Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books Released in the Last 10 Years

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us to share our favorite books released in the last 10 years. As someone who tends to read older books and isn’t great at staying on top of new releases, I’m pretty intrigued to see how this list will go. I decided to make this list based on which books came out in which year, not on the year that I read them.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Throwback to those first years of me being a Nerdfighter! I’ve always marveled at how these two authors were able to seamlessly write this novel of intertwining stories chapter by chapter. This book is hilarious and heart-wrenching and thought-provoking all at the same time, in Green and Levithan’s usual way. Different from many YA books that I’ve read!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I remember reading this book around Christmastime one year and thinking: Wow, what perfect timing! This book is mysterious and magical and will leave you wanting more of the fantastical world Morgenstern has created. If you’re looking for romance, adventure, suspense, and beautiful writing, then this is definitely the book for you!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

How could this not have been my favorite book of 2012? I was so excited for it to be released that I pre-ordered a signed first edition copy–and I rarely pre-order anything! I loved how John Green balanced tough topics with heartfelt, thought-provoking discussions of important life questions and funny, memorable scenes that I still think about from time to time.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This little book is eerie, suspenseful, and told like a twisted fairy tale. Definitely a great read for a spooky fall day. I love Neil Gaiman’s lyrical writing in general, but this novel in particular has really stood out to me even all these years later. Whether or not you’re a Gaiman fan already, you will be after reading this!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This beautiful, heart-wrenching, emotional historical fiction novel blew me away when I read it as a senior in high school–so much so that I went out and bought a copy just to have it on my shelf, even though I had borrowed it from the library. If that’s not a testament to how much I enjoyed this book, then I don’t know what is!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I remember this book being everywhere in the online book community for the longest time. It took me forever to finally get around to reading it, but when I did I could totally see what all the hype was about. The idea of so many different Londons is really interesting!

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

This series is just unlike any other that I have read! I really liked how it was 4 books instead of the usual three or longer–I feel like you rarely see quartets around. The entire premise is so creative and unique, and I couldn’t get enough of the idea of magical ley lines and forests snaking their way through a rural town.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Again, I have never read a book like this one. Written entirely in quotes that blend fact and fiction, Lincoln in the Bardo is a true masterpiece. Not only did this novel win the Man Booker Prize, but it is also Saunders’ first full length novel–wild! Definitely makes me want to read some of his short stories.

When the Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher

I’ve been a fan of Carrie for years (both her videos on Youtube and her books), and I can confidently say that this is her best novel yet. I feel like Carrie really found her groove in writing this book because the setting, characters, and story all worked together so wonderfully. As with nearly all of Carrie’s books, I read this one in one sitting!

Unfortunately I haven’t read any books released in 2019 yet. Between finishing up the semester, writing my honors thesis, graduating from college, and dealing with some personal stuff that’s been happening lately, I just haven’t had any time to delve into any new releases. I’m really looking forward to finally having time to visit the library again and check out some new books. With that being said, let me know what 2019 releases you recommend!

What are your favorite releases of the past decade? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Put On Hold

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (determined by That Artsy Reader Girl) is generally about series and whether or not we’re going to finish them. If there’s one bookish tidbit you need to know about me, it’s that I’m usually awful at staying up to date with series (this also includes TV series… I’m always SO BEHIND). Even though I might fail from an execution standpoint, most of the time I really do have the best intentions to follow through to the end of a series. This week I’d like to share ten series that I do plan on finishing someday… I’ve just put on hold for now while I’m distracted by other things. 

Which series have you given up on, momentarily or otherwise? What do you think of the series I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!




Stationary Book Tag


Hello, hello! Today I bring you another tag, this time about one of my favorite things: stationary! I love school supplies, paper products, pens, pencils, notebooks– if it can be found in an office supplies store, then chances are that I adore it. Luckily, this lovely Stationary Book Tag exists for stationary lovers such as myself. Thanks so much to Giovanna @ Book Coma Blog for tagging me!


  • Thank the creator: Sam @ RiverMooseReads, Thank you!
  • Answer the questions.
  • Add pictures! (If you want to)
  • Tag (about) 5 people.


The_BFG_(Dahl_novel_-_cover_art)PENCILS: FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK.

Definitely The BFG by Roald Dahl. I reread this childhood favorite of mine this past summer for the first time since fifth grade and I absolutely adored it. How can you say no to the Big Friendly Giant’s cute, oversized ears?

the great gatsby coverPENS: A BASIC STAPLE FOR ANY READER.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, hands down. There are just so many great reasons to read this classic American novel– the beautiful writing style, the many modern references to the story, the abundant symbolism and questions and raises about the so-called “American Dream.” I think everyone should read about good ol’ Gatsby!


Surprisingly enough, I think the only book I own multiple copies of is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve thought about buying different editions of the same book depending on the different covers, but I just can’t justify spending the money when I already own a copy of it.


A Darker Shade of Magic and the other books in this fantasy series by V.E. Schwab. I love the color scheme as well as the simple but interesting use of geometric shapes. Plus, just look at that font!

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone coverGLUE: TWO CHARACTERS THAT WORK TOGETHER EVEN IF THEY AREN’T TOGETHER.

Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I’ve always wanted these two wonderful characters to end up together– they’re both quirky and kind and would be so cute as a couple!


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany.  (A bit harsh? Maybe. Do I apologize? Not in the slightest.) I was just really disappointed with this book, as you can probably tell.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne CollinsART KIT: WHAT COMPLETED SERIES YOU OWN.

From my glory days in the elementary school reading enrichment program I still own the entirety of the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins. This was back before she was of Hunger Games fame… boy, that feels like ages ago!


  1. Marta @ The Book Mermaid
  2. MC @ Blame It On The Books
  3. Emily @ Rose Read
  4. Conny @ Literati Girl
  5. Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? What is your favorite kind of school supplies? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated 2017 Releases | Part 1

foodie-facts-about-me-11Happy Tuesday!! Today I’m here to talk about the Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to for the First Half of 2017. Because I’ve been up to my ears in homework for the past three months I’m not very up-to-date with all of the upcoming books being released soon. I can’t list a full ten books, but I do have a few that I’m really looking forward to reading.

29939230A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Though I still have yet to read the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, I’m nevertheless really excited about the prospect of another installment in this unique fantasy series. I’ve loved everything by V.E. Schwab that I’ve read thus far, so I’m really looking forward to reading even more of her work. (Also, how gorgeous is this cover?)

24485589Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Ever imagined a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with Belle as a hunters? If so, 2017 is your lucky year! This book sounds really fun and unique, especially since I haven’t read very many Beauty and the Beast retellings. Also, Meagan Spooner cowrote the fantastic These Broken Stars with Amie Kaufman, which I loved. Can’t wait to see how this book measures up to my expectations!

30038906The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

After reading When We Collided over the summer and really enjoying it, I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by Emery Lord. I’m always up for a good summer camp story, especially when it’s sure to discuss some hard-hitting topics. Emery Lord knows how to address taboo topics, such as mental illness, that are not often effectively or appropriately addressed in the Young Adult genre.

And…. that’s about all of the upcoming releases I know about! Clearly, I need some recommendations. What upcoming 2017 releases are you highly anticipating? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in the City

Foodie Facts About Me-6Happy Tuesday!! Once again we have some freedom with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme, since the prompt is “Books with X Setting.” I’ve decided to go with a rather broad one: Top Ten Books Set in the City. I live in a pretty rural area and, while I enjoy visiting cities for day trips and short stays, I don’t know that I would necessarily choose to live in one. I much prefer the quiet, peaceful countryside, but that’s just me! However, cities do make fantastic settings for stories, as these books certainly show.

New York City

New York City-2

New York City-3

New York City-4

New York City-5

New York City-6

New York City-7

New York City-8

New York City-9

New York City-10

What are your favorite books set in cities? What do you think of the books on my list? Do you like cities? What’s your favorite city to visit? Let me know in the comments section below!




Book Review: VICIOUS

Vicious by V.E. SchwabAuthor: V.E. Schwab

Number of Pages: 364

Publisher: Tor

Release Date: September 24, 2013

“Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.” 

You know a book is good when you can’t stop thinking about it, when weeks have passed since you read it and bits of the story still randomly pop into your mind. Such is the case with Vicious, the second book I’ve read by V.E. Schwab. I’ll see my epi-pens in my purse (I have a severe nut allergy) and automatically think of the way Victor and Eli used them in their experiments. I’ll see a shabby, run-down looking building and be reminded of the one in which the ending of the story all unfolded. It’s the little details that linger in my mind most fiercely, refusing to be lost in a sea of other stories.

After reading V.E. Schwab’s novel A Darker Shade of Magic earlier this year and loving it, I was really eager to read Vicious as well. To my surprise, I actually ended up liking it more than the previous book I read!

First, the entire concept behind EO’s (or ExtraOrdinary people, those who died and came back to life with powers) is fascinating. It’s something I can easily see people believing today- not everyone, of course, but those who believe some conspiracy theories might also give this one attention. The idea of people coming back to life with superhuman powers sounds quite ridiculous at first, but Schwab incorporates enough scientific background and evidence that it almost begins to seem possible. I love when authors weave scientific facts and other truths into their writing, especially if the genre is clearly fictional. For example, Victor and Eli use epi-pens in an attempt to revive themselves when they try to cheat death. Epi-pens carry epinephrine, which causes a surge of adrenaline in the body, so it would sort of make sense that they could be useful in such an experiment. While it probably wouldn’t work in real life (or at least not as seamlessly as in the story) it could potentially work in theory, which is what makes it so fascinating and fun to read.

Along with the idea of EO’s, I also really liked the inclusion of religion in this story. Unlike Victor, Eli is religious and bases several of his rather scientific opinions on his belief in God. It’s a clear clash between science and religion, fact and faith, closely mirroring the one that is currently taking place in society today. In a world where nearly everything can be explained, at least to some degree, with science, it can be difficult to know how to address issues surrounding religion. Which is more correct: the theory of evolution or Creationism? It’s questions like this that are nearly impossible to answer without offending either party, creating tension where there is already a gaping gray area. Victor must come to terms with the fact that he and Eli will never see eye to eye due to his own lack of religious faith, just as many people must grapple with that realization in their own lives.

The story itself was completely gripping, entertaining, and unique. I don’t even know what to compare it to, because it’s really unlike anything I’ve ever read. This novel has so many great qualities- the developed and multidimensional characters, the unexpected twists and clever wrinkles, and such a fantastic anti-hero. While Victor may not be the most moral person, I couldn’t help but root for him as I was reading. He’s an anti-hero that you just have to love, despite the fact that you don’t agree with everything he’s done. Besides, let’s face it- Eli is even crazier, which makes Victor seem better in comparison. Although, Victor does take care of Sydney, so you kind of have to cut him a wee bit of slack.

Overall, Vicious is excellent- that’s all there is to it! It’s a fast-paced, suspenseful, and utterly enthralling story that will leave you wanting more well after you’ve turned the last page. I don’t know if this is going to be a series or not, but if it is then I will absolutely read whatever books come next!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0) 5 out of 5 smileys

Would I recommend it to a friend?: ABSOLUTELY!!

Have you ever read this book? What did you think of it? What other books by V.E. Schwab would you recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday_ books I've Read so far-2

Tomorrow is July 1st, and you know what that means: we’re already half way through the year 2015!! This year has been flying by so far- seriously, where has the time gone? I can distinctly remember it being September of 2014 and entering my senior year of high school, and all of a sudden it’s the summer of 2015. These are crazy times we live in, people.

Anyways, the halfway mark is a great time to take a look at what you’ve read so far and appreciate the wonderful books you’ve read. Luckily, this week’s TTT allows us to do just that! Here is a list of the Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015! I’ve included links to my books reviews of these books, so just click on the titles if you’d like to check them out. They are listed in the order that I read them.

life after life cover

1. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

gone girl cover

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

great expectations cover

3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

4. The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

5. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

shadow scale cover

6. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

A Darker Shade final for Irene

7. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

8. Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

9. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Wonder Spanish Translation cover

10. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

2015 has been a year of great reading so far, and I can’t wait to see what the second half of the year holds!

What are your favorite books that you’ve read so far in 2015? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!




It’s Prom! Who Would You Take?


My high school senior prom is this weekend! I can’t believe it’s happening already, but it is. To get everyone into the spirit of prom season, I thought I’d share the top 5 guys from books that I’d bring to prom!

Fred and George fireworks gif

Fred or George Weasley from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

A Darker Shade final for Irene

Kell from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

fangirl cover

Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

anna and the french kiss cover

St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkinstumblr_n6wmjhdpA71trd5j4o3_250

Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

What bookish guys or girls would you bring to prom? Let me know in the comments section below!




The Burrito Bowl Book Tag

burrito bowlThanks so much to Cristina from Girl in the Pages for tagging me in this deliciously awesome tag! Although I have never eaten at Chipotle before, I know that they are NUT FREE! I’ve been meaning to go to one for ages but I’ve just never had the chance. But without further ado, let’s get rolling with the Burrito Bowl Book Tag!


  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you to make your own burrito bowl, linking back to their site.
  2. Answer the tag questions.
  3. Tag 5 others to create their own bowl!
  4. Food coma.

The Ingredients:

Puppy in a PuddleRice: The Foundation – “The book that got you into reading (or book blogging)”

Even though I would love to be able to say that something amazing like Harry Potter had gotten me into read, I’m afraid that my love of bookishness began even before that wonderful series entered my life. When I was younger I LOVED animals, and I can distinctly remember reading Puppy in a Puddle by Ben M. Baglio on the bus on the way to and from school. It was the first “chapter book” I ever read and I was so proud of myself once I finished it. I can’t believe I was able to find a picture of it online all these years later!

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest HemingwayBeans: The Filler – “The book with a whole lot of nothing going on”

About a week ago I finished reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, and boy, it was a bit difficult to get through. Of course, I’d be lying if I said absolutely nothing happens- there are bullfights, relationship issues, and plenty of traveling- but it felt so slow paced that it was as if nothing were happening. I felt like all the characters did was drink and go see bullfights, and that was about it. I get that it’s about the Lost Generation and everyone is trying to find what they should do with their lives now that WWI is over, but a little bit more direction in the plot would have been appreciated!

Protein: The Building Block “A book quote to live by”

How could I do a tag without mentioning the beloved Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling? There are countless inspiring quotes in this series, but one of my absolute favorites is the following:

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

This is from J.K. Rowling’s novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I always try to remember it whenever I feel bogged down in work or plans for the future. It’s helpful to be prepared for what may happen next, but I think it’s just as important (if not more) to live life in the moment and find happiness with where you currently are in life.

shadow scale coverFajitas: The Crunch of Texture – “A book with immaculate world-building”

There are so many fantastic books to choose for this one, but I’m going to go with another more recent read and say Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. This is the sequel to Seraphina and it includes so many new places and cultures within this unique fantasy world. Not only are there interesting far away lands involved, but there are also complex politics between dragons and humans.

the rook coverSalsa: The Dance of Flavour – “A book that kept you on your toes”

For this one I’m going with The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, because it’s such a gripping and suspenseful story. It’s starts out with one of the best mysterious scenarios I’ve ever read: Myfanwy Thomas suddenly wakes up in the body of another girl, with no memory of who she was previously or whose body she now controls. I have no idea why this book isn’t more popular- it’s absolutely amazing!

eleanor and park coverCorn: The Explosion of Sweetness“A memorable scene with friendship/romance”

Basically the entirety of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I adore how they both love each other for who they are, despite their faults and flaws. It’s so refreshing to see that type of relationship in the YA contemporary romance genre, because a lot of times romances happen between seemingly perfect characters. There’s nothing stereotypical about Eleanor or Park, and I applaud Rainbow Rowell for making that choice when writing!

city of bones cover

Cheese: The Bond of Calcium“Two characters from different books you wish could be friends”

I think that Isabel Lightwood from City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Lila from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab would be really good friends because they’re both adventurous, tough, and independent young women. I can picture them fighting crime together and kicking butt in general. They would be such a fearsome, sassy pair!

An Abundance of Katherines by John GreenSour Cream: The Tangy Topper – “The quirkiest character you’ve ever read (protagonist or supporting)”

Oh, what a cool (and difficult!) question! The quirkiest character I can think of off the top of my head is probably Colin Singleton from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. He only dates girls named Katherine, he anagrams for fun, and he views relationships as math equations- that’s a pretty quirky character if you ask me!

The Scorch Trials by James DashnerGuacamole: The Cost of Creaminess – “A book you paid too much for”

When I was in middle school I bought hardback copy of The Scorch Trials by James Dashner as soon as it hit bookstore shelves, and immediately after reading it I regretted my purchase. I paid a normal price for it (probably a little under twenty dollars for a hardback copy at the time) and I thought it was a horrible sequel to The Maze Runner. I recently got rid of it because it was just sitting on my shelf collecting dust and taunting me (at least, that’s what it felt like it was doing!). Whatever the price of it was, I paid far too much for it!

all the light we cannot see coverLettuce: The Handful of Crispness – “A refreshing concept/theme in a book”

When I read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr I thought it was so refreshing to see a story in which romance is not the main focus. Romance really only comes into play towards the end of this breathtaking historical fiction novel, and even then it is really more like friendship than anything else. So many books nowadays narrowly focus in on romantic relationships, so I appreciated a break in this common theme.

jellicoe road coverChips: Le Pièce de Résistance – “A must-read recommendation [if you like this book/genre—you decide!]”

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone nearly on a daily basis, so it’s only fitting that I include it here. If you like YA fiction (or reading in general, to be honest) you seriously need to read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I have read this book numerous times and each time I get to the last page I want to go back and read it all over again. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it! (Translation: PLEASE GO READ IT RIGHT NOW!)

A Darker Shade final for IreneTabasco: The Kick to the Face“Your favorite fight/action sequence”

Here’s yet another recent read for me: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. There are some epic fight scenes in this novel involving magic, which in my opinion are some of the best kind of fight scenes there are. The fights at the end are especially awesome, because you never know how the magic will be used next. Not to mention the fact that Kell is an amazing magician!

Tag, you’re it!

As always, you can still participate in this tag if I didn’t tag you! If you do end up taking part in the deliciousness of this tag, please leave me a link in the comments section below so I can see your awesomeness!

Again, thanks so much Cristina for tagging me! This is such a fun, creative tag to do and it certainly makes you hungry!

What books would you pick for these ingredients? What do you think of the books I picked? Let me know in the comments section below!



Monthly Wrap-Up

April 2015 Wrap-Up

Monthly wrap-up

Oh, April- how crazy, hectic, and wonderful you were! This past month was filled with a lot of ups and downs, but on the whole it was quite positive. I made some exciting decisions about my future, read some fantastic books, and ultimately made it one step closer to graduating high school. (Eeep!)

Bookish News

A Darker Shade final for IreneIn April I read a total of 5 books:

  1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
  2. Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
  3. Hold Me Closer by David Levithan
  4. The Her Campus Guide to College Life by Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, Annie Chandler Wang, and Windsor Hanger Western (Thanks for the review copy, Her Campus!)
  5. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

I read some fantastic books in April, so picking a favorite was really difficult! But I think I’m going to have to go with A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. It was such a blast to read, and I seriously couldn’t put it down! To read more about why I loved it so much, you can read my review. 

Personal News

IMG_1080You’re probably sick of me talking about this by now, but I just can’t help it- I’m SO EXCITED! I finally decided that I will be attending Wheaton College in the fall!! It’s been a long process of applying to colleges, touring campuses, interviewing, and assessing my options, but I am ecstatic to finally be able to say that I know which school I’ll be attending. It’s such a relief!!

This past week has been my April vacation, meaning that starting Monday there will be two weeks of AP exams. I’m taking four this year: AP Calculus, AP English, AP Spanish, and AP US Government. Yup, it’s pretty much as stressful as it sounds. The good thing is that the scores I get on them don’t go towards my grades or GPA at all, and by the time the scores are released in July no one will really care what I got on them. It would be nice to get some college credit for them, particularly in Spanish and English, but I’m not going to go crazy trying to get a five. My goal is to at least pass one or two of them with at least a score of three. Calculus is basically a lost cause at this point (perhaps I’ll write a post in the future on my horrible relationship with calculus?) but I think I have a shot of doing decently on the other ones. Wish me luck!

This Month in Blogging

Here were some of the posts I’m particularly happy about posting last month (click to read them!):

I also hosted my first Rafflecopter giveaway last month, which you can read about here. Oh my goodness, it was such a great experience! I’d like to thank all of you who entered or helped promote it! People were so appreciative of the giveaway and I received some really kind comments about it. I will definitely be doing another one in the future, so stay tuned!

Overall, April was a great month for me. Despite its craziness, I actually think it’s the calm before the chaotic storm of May. With May comes AP exams, last-minute projects and tests, award ceremonies, senior events, prom, and the last push before final exams in June. But the end of high school is in sight, and I’m so ready to take on this final part of my high school career. Bye bye April, and hello May!

How was your April? What things are you looking forward to (or dreading) in May? Let me know in the comments section below!