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Thursday, 26 June 2014

to be finished: books i started and abandoned

Do you ever pick up a book and start reading it, just to lose interest in favour of another story? It's not that they're bad books, it's just that something else caught your attention. Or maybe this just happens to me and I have the attention span of a 2-year-old. 

In any case, I've found that there's quite a lot of books I've abandoned. Maybe I lost interest in reading for a while. Maybe I bought a new book and just had to read it right away. I'm going to try and make a point of finishing these books by the end of the summer, at least. 

bookshelf scavenger hunt


My creativity is lacking today and I'm still working on a review so here, have a tag! I'm not sure who started this but it was fun and I know it's kind of an older tag but you should do it too.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

review: since you've been gone


From Goodreads:

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um...


Let me start off with a little disclaimer: Since You've Been Gone is, without a doubt, my favourite book I've read so far this year. I love everything I've read by Morgan Matson and would probably pay to read her grocery lists, just because she writes that beautifully. Seriously, I'm already going through withdrawals and I'm kind of dying a little bit inside because I have no clue when her next book is coming out. But, I digress. 

Pros:

The relationship dynamics - This book puts a refreshingly strong focus on the dynamics of friendship over the romantic aspect of the story - Emily is so completely focused on finding her best friend, she doesn't even begin to consider Frank as a potential love interest until much later in the story. I find that often with YA lit, the relationship between friends takes second place to romance. The fact that Matson switches this around and leaves romantic relationships as kind of an afterthought is just awesome. Even more, I loved how at the beginning of the book, when Frank is introduced, it isn't even mentioned that he has a girlfriend. Because it's honestly that irrelevant to Emily at that point in time. There's no whining about the unattainable guy, there's no love - or even attraction - at first sight. He's just some guy from school that she's seen around who becomes a friend over the summer. This is probably my favourite part of the book, to be honest. 

Sloane - I want a friend like Sloane. My high school self would have benefited so much from a Sloane in my life, I just want one. At some points in the story I was starting to get scared that it would end with Emily and Sloane not being friends anymore, and that would have just ruined me. 

Emily's transformation - I loved seeing Emily come into her own during the course of this book. I know everyone says stuff like this, but I could see a lot of myself in Emily at the beginning of the story, feeling so lost without her best friend. It made me proud in a weird way to watch her grow up and become confident on her own. It's very inspiring! 

The new friends - Frank, Collins, and Dawn play such a huge role in helping to break Emily out of her shell without even realizing what they're doing. They adopt this lonesome little lost puppy into their lives and help her find who she is outside of Sloane. 

Frank - Duh. (But in all seriousness, the fact that Frank isn't this total alpha-male hot guy is awesome. Their runs together were awesome. His wheezing and not being super athletic and strong was awesome. Frank is awesome.) 

Cons:

The whole Sam/Gideon storyline - This isn't really even a con, it just felt kind of unnecessary to me. Like, I didn't really get why seeing Gideon after not even dating was such a big deal? I know that the flashbacks were meant to show how strong and unbreakable Sloane and Emily's friendship was, so I guess there's that. I can't even say I have an issue with this, so let's not even count it as a con. This book is perfect. 

Final Thoughts:

Since You've Been Gone is one of those rare books that has a perfect mix of friendship, romance, and self-discovery that's really hard to balance in a way that works just right. It's unique in its fixation on strong, true friendships over love, and it tells a story of growing up and finding who you are once the person who defines you is gone. This book is about taking chances, being independent, and doing things you've never done before. I think everyone should read this book, it really is amazing. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

top ten books on my summer tbr list


Hi, guys! Sorry about how late this post is, I've been super busy with work and everything this week. Obviously this blog isn't completely up and running yet, so I gave myself a little bit of leeway in getting  myself organized. But anyway, here we are.
This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about books I want to read in the summer! Some of these have already been released and some are summer releases, so I kind of have a mix of everything in here. 

1. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith - I absolutely adored the other two books I've read by her, and I'll definitely be picking this one up next time I hit the bookstore. 

2. The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder - a) THIS COVER OMG I LOVE IT, and b) friendship-summer-roadtrip stories always have my heart. And again, the cover is just perfect and beautiful. 

3. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - I have this book sitting on my shelf just waiting for me to pick it up. It'll probably be the next one I read, and I have a feeling I'm going to love it. 

4. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord - What can I say, I just love friendship stories in the summer. I've heard from a lot of people that the relationship between these two friends is amazing, and I can't wait to experience it for myself. 

5. #scandal by Sarah Ockler - I just love Sarah Ockler, okay? 

6. Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes - It's described as a mix between The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Mean Girls, which sounds awesome. 

7. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - If you saw my Waiting on Wednesday from last week, this is an obvious one. Stephanie Perkins' books are just perfect summer reads, and we'll leave it at that. I'm so excited. 

8. The Merciless by Danielle Vega - This is not my usual type of book at all, and to be completely honest, there's a very good chance I'll have nightmares for a month after reading this. But the whole concept of a group of girls performing an exorcism is really intriguing to me. Maybe I'll get too scared and leave this one, but who knows?

9. Falling into Place by Amy Zhang - Again, not exactly a lighthearted summer story, but the Goodreads description says it would appeal to fans of Jay Asher, Lauren Oliver, and Gayle Foreman. Since I love all of them, I think I'm in pretty good hands! Also, the author is apparently in high school and I'm going to go re-evaluate my life now. 

10. Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid - Another road trip story, but not quite the best friend type of story this time. Four strangers, only sharing one thing in common: this girl named Leila. I really want to see how this plays out, and how all these strangers are connected. 

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer? 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

waiting on wednesday - isla and the happily ever after



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

This week's Waiting on Wednesday pick is...


Isla and the Happily Ever After  by Stephanie Perkins
352 pages
Publisher: Dutton
Publication date: August 14, 2014

from Goodreads:
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.
Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Why I'm Waiting:
I devoured Anna and the French Kiss in about a day, and as of right now I'm halfway through Lola and the Boy Next Door and absolutely loving it. I'm sure that as soon as I finish I'll be waiting impatiently until August when I can get my hands on this last instalment! 

What new books are you anticipating? 

top ten books i've read so far this year


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week is all about my favourite books I've read so far in 2014. To be honest, I just got back into reading a lot after I finished school in May, so most of these books are ones that I've flown through in the last couple of weeks, and others are from late 2013. Cheating, I know. 

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - I could relate so much to Cath, it was insane. Not that I write fanfic or anything, but I totally get the devotion she felt toward the Simon Snow universe. The fact that it was basically an alternate version of Harry Potter didn't hurt, obviously. Just all around smiles for this one. 

2. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith - This book was just so cute. That's all I can say. It's one of those books that leaves you with a smile on your face and a nice feeling and happy thoughts all around. I loved the whole emailing-a-stranger-and-falling-in-love thing, too. Screw stranger danger. 

3. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith - I want this lady to write my life, okay? It really is that simple. This books takes place over a 24-hour period, and makes you think about fate, family, and things to come. Loved it. 

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - Maybe this one's cheating a little bit since I've already read it more times than I can count, but it was one of the required texts for my Children's Literature class this year. And let's be honest, Harry Potter is always a favourite for me. 

5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - I honestly didn't expect to like this book as much as I did, but it kind of stole my heart. I obviously have a thing for sappy, contemporary YA, and this one completely fits the bill. I also love stories that take place in cities I want to visit, it's like taking a trip for free! 

6. The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan - I loved how unique this book was. The story is told completely through dictionary entries, and it doesn't go in chronological order so you get to see different parts of the relationship, including the outcome, in a different order than you normally would. It was a really interesting concept! 

7. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler - If we're being completely honest, I picked up this book without even reading the back of it just because I love Sarah Ockler so much. This one definitely did not disappoint. It had just the right amount of everything, and really sheds light on the reality of a certain disease, without being overly serious. And Jude's attitude is just the best. And motorcycles. 

8. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour - Best friends, music, summer road trips, and unrequited love.  I mean, seriously, what more could you ask for?

9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Again, I'm kind of cheating because: a) I read this when it first came out, and b) Everyone and their dog has read it by now. But I wanted to read it again before seeing the movie, and already having read it did not change the fact that there were tear stains all over my copy when I was finished with it. Okay? Okay. 

10. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West - The protagonist, Caymen, is totally the kind of girl I'd want to hang out with if I knew her in real life. Total friend crush. 

What's the best book you've read this year? 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

why, hello there!

Hi everyone!
Or, I suppose it's more appropriate to say - hi no one at alllll! Because seriously, this blog has been up and running for a grand total of thirty minutes and I'm not THAT magical. But hey, if you're on here for some reason, good for you. Let's be pals.
Just a quick little post for tonight before I get the real stuff going in the next few days. I'm Ryley, and I'm a 19 year old Canadian YA-aholic. I'm also an English major, music freak, makeup lover, and travel enthusiast.
I've wanted to start some sort of book blog for a while, and decided that there really was no better way to spend my summer than reading and ranting. So, here we are. Currently, I'm in the process of figuring out exactly how I'm going to be running this - I figure I'll try for a review once a week to start, and some of the popular features and memes I've seen floating around the blogosphere.
Let me know if you have any suggestions!