Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)

Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #1
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Source: Purchased
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary from Goodreads: 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.

Rating: êê

I had really high expectations for this book. The Wizard of Oz is my all time favorite movie and I was really excited to see that this book had such an awesome twist to the well known classic. I liked the twist, I liked that our preconceived notions about Dorothy were challenged and that she was the villain, I liked that our heroine was a nobody from Kansas, and I liked the twist on the other well known characters from the classic. While the writing was good, I wasn't entirely swept away. I really liked Amy, but I wasn't really crazy about any of the other characters. I guess part of my problem is that I felt like there was so much potential for this book to be amazing and it fell a little flat for me.

Rereads and Reviews - Bookish Discussion

I think most avid readers reread a book at some point in their lives. I also think there are some pretty obvious reasons why we do this. Most often, the book is a favorite. I have read the my favorite book, Ender's Game about 5 times and each time I read it, I learn something new about the characters and a new theme becomes obvious. When books are part of a series, we often reread the earlier releases in order to get the most out of the latest book in the series. I have read and reread the Harry Potter series several times, I reread the first books in the series every time a new book was released. I read books 1 - 3 so many times that my copies were falling apart and my mom bought me a new set. What are your reasons for rereading a book?

While I am interested in your thoughts about when and why we reread, I am more interested in whether or not you review a book you've reread? I recently started rereading the Throne of Glass series in anticipation for book #4, Queen of Shadows. I fully intend to post reviews on my blog for these rereads because I have so many thoughts and feelings that I think need to be shared. 

But, should I update my previous reviews on Goodreads? I've noticed that some people do this and they keep their original review and post the reread review above or below the old one. To be honest, I don't read those reviews on Goodreads, because I feel like they are usually too long. How do you handle this situation, especially if your rating has changed with the reread?

I am super curious about your thoughts, policies, and opinions with rereads and reviews, please join the discussion. How do you feel about reading a review of a reread? 

Posh to Meet You

Earlier this month, I won the Posh to Meet You Giveaway hosted by Missie at A Flurry of Ponderings.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was that it smelled AMAZING! So of course I eagerly dumped out the contents and was super excited to try everything out.

  • The Seas the Day Chunk bar, smells really sweet. It's bigger than the average bar of soap. I really enjoyed using it.
  • I LOVE the Big Fat Yummy Hand Cream! It smells like flowers and sandalwood and is light yet really moisturizing.
  • I also really liked the lip balm, it smells great and lasted for a pretty long time.

Missy also included a nice note and a loyalty card.

An added bonus is that these products are natural and cruelty free!

For more information, visit Missie's blog or the online catalog.

Top Ten Tuesday #22 - YA Fiction 101

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish, and this week's Top Ten is
Top Ten Books that would be on my Syllabus if I taught YA Fiction 101.

I am a high school math teacher, but IF I could teach about these books (and have the freedom to include other awesome YA Fiction books) I would totally consider making the switch to high school English. Due to the overwhelming need to include series in the required reading for the course, it will run longer than one semester.

Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1)Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
This book is chock full of themes to be explored: children who are in adult situations, war, leadership, power, humanity, just to name a few. It's also a keep you on the edge of your seat kind of book. Optional supplemental reading: Ender's Shadow.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
Because DUH! If my students haven't already read this series, then I will hope to convert them as soon as possible. But also, I think that there is a lot to glean from this series, especially books 5,6, & 7.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
We NEED to discuss strong female characters in my YA Fiction 101 course and Celaena is the perfect way to ease into that topic. She is flawed but powerful. Of course we will plan to read all the published books in this series too.

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)

Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Continuing the discussion on strong female characters, we will read The Graceling Realm Series. Each book focuses on a different female character, with different strengths and different challenges to overcome.

Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)Scarlet by AC Gaughen
Scarlet will serve as our transition between strong female characters and fairy tale retellings. A large portion of our discussion will focus on the author's choice to take a traditionally male character (Will Scarlet) and write the character as a female. Again, we will plan to read the entire series.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Continuing the discussion on fairy tale retellings, we will read the Lunar Chronicles. For this series, we will discuss the weaving of several fariy tales together and the phenomenal world building.

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkowski
In order to discuss fabulous world building and beautiful writing, we will read The Winner's Curse. There is lots to discuss here in terms of forbidden love and politics.

Thirteen Reasons Why
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
In order to address the unique struggles of being a Young Adult, we will read this book and discuss bullying and suicide.Hopefully this book will serve as an eye opener for how we treat others.

Staying Fat for Sarah ByrnesStaying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Cutcher
Another important book that addresses the struggles of being a young adult and focuses on being a good friend to someone in a terrible situation.

The Glass Arrow
Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
In order to discuss women's (reproductive) rights and the way that we envision the future.

Book Previews - Bookish Discussion

What are your thoughts on book previews?
That chunk of pages at the end of a book, where there is a sample of a few chapters of the author's next book, which depending on when you are reading the book the previewed book may or may not be published.

Personally, I NEVER  EVER read the preview, especially if it is the next book in the series and here's why:

1. I HATE spoilers and a sneak peak of a book just feels spoilery to me

2. I don't like to re-read things necessarily. So, if it's a series and I know I am going to read the next book in the series, I just skip the preview. Or, if it's some unrelated title that I'm not sure about, I'd rather read the synopsis than a chapter or two.

3. I am in impatient person. Waiting for the next book is hard enough as it is, I am convinced that reading a snippet of a book that I want will only make the waiting worse.

4. I am worried a preview would influence my review. I am the type of person who drafts my review immediately after reading a book, whether it's in a notebook, on my phone, or on blogger. I am always a little worried that if I start reading a preview, I might get confused.

What about those preview books?
The freebies that allow you to read the first few (or more) chapters of a book for free.

Yup, I NEVER download or read those either. One time I accidentally selected one of these samplers in the "Read Now" section of Netgalley, luckily I realized it was just a sample before I started reading it and I quickly removed it from my shelves. (I wonder if this hurts my percentage?)

Anyways, I'm curious - How do you feel about book previews? What are your philosophies when you spot them at the end of a book? Do you download the free samples?

Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)

Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.
Common enemy, common cause.
When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.
And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.
But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.
What power can bruise the sky?
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Rating: êêêê

3.5 Stars

I am struggling to come up with an overall feeling to describe this book. The beginning and the end were amazing, but there was a bit of a drag in the middle. Things in this book get complex. A lot of the history is explained and a lot of questions that you have from the first two books are answered. There is also the introduction of new characters, which was a bit confusing at first, BUT it comes together in what teachers like to call an "ah-ha moment". Every detail in this book is important, I cannot wrap my head around how an author could possibly keep so much information inside their head while writing such a complex story. Laini Taylor has truly impressed me with her skill and her beautiful writing.

Akiva and Karou basically stay true to themselves as characters, with a little growth and learning about themselves. There is some awesome secondary character growth. Liraz for example, is probably my favorite in this sense. I think there is something important to be learned from who Liraz was in the first book and who she is at the end. I am still a bit confused about the Stelians and feel like maybe we didn't get enough information on that front.

While I love the world and feel that the world building was excellent, there was this overwhelming feeling that it might be too big. I also felt like the ending was epic in terms of finishing the story that was started in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, left quite a bit of room to either continue the series or write a spin off.

Stacking the Shelves #36

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


Outlander 7 Book Bundle
Diana Gabaldon

*I read Outlander several years ago and felt so-so about it, but with the TV series and the fact that it was $1.99 on Amazon earlier this week, I thought I might give it another try.

Promoting Archived Posts - Discussion

Do you promote older posts on social media?

It seems like every time a log into twitter and scroll through tweets, I see several other book bloggers promoting their older posts using various hashtags to let you know this is an archived post. Sometimes I visit the links provided in the post, usually it depends on the content of the post. If it's a review post for a book that I am interested in or a discussion topic that sounds interesting, I will for sure click the link. So, it has got me thinking about archived posts and your thoughts.

I did a quick google search and found lots of articles about ways to improve blog traffic, including suggestions for tweeting archived posts, but nothing about the reasons behind this and the method to it. So, do you tweet or share archived posts via social media? If so, I have lots of questions for you!

How do you decide which archived posts to share?
I've seen all types of archived posts shared: reviews, discussions, and blog tours. Some bloggers seem to favor one type over the other, so I am just wondering how do you decide which archived posts are worth a second round?

How often do you share archived posts?
Again, I see some bloggers who do it daily, others do it on days where they don't have a new post to share, and others seem to do it randomly. What is your method and why?

Is it effective? How do you know?
I am assuming that most people do this in order to improve traffic, does it actually work? How closely do you monitor your stats in order to tell if it's working?

How do you share the archived posts?
I've mostly seen this done through tweets on twitter. Do you pre-schedule your tweets? Do you do it randomly? Do you use another platform to share?

As a reader and follower, how do you feel about people who share their archived posts?
Like I said, sometimes I click them and sometimes I don't. It really depends on how much time I have to read blogs and whether the topic sounds interesting.

Let me know your answers to my questions and the questions that you have in the comments!

1989 Book Tag

Charnell at Reviews from a Bookworm created this super fun Taylor Swift 1989 Book Tag in order to celebrate the new design of her blog. Since I had SO much fun at the 1989 concert, I decided to play along. So each category is a song from the album and then you match books to selected lyrics.

PSA - this tag was pretty challenging to complete, but really fun. Please feel free to play along, and make sure to Link-Up at Reviews from a Bookworm 

Welcome to New York
You can want who you want, boys and boys and girls and girls.

1. A book with LGBT themes

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)

Blank Space
You can tell me when it's over if the high was worth the pain.

2. A book that hit you right in the feels... but was totally worth it.

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)

I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream.

3. A book that you hated but you loved the cover


I've got a blank space baby and I'll write your name.

4. Your latest book boyfriend/girlfriend

Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)

We never go out of style.

5. A timeless classic you love.

Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1)

Out of the Woods
The rest of the world is black and white, but we were in screaming colour.

6. A book which had vivid world building.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

The monsters turned out to be just trees.

7. A book where things weren't exactly how they seemed.

The Fever

All You Had To Do Was Stay
You were all I wanted... but not like this.

8. A book you were eagerly anticipated, but ended up being disappointed by.

Up For Grabs

Shake It Off
The haters gonna hate
9. A book/series that everyone seems to love but you can't help but hate.

The Catcher in the Rye

10. A book/series you love but everyone else seems to hate.

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)

I Wish You Would
I wish you knew I'll never forget you as long as I live.

11. A book/series you know you will always love.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

I wish you were right here, right now

12. An upcoming release you wish you could have right now!

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

Bad Blood
Now we've got bad blood, you know it used to be mad love.

13. A character you once loved but grew to hate.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Did you have to do this, I was thinking that you could be trusted.Did you have to ruin what was shiny, now it's all rusted.

14. An author you haven't forgiven for the things they did to your favourite characters/books.

Lady Thief (Scarlet, #2)

Wildest Dreams
I can see the end as it begins.

15. A book that was far too predictable.

The Opposite of Maybe

Nothing lasts forever but this is getting good now.

16. A book/series that you wish could have gone on forever.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

How You Get The Girl
That's how it works, that's how you get the girl.

17. One of your favourite books where they 'got the girl'

A Time of Reckoning (The Golden Key Legacy, #4)

This Love

In darkest screams, in wildest dreams, I never dreamed on this.

18. A book that completely shocked you.

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)

I Know Places
Loves a fragile little flame it could burn out.

19. A book you thought you loved but quickly came to hate.

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)

Something happens when everybody finds out.See the vultures circling dark clouds.

20. A book you didn't want to be seen reading.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

The drought was the very worst, when the flowers that we'd grown together died of first.

21. When the wait between books made you forget everything that happened.

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

By morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean.

22. A book/series you wiped from your memory.
Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

Timekeeper Rising Blitz - Guest Post and Giveaway

Timekeeper Rising

Book & Author Details:
Timekeeper Rising by Allyssa Painter
Publication Date: August 1st 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Young Adult
Amazon | B&N
Synopsis:Fifty years ago, the sky cried acid and the earth vomited poison, all due to human destruction. Desperate for a savior, the people called out to the Shunned, a group of Fallen angels on Earth, and allowed them to take over. Now the Shunned rule with unspeakable cruelty, manipulating and torturing the humans in every possible way. Marked for death, Iris Ankea will do anything to end their tyranny and rescue her brother and best friend from their clutches. When she learns that she is God’s chosen Timekeeper and has the power to defeat the Shunned, she sets out with the only man who can help her, the one she thinks just might kill her. With a prophecy about her drawing ever near, Iris must race against time to discover her powers before the world, and her life, end. Can Iris force herself to embrace her role and sacrifice herself to save everyone she loves, or will she lose it all?

Guest Post

What I Wish Young Writers Knew
Age Doesn’t Matter

Yes, you read that correct. I said (or typed) “Age doesn’t matter.” It doesn’t, okay? Let me back up. Of course age matters in some things. I’m not saying it’s a good idea to drink at fourteen. I’m not. Please don’t do that. But in writing, age does not matter. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but I think I really started becoming serious about it in middle school. I started writing this story that ended up filling up three or four notebooks. Yeah, it was ridiculous. But that’s not the point. I stopped writing that story after a while and moved on to other things. In high school, maybe ninth or tenth grade, I wrote my first full-length novel. It’s a little short, but nothing too crazy. After that, I couldn’t stop. I loved writing and I was determined I wanted to publish my book. I wanted to be an author.

So I started researching. I read blogs from authors and advice for writers and all sorts of stuff. And occasionally, someone would address the issue of young authors. And they’d always say things like, “You need to wait to publish until you’re older.” “You’re writing isn’t good enough.” “You’ll look back at those stories later and realize they suck.” And that was so disheartening. Everywhere I looked, everyone said, slow down, wait, you’re not old enough, you’re not good enough. At first, it was enough to make me stop researching. And then the anger seeped in. And the stubbornness. I’m notoriously stubborn. And I decided that I was going to publish my book. I was going to be an author, and I wasn’t going to wait fifteen years just because there was some sort of age requirement.

I started querying my first novel when I was 17 or 18 I think. And I actually had a decent amount of interest. I even had an offer for publication. In the end, I turned it down due to moral/creative differences between myself and the company, which is a perfectly fine thing to do, let me add. You don’t have to take the first contract offered to you. It’s important to find the right company to work with, because you’ll have to work very closely with them.

Anyways, around that time, I finished the Timekeeper, which is what the Duo started out as. I then learned it was way too long and still needed more detail and scenes, so I broke it into two books and finished editing Timekeeper Rising. I queried it for a while, but the idea of angels and demons seemed to turn everyone away. I believed in my book, though, and in myself, so with a lot of support, I decided to self-publish it anyway.

Here’s the part that applies to my point. I am twenty years old. I just turned twenty in May, actually. And I am publishing a book. I am an author. Now, does that suddenly mean all those authors and professionals were wrong, and my book isn’t crap? Well, I guess not technically. Not many people have read it yet, and you can publish anything these days. So, technically speaking, it could be absolutely dreadful. But I don’t think so. Several people have read it for me so far, and they all seem to love it. Is it the best book ever written? I sincerely doubt it. But is it good? Yeah, I think so.

I don’t doubt that one day I’ll look back at this book and think it could be better. But let me tell you a secret. I know of several authors who do that. They look back at the early books and it’s amazing to them to see how far they’ve come. And some authors won’t even look back at them, because they know their new books are way better (at least in their opinion). And these are real adults, guys, not fake adults like me. These people are thirty, forty, fifty years old, and they still do that same thing that people said teens would do. They look back at their early work and know it’s not as good as it could be. Why? Because they’ve grown. We all grow, especially as authors. The more we write, the more we read, the more advice, reviews, and comments we see, the more we learn, and the better our books become. So if this is true for adults, why can’t it be true for teens? Why does age have to matter?

It doesn’t. Age doesn’t matter. Maturity? Sure. Writing ability? Most definitely. But if you’re mature enough, dedicated enough, strong enough, and you have the writing ability, you can be an author. I don’t care if you’re fifteen or a hundred and fifteen. If you can write a good book that people enjoy, and you have tough enough skin and enough dedication to stick through all the unenjoyable businessy stuff of being an author, you can publish a book too, no matter your age. The point is a simple one: Age doesn’t matter. Ability does.

Allyssa Painter
AUTHOR BIO:Allyssa Painter is the author of Timekeeper Rising, the first in the Timekeeper Duo. She graduated from Sissonville High School and attends Concord University for elementary and special education. She dreams of becoming an elementary teacher and continuing to touch the world around her through the novels she writes. In her free time, she enjoys reading fantastical adventures, spending time with her family, and capturing the world around her in photography and writing.
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Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

                                    1 signed copy of Timekeeper Rising
                                    2 ebook copies of Timekeeper Rising

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