Bringing 2017 To A Close – My Top Ten Reads of the Year

My bookworms, my loves!

First of all, I hope you have a wonderful New Year. May it be lively and fun and renewing. Secondly, I was looking back on the year and I have compiled a list of the top ten books out of the many that I’ve read this year. The ones that I’ve loved the most and had the greatest adventures with. It was no easy feat because I enjoyed more than just ten.

It’s been a crazy year, but I wanted to take the time to share them with you. They each left an imprint on me in their own way and I’m sure you know what that feels like after reading a FANTASTIC book.

Starting at number 10…

10.
The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger

FullSizeRender

Blurb: Labeled a DUFF, Bianca Piper is determined to prove she’s anything but. In the midst of parental drama and friend drama, she finds a strange comfort in the arms of the boy who started calling her a DUFF, Wesley Rush.

This was such a fun book. Certainly a little more than PG-13, but still. Having seen the movie first, I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. It feels like the movie and book feel like their two completely stories, but they occur in the same universe. They’re both two situations that are rather relatable.

Review here

9.
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future
Author: A.S. King

History of the Future-Goodreads

Blurb: Glory O’Brien can see her future and it’s not bright. It’s filled with war and tragedy and she doesn’t know what else to do except write all down in hopes that it will be useful for what will come to pass.

Though the story was slow building, I was so intrigued with seeing how Glory O’Brien was seeing the future and how destructive it was. A.S. King is wild and has boundaries when it comes to writing crazy and making you believe it in a strange way. This book was so imaginative and brilliant and really had me looking at some serious issues from a new angle.

Review here

8.
The Poison Eaters
Author: Holly Black

Poison Eaters

Blurb: This collection of short stories ranges across a wide variety of supernatural beings and creatures with their own tales. Maenads, vampires, and the devil. Oh my!

I don’t read short stories very often, but these were so much fun. They were filled with faerie mischief and supernatural hardships. All of the things I enjoy and even some new things that really piqued my curiosity. Very coming-of-age and delightful.

Review here

7.
 Anna Karenina
Author: Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

Blurb: It’s such a wonderful and beautiful classic that follows the affair of Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky as it spirals in a whirlwind of lust and jealousy. And then there’s Levin who is very deeply in love with Kitty, and she’d holding her heart out for Vronsky. Like many journeys for true love there is strife, tragedy, and passion.

I haven’t written up a review for this one yet. I began reading it last year and finished around the beginning of this year, so I’m counting it as one of my favorite books this year. It filled me with such intensity that I found myself audibly sighing at some parts and gasping at others. What can I say? Russian Literature does that to me. Such a magnificent classic.

6.
Unbreakable
Author: Kami Garcia

unbreakable

This one snuck up on me. Thrilling and reeking of Supernautral-esque style, I was sucked into the world of ghosts, poltergeists, voodoo, and demons just like the main character, Kennedy Waters, was after a ghost killed her mother. Rescued by twins, Jared and Lukas, she quickly learns about the Legion and how she may be a part of this demon fighting group.  I didn’t expect this to be as good as it was and I’m currently waiting on the third installment! It was riveting and gut clenching for me.

I also recommend the second book as well: Unmarked.

Review here

5.
Love & Misadventure
Author: Lang Leav

Love & Misadventure - SR

This book of poetry was my utmost favorite this year. It explored the way love opens a person up and how much of a roller coaster it is with its ups and downs, making you dizzy and ill. Its bright lights will blind you and make you feel like you’re flying. The book is so beautiful that it makes my heart swell and ache with a longing of sorts and I’m usually closed off in affairs of the heart because of how shy I am. It really had me spinning.

Review here

4.
Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman

Ocean at the End of the Lane

Blurb: A man returns home to attend the funeral of a family member and is suddenly drawn to the pond out behind his neighbor’s home. There, on the bench at the edge, he begins to remember his encounter with Lettie Hempstock and her mom and grandmother, each who claim that this pond is actually an ocean. Mostly he remembers how a man committed suicide in a stolen car and that these three ladies helped him defeat the cruel, frightening and utterly monstrous Ursula Monkton when he was a young kid.

I can still remember the anticipation I had when I started this book. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but I jumped into it head first because Neil Gaiman has a way of sweeping me away into a completely magical world filled with all kinds of unimaginable wonders. I’ve never read anything like this. It’s utterly perfect and phenomenal.

Review here

3.
LUX (1-2)(3-4) (5)(1.5)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lux-Consequences - entangled in romanc

Blurb: Katy Swartz moves to a new town so that she and her mother can get a fresh start. What she didn’t expect was to be saved from an oncoming truck by the boy next door, Daemon Black. That isn’t what shocks her, though. It’s that he stopped times down to the raindrops falling out of the sky. Daemon is an alien. The alien next door and by saving her he’s put in more danger than she realizes. They know they should stay away from each other, but they’re like magnets. Drawn to each other.

This is the first book series I reviewed on my blog. The book was a constant rush of adrenaline for me, keeping me on my toes with a tension that could glued me to my seat. If it wasn’t the angst between the two main characters it was the game of denial they played with each other. Then there’s the deadly situations they get themselves into because of this denial. It’s the common case of ‘I’m addicted to you, but I don’t like you because you’re going to get me killed’. We’ve all been there, right? I found that this Sci-Fi was very interesting for me because of the added elements of romance and danger that they found themselves in. Certainly on my reread list.

Review here: (1-2)(3-4)(5)(1.5)

2.
Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole

Poison Princess

Blurb: Evie Greene was living the life. Cheerleader, amazing boyfriend, great school. But, there’s that word. Was. All of the great things in her life started to slip and then were completely ripped from her fingertips after the Flash obliterated the planet, leaving it a desert wasteland. To make her life more difficult are the voices in her head, telling her strange things. To figure out what they mean, she’ll need help, which is where the devilishly handsome and dangerous Jackson Deveaux comes in. The boy from the bayou promises to help her, protect her, but for a price. Will she pay it?

This book. THIS. BOOK. I was swept away and completely drawn down, like an anchor to the bottom of the ocean. This series had been suggested to me by my boss. She’d been telling me how great Kresley Cole was, and I’m so glad I finally gave it a chance. This is a jaw dropping series of crazy, eye-popping magic, and that kind of love that will tear you in two, and the page to page action that will make forget to breathe. I haven’t finished the series yet. I’m waiting (rather impatiently) for the third and fourth book to arrive so that I can continue. I can’t get enough. I’m quite addicted.

Review here

1.
American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman

AG - bustle

Blurb: Shadow Moon gets released from prison early due to the death of his wife. On the way home, he’s hired by Mr. Wednesday, a mysterious man, to help him as he visits people across the U.S. Little by little, Shadow begins to see that not everything is as it seems. Wednesday is actually gathering allies in a coming war of new gods versus old gods and Shadow is caught the middle. Not far behind these two gentleman is Shadow’s dead wife, seeking him out in hopes of finding him and seeking forgiveness before her rotting body completely falls apart.

Is there any reason this shouldn’t be numero uno? I’d heard about the TV show coming out in the spring and it sounded fascinating, so I went ahead and got the book so I could get the lowdown on the story before the show aired. Normally, I don’t care about that kind of thing. This book took me two and a half days to finish; I was so engulfed. The imagination and sheer detail put into this book is a work of art. I have this book up in my nook beside my bed, where all of my favorite books go. I recommend this to anyone and everyone who loves the fantasy and/or supernatural genre. Even those interested in mythology should read this. You’ll get sucked in so quick that when the end comes you’ll be left in a pleasant haze of fascination. Neil can do that. Even my mom says so, and moms are usually right.

Review here

There it is. My top ten. I haven’t read as much as I wanted to, but a brand New Year is about to begin. And as my personal book resolution for 2018, I want to read from at least 25 authors that I’ve never read from before. I feel like that is a solid goal and a great opportunity to try new books, (of course it’d be within range because mysteries, if you remember, make me sleepy). I also have a resolution to get more sleep, but I’m already breaking that one before the New Year. LOL.

In addition to a resolution, I’ll be working on my layout some more. I know that most blogs, if not all, have an end of the month round-up of what they’ve read. I haven’t done one because I never thought it necessary, but beginning next month I will start posting one. That way, in case you miss a post, I will be able to catch you up.

What’s your resolution for 2018? Tell me in the comments below!

And just remember to stay safe and have fun on New Year’s, loves.

HAPPY 2018!!

2018

-K.

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It’s Sunny’s World, We’re Just Floating In It (Waiting a Lifetime – A Book Review)

Waiting a Lifetime
Author: Samantha Markham
Published: 2016

Waiting a Lifetime

My Rating: Full boltFull boltHalf bolt

Sunny Siebel leads a simple, teenage life. She goes to school, spends time with her family, loves to read…and she can see ghosts. That’s right. This girl sees dead people, and for her it’s more comforting to spend time with them than it is to hang around actual people.

One day she runs into Degory Alden, a Reaper, in a back alley. Suddenly she’s thrust into a world where she doesn’t have to hide her gift. However there are those that want to hurt her, but Degory isn’t about to let that happen. Together they fight whatever comes at them from Malighosts to other Reapers and even the heavens as their caught in the middle of something much worse than all of them.

Waiting a Lifetime

First off, I received this book from the author herself via Booktasters on Twitter in exchange for an honest review, so without further ado, here we go.

I tried very hard to get into this book. And I think that’s the problem. I tried. When it comes to reading, one shouldn’t have to try. The magic of the book should suck you in and make you hate it when it shoves back into the real world because you enjoyed it so much. That didn’t happen for me with this book.

I didn’t get a strong enough feel for the characters. Both Sunny and Degory were all over the place as were their emotions. Very choppy. I couldn’t latch onto them. I feel like if there had been more detail and I knew more about them I could’ve gotten a stronger attachment.

I was very curious about the world of Eden and wanted to see more because it sounded pretty cool, but again, I didn’t get very much. I’m not even sure how to describe it to you. All I got were the basics of the place. The story moved from moment to moment without any…meat to it. The bone and structure was all there, but there was no meat, no details that gave me the sense that I was there with Sunny, seeing, hearing or getting any of what she was on her journey.

When I’m seeking out what I don’t know more than following the story then it’s time for me to hop off. It really was beautiful, but I believe there was so much missing. My inner English major was about to jump out and I hated that. I’m a reader here!

And maybe, this book just isn’t my cup of tea. I prefer Zen or Passion from TAZO…which wasn’t where I was actually going with that. LOL. Anyway, this book just wasn’t for me. I didn’t get pulled in because I couldn’t. While I know some people fell in love with this story, I fell short and that’s probably why this review falls short as well.

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Into the Ocean by Blue October.

You can find me:

Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

Goodreads: Kat J.

Midnight Tease

Midnight Tease - Giphy

 

Hello my loves! My amazing bookworms!

I hope everybody had a great Halloween. It is the best time of year. Even better than, dare I say it, Christmas. I KNOW!! You disagree probably, but I’m a Halloween baby. You keep your Christmas. I’ll dance around to the theme from Halloween. I know this year I dressed up as Void Stiles from Teen Wolf. It was a lot of fun. My boss at work was very worried and kept asking why I was angry though. I just smiled.

VS

Anyway! It’s that time. The midnight hour has struck and I have the Midnight Tease, because who needs sleep? Not me! Actually, I probably do need sleep, but I love you and so I’ve brought this monthly update to you.

For those of you who have just recently joined me here, on The Scarlet Reader, this is the time when I show you what I’m reading, what I’ll soon be reading and what’s up for review this month. I love to keep everyone updated with what is on my current queue (which is on the back of my couch).

So without further ado…

 

Coming Soon…

Ghost_atniquity - LiveJournal

 

 

Icons-Idols

Icons/Idols
Author: Margaret Stohl

This one kind of piqued my curiosity because the author also worked on Beautiful Creatures, which I enjoyed.

 

F-D-JH

Frankenstein/Dracula/Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Author: Mary Shelley/Bram Stoker/Robert Louis Stevenson

Ahhhh, a collection of classic horror novels. It’s like opening a Dr. Pepper. Completely delightful and thirst quenching. I got this collection last year, needing to have all three and it also comes with an introduction by Stephen King (a bonus!).

 

Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew: Ghost Stories #2
Author: Carolyn Keene

I discovered this one on my college campus actually and was kind of excited. I enjoy Nancy Drew every once in a while and ghost stories are always fun.

 

Hidden Oracle-Dark Prophecy

The Hidden Oracle & The Dark Prophecy
Author: Rick Riordan

I read the Percy Jackson series and really loved the cameo Apollo had, so I’m really looking forward to reading these. Plus I got Dark Prophecy for free because the pages were damaged, which helped me decide to get it. (Score!) I’m glad I can get these read before the next one come out which is May 1, 2018.

 

 

Currently…

About

There are some books I’ve been working on for a few months now and some that I’ve been waiting to get to. I look forward to telling you about them in future reviews.

 

Diary of a Sex Fiend

Diary of a Sex Fiend
Author: Abby Lee

 

Broken Glass - Shattered Memories

Broken Glass & Shattered Memories
Author: V.C. Andrews

 

Where It Began

Where It Began
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler

 

Up for Review…

Midnight tease II - giphy

 

Love & Misadventure - SR

Love & Misadventure
Author: Lang Leav

 

Poison Princess

Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole

 

Mirror Sisters

The Mirror Sisters
Author: V.C. Andrews

 

Have some good books? Let me know in the comment section.

You can follow me at:
Twitter: CheshireKat_92
Goodreads: Kat J.

More to come soon..

-K.

Possession is Fundamental, Not. (Unmarked – A Book Review)

Unmarked (The Legion Book 2)
Author: Kami Garcia
Published: 2014

Unmarked

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

                                                He is here…And he could be anyone.                

 The demon, Andras is set free thanks to Kennedy and the Legion. (Confused? Read Unbreakable, the first book in this series or take a peek at my spoiler free review: The Family Business?)

Now, Kennedy is off at boarding school. Girls have been going missing left and right. With no idea about where her friends are, Kennedy keeps track of the strange occurrences happening across the country, not that she has a choice with her photographic memory. Then the gorgeous Jared Lockhart shows up, the one who promised to find her, and while she is unbelievably happy to see him, she is immediately reminded of what they did. But when his life is threatened, Kennedy is determined to find a way to save him, regardless of the world falling apart around her.

Kennedy and the Legion are forced to accept help from the most unlikely of people, the organization that has been enemies with the Legion for years, the Illuminati. Kennedy isn’t sure how much more she can take, but when secrets are revealed that change how she views her mother, they could break the Legion apart forever.

Unmarked - Supernatural Wikia

 

The secrets & revelations just keep coming. I was rather surprised with the plot that kept twisting and twisting! My gut was in a couple knots by the end. Kami Garcia really knows how to stun you. I want to say it’s like running into an invisible brick wall. You don’t see it coming or at least I didn’t, which is an upgrade from the first book, Unbreakable. The unpredictability was definitely kicked up a notch.

The new characters were fantastic. Gave the story that good push forward. Sometimes sequels and other books within in a series lean too heavily on the book that started it all, but this was not the case here. While there were flashbacks (well placed by the way) there were massive pushes forward into the series with the introduction of new characters and obstacles. These characters weren’t just here for a few scenes and then gone and I loved it.

 

Revisiting subjects that were only briefly mentioned in the first book and realizing that they held so much more importance that before was made me salivate. It was literally a case of—I remember that! Followed by—wow, intense, because there’s so much I didn’t know and it wasn’t relevant then, but now…now it is and Kami really knows what she’s doing, mind-bending me. For example, the illuminati, briefly mentioned as a group of baddies in Unbreakable, has a much bigger role to and so does Kennedy’s mom.

Unmarked

 

Still moving at like a high-speed semi-truck. The time jump from the first book to the second is only a few days. This series is non-stop action and drama, a force to be reckoned with. There certainly wasn’t a dull moment, though I can’t deny that I rolled my eyes a couple times during those super gushy moments. What can I say, I’m awkward around people with feelings.

 

I’ve read a couple comments on Goodreads about a third book and quite a few people feel like it’s never coming, but never fear! I actually sent a message to the author and her lovely people because I was curious about it myself. I got a reply the next day. There will be a third book. Kami just has a couple other books that she’s been working on such as X-Files: Origins. I hope it really keeps up the momentum of the series and with it leaving me hanging the way it did, I can’t wait for the third book to be released.

 

Quotables:

“Real life doesn’t work that way. There are some fights you can’t win.” (Kennedy to Maggie, p. 18)

“Sometimes when I look at you, I can hardly breathe.” (Jared to Kennedy, p. 172)

“Friends who don’t trust you…and a boy who doesn’t love you” (Kennedy, p. 279)

“This was a war we couldn’t win. Or one we’d already lost.” (Kennedy, p. 331)

“Sometimes moving forward changes what’s behind you.” (Kennedy to Priest, p. 371)

“But you still fight. You still hope. Because there’s a chance you might win. And even if you don’t—you fight for the people you love, especially when they can’t fight for themselves.” (Kennedy to Jared, p. 379)

Unmarked

 

More to come soon…

– K.

P.S. Song Today? Cry Little Sister by Aiden.

The Family Business? (Unbreakable – A Book Review)

Hey everybody! I love you, my dear bookworms! I hope you are doing well. While I do have a new book review for you here, I am also messing around with a new way to format it. Not any major changes. Just ways to highlight new paragraphs and separate subjects to help with transitioning.

Also, enjoy the solar eclipse today! Just be safe and don’t go blind. Please.

 

Unbreakable (The Legion Book 1)
Author: Kami Garcia
Published: 2013

unbreakable

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

Protect yourself. What you can’t see can hurt you.

From the co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series comes a book about the forces of darkness.

Kennedy Waters is your average teenager with the exception of having a photographic memory. After discovering her mother dead, she’s nearly killed by the same force, a deadly spirit when twins, Jared and Lukas Lockhart, break in and save her. Kennedy’s quickly swept into a world of fighting and protecting the world from vengeance spirits and demons.  Jared, Lukas and the rest of the misfit group known as The Legion believe that Kennedy is the missing member of their group. She isn’t so sure.

Only after receiving a special mark will she be one of them and the more she tries the more it seems unlikely. Everyone is sure she’s the missing member, especially Jared. Unlike the others, there’s nothing special about her, and this fight is turning into more and more of a nightmare.

Unbreakable

She joins them on the hunt for a special artifact that could help avenge her mother’s death as well as the death of others. It may also confirm her position in The Legion.

 

Where to start…

My heart raced like Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” as I became quickly enthralled with this book. All of the dark and twisty surprises were enticing and. I haven’t had a book do this to me in a good little while. Couldn’t put it down. I live for the supernatural world. I found myself holding breath a couple times.

 

I really enjoyed this book. That’s a good place to start as any. I think one of the big reasons behind why I enjoyed it so much was because of how close it was to Supernatural. Yep, the TV show. Now, it wasn’t a replica. Not what I’m saying, though there are similarities since mom dies in the show and the book. But the usage of lore is what connects the two. The use of devil’s traps and what affects a spirit is impressive. I will say that this book goes into great detail about this. More so than Supernatural, I believe. You get the basic gist from the show, but in this book you get a really feel as for why these traps work and how.

Unbreakable trap

I do feel like the Winchesters of Supernatural and The Legion live in the same universe.

 

The pacing of the book is fast. Don’t trip or you’ll miss something. You basically his the ground running after the prologue-ish beginning. Just like Kennedy, you’re swept away and while I feel like there were moments that we should’ve slowed down, it still worked. Kennedy did well in contemplating why they moved so quickly. She took the opportunity to question everything and not all main characters do that. It made up for the pacing.

The images that emphasized certain symbols that Kennedy saw were a beautiful addition. Not a lot of books add imagery to their story, but this book did just that for the readers and I loved it! Not because I wouldn’t have been able to picture it for myself, but because it pulled me into the story even more as if I was there standing in from of them and seeing them with my own eyeballs. I find that adding certain artwork or images to a story can really amplify it.

There was a peeve. Oh man, I wish there wasn’t. But there is. The Jared and Kennedy love connection. I’m not against love forming in the face of danger. In fact it gives me a thrill because who has time for that!? You may die any minute, any second, and you’ve discovered you might be having feelings? Alright! But—a nasty word, I know—it happened to fast for me. It was like getting smacked with a fish. Completely random. I couldn’t find the connection that would’ve sparked this. Maybe it was just plain, old attraction. I’m not sure. I just wish it would’ve been more solid.

Unbreakable huh

 

Do I recommend this book? I do. It’s fun with twists and turns and while they seem predictable at times, they’re still a hell of a lot of fun.

Unbreakable yes

 

Did I overload this post with too many Supernatural gifs? Hell no. No such thing.

 

Quotabes:

“The full moon glowed above the rooftops. It reminded me of my mom. She used to say that a moon like this was full of wishes and that if one of those wishes belonged to you it might come true…” (Kennedy, p. 129)

“How much pain could I withstand before I finally broke?” (Kennedy, p. 181)

“I was never destined to save the world. I was the one who destroyed it.” (Kennedy, p. 305)

 

P.S. Song today? Come As You Are by Nirvana.