Monday, November 30, 2015

Bookish Lifestyle Digest: November 2015

Can you guys believe November is already over? Crazy, crazy. You may notice a bit of a different layout this month (next month will be a bit different too), but you gotta mix things up every once in a while to keep things fresh!

Updates for 2015 TBR Pile Challenge:

Book Reviews

Product Reviews
Promotional Posts

Most Popular
Book Review
Most Popular
Product Review

Tell us - what went on in your month?! What were some of your favorite books this month? Favorite posts from either your blog or others? What are some new (or old) and noteworthy things we should know about? Be sure to leave a link!

Dorothy Must Die Read Along: 2nd Discussion

Hi guys! Welcome to the 1st discussion for our July Read Along: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige! Huge thank you to everyone who joined us and read chapters 1-24 a few weeks ago and to those who are here to discuss chapters 24-44!

About the Book

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #1
Published: April 1, 2014 by HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado - taking you with it - you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a yellow brick road - but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm - and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

Discussion Questions

1) Are you a fan of The Wizard of Oz? Who is your favorite character and how are you taking Danielle's interpretation of them?

2) Were you shocked when it came to Pete / Ozma? Or did you see that coming?

3) What was the most shocking thing from Dorothy Must Die?

4) I love that Amy not only has to face Dorothy, but also her "friends." How do you think that's going to be handled in the next two books?

5) Are you going to continue with this series?

Please leave your answers in the comment section below and don't forget to respond to other comments so we can have an amazing discussion! We'll be checking in and responding as well  :)

Our Favorite Quotes
I held Star close before I departed.

"If I don’t come back," I told her, "find a way to give everyone the plague."
"Even the most unbreakable of spells are meant to be broken. You just need to know a thing or two"
I kept my antennae up for intel, but the only subject of conversation was Dorothy. Which should have been a good thing, considering that she was the one I was really here to learn about. Unfortunately, no one was sharing any useful information. It was all about how beautiful Dorothy was, or how kind she was, or how lucky we were to be working for the greatest person in all of Oz.

It was weird. They were like a creepy, overeager maid sorority

2016 TBR Pile Information

Check back tomorrow for a chance to sign up for our 2016 challenge! We've got a few changes from this year, but it should still be a lot of fun and help you tackle your ever-growing TBR pile!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles #4
Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Retelling, Fairytale
Publication.Date:November 10, 2015
Pages:823 (hardcover)
Published By:  Feiwel and Friends
Website:Marissa Meyer

Winter on Goodreads
My review copy:

Where to get:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?


"I'm sorry," said Scarlet, her voice teetering with exhaustion. "It's just . . . I smell so awful, I can hardly stand to be around myself right now, so I can't imagine what it's like for you and your sense of sm-"

Batting her hand away, Wolf dug his fingers into Scarlet's hair and crushed his mouth against her. Her protests died with a muffled gasp."

This time, she did collapse, her legs unable to hold her a second longer. Wolf fell with her, dropping to his knees to break Scarlet's fall and cradling her body against his.
"My point is that I am going to figure this out, like I always do. First, we're going to find a way to get into Artemisisa. we're going to find Cress and rescue Cinder and Wolf. We're going to overthrow Levant, and by the stars above, we are going to make Cinder a queen so she can pay us a lot of money from her royal coffers and we can all retire very rich and very alive, got it?"

Winter started to clap. "Brilliant speech. Such gumption and bravado."

"And yet strangely lacking in any sort of actual strategy," said Scarlet.

"Oh, good, I'm glad you noticed that too," said Iko.
Thorne's voice pitched high in imitation of the queen. "The imposter of my beloved niece is vanquished . . . Let us put this messiness behind us while we got forward with the coronations . . . I am a psychotic, power-hungry nut basket and my breath smells really bad under this veil."

You guys . . . it's over. I can't believe that it's over. The Lunar Chronicles has ended - unless you count the mini epilogue in Stars Above, where there's going to be a wedding! I'm not sure who I'm hoping is getting married more. Do you have high hopes for one pairing over another?

The Lunar Chronicles has been an excellect series and while I was sad to see it go, it also felt like time. And with a 800 page book, Marissa could have easily split it into two, but at the same time there was so much going on, I don't know where she would have split it up. (Take note, Hollywood. Series ending YA adaptions don't always need a part 1 and part 2. *cough*Everything after Harry Potter*cough*)

I read Winter over the course have two days, because yes, that good. There are many intense moments that I had me wide eyed and gasping. Times when I flipped the pages because I had to know what was going to happen, and chapters I reread because the feels were just too strong to ignore.

Maybe because it's the impeding doom and possible death, but they just laid it all on the table. Characters became who they were always meant to be (looking at you, Cress) and others became stronger versions of who they already were. I know characters typically grow throughout a series, but we haven't spent the entire series with all of them and even those characters who have only been recently introduced go through crazy development.

I was fortunate enough to find a co-worker who is as much in love with this series that I am and we fangirled over every moment together. And then discussed how much better at being an evil queen than Levana we'd be, but that's a whole different topic of discussion.

Winter is that quintessential series ending. There's no lagging, no unnecessary drama, everything serves a purpose, and all lose ends are tied up. If you were waiting for Winter to come out to read this series (I know there are people out there who only read completed series), wait no longer. Put these books on your Christmas list and binge out over the holiday season. You'll benefit from the back to back read - I myself got lost in Recaptains prior to release date - and find yourself a favorite new series to love and adore.

And then come back here and we can gush over the perfection that is Scarlet and Wolf.

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