October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 10.30.13

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming books that we're eagerly waiting for!



The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan
October 7, 2014
Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the "Argo II" have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen-all of them, and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood-the blood of Olympus-in order to wake.  
The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.  
The Athena Parthenos will go west; the "Argo II" will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

Ahhh! This book is WAY too far away for my liking at just short of a year until its release. Nevertheless, I'd still be excited if it was coming out five years from now. There isn't one bad thing I can say about these books.

October 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 10.29.13

Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's theme is (you guessed it) top ten books to read during Halloween. *cue the sighs* As I've mentioned in a few previous posts, scary books are not my thing. At all. I completely avoid them at all costs. Go ahead, you can say I'm a wimp. 

Anyway, I'm going to modify this a bit! Instead of doing top ten books to read during Halloween, I'm going to make a list of scary books that have been recommended to me. (Or rather, scary books that I would read if I had the courage.)

Here we go!


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - I actually bought this one, which I think I mentioned in a previous post. Oops. I will read it someday. I have to.

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia - I don't know if I'll ever read this, but apparently it's really creepy. If I do read it, it will be during the day.

Deep, Dark, and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn - I think it's a little obvious why I won't be reading this. On top of that, the cover is by far one of the creepiest covers I've seen. 

Ruined by Paula Morris - Another one I've bought. I think I tried to start it and it wasn't very good, but it could have just been that I was hesitant to read it.


Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake - Again, not something I want to be reading,  no matter how good it is. There's blood on her skirt, red leaves, and blowing wind. Not to mention the fact that she's walking towards a haunted house. *shudders*

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn - This is one I would actually consider reading. Despite the fact that it's supposed to be really creepy, the premise of the story looks really good. The cover is pretty too - not creepy at all. 

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke - I don't know much about this, but it sounds good. Sort of? 

I'm going to stop at seven, because there are no other scary books on my TBR list. Like I said, I'm a wimp. Oops. I guess Halloween isn't my best holiday.

That's all for this Tuesday! On a completely unrelated note, I did start reading Catching Fire, finally, so we'll see how that goes. :)

October 28, 2013

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Title: Allegiant (Divergent #3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publish Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

One choice will define you. 
What if your whole world was a lie?What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? 
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. 
But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. 
Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

After lots of thinking and plenty of emotional healing, I give you my review of Allegiant. It will be full of spoilers so if you have not read the book, don't read on.

I'm not kidding. Really. Stop reading.

Okay, so for the rest of you, I'm going to paste my reaction to the book about two minutes after I finished it in this post, just to give you an idea of why I could not possibly write a review until at least three days later. Just click the button to show or hide it. (Just a warning - it's practically a run-on sentence. I'm rambling the entire time.)



So I'm back now, slightly less emotional but still quite upset, and ready to write a review. I think.

Just to clear everything up, I honestly enjoyed this book. Because of my reaction and the rating I gave it (3.5 stars, which was not bad but isn't great), you may be under the impression that I didn't enjoy it. I did. That being said, there were a few aspects of the book that bothered me, and things I would have changed if I were Veronica Roth.

The first thing I didn't like was the whole scene when we ventured beyond the fence. I think I was okay with the whole GD/GP thing, but what I didn't like was how anticlimactic the whole chapter was. It seemed like nothing compared to the other main plot points, and I think it shouldn't have been this way - Roth spent a lot of time building up this big mystery of what was outside their small (in comparison to the world) city of Chicago, and then it's like nothing even happened. I have to say, I was a little bit disappointed.

Secondly, I struggled with the whole two POV deal. While I was initially excited about this aspect of the novel, I expected more from the author than what I got. I could never tell the difference between Tris and Tobias until they mentioned something about the other, and this led to me being constantly confused.

While we're on the topic of Tris and Tobias, I want to talk about their relationship. That is to say, I didn't like the way it was portrayed - or rather, it wasn't as special as in the other books, and I think it should have been the opposite, considering Tris's death in the end. They went off and on throughout the entire book, and this irritated me. The last book had all the relationship problems. Couldn't Tris and Tobias have been happy for the few months before Tris died? In addition to this, the arguments they had seemed petty and unrealistic at some points.

On the other hand, there were many things I enjoyed about the book. The writing style was the same smooth, fast-paced writing I have come to love and expect. The romance between Tris and Four was sweet and similar to the previous books (off and on business aside). I loved when they went back to the Ferris wheel. :)

And don't kill me when I say this, but I liked the ending. I think what Veronica Roth did was smart, and though I was sobbing my eyes out, it worked. I understand why she did it, and I think in the end - despite how many people are upset over it - killing Tris was good for the story, and it added to the series as a whole. I think a lot of readers need to step away from their emotional reaction and see the logistics of the whole thing.

Overall, I was satisfied with this final book in the series, despite the problems I encountered while reading. I applaud Veronica Roth for the Divergent trilogy, and I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us.

October 27, 2013

Super Six Sunday #10

Super Six Sunday is a book meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms

Today's topic is favorite supernatural creatures! I really like this topic, and it won't be too difficult to pick out a handful. :)


Incubus
There's something about incubuses I just love, probably because one of my favorite characters (who I will not reveal for the sake of those who haven't read this yet) becomes one.


Chimaera 
These creatures are so original, yet at the same time such a simple idea. I love the world Laini Taylor has created in her books, and the uniqueness of the chimaera adds to it.


Angels
Because who doesn't love angels?


Faeries
Faeries are used in many books, and can be depicted in many different ways. Though I never finished this series, and it wasn't all that great, I loved the way they were depicted in this series.


Werewolves
Or shape-shifters in general. I love this trilogy, and should definitely reread it when I get the chance.


Hippogriffs
Since the third book, I've had a soft spot for hippogriffs. I don't know what it is...I just love them. :)

That's it for today! Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!

October 26, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #11

Stacking the Shelves is a feature hosted by Tygna's Reviews. It's about sharing the books you got this week--virtual or physical--from the bookstore, the library, borrowed from friends, etc.

I got quite a haul this week - mainly from the library, but I did buy one book. And that book is...



Bought



That's right. Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I finished it last night after crying my eyes out. Not just a few stray tears, but full on sobbing. For reasons that I will not reveal for those of you who have not read the book. A review should be up by Monday, but I'm struggling with the rating right now. We'll see.


I also picked up quite a few books from the library, and among them are...



Borrowed




I've heard many good things about What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang, so I thought I'd pick it up - the same goes for 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil. Hopefully I'll have time to read them soon, but with NaNoWriMo coming up I'm not sure.


I grabbed Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski because I read her first book, How My Summer Went Up in Flames (review here) and really liked it.


There were many ARC reviews of Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller, and most of them were positive, so I thought it would be a good idea to pick up that one too.


That's my haul for this week! Any good books you bought/borrowed? Have you read any of these?

October 25, 2013

Let's Talk: Scary Books


Let's Talk is a weekly feature hosted by I Swim For Oceans. It's a discussion post with questions or prompts that have to do with books and reading (what else?). :)


With Halloween Being Next Week, What are Your Favourite Spooky/Creepy Reads?

I think I did a post with this same sort of idea a week or two ago. Like I emphasized in that post, scary is not my thing. Honestly, I get freaked out so easily it's sort of ridiculous. So I don't go out of my way to read scary books (except for one recent exception which I will mention in a moment). Because of this, I'm going to mention two books that scared me a few years ago when I read them.


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is a murder mystery, which I would never have picked up on my own. Ever. But it was required reading, so I didn't exactly have a choice. It did freak me out, but I actually quite enjoyed it.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a book I picked up because I had heard good things about it. I ended up loving it, but I only found out halfway through when I was already ensconced in the story that it was creepy. The sequel was even worse. Still, I kept reading. (Not a good idea. It was so freaked out.)

The following book is a book I chose to read - and buy, actually.


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  Long story short, I haven't read it yet. I got six pages in and the pictures creeped me out. But I will read it sometime (or so I keep telling myself).

That's the lowdown on creepy books (Emma style). On a completely - well, somewhat - unrelated topic, I have one hundred pages to go in Allegiant and am loving it, though I'm scared for the outcome. I should have a review up by Monday.

Until then! :)

October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 10.23.13

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming books that we're eagerly waiting for!



Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
February 4, 2014
The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love" 

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong. 

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.
I loved Shatter Me and Unravel Me, so I'm really excited for Ignite Me! The cover is really cool, too. :) 

October 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 10.22.13

Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Hey guys! Sorry I haven't been reading or posting as faithfully. Writing and reading don't make for a good match sometimes, and neither does House of Hades and the longing to read other books.

This week's theme is top ten most unusual or best character names! Let's get started. :)

1. Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer Trilogy) - Even though we find out that this isn't her real name the moment we open the book, I still love this character and the name she's been given.

2. Cassie or Cassiopeia (The 5th Wave) - I love the idea of being named after a constellation. It's such a gorgeous name that can be shorted to something so common and simple. Perfection. :)

3. America (The Selection Trilogy) - Again, not an usual thing itself, but an unusual thing to be used as a name. Though I think this name would bother me in other circumstances, I love the way it's used in these novels.

4. Isadora (The Chaos of Stars) - I don't know what it is, but I love everything about this book, and our MC's name just adds to the enchantment of it all.

5. Alaska (Looking for Alaska) - So this one is a bit of a given, but either way it's so unique and beautiful.

6. Stargirl (Stargirl) - The simplicity of this book is so nice, and her name is another element I really enjoyed.

7. Karou (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) - The fantasy elements of these couple books are so compelling, and I love the names to go along with it. (Akiva is another good one.)

8. June and Day (Legend Trilogy) - These names, while unique by themselves, even go together. (More proof that their relationship can work out, despite the ending of Prodigy! Sort of.)

9. Jade (The Nature of Jade) - I read this a while ago, but it's one of the few Deb Caletti books I really enjoyed. Her name isn't too unusual, but still out of the ordinary and extremely pretty.

10. Lina (Between Shades of Gray) - This novel was so sad, but I guess that's sort of beside the point. Anyway, I love the way her name is spelled and how it's sort of a twist on a common name. 

What are your favorite names? Bookish or otherwise? Leave comments! :)

October 20, 2013

Super Six Sunday #9

Super Six Sunday is a book meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms

The topic for this week is favorite book couples! I love this topic, because there are so many to choose from. :) I'll probably be leaving out a few, but here goes...


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This is the obvious choice - Hazel and Augustus. :) I couldn't leave them out.


The Percy Jackson Series / Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan
Percy and Annabeth are an obvious choice too, but they're another couple I just couldn't leave out. Percabeth is probably one of my favorite ships.


Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor
Karou and Akiva are somewhat of a new ship for me, but I just love them! An aspect of their relationship I really like is the fact that it's not all happy and perfect - in fact, it's quite the opposite. This helps make it more realistic.


Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
I adore this book so much (I spent half of the book crying my eyes out). Taylor and Henry's relationship was sweet, hopeful, and so real - I loved every aspect of it.


Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
In honor of Allegiant's release on Tuesday, I decided to add Tris and Four in here! It's been a while since I've read Divergent but this is the book that really got me hooked on YA dystopian novels.


Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver
And last but not least, Lena and Alex! I loved how their relationship grew and changed throughout the series, and the ending of the final novel was perfect.

That's it for today! I'm sorry I haven't been reading much...I'm still struggling after House of Hades. But I'll be reading Allegiant when it's released and hopefully that will get me back into it (though with NaNoWriMo coming up I can't promise anything). :)

October 19, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #10

Stacking the Shelves is a feature hosted by Tygna's Reviews. It's about sharing the books you got this week--virtual or physical--from the bookstore, the library, borrowed from friends, etc.

This week I bought two books that I'm ridiculously excited about!



Bought


I couldn't resist picking up Perfect Ruin for a couple different reasons, the main one being that I read Lauren DeStefano's Chemical Garden trilogy and really loved it. The second reason was simply because I've been anticipating it for a while. 

And just look at that cover. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful? Those of you who know me are aware that I'm a total sucker for the gorgeous covers, and I think this is one of my all-time favorites. Even the chapter pages, spine, and inside cover are beautiful. For example: 




I mean, I wasn't going to leave it on the shelf of Barnes and Noble for someone else to pick it up. It was mine the moment I set eyes on it! 

Hopefully I'll get around to it soon, if I ever get out of this reading slump -- ever since I read House of Hades, I've been struggling to read anything else. Since Allegiant comes out this week (eek!) (if you don't know what Allegiant is, click here), I should probably read it now. 

As you can see in the sidebar, I have been attempting to read Hourglass for a few days now, and it's not working out. Not because it's a bad book, but because -- again -- I'm still in that reading slump, and nothing seems to bring me out of it. I may try to read Perfect Ruin instead and see if that will get me going. :)

The next book I bought was The Darkest Minds, which I am SO ecstatic about! I've been hearing many good things, and it has been on my TBR list for a while, so we'll see what happens with this one.

That's all for today! Any new books you bought? Have you read either of these? Share your thoughts!

October 18, 2013

Let's Talk: Re-Reads


Let's Talk is a weekly feature hosted by I Swim For Oceans. It's a discussion post with questions or prompts that have to do with books and reading (what else?). :)


Do you ever re-read books that didn't work for you the first time around but have them work the next time? Has it ever worked the opposite for you?

This worked for me with a couple books - The Maze Runner and Beautiful Darkness, the sequel to Beautiful Creatures.
This wasn't exactly a re-read, but I struggled to read it initially. It was somewhat slow, and I was bored for a while before I really got into it. When I did get into it, I ended up really enjoying it and moving on to the next two books in the series. 

Beautiful Darkness was another book I struggled to get into. It fell into the category of those cliche sequels where the couple has relationship problems and is avoiding them for one reason or another...it just didn't appeal to me. However, when I reread it, I found I liked it much more than I had previously believed. Everything became better - the characters, plot, and overall theme. I'm not exactly sure why, but all I know is that it's now one I would willingly reread for a third time. :)

There are two others, but this time they're books I read and loved, and then reread and loved even more. These two books are Looking for Alaska by John Green and The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The Help isn't YA, but I read it a few years ago and still reread my favorite parts sometimes. It makes me cry every time, as does Looking for Alaska.

That's all for today! Any thoughts? I love comments. :)

October 17, 2013

Cover Reveal + Giveaway + Exclusive Excerpt: Scintillate by Tracy Clark

Today Tracy Clark and Entangled Teen Ember are revealing the cover for SCINTILLATE, which will be coming out in February 2014!

On to the reveal! :)

About the Book
Title: SCINTILLATE
Author: Tracy Clark
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1622661459
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and living in Ireland. Since then, Dad has been more than overprotective and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she is suddenly seeing around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver. 
Troubled by these strange flickerings and fearing she is being stalked, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother. 
There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—a conspiracy that could end her life and change mankind forever. 
Scintillate is the first book in this lush and exciting new trilogy, full of romance, adventure and metaphysical mystery.

Exclusive Excerpt!

Finn began to play. Voices descended into a respectful hush. Soft strums of the guitar lifted and fell on shafts of daylight from the windows. A small patch of sun warmed my exposed neck as I listened. The orange beads of his bracelet flashed as he plucked the strings with slender fingers. His head hung over the guitar in reverent concentration.

His playing was amazing, sweet and peaceful. For a while I let go of how bizarre my life had become. I was entranced long before Finn closed his eyes and opened his mouth to sing. His voice was rich, smooth suede, perfectly suited for the blues: soulful and vulnerable. The kind of voice that reaches inside and squeezes what’s tender.

When he sang an Irish bar song called “The Wild Rover,” he got the entire crowd to join in on the chorus. A couple of times during his performance, his gaze fell on me and lingered as if he sang directly to me. I rested my chin on my hand, hiding my smile behind my fingers. The last song was in a language I didn’t understand, but my soul spoke that language. Deep inside, something cracked open so that a bit of my truest self could peek out. His music was bluesy and mournful, eerily familiar, and it opened my heart in locked places. A tear landed on my wrist.

When the final chord of the last song reverberated through the coffeehouse, the audience jumped to its feet and applauded wildly. The force of energy from the crowd knocked the breath out of me, making me dizzy. I dared a look at the people in the room. The colors were unbelievable! Such power. It rolled toward Finn in a wave, a tsunami in slow motion. I had the impulse to leap in front of him, to protect him from it.

My body jerked in response to the thought, and I squeezed the sides of the wooden chair, willing myself to sit still. I couldn’t trust myself and the strong urge to protect him. But from what? The big, bad colors I could see but that were invisible to everyone else? He’d think I was crazy.

Maybe I was.

A chill spidered up my spine. The man with the crazy eyes and pure white aura leaned against the brick wall a couple feet away, staring intently at me. Icy fear spiked through me, making my fingers tingle and my breath come in quick bursts. The sounds of the room fell away. My heart sped and my aura sparked as I saw the roiling ball of the crowd’s energy pass over the man and collide with Finn. But rather than crush him, the energy crashed and blended with his own bright aura, making it grow and pulse fiercely. He seemed to absorb the light until the room grew dim to my eyes.

Untouched by the energy, the strange man moved closer and closer to me. I called out to Dun, but he couldn’t hear me over the shouts and clapping. I was so small in my chair amid the standing crowd. The man and his dark eyes were all I could see. I tried to leap up to run, to grab Dun’s arm, to call for help, but my chest jerked toward the stranger as if I’d been punched in the spine. I couldn’t draw breath, couldn’t move through the thick ice of my draining energy and rising panic. I was hit in the face with a blast of air. Then, a sudden flash of white.

The world tilted sideways, and I slid off.


About Tracy:
Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they're going through, they aren't alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self. 
She grew up a "valley girl" in Southern California but now resides in her home state of Nevada with her daughter and son. She's an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat. She is the recipient of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant and a two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. 
Her debut novel, SCINTILLATE, was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.


Giveaway!


1 ebook of SCINTILLATE and a charm key US Only
1 eBook of SCINTILLATE International

a Rafflecopter giveaway

October 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 10.16.13

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming books that we're eagerly waiting for!



The One by Kiera Cass
May 6, 2014
The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen. 
America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants. 
From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

I was slightly disappointed by The Elite (review here), the sequel to the original book in this trilogy, The Selection. Despite this, I'll still be reading The One in the spring!

October 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 10.15.30

Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

So today we're talking about books we were forced to read! There are so many of these, but I picked a handful of the most recent ones - some I loved, some I didn't.

Fever by Laurie Halse Anderson - I was assigned this for school a few years ago, and was anticipating trudging through a completely drab and boring book, but when I began reading, I immediately loved it!

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls - Again, this was assigned to me a year or two ago. I was a little skeptical, but knew I would adore it the moment I read the first page. Needless to say, I ended up crying my eyes out when I reached the end (partly because it was over, and partly because the ending was ridiculously sad).

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodge Burnett - I have nothing to say about this book, except that I absolutely hated it. Boring, drab, and all that jazz. I don't understand the appeal whatsoever.

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli - This wasn't a bad book, though I didn't like it as much as I would have hoped. I remember it was quite sad, though, and probably not something I would enjoy re-reading.

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson - I didn't love this book, but I didn't hate it either. It was somewhat
enjoyable, though it did grow very slow in some parts and I had to force myself to keep reading. But I did like the characters, and I think I may have cried towards the end (which isn't saying much, since I cry at the smallest sad things).

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - Similar to Hattie Big Sky, I didn't love or hate this book. Though I have to say, I did like it slightly less than Hattie Big Sky, as fantasy isn't my thing and I struggled to grow accustomed to Tolkien's writing (hence my excuse for not having begun the LOTR).

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - I despised the first hundred or so pages of this book. After that, it didn't quite get better, but I got comfortable with the writing pace and characters, and was upset when it ended - I became attached to the story and the people in it, mainly because I spent so much time with it (the book is around five hundred pages long, even with a small font).

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie - It's somewhat of a coincidence that I mentioned this book in my last post, too. :) Anyway, despite being thoroughly freaked out, I had fun with this book - the plot line, the characters, everything.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - This is one of my new favorite assigned reading books! I really loved the messages it sent and the characters in this novel - it's definitely one I'll be re-reading.

A Midsummer Night's Dream by (you guessed it) William Shakespeare - ...the first and only Shakespeare I've read so far, and I adored it. I can't wait to read more of his works!

What about you? Any assigned reading books you liked/didn't like? Share your thoughts!