Reviews in a GIF

Hey everyone, I'm so sorry I haven't posted regularly; I've lacked inspiration to post lately, and when I come up with an idea, something malfunctions and I lose all my work! I'm pretty sure I'm cursed. Thankfully, I was inspired by a post by Belle's Bookshelf to find the perfect GIF that emulates some of my favorite (and least favorite) books out there. Without further ado, let's get started!

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

In short: Two antiheroes with a complicated past are determined to hunt each other down. This book stressed me out in the best way possible.

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The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

In short: A high fantasy novel following a group of rebels who have the ability to draw power from certain metals. It's hard to explain, but just know that IT'S AWESOME.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

In short: Any World War II historical fiction is bound to hit me right in the feels. The Book Thief  is no exception.

the GIF:

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

In short: A creepy, dreamlike read featuring children with mysterious powers and a mysterious past. I'm not usually into ~spooky~ books, but I was hooked from the start.

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by R.C. Lewis

In short: A girl wakes up in the hospital with little recollection of how she got there. She meets a mysterious bad boy (who is actually adorable). Supernatural shenanigans ensue.

In a GIF: 

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All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

In short: Another WWII historical fiction, but this one ripped my soul into tiny pieces. I LOVED IT.

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Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

In short: Shy girl's BFF ~mysteriously~ disappears but leaves a list of totally crazy stuff for shy girl to do while she's gone!!! The hype was so real for this book, but I found it boring and didn't even get around to finishing it.

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

In short: The first book of futuristic fairytale retellings in The Lunar Chronicles series. If you like reading about fierce female protagonists who get stuff done, this is the series for you.

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Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

In short: Similar to The Lunar Chronicles, but with bland characters and a generic plot. DNF.

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë 
In short: I wanted to end this with one of my favorites! This book is a beautiful Gothic romance that I didn't expect to love so much. It pretty much stole my heart.

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Well, there you have it! Thanks again to Belle's Bookshelf for making the original post. I'd love to make this into a series if you guys like it!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

"Hey, I heard you got leukemia. Sounds like you need an emergency prescription...for Greg-acil."

Rating: 3/5

Description: Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

I wanted to wait a little while before writing a review on this book because I felt so conflicted about it. It’s obvious from the start that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl isn’t your typical, TFiOS-esque, YA “cancer book”. In fact, dealing with cancer isn’t even a major part of the plot; it almost seems as though it’s a parody of the YA “cancer book” trend since Greg constantly makes light of Rachel’s condition.

Greg’s voice is both my favorite and least favorite part of the book. He has such a quirky and self-deprecating sense of humor, but after a while, it seems like the author was trying too hard to make Greg seem relatable. For instance, Greg constantly criticizes his writing style, his personality, and basically everything about himself throughout the book and even says the following:
“If after reading this book you come to my home and brutally murder me, I do not blame you.” 


Because I am one (until next month), I totally understand that teenagers are goofy and melodramatic, but there were multiple quotes like this one, and it wasn’t long before it started getting old. As a whole, the teenagers in this book refreshingly acted normally and realistically, but Greg’s borderline obnoxious voice made it difficult to connect with the characters.

At this point, I’m going to discuss the ending, and there are some mild spoilers…you have been warned!

For me, the ending definitely fell flat. In a sense, I think that was the author’s intention; since this isn’t a sweeping, beautiful, cancer filled romance brimming with angst and drama, it would make sense that the ending would be just as ordinary as the rest of the book. After all, Greg wasn’t terribly close with Rachel, so it would make sense that he wouldn’t be drastically impacted by her death.

Still, I was genuinely confused after the last chapter because I was reading the movie edition on my Kindle. There was some bonus content that consisted of about fifteen percent of the book at the end, so I assumed there would be a few more chapters or an epilogue somewhere mixed in. After frantically searching throughout the author interview and screenplay and such, I realized that the book was in fact over, which was a bit of a disappointment.

As a whole, I liked Me and Earl and the Dying Girl; it’s a quick, witty read that made me both scoff and laugh out loud. It wasn’t one of those books where the plot and characters really resonated with me after I put it down, so think some of the hype surrounding this book is a bit much. If you want to read something that’s unique from a lot of other contemporaries out there, I suppose I’d recommend it, but I honestly don’t feel very strongly about this one. However, I do want to see the movie because I think this story would translate so much better on screen.

If you want to discuss the book further, feel free to contribute in the comments section!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Released: September 2, 2014

Description: Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth...a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

Let me start this review by saying that THIS BOOK WAS SERIOUSLY AWESOME. Heir of Fire is the third and most recent release in the Throne of Glass series, and so far, I’ve found it to be the best one. It featured tremendous character development, increasingly intricate world building, and a few new characters that are probably in the running for my favorites in the series. However, there were a few small aspects of the book that were a little tedious, but the rest of the book certainly makes up for them. If you enjoy high fantasy with strong protagonists and a highly detailed plot, why haven’t you picked this up yet?

At this point, there will be plenty of spoilers from the whole series, so if you haven’t read it yet, be warned!

One of my favorite parts of Heir of Fire was watching the more established characters grow into strong and assertive individuals. While Celaena finally learned the true potential of her powers and let go of her past, Dorian learned to unabashedly stand up for what he believes in and made a good bit of progress with his magic as well. Even Chaol decided to take a stand against the king, and his friendship and devotion to Dorian strengthened into a pretty heartwarming bromance.

The new characters introduced in this book definitely seem promising. If I had to rank them from favorite to least favorite based on their points of view, it would look something like this: 
  1. Rowan. Who doesn’t love warrior faerie with a mysterious past? 
  2. Aedion. His constant devotion to Aelin makes him so much more than a sassy side character.
  3. Manon. Let’s just say that I would not want to be on her bad side. 
  4. Sorscha. Ugh. This brings me to my next point…

The only parts I didn’t like were the ones with Sorscha in them. I understand her role (and subsequent murder) was to give Dorian an extra push to rebel against his father, but there was nothing remarkable about her; when it comes down to it, she was just a pretty healer who could keep secrets. Come to think of it, Dorian was probably drawn to her because of her normalcy, but as a reader, I didn’t find her at all interesting compared to the faeries and witches and power hungry monarchs that make the series so fantastic.

As a whole, this book had me hooked from beginning to end. Queen of Shadows, the forth book of the series, will be released on September 1 (as of now), and I can’t wait to see how the rest of this series will unfold.

Feel free to discuss what you thought about Heir of Fire in the comments below!
Thanks for reading,


Indoor Sojourner

Top Five Friday: Couples

It's that time of the week where I make a list of some of my favorite bookish topics! I've chosen Couples for this week's theme because there are plenty of fantastic ones out there that deserve a little discussion. It was difficult to just pick five and even more so to put them in order, but I've racked my brain to highlight a few couples that have the best dynamics and plenty of swoonworthy qualities.

5. Noah and Mara-the Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

I feel like Mara and Noah deserve a place on the list because they're both incredibly supportive of each other. Most of their relationship revolves around their supernatural abilities, and despite whatever freakish, paranormal problems they're dealing with, they're always there for each other to sort through them completely.

4. Juliette and Warner-the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi

To be honest, I was one of those people who thought Warner was completely insane for the first book and most of the second one. It wasn't until late in the series that his true intentions became apparent, and after that, he became the obvious choice for Juliette. With Warner, Juliette grew stronger as a character, whereas with Adam she became dependent on him to the point where it started getting obnoxious. Even though they're both solid characters alone, they bring out the best in each other and are the true definition of a power couple.

3. Vin and Elend-the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

I need this beautiful box set in my life...
While every other character is against them for most of the series, Vin and Elend believe in each other when no one else does. Both of them have different ways of approaching conflict; while Elend is the logical, intellectual type and tries to change the system from the inside out, Vin is more of a rebellious vigilante who is dead set on saving the world on her own. As a whole, they balance each other out and hold each other accountable when circumstances get especially difficult.

2. Hazel and Augustus-The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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OKAY. *sobs*
To me, vulnerability is the main theme in Gus and Hazel's relationship; both of them built barriers around themselves that began to crumble when they fell in love. Gus in particular learned that he didn't need to hide behind a brash, egotistical wall when he was around Hazel, and as cheesy as it sounds, his true self was simply enough for her.

1. Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Jane and Mr. Rochester will always be number one on this list. They both know that they aren't what society deems as beautiful, but they grow to love each other's souls and share a deep, spiritual connection that can't be broken by time or separation. Both of them had challenges in their past that led them to believe they were unworthy of love, but ultimately, these circumstances only made their relationship become stronger. Jane is also strong willed, independent and intelligent, and Mr. Rochester loves her all the more for it. I'm definitely not an expert in 19th centurry British literature, but I'm pretty sure that didn't happen very often back then, let alone now. Frankly, I'm struggling to articulate the rest of my thoughts on these two, so I'll just leave this gif here.

If you'd like to discuss some of your favorite book couples, feel free to add them in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner

Tips: How to Get Out of a Reading Slump

If you're an avid reader, you've probably experienced times when every title seems uninspiring and you simply can't bring yourself to pick up another book! In general, the best way to find the inspiration to get out of a reading slump is to simply change up parts of your reading routine that have gotten a little stale, but it takes a few specific tactics if you really want to get back on track.

1. Stop Reading

This may seem a little counterproductive, but if reading for fun doesn't seem fun to you anymore, take a break, whether it be for a couple of days or a couple of weeks. If you take some time outside of reading to focus on other priorities, you'll have a fresh perspective and find the inspiration to get back into reading.

2. Plan Out Reading Time

If you have a busy schedule, finishing a book probably seems like a daunting task, but finding time to read, relax and disconnect from the outside world can be helpful for both your mind and your TBR shelf. Personally, I like to listen to audio books during my commute to work and school and later read some more before I go to bed because those are the points in my day when I need to unwind the most!

3. Read Something Short

Reading a shorter book can be helpful in curbing a reading slump because it leaves a sense of (almost) instant gratification, giving you enough encouragement to move on to the next book. A lot of authors (especially in YA) have begun publishing novellas and companion novels to coincide with their series, and starting with a book that's already set in your favorite world can definitely boost your motivation.

4. Read Out of Your Comfort Zone (to an extent) 

For me, this is probably the hardest tip to follow; It's so discouraging when I take a risk on a book I wouldn't normally read and it turns out to be underwhelming. Because of this, I usually read a couple synopses and reviews beforehand to make sure I at least know what I'm about to get into. It's great to read a classic if you usually read YA, or to read a contemporary if you usually read fantasy; however, just make sure that the book in whatever foreign genre you choose actually seems exciting and inspiring to you.

Reading Slump Crushers

Here are my some books that I think are perfect for recovering from a slump!

  • the Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin
  • the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • The Walled City by Bryan Graudin 
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you have any other tips on recovering from reading slumps, feel free to add them in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner

June TBR Time...

A new month is ahead of all of us, filled with potential new books to discover! Here's what I plan on reading during the month of June.

1. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

This is what I'm currently reading...I'm a little over a quarter of the way through, and I'm enjoying it so far!

2. Vicious by V.E. Schwab 

Vicious has been sitting on my shelf taunting me for months! Since I've been seeing lots of praise for it lately on Goodreads, I feel like it's finally time to pick it up.

3. Glitches by Marissa Meyer

Okay, I know this is extremely short and will probably take me less than an hour to read, but I just need a little more Lunar Chronicles in my life.

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the cover art? I couldn't find a good picture of it with the title and what not, but still, it's fabulous. *___*

4. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

...Because I just feel like reading even more YA fantasy at the moment.

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5. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I haven't read any YA contemporary that I really liked in a while, so fingers crossed!

Let me know in the comments what your June TBR is!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner

May Wrap Up

The end of the month has arrived, which means it's time for me to summarize all the books I've finished in May! In the past month, I took a Maymester class and transitioned into a new job, neither of which left me with much time to read. Two out of the three books I read were in e-book form, so unfortunately, I can't take a cute picture of all of them stacked together with an artsy filter...I'll give you a moment to grieve...XD

I plan on making this a monthly occurrence here on Indoor Sojourner, so make sure to be on the lookout at the end of each month!

Books Read in May

My attempt at the aforementioned picture...

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Rating: 5/5 stars

What I Thought: Jane Eyre such a classic, timeless romance; I loved this book from start to finish! Jane is quite possibly one of my favorite female protagonists to date because she displays such a quiet, humble strength throughout the book. I could go on and on about Jane (and Mr. Rochester, of course), but I'll just say that even though it's a bit of a time consuming read, it's definitely worth it!

2. The Heir by Kiera Cass

Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars

What I Thought: Honestly, there wasn't much about this book that was very surprising or out of the ordinary; I even had a few complaints about it here and there. However, it's great if you're looking for an easy guilty pleasure read for the summer!

3. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

Rating: 5/5 stars

Thoughts: The Great Divorce is only 160 pages or so, but it presents a detailed allegory about the nature of Heaven and Hell from Lewis' perspective. Surprisingly, it took me four or five days to finish because I was busy with other things, but if you're a fast reader, it could easily be read in a sitting. 

Average Rating for May: 4.5

Let me know of your favorite May reads in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner