My Completed Series | 2016

I have been talking a lot about how many series I have yet to finish, but there are series I have finished. This list has been growing slowly over the past few years and I can't wait to see it grow even more. Considering that I am in the book community this isn't the biggest list but it's always growing.

1) Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling 

2) The Hunger Games

3) Percy Jackson and the Olympians

4) A Love Story by Christopher Moore

5) Divergent

6) Boxers & Saints

7) Shatter Me

8) Penryn & The End of Days

There many be other series that I read when I was younger and I have forgotten. I also want to include The Selection series but now that more books have come out and I plan on reading them so it's currently not included. Hopefully, I can get this list to grow more and more. 

Review: This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Publication: 01/05/2016 by Sourcebooks
Pages: 285 Pages
Format: Library Hardback
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary:
10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

My Thoughts: 
I have no idea how to rate this book. It's a pretty controversial topic and this book wasn't easy to read. It scared the living daylights out of me. I am not from the United States, but the fear of a shooting happening is very real across the world. I am currently a university student who spends a lot of time in large auditorium style lecture halls, so the fear is very real. 

I had a very hard time putting this book down. I needed to know what happened to all the characters. I could have easily read this book in one sitting. The story was extremely scary and my adrenaline was racing for most of the book. I don't know how realistic the story was but I did find it to be believable for the most part. I kept getting flash backs to when I read Columbine, and saw parallels between the attacks. In addition, the school described sounded eerily similar to the school I went to which added an extra element for me. 

However, I did have some issues with the story. First, is that this would have become the deadliest school shooting in history if it was real. If I remember correctly, there was 39 fatalities which is a humongously devastating. Considering the area in which the attack happened it would be realistic, and worse attacks can happen at any time but it just seems very big based on the narrative given. The shooter was picking and choosing victims which takes time, but it would still have been a devastating attack.

What I didn't find realistic at all was the way the police handled the situation. Police would not just wait for a SWAT team, they would immediately enter the school in groups and try to find the perpetrator. Police have not taken the approach described in this book since Columbine in 1999! Because of Columbine they changed the tactic on how to handle active shooter scenarios and now enter immediately. There shouldn't be any scenario anymore where the shooter has upwards on an hour without the police attempting to intervene. Yes, the school in the book was out in the middle of no where. But there was enough officers on scene after the first few minutes that they would have been able to enter the school. 

Overall, this book was emotional and horrifying. I kept me on the edge of my seat and made my heart race. I really liked that the points of views that we got were close to the shooter (good or bad), which created a lot of inner conflict. However, the response time of the police is what bothered me the most. They would have been in the building much, much faster and it feel like there wasn't enough research into how police actually approach these situations in now. In the end, very thought provoking and scary. Worth the read.

Series Were I Am Waiting for the Next Book | 2016

I am not behind in every series, even though it feels like I am. This list is the series that I am caught up on, and waiting for the next book to come out. Some series I am waiting more patiently than others for but I am not super behind, at least for now. The publications dates of these are always subject to change, as we all know to well, so this is what they were as of the writing of this post.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Waiting for: Frost Like Night (September 20, 2016)

I love this series! I can't wait to see what the finale is going to bring us. I already have it pre-ordered, which isn't something I normally do but for this series it's necessary. I can't wait till this book comes out and I can put it on my completed series list.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan 
Waiting for: The Hammer of Thor (October 4, 2016)

Rick Riordan's books are super fun and I really enjoyed the first book in this series. Since I am behind on all of Riordan's other series, I want to try to keep up with this one. As long as there isn't spoilers for The Heroes of Olympus anyway...

An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Waiting for: A Torch Against the Night (August 30, 2016)

An Ember in the Ashes was huge last summer, and I expect people will be running to pick up this book when it comes out. I am excited to see where this series goes. I will probably have to do some refreshing of what happened in An Ember in the Ashes but I am definitely game for the sequel.

The Worldwalker Trilogy by Josephine Angelini 
Waiting for: Witch's Pyre (September 20, 2016) 

This isn't the best series, but I have been having fun reading it. I read the first book Trial By Fire last summer and I am interested in seeing how this series ends. I don't know what is going to happen but I will be waiting for this book to come out so I can find out.

The Witchlands by Susan Dennard 
Waiting for: Windwitch (January 3, 2017) 

I only just finished Truthwitch but I an intrigued enough to see what the second book brings us. I saw lots of potential in the first book and need to see where it goes. I wasn't as blown away by Truthwitch as other people, but now that I am familiar with the world I think the sequel will be awesome.

What sequels or continuations are you looking forward too? I love to talk about series and see what other people are in the middle of or completed. I can't wait for these book to come out so I can finally add more series to my completed series list.

Review: Fifteen Lanes by S.J. Laidlaw

I received this book through Netgalley for an honest review. 

Genre: Contemporary
Publication: 04/05/2016 by Tundra Books
Pages: 304 Pages
Format: eArc
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary:
Noor has lived all of her fourteen years in the fifteen lanes of Mumbai’s red light district. Born into a brothel, she is destined for the same fate as her mother: a desperate life trapped in the city’s sex trade. She must act soon to have any chance of escaping this grim future.

Across the sprawling city, fifteen-year-old Grace enjoys a life of privilege. Her father, the CEO of one of India’s largest international banks, has brought his family to Mumbai where they live in unparalleled luxury. But Grace’s seemingly perfect life is shattered when she becomes a victim of a cruel online attack.When their paths intersect, Noor and Grace will be changed forever. Can two girls living in vastly different worlds find a common path?

My Thoughts
Another hard book to rate. This book covers some dark and hard to swallow topics. When I started reading this book, I was drawn into the story and had a hard time putting this book down. It wasn't a perfect novel but it's very eye opening and engaging. It would be a fantastic introduction to the topic of the sex trade for a younger reader. I didn't find the story too devastating but it really shed a light on an important topic.

I have always really enjoyed stories from other cultures than my own. We are often blind to the struggles others go through, and books like Fifteen Lanes can help give readers perspective. I found this book well written and the characters were easy to connect with. You felt for Noor and the dangers her and her siblings faced living in a red light district of India.

However, I did find that this book was fairly predictable. I guessed how Grace's whole conflict would play out from the beginning. I have seen this story line in many other books and movies so it didn't feel refresh to me. Grace was definitely from privilege, and it made her very naive. On the other hand, Noor's character was fantastic. She acted in ways that you would expect, and you could see her motivations and drives.

All in all, this was a very good read. I would highly recommend this to younger readers who are looking for an introduction into more difficult topics. As someone who has read many books in this genre, I wasn't blown away by this story in particular. But it is a strong book, very engaging and a fantastic addition to the YA genre.

Series I Need to Catch Up On | 2016

Time to talk about series again. Last time I talked about the finished series I need to finish. Now it's time to talk about series that are not fully published yet but I am still in the middle of. I have started a lot of new series, but I struggle to keep up with the new releases. Let's talk series:

1) The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson 
Read so far: The Kiss of Deception 

I listened to The Kiss of Deception on audio last fall, but I have bee putting off reading The Heart of Betrayal. I have even checked it out from the library more than once, and it just sat waiting for me to read. With the last book in the series coming out at the end of the summer, I need to catch up with this series. I think that this series has lots of potential to grow and I am interested in continuing.

 2) The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella 
Read of far: Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic and Sister, Shopaholic and Baby. 

Does this series ever end? We will never know (unless it has and I just didn't get the news). I am actually not too far behind considering it's currently an 8 book series. I am only 3 behind and I use these as light, easy read to read stories. Yes, Becky can drive me nuts but I like following her story. Hopefully, I'll get at least one more read soon.

3) The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Read so far: The 5th Wave 

I was iffy on The 5th Wave after reading it and I have heard no so great things about the second book, The Infinite Sea. I am currently waiting in line for the audiobook of it at my library so I will see how I feel about it for myself soon. The last book comes out this month but I probably won't be caught up by the time it comes out.

4) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Read so far: Throne of Glass

I really loved the first book when I read it earlier this year. I now have all the currently published books sitting on my bedside table just waiting for me. I really want to pick up the next book, it's one of my top priority books. I don't think I will be able to catch up before the next book in the series is published but I do want to keep continuing and not put too much pressure on myself to catch up.

5) The Magisterium by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Read so far: The Iron Trial

I just finished reading The Iron Trial and I really enjoyed it. I think it's going to be a really exciting series so I need to catch up. I'm only one book behind so I can catch up quickly before the 3rd book comes out in August. So far I have high hopes for this series.

6) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Read so far: A Court of Thorns and Roses

I read this book when it came out last year and really enjoyed it so I have been impatiently waiting for the sequel to come out. I don't feel so bad that I haven't read it yet because A Court of Mist and Fury only came out a few weeks ago and I have been away. This is on my top priority TBR.

7) The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Read so Far: The Wrath and the Dawn 

I didn't even realize that The Rose and the Dagger is out already! I haven't seen that many people talk about it so I though there would be. I can't wait to pick up the sequel since it's a duology I can finish this up quickly and add another series to my completed series list. I am waiting for my library to get a copy of The Rose and the Dagger because I am poor.

What series do you need to catch up on? I feel like I am swimming in series and having a hard time keeping up. I think that's the problem with running a book blog!

Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Genre: Fantasy
Publications: 09/09/2014 by Scholastic
Series: The Magisterium #1
Pages: 295 Pages
Format: Overdrive Audiobook
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

Goodreads Summary:
Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.
Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

My Thoughts:
I was really surprised with this book. I didn't have extremely high expectations because I have heard lots of mixed reviews about it. But this book grabbed my attention from the beginning and I was drawn right into the story. A lot of people compared it to Harry Potter, which I didn't see (at least in this first book). I felt that it had a unique magic system and the Magisterium itself was an interesting setting. 

This story took some really interesting twists and turns. Some of them were predictable, but considering this book is targeted for middle grade audiences they made sense. However, I was surprised by most of the plot twists. I also really enjoyed the characters. Their motivations were strong and I am excited to see where the series takes them.

I think this will be a really interesting series and I am planning on picking up The Copper Gauntlet soon from my library. I would highly recommend this book to lovers of middle grade adventure books. I have high hopes for this series, 2 thumbs up.

Finished Series I Need to Finish | 2016

Like many of us readers out there I am terrible at finishing series. There are so many things I want to read and sometimes finishing series doesn't always make the top of my TBR. I really want to try and finish more series. Here are the series were all the books are published but I am still in the middle of them.

1) The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Left to Finish: City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire

This is a big series. I only became invested after reading City of Glass and I decided to continue on after reading that one. But I want to read The Infernal Devices before I continue on with TMI or at least read them in publication order. Which now means I have 6 more books to read. So many words. Hopefully, I'll get to some of these books soon!

2) The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Left to Finish: Princess in Training, Party Princess, Princess on the Brink, Princess Mia, Forever Princess, The Royal Wedding

I don't think I read these books when I was younger so I want to catch up on what I was missing before the Royal Wedding. I listen have been listening to them on audio from the library and I'll hopefully be done soon. They are pretty short so maybe I'll get through them all.

 3) Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson 
Left to Finish: Well of Ascension, Hero of Ages 

I very much plan to finish reading these this summer but I have put them off until I finished school. I loved The Final Empire, and I am excited to keep going in this series. They are pretty big books so hopefully it won't take too long for me too get to.

4) Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Left to Finish: The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades, The Blood of Olympus 

I really want to get into this series more and get caught up on Riordan's recent releases. I read The Percy Jackson series years ago, so it's time I finish the continuation. I also really want to read the new series coming about about Apollo but I think I should finish this series first.

 5) Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris 
Left to Finish: Thrice Upon a Marigold

I read the first book all the way back in 6th or 7th grade and I fell in love with it. It's absolutely adorable and it's one of my favourites. However, the sequel wasn't as awesome but it won't take me long to actually finish this series. Just need to wander to the library and grab it.

  6) The Giver Quartette by Lois Lowry
  Left to finish: Gathering Blue, Messenger, Son

  I got a beautiful bind up of this quartette when the movie was coming out but I  somehow only read The Giver. I do have finishing this series on my 2016 goals  so I should probably get around to reading some of the others.

7) The Royal Circle by Katherine Longshore
Left to Finish: Tarnish, Brazen

This is a companion series that follows different wives of King Henry VIII. If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know that I absolutely adore Henry because he is a extremely complex and interesting historical figure. I love reading stories based on his life, so these books are right up that alley.

The series I need to finish list is growing everyday it seems. These are only the series where all the books are published. Hopefully, I can pull some more off this list in the future and keep a look out for more lists about series I need to finish.