Now Quoting: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

13330943.jpgThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Published by Doubleday on September 13th 2011

Page Count: 387

Genre(s): Adult, fantasy, historical fiction, magical realism, romance

Format: Paperback, purchased

Would I recommend? Absolutely! I don’t read very many adult books because I tend to grow bored of them quite easily, but this one held my attention the entire time. The plot is so incredibly creative and unique and the author’s use of imagery and figurative language is absolutely astounding. I loved every second of it! I would especially recommend this novel to fans of Bone Gap and Challenger Deep.

My Rating: ★★★★☆


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

-Goodreads.com description

I just finished this book a few days ago, and I absolutely loved it! It did take me a bit of time for me to get into it at the beginning, but after I did, I was captivated. This book is one of the most beautifully-written novels I’ve read in a long, long time.

For those of you who don’t yet know, “Now Quoting” is a feature I try to do on my blog every week or two in which I share a quote from a recent read that particularly resonated with me and share my thoughts on it. I had a bit of a hard time choosing the quote from this book that I wanted to share with you guys because it contains so many amazing quotes, but I think I found my winner!


“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn't end up with you.” 2.jpg


I just loved this quote, especially the first line. “You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose…” This quote shows how stories can quite literally change someone’s life. Stories can teach you an important lesson, allow you to see the world through someone else’s eyes, and inspire you like you’ve never been inspired before.

I guess I just really related to this quote because while I may not be the best writer in the world, I feel like it’s my role and my gift to move people and drive people with my words. To educate them and empower them and inspire them. This is the reason why I get up early each morning and go to bed late each night to read and write. I want to change the world with my words.


Have you read The Night Circus? What did you think? What are some books that you’ve found particularly quotable lately?

Mini Reviews | March 2016 Edition

Yes, I do realize that it is no longer March. But I was hoping to do some sort of round-up of all the books I didn’t get to review in March….so I’m doing mini reviews! Grab your beverages and get cozy, guys, because this is going to be a long post.


11588.jpgThe Shining by Stephen King

This book took me a while to get through, because, you know…..I’m not that experienced with Adult books. I did love it though! I had extremely high expectations for this one because Stephen King is considered to be one of the greatest writers of modern times, and I was certainly not let down. The only thing I wasn’t really expecting – and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because I don’t like to get too freaked out – is that it didn’t scare me as much as I expected it to. I’m not saying that I didn’t get scared at all, because I did. I’m just saying that although I was pretty scared while reading this book, it didn’t have much of an effect on me after I finished it. I think it’s just one of those “it’s not you, it’s me” situations.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


22205.jpg This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

I had pretty mixed feelings about this one. I mean, it is Sarah Desssen, so it was extremely well-written and quite adorable. I guess I was just let down a little bit by the plot. I guess it felt a little slow to me for the first half of the book, so I didn’t get into it until much later on. Also, the main character, Remy, really bugged me with all her negativity and selfishness. The plot seemed pretty cliche with the whole “girl who doesn’t believe in love meets boy who changes her life” trope. It was a cute book, though, and while I didn’t necessarily like the characters individually, I loved them together.

Rating: 3/5 Stars


228965514.jpgNone of the Above by I. W. Gregario

None of the Above is an extremely important book, and I’m so, so glad I read it. It centers on a teenage girl, Kristin, who has to reevaluate everything she thought she knew about herself after being told she was intersex. Admittedly, this book did make me a bit uncomfortable, but not because of the subject matter at hand. The way people reacted to Kristin’s situation and completely betrayed her just broke my heart. The sad thing is that before reading this book I had no idea what it meant to be intersex – and that is one of the reasons this book is so necessary. Lovely writing, realistic and fleshed-out characters, and unique, important subject matter. Highly recommend!

Rating: 4/5 Stars


22489107.jpgFairest by Marissa Meyer

This one was okay. I mean, I guess it was kind of interesting to learn about Levana’s background and how she became so evil and everything, but for the most part, I feel like it didn’t add much to the series. Readers that actually liked Levana’s character to begin with might enjoy this book, but I personally don’t see the appeal. Some parts felt more like a chore to get through than actually reading for pleasure.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars


6654313.jpg Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

I actually wrote a review on this book a few weeks ago, which you can view here. Basically, while the writing was still gorgeous and the story was somewhat enjoyable, I had some issues with the plot. By that, I mean: literally nothing happens throughout the course of the entire novel. Nothing. It was also pretty predictable, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the new characters that were introduced. Overall, a fast-paced, fun read, but I found it lacking in a few areas.

Rating: 3/5 Stars


12425532.jpgOf Poseidon by Anna Banks

I wasn’t a fan of this one at all! The premise sounded promising because I’ve hardly ever encountered any YA mermaid novels and I was in the mood for a good beach read, but unfortunately, it didn’t deliver. The writing style is what about 80% of my ratings are based off of, and I didn’t enjoy the writing style in this one at all. The sentences felt kind of choppy and contrived and there wasn’t much sentence variety, and it felt like the book was geared towards a much younger audience than “young adults.” I also had some serious issues with the characters, starting with Emma. Emma just seemed so whiny and naive, and she bugged me so much throughout the novel! Galen just seemed way too creepy and stalkerish and possesive for my taste. Insta-love is one of my least favorite romance tropes, and it was painfully present in this book. I could go on with all the things I didn’t like about this novel, but it’s supposed to be a “mini review,” so I’ll just stop right here….

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars


180442773.jpgThe Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Loved, loved, loved! The first 3/4 of the novel is really, really confusing, but the confusion is well worth it. This book centers on the lives of 3 teenage girls: Amber, Orianna, and Violet. It tells the stories of these super messed-up girls and the crimes they did or did not commit. The way Nova Ren Suma wove these stories together in such a beautiful, seamless way was honestly awe-inspiring. The lyrical writing was absolutely gorgeous – almost poetic. This book will seriously mess with your mind, and while I do admit that this book isn’t for everyone because of the dark subject matters at hand, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


 

13455498.jpgAnything But Ordinary by Lara Avery

I wrote a review on this one a few days ago, which you can view here. This book had lots of potential, but unfortunately, I wasn’t a huge fan of the execution. I suppose the first half of the book was pretty enjoyable, but there were too many aspects in the latter half that left me rolling my eyes and wanting to throw the book across the room in frustration to overlook. The writing was okay, but nothing special. The characters were boring and felt pretty unrealistic. The plot was shockingly predictable, and the ending felt really cheap and unsatisfying. A quick, fast-paced read, but I definitely had some issues with it.

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars


 

16068341.jpgThe Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

For anyone who has ever been bullied, The Truth About Alice is an absolute must-read. This book explores the effects of an extreme case on the bullying spectrum in an incredibly honest and raw perspective. The book is in the POVs of four characters: Kelsie, Alice’s ex-best friend; Kurt, the boy next door; Elaine, who hosted the party and is the most popular girl at school; and Josh, the best friend of the boy who Alice supposedly “killed.” The writing was amazing and I loved how Mathieu used 4 unique perspectives to piece together what truly happened that night. The only issue I have with this book was the extremely stereotyped and cliche characters. These stereotypes included: “the nerd actually really likes Alice” and “the best friend betrays Alice to fit in with the popular crowd” etc., etc. This did get a bit annoying, but besides that, I didn’t have any issues.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


18806240.jpgBone Gap by Laura Ruby

This one was probably my favorite read of the month! I mean, I wasn’t MIND-BLOWN or anything, but I’m really, really glad I read it. The concept is so unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and it kept me on the edge my seat the whole time. I’ve read an embarrassingly small number of magical realism books, but of the ones I’ve read, this one certainly takes the cake. Oh, did I mention how incredibly unique and quirky and WEIRD the characters are?! I completely fell in love with all of them within the first few chapters. Also, the writing style is quite gorgeous.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


Gosh darn it, that took a long time to write. Still no 5-star reads for me this year, but I have had some solid 4-stars. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed! 🙂

Let’s chat: Which of the books on this list have you read? What did you think? What was your favorite book you read in March?

Currently Reading: The Shining by Stephen King

11588.jpgI’ve seen these types of posts on a few other blogs I follow, and I thought it would be a fun idea. Basically, posts like this will be (hopefully) about every book I read that I don’t plan on writing a review on. This will give you guys some insight on my thoughts about everything I am reading and what I think about it, because I know I often don’t let you guys know!

So, I’ve followed (some of) your guys’s advice and decided to start reading The Shining! This was a book I’ve kind of always wanted to read ever since hearing my mom tell me it was one of the scariest things she had ever experienced.

I went into this novel knowing that I was going to be terrified. I mean, how couldn’t I? Stephen King is known all throughout the world as being one of the best – or maybe even the best – horror writers of all time. And I’ve never even read one adult horror book, so I wouldn’t call myself too experienced in that genre. 😉

Anyway, I’ve been reading and loving this novel for the past few days. I actually haven’t gotten anywhere near as scared as I thought I would get, but believe me – I’m betting that will change soon. I’m only about 3/4 of the way through, anyway. That certainly doesn’t mean that it’s not scaring me at all, because it definitely is. I have a rule that I can’t read it after 7 at night, because I’ll get scared shitless if I do.

It’s really no wonder that Stephen King is such as well-known and renowned author. I went into this novel not expecting very much for some reason, but it has honestly blown me away. The writing style is amazing, the characters are realistic and fleshed out, and the circumstances he puts the reader through are simply terrifying. I’m hoping to read some of his other works in the future, if I ever do manage to make it through this one without terrifying myself too much.

SO! Have you read The Shining? What did you think about it? What other King books would you recommend?

Review: Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

23492661.jpgMaybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published by Washington Square Press on July 7th 2015

Page Count: 342

Genre(s): Adult, contemporary, romance, coming-of-age

Format: Paperback, purchased

Would I recommend? YES, YES, YESSSSSS. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone, especially someone who is at a difficult time in their life, is at the crossroads, and/or needs a good comfort read.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

-Goodreads.com description

My Thoughts

OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS. I should probably warn you guys: I literally just finished this book so I may or may not be a complete mess of feels. Expect lots and lots of rambling in this review.

feels.gif

LITERALLY ME RIGHT NOW. Don’t judge, please.

“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn’t end up with you.”

I bought this book on a complete whim. Well, I guess I had heard about it once or twice from other bloggers, but it’s not one of those really really hyped-about books, you know? I mean, I guess I’m not too experienced in the whole “Adult Fiction” thing, but if it was really popular then I would be seeing it everywhere. And, the point is, I only just saw it in the bookstore yesterday.

Gosh darn it, I don’t know how to talk today. SEE, THIS IS WHAT BOOKS DO TO ME!!!

Ahem.

ANYWAY, I went into this book knowing pretty much nothing. Heck, I didn’t even read the synopsis when I picked it out at the bookstore. I just saw it, thought “hey, I’ve heard of this one before,” scrolled through some Goodreads reviews (which were ALL 5 STARS, mind you), and purchased it. Which turned out to be a really great decision.

tumblr_mowxe989yb1s4yfn5o1_500.gif

I’ve also been trying to get more into adult fiction lately, so this worked out perfectly. I still haven’t quite worked up the courage to start on The Shining yet.

I honestly can’t tell you one thing about this novel that I disliked. I really do try to find things to critique when reading a book (okay, that sounds kinda harsh. But we are book bloggers, after all.), and I couldn’t find ONE. SINGLE. THING. The writing style is amazing, the characters are realistic and fleshed out, and the concept was super unique and intriguing. I didn’t get bored at any point during this novel.

But, I rated it 4 stars. Which isn’t a bad rating, mind you. It’s a great rating! But since all I’ve done in this review so far is gushed about my feelings, why isn’t it a 5-star read? Why doesn’t it instantly go to my “favorites” shelf?

I honestly don’t know. I’ve been trying to figure that out for the entire time I’ve been writing this review (which is probably like 20 minutes), but nothing that really makes sense has occurred to me. The closest thing I can come up with that may or may not make sense in this situation is this: Maybe I just didn’t read it at the right time. Maybe I should have listened to the reviews and read it when I needed a great comfort read, or when I was making a big decision in my life. Or, as Ms. Taylor Jenkins Reid would put it, “maybe in another life.”

See what I did there?

Ha, ha.

I find myself way too amusing for my own good.

Anyway, I decided to create a list on all the things I absolutely LOVED in this book in attempt to get you to read it. That’s what positive reviews are for after all, right?!

Things I Loved

  • The concept is so interesting! Seriously, please read the synopsis because I’m really not in the mood to explain it all. Maybe In Another Life was such a thought-provoking, eye-opening, intriguing read that kept me deeply interested the whole way through.
  • The writing style is so gorgeous! I was literally scrambling for my quote notebook throughout the entire novel. One of the quotes that particularly stuck out to me was: “Life is long and full of an infinite number of decisions. I have to think that the small ones don’t matter, that I’ll end up where I need to end up no matter what I do.”  And, “When you sit there and wish things had happened differently, you can’t just wish away the bad stuff. You have to think about all the good stuff you might lose, too. Better just to stay in the now and focus on what you can do better in the future.”
  • It dealt with themes like soul mates and fate and love and acceptance and a lot of other beautiful, wonderful things. The only other book I’ve read that deals with these themes is Volition by Lily Paradis, which I absolutely loved as well.
  • It’s the perfect comfort read. In the future whenever I fell stressed out or depressed or alone or really any negative feeling at all, I imagine I’ll want to take this book out for a reread. It’s an adorable love story, a coming-of-age novel, and an eye-opening, uplifting novel that really puts a smile on your face all in one.
  • As well as being a comfort read, it’s also actually really deep. I mean, it would kind of have to be a deep novel if it talks about soul mates and destiny and stuff like that, but the synopsis makes it sound like a light, fluffy contemporary. Which it really isn’t. While I didn’t get too emotional while reading this, I can imagine people who have gone through similar circumstances as the main character would. It really makes you think about how the smallest decisions make the biggest impacts and the meaning of life and other fun stuff like that. It’s deep stuff, guys.
  • Absolutely amazing friendships! Hannah and Gabby are now one of my favorite duos of ever. While I didn’t necessarily love each of them individually, I adored the relationship they shared. They stuck with each other literally through the worst possible circumstances you can imagine, and I loved how they were always putting each other over their husbands/boyfriends. Seriously, I want a best friend like that!
  • The characters were so darn relatable! Especially Hannah. I mean, while I’m not quite stressing out about having no home and no job and no steady relationship, I can see myself stressing about those things in the future. Dang it, me and my anxiety! And also, cinnamon rolls. While for me it is pretty much every food of ever and not just cinnamon rolls, I do see where Hannah is coming from.
  • It’s really, really inspiring. Like right now, after just finishing it, I basically feel like: “Yay! Maybe I’ll never get married! Maybe I’ll just move around the world with a dog named Charlemagne and my best friend and open a cinnamon roll factory and get obese from just eating cinnamon rolls!” Dreams do come true, guys. Talk about inspiring.

Final Thought

I realize this review was probably way too much rambling and not nearly enough reviewing, but my list should give you a general idea on why you ABSOLUTELY NEED TO DROP EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW AND SPRINT TO THE NEAREST BOOKSTORE AND SPEND $20 ON A SNINY HARDCOVER COPY OF THIS BOOK. Okay? Okay.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Trailer Release: Me Before You

Hi guys! I realize I’m kind of late to the party on this one because the trailer got released about a week ago, but I just watched the trailer for Me Before You! And OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS I am a puddle of feels. The trailer evoked a very wide range of emotions in me just as the book did, so I apologize if this post is rather horribly written. Believe me, grammar and spelling errors are a LOT easier to make when there are a steady stream of tears slipping down your face. If you know what I mean. And if you don’t…..just take my word for it. 😉

MV5BMTQ2NjE4NDE2NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTcwNDE5NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_.jpgIsn’t this the most gorgeous poster you’ve ever seen? It literally made me cry when I first saw it. That’s probably because it reminded me of the book, which really, really, really made me cry…..but, whatever. I think the casting is absolutely spot-on, and both actors look exactly like I envisioned them in the book. Plus, FINNIIIIIICK.

If you’re not familiar with this book/movie (WHICH YOU MOST CERTAINLY SHOULD BE), here is a quick Goodreads synopsis to jog your memory:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

-Goodreads.com synopsis

Anyway, onto the trailer!

* * * * *

Yes, I just finished watching it for the 6th time in the past 30 minutes. And yes, this is also the 6th time I’ve cried over this trailer in the past 30 minutes. AND NO, I AM NOT ASHAMED.

* * * * *

ANYWAY, have you read Me Before You? Are you as psyched as I am to see the movie? Did you cry while watching that trailer? (DON’T LIE TO ME.) Please, spill out all your feels of ever into the comments below!