Twigs by Alison Ashley Formento Review

Saturday, March 1, 2014



As I mentioned in my wrap up post, I decided to review Twigs more thoroughly. I won this book off of goodreads! It was the first book I ever won! Since then I've won one more book and a review will be put up as soon as I'm done reading it. Anyways, let's talk about Twigs!

Twigs was a surprise in a good way for me. When you look at it's goodread ratings, it has a respectable 3.10. However, I tend to read books that are at least 3.5 and higher. Well, I'm glad I won this book as I had the chance to read a book I might have missed out on!

Madeline "Twigs" Henry is the main character (hence Twigs, I know I point out the obvious sometimes). She received the nickname Twigs when she was born prematurely and has grown up to be a short, small girl. Twigs just graduated high school and is now about to start community college in the next town over. Her brother is in Iraq, her younger sister is a diva, and her dad is MIA. Twig's boyfriend Brody just went away to college and she works at a pharmacy she can't stand. Twigs has some issues as you can tell. However, she stumbles her way through those issues in the book and she ends up a stronger person. I liked her character development. My favorite character in this novel though is Helen. Twigs meets Helen at the pharmacy when Helen decides to have a fit in the hair dye section of the store (she even gets some hair dye in Twigs hair). Helen had this meltdown because she just found out that her husband was cheating on her. Helen's character was a natural source of humor throughout the book, though Twigs has her funny moments too.

It's just a cute story about a girl who struggles with her family, boyfriend, and her future and tries to end up on top at the end. I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I did and I think this book deserves a higher rating than it has on goodreads. It does has it's faults. The book kind of jumps around and it makes the plot a little crazy but crazy might just be a theme of this book. Helen's crazy, Twig's crazy, her family's crazy, it's just a crazy funny story.
I gave this book a 3.5 on goodreads.

I hope you have a wonderful day!
Emily

*I won this book in a goodreads giveaway and in return, have given this book an honest review.

February Wrap Up & March TBR

I've read a total of 8 books this month, which means I've read 16 books out of the 75 books in my 2014 challenge! This month had some really good books in it! I also rediscovered my love for historical fiction this month. So, without further ado, here's the books I read in February:



Twigs was a first-reads book I won off of goodreads! It was my first book I ever won and I was so excited! I think I'm going to put up a seperate review on this book as it was a special book, so I won't talk much about it here. It was enjoyable but I couldn't bring myself to give it 4 stars so I gave it 3.5 stars on goodreads. It was a story that deals with some serious issues but it was still a fun read with funny mishaps along the way!



Cress is the third book in the Lunar series by Marissa Meyer. I already did a review of this book so if you want to know more, check that out! I gave it 4 stars on goodreads.





I gave Very Bad Things 3.5 stars on goodreads. It's a New Adult book from a self-published author. So if you like new adult books, you should check this one out! (review on blog)






I read the Princess in the Opal Mask this month and I gave it a 3.5 stars! Definitely recommend if you like a light read of historical fiction. (review on blog)

                               



Endless is a story another historical fiction novel. This one is based on the story of the last Russian Tsar's family. I gave this one 3.5 stars. (review on blog)






Stolen Songbird is tied with Cress as my second favorite novel of this month. I was fortunate enough to receive a digital copy of this book on netgalley! This book has trolls and a strong female protagonist. I gave it 4 stars! (review on blog)







Last, but definitely not least, I read Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. Even though Cress and Stolen Songbird were great novels, Edenbrooke ended up as my favorite of this month. Have I mentioned that my all time favorite book is Pride and Prejudice? I think I mentioned it in my about me section. Anyways, I love me some regency historical romance such as Pride and Prejudice. Edenbrooke is probably my favorite contemporary regency historical fiction novel. It's so good. It's about a girl named Marianne who has a twin sister named Cecily. After her mother dies, Marianne is shipped off to her Grandma's in the country and Cecily stays at her aunt's in London. Marianne, though she loves her Grandma, isn't happy living there. Luckily a close friend of her mother's invites her and Cecily to stay the summer at her estate, Edenbrooke. This is where Marianne meets the male lead Phillip. That's when all the fun starts. Like I said before, I love regency historical fictions and this book just reminded me how much. Seriously one of my favorite books so far this year. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars AND put it on my favorites self on goodreads :).




As for my TBR, I'm reading the first book in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy called The Final Empire. I'm already on page 174, and let me tell you, I can hardly put this book down! It's so good already! That's all I really have planned to read this month, as I usually pick what books I read by my mood. I don't really plan them!




I hope you have a lovely day!
Emily














Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Sunday, February 23, 2014

"Welcome to Briarcrest Academy…where sometimes, the best things in life are Very Bad Things"



I have another book review today! This one is about Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills.
This book is about a girl, Nora, who appears to have everything. She's a pianist, a valedictorian, and a beauty pageant queen. Her mother is a famous talk show host in Dallas. She lives in a mansion and goes to a prestigious school, Briarcrest Academy. However, right from the beginning you know that it's all just a act. In the beginning of the book Nora has a mini-breakdown or you could say rebellion during her speech at the open house at Briarcrest Academy.

After this famous speech, Nora makes a list of things she feels like she needs to do in order to shed her good-girl image. Meaningless sex, alcohol, and drugs are on the list. The list is how she meets Leo Tate, the main male character in this story. Nora decides to vandalize someones car and it turns out to be Leo's.

Leo Tate vows to never fall in love after his parents die in a car crash, leaving him and his brother Sebastian on their own. His brother, his gym and his band are all he cares about. Until Nora that is.

This book was about Nora trying to figure out who see is while her mother breaths down her back. She also struggles with a past that haunts her.

This book was pretty good, it reminded me of Easy by Tammara Webber. It has some issues in it that make the story worth while and the relationship between Nora and Leo is good. The secondary relationships were good too. Sebastian, Teddy, and Mila were all great characters.
I gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars on goodreads.
*This book has adult language and content so I don't recommend it for younger audiences*

I hope you have a great day!
Emily
 

The Princess in the Opal Mask Review!





I've decided to take a break from reading The Name of the Wind and I've picked up a couple of other books instead. One of them was The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist.

There's a dual point of view in this book between Princess Wilha and Elara. Wilha is the masked princess and Elara is an orphan girl, both from the kingdom of Galandria. About 100 pages into the book you figure out how they're connected to each other. I thought the first 100 pages were a bit slow but then it picked up after that. It was an interesting story and it had a historical fiction kind of feel to it.

Because it was slower in the beginning, I gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 star rating on goodreads. It was still a cute book and interesting but it wasn't my favorite novel out there.
I recommend this book for people who like stories about princesses and mystery!


I hope you have a great day!
Emily

Review of Cress by Marissa Meyer

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


So the Lunar series is probably one of my favorite YA series. My favorite book out of the series is definitely Cinder. Scarlet was still a great book too but I enjoyed Cinder and Kai's relationship a bit more than Scarlet and Wolf's relationship. Anyways, since the Lunar series is one of my favorites, I naturally read Cress as soon as I could.

Cress was another great book in the series but, it has to be my least favorite. Maybe it was because I was reading another book at the same time (The Name of the Wind) and that ruined it a bit. I'm not sure. This book felt like it was a plot building book. Like it was a book to prepare you for the next book, not a book that could stand alone by itself like Cinder or Scarlet could.

I enjoyed Cress and Thorne's relationship; it was cute. I enjoyed the take on Sci-Fi take on the Rapunzel story. But it just didn't reach the expectations I had for a book from this series.
I still recommend reading it because it's still a good story. Just not as good as the first two in my opinion.

Sorry for the short review and my absence of posts but I've been so busy trying to catch up on my school work and read The Name of the Wind with my goodreads group! It's taken up a lot of my time!

I hope you have a wonderful day!
Emily  

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Sunday, February 9, 2014



Hi everyone! Friday night I started and finished Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen. It was so good, I couldn't put it down! After reading the synopsis on goodreads I had to request to read the ebook on netgalley. Thanks to Strange Chemistry, I was able to read this book sooner than later! It's about trolls and as I love The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, trolls are right up my alley.

Cecile de Troyes is kidnapped on the day she was supposed to move to the city to be a singer like her mother. Her kidnapper brings her to the Trollus which is a city inhabited by trolls under the Forsaken mountain. Cecile is the trolls hope to break the curse a witch put on Trollus which makes it so the trolls can't leave Trollus. Cecile is married and bonded to their prince, Tristan, in order to hopefully break this curse. Well, it doesn't work and that's when the real story begins.

I loved the relationship between Cecile and Tristan. It at first is obviously rocky considering Cecile was kidnapped but it progresses throughout the story into something great. I loved that instead of rejecting the world Cecile was trapped in, she ends up trying help save the half-trolls (who are slaves).
I read this book in one night, even though I had to wake up at 5 the next morning, because it was just that good. I wanted to know what happened next. I cannot wait for the next book to come out!
Well done Ms. Jensen.

I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars because I felt the story was a bit jumped into a first but then the rest of it was amazing.

I hope you have a great day!
Emily

*I received a free copy of this book on netgalley from Strange Chemistry in return for an honest review

Endless by Amanda Gray Review!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I just finished reading Endless a couple days ago. I flew through that book because I wanted to know what happened to Jenny! It's another take on the Romanov family tale. However, the story uses the tale of the family as the characters background but has a completely different feel to the story. It has time travel, reincarnation, mysterious robed people who are supposedly monks and a great romance story. It's interesting to see how Ms. Gray incorporated each character in her story to the characters of the "original" story.


I don't want to give too much away about this book so I'm just going to leave it at that. Plus, I have homework I should be doing right now......oops! I enoyed this book and gave it 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads. I can't help but love a good Russian historical fiction book. Especially since I'm taking Russia through films as a course. So this book was semi-school related right? (I wish)

I hope you have a wonderful day!
Emily

January Reads and February TBR

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hi everyone! Thank you to my first followers for following me! Here's the books that I read in the month of January.



Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah was such a good book, I gave it 5 out of 5 star. Who doesn't love a good life-long friendship story?

I was lucky enough have the chance to read Impostor by Susanne Winnacker on netgalley and I thought it was interesting! I rated it 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads.

The Beautiful and the Cursed was a book I picked up while I was in Canada. Such an interesting story about gargoyles! I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson was such a great thriller book! It definitely took me by surprise. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Splintered I just did a review on, I'm not really doing these books in the order that I read them just to let you know! I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Soulless by Gail Carriger was another book I picked up in Canada. It's more on the adult paranormal side but it was still an enjoyable book. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because Alexia's spunkiness.

Dragonfly by Julia Golding is a book I haven't really seen on BookTube that often, I think I stumbled upon it on goodreads. Ah goodreads, you are amazing. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Lastly, The Handmaid's Tale by Maragret Atwood. I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I read this book in a goodreads group and if it wasn't for this group I probably wouldn't have read it. Atwood's writing style is amazing. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

That's it for what I read in January and I'll be reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss in February! It's my first high-fantasy read, so I'm excited to read it in a group on goodreads!

 I hope you have a lovely day!
Emily

I've finished Splintered!

    "Curiouser and curiouser!"
   What a great book. I've never read Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (even though I have the book) but now I want to! It probably would've made reading the book more fun because I could have drawn parallels between them. Even though I gave a somewhat synopsis in my last post, I'll give a more organized one on this post.

    Alyssa can hear bugs and plants speak to her. Her mother, Allison is in an asylum after an incident with gardening shears, roses, Alyssa's hands and a moth. After a frightening experience while visiting her mom Alyssa starts to figure out why Allison is in an asylum and how she can help, by going down the rabbit hole. Who else but Jeb, her neighbor/childhood friend/crush, follows her to Wonderland and they try to break this curse set upon Alyssa's family starting with her great-grandmother, Alice. There's plot twists, mystery, wonderful fantasy and romance throughout the book.
(I was purposely vague because I would like to allow people to go into this book with a sense of curiosity about the story. Because isn't that what got Alice in trouble in the first place in the original story? She was just so curious!)

    Now this is part of the review that will contain spoilers. So if you don't want to know, stop reading right here!!


    Jeb and Alyssa *sigh*. But the Morpheus snuck up on me at the end! Throughout the whole book I was rooting for Jeb, as Morpheus was a selfish jerk, but then the end happened. Argh, I usually don't like love triangles but this one seems like it may be bearable for the simple fact is that I like both of them. They each have their own characteristics and they're pretty opposite of one another. It just shows the two different sides of Alyssa! Also, both of them care about her and both of them sacrificed themselves for Alyssa. But I think Jeb's sacrifice was a bit more selfless and was somehow more worthy. I mean, come on, he literally bleed to death and was going to be trapped in the box for eternity all to save Alyssa! Morpheus may have jumped down the Jabberwock's throat but I think he knew that he would escape. I loved the plot twist at the end! I would've never guess Alyssa was a descendant of the red queen!!

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads.

I can't wait to read the sequel! Hopefully it won't turn into one of those annoying love triangles though... I'll guess I'll just have to see!

I hope you have a wonderful day,
Emily

P.S. Please bear with me on my new blog. I've never had a blog before so it's a learning process for me!

What I'm reading right now..

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm reading Splintered right now and it's good so far! I'm on page 230 so I have still have over 100 pages to read. I like this take on the fairy-tale Alice in Wonderland. Come to think of it, I've never heard of another young adult book about Alice. So this is the only young adult take on Alice's story (again, to my knowledge, I might be wrong!). Can I mention the cover? I have a small obsession with book covers. Have I mentioned this before? I mean, just look at it:
Amazing, right?! It's so whimsical! Looking at this picture now, I just noticed the little quote on the cover "welcome to the real wonderland". That sounds so legitimate and I have no idea why. Like, welcome to the real story because Lewis Carroll had it all wrong. Ha! Anyways, about the story itself, I like Jeb's character. But I also like Morpheus. I want Alyssa to end up with Jeb of course but there's just something about Morpheus. Maybe it's the fact that you can tell through his actions that he cares for Alyssa. But there's a part of them that's totally sinister. I could just see him betraying Alyssa because he's shady. It's complicated. Also, fortunately for me there's no love triangle even though they both care for Alyssa. She cares for Morpheus and is confused by her emotions towards him but she cares more about Jeb. That's just what I think. I can't wait to see what happens. Will Morpheus betray Alyssa? Will Alyssa be back in time to save her mother? I hope I'm not ruining the book but I don't think they're major plot story lines. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quote's from Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” 

xEmily

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Monday, January 27, 2014

Late last year I read a book that I want to share with you on this blog because it was just that good. It's Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. My friend gave me this book for Christmas and I'm so glad she did. Usually when I go to the bookstore or order books I stick to young adult (sometimes I'll stray out of that section). So this book isn't something I really wouldn't have bought for myself. I'm just going to share my goodreads review of the book on here. 

"This book was amazing. I laughed and I cried. Being born in the 90's, I'm didn't understand the 70's or 80's as well as I would have if I lived then. But what I did understand was the friendship, the mother-daughter relationship and the love stories. Ms Hannah writes in such a way I thought I was living the story with TullyandKate. Their friendship was beautiful. The emotions were so real. That's why I cried, I was emotionally involved with this book and felt like I knew the characters. That's why I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and it's now in my favorites self. Read it, even if it's not usually something you'd usually read. This book is relatable to everyone."

P.S. I heard there's a sequel but I'm not sure I want to read it. I don't want to ruin the book by reading a not-so-great sequel!


The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

    I've just finished The Handmaid's Tale last night, well this morning since I stayed up till 3 reading it. I couldn't put this book down once I got closer to the end. This book is beautifully written and very thought provoking. Offred, Atwood's main character, lives in a world of oppression called The Republic of Gilead. Specifically oppression of women. The Republic began when someone shot all of the government officials (i.e. President, Vice President, Senators etc.). "They" said that it would take awhile to reelect officials. But it never happens and The Republic begins.
    One person mentioned in my BookTube Reading Buddies group, that Offred's world is a "society built by men who are afraid of women, so they want to control everything about them". I definitely agree with this statement. I remember that Offred even mentions in her previous life that when she lost her job she resented her then husband, Luke, in a way. This past Offred lost her job simply because she was a woman. She also lost her money, as it was transferred to Luke's account, because women couldn't have money. It was easy for Luke because he was a man, he wasn't losing anything. In the Republic of Gilead there were fours status types for women. There were the wives, at the top, then the rest were the Marthas (which seem to be house maids), Econowives (poor wives), and the Handmaid's. (There was one more group but I don't want to mention it because it would spoil the story). What's most coveted in the wives and handmaid's world is having a baby. In the picture below it depicts the part of the story when a woman from Offred's Handmaid's class, Janine, enters a store. You can see the other Handmaid's lean in towards her and look at her. She is the source of their jealousy and their scandalous whispers. In this picture the Handmaid's are wearing their usual uniforms of a red dress, red shoes and their white winged hat.

     Margaret Atwood also uses small stories that are description heavy to tell her big story. I found at first the level of description to be intimidating but then I quickly started to enjoy it. The small stories are in somewhat of a random order. Offred has flashbacks and the story does skip around at points but it always comes back to the main story. The descriptiveness and the order of Atwood's writing gives the story a sense of mystery, which I enjoyed.
     I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves classics, dystopian worlds, and descriptive mysteries. However, if you don't like a ton of descriptions (even though I think the way Atwood writes make the story more interesting instead of boring) maybe this book isn't for you. I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars. Yes, I thought it was that good.

xEmily

Introduction, The Handmaid's Tale and The Impostor!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hello everybody! I decided to start a book blog! I've been watching BookTube for a while now and I'm also on goodreads so that inspired me to start some sort of blog. I might join the BookTube community in a little bit. But, ever since I started using goodreads, I've been reading a lot more. It's such a great community to find new and different book, as well as booktube!
Anyways, I decided I'll start out with what I'm reading right now, The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood. I started to read this book because a goodreads group called BookTube Reading Buddies decided to read it in January so I joined the fun!

The Handmaid's Tale so far (I'm on page 79) is an interesting story. It's really detailed oriented but it's not boring at all. Ms Atwood paints the story slowing in small detail which adds mystery! Anyways, I'm at the point where I think I know what she is, some sort of woman who has babies for people. It seems like woman who are able to bear children are scarce in this world so they assign women to bear children. That's just what I gather from what I've read. This book keeps me guessing. I want to know why the world in this book is like it is and how it got there. Why does she have to wear the red robe with the white winged hat? Who's Nick and how does he fit into the story? And who's the commander? I'll guess we will have to wait and see!

I'd also like to do a review (nonspoiler) of Imposter by Susanne Winnacker.


This book was amazing! The synopsis compares it to Veronica Mars and I've never seen that show. This book makes me want to see what that show is all about! There's a girl named Tess who is a Varient, someone with a special ability. She been with this agency called Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, which is a sub-division of the FBI, for the past two years. Tessa can absorb DNA from other people by touching them and then change her body to an exact copy of that person. There's other Varients like her like her friend Holly, her "friend" Alec and her not-so-friend Kate. Tessa has been in love with Alec ever since she was brought into the FEA. However, Kate is dating Alec after coming back from a mission. Tessa gets to start her first mission when she has to pose as a girl that's dying (she poses as her once she's dead) in order to figure out who's the serial killer in this small town in Oregon. Alec goes on the mission with her to keep her safe. That's as far as I'm going to go with the description because you'll have to read it in order to find out what happens! I recommend that you read it! It was such an interesting story and pretty unique. I haven't read a book with the same kind of story. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads.
*I should mention I received a free ebook from Hachette Children's Books on netgalley for an honest review in return. Getting a free ecopy wouldn't make my review biased just to be clear.*
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