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January Epic Recs

Emily from The YA Book Butterfly and I are participating in the January Epic Recs program :) Here are our picks:

Emily's pick for me:
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

I'm so excited to read this! I've heard nothing but great things about this series :)

My pick for Emily:
Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)
This is one of my all time favorite series! I'm currently reading Gathering Darkness, which is incredible.

My Holiday Reading List

I wanted to do something a bit more seasonal for this post, especially since Christmas is next week. So I thought for a little bit and thought why not share some of the holiday books that I've enjoyed recently or in the past and some ones I'm hoping to read this year or maybe next year. So here is my holiday reading list:

  • The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens- this is about as classic as you can get. I read this for literature a year or two ago and it's a great book. It captures an interesting and moving tale while still feeling Christmas-y and heartwarming. And I'm sure for some it holds a certain amount of nostalgia if their family, like mine, had a copy of the movie or "Scrooge" that they would play at this time of year.
  • Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle- this book was published several years ago but I hadn't seen or heard of it until recently. Knowing John Green and being familiar with Lauren Myracle I'm sure that this short story collection is amazing. I can't wait to pick it up at some point soon.
  • My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by various authors- Speaking of anthologies, I read this one...maybe late November? And I was very pleased with it. There is a wonderful lineup of authors including Stephanie Perkins, David Levithan, Gayle Forman and many others. Each story was different and unique and put me into the holiday spirit. There were definitely some gems that I really enjoyed in there too.
  • An Amish Christmas: December in Lancaster County by various- I'm a fan of Amish fiction when I'm in the mood. And I feel like they're a very family oriented group, and Christmas is certainly a family centered holiday. I haven't read this particular anthology but I have read some of the authors' other amish stories.
  • The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis- even if this isn't exactly a Christmas themed book, Father Christmas is a part of the book and it's winter for most of the book. I consider it to be pretty Christmas-y and it's a great book either way :)
  • Two Tickets to The Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul- this is an author that I really enjoyed a few years ago, she writes some great Christian YA fantasy books. So I would be interested to see what her seasonal, adult book is like.
  • Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan- I don't actually think I've read any of Rachel's books, even though I've heard of her before. I've read a little bit of David's writing but not much. In any case I was interested with the idea of this book, it sounds pretty fun.

So there's my holiday TBR list! You can check it out on my goodreads here, if you want to find out more about one of the books. Also, let me know if you have some other holiday books that I've missed, I'd love to add them and maybe read next year!

Sara Bennett, someone more likely to be found in bed, curled up with a good book, than out at a sports game or gig (although she's pretty addicted to music too). Hoping for a better world, believing in her Savior, daydreaming of One Direction, hanging out with friends, or where she may be...there's always a little voice inside wondering if it's almost time to return to the books sitting on her shelf. In short, an average young woman with a book in hand and a dream to write one day.

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins Book Review

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.

YA Book to Movie Adaptation Reviews: Part 1

Hi everyone! Now that Mockingjay has released, I thought that it'd be fun to do a compilation of mini reviews for all the YA book to movie adaptations that released this year. I figured it'd work best to divide it into two parts, so here's the first half:

fault-in-our-stars-movie-poster-fullI absolutely loved this one and it's definitely one of my favorite movies of the entire year! Both actors were incredible (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) and TFioS tugged at my heartstrings as 
much, if not more, than the novel did. The way each character's emotions were depicted was amazing, too. If you haven't seen this, you definitely should!

I enjoyed this one, but not quite as much as I hoped to. I haven't read the book, so I'm not sure how well this translates as an adaptation, but it seemed somewhat predictable to me and I wasn't a fan of the romance (although I heard that doesn't exist in the novel). However, I especially liked the way the black-and-white and color film were used to further the story.

Vampire Academy I've seen countless negative reviews for this one, and although it isn't necessarily a great adaptation, as a movie- it's good! There's several hilarious scenes throughout and it has a more lighthearted feel to it than the books. I saw it with a group of friends who haven't read the books, and they seemed to like it more than most people who have read the series. I think if you go in not having many expectation, you'll enjoy it! Yes, it has cheesy effects and some strange lines, but it's still fun to watch.

Have you seen any of these? If so, what were your thoughts? :)

Atlantia by Ally Condie Book Review

 Can you hear Atlantia breathing?
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.
Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.