Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Top 10 Books I Cannot Believe I Have Not Read

Good morning my fellow book lovers!!! How is everyone doing? I hope you are all doing just fantastic. So I have compiled a list of ten books that I cannot believe I have not read yet. There are some that I am just a little wary of starting and some that I just have not have had time to start....already lets get started!!! P.S. If anyone has read any of these, let me know what you think of it!

10. Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes

  • As you know, I am a huge fan of Sarah J. Maas. Whenever I go to Amazon's "recommendation" based on Maas, this book comes up. However, I am just not feeling it...but one day I will probably cave. 

9. Shadow Falls Series by C.C. Hunter

  • I feel like this is one of those series that you read when you are like 13 and never read again. But, I never read this one at 13 so I feel like I should read it even though I might regret it. 

8. Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult

  • I have picked this book up and almost bought it SOOO many times. I just never actually went through with it, so I am honestly surprised that I have not read it yet. 

7. Matched by Ally Condie

  • I feel like this is one of those books that everyone one has read and I just feel so left out. But...I have also heard it was not that good so I don't know if I should read it. 

6. Legend by Marie Lu

  • I know that this series has been on the bestseller list for like...ever. Every time I am at the book store, I pick it up, read the flap then put it back down again. Whoops. 

5. Talon by Julie Kagawa

  • I love Julie Kagawa so I have no reasonable explanation as to why I have not read this book. Oh well. 

4. Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

  • This one is kind of funny since I love the TV show. I really do want to read this but I feel like it would spoil the show for me, so I might just pass one this one. 

3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

  • Okay, this is a weird one because I have read pretty much every John Green book. I just never liked the idea of this book so I never got around to reading it. But who knows, I might pick it up soon. 

2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

  • I should read this one. I know I should. I love the cover and it sounds really interesting but I am never in the mood for it. But one day I will crack it open. I promise (maybe). 

1. Game of Thrones

  • I really do not know why I have not read this yet. My mom and a couple of my friends are obsessed with the series and the show, so I have heard how good it is. I guess I was turned off by how big the books are (which is horrible, I know) 
Sincerely, a Book Nerd 




Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: The Cortlandt Boys by Laura Vanderkam



Title: The Cortlandt Boys
Author: Laura Vanderkam
Publisher: Laura Vanderkam Books
Publication Date: December 18, 2014 
Genre: Mystery/ Romance/ Sports
 Page Count: 291
Age Range: 13+


Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
A small town high school basketball team wins the Pennsylvania state championship with an improbable last second tree point shot. The Cortlandt Cavaliers celebrate their unlikely victory, but good fortune changes the boys' worlds in unpredictable ways. This story revisits the characters 10 and 20 years later as the ramifications of their youthful success play out over the course of their lives, forever linking them and the people around them to this little town has its ways of not quite letting you go.  


My Thoughts: 

Okay, I will be honest. When I first started this book I did not like it at all. I thought it was slow and boring. I also am not a huge fan of basketball (I mean, HOCKEY right?!?!) so it was hard for me to get into it. BUTTTT..... Once I got into it, I LOVED IT. It was so much more different than what I was expecting.

The book is split up into two parts (plus a prologue and epilogue). The book revolves around the town of Cortlandt and that one year when the basketball team won the state championship. In order to understand the novel, you must understand that that game is what the town lives and breathes. The starting line includes the heroes of the town that everyone looks up to. The starting line was made up of James, Mickey, KC, Leroy, and Lawrence. The book goes 10 and 20 years into the future and shows how the town will always go back to that one game. 

The first part of the books is told through the perspective of Max, a school journalist who was reporting during the championship game. She tells the perspective of the game in the prologue and sets the scene for the rest of the novel. The first part is told 10 years later. Max has made it big time, becoming a journalist for Sports magazine. When she runs into Leroy, a boy on the championship team, she is whisked back to Cortlandt. She ends up writing a story about where the team is ten years later. 

I loved this idea, because when you are in high school, athletes are like celebrities. No one ever thinks about where they will end up. This book explores this idea. Max, the newspaper nerd ends up being a famous journalist and the locally famous basketball team ends up stuck in Cortlandt. I really liked Max. I think she reminded me a lot of myself. During my years in high school, I was always focusing on my future and doing everything I could to make myself prepared. Max is the same way, she worked so hard on the newspaper and it ended up helping her in her future. 

The second part of the novel is in the perspective of Janie, James's daughter. In the first part of the novel, we see her a young child but 20 years after the championship game, she is 17 years old. I have to say that Janie was my favorite character. When she was younger, she was full of imagination and life. She had a tough upbringing, without a mother and always being shuffled between different relatives when James was at work. She forms a bond with Max, who ends up being sort of like her mentor. In the second part of the novel, she explores the stories of the team for the twentieth anniversary, while finding herself. 

In the beginning of the novel, I did not like Vanderkam's writing. I found it hard to flip to the next page because I was so bored. By the time I got into the book I saw that what the author was doing was very smart. She was setting the stage and leaving us virtual crumbs so we can put everything together at the end. I was always waiting to see what would happen next by the end of the book.

Overall, I found this book to be a really entertaining read. You do not have to like sports to enjoy this one. It is filled with mystery and romance and a plot that will leave you guessing until the very end.

My Rating: ****
Cover Rating: I do not like basketball so I am biased 
Recommendation: 
1. Game Changer by Margaret Peterson Haddix
2. Shift by Jennifer Bradbury 
3. Boost by Kathy Mackel

Now, what do you think?
Sincerely,
a Book Nerd 




Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hilarious Book Memes

Hey everyone!
So recently I have been surfing the internet (yes, I just said that) and have come upon some really funny memes. I started putting them in a folder on my computer and I am going to start sharing them with all of you lovely people! I got most of these from Pinterest, just in case you were wondering.

Random:                                                    The Hunger Games:












Divergent:








Harry Potter:








Sincerely,
a Book Nerd










Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers



Title: Some Girls Are
Author: Courtney Summers 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date: January, 5 2010
Page Count: 256
Genre: Contemporary 
Age Range: 13+


Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard- falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High...until vicious rumors about her and her best friends' boyfriend started going around. Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex- best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past while she herself used to bully. Friendship does not come easily for these onetime enemies, but as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend...if threats from the Fearsome Fivesome do not break them both first. 

My Thoughts:

I think that this is one of those books that everyone should read. I am just going to start by saying that. I mean, it is not an uplifting super happy book. So do not pick it up with the intention of feeling super amazing after reading it and having an easy read. It is a book that makes you really think about the characters and the plot.

I am fortunate enough to have gone to pretty great schools as I was growing up. There were not many cases of really bad bullying, and I have never seen anything crazy happen while I was in school. This book really opened my eyes to what can happen in some schools. I understand that the events in this book may be exaggerated, but I do know that the feelings the characters have are real. It also showed me that you really have to be careful of your actions because you never know what the consequences might be.

Okay, so the book is pretty much about a girl named Regina who used to be SUPER popular. But, with this popularity came vicious acts. She, among her friends, would ostracize other students and make them feel like literal dirt. However, this all comes back to her when she is the one who feels like dirt. She is taken out of popularity because of a misunderstanding with her friends. She has to learn that what she did while she was popular was horrible, and how to live without labels.

One of the aspects I liked most about this book was how fast it went. It is a really short book but there is always something going on. I never got bored and I was always anticipating what would come next. It was definitely an entertaining one, and that comes with the plot. It was events that happen in everyday life and that are so easy to connect to.

Courtney Summers's writing was very vivid and clear as well. She crafted the characters perfectly and they felt so....real. It was like I was watching this book unfold right in front of me. I could feel every emotion that each and every character felt, Regina especially. She was a complainer at some points but she really learns and understands what she has done wrong in her life.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a really emotional book. It was a quick, entertaining book that really makes you think.

My Rating: ****
Cover Rating: Okay 
Recommendations:
1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
2. Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
3. Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers 

Now what do you think?

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Top 10 Favorite Friendships

Hey guys!

So today I am gonna rank my top favorite friendships! This was really hard to do but I think I narrowed it down??? I am hoping I did not forget any....but I most definetly did.

10. Anna/ Jay 
If you do not know who these two are, they are from Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. I loved their friendship throughout the whole series. They were supportive of each other no matter what ( and in this series, no matter what means literally anything.)

9. Craig/ Bobby
Oh these two. They are from the book It's Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. They do not have a very long friendship but it is definetly an entertaining one. I also think the movie for this book does a good job with these two characters.

8. Katy/ Dee
Lux Series anyone? I feel like this is a typical book friendship but I just love it so much. Dee is so upbeat and gets ahold of Katy right away. I love these two because it reminds me of my friendship with one of my closest friend. She got me to go outside of my comfort zone just like Katy and Dee. 

7. America/ Marlee
America and Marlee from the Selection (Kiera Cass). They are interesting because they are thrown into a crazy situation yet they still find each other even though all of the girls are whacked out of their mind. 

6. Samwise/ Frodo 
This is an original friendship. I always think of them whenever I think of novel/ movie friendships. I mean friends who go on crazy adventures stick together right? 

5. Charlie/ Sam/ Patrick 
Ahhh I love them. Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favorite novels and reading about these three just make me so happy. They have one of the best friendships ever because they love each other no matter what and for everything they are. 

4. Max/ Fang 
More Maximum Ride in a top 10? Yup! Max and Fang are the best friend- turned - lover that I always loved. They know each other so well and would do anything for each other. 

3. Taylor /Raffy/ Jonah/ Santangelo 
If you have never read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta then go pick it up now! Man that book is so good, and I love this friendship. They are literally enemies (read the book) but they find a way to get past that.

2. Remus/ Sirius/ James (Peter)
This is not a surprise right? I mean Harry Potter relates to EVERYTHING. These three (four I guess if you count Peter) have a friendship that will last forvever and it carries over into the next generation (see number 1). 

1. Harry/ Ron/ Hermione 
Again, this is not a surprise right? I do not even know if I have to explain myself anymore. I mean, these three have fought Voldemort together so....


Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Monday, February 9, 2015

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell





Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Page Count: 445
Genre: Contemporary
Age Range: 12+ 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn't want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


My Thoughts: 

Okie Dokie. Let me just start by prefacing that I was never a fan of Rainbow Rowell. I have never liked this author's writing. I can't really tell why but I just don't. So, I did not have really high expectations for this book. I also do not know how I feel about it. On one hand I really enjoyed the plot but on the other I do not have good feeling about it when I think back on the book. Let me explain why.... 

First, I did not grasp their relationship (that is, Cath and Levi). I just didn't feel anything between them. I always thought of them as like brother and sister. I also did not really like either of them so when I thought of them together, I was just like eh. 

So speaking of Cath, I never was a big fan. In the beginning I tried really hard to like her but by the end I gave up on that. I thought she complained so much about things that she can easily fix herself. I also thought she was hard to connect to. I was surprised at this because I am a homebody and not the most social person ever so when I first started reading it I thought I would connect to her a lot. But no. I just thought it was because she did some things that I know I would never do or say ever. Now to Levi... I feel bad for saying this but the reason I did not like him was because he reminded me of someone I know who I am not a huge fan of. Sorry Levi! I have when that happens because I try so hard to like that character and it can never happen.

I did really like Wren, Cath's sister. In the beginning I really did not because she was purposely boxing her family out of her life. But by the end I think she realized that she really needs them, especially due to the fact that she lost her mother when she was younger. I also really liked Cath and Wren's relationship. They had huge differences but they got over them to be there for their dad and for each other. It kind of reminds me of my sister and I, and I liked that. 

Now to the plot. I liked the college thing. I feel like so many YA books focus on the hardships of high school so it was refreshing to read something about college. I liked that Cath had to adjust her writing for her creative writing class. She realized that not everything was fan fiction and that she could learn more. Speaking of fan fiction... I was just uncomfortable with that. I just never liked it so getting the inside scoop was just weird. Also, the fan fiction she was writing was so similar to Harry Potter and I could not get the idea of Harry and Draco out of my head. Ugh.  But I did enjoy the characters' journey through college. 

Overall, I think this this book had a good idea and plot but the characters did not do it for me. 

My Rating: ***
Cover Rating:
Nah.
Recommendations: 
1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
2. Paper Towns by John Green
3. An Abundance of Katherine's by John Green

Now, what do you think?

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Gif Tag!

Hello everyone!

So today I will be doing the Gif Tag! I was tagged by the wonderful ladies at Twins Turn Pages! Thanks so much Ayesha and Monisah for tagging me in the post!

Okay, so how does this work? Well, Ayesha and Monisah gave me a list of 10 books to post a gif about how I feel about the book. When I am done, I will tag someone else and give them 10 books to find gifs for. I am going to tag Tessa from Crazy for YA!

So let me get started!

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth



I think this accurately describes my feelings on this book. Freakin awesome.

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 




So good! I really liked this book, and I cannot wait to see the movie.

3. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart



This is an accurate depiction of me after finishing this book. Just what?

4. Paper Towns by John Green


I never really had a strong opinion about this one. Its not one of my favorites by him. So eh.

5. The Maze Runner by James Dashner 




This book makes me want to dance like this. Except I would look like a dead jellyfish.

6. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson



I do not really know enough about this book to have a real reaction/ opinion.

7. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks



I was never a big fan of this one. I never read the book, but the movie was too mushy gushy for me.

 8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 



Who doesn't like the Great Gatsby?!?! It is a classic man.

9. Rebel Belle by Rachel 



I am really excited to get into this one. I am about a chapter in and I cannot wait to keep reading! 10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 



 Let us just say that I was not a huge fan of this one.
Now onto my ten titles for my nominee!

1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
2. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
3. Fallen by Lauren Kate
4. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
6. Bright Side by Kim Holden
7. Maximum Ride by James Patterson
8. Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
9. Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood
10. Audrey Wait by Robin Benway


P.S. I got all of my gifs from Giphy :D

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd






Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller




Title: Where the Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Genre: Contemporary
Age Range: 13+


Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.


My Thoughts:
Okay so I do not really know where I stand on this one. I am hoping that as I go through this review I will be able to have some sort of coherent thought on the book by the end of this. Lets hope! Cross your fingers guys.

So the book is about a teenage girl named Callie who was kidnapped by her mother when she was little. Ever since then, she has moved from state to state with her. Her mother has not been the best mother, and definitely did not protect her from everything. When they get pulled over on their way to Colorado, the police figure out that Callie is the Callie, and they send her to live with her father. Does anyone watch Finding Carter? If you do, this is sort of like this. Callie is sent to a whole new family and she has to adjust to a totally different life.

Let me just start by saying that I really enjoyed the writing. I think this is one of my favorite things about Trish Doller's work. She incorporates flashbacks and tidbits from the past without it dominating the whole book. I was always so intrigued every time I saw the italicized words.
I also really liked the characters. They all seemed so rich in life and so hmmm... REAL. I could really connect to each and every single of one of them. I understood where they were coming from and why they were doing what they were doing. I especially liked Callie. She was not trying to impress anyone or change herself. She knew who she was and she was not gonna change anything. Also her and Alex?!?! Yummy. I liked him. A lot.

One thing I disliked about this book was the feeling I got after I finished it. It was not "OH MAN THATS SO FLIPPIN CRAZY!!!!!" No, it was more of "okay." And I do not know how I feel about that. One of the ways I judge how I feel about a book is the feeling I get when I finish, and this one didn't have a wonderful ending feeling.

Overall, I thought that it was a great read but a tad disappointing in the end.

My Rating: ****
Cover Rating: I like it
Recommendations:
1. Dead Girls Don't Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
2. Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin
3. Bruised by Sarah Skilton

Now, what do you think?!

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd