Bringing 2018 to a Close – My Top Ten Reads of the Year

My bookworms!

2018 is coming to its official close. I don’t know about you, but it’s been one long ass year for me. I wish I could say it had been a good one, but more than anything it’s been a struggle. There have been many up and many downs.

The New Year is upon us though! Soo, I wash away 2018 and welcome 2019.

While doing that, I have my big wrap up of the year where I give you my top ten reads! There were quite a few good books, but here are the ones that drove me crazy, made my heart explode, made me rage in the cage, made me drink (and 1. I’m talking about you), made me fall into puddly love.

Starting at 10…

 

10. We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up

 

9. The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

 

8. Summer of Fear
Author: Lois Duncan

Summer of Fear - SR

 

7. 1984
Author: George Orwell

1984 - flavorwire

 

6. Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone

 

6. Ender’s Game
Author: Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game

 

4. Smoke and Iron
Author: Rachel Caine

Smoke and Iron

 

3. The Darkest Star
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Scarlet Reader - The Darkest Child

 

2. Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber

Caraval

 

1. Dark Calling
Author: Kresley Cole
Dark Calling

 

My Year in books on Goodreads: Here.

 

2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

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Sundown Rundown – December, 2018

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Hello, book lovers.

It’s the eve of the new year. All I’ve got is: WOWZERS. This one has been a doozy.

Alas, here we are. End of December. Sunsets are still happening too early. 9PM feels like midnight. So at 5PM, with a glass of wine, strawberry, because it’s so forking goooood, here is the Sundown Rundown. This is everything I’ve read this week; a good opportunity to catch up on some reviews you might’ve missed.

 

Scarlet Reader - The Darkest Child

The Darkest Star

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

What do you do when your memories aren’t real? Evie Dasher lives in a world where Luxen and human coexist, but it’s not easy. Meeting Luc who’s neither human nor Luxen, her life is turned upside down. What she thought she knew turns out to be only lies and while Luc’s nothing but annoying and complete trouble, he helps her figure out the truth about her life.

 

Scarlet Reader - The Hobbit

The Hobbit

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit of Bag End, is contracted by wizard, Gandalf, and a group of dwarves to help take back their home from a dangerous dragon             and steal back their treasures.

 

Space Between

The Space Between

Author: Brenna Yovanoff

Being the daughter of a fallen angel and a demon is hard enough, but traipsing around on Earth is even harder. But, Daphne must in order to find her brother. The last person who saw him, a human, may be the only one that can help her.

 

Scarlet Reader - Something Strange and Deadly

Something Strange and Deadly

Author: Susan Dennard

In the Victorian age, zombies raid the streets and cemeteries. A necromancer commands them. Only a unique group may know how to stop them.

 

Caraval

Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Though the magic seems real, don’t allow yourself to be swept away. It’s only just a game.

 

Scarlet Reader - A Wild Swan

A Wild Swan: and Other Tales

Author: Michael Cunningham

These fairytales that we’ve always known come with a twist. Even the villains we know have a story. The princesses have an after-happily ever after and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

 

Scarlet Reader - Time Keeper

The Timekeeper

Author: Mitch Albom

Father Time must help two lost souls realize the great importance and gift of time before it’s too late for him…and for them.

 

Kissed by an Angel

Kissed by an Angel (#1-3)

Author: Elizabeth Chandler

Tristan and Ivy have a powerful love. The kid that last beyond forever, but then Tristan dies in a car accident. Ivy is utterly lost. Tristan has come back as angel with one mission. Protect her at any cost, even if that means letting her go.

 

 

Favorite Book: Caraval was by far my favorite my and definitely sits up on my favorites shelf. I was completely hypnotized by everything in this book. It was just so beautifully written, so vibrant, and completely enthralling. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Legendary.

 

Least Favorite Book: Something Strange and Deadly fell so much farther than I thought it would’ve. I didn’t have many expectations from it, but I thought it would’ve been better than it was. I like zombies and necromancy. They’re interesting subjects, but this book was too vague and repetitive on it. I just wasn’t into this one.

 

So, that’s it. I hope you all have had a good December and a spectacular year. See you in the new year!!

 

More to come soon…

  –K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Speedy Quote Sunday

Speedy Quote Sunday

There are always those quotes from books that are incredibly moving and stay with us long after the book has ended. Here are a few favorites.

 

“Ah, love. That’s what the world has lost. There’s no more love, only the illusion of it.” (Fever, Lauren De Stefano)

Slightly tragic, but something I worry about lately. People don’t seem to fight for their relationships anymore. It doesn’t seem like it anyway. Relationships are lost with the thought that you can just get a new one the next day. It’s all so uncomfortable and makes the idea of love not seem like a fairytale, but like a joke.

 

“Dreams that come true can be beautiful, but they can also turn into nightmares when people won’t wake up.” (Caraval, Stephanie Garber)

I fell so in love with this quote. SO IN LOVE. Dreams are wistful and magical and light. So much so that we don’t think about the dark side of them. That they can turn dark. Sometimes I’m not sure we even recognize it when it happens. This acknowledgement had me squeeing because it’s so real and, like showing both sides of a coin. So much importance.

 

“Flame and shadow. One cannot exist without the other.” (Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard)

Cannot have one without the other. There is always a balance and the balance is wherever you find it. In milk too cereal ratio. In day and night. In good and bad. In vegetarians and meatlovers. However you see it, there’s never one without the other. Unless you truly don’t have milk with your cereal. In that case you’re just a monster. LOL.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

New Year’s Resolution of 2018

I made it!

Scarlet Reader

If you’re new to The Scarlet Reader or haven’t caught up lately you’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. Well, at the beginning of 2018 I made a bookish New Year’s Resolution. All my regular resolutions I make always get broken and pretty early in the year too. That may be because I always make it out to be: I’m not going to be a klutz this year. Which, of course, a week, two weeks later, I trip up the stairs or run into the doorway. So, New Year’s Resolution book style seemed more fun and challenging.

Side Note: I ran into something this week, don’t know when, and now there’s an ugly yellow bruise on my hand. Awesome.

Moving on!

My resolution this year was to read from 25 authors I’ve never read from before. I wanted to do this to open up my spectrum of interests in reading and get introduced to many different styles and stories I’d never thought of or heard of. I also wanted to get to some authors I’ve been meaning to for years.

Below, I have the list of books from my resolution from worst to best. Sooooo…here you go!

 

25.

What a Girl Wants

Author: Lindsey Kelk

What a Girl Wants - The Scarlet Reader

Review: here

 

24.

House of Dark Shadows

Author: Robert LiParulo

House of Dark Shadows

Review: here

 

23.

Something Strange and Deadly

Author: Susan Dennard

Scarlet Reader - Something Strange and Deadly

Review: here

 

22.

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Author: Jules Verne

JTCE

Review: here

 

21.

Me Before You

Author: Jojo Moyes

Me Before You

Review: here

 

20.

Of Mice and Men

Author: John Steinbeck

of Mice and Men

Review: here

 

19.

The Witching Hour

Author: Anne Rice

Witching Hour

Review: here

 

18.

The Timekeeper

Author: Mitch Albom

Scarlet Reader - Time Keeper

Review: here

 

17.

The Space Between

Author: Brenna Yovanoff

Space Between

Review: here

 

16.

Wicked Lovely

Author: Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely

Review: here

 

15.

Wind in the Willows

Author: Kenneth Graham

Wind in the Willows

Review: here

 

14.

Girls in the Picture

Author: Melanie Benjamin

Girls in the Picture - Scarlet Reader

Review: here

 

13.

Kissed by an Angel

Author: Elizabeth Chandler

Kissed by an Angel

Review: here

 

12.

Lightning

Author: Dean Koontz

Lightning

Review: here

 

11.

Forever…

Author: Judy Blume

Forever

Review: here

 

10.

Marked

Author: Sarah Fine

Marked

Review: here

 

9.

A Wild Swan and Other Tales

Author: Michael Cunningham

Scarlet Reader - A Wild Swan

Review: here

 

8.

Love + Gelato

Author: Jennifer Evans Welch

Love and Gelato

Review: here

 

7.

Bloodlines

Author: Richelle Mead

Bloodlines - The Scarlet Reader

Review: here

 

6.

The Hobbit

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

Scarlet Reader - The Hobbit

Review: here

 

5.

Wither

Author: Lauren De Stefano

Wither

Review: here

 

4.

Jay’s Journal

Author: Anonymous

Jay's Journal

Review: here

 

3.

The Thing About Jellyfish

Author: Ali Benjamin

The Thing About Jellyfish

Review: here

 

2.

Thanks for the Trouble

Author: Tommy Wallach

Thanks for the Trouble

Review: here

 

1.

Ender’s Game

Author: Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game

Review: here

 

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!!!

Just kidding. But, this is the list of my least favorite to my major favorite. Number 1 and 2 were hard too. New Year’s Resolution of 2018 officially complete.

 

Soon enough, I’ll have a new New Year’s Resolution, but until then,

See you on the next page, in the next chapter, at the end of the book,

Whichever one you choose.

Love you, bookworms.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Fall From Grace (Kissed by an Angel – A Book Review)

Kissed by an Angel (#1-3)
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Published: 1998

On Goodreads

Kissed by an Angel

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

25/25

 

A love beyond life…a danger beyond doubt.

After a tragic car accident that killed her boyfriend, Tristan, Ivy is barely hanging on. She can’t seem to move on and her belief in angels is gone. She doesn’t understand why she is alive and he is not. They had a love that was meant to be and now she’s empty. Her new stepbrother Gabriel is there to pick up the pieces, and maybe more…

But when Tristan comes back as an angel he struggles to reach out to Ivy. She’s lost. She can’t feel his presence at all. Through her friends, he hopes to make contact with her. It’s imperative that he does because her life is in danger. He’s learned that the car accident wasn’t an accident at all. Somebody tried to kill Ivy and they still want her dead.

Tristan will do whatever it takes to protect Ivy, even let her go and move on without him. First, he’s going to find out who killed him.

 

This book marks 25 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution. I’m a sucker for a sweet story with a side of forever and love. It’s a guilty pleasure. And it’s even better if there’s that element that makes it complicated. You know, like death.

           

Like The Vampire Diaries, this book hales from the 90s. I could actually see this becoming a show sometime. It’s got all of the plotlines to become addicting.

Lose your love.

Do anything to get it back.

Lose it again.

Move on.

Realize it’s all you ever needed.

Then, finale, after all of the pain and sorrow and hell you put everyone else through so you didn’t have to be alone in it, you two end up together forever…probably dead.

Let’s be honest, we thrive of that high-octane drama of betrayal and love and longing that twists the heart. We cling to our seats for it because it makes us feel.

I don’t know about anyone else who’s read this, but I got Elena Gilbert vibes. She and Ivy could be best friends in their brooding and mooning over their loves. The romance between Ivy and Tristan is certainly one of those forever kinds and definitely beyond the grave types.

Ivy was so broken hearted and I had a great appreciation for seeing her try to work through it. It didn’t just pass by like it was nothing. The heartache was deep. It was very realistic. And though it was realistic, it also dragged the story out a bit too much, coming off too repetitive at times. I was forced to do a dreadful thing. Skim in some places. Ick.

Scarlet Reader - Kissed by an Angel

Tristan, her great, true love, was such a heartbreaker (as in my heart broke for him) and a goofball. Totally sweet and everything you’d hope for in a good boy. The kind that hold the door open for you and lets you have his hoodie when you’re cold. Yup, that guy. Swoon, girls. He’s a keeper. And he’s now dead, so it’s also super freaking tragic.

Scarlet Reader - Kissed by an Angel

The side characters were an array of likes and dislikes. If I had to pick one that really grinded me up, it was Suzanne. She’s one of Ivy’s best friends and she acted like a real…argh! She got so jealous and petty about Gabriel, the creep, because that’s who she decided to get moony over. I got so fed up with her that I wanted to reach into the pages and smack her. Kudos on provoking that out of me. There’s one of those characters in every book.

This is a setting that we all know. High school. Home. Very simple and to the point. Very teen drama perfection. And don’t worry about the money because every family in this book was well off! It was the high school romance that we all know lasts forever that was important.

Sorry, dashed a bit of sarcasm in there. That romance is easy to get swept up in. The setting of the story just came out bland and the character interactions didn’t do well in coming out more important. In fact. It felt as if the setting wasn’t important at all, throwing the story off balance. It was just splashed in there like it was no big deal, which was strange since Ivy’s mother getting married led to a whole change of scenery and that’s a big deal. It all came across bland.

Scarlet Reader - GiferThe style is what I call classic. It’s longing and reminds me of CW shows. The drama is sky high. You get all of that ooey-gooey and heartbreak as well as a crap ton of frustration. This is also where ships began. I can just imagine how people would argue about who Tristan should be with and who Ivy should be with. And the OTPs, oh my.

The way chapters or books would end at weird place threw me off though. It felt as if they’d cut off in random spots like—Oh! This is as good a place as any! Buuuut, uh, no because instead of feeling the cliffhanger that I’m sure was intended, I felt confused. Some parts just moved too fast for me to get a handle on. It left me reeling and trying figure out—Wait, what happened? How? When? Huh?

I will say this. I got shocked a few times. There weren’t shock around every corner, but I got stunned good a few times! Like, whoa.

 

Overall

This was a sweet and tender book, well all three in the one. LOL. I can’t say I have a desperation to finish the series. I’m not clinging to dear life. But they were nice. I have the fourth one and look forward to reading it. In the end, when it comes down to finishing it, if I come across the final book then yay! if not then I’m not feeling too bad about it.

 

Quotables:

“One day she’d have the nerve to say it, all of the words out loud.”(Kissed by an Angel, p. 2)

“Your problem is that you take it all too seriously, Ivy. Romance is a game, just a game.”(Kissed by an Angel, p. 65)

“Ivy realized for the first time that the more you love, the more you hurt. What was worse, you hurt for him as well as yourself.” (Kissed by an Angel, p. 114)

“Life goes on, and you’ve got to get on with it!” (The Power of Love, p. 112)

 

 More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Sweet Creature by Harry Styles.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Time is Running Out (The Time Keeper – A Book Review)

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!🎄🦖 Mine was filled with four tiny humans that know destruction very well, my two nieces and two nephews. Being I don’t get to see them but every few years, it was great to see them. The food was amazing, even though I’m not big on ham. LOL. 

And, if you’re like me, you’re also glad Christmas is over. Haha.  

Love you all, precious bookworms.


The Time Keeper
Author: Mitch Albom
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Time Keeper

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

24/25

 

Soon Father Time will be free

To return to Earth

And finish what he started.

Inventor of the world’s first clock and then punished seeking to manipulate time. Forced to hear millions over the course of centuries talk about time and how there just isn’t enough. Dor is Father Time.

In order to be freed, he will have to help two people who have misunderstood and lost the meaning of time. One wants to live forever after figuring out that his illness is terminal. The other is ready to give up after being cyber-bullied.

Time is one thing that Dor doesn’t have enough of, but he hopes that he can help them before he himself becomes lost.

 

This book marks 24 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, Mitch Albom is an author that I’ve heard much about, The Five People You Meet in Heaven being one of his most popular books. Hearing so many great things, I finally gave him a shot.

 

This book plucked at my heartstrings with tenderness and meaning. That being said, this book didn’t punch me to any extremes with my emotions. It was sweet and even made my heart ache with some very real issues, but that was about it. I don’t have much to gush about sadly.

Shrug II

The theme of time was pretty fascinating. Albom approached it from several angles. The most prominent ones were cutting time short and wanting it to last forever. Time is important. It’s not something to be wasted or to be taken for granted. It is also immeasurable and something that should, in a sense, be treasured. When it’s been used, there’s no going back.

Scarlet Reader

Several characters were sprawled throughout the book. From Sarah and Victor, struggling with their personal issues to Dor, the Father of Time, who’s history explores how he came to be this enigmatic force that reaches out to help two people find realize what they’re giving up. Each of the stories collided, showing that fate works in interesting ways sometimes.

Sarah was way out there, overreaching in many ways that made me cringe. I’ve been lovesick before, but geez, she really made me want to crawl under a rock from how embarrassing she was. But, aren’t we all like that sometimes. Victor was bitter and didn’t cherish what he had enough, and also came across selfish. It was saddening because he had more than what many other do. But to see that these two came to their senses was fulfilling, sure. I kind of figured they would when I started the book. LOL.

 

Overall

This book was nice, like sitting by a warm fire with a cup of tea for a while. It just didn’t grasp my full heart. Reading it once was enough for me. There are certainly plenty of meaningful moments from this that I will take with me as I continue to grow.

 

Quotables:

“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping.” (p. 8)

“Mankind is connected in ways it does not understand—even in dream.” (p. 73)

“Ends are for yesterdays, not tomorrows.” (p.195)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Cups by Anna Kendrick

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

What You Don’t Know About Fairy Tales (A Wild Swan: And Other Tales – A Book Review)

A Wild Swan: And Other Tales
Author: Michael Cunningham
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - A Wild Swan

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

23/25

 

Most of us are safe.

If you’re not a delirious dream the gods are having, if your beauty doesn’t trouble the constellations, nobody’s going to cast a spell on you.

Fairy tales come with a twisted twist. Here come the classic stories we know with poison apples, a princess with incredibly long hair, a house made of gingerbread and gumdrops. But, these are thee moments nobody imagined. Lazy Jack prefers living in mom’s basement until he trades their precious cow for magic beans. It turns out it’s not always happily ever after with Snow White and her prince. A tiny, malformed man will go to great lengths to have a child of his own to take care of, even threaten the woman he helped make queen.

 

This book marks 23 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I get so swept away at the prospect of fairy tales and these ones piqued my curiosity.

 

I didn’t know what to expect with this book. It seems pretty bland and nothing special on the outside. I only just noticed that the font is braided hair on the cover which is *shiver* creepy. It was the and Other Tales that snagged my attention, and I certainly didn’t expect retelling of fairy tale. I’m so glad I read this book.

The illustrations of this book were amazing! I was blown away by them. Done in black and white, the art brought a unique visual to the stories. They’re intriguing and horrifying and beautiful.

From the hag witch of Hansel and Gretel to Snow White and her prince to a part prince part swan. This collection of tales took on many tales I don’t think many people would think to add sugar, spice and a crap-ton of chemical-X to. There were so many different POVs that haven’t been explored enough. Cunningham went up and beyond in exploring the lives of some of these characters that we never thought to go beyond the story with. It was fascinating and I was hooked. I never thought about how the hag witch of Hansel and Gretel came to live deep in the woods in a candy house. Not really. And the explanation of how idiotic Jack is for trading his cow for beans had me laughing so hard.

Love it

The tone of this book really captured my attention. It was sarcastic and bitter and humorous. I swear at times I could hear my one professor narrating in my head. There was NO FILTER. I figured that out pretty quickly too. I was laughing so much from the sarcasm, but as I tell many people, sarcasm is my first language. English came second. LOL.

More than this though, I was taken by how much I could compare to the world I live in as well as the parts that acted as a revelation. These tales weren’t just entertaining, but enlightening and dark and honest and relatable. There’s jealousy, heartbreak, the great human flaw of never being satisfied, fear, and pity. It was so unexpected and dark.

There are some tales I loved more than others such as:

Crazy Old Lady

Poisoned

Little Man

 

Overall

I’m really glad I read this. It was entertaining and even more, it was shocking. I didn’t expect this. This take on fairy tales was real and raw and dark. Definitely a keeper.

 

Quotables:

“Most of us can be counted on to manage our own undoings.” (Dis. Enchant., p. 3)

“It’s the solitude that slays you. Maybe because you’d expected ruin to arrive in a grander and more romantic form.” (Crazy Old Lady, p. 15)

“One of the reasons ordinary people are incapable of magic is simple dearth of conviction.” (Little Man, p. 66)

“Sometimes the fabric that separated us tears just enough for love to shine through. Sometimes thee tear is surprisingly small.” (Steadfast: Tin, p. 88)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song Today? Don’t Let Me Go by Raign.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.