Friday, January 31, 2014
Did you know that I can't watch reality TV? There are a number of reasons why I can't. 1) I get so stressed out, that my stomach cramps. It's silly, I know. The last time I watched Survivor was when Boston Rob was playing and finally won (Like back in 2010/2011), but it made me so sick that it wasn't going to go the way I wanted. It was then that I decided that I couldn't watch reality tv any more, and 2) I don't like how scripted and over the top reality tv is. It's so dramatic and that is not reality. Which I find really annoying. In saying that, I was really intrigued by Heather Demetrois' novel, Something Real, which centres around a family who is in the reality tv spotlight.
Something Real tells the story of Bonnie Baker, a seventeen year old girl whose family has been in the spot light since she was born. Bonnie and her family are the stars of Baker's Dozen a reality show that follows the family around 24/7. Why? Because Bonnie is one of thirteen kids. However, the show has been off the air for the past four years and during that time, Bonnie (who is now known as Chloe) has been able to build a somewhat normal life for herself. All this is jeopardized when the cameras return and the show is brought back to life.
The whole time I was reading Something Real, I felt SO bad for Bonnie and her siblings. They were surrounded by cameras all of the time. They were very rarely granted privacy, and if something needed to be hashed out, it had to be for the viewers pleasure. For this reason Bonnie and her brother Benton do not have the kind of parental relationship that you might expect to have with your parents. This is partially due to the fact that they have not seen their father in over four years, and now their mother (who has since remarried) focuses the majority of her attention on the show and her book deals.
Bonnie has twelve other siblings, and I was looking forward to seeing how they interact with one another. But we didn't really get much of that from this book. Bonnie and Benton have the closest relationship (they are both dealing with pretty private issues that they are trying to keep out of the spotlight). I really liked their relationship. But other than that, there was not a lot of interaction between Bonnie and the other kids. This was a little disappointing.
I have to say that there was nothing incredibly spectacular about this book. It was a good story, but it wasn't anything amazing. It was entertaining at the time, and I enjoyed the characters. I did not like the love story to much. It felt almost like instalove. Which I really hate.
Overall, Something Real was enjoyable and entertaining at the time, in a light and fluffy kind of way, it wasn't the most memorable read. But sometimes that is okay.
~Happy Reading Everyone!
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
It's been a couple months since I have shared my favourite things with you. I have a number of things that I have been loving and I am excited to let you know what they are.
The Wolf of Wall Street
I just saw this movie this past weekend, and I liked it WAY more than I expected to. The story was fascinating, and Leo was great. I laughed my way through the whole movie. I should warn you, it has a lot of nudity, drug use and swearing. Also, if you are easily offended than stay away. The film's run time is three hours and I did not find that I got bored once while watching. The pace was good, and as I mentioned earlier the plot was so intriguing. All in all, this was a pretty great movie.
Honourable Mention: American Hustle- This movies was great. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing. I love her. Bradley Cooper is amazing. Great film.
So I resisted watching this show for so long. I am kind of obsessed with British television., so it's surprising that this one stayed away for as long as it did. I watched the first two episodes a while ago, and I liked the show, but I wasn't crazy about it like everyone else. Then I watched the third episode in the first season and I was hooked. I loved it. How did I stay away. Why did I stay away. I am glad I did though. Because watching episode 3 of season two and then waiting two years for any kind of resolution- not okay. I am sure you have all watched this show, but if you haven't... what are you waiting for?
HitREcord on TV
So... My love Joseph Gordon-Levitt is amazing and is back on TV with a show called HitREcord on TV. If you want to know what it's all about I have posted the first episode below. He explains what it's all about. But really it's brilliant and you should absolutely check it out. I believe it airs on Pivot every Saturday.
Honourable Mention: Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor. Matt Smith's final speech had me bawling like a little baby. I was at my mum's on Christmas day and watched it with my family, and they could not understand why I was such a mess. My brother kept saying that it was going to be okay, and my nephew kept giving me hugs and patting my back.
Bare Face Cleansing Oil from Julep- I really love using a cleansing oil at the end of day to remove any makeup I have on. And I have been loving the cleansing oil from Julep. It removes my makeup beautifully and leaves my skin feeling SO soft and it doesn't break me out. I use a foaming cleanser to clean my skin. The system is great.
Twilight Woods Triple Moisture Body Cream from Bath and Body Works- The triple moisture body cream from BBW is absolutely amazing. If you haven't tried it, and you are looking for really intense body moisturiser this is it. I have terrible winter skin right now (it's been -50 degrees Celsius here a number of times already), and this has saved my life. This scent is amazing and I absolutely love it. I also have the body mist and the candle. It's so yummy.
The Silver Lining's Play Book by Matthew Quick- What a fantastic book. If you haven't already read this book you need to get on it. Even if you've seen the movie. It was such a pleasure to read. I'm working on a book to movie post, that should be coming your way soon. But this was a phenomenal book.
Those are my favourites of the month, I hope you enjoyed.
~Happy Reading Everyone!
Friday, January 24, 2014
Okay, lets just get this out of the way. Cress was amazing. What did you expect? It was fantastic. The Lunar Chronicles gets better and better with every book.
When I first read Cinder back in 2012, I was apprehensive about reading a book that seemed to be so far out of my comfort zone. I initially thought that I would never read this book about "robots and moon people." I thought that I would be bored to tears. Then I read it and was blown away by how amazing it was (my thoughts). Then Scarlet came around. Again I was nervous about this one. I had really liked Cinder, and to be honest, second books in a series are rarely good, and did I really like Cinder as much as I remembered? Still, I read Scarlet (my thoughts) and well, who was I to doubt?
Anywho, to say I was excited for Cress would be an understatement, and to be honest, I am not sure what I can say in this review that I haven't already said about this series.
In Cress we meet... Cress... a Lunar girl who has been living in solitude on a satellite for the past several years (I think it's been seven). Cress is what the Lunar's call a shell (as in she has no magical abilities), therefore her parents sent her away when she was born to be disposed of. Poor Cress, who is stuck alone on a spaceship, which later crashes to earth, and lands in a desert. Being stranded in the desert never sounds like a fun time, but Meyer does a good job of putting you there with Cress and she has you experiencing what Cress is experiencing. This is her first time on earth, everything is new to her and she is feeling very vulnerable. I could feel Cress' anxiety building as the time in the desert stretched from hours into days and so on, it made me anxious. I couldn't stop reading.
However, like many of Marissa Meyer's female protagonists, Cress is strong and fierce in a way that suits her. Does that make sense? She's incredibly intelligent but she's also a gentle individual, and she's got these ideas about things that are a bit fantastical, but she's sweet and sincere and loyal. Cress really wants to do the right thing, and she wants to help where she can. But, at the same time, she' been isolated for the majority of her life, this means she's not sure of where she fits in, and whether or not what she can contribute is needed or appreciated.
As I mentioned in my review of Scarlet, Thorne was a favourite of mine. And I was happy to see that we get to see more of him in Cress. Anyone who doesn't like Thorne... I dunno. What you see most about Thorne is that he's funny, and really arrogant, but, he's also really charming and loyal and he's a bad ass fighter. Of all the leading men in The Lunar Chronicles so far- Thorne is my kind of guy.
Overall, from the convoluted review of Cress by Marissa Meyer you should have gotten that this series is a must read. This being the third book in this series is perfect. It moves the story along wonderfully and introduces new characters in a way that isn't overwhelming. Cress was full of adventure and high pressure situations, but it was also full of wit and humour. It made reading it absolutely delightful. I am a fan, and I am both excited and a little sad that Winter brings the end of The Lunar Chronicles. But I think it's going to be amazing.
~Happy Reading Everyone!
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I always love it when a book surprises me. I find that there is nothing better than going into a book with really low expectations and coming out the other side blown away. That is what happened to me with One Tiny Lie. I had read the first book (Ten Tiny Breaths) in K.A. Tucker's series back in the summer, and while I enjoyed it, I didn't find that it was all that unique. It sort of followed the typical NA pattern- girls experiences traumatic event, girl falls apart, girls runs away, girls meets boy, boy is also broken, boy and girl fall in love.... this may sound like I didn't enjoy Ten Tiny Breaths, but you are wrong I really liked it, more than I liked others of the NA genre. However, it was definitely Tucker's characters that made me love her books.
One Tiny Lie is told from the perspective of Livie- Kacey's younger sister. It is set three years later and Livie is now a freshmen at Princeton University. Which has been her dream school, since forever. Now, please, don't roll your eyes at this college setting. Because it's actually kind of refreshing and Tucker puts a different spin on it- I can't pin point exactly what it is, but it made the whole story a but more fun and interesting to read. Livie has always been the more reasonable sibling, the more logical, well rounded sibling. She is the complete opposite to her sister and has never really lived a life without feeling like everything was her responsibility. However, at the insistence of her sort of therapist she begins to branch out and experiments with being a normal eighteen year old college student, in other words, acting her age and living on the wild side. This is not something Livie has any experience with, and she is completely out of her comfort zone. However, always obedient and dutiful, she complies.
As I mentioned earlier, I really really liked this book. It was really a surprise for me. There were so many things in this book that should have bothered me, and for the life of me, I can't think of a single one. Livie, the younger sister, who has always had her head on straight, begins to lose it. She doesn't know how to party, she doesn't know how to date, she doesn't even really know how to have friends her own age. And these are all things that she has to face when she gets to Princeton. Specifically, when ends up drunk her first night, and makes out with handsome stranger, Ashton.
The relationship between Livie and Ashton is SO complicated. But at the same time, SO simple. Does that even make sense? Both of them are making incredibly stupid decisions when it comes to one another, but at the same time, you are kind of rooting for them. As a reader you can almost over look their infidelity (almost). I in no way condone cheating, I think it's the nastiest thing you could do to someone. But without spoiling anything...
Overall, One Tiny Lie is really Livie's story about finding herself and breaking free of this mould that she created when her parents died. It's about pushing boundaries and testing the limits. Livie is a fantastic character who grows up so much in this book. She feels so much and wants to do the right thing. She is so conflicted and she has to deal with that. K.A. Tucker writes amazing characters and I loved my experience with this book. And I can't wait to dig into the next book in this series Four Seconds to Lose.
~Happy Reading Everyone!
Monday, January 6, 2014
Before we get into this week's list. I want to talk to you a bit about 2013. Looking back at 2013 I am completely dissatisfied with what I read. I feel like I didn't really read anything amazing. I read some great books, but I don't feel like I read anything so totally amazing or original. Nothing that stayed with me. I don't think I read anything super memorable. So, I want to change that in 2014. I have thought long and hard about how to make this new year a great reading and blogging year.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish.
Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014 (bookish, not bookish or a blend)
1) Read outside of my comfort zone- I read A LOT of contemporary last year and I think it put me in a little bit of a rut. Don't get me wrong, I love me some contemporary. But I would like to broaden my horizons this coming year. Read more post-apocalyptic, dystopian, steam punk, fantasy... anything.
2) Tackle the unread books on my shelf- I would like to read ONE book a month from the books on my shelf that I absolutely needed to own but still haven't read. I don't know if that means that I make a TBR jar or I just chose a book at random for the month. We'll see.
3) Make monthly TBR Lists- Once upon a time I would have a list of five or six books that I would want/need to read for the month. Sometimes these lists did feel a little restrictive and that would stress me out, but for the most part I really appreciated them. It helped keep me organized- especially when it comes to review books. I know that I don't need to stick to these lists and if I stray it's not the end of the world.
4) Read a classic or two- I have been saying this for years. But I mean it this time! I am going to read Pride and Prejudice this year, I am going to read Jane Eyre this year. I am hoping to get at the very least those two read.
5) An hour a day- I used to be able to read for hours on end. But these day I am so distracted by the internet and my phone and other things that I won't pick up my book, or I'll read for a couple of minutes here and there. I would like to dedicate a time where I just read, and I think an hour is not an unreasonable amount of time. It can be done.
1) One review a week- This has always been a kind of "rule" of mine. There was a time or two or six where I failed at this because I got a little lazy. Also, I am not, nor will I ever be, that blogger who posts five reviews a week. I don't have that kind of time, and I don't think it's necessary. I am a busy girl with lots of other commitments. But I think I can get out one solidly written review a week.
2) Post Twice a week- Along side my review once a week, I would like to have an additional post. Be that Top Ten Tuesday or a book haul or some kind of discussion. I don't want to overwhelm people with posts but I don't want to be a strictly review blog. That's boring and I like to talk about books.
3) Comment more- I know loads of people say this. But I want to be more present in the blogging community. I read a lot of blogs, but I don't always comment. I think that I am going to start. A lot of work goes into blog posts and I want to acknowledge by commenting more.
4) Review older books- More like don't be afraid to review an older title. There are so many books out there that I haven't read. And sometimes I read a book and want to share my thoughts on it, but won't because it's an older book and no one cares. I need to let that go, and just go for it. I need to review what I want to review!
5) Not so many review books- I can fall so behind with review books. Sometimes I request to many on Netgalley, or get to carried way when requesting books for review. So I need to be more realistic when it comes to review books and what I can handle.
Those are my resolutions and goals for the upcoming year, please link yours below so I can see what everyone else it up to.
~Happy Reading Everyone!
Friday, January 3, 2014
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I have been painfully absent from the blog these past few weeks and I think it's exactly what I needed. While I have been experiencing a bit of guilt over it, this time away has also allowed me to reflect on my year as a reader and blogger. It was kind of magical.
But anwayho, I bring to your the 2013 End of the Year Book Survey that Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner has come up with. She's been doing this for four years and looking back, so have I. This is my fourth survey. Crazy. Lets get on with the show!
Best Book You Read In 2013?
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: This was such a fantastic book. 2013 was all about contemporary and new adult for me. I read so much of it, that I was beginning to hate it. But Fangirl did great things for both genres.I am sure everyone has read this book, but if you haven't, do yourself a service and get on it.
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: I know this may be a little funny. The best book I read of 2013 was by Rainbow Rowell, and the book I was most disappointed with was also by her. I think this book was super hyped up for me, and I didn't relate to Eleanor like others did. In reality I just didn't like her. I didn't hate the book, but I did think I would like it more than I did.
Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Altered by Jennifer Rush: This one took me by surprise. It was REALLY good, and I don't think enough people have read this one. It's super action packed, has some smexy boys in it, and it's all plot twisty. Along with all of that, it's very well written. Jen Rush did a good job. Erased (the sequel) comes out next week and I am SO excited to get my hands on it.
Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry: This book was SO good. I have gushed about it, I have told people to read it, and I gifted it three times since reading it. I loved this book. It has the perfect amount of angst and aww in it. Isaiah is a great character. What more can I say? Read this book.
Best series you discovered in 2013?
Ten Tiny Breaths by KA Tucker: while her books aren't really a series, they are more companion books. The two books that I have read- Tiny Tiny Breaths and One Tiny Lie- were both really great. I have Four Seconds to Lose sitting on my shelf and I am very eager to get to it. These books were more than I expected them to be. I was impressed.
Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
KA Tucker: as mentioned above. I loved both of the books I read by her, and I imagine I will continue to like what she offers.
Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I played in safe in 2013. I read nothing that pushed my limits. Shame on me.
Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo: Loved this book. I read it SO fast when I got it. It's one of those books that once you've started you just have to keep going.
Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: This one of the first books I'd read in 2013. And I really enjoyed it. But I think I rushed through it when I read it. I would like to reread it before I dive into The Dream Thieves.
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: I love this cover. I love the font of the title, and I love the cliff and the grey tones. It's amazing how great this cover it, but the cover for it's sequel is horrible!
Most memorable character in 2013?
Allyson Healey from Just One Day: There was a time during this book where Allyson was not a fun character. But she transitions and it's beautiful and I loved every minute of it. Specifically the last half of the book.
Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys: This was the first book of Sepetys that I have ever read and it was amazing. I should have known that it would be great considering what people have been saying about her debut Between Shades of Gray. It's wonderful and so beautifully written- you can't help but get lost in it.
Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
1) Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin: This book was heavy. And as I mentioned in my review, it has me considering my values and where those values came from. This is another novel that ins't talked about enough.
2) 45 Pounds (more or less) by KA Barson: this book in an important one. It talks about body image and dieting and eating disorders. God read it.
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Anywho who enjoys reading historical romance has read this book, and believe it or not, historical romance used to be the only thing I read and still, I had never read this one. And it's basically a classic. I think my grandmother ever read this one before she died. It was good but boy was it LONG! But I did it!
Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
“Every star has been set in the sky. We mistakenly think they were put there for us.”
-Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest: Crossing the Line by Katie McGarry- 67 Pages
Longest: Outlander Diana Gabaldon- 870 pages
Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers.
Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Isaiah and Rachel in Crash Into You, hands down!
Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano: There is something kind of amazing about reading a book by DeStefano. Specifically something new. She has an amazing way with words. and Perfect Ruin was a pleasure to read.
Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Pivot Point by Kasie West- SO good!
Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
Contemporary: Which I think needs changing in 2014.
Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Sam from Altered by Jennifer Rush- Whewwwwwwwwww... that's all I can say.
Best 2013 debut you read?
Pantomime by Laura Lam
Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano- as I mentioned in my review of this book. I felt like a citizen of Internment by the time I was done reading. I loved how descriptive the world building was (it was basically the whole of the book).
Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding: This was a cute story and had me chuckling a lot.
Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Ten Tiny Breaths by KA Tucker- this one had me almost crying. It dealt with some heavy issues and it was sad.
Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
45 Pounds by KA Barson- This was a great book and it had a fantastic message and I don't think it got enough attention. It really was amazing, and yes, it did deal with some intense things, it wasn't overbearing on the issues front. It wasn't a downer to read. I wish more people would pick it up.
And voila! Here is my year in review! I am looking forward to 2014 and seeing what amazing reads it will being me.
~Happy Reading Everyone!