Looking Back: All The Books I Read In 2013

Can you believe it's the end of 2013 already? Can you believe people born in 2000 are now teenagers?? Sometimes, I really can't.

Anyway, this year has managed to be a productive reading year for me. Somehow, I managed to read over 70 books, the most I've read in a long time. I'm pretty sure this coincides with my purchase of a tablet, but I'm still surprised. I only started my book blog fairly recently, so I haven't been able to really show off all the books I read this year. Hopefully, this post can give you a better look at my taste in books. These are all the books I rated on Goodreads in a nice picture format (in no particular order).


2014 Reading Challenges: The Standalone Reading Challenge

As much as I am anticipating sequels to some of my favorite books in 2014, I also hope the new year brings in more standalone books. I'm a pretty impatient person, so waiting two or three years to find out the ending of a series absolutely kills me. That's why this 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge is the perfect complement to the Series Challenge I'm also participating in.

2014 Standalone Reading Challenge
The 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge is hosted by Hafsah at IceyBooks and Lisa from Dizneeee’s World of Books, and it consists of the following guidelines:

  • THE CHALLENGE: To read 15 Young Adult and Middle Grade standalone novels in 2014 released in the United States between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. This means that the book can not have an announced sequel, prequel, follow up, etc.
  • Companion novels count towards the challenge as well. Companion novels take place in the same world as a novel but usually follows the life of a different character. It can be read independently from the book that came before it.
  • The book must be released between January 1 – Decemeber 31, 2014 in the United States.
  • Can be read in any (legally) readable format: ARC, Paperback, Hardcover or e-book. Audio books do not count toward the challenge.

2014 Reading Challenges: The Series Challenge

For 2014, I'm thinking of spicing things up and participating in at least one or two reading challenges. For sure, I'll be participating in the Spring/Summer '14 Reading Challenge in Goodreads' College Students! group, but I'd also like to participate in some more general challenges. Here's one of the challenges that caught my eye, mainly because it seems like a good way to also keep track of all the series I'm currently following or interested in.

The 2014 Series Challenge is hosted by Octavia at Read. Sleep. Repeat. and consists of the following guidelines:

  • You must finish the series in 2014. If the series won't be completed by December 2014, then you must read up the most current release.
  • Series that you started prior to 2014 are fine as long as you finish the series in 2014.
  • If you decide to stop reading a series after one or two books, it does not count.
  • The series has to have at least 2 books out prior to December 1st, 2014
  • Proof that you finished the book is required. It could be a full review, a mini review, or a rating with a few lines. DNF’s do not count.


Review: Fifty Million Reasons by Heather Wardell

Fifty Million Reasons
Author: Heather Wardell
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published: December 4th 2013
Publisher: Holly Leaf Press
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Find: Goodreads
Angela has typical lottery-player plans: help friends and family, give more to charity, and escape her rut. But when she wins big, she faces angry relatives, her own unexpected greed, and a lawsuit from the person who put her in that rut. Almost nobody treats her normally, and they've got fifty million reasons not to.

She can buy anything she wants now, but can she buy the life she needs?

If you're looking for a light, heart-warming story to read this holiday season, this is the book you should be reading. This might not make sense to some, but the only word I can think of to describe my experience of reading Fifty Million Reasons is "soothing." It’s just rare to find a book that I can easily read through without pausing once to think, “Hmm, that doesn't seem right.”

For most of us, winning a million dollar lottery is nothing but a dream, a nice little fantasy we like to entertain ourselves with only in our wildest daydreams. For Angela whose dream just became a reality, however, she quickly finds out that there's more to being a multi-millionaire than living extravagantly and buying private jets. While there are definitely some perks, there are surprisingly a lot of downsides in which Wardell is unafraid to explore.
I spotted another group just beginning their walk, taking tiny steps like we had, and realized we were now walking as smoothly as the previous group had been. Amazing how quickly humans get used to crazy situations.


Top Ten Tuesday (#5): Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for December 24th is:

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

1. Cress by Marissa Meyer
I just realized that this book is my most anticipated book for 2014. How can I resist futuristic fairy tale retellings with cyborgs, sassy spaceships, and people from the moon?? If there's anyone who could get me a copy of this book before the actual release date, it'd be Santa. If you can't do that, Santa, a pre-order would be fine, too.

2. Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
I've already read this series, but I had borrowed the books from my friend who raved and ranted and bugged me until I did read it. I automatically fell in love with this series, but I really need to get a copy of my own.


Weekly Roundup: 12.16 - 12.22

Happy Holidays, everyone! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ・゜・。・*:.。.:*・゜I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas this week. I'm not sure what my family will be doing for the holidays (we're all terrible planners), but I have a feeling my siblings and I will be cooking the holiday meal this year. Maybe some lamb chops? Some creamy garlic mashed potatoes? Some roasted brussels sprouts? What else? I probably should stop planning the dinner right now as all this food talk is making me hungry!

Anyway, since this week will be busy, I probably won't be posting all that much this week. I also want to get ahead in my blogging and schedule reviews in advance, but for that to happen, I'll actually have to spend more time reading.

What's everyone's plan for the holidays? Are you doing anything special? Are there any special books you're planning to read during the break?


DNF: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

I was debating whether I should make this post or not as there are different ways to handle DNF books and there's no real agreed upon standard on how to deal with them in the book blogging world. My initial instincts were that it would be wrong to talk about I didn't even finish, but this book elicited so many strong emotions from me that I feel I have to share.

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant
Author: Joanna Wiebe
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
To Be Published: Jan 14 2014
Publisher: BenBella Books
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Find: Goodreads
So many secrets for such a small island. From the moment Anne Merchant arrives at Cania Christy, a boarding school for the world’s wealthiest teens, the hushed truths of this strange, unfamiliar land begin calling to her—sometimes as lulling drumbeats in the night, sometimes as piercing shrieks.

One by one, unanswered questions rise. No one will tell her why a line is painted across the island or why she is forbidden to cross it. Her every move—even her performance at the school dance—is graded as part of a competition to become valedictorian, a title that brings rewards no one will talk about. And Anne discovers that the parents of her peers surrender million-dollar possessions to enroll their kids in Cania Christy, leaving her to wonder what her lowly funeral director father could have paid to get her in… and why.

As a beautiful senior struggles to help Anne make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world without breaking the rules that bind him, she must summon the courage to face the impossible truth—and change it—before she and everyone she loves is destroyed by it.

Stopped: Page 128 out of 458 (27%)

Why I Didn't Like It:
As Emma on Spun with Words said, the characters are half the battle. You don't have to necessarily like a character to enjoy reading a book. But if you don't enjoy reading about the main characters, then it will be a chore to get through the book. Getting through Anne Merchant was more like a chore and a half. Not only did I not enjoy reading about Anne and the other characters, I actually hated them to the point where they elicited rather strong feelings of anger and frustration at times. Our rather, I hated Wiebe's characterizations. Instead of seeing them as actual people, I saw Wiebe's characters more as shallow caricatures full of the worst cliches and stereotypes. Sometimes, it worked. Villicus, the headmaster of Cania Christy is sufficiently creepy and disgusting enough to play the villain with his arched eyebrows, hairy mole, and crooked brown teeth. Most of the time, the cliches and stereotypes can only go so far in creating believable, complex characters.


Waiting on Wednesday (#5)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight some upcoming releases that we're impatiently tapping our feet for. It's a great way to to keep track of some of the most anticipated releases amongst other book bloggers and a new way to discover books yourself.

At the moment, the book I'm most excited for is:

While Beauty Slept
Author: Elizabeth Blackwell
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Fairy Tale Retellings
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
To be published: February 20, 2014
Find: Goodreads
A beautiful princess lies in a sleep so deep it is close to death. Was Sleeping Beauty revived by a prince's kiss? What really happened in that tower so long ago?

While Beauty Slept re-imagines the legend through the lens of historical fiction, telling the story as if it really happened. A Gothic tale of suspense and ambition, love and loss, it interweaves the story of a royal family and the servants who see behind the glamorous facade, following the journey of a young woman as she lives out a destiny that leads her to the brink of death.


Top Ten Tuesdays (#4): Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for December 17th is:

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

1. Patrick Ness
Books I Read: The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness is probably one of my new favorite authors for his way with words that just hits you directly in the gut every time. His books evoke such strong emotions from me that I literally have to put down the book just to compose myself. He's just that good. I actually haven't read the last book in the Chaos Walking trilogy because I'm so afraid of how it might end. More Than This is currently on my TBR shelf and I can't wait for the release of The Crane Wife.


Weekly Roundup 12.9 - 12.15

Wow, I can't believe there's only ten more days until Christmas and only sixteen more days left of 2013. Where did all the time ago? To get into the holiday season, my family tried to make hot buttered rum last night, and we failed miserably. I've never tried it before but I always thought it would be the closest thing to an alcoholic version of Butterbeer. You can imagine my disappointment when it didn't taste a thing like how I imagined it would. I think I'll stick with my hot chocolate and spiced apple cider for my seasonal drinks.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug came out this past week, and I unfortunately haven't seen it yet. I'm hoping I'll be able to see it some time this week. Have any of you seen it yet? If so, what did you think? Was it better than the first one?

For all those students out there, half of you might be done with finals week while the other half still have about a week to go. For those of you are done, CONGRATULATIONS, enjoy your holiday break to catch up on all your lost sleeping hours. For those of you who aren't, my condolences and good luck.


Bookish Mugs: Gifts for the Caffeinated Book Lover

Lately, I've been really obsessed with cute mugs and cups. If you've ever seen Being Human (UK), then you might've noticed how Annie, George, and John have an entire counter in their kitchen dedicated to an odd and mismatched assortment of mugs. That's kind of what I want to have. It doesn't help that with the cold snap in California these past few weeks, my household has been stocking up on a lot of hot chocolate and hot apple cider. And I mean A LOT. These book-related mugs are a few of my favorites that I would love for myself, but they'd also make great gifts for the caffeinated book lover.

Shakespearean Insult Mug, $12.95
From The Unemployed Philosopher's Guild
I never really learned to appreciate the Bard until we spent an entire class dedicated to analyzing the insults in A Midsummer Night's Dream. I don't know anyone else who could make the word "acorn" sound so insulting. Personally, my favorite Shakespearean insult is "a painted maypole." Unfortunately, that isn't featured on this mug, but there are still 30 other insults including "canker-blossom" and "thou art a boil, a plague sore." There's also a Shakespearean love version as well, but it's pretty obvious which mug is superior.

(Mini) Review: Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson

Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Published: December 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Random House
Find: Goodreads
From "New York Times" bestselling author Brandon Sanderson's action-packed novel "Steelheart" comes "Mitosis," a short story set in the world of The Reckoners series, exclusively available in the digital format.

Catch all the action before, "Firefight" the exciting sequel to "Steelheart" hits shelves in fall 2014.

WAIT! This review may contain minor spoilers for Steelheart. Don't continue if you haven't read it yet and want to avoid spoilers. Unless, of course, you don't mind spoilers. In that case, continue~

A short review for a short story! This novelette can be found on Brandon Sanderson's site, and it's a nice little filler to satisfy Steelheart fans before Firefight comes out in Fall 2014. (Why is that so far away?!) I can't really talk much about what Mitosis is about without spoiling Steelheart, so let's just say there's a new Epic in the town of Newcago by the name of Mitosis and leave it at that. If you haven't read Steelheart yet, what are you waiting for? Read. It. Now. If you need a little bit more convincing, most of the reasons why I loved this short story are the same reasons why I loved the original book, so keep on reading.
"Sparks," Tia said. "Like rats on a ship."
"Yeah," I said. "Or glitter in soup."
Tia and Abraham fell silent.
"Have you ever tried to get all of the glitter out of your soup?" I demanded. "It's really, really hard."


Review: Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

Rebel Spring
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: December 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Books
Find: Goodreads
Love, power, and magic collide with war in the second book of the Falling Kingdoms series

Auranos has fallen and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now united as one country called Mytica. But still, magic beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world...

When the evil King Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of events that will forever change the face of this land, forcing Cleo the dethroned princess, Magnus the reluctant heir, Lucia the haunted sorceress, and Jonas the desperate rebel to take steps they never could have imagined.

WAIT! This review may contain minor spoilers for Falling Kingdoms. Don't continue if you haven't read it yet and want to avoid spoilers. Unless, of course, you don't mind spoilers. In that case, continue~

Admittedly, I had very mixed feelings about Falling Kingdoms. There were some parts that just dragged for me and most of the characters didn't exactly win my enthusiasm, but I still somehow wanted to read the rest in the series. Luckily, Rebel Spring turned out to be an improvement. While I still had a few issues with it, the second book in the series was a much more enjoyable read.
This summoned a grin once again. "Do you need such protection for a simple dress fitting?"

"I think so," she said, finally finding her own smile. "Don't forget, I will be forced to spend the entire day in the company of the queen."

Waiting on Wednesday (#4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight some upcoming releases that we're impatiently tapping our feet for. It's a great way to to keep track of some of the most anticipated releases amongst other book bloggers and a new way to discover books yourself.

At the moment, the book I'm most excited for is:

Moth and Spark
Author: Anne Leonard
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Viking Press
To be published: February 20, 2014
Find: Goodreads
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.


Weekly Roundup 12.2 - 12.8

Bookcharmed has a new design! I spent the entire past few days working on the theme, and there are still a few tweaks I want to do, but hopefully there aren't any problems with it. Please let me know what you think, and if there are any bugs or errors, let me know in the comments!

This Past Week on Bookcharmed


Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays
Author: Cristin Terrill
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Published: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Out of all the books I've read in 2013, All Our Yesterdays has been the biggest surprise by far. I decided to read this during my Thanksgiving weekend because a few people recommended it to me, but I didn't really know what it was about and I didn't really have any expectations. If anything, I was probably a little hesitant to read it since the topic of time-travel didn't really interest me. Wow. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book.
"You're the best, Mike," I say, and when he walks away, I add him to the list of people I hope I never lay eyes on again.
In one sentence, it's about two prisoners, Em and Finn, who escape a military base and hijacks a time machine to travel back into the past to kill the man who started a devastating war in future America.


Waiting on Wednesday (#3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight some upcoming releases that we're impatiently tapping our feet for. It's a great way to to keep track of some of the most anticipated releases amongst other book bloggers and a new way to discover books yourself.

At the moment, the book I'm most excited for is:

The Waking Engine
Author: David Edison
Genre: Scifi & Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
To be published: February 11, 2014
Find: Goodreads
Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.

Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.

Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.

Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.


Top Ten Tuesdays (#3): Top Ten 2014 Releases I'm Dying To Read

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for December 3rd is Top Ten 2014 Releases I'm Dying To Read.


Weekly Roundup: 11.25 - 12.1

I hope everyone's had a fun, safe, drama-free Thanksgiving weekend. I didn't get to do any Black Friday shopping but my weekend was still super busy between prepping the Thanksgiving meal, eating that meal, and a planning a meetup with friends that included an all-you-can-eat sushi binge and watching Catching Fire at the drive-in theater. I was debating whether I should do a movie review for Catching Fire or not, but I decided against it. All I have to say was that I surprisingly loved it. It was loads better than the first movie and much better than the books. And oh my word, Finnick. There's been a lot of hooplah about how Sam Calflin wasn't right for the role, but I certainly enjoyed watching him.


Review: World After by Susan Ee

World After
Author: Susan Ee
Genre: Young Adult, Scifi & Fantasy
Published: November 19th 2013
Publisher: Skyscape
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

WAIT! This review may contain minor spoilers for Angelfall. Don't continue if you haven't read it yet and want to avoid spoilers. Unless, of course, you don't mind spoilers. In that case, continue~

Waiting for this book was like waiting in line for over an hour for that one roller coaster at the amusement park. It's long, agonizing, and you begin to wonder if it'll all be worth it halfway through the line. When it's finally your turn, you're thrown in a fast-paced thrill ride of many ups and downs and maybe a little loop de loop that makes all your worries fly away. Even before you finish the too-short ride, you already know you want to do that again. Yeah, reading World After is kind of like that.
"You broke me out of the grasp of a living horror when I thought all hope was gone. You gave me the opportunity to crawl back to life when no one else could." She glances over at me, her eyes shining in the dark. "You're a hero, Penryn, whether you like it or not."

Top Ten Tuesdays (#2): Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for November 26th is Top Then Things I Am Thankful For. I tried to keep most of the things bookish, but there are some things that take precedence. In no particular order, I am thankful for...


Weekly Roundup 11.18 - 11.24

Hello peeps! Thanksgiving is coming soon. For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, have a good holiday. For those who don't, have a great week. And be safe on Black Friday (or Thursday depending on where you're planning to shop)!

This Past Week on Bookcharmed


Thoughtful Thursdays: Reading Music

A new weekly feature I'm going to try for a while. It doesn't mean that I only think on Thursdays! There are always some random book-related thoughts flowing through my head, so I thought I'd set a certain day to actually write them down. (It may or may not also be a convenient way to keep this blog updated!)

Reading Music

It's kind of a conundrum. When I'm reading, I prefer to have music playing in the background as opposed to silence. At the same time, listening to the wrong kind of music can easily distract me, especially when there are actual lyrics to the music and you know every single word. I don't know about you, but it'd pretty difficult for me to shed a tear for the death of a character when Icona Pop's "I Love It" is blaring. That's why I prefer listening to instrumentals when reading.

I can spend hours making my own custom music playlist, but for those of you who are sometimes as lazy as I am, here are a few other options I recommend:


Review: Drawn By Cecilia Gray

Author: Cecilia Gray
Genre: Young Adult
To Be Published: December 15th 2013
Publisher: Gray Life, LLC
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Find: Goodreads
Take a journey into the gritty world of political espionage through the eyes – and lies – of one extraordinary girl. A wholly original tale of friendship and betrayal from the author of The Jane Austen Academy series....

Sasha has a secret – that she can make you spill your secret with nothing more than a question. Her strange gift makes her a burden to her foster family and a total freak of nature. Not that Sasha cares. Why should she when no one cares about her?

Then the CIA knocks on her door. They want to give Sasha a new identity and drop her into a foreign country to infiltrate a ring of zealous graffiti terrorists. They want to give Sasha something to care about.

To survive a world where no one is who they seem, Sasha needs to make people trust her. But when that trust blossoms into love, Sasha is forced to decide between duty and friendship, between her mind and her heart, and whether to tell the truth or keep her secrets.

Waiting on Wednesdays (#2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight some upcoming releases that we're impatiently tapping our feet for. It's a great way to to keep track of some of the most anticipated releases amongst other book bloggers and a new way to discover books yourself.

At the moment, the book I'm most excited for is:

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism
To be published: March 25th, 2014
Find: Goodreads
Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga. 

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.


Top Ten Tuesdays (#1): Books I'd Recommend to My Future Kid

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for November 19th is Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To X Person. Specifically, I'm going to make this a list for the Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To My Future Child. There are some books that have shaped my entire childhood and have taught me the joy of reading, and there are a few books I wish I  read earlier in my life as I feel like I'd have appreciated more then. These are the books that I'd like to pass on my children if given the opportunity.


Review: Solomon the Peacemaker by Hunter Welles

Solomon the Peacemaker
Author: Hunter Welles
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
To Be Published: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Cowcatcher Press
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
Vincent Alan Chell is coy about answering the questions of his captor. He’d much rather talk about his dead wife, Yael, whose suicide somehow led him into captivity. Or Preacher, the bearded leader of a cult-like group that meets in the bowels of a church basement. Or the Peacemaker, the computer intelligence that has guaranteed peace between nations for half a century.

Chell describes a world where cultural norms have changed the way people interact with technology. Humanoid robots, though ubiquitous, are confined inside private homes, giving the impression that all is well with the world. Which may be the case. Yet Preacher and his group are convinced that humankind is already in the thrall of the Peacemaker. And they might be right.

Solomon the Peacemaker, Hunter Welles’s debut novel, explores the limits of technology, nonviolence, love, and memory in the twenty-second century as it races to its incredible conclusion.


Review: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Shadow of the Wind
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Published: January 25th, 2005
Source: Purchased
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.


Waiting on Wednesday (#1)

Admittedly, I would've rather had my first (well, second) post be an actual review, but I can't review any books until I actually finish reading them, so please be patient with me. In the meantime, I leave you this.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight some upcoming releases that we're impatiently tapping our feet for. It's a great way to to keep track of some of the most anticipated releases amongst other book bloggers and a new way to discover books yourself.

At the moment, the book I'm most excited for is:

Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
By Marissa Meyer
To be published: February 4th, 2014
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.


But First, An Introduction!

Sometimes an unassuming thought just wriggles down out of your mind, latches onto your heart and screams "Listen to me!" just loud enough that you have to give it some love and attention for a while. This blog is one of them.

As an avid reader and fan of listography, I've been feeling the need for a way to archive the books I've encountered in my life, which led me to start a books blog.

First, a little about myself. I'm Jacqueline, a Chinese-American living in California all my life. I'm twenty two and still not quite sure what I want to do with my life, although hopefully it will have something to do with psychology.

Some of my favorite things in this world:
  • Food (sushi) 
  • Cats 
  • Music
  • Cooking for Friends
The books I tend to read are:
  • Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • Magic Realism
  • Young Adult
I guess the best way to really know my taste in books is to check out my goodreads page, but over the next few days, I'll probably write more in depth about some of my favorite books. Stay tuned and welcome!