May 2018 Wrap-up

I can’t believe May is already over! Though I didn’t read as many books as I would have liked to, I did gain momentum in my reading, and met some of my reading goals!

Here are the books I read in the month of May!

Image result for when dimple met rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon

I actually really liked this book! This is a YA novel about Dimple, a girl who doesn’t conform to her mother’s traditional Indian expectations; she would rather focus on technology and app development rather than finding a boy that she can marry. In preparation for college, Dimple asks her parents to enroll her in a summer program for app development. They consent to Dimple’s surprise. Little does she know that her mother actually found a boy for Dimple to marry, and he’s going to be at this summer program as well! That’s When Dimple Met Rishi.

This story was so cute. Being a little above the typical YA age range, I did find some parts a little cheesy and angsty, but overall I really enjoyed it.

3/5 stars

Goodreads link here.  

Image result for northanger abbey

Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen

I have made it my mission to read more Jane Austen novels, or rather all Jane Austen novels. Northanger Abbey was the beginning of this journey and the second Austen novel I’ve read aside from Pride and Prejudice. As I expected, I really loved this story. I thought the way it was constructed almost as metafiction was really interesting and well-done. I love that Catherine Morland is an avid reader, especially of horror/mystery novels. Because she reads so much, and she’s young and naive, she easily gets caught up in the stories she reads, and forgets to appreciate her own life.

It was really whimsical and there were several moments when I laughed out loud while reading. I think people often forget how hilarious Austen really is.

4/5 stars.

Goodreads link here.

Image result for The book thief

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

I posted a full book review on this book in a previous blog. If you missed it, you can see it here.

This book is about Liesel Meminger, who goes to stay in the foster care of the Hubermans. It’s about her upbringing there in a poor German town during WWII Nazi Germany.

Pretty much, this book is freaking amazing. I was way behind on this train, but if perhaps you haven’t read this book yet, do it! You won’t regret it. This book is beautifully and masterfully written.

5/5 stars.

Goodreads link here.

Image result for wonder book

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

Again, I was really late to this train. However, since I’m still taking that online YA Lit course, I chose this book for one of my lessons. And it did not disappoint. This book was so funny and sad and so so touching. It tells the story of August (Auggie) Pullman, who is starting the fifth grade after a life of homeschooling and who also has a facial deformity. It’s a sweet and unique coming-of-age story that really forces the reader to gain some perspective. I love love loved this book so much.

5/5 stars.

Goodreads link here.


Those are all of the books I read during the month of May. While it wasn’t as many books as I would have liked to read, I had such a good reading month as far as the quality of the books. If you’ve read any of these books, I would love to discuss them with you in the comments below!

Stay tuned for my June TBR coming out sometime in the next week!

And don’t forget, you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5603168-samantha-gilmore

Happy Reading!

Advertisements

Book Review: The Book Thief

Image result for the book thief

I have to say straight out that I’m very late to the game with this book. That being said, if you by any chance haven’t read this book, GO DO IT, NOW! This book is stunning, brilliant, powerful, and resonant. Those of you who have read it know what I’m talking about. There’s a reason I’ve never heard a bad thing about this book. It’s truly AMAZING.

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak is about a young German girl named Liesel Meminger, who goes into the foster care of Hans and Rosa Huberman. Liesel is entranced by words from the moment she steals her first book from the snow covered ground. With the help of her loving foster father, her love for words grows while trying to survive in the throes of Nazi Germany during World War II. Liesel continues to steal books wherever she can get them as her situation becomes more and more dangerous, especially when her foster parents hide a Jew in their basement.

This book is heart-wrenching, and I’m not going to lie, I did tear up reading this book. I think one of things I loved most about this book was Zusak’s choice of narrator. I think it’s such a brilliant and creative move that adds to the flow of the narrative, as well as adding to its depth and poignancy.

Another aspect of this book that I really loved was the relationship development between Liesel and the other characters in the book. Much like our reality, none of Liesel’s relationships with the other people in her town were instant; the trust wasn’t instant with any of them. But slowly, it grows. After several nights filled with night terrors and vigils by her bedside, Hans Huberman becomes her papa. After surface-level beratement and profanity-filled lectures, Liesel finds that Rosa Huberman is very much her big-hearted mama. After much trepidation and nights and days spent reading, Liesel finds a new brother in Max Vandenburg. And after years of mischievous adventures, Liesel finds love and friendship in Rudy Steiner.

I loved everything about this book. The hype is real and very much deserved.

5/5 Stars.

If you’ve read this book, please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Don’t forget you can find me in other cyber spaces!

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5603168-samantha-gilmore

Top 5 Fantasy Books I Want to Read

With school readings in university, I don’t get around to reading much fantasy. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m really excited to get around to these 5 fantasy books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf for way too long!

Image result for queen of the tearling

The Queen of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen

This book has been talked about time and time again on BookTube with raving reviews. The story centers on Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, who was raised in exile. She embarks on a perilous journey back to her kingdom of birth to take her rightful throne. Of course, there are trials along the way, including enemies and an evil sorceress possessed of dark magic.

I’ve owned this book for over a year now, and I think it’s about time that I finally read it!

Goodreads link here.

Image result for rebel of the sands

Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton

I bought this book on Book Outlet a while ago without knowing much about it. It was more of a purchase influenced by reviews on BookTube. This is a YA fantasy book about Amani Al’Hiza, a poor, orphaned, gifted gunslinger from the backcountry town of Dustwalk. She dreams of leaving Dustwalk, but never found an opportunity until she meets Jin, a foreigner, in a shooting contest.

This fantasy includes magic and mythical creatures, and it seems like something I’m really going to enjoy!

Goodreads link here. 

Image result for tower of dawn

Tower of Dawn, by Sarah J. Maas

I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this book at a Goodwill bookstore for $3 the other week! I held off getting this book when it was released last year; Chaol was never my favorite character in the Throne of Glass series, so I didn’t feel like spending $20+ for a book that only centers on his story and not Aelin and Rowan. But when I found it at Goodwill, it was the perfect opportunity to continue the series and save quite a few bucks!

This is the 6th book in the Throne of Glass series, so I can’t really say much about it without spoiling the other previous books. This series is phenomenal and one of my favorite fantasy series by far!

Goodreads link for the first Throne of Glass book here. 

Goodreads link for Tower of Dawn here.

Image result for the song rising

The Song Rising, by Samantha Shannon

If you haven’t read The Bone Season, you should get on that! This fantasy series is so captivating, and I’ve loved both The Bone Season and The Mime Order. I have own the third installment for some time now, but I haven’t been able to read it either from being busy or just not having the courage to dive back into this story. Again, because this is the third book of a series, I’m not going to go into the synopsis. The series on a whole focuses on Paige Mahoney, a clairvoyant whose powers are outlawed in her futuristic London.

Goodreads link to The Bone Season here.

Goodreads link to The Song Rising here.

Image result for the star-touched queen

The Star-Touched Queen, by Roshani Chokshi

This is another fantasy book that I don’t know very much about. It’s been hyped up all over BookTube, so I bought it a while ago. The story is about Maya, who is cursed with a horoscope that promises death and destruction. Maya is more focused on scholarly pursuits, but all of that is changed when her father, the Raja, arranges her marriage with Amar from Akaran to quell political rebellions. Maya is faced with unraveling an ancient mystery in order to save those she loves the most.

Goodreads link here.

These are the top 5 fantasy books I want to read in the very near future. Have you read any of these books? If you have, let me know what you thought in the comments below! What fantasy books are you reading or looking forward to reading?

Don’t forget, you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5603168-samantha-gilmore

Happy Reading!

What I’m Reading for the Rest of May

img_3735.jpg

Folks, I have FINALLY graduated college! That being said, I finally have more time to read regularly and leisurely!

Here are the books I’m reading for the rest of May!

When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon

I started this YA contemporary about a month ago during the final weeks of Spring semester, and I nearly finished before finals hit, and I got busy. With only about 50 pages left, I expect I will finish this later tonight! It’s a pretty endearing story, and pretty impressive for a debut novel. I also think Menon offers insight into some aspects of Indian culture.

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen

Now that I’m done with school, I have made it my mission to read all of Jane Austen’s novels. I’ve read Pride and Prejudice multiple times and it is by far one of my all-time favorite books. So, I find it pretty crazy that it’s been, up until this month, the only Austen novel I had ever read! I just finished Northanger Abbey and loved it, and I expect I will love this one as well!

The Book Thief, by Markus Zuzak

Ok, I lied. I’m still finishing up an online YA Lit course, and this is the next book I will be reading for the lesson! I believe it is under the lesson on realistic fiction (but I could be wrong).

In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julía Alvarez

I started this book months ago for my Major American Authors class. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the last portion of the book, so I plan on finishing this one by the end of the month (hopefully). I love Alvarez’s writing, and her stories are always so compelling. (Highly Recommend)

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! If you’ve read any of these books, let me know what you thought of them in the comments below!

Don’t forget you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SamiG 

Update: How My TBR is Going

So I published my January TBR a little over a week ago, and I just wanted to give an update on my progress with the TBR I posted. When I first put together my TBR, school hadn’t started yet, so I was feeling really ambitious. However, I have read three (In Order to LiveGoodbye Tsugumi, and Shatter Me) of the six books I posted (which is actually pretty good for a reader who has just recovered from a massive reading slump!). I’m also going to be working through books I’ve since been assigned for school reading.

Aside from school slowing down my reading, my TBR has also been influenced by my chronic book-buying tendencies. I have made a couple trips to my local Goodwill bookstores as well as my library bookstore. It’s hard not to buy books when they’re only 50 cents to two dollars! Not only that, but I also splurged on a huge Bookoutlet order, that I only regret just a little bit (but not really, let’s get real). I’m so excited to show you guys the books that I’ve bought this month!

I’m currently working through Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng. It’s definitely a much slower paced read than Shatter Me, which is the last book I read, but I’m still really enjoying it. For school, I’m reading a collection of poems from Pulitzer Prize winning poet laureate, Tracy K. Smith called, Life on Mars, and I will soon be starting The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison.

I hope you guys have lovely week. Let me know what you guys have been reading this month and how you are progressing through your January TBRs!


Don’t forget you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SamiG

January TBR!

I’m back! I’m so inconsistent with this blog, but I’m making it one of my New Year’s resolutions to keep with it and stay consistent with my posts.

For my first post of the New Year, I thought it would be fitting to catch you guys up on what I’m hoping to read in the month of January. So, here is my January TBR! As usual, I will leave a Goodreads link for each book in case you’re interested in reading the synopsis!

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

Goodreads link here

The Circle by Dave Eggers

Goodreads link here

Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto

Goodreads link here

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Goodreads link here

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Goodreads link here

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Goodreads link here


I hope you enjoyed my January TBR. If you’ve read any of these books, let me know your thoughts on them!!

What books are you guys reading this month?

Don’t forget you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SamiG

 

Oregon Book Haul!!

Image result for powell's city of books

Around this time last year, I got married. My new husband and I flew to Oregon for a small, fun honeymoon in Portland. Of course, I went to Powell’s City of Books. For our one-year anniversary, we decided to road trip with my mom and sister back to Portland.

Of course, I went to Powell’s City of Books.

It’s safe to say I purchased A LOT of books in the past five days. Most of these were purchased from Powell’s at two different branches: the Burnside Branch and the Beaverton Branch. A few were purchased at another favorite independent bookstore of mine: The Book Bin (located in Corvallis, OR).

My goal for this trip was to look for more contemporary books. I absolutely love fantasy, so my entire bookshelf mostly consists of fantasy. However, (most likely because it’s summer) I’ve been in the mood for contemporary lately, but I barely have any. So, my goal for this trip was to stock up on some good contemporary reads, both light and fluff as well as some on the heavier side.

Here are the books I purchased while in Oregon!!

Image result for the problem with forever

The Problem with Forever, by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The main thing that caught my attention with this book was its gorgeous cover. I loved the splash of cover, and it definitely trumps her heinous covers for her Lux series! I’ve already read this book, and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t amazing, but it keeps you entertained and makes it difficult to put down.

Here’s the Goodreads link for the synopsis.

Image result for all the bright places

All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven

Definitely on the heavier side.

Goodreads link

Image result for love letters to the dead

Love Letters to the Dead, by Ava Dellaira

Goodreads link

Image result for the sky is everywhere

The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson

Everyone is obsessed with this author, so I picked up her books.

Goodreads link

Image result for I'll give you the sun

I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson

Goodreads link

Image result for the distance between us

The Distance Between Us, by Kasie West

I want to pick up more books by this author because I’ve heard she writes really cute and fluffy contemporary novels…. just what the doctor ordered!

Goodreads link

Image result for we all looked up

We All Looked Up, by Tommy Wallach

This book was really hyped when it came out, and I loved the cover, so I bought it. However, I’m now finding there are really mixed reviews on it. We’ll see how this goes!

Goodreads link

Image result for the unexpected everything

The Unexpected Everything, by Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson is the queen of summer YA contemporaries. Obviously I picked this up!

Goodreads link

Image result for when we collide

When We Collided, by Emery Lord

Definitely a cover buy!

Goodreads link

Image result for the song rising

The Song Rising, by Samantha Shannon

A fantasy book and the third book in Shannon’s The Bone Season series, which I’m obsessed with. I’ve been wanting this book for forever, and I was super stoked to find it on sale!

Goodreads link

Image result for carry on

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

Another fantasy book. I listened to this on audible, or at least I tried. I didn’t retain anything from the story, so I wanted to re-read it with a physical copy.

Goodreads link

Image result for aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Acclaimed novel with not only hype, but literary awards. I wanted it bad.

Goodreads link

Image result for lizard banana yoshimoto

Lizard, by Banana Yoshimoto

I love Banana Yoshimoto.

Goodreads link

Image result for asleep banana

Asleep, by Banana Yoshimoto

I love Banana Yoshimoto.

Goodreads link

Image result for goodbye tsugumi

Goodbye, Tsugumi, by Banana Yoshimoto

I love Banana Yoshimoto.

Goodreads link

Image result for it ends with us

It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover

Ever since I read Hopeless, I’ve wanted to read everything by Hoover.

I just finished this book. Beautiful.

Goodreads link

Image result for slammed colleen

Slammed, by Colleen Hoover

Goodreads link


I hope you enjoyed this not-so-little book haul. If you’ve read any of these books, let me know your thoughts on them!!

What books have you guys bought recently?

Don’t forget you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SamiG

ALSO: If you’re interested in a blog about feelings, relationships, family, love, life, and the human experience, feel free to check out my other blog:

https://sgilmore625.wordpress.com/