Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Book & Blog-Related Goals/Resolutions for 2015!

The Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where each week you post your top ten best, worst, etc. This week's topic is my ten (more or less) bookish and blogish goals/resolutions for 2015!

2014 was a good year, both reading and blogging wise, during the first half of the year. Once it hit September, my free time was obliterated and I failed this blog and my reading was a disaster. But hopefully, with my goals and resolutions for the new year, I get to improve my blog, keep up my reading and in retrospect, improve my personal well being.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 End of the Year Book Survey

Wow! Where did the year go? Seriously, 2014 came and went! I'm going to be honest: This year was crazy year for me, both in my personal life and reading life. I've learned new things about me that scare me, some things I need to work on, but I've also discovered things about me that's worth something and I'm slightly proud of. I'm still discovering myself, and that's okay.

But guys, my reading - it was crazy this year! My reading challenge was to read 60 books in total this year and I surpassed by a lot. I'm crazy proud of my reading this year. I've discovered some great books this year! And I hope I discover even more books next year!

Note: This Survey was created by the lovely Jaime over at The Perpetual Page-Turner!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: The Rosie Project

Title: The Rosie Project
Series: Don Tillman #1
Author: Graeme Simsion
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Age Group: Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Page Count: 295 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

My Thoughts

The Adult genre is new territory for me. I read Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore earlier this year and I wasn't all that impressed. I was disappointed, actually. (It's actually my fault, I assumed the plot was 100 percent different than what it truly is). Disappointed with my first venture in the Adult genre, I steered clear. But then The Rosie Project came along and my friend told me it was amazing, and I had to read it, so I did. And she was absolutely right.

I knew immediately (or, well, almost immediately) that Don had Aspergers. A couple of months ago I binge-watched Parenthood on Netflix (as one does), and one of the characters, Max, has Apergers. I was familiar with the way people with Apergers think and react to certain situations, which made it apparent that Don has Aspergers. But Don doesn't know he has Aspergers; he thinks there's something missing about him that doesn't make him understand human behavior.

Samson's writing is very much in tune with the mindset of someone with Aspergers. It was done very well, with a lot of humor entwined. I enjoyed how, being as it's written in first person point of view, the text still held a lot of humor and heart, even though it didn't come from Don himself (but it did, just unintentionally).

The relationships in the novel were really sweet. I loved Don's relationship with Claudia and Rosie, especially. In the novel he learns about social norms, how to act properly in relationships and he becomes protective of them both and it just melted my heart. It's difficult for those with Asperges to make relationships since their thoughts are so technical an factual, and it was nice to see Don growing and learning about being in tune with others as the novel progresses.

I definitely recommend this book everyone, especially those who are venturing into the Adult genre for the first time—this book is a great way into it. It's a light read, very easy to get through, and it's super fun, for anyone of any age to enjoy! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

The Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where each week you post your top ten best, worst, etc. This week's topic is my ten favorite books that I've read this year.

In 2014, I've read (so far) about a total of 77 books! I know! This yeas a good reading year for me. (Well, it was. Until school started). I read so many good books, and it was definitely hard to chose ten. But, I buckled down and I did the best that I could.

This list is in no particular order.

1. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
This series quickly became my favorite series, followed by Alexandra Bracken being one of my new favorite authors moments after I finished book one. Holding all of my favorite characters, I can't help myself from commending Alexandra Bracken on her amazing work. Seriously, I'm a huge fangirl when it comes to this series. It's written very well and the story is so interesting and the characters are so beautiful I want to cry.

2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
If you've read Throne of Glass, you'll know how absolutely amazing it is! The characters, as we progress from book to book, are so interesting, especially all the new characters we meet. The plot is so well thought out and it's developing so well and I'm so in love!! And can we talk about character development? I mean Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ. The last book, Heir of Fire, had my heart bleeding when I finished and what the flip, when's the fourth book coming out?!

3. Amy and Rogers Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
This year I was introduced to Morgan Matson and holy flip do I love her! She's a great contemporary writer, and I've read all of her books this year, and let me tell you, she does not disappoint. Out of all of her books, Amy and Rogers Epic Detour was my favorite, mainly because I have a deep want to go on a road trip and go to every state in the US and go to unique restaurants (like Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Man I wish I had Guy Fieri's life). I love reading Amy and Rogers trip through all of those states, meeting new characters (going to all those restaurants!) and see their character develop so beautifully.

4. How to Love by Katie Cotugno
This one made the list mostly because I related to Reena so much. (No, I didn't get pregnant at sixteen and become a teen mom. I related with her through her insecurities). Now, I must say this book is not for everyone. A major problem people have is with Sawyer LeGrande. He's not a very likable character, but it all depends on the reader. What I did love was Katie Cotugno's writing, that's what drew me in and kept me there.

5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Talk about probably the most beautiful book I may have read in my lifetime. Daughter of Smoke and Bone had such a beautiful and unique style of writing, its like art being brought to life by words. I'm not exaggerating, it's that good. And the story? The actual plot? Jesus, it was good. So intricate and very well developed. Lani Taylor is a wonder and I don't understand how. How, Laini, how?

6. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
I strayed away from this book for as long as I did, mainly because I don't do well with book that have
1) death in the family
2) love triangles
But damn it, Jandy Nelson handled both topics so well that it was fascinating to read. I think the main reason why this book is on this list is because I was so impressed by it. I was expecting a regular three star story, but instead I was blown away with Jandy Nelsons' beautiful writing. Literally so damn impressed.

7. The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater 
Another interesting series that I fell in love with this year! Honestly, I think my favorite part about this series is the characters. Individually and as a group/grouped together. The Raven Boys has a plethora of characters, all very different and unique in their own way and they interest me so much. I love them alone, but I love their relationships with each other, especially the boys. The beautifully damaged Raven Boys.

8. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrell 
How is this book not hyped up?! All Our Yesterdays has to be the most interesting books I've read this year! And by interesting I mean insanely freaking awesome! This book centers on time travel and the characters are so cute and interesting and kick ass. Em and Marina and Finn and James are so precious. The story is so brilliantly plotted and so clever. Lets make this book crazy famous in 2015, yes?

9. Cress by Marissa Meyer
I started the series last year and read Cress this February when it was released, that's why only Cress is on the list, and by god it deserves to be! The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is the most interesting take on fairytales with such great lovable characters. Cress is probably the most interesting of the series, since we now have Cress's perspective. 

10. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
So so so so so so so so so so beautiful! The writing is just gorgeous! The character development, the family dynamic, all the relationships were fantastic. I flew threw this book and I was ever so glad I picked it up!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Review: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (Spoilers!)

Title: The Blood of Olympus
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #5
Author: Rick Riordan
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Genre: Greek Mythology, Fantasy
Age Group: Middle Grade
Add it: Goodreads
Page Count: 516 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
Please do not read if you haven't read books 1-4 in the series.

Friday, November 21, 2014

On the Fence by Kasie West

Title: On the Fence
Author: Kasie West
Release Date: May 26th, 2011
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Page Count: 296 pages
Rating: 3/5 stars
For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Monday, November 17, 2014

What's Been Going On.

Hey guys! It's Karla. I know, I haven't been posting a lot, and I know I keep saying that I'm trying to remedy that (and I am), but a lot has been on my plate recently and I wanted to let you guys in on whats going on in my life right now (as much as I can, anyways). Things have just been super hard on me recently, and it doesn't seem to be getting any easier.

I'm not sure if I've told you guys, but I graduated from Community College last December and got my Associates Degree in Liberal arts! Yay me!

Since then, I took a break from school and have been working since then. Then September rolled around, and guess who is back at school! Yup, I'm currently a junior at a four-year university and have been since September (so, it's been three months). I've been out of school since December, which means I haven't gone to school for eight full months, and I was so used to just going to work and then coming home, having nothing but free time, that it was a shock to my system that my free time has been replaced with school, and, oh yeah, schoolwork.

Balancing school and work is not easy, any adult can tell you. I feel like I am up to my eyeballs with work and I have no idea how to do it all on time. All of my classes are in the evening and I feel like I am going to pass out by the time I get home, because my classes end so late. And because I depend on public transportation to get me places, it takes twice the time it would take for me to get home by car, that a lot of my day is wasted and I get home even later. If only I could take the Knight Bus, then my life would be infinitely better.

The worst thing about being an English major is that all of my classes are on literature, which means I have pages upon pages to read for each class and I cannot keep up. Seriously, my first semester is not going well because I have so much reading for class and because I get home at nine almost every night, I just don't have the energy in me to do the work. (I'm being such a bad student, I know).

Even my regular reading has been compromised! Seriously. I've only read seven books this past three months! And mind you, I read the whole Throne of Glass series in two months, which, along with my course load, was almost impossible, and I pride myself so much that I was able to read two ToG books a month! (Such a great series, I'm so glad I read them!). But I read them so slowly, not at the pace I wanted to if I had more free time. God damn it, school. Stop taking away my reading time!

I know, I sound like a Debby Downer, but I just really wanted to let this out, to let you guys know, for any of you that's out there. This semester has been really hard and I'm so glad it's more then halfway over because, you guys - I can't. It's just too much right now. And it leaves me no time to work on my blog! I love this blog and I would hate to give this up because life has gotten in the way.

I've been with this blog for a year, and I definitely plan (well hope) keeping this up for another year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

The Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where each week you post your top ten best, worst, etc. This week's topic is ten places I've wanted to visit, thanks to a certain book/series. 

My favorite thing about books, besides the characters and the plot, is the setting. The setting makes the story and it's mood and it's always amazing to visualize, especially when an author does it right. Rather it's a fictional place or a place that currently exists, if I've read about it, I definitely want to visit!

Note: None of these photos are mine! I do not take credit for any of these photos. I found them alll on google! :-)

1. Hogwarts - Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

If there's any magical place I want to visit, the world of Harry Potter is definitely it! It would be an absolute dream to study in a place like Hogwarts, like charms and potions! And the other locations! From Hogwarts to Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley! To be surrounded by all the warmth and magic, I think I would be happy to enter the world of Harry Potter and never, ever leave! 

2. Italy - Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

I've been in love with Italy for as long as I could remember and reading Wish You Were Italian only made my love for the country intensify by the tensfold! Italy is so, so beautiful and full of life. It's breath-taking and I will definitely go to Italy at least one in my lifetime. (Maria, I'm coming for you!)

3. France - Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Is anyone surprised? After reading the Anna and the French Kiss series, France is a definite must! I don't want to visit it as much as I want to visit Italy, but ugh! The country of love, the language of love, I just want to go there and fall in love! And hopefully meet my own Etienne St. Clair there as well ;-)

4. Prague - Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is written absolutely gorgeously and her words, her words only, made me fall so hard in love with Prague! I wanted to go to Prague while I was reading her books, I wanted to study their culture, their language, be so immersed in their lifestyle. And also rock Karou's awesome blue hair!

5. Rome - Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordian

Rome, Rome, Rome. This is secretly a place I've wanted to visit since before I read HoO by the fabulous Rick Riordan. I loved Hercules when I was younger and I absolutely adored Rome and the Greeks. (And now I'm completely obsessed with Greene and am dying to go there!)

6. Camp Half-Blood - Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Any place where Percy Jackson is, is where I want to be.

7. The Shire - The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

A quiet place where I can have the peaceful silence to read, and eat to my hearts content? With absolutely gorgeous scenery right outside my window? Sign. Me. Up!

8. The Lone Road (and the rest of the USA) - Amy and Rogers Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

The Lone Road has to be one of the most beautifully cinematic locations on the US. It's been a dream of mine to drive down the Lone Road with the top down in the most gorgeous weather. And after reading Amy and Rogers Epic Detour, you have no idea how bad my desire is. Amy and Roger also go on a road trip across the country (13 states, to be exact) and now I'm itching to go on a road trip. Which is a very bad idea, because I have ADHD and cannot sit still for long periods of time, BUT I absolutely want to visit every single state in our gorgeous country! I've only ever seen New Jersey (and barely) but I would love to visit the rest of the country and see its beauty with my own two eyes!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'm Evolving! (Sort Of).

One thing that I can't stand is finding out my favorite books are going to be movie adaptations. Except The Hunger Games movies, those are freaking awesome. But every other book-to-movie adaptation:

Seriously! It literally angers me, to the root of my core when I find out that my favorite book is going to be a film. (Not that it's been signed for movie rights; that's just when there's a possibility that it's going to be a film. Oh no, I mean it's been picked up by a studio company, getting a cast, etc).

The reason why I hate it is because 95 percent of the time, the movie gets completely fucked up, and who wants that? And it's like once one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong, and it's like I'm all aboard the Titanic, expect I don't have Jack to save me.

Here's the slow-burning agony of what I go through during the movie process:
  • First, you find out about the casting and then the actors cast, you find out, are 100% the opposite of what they are described as and the fury enrages! The casting is all wrong! (Do we need to talk about Divergent? Isn't Tris short? And isn't Tobias 18, not 30? Please). 
  • You forgot about the wrongly cast actors for a while (a blissful while) until promo pictures come up, with this cast and it's literally impossible not to roll your eyes heavenward. 
  • While this is going on, your dislike blows up to be full on hatred and you don't know how to stop it. You try not to care and forget about it, but them BAM! A new still comes out and you just want to punch a wall. 
  • And then, guess what, trailer time! The first teaser trailer is about to come out and you are literally here, like

  • Then the movie comes out and you refuse to watch it, because it will only boil the hatred even more (yeah, I'm very dramatic about it; sue me).
  • But then everyone else watches it and just will. Not. Stop. tweeting about how much they love it and your just stuck in this "love-fest" for something you can't stand. You just want to reach through the screen and shout, "What is wrong with you! Can't you see how terrible everything is!" 
But now ... Something miraculous has happened ...

I'M EVOLVING! (Sort of)!

I'm starting to realize that I kind of .. don't care ... about ... book to movie adaptations!

The other day, I was just scrolling through tumblr, and I saw a post of Divergent (I have everything related to Divergent blacklisted) and this one person didn't tag their Divergent post so it showed up on my dashboard, and I ... I didn't care!

The rage didn't boil in me this time, which I find a true miracle. You guys don't understand how much I hated (and still do) the Divergent cast. I could sit here and point out why I dislike each and every person cast, but then I would be here for hours, and none of us want that. (But honestly? Theo James? He looks 30 and Four is 18 .. Please). Yet, when I saw the post, I didn't think much of it! I just literally shrugged my shoulders and said "I don't care!" I think I deserve a high-five for that.

I feel like I'm growing up! But I still have some more growing to do, it seems.

While I've descended from Hatred-ville into I-don't-care land, I still feel like I'm teetering on the edge of the two. As you all know, The 5th Wave is going to me a movie and I was absolutely livid with the casting when it was first announced. (Chloe Moretz? Seriously? You couldn't find another white, blonde actress? Please). But now? I'm only semi-annoyed! SEMI! I'm evolving! I never thought I'd see the day!

I think what I truly hate about book to movie adaptations was the fact that they were touching the book in the first place. Books are perfect just as they are! Why do people have to come in and ruin it with their films? I don't want your grubby movie-making hands putting a finger on my favorite character, okay? BOOKS ARE PERFECT JUST THE WAY THEY ARE, SO STAY AWAY. *breathes* I still don't like book to movie adaptations, but I'm glad to say that they don't piss me off anymore. Now, I don't really care about them. (Not completely, still working on that).

I"m gonna go stuff my face with Hershey kisses with caramel because, gosh darn it, I think I deserve it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Blog Turns 1!

On August 19th last year, I made my very first blog post and now, here I am a year later. Yes, I know I'm a bit later with this post (a month overdue, am I right? Jeez). But I am still up and running (kind of). I haven't been consistent these past couple of months, and I probably won't be in these next coming months either, but I am planning some more book related posts to be up soon! Yay!

I can't believe I've been doing this for a year! I am not one to stick with a project once I start (I give up so easily, man it's actually quite embarrassing); once the going gets tough, I drop the hell out. Throw up a peace sign and say "see ya later!" and then hate myself incessantly for quitting. But I didn't quit this time! I did have some rough patches with this blog, a couple of tough months where I was either experiencing 1) hardship in my life, which makes it hard for me to find time to blog (aka right now), or 2) experiencing major writers block, staying stuck on an blank post, having no clue what the hell to write. But here I am, standing strong one full year (and a month lol) later, still writing!

Having a blog is a lot of fun! Yes, writing blog posts can be a pain in your side when you have no idea what you want to say (which is my problem about 99.9% of the time), but everything becomes okay when you decide what it is you want to say and how you want to say it. Eventually, the words just start flowing and before you know it, you have a beautiful post with beautiful words about beautiful books! (Unless it's a negative review, but lets me honest, bad books are still beautiful!).

I am nowhere near famous (my blog is pretty much invisible in the scope of fame) and, no I haven't met any of the goals that I've set for myself and this blog (the only goal I set was to make friends and sadly, I haven't). But that hasn't kept me down! I've actually been growing; I made a booktube channel (a youtube channel where I talk about books, just like this blog!) and I've been having a lot of fun there, too! Haven't made much friends there either, but I will soon! Patience is the key, young grasshopper. (Is that even a quote? I highly doubt it, but I'm going to stick with it anyways).

If there's one thing I've learned in my year of blogging, it's that I can't be too hard on myself! I always thought that people wouldn't give my blog the time of day because I'm not writing like a sophisticated book review from the New York Times or what have you. Nor am I posting new and "original" quirky and fun book posts or being hilarious/profound in my reviews. As time passed by, I realized: Who cares? This blog isn't for other people, it's not for anyone else but myself. I will write what I choose to write and I will be who I want to be and in the end, as long as I'm happy, that's all that matters. 

For those of you who have been following my blog or, hell, even come onto my blog every once in a while, thank you! A lot can happen in a year and I feel life in this past year, I've done a lot of good with this blog, a "good" that I can turn into a "great" for sure! 

Happy 1st blog birthday to me, and here's to another year! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: Beautiful Disaster (Kind-of Spoiler-y)

Title: Beautiful Disaster
Series: Beautiful Disaster #1
Author: Jamie McGuire
Release Date: May 26th, 2011
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Page Count: 418 pages
Rating: 3/5 stars

Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beautiful Book Buys!

I don't know about you guys, but I just can't resist a beautiful cover. Literally. I'll see a beautiful book, whether it be in real life or online, a thought comes to be, fervent as the night sky, it screams: I need it. And then I can't let it go. I think about the book, night and day. I check multiple online book stores, trying to find the best deal for it (aka the cheapest price because, lets be real, mama ain't got dough). I spend days, weeks, obsessing over this book, almost buying it, and then I slap myself and say No, Karla! You don't need any more books! Your unread pile is already big enough! And snap myself out of it.

Does it last for long? Absolutely not. Days later, I give into the temptation and say Screw it! and I buy the book. And you know what? I don't regret. Not one bit. (Okay, maybe some of them I regret after some time has passed, but that's just a little bit.) The feeling you get when you buy a brand new book that's just so beautiful you can't stand it is just ... marvelous! And holding it? I get chills.

Everyone once in a while I like to take out my beautifully beautiful books (yes, I used the adjective twice differently, that's how beautiful they are) and I just stare at them. I gaze down at them like they're my own children. Even though I didn't write them, I do own them and therefore, to me, they are my children.

These books that I bought have all been books that I've obsessed over for weeks and eventually had to give in and buy for myself. Sometimes I even treat myself and just buy myself a beautiful book (aren't I so sweet to myself?) 

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I also wanted to show off their *gorgeous* spines! They look so gorgeous on my bookshelves! /swoons?
Are you swooning right now like I am? Sighs. Just looking at these books are making me go all gaga again! And yes, just to clarify, I do read the books synopsis and see if I will enjoy it before I buy it. I don't want to spend my hard earned money on a book that I think I will not enjoy (but lets be honest - even if the book sounded mediocre to me, I'd be persuaded to by it because of the cover).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Series: The Summer I Turned Pretty #1
Author: Jenny Han
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Page Count: 276 pages
Rating: 3/5 stars
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On a Deserted Island

The Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where each week you post your top ten best, worst, etc. This week's topic is ten characters I would want with me on a deserted island.

Okay, I'm not going to lie, the minute I read what was this week's topic, I started grinning like an idiot. My smile went from ear to ear and I was swooning so hard. So. Hard. YA books are filled with beautiful men I'd love to be stuck on a remote island with! Do you understand the perfect scenario we're in here? Me, alone with my favorite character - yes please and thank you! Now, I had narrow it down to ten and let me tell you, that was not easy at all. But these men, I would gladly be stuck on a deserted island with any day!

(These are in no particular order. Just thought I should clear that up.)

1. Liam Stewart (The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken)
I don't even need to think about my darlin' Liam Stewart. Any list that involves my favorite male characters, he's automatically the first one on my mind. Plus, I think Liam would be a great person to be stuck in a deserted island with! Because not only would be try is best to get both of us off the island, he would be a great comfort to me if I was panicking like crazy. (Which, let me honest, would totally happen. I mean, it's a deserted island!)

2. Finnick Odair (Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins)
I was debating between Finnick and Gale and in the end I chose Finnick, because I absolutely love Finnick! Not to mention he knows how to catch fish and how to live in the tropics (per se), and like Liam, he would be a great comfort, also a hilarious counterpart with his witty quips.

3. Leo Valdez (The Lost Hero by Rich Riordan)
Leo is probably one of my favorite choice out of my whole ten! Seriously, how great would Leo be if I was trapped with him? He has the power to create fire, so instant warmth! Not to mention he can create something out of anything, and he's always carrying about inventions with him (*cough*House of Hades*cough*). Also, Leo is hilarious! I would be laughing the whole time with him, even though I don't think he'll find me of much help.

4. Mal Oretsev (Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo)
My baby Mal, I would be gladly stranded with him anywhere. He wouldn't even fuss, he'd know exactly what to do! The calm in the storm, he'd get us out of there in a flash! Not to mention, he's not too bad to look at *winks*

5. Harry Potter (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Are you even questioning this? I mean, hello, magic! No, he can't just summon food out of thin air (damn magical rules), but he could go god knows what with that wand of his. (Oh get your mind out of the gutter!)

6. Noah Shaw (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin)
I'm not even going to lie, Noah would be next to completely useless if we were stuck on a deserted island, but his good looks, and his calming nature? And his beautiful personality and smile? Yes, please.

7. Perry and Roar (Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi)
I literally could not choose between the two, so I went for both. Where one faults, the other makes up, personality wise. There's no doubt either one of them can keep me both safe and alive, but for company? I would literally want either one. Where Roar is the jokester (is that a word?), very humorous and light hearted, Perry is passionate (well, so is Roar, Karla ...). Seriously, how do you choose?! How! They're both so damn perfect.

8. Ronan Lynch (The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater)
This is kind of a spoiler and it also isn't a spoiler? It won't ruin the series for you at all, but I just want to leave this warning here! -- Ronan can pull things out of dreams. Like literally. I would use this to my advantage! Though, to be honest, Ronan is so dangerous, I would be too scared to go near him ... Hm, I wonder if I thought this through?

9. Trevor (Pivot Point by Kasie West)
Have you read Pivot Point? Have you? If you did, then you'd know why I chose Trevor. Light of my life Trevor. And if you haven't read Pivot Point? What are you waiting for? GO READ IT.

10. Captain Carswell Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)
I know without a doubt that Thorne would infuriate me, but he would also make me laugh and make me feel better about our terrible situation. Plus, he has the title caption, so I'm pretty sure he would have some life skills, right!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Title: The Sky is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Release Date: March 1, 2010
Genre/AgeGroup: Young Adult, Contemporary
Add it: Goodreads
Source: Bought
Page Count: 275 pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
Lennie plays second clarinet in the school orchestra and has always happily been second fiddle to her charismatic older sister, Bailey. Then Bailey dies suddenly, and Lennie is left at sea without her anchor. Overcome by emotion, Lennie soon finds herself torn between two boys: Bailey's boyfriend, Toby, and Joe, the charming and musically gifted new boy in town. While Toby can't see her without seeing Bailey and Joe sees her only for herself, each offers Lennie something she desperately needs. But ultimately, it's up to Lennie to find her own way toward what she really needs-without Bailey

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Karla Recommends: Contemporary | #1

So, the other day, I had just finished a book that I absolutely enjoyed and I wanted to do a couple of talk about the book with my bookish friends, but I knew no one that has read it so, as one does, I basically pushed the book in their faces (not literally) and yelled at them to read it :-) like friends do.

But then I realized that these book, as much as I love them, aren't as popular as they should be. They deserve to be adored! Idolized! (Going a little crazy with the words there Karla, please calm down). So I decided: Hey! Why not recommend these book to other book lovers on the internet? And so came: Karla Recommends!

This post, as I cleverly titled "Karla Recommends" is a new segment (thats such a weird word to use?) on my blog where I recommend five or so of my favorite books that I absolutely love! (And think that you will, too!)

For my first Karla Recommends post, I'm going to recommend five contemporary books that I've read and adored throughout my life. I had so much picking these books out for you! I have so many other books I want to recommend (seriously, a butt load!) but I have to settle for these, for now.

I first read Megan Meade Guide to the McGowan Boys when I was about 12 and I absolutely loved it! It's a light and humorous read about a girl finding herself in a boys world and it's definitely hilarious! Megan is a great character whose strength really comes out in the end! And to be honest, watching all the boys and their mayhem, and their cuteness (*wink*) is the best part! 

This hilarious and heart warming book definitely became one of my faves of my 2014 reads! Cricket's eclectic point of view was wonderful to read from and his journey to realizing that hey, maybe life doesn't really suck was such a joy to read. 

45 Pounds is a beautiful book about body image and how we see ourselves. This book is very light, but it also really makes you think and it makes you feel and I was feeling all the feels! It's a great book for girls dealing with body issues and a great book, well, just in general. 

I was expecting a light read from The Book of Broken Hearts, but I've learned my lesson that Sarah Ockler is no light read! While it doesn't deal deeply with harsh topics, TBOBH does touch on Alzheimer's, that Jude's (our main character) father has. The book also has a big focus on family and making your own choices, and it was beautiful.

Probably my favorite Jennifer E. Smith book by far! (Though I have yet to read The Geography of You and Me, so the verdicts not out just yet.) This is What Happy Looks Like follows and actor and a "small town girl" who meet via email and fall in love and damn it I love Graham (the actor) and Ellie (the "small town girl") so much it physically hurts. Their stories, both together and separately, are so great and trust me, once you get into the book, you won't want to stop reading until you're done.

I also posted a Karla Recommends video on my channel, if you want to check that out!

Do you guys like my recommendations? Do you have any recommendations of your own? Please leave me a comment and let me know! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Blogging and Reading Confessions

The Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where each week you post your top ten best, worst, etc. This week's topic is your (or, well, mine) blogging and/or reading confessions.

I haven't been very active on my blog and I'm so sorry for that. I guess this post will basically both be a TTT post and a explanatory reason why I'm not posting much. Killing two birds with one stone!

1. Reviews, believe it or not, are hard to write.

This is terrible, for someone who has made this blog to write reviews. I am a person of few words, unfortunately, and when I like a book, I won't have an extensive list reasons why I enjoyed it. But then again, I feel like I'm putting too much pressure on myself when it comes to writing these book reviews. People don't care if you use fancy words to dictate how you feel about a book, do they? If they can read your review and understand what you are trying to say, then isn't that all that matters? I need to remind myself of this.

2. Blogging has been a lonely venture.

I thought, that when I started blogging, I would find some other small blogs like myself and make a blogging buddy, like all the big bloggers do. But it's been almost a year and I didn't expect to have a huge audience, but I hoped to at least make a friend through this venture. Then again, this is also my fault, since I haven't really sought out other small bloggers as well, though not for my lack of trying. Maybe this next year that will change?

3. Original posts, not being review posts, are difficult to come up with.

About 85 percent of my posts are all book reviews because I don't know what else to post, shamefully. But I have been meaning to fix this, just I've been too scared to try. I'm not a great writer and I was hoping this blog would help me, which it partially did.. 

4. Staying neutral in reviews, especially negative ones, are hard for me.

I have posted negative reviews before, where I completely lash out at the book about how much I hated it. Since then, I have regretted my decision and have been trying to be more compliant in these reviews. If I do ever write a book review for a book I didn't like, I will try (I keep using the word try) not to be cruel.

5. I get jealous.

I see other blogs updating once or twice a week with original posts and it makes me ashamed of myself, because I'm not posting as much as I should, and I'm not coming up with original and hilarious content that shows off my wit and charm to my readers (more like to random people who stumble upon my blog).

6. I don't have an extensive vocabulary

This sort of goes with reason #1, when I write a review or even a post (or, hell, even on my booktube videos), I can't come up with other words besides "great" when I want to say this book is, well, great. I always revert to one word because my mind is stuck on that one word and I can't think of other words and this just frustrates me. Like, a lot.

7. I like to stay in my comfort zone when it comes to reading and posting reviews.

I like to read most genres, but I stick to contemporary mostly because they are easy to read and, to be honest, for personal reasons. I don't like to read adult books, high fantasy books, or even classics, because they seem hard for me to grasp and when I can't understand, I feel stupid. Too stupid. Then I'd start to hate myself because, if other people can read this book without any trouble and understand it completely, why can't I?

8. Reviews all start to become the same.

I like to read books with the same area of genre and plot, like in reason #7. I also like to review said books. But when I write one contemporary review for one book, and then other review for another contemporary, I feel like I'm repeating what I had already previously said.

9. I don't think I'm that interesting.

There, I said it. I don't think I'm interesting here or on my booktube channel. I feel bland and square and as much as I am trying (damn it, there's that word again!) to make myself different and noticeable, it's a great deal of effort and sometimes I'm not even sure it's worth it.

10. I hate book-to-movie adaptations.

I really, really do.


I started this post with the intent to be personal, but I got really personal, I really surprised myself. I hope this becomes a waking call to me to improve my blog and make my blogging journey a little better.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Source: Bought
Page Count: 236 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row. 
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Title: Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Source: Bought
Page Count: 449 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Book Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: What I Thought Was True
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Source: Bought
Page Count: 416 pages
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. 
Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Weekend + Bookcon 2014!

I just realized that I never made a post about this, but I went to BookCon this year! Which was ... quite something! Actually, my whole weekend was quite a trip, so I'm going to recap my whole weekend!

Warning: I did not take many pictures because, well, I suck. BUT I'VE LEANED FROM MY MISTAKES OKAY. 

Note to future self: Document everything

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Importance of Diversity

Oh hey ... Hello there! What's that? Why, yes, this is a blog post! I'm writing a post that's not either a book review or a top ten tuesday? Is it weird? ... Yeah, it's kinda weird.

Hello friends! 

This is one of my (very, very many) few posts on this blog that isn't either a book review (or book talk, really) or a top ten tuesday post and I feel ashamed. Ashamed because I have the power to abuse this blog and post scholarly things, like how to save the world!! (but not really) and I get such anxiety because I never know what to post, that I always stay on the safe side and stick with only book reviews an ttt's.

So today, I'm changing that!

I might be a little late in the game here, but you know what? It's better to be late to a party than to never show up at all! And the party I'm partaking in this evening is *intense drum roll* Diversity! 

Recently, if you were not aware, there was a big uproar about BookCon having an all-white panel (a panel that only features white male authors - were there females in the panel? I'm not sure, I should have researched this before I started this). Fans were upset that there were no authors of color in the (or any) panel, and due to the massive explosion on almost every social media (blogspot, tumblr, twitter, etc - you name it), talking about the injustice towards diverse authors, BookCon has (finally) added some non-white authors and female authors with their own panels. (Yay for mass media!)

Diversity is a huge part of my life, I'm surrounded by it. I am Brazilian (born in new jersey, mind you), and I grew up in a house hold where I only spoke Portuguese and grew up with friends and neighbors who are all either Brazilian, Portuguese or Spanish. Seeing a Caucasian family (an all-white family that aren't from any European or South American family) (You probably already knew that) (Oh my god, Karla, can we just? Okay, okay) was something very foreign to me, which says a lot since I live in America? Yet I barely see all-white families? Okay, moving on.

To me, diversity never seemed like an issue because I am constantly surrounded by people from all parts of the world. It's something I grew up thinking was "the norm," but unfortunately, this concept isn't passed on to my world of reading, or even the shows I watch on tv. I've subconsciously accepted the fact that the people I see on my tv, the characters I read in my favorite books are white, and I didn't even realize it.

In no way do I want to demoralize my favorite characters, to diminish their importance or my respect for them, just because of the color of their skin - no way. But this influx of mass media about diversifying bookcon really opened my eyes to the thing that I've been consuming and the things that I've been doing. Whenever I start a book and the characters features aren't immediately described, off the bat I start to imagine a white person. Why do I do that? Because the majority of the book I read (nay, all of them) have white lead characters.

It's once in a blue moon I read a book where the characters are spanish (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe -- read it, y'all), and when I do it is glorious. I can relate to any character who is shy and quiet, but also sarcastic and wants more in life. But I would love to read more kick ass characters who are Black, Asian, Hispanic, Japanese, Chinese, Brasilian even, maybe?? (That last one would be super cool, just for me lol).

I hate that young girls hate the way they look because they're not white. That, because they have color on their skin and the models and actresses they see on tv do not, they they are the weird one's, the odd one's out, and they want to look more normal and beautiful, like them. While white women spend their money going to tanning salons and laying in the sun for hours just to get some color on their skin. It's pretty messed up, don't you think?

Diversity in books (and other source of entertainment like, I don't know, television shows and movies??!!) are super important because they show that situations happen to everyone. Everyone can find love. Everyone can kick ass. Everyone can overcome obstacles. That white girl with the long, flowy hair found love? So can you! Diversity is super important because it feels like you are connected with the character, in a way. It shows that you are seen and are are heard and, most importantly, that you do matter. Seeing characters like me, not only personality wise but also in my features, makes me really connect with the story and the character more. (I think this is one of the reasons why I super, super, super love Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell?)

White characters dominate our culture so much that it hurts to forget that there are other cultures that are not being represented, and they deserve to be! Every culture is beautiful and hypnotic in it's own way and it should be more popular! I hope, as the years progress, that diversity becomes less than a problem and more of a "norm" in literature and film, because we all deserve to be represent and be proud!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Buying Addiction

So, I think I might have a bit of a problem. A book buying problem.

I've sort of created this pattern. One random day, in the beginning of a month, I declare to myself "I'm not buying any more books!" a declaration that is desperately needed, after looking at the 10+ book I've purchased in the small span of not even two weeks. And I do good; for the rest of the month, I don't buy any books. Do I have to force myself not to go through amazon's books? Yes, but my willpower holds out for a good chunk of time.

Until the next month starts.

In the beginning of the month, there is probably a new release coming out that I've already pre-ordered. I decide, since I did good on not buying any books for a couple of weeks (it's only two weeks, but it feels like a lifetime), I decide to reward myself and buy another book, besides the one that I have already pre-ordered.

Here's where things get messy. I put another book in my cart, and I think "Oh what the hell. What's one more book?" and before you know it, I have three books in my cart (one pre-ordered and two book I've decided to treat myself).

I know what you're thinking: Three books isn't bad. And it's not.

What's bad is when you buy three books one day, three books two days later, and two books a couple of days later. *hides under covers*

When I buy multiple books a week, I think of it as 2 books here, 2 books there, and 2 books there. You see? I think of it as 2,2,2. I don't add them all together. I don't go, 2 books, 4 books, 6 books, like a normal brain should. Does that make sense?

When you think of it as 2,2,2 - it doesn't seem like a lot, because 2 is a very small number, so I don't think it's that big of a deal. Clearly, my brain doesn't work right. And I would never count the amount of books I've bought in that month. I would just think I only bought a couple, because of the small amount of books I bought each time. 

Only recently did I start counting up the books I have bought within a month and realize how crazy by book buying is/has been! It's amazing how I've never realized this before! I was appalled at my ignorance and I knew I had no change my ways. But I'm starting to realize it's harder than it looks. People talk about "book buying bans" and as easy as it seems in theory, when you actually set out to do it - it's a task that's near impossible to achieve. 

In this month of may (it's the 14th of may, so we're already two weeks in), I've accumulated 11 books already! Holy crap, that's almost a book a day! I know. But I was doing the 2,2,2 method instead of the 2,4,6 (the adding of the books) method without realizing it and found myself with a plethora of books in so little time! And, once again, I'm implemented a declaration of "no more books!" for this month. 

Will it last? And will my book buying get better by each month?

I sure hope so. 

Am I the only person with this problem of not realizing how many books they buy? Do you have any suggestions as to how to help my book buying problem? Please leave me a comment down below and let me know!

Bout of Books 10.0 Read-A-Thon Progress

Hello friends! I've decided to make a post about my progress in this Bout of Books Read-a-Thon, just so I can keep track of my day-to-day progress and make sense of what I've done each day. My BoB wrap up will be in a separate post, so as not to confuse me or anyone else. Keeping things separate makes things more orderly, I think.