Stacking the Shelves [43]


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books that you buy in a physical store or online, books your borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks.



29430049Paris for One an Other Stories by Jojo Moyes

I have not yet read a Jojo Moyes book.  Apparently that is some sort of terrible thing…like a sin or something?  I’m not sure. However, I read the premise of this book and immediately I chuckled and thought: Yup, totally something I would do. If my fiancé dumped me right before (or at) the wedding I would for sure take the honeymoon and spend a lot of time in Paris.  My travels have taught me that sometimes the best way to travel at all is to travel by yourself. Anyways, I’ve been getting a bit more into short stories lately.  They are fun and short (hence the name) and make for great bedtime stories!

Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard12558285

As many of you know, I love Alice in Wonderland.  And for those of you who are new, Welcome!! I love Alice in Wonderland and the retellings of her stories. This one is really appealing to me and has been for a while, in face, this GORGEOUS cover has been staring me in the face in Barnes & Nobles for a very long time.  I’m serious, not only does this premise sound amazing, but the freaking cover?!?!  I’m so excited!!  This book will probably sneak its way into being read before the end of the year even though I have soooooo many books that need to be read first #guilty.

For Review:

28587613A Whole Latte Murder (A Java Jive Mystery #3) by Caroline Fardig

This book looks so adorable!! And I also forgot to look and see if there were books before this one in a series…so now gonna have to work on that part too.  Fail again! But between all the puns in the description and the idea (which may have been used many times before I know…), I can’t say no to a murder mystery that takes place around a coffee shop.  Plus, after reading about the first two books I look forward to reading them all…hopefully soon?



Abstract Aliases (Bodies of Art #3) by Ritter Ames31180590

I’m so excited because I preordered this book after sailing through the first two in the series.  The first two I read for review through NetGalley and found that this series was for sure one to continue with! You can find my review for the first book (Counterfeit Conspiracies) here and for the second installment of the adventure (Marked Masters) here! Laurel and Jack’s adventures in art theft continues and I can’t wait to sink my brain into this one…I have the ebook so I won’t sink my teeth into it.  This one seems to be more of a story about things happening to their allies which should be interesting because they seem to have friends everywhere (which is still very awesome!) and I look forward to seeing where this goes (in case you can’t tell!)

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake ~~ Bad-Ass Ghost and Ghost Hunter with Romance?

9378297Title: Anna Dressed In Blood
Series: Anna #1
Author: Kendare Blake
Date of Publication: October 17, 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: ya, fantasy, fiction, paranormal, romance
Pages: 316
Source: bought

5Bean - Copy

Short Summary:

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.


My Thoughts:

This is one of the books that I put down for my Halloween Read-A-Thon this month.  While this book was brilliant and I really enjoyed it, it was not the horror story I was expecting it to be.  I would highly recommend it for people who are just starting on horror/thrillers.

This book was a relatively easy book to get through and was really quite fun in some ways.  For sure got the thriller part, the intensity between Cas’s job and his heart just puts things into perspective on how challenging his life has become.  Cas is an interesting character who has learned, as a killer of ghosts, how to use people around him and the environment he is in at the time.  Even from the first time we see him kill a ghost in a car, it become obvious that he is talented and has a set idea for what he wants.  But it all changes when he meets a girl.  Well, technically he meets a dead girl…but still!  I loved Alice! She was my favorite!! I don’t want spoilers so I will just stop there.

I will for sure be on the lookout for the second book to get my hands on and finish this super fun and unexpected series!  Five of five beans from me!

Characters I Love Enough…To Name My Future Cats After

We all have them: those characters who just leave a lasting impact on us. Those characters that we want to have with us forever. But characters special enough to name members of our family after??  Why not!!

Now, I’m not quite so sure about having children as of now, I’m in my early 20s and happily single and not really wanting to have kids anytime soon, or if I ever do. Not sure, I’m perfectly content being the awesome ‘aunt’ who goes on trips and has a library and a few cats.

These cats would be my children and I’m quite excited for them (and possibly a dog or two). I grew up with many animals and still have a steady love for our furry, four-legged friends.  I would not hesitate to name them after my favorite characters from books!  Let me show!

132314Poe – The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe

I’ve been fan of Edgar Allen Poe for quite some time and I feel like having a dark colored cat (especially a black cat) would warrant the name Poe.  My dream would be having Poe sit on my shoulder as a kitten and sleep while I write or read. What can I say? That’s just how it would have to be!  Also, mini rant: how can people hurt and torture black cats during October?! Superstitions sure but that’s just absolutely terrible!!! Jerks!!



Alanna – Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce13831

This book is not only written by one of my favorite authors but it is one of my favorite books to begin with.  You have all heard me go on and on about another one of Tamora Pierce’s series, The Immortals, well this series takes place in the same world just a generation earlier.  Alanna is the main character, she’s daring and tough and wants to be a knight for the king.  Unfortunately, she is a she and she’s aren’t allowed in the king’s guard.  This series is all about her adventures to become one of the top ranking knights in the land, the monsters she faces and the friends and enemies she makes along the way.


375802Ender – Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card

Yea…I’ve been going on and on about this series as well, you might as well go read it…hint hint.  But honestly, Ender is a real character in a world that is shown to be a bunch of games.  This story is just one that has completely stuck with me and I have a feeling it will for the rest of my life.  Seriously guys, you just need to read this book!!



Alice – Alice in Wonderland7505716

I’m a bookworm who wishes to go on those same adventures as Alice.  OF COURSE I’M GOING TO HAVE A CAT NAMED ALICE.  And she is going to be a tabby because they are the adventurous cats that my parents had when I was little.




6Luna – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K. Rowling

Forgive me if this isn’t the book where she comes in…but I thought this was when we first really met her…  But I could be off and that would be terrible.  I LOVE Luna, just the way about her and the way she doesn’t seem to be phased by anything around her.  She just keeps going and proudly acknowledges, no, flaunts her weirdness.  Luna is the epitome of being yourself and doing what works for you.


Ned – Castaways of the Flying Dutchman (Flying Dutchman #1) by Brian Jaques7997

Ned is actually backwards for Den, which is short for Denmark which is where Ben (backwards for Neb, and short for Nebuchadnezzar) found him!  Fun fact! Ned is a black lab, so ideally I would name a black lab after him but if it’s a cat I guess that would work too.  Ned is just awesome!! Between his barking exercises and his pitiful puppy eyes practice, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a dog.



10874177Sophronia – Etiquette & Espionnage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

A spunky, intelligent, if not down right sassy assassin in training? Sounds like a good name for a cat!!  Seriously, my only problem is that I’m not entirely sure how to pronounce the name…I’d probably end up calling the sassy kitten Sophie or Soph.



Kyrie – Kyrie Carter Paranormal Series by Leta Hawk27137690

I read the first two books in this series as a gift from the author and I really loved them!  I’ve watched shows about paranormal investigations but I’ve never read a book about one, much less with the crazy stuff that happened to our characters.   Kyrie (or Kyre) was a badass throughout the entire thing, and she went through a lot.  A curious kitty would for sure make a wonderful Kyre my dear!




Alright, so I only did eight, but they were pretty awesome and I don’t think at this point I’d have more than eight cats…hopefully!!  I joined up with The Broke and the Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday for this post.  What would you name your cats??

Review: Second Street Station (Mary Handley Mystery #1) by Lawrence H Levy ~~ Women Can Do It Better

23209948Title: Second Street Station
Series: Mary Handley Mystery #1
Author: Lawrence H. Levy
Date of Publication: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Broadway Books
Genre: mystery, historical fiction
Pages: 336
Source: bought

Rating: 4/5

Short Summary:

A historical mystery featuring the witty and wily Mary Handley, the first woman detective in Brooklyn, as she tries to prove herself in a man’s world while solving a high profile murder.
Mary Handley is a not your typical late-nineteenth century lady. She’s fiery, clever, daring—and she’s not about to conform to the gender norms of the day. Not long after being fired from her job at the hat factory for insubordinate behavior, Mary finds herself at the murder scene of Charles Goodrich, the brother of a prominent alderman and former bookkeeper of Thomas Edison. When Mary proves her acumen as a sleuth, she is hired by the Brooklyn police department—as the city’s first female policewoman—to solve the crime. The top brass of the department expect her to fail, but Mary has other plans. As she delves into the mystery, she finds herself questioning the likes of J. P. Morgan, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla. Mary soon discovers the key to solving the case goes well beyond finding a murderer and depends on her ability to unearth the machinations of the city’s most prominent and respected public figures, men who will go to great lengths to protect their secrets.

Much like Mr. Churchill’s Secretary and Maisie Dobbs, Second Street Station presents a portrait of a world plunging into modernity through the eyes of a clever female sleuth. Mary Handley is an unforgettable protagonist whose wit, humor, and charm will delight readers from the very first page.


My Thoughts:

The most interesting thing about historical fiction is when authors insert true historical figures with unpredictable personalities into historical fiction stories. While this story was a true murder mystery, it was also a book about a woman attempting to make her way in a man’s world.

I loved Mary so much!! She reminds me of a female Sherlock Holmes who has friends! That sounded kinda bad. Anyways, Mary is intelligent, spunky, and knows exactly how to use her femininity to get what she wants, but she does have an issue with keeping her mouth shut at times. Mary is logical and has a set idea of what she wants to achieve in her life.  She wants to be the first female detective.  Not only is this challenging for her, but it is not received well by the majority of her coworkers or many of the people of the era in general. While Mary has several moments of bad press, she never seems to completely lose her cool, which is quite admirable especially given some of the comments.  She basically has all of the sass possible!

The only of her ‘side-kicks’ that really stood out was the Chief.  I loved that he had a wife who was so similar to Mary and so she ended up being another part of their family.  Charlie felt very helpful and I had such high hopes for him being the Watson to Mary’s Sherlock.  The wrap-up I was also quite surprised at, but truly appreciated the originality.

Overall, four beans from me and I would recommend it for the historical fiction lover as well as a believer in women’s rights.

Audiobook Tour Part 2: Author Interview with Stephen Whitfield


I had the privliage of interviewing Stephen Whitfield, the author of Omari and the People, the review of which is also posted today (scroll down just a little bit, dear bean!) and you should check it out.  I enjoyed the book and gave it a solid 3.5 beans.

Read my interview with Stephen Whitfield below!

The world in Omari and The People is based off of Subsaharan Africa, did you use the internet for inspiration or did you meet people on your travels who would inspire your writing?
As a child I loved to climb the great dunes formed by ancient, receding glaciers off the southern tip of the Great Lakes . My love for travelling across sands was rekindled when I trained as a Marine in the Mojave Desert. The stark majesty of the Mojave was both exhilarating and refreshing for me. The life and writings of T.E. Lawrence, a man who also loved the desert, also inspired me. While researching desert travelogues for the story, I came across the marvelous works of Sir Wilfred Thesiger’s, whose descriptions of the Sahara provided such rich details of his travels across the Empty Quarter of the Sahara.  These are some of the sources of the location of Omari and the other People.
As for people I met who inspired characters, there was a young woman I met at a jail, another woman who was a drug smuggler, an ancient woman who lived in a gutter, a platoon of Marines who lived and survived together, and a wild-eyed dictator…
What is the most unique and memorable trip you’ve ever taken?  How has it affected your writing?
In Jamaica I’ve explored a 17th century fort, dove from a cave into a waterfall pool, danced, eaten, loved, climbed and marveled at the island’s heady beauty. It’s where I began writing Omari and the People.
If you could pick any fictional world to travel across, which would you choose and why?
The Sahara is the subject of fiction, but it is quite real. It is a wilderness with surprising beauty.
Did you ever second guess yourself as a writer?  Consider a different path than that as a creator of worlds?
Writing was not as easy as I thought, especially when my words were edited by very tough men. My first professional writing was done as a Marine Corps journalist. My editors were combat veterans who tore my first works apart with red ink. After I shook off my wounded pride, I began to notice less red marks and occasional praise. That’s when I began to call myself a writer.
How long was Omari and The People in the works for? Did the entire story come to you overnight or was it a long time in the making?
It took forever to write Omari. Writing a novel is very different than an article, and I learned what craft I created through trial and error. Years.
The classic, because it needs to be asked after this amazing adventure, do you have anything new in store for your readers?  There are rumors of a sequel?
There is a story related to Omari and the People whispering in my ear, begging me to write. There might come a time when familiar characters take life again. We’ll have to see.
What did you think?? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway on the last post!!

Audiobook Tour Review: Omari and the People by Stephen Whitfield AND GIVEAWAY!!


23962975Title: Omari and the People
Author: Stephen Whitfield
Narrated: Curt Simmons
Date of Publication: June 20, 2016 (audio)
Publisher: ShirleyCastle Press
Genre: fiction, fantasy, audiobook
Length: 11hrs 17min (unabridged)
Source: Audiobookworm (Thank you!!!)

Rating: 3.5/5

Short Summary:

In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based in part on Arabia’s Empty Quarter) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home afire to start anew and to cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place which only he can lead them to, across the desert. With the help of an mysterious and aged woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The desperate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari’s involvement with Saba Khan, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his life and the life of the caravan are in danger.

My Thoughts:

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Stephen Whitfield and Curt Simmons. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

I don’t listen to a lot of audiobooks.   That being said, I did this because I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone.  Not only was the audiobook style out of my comfort zone, but so was the story itself.

Right off the bat, I was not a big fan of our protagonist, that is until about a quarter of the way through the story. Even throughout the rest of the story I found him to be completely selfish and I didn’t like several things that he did. I felt as thought he was a good leader for the caravan more to save his own skin, but in that sense, he did help the people as best he could.  I do believe that without the help of the people closest to him, he would have failed miserably.

However, the writing was a total A+ for me!! I loved the style of writing and the general story behind this book.  Saba was by far my favorite character, right up there with the Old Mother.  Both of them were for sure brains behind much of what Omari did and they knew more about the people.  This all being said, I would not want to end up with his job so god for him for not running away when he could.

As far as the narration went, I enjoyed it and I think that is one of the things about the audiobook.  I’ve found that a narration can make or break an audiobook.  Mr Simmons did a wonderful job.  As far as one of my fist audiobooks (fifth in total, I suppose) I really did enjoy it, just was super annoyed with the main character. 3.5 beans from me!

Author Info:

Chicago-born Stephen Whitfield began writing as a Marine Corps print journalist. His writing has appeared in military publications, as well as the Kansas City Star and the Jersey Journal. He holds degrees from from Loyola University Chicago, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Indiana University. His various adventures have taken him to such places as London, Paris, Trondheim, Johannesburg, Beirut, most of The Virgin Islands and the wilder neighborhoods of Chicago.


Narrator Info:

Curt lives in Seattle and produces and narrates audiobooks in his home studio. He began his performing career in college as a stage actor and radio personality. After college, in addition to acting, Curt also did voiceovers for commercials, which he also wrote, directed, and edited for broadcast TV. Following the birth of his daughter in 1984, he left the performing arts to pursue a more “stable” profession managing projects. Then, in 2014 he returned to the professional stage for the first time in over 30 years as Walter Flood in Becky’s New Car by Stephen Dietz. He has also appeared recently as Lyman in Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz and Ralph in The Last Romance by Joseph DiPietro. Omari and the People is Curt’s sixth audiobook.



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Book Tour Review: Useless Bay by M.J. Beaufrand ~~ No One is Useless at Useless Bay


Title: Useless Bay
Author: M.J. Beaufrand
Date of Publication: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: ya, fiction, mystery, thriller
Pages: 240
Source: NetGalley & publisher

5Bean - Copy

Short Summary:

A gritty, psychological thriller about a mythic set of sixteen-year-old quintuplets searching for a young boy.

On Whidbey Island, the Gray quintuplets are the stuff of legend. Pixie and her brothers have always been bigger and blonder than their neighbors, as if they were birthed from the island itself. Together, they serve as an unofficial search-and-rescue team for the island, saving tourists and locals alike from the forces of wind and sea. But, when a young boy goes missing, the mysteries start to pile up. While searching for him, they find his mother’s dead body instead—and realize that something sinister is in their midst. Edgar-nominated author M. J. Beaufrand has crafted another atmospheric thriller with a touch of magical realism that fans of mystery and true crime will devour.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this short story.  Seriously, I finished it in one sitting, I think it took me all of two and a half hours?  Anyways, I received this book for review in exchange for my honest opinion, this has not affected my opinion.

This story is about a set of quintuplets (how often does that happen) with four boys and one girl.  Pixie is one of our narrators, as the youngest and the only girl amongst the four boys, she has a certain air about her that almost is the need for her to prove that she can take care of herself.  Her trusty sidekick is Patience, a blood-hound that her brother Sammy bought a long time ago. The relationship between the two is awesome and I love how much they connect to one another.

Our other narrator is Henry, whom I still like, especially considering what he has gone through during the story.  I did find him a bit useless at times, but he also was willing to help out in any way that he could and was determined to not sit by the sidelines while everyone searched for his younger brother (not a spoiler, you learn that within the first few chapters…).

The story itself was gripping, thrilling, tense, and had just enough magic realism to round it out in a way I felt it needed.  I would highly recommend this story for any fan of middle grade as well as any teacher or anyone who wants to get into the lighter part of true crime. It was seriously well done! Highly recommended, five out of five beans from me!

About The Author:

Mary Jane grew up in Gresham, Oregon. She’s a graduate of Wellesley College and has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Program. Currently she lives in Seattle with her husband, two children, and dogs. In the eighties she had a bad perm.

Website |Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads


3 winners will receive a finished copy of USELESS BAY. US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

 Week One:
10/10/2017- The Autumn Bookshelf– Interview
10/11/2017- Zach’s YA Reviews– Review
10/12/2017- The Alchemy of Ink– Review
10/13/2017- Bean’s Bookshelf and Coffee Break Review
10/14/2017- Curling Up With A Good Book– Interview

Week Two:
10/17/2017- Michelle4Laughs: It’s in the Details– Excerpt
10/18/2017- In a bookish world– Excerpt
10/19/2017- The Bookworm Central– Review
10/20/2017- Eli to the nth Review
10/21/2017- Owl Always Be Reading– Excerpt

Recommendations I’ve Read

When someone recommends a book to you, it’s really in your best interest to listen and go check out that book.  Not only will you have read another book and gained something from it (good or bad), but you will have learned something about your friend as well!

These are some of the books I’ve read because of recommendations, in NO particular order!

24885730Wild Magic (The Immortals #1) by Tamora Pierce

I actually read this one for a bookclub I was in starting back in middle school and this was the fist book we read as a group.  I was hooked after it.  It was so good and I loved it so much that to this day it is one that I just want to read again and again. Tamora Pierce is also one of my most widely read authors, I love the way her fantasy series all intertwine with one another and it just makes me super happy!!  If I’m ever in a reading slump, this is the book I turn to.  The main character in this series has a type of magic called Wild Magic which allows her to communicate with animals and in a sense control their thoughts and actions.  She’s so adorably innocent so often though because she doesn’t want to force them to fight for her, but she’s had a tough life and is finally able to find a place where she belongs, and I think it just resonates with me, so well done book club!

8949352Night Road by Kristin Hannah

While this book really did make me cry, I loved it so much.  It is the pitiable of human emotion and what happens to EVERYONE when tragedy strikes.  Told mainly from the POV of a grieving mother who has to deal with the death of one of her children and how the twin, friends, and family all deal with a tragedy and what happens to their futures.  How I got this book was interesting because it was actually a pass-it-on book, or at least that’s what I called it.  I was given it by a friend with the instructions to read it and then pass it on to someone else who would enjoy it.  I did just that and as a result I fear I have caused many people to shed a tear. **side note: I love this idea and would anyone be interested in doing this? Even by book mail??**

7997Castaways of the Flying Dutchman (Flying Dutchman #1) by Brian Jacques

This was probably one of the first time travel books I’ve ever read, recommended to me by the school librarian whom I helped shelve books for the majority of my recesses during middle school. Most people from my general generation know Brian Jacques from his Redial series, which surprisingly I never got into.  This series I know by heart though.  The story starts off with the death of a boy, who is then ‘saved’ by an angel due to his pure heart and is sent to different time periods to help those in need.  He also befriends a dog and the two become the perfect pair of helpfulness.  The adventure continues with this odd pair through at least one or two more books (as is Jaques style to have as many books as he can in a series), but this first one still stands out as my favorite. Thank you to the librarian!

22055262A Darker Shade of Magic ( Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Not long after it came out, this book was literally EVERYWHERE on book blogs, BookTube, and Bookstagram.  Honestly, I felt like I couldn’t go anywhere without seeing this book.  It was like the book community was recommending a book. So, naturally, I bought it and read it in i believe one sitting.  This world hopping thing got me hooked and I couldn’t put the book down, especially after meeting out sassy main characters!  I gave this book five beans and even though I didn’t review it, I loved it immensely.  I have the second one now sitting on my shelf taunting me to get to it once I get through the terribly long list of books I need to read ASAP.

864699Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon

I honestly read this book because Sasha from A Book Utopia had like six freaking copies, so my natural response was ‘oh, this must be an amazing book!’ So, I picked it up from my local library and read it.  It took a while, but I read the dang thing.  The plot was gripping and the characters were awesome! But I guess I was not mentally prepared for the amount of sexual content in this novel.  I’m not sure how to make that sound better than what I said, but all in all it was a good book, I didn’t pick up the second book and, if I’m being completely honest, I probably will not end up reading the rest of the series.  It just did not hold my interest and I don’t feel as though I need to know what happens next.

17162148Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

I was given this book by a good friend of mine years ago, then I lost it when I moved for the first time (sorry, I was much less organized than I am now!) and I found another copy when I was at my last apartment at the local Half-Price Books!  When I finally started reading it, I had a hard time continuing.  I got annoyed with the characters, I got bored, and I just didn’t quite get it.  As the story went it, it was interesting and things did happen, but they just weren’t things that I found interesting.  However, it is still a good book and one I would recommend for those who enjoy reading about family relationships and dealing with estranged uncles who exile themselves from their family, as well as the effect of HIV/AIDS in the late 1980s on family members of those affected.

375802Ender’s Game (Ender’s Sage #1) by Orson Scott Card

I was recommended this book about 15 years ago.  It was one of the first science fiction stories that I truly fell in love with. Between under and Bean, I fell in love with the characters, the plot, and the ending!! Oh my goodness, if you haven’t read this book you really REALLY need to!!  I’m not 100% sure how many copies I have of this book between the one here and possibly more at my parents house but it is at least three different copies. This book takes the idea of an intergalactic battle to another level. Like seriously, they turn it into basically a game and Ender becomes one of the lead strategic leaders, after being pushed away and finally accepted by the other child geniuses around him.  Yea, this is a ‘war’ fought by children, and brilliant children at that!  I have no good words for how much I enjoy this book.  Just, go read it!

11235712Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

This is a book that has for sure made its rounds around all of the book world, which is where I heard of it.  I had seen it in the book stores everywhere but the cover confused me a bit and Cinderella isn’t exactly my favorite story and those retellings are always hit and miss. However, what honestly drew me to this story was the fact that the sequel is a Red Riding Hood retelling…I just LOVE that story and so many retellings which involve werewolves and the such which I may or may not be slightly obsessed with.  Anyways, this story really brought me in and didn’t release my interest until the end and even then I found it difficult to accept that I was done with this part of the story.  The reason I haven’t picked up the second one? Time? No? I’m not sure, but I haven’t yet for some stupid reason…that needs to change soon!

8306857Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Another book that has made its rounds through the book world is this lovely Divergent series.  My old roommate actually brought this for me not too long after it came out and we alternated who bought each book, so I own the firs and the third? But hey! I’ve read this entire series (how crazy is that?!) and I loved the first two books. While I completely understand why the third one was written in different POVs, it just didn’t quite fit well for me, I lost found myself wishing that the entire story was written in different POVs but at the same time maybe not?  I’m still torn about that one (as you can see). However, the first book, it caught me and held me strong! I would highly recommend this story for anyone who is looking for a good adventure fiction story.  It is really well done!

15777621This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

So, my sister  actually lent me her library copy of this book (which is dangerous, considering my habit of acquiring obscenely high library fines….but now is not the time for that!) and I read it in one sitting.  Seriously, this song nearly made me cry, and that has happened maybe two or three times.  There are so many emotions going through this book and I absolutely loved the entire thing! The emotions were completely raw and the coming of age in a world that  feels the need to hide the arts and music scene is really not appreciated or encouraged by adults or the ‘higher ups’/popular crowd.  This song is full of humor right along with the issues any teen ager can run into when trying to become themselves.  Elise encompasses an image of the teenager who wants to fit in and finally finds her niche in society and completely falls in love with it.  Go read this, now!


Well, those are a few of the MANY books I have read due to them being a recommendation, what about you guys?

The Entertainer Blogger Award


I am so touched that Birdie @ Birdie Bookworm nominated me for this award, or any award I made small squeaky noises when I saw.  So, I want to thank you for that first off! It’s good to know someone else enjoys reading what I write😀

Anyways, onto the Award Rules!!


  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Add these rules to your post.
  • Answer all the questions below.
  • Display the award picture in your post.
  • Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring and most important of all ENTERTAINING!



Q1. Why did you start a blog in the first place?

I started out as a hobby blogger, doing more lifestyle type posts which included my travels, food, fun exercise facts, and the occasional book review.  I had entered drawings for books all over the internet and ended up getting a book in the mail from ModCloth (of all places) when they used to have book giveaways on their blog.  This was probably 5 or 6 years ago? I posted a review of that book (I’m ashamed I don’t remember what it was and I don’t believe I have it😦 ) and found that I really enjoyed doing that, so I kept at it.

Eventually I decided that I wanted to focus my blog on one particular thing, and so I divorced The Backup Zone and Bean’s Bookshelf was born!  End Story….or is it?

Q2. What is your favorite book?

This doesn’t seem like a fair question, but I would have to say that my favorite series that I go back to again and again is the Immortals Series by Tamora Pierce.  I just love the story and the fantasy of it all!!

Q3. What do you dislike the most?

Again, kind of an odd question.  In general, I dislike hatred and judgement.  I feel too often people are judged by what they can’t do rather than what they can do.  As Albert Einstein said: If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid.

As far as books go: I dislike when people say that reading books is a waste of time.  Honestly, reading books is one of the best things I could do with my time.  I visit worlds and meet people and creatures you may never even hear of, I learn empathy and how to put myself in other people’s shoes (not literally, don’t steal, children, it’s bad), while also fighting battles, saving kingdoms, and falling in love over and over again with personalities, not looks. I have learned to appreciate that everyone has their own story and that everyone’s stories lead in different directions that that’s ok!  I mean, this just names a few things.

Q4. What is your favorite food item from the mall?

Food item from the mall…well I work at a coffee shop at a mall…does that count?  Otherwise, pizza.  I love me some pizza (with hot sauce and pineapple and spinach!!)

Q5. What is your favorite pastime?

Other than reading?  Writing, Im participating in NaNoWriMo this year!! I’m also a marathon runner and an avid coffee and tea drinker as well as a netflix watcher and I don’t sleep😀 Woot!!



(If you’ve already been nominated, don’t bite me please!)

Review: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge ~~ Revenge Tastes…Bitter?

26118377Title: The Lie Tree
Author: Frances Hardinge
Date of Publication: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: ya, fantasy, fiction, mystery, historical fiction
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley & publisher


Short Summary:

To earn a secret so profound, I would need to tell momentous lies, and make as many people as possible believe them…

Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is modest and well mannered—a proper young lady who knows her place. But inside, Faith is burning with questions and curiosity. She keeps sharp watch of her surroundings and, therefore, knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing—like the real reason her family fled Kent to the close-knit island of Vane. And that her father’s death was no accident.

In pursuit of revenge and justice for the father she idolizes, Faith hunts through his possessions, where she discovers a strange tree. A tree that only bears fruit when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit, in turn, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder. Or, it might lure the murderer directly to Faith herself, for lies—like fires, wild and crackling—quickly take on a life of their own. 

My Thoughts:

First off, I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book to review.  This fact has not altered my opinion of the story.

I wanted to love this book, mostly because of the cover, I mean look at it, it’s beautiful and creepy and the story itself just was not nearly so creepy. Was it good? Oh yes! It brought out emotions in me within the first chapters!  However, there were a few things about this book I wasn’t a fan of.

Set in the Victorian Era, which is always interesting to read about Frances Hardinge uses the true beliefs of the time and then inserts a murder, of a beloved scientist who has been discovered as lying as so is shunned by the rest of the world.  Faith is an obedient and quiet girl who inside is raging with a need for revenge on those who believed had wronged her father and murdered him.  As she delves deeper into his trail of lies, her own take a life of their own and suddenly the island is possessed by false beliefs.

This story is all about how lies can shape the world and what a lie can do to everyone.  Even the small lies start out small but grow on their own, in all Faith only whispered a ew small lies to the tree, but the effect of the island was massive.  That’s as far as I will take that because this story is for sure worth a read.

My issues were almost more personal with this book.  For instance, I wanted to, at one point or many points, slap each individual character except Howard.  I go so annoyed with so many of the people for not even trying to understand and then for everyone getting so catty at each other.  The ending was worth how slow and slightly annoying the beginning was.  3.5 beans from me!