The Secret Sister Project (2)

secret sister project

Hey lovelies! We are here to announce round two of our Secret Sister Project! First, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who made our trial run such a success. Honestly you guys blew me away with your generosity and ability to hold one another up on those cloudy days I really appreciate everyone’s time (and money) and cannot tell you how proud I am to be a part of this community! So let’s get into the logistics…For those of you who are new here, you can take a glance at our initial post to get an idea of what is going on here. To my peeps who are signing up again, we have made some significant changes to the whole project so please read the below very carefully before signing up!

The What:

The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

The When:

  • Sign-ups run January 12 – January 23
  • You will be paired up with your secret sister by January 30
  • This session will run from February 1 – July 31 (this means that your last something will be sent in July)

The Who:

You guys! The only “rule” we have is that before signing up, you must “know” at least one of us. Us being myself (@withthebanned), Amy (@trippingbooks), or Brittany (@bookaddictguide) and “knowing” one of us means that we must have spoken on Twitter or SOMETHING. We are just really concerned with someone not following through, and that would just make a bad time for everyone. Continue reading

Book Hoarder’s Anonymous: Best of 2014

Let’s get a little personal for a minute…2014 wasn’t the best year for me. In truth, it was actually one of the hardest years of my life, and quite frankly there were moments I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through. It was a year I spent in a long distance relationship (that is, after living together for 5 years, we were forced to live 4 hours apart due to career choices). It was the year I obtained my DREAM JOB, and also the year I lost said DREAM JOB only a month later. It was the year I had to reevaluate everything I had been working toward for years, I was forced to make decisions that nearly had me throwing up from anxiety, but I did it, and am better for it. 2014 was filled with angst and “I don’t think I can do this anymore” moments, but it was also filled with so much love. It was one of those years where it was imperative to surround myself with loved ones who could help carry the burdens I was attempting to shoulder. Those of you who read my blog know that Amy (Tripping Over Books), Brittany (The Book Addict’s Guide) and myself are very close. To be quite honest, I cannot put down in words how much these two have helped me over the past year. They listen to the same stories over and over, always offering encouragement and support. They often offer to Avada Kadavra anyone who is annoying/hurting me and most importantly, they remind me of my strengths. They are quite literally, sunshine on my cloudy days. To come full circle, I will remind you all that the three of us wouldn’t be friends if we had not started blogging, we would not be here as a group to offer you our #samepage feature, and I would be missing an integral part of the person I am today. I feel blessed to have the kind of people in my life who have become soul friends. Despite the darkness of 2014, I look forward to what 2015 will bring.

Now, let’s get into the more bookish stuff, shall we?

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Overall favorite book of 2014: This is a hard one, but I think The Lies of Locke Lamora. I will leave you with my initial review: So very good. Incredible, even. It was as if The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Kingkiller Chronicles had a baby. The relationships were some of the best that I have ever read, loyalty at its best. The plot was driven, and interesting, Lynch left clues throughout that made up a very detailed plot. Also it must be said, the language was fantastic! Some may find curses to be vulgar, but let me tell you, The Lies of Locke Lamora is enriched by stellar insults and perfectly timed sailor language. In short, read this book, read it now.

Favorite BAMF: Well I am just getting into the (long) series but I really love Nynaeve and Egwene from The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. They were especially coming into their own in book two, The Great Hunt and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Favorite debut author: Rosamund Hodge. I loved Cruel Beauty so much, the writing and the darkness of the story were all things that spoke to me.

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Books with Pictures: Definitely Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. It was GORGEOUSLY illustrated and written and completely an “Alyssa” book.

BFF: I should say BFFs, as in bromances, because Locke and Jean take the cake for this one. I love their friendship immensely!

Most swoon-worthy lad: OH, Jared from The Lynburn Legacy. I loved him so much that upon finishing book one in the series, I immediately picked up the third and fourth. Continue reading

On the Same Page: Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Title: Sunshine

Author: Robin McKinley

Publishing Information:  November 30, 2004 by Jove

Genre: Fiction, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Horror

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 389 pages

Source: Bought for my personal library

Recommended For: 

Related Reviews: Brittany’s Post and Amy’s Post

There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it’s unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while. Unfortunately, she wasn’t alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don’t, when they’re vampires.
They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion – within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight. She knows that he is a vampire. She knows that she’s to be his dinner, and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, as dawn breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her to help him survive the day…

Okay so this month the gals and I set out to read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski…it did not go well. That is to say, we didn’t last long before choosing to go down a different path by reading Sunshine by Robin McKinley. I had actually read this book a few years ago and all I could remember was CON ❤ and well, upon finishing I can sum it up in the same one word! I loved Sunshine and her feisty behavior and the fact that she felt so real, the reader can understand her fears and hesitations throughout the story. I thought for this month’s post I would share some pictures and quotes that I enjoyed while reading Sunshine!

sunskull

“The train is roaring toward you and the villain is twirling his mustache and you’re fussing that he’s tied you to the tracks with the wrong kind of rope.” Continue reading

On the Same Page: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Title: The Goose Girl

Author: Shannon Hale

Publishing Information:  May 13th 2005 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling, Adventure

Series Information: First in The Books of Bayern series

Format: Hardcover, 400 pages

Source: Gifted for my personal library from Amy

Recommended For: Fans of Jessica Day George, Patricia C. Wrede, strong heroines, and sweet romances

Related Reviews: Brittany’s Review and Amy’s Post on Quotes

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt’s guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani’s journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her.

Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own.

This was Amy’s choice for our On the Same Page feature, and a few years ago she even bought it for me (before we were best friends) when she had me for Secret Santa! So it is no question that she LOVES this book, and therefore I knew that I would love it as well. Well, friends, love it I did. I adored Ani and her strength, but I also loved that she was unsure about herself and her abilities. She was very real to me, and I love it when that happens. I could honestly go on and on about this book, but as we try and change it up for our On the Same Page posts I thought I would share a read alike guide with you instead of a traditional review!

So, if you liked The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, try…

 

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George – While it may sound that this is just another dragon inspired fairy tale employing all of the familiar themes, I promise that it is more involved than that, and though reminiscent of other tales it is uniquely sweet and promising. This novel comes highly recommended for those of you looking for a sweet story about a girl, her dragon, and their successful attempts to save a kingdom.

 

 

Entwined by Heather Dixon – This story follows Azalea and her sisters, they live with their mother and father and their favorite thing in the world is to dance. Unfortunately, their mother dies giving birth to their youngest sister and the palace goes under a period of mourning, in which no dancing is allowed. Azalea finds out some information regarding the secret passages in their castle and they discover a magical wood beyond their castle that contains a dancing glen, taken care of by a man who only goes by the name Keeper. Then, evil comes to the castle and there is an epic battle and all of these love pairings come about in a non-obvious way and it was so sweet and refreshing from the immediate I-have-to-have-you-now that comes in most YA romance novels. Also? I cried. This alone makes me like this book because it was so unexpected. The relationship between the girls and their father is even better than the romantic relationships in the book, which is rare and beautiful.

Continue reading

Fortnight of Fright (3)

FoF2014

Heyyyy friends!!

I’m sure you guys remember that for the past TWO (ahh two already?!) years Brittany from The Book Addicts Guide and I have hosted a two week event called Fortnight of Fright, where we shared different posts on all things Halloween! This year we have decided to host it under our collaborative name, Gals on the Same Page which means we get to host with Amy from Tripping Over Books as well!

This means MOAR space for you guys to share and read awesome content! We will be working together with you guys and some fabulous authors to showcase some creepy books, interviews, movies and anything else Halloween and Autumn related that you can think of! As always, the more the merrier so scroll on down to the Google Doc and sign on up to help us out, friends! There is honestly no limit on what you can post about! Have a signature Halloween or Autumn cocktail or recipe? Pinterest board we should be checking out? A book recommendation for those of us who love to be scared? Or even something to lighten up those spooky Halloween nights? We want it all! JOIN US!

For some reference, here are some awesome posts that we had here on Books Take You Places over the past few years: Continue reading

Announcing: The Secret Sister Project!

secret sister project

Hey there friends! You may remember a few months ago when I put out a call on twitter asking for people interested in participating in a secret sister project. I was so happy to see how many people were interested in joining in on this little project that I asked Amy, and Brittany (my co-hosts for our On The Same Page and #LitLush feature) to help and we decided to make it a go! For those of you who have NO idea what I am talking about, read on! Continue reading

On the Same Page: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Landline

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publishing Information: July 8, 2014 by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 308 pages

Source: Received an ARC from the publisher at BEA 2014

Recommended For: Those of you who sometimes feel the pressures of a long time relationship, the good and the bad.

Related Reviews: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

 

Wow, friends, have I been struggling with this review. As you know, for our On the Same Page feature we usually do something a little out of the ordinary to showcase the unique things that we loved about the novel we just read together. The bottom line is, I don’t know how to do that for this book. So I decided I would write a quick and open letter to Rainbow Rowell trying to convey what I felt when I read her novels… Continue reading

On the Same Page: Fairytales for Wilde Girls

Title: Fairytales for Wilde Girls

Author: Allyse Near

Publishing Information: June 3, 2013 by Random House Australia

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Gothic, Fairy Tales, Romance, Paranormal, Mental Illness

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Paperback, 432 pages

Source: Purchased for my personal library

Recommended For: Fans of darker fairy tales filled with descriptive imagery, fans of Neil Gaiman, and fans of books that are much more than what they seem.

Fairytales for Wilde Girls was unlike anything I have ever read before. It was dark, and deep, and sad while simultaneously maintaining ribbons of hope and stolen moments of happiness. It was a novel of self discovery and it was the dark overtone of the novel that really assisted the snippets of light to shine through. One of the most outstanding things about Fairytales of Wilde Girls was the language and use of metaphor by the author. Allyse Near has such a gift in the way in which she conveys every moment with lyrical and descriptive language, it really heightens the novel and sets it apart from other pieces of literature. That being said, some of the quotes throughout the novel really stuck with me and I wanted to share their beauty with you guys! I made up some nifty little images to go along with a few quotes that I really loved, take a peek! Continue reading

On the Same Page: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

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On the Same Page is a new feature here on Books Take You Places that I am hosting along with two of my very dear friends, Amy (Tripping Over Books) and Brittany (The Book Addict’s Guide). Essentially, we will be reading one book a month together and then doing a non-traditional review such as a playlist, character analysis, or like my post below, a dedication to some beautiful quotes found in the book. To find out more about this new feature, head on over to its dedication page!

The quotes in Days of Blood and Starlight really stood out for me, I can’t tell you how many pictures I took on my phone of different quotes throughout the book. With that in mind, I went forth and made some images that feature some of my favorite quotes through the novel. Enjoy!

Title: Days of Blood and Starlight

Author: Laini Taylor

Publishing Information: November 6, 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Angels, Magic, Romance

Series Information: Book 2 in The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy

Format: Hardcover, 513 pages

Recommended For: Fans of intricate and vibrant novels that tear your heart out a little bit.

A new way of living

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living—one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel—a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.”

It was rare

“It was brave,” countered Issa. “It was rare. It was love, and it was beautiful.”

Daughter of my heart

“Daughter of my heart,’ was the message Brimstone sent just for Karou. She wanted to cry again right here in the court, thinking of it. ‘Twice-daughter, my joy. Your dream is my dream, and your name is true. You are all of our hope.”

More than magic

“The man had lifted Madrigal up, cloaked in her living shawl, and brought her back down again, and even a boy could see that there was magic between them, and more than magic.”

Dead souls

“Dead souls dream only of death. Small dreams for small men. It is life that expands to fill worlds. Life is your master, or death is.”

Shimmer and shadow

“Light coursed through Karou and darkness chased it-burning through her,

chilling her, shimmer and shadow, ice and fire, blood and starlight, rushing, roaring, filling her.”

Be sure to check out Amy and Brittany’s similar posts:
Amy: Review of Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, and Visualize Days of Blood and Starlight
Brittany: Branching Out Into Fantasy