Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves [20]

I am joining in on Stacking The Shelves, a weekly meme hosted over at Tynga's Reviews. It is an easy way to share what books you picked up that week, and to see what other people have picked up to read themselves.

How to Participate?
  • Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
  • You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit!
  • I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you.
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!
  • Visit other participants link to find out what they added to their shelves!
 Holy cow, I can't believe that it's already the end of August. This month went by so quickly with all of my trainings for work and the new school year starting. That's good though because it means we're getting that much closer to fall! August was not a great reading or blogging month for me, though, and I'm determined to be better in September. Starting Tuesday our students have to read fifteen minutes every day during fourth period (the long lunch period), and they want the teachers to model by reading everyday during this time as well. WIN!

Now, I didn't really buy very many books this month, either. I think there may have been four or five, but I can't even remember too well at this point. There are several I have been really wanting, but I've kept putting them off. Today I did go to the two libraries I use though, and picked up several books, so I thought I would share that haul instead!


The Eye of Minds by James Dashner - I actually knew very little, if anything about this series. I do know that book two is out already, so I'm a little behind. I really liked The Maze Runner, but just couldn't get into The Scorch Trials. Still, I thought I would give Dashner another chance.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider - I have heard only wonderful things about this book, so I am looking forward to finally reading it.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gaul Carriger - I know very little about this series as well, aside from the fact that it does not seem like it's something I would normally read. Someone at my school says it's amazing though, and since she has talked so highly about it, I thought I would try it out when I saw it at the library.

Now & Forever by Susane Colasanti - I have yet to read anything by Colansanti, something that is apparently crazy talk. I thought that the synopsis seemed like something I would enjoy, and it was in the new YA section of the library, so I picked it up.

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson - I have heard that the reviews on this one is pretty mixed. A lot of people have said that they were disappointed by it. Despite that, I still really want to give it a try.

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti - Another contemp. author I have yet to read anything from. It seems like she has wonderful books, I've just never picked them up. I'm not sure why this was in the new section, probably miss shelved, but I'll give it a go anyway.


This week I was accepted as a reviewer for Night Owl Reviews, and instantly you're allowed to request three books. I think that they might actually be mailing me one already, which goes against what I was told about them by someone else, but I'm certainly not complaining! I also requested and was accepted for two ebooks, so I wills hare those for now!

The Tearings by V.C. Repetto - I had never heard of this one as I was looking through the list of available books for review. I just happened to enjoy the synopsis after looking up for a YA Dystopia. I'm looking forward to it.
Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz - I have had my eye on this one for a long time. I tried to do a blog tour for it but was not accepted for that one so I am very excited to have a chance to read it now.

On her blog Reading Teen, Andye does an awesome thing every month where she offers up the ARCs that she was not able to read to other bloggers. If you're the first to request it, she will mail it to you for FREE. All she asks is that you read it in a reasonable amount of time and post a review on her blog. I have had my eye on this one for awhile, so I was thrilled when it was available.

That's it for this week. What did you guys add to your shelves?

Friday, August 29, 2014


I can't believe it, but today I reached 100 Bloglovin followers. Woohoo! I have had this blog for almost eight months now, and I think that 100 followers is amazing for that amount of time. Thank you so much for those followers who have been around from the beginning, and to the new additions for giving my blog a chance! This has been such a great experience thus far, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this blog of mine!

Happy three day weekend! :]

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cover Concepts: August 24 - 30

Happy Monday! Welcome to the feature Cover Concepts on my blog. Every Monday I am going to create a post with all of the young adult book covers that are releasing within the week. I will then tell you all what I think about the covers; If I love them, or if I think that they could be better. At the end of the post, I will give you all a chance to vote on your favorite cover of the week. As I pick a lot of my reads based on their covers, this seemed like the perfect feature for me to begin on the blog. Feel free to leave comments with your opinions of the covers as well, and we can discuss them! :] 

WOW. There are TONS of YA books releasing this week, and it looks like almost all of them are releasing on Tuesday. Hopefully we have all been saving up money in order to pick up some of these new releases! It looks like we are making the transition into fall with covers as well. Gone are most of those summery, bright-colored covers. Looks like they are being replaced with darker images. I'm digging it. Happy reading!

1. How to Fall by Jane Casey - August 26
Jess Tennant #1
Thoughts: This cover is okay, I guess. I am assuming that it is a contemporary, but I like that the cover tells us that it might hold some darker qualities and story lines (I will be disappointed if this does not end up being the case...). I don't really like the shape her coat (?) is making, it doesn't seem like a natural movement based on how she is running.

2. The Island of Excess Love by Francesca Lia Block - August 26
Love in the Time of Global Warming #2
Thoughts: I am loving this. I have already mentioned that I am a fan of illustrated covers because I'm getting tired of cover models. I like the silhouettes of the people, but also love the feathers and ship that just melts together into a wonderful image. I'm also a fan of the pink background, and it definitely matches the cover of book one.

3. Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier - August 26
Born Confused #2
 Thoughts: It definitely gives the reader an idea of what the book is going to be about. I guess I understand the use of all the blue based on the title, too. I am not a fan of how it is split up and has a real model and then an illustrated bottom without any cohesive tie. I feel like this could have been done really, really well...and it just didn't happen.

4. If You're Reading This by Trent Reedy - August 26
 Thoughts: Alright...I guess. I'm really starting to dislike how they just merge images into the background (like in the sky here), like that's something that makes sense. Maybe I'm being too picky or literal, but it's not something that I appreciate. It could be two nice separate covers, but not one together like this.

5. Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner - August 26
 Thoughts: I am a HUGE fan of this cover. I think that technology is such a big thing these days that it's automatically going to draw in young readers. I like the text a lot, the tagline is really intriguing, and I love that they found a way to have a model on a cover without it being awkward and huge. A+ on this one!

6. Taken by David Massey - August 26
 Thoughts: I think that this book may have already received one cover change. That or Goodreads also has the UK cover posted as well; it's never too easy for me to tell on these things, but I wish that it was. Anyway, I think that this cover is actually okay. I'm digging the covers, and I like that it gives the idea of a survival book without having the models looking terrified on the cover. Not the biggest fan of the font, but I can live with it.

7. Faces of the Dead by Suzanne Weyn - August 26
Thoughts: Ugh, this is the exact type of cover I hate. Nice dress, though. I'll leave it at that for now.

8. Astray by Amy Christine Parker - August 26
Gated #2
Thoughts: Tagline...just, no. I feel like it's been way too overused. We get it, she's in a scary situation and she might die, no need to put it on the cover. I guess this is okay, though I feel like she looks like she is shampooing her hair, and I'm not sure how that will help her survive whatever the problem is...I do like the text color and font, though.

9. The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner - August 26
The Mortality Doctrine #2
Thoughts: Is it awful that I did not know Dashner had started writing another series? Whoops. This cover seems very Maze Runner-esque, so I guess he probably stuck to the same sort of genre. It's not awful, not completely boring...I do like the font, even though the title is huge. Eh, it's alright.

10. Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo - August 26
Thoughts: This cover actually makes me want to laugh a little bit, which I think feel bad about because she's resting against a headstone. But seriously, are you resting in a cemetery? I can't even begin to try to read the blurb they have provided, and the author's name is barely noticeable. I also can't get over how unladylike her sitting position is. I guess I'm too critical...I do like the name of the book, though.

11. The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore - August 26
Lorien Legacies #5
Thoughts: Well, it looks like all the other books in the series? I still hate the font/text color. That's all I got.

12. Sanctum by Madeleine Roux - August 26
Asylum #2
Thoughts: Just as creepy as the cover of the first book, so I think that's success? I really like the blue of the title, and how it stand out in contrast to the dark cover. The cover of the first book always interests my middle school students enough to pick it up out of my classroom library, so I will probably have to buy and add this one to my collection for them as well.

13. Don't Let Go by Michelle Gagnon - August 26
Thoughts: This one is another one that's not horrible, but I'm still blah about. I think the colors make it a little dull, though I understand they decided to go with a different color scheme for each of the books in the series. I think the text of the title is annoyingly large, though I do like how the color changes on the author's name. The girl kind of looks like she's grabbing her own hair...ouch.

14. Deliverance by C.J. Redwine - August 26
Defiance #3
Thoughts: This cover would have actually been an acceptable one with a model if it weren't for the bridge going through her crotch. What were they thinking? A nice cover ruined by horrible image placement. That's pretty sad.

15. Feral by Holly Schindler - August 26
Thoughts: I feel like this is supposed to scare me, and it does a little..but only because I'm terrified of being in wooded type places by myself. I feel like that's pretty normal. She does seem to be just standing there though, while the tagline suggest that maybe she should be running. So there's that.

16. Undead with Benefits by Jeff Hart - August 26
Eat, Brains, Love #2
Thoughts: I LOVE this cover, just like I LOVED the cover of the first book. Yup, well done.

17. The Far Dawn by Kevin Emerson - August 26
The Atlanteans #3
Thoughts: Oh, look at the models...they look so..bored. I bet they get together, because that's what happens in books that have couples like this on the cover, right? Clearly I'm not a fan. I also don't like the border on the left side that does not seem to belong at all. It's good point? It matches the covers of the rest of the series.

18. Rumble by Ellen Hopkins - August 26
Thoughts: I have heard such great things about Ellen Hopkins' books, though I have yet to read any. Based on what I've heard and the issues she covers, I don't think I have any right to judge her covers. They're simple, and that's okay because what's inside is not. That is all. (Also, I love the colors).

19. Chasing Before by Lenore Appelhans - August 26
The Memory Chronicles #2
Thoughts: How does one chase before when it's already past? Hmm. Also, I hate the random spots, like the one that is right on her head. What is the actual point of that? It looks like it was thrown together without much thought, and it certainly does not make me want to pick up the book.

20. Maid of Deception by Jennifer McGowan - August 26
Maids of Honor #2
Thoughts: Nope.

21. Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer - August 26
Thoughts: I think that I could probably design this cover...It seems completely random and not thought out much. Perhaps it will make more sense once the book is read, but I doubt that I will do that anytime soon.

22. Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan - August 26
Thoughts: Simple Illustration. Cool font. I'm digging it. I want this on my shelf ASAP.

23. Amity by Micol Ostow - August 26
Thoughts: THE HOUSE IS BLEEDING! This is completely awesome and well done, and I am sure that it would completely terrify me if I chose to read it.

24. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall - August 26
Thoughts: I have an ARC of this book, and while it has part of this cover on it, it doesn't look nearly as awesome as this does. It does have enough for me to know that I am completely in love with this cover, though. Even though I have already read and reviewed this, I plan to add it to my shelf because of this beautifully illustrated cover.

25. One Death, Nine Stories by Multiple Authors - August 26
Thoughts: The picture definitely makes sense based on the title and synopsis of the book. I would be a little concerned about my middle school students reading so many stories about death, but it would probably be an interesting read for upper level YA readers.

26. YOLO by Lauren Myracle - August 26
Internet Girls #4
Thoughts: I always think that these covers are so cute. They are simple, sure, but they follow along with the idea of the book, and that is important to. It matches the rest of the books in the series as well, which is always a solid plus.

Poll: There we have it, those are the majority of the young adult books releasing this week. Which cover is your favorite of the week? Seeing as there are SO many books this week, I'm not going to create the poll as usual. Instead, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite cover this week and we can discuss them! :] 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner 
by James Dashner 

Category: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 2009
Page Count: 374
Format: Paperback
Source: Own

Goodread's Synopsis: "If you ain't scared, you ain't human."

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.


Review: Yup, I'm one of those people. I see a movie trailer for a book adaptation, and I suddenly feel like I need to read the book right. then. Okay, this isn't always the case. I certainly did not feel this way when I watched the Fifty Shades of Gray trailer (I just HAD to see how they were going to make the trailer even somewhat appropriate..). Typically, when it comes to a young adult title I am sold, though. I know that this book has been out for awhile, almost five years, in fact. This is not the first time I have felt the desire to read the book, either, but I simply never picked it up. A few months ago I finally got it for a great price at Target and added it to my bookshelf, though it took me awhile to actually read it. 

I'm going to be honest again, it's been some time since I've read this now and I'm not sure I'm going to remember everything like I hoped. I also took my copy to my classroom library (school starts tomorrow!), and so I don't have it here to include the quotes or great parts I marked. Basically, I'm a failure when it comes to this review, sorry! Still, I am going to share my thoughts with you about the book, because that's what this here blog is all about. Right? 

I really had no doubt that I was going to enjoy this book. It's a YA Dystopia, after all, and I'm sure you all know by now that this is one of my favorite genres. I keep hearing people talk about how tired they are of seeing dystopians everywhere; not this girl. I say bring them on! I was happy with just how much I enjoyed this book, too, as the movie trailer looks pretty good to me. I love how the book really just throws you into the story. There is no background or introduction, Thomas is just surviving the ride to the Glade, where he appears and has no idea what is going on. Heck, he's not even sure if his name is really Thomas, it just seems kind of right to him. 

I thought that Dashner did a wonderful job of keeping me guessing throughout the entirety of this book. Every time I was sure I had everything figured out and knew what was going to happen next, he threw in a twist and I was lost all over again. To me, this is the sign of a great science fiction book. I give Dashner a lot of credit for this; as well as for his obvious intelligence. He had so many small details throughout the book that he has to be brilliant in order to imagine them up, keep them in order, and make them seem realistic. I have no doubt that he has a wonderful mind, and that showed through in this book. 

Honestly, while I was completely intrigued by everything that was going on (I mean, how scary do those Grievers seem?), it was really the characters that had me in love with this book. It was not just Thomas, either. While he was a great, loyal, conflicted character in his own right, he had a lot of amazing supporting characters right along side him. Chuck was so fun in all of his parts, and I love how he decided that he was going to take care of Thomas, though he was clearly younger than him. He was a very real character though; as much as he wanted to be strong like everyone else seemed to be, there was still a scared little boy underneath the facade. Who wouldn't be terrified in that situation? One of my favorite characters in the book was Minho, though. I was interested in his role as a runner, and then his ability to share with others that Thomas was brilliant despite the possibility of it making his skills look a little less. It was clear he was a good guy who desperately wanted to help everyone stuck in the Glades. 

Some parts I did have to re-read, some because I didn't quite get what was supposed to be going on with them, and others because I was so interested in parts that I just wanted to go back and read it again. While I thought the book was wonderful, I was a bit disappointed by the ending. Not because of that happened; I certainly think that Dashner carried out and awesome, believable, intriguing series of events. I do believe that it happened too fast, though. We could have been given much more information and still been left to wonder what was happening. 

I'm very glad that I read this book, and I am even more excited to go see the movie when it releases now. While I loved this book and suggest everyone read it, I must be honest and say I am not sure I will finish the series. I had been warned by a few people that it goes downhill, and I'm said to say that those people might be right. I read a few chapters of book two before I had to put it down. I just wasn't feeling it and it was not grabbing me and pulling me in like book one. I am sure I will eventually go back and read them (especially if they continue the series in film), but I do not think it will be anytime in the near future. 

Have you read The Maze Runner? What did you think of it? Do you plan to see the movie? 

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0

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