Category Archives: Antonia’s Antics

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

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What are you currently reading? 

Amanda- I’m currently reading The Selection by Kiera Cass. I read the first three book in this series a  few years ago, and recently a few more have come out. So I’m trying to collect and reread the whole series.

Antonia- I’m currently reading (about to start technically) Soldier by Julia Kagawa. Amanda and I both blew through the first two books in this series when we discovered them and I absolutely had to go get this one once it came out. I can’t wait to see where these amazing characters go next.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished reading The Belgariad and The Malloreon by David Eddings. These were given to me by my roommate to read and I’m so glad he suggested them. They took a while to read because there’s ten books combined into four large books and there’s so much detail and adventure in each book. If you’re a fantasy lover this is definitely a series you need to read.

Antonia- I just finished The Witness by Nora Roberts. This is my favorite of all her books and I read it about once a year.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amanda- The next book on my list is The Elite by Kiera Cass. Like I said I’m trying to reread The Selection Series because I enjoyed the first few books that Ive already read.

Antonia- Next I plan to read The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine. I recently discovered this from a Top Ten Tuesday (Thank you, Caitlin!) and when I was at the bookstore the other day I couldn’t resist getting it.

What are your answers to these three questions?

Happy Wednesday readers!

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The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

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I don’t care how many times I’ve said it; Nora Roberts will always be one of my absolute favorite authors. She never fails to make me laugh. Or lose myself in her books to the point where someone has to scream to get my attention. Sit up in bed clutching the book because the suspense is killing me. Occasionally cry. Her newest romance/ mystery novel was no exception.

First I’ll start with the characters. Naomi was such an interesting, independent woman who’d overcome so much, especially when she was a child. Even as an adult she still had nightmares and difficulty trusting people, but she never let it control her life. She was so determined to get past the trauma and betrayal of discovering her father was a serial killer that she constantly pushed through her fear in order to have a normal life. I seriously admired her for that.

I loved Xander. He was a surprisingly complex character. At the beginning I didn’t like him that much but as I learned more and more about him my opinion changed completely. Partly (mostly) because he turned out to be a complete bookworm. He cared so much for the people around him and was such a steady presence that he made a perfect match for Naomi.

Normally, I don’t care that much about where a book is set. It never seems that important to me as long as I can picture what’s immediately around the characters. However I was pleasantly surprised to find this one was set on the coast of Washington. Since I plan to move there later this year, I found myself more interested in the setting than usual and it added a little something to my reading experience that I don’t usually have.

Once again Nora Roberts managed to blend romance and suspense perfectly to make a book I absolutely loved. If you like romance or mystery, you should definitely read this book. Especially if you’re like me and too much suspense will keep you up at night, this book fell very nicely in the middle.

Let me know what you think in the comments. As always, thanks for reading.

-Antonia


Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday-Characters We Don’t Agree On

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week it’s top ten characters you either love and everyone else hates, or you hate and everyone else loves. This one was hard for me because I don’t pay a lot of attention to what people think about the characters, or when I do I block it out because I hate when people don’t love characters as much as I do. Still, I managed to come up with eight characters I don’t like and two that I do.

 

Characters Everyone Loves But I Don’t

1. Aspen from The Selection series by Kiera Cass- I don’t think I’ve ever made a secret of my absolute loathing of love triangles and most of the characters on this list are part of love triangles. While I can tolerate them and understand the fact they’ve become so common in writing because they are in fact quite common, when I can’t stand one-third of the triangle it sort of ruins it for me. In this case, I hated Aspen from the start before there even was a love triangle to make it any worse.
2. Gale from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- I liked Gale well enough in the beginning, probably because he was barely in the first book. As soon as the I started the second though I wished he just wasn’t there.
3. Simon from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare- I don’t hate Simon and later on in the books I started to enjoy his character more, but in the beginning I really didn’t like him.
4. Archer from Fire by Kristin Cashore- I don’t remember a point in this book when I ever liked Archer. He was moody and annoying and took Fire for granted constantly.
5. Zayne from The Dark Elements by Jennifer L. Armentrout- Another love triangle. I know tons of people wanted Layla to end up with Zayne but I really, really didn’t like him.
6. Heath from House of Night by P.C. and Kristin Cast- He wouldn’t have been that bad if he was only in the first book or two. But he was just so persistant with his unrequited love and Zoe just encouraged him constantly. I seriously fucking hated him.
7. Micah Bayer from The Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima- I understand his character. I get where he’s coming from. I see why he was important to the plot. I know he begins to redeem himself at the end. However, none of this is ever going to get me to like him.
8. Blake from Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout- I really really really hated him. I was convinced he’d turn out to be an asshole. AND HE DID.

Characters Everyone Hates But I Don’t

9. Clary from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare- I’m a little surprised that so many people seem to hate her. Yes, she’s a little immature; she’s a teenager. Yes, she’s occasionally whiny; her mother’s in a coma and she just found out monsters are real. I absolutely think she’s entitled to screw up sometimes but in my opinion, there are so many more annoying female leads in YA right now.
10. Bella from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer- I, honest to God, cannot believe I just typed that… I loved Twilight when I was a teenager but once the movies started coming out and I got a little older, I very firmly settled into the group of people who hate it. Nevertheless, I think everyone needs to ease up a little on Bella. I am not and never was blind to her faults (or that of any of the other characters). They have problems and they, very frequently, behave impulsively and irrationally, but everyone seems to forget that at the base of it, Bella is a teenager who is, at least in the first couple books, very much out of her depth with pretty much everything that happens. She makes A LOT of mistakes but I think that’s the most human thing about her.

 

These are my ten. Do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? What are your top ten? Let me know in the comments. As always, thanks for reading.

-Antonia


WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

WWWWWhat are you currently reading?

Amanda- Technically I’m not currently reading anything. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m going to start Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith tomorrow. It’s the third in the Cormoran Strike series. I loved the first two, so I have high hopes for the third.

Antonia- I’m currently in the middle of two books. Beastly by Alex Flinn is one of my all time favorites. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read it and I never get sick of it. It’s an amazing modern adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. You can read my review of it here. The other book I’m reading is Soundless by Richelle Mead. Mead is one of my favorite authors and her newest book is unlike any of her others. I fully expect this one to be a new favorite of mine.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently read Zeroes co written by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti. You can read my review HERE. I really enjoyed this book. I’m still very upset I have to wait until September for the next to be released.

Antonia- I just finished reading A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn for the second or third time. As you can tell, she’s one of my favorite authors. This one is an adorable, unique retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amanda- Honestly, I haven’t thought that far ahead. I keep looking at my shelf trying to decide. Im torn between a few different choices; The newest Stephanie Plum, Tricky Twenty Two, by Janet Evanovich, The Heir by Kiera Cass, or rereading one of my favorites, The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks.

Antonia- I’m not sure yet because I never really decide until I pick one up and start reading it. But I recently read the first book in J.D. Robb’s In Death series and I can’t wait to find out what happens to the characters next.

What are your answers?


Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Favorites From the Last Three Years

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week has a different prompt for you to make a top ten list about. This week is Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years (you can extend it to 5 if you need to).
I expected this topic to be really difficult for me. When I saw it I immediately texted Amanda freaking out. But she didn’t panic with me; she simply pointed out that I reread alot of books. With this reassurance in mind, I sat down with my book lists from previous years, positive I could find ten favorites even if I had to use only rereads. Then a funny thing happened: I didn’t need any. Within ten minutes, I had ten books/series’ for my list with no need to use all the old favorites I’ve had for years. Which is how I’ve come to the conclusion that almost every book I read instantly becomes a new favorite. I’m still trying to decide if this has any downsides…
So here are my top ten all-time favorites from the last three years (in no particular order):

1. Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead- I love Sydney. I adore Adrian. This is a series I could read over and over again.

2. The Witness by Nora Roberts- My favorite Nora Roberts book. It has everything I love about her writing.

3. Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima- These are the types of books I wasn’t expecting to like but as soon as I started I couldn’t put them down. I even had to take emergency trips to the library to get the rest of the books. It’s one of the most well-written YA series I’ve ever read.

4. Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout- This is another one I got because I was bored but didn’t have much hope for it. It was an instant favorite for Amanda and I.

5. Maximum Ride series by James Patterson- Everything about these books is amazing. They’re quick, fun, emotional reads that I would recommend to everyone.

6. Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory- I was waiting a couple years for this book to come out and it didn’t disappoint. Lackey and Mallory can do no wrong together.

7. Looking For Alaska by John Green- Amanda spent years trying to get me to read this book but I kept putting her off. When I finally read it, I was instantly in love.

8. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George- I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Everything about it was perfect.

9. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith- I’d expected this book to just be a silly YA romance but it wasn’t even close. Smith took a childish idea, like love at first sight, and made it sweet and reasonable. I loved it so much I immediately went to the library to get her other books (i.e. #10).

10. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith- I found this book emotional, funny, and romantic. I’ll definitely be looking for more of Smith’s books.

Do you share any of these favorites? Let me know some of yours in the comments. Thanks for reading.
-Antonia


Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Favorite Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week has a different prompt to which you make a top ten list. This week’s prompt is favorite heroines. Since my list of favorite heroines is infinitely long, I tried to choose the ones who had the biggest impact on me while reading. Here they are (in no particular order):

  1. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- She will forever be my all-time favorite heroine. She’s witty, tough, loves her family unconditionally and isn’t afraid to admit she’s wrong. She was who I wanted to be when I grew up.
  2. Maximum Ride from the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson- She’s badass and caring and makes tons of mistakes. But she’s always trying her hardest to fix them. It’s so easy to relate to Max that she instantly became one of my favorite characters.
  3. Elizabeth/Abigail from The Witness by Nora Roberts- I connected with Abigail from the beginning. I loved watching her grow into a strong, compassionate woman.
  4. Vestakia from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory- From birth, she had everything working against her but she refused to let it control her life. She’s genuinely kind and brave even when she’s absolutely terrified.
  5. Lyra Belacqua from His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman- She was one of the first characters to have a real affect on me. She’s stubborn and talks back and impulsive but she always does the right thing.
  6. Wanderer from The Host by Stephenie Meyer- I will never stop loving Wanda. She’s an alien possessing a human girl and she still manages to be the most honest and caring character in the book.
  7. Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore- Another character I related to instantly. Her uncle, the king, has used and controlled her since she was a child but she had the courage to fight back, even when she believed her powers made her a monster.
  8. Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead- One of the bravest heroines I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. She goes against everything she was taught to believe to save people who she was raised to think of as evil. She risks everything because she can see the best in people.
  9. Hyacinth Bridgerton from It’s In His Kiss by Julia Quinn- She’s one of the funniest characters I’ve read about. She’s sarcastic and smart and not afraid to speak her opinions during a time when women were expected to act a certain way. I wish I could be best friends with her.
  10. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- I almost didn’t put her on this list simply because I knew so many others would. But when it came down to it, I couldn’t think of anyone else who met the standards she set. There’s a reason Hermione has shown up on so many lists this week. She’s smart, brave, funny, loving. She believes in herself and in her friends and even when she’s scared she’s always there for the people who need her. The great thing about Hermione is that she’s always true to herself and never lets anything change her.

Do any of your favorites coincide with mine? For the same or different reasons? I’d love to hear some of your own choices so leave them in the comments or link to your own post if you have one. Thanks for reading.
-Antonia


Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Summary: Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the world between humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets-and human lives.
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.
Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney an Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.
For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him…
Their worst fears now a chilling reality Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Oh. My. God. I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK.
First of all, Adrian and Sydney are apart for most of the book and it pretty much just made me want to cry the entire time. (I settled for really weird, pathetic noises that Amanda got sick of fast.) The good thing about them being separated was that I was able to follow two completely separate storylines that kept the pace fairly steady even when nothing serious was happening.
But trust me, a LOT was happening. I started this book at around ten-thirty last night, and finished it around three this morning. There was no way for me to put it down; between the awesome characters, amazing writing, and the absolutely crazy plot, I was hooked.
As always, I adore Sydney and Adrian, both individually and as a couple. Though they both have somewhat extreme personalities, I’m able to relate to them while I read. I almost always love the characters in the books I read but in the Bloodlines series, I connect to them more than usual. I would absolutely love to have Sydney as my best friend and, much as I love her, I would totally date Adrian (you know, if I didn’t have a boyfriend…Love you, honey!). Mead gives such depth to her characters that it’s impossible not to care about them.
This book was much darker than the previous ones in the series mainly because Sydney’s in re-education, which is basically the Alchemists nice way of saying brainwash and torture. Even though Mead kept it from being terribly gruesome, some of the scenes with Sydney were harder to read emotionally.
It was the same way with Adrian. He might not have been tortured and starved but the love of his life was missing and he had no way to contact her. I’d loved watching the progress he’d made in previous books to overcome his addictions and the effects of Spirit so it was that much harder to watch him spiral back downward without Sydney to help hold him up.
The ending took so many twists and turns that I could barely keep up with what was happening and even when I thought everything would be okay, the last page threw another curveball and I no longer know what’s going to happen with the last book. All I know is that it really needs to come out RIGHT NOW. Next February is way too long to wait for The Ruby Circle.
I would love to hear your thoughts on my review or this book. Amanda hasn’t read it so I can’t talk to her about it yet. Did you see the end coming? Because I sure as hell didn’t.
-Antonia


The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine & Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Sorry I’ve been slacking on reviews. To make up for the past three months of barely reading (seriously, four books in April, ZERO in May, and three in June), I’ve spent the last two weeks reading constantly and not really stopping for anything. So in the next few days I’ll try to write a bunch in between books.
One thing I’ve noticed about the more than thirty books I borrowed from the library is that there’s quite a few that have very similar storylines. In order to consolidate the number of reviews I need to write, I’m going to do something a little different and group some of the books together and compare them instead.
For this first review I’m comparing two middle-grade books about princesses: The Two Princess of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine and Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.

Two Princesses of Bamarre Summary: When plague strikes Bamarre, Princess Addie must fulfill an ancient prophecy.

Brave and adventurous, Princess Meryl dreams of fighting dragons and protecting the kingdom of Bamarre. Shy and fearful, Princess Addie is content to stay within the safety of the castle walls. The one thing that the sisters share is their unwavering love for each other.

The tables are turned, however, when the Gray Death leaves Meryl fatally ill. To save her sister, meek Princess Addie must find the courage to set out on a dangerous quest filled with dragons, unknown magic, and death itself. Time is running out, and the sisters’ lives—and the future of the kingdom of Bamarre—hang in the balance.

Princess Ben Summary: “My gown suited me as well as I could ever hope, though I could not but envy the young ladies who would attract the honest compliments of the night. My bodice did not plunge as dramatically as some, and no man–no man I would ever want to meet, surely–could fit his hands round my waist. What I lacked in beauty I would simply have to earn with charm…”
Benevolence is not your typical princess–and Princess Ben is certainly not your typical fairy tale.

With her parents lost to assassins, Princess Ben ends up under the thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia. Starved and miserable, locked in the castle’s highest tower, Ben stumbles upon a mysterious enchanted room. So begins her secret education in the magical arts:mastering an obstinate flying broomstick, furtively emptying the castle’s pantries, setting her hair on fire… But Ben’s private adventures are soon overwhelmed by a mortal threat to her kingdom. Can Ben save the country and herself from tyranny?

Plot:
I loved both plots equally. In Two Princesses, shy and timid Princess Addie has to go on a quest to save her sister. There’s magic, dragons, trolls, fairies, etc. I loved the way this was executed. Since it’s not a terribly long book, you might think too much information was crammed into it but Levine makes everything work together wonderfully. With the help of her Seven-League boots, Addie can move between different sections of the kingdom instantly and encounters tons of different creatures. Many of them, (trolls, specters, gryphons) are simply monsters but I was happily surprised to find the dragon was intelligent and had a complex personality. She was still evil, but the depth she gave to the story was fantastic. Though the story revolves around Addie, the secondary characters were well rounded and I felt like I knew them just as well as I knew Addie.

In Princess Ben, Benevolence must overcome unforeseen circumstances to save herself and her country. There’s magic, dragons, a somewhat evil queen, a war with neighboring country Drachensbett, etc. This was also executed fairly well and I enjoyed the little bits of history of Montagne that we were given. I also enjoyed the fact that the love interest started out as the enemy. I love when misunderstood characters are simply that: misunderstood. That probably stems from my long-standing love of Beauty and the Beast.

The Heroines:
I adored Princess Addie. At first I thought I wouldn’t because of how timid she was. Terrified of everything, she hardly ever left the castle and when she did, she stayed on castle grounds. I was expecting to be annoyed by her, but when her sister’s life is in danger, Addie pushes back her fears in order to save her. She doesn’t suddenly become fearless, but she doesn’t let her fears control her either and by the end of the story she comes to realize that some of her fears (not all of them) aren’t as scary as she thought they were. I loved watching Addie grow into herself and couldn’t help but admire her strength and resolve.

Princess Ben, quite frankly, annoyed the crap out of me for most of the book. I understand she’s young and I understand her parents didn’t raise her to act like a princess, but from what we learned of her parents I would have expected her to be a lot more mature than she was. She was petty and spiteful and made the same mistakes over and over again. No matter how many bad things happened, she never grew up or took responsibility until she became a prisoner of Drachensbett. After that, I liked her much better and she became someone I could relate to, even though she was still a little impulsive and stubborn.

Overall:
Two Princesses was a quick, fun read that I enjoyed immensely. Everything tied together to make an exciting, heartfelt story that I couldn’t put down.
I also loved the ending. It wasn’t what I was expecting and was a little bittersweet, but I was glad there wasn’t a random and improbable miracle to make everything end perfectly. Even though I love reading about magic and fairytales, I also believe magic should have limits and while I want every book to have a happily ever after, I don’t particularly like when they become completely unrealistic.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairytales and strong, smart heroines.

Princess Ben didn’t quite live up to my expectations. The first half was slow and I didn’t like the protagonist at all. Murdock made up for it in the second half where the pace picked up and it became a story I couldn’t put down but I still can’t forget the fact I almost put it down in the beginning. I would recommend this one to anyone who likes fairytales, but if you’re the type of reader that needs a fast-paced book to hold your attention, this might not be the book for you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on either of these books and what you think of this joint review. Should I do another like this or stick to regular reviews?
-Antonia.


Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Blogging Confessions

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time! This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and today’s prompt is Top Ten Blogging Confessions. I’ve decided to center mine more around books since I couldn’t think of that many blogging confessions. Here they are in no particular order:

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1. Sometimes, I think blogging is boring. I feel terrible saying that but doing the same types of posts over and over again drives me nuts.

2. Usually I read the last page or two of a book before I even start it. I try not to, I really do, but it’s gotten to the point where I’ll just be looking at how long the book is and find myself reading the end without even thinking about it.

3. I’m awful at liking and commenting posts. Whenever I look at someone’s post I always plan to at least like it even if I don’t have anything exceptional to say in a comment (unless I hate it for some reason which never happens). But most of the time I end up completely forgetting about it and closing the window before I remember.

4. I don’t care if the books in a series match. I was actually kind of taken aback when I realized people do. Books are books are books. I can’t imagine waiting to buy a book because a store doesn’t have the matching copy. I literally don’t have that much self control. I love books no matter what they look like. BOOKS HAVE FEELINGS, TOO.

5. I can be very judgmental toward other readers. I try not to. I’m a firm believer in reading no matter what that might be, but sometimes I judge people who read nonfiction. That sounds a little backwards because I’ve found it’s usually the other way around but I absolutely hate reading nonfiction. It’s not because I have anything against reality or learning or anything like that. I would just much prefer to watch a documentary than read about it.

6. I have no problem putting a book down unfinished. It’s not that I particularly like doing it but I’m very decisive in my opinions and if I don’t like the beginning plot or hate the main character(s), I won’t finish it.

7. I’m usually in the middle of several books at once. And I have no trouble keeping track of where I am in each. I could literally read a paragraph of one, then a paragraph of another, then the next and rotate between them simultaneously. (I don’t really do that though, it’d be kind of annoying.)

8. I almost never read a book if I’ve seen the movie first. I have no idea why. #2 obviously shows I have no problem knowing the ending first and movies always miss the little details but I can’t seem to stop doing it.

9. I don’t take care of my books as well as I should. And I love it. I’m not saying I rip them or leave them out in the rain or anything like that (I would die first), but I dog ear pages and don’t worry about bending the covers. I like the character it gives to books. I’ve actually had to laminate the covers of my favorite books because I’ve read them so many times.

10. I sometimes collect multiple copies of books. Mostly my favorites and sometimes by accident. The only ones I really deliberately collect are the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Between the four books, I have 31 copies total.

I had so much fun with this topic and could probably keep going for forever but here’s my top ten. What book/blogging confessions do you have?
-Antonia


Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Books Read in 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is top ten books I’ve read so far this year. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been slacking on my reading this year (45 books total). I’ve also read a surprising number of books for the second time but didn’t want this list made up of just second-time reads. So I compromised: seven new reads and two second reads.

New Reads

1. Sun and Moon Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George- The writing style of this book is so different and unique. It’s based on a myth that I’d never heard of before and I loved the way everything worked together to give me a completely new reading experience.

2. Twelve Dancing Princesses series by Jessica Day George- Though these books followed more well-known fairytales, George still managed to make the plot unique and fun.

3. The Selection & The Elite by Kiera Cass- Though I haven’t been able to get The One yet, I found the first two books in this trilogy to be entertaining and light reads with just enough suspense and intrigue thrown in to keep me hooked.

4. Enchanted & Hero by Alethea Kontis- When I picked up these books I wasn’t expecting much out of them. I’m glad to say I was completely wrong. It combines tons of different fairytales and legends, most of which I wasn’t very familiar. I never knew what would happen next and I loved that.

5. Three Weeks With Lady X by Eloisa James- I’ve read and loved every one of her books. My favorite character in the Desperate Duchesses series was Villiers and I was so excited that James wrote this book about his son.

6. The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn- I’ve also read all of Quinn’s books. They’re always quick, laugh-out-loud funny and this book was no exception.

7. Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier- The final book in the Ruby Red trilogy. I honestly had no idea how this book would end. All of these books had fairly fast plots but the first two were also funny and not nearly as serious. While all the loose ends got tied up in this last book, the suspense was off the charts and I literally couldn’t put it down until I knew everything.

Second Reads

8. His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman- I read these when I was younger and finally decided to read them again. These books are funny, suspenseful, and heartbreaking. I will never not adore this trilogy.

9. The Witness by Nora Roberts- I read this book when it first came out and loved it. Elizabeth/Abigail is such a unique character but I could still relate to her in many ways. I think I can safely say this is my favorite Nora Roberts book of all time. (Fun Fact: This was the 200th book Roberts wrote.)

So what are your top ten books from this year?
-Antonia