Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesdays is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, with a new Top Ten prompt every week. Check it out!

Pawn

1. Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1) by Aimee Carter

Splintered

2. Splintered (Splintered, #1) by A. G. Howard

The Nightmare Affair

3. The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1) by Mindee Arnett

Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of A Creative Life

4. Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of A Creative Life by Dani Shapiro

Huntress

5. Huntress by Malinda Lo

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

6. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Archived

8. The Archived (The Archived, #1) by Victoria Schwab

Some Quiet Place

9. Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place #1) by Kelsey Sutton

These Broken Stars

10. These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman

You have no idea how hard it was to narrow it down to ten. NO. IDEA. I was looking through my wishlist on Goodreads and I was just like, “Shit, how do people do this?” But I managed it, and I am absurdly proud of myself. Somebody give me a medal.

Meanwhile it’s Christmas Eve. AHHHHHHH!!! Happy holidays, my loves!

Love, Sam

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Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash and Lily's Book of DaresHow did I get it? Bought

Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary, Christmas (it is totally a genre you guys, stop judging me)

Summary: “I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

My Thoughts

First things first: I’d never read anything by either Rachel Cohn or David Levithan when I got this book, but let me just say I have two new people on my To-Be-Hugged list.

But on to the book. I feel like I should have adored it; it really had the potential to be a new holiday favorite. But while I really did love it to pieces and I’ll probably reread it a few times during the next few years, it didn’t quite make it up to the level of book I typically build a shrine to. I’m not sure exactly why. It could’ve been because I wasn’t in the right mood, or I was tired, but oh well, I still really enjoyed it. It took me a few days to finish, but while reading I did have a lot of feels and I really fell in love with the story.

Lily was probably my favorite character just because she’s a little bit like me (although I’m actually the oldest child, not the youngest). She’s the sheltered, slightly naive baby of the family, and I loved her enthusiasm for all things Christmas. I loved to see her coming out of her shell and growing up a bit, while still managing to retain that sweet, childlike heart. I liked her instantly and I was rooting for her the entire way. I did like Dash a lot as well, and I really enjoyed his wit and the way he thinks, but there were a few times when he got on my nerves. I was shaking my book and yelling, “YOU IDIOT STOP BEING DIFFICULT!!!” in at least three different scenes.

But this book was, in general, charming. It was original, well-written, and completely hilarious. I mean, if you don’t laugh at the baby stealer part, then you need an intervention.

(Also, because of this book, I have a need to visit the Strand. A mighty need.)

Rating:

Four Stars

Recommend it?

Absolutely.

Purchase Links

Barnes & NobleAmazonBook Depository

Other Books by the Authors

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List Every Day

The Sunday Post #5

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


Good morning! I hope you’ve had a fabulous week filled with all the happy things. My own week has been spent shopping, crying over beautiful book bloggers (I’m think of having some sort of Book Blogger Crushes post just so I can get all this feels out in the open), and the burning of my new Peach Bellini candles from Bath & Body Works (anything with a wine glass on it has my automatic approval). Also the drinking of copious amounts of tea thanks to my spiffy new electric tea kettle. <3

Now, let’s see what’s been happening this past week, shall we?

Last Week on TNN

SundayThe Sunday Post #4

MondayARC review of A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (4/5 hearts)

TuesdayMy Holiday To-Do List

Wednesday: Review of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (4/5 hearts)

Waiting on Wednesday (Stormbringer by Shannon Delaney)

ThursdayThoughtful Thursday — My Favorite Heroines

FridayBook Blitz of Ondine by Emma Raveling + A GIVEAWAY!

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves #8

This Week on TNN

Monday: Review of Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (4/5 hearts)

Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday — Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

Wednesday: No post because CHRISTMAS!!!! Happy holidays!

Thursday: Review of Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton (5/5 hearts)

Friday: Life of A Blogger — My Significant Other (it’s a week late but shhh)

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves #9  (my Christmas book haul with bookish gifts included)

Bookish News

Gallagher Girls: I FINISHED THE GALLAGHER GIRLS SERIES AND I’M JUST REALLY EMOTIONAL OKAY

No seriously, I cried. Actual tearage you guys. I was so beyond thrilled to see how much Cammie grew from the first book to the sixth; she went from fretting about a boy to freaking SAVING THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT and it was just really well-done and the fifth book especially just blew my mind because I felt so close to her as a character. So anyway, yes, finished the series, cried, loved it, drank comfort tea and ate comfort ice cream and just generally leaked feels all over the place for at least 24 hours. It still makes me blubber just thinking about it.

Double-Stacking My Books: It’s officially come to the point where I cannot fit any more books on my bookcase without stacking them in front of another. Like the double-row thing (which I kind of loathe). So I will be utilizing the book-pile technique until some kind soul on the street hands me a hundred bucks to go buy a second 6-foot-tall bookcase.

Non-Bookish News

Game of Thrones: I found Game of Thrones on HBO On Demand so you guys probably won’t see me for a few weeks. (Just kidding, I’ll be back, blogging is too much fun.)

Holidaysssss: I am so freaking excited for Christmas! I love giving gifts and obviously receiving them is great too, but this entire season is just so jolly and fun, and I love the cold so much more than the heat, so I’m just basking in it all.

The Hobbit: ASDFKJASDLFKJSKDF THIS MOVIE!!! Okay, so it was admittedly kind of not the greatest thing ever; there was some shitty acting and I could not stop laughing in the elf-king’s scenes and I was annoyed by Kili’s romance from pretty much the moment it started. But then there was SMAUG THE AWESOME and is it strange to be attracted to a dragon? Because I was. I blame it on Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice. I swear he could melt glaciers with his smolder. *swoons*


So anyway, that’s been my week. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday wherever you are, filled with family, good food, and snow!

Love, Sam

My Holiday To-Do List

I always make rather outrageous plans for my month-long winter break. After a semester of horrors, Christmas is exactly what I need to wind down, relax, and enjoy myself. Oh, and make to-do lists. Because I am possibly the most list-oriented person I know. I have a planner with my schedule, post it notes on which I write my daily to-do lists by order of importance, and I also have like 3 Google Calendars and a wall calendar and I LIKE BEING ORGANIZED OKAY. Maybe that’s why I like blogging so much; I get to schedule like there’s no tomorrow. *dreamy sigh*

Anyway, with this fine, festive, festooned holiday which represents any number of things from baby Jesus to snow to Santa Claus to Norse mythology, I tend to make grand schemes.

Festivity #1

Buy every sweater on creation.

No seriously. Do you even comprehend the infinite glory that is sweaterland?

Sweaters are one of my absolute favorite parts of winter and they always make me feel cozy and hip and (of course) warm.

Festivity #2

Wear Christmas socks.

I have shitloads of holiday-themed footwear and now is the time to rock them. And rock them I will. *puts on war paint*

Festivity #3

Do the snow dance once in the morning and once at night. No matter what.

Snow dance definition: Put on every piece of winter clothing you own, go stand outside (preferably in your front yard where there are witnesses), and dance furiously while singing either Jingle Bells or Let It Snow.

Festivity #4

Go buy those organic chocolate truffles at Earth Fare because like really, get in my mouth now. *grabby hands* If I could marry these truffles, my girlfriend would be shit outta luck.

Festivity #5

Bloggity bloggity bloggity blog. I’ve got reviews done up through January, so now I’m going to work on the other fun stuff for this month! And since there’s no school, I’ll have lots of time to explore other blogs and meet peeps and lurk on Goodreads and Twitter. (Aside: I don’t mean to whine on Twitter. Twitter makes me do it. I mean, really. It’s obviously Twitter’s fault. All that blue? Should be viewed with suspicion. *views suspiciously*)

Festivity #6

Watch ALL the Christmas movies. Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Santa Claus, Annie, and a few Disney movies. Also Harry Potter because it is never not the right time to watch Harry freakin’ Potter, let’s be real.

Festivity #7

Wear the most sickeningly festive nail polish known to man. Right now it’s candy cane red with sparkly green Christmas trees. Up next: ice blue snowflakes awyiss.

Festivity #8

Cuddles with my Boo Bear (who is my dog, and I love him, and he is mine).

Festivity #9

Listen to Christmas music until I’m thinking in carols.

Festivity #10

Read, read, read, and oh did I mention READ? I’m going to read all da books. None shall escape me. I’m going to meet my reading goal, and I’m going to eat, sleep, and breathe books until January. I’m also going to finish the Gallagher Girl series because holy hell, spy school has never been better. And then I’m going to put a dent in my Winter TBR list, and prepare myself for the unholy delights of the 2014 Reading Retellings Challenge (which I am hosting/fangirling over). Join me in my quest to read some spectacular retellings in 2014!

Happy holidays, my lovelies! I hope your week is merry and bright so far, and I hope your reading is as well! Have a sparkling day!

Love, Sam

Stacking the Shelves #7

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It’s a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads.

For Review

Being Sloane Jacobs

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill (thanks @ Delacorte)

From the Bookshop

The Importance of Being Earnest The Book of Lost Things The Iron Witch Literary Britain Robert Burns Out of Sight, Out of Time 6339664 Going Vintage

The Importance of Being Earnest and Four Other Plays by Oscar Wilde (for school)

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

Literary Britain: A Reader’s Guide to Its Writers and Landmarks by Frank Morley (a birthday gift from my girlfriend)

A collection of Robert Burns poetry (also a birthday gift from my girlfriend, but I couldn’t find the right edition, so Penguin Classics will have to do!)

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

I was determined to go book-hunting yesterday, and it went quite well. Today is my birthday, so I thought I might as well treat myself to some good books. I’ll honestly probably go back to the bookstore today just because I have no self-control. And also I really need to get on the Divergent series again and stop having to cover my eyes every time somebody mentions Allegiant.

In other news, you think bookcases are unfeeling inanimate objects? I am 99.99% sure I felt my bookcase judging me when I added all eight of these books to one of the last empty little patches of shelf remaining. The struggle is real.

What books have you added to your shelf this week? Link me up in the comments! I’d love to see it! Have a great weekend!

Love, Sam

 

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, with a new Top Ten prompt every week. Check it out!

Game of Thrones

1. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

I’ve started this like 3 times but never got around to finishing it. I’ve watched most of the first season, so I know the basic plot, but I did like what I read and I want to get to the end this time.

Peter Pan

2. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

I’ve had this book for years but never got around to reading it despite the fact that I adore all things Peter Pan.

Proxy

3. Proxy by Alex London

I’ve been wanting to read this for so long and I finally happened across it in my local used bookstore for like half the price it would’ve cost me for a new copy. Praise the literary gods.

Anyone But You

4. Anyone But You by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

I love retellings. Like, LOVE them. And anything involving food and/or Shakespeare is awesome, so this Romeo & Juliet foodporn is the stuff of the gods in my opinion.

Legend

5. Legend by Marie Lu

I’ve actually had this for almost two years (I bought it at Powell’s in Portland) but I never got around to reading it. With the release of Champion, I figure it’s as good a time as any to catch up.

Stormbringer

6. Stormbringer by Shannon Delany

If you saw my review yesterday of the first novel in this series, Weather Witch, you know that I am now obsessed. It’s Philadelphian steampunk awesomesauce, so when the sequel, Stormbringer, comes out on January 14, I will be first in line.

Henry VIII: The King and His Court

7. Henry VIII: The King and His Court by Alison Weir

I checked this out of the library months ago, so I really need to get past the first 50 pages. Alison Weir is awesome, so I’m looking forward to it even if Henry was a jackass.

Moll Flanders

8. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

This is part of my senior project and I’m pretty pumped to read about 17th century prostitutes. It’s not your everyday book.

The Maze Runner

9. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I’m so late for this, but the movie is coming out soon (starring my spirit animal, Dylan O’Brien) so I’m going to try to at least read this one and maybe the sequel if I can.

The Book Thief

10. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

I got maybe 100 pages into this before I put it down and forgot about it. I loved what I read but I think because it was a school assignment I couldn’t enjoy it like I wanted to. But with the movie on the way and a new year looming, I want to see what everyone has been raving about.

I’m Not Dead, I Promise…

I’ve just been a little bit busy the past few weeks. I hope you’ve all been reading and writing wonderful things; I know I have. I’m currently lost in City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series, which I’ll most likely review once I’m done with it (yes, I know I’m terribly late to the TMI party, shhh). I’m also working on doing a bit of plot-tweaking and solving a few somewhat big issues on my own project, so wish me good luck!

In more blog-related news, I’m considering writing a post about POVs. I’m having a mid-novel crisis about them at the moment, and I hope writing a post about will serve to help me sort it out and/or clear things up for you in some way. Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in (input is love after all).

Anyhow, I just thought I’d write a quick note to reaffirm my status as “alive and not dead/missing”. I hope you all are having a great February, and happy belated Love Day!

 

Chapter 3!!!

Remember back when I got to Chapter 2 yesterday? Well, NOW I’M ON CHAPTER 3!!!

And chapter 3 is getting to be a real fun chapter. It’s got a lot of drama and dialogue and action, and it’s getting close to the real start-point, where the MC’s padre gets ‘napped by the bad guys and shit hits the fan. Wooooo.

My chapters are turning out to be short, like a few pages each, which I’m not sure how I feel about. I mean, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with short chapters, but I know that if I keep this up, the novel will end up being like 200 pages, which is not good at all. Do short chapters bother anyone else, or am I just the lone, picky wolf? Of course, I’m definitely not writing as well as I can, I’m just pounding out the words and making plenty of mistakes, because I want to make this rough draft as messy and fun to fix as possible, which goes against the grain to be honest. Even now, I’m fighting the urge to print out what I’ve got and take my vindictive, bitchy red pen to the whole mess until I feel like it’s bookstore-ready. I’m doing my best to not look at what I’ve written, and I’m going to try and do that until I’m done with the rough draft so I don’t give my inner critic any more ammo than she already has.

But on another topic, I’m almost done with The Weekend Novelist, and I’m looking for other books on writing to dive into before school starts destroying my brain cells again. I’m really interested in things concerning plot, the writing of the first draft, and especially time management since I’m a student and it can be really difficult to balance writing with schoolwork. If you have any recommendations, please comment and let me know!

Writerly Things

Writing is going swimmingly. I can’t begin to describe my relief. I’ve written almost four pages in three days, which is probably nothing to a seasoned writer, but for me it’s  the most I’ve written in a long while. That’s not to say it’s flowing smoothly. I still get stuck a lot, but instead of giving up and telling myself “later”, I keep pushing and, if I really need to, I skip that scene and go on to something else. It’s working wonderfully (insert squealing and bouncing here).

In other news, I’m thinking of getting a Twitter for writerly things. I have one for RL (which I don’t use), and one for online friends (which I do use), but none specifically for writing. Actually I’m not really sure what one does to make relationships and conversation in the online world of writers, but it seems that Twitter is one such way of “connecting”. I love having people to talk to who are in the same boat as I am (writers, readers, dreamers, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers) and while blogging is WONDERFUL, I sort of want more ways of sharing and interacting with people, just because it makes me happy.

Of course, if I make a Twitter I’m not really sure what I’d do with it, since I only follow a smattering of blogs, and I don’t really like following people unless I really genuinely want to know them better and talk to them or I even just like what they’re saying, because otherwise what’s the point? (God, that came out a bit snobbier than intended oops.)

So that’s my little ramble of the day. I hope you’re all enjoying these last few days of December (it’s a damn icebox even here in the Southeast). I know I for one am looking forward to the new year and all the change it will bring.

Be happy!