What did Steph read while she was M.I.A.?!

Ok so, this is going to be QUITE the hefty post. Because I’ve neglected you all in the past months, and have finally got the chance to come back to this wonderful community and all you lovely people. I want to make sure I let you all know what I’ve been reading while I was planning my wedding and such. I love talking to you all so this is going to be a brief write-up on everything I read but it still counts, does it not?

Here’s the list of everything I’ve read while I’ve been M.I.A. and Star Values, as well as a small write up also, please excuse me if I mix up plot points etc. :

The Winners Curse by Marie Rotkoski2.5 Stars – Really wished for some more action and HATED the love triangle.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley — 5 Stars – Absolutely loved the main character, and the plot kept me hooked. Pick it up if you get the chance
Calamity (The Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson — 5 Stars – I will always love the Reckoner’s series, and this was a good conclusion, I wish it never ended.
Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis 4 Stars – SUCH GOOD WRITING. I just couldn’t get any sort of connection with any of the characters, so I didn’t really get emotionally dragged into it.
Walk on Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson 5 Stars – This was such a good book, constant action and running plot that it kept me intrigued and I loved the main character
A Court of Wings and Ruins ( A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas  5 Stars – Did I really need to put down 5 stars? Uh duh, this was SO DAMN GOOD. Oh man, I can’t even…
The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag (Flavia De Luce #2) by Alan Bradley 5 Stars – Flavia is great, the story line was great as well just like the first book!
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas 5 Stars – Well….rip my heart out why don’t you SJ.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler 5 Stars – LOVED LOVED LOVED this book, it was so wonderful and hilarious. I highly suggest listening to it on Audiobook because Amy narrates it and it’s 20x better that way.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 4.75 Stars – This book was hard to get into but once the plot started moving it was PHENOMENAL. Not my standard YA read but great all the same.
Gemina ( The Illuminae Chronicles #2) by Amie Kaufmann and Jay Kristoff  — 4 Stars – Loved this book just like I loved Gemina, I think I liked Gemina better tough
The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi — 5 Stars – Oh man, what a beautiful book, I absolutely loved the characters, the plot, the writing. Everything!
Death Masks ( The Dresden Files #5) by Jim Butcher — 4 Stars – Gotta love a good Dresden book, pick up this series if you haven’t yet.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber  — 5 Stars – Didn’t really love the characters, but the setting OMG. The atmosphere was great and so was the plot. Loved guessing and thinking what I thought was right and being wrong
Crystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms #5) by Morgan Rhodes  — 5 stars – My second time around reading this, still love it as much as before.  I seriously CANNOT wait for the next book. I need it ASAP.
Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson — 3.75 Stars – I guess I really like Rae Carson. This book was great. Strong female lead, and good plot.
You by Caroline Kepnes — 3.25 – I thought the perspective writing was cool, and I thought it was really creepy. It’s not for everyone, I didn’t really feel like I liked the graphic scenes in this book, but it was hella creepy and I was super hooked while reading it.

WELL FOLKS. That’s everything I read while I was MIA. I’m still 8 books behind for me goodreads goal so hopefully I get that fixed soon (probably while I’m in Iceland August 13-23) Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought.

Also any recommendations based on these reads would be AWESOME since I liked the bulk of them.

Review: Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

12700353Me Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Published : March 1st, 2012

“Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.”

I’ve always wanted to read this book. And I’m kind of annoyed I didn’t read it sooner. I always saw it on the shelf at the store and I thought it was such a beautiful cover buy, but when I heard what it was about I knew I had to get it and I knew that I had to read it.

A good friend of mine from high school passed away from cancer two years after we graduated in 2009. So he passed away the year this book was published, actually, he passed away a month before it was published. So I always try to find books that can embody the feeling of losing someone at that age, in that way.

I never thought I would find a comparison of those feelings in this book. Which surprised me so much. I loved this writing style of seeing everything through Greg’s eyes. How this was his work of “non-fiction” and him really speaking through his feelings. He’d honestly tell the reader how he felt bad about what he said or how it was rude or inconsiderate and I really appreciated that insight into a character.

But I also loved how when it came down to it, it got to the raw feeling of how much it sucks to see your friend just not have any fight left after going through the grueling sickness that is cancer. It made my heart swell with feeling when I read how Greg truly felt about seeing Rachel go through all this. And it just hit a spot within myself where I really appreciate the truth of it. Because when I was 19, that’s how I felt about my friend and his cancer.

So needless to say, I appreciate this work for what it is. I thank Jesse Andrews for the laughter and fun and the swift read that Me and Earl and The Dying Girl is, but I also thank him for making a book that finally grasped what it truly felt like to go through something like that at that age. Probably a top 3 read of 2015 for me so far.

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