Review: Timebound by Rysa Walker

timebound coverTimebound by Rysa Walker

Published January 1st 2014

I’d never heard of this book before but when I randomly came upon it when browsing audio books, I thought the cover was really cool. I’m not a massive fan of time travel but I wanted to give Timebound a fair chance.

Timebound is about a girl named Kate who’s long lost grandma suddenly comes back into her life after a decade of absence. She gives Kate a strange glowing blue medallion and starts talking about time travel. When things start getting weird and dangerous, Kate learns she has the genetic ability to time travel and she has to travel back to Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and change a chain of events and possibly change the modern day world as she knows it, including erasing the memory of herself from the mind of the boy, Kiernan, that she loves.

Timebound starts off with a really confusing prologue. I was so weirded out and I was hoping that the whole book wouldn’t be as confusing as the prologue. Luckily, it straightened out once it got past the prologue.

I thought the writing style was really good. It was really smooth and even though I read this as an audio book, it went really quick for a book that’s 366 pages. I think the overall reading time was about 6 hours. I always love it when books are written in a way that makes even the longest book become a quick read. And Rysa Walker definitely wrote this book to be a quick read.

I tend to find books with time travel to be either really complicated or really unrealistic. I thought Timebound was right in the middle. It was kind of over complicated at times. I thought the concept of the genetic ability to time travel was both original and mildly ridiculous. I mean, I want to be able to see a way that I can time travel. I’m pretty sure I don’t have the genetics to time travel so that was kind of a downer.

And Kate’s grandma dumps so much information on Kate (and the reader) in such a short amount of time that I felt myself drifting off. I started to concentrate more on playing Animal Crossing then all the info that Kate’s grandma was dumping on me and her. I wish all the  information could have been spread out more so I could really take it all in better.

The characters are all fairly okay.  Kate is a pretty general character.  Actually, all the characters are pretty standard Young Adult characters. I didn’t find Kate to be extremely annoying but I also didn’t fall in love with her. She wasn’t abnormally interesting or different.

The thing I hated about this book is how the author turned Kate into a complete idiot when ever she was around Kiernan. Early in the book we learn that Kate has experience in martial arts but somehow, whenever a boy is around to save her, she can’t save herself. She becomes so helpless and I hated that.

I wish the overall story had been more about Kate saving the world and kicking butt instead of such a romance. I wish it focused more on Kate and not Kiernan and Kate.

I did like how much the author described the settings and clothes. It really helped me get a good picture of Chicago in 1893. The author clearly did a  great deal of research and it really showed.

Overall, this was a good read. I enjoyed listening to it and it was fun. I was mildly annoyed at times with the author’s choices with the main character but I didn’t hate the overall character. There isn’t really anything that stands out with this book though. It’s a fun, fast read but there’s nothing extremely memorable about the characters or plot. The writing is really good and I appreciate how much research Rysa Walker put into the book. However, I doubt I’ll be continuing with the series. If you’re a massive fan of time travel, I do recommend this book. But if you’re looking for really memorable characters or a really stand out plot,  you might want to skip this one.

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Review: Hinges: Clockwork City by Meredith McClaren

Hinges Book 1 Clockwork City

Hinges: Clockwork City (Hinges #1) by Meredith McClaren

Published March 10th 2015

I’ve recently started reading comic books and graphic novels and I’ve really found myself loving them. They’re great to read in between books or during a reading slump. When I seen the cover for Clockwork City, I was immediately excited. The artwork looked similar to the artwork of my favorite graphic novel series of all time, Saga. I was hoping beyond hope that it was from the same publishing company,  Image Comics. And it was! My excitement grew to a whole new level.

Hinges: Clockwork City is about a doll named Orio and her familiar, Bauble. Orio was recently assigned Bauble. Orio wants to blend in but Bauble is a complete trouble maker so chaos ensues.

I loved this graphic novel so much! It was so interesting and fun. The artwork was beautiful. I really liked Orio but Bauble was so awesome! He was so cute and funny. Hinges reminds me of Lilo and Stitch in a way.

The concept is so cool and different. I like that Orio is a doll. It’s just so awesome and interesting.

This isn’t a very large graphic novel, only 112 pages, and it does feel a little too short. There isn’t a lot of dialogue so it’s a really quick read. I wish I could have spent an hour reading this instead of 15 minutes. And I wish I had #2 right away! But that’s just a little thing.

Overall, I loved Hinges: Clockwork City. If you’re looking for a new graphic novel series to fall in love with or you’re just wanting to get into graphic novels and you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend Hinges. I read this in an ebook format and I’ll definitely be getting it in paperback soon.

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Review: Rise Again by Ben Tripp

Rrise againise Again by Ben Tripp 

Published October 26th 2010

I’d seen Rise Again randomly on BookOutlet.com at the end of last year and I’d never heard of it before. The cover looked really awesome and I love horror and  post apocalyptic so this seemed like the perfect book for me. I was a little hesitant because I’d never heard of it before but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book.

Rise Again is about Sheriff Danielle Adelman who is suffering from PTSD from her time Iraq. She’s struggling to take care of herself and her younger sister when her sister runs away and dozens of people start to get sick. Danielle soon learns that the zombie apocalypse has started and she needs to find her sister and save a few survivors along the way.

I was a little unsure for the first 30 pages of this book. I rarely read books outside of YA and I’m always doubtful when I start anything that’s not Young Adult. But, after the first 30 pages, I could see that I was completely wrong. It was going to be really great. And it was.

To be honest, the first 20 pages didn’t really hit me right. I couldn’t relate to the main character, Danny, and I didn’t know her well enough to feel any sort of empathy. But right around page 50, when crap got real, I really started to get into the story.

Danny was a great main character. She kicked so much butt and didn’t get caught up in any stupid drama. She didn’t dwell on what ifs and how horrible everything was. She got crap done and she kicked butt while doing it.  And while I couldn’t even really relate to her, I really starting rooting for her and I liked her a lot.

I really liked how the story split off into two perspectives in the middle of the book. It sounds like a weird thing for the author to do but it really worked well for the story.

The writing style and all that good stuff was awesome. I couldn’t believe that this was a debut book. Ben Tripp knows how to write a great story.

The plot was so well thought out! I think that’s my favorite thing about this book. It was clear that Tripp had really thought about where he wanted to story to go and how to get it there. Some books, it feels like the writer was just making it up as they went, with no real end game. But Rise Again had a great story line. It was amazing.

I also really loved how this book didn’t have any romance. It was purely about Danny and her trying to save herself and others. Danny got to be the main character and nothing took away from that.

I really liked the zombies that Tripp created. They were fairly original, I thought. Not to the point of being weird and dumb but just a fresh take on zombies.

I live fairly close to where the last half this book takes place so that was so creepy and scary! As I was reading, I was like, Oh my gosh I know where that town is! It really added to the realistic writing.

Overall, I was tremendously impressed with this book. It was well written with a new take on an old idea. If you’re looking for a really good horror and/or zombie book, I recommend this book. And after an ending like that, I have a mighty need for book two!

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Recommendation Friday #1

rec fridayHi everyone! Stephanie and I created a new weekly meme called  Recommendation Friday. Every Friday, one of us will give a new book recommendation! If you want to join us, we would love that! All we ask is a mention/link back to our blog and leave the link to your Recommendation Friday in the comments to we can check it out.

not a drop to drink coverThis week my recommendation is one of my all time favorite books, Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis. Not a Drop to Drink is about a girl named Lynn who lives a post apocalyptic America where water is extremely hard to come by. Her mother taught her to defend the small pond in their backyard at all costs. Soon, things start to change and Lynn finds herself defending the pond towards new threats .The tag line of the book is “Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water” and I think that’s one of my favorite tag lines for a book that I’ve ever seen. This is such an amazing debut novel! I read it back in 2013, it’s release year,  and my love for this book is still going strong. It has so much drama and excitement! It was so hard for me to put this book down. The writing is amazing and Lynn is an insanely awesome protagonist. I’m always searching for strong, well written female protagonists and Lynn is perfect. Not a Drop to Drink is so action packed and I loved every word of this book. I’m definitely going to be reread this book this year. I highly, highly recommend this book to everyone.

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

all the bright places coverAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Published January 6th 2015

I’d seen so many great reviews on All the Bright Places and so many people told me it was their new favorite book of all time. I was very hesitant to read this book because of the hype. I  didn’t want to get my hopes up really high so I started All the Bright Places with an extremely open mind. And I was very surprised by this book in several different ways.

All the Bright Places is about a boy named Finch who is almost always thinking about death and dying. It’s also about a girl named Violet who is grieving over her sister’s recent death. These two kids meet in an unexpected way and the book follows them as their friendship progresses.

I finished this book four days ago and I still can’t stop thinking about it. That’s very rare for me because I normally finished a book and then move on to the next. Very few books will stop me in my tracks. But All the Bright Places did.

The first 176 pages of this book were… weird for me. I don’t know what it was but I just couldn’t get fully into the book. I liked it a lot and I knew it was an amazing book but I just couldn’t feel it as much as I knew I should. I think it’s because I’ve been reading a crap ton of contemporary lately and deep down I really wanted to be reading fantasy. But while the thought of putting this book on hold crossed my mind a of couple times in the first 176 pages, I also was outraged at myself for wanting to stop reading. So I keep reading. When I hit page 178, something clicked in my brain and I finally felt this book. I suddenly felt everything that I should have been feeling since page one and I all but rushed though the rest of the book because I was amazed by how beautiful this book is and how amazing Jennifer Niven is for writing such a master piece.

People have been comparing this book to John Green’s books and Rainbow Rowell’s which at first upset me a little bit because those two are insane writers. I love their books and no one could ever be compared to them. But Jennifer Niven can. She’s amazing. The way she pieces words together, it’s almost poetic. Everything she writes just seems perfect and understandable in a way words can’t describe.

Finch and Violet somehow seem less than fictitious. They both seemed so real and tangible. And the more I read their story the more I wanted to know them. I wanted to be able to talk to them and tell them it’s gonna be okay. Somehow Jennifer Niven wrote two amazingly complex and beautiful characters that can become much more than fictional characters.

Overall, this book is beautiful and heartfelt in a way that’s not common in literature. I still feel stunned by All the Bright Places even though I finished it days ago. This book has really stood out for me in a way that I won’t soon forget. This book swept me up in its whirlwind of magnificent storytelling and hasn’t let me go. I’ll be rereading this book in the near future and I highly recommend picking up this book sometime soon.

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ARC review: The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

T19543156he Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

Published March 10th 2015

I wasn’t really sure what this book was about when I received this ARC. The cover is kinda cool with the bright yellow and the boy with the super hero mask. I was very tentative when I looked on GoodReads to see what the synopsis was.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B is about a support group of teenagers with obsessive-compulsive order. It focuses on a character named Adam who is almost 15. His mom and dad are divorced and he has his hands full with new stepsiblings. He meets a girl named Robyn at his OCD support group and he falls in love with her right away. Adam struggles to keep his life together with his new family and his OCD.

The first four pages of this book are indescribable. I wasn’t not prepared for the complete disaster that is Adam’s inner monologue. It took about 26 pages for me to get my thoughts together but the plot didn’t get better.

I felt like the only redeemable quality about this book is how it teaches the reader about OCD. I’d read OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu in 2013 so I knew about OCD and how hard it is for the people who have it so that little nugget of information so almost completely irrelevant to me.

It was insanely difficult to relate to the characters. Not only because of their OCD but just in general. I did feel really bad for Adam at times and I didn’t fall in love with him or the other characters. I just couldn’t connect with them.

The writing was really poor, in my opinion. Lack of description and just overall weirdness didn’t do this book any favors. The third person narrative felt choppy and had so many mistakes. It would go back and forth from “Adam’s mom” to “Mrs. Ross” when referring to the same person. A sentence that really messed with my head was “Adam must have nodded, because they did.” Just…What? I was, and still am, so confused by that. What does that even mean? I’ve seen a couple other reviewers that have also been left confused by that sentence.

Overall, this is book is really boring and has no substance to the plot. I couldn’t connect with the characters or become emotionally invested in anything. The only redeemable quality about this book is how it might teach people about OCD and how serious is it. But OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu also does that and I liked that book a lot more. If you or someone you know has OCD or OCD is relevant to you, this book will be different for you. You might like it or love it. You’ll probably be able to relate to the characters in ways I couldn’t. This book has a particular group of people that it will really hit home for but it just wasn’t for me.

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The Liebster Award

liebster-awardWe’ve been nominated by Josephine at Josie The Bookworm for the Liebster Award! Thanks so much Josephine!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  5. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.)
  6. Find some way to inform those who you have nominated

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Stephanie and I decided to split the two tags that we’ve been tagged to do so I’ll do this one and Stephanie is going to do Versatile Blogger Award.

1. FAVORITE BOOK YOU’VE READ THIS YEAR?

I’ve actually read so many great books this year! It’s a three-way tie between Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass. I really love those books.

2. PICK A CHARACTER YOU LIKE AND A SONG THEY’D SERENADE TO THEIR OTHER HALF.

I can’t think of any good answers to this one!

3. A QUOTE THAT INSPIRES YOU. 

“Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than for being right.” – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I don’t remember what character said this, I think it might have been Hermione, but I think this is a really great quote.

4. A CHARACTER YOU WOULD DATE IF THEY WERE REAL. 

My mind went completely blank on this question!

5. A BOOK THAT SURPRISED YOU OR A BOOK THAT YOU DIDN’T EXPECT TO LIKE.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.  I wasn’t sure I would like this book but I loved it so much. I can’t wait for the next book to be released in May.

6. NAME AN AUTHOR YOU’D LOVE TO MEET AND PICK THEIR BRAINS.

J.K. Rowling or V.E. Schwab.

7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE KIND OF BOOK TO READ ON A COLD WINTER DAY?

This is such a weird question to me! I just don’t understand why people pair genres with weather. If you do this, please comment below and help me understand!

8. DO YOU HAVE A BOOK THAT YOU READ EVERY YEAR OR HAVE RE-READ MORE THAN ONCE

Harry Potter! I’ve read this series at least once every year since I first read it.

9. FAVOURITE ENDING TO A BOOK? 

Besides Harry Potter, I really liked the ending to the Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa. It felt complete and I couldn’t have asked for much more.

10. A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY.  

Letting Ana Go by Anonymous. I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially girls.

11. A BOOK YOU BELIEVE EVERY BOOK-LOVER SHOULD READ, NO MATTER WHAT THEIR PREFERENCES.

Besides Harry Potter, I really think everyone should read Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. It’s just an amazing book that really stands out in the massive ocean that is literature.

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Blogs that we nominate!

Bookishbibliophile

Infinitebooooks

Willyoutalknerdytome

Sociallyawkwardbookworm

Acrossthebooks

Book of The Month Followers Feedback

Hey guys,

Stephanie here, I wanted to thank all of our followers (we’ve recently hit 30!) for liking Bibliophile Gathering so much and giving us feedback, nominating us for awards, and commenting and liking our posts. It means so much to Taylor and I.

I wanted to get some feedback though on how to get you guys more involved in our Book of The Month. I know starting out, it’s expected to not really have anyone follow with our BiblioGatheringBOM. But would a reader’s choice, and or maybe just the fact that we now have a small group of you with us help? Or possibly a featured review from one of you?

Leave a comment and let us know if you’d consider being a part of our Book of The Month next month and/or any ideas on what would make our BOM more appealing.

Thanks for your help you guys!

Review : Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

17347383Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Published August 27th 2013 (15th Anniversary Edition)

The Prisoner of Azkaban picks up on Harry Potter’s second summer at home from his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After running away from the Dursley’s home after blowing up his Aunt Marge, Harry gets picked up by the Knight Bus and taken to Diagon Alley where he remains there until the school year begins. But before starting his third year at Hogwarts, Harry hears about Sirius Black, a mass murderer known for escaping from Azkaban Prison over the summer. But the worst part is, Sirius has ties to Harry Potter himself, and Harry may not be safe in Hogwarts.

I love love LOVE The Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s probably my absolute favorite book in the whole series. I’m going through a re-read stage in life where I’m just reading through old series I never finished and or just want to read again. And I always forget about how absolutely amazing Harry Potter is. I can’t seem to fathom how J.K. Rowling just stopped writing when she created so many characters to just branch off of. This probably being why POA is my absolute favorite.

It gives us the taste of the Marauder’s Era with the Marauder’s Map. Being one of my all time favorite magical artifacts, and as well, Remus Lupin is just….the most amazing character ever, going through massive trails in life from when he was young and even now (seeing as Dumbledore hired him because he couldn’t find a job anywhere else). Needless to say, I feel as though yes, Harry could be whiney at points in this book, but it’s really when he starts to begin to grow as a young adolescent.

He’s beginning to dip his wand into more advanced magic and is realizing that everything regarding Voldemort and himself is probably going to wind down to a point where it’s just going to be Harry defending himself even though he has a wonderful support system of people who would do ANYTHING to help him out. I also love this book because you begin to see Rowling dipping more into her writing style and growing as an author in the way she describes and builds the backstory and world of Harry Potter.

I also think compared to the other two books, Prizoner of Azkaban is really where Rowling starts to kick it up a notch with the action and keeping a reader engaged which makes me really happy. All in all though, I will always give this book a 5/5.

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Review: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

Stitchstiching snowing Snow by R.C. Lewis

Published October 14th 2014

Stitching Snow is about a girl named Essie who lives on the frozen  planet Thanda. She makes her living by coding and repairing local drones that work in the mines. She also fights in underground cage matches with grown men when she’s low on money.  This is marketed as retelling of Snow White.

I didn’t read the synopsis of this before starting but I heard it was a retelling from other readers and I was super excited. I really love retellings so this seemed like the perfect matched for me. And it was, to a point.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that Stitching Snow is a sci-fi retelling. About a girl who fixes robots and other mechanic like things. I really love Cinder by Marissa Meyer so it took me only a few pages to notice how homogeneous these two books are. For about 70 pages, this book was so similar to Cinder. It was extremely off-putting to me. Stitching Snow basically copied Cinder, in my opinion.

But what keep me going was how Essie was an underground cage fighter in her spare time. That was seriously so cool and I’ve never seen something like that done with a female protagonist in YA. I loved that aspect for this book so much. That was my favorite part of this whole book.
Essie, for the first 150 pages, was such a cool character. She kicked butt, she was smart, and she strived to be treated like an equal with the guys.
Dane was pretty good at first as well. He didn’t seem to have a large part in the story and I thought that was a great choice by RC Lewis. Essie really got to shine as the main character. However, as the book when on, the character’s development went down hill.
The story quickly became about Dane and Essie not just Essie. Dane became moody and a pain in the butt and Essie quit being a smart girl who knew more than the guys and could break anyone’s nose to just a girl in a story.
Stitching Snow became a romance and love started inching its way to the main focus of the story.

The plot, besides being a rip off of Cinder, was really fun and fast paced. I read it in pretty much two days and it actually was able to keep my attention for long periods of time.

Overall, not the best book I’ve read this year but it was fun and enjoyable. I wish the story would have taken a different course but it wasn’t all that bad. If you’re looking for an easy read in the sci-fi genre, I do really recommend this book.

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