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Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger Book Review

Class is back in session...
Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style--with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what--or who--they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine's proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.

This is an addicting and hilarious book. I've read the previous two books in this series and I'm thinking that this one has been the best so far, the others have been good but I really devoured this book and couldn't and didn't want to put it down. It starts off pretty exciting and keeps the pace up pretty well, or so I thought, and then about halfway through or so it kicks it up a notch! The plot was brilliant, the way things melded together and things from the previous books came into play, this book ended up tying a lot of mysteries together for the characters.

Speaking of characters, I think the author has done an amazing job with these characters. I honestly wasn't worried about how long it had been since I had read the previous book because I already remembered them very easily. She has very distinctive characters and they all have cool names, Sophronia for one, Agatha, Dimity and Soap for some others. I loved it. I also loved their personalities. It's the perfect mix of witty humor hidden behind the polite front of the time period. I felt like I was stepping back in time reading this book. The fashion, the inventions (although they are a bit more advanced), the language...everything. The author did a great job with the way the characters spoke and acted. I loved the writing style a lot, it took a little longer to read perhaps, because you want to understand what is going on, but because of what's happening in the story and the fact that it isn't very hard means that you aren't slowed down much.

I thought this book kept the previous vibe of steampunk-ness, espionage in such a fashionable way, and the interesting world-building was kept perfectly and added a lot to the story. It's a nice mix and makes it just odd enough. ;)

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think it's my favorite in the series. It was a wonderful mix of manners, wit, and adventure with supernatural creatures and interesting gadgets thrown in. Perhaps even a bit of coming of age, a hint of romance, and politics too. Sophronia is a delightful character and I loved her spunk. A bit ourtrageous, dangerous, and flirtatous... she's perfect! Highly recommend it and I cannot wait for the next book. I'm giving Waistcoats & Weaponry 5 out 5 flowers. 
Sara Bennett, someone more likely to be found in bed, curled up with a good book, than out at a sports game or gig (although she's pretty addicted to music too). Hoping for a better world, believing in her Savior, daydreaming of One Direction, hanging out with friends, or where she may be...there's always a little voice inside wondering if it's almost time to return to the books sitting on her shelf. In short, an average young woman with a book in hand and a dream to write one day.

Sisterhood of the World Book Bloggers Tag Part 1

Thank you so much to both Lili from Lili's Reflections and Em from The YA Book Butterfly for nominating me to do this tag! If you're not already following their blogs, you definitely should! They're both amazing bloggers. I decided to split the tag into two parts, since there were two sets of questions. I'll have my responses to Em's questions up sometime later this month or next month :) Here are my responses to Lili's:

1) When and why did you start blogging? 
Back in 2011, I stumbled across The Book Barbies blog while searching for a review of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. I hadn't even known book blogs existed before that and I thought it was so cool that there was a way to share your opinions of books with other book lovers. I ended up starting The Book Belles a few months after discovering The Book Barbies and several great experiences have come out of it.

2) What is your favorite genre and why? 
I absolutely love the contemporary genre! I think the reason for this is due to the fact that I enjoy reading about characters who have relatable life experiences. I also think that some of the best stories are the ones that could possibly happen in life today. 

3) Recommend a book that you love that you think deserves more hype.
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock is an amazing novel! The werewolf aspect is done very well and in a more unique way than typical in young adult novels. Also, I can't recommend Smart Girls Get What They Want enough :) 

4) Aside from reading, what are your favorite hobbies?
I love seeing movies and going shopping with my friends. I don't have a lot of free time, but when I do, that's what I tend to do (besides reading). 

5) Top 3 books you have ever read? 
This is completely impossible, but since I have to pick, I'll say Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer, and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. They are all amazing reads, if you haven't yet read them :)

6) Who are your favorite authors and why?
Jennifer Armentrout and Kasie West are two of my favorites. Jennifer puts out so many great novels and I'm especially in love with her latest series, The Dark Elements. Roth is one of my favorite book boyfriends by her. Kasie West, on the other hand, never ceases to put out books that put a smile on my face. Her contemporaries are especially adorable.

7) What is the best book you have read so far this month?
Whatever Life Throws at You was my first read by Julie Cross, and I ended up loving it. It's a truly memorable read and it does a great job at crossing between the young adult and new adult genres.

8) What book is responsible for making you the reader you are today?
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand was the book that got me into reading YA. After reading a great review for it on The Book Barbies (one of the first book blogs I ever discovered), I picked up a copy of the novel and immediately fell in love with it. From then on, I've read all the YA I can get my hands on :)

9) Do you collect anything other than books?
Does bookish swag count? ;) I actually do collect ticket stubs from various movies and concerts I go to and compile them in a ticket book that I've had for a few years.

10) Tell us a weird fact about yourself that we probably wouldn't know.
This isn't particularly weird, but I work at a movie theater, which is a lot of fun!

Teen Angst? Naaah... by Ned Vizzini Book Review

"The events in these stories are real. Some names have been changed so I don't get yelled at."
Ned Vizzini writes about the weird, funny, and sometimes mortifying moments that made up his teen years. With wit, irony, and honesty, "Teen Angst? Naaah..." invites you into his world of school, parents, street people, rock bands, friends, fame, camp, sex (sort of), Cancun (almost), prom, beer, Nintendo, the cool (and almost cool), and more. A Holden Caulfield for Generation Y, Ned Vizzini is an original voice to be reckoned with, read, and enjoyed.

All I Want for Christmas….

Ok. So I know Christmas is over a month away, but it snowed in my town today for the first time this year, the local radio station is already playing Christmas music, and winter break is calling my name. How can I not think about Christmas???
And Christmas means bookstore gift cards (because that's all I ask for)
And gift cards means more books! YAY!
So today I was thinking about some of the books I'm looking forward to getting this Christmas.

I cheated a little bit, because some of these books won't be out by Christmas (ok most of them)…but let's just say I'll save the money until they come out.