Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Reads: The First

Hey everyone! So my original intention was to actually make a video for this post because I thought it would be fun. However, I just didn't get around to it because of work. So here's what I'm reading this week:

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
I'm liking this book. It reminds me a lot of Madame Bovary. A lot. Like every time I read a section, I think of Madame Bovary. That is just what happens. Here' s a quote so far that I like:

But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever leave emerge from such a beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult! 

I thought this section as a whole was really interesting because it's her starting to awaken. In spite of the fact I can only think of some other book, I'm still really enjoying this and hope to finish it next week.

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munroe
I've been reading this for awhile. I started it in the summer and have yet to finish it. It's a collection of short stories so I don't feel super bad about leaving it so late. I'm thinking about reading some stories after I finish The Awakening. 

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Basically, I'm going to go from reading one depressing book about women to reading another depressing book about women, This tells the story of Bertha Mason, Rochester's wife he locked in the attic in Jane Eyre. I've been wanting to read this forever, so I'm planning on starting it soon.

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

Hey everyone! I'm here again for Top Ten Tuesday, which as always is brought to us by Broke and Bookish. Today's list is the top ten books I've read in 2014.

1. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

2. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

3. Split Second by Kasie West

4. Let's Get Lost Adi Alsaid

5. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

6. The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West

7. Not So Quiet by Helen Zenna Smith

8. One of Ours by Willa Cather

9. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson 

10. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Overall, it was a rough reading year for me. I'm going to be lucky to finish the year out with 25 books read. Next year, I'm hoping to make more time for reading. Have you read any of these books? What were some of your favorites from 2014? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors of 2014

Hey everyone. Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us, as always, by the Broke and the Bookish. Today's the list is "New-to-Me Authors of 2014." Of course, I hardly read outside my coursework in 2014, but I do have some new favorite both from my courses and from reading for fun.

1. Dorothy Allison
I think in a lot of the posts I've written since last spring have mentioned her debut novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, but I thought I'd mention it again anyway. I cannot explain how much I enjoyed this book. It's just one of those books that stays with you. I bought her other novel Cavedweller, and I am so excited to read it soon.

2. Richard Yates
This is my other life-changing read from last spring, though I would say less to the extent than Dorothy Allison. Revolutionary Road made me think a lot and was an incredible reading experience. Sadly, I do not own more of his work, but I'm interested in reading more.

3. Morgan Matson
Early in summer, there was a lot of buzz around her new book Since You've Been Gone. I put it on hold at my local library and decided while I was still hyped, I would read Second Chance Summer since it's one of her earlier books. And it wrecked me. It just wrecked me. Definitely a fun summer read, especially if you enjoy crying.

4. Gayle Forman
Once upon a time, I bought a copy of If I Stay at my favorite used book shop because I heard it was good and I got on clearance so it was around $1.00. Flash forward to RT Convention in Kansas City where I awkwardly got my book signed even though I had never read it. Flash forward to last summer when the movie was coming out, and I thought to myself, "I should probably read If I Stay." I read it on my flight from Atlanta. And I cried.

What are some of your favorite authors you've read in 2014? let me know if the comments.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Music Monday

Hey everyone. For those of you who have finals this week, I hope those are going well. If you don't have finals, thank your lucky stars. For a change of pace, I thought it might be fun to share a couple songs I've been loving recently.

"Work" Iggy Azalea
Confession: Iggy Azalea is my girl. I don't have a definitive reason for liking her other than her songs are super catchy and a little motivational. "Work" is probably my favorite by her. I just find it incredibly motivating, especially during hectic times of the semester like finals!
Note: This video is a little explicit. Just a warning!

"Shut Up & Dance" Walk the Moon 
This song is also super catchy, and it's probably my favorite break song. It's just super fun to dance to, and it's the song I crank all the way up in my car while driving.

"Budapest" George Ezra
"Budapest" is a lot slower than the previous two songs, but I also really like driving to it. It's still catchy (apparently I only like catching songs) but a lot more melodic and relaxing, as opposed to the high energy of the last two songs.

What are some of your favorite songs right now? How are your finals going? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Finals Week

This is my finals week, meaning that instead of typing this I should be studying for my Business Law Final tomorrow. To be fair, I have studied at least half of the material that is going be on the final.

At least I only have one final per day. I've had weeks in previous semesters where I would have two sometimes even three finals per day.

After this week, I'll be fully into the holiday frenzy. Shoot, I'll be in it come Thursday when I go back to my retail job. I'm hoping to have more time for recreational reading and blogging. I have one book I absolutely must read for my Honors Project in the spring, but other than  that, I'll be able to read whatever I want. Hopefully, I will want. I miss reviewing books. But Alpha Sapphire has been taking up a lot of my times because y'know, I need to catch all of the Pokemon.

While studying, I've been listening to Iggy Azalea's New Classic, and while it's not the kind of music I'm usually into at all, I really like it. Just really catchy beats and a lot of her lyrics are about working hard to get where you want to be. My favorite track is probably "Work" because it's really fun to sing while working on homework.

If you have finals this week, good luck! Hopefully once my finals are over, I'll have some longer posts for y'all.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fall Semester

One day I will blog consistently.
And it won't just be about books.
While I'm planning my wedding
About healthy eating
Wearing leggings as pants.
As the semester is winding down, I'm realizing this will be my last fall semester.
And that I only have one semester left.
While I'm ready to be done with it all for awhile, I've also come to realize that we shouldn't rush our lives away.
So I'm going to try to enjoy my last semester.
At a school I've never loved
But was absolutely what I needed.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Why Emma Watson is Fantastic

I was seven when I started reading Harry Potter. Well, having it read to me. I loved it, but there was one character that stuck out in my mind and inspired me for years to come. That character is Hermione Granger.

Emma playing Hermione
(Source here)
If I had to attribute myself to one fictional character, it would be Hermione. Hands down, favorite character of all time. She's not afraid to show how smart she is, and she's not afraid to show her vulnerabilities.

I could go on about why Hermione is so fantastic, but you will notice this post is not titled, "Why Hermione Granger is Fantastic." No, this post is dedicated to the actress who portrays her. When the movies started to be released, I was finally able to put a face to a name, causing me to love Emma Watson as well.  But as I began to learn more about her, the more I began to realize she is just as fantastic as Hermione, if not more.

Like Hermione, Emma also values education, just having graduated from Brown University in May of 2015. (She was an English Lit major!) She has also gone on to act in numerous other films, like Perks of Being a Wallflower. Not only that, but she has used her status for good as well, being an ambassador to the UN. Recently, she has launched a campaign for gender equality called He for She. You can watch the video below.

The thing that amazes me so much about Emma Watson is that she is not that much older than myself, yet she seems a lot more mature. While I'm sure some of that is due to having a fantastic PR team, I do think she is remarkably levelheaded. She has been a inspiration to me for the past decade easily and I do not doubt she will continue to amaze us all for years to come.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin Book Review

Cover from Goodreads
Title: The Happiness Project, or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Author: Gretchen Rubin
Published: December 29, 2009 by Harper

Plot Summary:
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn't.

Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound.

Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.

Funny story: I actually began reading this last summer, just before I went to Philadelphia.My friend Katie recommended it to me, and I really wanted to read it. I got it from the library, I read about half of it, then I went on my trip. When I came back, my mom had returned it without me finishing it. And it took me another year to get the book again and start reading it again.

The concept of a happiness project itself was interesting enough to me, but I really enjoyed the way the author organized it. I realize this is nonfiction and she's not a "character", but I found her easy to relate to. I loved how thorough her research was before she began her project. It wasn't a half-hearted New Year's Resolution.She was committed to doing this project the entire year.

As for the project itself, there were some months I found incredibly interesting and helpful, others not so much. I really liked January, for instance, as I was fascinated on how she increased her energy. The chapters on friendships and books were also really interesting.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Reading nonfiction for a change was definitely fun, and if you are looking to branch out, I would definitely recommend this book as a jumping off point.

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? If not, what do you think about the idea of a happiness project? Is it something you would try? Let me know in the comments.

Note: Also, since the school year is starting back up again, this means I'll have less time for blogging again. However, I am hoping to get a post up every Saturday. Sometimes it will be a book review, sometimes it won't be.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson Book Review

Photo&Summary from Goodreads
Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Published: May 8th, 2012 by Simon & Schuster

Plot Summary:
Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

So I was at the library by my work, looking for Since You've Been Gone. They didn't have it, but they did have Second Chance Summer. I thought it might be fun to read some of her earlier book. Plus this looked like a fun summer read.

I was right, but I was also wrong. I enjoyed this book, it was a fun summer read, but it also wrecked me. I cried and I don't usually cry at books. I just related to the main character so much that I could easily put myself in her situation. It also didn't help that I had just hung out with my dad as well when I got to the ending.

However, that was what really drew me in at the end of the book. At the beginning of the book, I was reading for the mystery of what she did to make all of these people mad at her. While that was revealed and I can understand where those people were coming from, I felt Taylor built it up a lot more in her head.

I simply loved all of the characters. Like I said, Taylor was very easy to relate to. I also really liked Warren and their whole family dynamic. All of the characters were people I would want to hang out with, which is rare in books I read. While the romance wasn't too romancy, I felt it fit well within the book. It didn't overwhelm what the book was really about.

Overall, this book sold me on Morgan Matson. It was utterly fantastic. I would definitely recommend it for people who enjoy contemporary but don't want to just read romance. I will definitely be reading the rest of her work. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten (Six!) Characters I Would Want on a Desert Island with Me

Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is brought to us by the Broke and the Bookish.This week's topic is "Top Ten Characters I Would on a Desert Island with Me." I decided that my goal of having all these characters with me would to get off of the desert island.

1. Molly Murphy from City of Darkness and Light
Despite the problems I had with this book, Molly was not one of them. She would be very resourceful and help solve the mystery of how we got to the deserted island and how we would get off.

2. Nancy Drew from the Nancy Drew series
Same reason as above. Two heads are better than one. And afterwards, we could open a detective agency.

3. Addie from Pivot Point
While Addie would have great difficulty adjusting to deserted island life (so different from the Compound or Texas), she could always Search if needed to determine the best course of action.

4. Percy from the Percy Jackson series
Percy could help us build a raft and then sail it. With the help of his father Poseidon, we would be out of their in no time.

5. Annabeth from the Percy Jackson series
Annabeth is actually my favorite character from this series, and naturally if I'm going to bring her boyfriend, I might as well bring her. Plus, as a daughter of Athena, she would be very useful as well.

6. Katniss from The Hunger Games
I don't think we'll make it off of the island right away. Therefore, Katniss will be here to help us hunt and cook and just generally survive.

I'm probably forgetting someone who would be incredibly helpful but I think this team of six and I could do it!

Who would you take with you to a desert island? Let me know in the comments. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart Review

Photo from Goodreads
Title: Real Live Boyfriends
Author: E. Lockhart
Published: December 28th, 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Plot Summary:
She’s lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.

It's no secret that I absolutely love the Ruby Oliver series. She is probably one of the most relatable characters I have come across this year. In this novel, she is in her senior year and preparing college applications while still dealing with high school drama and the like. 

Her growth throughout this series has been phenomenal. I think of the character in the beginning of the series and the character in this book and they are remarkably different. I think this series accurately portrays the type of growth teens go through throughout their later high school years. When I look back at my life, sophomore year Fiona and senior year Fiona are so different. Ruby and her friends are the same way. 

In terms of the plot of this book, it's pretty similar to the other books. Ruby dealing with whatever life throws at her. I will say this one is a little more intense in what she deals with than high school drama. It's a really enjoyable story. I would definitely recommend this series if you enjoy contemporary young adult with funny interesting characters. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten (or Seven) TV Shows

Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is brought to use by The Broke and the Bookish. Today, we diverge from bookish topics to other types of stories. This topic is timed perfectly because I have been watching a lot of TV recently. Let's get started!

1. Warehouse 13
I love this show so much! It combines everything I love: sci-fi, history, humor. I'm on the fourth season right now and it's killing me not to watch it all. It's the show my fiance and I watch together so I feel bad watching it without him. Hopefully, we'll finish the season soon!

2. The Mindy Project
This is a show I just finished. I started watching it on Hulu then signed up for a free trial of Hulu+, in which I proceeded to binge watch both seasons. This show is so hilarious and I cannot wait until the next season.

3. Gilmore Girls
If I had to choose one show that had a profound influence on me as a youth, it would be this show. I started watching it when it started running on ABC Family and became obsessed. I own all of the seasons (this was pre-Netflix days, although it's STILL not on Netflix.) I'm actually planning on rewatching it soon.

4. Friends
This is another show that had a profound influence on me. One summer, I decided I was going to watch Friends every time it was on in order to see most of the episodes. And I did. My sophomore year of college, I would watch it in bed on Nick at Nite until I fell asleep  (or until George Lopez came on).

5. Parks and Rec
I enjoy the small town feel of this show, plus I admire Leslie Knope's ambition and determination.

6. Psych
I have been watching this show forever and it is absolutely hilarious! I haven't seen the last season yet, but I'm really excited about it!

7. How I Met Your Mother
After seeing the series finale, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this show. I went through a phase where I really liked it, but now with some distance, I think it's okay but not super fantastic! I put it on the list though, because at one time I really liked it.

Do we share any favorite tv shows? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Split Second by Kasie West Book Review

Photo from Goodreads
Title: Split Second
Author: Kasie West
Published: February 11, 2014 by HarperTeen

Plot Summary:
Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything

As someone who loved Pivot Point and loves Kasie West's writing, I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of Split Second. 

Dual perspectives doesn't always work; often the two perspectives sound the same to the point where the reader is confused on who is who. However, Laila and Addie are so different that it is impossible to be confused on who is who. Their stories are vastly different and come together perfectly. 

The Compound became a lot more fleshed out to me throughout this book. Also, seeing part of the book through Laila's perspective allowed me to better understand her and like her more. Duke also returned in this book, but  I think I like him less than I did previously. I still loved Addie and Trevor and loved seeing more of them. Connor was also a fantastic edition!  The love stories intertwined perfectly and the ending kept me reading. I don't know if there is a third book in the works but I would not be surprised in the slightest. There is still enough information left open that it was would be easy to write a third book. If there isn't though, the ending to this book would still be a good ending to the series. That's what I love about these books; they feel like they could be standalones but they are also connected for a series. 

If you liked Pivot Point or enjoy West's writing, I would definitely recommend Split Second. It has a little paranormalcy without having to learn a new universe. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Blogging Confessions

Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is brought to us by the Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is blogging confessions. I'm really surprised I actually have ten on this list; when I first saw the topic, I thought I would be lucky to have three. After researching this topic thoroughly, I think I have a list that is confession worthy. Note: Some of these are about books, some of them about blogging, and some of them are about book blogging.

1. I prefer library books over buying books.
If there is a book I'm unsure if I'll like or if I don't think I'll want to read it again, I would much rather use the library than buy the book. Buying books is expensive and I can't afford to buy every book I want to read. Which is why libraries are the best. I seriously don't understand why more book bloggers don't use them.

2. I prefer used over new.
When I do buy books, I much prefer to buy used over new books. Why? For one, it's less expensive, which allows me to buy more books withe the money I have allotted. Also, if I bought a new book, I'd want to keep it in pristine condition. Otherwise, I'd feel like I "ruined" it. For my sanity, it's just easier for me to buy used.

3. I write in books.
Gasp, the horror! I know. But it's an occupational hazard. If you don't bookmark a quote with a sticky, you'll never find it. Sometimes, if you sticky it but don't put some sort of indication of what exactly it is you're saving, you'll never find it. This is another reason I never buy new.

Book Blogging
4. Sometimes I don't feel like reading
This is a thing that happens. I read in spurts; I'll finish three books in a shorter amount of time, then I'll take a break and do something else. Sometimes I feel I don't read enough in comparison to other bloggers, but I have to remind myself it's okay not to spend every waking minute reading.

5. I get tired of YA
Don't get me wrong, I still love YA, just not like I used to. It was all I read when I originally started this venture. I've learned to accept that I'm not going to read every YA novel I come across on other blogs or even most. I'm learning to discern what I think I would actually read and focusing on that.

6. I feel like I'm not very creative.
I don't have a lot of interesting ideas lined up in the future for this blog. In fact, I'm struggling to come up with ideas. (So if you have types of posts you'd like to see, let me know in the comments!) This is difficult for me because I used to consider myself a creative individual.

7. My blog design frustrates me!
 I'm constantly unhappy with the theme and layout of my blog. Constantly. It's not exactly what I want, but I have no idea how to get exactly what I want. But until I either buckle down and learn how to design or cave and pay someone to design it for me, this will be my state. If it feels like I change the layout a lot, this is why.

8. I wish I was able post consistently. 
Every time I create a posting schedule, it never works out. I've been working on one from now until the end of the month and hope it will actually work out. It only gets worse when I go back to school. It always feels like I have zero time to work on my blog.

9. I wish I was more confident to share my blog with people I know. 
I could not tell you why this is such an issue for me. It took a lot for me to start sharing my posts on Twitter. While I had a blog twitter for awhile, it just was not being used when I was actually blogging. So I caved and started using my regular Twitter.

10. I have no idea when my blogaversary is.
Couldn't tell you. Which is sad because then we can't have celebrations.

What are some of your blogging confessions? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, July 7, 2014

June in Review

Me after seeing The Fault in Our Stars opening weekend.

To me, June always flies by. Always. In contrast, July seems to last a lifetime. However, this year, it seems especially true. We were two-thirds of the way through June before I even realized we were past the first week. I did not accomplish as much as I hoped I would have, I'm hoping to make up for that in July.

Books I Read in June:
We Were Liars by E. Lockart
Split Second by Kasie West
Real Live Boyfriends by E Lockhart

This reading month was not as fantastic as the previous month. I would like to think that's due to the two weeks I worked two jobs and did not have time for anything else, but really I just didn't feel like reading a lot this month.

Life Things That Happened in June:
1. Had the two jobs, felt exhausted all of the time with no time for fun, finally quit the job I hated and felt relieved.
2. Went on short camping trip with fiance's family. Fun!
3. My friend Katie came to visit from New York! I missed her so much and it was fantastic to see her!
4. I finally started on the road to planning my wedding. It's turning out to be quite a bit more than I expected.

Songs I Loved in June:
1. "I Wanna Get Better" Bleachers
To be fair, I've loved this song since my friend Kayla introduced me to it. However, I started to love this song even more this summer.
2. "Dangerous" Big Data
I heard this song one day and I was like, "I like this song. I like driving to this song."
3. "Boom Clap" Charli XCX
Featured in The Fault in Our Stars movie, I fell in love with this song slowly then all at once. Hah, but seriously, this song is so upbeat and catchy. I find myself singing and dancing to it all of the time.

Movies/TV Shows I Saw in June:
1. The Mindy Project
I started watching this at my fiance's apartment one night and loved it. I then proceeded to sign up for a free trial of Hulu+ to watch it.
2. X-Men
I'm just going to cover the whole series. I finally jumped aboard the X-Men train at the end of May and have caught up to see the new movie. I don't know how I went so long without watching anything from this series. So good.

What did you read this past month? Or listen to or watch? Let me know in the comments; I am always looking for recommendations.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Classic Books/ Classics I Want to Read

Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is "Classic" Books. Classic is in quotation because it means different things to different people. For the purpose of today's list, it will mean books traditionally included in the literary cannon. Let's get started!

Top Five Classic Books
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
P&P was the first "classic" I ever read and really helped me to broaden my horizons in reading. Because I finished it, previously daunting books were now nothing. If I could read Austen, I could read anything.

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
While I read this a lot later than #1, it is probably my most reread book. Twice in high school and twice in college so far. It definitely has to stood up to every reread I have done. Simply amazing. Sadly, I have yet to read any of Fitzgerald's other work yet.

3. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
I realize I talked about this book last week, but it really resonated with me. It's a very interesting book from the 1950s and I highly recommend it.

4. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
This book really surprised me when I read it. I came to it with zero expectations and was absolutely amazed it. I read this book in the fall of 2012 and I still think about it to this day. It's really weird, and I really enjoy it.

5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I can't say I've been wowed by this book like I can the previous two, but I find it to be a very important book.

Top Five Classics I Want to Read
1. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
I just watched a review of this and would love to read it. It's on the top of the list because that review convinced me I should read it. Link here. (Also, if you are not subscribed to this girl, you should be. She's amazing.)

2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
I feel like everyone in my major has read this book but me. I actually have a copy sitting patiently on my TBR shelf, so hopefully I'll get to it soon.

3.A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I've been wanting to read this forever, but I've never gotten around to it. Now that I've read some other Dickens, I think I should be able to conquer this no problem.

4. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Remember when I said I hadn't read any other Fitzgerald?  I definitely want to change that.

5. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Though I love Fitzgerald, I've only read a little of Hemingway and didn't care for him. Before I write him off completely, I think I should at least read one novel by him.

What are some of your favorite classics? What are classics I should definitely read? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

We Were Liars by E Lockhart Book Review

From Goodreads
Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Published: May 13, 2014 by Delacorte Press

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE

With all of the hype surrounding this book, I was trying to not build this book up to much so I wouldn't be disappointed. I can't say I wasn't, but I can't say the hype is undeserved either.

I know everyone says to go into this book with as little information as possible, but that is what really makes the book so intriguing. You try to figure out the book along the way, giving it a mysterious element. I love the way the story is told, jumping around to different times throughout Cadence's life. The writing is really well done and the style fits well within the story. 

The ending was a little disappointing for me. I understood why the. Characters did what they did, but by not being fifteen, I was able to see the flaws in their plan as they concocted it and was just sitting there saying, No and why? While I didn't particularly like the way the book ended, I thought it was well done and was disappointed in myself for not seeing it sooner. 

There was only one thing I was confused about. I understand the thematic implications of why the book is called We Were Liars, but I can't figure out why they were called the liars?  Based on the information given to use, it didn't seem to me that they did an excessive amount of lying. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've Read in 2014/Books on my Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish. Since I've missed a couple weeks worth of topics that I was really jazzed about, I figured I would replace this week's topic about book covers. And since I haven't read that many books in 2014, I thought I would include Books on my Summer TBR as well. So here is my Top Ten Books I've Read in 2014/Books on my summer TBR.

Books I've Read in 2014

1. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
What can I say about this book? I read it in my Women Writers class and absolutely loved it. I can't really explain why I loved it except it spoke to something deep within me. This books does deal with heavy stuff and does contain a lot of trigger warnings so keep that in mind.

2. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
This is another book I read for school that I absolutely loved. This one is also spoke to something deep within me and I can't quite define why I liked it so much.

3. Split Second by Kasie West
I read Pivot Point last year and it did not disappoint.; the story was very engaging and I absolutely loved it as much as the first.

4. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
This year, I finally finished the Divergent series, and while there were flaws with this book, I really enjoyed.

5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
While the ending of this book did disappoint me, I still enjoyed the writing and the way the story unfolded.

Books on my Summer TBR

1. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
This book! I started it last summer and was really enjoying it before my trip to Philadelphia. Then, I come home and it had been returned to the library. I really want to get my hands on it and finish it this summer.

2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I've had this book for awhile and have been wanting to read it. When I saw the trailer, I got excited about reading the book.

3. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
I've been seeing this book everywhere this summer and I have been dying to read it.

4. The Athena Doctrine by John Gerzema and Michael D'Antonio
I saw this book recently and was very intrigued by it and would like to read it this summer.

5. The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
I read a review on this book recently and was interested in it. I've also read Sarah Strohmeyer before and really enjoyed it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Why It's Okay to Quit

My last post, which was over two weeks ago, dealt with the exhaustion I had been feeling in regards to working two jobs. That exhaustion, combined with other factors such as company disorganization and scheduling issues, allowed me to realize something very important: If something makes you unhappy, it's okay to quit.

I try to not be a "quitter". Though I did several different activities throughout elementary school, I always did them for several years before moving on to something else. I tried to stick with things I liked for as long as I possibly could.

However, I realized over these past two weeks that this job was draining me. Between the early morning, the long shifts and coordinating with my other job, it left me with very little time to do the things I wanted to do, such as blog, write, plan my wedding, or even spend time with my family or friends. I felt unbalanced; I was constantly working and never getting anything done.

So I decided to quit to pursue what I love to do and what I needed to do. And though this was a difficult decision, I think it will be worth it. Though I may miss the money I would have gotten from continuing with this job, I will keep my health and piece of mind. And I couldn't feel more relieved.

Have you ever been incredibly relieved to quit something, whether it be a job or an activity? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, June 6, 2014


I originally had a different post planned for today, but last night as I was getting ready for bed, I could not understand just how tired I was. I was dragging my feet most of yesterday and took a remarkable amount of naps. 

This week has been exhausting. Returning from Indiana and starting both of my new jobs has left me tired. I think it must be the early mornings. Even though I try to go to bed early the night before work, I seem to wake up tired. Thankfully, I have a few days off so I can relax and recover. Although when I tried to sleep in today, I still woke up at 7. 

The thing about feeling exhausted is that it affects everything I do. I don't feel like going out and seeing friends, I don't feel like working on my blog, or even reading. I literally just want to sit and do nothing, maybe sleep. But I can't sleep too much because I need to sleep at night so I can be awake for work. So everything else in my life suffers otherwise. I'm sure after settling into my new job, my body will adjust accordingly, but until then it is a struggle.

I just wanted to share this because I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels exhausted. Have any of you experienced something similar? How do you combat being super tired? 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart

Photo from Goodreads
Title: The Treasure Map of Boys
Author: E. Lockhart
Published:July 27, 2010 by Delacorte Press

Ruby is back at Tate Prep, and it’s her thirty-seventh week in the state of Noboyfriend. Her panic attacks are bad, her love life is even worse, and what’s more:

Noel is writing her notes, Jackson is giving her frogs, Gideon is helping her cook, and Finn is making her brownies. Rumors are flying, and Ruby’s already-sucky reputation is heading downhill.

Not only that, she’s also: running a bake sale, learning the secrets of heavymetal therapy, encountering some seriously smelly feet, defending the rights of pygmy goats, and bodyguarding Noel from unwanted advances.
In this companion novel to The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book, Ruby struggles to secure some sort of mental health, to understand what constitutes a real friendship, and to find true love—if such a thing exists.

Since E. Lockhart just released a new book, I thought it would be fun to go back and finish her other works, such as the Ruby Oliver series.

Even though I didn't go to a fancy private school, I identify a lot with Ruby Oliver. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but a lot of what she says throughout the book makes me think, "Yeah, that's how I felt in high school." It was nice to revisit it through a character I identified with. She really grows a lot throughout this book, learning the value of friendships, what friends are worth keeping versus what friends are worth letting go. Ruby also learns to imagine people such as her parents and her therapist complexly and stand up for herself when needed.

As far as the plot is concerned, this book is still boy-centric. Yet Ruby is not necessarily chasing after boys. Instead, she is dealing with all of the silly boys around her and learning what is important to her. As she progresses through the book, she slowly begins to realizes that finding a boyfriend, while fantastic, is not her number one priority.

Overall, I would recommend continuing with the series if you have already started it and enjoyed it. The Treasure Map of Boys is what really did for me in terms of solidifying Ruby as one of my favorites narrators. Definitely pick up the series if you're looking for something light.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books for Your Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week's topic is "Top Ten Books for Your Beach bag". Though I don't live anywhere near a beach (read: middle of the United States) I have a beach bag because you never know. Here is my list of books I would put in that bag if I was going to the beach.

1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This book's release could not have been timed better. It is a great summer read, perfect for the beach. I read it while on my trip to Indiana and it was perfect. While I didn't absolutely love the book, I did still really enjoy it.

2. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
This is my most anticipated summer read. This story sounds amazing, I love the font on the cover and I just can't wait to read it. 

3. The Selection series by Kiera Cass
I haven't finished this series yet, but if the last book is anything like the first two, this series is a very light read. It doesn't take a lot to get through these books.

4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The movie for this book comes out in the fall. Get ahead of the game and read it now, so you're ready when the movie comes out. I saw the trailer for it recently and it looks amazing.

5. Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter
If you're a student and midway through the summer, rest assured. This series about a girls' school for spies will whisk you away. Plus, there are five books in the series, plenty of reading material for summer.

6. The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han
This series is perfect for summer, as it revolves solely around summertime. But it's not a cute, happy summer story. It's more complex than that.

7. Any really good, really long series
For some reason, summer is the best time to start really long, complex series in my opinion. Maybe it's because my mind isn't focused on other things such as school. Pick up a series you've been meaning to start, then marathon in until you're out of books to read. Sounds like a great summer.

8. A Field Guide for Heartbreakers by Kristin Tracey
I read this last summer and it was the perfect summer story about two best friends who go to Prague. Travel reads are fantastic!

9. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Speaking of travel reads, this is another one that is fantastic for summer. Maureen Johnson will make you laugh and make you think. All of her books are fantastic.

10. Anything you want
Seriously, it's summer. Don't let me tell you what to read.

What would you pack in your beach bag? Let me know if the comments. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

May in Review

Hey, everyone!

So today, I thought I would try something new. This post will wrap-up everything that has been going on with me in the last month, including books I read and bits about my personal life.

Books I Read in May:
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart (Review Coming Soon)

Overall, I had a very good reading month. Participating in Bout of Books definitely helped me get back into the swing of reading things. I also got back into reading manga again.

Life Things that Happened in May
1. Finished off junior year of university! It was rough going for awhile, and I'm ready to finish off my last year!
2.Got two jobs for the summer, both of which I start tomorrow.
3. Went to Indiana with my fiance to see family. It was nice to get away for the weekend and see family we don't normally get to see.

What sort of exciting things happened to you in May? What books did you read? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Have Stuck With Me

Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is hosted by Broke and Bookish.This week's topic is a freebie, so I chose the Top Ten Books That Have Stuck With Me. I think these sort of lists are fascinating, as they help you see not only what kind of books people like but what kind of books stick with people. Because it can be hard to explain why a books resonates with you, I'm just going to simply list them, and then we can talk about how great they are in the comments. Let's get started!

1.Paper Towns by John Green
2.Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
3. The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
4.The Little Prince by Antoine de Sainte-Exupery 
5. The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
6.The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
7.Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
8. The Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
9. The Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling
10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

What books have stuck with you after you read them? Leave them in the comments. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Voyage Visit: Graphic Novels/Manga

On Wednesday, I went to my regular library and got some books. I browsed my usual sections, young adult and adult fiction. Then I decided to look at graphic novels and manga because it was conveniently located next to the new arrivals.

A little back story, when I was fourteen, I really liked manga. We did not have a section at this library at the time, so I had to go to a different library and check out stacks upon stacks of it at a time. However, I eventually grew out of this obsession and started reading other books. So when graphic novels started becoming more popular over the past few years, I didn't pay much attention, since I had already had a phase with manga and just had a little, "been there, done that" attitude. What I didn't realize is how graphic novels and manga are different.  

The difference between between graphic novels and manga is the way the book is formatted and, I would argue, the style of the art. A graphic novel is formatted like a typical American book, left to right and the art is not in the Japanese style. Manga, however, is formatted in the Japanese format, from right to left. It can take some getting used to, but I find that it's really easy to pickup on.

In terms of recommendations, I haven't read any graphic novels.Right now, I have Beautiful Creatures, Amulet: The Stonekeeper, and Jane Eyre. As you can see, I haven't really delved into graphic novels outside of ones based on books. For manga, I've read most of Fruits Basket, which I enjoyed. I've recently started the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series, which I've also been enjoying. I'm currently trying to acquire the second volume. Once I've finished some of these series, I may review them here.

Do you have any suggestions for graphic novels or manga I should read? Leave them in the comments! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West Book Review

Cover photo from Goodreads
Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Published: July 2, 2013 by HarperTeen

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

I simply adored this book! It was a fun contemporary read that helped me get in the mood for summer reading! Definitely a bright spot.

I loved Caymen and her sarcasm.She was an incredibly easy character to relate to, especially her worries about her mother. The main guy, Xander, was also a very good character, showing his complexities. He was really sweet and thoughtful, and that's what won me over about him. All of the characters were very clear personalities. As for the plot, it was fairly stereotypical, which isn't necessarily bad. It was nice to read something and know exactly where its going to go. The ending was a little cheesy, but again, that's expected.

Overall, this was not a complex of a book. I would definitely recommend it to people who are looking for a cutesy romance read for summer, one that you can . If you're looking for something a little more complex, I would recommend starting with Pivot Point instead, as it is a lot more complicated.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books About Friendship

Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is hosted by Broke and Bookish. I haven't done one of these since December, so excuse me if I'm a little rusty. Today, I will be listing my top ten books about friendship,in no particular order. Since I'm having trouble thinking of ten books where friendship is the central theme, I've decided to do "Top Ten Book Friendships". 

1. Lizzy and Charlotte in Pride and Prejudice
Oh, these two! I love their friendship so much! They are very supportive of one another. They weather quite a bit together, and at the end of the novel they are still fantastic friends.

2. The Sailor Scouts in Sailor Moon
When it comes to friendship, there is nothing quite like the sailor scouts. They set aside all of their differences and work together to save the world. 

3. Anything by Ally Carter
Ally Carter's books are phenomenal. In both her Gallagher Girls series and her Heist Society series, there are fantastic friendships. 

4. Colin and Hassan in An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Colin gets dumped and what does Hassan do? Takes him on a road trip to cheer him up. If that's not friendship, I don't know what is. 

5. Radar, Ben, and Q in Paper Towns by John Green
What can I say, I love John Green's books. Ben, Radar, and Q all good friends, so much so that they travel across the country together. They also accept each other faults, which is important. 

6. Nancy, Bess, and George in the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
These three are  a dynamic trio in solving crimes. Their personalities compliment each other nicely. 

7. Harry, Ron and Hermione in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Here is another dynamic trio that compliments each other nicely. I always loved Hermione, but all three of them were fantastic friends, sticking by each other through thick and thin. 

8. Pam, Elizabeth, and Alice in the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Yet another trio! I seem to really like them. This trio features three girls coming of age dealing with everything you could possibly imagine, and they stick together through it all. 

9. Cath and Reagan in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This pair of roommates, though an unlikely pair, really work well together as friends. Reagan helps Cath and Cath helps Reagan. 

10. Gigi, Bea, and Neerja in Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
I was surprised how much I loved this book. I think a lot of what sold it for me was these three ladies' fantastic friendship. 

What are some of your favorite book friendships? Let me know in the comments. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bout of Books Wrap-Up

Hey, everyone!

The Bout of Books readathon was this past week.If you want to know more about the readathon, check out their blog .

This Bout of Books was definitely more successful than my first. Last year, I didn't even finish a book! This year, I read three books, started three books, and read a total of 1,194 pages, almost double over what I typically read a week. 

As far as following my TBR, I started Allegiant right away on Monday and finished it on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I went to the library and got a lot of books, rediscovering graphic novels/manga along the way. That night, I read Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Short Stories 1, which I had picked up from the library. I also started The Bell Jar and read a short story from Too Much Happiness. I then proceeded to not read a lot on Thursday or Friday, making some progress. Then I started The Distance Between Us last night. 

While I am pleased with my progress and enjoyed participating in the readathon, I don't think I'm going to be doing a lot of them in the future. I've discovered that while Allegiant was a good choice and The Distance Between Us was probably a good choice, The Bell Jar and Too Much Happiness were not the best choices. It's not that they were bad choices; they were just heavy reading material. I'm about halfway through The Bell Jar and do intend to finish it, but it's just not the best book for a readathon. Short stories also are difficult because I often like to sit and read the same book for an extended period of time, and I struggle to go that with short stories. However, I plan to make my way through both of these books. 

Overall, I do think Bout of Books was very successful. I met my goal by reading more than I usually do in a week. I got through one of the books on my TBR and started the other three. 

Did you participate on Bout of Books? Did you meet your goals?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Allegiant by Veronica Roth Review

Photo from Goodreads
Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Published:October 22, 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

Review in one word: Wow. Phenomenal. 

I absolutely loved this book. I'm not even sure where to start with this review. Let's just look at all the things I liked. 

One thing I have found rare in the books I have read is a couple that fights and stays together. I find this to be very refreshing, as usually the scenario would be to fight, get back together, stay happy forever. Roth made their relationship feel like a real relationship, not just glamorous and happy. Through the trials and tribulations, they choose to be with each other.

I'm going to try really hard not to spoil the ending, so I'm going to be really vague in this next section. The way I saw people reacting to the ending led me to believe what happened would happen. And while I was hoping I was wrong and was sad, the ending was executed beautifully and I applaud Roth for her writing. 

As for things I didn't like, some of the characters introduced in this book where a little stagnant. David seemed like a stereotypical corrupt leader, and Nita seemed like the usual pretty rebel. It also felt like it was just one big incident after another at times, which is understandable for the tumultuous time these characters are going through. But at times in the first half it felt like we were just moving from one major plot point to the other.  

One thing I have found really refreshing about this series as a whole is that it deals with the complexities of human nature. I mean, the characters choose based on which aspect of human nature they most value. There are many beautiful ideas  throughout this book about love, grief, and bravery. Basically, everything that makes us human is found in this book, which I think is why I like it so much. 

Overall, I would highly recommend this series to anyone who is interested in dystopians, young adult literature, or the complexities of human nature. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bout of Books 10.0 Sign-up & Goals

Hey, everyone!

So I'm finally done with the semester! It's been rough, but I've made it! Anyway, I thought the best way to kick of the summer would be to attempt the Bout of Books read-a-thon again! Here is the official blurb from the Bout of Books Blog:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

As some of you may remember, last year I failed epically at Bout of Books. I don't think I even I finished a book during that week. This year, despite all the reading I have done for classes, I really am looking forward to reading some over the summer. My game plan to counteract all of the reading I've done recently for school is to not ready any books from now until Monday when the read-a-thon starts. I think that giving my brain some time off is much needed and will help prevent burnout. Plus, I'm going to busy this weekend with packing to move out of my apartment, graduation on Saturday, and Mother's Day.

As for the week of the read-a-thon, I have an job interview on Monday, plan to still be moving out Tuesday and Thursday, and a BBQ on Wednesday. So I will busy but not as busy as I generally am during the semester. In order to see whether or not I read my usual amount of books, I did a little guessing as to how much I read during the semester. I figure I read roughly 100 pages a day (probably less, but this is a nice even number). This is roughly equivalent to 500 pages a week, divided between two books; since we usually don't finish books, I'll be based off page count. So if I read more than 500 pages, I'll consider myself successful. 

Here are the books I have lined up for this. Note: I may deviate from these if I desire, but I think this encompasses most of what I'm looking forward to reading now that school is out.

#1 Allegiant by Veronica Roth
I got this book over Christmas break, and I have been so excited to read it yet have not had the time to properly devote to it. This seems like the time. I've been fortunate in avoiding spoilers so far, so hopefully I will be able to until I finish it.

#2 The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
I bought this book over the summer and just haven't had the time to read it since then. I've only read Pivot Point by her, so I'm excited to read more of her work.

#3 The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
I read some of Plath's poetry in my Modern British Poetry class last fall and loved it, so I thought I would enjoy her novel. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it is different from her poetry.

#4 Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro 
My professors keep bring up Alice Munro in class and how fantastic she is, plus one of my fiance's family members mention her as well. So when I went to Half-Priced Books and this was the only book they had by her, I thought I should pick it up and see if I like her.

I'm really excited to be blogging/reading again and am hoping Bout of Books goes well this year. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Be Happy, Be Healthy

I have never considered myself to be really healthy. While I do not have any diseases, I don't eat well nor do I work out ever. These were always things I thought I would worry about when I was older. 

Well, I'm older now. 

My mother has been diabetic for most of my life, and I knew there was a high probability that I would eventually be diagnosed as well. Recently, another family member of mine has been diagnosed.  This member is on my father's side of the family, so in my mind the probability has only been increased. While I know that I cannot beat genetics, I would like to delay the inevitable as long as possible. 

I've set out many times to become healthier, lose weight, etc. but nothinghas ever come of it. I think I am more determined than my previous attempts though. Because I don't see this as a temporary stage of life. I think, if I work hard and commit myself to this, it could be a lifelong thing. Ignoring disease, there are many other benefits to being healthy. Clearer skin, overall happiness, all things I could really use. 

So that is where I'm at right now. I'm going to do some research on eating healthy on a budget, exercises, etc. and will hopefully have a post sometime soon on How I'm doing. 

Hope you are all doing well! And happy reading! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Journey

As a surprise to no one, I've been slacking. On blogging, on goal setting, and on everything really. I could give a list of excuses, a list of reasons I'm going to do better now, etc. Or I could be real with you. I really like to blog, but I have no idea what to blog about.

I'm a private person, so the idea of having a blog devoted to chronicling my personal life is not appealing. That and my life is not that interesting. I really just go to school, do Phi Sigma Pi stuff, and hang out with boyfriend, now finance. Really, my life is a little dull.

I tried blogging about one of my favorite hobbies, reading. That worked really well for one summer. However, it's hard to blog when you don't work on that hobby. And I haven't really had the true love for reading young adult literature that summer. And talking about what I'm reading for school here is weird because I talk about  the reading so much at school. 

I have other hobbies, obviously, but they don't lend themselves to being blogged about. Plus, this became such a book centric place that it was difficult to talk about other things. 

Basically, I like to blog, but I don't know what to blog about. So that is what I'm working on now. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

January Goals

Hey, everyone! I decided January would ultimately be the month to focus on perhaps the most popular New Years Resolution of all time- Exercise and General Health (not related to food). I started exercising at the very end of last month and was really starting to enjoy it. I found if I exercised early in the day, I would feel better for the rest of the day and sleep better at night.

1. Exercise at least three times a week
I find it silly to commit to exercising every day; some days are busy and some days just aren't made for exercising. However, I think three times a week is a reasonable commitment to make with my schedule. I plan to be doing workouts from this calendar (this tumblr is probably the only fitness tumblr I follow because it's the best). I'm not sure which calendar I will be following yet/probably either the student one or the beginner one. Either way, I'm sure it will be fun.

2. Attend one of my university's rec center's classes
My university has a relatively nice rec center that offers all kinds of fitness classes. Every semester, I say I'm going to go to one of these fitness classes and look at the schedule to try to figure out which one works best for me. Then I never go because I have this irrational thing about going out in workout clothes/exercising in front of people. I'm not sure what this stems from, but I want to definitely beat this fear (?) and go to a class!

3. Go to sleep earlier/sleep better
This is the goal that makes this general health. I want to start getting up earlier; therefore I need to go to bed earlier. I want to be fully rested and refreshed for my early mornings. This goal is probably the simplest to understand, but it is also probably going to be the one that is most difficult to achieve.

In addition to these goals, I am hoping to read 50 books in 2014! You can follow my progress either here or on my Goodreads.

What are your goals for January?

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I'm not usually one to be overly enthusiastic about a new year. Usually, I'm with the masses going, "It's just another year / you can start change within yourself at any point." I never understood the big deal with New Years Resolutions so I never made any or felt compelled to stick with them.

I'm feeling a little different this year. When looking back on 2013, I've had some good times. But I've also had some things happen that I think I could have handled better/prevented. Reflecting on this, I just feel compelled to focus on self-improvement. Unfortunately, I have no clear direction on how I want to go about that, but I am working on it.

This year I wanted to make goals for each month that would focus on me just becoming better. A better friend, girlfriend, overall human being, whatever. "Better" is really subjective, but it is also relatively easy to obtain. After all, if I'm doing slightly better than yesterday, then I am automatically doing better.

I don't know what exactly I'm going to focus on improving each month; I think for January I'm just going to focus on exercise since I started on that before the end of 2013. We will see though, as I haven't one hundred percent committed to that yet. I will hopefully have a post on my goals for January up soon. My bookish/blog-focused goals will go up next Tuesday with Broke and Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday. Once I have goals for each month lined up, I will try to post them and at the end of the month, let you all know how I did.

Do you have any goals for 2014 or even just the month of January? What are they? Leave them in the comments. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Starcrossed Review

Cover from Goodreads
Title: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Published: April 1st, 2011 by HarperTeen

Plot Summary from Goodreads:
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart

I really enjoyed this book; it was some nice, refreshing paranormal romantic ya.

The plot of this book was really intriguing. While at the beginning it may seem very similar to Twilight in a lot of respects, it diverges and goes down a completely new path. It's based on the Trojan War and the protagonist, Helen, is based on Helen of Troy. She has her own mystical powers and is able to use them. While I do question a lot of her decisions, she is still an interesting character to see the story through. 

As much as I like Helen though, I have to admit my favorite character is Claire. I just really enjoyed the fact that she was aware of how strange Helen was and accepted her anyway and continued to be her best friend. I hope we see more of her in the next book. 

The ending was so-so. On the one hand, I definitely want to read the next one. However, the main action happened a little before the ending and then the ending itself seemed like it was more of a teaser for the next book. Overall, I would recommend this to fans of the genre and fans of Twilight. Also, if you like books based on classics, this is one for you to try. 

Happy reading and happy new year!