Update on Me

I know, I know.

I keep saying that I’m gonna come back to regularly posting, and then I fail at it. But my life has been so busy, and I’m going through a lot. Plus, I’m in a major-book slump. It’s not just a regular reading-slump like I get every summer. This one doesn’t just have me not wanting to read, but I also can’t pull myself to keep up with my Instagram and blog and review requests. I keep accumulating books, and I’ve even got some really impressive ARC’s. My insta and blog were just starting to take off, I was starting to get noticed, and I was loving it. Then this massive slump came and I’m still trying to pull myself out of it.

The more I’ve been thinking about these accounts and their futures, the sadder I’ve gotten. I really don’t want to give up on these accounts. I’ve put so much work and love into them, and I love this community. But I also don’t want to keep pressuring myself into posting and reading when I’m not in the mood. So I’ve been very confused on what I should do.

I think I’ve made a decision of what I want to do.

I’m gonna do a little of both options, actually. I’m going to try to work my way back into reading and blogging, especially because I have made commitments to review certain things already. But I’m still going to be giving my Instagram a break, and I’m not going to force myself to blog too much. I want to keep my mind open to the possibility that I might not be meant to blog much longer. But I also want to be open to the possibility of returning to blogging full-time again. So over these next few weeks, my posts will be kinda random and spontaneous. So please bear with me as I figure out what I’ll be doing. Thank you all for your patience and kindness with me! I’ll (hopefully)  have a new post up soon about my review of Yureka Book Box Service!!

-Lilian-

The Labyrinth Wall by Emilyann Girdner

The-Labyrinth-Wall-Cover

Araina’s isolated teenage life is forever altered when she witnesses a man emerge through a rippling wall into the dark labyrinth she calls home. As a result of the stranger’s arrival, Araina’s Creators have unleashed a series of magical attacks using the labyrinth against its inhabitants. Now Araina must decide if she will trust potentially deceitful allies in order to reach safety on the other side of the labyrinth wall.

You don’t understand how hard it is for me to write this review. I had the pleasure of meeting and doing an interview with the author (Emilyann Girdner) and she is just so SWEET (check out part 1 of the interview here and part 2 here)! I loved meeting her and I was so excited to read her book… until I wasn’t.

Please don’t take all I said as your own thoughts. I am 100% in the minority of people who didn’t like this. I’m actually the only person who’s given this a 1 star review on goodreads. So PLEASE don’t let me review keep you from reading the book. These are just my personal opinions and I understand not everyone will feel this way. Also, no matter how I feel about the book, I still loved meeting her and she’s still awesome!

Now that we’re through that and I feel free to be completely honest, let’s get to the review.

This was probably one of my least favorite books ever. I’m sorry if that’s harsh, but at least I’m being honest. I really WANTED to like this. I really did. But I just couldn’t. I hated almost every minute of reading this and it was a struggle to finish. If it wasn’t for a readathon I did as I read this book, I probably would’ve given up. But I persevered and I finished it.

From the beginning, I just couldn’t get into the setting. It confused me so much and, even after finishing the book, I still don’t understand what happened or why. I feel like the setting is kinda a rip-off of The Maze Runner. I don’t understand why the people were in the Labyrinth or how they got into that weird pool thing or where this castle thing is or… *sighs* this just confuses my brain.

The Characters were… interesting. And by interesting, I mean I pretty much hated them all. I couldn’t find a character that I even SLIGHTLY liked. And, if you’ve been reading my reviews for awhile now, you’ve probably caught on that characters make or break a story for me. So, this story really broke cause of these characters. If I had liked the characters, it probably would have made the book bearable.

The storyline was sloppy and so, so confusing. I don’t really know what was supposed to be happening or why. I can’t even explain my confusion. Like there was this weird dog guy who only spoke in riddles and I can’t even find the purpose of them introducing him, except to make the book longer and to include more unneeded conflict.

As for cleanliness, there are a few minor curse words that I remember. It has been awhile since I read the book, so I can’t give you an exact number, but I do remember at least a few. But there is no suggestive content.

In the end, I will not be reading this book again. I’ll be keeping it because I have a nice personalized copy, but I won’t be picking it or the sequel up. I might try another Emilyann Girdner book if I got the opportunity, but I just can’t do this series.

-Lilian-

 

WHERE OH WHERE DID LILIAN GO?!

I know none of you are probably wondering why I haven’t posted, but let’s pretend you are. I actually have 2 reasons why I haven’t posted:

  1. I’m sorta in a reading/blogging slump and I currently have NO motivation to do either
  2. I was gone this past Monday-Friday (4th-8th) at camp with my youth group!

Plus, as much as I’m going to try and regularly post again, I’ll be gone the whole last week of July. So I won’t have any reading or blogging time.

This slump I’m in is so bad because I have a book that I commited to review by the end of the month and even LOOKING at it makes me cringe… *sigh* I’ll have to try, though. Along with the other 2 books I’m currently reading.

SOMEBODY HELP ME OUT OF THIS READING SLUMP.
-Lilian-

How to Disappear Blog Tour

how to disappear blog tour

Today I have a very special post for you! I’m a part of the How to Disappear blog tour and I’m so excited to bring you an interview with the author and a GIVEAWAY! First, I’ll give you some info on the book and the author, so stay tuned!

how to disappear

About HOW TO DISAPPEAR

Title: HOW TO DISAPPEAR

Author: Ann Redisch Stampler

Release date: June 14, 2016

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 416

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/How-Disappear-Ann-Redisch-Stampler/dp/1481443933/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-disappear-ann-redisch-stampler/1122751075?ean=9781481443937

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/how-to-disappear/id1047598388?mt=11

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781481443937

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27206481-how-to-disappear

blog tour author photo

About Ann Redisch Stampler

Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of the young adult novels Afterparty and Where It Began as well as half a dozen picture books. Her work has garnered an Aesop accolade, the National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor honors, the Middle East Book Award, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year mentions. How to Disappear (Simon Pulse, 2016), her first young adult thriller, will be released in June. Ann lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Rick.

Links:

Website: http://www.annstampler.com/

Blog: http://www.annstampler.com/blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annstampler

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annstamplerwriter/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/annstampler

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4949584.Ann_Redisch_Stampler

I’ve already had the pleasure of reading this great thriller! I currently don’t have my review up, but it’ll be coming in July! I also had the pleasure of asking the author a few questions! Check them out now:

-Did you read a lot as a kid-young teen? If so, what books did you read?

I was one of those “reading saved me” kinds of kids. I felt weird, but I was safe and happy and engaged in books. I tended to read a lot of books that had children or teens as major characters – whether or not they were considered children’s or teen books. Then, when I hit my mid-teens, I started reading Truly Serious Literature. I kept going to the library or to the bookstore when there were these extremely inexpensive little Penguin classics, and it felt as if I, personally, was discovering all these great books that no one else knew about. When I got to college and it turned out that not only did a whole lot of other people know about these books, but they wanted to talk about them, I was quite a happy English major.

I also read mysteries and thrillers. Avidly. But I didn’t take these very seriously as books. I just kept reading them and loving them and wanting to write one of them. And with How to Disappear, I’ve finally done it.

-Who is your favorite character in your book?

I’m equally fond of Jack and Nicolette. My writing method is to pretend that I’m the character that’s narrating. So I spent a lot of time pretending to be each of these people, feeling their feelings and telling their sides of the story. It was probably more fun for me to write Nicolette, I mean, we’re both females and I she got to be a lot funnier and wilder than Jack did at times. But I still love Jack. When he was finally coming clean to Nicolette about what it was like for him growing up in his family, and he was so torn up, I was on the verge of tears writing that for days.

-What do you want readers to take away from your book?

I’d like it if readers were absorbed and intrigued by this book, believed the characters, and were entertained from start to finish.

On a deeper level, I’d like readers to leave this book asking themselves a lot of questions about what they’d do, how far they’d go, if they’d sacrifice what they think of as right or moral, if they were pushed hard enough. I’d like them to wonder about what aspects of themselves are fixed and unalterable across situations, versus what could be changed if they chose to change it or if their circumstances called for them to be different. Can a person, in fact, learn how to make the core of him or herself disappear? Could you?

 -Do you have a favorite line from your books?

The last three lines. There are only 11 words in all three of them. But you absolutely can’t skip back there and read them out of order. You’ll see why when you get there.

-What can readers expect from your book?

How to Disappear is a very twisty thriller with a cross-country chase, a lot of plotting and scheming, and, dare I say, characters who are – against their better judgment – greatly attracted to each other, so there’s a certain amount of heat. Neither character knows fully what’s going on, or understands the dark forces behind the action, and neither one is completely honest with the other, the reader, or him/herself.

-What Disney character are you most like?

Belle!!! I want to be like Belle! Big reader, sense of humor, basically kind, sticks up for herself, finds true love being herself. Who wouldn’t want to be Belle?

Here’s the schedule of the other blog tour dates this week:

Monday, June 20th:

Tuesday, June 21st:

Wednesday, June 22nd:

Thursday, June 23rd:

Friday, June 24th:

Saturday, June 25th:

Are you ready for the giveaway now?? Check it out:

Giveaway:

ONE (1) winner will receive a $50.00 gift certificate for The Book Depository,  Signed HOW TO DISAPPEAR bookmarks + a Nicolette’s disguise inspired Smashbox makeup kit.

***Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL***

blog tour bookmarks

giveaway makeup

Enter the giveaway (via rafflecopter) HERE: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9a07ce2b357/

That’s it! I really hope you enjoyed this special post and that you’ll enter the giveaway!

-Lilian-

 

 

 

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

Belle Epoque

When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive.

Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect foil.

But Isabelle has no idea her new “friend” is the hired help, and Maude’s very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.

This book was such a cover-buy for me. I saw it on Book Outlet and I knew I had to have it. So I placed an order and I got the book and I placed it on my shelf and I didn’t pick it up for a long time. Finally, I picked it up and read it in April (If you can’t tell, my review game is way off).

Overall, the book was very quick and light. It had a slow beginning, but once you get into it, it’s really easy to zoom through the book. I loved it, but not enough to give it a full 5 stars. I’d probably give it 4 stars. I don’t know why, but something was just missing. I don’t honestly know what it is, but there was just something missing in the story.

I did really love all the characters, though. Maude and Isabelle were both so relatable. The end is satisfying enough, but I would also like a sequel cause I’d like to continue this story. Yet, I also like it as a standalone. I’m conflicted, if you can’t tell. I’m sure in a few years I’ll probably come back and read it again. Plus, I really loved learning more about the time period in Paris and I’d really love to read more books set in this era.

As for cleanliness, there was one use of the D word. There is some drinking, but nothing outside the time period.

I definitely do recommend this if you’re looking for something quick and light!

-Lilian-

Love Triangle SMACKDOWN

Love triangles. These dreaded plot-forwarders are everywhere. Popularized from famous love triangles such as Katniss, Peeta, and Gale, or even Bella, Edward, and Jacob, love triangles have become very hard to avoid in the book world, and sometimes even in the movie and TV world. Some people love them, most people dread them, but everybody always has their favorite person in the triangle. So today, we’re gonna play a new thing called LOVE TRIANGLE SMACKDOWN.

Here’s how its gonna work. Each Smackdown will focus on one love triangle. I’m gonna say my thoughts on who I think is the better couple in the triangle, and then I want you to weigh in on who you think is better! Got it? Okay, let’s get started!

TODAY’S TRIANGLE IS…

 

 

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The Crown’s Game

While this book just came out last month, I’ve seen many people already taking sides on who is better for Vika. I, myself, have gone back and forth of which guy I think Vika belongs with. Plus I have my own thoughts of who I think she’s gonna end up with. But, in the end, only one guy is perfect for Vika, and that guy is…

Pasha.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Nikolai. But as I look back at the book and my thoughts while reading it, I’m just not finding any natural attraction between Nikolai and Vika. They both just kinda got together cause they’re both enchanters. Other than that, I really didn’t find much of an attraction between them until the end. But with Pasha, I felt like they would suit each other well from the beginning. Their opposite personalities would even each other out. Plus, I felt Nikolai was too brooding and ‘cool guy’ for Vika. Vika needs a guy to make her laugh, to eat bakery treats with, and to love her unconditionally. Pasha will do that and more.

But, I feel like, in the end, Vika’s gonna end up with Nikolai. I feel like that’s the direction Evelyn is taking the story. I don’t think I’ll be disappointed about it, but I would love to see Vika grow closer with Pasha and to test out if they’d be good together.

Does anyone else think Nikolai and Pasha remind them of Alexei and Noah from All Fall Down? I mean, come on, brooding Russians?! Nikolai and Alexei could be brothers! Anyone? No, just me? Okay…

So know I want to know your thoughts. I want to know who you like better. So either:

a) comment below with who you think she should be with and who you think she’s gonna end up with!

b) go here to vote in the ultimate poll of who Vika should end up with! (poll closes in 7 days)

I hope you enjoyed the first ever LOVE TRIANGLE SMACKDOWN! If you did, let me know so I know to do things like this again:)

-Lilian-

 

 

The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

The Darkest Lie

“The mother I knew would never do those things.
But maybe I never knew her after all.

Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked.

As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own…

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, but all the views mentioned are my own.

Oh, this book. Judging from the description, I should’ve known I would hate it, but yet I still signed up for the blog tour and excitedly awaited my copy to arrive. Now, look at me. I had to drop out of the blog tour because I just couldn’t give this book a good review.

This book and story started off well, and I believe it could have been done tastefully while still having been a great thriller. But, instead this book was written kinda childishly and full of content that I didn’t appreciate.

I hate mysteries and thrillers that have completely underwhelming endings. I was hoping this book would be different, but it wasn’t. It built up to a huge, dramatic ending and then BAM it’s over and you’re wondering what happened to the action. The book was pretty predictable, so I kinda assumed it would be an underwhelming ending, but I was still hoping for the best anyway.

With mysteries and thrillers, I have a hard time relating to any of the characters, cause I always assume they’ll end up being a villain. This book really wasn’t different, but I found 1 character I liked throughout it. Can you guess what happened? That character turned out to be the antagonist.

This book is not clean at all. A lot of sexual innuendo. A lot of immature teen boys with sex references. A lot of cursing. If you’re looking for a good thriller, I would probably look elsewhere, but that’s my opinion. Maybe this book just isn’t for me. Who knows? I am still going to read more Pintip Dunn books, however, because I really want to give her another chance. I already own Forget Tomorrow, and I’m hoping to get around to it soon. Hopefully I’ll like it better!

Are you planning to read The Darkest Lie when it’s released? What mysteries and thrillers do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

-Lilian-

 

Books I Need to Reread

Rereading

I’m one of those readers that love to reread books all the time. Even when I have hundreds of books on my TBR, time and time again I continue to pick up a book I’ve already read and read it again.

Yet, I still don’t have time to constantly reread every book I wish. So here’s a list of all the books I still need to reread ASAP!

Anomaly by Krista McGee

1. The Anomaly Trilogy by Krista McGee

WHY HAVEN’T I REREAD THIS (again) YET? This is one of my favorite series ever. I’ve only read it like 2 (actually, I think 3) times. That’s obviously not enough times.

tigerlily-anderson

2. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily has always been one of my favorite characters from Peter Pan, and I really need to reread this amazing book! It was one of my favorite reads of last year, and I need to get back into that tragically beautiful world.

illuminae

3. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I know, I know, I read this book in December. It hasn’t even been half a year yet. But seriously THIS BOOK. It’s SO GOOD.

the-book-thief

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time now. It’s so amazing and tragic and beautiful, and I need to immerse myself in this story again.

pivot point

5. Pivot Point/Split Second by Kasie West

This is the best duology I’ve ever read before, and one of my favorite authors. Plus, I’ll be meeting her in March, so I need a refresher on these books before I get her to sign them in person.

allycondie

6. Crossed and Reached by Ally Condie

I’ve reread Matched like TWICE now in an attempt to reread the whole series. Yet, here I am, still waiting to reread it. I keep getting distracted and I forget to pick up these books again. But my goal is to read them before the end of summer!

What about you? What books do you need to reread?

-Lilian-

 

 

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

the-crowns-game-evelyn-skye-book-review-e1462241240799

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

You’re looking at one of my new favorite books. I loved this book from beginning to end, and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it. I ended up reading it slower than I was planning, but I’m very glad I did, because I feel like I absorbed it and understood it much better than I would have had I devoured it in a few sittings.

I think my favorite part of this book was the writing. Evelyn’s writing is phenomenal. Her descriptions were particularly amazing, and overall it made me feel as if I was in the story. Evelyn is also amazing at character development. The characters grew and developed naturally throughout the story, and I’m so glad it didn’t feel forced.

This book is beautiful, inside and out (seriously, the hardcover is magnificent). I loved the whole story. The mix of magic and ancient Russia was beautiful. I would’ve loved to be in the book so I could experience it all.

I loved all the characters. I loved Vika from the beginning, and I fell in love with Nikolai straight away. But then came PASHA. Ahh, my heart can’t bear to choose between Nikolai and Pasha. I love them both in separate ways<3

I did feel like the romance between Nikolai and Vika felt a little forced. They really didn’t have much of an attraction other than they were both enchanters, and I would’ve liked to see them naturally grow closer instead of suddenly being thrown together. But by the end, I felt like they were much better suited for each other as they had grown.

The chapters were also a bit lengthy at times. But not any worse than normal YA books. I just hate long chapters, cause it makes me feel like I can’t just stop in the middle of it. So I read a lot slower cause I have to make sure I have time and I’m in the mood. But this is a rabbit trail. Oops!

This book was almost all the way clean! It had a few uses of the D word, but nothing overwhelming. Overall, it’s cleaner than most other YA fantasy books.

In the end, this is one of my favorite books I’ve ever read, and I’m very excited for the second book!

-Lilian-

 

 

 

Books that need TV Shows PART 1

Most of us dream of our favorite series turning into a TV show. But some books just aren’t right for our Netflix binge-watching. So today I decided to make a list of some books I think would make amazing TV Shows! Feel free to look through and tell me if you agree or disagree!

the-crowns-game-evelyn-skye-book-review-e1462241240799

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

I just recently finished this book (review coming very soon!) and I think it would make an AMAZING TV Show! All the magic and the characters and the romance and world-building would be amazing, and perfect for a winter-time Netflix binge!

Matched

Matched by Ally Condie

I’d love to see a YA dystopian TV show like this! I think, made right, it would be absolutely amazing! Plus, since so much happens over the span of 3 books, the series could last awhile without getting washed out!

The-Hunger-Games-Trilogy

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I know, there’s already an AMAZING movie franchise for these books. I have no intention of replacing that, but hear me out, okay? What about a Netflix series of prequels of previous games? Maybe a child President Snow? Haymitch’s game? Or maybe even a season that takes place with Katniss and Peeta’s kids?! I would LOVE to immerse myself back into Panem and the districts! Anyone else?

What other books need TV Shows? Let me know in the comments down below!

-Lilian-