July Wrap-Up

I can’t believe July is already over… it has flown by.

This month I read 8 books, 3 graphic novels, and 1 short story.

1. The Bad BeginningTitle: The Bad Beginning

Author: Lemony Snicket

Pages: 176 pages

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Short Review: The Bad Beginning is the first book in Lemony Snicket’s middle grade series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. It is the story of the three Baudelaire siblings and their rather unfortunate story.

As a child I had no interest in reading these books but in retrospect, I wish I had. This story was something I would have loved as a child in late elementary school or early middle school.  As a teenager I did enjoy these books but the writing was a bit young. I often felt that some of the explanations were a bit tedious, but I had to remind myself that they were in fact for a younger audience.


Mind MGMT Volume 2

Title: Mind MGMT: The Futurist

Author: Matt Kindt

Pages: 184

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Review: Click -> HERE


Mind MGMT Volume 3Title: Mind MGMT: The Home Maker

Author: Matt Kindt

Pages: 176

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Review: Click-> HERE

4.Emily the StrangeTitle: Emily the Strange

Author: Cosmic Debris

Pages: 64

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Short Review: Emily Strange is a super short graphic novel that I read in about 2 minutes at my library. I also think the synopsis has more words than the book has. Even though it was short, the lines were super cool. Some of my favorite include; Emily The Strange #1“Emily doesn’t make imaginary friends…she creates imaginary enemies.”

I would warn that even though it is marketed as a children’s graphic novel it is not for children. There are some dark themes.

5. Beauty and the BeastTitle: Beauty and the Beast

Author: Unknown

Pages: 64

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Short Review: Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney princess movie, so when I found this book for free on my kindle I bought it. I honestly wasn’t totally blown away with this version but it was alright, especially for a free book,  I enjoyed reading it and comparing it to the Disney adaptation. If you like Beauty and the Beast and searching for a very quick short story, definitely pick this one up; it only takes about half an hour to read.

6. The Reptile RoomTitle: The Reptile Room

Author: Lemony Snicket

Pages: 192 pages

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Short Review: The Reptile Room is the second book in Lemony Snicket’s series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. It is a continuation of the story of the three siblings in the second book and it was relatively good. I found the story line was a bit like the first one but overall it was a good story.

7. The Wide WindowTitle: The Wide Window

Author: Lemony Snicket

Pages: 214

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Short Review: The Wide Window is the third book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series. I was really disappointed with this book. I was hoping that the story line in this book would be some what different than the previous books but it was exactly the same. It is hard to believe that all the many, many books in the series are all the same, but so far the story is practically the same in each book.

8. Of Mice and MenTitle: Of Mice and Men

Author: John Steinbeck

Pages: 103

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Review: Click-> HERE

9. The Heretic QueenTitle: The Heretic Queen

Author: Michelle Moran

Pages: 383

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Review: Click-> HERE

10. StolenTitle: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor

Author: Lucy Christopher

Pages: 301

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Review: Click-> HERE

11. Four

 Title: Four: A Divergent Story Collection

Author: Veronica Roth

Pages: 208

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Short Review: Four: A Divergent Story Collection includes 4 short stories; The Transfer, The Initiate, The Son, and The Traitor. I love the Four’s character and I was really happy to read a few short chapters from his prospective.  We learn about his life before Divergent takes place as well as his side of the relationship with Tris.

Recommendation: If you have read Divergent and want to read a few scenes from Four’s prospective and his life in Abnegation, pick up this book.

12. Clockwork AngelTitle: Clockwork Angel

Author: Cassandra Clare

Pages: 479

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Review: Click-> HERE

Overall Reading Month: 4.1 stars

Books from original TBR:  2/7

Books added to Favorites: 5 (Stolen, Of Mice and Men, The Heretic Queen, Mind MGMT: The Futurist, Mind MGMT: The Home Maker)

Rereads: None

Posts This Month: 11

Favorite Book This Month: The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

The Heretic Queen

Clockwork Angel

Clockwork AngelAuthor: Cassandra Clare

Pages: 479

Goodreads Synopsis: In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them….

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Review: I have been wanting to start this trilogy for a long time. I have recently read the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and then I found out that there was  a prequel and it was three books long and I was super excited. I picked up Clockwork Angel and tried to read it numerous times but I never really got into it and I have no idea why. This time I forced myself to read it and I was happy I did. For the first 200 pages it seemed like nothing was happening and it just dragged on and on and on. Then, everything blew up and I finished the second half it in about a day and a half. The action was great and it was cool to see how some of  the characters in the Mortal Instruments played into this book (especially Magnus Bane, he is a really cool character).

Recommendation: If you have read the Mortal Instruments series and liked it definitely check these books out. If you are confused as to if you should read the Infernal Devices trilogy or the Mortal Instruments series, I would recommend you pick the Infernal Devices up first. If you just want a good fantasy series pick this up. :)


Stolen: A Letter to My Captor


Title: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor

Author: Lucy Christopher

Pages: 301

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Short Review: This book made me think. It made me question many things… I love books like this!

Stolen is about a girl, Gemma, who is kidnapped by Ty in a airport coffee shop. He drugs her coffee and brings her on an airplane. When Gemma wakes up she finds that is is in the Australian Outback, in a house created by Ty to hold her, surrounded only by red sand. Stolen follows Gemma’s time in Australia as she learns about more about Ty and why he brought her to the secluded house as well as about herself and her previous life in London.

I am having a hard time thinking of what to say about this book. The story is so complex it is hard to wrap my thoughts around what I am feeling.

I guess I will start with the character development…it was perfect. As the reader I went from hating Ty to really feeling for him; I think in the same way as Gemma did. First off we see him as an older man who takes a sixteen year old girl from her parents to an incredibly isolated place with no intention of ever letting her go. As the story progresses we learn that Ty had no love from his parents and was only yearning to be loved and love another person. He was also trying to show Gemma how her life in London was a lie and that life with him would be so much better.

Gemma is a seemingly normal sixteen year old girl at the beginning of the book but we soon learn that her life is not what it looks like. Her parents are absent and she doesn’t fit in at school. Gemma is truly a wonderful and strong character who reacted to how most people would act in a situation similar to hers.

The writing style was really cool. It was written as a letter from Gemma to Ty hence the title “a letter to my captor.” It was really interesting to see it written in second person when most of the books I read are written in first or third person.

The only reason this book did not get a 5 star review was because a lot of scenes seemed to be repeating themselves over, and over and by the end I was a bit bored, but as I think about it now, most peoples lives repeat themselves over and over.

Overall, this book was fantastic and I think it is about an issue that is going on now and should be part of literature.

Recommendation: If you like to read thrilling contemporary, about an issue that matters, this book is for you.

The Heretic Queen

The Heretic QueenAuthor: Michelle Moran


Published: September 16th, 2008

Goodreads Synopsis: In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past and remake history.

The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the Eighteenth Dynasty’s royal family—all with the exception of Nefertari, the niece of the reviled former queen, Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names. A relic of a previous reign, Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace. But this changes when she is taken under the wing of the Pharaoh’s aunt, then brought to the Temple of Hathor, where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen.

Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the Crown Prince, and despite her family’s history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one. While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful Pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus in history.

Sweeping in scope and meticulous in detail, The Heretic Queen is a novel of passion and power, heartbreak and redemption.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Review: The Heretic Queen is the story of young Nefertari, the niece of Nefertiti, thought, at the time to be a heretic. Throughout the story we see Nefertari grow up from an awkward child to the beautiful wife of Ramesses the Great. It is a wonderful story of growing up and choosing your destiny.

I have never heard of Nefertari before reading The Heretic Queen, and picking up this book was on a total whim, but I am so glad I did. Nefertari’s story is so interesting and quite relatable. Even though most people are not the queen of Egypt, Nefertari is quite similar to many teenagers today. Throughout the book Nefertari experienced school, and first love, and learning what it is to be an individual while trying to have people like you.

The writing of Michelle Moran made me feel like instead of reading I was watching a film of Nefertari’s life. The was she described everything made the story come to life.

Overall, this book is a must read for all historical fiction fans. I loved this book and I hope everyone will give it a try.


Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and MenAuthor: John Steinbeck

Pages: 103

Publication Date: 1937

Goodreads Synopsis: The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simple-minded man, calming him and helping to rein in his immense physical strength.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Review: This story was beautiful and tragic. Steinbeck has a way with words that really bring the story to life. The story is short but I am sure it will stay with me forever. The characters were beautifully crafted and the relationship of Lennie and George is quite unique. Lennie is such a likable character. He is incredibly unintelligent but he is so sweet in a childlike sense; you can’t help but like him and feel really sorry for them. George is also a really interesting character. He is a bit more intelligent but he is still a dreamer and you do end up feeling sorry for him.    This book is one of my new favorite classics.

Recommendation: If you are looking for a short but an incredibly good story I wholeheartedly think you should read Of Mice and Men.

Quote #21

When you were very small, perhaps someone read to you the insipid story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. A very dull boy, you may remember, cried, ‘Wolf! when there was no wolf, and the gullible villagers ran to rescue him only to find the whole think was a joke. Then he cried ‘Wolf!’ when it wasn’t a joke, and the villagers didn’t come running, and the boy was eaten and the story, thank goodness, was over.

The story’s moral, of course, ought to be ‘Never live somewhere where wolves are running around loose,’ but whoever read you the story probably told you that the moral was not to lie.” -Lemony Snicket (The Reptile Room)

Currently Reading #12

I have just started The Heretic Queen by Michelle MoranThe Heretic QueenI picked up this book on a whim and I am really glad I did. The Heretic Queen is about Nefertari, the niece of Nefertiti who died when her palace caught on fire and is considered a heretic. The Heretic Queen follows Nefertari as she grows up and catches the eye of Pharaoh Ramses the Great but it is also a coming of age story as she decides what she wants to do with her life and has to come to terms with who her parents and aunt were.

This book is really interesting and relatable. Even though Nefertari lived in ancient Egypt it is easy to see how mush of a teenager she was.


July TBR

Sorry this is a bit late (7 days late).

Anyway, it is already July and I am out of school so I am planning on reading quite a few books this month. I have created a very tentative reading list for July and it is really subject to change. I do not want to force myself to read anything I don’t feel like reading especially during the summer.

I have already complete a few books this month and will leave those for the Wrap-Up at the end of July.

What I plan to read in July:

1. The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott-Fitzgerald

2. The Heretic QueenThe Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

3.Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

4.Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

5. The Unbecoming of Mara DyerThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

6. The DivinersThe Diviners by Libba Bray (reread)

7. Clockwork AngelThe Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare