Monday, October 2, 2017

Book Review - Legend, by Marie Lue

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.” 

Here's my review of Legend, by Marie Lue.

Insight into the book from Goodreads:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

    It has been months, since I've read a fast-paced book, and even longer since I read something based in a dystopian world.  I was so pleased with this, and can't believe how long it took me to get a hold of this series!  

  The story is told from two different POV's, June and Day, both from very different backgrounds and experiences.  Day is a wanted criminal that escaped from the Republic, with every intention behind his actions to help his family.  His youngest brother, Eden, has the plague, that has killed many people in different sectors, and Day's goal is to break into the Republic and find a cure.  Keeping a low profile, his older brother, John, is the only family member that knows he is alive.  When breaking into the Republic's hospital to find a cure, he knives a young captian, named Metias, killing him (or so we think).  He escapes, but not without many injuries, and no cure.
  June is a loved prodigy from the Republic.  She got a perfect score on her Trial, and is incredibly smart and quick.  Her family is dead, except for Metias, her brother that is also adored by the Republic. Until, she gets news, of Metias' death, by the criminal, Day.

  June is broken and confused, these emotions soon leading to ruthless anger.  She doesn't understand why Day has killed her brother, when he's never killed anyone from the Republic before.  Going undercover, she searches the poor sectors, taking on a new mission:  kill Day.

"I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.” 

  If Legend could be described in five words: nothing is as it seems.  After reading so many books, it's rare that I find one that surprises me and leaves me really wondering what the author is going to do on the next page.  
  I fell in love with the bravery of the characters, and how June grew so much.  She uncovered secrets of the Republic, and did the right thing, despite how much it changed her life.  Not to mention the growing relationship between June and Day, absolutely thrilling to read about. 

  I had the great opportunity of meeting Marie Lue, a few weekends ago.  She was so personable and had the sweetest personality, it drew me into the book even more.  Marie talked about all of the rejections she got until she found an agent, and was published, and it motivated me so much, to never give up.  A super fun experience!    

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Discussion Post - Self love & the Importance

Hey everyone, today I want to discuss something that has been a big impact in my life recently, and I wanted to share with everyone.

  Over the past few months, I have found how important it is to have self love!  It took time, but I wanted to share what helped me to realize my worth, and as a teenage girl, I think it's insanely important to feel confident about yourself!

  These 5 tips can be geared towards anyone, but as a teenager, I know we struggle the most with finding our identity - I'm sure as heck not saying I've found mine, but I've never been closer to creating myself a healthy and positive life :) 

Nobody says it better than Tyler the Creator "find some time."  There is no better way to find yourself and know yourself better, than taking time of the day to focus on yourself and what makes you happy.  For me, it was making time to return to this blog, to read, spend time with my family, and play piano again.  These little things made such a difference, and I began to feel as though I had a purpose again.  Before, I was insanely focused on friends and not wanting to miss a moment, but then I realized, some of the best moments are spent with yourself.  And that is o k a y!  

Being able to say "no" is so important - wow I can't stress this enough.  Whether it comes to bad influences or wanting alone time, saying "no" is okay, and I used to think it wasn't.  In my situation, my friends never pushed me to drink or smoke, but they always wanted me to hangout or go with them places.  I was terrified of missing a moment with them, thinking something extraordinary would happen and I'd miss it.  Then, I began to say no to hanging out, maybe missing a few moments, and instead staying home with my family and reading or relaxing listening to music.  Yea, I missed a football game here and there, but I was happier saying "no."

Stepping away from negative people is so difficult, but worth the way you feel after.  In my situation, and I know a lot of teenager's situation, it was an unhealthy relationship.  It was affecting how I treated my close friends and family, as I began to continuously chose him over the people who actually loved me.  The feeling of self worth?  I had none.  I know many people struggle with worth, and sometimes the most insecure of us struggle with leaving someone we feel as though we can't live without.  However, when I did it and began focusing on myself and my friendships and family, my life changed for the better.  It was scary, but I distanced myself, and found greater company within myself.

Be in control.  I didn't realize how much control was important to myself and my life, until I took control.  I started saying "no", I stepped away from the negative people, and decided what I wanted my senior year to look like.  It's normal to struggle with being in control, it can involve having to be the odd one out or being a leader.  Possibly, even an out of body experience as you learn to stop following and start leading.  I believe this is a necessity to self love - doing what is good for you.

How have you learned to love yourself, and did these tips help you?  Self love has been such an important part of my life recently, and I hope that some of the things I said make you reflect on yourself and your life :)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book Review - The Catcher in the Rye

"I am always saying 'Glad to've met you to somebody I'm not at all glad I met.  If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though."

Here's my review of The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D.Salinger

Insight into the book from Goodreads:

The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep. 

Written in 1951, this book is still relateable  to today's teenager's dealing with the hardships of becoming an adult.  I think it's important for every teenager to read this, because it's a reminder that no matter the day or age, you may lose yourself when you're growing up, make some wrong turns, and have to start over.  Being a senior in high-school, I felt as though I could relate to this book immensely.

The story takes the reader through a few days in the life of Holden Cauflieuld.  I could already tell the type of person Holden was, in the first few pages.  He finds himself humorous in some of the oddest moments, but he's also emotionally damaged.  He finds so many situations as "that made me so damn depressed" throughout the book, while others he says "that killed me" sometimes in a laughing sense, or pure devastation.  

There was not a storyline to this book, it was completely character driven.  The way Holden sees the world and takes the reader through it - it was sometimes depressing as hell.  I could feel the loneliness Holden had, through the pages of the book.  He even confided with taxi drivers, and drunkards at bars, desperately looking for someone to have a conversation with.  Holden saw the terrible in the world, twisted into his eloquent voice, as he struggled to come to terms with how his life was changing.

Despite the pain Holden seemed to have within himself, he had a positive relationship with his little sister.  She was a reminder of the good in the world, and surprisingly, she was much more mature than he is.  Almost everything Holden did made his mind wander back to her, and in a way, he looked up to her (despite how young she was).  It made me wish he found someone his age that brought that much good into his life.

The way Holden saw people and situations, really got to me.  For example, *teeny spoiler!!* when he bought his little sister the record, and then dropped it and it shattered everywhere - I felt his pain in that moment.  He was so excited to give his sister that record, and then it fell and shattered and their wasn't anything he could do about it.  I completely understand that feeling, of doing something for someone and it not working out. There is so much disappointment involved in that, and that's exactly how Holden felt: disappointed.  

It is very difficult to write a summary on this book, considering there wasn't much of a plot.  However, I felt as though I really connected with the book and Holden as a young adult character, and I enjoyed every page.  

via GIPHY  

I did research on the author himself, and he was impact by a Professor at Columbia University, that influenced his writing.  Professor Burnett urged Salinger to continue with his short stories, and to not stop writing.  Once Salinger's work was published in The New Yorker in 1946, he wrote Catcher in the Rye.  The last four decades of his life, his close family and friends said that he wrote all the time, but he has an apparent lack of published works.  It's said that their may be as many as ten finished novels locked away in his house. . . how interesting.

Thank you for reading my review of The Catcher in the Rye!  Have you read it, or hoping too?  Leave a comment below what you think!

Monday, September 11, 2017

An Adventure - Vail, Colorado (BACK AFTER TWO YEARS)

"Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting . . . so get on your way!" - Dr. Suess

This past summer, my momma and I went on an adventure to the small town of Vail, Colorado.  Our stay was short, but that was enough for the mountain village to become one of my favorite places to travel in the US.

Our first stop from the hotel after arriving, my mom and I spent in the hospital.  I felt terrible, I had a cold that I had caught right before the trip, and became worse when I get to Vail.  It was not an ideal first night, but we made the best of it.

I still wasn't feeling like myself, and my mom had begun to feel bad as well.  However, the clear and crisp air in Vail and the love for an adventure my mom and I both have in us, kept us motivated.  
We walked through Vail village, that was absolutley CHARMING!  Cobblestone streets, small paths leading to short hiking paths, coffee shops, tourist shops, and the local food places . . . their was more than enough to see in one day.  Then, we took a ride on a gondola, at least 5 times up and down Vail mountain.  The views were unbelievable, the beauty of Vail above and below us.

The second day, my first thought was the gondola!  Grabbing a sandwich by our hotel, the Sebastian, my mom and I took the gondola right to the top of Vail mountain.  It was lightly raining, and in the distance storm clouds were forming, it was beautiful to see!  We walked a mile across Vail mountain, the scenery was breath catching, I cannot put into words.  When we made it a mile across, their was a tourist attraction that could take us to the backside of Vail mountain, and we thought why not! 
We took a jeep to the other side of Vail mountain, and stayed taking in the scenery long as we could, until the approaching storm was getting too close.  When we got back to the gondola, it was beginning to pour rain and lightning was all around us, as we sprinted to ride the gondola to the bottom of the mountain before it closed.  

That's a recap of my favorite trip from this Summer - ohh and, after TWO YEARS I am BACK!  Instead of strictly posting book reviews, I'm doing a lifestyle blog (but still doing book related posts of course) :)  So happpy to be back, feel free to leave a comment if you've been to Colorado, or just want to say hi!