Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Author Collabs or the Best Thing That Can Happen To You


You know I hadn't realized how much I wanted more authors to collab together until I read The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. I didn't even realize this was a thing that happened other than series like the Spirit Animals where authors write one book in a whole series. Now that I think about there are so many possibilities. A Holly Black and Maggie Stiefvater fantasy horror epic. A Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling magical mythological adventure. This could be great. Why?

Your favorite authors combining their best ideas to create the ultimate story.

Are there two authors that you just love? One that has the best plots in a story and the other one with the best characters. How amazing would it be if they combined their efforts to create the ultimate story? Pretty spectacular.

This idea might be slightly terrifying for us readers because I'm sure they'll be plotting to take our favorite characters away from us in a cruel cruel way. I'm looking at you Stiefvater.


Characters that cross over to another book's setting.

It's like when Percy was in The Lost Hero series. Can you imagine him fighting alongside Harry or the amount of trouble he would get in.... anywhere? Imagine your favorite characters meeting each other. It would be glorious.


A whole new stream of characters that you can love.

So maybe there isn't a character cross between the author's books. But there might be something even better. New characters are created that you know you'll love because those authors have already made you fall in love with a fictional character before. The greatest combination of sarcasm, sweetness, strength and all those traits you love in you favorite characters. Sigh...

What author collab would you enjoy seeing?
Are there any characters who you would like to see meet each other?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up: July, 10 2015


I'm starting a weekly wrap-up of what I've been reading, reviewing, discussing, receiving, posting, watching, and for my #Fitreaders updates for the week. This format is inspired by The Relentless Reader.

I've read The Iron Trial,  Seconds, Don't Look Back, Faking Normal, and Darkness Becomes Her. I also reread The Lightning Thief and I'm planning to read the rest of the series. I'm hoping to read more this week since this group I'm in on Goodreads has really motivated me to read more.

I reviewed on She's Got Books on Her Mind: Pie by Sarah Weeks, Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, Through to You by Emily Hainsworth, Wild Born by Brandon Mull, and The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. I participated in two book tags: How Far Would You Go For Your Favorite Books? and the Cake Book Tag. I also posted some pretty red, white, and blue covers for the Fourth of July.

Challenge Updates:
Reading Road Trip: Pennsylvania - Pie by Sarah Weeks // 2015 Monthly Motif Challenge - The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

I'm going to try and update my challenges this week. Try being the operative word.

I won the monthly prize for June! I felt so bad since I hadn't updated the last two weeks, but coincidentally it motivated me to write what I did this week. I still need to stop being lazy and do more.

Friday, July 3rd, 2015 - Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Walking - 35 minutes of walking

Water Intake - 208 oz of water

What I'm Watching: 
Teen Wolf is on my mind. The new season started two weeks ago and so far it's getting back to being as good as the first season and the season where Stiles got possessed by a Nogitsune. The Doctors are going to be one of the best villains. And there is so many shady things happening in the background. I can't wait to see how everything unfolds.

What books and shows are you enjoying lately?

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Magisterium #1. Scholastic Press (Sept. 2014) Library
Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.  
Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.                                                                          
All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.                  
So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.                                                                        
Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.                                                                                        
The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

"Fire wants to burn
Water wants to flow
Air wants to rise
Earth wants to bind
Chaos wants to devour"

I've been consuming Holly Black books lately so when I saw the Iron Trial, I couldn't believe it escaped my notice. I instantly got into the story when a major plot twist revealed itself already. I really liked Call was a prankster and had a good heart from the very beginning. He also has a lame leg which holds him back sometimes and other times strengthen his resolve. His father has always warned him about how evil the Magisterium was because magic had killed his mother. He's about to find out what the Magisterium is really about with his own eyes very soon as the book starts.

There are so many obvious connections to Harry Potter. It felt reminiscent of Harry Potter so much it was pretty baffling. For me, I wasn't completely turned off, but other reviewers have mentioned that it's not that original. I agree to some degree and to another degree I don't. Once I got past the similarities I got to enjoy the plot and characters. You see more of Call because he is narrating the story. Call was a bit of a lost soul. He doesn't know what to believe when he gets to the Magisterium. His emotions are between excitement and dread at times. 

"Remember what your father said about magic, boy. It'll cost you everything."

The Magisterium is kind of shady if you ask me. The way kids are recruited is kind of like kidnapping which is not cool. There's unrest in general because our villain is stirring so that contributes to the eye raising things that happen. 

The powers all have to do with elements - air, water, fire, and air. There's also chaos, but no one really has that power. I'm really excited about how the main characters, Call, Aaron, and Tamara develop their powers. The Iron Trial hints at all they can do in the future and I want more of that than anything else. Well.... other than the continuation of that crazy ending.  THAT ENDING. It made me pretty much want to instantly read the second book. It's a good one.

What are your favorite books with magic?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Cake Book Tag

So I wasn't technically tagged for this, but I saw this mentioned a while back on Paper Fury's Coffee Book Tag and I couldn't resist. Cake is better than coffee any day in my book. I took a cue from Cait and stuffed my post with gifs.


A book that was a little slow to start off but really picked up as it went along.

I've got to give it to The Maze Runner. It started off so slow but picked up really quick when Teresa came on board.



A book that had a rich thick plot.

I really couldn't believe all the crazy elements that went into White Cat. I was floored with how much happens to Cassel, a dangerous, lovesick fool.



A book you thought was going to be bad but actually turned out quite enjoyable.

I'm usually always caught off guard by how good a book is and I ordinarily have high expectations. This wasn't the case for Shatter Me which I read on a whim because it was so popular.



A sugary, sweet book.

I'm into a lot of very fluffy books. Savvy happens to have a great heart to its story which oh so sugary and sweet.



A book that covered every single element that you enjoy about a book (funny moments, action moments, sad moments, etc.).

This is a difficult one. I don't know many books that pinpoint all the elements of what makes a book great other than Throne of Glass and Paranormalcy. You've got to love badass female protagonists.



A book series that you can kind of turn back to for a little pick me up when you're feeling down.

There's a lot of wonderful book series out there, but none that can make me as happy as Percy Jackson, The Sisters Grimm, and Kat, Incorrigible. All three have have sarcastic, sassy MC's that are always saving the day.


The cherry on top

Your favorite book this year so far.

It's lucky that I already have identified my favorite book this year although I have a runner up. Made of Stars is by far my favorite book this year with The Raven Boys a close second. Both feature excellent writing and lovable characters.

Whoever wants to do this tag feel free. I tag you all!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Wild Born (Spirit Animals) by Brandon Mull

Spirit Animals #1. Scholastic Audio (Sept. 2014) Library
Are you wild born?

In the world of Erdas, four children are about to discover if they have a spirit animal, a rare bond between human and beast that gives great powers to both. Separated by vast distances, Conor, Abeke, Meilin and Rollen each see a flash of light... and then the animals emerge.

Wolf, leopard, panda, falcon. Each of the children has summoned a beast from legend. Now their fate is set The four new heroes and their animals must band together in a dangerous quest. a dark force from the past is rising, and only they have the power to stop it.

I don't know how this series has bypassed my attention for almost two years. It is one of the greatest portrayals of adventure books I've ever come across. The characters, the plot, the world building were all spectacular. I was drawn in by Nicola Barber's voice and loved every second of my experience. This series is supremely underrated. I know that I've only read the first book, but I truly believe the rest of the books in the Spirit Animals series are going to be amazing. I do worry though because each of the seven books is written by a different author, however I am convinced I will enjoy them all.

Wild Born Emblem
You first meet the four characters on the day they drink their nectar. The nectar is something that all eleven year olds are supposed to drink on their birthdays. For a lucky few, a spirit animal becomes the ally of a child as long as they live. What's special about Conor, Abeke (uh-beck-uh), Meilin, and Rollan's spirit animals is that they were beasts of legend. These spirit animals fought once before when the world needed to them. They banded together to defeat The Devourers and his followers. In four different lands, a certain animal is revered - the wolf - Briggan; the leopard - Uraza; the panda - Jhi; and the falcon - Essix. These spirit animals have returned once again to form a bond with their human partners and defeat The Devourer before he destroys the world.

I knew I was going to love this book when I first listened to Conor describing his life. He was made into a servant of a noble boy because his father needed to pay off debts. Conor is originally a sheepherder on his family's farm. He is very hesitant and doesn't think he is worthy of Briggan. He didn't even think anything was going to happen when he drank the nectar which tasted sweet when he drank it (the nectar tastes different for everyone). Now he is thrust into this new adventure with the help of the Greencloaks. The Greencloaks are all made up of people who have spirit animals. They all go around giving the nectar to eleven year olds on their birthday. They train as well and maintain peace - not with everyday issues, but with big worldly events like the war that is on their doorstep.

Abeke (uh-beck-uh), is probably my favorite character so far although I love all the characters in their own way. She is partnered with Uraza, the leopard. She isn't particularly understood by her father and sister. When you meet her you know that Uraza is the perfect spirit animal for her. I could tell with all the spirit animals actually that they were perfect for each other. Abeke and Rollan were easy to understand why right away. For Conor and Meilin it took me a while, but I believe that even if they don't know it yet - their spirit animal partners will help them grow as a person. Back to Abeke; she forms a bond quickly with Uraza. I loved hearing how she acted so much like her leopard. She crouched and hid so well and could see at night with the help of Uraza. All the characters get help from their spirit animals once their bond grows. They become quicker, wiser, stronger, and all around awesome. 

Meilin is the one character I have trouble with. She doesn't really see why she was given a panda. She doesn't see how Jhi can help her when there is a war going on. She can come off standoffish and rude to Jhi. Yet, Meilin has always had to act a certain part and she just wants to be able to help her people. She has the most growth that needs to take place and it will be nice to see how time changes her.

Rollan, is a lovable rogue. He's a thief with honor. He doesn't like stealing, but he will if he absolutely needs to. He provides the humor and sarcasm for the group. It's funny how alike he is to Essix, his falcon. They both don't trust easily and are very stubborn. I really liked seeing his friendship with Conor slowly forming. he has some growth that needs to happen as well as do all of the characters, but it's more noticeable in some than others. 

I really hope to see all the characters become friends and at the end of everything first of all, survive and second of all, make changes in their homeland. I'm really excited to see where this series will take these characters. I'm invested in all of them and hope they come out of everything in one piece. It's crazy that they are all eleven. There is so much on their shoulders. I highly recommend that you read or listen to Wild Born. It has fantastic characters and a thrilling adventure that I have just begun to embark on.

What spirit animal would you want?

Monday, July 6, 2015

How Far Would You Go For Your Favorite Books?


Created by Christina @ Christina Reads YA
Tagged by Kay @ It's a Book Life

1. I would give up the internet for a month for a signed first edition of this book:

2. I would give up pizza for a year if it meant I could sit next to this author on a long plane ride:

Maggie Stiefvater because she's a brilliant writer and I would love to have insights in The Raven Boys series.

3. I would sit through a thousand hours of commercials if it would ensure that Hollywood made this book into a (really good) movie:

Can you imagine it!?

4. I would never read a new book again if it meant I could live inside this book:

I would have to be a demigod if I were to bargain new books for this.

5. I would let my google search history be made public if it meant I could be friends with this author:

Obviously, Rick Riordan. I would read first drafts and tell him they were awesome and I would get insight on all the mythology books he is planning to write. And we would talk about mythology and books in general and my life will be rainbows and butterflies.

6. I would donate everything to Goodwill if it meant I could date this book character in real life:

Jack, is the epitome of the nice guy and I would pretty much be lucky if I met someone like him in real life.

I tag everyone! Whoever wants to do this go right on ahead.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

Standalone. Balzer + Bray (Oct. 2012) Own
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. He’d give anything to have just one more glimpse of her. But when Cam visits the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees an apparition. Her name is Nina, and she’s a girl from a parallel world. When Cam follows her there and makes an unbelievable discovery, it’s as if all his wildest dreams have come true. But things are very different in this other world. Nina is hiding a secret, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with the truth, he’s forced to make a choice that will change his life forever.

I'm reading a lot of strange books lately. First, a book about ley lines and now a book about alternate worlds. Cam is tormented by his girlfriend, Viv's death especially when he considers it to be his fault. He used to be a football star at his high school and Viv was a cheerleader. That is until Cam got an injury and decided to quit. He's been a loner for the past two years with only Viv and Mike for company. Now that Viv is gone his world is shattered. The unbelievable guilt he is feeling is perhaps the only reason why he helps Nina, a girl from an alternative world. In Nina's world, Viv is still alive. Cam is beyond thrilled, but as the days go by and his life alters, Cam is left with a choice: Should he stay or should he go?

I really loved Cam. He was super loveable. I really cared about him and his mom. He was so lonely and even went to a therapist, but that had more to do with his dad leaving his mom than anything. I really liked getting to know him and then comes Nina and the weirdness happens. I couldn't figure out what in the world was going on until I realized she was literally from another world - well another alternative world. I couldn't stop reading until I figured out the importance of Nina and the secrets she held. Nina was also a lonely soul who took care of her younger brother. She's a caring person who I liked instantly after seeing her with her brother Owen.

There is so much mystery and thrill that Through to You dishes out. It's a real page-turner with an interesting plot, likable characters, and conclusion that left me feeling bittersweet. Through to You is a really great read if you are looking for something out of the ordinary to read. Cam, Nina, and Viv's story intertwine to create a wonderful story that kept me reading from beginning to end.

Have you ever read a book about parallel worlds?

Saturday, July 4, 2015