Monday

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.


The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.


Friends can betray.

Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

Rating: 4 of 5 stars (for now)

Hi.
So.
Well.
I don't even really know how to describe Blue Lily, Lily Blue, other than to say I need to read it about four more times and get back to you.
I've read The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves about a dozen times each (probably more) and I just need Blue Lily, Lily Blue to catch up to my deep love of the others that came with multiple readings and analysis. This entire series is amazing to analyze, so I can't wait to give a full review.
For now it's rated 4 stars. We'll see how I feel in a few weeks.

Jill
P.S. Maggie Stiefvater is a goddess.

Saturday

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle #2)

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. 
  
Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. 

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Dream Thieves is the second book in the Raven Cycle series, and the sequel to The Raven Boys. I adored The Raven Boys, but I think I prefer the sequel. The books are set in Henrietta, a relatively small Virginia town. It's a town filled with hit men and prep school boys and clairvoyants and boys who can take objects from their dreams. The Dream Thieves is brimming with mystery, adventure, romantic confusion, and most of all, magic. The entire plot is captivating, and there was not a moment I wanted to set the book down, even to eat, let alone sleep. The world, though fantastical, has an element of reality that makes it even more compelling. The story is filled with tiny facts and details that left me yearning for more more more. The character development in the novel is ample, but not unrealistic. The main characters themselves are cool yet flawed, and I wish they were my best friends. The relationship growth between characters is practically tangible and it's genuinely fascinating to see how they change. The side characters, too, are equally compelling and relatable. Even though most of them are psychics, they make the story seem more real by adding minute details. With the characters' eyes acting as a lens and her majestic writing style, Stiefvater builds a world I want to live in more than any other. The writing itself seems to ebb and flow, though Stiefvater's writing style is entirely different from any other author I have had the pleasure of. The Dream Thieves is absolutely one of my favorite books. It is unparalleled in the YA fantasy realm, with compelling characters, an engrossing plot, and beautiful writing. In my eyes, this book (and series) is exceptional, and practically without fault. There is no part of me that hasn't adored reading The Dream Thieves nearly a dozen times. Needless to say, I'm giving this book a perfect 5 star rating, because, were it up to me, I'd give it as many stars as fill the night sky over Henrietta. I'd honestly recommend this book to nearly anyone, because I think it's so spectacular. If you're looking for an amazing adventure, pick up the first book in the series The Raven Boys, and don't stop there, because The Dream Thieves is even better. 


Jill
P.S.
GANSEY + BLUE FOR LIFE. #OTP 

Monday

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson


For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

     Fair warning, this book is not for the faint of heart. It's also a bit different from what I usually find myself reading. I've only read a few memoirs, but I've really liked them. This book has certainly opened my eyes to a new genre that I look forward to delving further into. 
     I've been a fan of Lawson's blog for years, so to purchase her book once it hit paperback seemed obvious. I was not disappointed. Filled with as much wit, hilarity, and poignance as her blog, Let's Pretend left me laughing on trains and contemplating life. Lawson certainly has a unique voice and writing style. The book is filled with rambling run-ons and incoherent thoughts. While the memoir is so funny it left my sides hurting even after having read it half a dozen times, it was still intelligent. The stark contrast between chapters of humorous marital arguments and those of her struggles with miscarriages and her health problems is what made this book resonate with me. Lawson proved that though life can suck, it can also be hilariously wonderful.  Within her anecdotes, she explores sacrifice and other deep topics. I loved this book, because it was not a great literary work. Lawson will not win any trophies for beautifully constructed sentences. But her story could not have been told in a better way. Within the award-winning humor lies deeper messages. The fact that she, with such a unique voice, could manage to make me snort with laughter and also contemplate life is what made her book stand out for me. I came for the humor, but stayed for the message. 
     This book is not for everyone. The writing style is not clean filled with incoherencies which would be quite unexpected for those unfamiliar with her blog, "The Bloggess". I suggest it, however, to anyone looking for laughs, because it will deliver. But don't delve into it expecting just another book. Like Lawson's life, the book is an adventure. It was one that I loved, which is why I'm giving it 4 stars. 
... 

What unique books have you read lately? Any suggestions for what to read next? Comment to tell me! 


Jill

Sunday

First Impressions: Isla and the Happily Ever After


Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Release Date: August 14, 2014

It's no secret that I adored Stephanie Perkins' debut Anna and the French Kiss. It was everything one could want in a YA contemporary romance. And I am very happy to say that I think this one might top it. I only read the first 46 pages, but man were they delectable. Perkins' writing style is superb as ever, delighfully familiar to fans of her previous work. The pacing is on point and the details truly help build the world in my mind. I love Isla as the narrator, and as a fellow redhead, I can certainly relate to her frustrations about blushing constantly. She's the quiet girl everyone knows, but she's more than that too. She's kind and lovely and might not be as good a girl as we think. The other main character, Josh, whom we met in Anna, is back again, this time as the love interest. He's intriguing and mysterious and leaves me wanting to know more. What's his deal? I guess I'll just have to wait for August 14th to find out. 

Conclusion: This was an excellent beginning to a novel that I am certain will be just as delightful. Mark your calendars, because this is one book you won't want to postpone reading. 



Jill

Saturday

RETURN OF THE JILL

In regards to the title, I really really like Lord of the Rings.

This blog has been vacant for more than a year. I wish things had gone differently, but at the same time, I do not. I do not regret quitting blogging in order to focus on school and friends. I do not regret quitting blogging to take care of myself. Now, however, I am happy to announce my return. Summer has begun, and I've been reading with more voracity that ever. My health has vastly improved, and my social calendar, though still busy, has slowed with the arrival of summer break. I finally can breathe. 
More than ever, though, I miss blogging. Today, while walking around Barnes and Noble, I realized I had no idea what new books to try--because I had been out of the book community for so long. It was necessary, but so is my return. 
I do not announce my reemergence with vacant promises and empty words. For the first time in nearly two years, I feel as though I have enough time to dedicate to blogging. Part of the reason I stopped blogging was because it wasn't something I could half-ass, nor would I feel okay with doing so. But--it's the summer before my final year of high school. It's time. 
In order to get back into the swing of blogging, for the first few weeks, I am going to do some reviews of my favorite books from the past months. As I continue reading new books, I will review those, too. 

In the next couple weeks I plan to review:
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) 
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater 

After the 27th, I will be in London for three weeks doing an internship. Things will get bit crazy with getting ready, so while I hope I can post more, I know it will be tricky! 

I am very excited to be back, and I can't wait to get started! 

Jill