Grab a Magnifying Glass [Recommendations]

I’m thrilled to be announcing a new segment to my blog: recommendations! I’ve read so many wonderful stories, many of which I haven’t shared here on my blog. I figured it was time to change that. I will keep my recommendations grouped into lists based on genre, geography, setting, sub-genre–whatever seems to fit best.

So for my first list of recommendations, I decided to flip through my mystery shelf on Goodreads. The thing is, I only have three books on that digital shelf because those are the only mysteries I’ve read. *shakes head at self disapprovingly* I blame my TBR jar for always giving me fantasy books. But no matter, because all three of these mysteries were all four and five-star reads for me.

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1. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult was the first mystery book I read, which was all the way back in March of 2015. It was almost my first read from Picoult, and I immediately understood her success. Her writing style is clean, yet bound with several lyrical similes and metaphors. She created such eccentric characters with many complex layers. To put a teenage girl (Jenna) with a psychic and a PI led to a very interesting and humorous dynamic throughout the story. But they all end up looking for the same thing: Jenna’s long-lost mother.

Picoult knows how to tell a mystery. She lays down all of these traps to lure you into thinking one way, while she has something completely different brewing beneath. I was able to predict a few elements about half way through the book, but there was still several elements that left me gaping in the end. That twist was such a wallop to the heart.

If you’re looking for a mystery that is sure to envelope your mind into its shadowy depths, I recommend taking a look at Leaving Time.

2. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars was a strange and enthralling book that kept my mind occupied wholly. I had trouble staying away from it, which is why I ended up reading it within twenty-four hours. It was an easy book to read because of the clean writing and the intrigue of the characters and storyline. Cadence can’t remember something that happened last summer, but we know it must be something bad, something terrible in between the seams of these supposedly perfect families. But they’re so not perfect, and that’s what I love.

This book continuously kept me guessing. I would build theory after theory, but nothing could’ve prepared me for that ending. It was shocking. It made me feel sad and confused, so, so confused. My head felt like is was trapped in a cloud hours after reading it. But I love that element of surprise, that sucker punch to my brain that I never saw coming.

This book isn’t for everyone, and I can understand why. But it’s short and quick, so I recommend giving it a read for yourself (if you haven’t already) and seeing what you think of this rollercoaster.

3. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Bone Gap is one of my absolute favorite books of this year, and probably of all time. This is a story about multiple characters, mainly about Finn, the strange and attractive boy who has many flaws that not even he knows about. He’s searching for his Roza, the beautiful girl who was kidnapped before his eyes. But the town of Bone Gap is eerie, so they’re not surprised by this. But Finn is determined to find his friend. Along the way of this journey, we read about events in the past through the eyes of several people. And one of those people is Roza.

She’s held captive by a strange man, but what’s interesting is the elements of magical realism in this story. There are so many unexpected elements that left me both entranced and perplexed. I’ve read quite a few tales of magical realism, but this one felt so unique and captivating. There’s such a deep mystery behind this story, along with a few side stories that are bound to catch your interest. JUST READ IT.

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What did you think of this new segment on my blog? What other recommendations would you like to see? What are your favorite mysteries? Leave any other thoughts or comments down below!

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Alien Invasion [Tag]

Since I had so much fun participating in the zombie apocalypse tag (you can find that here), I decided to create an alternate version: the alien invasion tag! Much like the zombie apocalypse tag, imagine yourself in a traumatic new world where fictional characters are forced to survive alongside of you.

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Rules:

  • Choose seven books that you’ve read (I use Goodreads randomize feature for this)
  • Randomly arrange the books you have chosen
  • Flip to a random page and jot down the first two names you see
  • Place the names in the categories below in order of when you wrote them down

Chosen books (in order):

  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • The Falconer by Elizabeth May
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • Four: a Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

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The person who shows up at your door for help is: Thomas.

This seems about right, considering the way The Maze Runner begins. Kidding! Of course Thomas would want help after waking up without any recollection of himself. Hopefully he remembers who he is when he shows up at my door. Either way, I would help him out. How could you refuse Dylan O’Brien–I mean, Thomas. How could you refuse Thomas?

The person who refuses to join your new survival team is: Newt.

Oh, come on, Newt. I would be so bummed about this. Newt would’ve been an incredible addition to our survival team. He’s smart and witty, willing to help others. In fact, this is very out-of-character. But that’s fine, have fun on your own, Newt.

Your best friend is: Augustus.

This makes me so happy. Augustus would be such an amazing friend to have around in such dire situations. He would keep our minds pure with his wise quotes and wisdom. We’ve also both played a multitude of games that involve killing aliens, so we would make an excellent and powerful duo. (Because video game skills always match up with real-world skills.)

Your enemy is: Peter.

Peter Van Houten is a terrible and negative man who would probably do nothing other than drag down the team both physically and emotionally. So yes, we would definitely be enemies. I don’t need that kind of attitude during the alien invasion.

The person who tries to throw you in front of a laser beam is: Kiaran.

This is pretty accurate. Kiaran is part fae (if I remember correctly) and he’s not too fond of mortals, other than the protagonist, Aileana. I suppose he would find me to be annoying in some way and throw me in front of the nearest laser beam. Besides, he’s from 19th century steam-punk Scotland, so he’s probably very confused.

The person you try to throw in front of a laser beam is: Aileana.

Probably because her boyfriend tried to throw me in front of laser beam. But seriously, I really like Aileana, so I wouldn’t want to do this. She’s an incredible fae hunter who I would love to battle alongside of. But maybe she was a little too bloodthirsty and I had to get rid of her. Sorry, Aileana!

The leader of the team is: Nibs.

Out of all of the Lost Boys, Nibs is supposedly the bravest. He’s also quite happy and positive, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t last too long in an alien invasion. That little bunny costume wouldn’t fool the aliens or intimidate any trespassers.

The traitor of the team is: Wendy.

Wow. I actually did not see that coming. Unless Peter Pan is up there flying alongside the aliens, I don’t see why she would want to do this. It’s probably Peter Pan. It’s always Pan.

The person you save from an alien is: Jeanine.

Ugh, seriously? Out of all people, it had to be Jeanine. I would not save Jeanine. She’s probably plotting ways to team up with the aliens. I mean, she’s still a person and she isn’t all bad. So I guess I might save her …

The person that saves you from an alien is: Marcus.

Ha. HA. Funny. Like that would happen. I guess I’m dead now. Marcus may be willing to change for Tobias, but for a stranger like me? Probably not. If he does save me, it’s probably because he wants to look heroic in front of everyone.

The brainiac of the team is: Adam.

This certainly seems plausible. Adam seems quite smart and skilled, swift on his feet. It’s been a while since I’ve read Shatter Me, but I remember him always having a plan up his sleeve.

The slacker of the team is: Kenji.

Sounds about right. As I recall, Kenji didn’t quite seem to know where he stood and was lazy and careless about the tasks handed to him. But I don’t want to die, so Kenji is going to have to change his ways and get it together.

The first person who is abducted is: Harris.

Harris is basically this novel’s form of the White Rabbit. He has a good heart and pure intentions, but he is often frazzled with the drama of the kingdom. I don’t think he would do so well in an alien invasion, so this seems pretty accurate.

The first person who dies is: Dinah.

Dinah, you will be missed. You lived through a treacherous life back in Wonderland. May you now rest in peace. And at least now, you won’t have to become the evil Queen of Hearts.

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I tag:

Rebecca

 Cait

Madeline

Lissa

Cherry

And consider the rest of yourselves tagged!

Zombie Apocalypse [Tag]

The lovely Lissa (Rabid Reads) tagged me to do the zombie apocalypse tag. I wasn’t familiar with this tag, but I must say, this was so much fun. The idea of this tag is simply brilliant and leads to some funny scenarios.

Rules:

  • Choose five books (I used Goodreads randomize feature on my “read” list, only choosing books that I own)
  • Randomly set your books in order
  • Flip to a random page and write down the first two names you see
  • Place the names in the categories below in the order when you wrote them down

Chosen books:

  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  • Wendy Darling: Stars by Colleen Oakes

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The first person to die in the apocalypse is: Josh Wasserstein.

This is a sad loss. I do like Josh and the relationship he ends up sharing with Isla, but he wasn’t my favorite from the series. Still, he would’ve been a comforting and humorous friend to have around in such tense situations.

The person you tackle to escape the zombies is: Meredith Chevalier.

No. Nope. I wouldn’t hurt Meredith like that. She’s such a sweet girl who always seems to get the short-end of the stick. Besides, she’s athletic and strong, so she would be an amazing attribute to the team. But if I had to, as this category demands, then I am very sorry.

The first person to be turned into a zombie is: Caleb Prior.

Bye, Caleb. You will not be missed by me. (I mean, he wasn’t the worst guy, but he committed some foolish acts that I can never forgive.)

The person that tackles me to escape the zombies is: Susan Black.

Susan wasn’t a prominent character in this series, so I don’t know much about her. However, I doubt she would (or would be able) to tackle me. But maybe she was upset that I pushed Caleb into a horde of zombies. *shrugs*

The team’s idiot is: Bran Stark.

Okay, so I know many people in the Game of Thrones community aren’t fond of Bran, but I actually like him. But he does cause many problems. Many, MANY serious problems. He may have powers that could be useful in the apocalypse, but his curiosity would probably get the better of him and lead to the deaths of others. Because, after all, he was responsible for … *sobs*

The brains of the team is: Robb Stark.

Robb has been known to make some rash decisions, but he is a fierce leader. He made decent choices throughout his life as king. They were risky decisions, yet he stuck beside them and rode bravely. He’s also open to suggestions, depending on the person. And he’s handsome. Not that it matters.

The team’s medic is: Hermione Granger.

This is an amazing scenario. Hermione in charge of anything is likely to lead to a solid solution. With her knowledge and strength, I would trust her with my life.

The weapons expert is: Professor Sprout.

I mean, I suppose this is possible. Professor Sprout’s speciality is obviously with plant-based magic and sorcery, but maybe she could use her plants as weapons. Some of those little creatures can be quite deadly, so this could work.

The team’s brawler is: Wendy Darling.

So I guess we’re all going to die. I love Wendy Darling, especially in this retelling. She shows more qualities of a stronger woman compared to her original coutnerpart. However, she still isn’t much of a fighter. But she is a smart gal, so perhaps she could learn?

The team’s leader is: Peter Pan.

Okay, we would definitely be dead. The Peter Pan in this novel is a much darker take on his original charcter. He’s hungry with bloodlust and mad with power. In fact, I’m pretty sure Peter would just try to kill us himself. He was probably the one who tackled Meredith and pushed Caleb into a horde of zombies.

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This tag is too fun to take a select few, so consider all of you are tagged! I got such a laugh out of doing this tag, so I would love to see who else participates and what their results are. Be sure to leave any other thoughts, comments, or questions down below!