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Friday, October 31, 2014

October Book Challenge Day 31: Read This Month

October was a rather slow month for all of my reading...

The Secret Ingredient

More Than This

The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)

Day 21 (The Hundred, #2)

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

The Vault of Dreamers

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I really should have read a lot more than 10 books this month. But oh well. 

And that is the end of my October Book Challenge. I missed four days I believe, so I did fail but I picked back up and tried to do as many as I possibly could. 

If you want to check out my first post for the challenge, you can click here and find easy access to all of the challenge posts. 

Happy Halloween :)

-Shawnee Smith

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Book Challenge Day 30: Book Set In My State/Town

Well, well, well. It has finally come to this. 

I am proud to say that there are a couple books set in my home state of Washington! I have found it rather hard to find (good) YA books that take place up here (that vampire books is so not being included on this list). I don't know what that's all about since Washington is actually a cool place to live. Its beautiful, we have winning sports teams (Yes. Teams. Plural. Seahawks and Sounders, previously the Mariners as well before they hit a rut), our coffee is legendary (hi Starbucks), and Nordstrom was actually started in Seattle as a shoe store. Washington has also been the birthplace for many musicians including Nirvana and most recently, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. And does Microsoft and Boeing mean anything to you? Both were founded in Washington.

Why am I giving you guys a history lesson? You want to know about books...

With that being said...here are some books that take place in Washington. 


Takes place in Seattle, and is it bad that whenever they mention a place I can envision it because I have probably passed by it at some point?

Let's Get Lost

Okay, so this one doesn't always take place in Washington, but it does for a few pages! So I'm counting it! 

The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #1)

I haven't read this book but I heard that it was set in Seattle. I guess I will have to read it now... #WashingtonPride

If you want to know more about my October book Challenge and easily find all of the past entries, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien

The Vault of Dreamers

Publisher: September 16, 2014 by Roaring Books
Pages: 432
Series: Untitled #1

"From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.
 The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there."

So after I had read the book, I saw a friend's tweet that accurately described the plot for The Vault of Dreamers. So naturally I had to screen shot it and tweet about it, and then this happened.

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Anyways, I really enjoyed this book. I did have my doubts when I first started reading mainly because no one else seems to have heard of this book. But I'm SUPER glad that I read it!

There were many concepts of this book that I thought were well done. I liked that the author had the idea to use the Reality TV fad and bring it into a book. Reality TV is DOMINATING the world right now. Everyone knows who the Kardashians are and who the judges on The Voice are this season. Reality TV is just something that has become insanely popular within the past 10 years. O'Brien takes this idea and fuses it with a school setting. It is a reality competition to see who will make the cut at The Forge School. 

I thought Rosie was a very good main character. She had enough drive, but still a sense of morality which became extremely important through the course of the book. The plot would not have worked if Rosie was any different. She was just bold enough, just smart enough, just driven enough, and just compassionate enough to make the whole book work. However, sometimes she just makes insanely stupid decisions that make me want to grab her shoulders and shake them violently and yell 'WHYYYYYY" in her face really loudly. But then again, all teenagers are kind of dumb sometimes.

The rest of the characters were all well written. For once, the love interest of the main character had doubts! Instead of just taking what the main character said as law or the truth, the supporting characters, especially Linus, Rosie's beau, were often skeptical of Rosie. #ThankYouLinus . IT WAS AMAZING! And this was what led me to being skeptical or Rosie myself...

And I liked that eventually, even as a reader, I began to doubt Rosie. I really, really liked it! Towards the end I wasn't even sure if she was telling the truth or making it all up. I would not put it past an author to give us a twist like that! It made me feel like I was really right there with Rosie every step of the way! 

And the ending was insane! I have no idea what happened and I want a sequel with some answers RIGHT NOW!!! 

In the end, I thought this novel was extremely good and I think everyone should read it! It was tense, and mysterious, and current. Though I would have liked some of the science stuff to be explained so a five year old could understand, that was my only complaint. I give this an 8/10 and recommend that you go pick up The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien right now!

-Shawnee Smith

October book Challenge Day 29: Favorite Chapter

How? How exactly am I supposed to choose a favorite chapter?

Can I go with one of the ones from Ky's point of view in Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie where he literally says nothing? It's just a blank page?

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Or is that cheating?

But I seriously think it is WAY too hard to choose a favorite chapter. Favorite book, favorite plot, favorite page, ye. Favorite chapter, no. Absolutely not. There are WAY too many good ones. Or ones that are great in the beginning or suck at the end. Or ones that just have a few paragraphs that are amazing.

I can't really think of one chapter in one book that really stands out to me and being the best I have ever read and my favorite.

Well that's my "Favorite Chapter" or lack there of...If you want to check out more of my October Book Challenge you can click here.

-Shawnee Smith

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October Book Challenge Day 28: Favorite Quote

This is an easy one. My favorite quote is the 'Instant Death' quote from Looking for Alaska by John Green. 

“What is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.” 

Check out more of the October Book Challenge by clicking here

-Shawnee Smith

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October Book Challenge Day 26: Top 3 Favorites

Hello. Happy Sunday. This is going to be an easy post. 

10 points if you guys can guess what my "Top Three Favorites" are before you read any farther. 

Got your guesses? 

Good. Let's begin...

Legend (Legend, #1) Prodigy (Legend, #2) Champion (Legend, #3)

If you didn't get that then you haven't read this blog. Like at all. Or paid any attention. 

Looking for Alaska

Again. Have you been paying attention if you read this blog?

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2) The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3) The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #0.5)

It's okay if you didn't get that one since it is slowly creeping back up into my favorites list. 

The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1)

This is my favorite book of all time, so I thought I would include it :)

How did you do? Did any of you get 10 points? 

If you want to check out more about my October Book Challenge that I am completely failing at, you can go ahead and click here

-Shawnee Smith

New This Week

Week of October 27, 2014


Atlantia Catalyst (Insignia, #3) Compulsion (The Heirs of Watson Island, #1) Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark #2)

In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3) Talon (Talon, #1) Waterfall (Teardrop, #2)


Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3) Diamonds in the Rough Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark #2) In the Age of Love and Chocolate

Tempestuous The Wanted The Year of the Beasts

-Shawnee Smith

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October Book Challenge Day 25: This Book Gives Me Feels

So I just realized that I forgot to push 'PUBLISH' from day 24 of my October Book Challenge. I am completely failing at this. I disappoint myself. This challenge gives me feels. 

See what I did there? 

As for books that give me feels, there are actually a few. Don't even try to judge me because I doubt any of you could read these books without getting into your own feels. 

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

Champion (Legend, #3)

Looking for Alaska

The Program (The Program, #1)

Those are a few books that have given me all the feels. If you want to check out more about my (failing) October Book Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October Book Challenge Day 23: TBR Pile

Right now I'm really glad that I have narrowed down my TBR pile since I got my library haul. (To check that out you can click here). I only have two books left to read! 

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)


In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink, #2)

Those are the only two (currently) left in my TBR pile. I do have a much, much, MUCH longer TBR list of all the books I want to read. But that would take me like an hour to blog.

If you want to check out more of my October Book Challenge and see what's coming up next, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October Book Challenge Day 22: I Need To Buy This

Hey Lisa @TurningPages11 this one is for you ;) *cough* Christmas gift exchange *cough*

I don't really know what books I REALLY want to buy. All of my series are complete, I have works from my favorite authors, and generally my library is pretty good about keeping up with new books that come out. 

I guess two books I really want(need) to buy is... 

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)



Both of these books are not in my library system and I have not read either of them and it's driving me crazy because of how long they have been on my To Be Read list. Like literally, I have wanted to read them since I heard about them. I have no idea if they are good or not because I see a lot of mixed reviews online. I need to know for myself!

You can check out more about my October Book Challenge by clicking right here

-Shawnee Smith

Review: Day 21 by Kass Morgan

Day 21 (The Hundred, #2)

Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Pages: 320
Series: The Hundred #2

"No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.
It's been 21 days since the hundred landed on Earth. They're the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries...or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.In this pulse-pounding sequel to Kass Morgan's The 100, secrets are revealed, beliefs are challenged, and relationships are tested. And the hundred will struggle to survive the only way they can -- together."

Commercial Photography

I REALLY wish this review was ready yesterday...That would have been pretty awesome.

I'm starting to really like this series. There were a few points in the story where I though "wow, good plot point". I still believe that the plot is one of the more original ones circulating right now. It's not just a dystopic fiction book, it brings up questions as to what the world would be like after a nuclear winter. We all know that several countries are arming nuclear weapons just in case so this could become a reality.

My main complaint: There was too much making out. You almost died from a snake bite? Let's make out. You're looking for your sister who was kidnapped? Let's make out. I know nothing about you but I think you're hot. Let's make out. Like, okay, we get it, you all are teenagers with raging hormones, but take a cold shower and then go do something productive.

One aspect of this book I really liked played such a small part but I believe it was set up for the next book. Each of the 100 broke the law somehow and that's how they ended up arrested. However, since there are strict rules in space, it makes sense that the majority of the 100 are not dangerous. However, it wouldn't make sense if one or two wasn't unstable and dangerous. I liked how at the very end, a blink and you could miss it moment, Kass Morgan leads you to believe one of the 100 is a murderer. I am excited to see where this plot point goes in the future.

I'm just excited to read the next installment period. There was so much buildup in the last few chapters that I want answers! I want to know everyone's fate and most importantly what will happen when the rest of the population makes it down. I feel that there will be a power struggle between the 100 and the adults that will want to run the show. It will be an interesting dynamic to read. 

Overall, there was not much about this book that really stuck out. I still enjoyed reading it but I can't remember everything that happened without thinking REALLY hard. I think this book should receive a 7.5/10. I really liked it, it was just missing something that I can't put my finger on. But I'm still going to read the next installment when it comes out. 

-Shawnee Smith

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October Book Challenge Day 21: People On The Cover

People on the cover is rather vague, so I will show you some of the cooler ones I have seen lately.

Day 21 (The Hundred, #2)

I love all of the people falling out of the sky. It's haunting but beautiful at the same time. 


I like that the cover is mostly dark. There is just slight color and it doesn't show any features of the girl. I also like all of the white at the top. It makes me think of snow. 

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

LOVE LOVE LOVE this cover. It's even cooler if you can see the front and the back together. The girl looks like something I would find in a fashion magazine. And I love all the lines going everywhere connecting everything. This is one of my favorite covers of all times. 

If you want to check out what is next for my October Book Challenge, you can click here and read the introductory post. 

-Shawnee Smith