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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December Challenge Day 30 - Favorite Book of the Year

Okay, I have to say that

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

was my favorite book of the year. It was so incredibly well written and it didn't disappoint me in any way even though I had some pretty high expectations. You can check out the review I wrote for it by clicking here.

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Monday, December 29, 2014

December Challenge Day 29 - Freebie

I'm taking the 'freebie' to mean that I can post about whatever I want...so I thought I would do a Currently Reading. 

Loop (Loop #1)

What It's About: At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future. 

What I Think So Far: So far, I really like this book. It is a bit confusing and slightly predictable but I still like it. The characters and the world are so incredibly original, it's fun to read. I do however gag quite a bit with all the mushy crap that is going on between Bree and Finn. But, I can't wait to finish the book and know what happens! 

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here.

-Shawnee Smith

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December Challenge Day 28 - My Bookshelf

This post is coming a little late in the day, but at least I got to do it before midnight! My streak continues!

Here are pictures of my bookshelves in all of their messy glory.

There you have my bookshelves. I have quite a bit of stuff crammed onto the first one and then the second one is mainly all of my favorite books that I have copies of. 

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Saturday, December 27, 2014

December Challenge Day 27 - Makes Me Giddy

The definition of giddy is: affected with vertigo; dizzy.

Well, I don't really get vertigo but if I had to choose a book that would give someone vertigo it would be...

Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles, #1)

If you haven't read Perfect Ruin yet, just know that it takes place on a floating city in the sky. So if you are afraid of heights, beware! 

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Friday, December 26, 2014

December Challenge Day 26 - TBR Pile

I'm actually glad this post didn't come about a week ago because it would have been a whole lot longer. Here is my To Be Read pile...

Lies We Tell Ourselves

Go Ask Alice

Loop (Loop #1)

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December Challenge Day 25 - Gift Giving

Happy Christmas! 

In honor of Christmas, I guess I will tell you which books I got Lisa @TurningPages94 for her gift this year. I got her...

Horde (Razorland, #3)

and I also gave her...

The Elite (The Selection, #2)

Which was her copy to begin with but I just never gave it back to her and thought it would be funny to wrap it. I wish I could have seen her face when she opened it. 

If you want to know more about my December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December Challenge Day 24 - All Nighter

The last book that kept me up WAY past my bed time was...

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

This book was so good that I forgot to put it down and go to sleep! I lost all sense of time while I was devouring it! It was just that good. 

I can't wait to read the third installment, Heir of Fire, next. I'm so excited to learn what happens to Celaena on her journey! 

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December Challenge Day 23 - I Can Relate

I can never really relate to book characters a whole lot. Yes there are some that remind me of myself but there has never been one where I think "wow, that's me. That is exactly me and what is going on with my life." 

It has never happened. 

I came across this same topic back in my October Challenge, and I had a similar answer to what I am saying now. 

I relate to June from Legend by Marie Lu because of older brothers and some of our mannerisms

Legend (Legend, #1)

I relate to Faith Daniels in Pulse by Patrick Carmen because of our height (why do authors always choose to have teeny, tiny female leads instead of tall, powerful ones?)

Pulse (Pulse, #1)

If you want to read more of the December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Monday, December 22, 2014

December Challenge Day 22 - Multiple Copies

I tried guys, I really did. And let it be known that I didn't go here until I absolutely had to! 

The only book I have multiple copies of is..

Prodigy (Legend, #2)

I own an ARC and a regular hard copy that I got for my birthday when it came out. 

That is the only book I have more than one copy of...so...yeah...

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December Challenge Day 21 - Holiday Read

I have to admit, I am not extremely well versed in the topic of Holiday/Winter reads. 

Other than Let It Snow and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares (both of which I have already talked about during this challenge) no real holiday themed book comes to mind. I have been doing some research and I have found one that looks...promising and slightly quirky. That book is...

The Ex Games

"Hayden and Nick used to be a hot item, but their brief affair ended with a highly publicized breakup. Now the two are "just friends," excluding the occasional flirtation.

When Hayden wins the girls' division of a local snowboarding competition, Nick is unimpressed, claiming that Hayden wouldn't have a chance against a guy. Hayden calls Nick's bluff and challenges him to a head-to-head boarding contest. Their mutual friends quickly take sides, the girls on Hayden's and the boys on Nick's, making for an all-out battle of the sexes. This friendly competition is bound to get heated—and they might end up igniting some old flames. "

It seems good enough, and unique enough, to read if you so wish. 

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here.

-Shawnee Smith

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December Challenge Day 20 - Recommended to Me

I have been recommended many books over the years. I actually wish this came after Christmas because then I could use the book that Lisa @TurningPages11 got me. But alas, I will have to go with a different book.

I was actually recommended this book by one of my friends Bekah. She is an avid reader and she even works at a book store (she's so lucky). This is one of her favorite books and she has been begging me to read it for months. That book is...


I just finished reading this book and I have to say that it was amazing! It wasn't quite what I was expecting but I was impressed by the way the author was able to have a main character that hardly ever talks but is still so present. If that makes sense. 

I highly recommend that everyone reads this book. And by everyone, I mean everyone. Boy, girl, teenager, adult, grandparent. Everyone should read this book once in their life. 

So go check out Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Friday, December 19, 2014

December Challenge day 19 - Blew My Mind

I have no idea what I'm supposed to write for this topic since I already did favorite plot twist and best cliffhanger. What else is left that has the ability to blow my mind?


I guess I will go with...

More Than This

Mainly because it was not what I was expecting it to be, but it was still amazing. The whole concept of the book was well thought out and I did not see half of the plot twists coming. I do recommend that everyone read this book since it 'blew my mind' ;)

If you want to check out more of the December challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December Challenge Day 18 - Takes Place In Winter

I have been meaning to read

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

for quite some time now. I have ordered it from the library and it should be here soon! It looks like it would be a pretty good read and very winter-y, which is the subject of today's post. 

Have you read Dash & Lily's Book of Dates? What did you think?

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3)

Publisher: 28 October 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 535
Series: The Darkest Minds #3

"Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds. 

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire."

So this is the third (and final) installment of The Darkest Minds series. I have been waiting so incredibly long to get this book and devour it! Once I got it, it didn't matter that I had a final to study for, I put everything off and read this book immediately! And it was totally worth it. 

There was only one or two parts of this story that I didn't really like. One was a death, I didn't think that the death was good enough for the character (I won't say who so you can keep reading). However, I am happy that Bracken was able to sacrifice important characters in order to keep the story going. It's never realistic when every major character makes it out of a war alive and well. 

The other part of the story that I didn't really like was all of the fighting between Ruby and Liam. Yes, it was warranted on his part because she erased his memories in the first book, but they didn't have to fight, then make out, then fight some more, and then make out again. It was tiring keeping up with their feelings of one another.

The rest of the book was amazing! I loved it from beginning to end! I almost wish it was longer just so I wouldn't have to part with this world. It's always sad when a really great story comes to an end.

I really liked that Bracken brought back Thurmond. We only got to see a small glimpse of the camp during the first book but it was constantly stated that Thurmond was one of the worst and you could see Ruby's fear of it. I thought it was a good plot point bring that Camp back into the story. Doing so really shows how much Ruby has grown as a person in the short time since she was able to escape.

I really don't know what else I can talk about without giving away too much of the plot. I really thought this was a great book and a good ending to the series. It was everything that I wanted it to be. If you have not read The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken, you are missing out. I highly suggest you go pick up these books and read! 

-Shawnee Smith

December Challenge Day 17 - Favorite Family

There is really only one family to choose as your favorite family. 

I love the Lightwoods, Jace included. They really are more than just family, they are best friends, they are a fighting group, they are parabatai. They each have their own personality but somehow they all fit together like a well oiled machine.

I can't think of any other family that is as great as them. They may not all be blood related, but they couldn't care less about that, and that is part of the appeal of their relationships.

If you want to check out more of the December Challenge, you can click right here

-Shawnee Smith

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December Challenge Day 16 - Favorite Classic

I think I have talked enough on here about The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, so I will spare you all today and choose a different "classic".

I have always been drawn towards mythology since I was a little kid, I loved the stories of the Greek Gods and Goddesses, so when I first read Homer's The Odyssey a few years back I loved it because it gave me that same feeling again. So that is my 'Favorite Classic' 

The Odyssey

I strongly suggest that you attempt to read this book at least once in your life. I know it can be kind of scary to tackle, but it is ultimately worth it. 

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here

-Shawnee Smith

Monday, December 15, 2014

December Challenge Day 15 - Guilty Pleasure

 Guilty pleasure, do I have a guilty pleasure? I have stated before that I never really feel guilty about any of the books that I read so I can't have a guilty pleasure...

However, if I had to choose a book subject/type that I don't read as often as the others, but still enjoy, would be contemporary coming of age novels. 

Some examples are...

Even in Paradise


Let's Get Lost

Each of these books are incredibly different than the dystopia I am usually drawn to. I like the quirky novels, what can I say? However each book is so good in it's own way. And I especially like that these novels are not all about romance and love and all that shit. There is some, but it's not the main theme. 

There you have my (sorta) guilty pleasures. If you want to check out more of the December Challenge, you can click here.

-Shawnee Smith

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December Challenge Day 14 - Present on the Cover

The Naturals (The Naturals, #1)

"Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive. "

I saw this book at a bookstore a while back and I really liked the cover. I liked that it was a present, but not a normal looking present. I was intrigued. It is now on my to be read list, so we'll see how much I like it once I read it.

-Shawnee Smith

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December Challenge Day 13 - Favorite Character Name

I grew up with a very unusual name. I have never met another Shawnee and barely anyone that I meet can spell my name right without me telling them how. It's just how it is. 

And I think because of my name, I find myself drawn to the more unusual names. I like the ones that you won't be able to find in every book.

I wrote a post a while back for the Characters I thought needed their names on a coke bottle. I chose these names mainly because of how unusual they were and how much I liked them. You can check out that post by clicking here. 

Other than that post, one of my favorite names for a book I have read recently was 

Adelina Amouteru

Or basically all of the names from The Young Elites by Marie Lu.

If you want to check out more of the December Challenge, you can click here.

And enjoy 12/13/14.

-Shawnee Smith

Friday, December 12, 2014

Insurgent Trailer!

It's finally here! The moment we have all been waiting for! The Insurgent Trailer has landed! 

Watch it now! 

Wasn't that amazing? I am so excited to see this movie when it his theaters! 

There are a few things I am concerned about, like what was up with that box? But the rest of it looks so good and I can't wait until I can sit down and watch the movie in it's entirety. 

Mark your calendars for March 20, 2015 everyone! You are not going to want to miss this! 

-Shawnee Smith

December Challenge Day 12 - Holiday Story Re-Telling

Okay, this is probably the most challenging challenge day of the challenge. And yes, I am aware that I just said challenge three times in a sentence. 

I have looked and looked and looked and I can't seem to find anyone who has done a re-telling of a holiday story. I have found plays and movies, but no books. 

So, I was faced with a dilemma and came up with a solution. There is a fairy tale, the Snow Queen, that always reminds me of Christmas. I have found a few re-tellings of said fairy tale and I have chosen the one that sounds the most interesting to me. That story is...

Stork (Stork, #1)

"Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything.

Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life."

If you want to know ore about the December Challenge, you can click here. And happy Friday! 

-Shawnee Smith

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December Challenge Day 11-Cocoa and a Book/Currently Reading

Well I'm going to cheat on this one a little. I'm not drinking cocoa because I don't really feel like it right now...

Anyways...I am currently reading

Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2)

What It's About: "For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancĂ© cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever. 

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. 

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?"

What I Think So Far: I just got to chapter five and OH MY GOSH! Something really crazy just happened and I can't wait to read the rest of the book! Everything is going down right now and I'm only at chapter 5. What will happen for the rest of the book? I NEED TO KNOW! Excuse me while I go and devour this book.

If you want to check out more of the December Challenge, you can click here.

-Shawnee Smith

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Challenge day 10 - Frustrating Read

Well I already used my #1 choice for a frustrating read...I guess I will go with a book that is rather similar in format which is...

The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies, #3)

I know this book came out a few years ago and that there have been two more additions to the series,but I never made it past this installment. 

The main reason that I got frustrated with this series was that it was doing the whole first-person-point-of-view-but-I'm-not-going-to-tell-you-whose-POV-it-is thing and I absolutely HATE that. It gets me so confused and it's frustrating for me to read. 

So that was my choice for a frustrating read...

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click right here and you will be brought to the introduction page. 

-Shawnee Smith

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December Challenge Day 9 - Favorite POV

I have been thinking about this A LOT. And until now, I honestly had no idea what my 'Favorite POV' was.

But after thinking long and hard about this, I have chosen the most interesting POV that I have ever read....and that is...

The Book Thief

This book was written in the point of view of Death. Many would believe that POV would cause the book to be incredibly dark and the narration to be malicious, but that was not the case. Death was written as though he was tired of his job. Tired of constantly taking people away from their bodies after they had passed away. I thought this POV was incredibly inventive and it worked out so well! 

If you want to know more about the December Challenge, you can click here.

-Shawnee Smith

Monday, December 8, 2014

Library Haul

It's been a while since I have told you guys what I have just picked up from the library. I am happy to report that since it is almost my winter vacation (YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!) I have been collecting books to read when I am finally able to stop thinking about school.

A few days ago many of those books came in and I have been able to keep my paws off all but one of them. This is my latest library haul...

In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3)

The Impossible Knife of Memory


Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2)

And yes, In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken was the one books I was not able to keep my hand off! I have been waiting so long to read that book I instantly dove in and I LOVE IT SO FAR! I can't wait to finish it and then start one of the others.

Luckily my last final is on Thursday so I only have to resist for a few more days! 

-Shawnee Smith

December Challenge Day 8 - Best Cliffhanger

I remember the first time I read this cliffhanger. I was so mad that the story ended where it did. I wanted answers ASAP. But of course the world hates me and I have to wait for answers. I'm not good at waiting! 

What is this cliffhanger you might ask? That would the the ending of...

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

If you like this ending you and me need to have a little talk because it drove me INSANE! "Then the shouting begins." Like, COME ON.

It's seriously like a one sentence cliff hanger. It was so great I hated it. 

Anyways, if you want to learn more about the December Challenge, you can click right here

-Shawnee Smith

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December Challenge Day 7 - A Happily Ever After

Would you guys have any respect for me if I didn't choose

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)

as the subject for today's challenge? That's what I thought.

Isla and the girls that came before, Anna and Lola, all got their happily every afters. I immensley enjoyed reading each and every one of their stories and I was happy that each one of them got the ending that they wanted. 

Fairy Tales do exist. Sniffle. 

If you want to check out more about the December challenge, you can click here

Have a Happily Ever After.

-Shawnee Smith

New This Week

Week of December 8, 2014


For Real Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms, #3) King Dork Approximately Little White Lies

Princess of Thorns Suspicion Zodiac (Zodiac, #1)


The Feral Child Gasp My Chemical Mountain Of Beast and Beauty

Red Scowler Sleeping Jenny Top Ten Clues You're Clueless

-Shawnee Smith