Wednesday, July 30, 2014

{Book Review} The Madman's Daughter #1: Megan Shepherd

Rating: 7/10
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Genre: Gothic, Thriller, Romance, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction,
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 29, 2014
Recommended For:
Page Count: 420
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Goodreads Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

Would I Buy It? While I immensely enjoyed The Madman's Daughter, I wasn't head-over-heels in love, and probably couldn't justify buying it unless it was in hardcover and I got it for a bargain price.

Reaction After Finishing Gaaah! Why did I read all of this to end up with this thing? (My finishing reactions are oh so eloquent) There was so much build-up for the end of the book, and I kind of think it was almost the cheaters way out. While I didn't guess it, it was also kind of predictable.

Genre????? What I would like to ask to anybody who has ever read this novel is, "How the heck do you contain ALL that this book is into a neat little genre?" If you look at what I listed for the genres, as well as what other Goodreads users have said, we have categorized The Madman's Daughter as "Historical Fiction," "Science Fiction," "Horror," "Fantasy,""Mystery," and "Romance." If you didn't know, those are A LOT of genres, and even books with weird premises and complex premises don't normally have THAT many genres. 

Mystery and Horror? So, I haven't read much horror, and I'm not the biggest "blood and gore" kind of girl. Nevertheless, I agree that this book should be categorized as horror, not because of ghosts, goblins, or other supernatural creatures.... but because of how horrifying it was at times. The synopsis The Madman's Daughter purposefully does not goes into detail about the various creatures and creations Juliet's father has brewed up in his laboratory.

In the beginning of the book, we find out that Juliet and her now deceased mother had been cast off by society because of a scandal surrounding her once revered father for "butchering." *Haymitch Abernathy voice* Butchering doesn't even cover the half of it sweethearts. If you have a squeemish stomach, or strong ethics when it comes to animal cruelty, The Madman's Daughter is SO not for you.

I'm not even going to try to get into what Juliet's father does. The gist of it is that he is a mad man who is trying to create the perfect human (and of course, has a tragic backstory  about how humanity is cynical and jaded), and operates on animals so they look, think, act, and speak like humans, but still retain animal-like innocence. This (of course) backfires, which is what drives a lot of the plot.

Ughhh, an Annoying Love Triangle *flips hair* The love triangle and the annoying characters nearly ruined this novel for me and is what took off that star. The best comparison I can make is to the Selection Trilogy. Juliet is like America Singer. Montgomery is like Aspen. Edward is like  Maxon. I can tolerate A LOT from love triangles. In fact, I even like them when they add a kick to the story (Shatter Me), but I cannot stand them when the narrator is indecisive and can't make up her mind. Also, it's one thing when I concretely know who I want the girl to end up with (Shatter Me), it's another when I'm torn between them (Legend), and it is a whole other freaking ball game where I don't give a crap who she ends up with as long as she chooses one and stays with her decision. At one point, on page 309, I even said in my Goodreads Updates, "This is getting a bit ridiculous." I feel that I didn't get to know the characters enough to care or sympathize with them, and so many of their actions/dialogue seemed like cardboard, like something from a Disney Channel sitcom. 

Juliet COMPLETELY flipped out when she thought for one sliver of a moment that her relationship with Montgomery was threatened by a girl who A. was 5 years younger than him B. more of a little sister/family for reasons later unveiled C. not in the slightest bit competition. 

While the love triangle added to the story, it seemed a lot more like a plot device than something added for the reader's enjoyment. I love a little romance, but it would have made the story a lot shorter and faster if almost all of the love triangle was cut out. The characters, however were necessary for certain "OMG" moments and turns in the plot.

Every time Juliet changed her mind like a girl changes clothes (she did both quite frequently)
Historical, Scientifical, and Fantastical.... Four words: Mad Scientist In London.

When you categorize a book as "Science Fiction," you automatically think of books set in the future with some crazy thing that has happened/gone wrong in society because of science. Yet that isn't the case, there can be scientific aspects in a story, that are just a wee bit too much to fathom, which is what turns the story into fiction. The work that Juliet's father does is drawn from basic scientific principles, but (I'm pretty sure) they can't happen/wouldn't actually work. 

When you categorize a book as "Fantasy" all you are saying is that it is an idea removed from normal reality [thank you Merriam Webster]. This particular definition is synonymous to the word "fiction," so fantasy can technically just refer to something unrealistic, such as the different creatures Juliet's father (he was never given a name) had created which is what adds the larger-than-life fantastical element to it.

When you categorize a book as "Historical," you're simply stating that it took place in the past. And of course, whenever you think of London in a novel, the story always takes place a long time ago sometime before the 1950s. I mean, a novel set in present day London? Hogwash! Unless you're reading The Kane Chronicles with Sadie Kane. Anyways, it doesn't state the exact time or year The Madman's Daughter it takes place in, but it seems to take place during the turn of the century at the very beginning of the industrial revolution, and before women were regarded as nothing other than delicate creatures made to play instruments, do needlepoint, and make babies. 

What happens when all three genres are tossed into the Nutri-Bullet blender of awesomeness? 

A Gothic Thriller.

Now, I had never heard of this specific genre before, but that is exactly what The Madman's Daughter was. "relating to a style of writing that describes strange or frightening events that take place in mysterious places" BAM! That is exactly what this book is. I mean, the Webster dictionary couldn't have described it better. The strange and frightening experiments taking place on the mysterious island. What else can you say about it? 

Thriller means "work of fiction designed to hold the interest by the use of a high degree of intrigue, adventure, or suspense" and The Madman's Daughter was definitely that. I read some reviews that said it was slow paced, and I honestly haven't got a clue what those people are talking about. The feels were being stimulated nearly every moment of the novel, and in reality television like format, revelation, after exclamation, after explanation unfolded around me. It was as if a ball of yarn had been tangled, and every section that was untangled was a new and exciting part of the story.

Quotes 7.75/10:

"Not handsome in the classic way like Montgomery, but more subtle, deeper, as if his true handsomeness lay in a story behind those bruises and the crumpled photograph. Something to be discovered, slowly, if one was clever enough to decipher it." --- 91

This phrase is how Juliet describes Edward to us in the beginning. And am I the only one who thought "and you're going to make darn well sure that you're going to be the one to decipher his story." Even in you haven't read the book? Do you feel it was her dying wish to uncover the mysteries behind Edward? *spoiler alert* She did.

"The interior doors have a safeguard. Only five-fingers can open them." --- 126 Juliet's Father

And for those of you who haven't read the book, "How well do you think that worked out for everybody?"

"Thous shalt not drink spirits! Thous shalt not eat flesh of living creatures! Thous shalt not roam at night! Thus shalt not kill other men! This is the word of your god!"

This is the list of commandments that Juliet's father created in order to keep his creations in check and tame. Let's just say that when regression (aka when everything goes to hell) happens, his creations don't obey them.

Conclusion: The Madman's Daughter was a breath of fresh air, and in a genre I haven't picked up before. Despite annoying characters and romance, the premise of the book was horrific and intriguing with non-stop action, and shocking turns of events. This book will challenge your sense of right and wrong and will leave you one burning question, "What does it mean to be human?"

If you have read the book.... I want to know what your opinions were, if you loved it or hated it.
Were you shocked at the ending?
Who do you ship with Juliet?
Has your point of view on human versus animal changed?

If you haven't read the book.... Do you now want to, even though the love triangle annoyed me to no end?
Have you ever read a Gothic Thriller, or anything like it?
What do you think of the premise? Are you immediately repulsed, or intrigued?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Reading Habits Tag

I think this tag originated on BookTube and made its way over to the Blogosphere, but I'm not entirely sure who started it. I was not tagged by anybody, but I thought this would be a really fun one to do, as well as a way for you to become more informed about my bookish personality. I don't think I can really tag someone, as I was not tagged myself, but if you want to do this tag.... I encourage you to do it. We can be rebels together!

1.Do you have a certain place for reading at home? 

I will usually read wherever I feel comfortable in the house and it doesn't really matter where, but some of my favorites are my bed, the couch in the family room, and the balcony. 

 2. Bookmark or random piece of paper? 

I know bookmarks were invented to, I don't know, mark places in books, but I don't use them because it tend to lost them waaay too easily. When I read, I read in large chunks of time, so I will put my book mark beside me, read 100 pages, then go do something. I completely forget that the book mark was even being used. 

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain number of pages?

Because of the whole "read in large chunks" thing, I will usually plan where to stop. I don't HAVE to stop between chapters, but my OCD tendencies make me stop reading at numbers ending in "0" or "5." 

4. Do you eat or drink when reading? 

While I would like to, I've learned that it is so freaking difficult to eat/drink while reading. The book won't lay flat and stay open while I eat. I also hate eating baked goods while reading because the crumbs will either go in the book, or all over me. 

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music whilst reading? 

I frankly don't know how anyone can watch TV while reading (unless it's golf), but I listen to music around 95% of the time m

6. One book at a time or several at once? 

I go back and forth on this question because I'm not sure what counts as "one book at a time." I DNF a lot of books before the 50 page mark and won't even turn the book to "currently reading" until I'm about 100 pages through. So if you count how many books I have read less than 50 pages of, I'm reading A TON of books at the moment. But I tend to only read one book at a time. 

7. Reading at home or everywhere? 

I can literally read anywhere if I'm in the mood for reading. My only issue is that I will get in the weirdest non-reading moods when I'm in places that people would normally read such as waiting in the Dentist's office. 

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head? 

I always read silently (I'm not in kindergarten), but if I'm having a hard time comprehending poetry, or a novel written in verse, I will read a few pages out loud until I get back into the groove of it. 

9. Do you ever read ahead or skip pages? 

I don't know how to skip pages. Even if it's a boring book, my brain is not hard wired to skip pages. Reading ahead is a whole other matter. I am known to read the last page, or maybe even the last chapter of the book after barely starting it. 

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it new? 

I never purposefully break the spine and don't see a need to unless the book is really stiff and new, and the spine has become an impediment to my reading enjoyment. 

11. Do you write in your books? 

Lately, I've been writing in the margins and highlighting my books for review purposes, but it's really painful to see my books have writing in them if it's my own. 

12. What are you currently reading?

Good question. Do you want the long answer or the short [refer to question 6]? At the moment, I am technically reading all of these books, but I'm only focusing on one of them. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

August Read-a-Thons TBR/Updates/Results

So I literally scoured the blogosphere for literally EVERY read-a-thon in the month of August, and let me tell you, there are a ton of them. In the past two books, participating in the Sunathon and not officially participating in the Book Tube-a-Thon has been so helpful for my reading. I have read a lot more than usual, and I love when other people post updates on what they have been reading. I will also be doing daily Instagram and Twitter Updates on my progress as well for all the readathons.

***I know Bout of Books is also happening this month, but I am doing an entirely separate post for that particular readathon, because it's one of the only ones with daily challenges.

The two TBRs cover the first two weeks of August, and are tentative to change at literally any moment. Remember, it's Sofia we're talking about here. Both TBRs are larger than I actually intend to read because more options helps prevent me from deviating. [pictured left] July 28-August 3 TBR. [pictured right] August 4-10 TBR

July 28 - August 11: Clear Your TBR Pile hosted by Jessica @ Fly to Fiction & Klaudia @ The Observant Girl Book Reviews  #ClearYourTBRPileChallenge Goal ~ Read 10 books & Compose Reviews for 7 books

July 31- August 20: Isla is Coming A Happily Ever After Read-a-Long hosted by Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner & Meg @ Cuddlebuggery & Lindsey @ A Bookish Sinister Kid & Judith @ Paper Riot & Andi @ Andi ABCs #IslaIsComing

August 1 - August 31: ARC August hosted by Shelly & Octavia @ Read.Sleep.Repeat. #ARCAugust Goal ~ Read & Review 5 Books

August 11 - September 1: Beat the Heat Readathon hosted by Reanna @ Phantasmic Reads & Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat. Goal ~ Read 15 books & Compose 10 reviews

(I know I'm late on this one) June 21 - September 5: Summer Vacation COYER hosted by Berl @ Fantasy is More Fun & Michelle @ Because Reading is Better Than Real Life #COYER Goal ~ Read 20 books & Compose 15 reviews

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Addicted to Netflix AND Featured Blogger? Feature and Follow Friday (8)

What is your favorite tv series that you can watch over and over again on Netflix?

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by the two lovely lades Alison @ Alison Can Read and Rachel @ Parajunkee. The goal is to have to participants gain more followers and friends by "hopping" around to different blogs and following them, in turn they would follow you back. Every week, two featured bloggers are chosen, and this week, I am featured on Alison Can Read! *throws confetti*


When did you start blogging?

I started blogging a little less than eight months ago on December 8, 2013. When I found out that I could ramble about what I love most to random people on the internet and interact with just as crazy (or more in some cases) fangirls, I immediately jumped on the chance and posted a review (which wasn't very good). 

What is your favorite part of book blogging?

I literally love every moment of book blogging, but my favorite part is when people comment or tweet me about a post. It proves that I'm not just sending random pixels out into cyberspace, and that people are actually reading what I spent time rambling writing. Through seemingly insignificant interaction, I have gained some amazing friends and fellow fangirls who actually understand my obsession with books.  

What type of books do you mainly blog about?

Ninety-five percent of the time, I blog about Young Adult books mostly because those are the books I enjoy reading, and therefore want to tell people about. My two favorite sub-genres are science fiction/dystopian and what could be considered "depressing" contemporary fiction.

What is your favorite book(s)?

I'm lucky this question has the parenthesis because I would have listed more than one anyways. My favorites are The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu (you know I had to include it), The Ascendence Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen, and nearly anything written by Laurie Halse Anderson, David Levithan, Andrew Smith, and Ellen Hopkins.

What has been the best thing that has happened to you because of book blogging?

In order not to repeat myself (otherwise this question would just be a rephrasing of #2), I will say the chance to discover all of these new and old books and authors I would never have even heard about otherwise. I also adore the opportunity to go to book signings and see these amazing creators of some of my favorite characters and worlds in person. 

A few times a year, my mom and I will find a television show on Netflix, and then proceed to rapidly binge watch. I think our record has been five episodes in one sitting, and we can finish a whole season in less than two weeks. I know in terms of binge-watching that isn't too much to brag about. I've heard about people who binge watch an ENTIRE season in one day, and that is just mind-blowing. But the question isn't about how fast we can binge-watch, the question is about our favorites. 

Merlin was one of the very first shows in our binge-watching careers, and we sped through the first four season in around 3 months. Then, we bit our nails in anticipation until Season 5 was uploaded onto Netflix. So obviously, I re-watched a lot of my favorite episodes from season 1-4 while waiting for the fifth season.
White Collar HAS to be my favorite Netflix show of all time. Neal Caffrey is a vision of swoons, and the premise -art thief/forger must help FBI in order to serve his time- of the show is perfect. It is also perfect for re-watching episodes because while there is an underlying story throughout the series, each episode is its own crime. 
Now I can't list Netflix shows without listing Sherlock as one of them. Even though I was pretty late to jump on the bandwagon, I finally saw the show and was hooked. The only problem is that the "Seasons" are extremely short. You know what that means.... more re-watching! I simply adore the dynamics between John and Sherlock, and the way their peculiar relationship works.

What are some of your favorite Netflix shows you can watch over and over again? I'm always on the lookout for more shows to watch so I can continue being an introverted fangirl. Tell me in the comments below or link to your own post. I would love to hear from you and don't forget to follow :)

Is #KindleUnlimited Worth It? A Young Adult Book Blogger's Perspective

Since last Friday (July 18, 2014, )you may have noticed, while browsing through Amazon, this bizarre new payment option [pictured to left]. Instead of the regular "Buy with 1-Click," "Add to Wish List," and "Give as a Gift," options, a new "Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited" button was added. You may also have noticed the banner while browsing through Amazon, advertising this thing called, "Kindle Unlimited." If you clicked on it, you will be lead to this page, and you can read all about this new invention. You may even have heard about it through the twitter hashtag #KindleUnlimited (like I did). However you found out, or if this is the first time you are hearing about Kindle Unlimited, I encourage you to continue reading to learn all about Kindle Unlimited from a blogger and book lover's perspective.    

Disclaimer: This is post was written for informational purposes only and was not sponsored by Scribd, Oyster, Amazon, or any other company. I am not, nor do I claim to be an expert when it comes to all the technicalities, financial aspects, and details when it comes to this new market of lendable eBooks.  All information has been compiled from reliable resources (all links found below) such as CNET, The New York Times, etc. I have not sampled any of the subscription services mentioned, so this is not firsthand experience, but I plan to in the future and provide full reviews. Furthermore, it was written for a person in the mindset of "I want to know what Kindle Unlimited is all about, if there are better, cheaper alternatives, and what I will be paying for." It was not written in the context of "Do eReaders beat physical books?" While this post was written to be informational for everyone, its focus is Young Adult Literature mainly because Loving the Language of Literacy is primarily a YA book blog, and that is its target audience.

Throughout this post, you will be given both sides of the coin, and it will be up to you -as a independent author, trying to decide whether or not to add your book to this new program, or your average Joe (consumer) trying to decide if Kindle Unlimited is worth the $10 a month price tag - to decide whether Kindle Unlimited is an amazing new service, or a terrible monstrosity that will be cheating authors out of their already meager paychecks.

How Did I Find Out About Kindle Unlimited?

On Saturday, July 19, 2014, I was scrolling through my twitter feed, when I stumbled upon a tweet from Young Adult author Leigh Ann Kopans.

 What is Kindle Unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited, dubbed "the Netflix for books," is a monthly subscription service allowing consumers "unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just $9.99 a month." [Amazon]

At a glance, this may seem an astounding option for non-sentimental (a person that doesn't NEED to own a copy) consumers that read primarily on any device with access to their Kindle Library. The full list of Kindle compatible devices is found on the Amazon Website, and includes Tablets, Computers, Smartphones from Apple, Android, Samsung, Windows, and Blackberry.

On top of the 600,000+ titles to choose from, Kindle Unlimited comes with Whispersync for Voice -Amazon's service that allows "seamless switching between reading and listening." For example, if you're in the middle of The Hunger Games on your Kindle, but need to go to the gym, Whispersync for Voice allows you to start listening at the exact space where you left off with the touch of a finger. If you have been eyeing Audible (Amazon's Audiobook service), now would be your chance to give it a test run with the complimentary three-month membership.

What Are the Cons?

Does "Kindle Unlimited" really mean unlimited?

Well, if the term "unlimited" means the ability to pick up and read any of the 600,000 books any time you want, then absolutely. Yet, "unlimited" can also be interpreted into "any book I want to read in the universe that has been published." And that is where the line would be drawn with the term "unlimited."

Buffets may be all-you-can-eat, but they are most certainly limited....


Those five types of food are staples of the national franchise Souplantation - a popular chain of all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants. I mean, Souplantation wouldn't be Souplantation without Soup. But what if those five dishes were gone? Yes, Souplantation would still have their special Chocolate Lava Cake, Fiber-Filled Beef & Barley, Hearty Cornbread, Cilantro Lime Pesto, and fresh-out-of-the-oven Chocolate Chip Cookies, but people would still miss their popular staple items.

Now replace those types of food with publishing houses.

"The Big Five!"


Replace the special dishes with popular book series.

The Hunger Games Trilogy.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Harry Potter.
The Giver Quartet.

What the heck do all of these crazy comparisons mean?

The publishers listed above (considered "the big five") are considered the largest, most popular publishers in the United States. Those five publishers are NOT included in your Kindle Unlimited subscription service. In other words, you can read New York Times #1 Bestselling books The Hunger Games and Harry Potter until you go blind, and that's awesome if you want to do that.

Are you dying for Heir of Fire (Sarah J. Maas) or The Blood of Olympus (Rick Riordan) to come out?

Have you been procrastinating reading The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) or Divergent (Veronica Roth?)

Do you want to read If I Stay (Gayle Forman) or The Maze Runner (James Dashner) before the movies come out?

Have you been dying to see how The Mortal Instruments (Cassandra Clare) or The Selection Trilogy (Kiera Cass) ends?

If you answered "Yes" to any of those questions, thinking how handy it would be to read one of those books, and not have to buy it because you have Kindle Unlimited, you would be sorely mistaken. All eight of those New York Times Bestselling series/books are published under one of the "big five" or another publisher that has [as of Monday, July 21, 2014] not partnered with Kindle Unlimited.

Are you still supporting your favorite author?

If you are looking from a financial angle, I would tell you that you are still supporting them, but less than you would be if you had simply bought their book on Amazon or from any other retailer. The best way to describe this for an independent/self-published author is that instead of getting their cut from the sale of their book, it won't matter how much they charge for their novel. Instead, they are paid the ratio of how well their book has done (saleswise) compared to all the other self-published/independent authors from a large sum of money allotted for this very purpose from Amazon. If absolutely none of that made sense to you (I wouldn't blame you, I can barely fathom it myself, let alone try and explain), you should read the article from CNET where I obtained all this information in the first place, because I guarantee they can explain it a lot better than me. 

An important point to make is that nearly ALL independent/self-published authors have to make their books exclusive to Amazon in order to have them in Kindle Unlimited. What this means is that they are unable to get the much needed sales from websites like Barnes & Nobles, The Book Depository, Smashwords, Kobo, etc. Of course, there are exceptions with extremely popular indie authors, as well as the big publishing houses who do not have to make their work exclusive, and frankly, it would be outrageous if they had to. Could you imagine if The Hunger Games wasn't sold ANYWHERE except for Amazon? One would believe that this would harm independent/self-published author's sales because not EVERYONE is able to read on a Kindle/Kindle App, but only time will tell.

Are There Other Options?

In case you weren't aware, there are two other leading competitors to the eBook lending market -Scribd and Oyster- with pros and cons of their own.

Scribd launched in 2007, costs $8.99 a month, and has over 400,000 titles to choose from. It is partnered with the Big 5 Publisher, HarperCollins, and seems like a viable option. This is truly where quality versus quantity come in because Scribd only offers 22,000 YA titles, YET some are highly coveted, NYT Bestselling ones from HarperTeen and all of its imprints. While they have not disclosed how much an author/publisher gets from each book that has been borrowed, they have assured us that they are fully compensated.

Oyster is a lot newer, launched only in September 2013, costs $9.99 a month, and recently passed the 500,000 book mark. There is no clear number of YA novels included in the subscription, but it is partnered with both HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster which opens up doors not included in both Scribd and Kindle Unlimited. While Oyster allows authors to make their books accessible on other sites (mostly because Oyster is only a lending service and not buying), just like with Kindle Unlimited, a consumer must read more than a sample of the book (10%) in order for the author to receive their royalty fee.



Both subscription services are available on all platforms and devices able to instal the app, including Android, Apple, and (unlike Kindle Unlimited) Nook HD. They also have select titles available, so they have Free Four, but not Divergent itself by Veronica Roth. Nevertheless, with either subscription, you are able to read popular book titles such as the Unwind Dystology (Neal Shusterman), The Shatter Me Trilogy (Tahereh Mafi), The Uglies Quartet (Scott Westerfeld), Under the Never Sky Trilogy (Veronica Rossi),  The Delirium Trilogy (Lauren Oliver), The Partials Trilogy (Dan Wells), The I Am Number Four Series, and a lot more.


Mine: At a glance, Kindle Unlimited seemed like a subscription service I would want to put my money into - even though I am a teenager on a limited budget. As a book blogger and lover, I veraciously devour books like I devour meals, and if there were actually a subscription service that included ALL published books in the universe, I would even pay $50 a month for it. 

Yet, after investigating what I would really be getting for my money if I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, there is no way I would benefit from its seemingly low price tag and "six hundred thousand titles to choose from." Ninety-five percent of the books I read are in the Young Adult Genre, and the majority of those books are published by one of "the big five," and if you look at the Kindle Unlimited section of Amazon, and the breakdown by genre, you will see that out of the "600,000 titles," ONE THIRTIETH of those are YA. 

On top of that, a portion of the books I read are from either smaller publishing houses, or independently published. I try to support authors as much as my adolescent wallet will allow, and I am also shocked to  see how little the fraction of money from my reading the book would actually go to the author.

Conclusion: I love the idea of Kindle Unlimited, and in theory, it would be the perfect subscription for booklovers all around the world. Yet, until I was offered more options in terms of which books I could read, and had the knowledge that the creators of what I'm buying (authors) are getting what they deserve, I wouldn't purchase a subscription, nor would I recommend it to people.

Others Opinions: "Even though I'm fairly uneducated, I do feel that Amazon has been shady with authors. I personally would much rather buy a book and support them, as I am a frequent re-reader and it would be the economical choice for me to buy books. I do buy from Amazon, but I've been making more of an effort recently to buy independently."--- Mal @ Lila June's Booksaloon 

"I think they forget that authors -unlike actors who get paid by the producers and musicians who hold concerts and make money that way- rely solely on the book sale for their living. If this keeps going, soon we will have fewer authors and fewer good books." --- Anonymous

"I think Amazon Unlimited will be a good choice if you have a kindle only (since you can download directly). Although it seems Amazon Unlimited offers a huge array of books to choose from, I' kind of iffy about the quality of available books. Sure, there will probably be a gem here and there, but would those books be in the genre you like to read? It's kind of a hit or miss." --- Tina @ The Book Landers

Scribd, Oyster, and Why I'm Hesitant as a Reader and Writer --- Shannon @ Shannon A Thompson: An insightful blog post written at the end of 2013 before Kindle Unlimited even existed.

Information From the Experts About Kindle Unlimited:

Amazon Unveils E-Book Subscription Service, With Some Notable Absences ~ New York Times: This is the very first article I read when I wanted to find out about Kindle Unlimited and is a truly concise explanation of all Kindle Unlimited has to offer.... as well as what it doesn't.
Kindle Unlimited: Good for customers, not so good for authors? ~ CNET: This is the article that breaks down an author's earning from Kindle Unlimited, and gives another professional opinion about Amazon, and the whole service. 

More About Scribd: 

We Are Young: Summer YA Reading ~ Scribd's Blog: A list of popular YA novels included with your  Scribd subscription.
Books > Young Adult & Children's ~ Scribd: The list of YA/Children's titles being offered on Scribd.
How do authors benefit from Scrib'd subscription? ~ Scribd
Scribd moves beyond document sharing with $8.99/month ebook subscription service ~ Gigaom: While this article may be a little outdated, it does share valuable information on Scribd compared to Oyster, as well as the oh-so-important fact when facing the decision of which subscription service to use that HarperCollins is included.

More About Oyster:

Browse the Oyster Library ~ Oyster: The featured selection of Oyster's Young Adult titles.
Smashwords Signs Distribution Agreement with Oyster ~ Official Smashwords Blog: All information pertaining to an author's benefit for having their Smashwords book included in Oyster.

Conclusion: I will be actively following consumer's feedback surrounding all three subscription services, and be updating this post as soon as the information is made public such as my fellow blogger's opinions, more publishers are added (maybe), and all of that type of information. I might even  make an entirely separate second post dedicated to the matter if any large news is released, drama ensues, or outrage increases. Feel free to ask me questions in the comments below and I will answer them to the best of my ability, and I highly encourage you to do some research so you can discover which service (if any) is right for you. Afterwards, I would greatly appreciate it if you linked some of your research because I truly want to add more links so I can help as many bloggers/vloggers/ consumers alike in the quest to find out if Kindle Unlimited is right for them.

What do you think about Kindle Unlimited? Do you now want to rush out and subscribe, or scoff at Amazon and never want to buy another book from them again? Do you think it will impact your reading and/or book buying? Have you tried any of these subscription services, let me know, did you hate it, love it? 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{BookTalk Response} Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2): Tahereh Mafi

Rating: 8/10
Series: Shatter Me #8
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction,
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 5, 2014
Page Count: 461
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Goodreads Synopsis: tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

Disclaimer: In this review, there will be spoilers for both Shatter Me and Unravel Me. I am also trying out a new-ish review format where I respond to things said in a BookTalk done by Christine @ polandbananasBOOKS. If you don't know, a BookTalk (commonly posted on BookTube) is a spoiler-filled review in a style that feels more like the YouTuber is having a Talk about a Book, rather than meticulously critiquing aspects of the story. It's almost as if the YouTuber was just sitting down for coffee with their friends (us viewers) and discuss the book. In my response to Christine's BookTalk, I will agree/disagree with Christine, answer her questions, and basically ramble on whatever comes to mind in response to what she says. The reason I'm trying out this new format is because I want to know what other people think, and it is just so awesome having other people (such as BookTubers) discuss books and spark conversations.

Backstory: I thought I finished Shatter Me fast. *claps hands slowly for self* Boy, was I wrong. While reading Unravel Me, I broke ALL TIME reading records (because people totally record those) in terms of pace. Let me walk you through it: I borrow the book from the library around 2:30 in the afternoon. I run a few errands, talk to the folks, etcetera until 4:30 which is when I start the book. In an hour and a half, I fly through 150 pages of the book. This would mean that I was averaging around 35 seconds for each page. Even though I would normally consider myself a fast reader, I am never THAT fast. After a run (which went great), dinner (with fries that were waaay too salty), and chores, I picked the book up again at 10:15 and finished it by 12:15. In TWO FREAKING HOURS, I read over 300 pages. Don't ask me how I did it, and I know I will never do it again (except maybe for Ignite Me), I don't have a clue as to how I absorbed everything that went on in the story. All I know is that my brain had this rabid, feral hunger to read the book.... so I read.

0:35 ~ XTINE: I definitely enjoyed [Unravel Me] more than Shatter Me.

Sofia: I have to be honest, I was kind of on the fence after I had just finished Unravel Me, as to which novel was better. Twenty-four hours later, however, I agree with Xtine that Unravel Me me was better, but the reason I was so on the fence was because there were definitely some aspects *cough* Juliette's whining/moaning *cough* that made me dislike the book.

0:55 ~ XTINE: You have to read Destroy Me, which is the novella, which comes in between Unravel Me and Shatter Me. 

Sofia: Guess who failed at that? *points thumbs at self* This girl! I wanted to read Destroy Me, I really did. I wanted to get inside Warner's psychotic head, and try to understand him more. (Remember, he's ANDEN on steroids). But when I went to the library yesterday, I wasn't even sure if they had Unravel Me, but when I found at that they did (and it was checked in) I borrowed it and immediately read it. Going back, I really would have liked to read Destroy Me, because of the way Xtine describes it, and everything that had gone on -like character development. Tonight, I may actually buckle down and buy it, with that hefty $2.99 price, even though I had wanted to purchase the bind-up of Destroy Me and Fracture Me.

1:42 ~ Xtine: We open back with Juliette being frustrating again.

Sofia: Frustrating? Frustrating is an understatement. Juliette is a whining, moaning and groaning b*tch for so long in Unravel Me and the levels of self pity that go on during a majority of the book make me want to slap her so she can return to reality. Thankfully, Kenji does that for me. Thanks Kenji! I owe you big time.

2:12 ~ Xtine: It's really frustrating to see a character with so much potential to be strong, act so helpless, and weak, and irritating. It's so frustrating, when in the beginning of the second book, one person in the couple will be hiding something from the other, and the other person is just like, "Oh, I'll ask later." 

Sofia: Get your freaking act together Juliette. You're in a world where you could be killed any moment just because you are who you are. Aint nobody got time for you dragging your feet. As Xtine so eloquently states, "Hold him down until he tells me."

3:04 ~ Xtine: She purposefully made these names unshippable.

Sofia: Heck to the yeah! When I have an OTP I want a ship name so I don't have to spend the extra time saying both their names. Yet both Juliette and Adam AND Juliette and Warner have names that CANNOT be shipped. Do you know how frustrating that was?

3:26 ~ Xtine: He's been hardened into this creature by his father. 

Sofia: Pumps fist! While Xtine goes off on a tangent comparing Warner to Sebastian and Jace from the TMI series, it gives me a chance to go off on my tangent with the parallels with Anden from the Legend Trilogy. Anden isn't a hardened creature, but he has been taught to hold back all emotion (as politicians have to do), and I just love how both June and Juliette have to break down walls in order to find out who the real person is.

4:56 ~ Xtine: Juliette is weaker with Adam. 

Sofia: Xtine goes off on a long spiel, better than I can, on how Juliette is when she is with Adam. Now, I never liked him in the first place. For some reason, I didn't trust him, and he seemed too "pretty boy" to me. When he flips out because of multiple people, on multiple occasions, he becomes his possessive jerk that I want to punch in the face. I never liked the two of them together, and they are SOOO bad together on so many levels.

5:00-6:00 ~ Xtine: [She basically talks about how Juliette and Warner challenge each other, and make each other better people when they are together]

Sofia: Hell yes! I love the two of them together. They're basically a dynamic comedic duo. They play off of, and buffer off of each other, being better when they're together versus when they're apart. They play to each other's strengths and weaknesses, and create one heck of a show for us.

6:15 ~ Xtine: Do we think Adam will learn to control his abilities and they will get back together in the final book.

Sofia: If Adam does, I will throw a hissy fit. The whole reason he is out of control (besides it being an interesting factor in the plot), is so that Juliette can end up with Warner. I don't ask for much in this world, but Tahereh, "PLEEEEASE don't make that d****e learn to control his abilities."

7:30 ~ Xtine: Anderson is a really attractive psychopath. 

Sofia: I'm beginning to question my taste in men, but I oddly liked Anderson. I don't know how to describe it, but I almost respect and admire Anderson for what he's done and created in such a short time. The way he seems so calm, cool, collected, and in control of the situation even when everyone else is running around, saying things have gone to hell. He's a villain that I adore to hate, he's also, as Tahereh describes, quite attractive in the 45 year-old-man kind of way, sort of like George Clooney.

7:56 ~ Xtine: Adam comes in and says, "That's my dad."

Sofia: I have to admit, I was a bad girl, I read to the synopses of the books ahead while I was in the middle of Shatter Me. *holds up hands to shield face* I had to add them to my Goodreads TBR. In the process, I already knew that Adam and Warner were half brothers, so I didn't drop the book and gasp, wondering what my life had come to. In fact, I was surprised at how understated Mafi made the scene. I expected some mystery, some intense process showdown of a scene where we find out that they are half brothers. In no way am I saying that the scene was bad, it is actually quite shocking and abrupt for someone who didn't know. Yet, for me, as someone who did know the spoiler, it seemed so blatant, and the information was just lain on the table all at once.

8:43 ~ Xtine: Both [Anderson's] kids have abilities.

Sofia: I wanna know *rocks on balls of feet* Just like Xtine, I wanna know if Anderson has some subtle ability that had helped him take over. There has to be something -like reading other people's minds- that help him, or maybe he has some way to detect emotion like Warner. Whatever it is, I NEED to know what other secrets that attractive man is hiding.

9:10 ~ Xtine: Murderer on my lap!

Sofia: LOL

9:40 ~ Xtine: Warner's real name is Aaron.

Sofia: I have NO idea what I expected. What I did expect was something more. Warner is such a strong, bold character, and for his name to be Aaron? What the heck! Aaron Warner doesn't quite flow in my mind - I think it's the two "n's." Aaron Anderson also sounds like he is a goody two shoes, so I don't know what to think.

11:06 ~ Xtine: She says the wrong name. He's spilling his soul and the one girl who he opens up to, calls him the wrong name.

Sofia: I didn't understand what the heck went on with Juliette in this scene. Tahereh might have just inserted it to make us all go batsh*t crazy, but seriously. Why call him Adam? It's not like Juliette thought Warner was Adam, or mistook him for Adam. Why did she have to screw everything up like she always does? 

12:21 ~ Xtine: I want her to run away with Warner

Sofia: Yes! Yes! Yes! Life would be so much easier, if the two of them ditched everything, and ran away together to live happily ever after. If they can just forget about the war, Anderson, Adam, and everything else. Now that, would be a good ending to their trilogy!

12:40 ~ Xtine: I don't want the whole focus to be on war. That's not what's interesting in this story - it's really these messed up characters and how they interact. 

Sofia: Xtine is so right. I don't actually find that much appeal, at least in Unravel Me, in the whole war and government aspect. That is not what I'm coming back to read, I'm coming back for the astounding characters and their interactions. Tahereh Mafi has spent two books, and two novellas, creating and developing these characters. I don't want to say that this book is a romance novel. I really don't want to say that, but it's the relationships between Juliette, Adam, and Warner that truly drive the plot make it a good story. 

13:08 ~ Now Juliette is strong and she knows how to use her abilities

The number one thing that people have said, and it's actually gotten annoying, is that Juliette develops as a character. I for one, haven't seen that much of her growth and development, but she sure as heck is better than she was the beginning of the book, and I can't wait to see who she and what she does as the new Juliette in Ignite Me

Quotes 10/10: 

“On the darkest days you have to search for a spot of brightness, on the coldest days you have to seek out a spot of warmth; on the bleakest days you have to keep your eyes onward and upward and on the saddest days you have to leave them open to let them cry. To then let them dry. To give them a chance to wash out the pain in order to see fresh and clear once again.”

I could spend all day talking about Tahereh Mafi's writing style. There are certain passages, such as the one above, that sound like poetry, beautiful threads woven into an even more glorious tapestry.  Despite Juliette's whiny and overal b*tchiness, the kinds of quotes above and below are the ones that I was read ing Unravel Me for. 

"Do you like Shakespeare?" he asks me.

An odd segue.

I shake my head. "All I know about him is that he stole him name and spelled it wrong." 

When Warner and Juliette have some alone time together in Warner's prison cell, and I nearly laughed out loud when they started talking about William Shakespeare and how he stole Juliette's name and spelled it incorrectly. The literary reference was just priceless, and hilarious especially in the situation they were in

Random Comment: The whole [insert verb here] Me thing: SHATTER. DESTROY. UNRAVEL. FRACTURE. IGNITE. 

I think the only reason this was an issue for me was because I was conscious of the the [insert verb] Me thing that went on with all five works. At times, especially in Shatter Me, it felt like Tahereh was inserting as many "Shatter Me...." and in this book's case "Unravel Me...." sentences/phrases as possible to a point that it was overkill. This was just minor pet peeve that bothered me during both Shatter Me, and Unravel Me, and absolutely did not distract from my enjoyment of the book. 

Continuation 100%: Ignite Me is already on hold my library, and I think I may burst, because it isn't due back until around the 30th. I have the two novellas to satisfy me, but I need a satisfying conclusion, and closure on these characters. I have also heard from everyone, that it is the best book in the series because of how much Juliette has changed and developed into a kickass character. 

Conclusion: Unravel Me is a strong sequel with complex characters, an intense love triangle, and a heart stopping plot. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21-27 Read-a-Thon TBR/Updates/Results

There are THREE readathons going on during the 21st to the 27th of July, and I have the same TBR for them, so this post will technically count for all of them. Also, I count "a book" as 300 pages read, because "a book" can be 100 pages, or 800, depending on what it is. This is kind of how the #BookTubeaThon worked, which went on last week, and I vicariously participated. I will also be tweeting/instagramming an update on which books I have read that day, which I have never done before. Anyway, even if you aren't participating in any of these readathons, I hope you have a great week of reading and living! :)


Pages Read Today: 473
Cumulative Pages Read: 473
Books Read Today: 1
Cumulative Books Read: 1
Book Titles/Miscellaneous Progress: 
80% 227 pgs ~ Lore Anthology. 
Pages 225-300 75 pgs ~ The 5th Wave: Rick Yancey. 
171 pgs ~ Unite Me: Tahereh Mafi


Pages Read Today: 239
Cumulative Pages Read: 712
Books Read Today: 2
Cumulative Books Read: 3
Book Titles/Miscellaneous Progress: 
20% | 57 pgs ~ Lore Anthology
182 pgs ~ What Happens to Men When They Move to Manhattan?: Jill Knapp


Pages Read Today: 25
Cumulative Pages Read: 737
Books Read Today: 0
Cumulative Books Read: 3
Book Titles/Miscellaneous Progress:  
25 pgs ~ Prisoner of Night and Fog: Anne Blankman


Pages Read Today: 125
Cumulative Pages Read: 862
Books Read Today: 0
Cumulative Books Read: 3
Book Titles/Miscellaneous Progress: 
125 pgs ~ We Were Liars: E. Lockhart


Pages Read Today: 280
Cumulative Pages Read: 1,142
Books Read Today: 1
Cumulative Books Read: 4
Book Titles:
Pages 125-225 100 pgs ~ We Were Liars: E. Lockhart
Pages 1-180 | 180 pgs ~ The Madman's Daughter: Megan Shepherd 


Pages Read Today: 265
Cumulative Pages Read: 1,407
Books Read Today: 1
Cumulative Books Read: 5
Book Titles:
Pages 180-420 | 240 pgs ~ The Madman's Daughter: Megan Shepherd
Pages 1-25 | 25 pgs ~ Audacious: Gabrielle Pendergrast


Pages Read Today:
Cumulative Pages Read:
Books Read Today: 
Cumulative Books Read:
Book Titles:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I'm Back!!! ~ The Sunday Post (11) + Stacking the Shelves (12)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer where one talks about what they did this week, what books they obtained, general blog news. 

Loving the Language of Literacy Lookback:

Loving the Language of Literacy Lookout:

I'm Back!!! ~ If you hadn't noticed, I was absent from the blogosphere from the 6th to the 13th of July. I was out of town and up in the mountains on those days and I had an absolute blast. I did archery (feeling TOTALLY badass like Katniss), kayaked, hiked, swam, reversed charaded (which is SO much fun), and more. I even had to sing before every meal because it was camp.... and what better to do than have kids sing for their suppers? I hadn't known how much I needed that period of relaxation without Internet, which meant no Blogging, Twitter, Instagram, and very little reading. I am completely recharged and have a number of ideas for discussions, bookish tags, reviews to write, and a lot more fun in store.

I Broke Down and Got an Instagram ~ I did it! I finally got myself a darned Instagram account. If you take a little looksie at my left sidebar, you will see a montage of my Instagram posts, and I'm still trying to figure out how to get a follow widget. My username is @sslluvsbooks exactly like my twitter user name if you would care to follow me for bookish shenanigans.

BookTubeathon is over today!!! ~ So I know I'm a blogger, and not a vlogger, but I have been avidly keeping up with the Book Tube-a-Thon that has been commencing the past week. I have (attempted) to follow the TBR challenges, and watching my favorite BookTubers do all the fun video challenges each day. Because of Book Tube-a-Thon, I have also managed to squeeze in some extra reading, which is always a good thing, and I just love the camaraderie and feeling of community that exudes from all the videos that have been posted.

Fierce Reads Summer Blockbuster Tour ~ I will be at the Grove this Wednesday (the 23rd) at 7 pm for this tour with lovely authors Ann Aguirre (Razorland Trilogy), Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles), Anna Banks (Syrena Legacy Trilogy), and Leigh Bardugo (Grisha Trilogy). I am psyched for the signing, and am so happy to have at least one book written by each author, so I will have a chance to get them signed. If I'm brave, I may even tell them that I am a book blogger, who knows anything can happen at a book signing. If you live in the LA area and are going to the signing as well, tell me in the comments, maybe we can have a secret symbol or some form of acknowledgement. And you know what a signing means? A RECAP POST!!! 

#TeaTimeRewind ~ If you missed this weeks #TeaTime (weekly liveshow on the Epic Reads YouTube channel), you may not know that Margot and Aubry (their names are spelled correctly!) would appreciate people to post/upload #TeaTimeRewind s because the comment section was overflowing so much this week, and it will give us Crumpets a chance to interact with each other. I designed a little banner which can be seen on MY #TeaTimeRewind it's nothing too special, but I think it's cute.

Kindle Unlimited ~ On Friday, Amazon launched a new program -Kindle Unlimited- which is dubbed "the Netflix for books." At a glance, it seems like a nifty new subscription service that will give us readers access to over 600,000 titles, but on the flip side, "What will this mean for authors?" On Tuesday, a discussion post will go live on the blog, and I definitely want to know what you think.

Books Read This Week: Because of my semi-participation in this week's Book Tube-a-Thon, I urged myself to read a little more than usual, and have read 4 full-length novels, a novella, and a picture book that isn't really a picture book. 

4/5: I read AND reviewed this book this week, and immensely enjoyed the romance, characters, and breakneck pace.
4/5: I read and scheduled my review for the sequel because I HAD to go to the library and pick this up and now I have to wait over 10 days for the last book -Ignite Me- to return to the library.
I don't want to reveal my rating for this book because I did do a promotional blog tour post , but I ended up disliking the it.
4/5: I read and loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and Wonderstruck DEFINITELY did not disappoint. My review is going live soon and I can't wait to share my thoughts.
4/5: For some reason, I thought about Winger CONSTANTLY while I read this book, and in my review, I will compare and contrast the two, because even though the plot/premise is different, the characters and writing style are very similar.
5/5: This was my semi-picture book, based off of the famous poem by Shane Koyczan "To This Day" which went viral on YouTube. The pictures perfectly depicted the verses, and really embodied the message of it.
Quote of the Week: This week's quote is from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and I love it because of how thought-provoking it is amidst all of the humor going on during the novel.

"I draw becayse words are too unpredictable.
I draw because words are too limited.
If you speak and write in English, or Spanish, or Chinese, or any other language, then only a certain percentage of human beings will get your meaning.
But when you draw a picture, everybody can understand it."

Random Story of the Week: You know that phrase "It's the little things in life...." that most teenagers (like myself) roll their eyes in response to adults when it is said? Well, I learned that this is true earlier this week. I am the resident dish washer in my house, and while I was washing the dishes a few days ago, I noticed we had gotten new wool steel. And I was so freaking happy that we got new wool steel. I am a teenager, and I NEVER thought I would be happy to get a common household item used to scrub dishes. Yup, my life is so exciting.

"Stacking the Shelves" is a meme when you list the books you've added to your shelves, virtual, physical, or whatever shape or form you get them. As people may know, “Stacking the Shelves” posts are hosted by “Tynga's Reviews”

{Disclaimer: I am in no means trying to brag about what I got, and merely shared this post for the benefit of my followers seeing what I purchased, and as a favor to the lovely people that sent me things. My haul is also rather large this particular week because it is cumulative from the past month or so}

As part of a daily deal on Amazon, I purchased the eVersions of The Testing (Joelle Charbonneau) and Of Poseidon (Anna Banks). I actually got through the first 15% of TT, but it never really picked up for me, I am considering going back, and giving it another chance. After the signing, I will most definitely be picking up OP after Anna has gotten my excited for the series.
Queen of Someday (Sherry D. Ficklin) is an ARC I received from Clean Teen Publishing via Netgalley and it is being released on October 7, 2014.

Wickedpedia (Chris Van Etten) does not seem like my usual book (it has a horror feel to it), but I am extremely excited to dig into it. Wickedpedia is an ARC I received from Scholastic via Netgalley and it was released on the June 21, 2014.

Phobic (Courtney Pearson) is also horror, and I am very scared (but psyched) to read this ARC which I received via Netgalley and it is being released on September 9, 2014.

The Beginning of Everything (Robyn Schneider) is a book I purchased through a Kindle Daily Deal, and a lot of people (including my hard-to-please friend that I hit with a book) enjoyed it.
All four of these books are Blog Tour ones I have received from Xpresso Book Tours (for all except Winter in the Soul) in exchange for reviews.

My tour stop for Gypsy by Trisha Leigh is August 31, 2014.

My tour stop for the Lore Anthology is August 20, 2014, and I can't wait to read it because I have never read an anthology before.

My tour stop for The ARtful by Wilbert Stanton is August 16, 2014.

My tour stop for Winter in the Soul by Jennifer Novotney has already passed and was posted on July 18, 2014.
The four of these books are eARCS from various publishers courtesy of Netgalley.

To This Day by Shane Koyczan courtesy of Annick Press released on July 17, 2014.

Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie courtesy of Flux to be released on November 8, 2014.

Oh Yeah, Audrey! by Tucker Shaw courtesy of Amulet Books to be released on October 14, 2014.

Heart of Dread: Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston courtesy of Hatchette Children's Books to be released October 2, 2014. 
And now we have my HUGE stacks of library books.  I'm not going to go into each book and why I borrowed it, because frankly, it's past midnight, and I feel almost dead. You can see I have stacked these books with a bit of a purpose in accordance to genre.

The Madman's Daughter: Megan Shepherd ~ Historical Fiction/Mystery
Noggin: John Corey Whaley ~ Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Everything Leads to You: Nina Lacour ~ Contemporary Romance/Mystery
Panic: Lauren Oliver ~ Contemporary Romance/Thriller
Prisoner of Night and Fog: Anne Blankman ~ Historical Fiction/Romance
Since You've Been Gone: Morgan Matson ~ Contemporary Romance
Winger: Andrew Smith ~ Realistic Fiction/Coming-of-Age
Unravel Me: Tahereh Mafi ~ Dystopian Romance
Shatter Me: Tahereh Mafi ~ Dystopian Romance
Landry Park ~ Science Fiction/Romance
Parallel: Lauren Miller ~ Mystery/Romance
Unsouled: Neal Shusterman ~ Dystopian
The Fifth Wave: Rick Yancey ~ Science Fiction/Romance

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