Monday, June 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Classic Books

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I love, love, LOVE classics. I really do. I even have a classics shelf on my bookcase:

And a special stack of classics that have been gifted to me by my husband on special occasions. They're all special edition hardback, leather copies:
Little Women, Wuthering Heights, Pride & Prejudice

But instead of telling you about all my favorite classic books, I've decided to focus on just one. My favorite one of all.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

But I'm not just going to leave it at that. So below I'm listing my favorite adaptations (books, movies, etc) of my favorite classic book. So here we go, in no particular order:

In case you've somehow missed out on this, you should really drop everything and go watch it. It's a serialized version of P&P set in modern times and told through video diaries. I LOVE it. Even though it's over (they're now doing Emma!) I still go back and watch some of my favorite videos
Which leads me to my honorable mention of The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet.
I haven't read this yet, but definitely plan on doing so soon.

Pride & Prejudice (2004 movie version)
This is probably my personal favorite movie adaptation. I LOVE this version so much. I know what minute all of my favorite scenes take place. Not that I ever skip the rest of the movie just to watch the Darcy-Elizabeth swoon-worthy parts. Nope. Not at all.

 Pride & Prejudice (BBC Mini Series)
 Probably the most comprehensive choice on the list, this adaptation is wonderful. I just wish it wasn't quite so long sometimes, or I'd watch it more often. Bonus: It's on Amazon Prime now!

Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding
It's been a while since I've read this book, but I've always enjoyed it. Definitely quirky and interesting.

The second appearance of Colin Firth on this list. There's just something about him that says "Darcy!" I guess. I love Hugh Grant as Wickham too. So dastardly!

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

A super cute, fun, easy read that places our characters in high school. I think I read this in about 2 hours last summer!

Books by Sharon Lathan
I won one of her books in the Armchair BEA contests and loved it! I picked up a couple of more when I was finished! I love reading slightly altered and/or continuations of P&P. These are great if you're in the mood for more Darcy & Elizabeth (and who isn't?)
Books by Elizabeth Aston
Aston's books are the first ones I remember stumbling upon at the library years ago. I checked out every. single. one. my library had and devoured them. They all pick up after Darcy & Elizabeth are married and follow their lives. They do go in order, so if you're interested, make sure and look up the order before reading.

One Thread Pulled by Diana J. Oaks
 I'm not sure exactly how I came upon this book, but it's great. Oaks changes one thing from the original book and takes it from there.

A Constant Love (on by SophieTurner1805
I'm an admitted fan fiction lover, and this is one of my absolute favorite ones. Often times when I'm in the middle of a reading slump, I read fan fiction to help drag me out of it. 
This story is completed, and she started the sequel yesterday. :) Here's the summary:
A Pride & Prejudice continuation: For Elizabeth, the joy of her marriage and honeymoon are quickly followed by the demands of becoming Mrs. Darcy, all while helping her shy new younger sister come out into society. Georgiana must deal with more suitors than she expected, when she fears nothing more than once again being persuaded to think she is in love with the wrong man.

So, that's it for my list! Have you guys read/watched/etc any of these? Are there any I missed that you love? Let me know in the comments! I'm always on the lookout for great P&P adaptations!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The YA Prom

Do you have your dress ready? Hair? Shoes? Makeup?

Because it's YA Prom time! 

I totally love this idea that Alexa and Gaby created! All you have to do is pick your date and your dress, and head to prom! Granted, I'm much closer to 30 now than actual prom age, but that didn't stop me from having a blast with this post! So without further ado, here are my selections for my date, dress, shoes, and hair. :)

My date....

None other than the dashing and debonair privateer prince himself, Nikolai STURMHOND!
Was there every any doubt? I did briefly consider taking Hector or Chaol, but in the end, I would love to hang out with this guy for an evening, adventuring, and snarking about all the things.

So what does one wear to prom with a pirate?  
Well, here's my dress pantsuit...
I originally considered doing a dress, but then I figured Sturmhond and I would be getting up to all kinds of hijinx, so I figured I'd be slightly more practical. I mean, who can run around and get up to trouble in a dress? Not me, that's for sure.

Speaking of running...  
I'll need some shoes.
Source: Jimmy Choo
Seeing as how we plan on getting into all kinds mischief, I need some flat shoes to run around in. With Sturmhond's connections, I'm going to have the Fabrikators make sure they are indestructible and extra comfy. ;)

And finally, I'll need my hair to look all pretty. But also functional.  
So here's how I'll fix my hair.
I like the idea of having my hair pulled back (not quite into a ponytail), but still having it be elegant and beautiful. This hairstyle definitely fits the bill.

And because this is what really matters, this is my prom date for life & I at our wedding 7+ years ago:
So that's it! Will I be seeing you at prom? Will I be sharing my date with any of you?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Joint Review: Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Book: Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy #3
Released: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Pages: 417 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5++

From Goodreads:
The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

In the off chance you haven't read this series yet, you really, really should. Like now. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200 until you've read this series, mmmkay?

Sarah and I decided to try something new for this review (I keep saying review. It's probably more of a discussion, but whatever, I'll call it what I want). Since we both love this series so much, we've opted to do a joint review. So we hopped on Google Docs and chatted back and forth. It's long, and slightly rambley, but we had a great time!


First of all, welcome to our first ever joint review! Sarah and I are writing back and forth to each other to review this. I, Lindsay, will be writing in blue, and Sarah will be in black from hereon out. I apologize for anything ridiculous that may be said in advance. (ALSO SPOILERS ABOUND. SERIOUSLY. THERE ARE SPOILERS ALL OVER THIS REVIEW. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!)

Because frankly, we're ridiculous all the time.

And our excitement for these books knows no bounds. Let’s get started.

Sarah, have you sufficiently picked yourself up off the floor? I know that your beloved Darkling was killed off. Should we refer to him as Aleksander now?

Ugh. Don't remind me! I'm utterly devastated. I think that was the worst moment in the book for me. I wanted him to redeem himself, I had hope until the very end. And yes, let's call him by his given name .. Aleksander *sigh*

I had hope for him as well. But only like 3%. Did you really think she wasn’t going to kill him off?

No! I wasn't expecting it at all. I actually teared up. It was so sad. I was truly hoping that he would have a change of heart; That once Alina had possession of the third amplifier, she could somehow convince him to be a better man. I really believed she could have changed him if she had more time.

Lindsay, What was the most shocking moment for you?

Oh that’s easy. Hands down the moment that had me sobbing and wanting to curl up in the fetal position (at 2:00 am, mind you) was when my most beloved Nikolai (a/k/a STURMHOND) was turned in to the evil dark bird thing (in transition to becoming a volcra maybe?). I was miserable. THAT WAS NOT OKAY BARDUGO. It was even worse because it was the middle of the night (on release day) and I had NO ONE TO CRY WITH. Although I did send my friend Kristina a few DMs on twitter so she could read them the next day. It still did nothing to lessen my heartbreak.

It was horrible! I love Nikolai. When he became that volcra thing, I was completely heartbroken for him.

Nikolai is so strong and always has something witty to say and at that moment you really saw him in a completely different light. He was vulnerable and it was something we haven't seen from him really.

Lindsay, what was your least favorite part of the book?

First of all, in regards to Nikolai’s snarkiness, I must include my favorite line of the book when Alina says, “Please tell me you plan to dress up as a volcra and jump out of a cake.” BECAUSE I WOULD PAY MONEY TO SEE HIM DO THIS. And I think he would actually do it too.

Yes, I laughed out loud!

Anyway, my least favorite moment is at the very end with Mal. I’ve made no secret about my dislike of Mal-who I absolutely wanted to be killed off in this book after reading Shadow & Bone and Siege & Storm. (And after reading it, I have since recanted. I came around to his side. Kinda.) BUT I felt that the whole bringing him back to life thing was just a bit far-fetched. My lone theory on this is that she killed the amplifier part of him, and left his regular body/soul to be brought back. I would have been more than happy if he stayed dead. Then Alina could’ve married Nikolai, which was totally my end game. Ha. What was yours, Sarah?

I would have to say my least favorite part was also when Mal came back to life. I couldn't stand Mal in the first two books. He was so whiney. I mean, Alina had sacrificed so much and he could only focus on himself. And let me point out that he only realized he loved her after she was the Sun Summoner. (HA! It’s not just me that feels this way, Emily!) Granted, in this book he claims that he's alway loved her, but I think that's a load of crap. Anyway... Yeah. I wish he'd have stayed dead.

Nikolai is the only one who is allowed to come back. Anywho… let’s move on to some more people who are awesome. Like Baghra. Holy crap, how awesome is she? And just how much did you love her backstory?!

I was thrilled to read Baghra's backstory. It was probably my favorite part in the entire book.

When Alina first asked her how she knew so much and Baghra's ignored the question (When Mal interrupted because Genya was having a crisis with the King) was when I first realized that there had to be some relation there. At first I started to assume she was Morozova's wife but then we find out she was his daughter. I had so much sadness for her. The way she was treated by her parents was really sad to me.

I can’t even imagine having to deal with all that. And then having your son do everything that Aleksander did. No wonder she was so sassy. I also did not see it coming that she was Morozova’s daughter. She obviously knew something about the amplifiers, which made me assume there was a close connection, but I didn’t know it would be that.

AND THAT FINAL SCENE WITH HER. I CAN’T EVEN. What a story arc Bardugo created.

Right?! The part where she told Alina how she raised Aleksander was heartbreaking. She had the best intentions. She never wanted him to live in fear the way she had when she was a child. She wanted him to be strong and brave. Instead she inadvertently helped him become the monster he became.

I feel like when she jumped off the terrace, that was kind of her way of paying her  penance. She felt somewhat at fault for Aleksander becoming The Darkling and her death was her way of trying to fix it ... If you will.

One of my absolute favorite scenes, if not THE favorite, was the scene between Genya and the King. Holy moly, that was intense! I know you love Genya, so what did you think about that part in particular?

That part was amazing. I do love Genya. Her attitude is the best. When she described how she poisoned the King ... MIND BLOWN! Good for her. The King was such a sleaze bag. The Queen needed to be punched in the face. How could she turn a blind eye to something as horrible a rape? Her excuse was sickening. "She's a servant." Bleh. Nikolai's response was perfect. It made me love him even more.

Seriously. Of all the ways to poison him, that’s how you do it. Game. Set. And Match to Genya. And I was thrilled Nikolai basically stood up for her to his not-actual dad and to his mom (another great revelation I expected, but was happy to hear nonetheless).

Also on the Genya front, I loved her developing relationship with David. I’ve always loved him as a character, and I really enjoyed seeing them happy together.

Right. She totally hit the jackpot with David. Men that'll love you when you're beautiful are a dime a dozen. But a man that'll love you after you've been disfigured ... He's a keeper!

How did you feel about Mal being the third amplifier?

I really liked that twist. I always figured there was something about him, I could never put my finger on it exactly. I always suspected Alina was the descendant of Morozova, not Mal, but it still worked. And it definitely explained his ability to track the other amplifiers.

Yeah, I knew his tracking abilities were beyond amazing. But I didn't see that twist coming at all.  

Let’s talk about that Epilogue. I love me some epilogues. Especially when they take us years into the future. If I’m not going to get more books in the series, this is my favorite way to wrap them up. So Alina & Mal get their HEA. Married. No one knows who they are. They (predictably) buy the orphanage. And they maintain contact with all their BFFs (including King Nikolai). The end.

Yes. It was perfectly wrapped up like a little present. I was kind of annoyed by that. It was almost too perfect. I DID like that they ended up back at the orphanage. However, I was more interested in Nikolai and the other Grisha. I didn't really care for more Alina and Mal.

Let’s hope we get a few glimpses of them in The Dregs (SO EXCITED!!!)

Okay. Rate this book! How many stars do you give it and why?

5+. I absolutely adored this book. I will most definitely be reading it again. I honestly can’t think of anything I didn’t enjoy about it-even the small issues I had with it, which aren’t many-are overshadowed by the rest of the book’s sheer awesomeness. Bardugo will definitely always be on my auto-buy list.

I agree. I give this book a 5. It was the best in the trilogy. I never once tired of it. It had me going from the first page to the last page. Even though my dearest Aleksander didn't survive (and Mal did), I still loved (almost) everything about it! Bardugo did not disappoint.

And there you have it! Our first ever joint-review. Thanks for sticking with us through all of our questions and rambley answers. Chime in below in the comments to let us know your thoughts on the book!

Hope you guys enjoyed! Maybe we'll do another one of these sometime soon.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cookie Covers: The Grisha Trilogy Edition

So, in case you somehow missed it, we're having an entire Grisha themed week this week. Which leads me to today's post.

When I first decided to start making cookies based on book covers, THESE covers are the reason why. I love, love, love them so much. They're absolutely gorgeous, and I'm happy to say they translated exactly how I imagined into cookies.

So without further ado....


And enter the rafflecopter on this page HERE to win them!

PS. Make sure you're following me on twitter to win these:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR!

 TTT is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Look! Posts! TWO days in a row! Huzzah! We're glad to be back, and will hopefully get back to our normal posting schedule now. In case you missed it, we're super excited about the release of Ruin & Rising, so we're having an entire week of related posts to celebrate it-including a giveaway (which you can check out HERE.) On to this week's topic: Our Summer TBR! Check out our selections below!
 Well. Seeing as how it's Grisha Week here, I better start out with the obvious...

1. Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo. As I'm writing this I am anxiously awaiting my email notifications to tell me that it has been delivered to my kindle. Upon which I will start devouring it. Who needs sleep? (This is also why you aren't getting any pretty cover pictures from me today. #dealwithit)

2. Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I've fangirled over Rowell many, many times on this blog. And I'm sure I will again. IT'S A BOOK ABOUT A MAGIC PHONE!

3. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. I read the sneak peek chapters of this and OMG I WANT THE REST OF IT NOW.

4. Deliverance by CJ Redwine. I am super excited about this series ender. Can't wait to see what CJ does with Rachel in this final installment.

5. On the Fence by Kasie West. I love all of her books. I'm sure I'll love this one as well.

Honorable Mention: I'm about halfway through Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon. This book is a beast. I'll finish it as soon as I'm done with R&R.
Hello, hello. Long time, no blog. We're back and I'm so stoked about to release of Ruin and Rising! Team Darkling (can I get an amen?!) Anywho, I have quite a few books on my TBR list but I managed to narrow it down to five. Here they are...

1. Written in My Own Hearts Blood by Diana Gabaldon. Lindsay already has a jump on this one. I've been holding off because I need to be able to dedicate AT LEAST one full month to get through it without any other reading distractions. 

2. The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove. Any book that has ANY sort of time travel plot always gets me. The premis to this one really grabbed my attention.

3. The Young World by Chris Weitz. Distopian New York City ran by teens? Please God... please let this book be a modern version of Lord of the Flies! 

4. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. Um ... Matthew Quick wrote "Silver Linings Playbook" which is a wonderful book and was turned into an amazing movie. (Jennifer Lawrence! Am I right?) I'm excited to read more of Mr. Quick's work.

5. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. I need more contemporary young adult fiction in my life. I've been stuck in fantasy land for a while now. 

That's it! What's on ya'lls lists?  

It's Grisha Week!!

It's Grisha Week here on The Broke Book Girls!!

We are HUGE fans of this series, so we thought we'd take an entire week to celebrate just how much we love it! So we have an entire week of  fun planned!

Monday: Intro post & Giveway Announced (which is what you're reading now)

Tuesday: TTT - Summer TBR - what better way to kick off summer than reading R&R?

Wednesday: Twitter Giveway! Make sure you're following me for this one! @brokebookgirls

Thursday: Grisha Quiz! Time to brush up on your knowledge of all things Grisha

Friday: Joint Review of R&R and the Giveaway Winner Announced! Sarah & I will be attempting our first joint review, plus find out who wins the prize pack (see rafflecopter below)

We're super excited for this week & we hope you are too!

Plus we figured what better way to celebrate (and hopefully get us back in to the habit of blogging in general!) than with a giveaway!

That's right! We have a giveway to go along with Grisha week! Check out the rafflecopter below to enter!

And just what do these cookies look like?!? Check them out HERE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US only!

Thanks for stopping by & I hope you're as excited about Grisha Week as we are!