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Identity Crisis!

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Formally:  Kay_Reads

So as you can clearly tell, I’m having a sort of “identity crisis..”  When I originally started this blog, I was so eager to write my book reviews that I just picked the most uncreative name I could think of.  I was never a fan of “Kay_Reads,” it didn’t speak to me, it didn’t stand out… it was just something to use for the time being.  I read everywhere that changing your identity was a bad idea, blah blah blah.  But the only thing I had to change with every platform I was using were the user names!  I didn’t lose any of my wonderful followers, I didn’t have to ask anyone to ‘like’ this one, follow this new page, and the best part of all, I didn’t have to spend several hours customizing and reposting everything 😀

So I apologize for any confusion, but the new name is here and it is here to stay!

So with that, I re-welcome you to the not-so-new:

TheNerdyBookmark

Thank you for your understanding & Happy Reading!

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2015 October Wrap Up

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Total Books = 7
Average Rating = 4

Overall, a great month for reading! 😀

1.) City of Words by Steven J. Carroll – 3.5/5
2.) Allegiant by Veronica Roth – 5/5
3.) Four by Veronica Roth – 4/5
4.) The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin – 4/5
5.) Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – 5/5
6.) Breed by Chase Novak – 3/5
7.) Far Far Away by Tom McNeal – 3.5/5

How many books did you get through this colorful month?

2015 October Bookhaul

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Welcome to my October 2015 Bookhaul! Wooo! I think I have to put on the brakes after this one though cause in the last 2 months I’ve acquired 52 books that I gotta get through… eash. Plus with Thanksgiving around the corner (which my husband and I host for our military family) and then Christmasssss, oye!

On to the books! I’ll have a list below of each book pictured, where I got them, paperback or hardcover, special editions and how much my total purchase at each place was! If you have any more questions – or comments – about this months haul, please feel free to leave/ask them below 😀 Happy reading!

Total Books: 24
Total Amount Spent: $72

Barnes & Noble – $14
1.) The Host by Stephenie Meyer; paperback
2.) Fiend by Peter Stenson; hardcover
3.) Beautiful Chaos, Bk. 3 (Caster Chronicles/Beautiful Creatures Series) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl; paperback

The Book Exchange$22
1.) The Sea of Monsters, Bk. 2 (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan; paperback
2.) Reckless, Bk. 1 (Mirrorworld) by Cornelia Funke; hardcover
3.) Redwall, Bk. 1 (Redwall) by Brian Jacques; paperback
4.) The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling; hardcover
5.) Deep Blue Bk. 1 (Waterfire Saga) by Jennifer Donnelly; hardcover
6.) Asylum, Bk. 1 (Asylum) by Madeleine Roux; paperback

Half Price Book Store$7
1.) The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates; paperback
2.) Stoneheart, Bk. 1 (Stoneheart Trilogy) by Charlie Fletcher; paperback
3.) The Awakening, Bk. 2 (Darkest Powers) by Kelley Armstrong; hardcover
4.) The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Bk. 3.5 (Twilight) by Stephenie Meyer; hardcover

BookOutlet$30
1.) Dreamspinner, Bk. 7 (Nine Kingdoms) by Lynn Kurland; paperback
2.) House of Secrets, Bk. 1 (House of Secrets) by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini; hardcover
3.) Battle of the Beasts, Bk. 2 (House of Secrets) by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini; hardcover
4.) Eve & Adam, Bk. 1 (Eve & Adam) by Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate; paperback
5.) The Calling, Bk. 1 (Endgame) by James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton; hardcover
6.) Storybound, Bk. 1 (Storybound) by Marissa Burt; paperback
7.) Dream A Little Dream, Bk. 1 (The Silver Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier; hardcover
8.) Crank, Bk. 1 (Crank) by Ellen Hopkins, paperback
9.) Glass, Bk. 2 (Crank) by Ellen Hopkins, paperback
10.) Quintessence by David Walton; paperback

Giveaway Books FREE
1.) Haze, Bk. 2 (The Rephaim) by Paula Weston; paperback

ARCsFREE (I get these from work)
6 Romance Novels – these won’t be included in the total. I get these from work but I do not keep them, instead, I pass them on to my momma to read because she loves romance novels – and I do not… *shudder*

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

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Book Description:

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan’s eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there’s no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town’s tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

My Rating: 5/5. . . 10/5

HOLY GUACAMOLE!! Whoever read the first book, Beautiful Creatures, and decided against reading this second book missed out! Beautiful Darkness is one of those books that has you going chapter to chapter NEEDING to know what happens next! There were SO many brilliantly shocking moments, after the first few you had to wonder if this was all the book had to offer BUT IT KEEPS SHOCKING! I, personally, adored the first book. I can admit though, it was a little slow to read at times, but none the less, it will always be a favorite of mine. This book isn’t like that. It’s a very fast, exciting read from beginning to end. The first book was all about getting to know Ethan and Lena and their details of their families and Gatlin, etc. This book, the second, is all about where they go from there and what a ride these ladies take us on!

Can I just keyboard scream for a second: WHY AREN’T THEY CONTINUING THIS AS A MOVIE?!?! I wanna see this on film sooooo bad with the same actors, the same director, UGHHH! Pull on my heart strings why don’t you?! :”'[

Let me just point out how much I love Ethan Wate:

Gramma stepped in front of Lena, closed her eyes, and touched a single finger to her granddaughter’s cheek. The moment she touched Lena, everything stopped, and I knew Gramma had used her abilities as an Empath to absorb Lena’s powers temporarily. But she couldn’t absorb Lena’s anger. None of us were strong enough to do that.  -pg. 15

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Bahahaha, can anyone else relate to this? I know I have my moments XD

Quick background to my personal life: My neighbors just put up a HUGE privacy fence! Our house is tucked back, so our neighbor’s backyard is in our front yard and the fence they put up is way over 6ft. tall. My husband and I call it “The Great Wall of Buhrke” (our last name). Ironically, the day they put this beast of a divider up, I also read this:

“Good fences make good neighbors.” -pg. 125

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You could say we’re FANTASTIC neighbors!

Most of the book, I was kind of heartbroken for Ethan. Every time Lena pulled away, she pulled my heart with her, I was all, “LENA, NUUUU!! Stahp being bad!!” I was rooting for her all the way up until the scene where Lena was snuggle-dancing with John Breed, like, dafuq was dat LE-NUH?! But one thing I LOVED that they did: They didn’t turn Ethan into a whiny pansy who’s bitch whipped by a girl. Yes, he was hurt like anyone would be, but instead of moping and running to Lena and begging for an explanation every 2 seconds, he did what a lot of normal people do. He acted out of spite. He chose his anger and acted on it by doing to her what she was doing to him. Now am I agreeing with these actions? Absolutely not, but let’s be honest, a majority of people in the real world would’ve handled this situation the same way Ethan was, so kudos to the writer’s for going down the realistic road instead of the road that would make me roll my eyes and forever loathe Ethan Wate.

And we finally found out who Ethan Wate really is!! Why he’s here, why he’s drawn to Lena, why EVERYTHING!! I was SO excited to read about this! And wait till you find out about Jane, whoa buddy, this part made me “EEEEEE!!” out loud. AND AUNT PRUE! I’m not going to give away WHAT you’ll find out but jeez louise, when you finally think the surprises are over with, another one smacks you in the face on the next page and it finally all comes together in a big “ah-ha!” moment.

Then there’s Ridley. This I was not sure I liked at first. I can’t say why, I don’t want to ruin ANYTHING with this sequel, but notice I said like(d)? Well that’s because of what happens near the end of the book, another “ah-ha!” moment where it’s all explained and for that, I ended up loving the outcome. If there was no wrap up for her, I would’ve hated what they did with Rid. It’s funny how you end up feeling sorry for someone who is so dark and did bad things.

And as if there weren’t already crazy reveals, WAIT TILL YOU GET TO THE END! I squealed, I jumped for joy, I sang, I danced…. well… not really… but I felt so bubbly I might as well have done all of that. It was the best ‘ERMERGERD‘ moment in the entire book.

I just… I have so many words for this book! Beautiful, shocking, thrilling, adventurous, exciting, sorrowful, sad, curious. . .

This book is a fun adventure from the first page to the last. I feel sorry for anyone who hasn’t picked it up. So if you haven’t, DO IT, DO IT MEOW! I can’t wait to see what the third book, Beautiful Chaos has in store for me 😀 I want to read it ASAP but I’m waiting until I get back from traveling for a few days because I want to give this book my FULL attention and I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to read or how many times I’ll be interrupted. That’s how much I want to read the next book. It’s NEEDS my full attention

2015 September Bookhaul

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First Ever Bookhaul of September 2015!

SO MANY BEWKS, SO LITTLE TIME! And to think I was holding back because I had to purchase plane tickets to visit home next month. I’d hate for you guys to see what I can do when I’m not holding back heh… heh…. YEAH SO… I’ll have a list below of each book pictured, where I got them, paperback or hardcover, special editions and how much my total purchase at each place was! If you have any more questions – or comments – about this month’s haul, please feel free to leave/ask them below 😀

Total Books: 29 (30 if you count both books in the 2-in-1)
Total Amount Spent: $128

BookOutlet = $42 (includes shipping)
1. ) A World Without Princes, Bk.2 (School for Good and Evil) by Soman Chainani; hardcover
2.) Beautiful Redemption, Bk.4 (Caster Chronicles/Beautiful Creatures Series) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl; paperback
3.) Everneath, Bk.1 (Everneath Series) by Brodi Ashton; paperback
4.) Everbound, Bk. 2 (Everneath Series) by Brodi Ashton; paperback
5.) Far Far Away By Tom McNeal; paperback
6.) Frostfire, Bk. 1 (Kanin Chronicles) by Amanda Hocking; paperback
7.) Hemlock, Bk. 1 (Hemlock Series) by Kathleen Peacock; paperback
8.) The Bone Season, Bk. 1 (The Bone Season) by Samantha Shannon; hardcover
9.) The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by Matthew Crow; hardcover
10.) The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin; hardcover
11.) The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin; hardcover

Amazon = $20 (free shipping @ $35 – also bought a DBZ Pop Vinyl for my main squeeze)
1.) Allegiant, Bk. 3 (Divergent Trilogy) by Veronica Roth; hardcover
2.) Four (Companion Novel to the Divergent Trilogy) by Veronica Roth; signed hardcover

The Book Exchange (my local 1/2 price bookstore) = $28 (including tax)
1.) The Maze Runner, Bk. 1 (Maze Runner Series) by James Dashner; paperback
2.) The Scorch Trials, Bk. 2 (Maze Runner Series) by James Dashner; paperback
3.) City of Bones, Bk. 1 (The Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare; paperback
4.) Divergent, Bk. 1 (Divergent Trilogy) by Veronica Roth; paperback
5.) Insurgent, Bk. 2 (Divergent Trilogy) by Veronica Roth; hardcover
6.) Lord of the Clans, Bk. 2 (WarCraft) by Christie Golden; paperback
7.) Beautiful Darkness, Bk. 2 (Caster Chronicles/Beautiful Creatures Series) by Kami Garcia & Margart Stohl
8.) The Lightning Thief, Bk. 1 (Percy Jackson & The Olympians) by Rick Riordan, paperback

Barnes & Noble = $38 (including tax)
1.) Beautiful Creatures, Bk. 1 (Caster Chronicles/Beautiful Creatures Series) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl; paperback
2.) Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea? by Chelsea Handler; paperback
3.) The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick; paperback
4.) Undead (2-in-1/Night of the Living Dead & Return of the Living Dead) by John Russo; paperback
5.) Breed by Chase Novak; paperback
6.) The Isle of the Lost (A Descendants Novel) by Melissa De La Cruz; hardcover

Giveaway Books = (free)
1.) Waking the Dead by L. Sydney Fisher; signed paperback
2.) City of Words by Steven J. Carroll;signed paperback

Beautiful Creatures (Movie Edition) **WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**

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Directed By Richard LaGravenese

My Rating: 10/5

Hands down one of my favorite movies! I will admit, I saw this way before I read the book and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I watched it like 10 times and it may or may not have been back to back… andddd I just watched it again. I STILL GETS THE GOOSEBUMPS GAIZ!! This movie is visually stunning, it’s exciting, sweet, intense, hilarious, all of the things you could want out of a fantasy type movie. I dare say, I think I enjoyed the movie better than the book. Don’t get me wrong, as you can see from my previous review, the book is great, go read it. I just thought the movie was laid out better and here’s why:

#1.) The movie is way more intense than the book. A great example of this is the character Ridley. Yes, she IS portrayed as a Dark Caster, but in the book, Ethan admits that he didn’t take her as seriously as he should have. She almost sounds like a little girl doing “naughty” things such as her blowing out speakers at the school dance. Not exactly frightening. But in the movie, there’s no taking Ridley for anything but Dark. For example, the first time we meet Ridley here, she takes control over a highway trooper and makes him run his car off the road. Now this is someone I would not want anything to do with.

#2.) Not only was the movie more brutal, it was also HILARIOUS! Book Ethan was already a charmer but movie Ethan had me cracking up almost the entire time, they couldn’t have chosen a better cast:

Lena: …..My family’s…… different….
Ethan: Different how?
Lena: We do things… we do *different* things…
Ethan: So, what – you’re from Europe?

LAWLZ! My husband was face deep in his phone and he even chuckled at this part.

#3.) Okay this one doesn’t necessarily make me like the movie better, I just thought this was a good decision on the movie maker’s part. As you may know (you probably do if you’re reading a SPOILER review), Ethan and Lena communicate with their thoughts throughout the book. I loved this, I thought it was a sweet connection that they shared, but I’m glad they left this out of the movie. I think it would’ve made it really awkward. Anytime I’ve seen a movie where they can hear someone’s thoughts, it just looks so unnatural. Not saying spinning tables and causing lighting bolts to hit the ground near you is natural, but I think you get what I mean. So yeah, high five to whoever made that call!

#4.) Lena erases Ethan’s memory of her once she discovers what it’ll cost in order for her to lift the curse. GENIUS IDEA!! I really wish this were in the book! It was SO EMOTIONAL, GAH! I don’t know how Lena does it, I understand the circumstance but that would be SO RIDONKULOUSLY HARD to erase any memory of you from the person you love, THE PERSON YOU’RE MEANT TO BE WITH! Which leads me to….

#5.) The ending. Holy crap, the ending is AMAZEBALLS!!! My heart breaks for Lena, especially when Ethan drops by the library before he leaves for his college tour with Link. But as Link and Ethan are driving out of town, Ethan takes one last look at the “leaving Gatlin” sign and suddenly HE REMEMBERS HER!! I get goosebumps every time I see this scene, it is my favorite in the entire movie. It makes me so happy, I feel like a kid in a candy store! What a killer way to end this movie! But it also makes me so upset!! They have no plans to make a second movie and I yearn to see a 2nd movie. With the same actors and director. I wish I were a Siren like Ridley. I would use my power and persuade every single one of those people who worked on this film to finish the entire series just for me. I mean, come on, you can’t leave me hanging like that and not do anything *sobs* I wish I hated this movie because it hurts more knowing I won’t get another :'[

Now on to a few things I don’t necessarily care for that they changed in the movie:

#1.) Revealing Seraphine’s hidden identity early on. One of the twists towards the end of the book was the big reveal of Seraphine hiding in Mrs. Lincoln so it kind of was a bummer that they didn’t leave that for surprise, BUT I didn’t hate how they did it. It was still shocking nonetheless and they made her so sinister and sassy that it was nice to experience that throughout a majority of the film.

#2.) Ethan getting shot. Okay this one was a bummer. I did not like this. At all. I think Seraphine stabbing Ethan was WAY more dramatic than Link accidentally shooting him with the bullet Ridley gave him. How did this movie that made the book become more exciting manage to dull this part down? Meh bleh blech. No bueno guys.

I didn’t mind that they left out Boo, Macon’s dog, or Marian, the actual librarian. I think Boo was a fun extra in the book to read about, but nothing significant enough to bring to film. And as far as Marian, I think they did a great job blending this character into Amma. It worked very well.

All in all, I will never understand how this movie didn’t do as well as it had hoped for and I will forever be heartbroken that it’s all I get. Call me crazy, call me blind, I don’t care, this movie will always have a place in my heart and my secret fangirl world.

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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Book Description:

Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?

In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .

There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.

Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.

My Rating: 4/5

“Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures.”

THIS QUOTE THOUGH!! AGH! I gots the chills reading that for the first time! I find when books incorporate the title into the story, it’s either really exciting like this one was for me or reallllllly lame. Not to mention the timing; I like how it was held off till the near ending of the book. Great job with this one ladies!

I recommend this for:

Fantasy/Magic lovers!

I adore this book SO much. I might have been influenced though because I saw the movie (like 10 times) before I read the book. I LOVE the movie!! The book itself was fantastic. It was in-depth and it made me feel like I was right there in Gatlin alongside Lena and Ethan. Like I was Boo following them around, I literally felt like the eyes of this dog that they talk about so much. I also really enjoyed that they took a typical southern small town setting and threw in this new world that would shake it up. I’ve been to small towns, I have family that live in small towns, they hit the nail on the head with this. Oh and the term “Casters” sounds so sophisticated/intellectual/mature/respectable, I would rather be a “caster” than a “witch” being I’m light or dark; good or evil. I already feel so much more respected being labeled a “caster.” The only thing I can come up with as to why this story is so controversial (and by that I mean why there’s so many mixed reviews as to how many people enjoy this book and how much more dislike it) is because it is a slow read. I feel you really have to use your imagination to get lost in this book, which is why I said I might have been influenced because I had a lot of the images filled in for me already. But at the same time, it’s why I enjoyed it! I got so much more out of the book than from the film. Details, details, details!

Another thing that I noticed quite a few negative reviews mentioned was Lena and Ethan’s relationship. I personally feel people judged this way too harshly. It sounds like a pretty normal high school relationship to me. You have one kid, Ethan, who lives in a small town where he knows everyone and everyone knows him. Then Lena moves in to town. Any and every one is going to be interested in her because SHE’S NEW. Ethan just so happens to be the one that gets her attention (him being drawn to her helps) and of course she’s stand offish at first! Who wouldn’t be if you were put in her shoes? Eventually when Lena let’s her guard down, they’re able to build a connection. And like ANY high schooler, Lena feels the need to push Ethan away, not because she wants to but because she has some insecurities, these being her not knowing her future of going light or dark. And like anyone who’s been in love, especially for the first time, will chase after that. SO COME ON, lighten up people. One last thing I have to rant on is people saying that this book is just bad writing. It’s one thing to dislike a book, but it’s a low ball to claim something as “bad writing” when it’s just not. There are plenty of books out there that I can’t stand, literally, would rather use as toilet paper or a fire starter than to read it ever again, but I would never put down the writing. Not saying it’s always the case though because I have read a few that I swear must’ve been a joke. Oh and can we talk about that ending?! Whaaaat?! I won’t give away any details but be prepared for multiple curve balls! With all that being said, I stand by this book. The writing is great, the story telling is captivating, it has good morale, it’s relatable AND IT HAS MAGIC, what more could you want?! 😀 I can’t wait to see what happens with Lena and Ethan in book 2 (Beautiful Darkness)!

** Click Here For My Book-To-Film Adaptation Review **