Monthly Archives: February 2015

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE REREADING BOOKS

I love books. I love books so much that I think some of my friends and family members may secretly be planning an intervention. I talk about fictional characters like they’re friends. I ship romances like it’s a full time job. I invest not just time into a story that I am reading, but my emotions as well. My hopes and dreams and happiness and sadness all mesh with the characters and I get swept away with the events and actions on each page. 
So after I’ve read a book, once I’ve recovered from the “I just finished a book hangover” and the book is back on my shelf, it’s been rated on Goodreads, and the review has been written… what’s next? 
Well, you can keep the book, you can donate it, share it with friends (who would appreciate it, of course! There’s nothing worse than lending someone a book you LOVE and they’re just like, “It was okay.”)

Or you can… REREAD IT! What do you mean, REread it? Like, read it again? Yeah. Duh. That’s exactly what I mean.
So why would I ever push someone to reread a book? For many reasons! But here are just a few.
1. THE FEELS. 
Books can completely sideline you with feels. Think of a book that you read that totally swept you off your feet, left you hoping, dreaming – a book you couldn’t get off your mind even once you finished it. Why would you not want to feel that again? 
2. YOU NEVER READ THE SAME STORY TWICE.
Whether we think about it or not, whatever book we read can be influenced by what is currently going on around you. If you’re reading in a quiet environment you may retain more than if you were reading say in the middle of a crowded room – like a doctor’s office or lunch room at work. We also tend to read characters differently depending on what’s going on in your life at the moment. You may sympathize more towards a character who just got dumped if you recently experienced it, but reread that book a few years later when you’re in a secure relationship and you may see that character differently. 
3. YOU PICK UP ON THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THE FIRST TIME. 
 It’s 2am and you are twenty pages away from finishing an amazing book – but your eyes… are closing… No! Must… finish… book…
Yep – we have all been there! And think about that chapter you rushed to finish, or the scene that just wasn’t all that interesting but realize later on that you should’ve paid more attention to it. It’s happened to us all, and I always catch stuff I missed the first time around on a reread. This goes hand in hand with #2 about never reading the same story twice. One thing you missed the first time may completely change your feelings the second time around.
4. ANOTHER BOOK IN THE SERIES IS COMING OUT – TIME TO REFRESH THAT MEMORY!
I have trouble remembering things that happened in book one when book four is coming out. This is a great time to reread the first few books in the series – if you need to. This is where note taking comes in handy while reading, but it isn’t always doable. Rereading can enhance the remainder of the series for you – if the subsequent books don’t give little “reminders”. Richelle Mead is great at reminders in her Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series. I can pick up any book and remember most of what occurred in the previous books.
5. BECAUSE ITS FUN TO REREAD SOMETHING THAT YOU LOVED TO BEGIN WITH!
‘Nuff Said!
Happy Reading!
Laura

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BOOK CHAT {1} City of Bones – The Mortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare

Hey Guys!
So today I am doing my first Book Chat post, which will be replacing my old style of reviews. I hope you like it! Be sure to comment below and let me know if you do, and what you thought of City of Bones.
CITY OF BONES
The Mortal Instruments #1
Cassandra Clare
My Rating: 4 Stars Goodreads Rating: 4.12 Stars
LIKES
– Unique story and ideas
– Good cast of characters with lots of potential – Excited to see the character development throughout the remainder of the series.
– Variety of supernatural races – Downworlders.
– Good world-building.
– Fast paced. 
DISLIKES
– Third person narration. It made it difficult to connect with and give individual voices to the characters.
– The writing wasn’t the greatest.
– The characters felt 2 Dimensional; lacking depth.
– The Jace and Clary spoiler.
– There was not a lot of development in Clary as a character, considering what she is going through and learning. There is a lot of potential as she is witty and snarky.
– Info dumping – there is A LOT of information to sort through and remember.
– The characters didn’t feel as close as they were supposed to be. Jace to the Lightwoods for example.
– Jace is really actually a giant douche.
MY THOUGHTS
It took me forever to finally read this one – and having added it to my Winter 2014-2015 TBR I finally gave in and read it.  Though I rated it a 4 out of 5 Stars on Goodreads, I think I’m leaning more towards a 3.5. I liked this book but I didn’t really like it, and I didn’t love it. I know there is a lot of articles online about plagarism with Cassandra Clare, and while reading it I didn’t pick up on that, but afterwards I read a few articles and yes there are similarities, cliche even to the genre, BUT I think the story was unique enough that it captured my curiosity and held my interest.
Clare’s writing style really leaves a lot to be desired. There are horrible similes littering the pages, and there is little to no character development in my opinion. But there was enough good to keep me reading, and I do look forward to finishing the series – even though I’m currently forcing myself to keep reading the second book. There is just that je nais sais pas that is missing that keeps me from really loving this series and wanting to read the books. I’m taking longer reading them than is necessary because I find myself getting bored with the characters. It could also be that I’m sort of on the edge of a book slump that it’s hard to keep me focused, but I’m taking a break and will come back once I find my drive to read.

WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK? I think so. I think there is enough good that I’d happily suggest it to other paranormal fantasy readers.

Happy Reading!
Laura

CONFESH SESH {1} Finding Blogging Balance + BookTube

Hey Bookworms!
I’ve been rebranding my blog and social media, if you haven’t noticed. This all comes on the heels of my newly created BookTube channel, which I wanted to have everything branded the same; and I felt that with all of the changes that I was making that it was time to rebrand. So long The Little Pink Book Boutique – and hello LauraZReads. Sure, it’s not catchy, maybe a little cliche, but it works and it fits and so that is what it is!
You can also follow my new Facebook page HERE
So I have set up a schedule for myself that I think is going to be agreeable to my new lifestyle as a mommy and still be able to blog, read, etc. Here is that schedule:
MONDAY: Original Blog Post
FRIDAY: Original BookTube Video/Vlog
That’s it! Well, okay, maybe not completely it. The rest of the week is open for me to work on creating worthwhile content, as well as participating in any Tags or Book Tours/Release Day Launches/Book Blitzes etc. Reviews will be published as I finish books and post them. I cannot guarantee any number or reviews to be up per month right now, but will try my hardest to do as many as possible.
Which brings me to my next topic. Review Overhaul! I’m changing my review format. How? I’m not entirely sure yet, but they will be more summarized than a full, drawn out book report. For now, anyway – and for books that it works with. There will still be books that will get a full review, but this summarized version will leave me more time to read and get more up here for you. [Feel free to comment below with any suggestions you may have for my new review format. Something you love reading or maybe that you utilize on your blog.]
 I know that I’ve been pretty wishy-washy and back and forth with blogging/not blogging but it’s honestly been such a tough decision for me because I LOVE to blog and read, but haven’t found the right way to balance it with my new life, as I stated above. My life has been hijacked by a 7 month old, dirty diapers, breastfeeding sessions, little to no sleep, and I worry it might be harder for younger readers of my blog to understand or care because they are high school or college students and most likely not dealing with an infant. But then i remember that half of the bloggers out there are mommies and I need to be easier on myself! And so, that is why I’m doing this schedule, and once I can do more, I will. If that doesn’t happen for a year or so, that’s okay too. Because I’m okay with it.
Keep on Reading – one page at a time,
Laura

JANUARY WRAP UP + FEBRUARY TBR

This was supposed to be a video, but it was just not a good day to film! Three tries later, and a blog post it is!
So for the month of January I managed to read 3 books. That may not be a lot for most people, but for me, it’s 1/5 of what I read for all of 2014! I’ll take it.
So what did I read? Check it out!
Book #4 of the Women of the Otherworld Series
By: Kelley Armstrong
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Meet the smart, sexy—supernatural—Women of the Otherworld. This is not your mother’s coven…

Kelley Armstrong returns with the eagerly awaited follow-up to Dime Store Magic. Paige Winterbourne, a headstrong young woman haunted by a dark legacy, is now put to the ultimate test as she fights to save innocents from the most insidious evil of all…

In the aftermath of her mother’s murder, Paige broke with the elite, ultraconservative American Coven of Witches. Now her goal is to start a new Coven for a new generation. But while Paige pitches her vision to uptight thirty-something witches in business suits, a more urgent matter commands her attention.

Someone is murdering the teenage offspring of the underworld’s most influential Cabals—a circle of families that makes the mob look like amateurs. And none is more powerful than the Cortez Cabal, a faction Paige is intimately acquainted with. Lucas Cortez, the rebel son and unwilling heir, is none other than her boyfriend. But love isn’t blind, and Paige has her eyes wide open as she is drawn into a hunt for an unnatural-born killer. Pitted against shamans, demons, and goons, it’s a battle chilling enough to make a wild young woman grow up in a hurry. If she gets the chance.

MY THOUGHTS IN A SENTENCE: Enjoyable and quick read with a heroine that grows from a meek, shy girl into a kick ass witch!

MY GOODREADS RATING: 4.0 STARS out of 5.0 STARS
Book #1 of The Mortal Instruments Series
By: Cassandra Clare
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end


MY THOUGHTS IN A SENTENCE: While action-packed and adventure filled, the writing lacked and the third person narrative left the characters flat and 2D.

MY GOODREADS RATING: 4.0 STARS out of 5.0 STARS
Book #2 in the Outlander Series
By: Diana Gabaldon
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: With her now-classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon introduced two unforgettable characters — Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser—delighting readers with a story of adventure and love that spanned two centuries. Now Gabaldon returns to that extraordinary time and place in this vivid, powerful follow-up to Outlander….

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones … about a love that transcends the boundaries of time … and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his….

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart … in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising … and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves….

MY THOUGHTS IN A SENTENCE: Jamie Fraser. (That is all.)

MY GOODREADS RATING: 5.0 STARS out of 5.0 STARS
 
And now… for my February TBR… but first, a few words. I plan to do a full blog post or video on the topic of how I choose my next book to read, but I will just sum it up by saying rarely do I ever choose ahead of time what I’ll read next. I created a Winter 2014-2015 TBR because these are books that I’ve wanted to read soon anyway. But I leave myself wiggle room to choose something else if the desire arises. Case in point – half the books I picked are the 1st of a series. I read City of Bones and now I want to finish the series! So that takes time away from the other books on the list. So here are two off my Winter TBR that I hope to get to this month.
Book #1 in the Broken Destiny Series
By: Jeaniene Frost
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

 
Book #3 in the Throne of Glass Series
By: Sarah J. Maas
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

What books did you guys read in Janurary, and what are you hoping to get to in February? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to my BookTube channel so you can be up to date on all of my latest videos!
Keep On Reading,
Laura