Judith’s 2015 End of Year Survey

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How is it nearly 2016? What did I even do this year? Anyway, the fact that another year is nearly over means that it’s time, again, for Jamie‘s annual end of year book survey! This is my fourth time filling out this survey (check out 2012, 2013 and 2014) and, as always, it’s one of my favorite posts to write of the entire year. So let’s do this!

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Review: Dangerous Girls

Review: Dangerous GirlsTitle: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Genre/Age Group: Crime, Mystery, Young Adult
Source: Gifted
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...

my thoughts

Let me jump straight in and say that I think Dangerous Girls is a brilliant story where things are messy, boundaries are blurry and nothing is as it seems. It’s the story of Anna, who has landed in jail in Aruba after her best friend got brutally murdered. The story is told through short chapters that go from the present day, to the start of Anna and Elise’s friendship, to the earlier moments they spend on the island. I loved the way it was told, because even though jumping timelines don’t always work for me, I had no problem following it in Dangerous Girls. I also just love how the characterization is dealt with, because pretty much every character is terrible and not because they are antagonized, but because they are human and amazingly flawed. Like I said, things are messy in this book, and I found it refreshing (even when it made me angry at most of the characters for the most part of the book). As much as I love powerful, inspirational characters, I also love imperfect, at times unlikeable characters because they’re so much more relatable.

My favorite aspect of this story was Anna and Elise’s relationship, because like I said in the first sentence, boundaries are blurry. Anna and Elise are best friends but even though it’s never explicitly shown (nor should it be), I think it’s pretty obvious they are in love. I love the messiness of their relationship and I love how much they care about each other and “miles and miles” will forever kill me. I hate that Elise is the one who got killed and not Tate or Mel or something because I hated them, but this makes their love even more tragic because just think about what could have been! Anyway, speaking of Tate and Mel, they were terrible in an unlikeable way (for me personally), though I think that Mel was very underdeveloped as a character. I couldn’t care less about Tate, not when there was Anna and Elise for me to obsess over, but I found his presence to be very annoying, kind of like a fly buzzing around your head, but then the one that accidentally ruins lives and messes up everything that was ever good. I got a bit carried away with that last sentence and I don’t even know where I was going. I just hated Tate.

Another aspect I loved (and hated) was how well Abigail Haas shows the terrible realism of both the justice system and the media (the last one I’ve only ever seen as well-written in Something Real by Heather Demetrios), because both are the absolute worst. This is an aspect I actually really struggled with as well, because despite the fact that I clearly see that this book is fantastic and I couldn’t put it down and I have so much praise for it, I don’t think I actually enjoyed reading it that much because this book just made me so damn angry. Part of this is because someone spoiled the ending for me, although I honestly think that I would have guessed it because I thought it was pretty predictable, so I was super angry at everyone for constantly betraying Anna and treating her in the worst way possible (looking at you, you awful Dutch detective person with your German name) View Spoiler ». Like I said, even though I flew through this book, I also found it really hard to read because it made me so angry.

Anna and Elise forever.

memorable quotes

“It wasn’t as if I thought everyone would be lined up, protesting my innocence, but still, Clara’s show takes my breath away. I thought it would be more… balanced. Isn’t that what the news is supposed to do? Present both sides of the story, fairly, not jump to conclusions based on leaked information, and biased statements?”

“It’s still you and me; it’ll always be you and me!”

“Wouldn’t we all look guilty, if someone searched hard enough?”

Wallpaper Wednesday: Ruin and Rising

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It is another rainy day and I am procrastinating like a pro so I decided to make another wallpaper. This one is for my new favorite quote – “I am not ruined. I am ruination” – which is said by Genya in Leigh Bardugo’s Ruin and Rising. I love this quote so much because it’s about determining your own worth and making people pay for their crimes. I originally wanted to add the Ravkan “Na razrusha’ya. E’ya razrushost” as well but that would have been a bit too chaotic.

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iPhone 4 | iPhone 5 | iPhone 6 | Samsung Galaxy

The Thanksgiving Tag

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Hi friends! Happy Thanksgiving! I have much to be thankful for this year, including ALL OF YOU. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it celebrates 1) being with people you love, whether it’s your birth family or your family of choice; and 2) reflecting on things you’re thankful for. One of the greatest blessings in my life has been the book blogging community. This community is a “family of choice” to me, providing me with so many dear friendships, so I wanted to come up with a way to celebrate with all of y’all. That’s how I came up with the idea of the Thanksgiving Book Tag–this is just a way to have a little fun and talk about some of the books that we’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving. Oh, and it also allows me to talk about food, another of my great loves. Though I can assure you that this English Trifle will NOT be on my dinner table this year. ;)

Disclaimer: I conducted a search to make sure a tag like this didn’t already exist, so I wouldn’t neglect giving due credit. My search didn’t provide any results, but I apologize if someone has already had this idea and I didn’t see it.

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The Throne of Glass Book Tag

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This tag was created by the lovely Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and Hannah from So Obsessed With, two of my favorite people. Obviously anything Throne of Glass related ends up on this blog eventually, because we’re not letting this one slide by. We were tagged by both Alexa and Gillian to do this, so let’s get started!

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