Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle 
Jeannette Walls
Paperback 288 pages
Goodreads - Amazon  - Barnes&Noble


Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town—and the family—Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.


Firstly, I probably would have never picked out this book on my own. I was assigned to read Jeannette's memoir for my English class.Secondly, I like this book more than I ever thought I would. It's not only interesting because it's a story, it's interesting because it's Jeannette's life. Her real actual childhood. 

The memoir starts with Jeannette telling readers about how she lives now, then it switches to her childhood, to her first memory. Jeannette's story involves many subject, like alcoholism and neglect. Did she really consider it neglect though? She never tells readers that she does, but that she loves her parents very much. The Walls family moves around a lot but Jeannette and her siblings don't seem to mind.  But settling in one place makes the kids a little uncomfortable. Childhood is never easy, and this book highlights that point.

When I was reading this I couldn't help but think of how I would have reacted if this was how I grew up. Would I have done that same thing as Jeannette or done something differently? Jeannette's story really gives light to what it's like to grow up in poverty and making the best out of everything. I did enjoy this book and I would recommend it to anyone that likes a good read and doesn't mind non-fiction stories. 

Overall, I give The Glass Castle a level 4 hangover. 

Want to purchase the book? Check out the links at the top!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Sick

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine. It let us spotlight books that haven't been released, but that we can't wait for. This week I've picked Sick by Tom Leveen, which is scheduled to be released on October 1st, 2013.

Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead as a group of unlikely allies tries to survive a deadly outbreak.

Brian and his friends are not part of the cool crowd. They’re the misfits and the troublemakers—the ones who jump their high school’s fence to skip class regularly. So when a deadly virus breaks out, they’re the only ones with a chance of surviving.

The virus turns Brian’s classmates and teachers into bloodthirsty attackers who don’t die easily. The whole school goes on lockdown, but Brian and his best friend, Chad, are safe (and stuck) in the theater department—far from Brian’s sister, Kenzie, and his ex-girlfriend with a panic attack problem, Laura. Brian and Chad, along with some of the theater kids Brian had never given the time of day before, decide to find the girls and bring them to the safety of the theater. But it won’t be easy, and it will test everything they thought they knew about themselves and their classmates.
I'm really excited to read this one for a few reasons. The cover really drew me in because I love black and red color schemes. However, the part that really got me interested was the first bit of the blurb. I love both Breakfast Club and The Walking Dead, so I hope this story holds true to what it says, because if it does, I'll probably love it.
What are you waiting on this week?
Let us know in the comments below, or leave a link to your own post.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness
215 pages (Hardcover)
Walker Books


The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.
But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.


I wasn't sure what to expect out of this book that had won both the Kate Greenway Medal and the Carnegie Medal, along with many others, but people had been talking about it and a few had recommended it to me, so when I came across a copy, I jumped at the chance to read it. As soon as I picked it up and briefly flipped through the pages, I loved the illustrations. They were dark and chillingly beautiful.

I didn't know how fitting they were until I started reading the story. This was the first book written by Patrick Ness that I've read and I've found that I absolutely love his writing. It was beautiful, and told the story perfectly. I loved the way that Conor's voice was written out and I enjoyed his thought process throughout the story.

I connected with the main character instantly. Conor was going through one of the worst situations I could imagine in life, although I'm sure it's a fairly real one for some people, and I felt so much towards him. He was doing his best to be hopeful about the whole thing and unwilling to even consider the idea of his mother not getting better, which was so realistic to me. I even cried towards the end of the book, which is really rare for me, but I was so upset by it.

However, my favorite character was the monster. I really enjoyed the stories he told Conor and how they paralleled with the people in Conor's real life. The monster was also so lyrical and I loved some of his thoughts. Plus, my whole perspective changed towards it at the end, although I could never truly hate it.

Anyways, I think everyone should go find a copy of this book and read it. But I'll leave a little quote below for those of you who can't do it immediately.

"Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose who knows what havoc they might wreak?" - A Monster Calls, page 51.

I give this book a hangover level of  5 out of 5.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Naturals

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine. It let us spotlight books that haven't been released, but that we can't wait for. This week I've picked The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, which is scheduled to be released on November 5th, 2013.

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.
I'm really excited for this book to come out. I've read a few books my her that I've really liked and I love the premise of the story. I've always liked stories about kids with special abilities that are working with the government. They always have a cool feel about them. I also like the cover, and I'm wondering if the black box has anything to do with the story.
What are you waiting for this Wednesday?
Tell us in the comments below, or leave a link to your own post!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Super Six Sunday: Book to Movie Adaptations

Super Six Sunday is an meme hosted by Bewitched Bookworms (one of our favorite blogs) and inspired by "Top Ten Tuesday" from The Broke and Bookish. Today's exciting topic is Book to Movie Adaptations. So below is a list of my favorite books that were adapted into movies.

Super Six Book to Movie Adaptations


1.  Percy Jackson


Percy Jackson is a series of books I grew up with and really love. Initially, I was a little nervous about them being made into movies (as I always am), but I needn't have worried. The two movies that have been made are wonderful, in my opinion. I love the way the story was portrayed and adore all of the special effects. It's always hard to live up to the imagination of the readers with mythical stories like this, but it turned out great.

2. Harry Potter

Harry Potter is a series of books that I have a lot of respect for. I actually saw the first two movies before I read the books, but then I did read them and I started reading a lot after that. One of my favorite movies out of all of them, although they did keep improving (I think), was the Order of the Phoenix. It was the last book with one of my favorite characters and we got introduced to the most evil villain ever (and I don't mean Voldemort). The movie was a great visual of the book.

3. The Hunger Games

This book was amazing and so was the movie. They displayed parts of the book that I wasn't sure they'd be able to show. It was a really cool adventure and the world of the book was brought to life in the movie. From the poverty of District 12, to the wealth and elaborateness of the Capital, everything was wonderful.

4.  Breaking Dawn

While the Twilight series on the whole wasn't my favorite series out there, I loved the last two movies especially. The second part of Breaking Dawn had the most surprising twist towards the end of the movie. I didn't know what was happening and when I figured it out, I nearly shouted in sheer glee at the genius of the screenwriters. It was that epic.

5. The City of Bones

I loved this book. It is, at the moment, one of my top five favorites. (I don't have an absolute favorite because I can't seem to narrow it done.) Unfortunately, I haven't seen the movie yet. This drives me insane because a few friends of mine got to see it, but I haven't had the time to go to the theater yet. It's the movie I'm most looking forward to seeing right now, and I can't wait to see if it was done well.

6. I Am Number Four

This wasn't my all-time favorite book as some of it confused me a little bit, but I did thoroughly enjoy the movie. It was so action packed and had a little bit of romance thrown in. The special effects were awesome, as they are in all of my favorite movies. And I love Alex Pettyfer. He was perfect for the role and I couldn't have picked a better actor.

Well, those are my Super Six Book to Movie Adaptations.

What are some of your favorite book to movie adaptations?
Tell us in the comments below, or leave a link to your own post!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Friends and Traitors

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine. It let us spotlight books that haven't been released, but that we can't wait for. This week I've picked Friends and Traitors by C.J. Hill, which is scheduled to be released on October 15th, 2013.


The Slayers – teens who have powers to fight dragons—are back by popular demand in this high-octane sequel, now with a new cover package!

Tori is at a White House dinner party when she hears a horrifying sound: dragon eggs hatching. It means in less than a year, the dragons will be mature and dangerous. The Slayers are well-trained, but their group is not yet complete, and Tori is determined to track down Ryker Davis, the mysterious Slayer who has yet to surface.

What Tori doesn’t bargain for, however, is the surprising truth about her powers: she isn’t a Slayer after all, but a Dragon Lord, with a built-in predisposition to protect dragons, not kill them.
How will she overcome this to save the lives of her friends?


I recently read the first book in this series and I really loved it. I enjoyed the characters and the world that they were in. Plus, aren't dragons always cool? And I really love the cover! I can't wait for this one to come out so I can read it!

What are you waiting for this week?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: All The Truth That's In Me

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine. It lets us spotlight books that haven't been released, but that we can't wait for. This week I've picked All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry, which is scheduled to be released on September 26th of 2013.


Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.


I was really drawn in when I saw this cover. It looks so dark and kind of frightening. I also love the blurb. It sounds like it's going to have a great mix of mystery, romance, and maybe even a little horror. I can't wait to find out what happens to Judith.

Let us know below what you're waiting for this Wednesday.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Slayers

C.J. Hill
400 pages (Paperback)
Square Fish


Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?


I received a copy of Slayers through Goodreads First Reads.

I wasn't sure what to expect as Slayers was the first book I've ever read about dragons, so I didn't have anything to compare it to. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. I don't know if there are books a lot better or if dragons were finally done right in this book, but I can say that either way, I loved it.

I've heard of plenty of books about dragons of course. In most of which, they seem to be either glorified horses or poor misunderstood creatures that just want to be our friends. This, however, hasn't always made a whole lot of sense to me. I thought dragons were supposed to be merciless, killing monsters that caused all of the people from the village a few miles away to disappear. As Hill put it:

"Despite all the novels to the contrary, I'm pretty sure dragons wouldn't want to be our friends. Lions, tigers, and bears are all way cuter and cuddlier than dragons, and they don't think twice about eating people. Anything that is large and has fangs and claws - well, that's nature's way of telling you to run away quickly."

And I couldn't agree more. But since the dragons are out to get everyone in Slayers, that obviously means that someone's got to be out there stopping them, right? Right.

The Slayers were a unique cast of characters. They could be tough and ferocious when they needed to be, and they were always down with using their super cool powers, but they were also all semi-normal teenagers when they could be. I felt some of the secondary characters had awesome personalities, including Bess, Rosa, and Dr. B. Some of the things they did and the situations they got into were hilarious. The main character, Tori, also got herself shoved into a totally new world, but what I loved was that she didn't immediately accept it. She had the weight of the world dropped onto her shoulders and for a bit there, she actually reacted normally and tried to get away from it. I don't always see that as often as I'd expect to.

The story was told from two different view points, although they didn't alternate. Every time we got to see through the "villain's" eyes I kept hoping and hoping that I was wrong about who it was, but when I got to the end, I wasn't. However, there was a twist there, that changed things anyways.

My favorite part about the whole story was the camp, though. I only went to a few when I was younger before I got bored with them, but this one I would have stuck with. It was a really nice place for the whole thing to be based around and I loved that it seemed it was just that little secluded area in the whole world that knew the secrets kept there.

Overall, Slayers had a great world and some of the coolest characters. They were put into awesome situations and the ending of the book left me just waiting for the next one.

I give this book a hangover level of 5 out of 5.

This book is especially recommended to people who like Percy Jackson and books similar to it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Super Six Sunday: Stories I Loved As A Kid

Super Six Sunday is an meme hosted by Bewitched Bookworms (one of our favorite blogs) and inspired by "Top Ten Tuesday" from The Broke and Bookish. Today's exciting topic is Stories I Loved As A Kid. So below is a list that Angie compiled of some of the best books (or series) that we read when we were young bookworms in-training. Most of them are series, but we think that counts because they're really just extra long stories, right?

Super Six Stories I Loved As A Kid

1.  Harry Potter

While Harry Potter is a series that we still love today, it was a bunch of books that I grew up loving. I fell in love with the school and the characters at an early age. It's even the series that started a couple of my friends off with reading (including me). I read the books, watched the movies, and lived in the fandom. And it's been a seriously epic ride.

2.  Series of Unfortunate Events

I think a lot of people might have heard of these (there was a movie after all), but I don't think everyone understands how great the books were. There was mystery, unique characters, and interesting locations. The dilemma was confusing but you were only ever as confused as the main characters. I sickly enjoyed the misery these kids went through when I was younger.

3.  The Baby-Sitters Club

These books, while they didn't have the magic of most of our other childhood books, were awesome. They made you want to babysit. They made it look like a lot of fun that just happened to include a profit. While the series is a little bit older (my aunt read them as a kid too), I enjoyed the chance to read them.

4.  Percy Jackson and the Olympians

These books are a seriously fun ride. There is so much humor in these, you can't help but love them. I still fangirl over them sometimes. I've seen both movies and still occasionally read the books. I also find it impressive how much mythology is packed into such an entertaining read. It's seriously educational (just don't tell the kids!).

5.  The Boxcar Children

It's been a while since I've read these, but I remember really liking them. I think I liked them a lot as a kid because I was impressed that these other kids could live on their own. They didn't need adults necessarily and they managed. I also liked the idea of living in a boxcar. I mean, how much fun would that be? You know, if the weather was perfect and I had seven bookshelves in their with me.

6.  The Magic Tree House Series

These books have a lot of appeal for book nerds. Those kids were literally traveling into the books they opened. It sounds like a dream come true to me. I, of course, read these when I was really little and just starting chapter books, but they were fun. And what's impressive is that these books are still being written. The 51st books is scheduled to come out sometime in 2014.


That wraps up my nostalgic list of Stories I Loved As A Kid. Hope you guys enjoyed! And comment below to tell us about some of the stories you guys liked when you were younger!