Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing

First off, let me wish you all a very merry Christmas! The topic for this special Christmas Eve edition of TTT is "Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing." I'm hoping to see at least a few of these under the tree tomorrow! :) And I hope Santa brings all you bookish peeps something awesome to read, too!


A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka


The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay


The Somnambulist by Essie Fox

Elijah's Mermaid by Essie Fox

The Circle by Dave Eggers


Tinder by Sally Gardner


 The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness


 Fearsome Dreamer by Laure Eve


The Lost Boys


 Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2013

Although I didn't read nearly as much as I had hoped to in 2013, I did discover some pretty great authors. Here are my favorite "new-to-me" authors of the year:

Author: Patrick Ness
Books I Read: Chaos Walking trilogy, More Than This
Why I Love His Writing: Patrick Ness's writing style is so unique, especially in Chaos Walking. I'd never read anything like it before.

Author: Markus Zusak
Book I Read: The Book Thief
Why I Love His Writing:  The Book Thief is truly one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. 

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Books I Read: Fangirl, Eleanor & Park
Why I Love Her Writing: Her characters are so realistic and the stories she tells are so relatable.

Author: Gillian Flynn
Book I Read: Gone Girl
Why I Love Her Writing:  She keeps you guessing until the very end. Just when I would think I had the story all figured out, she throw in another twist that would totally shock me!

Author: Amy Plum
Book I Read: Until I Die
Why I Love Her Writing: Until I Die is the first YA paranormal romance in a long time that I've just absolutely adored. I loved the fluffy romance between Vincent and Kate.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is "Books on my Winter TBR List."

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
My first pick I've chosen because I recently watched the 1994 movie version of Little Women with Winona Ryder and I loved it. It's about time I get around to reading this classic. And it's set (partially) at Christmastime, so what better time of the year to read it!

2. From Notting Hill With Love...Actually by Ali McNamara
Love Actually is one of my favorite Christmas movies, so when I saw this book sitting on the shelf at B&N, I had to get it. I'm hoping it's good but I'm a bit skeptical though; I haven't read much adult chick lit before.

3. Angelfall by Susan Ee
Everyone seems to be talking about Angelfall! I figured it's about time I give it a try.

4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
I've been meaning to reread Shiver ever since Linger came out but to no avail. But now that's it's cold and snowy outside, it's put me in the mood to pick it up again.

5. Hild by Nicola Griffith
Due to my current obsession with Reign, I've kind of been obsessing over finding good historical fiction lately. I happened to come across this one by chance on Goodreads and, even though it's set a good, oh, eight centuries before Mary Stuart was even born, I'm still really excited to read this one. 

6. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
This one doesn't come out until late January but it's definitely one of my most anticipated winter TBR releases!

7. The Diviners by Libba Bray
I've heard so many good things about The Diviners! I originally meant to read it around Halloween, but (surprise!) I didn't get around to it.

8. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Oh, look, another book that was on my autumn TBR list that I didn't make it to! I've been needing a vampire fix, though, so maybe that will force me to finally start this one.

9. Until I Die & 10. If I Should Die by Amy Plum
Over the weekend I devoured Die For Me by Amy Plum and now I'm obsessed with finishing the Revenants series.

Friday, December 6, 2013

End of the Year Book Survey 2013

(Survey questions created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner)

The Books of 2013

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? 
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It was so beautifully written and such an emotional roller coaster. I finished reading it at three in the morning and just lay in bed, unable to go to sleep because I couldn't stop crying over that ending.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I was so thrilled when I got an e-book copy through NetGalley back in the summer. After hearing all the praise surrounding it and the comparisons to J.K. Rowling, you can bet that I was itching to get my hands on it. It was an enjoyable read for sure, but it didn't live up to my expectations (you can read my review here).

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. I had my doubts about it for the first couple of chapters, but then HOLY WOW! It got so good! It's made it onto my list of favorites for sure!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. For a whole weekend in January, all I did was lay on the couch and devour this book. After I finished it, I went around recommending it to everybody because I wanted so badly to talk about it and hear what my friends and family thought of it. Such a crazy read!

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
Definitely the Chaos Walking trilogy. I'd tried reading The Knife of Never Letting Go in the past, but was put off by the strange formatting and, to be totally honest, the banter between Todd and Manchee on the first few pages. But when Pretty Books hosted the #readchaos campaign on tumblr, I finally decided to give the books another chance. Oh, my gosh, am I so glad I did! It is such a brilliant, funny, horrifying, heart-wrenching series. I can't believe it took me so long to realize what I was missing out on!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
Rainbow Rowell. I read both Eleanor & Park and Fangirl and now I can't wait for her next book! She is so great at writing characters who are real and relatable (seriously, if I were a fictional character, I would probably be Cather Avery from Fangirl).

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Now, hold on! Give me a minute to explain. I don't know about you guys, but I have horrific memories of slogging through this book in high school. It was agonizingly boring and just an all-around unpleasant experience. So when I saw it on the syllabus for my Literary Theory class, I (and everyone else in the class, it seemed) was filled with dread. But, as I started to reread it on my own and discuss it in class, the more I found myself...if not enjoying it, then at least reading it with a much better understanding of what it was about and why it is such an important book. I'm not saying I'm going to be adding it to my list of favorites, but I am glad to have read it again at an age and in a setting that made it much more fulfilling.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
I'm going to cheat a bit and say it's a three-way tie between Gone Girl, the Chaos Walking series, and Night Film. All of these books had me on the edge of my seat.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Probably The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I need to refresh my memory before I can start The Dream Thieves.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

Throne of Glass, because Celaena looks so badass! For a while you couldn't even get this cover in the US, and I wanted it so badly that I almost ordered it from The Book Depository just so I could have that specific cover.

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Cather Avery of Fangirl. I absolutely loved her because I could relate so well to her personality and her struggles with college life.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
Again, The Book Thief. It's such a profound and moving story.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
The Chaos Walking series (sorry that so many of these answers are repeats! I'm so boring with my choices!).

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
Oh man. It's going to be so hard to pick just one! But...I think I'm going to have to go with this short conversation between Levi and Cath in Fangirl:

"It's okay if you're crazy," he said softly.
"You don't even know-"
"I don't have to know," he said. "I'm rooting for you."

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Longest: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness at 603 pages
Shortest: Briar Rose by Robert Coover at 96 pages

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
The ending of The Knife of Never Letting Go. I must have sat there forever with my jaw gaping, staring at the last page in horror.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Todd Hewitt and Viola Eade from Chaos Walking. I fangirled so hard over them!

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Hmm...well, I didn't read too many books from authors I've read before. So I think I'm going to have to go with City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (I reread it right before the movie came out).

20. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
YA (encompassing paranormal romance, fantasy, contemporary, and historical fiction).

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
Night Film. It was so utterly creepy and strange. I had so much fun reading it, despite being disappointed with the ending.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
The Book Thief (again! I'm sorry!)

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
Fangirl. It was like reliving the summer that Deathly Hallows came out and my freshman year of college all at once.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Fangirl, The Book Thief, The Fault in Our Stars and Jane Eyre.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
Oh, gosh, there are so many books I didn't make it to this year, so many that I can't possibly say which one will be my first priority. Mainly because, even when I do plan on reading a certain book, I usually end up going onto Goodreads or seeing a review from another blogger or Booktuber and get all excited over an entirely different book. My problem really isn't that I don't have the time to read; I just have so many options of what to read that I can never decide on one.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor!

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Eva Lavender by  Leslye Walton. I mentioned this book in my TTT post this week; I can't wait to read it! But why, oh, why does it not come out until March? :(

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
My major goal for this blog in 2014 is to be consistent. I'm pretty faithful about updating my tumblr, but I really didn't accomplish much on this blog this year. I'm currently brainstorming different features/memes for the blog and I would love it if I could come up with something that other bloggers and readers could join in on. We'll just have to see. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for me, don't be shy! I'd love to hear your feedback and learn what you'd like to see more (or less) of! As for my reading, well, the goal is somewhat the same. 2013 was a bumpy year for me, what with all the stresses of finishing my last semester of college, graduating, and trying to figure out what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. All of that combined left me little time for reading. But even when I did have time, I always seemed to find something else to do, like infinitely scrolling through my tumblr dash, or playing endless rounds of Bejeweled on my iPod, or catching up on TV recordings. In 2014, I really want to get rid of all the distractions and make time for reading. I don't want to make it feel like a chore, like something I have to do even when I don't want to do it, but I do want to make it a greater priority in my life. There are just too many good books out there that I want to read and so little time to read them. Why waste the time I could be reading a great book on playing some mindless game or constantly refreshing my tumblr page?

Well, that about wraps it up! Here's to looking forward to more great books in 2014!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Top Ten 2014 Releases I'm Dying To Read

It's hard to believe but 2013 is quickly coming to a close and soon we'll be ushering in a new year and, along with it, a whole new selection of books to look forward to. Here are some of the YA releases I'm most excited for in 2014:

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (April 8, 2014)
The final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. I've got to hurry up and read Days of Blood and Starlight before April rolls around.
I'm always up for a fairy tale retelling, especially if that fairy tale happens to be Beauty and the Beast (my favorite!).
A modern-day retelling of Peter Pan in which the Lost Boys and Peter are a "tribe of young renegade surfers"?! This one sounds so crazy (in a good way) that I have to see how Sheinmel pulls it off.
I can't think of a better story for a bookworm than one where the main character literally gets lost in a book...and may actually be a fictional character herself.

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
How did I not know of this book until today?! I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw that Cassandra Clare was co-authoring a brand new series. And about magicians, too! So excited!

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton (March 25, 2014)
I love stories that have a fairy tale-esque vibe, so this book about a girl who is born with wings seemed right up my alley. And it doesn't hurt that the cover art is gorgeous.
When I first saw the cover of The Winner's Curse, I thought it had a very Hunger Gamesian/Capitol-ish look to it. Like The Hunger Games, Rutkoski's book is a story of haves and have-nots in a dystopian society and I'm really looking forward to reading it!
When I was reading the summary for Elusion, which is about a virtual world experienced through the use of a visor and wristband, all I could think was that it doesn't seem too far from the realm of possibility (am I the only one creeped out by Google Glass?). It seems like this will be a timely sci-fi/dystopian novel.

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (May 27, 2014)
I had to look at the Goodreads page for the final Mortal Instruments book with half-shielded eyes to avoid being spoiled in any way. I'm so far behind in the TMI series; I've only made it to City of Glass so far, even though the entire series, including the Infernal Devices and the Shadowhunter's Codex, are all lined up neatly on my shelf.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My Shelf The Longest That I've Never Read

For a while now I've been in the (bad) habit of being a compulsive book buyer/check-outer; it seems to be humanly impossible for me go into a bookstore or library and leave empty-handed. So, inevitably, there are always books on my shelves that go unread, sometimes for years. I’ve tried time and again to enforce upon myself the “you-can’t-buy-any-more-books-or-check-any-out-from-the-library-until-you’ve-read-the-ones-you-already-have” rule, but I always, always fail to adhere. So for Top Ten Tuesday, here's a sad little list of some of the ignored books on my shelf.

1. The Princess Diaries series: I bought the first Princess Diaries book when I was eleven and was quite obsessed with the books for a couple of years. Once I got to high school, however, I stopped reading the series. I really want to finish it though because the books are absolutely hilarious and Mia is one of the most awkward, relatable characters I've read.

source: tumblr.com
2. Dracula by Bram Stoker: In the past, I've tried several times to read Dracula but have never been able to make it past the first twenty-or-so pages. Maybe it's the epistolary style that makes my mind start to wander before I can get pulled in to the story. Whatever the reason, Dracula has been sitting on my shelf for years now.

3. The Casual Vacancy: I feel like the worst J.K. Rowling fan in the world for not reading The Casual Vacancy or The Cuckoo's Calling yet, but...honestly, I'm so afraid of being let down by her non-HP books that I just can't bring myself to open that first page. Harry Potter was such a formative series for me (and just about every other kid in the world who grew up with it) and I want so badly to have that same reading experience with J.K. Rowling's other books. But after the magic of Hogwarts and the Wizarding World, how am I supposed to get excited over a book about the goings-on in an ordinary town? Give the people what they really want, J.K.: a prequel series about the marauders!

4. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens: On my last Christmas break of high school, I was at home one afternoon channel surfing when I came across the 2002 version of Nicholas Nickleby. I absolutely loved the movie, so, naturally, I had to go out and get the book. That was back in 2008--poor Nicholas has been gathering dust on my Classics shelf ever since. I'd like to say it was because I was so busy with my last semester of high school and then all the preparations for college that I never got around to reading it, but that's only partly true. No, the real reason is that once I had the book, I was really daunted by its length. The only other Dickens book I'd ever read was Great Expectations. It was assigned for my ninth grade Honors English class and let's just say it was not a pleasant experience. I started to question why on earth I'd bought another Dickens tome. Now, five years later, I've gained more of an appreciation for Dickens. I can't say he's my favorite author but I will say that rereading Great Expectations for a second time in college, almost seven years after I first read it, definitely changed my opinions on the book. And I think it's time I gave Nicholas a try.

5. The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater: I feel like everyone and their mother has finished this series except me. I really don't know why I haven't read the whole thing--I adored Shiver and Maggie Stiefvater's writing style is gorgeous. I think there was just too long of a gap between the time I read Shiver and when I finally got a copy of Linger. I've been meaning to go back and reread the first book so I can move on with the series, but there are just so many books out there in the world to read that I usually end up buying new ones before rereading old ones.

6. Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser: Did you know that this is the book Sofia Coppola used as the basis for her film Marie Antoinette? I am such a huge fan of that movie and for a while I was obsessed with getting my hands on any book, fiction or nonfiction, about the ill-fated queen. I was so excited to start this one but, as it turns out, there is a serious lack of 80s pop music, fantastical gowns, and delicious-looking cakes (who'd have guessed?). While I'm sure that Fraser's biography is much more historically accurate than Coppola's film, the movie is much easier (and more entertaining) to digest. Leave it to the movies to ruin reality for us all. ;P

source: tumblr.com
7. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami: I, like many other readers, first found out about Battle Royale after fans started drawing comparisons to The Hunger Games. I started to read it, but was put off by the overwhelming number of characters introduced in the beginning (I really couldn't keep track of who was who) and the violence. If you think The Hunger Games is graphic, let me tell you that Battle Royale is much, much more so.

8. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley: Yet another book I started, got distracted from, and haven't picked up again for years. If you've seen how enormous this book is, you'll understand.

9. Across the Universe by Beth Revis: As a YA fan, I can't believe that I still haven't read Across the Universe. I'm always coming across bloggers and vloggers reviewing it (and complaining about the awful mid-series cover redesign) and every time I do I think, I really need to read that.

10. The Princess Bride by William Goldman: Raise your hand if you've seen The Princess Bride. Okay, good. Pretty much everybody has (and if you haven't, get thee to the library/on demand menu/video rental store...do those even exist anymore?). But I'm willing to bet that most people who've seen it have not actually read the book it's based on--I'm guilty of this charge. I've had the book for, you guessed it, years and I still haven't gotten around to reading it. Someday, Westley. Someday.

source: tumblr.com
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Can't Wait September: Vampires, Fangirls, and Assassins, Oh My!

Hello all! I'm starting a new feature on Life in the Pages called "Can't Wait," in which I start off each new month with a list of upcoming releases I'm most excited to read. I've cheated a little bit on this first post (the first two books came out Tuesday) but since their release is so late in the month I've decided to include them. So, without further ado, here are the new releases I'm most excited to read this September:

  • The summary on Goodreads claims this book is "[i]nspired by the gothic classic Wuthering Heights," which immediately made me want to run out and get a copy. Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite classic books and the idea of a story that combines it with a fantasy element is too good to pass up! 

  • The sequel to Throne of Glass has been number one on my wanted list since I finished the first book in July. I'm SO happy that the release date is finally here! Now I just have to wait a few more days for some birthday gift cards so I can add this one to my shelf ;)

What can I say? I'm a sucker for all things vampire-related. And after reading a short excerpt of The Coldest Girl, I can't wait to see how this story unfolds.

  • I have been excited all year for Fangirl. As a self-confessed fangirl of many YA series, I cannot wait to read a book in which the main character is involved in fandom. 

Now it's your turn - what books are you looking forward to reading in September? Feel free to answer in the comments or link back with your own post!

    Friday, August 23, 2013

    Friday Fun: A Book Survey

    Kelly at The Broke and the Bookish posted a short book survey earlier today and invited others to join in on the fun, so I'm doing just that! Feel free to comment with your own answers or a link to your blog post.

    1. The book I'm currently reading:
    I'm actually reading two books at the moment: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (a re-read). I'm reading Monsters as part of the #readchaos project started by prettybooks on tumblr and I am so glad I decided to do it; the Chaos Walking trilogy is amazing!

    2. The last book I finished:
    The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness. I can't even. Please just go and read this series if you haven't already.

    3. The next book I want to read:
    Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn. This has been on my to-read shelf for a while and I finally got a copy from the library.

    4. The last book I bought:
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Ever since reading The Handmaid's Tale, I've been wanting to read more of Atwood's work. Oryx and Crake sounds like it'll be a sufficiently creepy dystopian/sci-fi tale.

    5. The last book I was given:
    I don't really receive books too often - if anything I usually get a bookstore gift card so I can pick out whatever I want. I think the last book I received as a gift was The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier

    Hi there! Welcome to Life in the Pages! My name is Alex and I originally started book blogging earlier this year on tumblr. Much as I love tumblr, I wanted to create a more "official" blog where I could create my own content and write more detailed posts. Life in the Pages is primarily a YA blog, though every now and then I might blog about adult contemporary fiction as well. I hope you enjoy! :)

    To start things off I've decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly book meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (be sure to check out their blog!). This week's topic: "Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier." So, in no particular order, here is my list:

    1. Goodreads/Goodreads mobile app
    It's thanks to Goodreads that I currently have a to-read list that is approximately 500 books long and growing. And since I've download the app to my iPod, I've made it a habit to have it open whenever I'm at the library or bookstore so I can scroll through my to-read list and see what to look for. And if I happen across another book I'm interested in, I can just snap a picture of the barcode and the book is instantly added to my list.

    2. Libraries
    Free books. What more can I say?

    3. E-book previews
    Although I don't have many full-length books on my e-reader, I do have quite the collection of free previews. I like being able to read the first ten or so pages to get a feel for the book and see if it's something I'm interested in reading.

    4. Tumblr/Other book blogs
    Book blogs are my favorite kind of blogs (obviously). They're the perfect resource for reviews, lists of upcoming releases, fun book surveys, and other awesome bookish goodness.

    5. Booktubers
    I. Love. Booktube. If I'm not reading, I'm usually on YouTube watching Katytastic or booksandquills or one of the many other fantastic booktubers out there. I especially love watching book tag videos --because, I don't know about you, but I love survey/quiz-type things -- and bookshelf tour videos, which always inspire me to rearrange my own shelves. I almost always come away from book tube videos with even more books to add to my to-read list.

    6. Fanmixes/Author playlists
    When I read, it's like I'm seeing a movie play out in my mind. So when I throw music into the mix, it only makes my reading experience even more epic. I'm constantly scouring author websites, tumblr, and 8tracks looking for playlists to listen to while I read.

    7. NetGalley
    NetGalley is an awesome resource for book bloggers, librarians, and other "professional readers" to request advanced reader copies of upcoming books. The ARCs are in e-book format and, if your request is approved, are available for immediate download to whatever device you prefer. Although you're not guaranteed an ARC just by requesting one, every now again you'll get lucky. In early July, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season from NetGalley (and you can read my review here). I had requested it, totally not expecting to get a copy at all since it is such an anticipated book, and when my request was approved I could hardly believe it! I was so excited!

    Because really - where would we be without them? One of my biggest reading pet peeves is having to stop reading only to find that I don't have anything to save my place (ain't no way I'm dog-earing that page!).

    Okay, so I didn't quite make it to ten. I'll try to do better next week. ;)