Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Favorite Books of 2015!

Hey everybody! I hope everyone had an awesome holiday weekend and avoided the mistletoe like the plague . . . okay maybe that was just me. Anyhoo, I've been seeing so many awesome posts on my favorite blogs about their favorite books and authors of this year and I thought it'd be fun to show you guys what some of my favorite books were this year. Here are my 15 favorite books of 2015! I hope y'all enjoy!


These four books are a collection of 2015 releases and I loved all of them!! Vanishing Girls was so good and had such an awesome plot twist that I can't believe I didn't see coming. Saint Anything is probably my new favorite book by my favorite author, Sarah Dessen! It was very emotional as well as meaningful and I just loved every second of it. The Last Time We Say Goodbye literally had me sobbing into my pillow for AN HOUR after reading the last page. OH. MY. WORD. Made You Up was just fantastic, almost as much as the beautiful cover. I loved how different of a story it was and how all of these book explored mental illnesses such as suicide and schizophrenia. 


These last four stand alones are ones that I can't even handle because I loved them so much. Hello, I Love You is pretty much another Anna and the French Kiss but with KPOP and awesome food and I freaking loved it. It's one of my favorite contemporaries by far and I'm so eager to reread it in 2016! The Vanishing Season was such a beautiful story and I seriously recommend it to anyone who wants a hauntingly beautifully told novel that is just riddled with mystery. What Happened To Goodbye was a reread for me since Sarah Dessen is my favorite author of all time and I felt like picking up one of her books. I really loved it the second time around! And finally, we have Confess which was my first ever Colleen Hoover that I not only read but touched. Like seriously, I've never laid a finger on one of her books before buying this one. I have to say. I can see why everyone is nuts for this talented author, like WOW.


Oh my gosh how I loved every single one of these books! P.S I Still Love You is the second book in the To All The Boys I've Loved Before duology by Jenny Han and I can't even with how amazing it was. I really loved it so much more than the first book and it had me wanting more of the characters and their story. The Rose Society is the second book in The Young Elites series by Marie Lu and OH MY GOSH I loved it. This series by another of my favorite authors is just so good and I'm dying to find out how the series ends with the third book coming out next year! Winter is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer and it was 800+ pages of pure perfection. Enough said. Sanctum is the second book in the Asylum series by Madeleine Roux and if you love Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, you'll devour this series. It's creepy, dark, mysterious and utterly shocking.


I love graphic novels so much so of course I have to feature some of my favorites that I read this year. Anya's Ghost is probably my favorite out of the bunch and I recently reread it around Halloween and loved it just as much as the first time. I highly recommend this one! Through The Woods is the creepiest graphic novel I think I've ever read which just made me love it even more. I love all things horror so this one was right up my dark, creepy ally and I loved it so darn much! Friends With Boys is the definition of my life which is why I adored it. It's one of my favorites, I recommend it and I plan on rereading all of these again in the future.

So those were my favorite books of 2015! What book was your top favorite of the year? If I had to choose, I would probably say mine was Winter, hands down. Let me know what your favorite book(s) were of 2015 in the comments or leave a link to your post so I can stalk your blogs! Read on bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

FULL REVIEWS of all books listed are available on my blog!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Winter Themed Book Tag!

Hey, bookworms! I just want to wish you all a very happy holiday season! Now that that's out of the way, I was tagged to do the Winter Themed Book Tag created by Marissa over at For Fun Reading List so you guys should check out her blog! Before I can ramble on about how much I love the winter time, let's get the tag started, shall we?

1. Falling Snow: The colors of winter are muted. Choose a book that has whites, light blues, and greys on the cover.

For this one I chose the cover for "The One" by Kierra Cass because it's obviously gorgeous just like the falling snow. I love the cool toned colors it uses and it has a crown on it. Enough said.

2. Crackling Fire: Colder weather makes for the perfect time to sit by a crackling fire in the fireplace. What book is the best to curl up next to a warm fire with?

One thing I love more than a lot of things is having any excuse to reread one of my favorite books. So, personally, I feel like reading "The Bad Beginning" by Lemony Snicket is a good choice for anyone to pick up. Yes, it's a bit darker of a story but it's still such a beloved children's series that you really can't go wrong with it. 

3. Ice Storm: Winter storms can be brutal. What book do you love that takes the characters through a brutal season?

I absolutely love "The Last Time We Say Goodbye" because it follows our main character as she tries to morn the loss of her brother and has to deal with the question running through her head about why he killed himself and what she possibly could've done to stop it from ever happening. This book made me cry like a baby for one hour straight, which says a lot since I NEVER cry in books.

4. Winter Wishes: Spending more time indoors allows more time to dream and wish. What character is living a life that you dream about?

All my life, I've always dreamed about traveling the world and seeing new things so when I read "Anna and The French Kiss", I was in love. I would absolutely love to live the life that Anna has. I mean, attending school in Paris? Meeting awesome friends? Going to the museums? Yes, please!

5. Hot Cocoa: There is nothing like a hot cup of cocoa during the winter, as adults we often underestimate it. What book do you think should be the next big thing?

I really can't stop talking about this book no matter how hard I try. "Hello, I Love You" is one of my favorite contemporaries and I feel like it's so under-hyped. If you love music and want another Anna and the French Kiss, this book should be on your TBR! 

6. Lip Balm & Lotion: Soothing dry skin is part of the winter for many. What book is full of soothing and comforting words?

I really loved "Keeping The Moon" by Sarah Dessen, not only because of the story itself but because this book as well as all of her other novels had an uplifting message about letting your old self go and learning to live in the moment. This book also had the message of finding out who you really are and having friends to help you find out. Such a great read!

7. Peppermint Mocha: What is your go-to winter food or drink for those reading marathons of winter?

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. It's not like I don't get enough of the stuff already with my three or four cups of it a day, but I'm a sucker for my caramel and french vanilla cappuccinos and I feel like the winter season gives me a really good excuse to stock up on my supply of the flavors as the temperature drops. I especially love to mix them with a packet of hot chocolate and throw in some marshmallows and lots of whip cream. Not very healthy but OMG is it good!

So that's it for this tag! If you want to do this, consider yourself tagged and please leave a link to your post in the comments so I can read them and stalk your blog. Because I love doing that. Anyway, read on, bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2)

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2)
Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Score: ❤❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 399
Book #2 in the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series
Publisher: Quirk Books
Published: January 4, 2014

This sequel to the first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended.

Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered vintage photographs.

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
1. So I might be just a tad bit obsessed with this series. I freaking loved the first book in this series so I was dying to get my hands on the sequel for the longest time afterwards! When I finally did pick up a copy back in November, I was so ready to read it that I set it on my desk where it stayed for an entire week as I rushed to finish a book I was currently reading then. I loved this sequel and I'm so excited to pick up the third and final book to see how things wrap up! Special thanks to my big sister for buying me the third book for my birthday ;) 

2. Can I just tell you guys how much I love the characters in this book? Because I love them way too much for my own good. I love how much character development you see in all the characters as the story plays out. This book is also a little funnier than the last because of their development and they start to loosen up just a tad even though there are so many enemies hunting them down. I really love Jacob and all the peculiars, especially Olive, Enoch and Horace. I think Jacob is an interesting character because you get to see how comfortable he starts to get with his special ability and how much stronger he gets as a character. The story really shows off his determination to protect his friends and help Miss Peregrine and any other people he meets along their journey. I love the peculiars so much because of how different they all are from each other, and not just because of their abilities either. I love how quirky, sweet, moody and humorous each of the children are and their disagreements and childish bantering just makes the book all the more fun to read. 

3. One of my favorite things about this series is the amazing and creepy pictures strewn throughout these books! I'm a fan of all things creepy and dark, which is why I love horror movies and Edgar Allen Poe so much, and I just love how this series combines two of my favorite things; books and creepy photographs. Enough said. I love how unique the pictures are and I love how they make the story feel so much more real being able to actually see the characters and the locations being described instead of relying on just your imagination to picture all of them (no pun intended). 

4. Lastly, I'm just in love with the world of these books and the uniqueness of it all. Never would I have thought that time loops, monsters and children with superhuman powers could create something so enchanting and addictive. I think this series has a little something for everybody. It has creatures straight out of nightmares, peculiar photographs and characters, interesting twists and turns and it continues to surprise as the story goes on. If you haven't read this series, please do! I beg of you!
I honestly couldn't read it fast enough. Like seriously, I was dying until the very last page.

And in case you didn't know, the Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children movie is set to release next Christmas so that gives you plenty of time to check this series out before then. Click HERE to read about the movie and I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this book review! Read on, bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Review: One by Sarah Crossan

One by Sarah Crossan
Rating: PG
Genre: Contemporary 
Score: ❤❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 388
Stand Alone
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Published: September 15, 2015

Grace and Tippi. Tippi and Grace. Two sisters. Two hearts. Two dreams. Two lives. But one body.

Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins, joined at the waist, defying the odds of survival for sixteen years. They share everything, and they are everything to each other. They would never imagine being apart. For them, that would be the real tragedy.

But something is happening to them. Something they hoped would never happen. And Grace doesn’t want to admit it. Not even to Tippi.

How long can they hide from the truth—how long before they must face the most impossible choice of their lives?

1. So I'm super excited to review this book not only because I gave it a five-star rating (which is something I rarely do for a book) but I just can't stop thinking about everything about this story that makes it what it is. I love those kinds of books that stay with you long after you've read them which doesn't happen very often and when it does, it just makes me so utterly happy. Let's get this review started, shall we?

2. The very first thing I noticed about this book is that it's written in verse. I adore books that are written in the style of a poem and I was so excited when I opened this book up to read it to discover that it was in a different writing style that you don't see too much of. Because of the writing style that the author went with, it just made the book not only an incredibly fast read but also a more emotional and touching story that didn't need all the fancy back stories and character build-ups to carry the story. I love that the short verses really allowed you to see into Grace's mind without needing much wording in order to do so. I love books written in verse and I really wish there were more books in that style. 

3. I also really loved the characters that were introduced. Tippi and Grace might be conjoined twins but they're nothing alike in many ways. Tippi is a bit more confident and the 'leading-lady' out of the two and doesn't hold back her true feelings about things. Grace is a bit more guarded and quiet, preferring to hide behind her sister as often as she can. I loved that the two of them really were a team in the sense that everything they did or said was purely out of love for each other. Even as they started making new friends, finding new interests, and even falling in love, Tippi and Grace never lost sight of what was really important to them and never saw their lives as unlucky or difficult. Just different and imperfect like everyone else around them. 

4. I also loved the story line and how everything in this story really made you open your eyes up to how strange life can actually be sometimes. Tippi and Grace have to go through being stared at and made fun of throughout this book, even dealing with personal issues such as insecurities and family drama as they try to fit in at their new school and make new friends. They have to make some pretty tough decisions when they're faced with them but they never complain as the story progresses. The book tells a story of two sisters just trying to live as normally as they can, what's normal to them and learn a few things about life and letting people in. I loved the ending of this book as well and I think anyone who loves a good story that makes you think will absolutely love this book. 

5. Overall, this was just one (pun unintended) beautiful story that I would highly recommend if you love books such as The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, Made You Up by Francesca Zappia or any other book along the lines of those. I will definitely be picking this book up again in the future! 

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I hope you guys enjoyed this book review! Read on bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #4)

Winter by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance, Retelling
Score: ❤❤❤❤❤ 
Page Count: 827
Book #4 in the Lunar Chronicles series
Publisher: Fiewel and Friends
Published: November 10, 2015


Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Reviews of The Lunar Chronicles:

1. WINTER IS FINALLY HERE! PRAISE THE LORD ABOVE!!! Anyway, now that the fangirling is done, (kind of) I'm so excited to have finally picked this book up and read it in just a few days though still not fast enough! I freaking love this series so much and I was anxious to find out all what happens to the characters and how this series wraps up! Without further ado, here's my review on this AWESOME conclusion to the series:

2. I swear that the characters in these books just keep getting better and better with each installment as we follow their journeys through earth and on Luna. I want to talk for a second about my favorite character, Cinder. I love how strong she continues to grow as she becomes more determined to dethrone Queen Levana and take back her rightful place in the kingdom of Luna and become the ruler that she knows the people deserve. I love how Cinder doesn't try to portray herself as perfect, knowing perfectly well all that is at stake and fearing so much for her friends as their journey to take Levana down becomes more and more dangerous.

We do get to see a lot more of Scarlet in this book as well, which is nice because we barely got to see any of her in the third book. She's still not my favorite character but she is very feisty and headstrong and doesn't at all give up easily which is always a nice trait in a character.
Cress also becomes a little less naive as she helps everyone with their mission and I really loved that. Cress becomes a stronger character as well as a more daring one who doesn't shy away from danger as quickly as she normally does.

Our other characters, Thorne, Kai, Wolf and the loveable Iko are pretty much the same as always which is perfect. Thorne still can't take things seriously and makes jokes at the most inappropriate times, Kai is just . . . PERFECT. Be still my heart ❤❤❤❤ Wolf just wants to finally get his chance to fight back against Levana any way he can and Iko, I swear gets sassier and sassier throughout the book. Overall, THEY ARE MY BABIES!!

3. The story line and what everything leads up to in this book is just so much craziness and epic-ness that I honestly couldn't wrap my brain around all of what was happening. There were so many twists and turns, ups and downs, excitement, fighting, action, a typhoon of emotions that it still hasn't sunken in yet that the series is over. I was a bit nervous to think about how much could possibly happen in over eight hundred pages but I was hooked into the story the WHOLE time as the story played out and our characters had to face a lot more problems than just sneaking into the palace to get their hands on Levana. So much happened in the story that it's a bit hard to imagine just what runs through Marissa Meyer's mind while writing these books. Respect.  

4. Overall, if you haven't yet read the Lunar Chronicles series, DO IT! It has science fiction, epic fighting and war scenes, adventure across space, danger, excitement, a little bit of magic and romance and it's just all around an addicting read for everyone. If you're looking for a series that seriously has so much to offer, look no further because Cinder is here! Or, Winter. You get what I'm saying.
This book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I have no doubt that it will keep you glued to the pages until the very end. I should know, I stayed up until two in the morning last night reading and I died on page 726. My body couldn't handle it!

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I hope you guys enjoyed this book review! Read on bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer Available February 2, 2016

Friday, December 4, 2015

Paint With Me! A Bookish Creation

So lately I've been doing quite a lot of art at home and that's not just because I'm currently attending art classes. I've been in a creative block for the past few months and ever since resuming my art classes earlier in October, I feel like I've finally come out of my rut and my fingers are just itching to pick up the paintbrush or pencil again to create something on paper. So, since I've been doing a lot of watercolor paintings, I thought I would show you guys my process for creating one picture that I posted to my Instagram that I'm honestly proud of myself for being able to paint when it only took me ten minutes to do. Here's my little walk-through for you guys if you want to keep on reading!

Left to right:
Mechanical Eraser Pen
Mechanical Pencil- 2B Refill

So if you couldn't already tell by the rough sketch I made on my page, I decided to paint the cover art for the book 'Winter' by Marissa Meyer which is the book I'm currently reading- and LOVING- and is also the fourth and final book in the series. I really love the cover art for this book in particular and I thought it would be fun to paint it as well as change up the colors a bit to make it a little more unique. 

I only decided halfway through the inking that I wanted to make a process post on this painting so forgive me for not having a picture of just the sketch itself. Anyway, what I did was just blocked in most of the shapes for the fingers and the apple that the hand is holding lightly and went back in to darken the lines a bit to define them so the inking would be a lot easier. I spotted some mistakes early on in the inking like how fat I made one of the knuckles in the pinkie but don't worry, I went back and fixed it during the painting so bare with me here!

Once the inking was done I went back and erased all of the pencil marks and sketches. I also inked on some of the wrinkles where the fingers are bending when I saw that the hand looked rather flat. It surprised me a little that I was able to wing it without it turning out to look really weird which is a serendipitous success. 

Next, I broke out my paints and the fun began! I honestly have no idea how to explain the way I painted the hand to begin with other than saying I just threw on a light wash of purple and continued to darken certain areas as I continued to paint. I only used one color to do all the shading for the hand to challenge myself in using as little colors as I could as practice with the medium. I was really happy to see how easily I was able to achieve that and was really loving how the colors were coming out. On some parts of the fingers where the light was supposed to be hitting it, I didn't add any color at all until the very end to keep from making the highlights too dark.

 Once I finished with the hand, I started to paint the apple with a hot pink that I first laid down a light wash of then went back in to shade the darkest parts of the apple with a dryer coat of the paint. I wanted to add some of the color reflection from the fingers so I took a different shade of purple and added a tiny bit to the shadows on the apple where the fingers are holding it.

When I finished that, I moved on to painting the stem and leaf with a muted blue color that turned out pretty awesome in my mind. I didn't paint the entire leaf in the color to make it look more glassy like it appears on the actual book cover and added a darker blue to the underside of the leaf and stem to add darker shadows.

After I finished with the apple and made sure everything looked spic and span, I thought the painting looked a little boring without anything in the background so I decided to take some of the pink, purple and blue to create a light wash of colors behind everything. I added quite a lot of water to the page so it would be easier to get the effect I was going for.

I added a few water drips to the page and also took some of the pink to create little streaks going around the apple to give it a more magical effect. You can probably see my poor attempt at fixing the pinkie by not painting the entire knuckle. It looks okay but definitely not a piece I would add to my portfolio!

I also went back in with a white Gelly Roll pen that I forgot to add into my supplies picture above to add some 'sparkles' to the apple and streaks of white to once again create a more fantastical and magic effect to the apple. I was literally just poking the page sporadically with the pen so there's no need to go into too much detail as to how I went about adding the sparkles.

You probably can't see it but I went back in with a very light wash of pink paint to the highlights on the fingers to make the skin look a little less white. It was a weird contrast between the white of the highlights with the purple skin so I couldn't just leave it the way it was.

After I fixed a couple of the shadows and added more sparkles and a signature, I called this piece done! It wasn't meant to be anything amazing, just a practice run to get to know the watercolors a bit better so if you think this painting isn't all that great, trust me, I'm so not a Van Gogh or a Magritte.

I also forgot to mention that I used a mixed-media art journal from Strathmore in their 500 Series to do this painting in. I also used a paint towel that could obviously use a good cycle wash to clean off my paintbrush and get any access paint off that I didn't want while painting.

So that's it for my bookish art creation! Let me know if you guys want to see more of these on this blog since I've been getting quite a lot of requests to see more art on my Instagram. This blog is still dedicated to books and anything book-related but I think it could be fun to throw in some art every now and then to mix things up a bit. Anyhoo, enough rambling from this fangirl.

Read on bookworms! See you in the next chapter!