 books/series that were my top favorites of the year. Yes I combined stand-alones and series because I really couldn’t decide on the books in the series that I included. They are in no order, they are just the ones that I loved the most.

  •  The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian). Oh I loved reading all about the life of Percy Jackson and his friends in this series. As I’ve said all year, Rick Riordan hooks me in from the beginning and when I finish I want more. And speaking of Rick Riordan series, the next title on my list is:
  • The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, and The House of Hades). These ones were slightly darker than the PJO series, and the wait between The Mark of Athena and The House of Hades was terrible. This series is not yet complete, we still have The Blood of Olympus to read soon. Oh booooy… Love these books.
  • The Darkest Minds Series by Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds, In Time, and Never Fade). This series was a wonderfully dark and addictive series that I can’t wait to read the final installment of and I hope that Ms. Bracken does another short story between Never Fade and the final (still untitled) book. Yes, I did think they were slightly creepy, but I did not mind it at all, I could not put the books down ever.
  • A Million Suns and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis. I started reading this trilogy in 2012, and loved the last two books in it so much. Yes, the cover change drove me nuts, but the content of the books, sci-fi fantasy, were perfect all the same.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Oh this book. This beautiful, painful book. The final bits of this book absolutely destroyed me and the whole thing was just so wonderful. If you’ve seen the movie with Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, but haven’t read the book, please read the book. They left so much out in the movie and some of the parts they left out were so wonderful.
  • The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess). This series was everything The Mortal Instruments series wasn’t. It was much better written than TMI was, and the characters were so much more interesting. I loved reading about Will, Jem, Tess, Charlotte, and Henry and all the others. I also loved seeing the creations and backstories on many people, places, and things in TMI, and loved seeing ancestry of certain TMI characters. And while some may not have loved the ending, I really did.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Oh this book, this lovely, wonderful book. I read this in December, so look for more about it in the December Wrap Up post, but this book was just so wonderful. I loved Cath and Wren and Reagan and Levi. It was so great. Now I have to read Eleanor and Park because Rowell has me hooked on her writing.
  • The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth (Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant). Yay dystopia! Tris was such a great character, and while the ending of this series may have been (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) painful, it was a great series and I sort of understand why Roth wrote the ending the way she did. READ THESE BOOKS BEFORE THE MOVIE COMES OUT! The movie will be great though, can’t wait to see it.
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy. Alien invasion, dis-trust of everyone, and some awesome characters made this book so great. I had no clue who to believe and who not to believe and was hooked through every sentence. I cannot wait for The Infinite Sea to come out, pre-ordered and everything. Although I can say I’m only slightly disappointed the second book won’t be titled “The 6th Wave”.
  • Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu (Legend, Prodigy, Champion). Wow this series was great. Everything about it from the covers to the type-color in each book for Day to the plot was awesome. Although dammit that ending! June, you should have set Day straight!!! ARGH! But the world was so cool and the characters were awesome, I’m so glad I picked the series up. Hopefully Ms. Lu will write something new in the next few years.
  • The Women of the Underworld Series by Kelley Armstrong (Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, and No Humans Involved). Meera started me on this series this past summer and it has been so fun so far. I love that they have Elena,  female werewolf, as one of the main characters. All the women in these books are awesome, and some of them started as kind of wimpy and really grew in the books. I still have six more to go in this series, and I’m sure they’re all gonna be awesome!
  • The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing). This was a really cool trilogy to start me on Libba Bray books. Gemma was a great teen protagonist and this trilogy was dark and captivating and beautiful. I love historical fiction, so that excited me too. And the ending was really great for Anne, Gemma, and Felicity.
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer. The first in the Lunar Chronicles, I read this in December, so again, I’ll get to review it more later. But it was a great read, I love fairy tale retellings. I also went straight to Books A Million and picked up Scarlet (on sale too!!!) after finishing this book. And I’ll be pre-ordering Cress and Winter too. It’s gonna be great.

So that’s my list of Top 13 of ’13. I’ll get to the December Wrap Up/January TBR post tomorrow. Hopefully.

November Wrap Up/December TBR

So classes are done until January. And I can finally read again! And I even passed my exams so everything is good. So let’s get straight to the wrap up!

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So the first book I read in November was Broken by Kelley Armstrong. We went back to Elena the awesome werewolf’s point of view. Really, I love Elena. In this one she was pregnant, which had its own entertainment factor watching her and Jeremy and Clay all kind of struggle with their worry and over-protectiveness. They had to steal a letter and accidentally opened a portal from the underworld, letting a few zombies loose in modern-day Toronto. And possibly even Jack the Ripper, who the letter was supposedly written by. This book follows them trying to close the portal and we see return characters like Jamie as well as new characters. I love these books. They’re always so interesting to read.

I also read Champion by Marie Lu. Which was amazing and I couldn’t put it down. The final book in the Legend series, June and Day are working hard for the Republic and at first June still doesn’t know Day is dying. It was wonderful and frustrating and happy and sad all at the same time. And the ending… well, if you read it you know what I mean. And if you haven’t, I really don’t want to spoil it.

I read Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb. This one was a whole new level of interesting, bringing religion into it in a different way. A Catholic priest gets poisoned while in the midst of a funeral mass, and then a big-name preacher gets poisoned while in the middle of one of his televised services. Eve has to go through whole new levels to find the killer and some of it is hard for her to deal with. I always like visiting the world J.D. Robb creates, so many books in this series and it never gets old.

In preparation for the release of the Catching Fire movie (which was awesome and they stuck to the book much better than the first movie. They also had a bigger budget, which helps too.), I read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Really don’t need to review this book at all, it’s been read so much. If you haven’t read the series, just read it. This is a wonderful second book in a trilogy.

And finally I read Eon by Alison Goodman. This book was addictive and I had trouble putting it down, even to study for finals. But I managed to. And would pick it up the second I could to read more. Then of course I got tricked by the book at the end thinking I still had a few chapters left, but it was the first chapter of the next book. Which luckily, I already bought. Because the ending… oh my that ending! The world Alison Goodman built in the first book alone was a wonderful one. As it was a book about dragons and dragoneyes, she had to build a fantasy world, basing it with origins from Japanese and Chinese cultures. I can’t wait to read the next book, Eona. I’m so glad I bought both of them at the same time!

December TBR

Okay, so for the month of December, I’m free from school and ten books away from reaching 100 books for the year of 2013! So the first book I’ll be reading is No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong. And this book is about Jamie, our lovely medium! She’s no longer a side character! Girlfriend gets her own book! I hope she and Jeremy finally get together, because oh yes, I ship them!

I’m also going to be reading The Throne of Fire and The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan. I was going to read The Throne of Fire in November, but finals happened. I’m sorry Mr. Riordan! I can’t wait to read the continuation of the Kane Chronicles. Sadie and Carter are awesome, along with all their friends! And some enemies too. I already read The Son of Sobek, I couldn’t help myself. IT WAS CARTER KANE AND PERCY JACKSON! What would you expect me to do?? Luckily it was pretty spoiler free on what happened in the last two books of the Kane Chronicles, so that’s cool. Love Riordan books.

I’m going to be reading Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. The first book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy, I’ve had this one sitting on my unread shelf for a while after watching some reviews of it on YouTube. It sounds really good, and now I need to get around to reading it.

I’ll be reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Again, I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while, and this whole Lunar Chronicles series looks really amazing. I’m a sucker for fairy tales and retellings of fairy tales, so I can’t wait to catch up on this series!

I’m going to read Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler, one of her I guess memoir books. After loving Mindy Kalling’s book, I think this one will be entertaining too.

Thanks to Amazon’s Black Friday offer of 10% off any one book, I got Never Fade, the second book in The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken. I absolutely cannot wait to read this one, after the painful ending of The Darkest Minds. PLEASE LET RUBY FIND LIAM!!! AND LET CHUBS BE OKAY! I really love these books, and need to get a hard copy of The Darkest Minds so I can start getting other people to read it.

I’ll be reading Promises in Death by J.D. Robb, book number 28 of 38, I think it is now. One of these days I really will catch up on this whole series. But then I won’t know what to do with myself while I wait for the new one, so I’m not in too big of a hurry to do that. I love my visits with Eve and Roarke. And I just read the description for this one and I think I’ll be crying a little bit. Crap.

I’ll be reading Eona by Alison Goodman. Really, after all that happened in the first one, there’s no way I can make myself wait too long to read this book too. I want to finish it before I start classes again so I don’t have to separate myself from it to study like with Eon.

And finally, I’ll be continuing A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. I have a three-week vacation coming up, maybe I’ll be able to finish this one. Could happen.

So that’s my ambition from the month of December! We’ll see how it all goes.Sorry I’ve been so infrequent about this, but school really took up all my world. I basically read when I was on the bus to and from school, and no other time. Glad I have some time now, and hey, maybe I’ll even get the next wrap up and TBR post up on time!

I may do a year wrap up, just to do a quick recap, if anyone’s interested. Not totally sure I will or not. Maybe a favorite books of 2013 thing. Not sure. If anyone has a request, let me know in the comments!

September/October Wrap Up

Book Post Title Picture          Finally! I know! School just kind of slammed me and I had no time to do anything. I mean, I read one book in the month of September! One! So, let’s get to the Wrap Up, and the next post will be the November TBR.

10 October13          So, in the month of September I read The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy. This book, oh my gods, this book!!! I loved it so much, and I cannot wait for The Infinite Sea! I loved the characters in it; Cassie Sammy, Ben Parrish, Evan, Vorsch, BEAR! Who didn’t love the dynamic due of Cassie and Bear? “Shut up, Bear. Don’t look at me like that, Bear.” They were great. There were some awesome pairings in this, besides Cassie and Bear. There was also Zombie and Nugget, who were just great to watch. Zombie was the only person who really took care of little Nugget. And man, all the twists! Tracker chips to screw with the soldiers minds, the virus, Wonderland (that program that the aliens “left” here… yeah.), silencers like the one who shot Cassie. And I really loved the way Yancy wrote dialogue. Like when Evan tells Cassie that she can’t leave the house for three to four more weeks: “Three more weeks? Who does this teenage version of the Brawny Paper Towel Man think he’s kidding?!” Cassie waking up after being shot by the silencer thinking that Evan’s house can’t be heaven. And when her and Evan were heading for the military base where She knew Sammy had been taken and they got attacked, Cassie found her pet log, Howard. Howard was a brief character, but he was a wonderful one. I loved when she broke into the base and shoved a tracker chip up Dr. Pam’s nose. Cassie’s kinda awesome, guys. And Ben/Zombie, oh, he was great too. I was glad when he realized what was going on, it was just such an awesome part to watch unfold. And as I said, I loved watching Zombie take care of our little Sammy/Nugget. And how Sammy just kept believing that Cassie was going to come for him, even when people told him he’d be wrong. And the Cassie-Ben “reunion” when she saw him at the base and she tried to tell him that they knew each other, “I sat behind you in honors chemistry”. And at the end of the book, with Evan coming DOWN THE VENTS and saving things and giving them the chance to get away. Please let Evan be alive. HE HAS TO BE ALIVE! HE’S ALIVE RIGHT?! I like Yancy’s style of writing, I like how he kept me guessing all the time with things like Evan and was he an alien. I just never knew who to trust and who to not trust. Which I really loved about this. Can it just be May 2014 so I can read the next book. Although let’s not lie about it, I’m slightly disappointed it won’t be titled The 6th Wave. Not too much though.

In October I read a few more books. The first book I read was The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. I actually started reading this book in September when I finished The 5th Wave, I just was so busy that I didn’t finish it until October. This is Book 1 in the Kane Chronicles. This is a series that may not be completely on the same level as our beloved PJO and Heroes of Olympus Series, however, it’s definitely a great story for the first book of a series. Carter and Sadie Kane are the children of Egyptian magicians, are magicians themselves (although they don’t know this in the beginning), and may even be descended from the pharaohs of Egypt. At the begining of the book, they see their father get taken to the underworld, and start out on a quest to save him, as well as to stop the ancient god Set, who their father released before he disappeared. They travel all over the place using the Duat, and are protected by such awesome characters as the cat goddess Bast, who has been protecting Sadie for years as her cat, Muffin. Bast is kind of an awesome character. While I felt that the book moved a little slower than other Riordan books, I still loved it, and thought it was a great book, and can’t wait to get the other ones in this trilogy.

I also read Strangers of Death by J.D. Robb. I absolutely love the books in the In Death series. This one starts out with a man murdered and his wife coming home from vacation. Eve just doesn’t like the widow, believing that she’s reacted too coldly throughout everything that has happened to her. And you know our girl Eve; when there’s something that strikes Eve as suspicious, she keeps digging into it until her suspicions are proven right or wrong. Things in this book connect with other things that we don’t even see happen, and the simplest things are connected, whether or not you see it coming. It was a great installment in the series. And of course, seeing Eve, Roarke, Peabody, McNabb, Charles and Louise, and the lovely Troy Trueheart, along with all the other cast of series regulars just makes this book better.

The book I was most excited to read in October, and that it felt like waiting was agony was The House of Hades by Rick Riordan. First, let’s start with Riordan’s lovely dedication of the book to his fans. Oh Riordan, you awesome, wonderful, little troll. Laughing at our pain. But still, we love you. And OHMYGOD THIS BOOK YOU GUYS THIS BOOK!!! So after the end of Mark of Athena, where we leave Percy and Annabeth falling, hanging off a cliff, into Tartarus, this book starts off basically right where Athena left off. As we all know, Riordan gave new meaning to the term “cliff-hanger”. The first chapter is from the perspective of Hazel, and we get other perspectives, Leo, Piper, Jason, Frank, Percy, and Annabeth. And when we meet up with Percy and Annabeth, they’re falling into Tartarus, and things just don’t get better for them once they land. We’ll get back to them in a bit, as I have way more to say about those two than I do about most of the other things, so let’s start with the other characters. Everyone in this book seemed to grow up a lot during the book. Seeing Percy and Annabeth fall into Tartarus took a lot out of the team, plus without two of their best leaders, everyone else has a lot more to do. Piper seemed to grow, and Frank and Leo definitely had some big changes come to them in this book. Jason… Jason, just go sit in a corner, okay? Within the first minutes of a fight, Jason heads straight into a trap. To quote Christine of polandbananasBOOKS: #JasonFail. Luckily, Leo is pretty good at this fight and handles by himself just fine, and is able to tell Jason he just wasted a Peter Pan-like entrance because everything was already wrapped up.
Let’s just talk about Jason for a minute. By the end of the book he did seem to be doing a little better, but all throughout that book he was kinda dumb. All he had to do was take the southern wind horses that he needed when the ship was disabled, but instead, he went to chat with Auster. Big fight happening on the ship? Oh Jason’s just gonna fall into a dream sleep. Yes, you were a little good in the fight with Hazel, working with her well, but only after she figured out what to do. The Legion ghosts didn’t even listen to you in the fight at the House of Hades. But okay, by the final battle after Percy and Annabeth have come through the Doors of Death, you did have a good line, and you did do well there. Maybe you’ll be better by the next book.
And Leo! Leo was a character who had definite growth in this book, and I loved seeing every second of it. Watching him handle that fight when Jason was in the trap was awesome. I was shouting “OH HELL NO! YOU DID NOT JUST TAKE LEO’S BELT!” But he got it back, and got the guys on his side (loved seeing them mess things up at the Legion’s army outside of Camp Half Blood). And when the ship was attacked and Leo was flying through the air, I just knew he was about to end up at Calypso’s Island. Which was a hilarious moment when that was confirmed. “You wrecked my table!” Leo may have just crash landed on the beach, but we have to be way more concerned about the table. And when he was working to fix everything, seeing him fix stuff for her, even though they didn’t get along, was great. As was him getting her to make that fireproof pouch for Frank’s piece of wood. That was really a cool moment. And of course Calypso started to like him, and boom, there’s the raft to take him away. I really hope that we get to see him go back to the island and rescue her from it, because I just think the two of them together would be sweet. And him after the island, he definitely was not like he had been. While he was still goofy and awesome and lovable as Leo always is, there was a sadder, kind of deeper (I guess) side to him.
Piper, well, Piper did grow a little more during this book. Still, shooting fruit out of that horn isn’t gonna work forever, my girl. Now that Annabeth is back, maybe you could get her to teach you a few more things about fighting so you don’t have to depend on hitting someone with a watermelon? Her best moments were definitely when she was convincing monsters to fight each other, telling them it’d be fun, and when Frank had her fighting the empousa’s in the battle by charmspeaking them and telling them gossipy things: “Your makeup is smeared! Your friend called you ugly! That one is making a face behind your back!” Yeah, that was an awesome part. And she also did pretty damn good when Khione attacked the ship, charmspeaking to Festus to make him turn on. She wasn’t half bad in this book.
And then there was Hazel. Hazel had serious awesome moments in this book. Learning to control her magic, and with it, control the Mist. That was awesome. And when she screamed and pulled all the jewels from the walls in the cave, that was brilliant too. I liked that the book started with a Hazel chapter, and I really liked all the Hazel chapters that came after. I’ve always thought she was an interesting character, and I like learning anything about her that I possibly can. Her first time manipulating the Mist against Sciron was really great. Also, the farting polecat. Only Riordan could come up with this kind of stuff, guys.
Frank was another character with some great growth in this book. When he helped Triptolemus find another python for his chariot, he really did well. It was also cool to see Ares/Mars in that scene, to see how much the personality problem the gods are facing right now is really affecting them. Although, really Troptolemus, is it that hard for you to find your own damn python? AND HOW DARE YOU TURN NICO DI ANGELO INTO CORN?! Luckily, Frank came through and saved his friends. And then when he became the commander of the Legion, that was just so awesome to watch. And when things were smoothed out between him, Hazel, and Leo, it only got better. Yes, I love Frank and Hazel. And when the rubble fell between Frank and Hazel, I started to get teary and scared that I was going to lose one of them.
I’d really like to see a Nico POV in the next book. He interests me. Although, did anyone else not see the “Nico loves/loved Percy” thing coming? I just feel like I never saw any hints for it before. I’m okay with that being a storyline, it’s cool. I just feel somewhat like it was just thrown in there. I guess I need to go back and reread the PJO books. Darn. Or maybe he just hid his feelings really well. But as always, Nico may be the most awesome side character ever, which is why he needs his own POV, even if it’s just one chapter. Although, it’s pretty fun to watch him just skulk in the back and scare other characters. And do things like call forth the ghosts to have them fight. Nico’s pretty awesome, guys.
WE GOT TO SEE GROVER! And also Rachel Elizabeth Dare. As they went to meet with Octavian and Reyna. I like Reyna. I loved when it was revealed that she and her sister were on Circe’s island when Percy destroyed it, and that just made her character even more interesting. I’m also glad that she’s still fighting Octavian on that whole destroying the Greeks thing. At least the praetor sees sense! Also having Grover turn the spears of the Roman guards into Christmas trees using his pipes was cool. I really like seeing Grover, and there hasn’t been nearly as much of him in this series. Understandably so, but still. It makes me excited when he shows up. Also, Coach Hedge going to be Daddy Hedge, adorable. I’m so on the lookout for fanfics about that, someone please make it happen. Can you just imagine how awesome? It made me sad to see Reyna lose Scipio. But way to make it to where Reyna needed to get, Scipio. May you rest in piece. Hopefully Nico, Reyna, Coach Hedge, and the statue of Athena make it back to Camp Half Blood in time.
Alright, now for the two characters who I have the most things to say about: Percy and Annabeth, our beloved Percabeth. It was just so hard reading their chapters, we see them in such a struggle that we’re not used to seeing these two in. They’re Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase. They handle everything just fine. But here, from the moment they landed in Tartarus, things weren’t easy. Drinking the fire water just to stay alive, watching them struggle when they were on their own, seeing Percy just so out of his element, even with the “water” there, oh it was hard. And EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER that was from one of their POVs was so stressful, I feel like I only half-read the chapters in between them, just rushing to get back to the two of them. It was the worst reunion ever, the two of them with all the monsters they had killed over the years, and that part with the curses on the two of them, just so hard to read. It was entertaining to watch Annabeth outwitting monsters there though. Getting Damasen to treat Percy by asking if Bob overstated his talents. And her and Percy getting Nyx upset by telling her that her house wasn’t in the brochure for best places to stop in Tartarus, and then asking for a picture with her and her favorite child. That was possibly one of the most entertaining moments in Tartarus, and in the entire book. Although I’m afraid one of these days, that trick isn’t going to work and then the dynamic duo will be in trouble. Also, Bob. I loved Bob helping Percy and Annabeth throughout Tartarus, going from Iapetus, fighting Percy and falling into the River Lethe, to Bob, an awesome, lovable giant with his pet, Small Bob. I loved that part, “I shall call him Small Bob!” Going to the Doors of Death, fighting TARTARUS! TARTARUS TAKES A SHAPE AND PERCY FIGHTS HIM! I was freaking out in that part. And all through the book, knowing that someone had to hold the Doors of Death so they could get out, I was so afraid that Percy was going to stay behind and hold the doors and be separated from Annabeth again. Bob and Damasen coming to their aid, and Bob holding the doors for them, Annabeth repeatedly kicking her foot in the door to keep it open for Percy, Percy saying goodbye to Bob, the ride up in the elevator to the other side of the doors of death. IT WAS SO STRESSFUL AND TERRIBLE! But also so wonderful. And does anyone else have a sinking feeling that Percy is going to somehow try to go back to rescue Bob and Damasen from Tartarus? Because I have a sinking feeling. May it be wrong.
But all in all, it was another great installment in the Heroes of Olympus series, and it took me a day to read. Which means a day of bliss followed by a year of agony, waiting for The Blood of Olympus. Although, this book ended about ten times less stressful than The Mark of Athena did, so at least the waiting isn’t as agonizing. I wonder who’s going to die in the final book. Can it just be that douche Octavian? Because I really wouldn’t mourn that death at all, to be honest. And I’d mourn any other death that happened. Yes, even Jason.

Another book I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of on my doorstep to be read was Allegiant by Veronica Roth. It was released on October 22. On October 23, I had a test in Anatomy and Physiology on the muscular system, SO I HAD TO WAIT A WHOLE EXTRA DAY TO READ IT AFTER GETTING IT! I can’t even describe how sucky it was to look at it sitting there all shiny and new, and not be able to dive in. So the second I left class on Wednesday I was pulling it out of my school bag and reading it, while walking to the bus stop. So much happened in this book! It started fast, with Tris lying under truth serum, and it just never let go until the final scene. Okay, it kind of let go when Four was narrating the last few chapters. I’ll be honest, the Four POV chapters didn’t excite me all that much. I liked the Tris ones best.  And oh, that ending! I hoped it wouldn’t happen the way it did. I’d have been okay if it was Caleb, but no. Tris had to do what she always did, only this time it didn’t end well. I honestly cried, although more when Christina reacted to the news than when Four did. Her grief felt more painful for me. I really loved learning so much about the world, the genetically pures and unpures, what happened in the other cities in America. It was really cool. Although I feel like when dystopian books have to wrap everything up in three books, things can feel a little rushed in the last book. I almost wish there was one more book to see how everything works out, government systems after the corruption that was in place for three books is changed, daily life, everything. But I loved this book, and when I finished it, I moved the whole series to my “favorite completed series” bookshelf.

I read a Veronica Roth short story, The Transfer, which was pretty interesting. This takes place when Four is still Tobias in Abnegation, on the days before and day of his Choosing Ceremony. Tori also gives him his aptitude test, with him getting Abnegation results because it’s what his father, Marcus wanted. We see Tobias at home with his father, and see just how terrible Marcus really was to Tobias. I was so glad to see Tobias choose Dauntless. I obviously knew he would choose that, but reading up to that point, and Tobias not really thinking that way until the moment he got to the ceremony was just so interesting to see. And then seeing him in his fear landscape, with his four fears, was so good. Seeing Amir name him Four, seeing the beginnings of his firendship with Amir, it was all great. While I may not have loved his voice in Allegiant, in The Transfer, it was great.

I read Haunted by Kelley Armstrong as well. This is another of the Women of the Underworld series, and it focused on Eve, the mother of Savannah. Savannah was the ward of Paige Winterbourne in the last two books in the series (Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic). In those books we heard a little bit about Eve, but in this one we get to see Eve herself. Another awesome woman named Eve. In Industrial Magic, Eve promised the Fates a favor if they let Paige and Lucas return to the world of the living. In Haunted, the Fates call on that favor, wanting Eve to hunt down one of the worst escapees from the ghost world, the Nix. The Nix inhabits bodies of people such as Lizzie Borden, and gets them to kill others, then leaves them behind to face the consequences on their own. Teaming up with an angel, Eve hunts her down, but is almost always a little behind. She goes into some awesome places in the ghost world, as well as some terrible places. I really liked this one in the WOTU series, it was incredibly interesting, and Eve is an awesome main character. While the ending wasn’t a perfect one, I liked it, it didn’t frustrate me. Eve is right up there with Elena as an awesome main in this series.

In anticipation of the November release of Champion, I read Prodigy by Marie Lu. I really loved the first book in this series, Legend, and Champion was not a disappointing second book, as some middle books in trilogies can be. June and Day are wonderful in this book, even if a little frustrating at times. I was also relieved to see that Tess was okay, after not completely knowing in Legend. Razor was a character that I just didn’t like from the moment we met him. He just didn’t seem trustworthy. At least June seemed to pick up on that eventually. Kaede, I’ll miss you. You were one awesome chick, and also one hell of a pilot. I was glad when she came over into the Colonies and got June and Day out. Also, seeing the Colonies of America? Kinda awesome. At first, they seemed all wonderful and glittering prosperity, but they turned out to be at least as bad as the Republic to some of their citizens, if not worse. Anden, I want to trust you. I think that you really mean well, and want to be a good Elector Primo. Thank you for releasing Eden and giving him the care that he needed. Although I was kind of skeptical to the idea that Anden had released Eden. I was afraid it would be too good to be true. But no Anden, you may not have June. June belongs with Day. I got all girly and happy when Day gave June that little paperclip ring. It was so cute. Throughout the book June and Day had great moments. Day all worried and trying to care for June when she was sick. Man, worrying about June having the plague was not cool. From the moment she started to not feel well, I had an uneasy feeling. And finally, the ending. OH MY HOLY SHIT THAT ENDING! WHAT EVEN?! First with Day climbing up the building in Denver and announcing his support for Anden, I got chills at that part. But then I realized there were still too many pages left in the book. Finding out Day had a bad growth on his hippocampus was terrible. And seeing him trying to “save” June by letting her go and telling her to accept Anden’s offer of becoming a princeps-elect. Just no. June, you saw something was wrong with Day. YOU COULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING! I hope the next book picks up at that spot and June stops Day from being dumb. I can’t wait to read Champion!

I read The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. Holy shit. This book. This book was amazing. I really could not stop reading it. Which was kind of a problem, since it was on my kindle and sometimes the battery would run really low. I’d be running looking for my charger and a place to plug it in. (Yes, I know that this wouldn’t happen with “real” books, but the kindle store was selling this book for either free or $.99 at one point, and I wanted to read it.) We follow Ruby through life after a plague takes out the majority of children under 13, when Ruby is about 10. And the kids that are left have mind powers of one type or another. Ruby gets taken to Camp Thurmond, which is claimed by the government to be a rehabilitation camp for the kids. They’re all classified as different colors, with reds, oranges, and yellows being the most dangerous. Ruby gets classified as a green and lives at the camp for about six years, working and living an awful life. It was unsettling reading that part just because it was so terrible and the thought of it happening upset me a little. She becomes so beaten down and hopeless at the camp. And then one of the doctors at the camp from The Children’s League breaks her out, telling her that her secret, that she’s not a green, is about to be discovered. She then escapes from the people who helped her escape, and goes on a kinda awesome road trip through the Shenandoah Valley with Liam, Chubs, and Zu. Liam, Chubs, and Zu are looking for East River and The Slip Kid, a place for the escaped children to live and the Slip Kid, an Orange who has escaped custody many times, and started East River. I loved that they traveled through the Shenandoah Valley, as it’s near my home and I go there a bit every year. The Slip Kid was one of the many people in this book who I wanted to believe was good, but just couldn’t do it. Yes he sort of helped Ruby with her powers. But I didn’t like him. I was sad to see Zu leave the group, as I love her and she’s adorable. But hopefully she’ll get to California safely and we’ll see her reunite with the others later on. I was also very glad she got out before things got bad. I was so glad Chubs came for Ruby and they were able to get away from the PSF agents. I was glad that Liam came back and was okay too. I really hope Chubs didn’t die. CHUBS CAN’T DIE! He’s too cool. And Then Liam and Ruby. Oh my god that broke my heart. Just as much as learning what happened to Ruby and her parents broke my heart. I really need him to find her again and for them to be together. I just need Ruby and Liam, okay?! Props to Ms. Bracken for having a scene where Ruby talks about having had a map of the D.C. Metro System on her wall when she was a child. So many people call it the Subway system, and that’s wrong. I take the metro a lot, so when I see people refer to it correctly, it makes me very happy. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of Never Fade, be it on Kindle or hardcover. I must read it!

Finally, I read Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. This book was interesting. Gwen comes from a family of time travelers, and her family thinks the gene for it has passed her by and gone to her cousin Charlotte instead. However, she ends up being the one who can travel through time, and is the final person in the circle of twelve, the Ruby. She starts traveling with Gideon, and she tries to unearth the mystery of why her mother hid her real birth date, her ability (she can see ghosts), and basically take a crash course in everything time travelers need to know, history, manners, and all. I loved that her best friend Leslie is such an important part of the plot, which is something that some books don’t really cover. She helps Gwen when she starts traveling through time, looking things up for her. She also convinces Gwen that she has to tell her mother that she has the gene, as Gwen is afraid to tell anyone else. I also loved the costumes that Gwen gets to wear, the wardrobe mistress (sorry, forgot her name) was awesome. The end scene when Gwen and Gideon visit Gwen’s great grandmother and Lucy and Paul are in the scene. That was awesome. And all the reveals between the prologue and that one scene were amazing. Are we going to have vampires in this, with all the talking about Transylvania? The count in there was really kind of creepy, what with all his mind abilities. He’s just not someone I like so far. AND WHO WAS TRYING TO KILL GWEN AND GIDEON?! In that sword fight scene? WHO?! I think I’ll definitely have to read Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green.

So that’s what I read in September and October. Next I’ll put up my November TBR, which I’m already about halfway through. So year. Back soon!

June Wrap Up and July TBR

Book Post Title Picture

Ahhhh, summer, you beautiful season. When I take my book outside and read. No, I really did that last week. I was at a camp-meeting (don’t worry if you don’t know what that is. If you do know, you get 2 cool points!) and I didn’t feel like sitting in my little cinder block cabin on the first day of summer, so I found a spot with perfect shade, perfect breeze, and perfect sun and read Goblet of Fire for hours (oh yeah, read a Harry Potter book at a church thing! I know, total badass.). And did it again the next day. Love summer.

So, in the month of June I read 15 books (one being a short story). I had vacation time and I got books on my kindle and would take it to the gym and read on the elliptical, oh yeah! What a way to make 45 minutes of slogging through molasses more fun.

The first book I read was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. And really, if you need me to tell you what happened in this book, I’ll probably ask you what rock you’ve been living under. I will say that I was as hooked reading it this time as I was the first time I read it. These books are just that awesome.

After I finished that, I read The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. Yes! A new Riordan series. And I nearly threw the book across the room when Annabeth said Percy was missing. I mean really, how can you do that to the fandom?! Even though I knew it was coming, because when my sister read it she actually screamed from her bedroom at that moment. And then told me why she screamed. But still. It was a great book and I can’t wait for the rest of the series. AND I NEED A F**KING PERCABETH REUNION! Like, yesterday.

I then read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. The second Harry Potter book. But really, do you need me to tell you anything about it. I always enjoy these books, I just wish Peeves had been in the movies. Because nothing is as cool as the poltergeist singing “Oh Potter, you rotter!” after muggle-born’s start getting petrified.

After that I read Insurgent by Veronica Roth. And OH MY GOD THE  ENDING! THAT ENDING! The ending was what made the book for me. Throughout it I honestly wanted to slap Four and Tris. Four (yes, I still call him Four. It takes less time to type than Tobias. And is cooler.) because it just didn’t seem like he realized that Tris had just been through a lot, seeing her parents die and all. Of course she was a little not like herself. And Tris because, I get it, you’re all PTSDed after the ending of Divergent, but girl you are in the MIDDLE OF A REVOLUTION AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST FACES OF IT! PICK UP A DAMN GUN AND DEFEND YOURSELF WHEN YOU NEED TO!!! I mean, really. However, I have Allegiant pre-ordered and I can’t wait to get it October 22 and lock myself in my room and read it in one day/night to find out what happens. I need October 22 to be here tomorrow. OR AN ARC COPY! I’ll review it and everything…

After this I read Born in Death by J.D. Robb. I basically blew through this one in one day at my company’s annual picnic. Book, chair, shade, and cookies. It was a good way to spend a Wednesday. I hated the bad guys from this one. They were so horrible. But oh I loved the book. Mavis had her little girl! And that whole scene was so sweet. Tandy and her boyfriend reuniting all sweet-like. Mavis and Leonardo getting married in the delivery room. Summerset giving Mavis his late wife’s ring for the wedding until they could get a ring of their own. I may have teared up a little at that part. And Roarke and Eve coping with being Mavis’s birthing coaches was hilarious. The would not have done it for probably anyone else, but they love Mavis, so they would do it for her. And the baby shower scene was awesome, both hilarious and sweet. Eve loves no one like she loves Mavis. I know I said that already. Shut up. Born in Death is definitely going up as one of my favorite In Death books.

I also read Harry Potter an the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. Book three of the series. Another awesome one. Really, these books are too great to even recap, we all know them, right? But man, Harry is kind of dumb. He almost always guesses wrong. Is it any wonder people had trouble believing the Dark Lord was back at first when he started saying that to people. Good thing he had Hermione to help him all the time.

I finished Seraphina by Rachel Hartman this month. I couldn’t finish it before my ebook loan time period ran out, but I found the copy of the original cover that I wanted to get in Barnes and Noble, so I was able to finish it later from that. The last 25% of this book was the best bit. It honestly was kind of slow up till then, but she had an elaborate world to build, so I kind of understand. But then things started happening, and it was good. I can’t wait to read book 2 when it comes out (I think it’s title right now is Shadowscale). I’ll be pre-ordering it when I can so I can get it the day it’s released. Love pre-order!

I read Soulless by Gail Carriger as well. My first steampunk novel, and it was great! No really, it was AWESOME! I could hardly put it down, even when my Kindle battery was dying. It’s a paranormal romance, and Alexia, the protagonist, is quite awesome. Not perfect but really cool. Can’t wait to read the rest of this series.

I read the final Harry Potter book for the month of June in the A Very Potter Summer Challenge, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling. This is one of my favorite books in the series, there’s so much more to it than the movie shows. S.P.E.W., Veelas, a way longer Quidditch World Cup scene! If ever the saying “Don’t judge a book by it’s movie” was true, it’s this book. It’s also the first Harry Potter book that made me cry.

I started a new series, the Women of the Otherworld, with the first book being Bitten, by Kelley Armstrong. This book was both recommended and loaned to me by my friend Meera (we did a book swap, I loaned her Code Name: Nanny and Code Name: Baby, she loaned me Bitten). And it was absolutely wonderful. Completely engrossing, and I loved that it was a book focusing on supernaturals, and werewolves were the main characters. Usually weres are secondary characters, so whenever it’s different, it’s awesome. I read it all the way from the trip down to New Market, VA from DC. And I can’t wait to read the rest of them. Thanks for introducing me to an awesome new series, Meera!!

I read Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver this month too. I had it on my Kindle, and took it with me to the gym and read it while I was on the elliptical. It was perfect to read there, I loved it so much and it engrossed me so much that the 45 minutes would pass in no time. and the ending… I was shouting at Lena the whole book that Alex wasn’t dead. Wasn’t sure how, but I knew he couldn’t be dead. Just no. And the ending made me do a squid of rage (me waving my arms around like I was an enraged squid), because YOU CAN’T JUST CUT IT OFF THERE LAUREN! THAT’S JUST NOT COOL!!! So obviously I ran out to Books-A-Million and bought Requiem, and can’t wait to read it. Yup, bought it at a bookstore. Support bookstores, people! They’re great places to hang out and what would this world be without them.

I read the short story Free Four by Veronica Roth. I liked it, but I wish it hadn’t been just Four’s Point of View from a scene we already saw. It would have been really cool if we could have had a new short scene that wasn’t in the books. But still, it was cool to read his point of view.

I read Rebel Angels, the second book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy, by Libba Bray. It was so creepy and so interesting. I absolutely loved reading it. Although I was slightly heartbroken to find out who they made Circe to be in the book. Sat there screaming NO NOT HER!!! (Not gonna say who, in case someone is reading it for the first time). But it was great, and I can’t wait to read The Sweet Far Thing as soon as I can.

I’ve also been reading weekly installments of The Boss by Abigail Barnette on her blog site (in case you don’t know, Abigail Barnette is Jenny Trout’s penname, she’s also been writing recaps of the horrid 50 Shades of Grey books and has all my respect for struggling through those even though they upset her. She’s making it so I don’t have to read them and still know what ridiculous stuff happens in those books. Go to her site, it’s awesome, and she’s awesome). This book. Oh guys… this book is amazing.. It’s basically what 50SOG wants to be, but a million times better. I’ll link it when I get home from work. GO READ IT! IT’S FREE!!!

The final book I read in June was Legend by Marie Lu. I started and finished this book on the same day, it was so awesome. I already need to get Prodigy so I can read it and then pre-order Champion so I can read it the day it comes out. I loved the relationship building between June and Day, and loved the world they were in in the “please don’t let me ever live in a world like that” way. The relationship between the two didn’t seem as InstaLove as some relationships can be. There was attraction, but it built. Especially when Day found out who June really was. I did guess who really killed Metias before they started dropping hints about it, but hey, I felt all Sherlock-like from that. (At least, who we’re supposed to think killed Metias by the end of this book. You never know).

July

And now for the books I’ll be reading in July.

The first book I’ll be reading is The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. I can’t wait to see what happens in this one. Is it going to focus solely on Percy (educated guess, with Neptune being the Roman name for Poseidon, Percy’s father), or are we going to get the Percabeth reunion I want. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GIVE ME THE PERCABETH REUNION! (Even though I kind of know what’s going to happen thanks to my sister and her fangirl ranting. Which we all do, so I’m not mocking her.)

I’ll also be reading Innocent in Death by J.D. Robb, book 24 in the series. As always, I can’t wait to see what lies in store for Eve and Roarke in this one. And now I can’t wait to see how Mavis and Leonardo are adjusting to both married life and their new baby girl. And Trueheart. I always like seeing Trueheart. Also, will Avril Icove make a reappearance any time soon?

I’m aiming to read all of the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman, since I found an omnibus of the series in my local thrift store for $.40! Can’t beat that! I’ve wanted to read this series for quite a while, especially after I heard the books are way better than the movie was. So we’ll see if I can do it.

In the A Very Potter Summer, I’ll be reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix between July 7 and July 21 and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince between July 22 and July 31 (both by J.K. Rowling). I love both of these books. Although I’m not a fan of the deaths that occur in them. Yay painful moments!

I’m also still reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. Hey, this book is nearly 1000 pages long, of course I haven’t finished it yet. I can do 500 pages in a matter of days, but these book are just a little more heavy reading, she’s very detailed about everything that happens in the lives of Jamie, Claire, and the others of this series. And I love her for it. They’re getting ever closer to the Revolutionary War, and as Claire says, it may still be two years away, revolution can have a long fuse and a short match. Or something like that… but the stress is REAL!

So that’s what I plan to read this month. Who knows what else I’ll pick up, or get from the library, I’m on the waiting list for a few books. I love the elibrary. I don’t have to worry about the fines for late fees that I’d always get when I borrowed books when I was younger. Seriously, I’m still afraid to set foot in the library where I lived when I was younger, for fear that they’ll slap me with a big fine for some books…

So we’ll see what happens!

Also, I didn’t get to read The Fellowship of the Ring, because I didn’t manage to get a copy of it before June ended. Sadly. Now I’m off-schedule to finish before school starts up again.

Links for The Boss and the His Dark Materials Series to come later on.

Updated Schedule for A Very Potter Summer:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Sat. June 1-Thur. June 6.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Fri. June 7-Wed. June 12.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Thur. June 13-Wed. June 26.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Thur. June 27-Sat. July 6.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Sun. July 7-Sun. July 21.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Mon. July 22-Wed. July 31.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Thur. August 1-Wed. August 14.