heather anastasiu

A to Z Bookish Survey.

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I recently came across a version of THIS reader survey by The Perpetual Page Turner while reading a blog tour post on THIS site about MY FORMER TEACHER‘s new novel. It seemed like a really fun and simple blog topic, so I thought I would give it a try. I hope you enjoy my answers and feel free to answer it yourself!

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Author you’ve read the most books from:

Back in eighth and ninth grade, when I was a weepy little 13-year-old, I loved novels that took readers and sent them on emotional roller coasters, so I read just about every novel Lurlene McDaniel had ever written. Note: my bookish masochism has not gone away. McDaniel, publish more, please?

Best sequel ever:

Do not let the reviews of this woman’s works fool you, Override by Heather Anastasiu, is a perfect follow-up to Glitch. In some ways, I would even say that it is a better book than the first because it really steps up the action and makes readers settle in for the long haul.

Currently reading:

The last semester of my undergrad degree has officially begun and coursework is eating my life. So, I’m currently reading The Art of Democracy: A Concise History of Popular Culture in the United States by Jim Cullen.

Drink of choice while reading:

Agua, eau, wasser, uisce! In other words, water.

E-reader or physical book:

I definitely prefer reading a physical book. I mean, you completely miss out on the old and new book smells if you use an e-reader.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school:

Without a doubt, I would have dated David from Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies trilogy. He’s adventurous and natural, but also intuitive and contemplative. What’s not to like?

Glad you gave this book a chance:

The Christy Miller Collection (and the companion trilogy, Christy and Todd: College Years) by Robin Jones Gunn was really an example of me taking a chance on a book. At the time I read it, I was fresh out of Catholic school, and even though I didn’t detest religion, I was really reluctant to allow any more discussion of it into my life. When I finally picked up Christy Miller’s story, I just couldn’t put it down again. Christy and Todd are such addictive characters and

Hidden gem book:

I haven’t actually seen this book mentioned much in the blogosphere and it definitely should be. Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin is a truly incredible story of two teenagers finding their own ways amid the sexual revolution of the 1980s. When you consider that the story is inspired by the true story of interactions between Matthew Boger and Timothy Zaal it simply becomes all the more extraordinary. I have yet to see another book that speaks about the effects of hate crimes, prejudice, and discrimination in such a vivid and beautiful way.

Important moment in your reading life:

Reading Just Listen by Sarah Dessen for the first time way back in my freshman year of high school was a big thing for me. I think I needed that book as much as it needed me.

Just finished:

Someone, please, read Reached by Ally Condie. I need to fangirl with someone!

Kinds of books you won’t read:

I will read almost anything from self-help books to science fiction, but I just cannot stand nature photography books. I get so restless paging through books that are just filled with pictures! There’s nothing wrong with photography and I love physical photo albums, but I have no patience for books filled with sunrises and landscapes.

Longest book you’ve read:

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. 1,463 pages of awesome.

Major book hangover because of:

The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. How am I suppose to deal with an ending like that? Gah! I needed the next book at least 5 hours ago.

Number of bookcases you own:

Technically I have 1 bookcase and 1 entertainment center for books in my room, but my books are actually spread all over the house. At least if a book thief ever pops in, they can’t get to them all in one fell swoop!

One book you have read multiple times:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. I may have, kind of, sort of, seriously, read that book more than 20 times since it was published. I may have also read “The Prince’s Tale” alone at least double that amount.

Preferred place to read:

I actually love reading somewhere that isn’t quiet or peaceful, like the living room with my family, a hospital cafeteria, or a park. But, at the same time, I don’t want anyone to actually talk to me while I’m reading. Sorry!

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“In the absence of real thunder, he’s making his own” (Ally Condie, Matched).

Reading regret:

I wish I hadn’t let college courses get in the way of my book reviewing. 21 course hours this semester and frequent book reviewing is totally possible, right? RIGHT?

Series you started and need to finish (all books are out in series):

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Three of your all-time favorite books:

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (It’s technically a poetry collection, but, I’m going to be stubborn, claim it as a book, and stick my tongue out at anyone who disagrees.)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn

Unapologetic fangirl for:

Divergent by Veronica Roth…err, well, actually, the whole of the Divergent trilogy and the accompanying short stories. Dauntless for the win!

Very excited for this release more than all the others:

I am indescribably excited for the release of Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I need to know what is outside of the fence!

Worst bookish habit:

I’m awful about not noticing the world while I’m reading! If I’m reading a good book, I’m pretty sure an earthquake, hurricane, and sharknado could happen, and the only think I might do is grip my book tighter so it wouldn’t get pulled away.

X marks the spot–start at the top left of your book shelf and pick the 27th book:

I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier is the 27th book on my shelf, but it is much higher on my favorites list! Cormier does an excellent job of delving into the world of psychology, while still writing the book at a level that can be understood by almost any age group.

Your latest book purchase:

The History and Theory of Rhetoric by James Herrick. Okay, so maybe it was a textbook purchase, but I’m having a “first day of school mental hangover,” so my memory is unwilling to go any further back to remember my last fun reading purchase.

Zzz-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I could not handle the feels, so sleep was not allowed to come between the conclusion of that trilogy and I.

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If any of you do the survey as well, I would love to read what you write. Post the linkage in the comments. Cheers!

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10 Books Reviews for 10 Days Until Fall Semester.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

5 out of 5

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Clary Fray has been officially introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters and nearly immediately she is faced with a comatose mother,  thoughts about Jace that don’t lend well to her new knowledge that they’re siblings separated long ago, and a villainous and possibly insane father named Valentine. On top of everything else, Clary must worry about murdered Downworlders, the romantic side of Simon, and figuring out the runes that seem to pop into her head at random. The plot moves quickly, the characters show genuine development, and readers who are hooked from the first book of the series won’t be disappointed. However, as a minor criticism, the book truly hit you where it hurts by throwing incest into the mix; at times I found myself wanting to shake Clare just for putting us all through it. But, trust me on this, guys, it’s a book that is worth the character shipping anxiety.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

5 out of 5

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If you’re into breaking and entering (with regard to secret cities), prejudice against Downworlders (metaphor much), the dark side of Shadowhunters (we all just love the dark), a mysterious guy named Sebastian (sigh), and toeing the line between friendly and incestuous (eek), then this book is right up your dark and creature-filled alley. Valentine and his allies have begun a civil war, leaving Downworlders and Shadowhunters unsure how to react and Clary Fray certain that she must harness her power with runes to save the Shadowhunters’ Glass City. If readers go into this series with any expectations, they are sure to be shattered and recreated at least 20 times before they’ve even read through the first 100 pages. Once again, Clare manages to combine a bit of reality, a dash of myth, and a heap of world-building to create a truly unique experience.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

4 out of 5

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So, what does one do when the war is over and everything should be going back to normal? Well, if you’re Clary Fray, you help plan a wedding that’s been several decades coming, begin training as a Shadowhunter about sixteen years late, allow a rift to develop between you, your boyfriend, and your best friend, and generally have your world fall apart all over again. The Mortal Instruments series was very clearly intended to be a “three shots and done” endeavor, but for some crazy, wonderful, fan-pleasing reason, Clare decided to take it a few steps further. The issue with this continuance is that the series ends of feeling disjointed and broken, with the first three books an entity apart from City of Fallen Angels and the plot it introduces. While I adore Clary, Jace, and the rest of their leather-wearing, weapons-wielding crew, and this book is definitely worth reading, readers beware. Go in with a clear mind and an openness to an entirely new plot or you’re bound to end up whining and crying on your sofa with a tub of ice cream.

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky Trilogy) by Veronica Rossi

4 out of 5

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Aria needs to find the Still Blue to get Perry’s nephew back , Perry needs to lead the Tides as their Blood Lord or they risk dying out, and Aria and Perry NEED to be together despite their seemingly opposite pursuits. I have never seen a book that so thoroughly and perfectly describes and exemplifies the needs of the various characters, as well as how those needs interact and often conflict. Additionally, Rossi must be commended for her efforts and general success in incorporating the needs and pursuits of secondary characters, Roar and Liv, without casting aside those of the primary characters. Rather than characters canceling each other out as many second books mistakenly do when expanding the character base, Rossi was able to create a storyline wherein they truly coexist (even if certain characters…*cough* Liv *cough*…aren’t allowed as much growth as others). Readers will not be disappointed by this book, but they might be nervous about the long wait for the next installment–come on, Rossi, January of 2014 is too far away for my book addiction to deal!

Shiver (Linger Trilogy) by Maggie Stiefvater

3 out of 5

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You know those RomComs and RomDrams where you literally want to reach into the film and make everything okay for the key characters? That’s how I felt about this installment in the Shiver trilogy: Grace and Sam needed a different set of hands to manipulate them or at least guide them on their way because Stiefvater’s simply weren’t cutting it. Sam is human and maladjusted, Grace is sick and hiding it from everyone, Cole is a broken human hiding behind a wolf mask, and Isabelle detests the wolves after the death of her brother but she just can’t seem to stay away. While this book certainly made valuable contributions to the trilogy overall–most importantly insight into Grace’s childhood experience with the wolves and explaining Sam’s back story overall–but, it also seems to have attempted to do too many things at once. With so many different directions to go, the storyline and readers experiencing it might feel a bit frazzled even if they do appreciate the plot development.

Forever (Shiver Trilogy) by Maggie Stiefvater

4 out of 5

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By the conclusion of this trilogy, Sam and Grace have effectively switched places, the problem is also the cure, a cast of new characters detracts from the old, and it seems as though Stiefvater has decided that ambiguity is her specialty. While a slight improvement over the second book, this third and final book continues the trend of approaches a plot from too many different angles at once. At times, the book  felt like a tedious chore–rather, it was not so much the plot’s conclusion that was important, but rather a personal devotion to not leaving a book unfinished once started. Yet, even once the end was reached, the plot felt unsettled and wracked by the lack of a definitive resolution. My biggest suggestion: go with the flow and don’t focus on the details during the reading. If you stick to the bigger picture, you’ll have a better reading experience; you might miss a couple of side stories, but at least you won’t feel like you’ve lost as much when the book comes to an unsatisfying end.

Override (Glitch Trilogy) by Heather Anastasiu

5 out of 5

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I was incredibly annoyed some months ago when I read Glitch, the first book in this work-in-progress trilogy, and saw that reviewers tore it apart like homemade confetti. If I’m honest, I went off on a bit of a tangent when that happened, and I promptly began to rebut every bad review I saw. Well, this follow-up to the first book only serves to prove my point: Anastasiu knows what she is doing and she truly can deliver! Moving beyond the confines of the Community and the slower pace that world-building can sometimes include, Anastasiu truly allows the character of Zoe to develop and grow into her world, becoming a part of it, rather existing as a separate and one-dimensional entity. Through endeavors in strengthening the Resistance, fighting the authority of the Community, and developing a growing cast of superhuman fighters, the story literally and figuratively moves above the surface and becomes three-dimensional.

Crossed (Matched Trilogy) by Ally Condie

5 out of 5

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After confusion regarding Society’s first Match for her, Cassia rebelled against a life without choices, and decided to choose for herself. In this second installment, Cassia has ventured to the Outer Provinces of society in search for the love that she was torn from because of Society’s harsh restrictions. Told in alternating points of view, this book allows insight into Ky’s search for a better future, Cassia’s wish to find a way to fight the wrongs of the past, and, through them both, a peak into how significant Cassia’s first match and old best friend, Xander, truly is in society’s future. I’m hesitant to say much about this book because I feel as though even the most vague comments would reveal too much and take away from the wonderful experience that Condie was able to create and invites readers to enjoy. Thus, my only recommendation is to read this one as soon as possible because you won’t regret it. (Plus, I need more people to fangirl with about it.)

Requiem (Delirium Trilogy) by Lauren Oliver

5 out of 5

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First there was Lena: insightful, strong, and illegally in love with the idea of love since the day her “ill” mother first mentioned the idea. Then there was Alex: a boy from the outside who enticed Lena with ideas of a world where one’s emotions were purely one’s own. And, finally, there was Julian: beautiful and nearly perfect, but considered “faulty” in a society where, if surgery cannot remove one’s emotions, the person is an unnecessary. Between the three of them is a love triangle and a struggle for survival that none of them expected to come about. Now, having all escaped the emotionless society and escaped back into the Wilds, the three dedicate themselves to the resistance. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this storyline is that, in spite of the theme being that of love and the intrinsic necessity of emotions overall, the characters do not lose themselves to love, nor is the trilogy a love story. Instead, Oliver’s is a tale of finding oneself in the world that surrounds you and realizing that, no matter what society says, it is society that is flawed, not you. While the conclusion is mildly unsatisfying and will not bring the closure that love story aficionados will crave, the story in itself is sublime and I would not change the ending for the world. I urge everyone to read this trilogy even if it is the only reading you do this year.

Asunder (Newsoul Trilogy) by Jodi Meadows

5 out of 5

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Ana is the only Newsoul in seemingly all of existence, and ever since Templedark, that fact has become even more significant, putting her in increasingly more danger as the number of Darksouls is counted and fear of more Newsouls increases. In addition to such internal conflict within Heart, sylph are also acting in new ways and dragons frighten even the seemingly invincible character that is Sam. With her very existence at risk, and the existence of everyone else so uncertain, Ana has to learn to defend herself better and find her true purpose quicker, all while trying to save those that may very well want her dead. At its core, Meadows presents an existential crisis of mammoth proportions, as well as an exploration of how age, history, and our own choices shape our souls. When I wrote about the first book in the trilogy, I already knew that I was attached to Ana’s character and needed to see her through to the end of her story, but this installment has only intensified my attachment. If I had a time machine, I would jump ahead to January of 2014 just to get my hands on a copy of Infinite.

Now, to conclude what seems to have become a parade of science fiction and dystopian books from series and trilogies–I don’t know what was up with my reading list but I haven’t read a single one shot book lately–I hope that you will check out some of these books and have as good an experience as I had. If I were to choose just one, I would hope that you would give any of the books from the Delirium trilogy a shot, but I truly wish you would try them all. If you have questions or comments, please leave them below and get the conversation going. Happy reading!

Over 15 In Under An Hour: Book Reviews.

In an ode to what this blog use to be, as well as the ridiculous number of books I have read over the past couple weeks, I am going to be doing 16 quick book reviews in as little time as possible. 1, 2, 3, go!

Every Day by David Levithan

5 out of 5

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Told from the viewpoint of A, a gender nonspecific soul or entity that lives in another body every day, David Levithan unfolds a tale that proves how vital memories to existence, the ways in which uncertainty and constant fluidity can affect the psyche, and the complexity of human relationships. The book is well written, simple to follow, and truly causes the reader to question the importance we place upon arbitrary events and ideas each day. I cannot find words that can truly describes the depth of human emotion that this book portrays and brings out in the reader.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

5 out of 5

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If you have been on the Internet the past few years, and most particularly on Tumblr, then you know that hearing about this book (the first of a series) has been unavoidable. Personally, I avoided reading it for quite some time simply because the fans grated on my nerves. However, now that I have read it, I entirely understand the excitement over every word Cassandra Clare has written. In City of Bones, Clare develops a world in which vampires, werewolves, demon hunters, fay, warlocks, and so many more creatures exist in plain sight, yet without anyone outside of the world itself truly being able to see. The primary character, Clary, has been part of this world since birth but she has not seen it until now. City of Bones follows Clary’s discovery of this second world that envelops her more obvious and mundane one, and how those two worlds will come to be intertwined. Overall, the book is well written, holds a storyline that is absolutely enthralling, and leaves you wanting more.

Matched by Ally Condie

5 out of 5

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In the Society, mathematics and science decide almost everything. Who you marry, what work you do, where you live, and even who will be your family and friends. Once those things are established, the Society follows your every movement and decision, breaking you down into a statistics and tracking you through their findings. When main character Cassia has her Matching ceremony, where she is to learn who she will marry, something goes wrong (or rather right) and more than one face appears as her match. This leads Cassia to question her character as well as that of others, as well as to progressively rebel against the rigid structure of the society. This book suggests an interesting yet not unheard of idea of a society in which emotions are rejected as having been the downfall of previous societies. I score this book so highly simply because, for an overdone plot line, it truly felt like a new idea while reading. The character of Cassia is complex, like most people, and that makes her very relatable. As well, there is Cassia’s absolutely human quality of self-doubt and confusion that is often missing in other young adult novels. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

4 out of 5

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I have a bit of a soft spot for books set in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and this book hit me right in that spot. Quite honestly, the novel gets off to a slow start and I considered putting it down before I had even really begun; however, if you truly allow your mind the freedom of immersing yourself in the upper class of early nineteenth century New York City and all that that lifestyle included, you begin to enjoy it more than ever. The Luxe opens with the funeral of Elizabeth Holland before jumping backward to explain how such an event came to take place. Through this tale, Godbersen addresses the standards and behaviors of upper class society, the idea of familial loyalty, and frequent the necessity of lies in order to live life well. While I will not yet commit to reading the second book in the series as the plot line moved along at a snails place, I might find myself drawn to it simply to enjoy the setting once again.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

5 out of 5

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Nikki Beckett has spent a century in the Everneath; however, to the people she use to know on the Surface, only 6 months have passed.  In a modern retelling of the Greek myths surrounding Persephone and Hades, Brodi Ashton successfully translates myth into reality and leaves readers in rapt anticipation of the promised continuation of the trilogy. The characters are generally believable and complex as humans always are, and the overall plot calls to mind questions of where the line between fact and fiction actually lies within myths and fairy tales. Even as the plot becomes more complicated and the dark side to each character becomes apparent, readers will surely find themselves wishing that they could be part of the action.

Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman

3 out of 5

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Boarding school. Young love and lust. Poor grades. Unexplained night terrors. At first glance, this novel seems to be the perfect setup for the average young adult love story, and in the first half of the novel, it fulfills that cliché to a T. However, after quite a bit of typical romance and teenager confusion, the plot truly takes off and questions begin to develop about the main character, Emily Meckler’s, life views, plans, and overall background. I was entirely disappointed in Warman’s inability to tie all aspects of the plot together in order to make a cohesive book; however, the plot did keep me interested enough to read until the last page. I would not recommend the book unless you want a slow and possibly bad introduction to the world of young adult mystery novels.

Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

4 out of 5

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Written in free/blank verse and spanning over 200 pages, Because I Am Furniture broached the topics of obvious child abuse as well as abuse by way of absolute neglect. The main character, Anke, is the youngest of three children and lives with her mother and father. Anke’s father is physically and sexually abusive to both her older brother and older sister; however, he does not even seem to notice her own existence. Throughout the book, Anke deals with the emotions surrounding her abuse by way of neglect and struggles with the knowledge that she recognizes her father’s crimes but feels that she can do nothing to prevent them. Although I am not usually a fan of blank verse novels, simply because they tend to ramble on, I enjoyed this book and appreciated its abrupt and to the point writing style. Chaltas was definitely not afraid to write exactly what she meant rather than hiding all meaning beneath veils of pointless imagery and metaphors. I cannot see myself reading it again, but if you are prepared for an emotional journey and unafraid to face the darker aspects of being human, I would wholeheartedly suggest it as a quick read.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

5 out of 5

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Ana lives in a world where everyone is a reincarnation of a soul that has existed for thousands of years. That is, everyone except her. When Ana was born, her soul was entirely new, and the soul that should have been reincarnated into her body simply ceased to exist. To some, that makes her a No Soul, and to others a New Soul. This book follows Ana as she attempts to unravel the mystery behind her own existence with a little help from a kind old soul known to her as Sam. The aspect that intrigued me most about this book was that I have never seen something written about reincarnation that was so believable. From the very first page you want Ana to find some assurance of her existence and you want to defend her against every evil that crosses her path. Your heart truly beat and bleeds for Ana. I get attached to characters, but this sort of attachment was on a whole other level and I will stick by her until Meadows brings the trilogy to the very end.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

5 out of 5

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Okay, I have to retract what I just said. I got attached to McGarry’s characters of Echo and Noah as well. Essentially, Echo was involved in a family tragedy her sophomore year of high school. After she returns to school with both mental and physical scars of a tragedy that she cannot fully remember, her old relationships and friendships become either seriously stressed or entirely disintegrate. Echo is desperate to remember the event that her mind was so desperate to forget. At the same time, the character of Noah has been dealing with his own issues. Freshman year his parents were killed in a home fire and, as a result, he and his two younger brothers have been living in foster care. Most significantly, they are in separate foster care and Noah is desperate to reunite the only family he knows. As both Echo and Noah navigate their lives in the aftermath of terrible tragedy, they grow together and learn to rely on each other. Unlike many books in the genre, these two face problems from every angle and it led some realism to the overall relationship. The plot itself was no far stretch from real life and thus made it easier to emotionally connect to these characters that life had so fiercely attempted to break. I am not one to cry easily or frequently and this book made me do exactly that. There are sexual references, some cursing, and other such teenage and life instances, so I would not recommend this book to people who are not mature enough to face those realities.

Guitar Notes by Mary Amato

5 out of 5

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No matter how much I try not to, I cannot help but compare this book and it’s style to that of every John Green book I have ever read. Told from the alternating views of Lyla and Tripp, it is a heartwarming tale of the unlikely union between two different types of musicians. Lyla is a tightly wound cellist who plays by the rules and does as she is told. Tripp is an unstructured guitarist who makes his own rules and feels rather than learns. When the two come to share a music practice room in their high school, a friendship grows between them that is music all its own. Overall, the plot line moved along fluidly and I found few grammatical or plot related errors. The main characters are dynamic, relatable, and likeable, and I honestly wish that I knew them in real life. It is not a heavy or complicated read, nor is it going to drastically change your views, but it will definitely call your attention to aspects of life that you had simply grown apathetic to and forgotten to notice. Also, as a plus, Amato quite literally included guitar notes in the back pages of Guitar Notes…play on!

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

5 out of 5

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I know that I am going to sound pretentious in this review and I just cannot help, so why should I try? Glitch is a book that seems to have been written straight from the depths of my mind, and quite honestly shares a remarkable number of similarities to my own novel that hides amongst the folders on my Macbook. In short, Zoe lives in a technological and mechanical world known as the Community. In the Community, all emotions have been rejected and society is driven by implanted chips which break down life into simple and harmless tasks. Every day is the same and every one is the same. When Zoe’s chip begins to glitch and she gets a glimpse of how world is without the rose-colored glasses of the Link network, Zoe becomes curious about the rest of world and how different life could be. In addition to this mental clarity, Zoe also learns that her glitch is due to her own mental development of telekinetic powers. Zoe struggles to control these newfound powers and remain in the only society she knows, all well longing for something more. I will not say much about this book simply because I could go on about it for hours; however, I will say that I found the plot line to be wonderful albeit the pace was rather slow. Regardless of the pace I stayed up all night turning pages and have not regretted that loss of sleep at all. I cannot wait for the second book and the resolution to a well placed but purely evil cliffhanger. Kudos to Anastasiu for keeping me waiting.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

5 out of 5

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After finally reading this piece, I wish that I could slap every person who told me that it was precisely like Twilight. Okay, the plot does involve wolves who shape shift into humans, but the similarities end there. Shiver is the story of girl named Grace who was attacked by wolves year before but retains no fear of them. In fact, Grace believes that there is more to them than meets the eye and she even calls the wolf with the yellow eyes her own. When Grace finally comes to meet the boy, Sam, who exists with the yellow eyed wolf, her life is changed forever and she is ushered into a world and life that she never would have dreamed about. Overall, I found the romance between Grace and Sam to be incredibly endearing and a topic of which I do not believe I will tire. While I can understand how this novel would not appeal to some, as paranormal romance novels often do not, I would urge readers to give it a shot. It is a prime example of well written paranormal novels that go beyond clichés and actually navigate a suspenseful plot.

MacKinnon Curse Trilogy by J.A. Templeton

4 out of 5

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The MacKinnon family is legend in this Scottish town and even the newest residents, an American family that includes main character Riley Williams, cannot avoid being affected by the MacKinnon’s tale. After living through an accident that killed her mother-the event which led the family to movie across the globe-Riley has developed the ability to interact with ghosts. Within moments of moving to Scotland, Riley meets Ian MacKinnon, the ghost who use to inhabit the castle near her own residence. As the tale develops over three books and a novella, Riley comes to terms with her ability to talk to ghosts as well as the event which led to the ability. I generally do not expect much from ebooks, particularly when the first in the series is free, but I was pleasantly surprised by Templeton’s writing abilities. While the storyline sounds as though it would follow the cliché “ghostly interactions and becoming a median” plot line, it is executed in such a way that it feels new. Not only does the plot involve “helping ghosts move into the light” but also a stalker ghost set out for blood, the concept of reincarnation, and the simple confusion of being the new girl in not just the new school but also new country. I hope that Templeton continues writing and perhaps expands even further upon Riley’s character and the MacKinnon curse. I would not recommend the book to anyone who is easily triggered by mentions of self harm or violence, or those whose sensibilities deny the possible existence of ghosts and the like.

Lovely by Alison Liddelle

4 out of 5

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Oops, I just realized that I already reviewed this book. Link –> Lovely by Alison Liddelle

Alright, darlings, my fingers might fall off so that is all for now. I hope that I have helped you find a few new books to add to your reading list and I would love any suggestions for my own reading list in the comments below or by email. Have fun reading!