Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

[Re]Reading Along The Lunar Chronicles: Cinder

            This month was the beginning of the Lunar Chronicles [Re]Read Along #TLCReadAlong hosted by BookAddictsGuide. I was so excited that someone hosted this because I was thinking of reading a book a month leading up to the release of Winter, but I am a terrible self-motivator and this is so much more fun. It was also doubly awesome that I got to read Cinder this month because we read it for our last book club of the summer. I even made pumpkin breadlettes for the occasion. The only downside was that Christina and I only had a week to read it and we were sharing one copy of the book (we loaned out her copy). We passed the book back and forth the whole week with her sometimes toting it to work in a biblecase (Hey, it’s a nice copy).

            This is my third time reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer so I thought I’d post some of my favorite things about it.

IKO – You can’t beat Iko. This little android had so much life in her she’s the best character of the book!

FLIRTING – I absolutely love the flirting between Cinder and Kai. You know they are attracted to each other but it’s not instalove because while they do like each other they both know there are way too many obstacles for them to be together. Faster than a slow burn but not quite instalove. I find them more adorable every time I read the book!

PUMPKIN – I can’t be quite sure that I never noticed it before and just forgot, but I was so excited when I discovered that Cinder’s car was an old, orange VW Bug! It’s totally perfect and fits so well as “Cinderella’s Pumpkin!” I really couldn’t stop talking about it, I loved the visual so much!

            Scarlet is the next book in the [Re]Read Along and I can’t wait! It’s so hard to only read one book a month instead of all at once, but I think I like it better this way. It prolongs the enjoyment of the Lunar Chronicles and hopefully I won’t forget as many details when I finally get to Winter.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

HP MOTW (9): Books I'd Recommend To Draco

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a weekly meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows

 Which books would you recommend to Draco?

At first I thought this question would be really hard. How would I know what books to recommend to a fictional character?! But then I started thinking about books that had Slytherin characters in them. Some of them are the main characters, some are villains, but either way they are Slytherins through-and-through.

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1) by Moira Young
Saba can be cold, selfish, and cunning, but she also is very protective of her brother (and later) her sister. She's a Slytherin who goes after what she wants and has good intentions even if things end up going terribly wrong because of her actions. I think Draco could definitely relate to Saba.

Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson
The main villain, Steelheart, is a near-immortal superhuman (called an Epic) who becomes a tyrant. Basically, it's a world where a Voldemort-like character won the war without much of a fight.
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)
If the Darkling isn't a Slytherin, I don't know who is.

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins
There's a lot of Slytherins in this series. I think some arguments could be made for Gryffindor, but, for the most part, anyone who is playing the game (Katniss, Haymitch, Cato, Finnick, Joanna, Snow, Coin, etc.) is a Slytherin. Again, I think Katniss' loyalty to her family would be relatable to Draco.

Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White 
Fia is made a Slytherin through her circumstances. Because of the world she is in she's forced to become something she wishes she wasn't so she can protect her sister. Now that I think about it, I would totally ship Draco/Fia :D

One For the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) by Janet Evanovich
Okay, this one is just kind of a joke. I don't think that Stephanie is a Slytherin. I would just recommend this to Draco to see his face when he is reading it. It would be HILARIOUS! Spandex, big hair, car explosions, Grandma Mazur...What a way to be introduced to Muggle culture. LOL

Thursday, July 16, 2015

HP MotW (8): Who Would My Hogwarts Boyfriend Be?

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a weekly meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows

If I went to Hogwarts, who would my boyfriend/girlfriend be?

You would not believe that amount of thought that I put into this question. I don't like the idea of fictionally dating a fictional character that would be a part of a fictional couple, so that narrowed it down a lot. And just because I love a character doesn't mean we would be good together. For example, I considered George Weasley (who doesn't love a guy with a sense of humor?) but then I realized that would be a disaster because I am not a practical joker, nor do I like practical jokes in real life. And as much as I love quidditch, I don't love it as much as Oliver Wood, so there is a relationship doomed to fail. There's also the fact that I'm a Slytherin, so the houses that I would interact with socially and number of people who would be prejudice against me limit my choices considerably.

Like I said, I put way too much thought into this... It's sort of pathetic really.

So, who did I finally decide would by my Hogwarts boyfriend? ... drum roll, please... Terry Boot!

He is a Hogwarts student, I promise. He's a Ravenclaw, was a part of the DA, and is generally a background character that doesn't matter. That's why I picked him. I couldn't make all the details match up with the other characters, so I picked a character I knew very little about. Out of all the houses, Ravenclaws are on the best terms with Slytherins, and I'd get along great with a character who's a booknerd.

So, that's my answer. I know it's kind of boring, but I couldn't come up with anything else. I really do take these things too siriusly ;)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My Harry Potter Collection

Harry Potter Month is hosted by Faith at Geeky Zoo Girl and Micheline at Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The event runs throughout the month of July in honor of The Boy Who Lived's birthday. You can find out more about it here.

I've wanted to do a post which showed the fruit of my HP obsession for a while now. Harry Potter Month seems like the perfect time to showcase all the HP stuff I've collected over the years. I am also really proud of the fact that most of these items I found at yardsales, thrift stores, flea markets, etc. I'm not posting a picture of my books because they look the same as every traditional Scholastic HP books.

The booklet at the top is a crazy cool planner/notepad/address book that was made for the year 2003. The Chocolate Frog pin actually opens up and has a inedible chocolate frog that smells like chocolate (YUM!). My Deathly Hallows Necklace, a HP ornament, and a stamp booklet (they're still selling them at post offices in the US).

I felt kind of dorky buying these, but I couldn't help myself. And yes, I have worn the big backpack to a college class before. 

 My sister bought me the bookmark and posterbook and I am eternally grateful to her for them. I haven't used either of the journals yet, but I'll figure something out.   

 The trivia game is pretty awesome but I never got the chance to play HP Clue because it's missing the Vanishing Cabinet card. I know, I find it ironic also.

 These were part of my Luna Lovegood costume that I wore to the Deathly Hallows pt. 2 midnight showing. The bag I found later and has no HP connection other than the fact that I thought that's what Hermione's beaded bag should look like.

 I finally finished my collection of hats this year! I was so proud of myself when I finished the Gryffindor hat because IT ACTUALLY RESEMBLED A HAT, despite being too big. I thought, here's something I can do better than Hermione :) (pattern here)
The scarf was made by an awesome friend of mine <3

 The binder I bought for $2 at a yardsale and contains someone's collection of articles related to HP and goes back as far at the PoA movie. I'm also in love with that pop-up book.

 A T-shirt, a misspelled Syltherin(e) picture frame that I made, a crochet Buckbeak (pattern here), and what was supposed to be the Sorting Hat (pattern here).

Here's a collection of my HP related books.

 So, there it is. I'm hoping to one day have a bookshelf that I can devote just to my HP books and all the random things I've collected and made. Until that happens, I'll continue to add to my collection.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

HP MotW (7): Favorite Lupin Moment

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a weekly meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows

Favorite Remus Lupin Moment? 

This is a tough question because Lupin is such a great character and I love reading any scenes that have him in it. That being said, I couldn't pick any other scene than when the DADA class covered boggarts. I love how nice and encouraging he was to Neville when Snape publicly humiliated him in front of the class. And then there's the perfect moment when the boggarts turns into Snape and then with a "Riddikulus!" he's wearing Neville's grandmother's clothes. Even though Lupin doesn't hold a grudge against Snape, I'm sure Moony couldn't help but laugh.

Also, it's not really a "moment", but I love how whenever a dementor is around he always gives chocolate to everyone around. Now that's an awesome professor.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

HP MoTW (6): One Thing I'd Change

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a weekly meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows

If you could change one thing in book one, what would it be?

Okay, this is really weird, but I wish Hagrid hadn't give Dudley a pigs tail. It feels like a fairly cruel addition to the book. If I remember correctly, in the book Hagrid did it not because Dudley was eating Harry's cake (movie) but because he was angry at Mr. and Mrs. Dursely. Which means he's punishing Dudley for the parents he has just like Harry was punished for being the son "those people". I know the scene is funny and uses the magical cliche of turning people into animals, but I wish Hagrid would have reversed it or something. Then maybe the scene wouldn't feel tainted to me and it would still leave intact the ongoing jokes about it in the series.

This is only something that started bothering me recently. I guess that is why adults shouldn't analyze children's books, I take things too seriously.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Sarah's Pick

This book was so awesome and funny, I had the best time reading it. Great characters and plot and it's basically a stand alone (with one companion novel) which I don't tend to read a lot of.
Best and most favorite book of the year! This book was so beyond fantastic and can't even describe how much. A must read series for everyone!
The Fixer (The Fixer #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
 Great book, political thriller, awesome guys and tough, sassy chicks!

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows
I really enjoyed this book, it was fun to read, kinda creepy and had a really swoon worthy vigilante! What's not to love? 

Rook by Sharon Cameron
Just read this book and it was fun! It gives a nod to The Scarlet Pimpernel (which I read right after this) and it has daring deeds and smoochy guys! 

Christina's Pick
 The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
A fun and light read that I fell in love with. I need more cheerful books in my life and I'm so glad I found this one :)

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Great characters and a fantastic plot which will make you go "WHAT?!" at least twice.

 All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter
I fangirled so much after finishing this book and it resulted in a book hangover. It's written by Ally Carter. Of course it's awesome!

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson
There are so many great things about this book. Elise's grown so much and the world building is still amazing and the romance... I shipped it from page one <3

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
You thought Kiss of Deception on good? Just wait until you read the sequel. It will blow your mind!

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 5 May 2015
Rating: 5 STARS!!!!
When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.
- Summary from Goodreads
I've been noticing lately that I'm seriously lacking in the "cheerful book" department. I know it's my own fault, but I've never been a huge fan of contemporaries so I don't try out many. But I've had a bit of a sweet tooth lately and wanted something, well, sweet to read so I got this. I'm so glad I did! I needed this book in my life. I needed the cute fluffy romance and the funny lighthearted story... I could have done without Jules, but hey, every story needs a villain. Now all of Kasie West's books are on my TBR list.

The Fill-In Boyfriend begins with Gia being dumped by Bradley because she's more interested in her friends seeing him than him actually being there. She then convinces a guy to pretend to be her date. She is controlling and slightly eccentric in the beginning, but she isn't mean. Gia is kind of clueless and doesn't understand how others see her, but her character grows throughout the novel and I love her for it.

And, of course, there is Fill-In Bradley. He's so dreamy! I totally fell in love with him. He's just so nice and sweet and he wears nerdy t-shirts that Gia doesn't understand. They create a strong friendship out of these odd circumstances and it shows how much they belong together. Gia also becomes friends with his sister, Bec. Even though things are rough for them at the beginning they end up getting along really well.

Many aspects of the plot become themes but none that take center stage and shout "Hey! I'm the main theme!" at the reader. Instead, ideas are casually introduced which become more important later. It doesn't call attention to itself, it is simple and realistic. It makes it feel like real life.

The Fill-In Boyfriend is perfect for a rainy day or a day at the beach. Let's be honest here, it's pretty much perfect for any day you are looking for a short adorable romance to brighten your day.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Strange and Ever After Blog Tour: Fancast & Giveaway

I'm so excited to be a part of this blog tour to celebrate the release of the Strange and Ever After paperback! It's always fun to imagine who would be perfect to play my favorite characters so I'm fancasting the series for the blog tour.

What do you think of my choices? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Tell me what you think either way.

Don't miss checking out the other wonderful posts on the blog tour!

Sunday, June 21st:
Ellen @ YA Bookish News - Gushworthy Scenes with Daniel Sheridan & Eleanor Fitt
Monday, June 22nd:
CJ @ Sarcasm and Lemons – Fancast/Playlist
Blog link:

Tuesday, June 23rd:
Liran @ Hearts and Crowns – Playlist
Blog link:

Wednesday, June 24th:
Samantha @ And Then Celaena Set The World On Fire. – Playlist
Blog Link:

Thursday, June 25th:
Zoey @ Uncreatively Zoey – Throwback Thursday
Blog link:

Friday, June 26th:
Christina @ Between Bookends – Fancast
Blog link:

Saturday, June 27th:
Kim @ Dreaming in Libraries – TBD
Blog link:

Sunday, June 28th:
Adriyanna @ Adriyanna K. Zimmerman – SS&D review
Blog link:

Monday, June 29th:
Laura @ Under a Mound of Books – ADS&L review
Blog link:

Tuesday, June 30th:
Kelly @ Audeamus. Let us dare. – S&EA review

The giveaway runs from June 21-July 10 and is either a SS&D book (U.S. only) or SS&D eBook (International).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: The Fixer (The Fixer #1)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Source: ARC - received a copy from the publisher at NTTBF which does not in any way influence my review of the novel.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Publication Date: 7 July 2015
Rating: 5 STARS!
When sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick is sent to live with her older sister, Ivy, she has no idea that the infamous Ivy Kendrick is Washington D.C.'s #1 “fixer,” known for making politicians' scandals go away for a price. No sooner does Tess enroll at Hardwicke Academy than she unwittingly follows in her sister's footsteps and becomes D.C.'s premier high school fixer, solving problems for elite teens.

Secrets pile up as each sister lives a double life. . . . until their worlds come crashing together and Tess finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy with one of her classmates and a client of Ivy's. Suddenly, there is much more on the line than good grades, money, or politics, and the price for this fix might be more than Tess is willing to pay.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for more in this exciting new series.
- Summary from Goodreads
I was so incredibly lucky to get an ARC from the publisher at the North Texas Teen Book Festival and I was even able to get it signed! It was the first copy of The Fixer that Jennifer Lynn Barnes had signed and that made it even more special. The thing that topped off the perfection was that The Fixer is an amazing book!

I knew from page 8 that it was going to be a great when Tess embarrasses a history teacher for bullying another student, using both history and Shakespeare as her weapons. I started to love her then, but the truth was I hadn’t seen anything yet. Tess is smart, resourceful, and is great at making allies (and enemies) even if she doesn’t know it. I’ve heard this book compared to Veronica Mars and I think it works. Tess doesn’t have the same snarky attitude as Veronica, she’s more serious, but I found the way that she created the relationships around her to be similar to VMars. They are friendships that are built in hard times and become stronger for it. I loved all of the characters and I can’t wait to get to know them more.

Tess’ relationship with her sister, Ivy, is complicated to say the least. The age gap and the fact that Tess feels like Ivy abandoned her certainly doesn’t make for a good relationship, but I kept wanting them to work things out and to form that connection that they both need. I really like Ivy, you could tell she was just trying to make amends and protect her sister. Unfortunately for her, Tess has a habit of finding trouble. Ivy also has a group of people that she works with. One of which is Adam and the other (my favorite character!) is Brodie, Ivy’s driver/bodyguard/criminal. It’s one of those awkward moments as an adult reading YA when you get a crush on the older guy. It happens, I’m not ashamed of it!

There was absolutely no romance in this book and, to tell you the truth, it didn’t need it. The plot itself and the character relationships carried it all on their own. I’m not saying that I would object if there was any romance in the later books (because I totally wouldn’t), but with everything going on in The Fixer, I didn't miss it. There is just so much AWESOMENESS in this novel I can't even address half of it in this review. The last 100-pages has so many revelations and it is intense and emotional and I will admit to tearing up a couple of time… okay, maybe it was a little more than just tearing up. It seems like the Political Thriller genre is getting a lot more attention in the YA world and is becoming one of my favorites.

The Fixer is an intense novel with fantastic and loveable characters that will keep surprising you until the very end. This book is, without a doubt, one of the best books of the year. I would highly recommend it to everyone.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Life as an ENG Major: 10 Things I Learned My First Year

A few months ago I finished my first year as an English major. I'm learning so much and there's so much to think about that I decided to write some posts about life as an ENG major. I really enjoy it and I can't imagine majoring in anything else, but there were somethings I had to get used to and other things that I had to just accept. Here's a list of 10 things I learned my first year as an English major.

You are not going to like every book
As much as I want to love everything I read, the truth is that I probably like less than half of it. Some of it just isn't my type, while others are just really difficult for me to understand. The main thing is that I try to get SOMETHING out of what I read. Maybe it's a quote, an idea, or another example of a certain era or archetype.

10 page essays are not hard when you know & like the topic
I am dead serious. I was nervous the first time I had to write a 10 analytical essay, the only time I had written that much was for a research essay in a composition II class. That teacher made the point that since we were students our thoughts didn't matter, we were only supposed to write other sources' thoughts and cite them. When I finally got to write a paper on what I loved, I had a lot of fun with it!

Talk to your professors
When your taking classes in your major, you're going to see a lot of the same teachers. These people know their subjects and they know their field, if you have questions then ask them. Some teachers are more approachable than others, so choose the ones you feel most comfortable around. I once asked a teacher how Bleak House was first published and she talked to me for a half-hour about serialized publication of Victorian novels. It was awesome!

Everyone is prejudice towards some type of fiction
You don't like YA? Well, I don't like poetry. We're even. Although other students may not like the same books as you, all of you have a love the written word in common.

Literature teachers & Creative Writing teachers often define the term "literary" differently
First day of creative writing, my professor talked about what "literary" fiction was and why it's the only type of short story we're allowed to write. The same day my critical approaches to lit teacher wrote a bunch of book titles on the board which included Toni Morrison, Stephan King, and Twilight. She asked us which ones were "literary". The answer was all of the above.

If you want a job go into technical writing
This is something I hear all the time. I, of course, went into Literature and Creative Writing which means that I can get a job in law. I don't know why, but that's what the Literature department keeps telling me. Seriously. The reality is they just don't know what to do with us.

Literary criticism is hardcore nerdom
It may put you to sleep, but think of how much these writers study their book(s). I think it's awesome and that's why I actually enjoy reading and writing it.

Literature is everything
As a Literature major I'm not just studying books, I'm studying: history, philosophy, psychology, politics, religion, culture, and so much more. Books contain the world, and we get to study it.

Keep an open mind
You think you won't like a book or a class? Well, you might be wrong. You never know until you try.

Have Fun
Seriously, you're an ENG major. If you're not having fun then why didn't you pick something practical? It is school, so it's unrealistic that you're going to love every moment, but always try to enjoy what you are doing and what you are learning.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Top Ten Books On My Summer 2015 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Christina's Pick

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
After falling in love with a BBC show called Primeval and discovering that I actually like the Jurassic Park movie as well, I've come to realize that I'm a bit of a dinosaur nerd. I'm really hoping I like the book because it isn't my usual type, but I'm all for trying to find new books.

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
The fact that it sounds a lot like Revenge makes me want to read it. The fact that Sarah really liked it means that I'm likely to read it soon.
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
This is the only Brenna Yovanoff book I haven't read, and since I actually have it on my bookshelf, that needs to change.

The Shifter by Chris T. Acadian
Wibbly wobbly timey wimey... stuff. And it has amazing reviews on Goodreads.

Dracula by Bram Stoker
It's seriously embarrassing that I haven't read this yet. I heard someone present a paper on it at an undergraduate literature conference and realized that while I know vampire books, I don't know anything about the book Dracula. I'm sure I'm going to be surprised a lot when reading it.

Sarah's Pick
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
This is a book that I have been trying to read forever (and have even started it three times) but have yet to succeed. Maybe this summer.

The Falconer by Elizabeth May
Faeries, warriors, 1800's Scotland, yes please! This book sounds so awesome. I just recently got the audiobook so sometime this summer Christina and I plan to sit down with a craft project and listen to it.

Rook by Sharon Cameron
I just got this in from the library the other day and am really excited to read it! Ever since I've heard that it gives a nod to the Scarlet Pimpernel I have been highly anticipating it!

Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore
This is a companion novel to Texas Gothic which was one of my favorite reads this year. I just love the author's humor so I can't wait to see how this book is! 

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
I've seen this around for years but have never really paid much attention to it until recently and now after reading the summary I'm wondering why I've waited this long!