August And The Story Begins Unboxing

This is a subscription box that I recently came across and I wanted to try it out. It’s called And The Story Begins and it starts at $9.99 a month. It works a little like BookCase.Club where you get two books and you have a choice of the genre. This month I tried out the Young Adult box. I love how this subscription comes packaged. Both books are wrapped up like Christmas presents so you don’t know what you got until you open them. These are the books I got for August.


The Unchangeable Spots Of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma ~ This book is about a writer who is haunted by the success of his friend and literary rival. It explores the nature of truth versus storytelling.

Fatherless by Dr. James Dobson & Kurt Bruner ~ This book takes place in 2024, where the old outweigh the young and there is a battle between competing cultural agendas.

That’s what I got in my first  The Story Begins box. I think that both these books sound amazing and can’t wait until I am able to get to them.

Keep reading…Lola

August BookCase.Club Unboxing

These are the books that I got in the August BookCase.Club box. This month I decided to with the Booking For Love box which is the romance box. I also really love the quote this month.

“A book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age.” ~Robertson Davies

How To Tell Toledo From The Night Sky by Lydia Netzer ~ This book is about two people who meet working at an Astronomy Institute and learn that their mothers, who have been friends since childhood, raised them separately to become each others soul mates.

Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah & Skye Chatham ~ In this book, two people fall in love after meeting online.

I’m looking forward to reading both books in the near future.

Keep reading…Lola

The Lunar Chronicles: Fairy Tale Elements and What I Liked (SPOILERS)

This blog post I am writing because there were a lot of things about The Lunar Chronicles that I loved but I couldn’t write about in my review because they would have spoiled the series too much. I am going to spoil each book in the series so if you haven’t read the series but you want to and not be spoiled, I wouldn’t read this blog. I am going to write about each book separately and in order so if you have read some of them, you can read about those books. I’m going to have the cover separate each one so the next book won’t be spoiled for the people who haven’t finished the series.

Cinder is based on Cinderella and there are some Cinderella fairy tale elements that I loved being included. Cinder has a mean step mother and she has two step sisters. I did like that only Pearl was mean but Peony and Cinder loved each other and played together. Peony even helped Cinder in her mechanic booth. I loved that during the ball when Cinder ran out and fell her foot came off and Kai picked it up. I really enjoyed the budding relationship between Kai and Cinder but I was kind of surprised and a little disappointed that he treated her the way he did when he learned that she was a cyborg and Lunar. I can understand the Lunar part because at that moment he wasn’t sure if his feelings for her were real or if he was just being glamoured but I was hoping that he would have at least tried to get answers from her considering that she went there to save his life. I also liked that Cress was introduced in this book when she warned Cinder that Queen Levana was going to kill Kai after he married her, even though we didn’t know who she was at the time. Also Thorne was introduced in this book as well when he escaped with Cinder from the jail. I was surprised that Cinder turned out to be Princess Selene, I honestly didn’t think she was going to be one of the main characters when Kai mentioned finding her even though everyone believed she was dead. Although I enjoyed the original fairy tale elements I also liked that she had her own story. She was a cyborg so she had a metal hand and foot and she was basically a programmed computer. I thought that was a cool original spin as well.

Scarlet is based on Little Red Riding Hood. Scarlet lived with her grandmother and I really liked that the grandmother was included in this retelling. She wore a red hoodie in the book which I thought was a cool change. I loved that her love interests name is Wolf, I thought that was funny and definitely a different take on the classic. I loved Scarlet and Wolf’s romance from the beginning. He was programmed to be a vicious monster and against everything that he was told and made into, he went against it all and fell in love with Scarlet anyway. I thought their kiss on the train was so romantic and intense, as I was reading it , I think I held my breath. The way that Marissa Meyer explained it, I couldn’t help but think the whole time, that is how a first kiss should be. It was such a visual thing, I could see it as it was happening as if I was watching a movie. I love when a scene in a book is written like that. I was heart-broken when her grandmother was killed, I really expected her and Wolf to save her, especially after finding out that Wolf was pretending to be the bad guy. I was so happy when Cinder and Thorne showed up toward the end of the book and Scarlet, even though she was still mad at Wolf and he kind of frightened her, she wouldn’t let them hurt him or leave without him. I think this book is my favorite of the whole series because of their love story.

Cress is based on the fairy tale Rapunzel. She is being kept imprisoned on a satellite, much like Rapunzel was being kept in a tower in the fairy tale. I love that when Thorne goes in to save her and then everything goes wrong and their satellite pod crashes, he becomes blind. That’s what happens in the original fairy tale. I don’t know if it was done purposely, but I love that his last name is Thorne because in the original, the prince becomes blinded by thorns. Also his ships name is the Rampion, which is the plant from the original story when its translated to English. Also Thorne has to cut Cress’ hair because it becomes tangled around them and in the original story, Rapunzel’s hair is cut by Dame Gothel. I liked having Dr. Erland be Cress’ father but I was disappointed that he died from the plague before they really got to know each other. Another aspect of Cress’ story that I liked was that she was smart and resourceful, even though she wasn’t treated the best way and she had gone years without really seeing the outside or being around a lot of people. I also of course loved the relationship between Thorne and Cress. This was one of the slower moving relationships of the series. In Cress, it’s obvious that there is something there. Cress tells Thorne in the desert that she is in love with him even though they just met but he basically tells her that she is a good friend. Then during the battle after Cinder kidnaps Emperor Kai, Thorne kisses Cress after he promised her that she wouldn’t die without having a real first kiss. I actually kind of liked that Cress and Thorne’s first kiss wasn’t really romantic. He was blind and they were in the middle of a battle that they thought they were going to lose so he kissed her to keep his promise. I also enjoyed Kai and Cinder’s first kiss aboard the Rampion. So sweet and well worth the wait.

Winter is based on Snow White. Princess Winter is the step daughter of Queen Levana. Even though Levana glamours everyone into thinking that she is the most beautiful, Winter has three scars on her face but the Lunar people still think that she is the most beautiful. They all love her and the Queen wants her dead just like in the original fairy tale. Queen Levana orders Jacin, her royal guard who she also knows is in love with Winter, to kill her much like the evil queen in Snow White asks the Huntsman to do the same. Another part taken from the original fairy tale is that when Queen Levana learns that Winter is still alive she disguises herself as an old woman and gives her a piece of her favorite candy which is infected with the plague. In the orignal story the evil queen diguises herself as a peddler and brings Snow White silky laced bodices and then ties them so tight she faints and leaves her for dead but the dwarfs save her, then she brushes her hair with a poisoned comb and again she is saved, then she gives her an apple that’s poisoned and this time she cannot be saved by the dwarfs, so thinking she is dead they put her in a glass coffin. In Winter, they put the Princess in a tank to slow the spread of the disease until they can get her the antidote. After Princess Winter is cured and the battle rages on, Winter, after not having used her Lunar gift for years, uses it to save Jacin and then goes insane and has to be restrained in the med center because she screams and lashes out. While watching over her, Jacin kisses her and she opens her eyes, and to his surprise is calm but delusional. I loved that Winter refused to use her glamour even though she knew that it would make her go insane because she didn’t want to control people and make them do things against their will. I again loved the relationship between Jacin and Winter. They were best friends and grew up together and fell in love. Jacin is very protective of Winter and helps her through her hallucinations from the Lunar sickness. A couple of things happen in this book that don’t have to do with Winter but that I loved. The first is the Cress and Thorne finally have their first real kiss and they profess their love to one another. I loved the kiss between them. It was so intense and so worth the wait. The final thing I loved in this book was that at the end Kai gave Cinder back the foot that she dropped during the ball in the first book and told her that the person the foot fit was meant to be with him. I thought that was a good twist on the original. I loved the conclusion to this series.

So those are the fairy tale elements that I liked that were included in each of the books as well as my thoughts in general. Again, I gave all the books a 5 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves to read YA or fairytale retellings especially.

Keep reading…Lola

The Lunar Chronicles Review (Spoiler Free)

This is my review for The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. For this review, I’m just going to summarize each book and then give my thoughts because I feel like if I talk too much about any of the books after the first one I might spoil them too much.

Cinder
This is the first book and it’s loosely based on Cinderella. Cinder is a teenage cyborg and great mechanic. She is hated by her stepmother and is blamed for her stepsister’s illness. She meets Prince Kai and then finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle where she needs to learn about her past in order to save the future.

Scarlet

This is the second book and it’s loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood. Scarlet lives in France on a farm with her grandmother. When her grandmother ends up missing, Scarlet meets Wolf, who may know something about her whereabouts. During their travels, Scarlet learns some dangerous secrets her grandmother has been keeping and has to raise against time to try to save her.

Cress

This is the third book and is loosely based on Rapunzel. Cress has been imprisoned on a satellite since childhood. During the rescue of Cress, things go awry and although she finally has her freedom, it comes at a price.

Winter

This is the fourth and final book and is loosely based on Snow White. Winter is the Princess on Luna and the step daughter of Queen Levana. Winter is loved by the Lunar people and because of this her step mother wants her dead. She despises her Queen Levana and has been undermining her wishes for years but does she have the power to launch a revolution and rid her of her step mother for good?

Thoughts:

I loved this series. I originally thought that each book was a stand alone and was a little disappointed when the first book ended with a small cliff hanger but each book continues on, so Cinder is in Scarlet and Cinder and Scarlet are in Cress and so on. I loved how Marissa Meyer gave each character her own story as well as bringing all of the characters together in an even bigger story. I loved the friendships that were formed and the romantic relationships that were formed. I really enjoyed seeing these characters evolve and become stronger versions of themselves throughout the books. I think my favorite part was that although these were all retellings of fairy tales, they were different and had their own stories but also had bits and pieces from the original fairy tales as well.

There are so many things about this series that I love but I can’t get into because the books will be spoiled so I think that I’m going to do another blog post talking about that stuff and just put a spoiler warning so that people won’t read it that haven’t yet read or finished the series. I gave all the books a 5 out of 5 stars. This is definitely a highly recommended series.

Keep reading…Lola

 

The Olympics Book Tag

So I had to do one more Olympics tag. This one I found on Jordzthebibliophile’s blog.

Ancient Greece- The book that started it all for you

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This is the first book that I remember reading and loving and from then on it was book after book for me.

Opening Ceremony- A series that you love that has a lot of excitement and fanfare surrounding it

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I actually really enjoyed the books in the Twilight series and it definitely had a lot of excitement and fanfare back in the day.
Gymnastics- A book full of twists and turns

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This book was amazing. Definitely had twists and turns and a surprising ending, at least in my opinion.
Wrestling- A book that you keep picking up and putting down

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I love David Beckham but for some reason, I have not been able to finish this book. Hopefully I will get it done in the future.
Track & Field- A book made up of a lot of parts

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I am currently half way through this book. The writing is done in many different parts. There is a back and forth between the past and the present, there are both sets of parents and their lives and then there are the Chris and Emily parts.
Weightlifting- A book you have trouble picking up due to it’s size

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I really want to read this novel but it’s just so long….
Archery- A book that missed the mark for you

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I loved the first book but I was a little disappointed with how this duology concluded.
Badmiton- A lesser-known but equally amazing read

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I loved this autobiography. I have watched Johnny Weir on numerous talk shows and interviews and reading this book was like he was right in front of me talking.
Rowing- A book with an awesome team of characters


I love all of the characters in The Lunar Chronicles. They have such different personalities but they come together so well and make an amazing group of friends.
Diving- A book that you easily jumped into

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When I started this book, I couldn’t put it down. It was such a fun and quick summer read.

Closing Ceremony- A book/series with a bittersweet ending

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The Elixir series by Hilary Duff was a surprisingly good series and I really enjoyed it but I kind of wish that the series ended a little differently. It had a happy ending for some and not for others.
So that’s another Olympics tag. I tag everyone that wants to do it.

Keep reading…Lola

Olympics Book Tag

I am a big fan of the Olympics so when I saw that there were some Olympics tags, I had to do one. I saw this tag on The Awkward Book Blogger’s blog.

100m/ A book you have raced through

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I got this book for free on Kindle and I initially thought it was a humorous book but it turns out that it is an adult fiction that depicts the life of college freshman in a sorority. It turned out to be a good read and it was on the shorter side so I breezed though it.

Synchronized Diving/ A perfect couple

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This is the third book in the Hazards series and I think my favorite one. I love Chase and Cara as a couple. I feel like there isn’t really any drama between the two of them and they just try to make things work.
Michael Phelps/ The best book you’ve ever read

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Nicholas Sparks is my all-time favorite author and The Notebook is my favorite book. I can read it over and over and never get sick of it.
Simone Biles/ A short and sweet book

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I love the Vampire Kisses series. They are young adult novels and short enough where they can be finished in a couple of hours depending on how fast you read. The romance between Alexander and Raven is incredibly sweet.
Rugby 7s/ A tough book you struggled to finish

This was a tough book in the sense that it was a major tearjerker. Not since The Last Song have I cried so much. The last 30 or so pages were so hard to finish because I was crying so bad I couldn’t see.

Golf/ A new genre outside of your comfort zone

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I’m not big on graphic novels but I am trying to expand my reading genres. I started with the Anita Blake Series because I’ve read all of the books and loved them so I thought this was a good starting spot.

Hepathlon/ The best series

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By far the best series so far is The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants. I loved reading this as a kid and I am looking forward to rereading the series in the future.
So that was the Olympics tag. I tag everyone who wants to do it…

Keep reading…Lola

Bookoutlet/Thriftbooks Haul

I bought these books on Bookoutlet.com in July but wanted to do a separate blog post. I also forgot that I ordered from thriftbooks.com so I am including those as well.


Since Last Summer by Joanna Philbin and Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult I got from thriftbooks.com.

Bookoutlet:

Forever In Blue: The Fourth Summer Of The Sisterhood by Ann Brashares, Spelling It Like It Is by Tori Spelling, Devoted and True both by Hilary Duff

I also got these two Puffin Classics Editions books from Bookoutlet but I wanted to show the covers because I think they are so pretty. The Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baumand Through The Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

The last two books I got from Bookoutlet are two of the Puffin Chalk Editions. These are my two favorites from this month. I think the covers are so beautiful and I’m so happy to have them be part of my collection. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.

So those are the rest of the books that I got in July. Definitely check out thriftbooks and bookoutlet. They have amazing prices.

Keep reading…Lola

Wrecked Duology Review (Spoiler Free)

This is my review for the Wrecked Duology by Elle Casey. The first book is Wrecked and the follow up is Reckless. 

Wrecked

In Wrecked we meet siblings Sarah and Kevin as well as siblings Candi and Jonathon. These four teenagers could not be any more different. Sarah is the popular prom queen, Kevin is a Rugby playing jock, Jonathon is a very smart “nerd” and Candi is a socially awkward outcast. The two families (parents) decide to go on a cruise because Kevin and Sarah’s father is trying to buy some kind of computer program from Candi and Jonathon’s father. The first night they’re at sea, there’s a storm and the teenagers are forced to get in a lifeboat together where they eventually find themselves shipwrecked on a tropical island. Over the next couple of months, they build a tree house, learn to fish, make wine, throw themselves a prom all while learning that they may not be that different after all. They become friends and eventually love and trust one another and think of themselves as a family and then they discover a way to get off the island, but it just happens to be a little dangerous.

SPOILER ALERT:

If you haven’t read Wrecked, then the review for Reckless might contain a few spoilers but I tried to summarize it the best I could without giving too much away. I feel like I wrote enough to summarize but not really spoil anything.

Reckless

Reckless picks up where Wrecked left off. After stealing a boat belonging to the drug dealers, Sarah, Kevin, Jonathon and Candi make it back home and start to put their lives back together. While attending their prom, there is a shooting in front of the school and the four teenagers learn that one of them was the target. After being put into the witness protection program until they can testify against the drug dealers, their safe house is breeched and their guards are murdered. Sarah and Candi overpower their assailant and find Jonathon and Kevin, and then the four of them go on the run together because they feel like they can’t trust anyone but themselves.

Thoughts:

I love the relationships that these four characters build within the two books. I love the relationships between the siblings as well as the relationships that they build with each other throughout the books. There are some surprises that pop up. There are funny and sweet moments and there are scary and sad moments. I love that the characters are so diverse but at the same time have so much in common. I also really loved the conclusion of the second book. I thought it was the perfect way to end it.

I really enjoyed this duology and had a hard time putting it down. I’m kind of sad that Elle Casey didn’t write a third book but considering that she never intended for there to be a sequel, I shouldn’t complain. I gave both books a 5 out of 5 and I definitely recommend them.

Keep reading…Lola

Wildflower Book Review

This is my book review for Wildflower by Drew Barrymore.

This book was a surprise to me because I thought that it was an autobiography. Opening it up and reading her introduction, you learn that they are actually short stories of things that happened during her life that she hasn’t really shared openly before but that she felt ready to share.

I really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh and it made me cry. It made me love her even more than I already did.

She wrote about getting her first apartment at 14 and having to learn to do things as simple as laundry, she wrote about getting her first dog, she wrote about the birth of both of her daughters and she wrote about her fathers death.

She also wrote about some of her famous friends like Adam Sandler, Cameron Diaz and Steven Spielberg. She wrote about her experience with E.T. and she shared stories about her up and down relationship with her mother.

Each story was something personal and some of them really pulled at your heart. She writes a story about when she lost her dogs and it was just heart breaking. Her story about going to Africa was so eye opening and emotional. I loved the story that she wrote about her in-laws. I think that was my favorite one because it really showed how normal she is.

Although I was a bit surprised when I opened this book to read an autobiography and got short stories instead, I really did love this book. It was different from other celebrity books that I’ve and it was a surprisingly good change for me. If you love celebrity books or Drew Barrymore this is definitely a must read. Even if you don’t like those two things, I recommend this book anyway because it’s just a funny, sad, emotional and real book. If nothing else it’s a great read. This was a 5 out of 5 for me.

Keep reading…Lola

August TBR

These are the books that I want to read in August.

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  1. Since Last Summer by Joanna Philbin. I have been wanting to read this sequel to Rules Of Summer for weeks so I bought it and this is going to be the first book I read in August.
  2. Devoted by Hilary Duff. I want to finish this trilogy so bad so I went and bought the other two books.
  3. Confessions Of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I have heard a lot of good things about this book so I’m excited to pick it up this month.
  4. The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I want to read more of her books and I’ve seen the movie and enjoyed it so I know I’m going to love the book.
  5. A Lion Called Christian by Anthony Bourke and John Rendall. I saw this story on YouTube a long time ago and when I saw that there was a book I had to pick it up. This has been on my shelf for a while and this month I am finally going to pick it up.
  6. The Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I have read the children’s versions but I have never read the actual book so I am going to finally do that this month. Plus I bought this pretty copy from bookoutlet!

So that’s my TBR for August. I can’t wait to crack these open! What’s on your August TBR?

Keep reading…Lola