Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bout of Books 16

It's that time again!

Bout of Books

"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 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"

I will absolutely be participating. See you there?

April Rewind

» This month I.... «

Enjoyed some beautiful spring weather by opening windows and eating ice cream - finally. It has once again turned cold and rainy, but I am looking forward to the sun and warm that are sure to follow.

Finished one term and started another. Only a year left!

Passed my driver's exam and did lots of solo driving! Oh, freedom.

Nearly had a heart attack when Oliver, the git, got himself stuck behind one of our furnaces. We eventually got him out, but I am forever scarred.

Started a new, week-in-review segment on the blog. Check it out.

Our car broke down and we were all stuck without a way around for about a week before we were finally able to purchase a new one. Thankfully, I like this new vehicle much better.

Freaked out over the season finale of Scorpion.

Eagerly awaited the arrival of the final book in Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle series, The Raven King, only to be emailed by Amazon on the day of its release saying that it would be another few days before I would get it. Freaking out, I cancelled my order and drove out of town to pick it up at Barnes & Noble. A bit crazy, maybe, but it was worth it.

Celebrated my dad's 60th birthday a few days early.

Wrote a Walter/Paige fanfic.

March Snapshots:

» Book(s) I've Been Reading «

» Movies/Shows I've Been Watching «

I finally sat down to watch Divergent this month, and wow. I am eager to see what happens next. Also, I was absolutely certain I would dislike Theo James as Four because he seemed a little too macho and was definitely not my type, but my mind has been changed, hello.

Until the episode that aired a few weeks ago, The 100 was becoming a little unbearable. Everyone was dying, the plot was shit, and there was no substance. Thankfully, all of my wonderful delinquents are back together again, fighting side by side, and things are finally starting to make sense. I've been getting that season 1 feeling, and I love it. I really hope it continues, particularly the Bellark/delinquent scenes.

The season 2 finale of Scorpion premiered on the 25th of this month and wowza. I thought season 1 ended on a pretty big cliffhanger, but this last episode has it beat. I cannot believe I have to wait until the end of summer to get new episodes and find out what happened after Walter left the garage! There were a few times this season when I felt like the episodes were repeating themselves or didn't seem as interesting, but I would definitely have to say that Scorpion is one of my favorite shows despite this, with one of my favorite pairings, and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

» Songs I've Been Listening To «

Please Don't Say You Love Me by Gabrielle Aplin

 Home by Gabrielle Aplin

» Other Favorites «

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» What I've Been Up to On Youtube «

25 Bookish Facts About Me

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Review Mash-up! [1]

 Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #3
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Pages: 270
Format: Hardcover
Average Rating: 3.85
My Rating: 2.0

After arriving in Oz via tornado—as you do—and a botched assassination attempt on everyone's beloved Dorothy, Amy Gumm finds herself back where she started; stranded in Kansas and unable to perform magic. When a new threat presents itself and Dorothy's long lost silver shoes are recovered, Amy and the Order must find a way to return to Oz before Dorothy has a chance to hatch a new plan and destroy both worlds forever.


As I have said many, many times: I lo(ooooooo)ve retellings and/or reimaginings, which is what prompted me to pick up the first book in this series, Dorothy Must Die, when it came out a few years ago. I loved the story and characters, and found it very fun and entertaining. The second book was not as good, but still enjoyable. The third one, however, had me rolling my eyes and shaking my head throughout the entire thing because nothing made sense. Granted, nothing has ever made much sense in this series, but with the first book, I could overlook it because the plot was easy to follow and there was only one villain; Dorothy. In book two, we added a few more antagonists, which got a little confusing, but was still relatively manageable. Now there are even more and I have no idea what the heck is going on anymore and who we are supposed to be fighting. Not only that, but now the people we trusted in book one may also be the enemy? I could get behind multiple villains if we were defeating one or two each book, but nothing is getting resolved, we are back to square one, and the plot/storyline are jumping around way too much. And do not even get me started on Amy... She has turned into a needy, annoying character that is constantly contradicting herself - though, to be fair, Amy is not the only one doing this; it's pretty much every single character at this point. The descriptions of Oz were pretty much the only thing keeping me interested during book two, but even they cannot appease me anymore, and there was very little about this book that I actually liked. Add a few crappy decisions (seriously, Amy, get it together), solutions that are really just more problems in disguise, a cringe-y romance that is moving way too fast, and you have Yellow Brick War.

At this point, I will probably continue reading the series out of stubbornness, with hope that it can only go up from here.

Author: Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy #1
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Pages: 282
Format: Paperback
Average Rating: 4.22
My Rating: 4.0

"A boy who doesn't want to lie, married to a girl who can't tell the truth. If there is a God, he has a sick sense of humor."

Ivy Westfall is on a mission. After years of planning, she is about to marry Bishop Lattimer, the son of the president, in an attempt to end an old feud between their two families. What her soon-to-be in-laws don't know, however, is that Ivy has been trained to kill her new husband shortly after their union - the first step in what her family hopes will be a revolution; earning them the authority that should have rightfully been theirs after a nuclear war leaves the United States ravaged and very few people alive. There's just one problem; Bishop is not as evil and conniving as her family made him out to be, and Ivy is no longer sure she can kill him. In the end, she must make a choice between Bishop and her family, love and justice, and doing what is right for her people or doing what is right for herself.


I fell in love with this story immediately, and this book was probably my favorite read in the month of April. Though the plot had been done before—girl must kill boy, falls in love—it was still very enjoyable and I found myself emotionally invested in the characters because, get this: though the story was full of cute, romantic moments, it wasn't so overbearing that it took away from the plot, like all most love stories. I love it when that happens! Though the plot and action did not add much to the story until the very end, Ivy was still a very interesting narrator and, despite the fact that the choices she made were based on other people and not herself, there was a struggle there that kept me interested. She didn't want her family to dictate her life, but they are her family and she owes them her loyalty. She didn't want to be open and honest and have fun because she doesn't really deserve it, but it happened anyway because Bishop is a nice guy. Seeing her struggle with this was extremely interesting and created a story that is a classic example of how a character-driven plot can be done well, even if there is a love interest involved.

I very much enjoyed the different characters, particularly Bishop, and how Ivy discovers her family may not be as selfless as they seemed. The ending had me howling in rage in Ivy's defense, and I am excited to pick up the next one and see how this duology ends.

Author: Allie Brosh
Series: N/A
Publisher: Touchstone
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Pages: 369
Format: Paperback
Average Rating: 4.15
My Rating: 3.75

Stories about Allie Bosh's dogs, depression and life. But mostly about her dogs.


I had originally read this book in 2014 for a quick laugh and decided to pick it up again recently for the same reason. Really, since this is a book made entirely of drawings and crass, self-deprecating humor, there is not much to say. I found certain things relateable, and others not. There were things I found extremely funny and other incidents where Allie's humor was a bit lost on me. Overall, I enjoyed the book; it is a quick, light read that I was able to finish in a day and, should Allie ever write/illustrate another one, I would definitely read it as well.

(During my original read, I gave Hyperbole and a Half 4.0 stars. After my reread, it was knocked down to 3.75.)

Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley
Series: N/A
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Pages: 323
Format: Hardback
Average Rating: 4.04
My Rating: 3.75

Katie is in trouble. Not only is her new restaurant not coming along as fast as she had hoped, but there are complications with her current fling, her ex boyfriend shows up, and one of her best waitresses becomes badly injured. That's when the House Spirit arrives. Write down your mistake. Eat a Mushroom. Go to sleep and wake up anew. These three rules redefine Katie's life as she begins to erase mistakes made throughout the day and replace them with an alternate situation. Waitress's injury? Gone. Awkward encounter with ex boyfriend? Never happened. An incident that occurred a few years ago that you can't seem to get over? Nope. But what Katie thought was an easy fix to her everyday problems quickly gets out of hand, and she must find a way to set her life right before it's too late.


Graphic novels are easy to read/get into and do not take much time. As such, they are the perfect sort of thing to check out from the library when you already have a large pile of books sitting at home, staring at you with betrayal every time you even think about buying or reading something new. As a graphic novel newbie, I was unsure where to begin, exactly, so when I saw Seconds sitting on the shelf and remembered that several Booktubers had really enjoyed the book a few months prior, I decided to pick it up.

I did have a few problems with this story. Katie, to me, was not a very likeable character and, when things started to go wrong, she blatantly ignored the warning signs, which I found a little unrealistic. Overall, however, I found the story to be interesting—particularly the part about House Spirits—funny, and endearing. The last quarter of the book was very well done and exciting, and I especially enjoyed how things wrapped up.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Teaser Tuesday [April 19]

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn of Books and a Beat. All you have to do is grab your current read, open to a random page, and share two teaser sentences (that don't give too much away).

This week's teaser:

Some written materials were censored by the UTA and had to be reconstructed by our commtechs, though profanity remains censored as per your instruction. Sure, the story kicks off with the deaths of thousands of people, but god forbid there be cussing in it, right?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring has arrived

The change a week can make! The snow is mostly gone and the weather has warmed up considerably. I take immense joy in throwing open my bedroom window every morning and allowing the sweet, flowery smell of spring to fill the house.

Overall, this week was an easy one. Not much was going on, so I was at home for most of it. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent the same way as last week - working, grocery shopping, and cleaning. On Thursday, the stress set in. My family has had a very difficult year and a half, and Thursday was the day something would be presented to people who could help us out. Though they have yet to make their decision, Thursday was the beginning of what we hope is the end, and everyone in our house was feeling it. In an attempt to distract myself, I made the mistake of browsing the organization and decor tag of Pintrest during work that morning, and the rest of the afternoon/evening was spent moving things around in my room and breathing in a lot of dust. I did take a break to watch the new episode of The 100; it was wonderful. I'm so glad my little delinquents are back together again!

Friday was kind of a bad day. I woke up in an awful mood for no reason and spent the rest of the day alienating myself from everyone else and basically taking offense at any and every tiny, unimportant thing. That morning, I ran to the store to pick up some containers so that I could finish my organization project. Normally, this would have been fun, but I had to work the After School program, so everything was kind of done in a rush, which only made my mood worse. I generally don't enjoy working after school, because the people that run it do not speak or joke around much and the kids can get kind of crazy. I got to leave a little early that day, though, which was nice. Once I got home, I had to call my academic advisor so that we could figure out a way to get my textbooks before the evening was over and found out that I had been paying for my schoolbooks out of pocket for the last three years when there were book vouchers available, and no one had told me about them. Uhg. Then, because I was down in the dumps, I decided to treat myself to some ice cream. This ended with my mother and I driving around town looking for a cheap place that sold some, and waiting in line at the park for half and hour behind a bunch of high school girls. My mood worsened.

On Saturday, our car broke down. Thankfully, it didn't happen while I was driving because, as a new driver, I have no doubt I would have freaked out and made the situation worse. Because of the gorgeous weather, I had just gotten back from walking in this little wooded area at the edge of town with a friend, her daughter, and our dog, Copper, when my mom and brother decided to go and get something to eat. The car broke down while they were out. Unfortunately, it was not the first time the car has done something like this and, at this point, we are all feeling a little hopeless when it comes to getting it back in working order. Someone is supposed to come today to look at it; fingers crossed he can do something. I had myself a little movie night on Friday and also managed to finish reading The Book of Ivy, which was amazing.

All I did on Sunday was lay around. The weather was beautiful, but I had zero motivation to do anything about it, so the afternoon was spent filming videos and starting/finishing Hyperbole and a Half, a book I had originally read back in 2014. Once I was done with that, I finished up my schoolwork and was free for the rest of the day. I have been trying some new time management techniques and I've found that they really seem to be working for me. Usually, Sunday is spent trying to catch up on a week's worth of schoolwork; I quite enjoy not having to deal with the shame that accompanies that level of procrastination anymore.

Today will be spent much like last Monday was; I have to work in the evening and then will end the night with a new episode of Scorpion. It is rumored that Walter and Paige will kiss tonight. I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Teaser Tuesday [April 12]

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn of Books and a Beat. All you have to do is grab your current read, open to a random page, and share two teaser sentences (that don't give too much away).

This week's teaser:

I am different from all these other girls surrounding me because marrying Bishop Lattimer has not fulfilled my destiny. My mission is not to make him happy and bear his children and be his wife. My mission is to kill him.

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Monday, April 11, 2016

New ideas

In an attempt to keep this blog alive, I have come up with a few new ideas including more reviews, and this: a weekly life update, just to name a few. We will see how it pans out.

Oh, Ohio weather... I would hibernate from the final stages of autumn until early summer if I could. I never could handle anything under seventy degrees, and the fact that there is three inches of snow on the ground right now, during spring, is killing me.

Tuesday morning I had to drag myself from the comfort of my warm blankets and head to work, bleary-eyed and groggy, in order to set up for Bounce and Play, which my place of employment hosts twice a week for young children, allowing them to kick balls around and enjoy a bounce house if they so wish. After work, I had to rush off to the eye doctor in order to pick up my "official" contacts. While there, the woman ringing me up tried to charge me an additional $100 for an eye exam I had already paid for two weeks prior, and I only managed to catch the mistake at the last moment, rescuing my bank account from an empty belly. Tuesday was also the final day of term, so most of it was spent simultaneously stressing out about an English paper that I had yet to finish writing, and laying around with zero motivation.

I had Wednesday off from work, but it was anything but relaxing. I had failed my driver's exam a week before and spent the last seven days stressing out about five orange cones and my inability to reverse properly when under pressure. (I did ace the actual driving part, though.) I had been sick to my stomach with nerves the past week and despite the fact I did it perfectly during practice, I was sure I would fail maneuverability once again and forever be driver's license-less. 3:15pm rolled around, my hands were shaking on the steering wheel, the instructor sat beside me, pen poised, and sure enough, I knocked over another cone. I was devastated. Thankfully, she must have noticed how nervous I was because she let me do it again, and this time it was executed perfectly. Success!

I worked a split-shift on Thursday, and both shifts required me to set up and take down a plethora of bounce houses—the first time was for Bounce & Play, and the second was for a Preschool family night we were hosting—so I did nothing but watch the new episode of The 100 when I finally got home. The show is not doing that great, in my opinion. Everyone is dying/being killed off, and I find the characters a lot less likeable than they were a season ago. Thanks, writers.

Friday started off great, as I finally got to drive around town by myself. I hit up the Library and Walmart, and was actually able to listen to my own music for once. Why I decided to wait ten years before attempting to get a license is beyond me. The day took an unexpected turn, however, when one of my rabbits, Oliver, decided to wedge himself behind our furnace and could not get out. We spent an hour and forty minutes trying to get his feet back under him and coax him out, but nothing seemed to be working. Finally, when we were just about ready to give up and I was practically dehydrated from crying, I had the great idea to place my female rabbit at the end near his head, and try to convince him to come out and get her. It worked! He finally managed to squeeze himself out of a barely-two-inch gap, and seemed to be none the worse for wear. The same could not be said of me.

Saturday was when we received the three inches of snow, and since I had to walk to work, I was not a happy camper. Birthday parties were hosted and Family Night was had. Since I was working another split-shift, I was able to take the car to work for Family Night that evening, and I quite enjoyed being able to close a door to the cold and immediately turn on the heat that night, rather than waiting for a ride to show up.

Sundays are usually for homework, but since the new term had yet to start, I was able to relax for most of the day. I did have to run a few errands and pick up seventeen pizzas for my mother, who was hosting a dinner for the youth at our church but, all in all, it was a relatively quiet day. I decided to introduce my two male rabbits again, now that Oliver is fixed, and it went surprisingly well. Hopefully I can put them together soon and Louis can get the peace she deserves.

Which brings us to today. Term has started again, but I probably will not make any sort of attempt at homework until Wednesday. Instead, I will edit a video, work, and maybe watch that new episode of Scorpion that is supposed to air tonight. If only the weather would warm up...