A Girl Who Reads #2

It's been nearly 3 months since I last posted an "A Girl Who Reads" collective review, because my reading habits have been pretty sporadic and spontaneous. I go weeks without reading and then I devour two books in one week. With all the switching and designing and developing that's been going on between Skylights, my prose series on Instagram and this little baby right here, my thoughts have been way too scattered. I'm excited to get back into the swing of things though and that includes reading. Here's what I've read over the past few months and what I plan to read soon. 

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Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky

I'm pretty sure it's clear by know but I just love, love, love this novel. I'm almost embarrassed that it took me so long to pick it up. I really want to do a full review on it eventually but there are just so many reviews I have backed up right now. We shall see. But just to be clear, I love it, 5 stars!

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

A re-read because the movie was releasing, and I love it even more the second time around. It actually turned out to be a very bad idea to read before seeing the movie, as it highlighted the dramatic differences between the two. I've already reviewed this entire trilogy though, you can check that out here.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I mentioned this in my April favorites and I'm giving it away as part of my relaunch giveaway so, yeah, I'd say I loved it. It's currently sitting on the shelf with the rest of my favorite novels because that's where it belongs.

The novel tracks Samantha's adventures during the summer before her senior year of high school. Ever since she can remember, her mother has warned her about "those Garrett children" whom she despises for their messy front yard and sheer number. But to Samantha, the Garretts live what seems to be such an exciting life, one she watches from her roof when her mother isn't hovering over her. While she stargazes, she imagines what life as a Garrett - that is until she finds a Garrett staring up at her. It's then that her entire world changes in both amazing and unimaginable ways. But how long can she keep this secret from her mother? And moreover, what secrets will she unveil?

My Life Next Door made me laugh, cry and fall in love with summer and all the possibilities the warm air carries. I wanted to jump right back into the novel as soon as I'd finished. I knew I'd end up loving the romance of this summery contemporary, but I didn't know I'd end up falling in love with the characters. Samantha, despite being a sheltered 17-year-old, didn't come off as frustrating or oblivious. Seeing the story and the Garretts through her eyes was exhilarating and hilarious. She was equal parts hesitant and open, which did a great job of integrating her into the family without making it seem like she was trying too hard. Jase, well, sah-woon. He's simply amazing. Gorgeous but not cocky. Incredibly loving but also not unrealistic. The kind of guy that's not gonna push you, but also isn't gonna let you take your sweet time. Please, Jase, why are you not a real boy?! There's Samantha's friends who are also really interesting, supporting characters, although they don't seem like supporting cast at all due to their own separate story arcs. And then there's the Garrett family, lovable in every way from the desperately-in-love parents who can't seem to quit making babies to the most adorable like 5-year-old on the planet, George. Seriously, I want to be a Garrett!    

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

I had been looking forward to reading this for a while, so when I got the chance to review it for Skylights Magazine a few weeks ago, I jumped right into it. Here's the synopsis that I wrote for the article. You can check out the entire review here >> Skylights Magazine Book Review.

In A Thousand Piece of You, Gray tracks the lives of her cast of characters in multiple dimensions. Her main character Marguerite jumps from one world to the next in search of her father's murderer, one of her parents' graduate students who stole their latest dimension-traveling device and escaped - into another dimension. Now, Marguerite and Theo, another of her parents' students, have to track the murderer down before he disappears into the depths of another life.

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare 

I said in my first AGWR wrap up that I'd most likely be reading this book again, so no surprise here. With all of the talk about the Shadowhunters show, I was in the mood for some demon-slaying angelic hunters, and the book was just as good the second time around now that there's so much buzz surrounding the series. And now that I've got The Bane Chronicles, I'm ready to dive into that too. Check out my initial thoughts from last time.

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

This novel has been on my Goodreads TBR and my actual bookshelf for so very long. For shame! I'd heard that it was amazing and it's received so many honors that I should have known it was going to be wonderful. I'll refrain from saying too much here as it is our book club book of the month. Review forthcoming on June 2nd!

The Assassin's Blade by Sara J. Maas

I'd prolonged finishing this book and reading the final novella, because I knew how this was going to end. I knew it. Anyone who's begun this series by reading Throne of Glass knew it. Yet it still broke me. Into a billion pieces. I can't say much because it's part of a series, but I'll give a quick synopsis.

Before Celaena Sardothien, the most badass 17-year-old that anyone has ever seen, was imprisoned in the salt mines of Endovier, she ran the town, gaining a reputation for being a highly-skilled, somewhat volatile and hysterically sarcastic assassin. The collection of novellas takes the reader deeper into Celaena's past showing us a bit more of the broken girl behind the mask and how she got that way. If you've already begun this series and are wondering if these novellas are worth reading, stop it. They are. 

As I organized and formatted my over 200 posts, I was reminded of the seasonal Semi Charmed Book Challenge and how long it's been since I actually tried to complete one. (Emphasis on try, for it'd be an actual miracle if I ever, you know, read the books on my TBR). Then I realized that the Summer Challenge had just started on May 1st, and thought "well that's perfect timing". If you're interested in participating, you can check out the rules and challenges over on her blog. I'm not even sure if I'm 100% participating but, hey, it was fun putting together a preliminary list. 

  • Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules (5 pts): 
    • Whatever book I read instead of the books I've planned :)
  • Read a book you have never heard of before (10 pts):
    • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This novel hadn't even been on my radar, and now I know why: it's recommended for those who loved Gone Girl, the same Gone Girl that I couldn't get passed the first 50 pages off. Oy.
  • Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years (10 pts):
    • Notes from Underground by Dostoevsky. As mentioned in my May goals, it's been on my list forever. 
  • Read a book that won a Goodreads "Best Book" award in 2014 (10 pts):
    • Yes Please by Amy Poehler or Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I've been thinking about listening to Yes Please and I just got Landline and I love anything Rainbow writes.
  • Read a book by an author who is completely new to you (15pts):
    • Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Artistotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
  • Read a book by an author you have read before (15pts):
    • Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens in this sequel.
  • Read a book with "light" or "dark" in the title (15pts):
    • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, because everyone says it's just outstanding.
  • Read a book with the name of a real city, state or country in the title (20pts):
    • Looking for Alaska by John Green. I've heard mixed reviews on this one but I really loved TFIOS.
  • Read a book with an animal on the cover (20pts):
    • The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater. 
  • Read a book that is part of series with at least four books (20pts):
    • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. I just finished her novella a few days ago, so I'm primed and ready for some more Celaena kickass-age before the release of the 5th book this fall. 
  • Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long (25pts):
    • City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. 
  • Read a book with an alliterative title (30pts):
    • Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Everyone has been raving about this novel for months now. I think it's finally time to join the fandom. 

I'll hold off on doing an official point total now as there's still another week until June, but I'd say I'm off to a great start!

What have you been reading recently? Got any recommendation for my steadily-growing TBR?