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.

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!

August Wrap Up/September TBR

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Ahhh, August has left us, and September has come, bringing school and much more stress than the summer had. I miss it already. Well, I made the most of my final month of summer and read ten books, completing nine of them. So lets jump right in, shall we!

The first book I read in the month of August was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. The final book in the Harry Potter series, and definitely one that makes me cry. Dobby dies, I cry. Fred dies, I freaking well sob my eyes out. Tonks and Lupin die, I cry. Hedwig dies, I cry. I mean really, I could go on, because a lot of parts make me cry. But it’s a good book, and a wonderful finale to this series. Rereading this series is always fun, and if I ever have kids, I plan on reading them these books as bedtime stories. And have you seen the new set of Harry Potter books?! I saw them online plenty and loved them, then I saw them instore at Target and they’re so beautiful, I definitely want to buy them. Eventually. The $70 pricetag will make me wait a little.

The next book I read last month was Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong. This one had a new protagonist, Paige, who was a side character in Stolen. It was pretty good. I really love these books, they’re interesting and I enjoy reading them. I read this one while I was on the beach, and it was a perfect beach read.

I also read The Demigod Files and The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan. I read both of these in one day, true to Riordan book form, and just devoured them. As always, reading about Percy, Annabeth, Luke, Talia, Leo, and all the others is one of my favorite things to do. Have I mentioned how much I can’t wait for The House of Hades to come out next month? And also, THE HOUSE OF HADES COMES OUT NEXT MONTH!!!!

I read the final book in the Delirium trilogy in August, Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I liked it, but I didn’t like the ending. Not because we didn’t really find out who Lena picked to “end up” with (Julian or Alex), but because we really didn’t find out whether the Resistance group won out or if they only held Portland for a while before being defeated. I NEED TO KNOW THIS! I NEED TO KNOW IF ALL THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR WON!!!! That’s what frustrated me about this ending. However, I did like the series, and the book was pretty good other than that.

I finished Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I had borrowed earlier this summer from the library, but didn’t finish before the due date the first time, had to wait to get it again, and finished it in the second borrowing period. I liked this book. It was a little long, and that made it take longer to read (long as in it felt like it dragged on in some parts), but the telling of the story, retelling of Don Quixote, was incredibly interesting. Libba Bray is a pretty awesome author. I’ll probably buy this book at some point so I can read it whenever.

I read Creation in Death by J.D. Robb last month. This one was really good, and had me honestly freaked out and worried for Eve at one point. And also furious at the villain for trying to target Trina. That was not a good moment. Luckily Eve, Roarke, Peabody, Feeney, McNabb, Trueheart (swoon), and team saved the day, saved a target from being a murder victim, and put the bastard away for the rest of his life. I always love J.D. Robb books.

I read Hourglass by Myra McEntire in August as well. I liked some parts of this book, the premise of time travel, mentions of Doctor Who and Harry Potter, some of the side characters, the setting in Tennessee; but I could barely stand the main character and love interest, and how stupid they and many of the other side characters were. And by the end, I was laughing at all the “twists” being thrown in so quickly. Glad that I only borrowed it from the library, and will probably not be reading the next two in this series any time soon, as they’re not on my library’s digital catalog. Maybe once they’re on there, I’ll read them.

I finished the final book in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray, this past month. Throughout this entire book, I was saying “there’s no way this book can end totally happy”. And in some cases, it didn’t. Gemma and Kartik don’t really get to be together, Pippa can’t survive in any world, Fee loses the person she loves, and Miss McCleethy dies. But it ended happier than I thought it would. Ann gets to escape her horrible family and go onstage as a chorus girl, starting her acting career instead of her governess career. Felicity has her debut, gets her inheritance money, and is able to move to Paris and live happily and the way she wants to there. And Gemma has her debut, survives all the problems with the magic and the Realms, and gets to live in a way she wants to after her debut, in New York and at a university. I was happy with the ending of this book and this series. I really do like Libba Bray books.

The last book I read in the month of August was Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong. This one also had Paige as the protagonist. It was interesting, but I don’t so far like Paige as much as I did Elena. However, it was interesting, and I didn’t see everything that happened coming, which was cool. This supernatural series is wonderful.

I started reading Blameless by Gail Carriger this past month, but I didn’t finish it. However, as all the other Parasol Protectorate books, it’s great.

9 September

Now for the September TBR List:

The first book I’m reading this month is The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy. I’m excited about this one, I’ve heard so much good about it. Plus, Rick Yancy is going to be at the National Book Festival this month (on my birthday too!!!), and he’ll be signing books, so I want to finish it before then so I can get him to sign it and tell him I liked the book.

I’m also going to be reading The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Anything to make the wait for The House of Hades go by faster! This is the first book in the Kane Chronicles, and should be really good to read. (Also, speaking of Rick Riordan books, did anyone else see The Sea of Monsters? I really can’t understand why Hollywood keeps taking books, “adapting” them to movies, but throwing the damn book out the window before writing the screenplay. Attention, writers of the PJO movies: I’d like to offer you my services as Official Book Slapper for The Titan’s Curse. While you’re writing the screenplay and while you’re filming, I’d be happy to come in and when one of you goes “hey, this is cool, but what if instead we did THIS thing that isn’t in the book!” I take the Titan’s Curse book and SLAP YOU ACROSS THE FACE with it. This will ensure that you keep the movie as close to the book as possible and therefore do not infuriate the book series lovers further. Please consider hiring me to do this for you. I’ll even bring in my own copy of the book to slap you across the face with. Okay, rant over.)

I’ll be reading Strangers in Death by J.D. Robb after this. This one, the same as every other book in this series, looks very interesting. And as always, I can’t wait to catch up with the regular cast of characters in these books. I love all of my people in here. Especially Eve, Roarke, Peabody, Mavis, and Trueheart (swoon).

The fourth book I’m reading this month is Key of Light by Nora Roberts. This is the first book in a series by Nora, and her series books are usually pretty good. I like Nora Roberts books. She writes a lot, and publishes lots of books in the same year, and they’re all pretty well-written.

I’m also going to read The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani this month. I’ve wanted to read this book for a while, the historical fiction aspect is one that always interests me, and the story just sounds so wonderful, and I can’t wait to see what happens. Also, the cover and the spine are gorgeous, and I found it in Costco for less than on Amazon. And I love books with deckle-edged pages, which this one has. All extra cool things about this book.

I’ll be continuing on Blameless by Gail Carriger this month. As I was with Changeless, I’m still incredibly frustrated with Maccoon for being so stupid as to think Alexia would have a baby with another man. I keep yelling “SHE’S A PRETERNATURAL! HER TOUCH MAKES YOU HUMAN! PRETTY SURE A PROLONGED TOUCH COULD MAKE YOU HUMAN ENOUGH TO GET HER PREGNANT YOU MORON!” at my book. It’s kind of weird to see on the bus, I’m sure. Can’t wait to finish this one. And I really want to get this series boxed set, so if anyone wants to get me that for my birthday, it’s September 22, and the Parasol Protectorate boxed set. I’d love you forever.

And, as always I’ll be continuing reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon this month. These books are long, and I still have another to go before the eighth book comes out, but it doesn’t come out till March ’14, so I think I’ll finish before it comes out. I love the series, even if it is long and heavily detailed. The historical accuracy and details are wonderfully done and very meticulous to the smallest of things. Ms. Gabaldon is wonderful at what she does.

Alright, till next time! Happy September!