Top Ten Tuesday: Last 4 and 5 Star Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

I’ve been trying to only 5 star favorites recently, so I’m going to split this up into my last three 5 star reads and last seven 4 star reads (because these are close favorites). I’m also excluding rereads. As you probably know, I don’t use the 5-star system on my blog, so I’m going by what I rated these books on Goodreads.


Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin | I didn’t review this one on my blog, but if you are somehow unaware of my love of Ian Rankin and his books, I LOVED THIS BOOK.

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig | See above

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner | My review


My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin | Review soon

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley | See above

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig | My review

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter | My review

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman | My review

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs | I didn’t review this one yet, but I was not disappointed at all. Strange, enchanting, and creepy.

Winter by Marissa Meyer | I AM SO BEHIND ON MY REVIEWS OMG. Perfect conclusion to the series.

What was your last 5 star read?


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love but Haven’t Talked about Enough

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough/In A While

I decided to pick books that I read more than six months ago but that I think deserve more attention. 🙂

My Heart & Other Black Holes final     The Passage

MY HEART & OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga: This is one of my absolute favorite books. It was one of the first books that actually made me feel like the author just got me. I read it at a time when I really needed it, and while I think it might be too difficult for some people to read, I would highly recommend it. (My review of My Heart & Other Black Holes)

THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin: Unlike any book I’ve ever read. I completely devoured this book and its sequel, and they are close to 1,000 pages each! The third book FINALLY comes out this year and I’m dying for it. If you like creepy, well-written, unique books, GET THIS.

S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst     The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst: The definition of why I want to work in publishing. This book is complete work of art. I read this before I started blogging so I don’t have a review, but it’s so good.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon: Beautiful, heartbreaking, clever, smart, and so well-done. One of my favorite books. It’s a quick read, but so worth it. And I just found out that it’s on Broadway! I saw this production when I was in London and it is hands down one of the best plays I’ve ever seen in my life. Absolutely beautiful. Here’s the website:

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu     More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

DEVOTED by Jennifer Mathieu: Quiet, honest, powerful, and just so beautiful. Devoted is one of those ones that doesn’t make a spectacle of itself; it’s definitely one I’d consider #QuietYA. It’s got a brilliant MC that I think more people should meet. (My review of Devoted)

MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera: I feel like I talk about Simon vs. and Mosquitoland every single day, but I don’t talk about MHTN as often (In my head, I put those three and My Heart together because the authors call themselves the Beckmindivera so they are a group to me), and I really don’t know why. I really loved this one, and I think it’s real and honest and difficult. I’m so ready for more from Adam! (My review of More Happy Than Not)

Firecracker     Everything Leads to You

FIRECRACKER by David Iserson: The main character of this book is a complete a-hole and I love her. There’s not even really a “point” to this book if I had to give one, but I just really enjoyed it. (My review of Firecracker)

EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU by Nina LaCour: Cute romance, wonderful friendships, Hollywood, and beautiful writing. An all-around enchanting story. I loved that the story focused on Emi’s drive and her experiences falling in love versus her sexuality. (My review of Everything Leads to You)

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig     John Dies at the End

REASONS TO STAY ALIVE by Matt Haig: You may or may not have read my review of this one. It was an emotional rollercoaster for me but it was exactly what I needed. Matt Haig has a way with words that I’ve really not seen anywhere else. This book should be read by everyone. I could honestly write another whole post about this book, so just check out my review. (My review of Reasons to Stay Alive)

JOHN DIES AT THE END by David Wong: One of the strangest books I’ve ever read. If I had to describe this book in one word it’d be “bizarre”. It’s so weird. But in the best way. Funny, ridiculous, freaky. I really love weird books, and this one is the definition of that. I think I don’t talk about this one as much because I read it before I started blogging.

Tell me about some of the books you love but I might not know about!

Reread/Audiobook Review through Tweets: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I recently reread Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda as an audiobook, and of course, I loved it again. When I was almost done with the reread, I was…inspired, I suppose, to tweet a bit about how much I love the book and why I think Becky is just so good at what she does. And I thought it’d be fun if I just shared those tweets here as a kind of Reread Review through Tweets. 🙂

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Narrator: Michael Crouch

Audiobook length: 6 hours and 45 minutes

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (book) / Blackstone Audio (Audiobook)

Find it on Goodreads.


Before I start with the tweets, I want to talk about the audiobook for a second. I need to mention just how FREAKING perfect Michael Crouch is as a narrator. I mean, his voice fits Simon SO well, and I really just want to listen to every single one of his audiobooks and have him narrate everything forever. So if the universe could just get on that, that’d be great. Thanks.

So this was harder than I thought it was going to be because Twitter or WordPress likes to put the previous tweet as well if it is a conversation like this one. But I got it.

The bottom line: Just in case I wasn’t clear, you need to read this book. Get on it.

Find it on Goodreads. Or just go ahead and order the book – B&N | Amazon | IndieBound

ARC Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffAuthor:  Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
608 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTEI was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers for letting me read this!
ALSO, shout out to the lovely Vania who gave me her physical ARC because it’s BEAUTIFUL.

After the illegal Kerenza colony is attacked by the BeiTech corporation, two teens, Kady and Ezra, find themselves racing through space for their lives along with thousands of other survivors. They are attempting to outrun the Lincoln, a BeiTech ship dead set on their destruction in order to ensure there are no living survivors of the attack on Kerenza. But not only do they have to survive this deadly race, they also have to survive the fleet’s AI system, which was damaged in the attack and has gone a little…crazy. As if all of that wasn’t enough to completely stress these survivors out, there’s also a horrible plague making its way through the fleet.

HOLY ████, you guys. This book is ███████ awesome. All I could say on Goodreads when I was done was “WOW.” I’m still struggling to find words to describe this book because it’s seriously awesome. I was pretty wary of this book before starting it for two reasons. 1. I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I don’t read or review a lot of sci-fi on this blog. It’s rare I find sci-fi that I like, but this? THIS I could read over and over. I can’t wait for the next book to be out! 2. The ███████ hype. It was pretty intense. I don’t know if I saw a single bad review of Illuminae before I started reason and it felt like EVERYONE walking talking about how much they loved this book. Let me just tell you: they hype is seriously well-deserved.

I mean, if that absolutely incredible summary doesn’t hook you, I’m not sure what else will. But let’s see. This book is told through an awesome series of “hacked” documents (like emails, IMs, medical reports, interviews, ship schematics, military docs, and more) put together in a dossier by the mysterious Illuminae group. Then on top of the alternate story-telling methods, which you know I LOVE, the formatting is so ████ beautiful! I kept showing other people how pretty the setup was. It’s ███████ fascinating, and I read its 600 pages in only TWO days.

The bottom line: Illuminae is fast-paced, emotional, and brilliant. It will make you rage, laugh, cry, and clutch the book to your chest. There’s some swoony moments, some holy-████-what-is-happening moments, some rage-y moments, and a lot of this-book-is-incredible moments. I am not even a big fan of sci-fi, but I devoured this one. Can we have the next book, please?! I ordered this book for the library, and I can’t wait for it to come in so I can push recommend it to everyone!

Rating: 9.5 – practically ███████ perfect

ARC Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything by Nicola YoonAuthor:  Nicola Yoon

Genre: young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

320 pages, hardcover (307 ARC)

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

I’m going to start this review with what I updated my Goodreads status to as soon as I finished this book:

Oh, man. I don’t care how cheesy it is: I loved everything, everything about this book.

And I did. EVERYTHING. I read the whole thing in one afternoon. I cannot believe this is Nicola Yoon’s debut. We’ve had so many amazing debuts this year! If this is her first book, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Nicola’s writing is absolutely beautiful. I LOVED the inclusion of emails, journal entries, diagrams, medical records, and more. You know me: I think including multiples mediums in a book adds so much to the story, and Nicola wove all of these elements together so well.

I just adore Maddy. She’s strong and fierce and doesn’t let her condition get her down. All of the relationships she had with the other characters in the book felt so honest and genuine. Also, I personally fell in love with Olly right away, but I really appreciated that it wasn’t instalove between Maddy and Olly – you guys know how much I hate that. The way the two of them got to know each other way too cute, and I loved every second.

There are so many emotions in this one, you guys. SO MANY EMOTIONS. My heart was breaking and swelling all at the same time. Everything, Everything is exactly what a contemporary book should be and so much more.

The bottom line: I’m just going to say it again: I loved everything, everything about this book. Nicola – please keep writing!

Rating: 9 – practically perfect

P.S. Shout out to the lovely April from Between the Pages for getting me an ARC of this at BEA!

Book Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Author:  David Arnold

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 3, 2015

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Dear Mosquitoland,

Reasons are hard. Trying to put into words the reasons why I love you is hard, but I’ll try.

Reason #1: You are weird. Like, SO weird. But you’re that special kind of weird that I absolutely love. You’re unique and strange and beautiful and funny and emotional and just brilliantly weird in the best possible way.

Reason #2: David Arnold’s writing is incredible. Like, mind-blowingly incredible. I cannot believe you are his debut novel. How is that even possible? I cannot wait to see what comes from him next if YOU are his FIRST book. Parts of you felt like poetry. I was torn between racing through you and taking my time to savor David’s writing. I’ll definitely be rereading you in the future.

Reason #3: Mim. MIM! Oh my goodness. She is just an incredible character. David NAILED her voice. She’s this perfect blend of hard and vulnerable. Sassy, independent, scared, sad, smart. She is such a teenager. I can’t believe how well David wrote her. I love her so much that she’s made it onto my short list of favorite characters ever.

Reason #4: You are the definition of perfect story telling. Your characters’ voices are spot on, your writing is beautiful, but that’s not the best part. You are just a good story. Entertaining, engrossing, fascinating, exciting. I just want to list all the best adjectives to describe you.

Reason #5: This is what my book looked like when I finished. Green flags are from RachelMarie at Nerd Herd Reads; pink are from me. This is what a book looks like when you LOVED it wholeheartedly.

Mosquitoland - read

The bottom line: Reasons are hard. Mississippi is hard. But you? You’re beautiful and quirky and plain ol’ strange, and I love you.

Signing off,
Stefani Sloma
Reluctant Mosquitoland Resident and Mosquitoland Lover

Rating: 9 – practically perfect

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015

According to my Goodreads challenge, I’ve read almost 80 books already in 2015. How can I possibly trim that down to TEN favorites? I got it down to fourteen, which is about as good as it’ll get. It was hard enough to do that. Haha.

Throne of Glass     My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga     A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab     Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli     Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas [realized I never reviewed this one while compiling this list! Oops. Rest assured: I loved it | GR]
My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga [My review | GR]
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab [My review | GR]
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli [My review | GR]
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig [My review | GR]

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley     None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio     Made You Up by Francesca Zappia     A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas     I'll Give You the Sun

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley [My review | GR]
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio [My review | GR]
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia [My review | GR]
A Court of Thorns at Roses by Sarah J. Maas [My review | GR]
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson [review soon | GR]

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan     Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu     The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh     The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan [My review | GR]
Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu [My review | GR]
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh [review soon | GR]
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins [My review | GR]

Tell me your favorite books you’ve read so far this year!

Top Ten Tuesday: ALL TIME FAVORITES from the past 3 years

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years (you can extend it to 5 if you need to).

Could they have come up with a HARDER topic? I don’t even know where to start. In the past three years, I’ve read somewhere around 400 or more books (I didn’t start recording until last year, but I read 157 books last year so multiplying that by almost 3). How do you possibly narrow that down to the ten you loved the most? I feel a little like this:

But I’m going to try. Here we go.

The Humans  S.  Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin  The Dream Thieves  My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

The Humans by Matt Haig. This book is beautiful and honest and real and it makes you appreciate what it means to be human and to be alive.

S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. is like a love letter to books. It’s a work of art, a masterpiece, and I devoured it. S. is the epitome of why I want to work with books.

Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin. Favorite author. Favorite character by favorite author. Favorite character by favorite author meets another character from a different series by favorite author and the results are spectacular.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. My favorite book of the series so far. As I said in my review, “I cannot fathom reading a series more powerful, magical, spellbinding, or beautiful as the Raven Cycle books.”

My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. You might’ve noticed in my review that I related to this book in so many unexpected, wonderful and horrible ways and I loved that.

The Day the Crayons Quit Cover  It's Kind of a Funny Story  The Passage  Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins  The Walking Dead, Volume 1 cover

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. You might have read about how much I loved this book. It’s ridiculously creative and fun, and it’s illustrated by the incredible Oliver Jeffers. I just found out there’s going to be a sequel this year and I am so pumped!

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. Like MH&OBH, this was a tough one for me to read, but it’s so so good. My review

The Passage by Justin Cronin. This book turns the creepy factor up to eleven, and I raced through its 963 pages in just a couple of days. Vampires who are unlike any vampires you’ve ever seen.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I had to put a contemporary on here. Before last year, I hardly read ANY contemporaries (except the occasional Sarah Dessen), but after reading Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone and Perkins’ Anna books, I’m seeking contemporaries out and reading so many more. Lola is my spirit animal and Cricket is my number one book boyfriend. My review

The Walking Dead, volume 1 by Robert Kirkman. My second foray into comics (after Saga, volume 1). TWD is what hooked me and got me obsessed with comics. I read all the (then) 20 volumes of TWD that were already out in about 2 weeks. TWD gets all the credit for pulling me into comics. My review

I could seriously go on for at least 20 more books/comics, but I’ll stop here. What books that you’ve read in the past three years are now ALL TIME FAVORITES?

ARC Review: My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

You guys said you wanted me to get a little more real and tell you more about myself. This review is as real as I’ve gotten. I hope you still love me. My Heart & Other Black Holes

Author:  Jasmine Warga

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mental Health

Publisher: Balzer + Bray / HarperTeen

Publication Date: February 10, 2015

320 pages, Hardcover

Check out the synopsis on Goodreads.

I’m sitting here trying to start a review on a book that made me cry, made me smile, made me hurt, and that I loved with all of my black hole of a heart. I’m not sure if I can do it.  Alright, take a few breaths, Stefani. Here we go.

This book is beautiful, you guys. It deserves to be read, whether you are suffering from depression or not. I wholeheartedly believe that everyone can find something to relate to in My Heart & Other Black Holes. I really cared about these characters because they were me. I’m so glad that this book is out there, because it tells you that you aren’t alone. It tells you there’s hope and this doesn’t have to be the end. It’s something that is important and needs to be talked about.

The characters were real because of their feelings. You can feel Roman’s grief. Aysel’s depression was tangible and real. I loved this book, but I also hated how much I could understand both of them so well. Warga’s description of depression was spot on and I relished in it. This book felt so real, you guys. “Depression is like a heaviness (ARC 14)” and sometimes “It’s like your sadness is so deep and overwhelming that you’re worried it will drown everyone else in your life if you let them get too close to it (ARC 183).” Aysel thinks “He gets it” after Roman says that last part – I thought “Jasmine gets it” when I read that.

But I didn’t just love this book for the sad parts. I’m not giving anything away, but the ending was so realistic, and I really appreciated that. I’m just happy I got to spend time with these two characters, because I loved their journey together. I’ll end this review with my favorite quote:

I will be stronger than my sadness” (ARC 266).

The bottom line: My Heart & Other Black Holes is a beautiful, honest, heartbreaking, real, and sad book. It deserves to be read – not only by anyone that has suffered any kind of mental illness, but by everyone.

Rating: 10 – Perfection. One of the best books I’ve ever read (I think this is only the second 10 I’ve given) Thank you SO MUCH to Stacee aka Adventures of a Book Junkie for the giveaway that let me get my hands on this beautiful book.

Summer Blogger Promo Tour – The YA Club

Today is the last day I will have a guest post for the Summer Blogger Promo Tour. So sad! I’ve had so much fun. Fear not, there’ll be a wrap up post next Sunday. 🙂

This Sunday, L.S. Murphy of The YA Club tells us about why her favorite book means so much to her. After you read the post, make sure you go check her out on her blog (which is made up of eight different bloggers – all of whom make up the YA Club, like the Breakfast Club. So cool). Or say hi to The YA Club on Twitter or tweet L.S. Murphy.

Rats Saw GodWe all have books from our youth we love. My reading varied from the Sweet Valley High books to Faulkner and Vonnegut. My love of reading may have started with The Pokey Little Puppy, but I fell in love with Young Adult literature during a college course and haven’t looked back since.

Actually, there is one book that really hit me hard: Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas. Yes, he who created Veronica Mars, which I LOVE. Rats Saw God is about a seventeen-year-old high school senior who has to write a one-hundred page paper in order to graduate. Steve writes about what brought him from Texas, where he lived with his father, to California to live with his mother, step-father, and sister. The story is raw and emotional, but that’s not what got to me.

I wished I had it when I was in high school. My parents divorced when I was a freshman, it wasn’t pretty. Steve’s journey from bitterness to understanding spoke to the seventeen-year-old girl who went through the same thing (without the drugs of course) over the course of four years. It was all most as if that book was written just for me.

A good book speaks to you, but a great book lives inside you and becomes a part of you. There are many books that have done that for me, but Rats Saw God burrowed into my heart and filled a space I didn’t know was empty.