Top Ten Tuesday | Favorite Reads in 2015 (So Far)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which you give ten answers to the topic for the week. To find a list of upcoming topics, go here. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015“. I was going to torture myself and put the books in order of which ones I liked the best (#1 being my favorite and #10 being my least favorite), but I just couldn’t do it. So, the following list is in no particular order.

1. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (or any book in the series)

The Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena is the third book in the Heroes of Olympus series, which is a spin-off/continuation of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This whole series was amazing and I would highly, highly recommend it! I personally thought it was better and more developed than the PJO series, but I still loved that series as well.

2. More Than This by Patrick Ness

More Than This

This was the first Patrick Ness book I read and I absolutely loved it! I picked it up from the library on a whim and I was so glad I did. His writing is just spectacular; it immediately drew me in and kept me interested. If you haven’t read a book by Patrick Ness yet, I suggest you start with this one!

3. Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

Gathering Darkness

Gathering Darkness is the third book in the Falling Kingdoms series and, in my opinion, the best book in the series so far. The plot keeps getting more and more complex with each book and there are so many unexpected twists and turns!

4. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

I completely devoured this book. I started reading it one night and I ended up staying up until 3 in the morning just to finish it! I couldn’t put it down without knowing what happened in the end. I ended up loving it, of course!

5. The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan

The Raging Quiet

I haven’t heard anyone talking about this book, but it was one I really, really enjoyed. Don’t let the not-so-great cover deter you – it was a truly wonderful story of friendship, love, and so much more.

6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner 2

Before The Kite Runner, I hadn’t read many books in the historical fiction genre. It wasn’t like I was purposely avoiding the genre or anything, I just hadn’t read a lot of it. After reading and loving this book, however, I’ll definitely be reading more historical fiction! The Kite Runner was heartbreaking, yet wonderful. I really liked how it felt more like something that actually happened rather than a fictional story.

7. Fairest by Marissa Meyer


I read this novella earlier in the year and I really loved it! Fairest is part of the Lunar Chronicles series and it gives the readers a look at Queen Levana’s backstory. For more on my thoughts, read my Goodreads review!

8. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes was a wonderfully written book. I connected so well to the characters, even though I have little to nothing in common with them. Sabaa Tahir did a spectacular job of making this possible. For more of my thoughts, read my review!

9. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves

This is a book that I believe could easily be considered a classic in 100 years. It’s a wonderful story taking place in a terrible time in American history that really sheds light on issues that unfortunately still take place today. I highly recommend you read this one!

10. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

While Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour isn’t my favorite Morgan Matson book, it was still really amazing! All of Morgan’s books have the perfect mix of summer fun, serious issues, and uniqueness. If you like any of these things, give any or all of her books a go!

What are some of your favorite books that you’ve read this year? Do we share any of the same books? 



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #6

It's Monday What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where you share what you read in the past week, what you hope to read this week, and anything else in between!

Between Monday, June 22nd and now, I’ve completed the following books:

Last 3 reads (26)

3 books this week again! Not bad at all. Of course, I wish I could read more, but I’m not complaining. My favorite this week would have to be The Kite Runner. I normally don’t read historical fiction, but I ended up loving this particular book! The story was so heartbreaking and it truly came full circle. I also enjoyed A Book of Spirits and Thieves. It’s the first book in the spin-off series of The Falling Kingdoms series. Since I couldn’t read the next book in that series, this was the next best thing. A Book of Spirits and Thieves was a wonderful first book in the trilogy and I can’t wait to see where Morgan Rhodes takes it next!

What I want to read next:

It's Monday 6

Since I loved The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, I want to read his other books. I’m going to the library today to pick them up! Also, I would like to read Written in the Stars and Snow Like Ashes before I have to return to them to the library.

Have you read any good books recently? What do you plan on reading next? Let me know in the comments!


Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting


The Taking

Series: The Taking #1

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Mystery

Publication Date: April 29, 2014

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 357

Synopsis: A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?


As you can tell by my rating, this wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. However, it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read either. For a majority of the story, I was extremely intrigued. In the beginning, I had no idea where the author would be taking the story. Would it end up being a government conspiracy? Would there be aliens involved? Would it be something more realistic? Would it include all of the above? These are the questions that kept me going. If it wasn’t for this factor, I probably wouldn’t have been as interested.

As for the characters, I didn’t care for them at all. They were all so bland in my opinion. Kyra tended to get on my nerves, mostly with her obliviousness – one of the worst character traits ever. I also found it weird and unrealistic that Kyra could go from being totally in love with her boyfriend and planning their futures together one day to crushing on his younger brother, Tyler, the next. Even though five years has passed for everyone else, it has only been one day for Kyra. I understand if Austin (the boyfriend) has moved on since it had been a long time for him. But Kyra? She just jumps onto the next guy with hardly a second thought. The romance was unfortunately a huge part of this book. I think if Kimberly dialed it down a little – focused more on the plot than the relationship – I could have had a better reading experience.

Overall, I was intrigued by the story, but I wasn’t impressed in the long run. The ending made me want to know what would happen next, but not enough to actually pick up the second book.


2.5 stars

Stacking The Shelves #5

Stacking The Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where you share the books you’re adding to your shelves. You can include books that you’ve bought, borrowed, or received as gifts/for review. Ebooks count as well!


A Book of Spirits and Thieves

On release day, it said online that this book wasn’t in my local bookstore. However, I decided to go to the bookstore anyway and I was surprised to see it was actually there! I of course bought it and have since read it. I really enjoyed it and gave it 4 out of 5 stars!


The Knife of Never Letting Go 4

My lovely friend bought this book for me! I’m so excited to start this series and I hope I enjoy it as much as Patrick Ness’ other books!

Library Books


Earlier this week, I had to go to the library to return a few books. Even though I had plenty still checked out, I ended up getting 3 more books! I wasn’t sure what book I wanted to read next – all I knew is that I wanted to read a fantasy book. So I decided to take home 3 fantasy books to give myself some options. I ended up DNFing The Warrior Heir, but I might go back to it sometime in the future.

What books have you added to your shelves recently? Which book are you most excited to read? Let me know in the comments or link me to your Stacking The Shelves post!


The Chocolate Book Tag


It’s time for another book tag! I wasn’t tagged by anyone to do this, but I thought it’d be fun. Side Note: It’s kind of ironic that I’m doing a tag about different kinds of chocolate because I haven’t eaten chocolate in about 7 years! (I had to cut out a bunch of different things from my diet due to migraines.)

Dark chocolate – a book that covers a dark subject


Stolen definitely covers some dark topics. This book is about a girl named Gemma who is kidnapped while at the airport with her parents and taken to the Australian Outback where her kidnapper has built a small house for them. Throughout the course of the novel, Gemma develops Stockholm Syndrome (where she thinks she’s in love with her captor).

White chocolate – your favorite lighthearted read

To All The Boys I've Loved Before

This was a really fun, light read that I really, really enjoyed! I read the book in less than a day and it quickly became one of my favorite contemporary books. I’m looking forward to reading its sequel!

Milk chocolate – a book with a lot of hype that you’re dying to read

A Court of Thorns and Roses

I can’t wait to read this book!! I’ve been desperately patiently waiting for my library to have it. As soon as they get it in, I’ll be reading it!

Chocolate with a caramel center – a book that made you feel all gooey on the inside

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

This book made me feel so happy all over! The romance was SO adorable (especially towards the end). I highly recommend that you read this book!

Wafer-free kit kat – a book that surprised you

Isla and the Happily Ever After

This book surprised me because I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did! Since I didn’t love the first two books in this companion trilogy (I gave them 3.5 and 3 stars, respectively), I didn’t think I would like this one either. I was so wrong!

Snickers – a book you’re going nuts about

Gathering Darkness

I finished Gathering Darkness recently and I absolutely loved it! I’m definitely going nuts about the series as a whole. I can’t wait until the next book comes out!

Hot chocolate – a book that you would turn to for a comfort read

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Definitely any book in the Harry Potter series. I have such love for that series and whenever I need a little pick me up, I reread one of the books!

Box of chocolates – a series that has something for everyone


I’ll stay away from repeating myself by saying Harry Potter and go with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series / the Heroes of Olympus series. Both of these series are great for people of all ages and are fantastic reads!

I’m not going to tag anyone specific, but if you’re reading this right now and want to do it, consider yourself tagged!


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #5

It's Monday What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where you share what you read in the past week, what you hope to read this week, and anything else in between!

Between Monday, June 15th and now, I’ve completed the following books:

Last 3 reads (24)

I’m very happy with what I was able to read this week! 3 books in 7 days is not bad at all. My favorite was definitely Gathering Darkness. I’m loving the Falling Kingdoms series so much and I’m so sad that I have to wait until December for the next book!

I’m currently reading:

The Kite Runner

I’m only about 50 pages into this book, but I’m enjoying it so far and looking forward to continuing it!

What I want to read next:

It's Monday A

I’m not sure what I’ll read after The Kite Runner, but these are two books I have checked out from my library that seem interesting! I’ll have to see what I’m in the mood for once I finish my current read.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it so far? Let me know down in the comments!


Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver


The Secrets We Keep

Series: Standalone

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Publication Date: April 28, 2015

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Pages: 294

Synopsis: Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy’s shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she’s chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy’s world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy’s death and everyone’s grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy’s life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister’s life.


When I heard about this book a few months ago, the synopsis intrigued me so much that I immediately added it to my TBR and began the wait for it to be in stores. Shortly after it was published, I was lucky enough to win a copy of the book in a blog giveaway. It was a short and fast read, but it unfortunately left me disappointed in the end.

The Plot

The biggest problem I had with the book was that it was SO unrealistic. When I read the synopsis of this book, I was worried that this would be an issue. Unfortunately, it was. I honestly can’t see how Ella’s family didn’t know that it was her and not Maddy. I understand that they were grieving, but the twins were so different from one another, even though they were biologically the same. For example, throughout the book there was a huge emphasis on how different the twins were: different personalities, different styles, different groups of friends, etc. Therefore, how didn’t anyone figure it out right away?!

The Characters

I didn’t care for most of the characters in this novel. Especially our main character, Ella. She was extremely oblivious and idiotic (even though she was supposed to be the smart one!). She had it in her head that her parents loved Maddy more than her – even though it was obviously not true. Her parents are so overcome with grief due to the loss of who they think is Ella. You would think Ella would be like “Wow, they really do miss me!” but nope. She ignores this and keeps bringing up the fact that her parents were so happy that “Maddy” survived. She thinks that they’re glad that Maddy lived instead of Ella. The only reason they’re happy “Maddy” is alive is because it would be ten times worse if they had lost both of their children!!! It doesn’t mean they’re happy that “Ella” died!!

Josh (Ella’s best friend) really saved this book for me. He was pretty much the only character I actually liked. The main reason for this was because he was so real. In a book where everything was so unrealistic, he was a breath of fresh air. Other than Ella’s parents, I think Josh had the hardest time with what happened and he handled it in a very believable way. He’s the reason why I couldn’t give this book only 1 star.

Alex (Maddy’s boyfriend) was another character I didn’t really care for. I respected his love for Maddy and the way he was always protecting her. However, sometimes his protectiveness was a little too much. Also, he was another case of “How didn’t he know that Maddy was really Ella?” Alex dated Maddy for three years – Ella described them as being inseparable. Yet, when Ella starts pretending like she’s Maddy, Alex has no suspicions.


After anticipating this book for so long, I’m upset that it ended up disappointing me. However, I am willing to give Trisha Leaver’s other/future books a try because I did actually enjoy her writing.


2 stars

Stacking The Shelves #4

Stacking The Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where you share the books you’ve added to your shelves recently. This can include books that you’ve bought, borrowed, or received as gifts/for review, whether they be physical books or eBooks. Since I missed last week, these books are ones I’ve accumulated in the last two weeks.



I won all five of these books from a giveaway Fiction Fare hosted a few weeks ago as a part of the blog tour for Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer. All I knew at the time of winning is that I was going to receive a surprise ARC package from HarperCollins. A few days later, I was so excited when a big package came in the mail with five books inside! Thank you again to the ladies at Fiction Fare and HarperCollins!

Library Books



What books have you added to your shelves recently? Which book are you most excited to read? Let me know in the comments or link me to your Stacking The Shelves post!


Liebster Award Nomination

Liebster award

Thank you so much to The Amazing Life of a Bookworm for nominating me for the Liebster award! I’m so happy and honored that you enjoy my blog enough to nominate me for this award.

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  • Nominate 11 blogs that you think deserve the award
  • Give them 11 questions to answer
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them


1. Who is your favorite male character and your favorite female character? Why?

I can’t just pick one male and one female character, I love too many! I’ll have to say pretty much any of the characters from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series / the Heroes of Olympus series. They both have an amazing cast of characters!

2. What is your favorite book? Explain why and include your favorite quote from the book.

There’s NO way I’ll be able to pick just one book to call my favorite. However, I’ll give you one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite book series:

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

3. At what age did you start reading?

I was very young when I started reading. My best guess would be somewhere around 6. I remember the moment I finished reading my first book all by myself, Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. After finishing, I proceeded to run around the house telling everyone I could. I was so happy and proud of myself – and I couldn’t wait to read more!

4. What is your favorite movie?

I don’t really have a favorite movie, actually.

5. If you could choose between becoming a character you love but living in this world or going to the world your favorite character lives in but you continue being you, what would you choose?

This is a really interesting question! I’m going to go with the predictable answer and say I would like to continue being me and go into the world that Harry Potter lives in. I would love to go to Hogwarts and have magic and all the wonderful things that come with it!

6. What or who inspired you to create your blog?

I can’t remember anyone or anything that specifically inspired me. I just thought that blogging looked a lot of fun and I wanted to give it a try!

7. If you could choose to become a mythical creature, what would you choose?

I’m going to have to go with a phoenix. Their tears have magical healing powers and they get reborn from their ashes. How cool is that?!

8. Do you have any hobbies other than reading?

Reading is definitely my main hobby; I don’t really have any others!

9. Do you play any instruments? If no, then what instruments do you want to learn to play?

No, I don’t. I tried to play the viola in my elementary school orchestra but that only lasted for about a year and a half. I think it would be cool to learn to play the piano!

10. What are three things you couldn’t live without? (Water, food, oxygen, etc don’t count)

This is easy. My family, my pets, and (obviously) books.

11. What author do you wish you could meet and why?

I actually did a post on this for a Top Ten Tuesday topic. Since I can’t pick just one, go check out the post!

The blogs I nominate are:

Here are your questions:

  1. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Do you still want to be that?
  2. Do you have any pets? If yes, what kind of animal are they/what are their names? (Include pictures if you’d like!) If no, what kind of pet do you wish you could have? What would their name be?
  3. Do you prefer to buy books, borrow books from your local library, or both? Explain why.
  4. If you had to stop reading one specific genre for the rest of your life, which genre would it be?
  5. What languages are you fluent in? What languages would you like to learn?
  6. Name three of your all time favorite book boyfriends/girlfriends. Now choose one to kiss, one to marry, and one to push off a cliff.
  7. If you had to change your name, would you want to? What would you change it to?
  8. What is your best childhood memory?
  9. Name three of your all time favorite books. Now choose one to burn, one to rewrite, and one to reread.
  10. What is a book that has been sitting on your shelf forever, but you haven’t read yet?
  11. What is a book or book series that everyone loves, except you?

To those I nominated, please leave the link to your answers in the comments below (if you decide to answer them). I would love to see your responses!


Friday Finds #7

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm where you spotlight books that you’ve recently added to your To Be Read list. Since I didn’t make a post last week, these are all the books I added to my TBR in the last two weeks.







Not pictured:

What books have you added to your TBR recently? Do we share any of the same books? Comment down below or link me to your Friday Finds post!