Friday, October 31, 2014

My NaNoWriMo 2014

With the start of NaNoWriMo 2014 only two short hours away, I thought I would post a quick update outlining some of my plans and goals for my first year participating. If you're participating in NaNoWriMo this year, please feel free to add me as a writing buddy and keep up on twitter. If you have not hear of NaNoWriMo then I'll give you a short version: writers all over the world try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days (the month of November). This basically means if you write every single day you should write somewhere around 1,667 a day. Knowing that I will be out of town and otherwise occupied for a few of those days, my personal goal is to write 2,500 words a day. I'll likely write an occasional blog detailing my progress along the way, so stay tuned if you feel so inclined. The novel I will be working on is called Scarred (for now, at least) and here is a watered down, general synopsis that can be found on the NaNoWriMo site.

            Everybody likes Isaac Lyle.  He’s a young, attractive, talented musician with a bright future ahead of him.  Until one day when his life is turned upside down.  Now, two years later, Isaac is living with the guilt of an accident he didn’t cause, his mother is slipping further and further away into depression, and he’s trapped.  While everyone else still likes him, Isaac is starting to wonder if he likes himself.

            All Liza has ever wanted is to be understood; for someone to look at her and see more than her scars.  With a scar that runs the length of her face and dozens more running down her arms, Liza attracts attention.  Just not the kind of attention she wants.  Having left her old life of fear and pain behind all Liza wants is to embrace a new life of hope and love.  But toxic thoughts still plague her mind and people still smile with pity. 

            Isaac and Liza cross paths for the first time the January of their senior year in high school.  That first meeting sends them on a journey of self discovery where they find not only beauty in each other, but beauty in themselves.  Can two hearts so broken, two worlds so shattered, ever really mend?  Isaac and Liza are on a journey to find the answer.

Please feel free to give me feedback or thoughts as I head into this new journey! You can find me on youtube here and goodreads here

This has been your book loving friend, Courtney.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Blood of Olympus~Rick Riordan | Review/Thoughts

I really enjoy The Fault in Our Stars, it's not my favorite novel, but it's good. Please tell me I was not the only one that thought of this novel every time Nico referred to Jason as Jason Grace. I just couldn't help myself, it was always the first thing that popped into my head. Well, now that that's out of the way let's get started on the actual reason for this post: The Blood of Olympus. I will attempt to be as spoiler free as possible, but their will be spoilers for the previous novels in the series as well as the Percy Jackson series (it's kind of hard to avoid).

This novel is the fifth and final novel in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. The series follows the events of the five Percy Jackson and the Olympians novels with many of the same characters appearing in both. This novel follows the format of its four predecessors, having a split narrative between multiple character points of view. The POVs this time: Jason, Piper, Leo, Reyna, and Nico. This is the first time we've seen the events from Reyna and Nico, so that is an interesting addition to the story.

The novel picks up where the previous novel left us: Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Leo, Hazel, and Frank are sailing the skies and seas aboard the Argo II, on their way to stop Gaea, the earth mother, from rising. At the same time Reyna, Nico, and Coach Hedge are trying to shadow travel the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood before war can break out between the Greek and Roman camps; if they succeed they can unite the camps and allow the gods to return to their original forms (since they are all suffering from some severe split personality disorder at the moment). Both groups must succeed if they are to complete their quest and save the world.

My Thoughts
In the previous two novels I really didn't care about Jason or Piper very much. To be honest, the only interactions involving these two I remember caring about were those that involved Percy. I found Jason and Percy's head butting very humorous. I was pleasantly surprised to actually enjoy these two characters again. 

Nico. I have always liked this son of Hades and I was very glad to be able to get inside his head more. He's a character that's easily relatable for me because I've felt like an outcast so many times and in so many situations. It was nice to see what he thought about the other characters and situations and understand more about why he feels like such an outsider everywhere he goes. He's also just really funny. 

Reyna. To be honest I didn't really care about Reyna one way or the other before this novel. Now I really like her. I found her to be a very interesting and complex character and I think a whole series could be written on her alone and her struggles with a messed up family life and feeling unloved. Like Nico, Reyna doesn't completely feel like she belongs anywhere or with anyone. What's great about Reyna throughout this novel is how much she grows. She's always been strong mentally and physically, but she developed in leaps and bounds in the emotional department. Sometimes you have to learn to open yourself up.

I also really enjoy Nico and Reyna's relationship throughout this novel. We've had interactions between the two in previous novels, but now we get to see inside their heads and what they really think of each other. We also get to see how their relationship develops as they fight their way back to Camp Half-Blood with the Athena Parthenos. These two do not have an easy time.

Leo-what can I say, the kid is hilarious. I wish we had gotten more of his sassy quips in this novel, but he was kind of heartsick after everything with Calypso and, of course, the whole trying to save the world thing. His chapters were very enjoyable though, particularly when they involved interactions with Percy. These two would make great brothers.

That covers everyone with a POV in the novel. Now for the other four demigods running around.

Frank and Hazel were cute and sweet and just, well, Frank and Hazel. I've never had extreme feelings for either of these characters. I did really enjoy them during The Son of Neptune and Percy's attachment to them makes me love them more than I probably would otherwise. There's not a whole lot going on with Frank and Hazel in this story. I mean, don't get me wrong, they play very vital roles in many situations, but it's nothing surprising or standing ovation material.

Percy and Annabeth are amazing as always. What we saw of their relationship was nice, particularly after their experiences in Tartarus during the previous novel. And although they didn't play as pivotal roles here, anything Percy does is fun and worth reading. It's great to see these characters from their beginnings in The Lightning Thief to now, they have developed so much and become so much stronger. 

The main thing that bothered me about this novel was that I didn't really feel like I ever got to spend a lot of time with any of the characters. It was definitely more noticeable with the ones without POVs, but I feel almost the same about the other five as well. Nico and Reyna are the only two I can really recall feeling like I was getting to know them more and developing a bond with. I know part of this is due to never having had their perspectives before, but I still feel like the characters have developed more as a whole throughout the other novels. I honestly would have liked if the novel were just a little longer and we had had POVs from all nine demigods. That would have helped me enjoy the novel more than I did as it's written.

My other main complaint is that we never get to see enough of Percy and Annabeth's struggles after coming out of Tartarus. I mean really, that has to be a very frightening experience. It was just downplayed in this novel and there was so much potential there. It definitely would have added to the novel to have this as more of a focus. I know the last novel had them in Tartarus, but to know their struggles once they were out would have improved the novel as a whole.

Overall I really enjoyed this novel. I think I rated if a full five stars on goodreads. I'm not sure I would really say it's worth that much, but it was a nice conclusion to a great series. I hope to hear more from these characters in the future. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this novel if you've read it, so comment below and tell me what you thought. You can also find me on youtube here, goodreads here, and twitter here. Happy reading everyone.

Until next time. This is your book loving friend,



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday | Halloween Reccommendatios

For Top 5 Wednesday today, I'm supposed to recommend some books for Halloween. Since I have not read a great deal of super creepy Halloween type novels I'm just going to pick out five of my favorite spooky/paranormal novels. Hope you enjoy!

The Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz currently consists of six novels (book seven will be the final installment and is set for release in January). Koontz is known for writing paranormal thrillers and Odd Thomas is one of the best. The novels are told from a first person perspective from Odd's point of view. Odd is a special guy; he can see the dead. Often the dead seek him out to help them gain peace before passing on to the other side. The novels are full of great paranormal fun and Odd is a great character. Go read them and tell me what you think.

It has been several years since I read this novel (or seen the movie based on it), but I remember really enjoying it. Not horror or super suspenseful, but it follows the lives of two magicians as they develop an intense rivalry that spans decades. Plus there is some time travel like elements and all sorts of interesting things. I need to re-read this. A kind of spooky/paranormal read that I think many would enjoy. The movie is great too (Christian Bale, what's not to love?).

This is the first novel in the Jasper Dent trilogy by Barry Lyga. The novel follows Jazz, the son of a notorious serial killer, as he wrestles with his inner demons and tries to help hunt down the killers he doesn't want to become. This is one of the darkest YA novels I can recall reading. It's a great story with great characters and delves into a lot of questions about who people are on the inside. Go ahead, read it.  

This is a delightful little novel about a girl living in early 1900s California who can see the dead. As the novel progresses she starts learning to communicate with the spirits around her. She has to help a detective solve a serial killer case that has been going on for decades. It's an interesting novel and one I'm glad I picked up. The second novel in the series is out now (I have not read it yet). I think this is a great stand alone novel though. Not a lot is left open as far as the main story goes.

This is the first novel in Neal Shusterman's Unwind dystology. The novels themselves are not particularly creepy on the surface, but thinking about them can be. I really enjoy reading them and they raise so many interesting questions. It's basically about our society being able to have our children "unwound" as long as we do it before they are 18. Unwinding consists of taking a person apart and then donating or selling every single piece of their body to another person. That way they are technically still alive. Very creepy shiver inducing. I can't wait to read the final novel (which was just released).

So there you have some of my favorite spooky/paranormal novels. I'm sure there are many others I can't think of and have not the space to include. Tell me what some of your favorites are in the comments below. Also check out my youtube channel if you feel so inclined, you can find that here. My goodreads page here. And my twitter here. Check out the list of all the Top 5 Wednesday-ers here

Until next time. This has been your book loving friend, Courtney.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Young Elites~Marie Lu | Book Review/Thoughts

Everyone knows my love for the Legend series by Marie Lu. So when I found out about her new novel I was super excited. Now, let me tell you some of my thoughts on this novel.

The novel centers around Adelina, a girl who was stricken with a deadly fever as a child. Those who did not die became malfettoes-deformed and useless to most in their society. Adelina lost one of her eyes and her hair turned silver. Some of these malfettoes became Young Elites, gaining special abilities where others only gained deformities. Adelina discovers her powers in a very dark situation and her life becomes wrapped up with Enzo-the leader of a group of Elites, and Teren-the man who hunts down and kills Elites.

When I first started the novel I was worried that it was going to be very similar to so many other novels I've read lately. Fortunately, Lu was able to take her own spin and create a very different kind of story. One thing that I really enjoyed about this novel was the use of both first and third person perspectives. The majority of the novel is told from Adelina in first person, but occasionally we get glimpses of some of the other characters and their portions are told in third person. I found that really interesting and attention grabbing. 

I also really loved Adelina's relationship with Violetta, her sister. It was complicated, sad, and realistic in so many ways. They hurt each other. They were jealous of each other. But underneath it all there is a love and bond that I hope continues through the rest of the series.

It was also great that the story didn't have a major love story going on. I mean a love story can be done well and enjoyed, but it's nice to not really have that sometimes. This novel did really well weaving in elements of romance without it ever being the main focus. 

Teren made a great "villain." I found him interesting and complicated in so many ways that YA novels tend to just gloss over. He reminded me more of villains I've read in fantasy focused for adults. He was fascinating in many ways.

The powers were interesting and, while not completely original (but nothing really can be anyway), had a fresh spin that didn't make me roll my eyes. A lot of the explanations concerning the powers and how they work reminded me a lot of how Brandon Sanderson describes things in many of his novels. And I LOVE Brandon Sanderson, so it was a great comparison.

The weirdest thing to me while reading this had nothing to do with the story. The weirdest thing was not having the novel in different colors. I know that's weird, but I'm so used to the Legend novels that it was kind of strange for me. Not strange in a bad way, just strange. 

Overall I think the book was very enjoyable and really well done. There were some portions and avenues that I was not completely crazy about so this book is only getting a 4/5 from me, but I do look forward to the next novel in the series.

Here are my links if you want to connect with me: booktube, twitter, and goodreads.

Until next time. This has been your book loving friend, Courtney.   

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday | Favorite Titles

For this post I'm going to be talking about 5 titles that I love and give you some of the reasons why. I decided to include only books that I've read. These are not necessarily my favorite books, just some titles that I really like. There are also many titles I have yet to read that I find fascinating, but those are for a different post. :) So here we go.

This is a novel by Robert T Jeschonek that I picked up at the library a couple months ago. The reason I grabbed it? That title! Once I read the synopsis it sounded really interesting, but I grabbed it solely on its title. You have to admit, that's a pretty neat title. It's not widely read, so if you're not one of those who have read this you really should give it a try. It's not perfect or the best book I've ever read, but it's interesting and different in many ways. It really made me think throughout the story. It's a quick read too. Give it a try. Maybe you'll find that your favorite band doesn't exist either.

This is a novel I just recently read and if you've read my review then you know I loved it. I believe the title was inspired by a line from a Shakespeare play perhaps (I just can't remember which one at the moment). What I love so much about this title is the different meanings it has. It could be a reference to all the days we've lived thus far in your life; a collection of every yesterday we've ever had. But this was a time travel novel where Em and Finn had traveled through time 15 times, so that changes the meaning a bit and I love it! Because now yesterday isn't just for the me I am now, but for the me I was in all those other realities! A super fun read that you should check out if you haven't yet.

The title is what originally drew me to this book as well. I was just browsing shelves in the library and this caught my eye. It was just intriguing. I really enjoyed the book as well. The name makes more sense once you've started reading the book and you realize that the flavors are personalities and that Dumb is a band. A really good book that you should also check out if you haven't. 

This title, as I'm sure almost all of you know, is a variation of a famous Shakespeare line (a really good one too). That was one of the things that drew me to this title. I heard of it and the first thing that popped into my head were lines of Shakespeare. It turned out to be a really good, if sad, read. The title is interesting and I love the original cover too. It's just a great title. Whether you love Shakespeare or not.

This is the title of a Dick Francis novel that I read years ago. I love horses and for a while I was obsessed with all horse racing trivia. I'm fuzzy on the details of this novel since it's been so long, but I remember enjoying it immensely. In horse racing horses can be given weight penalties and forced to carry more in order to even out the field. I loved the fact that this title had a dual role; not only did it refer to the penalty the horse must carry, it also referred to the price one must pay for a crime. It was just brilliant to me and I continue to love this title.

So there you have five of my favorite titles. I'm sure there are many others that I didn't think of that I love just as much, but these are some of my favorites. Let me know what some of your favorite titles are in the comments. For the complete list of Wednesday-ers you can go here.

If you want to connect with me you can find me on goodreads here and my booktube channel Courtneyreads here. I would love to connect with you all through blog and video!

Until next time. This has been your book loving friend, Courtney.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Awesomeness Coming Soon!

Over the next few months I have some pretty big and awesome things going on as far as reading/writing go. So here are some of the things happening with me (and you too, if you want).

I will be participating in NanoWriMo this year! This will be my first time of full participation. I started a few years ago, but was unable/uninspired at the time. Now that I've graduated college I feel I have a better handle on things. I'm also already writing a novel so I'm making this my push to complete it! If anyone wants to be a writing buddy, I'd love to be one! I don't have much info about myself or my novel up yet, but you can find my page here, I will be updating it very soon! I will also be doing a video on my booktube channel talking about my novel and my writing plans, so check that out. I plan to post update videos here throughout the month of stay tuned!

On November 7th and 8th I will be attending Yallfest, a young adult book festival, in Charleston South Carolina. There are a ton of amazing authors who will be there and it should be a blast. If you live anywhere near by you should make it a trip and come on over. If you will be there, let me know, I would love to meet you!

Percy Jackson Read Along
Elizabeth from the booktube channel Elizabeth Book Babble is hosting a Percy Jackson Read Along directed toward booktubers who have not yet read the series. I have read, and absolutely adore, the series, but I will be participating in this as well. We will be starting in November (maybe December for me, see NanoWriMo section-it'll take all my time). You can find the explanation video here and the goodreads group here. Please let me know if you plan to participate! This will also be mentioned in an upcoming video on my booktube, so you might see that coming up! 

Booktube Secret Santa
Karla from the booktube channel BooksAndOtherNerdyThings is organizing a book exchange through the book depository for Christmas and I plan to participate. You can watch the video here if you want information. This will also be mentioned in one of my upcoming videos :) There is a limit of $20 and once we have our person we choose a book from their book depository wish list and order it for them. It sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to connect with fellow booktubers and bloggers and book lovers of all kinds.

Winter Re-Read-A-Thon
Alma from the blog Diary of a Booklover is organizing a re-read that will be taking place from December 22-January 2. Basically during that time you re-read any books you've loved in the past and want to re-read now. It's going to be super fun, so check it out. The blog with the information can be found here. If you want to join in on the fun then you can find the goodreads group here. It's a great way to connect with others and get some of those old favorites read again. :)  

Odd Thomas Binge Read
In preparation for the release of the final Odd Thomas novel in January I will be re-reading the first six novels in December. If anyone would like to read along with me that would be awesome. The series is a paranormal/thriller series of novels by Dean Koontz. The novels follow Odd, a 21 year old fry-cook who helps the spirits of the dead settle their claims on life and cross to the other side. It's told in first person and Odd is an amazing character. If you've seen any of my booktube videos you've probably heard me rave about how awesome he is and I will continue to do so until he is no longer awesome (which will be never). Let me know if you would like to read along and I can start up a group on goodreads!

Legend Read Along
As many of you know, I love the Legend series by Marie Lu. I just adore those books and I really want to reread them. I would like to get a group who would either like to read or reread the series together and discuss it through blog and video. Let me know if you are interested! I will be setting up a goodreads group and getting things started. I'm thinking around January for this one. Not sure if we should do it as a binge read and complete the trilogy in January or do a book a month. I'm honestly not sure I could keep myself from just reading them back to back. Anyways, let me know if you want to participate and I will make sure to let you know once I have everything set up! 

So these are some of the things I will have going on over the next few months. I would love for you to be involved with any or all of them! Please let me know if you need any more information and I will be glad to help you find what you're looking for. Also, let me know if there are any cool things you're involved with that I might enjoy. I love being involved and getting to know fellow book lovers!

You can check out my youtube channel here and my goodreads page here

Until next time. This has been your book loving friend, Courtney

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday | Books I Didn't Expect to Like

This Top 5 Wednesday was an interesting one for me. I generally have a fairly good idea if I will like a book or not before I read it. Obviously that's not always the case. Sometimes I start a book and it seems a bit slow, but at some point along the way I end up really liking it. Here are 5 books I didn't really think I'd like, but did.

First Up: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
This is one of my most recent reads and it took me by surprise. The author, Leigh Bardugo, is going to be at Yallfest, a young adult book festival I will be attending in Charleston S.C. I wanted to read some of the books by the authors in advance so that I know who I need to meet and what to buy for signing. The novel is a fantasy focused around a girl Alina who discovers that she has the ability to summon sunlight. I found this entire trilogy very addictive. I really did not expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I did.

Next we have I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga 
This was one of my August reads. I picked it up thinking it would be interesting, but I didn't expect much from it. I've not read any of Lyga's other novels, but that is about to change. This novel was so well written and it was so easy to relate to the characters. Basically it follows Jazz as he struggles with fighting the killer instinct his serial killer father ingrained in his brain since birth. He's got this awesome girlfriend Connie and a hemophiliac best friend Howie who are just phenomenal. I can't wait to read the conclusion to this series. 

Next is All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
 I just read this novel and posted a review here on my blog. I thought it sounded like an interesting concept, but when I started I wasn't so sure. It was kind of slow for the first 30-40 pages, but after that it was simply brilliant. I am so addicted and this is one of my favorite novels I've read this year. Basically it focuses around Em and Finn and their travel through time to kill their best friend before the world is destroyed. Yeah, it's super awesome. You should read it. Right now.

Now Let's look at Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
I read this novel for an American Novel course I took while in college and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. So many people told me that it was super slow and I was worried I would get bogged down trying to keep up with everything else going on. I actually didn't find it that slow to read and the story was interesting. Out of the novels I read for that course, this was my favorite. And if you don't know, it's about a crew of Whalers who are on an insane mission to find Moby Dick, the whale who took Captain Ahab's leg. A very intriguing story.

Last, but not Least we have Emma by Jane Austen
I am a huge Jane Austen fan. I read Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion all in my early teens and loved them. I've now read all six of Austen's novels, but it took me quite a while. I saw a few film versions of Emma and just could not stand them, so I never read the book. When I finally read the novel, I loved it! It's beautifully written and silly and interesting. I just didn't think I would like it. I'm so glad I finally read it. I'm actually thinking about re-reading all of Austen's novels sometime soon and I'm really excited to get back into this one. So for anyone who's not familiar with it, Emma is a rich girl in a small town who believes she's a great match maker. Her love schemes cause far more trouble than good, but she finally learns to listen to her own heart. Just beautiful. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors and I just adore this novel.

This has been my Top 5 Wednesday! Comment and let me know if you've read any of these novels and what you thought. Also let me know what 5 books you ended up liking after having low expectations.

You can find the list of Top 5 Wednesday-ers here. I hope you've enjoyed this post. If you'd like, check out my booktube channel CourtneyReads here

Your book loving friend, 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars | Movie Review/Thoughts

I just watched The Fault In Our Stars, the movie based on the novel of the same name by John Green. I know, I'm a little behind, but I want to share my thoughts on it anyways.

Brief Synopsis
The book/movie centers around Hazel Grace Lancaster, a girl with cancer who knows her days are numbered. To make her parents happy, Hazel attends a support group for cancer patients/survivors. One day she meets Augustus Waters, a boy who has been in remission for just over a year after having part of his leg removed due to Osteosarcoma. The two become instant friends and their love blossoms under the knowledge that they will not live forever and their time together is limited. They journey through hospitals, to Amsterdam, through novels and video games. They question their existence and what comes next. They live.

My Thoughts
First of all, I really liked the book. And when I like a book I rarely like a movie based on the book. The details I love so much in the story are sacrificed to make it "viewable." Also, the writing can rarely be adequately transferred from book to film. The two are such different art forms that I think sometimes film makers sacrifice their own art and talent trying to take the work of someone else and adapt it using their area of expertise. This saddens me. I love art and expression and using your creativity to share beauty with the world, I just find it difficult to really appreciate the effort someone has put in when I loved the original version so much.

Now that that little ramble is behind us, shall we get to my thoughts? Yes, I think we shall. Let me start by saying that I think this was an excellent adaptation (yes, this is right after seeing it and no, I have not read the novel in several months). There were obviously several things changed/missing from book to movie, but honestly I didn't mind that much. The thing that bothered me the most was probably the scene with the swing set. A scene that really isn't that big of a deal for the novel as a whole, but could they not have gotten just a few more of the details correct?

There were a few characters missing or skimmed over in the movie (mostly in connection with Augustus) and a few characters I would have liked to see more of (Isaac!), but overall this didn't bother me. I found the love story between Hazel and Gus beautiful and their explorations of life and death almost just as captivating as they were in the novel.

There are scenes that make you laugh. Scenes that make you cry. And yes, there are scenes that make you do both. It's a bittersweet movie about falling in love and knowing that you're time together is ticking away rapidly. But some infinities are bigger than others and your love can be forever even as you drift away. I'm sure I will be watching this movie again. It was well acted and beautifully shot. The emotions were high and pain heartfelt. It's a gem of a movie.

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."

Tell me what you thought of the book/movie and how it was adapted!
Check out my youtube channel, CourtneyReads, if you would like. I'd love to interact and get your feedback!

Until next time! This has been your book loving friend,


Monday, October 13, 2014

Mitosis~Brandon Sanderson | Review/Thoughts

Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart is about a world where ordinary men became extraordinary when an event known as Calamity gave them super powers. But it's not what you think. Instead of becoming super heroes, these men became villains. These villains are known as epics. When David Charleston was a child, a new epic came into town: Steelheart. In that first encounter everyone was killed, including David's father, except for David himself. Now, ten years later, David is on a mission to stop Steelheart. David may hold the only key to this seemingly impossible mission: he's see Steelheart bleed.

If you have not read Steelheart, I highly recommend it. Sanderson is one of my two favorite authors and I've never read anything by him that I did not love. So go ahead, check it out. :)

Now, for this review I will be discussing Mitosis, a short novella following the events of Steelheart. I actually got the audio copy of this from audible where it's free for a short time. The story picks up shortly after the conclusion of Steelheart and follows David and his Reckoner friends as they deal with the after effects of their latest mission.

When a new epic known as Mitosis shows up demanding to see David, things get interesting really fast. Mitosis can split into an unknown number of duplicates of himself, essentially creating his own personal army. A short chase, melting, and gunshots ensue.

If you've read Steelheart this is a great little novella to get you ready for the next full length novel Firefight, which comes out in the beginning of 2015. It's super quick too. The audio file is only about an hour. I listened to it while driving to church yesterday (which is an hour drive for me). It's a fun, quick little read/listen if you've read and enjoyed Steelheart. I would not read it first, because it does contain spoilers, but definitely get a copy and keep it on hand if you plan to read Steelheart.

 As always, if you would like to check out my booktube channel I would love to interact with everyone there as well. You can find me here. Let me know your thoughts on this little novella if you've read it!

Until next time. This has been your book loving friend,


Saturday, October 11, 2014

All Our Yesterdays~Cristin Terrill | Review/Thoughts

Here are some of my thoughts on All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. I think I initially put this on my TBR after reading/watching someone on line talk about it (although I cannot remember who, sorry). I finally picked it up at the library, but it was kind of a "maybe I'll get to this" type of a thing. I had several other books I was planning to read first in preparation for a book festival I will be attending in November. After reading several of those, I decided I wanted to give this book a try. And boy am I glad I did! I rate this a 4 out of 5 stars.

Non-Spoiler Thoughts
All Our Yesterdays centers around two girls: Em and Marina. Em and her friend Finn are prisoners in a futuristic dystopian society, being held for documents they possess that are important to the work of the man they call the doctor (who regularly has them tortured). The doctor's work centers around a machine called Cassandra-which allows time travel! When Em discovers a list written in her handwriting that outlines several failed attempts to undo the work that created Cassandra (and their current timeline), she and Finn must escape to the past to kill their best friend James.

Marina's story takes place four years in the past. Her best friend James is a genius and his other best friend is Finn Abbott, a boy Marina despises who calls her "M." When Marina witnesses Em and Finn attempting to shoot James the events of the past take on a new turn and Marina struggles with her feelings for James and develops a friendship with Finn who is obviously in love with her.

As the two stories overlap and interweave the bonds of friendship and love are tested, lives are changed forever, and everyone must come to terms with who they were and who they will become.  There is a love story (stories?) and Em and Finn are just adorable. :)

The main reason this did not get a full 5 star review was due to its slow start. It took me around 40 or 50 pages before I was fully invested, but once I was, boy was I addicted. 

The characters were not the most brilliant of any I've ever read, but I really enjoyed them. I loved Finn, he was just so cute, sweet, loyal, and real. The book would not have been nearly as enjoyable without his character. Em was likable and her love for Finn was so sweet. She still had feelings for James, but her heart really belonged to Finn. James was an idealized childhood best friend love, while Finn was grounding, strong, and pure. It was a beautiful contrast. Marina was irksome in the beginning, but she grew so much throughout the novel and by the end, I know she was going to fall in love with Finn for real, some way or another. James was the only character of the four (three?) who I really had problems with. I just never really got why Marina and Finn were so drawn to him.

The ending was beautiful and tragic. After realizing just how much of a monster he became, James took his own life, saving Finn (who is older self had murdered) and sparing both Finn and Marina the heartbreak that was sure to follow otherwise. The ending was full of hope for Marina and Finn, particularly since he was always in love with her, and I just loved it! Finn and Em were just so adorable throughout and I loved the fact that they were going to have a chance to really love each other without the knowledge that they would be ripped apart again (since this was their 15th time coming back). Simply beautiful. I have a new book crush. Finn Abbott, you are beautiful. 

No More Spoilers!
Thanks for reading! If you've read this book, let me know what you think! I have become addicted, what's with me lately? I have not been addicted to a book in quite a while and then the Grisha trilogy changed that. And now this! Ugh, it's just tearing me apart! 

Please check out my booktube channel if you're interested! CourtneyReads

Until next time, your reading friend



Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Darkest Minds~Alexandra Bracken | Book Review/Thoughts

My most recently read novel is The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. So let's get started with some of my thoughts. I am trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible.

 My Thoughts
This novel follows Ruby, a girl who, at the ripe old age of ten, is shipped off to a camp where children who have developed special abilities are kept and "rehabilitated." This is after she survived the disease that killed nearly every child she ever met and her parents locked her in their garage due to the changes taking place in her mind and body. Ruby miraculously escapes the camp when she's sixteen and meets up with other runaways from a different camp: Liam, Chubs, and Zu. Ruby has to learn how to be a part of a team and allow people to get close to her after pushing them away for so long.

Honestly, I probably knew what this book was about at some point in the past, but when I picked it up this time, I didn't remember. For some reason I had it in my head that it was going to be some fantasy novel. I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when I started reading a dystopia instead. I wasn't particularly disappointed by the novel, though it certainly wasn't what I was expecting. Here are some of the things I enjoyed.
  •  The overall flow of the novel
  •  The characters
  • The relationships  
I found the story very well paced and overall an enjoyable read. Ruby was likable enough and I loved Chubs! I'm not particularly sure why. I guess he just seemed real, while some of the others were a bit more farfetched. The way that Ruby grew closer to her new traveling companions was sweet. It was very realistic in its depiction of actions and how they speak louder than words. You can't just tell someone what you feel; you have to show them.

The story was lacking in many details as far as the disease and exactly why people were just ok with their children being shipped away. It didn't seem like the military and president had enough power to hold down the common people if they were against what was happening. Some of the character stories were a bit rushed and just didn't really make enough sense. I still enjoyed the novel as a whole simply because it was a fun, quick read.

Here are my rambles! Let me know what you thought about the novel if you've read it. Hope you enjoy the blog and check out my videos on my booktube channel!


Always read!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Top Five Wednesday! Favorite Female Characters!

As an avid reader and aspiring author I have recently joined the booktube community. I've always been intrigued by the idea of a blog, so here we go! For my first post I have decided to join with the Top Five Wednesday group. So let's get started!

Top Five Female Characters
I love strong female characters and here are just a few of my favorites!
Up first is Risa from Neal Shusterman's dystopian series Unwind. This girl is way kick butt. First of all she grows up as an orphan and when she's sent away to be unwound she doesn't go quietly. At the first chance she bolts for freedom and begins working to undo the system that threw her away. I cannot wait to see where Risa ends up in the conclusion Undivided (which comes out this month)!

Next is Connie from one of my favorite current series I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. Connie is probably one of the strongest female characters I've read about recently. Jazz, her boyfriend, is the main protagonist in the series and Connie refuses to just be another pretty face to be protected. I love the fact that she pushes Jazz, even when she probably shouldn't. She forces him to confront the fact that all people are messed up, and sure his father is a notorious serial killer, but that doesn't mean Jazz is destined to follow the same path. I love her for her spunk and drive. 

The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer is one of my favorites of all time. These books would not be the same without Holly, the elven police officer from New Haven who takes risks and never backs down. Over the course of the novels Holly develops a deep friendship with Artemis, who originally kidnapped and held her for ransom. I love her development and the ways that she forces Artemis to confront the demon within his genius. This woman is just awesome.

If you've watched any of my booktube videos, you probably know that I LOVE the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. One of the things that makes this series so amazing is June. In the first novel June is forced to turn her back on the life she's always known when she discovers the dark secrets that resulted in the death of both her parents and eventually her brother. One thing that makes June so awesome is her determination and drive to defend and avenge those she loves. The last book is heartbreaking and heartwarming. Champion is definitely my favorite of the trilogy and June is once again forced to sacrifice so much in order to give those she loves what they need. Beautiful.

And finally, my number one favorite female character is Vin from the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. Vin is complicated, antisocial, wary, and just plain tough. After growing up on the streets she discovers her true potential and is taken in by a band of thieves where she must not only learn to control her abilities, but also play dress up and infiltrate high society! Vin develops so much throughout the series and just keeps getting stronger and stronger. She faces so many hard decisions, makes so many mistakes, and gives up everything to protect what she thinks is right. Just a fantastic series overall and a majorly kick butt leading lady! If you haven't read these, go read them now!

This has been my first post and my first Top five Wednesday! In the future I will probably do a video for these as well. I would love to know who your favorites are, so comment and let me know! If you're interested check out my channel and let me know what you think! 

CourtneyReads -Booktube Channel!

Your book loving friend, Courtney