Genre Exploration: Reading Middle Grade as an “adult”

Hey hi hello! Long time, no see once again!

I feel like I am really terrible at keeping updated on this blog oops.

 

But anyways today I’d like to have a little chat about reading middle grade books as an “adult”. If you follow me on social media (which you totally should if you aren’t *insert wink emoji here* you will know that I’ve been reading The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. As of this very moment I have read the first four books in the series

And just yesterday I started book five in the series.

book 5

I unlike many others, had never read this series before. I remember hearing about the series when I was younger. However, when I was younger I had no interest in reading. I know it’s shocking and I’m just as appalled as you are. So now at nineteen I am reading this series for the first time and I’m really enjoying it. But as an “adult” I feel very judged and embarrassed to be reading a book series meant for “kids”, but now after reading the first four books in the series I am growing comfortable reading them in public. At first I was hesitant to bring them with me to class, but then I thought to myself “why?”.

I shouldn’t feel embarrassed to read anything. Reading should be fun. Just because I am legally considered an “adult” why can’t I read and enjoy books meant for “kids”? We all should be entitled to read what we feel like reading, regardless of what the book might be labelled. This is such a fun (yet slightly depressing) series to read and I am really glad that I have been able to read such a popular series for the first time.

For many of you I am sure, this is probably your favorite series. Not very many people get to enjoy a childhood favorite for the first time and I feel very fortunate to get to experience this series, even if it is later in life than most. Even if it’s meant for “kids” I feel like there are still a lot of lessens to be learned from this series. Here are some lessons I’ve learned from reading these books so far:

  1. Family is important.
  2. Hope can always be found in the pages of a book.
  3. Always try and look on the bright side. No matter how dark and dismal the situation might be.

 

I thought this was really interesting and I was wondering what your thoughts are on this. Do you ever feel judged reading a book in public based on its genre?

Let me know if you want to see another “Genre Exploration”

-See ya soon!

 

Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Hello, it’s me (and yes that was totally an Adele reference). Here’s a review that I was planning on posting long ago and I’m just now posting. Many, many, many months later.

So with any further delay today I’m going to review Wait for You by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Wait for you

Rating: 5/5

 

Goodreads Summary:

Some things are worth waiting for.

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago–an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe–please God–make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing.

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet.

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for.

My Thoughts:

Wow. This book was so beautifully written. It covered some pretty heavy topics, but it was handled so well. I would say that there are some trigger warnings that I would like to advise if you are sensitive to certain subjects, but it was handled so well. From start to finish Avery developed so much. She progressed so much from start to finish, and even when the book was finished I knew she would still progress and develop. I found myself relating to Avery. Whether it be about being late to class which is mentioned on the first page or one of my favorite lines from Cam’s mom [spoken to Avery] “I think the key to the start of any good relationship is to remember how the other person likes their coffee.”

I hope that wasn’t too much of a spoiler, but I loved that quote so much I just needed to say it because as a coffee lover I found myself smiling and laughing out loud at that because it is so incredibly true.

Of course since this is a new adult book there is romance of course. It didn’t really start off with a lot of romance, but about halfway that’s when things got…interesting.  I was a bit thrown off when things got very sexual, but after I got past the initial shock, I found myself really enjoying this book. The romance was very well developed. It wasn’t rushed and I really liked that. There was no “insta love” in this book at all. Things took their time and I really appreciated that.

Also. Cam is, just…ahhh. Like Can I have a Cam for myself? Who wouldn’t want a totally hot guy baking you food and coming over every Sunday and making you eggs (another teeny spoiler, but I just had to mention that.) There was one thing I really liked about Cam. He comes off as completely perfect, but there will be a point in the book when he completely knocks you off your feet // I promise you that it was so refreshing.

One last thing I do want to say is that a lot of people were telling me that JLA’s books were all the same, but this was the second book of hers that I have read and it was totally different from the first book that I read by her // So I don’t really buy into that. But I am so happy I finally read this and I cannot wait to pick up the next book! Be with Me!

[I NEED MORE]

[[[[ Here’s the next book ]]]]

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-Amanda

I’M BACK! + What I’ve been reading!

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Hello! Long time, no blog post! I apologize for my long absence from my blog! I’ve been very busy with college and I’ve had a few technical issues on here, but I am making my return to the blogging world! So to kick start my blogging again I thought I’d post what I have read since I last was on here (which was July, so we have a lot of catching to do. I’ll just be giving the name of the books and the ratings that I gave them, including some pictures. So let’s get started. 🙂

July 2015:

July Wrap up

In July I read a total of 6 books and 2 graphic novels:

  1. Saga Volume 1: 5/5 stars (Graphic Novel)
  2. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s of Stone by J.K. Rowling: 5/5 stars
  3. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling: 5/5 stars
  4. Life Unaware by Cole Gibson: 5/5 stars
  5. That Summer by Sarah Dessen: 2/5 stars
  6. Fangril by Rainbow Rowell: 5/5 stars
  7. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley: 3.7/5 stars
  8. Beautiful Creatures (Graphic Novel): 2/5 stars [Not Pictured)

August 2015:

In August I read a total of *drum roll* on book. Yes that’s right. ONE book. And that book was All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (5/5 stars), which if you haven’t read it yet. I highly recommend.

August Wrap up

September 2015:

And in September I read a grand total of….ONE book, again. I know the shame is real. For some reason I don’t have a photo of the actual book cover, so here’s a photo I took while I was reading it. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (5/5 stars).

Screenshot (48)

October 2015:

In October I read a total of 6 books and 1 graphic novel. A huge improvement from August and September.

october wrap up

  1. The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride: 4/5 stars
  2. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer: 3/5 stars
  3. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: 5/5 stars
  4. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: 5/5 stars
  5. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy (Book #2 to The Fifth Wave): 3/5 stars
  6. The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancy (Book #1): 2/5 stars

November 2015:

In November I read a total of 5 books.

November wrap up

  1. Wait for You by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout): 5/5 stars
  2. Bound by Prophecy by Stromy Smith: 5/5 stars
  3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: 4/5 stars
  4. Easy by Tammara Webber: 5/5 stars
  5. Warren the 13th and the all seeing eye by Tania Del Rio: 4/5 stars

December 2015:

In December I read a total of 2 books and 2 graphic novels.

december wrap up

  1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: 5/5 stars (reread)
  2. Soundless by Richelle Mead: 3/5 stars
  3. Saga Volume 2 & 3: 5/5 stars

January 2016:

In January I read a total of 2 books and 3 graphic novels.

january wrap up

  1. After the Crash by Michael Bussi: 5/5 stars
  2. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare: 5/5 stars
  3. Saga Volumes 4 & 5: 5/5 stars
  4. Wytches Volume 1: 2/5 stars

PHEW! That took a while. Well I hope you enjoyed that little catch up. I’ll be posting my February Wrap up here in a few days on here, instagram, and a video on YouTube so keep an eye out! Let me know what I should post on here. I’m a bit out of it when it comes making blog posts, but hopefully with time I’ll get used to it. Enjoy your day or night, whenever you’re reading this, and I’l be writing again soon!

 

-Amanda

REVIEW: Magonia by Maria Dahivana Headley

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Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Genre: YA
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 320 Pages
Rating: 3.7/5 Stars


Goodreads Summary: 

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?


My Thoughts: 

Well, this was an interesting read. Going into this I wasn’t sure what to expect. Upon reading the summary I was very intrigued about this book. The concept sounded interesting so I had to pick it up. Though when I started reading this it was a lot slower than I had anticipated. With the book looking as short as it did I thought it was going to be a really quick read, but I kept finding myself having to stop and take breaks while I was reading. I also had to reread a lot of sections in the book as well.

I’m not saying it was bad. I actually found the story rather interesting. The writing style at times I found really weird and confusing. Especially since it was written from dual point of views which really threw me off since I was not expecting that. but I actually ended up liking that because I found that it made the story a lot easier to understand for me.

The ending of this book really made up for the slow beginning. I found myself on the edge of my seat wanting to know more as the story was coming to a close, though I did find that the ending was a bit rushed.

All in all I thought this was a really unique book and I’d recommended it if your looking for something totally it’s own type of book.


The Author: 

Maria Dahvana Headley

Visit her website to learn more about her: www.mariadahvanaheadley.com

Review: The Selection (Book #1 of The Selection Series) by Kiera Cass

Author: Kiera Cass

Genre: YA

Format: Paperback

Pages: 327

Rating: 4/5 Stars


Goodreads Summary:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


My thoughts: 

Well, I’m really surprised by this one. I did’t think I was going to like it, but I flew through it in about a day. It was a very easy, breezy read. America at times was a tad bit infuriating because she would just…choose. But other than that I really enjoyed it. It was cute and happy. It does have quite a bit of set up that goes into the next book (which I’ve already read, but that will go up in a separate review). I adored Maxon, but for some reason couldn’t really connect myself to Aspen. He just kind of rubbed me the wrong way for some reason. But over all I really enjoyed this one as a quick and easy read. If I had to choose I think I would ship Maxon and America. I really like them together. I think Maxon brings out the stronger and more determined side of America. When America is with Aspen I feel like he holds her back (and not because of his caste, but because of that way that it feels like he doesn’t want America to do something more). America has the potential to change things and with Maxon I think she could do just that.

-Amanda

Review: Me, Earl, and the dying girl by Jesse Andrews

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Author: Jesse Andrews

Genre: YA/Contemporary

Pages: 295

Format: Paperback

Rating: 3.5/5 stars


Goodreads Summary: 

This is the funniest book you’ll ever read about death.

It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. But on the first day of his senior year, Greg Gaines thinks he’s figured it out. The answer to the basic existential question: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? His strategy: remain at the periphery at all times. Keep an insanely low profile. Make mediocre films with the one person who is even sort of his friend, Earl.
This plan works for exactly eight hours. Then Greg’s mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This brings about the destruction of Greg’s entire life.


My Thoughts: 

So upon completion of this book I have no idea how to rate/review it. I suppose going into I had very high expectations. I guess to start with rating I’m somewhere between a 3 and a 4, but for all intensive purposes I went with a 4 (I like to round up). I guess for my review potion is I found myself really enjoying the writing style. The writing style was so different from what I was expecting, yet it was very refreshing and I really enjoyed it. I would like to add that I love the added humor to it. For example refer to page 76, last paragraph. Little add ins like that were really unexpected, but I found so funny and enjoyed. However, the only shortfall was that the ending had me feeling extremely confused. I get not everything is going to be peachy and happy rainbows, but whyyyyyy *insert crying emoji here*

I don’t know. I’m still sort of confused even days after finishing this book. I just don’t feel the “Wow” factor like I thought I was going to. Overall I am sort of disappointed where this book went, but maybe I just missed the point. But these are just my opinions.

If you want to give it a try, feel free! 🙂

Now we will just have to wait and see what I think about the movie.

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy/YA

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5/5 Stars


Goodreads Summary: 

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.


My Thoughts: 

Wow. I don’t even known where to begin. This book blew me out of the water. It was addictive to say the least. There has been a ton of hype surrounding this book and let me say I was not disappointed. I found myself up until nearly 4 o’clock in the morning reading and finishing this book. It’s been a very long time since a book has had me up all hour of the night. A court of thorns and roses is the first novel I’ve read by Sarah J. Maas and now I completely understand the hype. Sarah J, Mass’s writing is beautifully additive. I really loved her writing style. Her characters were very well developed along with the world building. I never thought that I’d ever be able to get into the fantasy realm, but here I am wanting more fantasy than I’ve ever wanted before.

This world of humans, immortals, and dangerous creatures is full of action and romance and all around epicness (Is that even a word?). I loved the main character Feyre. She was fiery and heroic and didn’t go down without a fight. She was also sweet and fun when she wants to be.

And then there’s Tamlin…

Tamlin is the very attractive, very powerful immortal that any Fae or mortal would swoon over. The relationship between him and Feyre starts out full of hatred and hostility, but then blossoms into something far more.

I’m sill having trouble putting into words how much I love this book so I’m just going to leave it at this:

BUY.

THE.

BOOK.

AND.

READ.

IT.

AND.

LOVE.

IT.

AND.

FANGIRL.

ABOUT.

HOW.

MUCH.

YOU.

LOVE.

IT.

OKAY?

OKAY.

-Amanda