Used Book Hual!

I am on vacation and what do I do? Well, buy books of course. I bought a couple used books today and decided to show you guys what I found. I hope you enjoy!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I am attempting to collect all of the covers of this series because it is my favorite. I did not have this one yet.

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Summary: In a place known as Panem, two tributes are selected from each of the twelve districts to participate in a live TV event known as The Hunger Games. When Katniss Everdeen steps forward for her sister, she must learn how to survive in order to come home to her family.

 

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

I have heard great things about this novel and I think it will be incredibly interesting and educational.

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Summary: This story follows three women as their lives are forever changed by the Nazi Party, when one is taken to a women’s concentration camp.

 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I have known of this book for many years and never had a chance to purchase it so YAY! I also would love to have read it before the movie is released.

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Summary: August is just entering into a normal school for the first time as a fifth grader. It is hard enough being the new kid, but he must also convince his classmates that he is just like them, despite looking different.

 

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

I have seen this book around since I was in middle school and am curious as to what it is all about. I hope it will be an easy read for the my last month of summer.

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Summary: When Alexis starts noticing weird things happening with her sister and strange occurrences in her house, she must figure out what is going on before harm comes to her or her family.

 

From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender

This is the sequel to the previous book so I decided to purchase it in hopes that I will like the series. I hope I will be able to find the third book at a used bookstore somewhere.

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Summary: Alexis’s sister begins dipping into the paranormal again and she must stop her before it becomes too dangerous.

 

Have any more book recommendations? Leave them down below or email them to me!

Love,

Jackie

Imagine: Review

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Title: Imagine

Author: Jenna Greene

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

I was sent a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This is a spoiler free review 🙂

 

Summary

One day, Kat Bowers and Becky Thatcher are taken from the home they have known their whole life and thrown into a new place full of strange creatures and large castles. There they meet Enalie, who claims the existence of magic and sends Kat and Becky on a quest to defeat the evil that is overtaking the realm, called Nandor. She tells them that to do this, they must find two other people with magical powers, like Kat, called the Elementals. They must also find the Unifier. Throughout their journey, they travel to places they only read about in books to fulfill their destiny and save the lives of many.

 

Review

“With imagination, anything is possible.” 

Ok, the first thing I want to say about this novel is the incredible story telling. There is so much thought put into the description of the world, characters, and events and this allows the reader to become immersed into the story. I was always able to develop a full image of what is occurring and what the setting looked like because of the author’s descriptions. The world is also very complicated in the best way possible because there was a lot of attention to the detail of all aspects of the story. The events that occur never come out of nowhere and they always make sense for the plot and characters. An example of the ability of the story to pull me in: I was reading one evening and looked outside my window and was shocked to find that it was not raining, like it was in the book.

One of my favorite things about this story is the relationship between Kat and Becky. They are both taken from the world they know and thrown into a confusing place. This leads them to develop an organic relationship that helps both of them throughout their journey. None of the relationships in the novel felt forced, which I appreciated. The characters are also incredibly relatable, especially Becky with her love of books!

“She twisted and turned, wishing for a book in her hand. Stories were her passion as well as her security blanket. There was nothing she wanted more than to hold one right now.”

This novel also deals with death and the first time experiencing it. The characters are facing many dangerous creatures and when people lose their lives, it is shocking and new for them. They notice the emotions they feel towards a person they see die, even though they did not know that person. Later in the story, Kat and Becky experience death on a more personal level and must learn to deal with this. I think this is really important, especially for the younger readers who may be experiencing these things for the first time as well.

An incredibly important aspect of this novel is imagination. This was also my favorite aspect of the novel. Becky comes from a life spent in fantasy. She spent most of her time at home reading books and imagining different worlds. This seemingly mundane aspect of Becky’s personality becomes incredibly important for the success of their journey. I don’t want to explain any more on this topic, for fear of spoilers, but this is such an important part of the story.

“She did feel slightly comforted. Imagination had that power sometimes.”

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for an escape from the real world. It definitely gave me a classic fairytale vibe. It made me laugh, it made me nervous, and it made me sad. I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy story and I am looking forward reading to the sequel, Reality.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hello Everybody!

I was nominated by the wonderful and amazing Flavia over at Flavia the Bibliophile for The Sunshine Blogger Award! I want to give my biggest thanks! Please go check her out because her blog is absolutely amazing and a pleasure to read!

This is my first nomination for an award, which is super exciting!

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Rules


  1. Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the reward and write them 11 new questions
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog

Answers to Flavia’s questions!


1) What are you reading right now?

I am currently reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I am just starting it and I love it so much. Oh my goodness, this book is pulling me out of a reading slump and it is quite a swell feeling!

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2) What was your favorite read from 2016?

I really enjoyed The Testing trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau!

3) What is your favorite read of 2017 so far?

I loved Shadow and Bone, the first in the Grisha trilogy, written by Leigh Bardugo. I really need to finish the rest of the series!

4) Do you read more than one book at once? Why? Why not?

I didn’t until this year! Now I am reading three/five books at the same time. I think it is me trying to read my TBR, my review copies, and more all at the same time.

5) Do you enjoy reading classics?

I am currently reading Anna Karenina (One of the reasons I am reading multiple books at the same time). I sometimes feel like I should know these classics so I read them, but I prefer more modern literature. I do enjoy some classics such as A Separate Piece by John Knowles, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and 1984 by George Orwell.

6) What is your ideal reading spot?

I usually read in bed but I also love reading on a couch that sits at the front of my house because it gets a lot of natural light, which I love.

7) Do you read when you travel?

I do not travel a lot and when I do it is to see family so I usually do not have enough time. However, I bring many books to read for when I get a chance and for during the flight.

8) How many books do you read in a month (approximately)?

Um… it varies. Somewhere between 2-4

9) How many books do you read in a year (approximately)?

I read about 20 last year, I think. But I set my goodreads goal to 50 this year for some reason. I guess I had a burst of confidence…

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10) What is your favorite genre? Why?

I love science fiction, fantasy, and dystopian. I usually read in the YA age group.

11) Do you read more during a particular season than other seasons?

I read more in the summer and winter than in the fall and spring. Interesting question, I wonder why that it.


My Nominations

I wish I could nominate each and every on of you because you are all rays of sunshine! But alas, I must choose only eleven. If you are not nominated, feel free to answer my questions!

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nothingbutbookssite

Sydney’s Shelves

Suzy Approved Book Reviews

Little Blind Book Finds

Taylor Reads Books

ElvenLibrary

ShutterPug

sandraandbooks

rosiefrecklereads

Going Through Books

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You are all amazing and would love to get to know you better through my questions!


My Questions

  1. What are some of your favorite books?
  2. Paperback or Hardcover?
  3. What time of the day do you do the most of your reading?
  4. When did you start your blog and why?
  5. Are you a fast reader or a slow reader (I am slow)?
  6. What is your favorite genre to read?
  7. What do you like to drink while you read? Coffee, tea, etc.?
  8. How do you organize your books?
  9. Do you keep the dust jacket on while you read hard covers if you do?
  10. What are some of your favorite movies?
  11. Do you like candles? If so, what are your favorite types of scents?

 

Again, I could only nominate eleven I want to know everyone’s answers! Put them in the comment section!

Thank you!

Love,

Jackie

The Cost of Love: Review

Title: The Cost of Love

Author: Nicole Zoltack

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Thank you so much Nicole Zoltack for sending me a copy of your novel for review!

This is a spoiler free review J

 

Summary:

Gabrielle meets Jacques, by chance, when sneaking into a celebration for the King and Queen. They immediately form a bond however something scares Gabrielle away. This small encounter leads to a beautiful relationship to form and sets off a chain of reactions that has major effects on the kingdom.

 

Review:

This is a short prequel to Of Cinder and Madness, a twisted retelling of Cinderella, and gives readers a glimpse into the history behind the beloved and mysterious characters. It tells the story of Eleanor’s parents falling in love and gives background of the story of how Eleanor ended up the way she is and has the powers she has. I loved the parallel between the well-known version of Cinderella and the love story of Gabrielle and Jacques. I appreciated the insight that this story gave into Gabrielle’s life and how she fell in love. It was an adorable story that was easy to read and answered questions I had in my mind while reading the original story. I can’t wait to read more of the Darkened Nights: History Books and learn more about this group of characters.

This series is great to pick up if you want an easy and fun read this summer to escape the heat!

Can’t Buy Forever- Review

 

Title: Can’t Buy Forever

Author: Susan Laffoon

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

 

Thank you so much Susan Laffoon for sending me a copy of your novel for review!

This is a spoiler free review : )

 

Summary:

Odessa Drake, a.k.a. Dessa, is a young woman living in the 1950’s at a boarding home full of an eclectic group of people. Dessa takes interest in one resident in particular, Nicholas, who has been a mystery to her for the past four years. Suddenly, there lives are entangled together and they form a bond stronger than Dessa understands. This bond takes her on a journey where she learns a lot about herself, Nicholas, and forgiveness.

Review:

This novel took some time to get into the rhythm of. The reader is not given explanation to the weird happenings around Nicholas and Dessa. It creates a vague tone around them that is interesting and enjoyable for lovers of mystery. It was purposeful and effective in creating the desired tone, however created confusion for me as a reader. I did enjoy how the author inserted clues about the truth behind Nicholas. It isn’t until the end when the reader discovers what these clues add up to and it is fun to go back through the story and understand what they all meant. I do recommend reading to the end if you are confused because it all eventually ties together.

Throughout the story, a lot of characters are introduced with little explanation. I would have loved to dive deeper into these characters and understand them and their connections. I was sometimes confused as to why characters were in the story and how they were connected to Nicholas and Dessa. Aside from the main characters, I appreciated the arc that Roark took because it was thoughtfully developed.

I did begin to appreciate the relationship that was formed between Dessa and Nicholas. It is so strong and pure. Throughout the four years it took for them to realize their feelings, their connection was continuing to grow into something uncommon and special. I do wish Dessa had more of a say in the happenings of the relationship because I couldn’t get into how some of the things went down (That is super vague because I don’t want to spoil lol). The plot twist at the end was also a bit difficult to get behind because it was so different from the norm. I commend the author for being original in the plot throughout the entire novel as it was very different from what I have previously read.

The Fountain: Review

 

Title: The Fountain

Author: Suzy Vadori

Rating: 4/5 (I loved it)

 

I was sent a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

This is a spoiler free review : )

This novel was shortlisted for an Aurora Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2016

 

Summary:

When Ava Marshall went to a new school, St. Augustus, her junior year, she was nervous. She was in a new town with new people. One day, while traveling through the woods to visit her Gran, she stumbled across a white-stoned fountain sitting in the middle of an opening in the forest. Following her late mother’s advice, she made a wish. The next day, she found that her wish had come true and everything she had known was different. She and a classmate then set out to repair the damage that might have been caused by her wish, while forging a deep and unbreakable bond.

 

Review:

I have always loved a good boarding school story. When I was younger I had a huge desire to attend a boarding school. Maybe it was the prospect of little supervision or maybe I wanted to be Harry Potter, but it always appealed to me. This novel definitely fulfilled this desire. It incudes all the necessary components, a crazy/mysterious teacher, a little rule-breaking, and a protagonist who will do anything to achieve her goals, which I think is an incredible message for young readers. Although I would have loved a deeper look into Ava’s schooling life and aspects about the school, the readers are given a look into the history of the school, which I found interesting and original.

Let’s talk about Ethan. I will say this right now. Yes, there is a love triangle. I am usually against love triangles because I feel like they are overplayed in young adult literature however I wasn’t mad at this one. The author described it in such an elegant way that the reader doesn’t get that bitter taste in their mouth. It happened organically and naturally like it would in the real world. I adore the result of this love triangle and I think there was no question as to which choice Ava would go with.

Overall, the book was a fast and easy read. It helped pull me out of a very long reading slump, which I will be eternally thankful! I had no problems with any of the characters. I especially loved Ethan (forever in my heart). It was a subtle fantasy that is fast paced and enjoyable. A great read for middle-grade and young adult readers!

 

Author Info:

This is Suzy Vadori’s debut novel for young adults. She works as an Operations Executive and as an author.

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Of Cinder and Madness Review

 

Title: Of Cinder and Madness

Author: Nicole Zoltack

Rating: 3.75/5 (I liked it!!)

 

Thank you so much Nicole Zoltack for sending me a copy of your novel for review!

Summary:

Of Cinder and Madness by Nicole Zoltack is an inverted retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella. In this twisted telling, the evil stepmother is actually good and Cinderella, also known as Eleanor, is evil. Following the death of her father, Eleanor unleashes magical powers that lead to problems with her family and eventually, the royal family. Eleanor must try to learn to deal with the grief of losing both of her parents while managing a new life with her stepmother and stepsisters.

Review:

This retelling of a commonly know fairy tale was completely different from any retelling I have ever read. It completely turned my ideas of Cinderella upside down. The novel jumps between two time periods, that of when Eleanor meets the prince and right after her father dies. This jumping between time periods pushed the story forward and made me want to continue reading to find out what will happen next.

In this retelling, the stepmother is good and this took me some getting use to. It seems as though the stepmother is almost too nice. I would have definitely locked Eleanor away long before she does with all Eleanor has done to the family. I loved how the story was told in a different perspective. It held my attention the entire time I was reading it because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series and see the other twists on classic stories.