Book and a Beverage [150] – Iridescence from Light up the Shining Night Stars

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Iridescence from Light up the Shining Night Stars!

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Name & Blog Name: Iridescence from Light up the Shining Night Stars
Tell us a little about your blog! My blog started out as a book blog but its become so much more now with writing, blogging tips, bullet journalling and lettering, discussion posts and much more! I also host guest bloggers twice a month.
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) I LOVED putting together the post for a book review on Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. Here’s the link: 
Got anything special coming up we should know about? My six monthversary is coming up and although I don’t have the resources to host a giveaway, I’m planning something (hopefully) good!

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Whatcha reading? I’m rereading Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. The first time I read it practically inhaled it so I’m tagging places I would want to read later and quotes/lines I like etc.
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc): I purchased it the minute it IMG_20160623_184210420
was available in my country (fortunately only a couple days in this case).
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? Because I live it and I love Cassandra Clare’s works. TMI is my main fandom.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? It’s slightly more on the romantic side, I feel, than Clare’s other books. But I love the familial relationships in this one and struggles. You should know that it follows so many other books and if you read this without previously reading others, you might feel unbalanced in certain areas but honestly, you can read it separately. Yes, I would definitely recommend it.

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Whatcha drinking? Tea!
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? I would say either tea or coffee because I don’t have a preference between them. Nothing other than these two though.
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! Ginger tea! The one that my mum makes.

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What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Also A Court of Thorns and Roses by her). Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (All time fav). Just One Day by Gayle Forman (I really loved this one).
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? That I’ve got above 350 followers in five months and I also got invited to the team of https://mytrendingstories.com/
Anything else you’d like to share? No, I think that’s it!


 Thanks, Iridescence! I’ve only read City of Bones so far but I love how big the TMI fandom is!! And the cover of Lady Midnight is just gorgeous! 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Iridescence! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Pinterest // Goodreads // Instagram


And don’t forget! You can participate in Book and a Beverage at any time! Got a book? Got a beverage? Just tweet or post your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #bookandabeverage!#bookandabeverage

The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door #2) – Huntley Fitzpatrick

The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door #2) – Huntley FitzpatrickTitle: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publishing Info: August 18, 2015 by Penguin
Source: Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: June 2, 2016
Related Posts: My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door #1)

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:
- find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
- need a liver transplant
- drive his car into a house
Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:
- well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.
For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.
Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.
And Alice is caught in the middle.
Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this return to the world of My Life Next Door is a story about failing first, trying again, and having to decide whether to risk it all once more.

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** Warning: This is NOT a spoiler-free review like I usually write. In order to discuss my full feelings about the book, I will be discussing main plot points but will not reveal any conclusions **

Tim was my favorite character in MY LIFE NEXT DOOR and I was so excited to hear that he had his own novel with THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO (although it’s actually a dual POV book with Alice). Naturally, I was all over this idea and finally got around to reading it once I picked up the audio with one of my favorite narrators, MacLeod Andrews! Usually I don’t talk about main plot points that aren’t immediately a part of the book or that haven’t been revealed in the synopsis but there were a few things that really affected my overall feelings about THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO so if you you are looking for zero plot information on this book, look away now! If you’re with me for this ride, keep on reading!

While THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO was highly enjoyable, it really wasn’t quite the story that I thought it would be. This was actually how I initially felt about MY LIFE NEXT DOOR but for different reasons. I was expecting MLND to be more cutesy and summer fun and instead I found a story that had many layers, great characters, and a really meaningful and deep story. I was expecting the same feel with THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO, which I did get, but I was missing that love story part of the book. I knew that Tim and Alice were likely to end up together at the end of this book but I was a little disappointed with how little time was spent on the romance in the book because of other things going on in Tim’s life that he needed to address… specifically, the baby. (Yes, I said baby. We’ll get to that in a second.) Since the romance was something I was really looking forward to, I was kind of bummed that it didn’t really get developed or highlighted until the end of the book so the characters felt a little underdeveloped in that way. They don’t need a romance to feel like developed characters but I loved the banter between Tim and Alice when they were secondary characters in MY LIFE NEXT DOOR and I was hoping to see more of that sort of relationship in the spotlight in THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO. I was really missing that relationship and the interactions between the two of them that I loved so much when I first met them.

Okay, so the baby. If you haven’t read the book, I bet you’re a little surprised right now. I was too. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of teen pregnancy/teen mom books and granted this is from the guy’s point of view (Tim, of course) instead of the girl’s. (There’s a full discussion in this as to why but that’s a blog post for another day.)  I had no idea this book involved a baby or the fact that this bomb would be dropped on Tim and I probably would have read the book anyway because I love Tim, but it was a surprise that I wasn’t really pleased about at first. The baby story line really did take precedence, as it really would in someone’s life, but since I was expecting the romance to be the main story, I was really thrown off an with a topic that’s not something I usually gravitate towards, I was starting to doubt the book a little. Thankfully, Huntley Fitzpatrick handled everything expertly. I actually loved Tim’s relationship with Cal (the baby) and he had such a wonderful mix of confused, troubled teen and compassionate, wanting-to-be-responsible young adult. Tim’s experience with the baby really forced him to grow up quickly but I really loved that growth and development and how everything shaped up! I think Tim could have done that on his own but it was also really touching to see him take care of a child and really take on that responsibility head on.

The book was really great overall but it just didn’t quite meet my expectations and that seems to be the case with a lot of Huntley Fitzpatrick fans. I think MY LIFE NEXT DOOR set up an expectation of seeing a romance like Samantha and Jase’s — one that developed and continued despite a struggle in both of their lives — and the romance just plain didn’t have a spotlight in this book until the very end. While I enjoyed the whole book, it really did feel like it was missing something and I didn’t really get the Tim time that I was looking for because his time was so wrapped up taking care of someone else that I didn’t get to see him as much. He did grow immensely because of it but it was an entirely different feel and not one I expected.

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS

Source: Purchased from Audible
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews
Performance: Love! But not my favorite of his — I think I love MacLeod more as the nerdy kid than the bad boy. Seems more appropriate to have a nerdy crush on him (on his voice?) than a bad boy appeal.

I love MacLeod Andrews and his narrations! I specifically seek out books that he narrates so I was so excited to hear that he voiced Tim for this one! His voice acting was just great and he does a wonderful job with Tim but I feel like maybe since I listened to more nerdy-cute characters in his voice first that I’ve fallen in love with those narrations and they feel more genuine in his voice than a bad boy character (although the very first one of his narrations I listened to was brooding merman so who knows).
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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Tim // Character obsessions: Change, responsibility, Alice.
Tim really changes a lot in this book and tries to straighten out his life. I really liked how it wasn’t a total personality change though as he goes through this transformation. I love that he’s still snarky and a little bit of a bad boy at heart. I did wish for maybe a BIT more snarkiness from him since that was something I loved so much in previous books.
Alice // Character obsessions: Family, finances, school.
I felt like Alice was really different in this book than in MY LIFE NEXT DOOR… maybe I just hadn’t gotten to know her well enough then? She did feel really different to me for some reason and i really think a lot of it was that I was just missing so much of the banter between her and Tim.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Books with children. Besides the whole baby thing, even young kids bother me in audiobooks. Usually the narrators aren’t very good with kid voices but I thought these worked out well! And I liked the family dynamic which doesn’t always work for me either.
Left Me Wanting More: Banter. A lot more serious things were going on in this book than in MLND but I really did miss that back and forth between Tim and Alice a LOT. It was one thing that really had me rooting for them and falling in love with them.

Addiction Rating
Read it

This book was really enjoyable — not in the way that I thought I would enjoy it but it was great nonetheless! I had hoped for something a little bit different but Huntley Fitzpatrick does such a great job with the serious and realistic contemporary!

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BOOKS LIKE THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO

(Click the cover to see my review!)

NANTUCKET BLUE    CONFESSIONS OF AN ANGRY GIRL

Top Ten Tuesday – June 28, 2016: Long Books/Series That Are Totally Worth It

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
June 28, 2016

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was FREEBIE so I selected long books and/or series

Lots of readers are hesitant to pick up super long books or extremely long series and I totally get it. We all value our time and want to make sure a long book is worth investing in or that a series is good and we won’t get four books into a series only to stop reading or hate-read the rest. With so many books on my TBR, sometimes I’m hesitant to pick up any books that are longer than 400-500 pages because there are just SO MANY things to read and I’m afraid of how  long they’ll take me. As far as series go, I know a lot of people wait to start a series until all of the books are out (or close) because it’s hard to remember everything with years between books.

Today I wanted to share which long books/series I’ve enjoyed to maybe ease some of those fears about starting them! These books easily sucked me in and some of those long books didn’t see long at all because I just couldn’t put them down!!

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  • LONG BOOKS and LONG SERIES and LONG WAIT: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin | This is an easy to go to and I’m sure it on a lot of people’s lists, especially if you’re a fan of the show. I started reading the books before I started watching and I’ll admit — it really was quite daunting to pick them up. I read all five current books with a group of friends and we spread each book over the span of two months (so it took us 10 months to read them total). It may sound like a long time but it helped them be less daunting and it was easier to read them while reading something else and still finish other books.
    I can’t really say if they’re “better” than the show or not since I’m still only two seasons into the show (I’m so far behind) but I feel like they’re probably each their own animal by now. I really did love the books though and I wish I could re-read but that’s another daunting task in itself haha! The books were totally worth the experience though and I just loved them.
  • LONG BOOKS and LONG WAIT: The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss |  These books are AMAZING. I read them somewhat recently and I just couldn’t put them down. I listened on audio but had to whispersync and read in print as well because I just didn’t want to stop. The books are long but it didn’t feel like it took me too long to read them at all. We are still waiting for news on the third book and as anxious as I am, Patrick Rothfuss can take all the time he needs to get that baby perfect!
  • LONG BOOKS and LONG SERIES and LONG WAIT: The Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch | When I first read THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA, it was utter perfection and I loved the next two books just as much. I’ve heard rumors that book four is coming out fall/winter 2016 so I hope all of those rumors are true! They’re long books, it’s a long series (I think seven books are planned and #4 is the next one out) and it’s been a bit of a wait in between books so you’re investing a lot of time in this series but it’s seriously one of my all-time favorites and it’s SO worth it.
  • LONG BOOK: ILLUMINAE by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | This book looks long but I assure you, it goes quickly! The formatting takes up a lot of extra space so although there are almost 600 pages in the US hardcover, it’s really not that long of a read! The book is also amazing and its sequel, GEMINA, is one of my most-anticipated releases of 2016!
  • LONG BOOKS and LONG SERIES: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead | I have a skewed view of these books because I read them before I started blogging or really reading YA and it was a decent amount of time after the vampire craze but the fad was already dying down. I wasn’t really into vampires any more but I heard the books were good and I was actually pretty hooked from the start. I really enjoyed Richelle Mead’s constant twists and this series is actually probably still my favorite books of hers that I’ve read. The books are long but I was easily sucked in and since vampires were already out, I liked that I was still appreciating a vampire story. They were definitely worth the time for me then but I always feel wary about introducing someone to vampire books now, just because I think we all feel like this kind of urban fantasy vampire trope is out.
  • LONG BOOKS: The His Fair Assassin (companion) trilogy by Robin LaFevers | I’m not a historical fiction person but I looooved these books. I read GRAVE MERCY when I saw someone else’s review and I was a little hesitant but I’m so glad that I loved it! It does start off a little slowly but it’s not slow. The book is well-structured and lays things out and the romance is a slow burn as well (which I love). Everything comes together so well and although the books are long, they’re well worth the investment.
  • LONG BOOKS and LONG SERIES: The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson | This will come as a surprise to no one but I HIGHLY recommend this series. It’s still my favorite of any of Sanderson’s works (though I haven’t read THE WAY OF KINGS yet) and I love how layered everything is. The books are long but again, I was so sucked in that they didn’t feel long at all because I honestly couldn’t put them down.
    The series is also long. It’s currently six books and counting! The first three are one “era” and then the next set of three are another, although I think this one is actually a set of four now and not three. Then after the 2nd “era” there will be a third and maybe even a fourth. I love the possibilities for this and I’ll keep reading these until the end of time. There’s always another secret.
  • LONG BOOKS and LONG SERIES: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | I have a weird sort of history with this series where I just wasn’t ready for these books and ended up picking them back up years later. But once I finished THRONE OF GLASS and read on through CROWN OF MIDNIGHT and HEIR OF FIRE (I was catching up to the most recent publication so I could read HoF), I was totally hooked. I actually feel like each book gets better and I was so enthralled and so at home with QUEEN OF SHADOWS. The books are long but the plot is extensive, character development is strong and realistic (though some readers don’t like the changes that happen to characters. Hey, do we always like the way people in our lives change? Nope), and these books just layer stories back onto themselves and it’s amazing.
  • LONG BOOKS: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is so beautifully written. I really never thought I’d love books about chimaera but there you have it. The last book did feel a bit lengthy to me at times but I have so much love for this series and Laini’s writing.
  • LONG BOOKS and LONG SERIES: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling | What would this list be without Harry Potter? The books get longer as the series progresses (although the last book is actually not the longest book) and it’s a long series at seven books but it’s truly a life-changing series. I’m sure most readers of my blog have already read it (and are in love with it and have been) but if you haven’t read it yet, don’t let the hype and time discourage you. I’ve heard from plenty of people who read them for the first time as adults that it was just as magical and special in a way that they might not have appreciated as kids. (I loved Jamie’s post on this after she finished the series this year!)

What long books or series do you recommend to people that are totally worth it? What advice do you give to people when jumping into the chunky books?

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) – Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) – Sarah J. MaasTitle: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Publishing Info: May 3, 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Audible, Amazon
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: May 25, 2016
Related Posts: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5), Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1), Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1), Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

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** Warning: This is NOT a spoiler-free review like I usually write. I won’t give away twists from the very end but I WILL be discussing things that happened throughout the beginning and middle of the book! **

I was pleasantly surprised when I read A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES last year because going into it, I knew it was a story with a strong fae presence. By this point in time in my reading career, I wasn’t new to fantasy but I was still a bit picky about what sort of fantasy I liked and fae did not fall into that category of selected themes… But knowing how much I loved Sarah’s Throne of Glass series and the fae presence there, I dove into ACOTAR and loved it! It had a bit of a BREAKING DAWN ending so I wasn’t quite sure where the second book would go but naturally I had very, very high hopes for it since I hadn’t been let down by a Maas book yet!

I won’t sugar coat it — it actually took me a really long time to get into the swing of this book. I was enjoying the plot but the beginning felt so incredibly dramatic and I just didn’t feel like things were moving forward. There was a lot of time spent on Feyre’s PTSD from her time Under the Mountain and I absolutely understand and don’t think that her traumatic experience should be just brushed over. I do felt like there was too much time dwelling on it though. ACOMAF isn’t a short book and I think some pages could have been saved and still gotten the point across throughout a few sections in the beginning. If the book were more character-based instead of plot-driven, it might have been more appropriate but the plot really seemed to suffer because of this and this isn’t the first time I felt this way in a Maas book either. I understand that these characters have gone through something that truly does change them but I felt like I was reading about totally different characters when I started ACOMAF. Feyre and Tamlin were just not themselves and I think had ACOTAR ended with a bit more of this shadow or if it had slowly creeped in throughout ACOMAF, it wouldn’t have been as much of a surprise. I just really felt like I was thrown into a totally new environment and it was really hard for me to adjust to, especially since I had read ACOTAR over a year before I got to start ACOMAF.

I continued to have issues with Feyre throughout the book. I don’t know why but she was just really bothering me. Instead of snarky, witty comebacks, I felt like everything with her was taken as an insult and she was constantly being defensive and kind of hated everyone. It was really hard to watch her interact with characters and I started to latch onto new (or new-to-the-spotlight) characters like Rhysand and his gang. It did make me extra thankful for Rhys coming onto the scene and shaking things up, though! The interactions between Feyre and Tamlin were just unbearable and painful to read. Then I ended up on the flip side where although I didn’t want Feyre and Tamlin to still be together, I also felt really weird that Tamlin was almost totally absent from this book. He was there in the beginning and I won’t speak of the ending but this book was straight up about Feyre and Rhysand and it almost felt like a waste that we spent all that time building up a romance between Feyre and Tamlin in ACOTAR to have it totally change. I absolutely love where it went but it’s confusing to understand why the Feyre/Tamlin romance was so important and developed in ACOTAR and why Rhysand wasn’t more of a main character throughout that courtship to really get his foot even more in the door.

I’ve followed the romances in Sarah J. Maas’ books quite well, I think, considering they’re not always simple and straightforward. I know some people who have issues with love triangles or already have their OTPs with the first love interest really have trouble moving with the characters as they fall out of love or move from one interest to realize that their true match is someone else and I feel like I’ve followed along with that fairly easily. I can see where people feel like the romance in ACOMAF is a love triangle and I guess to a certain extent it is, but Feyre also does not have interest in both men at the same time. It is quite complicated though so if you’re sensitive about triangles, you almost definitely won’t like the romance.

I personally loved the development of Rhysand as a love interest, especially once Feyre really started to struggle with Tamlin. I found it telling that at the hardest points in their lives, Feyre and Tamlin drifted apart and just couldn’t find a way to even communicate instead of being able to rely on one another and get through a hard time together. That doesn’t always mean that you shouldn’t be with someone but in the case of story telling, it’s a pretty big sign that the main character isn’t where they should be. I’ve heard this complaint from other Maas readers but this is the first of her books where I really felt like the romance started to take over the book. While I did love the new Rhysand/Feyre development, I felt like there was a lot of back and forth between them before anything major (finally) happened and that could have been cut down to some more meaningful interactions instead of repetitive, similar situations that happened more than a few times throughout the course of the story. Their romance actually is a very important part of the plot so it’s not like I wanted it to be downplayed but I just felt like so many points of the large general story were pushed aside to develop the romantic moments and it started to turn more romance story than epic fantasy — and yes, there are some cheesy romance book-worthy moments. Let’s just say this is NOT A YOUNG ADULT BOOK, friends. There are some very explicit scenes so if you have teens or are directing/teaching teens who are reading this series, you may not want to put this book directly into their hands. (Not that I’m saying censor them but. Ya know. Read it first so you know what you’re giving them.)

The sections where the plot progressed were really quite delightful. Sarah J. Maas is still a master at layering stories and it’s so interesting to see how much of a previous book comes back in a different light in a subsequent book. There were so many moments that the reader is able to recognize from ACOMAF and see from a different character’s perspective or reassess it with more information and it makes the story that much deeper! Once things started to really take off around halfway through and a little thereafter, the book was simply addicting and I couldn’t wait to see where the entire plot of the series was going! Sarah really does have an amazing ability to craft an overall series arc and it’s so fun to watch that develop. The ending positively floored me and it was hard to remember why I had been so frustrated for a while throughout earlier sections of the book. So many things were revealed, actions taken, and trusts betrayed that I just really didn’t know what was coming. The twists and surprises were epic and once again, I was left in utter anticipation of the next book!

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS

Source: Purchased from Audible
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Performance: Very good! I might not seek out more narrations from her but I did like her narrator of ACOMAF.

Jennifer Ikeda was a great narrator for Feyre! I think her demeanor really worked well with the character (or she adapted her demeanor very well to Feyre’s tone) and she was great with the quips and sass and rudeness. There were times I wasn’t totally into her narration but overall she was very good. I’m not sure if I’d seek her out but if there was another book I wanted to listen to, I’d definitely listen to her again.
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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Feyre // Character obsessions: Freedom, Rhysand, independence.
Feyre was just so hard to get along with throughout the beginning of the book. I remember significantly noting that I liked how she was strong and fierce but her character did NOT feel like Celaena from Maas’ Throne of Glass series. Once Feyre started to heal and move past her PTSD, she was understandably hardened from it but then she absolutely started to feel like the same character as Celaena and I was a bit disappointed. That essence that made her feel different was gone and I loved the badassery but and took that over the weird, rough Feyre that I couldn’t get a hold on.

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Kept Me Hooked On: New Adult non-contemporary. Most of the New Adult books I read (when I do read them) are of the contemporary romance variety due to that being the main market for NA. It’s interesting to read New Adult as a fantasy! I guess it’s not really that much different than YA or Adult fantasy but it feels so much different when actually classifying it as such!
Left Me Wanting More: Focus on the plot. I’ll tell ya. I was really missing the plot in the beginning. The beginning and middle were quite character-focused which I don’t have an issue with… when I’m not expecting the book to be plot-driven. It really took me a while to adjust.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

The ending was just fantastic and really kind of made up for the rocky times I had in the beginning. If we have similar reading tastes, just beware of possibly having the same issues here!

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BOOKS LIKE A COURT OF MIST AND FURY

(Click the cover to see my review!)

THE WINNER'S KISS    shadow and bone

Mini-Review: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) – Ally Carter

Mini-Review: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) – Ally CarterTitle: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter
Publishing Info: June 21, 2011 by Scholastic Inc.
Source: Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Heists/Spies/Espionage
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: May 9, 2016
Related Posts: Heist Society (Heist Society #1)

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

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Just a mini-review for UNCOMMON CRIMINALS today! It had been almost four years since I had read HEIST SOCIETY (on audio) before I picked up UNCOMMON CRIMINALS but it wasn’t because of disinterest. After four years of waiting, I finally gave up hope that my library was going to get the audiobook because I just really enjoyed Angela Dawe’s performance so much! I knew I had to keep this one going on audio.

UNCOMMON CRIMINALS was just as much fun as I remember HEIST SOCIETY being! I just love heist books because so many of them often times employ a lot of humor or sarcasm, I think mostly because the characters are just so clever. You really have to be able to outsmart everyone when pulling off a heist and I think that extends a lot into a character’s social interactions as well. I feel like UNCOMMON CRIMINALS was a little less humorous and a bit more serious than HEIST SOCIETY since the stakes were raised a bit more, though!

I really enjoyed how the characters’ relationships started to go a bit deeper as well. There’s always a certain level of trust in a friendship — especially when it involves deception and thievery — but Kat really starts to amp things up with Hale, whether she intended to or not, and both friendships and familial relationships are really put into the spotlight in this book.

UNCOMMON CRIMINALS is an easy read but still full of so many important moments that any teen (or adult) can relate to. I love the balance of humor along with the severity of a heist and all of the experiences that come along with it. These books are so enjoyable and I’m hoping to finish up the series soon! Although now I’m hearing book three is not the last book like I thought it was… so more adventures for me, I guess!

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS

Source: Purchased from Audible
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Performance: Fun, sturdy, and comfortable yet light

HEIST SOCIETY was one of the first audiobooks I ever listened to (actually, I think THE first audio I ever listened to) so I have a soft spot for Angela Dawe! I really loved her performance then and I still do now. I like how her voice is mature but still appropriate for a teen main character and her voicing of everyone is really good throughout! She does some really fun accents and some are more believable than others but the book was just fun from start to finish and I’m still seeking out more audiobooks that she narrates!
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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Addiction Rating
Read it!

These books are a lot of fun and if you like books/movies/TV shows about heists or espionage, this series is for you! It was totally Leverage meets Ocean’s 11.

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BOOKS LIKE UNCOMMON CRIMINALS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

ALSO KNOWN AS    THE FIXER

Book and a Beverage [149] – Heidi from YA Bibliophile

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Heidi from YA Bibliophile!

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Name & Blog Name: Heidi from YA Bibliophile
Tell us a little about your blog! I started YA Bibliophile way back in June of 2009! I didn’t begin blogging regularly until about 2011. It’s pretty laid back. Mostly I just post my thoughts about books, interviews, giveaways, and blog tour posts. Sometimes I’ll do a Top Ten Tuesday or participate in some other cross-blog events. I just try to stick with my main purpose: to promote young adult literature!
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) It’s a really old post but I have one about reviewer/author drama from 2012. What I love about it is that it’s one of the first posts I remember getting feedback and multiple comments on. (If you look at it now you won’t see any comments. They got lost when I moved over to wordpress.) It was the first time I felt like people maybe read my blog!
Got anything special coming up we should know about? Right now I have two giveaways going on. One for the Boldly Bookish blog tour and one for a Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Other than that, I have a couple blog tour posts I’m excited about! I’ll have a review of Defending Taylor from Miranda Kenneally, a post about the making of graphic novels for Compass South by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock, and a guest post from the hilarious and clever Kiersten White for And I Darken.

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Whatcha reading? And I Darken by Kiersten White
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc): I got the ARC and the audiobook from the publisher.
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? I’m reading/listening to it right now and it is so, so, so great. Plus, I super adore Kiersten White and want everyone to read her books. I’ve loved every single one!
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? And I Darken is loosely based on the story of Vlad the Impaler… if Vlad had been a girl! We get the story from Lada (our female Vlad) and Radu, her brother. I’m not done with it yet but I am loving it. Ohmystars, it’s so good! Lada is this unapologetically fierce and determined girl. She is not nice and I think she is just the greatest. Radu is so very different from her and I love him just as much. And then there’s Mehemd! Basically you just need to read it. I’m loving the audiobook. Great narration and I don’t have to guess at unfamiliar pronunciations!

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Whatcha drinking? Diet Coke, always.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? I typically am always drinking Diet Coke! However, I am trying to cut down on my soda intake! In summer I also love drinking lemonade and ice tea. Winter finds me curled up with hot cocoa!
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! Diet Coke or homemade lemonade

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What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? This question is making me regret agreeing to do this! Ok… if I have to pick just three: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima, and When We Collided by Emery Lord.
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? Basically anytime I get asked to be on a blog tour or a publishing professional/author/blogger I haven’t met has heard of my blog. I seriously never thought anyone would read my blog when I first started posting. I figured it’d just be a few students checking it out now and then. I love that I’ve gotten to meet so many people because of it!
Anything else you’d like to share? June is audiobook month! I am such a fan of audiobook, but I wasn’t always! I had to find the right one to convert me 🙂 There’s a page on my blog dedicated to some audiobook recommendations. You can also check out my tumblr (where I recommended one audiobook a day each day in June!) If you’re looking for recommendations connect with me on twitter and I will talk your ear off about them!!


 Thanks, Heidi! I must read The Demon King now! Your recs are always spot on!! YES audiobooks! I was slowly converted and now I can’t imagine my life without them! I’d get a lot less reading done, that’s for sure. 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Heidi! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Tumblr // Goodreads // Instagram


And don’t forget! You can participate in Book and a Beverage at any time! Got a book? Got a beverage? Just tweet or post your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #bookandabeverage!#bookandabeverage

15 Young Adult Books for Readers with Wanderlust

travel books

Summer is the time I’m always thinking about vacations and the travel bug hits me hard! I have yet to travel internationally besides when I went to Aruba on my honeymoon but if I can’t do the actual traveling, I’ll happily travel through someone else’s trips in a book!

Typically, I think of travel books as contemporary romances but there are also so many amazing places to visit that are featured in other genres as well! Today I’m sharing some of my favorite travel destinations found within my favorite books!

15 YOUNG ADULT BOOKS FOR READERS WITH WANDERLUST

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is still one of my favorite contemporary romances of all time. I remember when I first read it I knew nothing about France (much like Anna) but it was amazing how easily I slipped into this setting and now I MUST go to Paris someday.
Locations Visited: France

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


 WANDERLOST by Jen Malone

Wanderlost

I just finished WANDERLOST not too long ago and it was really cute! I’d say it’s a great recommendation for fans of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS too. I kind of love the books where the main character has no idea what they’re doing in a foreign country because that would so be me.
Locations Visited: The Netherlands, Italy, Monaco, Austria

GOODREADS | AMAZON


JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

I related a lot to Allyson in JUST ONE DAY so it’s a book I really connected with! It was one of the first books I read where The Netherlands was such a prominent setting and it sounds absolutely beautiful! I’d love to visit someday.
Places Visited: Paris, London, The Netherlands, Mexico

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


SUMMER OF SLOANE by Erin L. Schneider

SUMMER OF SLOANE had me itching to go to Hawaii! We considered it for our honeymoon but ended up with Aruba instead. I still really want to make it out there! Maybe for an anniversary trip…
Places Visited: Hawaii

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill cover

MEANT TO BE is just plain adorable and I adore the hate-to-love romance. It brought a new side of London to my attention and I’d love to experience it as well!
Places Visited: United Kingdom (London)

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland

Nantucket Blue (Nantucket, #1)

Ahh, beachy summer days. I’m not a huge beach person but Nantucket had me longing to soak up the rays. (Which is a bad idea because I burn so easily!) The touristy-town feeling of the book had me reminiscing about vacations!
Places Visited: Nantucket

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW

MYSTERY/THRILLER

DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas

Dangerous Girls

I read this book before I had actually been to Aruba so I wasn’t familiar with the setting but now I want to re-read it since I’ve been! Although I definitely did not see the inside of an Aruban jail (thankfully).
Places Visited: Aruba

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


WITH MALICE by Eileen Cook

With Malice

WITH MALICE is split between the states and Italy, where the “incident” took place but I could just picture myself taking tours around Italy! (Even though I’ve never been there)
Places Visited: Italy

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


THE CONSPIRACY OF US by Maggie Hall

The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us, #1)

THE CONSPIRACY OF US was a lot of fun and I loved the jet-setting, political thrills! I pretended the characters would run into Anna and Etienne (from ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS) while in Paris but alas. That didn’t happen.
Places Visited: France, Istanbul

GOODREADS | AMAZON 

FANTASY

THE CROWN’S GAME by Evelyn Skye

The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)

THE CROWN’S GAME is a take on historical fiction but the setting is Imperial Russia. I never knew I was so interested in Russian history and culture but with the books I’ve been reading that are set there, I’m totally hooked!
Places Visited: Imperial Russia (historical fiction with fantasy elements)

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

Thisby is a fictional place but it feels so incredibly real. It feels like a combination of British and Scottish islands but also has a hint of a historical feel, like 1940s or 1950s.
Places Visited: Thisby (fictional island reminscent of British and Scottish towns)

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

SHADOW AND BONE is another Russian-inspired fantasy world and this one was inspired by csarist Russia. I love the influences throughout the book and it made me want to learn even more about the history and culture!
Places Visited: Russian-inspired fantasy lands

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)

The setting in THE WRATH AND THE DAWN was so beautiful and vivid. I could absolutely picture the desert atmosphere and Renee Ahdieh really brought the book to life with amazing imagery and sensory attractions.
Places Visited: Arabian Nights-inspired fantasy world

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW 


HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Who doesn’t want to visit London after reading the Harry Potter books? When they even create attractions based on the books, it just makes me HAVE  to go see it for myself.
Places Visited: Magical London

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Prague was another place I never really considered before just because I didn’t know much about it but after reading DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, I totally need to visit. It sounds so rich in history and the buildings and architecture seem amazing!
Places Visited: Prague

GOODREADS | AMAZON | REVIEW


Do you have a bit of wanderlust? What are some places you’ve been to or want to travel to? Which books inspire you to plan a vacation or two?