Sunday, January 29, 2017

January Wrap Up! 📚

Hello everyone It's Nicole Henderson here and it is that time of the month where I talk about the books I've read this past month. I read a total of five books which is not so bad, but I really wanted to read a lot more. But I know that I'm going to pressure and force myself into reading more books then I can handle and thats not good. Anyways, it was a pretty great reading month for me. I read a lot of really amazing books and hopefully February will be just as awesome. So, without any further ado, let's get into the books I read in January. 

 The first book I read this month was Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz. I've read the Blue Bloods series by her and I really enjoyed it. So I wanted to read something that was more lighthearted from her and I'm so glad I did. This book deals with more serious issues like immigration as the main characters family become illegal immigrants and have to face the possibilities of being deported. Jasmine has everything she has ever wanted (a good family, great friends, and a scholarship award that takes her to any school she wants). But when she receives the scholarship award and goes to tell her parents, they explain to her that their visas have been expired and they are living in America illegally. In an instant, her whole life has changed and she now must face the possibility of getting deported. In the process, she develops a romance with this boy named Royce (who may or may not have the ability to help Jasmine stay in America). 

This book really got me to think about the different realities that people face as being immigrants. Since I'm not an immigrant, this book really helped me to understand and educate myself on such an important issue that is immigration. I loved the romance between  Jasmine and Royce, I thought they were such a great couple who supported each other through the ups and downs of what happens throughout this book. The friends were also very supportive towards Jasmine as well. Since she is a cheerleader, I loved how none of the stereotypical cheerleader types were included in this book. It just felt very real and raw and I believe that's what made this book so fantastic. Anyways, I highly recommend you go read this if you haven't done so already. I rated this a 5/5 stars. 

The next book I read was P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han. This is the second book To The All The Boys I've Loved Before trilogy. I really enjoyed the first book, minus Lara Jean being very immature for her age (that aggravated me so much). But I thought I would give this second book a chance. I liked this book equally to the first book. My thoughts and opinions haven't really changed from the first book moving over to this one. I won't give away too much on what this book is about because it is a sequel. But I will say that she has a boyfriend and everything is going great. However, when a boy from her past enters her life, she must deal with the issue of being in love with two boys at the same time. So, there is a love triangle going on but it felt very obvious as to who Lara Jean was going to pick in the end. 

I feel that Lara Jean has definitely matured (since the first book) but she still remains a child at heart. The characters were extremely realistic and to an extent I thought that I could connect with Lara Jean a whole lot better than in the first book. My other issue was the ending. I thought that it just ended very abruptly and unexpectedly, like something more was going to come out of it. Which is why there is going to be a third book and I think that will finally close the story of Lara Jean and her relationship (as well as with her family). I'm actually looking forward to the final book coming out in May this year, and I want to see what direction this book takes. If you guys are looking for lighthearted, fun, fluffy reads, then these are the books for you. I also highly recommend checking out The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy. I rated this a 4/5 stars. 

The third book I read was Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate. I've had my eye on this book for awhile now but I never picked it up. I liked the synopsis and the concept of this story was very intriguing with the seven deadly sins. I really thought I was going to enjoy it but unfortunately it wasn't the greatest book I've read. I won't tell you guys what the book is about because it's best to go into it without knowing a whole lot about the book. But it does revolve around seven different perspectives of teenagers who all go to the same high school and they must face the issues of different high school experiences. Each character also represents the seven deadly sins (Greed, Gluttony, Lust, Envy, Sloth, Wrath, Pride). 

I thought I was going to enjoy this a lot more than I did. But I only liked it. I couldn't connect with any of the characters and it felt like I was on the outside looking into their lives and not fully in the characters heads. It pretty much felt like I was watching a new movie for the first time. I've only heard some mixed reviews going into this book and I liked it more than I hated it. Basically, I liked it but didn't love it. I only gave this book a 3/5 stars. 

The fourth book I read this month was Under the Lights by Abbi Glines. This is the second book to the Until Friday Night companion series. I say companion because it does take place in the same town as the previous book, but it deals with different  characters. This time around it deals with three characters Willa, Gunner and Brady. There is a love triangle that goes on throughout this book, but when you read it, it's very obvious as to who Willa picks in the end. Willa has made some pretty horrible decisions that have lead her to come back to the small town. Brady is the cousin of Maggie (from the first book) and he's the golden boy on the football team. Meanwhile, Gunner is the town's bad boy who only thinks about himself. He has also gone through some pretty messed up stuff with his family so he's very closed off when it comes to love. And the rest of the story takes off from there as they try to navigate issues in the town as well as their relationships.  

This was such a great sequel and I definitely plan on reading more from this series. The characters were very relatable and I felt that I could connect with them. Since the book focuses more on Gunner and Willa, I didn't think it was all that necessary to include Brady in the story, but including him still worked for how the book was planned out. I also thought that Gunner's family life was a little over the top and dramatic. Willa's issues were the most realistic for me in which people could relate to it a lot more. Anyways, if you haven't read anything by Abbi Glines, I highly suggest you do so. I've only read The Vincent Boys duology and they are such great books. But I rated this a 4/5 stars. 

The last and final book I read this month was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. She also wrote the Grisha trilogy (which I've heard some mixed reviews on). And this book takes place two years after the Grisha trilogy as well as in the same universe as the trilogy. The story revolves around Kaz Brekker and his crew (Inej, Nina, Mattheis, Jesper and Wylan) as they are offered to go on an incredible heist to 'kidnap' this scientist that is responsible for some drug from the Ice Court. I don't want to explain any further than that (and I apologize if I spoiled anything). Romances develop and the book gets more intense as the story progresses. It was a highly addicting read and I can't wait for more. 

I felt that I could connect with the characters even though there all so different from each other. I loved how diverse the characters were because diversity hasn't appeared often in YA for so long (but it's reoccurring a lot more in books now, which I love). They each make a great crew despite all their differences and I appreciate how well they get along with each other (towards the end). I loved how there were some funny moments mixed in with the super intense ones. Plus, Kaz and Inej are like my fave couple thus far. I ship them hardcore! I also love Nina and Inej's friendship and it's nice how they support each other with numerous issues. Anyways, if you haven't read this book, then I highly suggest you do. It is amazing and I rated this, of course, a 5/5 stars. 

That is it for this months wrap up, I hope you enjoyed. What books did you read this month? Let me know in the comments. I plan to read just a little more in February, but lets see how I do. Happy reading and until my next post, goodbye for now. 😊

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Currently Reading Thoughts *non-spoiler*

Hello everyone it's Nicole Henderson here and I'm currently  reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I literally just started reading this yesterday and I'm more than halfway through. This is the first book in the Six of Crows duology. I know I'm very late coming on this train but I'm so glad I got into it. I love all the characters, the world building is fantastic and the budding romances are very intriguing. 

The overall book is about Kaz Brekker who has a crew that helps him out with the jobs he is given, (Jesper and Inej are just two of them). But when Kaz is offered a job to go on this incredible heist, he needs his crew to assist him on this journey. Jesper, Inej, Nina Mattheius and Wylan are apart of the Dregs (a gang of some sort). And the story takes off from there. 

I love how there is a combination of serious and funny moments. Those comedic moments are like a comic relief for the reader and it makes everything less tense for just a little while. I now understand all the hype and why this book has been given so much praise throughout the book tube community. It is a highly addicting read that keeps you on the edge of your seat with suspense. I'm constantly wondering what's gonna happen next. 

I'm very excited to read the final book Crooked Kingdom and discover the fate for each of the characters (either it be romance, or their own individual lives). A full review will be up once I'm finished reading. Happy reading and until my next post, goodbye for now. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My Reading Goals for 2017

Hello everyone it's Nicole Henderson here and I wanted to share with you guy some of my reading goals that I want to accomplish this year. I have a total of six goals to share here so without any further ado, lets get into it. 


1. Read more fantasy. 

During my reading experience, I have found myself reading more contemporary and less of fantasy or any other genre. I do enjoy fantasy as a whole, but I just haven't read any that  captivated me or even interested me. I don't really know why I've avoided reading this genre. I guess its because I think its too complex and abstract for me, while contemporaries are much more simpler and easier for me to read. So, my goal is to read more of the fantasy genre starting with Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

2. Read more science fiction 

I personally find science fiction to be extremely confusing and complicated to follow. And sci-fi has never expressed my interest. Since I do want to get out of my reading comfort zone, I figure that reading science fiction books is the way to go. I have previously read books in this genre last year, but I want to expand my reading and read a ton more from this genre. Obviously, I'm starting with Illuminae by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff. And working my way into slightly more complex reads. 

3. Read more classics

I know my last two reading goals were to read more genres, but I didn't read any classics last year. So my goal this year is to read at least 2 or 3 classics maybe even more. I have a ton of classics that I want to read, but I've never been in the mood to pick them up. I've heard amazing things about The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice. But the fact that I haven't read them is absurd. So, yes reading more classics is a must. 

4. Read longer/thicker books 

I tend to read books that are around 300 pages or I read shorter books that are less then 300 pages. I sometimes read books that are about 400 pages, but only in the 400 page range. Other then that, I don't really pick up any thick books. I find that the size of books really intimidate me, but I'm going to conquer this and just read all the thick books. 

5. Read books that actually on my TBR shelf 

Throughout the year of 2016, I've found myself reading books that were not on my TBR, however I've been reading books from the library. Don't get me wrong, reading library books are great  but I do want to read books that I own and I want to conquer my TBR pile before it escalates even more. I am currently reading books that are from the library but after that, I will be sticking to books I do own and just lowering my TBR pile. 

6. Read more diverse books 

From LGBT to POC books I want to read more diversely. I did a good job at reading diverse books last year, but I want to read and expand on this way more then I have. I believe its important to read books about topics that you're not entirely familiar with, so you can educate yourself on those issues. For example, immigration is a big issue that I'm not familiar with because I'm not an immigrant but I want to know more on the subject matter. 

So, those are all my reading goals for 2017 I hope you all enjoyed. What are your reading goals for this year? Let me know in the comments below. I hope I complete most of my goals this year. And if you have any reading goals of your own, then good luck on achieving them. Happy reading and until my next post goodbye for now. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

My January TBR

Hello everyone it's Nicole Henderson here and I know I'm a tad late with writing this post. But I still wanted to express what I plan on reading in the month of January. I read around 5 books a month (which I think is a pretty good average) but this year, I do want to raise the amount of books I read. However, I'm slowly going to be raising this amount gradually and not all once. So, for now I plan on reading 5 books this month. So without further ado, let's get into my TBR. 
This is a book that I thought I would pick up randomly from the library. I've heard great things about this book and it deals with issues like immigration and I haven't read a book that deals with this topic before. So this is something new for me. I've also read books by Melissa de la Cruz before, and I've really enjoyed them. I'm currently reading this right now and I'm more then halfway done. This is quite the fast paced book and I'm actually enjoying this one so far. The overall book is about a girl named Jasmine whose family immigrated from the Philippines to California. Jasmine is a senior in her high school and has qualified for the National Scholarship Award. However, when she gets home to tell her parents, she finds out that their work visas have expired and Jasmine and her family are living in America illegally. Then Jasmine meets Royce and they develop a romance. But Royce is the son of a congressman who is against the immigration bill. So this causes problems for Jasmine and Royce but also her family. Anyways, I'm enjoying this book a whole lot. And hopefully I'll get this done soon, and maybe have a full review up for it in a little while. 

This is another book I'm currently reading at the moment. I just started reading this yesterday and I'm only 12 percent into this book. So, I don't have a actual opinion on this one just yet. This is the sequel to, To All the Boys I Loved Before, so I'm not going to reveal the plot for this one as there are some spoilers. The premise for the first book, is that a girl named Lara Jean keeps letters to all her crushes in a hat box underneath her bed. But when they accidentally get sent out, she has to confront all the boys that she's ever had a crush on. That's the basic premise and I did really enjoy it. But my only complaint was that Lara Jean was very childish and immature. And I'm noticing that a lot more in this book. Hopefully I'll get this done soon as well and I'll maybe post a full review on this book. 

I haven't heard a lot about this book, but the concept sounded very interesting so I thought I would give it a read. This book deals with the 7 deadly sins, so that intrigued me even more. I'm going to go into this book without knowing to much about the story. And I will find out what happens once I start reading. I do know that it has 7 different perspective and we follow each of their stories as they go through different experiences in high school. Okay, that's it. I'm done talking about this book. 

This is the second book to the Until Friday Night series. Now, I'm not exactly sure how many books there are going to be within this series. But this book involves a lot of sports (football mainly) and of course romance. This is also a companion novel to the previous book so it does focus on other characters in the same setting as the previous book. This story in particular focuses on Willa, Gunner and Brady. Willa has made some bad decisions in her life and because of those decisions, she thinks that the best way to protect herself is to not let anyone get close to her. Gunner and Brady both used to be friends with Willa and Brady even had a crush on her when they were kids. (Brady is the cousin of the main female character from Until Friday Night). Meanwhile, Gunner loves his life, he only cares about himself and his family practically owns the town of Lawton (I'm not exaggerating it literally says that in the synopsis), but Willa is his only exception. I'm excited to read this and hopefully I'll enjoy it like I did with the first book. 

This is the last book I plan on reading this month (hopefully I'll read it sooner). But I've heard so many amazing things about this novel and I really want to get into it. This book takes place in the same world as the Grisha trilogy (which I have not read) and it mainly deals with six different characters who go on this mission to host an insane heist. It's from the point of view of these six characters, Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthies, Wylan and Jesper. This book is supposedly very diverse and I do plan on reading more diverse books this year, so this is one book going towards that goal. 

So that is it for my TBR I hope you all enjoyed. What books do you plan on reading this month? Let me know in the comments below. Happy reading and until my next post good bye for now. 😊

Monday, January 2, 2017

Top 6 Favourite Books from 2016 📚

Hello everyone it's Nicole Henderson here and I know I'm slightly late on writing this post. But I wanted to list my top 6 favourite books I've read in 2016. I love them all in their own different ways and I highly recommend you guys read them if you haven't done so already. I could list all my faves onto this list, but then it would be a very, very long post. Anyways, this list is not in any particular order of my favourites (I love them all equally). But I still love all of them, hence why there on this list. Anyways, let's get into it. 

1. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. 
She is one of my auto-buy authors (which means I will buy every book that she releases), and I love every book that she writes and publishes.  I loved every aspect of this book. I loved the family, the romance and the friendships. It was nice how all of them were so active in this story and there was an equal amount of them. This book is about a girl whose farther is a congressmen and he ends up getting into a scandal that affects Andie's plans for the summer. Since, Andie has to do something for the summer, she ends up becoming a dog walker. In the process, she meets Clark (who is her romantic interest) and they develop a romance. Meanwhile, since her dad is not working in the summer, Andie and her farther end up developing a better relationship. And her friends play a huge role in Andie's non-planned summer. Anyways, I loved how this book teaches you that you shouldn't always plan out your life and that you should just go with flow. We shouldn't always live our lives according to plan and whatever happens, happens. I loved the relationship with Andie and her dad, plus I really enjoyed her relationship with Clark. The romance developed very realistically and it wasn't all insta-lovey (which is an added bonus as to why I enjoyed the overall novel).  *side note* I won an arc copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway, so thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending this my way. I highly recommend you read this if you haven't done so already. 
2. Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray. This is the second book from the Firebird trilogy. I loved every single thing about this book from the romance, to all the action and all the time travel to the different dimensions. I thought the book was very well done and it included everything I love in a book (you know, romance, family, relatable characters). I won't tell you what the plot for this second book is about because I don't wanna spoil what happens in the previous book. The basic premise of A Thousand Pieces of You is about a girl whose parents invented this device called the Firebird that allows whosever wearing the so-called device to travel to multiple dimensions and alternate universes. Marguerite goes to these universes to track down Paul Markov who has supposedly killed her farther. Marguerite is racing through all these dimensions to track Paul down, but she ends up entering a love affair that she can't resist. Anyways, this is a fantastic sequel and I highly suggest you go read the first one. The entire trilogy is amazing and there some of my favourite reads, but this second one is my favourite. 

3. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. 
Even though this was originally released in 2015, I haven't gotten around to reading it until September in 2016. And I'm so glad I read it. It was such a deep, dark and unsettling book. But it's a book that discusses an issue that needs to be addressed in our society more and that is mental health (more specially depression and suicide). The overall book is about a girl, Asyel, who is obsessed with death and has plans to commit suicide. But she doesn't want to do it alone, so she contacts Roman (from an online website) and they both decide to pick one day. And that day is the day they kill themselves. But as both Roman and Asyel get to know one another, a romance starts developing and Asyel starts to realize that suicide is not the answer to their problems. So yes, this book is absolutely fantastic. I thought that it portrayed mental illness in a realistic way and I loved how the book ended on such a hopeful note. It makes us realize that there is hope and things do get better (I know that sounds incredibly cliche but it's true). I highly suggest you all go read this book ASAP. However, if you are not comfortable reading about depression, suicide and other issues relating to mental health, then I wouldn't recommend this to you. 

4. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. 
THIS BOOK THOUGH!!! I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. It was such a wonderful read that got more intense as I turned the pages and it got even more dark and gruesome. I've heard such incredible things about this book from the book tube community, and I was surprisingly intrigued by the plot. So, I thought I would give this book a read. This book is about two people, Kate and August, who live in a world where their city is divided by humans and monsters. Kate is a human and August is a monster. However, Kate wants to be a monster (to become a hunter and be like her farther), while August wants to become a human. Both Kate and August somehow cross paths and they develop a friendship. Their world is about to start a war and Kate and August make it their responsibility to stop the "truce" from beginning. This was such a refreshing read because there was no romance at all between the main characters. It's not often in young adult that we read about characters who have no romantic feelings for each other. I feel like every young-adult book I've read has always been about romance, and sometimes it can get extremely annoying. Anyways, this book was very enjoyable and I highly recommend it if you have gotten the chance already. 

5. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. 
I've previously read Anna Dressed in Blood by her and I really enjoyed it. So when I read the synopsis for this and saw it was by Kendare Blake, it became my most anticipated release for 2016. It was dark, it was gruesome, it was intense. I loved (almost) everything about this book. I say almost because my only complaint was that it was really slow paced for the first 100 pages. I almost wanted to put it down because it was so slow. But once those 100 pages were read, I flew threw this book. It was so addicting, I couldn't put it down. The book is about three sisters who are fighting 'til the death to claim the throne. All three sisters have powers and gifts that would give them the automatic advantage of winning the throne. However, only 1 of the triplets has an actual gift. The two other sisters are covering this up and are faking their gifts. Mirabella is an elemental (who can control fire, water, air and earth), Arsinoe is a naturalist (who has a special connection with nature) and Katherine is a poisoner (who can consume all types of poison without dying). So, the sisters come together on their 16th birthday to fight for the throne. And whoever is the last one standing wins the right for the throne. Anyways, this book was highly addicting, intense and it got a little dark at times but it was so amazing. I highly, highly recommend this, if you haven't read it. 

6. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodie Ashton and Jodie Meadows. 
This book truly took me by surprise in a way I wasn't expecting. I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I personally thought it was going to be a boring historical fiction. But instead, I found it to be incredibly entertaining and hilarious. It was full of wit and satire (which I appreciate) and there were even some funny parts added. The overall story focuses on three characters Edward, Jane and Gifford who are all going through different scenarios. Edward is dying and he rather be kissing a girl for the first time than having to choose a successor for the throne. Jane (who loves books) finds out that she is next in line for the throne, and is arranged to be married to Gifford. Gifford has a curse.  He gets turned into a horse during the day and he is a human at night. Edward, Jane and Gifford are drawn into this "conspiracy" that will lead them into danger. So they have to come up with a plan before its too late. This book is based off of the historical Lady Jane Grey who was only queen for nine days. It was interesting to learn a little background on the actual history of Jane Grey. This book was so addicting I could not put it down. It was anything but boring and it's one of the best historical fictions I've read so far. This book has also motivated me to read more in historical fiction genre. Highly, highly recommend it. 

That is it for my list, I hope you enjoyed. What are your favourite books from 2016? Let me know in the comments below. Happy reading and until my next post, goodbye for now.