Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Favorites

Hey, everyone! I can't believe it's already the end of June (or Sunday for that matter!) This month just flew by! Here are some favorites from this month!
Not pictured: Perfect Scoundrels and Hex Hall 
Favorite Books
Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter (Review here)

Shades series by Maureen Johnson (Review of The Madness Underneath here)

Hex hall series by Rachel Hawkins (Review of Hex Hall up soon!)

Favorite Music
Kill your heroes- AWOLNATION
This song is my favorite of theirs that I've heard. I've become really fond of AWOLNATION recently.

Global concepts- Robert Delong
This song reminds me of my anthropology class I took over the summer. Plus, it's a really interesting song.

Cruise remix- Florida Georgia Line ft. Nelly

One of my friends declared this"The Song of Summer". And it's so ridiculous I can't help but agree.

"Cups (Pitch Perfect's "When I'm Gone") by Anna Kendrick
I've never seen the movie Pitch Perfect, but I really enjoy this song because it's just so catchy.

Trip to St. Louis to spend time with friends.
Got back into reading at the end of the month.
Not a favorite, but survived my first inventory at work.
Got my apartment!

Things I'm looking forward to in July
Spending the fourth with Kelly and possibly his family
Leaving for Philadelphia at the end of the month with Jessica!

What are some of your favorites from this month? Let me know in the comments! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Madness Underneath Review

Photo from Goodreads
Title: The Madness Underneath
Author: Maureen Johnson
Published: February 26th, 2013 by Putnam

Plot Summary from Goodreads:
After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she’s become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city’s secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it’s too late.

Maybe because I read this one right after reading the first book in this series, but this one felt a lot shorter than the first one. In fact, I just looked at my copies of both these books and this one is a little less than 100 pages shorter than the first. Well, that explains it. I do feel like less happened in it.

I feel like this book is divided into two parts. The first half is more related to what happened in the first book and the second half felt like it was setting up for the final book (release date not until 2014 =[ ). And while I am still really upset about the ending, I also felt this book went from not much happening to everything happening at once. 

There were several new characters introduced, and not to give too much away but I was suspicious about a few of them from the start. And while I would like more of an explanation on their motives, I'm looking forward to seeing them again in the final book. 

I adored Rory in the first book, but in this one, she got on my nerves a little bit. She had been through a lot in the first book, and I think she was still recovering in this book and dealing with a lot of angst. And while angst is generally a no-no in young adult fiction, I think this a time where angst was accurately depicted. Teenage years are full of angst, especially if you're dealing with extraordinary things. Just ask Harry Potter. 

Overall, while I didn't love this book as much as I loved the first book, I did really like it and I will definitely be reading the last one when it comes out! 

P.S. With the death of GFC, you can now follow my blog on Bloglovin! Check it out! 
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hey, everyone! I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday in forever, so I thought I would give it a shot this week. BUT, since I haven't read that much in 2013, I thought I would do the one from last week, Top Ten Books at the Top of my Summer TBR list.

1. The Diviners by Libba Bray
I have been wanting to read this book for forever, so when I found a copy at Half-Priced Books at the beginning of the summer, I decided to buy it! I really enjoyed Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy and I want to read more of her books.

2. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
E&E is another book I've been really excited about for a really long time, and yet have not read it. Unfortunately, I do not own this one, so I will have to rely on the library for it. It reminds me of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series, and since I adore Ally Carter's books, I think I will like this.

3. The Elite by Kiera Cass
I really liked The Selection, but I've only recently become very excited about The Elite. One night, I was trying to decide what to read next, and I really wanted to read this. But I am only number four on hold for my library so I must wait.

4. The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales
I'm really excited for this movie, but my inner nerd tells me I must read the book first before I see it. However, procuring this book will be rather difficult as it would appear neither of my libraries carry the book.

5. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld 
I borrowed this book from my boyfriend ages ago... and still haven't read it.

6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I started this at the beginning of the summer and have yet to finish it, so I'm planning to soon!

7. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
I bought this for my Nook when it was on sale, and haven't read it. I'll do this occasionally.

8. How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer
I read Smart Girls Get What They Want last winter and absolutely loved it! (I also love the new covers!). So I figured I'd give another of her books a shot!

9. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I saw a review of this on the Perpetual Pageturner's blog ages ago and it sounded like something I would love, so I picked up at the library and I'm really excited to read it!

10. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
Truthfully, this is the one I will probably read next, as I'm a currently halfway through Demonglass and am hoping to pick it up at the library tomorrow.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Perfect Scoundrels Book Review

Picture from Goodreads
Hey, everyone! Here's an old-fashioned book review for you. As one of my goals in June was to read more, I figured it wouldn't hurt to review one of the books I read recently.

I recently read Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter, and like all Ally Carter books I really enjoyed it. It follows the adventures of Kat Bishop and her crew as they attempt to pull of the biggest heist of all time. However, this time it's the Hales who need their help, whether the new heir knows it or not.

I really enjoy the dynamic between Kat and Hale, and even though their relationship is tested throughout the novel, which only shows it's strength. There are really no extraneous events in this book, everything is related and ties together in the end. Plenty of action and character development, but not cliche in the slightest.

One thing I really like about Ally Carter's books is that they are very easy to fly through, and they are never boring. There is always something going on in the story and it keeps it interesting.

The ending did leave me satisfied, and while I am confident that this is the end of the series, I wouldn't mind seeing more from the Heist Society world.

Overall, I would recommend this book/series to readers who enjoy action-packed reads, and if you like Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series, you should give this a shot.

Also, Carter has just sold a new series called Embassy Row that will be out in 2015!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Doing vs. Creating and Inspiration

Hey, everyone! I though I would share this video with you today! It talks about how we spend our time: doing vs. creating. I don't know about you, but I realize I spend a lot of my time doing. Sitting on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, browsing online shops, etc. Not to mention doing homework and working. But I am not my happiest when doing all the things. I find that I get a lot of satisfaction out of creating something, which is the primary reason I started blogging. However, my main problem is inspiration is at a low point for me, and has been for the past year. It can be difficult to get back into the swing of things when you have no ideas. 

It really reminds me of a conversation I had with a coworker last fall. He's a graphic design major and was taking I think three or four studio classes (they generally recommend you only take two, he tells me). Anyway, we were talking about about how we couldn't wait for the semester to be over. "Yeah, I'm so creatively exhausted," is what he told me. I understood what he was saying at the time, but I think I understand it more fully now. 

The thing about inspiration is that it can strike from anywhere. Like, when I clicked on this video, I didn't think I was going to be writing a blog post about it. And yet, here I am. 

What about you? Do you find yourself doing more or creating more? Which makes you happiest? Tell me in the comments. 

P.S. If you like this video, you should check out her channel. It's good stuff! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fiona Watches: A Dream in Doubt

Movie poster found on Google Search
I'm usually not a big fan of documentaries, but for my summer class I've had to write a response to a fair few.   I'll admit, usually, I don't watch the full thing. However, the one this week left a particular impression on me.

This week it was "A Dream in Doubt" and it was really good. The way it opened really sucked me in and it made me want to keep watching.  It's about a family of Sikhs who have come to America from India in pursuit of religious freedom. However, after the attacks on 9/11, this family starts being terrorized because to the average American eye, they bare some resemblance to the bombers. It opens with the murder of the oldest brother, taking place only four days after 9/11. It then follows the family through the events of the next few years.

I personally found this very interesting because I was unaware of the hate crimes that occurred after 9/11. And it made me all kinds of sad that there is so much hate in the world. It really motivated me to do what I can to make it so there is less hate in the world.

What I found most interesting about this film was Rana's own beliefs about America. He discussed how much he loved America because of its equality. And he wants to work for that equality. So that everyone can feel safe.

Overall, I really enjoyed this documentary. It held my attention the entire time, and I would recommend to anyone interested in learning about other religions and equality. You can find to watch online on Hulu. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Things I Love Thursday: Pinterest

Hey, everyone! I've seen this feature on a few blogs before and thought I would give it a shot this week! I'm only going to do one item a week though.

Pintrest: I go back and forth about Pintrest. Sometimes I'm super excited about it, repinning all kinds if things.  Other times, I'm pretty inactive and every time I get on I say, "Ehh..." However, recently, I've been loving it! Here are some of my favorite pins I've recently repinned:
Found here I really want to try doing this sometime!

This one is difficult, but I am trying! Found here

Something to remember. Found here
I want to try this soon! Found here
This is perhaps one of my favorite quotes Found here
As you can see, I really like quotes with an interesting background-not sure if that is actually what Pintrest is intended for. I do repin some crafts, but I never get around to actually doing them, since I'm not very crafty.

Do you have a Pintrest account? What are you loving this Thursday?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June Goals

My planner for the month of June
I'm a pretty goal oriented person. I like to make goals and I like to achieve them. One issue I've always had with summertime is that I find it difficult to make more concrete goals. Hence, why today I am blogging about my goals for the month of June. I only have four this month, but two of them are more difficult ones. Here we go:

1. Read more books
Last summer, I feel like I did nothing but read and work. This summer has been a different story so far. I've been in a bit of a book funk for awhile, but I think I'm slowly snapping out of it. However, I'm having trouble deciding WHAT exactly to read next so if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments.

2.Eat out less
I've been trying to keep better track of when I spend my money and how I spend my money and I've noticed I spend a lot of money eating out simply because I'm too lazy to pack a lunch or cook. I'm hoping to cut back on this to only eating out for special occasions or with friends.

3. Create a resume
I would like to create a resume so I can have one on file, that way when I start applying for jobs and internships, I'll only need to update it.

What are you June Goals?