Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review: Ignite Me {Shatter Me #3} by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub. Date: February 2014
Genre: YA/Sci-fi/Dystopian
Source/Format: Library/Hardcover

From Goodreads: The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.
**This review contains spoilers for Ignite Me, as well as the previous books in the series.

If you've been keeping up with my journey through the Shatter Me series, you know that I've made no secret of my mixed feelings about it. But, boy, did Ignite Me exceed my expectations! From the first page to the last, the book had my attention in a stranglehold. Finally things were moving, and finally Juliette was becoming the character I'd wished she'd been in the earlier books. At first, I found her personality shift a bit jarring; I mean, I know she got shot in the chest and all, but it was still kind of hard for me to reconcile this new, badass, take-on-the-world Juliette with the timid girl she was throughout so much of the previous books. Then again, if I were miraculously brought back to life, maybe I'd be filled with mega-confidence and vengeful zeal, too. In any case, Juliette's change was definitely for the better.

Speaking of personality shifts...Adam. WHAT THE HELL, DUDE? It's completely understandable that he felt hurt and betrayed and all that jazz, but WOW! Possessive, much? He was like the crazy-jealous controlling ex-boyfriend in this book, and if I had any qualms about him and Juliette being over, Tahereh Mafi did a good job of squashing them. It was frightening to see the dark turn Adam's personality took in this book; at times he was downright cruel. Toward the end I half-expected him to betray Juliette and the others out of sheer spite.

While Adam's drastic personality shift was enough to get me to root for Team Warner, I liked that Mafi offered us some stronger evidence for the case against Adam/Juliette. Juliette's relationships with both Adam and Warner went from being focused on physical attraction to the effect each boy had on Juliette her mentally and emotionally:
"I think he wants to pretend I'm the girl who doesn't really speak and spends most of her time being scared. The kind of girl he needs to protect and take care of all the time. I don't know if he likes who I am now. I don't know if he can handle it."
- Juliette on Adam

I like the way I feel about myself when I'm with him...Warner thinks I'm strong and smart and capable and he actually values my opinion. He makes me feel like his equal--like I can accomplish just as much as he can, and more. And if I do something incredible, he's not even surprised. He expects it. He doesn't treat me like I'm some fragile little girl who needs to be protected all the time."
- Juliette on Warner
I've got to hand it to Mafi--she can take a character you would never in a million years think you'd love and make you fall for that same character so hard you get whiplash. I hated Warner at the end of Shatter Me and for much of Unravel Me, and was furious with Juliette for being so easily blinded by her physical attraction to him. And then along came Destroy Me. Everything I thought I knew about Warner, well, unraveled. We got inside his head, learned his true motives and his reasoning, and suddenly, everything that happened in Shatter Me took on a whole different meaning. (I still can't quite forgive him for putting Juliette through the simulation, however. Regardless of the outcome, it was still a pretty sadistic thing to do, letting her believe that the child was real.) But Warner turned out to be interesting; he was neither wholly good nor wholly evil. He was complex. And, yeah, totally swoon-worthy. I mean, come on. Chapter 55? GOOD. LORD.

Ignite Me turned out to be pretty light on the action and surprisingly heavy on Juliette's personal relationships, not only with Adam and Warner but with the other characters as well. Especially Kenji. Oh, Kenji. I adored him. He provided great comic relief, and his lines almost always had me laughing out loud. While I enjoyed the focus on the personal relationships, it did detract a bit from the action in the story. So much of the last third of the book was spent on Juliette and Warner's relationship that the final battle seemed to come out of nowhere, and it felt rushed. There was a bit of struggle between Juliette and Anderson, but in the end it seemed like she won far too easily. I would have liked to see a more challenging fight. As for the final pages, I can't believe we're left hanging like that! There was so much more story potential and I had so many questions: How is Juliette going to become the new leader? Will there be backlash? What of the other sectors? What is going on in the rest of the world? And just how was Anderson able to create the Reestablishment to begin with? I NEED ANSWERS, TAHEREH!

And so ends my journey with the Shatter Me series. Verdict: I can say without a doubt now that I am most definitely a fan.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mini Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Expected Pub. Date: July 1, 2014
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Source/Format: Entangled Teen/E-galley
From Goodreads:

Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Keira Cass’s Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.
Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing a copy of Perfected in exchange for an honest review.

When I first read the summary for Perfected, I was immediately reminded of Lauren DeStefano's Wither and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, both of which revolve around women trapped in societies that treat them as little more than objects. Unfortunately, Perfected lacked the high stakes that made its predecessors so compelling. My biggest struggle while reading Perfected was that I was just...well, bored. While I felt sorry for Ella, I never really connected with her. She lacked the fire of other YA dystopian heroines, like Katniss Everdeen or Tris Prior or Juliette Ferrars. At no point did I feel fully emotionally invested in their stories. Another element that made the book boring for me was the incomplete world-building. From what I could tell, the story seems to take place during the present day, but I was never quite sure. Also, there's no backstory to set up how genetic engineering came about, or why. I'm still not even sure what "genetic engineering" means--are the pets clones? Are they birthed from surrogate mothers and then handed over to the kennels? And even if they are genetically engineered, how does that make them less human?

When I wasn't bored with the story, I was genuinely creeped out by the way Ella and the other pets were treated, particularly by men. Some passages were enough to make my skin crawl. Essentially, these human pets are treated like dogs; they're raised in "kennels," given I.D. tags, implanted with homing microchips, and sent off to their new homes with "care instructions" for their owners. At the kennels, Ella has been taught to believe that the pets are taken into their owners' homes to be displayed and admired. But as Ella adjusts to life with the congressman and his family, she quickly realizes she has been ill-prepared for life as a pet. Men leer at her, women look down upon her, and children treat her like a life-size doll. But rather than drawing me into the story and Ella's plight, these details only served to distract me. It just seemed too surreal that these girls were being treated this way, and I couldn't understand how it was being allowed to happen. I think that if Birch had provided us with some backstory, that would have at least helped to explain the mindset and justification behind the movement to create human pets.

Much as I hate giving a book a negative review, Perfected and I just didn't gel. That's not to say that other YA readers won't enjoy Ella's story, but it wasn't for me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The YA Prom

Earlier this month Alexa and Gaby came up with the absolutely brilliant idea of hosting the YA Prom, a chance for us book nerds to dream up our ideal prom night. It's been my dream since I was fifteen years old to go to prom with Edward Cullen and now I finally have my chance (sort of)!

THE DATE: I knew from the moment I saw Alexa and Gaby post about the prom that my date absolutely had to be Edward Cullen. He was the first YA boy I fell completely head over heels in love with. :) THE DRESS: Not only is this dress just plain gorgeous, but it's also very similar to Stephenie Meyer's version of Bella's prom dress. THE SHOES: Yeah, they're Gucci, but since this is my dream prom I'm going all out! THE JEWELRY: The bodice of the dress is so intricate that you really don't even need much jewelry, so I went with simple but sparkly bangles. THE HAIR: I love how simple yet elegant this style is! And this time, my curls would last the whole night (at my actual prom my hair was stick straight again by the end of the night, haha).

And finally, it wouldn't be prom without some great music so here's a little playlist for the night:

Thanks again to Alexa and Gaby for hosting this awesome event! Don't forget to join the Twitter party at 8:30PM (#YAProm). 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Cover Trends

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

This Week's Topic: Book Cover Trends

Trends I LOVE

Girls In Dresses

 I know this is a polarizing trend for lots of YA readers, and I think I'm in the minority when I say I actually like these covers. More often than not, I'm drawn to them and will pick up the book to see what it's all about. I've always been a girly girl and loved dressing up, so I think that's why I'm so drawn to these covers in particular.


The more colorful the cover, the more likely I am to pick it up. Likewise, I'm drawn to covers with eye-catching color contrast (like the DoSaB covers, the Twilight covers, Beautiful Creatures, etc.).

Illustrated Covers

While there are still plenty of YA books out there with pictures of real people, there seems to be a growing trend of illustrated covers, too. I really love the look of the Throne of Glass covers now that they've gone to an illustrated depiction of Celaena rather than an edited photograph. 

Trends That Need to STOP

Mid-series Cover Changes

No. Just, no. I don't know why publishers suddenly decide mid-series that the current cover designs are no longer good enough, but it DRIVES ME CRAZY! I'm one of those bookworms that get twitchy when their books don't match. I'll admit that sometimes the change is for the better (like with the Throne of Glass series), but for the most part the change makes the book stand out less (like with the Across the Universe books). The original cover designs were so much more appealing and eye-catching.

What are some of your favorite/least favorite cover trends? Do we share any favorites?

Monday, June 16, 2014

I'm Back!

As you might have noticed things were quiet on the blog this past week, the reason being that I was on vacation with my family on the gorgeous Gulf coast of Florida! I had grand plans of scheduling posts for the week but those plans all went out the window before we left. Last Saturday was my younger sister's graduation open house and we were all scrambling to prepare not only for that but our trip as well. Craziness and last-minute rushing around ensued, meaning I had no time to plan any posts let alone write them. Sigh. But now that I'm home I promise to get back to blogging regularly!

I've only been back home for a day but I already miss Florida. It was wonderful! We arrived Monday night and spent the evening having dinner at the hotel's restaurant. It's right on the beach and the view was absolutely gorgeous.

The view from the restaurant during the day.
The view from our hotel room. Umm, can I just move here so I can look out onto this every morning?
On Tuesday morning I lugged my giant beach bag o' books down to the pool and started We Were Liars, which I finished in record time: all in one day! It was seriously addicting, you guys; if you haven't read it yet, you need to (and if that's not enough to convince you, I hope to have my review up soon, so keep your eyes peeled.) Sadly, Liars was the only book I finished this trip. After finishing it I went back and forth between reading What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick, These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi. I think I was having a hard time concentrating because I was still reeling from the end of Liars.

What would vacation be without a good book and a fruity drink? :)

All in all it was a great vacation but, sad as I was to leave Florida yesterday, I'm glad to be back home. Now it's time for me to buckle down and start prepping for my publishing course, which is quickly approaching. I'm slightly terrified but mostly excited--after all, it'll put me that much closer to getting my dream job (I hope). But, more details on that later. For now, I will leave you with some amusing pics from my trip. :)

For my family, it wouldn't be a real Florida vacation without stopping in at least one of the millions of beach shops on the island. When I was a kid, I used to love roaming these stores in search of the perfect souvenir to take home but now that I'm older I just like looking around at all the wacky stuff. Like the shell art in the first picture, for example. I mean, who wouldn't want a souvenir of shell people playing a game of poker? (Not pictured here: shell people mariachi bands.) Or, if you're wanting a simpler, more authentic souvenir, you could always pick a beautiful seashell from one of the many baskets of shells they have available. However, it appears that Florida is fresh out of seashells and has had to resort to importing all of theirs from the Philippines for the moment...

Friday, June 6, 2014

Book Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi {Shatter Me #2} -- AKA My Warner Rant

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub Date: February 2013
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Source/Format: Library/Paperback

From Goodreads:

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

I honestly don't even know where to begin talking about Unravel Me. I have so many emotions. It was exciting, it was steamy, it was frustrating, it was was all the adjectives, basically. And I'm still trying to figure out whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. What I do know is that I enjoyed Unravel Me more than Shatter Me, and even though I was correct when I predicted the direction this book was going, I'm not as upset about it as I thought I would be. I think. I'm upset that Mafi spent so much of Shatter Me convincing me that Warner is this horrible, irredeemably bad guy, only to shove Juliette into his arms in Unravel Me. I feel just as conflicted as Juliette, which I suppose is a good thing (I take it as a sign of good writing if you feel everything the character feels), but at the same time drives me crazy! Warner has done bad things. Really bad things. But I pity him because of his upbringing and the fact that he has a horrible father, and also because he does seem to have the capacity for love and kindness where Juliette is concerned. But just because I (and Juliette) pity him, does that mean he can be forgiven for all the wrong he has done? Should he get off scott-free? I'm not so sure. But now that he's a love interest, I don't want anything to happen to him. I almost want him to skip merrily off into the sunset with Juliette. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

What bothered me most about Juliette's relationship with Warner is that, at first, it's mainly driven by her physical attraction to him, which, given the circumstances, makes her seem extremely shallow. It was disappointing to see that a little lust was all it took to tip the balance in Warner's favor. I would have been more okay with the whole thing if Juliette had connected with Warner because she felt their miserable upbringings and their yearning for attention and love made them understand each other...but all of that seemed secondary to the physical attraction. And yes, I get that physical attraction is a big deal for Juliette because she's never had the chance to experience it before, but should it really outweigh what she knows about Warner and what he's done?

And then there's Adam. Poor, poor Adam. This dude just can't catch a break. First he's nearly killed and then brought back to life, then he finds out he's not immune to Juliette's touch like everyone thought, then Juliette almost kills him, and THEN she goes and starts having feelings for Warner. I don't know what Ignite Me has in store for Adam but I hope he's able to find some sort of happiness, whether it's with Juliette or not.

Love triangle aside, Unravel Me did have some pretty thrilling action, which kept the story moving along at a nice pace. The war between the Reestablishment and the rebels escalated to an exciting (and unexpected) finish. I'm glad Mafi delved more into the story of Omega Point and Castle, whom, to be honest, I had a hard time trusting for the first half of the book. It was his relationship with Kenji and his willingness to accept Warner into Omega Point that finally convinced me he was a good guy, not power-hungry leader hiding behind his supposed good intentions. And while Juliette frustrated me so much throughout the book, the transformation she undergoes at the end has me very excited for Ignite Me. It will be interesting to see how her new-found confidence and strength will change her, and which side she will choose.
I'm ready to do something I'll definitely regret and this time I don't care. I'm done being nice. I'm done being nervous. I'm not afraid of anything anymore. Mass chaos is in my future. And I'm leaving my gloves behind.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Harry Potter MOTW {2}: Most Beautiful Spot in the Series

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Leah of Uncorked Thoughts.

This week's topic: Most Beautiful Spot in the Series

My Choice: The Great Hall
The Great Hall at Hogwarts is one of my absolute favorite settings in the series. I love how in the earlier movies the Great Hall is always looks so warm and inviting with all of that bright, golden light. In the books, I always loved it when J.K. Rowling would describe the feasts in the Great Hall; as a kid, I wanted to leap through the pages and be there so I could join in on the delicious feast. (Hmm, food seems to be becoming a theme in these MOTW posts...).

The dorm I lived in in college had a dining hall that looked very similar to the Great Hall. Every year in November our dorm would have "Hogwarts Week," an entire week dedicated to all different kinds of HP-related activities. For the week, candles were hung from the ceiling outside the dining hall with fishing wire, so it looked like we had our own "floating" candles! The dining hall itself was decorated with Hogwarts house banners. Instead of Gryffindor or Slytherin, though, each banner had the names of the residence halls in our dormitory, along with an animal to represent each one. I don't think I could have picked a cooler (or nerdier) place to live. Needless to say, I stayed in this dorm all four years of college. :)

What is your favorite spot in Harry's world?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lux Series Release Day Launch

I am so excited to be a part of the release day launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux series! Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win hardcover copies of Lux: Beginnings and Lux: Consequences. :D

Lux: Beginnings
Now available together for the first time, don't miss Obsidian and Onyx, the first two books in Jennifer L. Armentrout's bestselling Lux series. Also includes bonus content exclusive to the print edition! "A thrilling ride from start to finish," says RT Book Reviews.

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Barnes & Noble

Lux: Consequences
Now available together for the first time, don't miss Opal and Origin, the third and fourth books in Jennifer L. Armentrout's bestselling Lux series. Also includes bonus content exclusive to the print edition! "A thrilling ride from start to finish," says RT Book Reviews.

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger...and they know it.

Barnes & Noble
About the Author

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Find Jennifer L. Armentrout
Add the LUX Series on Goodreads!
Find Entangled Publishing


And now, the part you've all been waiting for: THE GIVEAWAY!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer

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

Soon, very soon, I will be in beautiful Florida soaking up the sun and hanging out by the pool. And while the sun, sand, and surf are all great, vacation wouldn't be complete without some great books to read. The hard part is choosing what those books will be. I'm a mood reader, so the biggest thing for me when deciding what books to pack is making sure I have options. I may be perfectly content with a fluffy summer romance one day, but the next day I could be bored with that and craving something more action-packed. The need to have a variety of books on my person at all times usually turns me into a bit of a book-packing monster.

By the time the picking and choosing of books is all said and done, I still have a teetering pile I have to narrow down. And since my family is flying instead of driving to Florida this year, I have to be even more conscientious about my book selection (oh, the agony!). Here's my current list of books I'm debating taking to the beach.

1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: I have been anticipating this book so much and I think vacation will be the perfect time to devour it.

2. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick: Obligatory summer romance. I haven't read Huntley Fitzpatrick before but I've been hearing good things so I'm excited!

3. This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Read: I came across this book while browsing through Barnes and Noble a couple weeks ago and have been wanting to read it ever since. Lucky for me it just came in at the library!

4. Out of the Easy by Ruta Septys: Even though it's set in Louisiana, not Florida, I've been saving this one to read on vacation because I liked the idea of reading a book set in the South while I'm actually in the South. It's silly reasoning, but there you go.

5. Tides by Betsy Cornwall: Mermaids. Need I say more?

6. Angelfall by Susan Ee -- I don't know why but, for me, summer and end-of-the-world books just seem to go together. Last year on vacation I read The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey, which was all the right amounts of excitement, apocalyptic horror, and unlikely romance, and even though it wasn't my favorite book of the year, it was an entertaining vacation read. So this year I'm going with another apocalyptic pick. The apocalypse, hot angels, and a girl who has to save the world--sounds like the makings of a thrilling summer beach read!
7. The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs: This one's been sitting on my shelf for a while and it seems like a quick, fun paranormal romance--perfect for poolside reading.

8. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor: I have a feeling that this will be the one book that definitely makes it into my carry-on bag. I'm still in the middle of Days of Blood and Starlight (and loving it), so we'll see how far I get before vacation.

9. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: Now that Reign has been off the air for a couple weeks, I'm craving some action-packed historical fiction and Grave Mercy sounds like it will deliver!

10. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout: I started reading Obsidian a couple summers back but then got caught up in the flurry of moving back to school and starting senior year and...well, the book just kind of fell by the wayside. I really loved the premise when I started reading it (Katy is a book blogger! One of us! How cool is that?!) and I've seen so many of the bloggers I follow talking about how much they love this series, so I figured now is the perfect time to catch up! (And be sure to check out the blog later today for a special post regarding the Lux won't want to miss it!)

So that's the list. Now watch me pack something totally different by the time I'm ready to leave, haha. What books are you all planning to read this summer?

Monday, June 2, 2014

That's a Wrap {2}: May 2014

It's time once again for my monthly wrap-up post! Here's what went on in May:

On the Blog
As you might have noticed, there were some big changes to the blog in the month of May--starting with a name change and a whole new look. Yes, I retired Life in the Pages, did a complete blog design overhaul, and BooksyDaisy was born! I really hope you guys like the changes! I'm very happy with it. :)

May was also the month for BEA preparations. Well, not for me, but I did have a lot of fun reading everyone's posts leading up to BEA. Although I couldn't make it to NYC this year, I lived vicariously through all the posts and pics on the blogosphere, and by participating in Armchair BEA. I didn't get to post too much for it because I was busy getting ready for my little sister's graduation, but you can see the Armchair BEA posts I did write here!

Speaking of events, I also signed up for even more blog events in May. From now until September 1, I'll be participating in Katie's Book Blog's Book Blogger Summer Reading Program. I've challenged myself to read 30 books, but I'm hoping to get through even more. You can follow the link to sign up and join in on the fun. In June I will be participating in Mental Health Awareness Month, an event hosted by Leah of Uncorked Thoughts and Ula of Blog of Erised. Throughout June, participating bloggers will be reading and discussing books centered around issues of mental health in an effort to shed some light on this important topic. You can read my intro post and find out what I'll be reading here.

Books Read in May
Don't Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent
Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor (review)
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (review)
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Favorite Posts from Other Blogs
  • Christy of Avoiding Atrophy talks about the #YesAllWomen movement on Twitter.
  • For #IReadYA Week, Ginger of GReads discusses why she reads YA.
  • On Alexa Loves Books, Alexa talked about the books she DNF--and why that's okay! She also throws in some good ol' Britney for your listening pleasure. :)
  • Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, posted pics from her England trip. Her blog is just really cool in general and you should definitely check it out.
  • Speaking of DoSaB, Vickie of .Under the Mountain featured the first book in her Many Covers Monday feature. International covers are so cool! I want to collect them all!
  • And finally, Book Riot totally surprised me with their post, "How To Tell A Loved One Their Favorite Book Sucks." When I first saw the title of this article, I was fully prepared to go into rage mode. As someone whose favorite book has been the target of endless ridicule, I don't take too kindly to the idea of people imperiously informing someone else that a book that is near and dear to them "sucks," as if their negative opinion of it should make the reader see the error of their ways. So I was pleasantly surprised when I found that this article was not in fact a how-to guide on book shaming, but rather the opposite: the acknowledgment that while YOU may think a book "sucks," it can still hold special meaning for someone else. And if that someone else is a friend or family member or significant other, it's the considerate thing to not ruin their favorite book.
So, that about sums up May. How was your month? Got any good blog posts to share or books to recommend?