September 30, 2015

This Ordinary Life: Review + Favorite Quotes

September 28, 2015

Bookish Food (3) The Wrath and the Dawn

I love when fantasy books have food. Typically because in high fantasy the main character ends up going to the kingdom/palace place and of course theres a ton of huge banquets with platters of foods along with these feasts, there are always huge meals served directly to the characters room. Since I'm such a big foodie, when the food thats presented is described in detail, I am so into it. Anyways! This week I will be featuring The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh. (which totally had my mouth watering) In case you've never heard of this book or you don't know what it's about here is an except of the synopsis from Goodreads:

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

Add to Goodreads
If you want you can check out my review here.

Now onto the food pictures.

September 25, 2015

I Crawl Through It

I Crawl Through It
A.S. King
336 pages
Expected publication: September 22nd 2015
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
eARC from NetGalley (Thanks LBYR!)
2.5/5 Stars
Four teenagers are on the verge of exploding. The anxieties they face at every turn have nearly pushed them to the point of surrender: senseless high-stakes testing, the lingering damage of past trauma, the buried grief and guilt of tragic loss. They are desperate to cope, but no one is listening.

So they will lie. They will split in two. They will turn inside out. They will even build an invisible helicopter to fly themselves far away...but nothing releases the pressure. Because, as they discover, the only way to truly escape their world is to fly right into it.

The genius of acclaimed author A.S. King reaches new heights in this groundbreaking work of surrealist fiction; it will mesmerize readers with its deeply affecting exploration of how we crawl through traumatic experience-and find the way out.

I liked it. I didn't like it. I am split in two. (aand that's me attempting to make a reference to the book)

For the most part, I feel like I Crawl Through It was over my head. Yes it is very deeply, and yes I recognized it was trying to be genius, but I didn't get it. I could tell when moments were intended to be meaningful and I recognized the symbolic parts but many metaphors and symbols were too hard for me to figure out. 

The main characters in this book are Stanzi, China, Lansdale, and Gustav. Stanzi, China and Lansdale have clearly been through unimaginable tragedies, and suffer from PTSD. This fact is never really mentioned outright,  but the reader should be able to easily infer it.

These characters are very...uh...I don't even know how to describe them. Gustav is building an invisible helicopter, which only Stanzi can see on Tuesdays (isn't that something.) Lansdale is a compulsive liar and her hair is described as growing as she lies, similarly to Pinocchio's nose. China turns herself inside out. Some days she is a only a stomach, other days only a gallbladder, sometimes a duodenum. Which was just very very strange.

I have so far enjoyed all of the A.S. King books I've read. Her characters and writing style are so unique and she is so good at incorporating magical realism into her stories. Although this is definitely my least favorite of all of her books. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to figure this book out way more then I was able to. I Crawl Through It, complete with disappearing helicopters, many mentions of organs, geniuses, and unique, writing is a weird book. It will probably leave you with an interesting taste in your mouth, and a confused look on your face.

September 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

by Nicole Castroman
320 pages
Expected publication: February 9th 2016 by Simon Pulse
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. This is their story.
Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.
Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

Pirates! I want this book with its beautiful cover in my hands right now. What's your WoW this week!? Link me to your post.

September 22, 2015

Top Ten Books On my Fall TBR

September 18, 2015


September 15, 2015

The Thing About Jellyfish

The Thing About Jellyfish
Ali Benjamin
352 pages
September 22nd 2015
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Middle Grade | Realistic Fiction
eARC from NetGalley (Thank you LB!)
5/5 Stars
A stunning debut about how grief can open the world in magical ways.

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.

If you read one middle grade book this year that book should be The Thing About Jellyfish.

I was crying from the beginning of the book and still tearing up at the end. The Thing About Jellyfish is so tragically beautiful. I read the entire book in about an hour and a half sitting. I literally could not pull my eyes away. The Thing About Jellyfish was one of those rare occasions when the first sentence fully captivated me and I was pulled into the story immediately. I refused to let go of this beautiful book.

Suzy is a wonderful main character. I felt her pain. I sympathized with her. I cried for her. I loved her so deeply. Her willingness and dedication to prove her best friend's death was not an accident and that "things don't just happen" was heart wrenching in the best possible way. (Not as in, it was the best thing to read, but as in the author did such a beautiful job with conveying her desperation and grief.) Her emotions are so tangible and raw yet so innocent in nature.

The Thing About Jellyfish also incorporates some of my the best side characters. I have to mention Justin, Sarah, and Mrs. Turton. They were all so wonderful and kind and I don't even know if I can find the words to explain how much I enjoyed them and their presence in this novel.

I was reminded so much of myself by Suzy. I was the kid who was not interested in short skirts and dresses and princesses or makeup and eyeshadow. I didn't really care about my appearance (I still don't, honestly, ask anyone who knows me and they can tell you almost all I wear are Lululemon leggings and big sweaters), and I didn't really care about boys either. I was interested in other things, like books and reading, and the Discovery channel. Suzy was the same way. She didn't care about barrettes or eyeshadow or hair products or boys. She instead was interested in science and explorers and facts. When all the other girls wanted to talk about boys and growing up and the newest fashion trends, she remained dedicated to what she loved, never necessarily getting into all those other typically "girly" things. She was especially enamored with jellyfish. Suzy was like this fountain of knowledge and I feel like I walked away from this book knowing quite a few more random facts then I went it with. I was so happy that Suzy loved science, as I have never read a book where the female main character is interested in science, and I think that's extremely unfortunate as science can sometimes be seen as more of a male thing, when it shouldn't be. So, yay for Suzy loving science!

This book is so completely profound and moving and has life lessons (without being preachy at all) I feel as though everyone could benefit from. I felt such a deep connection to Suzy and her story and I obviously would recommend this book, especially if you're looking for something that will make you feel.

September 14, 2015

Let me try to put into words how much I loved this book. I in no way think anything I'm about to say in this review will truly be able to convey the way I felt about this book.

Queen of Shadows was perfect. There was not one aspect of it I did not like. I read it 3 times to be sure that I truly just loved it and I wasn't just on some "The book I've been waiting for for almost a year in my favorite series is out" high. So, after I read it, reread it, and read it again I can assure you I was not just filled with love because it was the next book, or because I'd been waiting for it for so long, or because it was Sarah.

I am a ROWAELIN SHIPPER. YEP. And I wasn't one in HOF, I never even imagined them becomming anything more then friends. (I was also still rooting for Chaolena) BUT THEN IT STARTED HAPPENING AND I HOPPED ON TO THAT SHIP SO QUICK.

Uh, worries I have:
That Aelin will die. I swear if SJM pulls a VRoth on us I don't think I will be able to survive.
That Aelin and Dorian are mates. Okay I am just not an Aelin x Dorian shipper and never will be. But there were some things Aelin was thinking toward the end of QoS that got me worrying. Hopefully, I just read way too far into it (because that sort of thing happens when you read a book 3 times.)
Chaol wont be able to be healed. If Chaol can not walk I don't know what I'll do. Probably cry.

Heres the thing about Chaolena, Chaol loved Celena, not Aelin. He couldn't get over his prejudices and find it in him to love everything about her. Okay I'm going to quote some Grey's Anatomy now beacause this is what Chaol reminded me of
 Theres  a quote from one of the many love confessions on Grey's Anatomy that I really think applies to this situation which is "I love you. I always have. I love everything about you. Even the things I don't like, I love." Dorian said it best "You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love." When he loved Celaena he couldn't love all of her. He was horrified by some of her actions and couldn't understand her or get over his prejudices. He was never going to end up with her (even though I really wanted them together.)

Things I do not want: I do not ship Dorian and Aelin.

MOSTLY, I JUST WANT AELIN TO DO HER THING. But I obviously won't have anything against Rowan staying along for the ride.

These books are about so much more then the ships, and I wou

September 11, 2015

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn
Renée Ahdieh
388 Pages
Published May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Young Adult | Fantasy | Fairytale Retellings
Goodreads | Amazon
5/5 Stars
One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

The Wrath and The Dawn was undeniably a 5-Star book. I already know this book will be one of my favorites of this year!

Lets start with the writing. It was exquisite. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of it, then elegant, eloquent, and finally sesquipedalian (I really hope I used that right - I had to Google “word that means uses lots of advanced vocabulary - and this was the closest match.) Ahdieh's writing just captivated me right away. I truly do not think I can explain how fantastic it was. Every single sentence was a work of art & I was clinging on to every beautiful last word.

“Please. Give me the rope from which to hang you.”
“And loving someone like you is near impossible. Like holding something shattered through a raging sandstorm. If you want her to love you, shelter her from that storm."
"It’s a fitting punishment for a monster. to want something so much—to hold it in your arms — and know beyond a doubt you will never deserve it.”
“Love is a force unto itself, sayyidi. For love, people consider the unthinkable...and often achieve the impossible. I would not sneer at its power.”

Then we have all these amazing amazing characters that say wonderful things. Let’s just do a quick recap of some of the gold that came out of Khalid's mouth.

“You have a beautiful laugh. Like the promise of tomorrow”
“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.”
“This dangerous girl. This captivating beauty.
This destroyer of worlds and creator of wonder.”
“How right you are. You are not mine.” He dropped his palm from the door. “I am yours.”
AAAAAGHHHHHH. Okay, I'll stop with the quote vomit now.

Then we have our main girl Shazard. She is so tough, so independent, so strong. I LOVED HER SO MUCH. She knows what she wants & she won't let anyone own her. I was like YOU GO GURL. YOU SHOW THEM.

Tariq. UGH. He was Shazi's friend/boyfriend and I know Shazard liked him but he was driving me nuts. Basically, anyone who stood in the way of Khalid and Shazard drove me insane. LIKE, YOU ARE TEARING THE OTP APART. GET OUT. Despina and Jalal were some of our other side characters. YAY FOR AMAZING SECONDARY CHARACTERS WHO I HOPE TO GET TO KNOW MORE ABOUT.

Of course I have to address the romance. THE ROMANCE MY GODDDD. Shazard and Khalid’s romance is one of the best I have ever read.
Actual GIF of me reading this entire book. 
I can't even explain how much I loved this book. This is barely a review, it's more of a caps lock fangirl session, but please read this book. PLEASE. (And thank you (◠‿◠) )

For all my foodie followers…keep your eye out for a Bookish Food based on The Wrath and the Dawn!

September 8, 2015

ARC Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything
Nicola Yoon
320 pages
Published: September 1st 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
My disease is as rare as it is famous. It’s a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, but basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in fifteen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives. New next door neighbors. I look out the window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. I want to learn everything about him, and I do. I learn that he is funny and fierce. I learn that his eyes are Atlantic Ocean-blue and that his vice is stealing silverware. I learn that when I talk to him, my whole world opens up, and I feel myself starting to change—starting to want things. To want out of my bubble. To want everything, everything the world has to offer.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

At first, I was very confused when reading because Maddie is not allergic to everything. She has SCID, which is very different from an allergy. Allergic reactions have to do with histamines, SCID has to do with T and B cells in the immune system. Anyways,  I realized I didn't read the passage about her disease close enough (silly me) and I misunderstood it. So, aside from my mistake that left me confused for a short while in the beginning, this book was ah-mazing. 

Maddie our main character has been kept in her house for almost 15 years. No one can see her without an intense decontamination process. Maddie is pretty content with her life though. But then she gets new neighbors, she begins wanting more. She wants to be friends with her neighbor Ollie, she wants to be more then friends. Her life seemed very tragic and upsetting to me. I liked seeing her start to want more. I liked seeing Maddie get tired of her rather monotonous lifestyle. This was one of those cases where the boy helps the girl find herself and the boy "changes" the girl, but it was so beautifully done and it was in a way that added to the story and Maddie's character development. 
Here's an example:
“If my life were a book and you read it backward, nothing would change. Today is the same as yesterday. Tomorrow will be the same as today. In the book of Maddy, all the chapters are the same.
Until Olly.”

Also, the book had these adorable documents and drawings scattered throughout and I really enjoyed them. 

I liked the ending but I also didn't really like the ending. I can't say why, because its a huge spoiler, but if you've read the book highlight the text inside the parentheses to see why. ( I *sort of* liked it because it was so shocking and allowed Maddie to be with Olly, but I didn't like it because it kind of took away from the diversity of the book. Maddie is suppose to have SCID and have to live with that for life, but since she didn't really have it she gets to live out the rest of her life as normal and I just feel that took away the meaningfulness of her struggles and her disease)

“Maybe we can't predict everything, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster”
― Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything

“Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.”
― Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything

September 7, 2015

Bookish Food: Candy Covers

September 5, 2015

Blog Tour: Like It Never Happened: Review & Dream Cast!

Like It Never Happened
Emily Adrian
Dial Books
Published June 2nd 2015
Young Adult | Contemporary | Romance | Theatre
3/5 Stars

Stereotypes, sexuality, and destructive rumors collide in this smart YA novel for fans of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl, Siobhan Vivian’s The List, and E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca.

Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on and off-stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe

September 1, 2015

September TBR

My September TBR is pretty big, mostly because ARC August was an epic fail for me and now I have to get through quite a few arcs...Plus, I signed up for a couple blog tours. I have no idea how I'm going to finish all these books while trying to balance school and dance...EEK. 13 books may not seem like a lot to some people but during the school year I barley have time to read 4 books in one month, so HOW IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO FINISH 12?! (Note to self: DO NOT REQUEST SO MANY ARCS NEXT TIME!! The only reason I have so many is because I thought I would be able to finish them over the summer.)
ALSO: HAPPY QUEEN OF SHADOWS RELEASE DAY! The second I get home from school I'm going to start reading it. 

What's everyone else planning on reading this month?!