Thursday, December 31, 2015

What About Wednesday: 2015 Round-Up

Hey everyone! Seeing as 2015 is coming to an end, we wanted to share our favourite books that came out this year. It was very difficult to pick just 3, let alone order them, so these are numbered randomly. Hope you agree, and if you don't, tell us why!

Mari's Picks:
1. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
2. Illuminae by Amie Kauffman, Jay Kristoff
3. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin

Ola's Picks:
1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
2. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
3. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Lauren's Picks:
1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
2. The Heir by Kiera Cass
3. The House by Christina Lauren

Along with this, the Autumn Bookshelf wants to wish you a happy and healthy new year! So all the best for 2016!

- Your Friends at the Autumn Bookshelf

Monday, December 28, 2015

Game Review??

Longstory by Bloom Digital

Description from Tumblr: When the previous owner of Locker 1224 mysteriously disappeared, you were left holding the only clues. Navigate the school’s social landscape through your decisions and conversations. Solve puzzles and build relationships with new friends and old enemies to work out exactly what happened - and if there’s anything you can do to put it right.

Review: Okay, I know what you're going to say, You guys are a book blog! What're you doing reviewing a game?? Well, this game is basically a choose-your-own-adventure book, with pretty graphics and a digital format.
   So this game is amazing. It's lgbtq+ friendly, including the option to choose your gender, pronouns, and look. The plot is clever and well built, with interesting twists and real issues that people deal with, from mental health to bullying.
   Don't even get me started on the incredibly loveable characters, who make the game the unique piece it is. Like the enigmatic mascot, Turkeyhawk.
   You may want to know though, that other than the first one, the episodes cost $1.99 each. That's not a lot, and the game is really worth it. Like, truly.

Quotable Quotes:
"He said no one was in trouble, because trouble implied that there was an authoritarian power structure at Weasel Heights, and the school practices a non-violent approach to leadership." -Hanniferjane
Optimistically yours,
Ola <3

P.S.- this will be the only time I/We will ever review a game.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Book Review: The Iron King


The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Release date: February 1, 2010
Read: December 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Paperback, 363 pages.
Series: Book #1 in the Iron Fey series

Description from Goodreads:    Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.   Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.   When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.   But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war.       Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.


Review: 
   The story began as most do: with a character that is unhappy with his/her present life and wants something good to happy. Then it does. It was predictable and nothing special; just another 15 year old high-schooler who had a crush on a guy that would never like her back. Then the plot started rolling and little hints were dropped all over the text. Meghan saw a figure along the forest line, her brother was terrified of a man he kept seeing in his closet. These hints revealed the path and world in which Meghan would travel. They sort of  clued you in to what was happening even before Meghan knew herself.    The reference to A Midsummer Night's Dream took me by surprise. I didn't realize that the play written in 1595 still had such a big influence on stories to this day. The Iron King makes the language of the play and the characters written within it seem more approachable and alive. It' s as if Julie Kagawa connected two separate time periods into one novel.    The characters each seemed to have different motives that were somewhat hidden throughout the novel. They all had a certain role to play and no random, irrelevant characters were thrown into the plot (which I highly appreciated).

Favourite quotes:
  • "'Ladies and Felines,' he stated grandly, grasping the doorknob,'Welcome to Tir Na Nog. Land of endless winter and shitloads of snow.'" -Julie Kagawa
  • "'Bravo,' said Grimalkin, peering down from Cold Tom's Chest. 'The Winter prince and Oberon's jester agreeing on something. The world must be ending.'" -Julie Kagawa 
  • "Power radiated from him, as subtle as a thunderstorm." -Julie Kagawa

Rating: 8/10

Recommended if you like: fantasy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, tales about faeries and goblins, action, a strong female lead

A recipe for disaster,

Lauren



Monday, December 14, 2015

Book Review: On Christmas Eve




On Christmas Eve by Ann M Martin

Release Date: October 1. 2006
Read: Christmas 2009 (a reaaaaally long time ago, but I've reread it since)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: Paperback, 160 pages

Description from Goodreads:
Eight-year-old Tess is convinced this is the year she will finally meet Santa, and experience "the Christmas magic." She also wishes with all her heart that her best friend's ill father will recover. Tess' faith in the season results in a Christmas Eve so wondrous, so sparkling, readers won't be able to help but feel transformed. Like trimming the tree and "It's a Wonderful Life"; baking cookies and "White Christmas," ON CHRISTMAS EVE is sure to bring new holiday magic to readers' lives.

Review: 
Although this book is geared towards younger readers, I still feel like this book is applicable to all ages. Reading this book was uplifting to say the least. Hope and joy have big roles, which make it perfect for Christmas. This book was sparkling with that "Christmas magic." The main character (Tess) is so hopeful about every trial that comes her way. This book unfolds over an entire year (one Christmas to the other). This was a really good choice for telling the story, as it really gets you to care about the various characters. It was heartbreaking to see that interaction between her and Santa towards the end. The way he has to break to her that there is nothing he can do for certain people, that there are some gifts that can't be given, makes me tear up every time. Although it is at times very sad, you still come out with a renewed faith in Christmas. This is why I try to read this every year during the holiday season!

Favorite Quotes: 
"Christmas and Santa are all about hope.."
  - Ann M. Martin, On Christmas Eve

Rating:
4/5 Stars

Recommended for people who enjoy: hope, Christmas, fiction, best friend stories

Happy Reading,
Mari

Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
                   by Becky Albertalli

Release Date: April 17th, 2015
Read: November 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Format: Hardcover, 303 pages

Description from GoodReads: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
   With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Review: This was the sweetest school drama-esque book I've read since Say You Will! I could literally write an essay about it, but don't worry, I won't. 
   The suspense is surprisingly thick around who Blue is until the last couple chapter, and it was definitely worth the wait. The book basically laughs at you when you try to guess while gently pushing you in the opposite direction. 
   Another thing I really liked about this book is how important the friendships are compared to the romantic relationships. A big part of the story is characters realizing what they did wrong and getting forgiveness. Altogether, amazing.

Quotable Quotes:
"White shouldn't be the default anymore than straight should be the default. There shouldn't even be a default."
"Ah. So, what you're trying to say is that we're really creepy."
"He talked about the ocean between people. And how the whole point of everything is to a shore worth swimming to."

Rating: 4.5/5

Read if You Liked: Will Grayson Will Grayson, Say You Will, Sarah Dessen, Carry On

Optimistically yours, Ola <3

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What about Wednesday: Winter Edition

Hey everyone!! It's Wednesday, and on Wednesday's we wear pink!! I'm just kidding, of course. This week we decided to have a winter theme in honor of the whiteness that has descended from the sky.

Ola's picks:

Mari's picks: 

Lauren's picks:

Those are our top choices!! Hope you check them out and enjoy the snowy weather.

-Your Friends at the Autumn Bookshelf

Monday, December 7, 2015

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss



Taken from Amazon.com

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Release Date: December 2. 2010
Read: November 2015
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format: Paperback, 372 pages

Description from Goodreads:
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Review: 
This book is just so cute! From the very first chapter I couldn't get enough. The way Perkins writes is so light and breezy it's a treat to read. Anna is portrayed realistically, as any student would be if they moved to Paris. She is a great protagonist, and the year she spends in Paris is great to follow. A great bonus is that her love interest is the guy that everyone wishes was in their lives. He's so romantic and swoon-worthy! I just wish that Anna would have "discovered" more of Paris, and that she would've seen more of the city. I felt like it was an opportunity wasted, that Perkins had a chance to write an epic "city tour" and didn't take it. However that is really my one complaint. This was simply a solid read through and through. I can't wait until I can get my hands on the next one, and I'm intrigued at how Perkins binds all three books together!

Favorite Quotes: “I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It's so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn't have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.” 
― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

“I wish for the thing that is best for me.” 

― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Recommended for people who enjoy: Sarah Dessen, romance, YA fiction, travel, funny heroines

Happy Reading,
Mari

Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Read: Oct/Nov 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: Hardcover, 439 pages

Descriptions from GoodReads: Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.
   One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.
And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things.
   Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

Review: Oh boy, oh boy did I love this book. This is the second book in the Raven Cycle series (which was also amazing), and it was just as surprisingly gritty and realistic as the first one. I'm glad the author decided to focus more on Ronan in this book, because I felt like his backstory was held together pretty loosely in The Raven Boys.
   One of my favourite things about this series is the intricate relationship between all of the raven boys. 

Quotable Quotes:
"In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them."
"And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war."
"Dying's a boring side effect."- Joseph Kavinsky

Rating: 4.5/5

Read if you liked: the House of Anubis, the Diviners, Shiver, history, bromances (winks)

Optimistically yours, Ola <3

Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: All The Bright Places


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Taken from Goodreads

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Release Date: January 6th 2015
Read: November 2015
Publisher: Knopf Publishers
Format: Hardcover, 388 pages


Description from Goodreads:
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.


Review: 
I had heard a lot about this book in the blog-verse, so when I saw it in my school library I had to check it out. It started a little cliche, and felt slow to begin with, with development (which had to happen). I had to second guess myself on whether or not to continue reading. I'm glad I did. Once I got past page 50, it found itself.  The writing style (while slow to start) is great, and easy to follow. It felt as if Niven knew exactly what to say. Suicide and depression are hard topics to add to a romantic YA novel, but it works. Somehow this gives depth to both characters. Just thinking about Finch and how he struggles to keep his head above the water brings tears to my eyes. Violet and Finch are a beautifully broken couple, but they discover that together they make each other better. One of the hardest things to read is how Violet tries to help Finch, but somehow she can't reach him. Niven approaches these passages with poise, and it's beautifully written. I'm sure from the review so far, that it's clear that I finished this book crying- which I did. When I reached the ending I hated it, but the more I thought of it, the more I realized why it ended the way it did. But you decide your thoughts on the ending yourself. However, this is one of my favorite reads of 2015 (so far!).

Favorite Quotes:
 “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” 
“You have been in every way all that anyone could be.… If anybody could have saved me it would have been you.” 
“I learned that there is good in this world, if you look hard enough for it. I learned that not everyone is disappointing, including me, and that a 1,257 bump in the ground can feel higher than a bell tower if you’re standing next to the right person.”
-Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places
(Sorry for so many, I just loved them all)

Rating: 5/5 Stars (very rare!)

Recommended for people who enjoy: YA lit, John Green, romance, sad books, bittersweet endings

Happy Reading,
Mari

Monday, November 23, 2015

Book review: The House

The House, by Christina Lauren

Release date: October 27, 2015
Read: November 11, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books
Format: ARC, 400 pages.

Description from Good Reads:

Gavin tells Delilah he's hers-completely-but whatever lives inside that house with him disagrees, After seven years tucked away at an East coast boarding school. Delilah Blue returns to her small Kansas hometown to find that not much has changed, Her parents are still uptight and disinterested, her bedroom is exactly the way she left it, and the outcast Gavin Timothy still looks like he's crawled out of one of her dark, twisted drawings. Delilah is instantly smitten. Gavin has always lived in the strange house: an odd building isolated in a stand of trees where the town gives in to mild wilderness. The house is an irresistible lure for Delilah, but the tall fence surrounding it exists for good reason, and Gavin urges Delilah to be careful. Whatever lives with him there isn't human, and isn't afraid of hurting her to keep her away.

Review: The first impression I had of Delilah, was that she was a stalker. Really, what kind of girl, whether boy-crazed or not, follows a guy to his house? And it doesn't end there, she also had to have a peek inside through his front window. But it was a nice change to read a book with a courageous female lead (however impulsive) and an anti-social boy, instead of the other way around, which most books are. And the house! The moment this odd looking house came into play, I knew something paranormal was going on there. My guess was that there was some sort of soul-sucking demon living inside who was keeping Gavin captive, not that something was wrong with the actual house. Kudos to Christina Lauren for pulling that one off, and not writing what was expected.

Favourite Quotes: 
" What a pair they must make standing beside each other. Her fire so huge it spilled out of her and onto the pavement. His entire world so small she couldn't even see it with him looming over her." -Christina Lauren

Rating: 8/10

Recommended if you like: Monster House (the movie), Thrillers, any books/movies that just creep you out in general.

A recipe for disaster,


Lauren



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What About Wednesday: Time Travel

Hello all our readers! It's Wednesday so you know what that means! This week we thought that we would have a special time-travel edition!

Lauren's Picks:
1. The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
2. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
3. Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Ola's Picks:
1. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
2. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline Le'Engle

Marianne's Picks:
1. Outlander by Dianna Gabaldon
2. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
3. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Stay tuned, on Friday Ola will have a new review!

-Your Friends at The Autumn Bookshelf

Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Review: Rules For 50/50 Chances


23296348
Taken from Goodreads

Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

Release Date: November 2015
Read: October 2015 (I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this novel)
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Format: Paperback ARC, 342 pages

Description from Goodreads
A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life's uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.
Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

Review: 
This book was a great number of things. At times it's light and at others it hits a little deeper. Rose (our main character) has tough decision to make - whether or not to find out if she will get her mothers Huntington's disease. It's a touchy and hard subject, but McGovern approaches it with a gentle touch, really showing all the sides to this disease. She tries and shows the good in it, and through Rose we see that the illness is not all there is to life. With Rose we see her flourish during the bad times, whether being with Caleb (her potential boyfriend) or dancing ballet. It's hard for Rose to see her mother deteriorating, but for such a (at times) sad subject, McGovern really shines a light on it. 

Favorite Quotes: "... the music starts, and then I give in to it, and nothing else matters. And then I'm soaring." -Page 262

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Recommended for people who enjoy: Sarah Dessen, romance, YA, fiction, contemporary literature

Happy Reading,
Mari

Friday, November 13, 2015

Book Review: Dark Shimmer

Dark Shimmer, by Donna Jo Napoli

Release date: September 8, 2015
Read: September 2015
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Format: ARC, 368 pages

Description from Goodreads
Dolce is a monster. A giant, a freak.
Dolce is a princess. She walks like royalty—until dark shimmers make her fall.
Dolce is a mamma. She has found her true family.
Dolce is beautiful. But beauty can’t hide the monster inside.
Dolce is the Wicked One.

   In this haunting and irresistible story, award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli explores belonging, beauty, and how love can transform us.

Review: Starting dull but ending in a bang, Dark Shimmer has many things: round characters, lovable creatures, a history, but it does not have a good beginning. It is slow, quite uninteresting and not too exciting. It doesn't make you want to read more. Then the plot began to roll and, by the time I realized it was based on a fairy tale, I was intrigued.

Favourite Quote: "I didn't lose my temper today. I lost myself." -Dolce

Rating:  2.5/5

Recommended if you like: crime novels, Don't look back by Jennifer L. Armentrout, semi-mystery

A recipe for disaster,

Lauren



Sunday, November 8, 2015

Book Review: Graceling


3236307
Taken from Goodreads


Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Release Date: October 1. 2008.
Read: Fall. 2012
Publisher: Harcourt

Format: Paperback, 471 pages

Description from Goodreads:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... 

Review: I was told to read this because of my love for high fantasy. I was a little skeptical, but I decided to read it anyway. What I got was a mixed bag. The idea that some people have "Graces" (where they have a special power) is very interesting and unique. But I sorta had a small problem with Katsa (the main character). She seemed a little whiny at times, and it made me hard to feel sympathetic for her. But the story line made up for it. It was exciting, and took many twists and turns. Her counterpart Po is a great gentleman, willing to protect Katsa and his niece Bitterblue at all costs. It's a great adventure story line, but personally I like the sequel/prequel Fire better.

Favorite Quotes: “When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?” 
― Kristin Cashore, Graceling

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Recommended for people who like: YA, fantasy, fiction, romance, adventure

Happy Reading,
Mari

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What A(BOO)ut Wednesday

Hey!
It might not be Halloween anymore, or even October, but if you're still craving those ooks and spooks, here's a couple books that'll certainly deliver.

Mari's Pick:
1. Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
2. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
3. Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz

Lauren's Pick:
1. Sea of Shadows by Kelly Armstrong
2. The Witches by Roald Dahl
3. Made For You by Melissa Marr

Ola's Pick:
1. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
2. Guardian by Natasha Deen
3. From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender

P.S. If you are torn between whether to listen to creepy music or Christmas music in November, check "Tuning Out" by Bastille. 

Keep on creepin' on guys!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Book Review: Nimona

       Nimona by Noelle Stevenson


Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Read: September 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Paperback, 272 pages

Description from Gingerhaze:
    Lord Ballister Blackheart has a point to make, and his point is that the good guys aren't as good as they seem. He makes a comfortable living as a supervillain, but never really seems to accomplish much - until he takes on a new sidekick, Nimona, a shapeshifter with her own ideas of how things should be done. Unfortunately, most of those ideas involve blowing things up. Now Ballister must teach his young protégé some restraint and try to keep her from destroying everything, while simultaneously attempting to expose the dark dealings of those who claim to be the protectors of the kingdom - including his former best friend turned nemesis, Ambrosius Goldenloin.

Review: This isn't the first time I've read Nimona, but I'm so glad I get to review and own it as a physical copy. It is amazing. Gorgeous art, beautiful plot lines, adorable characters.
   My favourite part of this book is the sweet father-daughter relationship that develops between Lord Blackheart and Nimona, because it gives a sort of warmth and coziness to the story that just piques the perfection. And don't get me started on the humour, because you will snort with laughter at least twice.
   I've convinced most of my friends to read this book, and they loved it. Even if they didn't normally read graphic novels, or fantasy. I guarantee you will like this.

Quotable Quotes:
"I'm not a kid. I'm a SHARK." - Nimona

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Read if you liked: Fangirl, Harry Potter, Carry On, the Lumberjanes, Anya's Ghost

Optimistically yours, Ola <3

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Book Review: Forgive my Fins

Forgive my Fins, by Tera Lynn Childs 

Release date: January 1, 2010
Read: September 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Format: Hardcover, 291 pages

Description on GoodReads: Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it's not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you're a normal teenage girl, but when you're half human, half mermaid, like Lily, there's no such thing as a simple crush.

Review: Forgive my Fins is the epitome of a stereotypical mermaid romance novel.  From the moment the book started, cough cough page six, I already knew who Lily ended up with. It was expected, but still cute to see, or I guess read, how they slowly fell in love with each other. Tera Lynn Childs did a fantastic job of describing life under the sea, with all the specific plant types, colours and even going as far as describing the swift movement of the current. I just wish the fish slang had stayed underwater with the rest of the mermaids.

Favourite quote:
"Some people find beauty in chaos."
-Tera Lynn Childs

Rating: 7/10

Recommended if you like: mermaids, fantasy, romance, a light/playful/childish read

A recipe for disaster,

Lauren

Friday, October 9, 2015

Book Review: Carry On

      Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Read: October, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Hardcover, 522 pages

Description from GoodReads:    Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.
   Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.
   Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

Review: I have loved Simon and Baz since they were just fictional characters in Fangirl. When I found out they were getting their own novel, I was over the moon. And rightly so! This book met my expectations so easily and was so real (not like, realistic fantasy, but more like, this could be a fanfic). 

   It is very Harry Potter, although any book about a  teenage wizard school is very Harry Potter. Especially if it's a "chosen one" story. This book though, was surprisingly un-Harry Potter as well. The ending especially, but also the fact that everything does have very real dates, and pop culture references that are relevant, but not too relevant. Like Pokémon, and Starbucks.

   The only thing I have to sort of argue is that of course, this book takes place in the UK. And although I'm not from the UK, all of the british slang seemed really pushed.

Quotable Quotes:
"It's the good things that hurt when you're missing them." -Simon Snow
"'You're-you're wearing jeans.' 'And you're wearing half of the countryside.'"- Simon and Baz
"It's good to have a life that passes the Bechdel test." - Mitali Bunce

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Read if you like: Harry Potter, Fangirl, Wizards, Vampires, A+ Characters

Optimistically yours, Ola <3

Friday, September 25, 2015

Book Review: The Vampire Diaries

Taken from mybooksmylife.com


The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith

Release Date: 1. March. 1999
Read: July 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher
Format: Paperback, 311 pages

Description from Goodreads:
A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror...
Elena
Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.
Stefan
Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.
Damon
Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.
The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.


Review: 
This book was very different than the show, let me say that much. It shocked me at the liberties that the show took from the book. They changed the personalities of quite a few characters, and took others out completely. One of my favorite parts of the book was Meredith, someone who didn't make it into the show, despite the fact that she is a strong female character. I thought that as a whole, the book was a really fun read. The action was exciting, and most of the characters were extremely fun to read about. While reading, the biggest casting fail that I found was Bonnie. In the book, she is of Irish decent with red hair and freckles. In the show, she is the complete opposite. 
However, the show did succeed in one regard. I felt like in the book, Elena (the main character) was at times acting like a certain other human who falls in love with a vampire. She was strangely oblivious to Stefans odd behavior. There was too much obsession in her, which was cringe-worthy. However, since the summer of 2013, I have read the entire series and I am now searching like crazy for the first book in the Returned series.

Favorite Quote: “Evil will never find peace. It may triumph, but it will never find peace” 
― L.J. SmithThe Awakening
Rating: 3.25/5 Stars

Recommended for people who like: supernatural, romance, YA, adventure

Happy Reading,
Mari

What About Friday: School Books

What About... Friday!

Sorry we haven't been on lately, things have been getting busy again, so it's been a little disorganized. We're back, so here's a "What about... Friday" to tide you over until we post our next review! Because school's back in session, we thought that a back-to-school theme would be appropriate! 

Lauren's Picks
1. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter 
2. Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick 
3. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Ola's Picks
1. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
2. Gone by Michael Grant
3. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Mari's Picks
1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
2. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
3. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Stay tuned for the next review!

XOXO, The Autumn Bookshelf

Monday, September 7, 2015

Book Review: The 5th Wave

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Taken from Goodreads


The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy


Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Read: June, 2013
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 457 pages

Description from Goodreads:
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.
Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Review: This book intrigued me from the very first page. For a long time I searched for a fresh take on the whole dystopian genre. This book is pretty much it. It's a little slower to start, and it really takes time with the character building and the backstory of the whole tragedy is very interesting.
Cassie is an interesting heroine, and she is very headstrong. However, I felt that her relationship with Evan was a little cheesy and predictable. The moment that he appeared on the page, I knew right where his story was going. Even with that fact, I bought the book (I read it from the library) and have read it multiple times. It's a fun ride, and is great to pass the time.

Favorite Quotes:   “But if I'm it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I'm going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield.” 
― Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Recommended for people who like: thrillers, romance, YA, sci-fi, survival stories, dystopian

Happy Reading,
Mari

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Book Review: Reawakened

Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Release date: August 11th, 2015
Read: August 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages


Description from GoodReads: When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.
   And she really can't imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.
   But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.
   From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.



Review: I was expecting something like Rick Riordan's The Kane Chronicles, but more YA. What I did not expect was a pouty rich girl who has nothing to do but endlessly wander the halls of the Met. So tragic.
   Egypt in general is portrayed as an exotic fairytale place, and doesn't delve any deeper than that. Ever. The three princes are all somewhat in love with Lilliana, despite her lack of redeeming qualities. One of them feeds off her energy against her will, stalks her, and she still falls for him. Mostly because he's gorgeous by 21st century beauty standards.
   The book only mentions about a third of Egyptian gods, and upon further the investigation, the myth that the story is based off of is wrong too.
   Thoroughly, thoroughly disappointed.


Quotable Quotes:
"I could fall recklessly, dangerously, in love with a guy like him." - Lilliana Young

Rating: 2/5 stars

Read if you liked: the Red Pyramid, the House of Anubis, bad representations of other countries, Beauty and the Beast, Tiger's Curse, bad romances




Optimistically yours, Ola <3

Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: The Diviners

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             The Diviners by Libba Bray

Release date: September 8, 2012

Read: February 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 529 pages

Description from Goodreads:

   Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
   Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
   As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.




Review: Normally, I don't go for the really creepy, and paranormal books. Add the fact that it's set in the 1920's, and you are in for a really scary ride.

Now I don't want to scare you away from the book, however it's not for the faint of heart. I think I first realized this during the introduction. It begins at a party with a Ouija board. A OUIJA BOARD! I think any normal person would see that it's only going to go downhill from there.

Like I said before, I'm not the creepy book type of gal. But this book kept me hooked. I literally couldn't stop reading. It took a while to hit the action, as Bray did a lot of character building on Evie (the main character). Once it hit, it was awesome. Every twisty turn was refreshingly original, and I never felt bored.

Although, I wish that we could have seen a little more of New York City in the 20's. The whole story stayed in one area, so I think had we traveled a little further, the story would have had even more depth to it. All in all, it was a great book, and I can't wait to read the next one!


Favorite Quote: “Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. Cuts your throat and takes your bones, sells 'em off for a coupla stones.” ― Libba Bray, The Diviners


(Not gonna lie, this was one of the creepiest parts of the book)

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Recommended to people who like: horror, paranormal, supernatural, YA, romance, exciting, thriller, mystery




Happy Reading,


Mari

Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review: The Sea of Monsters

Percy Jackson and the Olympians the Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan

Release date: April 1, 2006
Read: Mid-July, 2015 and many times before that
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Paperback, 279 pages
Series: Book #2 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

Description from Goodreads: 
   The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan's amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a "half blood" whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan's series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book's drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

Review: Eventful, enticing, and downright funny. These are the first three words that come to mind when I think about this book. The none-stop rolling plot, the hidden meanings, the otherworldly places they visit. It all fits together perfectly. The first time I read the Sea of Monsters, I have to admit, I kind of hated Tyson. He seemed so needy, but the more I read about him, the more I realized that he was okay. My favourite scene is tied between Circe's island and Annabeth swimming to the Sirens. Both involve great sorcery: Circe herself, and the veil the Siren's put over people when they hear their music. The Son of Neptune, also by Rick Riordan, references the Island, which intrigues me, and I have always heard about evil mermaids, Sirens, who control their victims with their powerful voices. But to read about them with great detail in a more realistic perspective is a whole 'nother story.

Favourite Quotes:

  • "THAT Perseus always won. That's why my mom had named me after him, even if he was a son of Zeus and I was a son of Poseidon. The original Perseus was one of the only heroes in greek myths that got a happy ending. The others died- betrayed, mauled, mutilated, poisoned or cursed by the gods. My mom hoped I would inherit Perseus's luck. Judging by how my life was going so far, I wasn't too optimistic." -Rick Riordan
  • "Mythologically speaking, if there's anything I hate worse than trios of old ladies, it's bulls. Last summer, I fought the Minotaur on top of Half-Blood Hill. This time what I saw up there was even worse: two bulls. And not just regular bulls- bronze ones the size of elephants. And even that wasn't bad enough. Naturally they had to breath fire, too." -Rick Riordan
  • "Annabeth: My fatal flaw. That's what the Sirens showed me. My fatal flaw is hubris. Percy: The brown stuff they spread on veggie sandwiches? Annabeth: No, Seaweed Brain. That's HUMMUS. Hubris is worse. Percy: What could be worse than hummus? Annabeth: Hubris means deadly pride, Percy. Thinking you can do things better than anyone else... even the gods." -Rick Riordan


Rating: 8/10

Recommended if you like: constant adventure, travel, fantasy, mythology, destiny, fate, short reads, kid novels

A recipe for disaster,

Lauren