My Life

Buying Books vs Going to the Library

Non-committed readers (that’s what I’m going to call the people who are going to the library, at least in my country) are always looking at me like I’m the craziest person who has ever lived when I tell them I prefer to buy books than going to the library.

Questions that usually follow are along the lines of don’t you like used books or do you read those books only once or do you re-read them and wouldn’t it be better to spend all that money on stuff you might actually need, etc.

Now let me give you my actual reasons for buying books, besides them looking damn good on my shelves and making me feel better every time I glance at them.

I don’t go to the library, because I like taking my sweet time reading a book. Sometimes I’d read it in a day, sometimes in a week and other times I’d need a whole month. If I’d go to the library, I’d feel pressured to finish in a deadline they gave me to return a book. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against that deadline otherwise people would probably keep borrowed books at home indefinitely. It just isn’t my cup of tea.

Second reason is that I prefer to read books in the language they were written, which is usually English, but our library mostly has books that have been translated into Slovenian language. The books they do have in English are hundred years old and not interesting to me at all.

Third reason is that even if I would read books in Slovenian, which sometimes I do, some books don’t even get translated. For example, I never would have read Throne of Glass or any other book by Sarah J. Maas or Jennifer L. Armentrout. Now that I think about it, I don’t think even Rick Riordan’s books are translated into Slovenian. So now you see how much I would miss out on if I’d go to the library. They don’t have those books there in English or in Slovenian language. Even if I would wait for them to be translated, it would take ages and I would miss on so many good books in the meantime. Besides, I am reading faster in English than I do in Slovenian, which is interesting considering that Slovenian is my first language.

When I was a kid, I was going to the library. I’ve been there every day, most of the day. I’ve read most of the books on my level and then there weren’t any books for me to read, at least the ones that I liked. After that I stopped going to the library and stopped reading all together, until I bought my first book in 2012 – The Hunger Games series. Same goes for THG series, when I started reading it, books weren’t translated yet, and they were unable to obtain in a library.

If I haven’t bought those books that day, I probably would never start reading again. I’d be a completely different person. Books are a part of me and I don’t regret it one bit for buying so many of them.

To answer another question that I get from non-committed readers, yes, I do re-read books. Sometimes not even whole books but only scenes I liked. A lot of times I open a book I’ve read on impulse and end up re-reading it completely. Some books have been read only once, while others are barely keeping its pages together for being used so much.

Just so I won’t get any angry comments or something, I would like to further define the term non-committed readers. For me, those are the people who open a book or two once a year, usually during summer vacations. If I’d be like that, I wouldn’t buy books as well and I’d be considering it a waste of time and money, but since I am not like that and try to read at least 5 books a month, well … I think you can see the difference yourself.

Another thing, I don’t mind if a book is used. I go into bookstores that sell used books all the time, so I don’t have any kind of complex of having to be the first person to open a copy of a certain book. I just really don’t like to be pressured to finish it in a predetermined amount of time.

Finishing sentence about the dilemma in the title would go something like this:
Buying books is a definite must for me, at least when reading in my own free time is concerned. But when I have to read something for school, or need some special book to help me write an essay or a project, then I am going to go to the library. No way, I’d be reading those books more than once, so I wouldn’t even consider buying them.

What about you? Are you a library person or a book hoarder?

Post by Anya Blackhart-Clark

If you have any suggestions on blog posts or any questions at all, let me know. You can contact me on Instagram (anyablackhartclark) or send me an e-mail (anyablackhartclark@gmail.com).

Advertisements
My Life

Audiobooks – Yes or No?

As a traditional person, as far as books are concerned, I was always highly against audiobooks. I believed that in order to read a book you have to take some time, sit down, pick up your favorite paperback or hardback (no kindle, no whatever has a screen nonsense) and read.

Before you stop reading this post, I feel obligated to tell you that I was indeed very wrong. (That’s something you won’t get me to admit often.)

As my life got busy – school, 2-3 jobs with different and highly consuming schedule, maintaining friendships by hanging out with friends and going out, spending time with family, etc. – I found myself reading less and less. Whatever spare time I had I was too tired to open a book so I put on a TV show or a movie instead.

You have to understand the difference between how the TV show/movies and books made me feel. When I finished a season of a show or watched a movie, I felt as if I’ve wasted a lot of hours of my life. But when I finished a book, I felt strangely productive. It made me feel good about myself, made me feel like I achieved something just by finishing it, by sticking with it.

I can only imagine how amazing I’ll feel once I finish writing my own book. If it will feel at least half as amazing as I do when I finish and/or post a chapter on Wattpad… Considering what an impact a finished book could have on me, on my life, on my mental health… I guess we’ll have to see. Hopefully, #NaNoWriMo will take me halfway there. (Add me as a writing buddy @Ancchy)

To return back to topic at hand, because life happened I didn’t get to read as many books as I’d like. Still though I found myself having lots of time, especially when I was walking to and from work/school or driving home once a month (a bit less than 2 hour drive), but I spent all that time listening to music instead. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, I don’t think there goes a day by when you don’t see me walking around with headphones in my ear, music blasting through them. But that too made me feel incomplete. I tend to drift off in my mind when I listen to music, and that was why I felt like I had too much spare time on my hands that I needed to fill in some way.

The thing you have to understand about me is that I not only have to but need to multitask. I have to feel productive, I have to feel like I am doing something with my life even in those spare minutes. It’s just the way I am.

That was why I reconsidered listening to audiobooks. It can’t be that difficult, right? I mean, I did listen to recorded stories when I was a kid…

My main concern about audiobooks was language. English isn’t my first language and that was why I felt self-conscious, especially about talking in it. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t understood what would be said, it was more like that I was afraid I would miss something that would be important to the book, to the story. That was why I first started listening to the books I’ve already read. It made me feel better knowing that it wouldn’t matter if I’d missed some important detail because I already knew the story.

I listened through quite a lot of re-reads. Then I got tired of it and finally decided that I’m ready to make the next step – to listen to something new.

The new problem that made me doubt myself was fear from not being present. I was afraid that I would put on an audiobook, listen for a minute or two and then my mind would drift off to some other things. Yes, it did happen. But I managed to fix that problem as well. Because my mind is obsessed with multitasking, I just needed to occupy it a bit more. That was why I decided to listen to audiobooks at 1.5/1.75/2 speed. It made reader’s breathing and silence almost unnoticeable thus not allowing my mind to steer off. I was fully present throughout the whole story and didn’t miss a thing.

To show you an example how many spare minutes of walking and driving I actually have, I’m going to tell you how many books I’ve finished in October only by listening to audiobooks. The number is 9. How many books I’ve read old school style? 1.

I’m sure you can imagine how great that number makes me feel. To finish that many books in a month while leading an active social life… Not bad, I’d say.

There is also another important reason why I managed to read so many – I’ve deleted all TV shows and movies from my computer. That was mainly because of what I learned at #Wattcon2017 and it made me rethink my life, my life’s decisions etc. But that is another story, maybe another blog post. (If you want me to write about my Wattcon experience message me on Wattpad @Ancchy or on Instagram @anyablackhartclark).

To conclude this post in one sentence, audiobooks are a definite yes and a must in our busy lifestyle.

Post by Anya Blackhart-Clark

Cassandra Clare · jennifer l. armentrout · list of books · Lux Series · percy jackson · richelle mead · Rick Riordan · Uncategorized · Wattpad

Books I’ve Read On My 2 Week Summer Vacation

Every year my family goes to Croatia for Summer holidays. This year my sister and I went quite a bit overboard with book packing. I won’t even try to list all the books we’ve took with us because it would take at least three moderately long posts.
Instead, I decided to list the books I did manage to read, and the books my sister has read during our time off.

But before I start, let me explain how we pick which book to read next and why we don’t finish the series while on vacation and how come we pick so many different genres to read one after another.
It’s become our tradition to randomly select the book we read next. Kind of like Tributes in The Hunger Games were selected. We put down the name of every book/series we have with us and then we continue to draw. When we finish the book that was chosen, we simply draw the next one and so on. Usually, we don’t continue the series right after we finish the book, but it does happen occasionally, especially if the book ended with an unbearable cliffhanger.

I managed to read 7 books, which I would count as quite an accomplishment. Especially, with the hyperactive company of people I was hanging out there.

  1. THE SHADOWHUNTER’S CODEX by Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis

    TSC
    In short, TSC is basically a study book about Shadowhunter’s world.

    Short review
    A must read for real Shadowhunters!
    It was quite educational and made me think at length about TMI and TID. Will definitely have to re-read the rest of the books sometime soon!
    Much more interesting than for example Fantastic Beasts novella.

    Rating: 5/5

  2. CURSED by Jennifer L. Armentrout

    cursed jla

    Dying sucks
    …and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand.
    After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
    Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things–including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister’s hand again. And hell, she’d also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn’t?
    But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not’ve been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life.
    For real this time.

    Short review
    When it comes to JLA you really can’t trust us because we are both die hard fans of hers and she is our BUY WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT/NO NEED TO KNOW THE SYNOPSIS kind of author. So it’s no real surprise that the review is even more subjective than usual.
    This book was really awesome. It reminded me once again why JLA is by far one of my favorite authors. It’s an in-one-sitting kind of read. Go check it out!

    Rating: 5/5

  3. SOUNDLESS by Richelle Mead

    soundless.jpg

    In a village without sound…
    For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.
    When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.
    One girl hears a call to action…
    Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.
    She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…
    And unlocks a power that will save her people.

    Short review
    Since Vampire Academy and Bloodlines I’ve been a huge fan of Mead’s. I had high expectations for this book, but since it was a standalone and a short one at that, I should have known better. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t my favorite but it was an easy and quite enjoyable read. Also, it was a bit different from what I’m used to, which is also a plus.

    Rating: 3/5

  4. TEXTROVERT by Lindsey Summers

    textrovert.jpg

    Can you fall in ♥ with someone you’ve never met?
    Summer is nearly over and Keeley is about to start her senior year when disaster strikes: she picks up the wrong cell phone by mistake. 😞 Just her luck that it belongs to Talon, a totally arrogant jock 🏈 who’s just left for football camp—with herphone. Keeley doesn’t know him, but they’ll need to rely on each other to forward their messages for an entire week.
    Talon is so full of himself, but Keeley quickly discovers he’s funny, too—at least his texts are. 😅 And he listens to Keeley—which is more than anyone else does. Texting Talon, she can be more than just the quiet twin sister of a popular boy. Texting Talon, she can be the outgoing person she’s always wanted to be. Soon the two are falling for each other, hard.
    But when true identities are revealed and secrets are exposed, will Keeley’s feelings stay the same?

    Short review
    If you follow our blog or you’ve heard of us before, then you also know that we are a huge Wattpad fans and supporters in general. That is why it should come as no surprise for us to own and/or read this book. For everyone else who are in a dark right now, Lindsey Summers made her big debut on Wattpad under the username DoNotMicrowave.
    The book was cute although highly predictable. But all that predictability turned it into an easy summer read, because it’s quick, funny and very enjoyable.
    I would also put it under the list of books that can help you get out of a book slump quick.
    Side note: I met Lindsey last week at #WattCon2107 and she is super nice. I urge you all to check out her book!

    Rating: 5/5

  5. THIS SHATTERED WORLD by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Starbound, #2)

    tsw.jpg

    The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.
    Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.
    Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.
    Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.
    Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

    Short review
    I’ve been a huge fan of These Broken Stars and all it’s complex storyline. This series could easily be one of my all time favorites. I love how everything connects sooner or later. I like the characters. Even though Lilac is not the main character in this book, she still has a special place in my heart.

    Rating: 5/5

  6. ALIENATED by Melissa Landers (Alienated, #1)

    alienated.jpg

    Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.
    Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.
    Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.
    But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.
    Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

    Short review
    I loved this book. It had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. Can’t wait to read the rest of the series. I would also put it on the list of books to get you out of a book slump. I couldn’t help but compare it to a TV show Star-Crossed, which made me see Aelyx as Matt Lanter *swoon*.

    Rating: 5/5

  7. THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER by Jennifer L. Armentrout

    tpwf.jpg

    For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.
    Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.
    It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

    Short review
    JLA DID IT AGAIN! Are you even surprised? I know I’m not. This has to be one of my favorite standalone books by her. It reminded me a bit of a TV show The Fosters although it was completely different. It was a very intense read!

    Rating: 5/5

Desirae, on the other hand, has been battling with quite a book slump. But despite that, she managed to read 5 books.

  1. TALON by Julie Kagawa
  2. THE SON OF NEPTUNE by Rick Riordan
  3. DESTINED FOR DOON by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
  4. OBLIVION by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  5. EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon

Post by Anya Blackhart-Clark

Uncategorized

Why Book Hangovers Are a Pain In The Ass

Hello fellow bloggers!

Desirae here. Long time no see, huh? How’s life, you ask?

Well, let me answer that for you. My life is absolutely boring. Stressful and exhausting, but boring nonetheless. For the past four months, I’ve been on book deprivation. For some unknown reason, I fell into a book slump I can’t seem to get out of. No book blurb has caught my attention enough for me to pick up and start reading. Not yet, anyway.

So I find myself here, writing to you, describing the pain of being away from fictional universes and stories that are (and always will be) beyond better from the reality. I desperately need an escape!

I want to dive into a world that will sweep me off my feet and find my passion for reading once more. I know I want to do it, I just can’t seem to start. Do you have any suggestions as to what books I should read? I prefer Fantasy, Young Adult fiction books but I also love something summer-ish (such as Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson). I enjoy reading apocalyptic books as well (I liked The 5th Wave – wish I could say the same for the second book, loved The Rain by Virginia Bergin).

So yeah, leave your suggestions in the comments 😉

Anyway, today I’m here to give you a few points on why book hangovers suck! (Not that you need any more convincing).

1. YOUR ENTHUSIASM OVER READING STARTS TO DETERIORATE

Alright, this one’s pretty obvious. Every one of us readers has to face this problem at some point. It’s when your brain tells you it’s had enough reading for a while, whether it’s because of a certain book (*cough* A Court of Mist and Fury *cough*) or simply reading too many books that you eventually stopped enjoying them.

For me, book hangovers also pay a visit when I get bored of a certain genre and need a change for a while.

So I give a different genre a try and hope it gets me out of that book slump I’m about to fall into. But somehow, that book didn’t help at all. In fact, my brain was so convinced that it needs a break by that point that I simply cannot even look at a book.

So a week passes, then two and before you know it, it’s been two months and you’re starting to longingly glance at your bookshelf.

Which brings me to number two.

2. YOU START TO MISS READING BUT CAN’T ENJOY IT IF IT’S FORCED

It appears you’re in a hopeless situation. You want to read, but you’re not at that level yet where it feels natural. It’s as if you’re forcing yourself into it.

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a book that will catch your attention and make you excited about it. It will motivate you enough to dive into the wonderful world of books once again.

But if you’re among the less fortunate population (like me), you have to wait it out until these sad, sad times pass.

3. YOU FALL BEHIND ON YOUR GOODREADS CHALLENGE

This sucks especially if you were six books ahead! I mean, come on! Just when you think you can read 100 books this year, it all gets ruined. Great.

4. MISSING OUT ON ALL THE LATEST POPULAR BOOKS

Book trends are the ones most people tend to follow. The more a book is being advertised/talked about, the more people will decide to give it a try. So when you’re in the phase of book drought, you also miss out on being a part of newest book discussions.

If you have a bookstagram (link to mine is here), you tend to see people posting pictures of their current reads or what they’ve just finished and you feel curious, but not enough to save you from this hell you’re going through.

And if you’re extra unlucky, you start to become discouraged to ever check this book out because the more you see it advertised, the more you become sick of it.

5. YOU FEEL AS IF A PART OF YOU IS MISSING

The last point I’m going to make is that if you’re a massive book lover like me, reading is a part of you. You can’t go a day without it. It’s your way of life. It comes natural and distracts you, amuses you, makes you fall in love with certain things,…

So when you’re unable to do something you’re in love with, you start to feel like you’re missing your better half. You’re not whole, you’re not being the best version you can be. It feels wrong and almost… depressing.

Book hangovers are a reader’s worst nightmare because without books, we’re not really living to our full extent.

***

Thank you for reading and seeing how book hangovers impact me.

What are your opinions on them? Do you have something to add?

Love you,

Desirae Clark ❤

Uncategorized

February TBR

On average I read 5 books per month so I am going to be listing 5 books as well.

1. REBELLION (The 100, #4) by Kass Morgan

30140756

Centuries after nuclear war destroyed our planet, humanity struggles to rebuild. It’s been a month since the dropships landed and the Colonists joined the Hundred on the ground. The teens, once branded juvenile delinquents, are now leaders among their people.
The Colonists and the Earthborns are celebrating their first holiday together when, to everyone’s horror, they’re attacked by a group of strangers whose unusual battle cries fill the air. The newcomers kill scores of people, seize prisoners, and pillage crucial supplies. When hotheaded Bellamy and his analytical girlfriend Clarke discover that Wells, Octavia and Glass have been captured, they vow to get them back at all costs. But as they go after their new enemies, Bellamy and Clarke find themselves increasingly at odds, unable to agree on a plan to save their friends.
Meanwhile, Wells, Octavia, and Glass are being slowly brainwashed by their captors, religious fanatics with one goal: to grow their ranks and “heal” the war-ravaged planet… by eliminating everyone else on it.
But centuries of radiation exposure have taken their toll, forcing the cult to take drastic steps to survive. And unless the rescue party arrives soon, the teen captives will face a fate more terrifying than anything they could imagine. In this thrilling fourth installment, the hundred fight to protect the people they love on the dangerous planet they always dreamed of calling home.

I’ve actually finished this book 2 days ago and absolutely loved it.

2. WARBREAKER (Warbreaker, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

7969594

This is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses. Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city. A world transformed by a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous as breath can only be collected one unit at a time.

This book was loaned to me by a friend who couldn’t stop talking about it. I have a policy to read loaned books first, because I like to return them as soon as possible.
I am 45 pages in and so far it looks promising.

3. NORTHANGER ABBEY by Jane Austen

50398

The story’s heroine is Catherine Morland, an innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art.

I am reading this for my Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge.

4. EMMA by Jane Austen

6969

Beautiful, clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work.

Another book from Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge because I haven’t read any last month.

5. THE FEVER CODE (The Maze Runner, #0.6) by James Dashner

23267628

Once there was a world’s end.
The forests burned, the lakes and rivers dried up, and the oceans swelled.
Then came a plague, and fever spread across the globe. Families died, violence reigned, and man killed man.
Next came WICKED, who were looking for an answer. And then they found the perfect boy.
The boy’s name was Thomas, and Thomas built a maze.
Now there are secrets.
There are lies.
And there are loyalties history could never have foreseen.
This is the story of that boy, Thomas, and how he built a maze that only he could tear down.
All will be revealed.

I am really excited about this one. Time to see how it all began!

Do you like my list? Have you read any of these books? Which books are you reading this month?

Post written by Anya Blackhart-Clark

list of books · Uncategorized

Wrap Up – January 2017

It wasn’t the best but still a solid beginning of the year as far as it concerns reading. I’ve read 5 books this month. However, sadly I hadn’t managed to read a book from Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge but I will try to read one more this month. Fingers crossed! How much books have you read?

1. KITTY HAWK AND THE CURSE OF THE YUKON GOLD (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #1) by Iain Reading

32946791

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.
After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

We’ve been sent this book in exchange for an honest review, which I’ve written HERE.

My Rating: 3.5/5

2. THE BLUE MOON NARTHEX (Karmanic Sovereign Legion, #1) by N. J. Donner

31429077

The balance of good and evil has been left in the hands of a thirteen year old…
Since the beginning of time, Karmanic matter worked silently and unassisted keeping good and evil in balance, until growing greed in the world meant Karma couldn’t keep up. As World War I rages, the secret Karmanic Sovereign Legion works behind the scenes to help Karma.
A suspicious train accident and an odd stone-shaped object that belonged to his father thrust Cole McCarthy and two schoolmates into the middle of this battle to keep dark forces in check.
With only the powerful stone, a letter, and grandfatherly Norm to guide them, the trio must unravel clues and tap into unknown strengths to discover who Cole’s father really was and keep themselves and those they love safe.

We’ve been sent this book in exchange for an honest review, which I’ve written HERE.

THE BLUE MOON NARTHEX COMES OUT ON FEBRUARY 7TH!

My Rating: 3.5/5

3. MY BAD BOY NEIGHBOR (Good Girl, #1) by Desirae Clark

51lolhr-2brl

There was a good girl, there was a bad boy and there was a bet.
GOOD GIRL, Astrid Bailey was a sixteen year old who never got into trouble and was happy to be hidden behind her brother’s (school’s Golden Boy’s) success.
BAD BOY, Kai Asher liked to make inappropriate sexual innuendos, messed with law and broke girls’ hearts. He was intense, rough, sexy and definitely something. He also just moved in next door.
THE BET was made between the jocks so that one particular player had to try to win over the most hard to get girl.
The bad boy turned out to be not so bad, the good girl turned out to be not so strong and the bet made it possible for their worlds to literally collide when they got into a car accident.
With endless of fights, drama and heartbreak, Astrid was torn between her former crush and her new love.

Disclaimer: I can’t be objective because my sister wrote this book and I am so damn proud, but I will do my best.

This book is incredibly witty and has the most relatable main character I’ve encountered in a while. The book is written intelligently and it’s funny. Story is mostly light but it also touches a couple of dark subjects (grief, anxiety, etc.). I loved the ending and am really looking forward to reading the sequel.

Grab this book, you won’t be sorry!

My Rating: 5/5

4. BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver

64828371

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

I can’t believe it’s over. That can’t be it… Damn…

Even though it left me heartbroken, the ending was perfect.

One of the best stories I’ve read!

My Rating: 5/5

5. THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho

865

Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

This book definitely needs to be read more than once.

Simple yet great story. We all have much to learn.

My Rating: 5/5

Post written by Anya Blackhart-Clark