TGIF (43)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Book Series Finales:

Which book, from any series has been your favorite ending? What about your least favorite ending?

Woo! Ginger is making me think extra hard this week. After going through my Goodreads list, I noticed something: I have started like a million different series (not quite a million but still it’s A LOT!) and have finished hardly any of them. There are a number of reasons for this like the series started to suck, the books kept going on, and on, and on (I am looking at you House of Night series!)… or the series just isn’t finished yet! But regardless of the reason, I found that I have finished only a select few series and they are:

Secret Society Girl Series by Diana Peterfreund

I mention this series ALL the time on the blog. It is safe to say it is one of the BEST SERIES EVER!!!! The whole thing is amazing (especially book 3 which is really saying something since middle books are generally the most blahh), the characters get better, the plot changes up and surprises you, and the ending is just so sweet and perfect. It left me with that goofy little smile on my face that was present during the other 3 books as well.

How To Ruin Series by Simone Elkeles

This series was so full of awesome. It had the drama and steaminess that Simone is so well-known for but it also had a great sense of humor. I read the whole series straight through so it was great to see what little changes each character went through. The finale of this series left off at a pretty great spot; I wasn’t craving one last story and I wasn’t dying for it to be over, it was just perfect.

Endless Summer Series by Jennifer Echols

It is strange to see a two-book series but Jennifer is just cool like that! I sometimes think of Endless Summer as one whole book but it is in fact 2 books. This series helped proved my already crazy-big love for Jennifer. It was funny, sweet, and was perfect in that first-love type of way <3

Dream Catcher Series by Lisa McMann

This is actually my least favorite ending of the 4 series that I have listed. The first two books were fast-paced, extra interesting, and had a sense of urgency that the last book just didn’t have. It had things in the ending that needed to be said and were important to the story but at the same time something could have been done to make it a little more action (or mystery)-packed.

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (3/30-4/6):

TGIF (42) Book Blogger Retreat

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disaster by Meredith Zeitlin

Tune In Tuesday (53)

The Best of Twenty-Eleven

The year has come and gone so quickly that I can hardly believe it! It seems like just yesterday I was starting my winter semester as a college Freshman and I was trying to squeeze in every ounce of fun that I could. A ton of memories were created this past year, some bad but mostly all good, and I like to think it has been one of the best years yet. In keeping with the same format that I used last year, here are some of the best moments of 2011!

Sidenote: Almost all of these are a tie between two or more things. Sorry about that, I tried my best to narrow it down but it just wasn’t happening!

1. Best Vacation– This is definitely a tie between the Myrtle Beach vacation I took with Kati and the Myrtle Beach Vacation I took with my family a month later. The weather was gorgeous both times and I got to experience a ton of different things with each trip. I was so lucky to be able to go on two vacations back to back like that!

2. Best Concert– This one also has a tie! It is between Warped Tour 2011 and the acoustic performance by We The Kings! Warped Tour is a day filled with music awesomeness! I saw so many bands perform, got a ton of stuff signed, and I even got to talk to a few of the performers. The We The Kings acoustic performance was brilliant for so many reasons: It was acoustic, it was small, it was free, it featured my future husband, I got to put my arms around my future husband, and I even got to take a picture with my future husband. IT WAS AMAZING!

3. Best CD– This is also going to have to be a tie! We The Kings dropped their latest album this year entitled Sunshine State of Mind. The title of the album couldn’t be more perfect because I get in a sunshiney state of mind EVERY TIME I listen to their CD. So what could be the competition to such an epic CD? All the mixed CD’s I got this past year! I had a lot of friends make me CD’s and all of them were filled with awesome songs that brings a smile to my face!

4. Best New Activity– I can’t explain too many details because I have yet to send out Christmas presents to some pretty freaking lovely bloggers but I do enjoy jewelry making. It takes time and is far more expensive than I could have imagined but it is so much fun to create!

5. Best Birthday Present– Last year I got a whole new bedroom so I was wondering how anything could ever live up to something like that. The answer came in the form of a brand-new bookshelf! I was making just the one work but I was desperately in need of one and my parents luckily noticed it! I love it so freaking much!

6. Best Movies– Well I do love me some movies…and popcorn! Some of my favorites were: Breaking Dawn: Part 1, Bridesmaids, Crazy Stupid Love, The Help, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows: Part 2, and Footloose.

7. Best Books– Oh gosh! It was my original goal to read 100 books in 2011 but Goodreads just wouldn’t stop telling me how sucky I was at completing that goal so I changed it to 80 and I still didn’t accomplish it! However, I did squeeze in 76 books. The best ones (some 4’s and all 5 stars) are:

Sidenote: Some of the titles will be linked to my reviews and other will be linked to Goodreads since I have not yet reviewed them!

Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

A Girl Named Willow Krimble by Giuseppe Bianco

Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Released by Megan Duncan

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Faithful by Janet Fox

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Matched by Ally Condie

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Re-reads of both Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Echols books

Fade by Lisa McMann

The Childe by C.A. Kunz

Between by Cyndi Tefft

Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Girl v Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

8. Best Blogging Moment– How does one even choose something like this? In the past year I have met more authors, connected with more bloggers, reviewed more books, joined more weekly features, and had the most fun than I have EVER had! This whole experience has been one joyous event after another and I have all of YOU to thank for that. I have found some of the greatest friends and most influential people (and let’s not forget they all also kick butt when it come to writing reviews!) than I could have ever imagined. I would not trade this past year for anything!

9. Best Friend(s)– It is no secret that Kati has and always will be my best friend. I talk about her awesomeness all the time. But because of recent events, I feel like I must give a shout-out to my dear friend Stacey. Her and I were running buddies in high school. You could never find two girls who hated cross-country with such a deep passion like the two of us (even though we secretly loved it!) She has been there for both Kati and I through so many things and now it’s our turn to be there for Stacey. These two girls make my days so much better and I love them for that!

10. Best Family– Well of course this goes out to my family once again but not without some complaints! Zack and Zeke aka The Brat Pack drove me absolutely INSANE this past year. Those two boys are the epitome of annoying little brothers. I love them to death but jeez louise they sure are crazy! In all honesty, I am lucky to have my family always there for me. They support me through everything and even though they make fun of me every once in a while, they always know how to make me smile!

So that’s it for my 2011! I hope you all had a great year and an even better 2012!

TGIF (31)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

First & Last:

What was the first book you read in 2011 and the last you finished in 2011? How do you feel about these books? Would you recommend them to other readers?

2011 has been an EXCELLENT year as far as  books have been concerned. Some, okay almost all, of my favorite books, I consumed during the last year and this post is definitely making me think about that. As I got ready for this week’s TGIF question, I enlisted the help of trusty, ole’ goodreads to do the dirty work (by this, I mean I looked at the books I read in 2011 in chronological order. Really, it made everything so much easier.) While doing this I pondered over some titles and thought to myself, “Wow, I seriously read that book within the last 365 days? It feels like forever since I’ve read it!” But of course goodreads never lies, and I have indeed read those books in 2011.

By doing this post, I got a little bit sad. I kept thinking of all the great titles, the “new book excitement” I got, the wee hours I stayed up to read, the countless amounts of time I put into expressing my feelings just so if only to convince at least one other person to read it. And it really did make me tear up a bit. I want nothing more than to read through some of those titles again. To experience those feelings of pure joy that I first got while reading them. But I shall resist because I know for a fact that there are excellent things to be read in 2012. The new books coming out, the review books gathering dust on my shelves, and let’s not forget the 152 books sitting in my room just DYING to be read. Will I get through these all in the coming year? Heck-to-the-no. But can I expect to have the same, uber excited feelings over books that will be read by yours truly? Well of course! Here’s to a fabulous year we all had in 2011 and an even better one to come in 2012. Happy New Year everyone!

sidenote #1: I would recommend almost ALL of the books that I read the past year to at least one reader out there. Even some of the lower rating books that I picked up, may not have been “the one” for me but there is someone out there who it is perfect for. It is all about finding the right person with the right interests! With that being said, there are a few titles below that I would recommend to pretty much every living, breathing human on this planet because of its sheer awesomeness!

sidenote #2: The first 5 books read in 2011 are linked to the review where as the last 5 books read in 2011 are linked to goodreads. I haven’t quite gotten around to reviewing those ones.

sidenote #3: If you do on an off-chance check out the reviews linked, pretty please with sugar on top DON’T laugh at my lameness. Okay…I guess you can laugh at my lameness but only little chuckles are allowed. The reviews are…interesting for lack of a better word.

The first 5 books I read in 2011 were:

1) Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols is a YA contemporary rock star! I won this book from her, (and yes, it is now ruined thanks to two of my sibling. Don’t bring it up though. It still causes tears to spring to my eyes.) and then quickly devoured it. I was so caught up in the perfect summer she created for us. Every character was very real to me and I loved every second that I spent with them. It was the perfect, fun read to start off the new year.

2) Beastly by Alex Flinn

This was a pretty good story. It wasn’t the best thing I have ever read but it surely kept me entertained. Plus it was one of the first fairy tale retellings I have ever read and I am now hooked! It was very cool how Alex did it from the Beast’s perspective as opposed to Belle’s.

3) What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

I have some serious love for this book and for this author. As I have stated before, Ashley was the very first author who ever took a chance on my blog. I still remember the cheesy smile that was plastered on my face for DAYS after she asked if I would review her book. I still get that same little high every time an author so much as responds to one of my tweets. This book was powerful and beautiful. I love it oh so much!

4) Fade by Lisa McMann

This whole series is full of greatness. I was able to read all three books super quickly and they entertained me from start to finish. Wake started my obsession with the series and Fade only added to it!

5) Girl vs. Boy by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout

Yvonne and Sandy are a writing duo that I have quickly come to love and that is because of this book! They are just super fun and their books put a big smile on your face. It was easy to get through and it just made me insanely happy. After this, I will forever be a fan of theirs!

The last 5 books I read in 2011 were:

5) Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

It is safe to say that this book made me extremely happy, it then broke my heart into a million pieces, and then left me feeling a sense of calmness. Any book that can take you through those emotions especially in a small amount of pages is HUGE!

4) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Huh? What? Did that just happen? Was this a dream? Was this a nightmare? Wait…he did what? <<<That was my stream of thoughts throughout this whole book and now weeks after finishing it, those are STILL the thoughts I am thinking. I cannot grasp what exactly went down but I do know that I loved every thrilling, exhilarating moment of craziness that Michelle took us through. SUCH A GOOD BOOK!

3) Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

This was my first Elizabeth Scott book and it is now safe to say she has made a fan of me. The book was fun but still packed with some emotion. The characters were super easy to relate to and sympathize with even if it seem we have nothing in common. I loved reading this one!

2) Summer on Fire by Kevin Craig

This was a pretty good book. There were a few things I didn’t quite like but I did love that it was from a teen boys perspective! We were really able to get inside the head of the main character and while I did not like a few of the things he did, it was all very believable and in the end it was a pretty good story.

1) Unbreakable Love by Angela Carling

This was also a pretty good book. There were some moments I thought were a bit cheesy or almost cliché BUT it was a really sweet love story and exactly what I needed to cheer me up.

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (12/23-12/30):

TGIF (30) Dear Santa: My Christmas wishlist!

Life As Kate (11): One tough, tough week :-/

The Trylle Series by Amanda Hocking + Book Trailer

Tune In Tuesday (40): My ultimate concert love for Taylor Swift & We The Kings!

In My Mailbox (27)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book bloggers to post what they have received for review, borrowed from a friend, bought at the bookstore, or picked up at the library. I was able to do another author event this week plus a few books I ordered online FINALLY came in the mail!

**Sidenote: I am now an affiliate for Schuler Books & Music, an Independent bookstore in Lansing, MI. If any of these books catch your eye, make sure you click the picture and it will directly lead you to Schuler’s website!**

Bought:

*All books by Lisa McMann were previously purchased I just decided to include them all in this IMM because they are SIGNED now!!!*

Wake by Lisa McMann
My Thoughts: This is the book that started it all! The whole series is such an easy, quick read and I loved every second of it. Meeting Lisa was phenomenal! I love when authors take the time to connect and chat with all of their fans and Lisa is basically a PRO at it!

Fade by Lisa McMann
My Thoughts: This is my favorite of the Dream Catcher series! It was so wonderful!

 

Gone by Lisa McMann
My Thoughts: This was my least favorite of the series yet I still loved it, that is really saying something!

Past Perfect by Leila Sales
My Thoughts: Every single review I read on this book has so many positive things to say about it. It sounds like such a charming, fun book. I may have to read it soon!
Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty
My Thoughts: I LOVED the first book so I was so happy when the 2nd in the series finally came in the mail. After a month and a half of work and school non-stop I actually have some days off coming up in the future. This is on the list of books to read during those days!

Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty
My Thoughts: Like Second Helpings, I am so hoping to get this one read during one of my days off! Love this series!!!
Those are all the great books I got this week! Leave a link to your IMM post and I will be sure to check out what awesome reads you got this week!

TGIF (6)

TGIF is a fun little feature hosted at GReads! Every week we re-cap what has happened on the blog plus Ginger asks a question for us to answer. This week’s question is: 

Mr & Mrs:

Who are your favorite book couples?

It is official now, Ginger @ GReads! is trying to stump me with her questions of awesomness! I have read a lot of books. I have read a lot of books that include romance. I have read AND loved a lot of books that include romance and super awesome couples. To narrow down the list is impossible so I say, why not name them all? Here it goes!

Ashlyn & Kai from Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler

Abby & Max from Released by Megan Duncan

Amy and Roger from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Avi from The Ruined series by Simone Elkeles

Clara and Tucker from Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Anna and Ettienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Calla and REN from Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Ethan and Lena from The Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Lori and Adam from Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Meg and John from Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Zoey and Doug from Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Amy and Poe from The Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund

Janie and Cable from The Dream Catcher series by Lisa McMann

Isobel and Varen from Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Evie and Lend from Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Luce and Daniel from Fallen by Lauren Kate

Clary and Jace from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Brittany and Alex from Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Kiara and Carlos from Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

ALL major relationships from these following Sarah Dessen Books:

Along for the Ride

Lock and Key

This Lullaby

The Truth About Forever

Just Listen

Okay, there are all of my favorite relationships! These relationships stick out the most for me because they have chemistry. The characters aren’t perfect, the situations they face aren’t ideal, yet they still find an understanding with someone and from that, their love grows for each other.

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (6/24-7/1):

Happy Birthday Kati

In My Mailbox (16)

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Tune-In Tuesday (14)

Monthly Wrap-Up (March 2011)

Where did the month of March go? It seems like it just flew by! Since it is now April 1st, it’s time for monthly wrap-up again! At the end of each month (or if I’m running a little late like this month) I will post exactly what happened on my crazy little blog for that previous month. A lot happened (on the blog & in my life) during the month of March!

Books I Read In March:

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Solid by Shelley Workinger

*That is a total of 5 books for the month of March. I am now 19% done with my goal of 100 books. I need to get reading!*

Books I Reviewed In March:

Gone by Lisa McMann. This was a great end to a fabulous series. I can’t wait to read more of Lisa’s work!

Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout. This is a super cute story of love, heartbreak, revenge, and most importantly, friendship.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. LOVE this book! My review of it turned into a huge gush fest because it was just so good.

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers. This story is heart-wrenching, compelling, and a must read. I need to read more of Courtney’s writing ASAP!

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. I love this fun, quirky book. A deaf girl managing a rock band; you can’t get much more unique than that!

Solid by Shelley Workinger. This is a great book! It is a little on the sci-fi side but Shelley’s ideas are young, interesting, and new.

Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund. This is a must-read! I love the whole series. You will be laughing your whole way through it!

Miscellaneous Things On The Blog In March

First, my blog got a makeover! Doesn’t it look just absolutely adorable? Feel free to answer that question with a yes!

I posted about why I was going to be missing from my blog for a week. I went on vacation!

(Read my post here!)

Once I got back from vacation I did a blog post featuring some of my favorite pictures of the trip. Most are goofy ones of me and Kati so it’s a pretty funny post.

(Read my vacation post here!)

I hosted my very first giveaway on the blog. As part of the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop, I gave away a copy of The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade. I love doing the contest (as soon as I’m rich again, I’ll do another one!)

Once the contest ended I posted my un-lucky story and the winner!

(Read my un-lucky story and winner post here!)

I continued with my “In My Mailbox” posts. I got some GREAT stuff the past month!

(Read my IMM posts here & here!)

I also started a few new memes this month! The first is “Tune-In Tuesday”! I love finding out about great music as well as spreading the word about some great bands that I know. This is a great way to do it!

(Read my Tune-In Tuesday posts here & here!)

I participated in the friday memes Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop so I combined them to one post. They ask fun questions; I had a good time participating!

(Read my Follow Friday/Book Blogger Hop post here!)

Last but not least for memes, I did another Teaser Tuesday post about a super awesome book!

(Read my Teaser Tuesday post here!)

So there you have it for the month of March! I had a good time this month but I hope to be even more productive in April! I will be on vacation (yes, another vacation for me!) the first week of April so my postings then will be a little sparse. I hope everyone has a very happy April Fools Day!

 

Book Review: Gone by Lisa McMann

Title: Gone (Dream Catcher #3)

Author: Lisa McMann

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 214 paperback

My Rating: 4/5 stars

At our last book club meeting, we discussed this book and the Dream Catcher series as a whole.

Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out. . . . 

I am so sad to see the end to such a wonderful series. Lisa McMann’s Dream Catcher series has been a wonderful read. I am very glad that our book club chose to read this. I loved learning about Janie’s abilities as well as watching her struggle through the ups and downs brought on by her ability to see other’s dreams. The first two books of the series (Wake, Fade) lead to the extremely tough decision Janie must face in the third and final book. Her knowledge of Dream Catching has grown as well as her talent to control it. However, that knowledge comes with some very heartbreaking news. Janie must choose between two very difficult and painful paths.

As much as I want to go on and on about how I adored the final book of this series, I just can’t make myself do it. Wake and Fade are so mesmerizing and interesting that Gone fell kind of short. There is still a lot of new information and twists and turns in Gone, but this book was missing a WOW factor for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a must-read especially if you have read the first two books, but don’t expect to be blown away. A majority of the book is of Janie while she contemplates what path she wants her life to lead. It is an inevitable decision that we knew would have to be made somewhere in the series, I was just a little bit disappointed that the decision took up the entire last book.

The characters are still great and as lovable as ever. Janie’s confidence (confidence in her relationships, powers, future, etc.) goes up and down throughout this whole book; you will find yourself cheering her on through all of her internal struggles. There for her through everything is Cabel. This bad-boy gone good is just too adorable to pass up. He is so supportive of Janie even if he is a little bit unsure of where their relationship will end up in the future. In this book, we also get to meet a very new and interesting character that holds the key to Janie’s past and future.

All in all, Gone is a book that had to be done. It wraps up the Dream Catcher series rather well.