Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014


  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I'm so blessed and thankful for my wonderful family and friends that made this holiday so special.  Looking forward for my vacation to California tomorrow, and to the New Year.  2014 has been the greatest year yet, full of adventures and laughter, and I certainly can't wait to make new unforgettable memories in 2014.  Not to mention, all of the great books I hope to get my hands on next year (already pre-ordered two books).  Hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2014

DISCUSSION POST - How Reading has Impacted My Life

How has reading impacted your life?  That's what I'm going to be discussing, today.

  Before I could read, I'd wrap my tiny fingers around the first book that caught my eye, and create my own story.  Flipping the pages, I allowed my mind to wander as I imagined a story, and then presented it to my family, all the while pretending to be reading the pages.  Years later, when I was the age of My Magic Tree house, The Box Car Children, and Nancy Drew, I truly fell in love with reading.  Once I got a little older, I yearned for something different.  A Dog's Life, and The Island of Blue Dolphins were the beginning of my adventure into contemporary.  I absolutely loved and cried over both of those phenomenal books, and ever since then, I've curiously widened my horizon, always experiencing different genres and stepping out of my comfort zone.  How has reading impacted my life?  Well, that's simple.  I've never looked at anything the same way ever since I opened my first book.  In the simplest terms, everything I see has a new-founded meaning, a story.  Not to mention, the world feels full of opportunities I wouldn't have known without reading.  Without reading, I wouldn't experience the feeling of escaping into another world, absolutely separate from my own.  I wouldn't stay up past midnight, gripping the precious pages of another story, knowing that I cannot go to bed without knowing what happens at the end of the chapter.  Additionally, I wouldn't have this blog where I can connect with other readers around the world, and fan-girl / discuss my favorite book, or rave about an unsatisfying story.

  I'm tagging lots of people to share their own stories about how reading has impacted YOUR life.  If I didn't tag you, I would still love to hear your input on this topic!  Be sure to link your post in the comments so I don't miss it!













Friday, December 19, 2014

What I'm Loving + Favorite Reads of 2014

  Hey lovely readers!  I've been absent lately due to my crazy finals schedule, but thankfully, it's over and I'm on break!  In case you didn't know (you probably do), Christmas is only 5 days away! 


Billy Joel -  I've always been obsessed with older songs, never really having an interest in the newer pop / rap music.  Recently, I've been listening to Piano Man and New York State of Mind by Billy Joel, my two favorite songs by him.  
The Breakfast Club -   I was scrolling through Netflix a few Saturday's ago, and came across The Breakfast Club.  Little did I know that it would end up being my new favorite movie - if you haven't seen it watch it, you won't regret it!
Art -   My mom was an exceptional artist when she was a teenager, and that's always inspired me to draw.  Sadly, I'm not too great at it, but I've really been enjoying spending an hour or longer sitting outside with hot chocolate, music, and drawing.
Fuiji Camera -  I'm so excited to be getting a Fuiji Camera for Christmas this year.  It's such an adorable novelty - another reason to be beyond excited for Christmas!

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern - The Night Circus is a gorgeous, magnificent story written about two magicians, Celia and Marco.  Truly an unforgettable read, I'm so glad I decided to read it this year.
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie  And Then There Were None is an exciting, exhilarating page-turner about ten strangers, each with a dark secret, stranded on an island, as they mysteriously begin to be killed off, one by one.
Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell  Eleanor and Park features two misfits, both very different from one another, that end up falling in love.  The ending broke my heart, but I absolutely love this book.
It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini  It's Kind of a Funny Story is about Craig Gilner, a sixteen year old that landed himself in a mental hospital after attempting suicide.  One of the most inspiring stories I've read, a true sensation.  
The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak  The Book Thief is placed in Nazi Germany, 1939.  It's a heart-breaking, extraordinarily terrific story about overcoming fear and loss.  
The Dead - Charlie Higson  My favorite genre of books are apocalyptic ones, where either it's natural disasters threatening the world, a disease, or a different "species."  The Dead is the second installment in the Enemy series, and I remember absoutley adoring it.  Whether it was the constant action, the excellent characters, or the fantastic world-build, I was hooked the whole time.

What are your favorite reads of 2014?  If you have a post about it, be sure to leave a link in the comments!  I would love to check it out!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review - Talon, Julie Kagawa

My review for Talon, by Julie Kagawa

Insight into the book from Goodreads:

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Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons. 









  Talon is a fantastic, complex story about dragon twins, Ember and Dante Hill.  Ember and Dante have lived their lives, until now, under the surveillance of Talon.  They've just been granted the Summer in Crescent Beach, to enjoy freedom before beginning whatever career Talon has deemed fitting.  Ember and Date shift into human form, and easily fit right into the human community.  It is there that Ember becomes acquaintances with an incredibly handsome rogue dragon, and a human with more secrets than she imagined.  Riley, the rogue, has left Talon, and hopes to persuade Ember to do the same.  Garret, the human, stirs a passion inside that she didn't know existed, but it will come with a cost.
  
  Upon choosing to read this book, I didn't know a thing about the story-line.  All I knew, is that Julie Kagawa has come out with a new book and I wanted it!  Whenever I see Julie's name I think . . . 
  Because I seriously love her writing.  I've only read some of her books, but such a brilliant writing style like hers really stands out.  As for the story itself, it was good.  Not great, just good.  After the excitement of Ember being a rebel with Riley and falling for Garret wore off, the book was boring.  However, normally that irritates me, but in this case, some of the slower parts were necessary for character build.  In addition, the complexity of the plot and how terrifically Julie pulled it off, was awesome.
  Usually, I'm let down with the romance in teen books.  Either it's insta-love, or an annoying love-traingle.  I didn't expect to be let down with the romance in Talon, and I wasn't!  It was really enjoyable and I still can't chose who I like more, Riley or Garret.  With every character I saw lots of development, and that was also really enjoyable.

  I recommend this book and every book by Julie Kagawa to anyone who wants to read a fast-paced fantasy story!


  Hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, December 1, 2014

GIF tag!

 I've been tagged by Britanny over at Space Between the Spines to do the GIF tag!  Thanks to my awesome friend Sarah @ Creativity Avenue I've learned how to add gifs onto blogger!:)  Lets get started . . . 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I read this book a little while back and enjoyed it :)   Not one of my favorites, but still good.
Allegiant marked the end of the Divergent series, and it left me sincerely, utterly sad.  
This series has been on my tbr for such a long time, sounds like it has potential.
Never heard of this before.  Sounds like a big love-triangle type of book, probably not my cup of tea.
LOVE THIS BOOK!  
One of my all-time favorites.  The Book Thief is a fantastic, beautiful book.
I read this book a few years ago, and I recall loving the entire series. 
This book sounds super intense, but really intriguing.  I'll probably give it a try sometime.
This book is seriously so adorable, and left me feeling happy and satisfied.   

Never heard of this.  Sounds pretty promising, though!

Thanks so much for tagging me, Brittany!

Here are the books those I tag will react to
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green.
Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell.
Eragon, by Christopher Paolini.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.
The Iron Trial, by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black.
Just One Day, by Gayle Forman.

Check to see if you've been tagged!

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Book Review - We Were Liars, E. Lockhart


My review of We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart.


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Insight into the book from GOODREADS:


A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.





  Oh.  My. Gosh.

 I love this book.

 We Were Liars is a gorgeous, passionate book about a girl named Candence and her struggle to regain her memory of Summer 15 after a horrible accident took place, leaving her with limited memory.  Candence doesn't remember the accident.  However, everyday she suffers the after effects of it.  Loss of memory, severe migraines, and depression.  She yearns to know what happened Summer 15 on the private island, or what happened to Mirren, Johnny, and Gat after her accident.  Two years have gone by, and Candence's mom reluctantly allows her to return to the island for Summer 17.  This is basically where everything happens within the story, and also where I'm going to push the *pause* button and refuse to give away any spoilers.

 Being a reader, I'll always enjoy a fantastic writer.  A writer whom reveals characters good and bad side, what he/she struggles with, and how the character overcomes these obstacles.  Quite possibly that could be why I love E. Lockhart's writing, but there's more to it than that.  Her writing style is simple beautiful.  Everything was written so passionately -I could practically feel the characters anger/happiness/sadness coming through the pages, due to the stunning writing.  I'm not oblivious to the fact that not everyone agrees with me, I know a lot of readers didn't enjoy her writing style, which is without a doubt, very different from the typical YA authors writing.  In addition, E. Lockhart’s metaphors were extremely intense.  
 For example:  
 Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest.  I was standing on the lawn and I fel.  The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed.  Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
 then from my eyes,
 my ears,
 my mouth.
 When I first read this I thought, “Oh my gosh, Candence was shot!!!”  Laugh at me if you will, but I didn’t realize that this was a metaphor.  There are many others similar to this one within the story, and they’re so literal that occasionally I found myself confused.

 The ending of the story was utterly terrific.  I’ve heard so much about a crazy plot-twist at the end, but I never could’ve predicted it.  
My feelings after completing We Were Liars:



 I absolutely recommend We Were Liars, and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it.


Thanks for reading!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Review - Dorothy Must Die

Here's my review of Dorothy Must Die

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Insight into the book from Goodreads:
My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and I've been given a mission:

REMOVE
The Tin Woodman's heart,

STEAL
The Scarecrow's brain,

TAKE
The Lion's courage,

And then—
DOROTHY MUST DIE


  The story starts off with Amy, a simple girl from Kansas.  Then a tornado sweeps her away, and she finds herself in Oz.  There, she realizes that Oz is nothing like she considered it to be.  
  • All of Dorothy's power has gone to her head, and she's changed Oz to be a place of fear.
  • The good-witch isn't so good, and the wicked-witch isn't so wicked.
  • The Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Woodman are awful creatures that are devoted to Dorothy's safety and happiness.
  • Nobody can be trusted.
  Long story very short, Amy makes an alliance with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and is given a mission.  Kill Dorothy.  Upon completing this task, Amy disguises herself as one of Dorothy's maids, in effort to get closer to her enemy and complete her mission.

  I'm going to take a step back from the plot of the story, and talk deeper about my opinion of this book.  
  My absolute favorite aspect of Dorothy Must Die, is the great modern twist to a modest story about a girl from Kansas that finds herself in a different world.  It wasn't just a modern twist, but a very dark twist, that made the story a hundred times more addicting.  
  I found many sections of this book slow, as I waited impatiently for something to happen.  Most of the time, nothing really did happen.  For example, the end of the book was a huuuuge disappointment for me.  Not to mention, frustrating.  
  Spoilers . . . 
  As I sat on my bed reading the final chapter, I was waiting (somewhat) patiently for a huge plot-twist, or something crazy to happen.  Nothing did.  Amy didn't kill Dorothy, when she had more than three opportunities to do so, but she didn't!  She hesitated, which as all readers know, if the main character hesitates, there's no hope whatsoever.  That frustrated me so much!  Anyone else feel this way?  I'm aware that for there to be a second book, Dorothy should probably still be alive.  However, I disagree.  There's so much more to this book besides Dorothy.  Just because the leader of Oz is dead, Amy will still have to deal with the Scarecrow, Lion, and the Tin Woodman.  Heck, they would be even more furious at Amy, why not let that be the base for the second book?  Instead, the story ends with Amy standing in front of Dorothy, with a clear shot to kill her, but doesn't.

  All in all, I really did enjoy this book.  It was a refreshing fantasy story that is certainly leaving me waiting for the second installment.



  What did you think of Dorothy Must Die?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Birthday Book Haul!!



Fantastic day because I've got four more books, and it's my birthday!
  This morning I woke up, and my parents were in my room holding two sparkly bags and balloons, and wishing me happy birthday.  It was so sweet, and I'm seriously so thankful for such an amazing family.  About twenty minutes later, I left for school, and midway through second period, I was called to the attendance office to pick up a package.  My brother and his girlfriend dropped off a huge Paradise Bakery cookie with icing that read, "Happy Birthday, Cambrie!"  Feeling so blessed right now for such amazing people in my life.

  Now for the books!  

  Everyone of these books have been on my TBR list for such a long time, and I'm beyond excited to finally be able to read them.  Also, the "book" on the end isn't necessarily a book, but a fancy folded version of a story by Jane Eyre (not sure how to describe it).

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Sunday Post #1



THE SUNDAY POST

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~
It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!




    I want to give a quick explanation to why I've had a lack of posts lately.  In my previous review about Paper Towns, I briefly touched on why I haven't been active, and I figure this is a good time to explain more.  
  I recently began my freshman year of high-school, and its been . . . difficult.  I was home schooled my entire life until about two months ago, and I've never faced such a hard change.  I'm also on the Varsity cheer team at my school, and that has kept me really busy.  To sum this up, I've been super busy dealing with school, keeping up on homework, and cheer practice.  It's been hard to find time to read, and keep up on my blog.  Thankfully, my family and friends have been here for me throughout everything, and it's helped a lot.  A little shout-out to Sarah from Creativity Avenue (I'm at her house right now), for being here for me through all of this!

  I'm currently obsessed with Ed Sheeran, and my favorite song by him is I See Fire.  
  I'm also super-super-super excited for Christmas - nothing makes me happier than driving through a neighborhood looking at sparkling Christmas lights, putting ornaments on the tree, hanging stockings, and sitting around the fire with my family.  
  I went to Paris a few months ago, and it was sincerely the most extraordinary week of my life.  One of the stops we made was a visit to a bookstore I've always wanted to see, Shakespeare and Company.  It was infinitely charming, with a wonderful selection of books.  I probably spent an hour in there, loving every second of being surrounded by books from a different country.  
  My birthday is on the 19th (Wednesday!), and besides a load of books, I'm really interested in getting the Lokai bracelet.  It's infused with elements from the highest and lowest points on earth; water from Mt. Everest and mud from the Dead Sea.  It's so simple and pretty, I'm really hoping to get it for my birthday!
  
  Well that's it for my Sunday Post!  Hope you enjoyed!!



Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Review - Paper Towns, John Green

  Quick message before review ~ Hey blogging world!  I've been in a reading slump lately, and not to mention, I've been super busy with school and sports.  Just wanted to give a little explanation for the lack of posts! xoxo

My review of Paper Towns, by John Green


Insight into the book from Goodreads:

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...
 







  I sincerely want to give this book a positive review, but in all honestly, I'm feeling really disappointed right now.
  Paper Towns is based on two seniors in high-school, Quentin and Margo.  Quentin has spent years with a secret love for the mysterious Margo, but has never been straightforward with his feelings.  I don't think there's any way to easily sum up Margo's character . . . She has many different personalities, and becomes more surprising as the book goes on.  
  One night, Margo creeps in Quentin's room needing help to get revenge on people at their school, and he follows without much thought.  The two of them have a crazy night, that involves pranks, breaking and entering, and Quentin falling even more in love with a girl he thought he knew.  That basically sums up this whole story.  Oh, and then Margo goes missing and Quentin spends weeks trying to find her and when he does she acts like a selfish brat.  
  As you can tell, I didn't enjoy Paper Towns.  
  I couldn't connect with the characters, especially Margo.  However, I didn't dislike her until the end of the story.  In the beginning, I found her interesting, adventurous, and I wanted to know more about this girl that Quentin has loved for so many years.  Then I came to the last chapter when (SPOILERS) Quentin finds Margo, and she was completely ungrateful.  After he misses graduation to find her, and she's "impressed."  What?  That beyond annoyed me.  Especially after he's spent weeks worrying about her, chasing after clues, and laying in bed late at night pondering over the thought that Margo may not be alive.
  One thing I did like about this book however, was the metaphors.  Leave it to John Green, let me tell you.  I'm still a huge fan of his, but didn't enjoy this book nearly as much as The Fault in Our Stars.

I've read countless amounts of positive reviews for this book, and I wish I could have enjoyed it as much as other people did.  I still do recommend it to everyone, it just wasn't my cup of tea.




Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (1) The Bane Chronicles

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!

I'm waiting for The Bane Chronicles, by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Brennan, and Maureen Johnson.
Expected release date:  November 11 2014.

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Ever wondered about the enigmatic, mysterious warlock Magnus Bane? The only character to appear in every Shadowhunter book, Magnus has a past even more shrouded in mystery than his present.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

  I am a huge fan of both of Cassandra Clare's series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.  Once I figured out that she's writing a book about one of my favorite and most unique characters in TMI, I've been excited ever since.  Quite honestly, I'm not sure what to expect, because Sarah and Maureen are also writing the book.  I haven't read anything by Sarah, but I've read The Name of The Star by Maureen, and I can't say it's one of my favorites.
  Either way, I'm super excited for The Bane Chronicles to come out!

  What book are you waiting for?


Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review - The Iron King, Julie Kagawa


Here's my review of the amazing,
IRON KING by Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.


Insight into the book from GOODREADS:

6644117Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.


  How do I even begin to sum up this book . . . ?
  As I always do when I'm reviewing a book, I try my best to find the pros and cons of the story.  Once I found my way to the last few chapters, I put the book down and thought, Alright Cambrie.  You better find something remotely not-so-great with this story, because when you review it, you need to say more than, "THIS BOOK IS PERFECTION."  Now that I've completed my first book by Julie Kagawa, I've come to the conclusion that, this book is perfection!  
  The story begins with an ordinary teenage girl, Meghan Chase.  Meghan has lived a normal life, but hasn't felt normal.  Meghan comes home from school one day, finding her mom lying on the ground and her harmless little brother standing over her body.  However, it's not her brother, Ethan anymore.  Ethan has been kidnapped, replaced with a vicious changeling.  Amiss this surprise, Meghan goes on an adventure to find her brother, and realizes that there's a lot more to the human world than meets the eye.  There's this alternate universe, the Nevernever, that houses wondrous scenery, beautiful creatures, and horrible secrets.  
  In the hunt for her brother, Meghan discovers that her best-friend, Robbie, is an ancient, powerful faery, who has been protecting her her whole life.  In addition, her father, whom she assumed was dead, is a faery king.  Meghan meets many interesting characters as she searches for her brother, and runs into many dangers along the way.  

  The magical world Julie Kagawa has created is astounding.  The Nevernever was written so detailed and beautifully I completely fell in love with it.  
  The characters --- ahh!  Puck and Ash both have my heart!  I don't like love triangles, but I really enjoyed this one.  If I had to pick one of them for Meghan, I wouldn't be able to choose.  Puck is certainly more admirable (at least for me), because he's been alive for decades, and is invincible.  Ash came across as more human.  He can be hurt, he can fail, unlike Puck, who I found to be more like this fantastical hero.  Ash is a extremely handsome Prince, with a forbidden love for Meghan.  As for Meghan, I enjoyed her through and through.  I never found her annoying, unlike most protagonists I've been reading about lately.  Her character build was very obvious, and I certainly enjoyed that.

  All in all, I'm so glad I've read something by Julie Kagawa.  Can't wait to read more from her!