Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book Review: Endless by Amanda Gray

Endless by Amanda Gray
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC, 2013
Length: 269 pages
Source/Format: NetGalley / e-book

From Goodreads:
Jenny Kramer knows she isn't normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them.

When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren't alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has travelled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back.

While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock - and the Order - Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life - and beyond death.

My Rating:

Thanks to NetGalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. 

When I saw the cover to this book floating around NetGalley, I didn't think twice before requesting it. I'm always a sucker for a pretty cover design and Endless proved to be no exception. But, you know what they say: never judge a book by its cover. While Endless wasn't what I would call a terrible book, I was seriously wavering between giving it two or three stars until about the last third of the book. The plot was slow-going at first, and it took far too long to become interesting enough for me to become really invested in the story. I was intrigued by Jenny's visions and dreams of the past, but found the story surrounding her life in the present significantly less interesting--so much so that I ended up skimming through some of the duller parts. If I had to pick out the one thing that I think did this book the most disservice, it would be the third person point of view. I think the story would have been much more interesting had Gray written Jenny's perspective in first person, so we could get a better look into her personality, and saved the third person POV for the flashbacks (or just left it out entirely).

The best parts of Endless were the flashbacks and the exploration of Jenny's relationship with Nikolai, her lover from a past life. I didn't read the summary before starting the book so the whole Romanov reincarnation thing came as a total surprise to me. I thought it was interesting that we got the story of a different Romanov sister, Maria--most stories mainly focus on Anastasia, so it was nice to see a fresh perspective. Nikolai and Maria's relationship was very sweet, and it was truly heartbreaking to read what eventually happened to them both during the Revolution. That relationship carried over nicely to the present-day story, and I liked how Gray made a point of having Nikolai say he loved Jenny not just because she was Maria, but because of who she was in the present.

"The body is just a vessel, but our spirits are energy. They go on and on. And they remember."

Another part of the story I was unsure of at first was Jenny's friendship with Ben Daulton. In the beginning, he comes off as the typical asshole-bad-boy-who-will-probably-later-turn-out-to-be-the-love-interest kind of character, but I pleased to find out that Gray took a different route with Ben. Although Ben is an important character in both Jenny's current and past lives, Gray didn't drag him, Jenny, and Nikolai into yet another infamous YA love triangle. Even after we found out who Ben was in his past life and how he was tied to Maria/Jenny, I still wasn't really sure why he needed to be in the book. Not until the later chapters, that is. I liked his redemptive story arc, and was glad he and Jenny were able to remain friends. I just hope they stay that way (though at this point I'm not entirely sure a future love triangle can be ruled out…).

While I've already mentioned I wasn't impressed with the beginning of Endless, the last third of the book ended up redeeming the story for me. Things finally started to get exciting, and as Jenny and Nikolai were racing to find a way to stay together, I couldn't put the book down. Things wrapped up nicely while leaving just enough mystery for a sequel. I'm looking forward to seeing how Jenny and Nikolai will reunite!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WoW {1}: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme in which bloggers discuss the upcoming releases they're excited for. Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

From Goodreads:

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

I've mentioned this book on the blog before but now that we're getting closer to the release date I'm getting even more excited! It sounds like such an interesting magical realism novel! And how gorgeous is that cover?!

 Release date: March 25, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Round-Up {4}

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's what's been going on this week:

  • Last weekend I participated in the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon, which was SO awesome. To catch up with all my posts from the event, just browse my loveathon 2014 tag.
  • I reviewed Rosamund Hodge's retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty.
  • I discussed the reasons why I love being a reader and book blogger in this week's TTT post.
  • Adam Silvera at Pub(lishing) Crawl talks about GIFs in book reviews. As you've seen, I like to use GIFs, especially when I'm trying to be funny, but this article does a good job of covering both the pros and cons of GIF-ing.
  • Entertainment Weekly has a preview of the first two chapters of Dreams of Gods and Monsters! You can read it here.

This weekend I plan on finishing up Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster and Stacey Jay's Of Beast and Beauty. What will you be reading over the weekend?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader

Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday (with a brand new look)! This week's theme:

Reasons Why I Love Being a Blogger/Reader

Being a Blogger:

1. The People. The book blogging community, as I discovered during Love-A-Thon, is so lovely and friendly! I love getting to talk to people who are just as enthusiastic about books as I am!

2. ARCs. I'd be lying if I didn't say that getting ARCs is a huge perk of being a book blogger. I haven't gotten too many so far, but it's always exciting when I get an e-mail from a publisher saying they've accepted my request.

3. Memes/Surveys. You know those books you used to get as a kid where you could fill out everything about yourself, like your favorite color, your pet's name, a list of all your friends, what you wanted to be when you grew up--stuff like that? I loved those things. They were like journals only better, because instead of being faced with an intimidating blank page, you had all sorts of prompts to get your mental gears churning. As a blogger, I love memes and surveys for the same reason I loved those questionnaire books as a kid. It's great to come up with your own original posts, but sometimes it's nice to have a prompt.

4. Designing. I admit that I have a ways to go with this and my blog is not nearly as polished as some others, but one of the really fun parts of starting a blog has been designing it. I love tweaking the colors and fonts and making banners and such. It's time consuming but so fun!

Being a Reader:

1. Falling in love with characters. Sometimes when you're reading a book you find that you like the characters for the most part, but once the book is over they're fairly forgettable. But then there are the books with the characters that you love fiercely. These are the characters that feel real to you, and you can feel your hackles rising if someone so much as utters a bad word about them. You're like the mama bear and these characters are your babies and you will defend them to the death. God help the poor soul who dares to disparage them in your presence.

2. Getting lost in a fictional world. Some books you read and it's so easy to get distracted from them because the story or characters just never quite pull you in enough to give them your full, undivided attention. But then there are the books that reach out from the pages, take hold of your imagination, and pull you down into their world, and it's painful to pull away. When you finish the book or, heaven forbid, are forced to lay it aside for the sake of far less satisfying endeavors (like work, or school, or, ugh, having to, like, talk with real people) you feel disoriented and all you want is to crawl back into that make believe world. I'm talking about the kinds of books that may make you feel the need to become a hermit for a few days, or walk around with one of those "Hello! My Name Is…" stickers on your shirt, tweaked to say, "Don't bother me, I'm reading."

3. Bookstores. I love browsing through bookstores, especially indie ones. As much as I love my go-to Barnes and Noble, I really love discovering independent or small town bookstores.  No, I'm not going to get that new best-seller at a 30% discount at an independent store, but that's okay; the experience of browsing in a unique store makes up for it. I love how each indie store has a different look, a different personality (and you earn major brownie points with me if your store has CATS!).

4. Fandom. Long before I started book blogging, I was constantly fangirling over my favorite books. I would join forums, bookmark countless websites, read and attempt to write fan fiction, and make playlists and horribly edited graphics--basically all the things you do when you are involved in the wonderful world of fandom. I love the sense of community that goes along with it, the shared enthusiasm, the outpouring of creativity.

I'm sure that I'm leaving out something, but it's late and I'm drawing a total blank. I'll have to come back to this topic in the future and add to it.

So tell me: what are your favorite parts of being a reader and/or book blogger?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 2014
Length: 346 pages
Source/Format: Bought/Hardcover
From GoodReads:

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
My Rating:

From the moment I read the plot synopsis for Cruel Beauty, I knew it was a book I absolutely had to get my hands on. I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings and the tale of Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite. I'm not sure why exactly--maybe it's my affinity for bad boys who are good at heart, or my love for stories where love overcomes all obstacles. Whatever the reason, I needed this book in my life and, thankfully, it did not disappoint!

Cruel Beauty is such a unique retelling in that it takes the traditional Beauty and the Beast story and turns it on its head. The "Beauty" in this story, Nyx, is not described as the most beautiful, kind-hearted girl in the land; rather, she is outshined by her beloved sister, Astraia, and describes herself as having "poison in her heart." Nyx is not the docile, dutiful daughter happy to sacrifice herself for her father's mistakes. Instead, she intensely resents her father for so callously sacrificing her to the kingdom's evil ruler, the Gentle Lord, and secretly wishes Astraia could take her place. For these reasons, I absolutely loved Nyx. The fact that she was so angry and resentful of her situation and so willing to fight back again the demon that essentially ruined her life made her such an interesting character.

The other element that sets this retelling apart is the combination of a traditional fairy tale with Greek mythology. The land of Arcadia is entrenched in the beliefs of this mythology and it was fascinating to read about. If you're familiar at all with Greek mythology, then you'll know how the gods love to toy with man--and the poor people of Arcadia are not exempt from the gods whims, especially those of the "Kindly Ones," who are somewhat like the Fates, and anything but kind; they revel in striking tricky bargains with mortals and relish their inevitable downfall.

Now, for the bad boy himself, Ignifex. Ignifex, Ignifex, Ignifex. What can I say about him except damn, Rosamund, you know how to write a character who plays with my emotions!

I went from hating the guy to being totally intrigued by him, to hating him even more, and then, finally, to loving him to death. Loving him so much that that last third of the book nearly killed me with heartbreak. What's so great about Ignifex's story is that Hodge never lets you forget the fact that he has done awful things, acting as a broker for the Kindly Ones and tricking humans into entering into foolhardy bargains with horrible consequences. While he does try to redeem himself, his good deeds do not cover up all the wrong he has done--something that becomes harder and harder for Nyx to accept as she falls in love with him. In this story, though, love does not excuse wrongdoing. Hodge talks about this more in a great post over at Ivy Book Bindings, and this particular quote sums it up perfectly: "So you’re in love. That’s wonderful. It doesn’t change the consequences of what your wicked-hot boyfriend once did. How do you deal with the things that love doesn’t fix?"  No matter how much Nyx loves Ignifex, it doesn't change the fact that for the nine hundred years before he met her, he was a bad dude. And the rest of story deals with the consequences of his past and how Nyx must ultimately decide which is more important: loving a monster or saving her people from the man she loves.

In short, I love this book.

I can't wait to read Gilded Ashes and I hope we see more writing from Rosamund Hodge very soon.


Whew! What an adventure this past weekend was! I've gotta say that taking part in the 2014 Love-A-Thon was seriously the coolest blogging experience I've had so far. I loved getting to chat with so many awesome bloggers and experience first hand how great this community is! I haven't gotten a chance to visit all the blogs that participated, but I plan on stopping by each and every one at some point this week. If we did get the chance to chat on Twitter on in the comments, I just want to say that it was lovely to meet and talk to you all!

And now, I know I've said this about a million times since yesterday and Alexa and Katelyn are probably sick of hearing it, but it needs to be said one last time:

You ladies are truly great! Thank you so much for all your hard work and for reaching out and responding to everyone who participated. Love-A-Thon was so much fun and I'm so glad I participated!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

BB Love-A-Thon: Book Boyfriend Mad Libs

Mini Challenge

The next mini challenge is a book boyfriend-themed edition of Mad Libs, a game where you fill in the blanks to make your own hilariously ridiculous story. Let me know in the comments if you catch some of the various fandom references I've thrown in! ;)

Just A Dream

One day, I was reading with Edward. Out of the blue, a police box came out of nowhere! It was so strange, blue, and bigger on the inside. At first, we were afraid, we were petrified, but we escaped. We hopped on Edward's motorcycle to make our getaway. 

As we escaped, we turned up the radio because "Mambo No. 5" came on and made me throw my hands in the air and wave them like I just didn't care. Everything was extremely smooth sailing until a werewolf appeared in the middle of the road. We swerved to avoid it, but while Edward stayed on the motorcycle, I got thrown onto my side in the woods.

 I couldn't get up, and felt disoriented as I lay there staring up at the trees. What was I going to do? I heard a rustling among the leaves, and felt fearful. Surely, this was going to be my end. As my eyes fluttered shut, the last thing I saw was a head of naturally blond hair and golden eyes. 

 When I woke up again, I was on a cot. My body hurt a whole lot less, and I could sit up. There was a table and chairs in the room, along with fish sticks and custard and butter beer. The door suddenly opened to reveal Jace Wayland/Morgenstern/Herondale/Lightwood, a concerned look on his face. I blushed and averted my gaze, but he laughed and said, "Don't be shy. It's okay." He came over to sit by me, and we started talking after I told him my name. We chatted about demon hunting, rune drawing, and taking down the Dark Lord and realized we had a ton in common! I thought he was godlike and couldn't help feeling a little swoony.

 Just as he reached out for my hand, the door crashed open and in came Ignifex. "Don't let him charm you away, my love!" He yelled, running at Jace. They each had metal whisks in their hands and began to fight. "Stop!", I yelled, feeling so frightened. They didn't listen to me. Before I could intervene, Jace fell to the floor and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

 "What was that?" I asked, staring at the empty space. Ignifex dropped his weapon, and came over to me. "Magic, but you are safe now, dear wife." He hugged me close, and I suddenly knew that this was the real deal and not just a dream. 

 Just as "I Will Always Love You" started playing in my head, I woke up. I cursed my rotten luck. Why had it only been just a dream?

BB Love-A-Thon: Book Spine Poetry

Mini Challenge

The first challenge of the day was to create a poem using only the titles of books, so I've done just that!
It was so fun, if a a little challenging. My poem is a bit on the darker side, and was inspired by Rosamund Hodge's gorgeous Beauty and the Beast retelling, Cruel Beauty (which I finished at 1 AM this morning and can't stop fangirling over).

My books didn't look all that pretty lined up together, and I wanted to tweak the language a little bit so I  did a little photoshopping instead of just taking a picture. Hope you like it! 

Books I used:

The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

If you're participating in the Love-A-Thon or have a book spine poem of your own, link up in the comments so I can read them! :)

BB Love-A-Thon 2014: Get to Know Me

Woohoo! It's Saturday, February 15, which means it's time for the 2014 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon hosted by Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books and Katelyn @ Kate's Tales of Books and Bands
The Love-A-Thon is meant to spread the love for book blogs and their bloggers, and is a way to discover new blogs or rediscover old favorites. I'll be participating in a series of mini posts today and Sunday, so check back periodically for those! I also hope to discover some great book blogs this weekend, so if you have a blog you'd like to share with me, please feel free to link in the comments!

First up is a series of interview questions from Alexa and Katelyn themselves.

1. How did you come up with your blog name?
When I first started book blogging over on tumblr, I wanted to come up with a blog name that really encompassed what reading meant to me. Life in the Pages seemed like the perfect name because so much of my life has been spent literally flipping through thousands of pages of books. I've also always kind of liked the idea of living through books--when I read, it's like I'm going on an adventure, or experiencing an alternative life.

2. What genre/subject matter do you read and review most on your blog?
I'd say that about 85% of what I read is YA fiction, which, as you all know, can encompass so many genres. I started out loving paranormal romance and that still makes up the bulk of what I read. But I also love dystopian, fantasy, and contemporary, or "real life," YA. As you can see, I haven't done much reviewing on my blog yet, mostly because after finishing a book it takes me a while to process my thoughts and then regurgitate those thoughts onto paper (or a Word document) in a way that is vaguely coherent and interesting. When I really love a book I go through a period of time after finishing it when my only thoughts are something like word vomit: "ASDFGHJKL;OMGILOVETHISBOOK!" It takes time for me to come down off my book high and think seriously about the reasons why I loved a particular book.

3. Name the 3 books you're excited for in 2014!
Inland by Kat Rosenfield, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, and Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman.

4. Where in the world are you blogging from?
Indiana in the US! Go Hoosiers! :)

5. Tell us -- how did you get into blogging in the first place?
Well, if we're going back to the true beginning, I started out blogging on Xanga in middle school (anyone out there remember Xanga?). When I was in the eighth grade I was obsessed with anime and manga, but didn't have any RL friends who shared my enthusiasm. So, I turned to the magical world of the internet and got into roleplaying, which I loved because it gave me the chance to practice my writing and talk to other kids who loved manga as much as I did. At some point (though I can't quite remember when) I made the switch to LiveJournal, and then, as my LJ friends began to move over to tumblr, I ended up blogging there. Once I started gaining more and more followers, I decided I wanted to create a more "official" blog, where I could do more than just reblog posts and also where I could more easily communicate with my blog audience (it really helps to have a comments section!).

6. Apart from reading, what other hobbies/interests do you have?

My initial reaction to this question is always:

My main hobby in life is and always has been reading, and all my subsequent hobbies are pretty much related to it in some way, like sorting my books into different lists on GoodReads, or reorganizing my bookshelves, or going to the library, or finding new bookshops to explore, or, of course, book blogging! Rare is the moment that I'm not reading or doing something book-related. But…in an effort not to sound entirely boring, I've racked my brain and come up with a few other hobbies. I love to knit, even though I'm not particularly skilled at it. I love watching movies (probably my second favorite thing to do after reading). I also love coloring in those really fancy art coloring books--the ones with really intricate kaleidoscope patterns or optical illusions. Sometimes I do logic puzzles and fill-it-ins. OH, and tumbling (tumblring?)! I lied. That's actually my second most favorite hobby after reading. I am so hopelessly addicted to tumblr. 

7. If you were stuck on a deserted island, which books would you bring with you?
My complete Harry Potter and Twilight collections.

8. If you were stuck in some dangerous situation (like a fire, a sinking ship, a warzone), which book boy or girl would you want to come and save you?

Edward Cullen


9. You’re attending a party with your friends. Suddenly, the DJ changes the song and it’s YOUR song – what song would that be?

Oh, man! I have so many favorite songs that it's hard to pick…but the one song that always energizes me and makes me happy is "Young Blood" by The Naked and Famous. It's one of those songs that you want to listen to full blast in your car in the summertime with the windows rolled down, singing your heart out. It just makes me want to live and do something amazing.

10. What 3 movies would you love to have your favorite author write into books, or vice versa?

I have a feeling that turning my favorite movies into books would only end in disappointment for me. I've tried reading a few movie tie-in novels in the past and I hate to say this but they are never good. I prefer movies based on books. At the moment, I would pick Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus (which has such beautiful imagery), Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone (because I can't get enough paranormal romance), and Gail Carriger's Soulless (which, done right, could be totally kick-ass and hilarious).

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Round-Up {3}

Happy Valentine's Day! Whether this day of love finds you single or in a relationship, or perhaps even in an "it's complicated" situation, I hope you're having a wonderful day! It's snowing here today and even though it's something like the millionth time it's snowed since January 1, watching the snow fall while I'm warm and cozy inside never fails to put me in a good mood. I plan on spending the rest of the day with some books, my cozy blanket, and, hopefully, some CHOCOLATE!

On to the bookish news!

The movie adaptation of Winter's Tale is out today and I plan on seeing it over the weekend. You guys do not understand how excited I am for this movie! It looks so lovely and fantastical and romantic and, ugh, I just can't wait!

Do you like YA books? (Of course you do! Why else would you be here?) Do you like to win things? (Who doesn't?) Then head over to the Pub(lishing) Crawl blog to enter a giveaway for Kat Zhang's What's Left of Me and Once We Were, and see an exclusive look at the Echoes of Us cover.

Starting tomorrow, I will be participating in the 2014 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon, hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and Katelyn of Kate's Tales of Books and Bands. There are lots of fun blogging activities planned, so go check out their blogs to see what it's all about! And check back here tomorrow for my Love-A-Thon posts! :)

Edit: UPDATE! I am an idiot and just now realized that I have three invite codes for anyone who would like to try out the new Literally website. It's similar to GoodReads, but let's you track your weekly reading progress, gives you deals on books based on the books you have on your virtual shelf, and has many other cool features! Invite codes will be given away on a first come first serve basis, so if you're interested let me know in the comments! :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Made Me Swoon

Happy Valentine's Week, everyone! This week's TTT topic is...

This time around, I'm going to let the quotes do the talking.

So, what are your most swoon-worthy books? 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Round-Up {2}

Kat Rosenfield, author of Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone, has revealed the cover of her new YA novel  Inland, which will be released in June. Very excited to read this one! :)

BookRiot posted a list of the best coming-of-age love stories of the 21st century (so far). There are so many interesting books on this list and my TBR list has definitely grown because of it!

I've added a master list of the reviews I've written so far to the tabs bar. The list includes reviews I've posted to tumblr and Examiner in addition this blog.

My article "Cozy up with a YA book this Valentine's Day" is a featured story on's Young Adult Fiction page! I've been writing for Examiner for several months now but this is the first time I've been featured and I was very excited to get the good news! :D

Totally not book related but THE OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY IS TONIGHT! I am so excited! And, if you follow me on Twitter, you know that what I'm most looking forward to is…

all the Hunger Games comparisons ;P

Over the weekend I plan on finishing Cruel Beauty and hope to have a review up by early next week, so keep an eye out for that! 

So, what are you reading this weekend? Are you going to watch the Olympics? Which sport are you most excited to watch?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Cry

This week's theme is Top Ten Books That Make Me Cry. I've tried to keep my commentary as spoiler-free as possible, so I'm sorry if it seems a little vague.

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Even though we know early on in the book that certain key characters will ultimately meet their demise, the end of The Book Thief still crushed me. I don't think I've ever cried so much over a book.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenHazel! Augustus! Why???!!!!

3. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. The ending was so bittersweet that I couldn't help but shed a few tears.

4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I don't wanna talk about it. Mockingjay Part 2 is going to be so hard to watch.

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. Deathly Hallows wasn't sad only because of the character deaths, but because it marked the end of a book series I'd grown up loving. I was about to turn seventeen when the book came out, so I literally grew up with Harry.

6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy. The Road was one of the first novels I read in college and it had such a huge impact on me, and has stayed with me ever since. It was the first book I had ever read that genuinely frightened me, but at the same time I was so moved by the relationship between the father and son in the story. You experience this horrible journey through a post-apocalyptic world with them and by the end you feel as battered and broken as they do. It's an emotionally exhausting book, and yes, it will make you cry, but it's a book I'm glad to have read.

7. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. The ending of this book was such a shocking twist and I am so irritated by how they changed it in the film--it was so drastically different that it sort of ruined the whole movie for me. I still cried though. I mean, given the subject matter, how could you not?

8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This is the only book on this list that made me cry from happiness. After all of Jane's trials, I was so happy with the way things wrapped up in the epilogue.

What books make you cry? Do we share any of the same picks?

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

Sunday, February 2, 2014

J.K. Rowling Said WHAT?!

Not sure if you've heard or not, but there has been breaking news in the Harry Potter fandom today after it was released that J.K. Rowling supposedly admitted in a soon to be published interview with Emma Watson that "Hermione should have wed Harry."

Now, as Harmony shipper from the beginning, my natural reaction to this news went a little something like this:

I may have engaged in a teensy bit of rejoicing on tumblr, because after all the years of shipping wars and being called "delusional" by many (though certainly not all) Ron/Hermione shippers, I'm feeling a little bit like Uncle Vernon right now:

At the same time, part of me feels a little bad for Ron/Hermione fans. It's got to hurt to hear an author say that they regret pairing your OTP together (if Stephenie Meyer came out someday and said, "Oops, actually I wish Bella would have picked Jacob instead," I would lose it--ain't nobody coming between my precious OTP, Edward/Bella!). So, Romione fans, I feel for you. I really do. But I can't lie--this news makes me extremely happy.

What do you all think of JKR's announcement? Do you think it was wrong of her to say it? Will this affect how you view the books and movies?