Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I'm so blessed and thankful for my wonderful family and friends that made this holiday so special.  Looking forward for my vacation to California tomorrow, and to the New Year.  2014 has been the greatest year yet, full of adventures and laughter, and I certainly can't wait to make new unforgettable memories in 2014.  Not to mention, all of the great books I hope to get my hands on next year (already pre-ordered two books).  Hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2014

DISCUSSION POST - How Reading has Impacted My Life

How has reading impacted your life?  That's what I'm going to be discussing, today.

  Before I could read, I'd wrap my tiny fingers around the first book that caught my eye, and create my own story.  Flipping the pages, I allowed my mind to wander as I imagined a story, and then presented it to my family, all the while pretending to be reading the pages.  Years later, when I was the age of My Magic Tree house, The Box Car Children, and Nancy Drew, I truly fell in love with reading.  Once I got a little older, I yearned for something different.  A Dog's Life, and The Island of Blue Dolphins were the beginning of my adventure into contemporary.  I absolutely loved and cried over both of those phenomenal books, and ever since then, I've curiously widened my horizon, always experiencing different genres and stepping out of my comfort zone.  How has reading impacted my life?  Well, that's simple.  I've never looked at anything the same way ever since I opened my first book.  In the simplest terms, everything I see has a new-founded meaning, a story.  Not to mention, the world feels full of opportunities I wouldn't have known without reading.  Without reading, I wouldn't experience the feeling of escaping into another world, absolutely separate from my own.  I wouldn't stay up past midnight, gripping the precious pages of another story, knowing that I cannot go to bed without knowing what happens at the end of the chapter.  Additionally, I wouldn't have this blog where I can connect with other readers around the world, and fan-girl / discuss my favorite book, or rave about an unsatisfying story.

  I'm tagging lots of people to share their own stories about how reading has impacted YOUR life.  If I didn't tag you, I would still love to hear your input on this topic!  Be sure to link your post in the comments so I don't miss it!

Friday, December 19, 2014

What I'm Loving + Favorite Reads of 2014

  Hey lovely readers!  I've been absent lately due to my crazy finals schedule, but thankfully, it's over and I'm on break!  In case you didn't know (you probably do), Christmas is only 5 days away! 

Billy Joel -  I've always been obsessed with older songs, never really having an interest in the newer pop / rap music.  Recently, I've been listening to Piano Man and New York State of Mind by Billy Joel, my two favorite songs by him.  
The Breakfast Club -   I was scrolling through Netflix a few Saturday's ago, and came across The Breakfast Club.  Little did I know that it would end up being my new favorite movie - if you haven't seen it watch it, you won't regret it!
Art -   My mom was an exceptional artist when she was a teenager, and that's always inspired me to draw.  Sadly, I'm not too great at it, but I've really been enjoying spending an hour or longer sitting outside with hot chocolate, music, and drawing.
Fuiji Camera -  I'm so excited to be getting a Fuiji Camera for Christmas this year.  It's such an adorable novelty - another reason to be beyond excited for Christmas!

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern - The Night Circus is a gorgeous, magnificent story written about two magicians, Celia and Marco.  Truly an unforgettable read, I'm so glad I decided to read it this year.
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie  And Then There Were None is an exciting, exhilarating page-turner about ten strangers, each with a dark secret, stranded on an island, as they mysteriously begin to be killed off, one by one.
Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell  Eleanor and Park features two misfits, both very different from one another, that end up falling in love.  The ending broke my heart, but I absolutely love this book.
It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini  It's Kind of a Funny Story is about Craig Gilner, a sixteen year old that landed himself in a mental hospital after attempting suicide.  One of the most inspiring stories I've read, a true sensation.  
The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak  The Book Thief is placed in Nazi Germany, 1939.  It's a heart-breaking, extraordinarily terrific story about overcoming fear and loss.  
The Dead - Charlie Higson  My favorite genre of books are apocalyptic ones, where either it's natural disasters threatening the world, a disease, or a different "species."  The Dead is the second installment in the Enemy series, and I remember absoutley adoring it.  Whether it was the constant action, the excellent characters, or the fantastic world-build, I was hooked the whole time.

What are your favorite reads of 2014?  If you have a post about it, be sure to leave a link in the comments!  I would love to check it out!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review - Talon, Julie Kagawa

My review for Talon, by Julie Kagawa

Insight into the book from Goodreads:


Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons. 

  Talon is a fantastic, complex story about dragon twins, Ember and Dante Hill.  Ember and Dante have lived their lives, until now, under the surveillance of Talon.  They've just been granted the Summer in Crescent Beach, to enjoy freedom before beginning whatever career Talon has deemed fitting.  Ember and Date shift into human form, and easily fit right into the human community.  It is there that Ember becomes acquaintances with an incredibly handsome rogue dragon, and a human with more secrets than she imagined.  Riley, the rogue, has left Talon, and hopes to persuade Ember to do the same.  Garret, the human, stirs a passion inside that she didn't know existed, but it will come with a cost.
  Upon choosing to read this book, I didn't know a thing about the story-line.  All I knew, is that Julie Kagawa has come out with a new book and I wanted it!  Whenever I see Julie's name I think . . . 
  Because I seriously love her writing.  I've only read some of her books, but such a brilliant writing style like hers really stands out.  As for the story itself, it was good.  Not great, just good.  After the excitement of Ember being a rebel with Riley and falling for Garret wore off, the book was boring.  However, normally that irritates me, but in this case, some of the slower parts were necessary for character build.  In addition, the complexity of the plot and how terrifically Julie pulled it off, was awesome.
  Usually, I'm let down with the romance in teen books.  Either it's insta-love, or an annoying love-traingle.  I didn't expect to be let down with the romance in Talon, and I wasn't!  It was really enjoyable and I still can't chose who I like more, Riley or Garret.  With every character I saw lots of development, and that was also really enjoyable.

  I recommend this book and every book by Julie Kagawa to anyone who wants to read a fast-paced fantasy story!

  Hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, December 1, 2014

GIF tag!

 I've been tagged by Britanny over at Space Between the Spines to do the GIF tag!  Thanks to my awesome friend Sarah @ Creativity Avenue I've learned how to add gifs onto blogger!:)  Lets get started . . . 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I read this book a little while back and enjoyed it :)   Not one of my favorites, but still good.
Allegiant marked the end of the Divergent series, and it left me sincerely, utterly sad.  
This series has been on my tbr for such a long time, sounds like it has potential.
Never heard of this before.  Sounds like a big love-triangle type of book, probably not my cup of tea.
One of my all-time favorites.  The Book Thief is a fantastic, beautiful book.
I read this book a few years ago, and I recall loving the entire series. 
This book sounds super intense, but really intriguing.  I'll probably give it a try sometime.
This book is seriously so adorable, and left me feeling happy and satisfied.   

Never heard of this.  Sounds pretty promising, though!

Thanks so much for tagging me, Brittany!

Here are the books those I tag will react to
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green.
Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell.
Eragon, by Christopher Paolini.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.
The Iron Trial, by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black.
Just One Day, by Gayle Forman.

Check to see if you've been tagged!


Book Review - We Were Liars, E. Lockhart

My review of We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart.


Insight into the book from GOODREADS:

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.

  Oh.  My. Gosh.

 I love this book.

 We Were Liars is a gorgeous, passionate book about a girl named Candence and her struggle to regain her memory of Summer 15 after a horrible accident took place, leaving her with limited memory.  Candence doesn't remember the accident.  However, everyday she suffers the after effects of it.  Loss of memory, severe migraines, and depression.  She yearns to know what happened Summer 15 on the private island, or what happened to Mirren, Johnny, and Gat after her accident.  Two years have gone by, and Candence's mom reluctantly allows her to return to the island for Summer 17.  This is basically where everything happens within the story, and also where I'm going to push the *pause* button and refuse to give away any spoilers.

 Being a reader, I'll always enjoy a fantastic writer.  A writer whom reveals characters good and bad side, what he/she struggles with, and how the character overcomes these obstacles.  Quite possibly that could be why I love E. Lockhart's writing, but there's more to it than that.  Her writing style is simple beautiful.  Everything was written so passionately -I could practically feel the characters anger/happiness/sadness coming through the pages, due to the stunning writing.  I'm not oblivious to the fact that not everyone agrees with me, I know a lot of readers didn't enjoy her writing style, which is without a doubt, very different from the typical YA authors writing.  In addition, E. Lockhart’s metaphors were extremely intense.  
 For example:  
 Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest.  I was standing on the lawn and I fel.  The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed.  Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
 then from my eyes,
 my ears,
 my mouth.
 When I first read this I thought, “Oh my gosh, Candence was shot!!!”  Laugh at me if you will, but I didn’t realize that this was a metaphor.  There are many others similar to this one within the story, and they’re so literal that occasionally I found myself confused.

 The ending of the story was utterly terrific.  I’ve heard so much about a crazy plot-twist at the end, but I never could’ve predicted it.  
My feelings after completing We Were Liars:

 I absolutely recommend We Were Liars, and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it.

Thanks for reading!