Monthly Archives: November 2017

End of the Year TBR

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Isis:

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Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – I want to finish this book. It’s kind of long, by my standards. But I know it’s about angels and demons, so that’s what I like about it. I haven’t been in a reading mood lately, which makes it near impossible for me to think I’ll finish it within a month, but a girl can dream.

 

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A Baby for the Sheriff by Mary Leo – I’ve been reading this one for a while. I love everything about it. It’s so cheesy and it keeps talking about the male interest as an “alpha male” which is ridiculous but that’s why I love it so much. It’s about a sheriff who has to take care of a baby abandoned at the doorstep of a vet. It’s really fun. I hope I can finish it.

 

Nicole:

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Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. I am halfway through this book already, so I’m hoping to finish this space opera very soon.

 

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I read about half of this one in the summer but never finished it. I really enjoyed it to so once I finish Empress of a Thousand Skies I will be getting to this one.

 

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Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Isis has already read this and put up a review here, but I’m still at the beginning.  I’m hoping I’ll get into it more, because right now I’m just finding it okay.

 

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The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch. This is a middle grade mystery that, again, I read half of before putting it down. I don’t know why I did it. I enjoyed it a lot. I just have a problem.

 

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The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan. I still haven’t finished this book, and yes, yes I did start it and put it aside earlier this month. I’m scared to finish this trilogy, but I have to know what happens.

 

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Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I forget where I was in this series, so I’m gonna have to start at the beginning. I think there are seven out. I promised Isis I would catch up, and I want to before 2017 ends.

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Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison. I was going to say this is one I haven’t read anything of, but that’s a lie. I read the first chapter in October then set it aside for books I got at the library. So basically all of my end of year books are simply finishing up books I randomly stopped reading throughout the year. All I know about this one is it has magic, vampires, and pixies in it, and I’m looking forward to it.

 

 

 

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Unpopular Books We Love

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BooksandLala posted this video about a week ago, and we decided it was a great idea. So we went onto our goodreads accounts and looked at what was the lowest rated books there, and looked at our own ratings to see if they were any higher. This is the first five that stuck out for both of us.

Nicole:

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Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas

GR Rating: 3.12 stars

My Rating: 4 stars

M.E. Thomas is a diagnosed sociopath and she wrote this book in part to tell her own story, and in part to debunk the myths surrounding being a sociopath. And she succeeded with that, at least with me. This book changed the way I thought, and I can’t recommend it enough. I do agree with some people that it can drag and get a little repetitive, however, I do think it’s worth it. Others dislike it because they found Thomas unlikable which, well, I won’t share my opinion about that.

 

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The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

GR rating: 3.28 stars

My rating: 4 stars

I loved this thriller. It was one of my favorite books of last year. I see a lot of people say it is full of tropes, and really weird. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t read thrillers a lot, but I was simply fascinated by this book even when I got confused. I didn’t think anything was overdone simply because I haven’t read this plot before. Also, people find the MC’s anxiety unrealistic. That’s a problem I find with some rep. They found this unrealistic while I related a lot to it.

 

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Serpentine by Cindy Pon

GR rating: 3.52 stars

My rating: 5 stars

People said this was mostly about the writing and they thought it was slow. I think it’s more of a personal thing because I flew through this book, and thought the pace was good. 

 

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One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

GR rating: 3.66 stars

My rating: 5 stars

This is a funny little short story collection. I think it’s mainly if you don’t like his jokes then you won’t like the book. Plain and simple.

 

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The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files by Simon Cheshire and R.W. Alley

GR rating: 3.68 stars

My rating: 5 stars

This is a children’s mystery book with not a lot of reviews which I think it is main reason for the rating. The few people who did rate it low didn’t leave a review at all so I’m not even sure why they didn’t like it.

 

Isis:

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Holy Cow by David Duchovny 

GR rating: 3.32 stars

My rating: 4 stars

I had a lot of fun reading this book. It made me get back into reading after a really bad reading slump.

 

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How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Gishlain

GR rating: 3.45 stars

My rating: 4 stars

This one was a wild trip from start to finish. I read it back when I didn’t know Johnny Depp was an asshole. But I think this book is pretty fun, regardless of the title.

 

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The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace

GR rating: 3.48 stars

My rating: 4 stars

I loved this book. It’s such a sweet romance, full of angst and a bittersweet ending. I loved it so much. I don’t know why people don’t agree with me on this.

 

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A Separate Peace by John Knowles

GR rating: 3.56 stars

My rating: 5 stars

This is one of the first books I fell in love with. It was a required read for high school, and I thought it was incredible. I cried over it. It’s a book I’ve never forgotten.

 

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

GR rating: 3.58 stars

My rating: 4 stars

This book rocked my world. It was absolutely hilarious, but sad nonetheless. I really liked the originality in this book. It played with various themes and formats, and I liked that.

The Television Tag

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I saw ProblemsofaBookNerd do this tag and it looked fun, so Nicole and I decided to do it!

1. Favorite shows?

Nicole: Stranger Things, Charmed, Gilmore Girls, 12 Monkeys, 3%, The Challenge, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Cutthroat Kitchen, Project Runway, Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta

Isis: Are you ready? This list will be LONG because I adore TV shows: The Office, Parks & Recreation, Friends, New Girl, Lucifer, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Preacher, Stranger Things, Gilmore Girls, The Great British Baking Show, Crazyhead, About a Boy, Breaking Bad, That 70’s Show, Scrubs, Shameless, Master of None, Santa Clarita Diet, Bates Motel, The Good Doctor, This Is Us, In the Flesh, Atypical, The Twilight Zone, Jane the Virgin, The Good Place, Superstore, The Mindy Project, The Nanny, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The X-Files.

2. Favorite genre?

Nicole: I like a lot of reality television obviously. I don’t know if there is a genre for all the scripted shows I watch, but they all have a magical element or something to it. Not necessarily magical but it’s never like just regular life like a sitcom. Also crime shows. I always get caught up in those.

Isis: Sitcoms have a large piece of my heart. The majority of the shows I watch are sitcoms, often with a twist. I do enjoy supernatural shows, especially if they involve angels and/or demons. I don’t really like dramas, unless they have some sort of supernatural or comedy aspect.

3. Least favorite show?

Nicole: The OA, Glow, Being Human, Lost, Spongebob, Clarence

Isis: Family Guy, The Big Bang Theory, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If I don’t like a show, I just don’t watch it. These are just some that annoy me without having really watched them.

4. Most rewatched show/favorite show to binge watch?

Nicole: I’ve watched the Roseanne, Gilmore Girls, 16 and Pregnant, and the Teen Moms ones so many times. Law and Order the original and SVU too. Cold Case and a few others like it I can’t remember the names to right now. I love binging The Challenge, The Real World, shows like that.

Isis: I’ve lost track of the times I’ve rewatched The Office, but my guess is at least 10 times, seasons 1 thru 7. I don’t care about the last two seasons. I’ve rewatched Friends a bunch of times too, but not as many. And Gilmore Girls and Parks & Recreation a few times. And I’d recommend binge watching Breaking Bad cause that show is a masterpiece from start to finish. I have that show up on a pedestal.

5. Do you prefer watching things week-by-week or binge-watching?

Nicole: Binge watching mostly because I don’t have cable so I can’t watch things week by week. But I’m bad at TV shows in general. Even if I like them I don’t usually continue them.

Isis: Definitely binge watching, though there’s something very exciting about waiting for new episodes to come out.

6. Favorite television characters?

Nicole: Garth and Gabriel from Supernatural. Rose, the ninth and tenth doctors from Doctor Who. The main cast from Stranger Things. Prue and Chris Halliwell from Charmed. Rafael from 3%. Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler from SVU. I’m sure there is more, but I also can’t put people from reality TV cause that’s weird.

Isis: Castiel from Supernatural, Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls, Lucifer from Lucifer, Jesse Custer from Preacher, Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation, Ann Perkins from Parks & Recreation, Literally everyone from Stranger Things, Dana Scully from The X-Files, Lip Gallagher from Shameless, Michael Scott from The Office, Jane from Jane the Virgin, and Monica from Friends.

7. Favorite television ships?

Nicole: Um Rose and the Doctor. I really liked Piper and that ghost from that one episode in Charmed haha. Mike and Eleven from Stranger Things. I can’t think of anything else, but I don’t ship people that often anyway.

Isis: I’m aware they aren’t technically canon, but Dean and Castiel from Supernatural are THE ship, and no other ship will ever top them for me. Jim and Pam from The Office, Leslie and Ben from Parks & Recreation, Lito and Hernando from Sense8, Amy and Jake from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Lucifer and Chloe from Lucifer, Monica and Chandler from Friends, Michael and Holly from The Office, Scully and Mulder from The X-Files, Jack and Rebecca from This Is Us, and Fran and Maxwell from The Nanny. That is way too many m/f couples.

8. Show you could never get into?

Nicole: All of my least favorite shows obviously. I never got into Sense8 but since it’s cancelled already I’m glad. Same for In the Flesh. I could say this for most shows honestly. I watch the first episode, and never feel the need to continue. Like with Preacher. I also couldn’t get into Shadowhunters.

Isis: 12 Monkeys, Supergirl, Merlin, Doctor Who, Chewing Gum, Better Call Saul, Sherlock, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Don’t kill me), 13 Reasons Why, and Lost.

9. Show you fell out of love with?

Nicole: Face Off, Orange is the New Black, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Sherlock, The Walking Dead, Supergirl, Survivor, Are You the One?

Isis: Supernatural – it hurts to talk about how bad this show got in the later seasons, especially cause it was such a huge part of my life. The Walking Dead, Last Man on Earth, Shadowhunters, Sense8, How to Get Away With Murder, Glee, Constantine, Twin Peaks, Melissa & Joey, Orange is the New Black (but I’m gonna keep watching).

10. Cancelled too soon?

Nicole: I usually think something is dragging on too long than cancelled too soon.

Isis: In the Flesh!!!!!! WHY. Just why. Also, About a Boy was the purest show on TV and I am so so upset it got cancelled. It deserved so many seasons.

11. Guilty pleasure show?

Nicole: I guess all the reality TV I watch but also I don’t feel guilty about it.

Isis: Orange is the New Black is a guilty pleasure. I never feel good about myself watching it, but it’s addictive.

12. What are you currently watching?

Nicole: The Challenge. There’s always a season of that on it feels like. I finished Stranger Things a little bit ago. I’m interested in looking up The Worst Witch I think it is on Netflix. I’ve recently seen things about a show called The Exorcist that I might try watching too. That’s about it.

Isis: I’m watching and loving Lucifer, The Good Doctor, Superstore, The Good Place, This Is Us, Catfish, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, just recently finished The Mindy Project (and it was amazing), and The Great British Baking Show which never fails to make me smile.

Giveaway Winner

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The giveaway for Turtles All the Way Down by John Green is closed and we have the our winner! Nirmala from red lips and bibliomaniacs so we will be contacting you privately.

Hopefully in the future we will be able to do more giveaways. For now, the regular reviews and tags will return. Uploading has been a little wonky, we know, but life has been getting in the way a bit. With the usual two times a week again too.

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN *GIVEAWAY*!

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Hello, everyone! We have some very exciting news. Nicole and I will be hosting our first giveaway on our blog. We’ve had this blog for over three years now, and I think it’s about time we did this. We’ll be giving away a brand new copy of John Green’s newest young adult novel: Turtles All the Way Down.

The rules are simple. Just follow us on our blog, and submit your blog’s name onto Rafflecopter. There are also two other chances to enter, which are following our Twitter account, and commenting your favorite book and why you think everyone should read it. So you have plenty of chances to get this book!

This is a U.S. only giveaway! I’m really sorry about that. Someday in the future we’ll do an international one. This giveaway starts on 11/12 at 12:00 am U.S. Eastern time, and ends 11/19 at 12:00 am U.S. Eastern time. We’ll make a separate post announcing the winner.

So, good luck!

The Ghost of Cutler Creek by Cynthia DeFelice

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“Here we go again. It sounds as if Allie Nichols, Ghost Magnet, is back in action.”

The third book in DeFelice’s mystery novels about eleven year old Allie Nichols. As with previous books, another ghost needs some help, and they go to her for help. School is ending for the summer, there’s a new kid in town, and she has a summer job of looking after her teacher’s dog. I don’t want to spoil anything but dogs play an important part of this book. I’ll leave you to make the inference about how they would be involved. I know that can be very upsetting for some people.

The mystery in this book is pretty straight forward in this one, but I still enjoyed it. I like how Allie is getting used to doing this, and how she learns from each case. Also, Michael, her little brother, is becoming a bigger part of the story, and I find that very interesting to watch unfold.

As always I zipped through this book. I gave it five stars. I simply find whenever I’m in a rut with reading or in life, picking up these books will pep me up a little bit.

Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

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All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.

The Shatter Me series follows Juliette, a girl whose touch can be lethal. She’s been locked up for almost a year because she murdered someone when the book first starts. While she was locked away, the world went to shit. It’s a proper dystopian society. Throughout this book, and again, the whole series, she has to learn about and choose what to do with this power.

The first thing everyone talks about with these books is the writing style. It’s whimsical, full of metaphors that don’t really make sense, and cut outs like this. I don’t like the strikethroughs, but thankfully as the series continue, they decrease until they are completely gone. I didn’t understand a lot of Juliette’s rambles, but I do understand they are there to show how scattered her mental state is. It made it quicker to read though which I really liked.

One of the main overarching dramas of this series is the love triangle between Juliette, Warner, and Adam. It is incredibly frustrating to read, but it isn’t the typical love triangle. I really think Mafi’s main thought when starting these books was to have something different, and she succeeded in that.  For those more into the romance, they will like this part of the books more. For readers like me, it was simply frustrating.

For this first book it took me maybe two years to finish. I think I had given up on it, but then later, I wanted to cross off some books from my currently reading list. So I finished it. I gave this book two stars.

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Time goes on even when we do not.

So you are probably wondering why I continued this series, right? Well, with the news of the of Restore Me I read the excerpt that was released, and I liked it. I was feeling down at the time, and it made me smile, so I texted Isis, who loves the series, and we decided to read the rest of the series together. So we started off again with Destroy Me, the first novella in the series. 

Destroy Me is set between Shatter Me and Unravel Me. It’s set in Warner’s perspective. I can’t say much. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I enjoyed it a lot better than I did the first books. I gave it three stars at least.

Fracture Me is the second novella. It’s set between Unravel Me and Ignite Me. It’s from Adam’s perspective. I gave it four stars.

I usually find novellas to be useless,  but these add so much to the series. Very important plot and character development happens. If you don’t read these, you’ll be missing out.

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I am no longer afraid of fear, and I will not let it rule me. Fear will learn to fear me.

The novellas do something interesting to the rest of the series. While it makes it more interesting, it also makes part of the books frustrating. Stuff is reveled in it that the readers will know, but Juliette will not. And it takes a while for everything to come out so that gets frustrating. 

Juliette’s character development is great. From the beginning of the first book to the ending of the last book, she grows so much. I didn’t love her, and I still don’t honestly, as much as others do. Which made me feel really guilty for a lot of the series since people always said she was like the ultimate feminist icon. She’s very dramatic, and so very self centered. It lasts pretty much the whole series. It gets called out by other characters, and she always has this revelation about how they are so right and how could she be acting this way. But then she continues to act how she was before. Pretty much every time she opened her mouth I was texting Isis about how annoyed I was with her. It never really ended throughout the books.

The world building in the series is bad. Nothing is explained deeply at all. I had so many questions and the books didn’t even attempt to answer them. It can be explained away with Juliette being so self centered, but that’s what I wanted and never got. Juliette’s powers still has plot holes in them. The world is never explained. 

The side characters were what really got me with this series. My favorite character out of all of them Kenji. He’s the best. It’s sad that Juliette is never interested in branching out more, because in the third book where there’s a small little group all the time, that’s where I loved these books. All of my annoyance would fade, and I really enjoyed myself in those scenes.

I gave Unravel Me three stars and Ignite Me four stars. That gives the entire series an average of 3.2 stars for me. I am going to read Restore Me when it comes out, and I have high hopes for it. I think she’ll fix what was missing from the original series. I did see Mafi mentioning adding more characters which will have more diversity. There might also be a Kenji novella. Both will be much appreciated. Most importantly, I hope for well fleshed out world building.

In the end, I find it hard to end this review. Can I really recommend it to others? I did finish the series, and plan on continuing it, but it’s not at all similar to other books I would recommend. Those didn’t cause me to go on long rants, or frustrate me to no end. Those I appreciated while reading them, not as the fifth book was ending. But I spent weeks reading them so they deserved a review even if it’s taken me three days to finish it. Even as I’m typing I still find my feelings of these books to be very complicated, but I hope I explained things as clearly as I could without going into any spoilers.