Top Ten Tuesday: books to read if you like these tv shows or movies


It’s Top Ten Tuesday again, you guys! Yay! This week’s theme as laid out by The Broke and the Bookish is:

Top Ten Books If You Like X tv show/movie/comic/play etc. (basically any sort of other entertainment)

You can find the rest of the themes for upcoming weeks HERE.

This was a particularly difficult theme for me at first because I thought that I should pick one specific tv show, movie, or play, but then I realized, I could just do ten different books for ten different tv shows or movies. So that’s what I did! Maybe this will help you find your next favorite read!

NOTE: I’ve never actually watched Breaking Bad; also, I have linked each tv show and movie to their IMDB page, and each book is linked to its Goodreads page.

Let’s do tv shows first, shall we?

If you like:

















If you like:

the big bang theory







the rosie project









If you like:

doctor who















If you like:


















If you like:







the robber bride









If you like:

















If you liked and miss:







Consider Phlebas









Now movies:

If you like:

500 days of summer










Paper Towns









If you like: (assuming you’ve read THG series)




















If you like: (again assuming you’ve read the source material)

Divergent Movie poster










Maze Runner cover image 








Do you have any suggestions for books to read if you like a certain tv show or movie? Let me know below! Also, if you did TTT, link back to it below so I can check it out! 🙂

Book Review: Rivers by Michael Farris Smith

Rivers by Michael Farris SmithTitle: Rivers

Author: Michael Farris Smith

Genre: Apocalyptic, Speculative fiction

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: September 2013

Hardback: 333 pages

Stand alone or series: Stand alone

How did I get this book: Bought

Before I start, I just want to say that I know the author of this book. He was actually one of my professors at my undergraduate university, Mississippi University for Women. I will also say that I read his previously published novella, The Hands of Strangers, and I was not a fan (I’m sorry, Dr. Smith! Don’t hate me!). I wanted to say this so that if you were aware I knew the author, you did not think that my review had been swayed in any way.

So let’s start with a brief synopsis:

In a frightening, realistic, and apocalyptic future, the Gulf Coast has been battered and destroyed by a series of unrelenting hurricanes. Given up on the future of the region, the US Government has drawn “The Line”, a geographical boundary 90 miles inland that cuts off the coast from the rest of the country. Residents were warned that once the line was drawn, all laws, protection, and any rights of the residents in the region would be lost. Staying would be done at your own risk.

Cohen stayed. Somehow he is able to make a sort of life for himself, along with his dog and horse, in the home where he and his now-dead wife lived. While returning after a trip for supplies, he is carjacked and his Jeep and supplies are stolen by two teenagers, one boy and one girl. When he returns home, he sees that the same fate has befallen his house, obviously by the two who’d tried to kill him earlier. They’ve invaded the part of his house he’d blocked off: the room he’d shared with his wife and the room they’d been using to store the clothes and toys for their unborn child. He feels extremely violated and sets off to find the teenagers and get back what is his.

He finds them, Mariposa and Evan, but is shocked to find that they are being kept by an evil man who believes he is doing them, and the other women he’s locked up there, a favor by providing them shelter and food. Aggie, the man who has declared himself their savior, keeps them in trailers locked from the outside, and Evan, along with his younger brother Briscoe, are the only other males there. You can probably assume what Aggie wants with them (hint: there are two pregnant women).

Now that Cohen is there though, everything will change. A monster storm is coming and it’s the worst one yet.

What I thought:

Holy shit. Excuse my language, but holy shit. Be prepared to set the next few hours aside once you start reading Rivers, because it’ll suck you in with the first page and it won’t want to let you out until you’re done. Much like the storms that have ravaged the Gulf in the book, Rivers will be relentless in its hold on you.

Smith’s writing (it was really hard to not put a Dr. in front of that. Old habits and all that) is just beautiful. The prose is winding and bleak and haunting. The words wrap you up in them and force you to feel the desolation, loss, hunger, and pain that everyone in the book feels. Yes, there is a lot of “and this and that and that happened”, which sounds like it would be quite annoying, but it isn’t. His prose has a rhythm and a cadence to the sentences that make it practically impossible not to keep reading. There’s a lot of really lovely yet haunting descriptions, and you really feel and sympathize with what the characters are going through. One of my favorite sentences:

For two hours they had been moving back toward the coast, the hurricane forceful and gathering strength and the endless black night and the pounding of the rain and the wind and the twisting and turning across the beaten land and all he could think about was how alone he felt and it hurt like a broken bone. –Rivers, page 300

There were several lines that I reread a few times because I just loved the way they were phrased and how they almost felt like music. I will say, however, that a couple of times, the long sentences and multiple descriptions were a little much. It made it hard to read at my natural pace. The book is also, as I’m sure you can guess, rather depressing and it felt heavy in my mind.

On the other hand, because of this, the reader can feel the characters’ discomfort and their pain. Through Smith’s words, you feel waterlogged and filthy and all that they experience. The prose is just as brutal to the reader as Mother Nature has been to these characters. All of the characters are just so absolutely human, which I think is one of the reasons it was so hard to read. I don’t mean that I didn’t like it; I mean that you can relate so well to the emotions of each of these characters that it was difficult to see. I hope that makes sense.

The novel is so haunting, at least to me, because it feels like something that could actually happen. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy (though that wasn’t in the South), it is easy to see a future in which the storms just don’t stop. Rivers creates a realistic and terrifying future for the Gulf Coast.

The bottom line:

I think you probably get the picture, but just in case: I LOVED Rivers. The future it has created is frightening, extremely well-written, and haunting. You will find it difficult to put this book down until you turn the last page. But even then, I doubt this one will leave you.

Rating: 9 – Practically Perfect (I would have given it a 10 but for those parts when it was just so heavy)

You can find out more about Michael Farris Smith on his website or follow him on Twitter.

Reading next: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Book Review: Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die coverTitle: Dorothy Must Die

Author: Danielle Paige

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Hardback: 452 pages

Stand alone or series: First book in a series

How did I get this book: Bought


Let’s start with a brief synopsis (from the dust jacket):

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 blue birds. 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 the yellow brick road, though — 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.

What I thought:

Alright, so the back cover of Dorothy Must Die says this: Your Mission: Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart. Steal the Scarecrow’s brain. Take the Lion’s courage. And then – Dorothy must die. Only you can make Oz a free land again.

I want to start with my biggest problem with this book because it is still fresh in my mind as I’ve just finished the book – and because it is so unbelievably annoying and I can’t really get over it.

Dorothy Must Die is 452 pages long – FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY-TWO PAGES – and other than the fact that Dorothy must die, not one of the other three things that Amy must accomplish is even mentioned in the book until the LAST EIGHT PAGES. (I’d like to go ahead and apologize for the amount of rage caps that will probably be in this review). The last eight pages, guys. This book is 452 pages, and the whole point of the book isn’t mentioned until the last eight pages?! I know I keep repeating myself, but I’m hoping if I continue to type it, it will finally make sense. (It’s not helping).

This book started off pretty great. It captured my attention, and I was ready for a really great retelling of one of my favorite stories. It drew me in and got me invested in the story. And then I got bored. Like really bored. This book is probably 200 pages too long, and most of the middle section is so slowly paced that I had to just force myself through it. As Amy asks herself at least ten times, “What had I gotten myself into?” This makes me really sad because it started off making me want to read more, and then I just really didn’t care to do so. Then it picks up again in the last, like, ten pages. UM, WHAT?

Let’s talk about characters, shall we? I’ll start with the ones we already know: the lion, the scarecrow, the tin man, and Dorothy. The first three are actually three of the only parts I really enjoyed about the book. They have been changed so that the gifts bestowed upon them by the Wizard are what rules them now: the lion’s courage, the scarecrow’s brain, and the tin man’s heart. Imagine this: the Lion is a huge and super muscle-y and has a jaw that he can unhinge to eat his victims; he feeds on people’s fear. Such a great idea! There’s a scene wherein you get to see him in all his glory, and it was one of the scenes in which I was genuinely engrossed. The Scarecrow injects other people’s melted down brains into his own and is a “thinker”: basically he experiments on people and winged monkeys alike. These characters are terrifying.

Now, Amy. Oh, geez. She’s the main character in this book, and I find myself having finished the book and not caring enough about her to actually want to read any of the others in the series. That’s not good. She’s the type of girl that you yell at during horror movies to run, DON’T GO IN THERE, shut up! I also don’t think that her “transformation” was believable. The Revolutionary Order of the Wicked say she’s the only one who can save Oz, because she’s the first person from outside of Oz to come since Dorothy, so they train her to fight. But I just don’t see why the trust her so much. I’m sorry. There were times when she really irritated me, but other times I thought she was a pretty good narrator, especially when it came down to her moral compass and saving poor winged monkeys.

One thing I did enjoy was the world building. I really enjoyed learning about magic in Oz and how Dorothy seized power (even if I didn’t like the way Dorothy was imagined). We get to interact with the residents of Oz and meet some cool, new characters. The Oz in Dorothy Must Die is dark, twisted, and scary.

On the other hand, I didn’t enjoy Paige’s writing style. It is too literal. Instead of using her words to show us what is happening, she tells us. It was like I did this, so this happened. Then I did that. Also, there’s this:

That was yesterday. Now it was today. (Page 251)

I mean, REALLY? That’s usually how time works, thanks.

I won’t even get into the romance in the novel, except to say, I didn’t believe it AT ALL. I felt no chemistry.

The bottom line:

I think the hype surrounding this book was a major problem. I was drawn in because of that, and I was obviously disappointed. I think if it had been executed better, it could have been a really great book. The concept behind it is fantastic, but it is too long and too literal. The blurb on the back was WAY deceiving, too. I will say that there were some pretty cool ideas, and the dark Oz in the novel is quite interesting. But there were a lot of problems that just didn’t outweigh the few good things.

Also, I didn’t know until after I read it, but Dorothy Must Die is a Full Fathom Five book, and that makes me really mad and upset I bought it. If you don’t know what FFF means, this page explains it really well.

I probably wouldn’t read the others in the series anyway, but now I really won’t.

Rating: 4 – Eh. This is bad

Have you read this book? What did you think? Maybe you liked it. Tell me in the comments.

Reading nextRivers by Michael Farris Smith

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Boyfriends


So it’s Top Ten Tuesday again! Yay! This week’s theme as laid out by The Broke and the Bookish is:

Top Ten Characters Who X (you fill in the blank — examples: piss me off, are the popular kids, are bookish, would be my bff, that stole my heart, etc. etc.)

I decided to choose top ten characters who were totally my book boyfriend.

I’d just like to say before I start this list that I am probably seriously screwed up if these are the characters I’d choose to be my boyfriend. But you know what? This is a judgment free zone. So no judging, okay? J I’d also just like to say I’m not really a Mr. Darcy type of girl.

1. Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower (he’s messed up, too, so we’d be one really messed up couple)


Logan Lerman is my perfect Charlie.

2. Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars (I think everyone will agree on this one)

3. John Rebus from the Inspector Rebus series by Ian Rankin (I’m so screwed up)

4. Fred or George Weasley (I mean, constant laughs)

Just adorable!

Just adorable!

5. Will from Divergent (he’s witty and sweet and brave)

6. Don Tillman from The Rosie Project (imagine dating Sheldon Cooper. I have problems)

7. Finnick from The Hunger Games series (He is gorgeous, strong, sweet. What else do you want?)

I mean, HELLO!

I mean, HELLO!

8. Sherlock Holmes (Of course I’d be interested in someone who’d have absolutely none in me)

9. Wes from The Truth About Forever (No words, guys)

I couldn’t think of a full list, so I asked one of my friends, Noelle Avenmarg, for her book boyfriend. She said:

10. Calvin O’Keefe from the Wrinkle in Time series. (Probably my first book crush).


The Liebster Blog Award!

So the lovely LilaJune over at lilajune’s book saloon nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you very much, LilaJune! This award is typically given to blogs that have less than 300 followers as an opportunity for people to learn a little bit more about them.


Here are the rules:

  • List 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you.
  • Ask 11 new questions to 9 bloggers with less than 300 followers. You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.
  • Go to their blog and tell them that they have been nominated!

11 facts about me:

1. I spent a year in Scotland from 2012-2013. Edinburgh, Scotland is another home for me. I am in love with the city, the country, the culture. My ultimate goal is to one day move back.

2. I have a master’s degree in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland.

3. I go to concerts because it is one of the few places that I honestly don’t care what anyone else thinks. I go to have a connection with the band on stage, and this is a very one-on-one thing for me, even if there are hundreds of other people there.

4. I have alopecia – I don’t have any hair. Basically, something inside me thinks my hair is a disease and makes it fall out.

5. I used to cover it up by wearing hats, bandanas, etc. I stopped wearing hats almost three years ago. My hair started growing back sporadically in February 2013 (after more than 7 years). I started shaving it soon after. This is a decision that might not make sense to most people, but having no hair is who I am, and, honestly, I love it and don’t want my hair to grow back.

6. If you couldn’t tell, I devour books. I eat the words and swallow them whole. I have been this way since I was a child.

7. I am a HUGE coffee addict. I drink at least two cups in the morning and usually several more throughout the day. I love it for its warmth, its taste, and the happiness it brings me.

8. I am currently looking for a job in publishing. I would love to work in publicity for a trade fiction publisher – I really enjoy the atmosphere of small to medium sized publishers, but I love all publishers, small, big, enormous. I just want to be able to promote the books I read and love, plan events for authors, make a living working with books.

9. I am a NERD, and I have NO shame about it. I love Doctor Who, books, Sherlock, books, the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, books (wait, did I already say that?). I am a part of a lot of fandoms. As Simon Pegg said (his quote is about geeks. Pretty much the same thing), “Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection.” I’m not afraid.

10. I am obsessed with music. Music, just like books, is always there to put me in a better mood, or to celebrate a happy moment, or to help me rage when I am angry. I love finding new bands or spreading the love of a favorite bands/musician with friends. My addiction to music is pretty similar to my addiction to books.

11. I have four bookish tattoos – a Peter Pan one, an Alice in Wonderland one, a Harry Potter one, and a Hunger Games one. I have plans for several more.

Questions from LilaJune over at lilajune’s book saloon:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I have always been one to share the books I’ve read and love with my friends. I started my blog so I could share them with everyone. I read and loved The Maze Runner so much that it finally gave me that push I needed to actually start it.

2. If you were going to recommend one book to everyone what would it be?

This is a super tough question. Like really tough. But I’d have to go with The Perks of Being a Wallflower; it’s my absolute favorite book, and I think that everyone can relate to it in one way or another, no matter how old they are.

3. Do you have a soundtrack for the books you read?

As much as I love music, I don’t usually listen to anything when I’m reading. I like it to be silent when I’m reading so that I can delve as deeply as possible into the book.

4. What are your guilty pleasure reads?

You know, I don’t really have any shame for the things that I read. No matter what it is. If I had to say something, I would probably just say Sarah Dessen’s books; she isn’t really a guilty pleasure though. She’s just pretty different from what I usually read.

5. Did you grow up in a reading family or discover a love of reading on your own?

I grew up with a father who is as voracious a reader as I am now. He was always giving me new books to try. My mom really likes to read, too, just not as often as my dad and me.

6. What books have most influenced your life?

Peter Pan, The Great Gatsby, all of the Harry Potter series, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Falls by Ian Rankin, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Humans by Matt Haig, and too many more to list.

7. What are your top 3 favorite books right now?

Right now? Hmmm. I’ll go with two of my most recently read favorites – Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira and The Kill Order by James Dashner – and a beautiful book that makes you appreciate being alive – The Humans by Matt Haig.

8. Do you have a story to tell? Have you already started writing it?

I think everyone has a story to tell; I haven’t started writing mine, but I hope to one day. I have alopecia (no hair; don’t care!), and I think that a lot of people could relate to what I went through growing up. Imagine growing up with no hair in a world that is way too obsessed with how you look. Hair is one of the most ‘important’ things in a woman’s life; growing up as a girl with no hair was really tough at times, but I’d say that I totally own it. I think my struggle with confidence and self-worth is something a lot of young people could relate to.

9. What is your favorite classic?

I’m going to go with The Great Gatsby. It is a testament to Fitzgerald’s writing that his book can still be applied to the modern age. It’s considered one of the greatest American novels for a reason. The author’s ability to set a scene is practically unparalleled in any other author. Wonderful.

10. Are you a bit of a book geek or fangirl (boy)?? Do you have a deep dark geek secret/story to share?

I am a TOTAL book geek and fangirl. I’ll tell you about my favorite author – Ian Rankin. It’s not really a super secret story; I think most people who know me know how much I love Rankin. I wrote my honors thesis on him and his books (This is when I met him for the first time! I interviewed him for the paper). Since then I’ve met him countless times. He knows my name now! I’m sure you can understand how I feel – my favorite author knows my name! I fangirl inside every time I see him or he tweets me back, but I’m pretty good at keeping a cool composure when I meet people I deeply admire. J

11. It’s the Zombie apocolypse!!! AHHHHHHH!!!  What’s your survival plan?

I live on ten acres of land in the middle of nowhere, Mississippi. While everyone out in the real world was fighting off zombies, I’d be building a fortress in my backyard. By the time the zombies got out here, I’d be set. You could all come join me, and we’d have a really great library fortress.

And now the awesome blogs that I nominate:

Thoughts and Afterthoughts

Girl in the Pages

Geeky Musings from a Nerdy Girl

Little Onion Writes

Drifting Pages

Mhairi Reads

My Life in Books

Book. Blog. Bake.

Any Excuse to Read

Here are my questions for you:

  1. Why did you start blogging? Did you read a book that pushed you into it like I did?
  2. What’s your least favorite book-to-movie adaptation? Most favorite?
  3. If you could live inside any book, what would it be?
  4. What’s your go-to book to reread?
  5. What’s your most recently read favorite book?
  6. If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be?
  7. Who is your favorite book boyfriend/girlfriend?
  8. Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a book nook/reading chair? Do you read in bed?
  9. Have you ever bought a book based on just its cover? Were you disappointed?
  10. Do you have one book that you attribute for creating your love of reading?
  11. Because I’m a wanderer at heart: if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I can’t wait to see your answers!


Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things I’d like to Own

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, bloggers post a list of ten books under a theme laid out on The Broke and the Bookish blog. You can find the list HERE.


This week’s theme was the top ten bookish things that you’d like to own. Here are my ten items:


1. This edition of Fahrenheit 451 is freaking awesome. It’s not actually for sale, but you can check out more about it in this Buzzfeed article


  1. Nerd Bookends. I mean, enough said. Love these. Available on Etsy by Knob Creek Metal Arts


  1. The entire text of Peter Pan on a really cool poster? Yes, please! Available from Spineless Classics


  1. Book Junkie pillow. Available on Etsy by Life Crafts Whatever


  1. Books, Doctor Who, and coffee? Pretty much all you need in life. Available on Etsy by The Muggly Duckling


  1. A candle that smells like old books. I want to buy this just to see if actually works. Who wouldn’t want their house to smell like that?. Available on Etsy by Frostbeard


  1. This is one of my favorite lines in literature EVER. Available on Etsy by beanforest


  1. Ampersands are my favorite piece of punctuation. To me, they represent, among other things, my love of language and words. Available on Etsy by Cupcakes and Mace (they are currently on vacation)


  1. Another bookish tattoo. I currently have four: a Peter Pan one, an Alice in Wonderland one, a Harry Potter one, and a Hunger Games one. See picture. I want another one. It’ll probably be inspired by The Perks of Being a Wallflower, or The Great Gatsby, or The Humans. I don’t know. I have a lot of ideas. The picture above is my Peter Pan tattoo: I drew it, and it represents the directions to Neverland (second star to the right).


10. An indoor hammock. I’m allergic to pretty much everything outside, so an outdoor hammock is probably out of the question. This one looks amazing. Picture found HERE.


What bookish things would you like to own?

Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the Dead


Title: Love Letters to the Dead

Author: Ava Dellaira

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Publication Date: April 2014

Hardback: 323 pages

Stand alone or series: Stand alone

How did I get this book: Bought



I would like to start by saying that The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my absolute favorite books, and Love Letters to the Dead has been highly recommended by the author of Perks, Stephen Chbosky, on Twitter, Goodreads, blurbs on the cover, and several other outlets. This was how I originally heard about Love Letters to the Dead, and it gave me pretty high expectations. I wasn’t disappointed.

Let’s start with a brief synopsis:

Love Letters to the Dead begins with “Dear Kurt Cobain.” Laurel’s first assignment in her freshman English class is to write a letter to a dead person. She chooses Kurt Cobain because her older sister May loved him. But there’s another reason: May died young just like Kurt. Laurel doesn’t just stop at one letter though; she keeps writing letters to other people who have died, like Janis Joplin, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse. She writes to them about starting high school, being alone, making new friends and falling in love. Her letters detail what it is like to live with her broken family after the death of her sister. And eventually she writes about what happened to her before May died and why she cannot accept May’s death. She’s stuck, and through her letters she discovers who she is, who May was, and where she’s going in life.

What I thought:

Oh, man. This book is so powerful. There were several times that I just had to put the book down and breathe. Dellaira’s prose is beautiful, lyrical almost in the way she writes about Laurel and what’s she’s dealing with. The novel begins several months after the death of Laurel’s sister May, and Laurel has just started high school. She switches between a week at her father’s, where it is too quiet and sad, and her Aunt Amy’s, where she feels suffocated. Her mother left her to move to California after May died. Laurel is lost; she doesn’t know who she is or who she wants to be. The letters follow her as she begins to make friends at school: Natalie and Hannah, two girls who are trying to hide their true selves from the world, Tristan and Kristen, a free spirited couple dealing with what comes next after graduation, and Sky, the boy who will change, support, and love Laurel for who she is, if she could ever figure that out.

Not only does Laurel detail her own life, but she also writes about the lives that these deceased celebrities lead. She pays tribute to them in a way, because she doesn’t relate to them for their fame but rather for who they were as people and for the art they gave us. She talks about how Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse were able to use their voices to express how they truly felt and how we are able to relate to it because of that. Laurel tells us about what these people went through, why they died, or at least why she thinks they did, and how they suffered. She relates most of it back to herself in these letters. I really enjoyed these parts because I was able to learn so much more about these incredible people, and I can now relate to them on a completely different level, not just through their music, movies, or feats.

And finally she tells us what she went through, the abuse she suffered at the hands of someone that May trusted to take care of her. I think that the reader will probably be able to tell long before it is actually detailed that something like this happened to either her or May, but it was still a shock when you read it and could see how Laurel felt, the shame, the guilt, the uncertainty and confusion. And how she was unable to tell May because she was both angry at May and afraid. I think, however, that this is one of the only things I didn’t like about this book: Laurel repeats several times in her letters that she has a secret that she cannot tell anyone. While I understand that she felt that way, once I got that she had a secret to tell, every time she said it, I was just like Yeah, I know! But I think I can deal with the few repetitions for the beauty of the rest of the book.

After May’s death, Laurel deals with the guilt she feels, as if she was the one who killed her. Through Dellaira’s writing, we feel what Laurel feels, we deal with the guilt, too. It’s intense, horrific, and heartbreaking. This is one of Dellaira’s bestselling points: her portrayal of Laurel’s emotions. Sometimes it was like Dellaira just took as many emotions as she could and smashed them all together on a single page. But you know what? That’s what life is like, especially for someone dealing with the grief that Laurel is. Sometimes Laurel seems unpredictable in her emotions; one minute she is happy and falling in love and the next, she is grumpy, quiet, crying. I don’t think she could have more accurately captured the life of an adolescent. I also think she captured the emotions and unpredictability of someone dealing with depression. I’ve seen some reviewers say that the book seems as if it was written by someone who is analyzing Laurel’s emotions and not actually someone this young. I think these people have forgotten what it was like to be this age.

More than once I had to reread a few sentences or one of the letters because I just couldn’t believe how true it was or how much I could relate to it or just how beautifully written it was. Dellaira has written a book that pulls on your heartstrings and that rings completely true and sincere. I am so happy and sad to have read this book, and I hope that makes sense.

The bottom line:

Read it. I loved it. When I was just about to read the last letter, I put it down and sighed, pretty hard, I guess, and my mom said, “What’s wrong?” I just said, “I don’t want to finish it.” It was true; I didn’t. Not because it wasn’t good, but because then it would be over.

If you’re a fan of Perks, I think you’ll be a fan of Love Letters to the Dead.

One of my favorite quotes:

The house felt haunted, like only I understood the way all of our shadows, the ones we’d left, had seeped into the wood and stained it.” – Page 90

Rating: 9 – Practically Perfect

You can read and download the first four letters HERE

Learn more about Dellaira and her book on her website


Reading Next: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Unique Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, bloggers post a list of ten books under a theme laid out on The Broke and the Bookish blog. You can find the list HERE.


This week’s theme was the top ten most unique books you’ve ever read. Let’s go!

1. The Passage by Justin Cronin

This book has such a unique back story to the creation of vampires and the subsequent outbreak of the disease in the modern day. It’s creepy, full of horror, and brilliant. 1000 pages of awesome.

2. S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

Metafiction at its best. This book is a work of art. The book you pick up is not even the book you read: you read Ship of Theseus, which centers on S., by fictional author VM Straka. The two characters reading Ship of Theseus, Eric and Jennifer, attempt to figure out who Straka was while figuring out who they are. It’s full of letters, photocopies, postcards, pictures, and various memorabilia. So cool.

3. The Radleys by Matt Haig

Another unique take on vampires. This one is smart, witty, and altogether very clever. The Radleys are vampires, but the parents, Peter and Helen, haven’t told their two children, Clara and Rowan. They follow the Abstainer’s Handbook, guidelines to living without blood,, but when a shocking, violent act occurs, they must tell their children everything. It’s so well-written and different. I loved it.


4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

It’s not necessarily the story that’s unique, but the beautiful illustrations that are included are amazing. I saw that they now make a version of this book without illustrations. I’m not even sure why you’d want to read it without them. That’s what makes the story. They’re gorgeous!

5. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Completely plausible werewolf story. I thought the background story was very unique and realistic.

6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

This was the first book I’d ever read like this (well, the only one, really). It’s written from the perspective of an autistic 15 year old boy who sets out to find the murderer of his neighbor’s dog. It was eye-opening, moving, and beautifully written.

7. Lolito by Ben Brooks

Sort of modern take on Lolita written from the perspective of the young, male “victim”. I flew through this book. It’s hilarious at times, disturbing at others, and just all around unlike anything I’ve ever read.

8. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

This book centers around Don Tillman, a man who reminds the reader of Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory. Don doesn’t fit in, but in a way to find himself a female life partner, he designs the Wife Project, a logic-based compatibility quiz that should match him with a partner. It’s funny, sweet, and optimistic.

johndiesattheend9. John Dies at the End by David Wong

Horror done in a way I’d never seen it before. Don Coscarelli, director of Phantasm I–V and Bubba Ho-tep said, “David Wong is like a mash-up of Douglas Adams and Stephen King . . . ‘page-turner’ is an understatement.” I couldn’t have said it better.

10. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan

The most unique take on mythology I’ve ever come across and truly enjoyed.


What books would be on your list?

A love letter to books

Dear Books,

I love you. No, really, I do. More than you know. I have remained a faithful and supportive fan of yours since I was in the womb, and my mom and dad read me some of your stories as I grew.

You’ve been there with me through every part of my life, constantly offering me advice, encouragement, refuge, and love whenever I needed it. Do you remember?

You were there when I was a child and you understood that I’d much rather be inside reading from your pages than outside where I was allergic to everything. You took me away to Neverland, and Oz, and Wonderland. The stories you shared inspired me, nurtured my imagination.

And you were there when I moved to Mississippi, a place so unlike where I came from. Books, you told me it was okay to be scared and gave me courage to start school.

And you were there when I was insecure and needed somewhere to hide. You gave me stories of other worlds with other people who were confident and beautiful, and you told me that I was too. You told me it was okay to be who I was, that if someone didn’t like it they weren’t someone I needed in my life. And even though I didn’t find any characters who, like me, didn’t have any hair, I knew you didn’t care and loved me anyway.

And you’ve been there when I was angry at the world or myself. You relaxed me with the methodical turning of your pages. You calmed me down with the smell of your pages and the freshness of your ink.

And you were there when I was experiencing how beautiful our world is as I traveled abroad. I found new stories in areas I had only some experience in, your crime stories, dystopias, stories of what would happen after the world ended. And I feel in love with you anew. I dove into you with a restored vigor.

And you were there when I realized that I wanted to make a career working with you. You cheered me on and told me that you knew that’s what I was going to do all along. You said working with you and your friends was what would make me the happiest because I was never so passionate as when I was talking about you.

And you continue to be here for me now, when I’m the saddest I’ve ever been. You open your covers to me when I need you the most to tell me that it won’t always be this way and that I will be happy again. You help me smile when I’d rather be doing anything but. You empathize and hold me in your pages when I feel completely alone. You remind me that I haven’t failed and must keep trying so that one day I can work somewhere that puts you together like you’ve helped put me back together so many times.

You’ve always been there to make me laugh when I couldn’t, cry when I needed to, shelter me when a storm raged in my life, or give me advice when I was lost.

You have always been there for me, so now let me help you. Though I’ve always done this in some capacity, I want to share you. I’m going to tell as many people as I can how much I love you. I am going to try to get more people to read the brilliant stories you’ve shared with me, because if even one more person reads one of them, I’ve honored you. I hope they’ll love you as I do.

Thank you, books. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I know you will continue to be my most constant and faithful friend for the rest of my life because I will never leave you and you won’t leave me.

Love always,


My love letter was inspired in part by Matt Haig’s “A Love Letter to Books”.

Me, Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: “Gateway” books

I’m a little late to the party, but The Broke and the Bookish host a weekly meme called Top Ten Tuesday. Each week, bloggers post a list of ten books under a theme laid out on The Broke and the Bookish blog.

toptentuesday I’ve decided to join them in the fun. So this week’s theme is “Top Ten ‘Gateway’ Books”, meaning a book that got you into reading, an author that got you into a certain genre, a book that brought you out of reading slump, etc.

Here’s my list, which is a combination of all of those things:

1. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
This book is pretty much the reason I read. It sparked my imagination, inspired me, showed me how magical books and reading could be. It is my favorite story, and I’ve read it a million times.

2. The Harry Potter series
I don’t even know how to put into words my love for this series. But second to Peter Pan, it is why I read. I found them at exactly the right age, and they were with me as I grew up. I matured as the characters, and JK’s writing, matured. They were there when I went through my awkward pre-teens, my rough teenage years, and they’re still with me now, should I decide to go back and re-read them (which I do. Often).

The Falls by Ian Rankin


3. The Falls by Ian Rankin
I read this novel before I studied in Scotland for a month in 2010. I’d never read much crime fiction other than Sherlock Holmes and wasn’t sure if I’d like it. But Rankin is a master at his craft and I fell head over heels in love with Scotland, his writing, and crime fiction while reading it. I’ve since read every other book Rankin has written, met him on multiple occasions, did my honors thesis on the series that includes The Falls, and worked at Bloody Scotland (Scotland’s first crime writing festival) because of my love of crime fiction.



4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This is my favorite book. It is a modern day classic, and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read it. There is a power behind it that words cannot explain.

5. Edgar Allan Poe
Mystery, horror, Gothicism, and creep-tastic stories. What’s not to love?

6. The Passage by Justin Cronin
If you haven’t read this book, DO IT. Yes, it’s 1000 pages long, but it is worth it. This book ignited my love of horror and reminded me that I truly love vampire stories, something I’d forgotten after the onslaught of Twilight and its many spinoffs.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins



7. The Hunger Games series
I’ve always been a fan of post-apocalyptic novels, but this series reminded me of that love. It had been a while since I’d read any novel in that genre, and because of it, I have read so many more since. These novels are fantastic.



8. John Green
John Green. Oh, John Green, how I love thee. He reawakened my love of young adult novels. He’s made me cry, laugh, empathize, and devour his books.

9. The Maze Runner series
Goodness gracious. I can’t explain my love for this series, other than to say, it is the reason I started this blog. I loved them so much that I wanted to tell as many people as I could about them.

The Humans



10. The Humans by Matt Haig
I got a free copy of this book from its UK publisher, Canongate, when I was interning there last year. I knew I’d like it but didn’t know I’d fall I love with it the way I did. This book makes you appreciate the fact that you are alive, that you are human. It tells you it’s okay to be the way you are. It’s funny, sad, serious, and just all-around breathtaking.



What are your gateway books/authors? I’d love to know! Link back to your list, and I’ll definitely check it out!