Book Love: Perfect Holiday Book

It’s that time of year. The first day of winter is upon us (today actually) and that usually means ones thing, especially here in Massachusetts, reading inside with tea/ chocolate while the snow falls outside. Although I’m hoping this year is nothing like last year…I’m looking at you 100+ inches of snow within like a month…I do like my reading time.  And if you are like me you love a good winter romance to snuggle up with and that is exactly what I’m telling you about today.

Book Love: Perfect Holiday BookMy True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Published: October 14th 2014
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you're going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

I read this book last year and it just made me smile. It brought a lot of my favorite authors together with 12 short winter/holiday themed stories and gave me a taste of some other authors that were knew to me. It is the perfect gift to get someone for the holidays or to buy for your self when you are sitting at home snuggled under a blanket.

What is even better? Well the fabulous editor of My True Love Gave to Me, Ms. Stephanie Perkins, will be back in just in time for a summer version with another fabulous 12 authors in Summer Days and Summer Nights ( St. Martin’s Griffin, June 2016) available for pre-order now!

Book Love: Perfect Holiday BookSummer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, Jennifer E. Smith
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.


Continue Reading

Review: Allegiant – Veronica Roth

Review: Allegiant – Veronica RothAllegiant by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #3
Published by Harper Teen
Published: October 22nd 2013
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

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.

2NOTE: Before I get into anything in regards to this book I am stating right now and as clear as day that there will be spoilers in this review. If I could get around it I would but it is basically impossible based on this being a last book in a series and what actually went down in the book. If you do not want to be spoiled I suggest that you stop reading right now, pick up the book, and then come back and see what I have to say.

First things first, Allegiant was by far the best series ending I have ever read. Now with saying this I have to tell you my sentiment is in the minority. People are furious with how this book ended. They feel cheated and they feel used and there is a huge controversy brewing over this. But for me Allegiant was the perfect ending for a series about choices and it really couldn’t have gone any better. It broke my heart, gave me such book anxiety that I was dreaming about the characters(a good Theo James dream never hurt anyone!) and affected me in a way a series never has before. Veronica Roth made a gutsy choice much like3 the choices in the series and I applaud her for that decision.

Allegiant is the final chapter in the story of Tris, Four and company and dystopian Chicago. After the cliffhanger ending that was Insurgent and the death and carnage that was Divergent Allegiant is the story of what is outside the city walls. About what is true and what has been falsified. About how the city came to be what it is today. About the choices we all make. About life and death. Armed with the knowledge that there is life outside the city walls Tris and Four and a few other familiar faces journey away from the tumultuous world where Evelyn(Four’s mother) is a tyrannical leader to an unknown place that is as strange as it is familiar. Integrating themselves into this new society which has no factions but a Bureau and a clear division between what is known as GPs(genetically pure) and GDs(genetically damaged). As lies begin to be uncovered and sides are drawn Tris and Four have to make some hard choices that could affect themselves, their loved ones and 4their relationship forever.

Okay so I’m the first to admit that Allegiant is very heavy with the world building which is completely understandable in this case. Us, as readers, needed a clear picture of just exactly was taking place outside the fence. And even though it is heavy with world building I think Roth did it pretty flawlessly by never using 50 words when 10 could suffice(a pet peeve of mine) and making sure we felt like part of the world, could see all sides of the argument, had a choice on what to believe ourselves. And although it was a lot of information I think it aided in the story as we got to see just what this characters were up against. Simply put, discrimination was happening between the GPs and the GDs and Roth made sure the readers saw that so we understood the choices that Tris and Four had whether we agreed with them or not.

Another part of Allegiant that was different but worked was the use of dual points of views. From the first two books we only got to see Tris perspective, her thoughts on things, her reasoning behind why she was behaving the way she was. Making another tough decision Roth decided to tell Allegiant using5 Four’s voice as well and I have to say I was a little worried about this when I heard the announcement that this would be the set up for Allegiant. But in true Roth fashion she made a believer out of me. From the first time a chapter was from Four’s POV I knew exactly why she had decided to go that route and I embraced it. I was no longer left to wonder what was going on in the sexy, former Dauntless instructors head. I no longer had to wonder if he really had any flaws or doubts or self-esteem issues. It was nice to finally see Four as a broken boy that felt uncertain of his past and of his future and of himself. Up until this point it was hinted at that he didn’t want to be like his father and that was a fear of his, but Allegiant brought it to the surface and showed just how much damage was done emotionally to him by both of his parents.

Allegiant also showed the growth of Tris. In Divergent she was a naive girl just trying to fit in and do what she thought was right. In Insurgent she was a girl that had demons she couldn’t escape and in trying to do so became self-destructive and 6had no thoughts for the others that loved her. But in Allegiant Tris was his powerhouse girl that made tough calls and no longer was a adrenaline junkie. She grew up and was ready to do what was right and to make the choices she had to. Was this damning to her relationship to Four at times, it was, but I also understood where it was coming from. The ups and downs in their relationship, although uncomfortable for me to read, were natural as they made choices the other didn’t agree with, but I never once didn’t feel the love or the connection or their emotional bond. Someone in the book said it best, they were really good for each other.

But really, all of my thoughts on the above is nothing compared to what happened in the final 10% of the book that rocked a fan base across the world. A decision that was so gutsy that it left infuriated people in its wake. Roth did the one thing that 8very few authors are will to do. She killed off one of her main characters…she killed off Tris. And you know what, she made the right decision. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, I cried, straight up ugly cry, sobbing for the last 30 minutes of reading this book. My heart was 100% shattered and it ached when I was finished. But I still think one of the most gusty calls was the right call because everything aside it fit right in with everything that we knew about Tris and the Divergent series from the beginning. This series from the get go was about choices. The Choosing Ceremony, picking faction over blood, choosing sides, choosing violence over piece, choosing the city over life outside the fence, choosing to live or die, choosing to leave. Everything was about choices and when it came down to it the biggest choice had to be made by Tris and she did it in a way she never thought fit her. She did it after being told time and time again that she would never have this characteristic. She did it out of pure selflessness and that is why Roth made the right call. Tris was one of the most selfless people in the book and by giving her life, her safety up to save the lives of all of the people that had helped her and touched her and loved her, she did the most selfless thing a person could do. She choose them.

So yes, I know that my opinion is on an island of its own. I know that Allegiant is unfairly being racked through the coals and I9 also know that if people took a minute to think about it and to think of all the pieces that feel into place through the series and the guts it took for Roth to do this to one of her babies, I think you will start to see the magic that is Allegiant. I think you will start to see why this book is my pick for best series ending. You’ll see why I wasn’t disappointed even though it devastated me.  Veronica Roth did something amazing with Allegiant and I will forever be grateful to her for bringing this story and these people into my life. And for having the guts to do it the way she did. Bravo Ms. Roth, bravo!


Continue Reading

Second Chance Sunday – Insurgent by Veronica Roth

With the release date Allegiant, the 3rd and final book in the Divergent series, quickly approaching I thought it would be appropriate to add Insurgent into my weekly Second Chance Sunday posts. This book seriously left me breathless. I read it on the plane coming home from Aruba and I swear I couldn’t breath when all was said and done. If you haven’t read the series, do it now before the ending comes out and wait and panic inducing misery with the rest of us!

Second Chance Sunday – Insurgent by Veronica RothInsurgent by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Published: January 20th 2015
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

One choice can destroy you. Veronica Roth's second #1 New York Times bestseller continues the dystopian thrill ride that began in Divergent. A hit with both teen and adult readers, Insurgent is the action-packed, emotional adventure that inspired the major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and Octavia Spencer.

The paperback edition includes special bonus content by Veronica Roth.

As war surges in the factions of dystopian Chicago all around her, Tris attempts to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.


WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! I know, eloquent, right? The sad thing is that is the best I can do because simply put this book was just WOW! I really can’t think of another way to describe the amazingness that was Insurgent. How Roth managed to do what she did in this book is beyond me. It left me breathless and craving more by the time all was said and done.

The book starts right where Divergent left off, but from the very beginning you know this is going to be a completely different kind of journey for Tobias and Tris. You are immediately thrust into this feeling of loss and urgency that you just won’t be able to shake with each and every page you turn. Tris is now broken and she has no idea how to go on. Her parents are dead, both dying in front of her, and she took a friends life in order to save her own. It is quite clear that she is on an emotional roller coaster and when she refuses to talk to Four about it, it sets off a whole other world of issues that Tris never saw coming. As they navigate the change in their world and their relationship Tris and Tobias find out what the true meaning of trust and choice really are.

I honestly can’t gush about this book enough. I want to tell you everything that happened in it but I refuse to spoil one single second of this page turning wonder. The way Roth worked in the emotional aspects with the action aspects with the guilt Tris was feeling was pure perfection. I had loved Tobias and Tris in Divergent and in Insurgent I took on a different love for them that I can’t even describe. They just felt real and it made the story feel real. I loved them even more then I thought I could. I loved this book more then I thought I could. It had everything I hoped it would and more. And the end!!!!! Oh man that end was hardcore fantastic!

There isn’t one part of this book that I just didn’t love! And that is what I will leave you with from this rambling review. 😉


Continue Reading

Second Chance Sunday – Divergent by Veronica Roth

I could sum up the reason why Divergent is a Second Chance Sunday post in a short sentence of: I ♥ Four!, but then I would look shallow and Divergent would look like nothing more than a book with a painfully adorable boy that is tough and vulnerable all in one. And Divergent is so much more than that. Divergent is an epic story of love, loss and choices. Of finding out who you are and what you can take and what scares you the most. It’s about growing up and living your life for you. It’s about being brave and smart and selfless. Well and I ♥ Four!

Second Chance Sunday – Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Published by HarperCollins
Published: February 28th 2012
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


I don’t even know where to begin with my love of this book. I first read Divergent on September 3, 2011. Yes, I read it in one day I just couldn’t put it down. And since then I have read twice more, once in April of 2012 and then again in March of 2013. Three reads, one day to read the book each time, it is that good. I don’t even remember to eat when I’m reading it that’s how wrapped up I get even knowing how it will end. Really there is no other word to describe Divergent other than masterful. It’s simple masterful!

Divergent is a story that takes place in dystopian Chicago about 16 year old Beatrice Prior. The world has been divided into five factions and when kids are 16 they must take an aptitude test to determine if they should stay in the faction they were born into or choose a new one. Beatrice struggles with her decision and when she makes a choice she is faced with a highly challenging initiation that she must complete in order to not end up factionless. She changes her name to Tris and embarks on a journey that will not only change her but the world around her and everyone she knows, including her hot trainer Four that she can’t seem to get out of her head. When it comes down to it Tris will have some tough decisions to make and the world’s fate may just rest of her tiny shoulders.

FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!  Roth wrote a genius novel about typical teenage thoughts and emotions and threw them into this amazing dystopian Chicago and made it all believable! Every single page had meaning in it and completely enthralls a reader. Because  when you look at the bare basics of the story, take out the factions, take out “Chicago” take out initiations and all you have is a teenage girl that is growing up. Brave at times, selfish at times, uncertain at times. You have Tris that is skittish around boys and around her feelings and her emotions. You have a girl that grows into her own skin. You have a typical teenager. And really I think that is why I part of me ♥ Tris so much. Sure she is strong but she is vulnerable and is unsure of her place anywhere which is what teens go through on a daily basis. Basically Tris’ experience in the initiation as a hardcore puberty/growing-up and it is pure awesomeness! One of the best female leads in a book by far. Very few compare to her in my eyes and that is a testament to Roth’s talent.

Now in every good book where there is a good female lead you need a good male to counter the female. And let me tell you Divergent isn’t lacking with the perfect counter for Tris. Ah Four…he just makes me want to sigh and smile and be hugged by him. Absolutely perfect male lead for this series. I honestly can’t think of anything better than him for a book of this caliber. He is definitely tough and a hard shell to crack, but when that shell is cracked you can tell he cares with his whole heart because he really is a softy but had to make himself to survive. His interactions with Tris are so fired with energy you kind of need to fan yourself even if nothing is going on. It’s hard to write chemistry and yet that is exactly what Roth has done for these remarkable characters.

And did I mention the story and the action? There is something going on at every corner whether it be the physicality of the initiation, the drama of the initiates, or the navigation of relationships. There is never a dull moment but there also isn’t any clutter either. Sure a lot is happening at once but it is paced in a way that makes sense and lays out the story and series in the best way possible. Even in an end that could have seem abrupt  in some books, appears to be even paced and well thought out.

Basically Divergent is one big gush fest of awesome! Veronica Roth is awesome! Tris is awesome! Four is awesome! The secondary characters that aren’t all secondary are awesome! Divergent is awesome! Like I said, one big love fest of awesome. NOW READ IT IF YOU HAVEN’T!


Continue Reading